Thursday, January 31, 2008

Shoukichi Kina

Enjoy 10 minutes of the great Okinawan musician Shoukichi Kina. If you think the first song is a bit long (no it isn't), jump to 6 minutes and listen to one of my favorite songs of all times "Haisai Ojisan"!
The first time I heard a version of the song, was on French Frith Kaiser Thompson's album "Live, Love, Larf & Loaf" (1988), and just go on and listen to that one here.

Ice Concerts

Terje Isungset's new CD "Ice Concerts" (All Ice Records, 2008) is out now. This is an album with live recordings from the world's first ice music tour (2007). "No concerts were cancelled due to bad weather!" All instruments played are made of ice, and you get some nice vocals here too (including joik). I read a review saying this got a bit boring due to the obvious lack of nature's participation, but I don't know, this works fine for me even with warm feet. This is a beautiful record, Arve Henriksen is also on it, and,OK,OK, this is cool music obviously.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Motorpsycho on Rune Grammofon

News from Rune Grammofon: "We are thrilled to announce that we will release the new album from Motorpsycho, our favourite Norwegian rock band, in Scandinavia, UK, France and USA.
Release date for ”Little Lucid Moments” is 31. mars and it will be available on CD and double vinyl LP. The album is produced by Helge Sten and Bent Sæther and was mixed by Jørgen Træen".

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

John Greaves

We have mentioned John Greaves several times in this blog, but he really deserves his own blogpost! He has made several good solo albums (I don't know all of them) and has also worked with Henry Cow, National Health, Soft Heap, Peter Blegvad, Michael Mantler, David Thomas and lots more. Robert Wyatt is on "Songs" (1995) and "Chansons" (2004), and Greaves is on Wyatt's "Ruth Is Stranger Than Richard" (1975). Both of them are on the Henry Cow record "Concerts" (1976). Just get "Kew Rhone" (1977) for a starter (will be performed live in the spring of 2008!), but you better start some serious shopping if you are new to this guy. Read a quite good article on Wikipedia, or check his web site.
Picture of John Greaves by Pierre-jean G.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Salto Mortale

My first video on YouTube! The installation is made by Ralph Kistner, and was shown in Galleri 3.14 in Bergen (December 2007). More pictures from the exhibition here somewhere. And then I found a more detailed video of the same piece.

8 DVDs and 63 years

It is a note in the latest issue of Record Collector (no 346, 2008), saying that a collection of 8 DVDs caleld "Progressive Times" have been released on German Orange DVD. They contain recordings from German television's "The Beat Club", and DVD no 5, offer a Soft Machine piece named "Composition Based On Three Tunes". Search the net for this one if you like.

And a happy birthday to Robert Wyatt, 63 years old today! Cakes and bisquits for everybody!

Sunday, January 27, 2008


You might want to check out the Norwegian band Kiruna. I heard them yesterday doing a great soundtrack to an old science fiction movie. In the press material their music is called "noise-psychedelic-free-rock", but let me call it some kind of jazz, since we were in a jazz club. Inside the cover of their first album "Irun" (2003), they describe the music as "electric jazz reeking of passion, herbs and sweat"! Well, the second album "Tarasarus" (2007) is more noisy and sweaty, but i love the cover of "Irun", made by Norwegian artist, illustrator and author Thore Hansen.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Colourful vinyl

OK. Not much to say, but once again I was tempted by some fancy vinyl. Here you have Maja Ratkje, Fe-Mail (Ratkje - Tafjord) and John Wiese. Record collections get "prettier in pink".

Friday, January 25, 2008


I'm looking forward to see Tunng at the Bergenfest this Spring. This is catchy stuff, and since NASA found (?) life on Mars (1,2), nothing is better than a video from space.

Thursday, January 24, 2008


Wow. Ultralyd gave a damned good show yesterday at the Landmark club in Bergen. This was 60 minutes of noisy rock and jazz, and quiet moments in between. The band is Kjetil Møster (sax), Anders Hana (g), Kjetil D. Brandsdal (b) and Morten J. Olsen (dr). These guys don't tell jokes. They put their gear on and play. Hana even performs with a "I don't give a shit and play with my back towards the audience" pose. Cool! This was a double concert with John Wiese, but since he blew my ears off in Oslo a couple of weeks a go, I skipped his concert and got my bus back home.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Heaps of lines

Wow! What a sledge ride to "Heaps of Sheeps".

Coxhill and Satie

I was looking for some info on Lol Coxhill on the net yesterday, and stumbled upon a record of (or inspired by?) music by Erik Satie called "Sept tableaux phoniques". Coxhill is represented with a number called "Faction de Satie" with Japanese group Saboten, and I bought it on I-Tunes. Nice one! It's like a meeting between Robert Fripp's League of Gentlemen and Penguin Cafe Orchestra (oh, I just love to namedrop), and I just might have to check out the rest of the album too!
Picture of Lol Coxhill from the Oslo All Ears festival 2007 by "imaginary pictures from tristan da cuhna"(!).

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Music Outside

The second edition of Ian Carr’s book “Music Outside. Contemporary Jazz in Britain” from 1973 is out now (Northway, 2008). This is a well written description of jazz as the music outside the main market. Carr’s focus is on the new jazz of Britain in the late 60s and early 70s, and there are portraits of Mike Westbrook, John Hiseman, Evan Parker, Derek Bailey, John Stevens, Trevor Watts, Chris McGregor, Mike Gibbs and Ian Carr (and even more). If you are completely new to this area, I guess some parts of the book will feel like a catalogue of artist names, but come on and try! You get fascinating portraits of musicians and stories about the eternal conflict between making art and earning money for bread and milk (and get some appreciation perhaps).

Soundtrack while reading:
Back Door: Back Door (1973)
Ian Carr: Belladonna (1972)
Ian Carr with Nucleus: Labyrinth (1973)
Ian Carr’s Nucleus: Roots (1973)
Centipede: Septober Energy (1971)
Stan Getz/The Kenny Clarke-Francy Boland Big Band: Change of Scenes (1971)
Dave Holland Quartet: Conference of the Birds (1973)
The Mahavishnu Orchestra: The Inner Mounting Flame (1972)
John McLaughlin: Extrapolation (1969)
John McLaughlin: Where Fortune Smiles (1971)
John Surman: Westering Home (1972)
The Keith Tippett Group: Dedicated to you.. (1971)
Mike Westbrook: Citadel/Room 315 (1975)
Kenny Wheeler: Gnu High (1976)
Gary Windo: His Masters Bones (1996)

Monday, January 21, 2008

A couple of videos

Today you have to digest a couple of videos. The first one is from the UFO club in1967. We almost see Robert Wyatt, Kevin Ayers and Daevid Allen, and hear (without doubt) Allen "read" a poem! The second video show Robert Wyatt drum behind the violin players Jean Luc Ponty and Don Sugarcane Harris in Berlin in 1971. I've heard Ponty live at the Molde International Jazz Festival (a long time ago), and love Don Sugarcane Harris when playing "Directly from my heart to you" on Mothers of Invention's "Weasels ripped my flesh".

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Tightly knit

Phew! All that housework, and no fun! Yes, you know how it is. If you should get lucky, and be able to take some time off, look at this playground.

Spring isn't fair

A cute song ("Spring isn't fair") and a cute video from Bertrand Burgalat. This one is from Burgalat's "Portrait Robot (2005), and Alfreda Benge wrote the lyrics.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Imaginary records

Some more non-existing records with Robert Wyatt have been seen lately at Catasto's og Elastic. Here are Soft Machine and Henry Cow/Slapp Happy.

Friday, January 18, 2008


New album on Rune: Box:”Studio 1”.
Four pugilists gathered in a studio for two days, improvising their way. I’m usually not too keen on electric guitars in “this kind of music” (not sure if I’ve heard anything like it), and would have expected a sax player instead, but this works fine. Some fight. Box!
Raoul Björkenheim, guitar (Scorch Trio)
Trevor Dunn, bass (Mr. Bungle, Fantomas, John Zorn)
Ståle Storløkken, keyboards (Supersilent, Humcrush)
Morgan Ågren, drums (Mats / Morgan, Zappa´s Universe).

Sonido Wyatt

Interview with Robert Wyatt (from October) in the Spanish paper El Pais, may be found here. Lucky for you, if you know your Spanish language.
”Spanish is a loving tongue but
She never spoke Spanish to me”
Joe Ely

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Jazz photos

Take a look at some old jazz photos from the archives of The Norwegian Broadcasting Co. How about a young Jan Garbarek (did his saxophone shrink?), Karin Krog with Arild Andersen, Jon Christensen and Paul Bley and the late Radka Toneff.
If you're into vocal jazz, please check out Radka Toneff.

Hammond Song

IMHO this is one of the world's best pop songs, ever! Here is The Roches live in 1983, but you miss the beautiful guitar solo from Robert Fripp, that makes this song really fantastic. Try to get the album "The Roches" from 1979 (produced by Fripp), and you'll have the solo. Oh, and the original version is on MySpace too!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Jazz and skiing?

One of the more extreme festivals in Norway is the Finsejazz. It starts off next weekend, and the place is situated 1222 meters above sea level. The 2008 Finsejazz is sold out, but if you have the taste for skiing, snow storms and a frozen nose with your jazz (and money to spend), you may consider this festival next year! The tourist version of the place here.

Added 27 January: See a picture of Swedish bass player Torbjörn Zetterberg here.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Monica Vasconcelos

Robert Wyatt is singing on two tunes on Monica Vasconcelos' record "Hih": "Out Of The Doldrums" og "Still In The Dark (You Are Not My Sunshine)". The album is at least available on I-Tunes already, and I bought the two Wyatt tracks. "Out of the Doldrums" is more to my taste (and more of a Wyatt track), but "Still In The Dark" is worth checking out too, and is on MySpace.
The picture of Monica Vasconcelos is by Helena Dornellas.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Complete Borealis programme

The complete programme for the BOREALIS festival in Bergen (26/2 - 1/3) is here. We have already mentioned Tuesday's concert with Mike Patton and Stian Carstensen, and also underline Von Südenfeld (Mark E. Smith from The Fall + Mouse on Mars) on Thursday. On Friday they offer Metal Music Machine with people from the noise and metal scenes (Jazkamer, Enslaved, Manngard). On the same day we also get some imported noise from Boris & Michio Kurihara.
The Bergen Public Library have invited guitarist Anders Hana (Noxagt, MoHa!) to play Saturday. "SSSH, this is a library", anyone? Svarte Greiner (meaning "black branches" ) play "acoustic doom" and Astro/Hioshi Hasegawa perform what the Norwegian part of the programme describes as "sounding like the world is imploding". I'm not really sure that I am looking forward to this festival.

A love supreme?

Robert Wyatt is participating on French artist Daniel Darc's new album "Amours suprêmes", out later this month. See La Libre Belgique (14 january 2008) and French Wikipedia.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

16 Bitch Pile Up

I had to leave the All Ears Festival after two days, and can't report from Saturday's concerts. These pictures show one of the women from "16 Bitch Pile Up", who started off Friday's concert with some serious trumpet playing in the wardrobe, trying to wake up wardrobe worker Kjetil Møster. More pictures later in my live Flickr set (if they're OK).

Saturday, January 12, 2008


The Second day of the All Ears festival was a bit more noisy than the first one, but a whole lot of fun.
The Finnish power duo Pymathon started off with a bang. According to the programme they play "free-form trash metal improv". That's right.
Next came Kai Mikalsen's project Kobi. Droning ambient. It felt as long as the Stone Age. Towards the end a hooded young guy entered the stage, and I hoped for some hip-hop, but bouncer Lasse Marhaug got him off the stage in three seconds flat!
Magnus Broo and Fredrik Ljungkvist, both from Atomic did a hell of a show. Trumpet, saxes and clarinettes, that's enough. Great!
Guys from Cloroform, Noxagt and Blodsprut(Norwegian bands), Zanussi/Hana/Fjordheim, performed a short energetic, noisy set. I thought it was pretty cool, but my ears don't agree. No ears left!
The evening ended with three American ladies called 16 Bitch Pile Up. Noisy, powerful and even with a smile or two. Conclusion: Holy Bitch!
Wardrobe helpers: Kjetil Møster, Maja Ratkje og Paal Nilssen-Love.

Friday, January 11, 2008

All Ears Day1

The impro-festival All Ears in Oslo, is happening right now. Yesterday started off with Norwegian power-jazz-impro trio Art Directors, followed by Dutch couple Ab Baars/Ig Henneman doing a nice set on viola and sax/clarinette/bamboo flute, not totally improvised I think.
Lars Myrvol laptop, and two violin players did a set before noisy guy John Wiese entered the stage. Damn he made a lot of sound, and was even rewarded with an extra number. Since we begged for it, he even turned the volume up to more than 11.
I might get some pictures on here later, but it was dark, and I´m a shy non-flashing guy, so we´ll see (or rather see Norwegian paper Aftenposten).

Wednesday, January 9, 2008


See Soft Machine live on French television in 1967 (from "Dim Dam Dom"). I found this info on "What's Rattlin'", where I also found a link to Invisibop's version av "Moon in June".

Rachel Unthank and The Winterset's
version of "Sea Song" (Wyatt) is on the CD you get when buying the last issue of "Songlines".

According to Une Discographie de Robert Wyatt Eyes Like Saucers also do a cover version of "Sea Song" (not on MySpace). I haven't heard that one. Anybody else?


The Bergen Borealis-festival for contemporary music is scheduled for 26 February-1 March. The complete programme will be published next week, but it starts off with a bang! The first day Stian Carstensen (from Farmers Market) meets Mike Patton! A pretty nice picture of Carstensen and some Farmers taken in Bergen last year here. We'll be back with more info, and I'm sure they'll come up with an English website too.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Clear Frame

There it was, the new CD "Clear Frame" (Continuity , TINU001, 2007), with Lol Coxhill (soprano saxophone), Charles Hayward (drums, keyboard), Hugh Hopper (bass guitar), Orphy Robinson (vibraphone, steel pan, percussion, FX - whatever that is) and Robert Wyatt (guest cornet!). This is good! Free jazz, jazzrock, progjazz, impro, whatever. I love the 8 track titles too: Clean Slate, Tin Plate, Noise Gate, Void Crate, High Rate, Better Late, Paperweight og Figure Eight! Great! I ordered mine from ReR Megacorp.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Clean web

While preparing for the Olympic Games, Chinese authorities stress that the country's web pages should serve the people and socialism. Here in "Robert Wyatt and Stuff" we will (as always) try to live up to these standards, and hereby we present a stencil I found on an old cinema wall in Bergen today. (The URL below the great ones contains the Norwegian words meaning "serve the people").
Warning: This blogpost is supposed to be a bit ironic.


Today we offer information on two tributes to Robert Wyatt from 2005: Stylized Monkeys: “A blues for Robert Wyatt” (from “Marking the land”) and Popstar Assassins: ”For Robert Wyatt” (from “Moderne”). You may get the Stylized Monkeys tune by buying the whole album on I-tunes. It’s a 10-11 minutes long instrumental, and it is possible to see why it is a tribute. It sounds like Soft Machine on valium, no offence meant. AllAboutJazz have this info on the Spanish band: “This is the music that monkeys do actually in the forest”.
Listen to Popstar Assassins on MySpace. The sound is a bit "Wyattish", but how about the lyrics:

“You can't be real and so remain
A Fantasy
That looks so good when lounging
In your lingerie
Your hair so light and feathery”

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Paal Nilssen-Love

Great Norwegian drummer, Paal Nilssen-Love, promised to be on 20 records in 2007. Counting his Discography today he seems to have ended up on 21 albums with The Thing, OFFONOFF, Scorch Trio, Chicago Tentet, Territory Band, Two Bands and a Legend, Frode Gjerstad Trio and so on!If you have money to spend, start collecting this guy, and make sure you see him live when you have the chance.


I know it, a lot of musicians and authors don't like being asked for autographs (or at least, that's what they say), but I have to admit I like to get an autograph or a handshake from an artist. The works do not get better or worse, but I get a memory to treasure. Childish? I guess so.
If you have followed the artist for some years, i guess you get a certain feeling, and know if it's OK to ask, and sometimes you have to take a chance. I don't think Terry Riley was particularly interested in being a pop star (at the Borealis-festival in Bergen: ”let me see the records first, OK i’ll sign those”), while Kinky Friedman looked close to happy when you wanted an autograph. Even getting other people to hunt for signatures may be a solution (They Might be Giants), and sometimes a homemade cover may be the prize (Eugene Chadbourne). I guess young and not so famous artists think "what the hell is that old guy doing", and as we can see women (Colleen) draw hearts, men (Pierre Bastien) draw wheels. Some are from Venus, others from Mars.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Drunk but no trumpet

We bring you the news that Robert Wyatt ALMOST plays trumpet on Anthony Reynold's new album! According toGod is in the TV Reynold's says: "I asked Robert Wyatt to play some trumpet on 'A Quiet Life' but he declined. I met him shortly afterwards and I don't think he realised that I was the same person who had recently asked him.
We got drunk together at his house and as the night went on I kept saying to myself 'maybe i could ask him to play some trumpet now, into my mini disc recorder...i could fly it into the track later'. I couldn't bring myself to be so inappropriate (though)".

According to it looks like Robert Wyatt is going to cooperate withJerry Dammers again, and that he will release a single this month!

Wyatt documentary on ARTE

The French-German TV-channel ARTE broadcasted a Robert Wyatt documentary 27 December 2007, and it's already on YouTube. The documentary is 8 minutes long, and you have to take a German commentator talking on top of Robert all the way.

Arne Nordheim

Some of you may be familiar with the Norwegian composer Arne Nordheim through records on Rune Grammofon, but let me suggest a new one for you (that have got good reviews from people with a better language for this kind of music than I have). Kenneth Karlson (synth) and Bjørn Rabben (percussion) is Cikada Duo, and have recorded the CD "Nordheim" (2L 2007) with Elisabeth Holmertz (soprano) and Åke Parmerud (elektronics). The vocal parts are sung in ancient Greek and Norwegian, and should give you some food for thought!

Friday, January 4, 2008


This blog is "Wyatting" (se head of blog for explanation), or at least we're joking about it. In one of my local newspapers in Bergen (BA 4 January - only in the paper version) there is an interview with musician and festival organizer Ole Hamre (Oi Oi Festival). He tells us he is not enjoying background music in bars and pubs, and suggest a method developed by Terje Isungset to reduce the noise: Isungset brings his own CD for the evening, and asks the bartenders if they could play this record. It has 3 minutes of music and then 70 minutes of silence. I guess this is the opposite of "Wyatting", and I hereby name it "Icing", since "IS" is ice in Norwegian, and Terje Isungset also makes instruments of ice. More on this musician on his blog and his web site. He's doing a festival in China these days. Cool guy? And if you follow the link to the Oi Oi Festival, Isungset is standing to the left, here with chef's hat!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Wyatt City Blues

There are 4 pages of Robert Wyatt in Record Collector no 345 (January 2008), where Jonathan Wingate interviews Wyatt. They cover the usual areas:life in a wheel chair, bitterness towards Soft Machine, smoking and communism. Wyatt also talks about his depressions, and offer harsh attacks on the imperium, comparing his being English with Ivor Cutlers heritage as a Jew!
Talking about the music of today, Wyatt's answer to the question about the possibility of a new Charlie Parker: "Well, I'm still quite happy with the first one, thank you".

Wednesday, January 2, 2008


Robert Wyatt has written a short foreword to Ian Clayton's book "Bringing It All Back Home" (Route, 2007). He compares Clayton's travel in music with a roller coaster. I have to admit I know nothing about Ian Clayton, but he seems to be a well known fellow from TV, and an expert on Billie Holiday. In one chapter Clayton lists 40 travel albums, and you'll find them here.

Afterword: This was not the book I thought I had bought. It's not a book about musicians and bands, but a story of how important music may be in a life, based on Ian Clayton's own life as a music fan and collector. You get rock and roll parties, festivals, blues, jazz and brass, but also the saddest part of a life when Clayton loses his daughter. It didn't matter if I had never heard of Clayton (my fault!). A fine read it was!

Meditations on Coltrane

News for fans of John Coltrane's music: My local big band, Bergen Big Band, and one of my favourite Norwegian jazzbands The Core have released a live album (recorded at Nattjazz 2007), where they perform a suite dedicated to John Coltrane's ”Meditations”. I'm usually not too keen on big bands, since I feel a lot of the energy seeps out of the music when the focus is on arrangements, but I guess that is my problem. I support my local jazz musicians anyhow, and say this album is more than OK.
These first days of 2008 I have been listening to ”Meditations on Coltrane”, John Coltranes ”Meditations” from 1965 (John Coltrane (ts), Pharoah Sanders(ts), McCoy Tyner (p), Jimmy Garrison(b), Elvin Jones (dr) og Rashid Ali (dr)) and ”First Meditations (for quartet)" recorded a few months earlier (John Coltrane (ts), McCoy Tyner (p), Jimmy Garrison(b) and Elvin Jones (dr)). Wikipedia's words on Meditations: ” Much of the recording is fairly avant-garde, featuring extensive passages in free rhythm and extended saxophone techniques such as honked, multiphonic, and overblown notes”. Lots of energy on these recordings.
Dave Liebman seem to have done the same thing as Bergen Big Band, and recorded "John Coltrane's Meditations".

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Some decent blogposts

A happy new year to all of you. Here are some OK blogposts for you, concerning our man Robert Wyatt: Gee Muses, Obscure Sound and Reynoldsretro.