At the Heart of Winter!

Most of my fellow North-Western Europeans disgust it. I can't help but just... adore it.
WINTER, I mean, true Winter, with ice covering the canals and (if only) the big rivers, and a lovely white blanket of snow covering the countryside. A gorgeous SUN and a lovely blue sky to match. Friggin' Beautiful!
Like this:

Collapse )

Rather funny, however, is to witness how my country's public transport system completely COLLAPSES (The Light Onto Earth) as soon as there's some freezing temperatures, or a mere 10 cms of snow coming down. Rather ridiculous I think, just until one realizes that my country is one of the most overcrowded areas in the entire world - not that far away from a genuine Western-European Hong Kong. So, once again, all trains, planes and whatever manners of transport got bugged down the past few days - and somehow I think it's a good thing.

The Spirit of Nature once again showing - commanding - the Limitations of Earth's Mankind's feeling that "we have it all under our own controll", forcing all of us to just *ACCEPT* the situation, and to calm down on our overstressed, overhyped feelings of our own so-called 'importance'.
Well no, we are NOT important - Nature still RULES, and it doesn't hurt to get reminded of that fact, once in a while.
All HAILS, my dear King Winter!

My country hit a record -22.9 degrees Celsius last night. A record since 1958.
And if I hadn't made it clear enough already, I just LOVE it! Just a couple of extra clothes - my collection of Norwegian- and Andes- pure woolen knitwork comes in rather handy right now, let alone my regular Alpine skiing outfit -, my little gas heaters are doing well, and I just cannot help but marvell at the sight at night-time at the lovely, clear STARS all shining over us now.

Birdman, however, doesn't like it at all. Rather funny to know that he's a genuine Frisian - you'd think those folks would enjoy this, no?

Alvestêdetocht, in other words, the Elfstedentocht coming closer again this year? Wouldn't mind it to happen, I'll surely be watching it, if - may - it come to be. :-D
  • Current Music
    Steven Wilson - Deform to Form A Star
  • Tags

Deform To Form A Star -

"All these stories, of tortured souls..."

I bloody STILL haven't managed to post a review on this masterpiece, and I wonder if I ever will. Oh damn!

"Crawl into your arms,
Become the night, forever!
Coiled and close, the moment froze
Deform to Form a Star
Here on Earth together,
I got time to share, and a well used stare...

- The Chaos Remains!"

And, in more positive news, it looks like the lovely Mr. Daniel Cavanagh aka the only true Mr. Anathema put me - genuine-BUM-as-I-am - on the guest list for their upcoming show in April in Amsterdam's Paradiso... !!!WOW!!! IS ME!!!

So, here a tribute to that lovely fellow, and to most (5/6th) of his current band annex crew members, that is.

If anything Daniel, PLEASE, PLEASE play this truly BRILLIANT song LIVE in Paradiso.
I will bow down to you like I never ever did before to any a human being
No I won't. That was just a joke. I don't bow down to anyone, not even Mr. Brilliant Daniel Cavanagh, nor to the perhaps even more Mr. Brilliant Steven Wilson.
Sorry for that, folks. But still - I am in AWE!!!

My comment still stands. Please, please, Danny, play that gorgeous Sunset Of Age, perhaps my most beloved composition of yours EVER since the early days of Anathema, there, *live*!!!
Including that immaculate, Floydian guitar solo at the end, of course.

Make my Day. :-)
  • Current Music
    Music - Music

"It's HER, isn't it...?"

Well I'll admit, it's been a rather long time since I updates this, uhm, blog - supposedly about progressive rock - but lately rather, about MY life, most of all. Woe is me.
Truth be told, I've been terribly busy, didn't find much time for updating, least of all, allowing myself to be mesmerized by the music... or anything else, for that matter.

Quite a lot of CHANGES have been going on in my life recently.
Sad to admit that I felt forced to, eh, "dump" certain folks that I considered being long-time friends - I guess that's "the shite that happens". No bad feelings, you folks, I *understand*. At least I try to do so.
I forgive, but I don't forget - least at all the fact that they "dumped" *me* first. WAVEY! Let's greet each other with a smile one day again, okay? In the words of my beloved Van Der Graaf Generator aka Mr. Peter Hammill - "The Least We Can Do Is - Wave To Each Other..."

Miraculously I managed to get myself a new place to stay, and even more miraculously, considering the dreadful state of affairs on the house market where I live, managed to sell my former 'hole'.
A lot of cash in my wallet that is. Is it truly ME that got that done? I guess so. Not complaining. Somehow I managed to transform myself in a genuine hard-boiled negotiator. Never knew I had it in me.

And now for the 'new' hole. Lots, LOTS of things to be done.
THIS is how it looks right now:

Charming, eh? Scorpio-like garbage. Never mind. I'll take care of it. :-D

Birdman just *had to laugh*. As he usually does, that nasty, sarcastic grin which got me enamoured with him in the first place.
Sent him back to his usual occupation - bust the casino with your computers and your Bridge brain, love. I know you can do it. :-D

Oh well. The music again. One can never abandon one's true premier love.

How about the lovely Mrs. Liv Christine's Deus Ex Machina?

Deus Ex Machina - indeed.
  • Current Music
    Liv Christine - Deus Ex Machina
  • Tags
Blackest Eyes

How can any a 2011-back-log be complete without...

mentioning the lovely, BEAUTIFUL Mrs. Amy Winehouse!

I so hope that you're happy wherever you are right now, dear lady Amy!

Damn that baztard in the skies grabs the best of 'em all around, to hurt us poor folks not being able to listen to our most talented any longer.
Guess why I am an atheist. A true 'god' would never allow this to happen.

Happy HAPPY 2012 to all of you folks!

Fireworks around Utrecht's Dom Tower

A very HAPPY 2012 - to all of you!

As for myself I can't help but be more happy about putting 2011 behind myself.
It wasn't my best year, to say the least. Still it had its moments, and I will cherish those.

2011 saw quite a few 'natural disasters' in store for my loved ones - as it did to me.
My #1 and #2 of most beloved musicians both saw themselves confronted with the horror of having to say farewell to their beloved dad, just to name one thing.
And what a strange coincidence that it happened to the both of them during a mere span of a couple of months in the same year...

There were a lot of Deaths to mourn about - Amy Winehouse, gorgeous singer, and apparently a too sensitive individual and loveable individual to be able to survive the current harsh MADNESS that is life on Earth right now - to name just one of 'em - and there I was, thinking that that Great Band In The Sky already had a wonderful lady singer in their ranks with Mrs. Janis Joplin!

- and quite a few to cheer for just the same.
This year saw the deserved downfall of designated creepy sociopaths like Bin Laden, Gadaffi, and Kim Yung Ill. Or whatever their names were. Good bloody RIDDANCE! Byeeee!!!!, and don't let the door hit you fellows on your way OUT!

As for myself, yep, quite some changes too, some good, & some bad.
I have to trust in the Future for all of it to come out well.

As for my New Years' Party -
It turned out bloody great. Spent the evening with Birdman and DeHuiz, we went up to the 11th floor of Bird's appartment building, and admired the fireworks' display...

And uhm yeah, DeHuiz and me tried to convince Birdman that Van Der Graaf Generator truly is one of the BEST progrock bands of all time.
Hey, there, you FANTASTIC MUSICIANS!!! - just keep it going in 2012, okay?

Les Messieurs Hammill, Banton, & Evans!!! Hi there, you WONDERFUL MUSICIANS!!!

"... And I too, live inside me, and very often - don't know who I am:
I know I'm not a hero, well,
I hope that I'm not damned.
I'm just a man, and killers, angels,
all are these:
Dictators, saviours, refugees - in war and peace,
as long as Man lives...

I'm just a man, and killers, angels, ALL are these:
Dictators, saviours, refugees..."

I think DeHuiz and me managed to convinced Birdman. For a bit. It looked like he appreciated The Sleepwalkers at least. ;-)
  • Current Music
    Van Der Graaf Generator - Godbluff

Oh damn, it's THIS time of the year, again...

I will make no secret of it - I truly HATE 'December', and all of those so-called "family-party-getogethers-Christmas-and-New Years Eve-hullabaloos", so-called "parties", and whatnots.
Piss off with all of those, fuck off with your Jingle Bells-crap!!!

I can't wait for January 2012 to come around.
Days getting longer, BIRDS WILL BE SINGING again!!!

And so, here's my vote for "Most Beautiful Song of 2011"...

"Deform To Form A Star - Here On Earth, Together"

This is a very crappy live version of that majestic song.
Sheet. So wonderful.
Dear Master Steven Wilson has done it again.

"Oh, once in a while,
I learned how to smile.
Horses shadows, and rain on stone -

No God, here I'm sure,
This must be the cure -
For all this carrion, an aimless drift...

Retreat from the begging,
And invites to the wedding,
Revelation means nothing, here -

In time we forget our
Need to devour
All the stories of tortured souls.

Crawl into your arms -
Become the night forever!
Coiled and close, the moment froze...

Deform to Form a Star! -
Here on earth, together!
I got time to share, and a well-used stare....

This smile isn't pure -
Certain or sure,
Cold precision - was never there.

The way we uncoil
Return to the soil -
Flaws are everything, and the chaos remains..."


Oh man, oh man.

Immaculate beauty! WHOT A SONG!!!

The official version:

The Chaos Indeed Remains.. heartbreakingly beautiful.
Damn, Mr. S.W., I have disputed you in the near past, but uhm... I apologize for that!
  • Current Music
    Steven Wilson - Grace for Drowning
  • Tags

How GOOD a "pop song" can indeed be -

... shows particularly well when it's been put in a different format.
Just an example:

The original, a lovely - and brilliant! - live version of the classic pop song by Swedes ABBA:

The cover version - a symphonic METAL version, including a genuine opera singer (or rather: a complete bunch of them, yay!) - by fellow Swedes Therion some thirty years after the original was composed:

My point being, a genuinely great composition stands its ground in whatever a format.
Both are beautiful! WOW!

Therion's vid is actually very funny indeed. Funny - well maybe actually HILARIOUS, but still a great hommage to the original. Well done, you folks.

ProgFarm Festival - Bakkeveen, Fryslân (NL), November 5th 2011 -

What can I say... as it was announced that this 15th edition would also be the LAST of the lovely ProgFarm-Festival, there was this little dispute happening among the ProgDork Squad (Birdman, DeHuiz et moi, this time around) whether we'd be joining in on a genuine party, or perhaps some kind of a 'funeral'-meeting this time around...

The ProgFarm sign, indicating the entrance to ProgDork Heaven at "Kampeerboerderij 'De Harmsdobbe', Bakkefâen, Fryslân - aka 'The Middle of Nowhere'...

The former edition last year - read up about it over here - was a genuine BLAST. So the three of us decided to make it at least as much of a !PARTY! this time around, and you might well conclude that the organization (the lovely folks of Flamborough Head) in combination with all the participating bands, and, oops - US! - truly managed to do so.

As usual, some kind of a genuine oddyssey to reach Bakkefâen (aka Nirwana Nirgendwo), a 2 1/2 hour journey by public transport, but that wouldn't ever let our spirits down. As usual, the warm welcome by all kind of friendly folks from the ProgRock scene immediately made up for that, most notably the friendly guys from Leap Day and my long-time friend Martin, former bass player of 5BridgeS. Nice to see you around again, dear folks!

When we finally reached Bakkefâen, a nice, international line-up of so-called 'obscure' bands awaited there to perform for us - this time around, aside from organizers Flamborough Head themselves, Harvest from Barcelona, Spain, Toxic Smile from Germany, and quite an invasion of Swedes, namely Introitus and Moon Safari.

Sooo.... here we go! The reviews!

Collapse )

Collapse )

Collapse )

Collapse )

Collapse )

Toxic Smile's keyboard and clarinet-player Marek Arnold and me...

A MASSIVE "THANK YOU!!!" to all who participated and made the Festival such a great place to be the past 15 years, most of all of course Flamborough Head!

And once again, for the liner notes - "Those Who Truly Care - Were THERE!" ~wink~

Flamborough Head - thanks for 15 years of the fantastic ProgFarm Festival!!!

Still *no review*, just a short post to show my gratitude to the lovely folks of Flamborough Head for organizing perhaps the BEST ProgRock Festival in Europe, for the past 15 years, in Bakkeveen, Fryslân, NL.
So sad to know it's come to an end now...

"Look at the moon, look at the stars...the sky is still the same, wherever we are!

...Some have bad luck, just don't let them fall..."

So gentle, so sweet, so gorgeous...

Edo, Marcel, Margriet, Koen & Gert - and not to forget, former member Eddie - thank you so much for all your efforts, and may your beautiful music pleasepleaseplease continue!