• The Return of the Journal

    14 Mar 2008, 20:04 by sea3

    Yes, it has been along time since I posted something here. Fucking hell, that must be understatment of the century. Anywho...

    Lots of things has happened since the last post.
    Bolywool is releasing a retrospective, and I have mixed and played on Cocoanut Groove's upcoming record (actually, we are label mates now), and so on and so forth.

    Since I am currently taking Cultural Studies yet again (cannot get enough of that shit), I intend to put these theories into some kind of empirical use. So, every now and then, but not all that few and far between, I am going to analyse a song or an album as a cultural text from either a post-structuralistic and/or post-modern POV. Amen. There you have it.

    Back to sipping cheap wine.

  • My Wrens story is now a comic strip

    13 Jun 2007, 04:05 by popgurl

    I am a very lucky popgurl, what with Great Moments in Rock 'n' Roll comic strip artist Joel Orff having found my journal and blog. Now he's gone and illustrated the story I posted about the Wrens on this journal way back when.

    Previously he illustrated my R.E.M. story from this journal and a story I told about Thirdimension on my blog Online Fandom.

    I love his work. I identify with so many of the strips, even the ones that aren't about me. They're simple, touching, and capture what rock and roll is all about to fans like me, even when they aren't really about music at all.

    R.E.M., Thirdimension, The Wrens
  • 2006 Highlights

    7 Jan 2007, 17:59 by popgurl

    There weren’t enough records that really wowwed me in 2006 to warrant a best-of list (how I envy those who managed to come up with 50-100 things to be excited about!), so here instead is a music-related highlights of 2006:

    January: The year started off great with the arrival of several cd-roms from a fellow Madrugada fan in France with dozens of bootleg concert recordings spanning their career. So much great stuff to plow through, so many different versions of songs I love so much. Heaven. I’ve only learned to ski in the last few years, and one of the best moments of the year was feeling confident on my feet at last, swooping down a gorgeous empty run in Aspen with Black Mambo in my headphones.

    February: Well, it’s a short month. What do you want?

    March: It’s always cause for celebration when The Buzzcocks put out a new record, and Flat Pack Philosophy was their best in a long while. I also got The World According To Pablo in March and that record got lots and lots of plays in the months that followed. …
  • I'm a comic strip!

    16 Nov 2006, 14:32 by popgurl

    If you're not familiar with Joel Orff's Great Moments in Rock 'n' Roll comics (http://www.jorff.com/rock), you really ought to be. They're brilliant illustrations of poignant moments that really capture the essence of what being a rnr fan is really all about. I did a blog post on Online Fandom (http://www.onlinefandom.com) about his strip a few weeks ago and wrote:


    Joel Orff is a cartoonist who (among other things) illustrates “great moments in rock and roll” that people send him. He’s got a book of them, and a website where he keeps putting up new ones and invites you to send him your story. It’s a super cool way to collect and tell fan stories. The illustrations really lend something more than the narratives alone.

    On the book-plug site, Orff says this:

    My goal with the Great Moments in Rock ‘n’ Roll series has always been to entertain, and to present people’s stories in a respectful way. My favorites are the ones that someone may have never thought was worth telling…
  • One of my favorite pop songs

    5 May 2006, 19:58 by popgurl

    Today's Its A Trap (http://www.itsatrap.com) plugs one of my favorite pop songs of all time. Here's the blurb on it:

    Clocking in at just under three minutes, here's a heavenly slice of hooks and harmony based pure pop perfection from Malmö's criminally overlooked Thirdimension (one of the bands featured on IAT's first sampler). "Hundred miles an hour" was the b-side of their super-catchy 1998 first single "This time" and, along with four other excellent numbers, can be downloaded from their website. Few songwriters can compete with Björn Stegmann's knack for hooks, and across the board their musicianship is stellar. This song, recorded almost entirely in a single take, features more hooks than ought to be legal, delicious harmonies, booming bass, perfect drum riffs, and catchy as all get out guitar, complete with trademark Swedish hand claps. Who could ask for more?

    The song can be downloaded here:
  • Why I don't get excited about the thought of live shows anymore...

    30 Mar 2006, 03:15 by popgurl

    Aside from having little kids who have to be at school by 8 am and the fact that I fall asleep like clockwork come 10 pm, I have been mulling over why, when live music has been so integral to my life for so long, I never seem to want to do it anymore. So I thought I'd look at my top 50 last.fm bands for clues... Here's what I discovered:

    Bands in my Top 50 I’ve seen live:

    I guess 18 out of 50 isn’t bad, especially since some of them I’ve seen repeatedly and most were fantastic concert-going experiences:

    2 R.E.M.
    4 The Wrens
    5 The Jayhawks
    7 Thin White Rope
    11 The Feelies
    12 Bryan Ferry
    13 Bettie Serveert
    16 Franz Ferdinand
    16 The Go-Betweens
    19 Buzzcocks
    21 Love Tractor
    25 Fastball
    29 Patti Smith
    29 Chris Isaak
    37 The Soundtrack of Our Lives
    39 Interpol
    40 Neil Finn
    43 Lloyd Cole

    Bands that could play nearby if I got lucky:

    Kind of sad that there are only 8 bands on there I really stand a shot of seeing at all living where I do (Kansas)…
  • How a nice american girl fell in love with swedish pop…

    21 Feb 2006, 18:11 by popgurl

    From time to time visitors to my profile wonder how an American such as myself comes to have so many Swedes in my charts. The short answer is Parasol Records, a small indie web record store (http://www.parasol.com). Parasol was started by an old friend of mine in my hometown of Urbana Illinois. They have a love of all pop swedish, and do a brilliant job of digging stuff up that we’d never hear on this side of the ocean otherwise, describing it, putting up streams and free downloads to hear it, importing it, and sometimes releasing or re-releasing it. Parasol puts out cheap compilation cds that often feature Swedish bands.

    I started with their raving about The Soundtrack of Our Lives. I don’t like about a third of their songs (the harder ones), like about half, and LOVE the remainder ("Nevermore" is my favorite). Thirdimension followed after I downloaded one of their songs from the parasol site. I was in the frozen vegetable aisle (or was it ice cream?) of the grocery store…
  • 2005 favorites

    16 Dec 2005, 18:18 by popgurl

    Records released in 2005 (the year of the Swede) I listened to most this year, in no particular order:

    The caesers: Paper Tigers
    catchy pure pop at its finest, that song in the iPod commercial is only the tip of the pleasure iceberg

    Madrugada: The Deep End
    the line from a madrugada review "franz ferdinand are boys, madrugada are men" sticks in my head. kind of a Big Rock Arena record but wonderful nonetheless. if any band deserves to be international megastars i think it's them, which coming from me may end up more of a curse on them than a blessing.

    Peter Bjorn and John: Falling Out (technically a 2004 release, but only released in the US this year)
    really smart, interesting arrangements, remarkably coherent whole, holds up to many repeat listenings, a wonderfully well crafted pop album

    Sambassadeur: Sambassadeur
    lovely lazy swedish pop.

    David Fridlund: Amaterasu (Sweden, 2004, USA 2005)
    sure he whines too much, but he's got a real songwriting gift and is an awfully good musician