New video

Oh myyyy as Takei would say. My last post was angry. Annoyed. I need to let that out more often, so I’m not saying I regret it, just that I don’t do it often and it’s not quite the side of me I want to put out there publicly, but every once in a while I guess it’s OK.

On to better news. I filmed the remainder of a video I’ve been working on since September today. I have a good camera woman, but I think she mistook the camera’s on and off mood this very day, so instead of three takes of each scene, I have us doing weird inbetween talk perfect for bloopers, and one-two takes of each thing. Should be interesting. The video part where I perform is still not gonna be the main focus of the video, so I think I can make it work anyway, but I’m laughing my ass off at me wiping my mouth going: “holy crap, what disease do I have?” which should have been off camera. Funny as fuck.

What I can tell you about it is that I grew up watching silent films a lot, and that was a good thing which I think will show in this video. Thank you, grandpa, RIP, for showing me Chaplin and Buster Keaton. Brilliant performers and even stunt men (they do most stunts themselves) of their time.

Here’s a sneaky peek;

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Fangirl ltd.

I looooathe hearing stories about how you hate your own music, I really do. In a previous blog I did talk about you not having to be a fan of your own music to make it. That’s an entirely different thing altogether. You can listen to Hip Hop and make Pop. You can be all about Sly and the Family Stone and still make pop, non motown-ish hits. You can be all rock’n’roll yet your specialty is ballads and slow dance and hooks all the way, like say for example Max Martin. Here’s the difference. Max Martin doesn’t put lots of work down on his hits and go: “Wow, people actually listen to this crap?” The Backstreet Boys may have a gospel, hiphop,soul, whatever background but are still quite willing to represent their hits and greatest moments without making fun of their fans.

Let me give you an example. In my late teens I got a “best of Nirvana” CD. Just cause I was quite fond of them and the songs they’ve put out and I’m not that big of a fan that I would get the individual albums. Plus it contained a new, unreleased track, always a bit worth it. We discussed it at school and someone who wanted to piss on the mood said: “You know Kurt hated all their songs, right?” I retorted with Kurt’s depression and insecurities that may have made him a bit apprehensive to his own music, but the whole Nirvana experience still didn’t give me quite the sweet taste after that.

I’ve heard some great musical talents do their thing and gigging in different genres, but as soon as I heard the song writers, trying to appear blaha and passé and cool, going; “yeah, we just did that to make fun of everybody” my hard-on for them and their creative process seriously decreases. What a f*cking waste of talent, man! Let somebody else, with the same drive and talent but with greater abilities of humility, who realizes it’s actually great to have listeners give it a go, then! “I give my worst songs to this act”… well don’t, love. If you admit it, I’m not interested. Dont waste anyone’s time with your fake sense of blasé, that makes you even more fake. Either be happy with the attention and think well of your listeners or don’t and give your pretentions a rest altogether. The middle way makes you an un-sexy douche here.

On another note, here’s ice melting in Sweden as spring is approaching;


 

I’m not perky.

 

As I was searching Wednesday memes for another meme I loved, I found this one. Love it. There’s this relief in just admitting for three seconds that you’re not a ball of sunshine.

 

I mean, look at social media. We’re supposed to be happy 24/7, at least on paper, and we have to showcase our happiness almost before we feel it or we’re either invisible or depressed.

I’m not perky right now. In fact I may be the not-perkiest I’ve been in a long time. And you know what? That’s perfectly OK. I’m still quite capable of voicing a good opinion, writing an awesome song, cooking a tasty meal, and have some solid fun. In fact I probably have more fun by starting out in a non-perky position. Being unhappy does not make me crazy, un-trusworthy, or even clinically depressed. I don’t have to have a diagnosis because I’m not happy. It is not an illness (I know depression is, but depression is an entirely different thing altogether).

I’m just not perky. Am I not worried about starting work on an album, then? Low on energy, and the album is going in a more hopeful, happy direction than probably all the earlier ones. Is that not just another way to spell ”disaster”? I don’t think so. A lot of artists put out their happiest stuff while they are going through tough times. Beck, Janet Jackson, Carly Simon, PJ Harvey, just to name a few.

You put out happy stuff because you need to hear happy stuff, you need to work with things that are hopeful and positive.

I think the same goes for the other way around. Heck, autumn 2012 I was at this friggin’ happy peak and I released an EP dealing with childhood abuse, death, bad love and addiction.

To go dark you need to have a light place to step down from, one you can step back up to at any moment. Stable mood = able to go unstable. At least in an ideal world, where the likes of Heath Ledger do not take the role of the Joker while sharing the darkness of the character.

So… friends and beautiful freaks… Embrace your inner Wednesday at times. Liberating as fudge. More liberating than saying the actual word fudge replaces.

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Better known as covers…

I’m learning quite a lot from this category on Songpop. I’m gonna sound super ditzy now, like, really dumb and not keeping check of what I’m working with, but we all learn along the way, right?

Harry Nilsson did not do the original “Without you”. It was a group called Badfingers, and man, that’s  sad story. All the original songwriter members commited suicide during negotiations about the song and copyrights. Oh, myyyy, as George Takei would say.

Janis Joplin’s Piece of My Heart originated from Aretha Franklins older sister, Emma Franklin, and her song writers. Daaaaamn!

I know the story of Hallelujah, Leonard Cohen’s synthesized 80’s original, even Mad World which I covered the cover of myself, I knew the whole story there with Tears for Fears and what they did with the song and how it’s origins sounded. But some of these I just never imagined, the whole “I wasn’t first” scenario. Makes me wanna dive deeper. I promise I will, and it’s gonna mark the new album 2016.

 

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Harry Nilsson

American singer-songwriter Harry Nilsson (1941 – 1994), London, 30th December 1971. (Photo By Michael Putland/Getty Images)

 

A walking study

If you get the chance to, and you want to take great pictures, I think the key is practice. Practice when you’ve gotten a new camera, try new things when it’s a camera you’re used to, keep pointing and clicking. I’ve had the runthrough when it comes to the artsy part of photography, the key pointers, the lines, the thirds, the whole shebabah.

I do think of it occasionally but mostly I just end up taking the picture from some angle I find interesting myself, for good or bad.

I had to do another photo walk today. Snow and frost has mixed together to make all new elements to photograph. And you never know how long it lasts so if you have the time… I got off work at 12 this morning, so I sure had the opportunity, although it’s a mix between the mobile phone camera and the Nikon. And fingers hurt like hell as I had to take the mittens off!

Worth it though. The selfie is me walking on frozen solid lake in Skärv, a treat in itself.


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I miss you…

The year ended badly and began badly with some of my fav Britons losing the battle to cancer. I mean… Lemmy… there are no words, what he meant for rock ‘n’roll?

And Bowie. Though the absolute favourite artist of all time to one of the wives rather than me,  I felt a pang. I discovered things with Bowie. Growing up in a small-minded place/town all I heard about Bowie was: “He thinks he’s an alien, he dresses like a girl, he does weird things, weird music, bla bla bla bla.” And I listened and I was like; “But this is great? How can you ignore it? “One of the first artist that taught me that you can scare the norm and still be brilliant. In fact it might even help a little if you’re scary to the boring folks.

And then… Alan Rickman. I mean… I don’t know what to say. At age 9, I watched Robin Hood, and for some odd reason I was really sad to see the bad guy kick it. Couldn’t he just find some sociopath woman who loved him back and live happily ever after? He was kinda cute!

Fast forward to 2003. I had met new friends who seemed great and awesome and we were beginning to get close, so I admitted: “I think Alan Rickman is really hot…” and one friends face lit up. “Me toooooo!” That’s sorta how we got really close… We would watch all the Harry Potter films as soon as possible in the cinema, and we’d purrrrr our way through the Snape scenes…

Then my nightmare. The day I turned 21, 2005,  my friends blindfolded me and kidnapped me and when the blindfold came of I was wearing a white dress and a veil in Slottsskogen Park in Gothenburg. “Aaaaah, wedding clothes… dudes, you know I hate…” then I saw my groom, and it was Snape. OK, it could have been one of my wives in a Snape-mask but I’m sure it was Snape. We all had wedding cake out of chocolate and it was a very romantic day…

He was one of my first crushes. I have audiobooks (looove the voice), I have films, I have memories of me and my friend changing famous song lyrics like “Mandy” and replacing them with “Alan”. I am very sad today. I have lost my childhood crush and the world has lost a very accomplished, handsome actor who loved and lifted his craft.

They say it comes in 3’s. I hope that’s true cause I don’t think I can take anymore. All I know is f*ck cancer and it’s pinpointing on 69 year old brits this month.

Miss you and love you, dudes. After all this time?… Always…

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Winter wonderland

I had this day booked already. No matter the conditions, hail, rain or shine (most likely snow at the moment) I’d grab the “good” camera and go for a photo walk. As usual, snow doesn’t disappoint the lens. As a former scout, I gotta say, looking at animal tracks is nerdishly fun too! 🙂

The pic of the boy in the red jacket? That’s a pond frozen solid he’s walking on…

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Product recommendation

I do these from time to time. If it’s a creative music blog then you might want to hear about the stuff I use, regardless of if you think it sounds good or not. You know, I’ve always believed in individual taste, so if you don’t like the way I do things, that’s OK, and then you might know what to avoid. And if you like it, well, you might want to buy it. It’s usually budget recommendations that are nice for your wallet.

My song mic is a Neumann, granted. The small one, will set you back about 500 €, it’s a TLM 103 and it produces a very crisp sound, which works on my voice. If you find it too crisp, EQ will fix that in a jiffy, just don’t overdo it and lower the high frequencies too much and you’re gold on sound.

I’ve developed a taste for Behringer. Inexpensive products that sound good, in my opinion. Since I started working with the closed headphones HPS 3000, which I have recommended in an earlier blog, live recordings have a lot less hard-to-wash-off background disturbances. The speakers, MS40, I’ve used to mix some of my latest material, and again, I think the sound has gotten cleaner, better and less bass-y, though I’m still working on making that perfect and just right. Anyway, the mixes sound better, and I think I’ve got the right speakers, they just need their mix-woman to perfect her stuff.

I use UMX610 (Behringer again) as a midi-keyboard, because it’s red and I’m a girl and I like pretty things, but also because it seems to get along brilliantly with my computer.

My latest acquisition; the C-2 stereo condenser microphones. I’ve only toyed around with them a little, but will use them later on for instruments that can benefit from stereo recording, and for that matter maybe to make a few live videos with seperate, better sound than the cameras can offer. The most ridiculous thing is I found them on a shopping site, fyndiq.se (sort of like amazon but a lot smaller) where I’d probably never go look for them, but I decided to just have a look at whatever they had in music equipment. And there they were. Sending me back no more than 60€ and so far I think they sound pretty awesome! 🙂

Never under estimate those weird little cheap shopping sites!