Tuesday, March 31, 2009


We have already mentioned this one (here), but now it's quite clear (thanks to Une Discographie de RW's newsletter): Robert Wyatt is on Orchestre National de Jazz's ""Around Robert Wyatt" (out 23. April).

Nils Økland

Nils Økland's new album "Monograph" is out on ECM. This is a solo album with 13 tracks, and all of them with more than a hint of Norwegian folk music. Økland plays fiddle, Hardanger fiddle and Viola d'amore. Even if a solo violin album with some Norwegian folk might scare you, I'm quite sure you're able to stomach this one. This one's good both as background music and for concentrated listening. A great album!
More on Økland's "Monograph" at Ballade.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Les illes escollides

I've been to Mallorca earlier in this blog (here), in a post on the Canterbury people and their lives there with poet Robert Graves. As far as I can understand a documentary called "Les illes escollides" has been made on the same topic. See pictures from the documentary, of Kevin Ayers, Robert Wyatt and Daevid Allen on Flickr.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Earth Hour

Yesterday the rest of the world saved energy during "Earth Hour", but MoHa! ruined it all by burning off just as much energy in a brutal 30 minute concert at the Borealis festival in Bergen.
Anders Hana and Morten J. Olsen cooperate with Anu Vathra and Idan Hayosh, who "play" 30 lamps manually. MoHa! play so loud, and the lights are so strong, that the whole body (and soul) of the listener is shaken. The way they use long pauses from the noise, makes the concert exciting as a horror movie as you are just waiting for the next shock. Next time I'll bring sun glasses, and not only earplugs (I finally managed to pick them out).
Great show!

Added later: I've been told in a comment to get my "god damn shit right" here in the blog, and inform you all that the ensemble with Anders Hana, Morten J. Olsen, Anu Vathra and Idan Hayosh is called "Fire and Ignorance". Ah, that was much better.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

A Friday at Borealis

Just a short report from a Borealis Friday in Bergen (crazy, noisy, beautiful, tiresome and quite perfect):
- Lunch with clown Adam De La Cour and others at the Student's Center.
- Biblioludium in the library with poet Erlend O. Nødtvedt.
- Asimisimasa perform a piece for instruments and naked man. We are talking about contemporary music here!
- Whistle Pig Saloon is Robert van Heumen and John Ferguson. Great noise impro!
- Biggest and wildest so far is captain Sigbjørn Apeland's organ tower for 16 organ players, children and poet. Wow!

And Faust entered the stage after 4-5 hours of contemporary music. I managed one song, and missed their use of cement mixers and other heavy equipment. I'll check the venue later today, to see if they rebuilt it.

Friday, March 27, 2009

John Wesley Harding

PopMatters asked John Wesley Harding 20 questions. This is what he says about his favorite album: "Rock Bottom by Robert Wyatt. It’s been a constant in my life since I was about 14. I’ve always found something new to like in it, it’s never fallen out of favour, and I always try to turn other people on to it." Agree!

Check out JW Harding's own site, and listen to him on MySpace.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Lemur and stuff like that

Wednesday Lemur did a Borealis concert and lecture at the Grieg Academy in Bergen. What a great concert they gave, and afterwards each musician talked about their work and their way of improvising and doing group compositions. I bet the music students and composers attending were even happier than me, but still. Hild Sofie Tafjord, Bjørnar Habbestad, Michael Francis Duch and Lene Grenager are Lemur.

Later in the evening Bjørnar Habbestad (flute) played with Pascal Baltazar (computers and all things electric ). Baltazar was unknown to me, but the concert was fantastic. First out was Baltazar doing a solo piece, and then Habbestad did the same, and he was probably sampled by Baltazar who continued. The made a terrific soundscape.

Midday Thursday Lene Grenager (cello)did a short concert with Håkon Stene (drums) at the Student's Center. Some fresh contemporary music to go with the lunch never hurt anyone (before this very day, at least).

Bergen Electronic Racetrack

Bergen Elektroniske Travpark
Originally uploaded by svennevenn

The grand opening of Borealis 2009 happened tuesday night, on the race track! Busloads of audience were driven from Bergen, and we were served military marches, contemporary music and noise, and even several different works played at once. Great day at the tracks, but no betting. These fine people played: The Norwegian Military Band Bergen, Krohnengen (School) Brass Band, Erlend Aagaard-Nilsen, John Hegre, Amund Sjølie Sveen, Espen Sommer Eide and The Pow Ensemble.
A bit more in the Boralis programme.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Spotify is getting better

I still prefer to listen to my music on the stereo (or I-Pod), and have not been too eager to listen to the computer (except MySpace and YouTube). The other day I got a message from a Twitter contact, who wrote that most of the Rune Grammofon albums (all of them?)are now on Spotify. That made me check a bit more, and happy days - Robert Wyatt´s "Comicopera" may be heard over there now, and so is the Kevin Ayers box "Songs for insane times". Listen and buy.
Spotify got some great jazz too of course, and since I have been shopping some Vandermark 5 albums myself lately, I might just recommend them too.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Borealis 2009

The Grieg Academy students did a "Springboard Borealis" concert at The Leprosy Museum Sunday evening (picture), but The Borealis festival is starting for real in Bergen tomorrow, with music in clubs, libraries and on race tracks! I'll try to take time to blog as usual, and post pictures in a Flickr set.

Please check out Interinterinters blog from Borealis too!

Protest songs

The Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet reviewed a new book on music and politics by Alf Arvidsson ("Musik och politik hör i hop" (Gidlunds 2009) in Swedish). The Newspaper list three excellent records with political music, and here they are:
Phil Ochs: "In Concert"
Charlie Haden: "Liberation Music Orchestra"
Robert Wyatt: "Nothing Can Stop Us".

I just might have to read that book.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Mats Gustafsson

The great sax player from The Thing, Mats Gustafsson, is out with a solo saxophone LP called "It is all about" (Tyyfus 5, 2009). It was recorded at the Potlatch festival in Helsinki in 2006 (it does not sound like a live recording), and was issued this year (just guessing, no year on the cover). You'll get the album for 18 Euros + postage, and more info from Tyyfus.
Do you want saxophone that goes with candle lights and red wine, put on some Coleman Hawkins.If you need some purification, turn the volume up to 11 and enjoy Gustafsson's energetic and desperate music. King!

Pedro Gómez-Egañas

I normally don't post on art exhibitions in Bergen in this blog (they end up in my Norwegian blog Wyatting), but Pedro Gómez-Egañas' exhibition/performance "Might Arrives" at the gallery Hordaland Kunstsenter, is so wild I just have to spread it. A huge crane is placed outside the gallery (and it has to run and be watched during opening hours), to keep a tiny rocket ship flying inside (or at least create that illusion).

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Thing live in Bergen

Bergen Jazzforum gave us The Thing Friday night. Paal Nilssen-Love (drums), Ingebrigt Håker Flaten (bass) and Mats Gustafsson (sax) did an acoustic concert (only the bass a bit electrified), with a perfect mix of full blow outs and more quiet numbers (Ellington, McPhee). The Thing are out on an eighteen day tour of Europe, wearing a new set of live uniforms, the ususal T-shirts from Ruby's BBQ. The musicians were not worn out either, and if Nilssen-Love and Håker Flaten grow muscles, Gustafsson must be traveling around with the world's biggest lungs?

Friday, March 20, 2009

No sleep 'till Hammerfest

Rune Grammofon seem to go more rockin' these days. The power-trio Bushman's Revenge is out there with "You Lost Me At Hello" (Rune 2009). Even Helte Hermansen (guitar), Rune Nergaard (bass) and Gard Nilssen (drums) serve some kind of power-rock version of Scorch Trio (with a dash of Shining and Hendrix just before serving). It might not be revolutionary (read: pretty strange stuff from Rune), but tough enough. I like it. Rock on. (And this is Hammerfest in the nod to Motorhead).

Coverdesigner Kim Hiorthøy is into colors now, big time! The picture is a detail of the inner cover.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Sidsel Endresen and Humcrush

How about this great concert recording of Sidsel Endresen and Humcrush (Ståle Storløkken and Thomas Strønen) from Amsterdam (October 2008)? I heard the same people at Molde International Jazz Festival in 2006, and they were fantastic.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Around Robert Wyatt

Orchestre national de jazz release an album 23 April. It's named "Around Robert Wyatt", and you may read more at la-Croix.com. As far as my French goes, it seems like Mr. Wyatt himself is singing on the record!

And over at What's Rattlin' you may see that Rai Trade Tracce will release "Un certo discorso", an earlier Robert Wyatt bootleg, this time with royalities to the right man.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


If there were hippies in Norway, and they are still alive, I bet they have all have ordered the DVD and CDs from the Ragnarock festival in 1973 (Universal Music)(I've seen release dates 16 March and 20 April). Man it was almost Woodstock in the Holmekollen ski jumper's arena! Norwegian bands Prudence, Popol Vuh and Saft (with Hardanger fiddle player Sigbjørn Bernhoft Osa), and Savage Rose, The Sensational Alex Harvey Band, Procol Harum and others. Se tracklists at Platekompaniet.
Some of the material have already been released on LP.

St Patrick's party

Sinead O´Connor, The Chieftains, Planxty (with the great Christy Moore singing), Rory Gallagher, and a Guinnes for the ones who can take the alcohol.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Brötzmann, Vandermark, Nilssen-Love

What a blow out from Peter Brötzmann, Ken Vandermark and Paal Nilssen-Love, recorded in Japan, autumn 2008!
See also lots of pictures from the Chicago Tentet Festival in Oslo in February, over at photographer Heiko Purnhagen's site.

Sunday, March 15, 2009


Stian Westerhus (baritone guitar) and Kenneth Kapstad (drums) are the duo Monolithic. They just released "Black Science" on Roggbiff Records. The last timeI heard these guys they played with Kjetil Møster in Bergen, but it takes no more than two to make some noise. This record is pretty close to metal (of some kind), they rock, they play fast and this should be played real loud. Place it close to "Laden with rain" with Westerhus and drummer Terje Isungset.
And Monolithic even do the old "hidden track trick". 10 minutes after the last track ("I hate the fact that we breath the same air") ended, I jumped off my chair. Aaargh!

Sleeve: Sten Ove Toft.


Innerviews is interviewing Leonardo Pavkovic, the man behind Moonjune Records. The company is obviously named after Robert Wyatt's "Moon in June" and their catalog prove that Pavkovic is a Canterbury fan! He is also a big fan of Terje Rypdal, who is still not in the catalog! Shop here.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Antony in Bergen

I'm really looking forward to Antony and The Johnsons concert in Bergen tomorrow, and are doing my homework today, listening to their records. Read about Antony Hegarty in Wikipedia, and Antony and The Johnsons here.
If you are a collector you probably know, or would like to know, about the Norwegian magazine HotRod. Their issue no 31 in 2007 had an interview with Antony (and great pictures), and you also got the 7" picture disc with "Whose are these" and "Tears Tears Tears".

Friday, March 13, 2009


Prog and Canterbury fans might like to check out Jono El Grandes new album "Neo dada" on Rune Grammofon (I haven't heard it yet). Rune say: "There are elements from the Canterbury and Rock In Opposition scenes and traces of artists such as Frank Zappa, Henry Cow, Magma and Gentle Giant, but Jono has used his time since the previous album well, and taken large steps when it comes to establishing a strong musical signature".
Kim Hiorthøy is heavy on the coulours these days, and follow up the Bushman's Revenge cover with a flashy one for El Grande too. You may even buy a poster.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Kongsberg 2009

Kongsberg Jazz Festival happen 1 - 7 July. New artists are ready, read all about it here (if you read Norwegian). Please note that The Core (Erlend Slettevoll, Jørgen Mathisen, Steinar Raknes and Espen Ålberg) will be joined by Vidar Johansen, Magnus Broo and Jonas Kullhammar. This will be good!
In Kongsberg they even rock & roll with Robert Gordon and Chris Spedding!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Totally Wired

Post-Punk, New Pop, Mutant Disco and Punk-Funk, wonderful genres described in Simon Reynolds: "Totally Wired. Post-Punk Interviews And Overviews" (Faber and Faber 2009). I liked this book a lot, and it's got great interviews with people like Ari Up (The Slits), Jah Wobble (PiL), Green Gartside (Scritti Politti), David Thomas, Alan Vega (Suicide), David Byrne, John Peel, Paul Morley, Gina Birch (Raincoats), Anthony Wilson, Trevor Horn and Nikki Sudden (among others!). And since this is an "essential companion to" "Rip it Up", that one is just a couple of days away from my mail box too.
More info on Reynolds' blog.
And of course Robert Wyatt is mentioned here. Let's cite from the chapter where Reynolds is interviewing himself (pages 424-425): "I see post-punk as the resumption of this early seventies thing where black music gets meshed with English eccentricity and pathos. Which explains why Wyatt was such a touchstone figure for the post-punks, able to come back a credible figure rather than written off as a "boring old fart"".

Molde International Jazz Festival 2009

Yesterday news started to come from Molde according the Molde International Jazz Festival 2009 (13 - 18 July). Here are the official artists so far:
Joshua Redman Trio
Otomo Yoshide Sextet with Mats Gustafsson
Cecil taylor (solo)
Supersilent (as a trio, no bass)
Bikk Brent Braam.

Wyatting also add Christian Wallumrød with Kim Myhr and Trondheim Jazz Orchestra. They play in Molde 14 July.

The best week to visit Molde, if you can stand jazz (and lots of people in a small town).

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A couple of new ones

Today French EMI reissue a remastered edition (with extra material) of Kevin Ayers' "The Confessions of Dr Dream and other stories".

Dave Stewart and Barbara Gaskin's "Green and Blue" will be out on Burning Shed 27 Marc. Peter Blegvad is the "narrator".

Monday, March 9, 2009

The Thing: Art Star (Yeah Yeah Yeahs)

The Thing are on the road (Norwegian dates):
Verftet USF, Bergen Jazzforum, 20/3
Blæst, Trondheim, 21/3
Cafe Circa, Tromsø, 22/3

Rough Trade

BBC Four is ready to broadcast the programs "Do it yourself: The Story of Rough Trade" and "Rough Trade at the BBC" (beginning Friday 13 March). On the "at the BBC" programs they say: "..this compilation of BBC performances draws together some of the music that has made Rough Trade the institution it is. Includes the Smiths, Robert Wyatt, Violent Femmes, Pulp and Antony and the Johnsons."

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Atzmon and Wyatt once more?

In a recent interview with Gilad Atzmon in The Guardian (6 March 2009), it seems like Atzmon and Robert Wyatt are working together. In the presentation of Atzmon we may read "He is recording a third album with another great English pop eccentric, Robert Wyatt, who describes him as "one of the few musical geniuses I've ever met"".
If you prefer to read the interview in Middle East Online, please do.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Bob Hund: Fantastiskt

Every record collector's wet dream? The Swedish band Bob Hund just released the single "Fantastiskt", and it is just one copy! The record is glued to a record player, and you buy the whole package of course. As I write this e-bay price is 1775 USD. More on the "Fantastiskt" record over at Bob Hund's site (in Swedish).

Nattjazz, Mai:Jazz, Ladyfest

Bergen's jazz festival Nattjazzen (20 May - 30 May) present more artists. Bass hero Miroslav Vitous play 25 May and Arve Henriksen is back with a trio, this time with Eivind Aarset and Jan Bang (21 May).
Arve Henriksen will also be at Mai:Jazz in Stavanger (6 May - 10 May).
The place to be in Oslo 8 March is the Henie Onstad Arts Center! Jenny Hval and Susanna K. Wallumrød will perform the commissioned work "Meshes of voice", as part of Ladyfest 2009.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Winter Gloves

The Montreal band Winter Gloves made a cool video for their song "Let me Drive". Nice song too.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Antony live in Washington

Pitchfork TV are showing a concert by Antony and The Johnsons from Washington.
And next Sunday they are in Bergen!


The February issue of planB is still on sale here in Norway, and finally I got myself a copy. They have six full pages on Smalltown, focusing on The Thing. Great photos too.
The new March issue should already be out in England, and it carries a CD with Smalltown artists. Paal Nilssen-Love on getting out to hear live music: "Music is not something that's happening in your computer or your lounge. It's life, and it confronts you."

Smalltown's Joachim Haugland is interviewed in Ballade too, on another record company called "Strømland". On this one he is collaborating with Lindstrøm.

And damn it, I never realized they had three z's in Smalltown Superjazzz!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

"Dr Munks Popleksikon"

Last year Norwegian author Ragnar Hovland wrote "Dr Munks Popleksikon" (Samlaget 2008). This is a travel through Hovland's record collection, and not at all like the usual listings of the best albums there is. Hovland's descriptions are personal and very fun (in Norwegian of course).
On Robert Wyatt he says (my translation, please excuse): "You are safe to invest in any of his records, and when you don't know what to play, you may always play Robert Wyatt. If you do, then that day won't be wasted".

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Cabaret of souls

Richard Thompson is performing a new song cycle at Penn State College 10 June, with Danny Thompson and others. They need donations to get this concert settled. You decide what kind of donor you will be:
"Beeswing" Donor - up to $50
"Tear Stained Letter" Donor - Up to $250
"Wall of Death" Donor - Up to $999
"1952 Vincent Black Lightning" Donor - $1,000
You'll get recognition in the program, T-shirts and signed CDs, and please note that from 50$ and upwards you'll be the owner of a calendar with Danny Thompson as "Mr. April"!
Read all about it on Beesweb!

Freight Train - Coltrane

One day a friend posts a video on Facebook, with Elizabeth Cotten singing "Freight Train" (with Pete Seeger). The next day I see a question on What's Rattlin' asking what song Robert Wyatt and Gilad Atzmon credit as "trad" on "I wonder how your breath can last" (only on the vinyl edition of "Shleep" (Domino 2008)). And of course I think it has to be "Freight Train" (and my wife agrees!).
Cotten actually wrote this song.

Wyatt sings this (my guess):
"Coltrane, Coltrane play so fast.
Wonder how your breath can last?
I don't know what mode you're in,
They all sound great to me".

Monday, March 2, 2009

Pictures from All Ears

If you look around this site you'll find lots of great concert photos from the All Ears festival in Oslo this January. The photographer is Peter Gannushkin, and he held an exhibition during the festival. Check out his Flickr too.

Emulsió de ferro

I found a piece about Sebastià Jovani's first novel "Emulsió de ferro", in the paper version of La Vanguardia (1 March 2009, p 45). I don't speak Spanish, so I tried out some lines in Google Translate.

"La novela, cómo no, tiene una banda sonora punteada por nombres, como Robert Wyatt, Kraftwerk, Richard Pinhas, Tangerine Dream y muchos otros", turned into "The novel, of course, has a soundtrack by dotted names, like Robert Wyatt....". Not very vel put, is it? Do the novel come with a CD, or is it peppered with references to the named artists?

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Terje Isungset in Italy

BBC cover Terje Isungset's ice concert at an Italian ice festival. Read more at Music Information Center Norway.