lørdag 30. august 2014

Tom Waits - On The Nickel

"And if you chew tobacco and wish upon a star, you'll find out where the scarecrows sit, now they just look like punch lines between the cars." That''s what I call poetry. It's lifted from Tom Waits' stunning piano ballad "On The Nickel" that ended up on his 1980 album Heartattack And Vine, but was indeed written for Ralph Waite's film also called On The Nickel. In this live clip Waits describes the song as "kind of a hobo's lullaby" which seems pretty accurate to me, also in regard to the film. It's a brilliantly beautiful song, only performed by Waits on his grand piano in the clip below, but on the album featuring a wondrous string arrangement. Both versions are fantastic.

Watch and listen

Bronski Beat - Smalltown Boy

A synth pop classic and gay anthem from 30 years ago, Bronski Beat's debut single "Smalltown Boy" sounds exactly as good today as it did upon its 1984 release. The melancholy of the song, singer Jimmy Somerville's haunted falsetto voice and the exquisite melody perfectly fits the video where the singer plays the titular character who escapes the troubled existence of a gay teenage boy in a small town and heads for the big city. This is simply a very good song.

Watch and listen

fredag 29. august 2014

Exciting new film - Northern Soul

Northern Soul is the title of an upcoming movie chronicling the phenomenon known as, yes indeed, Northern Soul. It came about in the north of England in the late 1960's when obscure American soul singles were introduced by local DJ's in clubs, turning into a trend that resonates to this day. British photographer and filmmaker Elaine Constantine has directed a feature film about this scene to be released in October, and the trailer looks very promising. Check it out below.

Watch and listen

Egil Olsen - Good Talk

Norwegian singer/songwriter Egil Olsen is known for his charming and often quirky folk pop songs about everyday life, and with new single "Good Talk" he talks about his current state of mind with and through his dogs. Below is a link to a video showing Olsen in his studio playing an acoustic version of the song while one of his dogs lie at his feet, seemingly asleep or very close to it. Also, you'll find a link to the studio version that can be heard and/or purchased in WiMP (it's not on Spotify yet unfortunately).

Acoustic video version

WiMP studio version

Prince feat. Lianne La Havas - Clouds

Prince is releasing not one, but two new albums on September 29. One is with his power trio 3rdeyegirl called Plectrum Electrum, the other a solo record named Art Official Age. "Clouds" is from the latter, a soulful and slightly funky duet with British singer/songwriter Lianne La Havas. Great stuff!



Hiss Golden Messenger - Mahogany Dread

Hiss Golden Messenger is a North Carolina country/folk duo consisting of MC Taylor and Scott Hirsch. Their new single "Mahogany Dread" spearheads the release of their fifth (?) album Lateness Of Dancers, and is an awesome country rock song reminiscent of bands like The Jayhawks or Ryan Adams' old outfit Whiskeytown. It bodes very well for the album that will be released in early September.



onsdag 27. august 2014

The Carpenters - (They Long To Be) Close To You

This song is a prime example of Hal David's skills as a romantic lyricist. With musical partner Burt Bacharach he wrote numerous wonderful love songs, and "(They Long To Be) Close To You" is one of the best. It was first recorded by Richard Chamberlain in 1963, but The Carpenters' 1970 hit version is the best known. And when Karen Carpenter sings about how "On the day that you were born the angels got together, and decided to create a dream come true" it sounds like the most incredibly beautiful declaration of love that has ever been sung. They simply don't write songs like this anymore.


Charlie Rich - You Never Really Wanted Me

The 1973 album Behind Closed Doors was Charlie Rich's most successful album, winning one Grammy, four Academy of Country Music awards and three Country Music Association awards. This was especially due to the two big hits "The Most Beautiful Girl" and the album's title track. None of these were written by Rich though, but the heartbreaking and deeply soulful ballad "You Never Really Wanted Me" was, and it's better than most of the songs on the album combined. If you're not moved by this, you're made of stone.


England Dan & John Ford Coley - I'd Really Love To See You Tonight

An unlikely pair of Texans considering their names, but Danny Wayland "England Dan" Seals (who later recorded under the name Dan Seals) and John Edward "John Ford" Coley are indeed children of the Lone Star State. "I'd Really Love To See You Tonight" doesn't exactly sound as if it comes out of Texas either, a soft rock anthem if I've ever heard one. It was a huge hit in 1976 and appeared on their album Nights Are Forever. Great pop song!


Eminem feat. Sia - Guts Over Fear

Eminem's brand new single "Guts Over Fear" spearheads the arrival of his forthcoming compilation album Shady XV to be released on November 28. It features Sia Furler (of "Chandelier" fame) as duet partner and is an autobiographical song about Eminem's struggles as an artist and performer. Do I like it? Hell yeah! Great song, and Sia's guest spot doesn't exactly hurt either.


Nina Simone - Just In Time (live)

The song "Just In Time" first appeared in the 1956 musical Bells Are Ringing, and has been recorded by a wealth of acts through the years. This 1962 version from Nina Simone's live album Nina At The Village Gate is simply astounding, showcasing her inimitable piano style for everything it's worth. I actually became aware of it through Richard Linklater's film Before Sunset, the second in his trilogy about Jesse and Celine (Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy) who meet on a train headed for Vienna. Before Sunset is a film with a few flaws, it has to be said, but the last scene in which they listen to this recording is pure movie magic.


tirsdag 26. august 2014

Alan Jackson feat. Jimmy Buffett - It's Five O'Clock Somewhere

"It's Five O'Clock Somewhere" is, as the title suggests, a true party song. Country singer Alan Jackson also enlisted Jimmy Buffett to enter towards the end of the song, turning what's already a pretty good party in itself into a stint in Buffett's fictional paradise Margaritaville. The song was written by Jim "Moose" Brown and Don Rollins and featured on Jackson's 2003 compilation album Greatest Hits Volume II. And if this does not get you in a good mood, nothing will.

Watch and listen

mandag 25. august 2014

Happy birthday, Elvis Costello - 60 years old, 60 great songs!

The inimitable Elvis Costello turns 60 today, and to mark the occasion I have compiled a playlist for Norwegian streaming service WiMP, celebrating this great singer/songwriter, composer and musician. Due to the sad fact that not all of his albums are available for streaming there are a few obvious omissions from my list, but by adding cover versions from and collaborations with other acts, I think the list may be even better than if it only featured Costello's own recordings. The additions of these tracks makes it's even easier to see his versatility for what it is.

Below is the link to the list, including a short essay I've written, in Norwegian (Hello, Google Translate!), featuring 60 astounding recordings by the great man himself as well as Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, Ute Lemper, Sondre Lerche, Jenny Lewis, Paul McCartney, Robert Wyatt and more.

Read and listen


fredag 22. august 2014

Don Williams feat. Alison Krauss - I Just Come Here For The Music

I love a good lonely hearts ballad, and country music icon Don Williams knows how to do them. "I Just Come Here For The Music" was released as a single from his 2012 album And So It Goes, not written by Williams himself but songwriters Doug Gill, John Ramey and Bobby Taylor. Kudos to them, and the additional thrill of this recording is of course the presence of Alison Krauss' angelic voice. This could very well be a grateful nod from Williams in recognition of her wonderful version of his classic hit "I'm Just A Country Boy" some years earlier. Whatever the reason, their voices perfectly give voice to the two protagonists of the song, guiding us into their sad and lonesome lives. A beautiful country song if ever I have heard one.


onsdag 20. august 2014

Sval & Kråkesølv - Tidsfrist

15 år gamle Sval ga tidligere i år ut sin flotte single "Tidsfrist", hennes første utgivelse siden hun vant Melodi Grand Prix Junior i 2011. Det er en fantastisk fin poplåt som bodøbandet Kråkesølv har lagt sin elsk på, og ved å klikke her kan du høre begge versjonene. Men de har også gjort sangen sammen, og det låter veldig fint.

Se og hør


tirsdag 19. august 2014

Johnny Marr - Easy Money

Former The Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr finally released his first proper solo album last year, the slightly uneven The Messenger, and hot on the heels of that one he's releasing the follow-up in early October. The first single off the album Playland is titled Easy Money, and is a rollicking, pumping glam rock meets electro pop tune, with some fabulous guitar riffs. Yeehaw!

Watch and listen


Leonard Cohen - Almost Like The Blues

"Almost Like The Blues" is Leonard Cohen's brand new song, the first to be leaked from his forthcoming nine track album Popular Problems, which is released on September 22, the day after his 80th birthday. It's an atmospheric, eerie-sounding and ominous song, but luckily it's also quite beautiful. Apparently the album is co-written by Cohen and Patrick Leonard, known especially for his work with Madonna, and you get the full tracklist and press release here.



HIT ALERT! Taylor Swift - Shake It Off

Taylor Swift has removed herself completely from her self-titled 2006 debut country album, and turned into a true pop diva. Her brand new single "Shake It Off" is a pop/R&B hybrid, with more in common with Pharrell's "Happy" than anything remotely country-ish. It's a great feelgood song with an enjoyable dance video showing people dancing and having a good time, and the first song to be released from her upcoming fifth studio album, 1989, named after the year of Swift's birth. The release date is October 27.

Watch and listen


fredag 15. august 2014

Todd Terje concert in full - Øyafestivalen 2014

Last week Øyafestivalen was held in Oslo to great acclaim, and the entire festival was closed by DJ/producer Todd Terje (real name Terje Olsen of Mjøndalen, Norway) who played one hell of a set, including a fabulous guest stint by none other than the great Bryan Ferry who popped up (at around 45 minutes) to sing Robert Palmer's "Johnny And Mary", just like he did on Terje's recent debut album It's Album Time. Follow the link below, and you'll see - and hear - the show in full, a highly enjoyable thing. This was history in the making, and boy does it sound - and look - great!

Watch and listen

Tony Joe White - Bayou Woman

In 1995 swamp rock legend Tony Joe White and writer of evergreen "Polk Salad Annie" and many, many more great songs, released what I consider his best album, Lake Placid Blues. It's an album in which his voice comes to the fore, being as cool as it's possible to be. It's an album's worth of decidedly great tunes, and "Bayou Woman" is a prime example of how good a guy like him can be, of how utterly cool he can be. This is the sound of the South as is in the Southern United States, evoking a sense of place that few, if any, can muster. Eric Clapton or JJ Cale, you can eat your hearts out!


Jimmy Webb - 10 timeless classics

Congratulations to legendary songwriter and performer Jimmy Webb who turns 68 today. Having written timeless classics such as "By The Time I Get To Phoenix", "Wichita Lineman", "The Moon's A Harsh Mistress" and countless others, the Oklahoma nativeis one of the best tunesmiths to ever grace this mortal coil. Here I have compiled ten of his best songs, performed by himself and different acts who have recognized his genius.

Glen Campbell: "By The Time I Get To Phoenix" (1967)

Paddy McAloon & Jimmy Webb: "The Highwayman" (1991)

Rumer: "P.F. Sloan" (2012)

Jimmy Webb: "Paul Gauguin In The South Seas" (2005)

Glen Campbell: "Just This One Time" (1974)

Frank Sinatra: "Didn't We" (1971)

Linda Ronstadt: "Adios" (1989)

Radka Toneff & Steve Dobrogosz: "The Moon's A Harsh Mistress" (1979)

Glen Campbell: "Wichita Lineman" (1970)

Jimmy Webb & Brian Wilson: "MacArthur Park" (2013)

The Cure - Friday I'm In Love

I'm sure it's ages since I last posted The Cure's stone cold, absolutely brilliant feelgood song "Friday I'm In Love", and what do you know, today is actually Friday! Taken from an album that spawned few, if any, other really good songs, 1992's Wish, this is a jewel in the Cure catalogue, one of their very best pop songs.

Watch and listen


HIT ALERT! Say Lou Lou & Lindstrøm - Games For Girls

Say Lou Lou a.k.a. twin sisters Miranda and Elektra Kilbey are the offspring of the one and only Steve Kilbey of legendary Australian rock band The Church, and his Swedish ex-girlfriend and musical partner Karin Jansson. So far they have released a handful of singles, and their latest, to be released in two weeks, is an awesome collaboration with Norwegian DJ/producer and frequent Todd Terje collaborator Lindstrøm. "Games For Girls" sounds absolutely astonishing, a future party classic, I'm sure, that will be everywhere this autumn. This is modern dance-pop at its very best.



torsdag 14. august 2014

Tenacious D - Tribute

Jack Black and Kyle Gass are comedy rock band Tenacious D, and amazingly they have recorded a song that will stand forever as a true rock classic. The wonderfully idiotic "Tribute" (2002) tells the story of how the pair meet a demon who urges them to "play the best song in the world" or he'll eat their souls. Musically the song is a perfect blend of Led Zeppelin and Metallica, but with the added pleasure of great comedy. The video is also fantastic.

Watch and listen

Randy Newman - We Belong Together

Randy Newman's Academy Award winning song "We Belong Together" was written for Toy Story 3 and released in 2010. When the animation studio Pixar was established Newman quickly became its house composer, so far having scored 11 of the company's films, including all three in the Toy Story series. The attraction surely lies in Newman's ability to write genuinely heartfelt happy songs or feelgood songs, in sharp contrast to the wit and sarcasm he employs in his more "serious" songwriting. Anyone who hears "We Belong Together" will instantly feel good, so if you're ever a little bit down and out, you know what the cure is.



onsdag 13. august 2014

Stan Ridgway - The Big Heat

When Stan Ridgway left his job as singer for Wall Of Voodoo he had grand plans, at least if his first solo album, 1986's The Big Heat, is to be taken at face value. It's a kind of song cycle, depicting all sorts of strange persons in noirish settings, as suggested by the title that was lifted from director Fritz Lang's 1953 noir film. "Camouflage," about the ghost of a Marine during a battle in the Vietnam War, was of course the big hit single from the album, but the title track is just as good. It's a grim and sinister tale of a man on the run, who just might be from the future to add to the eerie lyrics, a haunted slice of L.A. Noir, with a video shot (mostly) in black and white, inspired by sundry classic noir films but also quite possibly by Francis Ford Coppola's 1983 film Rumble Fish where Ridgway was enlisted by the soundtrack composer Stewart Copeland of The Police to sing the song "Don't Box Me In". The entire album is of course a classic.

Watch and listen

Röyksopp & Robyn - Monument

A seven minute edit of the ten minute opening track "Monument" from Röyksopp & Robyn's recent collaborative album Do It Again has been graced with a wonderful video, a visually simple but very successful kind of science fiction-themed video directed by Robyn's boyfriend Max Vitali. It fits the song perfectly, and the only fault here must be that they didn't make a ten minute long video when they were at it. No matter though, this is very, very good, and I do love the song!

Watch and listen

Wanna see how it was made? Making of-video can be seen here.

Little Feat - Dixie Chicken (live)

"Dixie Chicken" is probably Little Feat's most well-known song, the title track from their awesome third album, released in 1973 and which also contains "Roll Um Easy". Here's an astounding live version from a 1977 London show, that unfortunately has been clipped just short of the ending, but still goes on for seven funky minutes. Classic!

Watch and listen


Stein Torleif Bjella - Psykisk kan du vera sjøl

Sist lørdag åpnet Stein Torleif Bjella Øyafestivalen 2014s siste og svært vellykkede dag, med et show som - om ikke tok pusten fra folk - så iallfall begeistret de fleste som fikk det med seg. Ål-guttens låter resonnerer i mange av oss med sine skakkjørte og ofte skadde personer, og han var backet av et kremlag som gjorde låtene ytterligere litt finere. Men det er det med låtene til Bjella at de klarer seg utmerket på egne ben også. Her er derfor en fin-fin versjon av nydelige "Psykisk kan du vera sjøl" fra hans første soloalbum Heidersmenn (2009), spilt av Bjella på kassegitar og intet annet under Egersund Visefestival samme år. Fine ting!

Se og hør


tirsdag 12. august 2014

Slowdive - Golden Hair (live)

Incredible but true: Until three days ago I had never heard the music of legendary British shoegazing band Slowdive, at least not that I knew of. The reunited group played an astonishingly beautiful set at Oslo's Øyafestivalen, and standing in the very front, I had a musical revelation much thanks to a friend of mine who's a huge fan. I can understand why. Slowdive's hypnotic music is just the thing for me, with an ethereal, big sound, filled with beautiful song structures, soothing voices from singer/guitarists Neil Halstead and Rachel Goswell, layers of guitars and basically tons of atmosphere. Here's a recent clip from a festival in the Netherlands of the band performing their version of Syd Barrett's "Golden Hair" as the last song of the set, just like they did in Oslo. It's doubled in length from the original that appeared on the 1991 EP Holding Our Breath, and every second adds to its beauty. In short, I have fallen completely in love with Slowdive!

Watch and listen


The Pierces - You'll Be Mine

Summer's not over yet, so here's another great tune for you to fit the season. American sister duo The Pierces' 2011 single "You'll Be Mine" is a perfect slice of slick, Fleetwood Mac-inspired pop music, with its beautiful melody, catchy arrangement and mesmerizing harmonies. You can't do it much better than this.

Watch and listen


mandag 11. august 2014

Leonard Cohen to release new album

As legendary singer/songwriter and esteemed poet and gentleman Leonard Cohen turns 80 next month, he'll also release a brand new album entitled Popular Problems, according to Rolling Stone. I got a hint myself the other day, when I met a friend who works for Cohen's record company who had "just received new music from a big artist that they (him and his colleagues) had no idea was forthcoming", but he could not say who the artist was. As I gathered a new Dylan record has been hinted at in May so it could not be him, a new Springsteen record wouldn't be that much of a surprise, and that basically left good old Cohen - and maybe David Bowie. As of right now there has been no official confirmation of the album but it could come at any minute, as the cat seems indeed to be out of the bag. The release date is September 22, the day following Cohen's 80th birthday, and the album consists entirely of new songs.

søndag 10. august 2014

Øyafestivalen, I love you!

A four day music fest is over. Øyafestivalen, a Norwegian festival that has been hosted at Oslo's Middelalderparken since 2001, has changed location to Tøyenparken and secured a much larger area for its many activities and a total of five stages. To say that it was successful would be an epic understatement, along the lines of calling Mount Everest "uphill". Hopefully, the festival will establish itself permanently at the new site, and not only for the three years that have been planned. Everybody seem to think so, including the people who run the whole thing.

Here then are my highs and lows from Øyafestivalen 2014, with special thanks to photographer Per Ole Hagen who has kindly permitted me to use his photos for this piece. Please visit his wonderful blog.

Overall best concert: Janelle Monae - quite possibly the most intense concert experience of my life. I have yet to think of one performer that can outdo her in sheer and brilliant showmanship. The best stage act since James Brown? I believe so!

Most classy act: Bryan Ferry - the best dressed man in pop music also delivered one hell of a show for the final night of the festival, the only concert with rain actually, but nobody seemed to care. Ferry also turned up to help Norwegian electronica guru Todd Terje for his version of Robert Palmer's "Johnny And Mary".

Most spitting: Deafheaven "singer" George Clarke - Clarke is a pig, spitting everywhere and at everyone during the entire set. Having said that, it was a fantastic show and although I stood right in front of him he didn't hit me once. Anders, the guy to my left though...

Biggest disappointment: Angel Olsen - her show was simply incredibly boring. Her album of the year, Burn Your Fire For No Witness, is very good, but her stage presence, not to mention that of her band, was not worth George Clarke's spit (see above).

Best (almost) new act: Daniel Kvammen - Kvammen is a young singer/songwriter performing brilliant country-ish songs in his native Geilo dialect, and he surprised me by rocking out quite spectacularly. I'm SO looking forward to his debut album whenever it's due.

Biggest surprise: The presence of legendary drummer Michael Blair - for those who don't know the name the appearence of white-haired Blair didn't necessarily mean that much. For me though, seeing the drummer on landmark albums such as Tom Waits' "Rain Dogs" and "Frank's Wild Years", Elvis Costello's "King Of America" and "Spike", Ennio Morricone's "Cinema Paradiso" soundtrack and much, much more, was a thrill. The surprising bit was that he backed Norwegian singer/songwriter Stein Torleif Bjella's show - which was really, really good, by the way.

Best festival buddy: Ronnie MAG Larsen - nuff said!

Best idiot rock performance: Rival Sons - the California rock band's debt to classic acts like Led Zeppelin and AC/DC (to name a few of many) is beyond doubt, and boy, was it fun!

Coolest performer: Jonathan Wilson

Best early Talking Heads sound-a-likes singing in Nowegian: Dagens ungdom

Most apparent hipster act: Neutral Milk Hotel - Jeeez...

Best new discovery: A tie between Omar Souleyman and Spidergawd

Best new old discovery: Slowdive - for some reason I have never even heard the music of English shoegazers Slowdive, now reunited. Their show was amazing!

Other acts worthy of special mention: Monica Heldal, Kråkesølv, The National, Egil Olsen, Conor Oberst, Jungle, Blood Orange, Highasakite, Röyksopp & Robyn, Bow To Each Other, Darkside, Bombino, Todd Terje, Oslo Ess

Special thank you: Everyone involved in arranging the festival, including the invaluable help of all the volunteer workers

tirsdag 5. august 2014

Jonathan Wilson - Dear Friend

Jonathan Wilson was born in 1974 and sounds like he would have been about 20 years old in 1970. He's definitely born into the wrong era as everything he does sound like they've come right out of Laurel Canyon about 45 years ago, bringing to mind Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Joni Mitchell, Frank Zappa, The Doors, Love and countless other legendary bands and musicians. "Dear Friend" is the epic, seven minute long lead single off last year's wonderful album Fanfare, his third so far. His voice and guitar make me truly happy, and tomorrow I'll see him perform at Øyafestivalen in Oslo. So looking forward to that!

Watch and listen


søndag 3. august 2014

Randy Travis - Forever And Ever, Amen

Randy Travis' first single off his second album Always & Forever really added to his momentum. Having enjoyed great success with his 1986 debut album Storms Of Life, he really nailed it with the follow-up. "Forever And Ever, Amen", written by Paul Overstreet and Don Schlitz, was the perfect vehicle for Travis' pretty boy looks and deep, ingratiating voice. I truly love this song!

Watch and listen

The Jesus And Mary Chain - April Skies

After the fuzzfest of The Jesus And Mary Chain's debut album Psychocandy, "April Skies", the first single off the follow-up album Darklands (1987), was quite a surprise. In many ways it's a more conventional pop song that was mostly hinted at earlier. "April Skies" bears a slicker production than anything on the debut, but boy what a killer song it is! It reached number 8 on the UK singles chart and became the band's biggest hit.

Watch and listen

lørdag 2. august 2014

King Creosote - One Floor Down

King Creosote - or Kenny Anderson as he's known by friends and family - became semi-famous with his 2011 collaborative album Diamond Mine with electronica producer Jon Hopkins. From Scotland With Love is his first album since, a soundtrack to a film commisioned by the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games and directed by fellow Scot Virginia Heath. The album is astounding, consisting of 19 more or less traditionally constructed songs, albeit with the unusual factor of having been written with film clips from Scottish everyday life as a template. The film is said to be quite fascinating and the songs accordingly so, perfectly written vignettes by a songwriter who was obviously up to the task. "One Floor Down" is my favourite song on the album, and as a whole, this is an album that just may be among the very best to be released this year. We'll see when 2014 is up.


London Grammar - Hey Now (Tensnake Remix)

British pop trio London Grammar's 2013 debut album If You Wait was really quite exciting, especially because of singer Hannah Reid's intoxicating, deep and dark voice. "Wasting My Young Years" and "Strong" are two of the album's awesome singles, but my personal favourite is the opening track "Hey Now". The Tensnake Remix though, lifts the song to stratospheric heights, employing the bassline from Talk Talk's 1984 classic "It's My Life", turning it into an exotic and, indeed, infatuating piece of music. This just sounds sooooo good!


Bee Gees - How Can You Mend A Broken Heart

How perfect a ballad isn't "How Can You Mend A Broken Heart"? Bee Gees' 1971 hit was written by Robin and Barry Gibb (in 2009 the third brother Maurice was finally given co-write credits), and they originally offered the song to Andy Williams. For some mysterious reason Williams declined it, and Bee Gees recorded it themselves. Wise move as it became their first number one hit in America. And what a great song it is! "How Can You Mend A Broken Heart" is a love song for the ages, posing eternal questions like "how can you stop the rain from falling?" and "how can you stop the sun from shining?" - good questions indeed.

Watch and listen

fredag 1. august 2014

Elvira Nikolaisen & Mathias Eick - You Can Have Him

One of my favourite albums of 2013 was Norwegian singer/songwriter Elvira Nikolaisen and trumpeter Mathias Eick's cover record of jazz standards called I Concentrate On You, named after the Cole Porter song. The highlight is their take on Irving Berlin's "You Can Have Him", popularized by Nina Simone, Ella Fitzgerald and others. Funny though, how Elvira sings it like she owns it, and actually eclipses every other version I have heard. Respect! The clip below is of dubious quality, recorded on a cell phone probably in the record shop Big Dipper in Oslo, but you get the idea of how good it is and you'll see the ease in which Nikolaisen sings the song. For good measure you'll find links to the recorded version in Spotify and WiMP too. Please enjoy!

Watch and listen

Listen in Spotify

Listen in WiMP

Psychedelic Furs - Heaven

To watch Richard Butler, Psychedelic Furs' lead singer, turn around and around, singing in the rain, in the video for his band's perfect 1984 single "Heaven", was a joy back in the day, and it still is. I'm sorry, but pop music doesn't get much better than this, and that's a fact!

Watch and listen

Chromeo - Jealous (I Ain't With It)

Chromeo is a Canadian synth-pop group, and their hit single "Jealous (I Ain't With It)" is among this summer's most immediate hit songs. It's actually the fourth single to be released from their current album White Women and the one to break them through to a larger audience. Cathcy as it is, that's no mystery. I love this song, it's simply perfect pop music.

Watch and listen

Jenny Lewis - Just One Of The Guys

Former Rilo Kiley singer Jenny Lewis has just released her third - and best - solo album, Voyager. "Just One Of The Guys" is the lead single, and as good as it is, it's not the best song on it by a long shot. Still, it's a great country-ish song by the indie darling, with a fabulous music video to boot. To think that this is taken from her first album in six years! She really should be recording more often.

Watch and listen

Tony Borders - Gentle On My Mind

Tony Borders is a soul singer so obscure he doesn't even have a Wikipedia article to his name, and that is saying something. I discovered his version of John Hartford's classic "Gentle On My Mind", cut in 1969, through the excellent compilation CD Behind Closed Doors: Where Country Meets Soul in which black, or African-American, singers perform country songs popularized by white singers. Regarding Borders' take on "Gentle On My Mind", quoting from the CD booklet, "leave it to a Southern soul singer to get under the skin of the song and understand the mixture of loneliness and love expressed by a man torn between lust and wanderlust". Truer words have rarely been spoken.