2014: the year or fulfilment-or-bust.

A week or so ago I had a coffee with Jonas who once again graces Göteborg with his presence, and proposed something quite akin to a new years resolution: Start and finish one thing each week. What the thing would be is unspecific, but I imagine that an essay, a finished portrait or a DIY pre-amp, all would qualify. The point is that ever since I started working almost full time at Akademin Valand last spring, my free time has been spent tending to my FPS-hand, liver or occasionally the 3D printer. Most projects I come up with are either poorly defined or so broad in scope that they never move beyond the doodle-and-rambling stage.

Starting the previous week, I resolved to get one thing done by Sunday night, and deliver it regardless if it’s as polished as I’d like. I’m going to use the blog to keep me honest, and so, with less than one hour to spare, I present to you the latest VECKA7 track.

Born a car [Delinquest remix]
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VECKA7 is the sort-of-band a couple of us started last year, and the above track is my mix of the materials we recorded two months ago. Our other songs are up on vecka7.bandcamp.com and unless there’s opposition from the other members this mix will end up there as well — I’m hoping that each of us will do their own mix of the source material, which could be interesting.

I don’t know yet what I’ll try to accomplish next week, but I’ve put in in my calendar so will come up with something…

Music mæstros

It’s that time of year, in the life of slightly bored 30-somethings with a bit too much free time on their hands, that we drink wine and say: “Gosh darn it, but wouldn’t it be awfully nice to get together and do something? Like, I don’t know, music?” And lo! They made a mark in their calendar, and once the date came closer and the convictions grew flaky, a battlecry summoned the frail dilettantes — “Wine! At least there will be wine, surely!”

The jokes about drinking too much wore thin by the end of day two, but despite some wear and tear on livers and brains we somehow kept the process up for the whole weekend — much thanks to Petter and Sara, who had some sort of “idea” of what this might end up being — and by the end of it all we had two songs, a bandcamp site, portraits, and importantly a name: VECKA7.

The songs are made for driving, but could also serve other purposes, possibly. Sara, Erika and Jeanette on song and various instruments, Petter & Sara on guitars and bass, and I’m the reason there are drums and some plinky noises in the background. Go listen and download: VECKA7.bandcamp.com

Number of Goats!

A while back there we went to a concert at Henriksberg, and and one of the acts was a young band playing psychadelic rock. I remember commenting that if that’s the next big thing in music, I won’t like it, no Sir. Dubstep is done, overly sensitive singer-songwriters even more so, and indie-rock shoegazing types were penned and shot behind the shed. But somewhere in a tie-dyed recess of my heart, there was something funky going on, and once Sara told me that she’d been asked to do light for the Swedish band Goat and played it for me, I was humming along — it feels natural to listen to this now. Listening to Goat, i become sheep.

It was a great gig, and even though you can’t tell from my crappy video below, it sounded and looked good. I’ve ordered some stuff to allow for better sound recording (because I love you all so much that I will give of me my only begotten dollar) and promise to use manual focus next time around.

Only bad thing about the event was the prowling security — unless Storan is haunted by fights breaking out there was no reason to be so zealous in the walking and posing and the pouncing on anyone who stumbled. On the few occasions that I’ve been at the door of a party, as soon as you start posturing and taking yourself or your uniform too seriously, people are provoked and it increases tension. So the mood was at times unpleasant.

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You can find more info on GOAT on on their blogspot account — goatsweden.blogspot.se — and the opening band SONSON have both a tumblr and soundcloud. Djungeltrumman put up some images from the event, and if you actually want to see something of the concert you might want to head over there.

Jakob Hellman, Foajébaren, Göteborg

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Regardless of how bland and uninspiring you find something — be it music, art, food, whatever — there will be some people for whom it was a defining moment of their lives. For example, Jakob Hellman had some hits twenty years ago and is still fondly remembered for his one and only album. He performed yesterday at the city theatre, and Sara got us on the guest list. The cover charge for this low key evening was 250 kronor, which is 200 more than I would have considered paying, but judging from the 200 odd people in attendance others aren’t as cheap as I.

Hearing a song live which you’ve been singing in the shower for a couple of years can be great fun, and there’s something to be said about seeing the original artist perform it. But I’m not sure if Hellman managed to rekindle the memories of youthful naïveté in his audience, or if he just piddled on the embers.

Saturday: Civil Civic. Monday: Fucking Werewolf Asso

I’ve been back from Finland for a week, but my ambitions and sense of urgency hasn’t caught up yet. I have enough material for a couple of more Turku videos, not to mention the hours and hours of assembly footage I should put together for the general betterment of the RepRap noob community. Somehow the beer and the Sara and the visiting mom and — not to put too fine a point on it — the stupendous amount of lazy I can bring forth has been given priority above most other things.

The printer is on my kitchen table, in pieces, but with an aura of assembliness about it. I left the printing bed in Finland, seeing as it was temporary to begin with and the plexi was all messed up like, so I need to get one of those; Need to decide on either a solid metal or PCB heating element, and find a source of cut and drilled glass.

Sara has already invited people over to my place for a print party next week in an attempt at social blackmail. So with the start of a few evening courses this week, I go back to work for money as well as continue the printing work for glory.

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Tomorrow I start teaching two photo courses, and after the last one finishes I’m hoping to catch Fucking Werewolf Asso play at Pustervik. You should really come because they’re bloody awesome and their albums — which you can practically steal here — kept me going late night in the studio. I first saw them play a set just after Civil Civic two years ago, and as it happens Civil Civic played yesterday at Jazzhuset and I ended up going since Petter had a man-cold and Sara needed company.

I’ve seen them the three times they’ve played Gothenburg, and even though the music is made for driving cars through deserts and/or biking very fast, it’s quite a treat to have the base and drum hit you at a live show as well. As it happens, they just finished recording their crowdfunded album, and you can listen to it in the nifty embed below, or just go to their homepage and give them your ill-gotten gains: civilcivic.com. Sixty odd people where at the concert yesterday, and the mood was good and I was very happy that I’d brought my Etymotic in-ear headphones cause the noise was noisy as all fuck.

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Also, as a public service announcement: I shoot video quite often and imagine that people are annoyed when I’m in their way. I do my best not to be too much of a bother, and try not overdo it. For example, I don’t stand front and center of the small stage wearing a stupid hat, trying to record half the concert on my iPhone. Don’t be that guy, cause that guy is a jerk.

Music appreciation day in Gothenburg.

Petter has a taste in music. I’m not saying it’s always good, but he is a man of tastes. This taste brought us to the balcony of Henriksberg — a place for unpleasant young people, people who view of the harbor, and those who are there for the bands. We were there to watch the duo Civil Civic from Autralia, and I just noticed a writeup of their experience here: The Civil chronicle #6.

Somehow that blogpost forgot to mention the sauve and strapping young men who bought t-shirts after the excellent show, but perhaps they were thinking of other things. I look fetching in my t-shirt though. I recommend that you go to their MySpace and have a listen. You can buy their albums for any amount, which is neat since they’re a live act and not another guy with a laptop. (I’m not putting down people with laptops, just saying that a band with instruments and amps has more at stake than a midi-keyboard and a pirate copy of Cubase)

They’re an independent band and seem to put a lot of effort into the whole band experience thing which I understand the kids enjoy, as should you.

[audio:https://monocultured.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/01-Less-Unless.mp3|titles=Less Unless|artists=Civil Civic]

Following Civil Civic, an even more party hardy band came on. Their music doesn’t carry well in a non-live setting, but the duo Fucking Werewolf Asso from Gothenburg kicked an excellent amount of arse. A drummer was exacting revenge on his drums for some past transgressions by beating the fuck out of them, and the bespectacled singer with Eraserhead hair stod with hand on hip, spewing awesome into the microphone over chiptune loops. If you get a chance to hear them, I wholeheartedly encourage you to go.

The main act was another local band with a punny name: Fulmakten. It’s a very style-conscious ensamble, and that’s the extent of what they had to offer. They were mimicking Swedish 80’s music so well they sounded like a generic tribute band, and I don’t think that was intentional. What little personality they had was contained in the splendid afro and facial hair of the singer. Then again, if you’re ever organizing a live roleplaying event which takes place thirty years ago on a cruise ship between Sweden and Finland, and are looking for that special blend of blandness, you’ll squeal in delight.

As a side note. With my 32:nd birthday out of the way last Monday, I’m wiser, closer to death, and have an updated list over who will get Christmas cards. Some will regret their lackadaisical approach to important dates.

Happy midsummer celebration, be careful out there!

Rocks about to punk ≠ Punks about to rock.

A friend of a friend saw me run around with a camera the other day and asked if I wouldn’t take some pictures of him and his band as they were playing at Henriksberg yesterday. So in skinny jeans and with a leg pouch I climbed all over a small stage, trying to take pictures of The Bang. Usually only my mom asks me to play photographer — “and please don’t make them ‘arty,’ just make them good” — and I’m always nervous whenever I’m supposed to perform. It’s like peeing in public; I’m not a professional enough urinator to be comfortable doing it.

Reviewing the pictured I guess they’re good enough, especially when beaten into submission in post, but it’s so odd looking back at myself and not really remembering what it was I wanted to accomplish with the live shoot. Either you’re documenting live because 1) the light and set and so on are unique enough to warrant taking advantage of the situation, or 2) because you want to document the audience somehow, put the band there and then, bearing witness.

What with every other person in the audience watching the show through viewfinders or cellphone screens, I’d like to see some more effort put into making even concerts like this media friendly. Perhaps a live Bluetooth dump linked to a screen at the bar? Lighting that goes from almost pitch black to living-room, allowing the full range from fanboy to ironic girl to get their desired image. You know, like fenced hunting; The hippo might have nowhere to run, but you’ll still feel rather good about shooting it just so. (As long as you bring ear guards.)

On a side note, I might be coming down with a fever and should go to bed now. Let’s start Monday on a really shiny happy note, shall we? Try not throwing an epileptic fit looking at Jon the drummer above.

Music. Podcasts. Devil eye!

This weeks Electronic Explorations is a tour dé force of glitchy dubstep. Slugabed was new to me. The music tires you out quickly if you’re working or doing something that requires concentration, but as far a biking at night is concerned it’s absolutely brilliant – Not to mention its use for “dancing like a god” which I occasionally do.

Listen to it at Electronic Explorations Nr. 82 and subscribe to the podcast while you’re at it.

While on the topic, how about you check out Indian Electronica as well? The podcast hasn’t been updated in a while, but there are 19 episodes to catch up with as a start. And don’t worry your pretty little head, it’s not Goa trance stuff – what kind of a person would I be if I recommended such horrible things?

If you’re more into indie pop, blalocksirp.com releases monthly collections on The Pirate Bay. Most of it is rubbish, but it’ll give you a broader overview than radio, and there are occasional gems in there. Don’t forget that listening to new music will keep your mind fresh and third eye open. (On that note, check out Blip.fm)

The best indie rock mixes currently available in the universe are being served by blalock. You’re welcome.

Identify the rhytmic sounds, win candy.

Up on a hill near Röda Sten in Gothenburg someone had pitched a tent and played music. A couple DJ’s were taking turns at the turntables, playing one tune each. It was some sort of dubsteppish stuff that I really liked and recorded for later indentification. ID the tracks and I’ll send you a piece of Swedish candy. When was the last time you got such an offer? Never, that’s when! Make me proud, Internet!

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If you’d like to send me the tracks I’ll squeel in delight like a boyscout with a bloodied pocketknife who’s just gutted a baby deer. As an added bonus, why not recommend other good dubstep stuff to make everyone happy.

I know for a fact that baby Jesus is watching and will reward you with golden showers and myrr.


You’re being a smartass again.

I’m not even a real doctor; I’m just a veterinarian who got tired of dogs. It’s been three years and somehow no one’s asked to see my, uh, what do you call it… ‘human license’?

→ A magazine for astronauts and the rest of us: Collider #2

What would you say are the elements of personal charm? What resources would you recommend for someone seeking to be charming?

→ Ask.Metafilter.com, Astro Zombie: The Elements of Charm

Your enthusiasm is awesome but your lack of organisation has made me want to cry and/or bring a gun to class on several occasions.

→ University of Alberta, Pete Hurd: Past Anonymous Student Evaluation Comments

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Yesterday I was acting doorman at Enrico Pallazzo again, and at one point some guys with instruments showed up outside. Jan shot a video which serves to teach you two things:

1) Keep drunk girls the fuck away from tambourines.
2) Boys often believe that hats make up for practice when it comes to music; this is wrong.