Saturday, February 28, 2009

Creating a 'Love Letter' and Summarizing this Past Week

Writing a Love Letter in Music can either be to write a song, a music piece or take others work and assemble into your emotional path, through a playlist. I am not a singer, nor a songwriter and definitely not a musicians, but I do love music and one of biggest passions is to create and assemble playlists. It goes all the way from what I call a 'Love Letter' to a 'Syntax List'. It's very often done when I am preparing for a party and assembling a part playlist is normally easier than a 'Love Letter'.

A 'Love Letter' is important, every word must go right, they must follow your interpretation of the girl you're assembling the list to. Since you're borrowing someone else's words, you need to borrow them carefully because situations might be almost like something and the tune of the song might be just brilliant. Lately I have fallen in love with John Mayer's cover of Tom Petty's 'Free Fallin' ' and but to put that in a love letter would ruin the list. Example: 'I'm a bad boy, because I don't even miss her. I'm a bad boy for breaking her heart.' wouldn't fit very good into a playlist for a couple who are about to seperate in six months on a long distance relationship.
My Beloved iTunes Library and my 'Love Letter'.

Today I'm going to share my latest 'Love Letter' to my girlfriend just to do an example of the importance of putting together a brilliant play list through my point of view. First thing you have to go into the heart of what's important, what music does she like and what's the main message of the song, in words. I choose to open my 'Letter' with The Derek Trucks Band's 'Our Love' from 'Already Free'. It reflects the power of love even in distance. Second I choose something to reflect the personality, like my girl is stubborn yet wonderful so 'A Beautiful Mess' by Jason Mraz is a brilliant example of that. You keep on to aim all those personal issues and good events that has occured to you as a couple to increase the feeling of love.
Plain White T's 'One Hit Wonder', 'Hey There Delilah'.

Like all couples, my girlfriend and I have personal songs. Songs that you collect and bond to. Don't ever use the same songs all the time, it's like releasing 'The Greatest Hits' which is cool, once a year maybe twice but definitely not more, a 'Greatest Hits Vol. 12' is not very romantic. It's awfully lazy. In this list I use our seperation song 'Hey There Delilah' by Plain White T's. It's a terribly cheesy song, but it has personal values and that defeats the quality of the song as a 'One Hit Wonder' which it was.

One of the perfect examples of a 'Playlist-Of-Importance' - movie is 'Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist' that hold upon the power of music in relationships and how it makes us attach even more which is really a great addition to a successful or sometimes rough relationship and to sum up this week. Finding DTB's 'Already Free' and Loney Dear's 'Dear John' has really been quite a love journey, that's why I found it a pleasant occasion. Next week it's all about those three bastards processed over night in my last post.

Happy Saturday and Good Night

Friday, February 27, 2009

Processing Overnight

Kings Of Leon - Only By The Night, Van Morrison - Astral Weeks: Live at Hollywood Bowl and Chris Isaak - Mr. Lucky.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Songs We Recall from The Art Motion

As argued in ‘Music Of Cinematic Force...’ posted on February 16th I argued who I thought would win. As one week has passed I am of curiosity looking over what the music forums and main sites such as are writing about. As a week has passed I am curious myself what the best ‘Original Song Winners’ are. If you’d list them, I’d maybe agree with but since I hate listing commercially, from fairly commercial movies winning at the Oscars I prefer to look beyond and somewhat name, not list somewhat the 12-16 best songs in movies because many of these songs has an effect on the movie, it transforms the movies.

Just imagine what ‘Wayne’s World’ would be without ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ by Queen or a missing ‘Raindrops Keep Falling...’ in ‘Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid’. The power of the song has created memorable moments in these films and If I from a movie/music lovers perspective go back into what songs has captured and transformed my mind, created these moments of honesty and memory of what the film meant to me.

Clips from Magnolia and Almost Famous.

(It’s Not Going To Stop til’ You) Wise Up by Aimee Mann in Magnolia, ‘Suck’ by Nine Inch Nails in ‘Se7en’. ‘Al Otro Lado Del Rio’ by Jorge Drexler for a ‘Motorcycle Diares’ and Elliot Smith’s ‘Miss Missery’ in the fantastic ‘Good Will Hunting. Glen Hansard’s ‘Falling Slowly’ made ‘Once’ and Eminem’s ‘Lose Yourself’ is a definition of ‘8 Mile’. A fantastic piece from a fantastic soundtrack is ‘Just Like Honey’ by Jesus & Mary Chain in Sofia Coppola’s success ‘Lost In Translation’ and what would the appearence of a stunningly beutiful Natalie Portman had been without The Shins ‘New Slang’ in ‘Garden State’.

Clips from 'Once' and 'As it is in Heaven'.

‘The End’ by The Doors in ‘Apocalypse Now’ and ‘Where’s My Mind’ by the Pixies in ‘Fight Club’ are essentials to the films greatness. Bob Dylan’s originally written ‘Thing’s Have Changed’ for ‘Wonder Boys’ is just worth the Oscar and Eddie Vedder’s fantastic ‘Setting Forth’ in ‘Into The Wild’ and ‘Man Of The Hour’ in ‘Big Fish’ are magnificent. Then again people not familiar with a small language called Swedish, may tend to have never heard one of the most fantastic songs of 2005’s ‘Foreign Film Nominations’, at the Oscars. It's Helen Sjoholm and Stefan Nilsson’s ‘Gabriellas Sang’ in the movie ‘As It is In Heaven’. We close this without forgetting about one of the most explsive scenes from a motion picture, the choring of Elton John's 'Tiny Dancer' by Stillwater in Almost Famous is unforgetable.

All clips come from; following clips comes from 'Magnolia', New Line and Magnolia Projects (1999)'Almost Famous', Columbia Tristar and Dreamworks (2000),'Once' Samson and Buena Vista (2006), 'As It Is In Heaven' Sonet Film (2004)

Truth on ‘Already Free’ by The Derek Trucks Band

Vocalist and frontman of The Derek Trucks Band, Derek Trucks is fairly new to me, an in a positive way. In the companions new album ‘Already Free’ I am perfectly introduced to Derek Trucks and it’s somewhat mind blowing. ‘Already Free’ is a mix, just as claimed, Derek Trucks is as well. A mix of ‘feel good’ Rock/Rhythm & Blues with great influences from Bob Dylan, Buddy Guy and Eric Clapton. ‘Already Free’ is the bands 7th album released in a course of 12 years. According to critic’s the 2006 album ‘Songlines’ is the highlight of DTB’s discography, but I no nothing of that so I stick to ‘Already Free’, that’s what I know.

DTB is an original concept, easily mixed with great of greats and as one of few jam sessions bands in the field, the mixes between blues and rock with a touch of funk creates an original piece of music that is spiritual in a ‘feel good’ sense. The album is opened with an exceptional brilliant cover of Bob Dylan’s ‘Down in The Flood’, an open interpretation with a funky guitar and strong vocals that only reminds me of a Buddy Guy. It’s an eternal sound so spiritual that it reaches up and above what ‘Mustang Sally’ made to me in ‘The Commitments’. It’s a pure stylish concept and as the album moves forward into the transitions of track 3, ‘Maybe This Time’ and ‘Sweet Inspiration’ comes to me I sense the rhythm and blues in somewhat a ‘soulish’ way that takes me to the brilliant of Stevie Wonder.
What I realize as I listen on for the second, third and fourth time is how The Derek Trucks Band reaches somewhat an emotional explosion into all their influences, mixing it into a pure true, funky blues version of greatness. Mellow essences of rock, blues, jazz and soul are all stirred together into a original touch that makes this one of the most unique albums I’ve ever sensed to come close to me. And at it’s middle peak it’s not even close to what I am about to say. The tension of some what sweet love melody ‘Our Love’ reaches me at a perfection, it’s exploding in a softness sense into my ears and totally blows my mind.

The emotional aspects of the album is something that I take onto me as somewhat personal and with ‘Down’ Don’t Bother Me’ and ‘Days Is Almost Gone’ is brilliant companions, the music is still breathtaking and as the albums closes with album title named song ‘Already Free’ I don’t really, fully understand what this mix of greatness in music has done to me. Forget greatness on all those guys I’ve been so terribly optimistic about, The Derek Trucks Band’s ‘Already Free’ is in it’s ace of brilliance. This is not great but rather magnificent and magical in the sense that I am captured into an album that changes my night, day and hopefully tomorrow. Gloriously!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Thåström; A Brief Summary of A Great Musician, Internationally Infamous

In every culture there is different symbols in music, film, art that has a great recognition and status in their culture but haven’t received great recognition abroad or in the mass media of the world’s parts in their industries. One of these people that I have decided to present to you is one of the most influential and greatest musicians in the Swedish music history. The composer, guitarist and vocalist Joakim Thåström is one of those musicians that has been a part of major musical developments in Sweden and with bands like ‘Ebba Grön’, ‘Imperiet’ and ‘Peace, Love and Pitbulls’.
Thåström protesting at the Berlin Wall.

Joakim Thåström was born in 1957 in one of the suburbs called Högdalen outside and grown together with the Swedish capital Stockholm. In his early teenage years Thåström started a band called Helt Sonika and with one member of Helt Sonika he later came to create the most famous Swedish punk band of all time, Ebba Grön. The name was taken from a Swedish police code in the try to arrest a suspected kidnapper during the 1970’s and the this was kind of the start trigger for a new political movement i Sweden. The music that Ebba Grön created had strong political atmosphere it and with songs like ‘Staten och Kapitalet’,’800 Grader’, ‘Die Mauer’ and ‘Mental Istid’ they approached a very political appeal influenced by the Swedish ‘Nationalteatern’.

Ebba Grön during one of their local concerts.

As the punk came to its end and ‘so-called’ death, Thåström and the band members of Ebba Grön created The Space Imperium (a.k.a Rymdimperiet) who later changed their name to The Imperium (a.k.a Imperiet). Thåström was a party animal and was one of few who appealed to the rock’ n roll life style and through his new band they approached somewhat a rock’ n roll appeal. Imperiet didn’t last to long and the band shattered in 1983 as Thåström approached for a solo career. Imperiet had tried to create somewhat a synth/rock style that was in line with the 80’s but as he started his solo project Thåström experimented with the harder and rougher parts of his music. He released a rough, hard rock n’ roll act with his album ‘Xplodera mig 2000’ (a.k.a ‘Xplode me 2000’).

Thåström’s solo career didn’t last long, shortly after he moved to the Netherlands in order to explore new fields and parts of music and experiment with genres. The project lead to Thåström’s biggest international success Peace,Love and Pitbulls. They reached huge fame through a concert in at one of the main music festivals in Sweden, Hultsfredfestivalen in 1991. Peace, Love and Pitbulls was a very inspirational source for many upcoming artists and the most famous of these upcoming artists was Marilyn Manson who claimed that Peace, Love and Pitbulls was one of his main influences.
Thåström's Peace, Love & Pitbulls was an influential source to his music.

In 1997 the band went separate ways and this was what came to lead to one of the greatest moves in Thåström’s career as he went back to Sweden to sing in Swedish. This was a calmer and more poetic Thåström and after ‘Det är ni som är konstiga och jag som är normal’ and a live record ‘ Thåström pa Roda Kvarn’ he released a critic success with his ‘Skebokvarnsvägen 209’.  With this album released in 2005, Thåström was renewed in a sense. The calm poetic, deep, well produced singer/songwriter alternative rock was an approach which Thåström reached high recognition at new audiences and younger fans.

Thåström performing today.

In 2007, Thåström formed a new composition of band members in Sällskapet with their big hit ‘Nordlich’ but still keeps his solo career alive with an upcoming album release with ‘Kärlek För Dom’ Thåström becomes always present and a challenger of and renewal symbol of the Swedish music industry. Thåström is one of the main inspirational sources to the young musicians growing up in Sweden with hope to approach in punk and rock and his past creations and composes rely on the top as great achievements in Swedish music history as one of the main characters in the modern Swedish music industry. He has become a necessary symbol for the political, experimental and alternative rock star of modern music time and is the only true symbol for his time, unfortunately, internationally infamous.

Discography with Ebba Grön; ‘We’re Only in it For the Drugs’ (1979), Kärlek och Uppror (1981), Ebba Grön (1982), Ebba Grön 1978-1982 (1987). Imperiet; ‘Rasera’ (1984), ‘Imperiet’ (1984), ‘Blå Himlen Blues’, ‘2:a Augusti 1985’ (1985), ‘Synd’ (1986), ‘Imperiet’ (1988), ‘Tiggarens Tal’ (1988), Studio/Live (1988), ‘Kickar’ (1990). Peace, Love and Pitbulls; ‘Peace, Love & Pitbulls’ (1992), ‘Red Sonic Underwear’ (1994), ‘3’ (1997). Thåström; ‘ Thåström’ (1989), ‘Xplodera Mig’ (1991), Singoalla (1998), ‘Det är ni som e dom konstiga det är jag som e normal’ (1999), ‘Mannen Som Blev En Gris’ (2002), ‘Skebokvarnsvägen 209’ (2005) and with Sällskapet; ‘ Sällskapet’ (2007) and Thåström’s upcoming album ‘Kärlek För Dom’ (2009).

Review on  ‘Kärlek För Dom’ (Eng. Love For Those) will be posted in time with his Swedish release on March 13.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Amoeba Records, The Store of Records

This is not a commercial breakthrough of MT&T where I try to sell you a concept, an artist or a store. This is more of a personal recommendation to people in California, vistors or people of residency who love music and even more so love records. In a world of iTunes people have started to move away from the real concept of going out and but records which is one part of the modernization of our society.
If you still love buying records but you find them just a little bit to expensive and you've got tired of Virgins or Hot Topics poor selection of vinyls I would like you all to check out Amoeba Records. Amoeba is not an online store because that's not the purpose of Amoeba. Amoeba is one of the world largest record stores with over 1 million titles in store. They have recently started some what a home delivery but among the three existing stores in California they are all worth a visit. Their newest store is located on 6400 Sunset Boulevard and Vine St. in West Hollywood and will sweep you off your feet.
Me, lost and in love at Amoeba Records.

The originated stores in San Francisco and Berkley contain the same concept, used cd's to minimum prices, vinyl sections, a large number of hard-to-get movies and posters that we all thought was lost in time. With free parking you will get lost in the massive content and believe me, if you love music, you will love Amoeba Records.

Visit Amoeba Records for more information and remember the name.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Truth about 'Dear John' by Loney Dear

I have to admit that I was surprised when I found out that Loney Dear was from Sweden. There's so much that's only one or two hours away from the town you were raised in that you have never heard of, this artist is one of those. Origianally from Jonkoping in Sweden, artist Emil Svanängen has received great recognition lately as he recently released a new album, 'Dear John'. 
Loney Dear is something between what I would call the new Swedish invasion. Between Timo Räisanen and Jens Lekman we find Loney Dear. Dear John is a typical Swedish Indie/Pop/Rock story that comes out quite good. In fact, third time becomes the charm. Even though the mourning, downy atmosphere to the album it holds up so much joy and charm. With the beautiful 'I Was Only Going' out I get captured in a visually told story. I recognize the growing up in my coastal Swedish hometown Oskarshamn and the summer nights of my teenage years where a song like this would define me and give the inspiration for greater things. It's hard to describe in words what 'Dear John' sounds like because even though it reminds of this and that it has an original label to it and that's why I fully agree with the attention around it.

What's seem to be the problem here is simply the positioning of the tracks, from a powerful start with 'Airport Surroundings' and 'Harsh Words' I tense the feeling of the album going downward in a melodic speed. He loses me and kind of slumbers of as the album reaches towards the end. When you take a look at the harmful songs composed as individual pieces the the production is beautiful, clean and very well accepted in my musical opinion. He closes the album rather mellow, rather soft and even though 'Violet' helps us to feel the tensions I remember how the opening totally struck me and that's where I'm lost. The album is though a promising album, that defines a new era of Swedish powerful musicians. Dear John is a great album and Loney Dear remains on my list. A truly amazing thing-piece that I choose to like very, very much.