Saturday, January 31, 2009

Elton Dean

The Soft Machine Family uploaded a fine tribute to Elton Dean on YouTube. It's made by Aloyse Leledy and Aymeric Leroy. See the three videos (each of them 11 minutes long) and meet Elton Dean with at least half of Canterbury. It's almost three years now, since this fine saxophone player died.


The music librarians in Trondheim, often point to the video site FabChannel in their blog Musikkprat. One of the bands they have shown is the Bergen band Casiokids , who warmed up for "of Montreal" at The Paradiso in Amsterdam. It's prettey strange to see them sing the dramatic song of a lost dog ("Finn Bikkjen") in Norwegian at the Paradiso!
Damn it, it's Saturday, so let's party with some very young kids from Bergen named Kakkmaddafakka too!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Michael Mantler

Michael Mantler is on the go with new material for the first time since 2000's "Hide and seek" (ECM), this time with "Concertos" (ECM 2008). More info on Mantler and his music on his own site, where you also find the scores!
I still haven't heard the new one, but have spent the evening playing some of the old ones.The video shows a recording from 1987, where Jack Bruce sings Edward Gorey's "The Doubtful guest". This is probably the same concert you'll find on "Live" (WATT 1987), and the crew is Michael Mantler, John Greaves, Rick Fenn, Jack Bruce, Nick Mason and Don Preston.
Mantler usually chooses vocalists with distinct voices, and has used Jack Bruce, Kevin Coyne, Marianne Faithfull and Robert Wyatt.
Rober Wyatt is on these Michael Mantler records:
"The Hapless Child" (WATT 1976)
"Silence" (WATT 1977)
"Many Have No Speech"(WATT 1988)
"The School of understanding" (ECM 1997)
"Hide and Seek" (ECM 2001)
"Review (1968-2000)" (ECM 2007)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Crying Light

Sometimes I wonder why I like Antony & The Johnson's music, because my first guess would be that this is not my kind of stuff. But as soon as Antony starts to sing, all doubt is gone, because he's got one of the most convincing voices on the market. I don't always get what it's about, but still it's just so good! The latest CD "The Crying Light" (Rough Trade 2009) is at least as good as the previous ones, and 15 March he's in Bergen to perform!
The cover is a portrait of the dancer Kazuo Ohno, taken by Naoya Ikegami.

You may watch a video of "Epilepsy is Dancing" at PitchFork, who also review the album. That video is a bit over the top, isn't it?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Spät nachts bist Du gut

Today I'll have some creamy cake stuff with the coffee, to celebrate Robert Wyatt's 64th birthday. Zeit Online says happy birthday too.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


In February the movie based on Neil Gaiman's book "Coraline" will be in cinemas near you (Well, actually not until May in Norway). Coraline moves into a new house, and yes of course, she'll find a hidden door! Behind this door is a spooky version of her real life. Now will she find back? OOOH, I've read the book. The movie looks quite good too! Check out the Coraline web site!
The music is by Bruno Coulais and They Might Be Giants.

Monday, January 26, 2009


In 2008 Barbara Buchholz cooperated with (among others) Arve Henriksen, Jan Bang and Susanna & The Magical Orchestra on "Moonstruck" (Intuition). Susanna sings "When I'm Laid" from Purcell's "Dido and Aeneas".
Bucholz plays the theremin, an instrument you don't touch at all as you perform, but move your hands in different positions to two antennas!
I bought only the tracks with my fellow country men on them at eMusic, and the music is quite beautiful.

Do not disturb

I have already commented on the lousy Robert Wyatt selection on Spotify, but I found a new one for the discography at least! The Japanese collection Sound Concierge #401: "Do Not Disturb" is from 2004. here we find Robert Wyatt's version of "Strange Fruit", and not only that, but also Røyksopp's "Eple". Another one for my favorite list!

Sunday, January 25, 2009


Today I finally got to hear François Bayle, Robert Wyatt og Kevin Ayers "It" from "An Anthology Of Noise And Electronic Music" (Sub Rosa 2006). It's really a strange version of "We Did It Again". Do you need it? Of course! Buy it at eMusic.
Since Maja Ratkje is on the album too, with the work "Vox", I just had to expand my (let's just face it) ridiculous list "Robert Wyatt: The Norwegian Connection".

HOK Music

Via the Norwegian blogMusikk fra Norge I found a link to Henie Onstad Art Centre's blog HOK Music, where you may download Lasse Marhaug's commissioned work "Ear Era".


Richard Thompson (with a cold) and Judith Owen and Debra Dobkin from "1,000 Years of Popular Music" have recorded a couple off songs for The Black Cab Sessions. Nice ride!
This is a great site, and check out one more passenger, while you're at it: Jens Lekman, who sings "Black Cab".

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Sweetest Girl

First I have to admit something to all of you: I have not even heard a single one of John Peel's radio programs! They didn't reach me here on the harsh coasts of Norway. There, it's out.

I've been buying records with Robert Wyatt for around 35 years, and I have to admit that I sometimes wonder if I need the same song on another disc. And then we're back to Peel, who played Wyatt, as we all know. "Right Time, Wrong Speed" is a collection of bands Peel played, and who later turned famous or was forgotten. Scritti Politti is here with "The Sweetest Girl" from "Songs to remember" (Rough Trade 1982). Robert Wyatt played piano on this one (just called Robert on the sleeve), but the version on this collection seems to be from 2001. It might be a new version without Wyatt, and you won't find it on "Une Discographie de Robert Wyatt". Any Scritti Politti fans who can help out?

Peel portrait:Sir Peter Blake.

Friday, January 23, 2009

The Incredible String Band

I might make a fool of myself (old hippie!), but I just have to admit I liked The Incredible String Band when I was young. An article on the double CD "Tricks of the senses" (with "new" material) in Uncut (February 2009) made me find the old records. Believe it or not, but it is possible to travel back in time, and I remembered some of the feelings I had connected with this music. I'm not one to remember lyrics very well, but these ones I could sing along too. Some of the material is still quite alright (i guess I should point out that I'm down with the flu, and the fever might do tricks to my hearing, and the singalong wasn't that great).
Joe Boyd is preparing reissues of the original albums too, so the String Band revival is soon to come. Where were those sandals?

Thursday, January 22, 2009


Stine J. Motland, who impressed people at the All Ears festival last week, has made a duo album with drummer Ståle Laivik Solberg. The album "Strap On" (FMR Records, 2007) is co-produced with Frode Gjerstad.
Vocal exercises and drums are not everybody's cup of tea I guess, but if you have some difficult friends, this one might perhaps be used to do some serious Wyatting? (No offense meant at all!).

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Some more from All Ears

All Ears is over and the T-shirt is on. With help from The University library of Oslo, I am able to tell you what the Chinese letters say: "Festival for improvised music". I think it's good to know that. The T-shirt is designed by Lasse Marhaug.
Lasse Marhaug has just released an album (LP)called "Fist full of Knuckles", with lots of fascinating noise, with Puma (Knuckelman Records 2009). The music is recorded live in Tromsø and Trondheim in 2007.
My pictures from All Ears are on Flickr.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Music For Airports

In 1978 Brian Eno made "Music For Airports" (AMB 001), a record of music meant to create some peace in stressful Airports. Robert Wyatt co-composed and played piano on one track ("1/1", or first track, side one).
I just realized that the band Bang on a Can All-Stars recorded this music (originally made by using tape loops) live with real instruments ("Brian Eno: Music For Airports (Live)", Cantaloupe 2008). This music is peaceful, beautiful and a bit sad, and don't stray too far away from the original. May well be listened too far from all kinds of airports too!
May also be bought at eMusic.

Wyatt is digging!

A recording of Wyatt digging, from Israel in 2001?

Comment from Xavier:
"It's the israeli singer Eviatar Banai; and the video is taken from a concert he gave in the Royal Festival Hall foyer during the 2001 Meltdown festival. Palestine singer Amal Murkus also sang that day..."

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Graveyard Book

Nobody Owens is growing up in a graveyard, cared for by the dead. In Neil Gaiman's novel "The Graveyard Book" (Bloomsbury, 2008) you get the killings of Nobody's family, a very old secret brotherhood, ghosts, ghouls, an ice cold killer (and some stupid ones) and a boy who can live among the dead, and walk among the living (almost) without being noticed. The incredible thing is, I believe it as I read. Neil Gaiman's a great author for sure, and Chris Riddell's illustrations are beautiful too.
The book is written for adolescents I guess, but so what?

Sunday, January 18, 2009

A short report from All Ears 2009

I'm just back from a snowy Oslo, and the All Ears festival, still without tinnitus. All Ears is a festival dedicated to improvisation and noise, and run by musicians who love this kind of music. It was held in an old factory building, and musicians like Lasse Marhaug, Paal Nilssen-Love and Kjetil Møster do most of the work themselves, from selling tickets to getting rid of drunkards. All this give you a good feeling, that music's what matters here.

I listened to:
Harald Fetveit/Håvard Skaset/ Børre Mølstad/John Hegre.
Stine J. Motland (Solo vocal).
Micahel Duch/Steve Beresford/Anita Kaasbøll.
Borbetomagus (Pure energy. No hostages taken).
Skull Defects (Dark electronic swedes).
Ingebrigt H. Flaten (Solo el-bass, with extra equipment).
John Hegre/Jean-Philippe Gross (Noise a la Hendrix and Who. Wheeee!).
Stian Westerhus (Solo guitar, rock & noise).

I liked most of the stuff, but was truly impressed by Stine J. Motland, who had a terrific voice (and voice control). This is a quite small woman with a huge sound indeed. Great!
More on the artists here.
You might be able to read the program in the picture here (click on it), even if the background is Lemur.
More pictures on Flickr later.

Saturday, January 17, 2009


The Low Frequency In Stereo: Futuro
Originally uploaded by svennevenn

I have written about The Low Frequency in Stereo in previous posts, and just say that you have to get their new one on Rune Grammofon too ("Futuro"). Guesting on the album are among others Kjetil Møster and Nils Økland. Not your typical Rune album (if that one exists).
Cover:Kim Hiorthøy.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Impro and noise

The All Ears festival is happening again in Oslo, starting today. I'm soon on my way, but I'm missing the first day, and is warming up with a video of Hild Sofie Tafjord (or "die wilde Hilde aus Oslo" as the say on YouTube) and Tony Conrad (recorded in Vienna in 2008) instead.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I Was A King

I Was A King were hailed as kings, with rave reviews, when the self titled album hit the shops in Norway this Monday. It's a great pop album with 15 tracks, and only one of them more than three minutes long. Post rock, shoegazer, noisepop, the 60s, you name it. I think I hear both The Posies and Jesus & Mary Chain in there, and the rest of the reference book too. It might not be the world's best album after some thought, but when you're released on "Hype City", you got to live up to it. Sufjan Stevens and Gary Olson are on it too. The track named "Norman Bleik" might be misspelled of course, but "bleik" is "pale" in Norwegian.
Cover: Rune Mortensen.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Bergen in the Springtime

The Bergen International Festival (Festspillene) will be held 20 May - 3 June 2009. The program was presented earlier today, and I just underlined Matmos doing a church concert (23 May) and Kjetil Møster's commissioned work "41 Million Deadweight Tonnes", supposed to be performed with Ultralyd and Fredrik Saroea (Datarock) (29 May). The commissioned work is a celebration of a well known Bergen photographer and director (J. A. Løtvedt).

More on the festival in Ballade.

Matching Mole live 1972

Info from Canterburyscene: "Matching Mole featuring Robert Wyatt (drums, vocals), Phil Miller (guitar), Dave MacRae (keyboards) and Bill MacCormick (bass). Including "Part Of The Dance" (Miller), "Gloria Gloom" (MacCormick), "Instant Pussy" (Wyatt) and "Smoke Signal" (MacRae)".

Monday, January 12, 2009

A musical message

You might like to check out the record "Tonebod" ("A musical message") (Nyrenning 2008). The musicians are Knut Buen (Hardanger fiddle and readings in Norwegian), Bugge Wesseltoft (piano and arranger), Anne Gravir Klykken (vocal - Norwegian lyrics) and Michiyo Yagi (koto). This sounds very nice (at least for my Norwegian ears), and I was surprised to see Michiyo Yagi in this company (on three tracks), rather than with Peter Brötzmann and Paal Nilssen-Love!

Henry Cow in All About Jazz

John Kelman (All About Jazz) reviews Henry Cow's "The 40th Anniversary Henry Cow Box Set" (ReR 2008-2009). Start buying if you want 9 CDs and 1 DVD with a very special band. Kelman is enjoying the boxed set, and says it's "truly one of the best collections ever released about a group that most people have never heard".
And Robert Wyatt's here too, participating on all together 4 tracks, on 2 CDs. He sings "Little Red Riding Hood Hit the Road" and "We Did It Again" on one of them.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Wyatt with Manzanera and Peel

Strongcomet links to some wild Christmas music, from a John Peel broadcast in 1969. Robert Wyatt sings "Good King Wenceslas". Merry Christmas, once more!

Via What's Rattlin' I found a free track at Phil Manzanera's site, called "The Unknown Zone", with Robert Wyatt, Phil Manzanera and Brian Eno.

To Sail, To Sail

Fred Frith's solo acoustic guitar record "To Sail, To Sail" (Tzadik 2008) is fascinating stuff. The tracks are dedicated to his "teachers", like Champion Jack Dupree, Barre Phillips, Davy Graham, John Cage and Terry Riley (and several more).
We get some blues, folk and all kinds of styles performed on a Taylor 810 Model Steel-string Acoustic Guitar, with the help of some sticks and bows I guess. What you can do with a guitar!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Library of Congress pictures

[With churches, Molde, Norway] (LOC)
Originally uploaded by The Library of Congress

Library of Congress made a beautiful set on Flickr, with pictures from Norway, Sweden and Denmark (all taken between 1890 and 1900). I choose a picture from Molde, and you may see the same fjord and mountains (but another church), in the picture taken during the jazz festival in 2008 here.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Hot Chip and Peter Gabriel

Hot Chip made a good EP with Robert Wyatt, and now it's suddenly Peter Gabriel time! The Vampire Weekend coverCape Cod Kwassa Kwassa" sounds quite nice too!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Prog Rock Britannia intro

Some of you lucky(?) people are are able too see the BBC series Prog Rock Britannia. Parts of it are already on YouTube, and here you get the (pretty absurd) intro. You may see Robert Wyatt doing some tongue gymnastics too.

Norwegian "Grammy"

The nominees for the Norwegian Spellemannprisen here.
I miss a lot of artists here, and I haven't heard all the nominees, so I just smile along to Beady Bell's "Self- fulfilling", nominated in the video competition (nice song too). Video: Lassofilm, Linda Fagerli Sæthren.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


Röyksopp's new album ("Junior") will be released in March, so let's remember the sad and beautiful video about Poor Leno (2001). Oh, it's so cold and lonely.

Bergen Jazzforum

If you are visiting Bergen this winter or spring, check out the Bergen Jazzforum program.
My first choices are:
- Arve Henriksen Trio 6 February (Arve Henriksen, Morten Qvenild, Martin Horntvedt).
- Trinity with Morten Qvenlid 11. February (Kjetil Møster, Ingebrigt Håker Flaten, Thomas Strønen, Morten Qvenild).
- Maria Kannegard Trio 13 March (Maria Kannegaard, Ole Morten Vågan, Thomas Strønen).
- The Thing 20 March (Mads Gustavsson, Ingebrigt Håker Flaten, Paal Nilssen-Love).
- BMX with Per Jørgensen 31 March (Thomas Dahl, Njål Ølnes, Øyvind Skarbø, Per Jørgensen).

Low Frequency in Stereo: Futuro

You may now listen to Low Frequency in Stereo's album "Futuro" (out on Rune Grammofon 12 January) on the band's MySpace site.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Second Original Silence

"The Second Original Silence" (Smalltown Superjazz 2008) is an album with live recordings from Barcelona in 2005. This is improvised blow out jazz, or somewhere thereabout. I must admit that I haven't heard their first album yet, but I'll state it anyway, this band does not live up to it's name (even if they're original). This is hot, noisy music. Cover: Kim Hiorthøy.

Original Silence is:
Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth)
Terrie Ex (The Ex)
Jim O`Rourke
Mats Gustafsson (The Thing),
Paal Nilssen-Love (The Thing, Atomic)
Massimo Pupillo (Zu).

Monday, January 5, 2009

Bonzo Dog Band

Just to remind you that humor is allowed in rock. Are there silly people like these around now? Please tell me! "Tadpoles" is their third album (1969), with songs like "Hunting Tigers", "Mr Apollo" and "I'm The Urban Spaceman". The CD edition that you get these days has extra material too. Party on!

Retorna una leyenda

Spanish "La Vanguardia" (4 January 2009) presents Robert Wyatt on a full page. Wish I could read it, but it looks like the usual presentation of his solo albums. You may read some of it for free here.

French Le Mague writes about Magma (the band I guess), and Robert Wyatt and Daevid Allen end up in the piece too. I just have to realize that Google Translate can't hide the fact that I should have worked harder in school, and chosen languages instead of chemistry and biology.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Thin Air

Yesterday I went looking for used Fred Frith records, but found none and had to settle for some YouTubing. The dance performance called "Thin Air" looks quite fascinating, and I steal this information from ladonnadance:
Choreographer: Donna Uchizono
Composer: Fred Frith
Performers: Julie Alexander, Hristoula Harakas, Antonio Ramos
Lighting Designer: Jane Shaw
Video Artist: Michael Casselli.

The Last Shadow Muppets

Saturday, January 3, 2009


I started to feel a bit up to date after subscribing to eMusic, and suddenly Spotify is the hottest place to be. You may subscribe to a premium deal, or be invited by one who has got such a deal. I was invited by a friend, and have just started to use Spotify.
You'll find more music than you really need (as in all shops), but not all your artists. I checked some of "my artists" and was quite happy with the amount of music by Richard Thompson, John Cale and Peter Brötzmann, but disappointed on Robert Wyatt's behalf! Searching for Maja Ratkje I got this reaction: "Did you mean Mama Rattle?".
Spotify is just for listening, not downloading, and they make "radio programs" for you if you like to sit back and let other people choose for you.
Anyone out there who love or hate Spotify?

Friday, January 2, 2009


"Money Will Ruin Everything 2" (Rune 2008) is in the house, and what a nice package it is. Here we get photographs of Kim Hiorthøy's covers for the company and 2 CDs placed in what look like a couple of Hiorthøy posters. (I will look at the posters the day I feel ready to fold them back together again the right way! I'm not a big fan of maps).

The texts (not too much to read, to be honest with you):
-Kim Hiorthøy interviews Rune Kristoffersen in February 2008.
-Kim Hiorthøy's interview with Rune Kristoffersen in the first edition of MWRE (Rune 2003).
-"Hello Rune", a short "hello" from Geoff Travis.
-"Rune Grammofon Essay" by David Fricke.
-"Rune Grammofon: A Radical Co-Ordination" by Rob Young.
-"Record covers made out of shower curtains; Lee Marvin; and the enchanted domain of pop" by Adrain Shaugnessy.

The two CDs (called "But the music will go on forever") contain a lot of new material, but I wouldn't have minded if they printed quite clearly on the covers what was new, and what records the other tracks were taken from. There are live recordings from Humcrush, Huntsville, Ultralyd & N-Ensemble, Food/Nils Petter Molvær, Shining (King Crimsons "21st Century Schizoid Man"!) and Alog/Spunk. See list of all tracks here.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Around Robert Wyatt

As far as I can understand, French Orchestre National de Jazz is doing a concert with Wyatt related material 23 January 2009. My French is terrible, so please read here to check the facts.
They have already been doing Led Zeppelin stuff, so it's getting better all the time.

Sir Terry

Terry Pratchett is being knighted. Not bad for a man who writes about a flat world, resting on the backs of four elephants standing on a turtle.
Old rocker Robert Plant is knighted too, so the idea of a parallell universe where Discworld exists, might not seem that far out after all?