She’s got the look…

I do have some nice music updates, but I thought I’d make this post inbetween as it has taken up a lot of my thought. Starting to follow feminist pages such as Supersnippan and A girl’s guide to taking over the world on Facebook, as well as Kvinnohat on Instagram has given me a lot of hope. I had a hard time finding these pages at first, and when I eventually did it was like “whoah, yeah, I’m not alone”. For those of you who haven’t gotten this yet: a feminist stance is a bit of a lonely stance in general, and although I hang out with friends who get it (some I have even turned ;D) it’s nice to see a big community of people with these viewpoints. And they have woken me up to another phenomenon;

The media coverage of men and women. Men: achievement, Women; looks. And honestly, it’s ridicolous. Choose between the headlines anyday and you’ll see it too.

Take the coverage of Heidi Klum. “Heidi Klum suffers nip slip while saving nanny and son from drowning.” First of all: oh noooes, a nipple, like they’re an unnatural body part and guys don’t have ’em out all the time while bathing. Second of all… What?!! I mean WHAT!!!?ย I don’t even think I need to comment. I don’t think you need even one of the many levels of wrong here. If you do, please send me a message and I’ll explain as calmly as I can. Allz I know is: Heidi, you’re one awesome woman.

And then we have the obsession with the look of Britney Spears some odd five years ago. What she weighs, how she dresses and that imfamous hair incident. Was she releasing a lot of music at the time? No. Was she a newlywed adjusting to motherhood and pregnancies? Yes. Were all of the photos and the critiquing comments posted about her time off? Yes. Lets be honest, she worked out for the few videos she released and even though she wasn’t the muscle stick figure she was during for example the “Stronger” video, she still looked a hell of a lot better and was in better shape than 90% of the people and magazines that complained. And comments about how she looks on her time off? NOT OK! She’s not working, she has no responsibility to dress up, be in shape or look good for the paparazzis she didn’t ask for. And the hair shaving? A deeply disturbed girl, naturally responding to all the shit that thas happened to her over the years, acting in a way that you can’t with good conscience blame her for, nor do you in any way have the right to have an opinion about the new hairdo.

I do realize it’s a line of work. But your responsibility is to have the fitting esthetics and give your audience a visual experience while you’re working. It’s not even about weight (Adele) or hair (Sinead O Connor) but about providing the peoplez with an image that compliments the music/art. Did these women do these things while working? No? Then sod off! What also strikes me as off is that the men in the same profession do NOT have to worry about ending up on “Worst dressed” lists nor do they get critisized for what the pap camera catches except for in very extreme cases. If it ever happens in the male world, the ratio man/woman is still absolutely ridoncolous.

I do excersize insanely before videos and shoots and gigs, mostly because I’m a big fan of the muscles and I want them while I perform/act/pose, partly because running on the treadmill while singing surely prepares my lungs for an extrordinary performance. I have a routine inbetween as well, although not as tough, because honestly, I wouldn’t be able to cope with the extra big sessions if I didn’t have a foundation. It also keeps my body more open and my posture right, important for my wellbeing, that and my shoulders need looking after, again for my health. So I’m never quite as fit as tour-Maria or EP-Maria. Something that led to the comment today, while someone was looking at me, then my album cover: “Must be photoshop”. I was just floored. Would that someone dare say that to a man?

Well, it made me remember I wanted to make this post. So enjoy. And remember to have a look in your fav news paper. How many segments on women’s achievements and how many on men’s looks?

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still rocking slack and pregnancy better than you

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Probably rocking shaved head better than you

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Deffo rocking music videos better than you!

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Rocking curves and muscles and guinea pig and rabbit

Fun times up ahead! :)

I can’t give you a certain date yet, but we have one in the workings. Having a proper several-bands-gig with some pretty awesome guest appearances, and we had a proper lunch, tiny brownie for dessert an’ all, while working out the details.

They say you have to be out there, social, connect to make things happen in your music. Yet you hear of these stars that are painfully shy so how does it all work? Well, pretty simple. You feel when you connect with people your comfortable with, and then and only then does the wall come down pretty fast. And magic happens. Being not shy might actually be a bit of a handicap, since your wall comes down for the people you haven’t entirely made aย  connection with. You do work your best magic when you find the people that you feel magic with.

I have to admit it’s a pain being out there a lot of the time. I’m better at it, but still not comfortable. But I have found some awesome people to work with, and it’s not that I don’t work with others, but I do have the awesomes as my firm ground, constantly returning and honestly, constantly creating great stuff. I keep them in mind when another venture falls through and well, when it doesn’t? Then that’s absolutely gravy.

You know when you’ve found it. It might take a few weeks to feel it but the hunch is there from the beginning. And yes. You will find it if you haven’t already. Shy is not a handicap, not trying at all is, though!

Recording melodica

Well, I’m very much a girl when it comes to these things. Of course I bought the model cause it’s all pretty in red ‘n’ black and matches my outfit, but turns out it sounds awesome as well! Hohner, model Firemelodica, know what they’re doing. Been putting it on some recordings and I get out of breath and drule and slobber and look by no means glamorous rockstar… But it sounds soooo goood! I’ll slobber til I’m dry, it’s all for the music, baby ๐Ÿ˜‰

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The mythology of music

You may have noticed I take quite an interest in mythology and apply it to videos, artwork, and even put it in the songs at times.

It’s really all about studying all the little prisms of what I am doing. Music in itself is a form of mythology, a stronger expression of human experiences such as love, depression, hapiness, anger, fighting spirit, encounters etc etc.

The myth/phenomena of possession is all about the little demons we let in, the voices we listen to, more often than not, especially with women, negative ones. Even the studiers of possession, treating it as a real phenomena, and I’m open minded, say it’s not possible to get possessed if you don’t believe those first little voices, the demon grooming you by feeding your fears. Real or not, our bad self confidence lets it in.

And I’m sinking my teeth into (pardon the pun) the history of vampires at the mo’. Who among us doesn’t know a person or several who seem to feed off of making others feel bad and inadequate, “taking their blood/mojo/life force”? Throughout history, vampires haven’t always sucked the literal blood, but they have taken health/energy and drained their surroundings. I mean, the history of this myth (or truth) is not without importance. It’s people’s way of explaining phenomenons through supernatural or divine forces. It’s reality amplified. Just like songwriting. One of the first famous vampire novels was inspired by a real person, Lord Byron, who apparently was very self-involved, energy draining and not a very good friend to have around.

Godessess and gods at the time they were still human, ancient Greece, Rome and so on, are the archetypes of human emotion and reactions. Put in divine form, they are very much human, so much that they become a much moodier and magical version of a being than man could ever be. Demeter causing changes of seasons because of her strong love for her daughter. Aphrodite as a sensual force loved as soon as seen/felt. Zeus, the almighty, so mighty that, well… he’s a bit of an arse and a horn dog. Worst horn dog I’ve heard of, Gene Simmons, you’ve got nothing on him!

And if I wanna take you as an audience to another world, well, then I’d better read up on the creatures I might encounter with you, right? The myths are, much like my songs, a phantasy form of life. Some reality, lots of magic. I’d say it’s very much my job to read up on them. If nothing else, believing in this or not (and I’ve made no secret of my open mind), it does give a valuable insight into human psychology. What do we need to explain? What form of escape do we all need? What shape do our thoughts, emotions and life changes take?

I am still figuring it out. I think we all are.

The prizes of their toys…

They say the difference between a child and an adult is the prize of the toys.

If you catch me live 2013 you’re in for additional treats! ๐Ÿ™‚ Apart from not torturing the poor sound technician with always having to get a stereo cable for the piano (it only sends signals in mono, meaning one signal goes to two speakers instead of two identical signals or the sound going to a speaker each, providing a richer sound) as I’ve got both brill converters and some stereo cables! I also have a build on stand for the keyboard stand. Shhh. There might be some Tori Amos-“playing several stuff simultaniously” going on, but you’ll only know for sure if you come watch ๐Ÿ˜‰

And the wee toy you see below. It specializes in effects on voices. All instruments come out as signals to be interpreted, as soon as they go through a cable, and the speakers and monitors attached to the PA mixing table have the important job of interpreting those signals into sound again. Sometimes with effects through the table, built in or attached to it. In this instance, I treat the signal immediately with my own hands. I have missed reverb and effects (well, mystical music can’t be too dry) on my voice when the PA-system at the venue I’m playing hasn’t been able to provide it. All instruments have distinct signals, and often devices built to treat that very sonic picture especially. This is what amplifiers do for basses and guitars (two different amps, since a bass gives a… well bass-y signal), and the ve-5 here does this for vocals.Of course you could connect other instruments, I’ve done some experimenting with my voice and guitar amps, as long as you know it’s not costum made for it and you’re gonna have to be ready for both; interesting, or utter crap.

As it’s attached before the plug to the mixing table, I’m holding the reins on the effects. I’m not a control freak, but the fact that I get to press the buttons on my voice does make me feel like I have a lovely toy to play with ๐Ÿ˜€ I mostly bought it so I’d never be without delay, reverb and maybe some good old fashion looping on my live performances, but it’s a box full of chocolaty goodness for vocals only, so I am gonna have me some fun!

See you live in 2013, remember, it’s fun to watch an excited grown woman play with her toys of awesomeness ๐Ÿ˜‰

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West Pride June 1st 7 p.m.

Keep it in mind, me lovelies, I’ll be performing at the festival in Gothenburg at this time!

One of the matters extra close to my heart, as homophobia can be found everywhere in the world. It upsets me a little extra, since it’s about people shunning one of the most fundamentally good parts of humanity; love. The ugliness of not letting people rock who they really are in it’s purest form.

I promised my drummer sooner or later I would have a browse in Vara Musikaffรคr, and buy toys from him, and this year I actually did so my live performances 2013 have gone level up! I’ll do some blogging about the new toys in the days to come so you know what you have to look forward to if you catch a live performance in the near future. Lots of love and keep the music going! ๐Ÿ™‚

Behind the scenes of a glam PG 13 rock video

I had the theme all worked out. But I wasn’t alone. I can’t tell you how fun the few days were. And I needed them. January had been tough, kicking me around with grandpas death, and on top of that a lot of ilness, so I was really all dried out and I hadn’t excercised for the whole month (filmed in the end of the month) nor really gotten all the liquids and nutritional foods I needed. So while I was planning on a slight weight gain and looking tired for the video, as a young mom would be, I hadn’t quite planned for looking THAT run down. But when they asked me: “you wanna wait?” I just looked at my reflection and said: “You know what, it’s never gonna look as real as now. And I love working. I need this. It’s a welcome distraction and it’s gonna help me get back on track”. After all, that’s how I look when I’m grieving and caring for other human beings, so real, yessir!

I knew I wanted to do black n’ white as the EP has sort of that theme, and I’ve never tried black and white, and it sets the mood more. So I was wearing all white. For the esthetics, that something you won’t see often in real life either, but it looked wicked with the film, right? ๐Ÿ˜‰ Annelie, my nice wife who lended out her daughter in a heartbeat, asked if I wanted Isolde to look gender neutral. “You know what, if it was my baby, boy or girl, they’d be wearing dresses if they seemed to love it and suspenders if they seemed to love it. Let her be Isolde. Lets concentrate on what goes with the black and white.” And we did. I love her knitted hat and the stars. And she was comfortable, the most important thing.

Lets talk baba for a minute. Izzy was really great. I know she’s a great kid. Shy the first hour like kids are, but great and happy and not much fuzz. You can never know filming a video though, with flashing lights, big black cameras, not to mention there were a few guys there she didn’t know, and Daniel, the camera man, is 1,90 with a dark complection. But she proved to be a great little actress. I spent the morning with her, having her parrots dancing for her so she would eat her porridge (Shake your tailfeather is a great song) and let her getting used to me. There’s no use trying to create a chemistry with a kid by throwing her into filming. And it worked. Even the new environments (awesome galpals prepared the set and built a whole new child’s room and prepared everything for the shoot) just made her curious.

Both assistants (Annelie and Torbjรถrn Amilon) were parents, so they could instruct me where I missed out. Not that I don’t feel comfortable in the role. Aside from dealing with a lorra kids in the other jobs, and having felt motherly stings myself, being an artist in the music field is sort of like being a mother. A lot of psychology and tending to.

While I thought; hey, except Limbo, there’s no real mythology here, the Demeter and Persephone myth kept popping out in front of me, wanting attention. And I realized I was embodying one of the archetypes in the myth. Demeter, chasing her daughter into the underworld, bargaining to get her back. People who have suffered miscarriages or lost a child early on know you’re a Demeter at one point or another. You bargain with the Underworld to get your baby back, but your baby is a pure soul, and has moved on to another physical body or is scouting for one up in the starry sky. They’ve done their part in your life. They still love you. But like Demeter, it’s really not allowed to get them back. But you won’t realize that until you’ve created at least one winter for yourself.

There is of course a plot twist, Sixth Sense kinda thing and yes, we purposly made you believe there had been another loss in the beginning of the video. I like the classics, but hate the obvious. We sat down during easter with the final cuts. Saga had done the basics, but the fine-tuning took seven (!!) hours. I mostly sat in a funny hat re-counting all the scenes that were filmed so we didn’t miss any (we had a loooorra material) so I didn’t put myself down as editor. But the interaction between Annelie and Saga was pretty awesome and striking to watch. Annelie fiddled, diddled, gave suggestions and Saga the wizard made it all happen and tweaked it to perfection. I can’t tell you how proud we all were of eachother in the end. Saga got some cred after less than 24 hours of the video up, for her editing skills. I of course, have always known she’s awesome ๐Ÿ˜‰

Over all, it felt like such a safe environment, and I had I think more fun than any video so far, in spite of what the video is about. We laughed, ate pizza, talked, coached eachother and it really felt like a collab where everyone got to shine at what they do best. Even my beloved chubbacheeks ๐Ÿ™‚ I had hoped to do more stunts, but Torbjรถrn, who is a stuntman, pulled the reins and talked some sense into me ๐Ÿ˜‰

I have had compliments from mothers afterwards, which is probably the greatest compliments in this case, and it’s been rated PG 13 in the USA already ๐Ÿ˜‰ (controversy = good) And it’s braught out tears in EVERYONE who’s seen it thaT I’ve talked to, even us, the people working on it. I know some say you should never, in entertainement work with animals or kids, but I’ve worked with both now and I can’t think of anything I recommend more ๐Ÿ™‚

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Video coming up tonight!

Will of course link it here when it’s up! ๐Ÿ™‚

It’s an apt time to be posting a video, easter is all about the godess Oesthre, godess of fertility and creation. And I’m not just talking about child bearing. While it is a beautiful thing, it is hopefully not our focus every year from the fertile age of twelve to be honoring Oesthre with the creation of a child, or focus on our physical reproductive organs. Before and after, or even in the absence of the birth of a child, there is still fertility and creation in all of us, be it the creation of a project, a work of art or simply the rebirth of ourselves.

Anyone who’s been doing anything remotely artistic know that projects, videos,albums, songs and tours are our spiritual babies. And years later, looking back, when they are no longer newborns, they sure have changed and grown into their own beings. And we have invested time, creativity, nurturing and imagination to bring them to form.

So tonight, I honor Oesthre in more than one sense of the word. Keep your peepholes open! ๐Ÿ™‚