Friday, April 20, 2012

Jukebox Friday: Iris - Would You



The Eurovision Song Contest 2012 will be held on 22, 24 and 26 May at the Baku Crystal Hall in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan. The contest was brought to Azerbaijan by last year's winners Eldar & Nigar, the first mixed-gender duo to win the ESC since 1963.

While Belgium has traditionally chosen their ESC contestant by popular vote, this time the public Flemish broadcaster VRT has made the decision internally. This could be motivated by the good results achieved by Tom Dice ("Me And My Guitar"), who was chosen internally as well in 2010.

This year's Belgian contestant is Iris, a 17-year-old girl from the province of Antwerp. The song, "Would You", was selected by popular vote.

It is a love song in English, describing a difficult turning point in a relationship. Iris' voice is fragile but sincere, and she manages to travel through the vocal realms of Leona Lewis, Mariah Carey, and every Idol and X-Factor winner in history without entirely losing her individuality. This already sets her apart from a great deal of ESC contestants.

But is that enough to win?

Sadly, I don't think so. Belgium's last win at the ESC was in 1986 (read more about that here), and I don't think that will change this year. To have any chance against the tsunami of exotic dances, drums, costumes and primeval energy, a love ballad must be brutally well-written and terrifically well-sung. "Would You" may make a ton of money upon release, but it won't do anything for those party-hungry, fiercely political Europeans.

Anyway, it's only entertainment. Good luck in Baku, Iris!


Lyrics:

Come and find me, I’ve been hiding from you
Come and get me, running from you
It’s been easy, easy for you to believe me
When I say I love you

But what would you do when my house was empty?
My life in a bag and away from you
You took my love for granted, would you really miss me?
Any other guy would do, but would you?

It’s a secret and a question for you
Where are they now? What are you gonna do?
If you run here and wait for me now, are we done here?
Or starting somehow?

But what would you do when my house was empty?
My life in a bag and away from you
You took my love for granted, would you really miss me?
Any other guy would do, but would you? Would you?

It’s a two-way street
And I know that
But don’t look back
Still I wonder, still I wonder

But what would you do when my house was empty?
My life in a bag just to be with you
But when I’m at your door will you say you miss me?
Any other guy would do
Yeah, other guy would do, but would you?

But would you?
Oh would you?
I love you


BONUS: My hot tip for this year's winner. (Go Nordics!)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Belgians completely shut off from The Pirate Bay! ...?

Photo: Steve Rhode.

As a true, cod-blooded Scandinavian, I have a close and personal relationship with a little Swedish web site called The Pirate Bay. Frequenting TPB is like having an ultra-cool friend who knows what you like and gives it to you for free. It's as if Fonzie and Santa Claus had a baby, and you adopted the baby and stuck it inside your computer. (Of course, I would never do that to a computer.)

The Pirate Bay has sailed the seas of the interwebs for over eight years now, and has navigated some dangerous waters. Just as the vikings of old ran into (and subsequently ran through) people who disagreed with their lifestyle of rape and pillage, so have the Swedes of today encountered trouble abroad, most recently right here in Belgium. Long gone are the days when rivaling armies could turn the Westhoek and the Ardennes into a playing field for their martial antics. Belgium is rising to the Swedish threat. But is it working?

Depending on who you ask, this is either the most useful or the most criminal website in the world.

Last October two Belgian ISPs were ordered by the Antwerp Court of Appeal to block subscriber access to 11 domains connected to The Pirate Bay. The Swedes replied by registering a new domain name, depiraatbaai.be. Now this has been blocked as well.

Is this a crushing victory for Belgian justice? The Internet says no. The commenters on the TorrentFreak article provide at least five ways to bypass the legislation. It seems that instead of restricting the possibilities of file sharers, lawgivers have only diminished the judicial system's coin purse.

The moral of the story is: Don't mess with vikings with computers.


Source: TorrentFreak: Belgium Blocks Alternative Pirate Bay Domain

Saturday, April 14, 2012

TNT: Push to add drama

This has been popping up everywhere in the past few days, and it's pretty great, so here it is.

The following is a commercial for the new Belgian TNT network. The new TV channel features mostly drama series and films, and the ad attempts to give an impression of the kind of entertainment you can expect from viewing it. It's a brilliantly choreographed spin on the flash mob, complete with gunfire, cops, women on motorbikes, and American football players. It's the best thing you'll see online this weekend. Enjoy!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Jukebox Friday: The Clement Peerens Explosition - Dikke Lu



The Clement Peerens Explosition (CPeX) would have been the greatest Belgian band of all time, had they only been real.

The outspoken character Clement Peerens was created by Hugo Matthysen in the radio show Het Leugenpaleis (1988-1998), which Matthysen hosted together with Bart Peeters, another member of CPeX. Peerens was well-known for his Antwerp dialect and outrageous stories about the many rock stars he supposedly knew.

In 1994, Matthysen and Peeters formed The Clement Peerens Explosition together with Ronny Mosuse, who played the bassist Sylvain Aertbeliën. Matthysen/Peerens was the frontman and lead guitarist, while Peeters (AKA François "Vettige Swa" De Bock) played the drums. Their first hit, Dikke Lu, was released the same year. The band went on to do a string of studio albums and live performances. Other famous songs include "Boecht van Dunaldy" ("Rubbish from Aldi", a take on a certain Germany-based discount supermarket chain), "Gefd da kaske nah is ier" ("Give the remote control to me"), and "Vinde gij mijn gat (niet te dik in deze rok)" ("Don't you think my butt looks too big in this skirt?").

In November 2011, the band was featured in a hilarious mockumentary on the Canvas network which carved out the background and "true" story of The Clement Peerens Explosition. If you speak Dutch and haven't seen it yet, it's well worth a watch. (Click to watch part 1 of the programme.)

DIKKE LU

Lyrics (original Antwerp dialect):

Are you ready for den dikke Lu? ja!
are you ready for den dikke Lu? absoluut!

Wa was da meh' den dikke, den dikke, den dikke
wa was da meh' den dikke Lu
da kan ekik ni pikke, ni pikke, ni pikke
da kan ekik ni pikke dedzju

En da' ge, is gêre,
en da' g'is gêren e klappeke dóe da kan ekik góe' verstaan
daar eed elke serieuze mens al is beóefte aan
mor komd mij ni vertelle da' gij iêl de nacht lang klapt
meh' zoe'n vaerke, schat, gefd tóe dat 'em meh ae eed aangepapt

En was 't alliên wa smosse, en een bitshe tetteke rös?
of ed' oek ligge vosse, schat, oe vaer ging da' gemös?

Wa was da meh' den dikke, den dikke, den dikke
wa was da meh' den dikke Lu
da kan ekik ni pikke, ni pikke, ni pikke
da kan ekik ni pikke dedzju

Wa was da meh' den dikke
da kan ekik ni pikke
lotte gij mij stikke
diê gast diê moet z'n fikke
thuisouwe schat

Wa was da meh' den dikke, den dikke, den dikke
wa was da meh' den dikke Lu
da kan ekik ni pikke, ni pikke, ni pikke
da kan ekik ni pikke dedzju


Dutch translation:

Wat was dat met de dikke, de dikke Lu?
Dat kan ik niet accepteren, niet accepteren, verdorie!

En dat je eens graag een praatje slaat, dat kan ik goed begrijpen
Daar heeft elk serieus mens wel eens behoefte aan
Maar kom me niet vertellen dat jij heel de nacht lang praat
met zo'n varken .... Geef toe dat hij met jou heeft aangepapt
En was het enkel wat kussen en borsten strelen?
Of heb je ook liggen neuken? Schat, hoe ver ging dat geflirt?

Wat was dat met de dikke, de dikke, de dikke Lu?
Dat kan ik niet accepteren, niet accepteren, verdorie!

Wat was dat met die dikke? Laat jij mij nou stikken?
Die gast moet zijn handen thuishouden, schat!


English translation:

Are you ready for the fat Lu? (Yeah!)
Are you ready for the fat Lu? (Absolutely?)

What happened with the fat, the fat, the fat Lu?
I cannot accept this, accept this, accept this, god damn!

What happened with the fat, the fat, the fat Lu?
I cannot accept this, accept this, accept this, god damn!

And that you like to have a good chat, I can very well understand
Every serious person needs that from time to time
But please don't make me believe that you've been talking all night long
with such a pig ; come on, admit that he has been flirting with you
And was it just some kissing and touching breasts?
Or have you also been f**king darling? How far did this go?

What happened with the fat, the fat, the fat Lu?
I cannot accept this, accept this, accept this, god damn!

What was that with that fat guy? Are you gonna leave me?
That guy has to keep his hands to himself, baby!


A big thanks to Gerrit for introducing me to this band, and for providing the translations.