23 Nov 2005

P, C & C rockin' the plumber's crack (IV): Son of a Plumber released today

LJdM wants to review the new album of Per Gessle with Clarence Öfwerman and Christoffer Lundquist. P, C & C team rocks again. "Son of a Plumber" is made with the same musicians as Per Gessle’s Swedish album “Mazarin,” but now in English and as a double-CD. Per Gessle wanted this album to feel like an old-time LP where you had to switch the side in the middle. With 2 CDs, it brings the vinyl experience back a bit. And we really enjoy it!

LP 1:
1. Drowning In Wonderful Thoughts About Her

LJdM: Hurry yea! This wonderful album starter begins the travel to the late '60s and early '70s. And it's alright! Very positive lyrics although "to kick the cryin’ has taken forever".

2. Jo-Anna Says

Per Gessle: "It’s a sort of a McCartney-song. We’ve had long discussions about what to really think about him. I’m more of a Lennon man myself, but like his early solo stuff."
LJdM: Catchy single. Very McCartney and the Beatles. Yes, Gessle is not "like the other guys". And the lyrics are sad and funny at the same time.

3. I Have A Party In My Head (I Hope It Never Ends)

Per Gessle: “My favorite from the album. It turned out just the way I imagined it. It feels very special.”
LJdM: Pleasantly surprised. Someone called this song "neo-folk music". Is it Gessle? Wow! Maybe too much time listening to Simon and Garfunkel then! This is our favourite as well. We wanna come by and hope the party never ends.

4. C’mon

Per Gessle: "You can’t tell it’s me. So people can get a feel for it, regardless of their relationship to me. I sing in falsetto for the first time. It happened that way when I wrote it… and it was fun to sing it that way."
LJdM: We are looking for the 'lite'. No, we can't tell it's Per Gessle singing. Not one of our favourite, although we love the rythmic melody.

5. Week With Four Thursdays

LJdM: The first instrumental, ambient music with nice '70s keyboards. It seems the soundtrack of a film.

6. Hey Mr DJ (Won’t You Play Another Love Song)

Per Gessle: “A country pastiche. Sounds like Chicago, no? These songs very easily turn into parodies and we were in bad shape for a while there, but I think we got through it. It sounds very lovely. Well, I just wanted to write an old-fashioned country song for Helena and me. I never expected Clare & Chris to like it but they really did… I was so surprised. And, of course, it turned out to be one my fave songs on the album.”
LJdM: No DJ here. We love the beginning with only Helena singing. An absolutely brilliant country ballad or a wonderful Burt Bacharach duet? Helena Josefsson an Per Gessle's voices go together and complete each other so perfectly. Some TDR editors call this "one of the best duets Per has written ever". At least, we believe in every word Gessle and Josefsson laid on us.

7. Late, Later On

LJdM: We got lucky to meet this song. Acoustic instuments and beautiful lyrics. Another young love story.

8. Ronnie Lane

LJdM: The second instrumental on the album, with Helena's voice as one of the instruments. It could suit a film very well.

The Junior Suite (9-13):
9. Are You An Old Hippie, Sir?

LJdM: Happy, stupid lyrics. Just the way we love it. Yes, we think Gessle is the old hippie he sings about. We can listen to the nice ba-da-ba-ba-ba theme that runs through the entire album.

10. Double-headed Elvis

LJdM: A strange falsetto blues. Don't ask us about the meaning of the lyrics. Who knows!

11. Something In The System

PG: "“Something in the system” was a slight mistake so I didn’t want to use it at all. I recorded it at Tit&Ass in Januray 2002 for Roxette. I never really liked it, dunno why. But when the medley-idea came up (I guess it was Clarence’ brilliant brain at work!!) I thought it would fit quite well. Shorter, more in-your-face, like a nice little bridge between “Double-headed Elvis” and “Speed boat to Cuba”. This is how it sounded when it was born."
LJdM: It was written for Roxette but P, C & C got to give the sound of the 60's to it. And now it's inside our mind too.

12. Speed Boat To Cuba

LJdM: Jo-Anna is back and tells him that he's still not the one. Speed kills in this rocker song. The main theme is back at the end, a very nice touch like all the production.

13. Come Back Tomorrow (And We Do It Again)

LJdM: It's a remake of Gyllene Tider’s old bonus track from “Puls” - “Bara vara nära" ... 23 years ago! Modern arragement for closing the first half of an album.

LP 2:
1. Kurt - The Fastest Plumber In The West

Per Gessle: “An instrumental, with film score touches. It’s a little spaghetti western-ish. And Kurt, the plumber, that’s of course my dad. Thought he needed a tune.”
LJdM: Wow! We remember Sergio Leone's spaghetti western films. Kurt was Gessle's father.

2. I Never Quite Got Over The Fact That The Beatles Broke Up

LJdM: We didn't get it either. Per and Helena sing in circles around each other. No real chorus in this one, but it’s got a beautiful airy sound to it.

3. Substitute (For The Real Deal)

LJdM: It should be a substitute for "C'mon" as real single. Great music. It is Gyllene-Tider-and-Tom Petty-Per.

4. Waltz For Woody

Per Gessle: “Another instrumental, dedicated to Åsa. She’s called Woody. I really don’t know why. It’s just the way it is.”
LJdM: One of the few pieces Per plays the keyboards. Lovely!

5. Carousel

LJdM: History repeat itself at the beginning with Per and Helena voices. According to Visa from TDR, "you can hear the touch of Christoffer Lundquist on this one as well. I could swear the sound of the seagulls on the background is the same sample as in “High” by Brainpool". After a song like this, you can go home and listen to it again.

6. I Like It Like That

Per Gessle: “The strongest chorus on the album. Maybe it is the one that sounds the most like ’classical’ Gessle. I started working on “I like it like that” with some, quite annoying, drum-loop in mind. It all put me in a somewhat bad mood. Drum-grooves usually do! However I really adored the song and did an acoustic version the very same day at the Tits&Ass studio in January 2002 (it was made for Roxette). Here it is! I think I’ve changed the lyrics a bit along the way."
LJdM: The song makes you feel in love. This is Roxette-Per in a mid-tempo power pop ballad. A happy lovesong with one of the most beautiful phrases: "To be with you is all I have, all I am".

7. Something Happened Today

LJdM: Very personal, straight-to-the-heart song, almost entirely acoustic with an organ in the backgound. It's a big song because it's small at the same time. As Visa from TDR says, we can imagine "Per and Helena sitting by the fire, Per playing his guitar and Helena singing like an angel, far away from any worries." After SOAP, Gessle will never sound the same again.

8. Brilliant Career

LJdM: More tea anyone? Yes, please, with lots of sugar. Sweet song. Very simple lyrics that keep repeating over and over in an airy beatiful melody.

9. Burned Out Heart

LJdM: I deal with it the best I can. Gessle could be thinking about Pink Floyd.

10. Drowning In Wonderful Thoughts About Her (Reprise)

LJdM: Back to the beginning! Just like The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper the album starts and ends with a reprise of the same song. More wonderful thoughts abut her in a traffic jam.

11. Making Love Or Expecting Rain

LJdM: Finally, a Bob Dylan quote and Per en Français. Childhood memories to tell to your lover. It's time for candles and wine.

(12-hidden track) Jo-Anna Says Farewell

LJdM: Just a pun of an old Gessle song “Jo-Anna farväl” which was released by Gyllene Tider under the name Pers Garage back in 1989. It scares you a bit after almost ten minutes of silence on the last track.

(13-LP bonus trak) Keep The Radio On (This Is The Perfect Song)
Per Gessle: “The song itself was written for Gyllene Tider back in 1980 (called ’Gå hem innan du lägger dej’ which means something like ’Go Home Before You Go to Bed’…) but GT never used it. Mainly because of the terrible Swedish lyrics if I remember the history right. However, it was recorded by the Lonely Boys for the LB album but I’m sure y’all heard that! And just recently it became rejected once more when we mixed the SOAP album. That version didn’t really make me tick!”
LJdM: Very Buddy Holly. It is taken from “The Lonely Boys”’ album from 1995, and it’s been re-recorded with slightly, insignificant, changes to the lyrics. It is a nice song but it doesn’t fit the album.

Yes, Son of a Plumber is much more and better than just Per Gessle. The die-hard Roxette fan probably will not love the concept of this album, this is not for sure what they expected. Gessle and C & C are back to their roots with the vocals of a "childish girl", Helena. Helena Josefsson sings here better than ever.

22 Nov 2005

P, C & C rockin' the plumber's crack (III): Brainpool's anthology of failure

We started to record the world’s longest krautsong & kept working on it for an eternity. We tried a lot of different things, but ended up with just a few instruments. Usually, we don’t edit our music, but this time we let the computer play a part. It is rather dull to sit and look at a screen though…. At first we had the idea that this would be an instrumental. But I think we have abandoned that idea. When it was time to record the vocals, we got stuck and started to talk and listen to other people’s music instead. We will continue to record this week and will probably be able to finish it in the next couple of days. Its fun to work this way: not knowing exactly what you want to do, even if it takes somewhat longer time. If we are lucky, this record will be fantastic. If we’re not lucky, it will just be great. One thing is for sure: it will not sound anything like the rock opera.
Jens Jansson (Junk Musik)
Jens Jansson - Junk Musik

After having spent four days in the studio, we are forced to admit that we have failed this time. This is what happened. We started to work with the Kraut-ballet (which we by the way called “The Anthology of Failure” – now isn’t that ironic?). The process was enormously creative. We worked like animals & played instruments we didn’t even know the names of (we couldn’t play them either). The song ended up being nearly ten minutes long. We edited it down to five. When we listened to the result, it stood clear that this was THE WORST SONG EVER RECORDED. After a while, we realised that this actually is the way we get things done. Both “You Are Here” and “Junk” were preceded by a number of grave errors before we found our way into the material. And since we persist in constantly reinventing ourselves, we will just have to accept that this is going to happen now and then. We have saved some clips from the recordings. We will post one of them tomorrow, so you can listen to the rubbish!
David Birde (Junk Musik)
David Birde - Junk Musik

Picture by Emelia Olofsson, sydsvenskan.se - November 2005

What happens when a band decides to do a ten minute long kraut-ballet-song? Listen to a clip of Brainpool’s “The Anthology of Failure” and you will know. No, it will not be released. We will add this music to our loops section. Use it – make a kraut ballet of your own! Anyone who decides to make a ten minute kraut ballet has A LOT of guts to start with. It actually sounds like a theme song to a childrens show on tv. And a fun one too! Maybe we could try to pitch it?

Brainpool has got great musicians, great singers, great songs & words and a great producer.
So why is it so much fun to listen to something that didn’t work out, something that normally never would leave the studio? Personally, I would love to hear more failures. There is a common thought that music turns out exactly the way the musicians have in mind. This is seldom – or never – the case. Music goes its own way. Sometimes it goes wrong. Terrible wrong. Deadly wrong. One one man can save it…oh, hang on, this isn’t a movie trailer. But sometimes – or very often– it goes wrong. If people could hear the wrongs a little more often, I think they would understand the right ones better.
Anders Mildner (Junk Musik)
Anders Mildner - Junk Musik

There is something beautiful in “wrongs” for sure. The concept of the ballet “The anthology of failure” is partly about that. It’s a big hooray to those who invest their lives in something that in the end turns out to be not such a good idea after all. (Painfully autobiographical, a cynic would comment. :-)) It would be great to hear other bands’ “failures”. On Beatles Anthology, are a few examples of early versions of songs that sound quite ridiculous. Tomorrow Never Knows, for instance.
David Birde (Junk Musik)
David Birde - Junk Musik

This is one of the best posts on this blog ever! A true success!!! There are plenty of failures already. “The Anthology of Failure” showed lots of potential…the first 3 bars :-) Well actually I quite like the rythm section!
Magnus Börjeson (Junk Musik)
Magnus Börjeson - Junk Musik

12 Nov 2005

P, C & C rockin' the plumber's crack (II): Chris, Mom & Dad, Magnus & Per, Anders ...

More news about Christoffer Lundquist and friends' record company.

According to Anders from
Junk Musik and the newspaper Sydsvenskan, David Birde and Jens Jansson of Brainpool are going duo. David and Jens have a new project called Mom & Dad. The Austrian artist Florian Horwath will guest on some of the songs.

David and Jens have been backing Florian Horwath this fall on a big tour in Germany, Austria and Schwitzerland. Florian is much younger (he's "the son") and David and Jens feel they are mom and dad.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Florian Horwath Tour
  • 20.09.05 AUT – Vienna, Chelsea
  • 21.09.05 AUT – Graz, PPC
  • 22.09.05 AUT – Klagenfurt, Kamot
  • 23.09.05 AUT – Lustenau, Carini Saal
  • 24.09.05 AUT – Weyer, Bertold Saal
  • 27.09.05 GER – Karlsruhe, Die Stadtmitte
  • 28.09.05 GER – München, Zerwirk
  • 29.09.05 GER – Konstanz, Kulturladen
  • 30.09.05 GER – Würzburg, Pleierhof
  • 01.10.05 SWZ – Zürich, tba.
  • 02.10.05 GER – Neu-Ulm, Salon Hansen
  • 03.10.05 GER – Köln, Blue Shell
  • 04.10.05 GER – Darmstadt, Oettinger Villa
  • 06.10.05 GER – Jena, Kassablanca
  • 07.10.05 GER – Berlin, 103
  • 08.10.05 GER – Halle, Objekt 5
  • 09.10.05 GER – Hamburg, Schilleroper

Brainpool’s Christoffer Lundquist recently released a great solo EP. It is supposed that Jens (Mom) & David (Dad) will record new material under the name “Mom & Dad” this winter.

Jens Jansson (Mom) says:

It will be based on drums, guitar and harmonica, Florian Horwath will be Mom & Dad’s guest on some of the songs. – We have completed a couple of songs. They are called “Gutenmorgen Alexanderplatz”, “Was ist mehr pop?” and “Servus Motherfuckers". What will Mom & Dad sound like? It will be kind of minimalistic. Here are some keywords: Kraut, white blues, rock.

According to Junk Musik, it is not the end of Brainpool. Brainpool is still active and actually has plans to record new material soon, perhaps this autumn.

By the way, Anders Mildner also writes about the recordings with a "secret artist": this secret artist is no other than Per Gessle himself. Anders gives some important advices that Per could consider in his forthcoming album


Magnus Börjeson (Metro Jets) & our secret artist completed the recordings yesterday. They did an amazing amount of work in just one day. (I thought it would take three days!)

Worried that crazy suburbia gangs would rob him, Magnus took a taxi to the city & met me outside Mondo, where New David played with Bo Sundström. Later, it turned out that they were only a support act. After some Sundström songs, Sundström, New david & A LOT of other people went on stage to celebrate that Neil Young now turns 60. We got an hour of Neil Young songs, had a nice evening and celebrated a day of good work.

I was thinking about the things I hate in music.

1) Cover versions of well known songs, featuring an actor reading the lyrics.
This was, of course, an actor’s idea the first time around, but now it it is just an easy way out for lazy people with too many gigs: “Let’s make something completely different!” Yeah, right. Let’s be honest. Everyone hates this: the audience, the musicians – probably even the actor. A strange example is found HERE.Please stop it now.

2) Songs that are called the same things as the genres they are trying to be.
Example: In the last Eurovision Song Contest, Sweden had a really disturbing song (it didn’t win, thank you God) called “Tango, Tango”, which, of course, was a tango. We would have guessed this anyway, but just in case somebody would miss it (despite the in-your-face tango-choreography), the words in the chorus was “TANGO TANGO”. You can name every genre – there will be a song for you. Sang in a jazzy-ish, reggae-ish (etc) way. As if we would’nt get it anyway. Everyone, please stop calling songs the same things as the genres they are trying to be. It doesn’t work, and it will not make the songs sound like they actually belonged in those genres. Even a guy like Neil Young, who – you must admit it – knows how to rock, sounds like he doesn’t have a clue when he sings “Keep on rockin´ in the free world”. Oh? You meant “rock”? I thought you meant tango!

3) People performing in long shorts and bare chests.
This is so hard to relate to. I can’t relate to it at all. No pop bands are doing this. Only tattooed “harder” rock bands. But what’s the idea here? Are these guys coming directly from the beach? And is that “hard”?

Anders Mildner (Junk Musik)
Anders Mildner

9 Nov 2005

P, C & C rockin' the plumber's crack (I): C'mon / Jo-Anna Says

2005-11-09 Jo Anna says (CDM)

Today the first double single from Son of a Plumber is released, including the songs C'mon and Jo-Anna Says. Per Gessle is in New York these days trying to find a contract to release a Roxette collection in the USA. He speaks about the SOAP album and the single to Aftonbladet.

C'mon is sung in falsetto. 60's are there. It reminds us of the Beatles and sticks to our mind inmetiately. It will be playback showed in this year’s edition of “Fotbollsgalan” on November 14.

Jo-Anna says has an extremely catchy chorus. It's not an English version of Gyllene Tider’s “Jo-Anna Farväl”.

2005 SOAP project
You can watch the official video of Jo-Anna says just clicking the image above. The video was filmed in the Aerosol Grey Machine with all the band: Per Gessle, Clarence Öfwerman, Christoffer Lundquist, Jens Jansson, Helena Josefsson and Magnus Börjeson.

Christoffer Lundquist was interviewed by the Swedish journalist Lars Thulin in an article published today in Trelleborgsallehanda.se.

Let's read Per and Chris words to the Swedish media.

SOAP - Album Pictures 06

I’ve worked with Clarence Öfwerman since 1986. We know each other very well. One of the things that Clarence always has thought was negative is that I’m always too prepared before starting a record. I make very advanced demos. Demos that sometimes sound exactly like the end results. Now we decided the ultimate change in my world. I made no demos at all for the “Son of a Plumber” album. The only thing I had before the recordings commenced were three instrumentals. The rest is stuff that were made during our work. I played ideas for Clarence and Christoffer who now got a much bigger chance to influence them. I wanted to avoid spearheads on the album. Our idea was to make an album where the whole was the principal, a double-album with a few songs too many. Music doesn’t have to be effective.

I have an older brother so I spent a lot of time on my own, listening to pop. I had 100 LPs when I was ten, all the money I earned selling newspapers and such, everything was for records, records, records. Then as a teenager I started to write songs, but couldn't play anything, I had the melodies in my head, then I started to play guitar, and started my first band.

It all started when I transfered my album collection to my iPod, it took about six months, and I found many songs I had forgotten about, songs I grew up with, it brought me back to my childhood '60s, '70s… and I decided to make a tribute to that era.

I really wanted to do an album that’s me. The lyrics are mainly about me and my life and they feel very important. At least to me. We never had a target group in mind when we did this album, and that was very liberating. If I hadn’t made this album in English I hadn’t made it at all. Because another summer in Sweden wouldn’t have worked. But now when it’s done, it’s of course nice if someone outside of Sweden wants to hear it. We’ve discussed about a tour with Son of a Plumber. If the album is received well abroad it would be nice to do a little club tour. We would play a little bit of everything. No Roxette stuff though, that wouldn’t work without Marie.

It was almost impossible to find a first single, because there isn’t really a song that represents the album. But we took this glamrock song, C'mon, as one of two A-sides because you can’t tell it’s me. So people can get a feel for it, regardless of their relationship to me. I sing in falsetto for the first time. It happened that way when I wrote it… and it was fun to sing it that way.

Jo-Anna says, the other A-side of the single, is on it because… well, if you vomit when you hear “C’mon” maybe you can like this instead. Ha ha! It’s a sort of a McCartney-song. We’ve had long discussions about what to really think about him. I’m more of a Lennon man myself, but like his early solo stuff.
Per Gessle


Pictures by Emelia Olofsson, sydsvenskan.se - November 2005

Moving to the countryside (Vollsjö, Skäne) in 1997 is the best I have ever done. I have completely changed my approach, I felt uncomfortable in the city (Lund). Here it is quiet and peaceful, a wonderful way of living. In my studio, "Aerosol Grey Machine", the quiet of the forest and the chance to work concentrated influence the music you can record. Sometimes I sit and listen to my old vinyls while smoking my pipe: Phil Spector's "Back To Mono", Abba, Led Zeppelin, Ratata, Janis Joplin, Peter Gabriel, some classic music, Beatles, The Who, Yes, Genesis, Marillion, ... Vinyl sounds much closer to how it sounds in the studio. I feel like crying every time I am forced to mix down to a recent recording from the fully analog studio into digital form. It's like baking a cream cake, and then pour it into plastic.

"Aerosol Grey Machine studio" remembers Van der Gaaf Generators' Pawn Hearts, from 1971. A time when music could be great and important without being ironic or selfish. The Beatles' fault. Beatles went in that direction and 70s symphonic rock became my musical education. We loved it not because it is difficult to play, but because of the melodies and moods. I have Toto's music in my playlist and it's strange according to Swedish musicians' standards, because the more one sells, the more it must be rejected. Commercial success is a sort of 'kiss of death'. This idea of "right" and "wrong" music is something kids do. If adults do it, it is stupid. Stop! The timeless values of pop music? Good songs and melodies, of course, but also the "presence". You have to hear that someone is at home. Otherwise it is musically just empty posturing.