In the Dark



Who doesn’t suffer from information stress yet?

With the NOS news app on my phone, I check the coronavirus live blog at least ten times a day. The Volkskrant that hits the doormat every day – I won’t claim to be spelling all those tens of pages about the virus, but I do spend more time reading the newspaper than when everything was still normal. Twitter is a kind of drug: I‘m on a fifteen minutes diet. No longer, because an overdose of fuss, petty opinions, memes, troll-nonsense and witty comments, and before you know it you are in the rehab, as a victim of the corona news virus. I have a friend who gets excited  on Twitter about everything on covid-19. He barks at the moon, but it doesn’t bother him, he keeps spitting out comments like a cry in the desert. I can imagine that. You want to count, your opinion is important! Only, the coronavirus does not behave properly and predictably, as it should. Chances are that your opinion today will be obsolete tomorrow. That sucks.

My antiserum these days is Max, Mischa the Tet Offensive by Johan Harstad. The conversations with my love, children and the online drinks with friends are also good for the mood. And I am hard at work writing and recording songs for the new album of The Dutch.

Maybe you’re aware that I’m writing about everything that concerns me. So one time I’m excited about an artist like H.N. Werkman, other times I think we shouldn’t give Google world domination. Therefore it makes sense that the last song would be about the information stress, the short-circuit that occurs in my head due to all the graphs, analyses, disaster data and the countless self-appointed experts in the talk shows.

The song was finished within two weeks. We work with a dropbox on which we share our musical projects and work on them together. One of those projects became In the Dark. For the first time in our existence, we even made two conference calls with Google (sic!) Meet. Surely a conference call seems to be the opposite of rock ’n roll, but there you have it, you have to adapt during a self-quarantine.

Jan made a video clip together with daughter Megan, intended for her studies at the Maastricht Theater Academy. I noticed the arrows Megan painted on the wall in many colors of chalk on the sidewalks in my neighborhood, and I thought we were unintentionally following a real trend, but that would be nonsense. On Monday March 23, we put the video online and the next day there was already a nice review in the Belgian magazine The hope that In the Dark would go viral on TikTok grew… just kidding.

In the Dark is meant to encourage everyone who is suffering or struggling now. Fortunately, the virus will stop raging once, and then we’ll fall into each other’s arms again. I’m reading everywhere that we will then learn lessons from this period. Can I make a few suggestions?

  • I hope Trump, that narcissistic bastard, looses all credibility in the coming months, and that even his most loyal fans see that the Emperor is stark naked, ready to be chased into the woods with pitch and feathers. Let’s send Putin and Xi Jinping behind him. And Wilders and Baudet.
  • I hope Angela Merkel gets cloned.
  • I hope that the teachers, nurses and other health workers, ambulance staff, agents, cleaners, supermarket shelf fillers and all those people who keep the world running are finally valued, paid and treated like they deserve.
  • I hope that after this crisis we have not forgotten that we still have to stop global warming.
  • I hope we get a bit more relaxed and leave our online trenches.
  • I hope… well, much more. And also that the sixth album by The Dutch, featuring In the Dark, will be fantastic. At least that’s something I can influence myself.

Finally, a quiz question. In the intro, and during the vocoder intermezzo, there is a marimba sample that plays an arpeggio sequence. That theme comes from a famous guitar solo. Which guitarist played it, and in which song? The first to know gets Four, Werkman and Imaginary Western by snail mail.

March 26, 2020

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