Earlier in October we did a little bit of recording again, and this time with the whole band which made it even nicer. I was actually a little bit scared to give up the full control over the keys, but it turned out to be really great. Both because I didn’t have to play all that stuff, but also because then we could record the “base” of each song all together, which is more fun than playing one at a time. And because then we are a proper band!
I went to Italy via Amsterdam on Thursday the 6th, and had quite the long stay in Amsterdam, which I filled with writing a surprisingly long email on my phone, and with looking at food I do not understand how to buy.
Ale picked me up at Linate, and it was, as always, great to drive along the motorway in the late evening with him.
The next day, Friday the 7th, we went into the studio to rehearse the songs we were to record. First with just Ale, Fab, and me, and then Moa came with the bus from Bergamo, and we were finally the whole band again, and could start practicing for real!
This time Ale wanted to be just a musician, and not both play guitar and be a sound engineer at the same time, so a guy called Andrea came along to help us. This was a bit strange for me, but he was a cool guy so I got used to him being there pretty fast. We didn’t record anything on Friday, we just practiced and put up the microphones and such.
That evening we had pizza at La Calchera. I really like that place, and the pizzas are super big, so I always end up making a mess, because I know I cannot eat all of it so I sort of start somewhere in the middle to prioritize…
On Saturday the 8th we started the recording. The plan this time was to record five songs, so that’s what we did.
In the evening I saw Alla Ricerca di Dory with Ale and his kids. One thing I notice when I’m watching things in a language I’m not particularly good at is that my sense of humor gets even worse than usual. So when characters hit their heads or crashes into things my brain finds it SO funny. I think it’s happy that there’s finally something that it can totally understand. (Next year I’ve used 10 years on not learning Italian… but I’m honestly trying now – as each time I come home and have the Italy blues, but maybe this time is it!)
Sunday the 9th was the last day with Andrea and Fabio there, so we did lots of things where all four of us were recorded at once, like backing vocals and hand claps. This was fun. We’re a good gang.
On Monday the 10th we started out with Moa doing lots of add-on organs and synth stuff, and I did some also, and also some more vocals. Then we drove Moa to the buss station, where a scary and very drunk man was angry with us because he thought we were Americans (I think). People are weird.
And then it was just Ale and me and my to do list. I had saved all my guitars for the very end for instance…
I’m really happy with the recordings we did. They will be released as an EP some time in spring next year (I assume), and it seems there might be some gigs coming up as well. I’ll keep you posted.
If any of you would like to make a t-shirt* similar to my Respect Headphones as a Sign of Intentional Isolation shirt, the image may be downloaded here (if it looks like there’s no picture, that’s because the text is white, but it’s there, honestly. Just “save link as” and you’ll see).
Note that I do not own this image, I have stolen it from The Internet. If someone knows who’s behind this wonderful statement, I would like to know! Update: it’s from here
* or other products – I’ve got 2 t-shirts and a hoodie so far
Well, it all started with useless airline people losing both the bass and the guitar. This was a Big Problem, because as we are slightly…logistically challenged (two living in Italy, one in Sweden, and one In Norway), those practices before the gigs are kind of important. Luckily we could rent instruments from the practice place. I love the dude at that place!
I also got to meet Moa’s boyfriend Kalle, and he was very nice. It turned out later that there were some advantages in having two people external to the band this time (my boyfriend Eivind also came along, and took lots of pictures).
Practicing was fun. Fabio did a beautiful dance.
The Spook School played on Friday night. They were great. Particularly loved Burn Masculinity and Binary, as they hit me right in my non-binary heart.
30th of July
No signs of the guitars until we were at the festival, but then we got to know that they were on their way to the rented house, but the house and the festival area were not particularly close… and our concert was at 3 pm! But then Eivind and Kalle went on a rescue mission to retrieve the instruments from some unfortunate neighbour. So… that was a bit stressful. The instruments arrived about 30 minutes before the gig – yay!
We were playing on the Indoor Stage, and I was a bit nervous that it would look very empty if there were just a few people along the walls, but when we started playing there were a Lot of People.
Here are some videos:
And some more pictures:
The audience seemed to enjoy the concert, and we were enjoying it too! A lot! So many people wanted to talk to me after the gig to say nice things. Sometimes when I’ve been to great concerts (like with Spook School or Deerful at Indietracks this time) I think that I really want to tell them how much I loved it, but I hardly ever dare to, and so they don’t get to know that they did something that meant a lot to me. So I’m really happy when people actually tell me that they liked it. It’s the best feeling in the world.
And then we danced.
31st of July
This was the day I got to ride the steam train. I was so happy I almost cried.
A little later I saw the Deerful concert which was so great it made me cry, and then someone said something really, really nice to me and then I started to cry again, and that was enough for one day. Enough crying, that is.
Also thoroughly enjoyed the Charla Fantasma gig. The surprise when they covered Los Saicos! <3
Didn’t see the Trust Fund concert as planned because I was socialising. Not particularly interesting information, I know, but it was a fun sentence to write.
The Aislers Set were nice, and I’m happy I was right in the front, because people are warm and as soon as I moved out of the crowd it got super cold.
And then we danced.
1st of August
People left. I was sad. Gatwick didn’t think I was a terrorist this time. I bought the new Harry Potter book, and some Fireball, and slept in a hotel, and got the flu. And it feels pretty shitty to not have any more gigs planned. I’ve had so much fun with the five gigs we’ve done so far. Fingers crossed for several more to come!
Woke up at 5 because of an early flight to Aalesund – getting to the airport takes a bit longer after I moved to the countryside. The plane was super small, and the islands at Sunnmøre are very different from those at Nordmøre (where I’m from) – they sort of just rise straight out of the sea.
I had to wait a bit for the rest of the band to arrive in the city center, but that’s ok because I’m very good at waiting. We ate Fish and Chips. As I didn’t start eating fish until I was about 25-26 this was perhaps the 4th time I’ve eaten it, even though it’s like a national dish where I come from. Anyway… We drove together with some other folks in a mini bus to Bjørke. We stopped at a supermarket and bought too little beer. Which is probably good for our health and all that.
Bjørke is weird. It’s like squeezed between the mountains, and they are super steep mountains too – straight up! (Note that I am not usually excited about Norwegian nature, so this was a fun experience.) It was very beautiful there.
We were going to live in a house called Berthahuset. It was red, and quite big, and had the bathroom in the basement just like my house, and we were going to be 15 people there (if I remember correctly). We, that is Ale, Fabio, Moa, and me, and Eivind for one night, stayed in one small bedroom. But I think that was good because there were only people I knew there.
In the evening there was like a welcoming party. I talked to some very nice people. (And Stefano turns out to be quite the Manics fan, which made me extremely happy.)
9th of July
We practiced at the stage where we were to play in the evening, so it was like a dress rehearsal. And we ate pizza. And it was raining a lot. And we went home and I slept a bit.
The concert was fun, and there were lots of people, and I think we played quite well.
And then we danced. I cannot quite comprehend how Ale managed to convince me that that was a good idea, but it was great fun. And then I sort of managed to remember that I quite like to dance, so we danced at Indietracks as well.
After we got home, Ale and I went for a walk in the very non-dark night. And we thought we saw a fox. But it may have been a cat also.
10th of July
The weather was nice so we walked into central Bjørke.
I did some percussion in the church with Elin Grimstad. That was fun but hard (we only practiced right before the gig), because the songs were quite difficult, but I think it was ok and that I didn’t put a large amount of shame upon the other musicians. Luckily there’s evidence in the form of moving pictures, so you may decide for yourselves:
The church was very beautiful, and I thoroughly agree with the choice of paint colour on the doors.
After that I was exhausted because of too much people and new stuff and such, so I just wanted to go to bed. Which I did. And then I didn’t want to go to the concerts as early as the others, but Ale stayed with me, so that was good, and the driver picked us up an hour later. The people who drove us around were the best!
Feivel, Red Shoe Diaries, and Trust Fund were great. After the concerts we were very tired, so no dancing or other extravaganza.
11th of July
Took the bus and left at Moa (the place, not the person). And it wasn’t as sad as usual, because Indietracks was only three weeks away.
I travelled from Bergen to Oslo to Milano Malpensa early on Monday 25th of April. I bought a pair of new in-ear phones both in Bergen (cheap substitute ones) and in Oslo (not-so-cheap proper ones), because the cable for my Bose’s is fucked up. At the plane to Milano I was at the very back, and there were nobody else next to me or in front of me – in fact the whole 2 back rows were for me only. Luxury!
Then I took the train from Milano to Brescia and Ale picked me up at the station. I don’t remember so much from this night, only that we watched Cars II (we being Ale and me and Pietro and Samuele – they are Ale’s kids and they are super cool), and that it was very nice. As it was the first night my Italian was even more bad than usual, so I mostly watched the pictures on the TV and enjoyed hanging out with the family. It’s weird how much it feels like being with family when I’m in Italy.
The next day, Tuesday 26th, Ale and I drove to Orio al Serio to pick up Moa, who is our new synth player. I really love how much cooler the songs are live now than earlier when we didn’t have her. We went to have lunch first, and then I saw the new Panini Euro2016 sticker book and started to look forward to that. And then we went to the studio for the first practice. Some songs were surprisingly hard to do the first time, just because of emotional baggage (for me), like Don’t Kill the Clowns.
That evening, after we had eaten gnocchi (<3), I discovered Pietro’s Amici Cucciolotti book, which was perfect level Italian for me. So I used some time to read about seals and sea horses.
Wednesday the 27thwas also practice day, and it became very clear that my voice is not used to singing several hours a day. But we started to sound good during this day! In the evening Samuele and I played with cars and I got grappa also, and the combination wasn’t bad at all. I really like the way we can speak to each other without worrying about meaning, like he talks to me in Italian, and I answer in Norwegian, and nobody really care that we might not be talking about the same thing, because that’s not the point.
Thursday the 28th we drove to Bologna, after a short practice first. Driving with Ale on Italian highways is one of my favourite things to do. (I had kind of forgotten how much I liked it, but after these days I felt like writing a follow up song to Driving in Your Car, and so I did (couple of days ago).)
This gig was the first one since summer of 2013, and the first with more of a “proper band” since the summer of 2011, so it was really weird. Also we had to play Super Quiet, which was also weird, but nice to be able to hear my voice really properly. And Ale said that I sang well and was friendly 🙂
A really good thing about that night was also to see Enzo again. He was dj-ing as well, and that’s good because then you can be sure that there is only good music.
We drove back in the evening.
Friday the 29thwe could have a slow morning, so we did. Moa and I went down to Ale, and then he went to the store to buy some food, and when he returned he had bought the Cucciolotti book for me!
And there were a lot of stickers, and I was so happy! Then I was the most useless person for a while because I was sticking stickers while Moa was cooking and Ale was washing the floor…but also my stomach hurt super much so I would perhaps not have been so useful even without the sticker book. So before we started driving to Vittorio Veneto we stopped by a pharmacy to get something to make my stomach shut up. The pills made me kinda tired also, so I wasn’t as happy a camper as I would have liked to have been this day. But the gig was ok anyway I think, we sold 5 copies of the old album, and I could drum as loud as I wanted.
Saturday the 30thFabio returned from Germany, and we had one quick rehearsal with him before going to the airport. We went with British Airways, which is good because they have free wine.
On Sunday the 1stof May, we had breakfast some place near our apartment in London. While we were eating there, money was falling from the sky outside. This almost never happens! They were picked up by a dude who looked like Snoop Dogg, and he delivered a rather large amount of it to the staff at the café, in case someone came asking for them, but also kept a Rather Large Amount for himself. He was fun. He ended up paying for everyone’s breakfast, pointing to each in turn saying “done, done, done, done!”. This was probably confusing for the one entering the place after the money had fallen: “Some dude just paid for my breakfast and then pointed at me saying DONE!?”.
After this Ale read a bit for me from The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, and that was super nice, and we also relaxed a bit and had lunch, and then we went to the venue, which was the Schacklewell Arms. I liked that place. It was brown and had football on the TV, and you could either listen to the bands or be in the bar or be in a backyard, and they also served food so you didn’t have to go anywhere else to get that.
We played at 21:30-ish, and there were a lot of people, and I think we were good, but you can decide for yourselves as the whole gig is at YouTube. Here’s part 1, and the rest is out there (10 in total).
It was the best gig of those three we did, and also now we had Fabio on the bass and that made a huge difference. I’m really really happy with my new band. The best possible band for me!
Monday the 2nd of May I joined Ale and Fabio to Gatwick even though it was far too early for my flight, because I had no reason to be in London with my luggage and all.
And I really hate to say goodbye to Ale, and now it was even worse than January, so the security dudes seemed to assume I was some really really sad suicide bomber. I got to tell them about the gigs, so that was nice… Last time I was at Gatwick, they thought I was wearing terrorist trousers, so now I want to travel from there more just to see what happens next time. After I was through the security control, I found The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, and bought it, because I had only borrowed it before.
Looking very much forward to the next concerts at Indiefjord and Indietracks. It’s Good to Be Back!
After some years highly involuntary hiatus Soda Fountain Rag is returning for real this year.
Here’s how that happened:
Frida & Ale were going to play Indietracks last summer, and asked if I wanted to play drums. We practiced once before the gig, and it was super fun. But most of all it was great to see Ale again. It sounds like a cliché, but it felt like no time had past since we last met in December 2010(!).
After this we started talking about maybe recording some songs, with him on guitar and Fabio on the bass. And so we did in Brescia in October 2015. Four songs were done in some days, and being in Italy again felt a bit like coming home. Those people are my family, after all.
This January I went back and did five more songs, and together with one song recorded in 2010 which I thought was too good to throw away, this will be an album called Extra Life. Release will be later this spring, through WWNBB.
There was a lot of percussion going on. Ale took these pictures: