Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Waiting for Federico




I've put in a pre order for Federico Durand's new outing, to be released on Ian Hawgood's label Home Normal. Judging from the preview above, we will be great friends indeed.

Cover by my compatriot Eirik Holmøyvik. And a damn good picture it is.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Herbstlaub's beautiful Sonnewende

A few posts and rather a while ago I recommended a set by Belgian electronica/ambient artist Herbstlaub on Soundcloud. It turns out there are quite a few records by Herbstlaub out there and the last days I've been giving one of them, Sonnewende,  quite a few spins.

Sonnewende is a beautiful piece of melancholic music, which, rather oddly and mostly due to the way he uses speech samples, reminds me of one of my favourite records, Death in June's Kapo, though it is a lot less dark. You can download it for free from his web site. Do.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

All Hail His Tininess!

80 years ago today, a little boy was born. His parents named him Herbert Khaury and he was to remain tiny - in a biggish sort of way. We know him of course as His Tininess. The one. The only. The greatly missed Tiny Tim.

How does one celebrate the birthday of a genius like His Tininess? One does, of course, listen to his music:








Friday, March 23, 2012

Three poems by Jane Hirsfield






SEAWATER STIFFENS CLOTH

Seawater stiffens cloth long after it’s dried.
As pain after it’s ended stays in the body:
A woman moves her hands oddly
because her grandfather passed through
a place he never spoke of. Making
instead the old jokes with angled fingers.
Call one thing another’s name long enough,
it will answer. Call pain seawater, tree, it will answer.
Call it a tree whose shape of branches happened.
Call what branching happened a man
whose job it was to break fingers or lose his own.
Call fingers angled like branches what peel and cut apples,
to give to a girl who eats them in silence, looking.
Call her afterward tree, call her seawater angled by silence.



SONOMA FIRE

Large moon the deep orange of embers.
Also the scent.
The griefs of others—beautiful, at a distance.



THE DECISION

There is a moment before a shape
hardens, a color sets.
Before the fixative or heat of kiln.
The letter might still be taken
from the mailbox.
The hand held back by the elbow,
the word kept between the larynx pulse
and the amplifying drum-skin of the room’s air.
The thorax of an ant is not as narrow.
The green coat on old copper weighs more.
Yet something slips through it—
looks around,
sets out in the new direction, for other lands.
Not into exile, not into hope. Simply changed.
As a sandy track-rut changes when called a Silk Road:
it cannot be after turned back from.


Friday, March 02, 2012

Chant-a-goo-goo

The name of this blog is, after all, a zen joke. So I suppose a bit of zen is in place. Do you prefer pop?




 Or metal? Zen is just so metal:

 


 Or does a bit of r'n'b give you that mindful feeling?

 

Monday, February 27, 2012

Fabrizio Paterlini's fabelous Autumn Stories



I have enjoyed the music of Fabrizio Paterlini for years. And I've enjoyed it steadily more for each record.

Last autumn he ran a project called Autumn Stories, where one song was published on Soundcloud each week. Now they are available together on the record Autumn Stories.

And while I have enjoyed his earlier records, I love this one. Here he makes the move to the premier league of neoclassical musician-composers, alongside names like Dustin O'Halloran, Ludovico Einaudi, Julia Kent and Zoe Keating.

You can buy the CD or a download from Fabrizio's webstore. Or you can stream it at his store or right here:

 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

New mix: Pagan Dreams

I've made a new mix on 8tracks. Slightly more pagan in it's approach than the last time around. All tracks that are not completely mainstream (that is all tracks that are not by Steeleye Span or Barclay James Harvest) is annotated with a link to the band or some kind of ordering service.



Track list:

Magpiety: The Rolling Of The Stones
Mary Jane: Leaves Are Falling
Steeleye Span: Samain
Message To Bears: Autumn
Faun: 2 Falken
Winter Flowers: Sixteenth Street Sunset
Barclay James Harvest: Song For Dying
Current 93: Larkspur And Lazarus
Damh the Bard: Twa Corbies
Odin Dragonfly: Magpie
Mary Jane: When I Was In My Prime
The Owl Service: Night Fall's On Summers End

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Oslo in winter

Me and my little friend Panasonic DMC-LX5 have been out walking in Oslo a bit lately.





















Monday, January 30, 2012

Memories Of Imagined Yesterdays

I'm experimenting with creating mixes on 8tracks.com. I did one yesterday, but this is my first serious attempt:

Memories Of Imagined Yesterdays from The Wizard of Woof on 8tracks.


The tracklist is as follows:

Children Of The Stones: Day Is Done
Arrowwood: From The Branch Of A Hemlock Tree
Odin Dragonfly: Witches Promise
Werkraum: Beware The Jabberwock!
Maeran: Dance Of The Mummers
God's Little Eskimo: Penguin Eggs
Mary Jane: Bruton Town
Kentin Jivek: Mother Absintha
The Waterboys: An Irish Airman Forsees His Death
Winter Flowers: Misty Morning Land
Birch Book: Feet Of Clay
Fernwood: August

For anything that is not completely mainstream (that is anything that's not Waterboys), I've added some kind of ordering or contact information.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Shaping sounds, part 1: The Triffids

Music has shaped me. Ever since I fell in love with The Beatles at about eight years old, music has been an important part of my life. It has been a journey. Favourites have come and gone. A few have stayed, though most have lost their allure after a while. (I still like The Beatles, though.)

Quite a few I have discovered a long time after they where gone. Some because I missed them, some because I wrote them off out of ignorance, some simply because I have changed - and my musical taste with it.

Once upon a time I considered REM a great band and found Bon Jovi stupid and vulgar. I was wrong, almost on both accounts. Yes, Bon Jovi is quite stupid and rather vulgar, but at least they are fun. Which is way, way, way more than can be said about REM.

Some are eternal, though. This post is the first in a series about them. The ones that not only shaped me, but stayed. And only one such band can start such a series.

The Triffids came from Perth, Australia. They made music that was romantic, pompous, catchy and simply quite fabelous. In a decade of dark shaded post punk posers, The Triffids were vulnerable, curious, downright optimistic. And sad.

In the end the sadness won. Lack of sales strangled the beauty of The Triffids in 1989. Ill health and drugs swollowed front man David McComb, the Scott Walker of post punk, ten years later. Though only after a stint in the good (and still up and running) Black Eyed Susans.

But for a while ... For a while The Triffids was the perfect post punk pop band. Slightly odd, quite unpredictable and oh, so damn good.

As will be the standard in this series of posts, here are three of their best songs:



Red Pony, from the 1983 record Treeless Plain, the one I discovered them by.



Bury Me Deep In Love, from the 1987 masterpiece Calenture. McComb at his most Scott Walerish.



American Sailors, from their last record, The Black Swan, from 1989. By then things were going sour. There is a miasma of loss and despair to the record, but it is still (or perhaps because of that) a thing of rare beauty.

Of all the stories of The Triffids' loosing battle for a place in international rock'n'roll, this one, from Wikipedia's page on keyboard player and occasional singer Jill Birt, is the one I find most telling:

"I remember one night at the Burswood Casino, it must have been in about 1990," recalled Steve Gordon, a WA music notable. "The Western Australia Music Industry had this big event at the showroom and someone announced the winner of the most outstanding WA contribution to the national and international music scene. It was The Triffids. "There was a young woman who was working at the show serving drinks. All of a sudden, she put down her tray, walked up on stage in her Burswood uniform and collected the prize. It was Jill Birt, the keyboardist. While the rest of the music industry was sitting around in black ties and tuxes, the only person from the band who was there to accept the award was serving them drinks. It was very telling."

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

The professor, the director and the ent

January is three days old. That means the day is here. The one we all are waiting for. The birthday of JRR Tolkien. So:

To the professor!

It is a good day to republish an old diatribe about the Peter Jackson movies. Not the least because we are, after all accounts, in the year of The Hobbit. So here we go (it is the first in a line of republishings of old posts and articles from various parts of the interwebs):




No way to treat an ent

It’s autumn. Late autumn, actually. And, as it’s autumn, I have gotten the urge to return to Middle Earth. I picked up where I left off – as Merry and Pippin enters Fangorn forest.