zondag 1 maart 2015

Live session......

....but only in pictures. For now. A lot of work has been done there in his homestudio. Wonder which song he's singing....must be one of the new songs! Notice all the albums in the background. No, those can't be his...

Climaxing Dutchman

Jolly Singing Dutchman

"Oe" Dutchman

Percussive Dutchman
Next: Promo video!

vrijdag 13 februari 2015

Title & Covers for the new 2015 album

Beware, especially the impatient listeners, it's a longplayer (like a double album on vinyl), but relax... it consist mostly of short songs. 18 of them.  I could even choose from about thirty/forty songs. Lucky son of a ...Yes, it's been a very productive ride in my homestudio. But I'm aware...quantity is not quality.
Excited? Me?

I've been in a very electric- no, not in the heavy guitar metal way-state of mind the last year. All that bursts of inspiration, energy coming out, so I came up with this flashy title:

                                                Lightning Dutchman

sure, there are always references......a bluesname like Lighnin' Hopkins? Well, although I'm not a bluesman, I have a few blues chops in my throat, so indirectly it is) To me it sounds cool and nifty.

                                                                                                         The concept: 
Pictures have been taken by my camera-spying spouse Yola on a weekend trip, while climbing an endless dutch tower. I've dealt with the design (the black & white, lightning electricity effect) and what I especially liked about it, was the delusive perspective (upside down) of the staircase. It reminded me of the work of dutch artist Escher. The mystery of that Vanished Dutchguy. Fascinated by gravity and relativity? Take a walk into the illusion of the Penrose stairs
Now look at the covers (two frontcovers!) and tell me where the stairs are:

alt.Frontcover 2/innersleeve & Backcover & songlist

Excited! Me? 

Next: live session, New song, video promo "Lightning Dutchman"

vrijdag 16 januari 2015

2015: what am I here for and what can you do?

Hey, it's 2015 and here we are again: I'm in the last stages of a new TVD album. Slowly, but with the unavoidable bursts of energy (electricity!) and all the practising experiences I've endured, it is all working out smoothly.

Electric Dutchman
One thing I can't do, is to force this music and...the words.. Got one lyric about a past lovestory I can't finish. Yes, she broke my heart. Damn. But I got over it or did I(?), so the obvious, but paradoxal title "But Do I Miss You" came up. The answer? Two ways: I don't miss you at all, I miss you so bad. Dilemma. Well, that became the refrain. But for the rest it's... guess It's all about the right combination of words that have to gel together and for now they are just too cheesy! In the past I used my personal experiences as lyrics, but I try to make them less navelstaring and more "universal". That's where my goal lays here. Love and cheese, aaargh. Bold love then?
What can you do? (Throw money!) Maybe you can send me some alternative words that can give this story a litle more edge.
Really love to experiment with the homestudio though. It's just an addition to the finishing touch, like a simple palette, but with a wide range of colours to choose from if you mix them.

In the following months you can expect a few more posts, updates, so stand by me. BTW, what time is it?
Have a nice day, night or evening folks!

dinsdag 23 december 2014

Two Thousand and Fourteen

That's it, this is the end my friends......another year vanished. Let's take a walk back into, mostly my musicyear.

2014: a year of the surprising and unexspected losses:
R.I.P. actors I have enjoyed, like Philip Seymour Hoffman, Robin Williams, but so many in a short time! See a full list IMDB deathlist 2014
To many musicians I have admired, like Bobby Keys, Jack Bruce, Johnny Winter, Bobby Womack,  Jesse Winchester, Paco De Lucia, Phil Everly, Pete Seeger, Joe Cocker (!)
Full Ranker death musicians 2014

A "few" words on Jack Bruce, because he put me on another planet and back. Everyone surely knows Cream, that supergroup from the sixties. Eric Clapton was God (to his fans and media), pushed forward as the star of the band by his american  record label at the time (Atlantic).

Not everyone knows (guess after Jack's death everyone suddenly knows!) that Jack wrote the most adventurous songs and the main hits (with lyricist Pete Brown) for the group. After Cream, Jack pursued his own musical route and his main goal was to test the boundaries in composition and arrangements of a song. His unususal and complex songwriting was a commercial flop in many obvious ways. No instant hits, no white room with sunshine peeking through it. No glamour. Just adventurous music, to keep things interesting. Searching, that was Jack, who could play many instruments (cello, bass, piano, guitar) and used them in his own personal expressive way, often resulting in composing beautiful melodies. As a working musician he became a paradox of styles, as he often guested on other albums from extreme avantgarde (Carla Bley, Michael Mantler, Zappa), "pop" (Lou Reed) to almost straight hardrock (West, Bruce, Laing). The list goes on.

I was just a green kid when Cream played their last farewell concert in the Royal Albert Hall in 1968, so I was a late Jack discoverer. Indirectly, because it was not by listening to his solo albums that already took off in 1969, but through the very intensely and inspired works of Kip Hanrahan. Especially  his 1984 album Vertical's Currency did it for me. In the middle of the sterile eighties, it was such a welcome and organic contrast to discover. That beautiful soft, intense and sensitive voice of Jack's subtle singing, bossa nova styling in the midst of a ritmically masterful band and unexpected songstructures, the whole album oozes and breathes like the human spirit: I couldn't believe that this was the former Cream bassplayer. As if Kip knew how to stir up Jack's eclectic strenghts.
So I seriously went back into his work. I found a bridge to his second 1971 soloalbum, Harmony Row, because of a few new songversions from that on Vertical's Currency, like Smiles And Grins. I was immediately intrigued by the songstructures and eclectic style. After a wild and sometimes fruityless search (it was the bloody eighties remember?) I had all of his soloalbums explored, but at the same time around 1988 Jack was crimically overlooked and seemed passé.

I couldn't believe it. Luckely he came back and got the respect he widely deserved.
I insist you "meet" him. It's not an easy listen at first, but hey, take your time.
Thanks Jack, for your expression and inspiration.

2014: I Mimic Me, my latest collection arrived in april. I'm not as musical as Jack, let that be clear. He's an example for me. Who am I anyway? I can only be grateful that I can bring them albums out. Submitted a few songs to more internetradio than before. Created some funny vids. Lots of airplay, downloads & streaming again, nice words on blogs, reviews, thanks to the digital world. And thanks to you! So musicians: just stay at home folks and meet new people!

By november I put out a short instrumental album, only exclusively on Jamendo, which also specialises in license music. (backgroundmusic/ multimedia projects) So much stuff up there, take a look:
For Your Pleasure Vol.1  

2014: Same as it ever was. Time to listen? Yeah, I follow a few interesting blogs for the more obscure, artists from the past mostly. The missing pieces in my collection.  
The new 2014 albums? Good to see so many great young, talented and enthousiastic musicians these days learning from the roots. A critical note here. Too much to listen to. So many contests. But just too little to mention, sorry. Guess as you get older, you think you've heard it all, haSo many releases now are so highly acclaimed by some of the press- so the hashtags on their tweets make the stories popular, it's so ridiculous. Especially in the more "o so intellectual thinking" musicscene. Interesting, fresh, hip. Yes, I'm talking indie. No, I'm not an "indie" fan at all. Is it really Indie in Independent? Or in style? Post Rock? Post what? Empty, vague, confusing and hypocritic words. They talk about it all the time, so therefore it becomes commercial. For me the word "Indie" is just as boring mainstream as U2 became! U2? There, where the money goes. Industry sucks.
It's just music, listen to it. Don't talk just head. Same as it ever was.

Jack is one of the main reasons why I love the searching, the craft of songwriting. 
As Joe Cocker sang his heart out: that's the true artist.
And hey, my list of 2014 consist mostly (!) old "boring" veteran musicians with that consistent craft!
One thing they have in common: they don't have to scream to get attention.

Hipster albums of 2014:

Ben Sidran- Blue Camus

You don't have to shout to be cool! This is smooth, intimate, hipster to the core, very organic. 70(!) old  jazzy beatpoet Ben did it again and his son plays the drums. Hooray!

Leo Sidran- Mucho Leo

Talking about his son (aha the only younger hipster here), what a pleasant surpise to hear these warm, subtle songs.

Loudain Wainwright III- Haven't Got The Blues (Yet)

Nothing new, but still fresh with words. Loudon already stole my heart with his painful sense of humor. Typical: sometimes uplifting, but bitchy folksy, melancholic next. Reflective as a mirror.

Herb Alpert- In The Mood

Yes I'm in the mood. It works, if you're in need of some. Production surprises in colourful arrangements. Herb knows and blows: warm, easy, smooth, just too subtle to call it ordinary muzak.

Neil Young- Storytone

Some critics have slaughtered this cheesy album. I think it's his best since I don't know when. More ambituous productionwise (strings like on Harvest). The full strings/ orchestra is such a beautiful contrast to his fragile delivery.

Ben Watt- Hendra
Everything but the boy. Ben creates a haunting, intimate atmosphere. John Martyn comes to mind.          

Jack Bruce- Silver Rails

Needs repeated listens. Jack's personal vision. Worth it.

Neil Finn- Dizzy Heights

Surprised by this atmospheric, trippy sound. Neil tries to lift up the songs, reaching many dizzy heights.

Quoting former post 2013:"And for the sensational background information, here's a few books I've read this year. As usual, mostly sleezy (auto)biographies. Recommended:"

Victor Bockris- Lou Reed
Donald Fagen- Eminent Hipsters
Graham Nash- Wild Tales 
Rod Stewart- Autobio
Tracey Thorn- Bedsit Disco Queen
Steve Martin- Born Standing Up
David Browne- Fire & Rain 1970
David Byrne- Bicycle Diaries
Don Felder- Heaven & Hell
Judy Collins- Sweet Judy Blue Eyes
Keith Richards & James Fox (Contributor) - Life
Paul Stanley- Face The Music A Life Exposed
Ace Frehley- No Regrets
Peter Criss- Makeup to Breakup
Nick Mason- Inside Out
Rob Chapman- A Very Irregular Head Syd Barrett
Harry Shapiro- Jack Bruce Composing Himself

zondag 30 november 2014

Shockpopradio 2014 list

Yes, with that 2013 (stupid)song of mine. Ah, what the heck...

ShockPop play list November 30, 2014
Every Sunday, Noon to 2PM Eastern 
on www.ScrubRadio.com 
Podcast Mixcloud

... wherein we dig mostly 2014 releases! It's been a very good year...

1. ShockPop! - ON THE AIR with Sparkwood!
2. The Penguin Party - I Wanna Be A Cult
3. Dana Countryman - The Summer I Turned Seventeen
4. Ali Ingle - The Locker
5. Alex Highton - Everybody Loves You When You're Dead
6. Dead Heart Bloom - Broken Babylon (edit)
7. 8X8 - Stop The Madman
8. Paul Handyside - Love Lies Elsewhere
9. Paul Butler - She runs with the foxes
10. Captain Wilberforce - Johnny Depp Memorial Cafe
11. Les Bicyclettes de Belsize - Beatnik My Guest
12. The JAC (featuring the Christmas Crew) - Sweet Tooth Ache
13. JoosTVD - Stupid Song(s)
14. mylittlebrother - Lovers of Life, Unite!
15. Expo - Old Friends Don't End
16. The Big I Am - Clothes (Snippet Remix)
17. The Click Beetles - The Changes
18. James M Carson - Money (We Don't Need)
19. Joe Crookston - tuesday morning
20. Identical Suns - Show Me A Sign
21. Dermot - This Moment
22. Dave Caruso - I've Tried To Write You
23. Martin Newell - Ghosts Of Christmas
24. Gordon Weiss - Listening
25. Rick Hromadka - Dreams Of A Hippy Summer
26. Alexander Khodchenko - Children Descend To The Balconies
27. Butch Barnette - Good Hot Cuppa Joe
28. Nine Times Blue - This Time
29. Charley Says - Tabletalk
30. The Squires Of The Subterrain - Dr. Van Der Jagt
31. Biscuithead & the Biscuit Badgers - Our Dog
 32. Sonofold - The boil is up to you
33. Wim Oudijk - Tree stands tall at Times Square

donderdag 20 november 2014

For Your Pleasure!

Is this the new album? Naaah...just an in betweenie. All instrumental. Short songs. All kinds of moods. Just listen and get in the mood. Yeah. The real new album will arrive somewhere early 2015. Yeah. Dig.

maandag 20 oktober 2014

On your radio

It's always fun to hear your song on the air or on a mixtape. So many talents that need to be heard.
I've already told you about Croydon Radio (London) and here are some other platforms on www to get your music heard. It's all about spreading the goods. Have fun!

ShockPop play list October 19, 2014
Podcast on Mixcloud

Every Sunday, Noon to 2PM Eastern 
on www.ScrubRadio.com

1. ShockPop! is ON THE AIR with Sparkwood!
2. Rick Hromadka - Dreams Of A Hippy Summer
3. Mama Got Five - Ocean
4. The Brigadier - Just a little kiss Miss Busy
5. Danny Trashville - Big Fish
6. The Well Wishers - Over and Under
7. The Hi-Nobles - Big Black Car
8. Paul Butler - Sweet sea creature
9. The Heart Strings - The Five Minute Wonder Boy
10. Baby Scream - Twenty Seven
11. Wim Oudijk - Naughty Little Flea
12. Maxi Dunn - Perfect Sorrow
13. Dermot - This Moment
14. The Mockers - Little Girl Blue
15. The Dixie Bee-Liners - (I Need) Eighteen Wheels
16. Butch Barnette - News These Days
17. Maini Sorri - Moira
18. Toy Horses - Sordid Little World
19. Bigfellas - 4:20
20. Geggy Tah - Giddy Up
21. JoosTVD - Stupid Song(s)
22. Shoes - Out of Round
23. PT Walkley - Leeches
24. Two Sheds Jackson - Memory Lane
25. Paul Butler - I remember Mabel
26. The Milk Carton Kids - I Still Want A Little More
27. Pete McCabe - The 6 A.M. Train
28. Seth Swirsky - Twenty Minutes to Myself
29. Justin Kline - Heart Attack
30. Lannie Flowers - Come On Girl (LIVE)
31. The Legal Matters - We Were Enemies
32. Brian Ray - Sub Atomic
33. The Duckworth Lewis Method - Rain Stops Play

USA Pittsburgh Radio Madein
1. Come Clean Action Camp PA 2014
2. Dark Surf Action Camp An Introduction to   Action Camp 2012
3. You Don't Even Know   My Name Action Camp PA 2014
4. Gasoline Ben Dumm And The   Deviants Ben Dumm And The   Deviants 2012
5. Homestead Greys Big Snow Big Thaw Big Snow Big Thaw 2012
6. Lonesome Highway Bill Jasper Acoustics Deviled Soul EP 2014
7. Today It's Raining On   Just You Broken Fences Broken Fences 2013
8. Deviant Chalk Dinosaur Dawn 2013
9. Doubter's Blues Chet Vincent and The   Big Bend Unconventional Dog 2014
10. Plumage Dazzletine Heart, Mind, Bodies 2011
11. Skin Period Dazzletine Heart, Mind, Bodies 2011
12. Track 04 Dolce Gueverra   2012
13. S&M Fist Fight in The   Parking Lot Fist Fight in The   Parking Lot 2012
14. Jesus and Johnny Cash FOOD Four Pieces From   Candyland 2012
15. Santa Maria FOOD Four Pieces From   Candyland 2012
16. Train Hound Grand Piano America's America 2013
17. Sailor's Life Harlan Twins Old Familiar 2012
18. Velvet Shoes JoosTVD I Mimic Me 2014
19. Everything you Have Joy Ike All Or Nothing 2013
20. Honky Tonk Angel Legendary Hucklebucks Rattle All Night Long   and Shake You 2005
21. Cowboy's Lament Lukas Read Ramble Man, Ramble 2013
22. Innocents Abroad Meeting of Important   People My Ears Are Having a   Heart Attack!! 2012
23. Keep Your Eyes On Me Meeting of Important   People My Ears Are Having a   Heart Attack!! 2012
24. Allegheny Mountain   Queen Slim Forsythe Down on My Knees at   Nied's Hotel Again 2012
25. Why   Can't I Get Duquesne On This Sad Lonesome Train Slim Forsythe Down on My Knees at   Nied's Hotel Again 2012
26. Major Moves The Come Up Change Of Plans 2012
27. Torn The Danzas We're The Boss -   REMASTER 2013
28. Won't Last The Options Rob's Couch EP 2013
29. Magic Touch The   Semi-Supervillains Tricks 2013
30. She Put a Spell On Me The   Semi-Supervillains Tricks 2013
31. Clambake The Turbosonics The Turbosonics 2013
32. Zombie-A-Go-Go The Turbosonics The Turbosonics 2013
33. Acid Love Ursa Major Never Worried About A   Thing in My Life 2012
34. Getting Warmer Ursa Major Never Worried About A   Thing in My Life 2012
35. I Get Dreaming Whiskey Holler Hive Songs 2012
36. Let's Go Home Whiskey Holler Hive Songs 2012

zondag 12 oktober 2014

Songwriters fog

No, I don't have writer's block, never met any. Just want to talk a bit about the impenetrable fog that can cloud your overindulgent mind, when you've got a sudden burst of creativity. I've been there a few times. So for the aspiring, enthousiastic songwriters, here's my 50 cents.
Here's your first, ok second. working on it.... no, rewrite, aah here it is....your 550th song. Freshly composed with the help of those unstoppable brains that pour out emotions through your fingertips. "Is it that good? Wow, I can't believe what I just did! And I only know three chords! Better put it on tape now -just like that sleepdrunk Keith Richards did with the riff of Satisfaction- before I forget that special little ditty."

Keith is almost satisfied....
Don't be shy! If you' ve got the drive, the chops, the writings will be all over the place. Go with the flow, don't force it and before you know it, you've got that hook. Next thing, you want to play it over and over again....ok, now stop... before your mind is getting too much out there, like in a constant high. You imagine yourself on a stage in front of thousands of adoring and screaming fans: wow, bang, starstruck!
It's a pity, but there's a- too good to be true- foggy cloud that hangs all over you. There's always hope. Something like a dark vaderish voice comes to the rescue and says: "better come down to earth Luke (Skywalker). Think it over. Let the song breath for a while. You need some distraction, go and do the dishes, walk the dog, or throw out the trash. O, is it that late? Go to sleep. Sweet dreams. When you wake up (look in the mirror of truth first), listen to that wonderful stuff again with fresh ears. Does it still gives you the same thrills and chills? Yes? There it izzzz." Even if you've forgotten to record it, as long as you can remember the melody, there's nothing to fear.
It lies in the continuity of songwriting to build up your confidence and your personal style brothers and sisters. Trust in yourselves. Keep writing, playing, practising. I still do.

The obvious well-intentioned, but often false feedback every artistic talent gets and craves for in the beginning and too soon, is this: do my parents like it? "No mam/dad, stop the biased way of pleasing your obvious talented, but eagerly waiting for approvement son/ daughter!"
Well, it's a start. And even if your friends think your voice has got that special sound that belongs in some hyped TV contest, the best is, in my opinion, the humble attitude way.
JoosTVD used to gig you know...
Recording a song is like a selfie. Listening can be a painful ear experience in the beginning, but it will keep you on your toes. When I used to perform back in the day, we used to record almost every gig. Not just for laughs & kicks alone, but to use it as a truth mirror to get tighter as a band.
These days you don't have to gig to get some attention, although it's the most rewarding situation, if one exposes himself directly.
Find out what's working best for you. Are you an introspective singer-songwriter (James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, Cat Stevens) or a frontman (with a band)- songwriter? So why not expose yourself in a small way. Bring your guitar/ bongos/ mouthharp (what else?) and good humour to your friend's party. Invite the whole neighbourhood if you like. Mouth to mouth advertising, next to the social media can be crucial in broadening your horizon.
Hey, the world is flat, because of the unavoidable www, it's easy to try out a few tunes on some of these social interactive platforms (appreciate the feedback and return the favor). Because of the tsunami of songs these days, don't expect anything though. Just write, write, write and after that, write. The Pollock way. Cut/paste words, jumble chords, do it. The next song will/can be better. The most curious, hidden things about myself I have discovered through songwriting. It's a discipline, a way of life, a commitment.
The homestudio then?

Todd at work
A small setup (for example, these days wizz kid Todd Rundgren only uses a laptop, interface software, guitar/keyboard and some already discovered creativity) is enough to get things going and is relatively cheap. There's so much for the DIY on the internet by the way. Take advantage!
So I guess you already know where to go, but as an example I've put a few of my favourite (and if you don't mind, personal) links up here:

Amazing Tunes
Fresh On The Net

Yes, there's always more....

donderdag 2 oktober 2014

Update the up to date

Animated Dutchman
Although I'm in the middle of recording and writing some fresh tunes, there's always other things I have to take care off, like experimenting with the artwork for the new album. By the way, the above rainbow gif pic will not be used as a frontcover. It's just a example of what an amateur can do these days with a modest picture. Just a simple google search (photo-editor) is enough to find some great ones like Lunapic with gif animation. Back to the colourful acid area circa 1967!                                    

As I said earlier, I'm in the middle of recording new songs (these are mostly the most obvious studio  happenings, like writing melodies & lyrics, mixing, arranging, playing and goofing off) and there's a  lot to choose from, worthly of as least two albums(!) What comes quick, will last, that's my motto.   Sometimes I've got a-wow brilliant-idea (on piano or guitar or a lyric) so guickly played, arranged and recorded, that I often stand amazed afterwards. Two days work. For me, that's the most organic and satisfying way to do it. Ok, it's not like the mind blowing fast Pollock method, but hey, I would if I could play all the instruments  simultaneously. I just try to put the ideas on tape in the moment  you're one with the song. Wow, I must have got an acid brain!  I hear you think: "why not put out the songs ASAP then?" Well, that's because I still believe in the concept of making an album as a whole, not just spreading a few songs as loose ends. Fleshing out the finishing touches takes the most time.   The quantity helps for the learning process. Maybe I will put up some rough mixes here on the blog. I  guess it's just the kick of hearing the perfect fitting sounds, melodies and the exploring, experimenting and finishing of your creations, that makes you work faster. And as I'm getting older, the more flexible I've got. I've read somewhere that Prince- guess any prolific songwriter- works all through the night to finish a song, just to get it done.                                                                                                                                                                 So I better move on.....  In the meantime I'll need a title for the new album, suggestions anyone?

zaterdag 13 september 2014

Bandcamp update (!)

Hai there!  Hope you're all enjoying your rest. Now get up!

Sometimes I have an enormous urge to do a complete make-over. Yes it's that time. My face needs a lift(!). Ahem, yeah wait for it.
Nope, it's just that some platforms needed some reworking, in my case Bandcamp. There's a lot you can add to a release (pictures, etc). I found out that a few older releases had just one or two tracks on them, so I've uploaded the full albums:

Gift Shot [2005]
Volumed 10 [2007] 
Hey José [2008] 
You Know Your Dad [2009] 
When The left Foot Fits The Right Shoe [2009] 
Orson Nietes [2011] 
& Art Decoy The Bluebeard Boy [2012]

have got the "full album" treatment. Some tracks don't even appear on the official Spotify/ iTunes releases. Which ones? You figure it out.
You can pay what you want or have it freely handed over with a click (only your emailadres is required, so I can SPAM you, gna, gna)
You want free links? Yeah, they can be found somewhere around this blog...

More, more more tracks! Free full albums on Bandcamp

The full Bandcamp version of?

JoosTVD Tube