Friday, 28 September 2012

New single - Amund Maarud - Dirty Laundry

I grew up in a fairly small community in the Norwegian countryside. A classic case of everybody knowing everybody. As a kid I was part of the local children's theatre group which meant that we would go around and have little plays on openings of shopping malls, homes for the elderly and anything else that was on in the area. Lots of singing of the local community songs etc. Being such a little place, you would also know of the other local cultural acts of the area. One of them was two brothers and their father who had their own little band, and quite surprisingly for someone in the countryside of Norway in the 90's, they played blues. These kids where a few years younger than me, but all ready then I remember them being brilliant. They where also somewhat mysterious. These guys came from an to me almost unknown place far north into the woods of our community, they even had a different dialect.

As time past they grew and it's been a thrill to follow how Amund has grown and gotten better and better as a songwriter, singer and last, but not least, as a guitarist, almost always backed by his brother Henrik on the drums. I am sure the father brings out his bass occasionally still.

Blues has never been my favourite musical style. I dig the soul and honesty of it, but it usually drives me a bit crazy after a few songs, because it tends to be the same chord progressions again and again. Nevertheless I was thrilled when I saw that Amund had a new single out and curious to what he was doing now. And wow, I was surprise, amused and baffled! Not only has he managed to keep the gritty, dirty lovely bluesy style, BUT he has developed and mixed it with rock in a brilliant arrangement. The verses start up with a classic bluesshake, and refrain suuucks you right in and makes me think of the greatest moments in Jack Whites music and somehow also Arctic Monkeys at it's best. And just when it's on the verge of getting a bit boring, there are brass and there is guitar, oh there is fantastic guitar. It's like for the first time we can see the soul and heart of the artist. This gives me the chills, this is quality, this is great. I am so looking forward to hear the rest of the album!

The video for the song Dirty Laundry is also quite striking and extra heart-warming. Gritty, strange and makes me think of David Lynch and the series Carnivale. At the same time it is heart-warming, because this is the environment I grew up in. Recognize the hills and barns. It's been a long time since I have gone: "wow, this is something" after hearing a song for the first time. And this, this certainly is something good. Enjoy!

(wow. just realized that the video is filmed by an old classmate of mine. This just keeps getting better.) Dirty laundry on Spotify

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Frontwomen - Gwen Stefani and Shirley Manson

For some reason I had no idea that No Doubt where releasing a new album so I was pleasantly surprised when I found it late last night. Not brilliant, but quite good poppy, I thought. This morning I decided to look for a clip for "Stand and deliver". It's growing on me, that song, and I wanted to pass it on to a friend of mine. What I found, made my eyes fill up with water; two of my favourite frontwomen on one stage. There are few that have such presence, energy, uniqueness and are so much themselves as Gwen and Shirley! Feel that energy, darn it, wish I had been there!Didelly qua qua!

(I think there will be more about the No Doubt album later, it's really growing on me. You can listen to it here.)

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Arts and crafts: Knitting, crocheting and audio books..

Yesterday I went out and bought the biggest ball of yarn I have ever seen. I got the pattern from the fantastic site Garnstudio. It's a Norwegian site who give out free patterns for all kinds of things for knitting and crocheting and they even tell you how expensive the yarn will be. I had a look through the page for a woollen jacket, since we are moving to a colder part of Norway and I intend to walk to work every day, I need something warm. So, I decided on this one. To my surprise I saw that one just need ONE ball of yarn for it, and I imagined it had to be pretty big, and my oh my, it is! You can see the colours and the size below. The last years I have also started knitting very loosely for some reason, the pattern says that I should use nr 6 in knitting needles, and I had to go all the way down to 4,5 to get it to not be in elephant size. But now I am on my way. It's so fun to knit with multicoloured yarn, you feel like something is happening even though you are just knitting back and forth.

Another project for this summer is a blanket for our bed, it's crocheted in long rectangular strips and than put together in the end. This is the first of the strips. I doubt that I will be done this summer, but the pattern is quite easy, so I can do it quite fast. Nice to do while watching tv for instance.

While crocheting and knitting I have since I was a teenager loved to listen to good audio books. I have not done it in a long while now, but the discovery of Ordflyt has changed it for me. It's almost like Spotify only with audio books! They have published a lot of classics for free, so yesterday I enjoyed a classic Norwegian "farmers drama" from the 1800's, kinda the Norwegian version of Jane Austen :) Today there will be more of Thomas Hardy's book "The Mayor of Casterbridge". Brilliant so far. Ordflyt is a Norwegian service, but there are sure to be something similar in English??

Have a good Sunday, good people. Soon packing and new adventures awaits.

Friday, 15 June 2012

Friday Fun: Ok Go - Needing/Getting

Since it's Friday it's time to post some fun to, while I am at it! Me and my boyfriend have become addicted to Ok Go during this spring. It all started with their fantastic videos, even though I had heard "Get over it" a long time ago and really loved that too. Thinking closer, that might have been because of the video too..

Here is the latest one so far: Needing/Getting. This features a very strange version of the song, so I will also post you a link to the original further down on the page. And listen to the lyrics. Ok Go's singer/songwriter was breaking up with this wife, and oh, how one can feel that. So sad! And the video itself? Just observe! All the sounds are made by the things around the car, I thought there was just some at first, but oh noo!

This song has gotten me through a lot the last weeks... It makes you want to suck it up and get out there again.

New Album: Maximo Park - The National Health

Thankfully a spare moment to write a little blog post. The last year has been full off work and studies and stress from one place to the other. Now my studies are over and I actually have three days of for the first time in longer than I can remember.

Hope you are having a good summer everyone. We had a fantastic 2 week summer as I was writing my latest assignments for my studies. When it went to over +30C in the appartment, my boyfriend started fanning me and kept serving me ice cubes constantly. I want that kind of weather now! Or maybe in the beginning of July. We are also moving soon, so I think there might actually be some posts in the "life" category too, soon.

So! To Maximo Park. Maximo Park snuck into my life maybe 7 years ago. I kept hearing their song (Going missing) on a local radio station again and again and loving it and wondering what it was. This was on the other hand one of these radio station that only tells their listeners once every hour what you have been listening too, and by the time they revealed that information the headphones were off and I was out of the tram and safe and sound at home. Finnally I found out what it was and since I have been a fan.

I loved parts of singer Paul Smiths solo album that came out a few years back, but very excited to hear a new Maximo Park album. They have a very unique energy and intensity that makes me want to jump up and down and go crazy to the music. The single from The new album with the same title, The National Health came a while ago and I instantly really loved it. On this album they have more electronic elements, sounding like 80's synths, but in difference to other bands (like on the latest The Editors album ) they mange to blend it seamlessly in with their angry rock guitars. So far I think my favorite track is "Hips and Lips" that does just that perfectly. Beautiful lyrics about not understanding the other person and the way conversations can be puzzling. I am working my way through the rest of the album and I also like it so far. I have a tendency to like a few things at the time and then move over to the rest after a while. :)

Also it feels like rock is back a little this spring, exciting rock, and it makes my heart skip with joy. (Latest Graham Coxon album for instance ) It is nice to hear some real will behind the music, that's the only way I can describe it :) Paul Smiths voice just sounds real, I believe everything he's singing too me. Also there are not only angry guitars on this album, it feels like they have explored the whole spectrum of emotions more. "Reluctant love" almost sounds like some Joy Division in the beginning only with a soft vocals that sounds like Kings of Convenience. "Write this down" sounds like more classic Maximo Park. "Banlieue" mixes synths and guitars brilliantly again. "This is what becomes of the borkenhearted" has a little of the Coldplay desperation and piano. "Take me home" is a cute little number about being out and wanting to go home with someone :) I quote: "There will be no prosponding, any of our emotions tonight. Take me home, I want you."

Wow, this album just keeps getting better and better.

 Enjoy the fantastic video for  "Hips and Lips". What a fantastic kid :)

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Life, and a new video by Graham Coxon

As you might have figured it's a bit quiet from this corner of the world these days. Frankly there is to much going on. I am studying, working, trying to get nasty jaws (thankfully my own) to behave and is starting to get quite tired. I am curious about the future. By the end of July I need a job and a new place to live. Exciting and a bit scary. I am glad to have my boyfriend to share it all with. But... New video from Graham Coxon. Quite lovely. I should have written about the new album too. It is also quite lovely and more. I also do more on my facebook group for the blog than I do here these days (You can join here)

Friday, 16 March 2012

Great covers: Weezer - Paranoid Android

I have been meaning to write about this one for at least a few months. Covers are strange things. They can give a whole new fantastic dimension to music or really just kill it. Me, I think that if a song is truly good, it will be fantastic almost whatever you do to it, as long as there are talented musicians doing the cover. When I saw that Weezer was doing Paranoid Android by Radiohead though, I was a bit scared for them and at the same time filled with anticipation. Weezer is a good band musically and I have heard a lot of good covers, but paranoid android is... well... grand, to say the least. The different parts, the singing, the solos... my oh my. You have to have guts and skills to take on something like that. I am however thrilled to tell them that they ACE it. It's brilliant and fantastic and give yet a new dimension to the song, even though it is also pretty true to the original. That is even more impressive than taking it to a new style.. Maybe.. I have to think about that some more. In the meanwhile, enjoy!

Monday, 30 January 2012

Great covers: Vazquez Sounds cover of Adele - Rolling in the deep

Thanks to a very good friend of mine I just discovered this song. I am always a great fan of good cover songs and especially if I like the original song. This little girl just blew me out of the water! I can't believe how much voice control she has and she's so young! And the pronunciation is almost perfect too! Wow, I hope we will see more to this kid! Enjoy!

More info about the fantastic trio!

Sunday, 22 January 2012

New album: Dodgy - Stand Upright in a Cool Place

In the late 90's I was given three Dodgy albums at once. And I was very thankful, they were brilliant then and I still think they are great. It's not often that one likes all the songs of three albums. I hope that's not only because anything you listened to when you were 19 is steeped with memories and intense feelings. I was, as you can imagine, thrilled to find out that Dodgy had gotten back together and even more thrilled now, when I found out there is a new album coming out!
The new single sounds a lot like what they used to sound like, some kind of classic Dodgy sound. It's just catchy, smooth and wonderful. It's a bit like if someone has blended the classic rock bands of America of the 70's like The Eagles and Chicago and Noel Gallagher solo somehow, I think. To me it most of all feel like I have been asleep and someone put on real music again. Very curious about the rest of the album, get ready for the 20th of February! I am sure I will be back with more then.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Your own personal music tv channel? Yes, please!

Since MTV these days are more busy with everything in a teenagers life that has nothing to do with music, than actually playing music videos. Since VH1 is not available in a big scale, and maybe you want something really tailored to your taste? Well, I have the answer. Get a account. let it record what you are listening to. Go to Tim Bormans page. Log in with your account. And boom, it makes your own music tv channel from videos on YouTube that match the music you have listened to a lot on Very easy to get addicted. Before we knew it, one and a half hour had passed... :)

The sound levels change a little of course, so you have to adjust that as you go along, and you sometimes get videos with just a still picture or lyrics, but if you don't want it, you can just skip to the next one. Plus, you get all kinds of delightful live clips!! Enjoy!And thanks, Tim.

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Great music videos: Alanis Morisette - Hands Clean

I have been planing to write a blog post about this video a long time now, and finally I have time. There is not that much to say, the lyrics is brilliant and I love the way the video play up to it and at the same time makes it's own story. And of course the fact that it's on a tv. Somehow there is so much emotion of both sadness and happiness in both this video and this song. It thrills me and brings me to tears of emotion.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Radiohead - There There - Demo and finnished product

Wow. It must be great to be in a band when someone turns up with this Radiohead – There There (First Demo)

And then you have people like J. Greenwood to help add guitars and other things into this: Radiohead – There, There The doble guitars, ad ons and solos are just mindblowing. And yepp this people have worked together before, you can tell.
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