March 02, 2007

Lullabies Blacklisted by the Bush Administration.

Lullabies Jon Birge of the New York based Valley Entertainment, says that his company has been listed as one of the companies the Bush administration no longer wants to cooperate with: link. The reason; Birge's company is the US distributor of Lullabies From The Axis Of Evil, a Norwegian CD in which women from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, North-Korea and Cuba sing lullabies in duet with western artists.

"Lullabies From The Axis Of Evil" produced in 2004 by "Kirkelig Kulturverksted" includes artists such as Nina Hagen, Rickie Lee Jones, Lila Downs, Rim Banna, Annisette, Eva Dahlgren and Kari Bremnes. The CD has sold 10,000 copies in US since the release, and it's received nice reviews in both The Washington Post and The Independent.

MP3's from the CD (192kbps) from the Valley Entertainment web-site:
Lalolalo - Don't you worry my child Kulsoom Syed Ghulam, Afghanistan / Lila Downs, Mexico/USA (MP3)
Peace song Halla Bassam, Iraq / Sevara Nazarkhan, Uzbekistan (MP3)
Stars are rising Sun Ju Lee, North Korea / Eddi Reader, Scotland (MP3)

Ref: Norwegian Broadcasting Corp + Vårt Land

Update March 3rd: Producer, Erik Hillestad's statement in English (link)

December 08, 2006

Cut-up & Slice-off From my Inbox

Lasseg The 22 year old Norwegian, Lasse Gjertsen (left) is having huge success on the net with Amateur (YouTube). Some stunning drumming and video-editing there!

The film that made him famous Hyper (Avi/8.1mb) was a school project he did while attending an animation-college in England. (His teacher didn't think much of it though).
Accident (Avi/2.3MB) is also worth lending an eye.
Nameless (Avi/18,3MB) from a collaboration with Petter Mehren, Fredrik Steinsvik. Music by Merzbow.

Here are some Lasse MP3s:
Amateur (MP3)  La Meg Være I Fred (MP3) Chaplin Snakker (MP3)

Lasse in the news:
-I got a request from an advertising agency; «Do you want to make advertising?». I answered: «No, I will not advertise for any product.» «Oh, come on!» «Who's it for then?» «It is Chevrolet, they've got a new car.» But, I wouldn't - commercials are annoying and stupid, it is something I will not take part in.


November 24, 2006

Tina, The Swedish chef (video)

Tina190 Tina Nordström, the ever energic tv-chef from Sweden shows us how to perk up with some special dessert... (YouTube) The essential word to know is kola [kohhlawh]. Alas, Tina speaks only Swedish. To compensate, here is Swedish tv-personalities Ander & Måns doing a rap in english (YouTube)

And from an industry often associated with this dessert; we give you this video (.mov/4mb) a golden web-oldie.

November 16, 2006

Pompel & Pilt (Videos and MP3s)

Pompel_og_piltThe Norwegian TV-show "Pompel & Pilt" was both loved and hated in its home country due to the surreal, amoral personalities  of its characters. After the series was broadcast in 1969, 1973, 1976, 1979 and 1985, the show was banned by NRK (Norwegian National Broadcasting) as it was deemed too dangerous for children. After this a huge cult-following grew, demanding to get "Pompel og Pilt" back on television and today the characters are considered one of the greatest pop-cultural icons in Norwegian television-history.  Watch the first episode (YouTube) The dialog is fairly simple. The two main characters are always looking for something that needs mending, as most stuff in their world is either bizarre, or just malfunctioning in a spectacular way. Be also aware of Gorgon, the janitor, a scary guy, that creeps everybody out with his obsessive-compulsive disorder, spouting out words that rhymes with "reparere [to mend/repair]" - such as "to subliminalise", "regressitate" etc ad nauseum.

Moffedille (upper left corner) is a fantasy animal from the show. The moffedille vaguely resembles a porcupine, eats keys, and communicates through howling sounds and cartoon-style balloons.

Moffedillen_1The series consists of five episodes, of which the moffedille appears in episodes 2 and 3. It is introduced as the protagonists, the repairmen Pompel and Pilt, sit down on it in the belief that it is a tuft of grass, a misconception that is gradually cleared up as the moffedille starts moving. The moffedille then asks for a key (by uttering a talking-bubble containing a drawing of a key). Pilt, who has earlier found a key, shows it to the moffedille, which immediately grabs it and eats it. It then leaves. This concludes the appearance of the moffedille in episode 2. Moffedille excerpt (.mov/4mb)

Continue reading "Pompel & Pilt (Videos and MP3s)" »

November 06, 2006


Baaahh_1 "Lars, what have we got to eat?"

"Gee Sven, there is nothing much here, have a look in the shed out the back."

"Hey Lars, there is only some old sheep heads out here and they are a bit moldy and besides, they are covered with all this old wool. What are we going to do?"

"I know Sven, let's toss them in the fire and burn off the mold and wool."

"Hmm Lars, there is still some wool and mold left."

"Well, toss them in the fire again."

"Nope, still got some mold and wool left on them."

Sven, do I have to do all the thinking, toss them on the fire again and keep doing it until all the wool and the mold is gone."

"OK. Lars, I've got it now. The heads are clean. They don't taste too good the way they are though. A little smoky. What are we going to do now."

"Well Sven, let's put them in the smoking shed for a few days where we smoke the salmon".

A couple of days later Sven reports that the heads taste better but they are not too good cold.

Lars says, "OK Sven, stick them in the pot and we'll boil them up, that should warm them through."

The heads are then boiled. Now Sven tries them and says, "hey, they do taste better but one head is too much for me to eat. Have you any ideas Lars?"

Lars says, "OK Sven, just cut the head in half and eat one half then."

And that is how Smalahoved was born. Taken from here.

October 23, 2006

Mollie Thompson - Heralding the Dawn (full album MP3)

Saucer_1Record_2Mollie Thompson was just an ordinary British Housewife... until one day in the 1960s she was contacted by benevolent Venusians. (Thanks Martin)

3 wise men    cokeyed ballad    dawn breaks    from worlds afar    heralding the dawn    isn't it amazing    space talk    there is alot I could tell you    think big thoughts    time no more

See comments for more info on Mollie

On a related front: If all stories were written If all stories were written like science fiction stories. (Thanks Johan)

October 17, 2006

In The Hall of the Mountain King [MP3's]

Grieg1_dovregubben_1 (MP3s: 36 of them beyond the jump)

Peer Gynt (1867) by Henrik Ibsen marks the end of romantic nationalism in Norway. In 1874 Edvard Grieg was asked to compose music for the play (or rather, was given a lot of cash to ditch a less profitable project with Norwegian author Björnstierne Björnson). As Ibsen's play grew on him, he complained to his friend Frants Beyer; "It is an immensely difficult subject, and I've done something  to the Mountain King, that I myself find unable to listen to - it reeks of cow-dung, Norwegian-Norwegianess and absorbed in it's own Norwegianess! But I expect the irony to be pungent, especially when Peer, after the ordeal with the Mountain King utters against his will 'Both the dance and the playing was [cat scratchily] beautiful.'"

Alas, the irony did not seep through - and Grieg managed to get himself a huge audience and a nice reputation as a composer. Nonetheless, he refused to be present at the opening night in 1876, including the rehearsals, and he never bothered to have the music printed. Grieg Grieg2_johannes_brun_som_gubben was said to be a square (and even a pentahedron). He supposedly referred to a conductor as pig-face, and called a poor oboist a "fucking klutz." Even his own work got in his face, and on occasion, he referred to his lyrical pieces as "bugs and lice." He referred to his own composition Sangerhilsen as a "piece of shit!"

The 5th of October this year, New York found itself infected with trolls in Central Park. Actors and hordes of extras were flown in to play Peer Gynt for 3 days, with a budget of $1.3 million. Anne Midgette from the New York Times has a wonderful review on that occasion.

How many versions of this theme have been made, and how many more compositions have been "inspired" by it? I'll try to give you a few examples. Follow the jump for 36 downloadable MP3s:

Continue reading "In The Hall of the Mountain King [MP3's]" »

October 03, 2006

Norwegian Country (MP3s)

Bjoero_haalandNorway is very much like Texas. Different languages, but plenty of oil. Texas, the lone star, and Norway - not a member of European Union. One thing that stands out, is the love of Country and Western, and at one of the numerous festivals, you bet it's going to be Helt Texas (totally Texas = crazy).

Country music in Norway goes way back, and Scandinavians in general are not giving up their traditions easily, listen to the; Gamalost-song (lyrics) (mp3). Despite being subject to ridicule from the intellectual left wing, American culture flourishes (YouTube) in Norway, to the extent of being even more pronounced than in the US of A itself... 

I will try to shed some light on Norwegian Americana with some soundbits, but first some - Norwegian rappers: Tommy Tee - Paperboys - Karpe Diem (YouTube) - and some wannabees - 50 öre (YouTube). Just as Norwegian as corn on the cob.Oslo_kids_1

C&W examples: Bjøro Håland's song I Love Norwegian Country (mp3) (lyrics) is an "over there" story about a trip to Nashville. As with the rap-videos above, I always get a kick out of native babbeling intercepted by foreign phrasing. Hasta La Vista Elvis Presley (mp3) by Arnie Norse is a glimpse into C&W-outsider music.
Going to Nashville is imperative! If you can't go, then dream of it; En Drøm om Nashville (mp3) by Heidi Hauge. A couple of covers by grand old lady Lillian Askeland, Tennessee Waltz (mp3) Billy Boy (mp3).

Teddy_nelson Teddy Nelson (born Terje Nilsen) was awarded "International Star of the Year" in both '81 and '82 by the Grand Ole Opry in - yes - Nashville. His Diggy Liggy (mp3) - a typical joie-de vivre song was a massive hit! Before his death in '92, he cut a record with Skeeter Davies...

I love Norwegian country (the rap-version) (YouTube)

September 17, 2006

Swedish Metal Aid (mp3)

SoftieheadiecutieswedieWouldn't you like to have long soft curly blond hair, scented with musk - dangling over firm shoulders - a loose silk shirt with the top open, revealing a hairy chest and a gold chain - singing your heart out to save people about to die of hunger in Ethiopia? If you could you would, and the Swedes did do it in '85. Joey Tempest (Wikipedia) from "Europe" wrote the song "Give a Helpin' Hand" (mp3) which sold 50.000 copies. See the 120 Swedish hard rockers here (Youtube) and dream about swimming in fluffy blond hair.