Friday, April 25, 2008

Cool FM

Starting the first of May I will be joining Aruba’s number 1 radio station, called Cool FM.

Of course, this is a small island, so if you compare it to Europe or America, then you'd have to conclude that radio production is still in its infancy in Aruba. But Cool FM is by far the best station the island has. And they are very involved when it comes to live events. These guys are everywhere!

I’ve never done radio before, so it’s actually a nice challenge for me. I’ll be doing a show every Saturday morning from 10 to 12, called the Weekend Express. It will be a ‘standard’ radio show, with some tracks from the Dutch, English and American Charts, the Caribbean & Latin charts, some classic tracks, some dance tunes, some mash-ups…you get the drift.

The thing that’s rather worrying is that I am meant to do the show all by myself & I get very intimidated when I see lots of buttons, computer programs, etc. I just haven’t got a clue how to work these things. Also, I am starting so soon (May the 3rd) that I have no idents yet, no jingles, nothing. Still, I know how to introduce music and as long as the songs are good, the show should be okay. Right?

On the first of May the radio station is hosting a big event here on the island. I’ll be presenting part of the day and also my new cover band (RetroMatic) gets launched on that day. We have never been on a stage yet together & just two weeks ago we got a new drummer. And now our first performance will be in front of 10.000 to 20.000 people, plus be broadcast live on air. How crazy is that? We always envisioned playing our first gig in a smoky old bar somewhere, not in front of such a large audience! Still, we’re pretty confident that it will work out alright. And anyway, it’s just some covers we’re playing.

Wish me luck!

First-ever NME Awards in the US

Well, it sounds like he Brits are still busy misbehaving when it comes to Awards ceremonies. It's always been like that, most other nations take their award ceremonies very serious, but the Brits just get hammered and act silly.

So when the acceptance speech of the Arctic Monkeys was being played at the NME Awards (they had won Best International Album for 'Favourite Worst Nightmare’), the Klaxons stormed the stage and ran off with the award.

By the way, what's the deal with the Klaxons? Is there something I am missing here? They just sound like shit to me. They actually won Best New International Live Act and Best New International Track for 'Golden Skans’. I don't get it, but there you go. What do I know?

Mark Ronson – who won Best New Solo Artist - also attempted to invade the stage at some point, but fell over after misjudging his step. Now that is funny! I'm sure that moment will haunt him for many years to come. His mates will rub it in too, no doubt. Now, seeing as Mark is half-English & half-American, maybe his British genes compelled him to jump the stage & his America genes tripped him up on the way there? What do you think? ; )

Agynnes Deyn (the supermodel who was onstage as the Klaxons swipes the Arctic Monkeys Award) said that this kind of behaviour was good because as she thought the US bands needed a lesson in how to behave, believing they were too polite."In London (at the Shockwaves NME Awards in February) it was a bit raw, everyone was smashed, whereas here people were drinking diet coke," she noted.

The Clash legend Mick Jones was given the 'Inspiration Award' and Jane’s Addiction got honoured with the 'Godlike Genius Award For Services To Music'.

It's funny, years ago I was at a dreadful music festival in Portugal together with Mick Jones from the Clash. The festival was such a disaster, there was no audience. Seriously, there were more people on stage than in the audience. So Mick Jones and I did a runner and broke into a nearby waterpark in the middle of the night. Going down waterslides at four in the morning doesn't really work though as they are turned off and there is no water sliding down them. Still, it was a funny moment.

He also gave me a really sweet compliment. He said: 'I'm sorry, this may sound silly. But you are such a beautiful person. And I don't mean from the outside, I mean inside. You have a beautiful character'. Kinda sweet, right? It always stuck with me.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Some old school gems

So what are some of my favorite videos/tracks from my MTV days? Well, here are two of them. First of all, 'Voodoo Ray' by 'A guy called Gerald'. An absolute dance classic and probably my favorite dance tune of all time. It always brings an instand smile to my face. My God, do I have some good party memories to go with that track.

The video for 'Voodoo Ray' shows one of the problems that we used to face on the Partyzone, namely that record companies refused to spend money on promos/videos for dance tracks. So we were often forced to show crappy videos to amazing tunes. Still, it didn't detere us. We played the tunes that we believed in & continued to put pressure on the labels to give us better quality vids. It just took those dinosaur record- execs years to figure out that dance music had crossed over into the mainstream.

Anyway, enjoy this old-school diamond...

The next video was more of a mini-movie, so it's in two parts. It's the 'Weekender' track from 'Flowered up'. James Hyman (the producer of the Partyzone) and I loved this when it came out. It is absolutely 'spot on' with its depiction of the drug culture in the nineties & especially the little things like those cabbies outside the clubs in the morning made us laugh. I don't know if any other show apart from the Partyzone used to play this video (and we used to play the whole thing), but as far as we were concerned it was a classic. So again, enjoy and let it transport you back to those crazy days ; )