RF18 – Artist wishlist

When the sun came out again after Roskilde Festival 2017 was over and we were re-charging our batteries in our friends’ garden, I was asked which artists I would like to see live in next year’s edition of the festival.

My boyfriend went first and said Cat Empire, Manu Chao and Moby. I was not in a very creative mood and couldn’t think of any other band than Coldplay, but after a couple of days home I think I can do better than that (all though I would most def love to see Coldplay live one day).

 

A little less than a year to go. Let’s make a list!

 

Natalia Lafourcade

I grew up listening to legends of Latin American folkloric music like Mercedes Sosa, Violeta Parra, Victor Jara, Silvio Rodriguez and Caetano Velozo. I carry them with me in my heart and mind and if you want to see me tear up, catch me off guard with one of their songs and you will see my European heart turn soft and mushy and emotions bubble to the surface that I usually keep tucked away in a private locker in my soul.

Natalia Lafourcade is an artist that can now be added to that list.

In her newest production, Musas, she interprets old and new folkloric Latin American songs and boy-oh-boy is it good… She makes me wish I could play an instrument so I could join in.

To all of you that understand Spanish, I totally recommend you watch the Musas documentary.

India.Arie

This woman is underrated, if you ask me. Not only does she write all her own music but there is always such a positive vibe and message in every thing she does. And her voice… her voice!

If she hasn’t stolen your heart yet, watch her sing this Stevie Wonder song with Blue Miller on guitar.

Chambao

Roskilde Festival often has artists performing that not only make good music but that also have a message to share. Chambao is a band that would fit in perfectly for this reason.

Take their song “Detalles” for example. In this song La Mari, the lead singer, describes her wishes to live a more conscious life, helping others and overcoming her fears.

In Papeles Mojados, which translates to wet documents, she sings of the shadows at sea, boats filled with stories, dreams and expectations of which many might never reach the shore.

The chorus, translated freely, is as follows:

Many don’t arrive. Their dreams are drowned.
Wet documents. Papers with no owner.

 

All though their music goes perfectly with a hot summer day or as soundtracks for a roadtrip, there are valuable messages hidden in the lyrics that should be taken in mindfully. Good stuff for a deep conversation with friends by the bonfire.

Natiruts

My Portuguese isn’t very good, but that’s not even really necessary to feel the chilled out vibes this band emits. And all though the view in Roskilde will never be quite like the one in the video below, I think the atmosphere would be able to make up for it.

I can  already see them jamming it out at the Avalon stage.

Imagine Dragons

Thinking of headliners, I think I would put Imagine Dragons pretty high on my list. Their songs are great sing-a-longs and have the right amount of energy to make them jumpable. They just released a new album, so by next year they are bound to have a decent amount of hits to perform. My personal favorite song must be Demons but their new song Thunder is pretty catchy, too!

Bruno Mars

Because… why not, right? Let’s just dream big. Have you seen his Carpool Karaoke with James Corden? If not, please do and then tell me you wouldn’t love seeing him perform live…

His lyrics sometimes make me nauseous (either too sweet or too douchey) and the way he chooses to dress and carry himself are things I would usually frown upon. But I can’t deny his songs make my knees bob and the tunes get stuck in my head. And he does seem to have a good sense of humor, which makes me forgive the pimp-look.

Sia

I’ve been obsessing about this woman forever. I’d die happy if I’d see her live. Nuff said.

Roskilde Festival 2017 – Let them in!

Gates open at 16:00 o’clock today!!

It’s kind of cool that I have already been on the Festival Grounds since Tuesday. Perks of being a volunteer!

But wow, I’m just realizing I really did a lousy job analyzing the RF17 line up, didn’t I? I have an excuse though; life threw me an unexpected curve ball and I ended up with not enough time nor attention span to go through the whole thing.

I will make up for it by posting a couple of blogs in the upcoming week. I will be cheating a bit by writing them now, and having them automatically upload in the following days, but I’ll make sure they are relevant.

As for today; this is how it will probably go (including the weather):

Find yourself a good spot and let’s hope the weather gods have some sun for us in store, all though it’s not showing in the forecasts (yet)…

weather RF17

Need a map of the Festival Grounds? Click here!

RF17 – Anticipation – Big Fish @ Roskilde Festival

Besides Foo Fighters, who I already mentioned in a previous Roskilde Anticipation – post, some pretty big names have been lined up to play in Roskilde next week.

Let’s talk ’em through:

the Weeknd

This guy really is the shit, imo. He’s an innovator who hasn’t disappointed me yet. All though no two songs are the same, every track he makes (or collabs on) is unmistakably him. My current favorites must be his collaborations with Daft Punk, but his new song is interesting as well.

 

the Lumineers

Ho Hey is probably their best known song, but I have to admit I’m not the biggest fan of that one. Can’t explain what I dislike about it…it’s just a tad too slow, or something…

Anyway, I love their latest song “Angela”, which you can listen to below and I hear they are awesome live performers. We’ll see!

Rag’n’Bone man

I’m super excited about the possibility of seeing this guy. He’s such a wonderfully strange combination of looks and sounds. His eyes and voice are sensitive and soulful, the rest of him is rough and uninviting. I’m sure some people would mistake him for the bouncer at a gig and not the performer.

Needless to say though, I am really eager to see him as on stage! I actually only know one or two of his songs though, with Human being the most famous:

 

Icona Pop

This female party duo is best known for “I love it” featuring Charlie XCX. Let me know if you disagree, but their music kind of reminds me of Katy Perry’s tongue in cheek attitude. I have no doubt they will raise the roof in Roskilde!

Lorde

Oh lord… She’s quite something isn’t she…? It’s so easy to dislike her and I haven’t quite made up my mind about where I stand. Some of her songs have definitely made their way into my playlists, specifically Tennis Court and of course Royals, which was an instant classic.

I’m not quite sure about her new song though. Actually no, I think I’m OK with the song. It’s mostly the video that got on my nerves, and more specifically her mouth… And she has something Björkie about her, don’t you think?

Solange

Even without her last name on the billboard, it’s almost inevitable; we all want to compare her to her big sis, even though she is so very different. If we are going to compare her to anyone though, Solange’s sound is more like Erykah Badu or India Arie than Beyonce. It’s not all easy listening, but very much worth it, in my opinion. I hope to see her!

the XX

In all honesty I haven’t really listened to or looked for the XX in the last five years, but loved their first record, that came out in 2009, with tracks such as Crystalised and Islands. They just released a new album though, called “I see you”. Their first single is called “On hold”, which is what they seem to have been in the last few years. I hope they do well!

Residente

Residente may not directly ring any bells with most people, but all Latin Americans will look up when they hear his name. This guy accompanies me on many of my jogs, with the reggaeton move-you-butt kind of songs he made in the past. His lyrics were often very sexual bordering on “ew”, sometimes weird and kind of funny (which made the first two characteristics acceptable somehow).

Lately his songs have been a bit more female friendly but at times, still really really weird. If you are up for it, click play below:

The moral of this story is, “chill out, we are all abnormal somehow”. A message that is very much in Roskilde Festival spirit, me thinks!

RF17 – ANTICIPATION – Artists & Vocabulary

six more days, 16 hours, 30 minutes and counting!

Roskilde Festival preparations are well under way. All artists have been appointed a time and place to perform and my Danish language skills are better than they’ve ever been (which isn’t hard considering I knew zero Danish words before last year’s festival).

Before sharing my first Danish words with you, let me pick up up where I left off last time with my Artist A, B, C.

If you’re craving for some good old (but not old at all!) dark garage-rock music, give Dør Nr. 13 a click. It’s all in Danish so don’t ask me about what it all means but in this case it doesn’t really matter.

And if you are craving for a “Dafuq did I just watch”-sensation, watch Father John Misty’s “Total Entertainment Forever”-video. When I listened to it without the video, it reminded me of REM with a whim of the Beatles.

And then: the Foo Fighters! No need for introductions, right? The Pretender is one of my favorite songs of all time, but have you seen/heard their new song, Run? I’m not completely on board yet…

 

If you need to catch your breath after running with the Foo Fighters, Gangly will bring your heart rate down to more chilled out levels. I’m not completely sure how their music will work out on a live stage, but I can totally see me putting their tunes on in the background during a loungey summer get-together with friends…

The last name I want to share is Hamilton Leithauser. I know, comparisons always suck, but if anything he is a cross between Rod Stewart and Bob Dylan…

Watch it and tell me I’m wrong:

 

…and now it is time for a Danish lesson. If I read the words it makes sense to me. It is not so different from Dutch. The pronunciation is pretty daunting though…

What I have figured out is that g’s are pretty much silent in Danish, which is interesting as they are very prominent in Dutch…  So, where Dutchies say “goede morgen” with a throat scraping sound at every “g”, the Danish have “Godmorgen”, but pronounce it as “Gomorn” and “Goddag” is pronounced pretty much like the English “Good Day”.

A YouTube language tutorial that is helping me along is this one:

Hjælp!

RF17 – Anticipation – A, B, C

Going through the list of artists that will be at Roskilde festival this year in alphabetical order, one of the first artists that really caught my attention is Alsarah & the Nubatones.

Alsarah is the lead singer, born in Sudan and true to her roots by singing primarily in her mother tongue. Her “Tiny Desk Concert”-performance gave me a nice overview of her music and her fun spirit.

Next I was stopped in my tracks by this song by Norwegian singer Ary. There are not a lot of tracks of hers on YouTube, but her live performance at Norwegian talkshow Lindmo has got me enthused. Her song “the sea” is another song I love and recommend.

A Danish band that caught my attention, was described in the Huffington Post as follows:

Electrifying beats paired with Schneider’s orphic vocals lead the listener down an entrancing aural path that could even charm the likes of Hades. Its slow, rhythmic movement is melancholy yet electrifying, beating with the pulse of a body at rest. When meaning is removed from the lyrics, I can indulge in the unique intonations of the Danish language, following along each lilt, timbre, and inflection that oozes from Schneider’s vocal reeds. Though it becomes a solely sonic experience, that does not change its emotive powers.

The group is called AyOwa and the song below is currently their best known track.

Baiana System immediately got my knees twitching when I put their music on. They have a unique sound that is described on the Roskilde website as “a modern take on one of the world’s first electric guitar styles, guitarra baiana, which is also the name of the diminutive four-string axes they use to play it.”

O.o

No clue what that means, but I would love to see them perform it live!

A band that I can already imagine raising the roof and getting everybody swinging their butts off is the South African band BCUC. Not sure why, but the singer kind of reminded me of Freddy Mercury…

Then something completely different. Despite the ominous name, Cancer actually has a very dreamy, summer-campfire-worthy sound. Give it a click!

That is as far as I got in the list. I hope to give every band on the list a quick listen before the festival starts, all though I know that planning is useless. Not just useless, it also takes away from the fun of walking passed a tent and thinking: “Hey that sounds interesting… Let’s check it out!”

And what I remember liking the most about last year were precisely those performances that I had read nothing about but ended up having an absolute blast at.

A little more than two months to go!

RF – 2016 edition

Roskilde-Festival2

A year and a half ago, while traveling, I met the most wonderful couple from Denmark. I only spoke to them briefly but you know how it goes, sometimes you just need 5 seconds with someone to know you have a click.

Our friendship was sealed after their visit to my hometown some months later, and now it was our turn to visit them. And besides just being great friends, they also gave our trip a major upgrade by giving my boyfriend and me super-special wristbands, granting us access to some behind-the-scenes action (and above average toilets).

It was an amazing week. Let me talk you through some of it!

Music

First of all, there was the music. It’s worth mentioning that the festival gates may have opened on Saturday, but it wasn’t until Wednesday that the music terrain opened (for the masses) and the big names starred. The first part of the week was primarily camping ground partying (not to be underestimated). There were also some smaller stages and performances in the so called “warm up”-days. The bands named below are some I feel are worth mentioning as most other reviews don’t seem to take them into account.

Warm-up

One of the bands I saw during the warm up days was M.I.L.K. Kind of an akward looking dude with a bit of a seventies look and a chilled out vibe.

Wednesday

  • And then, when the gates to the musical grounds opened (and the camping grounds were starting to look and smell increasingly troubling), the first performance to kick the whole spectacle off hit me like a bucket of ice cold water on a hot summer day. It was refreshing and energetic, as well as confronting and slightly uncomfortable. It was filled with love, hope and forgiveness. In all honesty at some point I had to sit down because I was too emotional to stand on my feet any longer.It was the Orchestra of Syrian Musicians, with Damon Albarn.It wasn’t so much the songs themselves, but what they stood for that brought me to my knees. Just imagine dedicating your life to music and finally being able to play in a major orchestra in Damascus and then seeing everything around you being destroyed. Many of the musicians fled the country, some stayed. In short, the orchestra fell apart. And even at Roskilde festival, some members could not be present because of visa problems or other complications due to their status as refugees.

    These incredibly strong people, with their very Arabic rhythms and melodies, did not sing of their suffering (as far as I could understand from their comments in between songs). They played and sang with joy and gratitude for being alive and well, inviting the (incredibly white) audience to join in. THEY were welcoming US… It was as much beautiful as it was painful…

 

  • My personal highlight of the week was a performance we hadn’t even really planned to go to. It was Pat Thomas and the Kwashibu area band, that lured us in when we walked past their stage (after watching Slayer).

Their connection with the audience was so energetic that the whole tent was pretty much bouncing up and down. They themselves seemed to be surprised by the love they were getting from the crowd, as some of the musicians took out their phones at some point to film what was going on in front of the stage. Pretty bloody awesome.

  • Another unexpected surprise was Odesza. All though the duo had already made their appearance in my playlists before the festival, I had absolutely not expected their performance to be as vibrant as it was. It wasn’t just the fact that they were switching back and forth from drum kit to mixing board that made it entertaining, both to the eye as to the ear. It was also the colors and lighting they were using on the very cool cube shaped Apollo stage. It was truly mesmerizing.

Thursday

All though we had had quite wonderful weather during the warm up days (which turned out to be a truly appropriate name) by Thursday, everyone was wearing their rubber boots and fashionable ponchos. Luckily we had managed to find a dry spot when the heavens truly started to pour down on us.

  • As it turned out, our place of dry refuge gave us an audio image (we couldn’ t see her, only hear her) of a very entertaining performance by Elle King. She switched effortlessly between country, blues, reggae and pop. And she turns out to be very funny as well!

If you only know her song Ex’s and Oh’s, as I did before hearing her at Roskilde, do check out her other stuff. She rocks.

  • Our next show of the day made us feel like uninvited guests at a Norwegian private party at first, but the atmosphere was pretty contagious and the songs turned out to be pretty easy to sing a long to; it was (pardon my French) Kakkmaddafakka. These extremely Northern-European looking guys really made me smile, as they sang “I wanna be a gangsta. An original G. So come on, please give me your money”. I loved how they were being so polite about it, hahaha!

 

  • All though I did not stay to watch the whole performance, I was dealt a small slice of “what the fuck”-ness as I walked past Grimes‘ performance. Besides not being particularly good, imho, it had the same weird alien vibe that K-Pop artists have going on these days, only… weirder? Thanks Grimes, you really made me feel old…

Friday

  • Luckily Calypso Rose showed up on Friday to save me from that Grimesy feeling. It was the performance we had been looking forward to all week and boy did she deliver! The 76 year old bootyshakin’ queen of calypso knocked my hat off as she sang: I am the daughter of a warrior. No time to rest or retire. Others have come and gone but Calypso Rose is still singing on.

Even after she had left the stage and the lights were switched back on, the audience was still chanting her name. I swear, she must have put a spell on us! Hail Calypso Rose!

Saturday

On the final day of Roskilde Festival 2016 the camping grounds started to empty out pretty quickly. One of the final big performances on the iconic big orange stage was primarily a big feast of recognition for all the Danish visitors, as Dizzy Mizz Lizzy rocked the podium. All though I had never heard of them before, I think they would do very well in the Dutch charts as well. In the video below they play a medley of three of their most popular songs (I think). If you’re into drums and raging guitars, give ’em a go!

Food

Roskilde Festival prides itself in being a non-profit event, providing really cool projects in Denmark and abroad with funds to make the world a better place. Also, their is a strong focus on sustainability and social awareness during the festival itself (all though the enormous amounts of beer and liquor do make it challenging to stay focused on these topics at times). When it comes to the restaurants and food stalls at Roskilde Festival, only proprietors were invited that could demonstrate that at least 80% of their ingredients were of eco-friendly origin. Pretty cool!

My culinary highlights were:

  • The most commonly served lemonade :  hyldeblomst, aka elderflower!
  • Polish sausages, that didn’t turn out to be Polish
    (the Danish word for sausage is actually pølse, so I have learned)
  • Best falafel I’ve ever had
  • ginger shots
  • Danish pastry

People

I am not quite sure how to sum up all the lovely encounters I had during my week at Roskilde Festival, but it was truly heart warming. I don’t know how the rest of Denmark really is (or how many of the great talks I had with Scandinavian looking peeps may actually have been with Norwegians or Swedes) but from the bottom of my heart I want to thank you for making me feel so welcome. Or as one of the Kakkmaddafakkas said:

Thank you for reminding me what normal is

As my blog only covers a tiny slice of what the festival had to offer, I added some other reviews of the festival below: