Saturday, September 30, 2006

Du Hast Rammstein?

How to beat a teenage Rammstein fan.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Worst Album Covers

What do you do when you don't have a lot of time, but you still need to update your blog every once and a while? You come up with a classic of course! So here are a few links to galleries with truly horrible, funny and/or disturbing record sleeves.

Heavy.com / Diesel (this one seems to be offline for the time being...)

Museum of Bad Album Covers

JimLawrence.net

Pork Tornado


Well, can he?

Have you got an album cover that's even worse? Feel free to send a scan to Blunderpop.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Bassist Wanted

An excellent series of music-related comics by cartoonist / stand-up comedian / editor Porter Mason from Brooklyn, NY. 'Bassist Wanted' includes useful tips on how to deal with Ticketmaster, the conditions on which you're allowed to buy an iPod and how to escape the cheesy ramblings of James Blunt (essentially, you can't).

Friday, September 22, 2006

Butsenzeller vs a senior citizen

After reading Butsenzellers' story below ('No Sleep Till Ranst'), I remembered another incident in which he starred:

It's bad enough when the police comes and closes down your party because of 'sound pollution', but it gets even worse when concerned citizens take the right in their own hands. This is exactly what happened on a block party we organised a few years ago in Antwerp. And again, Butsenzeller was deejaying on the afterparty. There were a lot of people, most of them very drunk, having a good time. Curfew was at midnight and only minutes after the clock struck twelve, a one-person vigilante decided to take action. Suddenly, this old lady made her way through the crowd, entered the stage and in one fluid motion... put her hand on the record that was playing, forcing it to stop. Silence. Butsenzeller was at the time very busy putting on a new record and was wearing a headphone, so it took some time before he realised what was happening. To his amazement he then saw this angry granny standing beside him. He shrugged, hit the start button of the turntable, and the party took off again. For ten seconds. Then the old lady put her hand on the record again, making it stop. Butsenzeller put the record back on. The woman put it off again. And so the struggle went on - it was like a surreal scratching contest. The crowd started to realise what was happening and soon a shower of plastic cups, beer cans, wads of paper and other debris was raining down on the stage. The crowd obviously intended to hit the old lady but being drunk they also hit Butsenzeller, the DJ gear and of course, each other. In the end, Butsenzeller gave up the fight, called it a night and left the stage. A day later we had to excuse ourselves profusely to a very disgruntled neigbourhood committee.

No Sleep Till Ranst

Some time ago, Butsenzeller had to deejay the afterparty on Gyprock, a festival organised by the Chiro (local youth movement) in Ranst, Belgium. One of his bands, Traktor, also happened to be the headliner on this festival, so he had to run from his drumstool to the decks. Enter the Kafka-esque Ranst police department.

It was a fine party with everybody going nuts, but a at a given moment the police did a bust, clearly intending to ruin the party. Within moments, there was a big hassle, with one guy hanging around the back of one cop, trying to keep him from getting on the stage. But Butsenzeller -being the conscentious professional that he is- was totally focused on his deejaying and didn't notice anything until another cop was standing right in front of him, loudly demanding his ID card. Butsenzeller turned the volume down and said to the cop that he was only doing his job (a cheap excuse mostly made by the police itself). But there was no way Butsenzeller was going to hand over his ID card just like that ; instead he said that any complaint about noise -or 'sound pollution', as the law puts it- was the responsibility of the organiser. The latter had to provide a decibel meter preventing the deejay from playing too loud. So the cops went to the backstage in search of someone responsible. In the meantime Butsenzeller put the volume back where it belonged and spinned the Beastie Boy's 'You Gotta Fight For Your Right (To Party)' which was chanted along by everyone in the audience. In the end -because it was almost 3 AM (the official closing time of the party)- the cops left the party going on for another 20 minutes, but they asked to do it a bit more quietly. This should have been the end of the story but of course, it wasn't.

DJ Butsenzeller @ Gentse Feesten

A few months later, Butsenzeller received a phone call from the Gyprock organiser, who almost begged him to come forward with his real name because the local police of Ranst actually threatened this poor youngster that he would never be allowed to organise anything ever again, if they didn't receive an official statement by the 'deejay in charge' pronto. Boots felt sorry for the hapless organiser so he called back to the local police, only to end up on an answering machine. So he left a message, giving his real name and a phone number where they could reach him. He got a message back on his own voicemail several times, mostly on unholy hours like 7 or 8 am. It turned out that the local police department was only open until 11 AM (criminals must enjoy temselves very much in Ranst every afternoon). Being a musician and therefore mostly working at night, he always heard the messages way too late to get back to them before closing time. The cop who left the messages sounded more nervous every time and finally gave Butsenzeller an ultimatum: this was his last chance to call back, otherwise they would put out a national search warrant for his 'misdemeanour'. What else could he do than call them before going to bed? So he did, first of all telling the cop that he didn't feel like getting a threat like that, when no crime was actually committed. The officer calmed down after that and asked for an appointment, because all they really needed was an official statement op paper. Bootsie naturally didn't feel like going to Ranst before 11 AM to oblige. So he bragged around about his busy schedule and asked the police officer if he could go to his nearest police station for the statement instead. This he was graciously allowed to do and they made an appointment at 4 PM.There, an officer eagerly wrote down (yes, with a ballpoint!) the statement and finally excused himself for taking Butsenzeller's time.

Of course the case was closed by this final act of red tape and he never heard from them again. And there was another edition of Gyprock a year later.

Being as conscientious as Butsenzeller himself, we did a little check on this story and the police of Ranst have since changed their business hours so deejays and other criminals be aware!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Mud will tear us apart

As regular readers of this blog might have noticed: I've been to Dour festival several times. Each year, I used to pitch my tent on one of their assorted mudfields (someone said 'camping site' ?). All of this is very nice, if you discount fierce searchlights, drunk people stumbling over (or even in) your tent, the omnipresent smell of piss and shit (even without any refuse-tanks exploding - read on if you want to catch up on that one) and a LOT of havoc in general. But when it starts to rain, things do get a bit uncomfortable. And when it pours for four consecutive days, it becomes living hell.

This is what Dour looked like on the second day (and the festival is only half-way!)

The last year I went, things started off nicely enough. The first day, it didn't rain at all, even though I did manage to blow up my gas stove. It went downhill ever since. After three days, I made myself a little status report. It went a little like this:

- clothes: utterly and totally soaked, in particular my underwear for some strange reason

- food: most of it still at home. as for the remainder: see 'clothes'.

- tent: not even remotely resembling one.

- shoes: begging to be shot

- one night stands: an orgy of mud

- good concerts: possibly, but there was no way I could go and see them because I forgot to bring a kayak / snowshoes

- money: still a little bit of it left. Which means I'm more lucky then the guy who dropped his wallet in the mud, never to see it again (true story)

- wellness factor: huddling against the bottom of the Kelvin scale

- tobacco and soft drugs: see 'clothes'

As you can imagine, my enthousiasm was about to hit rock bottom as the dawn of the fourth and final day of the festival joyously announced itself with yet another torrent. But I still had a sense of duty lurking somewhere in the back of my mind, screaming: "RifRaf Musiczine managed to get you in for free, so it's time you do something back for them". My ears were filled with mud at the time so I didn't quite get the message, but I went to the RifRaf cabin anyway, who were also hosting the 'Lost And Found' department of Dour festival, because I had a job to do.

Of course, in the beginning, the rain & mud thing is still funny -and even somewhat erotic for some....

After sitting there for about an hour, watching people frantically browsing through a box of wallets and key rings, I noticed a guy coming up to me. He was entirely naked, save a rope sack that hid his most, erm, important parts and he was almost entirely covered with a cake of mud. He explained his quandary to me. On the first night, his tent had been stolen. On the second night, he had lost all of his clothes (he didn't tell me exactly how this had come about so let your imagination roam freely) and finally, on the third night, he had lost his wallet. I wanted to ask him why he just didn't come to us after his tent -or at least his clothes (I mean, the idea of spending two days on a festival naked, even if you have a wallet -where are you going to put it?- strikes me as a bit odd)- had been stolen. But I soon decided against it. Instead, I went to one of my RifRaf fellows, quickly explained the situation and ran off as fast as I could to my designated mudfield, packed all my stuff that was still worth packing and took the first train home. I haven't been back since... I will go back though, as soon as Dour organises its next festival somewhere in, say, the Kalahari.

God, how I hate mud!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Video Did Kill The Radio Star

It's been very busy here, so we haven't had much time to edit new stories. But in the mean time, here's a lovely videoclip from Journey, a rock band that truly embodies the Spinal Tap spirit. This no-budget video sums up all the musical clich├ęs of the ultimate Blunder decade: the 80s. The song ('Separate Ways', from their 1983 'Frontiers' album) is erm, very interesting in its own right, too.



Allmusic describes Journey as :

* Yearning
* Slick
* Earnest
* Rousing
* Self-Conscious
* Theatrical
* Sentimental
* Smooth
* Romantic
* Passionate

Well they
are, aren't they?

Monday, September 04, 2006

Webcam superstars

Well, this is not your average Blunderpop entry, but this little megamix is just too good not to post: