Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry christmas!

Song of the day:
Clarence Carter - Back Door Santa

Friday, November 07, 2014

More commercials.

Tonight me and my good friend Daniel are at it again at Södra Station, Eskilstuna, Sweden.
Be there or be...well, you know. One of those shapes that are not rounded and has corners.

Song of the day:
The Bar-Kays - Soul Finger

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

All that vinyl has to be put to use somehow.

There's been a lot of posts about music lately. Not very strange, since music has always been the number one ingredient in my hard competiton with the scooters and clothes/style. The latter two will feature more here on the blog but for now here's another musicrelated post.

I think anyone who reads this know by now that I DJ now and then. Both on clubnights I arrange myself and on others as a guest-DJ. Me and my good friend Daniel also host a semiregular night called South Station Soul which takes place about once a month at our local pub/cafe Södra Station. All vinyl of course - but there's no need in writing that out really, is it?

Not too long ago I finally got around to getting an account on Mixcloud where I plan to upload mixes or sets now and then. At the moment there are only four of them on there, but expect more in the future. A new one is actually most likely coming as early as tomorrow night or on sunday. Soul, funk, latin, ska, mod, grooves, garage, psych...I think you get what too expect. Since it's all vinyl and mostly old 45s you can't expect too many beatmixes (although some scratching might eventually turn up I feel like it).

So, if you feel like having a listen just drop in here:


Song of the day:
Willie Jones - Where's My Money?

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

And now: commercials.

I suppose not too many of you reading this resides in my hometown Eskilstuna, but IF you do I suggest you unbook any previous plans you might have had for this coming friday evening, put on some smart attire and get down to Södra Station where me and my good friend Daniel will be spinning some old-school soul and funk, latin, ska and other groovy stuff all night.

All vinyl. Of course.

Song of the day:

Skull Snaps - I'm Your Pimp

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Way of the crowd.

There has been a lot of documentaries about northern soul made, but not many are very good or interesting. And don't even get me started on the movies...Soul Boy might have been fun in it's own way, but let's be honest: it is basically just Saturday Night Fever with better music and set in a dead end town in north England during the early 70's. That being said I do have some hope in the new Northern Soul - The Film, which premieres october 17th this year...but more about that one in a later post.

This documentary, called Way Of The Crowd, is however one of the better I've seen on the subject. Clocking in at a little over 40 minutes it features not only interviews with some of the original faces from the scene (some well known, some not so well known) and a lot of great dancing as well as (naturally) good music, but it also contains some footage from the heydays which at least I had not seen before (combined with the usual footage from Wigan Casino that seems to be in every documentary about northern soul ever made of course). You even get some interviews with a few of the original artists that were brought out of obscurity by the northern soul explosion.

All of this, combined with the fact that it actually tells the history of northern soul as well as explains (or at least tries to explain) the movements cultural roots, development, all of the things it started and influenced (DJing, disco, breakdancing etc) and where it stands today makes it well worth watching whether you are a true aficionado or just wonder "northern soul - what?".

Song of the day:
Evie Sands - Picture Me Gone

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Eskilsphenia 2014.

Eskilsphenia has now become somewhat of a tradition on the Swedish scooterscene. What started out as a small get together for friends has grown by each year, and now onto it's seventh year it is actually considered one of the bigger annual happenings with about 70-80 scoots (and a lot more people) participating each year. That may not sound much, but if you consider the fact that Eskilstuna is a rather small town with only about 100.000 inhabitants and only a handful of people into this sort of stuff it kind of puts thing in a different perspective.

Being a cityrun it sort of divides it's focus between the scooters during the day and clubbing at night. This year, as we have the last two, we decided to combine it with my "own" clubnight, The Melting Pot during which I shared the decks with Mamba from Malmö, Charming Charlotte from Stockholm and Eikedelic from Berlin.

All in all the event went well, without any major glitches (although a few small mishaps are alway to be expected). As usual when it comes to scooterruns I will not write to much about, and rather let the photos do the talking instead.

Thanks to all who came and to my colleagues in our local scooterclub, Blacksmiths SC, for helping
out in tying it all together!

Since I was rather busy organizing so somewhat less photos than usual was snapped, but if you want to see the rest of those they can be found here.

 My brothers and sisters in Sweden Blues SC were there too. Of course. 

Munken and Tjompen of Stockholm Mods posing by the scoots by the scooters during the rideout.

My partner in crime, brother from Blues SC and semiregular DJ -companion - Mamba.

Eikedelic made sure the dancefloor got going. 

And of course Charming Charlotte - busy on the dancefloor when not behind the decks.

Song of the day:
Harvey Scales & The 7 Sounds - Love-I-Tis

Monday, September 15, 2014

On the turntable: Larry Williams & Johnny Guitar Watson - Too Late

The fullength album was released in -67, but the promo I have is from -76.

Ok. Here's the setup: Larry Williams, rhythm 'n blues and rock 'n roll singer, mostly remembered as the guy who wrote Bony Moronie and Dizzy Miss Lizzy. And Johnny "Guitar" Watson, guitarplayer extraordinaire, often quoted as a major influence of Jimi Hendrix and Frank Zappa (actually, Johnny Watson deserves a post of his own at some point). Two bad boys if you like. Bad boys who were really good friends and thought: "Hey, we both like to have fun and cause a ruckus. And we like to play music. Why not record an album together?".

Actually, I have no idea if that is what they were thinking, but I would really like to think that's how it happened because it's what their album "Two for the price of one" sounds like. Especially this single, Too Late, which is somewhat of a classic on the northern soul scene and one of my favourites in the genre. A duet between the two men in which one is the guy who's woman just left him for another man (probably due to him not being a very nice guy) and the other one is his friend. The music may be upbeat, but the lyrics although funny in a sense are pretty dark and contains sentences such as "she'd done mess you around a made you an alcoholic", "don't need no woman to help me starve to death" and "you don't want nobody that don't treat you right - she's got to love you every night". Basically it's like listening to two good friends with dubious opinions when it comes to women and relationships getting a little too drunk and bitter at the local pub late at night translated into a song.

 Oh, and did I mention that it has a driving beat layered with strings?

Song of the day:
Larry Williams & Johnny "Guitar" Watson - Too Late

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Sinful Mod Weekend Gothenburg 2014 - photos galore!

Summer has a tendency to make you focus on other things than writing on a small blog on the internet. Especially if you reside in a country where summer only last for a little less than three months. There's just too many other, more significant things to do out in the real world during those warm weeks than spending time indoors in front of a computer screen. However, autumn is coming and things are slowly returning to normal so expect slightly more regular posting from my behalf on here now.

For starters: I began my summevacation by going to Gothenburg for the first installment of the Sinful Mod Weekend in more than a decade. Three days of spending time with old and new friends from all over sweden as well as the rest of europe, filled with scooterriding, drinking and dancing at all-nighters. A close to perfect weekend and a not just a little hard to describe in words - hence I'll let the pictures do most of the talking this time.

There are quite a few photos in this post, but those of you who wish to see even more of the photos I took during this wonderful weeken on the westcoast of sweden can do so here.

Round and round we go.

My mate Acke shows once again why smoking, unhealthy as it may be, will always be the quintessential of cool in a photo.

And my brother in Sweden Blues Scooter Club, Robin, doing what we do best.

Mirrors, mirrors and more mirrors.

Mingling in the middle of Gothenburg. Mods, skins, soulies, rudeboys etc all as one. 

The Alloy Six treated us to some livemusic during the rideout. 

Well...why not? 

 Great friends and drinks in the park during a warm summer evening before heading of to the final allnighter. Hard to beat.

Suit up and get 'yer 45s out!

Dance to keep from crying.

Song of the day:
Dobie Gray - Out On The Floor

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Lambretta Club Stockholm and friends go to Åland 2014.

This time of the year is always mostly scooterstuff for me. Surprise, surprise...
If I'm not of riding one of my scooters somewhere I am usually fixing something one of them. Or someone elses. Or at least thinking of fixing something on a scooter.

One of the highlights of the scooterseason is the annual trip me and my mates in Lambretta Club Stockholm (which I am, oddly enough, a member of even though I don't live in Stockholm). It is a really spontaneous affair during which we invite fellow scooterist to simply take the ferry over to Åland to ride, stay at a hotel and hang out. A few beers are usually involved too.

We have been doing for...six? Seven? Ten years? To be honest we have sort of lost count but at least it's been a few times now and it is always really, really nice. This year was no exception. The only downside was really the wind - not only was the ferryride over to Åland a nightmare (luckily I am not prone to seasickness) but the wind on the roads once we got there was terrible and made it almost impossible to control the bike at times. I have been riding a scooter for more years than I am bothered to keep count of, but this was the first time that I was actually close to stop the rideout and head back home to the hotel due to it just being to scary to ride. 20 scooters driving in a row, wandering over the road due to winds hitting from the sides is no picnic, let me tell you that.

Apart from that small detail the weekend was great, and the longer trip we took before boarding the ferry home on sunday, when the weather was a lot milder, more than made up for it.  Good friends, good drinks, some scoots and a portable record player is really all it takes.

As usual there are more photos for those interested, and they can be found here.

Out on the windy (REALLY windy) roads of Åland.
Hanging on the stairwell in the evening sun before heading out into the night.
Song of the day:
Billy Stewart - Summertime 

Thursday, June 26, 2014


Sorry about the crappy iPhone-pic.

Some packages make me extra happy when then they are delivered to my door: the ones containing cool new parts for the scooters and the ones containing music. Especially if the music comes on seven inch vinyl.

This one belongs to the latter kind, containing some 45s I have been wanting for quite some time and that are not the easist to find. It arrived at my place yesterday - straight from the very nice Sean over at Chapman Records in Britain, right on time for this weekends DJ-set. Extremely fast shipping and serviceminded, rather decent prices, a very broad offering of different records (both rare and not so rare) and highly recommended if you are into soul, ska and similar music.

Now let's get ready for the weekend!

Now you know what to do if you're in Eskilstuna, Sweden tomorrow.

Song Of The Day:
Arthur Conley - Sweet Soul Music

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Go West Cannonball Scooter Race 2014.

A couple of weekends ago I went to the west of sweden, Halland to be precise, to participate in this years Cannonball Scooter Race, aptly named "Go West" this time.

For those of you who have no idea what a Cannonball Race is I advise you to google it. Or even better - have a look at the classic (well, that's one word for it at least) movie The Cannonball Run starring amongst others Burt Reynolds, Roger Moore and Farrah Fawcett. Then just imagine that they were riding italian scooters instead.

I won't bore you with details of what went down, and instead just settle with saying that it was a great weekend. Lovely roads, even lovelier people, beatiful scenery, interesting assignments, great weather and quite a few breakdowns (as it should be).

If you want to see some more pictures you can do so here.

Waiting to take off.

Hanging out in the sun. 

 Everything from total restorations to rustorations participated. 

My teammate Mats (you compete in pairs during a Cannonball Race) fixing a flat tire on his TV175 series 2 in the middle of...well, somewhere. 

Two of our competitors striking a pose at one of the checkpoints.

Song of the day:
Ray Charles - Hit The Road Jack

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Summer style - the seersucker.

 Blue and white striped seersucker blazer, a thin cotton shirt with a blue and slightly pink check, and a pair of selvage denims. Plus a pair of orange socks to add a splash of colour. Pair this with a Lambretta of your choice and you are good to go!

Summer has finally arrived in Sweden. Or at least late spring, which means that the weather is getting a lot warmer. I for one love that, since I do find the cold and dark winter somewhat of a downer. There is one major downside to summer though: for someone who likes to dress smart it get's a lot harder. At least if you don't feel like being soaked in sweat after just an hour outdoors.

Enter - the seersucker! Seersucker is actually not a suit in itself, it is the name of the material - a thin type of cotton, usually but not always in a white and blue (or red) stripe or checkpattern that is woven in a way that makes the threads bunch together and create a wrinkled appearance. That the fabric is rather thin, paired with the wrinkles, is what makes it ideal for a summer suit. It not only breathes, but the structure actually makes the fabric be held of from your skin, allowing air to sweep underneath as well as warmth to escape without causing ugly sweatstains.
Originally from India the materials original name is actually in Hindi: "keer aur shakkar", which means "rice pudding and sugar". It is generally believed to refer to the structure of the fabric, where the smooth cotton parts are the pudding and the "lumps" are the sugar. With time the name has been reformed amongst us westeners until today when it is refered to as seersucker.

Seersucker is used in a lot of things: bedlinen, shirts, towels. But perhaps most famously in suits.  It was the british who first brought it from India. During the colonial days a lot of welldressed gentlemen in places such as British India found the warm and humid conditions a real nuisance and soon enough some of them started fashioning suits of the seersucker fabric in order to be able to dress well and still not turn into a wet puddle of sweat. That the material, being wrinkled even from the start, also made the suits easier to care for in a country where a good drycleaning service probably was rather hard to find made them even more suitable,
These suits followed them over the atlantic, back home, and eventually came to America where they grew especially popular in the southern states where the weather conditions were similar to, and sometimes even more humid than, those in India.

Originally the seersucker suit was considered somewhat of a poor mans suit in the states, but in the 20s they were picked up by the preppy students of the Ivy League-universitys and the rest is history. Today the seersucker is considered an american and british classic and it has been adopted by gentlemen and people into classic fashion all over the world.

Finding a nice seersucker can be a harder task than you'd imagine though. At least if you, like me, are into the more continental and british variations of style. Sure, there are tons of seersucker blazers and suits floating around eBay and such sites, but most of them are way to oversized or does not have the buttoning or rise I prefer. I had been looking for one that appealed to my taste for quite some time when I finally found New Orleans, on our trip there last summer. Where else?
Mine is a Penguin by Munsingwear one and a full suit. I was really glad when I found it because of all the detailing - ticket pocket, slim lapels and working cuff buttonings to name a few. I had a third button added though since it was a two button blazer. Nothing wrong with that (I might even do a 2 vs 3 button-post in the future), but I was not quite pleased with the low rise. Luckily enough the cut of the lapels made it easy for my tailor to sort that out - on most jackets adding a third buttonhole is something that is advised against.
I really like the look off the full suit, but quite often wear the blazer alone and combine it with a pair of lighcoloured trousers or even denim (blue seersuckers are one of the few blazers, apart from the odd tweed-jacket, that actually works worn with jeans in my opinion). That's one other benefit of the seersucker - it can be worn as full suit with shirt (with or without tie) or as a casual blazer/summersjacket. I am actually keeping my eyes out for another one at the moment - preferebly with a red or mintgreen pattern.

So...put on that thin summer shirt, button up your seersucker and get ready for those summerpartys with a nice cocktail in hand!

Song of the day:
Eddie Floyd - Big Bird

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Baracutadash! Or: the fun of being a background DJ.

Some of my friends in Lambretta Club Stockholm dropped by to show of their rides.

One of my absolute favourite brands when it comes to jackets is, and has been for a very long time, Baracuta - the legendary clothesmaker whose most famous garment in the legendary G9 (probably the best looking non formal jacket ever made): the mother of all Harringtons, made famous by the likes of Steve McQueen, James Dean, Elvis Presley, The Clash and just about every casually dressed mod in the 60s. Too name a few.

Lately, I've started a collaboration of sorts with Baracuta (or, to be more precise with the company that handles their resale and promotion in Sweden). However, the details around that are not yet 100% official so I will not tell you more about it until it's all in the clear.

What I can tell you about now though is last wednesdays event in Stockholm. As promotion for this years summer-collection a small party for specially invited guests was held at the store Haberdash after their regular closing time. As a start of our collaboration I had been asked to DJ at the event together with Gustav Bendt, an aquaintance of mine who happens to be part of the same project.

I don't do lounge-DJing, or whatever you should call it, very often. Or maybe I should put it - I don't do it often enough. Theres's something very liberating about not having to care about keeping a dancefloor crowded and get to focus on playing some of your favourite tunes and just keeping the mood nice and sweet instead. Me, my bag of 45s (ok - I did bring some LPs too to be honest) and Gustav had a very nice time behind the turntables and I think the people who showed up, according to the promoters about 150 persons all in all, had one too. On the other hand it's rather hard not too have a nice time when there's great people to talk to, a bunch of scooters parked outside, the clothes on display look great and the good people from Camden Brewery and Hendricks are serving beer and drinks for free. A bit of a bummer that I had to drive home to Eskilstuna after the event due to working at my dayjob the  next morning and therefore couldn't taste one of the great old-fashioneds my DJ-partner happily sipped on, but not a big enough bummer to ruin this otherwise wonderful pre-summer evening.

All in all it was a very pleasent evening and it was great to get to play all of those records I love and listen to at home but that aren't quite fit for a regular night behind the decks at a club or all-nighter. For example I finally got to play that wonderful Georges Raudi Et Son Orchestre-single Stercok that I love so much but that never seems to fit into any of my "normal" sets.
It seems I was not the only who enjoyed it either and that I might get to play those loungier records at other places than my own livingroom some more since I was offered a few other gigs of the same kind in Stockholm later on this year afterwards. A nice side-effect so to speak. No dates are set yet, but I have a feeling you might get to read about it here if, or when, it happens.

Inside of the store, turntables spinning. Sorry about the crappy iPhone-pic - I was too busy spinning to pick up my real camera.
Song of the day:
Georges Raudi Et Son Orchestre - Stercok

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

On the turntable: Ernestine Andersson - You Can't Buy Love.

One of the best things about being into soulmusic is that no matter how much you listen, dig, read and learn, there is still always going to be records and songs you've never heard of before left to find out about. During the heydays of soulmusic the amount of artists that got to record a single was enormous - and a lot of them never made it big. Not necessarily due to them not being as good as the household names (actually quite the opposite in a lot of cases) but more due to a lack of funds, bad luck or simply life getting in the way.

This one, at least for me, is one of those records I had not heard about before stumbling across it one of my local used record-stores. I don't really know what made me give it a chance at the testlistening player (this store is one of the few in town that actually have a turntable so you can listen to the records before you buy them) since Mercury is a rather big label that does not exactly scream "great soul!!!". I did not really know Ernestine Anderson or the song either. Or well, I kind of thought I recognized her name but couldn't place it and for some reason I was sort of expecting to hear a rock'n roll backbeat when dropping the needle.

How wrong was I not? As soon as I heard the first few bars, a fuzzy, almost kind of psych, guitar and the drums and organheavy rhythmsection kicked in I knew that I had stumbled upon something good. And when Ernestines vocals came on I realised that this was right up my alley and even a potential new favourite track. The song, released in 1966, has a almost rhythm 'n bluesy kind of feel to it, yet it is still distinctively soul. It is basically what I would describe as a pure mod-stomper and apparently, it has been getting some plays on the northern soul scene. This was indeed one of those times when taking a chance turned out to be the right thing to do. The flipside, a track called Jerk & Twine, is quite a dancer too.

Who is this Ernestine then? Well, she was born in 1928 and as far as I've been able to find out she is still an active musician (or well - as active as you can be at the age of 86 at least). Apparently she used to be a pretty big name in jazz- and bluescircuits in the 50's and 60's, singing with acts such as Lionel Hampton and Johnny Otis. She even spent quite some time touring sweden and actually recorded her debut album here.

This track however is neither jazz nor blues in my opinon. It is pure classic soul - and great such too.

Song of the day:
Ernestine Anderson - You Can't Buy Love

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Record Store Day in 15 minutes.

As mentioned in the previous post Stockholms Scooter Premiere this year took place on the same day as Record Store Day in sweden (which for some unexplained reason is one week later than in the UK). A bit of a bummer, since that means quite a clash between two of my biggest passions - scooters and music. I would of course have liked to attend both, but decided to prioritize the scooters. However, that didn't stop me from visiting at least two stores that just happened to be located nearby Nytorget where all the scooters were on exhibition after the rideout.

I did not have much time to spare, and it was packed with people so I went straight for the 45 section and just flipped through it quickly. I'm sure I could have found a lot more if I'd have taken the time to search through all the bins thoroughly, but to be honest I'm not too displeased with the few records I did pick up. Plus, my wallet is probably pretty thankful too.

The very first 45 I looked at happened to be the official Record Store Day-release of Gloria Jones Tainted Love (yes, yes - I know some peoples opinions on buying reissues, but frankly I'm not that bothered so no comments about that please). Probably the classic of all classics on the Northern Soul-scene (and perhaps even the soul-scene in general) and the flipside Come Go With Me ain't too bad either so naturally it's one that I have wanted in my collection for quite a while. But, since you seldom stumble upon it by chance and I haven't felt like buying it from eBay or similar considering it's usually pretty expensive despite not being to rare I picked it up straight away.

The next one I decided to get was on the funkier side of soul - straight from New Orleans, probably my favourite city in the world: The Meters, People Say/Funky Meters Soul. Also an official Record Store Day-release.

As if that wasn't enough I then stumbled upon another Northern/Rare Soul-classic: Frankie & Johnny's I'll Hold You. Perhaps not as widely known as Gloria Jones, but still a classic I'm sure anyone with the least bit of interest in soul or mod will have heard it at some point.

I also left the stores with a bit of punk/mod-revival: The Jam, In The City and Secret Affair, Time For Action. In The City happens to be one of my favourite Jam-tracks but I didn't have it as a single and Secret Affair...well, let's say it might not be the best song ever written but I have a lot of good memories connected to it. That they where both in the 5 kr bin (which translates into about half a pund or a little less than a dollar each) made it an easy decision. The fact that I realised I already had the Secret Affair 45 when I got home is a different matter. One that I'm sure anyone into cratedigging will recognize.

All in all a pretty nice outcome after all, especially considering I only had about 15 minutes of spare time to dig.

I won't write more about any of these singles this time, but you never know - one or two of them might turn up in the "on the turntable"-section at some time...

Song Of The Day:
Gloria Jones - Tainted Love

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Stockholm Scooterpremiere 2014 and all-nighter.

Last weekend I went off to Stockholm to participate in their scooterpremiere along my clubmates in Sweden Blues Scooter Club and Lambretta Club Sthlm. The sun was shining and had it not been for the fact that the trees had just about only started turning green it would have been easy to believe that it was mid june. Great turnup to. I heard someone mentioning a number of about 85 participating scooters.

But to be perfectly honest the scooterpremiere was only a small part of my plans for weekends. I was also there to celebrate my good friend Karin and Johns birthdays (her 30th, his 40th) at a big party during the evening (which later opened up for the public and turned into the official scooterpremiere all-nighter) and spend some time behind the decks.

And what a party it was! Me and my DJ-mates Tailor Bob, Elias, Charming Charlotte and Reidar took turns behind the decks and the floor was packed most of the night. Everybody was singing, eating good food, dancing and generally having a great time.
And as if that wasn't enough to two live acts in the form of Reidar and, foremost - The LaVettes.
Their highpaced, stomping soul -acentuaded by the driving hornsection fronted by my partner in crime behind the turntables, Charming Charlotte - put the crowd in a dancing frenzy and after that the evening just kept escalating. I think I even saw a clubmate of mine from Blues SC (no names mentioned) dance in his leopard underwear for a song or two.

At about 3:30 in the morning I decided to call it quits, but even then there were still quite a few people up and about, having a chat by the bar or dancing to the sweet northern soul-sounds courtesy of my good friend and Blues SC-mate Tailor Bob.

The sunday was mostly spent sitting in the sun on the front porch of Ronny and Åsa, who were friendly enough to let me crash on their couch for the night (which i repaid by taking Åsas shoes with me home, mistaking them for the darkbrown brogues I had worn the prevous night...sorry about that), drinking lemonade and sipping on a coffee. And also taking a rather long walk through the south of Stockholm and the along the waterside.
I do like my hometown Eskilstuna a lot and would not want to move away from here, but still I have got to admit that there is a little something about Stockholm during spring.

All in all - a top weekend. And then I haven't even mentioned that I also find the time during the saturday, which was this years Record Store Day in sweden, to pop into a few record stores and score a couple of rather sweet 45s.

If you would like to see more pictures from the scooterpremiere and party you can do so here.

The LaVettes, with Charming Charlotte in the foreground.

Song Of The Day:
Dobie Gray - Out On The Floor

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Sweet memories...

...or at least the kind that are sweet in hindsight. I wasn't feeling particulary sweet at the moment to be honest.

Spring is here and I've been looking through old photos and movieclips to get the mood on for this years scooterseason. This one in particular, shot by my mate Per Dahlberg during the gymkhana-contest at Mondo Scooter Rhum a few summers ago, always brings a smile to my face.

I am the guy frantically kicking a blue Vespa. The gloating guy in the foreground is my doppelganger from Gothenburg - Andreas.
Unfortunately for those if you not from around here this clip is in swedish, but let me assure you that they are saying nothing but nice and encouraging things about me and the way I always make sure my scooters are in full working condition before heading off to a scooterrun.

The Meters - Chicken Strut

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Speaking of Mods and Rockers...

 ...I just realised that I have yet to post anything about last years Mods vs Rockers in Stockholm, even though it took place in september.  That won't do, will it?

So here it goes: if you're reading this blog I'm pretty sure you are familiar with what mods are. And Rockers. (If not I might, and that is might, post something about that in the future - to be honest I'm not sure I am that keen on getting into the "what is mod"-discussion). You probably know what a Mods vs Rockers-do is too. But just in case someone does not know, here is a very brief and extremely simplified explanation:
During the early to mid-60's in Britain mods and rockers were the two major subcultures amongst young people. The mods rode italian scooters, liked sharp clothing and digged black american music such as soul and R'nB. The rockers drove british and american motorcycles, like heavy bikers gear and digged white american music such as rock'n roll. Needless to say the two did not get along very well. In fact they did not get along at all and by circa the mid-sixties the oppositions culminated in a series of fights and riots in british seaside towns during the bank holidays - most famously Brighton.

Ok - have you got the picture? Now fast forward about half a decade to today, when the mods and rockers have realised that they actually have quite a lot in common. The love of music and two-wheeled vehicles in particular, albeit with a different outlook. This has resulted in the so called Mods vs Rockers-events which takes place all over the world during which todays mods and rockers meet to settle the score, althoug with a lot more friendly attitude than in the 60s. The age of the participants might be somewhat higher than it was back in the days too, but let's not dwell on that...

This is basically how it goes down: the mods start from one part of town, the rockers from another. Somewhere along the way the two meet up to honk, rev their engines and scream at each other. Then they ride together to town to a place were "the stand-off" takes place. This might consist of a contest of some sort or simpy by counting which side has the most participants. Then, at night, there's one hell of a party where both mods and rocker have a few drinks and dance to good music together.
Simple as that and all in good fun.

This years Stockholm edition of Mods vs Rockers took place in september last summer and was probably the biggest one yet. I really don't know how many vehicles there were...does "a lot" count as a number? I won't bore you with details except for saying that it was, as it always is, a great day and night. Sure, the rockers won by numbers but when it came to partying us mods stood undefeated since not a rocker was in sight at the dancefloor and when I finally gave up and left the deck (I DJ'ed for the mods during the pary at night) at about four in the morning the mods were still up and about at the dancefloor. However, not a single rocker was to be found. They all went to bed a few hours earlier. Probably tired from all that kickstarting...

Anyone who wants to see a few more pictures from Mods vs Rockers Stockholm 2014 can do so here.

The meet-up. As I mentioned - there were quite a few of us.

My good mate Acke shows why smoking, unhealthy as it may be, can still be the essence of cool.

Song of the day:
Charles Sheffield - It's Your Voodoo Working

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Mods and rockers Thailand.

I found this videoclip through my pal Da Ngyen over at The Scooterist blog.
Apparentely not only us westerners have taken the habit of arranging Mods and Rockes-do's. They do it over in Asia too - and they do it massive. With over 700 vehicles it seems too be way bigger than most of the other Mod and rockers-events I've heard of so far.

If you add that they, judging from this clip, seem to know how to throw one heck of a party, the warm weather and the fact that most of the scoots and motorcycles look really sweet you can only come to the conclusion that Mods and rockers Thailand appears to be an event you wouldn't want to have missed.

I might just have to check when it's on the next time, book my vacation and start saving up funds for a trip to Asia.

Song of the day:
The Sonics - Have Love, Will Travel

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

On the turntable: Baby Huey - The Living Legend.

I figured I will start doing semiregular posts about music I love, that inspires me or that I just for some reason find interesting and first out is a rather bigboned fellow that my friend Cheeta introduced me to some time ago. For some strange reason I had completely missed up on it before that.
It has been getting quite a few spins at my place lately and is perfect for anyone like me who sometimes like their soul served with a bit of funk. Or actually, "funk served with a little bit of soul" would probably be more appropriate in the case of Baby Huey.

Baby Huey, or as he was born in 1944 - James Ramey, moved to Chicago from his birthtown Richmond, Indiana when he was 19 years old in pursuit of a career in music. He started playing in several local bands and soon adopted the stage name Baby Huey, taken from the overweight cartoon film character with the same name. Apparentely he did not only suffer from a glandular disease which is what caused him to weigh in at about 160 kg but he also suffered from a real poor taste in cartoons. Nothing bad can be said about his sense of humour or self-distance though.

Nothing bad could be said about his ability to sing or his iconic stage presence (despite his size) either and by the late 60s Baby Huey had become one of the more popular live Chicago-artists, backed by some of his old friends who now went under the name of The Babysitters.
They had already released a few 45's in a more traditonal soul/R'nB-style, but lately started to move towards a more psychedelic funksound as was in style at the moment.
Pretty soon they became noticed by Curtis Mayfield (who I suppose need no introduction). He was impressed by Baby Hueys voice and stage persona and wanted to sign him to his label Curtom Records...but without The Babysitters. Therefore this album was to be released solely under the name Baby Huey, even though parts of The Babysitters did participate in the recordings.

Soon enough recordings were under way, with Curtis Mayfield himself as producer and it looked as if Baby Huey were set for true stardom - tipped by many to be the next new name in soul- and funkmusic.
Unfortunately Baby Huey had developed a heroin addiction by then. And on top of that a drinking problem. The already big man now weighed in at over 180 kg and had began coming late to gigs, rehearsals and recording-sessions. On his good days. At his bad days he didn't show up at all.

October 28 1970 Baby Huey was found dead from a drug-induced heartattack in his motel room. He was 26 years old and his first album was yet to be released...or even finished recording.

 Any album that has a photo on the backcover showing the artist wearing a fat guys dress while reading a picture cookbook in what appears to be his living room just has to be great. Right?

The Baby Huey Story: The Living Legend was released in 1971 and consisted of most of the tracks that had been recorded in the sessions, as well as a few instrumentals about which it is unclear whether they are tracks that The Big Babe was meant to add vocals to before his passing or if they are just songs with session musicians that Mayfield added to get enough material for a full album.
Unfortunately, it is hard to promote an album when there's no artist around to tour anymore, and it was even harder in the days before the internet. The album didn't sell very well and was soon passed on to the thriftstore-crates of "forgotten soul and funk".

That is - until hip-hop and sampling came along. Suddenly artists and producers such as Ice Cube, A Tribe Called Quest and Ghostface Killah to name a few started digging up old copies of The Living Legend and using the powerful breaks, beats and horns in their own productions and the album is now considered to be a cultclassic.
 It is actually possible to find an original of this album...but it will cost you. Luckily, due to the cultstatus it has achieved today there are now reissues, such as my copy, that are more reasonably priced.

And what an album it is! This is album is pure gold from start to end. All the way from the full souly funk-assault of the opening track Listen To Me to the panflute-, horn-, and organ-laden instrumental ending called One Dragon, Two Dragon. Also worth noting is the cover of Sam Cooke's A Change Is Going To Come, where Baby Huey shows that he easily could have competed with some of the biggest names in soul-ballads had he only gotten the chance. And let's not forget the instrumental version of The Mamas & The Papas California Dreamin' . If that one does not get your groove on, nothing ever will. Or the live call and response-euphoria of Mighty Mighty (in which Huey shows that not only the music, but also his way of singing might have had some influence of certain rappers). And finally one has to mention Hard Times - probably the very reason those hip-hop guys jumped on this album in the first place.

Alright Huey - take us out!

Song of the day:
Baby Huey - Listen To Me

Monday, April 07, 2014

Scooterpremiere with Blacksmiths SC.

It's not hard to tell what Micke is looking at.

I live in a medium sized town in Sweden called Eskilstuna - and since every city worth it's name needs a scooterclub we started up a local such some years ago. We decided to name the club Blacksmiths SC as a way to honour both our citys history (Eskilstuna is famous for it's knives, axes, tools and other things made out of metal, and blacksmiths from all over the world moved here to do what they did best when the town was young) as well as our local speedwayteam Smederna (which translates guessed it - the blacksmiths). 

Last saturday we held our official scooterpremiere for 2014 to celebrate the fact that spring is here and the scooterseason of 2014 well on it's way, something every city in Sweden that has a local scooterclub does. With some backup from friends who drove here from Stockholm (whom actually showed up the night before to stay at a hotel and have a few beers - which is probavbly why some of us felt a bit tired during the premiere) and other nearby towns we ended up being thirteen scooters (I think) - not that many, but enough to turn a few heads when we rode around town for about 30 minutes before ending up at one of our favorite coffeshops (Café Norr) for coffee, food and chatting.

A pretty easygoing day and nothing spectacular, but it's always nice when good friends who share a similar passion for italian scooters and good music meet up.

Those of you who would like to see more photos can do so if you follow this link.

 Is this what they refer to as a "selfie"? 

Song of the day:
The Four Tops - You Got To Forget Him Darling