May 7, 2013

Trix week

Last week was Trix week, of Trix going and Trix coming. The Trix going was our good old Queen Beatrix of The Kingdom of The Netherlands. She abdicated her throne on April 30th, which was the national 'all Dutch go nuts' Queen's Day for the last 71 years. She vacated her seat to her eldest son Willem Alexander, who just became the first king in over 120 years, and with that Queen's Day is now becoming King's Day. April 30 was actually the birthday of Juliana, the Queen Mother, or I guess we would now have to call her the King Granny. When Beatrix became queen in 1980, she did not change the date of Queen's Day to her own birthday, January 31. Although a little kid, I do remember her announcement at the time that this was 'in honor of her beloved mother'. Her mother indeed was very beloved, but now that i'm older i'm pretty sure the main reason was the weather. Late April is much more amenable to the typical outdoor festivities than late January. Coincidentally, Willem's birthday is very close to his granny's, April 27th, and starting next year King's Day will be 3 days earlier than Queen's Day.

With the new king also comes a new queen. Queen Maxima, a blonde Argentinian girl who's spontaneity and exotic flair stole the hearts of the Dutch people. So Argentina is on a role in 2013: after the historic election of a pope, they now have their very first queen as well. I'm sure the whole country is wishing to complete the trinity with a title in next year's world cup soccer, even sweeter as it will be hosed by nemesis Brazil...........

Speaking of soccer, GABROEN likes to listen a Dutch radio show hosted by an iconic soccer and sports commentator slash music fan. The radio show has nothing to do with sports; this guy is just playing records he likes, but he provides commentary in pretty much the same way he does sports. One record we heard some 3 months back was from Trixie Whitley, an up and coming singer-songwriter from Brooklyn and Belgium, daughter of jazz rock guitarist Chris Whitley. To our pleasant surprise, she came to play in nearby Evanston last week - so she was the coming Trix.

After a surprisingly strong opening act by the frontman of Echorev (never heard of), up came a skinny blond which looked passionate and possessed. She put on an intense show, playing her heart, voice and guitars out. Each guitar was out of tune every time she ploinged and plunked its snares through another emotional song. Her voice was hoarse before she even started, but that didn't prevent her from leaving her soul on stage. Its hoarseness actually gave her performance a more tantalizing, almost haunted feel to it. But the real magic entered the intimate nightclub venue every time she got behind the piano. Powerful stuff can be produced by a skinny girl with a voice blown to pieces. Just watch the video of Pieces

Trix week - a historic week all around.

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