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12-12-2012 // interviews, 2012: 2012: Interview with Matthew De Zoete

The year 2012 is coming to an end. It is that time of the year for Christmas carols, buying presents for our loved ones and reflecting on the year that (almost) lies behind us. For us music bloggers it also means writing year lists, pretending our opinions matter to the world. Which of course, they do not, but even bloggers have dreams. These last few weeks I’ve asked several of my favorite artists of 2012 to look back on what this year has brought them. For their own musical careers, but also about the music they’ve enjoyed themselves and, if any, what their plans for 2013 are. These are their stories (yes, I did just quote the A-Team intro).

Matthew De Zoete is one of those reasons I enjoy putting together my little blog. No other blog that I read has ever written anything about him, none of the magazines I read have ever mentioned him. He wrote me a little email, just because he is a Canadian musician that has toured the Netherlands this year and I am a Dutch blogger with a little antenna for Canadian indie tunes. His 3rd album Colour Film is one of the finest albums I've heard this year, opening track "The Good Life" is a song that lifts my spirit, perfect for Monday mornings, but incredibly fine any other moment of the week. Colour Film is loaded with beautiful songs and a must-hear for any music lover. Here's what I wrote about the album earlier this year.


1. If you had to name one moment, what would you consider the highlight of 2012?
Buying a six pack of Westvleteren 8 Trappist Ale from the monastery! Musically, I'd have to say the highlight was the concert I played in my hometown, Hamilton, to celebrate the release of Colour Film. Although there were also a lot of great concert moments during the NL tour I played in January - March. I guess that's not really one moment for a highlight!

2. What are doing at the moment (november 2012)?
Right now, I'm decompressing after a 4 week Western Canada tour (11 000km and 26 shows in 28 days!) and getting ready for a 2 week Eastern Canada tour that starts November 29. As we say in English: "No rest for the wicked!" I really enjoy touring, so it's a busy but good time of the year for me.

3. Which great band/artist did you discover yourself in 2012?
Dinner Belles - They're a great folk/bluegrass group from my city, Hamilton.

4. What's your favourite album released this year?
Amelia Curran - Spectators

5. How will you celebrate New Year's Eve?
I'm not sure yet - I'm more of a last-minute-plans sort of person for New Year's Eve. Often, my wife and I get together with some friends to cook dinner, have some drinks, and stay up late. So I suspect we'll do something like that this year as well.

6. What are your plans for 2013?
My plans for 2013 include doing a fair bit more touring in Canada in support of Colour Film and to continue rehearsing and performing with my band to grow and develop new material. I'm always working on new songs, so I'll keep doing that as well, with an eye on the next album I'll record. Plus, I'll start looking at when I can return to NL for another tour!


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Thank you so much Matthew De Zoete for this little interview, I'm looking forward to your return to the Netherlands & will definately be there to shake your hand & listen to any new songs you might have by then.


10-12-2012 // interviews, 2012: 2012: Interview with Bridie Jackson

The year 2012 is coming to an end. It is that time of the year for Christmas carols, buying presents for our loved ones and reflecting on the year that (almost) lies behind us. For us music bloggers it also means writing year lists, pretending our opinions matter to the world. Which of course, they do not, but even bloggers have dreams. These last few weeks I’ve asked several of my favorite artists of 2012 to look back on what this year has brought them. For their own musical careers, but also about the music they’ve enjoyed themselves and, if any, what their plans for 2013 are. These are their stories (yes, I did just quote the A-Team intro).

There is really no better way to kick off these interview series than with Bridie Jackson & The Arbour. Their album “Bitter Lullabies” was my 1st love of the year. And the love has never faded since then. I have to admit I don’t listen to it as much as I did 10 months ago, but the love and goose bumps are just the same once it’s playing (like at this very moment). Listen to a few of their songs, read about their amazing year & get yourself a copy of “Bitter Lullabies” while you still can.


1. If you had to name one moment, what would you consider the highlight of 2012?
Probably selling out The Sage Gateshead for our album launch at the beginning of the year. However, it’s hard to pick just one, as there’s been quite a few highlights. 2012 has treated us very well!

2. What are doing at the moment (November 2012)?
We’ve just recorded a new single, due for release in January next year and getting ready to play the last few gigs of 2012.

3. Which great band/artist did you discover yourself in 2012?
The Choir of Young Believers, a band from Denmark. Absolutely beautiful music.

4. What's your favourite album released this year?
Alt-J, an awesome wave.

5. How will you celebrate New Year's Eve?
I usually don’t know what I’m doing until the night itself; I find that elaborate planning for New Years Eve can result in disappointment. I’m sure it will be fun though.

6. What are your plans for 2013?
So many plans! Festivals, gigs, new releases, an exciting project working in collaboration with museums to put on music events such as gigs and festivals… Maybe a trip to the Netherlands?!


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For me, Bridie Jackson & The Arbour kicked off a rough, but great year. Their music has been a great support and I will never stop loving their album Bitter Lullabies. Bridie, I would love to welcome you and the others for a gig (or two) on this side of the water. Thank you for taking the time for this little interview and I am looking forward to that new single in January!


05-12-2012 // MixTape, Plug in, Baby!: Something Special: 12 beautiful songs, just for you

It’s been a busy time and more loaded days are ahead of us, with the extravaganza of Christmas as a final blowout, is it January already..? but luckily the last month of 2012 has some great things planned for us, my loyal readers. There’s about a dozen interviews coming up with a lot of my favorite artists of 2012 and off course there’s the inevitable year lists. As a little something special that I wanted to do for all of my readers I’ve compiled a list with 12 of my favorite songs of 2012. There are probably a 100 songs that I could use for this list, but I carefully selected 12 amazing and incredibly beautiful songs from albums that I’ve fallen in love with this year. I will be playing the albums and these songs for a loooong time to come.

I can imagine you’re not getting the “doing something special for my readers”-input just yet, but that lies in the kicker: I began with making a downloadable file of these songs, but quickly realized that I wouldn’t do justice to the artists that put their heart and soul in these songs. So instead of the easy way, I’m offering you a free download of all these songs as an “all-expenses-paid”-trip. Shoot me an email via jeroen [AT] pluginbaby.nl and I will sent you the songs. The difference? I will purchase the amount of tracks needed for all requests via the artists’ websites or bandcamp-pages. Making sure they’ll get a fair pay for their talent.

I realize there were probably easier ways to solve this, but I’ve been too busy with so many things that this was the best way for now.
There are just 4 steps keeping you from 12 musical highlights of 2012:
1. Sent me an email at jeroen [AT] pluginbaby.nl
2. Receive a file with these 12 beauties
3. Download that m*therf*cker
4. Enjoy the shit out of it.

Have a great listen, have a great holiday season. Be sure to check out the interviews coming with several artists featured in this deal, there's also at least 2 more fine records to be reviewed!














Yes I know, there are great songs/artists missing (KOPPS, Paper Aeroplanes, to name just two of them) on this playlist, but I set the bar at 12 and decided to stick with it. Remember: Sent me an email, get these songs for free & support these 12 artists. They've deserved it. They've made the world a little more beautiful with their music this year. And for that: I thank them. For that: I salute them. I hope you do too.


03-12-2012 // Monday Morning Kick-Off: [MM-KO] Radio Free Universe - Six


Monday Morning Noise Time with Radio Free Universe (which is a really cool band name). This is straight forward rock music as it should be. Timeless perfectly performed rock music. Very suitable for a sleepy Monday morning. Have a good week!


27-11-2012 // Track: Thick Shakes - I Said So


If you had a rough night and need some noise to keep you awake through the day: try Thick Shakes. Perfect garage punk that'll keep you dancing untill it's time for bed again.


26-11-2012 // Album: D.D DUMBO - D.D DUMBO


Now here's some great noisy tunes from the 1st day of 2012. Still kicking it loud now that we're almost at the end of it. This is a 6-track release by D.D DUMBO (with Oliver Hugh Perry being the name behind the name) that is a little weird, a little noisy, a little of a lot of things, but mostly just really enjoyable.


"I woke up covered in sand" is one of those great songs words can't describe.
It is just 198 seconds of greatness on a tape.


A trippy ending, which is exactly what this album deserves. The entire album reminds me of psychedelic 60s tunes and "alihukwe" is no stranger to that feeling or sound. I can just close my eyes and I'll be 9 years old again, watching Tour of Duty on TV in my pajamas after soccer practice. And that's a great feeling, so thank you D.D DUMBO. For a great album and a good memory regained!


23-11-2012 // Album: JP Haynie - The Sand


Most played record for November, maybe October too. JP Haynie's The Sand is one for the "best of 2012"-lists. There's nothing this is comparable with, it is pretty much unique in style and beauty. Just like those other fantastic albums this year has brought us, this is an album that you just want to hear again right at the moment the last song has finished.


"Peaceful River" is my favourite song, it could last for an hour and I'd still love it, some songs are just meant to last forever.. If this would've been the closing track on the album, it would've lasted 15 minutes & JP Haynie would've gotten away with it. It's almost too bad that didn't happen.


You got the idea, I love this album. There's a little bit of a lot in there, but it's also not like anything I've heard in a long time. Best references that come to mind are The Antlers and Grandaddy. Not the least of names..


"How Quickly We Forget" is one the more 'regular' songs on the album, but still a beauty. And the lyrics are pretty much perfect for a song with such a title.

Based on the huge amount of airtime this record received over the last weeks I should've already ordered myself and my entire family a copy of this. Unfortunately I'm flat broke, but don't let you (or my family) stop that of getting a copy for yourself. This is what I consider a must-have, and I will definately get at least myself a copy as soon as I can.

Great. Fucking. Record. (it's the 2013-slogan for great albums, get used to it..)


21-11-2012 // EP: Lion The Weak - Midnight


This 4-track EP was released on the 1st day of 2012, and now that we're slowly on our way to the end of it (assuming the whole Mayan-thing is bullshit and we'll make it into the next year) this is still a fine collection of songs. It took me a few days to realize why this sounds so familair, but eventually I came up with the perfect reference for this band: Real Estate! And let's be fair, there's nothing wrong with being compared to that perfect 2011-Summervibe Real Estate's "Days" brought us, and still brings us.


Lions The Weak's EP has that same subtle touch of sunshine in it, and the songs just get better everytime you hear them. Personal favourite is, off course, (you girls are) "All The Same". I imagine Real Estate, and any band slighty comparable is extremely jealous of a song like this. It has everything a great song needs. Perfection in 5 minutes and 8 seconds? Hell yes!


20-11-2012 // Track: The Parlor Soldiers - When The Dust Settles


The Parlor Soldiers are an Americana duo that released their debut album When The Dust Settles December last year and it holds some really good songs. My personal favourite is the heartbreaking title-song, it gives the me good kind of thrills everytime I hear it. The entire album lacks some diversity in my humble opinion, but this song is to good not to share. If you like it, check out the entire album @ http://theparlorsoldiers.bandcamp.com/.


19-11-2012 // EP: skittish - The Five Stages EP



Just a month old, but already one of my favourite releases of the year is The Five Stages EP by skittish. The 5-track EP tells about 5 stages, probably those of grief, I'm guessing those that come with a broken heart. And the impressive thing about it is that you can actually hear the different stages in the way the songs are made.


The 2nd song "Built To Break (Anger)" is more heavy, but "The Fixer (Bargaining)" already holds a little hope. The instrumentation and the song itself clearly tell the story. Just like "Kerosene (Depression)" has a melodramatic feel to it. The powerrock sets the perfect mood. Finishing track of the short story "The World Needs Bartenders (Acceptance)" is no happy song, but the sun is clearly shining again. The last 90 seconds are an absolute delight. It's like dancing on the beach with a cocktail in your hand (I did the Winter-version several times these last weeks: kitchen-dancing with a beer): I don't need you anyway!


The other great thing about this album is even more simple though. These are just 5 great songs! They are all unique and make a great song on their own, but bound together they become even better songs and as a whole make this a great album. An album I can listen to over and over again: One of the best releases of the year!


19-11-2012 // Monday Morning Kick-Off: English Sporting Defeat - Pop Thrills


English Sporting Defeat released a new track, and although they've labelled it as a demo, it sounds like a completely finished song to me. It's a cool and energetic song that'll make you sing & dance in no-time. Perfect to kick off another week. Have a good one!


18-11-2012 // Track: Idiot Wind - Lost In The Light


Sunday morning, not even 9 o'clock. Coffee and a brand new song by Idiot Wind. And it's not alone, she released a new single, of which this is the B-side. Listen to the equally beautiful A-side @ http://someidiotwind.bandcamp.com/. This is already a perfect Sunday.


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