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

Cheerful songs, shiny happy normal people

Loud music calms me down Somber music cheers me up Happy music is just…happy music If you listen to cheerful music no one ever asks questions. It is as normal as being in a stable, heterosexual relationship, having a bank account or owning a car. No one will question your sanity, even though it is…


As I watch my old self take over!

Recently, I have started hating people on the streets. Random people. Everyday people. Normal people who just happen to stare at a smartphone screen, or do groceries on a Saturday afternoon, or have a bit louder conversation. It comes with lower motivation to go out myself and meet people. I have no desire to go…


What’s wrong with Japan?

I love Japan. The band. Brilliant bastard child of New York Dolls and early Roxy music. On the intellectual side of the musical spectrum. Clearly from an age before the Internet, before social media and before the age of pornification. I wanted a picture of their first album, Adolescent Sex. Searching for band and album…


If music could talk (the musical universe of an introvert)

Music used to be my proxy for talking, for expressing my feelings and thoughts. I needed high doses of Joy Division and The Cure to feed my weirdly dark and nihilistic mental processes, the guidance of The Clash to channel my ever-present anger and latent wish to destroy the status quo, and Tom Waits, well…


Predicting the past

The life of a trend watcher is pretty amazing. No matter how wrong your predictions, you are still right. Like a doomsday prophet you can always explain away wrong predictions, or twist facts in such a way the prediction was right after all. Move on to the next round, the next year, and all will…


This is not a loss

Subversive as ever, John Lydon equaled (the art of) writing love songs to entering the domain of big business. Nothing more commercial than a love song. Only fitting that PIL’s biggest hit was ‘this is not a love song’. Shows the irony of life, for some people the humour of the bearded man above. The…


Am I living in this movie?

I’m living in this movie…is it…moving me? First there was music and then, all of a sudden, it became a quest for identity. First a song was just a song, couple of verses, a refrain, maybe a bridge, over and gone in just over three minutes, then it all got much more serious. During my…


Missed Opportunities

One of John Lennon’s many contributions to everyday philosophy is his observation that ‘life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans’. It crossed my mind when I read Glen Matlock’s affectionate words in a Pete Shelley obituary. Talking about the brilliance of the Buzzcocks and taking the time to go to…


I want to break free

With Bohemian Rhapsody in the cinema it is time to rethink and clarify my position on Queen and Freddie Mercury.I must have loved the band when I was young. After all, at primary school me and my friends imitated Queen on stage. I don’t remember which song we pretended to play. I only remember that…


Do they hear us calling?

The setting could have been awkward but felt completely natural. A bedroom, single bed against the wall, a small desk in the corner, no other furniture. In retrospect, the absence of furniture surprises me, but then again, that’s the way me and my friends were living. High school teenagers, still living with their parents, with…


Skip to toolbar