One of the best of them all

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again; The amount of insanely talented people in this place makes me dizzy. One of the best of them all is this guy;

Mikhael Paskalev.

He is technically not here anymore, since he graduated from the music course this summer. But once you’re a part of LIPA, you are always here even when you’re not, in one way or another. We all still sing his songs, after the many concerts we had the pleasure of whitnessing, and something tells me we’re not gonna stop doing that any time soon. Listen to this one, and I’m sure you’ll understand why.

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Mikhael was today announced as something called “Untouched of the week” by one of Norway’s biggest radio stations, and that’s a pretty big deal. For the Norwegians out there, the interview can be found here, and for the rest of you I’ll translate the highlight; where they describe his music as “timeless pop with a nerve of restlessness and a mild form of insanity.” Best description ever.

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If you like what you’re hearing, you can find Mikhael on Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, Vimeo, Youtube and Urørt, so there is really no excuse to not check him out. Which you should. Cause he is amazing. Sigh.

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Until next time, remember to Subscribe to this blog (top right corner), follow my Tweets and Like me on Facebook, and drop me a comment or two if you’re feeling like brightening my day… ;-P

Take care! ❤

xxx
Audrey

Top Ten albums – ever.

Right, this is a tough one; Ten Albums I can listen through in their whole glory, without skipping a single track. With Spotify links – because I want you to check them out. You’ll see that the list is (not surprisingly I’ll imagine) dominated by acoustic pop kinda stuff, but you may find a few surprises there as well. I have listened to some weird stuff in my life – don’t judge me! ;-P

I chose my Top Ten by thinking (long and hard) about albums I have actually listened through in full, many many times. Not neseccarily albums I still consider the BEST ones, but albums that have meant something to me once. Albums where I still to this day hear the beginning of the next song in my head before the song before it even finishes. Albums I have listened through with the lyrics and Thank You’s in front of me, and that still have the power to make me feel a certain way. Of course, relationships like that with whole albums happened more often when I was a kid – when buying albums (that or tape recording from the radio) was the only way of listen to music – and that’s why there are so many ‘oldies’ on the list. Not many recent albums have earned the same place in my ‘music library’ – it’s all about playlists and shuffle these days. I have started buying more albums recently though, especially those of artists I really like and respect, who aren’t necessary selling millions of records already. It’s just a nicer way to listen to music, I think.

Ah, I digress. Without further ado, here they are, in no particular order; My Top Ten Albums – ever. Enjoy.

  1. To Whom It May Concern (Unni Wilhelmsen) 1996: The one & only.
  2. Lucia (Velvet Belly) 2000: A lucky present from a dear friend.
  3. Tragic Kingdom (No Doubt) 1995: My “angry-cd” for many years.
  4. O (Damien Rice) 2003: My ticket to the land of acoustic beauty.
  5. The Score (Fugees) 1996: Back when Hip Hop was still Hip Hop.
  6. Grace (Jeff Buckley) 1994: Sigh… To think what could have been.
  7. R U Still Down (Remember Me) (2pac) 1997: My ticket to Hip Hop.
  8. Straight Down The Line (Return) 1988: Early heroes.
  9. 8701 (Usher) 1999: Before he became gross – or before I could see it.
  10. Justified (Justin Timberlake) 2002: It wasn’t just the curls.
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So… Any surprises on there?
What about you? Would you be able to list ten albums that have had a great significance to you?

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Until next time, please remember to subscribe to my blog (top right corner of this page), “be-fan” me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter, and I will make sure to keep you up to date on what’s going on with me and my music. And please keep commenting, I love hearing from you! =) 

Take care & keep Shining! I love you!

xxx,

Audrey

Humbly For Her…

Another amazing concert with the amazing, the annoyingly talented, the one and the only Unni Wilhelmsen, is over.

08.07.11, Rockefeller, Oslo

No elephant’s memory when starstruck…
What a beautiful person she is. I am always humbled by her presence, and even though I’ve seen her live 3 times now, I always forget half of the things I want to say once I stand there after the show, face to face with her, my hero. This time I even forgot to ask for a picture. I also forgot to tell her hi from my dad. He always asks me to for some reason, and this time I was gonna do it, just to be able to say yes when he asked me afterwards if I had. Which he always does. So if you’re reading this Unni; My dad says hi. ;-P

December 2010

More than music…
Once again, Unni managed to give me a magical night that I will live off for months. Until the next one, probably. Her songs are colourful paintings, and nothing can go wrong in her art gallery. I wish I had her paintbrush. Unni’s concerts are far more than music though. They are stories, magic tales, comedic anecdotes, they are a glimpse of a life. For a couple of hours, she gives you… Her. So honest, and so true.

08.07.11, Rockefeller, Oslo

Once again Unni, THANK YOU… 

Humbly For Her,

Audrey

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Also read this post…

A world of music at my feet!

Today I finally did something I have wanted (and planned) to do for aaaaages. I upgraded my Spotify account to Spotify Unlimited! Woop woop! No more adverts, and no more “You have spent all your minutes this month.” Gotta love it. Don’t ya…? I’m currently listening to Beyoncé’s new album “4”, and I’m actually quite pleasantly surprised – at least after the first couple of listens. I used to be a massive Beyoncé fan, but I must say she has annoyed me a bit lately… I do like this album way more than the last one though. So far anyway. And it’s nice to have the opportunity to listen to it before I decide wether or not to buy it. Isn’t that what Spotify is here for?

Click on the image to get to "4" on Spotify

Behold, a revolution…!
Spotify and all the other online music streaming services (like Wimp, Pandora etc.) is the best thing to happen to the music industry in a long time. It’s not exactly big news that the music industry has been struggling for a while, mostly due to so many people downloading music from the internet and not paying for it. Album sales are down by a crazy %, and times are tough. You’re probably sick of hearing about it, but bear with me for just a minute. Maybe you don’t know WHY it is such a problem. Anyhow, this new online streaming business seems to be (a part of) the remedy. Long overdue, the music industry has realized that it needs to change drastically, and get the consumers back on its side. Meet them half way and give them a better alternative, rather than criminalizing them for (understandably) taking advantage of what’s suddenly available through a massive development in technology. And it’s looking up. As an example, in January 2009, there were 1500 paying customers to the different streaming services available in Norway. Today, that number is up to 240 000 (April 2011), and artists are finally starting to make money from people streaming their music online.

Once upon a time…
I used to download lots of music from Napster and Limewire back in the day, but I haven’t for years now. I guess I think differently now that I know how things work, and how much money artists are actually loosing because of “illegal downloads.” Plus, there are so many easy and cheap alternatives now. I’ve used the free version of Spotify since it first came to Norway in 2008, and I started buying some music online (on iTunes) once that got easy to do. Still, I’ve always liked having a physical copy of the albums I really like. There’s just something about flicking through that leaflet while listening through an album for the first time… Now, I’m proud to say that all the music in my iTunes library is either imported CDs from my own collection, or music downloaded and paid for on iTunes. Or free downloads that the artists have put out there themselves. Cause a lot of them do that to, which is cool. It’s only fair to give something back to the people who support you, and who, to be honest, you are writing the music for. I’m planning to do a lot of that myself, putting a song out there now and then for people to download for free, but I hope people will still want to buy my EPs and albums! 😉

Try before you buy…
Now that Spotify has arrived, I really can’t see a valid argument for downloading music “illegally.” If you are at all passionate about music, I’m sure you can manage to cough up 5 pounds per month in exchange of having access to most of the music in the world at any time. Because with Spotify Unlimited there is no time limit, and if you upgrade to Spotify Premium (for ten quid a month), you can even get access offline, and on your phone. So why not use Spotify to “try before you buy,” and then pay the little money it costs on iTunes or in the record store to get the music you end up loving? If you “have to” have it on your hard drive that is? Seriously – if you like and respect an artist, shouldn’t you want to support that artist? And if you don’t like the music enough to pay for it, is there any point in it taking up space on your hard drive when you can just listen to it on Spotify whenever you want? Another thing is, when you download songs on the Internet, more often than not the quality is SHIT. You may not think it makes much of a difference, but my… It does. The files are shrunk down a crazy amount, and they loose a lot of details in the process. It’s like a document or a photo that has been run through the copier again and again – after a while it will inevitably look… Pretty Shit… As a musician, I would like for people to enjoy my songs (my babies, my art) the way I intended for them to be heard. With all the details intact.

Supporting the industry…
I realize a lot of people probably don’t think of it like this at all. Quite simply, they like the music, they want to listen to it, and they don’t wanna pay for it when the alternative is there to get it for free. Fair enough, I totally get that. Like I said, I used to do it to. Heck, I’d rather not pay for a lot of things, if the alternative was there to get it for free. Like clothes, or food, or dental appointments. I know everything about being broke, and it sucks. But what people are actually doing by not paying for the music they are downloading, is hurting the industry, and hurting the artists they like. It’s probably the same people who buy cheap knock-off t-shirts and other un-official merchandize outside the concert venues – all they want is to pay tribute to their favorite artist by wearing their name and face on a t-shirt, but the truth is the artist would probably not be particularly happy about seeing cheap copies knocking about. Most people just don’t think about the fact that supporting the copies is damaging to the artist who is trying to make a living from their art (a living which merchandize, like it or not, is a big part of).

It’s certainly not my intention to point the finger here, and I hope you understand that. My intention is simply to share my thoughts and experience on the subject, and hopefully shed some light on it. Maybe you learned something you didn’t know, maybe your view on downloading music has changed a little bit. One can always hope, anyway. I just feel like it’s important to realize that artists are working people to, and they deserve to get paid for doing their job just like you and me. Don’t you think…?

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I hope you enjoyed your read! If you did, you are probably more than averagly interested in music, and I would appreciate if you could take 1 second to answer this poll for me! =)


Please remember to subscribe to my blog (top right corner of this page), “be-fan” me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter, and I will make sure to keep you up to date on what’s going on with me and my music. And please keep commenting, I love hearing from you! =) 

Take care & keep Shining! I love you!

xxx,

Audrey

My little boost of focus <3

Ahhh… Some days are just so hard to kick-start. And on those days, nothing else will do than my own little boost of focus, which I am about to share with you now. And don’t be “scurred” if you’re not the coffee drinking type – cause neither was I, until I tasted this glass of awesomeness a couple of years back. 

Mmm, nice and foamy...

Wanna go out for a cup of coffee…? I always hated the taste of coffee. And I really wanted to like it. Dorky as it may make me, I wanted to be able to “go out for a cup of coffee”, cause I thought it sounded so nice. Going out for a cup of hot chocolate doesn’t quite have the same ring to it, does it? Haha… Anyway, like I said, I really didn’t like the taste of it. In any variant. People had tried to make me like lattés, moccas, cappuchinos, you name it, but I thought it all tasted crap…

Enter, SuperCoffee… Then, on a winters day in The Year Of Change 2009 (My perception of coffee wasn’t the only thing that changed for me that year), my lovely flatmates had their sister over from Romania. She didn’t speak Norwegian, and not much English, so communication wasn’t easy, but she was so lovely and sweet. I was watching TV one evening, when Nina, after rummaging around in the kitchen for a while, came over to me with a cute little glass of coffee. Touched by this little gesture, I didn’t have the heart to tell her I didn’t actually like coffee, so I took a sip, skeptical as few, and to my great surprise it was AMAZING! So I told her to show me how to make it the next time, and it’s been a part of my life ever since.

Step into my (c)office...;)

Wanna come over for a cup of coffee…? I just love sitting down at my desk to do work (i.e. school work, songwriting) with one of these babies in front of me, and it’s become a nice little treat for myself when I’m a good girl and get started on that to-do-list. Also, it is way cheaper than going out for a cup. I’ve shared it with many of friends before, and now it’s your turn. I have named it… SuperCoffee… 

Here’s what you need, and how it’s supposed to look when it’s finished:

Coffee, sugar, milk. And water, obviously.

Step one:
(in stead of ‘a*s’ say ‘buns’)

Mix 1 table spoon of Nescafé Brassero (It’s called Nescafé Original in the UK. It’s the dark one.) and 1,5 – 2 table spoons of sugar (sweeeet!!) with a bit of hot water (2 table spoons or so) from the tap in a little box with a lid, and shake it, baby, shake it! For as long as you can be arsed, really.

Step two:
(In stead of ‘s**t’ say ‘poo’)

Pour the mix in a tall glass/large cup, and slowly fill up to 2/3 of the glass with boiled water while stirring with a spoon. Gently. See the foam on top? Nice job! 😉

Step three:
(with b***h drop the T)

Fill the last third or so with milk. I use nothing but soy milk, cause regular milk pisses my tummy off, but you can use whole milk or cream or whatever you want. And VOILA!

Step four:
(don’t say ‘f**k anymore)

Drinkety-drink-drink! 

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I hope you weren’t too distracted by the South Park references there – I just watched the South Park movie again the other day, and have that damn song stuck in my head… Sorry about that. ;-P


Aaah, the memories… ;-P  …
Not that that has anything to do with anything – oh, I’m rambling… What does have something to do with something, is the glass I’m drinking my coffee from. You see, my dad is awesome – he made that. By hand. He also made all this:

Pretty cool, huh? All of this and more is for sale in our garage. Holla if you wanna have a look.

That was the advert of the day, and now I’m gonna get on with that list. I’ve been procrastinating long enough…! ;-P

Please remember to “be-fan” me on Facebook, subscribe to my blog (top right corner of this page) and follow me on Twitter, and I will make sure to keep you up to date on what’s going on with me and my music. And keep commenting, I love hearing from you! =)

Take care & keep Shining! I love you!

xxx,

Audrey

Charlotte Olivia – Just A Dream

Today’s post is dedicated to this charming young lady:

One of the best... Her name is Charlie, or Charlotte Olivia, and she is definitely one of my favorite people that I met during my first year in Liverpool, both as a person and as an artist. She has an incredible voice that you can recognize anywhere, and her songwriting is equally amazing. After a long while of silence she finally released a new song yesterday, and I recommend you all to go here and have a listen! You can download it for free from that same link, if you put your name down for the Charlotte Olivia mailing list. Also, you can visit (and subscribe to) her blog here. She’s awesome!

"Just A Dream" art work, by Giles Hinchcliff and Sara Graham

Let’s act like this isn’t real… The song is called Just A Dream, and it is truly mesmerizing. To be completely honest, I didn’t quite get a hold of it the first time through, but it is growing on me with every listen now and I absolutely love it! I love the wailing guitar, her characteristic ‘vocal wanking’ and the tasty harmonies. I love how she manages to get the mysterious dreaminess across both in the lyrics and the music, and how they both reflect each other perfectly. It kind of reminds me of a female Jeff Buckley, and that can’t be bad. I don’t even know how many times I’ve listened to this song now, and I don’t care. I can listen to it all night. I can only hope my dreams tonight will be as beautiful as this (Just A) dream of a song!

Now listening to it through my awesome Beats By Dre headphones to get the whole experience, because good headphones make all music sound better – even when it’s as good as this to begin with.

Seriously, if you are at all serious about listening to music you should invest in a decent pair of headphones. I tried to listen to something through my iPhone headphones the other day, but it was so crap now that I’m used to these ones. The only thing I would say is that they are pretty bass heavy, and a bit uncomfortable if I use them for more than an hour straight. But all in all they have definitely enhanced my music listening experience by like a million prosent, so thank you Milena for one of the best christmas pressies ever! You’re CRAZY!

Aaalways… A bit of a sidetrack there, but whatever. If I could offer you only one tip for the future, headphones would be it. So go get them. Going to sleep now, and hopefully I’ll continue the part of my dream from last night where I could fly. Seriously, it was such a let-down to wake up. Grr…And then, tomorrow night, I’m proudly seeing my guilty pleasure band Bon Jovi in Oslo with my two big sisters, and I can’t wait! Sigh… Bon Joviiii… ❤

Take care, enjoy Charlie and please keep checking in, commenting and subscribing to my blog. I love hearing from you! 

Good night from meeee! 

Lots of luuuuv’,

Audrey

Oh, and PS: Sorry for the pic Charlie. You know I love your funnyface! ;-P

Annoyingly f*ing amazing…

Heroes… You know those people who are just annoyingly talented? Those people who both inspire you, because they remind you of how amazing music can be and why you love it so much, and sometimes discourage you, because they make you realize how far you have yet to go before you will even get close to their level?

Going on and on, the way it must… Yesterday’s post made me go on a Unni Wilhelmsen Youtube mission, and to my delight, a lot of performances have found their way to Youtube since I last checked. Jeeezes, she is amazing… Like, so much it hurts to listen to. People are probably getting sick of me going on and on about Unni Wilhelmsen, but seriously, check out these videos and you will know why she is my hero(in). If not, then you’re just immune to, well, emotions. Seriously, WATCH THEM, watch them ALL!!!

First out: Space Opera. So cool. Is it just me, or does the drummer look a lot like Jay Mohr…?

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One of the songs I couldn’t write: Secret.

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This next song, Orange, is a song I have performed a couple of times myself. Maybe a bit weird of me to pick that one, considering how specific it is, but for me it was the feeling of it as well as the fun and playful melody that drew me in.

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The one and only Won’t Go Near You Again. This has been the soundtrack to pretty much all my breakups. I never did learn though. Until that last one. 

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Unni does covers as well: Both Sides Now by Joni Mitchell is definitely Hers…

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Unni in Norwegian (in Dublin!) and with the coolest guitar (and guitar playing) ever:

NOT FAIR!!!! 

Crossing fingers and toes… I also just found out that she’s doing another Rockefeller gig in July, miraculously enough while I’m still in Norway, and if I don’t get to go I will seriously cry myself to sleep for the rest of the year. Milena…?? ;-P

Cover songs & the Soundtrack to our lives

The songs I cannot write… Of course, writing and performing my own songs is what I’m in this game for, what it’s all about. But now and then, I stumble upon a song by another artist that hits me so hard it sort of becomes my own, and that’s when I decide to put a cover song on the set list. Some artists just have a way of writing the songs that I can’t, and sometimes it feels like they were written for me. “Won’t Go Near You Again” by Unni Wilhelmsen is just one of those songs, and that is not the only song Unni, or other artists, have written “for me.”

The Soundtrack to your life… I think this is one of the things that makes music so huge, and so important to so many people. You get a soundtrack to your life, your journeys, your relationships, songs that you can relate to, that describe your very own feelings. They become “Your songs.” And then of course there are the songs that are “yours” because of all the memories attached to them, like this one is to me; “Ageing Superhero” by Newton Faulkner.

You can find the original Ageing Superhero here. Now if Dan and I have “a song,” it would be this one, and it definitely has a special place in my heart. 

What about you? Do you have a song that is “yours?” 

Summer Soundtrack Addition =)

Foto: Eva Rose Furmyr - Hotshot studios

I was reading a mate’s blog today, and stumbled upon a song I wanted to share with you (Thank you, Dan from The Voice!). It’s a chill and feel-good summer tune by a girl called Sisi, and all I know about her is that she is gorgeous, has an awesome voice, and that she’s been doing backing vocals for a bunch of Norwegian artists lately. Check it out – you might get an addition to your summer 2011 sound track! =)

I like it on top

Another day, another presentation... On Monday, I gave a presentation of my Level One Practical Project, my Café Sør Concert. Yesterday, my A Cappella group performed the piece we’ve been working on this term (an A Cappella arrangement of Feeling Good, I’ll share it with you once I get the video) and today, in a little hour, I’m presenting my Music Production project – which as some of you may remember from this post is a Damien Rice style remix of Evelyn Burke’s “Red Hands”.

Evelyn Burke is a third year at LIPA, and did one of my favorite performances during the 3rd Degree Festival this year. If you want to hear the original “Red Hands”, it can be found on Evelyn’s Myspace (by the way, you should also listen to “Travel Song” while you’re in there. One of the most beautiful songs I’ve heard in a long time) Here is my Remix of Red Hands. I figured I’d show you, just cause it’s out there, I might as well. So I hope you like. 🙂

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So far so good… So far, everything has been good, and it feels so damn nice to be on top of things. Come Tuesday all my work will be handed in, and the rest of the week will be spent packing all my stuff into boxes for the big move. I. Can’t. Wait.

Well, it’s time to go get’em. Wish me luck, once again!

Love yah! =)

*Audrey*

P.S. I did eat ice cream. But just one.

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