Early retirement & the things I’ve learned

Photography by 600film

Once, in what feels like a lifetime ago, I acted as the host on Peanut’s Playground. Me and some of my friends wrote about music there. We did just about everything from obscure indie to (semi) popular stuff, just because we felt like writing about the music we love. One day, for some trivial reason, I decided to kill the website. Just like that. Dead.  At the time it felt like a huge relief, because somewhere along the way I lost the feeling of joy that I felt when I started the blog. Somehow it had begun to feel more like ‘work’ than I wanted it to.

Anyway, it took a little while but eventually I regretted having pushed the delete button. And here we are…

My good friend Tsuru, who I met on the (virtual) Playground has given me the opportunity to get back in the game. Granting me a little piece of his heaven to try and relive some of the old magic. Without any pressure, or as Tsuru said: “Make it a weekly-ish column, because it can be weekly or less or more, that’s totally fine!” And that’s the way I like it and I really hope you will enjoy my ramblings. I’m still a little rusty, but that will wear off I hope…

So here we go!

You might wonder what I’ve been up to these past years. Well, I got older, that’s for sure. I also helped bring another little peanut into the world. Granted, my role was somewhat limited, but still. He’s mine and his name is Dex Niven. Aptly named after my favorite serial killer and my favorite chef. What I’ve also done is listen to a shitload of music. And this time I didn’t feel the pressure (or need) to write about what I heard. I could just concentrate on listening for a change. And I must say, I really enjoyed that.

What did the listening teach me? Well for instance that the ‘Indie’ tag does not cover the load any more. Everyone and his brother’s dog is ‘Indie’ these days. I have no clue what it stands for this day and age. What I also discovered is that not the entire world listens to the same music as I do (evidence found at a Voxtrot concert with only 35 or so attendees). And I’ve learned to appreciate the value of guilty pleasures more. Guilty pleasures should be cherished since they are the things that define you. Don’t ever let anyone talk you out of the things that you love!

And here is something that I happen to love; going to see my favorite artists perform live. And these are the ones I’ve got lined up for 2010:

January: Europe
February: Spoon
March: Phoenix and Josh Rouse
May: Pavement


Europe?? Why would you go to see those poodle haired old age rockers!? Because these guys happen to be one of my guilty pleasures and I’ve wanted to see them perform live since I was 10 years old. They remind me of those good old days way back in ’86, when we first heard ‘The Final Countdown’ on the radio. I was a little boy then and remember very vividly how we used to strut our tennisrackets on the schoolplay stage, acting like we actually were John Norum and Joey Tempest. And now I’m a somewhat older dude of almost 34 and those thoughts and sounds still bring a smile to my face. Every time I listen to them. That’s why I went to seen them live and I loved every second of it!

Some evidence:

The Final Countdown live video recorded at the concert by yours truly (on my cell phone, so that’s why the quality sucks a bit)

Show Europe some guilty pleasure respect here: Official | Buy


Tsuru did a fun post on Spoon a little while ago (see here). He indicates, and rightly so, that songs like ‘The Mystery Zone’ seem to be never ending. Songs like these were the reason that the band’s latest album didn’t quite grab me. But now I’ve seen them perform these songs live everything seems to fall in to place. I was hardly impressed by ‘Transference’ at first few listens, but I am now! Perhaps the perfect example of how it has grabbed my attention is that the main guitar solo on ‘Written In Reverse’ has been promoted to my current ringtone. Replacing the theme of I Dream of Jeannie after nearly 4 years! Quite an achievement is it not!?

Some evidence:

Out Go the Lights (removed per request)
Guitar solo of Written In Reverse (cruelly ripped out of the original by your friendly neighborhood Peanut)

Show Spoon who’s got their money and do it over here: Official | Buy


The French lads of Phoenix are finally getting the credits that have been due since they first hit the scene back in 2000, and it’s all because of their latest work ‘Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’ (see Tsuru’s review here). Better late than never I guess. I happen to belong to that select group of early adopters (read: worshippers) and grabbed the first chance I got to see them live back in ’04. Despite all the great concerts I’ve been to before or since then (Wilco, Danko Jones, Nada Surf, Anthrax, Underworld and Brendan Benson immediately come to mind), Phoenix’ performance easily ranks among the 5 best I’ve seen. I can’t wait untill March 26th to see them again.

Some evidence:

If I Ever Feel Better (released in 2000)
Victim Of The Crime (released in 2004)

Go ahead and french kiss the boys over here: Official | Buy


Josh Rouse is responsible for two of the best collections of songs of the Naughties: ‘1972’ (released in 2003) and ‘Nashville’ (released in 2005). That his work since those high water marks hasn’t been as good says more about the quality of the two masterpieces than about his last three albums though. Because they happen to be very fine pieces of work in their own right (read Tsuru’s review of ‘El Turista’ here). And finally, after years of waiting I get to see Josh do his stuff in a live setting. In the small room (actually: the tiny room) at the Amsterdam Paradiso. I have no doubt that this concert will live up to my (very high) expectations!

Some evidence:

Under Your Charms (from 1972)
Sad Eyes (from Nashville)

Check Josh out here: Official | Buy


Dang! Pavement is not just special; Pavement is UBERSPECIAL! My all time favorite band. They split up before I ever had to chance to go see them in real life, but it seems that Karma has finally answered my (very silent and actually non-existent) prayers. Anyway, Pavement is UBERSPECIAL and their body of work merits an article of their own. I will get around to that soon, so please do not forget to check back in at TSURURADIO!

Until next time,



My current top 10 for ’10:

Beach House – Teen Dream | Sambassadeur – European
Efterklang – Magic Chairs | Spoon – Transference
Josh Rouse – El Turista | Vampire Weekend – Contra
Miles Kurosky – The Desert of Shallow Effects | White Rabbits – It’s Frightening
Rogue Wave – Permalight | Yeasayer – Odd Blood

7 comments for “Early retirement & the things I’ve learned

  1. February 24, 2010 at 9:18 AM

    Who You Gonna Call
    Tel 44-(0)208-323 8013
    Fax 44-(0)208 323 8080

    Hi Peanut,

    On behalf of Merge Records and Spoon, we would kindly ask you not to post copies of “Transference” on your site (or any non-preview tracks from Spoon’s new chart-topping album).

    We do appreciate that you are fans of / are promoting Spoon, but the label and artist would greatly appreciate your co-operation in removing your links to the pirate files in question.

    Thank you for respecting the artist’s and label’s wishes and, if you / your readers want good quality, non-pirated, preview tracks, then a full length version of “Written in Reverse” is available for fans and bloggers to post / host / share etc at http://www.mergerecords.com/blog/2010/02/new-spoon-video-for-written-in-reverse/ … .. for further details of the new album, on-line promotions, videos and 2010 shows, check-out the band’s official site at http://www.spoontheband.com and keep an eye on official sources for details of further Spoon news, preview material and on-line promotions.

    Also and as a goodwill gesture to fans and bloggers, an exclusive preview stream of the full album is now available via the label’s and the band’s sites at http://www.mergerecords.com/store/jukebox2.php?catalog_id=685 and http://www.spoontheband.com … .. this is for hyper-linking ONLY and for streaming by fans directly off the official sites, so please reciprocate this goodwill gesture by NOT ripping or embedding these files.

    As you will appreciate, this post is written on a without prejudice basis and, as such, all of our clients’ accumulated, worldwide rights and remedies remain strictly reserved : please excuse this required formality.

    With Thanks & Regards,


  2. vertigo
    February 25, 2010 at 1:19 PM

    Glad to read you again! This blog is actually a worldwide contribution of opinions and I’m very pleased with it.
    Nostalgia — when it comes to music, that’s what’s behind most people’s guilty pleasures. No shame here, but asides Josh Rouse, these are some of yr nostalgia joys :)
    Looking forward to other articles as I’m a daily reader of this blog.

  3. February 25, 2010 at 8:16 PM

    Vertigo! how you doing???

  4. vertigo
    February 26, 2010 at 8:38 AM

    Hey Tsuru,
    I’m fine, thanks. Well, not so fine as while I’m typing this, I’m having some pain due to a tendinitis. Not a great deal, just too much computer time I believe. But it’s Friday, the sun is shinning out there (at least here), and I’ll have plenty of time to relax, sleeping, exploring some good music you recommended – just enjoying the weekend. Even if no fun as you’re having riding, at least for now :)
    Have a nice weekend, cheers

  5. February 26, 2010 at 9:15 AM

    Thanks vertigo, but riding here the past couple weeks has been a bust with the constant snow. I love the snow so much, but I’m quite ready for Spring now, thank you!

  6. February 27, 2010 at 2:15 PM

    Altijd fijn om nog eens iets te lezen van jou! Ik was helemaal mee met het Europe verhaal! Geweldig! Btw, Spoon is inderdaad echt fantastisch!

  7. February 27, 2010 at 2:16 PM

    Dank je man!Goede teksten van goede mensen doen mij weer goed :)

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