The day before I got engaged, Avicii died. My girlfriend (now fiancée) and I were in Copenhagen over the weekend in order to celebrate our ninth anniversary by getting engaged. We both took Tim Bergling’s passing surprisingly hard. I’ve never listened to his stuff much. I mean, I’ve heard his songs on the radio and I’ve certainly enjoyed most of his stuff – I vividly remember hearing Levels for the first time and being blown away by the loop as well as the vocal sampling – but that’s about it. Nonetheless, my sadness over this stranger’s death was present the whole weekend; a constant contrast to the happiness and love that also filled me. When we got home to Stockholm we watched the documentary Avicii: True Stories, which was a very painful experience. My heart is aching the way it did when I had watched Amy.
Scenes that have stuck with me: Tim’s in a bus talking to some guy about how he’s realized that he’s introvert and that this discovery is a key in understanding himself. The guy asks no questions (!) about this and just looks like he wants the boring conversation to end as quickly as possible; a day after being treated in the hospital, Tim’s in a car with his tour manager. While Tim has the exhausted expression of someone who’s about to collapse any second, his tour manager asks him to do a couple of phone interviews in two hours to let people know he’s “back on track”; Tim trying to postpone entering the stage for his last show by constantly bringing up new subjects to talk about backstage; how there are hardly any women present in this documentary; the final, peaceful scene where Tim’s playing the guitar on the beach.
Tim Bergling was born in 1989, just like me and my girlfriend. I believe this is why his death affected us so much. Someone exactly my age who should experience all the things life still holds for us but now won’t. Someone’s parents who won’t see their kid become an adult like my dad will see me. Someone who just wanted people to listen and understand.
For the first time, I’ve actively listened to Avicii’s music this past week. I like it much more now that he’s gone, sadly. It holds a deeper meaning now, the way music tends to do after the musician’s passing. I wish we could turn back time to when it was just “some DJ stuff” to me. I wish Tim would create new songs that I would hear on the radio every now and then and that would be it. Most of all I wish men in general weren’t afraid to talk about feelings and actually knew how to handle a friend who brings up a difficult subject. But here we are. Present time. I’m sorry if you felt like this was the best way to find peace, Tim. You will be missed by many.
WILD BEASTS – ALPHA FEMALE from Sasha Rainbow on Vimeo.
What a great way of combining some of my favorite things: music, skateboarding and breaking gender norms.
19: A song you’re currently obsessed with.
I find it impossible to stop listening to You With Me by Jimmy Eat World because it has one of the best choruses I’ve heard in years. Just one hell of a song, really:
I also find it impossible to write about this song without mentioning the elephant in the room: Jimmy Eat World were clearly influenced by Eros Ramazzotti while writing You With Me:
Just one more thing… Is it weird that I kind of like You With Me even more thanks to the intro being very, you know, Ramazzottian? Jimmy Eat World goes Italian pop made for moms. That’s cute.
But seriously, I feel like the You With Me intro also reminds me of yet another song. Perhaps this one?
Maybe. I’ll update this post if I find I was actually thinking of something else than Badly Drawn Boy.
(Hey, what if Jim Adkins, Eros Ramazzotti and Damon Gough got together to write a song? Or start a band, even? And they were called Eros Eat Boy? Isn’t that what parallel universes are actually for? I’m just brainstorming over here.)
Update January 29: I think I’ve found it:
kent – Ingenting
Yet another similar intro. Too bad this Vevo upload isn’t HD, because Ingenting is a beautiful music video. You might as well watch it and hope to find it in better quality later on.
13: A song by a musician that has passed away.
Some weeks ago I watched Amy, the documentary about Amy Winehouse, and I haven’t been able to get it out of my head since then. I just can’t stop thinking about the tragedy that was her life. I found three scenes particularly painful to watch:
- An interview with Amy after her debut album Frank was released. Someone asks her if she thinks she’ll become famous, and her answer is that she’s sure she won’t because she’s a jazz singer and that is not a commercial genre. Hearing this was just painfully ironic, knowing the influence her work would end up having in the music industry and knowing fame would end up playing a big role in destroying her.
- A brief moment about 1:22 into the movie. Amy’s standing by a car. A few paparazzis are circulating around her. They are all hidden behind their camera lenses and constantly taking photos. Amy doesn’t look at them even though they are inches away. This scene resembles predators approaching their victim, except this is grown up human beings. Approaching another grown up human being, who they know is in deep trouble and in desperate need of help. I cannot emphasize this enough: they know about her situation. Yet they keep disturbing her, comfortably distansed by their cameras. How can a paparazzi photographer sleep at night or even spend money they’ve earned without feeling sick to their stomach? They are literally – in many cases such as this one – stressing people to death. You can never justify something like that by saying that you’re “just doing your job” or “if I don’t do it someone else will”. What also strikes me while watching this documentary is that all paparazzis are men. Enough said.
- The Belgrade concert. Despite having been in very bad condition for a long time, and despite currently being passed out at home, Amy is driven to the airport and put on a flight to Serbia to perform. The documentary shows Amy on stage. She’s apparently too drunk to do her job. Some people in the audience start booing. The look on Amy’s face is devastating. It is the face of a confused and horrified child. My thoughts watching are: “Seriously? They are booing a fellow human being who is clearly agonized and broken? Who does that?” Some people are even laughing at her. Everything about this scene is so tragic. What her life became. How people treat other people.
When you’ve got a couple of hours to spare, I would really recommend watching Amy. If you have a heart the movie might exhaust you, like it did with me. But it will be worth it, because improving your empathy is always important.
Amy Winehouse – Back to Black
Filed under jazz, soul, watch
This music video is stunning.
Here’s a compilation of Max Martin’s Billboard Hot 100 Hits from 1995 to 2014. A few seconds of each song and still the video is 25 minutes long in total. Very impressive. Ever since 1997 or so, Max Martin has been a huge inspiration to me. At first I was unaware of it; I just happened to love and listen to many of his songs. But when I was ten or so, in 2000, I learned about Max Martin and Denniz Pop from reading music magazines, browsing the (slow) net and just basically being a Backstreet Boys fan. It’s amazing how much one single person can influence a whole scene. Also note the progression of style from 2002 to 2004.
A fun story that surely belongs in this post: nowadays Max Martin works closely with Shellback, another Swedish songwriter and producer. Shellback’s real name is Johan, and he used to date my cousin’s older half-sister about ten years ago. I remember several times when Johan and his former girlfriend were at my aunt’s place while I was there, too. This moment in particular is very clear to me: I hear Johan and his girlfriend sitting in the living room. He’s casually playing the guitar, and all of a sudden he starts playing and singing Kelly Clarkson’s Since U Been Gone. That was quite surprising to me, because until then he hadn’t occured to me as someone who enjoys pop songs (he used to be in a metal band called Blinded Colony). This was probably in 2006 or 2007, I think. About a year later I was told that Johan was moving to Stockholm because he had gotten a job at Max Martin’s studio. Imagine my excitement. Johan working with Max Martin – the man who’d musically been a bigger part of my childhood than any other person! My mind was blown. Since then, I’ve kept myself updated on Shellback’s career, always in support of what he’s been a part of and always telling people in my surrounding of all the good songs he and Max Martin have written together. I’m sure Johan has very little to none remembrance of me but I’ll always cheer up when I hear one of his songs on the radio.
Filed under pop, swedish, watch
While zapping the tv today I came across MTV Rocks right as they were about to play Girls & Boys by Good Charlotte. Of course I couldn’t not watch that. Old people in cool clothes? Dancing along to a pop punk tune? With skateboards in their hands? Wouldn’t miss it for the world!
Filed under pop punk, watch
A Last.fm friend of mine recommended Yellowcard’s Christmas Lights cover (originally by Coldplay). The song is alright, but what really caught my attention is the lyric video. It makes me warm inside and puts a smile on my face. Minimalistic yet memorable video.
Filed under pop punk, watch
OK Go have made an absolutely stunning music video for their song I Won’t Let You Down. I hardly watch music videos anymore, but this one is so captivating I could just repeat it all day.
The story of Laura Jane Grace is – as I’ve claimed before – the most important one in music industry right now. And as sad as I feel writing that, because it shouldn’t even have to be a huge deal, I’m really glad AOL premiered Laura’s reality series True Trans a few days ago. There are currently four episodes available worldwide through this site. Please watch them. Please spread the word about them. You could be part of bringing hope to another human out there. Because honestly, when you feel lost or misplaced, identification with just one other person could be that little spark you didn’t know you needed. No one is alone. Let’s make sure everyone knows that. Speaking for myself, I consider it my damn responsibility.