Friday, October 30, 2009

Let's take a walk

Some people say that the music of today is nothing compared to the classics. They feel that all popular music was somehow derived from the better original. And yes, to a large extent I agree. But sometimes, there is an artist that does something entirely new or that knows exactly how to revive that 'oldies' feel. Raphael Saadiq is one of them.

His album 'The way I see it' is one extended trip down memory lane for those of us that enjoy Motown classics. Last week, he played Amsterdam's Paradiso and it was a blast. His background singers were pumping with energy, the band played smooth and steady and Raphael was slick in his yellow suit.

Let's take a walk!

Performing my other favorite, Big Easy, live
Here you can find a 38 minute clip of Raphael playing at GoogleTalks.

And now that I'm on the subject of old music going new, I just need to praise Amy Winehouse for helping her goddaugther Dionne Bromfield record an album. Even though the 13-year-old singer still has a lot to learn, her potential sure is visible. Thanks, Amy! Now hope you sort yourself out for once and for all...

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Miss Aloha

There is this cliche idea about hula. This I've noticed every time I tell someone I've studied in Hawai'i. Most people just imagine pretty girls shaking their hips and making waves with their hands. Well, that is only the beginning. Hula is a lot more. The choreographies are complex and the dancers are strong. Beside dancing, they also sing and play the drums. One of my favorite events was the big hula festival, which was held yearly. According to experts, in the year I was there, the best Miss Aloha ever won. Guess I was lucky to get a glimpse of that. Enjoy!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Fear is my friend

On this blog I've quoted Tim Ferris before, as he often has smart things to say about fear. As I was on the plane to Jakarta, I realized that we're usually scared before something great is about to happen. We're afraid to fail at what we want to achieve or afraid to loose what we have. As Marilyn Ferguson said: "Ultimately we know deeply that the other side of every fear is a freedom". And how right she is.

Just a few days before departure, I was reminded of a time in my distant past that I conquered fear before. My sister handed me the VHS tape of my performance in a Dutch quiz show for children. I was twelve and I was so nervous! But, I did well (despite a few lesser moments) and ended up earning 439 guilders! This was one of the first times that I realized that we should befriend fear, embrace it and allow it to push us to higher levels.

First episode, introduction (I don't know what I would like to become if I grow up. In the last round, I tell him I've decided that I wouldn't mind taking his job).

First episode, first round of questions (about music, so this one is easy for me). 

The background noise is from my mom, by the way. Oh and yes, the propellor tail was my primary school trademark, so no jokes please.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Un historia de amor

He looks a bit like Al Pacino. He could walk right into a Tarrantino movie alongside Javier Bardem. But he's not an actor. Diego El Cigala sings. And he sends chills up and down my spine.

On my thirtieth Birthday I had the pleasure to see him perform in Amsterdam's Temple of Pop, Paradiso. Diego apparently started his career singing Flamenco on the street and in bars. He has played for Spain's best dancers until he decided to sing on his own. He has worked together with Cuban artists and gave extra soul to famous songs we mostly know from the Buena Vista Social Club.