Monday, May 31, 2010
Sunday, May 30, 2010
As a part of the outdoors program of Bergen International Festival, Staffan Mossenmark had gathered bodybuilders from Bergen, and made them drag heavy iron through the streets to make music (or sounds if you prefer).
As the bodybuilders passed between the pubs and cafes on one side, and party boats along the harbor on the other, the guys received both envious shouts and looks of admiration, but most of all smiles.
It is not that often you see oiled muscles in the sunset of Bergen!
Some muscle pictures on Flickr.
Saturday, May 29, 2010
Stian Westerhus is having a constant "bad hair day", but his concerts are perfect! In March I heard him doing short concerts in a private apartment during the Borealis festival, but at the Nattjazz festival (happening right now) had more time at hand, and didn´t have to try not to break somebody´s fine glasses or furniture.
He was alone on stage for about one hour, with two guitars and lots of electronics, delivering beautiful melodies and electric storms. For some moments i thought I heard some Frippertronics in there and even Hardanger fiddles, when he used the bow. As I said, close to perfect!
Westerhus is on two new albums too (both on CD and vinyl with free mp3 downlods). I have just had time to listen through them a couple of times, but i don´t think you should try to save any money by avoiding these! The albums are the solo effort "Pitch Black Star Spangled" and Puma´s "Half Nelson Courtship", both on Rune Grammofon, with Kim Hiorthøy covers.
My other Nattjazz concert this evening was with Motif. Atle Nymo (sax), Axel Dørner (tp), Ole Morten Vågan (b), Håkon Mjåset Johansen (dr) and Håvard Wiik (p) mixed some free jazz (or thereabouts) with hard swinging jazz, all delivered with some hot solos and even smiles (and I like smiling jazz musicians!). Thanks a lot!
Friday, May 28, 2010
Cuneiform released a package with a reissue of Curlew´s album "A Beautiful Western Saddle" (1993) and the DVD "The Hardwood", being a recorded concert from The Knitting Factory in 1991.
Curlew is here: George Cartwright, Tom Cora, Ann Rupel, Davey Williams and Pippin Barnett.
"A Beautiful Western Saddle" is music set to poems by Paul Haines (who we have mentioned earlier, him being Emily Haines´dad), and the reason I noticed this release (even if Curlew is a band that has passed below my radar), is that one of the songs/poems is dedicated to Robert Wyatt ("What is Free to a Good Home?").
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Just a couple of new videos from Norway and Sweden's finest for you. Atomic was recorded in Osaka and The Thing at SKIF 2010 in St Petersburg. There are more videos from The Thing's concert out there, but the sound quality is not too good. You'll find them yourselves, OK?.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
The Bergen International Festival ("Festspillene") is happening right now. We used to have the outdoor OiOi Festival at the same time as Festspillene, but now the main festival will have more concerts and other happenings outdoor (and yes, it is cold and it´s raining in Bergen these days).
After the opening ceremony, with the king and queen present, the portable noise project "Desibel" got going down by the sea. "Desibel" was originally made as a protest against a huge mining project in the valley Naustdal (2009), with music by Maja S.K. Ratkje. The music is thrown out of some huge green speakers (horns) (120 - 130 dB), and since we are here, we may choose to hear this as a protest against the environmental crimes of Bergen, or perhaps as shouts of joy to the nature around us.
And, let´s not forget, the Nattjazz festival is happening too.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
- I found the above info on the blog Electric Eden, started by Rob Young who has written the book "Electric Eden: Unearthing Britain's Visionary Music" (Faber & Faber 2010).According to the author it is the story of "folk, folk-rock, psychedelia and the 'British imagination in the music of the past 100 years or so".
Amazon´s release date is in August, but Young is hoping to see in the shops in june. OK, let´s agree on July then! (And I won´t link to his blog, because it seems like we get stuck there, with no possibility to get back to MY blog! Here is the address http://www.electriceden.net/)
- Richard Thompson´s new album "Dream Attic" will be releasead in the end of August. He is joined by the following musicians: Michael Jerome (drums), Taras Prodaniuk (bass), Pete Zorn (multi-instruments, background vocals) and Joel Zifkin (violin).
Monday, May 24, 2010
Yesterday Ultralyd visited Landmark in Bergen for a concert in the Playdate series.
Ultralyd is Kjetil Möster (sax), Anders Hana (g), Kjetil D. Brandsdal (b) and Morten J. Olsen (dr). I don´t really know what to call their music, but how about an ear plug demanding mix of rocked out jazz, with some noise and contemporary elements on the side. It does not matter what we call it anyway, because they delivered a great one hour long set with music composed for their album scheduled for release in 2011. The album is being mixed in Bergen these days.
Let me recommend the Ultralyd albums, and this might be a complete discography:
"Ultralyd" (FMR Records 2003)
"Chromosome Gun" (Load Records 2005)
"Throb and Provision" (Utech Records 2006, 200 copies)
"Noxagt/Ultralyd" split LP (Textile Records 2006)
"Conditions for a Piece of Music" (Rune Grammofon 2007)
"Renditions" LP (TLRC 2009)
Frode Gjerstad (not Möster) plays saxophone on the first two albums, and on the split-album with Noxagt they appear as a saxless trio. "Throb and Provision" and the split-album is more out in the noise landscape, than the other releases.
Cover and concert photos of varying quality on Flickr.
During the concert I appeared as the sensible old gentleman with umbrella that I am (of course), using my umbrella to stop glasses from falling over the edge of the high table in the back of the concert hall. The sound waves were just to much for them, and they started to move towards the edge. Sorry I couldn´t help the young ladies in the sofa, who were hit by a falling glass of red wine. Now remeber this, since Ultralyd are touring: Never leave something breakable alone when this band is on stage!
Sunday, May 23, 2010
Saturday, May 22, 2010
Yes, I´m pretty late with tis album, but here it is: Don Sugarcane Harris: "Sugarcane´s got the blues", originally released in1972, and now on Promising Music in 2008.
This is quite good blues rock, recorded at the Berlin Jazz Festival in November 1971. The music is recorded over two days, and it just might have been better to remove the talk between the tracks on the album ("we are going to play one more for you", and it´s three more, from two different concerts). I´m still quite happy that they included one track from the second concert, since Terje Rypdal replaced Volker Kriegel on guitar on Horace Silver´s "Song for my father" (not that i mind Kriegel, just being patriotic here!).
The other musicians are Don Harris - electric violin and vocals, Robert Wyatt - drums, Wolfgang Dauner - keyboard and Neville Whitehead - bass.
If you have not heard Sugarcane Harris, check out his violin playing on Mothers of Invention´s fantastic version of "Directly from my heart to you" (Little Richard) on Weasels Ripped My Flesh" (1970).
Eugene Chadbourne is blurbing on the new cover, but we cite from the original cover: "Sideman stardom goes to ex Soft Machine drummer ROBERT WYATT - an unorthodox percussionist who can hardly be allocated to any style. Robert´s flexibility is truly impressive, the whole range of his potentials at hand - giving his tremendously versatile comments to his musical surroundings".
Friday, May 21, 2010
Oh, come on, let´s forget about free jazz and prog rock! It´s friday, and we´ll have some dance music instead. Please welcome Janelle Monáe! She just released "Archandroid".
The performance is from Letterman of course, but watch also the official video right here.
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Wyattandstuff mentioned the band Cosa Brava in an earlier blog post, and this post is just a big hurrah for their album "Ragged Atlas" (Intakt, 2010).
It´s pretty difficult to classify their music (or other stuff that Fred Frith do!), but Frith seems to call it rock. Thats OK with me, and in a rock landscape I think we have to place them not too far from Henry Cow and prog? But throw some chamber music, folk music, and world music into the pot too.
This is both beautiful and dramatic music, and the vocal tracks make me think of some of the things Michael Mantler has done with singers (one of them being Robert Wyatt).
You want this album! I found mine on iTunes.
This is Cosa Brava:
Fred Frith guitar, bass, voice
Carla Kihlstedt violin, nyckelharpa, bass harmonica, voice
Zeena Parkins accordion, keyboards, foley objects, voice
Matthias Bossi drums, percussion, sruti box, voice
The Norman Conquest sound manipulation
Anantha Krishnan (guesting on one track) mridangam,tabla.
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
There are several videos of Sonore at SKIF festival 2010 on YouTube. Sonore is Ken Vandermark, Mats Gustafsson and Peter Brötzmann.
Prepare yourselves for some windy weather.
Buy the album "Call before you dig" from Okka Disk.
Yesterday I mentioned Keith Tippett and Julie Tippetts in a blog post, and remebered Centipede´s "Septober Energy" (Neon, 1971). Centipede was a band (or rather an army) with a whole bunch of jazz and rock musicians, among them our man Robert Wyatt, but please read the full list of musicians in Wikipedia.
I will not pretend that I play this album every day, but must admit that I liked it better than ever, when playing it again after yesterday´s blog post! The music is composed by Keith Tippett with lyrics by Julie Tippetts. You get some nice vocal music, some pling plong, some jazz rock and quite a lot of noise (what would you expect with this lot).
The album is produced by Robert Fripp, who was in the live version of the band, but did not play on the record.
It even seems like it is possible to buy it on CDthese days.
Robert Wyatt wrote liner notes on how impossible it would be to write liner notes about this band! "Of course I can´t tell you anything about this music, because that would be silly, and I can´t examine publicly Keith´s murky motives for dreaming up this insane travelling circus known as "Centipede".
I´m stretching the "classic" term a bit I guess, but hell it´s my blog, so "Septober energy" ends up in the Classics series.
Wath the video on YouTube of Keith Tippett conducting Viva La Black doing "Septober Energy", with Julie Tippetts, Louis Moholo and MInafric Orchestra (Sant'Anna Arresi (Sardegna), September 2008).
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
"Around Robert Wyatt" will also be performed at the Nice Jazz Festival (19 July) and Tremple Jazz (3 August).
If you are the traveling kind, check out the program for "Konfrontationen Nickelsdorf 2010" in Austria too (15 - 18 July). The festival is curated by Mats Gustafsson and Hans Falb. The super group The Thing XL would be my choice, with Mats Gustafsson, Ingebrigt Håker Flaten, Paal Nilssen-Love , Joe McPhee, Ken Vandermark, Terrie Hassels and Johannes Bauer!
Monday, May 17, 2010
Pjusk is Jostein Dahl Gjelsvik and Rune Andre Sagevik. Their new album "Sval" (12K, 2010) is a beautiful album, with ambient electronica (or somewhere around there). This is the kind of music that makes images or pictures in my head while I listen, and the tracks have got titles that may point towards Norwegian nature (if you understand them, that is!). Some track names: Vidde (Mountain plateau), Dis (Haze), Juv (Gorge) and Valldal.
See a better review over at Soundscaping too, they call this music "perfect for home listening". Of course it is perfect on a good stereo at home, but I found it perfect to have on my iPod while walking in the forest today too. The wind, birds, rivers and barking dogs fitted in real nice.
A fine album indeed!
Pjusk had the guts to call their previous album "Sart". I thought Jan Garbarek and friends owned that album title.
Sunday, May 16, 2010
Saturday, May 15, 2010
Instead of going to see Motorpsycho again, I chose a double bill with the band Silencers and the duo Espen Sommer Eide and Sigbjørn Apeland.
Silencers is Benoit Delbecq (France) – piano, prepared piano, Kim Myhr (Norway) – guitar, prepared guitar, Nils Ostendorf (Germany) – trumpet and Toma Gouband (France) – percussion. They played one hour of quiet impro, and knew how to get attention without shouting! Not everybody can do that, but Silencers delivered the goods, with prepared piano and a drummer who must have raided the nearest park to find something to hit the drums with. Toma Gouband played with Rhododendron branches for drum sticks most of the concert, so if you have a vacant position for a drumming gardener, he might just be your man. The only musician I know in this band is Kim Myhr (Trondheim Jazzorkester, Mural), and I´ll let you Google the rest of them yourselves too. A fine concert, thanks a lot.
Sigbjørn Apeland (organ) and Espen Sommer Eide (concertinome) were next on stage, and I would need help to describe what kind of music they played. Sommer Eide introduced a couple of tunes saying "I think we´ll play another one for organ and accordion", and that´s what they did of course, adding some electronics too. See the video! It´s not high quality at all, but you will get the general idea. And, yes!, they started throwing Rhododendron leaves at the end of the concert. Smiles all over the house after the concert (all 35 of us that is).
Check out Sigbjørn Apeland in 1982 and Espen Sommer Eide in Alog.
Friday, May 14, 2010
I just want to point out two new releases on Paal Nilssen-Love´s record company PNL:
Paal Nilssen-Love: "27 years later" (PNL005, 2010)
Paal Nilssen-Love & Anders Hana: "AM/FM" (PNL006, 2010).
"27 years later" is a solo drum album, recorded live at the Molde International Jazz Festival in 2002. This must be one of the best solo drum albums I have got. The other one I have is Paal Nilsen-Love´s "Sticks and stones" (SOFA 2001). I think it IS possible to concentrate and dig drum solo playing on record, for short time spans.
"AM/FM" is 33 minutes of improv/noise with Nilssen-Love and guitarist Anders Hana (Noxagt, MoHa!, Ultralyd), recorded live at Tou Scene in Stavanger in 2004. The first half of the piece has got its moments of rock & noise, but the album finally ends in what´s close to silence (I now most albums do in the end, but look some minutes further back then). Great album!
Cover design: Lasse Marhaug (and since I´m a very shy guy, I only show the front cover of the AM/FM album).
Both albums have previously been released on Utech Records (2005) (150 copies of each).
This is he PNL-discography (the company that is!) so far:
Lasse Marhaug and Paal Nilssen-Love: "Stalk" (PNL001 2007).
Nils H. Asheim and Paal Nilssen-Love: "Late Play" (PNL002 2007)
Magnus Broo and Paal Nilssen-Love med "Game" (PNL003, 2008)
Sten Sandell Trio: "Face of Tokyo" (PNL004, 2009)
Paal Nilssen-Love: "27 years later" (PNL005, 2010)
Paal Nilssen-Love & Anders Hana: "AM/FM" (PNL006, 2010).
Thursday, May 13, 2010
I can´t find too much news on Robert Wyatt´s activities these days, so I am stretching it a bit in this blog post!
- Emily Haines and Metric will release a deluxe edition of their fourth album "Fantasies". See interview in London Evening Standard (7 May 2010). Emily Haines is the daughter of poet Paul Haines, and a friend of Robert Wyatt! Watch the video for "Sick Muse" (and listen too!), and remember the solo album "Knives Don´t Have Your Back".
- Owen Pallett in The Bay Area Reporter (6 May 2010): "I grew up listening to Robert Wyatt and Van Dyke Parks, Brian Wilson and Harry Nilsson, as well as really good singers such as Annie Lennox. Music takes all kinds, basically!" (!! indeed).
- All About Jazz review Beppe Crovella´s "What´s rattlin´on the moon" (26 April 2010).
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Originally uploaded by svennevenn
If you visit my Flickr, you already know I sometimes upload pictures of posters I see in Bergen. I love cool posters, and hope they will exist around town, even if we live mostly online these days. Best (and smartest?) of all are posters that have a certain style over time, and work as image builders for concert series or club concepts, as the Utmark poster pictured above.
If you are interested you may see my Bergen posters in this Flickr set, and why don't you check Osloposters too?
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
This spring is teasing us a bit too much. In Bergen we have freezing cold winds, and even some snow, even if we are almost half finished with May.
I have posted this video before, but since it is more than two years ago, and it´s a nice song and video, we are having it again here to please our new readers!
Bertrand Burgalatos "Spring isn´t fair" is in his album "Portrait Robot (2005), and Alfreda Benge wrote the lyrics.
Monday, May 10, 2010
The old comrades John Zorn (as) and Fred Frith (g) just released (I think!) the duo album "Late works" (Tzadik 2010). This music is all improvised in the studio, and most of it is full of energy, and sometimes entering the noise field ("Foetid ceremony", "Ankle time"). The music is tough enough, and at it´s best when you can play it really loud. But check out "The Fourth mind" too, the most relaxed track on the album.
John Zorn seems to be well on his way to reach the goal of one album each month in 2010. The Norwegian noisemakers of Jazkamer follow the same scheme on Pica Disk, so feel free to empty your pockets.
I had a post on Fred Frith a couple of days ago too, and said that I would not mind seeing him live again soon. At least he is coming to Norway, playing with Dame Evelyn Glennie in Bodø 9 August. It also seems like he has plans for two days in Oslo 6 and 7 August. Anyone having info on the Oslo dates, feel free to comment.
Cover: Bea Kwan Lim.
Sunday, May 9, 2010
I seem to be downloading more and more music, and often miss the physical objects. A bit old fashioned perhaps, but anyway, today I´ll just shout hurrah for artists who focus on the packaging of albums.
See and hear the Liars album "Sisterworld" (Mute 2010), with double-sided fold out inner cover.
Design: Brian Roettinger.
The music? Good I think, I´m working on it, but read a review somewhere else please. How about Dusted?
This is a double CD, and the second CD is a remixed version of the first one, track by track (by Melvins and Devendra Banhart, among others).
Saturday, May 8, 2010
"I don't think I've arrived anywhere yet. I'm still traveling. I use whatever vocabulary is most suited to the conversation I'm having, and I'm certainly not interested in having the same conversation over and over again. Which means that the resources at my disposal are always (hopefully) continuing to develop and evolve, as the need arises."
Check out Nic Jones´ interview with Fred Frith in All About Jazz (3 May 2010): "Mapping the Further Reaches".
Even if Fred Frith has been in my record collection almost all the time (Robert Wyatt, Henry Cow, Art Bears etc), I realize I´ve seen him live only once", with Lucia Recio at a fantastic concert in Molde (Norway) in 2008. I want him back now, solo, duo or with band, thank you very much.
The video show Cosa Brava, with Fred Frith, Carla Kihlstedt, Zeena Parkins and Matthias Bossi.
Friday, May 7, 2010
I love walking around town, and prefer areas where there are meeting places like parks and streets with no cars.
Yesterday i found these benches, made for an exhibition by master students at the Bergen National Academy of the Arts, Section for Design. The students ask if the shape of things decide how you relate to other people. I have got a nagging feeling that the correct answer is yes here.
Top picture: Social bench. Bottom picture: Unsocial bench.
Thursday, May 6, 2010
The power trio Bushman´s Revenge are at it again, with the album "Jitterbug" (Rune Grammofon 2010). I dropped by their previous album "You lost me at hello" (Rune Grammofon 2009) too, and said they were doing some kind of power-rock version of Scorch Trio (with a dash of Shining and Hendrix just before serving). I tried to be a bit fancy there, but now I´d say they are more of a standard power rock trio. Listen to "Damage Case" for instance, it almost had me head banging (almost!).
Most of the album rocks pretty good, and it all ends with the melancholic "Waltz for my good man". This time they nod to The Beatles with "While my guitar gently breaks".
The band members are Even Helte Hermansen (guitar), Rune Nergaard (bass) and Gard Nilssen (drums), and Ståle Storløkken plays organ on a couple of tunes.
Cover: Kim Hiorthøy.
These people better serve some hot stuff too, since they are named after a South African chili sauce.
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
You may have missed the new Atomic album "Theater Tilters Vol. 1" (Jazzland 2009). Norwegians and Swedes are known to disagree on most things (you havent drunk Swedish beer I hope?) but Atomic (and The Thing too) show the way. Gather the best people from both nations, and you get a killer combination!
Fredrik Ljungkvist (sax) and Håvard Wiik (p) wrote the music and they play (as always in Atomic) with Magnus Broo (tp), Ingebrikt Håker Flaten (b) and Paal Nilssen-Love (dr).
Only "Bop About" has been recorded earlier, as it was on "Bikini Tapes" (2005). This album is recorded live in Sweden (autumn 2009), but you hardly hear any audience here. The other titles are "Green Mill Tilter", "Andersonville", "Fissure" and "Murmansk" (with drum solo!). Fantastic again from this bunch.
"Vol. 2" will be released in the autumn this year, along with an international double-disk edition comprising Volumes One and Two.
Monday, May 3, 2010
BlackG606 posted several videos from the Edge of Wrong festival of improvised music in Cape Town 2010. Here you get Øyvind Skarbø (who has visited this blog several times already, and who seems to be "DIE, handwerker" when he performs solo!), doing some body drumming with pastic bag and stash, and the fantastic MotSol with drummer Ståle Liavik Solberg and vocalist Stine Janvin Motland.
Sunday, May 2, 2010
It might have been a coincidence of course, but The Residents hit Bergen for the first time ever, on the International Worker´s Day.
The trio Randy, Chuck and Bob are on their "Talking Light" tour, and invited us into their living room to hear weird stories about ghosts and mirror people ("The Mirror People!!!!!"), and of course feed us wild rock music.
People who had been drinking too much during the festival, probably had nightmares about Chuck and Bob and their spooky masks tonight, but singer and story teller Randy was more human in his role as the old geezer wearing a bath robe and boxer shorts.
The Residents claimed to miss their fourth man Carlos, but not his solos ("Fuck Carlos! Drum solos!").
This was my first concert with The Residents, and it sure was good fun. It was totally absurd, but with fantastic music, spiced with old country and western songs ruined in the best possible ways.
I probably lost some of the jokes (due to language, sound quality and my ears) from the stories told by persons projected on screen, but no problem, I still had enough. That is even if I did not understand all that was said by the female surgeon suffering from phantom pain in her lost arm!
Saturday, May 1, 2010
Finally Jaga Jazzist was in town for Bergenfest (five years since last time they were here), and they sure did a fine concert at a packed Logen Teater (no missing "h" there, it´s called this in Norwegian) in Bergen yesterday. The stage was decorated like the cover (and promo material) for "One armed bandit", and they played most of the material from this one.
They are mostly touring Norway, and that may be quite understandable with a big band like Jaga Jazzist. Be sure to catch them if you can, and check tour plans at www.jagajazzist.com.
Act cool and wear shades, because some of that light show was pretty tough on my eyes at least.
Now this has happened to me a lot, and I have probably written about it already, but after shows I end up wondering why people pay good money to go to concerts to talk, and talk loud too!?
Will you please shut up now!