Gosh, it’s been eight years already? That’s crazy. New track Missing U dropped tonight, was it worth the wait? For me; not an instant classic, but gets better with each listen. And nice to have her back!
Taking the metro to the gig tonight, at Stadion station hordes of sweaty Stockholm Marathon runners jammed themselves into my carriage like it was the Tokyo metro. It was a claustrophobic experience and I worried that my newly showered and made-up self would arrive crumpled, sweaty and dishevelled to the venue. As it happened, the ride there was a faint echo of what would follow! When all of us gathered in front of the stage for the sold out gig, packed tightly to get as close as possible, the room quickly turned into a sauna. Once the gig started and we got moving and dancing, it got worse! I got home completely soaked through from top to toe, no make-up left apart from the water-proof kind, and my long hair as wet as it was a few hours earlier when I stepped out of the shower. But it wasn’t just sweat wiped from brows this night. At the beginning of the gig Matt Johnson went to his mic and told us that he’d received bad news earlier in the day after he arrived in Stockholm; his dad had died. He apologized in advance for » Continue Reading.
Walking into the venue on this warm summer night, my first impression of it was that it smelled a bit like a sewer. But perhaps it was a faint ghost of the stench it must have posessed back in the days when this was a brewery…I’ve visited functioning breweries and they smell worse than any sewer! A Swedish band whose name I didn’t catch opened for Courtney with songs of the Americana kind; pretty good but not good enough for me to google their name… Courtney Marie Andrews looks incredibly young to possess such a powerful voice and such mature songwriting gifts, and along with her equally young band members they look like a bunch of hipsters that met in a juice bar and decided to form a band. So when, after the excellent opening track of “How Quickly Your Heart Mends”, Courtney announces the next track with the line “this is a song about the gentrification of American cities”, we all giggle. But it’s easy to forget the hipster haircuts, beards and hats of “Joe and the Juice” (the name I give the band in my mind as they step onto the stage) » Continue Reading.
I just found this moving performance on YouTube, which is the first I’ve heard about a new album from Aimee. It’s out on Friday (31st), apparently, and called “Mental Illness”, and if this and the other clips I found online is anything to go by, she’s back in classic form again! Hooray!
What does it sound like?:
(First, full disclosure – like many Afterworders I know @Colin_H on the blog, and a little bit off the blog as well, and no, I didn’t pay for my copy of this album. Having said that, I would gladly have paid good money for it and I would still have wanted to review it if I hadn’t known him at all!) This is a largely instrumental album, a remastered and expanded edition of the 2010 original version that contained only the seven tracks comprising The Ice Museum Suite. Five more instrumental tracks have been added to this beautiful reissue, along with four wonderful vocal tracks. The Ice Museum Suite (tracks 4-10) is a journey into the Arctic and through the ages of exploration, held together by a common musical theme. As I listen to each track I can feel the changes in the weather, I can see the vast emptiness of the never ending ice, I can get lost in the emotions of a journey into the unknown. And I listen, impressed, to Colin’s beautiful guitar playing. ”To Sail For Eternity” especially is an absolutely gorgeous solo effort on acoustic guitars, and ”The Last » Continue Reading.
There is something magical about Wilco’s music – like the Tardis their songs are much bigger and more exciting on the inside, once you get past the unassuming exterior. And when you do so and really hear it, it becomes a companion for life. Good moments become better, and the bad stuff can be borne when accompanied and articulated by Jeff Tweedy and his sensational band. Having been a fan from the beginning I’ve long regretted my missed opportunities to see them live (“only” managing to catch Jeff Tweedy himself on his solo/Tweedy tour) so seeing the ad in time to get a ticket for this gig made up for a lot of this year’s disappointments. And the actual gig made up for many more, this and all the other years of my life… What we got was two hours of beautiful, funny and intelligent songs elevated live through some sensational playing from everyone on stage. I’m famously not a fan of guitar solos, put what Nels Cline, backed by Tweedy himself plus Pat Sansone, do to these tunes is really adding extra fireworks to the party. The mayhem of “Via Chicago” is exhilarating, » Continue Reading.
Being home with the flu, I’ve been slowly working my way backwards through a pile of newspaper culture supplements, and today I got to the Friday one – from last week that is. To my surprise an article about Swedish pop duo The Embassy contained unexpected news about the old Word blog pals that was SUPERSTAR AND STAR – remember them? Turns out that they are on a European tour at the moment (opening act for The Embassy in Stockholm last week, for exemple). And not only have they landed a record contract in Estonia, an Estonian filmmaker is doing a documentary about them… Have you heard any other bizarre news that may have slipped us by?
Skeppsholmen, Stockholm, Sweden.
For the fourth year in a row I visited SM&A, this year back to three days after a hectic two days last year. Read all about it in the comments!
Mostly middle-class and middle-aged, and very relaxed and friendly.
It made me think..
I’ll probably be there next year as well…
Earlier this spring Swedish TV was airing a Danish series where ordinary people got up on stage to read excerpts from their teenage diaries in front of highly amused audiences. Very entertaining, thanks to the typical teenage traits of exagerrated emotions (boundless enthusiasm, wild despair), obsessions with particular topics (and people) and, not least, style-, word- and punctuation choices. It got me looking for my own teenage diaries. I didn’t find all of them (not lost forever, just very thoroughly stored away somwhere), but what I did find amused me quite a bit. I had the tendency to only write when I’d had “fun” – mostly meaning getting hammered – so going by that evidence I look like a teen drunk. I didn’t write that often though…but my enthusiasm over these drunken antics are, of course, boundless…
So, why don’t we all get up on stage and read some excerpts of our teenage ramblings to each other? I think it could raise a few chuckles, and either a wave of nostalgia or a feeling of “Thank god that’s over!” Of course, I had to translate mine into English, but I kept the odd punctuation etc. I just picked the first » Continue Reading.
Well, if you’re a Swede, another legend’s gone…you guys have never heard of him, of course. Kjell Alinge was to Swedish radio and my generation what John Peel was to British radio and your generation – combined with Spike Milligan… The two radio shows that made him legendary were Hemma hos… (absurdist humour) and Eldorado (an interesting and personal selection of music combined with absurdist humour almost turning into spoken word poetry…) Eldorado ran from 1980 until 1993, then returned for seven years, 2006-2013. On the “How did your ears open?” thread, I shamefully forgot to mention Kjell Alinge’s influence. Eldorado was the place to hear new music of every genre imaginable and discover things that regular radio didn’t bother with. He only played what he liked, and if he really liked it he could play it twice on the same show. When Titiyo (Swedish singer, half-sister of Neneh Cherry) released her debut single Talking to the Man in the Moon he played nothing else for the entire show that week, in between telling you why it was so good. He could turn obscurities into hits, making Rupert Hines a star in Sweden (and getting thanked on the sleeve of » Continue Reading.
Hi guys, Happy New Year everybody. 2015 ended in a fatal computer crash for me, so I now find myself in front of a new computer running Windows 10 – I had XP on my old rusty bucket so the leap is rather huge! I’m slowly getting my head around how things work, but a few tips from seasoned Window 10 users would be much appreciated. Most importantly: what did they do to the WMP? It looks like a shitty i-Tunes, and the one CD I’ve ripped so far (just to find out how things worked, before I try to upload my old WMP library from an external memory) only displays as an album, without showing the individual tracks in a list, possibility to rate them etc. I tried to look for ways to change that but no luck. Is it because I ripped it in the wrong format? Because it was a trial run I didn’t bother to choose and went with the default settings, is that the problem? Is it possible to get the WMP to look like it did before?
Another annoyance is the red squiggly line appearing as I write anything (right this minute for instance) » Continue Reading.
Skeppsholmen, Stockholm (Sweden)
I’m no fan of Van, in fact I don’t own any of his albums (bar a dreadful cheap collection of demos that my sister bought in a charity shop for me). I didn’t even know he plays the saxophone until he stepped onto the stage and started blowing into one. I wouldn’t say that I’ve now been converted, but thanks to some heavenly intervention a few songs into this festival gig it turned into one of the most memorable and entertaining gigs I’ve ever attended, and this without Van doing his Colin H-impersonation! It didn’t start very promising, some pretty bland jazzy numbers had the audience clapping politely, before things got a little better when he trotted out some hits. Still, the right mood wasn’t there. Not on stage, not in front of it. But then: “Hey where did we go, days when the rains came…” sang Mr Morrison, and in that exact moment the skies opened and showered us with gigantic cold, cold raindrops. After Saturday’s hot, cloud-free sunfest and a mostly sunny (but not so cloud-free) Sunday afternoon, suddenly it was pouring down like a waterfall. And this changed the mood » Continue Reading.
I love Henrik Larsson. So it makes me very happy that his son is looking like he could follow in his dad’s footsteps. Jordan Larsson – only eighteen but scoring goals for Helsingborg with proud dad/coach cheering. I don’t want them to win the league, but it still makes me happy to see. Any other sons or daughters of great athletes on their way to possible greatness?
What does it sound like?:
I’ve been waiting for this album for a couple of years, since I first heard of the band – eagerly since I saw them live last summer. At long last it’s here! That kind of anticipation can easily turn into bitter disappointment, but not this time. In fact; I wouldn’t be surprised if this album is still in my top ten when we sum up the music year of 2015. Amason is a Swedish “indie super group” with members from Dungen, Miike Snow, Idiot Wind and Little Majorette, and together they make the loveliest pop music I’ve heard in a long while. The voice of Amanda Bergman is sensational, the overall sound is relaxed and effortless. The melodies are immediately catchy without being shallow or banal or annoying. Most tracks have English lyrics, some have Swedish lyrics. Some titles are in English and some in Swedish – not necessarily to do with the language of the lyrics. Gustav Ejstes’ fingerprints are all over the Swedish lyrics, but this is not another Dungen, this is something else, this band has its very own voice.
What does it all *mean*?
Listening to this album feels like » Continue Reading.
The latest King novel is a masterful hommage to the writers that have inspired him. Combining the King magic touch of relateable reality infested by unnatural fears, with the lifegiving electricity of Mary Shelley, the grotesque monstrosities of Lovecraft, and themes, quotes and details from all of the icons of the horror genre. As creepy as Pet Sematary and impossible to put down until the end, this is one of his very best novels IMO.
Length of Read:Medium
Might appeal to people who enjoyed…
Pet Sematary, The Dead Zone, and the classics of early horror. Horror fans who enjoys spotting references and feeling clever.
One thing you’ve learned
Beware of electricity.