Weekend video: The Nits sing of Theo van Gogh

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My post from a few weeks back featuring video of one Elske de Wall singing Leonard Cohen’s “Dance Me to the End of Love” in Frisian has been getting a steady stream of traffic lately thanks to Theresa and Patrick Nielsen Hayden—inspiring me to share some more Netherlandish music. This time it’s Dutch supergroup The Nits (I’ve been a fan since 1982), performing “The Key Shop,” one of the trio of songs leader Henk Hofstede wrote after his Amsterdam neighbor Theo van Gogh was gunned down in 2004.


This comes after the Dutch entry yet again failed to make the finals of the Eurovision Song Festival this week. (Here’s the song. Go figure.) As I cleaned up the kitchen this morning I listened to a podcast in which the Dutch prime minister spent at least five minutes discussing whether the Eurovision debacle was indicative of the marginalization of the Netherlands in today’s Europe (his answer: no).

By the way, in that Frisian Leonard Cohen post I mentioned that the singer was a graduate of something called the Academie voor Popcultuur, a newish school in the Dutch/Frisian city of Leeuwarden where you can study to be a pop star. Well, now we’re getting a similar school in the U.S. of A., the just-about-to-open Academy of Contemporary Music at the University of Central Oklahoma. Why Central Oklahoma? It’s apparently a Flaming Lips thing.