Inside and out

OK, so I’ve been outside and enjoyed the weather, but I don’t want to stay in the sun too long, so basically I’ve been alternating between outside fun and inside fun. Working on a song with the words “sister suffragette” in it. Perfect. And of course working on and putting together my up and coming gigs! 😀

mix

 

EQ Festival

I really didn’t know if I would make it. A friend asked me several times and I was like “I don’t think my energy levels are up there”. EQ Festival in Gothenburg. All about inequality in the business. Close to my heart. And I knew the arrangers and several guests. But I just didn’t know if I could physically make it. Then I forgot my mobile phone at work, already halfway there and on my way to Gothenburg. “Screw it, I guess that’s a sign”. Plus really looking forward to talking to people older than 9. I love the kids, I really do, but sometimes I just need to talk to Not-9-year-olds…

Anyways, great discussions, great music. Looking forward to more of this!

eq-festival

Tori Amos BFP turns 20

Boys for PelĂ© recently turned 20 yrs old and I feel it apt to give it a mention. It was the first Tori Amos album I listened to, and you know, as firsts go, this is a pretty awesome one. I was attending music college preparatory school (gymnasium we call it in Sweden) and I just felt so behind the other kids, because I had my way of playing which didn’t include Stevie Wonder’s greatest hits on piano, no, it was very much my particular way. I couldn’t copy anybody , which at that age determined your cool factor, if you couldn’t=not that cool.  Well, where I went to school, anyway, I can’t answer for the rest of them. And in the early 2000’s, there wasn’t much piano based music either that I knew of, if it didn’t have a lot of guitars as well. Maybe the likes of Vanessa Carlton, but I didn’t identify with her at all. Then someone mentioned the name Tori Amos while listening to my music, saying: “it’s a compliment, it really is”.

I saw Boys for PelĂ© sitting at my local library and thought I’d borrow it just to have a listen. Little did I know; that one act pretty much changed my life. I heard her pushing down that pedal on the Bösendorfer for the first song, and I was hooked after that. It pretty much went on replay ’til I hade to return it to the library, and I realized I couldn’t live without her.

I also realized there was no better partner in crime to accompany my music than the piano, so I invested in my first proper keyboard to be able to write again, as I had moved away from home and couldn’t use the old piano in my mom’s sitting room anymore.

Boys for PelĂ© wasn’t recorded in a studio, which feels strangely apt for me as well, since drums are pretty much the only thing I record in that environment. I’m saving up to get the vinyl copy, because I revisit it from time to time and I feel I need to make the vinyl journey now.

Simply put, I wouldn’t be where I am now without Boys for PelĂ©. Happy 20th, you sexy beast of an album, you.

t-tori-amos-boys-for-peletori__piglet

 

E to the ugh

Music wise, things are coming along nicely. I’m trying out different methods of coaching as some can read sheet music, some can not. I don’t think the “nots” should be a problem. There are loads of great musicians that can’t read sheet music, the fact that I can is just due to me being such a nerd when I was a kid and I wanted to learn so badly, I sat with scores every day for a long time and learned how to read them because it was like learning a language of sorts, and I loved it.

On album notes, I just sent away some stuff to my collaborators, I’m looking forward to getting the results back.

I’m not feeling the spring yet, but the first cranes (sign of spring) have landed in Skaraborg and the temperature has been on the plus celsius side for more than a week after february 15th, something that weather wise counts as spring over here in ol’ Sweden. I have my spring jacket ready just in case.

On an “I’m properly peeved” note, the discussion of rape culture appeared in a magazine and celeb males where asked; “What are we gonna do about women being afraid to walk around after dark in our society?”. Most of the men responded very sensibly and then we have Alexander Bard, who wanted to know if women were actually full of themselves and maybe shouldn’t be that scared. “That’s where we start”. Oh honey, no. We don’t start by questioning rape culture’s existence and women’s fears for the upteenth time. Nice try, though. I really don’t like him. His disrespect for women is well documented and makes me kind of sick. Plus I wish he’d just put some proper trousers on. The guy walks around in his ugly ass shorts, 365 days a year. That’s a personal note though, I guess not too relevant.

bard

 

 

Album of the year at the Grammys

OK, so this is my humble opinion. Lemonade is 2016’s greatest album among the nominees. I’m not hating on Adele. Adele is not hating on herself. 25 is fantastic. 2016 was a great album year in fact. Let’s not forget Bowie’s Blackstar. There are a lot of things to regret about 2016 but the album releases are not one of them. But conceptually, artistically, visually, the live perfomances. It was BeyoncĂ©s Lemonade all the way.

It may seem trivial to some, but black people are seriously lacking in representation when it comes to Album of the year wins in the Grammys. It’s not trivial to a lot of people out there, believe me. And if BeyoncĂ© would have won, it would have meant a lot. There’s no denying.

BeyoncĂ©, you’re an awesome woman. And if it’s any consolation, sometimes I have dreams that come true and the other night I dreamt that Blue Ivy (Bey’s oldest daughter) became the US president that saved the world. Here’s seriously hoping.

bey

 

Mansplaining at its best

I think I can actually give you my most clear example of mansplaining ever. And that’s saying something! In the musical, I’m coaching the singers. One of them is about 20 or 21, and has had the equivalent of preparatory music college. No harm, no foul.

Except when he tries to explain Swedish history to me, specifically Stone age, Bronze age and Iron age which I happen to have a handle on since I’ve worked as a guide in one of the biggest “forntid” (the collected name of these ages) upbuilds in Sweden. For SEVEN years. For those seven years I’ve been educating as a guide, specific to Forntid. Like, I feel confident that I know my stuff. And he kept feeding me all these wrong facts and I kept contradicting him, trying to explain I actually get paid to know these things. Did not seem to bother him one bit.

“Swedes spoke latin for a while” No… no we didn’t… “And Sweden as a nation was formed in the 12th century!” The nation has been documented since 500 BC. “But we weren’t christian until the 12th century!” Terrific, I’ll tell the very small (sarcasm if you needed it pointed out) nation of India that they are not a country yet, since they’re mostly Hindu.

“We traded with Germany because of their power” We traded with what would later be known as Germany but wasn’t yet, because they had pretty silver and gold and sweets which we liked.

I’m still impressed at how he totally ignored the fact that I had actually taught this part of Sweden’s history for seven years. After a while I just stopped contradicting him and started counting my mental facepalms. There were quite a few.  And I think I left the place  dumber than when I had first arrived. It’s impressive, really…

man

Nope, no, nu-uh

Well, that was a real grab by the p***y, wasn’t it? Admitting defeat already. Human cheetoh does baaaad things. Now, Obama signed for Guantanamo to close in his first day of office, and it hasn’t yet, but there is a subtle difference. Trump is basically breaking laws and constitutions keeping the world and the US safe, just to get his small-handed business through. I did NOT see that coming. I thought; “Hey, he’s a douchebag, and he’s gonna do douchebag things, no doubt, but some laws and stipulations will still stop him from the worst actions”. Nope. I’m now rooting for what some experts have claimed; that he will quickly be impeached (same experts predicted his unlikely victory, so…) I will not and can not wish any living person dead (which some have) but I do hope that the same rules that almost got a US president impeached for not keeping his thing in his pants works here.

On album production stuff I’ve been working on different things, but I’ve been working harder since financial issues due to the sick leave have kept me at home. It makes the time more valuable somehow. I’ve promised to use my time well and I am doing just that. I have promised to buy my friends new boobs with my rockstar money when they start rolling in after all. Can’t back down now.

Lady Gaga in American Horror Story

I’m not quite done with season 5 on Netflix, so NO spoilers! But I’m enough of a music/film buff to think I can post a review with value.

It’s not bad. But it’s very Lady Gaga. I feel like they wrote the character for her, as opposed to writing a character and let her try and read for it. The cold, solemn voice, the “bitch, please”, even the parts where she acts out her jealousy. It’s her. All the way through. A part of her. She even described the role as a “symbol of social media and narcissism”, and she’s a pretty skilled social media user. I’m not going to explain this further, because I don’t want to drop spoilers, but she’s a real Mother Monster in the series, for chrissake! In more ways than one.

In the end, I think she’s a better musician than actor, I couldn’t see her go through the readings of Sarah Paulson and Kathy Bates to try out for their roles. But she’s convincing in the one she’s got, for sure. And putting her music skills above her acting skills is not an insult, because she’s an absolute brill musician/music creator. Anyone who’s ever had a taste of those live performances she did at the Oscars will tell you so. And honestly, we have loads of people who try the “slash” thing, musician/actor, and one always weighs a little heavier than the other. Bowie; loved him in Labyrinth, still think musician above anything. Tina Turner, Pink, Tori Amos, Tom Waits, Loudon Wainwright. Not bad, still more musicians. Michael Jackson in “Wiz”, lovely, still a better musician. Eddie Murphy… Actor, most deffo…

Having said that, the 5th season and its plot is worth the watch. Seeing Lady Gaga act is worth the watch. But it’s not brilliant. It’s her. If you like her you’re good. So be ready for that. Still quite appreciate the work, Mother Monster!

lady-gaga-ahs-hotel-glove

 

 

Simone Live recording

This song will show up on the album slightly more produced, drums, bass, and all, but I felt the need for it before then, after the election, just a little hope to all my sister suffragettes out there;

Simone, sit down for a while. Have a seat, rest your feet for a while. You don’t have to suffer fools gladly // I am calling all roses, comb your hair grab your hosies, open your eyes, let me rest for a while, and scream for me // Frieda put down your brush for a while. Let’s just talk let’s just walk for a while. We don’t have suffer fools gladly// I am…// Mary join in the dance for a while. Put your head to my chest for a while. When you lead it’s so hard not to follow// I am calling you, Sister Suffragette I know you feel it too, open your eyes, let me rest for a while, and I’ll be right there screaming with you

New demo, Attica

A song about living in the patriarchy, or in your depression, anxiety , or however you want to look at it. With a little black humour for those of you who have the patience to listen to the whole (almost 3 minutes) thing.

You can control your thoughts but you can’t stop the nightmares
You’re running for your life and still you end up right there
It’s all so very clear, you can’t get out of here

Find yourself, tie yourself
Attica
A trembling shell, girl you’re in hell
Attica

The writing’s on the wall but what the hell’s it good for?
This pencil tastes like chalk, its only words nothing more
It’s all so very clear that you’re locked up in here

Find yourself


I’m so unbelievably happy to be here today
(happy)
(weeeh)
The sun’s coming in through my window and shines in my cage
(shiny, sun is shining)
(No wait, did you say cage?)
The rainbows and ponies are skipping and singing a song
(No,really, back up, you said cage!)
And then I wake up
(ah, f*ck)

Find yourself
.
Girl you’re in hell, release yourself