Posted in Music

Number 10 in my Hard Rock Cafe Collection

What do you collect?

We go through seasons with our collections. I collect Lego Mini Figures (I have sort of stopped that now.) I also collect postcards from certain places I visit. And over the last few years, I have been collecting Hard Rock Cafe guitar pins!

So on Friday 11th September 2020, I retrieved my 10th guitar badge. 🙂

Some things about this collection: My friend, Darren inspired this collection. He started me off with the San Diego badge (I think) which was from his earlier travels on a crusie ship.

I missed an opportunity to get one from Buenos Aires in 2017. We even walked passed the HRC. But we did not stop or go in – the visit to Argentina, wasn’t that sort of visit…

But I have this rule with this collection. I need to either have a drink or a meal at the etsablishment. I can’t just walk into the store and by a pin…

I need to actually BE THERE. Take in the surroundings. Read and see the different music memorabilia mounted on the walls.

The last badge I got was in Cape Town in 2018. Then prior to that, the last one was way back in 2011.

I have got guitars from: London, Manchester, Rome, Prague, Cape Town, Edinburgh, Warsaw, Berlin, Amsterdam and Johannesburg.

So that’s my story about Hard Rock Cafe.

Posted in Music, People

This video made me teary (Or maybe teary is not the right word…)

Last night, I watched this recorded conversation between Eddie Vedder and Glen Hansard:

I discovered Glen Hansard through a wonderful movie called ONCE

Such a beautiful film with incredible singing in it.

Back to the YouTube clip above:

It made me teary.
Or just really moved.
A big rock star, Eddie Vedder and a well known folk singer, Glen Hansard having such a heartfelt conversation.
It’s Glen’s 50th
He gets a surprise call from Eddie.
You can see and hear the genuine joy.
I think what I am getting at.
Is both of these men are used to being on stage.
Being in “performance” mode.
And often the rock and roll stance, may be to come across or “hard and cool” for the world to see.
But here are two men,
So human
Not performing.
Eddie writes a beautiful piece for Glen.
You get to meet Eddie’s family.
And Glen’s wife.
It’s just so raw.
I love it.
The genuine laughter
The good friendship across the oceans.
It’s nice to be reminded that a lot of people have this side to them too.

To a lot of the musos people may idolize…
They’re just human.
Who are also now going through a lockdown like most of the world.

PS. Eddie Vedder is from Pearl Jam. And if you didn’t know that. Shame on you 😉

Check out their new album here:

I like this latest song a lot:

Posted in Music

A branch in the River

Thrice – A Branch In The River

I was holding on to a branch in the river, so scared of letting go
And praying only that someone would stop the flow
I heard a voice like the sound of an ocean – above the river’s rush
A song as old as the world, and my heart was hushed
And I could hear it calling to me

“Let go now, it’ll be ok
Let go, and let yourself be carried away
Let go of all your certainty
Let go, and let yourself be carried to me”

Still I clung to that branch in the river, white-knuckled, terrified
All of my life I’d been warned that the waters lied
Something changed as the flood rose around me and washed away my fear
An echo rose from within – it was crystal clear
And I could hear it calling to me

“Let go now, it’ll be ok
Let go, and let yourself be carried away
Let go of all your certainty
Let go, and let yourself be carried to me”
So I let go

You’re holding on to that branch in the river, so scared of letting go
You’re praying only that someone would stop the flow
But hear the voice, it’s a chorus in motion – conflate the I and we
Weaving along with the song of the endless sea
The song that’s always calling to you

“Let go now, it’ll be ok
Let go, and let yourself be carried away
Let go of all your certainty
Let go, and let yourself be carried to me”

Posted in Inspirational & Observations from Life, Music, People

Are Christians now Kanye West fans?

Here are my 2 cents, because 50 Cent is taken already… (see what I did there?)

A few days ago, Kanye West released an album called: Jesus is King.
He is a Christian now?

So there are a few different responses to this:

Maybe he just wanted to new writing material. So he delved into Christianity.
A few have thought that…
Sadly, a lot of Westernised Christianity has become more about trend than relationship!

If you have never liked Hip Hop music before and now all of sudden you do because some of the song titles are now Christian… or the artist them self has become a Christian, then, oh my… that’s so lame and fickle! 😉

Disclaimer: I haven’t listened to any of his new album yet. I’ll wait to “the hype” has died down. Then I will quietly give it a listen.

We can be cynical!
We can be hype followers!
We can be cheesy!

I saw this clip and thought it summed up the Kanye West news pretty well:

I liked what Greg said. Let’s pray for him.
That’s the best response!

We all have an area of influence.
Let’s acknowledge that.
What good can we bring in our area that we have been allotted?

Social media only portrays the news and trends and a perspective from the outside…

Let’s ACTUALLY pray for Kanye West.
God sees the heart.

If his Christianity is real, he may just be entering a difficult stage in his life, with people poking at him, criticising him, waiting for him to fall or fail (how inhuman humans can be?)

What do you think?

Posted in Inspirational & Observations from Life, Music

Their last albums… (Did their friends not see?)

The other day, I watched this video interview of the Cranberries:

And I watched this latest video:

How did the rest of the band not pick up that something was up with Dolores O’Riordan?

According to the interview (above) they noticed that the lyrics were rather dark…?
So why didn’t they approach her / ask her about it?

Same with Chester Bennington.

Linkin Park’s last album: One More Light was so depressing?

It was like Chester was trying to tell the world something, a final goodbye?

But how did the other band members not notice in the recording process of the album? “Hang on, these lyrics are rather dark…”

I am really intrigued by that.
Weren’t these band members friends? Why did they not ask Dolores and Chester (respectively) if they were alright?

Just got me thinking about how we may each have people in our lives: workplaces and families – who are suffering. Are hurting.

Do we notice? Do we reach out?

Posted in Music

My 5 (favourite) songs of 2018

I (bracketed) favourite because I am not sure… exactly how to define these songs. Some are older. Some are not from 2018. But they made an impact this year. Some are not even the audio version of the song but rather the live performance. But with no further adieu, in no particular order here is my list:

1) Fix You – Coldplay

Just look at how much passion Chris Martin has (again) in this song?
It’s like he is singing the song for the first time. So much conviction!
And then see the crowd singing along. An anthem of some sorts. So beautiful!
“Lights will guide you home…”

2) In the End – Mike Shinoda

An ode to the late Chester. This live version of a Linkin Park gives me tears in my eyes. See how the crowd sing Chester’s part:

Even Mike Shinoda is moved. Then notice the stunning sky! It’s like God is tuning into the moment too…

3) Life on earth – Snow Patrol

Warning! This is a darker song. But I like it. Because it’s Gary saying it simply and honestly. He went through a tough time. And this whole album (Wildness) is he looking at the tough times and fragility and beauty of life.

This song carried me through my divorce earlier this year. (That dreaded D word!)

4) Do you remember – Dave Matthews Band

This is the first song that grabbed me on the latest Dave Matthews Band album!
“It’s always good to remember the beautiful things” Dave

This is your new summer song…
Your new song of nostalgia…

5) Caught in the Middle – Paramore

Again Hayley and the boys taking an honest look at life…
Pop makes it all sound better. 😉
In fact the whole After Laughter album is great!

Hard Times needs mention and also Forgiveness

Bonus song) No longer a slave – Bethel

I had to add this song.  I don’t really listen to worship music – because too often – it feels like an industry – more than heartfelt – However, every now and then there is a song that tugs at my heart.  This is one of them:

But my most favourite memory of this song is from tour 1 at the end of the production: TORN, when the PNEUMATIX students came on… one by one singing the song acapella…


What is your list for 2018?

Posted in Music

A holy moment…

Last week when I was with the students of Pneumatix in Middelburg.

There was a moment in the bus when we were driving from one school to another when the song: “I won’t let you go” by Switchfoot played on the car stereo.

At that moment all the conversations ceased as the lyrics of the song drew all of us in. As if we all realized: God was singing that song over us…

It was a holy moment. Set apart.

Here is the song:

Posted in Music

How to choose a soundtrack?

A soundtrack is not just a bunch of songs randomly put together. (How dare you, to think such a thing?) If you ever wondered what songs should go on your soundtrack here is a useful guide:


1) Always have some tunes that would make your car turn into a rock show. For me, that would be Taking Back Sunday, The Used or Enter Shikari.
2) Then you need songs that fit various scenery. For the open stretch of countryside and arid regions you need something mellow. Something pensive. Maybe some John Mayer or Lisa Hannigan.
3) One needs some clever lyrics too. One needs to put some songs on your soundtrack that get you thinking. We need depth. This for me, can be either Incubus, Switchfoot, Relient K, Blindside or Dave Matthews Band.
4) You need a song or two on there that makes you feel invincible. Like you can take on the world. Perhaps you’re on your way to a meeting that you may be feeling nervous about. Crank this tune!
5) If you a believer, maybe you could add a worship album or two. (Try not use the commercial and cliche songs.) There are so many good songs that don’t make the Sunday church repertoire. (The sacred message may be waiting for you in one of those songs.) Sometimes, your car time becomes your church time.
6) Nostalgic tunes are a must. Music that moves you to a memory. Funeral for a Friend is that band that does this for me. Namely, there “Tales don’t tell themselves”
7) You need your travel songs on your soundtrack too. These are the songs that allow you to travel twice in one trip. (What does that mean?) You travel literally where your vehicle is taking. Then you travel too, in your mind, to where your “travel song” takes you. I have Alanis Morissette “Citizen of the Planet” / Angels and Airwaves “The Adventure” / Damien Rice – 9 Crimes
8) You need some easy going music too. Jack Johnson wins here most of the time.
9) *Warning. Not too much mellow music. Because that may just make you fall asleep.
10) Random vs folder? Sometimes it’s great fun just putting all your songs on your soundtrack on random, the lotto of what is next…is exciting! But sometimes, it is needed to go on an ALBUM journey. Because there may just be a greater message you need to hear.
11) NB. Less is more! Don’t have TOO MUCH music on your soundtrack. Why? Because otherwise the sum of it becomes a BIG NOISE. (Hard to explain this… but for a soundtrack to be impactful. It needs a limited number of songs.)

What bands / songs are on your soundtrack?

Disclaimer. This is for a car soundtrack. But the principle applies to your iPod or phone too. But don’t live under your headphones constantly. Because you will miss life around you and the natural soundtrack that plays everyday.

Okay, now I think I should go do my assignment? 😉

Posted in Music

Talk show on mute (Incubus)

I got to the Green Point Athletic Stadium just before the last opening act.
I won’t say much about them, because truth be told, most people were not there for the opening acts… (No offence meant.)

“Way, way out in space there’s an island
The natives are restless and violent”

The band opened up with a song of their new album (8): “Love in the time of the Surveillance.”

Then they took us on a trip down memory lane doing most of their hit songs from all of this albums (except If not now, when and S.C.I.E.N.C.E).

I was stoked they did Talk Show on Mute (one of my favourite songs. A less known one):

“Come one, come all
Into 1984…Yeah, three, two, one
Lights, camera, transaction”

I think it was at the end of this song that they went into a bit of INXS’ “Need you tonight.” (Rad cover!)

Another surprise was how they ended of Wish You Were Here with the classic Pink Floyd song of the same name.

Of course I need to post a vid of this crowd anthem:

“The ocean looks like a thousand diamonds strewn across a blue blanket.”

It was so thrilling trying to work out what song would be next as the night went on.
I was also stoked that they did Paper Shoes. That is probably my favourite song of theirs. (I usually like the non single tracks)

A beautiful surprise was I Miss You:

I would have loved it if they played: The Warmth. (But no luck there…)
But heck they have so many good songs:

“I picture your face in the back of my eyes a fire in the attic a proof of the prize, Anna-Molly, Anna-Molly, Anna-Molly
I’m calling your name up into the air”

The night went by quickly and slowly (We covered almost two decades of Incubus.)
Can you believe Make Yourself came out all the way back in the last millennium: 1999?

The band ended with one of their most well known songs:

“It’s driven me before
And it seems to have a vague, haunting mass appeal
But lately I am beginning to find
That I should be the one behind the wheel”

Watching Incubus, I was reminded why I love watching live bands!

Thank you Brandon Boyd and friends for gracing us with your presence and Warmth!

Setlist (estimated)
(This is what I can remember. In no particular order)

Love in the time of surveillance
State of the Art
Nimble Bastard
Anna Molly
Sick Sad Little World
I miss You
Pardon Me
Talk show on Mute
Paper Shoes
Wish you were here
Nice to know you
No fun
Familiar Faces (I think?)

Encore: Drive

*Disclaimer: My pics and vids were taken from the pleb circle.

Definition: “pleb circle”
Upon entering the general standing area – I hung on the rail waiting for the band to appear on stage. A person from the golden circle called to one of their friends in the general standing section: “hey pleb!”
I thought that was quite humorous!

And of course it’s good to share a moment like this with good people.  Thanks Gareth and Kim.

Written by Darrel (pleb) Hofland

Posted in Music

Too Much Music…

Since music is so easily and readily available to be downloaded (legally or illegally)… there seems to be too much music… let me explain:


I was remembering the days when I was feeling giddy as payday approached. I was going to be buying the latest album from one of my rock bands that I follow. Their album had been released earlier that month. Or maybe two or three months before.

But I had to wait. I was saving up for it.
I couldn’t just buy it on iTunes or download it (illegally)…

Then pay day comes.
I would get the album.
Put the CD in.
Press play.
Then I’d sit on my bed with the open CD sleeve.
And listen (or sing along) with the words in my hands.
Those were awesome moments.

But these days… music seems too much.
In the sense, it’s very easy to get.

The quantity takes away from the quality… if that makes sense?

Another example.
I can play music from my USB in my car.
Problem is – I have plenty of albums loaded on it.

So I don’t really delve deeply into one band or album anymore.
I listen to a lot.
And then I find… I seem to get sick of music too quickly.

Where I long for silence… or a break.