I mentioned last week that I had been clearing some junk out of the basement and, in doing so, stumbled across a number of my old cassettes. On Wednesday I caught myself humming a tune that I knew (obviously, I was humming it) but couldn’t place.
I have finally managed to identify the song: it’s Whistling in the Dark from the They Might Be Giants album, Flood.
It’s an annoyingly catchy tune that has been buzzing around my mind for most of the week. Now it’s your turn.
While clearing out some of the junk we still have in the basement, I discovered a box full of cassettes, among which was the They Might Be Giants album, Flood which I bought way back in the 20th Century. It’s been a long long time since I have listened to anything from this band, primarily because all of the music I have from them is on either vinyl or cassette, so my sense of nostalgia took me to the next best thing — You Tube.
It was on YouTube that I discovered that Becky Buller Band have a Bluegrass Country cover of this song that really is quite charming.
Kattenfeest is a street party that takes locally every year on the penultimate weekend of August. It’s a day of music, street theatre and kids activities as well as an opportunity for local clubs and groups to generate some interest and raise a bit of revenue that runs well into the evening. We don’t tend to stay overly late (young kids and all that) but it is a pleasant way to pass a sunny afternoon.
We ended up at a bar being manned by the karate club which had put a mat out in order to perform some demonstrations. Here they were serving a selection of local beers, which is how I came to be drinking a Schieve Hop from the Brouwerij De Schieve. I think I have just discovered my new favourite IPA.
Schieve Hop is a very pleasant dark blonde beer with a flavour that is hoppy, but not overpoweringly so. It went down very well, and was much appreciated, on the warm summer afternoon and is a beer I will certainly look out for again. I also loved the fact that the glass was almost as slanted as I was.
And so to my discovery of the day.
I have mentioned the music and this takes the form of a series of bands that play throughout the afternoon and into the evening. One of these bands (Taat Zot & Jasper, I think) was playing a series of 1950s and 1960s covers, including a rather good rendition of the theme from A Fistful of Dollars (or something very similar). This inspired a brief YouTube search and the discovery that this theme has also been performed by the Danish National Symphony Orchestra.
Postmodern Jukebox is an interesting band. This rotating musical collective was founded by Scott Bradlee in 2011 and specialises in reworking modern songs in vintage styles.
Japanese band, Babymetal has to be seen to be believed. The band describes their style as “kawaii metal” or “cute metal” and combines some pretty decent metal instrumentation with the sort of squeaky-voiced melodies that you would normally associate with Japanese pop music. You can see what I mean here.
When Postmodern Jukebox takes a Babymetal song and reinterprets it as a 1920s jazz number, the results are nothing short of incredible.
The Groezrock music festival takes place every year in the Flemish village of Meerhout. The festival has been going for some time and, by tradition, is the festival season opener in Belgium.
The festival offers a range of punk, hardcore, metalcore, skapunk, and exceptional music and has become one of the largest punk festivals in the Lowlands.
This year, I managed to acquire a couple of free tickets. Better still, none other than Dropkick Murphys were headlining the main stage on Saturday.
Unfortunately for me, the tickets I had were for Friday.
This is what I missed.
A couple of weeks ago, Jonathan Calder at Liberal England posted a video of Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me) by Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel. This provoked a bit of related YouTubery on my part and the discovery that Erasure had covered this song back in 2003 on a cover album entitled Other People’s Songs.
I still prefer the Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel, but Erasure’s video is… visually arresting.
Wednesday was a fun day. I turned up at the station at the usual time, only discover that all trains were cancelled due to a defective train further up the line.
Since I can work from home, and the station was giving no information about when the problem would be resolved, I went home.
Coincidentally, Alexandre was feeling a bit ill on Wednesday and we had already decided he could miss karate this week. As I was already home, it made sense for him to stay at home with me rather than go to the sports centre to watch his brothers for an hour.
This, of course, meant that it was Alexandre and I that went to collect the pizzas.
The TV in the pizza takeaway happened to be tuned to a music channel this week. One of the songs that happened to come up was The Nights by Avicii. This is now Alexandre’s favourite song.
I think he was mainly inspired by the footage of people jumping off things. Whatever the appeal, though, I can’t fault his taste.
Next weekend is Tradfest Belgica 2019 in Leuven, an Irish music festival that runs from 21st to 23rd February. I doubt that we will be able to go along as we have a fair bit going on already.
I did, however, check out this year’s headline act, Four Winds.
They’re really rather good.
I hadn’t realised the Pet Shop Boys were still going. But they are, and their latest song takes a snarky swipe at Donald Trump, Michael “we’ve all had enough of experts” Gove, and populists everywhere.
“Give Stupidity A Chance” was released on Tuesday and is well worth a listen.
The Interrupters are an American ska punk band formed in 2011 and Fight the Good Fight is their third album, released in June of last year on Hellcat Records.
The follow-up to 2015’s Say It Out Loud, Fight the Good Fight finds The Interrupters delivering their two-tone-inspired, powerfully melodic, punk-fueled sound with more vitality than ever before. With Armstrong and Alge at the helm, Aimee and the Bivona brothers channeled the raw energy of their lives shows by recording almost entirely to tape. “There’s a certain feeling you get from that process that you can’t really get digitally,” says guitarist Kevin. “There’s no overthinking anything—everyone’s got to be fully present and committed. It was definitely high-pressure, but also really fun.”
The lead single from this album, She’s Kerosene is absolutely fantastic.