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Period : May 19th-31st, 1999
In this issue : Eurovision Song Contest, Stick 'n' Stones, dEUS, Zita Swoon, Beach Rock, Arno, Placebo, Soundstation, FRJ.

May 31st, 1999

Vanessa Chinitor, the Belgian entry to the Eurovision Song Contest, ended up in the middle of the field (12th out of 23 contestants) with "Like The Wind" on Saturday, despite the high hopes the frenzied showbizz-journalists had been laying on her (top 10 guaranteed ...). This result means that Belgium probably won't be able to participate in the next edition in Sweden (they needed 48 points instead of the 38 they got).
The Real Euro-Disaster however was not Vanessa Chinitor, but the television show Luc Alloo did on the competing tv-station VTM : he organized a tv-show in which he invited a number of guests to watch the Festival on TV. Of the lot Herman Brusselmans, Ingeborg, Jan Hoet, Paul Jambers, Jean-Marie DeDecker, Hugo Camps, only Ingeborg liked to Festival one bit, so the evening ended up in a gathering of grumpy old men who didn't like each others company.

Sticks 'n' Stones, the funky band from Turn-Out City, needs people to show up for a gig that will be used in a videoclip. Place of the action : Turnhout (somewhere on the "Grote Markt"), Time : 20h30. Date : 2nd of June 1999.

dEUS now leads in de Afrekening with two records !! For the first time in 12 weeks, "Instant Street" is no longer leading the pack, but it's place immediately has been taken by the second single from their album "The Ideal Crash", in casu "Sister Dew".
Other Belgian songs in that weekly listeners hitparade are
- Arid met "Too Late Tonight" (8)
- Mitsoobishy Jacson met "Mitsoobishy Jacson" (12)
- Soulwax met "Saturday" (14)
- CPeX met "Vinde Gij Mijn Gat" (16)
- Sint-Andries Emcees met "Werelduniek" (23)
- 't Hof Van Commerce met "Mag et ntwa mjir zin ?" (24)
- De Mens met "Sex Verandert Alles" (29)
Sending in your own top three for this hitparade can be done on this page .

Zita Swoon is not only having fun with majoretten & een fanfare on Pinkpop, they are also nearing the final stage of their project "Plage Tattoo". The Ancienne Belgique sent out the following announcement (in Dutch : the English errors are mine, not theirs):
Zita Swoon (Stef Kamil Carlens, Aarich Jespers, Björn Eriksson) and Les Ballets C. De La B. (Koen Augustijnen & Tamayo Okano) will perform at the AB on september 17, 21 and 22. Ub "Plage Tattoo / Circumstances" as the play is called, Zita Swoon confronts dance and theater. The ingredients :
- the blue melancholic athmosphere of the music and poetry of Zita Swoon, played live.‘Songs’ that will end up on a new cd. The musicians will also be acting and dancing.
- The playful inventivity of Augustijnen & Okano. Dancers that will also be acting.
All are very different personalities, each with their own story, their love, their sorrow, doubts, frustrations, neuroses, scars and Tattoos. Circumstances have brought them together ...
A young public will certainly feel attracted to this swing cocktail which will have the spirit of a rock-concert, the schwung of a dance-choreography and the energy of a play.
Tickets can be bought online at the AB-site

May 25, 1999

Nominations are in for the "Belgian People's Choice", a contest that has a place at the big festival Axion Beach Rock (line-up incluces Reef, The Beautiful South, Lee Scratch Perry, The Cardigans, Garbage, dEUS, The Herbaliser, Urban Dance Squad, Massive Attack & Les Rythmes Digitales). Last year it were the neo-punkers of Janes Detd. ("Beaver Fever").
This year's nominations are :
- Das Pop (winners of 1998's Rock Rally, two singles out ("A Different Beat" & "Little Boy"), full cd coming up in the fall)
- Moxie (promising guitar group who recorded a cd "Blue Sky, Maybe" with Kyle Statham, filled with songs such as "A Day Off")
- Vandal X (Noise, new album out "Songs from the Heart" - produced by Steve Albini - with songs such as "A bad mood")
- Sint-Andries MC's (two rappers from Antwerp who just have made their debut with "Represent 2000 Antwaarpe" en "Werelduniek" on EP).
- Neeka (or Ilse Goovaerts + band of reputation, a new female singer-songwriter with a cd and the singles "The Gardener" and "This is not my home")
It is not yet very clear where people can vote, but it probably will be at the payphone number 0900/00.955.
Although the line-up is pretty complete now, there are still very few signs of life at the website of the festival :

May 21, 1999

Another milestone in the Belgian Pop & Rock History : the biggest stage animal this country has produced so far, in casu Arno Hintjens, turns 50 today.
After the contributions he has made to good music with his bands Freckle Face (1970-1972), Tjens Couter (1972-1980), TC Matic (1980-1986), under his own name as Arno (1987 to this day) and with his bluesfriends in Charles & Les Lulus (1991) and Charles & The White Trash Blues Connection (1998), this surely is another occasion to give him a big hand & thank you, hoping there will be many more fine songs & crazy interviews to come.
Arno will release his next album "Le European Cowboy" in September.

Out on Counterpoint (in the UK on Rough Trade) this week : "Marc Moulin, Placebo Sessions, 1971-1974".
Indeed, there was a Belgian group in the seventies called Placebo. And no, Brian Molko was not a part of it. Placebo was a project of Marc Moulin, musican, producer & radio-DJ, who would later have a big part in the international succes of electro-pioneers Telex. With this band he made a sort of funk-freejazz and released three albums between 1971-1974. One of the other members of Placebo at the time was Marc Hollander, who later would found Crammed Records, a company that is now responsible for the Telex-remix & compilation albums (I don't like music, I don't like remixes & I still don't like remixes) via it's subsidiary label SSR.

Soundstation in Liège is :
- the former train station of Jonfosse that has been rebuilt into a multifunctional complex
- a project to develop a musical scene in Liège.
- a concert hall (programming mostly "alternative" both international & belgian bands, the first artists who came there were Arno (50!), Kiss My Jazz)
- a label (groups : Zop Hopop, Miam Monster Miam, Hippodrome, Adrian Boult)
- a recording studio (see for example Sharko, Moxie ...)
- a bar
- an exposition hall
- a nice and brand new website.

May 19, 1999

Those who want to go to a concert of The Seatsniffers & Zita Swoon on 29th & 30th of this month, will have to take drastical measure pretty soon. That's because these groups from Antwerp will be performing in the prison of that city, during "Jailrock Happening".
With this happening, the organizers celebrate the fact that it's now the fifth year that rockgroups pass by at the prison regularly to give a gig for the detainees. Apart from the bands, there will also be expositions with the work of prisoners, eg. the results of a grafitti-workshop that was held there.

Another new release to announce from the exploding Belgian hiphop scene : this time it's a record by a crew from Brussels entitled FRJ.
The name of the band stands for "Façon de Revendiquer une Justice" (A way to ask for justice), giving away that the group is politically very strongminded and raps in the French language. The political motivation of the crew comes from all the things that go wrong in their quarter (unemployment, criminality ...) of which they try to pinpoint the "macro-"reasons.
The album is called "Le dernier cri des condamnés" (the last cry of the condemned) and is out on Bang! Records. A sample I can propose you is "Génération Perdue"(Lost generation).

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