The Null Device
Posts matching tags 'i'm from barcelona'
Swedish indiepop big band I'm From Barcelona have created a new triple album; well, sort of. Titled, simply, 27 Songs from Barcelona, it consists of 27 songs, one written and sung by each of the band's 27 members. From today, the entire album is being made available as a series of daily MP3 downloads on their website; the first track, Daniel Lindlöf's Lower My Head, is a guitar-driven pop song with leanings towards shoegazing, and may be found here. The entire album is available for purchase on triple vinyl from here.
Last night, I went to see I'm From Barcelona at Koko. Not my favourite venue, though the gig was amazing as always.
The supports were a mixed bag; first up was a band named Paris Motel, who were nothing like The Paradise Motel, but rather the sort of conservatorium-pop that could have been described as "radio-friendly" in the days when things that weren't based on R&B or "alternative rock" got airplay; perhaps the closest comparison would be George (the Australian band). All very polished adult-contemporary pop songs with strings and woodwinds played by good-looking people. Then there was a Swedish band named Samuraj Cities, who were OK though unexceptional, and another band whose name I forgot who featured a double bass and dulcimer.
Then on came I'm From Barcelona; entering the stage to the sounds of Queen's Barcelona, they kicked off with Treehouse, and went on to do their full set. They did their new songs (the Grizzly Man song and the Team Zissou song), and later did a cover of Bryan Adams' Can't Stop This Thing We've Started, which they managed to redeem quite well, turning it into a quite nice piece of brass-led Swedish indiepop. (For what it's worth, I detest Bryan Adams' musical output itself, in all its middle-aged rock blandness.) They played for longer this time, with an actual 3-song encore.
he encore led into the usual closing track, Adventure Kid's cover of We're From Barcelona. But then Adventure Kid (one of their friends from Jonkoping, I think) went on and continued playing, rocking out on a Korg monosynth over some electronic beats. His music was like a more dance-oriented I Am Robot And Proud or somesuch; there was one track which Emanuel joined in on. Most of I'm From Barcelona remained on the stage, dancing along with their fruit-shaped shakers and ukeleles and such (though one member threw a ukelele into the audience at one point; wonder if it's on eBay yet). The audience mostly stayed as well and danced along, applauding wildly at the end. Everyone had fun; forget NME New Rave™, this is what an indie-rave crossover should look like.
Anyway, Adventure Kid had a few unlabelled CD-Rs of his tunes for sale at the somewhat shambolic merch stall after the gig; I picked one up. The dilemma now: what to name the tracks when ripping it. I suspect that there are going to be a lot of last.fm hits for "Track 01" and so on soon.
Last night, I went to see I'm From Barcelona at ULU; it was the third I'm From Barcelona gig I've seen, and was excellent.
The first support was some geezer with an acoustic guitar, who varied from ordinary to passable. The second support was quite a bit more impressive; a Swedish indiepop band named Irene; they were somewhat smaller in scale than I'm From Barcelona (they had about 7 members, which seemed positively modest compared to IFB's 29 or so), though had much the same sort of joyous summery exuberance about their music. I suspect I'll have to get their CD.
Then I'm From Barcelona made their entrance, with their usual grandeur and showmanship; the strains of that Queen song they use as an intro played and Emanuel and his friends filtered onto the stage, resplended in their usual slightly cartoonish hipster attire. (Aside: I'm told that all the cool kids in Stockholm are wearing oversized plastic glasses these days.) Giant balloons were inflated and thrown into the air above the audience, who proceeded to volley them around throughout the gig, and an industrial bubble-blowing machine was set up on stage. Then the intro ended and the band kicked off with a rousing rendition of "Treehouse", the audience singing along with the catchy chorus.
Audience participation was the order of the day; the audience were invited to join into the easy parts of various songs (the "Daaaamn!" in Oversleeping, and the second repetition of We're From Barcelona, with some prompting), and those who had kazoos (available at the merch stall) were invited onto the stage during Chicken Pox. The band seemed to be having fun with the music, taking it on mischievous detours (a chorus from a Madonna song in one song, an excursion into reggae towards the end of another). They also played a few new songs: one (with a severely reduced line-up; just Emanuel and two others) was about making friends with grizzly bears, inspired (somewhat mischievously) by Werner Herzog's The Grizzly Man, and another referenced Wes Anderson's The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou.
The gig was an exuberantly joyous experience; there was a really friendly mood in the venue, with everyone brought together by the music. By the end of the gig, the audience were (in Emanuel's words) the band's new best friends, and I'm sure that I'm From Barcelona were quite a few people's new favourite band.
A Times article from last year, talking to Swedish pop band I'm From Barcelona about their background:
Any pressure Lundgren feels at taking the helm of this oil-tanker of a group is, he admits, entirely his fault. After years of being what he describes as a melancholy guy writing melancholy songs a funny thing happened, and he fell in love with a girl called Frida (who now plays maracas in the band). Spurred out of his malaise, an idea quickly crystallised as he found himself writing songs not just for his own benefit, but also for his friends.
Many pursue other musical interests, such as Erik Ottosson, the dreadlocked tuba player who is "the youngest by about fifty years" in a local marching band. Rikard Ljung has his own group, but joined I'm From Barcelona as their flautist despite having next to no experience with the instrument. "I know all the notes I need to know, but there are kids from second grade who are better than me," he admits, before leaning forward to make sure Lundgren is out of earshot. "If we're playing live and it's too hard, sometimes I just pretend to play."For those in the UK, I'm From Barcelona are playing in London on either the 24th or 25th of January, depending on whom you believe, and possibly in Manchester around that date as well.
And a YouTube treat for you: Swedish indiepop ensemble I'm From Barcelona performing "Treehouse" at their recent gig in Hoxton:
The rest of the gig, incidentally, was just as brilliant; it was more like a travelling party than a concert.
Swedesplease, a MP3 blog dedicated to Swedish music, has a pretty nifty electro version of "We're From Barcelona", by someone named Adventure Kid. Check it out.
(In case you haven't heard the original, it's on I'm From Barcelona's MySpace page; it's incredibly catchy, and perhaps the singalong anthem of the year.
(via the Spiral Scratch DJ)
YouTube music video of the day: "We're From Barcelona", by Swedish pop combo I'm From Barcelona. There's 27 of them, and they sound somewhere between a Polyphonic Spree (only without the white-robed Texan cultist shtick) and recent Swedish summery indie-pop like Sambassadeur or Jens Lekman.