Saturday, August 13, 2016

Strangers in the night

I have a love/hate relationship towards traveling, although I really enjoy visiting other cities and countries, I am truly a home-kinda-guy.
I love being at home, here in my comfort zone, just relaxing and doing pretty much nothing.
There is so much going on all the time at work where I´m the main safety officer, and then we have the band I`m playing in that takes a lot of time too. Blue Cow Kent.
Well, we just had a nice summer break but we´re soon picking up right where we left before summer and will continue working on the next full length album.
And of course, I must admit that I find inspiration from the places I visit when I travel, so when it comes to writing music I know that some songs haven´t come alive if I hadn´t been to Athens, London, Dublin and Berlin.
Last weekend I spent a weekend at one of the most haunted castles in Sweden, namely Häringe Castle, south of Stockholm.
A very beautiful place by sea that was built around 1657 where several Swedish royalties have lived.
It is said to be haunted, both by friendly and un-friendly ghosts. But I can´t say that there were any encounters with undesirable entities of any kind.
No matter if you believe in ghosts or not, this castle sure has it´s magic rooms, you simply can touch the atmosphere.
But like I said, home is where the heart is.

San Fransisco is another town I want to go to, not just because my favorite band Journey comes from the city by the bay but also because many classic movies have been filmed on location here.
We also find some Frisco kids in the alternative pop band Beta State that just released their new EP Timeless. Well, new and new? It features the same songs as their 2015 Glass EP plus two new tracks, Lullaby and the title track Timeless.
If you have their previous EP, you can do without this one but if not and feel like listening to some contemporary OneRepublic-ish pop. Timeless might not be timeless, but certainly a treat for a drive in the car.
Let´s go east a few hours (by plane that is) and knock on the door to Denver, the hometown of electro pop band 888.
Their debut EP The Decades is a positive affair, I don´t mind this dance-oriented pop sound but the Zara Larsson-like melodies are disturbing to say the least.
Island Records believe in this trio and you will probably hear more from 888 in the future, their decade has just started.
Denver as a city, isn´t calling for me these days like it used to back in the 90´s when NHL pro Peter Forsberg played in Colorado Avalanche.
L.A, the city of the angels on the other hand, is always up to date with new promising artists. This is the metropolis of rock when we´re talking classic bands and upcoming acts.
Los Angeles based duo Sleeping Wolf started out really impressive with the 2015 single Blindfold and even if the song isn´t featured on their debut EP Star Fire, their 6 new tracks including the fab new single Ghost, are absolutely charming.
Electro pop/rock with 80´s flavor simply cannot fail. Ohyeah, it´s c-c-c-catchy.

Ballito is a small town in South Africa, not far from Durban. This is the hometown of rock band What Now that released the great album Move Like Sinners in 2013, they relocated to London, England and signed to Sumerian Records.
What Now are now called New Volume and re-released their 2013 album under the title Envy with the change of songtitles of two tracks, Turn off the lights and the lovely single One touch.
They might be Londoners from South Africa now, but they sound more like an Aussie rock band.
London, oh London, is the birthplace for many big artists such as Phil Collins for example.
Collins with an impressive 100 million records sold worldwide has personally curated a collection of deluxe editions of his 8 classic studio albums released between 1981-2010.
All newly remastered and featuring rare demos, b-sides and live versions previously unreleased on CD. The complete albums box Take A Look At Me Now also includes liner notes from Collins about each album where we get to know that Both Sides is his personal favorite.
Collins recently announced that he was no longer officially retired and is planning to tour and write a new album, fans can also look forward to his brutally honest autobiography Not Dead Yet to be released in October. Marvelous.
Another majestic box is The Last of The Teenage Idols by Alex Harvey, born in Glasgow, Scotland in 1935. He was a big influence on artists like John Lydon, Bon Scott and Nick Cave.
This is a fantastic box including a beautiful book and 14 CD´s spanning his entire career from the early 60´s albums of blues and soul to the highlights with The Sensational Alex Harvey Band.
The SAHB albums between 1972-1978 cannot be ignored, those are an important part of history of rock music. They left behind a massive legacy of smart glamrock and cocky prog, SAHB were truly outsiders of rock and roll.
In 1982, Alex Harvey suffered a fatal heart attack before his 47th birthday but he will always be remembered for epic songs like Framed, The Faith Healer, Harp, The Tale of The Giant Stone Eater, Action Strasse, Boston Tea Party etc.

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