Back in the USSR, Part II — Roadburn/013 revisited


Well, it seems Van Den Brand has a somewhat misconstrued conception of American society and ‘art.’  The US Government does still subsidize it, it just considers popular art an “intellectual curiosity” not worth giving any money to.  All popular music that came from America, and I’m sure both Jurgen and the author of above piece will agree, came about a climate where the state didn’t subsidize it at all.  One could even say that the real roots of American music is the illegal liquor circuit of the 30’s They only give money to what one tends to call ‘high art,’ but maybe there is something to be said about keeping great pieces of historical art available to the public.

The above opinion piece is addressing the issue from the typical left wing hippie perspective…. are the corporate powers going to take over the music business? Sadly, it takes this question nowhere: we cannot help it, maybe it isn’t such a big thing, maybe it’s even productive. All these are correct observations, but kind of superfluous.  It starts out be relevantly showing how without commercials on radio station, popular music wouldn’t even have existed in the form we know today.  The article is critical of corporate business influence on music, hardly something new, but makes no mention generic antibiotics purchase cipro online cheap ciprofloxacin s of the state corporate influence and impact on the cultural scene in central Europe.  This is something entirely new and is never written about in local press… and for a very good reason.  It cannot be examined in the space of Gonzo Circus either, for the very same reason.

It is Van Den Brand’s opinion, that US government has gradually stepped back from funding popular art, but that in Europa this hasn’t happened yet.  I think this is absolutely wrong: the state has never sponsored or funded popular music in any way, anywhere. It’s been an evolution in Belgium, and maybe in the Netherlands too, of the government to take complete control of the cultural scene.  Not because they want to sell an ideology (who cares about ideology?), but because of the business interest involved.  They are programming cool stuff alright, but they are leaving no space individual initiative, or real grass root art (just a band playing in a pub, for example)…

Who is Jurgen? Can he live off Roadburn, a broadly marketed and popular niche concert series?


Not only does he manage ‘Roadburn Production,’ which is a non-profit organization with almost no employees, he has his own record label, but more importantly, is working for the city of Den Haag as a sport reporter since late 2012.  Nevertheless, the rest of his cv doesn’t show any proof of studies or experience in this field. Of course, a lot of young people in Den Haag would love this job, but that is something which you will have to arrange with most important political party in that city.  Let’s have a quick look:


Pvda is the mainstream socialist party in the Netherlands. But the Roadburn festival is housed in the cultural center (city property) of Tilburg, that’s another city.  For the heck of it, let’s check political majority there:


 My point: 15 years ago these niche concerts already existed, but they would take place in a tent of forest, done by volunteers, very small scale. You would pay €5 a ticket a day, beer would be cheap and the guys taking the effort to organize it would actually make some money on the beer sale to support the whole thing.  Nowadays, going to a metal meeting like this would be the same, except that it takes place in a multi-million euro culture temple. This temple is leased by the socialist politicians to their Roadburn friends (while still providing business to their friends through catering contracts), who pay full price, but charge this to the metal schwarzkopf hippies:


4 days of rock is in itself insane, especially when it’s in the middle of a very nice an clean Catholic town as Tilburg.  And sadly, also ticketservice is allowed to make a buck for a concert that has a few thousand visitors.  Let’s hope a commercial company such as Red Bull takes over sponsorship of Roadburn, I bet they would love to, prices would drop radically, but tell me … do you want to be backed by a commercial brand or the Dutch socialist party. That’s the choice we have.

Still, Popdium 013 Tilburg is a commercial buy cheap celexa venture — today they play 80’s & 90’s music for an entrance fee of €10. If you would go to a bar you could have 5 beers for that money, and get the crappy music for free. Next Tuesday however, the rock is really on:


Whitesnakes play 013’s Jupiler Room (2000 capacity) — ticket prices is €54 (+ charges), i.e. a little over $72, while today you can see them in Croatia for €26.66, that’s less than half the price and you keep sleep in the next day…



Of course the people in Croatia don’t have a much money to spend to rock concert, and the venue is in fact an ice hockey stadium.  The point is that I do not think that a professional rock band such as WhiteSnake steps away with less money from the Croatia concert.  But let’s have a look at the prices of the next WhiteSnake gig in the US.



In Tilburg, you would pay almost €60 to get into the gig, held in a government owned cultural center and not even get a seat.  In comparison, the US venue is owned by a private gas and electricity firm, DTE Energy.  This is not quite Red Bull yet, but does it matter?

Before anybody mention generic antibiotics purchase cipro online cheap ciprofloxacin s Ethias Arena in Hasselt, please check the history of the Ethias, a formerly insurance company owned by the city and towns, hence heavily politically affiliated.

The result seems to be that kids can get into the concert for as ‘little’ as €18, less than a third of the price.  But it is even less, if you consider that everybody working at the US WhiteSnake concert that night is getting paid for his or her work.  This may seem a ludicrous point to mention generic antibiotics purchase cipro online cheap ciprofloxacin , until you understand that the bar staff at these socialist, governmental-owned, are volunteers.  The banners on the front page (not the main color of the website), make it perfectly.  Do you want to work for 013?



While in fact they mean: do you want to work for free? do you want to be a slave?


Surely, they don’t mean you get nothing in return? Well, no real money (which you don’t need if you are a student and you are young anyways).  We will pay you you with experiences, a social networkconnections to people…. but we expect you to work at least 3 nights a month for us, e.g. serving beer from 18pm – 2am.  Some of the regular slaves have been slaving there for 10 years, and it looks as if you have to do dirty work for a year or 5 before you can even work at the bar…



So, we Europeans, pay 3 times as much taxes for the government to invest in cultural centres where you pay 3 times the prices of a rock concert and double for a cheap beer that almost gets thrown in your face by that 21 year old blonde volunteer bitch behind the bar because by now she’s realized that the only way to advance her career in cultural journalism is on her knees in the manager’s office…

Still, I should add that they do serve Southern Comfort at 013 – in effing cheap plastic cups for an amount that escaped me due to the coin system.

I can only pray that WhiteSnake, any of the Roadburn metal bands or either of them hardbodied blondes will take this te wrong way… somebody is walking away with a lot of money in terms of investments, and it isn’t either of them.


If the younger generation is more aware of modern corporate marketing, that’s all too well, but more importantly, both they and the author are absolutely blind to what’s really going on.  If Roadburn is making a deal with Scion A/V than it is thanks to and to the advantage of political connections.  Sure there are private investors involved in all these projects, but they are all only politically selected.

Some people think I have something against any form government funding. I don’t think anybody in their right mind want to close down their national museums.  This is about the government not funding anything at all, but investing tax money to have commercial friends reap the fruits while, relying on volunteer work and charging top prices for tickets and drinks.

And they control the programming…

Now you got what you want — do you want more?


Roadburn 2013 Part I: undercover at the Schwarzkopf Metal Hippie feast

Sometimes life is all about stepping into the unknown and for people doing their casual commuting down the E19 north from Brussels, the fearsome Friday night traffic holds few surprises. No wonder then that I got taken off-guard and duly copped out even before Mechelen, with a bamistaaf from the gas station that I never ordered or ate, leaving the highway to head north to Tilburg’s Roadburn festival over secondary roads…

… just to get stuck in a former Belgian State Colony for homeless hobo’s: Wortel. A closed colony, with a jailhouse in the middle, surrounded by fences. On the backside you can even see some more fences around fences around fence around a children’s playground, much like in those weird FEMA conspiracy videos you see on the youtube.

Wortel Kolonie, Merksplas. A former colony for hobo installed by the Belgian State near the Dutch border.
Wortel Kolonie, Gevangenis, Merksplas.

Driving through the dark desert highway of the colony, I got stuck somewhere in the woods and got detoured East… I hit north only to be encounter a massive roadblock in the other direction (leaving the Netherlands).  No idea what they were after really, al the doomers were heading the other direction, invading the flat land with unearthly grunts, snores and drones. It seemed that you can check out any time you want, but you can never really leave…

Once I got to the gig some four hours later, I parked in the residential area where the signs assured me that nothing would happen on a Friday night after 20pm. “Nothing” is much to say about a doom rock event taking place a very Catholic location.

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There even was a stained glass window depicting the original hippie, animal right fighter and ecclesiastical romantic saint Francis, selling Red Bull and beer at the prices of a few tokens. This seemed like the ideal location to see the Swedish Waldorf school dropouts of the band GOAT

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foto 3They seemed to endorse some kind of transcultural arabesque in countertime rhythms, fired on by some outlandishly-dressed and fearlessly dancing titless witches on coke & tambourines, belting lines with an ignorance of tone that didn’t become the location too well, but in its own freaked-out way got really compelling.  Yes, there were people actually dancing, probably already taken by the fictional voodoo cult the sack-headed lead guitarist laid on them with distinction and verve.  Truly, there was some Zappa in there…. quite a lot…, but no actual goat fucking, alas!

But there was more than just goats and saints…

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More to the point and rocking there were the Pretty Things — except they were everything but pretty things, going on 60 and weighing about  20 stone each.  Tinged in a psychedelic, but definitely soulful groove, they kind of delivered the goods, but not the looks. I mean, look at the Eagles, these guys all had dental surgery and can still play a decent solo. I’ll probably come back to this. Still, these fella’s didn’t cut no chase, even in 1966:

Everybody’s talking about my LSD. I say talk is easy, generic celexa online money’s never free: LSD!

It’s a good thing that we get some very Kinks-like riffs to enjoy the trip:


Not-So-Pretty Things: “Look mum, I go’ me specs on to see me Gibson’s fret markings!”

Tell you — if you have to wear glasses and watch the fretboard to play a standard A major barred, that sure must have been some decent lysergic. Still, I should say I really dig the black shirt, but, honestly, what’s up with the Status Qua like pony tail? And the shades, bro, seriously — is this Miami Vice? God forbid that that is a loosened tie that I see, just let it be a simple black guitar strap. Or even a strap-on for that matter — but no tie…

No member of the Eagles ever wore a tie.  And I would bet my life that if they would play Hotel California wearing the most ridiculous ties cooked up by gay Americo-Italian designers, it would still sound DA BOMB.  Still, there was no tie problem in the other boiler room of this trendy socialist Tilburg hothouse 013… slow spaced out doom rock hailed us inwards.

Still, I would like to pause a moment here and deal with a specific problem that would impede any cerebrally blessed being from enjoying the doom groove.  It goes by many names, but I would like to denote it here as the Schwarzkopf Metal Hippie.  I truly understand and feel for people who, due to some childhood trauma, have turned away from society and all that is beautiful and embrace all that is dark, black and eerie with every bone in their skinny vegan asses.  But spending all your dough on high-class kiwi or mango fragrance shampoo, really dude, where is the social nausea in that?  This rock concert didn’t smell of beer or puke or smoke — it mostly smelled like a fruitcake…

When I was seventeen I first played music in public, it was at my high school.  This was 1991 or something.  We played some conventional pop/rock bullshit, but were alone in this.  The rest of the band, spouting impressive names like DEEP PENETRATION (they got their name from a bottle of household detergent), SWEET ANNIHILATION or THE OTHERS, all played twice as loud and thrice as ugly as anything I heard on Roadburn.  Strangely, all the bands there had bass players, though none of them had any use in the sound of the band – playing guitar on the top bass string.

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Psychic TV

Psychic TV played for a half empty main stage while everybody was packing into the Patronaat location to see Amon Ra, an advanced and interesting band, not even mentioned on the festivals own report for that day.  That page does reveal that I missed songsmith Nate Hall, who sings even more out of tune than me, but has some nice accompanying vibe going on…

So, I returned home, but not before accepting this little present:




Bob Log III (Depot, Leuven)

Bob Log III from Tuscon, Arizona

This gig deserves some comments, because without it, Same Boat, Another Sea would never have been recorded.  It was also about going back to the roots of music. As Bob Log III says: “take the blues and turn it into a party.”  And to the everlasting remarks about being a novelty act he clearly says: “serious rock? I don’t know what that is… is supposed to be about having fun.”  That is what that silly set of songs is about too, about me having fun, and maybe someone else can enjoy it too.



Also check buy celexa no prescription this video about Bob’s philosophy:



He mentions Missisippi Fred McDowell, an innovator of rhythical electric slide guitar as in this dancing track:



He also mentions Screaming Jay Hawkins, and everyone know this track, but few have seen this crazy shit



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Bob’s setup at the Depot in Leuven
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Shit on my leg, you pink witch!

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An important confusion seems to be about the guitars he is using — they are not Silvertone guitar, but Kay Airline Black Diamond series, hence the white diamond shape.

Kay Airline – Diamond series