Sunday, May 31, 2009

Be In The No-Air

Catasto Music Rarities posts a Robert Wyatt tribute called "Be In The No-Air - A Tribute To Robert Wyatt (1998)". This is live material, recorded at The Knitting Factory with Fred Frith, John Greaves, Peter Blegvad, Karen Mantler, Pip Pyle, Hugh Hopper, Daevid Allen and Mark Kramer.


You may follow me on Twitter if you like, or read my postings down on the right side of this very blog. They are mostly in Norwegian so far, but some updates are in English.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Orchestre National De Jazz concert

This looks like some TV advert for ONJ's concert with Robert Wyatt material 23 May 2009 ("Around robert Wyatt", Festival Jazz-à-Saint-Germain-des-Prés). If your French is better than mine, feel free to comment.

And here is All About Jazz on the album.

Ultralyd with shanty choir!

Ultralyd performed in Bergen's Grieghallen yesterday with the shanty choir Navy Vocalis. All this as a part of the Bergen International Festival, and as a hommage to the late Bergen photographer J.A. Løtvedt. Løtvedt made a lot of documentary film, and this performance ("J.A. Løtvedt on the Seven Seas") focused (of course) on the maritime areas (travels in the arctic, oil, shipping etc). Ultralyd did a lot of ambient film music (bows on guitar, bass and percussion), but took the opportunity to make some noise too (thanks!), and had a fantastic piece where Fredrik Saroea from Datarock sung the words of shipowner Hilmar Reksten from an interview we just had seen. I'm not sure how cool the use of shanty choir was, but Kjetil Møster's saxophone works fine with oil tankers, helicopters and musk ox.
Ultralyd is Kjetil Møster, Anders Hana, Kjetil Brandsdal and Morten J. Olsen. Director was: Morten Traavik.

Friday, May 29, 2009


Originally uploaded by svennevenn

The OiOi Festival in Bergen is trying to secure the future of Norwegian noise music. Today John Hegre and Nils Arne Drønen made lots of noise with a bunch of small kids! Parents send their cute little ones to kindergarten, to give them a safe and educating place to be, and see what happens!

Thursday, May 28, 2009


Originally uploaded by svennevenn

I managed one more evening at the Nattjazz in Bergen, mainly to see Eldbjørg Raknes (vocal) with Stian Westerhus (guitar) and Eirik Hegdal (sax). I've written about their album some time ago in the blog, and they were just (or at least) as good live. Sound man Tor Breivik is named in the program, but they brought a "lightman" with lights and videos too, making the stage very stylish. Name the man in the comments if you know him. (Added afterwards: Pekka Stokke thanks to The concert was run as one long set, Raknes mainly singing without words, Westerhus playing guitar and just as much pedals and Hegdal even did a Rahsaaan Roland Kirk, with a couple of saxes at the same time. More a band than a vocalist with musicians this. Nice!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Meltdown news

I Like Music and others got news on Ornette Coleman's Meltdown (13 - 21 June). Antony with Yoko Ono and Plastic Ono Band, Flea from Red Hot Chili Peppers with Ornette Coleman, Mike Patton, Marc Ribot and even more. Puh! They claim Robert Wyatt has got "spoken word duties" with Charlie Haden's Liberation Music Orchestra. He's only talking or what? Pardon my English, and help me out here.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The OiOi Festival in Bergen

Just some images for you, from the OiOi Festival that is happening these days. This festival is happening at the same time as Nattjazz (jazz!) and The Bergen International Festival (classical music). The OiOi philosophy is to book great musicians (and other artists) who are also able to communicate and have fun, and let them perform in quite extraordinary places (on submarines, under water, on top of roofs, in shop windows, hanging from trees and so on) . Great idea?
Pictures from the top: Performance artist Kurt Johannessen, The Vocal Guerilla, a Brazz Brother blowing into the aquarium, and military musicians on a submarine (as you probably guessed). You'll find more OiOi pictures on Flickr.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Wyatt at Radio Rai 3

There's a blogpost on Robert Wyatt's Radio Rai 3 recordings from 1981, "Radio Experiment Rome, February 1981", on the Italian blog "I've always wanted to be a gangster". Does this mean that the recordings will be released in a proper and legal way? The name of the blog might indicate that this is not the case of course! Anyone know?

The Thing: Bag It

The CD version of The Thing's "Bag It" (SMJZ 2009) will be released 15 June, but you may shop the digital version right now (iTunes and Amazon). I got my CD at the OffOnOff Nattjazz concert last week, and have been warming my ears on it since. You just have to get this one too. One composition by Mats Gustafsson and one band composition (-impro), and tunes by Duke Ellington ("Mystery Song") and Albert Ayler ("Angels"). The opening piece, with the hard to pronounce (at least for me) title "Hidegen Fujnak A Szelek" is credited (The Ex/Muzisikas) and The Thing's version starts a bit like Robert Wyatt's "PLA", and I had some hopes for a couple of seconds there. In one shop (Platekompaniet) it looks like the CD for sale has got seven tracks, but my version at least has a bonus CD with 30 minutes of "Beef Brisket (For Ruby's)" (The Thing), that you also get when you buy the digital version. Over at Smalltown they don't even mention this album yet!
"Ruby's BBQ" here and "Beef Brisket" there, my guess is that these guys are not vegetarians.

Sunday, May 24, 2009


Dutch Annemarieke Coenders(guit./Voc.) and Wim Sebo(e-drums/samples) play "Costa" (from "Dondestan") by Robert Wyatt.

New cassettes

Music only on perfect data files? Not from Dirty Projectors! Their new album "Ocra" (Domino) is out in a few weeks, and you might want the limited cassette edition? Hurry up and order then.

And here is a little history lesson for the young ones.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

St. Vincent

St. Vincent (Annie Clark) is out here with a new album called "Actor" (4AD, 2009). Her main inspirations for this music are movies, but in an interview in The Village Voice she mentions Robert Wyatt and Charlie Mingus as inspirational sources too. I liked that! Here you get the intense video "Actor out of work".

Friday, May 22, 2009

Nattjazz, Bergen 21 May 2009

Arve Henriksen Trio
Originally uploaded by svennevenn

The audience at The Sardinen in Bergen were spellbound by Arve Henriksen Trio Thursday evening. Henriksen plays his trumpets in all kinds of ways and is a fantastic singer too (sounds Asian, African, Norwegian, and so on)while Eivind Aarset works his guitar and Mac and Jan Bang samples and turns knots. Great trio work. I was hoping for some noisy stuff in between, but if they want to be nice, it's OK with me.

Before I had to run for the bus, I listened to half of Wiik/Dörner/Longberg-Holm/Zanussi's concert. This is a new improband with Håvard Wiik, Per Zanussi, Axel Dörner and Fred Longberg-Holm, and if you Google these guys, I think you'll see they've been around a bit. It sounded quite good actually, but next time give us a smile, say hello, invite us in and don't be so damned serious.

Look for more Nattjazz pictures here

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Semaine de Canterbury

The second Semaine de Canterbury is happening these days. They have "John Greaves Chantes Verlaine" and "DONDESTAN ! THE WYATT PROJECT" with (info from the festival web site) John Greaves chant / basse / piano, Sylvain Kassap clarinettes, Hélène Labarriere contrebasse, Jacques Mahieux chant / batterie, Karen Mantler chant / orgue / harmonica, Jef Morin , Guitare and Gilles Hugo, régisseur son.

Nattjazz, Bergen 20 May 2009

The Nattjazz festival started off yesterday, and what a start it was! I focused on two concerts in one of the smaller venues. First out was Speeq with Luc Ex (b), Phil Minton (voc), Hasse Poulsen (g) and Mark Sanders (dr). The band was great, but Phil Minton made my day. He grunts, shouts, whispers, yodels and then suddenly sings with a beautiful delicate voice. Fantastic!
Next out was OFFONOFF. Paal Nilssen-Love (dr), Terrie Ex (g) and Massimo Pupillo (b) came running on to the stage (true), counted and got going at full steam with their "punkrockimpro" (as the festival calls it). They play more rock than jazz, and more noise than rock, and it's great fun all the way. Paal Nilssen-Love is sweating liters, and dries himself by hugging friends after the show! Yach!
I listened to parts of Nils Petter Molvær's concert too. It sounded real good, and the lights were stunning. Unfortunately the audience at the back (where I had to stay) started to get pissed, and didn't concentrate at all. These musicians deserve better, but hopefully they didn't notice.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Originally uploaded by svennevenn

I'm a bit interested in posters and signs, and have some posts on this in my Norwegian blog (and pictures on Flickr). I sometimes wonder if people read signs at all, especially the ones that tell you how to behave (yes I work in a library!). As the Bergen public library is focusing on queer literature these days, I'll just share this little poster with you. The way to do it.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Neil Cowley Trio

The Neil Cowley Trio is Neil Cowley (piano), Richard Sadler (bass) and Evan Jenkins (drums). They won the BBC Jazz Awards 2007 for their first album "Displaced". I have to listen to that album later on, but I have been listening some times these last days to "Loud Louder Stop" (Cake 2008), and that album swings and rocks big time. Great stuff! Check out "His Nibs" from the (not so) new album in the video below.

The first day of Nattjazz

Just a warm up to the Nattjazz festival starting in Bergen tomorrow. The first evening will be a tough one I think, and here are my recommendations, or warnings, depending on your tastes. (Nils Petter Molvær, OffOnOff (with Paal Nilssen-Love) and Speeq.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Act of God

Fred Frith made the music to Jennifer Baichwal's movie "Act of God", about people who have been struck by lightning. Paul Auster has experienced this, and is in the movie.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Two sides of Kevin Ayers

I love sad songs, and one of my favorites is the Kevin Ayers song "Baby Come Home" (from "Unfairground"). This seems to be the official video.
Kevin Ayers may be a joyful guy too, and check out the field recording of Quattro Santi (new to me) playing a nice version of "Joy of a Toy".

The Last Record Company

This is just to remind you to hurry up if you want the first three LPs from The Last Record Company. There are 500 of each of them on sale now. On the picture you see (from the bottom to the top):Stian Westerhus: "Galore" (TLRC 1), Ultralyd: "Renditions" (TLRC 2) and Maja S. K. Ratkje: "Cyborgic" (TLRC 3). Covers and booklets are designed by Grandpeople.

A ridiculous collection

Here you get an over the top collection of links to sites, where Robert Wyatt is hardly mentioned (but he's there). You don't have to read this post!
- Here We Go Magic in Irish Times.
-Death Cab For Cutie and Emily Haines in The Current Music Blog.
- Telekinesis on listening to Fleetwood Mac and Robert Wyatt, in Rolling Stone.
- John Greaves in Citizen Jazz.
- On Blue Notes in Polish Diapazon.
- On Argos in Music in Belgium.
- Noel Gallagher and Robert Wyatt? In Rolling Stone in Spanish.
- Live "Around Robert Wyatt" in la Montagne?
- Max Nagl's new record at Faltershop.
- Italian Il Messagero claims that Manuel Agnelli has been singing "Shipbuilding".
- Something about playing Wyatt in Discos? Belgian MetroTime.
- Centenaire inspired by Robert Wyatt, in

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Liberation Music Orchestra

In just about a month's time (20 June) Robert Wyatt will perform live at Ornette Coleman's Meltdown with Carla Bley and Charlie Haden's Liberation Music Orchestra. That's more than a good excuse to see and hear the band play "Sandino".

Friday, May 15, 2009

OiOi 2009

Next week we're at it again in Bergen, with the Bergen International Festival and it's sidekick the OiOi Festival (not to mention the Nattjazz jazz festival happening the same period). Last year Arve Henriksen was the OiOi musician, and he is guesting this year too, with several of this blog's favorites: Eldbjørg Raknes, Terje Isungset, author Jon Fosse, John Hegre and Per Jørgensen. They promise underwater music, applaud machines and noise music in the park!
"I beg your pardon! I never promised you a Noise Garden".
You'll find info on the OiOI Festival here. Click on
"Last ned OiOi-programmet her (pdf)" to get the programme in PDF (some pages even in English).

Thursday, May 14, 2009


The second album in my classics series is Herbie Hancock's “Mwandishi” (WB 1971) ( the first classic here). The album has three tracks (10-20 minutes long), and my all time favorite was the rhythmic ”Ostinato”, dedicated to Angela Davies. This was magic and mystic stuff to me in the 70s , and the musicians were exciting types with African sounding nicks: Mwandishi Herbie Hancock, Mchezaji Buster Williams, Jabali Billy Heart, Mganga Eddie Henderson, Mwile Benny Maupin og Pepo Mtoto Julian Priester. And believe it or not, but I saw this band at the Molde International Jazz Festival in 1971 (16 years old and lost to music). They played two concerts. I attended one in the Town Hall, but I believe the YouTube clip below was filmed in the cinema the following day.
The very same trombone player, Julian Priester, is guesting on the new Sunn O))) album ”Monolith & Dimensions” (out one of these days)!


The French street artist C215 is visiting Bergen. He's selling pictures from a Gallery, where some of the money is going to support The Children At Risk Foundation.
He's been around town too, doing some great stencils.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

ONJ: Around Robert Wyatt

Ah, finally my package with the CD Orchestre National De Jazz "Around Robert Wyatt" (BEE JAZZ Records 2009) was in the mailbox. I'm not really sure if this is a special limited edition, but I got one CD with 11 tracks and one CD (named "Bonus Tracks")with 4 tracks. Robert Wyatt sings on "The Song", "Kew Rhone", "Gegenstand", "Vandalusia", "Te Recuerdo Amanda" and "Rangers in the night", and they are all great versions in my ears! The first three songs here are composed by Peter Blegvad and John Greaves, two artists I'd like to see work more with Robert.
I have to mention that a couple of the songs are quite far out versions of beloved RW songs, for example "O Caroline" (sung byDaniel Darc) and "Just As You Are" (sung by Naim & Arno). The original versions will survive these ones, but the album is fine! "Sounds like Robert got a decent band at last" (John Greaves).

I bougt my CD from Discovery Records.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

BoAnders Persson and Maja Ratkje

If we long for summer, it will come, but we need some summer music to help it on it's way. Here are BoAnders Persson and Maja Ratkje at the Swedish "Utmarksmusiken" 2007. Maja Ratkje plays theremin, an unknown instrument to me until this post.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Oslo Street Art

Bigger and better in Oslo? Here DOLK and PØBEL in Strøget, and Pushwagner on Oslo Central Station (commissioned).

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Lars Vaular

This is what you have been waiting for! Norwegian Hip Hop sung in the Bergen dialect by rising star Lars Vaular. Quite nostalgic lyrics, and footage from Bergen. ("Just call me up, on the same number as in 99").

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Thing on tour

The Thing (Mats Gustafsson, Paal Nilssen-Love og Ingebrigt Håker-Flaten) are touring USA and Cnada these days. Dreamweaponfilm uploaded some videos from Toronto (over), and there are aslo some recordings from Philadelphia here, here and here.

Paal Nilssen-Love is Norwegian candidate for the Nordic Council music prize 2009, together with Arve Henriksen. Both of them are heading for Bergen for the Nattjazz festival in a couple of weeks.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Spot Wyatt

There are lots of Robert Wyatt albums on Spotify now. If you're new to Wyatt (fat chance if you already have visited this blog) you will listen to Rock Bottom, Ruth Is Stranger Than Richard, Nothing Can Stop Us, Old Rottenhat, Dondestan, Shleep, Cuckooland, Eps and Drury Lane!
Then continue with The End of An Ear and his projects with Michael Mantler. So, come on, get going.

Monday, May 4, 2009

1000 Songs Everyone Must Hear

In The Guardian's music blog, they will list "1000 Songs Everyone Must Hear". Robert Wyatt's on the list already with Elvis Costello's "Shipbuilding", but today they add his Peter Gabriel cover "Biko" in the section politics and protest songs we forgot.Good choices!
If you buy EPs, reissued by Domino last year, you will get both songs (and some great cover art too!).

Sunday, May 3, 2009


SPUNK serve "Kantarell" (that is "Chantarell") on Rune Grammofon. SPUNK is Kristin Andersen, Hild Sofie Tafjord, Maja Solveig Kjelstrup Ratkje and Lene Grenager. They improvise and make noise as they use to do. In other words: Perfect dance music.
Yolk, blob or alien cover: Kim Hiorthøy (as usual).

See also the special offer on the three vinyl albums (Maja Ratkje, Ultralyd, Stian Westerhus) on Rune's side project "The Last Record Company" (TLRC) here. The covers of the TLRC albums are made by Grandpeople.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Rachel Unthank & The Winterset

Bergenfest gave us a real nice present Friday evening, a free concert with Rachel Unthank & The Winterset. We got traditional folk, and beautiful covers of Nick Drake ("River man") and Robert Wyatt ("Sea Song"), most of it from "Cruel Sister" (2005) and "The Bairns" (2007). The venue was a hotel bar, and believe it or not, the audience were listening and (almost) quiet during the concert. In a bar in Norway on a Friday evening! Are these girls great? Yes they are. They don't do jigs and reels, but when Becky and Rachel Unthank did som "club dancing" the audience went wild (OK, I'm stretching it a bit here). We even sang along. Great stuff!

From the stage after "Sea Song": "Are any of you fans of Robert Wyatt?".
Someone in the audience: "Jaaa!"
From the stage: "Us too".

Friday, May 1, 2009

Holy Toy

I steal some info from the blog "Musikk fra Norge" ("Music from Norway") today. Holy Toy's great album "Warsawa" (Uniton 1982) is being reissued this month. It has been out on CD earlier, but this time you wil get all the tracks Holy Toy released on Uniton as bonus material.