Opinion | Opinie 13/02/2010: Whole Lotta Love kicks ass!

It’s weekend, it’s nearly Valentine’s Day… so I don’t feel like heavy opinions for today and tomorrow (tomorrow’s one is easy, if you know me and you know it’s Valentine’s Day, that’s a gimme).

I’ve been listening to a lot of rediscovered music recently – thanks to Spotify! – so I want to write about music. What, whom is tough though. “Pretty Hate Machine has finished downloading”, nah, too negative.

Well, anticipating that looming Valentine’s Day, why not this song:

one of my all-time favorites, and recently taken back on extra meaning…

Led Zeppelin – Whole Lotta Love

It’s just awesome…

One of the best ways of deciding whether something is heavy metal and not mere hard rock, is to play it louder. If it gets better – it’s heavy metal.

By that “definition”, Whole Lotta Love is absolutely heavy metal!

The guitar/bass riff is so crunchingly loud, it’s staggering. I also think that the drum track is one of the best drum tracks (John Bonham!) of all time. It starts pretty standard after 35 s, but then the first 1 min 20 or so of the song are mostly the main riff serving as a vehicle for characteristic Robert Plant sexual innuendo lyrics :-).

After 1 min 20, things take a change towards the weird and wonderful, and it all gets really exciting for a whole minute, that zips by too fast. After that, John Bonham lets rip and previous bonecrushing service is resumed. Between 2 min 30 and 3 min, the song reaches its climax (oddly appropriate way of putting it), with all four members reaching top gear and Plant threatening to give his partner “every inch of my love”.

After a small pause wherein the band catches a bit of breath, the drums crash in again at 3 min 45 and from there it’s a mad race towards the finish line, each of the band members going gung-ho.

As I said, although the guitar/bass riff is amazing, I really like how the drums signal every key point in the song by pummeling in – at 35 s, at 2 min 20, at 2 min 38, and at 3 min 44 – perhaps the most impressive one, coming from near-complete silence.

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Opinion | Opinie 08/02/2010

Vandaag iets totaal anders: voetbal :)!

Ik ben blij omdat mijn 2 favoriete voetbalclubs een soortgelijk seizoen aan het draaien zijn.

PSV

PSV is uit de beker, maar ongeslagen in de competitie, en staat nu drie punten los van de naaste concurrent (Twente) met een beter doelsaldo. Mooi mooi, al zijn ze er natuurlijk nog lang niet met de wedstrijden tegen Twente en Ajaz nog voor de boeg.

Naar Vore!

In Hattrick doet mijn team het vrijwel even goed: ook uit de beker maar in de competitie ongeslagen, en inmiddels een gat van vier punten met de concurrentie. Ga ik dan eindelijk eens kampioen worden in die vijfde divisie waar ik al twee seizoenen te lang in verblijf??!

Mijn voetbalteam in Hattrick – bijna 1 miljoen spelers wereldwijd, geen lullig spelletje – is genoemd naar het beste voetballied aller tijden, Naar Vore door de Raggende Manne:

refr.
Naar vore
Trap de bal
Naar vore
Trap de bal
Naar vore
Trap de bal
Prak de bal in het net

refr.
Vet op de slof
Vol op de wreef
De bal in het net
De doelpale scheef

refr.

“Ja, maar lieve man, we hebben je voor ontzettend
veel geld aangenomen en je staat hier gewoon een potje
te heikneuteren, als ik het zo mag zeggen.
Het gaat er om dat je naar de bal kijkt en dat je
rekening houdt met je teamgenoten.
Het is voor jou heel simpel:
jij bent een spits en je schopt hem er gewoon in.
En anders ga je zo gewoon weer terug naar ….”

Pass langs de lijn
Een elleboogstoot
Plat in het gras
En die kaart is rood

refr. 5x

De enige voetballiederen die in de buurt komen van dit meesterwerk zijn, ook van de Raggende Manne, Le Ballon est Rond en Santa Maradona van Mano Negra. Van die eerste zijn natuurlijk geen clips te vinden, van de derde wel. Amateuristisch en low budget, en anarchistisch. Typisch Mano Negra.

Quotes of the week

Yeah yeah I know, “what week”, but I mean that this struck me “this week”. Good excuse no?

Since a couple of weeks I’m back into listening to Depeche Mode (again) and one of their many lyrics that struck me is (from Policy of Truth):

You’ll see your problems multiplied
If you continually decide
To faithfully pursue
The policy of truth

Now when browsing throught the quotes of that Quotemeister General, Oscar Wilde, I found this one:

A little sincerity is a dangerous thing, and a great deal of it is absolutely fatal.

Unfortunately for me, I tend to be honest; as a result I can attest to the truth of these quotes.

Maybe I should follow Oscar Wilde’s advice from another of his quotes a bit more often:

If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they’ll kill you.

Opinion | Opinie 13/01/2010

In praise of seventies rock

It’s back to music for a little… I will restrain myself otherwise this will be way too long. I can always come back later.

Queen! The Who!

My recent discovery of Spotify led me to even more albums of these bands that I really liked. Queen’s Jazz and The Who’s Live in Leeds.

Jazz is pure fun as only Queen could do, theatrical, over-the-top, self-indulgent… superb entertainment. Shame I didn’t listen to Jazz earlier, but I gave up after listening to News of the World which I found quite disappointing (Spread Your Wings being a particular peeve of mine). But all is forgiven now. The uncredibly silly Mustapha sets the tone and this is followed by Queen classics as Fat Bottomed Girls, Bicycle Race, Don’t Stop Me Now and my current favourite Let Me Entertain You. Seriously (well…), how can anyone not like a song that has lines like these: “I’ve come here to sell you my body / I can show you some good merchandise” while rhyming  “I’ll pull you and I’ll pill you” with “I’ll Cruella-de-ville you”, no?

Live in Leeds as a whole still has to grow on me, quite a few songs there I don’t know, but some are just so kick-ass, so aggressive, loud, in-your-face… Substitute, Amazing Journey, Summertime Blues and Magic Bus are my current highlights. “Substitute you for my mom, at least i’ll get my washing done.”

Bonus vids:

Slave to the Wage

Strangely appropriate suddenly…

Run away from all your boredom
Run away from all your whoredom and wave
your worries and cares goodbye
All it takes is one decision
A little guts, a little vision to wave
Your worries, and cares goodbye

It’s a maze for rats to try
It’s a maze for rats to try
It’s a race, a race for rats
A race for rats to die
It’s a race, a race for rats
A race for rats to die

(spot the slight change :p)

Opinion | Opinie 09/01/2010

OK a slightly odd one today. Apparently, a French government committee is going to propose something RIDICULOUS:

To tax Google to compensate artists for the loss of income due to illegal downloads.

Excusez-moi? Surely that is a joke, and a poor one. And it can only have been thought up by some stuffy bureaucrat – on a mission, as we shall see below.

So many things stink about this proposal it’s unreal, but I’ll try to give a couple.

This proposal sucks because:

First there is obviously the “duh” one: How exactly is Google responsible for illegal downloads?

Second, with Google being so big, famous, successful and rich, it reeks of good-old welfare envy: they have so much money, they must not deserve to have it. Let’s take some and give it to the poor ourselves. Redistribution gone south. No, really; why only Google? There are dozens of search engines out there. Well as we say in Dutch: because you can’t pluck a bald frog (<- no connection with the nickname for the French, by the way), and they know it.

Third, how on earth was the French government thinking of measuring… whatever it was they were thinking of measuring, to determine the height of the tax?

I’m sure I could think of a few more reasons but that would feel like kicking a dead horse and then sleeping with it. There are however two other things that to me elevate this proposal from simply unworldly and impractical.

This proposal is predetermined, cynical and calculated because:

There’s the funny coincidence that the wife of the French president (Carla Bruni) happens to be, you guessed it (or knew it – I didn’t), a musician. Yeah somehow it seemed unlikely she’d turn out to work for Google.

What about the committee, surely it was independent? Well… no. The head of this government committee (one Patrick Zelnik) is – oh no what an other amazing coincidence! – a record producer.

After all that you will not be surprised to hear that…hahahaa hahaaa noo… don’t tell me? Really?! But surely not? Yes, by yet another coincidence mr Zernik happens to have produced records with Mrs Bruni.

‘Nuff said.

Opinion | Opinie 07/01/2010

(and featured website)

Spotify ROCKS!

Since two days I’ve had Spotify on my computer… and it’s great! It really is. I’m listening, legally, to all these albums I was curious about but never got round to downloading illegally. Buying legally. Very legally. Of course.

The first things I found were Green Day (21st Century Breakdown, American Idiot), Queen (Jazz, Innuendo), Black Mountain (eponymous) and Them Crooked Vultures. Awesome!

And the thing that really lifted Spotify to glorious heights is that (OK now comes the geeky bit you may want to skip) it works with the shortcut media player keys on my keyboard! So I can play, pause, and select tracks directly from the keyboard. Yeehaw! It’s the small things in life that make it worth living. Well actually big things are more important. But I digress.

Now, normally you need an invitation to get Spotify and of course I had one *cough* (still recovering from a cold I caught in Munich), but I might also point to this mysterious link

https://www.spotify.com/en/get-started/

where apparently you can start creating an account without being invited. Or maybe you should see that link as the invitation, I’m sure that’s what it is. In any case, enjoy Spotify! (not sure though what countries it works in!)

(update Apr 2010: that doesn’t work anymore)