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Full concert videos

Bothnia Rythm Orchestra & Ulvens Döttrar – Månmors gästabud

 

There have been countless collaborations between big bands and artists from other genres, from pop to folk music. Some of those have been really good, others not, but often they take the shape of the solo artist/band being accompanied by the big band.

One project that I really like is the collaboration between the Finnish-Swedish big band Bothnia Rhythm Orchestra and the three singing sisters that make up the folk music trio Ulvens Döttrar from the Åland islands in the Baltic sea. What’s so great about this is that I don’t get the impression that one band is accompanying the other. In fact it does not even sound like there are two bands at all, but rather like one big unit.

 

The songs on this album are all written by the sisters, except two compositions, and arranged by the artistic director of the big band in a brilliant way.

 

These videos are from a concert at the jazz festival in Umeå, Sweden. This also includes a song that is not on the album.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is my Lira review of the record.

 

Det är långt ifrån alltid det blir särskilt lyckat när exempelvis folkmusik kläs i storbandsdräkt, men så är verkligen inte fallet med Månmors gästabud. Botnia Rhythm Orchestra är ett finsk-svenskt storband som är verksamt på båda sidor av Östersjön, och folkmusikgruppen Ulvens Döttrar hör hemma mitt i densamma, närmare bestämt på Åland.

All musik i detta samarbete är nyskriven, huvudsakligen av en av trions medlemmar, och ypperligt arrangerad. Variationen är mycket stor, från den inledande, suggestiva Genom jorden, vars sångstämmor slingrar sig om varandra, till den kraftfulla Davaj, med tunga rytmer och rått nyckelharpsspel.
De tre systrarna Grüssner som utgör Ulvens Döttrar är huvudsakligen sångerskor, men deras inslag av bland annat mungigor smälter oväntat väl ihop med storbandet, och just det utgör även en otippad klangbotten till basklarinettintrot i en låt. Månmors gästabud är inte folkmusik som kompas av ett storband, inte ens upplevs det som att det är två olika grupper som spelar tillsammans, utan här smälter verkligen rösterna och BRO samman till en enhet. Därför, och inte minst tack vare starka låtar och mycket skickliga musiker, är detta en alldeles utmärkt skiva.

NPR’s Tiny desk concerts

The American radio channel NPR has for several years been making a series entitled Tiny desk concerts, in which artists do short performances live, not in a regular radio studio but behind a desk in an office. More than 400 such shows have been made, and the videos are available online.

 

This is a true goldmine of music, including a multitude of genre like jazz, pop, funk and country, but also classical string quartets, improv, afrobeat, flamenco, and classical and folk music from all around the world. Every concert lasts between around 10 and 25 minutes. Below I embed some of my favorite shows, but I strongly urge you all to go through the massive archives and fine your own favorites.

 

The Roma brass band Fanfare Ciocarlia from Romania puts on a highly intense show, as always.

 

 

Paolo Angeli from Sardinia takes the prize for the weirdest instrument, with his heavily modified baritone guitar that’s fitted with several sets of strings, foot controlled hammers to play bass lines, effect units, and much more.

 

 

The Kronos Quartet are magnificent as usual.

 

One-of-a-kind double bass virtuoso Renaud Garcia-Fons did an amazing solo performance.

 

Somehow the 21 (!) musicians and two cheerleaders that form Mucca Pazza managed to squeeze in behind (and on) the desk, and even found space to do choreographys for their hilarious take on marching band music.

 

So Percussion picked up various objects from the office, including coffee mugs and an amplified cactus (!), and used them as instruments in their concert.

Samael – Ceremony of opposites

When I first started listening to music in the early 1990’s, I was heavily into metal (and still am). In 1994 or ’95 I bought a double compilation CD featuring one track each by many of the most significant black metal bands of that period. This was a genre that I was just beginning to discover, and I found several great bands through that compilation, some of which will be featured here on Rasmusic later on.

One track stood out from the others a lot, since it was an instrumental piece, and it ended with a music box playing. The tune is called The Dark, the band was Samael, and I soon purchased the three records they had released at that time. I still consider the third one, Ceremony of opposites, to be one of the best metal albums ever.

In 1997 Samael played their first concert in my hometown Stockholm, but as I was not yet 18 years old I could not go, which of course made me hugely disappointed. So much so that when I learned, about a  month later, that Samael would be playing at the Dynamo open air festival in the Netherlands that spring, I decided to go there to see them. And I did! I had never been to a festival before, but I travelled alone for about 20 hours by train to get to Eindhoven and this gigantic festival with probably 80.000 or so visitors. It might have been crazy to do it, but I had a great time and went to many fantastic concerts. This tells you a little bit about how much I was into this band…

 

Samael are still active, almost 30 years into their career, and this year they have been performing Ceremony of opposites live in its entirety. The excellent show in this video is from Hellfest in France.

 

 

Refused live 2015

When I was a teenager in the 1990’s, punk was one of the genres of music that I was into the most, and I went to hundreds of punk gigs in those years. One of the bands that I saw over and over again was Refused. They toured pretty much constantly until they split up in 1998, and during a period of three to four years I saw them live probably 15 times or more.

Most of those gigs took place in tiny cellar clubs, and since Refused always put on a great live show and were moving around on stage almost all the time, the small room very quickly became steaming hot.

The band reunited in 2012 to do a world tour, and in the summer of 2015 they released their first album in 18 years, entitled Freedom. The live show below was taped when the record had just been put out and features some of the new songs as well as old ones. As you can see, Refused have still maintained quite an intensity on stage.