Sunday, January 20, 2008


I am in Sweden for a couple of days to work, but of course I found time to go record shopping. (Hey, I'm the editor of a music magazine - not only will I be reimbursed for what I pick up, but it's a tax write-off to boot.) I hit Megastore, which is the Stockholm equivalent of Tower or Virgin, only apparently not dying or dead. I asked the dude for early '70s Swedish progressive and/or hard rock without knowing any specific band names to request, and he (being about 19) drew a blank; he told me they'd had a CD in stock by the band November the previous day, but they'd put it on the house system for about two minutes and someone immediately snapped it up. I'm not surprised by that - November are a heavy power trio I'm dying to check out. There's a single track by them on the one thing I did buy, the 4CD boxed set pictured at left, Pregnant Rainbows For Colourblind Dreamers: The Essence Of Swedish Progressive Music 1967-1979. (That's a very good price at that link, by the way - I paid 499 kronor, which breaks down to about $80 US.) It's got 71 songs by as many bands/artists, some of whom I'm familiar with (International Harvester, Träd Gräs Och Stenar, Baby Grandmothers, November, Pandora, Bo Hansson) but the majority of whom are brand-new to me. Hope it doesn't suck!

What's Stockholm like, you ask? Well, the city is clean and old and European, the cabbies are not from Sweden (So far I've ridden with one Ethiopian dude who liked it here very much but said I shouldn't move here as coming from the U.S. Sweden would seem like a village, one Iranian woman who didn't like it here because the people are cold and unfriendly, and one Iraqi man who's been here seven years and has family stuck in Baghdad and wanted to know who I wanted to be the next U.S. president - I said my choices were, in order, Edwards, then Obama, then Clinton.) My hotel room is tiny and frighteningly efficient, with a hard wood floor and blank white walls and a TV hanging from the ceiling. In the bathroom is a shower not unlike one you'd find in a YMCA locker room - nozzle attached to a pole in the wall so you can raise and lower it, and a drain in the middle of the floor. I haven't really risked much in the way of local cuisine, but neither have I been desperate enough to eat McDonald's, Burger King, Pizza Hut, or the local fast food place, Max.

That's all for now!

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