Archive for May, 2007

Review: The Sandmen in Tivoli Copenhagen

Monday, May 28th, 2007

The SandmenFredagsrock – The Sandmen, København – Last.fm on the 25th of May 2007, I attended the performance by The Sandmen in Tivoli, Copenhagen.

Tivoli has, for a number of years now, had gigs featuring local and international acts every Friday during the opening season, and it’s been quite a success, reviving the old gardens. But I hope that the tour guides advise their older tourists, not to choose a Friday, where a big international act visits Tivoli, for their only visit to the gardens, this Friday would have been OK though, since the crowd was modest.

Back to the gig…

Amazingly enough this was the first time I attended a “The Sandmen” gig, so I really didn’t have any expectations, it’s obvious that the band has suffered from the passing of guitarist Sam Mitchell, who took the band to a higher level musically.

At first the sound was quite bad, mostly the drums seemed to be produced down, but gradually it improved, and for Tivoli this was really rock’n’roll.

I find the guitarist to be the weakest link, but what he does, he does well. Allan Veggenfeldt is as great a singer as ever, and the rhythm section is very tight .

I think The Sandmen would benefit from the addition of a new lead guitarist, even though Sam Mitchell can’t be replaced, and the comparisons would be inevitable, I think it would be a good idea.

The highlights of the gig was the psychedelic set finisher, that sent me into a trancelike state, that I enjoyed very much.

But what I enjoyed the most, was that I had a great, quiet – without being low-key, night out with “the boys” – are we growing up? – and an audience of (other) 40-somethings, that seemed to know the lyrics, and had a wonderful time.

Thank you to “the boys”, it was great!

Colleen – Beautiful acoustic music

Sunday, May 27th, 2007

Colleen - Les Ondes Silencieusescolleenplays official website

Friday I discovered the beautiful music of Cécile Schott, aka. Colleen, while visiting the wonderful Kaffe & Vinyl store in Skydebanegade.

Her new album is called “Les ondes sliencieuses”, and it’s all acoustic played on viola de gamba, spinet, guitar, clarinet and crystal glasses(!).

Browsing her website, I discovered that she played at Public Service 2006 in Copenhagen. Now I’m even more sad that I decided to skip Public Service last year :-(.

You can listen to the music on her myspace page.

Nabaztag og Nabz.dk nævnt in Urban

Tuesday, May 8th, 2007

Gadgets går i barndom - omtale af Nabaztag og Nabz.dk i Urban

Som min gode ven, og partner i Nabz.dk – det danske Nabaztag online fællesskab – har observeret (Nabz.dk mentioned in Urban | berthelsen.com), så blev Nabaztag og Nabz.dk omtalt i Urban den 7_Maj-2007.

Her er hvad Henrik skriver:

The free and daily danish newspaper, Urban today had an article about Gadgets (“Gadgets går i barndom”) on page 25, where the beloved Nabaztag/tag was mentioned. A big picture was flashing seven nice and happy looking Nataztag/tags, with links to Nabaztag.com as well as nabz.dk

Hvad er det så lige en Nabaztag er for en størrelse?

Da Nabaztag blev diskuteret på Macnyt for et par dage siden, kom jeg med denne korte beskrivelse (lettere redigeret her):

Kort fortalt er en Nabaztag et trådløst netværkskort, et par LED lamper, et lydkort, en højttaler og to motorer, pakket ind i en plastikkanin.

Nabaztag kan dermed koble sig op til Internettet.

Hvis du binder dette sammen med et online community, podcasts og en indbakke, så har du en slags e-mail telefonsvarer. Da den kan afspille lydfiler, så kan den f.eks. også læse e-mails op (dog indtil videre kun på Fransk og Engelsk).

For nørder er det interessant at man kan programmere den, den ene af mine ArseneLapin, har sin egen side hvor du kan kommunikere med den.

For et halvt år siden kom der en ny version af Nabaztag, Nabaztag/tag, den har indbygget en mikrofon og en RFID sensor. Du kan f.eks. sige Radio til din Nabaztag/tag, og fluks begynder den at spille Netradio (MP streams).

Du kan måske blive lidt klogere på hvad det er for en dims hos Nabaztag.com, eller på det danske Nabaztag forum Nabz.dk – som jeg er medskyldig i at have begået.

Du kan købe en Nabaztag eller en Nabaztag/tag hos Nabz.dk, prisen er hhv. kr. 765,- og 987,-.

Ny Alliance – Politik 2.0?

Tuesday, May 8th, 2007

Ny Alliance

Så fik Danmark et nyt politisk parti, “Ny Alliance”. Det er interessant at man kan melde sig ind online, og at deres indmeldingstæller bliver opdateret dynamisk. Og det går MEGET stærkt med de indmeldinger! I går aftes vurderer jeg at antallet af tilmeldinger steg med ca. 20 i minuttet.

Det faktum at deres webdesign og farvevalg er MEGET web 2.0et (udtages web 2-punkt-åget), og at de starter med en logokonkurrence, fik mig til at tænke på at vi her har at gøre med “Politik 2.0”.

Jeg overvejer at sende et logo-forslag ind. Kodeordene for et design, der har en chance for at vinde, vil jo nok være 2-punkt-åget – jeg har faktisk en idé (og det er IKKE denne ;-))

Ny Alliance Dk Beta Logo

(tak til Alex P for hans fantastiske Web2.0 Logo Creator).

Noget andet er at “Ny Alliance” måske skulle have ventet med at udskrive logokonkurrencen, til de havde fået tildelt/valgt et officielt liste-bogstav, men de overtager vel bare M ;-).

Jeg siger velkommen til det nye parti, og den store interesse synes jeg er udtryk for et håb for demokratiet, måske er vi danskere ikke så ligeglade, det er bare den “gamle alliance” der er gået i stå, IKKE befolkningen!

Jeg finder det især positivt at det er nogle, efter danske forhold, visionære og nytænkende folk der står bag. Gitte Seeberg er nok det svageste led – og det ville være interessant hvis “Ny Alliance” kunne få nogle stærkere kvinder med, Connie Hedegaard er vist den mest oplagte kandidat, men jeg håber faktisk på at vi får personer som f.eks. Pernille Rosenkrantz-Theil at se, altså nogle “frafaldne” fra venstrefløjen.

Jeg håber også at partiet skifter navn – ikke så smart at ordet “ny” indgår, og “alliance” synes jeg antyder noget “konspiratorisk/militært” , men navnet er dog (en HEL del) bedre end “minoritetspartiet”.

Review: Woman power – Beyoncé gave the “Green Light” and other “coincidences”

Sunday, May 6th, 2007

Commemoration plaque for one of the freedom fighters, decorated with the ribbon of the freedomfightersOn the day that Denmark commemorates the Liberation after WWII, a major international act gave an exclusive concert, outside Copenhagen, and, for once, in a place other than Horsens. And since it was Miss KittyKat, Giselle herself, that grazed the city of Aalborg, in the North of Jutland, with her presence, you might have guessed that I bought a ticket right after it went on sale – no surprise there.

Miss KittyKat - BeyoncéI consider Miss Giselle Knowles, better know as Beyoncé, to be a very talented woman, but my expectations, before the concert, were not that high. The reason being, that I saw her in New York in april of 2004 at the “Women First” tour, and her performance back then, was nowhere near the level of the performance by Alicia Keys, but one thing I knew for sure, was that we would be given a show of some proportions, and that I was looking forward to.

I’m of the opinion that Beyoncé owes a lot to Tina Turner, and she is, to great extend, inspired by Tina Turner in her show.

The first thing I noticed was, to my great surprise, that the band had an all-woman line up. And that was a pleasant, and welcome surprise, and my oh my what great musicians. The line-up was two drummers, a percussionist, a guitarist, a bass-player, I believe that I counted three keyboard-players and a horn section of three.

All the musicians were really accomplished, and the real highlights of the concert, were the solo performances, especially a tour-de-force by the bass-player, where the entire band joined in performing Michael Jacksons “Can’t stop till I get enough”.

Beyoncé also brought with her three great backing singers, and we’re talking certified quality here, I noticed that they occasionally, especially at the end of the show, took over from Beyoncé.

The dancers were great, and the only men on stage were dancers – way to go – another highlight of the show, was a ballet like sequence by two of the dancers. Beyoncé is herself, a great dancer, and it is in her dancing, which is very energetic, that I find some of the strongest parallels to Tina Turner.

Beyoncé CAN sing, and a few times she gave me the chills. If I have to pick highlights from the show, I’d pick the version of “Crazy In Love”, that got mixed with the great track “Crazy” by “Gnarls Barkley”, the surprise act of 2006. I especially enjoyed the occasions when the arrangements were altered the most, “Babyboy” that turned into a long belly-dancing act. Since Beyoncé has had such a short solo-career, the middle of the gig was filled with a medley of Destiny’s Child songs, the strongest being “Bug-a-boo”, “Survivor” and “Independent Women”.

Two of my favourite tracks from the new album “Suga Mama”, which seems to be the theme of the tour, and especially “Green Light” I think were highlights of the show. From the first album, I really liked the version of “Me Myself and I”, it’s great track, and I really enjoyed this altered, slow version, mostly performed a-cappella. The version of “Ring The Alarm” was great as well, I’d think twice even considering straying form the “thin and narrow” if I ever got involved with women like that – “I stamped his passport! With a KNIFE! To his CHEST! Destination – HELL” – ouch!

All in all we were treated to an almost 2 hour show, with encores, and I think most of us left the venue with a smile on our face, hey I even think I “believe” that I made her wave when she was thanking “our” section. She thanks the audience in a rather strong way, by trying to establish eye-contact with the audience, spending something like 15-30 seconds just looking at one section of the audience, before proceeding to the next section.

I love her for pushing the idea of the confident, strong and independent woman, and in that respect she’s actually a great role-model for women, and I consider Beyoncé to be some sort of goddess…She’s sexy, but she can carry it, it’s never vulgar. I have no idea what it is she does so differently than most of her colleges, but that alone is not a small feat.

But…And there is at least one but…Beyoncé, her undisputed talent aside, is mostly a “product”, and this is becoming clearer and clearer, and I’ve bought into it. Yes she’s gorgeous, but her music is so-so. I think that the new album is quite a lot better than the first, and it’s much better than most other RnB offerings, but I think she could do so much better. For now I think I’m done buying this product, even though I enjoyed the concert very much.

And I would have liked a performance of the track “Kitty Kat” :-(. I know it’s not that strong a track – but I like it – and it has some special meaning to me.

P5050020 - Detail from one of the fountains in AalborgSince Aalborg is at the opposite end of the country, I decided to make the most of the day, by combining the concert, with a mini-vacation. Aalborg is a city I know very little, and my trip was unexpectedly prolonged, when I missed the last train, so I also had a glimpse of the legendary Aalborg nightlife, and I must say that it lives up to it’s reputation, even though it wasn’t to my taste. Aalborg is a very “young” city, and Aalborg has a very international and trendy atmosphere – comparing the way the young people in Aalborg dresses, to Copenhagen, it looks like Copenhagen is behind in trendiness and fashion awareness.

The centre of the city has been restored with great respect to the old medieval town layout, it’s all very clean, and it looks like a major restoration of the harbour area is in it’s early stages – and that looks promising. One thing I really like is that all the street-signs in the centre of town, has an explanation of the history and etymology of the street names. The history of Aalborg is very interesting, for instance Aalborg was the centre of one of the only real rebellions by danes, when Skipper Clement lead a rising of the farmers in 1534, during the civil-war know as Grevens Fejde (The Count’s Feud).

Besides walking around the town, I also managed to cover two of the main tourist attractions: “The Art Museum – Nordjyllands Kunstmuseeum” and I got to enjoy the spectacular view from the “Aalborg Tower”, but mostly I just enjoyed spending such a wonderful spring-day in Aalborg, and I want to go back.

"Shrine" and bird in flight at Nordjyllands KuntsmuseeumFinally: If I didn’t know that things happen by chance, and that life is random, I would really ponder the fact that the Art Museum was selling jewellery made by Mikala Mortensen, and that the sales clerk told me that he owns some cuff-links from the “green” series – you know two years ago I asked her if she made jewellery for men? Obviously she does now! I know it’s just a coincidence. It’s also a coincidence that I found myself in front of a store called Isis, that the choreography at the Beyoncé show, at one point made it look like she had wings, making the scene, from my vantage point, look just like my favourite carving at Philae, and finally I once again captured a bird in flight, that I didn’t notice, this happens at the strangest places, like the Valley of the Kings, Amagertorv and something that looked like a shrine to Tibet and humanity at the Art Museum in Aalborg. I know that it’s also a coincidence that I stumbled upon a trekking offer in Nepal and Thailand at a travel-agency my good friend Jes has worked at, and that we discussed friday. I need to be careful not to over-interpret these “signs”.

Other links:
soundvenue.dk: To be or not to Beyoncé – 5/6 stared review (in Danish)