By:Larm, what the fuck? After sucking your asshole for the last five solid years all I get is a steady stream of schizo relapses and a sore throat.
Welcome to the misanthrope’s playground. Why’s everyone so excited? That one of the world’s biggest oil exporters are for another year, buying souls of impressionable kids with a million kroner? Yea, that “green” image worked particularly well when winner Ida Maria attempted to tour the UK with all her gear and roadies via trains instead of, normally. It’s like yuppie parents telling their kids to buy organic spoons. An ingenious PR stunt made possible by the cash moguls theirs truly. Behind the scenes you’ve got contracts so thick, and strings pulled by the slickest industry folks masquerading as geeks, it’s no wonder many whole-heartedly dive into these schmooze-fests blindfolded.
Isn’t the irony further perpetuated when certain “alternative acts” who’d shunned by:Larm before cuz’ they couldn’t get in, once front stage were sucking harder then anybody else? Was it the money you opted for, or just the fact you didn’t want to be left behind in this fine display of so-called “new” Scandinavian music.
So what’s the fuss about? Most likely the flutter of delegates and their assistants in and out of Oslo clubs creating a sensation of international demure, when in fact, most Oslo-ites and baristas can’t wait for the three days of non-tipping schmucks and chaos to be over with. Like the bitter words of Pere Ubu’s David Thomas, we’re all secretly relieved when, “Here comes my favourite part– THE END.” Anyhoo, at Bad Sounds we feel all ain’t lost, if you’re at northern Europe’ s biggest brown nosin’ music festival, or there for the roundtable discussions (ha ha ha)– here’s some stuff worth checkin’ out.
I don’t know what it is about this totally un-black country and it’s profound love of jazz. Whether it’s via avant-garde, rock or electronic cross-breeding, Norway’s known to source some of the best experimental jazz artists today. Dude, don’t believe me, ask WIRE mag. I guess this festival wouldn’t be complete without showcasing a few acts in that scene (though as jazz musicians go, they’re hardly new)– but we recommend shit-hot guitarist Hedvig Mollestad and her magnificent Trio, playing at 8:30pm @ The Victoria Jazzscene; followed at 9.30pm by Kjetil Møster’s solo project Møster, with Motorpsycho drummer Kenneth Kapstad amongst others as his backing band. Having hobnobbed with everyone from Chick Corea, Paal Nilssen-Love to Datarock, I’d say Møster’s a bit like the old man Iggy. We see him bloody everywhere! Except car insurance commercials.
Oslo’s oldest record store Tiger & fine purveyor of all things D.I.Y. host a night featuring Kevin Shields-enthusiasts Maribel and one of the hottest tickets from last year, 2/3 chick hxc band Dark Times. That’s kicking off 8:30pm at Revolver.
When you’ve over-drank yourselves with tequila and Ratzeputz, it’s a tough decision where to direct one’s sick. Insanegothposse night at the Rockefeller annex, with emo crybabies Torch and Asssssstaroth; El Paco, El Taco, El Doom & El Caco & El Sivert @ Sentrum Scene; or Tsugi Magazine’s presentation of “It-was-just-as-boring-when-sigur-ros-came-out-with-this-pussy-shit”-Korallreven, plus yet another Pubic Music Prize nominee GusGus @ Stratos.
You’d probably be better off catching Danish punks Iceage, 11pm @ Kulturkirken Jacob, who’re pretty respectable live. Or bugging the hell outta Dennis, here with his Joy Division-wannabe band Invasionen, with a million questions about the Refused reunion. That’s midnight @ Last Train.
Friday, oh Friday. We at Bad Sounds scratched our heads over at least two cups of tea and concluded: the makers of by:Larm’s Friday roster must’ve mad skills to’ve made it that creatively, and utterly shit. Seriously, we couldn’t come up with a crapper list even if we’re being motherfuckin’ paid. First off, most of these headliners are hardly new. Donkeyboy? Sondre Lerche? Casiokids? Then unsigned Zoom winners Casual Friday. Innocent and young bless their sweet souls, but I’m sorry to say, children: the Strokes dun dat shit da year y’allz were BORN! And what the fuck is a footballer’s daughter-cum-fashionmodel doing in a music festival? Uhh, lemme guess. Her new single, “Treacle” shoulda been called, “A Fucking Debacle”…the video’s like a L’Oreal cover shoot. To polish off this craptorious day, it’s overflowing with fuzzy haired Swedish indie hipsters, from Dungen members’ 70s soft-rock revival The Amazing to Grande Roses– to press statements such as this: “THE AVALANCHE PLAY SHOEGAZE TINGED NOISE ROCK, COMBINED WITH THE BEST ELEMENTS FROM A HOST OF OTHER GENRES.” Need I say more?
So, in dire need to salvage a perfectly good Friday, ‘specially for all those internationally acclaimed journalists who’ve already spent their last kroner on overpriced beer– we’ve decided to conjure the spirit of Tom Jones.
WHAT WOULD TOM JONES DO (WWTJD) INSTEAD OF BY:LARM FRIDAY?
1. Hit on some ladies shopping on Bogstadveien. Chat up some mature women at the park benches of Frognerparken. Frogner park, Nobels gate 32.
2. Get a tan at Brun og Bild. Feel the winter scraping colour outta your skin? No worries, the closest tanning salon to by:Larm HQ is only a hop away. Storgata 19. Mon-fri: 07.30-23.00, Sat: 09.00-19.30, Sun: 10.00-23.00.
3. Find a dodgy Irish pub. We know Tom eats as many pork shanks as Mao Zedong, and if you want your cholesterol level to be approximately the same, or you’re looking for a semi-decent pint of Guinness, we recommend you check out O’Reilly’s, Markveien 35B; or The Dubliner, Rådhusgt. 28.
4. Gorge on a kebab Tom Jones-style, ie. shamelessly in the open. In fact, one of the best and cheapest eats in town, especially if you’re veggie. Habibi Takeaway, Storgata 14 – conveniently across from Brun go Bild, just around the corner from Youngstorget.
5. Sing Elvis karaoke at Bør & Børsen with local alcoholics. Trondheimsveien 13.
Saturday’s a day of buds’n’bros. Despite a host of terrible repeats and Friday déjà vu, we recommend the loveable Beglomeg, who describe themselves as, “A dansband for the living dead, a music box for cockroaches”, 9:30pm @ Gloria Flames; or their pals, techno act Bloksberg, 10:00pm @ Jaeger. Bit of a walk between Grønland and ex-Garage, but both are of equal value. You’ve probably already heard of Jonas Alaska by now, if you’re into that singer-songwriter shit then check out his accomplice Mikhael Paskalev, 11:30pm @ the Nokia felt.
Really small lo-fi/ambient Finnish label FONAL has a mix of weird and cool, Jarse, Tuusanuuskat, Barry Andrewsin Disko kicking off at 10:30pm @ Revolver.
Mayhem is playing. Again. Woop dee doo.
Appropriately, we’d celebrate the finale of this festival with who’re in our opinion, by:Larm’s best booking. Three gentlemen from Kolbotn– Nekromantheon will most likely unpolitely thrash your faces off with some new material– midnight @ Sentrum Scene. They just released a killer new album in January, “Rise, Vulcan Spectre” which you can also check out on full streaming. here. Or buy this shit.
That’s pretty much it. See you next year, suckers!
Mira Craig cover illustration by Ann Sung-an Lee.