Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Pretend That I'm Dead

You will find a Wyatt-video, lyrics for comicopera and other stuff at Domino.

"17dots" reviews Wyatt's "talk show" in London earlier this month. Wyatt's advise is: "Just pretend that I’m dead, That way you won’t miss the tours and the albums will come as a nice surprise.” I don't think so! And here's another blogger about comicopera, "The Blue In The Air".

Monday, October 29, 2007

comicopera - vinyl

On side 4 of Robert Wyatt's "comicopera" you won't find music, but a story carved into the vinyl.

Read and listen (Wyatt-related)

Pitchfork interviews our man.
Pierro Scaruffi interviews the same fellow (thanks StrongComet).
In Sound Opinions show #100 they have a chat with Mr Wyatt.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Wyatt on Swedish TV

As mentioned earlier, Swedish SVT1 will broadcast a Robert Wyatt portrait tonight at 22:40. From what I can read on the station's web pages, it seems to be Francesco Di Loreto and Carlo Bevilaqua's "Little Red Robin Hood" (on VHS in 1998).

Friday, October 26, 2007

Friday videos

Evidently Chickentown! John Cooper Clarke spits it out, here with Neil Innes from Bonzo Dog Band. Clarke is reading the same text in Anton Corbijns Closer, same glasses and hair so high, that a Greek mother in law couldn't match it.

Peter Blegvad Trio (Blegvad, John Greaves, Chris Cutler?). Lousy sound, sorry.

Portrait of PJ Harvey by John Parish at les inrocks (25 minutes).

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Robert Wyatt au Divan du Monde

Peter Blegvad

Both Robert Wyatt and Kevin Ayers have earned well deserved time in the spotlight this autumn. So who's next? I vote for
Peter Blegvad. Blegvad is a master song-maker, and even if I do not know all his work, let me recommend these for a starter:
Peter Blegvad: "The Naked Shakespeare" (Virgin 1983)
Peter Blegvad: "Downtime" (ReR/ESD 1989)
Peter Blegvad: "King Strut" (Silvertone 1990)
Slapp Happy/Henry Cow: "Desperate Straights" (Virgin 1975)
Slapp Happy: "Acnalbasac Noom" (ReR 1982, orig. 1980)
Slapp Happy: "Ca Va" (Virgin 1998)
Discography and stuff here, and some more covers on Flickr.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


The Swedish television programme "Kobra" (SVT) showed an interview with Robert Wyatt yesterday (appreciate the messages folks!). Watch it here, and if your Swedish is in good shape see an interview with the journalist Andres Lokko and Lisa Milberg, photographer and vocalist in The Concretes (on our usual suspect). Saturday they will broadcast a 60 min. documentary. The Swedes!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Diagonal birds

Do you want to read or go hunting for some more on Robert Wyatt and Comicopera, check out these references:
- Gulf News (UAE) – Oct 20 “Protest is a cause in its own right”.
- Salzburger Nachrichten (Ger)- Oct 20 “Ein Herbst der schrägen Vögel”. Wyatt and Kevin Ayers in the basket with Nick Drake and Devandra Banhart. The title means something like "The autumn of the crazy birds" (I think), even if BabelFish gives this translation:"An autumn of the diagonal birds".
- Chicago Sun-Times (US) - Oct 21 “Against all odds
- Is This Music - Oct 21 “Robert Wyatt”. Wyatt is named "The Nicest Man In Britain".
All the bragging is probably not going to his head anyway. Here is what he says in Gulf News: "It's got to be nice to listen to. I don't like the idea of giving people a hard time, it's a hard enough time anyway", he says, "I only do this to give myself pleasure and hope to pass it on because I'm not that deep". Come on folks, he's just a pop-singer.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Sigur Rós

Last night I saw "Sigur Rós - Heima" (Dean DeBlois 2007) at Bergen International Film Festival (BIFF). What a fantastic film! Powerfull music in a beautiful landscape. It is on DVD from November 5th. Sigur Rós played a short acoustic set before the film started. Not too impressive, if you ask me, but the film will become a classic.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

The Ladybug Transistor

I had not heard this Brooklyn band, until I realised some of them were working with Kevin Ayers on his "Unfairground". The CD "Can't wait another day" (Merge 2007) is a nice collection of "indie" tunes, but "indie" what's that? The music here is a bit mellow but has a lot of catchy tunes, so call it indiepopeasylisteningtexmex - americana (or something). More on The Ladybug Transistor on their website and on MySpace.

Friday, October 19, 2007

London's Southbank Event

Some very nice people have sent me pictures from the "London's Southbank Event" (15 Oct.). Here are pictures from Jean-Phillippe Ramos. He is a fan of both Robert Wyatt and Lol Coxhill, and since Coxhill was in the audience, Jean-Phillippe must have had a grand evening! Short reports from the "talk-show" here.

More interviews and stuff

Guardian October 18: "I was trapped into being alive"
Daily Telegraph October 18: "Child-like charm of a pop survivor"
allmusic: "Pop During Wartime"
Isrish times Oct 17: "Meet the rebel on the record". This one is for subscribers only. In the interview he talks a bit about the fear of being too popular! This will increase preassure on him as an artist, and be counterproductive. Let's hope he sells just enough copies of the latest record then!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

.no .no .no

In the October issue of Norwegian magazine ".no" there are some terrific pictures of Turbonegro vocalist Hank von Helvete. The photographer is Marcel Leliënhof. It has been a lot of fuzz about the interview, since Hank is definitively not trying to be politically correct on topics like gay marriages and male/female relationships. You get the point, it's far away and over the top (no translation for you). But the pictures!
More on Turbonegro here (and where do you think you shall click?).

Sunday, October 14, 2007


Music bloggers, and their thoughts on blogging: "Blabbin’ the Night Away: The rockcritics.com Music Blogger Symposium". I've got a feeling that blogging is yesterdays big thing, and soon on the wrong side of "what's hot, and what's not". But still, millions of crazy people are blogging, and remember that the comments and links may be just as important as the blogpost. In William Gibson's "Spook Country" (Penguin. Viking. 2007) it is put like this:
“---But think about blogs, how each one is actually trying to describe reality”
“They Are?”
“In theory”
“But when you look at blogs, where you’ve most likely to find the real info is in the links. It’s contextual, and not not only who the blog’s linked to, but who’s linked to the blog.”

The Core

Check out the Norwegian band The Core . The Core is Kjetil Møster (sax), Erlend Slettevoll (p), Steinar Raknes (b), Espen Aalberg (dr). They have a new album out on October 15th, called Office Essentials, and it sounds as good as the previous ones. I don't know what to call this but "jazz", but hard hitting, hard swinging bop with a touch of Coltrane and McCoy Tyner? Well it was a try. You may visit the band on MySpace.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

France, Germany, Sweden

It's been written about Robert Wyatt, or Comicopera is reviewed here (thanks to JP at disco-robert wyatt):
Planète Wyatt – Libération (Fr) – (8 octobre 2007)
Le rêveur de réalité - Les Inrockuptibles (2) – (8 octobre 2007)
Petite fable humaine – Vibrations (Fr) – (Octobre 2007)
Charming Man- Chronic'art (Fr)- (Octobre 2007)
Bertrand Burgalat - Robert et Bertrand - Rock and Folk (Fr) – (Octobre 2007)
Sehnsuchtsvolles aus der Wohnküche – Tages Anzeiger (Ger) (Oct. 10th 2007)
Bedårande skäggtomte – Dagens Nyheter (Sweden) (Oct 10th 2007)
Kärlek i marginalen – Svenska Dagbladet (Sweden) (Oct. 10th 2007)

Vinyl and reviews

Finally, the vinyl version of Comicopera is in the house. And what a nice package it is, with cover by Alfreda Benge (as usual) (more pictures here)!
I get the impression that more and more people prefer material proof of their purchase, and talking to a shop owner the other day, he told me he earned more on vinyl sales now, than CDs. Norwegian The Aller Værste ("The Very Worst") were quite popular in the late 70s early 80s, and the vinyl version of their live album "Live 1980" (Kippers, 2007), sold out in a couple of days. "Vinyl is the new mp3"!
I'm still looking for reviews of Comicopera. Anybody seen a bad one? Swedish newspaper "Dagens Nyheter" describes Robert as " A charming bearded pixie" (my translation). Guess he can live with that. More reviews here.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Emotion Organ

Amanda Steggells special built organ is now at the Sound Gallery in Bergen. On this instrument you may make sounds, smells and pictures (she's working on tastes too!). I was in there wednesday evening, and could listen to a small kid improvising, surrounded by people in almost total darkness. See the original poster here.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Amy Winehouse

Please forget all the gossip for one minute, and try to tell me that Amy Winehouse has no talent! "Back to Black" won the Q-Awards for best album, well deserved. The video is from the Mercury Prize happening, where she didn't win.

Bergen International Film Festival

Visiting Bergen next week? BIFF is a great film festival, usually with a lot of music films. So far I have got tickets to:
”Kurt Cobain: About a son”
”Factory Girl”(about Edie Sedgwick)
”Heima” concert with Sigur Ros included
”Lynch” (about David Lynch)
”Control” visit by Anton Corbijn on this one
”I’m not there” (the Dylan-movie)

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Comicopera reviews

Some reviews (not mentioned earlier):Pitchfork, Guardian, Frieze, BBC, Twisted Ear, and come on - a couple in Norwegian: Dagbladet, VG.

More Robert Wyatt in the media

Expresso Actual Oct. 6 2007 "Perdido naz voces" - 10 page presentation (Portugese).
De Morgen, Oct.6 2007 1 page "Magie creëren op verzoek, ik zal het" (Dutch).
Dagsavisen Oct. 9 2007 1 page "Best i protest" (Review - and picture on front page!)(Norwegian). Geir Rakvaag in Dagsavisen says that Robert Wyatt "makes music suited just as well for political agitation as for making babies sleep" (my translation).

Monday, October 8, 2007


Finally, Robert Wyatt's "Comicopera" is available, and a lovely package it is. We get 16 tunes and a beautiful cover by Alfreda Benge. You are not going to be satisfied with only mp3-files here. A bunch of the usual suspects are participating: a.o. Phil Manzanera, Paul Weller, Brian Eno, Annie Whitehead and Karen Mantler. David Sinclair (of Wilde Flowers, Caravan and Matching Mole fame) is also visiting.
Playing with recorded voices seem to be the big thing! We had Kevin Ayers playing the "Wyattron" on "Unfairground", and here we have the Enotron, Karenotron (K. Mantler) and Monicatron (M. Vasconcelos)!
This is close to perfect, even if I think the instrumentals are breaking the spell. My hitlist - the first day of listening: Stay Tuned, A.W.O.L., A Beautiful Peace, Be Serious, A Beautiful War, and Del Mondo. Hurray!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Free jazz?

Improvisation, noise, contemporary classic and free jazz are not exactly selling loads of records. I think music like this is hard work for the listener (and performer?) because we don’t recognise enough patterns. In music melodies are the patterns we “need”, and we need variation (too much repetition makes us crazy). (Hey I’m only guessing here).
Things happen over time of course, due to evolution or revolution, or just hard work. It’s just like clothes looking cool one year, and ridiculous some years later. I remember the first time I heard Miles Davis’ “On the corner” in the 70s, it was just irritating. Now it sounds downright funky (not the whole record in one go!).
The reason for all this quasipsychological talk: I played Ornette Coleman’s ”Free Jazz: A Collective Improvisation” (1960) for the first time in years, and the shocking thing is, it sounds so fresh! I guess this double quartet sounded far out in 1960, but now it may even work on your vorspiel (it might perhaps be used for Wyatting on the nachspiel).

Delta Saxophone Quartet

Delta Saxophone Quartet is releasing "Dedicated to You but You Weren't Listening - The Music of Soft Machine" (with Hugh Hopper) in November. You may listen to Facelift on the band's MySpace site. Read more at Jazz News.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

M.I.A., and then relax

I decided to have ataste of what the young ones are listening to, and shopped M.I.A.s "Kala". Apart from some vocoder (or hose singing) and smurf sounds, this is a pretty cool album! How do yo classify this then, is it rap, hip-hop, pop - and does it matter?
I realise that it may not always be smart to follow my recommendations, since one day I shout for joy over something similar to noise, and the next praise some reggae or country and western. To day I present a list of Norwegian artists guaranteed NOT to scare the shit out of you: Solveig Slettahjell, Tord Gustavsen, Silje Nergaard, Susanna and The Magical Orchestra, Jan Garbarek, Kobert,Hanne Hukkelberg, Arve Henriksen and Kristin Asbjørnsen. Relax!


I enjoy music so much, that i like to listen to music I don't like. That's not arrogant?

Thursday, October 4, 2007

More Wyatt in the media

We continue our travel through the media! See earlier post, here are some covers and a couple of new references for you.
Kleine Zeitung Steiemark (Germany, Oct.4 2007, "Das ist kein kosmischer Kampf", 1 page)
Chronicart (France, number 39, 2007)

Is the CD dying?

We have reached the point of no return, the CD is dying ( or?, at least the papers have been telling us for years). I have to admit I had a couple of glasses of Laphroig yesterday, opened I-tunes and hit the button for shopping. Ouch. The record stores are shaking from fear. This was the shopping list:
Rachel Unthank & The Winterset "The Bairn" with "Sea Song" (Wyatt)
Single tunes:
Bertrand Burgalat "This summer night" with Robert Wyatt
Gorky's Zygotic Mynci "Why are we Sleeping" (Ayers)
Gorky's Zygotic Mynci "O Caroline" (Sinclair/Wyatt)
Gorky's Zygotic Mynci "Kevin Ayers"
Aldo Romano, Rémi Vignolo, Baptiste Trotignon "Sea Song (Wyatt)/Crying Song"

Rodin's Stinker

I found this nice stencil in Bergen today. The sign says: Private Parking Only! It might be DOLK, but please comment if you know better.

Added 12 November: It's an artist called Snurre

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Wyatt signs

StrongComet mailed this message: "ROBERT Wyatt will be signing copies of his new album 'Comicopera' at Off the Beaten Tracks in Aswell Street, Louth on Monday, October 8."
Better find your sleeping bags and camping equipment, and get in line.

Wheelchair DOLK

Street artist DOLK made this one on commission (covers a whole wall). I see it two ways:
1: Wheelchair user dreams he is walking.
2: Wheelchair user is sleepwalking, and he really is able to walk.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007


It seems like Robert Wyatt has been everywhere in the magazines and papers lately. I hope there will be more, when the album has been out for a while, but we summon up a bit now. Please comment if you know some good articles:
The Word (no.55, Sept 2007), "Sing like you speak" (2 pages )
Uncut (Oct 2007), "The freewheelin' Robert Wyatt" (4 pages)
Sonic (autumn 2007)(6 pages in Swedish)
Wire (no.284, Oct 2007), "Saturday night and Sunday morning"
(8 pages)
Rolling Stone (German ed., Oct 2007) (16 pages!)
Jazzwise (Oct. 2007) "Human nature" (5 pages and cover photo, not for sale in Norway?)
PlanB - somebody mentioned this to me
"Lost and found" (6 pages - content page with photo included)
The Strait Times (Singapore) (Sept.24 2007), "Weird Wyatt"
(1/2 page)
La Libre Belgique (Sept.24 2007), "Litinéraire ragique et magique de Robert Wyatt" (2 large newspaper pages)

New information added after publication. Thanks to some very friendly readers!

Monday, October 1, 2007

German Rolling Stone

The German edition of Rolling Stone present Soft Machine and Robert Wyatt over 16 pages in their last issue (thanks to Joe for the message). Kevin Ayers' "Run,Run,Run" is on the CD. Ich habe keine Angst!

Supersilent 7

Supersilent 7 (Rune RDV 2047, 2005) is one of the coolest concert films I have ever seen. I thought it was sold out, but suddenly it was in the shops. After a concert, recently held in Bergen, I had to get some more live stuff from this bunch. What you get is 109 minutes black and white film, and 6 numbers just as they were played at Parkteatret, Oslo, Norway, 16.08.04. Director (and cover designer): Kim Hiorthøy.
Let me add one more concert film to remember: "Stop making sense" with Talking Heads (Jonathan Demme, 1984).