Happy New Year ! – playlist. Track 2

Ok, now lets try something a little faster, who is ready to rock, and who is not. This music may not be as happy as the first track, but hey, life is more than sun, sand and gin tonic.

Kvelertak is a metal band from Stavanger, Norway. The track is from their 2nd album Meir, released 25/3 2013, Kvalertak has made it big on the international metal scene, even though they have chosen to keep the vocal in their local tongue, the Viking invasion is not over.


Happy New Year ! – playlist. Track 1

When people generally thinks about music for a new year playlist, they think about “dance” music. But the way I look at it, everything is dance music, its just a matter of a little extra imagination, if you can make a ballet from Stavinsky’s “Le Sacre du printemps”, you can dance to anything.
Anyway here is a few tracks from 2013, that I would like to swing my body around, after midnight.

Lets start sweating with a track from the Brooklyn-based “They Might Be Giants”, released 5/3 2013, An alternative band, writing funny and sparkling pop songs, in a very alternative and interesting way. Full of fun, happiness, sun and optimism, just a nice way to start up a new year party.

Stan Getz & Bill Evans

The Jazz album I have listened to the most in 2013:
Stan Getz & Bill Evans.
Cover 1988 CD version
Stan Gets

This studio recordings was made in May 5-6 1964, but apparently neither Getz nor Evans, was happy with the result, and for various reasons, the recordings was not released until 1973. But I love this album, its laid back and melodic jazz , perfect for a Sunday morning coffee, music for a candlelight dinner, or a very late night just before bedtime.

Japanese CD cover (based on original vinyl cover)

Bill Evens 1929-1980, born William John Evans, in New Jersey, was one of the greatest Jazz pianists of all times, I the late 50’s he joined the famous Miles Davis sextet, co-writing the milestone album “kind of Blue”. Although he was very innovative in his style, Evans was always playing a classic Jazz, never the new movements like jazz fusion or free jazz.

Stanley Getz 1927-1991, born in Pennsylvania. Was a prominent American Jazz tenor saxophonist, after playing with several bands in the 40’s (starting at the age of 17), he moved to Scandinavia, playing cool jazz with Oscar Peterson and many others, after returning to US in 1961, he became a front man in introducing latin jazz (bossa nova), and made several gold disc’s in the style, before he went back to playing cool jazz. In 1972 he recorded a fusion album, Captian Marvel, with Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke and others.

The rest of the group was Ron Carter/Richard Davis on bass, Elvin Jones on drums

2013 –“break up” of the year.

No doubt the artistically most interesting “break up” of the year, for me, was Cedric Bixler-Zavala and Omar Rodriquez-Lopez.
They have worked together since 1996 first in one of the most influential post hardcore band “At the Drive-In”. From 2001 in the Mars Volta. The Mars Volta played a very varied progressive heavy, inspired by a lot of bands and styles, many from the 70’s (King Crimson, Pink Floyd; Led Zeppelin, and many more)

The Mars Volta made 6 studio albums, most interesting to me, the debut “De-Loused in the Comatorium” (2003), Frances the Mute (2005), The Bedlam in Goliath 2008, The Bedlam album was the highest charting of all TMV albums, and won a Grammy “Best Hard Rock Performance” for the single “Wax Simulacra”. Retrospectively it is a bit surprising, as “The Bedlam” seems to me, the hardest TMV album, to get into.

On January 23, 2013, Cedric Bixler-Zavala revealed on Twitter, that he was no longer a part of The Mars Volta. Due to Omar Rodriguez-Lopez increasing focus on his side project, Bosnian Rainbows.
Cedric is now working on a new band Zavalaz, expected to debut with ”All Those Nights We Never Met” in 2014.



2013 – Highlights – Deceased

Ray Manzarek died May 20 2013, age 74

He co-founded “The Doors” in 1965 after meeting Jim Morrison a fellow student at a theater school in Los Angeles. The band debuted in 1966, and made 6 best selling album, the last one “L. A. Women” in 1971.

To me, Manzarek defines the keyboard sound of the late 60’s Rock, his innovative style and sound, fits wonderfully with Morrison’s vocal. The fact that there is no permanent bass player in “the Doors” is just stunning, because you don’t miss anything, Manzarek played the bass lines on a Fender Rhodes piano bass, while playing his “Vox” or “Gibson” organ with the other hand.

I don’t know how to describe the sound of the doors, they are in a league of their own, beyond any genre or style defitition. But this clip should give an idear.

Morrison died in 1971, 27 years old.

Mali Blues

For a while music in northern mali was banned, after extreme Islamic rebels, took control of the region in 2012, but as far as I understand, its “live” again, after the 2013 French military intervention, So let us celebrate with the Mali people, hope its music and culture will survive, and highlight the unique music of Mali, often claimed to be the father of American blues.

The Mali blues was made famous by the collaboration between Ali Farka Touré and Ry Cooder, on the album Talking Timbuktu 1994, Touré also appeared in Martin Scorsese’s 2003 documentary film “Feel Like Going Home”, about the roots of blues, in West Africa.

Sonata for Flute, Viola and Harp

The piece of classical music I have been listening to the most in 2013, have been Sonata for Flute, Viola and Harp by Claude Debussy from 1915.

It one of Debussy’s (22nd August 1862 – 25th March 1918) later pieces, unique by the brilliant balance between the three instruments.

Debussy is known as one of the most prominent Impressionist composers together with Maurice Ravel, but his later pieces like this one, may also be seen as parallel to Neoclassicism, (best known through Stravinsky’s works from about 1919-1954)

Debussy was a very private, almost isolated man, he saw the world as corrupt and ugly, and had very little social life, besides a few close friends. He wrote about this piece : “My last evening have been charming, I have finished the sketch for the sonate for flute oboe and harp and all reality has been far from me”, he later replaced the oboe, for the viola.

The piece was first performed privately on dec. 10, 1916.

2013 – Highlights – Deceased

Kevin Ayers died 18 February 2013, 68 years old, in his home in the village of Montolieu France.
Ayers was an major force in the English psychedelic movement. A founding member of the pioneering psychedelic band Soft Machine, associated with the Canterbury Scene. After their first album he left the band, but continued with solo works and made 16 albums between 1969 and 2007.
The clip is the opening track from “Whatevershebringswesing” 1971 with the later so prominent Mike Oldfield’s on bass.

2013 – Highlights – Album I did not listen too.

Yes, this is about the most interesting release in 2013, that I actually haven’t heard, or rather that I am listning too right now on Youtube, for the first time.
Nine Inch Nails – Hesitation Marks.
After listning to the 2008 instrumental dobbelt album Ghost I-IV ** many many times, and being so much in love with that album. I would have expected myself to have no hesitation, in digging into this new album, which I have heard should be amazing. But I never got back to that and forgot all about it.
** (I know “the slip” came later, but Ghost was the last one I got)
Anyways, from what I have heard so far, I am sure I will get it pretty soon, it is a great NIN album. A bit more accessible than the other NIN albums I know.

Nine Inch Nails is the one of the most popular industrial Rock bands, the only permanent member being Trent Reznor from Cleveland, Ohio,USA . Who also write all material and lyrics, and almost plays everything himself.

Why listen to difficult and avant-garde Music.

I have always been interested in music, as long as I can recall. Unaware of why, especially music that was not played on the radio, music that was not mainly made for dancing, music that was not easy to sing along to, in the bathroom.

Recently I have been thinking about why that is, why would you want to dig into difficult music, that may at first seem like just noise or even worse, that may at first stress you up a bit. When you could just pick a simple tune, pleasant and easy to dig out and like.


I have come up with some answers to that. Some answers that I believe could explain to others, why they should do the same, turn of FM radio, and start listen to complex Classic music, Jazz, 70’s Progressive Rock, and avant-garde experimental music in general.

The first answer that I thought about, was the analog to other things you want to do as ahobby. If you should play golf, would you prefer the easy par 3 courses, or would you prefer to play the difficult 18 holes courses, if you should go skiing, would you prefer the easy hill, or would you want to try the Alpes.

All of us I guess, would allways have more fun, with the harder task, because it is more rewarding to complete a task, if it was hard to do, why would that be any different with music. Digging into a difficult genre of music, that you don’t know, is a hard task, the rewards found there so much more satisfying.

Another reason is from an art point of view, listening to FM radio hits, in that perspective is like looking at paintings mass produces for tourists, its only made to please the receiver so that it is easy to sell, with little or no artistic ambition. Only the music expanding adding or commenting, on the culture of its time, will ever become great music. Just as it will be and have always been in the other arts.

All this said,there is nothing wrong with pop music, mainstream rock, or other music that just continues an already established genre, but if you want music to blow your minds off, you should try to explore the edge of music, if you get it, its amassing.

Danish Band Svin combines styles such as jazz, alternative rock, post rock and free jazz.”

Digging Deeper into Music

%d bloggers like this: