Friday, June 26, 2009

Michael Jackson

I just have to, don't I?

Yesterday night Michael Jackson died in his home at the age of 50. Apparently he took some pain killers (Demerol) and then stopped breathing.

Having been in the music industry from the age of 6, Michael Jackson basically grew up in the limelight. He then defined pop music with Thriller in 1982. At the same time MTV was just born and MJ & MTV rode the wave of pop culture all the way to the beach, breaking any barriers in between.

But what impact does Michael Jackson have on pop culture? Well, here's a few: Thriller is probably the best pop record ever. Ever. Billie Jean is the perfect pop song. The music video for Thriller was way ahead of its time (both the use of video as a medium to project the song and the video itself). His dancing, although ripped off from James Brown, influenced many (his moonwalk on Motown's 25th is still and will always be a defining moment). Not to mention his publicity stunts (sleeping in an oxygen tank, buying the remnants of the Elephant Man).

Just look at Justin Timberlake, Pharell Williams, Usher, Ne-Yo, Chris Brown, and the likes. They are all Michael Jackson wannabes. A guy who could dance like Jacko even became a (short-lived) star on Britain's Got Talent.

Before his self-aggrandising songs (started with We Are The World, continued with Man In The Mirror and hit its peak with The Earth Song), Michael sang about everything. Monsters, fighting, a kid who is not his son, never stopping, even about mama say mama sa mama cu sa (whatever that means). He even proclaimed that he is a lover and not a fighter. Which is totally in contrast with songs these days who are ore about fighting than loving.

During the end he just couldn't hold it anymore. Dwindling sales, rubbish music, mounting debts, Neverland, neverending court cases, etc will surely break a man down. He wanted to come back with a string of 50 concerts and he was preparing himself for it, with tickets being sold-out in matter of hours. Isn't it ironic that in the days of his preparation he then died? (note to Alanis Morissette: now that is ironic.)

The King of Pop is dead. Long live the King of Pop.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Last weekend I was back in the city I was born, Amsterdam. I always love going back to Amsterdam. I feel home there. Usually I go there to visit friends and family, but this time I came for the Windmill Windup.

It's funny that the Windup took place on fields where I used to play football as a little boy. Although when I looked around at the different football clubs that were there I couldn't find my old club.

I got there Thursday night. Went into town and grabbed a bite to eat in Zeedijk. It was easiest as the other boys were lugging all their luggage with them and then had to go to the fields afterwards, whereas I have a bed there in Amsterdam.

Friday played games during the day. At night I went into town and ate at Febo. I munched down two kroketten and two burgers. I could've eaten more actually. Then a bite with some mates at Leidseplein. I always try to pass by Leidseplein when in Amsterdam, just because it is the place to be, to sit down for a beer, to soak up the atmosphere.

Saturday it was just at the fields, then a birthday bash. Sunday it was family time.

I didn't eat at Toetanchamon or had Haring. I didn't spend much time in the city center and I couldn't get an Ajax t-shirt at Schiphol. But I did have a great time. And I will always come back to Amsterdam. Because it feels like home there.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009


Every morning the missus usually puts the radio on. And now that I have to commute to work, when I use the car I end up listening to the morning radio as well. There aren't many radio stations we listen to - it's either World Radio Switzerland or Virgin Radio. Other radio stations are just not good.

But I have been annoyed at WRS for quite some time now. They are the only English radio in the neighborhood, but it's not good. Every half hour I get to hear the same news items over and over again, the music is crap (jumps from the latest hit to the cheesiest song from 1984 without a hint of professional programming). And now in the morning, when I'm in the middle of a traffic jam, instead of having cheery music they have talk shows talking about serious health matters or something similarly boring. It's just crap.

On top, in Mark Butcher they have the shittiest radio host ever. He is just shit (I hope he reads this. If you do, Mark you are rubbish!). Then there is a woman who thinks she is the coolest in town and knows everything about music - when in fact I know more. So yeah, I can't stand that radio station really.

On Virgin Radio, the music is much much better. But the ads are very long and in french. And in the morning they have the two most annoying characters on radio (Bruno & Camille - or something like that). They speak in an annoying french, and even though I understand it perfectly it still annoys the hell out of me. When they have English speaking guests they then translate everything in French and when these two clowns speak in English it is with a heavy-almost-fake French accent.

Fortunately, now I have installed my Sonos sound system and I can listen to internet radio. Now we listen to Capital FM (London) in the morning. Much much better. I wish I can listen to that in my car as well.