Archive for July, 2018

Rain

Posted: July 29, 2018 in General, Jämtland (County), Prepping

This has been the summer of unbearable heat in Sweden, and we have had record numbers of fires all over the country (we even had to be assisted by firefighters from Poland and other countries to keep up). In all honesty, it has been a bit of a nightmare. But tonight the rain came and I took this snapshot from my balcony a few minutes ago because I was so happy to see it. Apparently it will be raining quite a lot in the next few days. That is good news to the hundreds of firefighters and volunteers that are out there right now in this neck of the woods.

I will be honest here. This heat had me worrying about the safety of my new home in the countryside. There was a fire on a nearby mountain a few days ago so you start to think about these things. And when most lawns are more yellow than green, you have got a problem.

This has been a very strange summer.

Looking good

Posted: July 25, 2018 in Classic Rock, Cool stuff, General

Decided to check out one of these wooden LP storage boxes that they have for sale over at the Ginza store here in Sweden, and I think they look pretty smart. Not sure how many albums that you can squeeze in (I have my entire collection in boxes right now), but 40-50 is a fair guess. Now that I know that I like these I will buy some more (there are three versions and they all look good). This is how I want to have my record collection available to me in the future, a few of these on a table so that you can browse like you used to in the old days in your local record shop. I will showcase the end result later on (knee deep in moving stuff right now).

A few hours ago at the wonderful Dalhalla arena in mid-Sweden. People arriving to see Deep Purple on the ongoing Long Goodbye Tour. Will this be the last ever gig on Swedish soil?

My good friend Seth Nilsson uploaded these shots on Facebook so here we have a glimpse of what it looked like. I have no details of the show at this moment but I have seen very good feedback.

These guys are professionals.

This is for the Swedes out there. I have just read “Hög standard – Om Sonet, folkhemmet och starten för det svenska musikundret” (Leopard Förlag, 2018) by Swedish journalists Håkan Lahger and Lasse Ermalm. It deals with the classic record label Sonet that roamed the earth as a well respected independent company for decades before the eventual fall that resulted in Polygram taking over the brand in the early 1990s. It really is a wonderful story about men that cared about music, cared about people and saw more highs and lows than most. They basically went for broke in the 1950s and pretty much winged it until the very end. But they were also bigger than the major labels for years since they had such a solid reputation. A handshake was good enough in those innocent days and by the time it crashed and burned (along with the rest of the independents) they had a reputation among their peers on the international scene as absolute top men. A reputation well earned.

The writers of this book worked for years on this project, the result is remarkable.

Ended my day with a beer at Captain Cook in Östersund (Jämtland County) and watched Michael Mojo Nilsson crank up his guitar with his blues mates. We are going through a bit of a heat wave over here in the last few weeks and it was a hot night in more ways than the excellent musicianship on that stage. Mojo is one of the best blues artists in Europe, his 2013 album “The Abduction Of Big Papa Mojo” is certainly top notch. And I always wanted a live album from this guy.

Seen here is a few shots from the night and the cover I gave him for RETROFUTURE 7 (2014). You can read that interview on this blog.

It was 50 years ago now (July 17 according to Wikipedia) that Deep Purple released their first album “Shades Of Deep Purple” in the US. It would take a couple of months for a UK release to appear and by then the band was already a massive hit overseas. The album would eventually climb to an impressive #24 position on Billboard, helped by the single “Hush” that peaked at #4. Hugh Hefner invited Deep Purple to his television show Playboy After Dark which was the beginning of an enduring love affair between Purple and America. It should be noted that the first lineup was very much a product of its time and although you have flashes of brilliance on this album, it would ultimately be the second lineup that would really conquer the world. But in America in particular, “Hush” (which was a Joe South cover) remains a mainstay to this day.

It is worthy of note that Purple was first out of the gate of the Big Three – the other two being Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath.

The Japanese hologram phenomenon Hatsune Miku is making waves. The mega show called Miku Expo is coming to Europe with shows in Paris, Cologne and London in early December. The show is visiting several cities Stateside right now and it is a huge success. It all started in 2004 when the Yamaha Corporation presented a music creation software that allowed users to write music and has it performed by Idol style Vocaloids. With “Vocaloid 2” (2007), Crypton Future Media created Hatsune Miku and the Vocaloid became a runaway success. Today the franchise is enormous and the most well known songs (most of them written by Joe Public) are being performed by a live band that flanks the hologram star with a stunning show that makes you think of Disney. The escapism is on a monumental level, but it is well crafted and highly entertaining. And fans will also be able to wave a lightstick in the air in unision, which is considered good fun by many.

Check this out on YouTube.