fredag 30. oktober 2009

Little Birdy

This traditional song makes you re-evaluate your relationship to birds after hearing the legendary interpretation done by the sinister, bespectacled mountain wizard Roscoe Holcomb. With a most idiosyncratic way of picking the banjo, and with a voice no moon can overdo in high lonesomeness, all the recorded pieces I have heard by this man, hits me with the immediacy and intensity of a lightning crash.
Just take a look at the film clip below, where Roscoe plays Little Birdy. By his side sits a baffled Pete Seeger trying to understand how he does it!

For a further look into the life of Holcomb and the high mountains of Kentucky in days of yore, please do make yourself aquainted with the highly recommendable film "That High Lonesome Sound" by John Cohen. If you happen to live in Oslo, you have the chance to pick it up at the public library, where also several records by Roscoe Holcomb can be found. Good luck! Little Birdiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii

onsdag 28. oktober 2009


Can musical magic happen in a church in Viljandi, Estonia?
Yes, if the date is the 25th of August and the man with the guitar is Robert Fripp.
There are 8 heavenly tracks on this live release. The seventh track, "Evensong" is breathtaking. To purchase this live recording (digital download only), just press this link. The recording is simply titled "August 25, 2006".

For an amusing, interesting and often inspiring diary, you can go the DGM website, where you can find Robert Fripp´s day to day musings. The topics range from musicking, travelling, exposing the dark sides of the music industry and eating lotsa cake!

At The Honeymoon Motel

Ah, what lovely sounds! The best rock band from Norway forever and ever is the fantabulous Electropussy. Blending Prince-like sensuality, jangly guitar, a deep dreamy female voice, hardhitting batterie and evasive yet mesmerizing Rhodes-grooves this intergalactic band managed to create some of the best tracks in rock history during a time of slight musical despair. Despair, at least in their home town Molde. The phonogram At The Honeymoon Motel, embellished with lovely art by Trygve (glued right on the vinyl cardboard!), was released in 2000. I bought it at their release at Café Zarathustra, the only place in Molde that ever had a spark of London.

If you've never heard about this (now non-existent) band, there are some tracks out there for your pleasure, just click this link for a streaming site. You can hear the desert rocker "69 Bullets", an ingenious version of the Underworld track "Dirty Epic", or "Disconnect the telephonelines". The latter song is absolutely one of my favourite songs ever!
These days I am listening to it all the time, and it just keeps playing in my head after it´s finished. "Disconnect the Telephonelines" is one of those songs that you want to last longer. So you find yourself lifting the needle back in it´s groove again and again. You cannot disconnect Electropussy that easily.

If you are so lucky as to possess a vinyl copy of At The Honeymoon Motel, lay down side A, and just let The Electropussy Theme take you there!

Bump it

Little did I know when I first bought this record (which actually is just a very long EP), that it would be the soundtrack to the first meeting with my then yet to be wife!
The record I´m writing about, is the fantastic, superchilled, high strung on groove classic "World Wide Underground" by the soul macicien Erykah Badu. I once recieved the honour of having the O Mighty Creative Destinys Will to bestowed upon be in my younger years, for it lead me to a concert held by the aforementioned modern queen of magic groove. I remember the almighty Badu entering the stage with a giant turbanish clothing on her very head, and in her fingers a a thin cylinder of finely cut tobacco with it´s shape prolonged by a mouthpiece. Not very many young men in small Norwegian towns are given this oppurtunity. I thank you, Field of Mystery.
And then when moving to a slightly bigger (but still too small as to be reckoned as a large) town, I after a while purchased this heavenly EP. The second track is the fantasticorgasmic "Bump It", a seven-eightish minutes long trip into psychedelic grooveheaven. That´s the beat I was listening to back in the day, lying in the trunk of my good friend´s car. I found myself situated there since there was no other space available, after having filled up the car seats with a friend that we met in the street, together with her friend (now my wife), and other acquaintances. For we had invitied them home for bread in our modest lodgings, and had to offer a way of transport.
And what is there then left to do, but to spin the Bump It in the rain?
Push up the fader, bust the meter, shake the tweeters!

torsdag 2. juli 2009

Northern Exposure

I remember watching this TV show when everybody else in the world had gone to bed. It was aired on Thursdays or Sundays, very late. I was the only one in this galaxy watching this show. Just me together with a very few people in Cicely, Alaska. The first episode starts out with introducing one of the key characters, Joel Fleischman - Rob Morrow playing a 80s Woody Allen New York-style neurotic young doctor who has to serve his duty in the medical profession, quite unwillingly so, to the state of Alaska. The character traits are quite overstated in the first couple og episodes (which is also quite enjoyable), before it settles into a more nuanced character as the series unfold.

All the other lovely characters in the series also develop into manyfaceted personas. This is a large chamber orchestra playing a late Beethoven Quartet (excuse my slightly over-the-top link), The Alaska Suite. But it is. The series develops in such an organic manner. Or maybe it´s more like a long late 60s Pink Floyd jam. Well, well.
The very strained and stressed-out airplane pilot Maggie O´Connell, the Buddha-like secretary in the doctor´s office, Marilyn. Film-expert and orphan Ed melts every heart with honest observations. Earlier convicted fellon and new-born philospher, radio DJ Chris. The conservative, wealthy and old fashioned astronaut Maurice J. Minnifield.
You´ll also meet a chef, walking around barefoot, and of course an extremely allergic bubble-man.

I like a lot of the new modern TV series from HBO, but if you want something heart-warming, intelligent, simple (yet ingenious), Northern exposure is my pick. The early 90s esthetics (or lack of), is just something you´ve got to love! After watching an episode of Northern Exposure, you won´t miss the thought-through plots, perfectly developed characters, the flawlessly designed props and stagings etc of HBO. Nothing bad to say about Six Feet Under, but if you would like to watch something without all the glossy packaging (in a literary sense, that also goes for the DVD packaging of Northern Exposure), make a date in Cicely, Alaska...

onsdag 1. juli 2009

Let Us Cling Together

The last track on the Queen album A Day At The Races (1976), Teo Torriatte (Let Us Cling Together) is one of my melancholy monnlight favourites. Pompous? Yes. A sufficient dose of pathos? Indeed. Having the chorus sung in Japanese at the end is a fantastic move, one that only Queen can get away with. It´s their homage to Japan, which was the first country to truly treat Deacon, Taylor, May and Mercury as superstars. Getting off the aircraft on their very first tour in this country , Queen was welcomed by enthusiastic fans in a manner they never before had encountered. Mercury ended up collecting Japanese arts and crafts for the rest of his life. Well, that´s enough trivia for today. In the spirit of Brian May (songwriting credits on this track), keep yourself alive and let us cling together!