Monday, April 25, 2011

Why I gave up #skirtathon2011

I started with a lot of faith and energy, the skirtathon 2011, I heard about it the day it started and was actually wearing a skirt that day. The skirtathon is an online 'run' where the contesters wear a skirt or dress every weekday during the month of April. What a good way to finally not just wear my skirts and dresses, but feel comfortable with it. I started enthusiastic and where I still think it's such a great idea, I had to give up. And it's not even because I ran out of dresses and skirts, which I first thought could happen.

The thing is, I'm working in an office at the harbour. I'm going there on my bicycle which takes about 35 to 45 minutes, depending on the weather conditions. It started out nicely but after a while it did start to bother me that I had to keep my skirt down, also the long one. I live in a coastal place, there's always a wind. After a real short night I decided it was enough, I could not get myself to once again hold my skirt down while on my bicycle, trying to ignore the blokes looking at me. Skirts and bicycles simply don't go together.

Is that saying I'll never wear a skirt or dress to work ever again? No it's not because every once in a while holding the skirt or dress down, fine. But every freaking day... Plus I missed my jeans, I'm sorry, I did. Maybe I'm weak but I'm out. It was fun doing it and I managed 14 days which for my standards is a massive accomplishment. Thank you all for this!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Review: The Coathangers and The Thermals, Trouw Amsterdam 21-04-2011

The Thermals played in a basement in Amsterdam and if you think that it sounds underground and rough, you're right. The crowd went mental for the Thermals, 60% of the crowd was the moshpit and the Thermals themselves played a pretty tight set as well. With a stage so low and so so close to the audience, I stood eye to eye with bassist Kathy Foster, it was a very intimate setting. Despite the Thermals playing really good, I can't help but feel that I wished I saw someone else instead, in the same setting, with the same reaction from the crowd. I love the Thermals, but there's bands I love more who I would grant this venue and a crowd mental like that too. The only crowd I saw more mental than this is a Cribs crowd, you can't top that. All gigs should be like this one though.

The highlight of that night, for me, were the Coathangers. Before the Thermals took them on tour I never heard of them and as some kind of research I went looking on the net for them. The first picture I saw of them, all four girls drinking, didn't exactly appeal to me but reading more about them I got curious. I got their album 'Scramble' and it's a fantastic piece of punk rock. Short vicious songs. Sometimes catchy, sometimes a lot of screaming. I saw the appeal and after seeing them live even more so.

These four friends, you can see they're friends, loving playing together. They switch instruments, lead vocals, position. Their drummer is the wildest out of the bunch who went into the crowd with two microphones raging the lyrics of her song, no idea what she sang but it sounded amazing and gave such a vibe. I was pretty much taken by their bassist who is quite cute which lead me to thank her afterwards for an incredible show. She thanked me for liking her incredible show. What a girl! What a band! Just let the Coathangers do their job and let it come over you. It might not all sound clear, it might not all have rhythm, it might sometimes be a bunch of noise, it's fun and you feel that.

So, great show by the Thermals, new band added to the 'great bands to keep seeing' collection. And wishing that the Cribs and Wild Flag will ever come to play at Trouw at some point. Oh, Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks too, while we're making demands. Why not? Apparently the Thermals are big in the Netherlands and they played there too.

pictures taken by me

The ballad of Michael Steele

One of the first musicians I admired for who they were was Michael Steele, the red-haired bassist from the Bangles. I don't think I saw it like that at the time but looking back she may be very well the first famous woman I had a crush on. I was a big fan of the Bangles, also after they split (I'm not so after 2005 when Michael left/got kicked out of the Bangles) buying all their records, all versions of the singles, etc. As far as Michael was concerned, I wanted her hair, I so wanted her hair. My mother tried to help me with it ('That's henna red' she said so I tried that, it's disgusting and had little result) but I never got it red so I settled for a Vicki Peterson blond string of hair in my dark brown hair (as where lay the key for not getting that red hair from the drug store). At art class in high school we once had to make an advertisement poster using a certain technique, advertising a product carrying your name. I made a concert poster, advertising myself 'and my bass guitar' drawing a gigantic bass guitar. The teacher had no idea how to deal with a concert poster and gave me a 6/10. But still, Michael Steele ruled!

And she still does.

After the Bangles split new music game into my life and with that punk and grunge. I do see, and try to convince people, that the Bangles very well could have fitted into the riot grrrl scene if they had started in the early 90s rather than early 80s. They were very garage before Prince decided to step in and write them a very sweet Manic Monday. The Bangles have been marketed by their record company and the women all regret not having stepped up more for themselves. It didn't all went the way they wanted it too go which in the end was the reason for disbanding the band.

But, like I said, other music game into my life and the Bangles moved a little bit to the background with me occasionally picking up their records again, mostly their older records, rarely 'Different Light', their pop-album featuring 'Manic Monday' and 'Walk like an Egyptian' (their break-through album). I have always loved Michael's songs the best. Her voice is raw and still very warm. She has written the best songs in my opinion as well. Michael Steele always stood out with the Bangles, it wasn't just her hair, but it was also her attitude. The more internet came to live, the more I was able to look up and the more it became clear. Michael somehow was the black sheep of the Bangles. None surprising she was the one with the least media attention after the split, she kept a low profile with underground bands, taking care of dogs she had rescued from the shelter, with her garden and her painting. She's mysterious, hence her quite cult-like following. And none-surprising, she was the last Bangle to re-join the band issuing concerns about the band still being taken seriously. She left 5 years and 1 year later, feeling that the others in the band didn't take it as seriously as she did. The others quite blamed her for not being understanding. I think it went down pretty ugly.

Due to Michael, I can't get into the Runaways. The oh so cool it hurts Runaways. She was a member of that band, has recorded 1 album that's only been released as a demo-re-release in 1993, and she was the bassist and main vocalist for the time that it lasted. She never wanted to be reminded of that time, called some song ideas retarted and couldn't conform to the sexist wishes of their management. The Runaways were a pretty marketed concept, young girls with guitars exploited for being young girls with guitars. Something young women with guitars 15 years later would rebel against. I do believe that the film made a few years back gives you a wrong picture of the band, Michael not being the only ex-member not wanting to be involved, hence you have a fictional band member in that film.

Michael Steele, she's a hero. She's a true musician. She's such a special lady and still looks amazing after all these years. You could say that unknowingly to myself, she's been an inspiration to me all my life. She still is. She still is in my top 5 musicians list (which only include bassists and drummers, I'm a sucker for the rhythm section, it started with her!). The Bangles can do whatever they want right now, I do not care. Michael Steele rocks. She got class and attitude and you better believe it.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

It's good to plan ahead sometimes

I'm thinking about starting a series of blog posts about why exactly the bands that mean so much to me mean that much to me. It's not just about the music. The music alone is inspiring, amazing, exciting and just plain kick ass good, but some bands have a little extra. That band member or members who inspires you just a little bit more. Those lyrics you find inspiring enough to write down on pieces of paper and stick on your bedroom wall (I did that yes). That band which concerts are mind blowing and life changing and maybe a little bit of both. That band who taught you a different language, don't underestimate that power.

I'm currently thinking of a good title for that and then you will most likely read aboyt why it is why I love The Cribs, Quasi, Wild Flag, Kent, Sleater-Kinney, Michael Steele, Marina & the Diamonds, Ernst Jansz and maybe even more. I will write straight from my heart. Expect long posts, irrational feelings and lots of love for music. Ah, I like how I put that.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The thrill of finding a record or why every day is records store day

So, yesterday was Record Store Day. The one day in the year we call ourselves proud to be buying from an independent record store. Because on that day a bunch of artists release special editions of their work or release their new work or a re-release specifically on that day. Which causes fans all over the globe getting nervous about getting that special release. For instance, only 38 records of the special Nirvana LP specifically for this day were issued in the Netherlands. Finding one must have been a true sport. And so on.

Last year I went out on a Record Store Day stroll. I visited all the independent record stores in Amsterdam. Not to get my hands on all the Good Stuff, but merely to see how the Netherlands were doing Record Store Day. The only queue that day I saw was for the Anna Frank Museum. Some stores had some balloons up. And all the Special Editions were still there in the afternoon. You can still buy them in most stores. At Fame Record Store, not even knowing that this big three storey commercialised record store at the Dam Square was an independent record store, I caught a live performance by the young Tim Knol. I'm not into Dutch singer-songwriters but it was actually nice sitting there on the floor enjoying some unexpected music. In all though, Record Store Day 2010 has been a big let-down. For most it was simply business as usual. The only item I was interested in that year was the Cribs' first album issued on LP for the first time, pressed in limited numbers (1000) which was also to pre-order at the record company and the split 7" between the Thermals and The Cribs which also was to pre-order at KRS.

This year I let it all pass. Maybe because the releases weren't exciting to me. Maybe because it's ridiculous to draw the fans to the store only once a year for a limited edition. I understand the concept, and well, if that is what it takes to have a peak in sales that one day, so be it. But it made me feeling rather annoyed that the first release of my New Favourite Band would only be released in the USA in record shops. The (limited?) 7" was also to be bought during their tour, which is a good deal, annoying when you can't make it, but I like it when bands sell their work at tours and not just t-shirts. And a really kind and friendly person from Texas got me that 7" too. So, that was my Record Store Day.

What I meant to say, shouldn't every day be record store day? A week ago I've been at a Record Store Fair and I spent a sunny spring Saturday from 10 to 16:30 inside. I flicked through 7" hoping to find that one, through CDs hoping to find a missing piece, through LP records hoping to find that one record that made the angels sing and shine a light on that specific record (this last one happened). It was a really good day. So many records, the smell of old records, other people looking for that one record, talking about special editions (I spent at a stand longer than intended admiring a record I didn't want to have in order to listen to a conversation about the special editions of Appetite For Destruction and why you should want all of them). That's a class day out!

I too think it's sad people rather download than buy a copy they can hold in their hands (even though, let's face it, an MP3 is a lot more convenient). That people rather order online than buy in a store (where's the thrill people? don't you want angels sing down on you when you found that record and hold it up in the light shining down?). I too download, I order online sometimes, but nothing beats finding something in a record store. This should be any day in the year, not just on that one day when heaps of artists release special editions in other to please both record stores and the fans. Do this a few times a year! Surprise us! By now we actually expect bands to do something for Record Store Day. Isn't that the wrong way round?

Record Store day, I salute you, the stores, the artists and the fans, but we should do this every day, not once a year.

Picture taken on RSD2010 by me, it features record store Concerto Phantasio

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Stay classy, dance on harpsichords!

It's the day after. The day after the Cribs have shed the light on their side of the story of why Johnny Marr has left the Cribs. Which, logically, brings reactions from the fans. And as much as the Cribs' facebook statement oozes 'Thank god he's gone' (to put it a harshly), I can only frown upon most of the fans reactions posted as a comment to that statement and as an @-reply on twitter. The majority of the reactions so far are of the same nature. 'Hip hop hurrah for old-school Cribs, we won't miss Johnny for one bit, he never suited you anyway. Yeah lo-fi anthems!'. Like a parade of how much you love the 'old stuff', how hardcore and much of a real fan you are and always have been. And mostly it's quite unfriendly towards Marr. On public places where everyone including the Band and Johnny Marr, can read this? Are you serious?

I'm not going to be all two-faced and pretend to be sad about this news. I too like the fact that they're gone back to their roots. There's nothing more sincere than a band staying true to their roots. I may throw a massive Johnny's Gone party on the Dam Square in Amsterdam, releasing doves and balloons and blasting out pre-first-album demos while dancing round naked around the National Monument (for the record, I won't), but that's something i'd do privately. Not in the band and Johnny's faces. If I am happy painting myself purple and dancing naked on top of a harpsichord, singing 'Fuck yeah Johnny's gone again', that's my subtle way in my living room. My business. They really don't need to know. And no, I won't do that either, it's just a lame excuse to use my favourite Blackadder quote again.

My point simply is, be happy all you want, throw parties and confetti. But stay classy and respectful to the people involved. For once in your bloody lives. I think I just remembered why I don't like fans and the side effects of open social media. You want lo-fi and old-school? Try refraining yourself throwing your thoughts into the band's faces. Back in the days you weren't able to. Back in the days, the word friend had more meaning, too.

Monday, April 11, 2011

I think I just dropped my jaw

Band statements are usually a bunch of official yadda yadda with no actual contents whatsoever or leaving a lot of question marks. They rarely leave me with my mouth wide open. Excuse me while I relocate my chin. Here's the statement the Cribs left on their facebook (I still hate facebook despite using it) regarding Johnny Marr being no longer a member of the band. Honesty and purity don't come in these shapes that often anymore.

Hey guys,
So, as some of you may know by now The Cribs are gonna be a 3-piece again. That is a slightly less dramatic way of saying that Johnny Marr is no longer in the band. We don't want it to be seen as a split, that just has so many negative connotations and really doesn't represent the way everyone is feeling right now.

The truth... is that, as Johnny said, we did more than we ever set out to do together really - we were initially just playing together as friends, and decided it might be fun to do a trademark Cribs 'surprise one-off seven inch' or something of that ilk, but as we went along we just kept writing. First it was a single, then an EP, we just happened to really enjoy playing together and ended up writing a full album. We were/are all really proud of the work we did together and we did mean it in our assertions that Johnny was very much a full-time member of the band. There were definite intentions of continuing on together and making another record - we even went into the studio with Edwyn Collins again last spring and started recording some stuff, but it just wasn't really working. We were all pretty burnt at that point and that is why we decided that after 8 years (I know, crazy!) and 4 records we should take some time off.

During that time we all intended on working on other projects (Ryan started producing and writing with Edwyn, Gary contributing to All Smiles etc) and at some point late last year, we just casually got together out in Portland as a 3-piece and it was so much fun. Johnny had started working on a solo record in the time off, and it just seemed like the right time to go our separate ways. It's not like "JOHNNY LEAVES!", or "BAND SPLIT!", or any of that drama - just a good time to do something else really.

No one is down about this in our camp. It's actually the start of a really exciting phase for everyone. Johnny has gone back to The Healers and is writing a new record, and we are really honestly loving being back together as just 3 brothers literally playing in the basement/garage again. Right now we are in Portland and demoing in Gary's basement and it feels so liberating. We have a bunch of new songs and are embracing the lo-fi again. It never was about fancy studios and LA and all that. We are back in our usual environment and feeling good about it. We've got everything we need.

We are also really looking forward to the shows we have coming up. We miss you guys.

Best regards - your friends Gary, Ryan and Ross (THE CRIBS)

It's a Rockabilly Party! By Quasi, of course

It took me a while to see the light, so to speak, but ever since I 'got it', Quasi very much grew to be one of my favourite bands rapidly. The anticipation for their 2010 album was huge. When I heard 'Repulsion' early 2010 I instantly bombarded 'American Gong', the album they would release a few months later, to be the best album of 2010. To say something like that in the first two weeks of a year is of course insane. It was the first new music I heard that year. I know good stuff when I hear it though, 'American Gong' remained the best release of 2010 and it's one of the albums I would take to the deserted island.

I grew to love their entire discography. Dear God or whoever is in charge, they have some amazing tunes. I just purchased 'Featuring Birds' on LP on a record fair and to hear 1m22s of bird sounds coming from vinyl is amazing. Never mind the lyrics, Sam Coomes is certainly one of the best lyricists of our time. Unless you're a party-head with no sense of what happens in the world and the concequences of that.

I saw them live in a tiny venue in Amsterdam. One of the best shows I've visited that year, possibly the best even. Not just the performance was spot-on, the band brought an unique energy. It sounds overly dramatic but I left the show a changed person. I often sit and think back of that show, the energy, meeting Janet Weiss and Sam Coomes, cursing myself not addressing Joanna Bolme after all (she was breaking down the equipment, thus working and it just felt inappropriate. Now I have a signed setlist with her autograph missing which is inappropriate as well) and about the amazing music I heard. The setting wasn't anything special, it simply was a huge contrast to all the hyped indie bands I deeply disliked so much and held a grudge against. The grudge made room for don't bother. Furthermore, I haven't felt old and out of place at any gig attented any more. I'm not too old mind, I'm just not 20 anymore and who cares.

The video I posted at the top (with a reason, if you don't like reading, JUST WATCH THE VIDEO) is recorded the same day I saw them perform in Amsterdam, it's taken on a roof top nearby the venue. It makes the footage the more special. For me anyway. Thanks guys.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Who's Johnny? (she says and tried to look the other way )

Oh dear Johnny Marr, where to start? I started out as someone who liked the Smiths. Who then really liked the Smiths and really, sincerely, loved 'You are the quarry', the 2004 solo record by Morrissey that was actually good. I even wore my Morrissey shirt with pride, bought a poster of him - and Johnny Marr. You know, the hugging one with the flowers? Morrissey God? Sure why not. But that little fella with the shades and the guitar and you only saw him with the shades and the guitar, he was the true genius. You can have ongoing discussions with Smiths fans about this, there's the Moz side and the Marr side and they won't agree. I'm sure there's an Andy and Mike side too, not sure if they're big fans of Morrissey and Marr.

Anyway, Morrissey Smorrissey, 'Boomslang' (2003) by Johnny Marr & the Healers is one of these very underrated records. I had to really look for that one but haven't regretted that. It's mellow, it's rough around the edges sometimes and Johnny sings. As a person who has spent 20 years or more only playing behind other great people with great voices it's a little strange and his voice almost sounds alien like. There is in fact a second solo record on the shelves. It only needs finishing and by now dusting off. He never released that one. Because something else came on his path. And he jumped on that bus.

Marr had discovered the fine Pacific North West and spent some time in Portland when he read an ad for a 'Johnny Marr-esque' guitarist. The band who put that ad in was not a small band, not at all. Modest Mouse was looking for a guitarist for their new album and got more than they asked for. The Johnny Marr-esque guitarist was very much Johnny Marr himself. Recording became becoming a member of the band and in 2007 Modest Mouse released one of the best albums of that year with Marr, 'We were dead before the ship even sank'. The leading single 'Dashboard' wouldn't leave my head whenever I heard it (and the video is brilliant too), and I heard it almost every morning and in 2007 I wanted to see Modest Mouse on tour, in Amsterdam. Due to being in the middle of the process of buying my first house around the time they came over I wasn't able to make it. I was gutted. That would have been my first and only chance ever to see Johnny Marr. That would never happen again. I sincerely mourned. Finding a picture of Johnny with my favourite band, the Cribs, on the Modest Mouse blog did cheer me up a little. My favourite guitarist and my favourite band together, what a combination.

With the Cribs bassist Gary Jarman also living in Portland and the Cribs in late 2007 making vague comments about another band member, Johnny Marr was pretty much the first and only name I had in my mind. Only a few songs, a single. Maybe an EP. It was Johnny and when in February I went to see the Cribs on the NME tour (thank you mortgage) Johnny actually stepped on stage to play 'Panic' with the band. There he was! Johnny Marr! Only a few meters away from me. Oh my god was an understatement on how I felt. He played one or two songs more with the band and the following night he did the same. I saw Johnny Marr! With my favourite band!

I was there when Johnny played his first full gig with the Cribs outside the UK, which he then had only done a few times, in Utrecht at the Beschaving Festival. The festival cleverly used him as an advertisement to get people to this brand new festival. We have Johnny Marr! It was a more certain factor than Pete Doherty who was also on the bill and played a different stage around the same time. Maybe not so clever. The tent was packed. But what the organization maybe hadn't realised that the people would have been there anyway even without the presence of Johnny Marr. Nonetheless, one of the finest performances I've seen, even with a migraine.

Johnny became a full pledged member of the Cribs. Of course there was scepticism. He wasn't going to polish off the rough sides of the Cribs, was he? I was getting used to seeing Johnny Fucking Marr on stage (sad how that novelty wore off so quickly) and started to wish he would just NOT play 'Men's Needs'. I think he might be the reason why I started to dislike the band playing that song live. Everyone gets mental when they do (and it's a great song), but Marr, I have no idea what he's doing, but it's not good. Some pretentious sounds coming from his guitar which are actually irritating. Maybe I shouldn't have paid attention to it in the first place and just jump like the rest of the audience. But whatever he did, and whatever the critics said, I actually believed that he wouldn't treat the Cribs like he treated Modest Mouse. He would not just do one album and see another band and play with them and say 'sorry dudes, I'm with them now'. No, even though he had done that to a fair amount of other bands before Modest Mouse, not with the Cribs. There was something very sincere between them. He was one of them, the older brother. And to be one of the Cribs them being brothers and very close as well, it's an accomplishment.

Johnny recorded the album with the Cribs. What would it sound like? Pretentious jinglejangle? Polished? Mature? 'Ignore the ignorant' was released in 2009 and very much sounding like the Cribs. It didn't sound like their debut album from 2004 but progress is a friend my dear, not the enemy. It was the logic progression to the 2007 'Men's Needs, Women's Needs, Whatever' album. And they toured, and they toured and they released another song in 2010 which shock oh horror (with me being probably the only person in that state) synthesizers. Then they played the London Garage as part of their label's ten year anniversary, their first two albums and first two albums only. It would be an old-skool Cribs gig. Without Johnny. Because Johnny was in LA to support the film 'Inception' to which he worked on the soundtrack. It was an old-skool gig. It was hot, sweaty, mental. Johnny wasn't missed for a single second. God, this show was good. So good. August came and the band announced they'd go on a two year break. Say what?

Johnny kept busy and tweeted fondly on his twitter. One (me) might wish he didn't so much. Johnny, are you really that cool or are you just showing off? Meeting and hugging Johnny Marr is still one the highlights of my gigging career, in person he's a lot more down to earth and just a really nice and warm person, other than you'd think when seeing the God on stage or, well, on twitter. Johnny went to Moscow for whatever reason, the Cribs brothers got together in Wakefield, and started recording. Say what? They also announced a handful UK festival appearances because well, they need to eat too. And so the question surfaced. Will Johnny still be part of the Cribs? He wouldn't pull a Modest Mouse on them right?

"Touring and recording with Ryan, Gary and Ross has been fantastic and Ignore The Ignorant is something I'm really proud of. We ended up doing much more than we originally set out to, and I've made three good friends." So there you have it. He will be putting out two solo records the next year, which is probably the one on the shelves since 2006. Johnny is still Johnny. Doing a million things at once and doing a damn good job at it too. He's a genius guitar player. But staying faithful to a band? I guess he can't and won't. He left the Smiths with a very good reason at the time, it might put him off of steady band life for the rest of his life. Bye bye Johnny and welcome back Johnny Marr. Welcome back old-skool Cribs, didn't they say they'd go back to the old days? Maybe we all win this time but damn you Johnny, I'm glad I've witnessed your brilliance on stage, I'm happy we met, talked and hugged (and I hope you enjoyed the tiny biscuits too), but you did disappoint me by pulling a Modest Mouse!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Hyped in the UK, loved in the NL?

I often think I live in the wrong part of the world. The more I read about the nineties and the North West of the USA, the more I wished I lived there. But, I don't. I live in the Netherlands and got to do with what there is right here. Is there an exciting music scene in the Netherlands? Are the Dutch, generally, keen on punk and alternative and the indie? I often say no. The Dutch are known to be jolly and openminded but that openmindness is something of the past anyway. But taste in music? I wouldn't say they generally have. But it's an interesting thing to investigate.

All the hypes and trends from the UK are of course also heard here. The Dutch alternative press hears the praises coming from the UK. I always wonder whether these shabby guitar bands or the newest wave of New Wave bands are something for the Dutch market. Racing through the second hand department of the no. 1 indie record store in Amsterdam (Concerto) could probably have taught me that they probably aren't. As press you can hype a band so much, but I found most of these CDs in the second hand department. Bought buy a cool kid hoping to be cool and ahead of his or her friends but disappointed by the music from that album. The average Dutch kid doesn't understand. Why do you sound so bored? So cold? And I don't understand a single word you are saying.

I'm not trying to generalize here. There are of course the people who do love these bands. But to find most of the Hyped in the UK bands dumped at the second hand section is telling me something. I don't like them either, don't get me wrong, but I'm not buying it in the first place. Will the cool kids ever learn? But what does the Dutch hipster like? I agree that it isn't important, like what you want and enjoy it to the fullest, but I can't help but being curious.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

What's up with wearing a short dress?

Not that short!I wore a mini dress yesterday. Nothing sexy though. Just a pencil shaped (is that the word? I'm clueless) mini dress with Alice in Wonderland inspired prints. There's a big grinning cat on it. It's anything but a little black dress. There was no cleavage whatsoever. I wore legging under it and you could clearly see it were leggings and not tights. It was a working day. I was perfectly decent dressed, fully covered up. I'm far from model material.

But what happens when you are wearing a skirt or dress? Some women will give you dirty looks. What for? And men? They honk with their cars! What's up with that? Do they only see 'short dress' and nothing else? Don't they see my hideous knees which look like they're floating around there where I'm bending my legs (this is true)? My mahoosive upper legs (I'm a cyclist)? My highly unflattering Dr Marten's boots? My lack of showing any skin? Are men idiots?

What I'm trying to say is, with reactions like this, women looking dirty at you if you're wearing anything that isn't in their closets and men reacting like apes it's not really surprising that people would not feel comfortable wearing what they like. Just be safe, follow the masses, don't stand out. Standing out will make you noticed and you will get reactions. Maybe not verbally, but you will. Better safe than anything else. Follow the gray masses. This is what the Dutch are good at. The majority is dressed the same dull way. With this skirtathon I'm forcing myself to wear anything else than jeans and t-shirts. I must say, it's great. Good on me! I should keep it up, also after the skirtathon is finished. You want to look? You want to honk? I might sigh but won't respond to you. I think anyway. I'm blogging about it after all.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A small (belated) question to Mister Dylan

Bob Dylan (1987 in Rolling Stone): "I hate to see chicks perform. Hate it... Because they whore themselves. Especially the ones that don't wear anything. They fucking whore themselves."

Then what exactly are men doing when performing?

With statements like this it's not really a surprise that women in music still aren't always fully taken for real. It's a little insane, to put that mildly.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Skirtathon 2011 and why I'm in

I'm doing something I've never done before. I'm doing the skirtathon. What the flicking heck is a skirtathon you say? I had no idea and I have also thought it might be an April Fool's joke. But, it's not. A skirtathon is actually quite simple. You wear a skirt (or dress, whatever) every weekday during the month of April. You can't wear the same thing twice though. Is it a fashion thing? A really girly thing? I'm doing it for one reason and one reason only: to finally get to wear all these skirts and dresses I have in my closet!

I'm one of these people who loves buying new stuff, funky dresses, funky skirts, not your average thing. Actually, I love looking for it, holding it and thinking 'wow, that's a cool thing' and then most of the time hanging it back because I'm not going to wear it anyway. The few times I do buy something 'out of the box' it's because I think that if I don't buy it I certainly will never wear it. Sadly the reality is that I often wear the same thing over and over again. Safety I guess. It's easy. And it's a shame. I own (don't think wrong of me now!) a pink latex jumpsuit with flared legs. WEAR THAT THING! But uhm, when right? I'm not exactly Kate Nash. I'm not a fierce singer.

Back to the skirts and dresses. I own quite a few dresses. But don't wear them that much. The only person complaining that I don't is me. So. Here's the skirtathon. Participate! It will MAKE me wear my skirts and my dresses. For a whole month. This should teach me. And it's a bit of online fun with a few other people around the globe.

More info:
Skirtathon on tumblr
Skirtathon on blogger (has all the 'rules')
Skirtathon on twitter

Friday, April 1, 2011

Video: Forbidden Friends - Tiny hands

I feel like posting another video. No particular reason for this one other than it being a really nice song by Thermals' front man Hutch Harris and his little project Forbidden Friends.

The Thermals are currently touring Europe together with The Coathangers. Don't miss!

Out of reaches (soundcheck)

I don't do April Fool's Day, so here's just a nice little video. (if you happen to see a black box, try refreshing your browser (IE) a few times and sent Microsoft an angry email.)