Sunday, August 31, 2008

A taste of Soft Machine live in 1970

Voiceprint offer a taste of the Soft Machine DVD "Alive in Paris 1970" on YouTube. You better get this DVD.

Arturas Bumsteinas

How about some ambient horror? Yesterday I visited an exhibition called "Blur" by Arturas Bumsteinas (Lithuania) at Lydgalleriet (The Sound Gallery) in Bergen. He shows the blurred ending credits and soundtracks from all the Hannibal Lecter films at once, on five different screens. The last things you see and hear in the cinema, seem to last forever. Spooky! You may see some of it here.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Carstensen & Patton poster

The way to make a poster! Martin Kvamme made a limited edition poster in black plastic for the Stian Carstensen and Mike Patton concert at the Borealis Festival in Bergen, February 2008. At a designer exhibition yesterday I spotted it in black velvet. Beautiful!

Friday, August 29, 2008


"Comicopera" was released in October 2007, so it fits just fine to have some new Wyatt related releases the same month this year.
According to Drowned in Sound Robert Wyatt is on an album called "BM", with Barbara Morgenstern.
Teletext claims that "This summer night", with Wyatt and Bertrand Burgalat singing, is released as a single 20 October. This time it comes with a Hot Chip remix on the b side. Last time it was on vinyl with a Solenzara mix(Tricatel).


Uploaded by danifanny28
This rock parody is probably a classic, but I have not seen it until now. Pinhead says the new Metallica single resembles this one. (The music I guess, not the video?).

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Another meme

Håvar tagged me to do a double meme. I've done the book meme in my Norwegian blog, so feel free to check it here.
In the music meme I'm supposed to list five great music videos from YouTube (or really music that I like, that also may be found on YouTube). I stretch the rules, and say DailyMotion is OK too. Here are the selected artists:
Robert Wyatt: Sea Song
Richard Thompson: Beeswing
T. Rex: Children of the revolution
Captain Beefheart: Click Clack
Shining:Stalemate Longan Runner + The Red Room

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Tuning up at Dawn

A posting on "What's Rattlin'?" made me buy "Tuning up at Dawn. A memoir of music and Majorca" by Tomás Graves (Harper Perennial 2005). Tomás Graves is son of poet Robert Graves, and tells about the life in Deià on Majorca, where the family lived. Graves writes about Spanish politics and music, latin lovers and (most important to us) the visits they get from various artists. Daevid Allen, Hugh Hopper, Kevin Ayers and Robert Wyatt are visiting, and also lots of other musicians, authors and movie people. Robert Wyatt was named "Batty" Robert, from the Spanish word "báteria" (drum kit).
This is a really nice book, even if I have to say it's a bit too much of everything in here. Even for the latin lovers it could sometimes be too much. Here is one of them: "Once the the pianist and I pulled two monumental Norwegian centrefolds, and the next morning we both admitted to have been so intimidated by such perfection that neither of us had been able to perform as was expected of us." All the way to Majorca, for what?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Conor Oberst

It's been a lot of jazz and noise this summer, so it's time to smile and sing along to Conor Oberst, and his selftitled album. You get swinging pop, sad songs and drunken rock and roll, all on one late summer record. I think I love this one.

Monday, August 25, 2008


Punkt 08 is arranged in Kristiansand next week. Unfortunately I'm not going, but Eno, Arve Henriksen, Nils Petter Molvær, John Hassell, Gavin Bryars and a lot of others are. You may look at the festival booklet here , or listen to a bit of Punkt. Live Remixes Vol. 1 (Jazzland 2008) (or buy it), with John Hassell and Sidsel Endresen.


Sunday, August 24, 2008

Come Away

Running Still's "Losing my reality" (Cloud Recordings 2008) is now for sale. On this one you will find the song "Come Away", where Robert Wyatt adds some nice background vocals and cornet. Listen to this song and a couple of others on the band's MySpace site.

Performance Festival

Saturday an International Performance Festival was held on the island Herdla (not far from Bergen). 10-12 different artists were using the island, and it's environment in their performances. Some of them were inside a forest for some minutes, others were on the beach, or in the water for several hours. Having a festival like this on an island in this great weather was perfect, except of course for the loud talking and bloggers taking far too many pictures *hark*.
Norwegian Kurt Johannessen was great as usual, but Indonesian Melati Suryodarmo was strange, fascinating and exciting with her perfomance "Ugo". She was in bed with two great salmons in an open field. According to the program she was there for five hours!
Norwegian aiPuto were funniest. They were preparing for a heroic picture, moving people around and telling them how to pose. When they were ready, the picture was taken, and it was over.
A lot of pictures of varying quality may be seen on Flickr. Here you get (top-bottom): Melati Suryodarmo, Kurt Johannessen, aiPuto, Roi Vaara and Roddy Hunter.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

What more can I say...

Voiceprint is selling a new Kevin Ayers album from 1 September. The record is a collection of demos from the early 70s. It seems to be on Reel Recordings (out in USA 1 November), but so far I can find no info there. These nice fellows are also participating: David Bedford, Mike Oldfield, Archie Leggett and Robert Wyatt.
Another blogger on "What more can I say...".

Friday, August 22, 2008

Pratchett Nation

The latest book from Terry Pratchett"Nation" is out 11 September, and seems to be a "children's book". This time it's a lost on an island story, and a Discworld novel I hope. It's hard to see from the description, but it's among the Discworld books on
Read a new interview with Terry Pratchett on BBC.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Urban art goes rural

Street artists Dolk and Pøbel have been working in the north of Norway, in Lofoten. This time they are illustrating old abandoned houses. See picture gallery of trolls on the needle and Superman on dialysis from NRK Nordland here!

Added 20 September 2008: From newspaper "Aftenposten" (play slide show).

A mix CD

A couple of days ago in this blog, I was a bit eager to get a special edition of "The Week That Was" (Field Music 2008), whith a mix CD with Robert Wyatt on it. I was a bit disappointed when I got an ordinary CD and a homemade compilation with Peter Gabriel, Joni Mitchell, Japan, Fleetwood Mac, Serge Gainsbourg, Kate Bush, The Blue Nile, Stravinsky (!), Mark Hollis, Purcell (!), Deerhof and last, but not least, Robert Wyatt´s "Born again cretin". I just had to get it.
And "The Week That Was" isn´t that bad either.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Ear Era

Lasse Marhaug has made "Ear Era", for The Høvikodden Arts center´s (Oslo) 40 year jubilee. There are 500 numbered (sorry i wrote "signed" here first) copies only of "Ear Era" (Prisma Records). Marhaug has been listening to the art center´s archives of live recordings by Reich, Cage, Stochausen and others, and has probably sampled and remixed a lot of them. I wonder if he used a recording of Soft Machine from 1971, and if it is possible to recognise the band? Excited!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

David Byrne & Brian Eno

A new album by David Byrne og Brian Eno! Ah, I still remember the joy I felt the first times I heard their "My life in the bush of ghosts" in 1981! This time it is "Everything that happens will happen today". You may buy a digital version now (or just listen to a streamed one) and get the CD in November. Please check out the special edition for it´s cover! Robert Wyatt is on the album too.

Monday, August 18, 2008

The Week That Was

Rough Trade is selling an exclusive version af the CD by The Week That Was, with what they describe like this: “a bonus mix tape style cd of Peter Brewis' favourite tunes and influences including Robert Wyatt, Joni Mitchell, Japan, Kate Bush, Serge Gainsbourg, Blue Nile etc.”. And it’s released today!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

La Bamba Take On Me

We just have to join the celebration of Madonna on her birthday number 50. We´re one day late, but I guess someone have to party on the leftovers too. Here is a wild version of Aha´s "Take on me" (even if the video seem to have some mood problems, stopping and restarting).

After Dark

I did it again. Instead of getting a life, I took notes on the musical references in Haruki Murakami´s "After Dark", as I did with Pelecanos some time ago. I think parts of Murakami´s books are jazz, and I really like it when authors use music to describe the feeling of an episode in a book. Here they are (composer or musician):
Alessandro Scarlatti
Ben Webster
Brian Asavva (voc Scarlatti)
Burt Bacharach
Curtis Fuller
Duke Ellington
Eric Clapton
Francis Lai (Love Story)
Hall & Oats
Hary Carney
Ivo Pogorelic (p, Bach)
Jimi Hendrix
Martin Denny´s Orchestra
Mick Jagger
Percy Faith Orchestra
Pet Shop Boys
Pete Townsend
Sonny Rollins
Southern All Stars
Suga Shikao
Tower of Power

Saturday, August 16, 2008

56th Annual Critics Poll

Music and competitions is a strange combination I guess, but hell It´s nice for the people who win. Down Beat´s "56th Annual Critics Poll" is published in the August issue , and a lot of the good old artists are on the top of the lists as usual. We pick and choose as we like, and shout out loud that Paal Nilssen-Love is on the list called "Rising Star Drums". And (hurrah!) Robert Wyatt is remembered too, coming in third on the list "Beyond Artist/Group" and fourth on the list "Beyond Album" with "Comic Opera". Richard Thompson is 7 in "Beyond Artist", but his "Sweet Warrior" didn´t make it to the list.
In the same issue they have half a page with Christian Wallumrød, and Scorch Trio´s "Brolt" is given a great review.


The Thing is doing a cover of David Bowie´s "Life on Mars" on the tribute album "Life beyond Mars" (Rapster).

If you are in Oslo 23 August, visit the Høvikodden Art´s Center (site only in Norwegian), to see Spunk, Lasse Marhaug and Motorpsycho with Deathprod.

John Zorn (site only in Norwegian) is visiting Bergen this autumn, paying at Bergen Jazz Forum 17 and 18 October.

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Streets and Robert Wyatt. Not!

Pitchfork is writing about a collaboration between The Streets (Mike Skinner) and Robert Wyatt. Wyatt was singing on a track called "On the edge of a cliff", but was lost during the edit. Huh!

Just in case someone is watching my surfing habits, I feel the need to explain why I sometimes visit sites with young girls that should have put some more clothes on. The girls call themselves Pussycat Dolls, and they seem to be followed by a photographer called Robert Wyatt! I´m innocent!

Beatles: White Album

OK, so it´s 40 years sinceThe Beatles made their double LP "White Album"! As usual Mojo is taking the opportunity to write about The Beatles, and are also doing a cover album with various artists playing a song each ( Mojo September 2008). Here you get people like Vashti Bunyan, Joan as Police Woman and Julie Fowlis (singing "Blackbird" in gaelic), and this is only the beginning. The rest of the album´s songs will be covered in the next issue. So what´s the best track on "White Album" then? "Dear Prudence"?

Since we are talking about cover songs, let´s continue with Trio Søt (that is "Trio Sweet") covering progmetalrockers Motorpsycho in Norwegian ("nynorsk"). Sweet?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Lars Horntveth: "Kaleidoscopic"

Lars Horntveth (Jaga Jazzist) has composed ”Kaleidoscopic”, a 36 minute piece for Horntveth and symphony orchestra. It was performed live at the Øya festival in Oslo last week, and is on CD from Smalltown Supersound . The first time I heard it I felt it was a bit boring, but still quite good. Now it´s like a soundtrack to movies I never saw. A break up scene here, a not too cosy dinner party there, a walk in dark streets with fog creeping in from the harbour, and other scenes you make up while you listen. Sometimes I think I can hear Jaga Jazzist, and even Penguin Cafe Orchestra and I think this record will grow with repeated listening, but play loud! All library people will love Horntveth for naming the librarian of the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra in the same way as the musicians.
Now I´m using "Kaleidoscopic" as a soundtrack to Haruki Murakami´s book "After Dark", a movie as good as anyone, since the scenes of the book are described as seen through a camera lens. The book is the movie for the soundtrack, and "Kaleidoscopic" is the soundtrack to the book. Quite nice.

Soft Machine: "Teeth"

"Teeth" from Soft Machine IV, in a recording from 1971. Crew: Elton Dean(as), Mike Ratledge(keyb), Hugh Hopper(b) and Robert Wyatt(dr).

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Divided Alien. Poem to Robert Wyatt

Daevid Allen wrote a poem to Robert Wyatt ("Poem to Robert Wyatt"). He reads it on "Bananamoon Obscura No.8: Playbax Part 1 - Live". This recording is from 1980, and he also reads for Kevin Ayers, Bill Bruford and Terry Riley. The same lyrics end up as the absolutely fantastic "Song for Robert" on Allen and Kramer's "Who's afraid" (Shimmy 1992). I shopped both versions on I-Tunes.

Swan Peak

I'm always happy when a new James Lee Burke book is out. The newest one is "Swan Peak" (Simon & Schuster 2008). Dave Robicheaux, wife, and wild man Clete Purcell, have travelled to Montana this time, to relax and fish some trout! Sure! Believe it or not, but there are bad bastards, old rich families with power, and longing for alcohol here too.
You get a lot of classic Burke. There are incredible descriptions of the nature of Montana, the story got rhythm, musical references (country this time) and the dialog is cool. How about the crooks: "You didn't do it? You let a dimwit broad with tats on her tits bust open your face. You don't call that doin' it?". It's violent and exciting, but it's not easy to believe all of it. The two Bobsey Twins Dave and Clete don't seem to get much older by the years? If you haven't read Burke, start with one of the previous books. You'll read this later anyway.
One of the heroes of the book is country singer Jimmy Dale Greenwood. It could be a hidden reference to Jimmie Dale Gilmore?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Fred Frith & Evelyn Glennie

After hearing Fred Frith at The Molde International Jazz Festival this summer, I decided I had to start paying more attention to his music. First album out was last autumn's "The sugar factory" (Tzadik 2007). Frith is improvising together with percussion player Evelyn Glennie in a sugar factory. This is an exciting piece of work! Watch the video, where they play the last part of the 15 minutes long work called "Walls are loosening", and the most beautiful part of the record. There is a movie called "Touch the Sound" (and a soundtrack) on the Frith/Glennie cooperation too.

Kevin Ayers - Songs For Insane Times

Kevin Ayers - Songs For Insane Times: Anthology 1669 - 1980
Originally uploaded by EMI Music Norway

EMI is releasing a 4 CD box with Kevin Ayers on the Harvest label! The Mojo rating is four stars out of five possible(September issue). I don't know if the box is available yet, but it is on it's way at least. Robert Wyatt is on a couple of tracks too. So far I've seen "Lady Rachel" (from "Joy of a Toy") and "Clarence in Wonderland" (from "Shooting at the Moon"), but there might be more.

LAter: And it's EMI Norway that claims the box covers the period from 1669! See comments.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Hatfield and The North and Robert Wyatt

Info taken from DailyMotion: "Excerpts from a Hatfield and the North live performance with Robert Wyatt in December 1972. Featuring the original line-up with Richard & David Sinclair, Phil Miller and Pip Pyle, performing "God Song" (P.Miller/R.Wyatt), "Fol De Rol" (R.Sinclair/R.Wyatt), "For Robert" (R.Sinclair) and "A-Mewsing" (D.Sinclair)". Nice!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Tall Ships' Races 2008

The Bergen harbour is filled up with Tall Ships this weekend, for the Tall Ships' Races 2008, and the town is full of sailors and people who want to see the ships (and sailors?). This blog is so unfocused anyway, that a post like this is hardly off topic I hope? The picture was taken on Sunday morning.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Hilde Marie Kjersem - Fantasy

Here is "Fantasy" from Hilde Marie Kjersem's "A Killer For That Ache", out on Rune Grammofon 11 August.

Friday, August 8, 2008

John Zorn

I can't really understand why I haven't listened more to John Zorn, but I think I'll have to start checking out his music.I've been listening to his latest album "The Dreamer" (Tzadik 2008) for a couple of days, and that's really good. You get some nice jazz with a melody (and kick me if you think I'm stupid, but some of it makes me think of Garbarek/Jarret in the 70s). But don't worry, this one is well spiced with sunny surf music and scary psychojazz too.
Guitarist Marc Ribot is in the front here, and I always cheer for Joey Barron on drums. Great music, cute cover.

And since my blogpost on Batman the other day didn't scare you off the blog, you might want to listen to Zorn and Naked City's version of the Batman Theme here.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Blood Sweat Drum n Bass Big Band

Norwegian music site Ballade writes about a Big Band Festival, that is held in Tønsberg and Nøtterøy (try to pronounce that, if you're not Norwegian). Well, big band jazz is not my main interest, but I have to admit that sometimes big bands may swing like hell, and win me over. One of the festival bands is Blood Sweat Drum n Bass Big Band. They have worked with Jørgen Munkeby from Shining and Arve Henriksen. Munkeby plays with them 8 August.
How about a big band with Aphex Twin and Björk as favorites? I think you'd better check them out.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Short info, but you really need it

- John Hegre is in Noxagt now, instead of Anders Hana. They play The Øya festival in Oslo Friday.
- Jørgen Mathisen is in The Core instead of Kjetil Møster. Visit the Bootleg-department on The Core's website. You'll find three concerts ready to be downloaded, at no cost.
- EKKO, Bergen Electronic Music & Art Festival, is scheduled for 5-6 September, with Annie, The Whitest Boy Alive, A Certain Ratio, and a lot of artists nobody ever mentioned to me.
- Artists are ready for The Phonofestival in Bergen 15-20 September, and so far I have only heard about Syntax Terrorkester.
I might be wrong, but my guess is that the EKKO and Phono festivals are for clubbing young people. Tch.Tch.
- A reminder: Hole in the Sky is happening 27-30 August. You may se bands with names like "Dead to this World", "Toxic Holocaust", "Brutal truth" and "3 inches of blood". Dance me to the end of time, baby.

Andy Warhol

Today it is 80 years since Andy Warhol was born. Let's celebrate a bit, with John Cale and Lou Reed, performing "Style it takes" from "Songs for Drella" (1990), an album made to honour Warhol.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Some Wyatt info

Searching New York Times yesterday, two new (for me) Robert Wyatt references popped up.

“At last I am Free” is on sci-fi author William Gibson’s playlist (NYT June 11 2008), among tunes by Lucinda Williams, Bruce Springsteen and Drive By Truckers. Gibson says “At Last I Am Free, Robert Wyatt. You either think this is one of the loveliest, saddest, truest, most transcendental things ever recorded, or you don't.”

In a concert review from May 30 2008, on a concert by pianist Aaron Parks, bassist Ben Street and the drummer Jeff Ballard, this is said about them covering “Sea Song”: “More off the musicians' common path was a version of Robert Wyatt's "Sea Song," a weird and moving tune from the early 1970s with strange harmonic shifts and ominous repetition. It worked. Widening the common repertory is a constant back-of-the-head concern for young jazz musicians. Bjork and Radiohead songs have recently become lingua franca on bandstands; Mr. Parks is sharp to think that Mr. Wyatt, the misfit British pop songwriter with a jazz background, could fit in that playlist too. If he's right, he's a step ahead of everyone else”. Check out Aaron Parks on Myspace, and yes, Robert Wyatt is on the list of favorites.

Next week (11 August) Hilde Marie Kjersem releases “A Killer For That Ache” on Rune Grammofon. Our man Wyatt is on her favorite list too.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Eugene Chadbourne

Eugene Chadbourne performs at Cafe Mono during the Oslo Jazz Festival. Here's a recommendation (and a warning?). You get a recording with Chadbourne and Jimmy Carl Black from The Mothers of Inventions ("the indian of the group") and Brian Jackson on piano. Cool trio! We end this post with some wild country impro. Better be there, if you are in Oslo 13 August.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Chet Baker

I was looking for some Chet Baker videos on YouTube some days ago, and realised that "someone" is taking care of his legacy, by trying to remove him from sites like YouTube. I don't think that's very smart, but there you go, family and lawyers.
Let me just point to some Norwegian Chet Baker projects, and hope the lawyers won't mind. He recorded a beautiful album with poet Jan Erik Vold in 1988 called "Blåmann Blåmann" (now available again) (Hot Club 1988, 2008) and the "best of" collection "My funny Valentine. De beste fra Chet Baker" (EMI 2006), where you also get a live CD with Baker and Norwegian musicians from 1984-1988. The tune "Blåmann Blåmann" is a traditional song about a boy and a goat (!), and if you want to play Baker's version look here.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Scene Norway

I read in Jazzwise that The London Jazz Festival in November will have a program called "Scene Norway"! They'll have visits from several of this blog's favorites, like Arve Henriksen, Terje Isungset and Nils Petter Molvær (and more!).

Gilad Atzmon

Today we bring a short presentation of saxman Gilad Atzmon. Atzmon will be doing a concert in Frankfurt the day after "The Wyatt Variations". Anybody going? I've got tickets for the festival, but being such a terrible traveling man, I'm still not 100% sure I'll be there. I have this strange view, that airplanes travel much too far from the safe ground, but hell, you've got trains and buses, so we'll see. Any suggestions for good and cheap hotels, just in case?

Friday, August 1, 2008

Tourist festival info. August in Norway.

Oslo: Øya 5-9 August (Sunn O)))!).
Oslo: Oslo Jazzfestival 11-16 August (Paul Bley).
Askøy (Bergen): Lost Weekend 31 July-2 August (Waterboys).
Haugesund: Sildajazz (meaning "Herring Jazz"!) 6-10 August (Herbie Hancock).
Bødø: Nordland Musikkfestuke 1-10 August (Maja Ratkje).
Bergen: Hole in The Sky 27-30 August (Metal!)