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Period : December 6-11, 2000
In this issue : Jukebox 2000, De Strangers, Katastroof, Jef Elbers, Venus, Riguelle & Hautekiet, John Lennon, Star Club West, Kamino, Stonedigger.

December 11, 2000

Sometimes I feel like I'm trapped in a downward spiral:

Starting with the best of today's four news items : Jukebox 2000 is a fun project that is being developed by actor Lucas Van den Eynde, Tine Embrechts (yup, the one from het Peulengaleis) and Nele Bauwens. These actors have assembled a 10-piece band (directed by Paul Poelmans), have selected 100 songs from the history of Flemish and Dutch music, and have been rehearsing frantically the last time. The setup is that the audience for each staging of the show, will be able to select the programme for that night. The jukebox principle, indeed. The material ranges from Kris de Bruyne to Hugo Matthysen, from Doe Maar to Jo Leemans, and from Nicole & Hugo to Boerenzonen op Speed. "De parodie wordt vermeden. Wat het wel wordt : een ontroerende en verrassende avond, vol nostalgie en passie." (it won't be a parody, but it will be a surprising and moving evening, filled with nostalgia and passion", they promise).
Jukebox will have it's première on January 4 of the next year in the Bourla in Antwerp, and will then start touring around the country in the months after that.
The full list of songs and dates can be found the concert-promotor Garifuna.

Speaking of covers of Dutch songs by semi-talented people: de Strangers have deemed the time right to issue another compilation of their finest moments. For those in other parts of the world - suited with a better sense of taste - de Strangers are a five - now four - piece band from Antwerp, who have been doing would-be-funny covers of international chartbreakers for as long as anybody in Flanders can remember (their debut was in 1952 in fact, the first EP in 1961). Sort of the local Weird-al-Jankovic, except he at least makes you laugh the first time you hear his parodies.
Tracks on "Goud, de grootste hits" of course include their evergreens such as "Schele Vanderlinden" (Gigi l'amoroso), "Bij De Rijkswacht" (in the navy) and "Oh, Mijne Blauwe Geschelpte" or "k hem geblet" and other fun stuff, but strangely enough there's no sign of "Dam-dera-dam t-Aaaa-mééé-ri-kaaaa-ntje".
Buy de Strangers "Goud", out on Polydor, at

Speaking of songs in the dialect of Antwerp: Katastroof have deemed it necessary to release a second compilation, as if the first one (with songs such as "Zuipe" and "Me de wijve niks as last" hadn't done enough damage already.
"De Beste deel 2" contains another blurt of songs from the ill-mannered trio (Zjuul Krapuul, Jos Smos, and Rob de Snob) and also contains a new assault on the hitparade in the form of a remix-with-beats-underneath-their-otherwise-bland-folksong of "'t Deuts lieke", with the catchy refrain "falderi-faldera-joepi-hihi-haha, falderi-faldera-pipi-kaka". Other songs carry fine titles such as "Schaamhaar" (pubic hair), "Het Bed Van Tant' Jeanine" (the bed of Aunt Jeanine), "Blote Kont" (naked butt), "Blote Wijven" (naked bimbo's) and "Poupehan" ...
Or as one Proxis reviewer wrote "Received it yesterday, and I'm already singing along ... picked from real life and as sensitive and great as ever"
Buy Katastroof "Beste deel 2", also out on Polydor, at

Speaking of a really bad taste in lyrics: Jef Elbers was found guilty of exactly that by a judge in Brussels. Unfortunately, the trial was not about bad taste, but about racism, and the judge did not think that Jef Elbers was guilty of that.
<brief historical interlude>
Jef Elbers was one of the popular singers who emerged in the seventies, singing folk-songs in the dutch language, a movement that was and still is called "kleinkunst". Elbers was from Brussels and made a fine contribution to the genre with his fine song "Leopold II" in 1974, about a clochard in our capital. The singer made 6 albums between that and 1982, but then turned to scriptwriting (Merlina) and a career in politics. Nothing special, so far, except that he chose to do his politics within Vlaams Blok, the extreme right-wing party of Flanders.
</brief historical interlude>
Jef Elbers stood in front of the court because he had been charged with instigating ethnic hate, for writing the song "Mohammad Ambras" (Mohammad Trouble), after riots in some suburbs of Brussels in 1997: "Ik zag onlangs in Anderlecht, de intifada in het echt, een bende bruin gespuis hield daar zeer lelijk huis ... En ook in Lokeren was't ambras dank zij die groep Ali Baba's. Zo kreeg Vlaanderen zijn deel van 't multicultureel... En de tijdbom tikt maar voort, de islam staat weer aan de poort. Beef alvast, gij christenhond, want wij zitten in de problemen dankzij Paula D'Hondt" (a translation of that would be : "I saw the other day in Anderlecht, a new intifada. A gang of brown scum went bezerk there. And in Lokeren it was also going astray due to a gang of ali baba's. And Flanders got it's share of multicultural society that way ... when de Moriaan goes wild again, they'll say "nicht gewusst". So the timebomb keeps on ticking, the Islam is at the gates. Shiver, christian dog, for we're in trouble 'cause of Paula d'Hondt (who was the commisioner for equal oportunities at the time).
The court did not think of the song was anything else then a "personal opinion", acquitting him and the webmaster of the VB-website of all charges.

December 10, 2000

Venus (the semi-acoustic theatrical rock band, not the plastic disco-dance girly trio) have released a live CD. It's called "The Man Who Was Already Dead", and features 8 songs from the unique concert that the band gave earlier this year in Le Cirque Royal, at the festival "Les Nuits Botaniques". For this occasion only (although a replay in Paris is being discussed right now) Venus was accompanied by the 16-piece classic ensemble Musiques Nouvelles, conducted by Jean-Claude Dessy, shedding a new light on the repertoire we know from their debut album "Welcome to the modern Dance Hall".
The CD was issued on Sonica, and is distributed in Belgium by 62TV, in France by EMI. If you are quick, you can zap to the second channel of the RTBf today, to see a TV-airing of the same show, tonight at 21:15 hours. If this has already passed by the time you read this, you can console yourself with a streaming version of the song "I'm the ocean" at the site of Les Inrockuptibles. After a short tour of Belgian clubs, the band is now going into retreat for a while.
Buy "The Man Who Was already Dead" at

Some two years after Jan Hautekiet (the head of Studio Brussels, but also a keyboard/piano player with a history in bands such as Stewball) & Patrick Riguelle (Kadril, singer in the Laatste Show band ...) made their debut with a sober but intense album with nothing but covers called "A Minor Thing", they are doing it again.
This time, however, the duo Riguelle & Hautekiet has become a quartet (with Werner Lauscher - of Zakformaat XL, Jo Lemaire's band - on bass and Joost van den Broeck - formerly of De Mens and of My Velma - on the drums), is not sober anymore, but still intense and still doing nothing but covers of the songs from those who've shown they are good at writing them: this time this includes the works John Lennon, Tom Waits, Neil Young, Townes Van Zandt, John Cale... and even a version of Dirk Blanchart's "Cockpit".
The album will be entitled "Red Harmony", and will be presented to the world at the AB-club in Brussels on Tuesday January 16th. After that, they will be doing a tour of CC's and clubs in Belgium, the dates of which you can see at the site of their management Lipstick Notes.
(pre)Order "Red Harmony", at

December 6, 2000

December 8, 1980, Dakota Building, New York. Only a few words, but enough to send any rock-addict shivers down the spine, for that was the day & place John Lennon was shot and died, and the seventies with him.
To pay some honour to the man, Studio Brussel has asked a number of Belgian musicians to pay hommage to Lennon. On Friday, during the midday-programme Republica, and on Sunday in the programme Rock Bottom, a number of unique contributions will be aired.
Venus In Flames (Jan de Campenaere, but he has - much like Tom Helsen - found some bandmembers now) will bring a version of "Oh My Love". Gorki has chosen a Beatles-song, "Across the universe" (a song that's not on "1", btw, for all you 12.000.000 goons who prefer a commecial compilation to the "red" & "blue" one). Lastly, Das Pop, will do a cover of "Happy Xmas (war is over)" in "we are the world"-style with contributions by an impressive part of our local scene : Jasper Steverlinck (Arid), Stef Kamil Carlens & Tom Pintens (Zita Swoon), Geike Arnaert (Hooverphonic), Bart en Dous De Wolf (Thou), Luc De Vos (Gorki), Tom Barman (dEUS), Stephen & David Dewaele (Soulwax), Kim'Kay, An Pierlé, Allan Muller & Pascal Deweze & Stoffel Verlackt (Metal Molly).
There will also be interviews with local musicians about the role of Lennon and their recollection of the day, and some Lennon-o-philes from Holland (Jan Donkers en Jip Golsteijn).

Labelman, the fresh & active label from Hasselt, is celebrating nothing in general but some releases in particular on a night at the local Muziek-O-Droom on December 15, 2000. Three of their acts will be presenting their new full-cd to the (hopefully) gathered masses:
- Star Club West are a trio that has been active for quite a while. Together with Elko Blijweert (Dead Man Ray) and his girlfriend Glenda Langue, and with Tim Coenen (of Admiral Freebee) they recorded the debut-CD "This is Howie". The Cd contains "8 tender songs with quiet instrumental passages and mildly noisy escapades".
- A second Labelman-aficionado to celebrate their new release is the band from Sint-Truiden named Stonedigger. Two years after their debut-CD, Stonedigger has changed their line-up quite considerably (only Olivier Elen and Steven s'Heeren remain). Their Labelman-release is entitled "A Collection of Headphone Songs", and it contains 12 short songs filled with "no-nonsense rock, quicksilver meldoies, pointy refrains and irresistable hooks". The track you might know is "Internet", although it's kinda strange to note the band do not have a website.
- Kamino on the other hand are not exactly debutants, as they had a life in *naNCY already. Last year, they released the fresh singles "Donut" and "Tuduptup Girls" and now they have made the step to a full-CD, entitled "Universal Love Music" . Their speciality are lighthearted and efficiënt poprock tunes (as witnessed by the single "How can I miss you if you Won't Go Away" ) although at times the going gets a bit rougher: "sometimes "up" and firm, sometimes melancholic and sad but always honest".
Meanwhile Kamino is using the oldest excuse in the book to get their hand on some tasty pictures: they are looking for girls. Beautiful Girls. Girls with character. Girls with a minimum height of 1 m 70 cm. Girls who are free on December 20, 21 or 22. For the shoot of a videoclip. Send your picture to Make 'em happy.

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