Author: <span class="vcard">Aksel van Elteren</span>

Music for elevators

It stopped me in my tracks. At first I didn’t know why, but then I realised, the music in the elevator I just came out was an instrumental version of ‘Don’t look back in Anger‘, complete with a sweet, nondescript string section. It stopped me in my tracks for two unrelated reasons. First, the sudden…


Top 10 of concert annoyances!

Back in the old days, when smoking was still allowed everywhere, I never noticed the smell of other people. One of the advantages of a venue filled with smoke is that it literally covers and blocks all other nasal sensations. Having said that, smelly people is hardly my biggest concert annoyance. Here’s my personal Top…


Will the true fan please rise?

It was a weird day already. A bunch of French guys were in the same bus from Zürich to Munich, all in Lederhosen, drinking beer at 10 in the morning, which could only mean one thing; Oktoberfest in Munich. The city would be packed with boys in Lederhosen and girls in Dirndls, all drinking massive…


Love me…please!

The audience was gradually getting nervous as Black Midi extended songs beyond recognition, almost stopped playing altogether, engaged in prolonged stop-start patterns with satanic pleasure and then, all of a sudden, started the next song without even waiting for applause. This was exciting, dangerous, finally a band pushing boundaries of technical possibilities, song structure and…


Can music be too clever?

We admire intelligent people, might even love the bright, but we instinctively sense something is off with the smart and clever ones. Street-smart is good, being a smart-ass definitely isn’t, and clever almost always carries an element of trying too hard, of desperately wanting to be better than the rest; standing out for the sake…


Best decade ever…

Ever wondered why 60’s music sounds so much better than music from the current decade? Or why there’s so much more good to excellent music from the 70’s compared to the 90’s? It’s not that complicated. Moving popular, fashionable but otherwise mediocre music to the dustbin of history is a gradual process. The further we…


Killing in the name of

If a man kills himself it’s suicide If a man kills his wife it’s homicide (actually femicide) If a man kills his family it’s a tragedy. Or that’s the way media usually describe such news. The framing hides reality, makes the story palatable, and obscures the fact that (desperate and egoistic) men sometimes decide that…


Pictures of you

I’ve been looking so long at these pictures of you That I almost believe that they’re real Look at me! Look at my smile, my skin, the twinkle in my eyes, all so young and innocent. When did you say this was?…2019…I must have been…mmm…22 probably. That’s Marta, right, that girl on the left of…


Why no one reads Ulysses anymore

So, did you finally find the courage to read it? She smiled as she asked the question, the young cashier at the bookstore. I looked at the copy of Ulysses I just handed over to her and then back at her smile, still unsure if I should be insulted or not. Truth is I had…


Alone (not lonely)

‘After all, people and beauty hardly ever combine into something sustainable…’ It feels like being in a secret brotherhood, one with coded signs to determine who belongs and who doesn’t. Things that look perfectly normal in the eyes of most people take a whole new, secret dimension through mine. There is no initiation ritual, not…


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