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since 02/03/2001


Stereopathetic Soulmanure - Beck 10/06/2002

Country to noise - he does it all

Stereopathetic Soulmanure - Beck This collection of songs - don't waste your time looking for coherence - dates from the very beginning of Beck's career. Back then he just played in any bar that would let him, slept on the street, mooned cars, stole beer... Quite a contrast with his recent shows with neon lights, sax players, background choir and giant beds coming out of the sky! I love "Stereopathetic Soul Manure" because it never bores, to say the least: changing from "Pink Noise", a track with a title that's as promising as self-evident, to the beautifully laidback country song "Rowboat" - even Johnny Cash's cover isn't as good as the original! - isn't something you'd expect from "the 'Loser' guy". After those promising openers you can expect more stripped-down country, some straightforward ("Thunder Peel") and somewhat less straightforward ("Tasergun") rock, hilarious spoken word parts and at times slightly irritating noise intermezzos. He might not do THAT much, but WHAT he does (stamping his foot, preaching like a priest, imitating Ozzy Osbourne, eating Satan's tacos, being hilarious) he does very well. And it's still a lot more than 80 % of the other artists in Ciao's "Indie" category. ...

Profools - Daan Stuyven 10/06/2002

53 Beautiful Minutes

Profools - Daan Stuyven Everybody who's a little bit acquainted to the "Belgian alternative music scene" must have heard of Daan Stuyven, who's gaining underground popularity - to some the most attractive paradox of all times - each and every day. The singer of the great Dead Man Ray had been working for years on some solo stuff he finally brought out in 1999. For fans of Dead Man Ray this might sound a bit weird or too poppy - wait, can anything even be too poppy? - but to me it certainly is one of the best releases this land has ever seen. Years before The Notwist started making international furore, Daan was already foolishly experimenting with Protools, hence the title of this record. The nice thing about this combination of old and new is that the listener never gets the impression it's only done 'to sound modern'. Melodies are never forgotten and when the modernities aren't necessary for the song, they're simply left out. "Profools" starts off with a simply brilliant popsong called "Boots". Have I already mentioned Daan's lyrical qualities? I believe the following quote speaks for itself: "come shine my boots, come shine my boots, come shine my boots... and maybe I'll shine yours". "50 %" sounds a suspicious lot like the beginning of "Copy Of '78", but as he wrote that Dead Man Ray song himself and both tracks are equally good, I don't see any problem in that. Again a relatively "simple" poptune. Things get faster and crazier by the minute: "Smokesucker" reminds of the ...

Argument - Fugazi 10/06/2002

What to do if you want to be nice AND punk

Argument - Fugazi Fugazi – I know it doesn't sound hip - are a nice band. They refuse to sell t-shirts. They don't play festivals. They sell their cds below the 'normal' price. But then again… what's the difference with your average annoying anti-globalisation kid?", one might ask. The answer is rock. Because whatever your local Blink 182-fan might say, rock doesn't mean whining about your alcoholical mother, naughty sister or – God save me – suicidal tendencies. Ian MacKaye again proves this with yet another stunning Fugazi release, singing passionately about corrupted politicians, passive people, strikes and – why the hell not? – nightshops. As usual, the lyrics combine pure aggression with content, something bands like Sum41 wouldn't even notice if somebody shoved it in their pretty faces – but hey, guys, enjoy the groupies while you can. Oh wait, wasn't this supposed to be a review or something? Here we go then. Although the music has got much more nuances and is subtler and more multi-layered than it ever was, it doesn't lose a bit of its strength. There's something for everyone: a post-apocalyptic intro (for the art farts), catchy chori (for the drunks) and the typical routine of checking if your speakers are still working and then realising they are as they explode along with the song (for old time's sake). Now if you're still doubting about buying it or not, think about this: it only costs a good 10 €, which is cheaper than, for example, a politically scientific book which ...

Nothing really ends (Single) 02/01/2002

dEUS are back... and HOW

Nothing really ends  (Single) After four great albums and a lot of touring, the best of Belgium's "popular" rock bands dEUS decided to take a sabattical year. During this period, Tom Barman (vocals) would work on a film, Danny Mommens (bass) and Jules de Borgher (drums) would spend more time on their discoproject Vive La Fête and Tim Vanhamel would create "Outside The Simian Flock" with his band Millionaire, one of the best Belgian albums... ever (opinion coming soon!). As they were all very busy and having fun, the sabattical year became two years and now, three years after the release of their last album "The Ideal Crash", they are finally back. Nothing world-shocking though: with the Christmas period in their mind, the record company decided to release "No More Loud Music", a compilation of all their singles. As usual, they wanted an extra to spice it up a bit, so they asked dEUS to write a new song as a "bonus track". The band agreed, as long as they could release it as a single too - and I'm grateful for that. Because "Nothing Really Ends" is a classic. This may be a lot less experimental and more poppy than their earlier stuff, but that's just an aesthetical evolution - the quality's still the same. Spiced up with vibes and a beautiful backing vocals by three women, this is a love song of high quality. The smooth bossa nova beat leads us through Tom Barman's love story, who wants to know if she still loves him, if she still feels the same. Cliché? Maybe. After all, this may not be the first ... 26/11/2001

Sick of format radio - Hear this When I'm corresponding over the internet with foreigners (ie. non-Belgians), I often hear about the formatted radio stations. It seems that these days in a lot of places you can't like but one music genre. I always think I'm very happy with our own Studio Brussels, a national mostly alternative channel. Since it is being streamed on the Net, I have felt an urge to let as many people as possible know about it. On Studio Brussels, alternative doesn't simply mean 3 Doors Down and Limp Bizkit, although this kind of music is often played by them. It is more literally an alternative for formatted radio channels. From Monday to Friday, from 2 am until 11 am, the played music is to be found in more or less the same 'category'. During these hours, music isn't to obscure but not the obvious popular stuff either. Some band names? It can go from Mercury Rev over Daft Punk to Limp Bizkit, but balanced as well as possible. Then at 11, we've got "Republica", a culture programme that is quite interesting, but not of very use for non-Dutch-speaking persons. Here, the music is being used more as a "fill-up" between different items on literature, music, and all other artforms. From 1 until 2 pm, there's a non stop music programme called "Klas X". Older and newer "classics" are being played without the usual dj talking. My first recommendation for all online listeners! Then from 2 until 7, it's the "typical Stu Bru music" again, followed by "Radar", a programme with a more edgy ... 24/11/2001

Simply the best film site on the web I once made a bet with my sister that it was Robert Carlyle who played Begbie in one of our favorite movies, "Trainspotting". Having seen the film - and the credits - four times already, I was very sure I was right. But how could I prove it? I did a search on the internet and came across the International Movie DataBase. Not only did I win the bet, I also found one of my favorite sites on the web. First of all, the IMDB has got a very effective and easy-to-use search engine. This is most important, as the site hosts just EVERYTHING that has been released as a film, has been shown on television, etc. There is no need to use " ", AND or OR in your search, as the DataBase immediately finds what you're looking for. An example: I just typed in "crow". A list of matches is structured in the next categories: "most popular title search", "title matches" and "name matches", categorized at their turn based on the profession (from "actors" over "stunts" to "set decorators!"). Now that the search engine has proven its use, let's see what information the site has to offer me about the film "The Crow". Here we find out what's so good about the IMDB: I find all technical information on the film (complete crew and credits, tagline, genre, international rating, length, etc.) but also personal information! The IMDB has got a highly reliable voting system: only registered members can vote so that you can see how old the "likers" are, which gender the "dislikers" have and consult many ... 03/04/2001

a great fan site is my personal favourite, not only because I am a fan, but also because of the superb layout, many updates, ... A summary of what you can find at --------------- --------------- ------------ NEWS: this section contains - duh - latest Beck news. It is always very up to date and totally true, as this is the official Beck site. It occurs lots of times that reveals tour dates etc. which are not 100 % sure, but webmaster Truck will only write 100% confirmed dates. DISKO: A very complete discography. How complete? E.g. one of Beck's first ultra-rare first pressing releases came with a fingerpainting of his. This section of the site contains pictures of them (and users are asked to mail theirs). TOUR: Totally complete tour diary, including pictures and reviews of old concerts. GALLERY: You can choose betwee different 'things that have occured to Beck', e.g. shooting of a video, fan meeting, then click on the image and see a whole series of photos about this certain subject. [This section is split up in EVENTS, CANDID and LIVE.] MEDIA: Contains sections IN THE STUDIO 1999 (professionally directed home videos on the making of 'Midnite Vultures'), DOWNLOADS (skins for Winamp, browser, ...) and MUSIC VIDEOS (which contains lots of old and new videos, AND extended versions which are not shown on tv!) FAQ: Really large database of 'frequently asked questions' on Beck personal, his music, videos, ... anything you can think of. This section is ...

Hour of Bewilderbeast - Badly Drawn Boy 03/04/2001

poppy AND deep

Hour of Bewilderbeast - Badly Drawn Boy Ah! Don't you all like that pure pop feeling, like when you see Britney shaking on Mtv? For some people it's hard to confess, but I certainly do. But it always gives a certain extra to the music if it has got - apart from a good melody - a feeling of sincereness, genuine thoughts being expressed by the artist, ... Badly Drawn Boy has got it all. 'The Hour of Bewilderbeast' is my first BDB experience and I can assure you it's a good one. He has got the passion and sincereness of Flaming Lips, the melodies of the greatest quality pop ('Once around the block', 'disillusion', 'pissing in the wind') but also touching and deep-going lyrics. He may even have had a classical education, as you can hear in one of the best songs on the record; the first one, 'the shining'. Let's all cross our fingers and hope that it won't last long until he releases another almost-brilliant album. It's just a matter of time, we will definitely hear more of him.

Alone with Everybody - Richard Ashcroft 03/04/2001

Has Richard Ashcroft grown up...

Alone with Everybody - Richard Ashcroft It certainly looks like it when you listen to his solo debut 'Alone With Everybody'. The question is: is this a positive or a negative evolution? To be honest, I can only compare with 'Urban Hymns', The Verve's brilliant and last album (The Verve were/are pretty underground here, and except for 'Urban', it's hard to find their stuff). Starting with the brilliant 'Bitter Sweet Symphony' (the violins!!!), you think everything will be ok forever, but it never gets dull, thanks to the rock'n'roll vibe the record certainly has. And that is the only problem with the solo material: it has lost the rock... Richard has certainly learned how to make his songs more basic, and you can clearly hear the disappearance of drugs out of his life. He HAS grown up, is now a father, and is - well - quiet, and peaceful. You can hear this in beautiful, passionate songs like 'You on my mind in my sleep', but his happiness sometimes leads to total dullness, as you can discover by listening to 'Brave new world' and others. So what have we learned? Richard cannot really find the balance; something between rock'n'roll psychedelica and peaceful beautiful songs.

Rated R - Queens of the Stone Age 02/03/2001

Queens take the challenge

Rated R - Queens of the Stone Age ‘Rated R’ has got all you need: the inlay warns the listener with notifications for each song: contains paranoid delusions, explicit sexual content, violence etc. etc. etc. The images are cool too; they seem to have been taken from films like Pulp Fiction, Trainspotting etc., but with more allusions to sexual behaviour. But the music. The music is nice. Very nice. People who have followed the early Queens Of The Stone Age (check out their first untitled record) or –and I’m addressing the older readers – band Kyuss (the band in which Joshua Homme and Nick Oliveri first appeared), can expect a kind of aggressive punk/stoner release, but it isn’t at all. The Queens have taken the challenge of changing themselves and producing a sound to call their own, something never heard in the scene of hard music. Indeed ‘Rated R’ is very divers: it has still got the good old punky shit on it (what a relief), but there’s also more emotional and subtle stuff. Of course the Queens will stay the Queens forever, but if you think about it, this is the best decision they could have ever made; otherwise it could’ve ended in the Kyuss way: always playing the same thing, boredom, too many fans and split! Although they’ll have to watch out about the fan thing: if they keep releasing cds like this, they will become huger than huge. But then, will the majority of the world population ever understand this is a masterpiece in its own ...

Midnite Vultures - Beck 02/03/2001

another terrific Beck album

Midnite Vultures - Beck After hearing the single 'Sexx Laws' at the begin of 2000, I immediately bought 'Midnite Vultures'. I was pleasantly surprised by the full cd: I don't think there is any album with a content like this: there's soul, hiphop, electronic music, rock, ... I think everybody without listening restrictions (eg 'i only listen to funk and jazz') can like this. The lyrics are also very original: they are most of the time about sex, love and sometimes Beck takes this really far so that you get great unconventianal and even corny lyrics. Shortly said: everybody who likes good, unconventional and original music and funny semi-emotional lyrics should just go out and buy this masterpiece.
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