torsdag 30 april 2009

onsdag 29 april 2009

RIP Pontiac

My favourite car ever is the 1968 Pontiac GTO Convertible. It's not as big as the Charger, and it still has that rounding over the rear wheel wells, that was gone in '69. I really love the flaps that cover the twin headlights, giving it that jet plane look. Now Pontiac is gone forever(?) Well, not a big deal really, these old muscle cars will be around forever, basically.
But to have an electric car that looks like this, with a recorded V8-sound, and the safety features of!

Stuff Swedish People Like: Springtime Bonfires

The last day of april is a traditional holiday in Sweden, where most workplaces and schools are closed. The day is called "Valborgs mass eve" (Valborgsmässoafton) and dates back to the 7th century, and the death of a holy lady called Valborg, who ran a cult against witches and other evil spirits of that period. Today, the holiday is basically a reason for Swedes to gulp down insane amounts of spirits.

Valborg is a typical initiation night for young teens to get hammered their first time. The intensive cares are jam-packed with teens from early in the evening, suffering from alcohol-poisoning, puking endlessly, being passed out, beaten or in worst case, have had some unwanted sexual experience.

Typically, people will gather at a field, where some organisation has collected wood enough to make a large bonfire. There might be some singing by a local quire, and perhaps some stands selling overprised snacks, lottery tickets, and maybe a few merry-go-rounds. This will gather families, who will enjoy the carnival-feeling, untill about 20.30, when the drunken teens will start becoming too disturbing, making the families go home, not to have their children getting inspiration from the staggering teens.

Valborg is huge among university students, for whom it is one of the major party occasions of the year. If you want to have a good time at Valborg, just talk to Swedes about how great it is that it is still light out even though it's in the evening, and that now the summer can start, because it'll soon be over, if we're lucky to get some warm weather this year. Yadda yadda, the usual Swedsih weather-rant.
If you are a teenager, well, when in Rome...Hammered Time!

Belive the hype: Theresa Andersson

Wow, there's been a whole movement of Swedish singer songwriter females comin' at us in the last few years. Personally I think they are all a bit pretentious for my liking, except Marit Bergman, but here's a new name that's just popped up: Theresa Andersson. And she plays all instruments simultaneously. This particular song is great, Lauryn Hill-class:

Here's Marit Bergman:

tisdag 28 april 2009

Fischerspooner too!

By coincidence, Fischerspooner are back as well.

Listened to the album quickly last night, it's a bit of a chillout album. Who wants that? With Fischerspooner one wants the rough knobtweakin' club anthems, right?

Video on Dazed

Tiga is back

Listen to web preview of full album Ciao here, or download a podcast.
Here is a video, and it's corny enough!

Stuff Swedish People Like: TV-news

Swedish people watch TV-news for hours every day. Swedes are probably the most educated people in the world when it comes to awareness of foreign and domestic current affairs. This is a tradition from the old public service TV-networks, who were the only TV source up until about 20 years ago, when commercial TV was unbanned.

These long-time TV-news watchers are most likely of the older generations, who will gladly bench themselves from 19.30 and on to 20.00 everyday. Some of them will watch another news show from 21.00 to 21.30 on the other public service channel. Hence, the Swedes are experts in the ongoings of the middle east, knowing the names of the Israeli government officials, as well as Hizbollah leaders. They can tell you all about the elections in Iraq, as well as how the women are being tied down to wood stoves in Afghanistan.

The studio anchors of these public service news shows become like gods to the Swedes. Their words are ranked as the highest possible level of credibility, beating even the Academy who chooses the Nobel Prize winners, who suffer from a surprisingly low level of credibility actually, for electing only extremely unknown authors. These news anchors can not use public transportation, but must travel with wigs and sunglasses, not to be stormed by adoring news fans.

Usually one of these shows will open with the latest global news, then move on to the developments in Ghaza, then show a clip from the most recent car bombing of a marketplace in Baghdad. Soon they put the light on some Swedish retirement home where the diapers have been left unchanged on some elders, and no one is found responsible. Then they will most likely move on to youth jobless issues, and maybe show a full day of the life of a jobless young person, who will surf the web, download movies and get piercings and tattoos. Towards the end, the financial news go on, where they show how the stock markets have done for the day, and tell how many workers have been laid off from Volvo and SAAB.

Finally, the weather comes on, and it's normally bad news, so this has to be a chirpy person, who won't be discouraged by bringing the same grey story most every day. The weather people from these shows are major celebs in Sweden, on par with the royal family. If you want to get to know someone Swedish, you can just say: "Hey, isn't it sad that Jarl Alfredius left us? He had so much more to give! At least I'm happy that weather-Per comes on every day!" Jarl just passed away, unfortunately in his early sixties. He was one of the most popular anchors. Weather-Per is a heavy metal type of weather man who has latched on to the Al Gore Global Warming bandwagon.

måndag 27 april 2009

Stuff Swedish People Like: Detective Stories

Swedes can't get enough of their own brand of detective stories: The social-realistic kind. It is usually set with a male upper-middle-age lead character, who is divorced, and has a drinking problem, maybe a bad stomach, or other similar disorder. He has children, whom he has neglected, and has a gnawing bad conscience over.

Sometimes the lead character can be a famale, since many female journalists have turned to the lucrative detective book/TV- or movie-adaptation/business. She is usually a real clever type, who is divorced/divorcing, and her ex- or divorcing husband is a total creep. She has a hard time juggling her career with picking up her kids from day care, and frying frozen meatballs for dinner.

The crook is normally some creepy asshole dude you really wouldn't suspect, since he has a normal social front, and neighbors and family who loves him dearly. These creepy asshole killers often attack women in the most ghastly ways, for added suspense, and a feeling of that this particular creepy asshole crook is really demented and dangerous.

There might be a colleague of the lead character, who is a real loose cannon. He has a problem with being so rock'n'roll and violent, and is of course irresistible to the opposite sex. This character spices up the otherwise quite sombre stories a bit, and is generally an alibi for entertainment violence and cockiness.

This niche in crime fiction started out in the 60:s with Swedish spouse-writer team Sjowall/Wahlo, and has been brought to a peak with the global success of Stig Larsson's Millenium-series. There is a crime novelist in every Swedish journalist, and there is at least one of these crime stories on Swedish TV every night, either as a movie, or a series. There is a flood of these stories, and the demand seems endless.

Swedes love this stuff, and has somehow managed to export the concept. Seems like the world can't get enough of Swedish, balding, scruffy detectives with alcohol issues and a knack for catching real clever serial killers. If you want to befriend a Swedish person, you just have to watch a few Beck-movies, of which there are probably over 40, and just say: Oh I love Gunvald, he's such a loose cannon!

fredag 24 april 2009

Stuff Swedish People Like: Weekend Primetime TV

The Swedes can't get enough of TV on friday and saturday nights. The shows start around eight at night, and keeps Swedes enthralled for hours in millions. It is usually quite innocent material, it might be imported concepts like: Dance with the Stars, Idol, Survivor or Sweden's got talent.
These shows normally don't capture 20-somethings, who are busy going to bars, but the families and upwards are glued to the screens. TV4, the largest channel is the market leader, tightly followed by, surprisingly enough, government run public service TV. TV4 is funded by commercials, whereas TV1 and 2, the public networks, are funded by a mandatory fee for all TV-owners. (Sweden used to be quite socialistic only 15 years ago, and this TV-habit is sacred for Swedish politicians. Once a minister had to step down for not paying these fees.)
Anyhow, TV4 are running eight minute long commercial breaks starting 8.15, but the Swedes don't care, they stay in their sofas, electrified. The favourite snack to go along with these shows are the mandatory "Fredagsmys" ("Friday Cuddlies"), usually fatty potato chips with various artificial flavours, dipped in sour cream with a powder mix of herbs. The children drink Coke or Pepsi, and the adults alcohol.
It is important for children as well as adults to follow these shows, to be able to participate in chatting on mondays, at school or work, who did what to whom, who should win Idol and so forth.
If you want to befriend a Swede who is not in the bar-and-club-age, you should stay in a friday and saturday and zap between the various shows between 8 and 10, or Tivo them. This should give you fodder for at least 10 minutes of conversation material of the highest importance to Swedes, surpassed only by hockey- and soccer-talk with men between 30 and 50 years of age. More about this in a later article.
Hint, if you come across a show called "På Spåret" ("On Track") on state television, you will be immensely confused, but you should know that this is the No. 1 show after the Eurovision Song Contest, and the host, Ingvar Oldsberg, the chuckling guy with little hair, is the most popular person on Swedish TV. So try and watch it for at least 10 minutes and figure out what it's about. Swedes can't get more TV-excitement than this!

torsdag 23 april 2009

Who the h*ll is Jonny Lang?

Wow, I'm a sucker for great guitarplayers, bluesy singers and if they bring a gospel quire... I'm down with it! Jonny Lang...wotta guy!

Stuff Swedish People Like: Sunshine

Swedish people are among the most sun-light starved peoples on earth, considering that Sweden is situated within the boarder of the polar circle. This fact makes the winters dreadfully dark, with only a few hours of daylight. Add that Europe is the continent with the most rain/snow/cloudiness of all, and you can imagine the level of sun obsession among the Swedes.

The summer is basically in June throughout August. Some years, however, if bad luck occurs, it does not get warm at all. Bad summers stay rainy and chilly the whole season, making summer business that boomed previous years shut down. This happens probably one summer out of three. Surprisingly, the Swedes in many cases see them selves as some kind of Californians. Many families have luxurious summer houses, and expensive motor- or sailing boats, jet skis and so forth. There are numerous stores in Stockholm selling surfing gear, when there is no surfing unless after seldom occuring storms.

Swedes are also crazy about convertible cars and motorcycles, bying them in hundreds of thousands. A convertible car can be used with the top down maybe 2-3 weeks per year, and that's in a good summer.

Swedish people are major weather talkers. To become friendly with a Swedish person, you can just bitch about the weather and lack of sun. If there's a heatwave at the moment, make sure to point out when it'll be over by checking out one of the many weather forecasts in Swedish media. You might start a conversation by saying something like: "Oh the summer passes so fast, suddenly it's midsummer (around june 22nd), and then it's all downhill from there". And then you'll be considered a really wise and down to earth person.

onsdag 22 april 2009

Yeah Yeah Sorta!

Great song and video. art school kids type of band. Unfortunately the new album "It's blitz" is not as super all the way through. I have heard their older material, which has been interesting, but a bit too artsy, now they have a more groovy/dance-y sound, but still have a hard time delivering the melodies needed for producing good music. Text from press release: The trio recorded It's Blitz! with two producers: TV on the Radio's David Sitek, who did production work on the last two albums, and Nick Launay, who co-produced the 2007 Is Is EP along with the band. But the band didn't do everything the same. For one thing, guitarist Nick Zinner plays a whole lot of vintage synths on this thing. For another, according to a press release, the band began the writing process "in the middle of a snowstorm, in a hundred-year-old barn in rural Massachusetts." So that probably messed with their formula a bit.
Great video from NYC here.

tisdag 21 april 2009

Fallon, he mumbles, he stumbles, but he's okay!

I went down a little on bro Jimmy Fallon here a week ago. Now I thought I should give him some serious watch-time, so I did that, and downloaded three early episodes. The show is definitely good, very good content, his interviews are usually funny and clever. He is still a bit nervous, he mumbles occasionally, and gets words out wrong now and then. But the bottom line is: The show works, is smart enough, and funny. He keeps it on the cleaner side, but tsisted enough to not make it too PG-ish.
His band, The Roots, are fantastic. His moddish suits look cool. The idea to let the band play surrounded bu the audience works, especially with rowdier acts, like one of the bands I happened to see, The Virgins (all rite!).
The graphics of the show looks like an old Blue Note record cover = me likey.
Unfortunately, CBS won't let us non-Americans watch the show online, so we must download. Silly donkeys!

lördag 18 april 2009

GTA as a movie

Crank 2 - High Voltage... it's like seeing a movie made out of the Grand Theft Auto games. I guess it's enough to see the trailer, which is great, and probably shows most of the juicy bits, but I'll probably watch the whole movie when I get the opportunity.

Seth rules, but not totally.

Finished Observe... as it started out dead funny, it soon turned into one of many movies where you realise the main character is mentally ill. Donnie Darko goes mall cop sort of. Still an allright movie, but gets overexaggerated in the last half.

fredag 17 april 2009

Seth Rogen rules, ok

Saw the opening 20 minutes of Observe and Report on the Iphone. This movie is funny! Made me laugh out loud several times. This is a clever movie about a really stupid mall cop, I just hope it will stay funny throughout. More later. Seth rules, for now at least!

onsdag 15 april 2009

Seth Rogen's Mall Cop

My comedy favourite du jour, Seth Rogen's got a new movie coming out called Observe and Report. After seeing the trailer, a guess is he has been "ripped off". I recently watched utter crap movie "Paul Blart. Mall Cop" with a new heavy comedian named Kevin James. The trailer seemed like it could be funny, the theme was allright, a mall cop can't be the toughest cop job, so it could have been a sure bet. But no, the movie is probably targeted at four year olds - Fat guy running into things on Segway.
Now Seth Rogen releases "Observe and report" which seems like the same idea. Here's my guess: Observe... has been floating around in Hollywood for a while, and The Paul Blart guy got hold of a copy. He heard Rogen was getting into it, and managed to copycat the script and make a movie in no-time. Hence the result.
Here's Paul Blart Mall Cop:

And here's Observe and Report:

söndag 12 april 2009

I've been ripped off by Monsieur Castelbajac

what do they say, plagiarism is the greatest form of flattery?
Here is an article about an exhibition by Jean Jacques Castelbajac
Funny thing is, I did almost exactly the same thing in 2003. (Click fwd to Superzorn, it's a Flash gallery, can't link directly)

Here is one of my pieces, old painting, McDonald's logo:

And here is one of Castelbajac's:

onsdag 8 april 2009

Wolverine revisited

Finished it. Great flick. Maybe best superhero movie ever. Actually loved that its a production copy, that not all effects work is finished.

söndag 5 april 2009

Wolverine as as å mesh model

Just peeked a little at the upcoming wolverine movie. Starts out really great, the whole thing is beautifully done, with fantastic action, and super cool scenery. Then suddenly, in a fighting scene, wolverine turns into a 3d mesh, showing clearly its a preview!
Still, looks amazing!

fredag 3 april 2009

Shai Agassi - The end of oil

This is some interesting stuff, this guy, Shai Agassi, deals with whole countries, to get them to buy infrastructure packages for electrical car/charge station systems with exchangeable batteries. And hear, Portugal are already onboard! What's up with that, are Portugal becoming Europe's California now? Pretty cool! I hear they have surfing too...
Will write more about this later, but for now, check out this intervue with Chai by none other than Wired's Chris Anderson:

torsdag 2 april 2009

Monsters vs. Aliens revisited

Finished the whole movie last night, my daughter loved it. She was a bit disappointed at the end that everything didn't return to normal. Anyhow, the whole thing is like a megasized bag of super-sugary neon-colored candy. Get's you sugar-buzzed, and a bit drained afterwards. The plot is a hodge-podge of other movies, the president and the whole alien setup is similar to Independence Day, the love story between the Heroine and her boyfriend is borrowed from Bruce Almighty, and the Aliens appearance and attitude is similar to Mars Attacks. Like I said, this is as good as movies gets from Dreamworks, so if you dig their previous work, you'll love this effort.

onsdag 1 april 2009

Monsters vs. Aliens - first impressions

Watched half the movie last night with my 6 year old daughter, will watch the 2nd half tonight. First impressions are that the movie is very gung ho, packed with zany action. Great effects, plenty of gags, and a cool (white!) young president on top. A must-see for anyone the least bit into 3D-graphics. Funny come there are five (hero) "monsters", could it be that the burger chains always have five collector toys...

Check out what them arty kids are doin' in Cali...

Super-gnarly lowbrow art gallery Copro-Nason in Santa Monica are opening a cool group show called Hi Fructose Overdose on Saturday. Here you can see the artworks online.