Tuesday, March 4, 2008

I'd Rather Dance With Them

Nederlandse Muziek
Music from the Lowlands

As I wrote in one of my first posts, I'm quite ignorant on the kind of music They play and enjoy here. I just knew that They had a nice though derivative period in the 60s thanks to band like The Outsiders, Q65 and Shocking Blue.
All those bands came from the Den Haag - 's Gravenhage area and for a short season tried to land in the young European ears with a bunch of decent songs. Those were the glorious years of Radio Veronica. Yet, the positive influence of this pirate radio which transmitted from an old ship anchored just outside the Dutch territorial waters, close to the beach of Scheveningen has finished many years ago. Going there I found no evidence or testimony of Veronica. What has happened in the meanwhile? How could They pass from a lovely local Merseybeat to Dj Tiesto?

I wanted to learn, listen, judge. That's why I invited here in my place a Dutch friend of mine with the excuse of a dinner. We were still licking from our fingers the delicious whip cream of a local dessert (I forgot its name), when I asked Merel to help me in a rediscovery of Their music. I couldn't wait. My questions were all very naive. Her answers were all very precise.
- Have you got any good and famous songwriter? I mean a kind of Dutch Bob Dylan, a Zeeland born Leonard Cohen, or perhaps a Groningen based Patti Smith? NO.
- Is there any fam
ous rock band here who use to sing in Dutch? NO. JUST IN ENGLISH.
- May we consider The Nits like the Dutch answer to The Beatles? WHO ARE THE NITS?

I didn't give up. I insisted on asking, asking, asking. Finally I learned something. Actually Merel taught me quite a lot. Here is a short list of the bands/artists we talked about.

Acda en De Munnik Their name comes from the sum of two surnames. They sing in Dutch. Folk-cabaret or something. It seems they have a wide audience. My friend Marjolijne suggested me this band as well.
Anouk Fifteen years after her international heydays, she's still quite famous (here). The aggressive poprock-singer she was has all but gone. Yet she looks particularly tired and eye-wrinkled in recent posters of her coming gigs.
Bettie Serveert Who knows them anymore? Are they disappeared? Perhaps they moved to Belgium? During the nineties their song Palomine had a massive airplay on some Italian radios.
Bløf Pop rock band with some ordinary but catchy guitar riffs. They performed the main song of the "Alles is Liefde" movie soundtrack. Apparently they sing in both English and Dutch.
De Jeugd Van Tegenwoordig Weird combo of youngsters with a great and uprising popularity. They developed a personal way to hip hop, with funny lyrics, trash irony and self invented words.
Golden Earring They are still on stage after a long career. Once they were among the most famous bands from the Lowlands, now I don't know if they're still popular.
Kane Dutch young but average rock band with English written songs. I had heard their name before. I hope that with a name like this they know who Orson Welles was.
Le Le Once you listen to their hit "Skinny Jeans" you'll hate or love them. It's an infectious song. One guy from Le Le is also a member of De Jeugd Van Tegenwoordig (see above)
Racoon Merel showed me a lot of duets on YouTube with this band performing elegant pop songs together with other ones. But they don't have Dutch lyrics so I need time to love them.
Room Eleven They're a very jazzy and sophisticated pop band with an excellent lead singer. I think I saw they will have a concert in Utrecht pretty soon. They are also English oriented.
Solex Well, actually we didn't talk about her. I tried to say her name a couple of times, but Merel never reacted. And yet she's the only Dutch artist I had an album of whom at home.
The Nits Old guys from the early 80s, but still in a good shape. They released a pile of albums. I guess their song "In the Dutch mountains" is a homage to Cees Nooteboom self titled book
Two Unlimited It seems they were very popular on the European dance floors a few years ago, in the wake of Ace of Base. I confess I never heard their name before. I am a nerd.


Buzz Stephens said...

Speaking of Orson Welles, this week over at the Yahoo version of The Judy Garland Experience beloved entertainer from the 20th century, Sammy Davis Jr, takes a crack at the Judy Garland songbook. Sammy sings 'em all, including The Man That Got Away, Over The Rainbow, But Not For Me, and many other Garland classics. He even sings two duets with the great lady herself, as well as one with her daughter Liza.
This kind of show biz, and this kind of entertainment doesn't exist anymore!

Another great file posted over at the Yahoo Judy Garland Experience is a radio program that features an interview with a talkative flight attendant who recounts an adventurous red eye flight she took with Judy and her hairdresser, Orville, back in 1963.
This one is a real hoot!

Other new files over at the Yahoo version of The Judy Garland Experience include two episodes of the Charlie MCCarthy radio show. One is from June 7, 1942, and the other is from December 7, 1941, better known as Pearl Harbor Day.
This nerve wracking broadcast which featured Judy, along with Abbott And Costello ,was constantly interrupted with news of various countries making declarations of war!
Nevermind that Judy rises to the occasion and offers up some great entertainment, this was history in the making!
Even if you are not a Judy fan you might want to check out this broadcast for it's historical significance alone!

And if that isn't enough several parodies of the song The Lady Is A Tramp, as sung by Frank Sinatra have been posted over at the Yahoo experience. Frank salutes his friends Orson Welles, Maureen Starkey, and Spiro Agnew, as well as remarkable duets of the song with the great Ella Fitzgerald which were recorded over the span of 33 years. There is even an ultra rare rendition performed by Frank with Buddy Greco!

There are also tons of other rare audio files by Judy and others.
For those of you who aren't familiar with The Judy Garland Experience it is an exciting group on yahoo that features lively and informative discussions, and the rarest audio, video, and photo files of Judy anywhere! The membership includes Garland family members, people who knew and worked with Judy, other celebrities, authors, film makers, and fans of all levels and persuasions. The only one missing is you.

Please stop by The Judy Garland Experience and check it out. I promise you won't be disappointed.

Lorenzo said...

Someone over the Rainbow...

Icepick said...

Don't forget The Ex. Amazing Dutch punks. Very Crass-influenced. Check 'em out. Their new stuff is rad too. They're become Dutch-Beefhearts.