Friday, February 29, 2008

Borealis Day 3



On day number 3 of the Borealis festival, we ended up in Bergen's pride, Grieghallen (The Grieg Hall). Bergen Filharmoniske Orkester was playing with Leif Segerstam (conductor) and Anna Lindal (violin). They played Segerstam's "Symfoni nr 181", Anders Hillborg's "Fiolinkonsert", Henrik Hellstenius' "Like objects in a dark room" and finally (thank God a quite powerful piece) Magnus Lindberg's "Seht die Sonne".
The concert started with Ole Hamre playing the famous Folkofonen ("Peopleophone"), where people from Bergen have been recorded, and computerized. On the picture you see the Norwegian minister of defence singing!
Later we went for something completely different. At the Landmark club Whiptrash was doing some screaming electronica, Nils Økland played solo on a lot of violins (so quiet and so beautiful) and then Von Südenfed (Mark E. Smith (The Fall) + Mouse on Mars) pumped out electronic disco with grumpy punk vocal.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Alive in Paris 1970

Somewhere I found info on a DVD with live recordings of Soft Machine called "Alive in Paris 1970". The band: Robert Wyatt, Mike Ratledge, Hugh Hopper, Elton Dean and Lyn Dobson. It looks like it's made available by Voiceprint, but I can't find it on their site. Something fishy here?

News from Rune Grammofon

I got a news message from Rune Grammofon, and here it is:
"New Skyphone album available now
Skyphone belong to a new generation of Danish musicians that also include bands like Under Byen and Efterklang. Musically it´s possible to place them somewhere between Efterklang, Sigur Ros and Swedish group Tape.
With ”Avellaneda” they have further developed the ideas of their acclaimed ”Fabula” debut into a seamless blend of acoustic and electronic elements, rich in detail and sonic refinement, with the occasional touch of Scandinavian folk music providing a strong melodic base. Order it here.
Forthcoming releases
March 10
Shining – Shining – RLP3060 (2LP including both their previous RG releases, 500 copies only).
March 31
Motorpsycho – Little Lucid Moments – RCD2073 / RLP3073 (CD or 2LP)
The mothers of stoner psychedelia in full flight on four long tracks.
April 14
Scorch Trio – Brolt – RCD2074 / RLP3074 (CD or Ltd 2LP with bonus tracks)
Free, edgy and powerful trio musings. Old school analog recording.
May 26
Elephant9 – DodoVoodoo – RCD2075 / RLP3075 (CD or LP)
Ståle Storløkken (Supersilent), Torstein Lofthus (Shining) and Nikolai Eilertsen (National Bank) runs the voodoo down in an explosive mix of electric Miles, Weather Report and Lifetime. Old School analog recording.
April / May
Various Artists – Money Will Ruin Everything 2 (2CD / book) – RCD2072
Updated and expanded follow-up book with two CDs of mostly exclusive tracks. Forewords by Geoff Travis (Rough Trade founder) and David Fricke (Rolling Stone senior editor)".

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Borealis Day 2

BIT 20 Ensemble's concert in Logen Wednesday was great. They played compositions by Henrik Hellstenius, Christian Blom, festival composer Mathias Spahlinger, Magne Hegdal and Toru Takemitsu. Christian Blom's "Brøndals præpositioner" and Magne Hegdal's "Decett" were played for the first time ever, and damned fine they were.
All composers (except Takemitsu 1930-1996) were present, and looked happy. But once again, why do concerts like this have to be that stiff? First come the musicians, and we applaud them. Then we wait for the conductor, and there he comes (puh!), we applaud once more. He greets his favourite musician, and we're on. The first piece is 10 minutes long. We get some more musicians on stage, and hey, we're waiting again for the conductor, because he went out. Thank God, here he comes back, we applaud again, he greets the same favourite musician and we're on. Come on! Why this drama?

Borealis Day 1




Oh damn, what a long night it was, the first day of the Borealis festival in Bergen. Five hours is too much for an old man like me.

The first “band” out was Ensemble Rechercehe, playing works by Schönberg, Schwehr and festival composer Spahlinger. I'm not really able to dive into this music, but I try. Much of it was played in a very silent way, and with long pauses and breaks too. Some of it though is real fun, but my God they look serious, and you know it’s contemporary classical when the piano player is more inside the piano, than he is playing the keys. The sounds of knees and backs aching among the audience, added a nice ambience to the show.

Next came Nils Økland Ensemble with a piece made for the festival ("Scordatura"). A lot of fiddles, and some good fun too in a hunter's suite that really would scare the moose (bottom picture).

Last but not least: Mike Patton and Stian Carstensen (Farmers Market) (top picture)! Wow, what a duo! Patton sings both like a metal screamer and an Italian crooner (and Elvis) and Carstensen plays anything you hand him from guitar to accordion to steel guitar and so on ("Ladies and gentlemen: The banjo!"). They were having a great time on stage, ending the show with Bowie’s “Life on Mars”, and the audience were one big smile.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Borealis 2008


The Borealis festival is happening in Bergen right now, and you will have some posts from the festival this week. Promise! I will go through folk music, noise and contemporary classical with an open mind and rinsed ear plugs.
A lot is in fact happening in the public library, and on my way from work today I sat in a couple of Wittgenstein chairs (total of four)! Here you may listen to lectures (in Norwegian), readings and more on Ludwig Witgenstein, with music added. Libraries! Look at the nice picture of chair number one.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Round Midnight once more




Yesterday we had a great Round Midnight festival, and I mentioned Rober Wyatt's version (surprise!). I realise that all of you may not have that recording (how about putting it on the Myspace site?). You'll find Robert's version here:
Shipbuilding (12", Rough Trade, RT115T, 1982)
1982-1984 (12" EP, Rough Trade US, RTSP 25, 1984)
Mid-eighties (CD, Rough Trade R2952, 1993)
EPs (5 EPs CD, Hannibal HNCD 1440, 1999).
The cover on Shipbuilding is from a painting by Stanley Spencer, the rest of them are by Alfreda Benge.

Beard. Prog Basement

Robert Wyatt's facial hair has earned him a place in the beard blog Beard Revue! Listen to this: "We can assume he draws his grumpiness as well as his amiableness from the same source: his beard".

This wednesday (27 February) they are playing music by Robert Wyatt at a club called Progkjeller (The Prog Basement) at Café Art’é in Oslo! Great evening for sure, but a little bit too far from Bergen. If you are staying in Oslo, you know where to go.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Round Midnight Festival





What a great composition by Thelonious Monk. Robert Wyatt sings this one in a fantastic way (and he's even been patted on the head by Monk!), but here you get Thelonious Monk Quartet live in Oslo in 1966 (Charlie Rouse, Larry Gales and Ben Riley), Miles Davis Quartet live in Stocholm in 1967 (Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter and Tony Williams), Ella Fitzgerald (with Oscar Peterson) and Wes Montgomery. Amy Winehouse has a version on the b-side of the single "Take the box", and you may quarrel as much as you like, but i like her!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Sirens



James Beckett is curator for the exhibition of Sirens at The Sound Gallery (Lydgalleriet) in Bergen. Here you have sirens from sport, war, fire warnings and industry, and also examples from rock music, with albums from Iron Maiden, Roxy Music and Public Enemy. One of the sirens is activated by a sensor, and some of them you may start and stop yourself. A lot of good noise and good fun here! Artists: André Avelas, Mark Bain, Ralph Borland, Alec Finlay and Chris Watson, Raviv Ganchrow and Max Neuhaus.

Friday, February 22, 2008

ENDERS dome

The German saxophone player Johannes Enders has made a great album called "Dome", in cooperation with a.o. Nils Petter Molvær. The album is recorded in a church and all compositions are made by Enders. Get this one! Johannes Enders (sax, fl, clar, org, electronics), Nils Petter Molvær (tp), Uli Wangenheim (b clar), Ralf Schmidt (church organ), Saam Schlamminger (dohol, tombak, electronics) and John Hollenbeck (dr, perc).

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Music's All That Matters

I found Paul Stump's "The music's all that matters. A History of progressive rock" (1997) in my shelf, and stared reading this book once more. There is a lot of good stuff on Robert Wyatt, Soft Machine, Matching Mole, Gong, Henry Cow, Slapp Happy, King Crimson and other artists that we like in this blog. Several artists were interviewed specially for the book. When i was checking around the net to see if the book was still available, I realised that Harbour Books are publishing a new revised edition this year(Harbour say October, Amazon say February). It's magic, isn't it?

Elevator music

Arcade Fire´s "Neon Bible" in the elevator. Yes please!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

MW pour Robert Wyatt




This is a record I'm fond of: "MW Pour Robert Wyatt" (In Poly Sons, 2001). The music is part of a project Wyatt had with French artist Jean-Michel Marchetti, who illustrated and translated Wyatt's lyrics. Marchetti made 5 books (click on picture number two to see). Do any of my readers own any of these? I have never seen any of them. Anybody out there know how much you have to pay to get them?

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Two kisses


First you have what we call a "Stormy Kiss". You take one orange and 2 lumps of sugar. Squeeze the orange a bit, and then you may kiss it.
The next one is "Duets" with (among others) Carla Bley and Steve Swallow (ECM 1988).

The Molde International Jazz Festival 2008

The Molde International Jazz Festival 2008 is happening 14 - 19 July. So far we know that Marilyn Mazur is Artist in residence and Patti Smith is doing an outdoor concert. We'll come back with more, and I'll guess they'll soon start working on their English web site too.
Start planning your summer holidays.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Clear Frame and Nilssen-Love

Clear Frame get a good review in AllAboutJazz, with a lot of focus on Robert Wyatt's cornet playing.

Paal Nilssen-Love only has plans for 9 new CDs this year. See the list from his own site. He's getting pretty relaxed!
"The Second Original Silence" -on Smalltown Supersound
"Pass the Bone" -solo, on Smalltown Supersound
The Thing, box set: "Now and Forever" on Smalltown Supersound
"Tomorrow Came Today", duo with Joe McPhee, -on Smalltown Supersound
"Belle Ville", Townhouse Orchestra, on Clean Feed
"Men Only", Atomic, -on Jazzland recording
"Broken Music", Fire Room, -on Atavistic
"TBA", Scorch Trio, -on Rune Grammofon
"TBA", Yagi/Brötzmann/Nilssen-Love trio, label TBA
also, there´s a chance that the solo recording "Sticks & Stones" will
be re-released.

Sissy Wish "Float"

The Bergen artist Sissy Wish is great. This beautiful song remind me a little bit of Slapp Happy. Sorry, can't help it!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Hope for happiness


Nantrue uploaded this video of Soft Machine on DailyMotion. It says 1970, but must be 1968? Check his collection of different Wyatt-videos too.

Beeswing


Few things are better than a sad song. Nothing beats a sad Richard Thompson song. This might have been inspired by Anne Briggs.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Short news

Domino Records will reissue Robert Wyatt's "Ruth Is Stranger Than Richard" (1975), "Old Rottenhat" (1985), "Shleep"(1997) and "Dondestan (Reissued)" (1998). They will also issue a limited edition of a box of 5 EPs. You may find news like this on Eterni-Tea Forums.

Did you really have any doubt about Kevin Ayers' ability as a philosopher? The blog ENIGMANIA prove how close Ludvig Wittgenstein and our man Kevin are!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Nils Petter Molvær










We have not had too much on Nils Petter Molvær in this blog, so it's time to give you the big NPM blog post! If you need reasons for that: A new remix album is due in march (Re-visions), and Molvær is on the market with a record with Johannes Enders called "Dome". I wasn't aware of the last one until I read a (more than!) rave review in Norwegian magazine Jazznytt.

Solo albums and remixes. (The remixes are made by people like Herbaliser, Bill Laswell, Deathprod, Bugge Wesseltoft and see if you are able to find more here):
Khmer (ECM 1997)
Khmer. The Remixes (ECM 1998)
Solid Ether (ECM 2000)
Recoloured (Universal Jazz 2001)
np3 (Sula/Universal 2002)
The Hot Rod EP (Hot Rod magazine 2002 (?))
remakes (Sula/Universal 2003)
Streamer (Sula 2004)
er (Sula/Universal 2005)

I prefer the original albums to the remixes, and if you want my advice, start buying the new ones and work your way backwards. Lots of great music will come your way.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Play your own thing

Everton beat Brann with two goals in the UEFA Cup in Bergen today. Sorry, but I got a package from Amazon and was watching the DVD "Play your own thing. A story of jazz in Europe" (Dir. Julian Benedikt, Euroarts 2007), as the home team lost. This is a quite good documentary, and you get some more music than the cut and jump technique documentaries usually are made of. You get your American musicians in Paris and Copenhagen, and nice servings of German, Austrian, Italian and Scandinavian music. I think the British will have to make their own DVD, because I got a feeling they were underrepresented here.
So nice to see (among others) young versions of Albert Mangelsdorff and Niels Henning Ørsted Pedersen (his mother had to OK his playing in clubs) and charming sax man numero uno Dexter Gordon.
And surprise, surprise, Robert Wyatt talked a couple of minutes too! His opinion was that Europe's most important contribution to jazz, was listening to American jazz musicians (and constructing the saxophone).

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

All that nostalgia


Damn it! The nostalgia is really taking over these days, with memories of 1967 (the summer of love), 1968 (the cradle of everything) and next year it's 40 years since Woodstock. Not that I had much fun, I was a bit too young to be a hippie (13 in 1968) (and too old to be a punk!), but I am catching up on my reading these days. I was looking into some old cardboard boxes yesterday and there they were again: Jerry Rubin's "Do It" (1970) and Tom Wolfe's "The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test" (1968). Don't trust anyone over 30!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Shibusashirazu - At last i am free

Shibusashirazu's version of Chic's "At Last I Am Free" is a bit further out than Robert Wyatt's, but what the hell, it's monday!

Andrew D'Angelo

I don't know much about Andrew D'Angelo, but still post this, because he needs support after brain surgery and lack of medical insurance. I found the news on Norwegian music site groove.no, and D'Angelo has played with several Norwegian musicians like Anders Hana, Kjetil Møster, Morten Olsen and Øyvind Storesund.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Matching Mole x 2


First you get a live recording of Matching Mole from Paris in 1972 (including a Robert Wyatt interview), and then a strange (but quite nice) video to one of the world's best songs ever (O Caroline). Enjoy! Some more on Matcing Mole here.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Suede:Shipbuilding

Robert Wyatt and Elvis Costello both did fantastic versions of the song Shipbuilding, and I think Suede are just as good. Brett Anderson's vocal is great here. Suede's version was on the album "Help: Artists for War Child" (1995), and this is a cover version, or what?

Friday, February 8, 2008

Piston LTD

Towards the end of 2007 Piston LTD released the CD "Domestic Engine" (Hecca/Division), and yes of course, a boat motor (Marna) is a central instrument here. This music is more relaxed than I feared/hoped for beforehand, and it's varied too. You even get a lot of pedal steel playing here, and several tracks have a taste of Brian Eno's Apollo music. According to Ballade the motor weighs 200 kg, has 1 cylinder and the horsepower is 5, and I am very happy to bring you this information. So far I have just borrowed the CD at the library, but these guys must have serious expenses just to keep the motor running, so I guess I'll support them with a CD of my own. The band is presented like this:
Jens Petter Nilsen - jump starts, cabling, grease and maintenance.
Hallvard W. Hagen - mechanics and hydropneumatic tank systems.
Erland Dahlen - pumps, power sprayers and centrifugal pump units.
Bjørn Charles Dreyer - plunger, power hosts and drainage point systems.

I Keep Faith

Billy Bragg’s new album will be out in march, on Cooking Vinyl, and Robert Wyatt’s voice may be heard on the track “I keep Faith”. It’s on Bragg’s MySpace page, and you may read some more at Pitchfork.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Shipbuilding



Robert Wyatt's version of Elvis Costello's "Shipbuilding" often do pop up in discussions about the best cover versions ever. Lately I've seen it in an article on cover songs in The Irish Times, where Jim Carroll chooses his favorites (it is that Jim Carroll?). "Shipbuilding" is one of the best songs ever, but Wyatt's version is not a cover, is it? Elvis Costello gave it to Robert Wyatt, who recorded it on Rough Trade in 1982. Costello recorded a beautiful version on "Punch the clock" in 1983, with Chet Baker on trumpet.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Spring


Yesterday Bergen Jazzforum offered a free concert at Landmark with the Danish band Spring. The band is Torben Snekkestad (ts, ss), Anders Banke (ts, clar), Jonas Westergaard (b) and Peter Bruun (b), and yesterday they brought along American Andrea Parkins on accordion and electronics. 25 people in the audience (!) got a nice serving of jazz mixed with contemporary classic (or something like that). Springs new CD (Ilk, 2007) is more jazzy, with the contemporary stuff more sprinkled on top (Jesus it's hard to describe music). Read a more proper album review at all.about.jazz.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Toy

I just picked up the new EP by Toy called "Half Baked Alaska" (Smalltown Supersound 2007). On it you'll find "Welcome To Cedars Lodge" and "High In The Cedars" (High Llamas Remix by Sean O'Hagan). You also get 4 tracks from a concert held in Logen in Bergen (December 2006), when the duo Toy had grown to 11 organ players! Yes, I was there (in an audience of 40-50 people), and you may hear me whistle between the songs (live and evil!). Listening to this music makes me smile, and imagine toys and Merry Go Rounds. Try them out on MySpace.

Monday, February 4, 2008

The worst singers in the world!

The music magazine Word (or a blog on their web site) ranked the worst vocalists in the world! In the discussion around this list a snotty fellow claims that Robert Wyatt sings like a dying sheep, and that he is unlistenable! And some people don't want censorship on the net! Caravan's vocalist Pye Hastings is unlucky, and gained a place on the list:
1st= Supertramp, both of 'em
3rd Al Stewart
4th Joan Baez
5th Pye Hastings
6th Lee Jackson
7th Jimmy Pursey
8th Chris Cornell
9th Ray Thomas and last (and most definitely least!!)
10th Chris Farlowe, who has ruined more than most, thinking, most poignantly, of Colosseum......"
Wyatt a dying sheep!

Shuffle!

I have learned to love the shuffle function on my I-Pod. Last Saturday's walk in the snow, ended up with this anti-formatted "radio" program (and a good walk it was):
Wayne Shorter: Twelve more bars to go
Arctic Monkeys: Fake tales of San Francisco
Sufjan Stevens: Redford
The Who: Silas Stingy
Shining: In the kingdom of kitsch
Coco Rosie: Animals
Captain Beefheart: Gimme dat harp boy
Malcolm Middleton: Fight like the night
John Cale: Tell me why
Robert Wyatt: Just a bit
Low Frequency In Stereo: Bahamas (great Norwegian band)
Charles Lloyd: Bis
Ivor Cutler: Steady job
Sharon Jones: 100 days, 100 nights
Robert Wyatt: The united states of amnesia
Manna: Herren Jahova (Norwegian reggae)
John Coltrane: Every time we say goodbye
Grateful Dead: US Blues
Charles Lloyd: Oh Karim
Hild Sofie Tafjord: Kama

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Splatterfolk

Let's have some Folk info again now, starting off with poor Richard Thompson singing "Now that I am dead", live and alone in 1992. Record Companies still sell more albums after some artists die, don't they? This song was on French Frith Kaiser Thompson's record "Invisible Means" (1990). And please, buy a lot of Richard Thompson records while he's alive (and long may he live!).
In the Norwegian magazine Ballade I found a piece on a band called Thinguma*jigSaw. Their genre is "splatterfolk", no less. Check them out on MySpace if you dare. They are touring UK these days.
A long interview with Rachel Unthank, who gave us a fantastic cover of Robert Wyatt's "Sea Song" in 2007, may be found on the blog "Salut! Live" (I'll link to this blog from now on).

Ahasverus

Mapsadaisical pointed me towards Swedish Ahasverus. The CD "Foundation" is full of dark, spooky ambient music. If you are living on the edge, this is a perfect soundtrack. If your days are too long and boring, this album will make them exciting. Only 100 copies made so far.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Friday, February 1, 2008

Bragg, rhubarb and Wyatt

I am really looking forward to Billy Bragg's "Mr. Love and Justice", out on Cooking Vinyl 3 March. On his website he tells how he met Robert Wyatt over some fresh rhubarb, and that obviously resulted in sweet music. "I hadn't seen him since Red Wedge (the 1986 Labour Party youth vote initiative)," says Bragg. "He found me some rhubarb and then came along to the recording session and sang beautiful vocals to the chorus of 'I Keep Faith' – it was like angels singing!" The record will also be made as a deluxe solo album. Billy Bragg is touring Europe and UK to promote the album.