Concert for Diversity and Equality

Concert for Diversity and Equality

On the last day of this month, I’ll be partaking in a concert for diversity and equality at Katarina Kyrkan, a beautiful church on the South side of Stockholm, Södermalm. The church is part of Katarina Församlingen which includes Allhelgonakyrkan, Sweden’s most highly-attended church. When I was there the first time, I was struck by how many non-Christians were in attendance, including Jews, atheists, plus many recovering alcoholics (some Christian, some not). The priest himself is a recovering alcoholic and a big Dylan freak, which only goes to show you…not sure, but it’s a cool congregation!

 

I’m excited to be taking part of this concert. Partly since I haven’t played since February, but also because it feels at least symbolically like a really important event. There will be many excellent and some better-known artists, such as Swedish-Iranian rapper Behrang Miri, who I met at shul once(!)

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/736500293058011/

The concert is called Sida vid Sida, meaning “side by side” which can be interpreted in various ways; right now in Sweden, and really all over Europe and in the world, there seems to be an increase in intolerance…it’s always hard to make general statements like that, but I can say that the generally accepted feeling here is that there’s a lot of negative energy going around. This concert is an attempt to give a dose of positivity to the climate here, less than two months away from the general elections where voters will have a chance to choose a new (or old) government!

 

Sida vid sida is also a line from an old “progg” song (check out this link about the Swedish genre, progg: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Progg), Staten och Kapitalet, which was later turned into a really heavy punk song by the legendary and mystical Joakim Thåström of Ebba Grön. There, sida vid sida refers to the state and the banks working side by side to basically f- over the people…once again, a blanket statement!

 

Come one, come all in a week! FREE admissionSida vid Sida

 

Fiddling around, 10 yrs in Sweden

Fiddling around, 10 yrs in Sweden

Hej! Hey! ¡Hola hola caracola!

Firstly, apologies for the quietness…it’s been a busy time since Pet Sounds…speaking of which, there will be footage available soon! Promise!

Nextly, I’ve been compiling fiddle-work I’ve done for various artists over the years, and here’s what I’ve come up with so far…more to come, so stay tuned!

 

It’s 10 years since I’ve lived in Stockholm, Sweden and I’ve just voted in the 2014 European elections. Feministiskt Initiativ (the Feminist Party, known as Fi) got my vote, they stand for all the right things and have a lot of momentum now, so the fact that they’ve entered in the EU feels big!

More about politics and music soon…

Enjoy the summer!!!

Fall footage and T-shirts!!

Fall footage and T-shirts!!

So I’ve finally gotten around to posting some pics of some friends of mine who are proud owners of the official Diipak t-shirt – check it out on the photos page! (click on thumbnails to enlarge…the images).

If you’re interested in the t-shirt, they go for 150 SEK (around 20 bucks), and if you want a CD which goes for 100 SEK (around 15 bucks), I can do what we call here “kompis-pris” which means “friend-price” 😀

Just send me a message and we’ll sort it out!!

I thought I’d share a few vids from this some more “acoustic” gigs this fall:

Lucia festivities at Hässelby Gård from Dec. 14th.

Fun to play a more acoustic version of Livin’ in a Graveyard!

Internationella Fredsdagen (International Day of Peace) Sept. 21st

Feel free to fast-forward my rambling about peace (or not).

Heads up for Pet Sounds February 22nd!

Happy Xmas – War is Over if You Want It!!! <3

Looking back, looking ahead – 2013 and beyond!

Looking back, looking ahead – 2013 and beyond!

2013 has been an exciting year in many ways!

There was the release-party at a packed Mosebacke, Flatenbadet, the Urkult folk and world music festival in Northern Sweden, Fotografiska Museet, Engelen, and of course the interesting yet classy gig at Nordiska Kompaniet.

Not to mention the t-shirts and this cool new website created by Felix Hill!

Heads up for the web-shop which is to open soon, plus a new and exciting side-project called “Inspire-Desire” where I interview people who inspire me with their creativity and find out what inspires them!

Also, check out the upcoming dates – 2 dates already booked for February, at Pet Sounds Bar and a benefit for Burma in Örebro! 

A couple of videos from recent gigs:

Fotografiska Montage by Jonas Fogelström (www.joji.se):

In the band was Chuck Anthony (electric guitar), James Bradley Jr. (drums), Magnus Malmros (cello), Marcos Colmenero (bass), Maria Carlman (flute and voice), and Mia Törngren (percussion).

Our concert at Engelen was special in many ways, but a big highlight was having Canadian soul singer, Leah Harris with us for the first (and hopefully not last) time! She did a very cool rendition of the classic House of the Rising Sun. For you Dylan Freaks out there, here’s a clip from the greatest documentary about Dylan by Martin ScorceseNo Direction Home, where Dave Van Ronk (called “the mayor of Greenwich Village” during the 60’s folk revival) explains how the chords to this old folk tune evolved to the way everyone knows it today: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2LgFHGBu8NY

House of the Rising Sun with Leah Harris. Video by Steve Morris:

In the band was Dan Arvefjord (bass), James Bradley Jr. (drums), Leah Harris (voice), Mats Burman (electric guitar), Mia Törngren (percussion), and Rachel Eddy (claw-hammer banjo, voice and mandolin).

And as usual, I am always looking for support for my projects in the form of labels, distribution, or other ways…for bookings, write to diipak@diipak.org

Peace!

Urkult Success and Upcoming Fotografiska gig!

Urkult Success and Upcoming Fotografiska gig!
by Ken Day, founder of Urkult!

by Ken Day, founder of Urkult!

Wow, what an amazing Urkult experience! Definitely the most fun gig I’ve had, fantastic crowd, they gave us 2 xtra numbers (we took something like 5), and they still wanted more! But we “quit while we were ahead” and enjoyed hanging out (despite the fact that someone stole my iPhone…left it on a table to record the concert – live and learn!).

A highlight of the concert was when at the end of our first encore “set”, an American artist – George Kilby, Jr – hopped up on stage and jammed with us on Love is All, trading solos with the esteemed Mr. Mats Burman, both on guitar. What a burst of energy! We had to give the people some fiddle tunes as an extra encore, complete with Irish ring-dancing!

At breakfast, George asked me and Maria if we wanted to guest on one of his songs, When the People Sang (https://soundcloud.com/mark-pucci/george-kilby-jr-when-the) which is like an ode to the spirit of the 60’s, very appropriate for Urkult, hehe. Being up there with his all-American band was trippy, I felt like I was suddenly just visiting Sweden from abroad, not living here somewhere in-between nationalities…good vibes, anyhoo!

BIG thanks to the band – what musicians!: Fredrik Schützler (oud and flamenco guitar), James Bradley Jr (drums), Marcos Colmenero (bass), Maria Carlman (flute and voice), Mats Burman (acoustic and electric guitars), and Mia Törngren (percussion).

Another highlight from Urkult was hearing and meeting Leah and Chloe Smith from Rising Appalachia (http://www.risingappalachia.com/). I especially like the blending of American folk music with West African drumming – very cool! When I asked if they were going to play in Sthlm before they leave on Thursday, they said no but that they would like to play a house concert, so I called Izzy Young, the man who put on hundreds (probably thousands) of concerts in his legendary Folklore Center in Greenwich Village in the late 50’s/early 60’s and which relocated to Stockholm in the 70’s, now called the Folklore Centrum! http://folklorecentrum.se/ These concerts included the first NYC concerts for none other than Bob Dylan, Patti Smith, Emmylou Harris, Joni Mitchell, and countless others! So it was a big honor to play there in 2009 and I’m sure Wednesday (tomorrow) night’s concert with Rising Appalachia will be amazing! Oh yeah, it’s all acoustic there, and bring your “axe” (e.g. fiddle) for jamming afterwards!! 7 pm, 80 kr.

Rising Appalachia Folklore Center event: https://www.facebook.com/events/151956431667993/

And the next Diipak concert is at the Fotografiska museum which I’m really looking forward to, on the 29th of this month. It will be the last outdoor concert there this year! So “passa på” as they say here – take advantage of the opportunity and the nice price (FREE)!!

The band for Fotografiska: Chuck Anthony (electric guitar), James Bradley Jr (drums), Magnus Malmros (cello), Marcos Colmenero (bass), Maria Carlman (voice/flute), and Mia Törngren (percussion).

Facebook event for Fotografiska: https://www.facebook.com/events/565434733498970/

Enjoy the last month of summer!!! (or winter, if you live below the equator…)!

Diipak

Urkult, Fotografiska and more!

Urkult, Fotografiska and more!

Summer is here and going by – like life – at record speed!

I’ve been blessed to have the chance to go to “home-squared” which for me is New England, USA. Besides keeping the kids happy by frequenting the beach, I’ve had the chance to jam a few times which is something I do miss about the US – jamming is somehow more accessible, although there are plenty of jams in Sweden (e.g. Wirströms in Stockholm’s Gamla Stan). But I’d still have to say that in terms of spontaneity, the US takes the cake…this is why the crossing of cultures is not only fun – it’s imperative in this globalized world!

In terms of news, I’m happy to announce two important gigs this summer, plus plenty more this Fall! Very soon – on the last day of this month – is the “pre-party” at Urkult (www.urkult.se) which is an AMAZING folk and world (and other) music festival in a precious part of Norrland (Sweden) called Näsåker. It’s a 3-day festival, from August 1st-3rd, and for folks who are in town the day before – July 31st – we’ll be kicking things off along with Maria Carlman (https://myspace.com/mariacarlman) and The Chickpeas Band (http://www.chickpeas.se/). Join the fb event: https://www.facebook.com/events/436616063112885/

Urkult is special in oh-so-many ways. First, it’s an eclectic mix of great music, which is of course, the point. Secondly, the vibes are just right. In fact, the vibes may tie with the music in first place – it wouldn’t be Urkult if it wasn’t a happy marriage of both!! It’s family-friendly, which suits people like me with wee ones. : ) And it’s cheap to boot – 700 kr for all 3 days! 50 kr for the pre-party which, btw, is in the hotel in Näsåker.

Check out the full Urkult Program 2013 here (Diipak is on page 29): http://issuu.com/urkult/docs/programblad2013?e=1817049/3565591

Musicians at Urkult: Your’s truly (guitar, fiddle, voice), Fredrik Schūtzler (oud), James Bradley Jr. (drums), Marcos Colmenero (bass), Maria Carlman (flute, voice), Mats Burman (electric guitar), Mia Törngren (percussion).

Later on this summer – on August 29th – is an outdoor gig, in 2 sets, at the snazzy (and yummy) Fotografiska museet (www.fotografiska.se), which opened up its doors just a few years ago right on the harbor in Stockholm, across the water from Gröna Lund and Moderna museet.

Heads up on upcoming gigs at Engelen, NK, Rosenhill and more!

Video from release party up on youtube!

Video from release party up on youtube!

Some footage from the release party for Dogma which was held at the historic Etablissemanget Mosebacke in Stockholm on January 18th, 2013.

 

Dogma is available online through itunes, Spotify, and many other channels (check out the widgets on the side-bar), or you can even get a hard copy by writing to diipak@diipak.org or through the contact page of this website!

T-shirts available too – pics soon up here!

Me, Wiehe and Afzelius

Me, Wiehe and Afzelius

IMG_1802

I know, to any Swede reading this, that’s a lofty pairing of names, or it takes “chutzpah” to put my name next to those giants of Swedish songwriting (and singing), to use the Yiddish vernacular.

But discovering particularly these two artists, and getting to meet and have contact with one of them (the living one, Mikael Wiehe), has been like finding the key to a treasure chest of fantastic music in another language – for me, and hopefully, in not too long, for English speakers anywhere.

To cut to the chase, one of my many goals is to do an album of Swedish songs translated into English – my own translations, that is. By translating songs that haven’t been translated already, it gives a personal touch, almost as if I was the one who wrote the song. But don’t worry, the folks at the publishing company do a good job of reminding me of the fact that one can’t make any money on a cover, and that goes for translations too…still, it’s an endeavor that feels worth pursuing.

So far, I’ve translated two of Björn Afzelius’ songs into English, Icarus (originally Ikaros) and The Light (Ljuset). Warner/Chappell, Björn’s publishing company, has officially approved the translations:

Ikaros brev Warner: Chappell Ljuset brev Warner: Chappell

The English version of Icarus is on Dogma (on Spotify): Diipak – Icarus

Unfortunately, I came to Sweden a few years too late to meet Björn, or see him in concert, but luckily he left behind plenty of music.

When I first came here, one of the first records I heard (and I mean vinyl) was one by Hoolabandoola Band, a Swedish progg band from the 70’s which both Björn and Mikael sang in. Progg was a politically-progressive music movement which was highly popular in Scandinavia during the 70’s. A lot of the music could be considered, by contrast to the name “Progg,” traditional in that it’s often folk/rock, bordering on country, featuring melody instruments such as electric guitar, flute, brass, or even pan-pipes. Hoolabandoola Band had an especially South American flavor in a lot of the songs and Mikael and Björn even toured Cuba and South America and did their own translations of songs from Spanish into Swedish. Sweden has a significant population of South Americans who emigrated here during the 70’s due to oppression by dictators such as Pinochét in Chile where the great musician and political activist Victor Jara was killed along with thousands of others in a brutal massacre inside a football stadium in 1973.

Translation is a tedious task as one wants to retain the meaning, rhythm, and rhyme of a song, plus that the song should be able to stand on its own without having to have heard the original. On top of this is the challenge of trying to “hear” the song objectively when the one translating it is so familiar with the original. But alas, the work of an artist is never done… *sigh*

I almost forgot, here’s what Mikael Wiehe himself had to say about our album, Dogma:

“Tack för plattan!
Behaglig, avspänd, svängig musik. Roligt med duellen bas – sitar (?) på Greatest thing. Mycket 70-talsstämning, lite kollektivfeeling. Roligt att du sjunger Björns låt! Fin översättning.
Lycka till!
Mikael Wiehe”

Translation:

“Thanks for the album!

Delightful, laid-back, groovy music. Fun with the bass-sitar(?) duel on Greatest Thing. Very 70’s-vibe, kind of a collective-feel. Cool you sing Björns song! Nice translation.

Good luck!

Mikael Wiehe”

For the record (no pun intended), it was an oud, not a sitar, played by Fredrik Schützler who even plays flamenco guitar on the album.

Over and out,

Diipak