Thursday, December 31, 2009

Party on!

I want to thank you all for the year that was, and wish you a happy new one, starting tomorrow. Dance a bit to Dinosau and "Pärris"!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

I gave in and made a list

Damn it, I´ve made a list again! Most of the albums released in 2009 I haven´t even heard, and to tell what´s "best" of all the different kinds of music I listen to is a bit stupid, but you just have to make a list at the end of the year, don´t you?
I was not able to cut it down to 10 albums, so here are my 15 suggestions to releases you should give a chance.
If you don´t find your favorite here, it still might be in the blog somewhere. As you may have noticed, I only write about stuff I like.

1982 (Apeland, Skarbø, Økland): “1982” (NORCD)
Antony & The Johnsons: “The crying light” (Rough Trade)
Bradford/Gjerstad/Håker Flaten/Nilssen-Love:
Reknes” (Circulasione Totale)
Crimetime Orchestra featuring Sonny Simmons and KORK:
Atomic symphony” (Jazzaway)
Mats Eilertsen: “Radio yonder” (Hubro)
Fire!: “You liked me five minutes ago” (Rune)
Håkon Kornstad: “Dwell Time” (Jazzland)
Orchestre National De Jazz: “Around Robert Wyatt” (Bee Jazz)
Jackie Oates: “Hyperboreans” (Unearthed)
Soft Machine: “Live at Henie Onstad Art Centre 1971” (Reel Rec)
Spunk: “Kantarell” (Rune)
The Low Frequency in Stereo: “Futuro” (Rune)
The Thing: “Bag it” (SMJZ)
The Unthanks: “Here´s the tender coming” (Rabble Rouser)
Trinity: “Breaking the mold” (Clean Feed)

Brøtzmann & Yagi

Here you get Peter Brötzmann (tenor saxophone) and Michiyo Yagi (koto, vocal) live in Tokyo 9 December 2009. Part two here.
I heard these two musicians with Paal Nilssen-Love, at the Landmark club in Bergen in April 2008.


Check out the new The Robert Wyatt forums.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


I guess it´s not only me, but I have to confess (sorry for going personal here) that being online all the time has made me even more restless than I used to be. I used to be a heavy reader, but it has become much harder to read all the thick novels I really want to read. A friend must have realized how I was feeling, and bought me "Twitterature. The World´s Greatest Books Retold Through Twitter".
I have read several of the classics now, but even if it is great fun, I must admit I hope it´s not coming to this!
From the book:
Thomas Mann "Death in Venice": "I had a wet dream about the boy.
It´s time to start plan B: heavy, heavy stalking."
Homer "The Iliad": "Watchin´all my dudes dyin´without my help. LOL."

I´m going to start to read some thin books first, and follow people who write very short stories on Twitter.

Monday, December 28, 2009

John Hassell & Maariffa Street

Jon Hassell (trumpet, keyboard), Eivind Aarset (guitar, bass), Jan Bang (live sampling) and Kheir-Eddine M'Kachiche (violin) play music based on "Last night the moon came dropping it´s clothes in the streets" (ECM 2009) live at Lausanne, October 2009. There are 7 parts from this concert on YouTube. Film: Miguel Octave.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Call Before You Dig

Sonore is Ken Vandermark, Mats Gustafsson and Peter Brötzmann, all of them blowing their horns. The videoe seems to be from a aconcert in 2008, and please check out the double CD "Call Before You Dig" (Okka Disc, 2009), recorded both live and in studio the same year.
Buy, listen, dig.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Calling Signals

Calling Signals: Frode Gjerstad (sax), Nick Stephens (b), Paal Nilssen-Love (dr) and Jon Corbett (tp) at The Vortex (London), 13.12.09.

Vic Chesnutt 1964 - 2009

There were rumors all over Twitter yesterday, concerning Vic
Chesnutt´s suicide attempt, and unfortunately it was all true, he is now confirmed dead. Kristin Hersh made a tribute and support site where you may donate some money to help the family.
I only saw Chesnutt live once, at a student place in Bergen several years ago. He seemed a bit grumpy, coming into the hall behind the audience in his wheel chair, and asked to be carried and lifted on stage by the people up front. But he did a fantastic solo show, ending up smiling a lot, partly because several of the young girls in the audience seemed to know all his lyrics.
If the "Everything I say" video does not move you today, I don´t think I can help. It was filmed in in November 2009, and the band is tagged Fugazi on YouTube!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Fred Frith in Jazznytt

In the new issue of Norwegian jazz magazine Jazznytt (nr 06/2009) they have a six page presentation of Fred Frith, with an interview done at the Kongsberg Jazz Festival (summer 2009). Frith talks about his relationship with Robert Wyatt, and says that as a student he used to call Wyatt and ask if he could join Soft Machine! He was invited to to play on "Rock Bottom" og "Ruth is Stranger than Richard", and this later led to working with Ivor Cutler and Brian Eno.
He also seems very fond of his partners in Henry Cow, Chris Cutler, Lindsay Cooper and Tim Hodgkinson.

If you follow the link to Jazznytt, you may read the whole issue in PDF, until a new one is out (I believe). But be warned, it´s in Norwegian.


Since we are in a Christmas mood, we have to have some food and drink here in the blog. Most of you people don´t have to eat this, but December is the big lutefisk month in Norway.
The great Ivo Caprino made this commercial for lutefisk in 1967.
Believe it or not, but a lot of people like this, especially with beer and akvavit.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas on Beat Street

Beat Street Santa's Christmas Xmas Rap, Treacherous Three & Doug E. Fresh.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all of you, and special greetings to
Alfie and Robert.
Please note: Santa does not want to receive any more wish
lists now.

Sea Song video

Maskellnotonfire has made a beautiful video to Rachel Unthank
& The Winterset's fantastic cover of Robert Wyatt's "Sea Song".
See also the "My Donald" video, with footage originally intended for "Sea Song".
Both songs are on the must have album "The Bairns".

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Don "Sugarcane" Harris

I guess most of you like "Directly from my heart to you", from the Mothers of Invention album "Weasels Ripped My Flesh"? What would that one be without Don "Sugarcane" Harris on violin? It is 10 years since Sugarcane died, but on the video we may see him with the Tupelo Chain Sex, playing "The revolution will be televised" (via The Brain Police").
You may find Don Harris and Robert Wyatt on the same album too ("Sugarcane´s Got The Blues", 1972), and to wave the Norwegian flag once more (sorry about that): Terje Rypdal is on the same record.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Cortez the Killer

Jim Jarmusch with Bradford Cox (Deerhunter) and Randy Randall (No Age) are doing one of my favorite Neil Young songs ( "Cortez The killer") in front of a surveillance camera (Pitchfork).
And here is Neil Young!


Sunday evening ( 20 December) I heard Isglem at the Landmark club (Bergen). It was a bit disappointing that only a few people attended, but Terje Isungset (drums, rocks, sticks and trumpet playing toy elk) and Karl Seglem (tenor saxophone, ram´s horn and other horns (not from near extinct animals I hope)) gave all 9 (!) of us a witty and nice concert. It was jazz, folk and impro in a perfect mix, and we even got som slapstick while Isungset played a drum solo on close to no volume at all. He even complained that Seglem was breathing.
The two guys have played together for more than 20 years, and you may buy their albums over at NORCD.
Some crook also uploaded a video on YouTube .

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Han & Frode

I found Han Bennink & Frode Gjerstad´s "Han & Frode" ( Cadence Jazz Records 2009) in my mailbox yesterday. This one (too!) sounds great, with Gjerstad on alto and clarinets and Bennink on drums and percussion (teeth and shoes included I guess) having fun with free impro, that even swings.
The music was recorded during a concert on Inderøy island (Norway, Mars 2008), in The Nils Aas Museum (Norwegian sculptor).
I heard the duo at Moldejazz in July, and is looking forward to see them again at All Ears in Oslo in January.
Cover art: Camilla Sørvik.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Henry Cow Box Set

Just a reminder of the enormous Henry Cow box set from R&R. If you feel it is overkill to buy 10 CDs and DVD with this band, you may now download what you want from iTunes or eMusic. Robert Wyatt is on volume 2 "1974-5" and volume 3 "Hamburg", with Chris Cutler , Lindsay Cooper, Fred Frith, John Greaves, Tim Hodgkinson and Dagmar Krause. On "Hamburg" the band does Matching Mole´s "Gloria Gloom" (Wyatt/McCormick), but Wyatt is not on this one.
Since I´m Norwegian (and we are chauvinists), I also focus on the two hours of impro from Trondheim 26 May 1976, the band being Cutler, Frith, Hodgkinson and Cooper here.
John Kelman of AAJ guides you through the box set.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Robert Wyatt in French

I have mentioned this book in a previous blog post, but now It´s finally here: "Robert Wyatt" by Jean-Francois Dréan (photo) & Philippe Thieyre (text) (Éditions des Accords 2009). The book is in French (unfortunately - for me at least), but more than half of the pages are covered by great black and white photos, lots of them portraits of Wyatt.
I promise I´ll try to read it, but so far it looks like the usual biographical stuff with inspirational sources, living in Louth, discography, Alfie´s work and so on. And that´s OK with me.
I also see that Robert and Alfie have a copy of Bergen artist DOLK´s Che on one of their walls ("Smoking cures stress").
I bought my book at

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Not cool

Over at Free Jazz I found a blog post on saxophone player Chris Kelsey´s album "Not cool (as in ... "The opposite of Paul Desmond")". What a great album this is, with hot and intense jazz music, as far away from Paul Desmond and other cool cat´s calculated stuff, as Kelsey (according to the liner notes) wants to be.
The album is available for free from Kelseys blog for a limited period, but you may of course pay something for it too, to his PayPal account (as I chose to do) . The music, the cover and the liner notes are all easy to download. Better than what iTunes and eMusic offer when I pay for my music. In Kelsey´s band we hear Chris Dimeglio (trompet), François Grillot (bass) and Jay Rosen (trommer). Damn, I just have to call it a cool album (sorry)!

Hard work and fate

Egil Olsen, Jenny Hval (aka Rockettothesky), Erlend Slettevoll and Stig Ulv perform "Hard work and fate" from Olsen´s "Nothing like the love i have for you", live at Victoria, Oslo (8 December 2009). Beautiful, or what?
And it´s not the football coach Egil Olsen, just to make that clear.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


I had decided not to buy any Christmas music this year, but don´t regret that i downloaded Eldbjørg Raknes´ fine and mellow Christmas version of Joni Mitchell´s "River". You may find it here.
If you read Norwegian, see some other singles I bought too here, and if I buy some more, it will be Carla Bley´s and Mathias Eick´s albums.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Rune Grammofon 2010

Forthcoming Rune Grammofon releases for 2010 include Motorpsycho with "Heavy Metal Fruit" in January, Elephant9 with "Walk The Nile" in February, the debut album from Espen Eriksen Trio in March, and later on Bushman´s Revenge, Puma and Stian Westerhus
And they still have a sale on some of their albums, but you better hurry up.

Monday, December 14, 2009

A bit out of focus

If you have visited this blog some times, you must have noticed that it is not very focused. I mix all kinds of music (and other stuff), and will not excuse myself, but rather make a hell of a mix today!
Let´s start in the most charming way, with Regina Spektor and Norwegian singer Sondre Lerche at Rockefeller (Oslo), recorded a couple of days ago (singing "Hell no").
Then we go a bit more brutal with Shining live in Tokyo (shown at a YouTube festival today, to mark "Give Your Live - a music festival for human rights").
Next ones out are Lean Left, one of Ken Vandermark´s projects (live recording, November 2009). Lean Left is Ken Vandermark, Terrie Ex, Andy Moor and Paal Nilssen-Love.
And OK, we will join the celebration of The Clash : It´s 30 years since "London Calling"! I can´t believe it. I bought the album when it came out, but I´ll have to admit that my favorite track was "Brand New Cadillac"!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Fairytale of New York

We just have to have the best Christmas song of them all in the blog in December, "Fairytale of New York", this time live with Martha Wainwright and Ed Harcourt (Royal Albert Hall 9 December, 2009). The original with Shane McGowan and Kirsty McColl is perfect, but this version is good too, although not really as sad as I like it.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Jaga Jazzist

Jaga Jazzist will release a new album next year, and the single "One-Armed Bandit" is very promising! On their site they say: "Having taken on two new members, Øystein Moen and Stian Westerhus, the band rented a house in the Swedish forest to rehearse “this new Zappa-esque, more humorous prog-rock music.”" Looking forward to this one!
The video is from the 2009 Japan tour, with the new single as soundtrack.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Slapp Happy

Slapp Happy is Peter Blegvad, Anthony Moore and Dagmar Krause, and as you all know, they made some great albums with slightly melancholic pop in the 70s ("Sort of", "Casablanca moon" and "Desperate Straights").
The reunion album "Ça Va" came in 1998 and is almost as good as the first ones (listen to "Scarred for life"!). This album has been hard to find (they claim), but it is now reissued by Voiceprint. Just buy it!
Voiceprint also reissued "Live in Japan - May 2000", originally from 2001, and i must admit I didn´t know about it until now (so much for claiming to be a Slapp Happy fan). On this live recording they do songs from all mentioned albums, and even if the live feeling is a bit dull, the songs come through, and you have to get this one too, after getting the other ones (also available on iTunes and eMusic).
What a great trio this is!

Today (BBC Radio 4)

Robert Wyatt, Tony Adams, David Hockney and PD James are among the people who will be guest editors of BBC Four´s "Today" for Christmas and New Year.
Robert Wyatt is on Friday 1st January, and "His programme will look at the music being made by amateur choirs around the country and at the people willing to stick up for politicians after the scandal surrounding MPs' expenses". Way to start 2010!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

All Ears 2010

The program for the All Ears festival (Oslo, 14 - 17 January) is out!


• Projecting Surface (Dryer/Heule/Laastad/Volden)
• Anna Zaradny
• Lucio Capece / Werner Dafeldecker
• Han Bennink / Frode Gjerstad

FRIDAY 15 JANUARY, Fabrikken

• Basshaters
• Dag Magnus Narvesen / Stine Janvin Motland / Johannes Bauer
• Robert Piotrowicz
• Stian Westerhus / Zach Hill

DJs: Soft Bondage


• Kristin Andersen / Anna Zaradny / Inga Margrete Aas
• Cunt Rash
• Anla Courtis
• C. Spencer Yeh / Okkyung Lee
• Paul Lytton / Johannes Bauer / Jon Rune Strøm

DJs: Soft Bondage

SUNDAY 17 JANUARY, Henie Onstad Art Centre

• Paul Lytton (electronic set)
• John Tilbury

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Soft Machine and lights

Just wishful thinking, but while waiting for somebody to locate a film of the Soft Machine concert at Henie Onstad (previous blog post), let´s enjoy the kind of light show they were using. Lights by Mark Boyle and Joan Hill. Psychedelic!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Live at Henie Onstad Art Center 1971

Finally it´s here: Soft Machine "Live at Henie Onstad Art Centre 1971" (Reel Recordings 2009)! Lots of people have been waiting for this one, and when it is here, it is close to perfect! Soft Machine played at Henie Onstad 27 and 28 February 1971, Mark Boyle and Joan Hills doing the lights. Here we get recordings from the second day on two CDs, and we also get one accompanying CD-R with information.
The band is Michael Ratledge, Elton Dean, Hugh Hopper and Robert Wyatt (soon to leave the band). They play material from the Soft Machine albums "3" (1970) and "4" (1971), with tunes like "Facelift", "Virtually", "Slightly all the time", "Fletcher´s Blemish", "Neo-Caliban Grides", "Out-Bloody-Rageous", "All White", "Kings and Queens", "Teeth", "Pigling Bland" and "Noisette" (with good help from the CD-R here). The band does not play the tunes as such, but two long sets as they used to do. And the sound is just great!
Live recordings with the same people may be found on "Grides" (Cuneiform 2006), "Virtually" (Cuneiform 1998), "In Europe" (Blueprint 1998) and "BBC Radio 1967-1971" (Hux 2003), and check out "Drop" (Moonjune 2008) too, but Phil Howard plays the drums on this one, in Robert´s place.
Start by buying Soft Machine "Live at Henie Onstad Art Center 1971". Great stuff!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Tom Waits

Today we celebrate Tom Waits´ 60th birthday, by going fishing with John Lurie! Click on for part2 and part 3.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Hair Collection

Bergen performance artist Kurt Johannessen is working on an ambitious project called "The Hair Collection". He wants one strand of hair from every living person! So far 0,0000124% of the world´s population have participated, and their names are on this list.
If you have one strand of hair to spare, well you know what to do.
The picture is from a performance involving burnt matches, not hair.

Evan Parker og Sten Sandell

Here you see half of Townhouse Orchestra (my Moldejazz 2008 blog post), Sten Sandell and Evan Parker, doing a church concert at Hagenfesten, Dala Floda (July 2009).

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Sidsel Endresen & Håkon Kornstad

Watch this fine video with Håkon Kornstad and Sidsel Endresen recorded in Voss, Norway (May 2009), and read a new interview with Kornstad in Express.

Friday, December 4, 2009


Ivor Cutler´s three Rough Trade albums, "Privilege", "Prince Ivor" and "Gruts" have never been out on CD. The first one was issued this autumn and after several weeks (OK, 2 weeks) in the mail from Amazon, I got mine too. "Privilege" is a bit special in the Cutler discography, since he lets other people sing and play too (happend on "Ludo" also). Here we hear Linda Hirst (of Swingle Singers fame!) singing and David Toop and Steve Beresford on miscallaneous instruments.
This album is for those among you, who want to know how to remove lice from cats in a sustainable way, and want to wade across the Amazonas disguised birds (piranhas hate feathers in their teeth).

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Jeanette Lindström interviewed (in Swedish)

Please don´t forget Jeanette Lindström´s fine "Attitude & Orbit control", where she is working with Robert Wyatt. In the interview she praises Wyatt as a mentor, and says he helped her a lot (all in Swedish). You´ll find the second part of the interview here.


Beautiful books made of good quality paper should not only be nostalgic stuff, but exist alongside the digital material we all use. I have mentioned the French company Æncrages in a previous post, since they have issued high quality books by Alfreda Benge and Robert Wyatt. On YouTube (via Æncrages´ Facebook cite) I found this video, where we even get to see one of their books in production.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Labfield: "Collab" (Hubro 2009)

I have to admit that the first time I played Labfield´s "Collab" I found it boring, and a bit irritating, but I have changed my mind! What happened? Well, I have played the album several times, also on my iPod while walking in the woods, or on a dark road in the evening, and this makes a perfect (spooky) soundtrack! The album starts with "Cebollon" (35 minutes), a piece with several layers of music, developing slowly in a minimalistic manner, and then turns into the lovely "Crusial" (8 minutes) with dulcimer like guitar and whispering vocals. Exciting stuff, if you will let it grow on you!
Labfield is David Stackenäs – acoustic guitars, electronics and Ingar Zach – drums, percussion, sruti box and drone commander, and here are their guests: Ståle Storløkken – synth, Mariam Wallentin – voice, and Giuseppe Ielasi: electronicsk (info from Grappa).

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Shining: Fisheye

You may now buy the first single (?) from Shining´s album "Blackjazz", to be released 25 January. "Fisheye" is on iTunes, both as a 3:13 minutes long "radio edit" and an 6:56 minutes long "extended version" (that will not be on the album). Tough enough, and more metal than jazz so far. The video is recorded at Norwegian Broadcasting Co.´s "Store Studio" 19 October 2009.

World AIDS Day

World AIDS Day in Bergen, 1 December 2009.