tirsdag 31. desember 2013

The 10 best songs about New Year's Eve and New Year's Day

New Year's Eve party playlist

It's the last day of 2013, and there will be a lot of parties going on tonight. If you're concerned about what music to play, fret no more. Here's your salvation!

I have compiled a 100 track party playlist, and most, if not all of the songs, are guaranteed to fill the dancefloor at any time. All in all it's seven hours of dance music, from disco classics such as "Hot Stuff", "Dancing Queen" and "Stayin' Alive" to excellent newer songs from the likes of Robin Thicke, Daft Punk, David Guetta and Justin Timberlake. Hopefully, something for everyone.

Below you'll find links to the playlist both in Spotify and WiMP. Unfortunately, only 95 tracks made it onto the WiMP list when I imported it from Spotify, but it's still good enough for a fabulous party. Happy new year!

New Year's playlist (Spotify)



mandag 30. desember 2013

Roxy Music - Over You

Just one of those songs you never tire of. "Over You" is a single off Roxy Music's 1980's album Flesh And Blood. Beautiful song and that voice! Bryan Ferry works his magic again and again.



Iggy Pop - I Need More

Iggy Pop's 1980 album Soldier has a pretty bad reputation, but I like it quite a lot. Partly co-written with ex-Sex Pistols bassist Glen Matlock, it features some pretty cartoonish songs like "Loco Mosquito", "I Snub You" and "I'm A Conservative", not to mention the rollicking "I Need More", an energetic rocker with a sneering Iggy right up in your face. Classic!



Young Galaxy - New Summer

It was only a few weeks ago that I discovered Canadian synth-pop band Young Galaxy, whose fourth album Ultramarine was one of the best records to slip through my fingers in 2013. Had I discovered them earlier, the album might very well have ended up on my Top 25 list, and what is very certain is that the single "New Summer" would have figured high on my list of the year's best songs. It's a beautiful, atmospheric and romantic ballad, that's in every way gorgeous. The video however is in stark contrast to the actual song, showing what happens when an atomic bomb goes off. It's not anywhere as pretty as the song is.

Watch and listen


10CC - The Things We Do For Love

Many thought it spelled the end for 10CC when Kevin Godley and Lol Creme left ship in 1976, but Graham Gouldman and Eric Stewart sure had some life left in them. Gouldman, in every way a professional songwriter with an impressive past, and Stewart, golden-voiced singer that he is, took 10CC to new heights with a new line-up and made the album Deceptive Bends (1977), which became their biggest success to date. "The Things We Do For Love" is my favourite song on the album, although follow-up single "Good Morning, Judge" was a slightly bigger hit - in the UK, that is. This is Pop music with a capital P.



søndag 29. desember 2013

Sonic Youth - Tunic (Song For Karen)

The Karen referred to in "Tunic (Song For Karen)" is Karen Carpenter, and the song is a tribute to her sad fate, dying as she did from heart failure related to her eating disorder and troubled place in the spotlight beside her brother Richard in the highly successful pop duo The Carpenters. In many ways Sonic Youth can be regarded as the exact opposite of The Carpenters, but the melodic qualities of this song off 1990's album Goo is undeniable. The lyrics are wonderful, picturing Karen in Heaven, and singer Kim Gordon tells of her newfound friends, Janis, Elvis and Dennis and how she plays the drums again and has a great time. This is six minutes plus of distorted beauty, that should be played loud. It's a stunning song.

Watch and listen


Everything But The Girl - Each And Every One

Time, once again, to play some Everything But The Girl, probably my all-time favourite duo. Their second single, 1984's "Each And Every One" is still one of my preferred EBTG songs, recorded at their bossa nova best. Tracey Thorn's singing is as good here as it's ever been, and Ben Watt's elegant guitar playing is, well, extraordinarily elegant. "Each And Every One" is like a dear, dear friend, always wanted, always welcome.

Watch and listen


Blood Orange - It Is What It Is

Here's one of the finest songs on one of 2013's best records, the second Blood Orange album, entitled Cupid Deluxe. "It Is What It Is" is a marimba-led soul tune with more than a touch of dream-pop of the Washed Out variety. The short instrumental break that appears at around 2:40 is exceptional, by the way, the icing on the cake. Dev Hynes (who is Blood Orange and also records under the name Lightspeed Champion) is a tunesmith of the highest order, and the entire Cupid Deluxe album is highly recommended, including first single "Chamakay". Unfortunately "It Is What It Is" has not been released as a single (yet), so it comes without a video.



Vazelina Bilopphøggers - Gi meg fri i kveld vs. Lee Dorsey - Ya Ya

"Gi meg fri kveld" var Norges første møte med det som for mange er blitt et livslangt kjærlighetsforhold. Totningene i Vazelina Bilopphøggers ble allemannseie fra dag en med singlen "Gi meg fri i kveld"/"Bilopphøgger Boogie" som gikk rett til topps på Norsktoppen og nådde 3. plass på VG-lista høsten 1980. Bandets spesialitet er å skrive om - med en mildt sagt humoristisk vri - amerikanske og til dels britiske rock'n'roll-låter fra (primært) siste halvdel av 50-tallet og første halvdel av 60-tallet. "Gi meg fri i kveld" er en frisk tolkning av Lee Dorseys 1961-låt "Ya Ya", og i mine ører er den faktisk også langt bedre. Her er begge to, så kan du jo se selv hvilken du foretrekker.

"Gi meg fri i kveld"

"Ya Ya"


Darkside - Paper Trails

These days music has few limitations and restrictions. There's a DIY attitude going around that beats the punk rock "movement" hands down as anyone, and I mean anyone, can make music, distribute it, worldwide at that thanks to the internet, and also, if lucky, make a few bucks along the way. Darkside is an American electronic duo that released an absolutely excellent debut album this year called Psychic, a collection of largely instrumental pieces of a certain length that may be called a kind of blues music for the 21st century, channelling both B.B. King, Pink Floyd, Brian Eno, Suicide, The Orb and The White Stripes along the way. "Paper Trails" is one of the stand-out tracks, in its original form a five minute "almost pop song", in the live version below a semi-psychedelic free-form, atmospheric piece of ambient blues. Astounding in every way.

Watch and listen


lørdag 28. desember 2013

Norsk musikkhistorie x 10

Universal relanserte for en måneds tid siden ti norske klassikere på vinyl. Jeg har vært behjelpelig med å skrive noen linjer om disse platene fra The Enemies, Popol Vuh, Prudence, Ole Paus, Knutsen og Ludvigsen, Vømmøl Spellemannslag, Radka Toneff, De Press, Raga Rockers og deLillos, og er du interessert er det bare å følge linken under. Nederst i saken finner du link til en Spotify-liste med fire utvalgte låter fra hvert album. God fornøyelse!

Les omtalene


Siouxsie & The Banshees - Cities In Dust

One of the most consistantly good singles band of the post punk era, Siouxsie & The Banshees delivered time and time again. "Cities In Dust" was the first single off their 1985 album Tinderbox, a killer pop song really with Siouxsie Sioux's characteristic voice in front as always. I love this song.

Watch and listen


Nisse Hellberg - En stad som aldrig vaknar

Nisse Hellberg er frontfigur i det svenske rockbandet Wilmer X, men kjører en paralell solokarriere der han virkelig får utløp for sin indre raggare. Her bedriver han steintøff rockabilly sunget på heidundrande entusiastisk skånsk, og det går unna. "En stad som aldrig vaknar" fra 2006-albumet Snackbar Blues er intet unntak, en fantastisk låt som flytter ettertrykkelig på seg. Umulig å sitte stille? Det skal jeg love deg!



Midlake - It's Going Down

Texas rockers Midlake's latest album, Antiphon, keeps growing on me. After the band's songwriter Tim Smith quit in the middle of the recording of a new album, the rest of the guys didn't give up, but scrapped everything and started fresh with guitarist Eric Pulido as the new main songwriter, even though the songs are credited to the band as a whole. "It's Going Down" is my current favourite on the album, a majestic-sounding and brooding masterpiece whose only fault is that it's far too short.



fredag 27. desember 2013

Beyoncé feat. Jay-Z - Drunk In Love

From out of the blue Beyoncé released her fifth album simply called Beyoncé the week before Christmas, a fourteen track "visual album", as every track has an accompanying short film or music video. Here's "Drunk In Love" featuring a guest stint by husband Jay-Z, showing Beyoncé having a good time on a beach, shot in beautiful black and white. It's one of two lead singles off the album, the other being "XO".

Watch and listen


Bruce Springsteen - The River

"The River" may be my all time favourite Bruce Springsteen song. The competition is of course fierce, but its parent album, 1980's The River, was my introduction to Springsteen and the title track was my favourite song on it. That pretty much nails it, even though "Thunder Road", "Highway Patrolman", "No Surrender" and others may be just as good. The narrator of "The River" sees his own dreams fade fast as he gets his girlfriend pregnant and settles in for adult life. He has to adjust quickly, but somehow the river as a symbol for a better future keeps his dreams alive. It's an absolutely wonderful coming of age story, a beautiful song, featuring one of the best harmonica solos in the history of popular music. I think even Bob Dylan can agree with me there.



Cream - I Feel Free

Cream's "I Feel Free" is a monster of a rock song that, typical of the time of its 1966 release, was omitted from the debut album Fresh Cream and only released as a single. In their native UK that is, it was included on the American version of the album. With its irresistable intro of repetitive humming, handclaps and a steady beat, it opens up for a semi-psychedelic and adventurous song. Co-written by bassist and singer Jack Bruce (Pete Brown is credited with writing the lyrics), it features a wonderful guitar solo from a young Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker's fabulous drumming skills. The mid-60's in a nutshell.

Watch and listen


torsdag 26. desember 2013

Sham 69 - Hurry Up Harry

By the time of the release of Sham 69's second album That's Life in late 1978, the first wave of punk rock was long dead, but these guys and bands like UK Subs, Angelic Upstarts and others soldiered on, keeping the spirit of 76/77 alive and well. "Hurry Up Harry" was a big UK hit, peaking at number 10, but it's just as much pub rock, or pop even, as punk. A great song still.

Watch and listen


Chris Isaak - Talk To Me

Chris Isaak's 1985 debut album Silvertone - named after his band - is one of the most mesmerizing debut albums I know, a collection of songs that sound like the ghosts of old Sun Records singles. Isaak's impressive voice and his tight three-piece backing group sound like they've come from the graves of dead rock stars to haunt the living, but in a way that's so beautiful and decidedly cool that you just let them. "Talk To Me" is one of the prime examples of this exercise, and to this day Silvertone still reigns as the king of Chris Isaak albums.



Aretha Franklin - Sweet Bitter Love

There is a reason why Aretha Franklin is called "The Lady of Soul". Her vocal register is one thing, the power behind her words and phrasing quite another and what really makes her stand out. She is without any doubts whatsoever the greatest female soul singer ever. "Sweet Bitter Love" is a stunning ballad, written by the great Van McCoy, about a hopeless romance, about getting hurt time and again, and when sung by Aretha it's so believable that you can't help but hurt right along with her. It's just one of those performances. It was recorded during her Columbia years, before she became really big, and was released as a single in 1965 - I think. It was also the title track of a Columbia Records compilation album released in 1970.



tirsdag 24. desember 2013

Erik's musical Advent calendar - December 24

The Pogues feat. Kirsty MacColl - "Fairytale Of New York"

And so the day is here. Christmas Eve is only hours away, and it's time to finish up this year's musical Advent calendar. What better way to do that than to play the world's best Christmas song, The Pogues and their 1987 recording "Fairytale Of New York", featuring the help of the lovely, late Kirsty MacColl? Merry Christmas, everyone!

Watch and listen


mandag 23. desember 2013

Garness - Hellige natt

Klokken 22.20 i kveld viser NRK1 en konsert med tvillingsøstrene Garness, to fantastisk flotte sangere og artister som for to år siden ga ut den vakre juleplaten Barnet i krybben, en juleplate som er helt nedpå og ganske annerledes enn mange av de svulstige utgivelsene som plager oss år etter år. "Hellige natt" er deres versjon av "Oh Holy Night"/"O helga natt", gjendiktet til norsk av Ole Paus. I programmet som sendes i kveld får de besøk på scenen av Marit Larsen, Elvira og Emil Nikolaisen, Sigvart Dagsland og Karoline Krüger, og jeg tror ganske sikkert det er verdt å få med seg for å sette en god julestemning. Opptaket du finner link til under her er to år gammel, og her ser vi søstrene Ingelin Reigstad Nordheim og Hildegunn Garness Reigstad akkompagnert av Torjus Vierli på piano. Han blir også å se i kveldens program.

Se og hør


Daniel Kvammen - 23. desember

De mange som har lagt sin elsk på Åls store sønn Stein Torleif Bjella, må sperre opp ørene nå. Daniel Kvammen er en ung mann fra Geilo, litt lenger opp i Hallingdal for Ål, og både hans geografiske, musikalske og lyriske nedslagsfelt er tydelig beslektet med Bjellas. Kvammen har gitt ut en single tidligere i høst, den nydelige "Ingen vega utenom"/"Alt for mykje tå alt for lite", og med "23. desember" har han laget årets fineste nye julesang. Filmsnutten du finner lenke til under her er like deler musikkvideo og dokumentarfilm, og gidder du ikke se hele, skal du vite at selve låta begynner på fireminuttersmerket. Men du bør selvsagt se hele. Fine ting!

Se og hør


Erik's musical Advent calendar - December 23

Nitty Gritty Dirt Band - "Colorado Christmas"

My favourite country Christmas song, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's "Colorado Christmas" conjures all the right emotions. It's about a guy celebrating Christmas in Los Angeles, dreaming his way back home to his beloved Rocky Mountains, and the arrangement with Jim Ibbotson's gently picked mandolin and Jeff Hanna's sweet voice in the foreground is really christmassy. It was written by the late Steve Goodman and is just a brilliant piece of songwriting. I think "Colorado Christmas" was released as a single in the late 80's, and it finally ended up on NGDB's 1997 record called The Christmas Album.

Watch and listen

søndag 22. desember 2013

Erik's musical Advent calendar - December 22

Pet Shop Boys - "It Doesn't Often Snow At Christmas"

How true the title "It Doesn't Often Snow At Christmas" rings, not only for Pet Shop Boys and their fellow Londoners, but here in the middle of Oslo as well. But we're always dreaming, you know, of a white Christmas. Well, this Hi-NRG disco Christmas song is not about that at all, rather it's about how Christmas not necessarily is all it's cranked up to be for a lot of people. In other words, be kind to each other, this Christmas, and the rest of the year too! The song, by the way, was originally issued as a fan club single in 1997, but was re-recorded in 2009. The version below is live from the O2 Arena in London.

Watch and listen


The Church - Under The Milky Way

How sweet can a pop song sound when you get right down to it? That must have been the question Steve Kilbey and his girlfriend at the time, Karin Jansson, asked themselves before The Church recorded the 1988 single "Under The Milky Way", the lead single off their album Starfish. It's perfect pop music, an acoustic wonder of a song, with a keyboard break that perfectly emulates bagpipes, making it a strange kind of beast. But what is there in the end is a perfectly harmonious recording that leaves you begging for more. A stone cold classic!

Watch and listen


lørdag 21. desember 2013

Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds - The Mercy Seat (Live From KCRW)

The recently released Live From KCRW album is a masterclass in understated beauty by Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds, where the band run through several songs from this year's amazing Push The Sky Away album as well as a few choice classics. Among the latter is this amazing version of "The Mercy Seat", the key track from the 1988 album Tender Prey. The original remains one of the most brutal-sounding Cave recordings ever, whereas this new live version is like a whisper in comparison, led by Cave on piano and bandmate Warren Ellis' haunting violin.



Erik's musical Advent calendar - December 21

The Housemartins - "Caravan Of Love"

Not really a Christmas song, but it reached number 1 on the UK singles charts in December 1986 so that's part of why it counts as such. Legendary Hull band The Housemartins did an a capella version of "Caravan Of Love", originally a smooth R&B song by Isley Jasper Isley from the previous year, and it simply sounds so hauntingly beautiful in a kind of christmassy and holy manner, so to me and a lot of other people this has become a true Christmas classic.

Watch and listen


fredag 20. desember 2013

Astrid Smeplass & Julie Bergan - White Christmas

Radio host Christine Dancke at Norwegian broadcaster NRK P3 has lined up guests in the studio this December for them to play Christmas songs and spread some holiday cheer. Yesterday she was visited by Astrid Smeplass and Julie Bergan, the two budding singers who did an awesome take on Kim Cesarion's already awesome "Undressed" a few months ago, and they did a sweet acoustic version of Irving Berlin's timeless "White Christmas". Hell, everything about this is sweet, their voices, Smeplass' subtle guitar playing and of course the girls themselves who just ooze of charm. Merry Christmas indeed!

Watch and listen


Bastille - Of The Night

Bastille has enjoyed a very good year, crowning it with "Of The Night", yet another hit single for the British pop band that struck gold with "Pompeii" earlier in 2013. "Of The Night" is a mash-up of two old hit singles, "The Rhythm Of The Night" by Corona and Snap's "Rhythm Is A Dancer", a very good one at that. The accompanying music video is quite strange, relating the story of a homicide detective who experiences that a series of murder victims talk and sing to him as they lie dead. It's a tiny bit disturbing, but makes for some "interesting" entertainment, complementing the dark and somber mood of the song.

Watch and listen


Erik's musical Advent calendar - December 20

Wizzard - "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday"

Glam rock and Christmas songs were more or less born for each other, in such a perfect way that if I were a musician myself I would form a glam rock band just to be able to play the coolest Christmas songs. If you think that sounds like a stupid idea, listen to Roy Wood's band Wizzard's 1973 single "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday" and reconsider. It's an absolute classic, and there would be no real Christmas without it.

Watch and listen


torsdag 19. desember 2013

Amnestiet - Krigen

En kompis og kollega er den ene halvdelen av rock'n'roll-duoen Quarter Wolf, og han maser stadig om noen venner som spiller under navnet Amnestiet. De har gitt ut en EP og en håndfull singler. "Krigen" er en ny versjon av en låt fra den to år gamle EPen, en aldeles nydelig, underfundig liten popvisesak med en fin-fin liten video, innspilt i Oslos vintergater for kun få dager siden, ser det ut som. Jeg har likt de låtene jeg har hørt med Amnestiet tidligere også, men denne traff meg virkelig med et brak. Et forsiktig brak, skal sies, men et brak likefullt. Dette er simpelthen en utrolig fin låt!

Se og hør


Erik's musical Advent calendar - December 19

Chris Rea - "Driving Home For Christmas"

Call me shallow, call me predictable, Hell, call me soft, but I do get misty-eyed when hearing the usually not great Chris Rea sing his 1988 single "Driving Home For Christmas". With its unapologetically corny arrangement, it's also deeply effective, digging a groove as deep as the Mariana Trench into my Christmas heart. Rea's recognizable tale of a father (or whoever) driving towards home and hearth rings true with a lot of people in these last days before the celebrations, we hear it to death in shopping malls and cafes, and yet, I can't help but love it. And next year? It will probably be just the same.



onsdag 18. desember 2013

2 awesome Christmas music playlists

I am probably too fond of Christmas music. This year I started late, so late actually that my wife a few weeks back asked me what was the matter. Why hadn't I started playing my Christmas songs yet? So, even though I was indeed late, I struck hard when I got around to it. This week I have published two separate playlists of great Christmas music, one for the Norwegian internet newspaper ABC Nyheter, the other for the Norwegian branch of Universal Music. Below you'll find links to my musings and my playlists, both in Spotify and one of them also in WiMP (the Norwegian equivalent). They're a bit different from each other, so look up both to see which you prefer, or better yet, combine them somehow and cherrypick your own favourites. I have done the groundwork. Both articles are in Norwegian, but as they say, the language of music (or was that love?) is universal. Merry Christmas!

ABC Nyheter



Rolling Stones - Beast Of Burden

Happy birthday to Keith Richards who is 70 years old today! Who would've thought? The celebrated Rolling Stones guitarist has one of the most easily recognizable playing styles in all of popular music, and may just be the best riff guitarist in the world. He's more than adept at doing solos too, of course, but his riffs has colored songs like "Jumpin' Jack Flash", "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction", "Start Me Up" and the rest, just as much as the actual melodies. "Beast Of Burden" is another example, essentially a country song off the 1978 killer album Some Girls. The version below is a more recent live take where Keef gets to ever so subtly show off a bit. There are no grand gestures, just tons of studied coolness and attitude. Once again, happy birthday!

Watch and listen


Erik's musical Advent calendar - December 18

The Band - "Christmas Must Be Tonight"

The Band's seventh and final album, 1977's Islands, was a patchy affair recorded to fulfill their contractual obligations. It did include a few good songs though, and the very best among them is the stunning "Christmas Must Be Tonight". Songwriter Robbie Robertson even re-recorded it when he scored the 1988 film Scrooged. It's simply the Nativity of Jesus set to song, and it's one of the most beautiful Christmas songs ever written. An absolute classic!



tirsdag 17. desember 2013

Rosanne Cash - A Feather's Not A Bird

The River & The Thread is the title of Rosanne Cash's new album, to be released in mid-January. Are we to judge at all by the sound of "A Feather's Not A Bird" the album should be a masterpiece, a record owing a huge debt to both the music and the folklore of the American South. This song, which is the opening track of the 11 song album co-written by Cash and her husband/producer/arranger/everything else you can think of, the estimable John Leventhal, sounds as the good people of Twangnation.com put it, "like it was born on the bayou". A fantastic song with amazing guitar playing, it's a prime taster for what is sure to be a killer album. Anyone thinking Cash would rest on the laurels of her success with the tribute album to her father Johnny, 2009's great The List, will have to seriously reconsider.

Read more and listen


Eminem feat. Rihanna - The Monster

They created a monster hit with "Love The Way You Lie (Part II)" off Rihanna's 2010 album Loud, a different version of a song Eminem created with Skylar Grey on his own album that year, Recovery. Now Rihanna's returned the favor on the single "The Monster" off Eminem's long-awaited sequel to his big break-through album The Marshall Mathers LP from 2000, the recently released The Marshall Mathers LP 2. No awards for title originality, but it's at times a great album, and "The Monster" is among the tracks that lift it. And say what you will, Rihanna's and Eminem's voices blend well.

Watch and listen


Disclosure feat. Eliza Doolittle - You & Me

I heard this accidentally today and was reminded just how awesome it is. The perfect modern club track, "You & Me" jumps and struts and moves wildly around, and it's got a killer dance groove. I saw the British brother act live at the Øya festival in Oslo this summer in broad daylight, and what was missing from that performance was of course the strobe lights, the atmosphere, the dance floor and singer Eliza Doolittle in person. Apart from that it was pretty good, but it lacked real punch. The original studio version has exactly that in spades. I put "You & Me" on the 26th place of this year's best songs and the album Settle at 14th. If you haven't heard it yet, you should do something about it.

Watch and listen


Erik's musical Advent calendar - December 17

Emmy The Great & Tim Wheeler - "Home For The Holidays"
This one is from the album This Is Christmas released two years ago, and yet another of the best newer Christmas songs I know. With "Home For The Holidays", Ash frontman Wheeler and his girlfriend, singer/songwriter Emma-Lee Moss, have written what is essentially a truly happy, joyful song, about returning home for the Christmas celebrations, meeting old friends and family, shrugging your shoulders wondering where time goes, and having a drink. It's an absolutely gorgeous and sweet song, and the video is very nice too.

Watch and listen


mandag 16. desember 2013

Young Galaxy - Pretty Boy (Peaking Lights Remix)

Thanks to a friend of mine with very good taste in music, today I discovered the Montreal act Young Galaxy, a synth pop/dream pop band with a very good sense of melody. The song "Pretty Boy" is from their new album Ultramarine and luckily this remix ended up on the deluxe edition of that album which I have now ordered.

"What if everything awesome lasted for two-and-a-half more minutes of awesomeness? This is the utopia envisioned by Peaking Lights’ blissed-out remix of Young Galaxy’s already buoyant "Pretty Boy". I'm quoting Amy Phillips of Pitchfork here, and totally buys her point. This is awesomeness like you wouldn't believe. Enjoy!



Erik's musical Advent calendar - December 16

Band Aid - "Do They Know It's Christmas?"

When Bob Geldof and Midge Ure gathered some of biggest British pop stars around in 1984 and recorded the "Do They Know It's Christmas?" single under the moniker Band Aid, their main intention was to raise money for the victims of the ongoing famine in Ethiopia. They succeeded beyond their wildest dreams when not only "Do They Know It's Christmas?" became a monster international hit single, but it led to the next summer's huge Live Aid event, and to similar recordings and events in many places of the world. This is still a song I need to play every Christmas, a true classic that also has the true Christmas spirit inherent, that of doing something for your fellow man, woman and child.

Watch and listen


søndag 15. desember 2013

Erik's musical Advent calendar - December 15

Bing Crosby - "White Christmas"

If this song doesn't spell Christmas, no song does. Bing Crosby's take on Irving Berlin's "White Christmas" encapsulates it all, the hopes and wishes, the joyful memories of Christmases past, the gleeful expectations of Christmases to follow, and in the song's 1942 arrangement, the warm and gentle voice of Crosby that is complemented by a female choir sounding just like it was lifted out of the most classic of animated Disney films from the era. Everything about this song is stunningly beautiful. "May your days be merry and bright, and may all your Christmases be white", indeed!

Watch and listen


lørdag 14. desember 2013

C.W. Stoneking - The Love Me Or Die

Here's a sinister tale of a guy casting a hoodoo spell on a beautiful girl to make her love him. Unfortunately, because of his ineptitude she dies, and lurks in Hell to exact her revenge on her killer when some day it's his time to die. Not your average pop song then, but a scruffy-sounding piece of New Orleans style jazz with funereal horns and C.W. Stoneking's rusty voice relating the dark story, sounding like the evil offspring of Screamin' Jay Hawkins and some sort of demented voodoo queen fra the bayous of Louisiana with a slight nod to Tom Waits. Stoneking is actually Australian, but there's nothing in his story about the evil "The Love Me Or Die" curse that tips you off. It's taken from his 2008 album Jungle Blues.



The Waterboys - The Whole Of The Moon

Happy birthday to Mike Scott, genius singer/songwriter and leader of the everchanging Waterboys, who's 55 today. Here's the absolutely awesome classic "The Whole Of The Moon" from the band's 1985 album This Is The Sea. A monster of a song!

Watch and listen


The Roots feat. Cody ChesnuTT - The Seed (2.0)

"The Seed (2.0)" from The Roots' 2002 album Phrenology is so cool it's almost ridiculous. These guys know how to rock in a funky kind of way that should make Red Hot Chili Peppers blush, here with the added help of Cody ChesnuTT on vocals and guitar. A fantastic song that sounds like it's shot out of a cannon.

Watch and listen


Erik's musical Advent calendar - December 14

Yet another "new" Christmas song, this one from Norwegian pop band The Margarets' fourth and final album, 2008's Look For Love. If I remember correctly, they gave the song away for free the previous Christmas. Such a nice gesture, especially considering how beautiful the song is. The version you'll find below only features songwriter Rune Berg on guitar and singer Alex Rinde, but it's still lovely, although the richer-sounding studio version may be just a bit better.

Watch and listen


fredag 13. desember 2013

Blood Orange - Chamakay

Devonté Hynes is known for producing and writing for acts like Solange Knowles, Florence And The Machine and many more, but he's also an artist in his own right, releasing great records under various aliases such as Lightspeed Champion and Blood Orange. He's just released album number two as Blood Orange, the wonderful Cupid DeLuxe, that got to number 11 on my personal best of list of 2013. "Chamakay" is the opening track and first single, a laidback and sweet Caribbean-sounding soul number with Hynes's ingratiating voice in front. The video was shot in Georgetown in the South American country Guyana, where the British producer/artist's mother hails from.

Watch and listen