Rotterdam Nightlife

“Rotterdam Nightlife” is a guest article written by Valeria Doornkamp

Photo by Max Andrey on Pexels.com

No matter where you are, there is always a sense of music and creativity. Music is everywhere. To show that, switching styles has reached out to Valeria Doornkamp to give us a look into the nightlife of Rotterdam. Here are some of the best spots to experience Rotterdam’s nightlife.

Valeria is bringing us her local expertise on the nightlife in Rotterdam. Over the decades, she’s explored her whole life finding the best spots. Valeria was born, raised, and has been living in Rotterdam for 40 years now. If you want more information about her or want more advice on a trip to Rotterdam, check her out here.

Rotterdam Nightlife; Underground or Rooftop?

The flavour of the city’s nightlife is largely defined by the mindset of the Rotterdam locals, who are reluctant to compromise on anything. Whatever they do, they do it right. So a Biergarten in Rotterdam is exactly what you need it to be: a garden with solid wooden benches, large mugs of beer and sizzling sausages fresh from the grill.

Looking for the underground scene? Here in Rotterdam, it’s literally underground: Toffler is a house and techno club situated in a former metro tunnel.

Toffler

Toffler is situated in an old underpass below Weena; for those 21 and older who enjoy progressive electronic music. Led lights and good sound make the long tunnel cozy and intimate.

Biergarten

Biergarten is a tiny piece of paradise in the big city, where the best things in life are simple: beer, BBQ, music, sunshine and good people. The food is fresh off the grill, and the beer is served ice-cold. Most nights, the music is DJs and live; on Friday evenings it’s homegrown music from Biergarten all-Rotterdam sound system. 

Witte De Withstraat

One of Rotterdam’s most popular nightlife areas is Witte De Withstraat. Besides the streets many restaurants, its pubs, cozy cafes and stylish wine and cocktail bars attract a varied crowd. Tourists, locals, students, intellectuals, creative professionals, colleagues enjoying drinks after work: they all rub shoulders on a good Friday or Saturday night, in an exuberant and cheerful atmosphere.

Duck into the side streets to discover the city’s most enjoyable nightlife hotspots. The tropical charm of the tiki bar, for instance. If you like experimental music, the line-up at worm always offers intriguing surprises, while wunderbar serves tasty beers and fritz-kolas.

Tiki Bar

Tikis is a Hawaiian surf bar and grill restaurant in the heart of Rotterdam. The exotic food and delicious cocktails make you believe you are on a tropical island. The tropical ambiance is reflected in the music as well as the styling with bamboo and Polynesian gadgets. It is Hawaii on the Maas.

Worm

Worm organizes concerts, movies, workshops, masterclasses, festivals and different events. Next to that, they have a movie studio, a sound studio, a shop and a very fast digital platform (worm. Station). They stimulate and help different productions like Dutch programs about national and international festivals and media publications.

Nieuwe Binnenweg

A similar vibe can be discovered at the head of Nieuwe Binnenweg, where several of the city’s most popular cafes and clubs are located: Rotown, Stalles, Bar3 and Club Vibes.

Rotown

Rotown is a cafe and restaurant during the day, but the chairs and tables are cleared away in the evening to make room for concerts and parties. An interesting concentration of nightlife is also emerging in the area around Rotterdam central. Stroll from (jazz) club bird straight to the pop stage at Annabel, which organizes popular party nights in the weekend.

Cafe Stalles

Cafe Stalles is a relaxed meeting place in the center of Rotterdam. The cafe is known for its simple but good cuisine and serves homemade pizzas on Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays from 5.50 euros.

Stalles is a typical Dutch brown cafe and is characterized by the fact that it attracts a diverse audience. The alternative music, extensive beer and whiskey list and affordable menu ensure that Stalles is always lively. In the summer, Stalles has a large terrace and you can sit outside until the late hours.

Club Vibes

Club Vibes is a small and accessible club in the city center of Rotterdam and has been popular with locals for more than 10 years. When the cafes close, Vibes will continue until 5 am! The club attracts a mixed crowd and there is always a friendly atmosphere.

The club is open from Wednesdays to Saturdays and is a great place to either dance or just have a drink. Whether you come for Twist and Twerk Wednesdays and  Thursdays or for Dirty Weekend Vibes, you can always expect mainstream pop and good old classics. Club Vibes is known for fair prices and the wardrobe and toilets are always free of charge.

Bird

Stage, club and restaurant BIRD is located under the Hofbogen in Rotterdam and offers a program full of jazz, soul, hip-hop, funk and new electronics. In the last century, the area around the Hofbogen was already dominated by a rich musical tradition. The first generation of Surinamese and sailors introduced soul, funk and Rand B here from America. Bird doesn’t just want to breathe new life into this jazz past, but update it to the 21st century. Jazz, but also related music movements such as soul, Latin and funk, hip-hop, afrobeat, and electronics are therefore the starting point of the music programming, supplemented by other art disciplines related to jazz, such as performance poetry, film and visual arts.

Bird’s jazz kitchen is a reflection of the city of Rotterdam: unpolished, honest and a crossroads of styles and cultures. Authentic pizzas are prepared in the wood oven, as well as various specials. A nice option is the Chefs Table surprise menu: a selection of different small dishes to share. In addition, Bird also has an outdoor terrace, called Garden of Bird. This is an urban garden and cocktail bar. Here you can expect many musical surprises. Garden of Bird is open until October 15 this year.

Annabel  

Annabel is Rotterdam’s largest music venue, very close to Rotterdam Central Station. You can see and hear leading international acts, from hip hop to pop to electronic. Or enjoy dancing during one of the many parties or festivals. Together with Biergarten and PERRON, Annabel forms the golden triangle of the Schiestraat, a popular nightlife destination among young people.

Thanks to our guest writer Valeria Doornkamp. As a lover of music herself, and a Rotterdam resident, these are certainly locations you don’t want to miss.

Photo by Martin Lopez on Pexels.com
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Interviews Reviews

Interview With Notedead

Are you ready? Are you sure you’re ready for this? We don’t think you are, but you better get ready. Switching Styles has the answers you need with this interview with Notedead.

Introductions All Around!

Max Preuss (drums) and Trymer Martin (guitars/vocals) combine to form the band, Notedead. It all started where all great bands start, with a passion for music. The band found their start during the 2020 global COVID-19 pandemic, despite the hardships. Everything was rough. That didn’t stop them. For Notedead, this was a new beginning. The band formed in 2020 and has been rocking the world since.

Q&A Between Switching Styles and Notedead!

In an interview with switching styles, they’ve opened up about their band, their process, and their goals. Read below to get to know Notedead even better!

What is it about music that makes you feel passionate?

 Music emits emotion. I long to feel what the artist felt when they wrote the song and kind of experience it together. Music is also everywhere, from malls to elevators. And rhythm is in footsteps and your heartbeat, it’s everything.

 The emotions a song can put you through makes me feel alive

How did Notedead start and how did the Covid 19 Pandemic impact your band?

 Early on in Covid times when everything stopped and when we couldn’t jam with our bands Trymer started writing his own stuff and asked Max to write drums along with it. We both quickly realized that our writing for our respective instruments clicked together.

We started ripping out songs super-fast, so we decided to continue writing under our own band together which is Notedead.

How is being an Edmonton-based band impacted Notedead?

 It’s funny because only half of the band (Max) is Edmonton based and the other half (Trymer) is from Lacombe so it’s almost a long-distance type band relationship.

 The local music scene in Edmonton has a great group of people who support and encourage us, and we are forever grateful.

What inspired you to start playing and making music?

Trymer:

 Before I got into my own music I listened to my dad’s classic rock/metal, Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, Foreigner, ZZ Top, etc. Anyways but I’m in grade 5 I had some project to do at school and there was another classmate who did his project, but his was on Sum 41 and it caught my eye, so I got the CD “all killer no filler” at a Walmart in Manitoba, and that cd changed me.

From there I adopted my first taste of music away from my parents and it inspired me to want to play guitar, the ball started rolling from there!

Max:

Rock band. I loved the game because I was able to some of jam along to my favorite songs while simultaneously learning a basic version of the drums. I got very good at that game, and it made my transition into real drums very easy.

My music teacher in junior high band class then asked if anybody knew how and I volunteered to learn some percussion. The rest is history, between drum lessons, drumming for my high school jazz band & winning jazz artist of the year, it’s safe to say I’m a real drummer now

What bands or genres inspire your sound?

 Counterparts, Napoleon, Dance Gavin Dance, to name a few… but it’s really so hard to say what inspires our sound, so many bands growing up shaped us into the musicians we are and what our preferences are as well.

We also use it a lot! Of dead notes haha

Describe your creative process when you write new music.

 We both write our music on Guitar Pro. being as we are far away from each other, and we both enjoy the punctualness we can read. Trymer usually comes up with the first riff and then sends it to Max and Max writes the drums and then we work together from there, writing the song section by section.

Sometimes there will be a pre-discussed idea before we start on our next track, but we always write song by song and never add too much to our plates.

What’s your favorite venue for performing? Why?

 We don’t play shows as we are only a 2 man band writing songs to share with people, but if we could Trymer would want to play the St. Andrews United Church in Lacombe as he used to play local punk shows there growing up (it’s kind of odd I know, but it was so much fun!) and Max wishes we could play at Polar Park Brewery in Edmonton but it unfortunately just closed down.

What are some of your current projects?

 Currently, we have some new music in the bank but nothing to confirm aside from our new album “Separate Paths”. However, Max is in 2 other bands, Withered Days and Sol Runner.

What advice would you give to musicians just starting?

 Listen to music as often as you can. Find something that you wish you could make your own and take that drive to make your own with your inspiration and feelings

 Don’t give up, you’re going to suck at times, but music is a lifelong partner if you let it be.

Is there anything you wanted to mention that I didn’t ask about?

 Yes, our new album ‘Separate Paths’ is out September 9th

Categories
Remixes Switching styles

Pokémon Go Tips; Top 5 Walking Trails for Hatching Eggs

Although it is not the first of its kind, Pokémon Go has made an augmented reality in video games at the forefront of everyone’s mind. This means that through your phone, you can have the Pokémon universe shown in your world.

Catching Pokémon that appear in your living room or playing with your Pokémon buddy out in the park, there’s a lot of ways that the game interacts with reality. One of the elements is walking to hatch eggs. Each egg requires a certain number of kilometres to hatch an egg ranging from 2 km to 15 km.

Photo by Anton on Pexels.com
What is the best way to hatch an egg?

Walking! It’s the simplest way to do hatch your eggs. Whether it’s a simple walk to the store or a long Sunday stroll, it all adds up to hatch your Pokémon. While the app is on and even when it is off, the app tracks the distance that the player walks to track the progress of the egg. Altogether, players have walked over 23 billion km as of March 2019 (Games Radar). In 2016 alone, players walked 8.7 billion km (Inverse). That’s enough to get to the end of the Solar System.

Here are some, YEG locations to walk to get your hatching started!

  1. Walking Down 124th
  2. Alberta Legislature Grounds
  3. Sir Winston Churchill Square/Jasper Ave
  4. Whyte Ave
  5. The River Valley

Why do you have to walk to hatch eggs in Pokemon Go?

It encourages players to get out in the world and walk. It’s inspired many to increase their physical activity. Thus, hatching more eggs and bringing in more exercise. Below we’ve got some musical suggestions to get you in the walking and hatching mood.  

“Viridian City“ by Jonathan Young feat. 331Erock. Check it out on Bandcamp.

“Pokémon Theme“ by The Holophonics. Check it out on Bandcamp.

“Pokémon Theme” By Leo Moracchioli Feat. Truls Haugen. Check It Out On iTunes.

“Pokémon Theme Cover + My Pokémon Rap“ by Myrtle Sarrosa. Check it out on Spotify.

Johto Journeys“ By The Covers Duo. Check It Out On Link tree.

“1・2・3” By Silver Storm And Meka Imperfect​. Check It Out On Spotify.

“Pokémon Medley“ By Mohmega. Check It Out On Patreon.

“Gym Leader Battle“ By Richaadeb. Check It Out On Spotify.

“Sinnoh Trainer Battle Medley” By Sinnoh Fusion Ensemble. Check It Out On Spotify.

“Pokémon“ by PhreniaBand. Check it out on Spotify.

Get everything you need for hatching your eggs but with a switching Styles Twist!! Buy Switching Styles merch now!

Categories
Covers Remixes Switching styles

Pokémon Go Statistics & Techno Remixes

Switching Styles has collected a list of Pokémon Go Statistics & Techno Remixes to show off whenever it comes in handy.

Niantic launched Pokémon go in the July of 2016. Since then, its popularity has grown exponentially. After only three months following the launch, the app had 500 million downloads. This increased to 1 billion in march of 2019!

We’ve found some numbers that are sure to blow your mind!!  
  • The US accounted for only 19% of Pokémon GO downloads over 2019 (10 million, up from 16% in 2018). (Sensor Tower)
  • Brazil accounted for 10% (5 million) of the downloads, while India accounted for 6% (3 million). That’s a lot of downloads! (Sensor Tower)
  • Most of the users (69%), a whopping 38 million in 2019, use the app on Android, and the remaining 31% (17 million) iOS (Sensor Tower)
  • US was the top country for Pokémon GO revenue in 2019, contributing $335 million – or 38% of the total. Japan was second, with $286 million (32%), followed by Germany, with $54 million (6%) (Sensor Tower)
  • Although downloads have grown exponentially doubling from 500 million to 1 billion in less than 3 years, the in-app spending has not increased that much. It started at 832,000,000 in 2016 and increased only to 894,000,000 in 2019 (Business of Apps)
  • Between android and apple, the in-game spending is a bit more even. Android has 54% of 2019 Pokémon GO revenue ($482 million), while the apple revenue coming to $412 million (46%) (Sensor Tower)
  • Pokémon GO was fifth in terms of global mobile game revenue over 2019 (Sensor Tower)
  • Over the year 2019, there were 2.7 million attendees of Niantic live events (Niantic)
  • Here’s one for gender, as 59% of Pokémon GO users are men and 41% are female (Inc.)
  • In the first month of release in 2016, nearly 300 UK crimes were connected with Pokémon GO (BBC)
  • A study from Purdue University found that the game could be dangerous as there are two deaths, 31 injuries, and $500,000 in vehicle damage that could be blamed on the game in a single county in Indiana (Purdue University)

Where did I find these Pokémon go statistics? Check the links for my references!

Check out these Pokémon go remixes while you share these fun facts with your friends.

“Pokémon Ruby & Sapphire Music Medley“ by Dr. Pez – VGM. Check it out.

“Pokémon Dubstep Remix“ By Lindsey Stirling And Kurt Hugo Schneider. Check It Out On Youtube.

“Gym Leader Battle Music“ by The Musical Ghost. Check it out on Spotify.

“Pokémon Theme Song“ by FallenSuperheroSG. Check it out on SoundCloud.

“The Medley of Pokémon“ By Hapinano. Check It Out On SoundCloud.

“Route 24 “ by xKito Music. Check it out on SoundCloud.

“Pikachu Use Thunderbolt! “ By Asher Postman. Check It Out On SoundCloud.

“Pokémon – XY Theme “ by NateWantsToBattle feat. RichaadEB. Check it out on iTunes.

“Pokémon Lo-fi Music“ by GlitchxCity. Check it out on Soundcloud.

“Pokémon Dppt: Sinnoh Trainer Battle Medley” By Sinnoh Fusion Ensemble. Check It Out On Spotify.

Want more of these fantastic remixes and fun facts? Support Switching Styles to keep the content coming your way!

Categories
Covers Switching styles

Top 10 #Yeg Cafes for Pokémon Go Dates

Pokémon Go Dates. Need something casual for the first date? Want something cheap for a fourth date? Need a reason to relax together with a date? Pokémon Go provides an interactive game that allows for engaging activities with one another but takes away some of the nervousness and awkwardness of modern dating.

Photo by avif id on Pexels.com

The game itself is a great way to engage with your date as you can participate together in some regards. There are opportunities within the game to battle raids with one another, trade pokemon, evolve pokemon, battle one another and overall mutually benefit from in-game achievements.

There’s even an online dating site called Pokematch – aimed at getting pokemon go players together. Since 2016, it’s had 2,137 downloads. That’s one way to evolve a relationship! The app is described as, “Pokematch is an app to meet other people interested in Pokémon GO…Pokematch is a flirting app focused on a pretty specific group of people. Maybe in some faraway future, it could get a lot of users, but at the moment it seems like it’ll be pretty hard for it to compete with other apps like Tinder, Badoo, LOVOO, and Brenda, since many of these apps’ users probably play Pokémon GO too”.

Top 10 #Yeg Cafes for Pokémon Go Dates

Below are a bunch of amazing cafes that not only have a sweet menu but a sweet location for pokemon go. These locations are surrounded by both pokemon go gyms and pokestops. Put down a lure. Grab a latte. You’ve got a perfect date.

  1. Three Bananas Cafe
    9918 102 Ave Nw, Edmonton, Ab T5j 5h7
  2. Leva
    11053 86th Avenue Nw, Edmonton, Ab T6g 0x1
  3. Tsujiri West Edmonton Mall
    8882 170 St Nw, Edmonton, Ab T5t 4j2
  4. Rmedy Café
    10310 124 St
  5. Remedy Raymond Block
    10479 82 Ave Nw
  6. Credo Coffee
    10350 124 St
  7. The Clever Rabbit Vegetarian Cafe
    10722 124 St
  8. Canadian Brewhouse
    9538 Ellerslie Rd
  9. Block 1912 Cafe
    10361 82 Ave Nw
  10. The Woodrack Café
    10335 83 Ave Nw
Where would Switching styles be without our musical component? Here are some chill covers of Pokémon go’s soundtrack to serenade your date.

“Pokémon Diamond & Pearl Jazz“ by insaneintherainmusic. Check it out on Band Camp.

“Littleroot Town” by ThunderScott. Check it out on Spotify.

“Pokémon & Chill“ lo-fi hip hop cover by GameChops. Check it out.

“Pokémon Symphony“ by Yeuleexia. Check it out on Band Camp.

“Pokémon Heartgold & Soulsilver medley“ by yu-ichi1995. Check it out on YouTube.

“Pokémon Black & White“ by ToxicxEternity. Check it out.

“The Pokemedley “ by FreddeGredde . Check it out.

“Ecruteak City“ by Jone Ruiz. Check it out on Spotify.

 “Little root Town“ by MusicMike512. Check it out on Spotify.

Tag us on your social media to tell us your favorite Pokémon Go date spot!!

Categories
Covers Remixes Switching styles

Top 10 Parks in Edmonton For Pokémon Go Picnics

Do you know what goes together? Pokémon Go and picnics.

Out in nature, or as in nature as you can get in the heart of Edmonton, the engagement and immersion of Pokémon go is much improved. With the open space, it’s a lot easier and more fun to use the augmented reality (AR) aspect of Pokémon go. Anyone who has played Pokémon Go during the covid pandemic knows how hard it is to use the AR function inside.

Edmonton Parks perfect for Pokémon Go and picnics
Photo by Kristina Paukshtite on Pexels.com

Within Edmonton, there’s a great deal of beautiful nature that shouldn’t be forgotten about. Here’s a list of amazing open areas that are fantastic not only for Pokémon go but also for their view and availability for social distancing. Once you have a chance to check each of these picnic places, share it with us @switchingstyles!

  1. The River Valley
  2. Broadmoor Lake
  3. Griesbach Community
  4. Alberta Legislature Grounds
  5. William Hawrelak Park
  6. Griesbach Barracks
  7. Sir Winston Churchill Square/Jasper Ave
  8. Edmonton Valley Zoo
  9. University of Alberta
  10. Queen Mary Park
Music for the Pokémon Go picnics

Now don’t think we forgot about the music element. Every picnic needs music and we’ve got you covered. Below here is our favourite list of Pokémon go covers in different styles for every kind of picnic.

“The Pokémon Theme” By Jonathan Young & Jason Paige. Check It Out On Spotify.

“Pokémon Theme Song“ By Chris Villain Ft. Jason Paige. Check It Out On YouTube.

“Pokémon“ By NateWantsToBattle Feat. Mat Pat Of Game Theory. Check It Out On iTunes.

“Advance Adventure“ By Jorporxx (Mark De Groot). Check It Out On Soundcloud.

“National Park“ By The Consouls. Check It Out On Spotify.

“Pokémon X/Y Elite” By Littlevmills. Check It Out On YouTube.

“Battle! Battle Tower“ By Falkkone. Check It Out On Spotify.

“Pokémon Theme“ By Scott Bradlee Feat. Sara Niemietz . Check It Out On YouTube.

Hop Final Battle Theme“ By Xenobii Piano Covers. Check It Out On Music score.

Pokémon Center Theme“ By Ascendancylf. Check It Out On YouTube.

Get out there and enjoy that sunshine and vitamin D! Tag Switching Styles with your Pokémon go selfies!!

Don’t forget to bring some Switching Styles merch with you!

Categories
Covers Interviews Reviews Switching styles

Featuring Swing’it Dixieband

Founded by Martin Jarl, Swing’it Dixieband takes the music of the swinging 20’s and brings it to the modern era.

Travelling back in time, Swing’it Dixieband brings you to New Orleans 100 years ago.

Travelling back in time, Swing’it Dixieband brings you to New Orleans 100 years ago. their music tells the stories of the roaring 20’s about jazz, about “bootleggers, speakeasies and illegal parties during the Prohibition and flappers and dappers partying their nights away in the opulence and decadence of the Golden Era!”.

They’ve performed for jazz festivals through Norway and UK, including more than 60 concerts total at Kongsberg Jazz festival, Molde Jazz festival, Edinburgh Jazz Festival and Sildajazz.

Fun Fact: In 2018 they made it to the semi finals of “Norway’s Got Talent” with their performances of Jazz Disney covers.

“We were inspired by how Postmodern Jukebox was so successful covering pop songs in various genres, so we decided to try something similar – and there’s just so many good Disney tunes to choose between. We already had a couple in our repertoire and thought to ourselves ‘who doesn’t love Disney?’,” explains Martin Jarl, the band’s founder.

Known for their music available on Spotify and YouTube, as well as concerts throughout the world. In 2019, they released their fist single, Party Like it’s 1923, which describes the life of flappers and dappers within the era of the 20’s. It was also their first music video. This single brought them huge success as it hit 1 million streams on Spotify. Later on in 2019 and then again in 2020, they released two more singles Booze Cruise and Champagne.

 “Our songs are based around historical people and real events in the 1910s and 20s in America, from the Prohibition Era and Great Gatsby’s glamour, but with our own twist. We released the EP in April 2020 and have now recorded a full album that’s due to be released in 2021. The album is a concept album where there’s an overarching story that takes the listener through New Orleans and the music from the early 20th Century,” explains Jarl.

This musical group has become one of the most successful jazz bands throughout Europe. They’ve made quite an audience for themselves throughout the world. With their YouTube channel hitting 732,816 views and 5.27K subscribers since joining in August of 2014.

“These guys are a firework of a band! The atmosphere has been perfect every time Swing’it played at our bar! Highly recommended! (and the girls love them, too!)

Review from Cecil’s Cocktail Club
Here are some of their highlighted music for your listening pleasure.

“Bare Necessities” Vintage 1920’s Dixieland Jazz Cover By Swing’it Dixieband Originally By Phil HarrisBruce Reitherman From Disney’s The Jungle Book (1967).

“Everybody Wants To Be A Cat” Vintage Dixieland Jazz Cover By Swing’it Feat. Eloise Green Originally By Floyd HuddlestonAl Rinker From Disney’s Aristocats (1970).

“I Wanna Be Like You” Vintage Jazz Cover By Swing’it Dixieband Originally By Louis PrimaPhil HarrisBruce Reitherman From Disney’s The Jungle Book (1967).

“Under The Sea”  Vintage 1920s New Orleans Jazz Cover By Swing’it Dixieband Orignally By Samuel E. Wright From Disney’s The Little Mermaid (1989).

“Hakuna Matata” Vintage 1920s Styled Dixieland Cover By Swing’it Dixieband Originally By Jason WeaverErnie SabellaNathan LaneJoseph A. Williams From Disney’s The Lion King (1994).

Let us know what you think in the comments below!!

Categories
Covers Interviews Reviews Switching styles

Interviewing Swing’it Dixieband

Introducing Swing’it Dixieband

Merging the centuries within the ’20s, the Swing’it Dixieband music blends modern music with a vintage sound. It’s a fantastic way to celebrate the 2020’s with the styles of the 1920s. Traditional jazz music was party music and that’s what they deliver in their songs and their concerts. Their versatility allows them to play for a range of audiences from jazz clubs and speakeasies to weddings to corporate events to festivals.

Swing’it Dixieband has travelled all over the world showing off their musical talents to shows with a successful and passionate following in Norway and throughout Europe.

“Swing’it is one of the most popular bands to have played at the Candlelight Club. The combination of toe-tapping rhythms, effusive horns and five-part vocals created the perfect vintage mood and kept people on their feet all evening. I think I had more positive comments from guests about this band than any other”.

Review from Candlelight Club

Known for their music available on Spotify and YouTube, as well as concerts throughout the world. In 2019, they released their first single, Party Like it’s 1923, which describes the life of flappers and dappers within the era of the ’20s. It was also their first music video. This single brought them huge success as it hit 1 million streams on Spotify. Later on in 2019 and then again in 2020, they released two more singles Booze Cruise and Champagne.

Below is an interview with Martin Jarl, Swing’it Dixieband’s founder, and Dylanna Fisher from Switching Styles.

How did Swing’it Dixieband get started?
It was actually my trumpet teacher that started it in the first place. I was only 12 or myself at the time and joined the band with some friends of mine. We were very cute, but not so talented at the time, so it fizzled out after a while. Then a couple of years later I decided to pick up the idea again and started the current band with some other friends of mine.  

Why did you decide to be known as Swing’it Dixieband?
We wanted something that was short and catchy and went for “Swing’it”, which is the name we mainly use. Adding Dixieband is just a mixture of making it clear what we do while also being a historical reference to bands from that era.  

How would you describe your sound?
We have a very vibrant, energetic and playful sound. There are different members and different instruments from time to time, so the overall sound varies from a 20s marching band towards a more 30s swing sound. But I’d say energetic, vibrant and playful are very describing.  

Who are your musical influences?
Lots of different people, ranging from 20s musicians like Louis Armstrong, through 30s, 40s and 50s jazz to current jazz and pop singers like Jamie Cullum. Personal favourites are among others Chet Baker, Jamie Cullum and Armstrong.  

Who is all included in Swing’it Dixieband?
We’re a big group of people, around 17 in total – so more of a collective of musicians than a band. This is because the group has been living separated in Trondheim, Oslo and London since it was founded and flying in people for every gig is often not financially possible.  

You mentioned that there is a different one’s time to time as a kind of a collective, could you tell me about that?
As I mentioned, I met the band members in various places. Three of us moved to London at the same time, but we couldn’t afford to fly the rest over for every concert. Therefore, we got some friends from our University to join us instead, and suddenly we had a whole band in London.

Similarly, we needed more members in Norway and suddenly we had enough members for 2-3 bands. We’ve actually done several concerts at once in various cities (or countries) with different line-ups!

How did you meet the current band members of Swing’it Dixieband?
We actually met in different situations. Some are friends from my hometown, Tønsberg, where I grew up, while some of the members I met during the time I studied in London. A couple is just friends of friends that I’ve met at parties or similar over the years.

Were you known as the Swing’it Dixieband back then?
Yes, we’ve been known as that back to maybe 2013 or 2014. However, we recently changed our name to Swing’it after the BLM movement, due to the fact that dixie has some racist connotations and we wanted to take a stand against racism.  

What inspired Swing’it Dixieband to have a kind of vintage sound?
It started when my mum used to take me to the local jazz club when I was a kid. Every week we would go to the jazz club listening to traditional jazz bands. That interest and motivation have just grown and blossomed over the years into a passion.

Why choose to have a 20’s/30’s style?
The energy in this kind of music is so fantastic. We’re also big fans of the 1920s and the idea of optimism and freedom. There are also very few people at our age doing this kind of music and we thought that people need some Dixieland in their lives. Lots of people have never heard it before, so we really hope we can bring the 20s vibe back to the streets!  

Why do covers in particular?
It’s very standard in the Dixieland and swing jazz scene to do cover songs, but mainly the standards from the 20s and 30s. We decided to do a twist and choose songs that people would have heard before but in a different format. That said, we do increasingly more original tunes at the moment and are currently recording our first original EP.

How would you describe the songs within your EP?
Our songs are based around historical people and real events in the 1910s and 20s in America, from the Prohibition Era and Great Gatsby’s glamour, but with our own twist. We released the EP in April 2020 and have now recorded a full album that’s due to be released in 2021. The album is a concept album where there’s an overarching story that takes the listener through New Orleans and the music from the early 20th Century

As your first EP, how are you feeling about it?
We’re really excited about the EP and even more about the upcoming album! We’ve worked on this for several years now and presenting our first full album will be very exciting. Just imagine holding your own, freshly printed vinyl! 

How do covers tend to compare to the originals?
Some of the tunes are not so far away from the originals, like Bare Necessities and I wanna be like you, while others have a completely different style, for example, Can you Feel the Love Tonight 

What’s the draw for Disney covers for Swing’it Dixieband, as a band?
We were inspired by how Postmodern Jukebox was so successful covering pop songs in various genres, so we decided to try something similar – and there are just so many good Disney tunes to choose between. We already had a couple in our repertoire and thought to ourselves “who doesn’t love Disney”? 

What is the typical process of creating a cover?
We have this thing where we joke about every song with a swing feel. Suddenly sometimes it just sounds very right, while most of the time it is just good banter. If we think it sounds good as swing, we just jam until it sounds the way we want  

What was the process of collaborating with other musicians?
It was partly because we tried doing the Postmodern Jukebox thing and partly because we wanted to mix the videos and sounds up for the listeners. We don’t really do that anymore and lately, we stick to the same group of core members 

Are there any specific ones that stick out as favourites?
Ami Oprenova is a brilliant singer and arranger and has become a really good friend of ours. The clarinet player Gustavo was for a brief while a member of the band before he got too busy doing other projects, but he was amazing to play with. Last, but most important: Jonah Hitchens! From the very first time he sang with us he’s just been incredible on stage and is the funniest guy. Now he is one of the most important members of the band.  

Why did you start on YouTube and Spotify?
We were big fans of Scott Bradlee and the Postmodern Jukebox and thought it was a good idea to do a similar thing. For those who don’t know them, they’re making vintage and retro videos of pop tunes. We decided to do the same, just with Disney songs in the 20s or 30s style. With more than 400 000 views on YouTube and participation at the semi-finals of Norway’s Got Talent, it seems like it was a good idea  

How do you think YouTube functions as a platform for musicians?
It has ups and downs. To get lots of views and followers you have to post content very regularly, which for some types of entertainment is very easy while recording, arranging and filming music videos are very costly. It is still a very good place to get seen, but not the most important for us. 

What advice would you give to musicians just starting out on YouTube?
To be honest, not really. It is just having an original idea and create good content, which is easier said than done.

Are you available on other music streaming platforms? 
Our Disney music is only on YouTube, while our original songs can be found on every streaming platform. 

Is there a preference? 
Personally, I use Spotify, which is very common in Norway but can’t say I’ve used many else so can’t really answer this one 

How do you feel about the internet in the music business?
I’m very mixed about this. I think it’s great that it’s easier for musicians to get their music out there and fantastic that you can discover artists from other parts of the world that you otherwise would never hear of.

On the other hand, it’s very hard to make good money out of streaming, and it’s really just the big artists that get the money from streaming. At the same time people seem to get used to getting music for free and these days it’s almost expected not to pay ticket prices for smaller bands. This makes it increasingly hard to be able to live in music which we all do. 

How has the internet affected your music career?
I think less than the average band. We are more of a live band than anything else, and most people know us from our live performances. But through the internet people from other parts of the world have discovered us and booked us to France, Spain, Netherlands, UK and more, which is amazing.  

What are some of your fondest memories throughout your music career?
There are so many to choose between!

Playing big stages at festivals are the best thing in the world. We’ve played some great gigs at for example Edinburgh Jazz Festival and Kongsberg Jazz festival. We played support for Dr. John once, and also for Aha, which was absolutely crazy! We’ve also started our own Prohibition parties called “1923 – Oslo Prohibition Party” where everyone comes in outfits from the 20s and there are dancers, music, cabaret and all that jazz. We’ve had two sold-out shows which both have been among the best nights of our career  

What are some obstacles throughout your music career?
There hasn’t really been many, to be honest.

We’ve become steadily better and more popular getting more gigs along the way, just how it should be. Obviously, it’s hard work trying to live off your music and at times it has been tough, but that’s something you expect when going into this type of work.

Another thing living as a musician touring around it can be hard keeping up with friends and family as you’re never there when things happen. Luckily, we’re all really close friends, so playing together is both works and like being with your best friends. 

How can your fans best support you and Swing’it Dixieband?
We’re a live band, and the most important thing is to go to live concerts. Obviously, that’s not ideal just at the moment, but when the pandemic is over: Go see your local bands and support them! The big artists often get all the attention, but there are so many great bands out there waiting to be discovered. Rather than doing like everybody else, wouldn’t it be fun discovering a great band before everyone else? 

Where do you see yourselves in 10 years?
Hopefully touring the big stages and festivals around the world. While the music we currently making has great potential, we think the electro-swing sets have the potential of reaching bigger masses and can be played at much bigger stages. Hopefully, that will catch on! 

How could smaller bands make it when they’re competing?
I think the most important thing is to try and do your own thing, instead of copying what everybody else does. Do your own thing and believe in it will differentiate you from the other thousand bands trying to accomplish the same thing. 

What advice would you give to bands just starting out?
Have fun! Life in the music business is not luxurious and you gotta love it to be happy. My teacher once told me that if there’s anything else in the world you’d like to do, then you should do that. If music is the only thing you want to do, only then is music the right option. 

Check out more Interviews with Dylanna Fisher and Switching Styles here!

Categories
Reviews

Reviewing “Famine in the Land of Dub” by DabbleDob

Released in 2019, this is an underappreciated track by Dabbledob as it has 25 views on SoundCloud. “Famine in the Land of Dub” is one of Dabbledob ‘s 17 current songs. With just 16 followers through Sound Cloud, he’s at the start and creating a platform of listeners for his genre-shifting tracks.

Dabbledob’s sound crosses quite a few genre lines. Through his work, there is a large degree of crossover of musical styling. That is definitely shown through his songs.

“Famine in the Land of Dub” by DabbleDob

The icon for the song depicts a fantasy warrior riding on a mystical toad. That combined with the name, “Famine in the Land of Dub” invokes imagery of a medieval fantasy realm with the music of that genre such as folk, medieval instrumental, indie rock, and so on. It’s not what you’d expect with the name it has. It brings a pleasant surprise when the song starts as it’s completely different from what you’d originally think.

This is a genre-bending song for sure. “Famine in the Land of Dub” certainly brings in its own mesh of Reggae, Ska, Blues and Jazz. The delivery of the song although confusing at first is a great chill song.

“Famine in the Land of Dub” is quite a bit more than the sum of its parts with its purely instrumental work, rhythm, and explorative production. During the whole song, there are no vocals. Unlike some of his other songs such as “Shoot To Kill”, “the Princess is here”, and “Le Bombe Neutron” which have included sound bytes and vocals, This song has only the instrumental. This allows the listener to focus solely on the sounds as they’re introduced and melded with the previous tunes.

The song begins with a rhythmic sound that transfers into a traditional style reggae rhythm, which would typically show an indie reggae song, but when acoustic guitars, sound effects, and a blues trumpet are added, the audience knows that this is not your typical song.

Overall the song is dominated by a jazz tone but it’s hard to pin down the genre. It’s reggae with notes of a jazzy trumpet making for an interesting combination of genres. It eventually soothes into smooth jazz toward the end with science fiction-like sound bytes at the end that would make Star Trek fans nostalgic.

Famine in the Land of Dub by Dabbledob 7/10

Covering the Animal Crossing Theme

“Make friends with adorable animal villagers and have fun creating a world of your own in the Animal Crossing series.”
~Introduction on Animal Crossing Official

Animal Crossing New Horizons was one of the happy moments of the Pandemic. It brought people together and brought them joy in one of the bleakest circumstances.

This Nintendo game quickly became the first console game to hit five million digital sales within a single month. The high sales are often attributed to the social distancing orders during the COVID-19 pandemic

Fun Fact: K.K. Slider,  the canine travelling musician, is based on series composer Kazumi Totaka, and plays on certain nights in the town’s club.

The music of Animal Crossing New Horizon is created by a combined effort of Yasuaki Iwata, Yumi Takahashi,  Shinobu Nagata, Sayako Doi and Masato Ohashi. Check out the whole Animal Crossing New Horizons right here on Spotify.

Fun Fact: K.K. Slider provides players with a free copy of his songs, claiming that his music, “wants to be free”. Some fans say that this is canon support for music piracy on the part of Nintendo. Though Nintendo denies it saying it was meant as social commentary. 

On that note, here are some covers of the theme song for New Horizons.

“New Horizons Theme” SKA-Jazz Cover by Ska Tune Network

“Welcome Horizons” cover by FluteCookies

“New Horizons Theme” by gabocarina96. And yes, that is an ocarina.

“New Horizons Theme” Cover by Longestsoloever feat. Brian Antonio

“New Horizons Theme” Cover by FamilyJules

Comment below which cover is your favourite!!