Archive for March, 2007

Tarantula Waltz

Thursday, March 15th, 2007


The Tarantula Waltz clearly loves the off beat americana of Townes van Zandt, Will Oldham and Neil Young but they’ve taken these influences and made something new. The sounds on their upcoming release are cathartic gothic blues as inspired by the howls of Jeff Buckely as the dirges of Joy Division and the noisy pychadelic instrumental rock of Dungen or the soft indie folk of Jose Gonzales.

The band’s technically a trio but on the noisier parts of “Where I End and You Begin” they might as well be a quintet. The explosion of sound in the middle of this songis a dramatic counterpoint to the silences built into the beginning and ending passages. There is an 11 song album recorded that should see the light of day sometime in 2007.

Where I End and You Begin

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Postcards From SXSW (Swedish version) – Marit Bergman (stuck in Europe!)

Wednesday, March 14th, 2007


If the Swedish artists who are scheduled to play SXSW in Austin, TX can actually make it to Austin, Texas they’ll be contributing their thoughts here on Swedesplease. the first entry I got was from Marit Bergman who is stuck in Europe. I wrote about Marit here and here. Her unabashed love of pop music is refreshing and her take on it is wonderful. Here’s her song “No Party”.

No Party

Here’s her first abbreviated entry:

“Due to fog, we´re still in europe! Stayed the night in Amsterdam. I want to go to america now!!!!!
The Wi-fi at schiphol airport sucks. And our plane to paris and the hopefully to Houston (couldn’t reschedule to Austin) is leaving in ten minutes. Gotta go. Tomorrow I will write more exciting stuff.”

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Out of the loop again – Lancaster Orchestra

Tuesday, March 13th, 2007


Man! You’d think someone would tell me when a new video is produced of a song from one of my favorite new Swedish bands. Come on guys! Depite the lack of communication this was only posted to the web a couple weeks ago by the band Lancaster Orchestra. So I can safely say that you’re the first person in your town/city/state/country to have seen this. The video, with it’s split screen and hand-drawn animation, is great but as always it’s the song that makes it work. In this case the single “I Remember That Time So Well” from the album Never Cried Once When I could Have.

I remember that time so well

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Guest post on the music of David Sandstrom

Monday, March 12th, 2007


(Editor’s note: David Lindqvist has been responsible for the raw material for a couple posts on Swedesplease. When he approached me with his thoughts about singer-songwriter David Sandstrom, I asked him to write it all down and submit it. So here is the first ever guest post on Swedesplease. Thanks David.)

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“First off, a big thanks to Craig for allowing me to ramble a bit. I’ll try to keep it short.

David Sandström started out as a drummer is various punk/hardcore bands, most notably Refused. After Refused threw in the towel in 1998, Sandström went to work on his second solo album (the first one, The Faint Sounds Of Shovelled Earth, had been released only months prior). He had started investigating the true cause of death of his maternal grandfather Sigvard Nilsson, who had always been a bit of a persona non grata in the Sandström household. It turned out Sigvard suffered from tuberculosis and catatonia in the 1940′s, which led to long stays in the hospital where he was subjected to shock treatment, which in turn led to depressions, and eventually he committed suicide in 1968 at the age of sixty.

This (combined with compulsive readings of the works of author Sara Lidman, who wrote many novels set in Sandström’s home of Västerbotten) was just the inspiration David needed. Most of the material was written in 1997-98. The recording started in September ’99, and he wasn’t done until January 2001. The album had grown into something much, much bigger than just the story of his grandfather; he had made an album about the history and exploitation of his own home, and how the working class, the farmers, were the ones who had to pay.

In this own words:


“The record deals with my grandpa Sigvard Nilsson who was a smallholder in Degernäs, Västerbotten. At that time the Swedish government had bereft the northern part of Sweden (Norrland) of it’s most valuable resource: wood. They had funded the industrialization of the south by selling the raw, unprocessed timber to southern European countries and suddenly smallholding was considered superfluous and was settled in a few decades. All he wanted was to run a farm and that possibility was taken from him. He hung himself in 1968, he couldn’t take it anymore, the world he wanted to live in and be respected by just disappeared. There wasn’t room for him anymore.”

The finished product, Om Det Inte Händer Något Innan Imorgon Så Kommer Jag (named after a passage in Sara Lidman’s 1955 novel “Hjortonlandet”), is a daunting mammoth of an album, of almost biblical proportions. My favorite track “1968″ describes in detail the abondoned houses and the desolate surroundings that were the result of the aforementioned exploitation.

1968

But the darkest track is saved for last. If you listen closely to the album’s closer “Kurragömma” (around the 12:42 mark), you can hear the sound of footsteps in the snow, meant to represent his grandfather getting up in the morning and walking to the barn, where the noose he prepared is waiting for him.

Kurragomma

Om Det Inte Händer Något Innan Imorgon Så Kommer Jag is hardly easy listening, but given time it’s nothing short of breathtaking. The best way to experience it is, of course, to listen to the album in full. Luckily, David Sandström has made it available for free on the album’s website.

That wasn’t very short, was it? I’ll shut up now.”

Questions, comments email David here – monkey_bastard (at) hotmail.com

Exclusive mp3′s from Emmaboda bound You/Me

Monday, March 5th, 2007


You/Me is another band scheduled to play Emmaboda Festivalen, which is only Sweden’s largest music fest (right?). They’re a sweet sounding electronic duo. On their My Space page they don’t provide any biographical detail except their first and last names so there’s not much to relay other than the songs.

In the US I believe they’re calling this “lap-pop”. I guess that’s a reference to the simple computer tools used to create it and the tweeish vocals.

Through Four Kinds

To Live

P.S. I’m off for vacation and will return Monday March 12. At that time, if all goes well, we’ll have an extensive SxSW (one of the America’s biggest music fests) feature that will run all week on both Songs:Illinois and Swedesplease. The content is a secret and a surprise but it’s very exciting, so please come back on the 12th.

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A plethora of Scandinavian mp3′s

Sunday, March 4th, 2007

The only bigger fan of the music of David and the Citizens (and David Fridlund’s solo career) than me is Alan from Sixeyes. He’s done a great job in general of covering the nordic scene over the last couple of years and today he’s got 45 mp3′s from all the Scandinavian bands playing SxSW. Check it out here.

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Eric Mattsson’s "One-Horse Town" ep

Friday, March 2nd, 2007


Eric Mattsson emailed me with news of a new ep about 6 months ago. I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to write about it. Eric is part of The Wild Geese Collective; sort of a later day Bleecker St. folk coop. It’s available for free from The Wild Geese collective website.

The One-Horse Town ep was recorded on an island off of Sweden in a cabin and it has a sound that resonates of this distant and isolated area. Eric played all the instruments on the record and while he claims not to be a virtuoso, the somber layering of guitar, piano, and synths is a perfect accompaniement to Eric’s whispered vocals. All five songs are pretty special. Hope you enjoy.

Idiots on the Dance Floor

One Horse Town

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Maia Hirasawa’s fantastic video for her first single "And I Found This Boy"

Thursday, March 1st, 2007

I’ve only got 30 seconds of battery life on my laptop but I just found Maia Hirasawa’s video for “And I Found This Boy” and it’s so great that I’m beside myself. It’s the type of video that actually makes the song better. It’s got costumes, huge rats and a bevy of dancers, musicicans and friends. Great work Maia, Razzia et al.

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New single from Sibiria

Thursday, March 1st, 2007


New single from Sibiria’s latest cd. It’s in Swedish so I’m lost. But it’s got a nice jaunty lead guitar (shades of “Here Comes The Sun”) and a very sunny, upbeat demeanor. It’s probably about mass murder, famine or world war, oh well. You can buy the album here.

Jag minns bara hur du plågade mig

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