Cory Doctorow’s DRM Manifesto – why DRM is bad

Anybody who wants to get a better idea what the Digital Rights Management fuzz is all about should definitely read Cory Doctorow’s excellent article on DRM here. DRM is bad for the consumer and this document clearly explains why we, the Consumer, are getting screwed by the media industry. Spread the word to your members of parliament and any influencer you can think of. Your kids will thank you for it.

North Sea Jazz Festival

Last sunday I went to the last day of the 30th North Sea Jazz Festival in The Hague, The Netherlands. It was once again a fabulous night. We started with the funky hiphop from Amos Lee. A very energized performance with a nice balance between love songs and more hardcore hiphop.

Next we moved on to Steps Ahead. I knew Steps Ahead from years ago and they seem to not have changed a bit. It was a bit too lax for my taste having just witnessed Amos Lee and DJ Dougie’s cool scratch show. So we went to the central square and enjoyed the sun, a sandwich and a couple of beers. Grolsch was promoting a new beer and it was excellent.

When we heard that Candy Dulfer had started in the big hall we queued up and after feeling like sardines in a can for about 20 minutes we could finally enjoy Candy Dulfer. As always she has a great show, cool solo’s, very funky and the audience definitely appreciated it. Her special guest of the evening was Sheila E. and she finally showed up at the end of the show. It looked like someone had dragged her out of bed, put under the shower, into the limo and brought to the NSJ. Nevertheless it took her only 5 minutes of sucking up the positive vibes before she did her thing. And she did it well giving a great performance with Candy Dulfer.

After a quick stop in the square to have some more sandwiches and Grolsch we decided to see if Joss Stone would hold up. Her show was ok although it looks like she has little experience driving big crowds. The songs she sang were the ones that were up in the charts recently so all well known. She could use a bit more presence and less shyness. The bare feet were funny though.

After Joss Stone’s show we could have waited for Maceo Parker but decided to go back to the basement. It usually is the most funky place on the NSJ and we could use some more of that. So we saw the last part of Leela James’ performance. Leela James is a very cool lady with an enormous blond hairdue and a voice that is impossible to ignore. The performance was typical for the NSJ basement, energized funky songs with a boatload of bass and rythm.

She was followed by Jaguar Wright, another lady with a significant presence. She started of complaining that she was very tired and would see how far it would take her. Obviously this was not well received by the audience with some booing. The remark that she had to drink alcohol because it was impossible to get some decent tea “here” was not received well either. After she had lit her cigaret and inhaled some unkown stuff she started. In tight control the entire show correcting her bandmembers whenever she didn’t like something. She would just start over at a previous verse. Weird but I guess that’s the way she does her thing. Also surprising was that she almost never looked at her audience, preferring to turn stand sideways and keep her eyes closed. Another weird one. Nevertheless I guess she picked up on the fact that her attitude was not appreciated and put in some major effort in the last part of her show. She really has an amazing voice and acknowledged the fact that she’s actually the last performing artist at the North Sea Jazz Festival in The Hague because, after 30 years, it moves to Rotterdam. Quite an honor actually given the lineup. She met that with an amazing last song and thanking the audience. She and her show definitely were entertaining.

As mentioned this was the last time the fesitval was held in The Hague as it is moving to Rotterdam next year. In my opinion a very bad decision and one that I think will be costly. For 30 years the festival has attracted the world’s most promising and best Jazz performers. Fabulous shows, surprising band & music choices and last but not least the afterparties in the basement and at the Bel Air Hotel. Now it has ended with its move to Rotterdam. I will not be going to Rotterdam next year. Instead I will wait a couple of years for the North Sea Jazz Festival to return where it belongs: in The Hague. See you again in 2009.