Saturday, 31 January 2009

Disappointments of a dinosaur

A month with Spotify and the joy of something new and inspiring has worn off a bit. The possibilities are so endless that it feels a bit soulless after a while. At times i felt a bit forced trying to find what i have always missed, music wise, other times im disappointed for not being able to find some of the somewhat underground artist's that i like. No surprise there, its mostly big labels that have connected themselves to the database.

The news surrounding Spotify this week is regarding the fact that the big labels now wants to limit the use of songs and artists depending on where you live etc. What was from the start a great idea will now be limited and slowly fade away. Because we all know that if the customer feels limited and cant find what they are looking for, they will probably go back to illegal downloads again.

With nostalgia i remember the old hunt for cheap records (and im not the only one feeling that way) and im not even one of those people who bought a lot of LP's back in the day. I still love the smell of a great printed cover, like mini pieces of art to bright up my day. These days my record shopping is limited to buying them at gigs, directly from the artist with the memory of a great live experience connected to the little piece of plastic. I know im a relic, a dinosaur, a dying breed, but i still love CD's.

Spotify Press Picture

Read more about the news at

Sunday, 25 January 2009

... help!

Hi everyone! Seems like the layout for my blog isn't wide enough to fit Youtube's widescreen videos. I'm not blessed with a talent to edit HTML code, so im asking if any of you, the readers, knows how to do this?

Im very grateful for any help i can get!

The Art of Making a Great Cover [part II]

Another great example where the cover turned out great is Maia Hirasawa's version of The Ark's song The Worrying Kind. In 2007 The Ark, with their energetic glam-rock competed with this song in the Swedish verison of the Eurovision Song Contest. In 2008 Maia performed this great cover and over night she got her breakthrough here in Sweden and went from independent singer-song writer to being at the top of the charts and "Maia" with the whole Swedish people. Watch both of the versions below.

Maia Hirasawa - The Worrying Kind [2008]

The Ark - The Worrying Kind [2007]

Saturday, 24 January 2009

The Art of Making a Great Cover [part I]

I came to think about the art of making a great cover when i heard Carola on the TV. She made a song called Evighet (Eternity) for the Eurovision Song Contest 2006 and won in Sweden. Im not a fan of Carola, but the year after Tomas Andersson Wij performed a great cover of this song... and suddenly the song made sense! This is an example when the cover is so much better than the original. Watch them both below.

-- Which one is your favorite cover? --

Evighet - Tomas Andersson Wij [2007]

Evighet - Carola [2006]

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Billie The Vision & The Dancers

When the weather is really crappy and grey outside i turn on one of my happy-favorites Billie The Vision & The Dancers. They always makes me smile :)

I don't know much about them, but they fell into my life 2+ years ago thanks to an ex who saw them live in a festival. And that is their strength, they are out there performing and getting a very dedicated fan base.

If you dig under that joyful indie-pop-band shell you will find that they are always expressing happiness and joy, but also more complex feelings of loneliness. Its sometimes sad, but most of the time with a positive melody in the background somewhere. A who is that guy Pablo that keeps popping up in the songs? :)

They have released an album every year since 2004 and im pretty sure that they will keep up the same kind of productivity in the future, this is a band that really loves making music and you can hear it! The latest album I Used to Wander These Streets id definitely on my top 10 list of 2008. A few of my favorite Billie The Vision... songs are: Summercat, Ask for More, Apologize, City, A Beautiful Night in Oslo, Overdosing With You and I Belong To You just to name a few.

Luckily for you, their music is available as free downloads on their website and on Have a listen, i know you wont regret it! Btw. make sure you make a donation when you download.

Press picture Martin Lindeborg

Read more on Billie The Vision & The Dancers official website.

Spotify yourself!

For the better part of 2008 people started to whisper about Spotify and how great it was, to get an invite to this great musical mystery was granted only a few very hip and happening people. So, finally, late 2008 i gave in to the curiosity and beg some of my friends for an invite and started listening.

Spotify is one of those applications that will change the way we listen to music once again. Its a Swedish invention to make it easier for people to listen to all the music they want, legally, for free. You have an account and that account give you access to a lot of music on a server. Its financed with commercials, but you can buy yourself a commercial free subscription. Its said to the the salvation for the record industry that's currently on its knees from plummeting record sales. The artist's/labels get paid for every song played, fair for every one.

I didn't want to write about it until i tried it, so that's why im the last one in Sweden to blog about this ;) The commercials are not that frequent, so i don't find it as annoying as the commercial radio channels we've got here. Much better. The music server is lacking some of my more alternative choices, but more and more music is added every day. It has given me the opportunity to look up some of the music that i want to sample but isn't sure i want, which is great. Another nice thing is that the developers made it possible for us nerds to scrobble directly from Spotify :)

So sign up for a paid try-out or beg someone for an invite and start exploring all that music you have been wondering about!

Press pictures from Spotify's playful "google-ish" headquarters. Work and play in symbiosis.

Find out more at

Saturday, 10 January 2009

Swedish Grammy '09

The Swedish Grammy award of 2009 had some prices for our favorites. These are a few of the winners:

Album of the year:

Anna Ternheim - Leaving On A Mayday

Group of the year:
The Soundtrack Of Our Lives - Communion

Rock Group of the year:
In Flames A Sense Of Purpose

Female artist of the year:

Anna Ternheim - Leaving On A Mayday

Live act of the year:


Song of the year:

E.M.D. - Jennie Let Me Love You

Male artist of the year:

Håkan Hellström - För Sent För Edelweiss

Newcomer of the year:
Kleerup - Kleerup

Composer of the year:
Kleerup - Kleerup

Producer of the year:
Kleerup - Kleerup

Lyrics of the year:
Annika Norlin - More Modern Short Stories From Hello Saferide

MTV award, Best video:
They Live By Night - Catching Up.
Regissör: Senay/ Kolacz

Grammy Live Act: Robyn

Grammy Live Act: A Camp

Grammy Live Act: Christian Walz

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Loney, Dear [heart] Andrew Bird

Good news for all you citizens of the US. Loney, Dear is coming to a city near you. I have written about Emil before, urging you to take a listen. Now its time for Emil to release a long awaited new album: Dear John. On his official website he describes the new album as something darker than before or more precise "A dark record with a lava-ish glow from underneath".

Most os the US tour is a collaboration with his friend Andrew Bird, that you might have come across before. He also features in some of the song on the new album. The album is released January 27th in the US and March 15th here in Sweden. Go to Loney, Dear's Myspace and listen to the new song Airport Surroundings.

Tour Dates for the US tour:
12/10 New York, NY Mercury Lounge
12/12 Brooklyn, NY Union Hall
01/29 Northampton, MA Iron Horse
01/30 Boston, MA The Orpheum*
02/03 Washington, DC The 930 Club*
02/04 Atlanta, GA Variety Playhouse*
02/06 Orlando, FL The Plaza*
02/07 New Orleans, LA House of Blues*
02/09 Baton Rouge, LA Spanish Moon
02/10 Houston, TX Rudyard’s British Pub
02/11 Denton, TX Hailey’s
02/12 Austin, TX The Paramount Theater*
02/13 Albuquerque, NM The El Rey*
02/14 Tucson, AZ The Rialto*
02/17 Visalia, CA Howie and Son’s Pizza
02/18 Los Angeles, CA The Orpheum*
02/19 San Francisco, CA The Fillmore*
02/20 San Francisco, CA The Fillmore*
02/21 Portland, OR Roseland*
02/23 Seattle, WA The Moore*
02/24 Boise, ID The Knitting Factory*
02/25 Murray, UT The Murray*
02/26 Denver, CO The Ogden*
02/27 Omaha, NE Slowdown*
03/01 Chicago, IL Schubas

* = w/ Andrew Bird

Find out more information on Loney, Dear's official website, on Myspace or Sub Pop.

Press Photo: Peter Beste

Monday, 5 January 2009

Julklapp from Kent

Happy new year! 2009 will be a great year! Kent thought they should give their fans a Christmas gift, and thats why you can find På Drift? as a free download on their official website. [Get it while its hot!]

The song is made especially for the anti-bully organization Friends. And since Kent's music has helped generations of anxiety filled teens since the early 90ties so i think its a good choice for them to back up this organization.

Kent is one of the biggest indie bands in Sweden and has been since 1991 when the breakthrough came with the album Kent and the song Blåjeans that became a big hit. I have been following them since then, and i have all the albums like a true fan :] Although the teen anxiety has lifted i still get shivers when i listen to this.

Kent - På Drift? [commercial version from Swedish Television]

[More about Kent will surely come...]