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! 😀

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Human kindness

On my way home from non-music work I stopped at a local store to get some boring grocery shopping done, even rockstars have to do things ordinary humans do… 😛

Anyway, I saw a woman going through the trash outside the store looking for bottles and cans to pawn. For those of you living in countries without this system; in Sweden you get money, and there are pawn machines in every grocery store, if you return bottles and cans. Not a lot, but enough to make some return their bottles and not waste. Some still throw them away, bad for the environment or not. And some who are low on money go to public trash to find these bottles and cans. This woman struck out, nothing there, I could see it, so I just put my groceries in the car and gave her my empty bottle from the Festis (soft drink) I’d been drinking at work. It’s worth 1 SEK (consult your local exchange office for how small of an amount that actually is). She got tears in her eyes from this tiny gesture. I also had a short conversation with her as I was walking to my car to drive home, and her face just lit up. It wasn’t much. Heck, to me it was nothing, I did not do anything big to help her at all, and to her it was everything.

That’s why I get so confused today when people start arguing about wether we should help refugees or not. “We should put our efforts towards our own!”. And I’m like; what effort? If you count basic human kindness as an effort, then maybe you should just concentrate on one thing. But it really takes so super little to help. The romani throw kisses at me when I walk by them because I sacrifice my small change every now and then, and they recognize me. They are happy and grateful, and I feel like what I’ve done is just… meh… I help everywhere I can, with like minimal effort and minimal money, and still I get told I’ve done so much. So really… effort? Rephrase or concentrate on that one thing yourself then, but I think it’s so dead off.

I do feel human kindness has grown three heart sizes of late, what with Syria and everything. I see people change for the better and developing their empathy further left and right. I know mine’s grown too. But there are still those wet blankets all over, almost violently resisting. Strange. Anyways, I’m inspired to work on a new album while finishing off the promotion for this year’s, and I think it’s going to be influenced a lot by this topic. Re-writing a lot of old political songs that all of a sudden are relevant again.

In the meantime, have some boobs! 😀

(Pattern for this year’s breast cancer awareness on an Ica shopping bag, and aren’t you disappointed?)

Busy Bee

Planning more than one surprise for the single release of Friendly Fire May 7th. One clue is in the pic, it includes using those strong, bendy thighs of mine which I rarely use for the music. This album/EP process has been all about challenging myself and taking some of my fav past times that I don’t like to show to the public (like the drawing part), so that’s another clue!

Also, EP Scarnotes is available in physical form, and added to the blog shop (bottom of the page) and later added to the homepage when I’ve worked everything out. Enjoy! 🙂

Omslag Scarnotes

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Scarletters on Bandcamp

https://mariabohm.bandcamp.com/album/scarletters

Album is now available at Band Camp, where you can stream it if you don’t have Spotify and also buy it digitally for as much as you want to buy it for. Let me remind you that 10% of sales go to Amnesty International- Stop violence against women, so downloading it for free is OK, but let Jiminy Cricket (your consciense) decide if and how much you want to donate.

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Scarletters is out!

http://open.spotify.com/album/7rFxDSDqnV85e46013TBqY

Scarlett is out and free to roam! 🙂 Enjoy a good half hour of real instruments, musicians and the crazy ideas from my head! 😉

Stream, buy on Itunes or buy a physical copy and remember, part of proceeds go t o Amnesty- Stop violence against women, no matter if you stream or buy, so get to listening! 😉

Big thanks to participants; Silja Kareketo, bass, Robin Wernebratt, drums, Lisa Moberg violin, Boel Söderberg cello, Fabian Worbin, guitar, Tony Malmberg and Jonas Källsbäck recording, Björn Wennerborg duet on “Thank Me Later” and some anonymous lads on flute, trumpet, additional recording, mixing and mastering and acoustic guitar.



More of my handy work

Getting closer to the release (just one week away, now, eeeh, Scarlett, my girl, it’s getting exciting!) I’m dropping more secrets. I have been very closed up, just wanting to go through the process with no discerning eyes for a change, but when the work is done and the release is getting nigh, I’m easing up on it.

A brief review of playing double keys at today’s gig first of all: lovely, awesome, what a feeling, but carrying two keyboards and the stands to go with them? Chris’, 8-year-old Maria, why didn’t you opt for learning the flute instead when you had a choice? 😉

But, OK, here’s part of the cover. Not the whole cover, I’m still putting that on hold for release, but part of the cover, the main pic. What a treat that was shooting together with my bass player and using all our knowledge of light and photography. She did all the hand lettering, a trooper for sure, while I was preparing for the shoot. But it wasn’t bright red through and through from the beginning. The idea has been very little photoshop, very little editing, very much by hand. That’s been a stipulation of mine, not much computers when it comes to instruments, art or anything. It’s Scarletters, not Scar-office-memos. And we lined the letters with a red pen. Then we discovered my fiber pens were pretty dried up, and my oil based colour couldn’t quite give the colour nuance we wanted. So I had to turn to photoshop. And even though we lined the letters, live photography gives all kinds of shifting in light and shadow, so “magic wand” and “fill” wasn’t an option. So I just zoomed in and did the tedious “fill in with red” by hand in PS (so, hands were still present! 😉 ), took me a day or two for sure.

I am also treating you to two photos from Storkyrkan in Stockholm (very similar to Mariakyrkan in Skara though I do favour my hometown church a wee bit more), just cause they’ purrdy. And because I want you to settle this. I’m sure it’s SUPPOSED to be a sheep with a halo and a flag, but to me it just looks like he/she’s wearing a very fancy haute coutoure hat. I might add that I think that dress is blue, no question.





March, come she will

Doesn’t rhyme quite as well as the original Paul Simon title April come she will, but it’s certainly more apt for my news! As you can see on the “news” part of my homepage mariabohm.com (news is default) I’ll release the new album March 12th FINALLY! With a surprise soon after but, dude, if I told you it wouldn’t be surprise, now would it? Why March 12th? Realistically, I’ll just figure out the schedule and a ballpark number of days for when things can be done to get a sense of when I can release. And March is realistic. It just so happened I became a cousin for the first time on March 12th 15 years ago. I AM a family girl, I’ve had several videos, singles and releases dropped on family member’s birthdays. Whoever seems to have an apt birthday… 😉 It’s my way of celebrating them a little extra.

Besides working a bit on the release the past couple of days I’ve taken it easy. I lost a pint of blood yesterday. Voluntarily! But still! I’ve donated blood regularly since I was 19, because why not? I have big thick veins the nurses love, a high amount of iron (even being veggie and a woman it’s still around 140 with 100-120 being normal) in my blood, and I’ve got A+, a major blood group. But it knocks the wind out of me for a day or two for sure! Keep in mind that blood delivers oxygen to most parts of the body, so losing a tenth of it does brush off the top of your stamina for a few days. Had a bit of a comedic moment yesterday at work when I snacked for the FIFTH time (I love food, I’m a proud eater, but having to eat non stop not to kill people is annoying). Co-worker: “You’re pale, you’re annoyed, you eat all the time, giving blood is what gives you PMS!” (She knows I don’t really get PMS, I’m a bit too calm). “Grumble grumble” *giving her killer eyes*. “Want the last of my sugar fizzy drink?” Me, softening and looking hopeful: “Yes, please…” So yeah, a good indication of what could be if I actually PMS:ed a bit more 😉

So I’ve put rhinestones on my fingernails. Actually not my fingernails, the fingernails on my cool winter mittens with fingernails on them. I’ve hemmed the only two pair of trousers I own. And I’ve finished some drawings long overdue that I made for winter, which is a bit wonky and schizo in Sweden at the moment (winter, not the drawings). I actually did four, but using non-pro fiber pens two of them didn’t turn out the way I liked. I did get to use watercolour pencil on the snowman, my boss lent me her set for the drawing (the art stuff she owns would blow your mind, her drawings too, why she’s not an illustrator I’ll never know). I wasn’t quite satisfied as I had to use fingers a lot, I have no brushes at the mo’, but it was still fun. I’ll probably get a small set of my own (brushes and watercolour pencils) later this spring, but the two first months of the year are always a bit poor for me, so I can’t really make it a priority now when I don’t draw for a living, even though “I love it and it calms me” IS a good reason. But right now it’s album release bonanza. And that ain’t a bad thing either.

Snoflake Snowman

A decade of Mezmerizing and Hypnotizing

I’ve gotta give a shoutout to System of A Down and their two albums that changed my life in 2005. I mean, I say they’re an influence, and people wonder how the f*ck can they influence my music? My answer? I don’t know.

I just know I loved Toxicity, I loved Steal This Album, and that was it. But when they released this… I played it round the clock. I was obsessed, and I didn’t even now why. It was just on repeat. I couldn’t stop listening. I’m still contemplating that they put some kind of subliminal, positive brainwashing messages in there. Because all of a sudden I was like: “Heeey, TV and fashion magazines are brainwashing me!” And I stopped watching TV, and I ripped up and burned all my Cosmos and similar mags. And I wrote songs for four hours a day instead. Most of my songs from my soon-to-be three albums are from this period of time in 2005-2006, so say thank you to the nice rock group! 🙂

It was also during this period of time that I overnight started fighting for the underdogs, for equality, for not buying into the small shit we are distracted with, missing the bigger picture. Yes, literally, overnight. I remember this morning in October 2005 when I woke up with these thoughts and became so angry with media distracting me with the wrong things. And I thought: “My life is gonna be about helping”. So the “Equality Knight” I’ve been jokefully named was born right then and there. People looked at me funny when I looked for eco, fairtrade and locally produced, because it hadn’t become fashionable yet. New Age circuits believed there was a wave hitting the receptable at that very night, one out of three nights, so who knows? I’m glad I’ve got company now! 🙂

Anyways, first gig of the year went smoothly, weird energy from some guys refusing to talk to me and shake my hand though (but gladly shaking my male drummers). At this point, I’m really used to it. Too bad one of ’em was in the jury, and a presenter, and couldn’t present me properly, or get what I was about, to save a life… As I said. Prepared. The audience was great though! 🙂

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Pre-gig selfies. I’m no good at duckface 😉 …  ;

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Master of my domain

Wow, the last 24 hrs have been interesting. I posted the Björn Afzelius- Sång till Friheten, and thought nothing of it. It’s not even a cover, you know, just a voice sample for a competition. So “here you go then”. And it’s gotten about three times more plays in the first 24 hrs than any of my songs or covers get on the first day! Apparently people like Björn Afzelius! 🙂

I know I had good timing, in 2014 the “Tusen Bitar” film was out, so he’s fresh in Swede’s memories. But honestly, for me it was just: “Oh, bother, I have to sing something in Swedish, might as well do one of my dad’s old favs, he loved this song”. And I’m just a wee bit of a fan of the Swedish troubadour scene thanks to my parents, so why not? But I love that people seem to appreciate it, I had a fun time making the sample, and as I said, I didn’t even try to produce. So… wow…

On the note of album-making and my own original songs, mastering of the album finished today so I really see the release coming closer. I fought for more kazoo, and more kazoo I got! 😀 You’re all welcome… 😉 Mixer named it “the devil’s instrument” and I tried to pull out of hen (Swedish pro-noun, him-or-her, love it, so useful!) “How can you NOT like kazoo?” … “I can’t even begin to formulate an answer for that question.” Oh well, you all get some more of the awesomeness 😉

Here are some pics. Second one of my messy notes for the final mix and master process. I used post-its when my computer crashed, because post-its don’t crash. My handwriting is quite awful, so I had to interpret, but it works! 😉

First one of soon-to-come album cover. I purposely shook the camera to make them both blurry as I don’t want you to see the song titles, notes or actual cover til’ it’s all done, but I promise an explosion of things when album is released and I don’t have to be quiet anymore! 🙂

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