Sunday, February 28, 2010

KOMSI KOMSI!

We will make some good noise, we promise!




Ny rockkväll på WISERS (Sandgärdsg 21 - bredvid Viva) i Borås.

Vi börjar på FREDAG 19.e MARS kl.21-02

GRATIS INTRÄDE!

Vi ska spela "bra musik för bra folk" - punk/rock/metal/alternative men absolut inga MTV-hits eller tråkiga 80/70-tals klassiker!

WISERS är ett trevligt ställe där man kan umgås, festa, prata och lyssna på bra musik och ta sig ett par öl!

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(I framtiden kommer vi även att ha liveband - om du har ett band och vill spela, kontakta oss (Greg eller Kristoffer, admins) genom att skicka ett meddelande till någon av oss)

Friday, February 26, 2010

WHY SO BITTER?...THE REASONS WHY I LOVE AND HATE MUSIC.

WHY am I so bitter and hateful towards the modern music scene yet at the same time claim to be such a music fan...? Well, many people ask me this so I thought that I'd put it all in to this one blog post and then I can refer the rest of the world to it in the future....prepare for a bit of a journey!



HOW I RECKON IT ALL STARTED - It was sometime in the mid 80s and a young me lived in the town of Whitchurch, a suburb of Bristol, UK. This was before exciting TV and the internet so to pass the time of day we used to this thing called "reading". At that young age it was dead popular to read comics, THE BEANO and THE DANDY being the top ones, followed by WIZZER 'N' CHIPS. I however opted to read this one called NUTTY as everyone else read the popular ones. A few years later NUTTY's most popular character "Bananaman" was turned into a cartoon show. As soon as this happened they changed a lot of the original humor, characters and plot to dumb it down a bit, the comic too changed to match the TV show...it wasn't fair as I didn't like the new version and suddenly everyone in my school knew about Bananaman. But...they only knew the TV and new version of him, and that upset me. People even started saying "hey look they now have a comic with Bananaman in it!" I had read it for years and I thought that they liked the wrong version just because it was on the TV...and this became the template for what I liked and how I felt for the rest of my life...now lets hop about a bit.

Forgive me for the ol' copy-paste from WIKI on some of it but we're going to quickly explore some of the major factors of why and what music means to me:

* The 50s - Rock is born and rebellion takes place.
* The MC5 - The first dangerous rock band with a political agenda and a message.
* The Monkees - The world's first fabricated boy band.
* Crass - The most important punk band to mix politics, social awareness art and lifestyle with music.
* Dischord Records - One of the earliest and most important independent record labels to work still today with the same ethics.

THE 1950s

There was no rock music yet, and children were basically smaller versions of their parents until suddenly something happened, something with music...Bill Haley, Jerry Lee Lewis and ELVIS! Rock was born and suddenly there was danger and rebellion in the world all because of the music. People had to seek out new and exciting music, the music of a generation.

THE 1960s!



THE MC5 - FROM WIKI - MC5 of this period was politically influenced by the Marxism/Maoism of the Black Panther Party and Fred Hampton Black Panther Party founder Huey P. Newton prompted John Sinclair to found the White Panthers, a militant leftist organization of white people working to assist the Black Panthers. "Under the "guidance" of John Sinclair (who dubbed his enterprise "Trans-Love Energies" and refused to be categorized as a traditional manager), the MC5 were soon involved in left-wing politics: Sinclair was active with the White Panther Party and Fifth Estate. In their early career, the MC5 had a politically provocative stage show.



THE MONKEES (with help from wiki) THE FIRST FABRICATED BOY-BAND - Aspiring filmmakers Bob Rafelson and Bert Schneider were inspired by the Beatles' film A Hard Day's Night to develop a television series about a fictional rock 'n' roll group. Several hundred actors and musicians auditioned for the roles. Screen Gems head of music, Don Kirshner, Thomas "Tommy" Boyce and Robert "Bobby" Hart were contacted to secure music. They contributed four demo recordings to the pilot, featuring their own voices. They set up a rehearsal space and rented instruments for the group to practice playing, but it quickly became apparent they would not be in shape in time for the series debut. Critics of the Monkees observed that they were simply the "prefab four", a made-for-TV knockoff of the Beatles.

THE 1980s



CRASS - FROM WIKI: Crass were an English punk band, formed in 1977, which promoted anarchism as a political ideology, way of living, and as a resistance movement. They advocated direct action, animal rights, and environmentalism. The band both utilised and advocated a "Do It Yourself" approach. Crass also criticized and attempted to subvert the dominant culture with messages promoting feminism, anti-racism, anti-war, and anti-globalization.



DISCHORD RECORDS - FROM WIKI: Dischord Records is a Washington, D.C.-based independent record label specializing in the independent punk music. The label is most notable for having maintained a strict do-it-yourself ethic, producing all of its albums by itself and selling them at discount prices without the help of major distributors.

***************

SO, there was a bit a background. We'll go back to the 80s and me now. It was about this time that BREAKDANCING was the best thing ever and to me it was a cool new street culture. Of course I had my own break dance gang (my two cousins that lived over the road and my best mate) but it never really left the flattened cardboard box in my parents garage...as long as my dad's car wasn't there. As a soundtrack to break dance to I used to hire the movies BREAKDANCE and BREAKDANCE 2 (ELECTRIC BOOGALOO), hold my stereo up to the TV and record the music from the film to a cassette. Then came the slightly more edgy film about the culture called BEAT STREET. This had more underground music in it and a less day-glo theme including some of the rap/hip hop founding fathers such as Melee Mel, Doug E.Fresh and more. I started to like these sort of bands/artists along with stuff like Grandmaster Flash etc. I'd sit every week listening to the top 40 radio hits waiting for one of these groups to be on the radio and not understanding why they were not. There was just boring music that I didn't like. No Doug E.Fresh, no Grandmaster Flash... just stuff like Ricky Astley and Kylie & Jason. By this time of course I already knew that the Stock Aitkin Waterman production crew was behind all these acts and they just took soap stars and made records in a production line style factory. Why didn't people realise that there were good bands out there? I just didn't get it. I hated that people were buying and listening to this fabricated rubbish.

Already dissapointed by the charts at a young age in the late 80s I started to take solace in rock music. The big bands at the time in the charts were bands like Def Leppard, Europe, Whitesnake, ZZ Top and Bon Jovi. I started to listen to these bands because with no rap in the charts that was what was appealing to me at the time, it wasn't the production line rubbish and what was the other choices? Simply Red, UB40, Lisa Stansfield, The Communards...p-lease!. The town I lived in had a small yet dedicated rock following, mostly older kids in my school and I latched onto them and they started to guide me. But in this small town the older rock kids were quite elite and had their opinions on these bands that I liked.

* Whitesnake = "Deep Purple were better, Steve Vai was only good when he was with Zappa, they look like girls".
* Def Leppard = "They were good up to Pyromania but Hysteria was a sell out attempt to be a pop band".
* Europe = "They use keyboards!" (That was a big taboo).

And so they started to turn me on to other bands that they liked. I did start to see their point that these rock bands were just "pop with guitars" as they said when some of the girls in our school started to like Bon Jovi because "he was hot". In my eyes there was not much difference between them and Kylie & Jason after a while.



So next in line in my musical journey was thrash metal. It was the late 80s and the "big four" were ruling the scene: Megadeth, Metallica, Slayer and Anthrax. This was great, a place where I belonged. I grew my hair long and started to dress the part. In my small town this led to many beatings by the trendy guys, people started to treat me differently but I was dedicated to the music AND the lifestyle. You see this made up a big part of it for me and what I think about bands these days, it's not enough to just dress the part, you have to have lived it and bled it to be "real". Maybe even you have to have suffered for it. There were a few rock/metal fans who dressed the part but they didn't really seem to know or care about the music and then there were those who like me were solidly dedicated.

I soon realised (and had pointed out to me) that although I thought that I was making a rebelious stand against conformity by liking these bands that it too was getting very trendy. Metallica released "...and Justice For All" and suddenly they were on the radio and even the TV with the song "One". They were in every rock magazine over and over and this started getting me to look deeper. I still liked Thrash but I just liked more underground bands. Testament, Acid Reign, Slammer, Overkill and so on. Around this time a lot of the punk bands from the 80s started to blend into the trash and rock scene too by totally changing their styles and looks and trying to fit in. Later in life when punk became popular again they would try to pretend that in didn't happen.

Guilty: of being punk, then going all rock and then pretending that they never did - DISCHARGE (Grave New World), BRIAN BAKER (Of Minor Threat/Dag Nasty/Bad Religion with the band JUNKYARD), AGNOSTIC FRONT, GANG GREEN, 7 SECONDS, STEVE JONES (Sex Pistols) and many more.


*BRIAN BAKER FAR RIGHT


*IS IT POISON? NOPE, IT'S DISCHARGE!


*STEVE JONES....HEROIN IS ONE HELL OF A DRUG.


Thrash metal after a while started to dwindle and got boring and for some reason with music like Red Hot Chili Peppers making big waves at the same time more thrash bands started to experiment with funk. Rap also started to blend in, most famously Public Enemy with Anthrax. Anthrax also started to appear in the mainstream charts, it seemed that with all avenues explored that Thrash was branching out and becoming stale. The next logical step for us that liked to avoid the mainstream was of course...Death Metal.

*********************

Quick pause for thought...

Lets just take a moment out now to talk about WHY it was so important to avoid the mainstream. In my town and within my little group of rock fans (and more importantly with the older kids) we liked rock music because it wasn't commercial. It was the 80s and becoming the 90s and it was all day-glo scrunchies, bad make-up, shell suits etc and we really hated it. The regular people, pop fans, to us were stupid sheep just following whatever they were fed from the charts. It was us that were against the mainstream. Twice a year at school there was a disco and a group of us rock kids would have to bring our own records to hear a rock song, and we were lucky if it got played. As soon as a rock band entered the charts it was a win for us, but as soon as the trendy kids started to know about them and like them then it was over as far as we were concerned. It was time to find something else. We were NOT trendy. We were REAL, long haired, messy, smokin' drinkin' playing loud guitars in the garage, hanging out in bus shelters, ripped clothes, 2nd hand jeans, the real metal kids. We were not like them (the trendy kids) they would ride round in their cars and find us on the street and when they did they would beat us up because they hated us. "Jitters" they used to call us. I have a scar on my face that has been there since I was 16 because I was a "Jitter". So we were not like them, didn't want to be like them. They were stupid sheep, we were something else.

We cried when words like "Hardcore" and "Garage" were used in rave music.

DEATH METAL

Scott Burns, James Murphy, Dan Seagrave. Few good bands, some still float my boat today but it got really tired quite quickly. Grindcore....that's another matter. The "classic" line up of Napalm Death will play for me every day in heaven.



GRUNGE

With death metal doing a belly flop there was a bit of a gap for a bit where nothing happened for a bit, then suddenly came GRUNGE and the band that spearheaded the movement was of course NIRVANA.

Now...can we call it a movement? By now I was about 16 or 17 and not so green anymore. Nirvana were introduced to me via the charts. I didn't have to look for them or discover them, they were thrown in our faces. We looked into their earlier album on Sub Pop but when a band is meant to be super-alternative and makes its break-through on a major label backed by videos and a chart hit single, you know it's not an accident. Nirvana were not a band that made their slow way up through the ranks to find fame but the product of a major record label looking to create the "next big thing". And they did. Within months they were a huge band. A huge ROCK band, but the problem with them and with grunge was that suddenly we had something that wasn't pop, but it wasn't quite metal or rock...and suddenly it was super hip! No longer was the secret rock world hidden away but out there in the open and all over the place, people who would never have listened to rock before started to like grunge.

This was a bit of an outrage as suddenly those same guys that drove round in their Capri's looking for us long haired kids to beat us up were listening to the same music as us. But they didn't "get it". It was just a fad. Rock music to us was NOT a fad.

Grunge caught on fire like a straw house, many bands that were considered "punk" before were suddenly grunge. L7 and Mudhoney among them.



Suddenly the world was wrapped up in alternative music and bands that were anywhere in the obscure could be grunge too....Faith No More, The Pixies, They Might Be Giants, Husker Du...you name it! Record companies lurked round Seattle with contracts in hand to find a new smash. Like most things around this time they came up with more radio friendly versions to sell to the stupid. Bands like Pearl Jam, and one deal worse...Stiltskin. If you don't know who Stiltskin are (or Babylon Zoo or Collapsed Lung) let me tell you that it's the price you pay when to make your band big you sell one of your songs to a TV advert.

A well known teen-magazine "Smash Hits" in the UK published an article on "grungers" and "how to dress grunge". This was absolutely a sign. Most of us were by this time living in squats, on the dole, living hand to mouth and Smash Hits does a feature on how we should be...when our lifestyle was in a teen magazine, that was BADDDD!

Grunge started to become more and more mainstream and a bunch of bands that might have been good (Rage Against The Machine, The Levellers) just became names of armies of kids t-shirts.

In time grunge gave way to Industrial music, which was basically heavy metal with computers. Lasted about a week. And then the record companies found something else to sell us....

PUNK!



I was no stranger to punk by the time Green Day came along, thrash, death metal and grunge had all blended in punk bands and I was even no stranger to Green Day and thought that it was very odd to see them suddenly one day on UK TV playing "Welcome To Paradise". This was their first big hit the in the UK but....their record company had released it at least twice before, along with the songs "Longview" and "Basket Case" in an attempt to get the band a hit single.

This was no small D.I.Y band working their way up through the ranks to fame but a band that was singled out and chosen by a major label to be famous. With the record company's backing they had the power to smash their way into the charts and into stardom. It was stupid and unfair that there were so many great punk bands out there but the one with the money behind them is the one that gets famous. Which was to be honest far against the politics of punk music in the first place. Green Day didn't change their style (yet) but they did sell out.

The thing is that PUNK has ethics that go along with it. One of the great punk questions is "who was the first grindcore band". Many people will rattle off bands that played fast in the 80s but the thing that sets apart them from grindcore bands is the punk ethic. Bands can play almost any style of music and still be punk if they are punk in their ethics. Take CHUMBAWAMBA for example. They changed their style from anarcho-punk to pop hits in order to get their messages across. In 1998 CHUMBAWAMBA did the unthinkable and released "Tubthumping" breaking into the charts at #2. The thing is that the rest of the songs on the album the single came from touched on issues such as domestic violence, religion, racism, fascism, war, homosexuality, information technology, pop culture, pornography, resistance, working class rights, and consumerism. The band also changed their lyrics when when performing live at the Brit Awards to "New Labour sold out the dockers, just like they'll sell out the rest of us", and later poured a jug of water over UK Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott, who was in the audience.

At the same time GREEN DAY were rising, punk was on the up. OFFSPRING were doing the same thing and BAD RELIGION had already released an album on a major label (Stranger Than Fiction). So that was the next thing...it took a while to take off but after a while punk was the next big thing. Green Day today are a mere fraction of a shadow of the band that they once were. Some other bands that might have been as big saw what was happening and decided to not go down that path. NOFX for example refused to make any more videos or do any interviews after they saw what might happen to them.

Thing is, when you are a part of an alternative music scene, weather as a creator or a consumer you are making a statement to be against the stream and be alternative. If you are supporting the mainstream you cannot be alternative. When David Beckham is photographed wearing an EXODUS t-shirt or an IRON MAIDEN t-shirt is he a rock fan? Has he grown up in the hardship and conditions that make someone turn to being a rock fan or is he just a chavy-football player in a rock t.shirt?

In another way I find that class and money actually seem to play a part. It was rare to see a rich rock fan years ago. Rock fans (used to) seem to be born from hardship, or at least working class. It was an honest music, a true music. Was.

Despite this, punk became the world in which I found my niche. I dove deep into it an uncovered as much as I could - it was a wonderful free and honest music with ethics that I loved and could believe in. From political and social ethics to other things I could believe in.

FROM WIKI: One notable attitude common within the punk subculture is the opposition to selling out, which refers to abandonment of personal values in exchange for wealth, status or power. Because anti-establishment and anti-capitalist attitudes are such an important part of the punk subculture, a network of independent record labels, venues and distributors has developed. Some punk bands have chosen to break from this independent system and work within the established system of major labels. Some punks argue that these artists have betrayed their communities, and that their creative integrity has become compromised. Another meaning of selling out is for a punk band to change its musical style, such as to progressive rock, pop or heavy metal. Selling out also has the meaning of adopting a more conservative, mainstream lifestyle and ideology. The do it yourself (DIY) ideal is common in the punk scene, especially in terms of music recording and distribution, concert promotion, zines, posters and flyers.

FROM CONSUMER TO CREATOR...



In the early-mid 90s I was playing in a punk band called YELLOWSKIN. We didn't get so much done because at this time punk wasn't the most popular style of music so there were not many places to play. In the later 90s and until 2003 I played for already rising local punk band MR.ZIPPY and we started to change things.

If you have seen the film AMERICAN HARDCORE there a bit where Ian Mckaye speaks about how the scene formed and how they started to put together their first records etc. This was very much how it was with our punk band. Now, I will not go into EVERYTHING here but some things that I learned from the band.

DIY - putting out your own records is a very hard thing to do! It costs just about as much to release a 7" single as it does to release a CD album. And pretty much just as much to release a CD single. So you might as well release a CD album, anything else is just pretty much for promotional values. Getting a record label to pick you up is quite a hard thing to do for a small band and most punk bands do opt to put out their own records. At this time is was way before MP3s, Myspace etc so that was pretty much the only way to get yourself out there. We released a CD and sold it ourselves, cost a lot of money. Booked our own tours, which was a hard, hard thing to do. On the road was sleeping in the back of a van or on friend's floors. This was DIY, and rising up from the dirt, out of the small town we lived in until we got signed by a larger label, as well as a lot of our friend's bands too.

WHAT LABELS DO...

A record label is a bit like a bank with a know-how. If you are signed by a label they pretty much just lend you the money to put out an album. They might pay for some things but mostly the band pays itself and then you spend the rest of the time paying them back. A label itself doesn't count for instant stardom, there are a bunch of people who fix other things.

DISTRIBUTOR - these are the people who must get the big pile of albums pressed out to the shops, otherwise they would just sit there, of course they take a cut.

PUBLISHER - the publisher is the person who looks at which of your songs you play live or are played on the radio/TV and collect the money for you accordingly. They also take a cut.

PROMOTER - Someone must make sure that people know about you otherwise you just sit there. The promoter goes out and tells people about you via adverts etc. They take a cut, and you pay.



When you read a rock magazine, what are you reading about? Who writes it? Are they saying these things because they want to or because someone has told them to? While trying to promote the first Mr.Zippy album I found out that the CDs that magazines give away are just a money-making scam. They charge the bands to be on them but they do give you a discount on an advert in the magazine if you combine the two. If you want a good review then this is the best way to get it...

A few years back I read a rather good review in CLOSE-UP magazine for the band OCTOBER FILE...bit of a boring band, bit of a boring record but a great review. A few pages on and you could see a TWO-page advert for PLASTIC HEAD DISTRIBUTION... it might have just been a coincidence that the bassist of October File owns PHD...

When you see a big band on tour, or a smaller band and you wonder how the support band got onto the tour know this...most of the time they have to buy their way onto it. Sometimes even they will have a bidding auction to see who gets the slot.

THE RISE AND DEMISE...

The punk scene between 1998-2004 was very good in the UK and this is kind of what happened and what we got out of it and how it all fell apart.

The scene grew and grew and suddenly everyone was in a punk band, they were all over. All of our friends had bands and when we went on tour or played out of town we met more bands and made more friends. Most bands released their own records or were on small labels. Kids all over the UK started to take action...no punk in their town? They'd start their own place to put on bands. This happened all over and suddenly there was a great touring circuit for all us bands. We stayed in touch with people from all over the UK and beyond, music bringing us together.

People also started to take on ethics. Punk bands all over were developing a conciouness and their own set of values away from the norm, it was fantastic. You had tour circuits, ideas, options and great, great people. No one was really in competition but was all together, everyone wanted in and everyone was involved. We changed the way people looked at things, we took the music out of the big arenas and into the small halls and clubs. Without major support bands could tour for 3 months (we did it!) playing to 500-1000 every night.

We took the money away from the people who were in the scene just to make money from the bands and did things ourselves, we created places where people under the drinking age could see a band.



Fanzines, clubs, people DOING, people SHARING, away from the mainstream, away from everything that we'd been told that we needed, and people's thoughts and ideas were being shaped into a positive, productive way.

Then something went wrong...

In 2002 a new TV channel called P-Rock was started. This was a great blessing and helped a lot. It was in stark contrast to channels like MTV and even MTV2 because it played music all the time and lots of punk, and UK punk. If any of our friends had made a video it got onto the channel and really helped them. It was an underground channel. It really helped out the UK punk scene too because they would play our friend's bands alongside the bigger American punk bands. But then they got greedy and started to accept advertising and to play less "Punk" punk. Like Avril Lavinge, No Doubt etc...which then put some of our friends bands into the same category as these bands and started to weaken the bond...then it all fell down. The more selfish and commercial element crept in, and bands starting dissapearing off to major labels never to be seen again, or seen too much (100 Reasons, Capdown, Lost Prophets, Bullet For My Valentine...etc)

THEN WHAT THE FUCK HAPPENED?!?!?....THIS!



I was off in Sweden enjoying everything and wondering where and when I might find an untainted punk scene...it didn't happen. Punk shot off into so many directions that no one was really quite sure what they could call what anymore and then the major labels pounced when we were weak. They started to bring back "rock" but not good rock, the 80s-ego-fueled, make-up, all look and no substance rock....80s rock! Motley Crue led the pack by having a quite funny book written about them and that was that.

All those great underground ideas, all that freedom, all those independent places and people...gone. Replaced by rock stars from yesteryear and arena tours once more.

Now-a-days punk and rock features so much in our mainstream days, from shows like L.A Ink and The Osbournes to rock bands in Eurovision and the songs on Pop Idol. It's been diluted so much now that hardly anyone is thinking for themselves anymore, just what they are being told. Hardly anyone digs for good honest music and just settles for what they can reach. The music seems to be a lot more about fashion and what is trendy also....for example lets compare these two pictures.

A 70's AC/DC and LOSTPROPHETS





How did this happen?

And now we have:

* Rock bands on national TV performing songs that they didn't write for a pop audience.

* Bands that buy "all the right clothes" to look the part writing songs about things they have never seen.

* Bands giving their songs to multinational companies to sell you a phone or a holiday or advertise a TV show.


...And people ask me why I get so bitter...

I love music because I've spent so much of my life listening to it and creating it and getitng involved in it, it's words have formed me but...

As a creator and a consumer I consider a lot of what passes as rock/punk/metal today a fake shadow, a McDonalds. It's like if I ran a small deli and suddenly a McDonalds, a Burger King and a Subway opened up next to me. The mainstream dilutes the true and real. Just because you wear the clothes doesn't mean it can be in your blood. The scene and bands I love were killed by the mainstream, now it's hard to find the honesty, the passion, the ethics. So next time you see me throwing empty beer cans at some dressed-up, new-clothed, make-up wearing weekend rockers posing their way through a trad-rock tune on TV and ask me why I get so mad and bitter remember that I've been this way all my life, that I've dedicated most of my life, spending it poor, working, sweating, bleeding (but mostly happy) in the rock scene...to me it's like someone waving around a picture of a cake and trying to tell everyone what a great cake it is...and they believe it!

GIVE ME DEATH! OR GIVE ME TRUTH!



Thursday, February 25, 2010

Evolution of the female role model...

Somewhere, somehow it went wrong...can you spot where?





















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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

We're taking over this town!



A new rock night here in Borås - myself and my friend Kristoffer will kick off the night, hoping to do it about once a week and include bands from time to time. We will play all the music we would want to hear at a club - ie: good punk, rock, metal and other alternative tunes but without all the top 10 MTV hits and 80s rubbish.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Melodifestivalen is not for rock!

THERE is a scene in Oliver Stone's THE DOORS movie when Jim Morrison walks in on the rest of the band watching a TV car advert that has used "Light My Fire" as the jingle. He says these immortal words.

"Do you know what you are saying to millions of people? The Doors - not real".


Somehow, although it's not the real Doors that said this but Val KIlmer and floppy-cock man from Sex & The City these words stuck with me throughout every thing I ever did musically from that moment on. When I was a musician (in a touring and signed punk band between 1999-2003) I had a few principles, for example when our record company came to us and asked us to make a music video I had to stand against the band to say no, when Airwalk shoes sponsored us and wanted us to play with a large Airwalk banner on the stage, I said no...principles.

For example when Backyard Babies show up on TV in the back of a car yelling "Turn around the roundabout!" for a NetOnNet advert, they are saying to millions of people "Backyard Babies - not real". But then, most of us have known this for a long time. You see it takes more than some leather pants, long hair and a few tattoos to be "real".

And so onto today's subject....ROCK BANDS IN MELODIFESTIVALEN. For the non-swede readers, Melodifestivalen is the Eurovision Song Contest here in Sweden.

A few years ago the world was surprised by a novelty rock band winning Eurovision, the band? LORDI!



No idea how this came to pass, perhaps it was just the entire of Europe bored to tears of the same Eurovision crap year after year seeing something different for a change. While GWAR and GREEN JELLY sat at home saying "Why didn't WE think of this?".


GWAR


GREEN JELLY

The thing is, where did this get LORDI? A few days of fame followed by whatever they are doing now....which is probably touring on the wave to the stupid for a few years until they dissappear, forever being "that funny band that won Eurovision once". Thing is, before that they were quite a good, respected and "scary" band, not the puppet-parodies they then become. There is no difference now between them or if THE MUPPETS or THE WOMBLES won. Eurovision is basically "IDOL" for Europe in a few weeks, useless hopefuls making a mockery of themselves for a quick buck. Or not as 9/10 the bands themselves don't actually write the songs.

Since this win it seems a few rock bands have been slipping into Eurovision/Melodifestivalen although if I was a real rock band, why on earth would I want to stand up in front of people and perform with and to the very public that I am meant to be against? Why? The only reason could be that you do not believe in rock music as a form and a voice or even a culture but instead just see is as a t-shirt that you put on in the morning.

TELL ME, WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A ROCK BAND AT MELODIFESTIVALEN AND DAVID BECKHAM WEARING A 50-DOLLAR EXODUS T-SHIRT?

The answer of course is...nothing. It's a phony representation. Last year Sweden had the band H.E.A.T performing their AOR cock-ballad "1000 Miles" (sadly the lyric "I would walk 1000 miles of a short pier for you" never came up). These walking, breathing cliches looked like they had just been in their fathers 80s rock dressing up closet. If any of you were rock/metal fans when you were young you'll know that if you had clicks there was usually one of them that just tried too hard and had the money to do it. While the rest of you had torn jeans because that's all you could afford there was always one who bought them with the tears already there...new clothes, just a uniform, no soul. Well, that was H.E.A.T...fuck the song, they didn't even write it. Behind the puppets was three balding fat Schlager Svenssons rubbing their hands together for a song that must have taken all of 5 mins to write and the like of which I have heard better by bands that were taking the piss out of cock-rock (look up ALL's "Hot Plate" for a good example).


H.E.A.T - Beards & Eyeliner...just confusing. Wearing a bandana to cover up the balding...priceless.

So to 2010. Those of you following the Melodifestivalen (or watching it by law) have already seen PAIN OF SALVATION perform their wonderful hit... These toss-mongers come from the same shallow gene pool as Nickleback, Creed, Taikeda etc etc. Those bands that Henry Rollins describes as "if you listen to all of them in a row it takes someone to point out that it's actually different bands". A quick bit of research on the band shows us that's it's the ego project of one guy which would probably explain why the rest of the band got to show up on Melodifestivalen but not play! They looked like they could be a rock band but...the music that came out was a gutless radio-friendly power-ballad (minus the power).


PAIN OF SALVATION among this bunch of schlagerites - not sure which ones.

Sadly the search for the quick fame-shot is about to claim a victim. One of the good ones so to speak. The wonderful Swedish all-girl band CRUCIFIED BARBARA will compete in Melodifestivalen. These girls formed way back in 1998 and have been doing great things ever since. They are self sufficient and more girl power than you could fit in all five Spice Girl's houses. They've toured with Motorhead, are always off playing here and there including places such as Wacken and Sweden Rock and are a GOOD band! I'm lucky enough to kind of know some of them on a bit of a personal level. I actually worked together with one of them and she was one of the most genuine, unpresuming people I've ever met...I have no idea why suddenly they have decided to compete in this festival and in my eyes, sell out in a very, very bad way. Not only standing in front of the schlager crowd and performing as if they were one of them but also saying to millions that this is all a girl rock band should do....what once could have been a great female role model just becomes as bad as Alacazar or EMD. Or even worse, they could be seen as the novelty act!

One thing that makes this even worse in my eyes is that CB have done well for themselves without this, and the song they will be performing isn't written by them either (but three men). Sadly now a very good and very real band will stand up in front of the country and say..

"Not real"...




The best ever Eurovision sell out in a good way of course in my eyes was TATU...nothing like being purposley late to get the cameras and press around you, showing up and making out on stage making a complete scene. That's how you sell out with class!

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