Archive for April, 2008

The Modesty throws release party

On Friday, april 25, The Modesty will run their release party for the album Heads in our hands. They play at the beautiful scene Skandiateatern in Norrköping, which recently has sailed up as one of the best stages for music in the region.

The Sun And The  Rainfall supports and the DJ’s are Parklife Social Club. Som  arrangör står Club Mogwai tillsammans med Sensus.

The album has recieved great critics in the papers, just look here:


Dear old Stockholm stolen

Last week I participated in a TV documentary about an old Swedish folk song, popular as “Ack Värmeland du sköna”. This song has through history turned into lots of other songs, like the national anthem for Israel; Hatikva, the symphony Vltava/Moldau by Bedrich Smetana and the jazz standard Dear old Stockholm by Stan Getz. The producer Sotfilm learned that the song is “owned” and has to be paid for to Stan Getz, even though it is a folk song from the seventeenth century, and therefore free to use. I think this is very strange. Can an artist steal a song like this? Is this equivalent to file sharing? I sing the original in the documentary called Östgötavisan.

Compare for yourself
Monica Zetterlund singing Värmlandsvisan:

Donald Byrd playing Dear old Stockholm:

Vltava by Bedrich Smetana:
Israel’s national anthem:

The TV documentary, Swedish TV2, K-special:
(I sing the original at 34 minutes, it is streaming so you can fast forward there)

About Dear old Stockholm:
Värmlandsvisan lyrics in english:

News coverage on file sharing trial

Yesterday I commented the file sharing trial in Linköping on the regional news show Östnytt. I think that both the representative from the Pirate party and the well known artist Thomas Andersson Wij have opinions that are quite poor. The opinion from the Pirate Party that was aired, and which is a common view: “If I go in to a record store and pick up a CD and walk out of the store, this store has lost a CD. This trial has nothing to do with anyone losing a CD”. In my view, this is poor thinking. There has to be sharper intellectual reasons for file sharing, if they are to win the debate.

Thomas Adersson Wij, in turn says: “It morally as defendable as if a display window is broken – then its okay to pick things up”. This is not valid at all, since the internet is not a broken thing, but on the contrary an excellent display window. It is the record companies business models that are broken. He also reveals a view on marketing which is very strange and out of date. It made me think a lot about strategies and the order of actions. I have to write a post about it in a while.

As always I look like a nerd with to much to smile about… However, I have learned a bit about how to speak in the media to get my point through: short comments and catch phrases. Easily edited by the TV studio. Its a bit hard, when youre used to discussing and slowly unravelling opinions… Here is movie clip:

Prosecution on Filesharing

In Linköping, there is a lawsuit against a file sharer today. He is prosecuted for sharing music and films on Direct Connect. The regional TV news station Östnytt called me yesterday to try to get an interview since we “have a different opinion on these matters”. Today the journalist was sick, so we’ll see what happens. It would be meaningful to try to give my view on this. As an overview, here are my thoughts:

Society is changing and we are in the middle of a lagre cultural shift, where the internet is creating new ways of communicating, working, of using products and of our views on the world. In the entertainment business, in economy and in the academic world, this change has already happened. Next area of our culture to change is the pedagogic world. Anyone who do not notice or acfcept this wil lbe in troubel if they try to function as if this change is not occuring. regarding the entertainment business, the large companies are scared to death about this change, which they are not prepared for, have no creativity or talent to solve. So their solution is to try to back their way into the future, using the old ways in a new era.

As a pedagogic way to show you how this new culture works, here are the pars involved, in their own words:
In the news:
About the investigation:
The file sharer himself:



Artists for file sharing – 4 of 10 in Sweden

Four of ten swedish musicians think that file sharing should be legalized. Swedish newspaper Sydsvenska Dagbladet asked 100 artists, some new, some has worked for decades and are quite famous. The all answeded anonymously. Mostly its the younger artists that approves of file sharing. Its the record companis that has a problem with file sharing, not the artists, it is claimed in the article.

Many artists are irritated at the record companies. A qoute: “Record companies has during fifty years had the sole purpouse to squeeze as much money from the artists as possible. Suddenly the companies has become some kind of interest organization for these artists and that is not true”.

The companies talk about a crisis, but its just 39% of the artists that claim they lose money on file sharing. Many say gigs are their main source of income. However, there are problems: “Many bookers check the sales. If you have a large downloading audience, this is not reflected in the sales, and it leads to difficulties in getting gigs”.

Many artists has choosen a low profile in the debate on file sharing, so they dont provocate their audience or their record company. The reason they answered the questionnaire, was that they were anonymous. See there, a sad development of democracy…

The article in Sydsvenskan:

A follow up the next day:

On the same subject, 14 artists on file sharing:

Hindering the development

There was a suggestion for a new law in Sweden recently, as I wrote here:

Now it receieves serious critisism from a bunch of swedish IT-entrepreneurs. Among the relevant issues, they point at the web as a cooperational, social and highly interactive place where ideas, products and connections are shared all the time. The article writes that the politicians pretend as if Internet and digital technology does not change the world and they do a serious attempt to work against the unique qualities that the web has, that people generally love.

They want to give the industry the possibility to indentify and hunt people who share “wrong” files, to sue them. This is to help the industry to keep aged structures, business models and relations. A very relevant observation, that I can share.

One issue is that a hearing will take place in the Swedish parliment, 3 april. In the list of speakers, there are six representatives from the business, who wants harder sums against file sharing, for economical purposes. Two persons will point at the “consumers viewpoint”, but they are suspected as not being objective; one is general secretary for a government funded organisation, and one was part of the Renforsuntredningen – an inquiry about file sharing, where they suggested that a file sharer should get their connection closed down…

My opinion on this subject is that file sharing is unstoppable and it is not meaningful to try to stop the development. Everyone against this has to realize that we are on the way to a new society, a new age of enlightenment, to be a bit pompous. This will be a society where the web is central, with its incredible possibilities for democratic use and sharing of knowledge, ideas, material and products. As a music publisher, I need support to get the best from this development, not laws hindering my business. As a consumer, I want the possibility to enjoy what I like, and to support my favourite artists adn creators in a fair and just way.

Here is the critical article, but only in swedish:


Gramtone är musikutgivare och bas för ett gäng musiker och låtskrivare, baserade i Norrköping. Vi äger bolaget och studion tillsammans, folk med olika bakgrund och olika smak. Två dussin är vi, som ställer allt vi äger i ett rum och säger: varsågoda. Ett kollektiv av individualister har vi kallats, och varför inte: Grammisar har vunnits, stipendier har fåtts, medan somliga är kända för helt andra saker. Alla spelar roll, men inte nödvändigtvis rock. En driver ett enmansprojekt, en annan är med i fem band samtidigt. Några är runt 20, några har fyllt 50. En fick pris för årets bästa museum. Någon ligger bakom Softubes banbrytande pluggar och någon har fått utmärkelse för, hör och häpna, bästa fotbollslåt.

Gramtone satsar på en liten, spännande utgivning av ostyrig, vacker musik. Lyssna där du vill, vi finns i alla de vedertagna kanalerna. Vissa spelar live, andra spelar in. Några älskar att skriva låtar, andra spelar gitarr så fingrarna blöder. Gramtone är en plattform som används av varje band och artist som det passar dem bäst. Ibland är vi en lekplats, ibland kreativt nav, affärsyta eller en trampolin för musikkarriärer. Vi blir planterade och uppodlade av varandra, och vi gillar't. Vi tycker att musik gör tillvaron större och vill man att något ska finnas, då ska man också skapa det. Tre dussin utgivningar hittills, och mycket på gång. Titta in, lyssna in, och häng med.