Sunday, March 29

I always liked this the best



(from her website:)

You: Oh but Annika what is it about?
HS: It’s about the north of Sweden, about going to the city and missing the countryside, and about going to the countryside and missing the city. It’s about love, and it’s about spooning without one arm getting numb.
You: Oh but Annika will there be a video?
HS: Yes, be patient child. There will be a link for the video in the end of this post.
You: Oh and Annika, where is it filmed?
HS: We filmed it at Vittjåkk. Time spent: 5 minutes. Budget: 0 Skr. I love it.

Thursday, March 26

All hail His Queen



Once in a purple moon (blue ones happen to often), when expectations are at their highest, they can actually be surpassed. Walking down Knightsbridge that afternoon, pass the park and into the breathtaking Royal Albert Hall, London already felt like the daydream of a lifetime. It could not, however, have prepared anyone for the religious experience that was coming next: seeing Feist work her magic. Magic is the perfect - if not only - word to describe the concert of a lifetime which we were privileged enough to attend. As luck would have it, two more dates were to follow, including a gigantic Canadian flag, firecrackers, a 50 euro lost bill and two music boxes. It all still (literally and constantly) resonates in our minds as it proves increasingly harder to describe and impossible to forget. Sometimes, the memory becomes overwhelming, words fail, joy triumphs. Today is one of those days:











Cheesiest post ever? Perhaps. Side effects of heaven...

(all photos by other fans properly credited here)

Tuesday, March 24

benza

Alisons

One of the perks of A Maldita are precious little once-in-a-lifetime moments. Sometimes it's that one amazing forgotten song that will never be played again, sometimes it's a bunch of songs in a row from the same album (when it seems too much of a heresy to not follow through with the track listing), sometimes a full half hour worth of an artist. A wonderful recent one was a three-way play of Alison tracks, who seemingly broke many rocker's hearts if you are to believe these three gentlemen:







This reminds me of another inside joke: somewhere in this room, there is a napkin that reads: "Mojave 3 is the best band in history - Signed: Spiral Stairs" . It used to hang on the wall as alarming proof of the sort of damage excessive alcohol combined with stationary and drunk Pavement alter egos can do (endless fun ensues!). One could argue His sober self perhaps prefers Slowdive, but unquestionably, Neil Halstead is one beloved lad around these lands:





Spiral Stairs, if you're reading this, your identity has been temporarily stolen, but it's for a good cause!

Saturday, March 14

Maldita Hits: My Brittle heart

second to last day of the best time of our lives

and why he ended up there:

Friday, March 13

Blazing: Decemberists and Camera Obscura

As 2009 slowly unfolds its clusterf*** of new releases by (most of our) dearly beloved bands, the time has finally come to buckle up for the long-awaited The Hazards of Love opera-rock by The Decemberists.

For those unsuccessful on surrounding themselves by tasseled pillows and indentured eunuchs, better luck is literally in store as many listening parties have been organized throughout indie shops across the U.S. of A. Portland gets the first class treatment as the band itself is scheduled for some silver-sharpie sign-ups at Music Millennium on March 24th (6-8pm). For the rest of us mortals, release dates follow digitally and "vinyly" on March 17th and everywhere else on CD March 24th.

Suggesting an illegal (and nearly irresistible) immediate download would probably set off the folks from Camera Obscura, who also had their newest work leaked out this week, My Maudlin Career. Without getting into the touchy merits of righteousness vs. curiosity, it's suffice to say the albums will undoubtly please not only their fans but longing Concretes fans, as producer Jari Haapalainen steps up adding the perfect amount of "chamberness" to the tracks and a borderline-Swedish inclination to Tracyanne's voice.

Not convinced? Watch as they pull out a flawless spring hit out of their sleeve:



Follow their adventure as you shop for Portland's finest and brace yourself: this decade is going out with a bang!

Thursday, March 12

Living in fables

Between The L Word and British sensation Skins, NYC based sansei band Asobi Seksu has been dutifully picking up the steamy shows soundtrack slack. In spite of the mostly aerial Cocteau-ish sound landscapes reverberating from their latest release Hush, their dreampop magic works wonders for the dance floor as well:



or more recently


Asobi Seksu - Me & Mary from Aaron Stewart-Ahn on Vimeo.

Keeping them company in His dreampop hit playlist is Sweden's own Celestial, whose Crystal Heights track from their homonymous debut often remains unstuckable on Tuesday afternoons:


"crystal heights" by celestial from Music Is My Girlfriend on Vimeo.

Bop along further with three more very neat videos. Sweet dreams!

Meanwhile, on Dinoland...

Even if Lou can't help himself to avoid an emoment


they still motherfrecking bring it everytime


as always

Tuesday, March 10

Pretend French

Life with Him is an endless string of bold statements of who takes all sorts of "best ever" cakes. Last year, it seems Norwegian Je Suis Animal snagged the first slice of the much coveted #1 spot with their full length debut Self Taught Magic From A Book. Shoegazing through lovely ballads and dense guitars, soon followed a string of nearly self-proclaimed delicious hits. Case in point:





Who will dethrone them in 2009?

Wish list: Pernice Brothers

Sometime a while ago (sic), the apparently silly but actually rather awesome idea of having an entire night of instrumental songs on the dance floor crossed His mind. This ballsy move is yet to take place, leaving the last few years to eagerly compile the cream of the crop of non-singed songs. Therefore, this wish list will remain open to editing for a while, so why not make its debut all the more special with some of Amherst's finest?



Between some extensive bittersweet blogging and unexpected friend plugging, they seem to be the eternal headliners of the ultimate dream gig (not much unlike our mixtapes). Will Massachusetts ever cease to win Him over?

Thursday, March 5

Wish list: Someday...

<3





</3

Sweet Swedish Cycling

She really is a rare breed.



Don't believe him? Bring it.

Wednesday, March 4

Maldita Hits: Deerhunter - Agoraphobia

It's around 4:00 a.m., the air conditioner on full blast, the tiled floor making way for the last few rounds of fun. Enter her, Hi-Fi in one hand, soulmate in the other. In Telepathyland, it's Deerhunter o'clock as He gets ready to press play even before she enters the booth to request the song. Another brief justifying moment of why this party will never cease to be worthwhile:



They should come more often.

It really does!

In between supervising my morning bed-making and waiting for me to get ready for the beach, He started our day off with His most recent pick for Best Current Band, It Hugs Back. This seems to be an awfully hard point to argue as one dives into the socks-rocking sounds of this pack of laid-back Brit lads. Next month, 4AD is doing the honor of putting their debut record out, very properly named "Inside your guitar". It sure sounds like a hell of an awesome place to be right now.

Wish list: Indietracks Festival

How unfair is it not to be a millionaire? Him and I constantly daydream about a life filled exclusively of festivals and gig-hopping in Northern Europe, such as the newly announced 3rd edition of Indietracks. The event celebrates the 20th anniversary of Spanish-based Elefant Records, whose team of curators have put together an amazing line-up including Lucky Soul, Speedmarket Avenue, recently discovered One Happy Island, our dearest BMX Bandits and many other popsters. Camera Obscura fills one out of two headlining spots already announced to take part on the weekend adventure that includes three stages (one is a church!), a petting farm and unlimited rides on the steam railway.

If Oprah is listening, could she please spare a couple of wishful kids a couple thousand quids to help with airfare? We will take pictures with the llamas and bring you a t-shirt of your favourite band!

Tuesday, March 3

Wish list: Bobby makes way

A while ago, le copain was roaming about in a quest for the recordings of Sweden's own Bobby Baby (a.k.a. Ella Blixt in solo music form). Firstly recording all songs on her own and releasing them through her website, she found a partner on net-label Corpid through which Some Place New was released on October 2005 and subsequently Four Remixes and Loves to Remix vol. 1 and 2. Soon followed her first actual EP, Loves to Dance through British indie label Red Letter Day Records on May, 2006.

Soon Malmö became too small for Ella, who upon moving to Berlin promptly started the wonderful It's a Musical with fellow swede Robert Kretzschmar (previously of Lady Boy). October 2008 saw the release of their debut album The music makes me sick through Morr Music. Borrowing influences from Burt Bacharach to Nico, Ella also paired up with German-based producer F.S. Blumm as Bobby & Blum for the release of their full length debut Everybody loves... under the same label on April, 2008.

On their website, the duo recounts:

"Everybody loves... was recorded 50 km north of Berlin, in a little house at the edge of the forest, in a room with wooden walls.. On "Everbody loves.." You will hear the crackling sounds of shellac-records, a caressing clothes-brush, some fingertips on greaseproof-paper, swinging coathangers in the nighttrain to cracow, flatwound-strings on a big guitar and above all a gentle and silky voice."

For more Bobby Baby download galore visit: http://www.bobbybaby.net/music.html


Monday, March 2

make it be

Maldita Hits: Pocketbooks - Fallen Leaves

One of my favourite (and surely most annoying) activities during the party is playing with the dance floor lights. The strobe and side lights help create the friendly shoegazing mood for all the resident air-guitarists, but every so often pops out a song that absolutely calls for the light globe, which otherwise remains mostly turned off. This magical moment is often preceded by a one-instrument break anticipating the blazing bopping-about moment and in this category, Londoners Pocketbooks have been taking the cake lately thanks to their helpless-dance-frenzy-inducing Fallen Leaves. Genetically speaking, if Belle & Sebastian and Ben Folds Five had a baby in 1997, this is what it would sound like. Judging from the potential of their Waking Up EP, good times are in store for their upcoming full length debut record Flight Paths expected to drop later this year (via How Does It Feel to be Loved?).

Can't wait to turn those lights on again! Meanwhile, make sure to check them out on tour if you're England-bound. Here's a little taste for those who life far away: