You might have noticed that the almighty Jens ”not Lehmann” Lekman is currently touring these shores, he's supporting the pretty good Josh Rouse but also doing the odd solo show:
4 December - Nottingham - Rescue Rooms (w/ Josh Rouse)
5 December - Bristol Academy (w/ Josh Rouse)
7 December - Oxford Academy (w/ Josh Rouse)
8 December - Brighton - Concorde 2 (w/ Josh Rouse)
9 December - London - Shepherd Bush Empire (w/ Josh Rouse) 11 December - London - The Luminaire
12 December - Dublin – Whelans
I haven’t got a ticket for his Luminaire show (alas!), and since it's sold out I’m going to try and see him before he plays with Josh Rouse next Sunday. I've got to see the man!!!
Lekman’s usually splendid live, and he’s one of the few artists that I can’t see too many times.
Below you can get a couple of his tracks, one of the strongest songs from his last album, “Night falls over Kortedala” (one of the best albums of 2007, which you of course know) and a Swedish version of “Maple Leaves” (released on a US tour EP in 2005).
Labrador are releasing Johan Hedberg's (from Suburban Kids With Biblical Names fame) great "5-spårsEP" on 10" vinyl and limited to 500 copies. It was released earlier this year on Cosy Den, but Labrador are now reiussing it with a couple of bonus tracks. Hooray for them! I've got myself a copy already! You go and get yourself one too. Everyone loves Suburban Kids With Biblical Names! They're just like Jens Lekman, but two! Or, not exactly like Jens Lekman, but they're charming and indie with a healthy dose of twee in the mix (just like Lekman). Judging by the press photos it also looks as if Johan has abandoned his geek look for a hipster upgrade. Good for him! Anyway, check out "Var dig själv" from the EP:
First Hello Saferide in a lift, now Christian Kjellvander in a car! Phew!
Chrisian Kjellvander’s got a new album out, called ”I saw her from here / I saw here from her” (a clever but quite strenuous title). It’s meant to be very good, I’m still waiting for my dear mum to send me a copy of it (sending you CDs - that’s what mums are for, right?). The only song I’ve heard from the album is the one in the below video. It’s a kind of cute video, Kjellvander’s car broke down and he decided to record himself (on his phone) playing the song they were meant to record that day in the studio, on a banjo (how lucky he had a banjo in his car and not only a jew's harp or something). It bodes well for the album, and I’m excited to see how album version of “When the mourning comes” (another clever title! The man is a machine!) sounds. Come on, mum, get your mum legs down to the post office already!
The Hives are not only releasing their last album in the states today (hopefully it'll do a bit better than it did in the UK), but they're also coming to the UK next week to do some shows: 22 November 2007 – Glasgow, ABC 23 November 2007 - London, Hammersmith Apollo 24 November 2007 - Manchester, Apollo 25 November 2007 - Birmingham, Academy
The Hives - back in the good old days!
I’m going to try and and see their London show. Although I’ve seen them way too many times, so I'm not too hyped up. First time was in a small tent at a tiny festival about 10 years ago (I was a pretty big Burning Heart Records fan at that time), last time was in Gothenburg earlier this year at the Way Out West festival (I also saw them do a quite bloody show at Notting Hill Arts Club about 7 years ago). Yeah, I really used to love them but lost interest after “Tyrannosaurus Hives”, which was a bit of a belly-flop of an album, so naturally I didn’t have too high hopes for their latest offering, but “The black and white album” has surprised me quite a bit – some if it is pretty damn good! The best stuff on it are the straightforward rock’n’roll songs that sometimes sound a bit like Randy (hooray!). “You dress up for Armageddon” is a good example of this, it’s a killer – a killer! Listen to it, it’ll make you nod your head and do a shuffle perhaps (if the boss isn’t around), I bet! They've always been a laugh live though, or at least they used to be, there’s been something quite cartoony over them lately. Hm, let me come back regarding whether they’re still good live in a week and a half. With the aid of some dancing shoes on my feet and some beers in my stomach, I’m sure it’ll be a great show.
Hopefully this will be the last time ever I’ll have to write something relating to Mika, but while I’m on the subject I thought I might as well mention the remix Lo-Fi-Fnk did earlier this year of his “Big girl you are beautiful”. It was only released on the 12” single of the song and if you’re a Lo-Fi-Fnk fan you should definitely check it out. They’ve turned the annoying original song into something very Lo-Fi-Fnkian and despite it not being the best of remixes, it's quite charming (although to be honest, it's not as good as Bonde Do Role's version). Mika’s massive in Sweden, by the way. Lo-Fi-Fnk aren’t.
Oh, what a topsy turvy world! Boo hoo! Please give me a 100% cold lager injection to help me cope with this fact! Anyhow ...
I like Pelle Carlberg, a lot, but I really don't like Mika. Hence I was a bit sceptical when I heard that Carlberg had done a cover of "Grace Kelly". Pelle does an ok job, but I can't really get into it. Perhaps it has something to do with my deep dislike for Mika's music that prevents me from being totally open minded here, but it's not at all like when Edson (Carlberg's band) did a cover of The Darkness' "I believe in a thing called love". Then they managed to make a rubbish song sound fantastic.
I wouldn't mind hearing more crazy covers from Pelle Carlberg, although I think I prefer his own material - twee songs with witty lyrics. "I love you, you imbecile" from his last album "In a nutshell", that came out earlier this year, is a great example of how he can write amazing songs without covering horrible English pop twats (in a tongue in cheek way).
Lykke Li’s got a distinctive voice that suits the music perfectly. It’d be great if she could get her twee self over to these shores and play a gig, very shortly. Also looking forward to hear that debut album, I’m sure it’ll be both fey, pretty and damn nice.
She’s definitely got a point about the lack of a healthy balance in the lyrics of pop music , but furthermore, the songs on the 7” are very impressive just as song. Being a fan of both of the originals, I really like the sparse arrangements that makes Malin’s vocals the focal point of the songs. It’s pleasantly subversive without being preachy or pretentious.