lørdag 31. mars 2012

Number Seven Deli - The Ones We've Been Waiting For

The Norwegian band Number Seven Deli is, as was the now sadly disbanded The Margarets, rooted in a large family of musicians, songwriters and generally artistic people from the west coast of Norway and the island community Giske. These guys love music, they apparently breathe music and they have very good taste. Their major game is guitar-based pop music of the kind not heard too often anymore, based on the tradition of The Beatles and later acts like Crowded House or The Divine Comedy. Toxteth is the band's recently released third album, and "The Ones We've Been Waiting For" is one of those immediate, super catchy pop songs that is impossible to ignore. You just have to hum along. They have, or rather a family member has, made a music video, a sort of home video shot in black and white featuring the band members in a car. Simple stuff, but sort of good-timey and nice.

Watch and listen

Rock'n'roll Saturday - 10 songs to get the party started

It's Saturday and there's more than one party brewing out there. Here are ten excellent rock tracks to get the party off its feet.

AC/DC - "Highway To Hell"

Free - "All Right Now"

Beastie Boys - "(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party)"

Motörhead - "Killed By Death"

ZZ Top - "Gimme All Your Lovin'"

Van Halen - "Panama"

Iron Maiden - "The Number Of The Beast"

Meat Loaf - "Paradise By The Dashboard Light"

Ozzy Osbourne - "Crazy Train"

Guns N' Roses - "Paradise City"

Tom Verlaine - The Scientist Writes A Letter

Guitar maestro Tom Verlaine used to be in the legendary New York band Television, but embarked on a solo career when the band went belly-up. "The Scientist Writes A Letter" is a fantastic track from his 1987 album Flash Light. Absolutely beautiful!


Richard Ashcroft - Break The Night With Colour

The former Verve singer Richard Ashcroft released his third solo album Keys To The World in 2006, spearheaded by the brilliant single "Break The Night With Colour". Truthfully, it sounds a lot like a Robbie Williams ballad, but that doesn't make it less of an achievement. Very good song!

Watch and listen

fredag 30. mars 2012

Veronica Maggio - Måndagsbarn

More Swedish pop music. Veronica Maggio's 2008 album Och vinnaren är... (And the winner is...) broke her big time with the wonderful hit single "Måndagsbarn" (loosely translated as "Child of Monday") about partying a bit too hard. The song is a classic Motown pastiche, incredibly catchy, it should fire up any party and keep it going until it's Monday once again.

Watch and listen

The Human League - Love Action (I Believe In Love)

The Human League's third album Dare (1981) was their commercial breakthrough. It was released after founding members Martyn Ware and Ian Craig Marsh had left to form Heaven 17, and singer Philip Oakey re-established the band with a brand new line-up. "Love Action" was the second single off the album, and at the time of release their biggest hit to date. Incredibly, the most catchy single and their real breakthrough hit was single number four off Dare, "Don't You Want Me". The album was really that good.

Watch and listen

The Chameleons - As High As You Can Go

So, who has heard of The Chameleons, British post-punk group that released the classic album Script Of The Bridge in 1983? Not many, I guess, and that's too bad. If you're into bands like U2 and Echo & The Bunnymen (classic enemies), The Comsat Angels, The Sound, Scars and similar acts, you'll love The Chameleons. Here's a great track off Script Of The Bridge called "As High As You Can Go".


Act - Coming Closer

Act (or The Act as they called themselves on their debut single) was a Norwegian rock band of the mid-80's, fronted by Bjørn Kulseth who went on to front several other outfits, most notably The Contenders. Their music was heavily influenced by American rock acts of the era such as Green On Red, R.E.M., Los Lobos, The Dream Syndicate, Let's Active and others, but Kulseth's main influences were acts like Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers and Nick Lowe. For their only album, September Field (1986), they hired producer Steve Berlin, who's also the saxophone player in Los Lobos. "Coming Closer" was the opening track on the LP and it still sounds fresh. This album should be on CD or at least become available digitally.


Nonesuch Records - a real quality label

I've made a playlist for streaming service WiMP featuring 30 songs by different acts on the quality label Nonesuch Records. The occasion is Dr. John's new album Locked Down which is out today and is his first for Nonesuch, produced by Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys fame. Other acts on the list include Brian Wilson, Emmylou Harris, Amadou & Mariam, Guy Clark, Wilco, k.d. lang, Carolina Chocolate Drops and Pat Metheny. 

Follow the link below and you'll get the full playlist, and if you're not a WiMP subscriber you'll still be able to hear snippets of each of the 30 songs.

Locked Down

"Bohemian Rhapsody" performed like you've never heard it before! Or...?

There's a YouTube hit brewing with this "performance" of the Queen classic "Bohemian Rhapsody" by an appararently drunk guy in the back of a Canadian police car. If actually drunk, or in any case for that matter, the guy's got an amazing memory, singing the entire song filling in the guitar solo and everything towards the end. That's when one of the police officers in front asks him to calm down and he replies "I can't", continuing the song for the last stretch. Pretty funny stuff!

Watch and listen

Den svenska björnstammen - Svalkar vinden

Swedish pop band Den svenska björnstammen (The Swedish bear population) turned more than a few heads with last year's amazing single "Vart jag mig i världen vänder". This February the band released their debut album Ett fel närmare rätt featuring a host of great songs, among them "Svalkar vinden". This is a strange kind of joyful, jubilant, celebratory and loud pop music that doesn't sound like anything else. Fabulous stuff that leaves you wanting more.

Watch and listen

Cirkus Modern - Besettelse

Cirkus Modern was a kind of Norwegian post-punk supergroup, featuring (sadly deceased) Helge Gaarder from Kjøtt, Ola Snortheim and Jørn Christensen from DePress, and several others in a constantly fluctuating line-up. The band released a total of three albums, none of which have ever been available on CD, which really is a great shame. "Besettelse" (Obsession) is a song from their eponymous debut album, released in 1984. Killer song!


torsdag 29. mars 2012

Beth Rowley feat. Duke Special - Angel Flying Too Close To The Ground

This is such a great take on Willie Nelson's classic "Angel Flying Too Close To The Ground", performed by Beth Rowley and lifted from here proper debut album Little Dreamer (2008). She's aided by Duke Special a.k.a. Peter Wilson, and the song begs the question: Will she record another album anytime soon?


Everything But The Girl - Rollercoaster

Tracey Thorn and Ben Watt, together known under the moniker Everything But The Girl, are among my favourite performers, thanks to, among other qualities, a knack for great melodies and Thorn's exquisite voice which is one of the most character-laden voices in pop music. It's a thing of beauty, but this beauty is subtle, it creeps up on you, and if you're ever trapped by it, there's no escaping. Ever. And that's a good thing. I will forever cherish Tracey Thorn's voice. Here's "Rollercoaster", the opening track from the duo's 1994 album Amplified Heart.

Watch and listen

HIT ALERT! Morten Harket - Scared Of Heights

"Scared Of Heights" was a huge hit for writer Espen Lind in 2008 as the lead single from his successful Army Of One album. Now former a-ha singer Morten Harket has chosen to cover it, and it's become a big and pretty pompous, immensely catchy pop song, a guaranteed hit. I love it!

Watch and listen

Coati Mundi - Say Hey

Coati Mundi is the stage name of Andy Hernandez. He's known to the world as the bald sidekick to Kid Creole (August Darnell) in latino band Kid Creole & The Coconuts. In 1983 he released his solo album Little Coati Mundi The Former 12 Year Old Genius, featuring the wonderful opening track "Say Hey". It's a party tune to out-party most other party tunes, and here's a live clip, supposedly performed at a Kid Creole & The Coconuts Show in Essen, Germany in 1982. Fabulous stuff!

Watch and listen

The Former 12 Year Old Genius

David Sylvian - Brilliant Trees

"Brilliant Trees", the title track off David Sylvian's first solo album (1984) after quitting Japan, is one of his most beautiful recordings ever. Imagine that! It is co-written by and featuring the trumpet of genius player Jon Hassell, which is responsible for much of the atmosphere. It's hard to imagine songs like these as anything but the greatest and most fulfilling of experiences on a level with any kind of art that takes itself seriously. This is truly transcendental!


Serge Gainsbourg & Jane Birkin - La Décadanse

French enfant terrible Serge Gainsbourg, a noted singer, songwriter and record producer, scored a huge worldwide hit with the infamous "Je t'aime... moi non plus" single in 1969, featuring the moans of his lover Jane Birkin, simulating orgasm. The pair worked together on several records, and released the album Jane Birkin/Serge Gainsbourg the same year. In 1971 they released the single "La Décadanse", a duet that was basically "Je t'aime..." without the moans, but still a great song.


onsdag 28. mars 2012

The Cut - ...And They Move

If Norwegian post-punk band The Cut sounded a bit like Magazine on first LP Shadow Talks (1981) they sounded closer to Simple Minds on follow-up album Silent Movies (1982) with their chilly electronic pop music. The latter record has never been released on CD which is a great shame, and I haven't heard it in ages. I found this clip of the song "...And They Move" on YouTube, and it's really good. Both albums and some rarities will find their way to streaming services soon, according to the band's bassist Torgrim Eggen - if they find the mastertapes, that is. Let's hope so, and at the same time, is it too much to ask for a CD release, say a double disc featuring their entire output? Fingers crossed!

Watch and listen

The Colourfield - The Colourfield

After his time with The Specials and Fun Boy Three, Coventry's finest pop star Terry Hall established the band The Colourfield together with Toby Lyons and Karl Shale. Their very first single was actually called "The Colourfield" and was released in January 1984, narrowly missing the UK Top 40. It's a shame, as it's a great song!

Watch and listen

The Spinners - It's A Shame

The Spinners' 1970 hit "It's A Shame" is one of the finest Motown singles I know, in every way a classic that stands rock solid alongside records by labelmates such as The Four Tops, The Temptations and The Supremes. It was written by Stevie Wonder, Syreeta Wright and Lee Garrett and reached number 14 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.


Fra Lippo Lippi - Shouldn't Have To Be Like That

In 1985 Norwegian duo Fra Lippo Lippi released their third album Songs, an 80's masterpiece, and it was partly rerecorded or remixed (frankly, I don't remember which) and released internationally by Virgin Records in 1986. The lead single off the album was this fabulous song, "Shouldn't Have To Be Like That". For me, this song has got "Memory Lane" written all over it. I love it with a passion!

Watch and listen

Kent - 999

"999" is the latest single from Swedish pop band Kent, a song that was considered too long for TV show Skavlan at almost seven minutes, so the band bailed out instead of performing an edited version. That's formating for you. If a song is good enough, why on earth couldn't it be played in its entirety? Clipped and edited versions of songs are way too common, if you ask me. That opinion aside, "999" is the first single from Kent's forthcoming Jag är inte rädd för mörkret" (I'm not afraid of the dark).


Marty Stuart - Now That's Country

This One's Gonna Hurt You, Marty Stuart's 1992 album, was fabulous stuff, as second single "Now That's Country" attests to. More of a blues stomper than a country song really, but who cares? The song is also a testament to Stuart's abilities as a guitarist.

Watch and listen

Im Nebel - Monkanas sang

Im Nebel, named after a poem by German author Hermann Hesse, was a post-punk band from the west coast town of Haugesund, Norway, active in the early to mid-1980's. They had two cassette-only releases, and one 7 inch single, before reestablishing themselves as pop band The Colors Turned Red. "Monkanas sang" (Song of the monks) was one of their signature songs, so good in fact that it featured on both their cassettes, Ut av tåkeheimen (a split release with fellow Haugesund band Mausoleum (1983) and Mutasjon 7 (1984). It's gloomy and atmospheric, clearly in debt to the music of Joy Division, and inadvertantly, without any idea that it would happen, paving the way for future artists having success with Gregorian Chants in the 1990's like Enigma and the hit single "Sadeness".



tirsdag 27. mars 2012

David Bowie - Ziggy Stardust - commemorative plaque unveiled in London

David Bowie released his classic album Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars 40 years ago this June. There will of course be the inevitable re-release of an album that was last re-released ten years ago as a double 30th anniversary edition, but on a far more curious note this morning a commemorative plaque was unveiled in London's Heddon Street where the iconic cover shot was taken back in 1972. Gary Kemp of Spandau Ballet fame was invited to do the actual unveiling (I have absolutely no idea why he was chosen for this), and also present were drummer and percussionist Mick "Woody" Woodmansey and bassist Trevor Bolder, members of Bowie's backing band The Spiders From Mars.

Trevor Bolder, Mick "Woody" Woodmansey and Gary Kemp in front of the commemorative plaque at 23 Heddon Street where the iconic Ziggy Startdust cover was shot in 1972.

Below you'll find a clip of Bowie performing the song "Ziggy Startdust" from the 1973 concert film Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars.

New Order - Thieves Like Us

With its title lifted from Robert Altman's 1974 movie, "Thieves Like Us" was a New Order single release, that didn't appear on any album unless you count compilations. It was only released as a 12 inch single, back in 1984, between the release of albums Power, Corruption And Lies and Low-Life. It's almost seven minutes long and now, as then, it's a fantastic song, classic New Order.