The Doors release 6CD Box

Sunday July 3rd it will be exactly 40 years day to day that Jim Morrison, charismatic frontman of The Doors, died in his Paris apartment, aged 27. The creative wiz of four brilliant musicians – drummer John Densmore, guitarist Robby Kreiger, keyboard player Ray Manzarek and singer Jim Morrison – turned The Doors into one of the most iconic and influential bands ever.
With their debut ‘The Doors’ released in 1967, the band introduced their controversial and uncompromising music, a mix of blues, (psychedelic) rock and jazz. In the following years the band continued to turn out iconic albums which still influence contemporary music today. In 1971 the band’s glorious ride of success came to a sudden halt with the death of its lead singer Jim Morrison.

A cd box entitled A Collection, containing their self-titled debut album, Strange Days, Waiting For The Sun, The Soft Parade, Morrison Hotel and L.A. Womanwill be released tomorrow to commemorate Jim’s death. The box comprises the complete discography of The Doors with Jim Morrison and will come with the original artwork in paper sleeve replicas. Studio Brussel listeners will have to get up early on Saturday for their chance to win a copy. Early birds rise and take a chance on Jim.

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Prince plays Ghent

Your chance to see Prince at North Sea Jazz in July was pretty much zero to nothing as tickets for all three nights sold out in no time. Maybe this triggered the artist to stop by Sint-Pietersplein in Ghent on his Welcome 2 America Tour, not for one but two nights. Again, the first concert 6 July sold out in minutes, so a second date 5 July was added. Surprisingly there are still tickets for sale. Not having a new album out might be a reason for (s)low sales, but for someone like Prince this still seems a little odd. No word of a 20Eleven as yet. Having gone to one of the 21 series at the O2 a few years ago, yours truly can surely recommend.

Beastie Boys + Santigold

Beastie Boys released their 1st Hip-Hop album in seven years, entitled Hot Sauce Committee Part 2 beginning of May. For the record, there is no part 1 as yet, originally scheduled for release 2009. The set is a collection of breezy old school and heavier stompers, combining well thought out samples and powerful rap verses, and can be described as a return to their glory days.
The current single Don’t Play No Game That I Can’t Win featuring Santigold on vocals sounds refreshing and contemporary, yet fits Beastie Boys repertoire perfectly. Santigold is putting the finishing touches to her sophomore, scheduled to hit stores this fall. This collab is a nice little appetizer.

Glastonbury 2011

This year’s edition of Glastonbury Festival (Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts in full) in England came to a close yesterday with a spectacular finale. Glasto is the world’s biggest open air music happening. Famous for its rock and pop concerts, it also hosts dance, cabaret and circus performances.
The festival started off in 1970 with only a mere 1500 visitors. Over the years the concert was not held consecutively for reasons such as riots or superfluous rain. Last year Glastonbury celebrated its 40th birthday. This year 175.000 tickets were sold. Some of the names on the bill: Coldplay, Noah & the Whale, BB King, Janelle Monae, Aloe Blacc, Primal Scream, Wu-Tang Clan, James Blake and many, many others.
U2 headlined Friday evening treating fans to an iconic performance. Last night you could witness a historic performance by Beyoncé, the first female solo artist to headline at the main Pyramid stage. Performing in front of such a massive crowd, consisting of mainly rock fans, may have seemed like a daunting task. B pulled it off effortlessly, proving she is one of thè biggest performers around. In the 90min show she fitted most of her signature hits, some new material and a medley of Destiny’s Child songs. But she also tried to please the rock audience with her own take on Alanis Morissette’s You Oughta Know and Kings of Leon’s Sex On Fire. Those did not impress much. But overall the performance did without a doubt. The singer easily won the crowd over. Backed by her all-female band and a handful of male and female dancers she brought entertainment at its best, flawlessly displaying her vocal ability.
Watch more Beyoncé after the jump or catch some of the most memorable Glasto 2011 performances on this YouTube playlist.

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Jef Neve shines on Synrise

Belgian radio station Studio Brussels regularly has artists drop by and strip down or play in unusual collaborations. Last week they invited Jazz pianist Jef Neve to play his rendition of electro-punk band Goose’s song Synrise. Goose formed at the beginning of the millennium and took part in Humo’s Rock Rally in 2002, allowing them to record their debut album Bring It On a year later. Synrise is the title track to their second album, released end of 2010.  Neve never shys from letting jazz meet pop. This piece showcase the piano virtuoso’s talent. Sit through the clip and feel the energy build.

Sofie & So Four

Last Thursday singer Sofie joined a few friends for jazzy jam session. In an intimate setting they brought classics such as Wonderful World and Bluesette. Highlights of the evening included Billie Holiday’s God Bless The Child and the encore You’ve Changed. Coming Friday Sofie is opening for Toots (Thielemans) in Leuven, Belgium.

Sofie (Verbruggen) is what you would call one of those powerhouse vocals, comparable to Tina Turner or Taylor Dayne. She started out as a member of disco-band Trinity. Going solo she scored her first hit in 1982 with the beautiful ballad I Love You.  It wasn’t until ’93 when Sofie got her band So Four together, that she repeated that success with the albums So Far So Good and especially Love Loops (1995). The latter included a duet with Bobby Womack, a powerful rendition of I Wanna Know What Love Is and the groovy Play It Cool. Take a listen here to some of her material recorded over the years.

Jim Cole’s Soulrevival

Last month Jim Cole released When Love Is Not Enough, follow up to his 2008 debut Soul In 2. The album displays a good mix of up-tempo feel-good tunes and smooth ballads dipped in retro Soul. When Love Is Not Enough fuses Motown Soul with funk elements. Not surprisingly Jimmy is being referred to as Belgian’s Lenny Kravitz.

Listening to the first single So Lonely, his voice reminds me a little of David Jordan. His music is just a refreshing and melodic. Jim’s debut single Someday Charlotte was a minor radio hit three years ago, but somehow the 1st album got lost in pop land. This new album could – should do big things for Cole.

MJB – Feel Inside

We are led to believe the upcoming new Mary J Blige album My Life II, The Journey Continues will be a return to the 411. Talk about creating a hype. What’s the 411? was to R&B what Marvin’ Gaye’s What’s Going On was to Soul Music. Hard to beat, hard to compete. Blige set the tone to become the Queen of R&B with her first 3 albums, but then apart from a few highlights thereafter, sort of got side tracked, blinded by Bling Bling. Sure I’m not the only one eagerly waiting, be that with a feel of disbelieve, for Blige to return to her roots and dish up a second chapter of My Life.

Previous sneak peaks such as the first single Someone To Love Me (Naked) and the leaked track Miss Me With That completely missed the point. Now another track has surfaced called Feel Inside, featuring Nicki Minaj. This one sounds a lot more reassuring. A mid-tempo rhythm bearing resemblance of MJB’s early work, with Nicki’s rap and Mary’s vocal right on cue. Sampling Wu-Tang Clan’s Triumph might have something to do with the familiar laid back, Hip Hop style sound. If you liked Mary J’s early not-so-commercial-nor-auto-tuned work be sure to check this one…

Intergalactic Lovers

Belgian Indie-rockband Intergalactic Lovers released their critically acclaimed debut album Greetings & Salutations back in March 2011. The band has been around for some time. Some band members entered Humo’s Rock Rally in 2008, not getting the response they hoped for. The band was re-sized and re-named to go on winning the Flemmish Rockconcours and Rock Rally in 2009. Fade Away, the first single, got extensive airplay. With Delay the band showed they have staying power. The latest single Shewolf proves they mean business.

Check out this live performance of the single Delay, aired on Dutch television back in May.

Black Box Revelation new video

In 2006 the Black Box Revelation were runners up to The Hickey Underworld in Belgium’s influential Humo’s Rock Rally, a contest for rock bands the Flemish journal organizes every other year. Since then the band has grown to become one of Belgian’s finest rock bands, as have quite a number of finalists over the years. They have toured in the United States and are a guaranteed crowd-pleaser at festivals.

Set Your Head On Fire (2007), the band’s first full length, produced the hits Gravity Blues and Never Alone/Always Together. The sophomore Silver Threats, included the successful singles High on a Wire and Love Licks. February this year the single Lust or Love was released, whilst working on their new album in LA. Rattle My Heart, released June 1st, is officially the lead single from the forthcoming 3rd album My Perception, due out worldwide October 3rd. The video clip is a colorful sight to watch. Outfits provided by Walter Van Beirendonck. Great to see this collaboration come to life.