fredag 31. juli 2015

Have a look at my new blog

A few months ago I launced my new blog in Norwegian called Mitt liv som Erik (My life as Erik). That's why there have been no updates on Erik's Musical Diary for ages. But I see people still come to this site to check out videos, so I wanted to give everyone a heads up as to what I'm currently doing. As my new blog is written in Norwegian it may not make much sense to some of you, but there are loads of playlists, music videos, news etc. and other stuff as well. You'll find articles on books and films, travel tips, photography, articles referring to my life, interviews with different acts and authors and much more. I've even got my own radio show. If you're interested you can check it out here. Thanks!

fredag 22. mai 2015

Little Richard - Lucille

When Little Richard sang about "Lucille" back in 1957 it was a primal affair. Rock'n'roll was new, it was exciting, it was sexy, and it genuinely upset the grown-ups of the world and at the same time turned scores of teenagers into a lot cooler people than their parents were - at least for a little while. So there you go for another Fabulous Friday entry, the awesome spectacle of seeing and hearing Little Richard and his band perform the hell out of this truly brilliant song. It was written by Little Richard himself (or Richard Wayne Penniman as he was known to his parents) and Albert Collins, not to be confused with the legendary bluesman of the same name. And as long as it's Friday, be sure to check out my previous Fabulous Friday entries here. I'll promise you it's a diverse set of songs.

Watch and listen

torsdag 21. mai 2015

Paris, je t'Aime - a playlist from "la Cité de la Lumière"

Paris, the most romantic city on earth - also referred to as "la Cité de la Lumière" - is the object for a playlist I've compiled for my good friends over at the awesome Borte Best blog. Vibeke has written a love letter to Paris and she asked me if I could compile a list to go with it. "Easy peasy", was my obvious answer, and so I've assembled 40 great tracks from, or referring to, that beautiful city (a few of them may just be French but still give off a Paris vibe) for everyone's enjoyment. So here's your opportunity to bask in the glories of Joe Dassin, Juliette Gréco, Yann Tiersen and Michel Legrend, as well as international acts such as The Style Council, Rufus Wainwright, Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong and even the Norwegian pop group deLillos. Follow the link below to gain access to the list in Spotify and if you're Norwegian also read Vibeke's article.

Paris, je t'aime

Audrey Hepburn in Paris - yay!

onsdag 20. mai 2015

The Chemical Brothers - Go

The rave scene of the 90's passed me by. I was totally oblivious to it all, listening to anything but Prodigy, Fatboy Slim or The Chemical Brothers. In hindsight I've come to enjoy a lot of these acts though, and The Chemical Brothers in particular. "Go" is the new single off their forthcoming Born In The Echoes which is scheduled for a July 17 release, and it's totally awesome, featuring American rapper Q-Top on vocals. The video is great too, made by French director and screenwriter Michel Gondry, and definitely worth watching.

Watch and listen

tirsdag 19. mai 2015

Elina Born & Stig Rästa - Goodbye To Yesterday

This week is Eurovision week, with two semifinals before the grand finale on Saturday, this year to be held in Vienna. Basically a kind of musical freak show where anything goes, the competition is regarded with equal amounts of adulation and scorn, depending on who you ask, and rarely features entries where the songs themselves are in focus. Estonia's entry of 2015 is a different matter, a dead catchy pop song, classic in every way, ticking all the right boxes, and being a duet to boot. Elina Born and Stig Rästa are more or less complete unknowns outside their native Estonia, but they shouldn't be for long. "Goodbye To Yesterday" (written and produced by Rästa himself) is the kind of song that should reach well outside the Eurovision Song Contest, with the potential of becoming a hit across the board, reaching an audience that doesn't care for the competition, and those who just like a good song regardless. I heard it just now being performed on the first of the semifinals and was completely floored by what I simply consider a brilliant piece of pop music on its own terms. Below is the music video with a bit of dramatic flair to it, but as I've already suggested, the song speaks volumes for itself.

Watch and listen

Everything But The Girl - Missing (Todd Terry Remix)

DJ/house producer Todd Terry's remix of the Everything But The Girl track "Missing" off 1994's Amplified Heart album totally reinvented the duo's sound as we knew it, throwing them head first into the house scene of the mid-90's that Tracey Thorn and Ben Watt had more than a little interest in as it were. Turning their melancholic songs away from the quiet musings of their take on jazz, bossa nova, soul, pop or country even, and over in the direction of modern dance music was a stroke of genius that nobody really could have imagined, with the possible exception of from Todd Terry. It even turned the duo into some sort of semi-superstars for a while, and they recorded two brilliant albums, Walking Wounded (1996) and Temperamental (1999) expanding on Terry's ideas, before they called it quits. Today they've both revived themselves as solo artists and authors (I'm currently reading Tracey's brilliant book about singing, Naked At The Albert Hall), are still married, but with no plans to reform as a duo as far as I know. Still, their solo careers are worth following, with Tracey having just released an EP's worth of film music, Songs From The Falling, and Ben released his second solo album Hendra last year, 31 years after the first.

Rolling Stones - Terryfying

Rolling Stones' 1989 album Steel Wheels was a very welcome return to form at the end of a decade that saw the band slowly fade from rock gods to... well, something less. "Terryfying" was the fourth and, dare I say, best, single off the album, a strutting, proud and boisterous song that is primarily driven forward by Bill Wyman's steady bass and Charlie Watts' drums. It's unusually rhythmic for Rolling Stones with its swamp-rocky, Creedence-y beat and crystal clear production, and the fact that it stands a bit out from much of their other songs is actually what makes it so great. 

Watch and listen

lørdag 16. mai 2015

Janet Jackson - What Have You Done For Me Lately

Janet Jackson's 1986 album Control is her masterpiece, in large part thanks to producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis who also co-wrote most of the songs with Jackson and must have helped her find her own true songwriting self. "What Have You Done For Me Lately" was the first single off the album, her third, released in January, spearheading an hour's worth of minimalist synth-driven funk and stunning ballads that totally redefined Jackson and turned her into a superstar. The album and its first two singles, "What Have You Done For Me Lately" and "Nasty", can be seen as forerunners of an entire generation's worth of female R&B artists and their songs, showing their male counterparts where it's really at. Janet Jackson may not be considered a feminist performer by most, but this song was undeniably important for a lot of future female performers, kicking some serious ass along the way. Forgive me if this sounds shallow, it's not meant to. I seriously regard this song as a feminist anthem, and Jackson sounds as tough as nails.

Watch and listen

The Smiths - Heaven Knows I'm MIserable Now

What really happens, what kind of chemistry is at work, when two people simply connect, when a lyricist and a songwriter find each other, embarking on a journey that will forever change their - and our - world? I have no idea, but I'm extremely fascinated by how two persons like Steven Patrick Morrissey and John Martin Maher - commonly referred to as Morrissey/Marr - were able to create such a staggering amount of great music as they did in the years 1983 through 1987. Four "proper" albums, 18 singles that in large part did not appear on the albums (B-sides included) and three major compilations in five years is pretty much unheard of this side of The Beatles and I honestly don't think any songwriting team or single songwriter has written such a treasure trove of amazing music since their heyday. "Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now" was The Smiths' fourth single and one of their defining songs, where Morrissey gleefully wallows in his own stilted misery, and, judging by the video, enjoying every single moment of his own performance. Marr on the other hand is doing his masterful guitar work, seemingly at total ease, not minding his singer one tiny bit, just doing his thing in a totally effortless manner. "Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now" was released almost 31 years ago to the day, on May 21, 1984, and still sounds absolutely magnificent.

Watch and listen

fredag 15. mai 2015

Jason Derulo - Trumpets

And once more we have a potentially Fabulous Friday, and thus it's time to play an upbeat song that sets the tone for the weekend. One that never fails to get me in a good mood is Jason Derulo's 2013 single "Trumpets", perfectly catchy and amazingly celebratory in nature. The video adds scores to the fun, being as tongue in cheek as they come in the world of mainstream pop music. You can't help but smile. I hope. Also, check out previous Fabulous Friday entries here.

Watch and listen

onsdag 13. mai 2015

Johnny Cash's final recordings - an essay

Once again I have been writing an essay for Universal Music, this time concerning the release of the vinyl box containing all of Johnny Cash's American LP's, six in all. Helmed by producer Rick Rubin, these albums marked a new turn in The Man in Black's career, making him once again gain the respect as the amazingly powerful performer that he truly was, after his career was in the doldrums for a ten year period or so. The essay is written in Norwegian, so a dictionary or Google Translate will be of some help for those among you who don't know my language.


tirsdag 12. mai 2015

Kjøtt - (Jeg gleder meg til) år 2000

Kjøtt var det soleklart mest toneangivende av de norske punkbandene som oppsto i skjæringa 1979/80. Med Helge Gaarder på vokal og en svært ung Michael Krohn på trommer, hadde bandet to markante og svært forskjellige låtskrivere fra dag én, og det var nok en av mange årsaker til at Kjøtt ikke hadde en spesielt lang levetid. "(Jeg gleder meg til) år 2000" var en av flere aldeles fantastiske låter på bandets eneste LP-plate, Op., som kom i 1981, og den var skrevet av Michael. Det er en seig rocker som mer enn antyder at han noen år senere kom til å starte Raga Rockers, og den dystopiske teksten bærer også bud om det som skulle følge. Fantastisk låt!


The Smiths - This Charming Man

The Smiths is one of the bands that have made the biggest impact on me. Between 1983 and 1987 they released a vast amount of music, including four "proper" studio albums, three major compilations and a staggering 18 singles, most of them with one or two additional songs not to be found on the albums. The same goes for several of the A-sides, including their second single "This Charming Man", released in October 1983. It's still one of my favourite The Smiths songs, with Johnny Marr's trademark jingle-jangly guitar sound and Morrissey's wonderful wail. 32 years on, it still sounds fresh as a new dawn.

Watch and listen

mandag 11. mai 2015

Little Richard - The Girl Can't Help It

Jayne Mansfield plays the titular role in Frank Tashlin' 1956 movie The Girl Can't Help It, and revolves around the character Jerri Jordan and the apparent sexual magnetism that makes everyone yearn for her. Little Richard's title track is a saxophone-driven wonder, two and a half minutes of repetitive rock'n'roll at its finest, with a call and response theme that gets no point for originality but ten out of ten for how well it works. You can't help but love this song.


lørdag 9. mai 2015

Rival Sons - Electric Man

Californian rock back Rival Sons are the dumbest-sounding and coolest-sounding bunch this side of AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, ZZ Top, or, in the instance of "Electric Man" off their 2014 album Great Western Valkyrie, of The White Stripes. This is a song as cool and ballsy as it gets, a hedonistic rock song if ever there was one. I saw the band perform live at last year's Øyafestivalen and it was awesome. This video is pretty good too, so do enjoy!

Watch and listen

St. Germain - Real Blues

Who'd have thought? St. Germain, the French house/electronica artist named after one of the nicest Paris neighbourhoods there are (his real name being Ludovic Navarre), returns with new music, 15 years after his sophomore effort Tourist that racked up astounding sales back in the day when CD's actually was a commodity that could be sold to others than idiots like me. "Real Blues" is the first single off his self-titled third album that appears to be scheduled for an October release, and it's a funky, little tune with Malian instrumentation to go with the electronics, sampling the voice of the late, great blues musician Lightnin' Hopkins. A stunning track!


fredag 8. mai 2015

Lady Gaga - So Happy Could Die

It's another Fabulous Friday, and I've just woken up to blue skies, sun and a beautiful view from my room in a hotel outside Pafos on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus. Unfortunately I will have to leave that behind today, but on the other hand I'm going back home to my beautiful wife, so I guess it evens out. Anyway, it being Friday and all, I have chosen a great song that mysteriously was never released as a single. "So Happy I Could Die" was featured on the Lady Gaga EP The Fame Monster (2009), that was released on its own as well as being bundled with her debut album The Fame as a deluxe edition. I think it's one of her very best songs, described by Wikipedia as Europop-influenced which I guess is pretty much spot on. It makes me want to dance, and so does the rest of my Fabulous Friday choices. Check them out here.


torsdag 7. mai 2015

My friend Ronnie and my visit to Abbey Road - who'd have ever thought?

Abbey Road. It's more than a studio. It's more than a Beatles record. It's definitely more than a zebra crossing. Abbey Road is the Holy Grail of musicians and music fans from all over the world. Abbey Road is the last stop.

So, who'd have thought I - a former music journalist from Norway - would ever enter the doors of the Abbey Road Studios in London? I know I wouldn't, but one day in April my telephone rings and I see it's my musician friend Ronnie MAG Larsen. Ronnie used to be in a fantastic band called The Margarets several years ago, but they sadly disbanded, even after having made what I term the best song recorded during the entire 2000's. That's the way it goes though. Ronnie has now made a record with a band called Giske which is basically three out of five parts Margarets, himself and singer Alex Rinde and guitarist/producer/songwriter Rune Berg. He tells me their upcoming record Carousel Magic Spell is to be cut for vinyl in Abbey Road Studios and do I want to join him? Do I ever? The thing is that Alex is seriously ill and unable to make the trip to London and Rune suffers from a fear of flying. Ronnie wants someone to share the moment with, and because his wife can't come thinks of me. To say I'm flattered is a huge understatement, and I immediately say yes.

So, on a rainy day in late April of 2015 Ronnie and I head towards Abbey Road in a taxi after a short pilgrimage to Soho Square where I want to show him the bench with the Kirsty MacColl quote that also seems part of the Margarets heritage just like The Beatles does. And just so this is clear: Without The Beatles, there wouldn't be any The Margarets or in turn any Giske, or any record to cut at this historic site.

Without further ado I leave the word to Ronnie who tells the story of The Margarets and Giske, and of our trip to Abbey Road where we met the engineering legend Sean Magee. He can tell this story so much better than I can, so there's nothing left for me to say here. If you can't read Norwegian it's too bad though, so I hope you're able to work Google Translate to your advantage.


Sean Magee and Ronnie MAG Larsen

lørdag 2. mai 2015

Flo Rida feat. Robin Thicke & Verdine White - I Don't Like It, I Love It

Florida rapper Flo Rida has got a new EP out called My House and current single "I Don't Like It, I Love It" is a fabulous song that genuinely screams of summer and good times, featuring vocal help from Robin Thicke with the added joy of the bass player from Earth Wind And Fire, Verdine White. It's a dead catchy song that marries hip hop, funk and pop music with summer hit written all over it, that should make dancefloors everywhere explode with joy.

Lyric video

Jason Isbell - 24 Frames

Former Drive-By Truckers member Jason Isbell was the man behind one of the best albums of 2013, Southeastern, featuring a score of songs written and recorded after a stint in rehab with him noting "This time I want to remember it all". And it really became a memorable record, with songs like "Elephant", "Stockholm" and "New South Wales" among its highlights. He's currently preparing the follow-up called Something More Than Free for a July 17 release, and the song "24 Frames" that he put up on his Soundcloud page is a stunner, a brilliant country-rock song that bodes very well for the album.


Blondie's first albums re-released on vinyl - here's my essay

Pop music as we know it without the influence of Debbie Harry is unthinkable. Universal Music is re-releasing Blondie's first six albums on vinyl next week and have commisioned me to write an essay about the New York-based band that made a huge impact on the world of pop (and rock) music in the second part of the 1970's, going on into the 80's. It's written in Norwegian though, but take a look anyway and play their music once more. You'll not be sorry.

Read and listen

Quantic & Nickodemus feat. Tempo & The Candela Allstars - Mi Swing Es Tropical

What a great song! "Mi Swing Es Tropical" is one of several great Latin-flavoured songs in Jon Favreau's wonderful feelgood film Chef, and is performed by a bunch of guys. Quantic is a British-born Columbia-based musician named Will Holland, Nickodemus I'm not sure about, he may be Dutch. Also present is the featured singer Hector "Tempo" Alomar and he's Puerto Rican, as is, I think, The Candela Allstars. No matter where any of these guys hail from, they deliver a fantastic tune, and their swing is indeed of the tropical variety. Do I know when it was first released? Either in 2005 (according to Discogs) or 2008 (according to a dubious Wikipedia article about Holland). I think Discogs is right, but never mind that, just dance!

Listen - and dance

fredag 1. mai 2015

Ben E. King - Stand By Me

One of the major soul singles of all time, Ben E. King's 1961 smash "Stand By Me" is the song we'll always remember him by. King died yesterday at 76 from what his agent termed "coronary problems", and boy did he leave a legacy behind! He was one of the lead singers of The Drifters from 1958 to 1960 and then embarked on a solo career where he enjoyed numerous big hits, most notably "Stand By Me", but also beautiful songs such as "I (Who Have Nothing)" and "Spanish Harlem". Tonight I'm sure they're singing his praise in Heaven. God bless!


Bryan Ferry - Let's Stick Together

Well, it's another Fabulous Friday, and it's also the International Workers' Day around the world. My Fab Friday tracks are intended to celebrate the fact that it signals time off from work, and what better way to mark the day than playing a song that can be seen to both celebrate work and at the same time's got a brilliant party vibe? Wilbert Harrison first wrote and recorded "Let's Stick Together" in 1962 as a mid-tempo 12 bar blues with it going nowhere fast. When he re-recorded it as "Let's Work Together" in 1969 though it reached number 32 on the Billboard Hot 100 the following year. Just a few months later it was a hit again, this time with Canned Heat who's got the most well-known version of the song. Bryan Ferry reached back to the original's title however when he recorded it as the title track for his third solo album, released in 1976, and that's the version we play today. The lyrics are slightly different of course, celebrating love instead of work. Also, be sure to check out my previous Fabulous Friday entries here.

Watch and listen

torsdag 30. april 2015

Raga Rockers live fra 1989

I dag ble det offentlig kjent at Christer Falck med venner skal lage tidenes hyllestprosjekt med vinylboks, CD-boks og konsert der 100 Raga Rockers-låter skal covres. Alt vil skje 18. november, og du kan sjekke hvilke 50 artister som foreløpig er offentliggjort her. Ifølge prosjektleder Falck gjenstår de store navnene, så det kan jo bli spennende med tanke på at Dumdum Boys, deLillos, Valentourettes, Jo Nesbø, Mercury Motors og Jan Eggum er blant de som til nå er bekreftet. Anyways, her er et dødskult klipp fra NRK i 1989, der Raga spiller fire låter live og en 26 år yngre Michael Krohn intervjues av en 26 år yngre Anders Giæver. Veldig moro!

Se og hør

Tidenes Raga-hyllest på vei

Christer Falck er dagens mann, ferdig med den saken! Lystløgner og Robinson-programleder på den ene siden, verdens hyggeligste mann og rock'n'roll-filantrop på den andre. Jeg fikk en melding i innboksen min hvor han forteller at han er i gang med "det mest ambisiøse og enorme prosjektet jeg noen gang har gjort", og det er definitivt ingen overdrivelse. Christer er i gang med tidenes norske hyllestprosjekt, der 100 (!) norske artister/band skal gjøre versjoner av forskjellige Raga Rockers-låter. Christer er dog ikke helt alene, men samarbeider om dette med Raga-manager Mads Martinsen og filmprodusent og musiker Thomas Robsahm. I tillegg jobber de med en konserthyllest på Rockefeller 18. november, samme dag som både CD- og vinylboks er i salg. Det er med andre ord et skikkelig brekke ryggen-stunt som får Shockadelica-boksen med Prince-covere til å blekne. Og det var ambisiøst nok, for å si det sånn. Dette er et crowdfundingprosjekt, og vil du være med på moroa klikker du deg inn her. Her kan du lese hele pressemeldingen.

Christer vil bli som Jesus (Foto: Henning Jensen)
«SANNHET PÅ BOKS» - EN HYLLEST TIL RAGA ROCKERS CD- OG VINYLBOKS Onsdag den 18/11 slipper vi cd- og vinylboksen «Sannhet på boks», hvor mer eller mindre hele musikk-Norge skal være med å hylle Raga Rockers. Hele overskuddet går til bandet. Raga Rockers er et av de store arbeidsjernene i norsk rock. Hele 17 album, hvorav 12 studioalbum, har blitt sluppet siden starten i 1983. I tillegg har Michael Krohn gitt ut 10 album under forskjellige navn og gjestet på over 50 forskjellige innspillinger. «De fire store» i norsk rock står like støtt som i litteraturen. I 2013 hadde de 30-årsjubileum, og siden bandet selv ikke er så ivrige på festivitas, så får heller andre stå for hyllingen. «Sannhet på boks» skal ut på cd (500 nummererte eksemplarer) og vinyl (1500 nummererte eksemplarer). Selveste Pushwagner lager coveret. Bookleten vil også inneholde spesialskrevne striper fra kjente tegneserieskapere og kloke ord fra fine folk. I tillegg vil boksen inneholde noen godsaker som vi vil gå ut med etter hvert, bl.a. et spesiallaget Michael-frimerke fra Posten i et svært begrenset opplag. Gled dere! Onsdag den 18. november arrangerer vi slippfest på Rockefeller hvor flere profilerte band skal hylle Raga Rockers fra scenen. Billetter kan også kjøpes her, til redusert pris, i kombinasjon med en av boksene,eller i et begrenset antall uten boks. 100 artister har sagt ja til å stille med hver sin låt og her er de første 50. 1. Hold hodet høyt deLillos 2. Ekspander eller dø Racer (Dumdum Boys) 3. Rock'n roll Valentourettes 4. Slakt Jo Nesbø 5. Litt av en gjeng Lemen (feat. Annlaug Børsheim) 6. Taxisangen Jan Eggum 7. Løp Smoke Mohawk 8. Forbudte følelser Oslo Ess 9. Maskiner i Nirvana The Dogs 10. Invitasjon Marie Munroe (Hilde Marie Kjersem) 11. Hun er fri Tommy Tee All-Stars 12. Sangen om meg Møster 13. Å Jesus White Lord Jesus feat. Einmal Kommt Die Liebe 14. Pilgrim Erlend Ropstad 15. Borte nå Haddy N'Jie 16. Lørdag Backstreet Girls 17. Rocker Phone Joan 18. Schwong Alex Rosén 19. Ro Biosphere 20. Kanskje på tid Frank Znort Quartet 21. Trygge her Bøyen Beng 22. Desperado Fjorden Baby! 23. Positiv Elvira Nicolaisen 24. Rundt og rundt Mercury Motors 25. Stille høyde Origami Olympika 26. Det skal bli natt Kampfar 27. Jeg tror jeg er noe Norsk Råkk 28. Full tank Cocktail Slippers 29. Varme dager Mormones 30. Viking Vampire State Building 31. Gatelangs Astroburger 32. Drept kjendis Audrey Horne 33. Skjønnhet Johndoe 34. Idiot rock The Stookers 35. Rogn Team Me 36. Morgenraga Bloodlights 37. Teppe Blakk 38. Vrengt Lasse Marhaug 39. Paradox Ivar Eidem 40. Øde øy Hopalong Knut 41. Ditt sanne jeg Asbjørn Ribe 42. Nerd Ut Bakdøra 43. Tid Skambankt 44. Ting Castro 45. Dårlig karma Viktoria Winge 46. Ny dag André Holstad 47. Fred på jorden Annette Gil 48. Lysere tider Prins Thomas 49. Radiator Salmon Smokers 50. Noen å hate Vinneren av Urørts Raga-coverkonkurranse INFO: Vi er litt usikre på hvor mange album og cd-er boksen vil inneholde, siden vi ikke vet lengden på låtene ennå, men rundt 4-5 cd-er og 8-10 LP-er er mest sannsynlig. Og det er ikke usannsynlig at prisen vil gå opp når/om den kommer for salg i butikkene. LP-boksen vil inneholde x antall LP-er, en tjukk og god booklet, et spesiallaget Raga/Michael-frimerke fra Posten + eventuelle overraskelser. Alle albumene vil komme i 180 grams vinyl. CD-boksen vil inneholde x antall cd-er, booklet og Raga/Michael-frimerke. Releasekonserten jobbes det for tiden med. Vi har leid Rockefeller, og flere store band har blitt kontaktet. Målet er at ett eller flere hovedband skal utgjøre en grunnstamme, og spille seg gjennom Raga Rockers-katalogen med en gjeng kompetente vokalister. Det vil også selges LP-er og CD-er på konserten.

tirsdag 28. april 2015

CC Cowboys - Livet ut

CC Cowboys feirer 25-årsjubileum i år, og den nye singlen "Livet ut" er det beste jeg har hørt fra den kanten på lenge. Magnus Grønneberg og hans ryttere er alltid en stødig enhet og låtene hans sitter som regel godt, men "Livet ut" gir det lille ekstra. Det er en tilsynelatende enkel og ganske sløy og laidback poplåt med islett av blues og soul med noen dødsfete blåsere som er med å bygge trøkk, og den vokser og vokser mens Magnus synger om alt det gode han har rundt seg, avslepent og rustent som han pleier, og vi blir umiddelbart med på refrenget: "Jeg tror det vil vare livet ut." Litt ooh-ohh-koring og fine harmonier fra to av jentene i Katzenjammer gir ytterligere farge, og er det noen rettferdighet igjen her i verden har vi her å gjøre med en av årets store sommerhits. For meg innleder den iallfall den lyse, varme tida. Albumet Til det blir dag kommer i salg 8. juni, og inntil så skjer, sier jeg bare tusen hjertelig takk for denne intenst gode humørbomben. Jeg tror den kan vare livet ut.

Hør i Spotify.

Hør i WiMP.

Hør i Tidal.

mandag 27. april 2015

Susanna - What's Love Got To Do With It

Tina Turner's massive 1984 hit "What's Love Got To Do With It" has been turned upside down by esteemed Norwegian singer/songwriter Susanna Wallumrød, who's also known for her well-chosen and beautifully executed cover versions, by names ranging from Kiss to Joy Division, Depeche Mode to Dolly Parton. On her forthcoming Songs Revisited EP she's doing a mesmerizing version of the Turner hit (written by Terry Britten and Graham Lyle), as well as songs by Phoenix and Leonard Cohen and two of her own songs in new guises. It's out in just a few weeks, but "What's Love Got To Do With It" was put up on her Soundcloud page today. Check it out, you'll get chills - of the good kind, that is.


søndag 26. april 2015

Hellbillies - Som ein båt på land

Hellbillies fra Ål i Hallingdal er et favorittband. Fra den gang vokalist Aslag Haugen sto bak disken hos Imerslund, den velfylte platesjappa i Arkaden i Oslo og sjefen hans fortalte meg at han hadde et kult band som hadde spilt inn plate, og frem til i dag, har Hellbillies vært en del av livet mitt. At jeg selv er vokst opp med hytte i de samme traktene bandet kommer fra, mer presist på høyfjellet over Vats, skader vel heller ikke. "Som ein båt på land" er blant bandets ALLER fineste sanger, hentet fra deres tredje og muligens beste plate, Lakafant, utgitt i 1995. Den hørte jeg første gang på hytta i Ål da jeg og et par venner, en av dem Else fra plateselskapet BMG som ga ut Hellbillies på den tiden, hadde med albumet noen uker før utgivelse. Vi spilte den ihjæl den helgen, og jeg er like glad i låta fremdeles. Her er den i en liveversjon fra nyere tid - like fin!

lørdag 25. april 2015

David Guetta feat. Nicki Minaj & Afrojack - Hey Mama

Surprisingly, "Hey Mama" is superstar DJ David Guetta's first ever number one hit on the Billboard Hot Dance/Electronic Songs chart. That doesn't mean the guy has been stripped for hits throughout the last years, but still... it may surprise some. "Hey Mama" is super cool though, currently riding high on the US Billboard Hot 100 too at 27 and it should reach higher, featuring vocal help from Nicki Minaj and Afrojack. It sounds pretty awesome too!

Lyric video

Listen to Tracey Thorn's new EP in full here

Tracey Thorn has been commisioned to write her first ever film score, for Carol Morley's feature film debut The Falling, set in a girls school in the late 60's. The music goes on only for 17 minutes, but they are a very good 17 minutes, fitting into an EP's worth to be released on Monday titled Songs From The Falling. Simplicity is the key, and the tone of the songs are reminiscent to those on Thorn's 1982 debut album A Distant Shore, the main ingredient being her wonderful voice, set to spare arrangements. Listen to the EP in full by following the link below. This may just be your best spent 17 minutes in quite some time.


Frank Sinatra's 100th anniversary - an essay

The best singer that ever put his mouth close to a microphone? That could very well be one Frank Sinatra, late of Hoboken, New Jersey, who would've turned 100 years old in December. The anniversary year is celebrated with sundry releases, including the brand new Ultimate Sinatra box set, the first ever compilation to span his entire career, encompassing recordings from Columbia, Capitol and Reprise. Below you'll get access to the album and my essay about the great man - written in Norwegian - commisioned by Universal Music.

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Happy birthday,Björn Ulvaeus - my life with ABBA with THE playlist

Hooray for ABBA's Björn Ulvaeus who turns 70 today! One of the best ever pop songwriters, he and partner Benny Andersson wrote practically everything ABBA recorded, and their legacy is undeniably great! Last November I wrote an essay for Universal Music about my life as an ABBA fan (they were my first musical love of note), so this is a repost to mark Ulvaeus' anniversary. Enclosed in the link is the essay (written in Norwegian) as well as music videos and the ultimate ABBA playlist featuring what I consider their 36 best songs. All hail Björn!

Read, watch and listen

fredag 24. april 2015

Billy Idol - Rebel Yell

OK, so it's Fabulous Friday once more, and I guess it's about time we play this one. Billy Idol's "Rebel Yell" - not to be confused by the Confederate soldiers yell during the American Civil War - is one of the coolest, toughest and, let's face it, silliest, rock songs to ever be recorded. Released in 1983, it's the title track off the former Generation X singer's second solo album, and it's been a party staple ever since. I can still recall how I was totally awed by it, almost 32 years ago, and it's still got a hold on me. When you're done with Billy, there's a bunch of other Fabulous Friday songs here.

Watch and listen

torsdag 23. april 2015

Lianne La Havas - Unstoppable

Finally a new song from Lianne La Havas, the wonderful British singer/songwriter that made her debut with 2012's lovely record Is Your Love Big Enough? featuring songs like "They Could Be Wrong" and the Willy Mason duet "No Room For Doubt". "Unstoppable" is the first song off her forthcoming album Blood, to be released on July 31 and is definitely cause for celebration. Prince is a fan, by the way, using her on his album Art Official Age last year, which goes to show he has excellent taste in music. Further good news is that she will play Øyafestivalen here in Oslo in August. I can't wait!


søndag 19. april 2015

Clean Bandit - Stronger

Well, hooray! There's a new Clean Bandit single out, and it's dead catchy, upbeat and extremely dancefloor-friendly. "Stronger" features uncredited vocals by Alex Newell (known from Glee) and Sean Bass, brother of Sharna Bass who sang on the wonderful "Extraordinary". "Stronger" was originally released last November as part of a special edition of Clean Bandit's debut album New Eyes with Olly Alexander from Years & Years on vocals, but has now been re-recorded for a single release. Great song, great video.

Watch and listen

Nanci Griffith - Once In A Very Blue Moon

Perfect music for a hungover Sunday, Nanci Griffith's early records are soothing, beautiful and calming. "Once In A Very Blue Moon" is the title track off her third album, released in 1984, and written by the brilliant songwriter Pat Alger with Eugene Levine. The live version in this clip is from 1987.

Watch and listen

lørdag 18. april 2015

Ty Dolla $ign feat. Charli XCX and Tinashe - Drop That Kitty

Never heard of Ty Dolla $ign before, but I like both Charli XCX and Tinashe so I figured his latest single "Drop That Kitty" was worth listening to as it features both ladies. And how! It's a super cool hip hop/R&B track, very sexy, with a simple song structure where the synth bass is the hero. Time has called it a sequel to Iggy Azalea's "Fancy" which is not far off the mark. It was produced by the Stargate production team with Cashmere Cat, both Norwegian, so here's to them as well! A fabulous song!

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"Hotel California" like you've never heard it before

Gabriella Quevado is a one-woman band who plays a version of the Eagles' classic "Hotel California" that's pretty much beyond belief, or at the very least, really impressive. Arranged by one Tomi Paldanius she plays the song making it sound almost like it's a full band. She emulates the bass lines and the percussion on the guitar, and although she doesn't actually sing, she somehow makes her strings do that job as well. It starts quietly and a bit unimpressive, but that impression stops instantly when she starts digging into the song. Great fun and really, really well played. I'm just loving this!

Watch and listen

fredag 17. april 2015

Hamilton Leithauser - 11 O'Clock Friday Night

Hamilton Leithauser, former lead singer in American rock band The Walkmen, released his first solo album last year called Black Hours. A somewhat uneven affair, the album nevertheless sported one really great single, "11 O'Clock Friday Night", a sing-a-long anthem that is perfect for this week's Fabulous Friday entry. It's a true indie-pop anthem that somehow manages to sound entirely timeless and really, really cool at the same time. Also, check out my previous Fabulous Friday entries here. Good vibes all around.

Watch and listen

torsdag 16. april 2015

Mark Knopfler - Are We In Trouble Now

Mark Knopfler has just released his eighth proper solo album, Tracker, which is brilliant, but let's head back to 1996 and his first solo album Golden Heart. After extensive soundtrack work, projects with The Notting Hillbillies band and Chet Atkins, a last stab at Dire Straits and more, this signalled a more focused direction for the singer/songwriter/guitarist Knopfler. The album was a hit in several countries, featuring songs like "Darling Pretty" and "Rüdiger", and he saved one of the best for last. "Are We In Trouble Now" is the perfect album closer, a beautiful country ballad with loads of feeling, especially as evidenced by Knopfler's trademark guitar work towards the very end. A stunning song that shouldn't be overlooked.


Art Pepper - Patricia

Yesterday I watched the final episodes of the new TV series Bosch based upon Michael Connelly's Los Angeles crime novels. Anyone who has ever read a Connelly book featuring Harry Bosch knows the protagonist is a jazz connoisseur, and among his favourites are Art Pepper. The legendary saxophonist released the album Art Pepper Today in 1978, and from this we play the track "Patricia" that featured in the very last episode of Bosch. It's played in a scene in which Bosch and his estranged daughter Maddie clumsily tries to connect, and Bosch tells her that Pepper actually wrote the song to his own daugther Patricia that he saw all too rarely. A fitting track for a nice scene, and one very beautiful, ten minute long instrumental. Timeless.


tirsdag 14. april 2015

R.I.P. Percy Sledge - here's "When A Man Loves A Woman"

Legendary soul singer Percy Sledge died today, 73 years old, from liver cancer in his own home in Baton Rouge. Sledge is best known for his 1966 hit single "When A Man Loves A Woman", which was in fact the first number one US hit recorded in the famed Muscle Shoals studio in Alabama where Wilson Pickett, Aretha Franklin, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Rolling Stones, Clarence Carter and countless others also recorded. The vocal delivery of "When A Man Loves A Woman" has turned the song into a timeless love song, one of the best ever written (by Calvin Lewis and Andrew Wright) and recorded if you ask me, so here's to Percy. He served well.


søndag 12. april 2015

Music to watch the ocean by

"Music To Watch Girls By" is a song written and recorded by Bob Crewe, but the best-known version belongs to Andy Williams. "Music to watch the ocean by" on the other hand? Not a song as far as I know, but I have compiled a playlist for my good friends behind the travel blog Borte Best. My on and off travel companion Vibeke asked me for some songs to go with a story about a sort of "writer's retreat" on wonderful Lanzarote, a request I took seriously enough to come up with a playlist featuring 25 great songs to watch the ocean by. Ranging from Ravel to Frank Ocean it's fair to say there's something for everyone here, and hopefully you'll find all these tracks good. I know I do.


Foto: Fran Fernandez

Nico D - Han smiler

Hip hop- og reggae-aristen Nico D (Nicolas Albert Holter) er etter hvert kjent for mange. Det er han som synger med Admiral P på kjempehiten "Engel", og han har også gjort seg bemerket med albumet Coming In From The Cold i 2012. Nå har han svitsjet til norsk også som soloartist, og den nye singlen "Han smiler" er en deilig, avslepet, kul og gyngende sommerlåt, en perfekt pop/reggae/hip hop-låt med et enkelt budskap: Slutt å syt! Det er ganske så passende i et land der vi sitter velfødde og relativt sett rike og klager over alt fra matvarepriser til dårlig asfalterte veier. "I verdens rikeste land!" Det er alltid noen som har det verre, men reiser du ut i verden og tar en titt vil du se at de smiler likevel.


Hage - The Taste

This morning I heard an amazing song on the radio called "The Taste". It's written and performed by a duo named Hage (that's Norwegian for "garden"), two 18 year old girls from Bergen, Veronika Heilund and Vilde Hartveit Kolltveit. The duo is featured as this week's Urørt Artist, an ongoing competion on the national broadcaster NRK P3's website that culminates in one act becoming Urørt Act of the Year. Following Urørt is a good way to check out what's going on in the musical underworld of Norway, and Hage most definitely sounds like an act for the future. "The Taste" is simply a gorgeous pop song, with rich harmony vocals throughout, making this first single sound like sort of a pop version of First Aid Kit. I'm truly excited about this song and can't wait to hear more. Follow the link to listen and to download the song for free.

Listen and download

lørdag 11. april 2015

The Jayhawks - Angelyne

The Jayhawks, originally a vehicle for the singer/songwriter partners Mark Olson and Gary Louris, has mostly been run by Louris after Olson left the band in 1995. The two partners banded up together at a later stage, first for an acoustic 2009 album called Ready For The Flood under their own names, then for a proper new (but disapponting) Jayhawks album in 2011. The two are no longer on speaking terms and there have been no new Jayhawks records since, but we're left with an impressive legacy, both from the early years, and the later years when Louris has been the driving force. "Angelyne" stems from the latter period, from the 2003 album Rainy Day Music, and is one of the best songs on it, which actually says a lot as it's quite the record. This is simply a dead catchy pop song disguised as a country rock tune, something along the lines of "the best song Eagles never wrote".


An essay about Brian Wilson

Commisioned by Universal Music's Norwegian office, I have written an essay about Brian Wilson upon the release of his wonderful new solo album No Pier Pressure. The architect behind the Beach Boys' sound of 60's California returns in style with his first solo album of new material in seven years, and some of its songs are absolutely stunning. The essay is written in Norwegian, but you'll get access to the album no matter what you understand of my writings.

Read and listen

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Madonna, Jimmy Fallon & The Roots - Holiday (classroom instruments version)

Jimmy Fallon must be the coolest ever talkshow host, at least the most musically conscious and participating one. He regularly perfoms along with his guests and do songs of his own as well, and he's got the world's best house band in The Roots. A few nights ago Madonna visited The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, and besides performing a song off her latest album, more interestingly she did an amazing take on her old 1983 hit "Holiday" on classroom instruments, a quirky idea that has been used with great success with One Direction and Meghan Trainor before her. And the thing is, as is the thing with the original too of course, this really makes you yearn for a holiday. A holiday with a lot of fun, that is. Party time!

Watch and listen

Mala Rodriguez feat. Rapsusklei - Quién Manda

I post far too little hip hop on this blog, and this is definitely my first post of Spanish-language hip hop. Mala Rodriguez is a Spanish singer who's released five albums to date, very popular in her home country and other Spanish-speaking territories, also having secured a Latin Grammy. "Quién Manda" is a single off her latest album, 2013's Brujo, and features in two versions on the album. As far as I can tell, this is a third version, with the added help of a male rapper called Rapsusklei. Great song, fairly laidback and very cool. Hope you like it too.