Work work work…

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Between the current payed jobs (hey, some of us have to 😉 ) I sit and write the scores for the new album, and while it’s sometimes a tedious process I do stop and go: “Hey, this comes easy, it’s an easy job, albeit long, and I’d rather do this than anything else.”

I mean, can you complain when you write an awesome string quartet score, or a trumpet score 😀 ?

Part of your job as an artist is doing other things. Wether you can do things for fun as you live on your music, or work because you have to, it’s all good. Hell, I mean, Beyonce took a year off just picking her nephew up from daycare and giving birth herself. The little time I have to write scores I appreciate it, because it’s so much more fun than anything else.

I talked to someone the other day about music and “do you really wanna do it full time?”. And I was like: “Of all the jobs I’ve tried, yeah, this one I can have fun with 8 hours or more!”. Of course you have to do something else. Which you will when you can live on it.

I work a lot. But I’ve cut down on the non-music-related, just cause I took the other jobs to be able to do music. If that’s what you feel, then you’re on the right track. Like: “I could earn less, this is still awesome.” Then you’re on your way. Believe me, this is what you need to feel! 🙂

Gig coming up!

I wouldn’t be me without playing march 8th, international women’s day. I’m really looking forward to it as it’s my kind of audience (duh) and I’ll hopefully have my musicians with me this time. We gonna rock you! 😉 It’s an event that they hold in Skövde house of culture, just there you know that people are gonna show up. I remember last year and there was a lorra love in the air. I stayed for the duration of activities, among them some women from Somalia demonstrating a national women’s dance of their country. It doesn’t always get appreciated in today’s divided Sweden (though I always appreciate it) but this was the day and this was the audience and we all clapped along and I remember it as such a good day. I’m thinking this year is gonna be something similar, I certainly think so!

Otherwise I am working on the new album. Work name was “Letters from Scarlet”, a play on the scarlet letter, but in order to not make it too much like Tori Amos Scarlet’s walk I’ve shortened the name to Scarletters, one word. With this it can also refer to scars, something we all collect during the course of our life. And teams up perfectly with a tattoo of mine; “lux in tenebris lucet”, forever on my arm, a scar of letters of sorts. It means “light shines in darkness” so it’s positive. No matter how dark it gets there’s always a flash of light, most visible when you’re at your most vulnerable. And I’m making it a popera. I’m hoping I’ll coin that phrase. Not a rock opera, but a pop opera. A popera. Because it’s a recall of Scarlett’s life and her story. Mine is mixed in there. Just not as obvious. Because it is from that world of mine with stories where I go that is not quite reality, not quite fantasy.

I made some string quartet scores today and let me tell you; that detail is booooring! We all love our babies. That is not to say we love going through every part of their anatomy. I had to listen intently to every instrument in the string quartet because… I didn’t save the score. I had to make a new one. Aaaah 😉 Don’t get me wrong. I’m good at tha shite and I can do it easily, but spending two hours of my evening doing it and not listening to the whole track and the instruments playing with all the other ones and the singing is still not fun.

I think of the end results. I guess that’s what we all have to do. “I’m doing this now so in the end, things will be awesome.” Please, singers and artists and musicians, always tell me about the excitement of the end results, mixed in with “god, it’s so much stress and work”. Because that’s when I, and I think every other music lover out there, wants to listen. Because there’s always work and stress. But there’s also that beautiful finished baby of yours. Don’t forget that.

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Tedious but hopefully awesome…

A quiet moment of book keeping

Me: “Ahhhhh, a quiet moment before work to do some company book keeping. I’ll just take my pretty binder here and sit down in my rocking chair.”
Degu 1: “What what what?! You’re sitting down in this thing? Awesome! Looks comfortable. I should do it too, right in the middle of the seat!”
Me, picking up degu 1; “Oh no, little man, I’m gonna sit here now, there you go, I’ll just put you down over here so I don’t sit on you!”
Degus 2: ” She picked you up and away from there! That must mean I get to sit there instead!”
Me, picking up Degu 2; “There we go! Peace and quiet! Let’s see, open the binder… AAAAAH!”
Surprised shriek from me as I see a litte head peeking out from inbetween the armrest and the seat.
Degu 1: “Whatcha doooing?” Degu 2, on the other side; “Yeah, whaaaatcha doing? What’s that, is it edible?”
Me: “Stop chewing on my book keeping!”
Degu 1: “So, not edible… but OH! You can crawl right over it!! Big, square… shiny… must mean it’s a toilet. I’ll just do my business here then!”
Me: “Aaaaaaaargh!! Euuuuuugh!”
Degu 1: “Did you hear that? Human cheered on me loud and clear! Must mean I did a great job!”
Degu 2: “Awesome! I’ll do it too, then!”

Small company owner and small animal owner. A harder combo than you would think 😉

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Still love you, little dudes. Even though you have to chew on absolutely everything 😉

Fittstim 2

Another one in Swedish, yet again on the weird public service segment.

Okej, sÄ jag vÄgade kolla. Och undrar fortfarande hur Belinda vÀcker nÄgra frÄgor? Först kallar hon mÀnnen respektlöst för Latte-pappor (för att ta hand om barn Àr ju bara kaffedrickande, runtlallande, och Àr förnedrande) och spÀnner ögonen i en pappa som flaskmatar sitt barn. För att mamman inte ammar sÄ mycket.

Sedan ska brandmÀn granskas. Och tvÄ brandmÀn ska prata om att intagningsproven Àr orÀttvisa. Dom avviker, Àr rÀdda om jobbet. Följs inte upp genom att prata med ledning eller ens ta anonyma statements frÄn brandmÀnnen. SÄ var det med det, mÀnnen Àr förtrycka, feminismen (inte en uppenbart skrÀmmande ledning) har stÀllt till det.

PÀr Ström har fÄtt en teckning. Den gör han sina antaganden om, och det följs inte upp heller. En penis med streck pÄ. PÀr Ström har blivit kuvad?

NĂ„gon kallar mĂ€n “ett biologiskt misstag”. Hon frĂ„gar inte ens vad som menas med detta, tar meningen och sĂ€ger att alla feminister stĂ„r för den. Way to go, svensk journalistik.

Pratar med en professor som sĂ€ger att kvinnorna kommer dominera om 15 Ă„r pga utbildning och dylikt. Voice-overn sĂ€ger: “Jag tror att feminister inte vill ha det sĂ„. För om kvinnor inte Ă€r offer finns ingen kamp för dom”. Givetvis inget hon frĂ„gar professorn, som verkar kunna föra en vettig konversation, rĂ„kar vara (kuvad?) man sjĂ€lv, men tar det mesta med ro. Det var vĂ€l dĂ€rför hon inte frĂ„gade. HĂ„l pĂ„ den egna bubblan. Igen. Man kan ju inte lĂ„ta folk prata och slĂ„ hĂ„l pĂ„ det man sagt.

Fredrik Reinfeldt fĂ„r prata kvinnovĂ„ld i tio sekunder. Sedan bryter hon av. “Ja, ni ser ju, Reinfeldt Ă€r emot kvinnovĂ„ld”. Vilket aldrig var frĂ„gan. FrĂ„gan var om han inte borde prata mer om det. Mer Ă€n tio sekunder alltsĂ„. Men han fick ju en t-shirt. Det ska vĂ€l rĂ€cka för att fĂ„ tyst pĂ„ dom aggressiva feministerna.

Sedan hĂ„ller hon ett tal om skilsmĂ€ssa pĂ„ sin vĂ€ns bröllop för att presentera vĂ€nnens nya man för “den svenska feminismens vĂ€rderingar”. Det skulle jag vilja sĂ€ga Ă€r en ganska störd handling, inte bara poĂ€nglös utan respektlös.

Hon sÀger att hon vÀcker debatten men den enda debatt hon vÀcker hos mig Àr vart i helvete Àr uppföljningen och den riktiga undersökningen? Ingen av de hÀr frÄgorna verkar vettiga för mig eftersom hon inte ens stÀller dom. Det fÄr inte mig att fortsÀtta fundera pÄ annat Àn var hon hittar sina idéer och vad fan hon hÄller pÄ med. Jag uppmuntrar Àn en gÄng SVT att slÀnga skrÀpet och komma med riktig debatt, tillika riktiga undersökningar.

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DÄ vart det klart! Jag gillar inte att gÄ topless, so feminism sucks!

We should hug more!

Hugging releases hormones that are essential to our wellbeing. 12 hugs a day minimum to release the substances that make us well-functioning. It’s OK if it’s a pet or your hugging yourself, as well as other people, so get to the hugging right now! The same substances are released when you sing, even when you sing badly, which is why I never back down from a Singstar battle! 😉 I’m quite rubbish at the game actually, except when there’s rapping. I kicked ass the other day with Macklemore. Scary.

The reason I’m going hippie-lets-hug on you today is that I had one last lesson with a piano student and as we said goodbye, I reached my hand out. After all, a teacher can’t be careful enough about harassement suits 😉 But she gave me a big hug instead. I held it as an only lesson that day, and I think she was flattered. Sure enough, there’s no money in holding one lesson in a day. But at the same time as I wanna represent my job and the employers in a good way, making the rumour spread, I also believe in these things paying back in some other way. You know, the random acts of kindness, coming back to you tenfold and so on. And I do enjoy teaching piano. And a happy face and a hug is actually very satisfying! You can’t pay the rent with them but every once in a while, you need that warm and fuzzy as much as you need the rent money 😉

I’m not saying be on your knees to make everyone happy. That ‘s a sure way to fail because you always piss someone off 😉 I’m saying be selfish every once in a while and indulge in the giving thang. It’s as much for you as it is for the other person. Who knows, you might fill your hug quota for the day! 😀

note:today is actually international hug day I’ve now been told. I hit it right on the money here! 🙂

Below: pic of Silja and me after she’s kicked my ass in Singstar (not the rapping, though!!) and a baby hippo suckling a nose that needs no motivation

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Belinda, Belinda, Belinda…

Folks, I’m doing this one in Swedish, as it’s about a Swedish segment of public service, and I know feminism looks different from country to country, so I think this discussion might apply more to where feminism is in Sweden now. Occasionally I’ll post in Swedish. Feel free to ask me for a translation 🙂

SĂ„, SVT bestĂ€mmer sig för att Ă€ntligen ge sig in i debatten med reportage. Toppen! Hmmmm, aftonbladet, high class-blaskan, marknadsför Belinda Olssons första del med “Har feminismen gĂ„tt för lĂ„ngt?” och “har feminismen spĂ„rat ur?”… Aj dĂ„… första frĂ„gan Ă€r ganska enkel. Kvinnor sitter fortfarande med hyfsat lite sĂ€kerhet i pension och arbete jĂ€mfört med sin manliga motpart med samma kvalifikationer. En kvinna som blir vĂ„ldtagen och skriker “nej” tills halsen svullnar upp och hon inte kan skrika lĂ€ngre har “njutningsfullt stönat nej” och mannen friats frĂ„n alla anklagelser trots att alla förutom han sjĂ€lv som varit medverkande i mĂ„let verkar ha fattat att nĂ„got var galet. Vi Ă€r inte jĂ€mlika Ă€n. Och mannen sitter inte i allmĂ€nhet som en slav i skinntanga och kedjor och Ă€ter ur hundskĂ„lar, dĂ„ hade jag nog tyckt att feminismen gĂ„tt pĂ„ tok för lĂ„ngt. SĂ„ Nej. Ganska enkelt.

Den andra frĂ„gan, och det hĂ€r sammanfattar nog allt som Ă€r fel med Belindas navelskĂ„dande (ouch, var det inte det hon sa om dagens feminism?) “reportage”; Ööööh, Ă€r du verkligen journalist? PĂ„ riktigt? Journalisthögskolan 101, formulera en riktig tes! Har demokratin spĂ„rat ur? Med tanke pĂ„ att Sverigedemokraterna finns. Har vĂ€nsterpolitiken spĂ„rat ur? Med tanke pĂ„ RKU, Antifascistisk aktion och RevolutionĂ€ra Fronten? Har feminismen spĂ„rat ur? Med tanke pĂ„ att det finns enstaka könsneutrala dagis (oooh no!) och kvinnogrupper som gĂ„r topless i badhusen. JodĂ„. Eftersom Belinda inte vill gĂ„ topless. Allvarligt, till och med jag, som sliter hĂ„ret Ă„t alla kvasi-akademiker som i feministiska frĂ„gor bölar: “kĂ€llhĂ€nvisningar, empiriska beviiiis” och sjĂ€lv svarar; “Argh! Det Ă€r sociologi, skaffa empati och titta pĂ„ er omvĂ€rld istĂ€llet!” reagerade pĂ„ hur otroligt dĂ„lig journalistik det hĂ€r var.

Gudrun Schyman, som kan prata för sig, inte alltid vettigt men procentuellt vettigare Ă€n mĂ„nga av göbb-kollegerna, fick knappt en syl i vĂ€dret. SĂ„klart inte, hon kan ju inte fĂ„ prata i mer Ă€n 30 sekunder, dĂ„ gĂ„r det ju hĂ„l pĂ„ resultatet Belinda vill ha ut av reportaget direkt. “Feminism har blivit ett medelklassproblem hos medelĂ„lders kvinnor som inte vill fokusera pĂ„ de riktiga problemen.” Det gĂ„r alldeles lysande att bevisa den tesen om man bara intervjuar vit medleklass. Var nĂ„gonstans var den ensamstĂ„ende invandrarmamman, socionomen, hbtq-representanterna? Var var frĂ„gorna till de vita medelklasskvinnorna om de “riktiga” problemen? Var nĂ„gonstans tog du upp argumentet om att de smĂ„ sakerna pĂ„verkar de stora? Att ett “hen”-dagis kanske prodcuerar stabila ungdomar och vuxna, trygga i sig sjĂ€lva utan att kĂ€nna att de mĂ„ste leva upp till en könsroll, och dĂ€rmed löser de större problemen mycket smidigare och naturligare? Att hen bara Ă€r ett ord som ska berika svenska sprĂ„ket, sĂ„ att vi som till exempel jobbar i vĂ„rden och har tystnadsplikt kan (nĂ€r det Ă€r nödvĂ€ndigt) prata om de vi jobbar med och avslöjar sĂ„ lite som möjligt, till och med kön? Framför allt; vem har ensamrĂ€tt pĂ„ tolkningen om vad som Ă€r viktigt och pĂ„verkar resten? Belinda?

Tydligen. Det hĂ€r verkade vara hennes högst personliga beef för att hon kĂ€nner sig osĂ€ker över hur rörelsen har vĂ€xt och att hon inte riktigt har hĂ€ngt med. “Det finns de som vill gĂ„ topless, men det vill inte jag, alltsĂ„ har de gĂ„tt för lĂ„ngt. Och feminsimen sĂ„ klart. Den har spĂ„rat ur för att jag inte förstĂ„r subgrupperna som har bildats pĂ„ grund av att rörelsen har varit framgĂ„ngsrik.”

Det vÀrsta Àr inte ens den dÄliga journalistiken eller vit medelklass-Belindas krassa analyser byggda endast pÄ mÀnniskor och grupper som kan bekrÀfta det hon vill ha fram. Det Àr att SVT vÀljer att ta upp feminism ordentligt i en reportage-serie, och sÄ vÀljer de Fittstim: Min Kamp. Och anti-feministerna fÄr vatten pÄ sin kvarn. För sÄklart Àr det bra och empiriskt, och vi kommer inte riktigt lÀngre Àn nÀsan rÀcker, om det visas pÄ SVT. Och Belinda skrev ju feministantologin Fittstim (för en herrans massa Är sen nÀr feminismen sÄg annorlunda ut och inte alls kommit sÄ lÄngt som idag), alltsÄ, hon Àr ju/var ju feminist sjÀlv! DÄ vet hon vad hon snackar om, dÄ mÄste det ha gÄtt helt Ät helvete!

NĂ€sta reportage i serien: “Feministens hatobjekt; Mannen!”. Med tanke pĂ„ gĂ„rdagens stjĂ€rnjobb tror jag inte att jag vĂ„gar kolla. Jag vill gĂ€rna att Sverige ignorerar sĂ„ hĂ€r dĂ„ligt framförda argument, för visst behövs en debatt, men i sĂ„ fall en vettig sĂ„dan. SnĂ€lla SVT; slĂ€ng skrĂ€pet. Vi har ingen lust att dras tillbaka till, eller sitta fast i, 90-talets feminism bara för att Belinda sjĂ€lv fastnade dĂ€r och kĂ€nner för att ta oss dit.

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Music work day

An entire one! I love it when they are for the duration of the day 🙂 See, this is why we all want to be able to live on our art. Not because we are lazy and good at creating, but because it is super awesome to do it the entire day 😉 That’s how you’re supposed to feel about something. I realize it’s not always possible with work, but for work/relationships/friendships/other fields of life I really like a Sex and the city quote (I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, but it’s awesome and applicable to everything); Charlotte, when asked if she’s really happy all the time in her marriage “Not all day everyday, but most of the time, yeah, really happy”. That’s what music stuff does to me! I love a music work day! 😀

First a soup lunch with other entrepeneurs, arranged by Music Factory and RĂ„dhuset. I never know with these things, what kinda people are coming, are they my age n’ stuff, but this one was a good mix and I really felt comfortable. Plus they arranged vegetarian food from Connys kalaskök, a place that NEVER serves veggie meals 🙂

Then giving piano lessons, I think even talking one of my students out of a funk. 🙂

And when I got home I did some re-listens and chord maps of old demo songs. You might know why in time 😉

Well, for no reason here’s Apu… I mean a rubber duck with a foam beard and foam hat. For which you need no reason to show a pic.

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How snow makes things pretty

I am not just saying that snow makes everything prettier, it really does! Allow me to demonstrate…

An ordinary bench. Usually covered with drunk teenagers who had a bit too much, think they’re home and that this is their bed where they can pass out comfortably. Now covered in white and super pretty. There could even be an inebriated teenager lying under the snow right now and you wouldn’t know cause he/she’d be covered in pretty snow 😀

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Shrubs. The place where aforementioned teenager usually put their food after they’ve eaten it, now looking like sly little adorable snow trolls.
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Kindergarten playground. Otherwise covered in kids so naturally pretty ugly 😉 but now covered in snow and much prettier!
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What is usually a pretty scary railway stoplight, looking like a red-yellow cross hat black monster, that will swallow you whole, now looks like a surprised duck! 🙂
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Photoshop fail(s us)

Well, the snow has finally reached Sweden and I don’t mind. True, it’d been better if it had settled earlier, as a Swede with partial blood from more southern parts of Europe I was screaming and pulling my hair out as it just got darker and darker with nothing bright to settle my eyes on. But it’s still dark, and the snow still brightens things up, so… yaay! What didn’t please my eyes was today’s surprise as I opened the mail, and the new BeyoncĂ© album had arrived.

Yes, I have my skeletons that I listen to. Christina Aguilera, old Spice Girls songs, Lady Gaga, even the occasional Katy Perry because I dig the esthetics in some of her videos. And BeyoncĂ©. I really started listening in 2011, as “Who run the world” was released and there was a different light on her. Not the usual, people pleasing, but someone who acknowledged reality and wanted to flip it a bit. Sorta like me. Well. Apart from selling platinum and being world famous of course 😉 And I was so stoked when she finally “came out” as a feminist in 2013. So this surprise album for the fans was almost a must have, especially with all the visuals, the videos, she released with it. Ooooh, exciting. I had already heard some of “Pretty Hurts”. Great song. Great message. Great video.

And a lot of the album lived up to my expectations. There are some songs on there that will surely become feminist manifestos. Well done. Then a lot of sex songs… well… OK… far be it from me to shame a woman for her sexuality, that’s also very anti-feminist. As I’ve already mentioned, it’s not a matter of sexuality being bad and anti-feminist, I just wish the men would be naked and even it out. I promise there’d be few complaints…

Then there’s “Drunk in Love”, already blogged about by another girl getting the point across well. It wasn’t very stellar to have a half-naked BeyoncĂ© in the video and a fully dressed Jay-Z. Sooo, Jay-Z, you’re so much a man that you can have sex through your clothes? Impressive! And mid-rap as they describe being drunk and getting naughty in their stable relationship (again, this isn’t the bad thing) Jay-Z goes “I’m Ike Turner, eat the cake, Anna-Mae, eat the cake, Anna-Mae” and this one I go fast forward on. If you’ve seen the film “What’s love got to do with it” you know the very disturbing scene he’s referencing, where Ike shoves a cake into Tina Turner’s mouth when she doesn’t want to eat it. A slap in the face (pardon the pun coz it ain’t funny) to any man or woman experiencing domestic abuse. So, naaaah, not well thought out from either party, not from Jay-Z and not from his wife keeping it and proudly lip-synching to it.

But yeah, overall a good and interesting album! What hurt my eyes so much today was the total photoshop fail in the sleeve. I’m surprised BeyoncĂ© didn’t rectify it, she certainly knows how to work her curves and they are her trademark. Honestly, she must’ve been in a hurry, because it is… insane!! This is a skinny woman with a beautiful body. Even looking at the pap pics (which I avoid with great enthusiasm) you can see that the videos and makeup haven’t put on a lot of effects, she’s really almost a statue with those features of hers. But she has an ass. A buttox. Two bum cheeks. A derriere if you will. And not only has photoshop totally erased it, slimmed her legs and elongated them like no tomorrow, it looks like the legs just go right up into her spine. She looks deformed.

And it gets me thinking. I’ve seen this a lot lately. Joanna Garcia, a beautiful girl who just had a baby and also has a rocking body with curves, plays Ariel in Once upon a Time. There her curves are celebrated, but in the promo-pics they are nowhere to be found. Just a slimmed down mermaid with no face lines whatsoever. She looks horrible. It’s like we can’t have any form of beauty in front of us but Photoshop beauty anymore. Like our eyes would hurt if we saw these beatiful people like they really are. Gone are the days when photoshop was used for some airbrushing, blemishes, maybe just a little colour and contrast change here and there and some slight shape changes to fit the cover/project/photo idea. Behold the era of the Photoshop human. Existing only digitally yet we encounter him/her everyday and think they are real. All of them. It’s true. They did a survey where over 70% actually thought celebrity and model bodies looked like they do in the magazine. We think the human exists. Instead it’s just some lame-oh fear of the very real variation of us people and our different body types and skin types. It’s a digital and automatic act, like a sickness on it’s own, not only damaging the real beauty of the object (that’s just what they are at that point) but the perception we all have.

There is a hash tag called #photoshopfail but I would like to propose an addition to it. Make #photoshopfailsus a thing because that’s just what it does in cases like this. It fails us all. It failed Beyonce and her beauty and it failed us who can only see this “perfected” version of her for this album, forever and ever and ever. It fails everyone who can’t tell the difference between a photoshopped body and a normal one. It fails those of us who can, too, because it is too widespread and f*cks with our heads anyway. We can’t ever really escape it with 1000 commercial inprints a day. Everything we know gets distorted and even looking at the “real deal” and comparing we start to wonder if the “real” isn’t a bit odd. We can try to resist, but media really needs to try and change what they’re feeding us with too. Sitting there and starving from avoiding the feed, one can’t really help absorbing a few of the “treats” thrown out there. So lets make it a thing, please. Photoshopfailsus. Sure does.

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The video!

Think girls can’t be raw? Think we don’t need our own Fightclub getting rid of our frustrations, checking our high heels in at the door?

Wrooong! The revolution starts now!!

The brand new music video for Ponies, Silja Kareketo on bass, Robin Wernebratt on drums, Björn Zetterström on guitar and Anders Rane on flute Jenny Lander Mellqvist on strings (the last three not in the video). Malin, Louise, Isabelle and Mollie as my fellow fight club girls. Watch and be afraid, be very afraid…