Entries tagged with: Sweden
Christmas traditions vary around the world. For example, in Sweden the whole country basically shuts down to watch a 1958 Donald Duck holiday special? Would you like to know more about Swedish Christmas? Jocke from the still-going Teddybears hosts a four-part documentary series that tells us, in his dry, acerbic style, about other traditions like The Tomte (their not-so-nice version of Santa), St. Lucia's Day (December 13), the Gävlebocken (a giant goat in Gävle that ends up getting set on fire every year), and more.
by Bill Pearis
Malmö, Sweden's This is Head just released their self titled third album via Adrian Recordings. The band's sound that pulls from a lot of different places -- sometimes dark postpunk, sometimes anthemic rock, some solid grooves in there too -- but it's all melted together into something that is uniquely their own (and very Swedish). The band's new single is "Pieces" which sounds like Disintegration-era Cure taken on a wagon trail. The video for the song, which premieres in this post, is appropriately dark and also offers up lyrics...and a surprise link at the end. Watch it, and stream the album via Spotify, below.
by Bill Pearis
Swedish singer-songwriter Markus Svensson has been making music as The Tarantula Waltz for five years or so with an earnest, folky sound that's more Minneapolis than Malmö. Last year, he released his acclaimed third album Tinder Stick Neck, toured with The War on Drugs and opened a hometown Stockholm show for fellow Swedes First Aid Kit. He's got a new single off the album, "17," and we've got the premiere of its video, directed by Mathias Johansson and Jonas Jacob Svensson. You can watch it below.
Later this year, look for The Tarantula Waltz's new EP which was produced by Kristian Matsson (aka The Tallest Man on Earth). That seems like a good match-up.
Sweden is paying tribute to some of their current crop of musicians via a new series of "musikundret" (music miracle) postage stamps. Among the faces soon to be affixed to credit card bills and greeting cards are Robyn, First Aid Kit, and Backstreet Boys/Britney Spears/N'Sync producer Max Martin. The stamps, designed in pencil by Jenny Mortsell, will be available in January 2015.
For more Swedish music, there's a free showcase happening next week at Baby's All Right.
You may remember almost exactly a year ago a bunch of Swedish bands played Baby's All Right for an event called Sweden Makes Music. The Consulate General of Sweden in New York are doing it again at Baby's All Right on November 11 featuring more Scandinavian dance/pop artists, including Merely, Baba Stiltz, and Beatrice Eli (all making their NYC debut), as well as Mr. Tophat & Art Alfie, and Beldina. The show is free with RSVP.
It is both Merely and Baba Stiltz's first-ever NYC shows. Merely is signed to the Tough Alliance's label Sincerely Yours and recently released her debut album called Nirvana (FADER posted a track).
You can also check out streams of all the artists performing below.
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: Amason - Margins (MP3)
Amason's first live show, Stockholm 2/2/2013 (via)
What do you do when you're friends and your various bands are in states of downtime? Form a supergroup, or supergruppen in the case of Swedish band Amason which features the talents of Pontus Winnberg of Miike Snow, Gustaf Ejstes of Dungen, Nils Törnqvist and Petter Winnberg of Little Majorette and Amanda Hollingby Idiot Wind.
Amason are brand new, having just played their first-ever live show on Saturday (2/2) in Stockholm, but they have released their first song, titled "Margins." Pulled along by a warm, flutely synth lead, it's all dreamy '70s soft rock, not that far from, say, The Carpenters. You can download it above or stream it below.
Bon Iver at Bonnaroo 2012 (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
Bon Iver recorded an iTunes session at East West studios which is available exclusively from iTunes starting today. It includes six tracks off 2011's great Bon Iver, Bon Iver and a cover of Bjork's "Who Is It?," which the band has played live many times. You can stream the session's opening track, "Beth/Rest" below.
As mentioned, Bon Iver is touring internationally throughout the summer and fall and will come to NYC on September 19 and 20 at Radio City Music Hall. Both of those shows are now sold out. All Bon Iver dates, including a recently announced European leg, are listed below.
Speaking of Bjork, she's teaming up with the New York Public Library (NYPL) and the Children's Museum of Manhattan to create interactive educational programs for middle school-aged students based on her Biophilia app. Speaking about the program, Bjork said:
"It's not a bookish thing. You cannot learn to make music from a book." "I love books; they're like the best ever," she added. "There are things you can only learn from books, but it's also important to introduce the physical aspects. So for me, it was very important to make, somehow, music education that was physical." (via NY Daily News)Both Bon Iver and Bjork are set to play Oya Festival in Oslo, Norway this summer (Aug 7-11) with The Stone Roses, Refused, The Afghan Whigs, Bob Mould (performing Copper Blue), Chromatics, Cloud Nothings, John Maus, Purity Ring, Saint Etienne, SBTRKT, Screaming Females, St. Vincent, and more. Full list below.
Way Out West (Aug 9-11) in Gothenberg, Sweden features many of the same bands as Oya like Bon Iver, Refused, Afghan Whigs, St. Vincent, Purity Ring, John Maus, and Bob Mould in addition to Blur, Wilco, I Break Horses, Hot Chip, The War On Drugs, Mark Lanegan Band, Adolescents, Swans, and more. Check out the spotify playlist. The full lineup is listed below.
As mentioned, the reunited Mazzy Star is set to play both of those European festivals. Full lineups and the Bon Iver dates and song, below...
Refused @ Coachella 2012 (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
One day before Coachella on Friday, the reunited Refused played a warm up show at the Glass House in Pomona, CA. At that more-intimate show, their first US show in fourteen years (but not their first reunion show), they played fourteen songs which is only one more than they played the next night to a giant crowd at the desert festival. OC Weekly was at the smaller gig:
"Introduced by foreboding background music that sent anticipation skyrocketing and lights perfectly set for an intimate rock 'n' roll show, Refused hit the stage to anxious claps and a powerfully active crowd. Beginning with "The Shape of Punk to Come" and the drum beat backed proclamation "Hey baby you never felt this good," the long awaited veterans set their sights and sharpened teeth on Pomona. Following this was another one of the band's beloved favorites, "The Refused Party Program," which transitioned itself perfectly to a twenty twelve live setting. In those first initial torrents of songs being performed, Lyxzen's energy expenditures were left without a penny unspent and the band's vise-tightened stranglehold on the fans and speakers was indestructible. "Refused will now hang out in California and play San Francisco and then Coachella again next weekend before heading to NYC for two sold out shows at Terminal 5. They then return to North America for more touring over the summer with Off!. Tickets for the Brooklyn show at Williamsburg Park are still on sale.
You saw pictures from Coachella. Check out some live videos along with the setlists from both California shows so far, below...
Refused @ Debaser Medis in Sweden - 2012-03-30
With less than 2 weeks until their first of two Coachella performances which are followed by two shows at NYC's Terminal 5 which come a few months before a big tour that returns to NYC, the reunited Refused played a warm up show in their home country of Sweden the other day (again). Check out some high quality video from about half the show, and the full setlist below...
Off! @ a Way Out West aftershow in Gothenburg in 2011
As we were just saying, Off! were putting the finishing touches on their new album. This new press release from Vice Records has even more info:
In a creative pace to match the breathless vehemence of their music, punk/hardcore luminaries OFF! have announced the follow up to their much heralded debut First Four EPs will arrive in the form of a self-titled full length May 8th, 2012 from Vice Records. Barrelling through sixteen high intensity tracks in as many minutes, the album demonstrates the LA quartet had still further to ratchet up their visceral sonic maelstrom, delivering a "dark party" soundtrack of unleashed exasperation and bitterness executed with a rigorous precision that more than lives up to the cavalcade of accolades heaped upon them so far by the likes of Pitchfork, NPR, LA Times, among many others. Full tracklist below.Tickets for the previously mentioned NYC show at Bowery Ballroom are on sale now. All tour dates are listed, along with the new album tracklist, and a set of pictures I took in Sweden last year, below...
In conjunction with the impending release the band have announced a string of live dates in support of the album including a trio of appearances at next month's SXSW Festival and select record release shows in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, and San Diego. The Los Angeles show, which serves as the album's proper record release, is booked at the legendary Whiskey a Go Go, former host to many of the most important punk/hardcore bands of the early 80's including The Germs, The Ramones, The Misfits, and countless others.
iamamiwhoami @ Way Out West
Swedish electronic art, music & multimedia project iamamiwhoami, who has been accused of being Karin Dreijer Andersson of the Knife (who iamamiwhoami now shares a manager with), has been pretty quiet lately. There hasn't been a new video posted to their YouTube account (their main form of communication) since "clump" in July. Until today. Iamamiwhoami is back, though with not much more than a tease, and a mysterious one at that. Check out the new 37 second video "kin 20120611" below.
Not much was known about iamamiwhoami until they made their live debut in August at Sweden's Way Out West festival, a show I happened to be at. Led by Swedish singer-songwriter Jonna Lee, their live show was as over the top, intriguing, high budget and theatrical as their videos. Jonna performed the songs made famous via YouTube while an anonymous video team dressed all in black followed her every move which was in turn broadcast live on the screens by the stage. There were also video cameras set up above and below the stage, including inside the bed made of toilet paper... Just check out the pics (which I never posted before). They continue, with the new video, below...
Pulp @ Way Out West in 2011
The Coachella 2012 lineup was supposed to be announced in full by now (update: ANNOUNCED), so that may explain why Pulp just announced that they will in fact be playing the festival on both of its weekends: April 13 & 20. Now let's hope that also means a North American tour that comes all the way east. The rumored end-of-2011 US shows obviously didn't happen.
I was lucky enough to catch Pulp during their reunion dates in Europe over the summer, at the Way Out West festival in Gothenburg, Sweden to be exact. Here are some pictures from that glorious show, the great Jarvis Cocker, special guest Charlie Fink from Noah & the Whale, and many Swedish fans included. They continue below...
Robyn @ Way Out West in Sweden
Robyn was one of the highlights of the Way Out West Festival in Gothenburg, Sweden over the summer. I took a whole bunch of pictures of her performance in her home country, but never got to post them, so here they are along with videos of her performance on Saturday Night Live over the weekend (Katy Perry who she opened some shows for in the past was the host). Check them out below...
DOWNLOAD: SBTRKT - "Wildfire" (Drumma Boy remix ft. Shabazz Palaces) (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: SBTRKT - "Wildfire" (Feat. Little Dragon) (MP3)
SBTRKT & Sampha @ Nefertiti Jazz Club, Gothenburg, Sweden
Watching SBTRKT with vocalist Sampha, an inch from the small stage at Nefertiti Jazz Club in Gothenburg, Sweden back in August was a highlight of my trip over there for the Way Out West festival. At the time especially, SBTRKT's self-titled album was still in regular rotation in my brain and it was the first time I was seeing them live (I missed their july appearance at PS1). The only bummer was that I had to miss Little Dragon's conflicting festival set in order to catch SBTRKT which was even more frustrating because it was a hometown Little Dragon show (they're from Gothenburg) and it meant that Little Dragon vocalist Yukimi Nagano definitely wouldn't be showing up to play "Wildfire" with SBTRKT live. SBTRKT instead introduced the song by acknowledging that it was sung by one of their own residents and played her vocals from tape. It was still kind of amazing. Sampha sang live on the other tracks, and kept busy with various knobs and other instruments too. SBTRKT himself moves back and forth at lightning speeds from his multitude of electronic equipment to his drum set, sweating in the process. It did not seem at all like he was just "hitting play." Some unposted pictures from that Swedish SBTRKT show are in this post. I saw Little Dragon live a few days later in Brooklyn.
(After SBTRKT's set I ran through a park in Sweden on my way to catch who was playing after Little Dragon at the club they played at. I had no idea where I was - was just following directions. Fittingly, Yukimi passed me, in what seemed like the middle of nowhere, going in the opposite direction. On her way to say hello to SBTRKT I assumed.)
SBTRKT is now on a North American tour which arrives in NYC this week for two shows. The first, for the guys who wear masks on stage every night, is on Halloween at Bowery Ballroom with AraabMUZIK. The next is one night later at Music Hall of Williamsburg with Cubic Zirconia. Both are now sold out. Earlier on the tour SBTRKT stopped in Seattle where Shabazz Palaces made a surprise appearance to rap his remix verse live over "Wildfire" (kind of like Drake did in Toronto over the summer). Video from that Seattle show, more pictures from Sweden and all dates, below...
As many are posting, James Blake told Liz Pelly at the Boston Phoenix that:
"I think the dubstep that has come over to the US, and certain producers-- who I can't even be bothered naming-- have definitely hit upon a sort of frat-boy market where there's this macho-ism being reflected in the sounds and the way the music makes you feel. And to me, that is a million miles away from where dubstep started. It's a million miles away from the ethos of it. It's been influenced so much by electro and rave, into who can make the dirtiest, filthiest bass sound, almost like a pissing competition, and that's not really necessary. And I just think that largely that is not going to appeal to women. I find that whole side of things to be pretty frustrating, because that is a direct misrepresentation of the sound as far as I'm concerned."As many would agree, that means you Skrillex (who lots of people hate and who collaborates with KORN who... have a new DUBSTEP ALBUM COMING OUT and who are playing Radiohead's favorite venue Roseland soon too) (And though he's Canadian, James might also be referring to Datsik who also collaborated with Korn and who plays Webster Hall tonight).
Speaking of James Blake, who recently played ACL, didn't win the Mercury Prize, collaborated with Bon Iver, and will be back in NYC soon, I saw him play in a church (the perfect setting for him) at the Way Out West Festival in Sweden back in August with Low (perfect for them too). I posted one picture the next day, and a few more to Facebook, but never the whole set, so here they are. They continue with all dates below...
Kanye West in Sweden
I caught Kanye West's 2+ hour headlining set at the Way Out West Festival in Gothenburg, Sweden on Saturday night, one night after I saw Prince play a 2+ hour set on the same stage, surprise cameo by Kanye included (Prince did not return the favor).
Without comparing setlists, as far as I could tell from memory, Kanye's set in Sweden was the basically the same set he did at Coachella minus Justin Vernon on guest vocals. Everything else was similar - the show starting with Kanye on a ladder in the middle of the crowd, the backdrop, the ballet dancers, the white sheet that covers them towards the end, the costume changes, and even a short appearance by Pusha T during "Runaway" (seriously though, Pusha T went all the way to Sweden for 20 seconds on stage?). Pictures from the epic production are in this post.
Jay Z & Kanye West have added new dates to their upcoming tour in support of the recently released Watch the Throne. The previously announced dates include November 5 and 6 at Izod Center which are now sold out. The new announcement includes another NYC area date (sort of) on November 11 at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, NJ. Tickets go on sale Friday (8/19) at 10 AM with a Watch the Throne and VIP presale starting Wednesday (8/17) at 10 AM.
Updated Throne dates, more pictures from Sweden, and the video for "Otis" below...
post written with the assistance of Andrew Sacher
Chelsea Wolfe is currently on a tour in support of her upcoming LP Apokalypsis. As mentioned, Chelsea and her band play a non-Way Out West show tonight (8/10) in Gothenburg, Sweden, the same city the festival takes place in this week. It's in just a few hours and, especially since I've been listening to the new record non-stop, I'm super excited that I'll be there (I'm in Sweden).
Tonight's show is being opened by Gothenburg based Glenn and Glenn who will reportedly be playing their first show ever, though the band members are no newbies. Their lineup includes Gabo Camnitzer of Gabo and the Wartels, drummer Markus Gorsch of Love Is All, and a member of The Aislers Set who is probably Wyatt Cusick since his other credits include being a Love Is All producer and being the husband of Love Is All frontwoman Josephine Olausson. Listen to some Glenn and Glenn tracks below.
You can follow Chelsea's tour and check out pics on their tour blog, which is run by Ben Chisolm, a full time member of her live band. When Ben isn't touring with Chelsea, he also operates as a producer/engineer under the moniker White Horse (not to be confused with Whitehorse). Ben's got a number of releases at his bandcamp available for stream and purchase, including a remix of Chelsea Wolfe's "Moses" and a three-volume series (so far at least) of EPs called The Revenant Gospels. The EPs credit all vocals to "those whom are no longer with us" and are tagged as "occult" and "voices of the dead." The most recent release, The Revenant Gospels Volume III, which came out this past May, sees the vocals of the late Freddie Mercury transformed into a dank witchy brew of clicks and bass on "Bohemian Guilt." It puts an entirely different spin on "Mama, just killed a man" than the one you're used to. The whole EP is available for $3.33 on bandcamp and he also offers a mediafire link for the album.
Ben also recently posted a mixtape to the White Horse soundcloud which includes material from Gatekeeper, Death Grips, Nas, White Ring, Ol Dirty Bastard and Tri Angle artists oOoOO and Water Borders, among others. You can stream the whole tape below.
Speaking of Tri Angle (and Chelsea Wolfe), Robin C of Tri Angle will DJ when Chelsea Wolfe makes her NYC debut at the BV-presented 8/17 Saint Vitus show with Cult of Youth and Planning for Burial. Tickets for that show are still available.
oOoOO and Water Borders also play two NYC shows this week as part of a Tri Angle tour. The NYC shows happen, sans Holy Other, on August 11 at Mercury Lounge and August 13 at PS1. Erika Spring (of Au Revoir Simone) is also on the Mercury show, which tickets are still available for. The PS1 show also has Clams Casino, Ayshay, Black Dice, and His Name Is Alive (DJ).
Streams and dates below...
Britpop heroes Pulp, who recently reunited, are playing a string of European festivals this month which continues their trend of only playing shows overseas, but rumors say they may be playing some North American shows later this year. Fingers crossed.
One of the European fests Pulp is playing is the sold out "Way Out West" in Gothenburg, Sweden (August 11-13). Other bands playing that 5-year old Swedish festival include Prince, Kanye West, The Hives, Robyn, James Blake, Fucked Up, OFF!, The Jayhawks, WU LYF, Fleet Foxes, Little Dragon, Q-Tip, Destroyer, Janelle Monae, and Jamie Woon. Flyer below.
For Litle Dragon, Way Out West is a hometown show and just a few days before they fly to Brooklyn to play a BV-presented record release show with Rich Medina (on 8/16). Chelsea Wolfe doesn't play Way Out West, but is coincidentally playing Gothenburg the night before it begins. She then heads to Brooklyn to play a BV-presented show too, her first-ever in NYC (on 8/17). Advanced tickets for that one, which is happening at Saint Vitus, are on sale now.
The mysterious Iamamiwhoami, who just released a new video (watch it below), will be making their/her live debut at Way Out West. Why so much interest in this Swedish festival? Because I'm excited to say I'll be visiting Sweden for the first time next week and will be there. I'll let you know how it is.
Pulp are reissuing their first three albums next week (8/8). According to NME:
All three albums will all be released on August 8, and will come with new liner notes from rock critic Everett True. Although the LPs won't be remastered, they will all come with new artwork, while 'Freaks' and 'Separations' will both come with added bonus tracks.All Pulp dates, Way Out West flier & new iamamiwhoami video below...
'Freaks' will feature an extra disc of material taken from their singles 'Little Girl' and 'Dogs Are Everywhere', while 'Separations' will also include two extra songs - 'Death Goes To Disco' and 'Is This House' - plus an extended version of the album track 'Countdown'.
Danzig @ Sweden Rock Festival, June 10, 2010 (mor10am)
Glenn Danzig... recently announced a special nine-city concert trek that kicked off yesterday in Norfolk, VA.Grab a new song from Deth Red Sabaoth, where Danzig returns to his roots, for free from Amazon.
Fans can also meet Glenn Danzig at three in-store autograph signings to be held around the tour, included Saturday June 19 at Vintage Vinyl in NJ, Monday, June 21 at Newbury Comics in Boston, MA, and Thursday, June 24 at Record Exchange in Boise, Idaho. See the tour itinerary below for more information.
Danzig plans to dig deep into his career-defining catalogue and perform tracks from Danzig, Lucifuge, How the Gods Kill, and on up to the present, including several new songs from Deth Red Sabaoth. "Danzig fans have their own favorites from throughout the years," said Glenn, "and I hope the set list we put together will satisfy everyone."
Danzig's tour continues tonight (6/16) at the Fillmore in Charlotte, NC. He hits the Nokia Theatre in NYC on Friday, signs at Vintage Vinyl Saturday afternoon and then plays the Troc in Philly Saturday night. Nokia Theatre tickets are still on sale.
Danzig recently got back from Europe where his setlists included "Thirteen". He performed the song, that he wrote for Johnny Cash and which randomly appears on The Hangover soundtrack, for the first time on June 10th in Sweden. Video of that performance and all dates (including the signings), below...
by Bill Pearis
By now you hopefully you know that Norway's awesome Casiokids are playing our Brooklyn Vegan Pre-SXSW party, alongside Let's Wrestle, The Wave Pictures, Banjo or Freakout and WhoMadeWho. There's now also free PBR for an hour or two (exact details on that soon). And I'll be DJing in between sets. It's all very exciting, isn't it? There are still some tickets available -- only $8.
In that previous post about Casiokids, we mentioned a compilation of the band's 2009 singles called Topp stemning på lokal bar that was, as of that writing, only coming out in Norway. The band have since announced that they've signed to Polyvinyl in the U.S. who will release the album, complete with bonus disc of remixes just like in Norway.
The Knitting Factory show is actually one of three that Casiokids will be playing in NYC before they head to Austin for SXSW. They will also play Pianos this Saturday (3/13) along with Banjo or Freakout, Denmark's synth-rock quintet Spleen United and our Italian friends A Classic Education. Casiokids also play Littlefield on Sunday (3/14) afternoon for an all-Scandinavian party that again features Spleen United, plus Denmark's only surf/flamenco band, The Good The Bad, and The Megaphonic Thrift.
The Megaphonic Thrift are made up of members of Casiokids and The Low Frequency in Stereo and are definitely of the '90s indie rock variety (in this case think GBV or Dinosaur Jr.) that seems to be coming back into style lately. You can download their single "Acid Blues" at the top of this post. Their debut, Decay Destroy, just came out in Norway and is available here through your favorite digital store. I haven't seen them play yet, but BV caught them at by:Larm and said they were pretty good. Pictures from their February 18th show at Oslo club Sub Scene are below.
In addition to the Littlefield show, Megaphonic Thrift are playing Sunday night (3/14) at Bowery Electric and then on Monday night at Santos Party House for a Oya Fest / Oh My Rockness party with fellow Norwegians Pirate Love (High energy, Hives-ish garage) and Hanne Hukkelberg (orchestrated pop), plus The Depreciation Guild. Mind you this is the same night as our Knitting Factory show, so Megaphonic Thrift will play Santos then certain members will race across the Williamsburg Bridge to join their Casiokids bandmates in time for that set. It's all going to work out fine.
Pirate Love will be back after SXSW for a couple shows with UK garage act Thee Vicars. Catch them at Cameo Gallery on March 26 and Lit Lounge on March 27.
Spleen United @ CMJ 2009
The aforementioned Spleen United are also playing this Wednesday (3/10) at Union Hall with fellow Danes Choir of Young Believers. I caught Spleen United at CMJ back in October and they reminded me of the kind of band that 20 years ago would've been on Wax! Trax! or Play it Again Sam records -- the poppier side of goth/industrial. They've had #1 albums in Denmark I've since learned. With multiple percussionists, they put on a pretty good live show too.
Choir of Young Believers were also here at CMJ. Their debut, This is for the White in Your Eyes, is elegiac folk that gets the band compared to Fleet Foxes quite a bit but CoYB are a bit more instrumentally varied and grandiose than Robin Pecknold and co. It really is a lovely record. The Union Hall show also features The Loom (who played that BV loft show during CMJ 2009) and Spain's The Right Ons. Choir of Young Believers also play Pianos on Thursday (3/11) with Brooklyn's ARMS who are worth checking out in their own right.
Choir of Young Believers
That's more than enough for one post. Below are videos, flyers and tour dates for some of the bands mentioned here...
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: Miss Li - Bourgeois Shangri-La (MP3)
Swedish singer Miss Li is one of the many, many artists heading to SXSW this year, and will also make stops in New York after the fest -- she plays Mercury Lounge on Tuesday, March 23 and Joe's Pub the next night (3/24). You probably know one of her songs whether you realize it or not, as "Borgeois Shangri-La" was featured in an iPod ad (the one touting the Nano's video capabilities). The song is from her fourth album, Dancing the Whole Way Home, which ranges from jazzy cabaret to the more sparkling pop of "Bourgeois Shangri-La" and it's all pretty catchy stuff. Joe's Pub seems like the right fit.
All dates and a few Miss Li videos after the jump...
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: El Perro Del Mar - Change of Heart (Rakamonie Remix) (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Taken By Trees - Watch The Waves (MP3)
There's a double-dose of Swedes in town: El Perro Del Mar and Taken by Trees are playing together tonight (2/16) at Le Poisson Rouge and tomorrow (2/17) Knitting Factory and both have good, new-ish albums out. I loved El Perro Del Mar's debut EP but found her first album a bit drowning in dourness, as if it was an audition for Peter Gabriel or something. Her voice has a sad quality to it already, the music doesn't need to wallow too. Which is why I think last year's Love Is Not Pop works so much better. Working with the Balearic-loving guys of Studio, the record is both lighter and more mysterious-sounding, and some of it you could imagine being used in an '80s Michael Mann film.
The same could be said for Taken by Trees' second album, East of Eden, which was recorded in Pakistan (also with some Studio help) and is a little more rhythmic and engaging than Victoria Bergsman's first post-Concretes effort (which I also liked). I don't know if "fun" is the right word for it, but it's definitely more playful. And I think I might actually like "My Boys" better than Animal Collective's original. She also covered Guns n' Roses' "Sweet Child of Mine" which became a modest UK hit.
More hot Swedish action tonight (2/16) at The Filmore at Irving Plaza with The Soundtrack of Our Lives who are one of my favorite live bands of the last ten years. Their latest CD, the double-disc Communion, is jam-packed with power chords, acid-rock, trippy ballads and psychobabble lyrics. Sure it's an amalgam of every great rock band from '67 - '73, but they do it so well and are so much fun to watch (windmills, stick-twirls, etc) that originality doesn't even enter the picture. If you've never seen them live, you should really check them out tonight.
If you can't make it to Irving Plaza because, say, you're home watching LOST but are free later, TSOOL are playing an acoustic set later at the official afterparty at Norwood Club in Chelsea. It's open to the public -- just print out this flyer. Doors are at 9:30 and Scary Mansion and Nico Vega are also on the bill. I'd imagine TSOOL will go on pretty late (more details below).
TSOOL will also be playing Noise Pop in San Francisco on Feb. 27 and we're giving away tickets here. Videos, flyers and dates below...
by Bill Pearis
I almost fell off my chair when I found out Malmö, Sweden's Moonbabies were coming to New York for CMJ, playing two shows: the Norwood Club on Thursday, October 22 and at Crash Mansion on Friday, October 23 (not to be confused with Moondoggies who are also playing CMJ). These are the first U.S. shows Moonbabies have played since their 2000 debut, June and Novas. I became aware of them after seeing the gorgeous video for their 2002 single "Over My Head" which later turned up on 2004's stellar The Orange Billboard, one of that year's most underrated albums. It typifies Moonbabies' sound, which mixes classic pop sensibilities (and Frick and Johanssen's lovely harmonies) with dips into electronics and shoegazer-ish dreaminess. If you liked the Notwist's Neon Golden from around the same time, definitely check out The Orange Billboard.
All their records are good, though Moonbabies are not the most prolific band in the world. Since then, we've gotten an EP, War on Sound, in 2005 (the title track to which was also on the second Grey's Anatomy soundtrack) and then a third album, At the Ballroom, in 2007. There are MP3s from each of their records so far at the top of this post. At the end of last year, Ola and Carina moved to Berlin to work on Moonbabies' fourth album. Hopefully we'll get to hear some of those still-gestating songs live when they play next week.
Videos and a flyer are below...
Swedish band First Aid Kit were set to make their U.S. debut at CMJ this year. They had a show scheduled at Joe's Pub, were set to open for School of Seven Bells and The xx at
Webster Hall Music Hall of Williamsburg, and play the MusicSnobbery CMJ showcase at Living Room. Luckily, MusicSnobbery got Sissy Wish to replace them on his show.
The cancelation, due to visa issues (the U.S. wouldn't let them in) was just announced, though they seem to allude to it in a message they posted on their website on Septeber 23rd. Maybe they were fighting it. That message and a video below...
words & photos by Chris La Putt
Of all the the other Swedes Anna Ternheim (who actually now lives in the East Village) has accompanied on tour, none sounded just like her, and yet, numerous reviews abound comparing her to them. Much like indie rock cannot be pigeonholed into one neighborhood in Brooklyn, Swedish singers cannot all sing like Abba.
Monday night's sold-out show at the intimate and mostly-seated Joe's Pub marked Ms. Ternheim's last American show for the summer. A few days earlier she opened for Kristin Hersh at the Bell House in Brooklyn. In July she heads out to tour her native country's festivals to promote the release of her upcoming album "Leaving on a Mayday" produced by none other than Björn Yttling (of Peter, Björn, and John). All dates below.
Suffused with dark and disquieting lyrics, Ternheim sings of love lost and death. It seemed apt for a rainy Monday in a rather lonesome city. On stage with Anna and her guitar was a chorus of three girls, and additional male band members playing various instruments. More pictures from the show, along with an official video of Anna accompanied by Björn on piano for her latest single "You Are My Everything", below..