tirsdag 30. desember 2014

New Year's Eve Party Playlist

OK, it's time for another New Year's celebration, and in order to do that properly, we need good party music. Here is a list featuring 100 party songs, many of them classics, many of them hated too, and quite a few newer songs as well. I have compiled the list in both WiMP and Spotify, and yes, ABBA's "Happy New Year" is on it. Happy new year, everybody, and enjoy the party!



mandag 29. desember 2014

Mike Rutherford - Between The Tick And The Tock

Long before establishing his hit group Mike & The Mechanics, Genesis bassist and guitarist Mike Rutherford recorded his strange and beautiful album Smallcreep's Day, inspired by the 1965 science fiction novel of the same name by Peter Currell Brown. It was released in February 1980, prior to the wonderful Genesis album Duke. "Between The Tick And The Tock" is the opening movement of the suite that forms the first part of the album, or the A side as it was called back then when LPs were in style. Unfortunately Smallcreep's Day is not currently available on CD or digitally, but you should be able to get ahold of a copy on either CD or vinyl if you put a little bit of effort into it. It's worth it.


The Smiths - There Is A Light That Never Goes Out

The Smiths' most romantic song is undoubtedly "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out" with its immortal line "And if a double decker bus crashes into us, to die by your side is such a heavenly way to die". That's as good as it gets, and "All My Loving", "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face", "Your Song" or any other established romantic love song will have to excuse me - "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out" is a cut above them all. However, I have a troubled relationship with this holiest of love songs. Shortly after its 1986 release (on the fabulous The Queen Is Dead album) a friend, or rather a "friend", asked me to share a ride with him on his new motorbike, and driving like crazy on the highway, clinging to the bike as good as I possibly could, this was the song I had in my mind. Needless to say, my "friend" was not the one I wanted to die alongside, but Morrissey's finest moment still moves me. Thank God!

Watch and listen

Anja Elena Viken - I morgen

Når årets beste musikk skal oppsummeres er det alltid noen du blir oppmerksom på litt sent. En av årets store glipper er for mitt vedkommende bergensartisten Anja Elena Viken og hennes debutalbum Herfra til i morgen som kom i oktober. Den inneholder blant annet de geniale singlene "Født forbryter" og "I morgen", sistnevnte med video under her. Forestill deg en intenst melodiøs miks av Razika, Kaja Gunnufsen, John Olav Nilsen & Gjengen, Jokke & Valentinerne, Madness, Green Day og The Offspring, og du er sånn noenlunde i nærheten av hvordan dette låter. Sinnssykt catchy, med andre ord. Albumet holder ikke like høye melodiøse kvaliteter hele veien gjennom, men tekstuniverset hennes er desto mer spennende. Skal si det skjer mye fint i Bergen!

søndag 28. desember 2014

Davd Bowie - Red Money

"Red Money", the final track on Lodger (1979), David Bowie's trio of collaborative albums with Brian Eno regarded as the Berlin trilogy, clearly points to his next album, the masterful Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps) as well as Brian Eno and David Byrne's 1981 album My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts. Strange and noisy, co-written with Carlos Alomar and featuring his trademark guitar style, it's a fitting end, both to a great and exciting trio of albums, and also to a decade that saw Bowie rise and shine through various guises.


The Temptations - Ball Of Confusion

There is a very long way from The Temptations debut hit "My Girl" in 1965 to 1970's psychedelic and political "Ball Of Confusion (That's What The World Is Today)". Its themes are very much of the era - crooked politicians, segregration, the Vietnam War, etcetera - and the music is far from the poppy Motown sound of earlier singles like "Ain't Too Proud To Beg" and "Beauty Is Only Skin Deep". "Ball Of Confusion" is hard, angry funk, and all in all an amazing song, that shows how the Motown hit factory was evolving with the times. And a year after this came What's Going On - 'nuff said!


Kate Bush vs. Tracey Thorn - Under The Ivy

Tracey Thorn was guest editor of the BBCs Radio 4 Today programme yesterday and wanted to pay tribute to Kate Bush in some way. She chose to do a cover of the "Running Up That Hill" B-side "Under The Ivy", a song she deemed fit as it is, in her own words, "all about privacy and intimacy, hiding "away from the party", meeting someone in a safe and secret place" and thus reminds her of Kate Bush's approach to her public life. It's a beautiful little song that clicks in at just above two minutes, and below you can hear both versions, 29 years apart, both absolutely brilliant. To me it's impossible to choose one over the other, as they're by two of my all time favourite artists.

Kate Bush original

Tracey Thorn cover

Lyle Lovett - This Old Porch

Undoubtedly my favourite Lyle Lovett song, "This Old Porch" may actually be on my all-time Top 10 list. Co-written with Robert Earl Keen Jr, who's recorded it with the title "The Front Porch Song", it appeared on Lovett's eponymous 1986 debut album, and tells the story of small town Texas as seen from a dilapidated porch in a dilapidated town from the point of view of someone who's been staying put far too long. It deals with the transformation of the old west turning into modern day America, which is not necessarily an easy one, much like it's been described in numerous novels by famous Texan authors like Larry McMurtry and Elmer Kelton. It's an absolutely amazing song of which I could quote all seven verses (there is no chorus) and say they're all equally well-written, but for the sake of brevity I'll go with the middle one and leave the rest to anyone who wants to listen: "This old porch is like a weathered, grey-haired seventy years of Texas/Who's doing all he can not to give in to the city/And he always takes the rent late, so long as I run the cattle/And he picks me up at dinner time, and I listen to him rattle". I didn't know there existed a music video for this song, but it does, so here you are!

Watch and listen

lørdag 27. desember 2014

Nina Simone - Feeling Good

Last night I saw the amazing French movie The Intouchables (2012) and was reminded of the awesomeness of Nina Simone's "Feeling Good", a stellar performance from her 1965 album I Put A Spell On You. It's used to full effect during a paragliding scene in which the Alps unfold beneath protagonists Driss and Phillippe, and it has also been used in other films and TV series, as well as being sampled by Jay-Z and Kanye West, Flo Rida and others. The song was written by Anthony Newley and Leslie Bricusse for the musical The Roar Of The Greasepaint - The Smell Of The Crowd in 1964 but was made famous by Simone. It has also been covered by many, including George Michael, Michael Bublé and, more surprisingly Eels and Muse, but Nina Simone's version still shines brightest.


onsdag 24. desember 2014

Erik's musical Advent calendar - December 24

Smith & Burrows - When The Thames Froze

This is by far the best Christmas record since The Pogues' exquisite "Fairytale Of New York" appeared in 1987. Smith & Burrows are Tom Smith, lead singer of The Editors, and Andy Burrows, once the drummer of Razorlight and today a member of We Are Scientists - and also a very talented solo performer. Their Christmas album Funny Looking Angels was released in 2011, and "When The Thames Froze" was its highlight, a metaphorical song about the bad times following the credit crunch of 2008. After only three years it has become a rightful Christmas classic, but like "Fairytale Of New York" it is timeless, and not necessarily a song that's about the holiday season as such. This is songwriting as good as songwriting possibly gets. Merry Christmas, y'all!

Watch and listen

tirsdag 23. desember 2014

Christmas playlist

OK, so here's a Christmas playlist featuring some of my favourite seasonal songs. They range from the well-known and familiar (even hated by many) to the obscure and, hopefully in a few cases, surprising. There are even a few songs in Norwegian. All I care about is really that I think they're all good, and will brighten any Christmas party. The list is only in WiMP, but if you're a Spotify user, do compile the list yourself. It's worth it. Merry Christmas!


Erik's musical Advent calendar - December 23

Brad Paisley - Winter Wonderland

"Winter Wonderland" is one of the most famous Christmas songs of all time, having been recorded by a truly wide range of artists, from the original by Richard Himber and his Hotel Ritz-Carlton Orchestra back in 1934 when it was written by Felix Bernard and Richard B. Smith, to Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga singing it this year. Inbetween it has been done by everyone from Frank Sinatra to Earth, Wind & Fire and possibly anyone you can think of besides, including country maverick Brad Paisley who did a great version on his 2006 album Christmas.


mandag 22. desember 2014

R.I.P. Joe Cocker - With A Little Help From My Friends

And today Joe Cocker died, sadly, only 70 years old. He made his name with a groundbreaking, rearranged version of The Beatles' "With A Little Help From My Friends", a song John Lennon and Paul McCartney wrote for Ringo Starr and was of course featured on their masterpiece Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band in 1967. Cocker's version appeared the next year and shot to the top of the UK singles charts, gaining him further fame when he performed it at the Woodstock festival in 1969, as evidenced in the clip featured below. A great performance indeed - Joe Cocker will be missed.

Watch and listen

Erik's musical Advent calendar - December 22

Tom Waits - Silent Night/Christmas Card From A Hooker In Minneapolis

Tom Waits wrote "Christmas Card From A Hooker In Minneapolis" for his 1978 album Blue Valentine, one of his finest. It's a decidedly different Christmas tune, written as a letter from the titular lady of the night to an old beau called Charley. At first it reads like a happy story, as if she's managed to turn her life around, but then at the end she admits everything she's told him are lies. In this live clip Waits bookends the song with portions of "Silent Night", adding to the sadness of the story. This is absolutely beautiful.

Watch and listen

søndag 21. desember 2014

Erik's musical Advent calendar - December 21

Detroit Junior - Christmas Day

A real obscurity in Erik's musical Advent calendar today as we pave way for blues pianist Detroit Junior, born Emery Williams Jr. in 1931, and no, not in Detroit, Michigan, but Haynes, Arkansas. He began his career in Detroit, backing touring musicians like Amos Milburn, Eddie Boyd and John Lee Hooker, thus his stage name, but later made a career for himself in Chicago, His "Christmas Day" single was released in 1960, and has popped up on sundry "eclectic" Christmas compilations, and that's basically how come anyone's heard it or even heard of it. It's a great stomper of jolly fun, perfect for any Christmas party.


lørdag 20. desember 2014

Erik's musical Advent calendar - December 20

Bruce Springsteen - Merry Christmas Baby

I promised a more uplifting entry today after yesterday's gloomy Christmas song by The Handsome Family, so here goes. Among the songs Bruce Springsteen has covered is the R&B standard "Merry Christmas Baby", written by Lou Baxter and Johnny Moore in 1947, and if that doesn't get your spirits up, nothing will. The rousing version below is from a guest spot at Conan O'Brien's show in 2002, and let me tell you it's a lot of fun!

Watch and listen


fredag 19. desember 2014

The Colourfield - Windmills Of Your Mind

"WIndmills Of Your Mind" is one of the prettiest songs ever written, and that's not up for discussion. Originally a French chanson written by Eddy Marnay and Michel Legrand called "Les moulins de mon cœur", it was adapted into English by Alan and Marilyn Bergman and used as the theme song for the 1968 film The Thomas Crown Affair where it was performed by Noel Harrison. It has been recorded by numerous artists including Sting who sang it for the 1999 remake of the film and more famously by Dusty Springfield on her classic album Dusty In Memphis. My favourite version however, is by The Colourfield, the trio Terry Hall established after Fun Boy Three had disbanded, who used it as a B-side in 1984. The sparse arrangement and Hall's haunting voice perfectly complement the deeply poetic lyrics. This is true beauty in three short minutes.



Erik's musical Advent calendar - December 19

The Handsome Family - So Much Wine

Husband and wife duo The Handsome Family a.k.a. Brett and Rennie Sparks, finally got their fair share of recognition when their song "Far From Any Road" was picked as the theme song for the awesome HBO series True Detective. "So Much Wine" (from 2000's In The Air) is their dark stab at a Christmas song, revolving around a disenchanted couple whose relationship is a violent, drunken mess. So today it's not about misteltoe and holly in my musical Advent calendar, rather the complete opposite, but it's a really good song, and sadly, this is also what Christmas can be. I promise a far more upbeat song tomorrow.



torsdag 18. desember 2014

Jackie Wilson - I Get The Sweetest Feeling

"I Get The Sweetest Feeling" could possibly be my favourite Jackie Wilson song, a feelgood classic that's clearly inspired by Motown, and was written by Van McCoy and Alicia Evelyn and first released in 1968. The British re-release actually hit the Top 10 twice, in 1972 and 1987. Such a happy song, and such a good song!

Watch and listen


Erik's musical Advent calendar - December 18

Mud - Lonely This Christmas

Let's make way for the Christmas ballad today in Erik's musical Advent calendar. The soppy-and-sad-in-a-good way "Lonely This Christmas" is simply astonishing and has become, to me at least, essential seasonal listening. Hitmakers Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman owned the British charts in the early to mid-seventies, writing and producing singles for (mostly) glam rock acts like Sweet, Suzi Quatro, Smokie and Mud. The latter's fabulous Christmas single became the band's second number one hit, topping the UK charts in December 1974. It's an Elvis-imitating, self-indulgent, super-sentimental and very beautiful ballad.

Watch and listen


onsdag 17. desember 2014

Erik's musical Advent calendar - December 17

Bing Crosby & The Andrews Sisters - Mele Kalikimaka

"Mele Kalikimaka" is Hawaiian for "Merry Christmas" and the title of a 1949 song written by Robert Alex Anderson. It has been covered by many, but the most famous (and best?) version is Bing Crosby and The Andrews Sisters' 1950 recording. Christmas doesn't get sunnier than this.



tirsdag 16. desember 2014

Erik's musical Advent calendar - December 16

Frank Sinatra - Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas

One of my all time favourite Christmas songs, "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" was written by Ralph Blane and Hugh Martin and first performed by Judy Garland in the 1944 MGM musical Meet Me In St. Louis. In 1957 Frank Sinatra recorded his legendary version for his album A Jolly Christmas From Frank Sinatra, and in the years since it has been recorded by more acts than you can think of. This year British wonderboy Sam Smith did his take on the classic, but even though he's got an impressive voice, his version is totally insignificant when compared to Sinatra's. This is simply as Christmassy as music gets.



mandag 15. desember 2014

Calvin Harris feat. Ellie Goulding - Outside

It's really hard for me to defend myself against certain songs even though they belong to genres I normally don't spend a lot of time listening to. Calvin Harris' new single "Outside" is a perfect case in point. As one of the world's foremost DJ/producers along with people like David Guetta and Avicii he knows exactly what tricks work, and he also knows - from earlier experience with last year's "I Need Your Love" - that using Ellie Goulding as a singer is a good idea. "Outside" is even catchier, a perfect pop song that pulls at all the right strings - nuff said!

Watch and listen


Erik's musical Advent calendar - December 15

The dB's - Home For The Holidays

The second song of this title, but a different one from the Emmy The Great & Tim Wheeler masterpiece of three years ago. American pop band The dB's recorded this in 1987 and it was only released as a limited edition promo single. Thankfully it popped up later on the I.R.S. Records compilation album Just In Time For Christmas (1990), also featuring songs by Squeeze, Wall Of Voodoo and others. "Home For The Holidays" is the best song on it by a mile... or more!


søndag 14. desember 2014

The Clash - London Calling

Today marks the 35th anniversary of The Clash' masterpiece London Calling, a double album featuring 19 songs, that I can safely say changed my life and the way I view music as an art form. The Guy Stevens produced album is simply a showcase for what popular music can aspire to when the ambition is at its strongest. The Clash had a record deal with CBS Records that they wanted to get out of and after their first two albums they upped the ante and made a double (London Calling) and next a triple album (Sandinista!), regarding them as seperate records that would eventually help them fulfill the contract. Unfortunately they disbanded before it was completed. But on December 14 1979 they did release what became their masterpiece. The title track opens the record with one of rock music's coolest riffs ever and goes on to describe a new dawn for London, not necessarily a good one. The rest of the album is filled with rockabilly, ska, reggae, pop, lounge jazz and more, and is as diverse as humanly possible while still hanging together as a whole. So below is the video for the single "London Calling" and links to the full album in Spotify and WiMP. Here's to my all time favorite album. Happy birthday and cheers!

Watch and listen



Villagers - The Pact (I'll Be Your Fever)

Irish folk pop band Villagers has so far released two exquisite albums, Becoming A Jackal  (2010) and {awayland} (2013), worth checking out for anyone who's in love with a good melody. As a start, you might like the single "The Pact (I'll Be Your Fever)" off the debut album, the kind of song any tunesmith would kill to write. This is guitarbased pop music at its best.

Watch and listen

Erik's musical Advent calendar - December 14

Irma Thomas with Preservation Hall Jazz Band - May Ev'ry Day Be Christmas

Two years ago Starbucks' record company Hear Music released a weird Christmas album called Christmas Rules. It featured a wide variety of artists, ranging from Paul McCartney to fun., from The Shins to Calexico, from The Punch Brothers to The Civil Wars. Best of the bunch however was New Orleans legends Irma Thomas and Preservation Hall Jazz Band with their amazing take on Louis Jordan's "May Ev'ry Day Be Christmas". A true joy to listen to, again and again.

Watch and listen

lørdag 13. desember 2014

Erik's musical Advent calendar - December 13

CeeLo Green feat. The Muppets - All I Need Is Love

On CeeLo Green's Magic Christmas, released in 2012, the powerful soul singer recruited the help of the Muppets for the song "All I Need Is Love" and made the Christmas preparations a whole lot lighter and more good-natured. Actor Craig Robinson turns up in the video portaying an eggnog-guzzling Santa Claus, and there is also a muppet version of CeeLo present called Lo-Co. So, if you're not smiling after watching this, there's probably something seriously wrong with you. I mean, who in their right mind does not love The Muppets? Also, do watch the credits as they roll, because the jokes go on and on.

Watch and listen

fredag 12. desember 2014

Alexander Lindbäck - Santa Is Real

Norwegian singer/songwriter Alexander Lindbäck, formerly of Seven Doors Hotel and sometime member of The Jayhawks, has released a great "Anti-Christmas" single called "Santa Is Real". The protagonist finds himself in prison during Christmas, and his whole family is dead. An ambiguous tale of murder where his mom has "been strangled with gingerbread dough" and dad has "been stabbed with the very same knife he cut the turkey with", and we're left to guess whether the singer is the murderer or if it's someone else. Quite different from "Driving Home For Christmas" or "Jingle Bells", in other words, but a great little country song nonetheless.

Watch and listen


Erik's musical Advent calendar - December 12

Penthouse Playboys - A Kind Of Christmas Card

Today I'm attending a Christmas party with all my wonderful co-workers and we're going to the Rockefeller concert venue in Oslo to see Penthouse Playboys perform. Enigmatic singer Jens Pikenes would probably not like it if I called his band a novelty act, so I won't. After all this is a time for holiday cheer and good times. I'm sure they'll perform their latin version of a-ha singer Morten Harket's "A Kind Of Christmas Card", and I'm equally certain that they will raise the roof while doing so. The song appeared on Penthouse Playboys' 1996 debut album Sånn skal det gjøres (That's the way to do it), and it still sounds awesome.

Watch and listen

torsdag 11. desember 2014

Brand new Coldplay single - here's "Miracles"

And once again, all of a sudden, there's a new Coldplay single out. "Miracles" is written for the upcoming film Unbroken, Angelina Jolie's second film as director, following 2011's In The Land Of Blood And Honey. Whether the song also will turn up on Coldplay's next album, the tentatively titled A Head Full Of Dreams that according to Chris Martin may be the band's final album, remains to be seen. It's a sweet enough song, but I'm not sure yet if it's anything special, so we'll just have to give it a few more spins.



Erik's musical Advent calendar - December 11

The Three Wise Men - Thanks For Christmas

Christmas cheers today from The Three Wise Men, or XTC really. In 1983 the Swindon boys decided to use on a pseudonym for their single "Thanks For Christmas", another one of my seasonal favourites. It's very, very Christmassy, and also sounds uncannily like XTC. Now, that's what I call the best of two worlds! Fun fact: The composers of "Thanks For Christmas" are listed as Kaspar, Melchior and Balthazar, and the production credits are shared by The Three Wise Men and The Good Lord.


onsdag 10. desember 2014

Erik's musical Advent calendar - December 10

Merle Haggard - If We Make It Through December

For some, Christmas can be an awful time, like if you lose your job such as Merle Haggard's protagonist in his 1973 classic "If We Make It Through December". It was first featured on the album Merle Haggard's Christmas Present and tells the tale of a man who's "laid off down at the factory" and tries in vain to make his daughter understand "why Daddy can't afford no Christmas gift". No wonder it's become a classic as it resonates deeply within many, many people, and as an added bonus it's a killer country song.


tirsdag 9. desember 2014

Erik's musical Advent calendar - December 9

Nat King Cole - The Christmas Song

Few songs are as christmassy as "The Christmas Song", written by Robert Wells and Mel Tormé, and made utterly famous by Nat King Cole who's recorded it a whopping four times, twice in 1946, then again in 1953 and 1961. The version below is the 1953 version (I think) but no matter which one it is, it is as beautiful as you please. Now go put that extra log on the fire, and locate the chestnuts, OK?


mandag 8. desember 2014

Blanche Thomas - You Ain't So Such A Much

I don't know a lot about Blanche Thomas and her excellent 1954 song "You Ain't So Such A Much", but according to the blurb for a new compilation called Such A Much! R&B Girls Of The 50's and 60s it was written by Dave Bartholomew as a response to Leiber and Stoller's "Hound Dog" - "faster, tougher, and easier on its feet." Blanche Thomas' singing style recalls the blues shouter vocals of Big Mama Thornton and Big Maybelle Smith, and the arrangement is as rough and uncompromising. In other words, this is really, REALLY cool!



Erik's musical Advent calendar - December 8

Emmy The Great & Tim Wheeler - Home For The Holidays

Today I'm playing a really sweet song in Erik's musical Advent calendar, "Home For The Holidays" by Ash frontman Tim Wheeler and his girlfriend, singer/songwriter Emma-Lee Moss. The pair released an album's worth of Christmas songs in 2011 called This Is Christmas that also features a great song called "Zombie Christmas", but "Home For The Holidays" is by far the best of the bunch. This is essentially a truly happy and joyful song, about returning home for the Christmas celebrations, meeting old friends and family, wondering how time flies and having a drink. The video is just as sweet as the song.

Watch and listen

søndag 7. desember 2014

Tom Waits - Kentucky Avenue

Well, congratulations to Mr. Tom Waits who turns 65 today. There are very few songwriters I admire as much. He's got a lifetime's worth of highly memorable albums, and today I've played two of them, Blue Valentine (1978) and Heartattack And Vine (1980). I was unaware of his birthday, they're just records I come back to again and again. "Kentucky Avenue" is from the former, a stunningly beautiful song in which Waits reminisces about his childhood on the titular street in Whittier, California. This is actually one of my all-time favourite Tom Waits songs, here in a live clip from 1979. Beautiful in every respect.

Watch and listen

2014 - the year's best music

Hooray, it's that time of the year again in which we compile our nerdy lists, telling anyone who bothers to listen what we consider to be the best music of the year that's soon behind us. Unfortunately I don't think 2014 was as good as 2013, but then again, that was a remarkable year. I still had a hard time compiling my lists of the best songs and best albums of 2014, and many had to go. There are 30 albums and 50 songs listed below, with links to my writings about them wherever possible, as well as playlists in WiMP and Spotify. A few are not available for streaming, but you get most of the songs and handpicked album tracks in handy playlists below.


3. deLillos – Drøm

11. Candi Staton – Where Were You?

22. Kiesza – Hideaway
26. Sondre Justad – Nu har du mæ

35. Sassybeat – Chances Of Changes

41. Marit Larsen – I Don’t Want To Talk About It

4. Lucinda Williams – Down Where The Spirit Meets The Bone

16. Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters – Lullaby And… The Ceaseless Roar

22. SOHN – Tremors

Erik's musical Advent calendar - December 7

Jim Croce - It Doesn't Have To Be That Way

Some songs are more beautiful than others, and Jim Croce's "It Doesn't Have To Be This Way" is more beautiful than most. The amazing American singer/songwriter who died in a plane crash only 30 years old in 1973 wrote some seriously good tunes in his time, and his Christmas song "It Doesn't Have To Be That Way" (1973) is one of the very best. Lines like "Down the windy winter avenues, there walks a lonely man" evokes some really nice images, sad as they are. This is songwriting at its best.


lørdag 6. desember 2014

Alison Moyet - That Ole Devil Called Love

"That Ole Devil Called Love" was of course made famous by Billie Holiday, who was the first to record it, putting it on the B-side of her 1945 single "Lover Man". Written by Allan Roberts and Doris Fisher, it became a hit 40 years later for former Yazoo singer Alison Moyet as a stand-alone single in 1985, released between her first solo album Alf and her second, Raindancing. I don't think she's ever performed as good, before or since. This is a true tour de force performance, as good now as ever before and absolutely mesmerizing.

Watch and listen

Cyndi Lauper - True Colors

It's very easy to only see a ridiculous-looking singer in weird outfits in Cyndi Lauper's video for her 1986 hit "True Colors", but what an amazing song this is! Written by hitmakers Tom Kelly and Billy Steinberg, who also penned hits for Madonna, Bangles, Whitney Houston and others, it might be Lauper's finest ballad, eclipsing "Time After Time" which is also a masterpiece. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this recording, it just makes me feel incredibly good - every time I hear it. Classic!

Watch and listen

Erik's musical Advent calendar - December 6

The Band - Christmas Must Be Tonight

Today there is another absolute favourite in my musical Advent calendar. lifted from The Band's seventh and final album, 1977's Islands. It was a patchy affair recorded to fulfill contractual obligations, but did include a few good songs. The very best is the stunning "Christmas Must Be Tonight", which has become a true Christmas classic. Songwriter Robbie Robertson even re-recorded it when he scored the awesome 1988 film Scrooged. It's essentially the Nativity of Jesus in musical form, and one of the most beautiful Christmas songs ever written.


fredag 5. desember 2014

Astrid - 2AM

Astrid (surname Smeplass) is an 18 year old Norwegian signer/songwriter known from the Idol show and her previous hit "Shattered", and also for a stunning version of Kim Cesarion's "Undressed" together with her friend Julie Bergan. Astrid's latest single "2AM" was released in October, and today a video was put up on YouTube. It's an excellent electronic pop song, and the video was directed by Jarand Breian Herdal, an 18 year old student at the very, very prestigious film school at the University Of Southern California. He won serious acclaim for his first feature film Everywhen last year, and "2AM" is his first music video. It's beautifully shot in L.A., following the song's nocturnal theme. Impressive stuff, to say the least.

Watch and listen


Erik's musical Advent calendar - December 5

Wham! - "Last Christmas"

Today in Erik's musical Advent calendar, please enjoy one of the best Christmas pop songs in the universe, Wham!'s 1984 hit "Last Christmas". It's perfect in any way. The soft arrangement, George Michael's seductive singing, the music video, everything. It screams cliché, but who cares? It's a cliché that works. Michael (and his musical partner Andrew Ridgley) really nailed it with this one. "Last Christmas" has stood the test of time and probably will forever. You can throw cover version after cover version at it, but none of these has ever as much as touched the toenails of the original. There will be no Christmas in my home without this.

Watch and listen


torsdag 4. desember 2014

Highasakite - Leaving No Traces

Highasakite's Silent Treatment is among the very best Norwegian albums of 2014, and "Leaving No Traces" among its best songs. Yesterday a video was launched for it, made by director and artist Ellen Ugelstad who has done an amazing job. This is the kind of song that begs for exactly this kind of film, where art meets pop, and in the process heightening both forms. What is art and what is pop, you may ask, and I am not one to define either. However I do want to suggest that the two blends perfectly here, both musically and lyrically. This is astounding in every possible way. I love it!

Watch and listen