Monday, June 30, 2008

Soft Machine Live at The Lyceum

Catasto's Friendly Fire (catastosfriendlyfiredotblogspotdotcom, link removed, generates advertisements) posted a recording of the last concert (probably) of Soft Machine as a trio with Mike Ratledge (Organ, Piano), Hugh Hopper (Bass) and Robert Wyatt (Drums, Vocals). The concert was held in London 5 October 1969, with Chicken Shack and Van Der Graaf Generator on the same bill.
Check the Soft Machine chronology at Calyx.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Mingering Mike

Record collecting may be like digging for gold. A lot of work and you never know what you'll find. Dori Hadar is a real digger, and in 2003 he found a lot of rare records by the soul star Mingering Mike, at a flea market in Washington DC. Well, they weren't real records, but products of the fantasy of a young kid, who made covers and records from cardboard and paper for 10 years, starting in the late 1960s.
Hadar (both a DJ and a criminal investigator!) and a friend managed to track down the real Mike too, and we get his story and a complete discography in the book "Mingering Mike. The Amazing Career of an Imaginary Soul Superstar" (Dri Hadar, Princeton Architectural Press, 2007). The book is just fantastic!
The preface is written by Neil Strauss, and you get the story in New York Times too. But I can't stop wondering. How real is the real Mike? Here he is at a book signing, fake hair all over the place!

And just to remind you, here are six imaginary editions of "Sea Song" by Robert Wyatt too (1,2,3,4,5,6).

Saturday, June 28, 2008


I know you have been waiting for this blogpost on moustaches, so here it is. The reason I finally started on this subject, was a comment in my Norwegian blog, to a post on Norwegian guitarplayer Jon Larsen and the music of Frank Zappa. See the post in this blog, and check out Zappa fan and proud moustache grower Calvin here (he has interviewed Jimmy Carl Black).
The poster for Gillette must be from the 40s or 50s I guess, but it was given to me by a shop keeper, while I was working as helping hand on a brewery car in 1974. The message is something likethis (sorry, it sounds a bit more boring than the original): "She is looking at you! Are your looks to your advantage?"
It's hard to beat Frank Zappa when it comes to moustaches, but we let Nick Cave be the moustache man of the day, with "Dig Lazarus Dig!!". Cave knows how to grow facial hair, but his moustache can't hide his bad lip-sync here?

Friday, June 27, 2008

Ingebrigt Håker Flaten Quintet

I know I have no reason good enough to defend my attitude, but I'm a bit skeptical to violins and jazz at the same time. Still, I went for Ingebrigt Håker Flaten Quintet's "The Year of The Boar" (Jazzland 2008) expecting it to be good, and right I was. IHF plays bass in three of Norway's best bands (Atomic, The Thing and Scorch Trio) and the rest of the quintet are Ola Kvernberg (violin), Dave Rempis (alt/tenor/baritone saxophones), Jeff Parker (guitar) and Frank Rosaly (drums and electronics). The music is recorded live in 2007, and you get anything from playful free jazz to more funky, swinging stuff. Great.

Thursday, June 26, 2008


Summer is a time for relaxing, and we all better lean back. Here is Ivor Cutler on chairs and stools. The poem is in "A Flat Man" (1977) and on the record "Dandruff" (1974).


People lean back in
But only
if the chair
has a back
to stop them leaning
Backless chairs -
or stools
as we call them -
are suitable
only for leaning
forward -
or sitting bolt upright.
You would think that
people who really wanted to lean
would use
a stool.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Robert Wyatt podcast

Check out Claire Colley's blog, and follow the link to a podcast with Robert Wyatt.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Ellen Ugelvik

Piano player Ellen Ugelvik, who just released a CD with music by George Crumb, is preparing for a concert in Tokyo next year. She has hired a butho dancer to do a workshop in Oslo. If you know Norwegian, read about it in Aftenposten, and please loook at that picture! I think it's a bit spooky, and my brain showed no respect, and started to associate with "Killer Bob" from Twin Peaks. That's my brain for you!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Influenced by Robert Wyatt?

Some newspaper reading this afternoon, resulted in two artists I had to check out, because the papers claimed Robert Wyatt might have been a source of inspiration.
Swedish "Svenska Dagbladet" (20 June, paper version) say Lord Skywave makes pop inspired by Debussy, D'Angelo and Robert Wyatt! Lord Skywave is Simon William Lord, and you may listen to some tunes at Myspace. I'm not sure I can smell any Wyatt here, but it may still be very good of course. Here is his record.
Le Matin (21 June) say Patrick Watson (and the band with his name?) is influenced by Robert Wyatt, Pink Floyd and Jeff Buckley. While changing buses today (damned summer schedules) I managed to borrow Patrick Watson's CD "Close to Paradise" from our fantastic music library. I never heard about this band before, but this sounds like a very good record (warning: listened only once). You might hear Jeff Buckley in there and maybe (and just maybe!) Robert Wyatt, but just as much Anthony from Anthony and the Johnsons. Great stuff!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Academic Kraftwerk

Kyrre Tromm Lindvig (University of Oslo) has written a thesis on Kraftwerk called "Wir fahren auf der Autobahn" : Kraftwerk and constructions of Germaness" (2o08). Let's hope it will end up in the University of Oslo's institutional repository DUO, so all Kraftwerk fans can start studying.
We bring you "Trans Europe Express", and Afrika Bambaataa, who sampled it.

The last Norwegian viking?

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Atomic: "Retrograde"

Atomic just released "Retrograde" (Jazzland 2008), the second triple CD of their career! I'm not sure that a lot of bands should do that, but Atomic can. You get lots of good stuff as usual, on two studio CDs and one live CD. The live CD is recorded in Seattle this year, and we get live versions of four of the tracks from the studio sessions, and "Crux" and "ABC 101b" from "Happy New Ears" (2006). Play loud!
I have not seen any reviews in English in magazines and newspapers yet, but the Free Jazz blog found it, and you may read about the former triple CD "The Bikini Tapes" at AllAboutJazz.

Atomic is Fredrik Ljungkvist (sax, clar), Magnus Broo (tp), Håvard Wiik (p), Ingebrigt Håker Flaten (b) and Paal Nilssen-Love (dr, perc).

Atomic on record:
Feet Music (Jazzland, 2001)
Boom Boom (Jazzland, 2003)
The Bikini Tapes (3xCD Jazzland, 2005)
Happy New Ears (Jazzland 2006)
Retrograde (Jazzland 2008)

Friday, June 20, 2008

Alive in Paris 1970

Earlier this year Voiceprint issued a Soft Machine DVD ("Alive in Paris 1970"), directed by Claude Ventura. This is the short lived quintet with Robert Wyatt (dr), Hugh Hopper (b), Mike Ratledge (keyb), Elton Dean (sax, saxello) and Lyn Dobson (sax, fl, voc). Some of this (all of it?) is on YouTube (of course), but get the the DVD, it is nice! The sound is good and the filming is excellent. There is only one drawback, the fake audience noise! It does not fit in at all!
Soft Machine play "Facelift", "Eamon Andrews", "Backwards/Moustrap Reprise", "Out-Bloody Rageous", "Esther's Nosejob" and Robert Wyatt is improvising a piece on vocals.

The same quintet, with Lyn Dobsen, is documented on the albums "Noisette" (Cuneiform, 2000) and "Breda Reactor" (Voiceprint, 2005).

Thursday, June 19, 2008


Street artist Pøbel is working the streets of Bergen these days.

Nick Drake 60

Today it's 60 years since Nick Drake (1948-1974) was born. We celebrate him with one original (“Way to blue”), two cover versions with Brad Mehldau (“River Man” two parts) and Norwegian band Minor Majority (“Three Hours”) and finally *cough* a commercial for VW (“Pink Moon”). Read Nick Drake's story in Patrick Humphries' biography from 1997.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Paul Weller "22 Dreams"

I've been waiting for the Deluxe double CD version of Paul Weller's "22 Dreams", but it seems like it never reached Norway. But forget it, the single album has got more than enough music, and Paul Weller has got one of the thoughest voices in rock (or soul!). You also get the Alice Coltrane tribute, "Song for Alice", with Robert Wyatt. Great one.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


It took some time, but now I got Daniel Darc's "Amours Suprêmes" (Opendisc 2008). French pop is not my main interest, but Robert Wyatt's voice and breathing(!) is on a track called "ça ne sert à rien". I guess it is a dark, mystic and even a bit erotic album, but I'm really not sure. Anyway, as long as Robert Wyatt is on it, it's good enough for me.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Fine and mellow

It is Monday, they say it's going to rain and I have been listening to a lot of noise lately. Time for some Billie Holiday. This recording is from 1957, and she is surrounded by musicians like Ben Webster and Coleman Hawkins, but please look at her face when Lester Young is playing (the second sax solo)! Fine and mellow, indeed!

Soloists, copied from a comment on YouTube:
Ben Webster - Tenor Sax
Lester Young - Tenor Sax
Dick Dickenson - Trombone
Gerry Mulligan - Baritone Sax
Coleman Hawkins - Tenor Sax
Roy Eldridge - Trumpet

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Bertrand Burgalat (and Wyatt video)

I finally got Bertrand Burgalat's CD "Chéri B.B." (Tricatel 2007). This one got "This Summer Night", with Robert Wyatt singing, and a lot of other good stuff too. Listen to some at MySpace. "This Summer Night" is written by Burgalat, Wyatt and Alfreda Benge. I've been looking for a video on YouTube since I bought the I-Tunes file (and got the 7"), but what happens if you do a simple Google search? Well, you get a link (from Pitchfork) to this beautiful video with Robert Wyatt! Here you may watch the video, and here is the reason I just knew there was a video somewhere.
Tricatel delivered the goods in no time, and with no problems, and they seeem to have the 7" (500 copies made!) in store too, if some of you are interested.


Yesterday the Landmark club in Bergen had a 12 hour marathon presentation of electronic music, focusing on electronica and ambient. On the wall behind DJ U-TeQ , they were shoving covers, videos and information from Wikipedia and artist's sites. During my visit in the afternoon I got Biosphere, Tangerine Dream, Badalamenti (Twin Peaks soundtrack), Karsten Pflum and Boards of Canada (and more).
A great way to have your afternoon beer or coffee, and they promised faster beats later in the evening, for the kids I guess.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Atom Heart Mother

It seems to have become a trend to perform old pop and rock albums live, from track number one and all the way to the end. Now it's time for Pink Floyd's "Atom Heart Mother" from 1970. I will not claim to have been a big fan of Floyd, but this album I really played a lot. And yes, the Hipognosis cows were easy to track down in the basement this morning.
The Italian tribute band Mun Floyd perform "Atom heart Mother" at the Chelsea Festival today and tomorrow, with both Ron Geesin and David Gilmour (on sunday)! If we are going to get nostalgic, this just might be the way. More on Ron Geesin 1,2.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Agbalagba Daada

Per Jørgensen and Terje Isungset just released their new double album "Agbalagba Daada" (NORCD 2008), where all tracks (except one) are imrovisations. These guys have been in the game for a long time, and the title of the album means "old wise person" in the Youruba language (but you knew that already, of course). Here you get a lot of playful impro, the pieces lasting from 20 seconds to 15 minutes.
It is almost too much music here, so don't take all of it in, in one sitting. A single CD with the longest tracks may have made a better album, but as a documentation about what these fellows are up too, it's great.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Elastic Rock did it again. They have some rare recordings of Soft Machine (Gong and others) from Belgium in 1969. The Soft Machine tunes are "Moon in June", "Eamon Andrews" og "Hibou, Anemone and Bear".

Kevin Ayers x 2

First you get an absurd interview with Kevin Ayers from Belgian television (2000), and then Kevin performing "Hymn" with Daevid Allen's University of Errors (2002).

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Jazkamer "Art Breaker"

Jazkamer’s “Art Breaker” is 58 (!) tracks of rock and noise (Smalltown Superjazz 2008, but no info on their site). The CD lasts for 17 minutes, and that is just about enough. The musicians are Iver Sandøy, John Hegre and Lasse Marhaug. The cover is ultra creepy (I hate the Alien movies), but stylish, and is made by Håvard Gjelseth. The track titles are something else too, like ”Pure Phenomenology Is The Science Of Pure Consciousness”, “Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely” and “Useful As A Form Of Employment For Economists” (Norwegian blogger Steinskog is working on the titles (in Norwegian)).
To tell you the truth, this is a lot of noise, but it is damned fun too! I suggest we blindfold the band and play the tracks at random. Tell us what track we are playing now! Hmm. It must be ”The Slaying Of A Beautiful Hypothesis By An Ugly Fact”, no no – wait - it’s “Democracy Is An Abuse Of Statistics”.

Wyatt for autoharp, koto and wine glasses

Melissa Webb, Philip Jackson and Joanne Kuluveovski perform Alifib on autoharp and kotos, and Free Will And Testament with wine glasses too. According to info on YouTube, this all happened at "First Wonyip Music Day in the Excelsior Hall, Wonyip, South Gippsland, Victoria, Australia".

Monday, June 9, 2008

Elvis Presley and Robert Wyatt

"Elvis Presley and Robert Wyatt", now there's a heading for you! What on earth is this? A Portugese book series about mermaids? A video claiming that music by Robert Wyatt and Elvis Presley is relevant for what's happening in the books? I found the info in the blog Bibliofilmes Festival, but Portugese is Greek to me.

Unni Løvlid "Rite"

Unni Løvlid wrote all the music and lyrics on "Rite" (Grappa 2008). This is experimental folk of the best kind, and with musicians like Hild Sofie Tafjord and Lene Greganger (Spunk and Lemur), Helge (Deathprod) Sten, Frode Haltli and Håkon Kornstad, a dark and beautiful universe is created. Well "universe" is a word easily used here, because you also get "cosmic music" recorded by professor Alv Egeland at The University of Oslo. Far out!

"In a gentle arch you vomit blood and water,
in burning pain you twist,
with the pitching of waves you sew skin and bone together"
(From "Portrait" U. Løvlid).

Sunday, June 8, 2008


If any of you readers have followed my link to the Quart Festival in Kristiansand , and planned to go there, please note: It's cancelled due to lousy ticket sales. Please find some other place to travel in Norway this summer (Molde, Kongsberg, Safe As Milk in Haugesund, Oslo and so on - your choice).

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Bergen 7 June

I will not say I'm sorry to you Wyatt and Canterbury fans, who feel i tend to get carried away, and pretty far off the track, sometimes. Let's just blame the sunshine today.
This is Bergen, Norway, Saturday 7 June:
- Steamboats in the harbour (this one is 100 years old).
- Terje Isungset giving a beautiful concert for children (and some old ones too), playing with sticks and stones as usual, and involving the children. Dancer Therese Skauge performed a magic dance to Isungset's recorded Ice Music (check out his recordings).
- Family Reggae Disco ("More Family! More Reggae! More Love!!") was arranged at USF Verftet. White wine and beer, and some great reggae in the background! Hard to believe you are in Bergen. The DJ even played my favorite reggae artist: Gregory Isaacs .
- Dan Levenson shows an installation with paintings called "Little Switzerland", in the exhibition room at USF Verftet (until 29 June).

Friday, June 6, 2008

Give it away

Damn, it's so hot in Bergen these days. Everybody want to cool down, but here in "Robert Wyatt and Stuff" we realise it's Friday and go for some masculine rock and roll, to get the evening started in a proper way.
First you get Norwegian blues guitarist Bjørn Berge, with Red Hot Chili Peppers' "Give it away", and then the boys themselves, shiny, tatooed bodies and all. Told you, It's Friday!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Madonna "True Blue"

Met Madonna in Bergen today. Surprise! Surprise! I was happy then, I'm true blue now.

Safe As Milk 2008

The programme for the 10th Safe As Milk festival in Haugesund, is finally out. I don't think I will be able to make it this year, but look here all you foreigners: "If you travel from another country to our festival you will actually get a free festival ticket! Also, we'll be glad to help you out with finding the best way of travelling and of course a suitable accomodation. Just ask us! Important: Your free tickets have to be preordered by email:! If you live in Norway you can buy Festival ticket from Billettservice or Platebutikken Tiger on web or at the Post office."

Friday 25 July:
Ergo (N)
Pamela Kurstin (USA)
Årabrot + [Concept Virus] (N)
Rumble in Rhodos (N)

Saturday 26 July
Han Bennink (NL)
Sidsel Endresen (N)
Lee Ronaldo (USA og Sonic Youth!)
Nisenenmondai (JP)
Skatebård (N)

Sunday 27. July
James Blackshaw (UK)
Nils Henrik Asheim/Lasse Marhaug (N)

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Canterbury happening

Earlier we had a post on a Canterbury happening near Lyon, where they one night had a tribute to Robert Wyatt. Here is a report from What's Rattlin' and one from Prog Archives with a lot of pictures.
And if you still haven't bougt Kew Rhone, you know what to do!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Hey Bo Diddley!

Another one of the good old ones is gone. Bo Diddley, King of the Beat!, 1928-2008. Not only king of rhytm, but also cool to look at, with his square guitar (later than the video and cover). And boy could he make some good song titles! Here are some from the album pictured above (Bo Diddley - Chess 9198155, 1958): "Bo Diddley", "Hey' Bo Diddley", "Diddley Daddy" and "Diddley Wah Diddey"!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Come away

Running Still will release a vinyl single with three songs in UK (Atlantic). One of the songs is "Come away", with good man Robert Wyatt. I don't know when it will be out, but check here, if you think I'm lying!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

22 Dreams

Robert Wyatt plays trumpet and piano on ”Song for Alice”, on Paul Weller's new record “22 Dreams” (Island). The record is on sale from 2 June.
Here is a review in Independent on Sunday and a piece in Sunday Herald (thanks to “What’s Rattlin’”) . “Song for Alice” is dedicated to Alice Coltrane.

La Fôret Rouge

Just wanted to fly a bit today. The festivals in Bergen are over, and my old home team Molde beat Brann of Bergen yesterday. Bringing Robert Wyatt along here. And please see "Winged Migration" if you get a chance.