28-12-14

2014: the year nothing changed and everything was different.

Hey guys! Sorry for the absolute lack of updates. Here's what happened since WTFest 6, which is the last thing I wrote about.
- Summer In October fest: absolute blast, like every year. Good bands, good friends, dangerous cocktails.
- Big Pre-Fest in Little Ybor 2: if the Beach Boys wrote a song about this it'd be called "(Fun Fun Fun)10". Toys That Kill killed it.
- The Fest 13: tiring but the best time ever. frands and bands!
- interfestivum: looking for a job and going to shows.
- accidental tour with The Helltons: two week trip through Germany, Italy, France and Spain with my favourite Parisians/Bordeauxans
- Monster Zero Mash 2014: mental. dang mental.
- ????

So here is my end of the year list:

TOP RECORDS:
The Sugar Stems - We Only Come Out At Night
Absolute favourite of the year. PERFECT. The only record I'll ever need.
Martha - Courting Strong
Durham pop music with members of ONSIND. Incredible.
The Priceduifkes - Why Not
Hitmachine. Their best work yet.
The Windowsill - Showboating
They done did it again, pop punk songs like you've heard before, played like you've never heard before.
The Kimberly Steaks - To Live And Die In West Central Scotland
Jawbreaker and Simpsons references played by the Scottish version of Osker. Can't go wrong
The Copyrights - Report & Hospital Job - The Believer
I take these together because of reasons. Both incredibly catchy and some of their best songs yet.
The Helltons - Dead Wrong
Best dudes, best EP. It's better live but the recordings sound really gritty and fun!
Joyce Manor - Never Hungover Again
This sound like the band I fell in love with. Incredible. Out of their comfort zone. No stagediving material.
Great Cynics/Muncie Girls split
Two of Britain's best pop/indie punks each write three amazing tunes.
Rational Anthem - Emotionally Unavailable
When you're not tired of catchy pop punk yet, there's always Rational Anthem. Tighttttt.
Outline - Noose
Angry. Pissed. Awesome.
High Dive - Europe EP
The best band return with some new songs and blow my mind once again.
...and a buncha other albums

TOP SHOWS:
House Boat (Crossbonefest)
Toys That Kill (Pre-Fest 2)
Arms Aloft (Fest 12)
The Dutch Rudders (Leuven)
Lipstick Homicide e.a. (Dilbeek)
At The Gates (Antwerpen)
Joyce Manor e.a. (Antwerpen)
Murderburgers (every show)
Priceduifkes (every show)

2014 was cool.
I'm working on a new zine (sporadically). Let's say it'll be out before Crossbonefest.
Please come to Crossbonefest.
Maybe I'll restart writing the blog in 2015.
Have a nice day.

20-10-14

What The Fest?!

Seeing as I write everything way overdue these days, let's recap my WTFest 6 experience 2 weekends ago.

After travelling to Southampton, South England, UK, and arriving at my friend Andy's place, I was pretty stoked on a weekend of punk music, booze and friends old and new.

After a couple drinks in a short amount of time, including a chilli vodka which was the first vodka I actually liked, we went to Unit Club for the Thursday night show. More of an alternative/ska line-up so I wasn't particularly stoked.
My slight chance of enthusiasm was put into the deep ends of the universe when The Bitter Town Hounds played. A very, very awful mix of punkrock powerchord riffage, melodic nu-metal-ish guitar melodies and a rhythm section that did anything but pull it together. Oh well.
Up next were Arid Wave, a young band of Nirvana lovers. I don't know what's the deal, but apparently everyone thinks grunge is cool again? Cool band, definitely, but grunge for me stops at Nirvana and maybe Soundgarden, cause every other grunge band sounds like either one of those two (or, as I will point out later, Hole). So, enjoyable but boring.
Skipped Ghouls in favor of pizza. I don't know if it started then and there, but me and my good friend Joe started a running gag that kept on during the weekend about all things "pop punk". We'd try to be tru pop punk by wearing tie dyes, backwards caps, cat/pizza prints, being posi, eating pizza, being pumped/stoked and the likes. It was ectremely entertaining, although it probably doesn't sound like it was.
Back to the venue to see a bit of Tyrannosaurus Alan, realise there's trombones playing and have a beer in the smoking area. Not in the mood for ska.
Afterparty at The Hobbit with some Germans we accidently met. I love punk.

I awoke on Friday at 8am with Joe's hand grasping my chest. It was adorable. We went to the store to buy pancake ingredients and Lambrini wine, the worst wine ever made. Needless to say I started drinking at 9am and didn't really stop. Oops. I hung out with Joe all day and we got to the venue when Happy Accidents where supposed to play. They were running late apparently so Milk Teeth started off the night. Remember that thing about grunge I said earlier? Well, Milk Teeth is probably one of the few bands that are inspired by both Hole and Nirvana. They started off strong, especially loud, but at one point they played a quieter song and everything just kinda fell apart. They were really good and tight on the loud, screechy songs, but not as much when things took a mellower turn.
I'm not sure if Bleach Blood or Happy Accidents played next, but I am sure I have no idea if I saw Bleach Blood. I have no memory of it. Happy Accidents I sorta remember, they were really quirky and fun, so obviously I'm into that.
New supercombo Creeper, with members of Our Time Down Here (aka the English Alkaline Trio) and Hang The Bastard, took stage and drew such and extensive (local?) crowd that I couldn't get a good spot in the venue so I just went drinking by the bar. The venue, by the way, was The Joiners this time, which is a lovely L-shaped, small and cozy room.
I drank enough so I was super excited to see Great Cynics again. Danciest pop/punk/rock-trio ever. I danced mùy butt off and even partook in one of those classic UK human pyramids. So fun. It's so weird that it's such an Island folk thing to do, out here on the continent it doesn't happen that often, right? But it's a real fun time. Great Cynics were great as always (what's in a name?) and you know me, I can be cynical (what's in a -- oh, the joke's over). So yeah, good show. Scarier Area is one of my favourite songs in the world.
I stood outside for most of Moose Blood's set. Didn't really drag me in either. Good band, and according to Gregory they have a good song about a sweater, but yeah. Not my cup of blood.
Apologies, I Have None killed it. Good show as always. I have so little left to say about this band. This was the first show I saw them play without the scarf-wearing bass player. Good show though. I don't know who was on bass. It was a good show.



Friday night killed Saturday fun. I was sick more than once Saturday morning, including gagging reflexes and the whole shebang. I crawled out of bed at half past 1. Feeling a bit like something only Blake Schwarzenbach could describe, I went back to Joiners. Doe were just starting out as I arrived. No drinks for me though, I was still feeling bad. Doe were great fun though/doe. No bass player, kinda weird but it worked out and wasn't really noticeable unless you paid attention top the instruments (which is something people probably pay attention to at shows).
Pale Angels were the second bands that was part of the Specialist Subject Tour, and dang did they rule. Super groovy, nasty, fast and melodic punk rock with a hint of Husker Du. I think Mike Yannich usually plays in this band, but I reckon he had another band to tour with so they had a line-up variety. The Swedish god-like dude from The Arteries apparently plays in this band as well, really cool to see him on stage again.
Bangers were up next. Great fun. Surprisingly, at least I think so, this might have been the first time I've seen Bangers. Then again that seems like such a weird thing so it might not be. I have no idea. Anyway, great set, lotsa bangers and also some mash (stupid UK joke, sorry). They concluded the Specialist Subject Tour and went along to London with Doe and Pale Angels for another show in London apparently.
Harker played next. Never heard of them, pleasantly surprised. Powor pop/punk tunes with a great edge to the songs. Fun set, definitely enjoyed it.
Last show for the matinee, before the snack and beers break, was by my friends, hosts and all-round lovely people Misgivings. It was funny seeing them play last at this show, but I guess it made sense because the first three bands had another show and stuff. I literally told them they're not as good as those bands, and they even agreed, haha. Anyway, they did play a fun show, their former drummer watched them and sang along to all the songs, I sang along a bit and danced a bit and watched all of them being pretty anxious and hungover from anight of sleeping outside in the parking lot (but that's a different story). Fun band, great friends, I hope they get some cool support slots or whatever so people can get into them.

My first plan to get a bite was something greasy, like fried chicken or fish and chips. However, I stepped into the fish & chips store and got nauseous, went back to the venue bathroom and puked like hell. It did good though, my stomach was empty and I didn't feel as bloated and "about to throw up" anymore, caus I threw up. I decided to get a small meal at the pub and went for tomato soup and a grilled cheese, and that sort of hit the spot. I didn't really drink for the rest of the night though, just out of precaution. I'm becoming a responsible adult. Tee hee.

Back at the show I caught half of Dear Everyone, an acoustic duo with lovely voices and lovely songs but not enough P0NX to keep me interested. I'm v. punk. Muncie Girls was up next and seeing as they're probably my favourite band in the world I was most excited to see them play. They did really good and as per usual I loved the show. They play Crossbonefest this year as well, that's gonna be fun!
Onsind came up after that. I'd heard some songs and a lot of praise but yeah this was something else. Very good, extremely good. Also I didn't know these guys played in Martha as well. Great set, full house as well so I guess they're really liked. Amazing vocal melodies and harmonies
Next to Muncie Girls I was probably mostly stoked (what a pop punk thing to say!) to see Caves. Their Betterment LP is amazing, the other releases are great as well, and upon writing they've had a new record called Leaving since a week or 2. As for the show, lotsa fun. Lots of crowd reaction, singalongs and the likes. It started off pretty quiet, but Jens decided it was time to turn up the noise and pushed me into the "pit zone" was I Don't Care, I Don't Care kicked in. Amazing show start to finish, loved it. Not perfect, but really on-it and just pretty punk.
Andrew Jackson Jihad closed the night. I decided to watch from the back. They played for like an hour so after 20 minutes I got side-tracked to bar hangouts and drinks. It was fun to see/hear though. They're a great band.
Aftershow beer at some sketchy metalbar. Afterparty at Andy's house with Youtube videos.

I was feeling way better on Sunday. Good. Let's get partying one more time. I got some KFC for breakfast and found my way to Unit Club again. I missed Maria Kalavera's set, who I met earlier that weekend and she's a lovely lady. I did see and was impressed by Break-Ups. Intense, fun and gritty punk rock band not unlike many, but really good.
Dearly Beloved was really not my cup of tea. River Jumpers are always fun though. They're solid every time I see them, very consistent.
I was really excited to see Despite Everything, basically based on one track of them that I dearly love. They played a stellar set full of melodic punk jams, really good English and cloased off with If You're Going Through Hell (Keep Going), my jammmmm. Loved it.
Astpai were great as per usual. They really put on a great show and as some of the hardest working bands in the Europeon punk scene I can only applaud their gigantic discography. Above Them closed off the matinee show but I wasn't too into it. Mid-paced punk just doesn't transfer to my spirit as well in a live performance as it does on record. But it did set the mood for a soon to come Menzingers show (mid-paced punk supreme).

To be honest, I'm not that big on the Menzingers (anymore). I really liked some songs off of Chamberlain Waits, and some off of the first record, but didn't care enough to keep track of their records. Anyway, they were headlining so first I got to see the exciting trio The Holy Mess. Fast, loud, snarly (is that a word?), high-energy and just a tiny bit eclectic. I want to see the songs stick in your head immediately but it doesn take like 3 or 4 listens to really get into them. Anyway, show was great, great vocals as well.
The Smith Street Band is another hyped up band I never heard before. But they're super catchy, fun and anthematic so singing along and dancing was no problem. Don't fuck with our dreams ans the likes. Just a really fun and sweaty show. The Joiners gets really hot.
The Menzingers started off with that song about Assholes, played I Was Born and a song about fucking shit up, and then I kinda gave up. I heard Time Tables being played near the end of the set but I had decided pretty soon-ish to get gin-tonics at the bar. Good songwriters and talented band, just a tad boring to me.


08-10-14

Stoned Dive

As always I'm way behind on blog stuff. I do wanna talk about this High Dive show I saw last month. They're one of my favourite current bands and amazing to see live so yeah there's that.

After a day of fishing with my co-workers I headed to Diest to check out High Dive at JH Tijl. I missed the first band but was right in time to check out The Liberation Service, a band I had never heard of before. Apparently they're from Austria. And apparently they rule. I was absolutely stunned by their set, thinking "this is the best thing I will ever see". That's how good they were. Absolutely fun, energetic, and with a bunch of cool violin parts in there it definitely grabbed my attention. Bought the CD, haven't gotten a proper listen but I think it's a good one. Loved it.

It was my second time seeing High Dive and my third time seeing Toby and Ryan play together. They haven't disappointed me yet and neither did they that night. A lot of new songs though, I think they played through the chole new EP (which is very good). The addition of Ginger Alford and Richard Wehrenberg to the band have definitely done them good. Layered guitar parts, relevant synths and an all-round good approach to alternative pop music. The lyrics still revolve around similar issues as they did before and the songs are still catchy and clever.
They did an encore of Tennessee, not really because they wanted to, mainly because they had to. Jens saying "Die gaan hier ni buiten voor ze Tennessee hebben gespeeld! Ik doen het hier op slot he!" killed me. Anyway, Amazing song and amazing ending to an already well-received set.

Great fun.

18-09-14

beke zenuwachtig misschien?

Rockczfé shows are always fun. This time I didn't have a room in Leuven anymore so I decided to head back home by train.

I managed to see You Nervous?, who played a fun but long set of punk rock jams that I expected to be boring but turned out really cool. Fun band. Just don't overdo it.

Mad Choice from Isreal played as well and they ruled, as does every band from Isreal that i've seen the last couple years. They've got some cool bands over there, and I love that they're touring more often, or that I'm exposed to them more often. Very good, nice dancemoves as well!

Went back home, got side-tracked to a bar in Antwerp and got shit-faced.

Bad Bides

Man, remember when I was young and vibrant, full of enthousiasm and energy? Young and goodlooking? Remember that? These days I'm 23 and I don't give a shit anymore.

Just kidding.

Couple weeks ago I went to Rotterdam to check out the album release of the Bat Bites' first full length record. I can safely say it's a great record, full of fun, quirky and sometimes edgy pop punk tunes. Much like The Copyrights, for example. Just to name one example. One very random example.

Not Scientists opened the show with a kick-in-the-butt attitude and an arsenal of jolly fine punkrock songs. With a lead singer resembling the infamous Ricky D, you can't go wrong. French dudes who know what they're doing, goshdarnit.

Next up, the Nobodys. First time back in Europe since forever, dudes played like 20 minutes. Of which I missed a couple in the beginning. Crazy show, crazy good, crazy fun, crazy short but for me it didn't need to be longer. They're a fast punk band so yeah. Classics. Very cool to finally see them play.

The Copyrights have been one of my absolute favourite bands of all time since long and seeing them again was an absolute delight. Tight set, all hits, some old songs like Button Smasher and some new songs like Keep The Change. They all hold up to their standards and the new record is amazingly stupidly good.

The Bat Bites came on in their mysterious outfits - who are they? - and played their new album front to back, plus a couple old jams. They even had FUCKING KURT BAKER ON A BIG SCREEN PLAYING ALONG TO HEARTBREAKER. That was amazing. Loved it. Great, great show. I yelled at them way too much, I'm sorry. Album rules, pick it up from Monster Zero Records.

I met Merel's mother and proceeded to hang out with our Dutch friends. Great night.

15-09-14

overdue

So let's get a bit up to date with this thing. It's iether that or giving it up, and I've given up a lot of stuff already so let's keep this going.

A few weeks ago I set up a show for two French bands called Homesick and La Rupture. My friend Elyas, who sings for Homesick, asked me and I was into it. I booked the local youth house, booked other bands, made a flyer and all that and failed miserably to get any people at the show.

Seriously. it sucked. But okay. The bands were great.
Outline played a rad set, despite a microphone technicality. The technicality being it didn't sound good because of a cable defunct. It got fixed after their set. Luckily no one was there to watch the band so no harm done (it's easy being cynical when all's said and done, haha). Their new EP is rad, though, and it came over very well live. Wouter, the new drummer is a great addition.

Homesick played a set without one of their guitar players, because he had to go home early for work or something. I can't remember correctly. Anyway, it sounded cool with the one guitar so it should be great with two. Cool set, very Lifetime/Kid Dynamite/None More Black-like (notice a theme here?). Cool dudes as well. French is difficult.

I was very impressed by La Rupture. They blew me away, really really strong sound and songs. They said they weren't very pleased with their set last night but I though it was great. So I'd love to see them play actually tight. That should be awesome. Cool dudes as well. French is difficult. Their singer looks like my dear friend Domien.

The Priceduifkes played an amazing set after their 2-month break and were equally bummed so little people were attending. They deserve a good crowd. The show was good though, 2-3 dudes were really into it and they played Getwood City for me, whioch made me feel special and appreciated. Raddest band in Belgium and beyond.

Midnight Tattoo closed off the night and they did good. Not really my style of punk but they're in for a party so that was fun.

DJ Lode spun some tunes to send everyone home and everything was done, cleaned and packed in time cause there was no one to send home. Bummer but it was a fun jam. Met some cool French dudes, and I got to see the Apers the day after anyway.

01-09-14

Murder, Intruders, Cops and Monkeys

I caught 3 shows of the Murderburgers/Masked Intruder tour last week. Do I love Masked Intruder that much? Nah. I just really like the 'burgers.

Tuesday was my birthday and they were playing in Antwerp with F.O.D. and the Priceduifkes. Needless to day I got really drunk and had a lot of fun. Danced a bunch, hung out a bunch and stuff.
PDS played a solid set, despite being only the second time they played since July. Fun times.
Murderburgers rules as always. They have the Walking Targets' drummer as a temporary replacement, and he seemed to be doing a fine job. They played some new songs that absolutely slayed. There's this song called The Waves which is brilliant. Check it out acoustically here. The outro is just so captivating. Anyway, great set, at one point they said they were "the only three-piece band on the line-up" and someone pushed me on the stage to be fourth member. It was really awkward and embarrassing but also really fun and stupid.
Masked Intruder were really good. I was really drunk by then. Hits, hits, hits, amazing cover of Your Love, police officer moshdance. party, and more. Just fun in a bun. (Oh shit, that's actually a Murderburgers pun.)

Wednesday they played on a boat In Rotterdam. Just the Burgers and the Intruders. More fun in a bun. Fun on a boat.

And Saturday I got to see them in Luxemburg, in a venue no bigger than, say, the Frontline in Gent. Weirdly the venue was never really packed either. Anyway, it was a cool show/fest thing. I saw the Blurghers rip it up (calling themselves the Luxemburgers, hilarious).
The 1000th Apers show was also that day. It had been ages since I saw the Apers play, so it was definitely refreshing. Kevin Aper is still the best and most hilarious frontman alive. The new song are incredible. That Jamie Oliver song, "I Don't Wanna Be A Mozzarella No More" and that other one they played were all very exciting. 
Bad Cop/Bad Cop played but I wasn't too captivated. Cool punkrock, nothing special at first hearing though.
Then some grunge band and some ska band played and lastly Masked Intruder played a helluva show. Crowd went nuts, they did a Teenage Bottlerocket cover (Repeat Offender, obvz) and it was just all-round fun in a bun.

Fun in buns.

Short update

I've been to a couple shows tha last couple weeks. Let's recapitulate.

First one was Gnarwolves in Zoersel. Support was provided by Coma Commander, who I missed and The Dutch Rudders, whose set was sloppy as usual but filled with great songs. Gnarwolves rules but the crowd was pretty tame. I could've destroyed shit but I cut my finger pretty badly the day before so i decided to stay safe. Good one.

I put on a show for Misgivings about 10 days ago. Two Minutes Hate opened up & played a rad set. Their record is real good, ya guys. Harsh Realms spit hits like fuck-all and blew the couple of people that came down away. Misgivings are great friends of mine so I was delighted to see them again. They may not yet live up to a band like Harsh Realms but I thoroughly enjoyed their set and their EP Delete History, that's supposed to drop in November, is really good. Afterparty was rad. I have some black holes and everyone kinda got lost. Fun night.

Two days after that I went to see Grim's last show. They were huge, considering they were only really around for like 3 years. Kids went apenuts. It's cool I guess. Time for new stuff.

In that context, I got around to rehearsing with my band (temporarily called BADGER) again a couple times, it's heading into a cool heavy direction so I'm stoked. (Little bit of early self-promotion can't hurt, right?)

On Monday I went to the Misgivings show in Oostende, together with The Mostly Whites, a new garagepunk outfit that sounded really cool and promising, and DRS, the household name for Western Belgian hardcore. Fun show, fun afterparty, long ride.

06-08-14

Stuff I've been lizning to

The past month I've been working a bunch but I did manage to check out some music.

JOYCE MANOR - NEVER HUNGOVER AGAIN
Completely fell in love with this one. It's like the self-titled but better. Short, abrasive, fragile, counterintuitive and confrontational. The drums on this record are fricking insane. I've never loved an album so much based on the drum patterns.

SUGAR STEMS - ONLY COME OUT AT NIGHT
More power pop perfection (po-po-pe for short) from Wisconsin. Midwest chilliness and summery vibes mix very well for the gals 'n' guys. So good, a true joy to listen to.

THE COPYRIGHTS - NO KNOCKS 7"
3 songs, 4 minutes, all hits. No comment.

TIGERS JAW - CHARMER
Melancholia in record form. Couple of real bangers, couple of under-the-radarers as well but overall a solid record after a bunch of internal and external turmoil concerning this band. Great output. That last song is amazing.

MASKED INTRUDER - M.I.
Truthfully... just not as good. It's good, but it sounds safe, and that's not what a record by 4 on-the-loose party pop punk criminals should sound like. I really dig the doo-wop influences, mostly obviously in Almost Like We're Already In Love, and there's some hits on there like you wouldn't believe. But also some safe songs that miss the X.

BANNER PILOT - SOUVENIR
I always enjoy Banner Pilot, it seems. This record is more experimental guitar-wise, but is equally awesome in terms of songwriting, general sound and that desolated feeling you get when the record in done.

02-08-14

I'M PUTTIN' ON SOME SHOWS Y'ALL

Hey come to these show I'm putting on that would be rad. I don't do booking and promoting that often so it'd be nice to see a bunch of people come down to something I'm responsible for.
I come to your shows, right? Why wouldn't you come to mine? (Classic guilt-tripping right here!)

AUGUST 22ND 2014 - DOORS AT 19h

FACEBOOK EVENT
After their rather unnoticed venture at Vleugel F earlier this year, the South-Englandians of Misgivings return to the Mainland for a stop at Rockcafé/ Room 66, the coolest venue in Leuven for punkrock shows.
  
MISGIVINGS (UK): Punkrock - FFO: Leatherface, Dead To Me, punknews.orgcore and other bearded throats. - http://misgivingspunx.bandcamp.com/
HARSH REALMS (NL): Punkrock from Roosendaal. FFO: Red City Radio, Latterman, Off With Their Heads - http://harshrealms.bandcamp.com/
+1 TBA
MC KAREL: Afterparty set. Pseudo-rap with 4 chords and a lousy performance. FFO: MC Lars, Atom & His Package - http://mckarel.bandcamp.com/

FREE SHOW

FACEBOOK EVENT
Come and celebrate the end of the summer at JH Govio, Kalmthout, with a rad punkrock show!
 
HOMESICK (FR): Fast melodic punk from Angers, France. As catchy as a good STD and almost equally unexpected! FFO: Lifetime, Carry On, 7 Seconds - http://lostandhomesick.bandcamp.com/ 

LA RUPTURE (FR): French punkrock with a dynamic edge. Together on tour with Homesick to promote their split EP! FFO: Burning Heads, Bouncing Souls, Maladroit - http://larupture.bandcamp.com/ 
OUTLINE: semi-young and angry with riffs from the highest shelf. FFO: Dead Hearts, Paint It Black - http://outlinehc.bandcamp.com/

Afterparty with CAPTAIN CRACK (tbc)!

ENTRANCE €5

best band ever.

Muncie Girls is the best band ever.

Monday 14th of July I went to Sint-Antonius, Zoersel, to attend a show at JH JoeNiz. Pretty cool place with very cool shows lately.

I arrived when Mountains To Move were ending their set. I met Niek at the entrance, then said "I'm gonna go inside, this sounds pretty good" and then they stopped playing. Oh well.

Healing Powers was ridiculously good. All short shorts, all frantic punkish screamo, all cool. Great band.

Hey Joni wasn't as good. Bassist/singer played in his boxers though, I can respect that.

Muncie Girls are LITERALLY the best band in the world. So good. Sound kinda lacked quality but ok. I love 'em. Thanks to Dean for the after-show beers.

Great Cynics was a non-stop dance ârty, which is the type of dance parties I enjoy most. They never stop. Such a fun show, great tunes, new and older, all dancy, all poppy, all rad.

After the show a bunch of things happened. I tried to play a broken guitar, someone put on the MC Karel record on the PA, I watched parts of the Great Cynics/Muncie Girls mockumentary and had a bunch of beers. The Muncie Girls remembered me as the Louis Theroux look-a-like from the last time they passed Belgium, hehe. I biked home super fast and arrived very tired.

I've been working loads lately so sorry for the lack of updates, I'll make it up to you when I move and start being a bit moe unemployed.

09-07-14

In Dawgs We Trust

My friends who create the In Dogs We Trust zine set up a fest a while ago, aptly called In Dogs We Trust fest. 5 bands, cool venue, DIY attitude and a bunch of drinks.

Korst opened up the night. Theit setup was just a bass and a drum if I remember correctly, but they made it sound angry, angsty and feisty. Cool band, better than expected. The Misfits cover was kinda underwhelming though. Couple of rad riffs, I'm excited about this.

VVovnds delivered. Still need to check their new material from their AmenRa split, but it's a live bombshell waiting to happen. Chaotic, extravagant and fucking angry.

Clean Shirts played a rad set of early-80s Descendents/Minor Threat influenced hardcore jams. Very enjoyable, I almost danced a bit.
After they were done and Petit had told me they soundchecked with Carry On's Off My Chest I went up to them and drunkenly told them they should play that cover again. So they asked me to sing it, but I don"'t know the lyrics either so I'm guessing it was as awful to the audience as I though it was. Hehe.

Cheap Drugs tore it apart.

Toxic Shock rules.

Awesome night, best of people, best of bands.

19-06-14

Apologies, j'ai pas

There are bands that have 10 albums out and been around for 20 years that I haven't seen once in my life. Then there's Apologies, I Have None. They just have a new EP out since their debut album London and I've seen them play 15 times maybe. I've lost count. Doesn't matter. Either they're insane or I am. I don't know.
They played Leuven's Rockcafé for the third time I think. The first time was one of the funnest shows I went to. I missed the second time. I was gonna miss the show yesterday as well but I unexpectedly got off work and Max Lasagne hooked me up with a spot on the reservations list. Much love, much obliged. Apparently like 10 people who reserved a spot didn't show up, that's pretty lame, but okay. Time to party.

Harsh Realms opened up. They're just so ruddy good. New songs sound promising, and the new full length is coming out on Shield so that's a guarantee it's gonna be a banger. Anyway, great show, great Bouncing Souls cover and they have a new split 7" out so check it out!

Next up was the Lowest Standard, another bunch of Dutch people. Good band but too slow and too safe. Not really my vibe.

Apologies, I Have None just flippin' killed it. The new songs don't translate as well as the jams from London, but they fit in very well in the set. Two Bombs In A Box and Coffee, Alcohol, Codeine, Repeat definitely do their job in the live setting, moreso than on record. The energy is higher. They intertwined beautifully witht he other songs. Great set, went on pretty long I reckon, but it didn't necessarily bother me so that's a good sign. Lotsa dancing of all sorts, singing along to the tunes and wrecking the place just a tad.
Crowd was excited, the place was nicely filled but not too packed, v. hot and steamy and everyone was having a wee fun time on an otherwise regular Wednesday night.

Gnarwahls

Last Friday night was one of those Friday nights. I finished my academic career by half-arsedly filling in an exam in the afternoon, then I drank some Punk IPA's on a balcony, ate some fries with some friends and went to see a couple of radical bands.

When I arrived at Kavka, Coldsore was playing. Last time I saw them they were an acoustic outfit, now they've seemingly upgraded. It sounded alright but I went to say hi to some buds and drink a beer outside.

I drank a bunch of beers. Inside, outside, on all the sides.

Cheap Drugs played next. I love Cheap Drugs. Show was good. That is all.

Off The Charts rules as well. I guess The Ignored did good as well, don't think I saw them though.

Gnarwolves ruled. Everthing in fries of one and all that. Had a good dance, a good singalong. It was pretty gnarly. They're an amazing band like.

Then I got drunk on more beers and weird cocktails and had a headache till 5 pm the next day.

hashtag punx

06-06-14

...without dicks

You know, how sometimes you're like "eh..." and then you decide to get out and you're all "yeah!". Well, I had such a yeah-Erlebnis last Friday. Eglantier basement show. Always the best ones.

It started out with a French band called Sevices. Powerviolence/hardcore. Fast, pissed, all that stuff. Sounded good. I wasn't blown away, but I was enjoying it quite a bit.

Wrong Decision, from the other side of our Belgian language barrier, came to Antwerp to rock out with their mosh out. Hard and heavy old school hardcore with an attitude. Pretty cool, not really into it but I can assume people would dig this a lot.

Another French band, from Lille to be precise, was Anxiety Attack. Short, fast hardcore bursts. I missed the beginning but the sounds coming from the basement lured me downstairs, in time to see them play some rad songs and some Surf Nazis Must Die covers, which is definitely applaudable. I Am Angry, what an incredible song. Anyway, really liked it, bought the new EP, it's cool.

Imaginary Dictionary closed off the show. One of my favourite current hardcore bands. Stijn Reproach on vocals because the usual guy was still somewhere halfway around the world. Such a fucking energetic, fast, angry band with the right amount of party-inclination. Rad. Great show,

02-06-14

AGNSTM!

I’d never seen Against Me! live. They’ve been one of my favourite bands for years, mainly based on their first 2,5 records, but I had never seen them play live. Until yesterday.

My friends in Silver & Gold managed to get the opening slot for the show, after a lot of hassle and asking around. Really stoked to see them play again, and they were good. A short and vibrant set, including the Husker Du cover and some promising new tunes. Really happy for those guys.

I saw a bit of INVSN, but I saw enough of it after a few songs, energetic new wave with a punk feel.
But hanging out with friends outside was fun too. Cool to see some people again.

Against Me! fucking ruled. They started with a new song, I think FuckMyLife666. I just had a new beer, and they started playing Cliche Guevara, so me and Jordi got all excited, started the mosh and I lost my new beer. No worries, the next song was a new one again, so I went to get a new beer. Same thing fucking happened all over again, this time to the sound of Walking Is Still Honest. They continued this strike of last-three-records-song/first-three-records-song for a while, even playing Turn Those Clapping Hands Into Angry Balled Fists, one of my favourite Against Me! songs. I absolutely loved hearing classics like I Still Love You Julie and the likes. The last part of the set was mainly new songs that I don’t know or care too much about, although some tunes like Black Me Out, True Trans Soul Rebel and Drinking With The Jocks. This last one was part of the encore, together with Pints Of Guinness Make You Strong, Sink Florida Sink and some acoustic song, making the encore almost cooler for me than the entire set.
Notable fact: the bass player is undoubtely Dee Dee Ramone or his son or something.

As I said, I’m a huge fan of pre-Searching For A Former Clarity Against Me!, less so of the records/sound since that one. I got pretty sad when they played I Was A Teenage Anarchist, cause now you see the band that was all about wanting "a band that played loud and hard every night” and didn’t "care how many people are counted at the door” touring in a tourbus 10 times the size of a regular van and having a management that decides support acts for sold-out shows that costs 15 euros to get into. I have no problem with that, I’m really stoked Against Me! is able to do this stuff, that they get the recognition they deserve, but the irony of the band’s folk-punk/anarchist era makes me a bit bummed out is all.
They certainly did reinvent Axl Rose, maybe not how they originally set out to do. But they did a good job.

Great show, best band, loved it.

Unposh

Wednesday night was fun. Some people came all the way from the UK to play songs in Leuven. Weird, right? Totally weird.

Trails played first. Not my jazz, but it was a good show and they had some cool parts.

Dead Neck second. Cool skatepunk/melodic something punk/hardcore. Loud, fast, all that stuff. It was cool.

Beans On Toast played his tunes. Apparently he’s on Frank Turner’s label or something. His songs are pretty rad. Just really quirky and down-to-earth and fun. Lots of drugs-themed tunes. He did a reggae song with a reggae voice, which people liked for some reason. Fun show, very entertaining man.

Migre Le Tigre closed off the night. Lots of whoa’s, some really cool songs and a throat to say ‚you’ to.

28-05-14

Election day punk

I put on a show for my friends in Misgivings last Sunday. It started early and was supposed to end early. It kinda worked out, but as per usual, it didn't really.

After baking a ton of pancakes, making food for the band and getting everything ready in the venue I welcomed The Goodluck Party. They playes a jolly set full of jolly tunes but not as flawless as it could have been. The hangover might have had something to do with it. Fun Nerf Herder/NOFX covers though, and great songs of their own. Very good band, not their best performance though.

Red Cloud played some acoustic jams in between bands, that was fun.

Every Stranger Looks Like You, whose new EP Life In The Abyss is streamable today, played a rad show. Heavy as fuck. They played a lot of new songs and they sound angrier and harsher than before. Total sweethearts though. Great set, maybe not the best setting at 5 in the afternoon with the sun shining brightly outside, but okay.

Red Cloud played some more songs, which was a great help cause Misgivings were later than expected. With lost amps, a car crash and bad luck in general, they had driven 11 hours from Leisnig to Leuven, normally a 6 hour drive. But they made it, they arrived at 7pm, an hour after they were supposed to play, and set up like champs without amps.
Some people luckily stayed and watched the band patiently. Like, 5 people maybe. It's something. The set started out sloppily cause, you know, they were tired and bummed and rushed and all those things. But it all got together and I really enjoyed the remainder of it. Cool band. They got an EP coming out some time, called Delete History, so stay tuned for that I guess. They'll be back in August as well, so if you missed it, get your second chance then!

Afterwards I took the guys to the Face The Fax show and we all got very drunk and stuff. Amazing people. It was very cool to catch up with Joe, and the other dudes were all super rad as well.

TheCracks

Last Friday, I saw the tightest motherflippin' band in the world play. Yes. Absolutely. Yes. DeeCracks. Yes. You're right.

But first! The Capitalist Kids. I really wanted to check them out. I once check out their Sarah Palin single and that was rad. They started out and immediately grabbed my attention with a fun, energetic song and performance. Just fun and energetic. I need no more. Sold. Very MTX-ish, they even covered You Today, which was rad. Band rules, check 'em out. Hey! Gay marriage is okay!

Priceduifkes played their last show on Belgian soil til after the summer. They're about to embark on a US tour with Direct Hit! and Masked Intruder, and god know what they'll do this summer. The show was rad, as always. Lots of dancing and singin along to the tunes. The tunes, man. The tuuuuunes.

Deecracks are the best fucking (live) band in the world. Fucking hell. 8 songs in 8 minutes, flawless. I didn't time it, but it must've been something like that. Fucking hell. So good. And it had been such a long time since I'd seen them (which is weird cause they tour non-stop), so that was rad. Lots of old songs/crowd favourites and a couple of new tunes from the amazing new record Beyond Medication. Rad set, incredible show.
Also I was a bit star-struck cause Eric from the Jetty Boys was playing bass for DeeCracks and he's a) a total babe and b) in the fucking Jetty Boys. That's cool. I guess.

There was a surprise aftershow by the Jesus Police, which was cool cause I had always missed them before, so it was my first time seeing them and they're pretty rad.

Afterparty was rad as well, piekmusic and all that.

23-05-14

zine #10 fucking finally right

The new zine, This Ain't Noise #10, is OUT NOW. So, you can get one of those from me. It features interview with Unfun, The Murderburgers and Wolf-Face, buncha reviews and a rant about how y'all should listen to Fade To Bright instantly.
50 cents a copy, 20 pages, A5 format, black-and-white


Release party will coincidentally and conveniently be this show on Sunday, that I am promoting or whatever. www.facebook.com/events/1398503247091964


14-05-14

Rush hour

Friday night. After a day of hanging out I went to Leuven to go to a show/play a show. After rushing to pack for a trip the next day and eating something and getting my gear and some other stuff I hurried to the Sojo to see my buds in Outline play on the Smash the Statues release show.

Petit had sent me the new tracks a couple days before and they sound awesome, and I hadn't seen them live for like a year or so, so I was really curious to their show. They did good. I mean, they did well. Old songs sound good, New songs are really cool actually. They have tapes, you should buy them. Well, apparently you already did, cause they told me they sold a bunch at that show, so that's cool. The EP is called Noose and is meant as a soundtrack to tie knots or something.

After that I hurried to Den Bijsluiter, where the Spazzys would play and I was asked to do a afterparty set. Always/never a good idea.

The Tantras played and got the crowd in a good mood with their infectious pop punk tuneage. They haven't played for a long time but most of the set was similar to before. Some new songs, I hope they keep it up.

The Spazzys ruled. Started out with Zombie Girl, all uphill from there. Technically better than in Geel, lots of fun and singalong with a couple punks and a lot of Erasmus students who were there to watch "live music" and drink fake Desperados for 50 cents (those killed me, lemonade at 6% abv).
After The Spazzys show I was way too drunk to play my guitar correctly so my MC Karel set sucked but it was a lot of fun. I played Please Listen To Transilvanian Hunger With Me, which feels like it could be a real crowdpleaser, some classics and some covers. I think I did Teenage Kicks, I Like Vegetables and New Jersey Girl. It all sucked probably.

Book me for all your shows. If you want it to be sorta good, don't give me free drinks. If you want it to be entertaining and worthless, give me free drinks by all means!

Underground T.O.Y.S.

You know those weeks when you feel like listening to all of Todd C's bands? You know 'em, one of those typical Toys That Kill/Underground Railroad To Candyland/F.Y.P. kinda weeks. Well, Belgium was lucky enough to experience such a week live on stage.

On Toys That Kill Tuesday I went to Diest, JH Tijl, because that's were the action would be. A couple weeks ago I bought a TTK/Rivethead/D4 live dvd and so I had an idea of a Toys That Kill show. I also saw half of their set at Fest, but trust me, I don't remember how that was. Due to, you know. Booze That Kills or something.
Anyway, I was excited.
The Dutch Rudders and Sunpower provided support slots or whatever. The atmosphere was very Tuesday-like and the venue wasn't too filled, but the music was good and the vibe was alright. I love the new Dutch Rudders songs a lot and can't wait to hear them recorded. Sunpower is always a blast, literally and figuritavely.

Toys That Kill was rad. Great set, full of fun tunes, all embraced in a sorta exhilarating aura. They did some weird stuff, like hit the floor tiles with drum sticks, but most of all provided a limited but excited audience with edgy garagy punk rock jams unheard of in the real world.
Bought a Citizen Abortion LP, which is just a really great record

Underground Railroad To Candyland Wednesday was next. Missed their sets at Fest and Pre-Fest, and Jordi and Siebens assured me and kept telling me how good they are live, so I was just incredibly stoked. Yes, stoked. As the kids might say.
Teen Creeps are cool. I don't really have more to say about them. 90s sound, husky. Creepy probably.
Silver & Gold started out and played a cool set as per usual. Great guys, great beards, great punk. I got to sing Teenage Kicks with them and screwed up a bit but it was lots of fun. I like having fun. I love Silver & Gold.
I didn't necessarily pay attention to the Raunchy Rumors, but tI've seen 'em before and they're pretty cool. Kinda misplaced here maybe? Don't know.

The Underground Railroad To Candyland was indeed, as expected, fun musicified. Not your standard band, but that's part of the interest and mystery this band upholds. With a name like that, what do you expect, right? Whoo!
I guess I ended up pretty drunk. You know, again...

F.Y.P. Thursday was upon us on, you know, Thursday. Probably my favourite band out of the three.
I missed Coma Commander cause I had to do some stuff but I did see the Priceduifkes play. In one week from the biggest punkrock festival in Belgium to the smallest metalbar in Belgium. Why not? They played a rad show, liek always. PDS Jugend en al.

F.Y.P. ruled. Hits, more hits and also songs, tunes, jams, tracks and whatever they had up their sleeve. Lotsa Toys That Kill stuff, which is good cause that record rules. Energetic show, closed off with Die Young. Small bar, excited crowd equals great fun.

Three days of fun actually. This was a really cool concept and I'm glad I live in a country where the punk scene is cool enough to allow for something like this to happen and the country is small enough to travel to all three shows. That was rad. Lots of people did all three or two out of three of the shows, so it's cool to hang out with your friends a bunch too.

Birdow

Groezrock’s done, what’s next? More shows, obviously. Although my friend jare had a cool living room show planned out with Migre Le Tigre of Rentokill fame, I decided to go to Antwerp and check out Birds In Row for another time. I’ve seen ‚em twice before and every time it was definitely an interesting show.

First up was No Vacancy. I get what they’re trying to do, but bluntly put, it sucked. The drummer, mainly. I’m not one to criticize musicians, but if you can’t keep a measure in a punk-affiliated band, it’s gonna suck even harder than when you can keep it. Anyway, the intention was there and pretty okay, the result was just bad. The descriptoion "new Gent-Antwerp band, that sounds like Nirvana forgot how to play their instruments and decided to play punk instead" was to be taken more literally than I expected.

Fever followed and they put things in perspective. With members of among others This Routine Is Hell (as if those guys needed more bands, right), Fever is as straight-forward as ever and captivate a strong turn-of-the-century hardcore vibe. Carry On, early American Nightmare, xChampionx like. I liked it. Dedicated to the genre and the performance, fueled by anger and angst, and driven by a passion for fast and ferocious hardcore riffs, Fever put down a rad show consisting of the promising songs from their demo tape and a cover I can’t quite remember.

I like seeing VVovnds play. They intrigue me. They’s a breath of fresh air in between the stomp-mosh, mid-tempo generic hardcore bands thta often come from the regions of Antwerp. West-Flanders has a history of metal-infused hardcore and VVovnds dug just a bit deeper in that puddle. All-round violent, powerful and heavy as fuck. Cool show, they give it their all every time which makes for a very desireable live performance.

Finally, Birds In Row. Short, French and angry. Playing a small show in Music City Antwerp before going on tour with Touché Amoré. Their set was fun. Always a pleasure to witness and they add a certain vibrance to the genre. There’s a lot of passion and frustration in the music and the vocals, and I love that. They just rag on on their instruments and produce riffs that make me go into fuck-all mode. Which is good.

Great show. I re-met Max, who I first met during Groezrock but sorta forgot. He’s a really cool guy so I’m glad I found him again! Fun night, great start of a busy but rad week.

07-05-14

Groezrock I guess?

I'm not feeling like writing a lot, and festivals are always lurry and hazy, so I guess I'll just write a wee bit about Groezrock.

The best band on the festival was probably the Priceduifkes. I'm just saying this because they're one of my favourite bands, I know them personally and they very much deserved to play the fest and furthermore pulled it off so well. Lots of crowd reaction in the vein of "alles kapot", "alles is frut vaneen" en "wereldoorlog drie". Apparently the tent was quite crowded, so I hope they conquered some more hearts by playing Groezrock. Also seeing Fets sing along to Creep Like Me was amazing. So cool.

Then there was Screeching Weasel. Or, Ben Weasel And Whoever He Could Find. As the only original member, it felt a bit weird to see but the band was tight as fuck. Going in with I'm Gonna Strangle You and continueing the show with nothing but hits, up until the closer Cool Kids. Ben's rants were both uncomforting and genius, just like I imagined it would be. Sound at the mainstage wasn't all that, and the stage maybe wasn't all that for a band like Weasel, but it being their first ever European show I'm just glad I got to see them.

I love Drug Church. They played a rad show. I moshed a lot, often on my own. I like Pat's rants, although he doesn't or isn't allowed to go on as miuch as he does with Self Defense Family. Amazing show, I went all-out during Mohawk, such a sick song.

I lost my PARTY TIME watch and Skintight cap during Alkaline Trio's set. That made me very sad. Also a girl kept kicking me in the legs pretty hard because I was punkdancing. What the fuck? That wasn't necessary. It's a punk show, I should be allowed to be upfront losing my shit over my favourite band, right? No need to hurt me intentionally. Fuckwad. Anyway, the Trio actually played one of the best shows I've seen them play and played a lot of their best tunes, including Every Thug Needs A Lady, Sadie, Hell Yes and Jaked On Green Beers. Sounds amazing, right? Yeah it was.

Touché Amoré was incredible. I mean, they are incredible. Such a talented band. Uhm, Descendents ruled. Red City Radio. Iron Chic. Kids Insane. Brand New's set was very different from the show in Zwolle, maybe more enjoyable cause it was shorter and a lot more of the hit songs were played. I mean, starting with Sowing Season is just a really good idea.
I also loved Apologies, I Have None's set, even without Dan, and I am digging the new tunes more and more. It was the xth time I saw them but I enjoy every show they play. Cool to see Giles Great Cynics guest-guitar on some tracks.

Saw bits and pieces of a lot of bands, had great fun with my friends, made some new friends, drank a lot of alcohol and all the usual. My girlfriend gave me an Idle Will Kill 12". She's rad.

I missed Modern Life Is War (except for D.E.A.D.R.A.M.O.N.E.S.) and Piekpries, both for very stupid reasons.

That was Groezrock in a nutshell. It's always a nutshell.

24-04-14

I thought that you might like this...

Have I told you about the millions of bands I didn't see at Fest last year because I was either too drunk, too sexually active, at another band's show and/or not willing to wait in line? Well, one of those bands was Laura Stevenson And The Cans. That same night, in a sketchy hotel in Gainesville, I actually had a dream that I saw her perform with her band. That was definitely weird. So I kinda saw her, but only in my subconcious.

Anyway, last night she came through Leuven, without her Cans though (I will refrain from making an obvious vulgar comment for the sake of keeping this blog as sexist-free as possible). I only saw the last couple of songs by The Neverending Story, who was this talented guy who didn't like to go to Duffel. I understand.

Laura Stevenson blew my mind. I mean, I expected her to be good, but her show was just amazing. Her voice is so fragile yet so intense. She flies through her lyrics as if every song consists of one single but extremely long word. Most of the songs where from her album Sit Resist and the new one, Wheel, which are both very good records that you should buy. She played a cover from a band I don't recall. And she played A Shine To It, which is still one of my favourite songs of her, probably sorta due to the Bomb The Music Industry! cover, which made a very sad song into a cheerful-sounding one.
Most, if not all, of Laura's songs yesterday were sad songs. And if they were cheerful, they had this sad undertone. One song was an angry one, but you could argue that the anger came from sadness. Anyway, lots of sadness going on but I couldn't stop smiling. Her guitar skills are impressive and as far as I know, she didn't fuck up. She was seemingly flawless and very likeable.

More like Brand Old amiright?

I like Brand New. I consider myself a fan. I really like The Devil And God Are Raging Inside Me. I'm very fond of Your Favourite Weapon. I dig most of the songs on Deja Entendu. I haven't heard Daisy. Let's just say I'm a fan.
So when a bunch of friends planned on driving 2-3 hours to Zwolle to see then in a proper venue, I decided it'd be fun to go along.

I was really excited when I remember The Front Bottoms were doing support for them. Except for the shortness of the set and the way overpriced merch I really dug the show. Their songs are superfun and it was the first time I saw them, after missing out every time before due to disinterest or work or whatevz. Anyway, fun band, drummer was wearing a weird mask. That is all.

Brand New played for way too long. But they played a rad show. Started out with a buncha new songs before getting into the old shit. Classics, if you will. No Sowing Season unfortunately, but I'll take it. I don't know, very tight set, bass sound was amazing. The second drummer gave extra power to some of the tunes. Kids went sorta nuts. That's what you get for not coming to Europe for a while and then cancelling a tour and then coming after all. Kids go nuts.
So yeah, fun show, but a 1,5+ hour show is way too long for any band in my opinion, let alone one of the punk rock kind. It's cool they didn't muck about though, they have a neat set put together where everything is measured out, the vibes are taken into account and it sequences almost seamlessly. Not my thing of course, but for a band of their calibre I guess it's important to impress people. And they did that. Thanks.

The ride home was intense and insane and funny and also I slept for a bit and stuff. Then we accidentally went drinking till 5 am.
Whoops.

19-04-14

Spazzers

The Spazzys are in Europe! Rejoice! I went to see them on Wednesday in Geel. It was a delight. Yeah. A definite delight.

The support band was the Bat Bites, which is, as you know, the best band the world has to offer. They played a lot of songs. They played a lot of new songs. Almost exclusively, actually, beside 2 old ones and a cover or 2 maybe. I'm really excited for their album, which should come out in 2 months or something if I remember correctly (I seldom remember correctly though). The verse in the second-to-last song, Let Her Go, strongly reminded me of a Dear Landlord song, but I don't know which one. Anyway, fun set, great bat costumes, but mostly great tunes!

The Spazzys came up and got into Divorced right away. Way to kick off a show after spending 33 hours on an air plane! Because of that fact they sounded a bit sloppy or messy sometimes, but regardless they were pretty dang amazing. The vocal harmonies were insane, the pop sensibility, the punk attitude... It was just such a fun and happy show. Awesome. They played a bunch of new and old songs spanning their career, some slower jams, some faster ones. Cool show, got a bit cut short due to tiredness I assume, but that's totally alright. Dumb = forever.

17-04-14

THEWORLDISABEATIFULPLACEANIAMNOLONGERAFRAIDTODIEDIEDIEMYDARLING

What do you do when you're done working early and you wanna see a band with a really long name? You thank fuck you're done early, hop on your bike and ride it for a small hour to Zoersel. Because that's where bands with long-ass names play all the time.

I missed Empire! Empire! (I Was A Lonely Estate), but apparently they're good and they have a really long band name.

They're no match for The World Is A Beautiful Place And I Am No Longer Afraid To Die though. They took the cake that night. But enough name-dropping, or name-sermoning in this case. I got to know The World Is... through a mixtape that my Floridian friend made, and so I knew they were really good.
They did, however, exceed my expectations. Amazing. show. I'm not sure why. But it just felt like a really good performance. Something you get dragged into. They played for like 45 minutes to an hout I think, but it didn't bother me. I knew some of the songs from the mix, and the other songs were just equally intriguing and entertaining. It's a band of 7 people, so they were all put together on a small stage, but they managed to put down a tight set, got the crowd into it, formed some sort of energetic interaction and it was just really nice. They closed with Getting Sodas I think, which was marvelous.

The bike ride home was very tiring but I was a very satisfied dude.

Whew

Whew. Sorry for the lack of updates. I've been too busy being busy. I have a girlfriend these days. Do you know how much time I lose because of that? Exactly as much as I need to keep this blog updated. It's sad, actually. Also coincidental.

Anyway, a week or two ago my new-found friend Steve was playing a show with his band The Swinging Party. I had heard him reference Replacements and power pop when describing their sound, so I was stoked. On a  through-the-week-ish (Dutchism!) Wednesday I got my butt to Antwerp, café Cabron, to drink Geuze beers and watch some bands.

The Swinging Party were up first. I was very much impressed. Definite (later) Replacements vibe, Joe Jackson/Elvis Costello kinda songwriting. Great guitar harmonies and drum beats. I love that kind of music. I love power pop. It's so much better than any other kind of music. It's made for dancing and singing and smiling and  feeling things. And the Swinging Party did a great job at all that. Loved the show, would gladly see them again. Buy their self-titled EP.

The Light Brigade came all the way from the Northerlands and put down a more than decent show. Tight musicianship, solid show, all-round enjoyable. The same deal music-wise, so hooray for that!

Yay Wednesdays!

02-04-14

Party at 219

I had never been to Venue 219 before. Quite the shame. But Sunday night was the night. The night. After getting slightly drunk at a family get-together in the afternoon, I decided to keep on drinking at the punkrockshow. Also I didn't eat so whew. Sorry for being drunx.

First up was the amazing Silver & Gold. Great set with lots of new jams, and a Husker Du cover. I love this band. One of the few typically beardy punk bands of the area. Good show.

Lots of friends at the show. Cool.

It was the second time I saw The Kids' Crusade. Really good. It's not necessarily original (yet), but I love their sound, the melodies, the grungy vocals, the absolutely bummer atmosphere. That's cool. Or not, maybe.

The Real Danger rules obviously, but I was pretty drunk at the time. They played some of my favourite songs so that was fun. Things happened.

Whew. Dang.

30-03-14

boat

If you set up a house show or House Boat, that's cool. If you set up a boat show for House Boat, that's amazing. If someone could set up a houseboat show for House Boat, that'd be incredible.
The Rotterdam Riot crew booked Tinto's, which is this red recreational boat by the docks of Rotterdam. Really cool.

I was gonna take a train and travel there, spend some time in R'dam and watch the show, hoping to find a place to sleep (which didn't appear to be difficult, Dutch people rule). But fate, and more importantly Wout Touw, twisted that plan. Downside: I didn't manage to see Mikey Erg or the 20Belows. Upsides: fun ride, jammin' catchy pop tunes in the car, no train costs, good company. Wout Touw rules.
So we arrived when the Windowsill was setting up. Lots of Dutch buddies were at the show. I met this dude named Arjan who is the person behind the best youtube channel ever and also a really nice person. He filmed a bunch, if not all, of the sets that night, so check out his channel!

The Windowsill kicked but, obviously. Such a good band. They played lots of new songs from their upcoming album and every one of them was as catchy and fun as the other one. The classics like Mess Me Up, No Destination and their 'cover' of the Apers' Falling Apart got me well excited again about these fellas. I love Mariën vocals, man. Also, Jerry's dancemoves rule. Fun show, fun band, 10/10, een kus van de juf en een bank vooruit!

House Boat played and I decided I'd go nuts, even though I know there's a tendency at Dutch shows of not going nuts. Anyway, I'm just really excited about House Boat, and I was excited I could see them a second them in a week so I put on my dancing shoes (which are the same ones as my regular shoes) and I sang along, fistpumped along and jived along to the soothing tunes of this pop punk hybrid. Other setlist than at Crossbone, cool. All good songs. Although they try really hard sometimes, they weren't able to dissappoint me.
The fun/sad thing about this set was that it was almost put together to display how much they feel alone. I was singing along to the tunes they were playing, as I always do because I like doing that, and it occured to me how many times I was singing about being alone, feeling alone, not wanting to be alone, ... I noticed "alone" is almost an isotopy. So because of that, I will now go over the House Boat discography and try to see what the fuck his fucking problem is, man?

The Delaware Octopus:
1: I Watched The Biggest Loser Australia: "I don't know how to be alone anymore." // "I can't keep taking pictures, but I don't wanna be alone." // "Still scared of you but even moreso of sitting here alone. Still scared of sitting here alone. Sitting here alone."
2: I Work On The 13th Floor: "I don't wanna stay here crammed close, all alone." // "I'll be better when I'm better. I'll be better off alone." // "You'l be better when you're better if you'd just leave me alone."
3: Alonelylonelyone: "Oh I don't wanna be alone." // "We're totally fucked and completely alone. Everyone's fucked and alone. Now we're just fucked up alone."
4. Battlestar Galactive VS. Pop Punk Message Board IV: Grivet Loves Goats: "Bitter, and we're lonely and we only speak the truth."
7. Are You Into Metal?: "It sure would be a shame if these hooded sweatshirts both went home alone."
9. All Of The Time: "Holed up alone cause I'm fucked up when you're not around"

Processing Complaints:
2. Payment Plan: "I wake up and cry 'cause I'm all alone." // "And I don't know why; I should leave it alone." // "I'm all alone, the computer is on." // " 'And now I just wanna be alone, but I hate being alone' "
3. Kids of the Black Hole Sun: "It's boring to be alone."

The Thorns Of Life:
8: Anticipation Preservation: "I walk all night I walk alone I don't wanna be alone tonight." // "You don't wanna be alone tonight" // "Why am I walking home alone?"
12: Real Life As A Metaphor For Real Life: "I figure I'm just gonna end up alone again." // "Locked in my bedroom, one hand on the phone, hoping that I won't end up alone again."

21st Century Breakroom:
1: 21st Century Breakroom: "Time to find another corner; time to leave you alone" // "Six months holed up at home; I can't stand being alone." //
2. Suburban Grit: "And now I'm all alone."

The Thing That Ate Larry Livermore:
5. Love Song For The Reclusive: "Miles away from home, oh, I am lonelier than lonely. Lonelier than lonely so I'll stay in place for just a little while."

And that's just the obvious, excluding all alusions at and metaphors for 'feeling alone'.
So, either they've realised "man, we used the word "alone" way too much on that first record, let's make it a bit more vague" or they've gradually become less alone. I don't know.
Also, the word "alone" looks really weird at this point. You know, when you say or write a word a lot of times it starts abstracticizing itself? Yeah, that.

Anyway, Wout Touw brought me back to Belgium after the show, which I'm very grateful for. I didn't have to be alone so that rules.

25-03-14

Alles Kapot Fest Day 2

The inner hangover was alright - not too much of a headache or stomach-ache, but my body hurt like fuck. It was Saturday, and the second day of Crossbonefest was upon us. The best day. Why? House Boat. Why else? Everything.

First off, my new favourite band, The Kimberly Steaks. Equally good, I was already in a good mood so I might have danced a bit, sang along a ton and mouthed along sounds that sounded like the words they were singing as well. Fun show!
The first band on the outside stage was Tijuana Zebra, local rock'n'roll up-and-comers. Really cool, dirty, fast, kinda odd-one-out but really good. After their set I had a bartending shift. So I went bartending.

I saw Wank For Peace from behind the bar. I've seen 'em before,, even met one of them again at Fest, and they're really good, and I've acquainted myself with those dudes, along with their other francophone friends, throughout the weekend. Fun dudes. Good band. It's not as accesible but there's a definite intensity and integrity in their branch of melodic punk rock/hardcore.
I was bummed I wasn't able to mosh to Imaginary Dictionary due to my shift, but I did enjoy their sound coming from outside, and I did a little barmosh to Anti-Rule, which is the easiest but most powerful hardcore song I've heard in a while. The dude from Reproach did vocals instead of the usual vocalist apparently. Should've been interesting.

The Lemonaids! Man, I love that band. Summer got back for half an hour. Cock from the Murderburgers filled in for drums and did a great job. I sang along to their party tunes from behind the bar and meanwhile served everyone delicious beers and sodas and cocktails. The Lemonaids' show was actually super tight, probably the best I've seen 'em yet. Apparently I luau'ed with Gert-Jan. Fun fun fun!

Missed Bite Down as well, bummer! Good band. The 20Belows played inside so I was able to see them. Good show, not my favourite band but they have some really cool tunes. Definitely got things going. Then Jesus Police played, a band with members of Midnight Souls, PDS and with the Captain (let's say of Cut Here! fame perhaps, most recently?). Apparently they tried to burn a bible or something. Angry, cult-ish stuff. Cool.

I got off duty and saw a great Great Cynics set. Obviously. Otherwise they'd be called Alright Cynics (this is more or less an An Idiot Abroad rip-off joke). I love the new split with Muncie Girls, especially the with Iona singing, and the rest of the show was just as fun! With a sound similar to early to mid Against Me! records, they managed to captivate the crowd and convinced some more people to come to the show in Hasselt in June. I drunkenly mistook the Cynics' guitarist at the bar for the dude from Gnarwolves, and he told me he thought it was a compliment. Haha. I'm an idiot.

Skipped Richie Dagger in favour of much needed hangouts and food and gf time. Solid band though. Interesting and particular sound. But I got ready to destroy shit during the Murderburgers set.
Which I probably did. I remember they played My Inner Mental Room and I went mental. (Man, my puns are getting worse by the minute.) Lots of great tunes from the new and previous record. Plus, Stackers Are Awesome, the song about Fraser OD'ing, and the adapted Chinese Telephones cover were rad as well. Me & Gert-Jan asked them to do a Lillingtons cover cause we were listening to the Lillingtons 2 days before, and Tom/Tam joined in and they did Phantom Maggot, which was awesome. It was funny cause Gert-Jan was singing the lyrics X-Ray Specs during the song. Silly Gert-Jan. He's an idiot. But he's a lovely idiot. Fun show! It must suck to always play in front of the same couple of drunk Belgian losers.

Bloed & Marteling was weird, but surprisingly enjoyable. Grindcore with silly and smeirige lyrics amongst a bunch burning carebears, a dildo attached to the mic and ridiculous clothes all round. Fun show, I'm glad I got to see them.
Playing right before the Priceduifkes is a tough job though. Cause people tend to forget about everything that happened up til the point the PDS take the stage and instigate World War III. Either due to being blown away or due to, I don't know, concussions or something. Anyway, they started with 50% and everything went kapot from there on. People moshing through the length and width and even the height of the entire Bassment venue. Fucking hell. It was nuts. Even crazier than what happened during Gnarwolves the night before. I'm curious as to what they'll set off when they play Groezrock. I'm guessing similar scenarios, although they play around noon or so. Anyway, lotsa new song, the new EP kicks butt and apparently they did some Minor Threat covers with Mikey Erg (like they did in 2012) but I don't remember that at all. I remembered Mikey did some songs with another band but I couldn't figure out which band or what songs. There's video footage of it though, so I guess it really happened.

Although This Routine Is Hell is an amazing band, I am an idiot and took a break from live music to get low and get excited for House Ways/The Stein Boats. I don't care what anyone might say, they were the best thing I've seen all weekend. The Steinways songs, the House Boat songs, the jokes, the whole thing was just how I imagined it would be: some of the best modern pop punk songs played kinda alright by some of my favourite musicians/songwriters. They played fucking Anticipation Preservation. That ruled. It was so much fun (PARTY TIME!) going nuts to the Steinways song with mostly only Elias, singing along the the House Boat tunes with a bunch of friends and other people, laughing with Grath's stupid stage banter and witnessing Fraser MBS playing along to 21st Century Breakroom and the other last few songs, including My Life Hurts with a one-minute-long intro. The hardcore bit in 21st Century Breakroom is still the best thing ever. What the fuck is my fucking problem, mannnnnnnnn? FUCK! Grath even changed the lyrics according to his current age. That's musicianship right there! Best band. After their show I decided I'd go to Rotterdam and see them again this Thursday. They're playing on a boat there. House Boat. On a boat. It's doesn't get any sillier. I'm excited.

I don't think I saw Sunpower. Bummer. I saw so few bands on the outside stage due to just focussing on the inside/punkrock bands and trying to have some time in between bands to have drinks and stuff. Sucks but you know, I'll see them again sometime.
Chixdiggit! headlined this year again, after their successful show in 2011. More stage banter and jokes, lotsa cool tunes, they even played Gerry Cheevers. I didn't stay for the whole set and instead hung out with the Shield Recordings and the House Boats and other people upstairs. I'm an idiot. Missed the The Real Danger cover set as well because of that. Bad move. I'm an idiot.

I didn't drink too much in that hour or so, though, so I was kinda sobered up when the afterparty began. So I started drinking again and dancing to the tunes that Piekpries spinned til the early hours. I went absolutely apeshit when they put on Black Sin by Black Breath. That must've been weird to see.

Anyway, got at Hengelhoef around 5:45, went to bed and woke up a bit later cause we had to be out by 10. Life sucks. Started cleaning up at the Bassment and spent all Sunday in pain and post-Crossbonefest blues.
Best weekend I've had since Fest. And that's saying a lot. Thanks Lost Youth. Although I'm sorta part of you, you're absolutely the best. Thanks Gert-Jan for being my partner in crime. Thanks Jordi for being the best dude ever. Thanks Wim for helping me out on numerous occasions. You're all wonderful. Thanks Jelle for bringing Bergen to the campsite cause he was way too drunk. Thanks everyone for the beers, the hugs, the kisses and the laughs. Thanks Isaiah for inviting me to Minneapolis. Thanks volunteers for helping and serving me drinks and doing stuff. Thanks Just Like Your Mom for keeping me fed without having to leave the venue. Thanks Sofie for being rad as hell.
Thanks.

I met so many people that were all so kind and loving, lots of UK guys, of course the Frenchies, some Italians, lots of Belgian buds as well. I'm so fucking thankful that I got into this scene, and that it gives me so much. I'm glad I'm still alive.
Best of wishes to the people who got (badly) injured, my thoughts go out to your limbs and I hope you heal fast and well!

Let's try this again some time.


Alles Kapot Fest Day 1

Oh, right, Crossbonefest... What happened?

The next day we arranged all the last things super last-minute. Pïcked up House Boat from the airport and everything was going wrong, so that sucked.
Anyway, definitely not everything went swell, but let's just keep the positive things in mind.

The Waiting Game started the fest. I didn't see 'em due to getting our shit over to Hengelhoef, where me and some friends and a bunch of other punx were staying. Karel Anker & De Joden cancelled last minute, bummer cause I was pretty stoked on seeing them.
The Dutch Rudders are a good band but often lousy/lazy when it comes to their live-shows. I remember hanging out with someone, hearing LJD and just saying "sorry gal, gotta go dance". Good tunes, sloppy performance, but not too bad so it was still enjoyable. It's almost become part of their shtick, haha. I'm excited for the new stuff.

Saw a couple of VVovnds songs and I really like to see them play cause they're very good, intense and a pleasure to watch, but after a couple songs I favoured meeting old and new friends and hanging out. This happened quite a lot throughout the festival actually. I love all my friends from the punkrock/hardcore scene and this is one of the occasions I see them all again. It's so much fun.
My brother, who's not into punkrock or hardcore, even came down to take some photographs, and the first thing he saw was Prince Beastly, a synth-driven garage power pop sorta band, with members of the Priceduifkes and XTuningX. All dressed up in animal and fruit costumes, this must've been quite a surprise for most people. Besides the gimmicky stuff, nothing to groundbreaking, but music-wise it was fun. I love it when Ferre plays synth and it really added a lot to the show.

Cheap Drugs destroyed it, and the audience destroyed stuff as well. One dude's shoulder got wrecked, which was a shame. But it was really awesome. Love the band, the songs, the attitude. Their mix of slow stomping riffs and fast 80s riffs really get a crowd going.
As for Arms Aloft, I loved it. Even more than the Leuven show 2 weeks ago. They played tight, things started getting wild and loose... until the electricity failed for about 10 minutes. Bummer, but the last few songs they played after that were just as fun as the ones before. I fell drunk in love with their bass player later that night and promised I'd go to Minneapolis. Also bought a Sawdust City tape and an old D4/TTK/Rivethead dvd cause I was stoked about seeing Rivethead live footage. Great band. Both Arms Aloft and Rivethead.

Didn't see We'rewolves. Not too big on 'em either way.
I have no idea what songs Mikey Erg played except for the obvious ones, but it was a fun show. Did he play Hey Jealousy? I don't know, I really hope he did though. The last song was Books..., obviously, I actually remembered that cause Mikey was crowdsurfing during that song. I think. God knows. Maybe he covered My Life Hurts? I have no fucking clue. Shit.

The songs I saw by Your Highness ruled of course, probably the loudest and most impressively talented band on the fest. They're not a punkrock or hardcore band so that might explain why they're actually good at what they do. Anyway more hangs and stuff ensued. I went on and off between hanging out and drinking and watching the band when Cornflames and Scheisse Minelli played, partly due to being tired and wanting to talk to people.

I did see Gnarwolves. Let me rephrase that. I experienced Gnarwolves. FUCK. I have no idea what happened, but in my mind, as far as I remember, this was the second-wildest crowd response of the whole fest. People went apeshit over this band, rightfully so of course. Gnarwolves are one of those bands that, to me, are doing something radically particular. They've developed a style that is incomparably comparable and it works. Shouty, fast songs, rough around the edges. With an attitude to party and get wild they got an insane crowd reaction and I was so happy to shout along with the punk cru.

As an afterparty band, Crossbonefest hired Off The Charts in a slightly different formation, so vocalist Nicolas could run around with the mic during their set of 90s punk rock classics. I remember Hot Water Music, Osker, Bad Religion, Good Charlotte for fuck's sake, and there was lots more that I may or may not have danced/sang along to. Fun way to end the night.

Wait, did I say "end the night"? I'm sorry, I meant start the night. Dick Cockadvices and Gert-Jan Braes took care of the afterparty jams and I managed to party til I died, or at least til me and 10-ish other party animals were sent home around 5:30. Slept like an angel for 3 or 4 hours.
Went swimming instead of taking a shower. Started drinking again. Went back to the swimming pool for the punx swim. Met up with my girlfriend who came down and continued drinking.

Ready to go.

Alles Kapot Fest Day -1

I jacked up my elbow, my voice is just barely recovering, my feet and back still hurt and I still have trouble getting out of bed. You guessed it, Crossbonefest took place last weekend and it was off the hook.
As per usual I forget a lot of stuff that happened due to intoxication but let's see what the general idea was.

I helped out the guys in Lost Youth Records, a collective I'm unofficially part of, on Tuesday night, Wednesday night and Thursday throughout, including falling asleep while my Houthalen hosts were showing my incredibly hilarious series/films and eating bacon and eggs at Jordi's cause he rules. Thursday night, after pickup up the drumsets and backline, we headed to Carpe Diem in Hasselt for the pre-fest, set up by Jeroen from Coma Commander.

I missed Brutus' and Coma Commander's set, I saw part of The Waiting Game's set after ordering a pizza and basically giving it all away cause I'm an idiot. The Waiting Game is fun, they've got a song online but live it all just translates way better. Kinda 90s emo pop stuff.
I remember I needed the 3 pi's when I arrived: to piss, to get pizza and to drink pintjes. So after the first set I'd done 2/3, and there was nothing left on my list than to drink pintjes.

I'm really excited about The Kimberly Steaks ever since I've seen their acoustic performance in Edinburgh last month. They were playing Thursday night so I got stoked and really enjoyed their electric - normal - set. Fast, depressing and Scottish. Those three words probably bring a different, WAY MORE POPULAR, Scottish band to mind but The Kimberly Steaks bear more undeniable similarity from Jawbreaker and Osker. I mean, their new album cover is a rip-off of 24 Hour Revenge Therapy - designed by the amazing Wolf Mask, by the way. Wait, I mean, the entire new album, To Live And Die In West Central Scotland is a rip-off of 24 Hour Revenge Therapy. Not necessarily a rip-off, but it's the first thing that comes to mind. Greig's vocals are snarly (is that a word? I probably just mean gnarly and/or sneery) and actually pretty well articulated, although wrapped in a Scottish accent. Depressing shit about drinking, being bummed out and taking bad life decisions. Domestic life, that's the life for me. // And whenever I feel down, I remind myself I’m not bound to live and die in this town.

Not Scientists followed them up and closed the night with a banger. Fucking tight. If I'm not mistaken, this is ex-Uncommonmanfrommars. Fun poppy punk rock with a pace that blew you away. Catchy tunes, great performance. Their bass player apparently never played in a band before, but he was so good! I loved their show, really looking forward to seeing them again and hearing more from them. It's a shame cause I don't necessarily remember much of their set but I just recall I was blown away. I might have missed a part due to getting another pizza, but I'm not sure. These nights are so fucking amazing.

18-03-14

't leven he. 't leven.

This Life is a band from Toulouse, France. Hardcore. Angry. Loud. That kinda deal. Check it out.

This Life - Lies About The Truth (2013, Delete Your Favorite Records, Deux Pieds Deux Dents, Never Trust An Asshole)

1. Life Wire
2. Fire Your Dreams
3. Are We Ready
4. Back In White
5. Who Order Who
6. Age To Thrill
7. Mediatalks
8. Sunseeker
9. Highway To Nowhere
10. Celebrity's Bells


Remember the first three Rise Against records? Well, if I'd wanna keep this review short, I'd say to just take those three records, combine them and you get what This Life is doing on this record.

After an intro-ish anthematic jam, Life Wire, I get sucked into a melodic hardcore record that I can't help but compare to Comeback, Rise Against, even hints of Propagandhi and those kinda bands. But more importantly, This Life evokes the same feeling and excitement as those bands did, so obviously they're doing the right thing, and not simply ripping off bands like those.
The vocals are understandable but very rough and more at the hardcore spectrum of vocal styles, which adds a sort of brutality and power to the songs. They have lots of socio-political lyrics - as is costumary in the genre - that have often surpassed their point of relevance but still stand for pure and honest ideals. As a hardcore/punk band, it is much more interesting to me if you have opinionated values and if you express them accordingly and consonantly, I am very pleased. This Life succeeds to incorporate the lyrical content into the musical schemes.

They don't slow down either. If you're looking for an exciting, interesting melodic hardcore/punk record that brings a bretah of fresh air into the forgotten scene of the mid-2000s, then look no further. Fast, technical, upbeat. Drums that'll kill you if you don't watch out. There's the occasional breakdown/bridge dealio to go nuts to if you're into that. It's alright though. The bass sounds great throughout the record, like in the intro to Mediatalks or in Back In White. And the riffs! Oh, the riffs! This is just a really fun record. My favourite tune is probably either Fire Your Dreams or Highway To Nowhere. That latter song is a fucking blast. The solo at the outro nails it.

So yeah, really cool album actually, I've been postponing listening to it but I'm impressed. It gets me pumped and headbanging and stuff so those are good things.