Wednesday, January 31, 2007

My old music videos

It's always a shock to me to see how dodgy my dress sense was back in my 'raving' days. Especially the outfits in 'When love rules the world'. Still, we've all had our moments and I guess it's all part of 'growing up in public' like I did.

Apart from that, I do enjoy looking back at these clips. They bring back so many good memories. Floating on that love heart at the thermal springs in Iceland and cutting my foot open when I jumped off it one day (I was in agony throughout all the dancing scenes, but tried not to show it). And then there was the dancing in that silver flashing kaleidoscope thing in 'Let this feeling' & suffering a short epileptic fit from the strobes. No seriously, I did have a lot of fun doing these videos. For instance, I loved doing the the flying scenes on the Andrew Logan Pegasus sculpture & enjoyed working with my dear friend Matthew Glamorre who directed the 'Let this feeling' video.

Matthew organized some brilliantly bizarre club nights (I guess he still does) & we hang out quite a lot back then. Here are some of my favorite Matthew Glamorre memories:

1. Going to several spiritual sites in England with Matthew and some friends (the Goddess day trip), with Matthew Dressed up as a rainbow for the occasion. We got some funny looks at the motorway restaurants and petrol stations that day ; )

2. Watching men in business suits breakdancing at one of his clubnights

3. Sitting down on the dance floor, playing 'pass the parcel' that same night

4. Matthew's various theme parties in London brothels

5. Andrew Logan's 50th Birthday party, which we all celebrated whilst shooting waterguns at each other

6. Some other strange day trip Matthew had organized where a mix of extravagant dressed-up Londoners loaded themselves into a double-decker bus and went for a picnic in the country side (doing games like the egg & spoon race and the 3-legged race).

Hmmm....I did have a lot of fun with him. Guess I should try and get back in touch & see how he is. Anyway, I'm starting to ramble. Enjoy my little moments of pop:

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Latest from Toby Amies

He's always been a great presenter, that Toby Amies. I loved him back in the days at MTV & he still cracks me up with this new showreel of his.

And he is one of the only people that I know who can get away with the writing the following sentence in an email:

"I have finally returned from Tasmania full of Antipodean vigour for 2007" (any idea what Antipodean means, anyone?)

Anyway, what I'm trying to say is that the guy is not only funny, but extremely intelligent too.

And I remember him as one of the veejays that were very 'real', if you know what I mean. There was no bullshit with him, he didn't suck up to anyone. What you saw was what you got. A bit like Ray Cokes and Steve Blame. Actually, Kimsy and Enrico were genuine too, as far as I was concerned. Some of the other veejays became too big for their boots after a while. I won't mention names here as many of those affected surely will have come off their high horses since then, so I won't drag them through the dirt.

Still, Toby was one of the ones that I always liked and respected, even if we weren't the closest of buddies at the time. He was the indie kid, I was the little raver...we mixed in different circles.

Have a look at his showreel if you haven't done so already and let us know what you think:

My appologies for the blogging silence

Sorry people, but we've just come back from our Aruba trip, which was filled with lots of time on the beach and hanging out with family. No time for music blogging. But I'll make sure I'll catch up a bit in the coming days.

I dug out some old MTV tapes at my mums and will try to digitize them soon. I was looking for my James Brown interview, but sadly enough couldn't find that. I did however found my first ever interview! My show with Tina Turner (what a first interview to have!)

I hope the tapes haven't deteriorated too much over time. I'll let you know soon.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Play me another fat one!

I received a funny email today from a person who is thinking of coming to Belize for a holiday (or vacation, for those of you from the States)

Anyway, he was asking me if I could give him the 'inside track' on who would playing here in Belize over the Valentines day period and which parties or festivals will be on in Belize during that time.

Well, what can I say? No one will be playing here. No one ever does. There are no parties in Belize ever to speak of (as far as I'm concerned)

I mean, there are 'parties' here sometimes, but not the kind of parties you and I would have in mind. The only music that gets played in Belize is Punta (which I hate) and these days (lucky enough) also Reggaeton.

Anyway, if you are expecting any big name DJ to ever play here....forget it! The nearest places to go and party and/or to hear dance music would be Playa Del Carmen or Cancun, Mexico.

Belize is really funny when it comes to music. It must be one of the only places left on earth where people don't know who Madonna is or who the Beatles were (Which is also the reason why more and more celebs decide to spend their free time here) I asked one of our tour guides recently if he had ever heard of Micheal Jackson and he answered 'Yes, I think so. Is he that black dude who looks white and who wears gloves?' He didn't know what his music sounded like, but had seen the child molestation court case on CNN.

Anyway, for me it was bizarre moving from a place and a scene where music was everything to a place where there isn't even a decent radio station. The radio stations here play a random mix of dodgy music, from Reggae to soppy songs from the fifties & US Rap to Country. It's like someone went through the bargain bins and donated all the records that were worth less than 50 cents to the Belize Radio stations. It's a sad state of affairs.

Dance Music (obviously) never made it into Belize and probably never will. Raggeaton is the closest they'll ever come, I think.

Personally I'm too busy being a mum to be going out clubbing these days anyhow. So I'm alright with it for now. I do miss having an occasional dance, but I'll try and get my fix when we come back to Europe this summer. And thanks to James Hyman's 'Rinse' CD's I do have a steady stream of good music to listen to in the car.

So Dan....thanks for your email. I'm sorry it made me laugh, but this 'music thing' is a constant joke amongst us here. Still, you are more than welcome to bring your girlfriend to our quiet jungle lodge & we'd be happy to organize all kinds of adrenalin filled adventures for you. But if you want to check out some cool DJ's on your travels you may want to skip a trip to Belize.

Let me know what you want to do....

Monday, January 08, 2007

The ever elusive Ray

My God, Ray Cokes is crap at updating people on his life. He keeps promising to write something for me to post here, but then nothing comes. Even his MySpace page hasn't had a new posting since July 2006. What's up Ray? Sort it out!

By the way, I can't get that 'tickytacky' song out of my head. You know, that song from the series 'Weeds'? It's actually called 'Little boxes' & I just love it. The lyrics are so funny. If the series 'Weeds' has not been shown in the country that you live in, do check out the soundtracks (series 1 & 2) to that show on Itunes. They are great. And aparently there is a third season coming in 2007.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Some more 'Sound of 2007'

Oh my God, I've just been saying how great MIKA is, but I just had a listen to him on Itunes and that track 'Relax, take it easy' is just horrendous! I don't mind the club mixes, but the radio mix is crap. Still, he's good live. I also like that track from 'Just Jack' (who is also on the Sound of 2007 list). But Itunes only had one track of his though. What else has he done?

Oh, and this whole 'New Rave' thing is just a load of nonsense, isn't it? I really can't see anyone doing any fancy moves to the Klaxons (or am I missing something here?)

Sound of 2007

Flamboyant pop singer-songwriter Mika has been named the best new talent in the BBC's Sound of 2007 music poll.

Check him out on 'Later with Jools Holland' (Jools was our old neighbour back in London, by the way)

This guy is very cool indeed. He has the looks, the voice and the lyrics. Great, great, great! People are comparing him to Scissor Sisters and Freddie Mercury & my little boy Lucas seems to think that he looks like our friend Bart ; )

Have a listen....

Monday, January 01, 2007

What a great way to start 2007!

I received the nicest email the other day. It told me something that I was always quite aware of, but that no one ever told me directly; basically that the Partyzone and MTV in the nineties were so important in uniting young people from all over Europe, the former East Block countries, the Middle East, etc. We brought youth culture to places where it was hard to get it any other way. We educated kids musically, opened their minds and gave them the feeling that they were part of something.

That thought always meant so much to me & I took the role as 'messenger' very seriously. Uniting young people was something I really wanted to do and it was also what attracted to me to the whole dance scene, that whole feeling of all being one. Guess I'm just an old hippy at heart : )

So anyway, I loved getting this email. Check it out:

Hi Simone,

I found your wonderful blog the other day and was so happy seeing some of the old partyzone footage and also finding that you have followed your dream in such a beautiful place like Belize.

I must say I was addicted to PartyZone (in its last 2-3 years of existence because I didn’t have cable before) and sort of lived for those Friday nights. Basically everything that I knew about dance music was due to your work and dedication. And believe me, a 16-year-old boy to have heard about (and listened to) Laurent Garnier, Derrick May, Carl Cox, Moby or Marusha in 1996 in Bucharest, in post-communist Romania, was a rare occurrence.

Now it looks so simple, go on the internet and find whatever you need, but back then, your 2hr show was one of (if not the only) source of information, music and club-culture for all these eastern european countries. You couldn’t buy that kind of music, there were only pirated cassettes from Poland with shitty music and no CDs or vinyls. So I would record cassettes from the TV speaker to keep that music and listen to it again and again.. so, yeah.. it’s fair to say: “Simone, thank you for influencing my life as much as you did as a teenager and for giving me that kind of musical background”. And also James Hyman, I didn’t see him on camera but I remember his name appearing on the credits screen together with a bunch of people (researchers or whatever).

Anyway when the show ended (I remember you being at a snow party somewhere saying “it’s over guys, they’re taking us off the air”) I was pissed on MTV for that and for all those other changes that started to make the channel to what it is now (common and useless hit rotation machine). 10 years later I’m working as a programmer/designer and, thanks to you, involved in the clubbbing scene here with; you on the other hand gave up all that crazyness for a quiet life in a tropical resort. That change must have been really tough at first, I mean I would freak out to live in a place with less than 2 million people around, but there’s a time when I do think about family and kids and getting away from this fast pace, but I’m still young and I guess I can take some more clubbing for a few years or so. I wish someday I could be lucky and bold enough to take a decision like yours. For the moment, I’ll put Belize on my destination list if I ever decide to take an extended trip like that, it looks fabulous.

I wish you and your family a great 2007, with only good things coming your way!

All the best from light-snowy Bucharest.