fredag 22. mars 2013

The Waterboys - We Will Not Be Lovers

And from The Waterboys' original Fisherman's Blues album from 1988, here is the wonderful, 7 minute "We Will Not Be Lovers", one of Mike Scott's many brilliant songs. The folk rock on this album was both a surprising and in some weird way a natural continuation of Scott's musical journey. Listen to Steve Wickham's fiddle on this track, and you're hooked. This is such a great song!


Fisherman's Blues revisited as 7CD box set

Finally! As  The Waterboys' landmark 1988 album Fisherman's Blues turns 25 this autumn, the entire sessions will be released as a major 7CD box set in October. Mike Scott has selected the 121 tracks (!) of which 85 has never before been released. In addition to the  original 13 track album, earlier releases have included the Too Close To Heaven album (renamed Fisherman's Blues, Part 2 in the US) and a deluxe edition featuring yet more unreleased tracks. But now, alas, the whole enchilada is about to be presented for the first time, and that is something worth waiting for and, upon its release, shelling out the cash needed. This is rock history being revealed.

Read more about the box set here, and see a list of the sessions here.

Talk Talk - It's My Life

Ready for another 80's classic? Talk Talk's "It's My Life", off their similarily titled 1984 album, is an old favourite of mine, and that video? Wow, it's good! Directed by Tim Pope, who's also worked a lot with The Cure and The The, it shows Mark Hollis wandering around in a zoo, interspersed with Richard Attenborough style shots of animals in the wild. The song is a pop masterpiece, the result of genius songwriting and a totally brilliant arrangement, epic and in many ways big, but at the same time mysteriously down to earth. Just listen to the instrumental bridge that starts at about 2:32. There is absolutely nothing wrong with "It's My Life".

Watch and listen

Simple Minds - Alive And Kicking

"How big can we make our sound?" was the question Simple Minds seemed to ask themselves when they released their Sparkle In The Rain album in 1984, and for their next record, 1985's Once Upon A Time, they asked the additional question, "how can we show how big we are visually as well?" The answer to both questions lies in "Alive And Kicking", the music video. The music is as big as the wide open landscape the band is placed in, with sweeping camera work revolving around the musicians standing on the edge of a cliff, in a big old forest, over a waterfall, etc. Even though it looks a bit silly, it works extremely well, and "Alive And Kicking" remains a hell of a song, although this was where Simple Minds started on their musical decline. They never eclipsed the qualitites of their masterpiece, 1982 LP New Gold Dream (81/82/83/84).

Watch and listen

torsdag 21. mars 2013

The Milk Carton Kids - Snake Eyes

Thanks to a friend of mine, I was alerted to the music of The Milk Carton Kids today, and boy am I gonna check these guys out further! The Californian folk duo's music has been described as "Gillian Welch and David Rawlings-meets-Simon & Garfunkel with a splash of The Everly Brothers", and that's as accurate as you come in describing new single "Snake Eyes" from their upcoming third album The Ash & The Clay. Fantastic little song!

Watch and listen

David Bowie - Sunday

Although David Bowie's albums have not been of genius quality since Scary Monsters back in 1980, there have indeed been more than a few good turns here and there as well, and not just on his surprisingly good new album The Next Day. The atmospheric opening track from his 2002 album Heathen is a case in point. "Sunday" is a mysterious-sounding kind of pop song, stating that "nothing has changed, everything has changed." Indeed...


Phosphorescent - Song For Zula

The dreamlike qualities of the brand new Phosphorescent album Muchacho, written in Matthew Houck's Mexican exile, are undeniable. The most immediate song is called "Song For Zula", a little song that keeps getting bigger and bigger, rising in volume and intensity, and is consistingly beautiful at its essence. If you like this, you'll want to check out the entire album, and sp you should. It's great!


onsdag 20. mars 2013

The The - Slow Train To Dawn

The The's 1986 album Infected not only is Matt Johnson's definitive work, it's further augmented by a kind of movie without an apparent narrative, consisting of different music videos to each song, made by different directors. It was an expensive affair, shot on location in Peru, Bolivia and New York. Instead of promoting the album with an ordinary concert tour, Johnson instead toured the movie. It's a hell of an album, and a hell of a movie. "Slow Train To Dawn" is shot in fabulous black and white, and featuring backing singer Neneh Cherry tied to a railway line while a running train is descending upon her. Dramatic and fabulous stuff!

Watch and listen

tirsdag 19. mars 2013

Listen to the entire new Depeche Mode album now

For the third week running, Sony Music and iTunes present a new album a week before its actual release date, streaming in iTunes for free until it's released. The previous weeks it has been the excellent new David Bowie and Justin Timberlake albums, and this week it's Depeche Mode's new album Delta Machine. This is their first new album since Sounds Of The Universe from 2009 and first for their new label Columbia Records. Sweet!


Hitvarsel! Gyllene Tider - Man blir yr

Hurra! Gyllene Tider er gjenforent. Igjen. Per Gessles popband kjent fra eviggrønne klassikere som "När vi två blie en" og "Sommartider" kommer snart med sin første nye plate siden 2004, og den første singlen "Man blir yr" er ute nå. Det er en fantastisk låt, en rysare av en popmelodi med et usedvanlig skrike- og skrålevennlig refreng. Stor moro! Det nye albumet har for øvrig fått den geniale tittelen Dags att tänka på refrängen og slippes 24. april. GLEDE SEG!


PS! Låta kuttes helt mot slutten og mangler de siste 20 sekundene.

Talking Heads - This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody)

One of my all time favourite concert movies, or performance movies rather, is Jonathan Demme's recording of the Talking Heads show Stop Making Sense from 1984. It's a truly magical film, and among its many highlights is the Speaking In Tongues track "This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody)". It was released as a single from that album, and although the Stop Making Sense version doesn't differ a whole lot, it jumps and grooves a teeny bit more, and is of course accompanied by David Byrne dancing with a lamp. That in itself is worth watching. And if you're ever in a bad mood, just put this song on and you'll smile for the rest of the day.

Watch and listen

mandag 18. mars 2013

The Monroes - Cheerio

I just got the sad news about Eivind Rølles' far too early demise. At the age of 54 he died last night, succumbing to the cursed cancer. Rølles was one half of the Norwegian pop duo The Monroes and a well respected and well liked record company executive, a truly nice person. "Cheerio" was a number one hit in 1985, a beautiful ballad featuring another sadly missed musician on guitar, Marius Müller. R.I.P. Eivind.


søndag 17. mars 2013

David Bowie - Let's Dance

Yet another David Bowie classic. "Let's Dance" was the first single off the album of the same name, released in 1983, featuring the guitar work of both Stevie Ray Vaughan and producer Nile Rodgers. It's one of Bowie's most commercially successful singles ever.

Watch and listen

lørdag 16. mars 2013

Morten Abel - I'll Come Back And Love You Forever

Morten Abel is a true pop star. The Norwegian singer has fronted the bands Mods, The September When and Peltz, and has led a more than interesting solo career as well. There has always been a hint of the dangerous about him, and he's been very good at creating an image and really acting the pop star. This winter he's been part of the entertainment show "Hver gang vi møtes" (Every time we meet) where seven prolific singer/songwriters met to perform each others' songs, and among the seven, Morten was the one to really turn his colleagues' songs upside down and really seem to have fun with them. The songs, that is. "I'll Come Back And Love You Forever" is the title track from his third solo album, released in 2001. Sadly, there's no video to this song, but it's a fantastic slice of pop music all by itself.


David Bowie - Changes

It's hard not to be a David Bowie fan these days with the man having released a fabulous and unexpected new album, The Next Day, his first in ten years. It's also prompted me to go back to his many classic records, such as 1971's Hunky Dory that featured one of his very best songs, "Changes". Everybody sing now, "Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes..."


Prince And The New Power Generation - Cream

With Prince, musicality and sexuality goes hand in hand, and on few songs it's more evident than on the 1991 single "Cream". You can see it in the video too, how he handles and caresses his guitar like it's... well, not a guitar. "Cream" is pure pop music, a slick, sassy, sexy and funky, intoxicatingly catchy little beauty of a song. It was a US number one single, and a big hit in other countries as well, including Norway where it reached number three on the singles chart.

Watch and listen

fredag 15. mars 2013

Natalie Maines of Dixie Chicks covers Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam - Result? Very nice!

On May 7th Natalie Maines from Dixie Chicks will release her debut solo album Mother, named after the Pink Floyd song off The Wall. Another cover she does is Eddie Vedder's "Without You" which you can hear by following the link below. Maines decided that she wanted to record an album very different from the Dixie Chicks and opted for a more rock-oriented sound together with co-producer Ben Harper. For fans of Jeff Buckley let it be noted that she's also recorded his "Lover You Should Have Come Over". This could be really good, I think..

Listen to "Without You"

Andy Burrows - Maybe You

Andy Burrows used to be the drummer for Razorlight and We Are Scientists, made a great Christmas record with The Editors frontman Tom Smith in 2011 and seemingly works in every possible direction, with anyone who asks or he gets on with. Not only that, he makes solo albums as well, showcasing some truly wonderful songs. "Maybe You" is from his second solo record, Company, released last October. This is a pretty acoustic version, but wait till you hear the studio version with a full band. Look it up, and it'll blow your mind with its beauty.

Watch and listen

Hurts - Wonderful Life

And here's a modern British synthpop duo... Hurts has actually passed me right by, but I was alerted to them now because they have just released their second album. "Wonderful Life" is not the current single, but from their 2010 debut album Happiness. This is simply a wonderful pop song, and very 80's sounding which may be why I fell instantly in love with it. I like the video too, it looks really good.

Watch and listen

Blancmange - Blind Vision

British synthpop duo Blancmange are among the many 80's acts who have reunited in recent years, and in 2011 released their fourth, pretty much unnecessary album. "Blind Vision" however, was the outstanding lead single from their second LP, 1984's Mange Tout. Fabulous song and as catchy now as it was then.

Watch and listen

torsdag 14. mars 2013

New Pet Shop Boys album due in June

In June, a mere nine months after the release of their album Elysium, Pet Shop Boys will be back with a brand new album called Electric. It's their first for label Kobalt Label Services, after the duo has spent 28 years on Parlophone Records. Below you'll find a teaser trailer for the new album. More info will follow as it comes in.

Watch and listen

My definitive David Bowie playlist

I was asked by the good people at Norwegian streaming company WiMP to compile my definitive David Bowie playlist now that the man, the myth, the legend is back with his first new album in 10 years, The Next Day. The album is probably his best since 1980's classic Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps), and I know both myself and others have said the very same thing about other albums that he has released since. This time however, it's truer than before, but bear in mind that this is not the same as saying it's as good as Scary Monsters...

Having said this, I'll leave you to my playlist. There will be very few surprises here, and I have chosen to bookend the list with the first two singles off The Next Day, "Where Are We Now?" and "The Stars (Are Out Tonight)", brilliant as they both are.

The rest is rock history from one of the most important figures of popular music, the one and only David Bowie, a total of 30 exquisite songs. Please enjoy!


Warren Zevon - A Certain Girl

The late great Warren Zevon... what a songwriter, and what a performer he was! Occasionally he did a few cover versions too. For his brilliantly titled 1980 album Bad Luck Streak In Dancing School he did a rousing version of the New Orleans classic "A Certain Girl", that was written by Allenn Toussaint under his pseudonym Naomi Neville, and also has been recorded by The Yardbirds, Fats Domino, Ernie K-Doe and others. Great song, great version!

Watch and listen

onsdag 13. mars 2013

Listen to the entire new Josh Rouse album now

American singer/songwriter Josh Rouse hit both a commercial and an artistic peak with his wonderful 2003 album 1972, and has subsequently released a string of good albums. None of these can be called successful in terms of sales, but Rouse has written consistently good songs throughout. His new album is called The Happiness Waltz and will be released this weekend or early next week depending on where you live. No matter when really, because the album streams in its entirety on American Songwriter's website. This is a return to the laidback, early 70's sound of the fabulous 1972 album, and is a joy from start to finish. A warm thank you goes out to Josh Rouse just for being the kind of songwriter that he is. This is soooo nice!


Justin Timberlake - Mirrors (from SNL)

What an entertainer this guy has become! Justin Timberlake who's about to release his third solo album The 20/20 Experience visited Saturday Night Live a few days ago to perform an edited version of his current 8 minute plus single "Mirrors". Backed by an outfit called The Tennessee Kids he performs the song with bravado, emulating great artists past and present. He's got a little bit of Frank Sinatra in him, a little bit of Elvis Presley, a little bit of Michael Jackson, but by God he's an artist in his own right as well. This is a killer performance that you just have to watch!

Watch and listen

Listen to the entire new Justin Timberlake album now

Monday finally sees the release of The 20/20 Experience, Justin Timberlake's eagerly awaited third solo album. However, you can listen to the album in its entirety already as it's being streamed in the iTunes store until the release date. Unfortunately not on your telephone, but on desktops and iPads - no problem. And after one run-through of the album, I can tell you this: It sounds great!


New single from She & Him - Never Wanted Your Love

The wonderful faux-sixties duo She & Him (Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward) are soon back with their album Volume 3, which is in fact their fourth as they have released a Christmas record in addition to the previous volumes 1 and 2. "Never Wanted Your Love" is the first single from the new album and certainly doesn't stray from their chosen path of sixties girl-group nostalgia and reverby soundscape. Zooey Deschanel's voice is as sweet as ever and M. Ward's production skills as outstanding as we are used to.


fredag 8. mars 2013

Happy birthday, ladies. 100 songs for your big day!

Today, March 8th, is the International Women's Day, and that means I just had to compile a playlist for all you ladies out there. And for the men too, of course.

You'll find the list below, featuring 100 songs from 100 (mostly) female artists. Here and there you'll find men in the background, but on all the songs, the women are the ones to shine. There are no further rules here. Most genres are represented, there have been no geographical boundaries, and the themes of the songs are varied. What these 100 songs all have in common though is the fact that they're great.

So now, please feast your ears and have a nice day!


tirsdag 5. mars 2013

Son Volt - Hearts And Minds

Jay Farrar and his band Son Volt are back with a vengeance. There were many of us who loved the band's last album, 2009's American Central Dust, which was a definite return to form after a few not so great albums. Four years on new album Honky Tonk appears to be even better, a fantastic record with extraordinary songwriting and musicianship. Farrar channels the ghosts of Gram Parsons and Hank Williams, and with his absolutely outstanding voice raises the bar for what country music can be in 2013. Here's the first single and opening track "Hearts And Minds". It's followed by another ten songs, just as good, so go ahead and buy the album.


Bigbang - Like Americans Do

This week Norwegian rock band Bigbang released their tenth studio album The Oslo Bowl. It's also one of their best so far, with Øystein Greni's songwriting hitting several peaks throughout. First single and opening track "Like Americans Do" was released late last year, and is quite representative of the album with its prominent and mildly surprising mandolin which is an important part of the album. As always the sky opens up above Bigbang's songs, making them sound like classic American rock songs, but this time with kind of a folk twist. Having played the album only a few times yet, I have to say that The Oslo Bowl already sounds like a classic album in and of itself, and may very well be Bigbang's best to date. That says a lot.


Prefab Sprout - The King Of Rock 'n' Roll

Talk about taking a song literally when making a music video. Referring to the chorus of hot dogs and jumping frogs that's what we see, as well as a stud who's evidently the object of the song, a singer known only for a one-hit 50's wonder, like an opposite Elvis Presley. All this while the members of Prefab Sprout lie around a pool in the winter. "The King Of Rock 'n' Roll" remains Prefab Sprout's biggest UK hit, reaching number 7 upon its 1988 release. Great song too!

Watch and listen

mandag 4. mars 2013

Kraftwerk - Computer World

"Computer World" is the opening and title track of Kraftwerk's 1981 album, a stunning piece of (mostly) instrumental, electronic music. The robotic voice that lists "Interpol and Deutsche Bank, FBI and Scotland Yard" still sounds like a voice from the future, 32 years on, but Kraftwerk's vision of man and machine existing in a kind of harmonious relationship is relevant today all the same. And how beautiful these five minutes are! I love it.


søndag 3. mars 2013

Rilo Kiley - With Arms Outstreched

Having just watched the series finale of the amazing Weeds I was pretty much moved to tears when Rilo Kiley's beautiful song "With Arms Outstretched" was playing over the final scene. It made for a fitting end to a fantastic series, and reminded me of how much I love Jenny Lewis's voice. The song is lifted from Rilo Kiley's 2002 album The Execution Of All Things.


Rune Berg - No Other Way Out

Here's the second single from one of the most exciting albums of 2012, Rune Berg's (Number Seven Deli, formerly of sadly disbanded The Margarets) first solo album, Hølå. "No Other Wat Out" is an intoxicating low-key pop song, melancholy and at the same time with an undeniable feelgood vibe. This is further strengthened by the fine music video made by Geir Uggedal and Ronnie M.A.G. Larsen. Brilliant stuff all across the board here.

Watch and listen

John Foxx - Underpass

John Foxx was the original singer of Ultravox, and fronted the group on their first three albums, when the band was a strange kind of punk/postpunk/glam/electronica hybrid. He left the band in 1979 and was replaced by Midge Ure, and the funny thing is that both factions went for a more clean-cut electronic sound. Of the two, Foxx was the one who went for the extremes. The music of his solo debut Metamatic (1980) was influenced by - among others - Kraftwerk, and contemporary artists like Gary Numan's Tubeway Army and the early incarnation of Human League. "Underpass" was the gloomy first single he released under his own name, and it's still a great song, highly atmospheric and utterly cold, naked and eerie, a kind of musical companion to the written works of J.G. Ballard, Philip K. Dick and for that matter George Orwell. Science fiction meets cold war gloom and human alienation. What can I say? You had to be there.

Watch and listen

lørdag 2. mars 2013

Regina Spektor - Don't Leave Me (Ne Me Quitte Pas)

I'm currently watching the eighth and final season of the brilliant TV series Weeds, and this song plays through the last segment of episode 8. Regina Spektor has released it once before on her 2002 album Songs where she performs it alone with her piano, but for last year's What We Saw From The Cheap Seats, she re-recorded it, adding more instruments, and making it sound absolutely wonderful. She also renamed it. It was first called "Ne Me Quitte Pas" (it has nothing to do with Jacques Brel's song of the same name) and the new version is called "Don't Leave Me (Ne Me Quitte Pas)". The video is directed by one Ace Norton and features Spektor fooling around in a big apartment doing lots of silly stuff. It's great, by the way, and both the song and the video is as quirky and out there as the TV series Weeds. This is all good, good stuff!

Watch and listen