belgium

Deerhoof "Congotronics Vs. Rockers" Tour

Last year, Deerhoof provided the lead track to Tradi-Mods Vs. Rockers: Alternative Takes on Congotronics, a compilation that brought together independent Western artists with Congolese street musicians, which was released on Crammed Discs as part of their Congotronics series. This summer, that album will come to life when Deerhoof join Congotronics strongholds Kasai Allstars and Konono N°1 plus Congotronics producer Vincent Kenisas, as well as Wildbirds & Peacedrums, Juana Molina, and Skeletons member Matt Mehlan for a tour that will take them throughout Europe and Japan.
Listen to Deerhoof cover Kasai Allstars, “Travel Broaden the Mind
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Congotronics Vs. Rockers Tour
05-12 Brussels, Belgium - Nuits Botanique Festival at Cirque Royal
05-14 Madrid, Spain - TBA w/ Lonely Drifter Kare
06-26 Brussels, Belgium - Couleur Café Festival
06-30 Utrecht, Netherlands - Le Guess Who at Tivoli
07-02 Roskilde, Denmark - Roskilde Festival
07-03 Berlin, Germany - HKW
07-06 Metz, France - Place de la Republique
07-09 Paris, France - Bataclan
07-12 London, England - The Barbican
07-14 Benicassim, Spain - Benicassim Festival
07-17 Carhaix, France - Vieilles Charrues Festival
07-21 Nyon, Switzerland - Paleo Festival
07-23 Sines, Portugal - FMM Festival
07-30 Niigata, Japan - Fuji Rock Festival

Takka Takka Announce New Album In 2011

Takka Takka will be kicking off a month of headlining European tour dates this November, celebrating the European release of 2008's critically acclaimed album, Migration (released for the first time overseas via Lili Is Pi Records). The band will also be debuting new material from their forthcoming record due out in the spring 2011 on Ernest Jenning Record Co. The upcoming dates will mark the debut of the band's current lineup featuring Gabe Levine (vocals / guitar) Conrad Doucette (drums) Rene Planchon (guitar) and most recent addition Craig Montoro (bass/vocals).

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Tour Dates:

Europe
11.09.10: Luxembourg, Luxembourg // Cafe Rocas
11.10.10: Paris, France // Fleche d'Or
11.11.10: Duisburg, Germany // Steinbruch
11.12.10: Offenbach (Frankfurt), Germany // Hafen 2
11.13.10: Stuttgart, Germany // Galao
11.16.10: Rome, Italy // Sinister Noise
11.17.10: Verona, Italy // Interzona
11.18.10: Colmar, France // Le Colisee
11.19.10: Leeuwarden, Netherlands // Podium Asteriks
11.20.10: Rotterdam, Netherlands // Rotown
11.21.10: Lille, France // Le Drugstore
11.22.10: Liege, Belgium // Le Escalier
11.23.10: Gent, Belgium // Vooruit

USA
12.02.10: New York, NY // The Mercury Lounge

Bush in Belgium

Protests against President Bush''s visit to Belgium! - for the Grateful Web

I think everybody knows that Europe and more specific Belgium was delighted to have a big visitor: i.e. as he is called "the most powerful man of the world", G.W. Bush.

The main purpose of this visit was to re-establish the "sour" relationships between Europe and the US.

In this column, I won't bring up the several meetings he had, what decisions were made, or even the fact he admitted he used marijuana. I'm sure you'll find this information in a lot of other sources. What I want to do is, go into the consequences this visit has for a small country as Belgium.

First of all, thousands of people came to Brussels to protest against the current policy of the US: not signing the Kyoto-pact; assail the civil rights at home and abroad; playing a negative role as regards world peace. The demonstrators don't want that Europe follows the example of the US. About 90 organisations and several polictical parties took part in these manifestations. Also the holebi-federation was present. They protested against the fact the US does not allow homosexual weddings. Participants came from all over the world: Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany, and the States.

Surprisingly, there was also a demonstration PRO Bush. Kurds (Iraq) wanted to thank Bush for liberating their country from Saddam Hoessein, who suppressed the Kurds for many, many years. They wanted to give him flowers, but they did not manage to go through the security services.

Indeed, a lot of safety measures were taken to protect the president: e.g. garbage cans were removed or welded, airplanes were diverted, sharpshooters were presented on roofs, police choppers were circulating above the place where the president was at that time, etc. Noticing this, I wondered whether the US is always like a "guarded stronghold"…

To conclude, something about the mysterious words of the president during an interview with our Belgian correspondent in the US, Greet De Keyser. At the end of the interview, he said to her "you have great eyes". In the biography of Bill Clinton there is written that at the end of an application interview with the at-that-time applicant Monica Lewinsky, he also said "you have great eyes". Should we worry…?

Ghent Belgium

In this column I want to talk to you about Ghent. Ghent is the capital of the province East-Flanders in Belgium, a small country in Europe, and has about 225 000 inhabitants.

My main purpose is to give you a first impression of the city I live in since a couple of years. For this, I'll take you with me to some places that made a big impression on me … until now. Keep in mind this will not be a complete tour to all places of interest in the city! This wouldn't be possible anyway as there is so much to see and to do. Shall we leave?

Can I ask you to close your eyes? We will walk to the place from where you get the most impressive view of the city: the Saint-Michael' bridge. Now we are standing on top of this bridge, open your eyes. Do you like the view? The towers you see in front of you are the three most famous towers of the city: Saint-Nicholas' church, the Belfry, and the Saint-Bavo's cathedral. In the later, the famous painting "The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb" (Jan Van Eyck, 1432) is hanging, which is considered as a high point in the 15th century Flemish art. Now I want to draw your attention on the area under the bridge. Here the Graslei and Korenlei are situated. The numerous waterways passing through the inner city all flow towards the former port at the Graslei. The elegant facades of the Graslei and Korenlei represent different architectural styles. Each facade reflects a period of history remembering the visitor of the spirit of enterprise and the busy commercial activities of the old guilds. During sunny days, people are gathered at the waterside to talk, read, make music, have a drink etc. This is a fantastic area to overlook the day. Maybe you can relax here tonight before going to bed.

As regards me, the most impressive building in town is the Castle of Counts (Gravensteen), a medieval castle that was built in 1180 by Philip of Alsace, count of Flanders. Originally, until the 14th century, the castle had a military role (protecting the citizens). Afterwards, it has been used for a variety of purposes: mint, court, jail and cotton mill. The castle contains a crypt and a dungeon and also houses, court museum, and a collection of historical weapons and armors. Enter into the medieval times and discover it all during your self-guided tour! Don't forget to walk along the castle's encircling wall, from where you have a beautiful view over the city.

Lets continue our sightseeing in the "Patershol". The "Patershol" is a tight web of brick terraced houses dating from the seventeenth century. It is really nice to walk in these small streets, with a lot of good restaurants. Maybe we can come back here to have dinner later on!

At the other sight of town, at the "Sint-Pietersplein", excavations are carried out at the moment. Once a week, an archeologist gives detailed, updated information about these excavations (for free), which makes it even more interesting. While there, we should take advantage of the opportunity to visit the nature museum as well. Concerning me, it is worth the walk as you can discover other beautiful places in town in the meantime as well. Shall we have a look?

It was worth the effort wasn't it? Do you need to go away from the commotion in the streets for a while? Well, in that case I'll take you to the "Blaarmeersen", a recreation park with nice promenade walks, lawns where you can relax and read a book, playgrounds for the children, a big lake where you can surf, swim, kayak, etc. In other words, this is the perfect spot to relax and take it easy.

For the nature lovers, the "Bourgoyen-Ossemeersen" is a good alternative, a nature reserve where you can make nice walks, in complete silence. Binoculars are a must, so those who have them with them, don't forget to use them!

Ok, lets get back to the city center and have dinner in one of the restaurants I showed you earlier today (Patershol). For those who want to explore the nightlife, nightclubs and cafés are spread all over town. Don't forget, you are in Belgium, the European country known for its beers. But, always think about the day after…!

If you think one night of partying is not enough, you should come back in July as the Ghent Festivities (Gentse Feesten) take place then. For ten days, the whole city is turned upside down. Partygoers, culture lovers, and even children come into theirs own for sure. There are several performances on a number of podia and bars in town, street theatre, kermis, etc. A great time for young and old!

With this tip, I'll leave you to it. Remember there is a lot more to see than the places I showed you! Enjoy the rest of your stay, and maybe we'll meet again. See you!