fredag 31. juli 2015

Have a look at my new blog

A few months ago I launced my new blog in Norwegian called Mitt liv som Erik (My life as Erik). That's why there have been no updates on Erik's Musical Diary for ages. But I see people still come to this site to check out videos, so I wanted to give everyone a heads up as to what I'm currently doing. As my new blog is written in Norwegian it may not make much sense to some of you, but there are loads of playlists, music videos, news etc. and other stuff as well. You'll find articles on books and films, travel tips, photography, articles referring to my life, interviews with different acts and authors and much more. I've even got my own radio show. If you're interested you can check it out here. Thanks!

fredag 22. mai 2015

Little Richard - Lucille

When Little Richard sang about "Lucille" back in 1957 it was a primal affair. Rock'n'roll was new, it was exciting, it was sexy, and it genuinely upset the grown-ups of the world and at the same time turned scores of teenagers into a lot cooler people than their parents were - at least for a little while. So there you go for another Fabulous Friday entry, the awesome spectacle of seeing and hearing Little Richard and his band perform the hell out of this truly brilliant song. It was written by Little Richard himself (or Richard Wayne Penniman as he was known to his parents) and Albert Collins, not to be confused with the legendary bluesman of the same name. And as long as it's Friday, be sure to check out my previous Fabulous Friday entries here. I'll promise you it's a diverse set of songs.

Watch and listen

torsdag 21. mai 2015

Paris, je t'Aime - a playlist from "la Cité de la Lumière"

Paris, the most romantic city on earth - also referred to as "la Cité de la Lumière" - is the object for a playlist I've compiled for my good friends over at the awesome Borte Best blog. Vibeke has written a love letter to Paris and she asked me if I could compile a list to go with it. "Easy peasy", was my obvious answer, and so I've assembled 40 great tracks from, or referring to, that beautiful city (a few of them may just be French but still give off a Paris vibe) for everyone's enjoyment. So here's your opportunity to bask in the glories of Joe Dassin, Juliette Gréco, Yann Tiersen and Michel Legrend, as well as international acts such as The Style Council, Rufus Wainwright, Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong and even the Norwegian pop group deLillos. Follow the link below to gain access to the list in Spotify and if you're Norwegian also read Vibeke's article.

Paris, je t'aime

Audrey Hepburn in Paris - yay!

onsdag 20. mai 2015

The Chemical Brothers - Go

The rave scene of the 90's passed me by. I was totally oblivious to it all, listening to anything but Prodigy, Fatboy Slim or The Chemical Brothers. In hindsight I've come to enjoy a lot of these acts though, and The Chemical Brothers in particular. "Go" is the new single off their forthcoming Born In The Echoes which is scheduled for a July 17 release, and it's totally awesome, featuring American rapper Q-Top on vocals. The video is great too, made by French director and screenwriter Michel Gondry, and definitely worth watching.

Watch and listen

tirsdag 19. mai 2015

Elina Born & Stig Rästa - Goodbye To Yesterday

This week is Eurovision week, with two semifinals before the grand finale on Saturday, this year to be held in Vienna. Basically a kind of musical freak show where anything goes, the competition is regarded with equal amounts of adulation and scorn, depending on who you ask, and rarely features entries where the songs themselves are in focus. Estonia's entry of 2015 is a different matter, a dead catchy pop song, classic in every way, ticking all the right boxes, and being a duet to boot. Elina Born and Stig Rästa are more or less complete unknowns outside their native Estonia, but they shouldn't be for long. "Goodbye To Yesterday" (written and produced by Rästa himself) is the kind of song that should reach well outside the Eurovision Song Contest, with the potential of becoming a hit across the board, reaching an audience that doesn't care for the competition, and those who just like a good song regardless. I heard it just now being performed on the first of the semifinals and was completely floored by what I simply consider a brilliant piece of pop music on its own terms. Below is the music video with a bit of dramatic flair to it, but as I've already suggested, the song speaks volumes for itself.

Watch and listen

Everything But The Girl - Missing (Todd Terry Remix)

DJ/house producer Todd Terry's remix of the Everything But The Girl track "Missing" off 1994's Amplified Heart album totally reinvented the duo's sound as we knew it, throwing them head first into the house scene of the mid-90's that Tracey Thorn and Ben Watt had more than a little interest in as it were. Turning their melancholic songs away from the quiet musings of their take on jazz, bossa nova, soul, pop or country even, and over in the direction of modern dance music was a stroke of genius that nobody really could have imagined, with the possible exception of from Todd Terry. It even turned the duo into some sort of semi-superstars for a while, and they recorded two brilliant albums, Walking Wounded (1996) and Temperamental (1999) expanding on Terry's ideas, before they called it quits. Today they've both revived themselves as solo artists and authors (I'm currently reading Tracey's brilliant book about singing, Naked At The Albert Hall), are still married, but with no plans to reform as a duo as far as I know. Still, their solo careers are worth following, with Tracey having just released an EP's worth of film music, Songs From The Falling, and Ben released his second solo album Hendra last year, 31 years after the first.

Rolling Stones - Terryfying

Rolling Stones' 1989 album Steel Wheels was a very welcome return to form at the end of a decade that saw the band slowly fade from rock gods to... well, something less. "Terryfying" was the fourth and, dare I say, best, single off the album, a strutting, proud and boisterous song that is primarily driven forward by Bill Wyman's steady bass and Charlie Watts' drums. It's unusually rhythmic for Rolling Stones with its swamp-rocky, Creedence-y beat and crystal clear production, and the fact that it stands a bit out from much of their other songs is actually what makes it so great. 

Watch and listen

lørdag 16. mai 2015

Janet Jackson - What Have You Done For Me Lately

Janet Jackson's 1986 album Control is her masterpiece, in large part thanks to producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis who also co-wrote most of the songs with Jackson and must have helped her find her own true songwriting self. "What Have You Done For Me Lately" was the first single off the album, her third, released in January, spearheading an hour's worth of minimalist synth-driven funk and stunning ballads that totally redefined Jackson and turned her into a superstar. The album and its first two singles, "What Have You Done For Me Lately" and "Nasty", can be seen as forerunners of an entire generation's worth of female R&B artists and their songs, showing their male counterparts where it's really at. Janet Jackson may not be considered a feminist performer by most, but this song was undeniably important for a lot of future female performers, kicking some serious ass along the way. Forgive me if this sounds shallow, it's not meant to. I seriously regard this song as a feminist anthem, and Jackson sounds as tough as nails.

Watch and listen

The Smiths - Heaven Knows I'm MIserable Now

What really happens, what kind of chemistry is at work, when two people simply connect, when a lyricist and a songwriter find each other, embarking on a journey that will forever change their - and our - world? I have no idea, but I'm extremely fascinated by how two persons like Steven Patrick Morrissey and John Martin Maher - commonly referred to as Morrissey/Marr - were able to create such a staggering amount of great music as they did in the years 1983 through 1987. Four "proper" albums, 18 singles that in large part did not appear on the albums (B-sides included) and three major compilations in five years is pretty much unheard of this side of The Beatles and I honestly don't think any songwriting team or single songwriter has written such a treasure trove of amazing music since their heyday. "Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now" was The Smiths' fourth single and one of their defining songs, where Morrissey gleefully wallows in his own stilted misery, and, judging by the video, enjoying every single moment of his own performance. Marr on the other hand is doing his masterful guitar work, seemingly at total ease, not minding his singer one tiny bit, just doing his thing in a totally effortless manner. "Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now" was released almost 31 years ago to the day, on May 21, 1984, and still sounds absolutely magnificent.

Watch and listen

fredag 15. mai 2015

Jason Derulo - Trumpets

And once more we have a potentially Fabulous Friday, and thus it's time to play an upbeat song that sets the tone for the weekend. One that never fails to get me in a good mood is Jason Derulo's 2013 single "Trumpets", perfectly catchy and amazingly celebratory in nature. The video adds scores to the fun, being as tongue in cheek as they come in the world of mainstream pop music. You can't help but smile. I hope. Also, check out previous Fabulous Friday entries here.

Watch and listen