September 21, 2004
Listening to Bjørn Svin: Mer' Strøm

Some times you need to listen to something a couple of times to appreciate it. Inspired by its use in a commercial I recently borrowed the copy of Bjørn Svin's greatest hit Mer Strøm that I gave my sister as a present back in 1998 when it came out. I remember buying it because of of the amazing title of artist and album and because of the uncompromising sound but not really as music.
Turns out on second contact that the minimalist title track absolutely rocks, with fresh appealing touch tone sounds that gradually, and surprisingly, builds in complexity through the track. The remainder of the album is less inspiring, if occasionally interesting.

Posted by Claus at 12:10 AM
June 14, 2004
Listening to: Stetsasonic

I've recently beefed up my old school hiphop collection with some of the better known names from hiphop's golden age, Stetsasonic, Ultramagnetic MC's, Mantronix and Public Enemy. The main reason to shop at all was to get Stetsasonic's "In Full Gear" including the original "Talkin' All That Jazz" that Dimitri from Paris turned into such an amazing dance classic on A Night at The Playboy Mansion. Indeed, the mix is included on the reissue of In Full Gear that I bought.
What a great album! What a fresh, rocking sound. Considering the present state of boring R&B crossovered synth loops I just have to say that I really miss the time when hiphop had this kind of rough but funky rock'n roll attitude. The music was so much more interesting and energetic.

Posted by Claus at 01:02 PM
May 18, 2004
...and secretely listening to: No. 1 Swartskalle

It's not nearly as serious as Morissey, but the single by Infinite Mass with the brilliant title "No. 1 Swartskalle" is good fun with lots of playful attitude.
It sounds like some kind of white 70s version of The Roots. Rock with a funky attitude.

Posted by Claus at 04:15 PM
Listening to: Morrissey - You are the Quarry

This is turning out to be a good year for recording artist comebacks: We've got Prince. There's a Cure album brewing. The Beastie Boys have a great new single out. The Pixies are touring.
And finally here's Morrisseys latest album. It seems the darkness of the times is perfect for Morisseys trademark pessimism. The lyrics are as bleak as ever, and the album sounds good to.

[UPDATE: On closer inspection the album is really quite brilliant. Morrissey's voice is great. The songs, while not groundbreaking, are brilliant pop songs. The band is tight and the sound really works with Morrissey's voice. And then there are some really golden touches like the bright mandolin shimmer on First of the Gang to Die or the bouncy bass rhythm under I'm Not Sorry. The album reminds me of Lou Reed's New York in the sense that it is extremely well done classic rock sound depending on the qualities of the songs and the lead singer to really win you over, more than it is breaking new musical ground. If you like Morrissey, and don't mind beautiful pop songs, this is just perfect.]

Posted by Claus at 04:10 PM
May 11, 2004
I'm listening to The Streets

The new streets album has a rough, minimalist sound, that I'm not sure is really working. Or rather, it works some of the time and it certainly sounds super British, but it hasn't quite got the appeal or variety of the first album.

Posted by Claus at 12:43 AM
May 07, 2004
Hunky Dory

All of the David Bowie studio albums from this one to Scary Monsters could go on the essentials list, but I have to start somewhere and this is as good a place as any.
Bowie's amazing voice is young and intense, the sound has that glam inspired 70s glitter, and with a few ridiculous emberassments as entertaining interludes, the songs really are fantastic
Bowie was on the essential soundtrack to my childhood, because one of my brothers was a huge fan and always played the albums, with this one, Heroes and Scary Monsters probably being the favourites. While I own only a few of these albums I know them all by heart second for second in a way you can only know music you heard all the time at a certain age.

Posted by Claus at 01:12 AM
May 01, 2004
Beggars Banquet

[UPDATE: Classy's list of essential Stones titles in proper buying order]

The Stones are really much too old a band to be important for me, but I grew up listening mainly to The Rolling Stones and danish band Gasolin'. First because the music was being played by two of my older brothers, and later because my third brother bought all the Stones albums released on Decca/London in a boxed set which we played all the time in the following years. Among all the Stones albums (several of which will be covered on the Essentials list) Beggars Banquet is the best one.
It has one of the best side-A-track-1's in the history of LPs and after that, within the confines of the stones sound it helped define, an amazing breadth of variation that practically no one tries for any more. Any one of "Sympathy for the Devil", "No Expectations" and "Street Fighting Man" would be reason enough to include the album, but there's so much more.

The Stones have done their music a disservice through the last 15 years of stadium rocking. The stadium venues and the moniker "Worlds Largest Rock'n Roll Band" have turned them in to a parody rather than the brilliant blues band they used to be. Music quite simply does not belong in stadiums. I have a lot of friends without any feeling for what the Stones sound used to be, because they can think only of 50000 people cheering Keith Richards on as he starts up the riff of Satisfaction. They either dislike The Stones because they are not Metallica or because they think they probably sound like Metallica for old people.

This album in contrast is to a large extent quiet, emotional, and acoustic and sounds nothing like The Stadium Stones.

Classy's Essential Stones Album List in Buying Order

  1. Beggars Banquet

  2. Let it Bleed

  3. Singles Collection: The London Years - (this imo is all you really need to appreciate the pre-banquet Stones. They were a singles band, and these are all the singles)

  4. Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out

  5. Sticky Fingers

  6. Some Girls

  7. Exile on Main Street

  8. Tattoo You

Posted by Claus at 12:46 PM
February 11, 2004
Det' Gas - Jeg kan tage det

Gasolin er en essentiel komponent af min barndom. Jeg er lige en smule yngre end den typiske Gasolin-nostalgiker, men jeg har mange ?ldre s?skende og har h?rt Gasolin siden jeg var 2. S? Gasolin Blackbox samlingen af alle Gas' LPerne er virkelig et fantastisk memento om en anden og mere orange og r?gfarvet tid - Dengang man kunne stille sig op til bandfoto som landets f?rende rockstjerne p? bagsiden af et LP cover i genbrugstweedjakke med en halvfuld Gr?n Tuborg stikkende op af jakkelommen. Pluspoint for den nostalgivenlige indpakning komplet med un?dvendige inderposer inden i de CD-st?rrelse snydepladecovers. Eneste klage: Hvorfor er dem der var gatefold dengang ikke lavet som gatefold nu. Helt ?rligt.

Musikken er vel n?ppe lige s? frisk da den var ny - det er den enten for tidstypisk eller for velkendt til - men de gode numre, og der er mange af dem, er fantastiske og Kim Larsen havde stadigv?k en stemme.

Posted by Claus at 02:44 PM