Friday, June 29, 2012

Is It Worth It?

BBC Radio 2: Is It Worth It? - Annie Nightingale on the Falkland´s war, and Elvis Costello and Clive Langer´s song 'Shipbuilding', recorded first by Robert Wyatt.

You better hurry up! You may listen for three more days (and today is Friday 29 June)!

These people are in the programme: "Elvis Costello, Pat Kane, David Gray and Clive Langer. Journalist Paul Morley. Tynecastle shipyard workers Ian Rae and Dennis MacCoy. War veteran Andy Eakins and war widow Barbara MacAulay", and Robert Wyatt!

The Guardian on "Is it worth it".

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Sigbjørn Apeland and Alex Gunia

They are having a summer holiday over at the concert/research series 300 Acting Spaces, so we celebrate with a new video (and all of it in audio below) from the 25th of April meeting between Alex Gunia and Sigbjørn Apeland.

Sigbjørn Apeland is a regular visitor in this blog, usually playing the harmonium, but here he gets going on a Fender Rhodes (Fender or not Fender???).

Kimmo Pohjonen

Kimmo Pohjonen - Accordion Wrestling from yeastculture on Vimeo.

People constantly contact me to say that I should have much more accordion and wrestling in this blog!

Since my aim is to please, here you have Kimmo Pohjonen and wrestlers, recorded at York Hall (London) 8 June (2012).

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Live from Austin TX

New West Records did release Richard Thompson´s "Live from Austin TX" on CD and DVD already in 2008, but now they finally offer the recordings from Austin City Limits (2001) on double, glorious vinyl! If it´s good? You bet!

Danny Thompson plays the bass and Michael Jerome the drums.


1. Cooksferry Queen
2. Uninhabited Man
3. Walking The Long Miles Home
4. Al Bowlly's In Heaven
5. Mingus Eyes (video below)
6. Dry My Tears
7. Easy There, Steady Now
8. Persuasion
9. Bathsheba Smiles
10. Mr. Rebound
11. Ghosts In The Wind
12. She Twists the Knife Again
13. Shoot Out The Lights
14. Crawl Back (Under My Stone)
15. 1952 Vincent Black Lightning

Monday, June 25, 2012

The end of an ear - again

Let me remind you (once more) about Robert Wyatt´s first solo album "The end of an ear" (1970). It´s out on Esoteric (2012), remastered an all!

The sound quality seems OK to my (not too audiophile, I have to admit) ears, and you get 16 pages of sleeve notes (a lot of focus on the split between Soft Machine and Wyatt), photos and copies of old newspaper notes.

Let´s cite Smith: "Most observers regard 1974´s "Rock Bottom" as the start of Wyatt´s solo career proper, with "The end of an Ear" having been largely forgotten. Yet, in addition to being a rich and surprisingly intimate portrait, this album is also a map pointing toward many of the territories he would go on to explore and refine".

Well worth a listen, for several reasons!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

... The Worse the Better

London´s Cafe Oto must be some kind of heaven for people who like free jazz and improvisational music. They have started their own record company too, and the first release is Peter Brötzmann (reeds), John Edwards (b) and Steve Noble (dr): "… The Worse the Better" (OTO roku, 2012).
This is a recording of the first set of a concert held at Cafe Oto in January 2010 (40 min), and it is unbelievable tough free jazz at it´s best!

You better check out what Free Jazz is saying about the album.

Order a great vinyl issue, with cover by Brötzmann, or stick to the mp3 file if you prefer. You get the mp3 file sent by mail if you order the vinyl too (at least from Cafe Oto´s store). That´s the way to do it!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Patti Smith is in town

Patti Smith is in town for the Bergenfest festival.
Saturday afternoon she signed copies of her novel "Just Kids" recently out on Samlaget publishers, and translated into Norwegian by Brit Bildøen.

I have already read "Just Kids" in English (blog post), so I sneaked in with a copy of "Seventh Heaven" (1971) in hand, just before she was ready to finish the signing session.

It seems like more people than me believe that a signature is adding value to a book, or is it just a celebrity issue? I admit I was a bit starstruck!

See an interview from NY1 (18 June 2012) below:

Friday, June 22, 2012

The Canterbury Scene on Prog Rock Britannia

In 2008 BBC made the documentary "Prog Rock Britannia". officialcaravan recently uploaded an edited video, where we get the Canterbury- and Caravan related bits.

Interviews with (among others) Caravan drummer Richard Coughlan and Robert Wyatt.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Evolution of music by public choice

Thanks to the blog LondonJazz I just read an article published in the scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS among friend), so let´s raise the standard for one moment here.

In the article "Evolution of music by public choice" by Robert M. MacCallum, Matthias Mauch, Austin Burt and Armand M. Leroi (published online 18 June 2012) the role of consumer selection is studied.

No offense meant, but to an untrained reader in the "Darwin and culture" field, this seems pretty far out! Now just read this (I have to think different about loops from now on):
"To investigate the role of consumer selection, we constructed a Darwinian music engine
consisting of a population of short audio loops that sexually reproduce and mutate".

They developed an artificial system for studying musical evolution called “DarwinTunes”, and if I understand this, the population mentioned above evolves for 2513 generations.

Conclusion: "Our experiment shows how cultural dynamics can be explained in terms of competing evolutionary forces".

You should read this yourselves, and Since PNAS is an Open Access journal, just follow the link above and click on PDF, then the article will be on your screen for your pleasure.

The SoundCloud material is taken from DarwinTunes.

If this is hot stuff, please tell!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Softly As I Leave You

Listen to Maja Ratkje´s beautiful, improvised ballad "Softly As I Leave You"!
It is released on the collection "Festival Electronica En Avril 2003 - 2012" (but the album seems to be sold out).

Check out more of Maja Ratkje´s music on SoundCloud.

Obama in Bergen

So Obama has arrived in Bergen, just in time for Bergenfest!

He has been here once before, with Bush.

Adde 23 June:

Argus on The Drone Man in his/her own blog.

And thanks to the person who wrote a comment on my Flickr, pointing to the Ai Weiwei link!
There will be an Ai Weiwei exhibition just a few meters from this stencil in October!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Dream Baby Dream

Neneh Cherry And The Thing - "Dream Baby Dream" (Four Tet Remix) from stereogum on Vimeo.

I already posted this Four Tet remix of Neneh Cherry & The Thing´s cover of Suicide´s "Dream Baby Dream", but here´s a new video for you, directed by Ted Said for Stereogum.

And today the album "The Cherry Thing" received five stars over at Free Jazz!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Rolf-Erik Nystrøm in Cape Town

I fell for this concert video of beach boy Rolf-Erik Nystrøm (Poing, Zanussi 5)! He is really trying to impress a quite relaxed audience during the Edge of Wrong festival in Cape Town (not part the official program I think).

Edge of Wrong is coming to Kristiansand in September, with Mari Kvien Brunvoll, Vertex with Axel Dörner and the very same Rolf-Erik Nystrøm on the program. More to come on their web site I guess? Artists, dates etc?

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Argus portrait

Argus is my favorite Bergen street artist these days, and last summer I posted one of his street galleries in this blog.
The guy in the picture here, is a new guy on the same gallery.

You might also be interested in reading Argus´ views on legal street art, in his recent blog post "Legal street art equals censorship?".

Added 19 June: And here is the reason for the new guy on the gallery.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Evan Parker biography coming up?

It´s about time to remind you all, that you may partly finance the publishing of "The intensity of purpose", Peter Urpeth´s Evan Parker biography.

All you need to know about it, over at Unbound.

Friday, June 15, 2012


The program for ULTIMA - Oslo contemporary music festival was released today.
The festival starts 6 September, the same day as PUNKT in Kristiansand, but ULTIMA lasts until 15 september!

I must admit that I have never visited ULTIMA, but this year´s festival would be worth a visit for (among others!) Diamanda Galas (video 1) with The Norwegian Radio Orchestra, Hans-Joachim Roedelius (Cluster), Killl (10th anniversary and farewell concert ) (video 2), Trondheim Jazz Orchestra and Kim Myhr with Jenny Hval and Jaga Jazzist with Britten Sinfonia. A new work by Lene Grenager will be performed too.

But please study the program on your own. OK?

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Sidsel Endresen & Stian Westerhus: Didymoi Dreams

Don´t stop to think about it, just buy the new album by Sidsel Endresen and Stian Westerhus at once. "Didymoi Dreams" (Rune Grammofon 2012) was recorded at a Nattjazz festival concert in Bergen 26 May 2011.

As usual I had a short but positive review of the concert in this blog, and it sounds great on CD too (seems like CD is the only format from Rune this time?)!
The way these musicians communicate is just unbelievable!

The record has eleven tracks, but the music flows along in longer seamless chapters, and there is no reason why you should not play the whole album.

Since we have tracks anyway, check out "Immaculate heart", where Sidsel Endresen sounds desperate, singing while breathing in, and Stian Westerhus will leave you in fear of getting electric shocks. Absolutely cool!

Cover: Kim Hiorthøy (of course).

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Soft Machine - Live At Het Turfschip

I have not bought every single archival release of Soft Machine material, but this seems to be a new release on Vinyl Lovers (the same label that gave us this one): Soft Machine - "Live At Het Turfschip, Netherlands, 31 January 1970".

This seems to be exactly the same material that Voiceprint released on "Breda Reactor" in 2005, with these fine gentlemen playing:
- Robert Wyatt - drums, voice
- Mike Ratledge - Lowery organ,
electric piano
- Hugh Hopper - bass guitar
- Elton Dean - alto sax, saxello
- Lyn Dobson - tenor & soprano
saxes, flute, harmonica, voice

Eight desert island tunes

Oh no, another list!
Yes, I ended up choosing my eight tunes for a stay on a desert island, for the Norwegian blog Musikkprat (head on over there to choose your own songs if you like!).

I´m not going to that island anyway, so i did not choose eight very long and advanced pieces of music to keep my ears occupied for as long as possible! I picked some sad ones, some fun ones and some noisy ones (albums in brackets).

Ivor Cutler: Good Morning! How are you? Shut Up! (Ludo)
- Way to start the day, any place!

Robert Wyatt: Sea Song (Rock Bottom)
- Island or mountain top, this one is coming along.

Robert Wyatt: Free Will And Testament (Shleep)
- "What kind of spider understands arachnophobia?" Animals on that island?

Maja Ratkje: Insomnia (Voice)
- Boring island? Play this one as loud as you can.

Peter Blegvad: Crumb De La Crumb (Downtime)
- "In cemeteries of cement, it says on every monument; consider how your time is spent, ´cause soon your time is done". Time for some thinking.

Arild Nyquist & Terje Wiik: Visa om kjærlighet (Epleslang)
- Sweet and sad love song in Norwegian.

Brøtzmann, Nilssen-Love, Gustafsson: Bullets Through Rain (The Fat Is Gone)
- Live from Moldejazz, and a souvenir. I was there.

1982: 6:02 (Pintura)
- Folk improv for all ecosystems.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

proto Soft Machine

People, you just have to read (or better participate of course on) the Canterbury forum "What´s Rattlin´".

Recently they have been discussing a Russian release on B 13, proto SOFT MACHINE - "The Earliest Recordings", with material "recorded live in London in the early sixties" (scheduled for release in July).

Musicians are Daevid Allen, Robert Wyatt, Mike Ratledge, Hugh Hopper and Brian Hopper, and the music has probably been released earlier on Daevid Allen Trio "Live in 1963" and the "Canterburied Sounds" collection, both on Voiceprint.
See if you can find them on the Calyx discography site!

The Cherry Thing

Yes, you have already heard about it in this very blog, but now I finally got hold of Neneh Cherry and The Thing´s album "The Cherry Thing" (Smalltown 2012). It seems like the international release date is 19 June.

Check out two of the tracks right here, Suicide´s "Dream Baby Dream" from SoundCloud and the video to "Accordion" (Madvillain/MF Doom), before you run on over to the nearest store. The album is a fine mix of jazz, rap og rock tunes, and Neneh Cherry´s voice is perfect for Mats Gustafsson, Paal Nilssen-Love and Ingebrigt Håker Flaten in The Thing, and they are the perfect band of course.

There are originals by Gustafsson and Cherry, and covers of Ornette Coleman, Don Cherry (Neneh Cherry´s step father), The Stooges, Martina Topley-Bird and The Stooges, in addition to the two already mentioned above.

I bet they are even tougher live, and look forward to their concert at the Molde International Jazz Festival in July.

If you are able to read Norwegian, Jenny Hval has an interesting piece in Bergen´s local newspaper Bergens Tidende (3 June 2012) called "Kjøtt og kirsebær" (that is "Meat and cherries").

Here are the tour dates, taken from Smalltown´s site:

SATURDAY 30/06/ Ljubljana Jazzfestival/Slovenia
SUNDAY 01/07/ Porgy & Bess/Vienna/Austria
MONDAY 02/07/ Lucerna Music Bar/Prague/Czech
TUESDAY 03/07 Zaporochye/Ukrain
THURSDAY 05/07/ Trænafestivalen/Træna/Mo i Rana/NO
SATURDAY 07/07/ Kongsberg Jazzfestival/N (the thing + Augusti Fernandez and Peter Evans)
TUESDAY 10/07/ Copenhagen Jazzfestival/Denmark
THURSDAY 12/07 Moriska Paviljongen/Malmö/Sweden
FRIDAY 13/07 Nefertiti/Göteborg/Sweden
SUNDAY 15/07/ Village Underground/London
MONDAY 16/07/ MelkwegAmsterdam/Netherlands
TUESDAY 17/07 Karlsruhe/Germany
WEDNESDAY 18/07/ A l´arme Festival/Berlin/Germany
FRIDAY 20/07/ Molde Jazzfestival/Molde/NO
SATURDAY 21/07 Konfrontationen/Nickelsdorf/Austria
SUNDAY 22/07 Girona/Spain
MONDAY 23/07/ San Sebastian/Spania

Monday, June 11, 2012

Canterbury Soundwaves Episode 20

Check out Canterbury Soundwaves´ episode number 20. It´s a tribute to Elton Dean (1945—2006), and of course we meet Robert Wyatt and Soft Machine, and a whole bunch of the usual suspects, like Kevin Ayers, Keith Tippett, Evan Parker, Daevid Allen and John Greaves.

Go jump into the Soundwaves for more info.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Pierre Bastien and Espen Sommer Eide at Mutek (Montreal)

Espen Sommer Eide (Phonophani, Alog) has played some concerts with Pierre Bastien during April and May. Here they are at Mutek in Montreal.
More videos from the concert here, here and here.

In 2011 they played at Borealis in Bergen 2011.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Ballrogg: Cabin Music (Hubro 2012)

Klaus Ellerhusen Holm (sax) and Roger Arntzen (b) of Ballrogg have moved from from Bolage (where they released their first two albums) to Hubro, and are joined by Ivar Grydeland (Huntsville and Dans les Arbres) (g, pedal steel, banjo) on "Cabin Music".

Ballrogg invited guest musicians to play on the fine "Insomnia" (2010) too (Lars Myrvoll, Ole-Henrik Moe and Kari Rønnekleiv), but I hope Ivar Grydeland will stick around for a while.
This trio sounds great.

My iTunes classify this music as ambient, but it´s not! I will call it experimental minimalistic chamber country jazz (take that, iTunes!). Four tracks, 35 minutes all in all! Perfect!

Listen to Ballrogg over at SoundCloud.

Rocket Science

Rocket Science! What a band! Here they are live at the Moers Festival in May 2012.

Peter Evans: tp
Evan Parker: sax
Craig Taborn:i p, keys
Sam Pluta: electronics

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Some Of Them Are Old

Annie Clark, aka St Vincent, cover Brian Eno´s "Some of them are old", during a private concert at Steve Nieve´s house in Paris.
Info on the video from YouTube: Filmed by Amaury « Amo » Voslion with his own desert

I guess you all have the original on Eno´s album "Here come the warm jets" (1973)?

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Numb, Number and Voxpheria

During the Bergen International Festival last week, I heard Tone Åse perform a great "sound novel" at one of the concerts in Maja Ratkje´s series "Voices that matter".
I have heard Tone Åse in the vocal quartet Kvitretten (Norwegian link alert), but missed out on the band Bol until they hired Stian Westerhus and Motorpsycho´s Snah (Hans Magnus Ryan) for the album "Numb, number" (Gigafon 2012). Bol is Tone Åse (vocal/ electronics), Ståle Storløkken (keyboards/sampling) and Tor Haugerud (drums/electronics), and they have released records since 2001.

And not only that! Tone Åse also released "Voxpheria" with drummer Ståle Storløkken on Gigafon (2012).
Both of the albums have lyrics by the poets E.E. Cummings and Rolf Jacobsen, and on "Numb, Number" they also use words by the poet Olav H. Hauge , while Tone Åse wrote the lyrics for the beautiful title track.
The poems of Rolf Jacobsen and Olav H. Hauge (originally in Norwegian) are translated into English.

Great albums, with elegant soundscapes and poetry, the Bol-album with Westerhus and Snah sporting a couple of more energetic tracks ("You Bird" og "The Western Wind").
Please check out both of them!

Cover: Rune Nergaard (Both of them I believe. I just have too make a guess on the Voxpheria cover, since I downloaded that one).

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Romantic Warrors II

"Romantic Warriors II" is the name of a new DVD where the history of "Rock In Opposition" (RIO) is told.
It all started in 1978 with a progressive music festival initiated by Henry Cow, with these bands: Henry Cow (England), Stormy Six (Italy), Samla Mammas Manna (Sweden), Univers Zero (Belgium) and Etron Fou Leloublan (France).
They played "The music the record companies don't want you to hear". The original bands and others are all in the DVD you (soon) may order over at Progdocs.

And of course they also have a "Romantic Warriors I", with some of the new bands inspired by RIO.

Monday, June 4, 2012

The End Of An Ear

Damn! I have forgotten to order the new and remastered version Robert Wyatt´s solo album "The end of an ear" (Esoteric 2012)! A newly written essay is supposed to be part of the package too.

"The end of an ear" was recorded in August 1970, and was released 4th of December the same year.
This is Robert Wyatt´s first solo album, and it is a mix of free jazz, avantgarde and vocal improvisations. This is not where you start to buy Wyatt albums, but you might end up here, if you are not careful.


- Robert Wyatt / drums, Mouth, piano, organ
- Neville Whitehead / bass
- Mark Charig / cornet
- Elton Dean / Alto Saxello
- Mark Ellidge / piano (Robert Wyatt´s brother)
- Cyril Ayers / assorted percussion
- David Sinclair / organ

Track 1 and 9 are composed by Gil Evans, the rest by Robert Wyatt, and Wyatt´s tunes are dedicated to the people mentioned in the parantheses:

1. Las Vegas Tango Part 1
2. To Mark Everywhere (Mark Ellidge)
3. To saintly Bridget (Bridget St. John)
4. To Oz Alian Daevid and Gilly (Daevid Allen, Gilly Smyth)
5. To Nick Everyone (Nick Evans)
6. To Caravan and Brother Jim (Jimmy Hastings - Pye Hastings brother?)
7. To the old World (Thank you for the use of your body, Goodbye) (The Whole World, Kevin Ayers)
8. To Carla Marsha and Caroline (For making everything beautifuller) (Carla Bley, Marsha Hunt, Caroline Coon)
9. Las Vegas Tango part 1

Buy at Burning Shed or wherever you prefer.

In Michael King´s "Wrong Movements. A Robert Wyatt History" (1994) you may read an interview, where Robert Wyatt says he was really depressed after recording Soft Machine III, and the other guys let him record a solo album, because the expected him to do more "Moon in June" stuff, that did not interest them anyway.
Wyatt says that what he did was stretching out, and explains: "I like a touch of madness, it´s one of my favorite human characteristics".

I might come back with some more info when the record is in da house.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

I have been busy, attending two festivals

Steinar Raknes (The Core) solo concert. Playing and singing from his new album "Stillhouse".

Splashgirl (Andreas Løwe (p), Andreas Knudsrød (dr) og Jo Berger Myhre (b)) playing from their Hubro release "Pressure".

Friends and Neighbors (André Roligheten(sax, bass clar), Thomas Johansson (tp), Oscar Grönberg (p), Jon Rune Strøm (b), Tollef Østvang (dr)). Album: "No Beat Policy". Music video: "Motorvägen"!

Arve Henriksen "Tidssoner for trompet og treverk". Folk jazz with super band and fantastic lights/video. Arve Henriksen (tp, voc), Nils Økland (viol, Hardanger fiddle), Gjermund Larsen (viol, Hardanger fiddle), Audun Kleive (dr), Svante Henryson (cello), Mats Eilertsen (b), Tord Knudsen (video) and Geir Østensjø (sound). I believe this project is recorded, at least I hope so.

Phil Minton´s Feral Choir was a part of Maja Ratkje´s curated series "Voices that matter" (already mentioned here several times, but still!).

The Bad Plus (Ethan Iverson (piano), Reid Anderson (bass) and David King (dr)) played "Rite of Spring" by Stravinsky in the Korskirken church. Amazing!

This post partly to brag about all the concerts I get to see, partly because I hope you will check out some of the artists too.

Kevin Ayers - Musical Express

I have probably posted some clips from this concert earlier too, and even in better quality, but here is the full portrait of Kevin Ayers, from the Spanish series "Musical Express" (1981).

With Kevin Ayers, Andy Summers, John Cale and Ollie Halsall.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Some questions are just too hard to answer

"I can never tell if my skin is too white or if my teeth are too yellow".

Friday, June 1, 2012

Voices That matter

Maja Ratkje´s series of concerts, Voices That Matter, is happening at the Bergen International Festival, and Thursday afternoon people on the main street got a taste of it too, with Phil Mintons "Feral Choir".
If you have some breath in you, you may participate in the feral choir.

In the video you may be able to recognize Maja Ratkje, David Moss and Phil Minton, and I believe the rest of them are local amateur singers, so if you recognize some of them you are probably their mother or father. Even nature is joining in on video, breathing it´s cold winds straight through my camera.

I have to use the f-word to describe David Moss´ concert Thursday evening. Fantastic! The word "concert" is not even telling half the truth, since Moss was a great story teller too. Using words, sounds, gestures and soundtrack, he told the stories of his own and our lives.

Damn, I was a bit touched by the stories, to tell you the truth.

Added 9 June 2012: See a much better video here!