I’m out of here for a week plus of fun and sun in Key West. Enjoy the holidays. Peace out (literally).
I’m out of here for a week plus of fun and sun in Key West. Enjoy the holidays. Peace out (literally).
I know that a lot of you out there are asking yourself; so, what’s the best Swedish record of the year then? I’m sure the Swedish press are dying to find out what a yank form Chicago considers the best and the brightest of the year. My pick for best Swedish record of the year is not an attempt to be obtuse or one up everybody else with my stellar taste and obscure choice. But the the fact is for the past 5 months there has been one record in my CD player more than any other. And with each listen their are entire worlds that open up. And that record is the new one from the acclaimed Swedish jazz pianist Bob Stenson and his trio.
The new record is called Cantando and is on ECM one of the best jazz labels for virtuostic individualistic performers. This is the label that pioneered the avant-jazz piano trio sound with works by Keith Jarrett, Chick Corea and Paul Bley. I’m not sure what it is about the classic jazz piano trio (piano, bass, and drums) but when done right the interplay between the instruments, the composition and the themes of the piece are stunning (I’ve been listening to lots of Bill Evans as well). On Cantando the years of ECM recording piano trios has paid off as the recording is astounding. On a good stereo the instruments all inhabit their own space. The double-bass of Anders Jormin is a heavy weight in the room, and the various percussive elements of drummer Jon Faelt explore new horizons in the combination of jazz, world and contemporary music. But it’s the piano of Bob that centers the record. The work is meant to be heard in it’s thrilling entirety (almost 70 minutes) but if I had to select just one song I’d have to go with “A Fixed Goal” if simply for the manageable time and concise song structure.
Buy it here from Amazon.
I don’t usually (i.e. never) just cut and paste a press release. But in this case it’s all for a good cause and features our favorite Gothenburg songbird – Hajen.
You can choose between 3 prices.
The whole benefits of the sales is going to the Stadsmissionen Göteborg (http://www.stadsmissionen.org/).
(If you don’t have a pay pal account please send a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org)
So please support this action and throw a coin into the KNOPPAR collection box….and tell all your friends and your whole family about it! ;O)
I like these guys at Knoppar. Instead of waiting for someone to put together a package tour and a big festival for their artists they did it d.i.y. style in their apartment. They have a Vimeo page with videos of all their bands playing the little Knoppar Festival. Check it out.
Here’s Hajen covering Dylan’s “Moonshiner”
Before I could write about the November release of Elahid and Jonperman on Stälverk they went ahead and released December’s solo debut from Elahid. Now I’m way behind on my experimental techno. Elahid’s music is part trance and part dancefloor electronic. You could dance to it, but probably only very late at night and in a very dark environment.
Here’s the first track from his new EP SBM.
“Ingen Kommer Sakna Oss” performed at their release party
I slipped a video by Jas The Cat & Jahmal into the mix last week. I didn’t comment on it at the time. But I liked it and went to explore the web for more about these guys. I found a website for Jahmal and his group Militia Sound Crew. This is more the reggae side of his sound with a couple mixtapes and “riddims” available on their site. Here’s a link to their new mixtape and their new “riddim”.
And here’s the video that started it all
When you write 600 or so music blog posts a year it’s sometimes hard to find a way to single one out as something special. Luckily I have another platform or two when I think something is truly deserving. So today’s band/song will both appear on Songs:Illinois and be part of this month’s upcoming M.A.P. post. I can’t say enough good things about the Swedish pop band The Bridal Shop. I think they perfectly meld the sounds of electronic pop of the 80′s with shoegaze of the 90′s and indie from the 00′s. In other words they’re the complete package.
Their Peruvian label (I know that’s kind of a weird locale for a Swedish group) deserves kudos as well for releasing some of the best indie pop this side of Cloudberry. This song is from the band’s Plastilina Records mini album called In Fragments coming out in February of 2009.
It’s once again time for the best songs in the world. The group of contributing bloggers continues to grow for MAP as does it’s worldwide presence (recent press from Rolling Stone among others). These are songs from around the world but not world music and that’s one of the things I like about this project. This is not music that is pandering for the NPR “world music” crowd. It’s music from around the world influenced by the host countries and their local cultures but not controlled by them. Enjoy these songs, there’s a .zip file at the bottom of the page.
To download all 21 songs in one file click here:
Hey (hej hej),
I’ve got only 11 large Swedesplease shirts
and an XL left. There’ll be a new design once these are gone. So if you are looking for a cool Christmas gift for your Swedish indie rock fan may I suggest one of these? They are limited edition and you’ll be one of only about 100 people worldwide to have one. Order on the right sidebar and if you’re from the U.S. I’ll try to get it to you for Christmas.
Hopefully we’ll have a new look shirt with a new design (based on the new header from artist/illustrator Mike Lowry) soon.
Thanks and Merry Christmas!
Jas The Cat & Jahmal – Promo for upcoming mixtape
Damn – “I’m Not Going to Live A Day Without You”
Cajun music from the Swedish group The Balfa Doucet Brothers
Anna Ternheim – Summer Rain
If you speak Swedish you’ll have better luck with this press release than I did.
Hanna Hirsch kommer från Stockholm och har sedan 2004 gett ut tre sjutummare. Tala svart är deras debutalbum. Musiken bär på en desperation, ett vemod och en iver som är besläktad med band som Tant Strul och Modern Lovers. Själva säger sig Hanna Hirsch vara influerade av Blondie och Discharge. Även om Hanna Hirsch är sprungna ur en punkscen kan Tala svart snarare betraktas som en popskiva, med texter som skär djupa sår. Detta är livsviktig musik.
”Så vilket vapen skulle du välja; en motorsåg eller en pistol, en gaffel, en sked, en smörkniv, en papperskant, en hårborste, eller en kudde. Välj kudden, så blir jag av med dig.”
If Ida Marie hadn’t been polished up like a diamond and packaged like the next big thing she’d be lucky to sound a little like this.
One of the leaders (Wailin’ Henry) of the band Strayfolk has a song in an upcoming Swedish language film. I’m a big fan of Strayfolk so I was happy to hear of this new development. Here’s the song “The Water” from the film The Gun.
The big Swedish Christmas mix update is down at the bottom of this link.
Matti Bye creates stirring music suitable for film soundtracks that combines Swedish folk with all sorts of other influences. His new release is on the independent Swedish label Rotor Records. I haven’t written about much instrumental music like this on Swedesplease. In fact besides the experimental electronic music I can only think of one other instrumental (non-jazz) group that I’ve written about – and that is Detektivbyran. The music from Matti Bye is a distant cousin to that.
The song Departure starts out melodic enough but by the end it peaks in a dissonant crescendo that rivals modern day punk music.
P.S. Two new songs added today to the Swedish Christmas mix here.
Besides the very basics (pop songs in Swedish) I’m at a loss to describe these two new songs released by Stockholm based Vesper Records. The record label itself is an enigma to me with a hodgepodge of styles represented on their roster including singer-songwriter and Swedish reggae. So it’s hard for me to get a handle of these songs for that reason, as well as that both are sung in Swedish. Both songs are soaring pop and both are from the artist’s debut records due out in early 2009.
The new EP from My Darling You! on Luxury Records is delayed `til February, but for now let’s take a look back at some of their output through the years.
It’s a pretty compelling catalog even if I didn’t always go along for the ride.
I don’t want to put too much into this point but one of the things I find heartening about this video is the fact that Annika is so accessible. Here’s a woman that a whole generation of girls in Sweden look up to and she is as normal/dorky/plain/beautiful as the girl next door. Instead of hiring dancers she gets four of her friends to help with the video. That has to say something about the culture in Sweden and even more so about the culture of hollywood/major label stars/nashville here in the states.
“X Telling Me About The Loss Of Something Dear, At Age 16″
It seems almost criminal to follow up that excellent Christmas post with something so totally awesome. I should probably just let that puppy sink in a bit. Don’t you think? I mean I deserve a little break, don’t I?
Well the music just keeps coming I guess. The Gothenburg based pop group Portrait Painters have just released their new single “Forgive Forget” on Bonjour Recordings. The song somehow balances its epic nature with catchy hooks. Bandleader Alexander Gustafsson describes the band’s sound as “rural neu disco”. The band will start recording their debut for Bonjour in December.
P.S. New (old) songs by Komon and Strayfolk have been added to the constantly evolving Swedish Christmas mix here.
Well I did it. I waited `til after Thanksgiving to post my Christmas mix. So far a lot of these songs are from last year (or years past), hell I even recycled the photo. I’ll do my best to update this mix as new songs appear. I love these songs. They are some of the best Christmas songs you’re likely to hear and for a large part they are ones I’ve dug up first. So Enjoy and Merry Christmas (three weeks early).
P.S. I’m so low tech it’s not even funny so if someone wants to create a .zip and host it somewhere be my guest and leave it in the comments.