Norway has always had a special place for Leonard Cohen, for many reasons. One is that Marianne in So Long Marianne is Norwegian. Also because many of his albums and songs were huge hits in Norway, but often not recognized in the rest of the world. In 1993 the album Cohen på norsk was made with Norwegian artists singing his songs in Norwegian, and last night the artists from the album plus more than twenty others played a tribute concert at Oslo Spektrum. (Photo above: Odd Nordheim and Safari perform Hallelujah)
The year was 1984 and I was a music teacher at Hartvig Nissens Skole, one of the two high schools in Oslo to offer a full music line. Besides teaching music history, harmony, music theory, and conducting the school choir, we had a class choir in my class, plus some of the girls formed a harmony octet. Norwegian TV made a feature for the program Musikknytt, and here is the result.
Madrugada were one of Norway’s most sought after band in the years 2005-2007, until their guitarist Robert Buraas died in 2007. The band continued playing together for a year, but then their singer Sivert Hoyem went solo, and he has so far released five solo CDs, the last one, Endless Love, this year. He is recently on a tour to promote the CD, and yesterday night he played at Studentersamfundet in Trondheim.
Unni Wilhelmsen is one of my favourite singer songwriters. She has made good songs and released great albums since the mid 90’s, and is always a pleasure to see live. Tonight she played at John Dee in Oslo, as part of her summer tour. Here are some pictures from the concert.
Josh Homme is 40 years old today, May 17th. He is one of the leading musical artists on the newer hard rock and stoner rock scene, with present and former membership in bands like Kyuss, Eagles Of Death Metal, Queens Of The Stone Age and Them Crooked Vultures. Here are some pictures of Josh Homme from different live concerts.
One of the concerts I enjoyed the best at SXSW this year, was with The Zombies. The band started out 51 years ago, but hasn’t been together for many years. But the last twenty years they have played together off and on, and this year they delighted a packed venue at SXSW with their songs.
Denmark have had their own showcase festival, Spot, for some years now, just like Norway have by:Larm and the US have SXSW. The festival was held in its home town Aarhus this wekend, and many talented bands performed. The idea about festivals like this is to attract both the best talent and also the music business, to see if there might be any possibilities for both parties to luck out. This means that the festivals have a seminar program at daytime and many concerts at night. All the bands play 40 minutes shows, enough to get a feel of their repertoire and for them to show what they are worth. (Picture above: Kristine Stubbe Teglbjaerg)
If you haven’t heard or seen Hedvig Mollestad Trio before, do it as soon as you get the opportunity! She combines guitar playing in the tradition of Jimi Hendrix and other rock heroes with advanced jazz rhythms and phrasings. Saturday night she played Byscenen in Trondheim, and I saw part of her show.
Unni Wilhelmsen is one of my favorite Norwegian artists. She released her first CD, To Whom It May Concern, in 1996. The CD sold to gold and won two Norwegian Grammies for Unni, Album of the year and Female artist of the year. Now she hs released her eight CD, with the long title Unni WIlhelmsen – Live With Bodoe Rhythm Group Featuring Bodoe Sinfonietta.
Every year I have been in Austin for SXSW, I have attended Leeann Atherton’s Barn Dance the day after SXSW is finished. This year the weather was perfect with sun an temperatures in the 80’s, there were more people than I have ever seen there, and everyone were friendly and seemed to have a great time. (Picture above: Leeann with Karpe Diem.)