Friday, February 27, 2009

Tillbaks! BellO! Köp!

Varit lite, läs mycket, upptagen på sistone så jag är mycket medveten allihop om att det har blivit väldigt få inlägg på sistone. Alltid kul att få mail från er allihop dock! :)

Så senast jag var i farten utlovade jag visst att skriva något mer utförligt om Bell Orchestre och deras helt makalösa uppföljare As Seen Through Windows så ska väl se till och hålla mitt löfte.

Att göra en helt instrumental platta kan lätt bli väldigt pretentiöst och åtminstone för mig svårt att verkligen ta till mig av det som artisten vill förmedla. Grupper som använder sång och texter förstår inte vilken lyx de har. Det är framförallt detta som jag redan med deras första skiva, Recording A Tape The Colour Of The Light, kände jag kunde komma över på ett sätt jag inte kunnat innan.

Bell Orchestre är svåra att klassificera och jag gillar inte heller att klassificera artister och grupper så jag överlåter det till folk som känner ett behov av att göra det. En sak är åtminstone säker och det är att deras musik är instrumental och bandet består för närvarande av sju personer;
Richard Reed Parry (Arcade Fire) - kontrabas, keyboard, slagverk
Sarah Neufeld (Arcade Fire) – violin
Stefan Schneider (The Luyas) - trummor, slagverk
Pietro Amato (Torngat, The Luyas) - valthorn, elektroniska ljud
Kaveh Nabatian - trumpet, melodica
Mike Feuerstack (Snailhouse) - knästålsgitarr
Colin Stetson* (The Sway Machinery) - klarinetter, valthorn, trumpet och bassaxofon
*Officiellt inte en av huvudmedlemmarna men är det mer eller mindre ändå.

Tillsammans får de till ljudlandskap som sträcker sig från östeuropeiska toner till de mest sköra toner som låter som de kommer från en isvak. Aldrig tråkigt och alltid intressant och ljuvligt att lyssna på.

Hur följer man då upp den kritikerrosade debutplattan? Lätt, man gör en ännu bättre skiva! Det är lönlöst att försöka att ingående försöka förklara hur de arbetar fram det enda makalösa ljudlandskapet efter det andra. Det måste upplevas. Men det jag kan säga är att när Sarahs violin i Icicles (första delen av Icicles/Bicycles) låter som om den vilket ögonblick som helst kan gå i tusen bitar likt en istapp som faller till marken efter att de första vårsolstrålarna gjort att den tappat greppet om hustaket är jag totalt försvarslös.

Köprekommendationen är given. Skivbolaget Arts&Crafts släpper skivan den 10:e mars och kan förbeställas här.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

joel är i upplösningstillstånd

Ska försöka skriva något mer utförligt och genomtänkt senare. Men just nu vill jag bara få fram att det här är den bästa skiva jag hört hittills i år.

Mitt hjärta såväl som min hjärna smälter!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Neko Case i lurarna!

Ljuder ljuvligt i hörlurarna. Hon är, some alltid, fantastisk. Bästa omslaget jag sett på länge.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Win & Régine besöker PIH på Haiti

Saxat från Partners In Healths nyhetsbrev för november 2008.

From the Desk of Naomi Rosenberg,

former assistant to Paul Farmer

Dear Friends,

I remember when I first saw the rock band Arcade Fire perform four years ago in Philadelphia after the release of Funeral, which would go on to sell over 500,000 copies worldwide. It was a gray fall as the country prepared for the November 2004 presidential election and received daily news of death and devastation in Iraq. Leaving the concert I remember two college students walking out in front of me and one turned to the other to say “they make me feel like maybe, just maybe, everything will be alright.”

Flash forward … Last week we had the privilege of hosting Régine Chassagne and Win Butler – the wife and husband leaders of Arcade Fire – at Zanmi Lasante (ZL, PIH’s partner organization in Haiti). The band has a long-standing interest in Haiti. Régine’s family comes from the island and Win has been known to decorate his guitar with the Haitian proverb “sak vide pa kanpe”—”an empty sack cannot stand up”—as a reminder of the crushing poverty that afflicts Haiti.

We journeyed to central Haiti to visit ZL’s newest sites in St. Marc and Petite Rivière de l’Artibonite. We only recently started working in these hospitals, and the scene was devastating. Almost all of the patients in the inpatient ward were dying – literally wasting away from HIV and tuberculosis.

Régine (left) and Win (center) during an impromptu musical break in Haiti

Nothing I had witnessed in previous visits to ZL hospitals had prepared me for this. When I started working for PIH three years ago, the patients at our older, more established sites (such as Cange) were being treated for kidney disease, heart trouble, cancer, broken bones. Thanks to tireless and unwavering community-based care, these wards were no longer filled with people wasting away at the end stages of HIV and TB. ZL is now working to establish the same model of programs and services at these new sites.
Touched by the scene in St. Marc, Win and Régine brought out a guitar and began playing an incredibly moving set of songs right in the ward—”A Change Is Gonna Come,” which brought tears to many eyes, a rousing version of “La Bamba” followed by “Let It Be” at the request of a dying patient. It is difficult to find the words to express the way music can cross boundaries and lift a saddened soul.

School children gather to hear Win and Régine play.

Later that week, during a visit to the hospital in Cange, Win and Régine played for kids in the pediatric inpatient ward. Anthony, a small boy sick with both a serious case of malnutrition and HIV, had been completely inconsolable, lethargic and unresponsive, according to his nurses. But upon hearing Win and Régine’s music, Anthony propped himself up to sit and started clapping along. It was one of the most touching moments of the week.

Patients in a hospital ward react to Win and Régine's music.

During their visit, we also toured a new hospital, saw villages devastated by last September’s deadly hurricanes, visited a farm that produces vegetables and materials for the therapeutic foods we use to treat malnourished patients, and visited the homes of several patients and their accompagnateurs.

Since the release of their second album and a tour in which they donated $1 from every ticket to PIH, Arcade Fire has become not just fans of PIH but also one of the biggest supporters for our work in Haiti. Their presence and their spirit brought comfort and energy to everyone who was able to meet them.

“There is no profession that cannot be used to help the poor,” as Paul Farmer has said in lectures around the country. With the support of Arcade Fire and our other supporters from all walks of life around the world raising their voices with ours, committing to the dignity of others, helping to treat every patient in the ward, and fighting policy arguments in Washington, DC, and abroad—maybe, just maybe, everything will be alright.
– Naomi Rosenberg
Medical student and former assistant to Paul Farmer

Kan inte pusha nog nu såklart för att stödja Partners In Health och deras enorma jobb de gör på Haiti som är ett av jordens absolut fattigaste och otursförföljda länder. Varenda krona är värdefull i deras kamp för att få Haiti på fötter. Skänk pengar genom att följa den här länken: Donera till Partners In Health. Längst ner finns ett alternativ för att välja precis hur mycket eller lite man vill och kan donera.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Kingdom of Rust

Bara att hoppas att Doves efterlängtade platta med samma namn som singeln är lika fantastisk. Fullängdaren släpps den 6:e april på Heavenly Records.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Bell Orchestre framför 3 nya låtar

De besökte CBC Radio i fredags och framförde dessa 3 helt underbara låtar från nya skivan As Seen Through Windows som kommer ut på Arts&Crafts den 10:e mars.
Dark Lights - (mp3)
The Gaze - (mp3)
Water/Light/Shifts - (mp3)
Så vackert att jag inte vet vart jag ska ta vägen.

Richard Kelly vloggar om The Box

Konfirmerar det som diverse intervjuer med honom redan sagt att Régine, Win och Owen verkligen har gjort soundtracket till The Box.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

UNCUT - hela artikeln

Lovade ju att återkomma med hela artikeln i UNCUT Magazine om jag fick tag på den. Win var intervjuoffret och såhär någonting lyder den.

The Arcade Fire's frontman on his "Year off": a DVD, a soundtrack, Springsteen and Slipknot...

"We've got a lot of new songs" reveals Win Butler. "We're casually playing together, working on our ideas. It reminds me of when we recorded our first album [2004's Funeral]. We couldn't really afford to make records so we'd go in at weekends, whenever there was free time in the studio, and work on songs, and play some shows to raise some money to do a little more. It feels like we’re in that frame this time. We’ve got a studio, and I’ve got a tape machine in my house. But the idea of banging out a record is pretty far from all of our minds.”

The last time Uncut caught up with Butler – in late 2007 – he was wrestling with fatigue as the gruelling, year long campaign in support of Neon Bible drew to a close. Then, he talked fondly of retreating to the splendid isolation of his Montreal home during the snow-bound winter months. All that was over a year ago, and Butler, it seems, has been a lot busier than he first planned.

For a start, he’s been working with wife Régine Chassagne and Final Fantasy’s Owen Pallett (Arcade Fire’s string arranger) on the soundtrack of The Box, the new film from Donnie Darko director Richard Kelly. “I always thought their music was inherently cinematic,” says Kelly. “I felt that they could be magnificent film composers, if the timing was right and if I could somehow get them interested. I met Win at the Hollywood Bowl in the summer of 2007. So I handed him a script for The Box…. And about a week later, he called me back. They were intrigued and interested.”

Due for release in autumn, The Box stars Cameron Diaz and James Marsden as a married couple who are given an old wooden box with a button on it. If they press the button, they receive a large sum of money. The catch is someone they don’t know will die.

“Writing a film score was something Régine and I were interested in,” explains Butler. “It’s based on a Twilight Zone episode, and Richard wanted a Hitchcock vibe. So we got a Mellotron. We liked the idea of doing a project that is somebody else’s thing, as an experiment to see if we could even do it. It’s very orchestral.”

“It’s more Nina Rota than Neon Bible,” continues Pallett. “The movie is set in the ‘70s, so the Mellotron was a good starting point. In Hollywood, every decade has a sound. We put a good deal of effort into making this sound like an old-school Hollywood suspense movie.”

Not content with working on the new Arcade Fire album and The Box, Butler also found time to play his first solo gig. His band are long time supporters of Partners in Health, a charity dedicated to improving healthcare for the poor in Haiti, Chassagne’s native country. Just before Christmas in 2008, Butler appeared at a benefit gig in LA.

“Régine was feeling really sick, and that was the first two days we’ve spent apart since we met,” he says. “It was also the first time ever in my life I’ve played by myself, just an acoustic guitar. I’ve never been interested in being a solo artist. In high school, there was no point where the idea of not having a band to play with me appealed to me in the slightest. What’s exciting to me about our band is that what we’re able to come up with together is so much better than what any one of us could do on our own. I’m constantly aware of that – there’s so many minds working on it, thinking about it, caring about it…”

Meanwhile, Butler has been involved in putting the finishing touches to the band’s first full length DVD, Miroir Noir. It ostensibly covers the arc of the band’s Neon Bible campaign, but is thankfully much more than a meat-and-two veg tour doc. Directed by Vincent Morrisset, an old college friend of Chassagne, it’s full of visual flourishes, mixing footage of the band recording the album in the converted church they own in Farnham, Quebec with live performances and allusive imagery that calls to mind Lost Highway-era David Lynch.

“I find live DVDs pretty boring,” admits Butler. “Even the really great ones, like Stop Making Sense, are 45 minutes too long. My favourite part of every Stones documentary is the part when I get to see where the microphone is placed, because I’m a nerd in that way. Ours is probably not the most accessible film.”

What Miroir Noir certainly does successfully is captures the righteous cacophony of the Arcade Fire’s live shows. Armed only with two hand-held cameras, Morisset and cameraman Vincent Moon throw themselves into the fray onstage, dodging the odd violin bow and flying drum. We also see the band busking through the crowd.

“Vincent Moon came to a show in Paris,” recalls Butler. “At the end, we were playing In The Backseat, and we went through the crowd and outside onto the streets of Paris and kept going. Maybe only two people followed us. We walked down this long alley, and at the end there was this family eating dinner in this big picture window. It wasn’t a planned thing. We just circled around this family’s window while they’re eating, they’re like the falafel guys.”

“They had all these plans, to go to some exotic place and have us play. It didn’t happen. So we played in the elevator instead.”

One of the most intriguing elements heard throughout the film are the “thousands” of messages left on the answering service the band set up prior to Neon Bible’s release.

“We didn’t know what to expect,” he laughs. “It was a serious expense! About six months into it, they were like “You know guys, we’re paying about 1,500 bucks a month in phone bills…” What? Just from people leaving messages, because you pay the charges on 800 numbers.”

Some of the messages get pretty intense. One caller even goes so far as to claim “Your product gave me my life back.” How does Butler respond to things like that?

“It doesn’t necessarily seem that real. It’s not necessarily about us as people. What would be weird is if it was like some celebrity connection. But it doesn’t really feel creepy in that way. To be honest, I don’t spend a lot of every day thinking about how the music makes people feel. But it’s interesting to have a window on it. I’ve felt that way about music before myself. I was never the type to be in a fan club, or be a superfan, but there’s definitely times in your life when music is very important.”

Which bands did you feel that way about?

“I went to a boarding school for the end of high school, and it was pretty lonely being away from home for the first time. That was when I got into The Cure and New Order and stuff like that. But also Radiohead and Bjork. They were the two artists making records at the time when I was the most open. I listened to Disintegration by The Cure so much that hearing it made me chuckle instead of feel depressed, and I remember thinking “OK, I’ve listened to this a lot!”

From listening to your heroes, to meeting them; success has ensured that Arcade Fire can now move freely in such circles themselves.

“We went to the Grammys for the first time,” recalls Butler. “It was so shitty. You go to this venue, like a conference centre, at about 10 am. And it’s totally dry – no food water, alcohol. Then it’s two in the afternoon, and we haven’t eaten. Right before us was the award for Heavy Metal album. So you hear this roar behind us – “Rraaaarrgghh!” – 15 guys going crazy. It takes them a full ten minutes to get to the stage, they’re all wearing the full regalia, the masks and everything. So their voices are all muffled, and the one guy accepts his award and he’s like “Graggrrh ggrrhhll rrgghhmmm,” and another one is sobbing into his mask. Then they shuffle you over to the main event. No-one’s eaten all day, by now it’s three in the afternoon and there’s people in tuxedos in the hotdog line offering $100 for a hotdog. A total crush of humanity, trying to get hotdogs…”

“But the most positive part of all that was that, at one of the after-parties, we met Bruce Springsteen. He was really lovely. We talked to him about being married and being in a band and kids. When he was leaving, he came up to us to say goodbye and remembered our names. So in this fake, LA bullshit thing, it was a really nice moment. Then he invited us to play with him!

Miroir Noir is available to download from; the DVD is released January 31st.
Det sista där med att DVDn redan skulle ha släppts ska ni ta med en rejäl skopa salt. Helt felaktigt. Kommer att skeppas iväg någon gång under mars månad om ni förbeställt den.
Ha en skön helg allesammans!

Monday, February 02, 2009

Sarah's Cookbook 2009-01-31


Greetings from the future!
I forgot about updating this thing for, oh, 2 years. but all's well, now's the time for doing all those impossible seeming things that needed doing.
re-getting drivers license
getting the 2nd bell orchestre record out (it's actually happening people! March 10th, hurraaaah!)
watching the u.s. elect president Obama!!!!!
going to india!!

I believe my blog is called sarah's cookbook, and I've never really lived up to that. there was once a time I planned on food writing on tour- I couldn't do it.

So do I have a recipe today for the internet world??
Well, in this climate of minus a billion degrees I've been making a lot of slow cooked meat dishes. Very comforting, a little goes a long way kind of cuisine.

Take a bunch of lamb, cut into medium size chunks- bone or no bone- and brown over medium high heat in a heavy pan. Remove when nice and brown.
In the same pan, cook 1 or 2 (depends on how much lamb your making!) onions, sliced thin, until golden brown- adding some wine och stock if they start to stick.
Add some chopped aromatics- carrots, celery... stir until softened.
add one large can of tomatoes (chopped) in their juice, 2 wine glasses of red wine, 2 cups preferably home made stock.
Add browned lamb back to the pan. Bring to a boil, add some lovely things like good black olives (whole) lemon slices, a couple cinnamon sticks, maybe some dried apricots or prunes, then reduce heat to med-low and simmer for a good couple of hours. You want the meat to be super tender, falling apart. Leave the lid off the last while to thicken things up a bit.
Make some good rice or couscous and you have yourself and really fine cold weather meal that will make people very very happy.


It was a pleasure blogging for you, and I apologize for the absence!


A really goofy picture of Bell Orchestre in the Yukon!

Kul att höra från Sarah!! Det trodde jag aldrig.
Kanske skulle testa det där långkoket någon dag här framöver.