Sunday, December 8, 2013

November '13 Music Box

Whoops, I just realized I heard one good track during the whole month. Well, actually it isn't even a good track at all- it is brilliant. Enjoy.

Shelf Nunny & Eriko Toyoda - About The Boy

Friday, November 29, 2013

Friday Feature: Kidaudra

The first song I heard from Kidaudra was actually a cover of a Depeche Mode song I hadn't heard before. It was last summer, when I was still living at my friend's place. That place had such a bad Internet connection that I knew I had to wait until next morning to hear it at work. Yet, I remember pressing play and hearing five seconds of it and being absolutely annoyed.

Absolutely annoyed, because the first seconds were so great and I was dying to hear the rest of the 5-minute song. So, in the end it took like an hour for it to fully load (and then another hour to listen to it repeatedly).

Her voice was just simply stunning, which my colleague who is almost 50 agreed on when I played the song to her in our tea shop.

Shortly, Kidaudra does not only make others' songs her own, but she also makes songs of her own that others would want to own. And she's got one of the most amazing art too. One day I hope to witness this awesome music live.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

October '13 Video Box

1. Anna Calvi - Sing to me

2. Summer Camp - Two chords

3. Yeasayer - Glass of the microscope

4. CSS - Into the sun

Pick of the month:

Arctic Monkeys - One for the road

Saturday, November 16, 2013

October '13 Music Box

1. The Carpenters - Rainy Days and Mondays (Shelf Nunny remix)

2. Elliott Smith - 2:45 am (TwentyOneRoots cover)

3. Elliott Smith - Condor Ave. (Kidaudra cover)

Pick of the month:

Dum Dum Girls - Lost Boys and Girls Club

Friday, October 25, 2013

Friday Feature: Safari Al

Rap isn't good when you're rapping about pimps and hoes. Rap isn't good when you're rapping about cheesy stuff like world peace. Rap isn't good when you're rapping about feeling sorry for yourself or how good you are (what happened to you, Kanye? :().

So, is there any good rap in the world? Yup, and that's called Safari Al.

Not only are the lyrics something you can listen to without getting annoyed, but also the beats and melodies are brilliant! So is the art work.

More facts about Safari Al aka Alexander Kollman in the artist's own words:

  • 21 yr old going to engineering school in milwaukee, wi. i write songs to help stave a sincere sadness that comes from straddling either side of a venn-diagram.

Let the music speak for itself now.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Elliott Smith Full Moon Tribute

Yesterday marked 10 years since my favorite artist Elliott Smith died. I wanted to do something special to honor him, and I was lucky enough to get two heart-warming, amazing musicians to not only cover a song of his, but to make their own art cover for the track. Can't give enough credit for these two, as I love when genres are mixed and really appreciate when someone makes a song their own.

So, big thank you to Audra and Christopher for using their time to make a fan's request come true. Also, a special thank you to Droid Daughter for mastering the tunes.

I had a hard time coming up with the name, but yesterday when I was walking home I noticed it was a full moon, and remembered reading that Elliott liked the moon. It's been a decade, but I must say that the timing was perfect.

Hope you enjoy the covers and art work as much as I do.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Friday Feature Special: Elliott Smith

This one time listening to my favorite record label's Spotify list, I came across with a song called Roman Candle. It captivated me from the first second until the very end. That song changed it all.

I remember sharing the first few songs I listened from him to my friend, who after the second time asked: "What's this Elliott Smith thing you got going on now?"

After two years I still can't say what hit me. Obviously, he was a talented artist and had the most angelic voice, but I guess it's the emotional factor. Elliott's debut album was there to accompany me when I had left many dear friends and a dear place. Misery loves company, they say.

Each new song I heard, I was like wow. It didn't take too much time for me to think that this guy was actually better than Bon Iver and Iron & Wine, the two other singer-songwriters I love a lot. And that is a lot said. A lot.

I wont' be listing any facts about Elliott, Wikipedia is for that. This is more of trying to explain why I like his music so much. As you can read it's not that easy- not everything can be everyone's cup of tea, which is what I said to a friend who didn't get Elliott's music. Yet, in my mind I was thinking "dude, how can you NOT GET IT?".

Last autumn when I spent my days writing my thesis I placed six of his albums in our CD player, so I'd have suitable music in the background playing repeatedly. You could just hear how the music had developed from album to next. It had developed in a way that it took me until this summer to hear all the beauty the latter records had to offer. Man, his skills.

At the moment I'm reading a book by Autumn de Wilde (who directed the video above), a famous rock photographer and a friend of Elliott. The book has all the pictures used in the video and many interviews with people close to the artist. It's funny how we often make assumptions of people we don't know at all! Or in this case no assumption at all, but still to get to know more about his personality makes his music even more worth-while. The book makes you laugh and cry. Sometimes at the same time.

The most surprising thing of all was to realize that he had been nominated for an Oscar. That moment in 1998 and when Arcade Fire won a Grammy for best album in 2011 are probably the biggest moments in indie music.

The first thing Elliott said to me after the Oscars was that it didn't matter that there were a hundred million people watching and a huge audience and that it was on TV. The only person he could see was Jack Nicholson sitting there staring at him. He said it just freaked him out. He couldn't get past the fact that  Jack Nicholson was just sitting there right in front of him.
-Dorien, Elliott's roommate in New York

I'm not going to wrap this Special Feature with my favorite Elliott song, but with an unreleased instrumental. The "story" behind it is kind of interesting- it might be that he made it as a homage for himself or it simply is unfinished. Well, either or the song is wistfully optimistic and I'd like it to be played at my funeral.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Hangin' around

I completely fell for The Carpenters last winter, especially for the voice of Karen, who I now think is the best female singer of all time. So, when last February marked 30 years since her tragic death, I asked the most chill producer around, Shelf Nunny, to remix one of their tracks. I just love when different genres are combined, and the end result turned out A-M-A-Z-I-N-G.

When asking Shelf about the song choice, he said that he's always heard of the band, although never really listened to them. He had heard the sample of Rainy Days and Mondays on a rap song, which you can listen here, and it was interesting for him to sample it, because he didn't want it to sound like the rap version.

It's a hiphop version of Mondays.

For me it definitely is in its own class. And to hear Karen's voice as a "broken record" is not a bad thing at all.

Below you've got both the great original and the extraordinary.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

One talented producer + a year = 365 amazing beats

It's kind of weird to not have your daily beat for breakfast anymore. I'm not exaggerating when I say that I felt/feel pretty empty and sad when Holm.'s 365 Beat Project ended. Still, in an odd way it feels like this whole thing never happened.

In a way I could compare this to my time abroad- it was part of my every day life, but when things got back to "normal" the experience became distant, yet very close. It was a special period you can never live again.

Sounds quite dramatic, I know. It's hard to put this kind of stuff on paper. But someone who managed to do it really well is the producer himself. I've copied his letter from his blog below, and I must say I was really surprised of how awesome his writing was. I mean when you're used to just hearing mainly tracks without lyrics... It's like seeing a constantly sad person smile- it lights up the room like nothing else.

The question is what now? I don't think I've heard a track for which Holm. has put more time than six hours. So when the next beat drops, I'll be catching it with open arms. Eyes closed.

life in the frame of 365 days.
the other day, once i finished my project, i said i would write something about the process of the 365 project i have no idea what to say but here it is.
the 365 wasnt too hard. in the end it became kind of a therapeutic thing for me. at first it was daunting, the first few weeks. I lived my senior year of high school on usually 2,3 or 4 hours of sleep. I would fall asleep in closets of my school throughout the day, but eventually i became used to it. it became a mental benefit for me. If anyone who reads this knows me on a personal level, i think its pretty evident that i’m not a very sad person, nor do I really ever take anything seriously. I feel like ive learned two important things in life that attribute a lot to who i am. one is that if I dont feel good, i have music. i can pour my heart into it and take those bad vibes out. another is that life is far too serious of a matter to take seriously. if i didnt have music in my past, and if i didnt have it in my future i would have probably turned out so much different. if you judged me based on my music, the general vibe and song titles, you’d be right in thinking a lot of my work, especially the later of it all, has somewhat of a dark tinge. many of my songs deal with common themes like confusion, loss, missed chances, and death to some extent. i created this music to deal with feelings I didnt want. thats why a lot of it has become so personal to me. especially my more ambient work, i really connect with that stuff. a lot of my songs were little stories to me, they were the sound of important events and memories in my life. the true gems were created after intense experiences. for instance, “the adventures of izzy & i” was created after a rad night with an old friend which included scaling warehouses to look at stars from the roof, the theft of a boat to sail around a pond in the early hours of the morning, and staying up long after the sun rose. “these are the stars, they go on forever” was created after another night with a long lost friend which included nearly the same things. “you’ll always be ok, wont you?” was something I made during a close call with the life of a loved one. “passing the houses i used to live in” was about a day where i drove around all the various places I had grown up as a kid. I found that my best work comes in situations that are very emotional. I work best with that type of music. in this journey ive learned to embrace bad experiences with open arms. what hurts us the most often teaches us more than we can fathom. theres no light without darkness and a certain beauty in the negative aspects of life. always strive to find that beauty in your lowest moment.
but in closing,
I started this project on a sunny day in october of 2012 in the suburbs of Boston, and i finished it on a rainy night in october of 2013 looking out at the streets of Manhattan, nyc. its interesting how far life can take us if we pay no attention.
dont expect the last of me,

much love <3

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

September '13 Video Box

1. Arcade Fire - Reflektor

2. Sleigh Bells - Bitter Rivals

3. Franz Ferdinand - Evil Eye

Pick of the month:

A big fan of genres being mixed, and this is ace!

Franco and the Dreadnought feat. James Gill - I want it all

Monday, September 30, 2013

September '13 Music Box

1. Sleigh Bells - You don't get me twice

2. M.I.A. - Come walk with me

3. Holm. - Day 337 useless options.

4. Holm. - Day 355 it moves.

5. Holm. - Day 356 quit.

6. Anna Calvi - Sing to me

Pick of the month:

Anna Calvi - Suddenly

Monday, September 9, 2013

August '13 Video Box

1. MGMT - Your Life is a Lie

2. Maven Fiction - Wishbone Break Up

3. These New Puritans - Organ Eternal

4. Franco and the Dreadnought - Moving Mountains

5. Anna Calvi - Eliza

6. Haim - The Wire

7. Mutya Keisha Siobhan - Flatline

PickS! of the month:

8. Zola Jesus - Fall Back

9. Lady Gaga - Applause

Thursday, September 5, 2013

August '13 Music Box

1. Anna Calvi - Eliza

2. Frankie Rose - Sorrow

3. Arctic Monkeys - Stop the world I wanna get off with you

4. Tree - Karma Police (Radiohead cover)

5. Shelf Nunny -  I was (Albert Softmann)

Pick of the month:

6. Kings of Leon - Wait For Me

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

July '13 Video Box

1. P!nk feat. Lily Allen - True Love

2. Austra - Painful Like

3. Capital Children's Choir - Untrust Us (Crystal Castles cover)

4. Franz Ferdinand - Love Illumination

Pick of the month:

5. Franz Ferdinand - Right Action

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

July '13 Music Box

1. Tree feat. Beat Culture & Lena Kuhn - Demons

2. Holm.- Day 278 I h8 sunrizes

3. Kali Ma feat. Lindsay Stiem - Listen

4. Willis Earl Beal - Too dry to cry

5. Mutya Keisha Siobhan - Flatline

Pick of the month:

Haim - The Wire

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Rock the Beach

Queens of the Stone Age:
This is the closest I've gotten to the awesome female punk singer Brody Dalle.
(Josh Homme's wife).

Green Day:
Wasn't too keen on seeing them again, but as soon as to music started, it was yet another fun 2½ hours.
Gotta say though, that it isn't that great to have the exact same type of show as a few years ago, but thumbs up for playing a lot of songs on Dookie.

30 Seconds To Mars:
One of the worst gigs I've ever been to.
Jared talked way too much. After every single song.
"Can we play another song for you?"
Dude, you've only played two songs so far.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Droid Daughter - Mira

Here it is folks, my blog’s first ever exclusive preview. And geeh, I just realized that I don’t even know where the album name “Mira” comes from! I just started to get these feel-good memories of the time when my Spanish flat mates loved the Finnish name Mira, because it was easy for them to pronounce and means “look” in Spanish. They usually associated it with the word “ass”.

But the name is not the only thing, which makes me feel good. I’ve hailed Warminster- based producer Droid Daughter aka Connor Lepre as a true wonder kid of pure electronic music. And with his third full-length, it’s pretty evident that my words are not just words. Even if I say so myself.
Although I get these positive feelings while listening to Mira, Lepre himself sees a darker side to it.

Mira is an interesting thing because if you asked me what it's about right after I finished it in May, I'd have no real answer for you. Looking back, it's really funny for me. It's an album full of regret about how I was spending my life the 5 months prior to that, but in this weird way where I was trying to cover up my regret. Like when you're sad and don't want anyone to know, you just put up a wall of happy and often times it can be easy to see through. I think people will have no problem seeing through the happier sides of Mira. It's the "too good to be true" happy feeling, but that's just how I interpret it.

Lepre considers the album to be a step out of his comfort zone, which resulted in what I would like to say a huge ass prolific beat making.  Out of the 15 tracks the collaborations are definitely the highlights- they bring Lepre’s sick beats into a whole different level, when different types of talent complement each other.

The song “Purple Beat” features rapper/songwriter Reefa Ali, who seriously has some mad skills. Rarely, you hear such clever rhymes.  “I sent him the beat, he wrote to it, and I recorded it”, Lepre explains the simplicity on his collaboration with Ali.

Another collaboration was with fellow producer Kali Ma aka Cody Miller. On the album you can hear a remix on the song Afrodesia done by Miller, but I guess you can say that the true respect is paid by Lepre taking influences from him.

On songs like Mira and I'm So Amber, I really tried channeling my inner Kali Ma, I hope he doesn't mind. But I felt it would be appropriate for him to remix one of the songs because of the influence on the album. I gave him the stems for Afrodesia and came back to me a few days later with a mind melting, almost Nine Inch Nails-esque remix that I love. When I play Afrodesia live, I play the first 2/3 of his remix, and then into my version. He does a similar thing for a song I remixed for him.

Musically, the most mind-blowing gem of the album is You + Time. The reason for that is the most utterly astonishing voice of Lepre’s friend Kate Kushin. You can’t really understand what Kushin is singing about, but it’s like the case of "Milk and Cereal"- it’s not about the content, it’s about the way it’s done.  “I played with her breathe noises and kept about half the song and repeated it. It filled the song up a bit and I think it added a bit of style.”

Connor, this line is for you:
You + Time is the most stylistic thing you’ve done so far.

In general, one of my favorite moments is when the base drops. And without forgetting a bit of humor, this Droid Daughter track which is included in live sets made me go "Bitch, drop the base!" the first time I heard it.

I’ve said it a dozen times before that the most important thing for an album is to work as an entity. And as a person, who doesn’t concentrate too much on visual stuff, am very proud to say that it’s the first time for an album art work to be the icing on the cake. Honestly, I don’t think I’ve seen anything as amazing as Mira’s cover. The closer I look the more I drool.

Okey, I think we’re better off ending this with Lepre’s own words, before things get out of hand. But damn it feels great to give out recognition in a review for something which basically is mainly not about it. #TrySomethingNewEveryDay.

Artistically, I ended up creating these little worlds in my head that each song was from. Kristina Abuladze did an amazing job capturing how the album felt with the album art she made for me. I have synesthesia, which is a neurological condition where one sense, in this case hearing, will stimulate another sense, and often times for me it's sight. To me, songs have corresponding colors and textures. I don't necessarily "see" colors and textures when I listen to music, but I associate songs and sounds with color and texture. When I listen to the songs on the album, I find a strain of color(s) on Kristina's album art that I associate with that song so it's like the whole album is visualized for me on the album art which is a cool thing.

Mira is available for download on its release date, July 24th 2013 via everywhere, just check his Facebook for more info. Thanks to Connor for granting my blog the rights for this exclusive preview.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

June '13 Video Box

1. The xx - Fiction

2. Explosions In The Sky & David Wingo - Prince Avalanche: An Original Soundtrack

3. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Despair

4. M.I.A. - Bring The Noise

5. Bloc Party - Rachet

6. David Lynch & Lykke Li - I'm Waiting Here

Pick of the month:

Vampire Weekend - Diane Young

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

June '13 Music Box

1. Zola Jesus - Avalanche (Slow)

2. Willis Earl Beal - Everything Unwinds

3. Iron and Wine - Rattling Bone

4. Hot Chip - Dark & Stormy

5. Janelle MonĂ¡e - Dance Apocalyptic

6. Holm. - Day 247

7. Holm. - Day 248

8. Holm. - Day 249

9. Holm. - Day 264

10. Holm. - Day 272

11. David Lynch - Are You Sure

Pick of the month:

David Lynch & Lykke Li - I'm Waiting Here

Monday, July 1, 2013

Listen to your heart

After I had graduated everyone kept asking me what next. And I kept telling them I'll keep my options open. When in my mind I was thinking can't you just let me enjoy this moment and beer?

I did keep my options open. At least for a while. Many job applications went with an *ugh*, and a *sigh* when there was no response. 

To make everything easier, I narrowed things down into what I was passionate about. Those were music, beer and tea.

When I mentioned to people that I would be interested in working in the tea business, they were like wtf. Tea, tea? *raising one's arm to drink from a mug* movement. Once I even talked about wanting to get into either the music or tea industry and then going on for a few minutes solely about music. After my little speech, the guy asked me but why tea?

Is it really that random?

Towards spring, my brains were rooting MUSIC MUSIC MUSIC and my heart was like tea tea tea. 

One of the hardest things to do is to listen to your heart. There are so many people out there doing stuff that they are sick of. And that's something I want to avoid. But most of all avoid having the question what if on my mind. I guess it's much more worse to not know than to be disappointed.

Also, there's that sense of uncertainty when you're being rational. It would have been much easier to do the things you're familiar with already and continue collaborating with people you know. It's understandable to stay in your comfort zone. 

For sure it was kind of terrifying to take a risk, but after three weeks there hasn't been a single morning when I would have rather stayed in bed. And that's A LOT said from someone who's hated mornings since forever.

Though, I still can't realize that I'm getting schooled in the industry I wanted to. Schooled in my favorite tea company. Yeah, of course I could feel differently later on, but hey, at least I tried and went after my dream. 

And I can feel a bit more relaxed about the future knowing that there's one less what if.

Ps. don't listen to those, who think they know what's best for you. The truth is that they're just on the way of what really is.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Ozlo. Pt. 2

Like I expected Oslo was very much like the other Nordic capitals. The size, architecture etc. The only thing is that Norwegians don't actually have any traditional food. Oh yeah, except in some area they eat half a goat head for Christmas. Viking-based stuff, you know?

Frankly, when visiting Norway I have the beautiful nature scenery on my mind. Luckily Oslo has that too, just a tube trip away.

And when I thought I've seen everything Oslo had to offer, my friend takes me to this absolutely random area, which felt like taking a quick trip to Berlin (even though I've never been there [yet]). It was a lovely bohemian place with loads of cool graffiti, which I'm crazy of. Sadly I don't have the artistic skill for that, but if you can't do one, you need to admire one.

I'm going to finish this post with a few various remarks. The first is about the saddest day in Norwegian history, which they chose to keep in the streets as a reminder. I remember watching a documentary of it, and there was this one family explaining how they had fled the Middle East for a safer future. Ironically, their daughter was one of the victims on that day two years ago.

Continuing with a lighter remark, we went to an 80s cover band gig one night. For our surprise the place was packed with middle aged people. Crazy stuff.

We were talking about the girl with the head band, who dressed accordingly. While turning around, she turned out not to be a girl, but a WOMAN. Would this happen to us in 20 years?

Then my friend showed me this piece of art.

Why is it so special? Because the guy who sings the most worldwide- known Norwegian song, did it. Perhaps you wonder which song it is.

You know it.

Thursday, June 6, 2013


After some hectic days in London, I wanted to spend my time in Oslo taking it easy. Of course seeing all the important things, but without any rush. I had been there 20 years before and seen from the pictures what we were up to. Sitting on the naked woman was my only "must" for the trip. You´ll understand what I mean later in this post. Another thing I wanted to do was visit the Munch Museum, but unfortunately they were preparing the place for the 150th anniversary to be opened today? Gutted.

But really I didn´t have any expectations before flying there- usually I check all the things to do from Wikipedia beforehand, now I just had to trust my friend Linda who had moved there over a year ago. A pretty trusty guide book.


we hope you see the red now.

if not the museum, then the grave.


Oslo´s opera house is quite a building. Our new German friend thought it was alright too, as he had spent 7 hours taking photos of it. 7 hours of one building. Many many many pictures of one corner. "This is incredible" being shrieked quite a few times. The finger being shown to dark clouds. Scheisse. 7 hours. That is incredible.

let me look for a pen. which is in my pocket after all.

The picture above is from an English comedy show:
I saw two witches kissing, and I was like get a broom.
You´ve crossed your hands, it´s not like we´re going to steal your nipples. Now you´ve crossed your legs, it´s not like we´re going to steal your vagina. You over there should be careful, though.

The city of the naked people was looming before us.

And then we heard that familiar sentence. It indeed was incredible.

Our German friend´s comment of the naked statues: "These are like pedophiles!"

1994/2013 it was surprisingly hard to get on top this time!
father of the year

so you think you can dance

I really would like to know my thoughts back in 1994. And why I was allowed to have my face painted completely red.

Second part of the trip coming soon with loads of pictures and perhaps even more words.