Archive for the ‘Music (general)’ Category

ARTOMUS FRIENDSHIP

Well I posted about my friend Staffan Eriksson coming out with an album back on March 26 and here it is (see top image). The project is called Artomus Friendship and the album title is “A Day Of Celebration”. The CD can be ordered and the Vinyl is coming up. I will interview Staffan about this release on this blog, it deserves a push.

The HU

A Mongolian band called The HU is making huge waves on YouTube with their videos. And they are absolutely brilliant. First album “Gereg” is due in September and they are currently on the road in Europe. They will play in Stockholm on June 27 at the Debaser Club. They will also perform with Babymetal Stateside later this year.

RUTH COPELAND

Glad to see that Ruth Copeland´s 1971 solo album “I Am What I Am” will be reissued on Vinyl on June 28. Great cover, great music.

BABYMETAL

Rumour is that Babymetal is to release a new single called “Pa Pa Ya!!” on June 28. They perform at the Yokohama Arena in Japan that night, first of two before they take off to Glastonbury Festival (June 30) in the UK. It is rather typical that Babymetal hit us with new music when a tour kicks off so this makes sense. We shall see.

(Artomus Friendship shot courtesy of Staffan Eriksson)

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Added a third Sakura Gakuin Photo Book to the old collection through eBay recently, and like the others it was published when the gals in Babymetal was still part of this School Project. In other words, you get a lot of good stuff from the formative years of what is now a legendary offshoot from Sakura Gakuin. Seen on the cover of this book we have Ayaka Miyoshi, Ayami Mutou and Airi Matsui, all of whom has gone on to fine careers in the Japanese entertainment industry. Looks like all three has signed this book too, which makes it a pretty wonderful collectors item right there. I did get Suzuka Nakamoto´s autograph in the book that she had the cover of (that would be Su-metal, the singer in Babymetal), so having four autographs from the early days of this entity is not bad. Also, Ayami Mutou was in the Karen Girl´s in 2008-2010 with Suzuka, whom was the youngest of them in that outfit. The quality of these photo books is top notch, they are not cheap but they are cool. I guess this is what you could call a guilty pleasure?

(My image of said book)

(Thank you Kalle for your support)

My old buddy Staffan Eriksson has recorded an album that is to be released on CD/LP later this year. We will come to the details later on but I have heard it and it is absolutely brilliant. I have written a few words for the cover, always nice when you have great music to celebrate. Staffan and I has worked together many years, he was always there for me when I was working on my magazines (DEEP PURPLE FOREVER, SLICE, LUCY IN THE SKY, RETROFUTURE etc). I basically got to know him because of our shared love for Deep Purple and I have seen him take on such a variety of projects over the years. Photography, painting, writing music for a variety of productions (musicals, theater etc). But now he goes back to his roots, to the 1960s. We are talking The Beatles, The Hollies and stuff like that, although all music is original. The album is mixed by drummer Björn Höglund (Hoven Droven, The Summit), whom also plays, and the vocals are handled by Michael Klemmé (The Summit, A Band Called Stanley, Marmalade Souls). Guitarist Anders Kronlund (from Lars Vegas fame) has been involved since day one. Staffan has collected some serious talent from Jämtland County on this album.

Took some snapshots today at the Jamtli Museum grounds in Östersund, at the “Old church” (built a few years ago to resemble what it looked like 500 years ago or so). I picked the location because I love that church and I have shot at least one model there before (Ellinor Nordbakk as Tornado Blaze, one of the western novels I did for RETROFUTURE). I basically just wanted some shots for the blog and I got what I needed in 10 minutes. We were pressed for time, but I like what I got so for now it is OK.

(To be continued)

Not exactly sure when Jon Lord signed this copy of his “Sarabande” album (I did three interviews with the man in his Whitesnake days), but it may have been in 1981. I always loved this cover, and it is a very fine musical statement from a man that inspired countless musicians out there.

I attended a nice concert event at Gamla Teatern (The Old Theater) here in Östersund (Jämtland County) a few hours ago, jam packed with wonderful (local) talent. For me there were three particular highlights: ex-220 Volt singer Christer “Frille” Åsell (backed by Velvet Insane), Tina Moe and Velvet Insane themselves. Frille and myself go back to the good old days of 220 Volt and it was nice to see him perform with the next big hope from these parts. Tina Moe is another dear friend that I used to hang with long ago and I had not seen her in person for some 30 years. Her performance was beautiful, she really is one of the most talented singers/songwriters that this country has produced. It was wonderful to catch up a bit, I kick myself now for not having seen her live again for so long. She has matured like a fine wine. The boys in Velvet Insane is the next generation of superb talent coming out of this town and they write good songs and they certainly know how to sell it. New album coming up, and I will be back with more on them later on this blog. Best rockers since 220 Volt from Jämtland County.

Well I mentioned the Japanese group Onmyoza the other day on this blog and I think they are one of these rare bands that really have a thing of their own going. The name needs to be addressed. The official site has it as Onmyo-za, people outside of Japan tends to spell it as Onmyouza, and still I see Onmyoza all over the place. The videos on their official channel are not presented in a way that is friendly to international viewers (not like Babymetal, that eyed the big foreign market from day one), so it is hard to share information with friends. Like, if I want somebody to pay attention to a particular song, I need a title that is written out so that I can read it (and Japanese lettering will not help). Right now, I have no clue about song titles or even what albums that the videos represent. That makes it tricky as a foreigner to jump in.

The interest in Japanese rock is out there now, largely fueled by the runaway success of Babymetal. But other acts are making waves, like Lovebites that just performed at the Wacken Festival in Germany.

It is at times like these that opportunity knocks and I would like Onmyoza to succeed outside of their own market. They have worked long and hard for it.

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.