Tuesday, July 27, 2004


Fact: I don't like going to the doctor. NOt that I'm afraid or something, but just because I believe in my own body's healing mechanism. A human body has the ability to heal itself. The doctor just makes sure that you know what you're dealing with and medicines are to help.

Three weeks ago I fell on my arm and injured my elbow. A first hand examination shows that it is most likely to be a strecthed or bruised ligament. No worries, i'll just bandage it and don't use my arm in a while. Obviously, me being me, I couldn't resist the temptation to start doing stuff so after a week I was already playing ultimate and football and doing other stuff as well.

Yesterday it still hurts so I decided to go to a doctor and check it out. My friends are insisting me and since it's an accident it's covered by the office. So after work I went to the hospital and got to the reception at 7. She sends me to see a nurse, who checks out my injuries and my blood pressure (158 over 120 - should I be worried?). That nurse sends me back to the reception where I have to fill in the usual paperwork. Afterwards she told me to sit down and wait. That was about 10 minutes after I have entered.

More than an hour later, my name gets called. I go with the nurse who called me. She guided me to a room and told me to wait there. Again. For about 10 minutes. Then finally I get to see the doctor. He looks at my elbow and asks the usual questions. I said that it's probably my ligament. He then said that he needs some x-rays, which seems a logical thing to do.

I wait again, somebody calls me, she takes some x-rays and then I wait for the doctor again. Finally he comes in.

Doctor: "Good news. Nothing is broken. So where does it hurt?" (while examining my elbow).
anakzaman: "Here. I can't do this and this" (while moving my arm).
Doctor: "I think you're diagnosis is correct. It's probably the ligament. All you have to do is put ice on it and take some anti-inflammatory pills."
anakzaman: "That's it???"
Doctor: "Yes. Here you go and have a nice day!"

I've just spend two hours in a hospital waiting for the doctor, he looks at it for 5 minutes and the conclusion is that I have to put ice on it. You see why I don't like doctors?

Monday, July 26, 2004

Paleo, Friday - and the weekend

Friday night it was time for The Darkness and Muse to entertain me. It was also the night where I hope to get drunk and enjoy all the food and festivities.

The Darkness were pretty much the same when I saw them in Zurich at the beginning of the year. The only difference is that this time they are playing a big crowd. Justin Hawkins was his usual self, mucking about with his voice and the crowd. His french is quite good actually, maybe even better than mine. It's just that he uses this weird accent intentionally which makes him sound like Pepe Le Pew. Funny to see him translate motherfucker literally.

Their heavy rock was quite good and Justin was definitely the showman. He was singing really high, playing guitar and doing solos, playing with the crowd, etc. He is also ugly. And it wasn't just me saying that, a lot of other people as well. Oh well, when you're making money playing music in a huge festival then being ugly might the last thing on your mind. Especially when you're role suits you're ugly looks.

That was between 19.00 and 20.15. A break of 3 and a half hours before Muse gave me and my friends the opportunity to eat and drink. Within 30 minutes we (as in 4 people) drank 2 bottles of rose. Then food. Then more food. Then more wine. Then drinking games. Then people getting lost going to the loo etc. Then Muse.

Muse was simply amazing. It is only three of them. Matt Bellamy on guitars, piano and vocals. Chris Wolstenholme on bass and backing vocals. And Dominic Howard banging the drums. Only three men but the sound that was coming out sounded as if they had a whole military marching band playing. Matt Bellamy is obviously the genius behind Muse. His singing, guitar playing and piano playing just makes your jaw drop. And both Chris and Dom have the talent to back him up.

Even though it was Matt (and Chris) doing the singing, it was Dom doing the interaction with the crowd. It wasn't much but it was much more than Matt and Chris said to the audience. Which was nothing. I guess for them, they don't feel the need to interact directly with the crowd. Don't know why, but there are poeple like that. I don't care as long as they play their balls out, which is what Muse was doing. They played all their best hits and finished of with Stockholm Syndrome. It was by far the best Paleo concert this year. Okay I only saw 5 concerts, but still...

After that the drinking and smoking continues and at 7 o'clock I woke up on the couch at a friend's place.

Saturday - Sunday: Vitznau, Luzern.

Football newsflash: Marc Overmars, 31, quits football because of a niggling knee injury.

"Our time is running out
Our time is running out
Can't push it undergroung
Can't stop it screaming out"

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Paleo, Tuesday

It's the time of the year. Paleo is on. Too bad the 29th edition isn't as good as the previous years, so I'm only going on Tuesday and Friday. The program isn't that good, at least I expected better. But I can't just let a festival go.

Tuesday I went there to see Starsailor, Kings of Leon and The Charlatans. Texas was a bonus but I'm still a bit disappointed that David Bowie cancelled - although I'm not blaming him.

I dashed a bit early out of work to get there in time for Starsailor, who plays at 7. I made it in time, even managed to stand really close upfront. At 7 precisely, James Walsh and his mates came out. It was a very big stage for a band who doesn't look that big. There's a lot of empty space for them to fill, but James somehow managed to do so with his boyish smile. Starsailor looks like a college band, who are all just mates and in it to have fun. But there must be more to that, otherwise the great Phil Spector would not have produced a couple of songs in their second album. And they would not have the guts to fire him.

Songs like Alcoholic, Born Again, Silence is Easy and Good Souls shows what they can do. They do rely a lot on James, as he sings, plays guitar, is the frontman and writes all the songs. But he doesn't look out of place if you put him next to Chris Martin. In fact, he is the same type like Chris Martin, maybe a bit more shy. Starsailor's concert really made me feel good and sometimes I wished I still have a band to play in. Because that could have been easily me on stage.

Afterwards I rushed out to see Kings of Leon in the other tent (there are 4 tents in Paleo). As expected I saw four guys on stage who looks like they have been teleported straight from the 70s. The Followill brothers (and one cousin) were rocking it with their stoned out 70s rock. At some points they sound a bit like The Strokes. I like the way these guys were rocking it. Caleb Followill, the lead singer, wouldn't look out of place in Almost Famous. Jared, bass, is like a mini Jim Morrison. Nathan, the drummer, is like a mad scientist who smoke too much pot. His beard and glasses somehow made his 70s look more authentic. And Matthew, the lead guitarist, is clearly the cousin, with a goofy look and all but still plays impressive guitars. Definitely worth seeing.

The clouds were gathering as Kings of Leon were playing. When The Charlatans were about to start, the cloud were thick and rain was just waitng to happen. Tim Burgess took the main stage with his mates and started to play their 90s britpop/dance music. Welcome Madchester! They still sound amazing, and you can tell they were playing alongside The Stone Roses and Happy Mondays. While those other two bands are now defunct, The Charlatans are still rocking it. Tim Burgess happily plays the frontman.

Rain eventually did come down. I just put on my raincoat and kept on dancing to the Charlatans. It cleared a bit and after they finished I finally had some time to get some food. I got myself a Malakoff and some beers. The rain started again and this time it was for real. The ground started to become muddy and people were all hiding in the bars and tents. I made my way to the Rugby bar but it was like packed sardines underneath the tent. I couldn't even get a beer.

I made my way out, walked in the rain through the mud. It definitely feels like Switzerland's Glastonbury with the mud and rain. I was looking for a Starsailor t-shirt but couldn't find it. In the end I settled on watching Texas from a distance but then got tired and just went home. It took me while though to find my car in the mudfield...

Sunday, July 18, 2004


Friday night I went to the Montreux Jazz Festival to see Dido and Phoenix. Some of you who don't know anything about Montreux Jazz Festival are probably asking, what the hell is Dido doing at a Jazz Festival? Well, she's doing the same thing Korn is doing this year, performing. It started out as a jazz festival, but now it has grown to become a leading music festival. It's even mentioned in Deep Purple's Smoke On The Water.

Anyway, I should probably not admit to liking Dido, but I do. Her music is simple and totally MOR (middle of the road). Maybe it's one of my guilty pleasures but then again I listen to Robbie Williams as well. Oh well, I don't care.

Phoenix opened for her. I really like Phoenix, they're a really cool band. Three years ago I was a bit too late to watch them at Caribana, so this time I made sure I was on time. I got there just as they were about to start. Their music sounds a bit from nowhere (in a good way), maybe because they're French but singing in English. Too bad only a portion of the crowd were interested in them. For a while, I was more interested in watching Phoenix than Dido (even though I only found out that Phoenix supported Dido after I bought my tickets).

When Dido came on stage, the hall was full and jampacked with 30-something english speakers looking for a easylistening concert. Which was exactly what Dido gave. With songs like White Flag, Thank You, Here With Me and Life For Rent, it is a perfect Friday night date concert. Unfortunately I didn't have a date, I was there with friends.

Anyway, I always knew that Dido was fit. You can see that in her videoclips. What I didn't know that she was really fit in real life. And not supermodel fit but friend-from-university-who-lives-accross-the-hall fit. My type of girl. During the concert she played guitar once in a while and for one song she played the piano. So she's fit and has musical talent. Then during her in between song chats, she just sounded like a normal girl with a wicked sense of humour. So she's fit, has musical talent and is wickedly funny. I am in love now.

And when you're in love, you go home and do whatever people in love do. I did just that and went to her website. Turns out that she likes football (apparantly an Arsenal fan, rumours was it that she is dating/dated Alan Smith). So she's fit, has musical talent, is wickedly funny and likes football. I have found my perfect girl. If ever I can pick my girlfriend/future wife, it will have all these ingridients. Hell, if I can pick her I'll pick Dido, thank you very much.

"I wanna thank you for giving me the best day of my life"

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Jeff Buckley and Bassie & Schippie

I wanted to rant about Jeff Buckley. The son of Tim Buckley, he is one hell of a musician, has influenced lots of artists (Radiohead, Coldplay, Starsailor, just to name a few) and made one awesome album before he drowned in the Mississippi river. But strangely enough, even though Grace has been quoted as one of the best albums all time (always included in whoever's list of Top 50 albums) it didn't sell a lot. Not even today after it has been named in the Top Albums of all time. And I'm just curious why that is. But then again, there are much more ignorant people who prefer Britney Spears, 50 Cent, or even Phil Collins over Jeff Buckley.

Never heard Jeff Buckley? If you've seen Vanilla Sky, then the moment Tom Cruise walks out of Penelope Cruz' appartment before he had that accident there is a song accompanying Cruise smug smile. It's Jeff Buckley's Last Goodbye, a cheerful song about a relationship that has just ended. For the movie it was also a sign that even though Cruise is happy with Cruz, the relationship has just ended (but none knew it) and they will never meet again.

Go on, go listen to Grace. One of the best albums in 1994.

But after thinking about it, maybe I should rant about Marco van Basten and Johnny van't Schip. These two are now tipped to become Holland's national football coach. A move I will cheer! Both are part of the Dutch Golden Generation, the ones that won the 1988 European Cup. Both these players started their careers with Ajax as well and are now coaching Jong Ajax. Last year they won the reserves league and the reserves cup and gave Ajax a couple of players as well (Daniel de Ridder, Nicolae Mitea, Thomas Vermaelen).

Every football fan should know who Marco van Basten is. He was voted among the Top 10 best European Footballers ever, he is the second best Dutch player ever (after Johan Cruijff). He's the one who scored the best European Championship goal (2-0 against Russia in the 1988 final). He won several cups with Ajax and AC Milan and was voted European Footballes of the year. He had to retire at the age of 29 because of a niggling ankle injury. After taking some years of from football, he came back coaching and last year coached Jong Ajax together with Johnny van't Schip. He's the best candidate to take over the Dutch team. Oh, and he's my hero/idol as well. In my room back home there's still a poster of him hanging.

Johnny van't Schip is probably a bit less known than van Basten. He started his career at Ajax as well, playing right wing. He was in the squad that won the 1988 European Cup. After Ajax he ventured to Genoa and some other clubs. He's a typical Dutch right winger and Andy van der Meyde seems to have learned a lot from him (they're basically the same type of player). He tried coaching at Twente but got fired after two seasons. He then came back to his old club, where he took charge of Jong Ajax. It's been much better, especially after van Basten's arrival. And now he will be joining van Basten as Dutch national coach.

I have a lot of faith in Bassie & Schippie and I'm sure these two will help this generation of players win something. Even Cruijff agrees.

Monday, July 12, 2004

Music videos

I was watching MTV last night. MTV Yo! was on and Run DMC's Kings of Rock was playing after Kanye West. And then it suddenly hit me. Why aren't music videos like they used to be?

Take Run DMC's Kings of Rock. It was full of meaning, not just a bunch of rappers showing off their bling bling. Run and DMC arrive at the entrance of the 'Museum of Rock'. They got rejected and then Run goes on "We are the Kings of Rock", rapping over some rock riffs with the beat provided by Jam Master Jay. They go on and on, breaking rock symbols and essentially telling the world that there ain't such thing as classification. Rap can be rock and rock can be rap. Run DMC already tore down the wall between rock and rap in the video clip for Walk This Way and now they took it another level. It's all about the attitude.

Fast forward 20 years later and look at any rap/hip-hop video clip. There isn't any meaning to it anymore. No more symbolism or hidden messages. It's all about the bling-bling, the Bentleys, the Louis Vitton suitcases, the Crystal, etc. Or it's just girls and booty shaking.

I guess that the times are just different. Twenty years ago, video clips are not just there to promote an artist, they are there to promote music in general. Now it's just to promote a brand and the brand is the artist. Why make it complicated when the audience is shallow anyway?

My mate wrote a thesis about a video clip. He analysed the clip and searched for every meaning, blatant or hidden. That was 10 years ago. Right now he will be having trouble finding a subject for a thesis like that, because frankly, video clips these days are crap. Just like MTV.

On another musical note...

David Bowie

I was so excited with the prospect of watching David Bowie live in concert at Paleo. I bought my tickets as early as possible and couldn't wait to see this living legend perform live.

Until I got this in my email:

'Paléo Festival Nyon – Cancellation of David Bowie’s European tour

David Bowie will not be appearing at Paléo Festival Nyon on Tuesday 20 July. His management has announced that his entire European tour has been cancelled. This decision is due to the health problem that the artist is suffering from at the moment. The Festival organisers, and indeed David Bowie himself, regret this cancellation. Bowie’s gig at the Festival would have been the artist’s only appearance in Switzerland and was keenly anticipated.'

Bummer. Turns out that Bowie's health problem is serious and he even needed a heart surgery.

Hope he gets well soon and will one day perform close to where I live...

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Shrek 2 and Spider-Man 2

Two big sequels are out this summer. Shrek 2 and Spider-Man 2. I've seen both movies and I can say that one is head and shoulder better than the other one.

I love Shrek. Not the ogre, but the movie. It's a very clever, very witty, very funny, and very well-made animated movie. Who cares whether this is a cartoon. It's an entertaining movie with tons and tons of jokes in it. I just couldn't stop laughing and admiring what the animators have done.

Shrek and Fiona is back from their honeymoon after getting married in the first movie. When all other fairy-tales end with 'and they lived happily ever after', here Shrek has to go and meet the parents. So no living happily ever after then if you got to see the in-laws. With Donkey following their every step and with other characters such as Puss n Boots, the Fairy Godmother, and Prince Charming, Shrek 2 is definitely a winner. I need to see this one again. And again.

In the other room in the cinema, Spider-Man 2 is playing. Here Peter Parker is now a physics geek student still fighting crime in NYC and still in love with Mary Jane. Even though the Green Goblin is gone, another nemesis pops up, called Doc Ocks. And his friend Harry is seeking revenge on Spider-Man. So what happens is a deep story about Peter's life. What does he want more? Being Spider-Man in a disguise and have everyone cheer him or shag Mary Jane his lifelong love? In the end he found the solution although not ideal. And we all are shown that a third one is coming up.

Me, I was tired watching Spider-Man 2. It's too deep, too long, and too much action (although the last one is nicely done). The only consolation is that you sort of see MJ's nipple.

You can give me Shrek over Spidey anytime...

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Fahrenheit 9/11

For some people, MIchael Moore is a hero, a guy who bravely fights against the Bush administration, who is out there seeking the truth that has been covered and hidden. For other people, he's just a big fat ass who likes to stir things up by telling lies.

In Bowling for Columbine, he questions the gun control policy in the USA and how trigger happy that nation is. For pro gun control people, that movie is a gift, a excellent promotion tool. For Charlton Heston and his NRA buddies, that movie is a huge slap in the face. But it did bring people to the movie theatre and it shows them what Michael Moore thinks of gun control in the USA even though Moore himself is a NRA member. It also showed that Moore has the guts to give his opinion. Big balls indeed, considering the people he slaps are the guys who owns guns and shoot anything moving just for fun.

Now with Fahrenheit 9/11, Moore steps up the ante. Now he is going after the Bush administration and how he handled the Iraqi war after the 9/11 tragedy. It's basically Moore telling the US people - who will be voting in November this year - not to vote for Bush. Some of the facts that Moore shows here are well-known facts. It's either you believe it, or don't, or ignore it. But trying to ignore a movie like this is hard. We all know that Bush is a clown, but Moore showed that Bush is more than a clown - he's a clueless clown. Also the politics and corruption that goes along with the Bush administration and the effect the war has on the US people is just amazing.

Fahrenheit 9/11 won the Palm d'Or at Cannes this year. I don't think it's because of the artistics of the movie, or even the content. It's because Michael Moore has the balls to document facts that we know are out there and make it into one movie. A movie that will hurt Bush and the Republicans. A movie that might - might - bring a small revolution to the USA.

Here's hoping that it will.

Monday, July 05, 2004

Euro 2004 ends

Hellas has been the tournament surprise package. They started the tournament as low outsiders without anybody thinking they can play more than 4 games. We all know what happened and they made Portugal choke as well. Well deserved and I could sleep nicely as well. What an end to the Euro2004...

Other sport news from the weekend: Michael Schumacher won his 9th F1 race in 2004 (out of 10). Roger Federer won Wimbledon after beating Andy Roddick, while Maria Sharapova beat Serena Williams in the women's final. There was MotoGP from Rio. And Tour de France has started.

All this while I was out playing in the Swiss National Championship, resulting in a bruised collarbone and a stretched ligament in my elbow.

Oh, and Faithless are good in concert.

Now I need some sleep...

Friday, July 02, 2004


Before Euro2004 started, everybody thought Greece were there just as a punching bag for the Portuguese and Spanish. They only qualified for two major tournaments before and both times they didn't win a match. Together with Latvia they were lowest at the bookies, with about 200:1 odds to win it. Even Marco van Basten predicted that Greece will leave Portugal with 0 points and 10 goals againts afer three matches. I will never ever argue anything San Marco says.

Fast forward 3 weeks and look who's in the final now. Portugal and Greece. Who in the world would have thought Greece would make it to the final??? I don't even think the Greek Gods would have thought that.

Otto Rehaghel made the team into an effective play-killing German-esque team. They make it hard for anyone to play against them and when the opponents are frustrated, they score a goal out of nowhere. Passive football, but clever nonetheless. Especially for a country like Greece.

So now the Greeks are still partying on Omonia square, Athens. The Olympics will be postponed because all the workers are there at Omonia. If they can beat Portugal on sunday, that's it, I need to review my football knowledge all over again...

Thursday, July 01, 2004


It was the big match between Holland and Portugal, the first semifinal. From Euro 1992 all host nations lost in the semifinal. So fortune should favor the Dutch.

But it didn't.

The Dutch didn't play good. It seems as if they hit their peak against the Czechs and Latvia and now it's downhill. On the other hand, Figo came in to this game the way he should play, like a world-class player that is.

Seedorf was playing bad. He was losing balls, didn't defend well, wasn't creative enough. I was screaming at the screen wanting him to be changed for Sneijder but Advocaat didn't hear me. Turns out after the game, Seedorf admitted that he wasn't playing well, that he didn't bring enough to the match. I don't have a coaching license, never played top football but was able to see it. Advocaat didn't.

The Portuguese played better so they deservedly won 2-1. Van Bronckhorst forgot to mark Ronaldo and gave him a free header, and the second from Maniche was because they didn't defend well from that short corner.

Oh well, Euro2004 is over. Frank de Boer, Marc Overmars, and Jaap Stam have anounced their international retirement. Paul Bosvelt, Ronald Waterreus, Pierre van Hooijdonk and Philip Cocu are old as well and might retire as well. That leaves thw WC 2006 in the hands of the new generation. Rafael van der Vaart, Wesley Sneijder, Arjen Robben, Johnny Heitinga, Robin van Persie, Nigel de Jong, Maarten Stekelenburg, Pascal Boschaart, etc.

And Dick, please go...