I’m leaving Denmark tomorrow, heading to London for a show on my way home (not that it’s exactly “on the way”!).  I’ve spent a week in Aarhus and I must say that I’ve had a ball, with some wonderful gastronomic experiences thrown in.  Howe Gelb took us to his favourite place here in Aarhus, L’Estragon… a quaint little restaurant with magnificent food. Howe, a resident here in the summertime, has a piano set up in the tiny little place. So after the lengthy meal, Howe entertained us with some stride (it’s my new favourite kind of music – it’s a jazz piano style that evolved partially from ragtime). We walked out feeling a little light-headed (there was a different wine with each dish and the food was incredible..) and light-hearted after spending the evening with CV Jorgensen.  A lovely man and one of Denmark’s most respected songwriters.  I’m curious to know more about his music and his life now after seeing him play a couple of times and after spending some time with him. It’s strange when you can’t understand what someone is saying in their music, but you really do get a feeling from them and of the heart behind it. The city was really excited to see him play when it’s apparently been eight years.

The shows went so well, and it was great to be a part of them.. The DeSoto Caucus worked very hard to pull the music together, so I’m really grateful. Playing alongside Isobel Campbell (and being her room mate for the week) was also a lot of fun! Thanks to everyone who came to the shows in Aarhus and for making me feel so welcome.  But, I’m really sorry to those people that missed out on the CD I proclaimed that I was giving away last night.. I ran out! But, you can order the full album through my website. Hopefully if you do that then someone will realise it’s a good idea to put the record out in this part of the world! I’m having a little bit of trouble with that..

So, farewell to Scandinavia for now..

Good evening. I’m writing this from Aarhus in Denmark where I am currently stationed. Tomorrow night I play a few songs at the unofficial opening of the Aarhus Festival at the Town Hall, otherwise known as the Raadhus.  I’m fortunate to be playing a few songs alongside some great people – Howe Gelb, Isobell Campbell, Joe Henry, Nive and legendary Danish songwriter CV Jorgensen. The DeSoto Caucus will be our band.  I’m having a lovely time here and we’ve been spoilt so far. Last night the Director of the festival and his wife (a TV chef) put on a feast for us. It was incredible.

But, before waving goodbye to Stockholm I bought a mysterious leather bag at a flea market over the weekend.  It’s the kind of bag I’ve been looking for for a while. It’s a leather satchel. Kind of like a brief case, but old and worn and full of character. It says “Lisa Danielsson Enkoping” on a little name tag, and the seller said that it was his grandmother’s.  Enkoping is the town in which she obviously lived, but it was his mysterious words that stirred a curiosity about Lisa Danielsson that I’ve since been unable to shake.. “Good luck” he said with a knowing smile.  As I intercepted the bag I felt a strange feeling come over me. Perhaps the bag was haunted, or would give me special powers? Maybe Lisa Danielsson had a troubled life that meant that the owner of the bag was to be cursed forever? Or perhaps he was just being friendly and didn’t know what else to say.. was she a teacher, a secretary, scholar, vet, doctor, nurse, dance instructor or an accountant?! I must know! ..I have become obsessed.  Who was Lisa? Like a cross between Sherlock Holmes and the guy from Antique Roadshow, I’ve attempted to piece her life story together, but alas, I still have no real clues.. there are no signs held within the bag and Google is a joke! In fact I have absolutely nothing. But, it has made for some humourous discussions that have usually involved speaking in a ridiculous British accent. Anyhow, here is a photo of the mysterious bag which may or may not be cursed:

Photo 7

Technology is something I often despise, mostly because I can’t seem to keep up with it.  I find more and more that I enjoy things that have a simple button or two, nothing virtual. I want things to be tangible! Until it’s helpful to me that is… and then it’s my best friend.  Yes, I’m a fair-weather friend! So, here I am.. writing this from a speeding train, tearing through the Swedish countryside on the internet! Part of me feels proud of myself for partaking in this modern indulgence and the other feels sickened that I’m writing emails instead of admiring the awe-inspiring scenery as it flashes past. Perhaps I’m overthinking it all a little.

I’m somewhere in between Gothenburg and Stockholm. Just went through Skovde I believe.. I even took a photo for you using my computer’s camera… (I know, I’m amazing you with my technical know-how!)

Photo 2

Looking just slightly uncomfortable with technology

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve been enjoying reading some interviews with Tom Waits at the moment.. a collection called ‘Innocent When You Dream’.  I’ll leave you now with a quote because my conscience won’t let me waste anymore of this scenery by spending more time on this computer… This is something he said to a member of the audience when they yelled out that they couldn’t hear him loud enough while he was playing a show.. “Well, I’m hollerin’ my fool head off” rasped the seedy man of the hour, “Ain’t screamed so loud since the pigs ate my little brother”.

Scandinavian Adventures Pt3

August 18, 2009

I write to you from the sunny (although rather cold and windy) seaside town of Malmo in the South of Sweden.  I’m back on Swedish soil after a week in Denmark, but I’m hopping back to Denmark again next week when I head to Aarhus. My time in Copenhagen was nice, it’s a great city and hopefully I’ll get a chance to play there one day. I went to see an American band called Deerhunter on Sunday night (they’re from Atlanta, Georgia I believe, with hints of Death Cab & Sonic Youth) at a place called Vega. I bumped into a friend of mine from Australia at the show.. he was working for the band after doing some shows with them in Australia. Considering I’d only decided to go to the gig on a whim, it was a strange coincidence. It was a pretty good show. On another note.. I must say, Danish money looks very pretty (gosh the word play is priceless in this blog).  The coins with a hole in the centre are worthy of being a pendant on a necklace. Between my time in Denmark & Sweden, I’ve been eating more hard bread, crayfish and mayonnaise than one person from the Southern Hemisphere has ever encountered… just to get more coins of course. 

Thanks to those who showed up to our performance at Debaser in Malmo last night. It was most enjoyable. Great to play with those guys again.  For those who didn’t manage to get their hands on a sampler CD, you can now order my albums through the merchandise link on my website.. www.sarahblasko.com.

So, I’m staying another night in Malmo and the town is festive in look and attitude (the festival runs all week).  There’s lots of kids and some of those Dutch pancake stands – that kind of thing! Tonight ‘A Camp’ were playing (Nina Persson from the Cardigans features) in the main square, and I had a lovely walk in the gardens surrounding the castle this afternoon.  It’s so green here at this time of the year.

Well, my next Scandinavian performance is this Saturday evening at Lasse i Parken in Hornstull.. it looks like a very nice outdoor restaurant and I’ll be doing a brief show from 6-6:30pm I believe. I don’t think there’s a door charge, so spread the word..

Scandinavian Adventures Pt2

August 16, 2009

Yes, still in Scandinavia… Denmark to be precise.  I’m leaving Copenhagen tomorrow for Malmo in the South of Sweden to play the Malmo Festival.  I’ve been quite a tourist this week wandering around the city… and over the weekend I visited the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, (by the sea a little bit North of Copenhagen).  Saw some Pollock, Warhol, Picasso, Rothko, that kinda thing! I must admit I’m a bit of a weirdo in an art gallery.  I haven’t quite perfected my art-gazing stance.  It’s difficult to know whether to rest your hand on your chin, to tilt your head, squint or to frame the image on display with your hands – sorry, maybe that’s just what film-makers and photographers do?!  I always feel that my reaction to the paintings should somehow be more exaggerated. And I want to know how much time is enough to spend gazing at a particular painting and how much distance there should be? Perhaps there are no “rules” but I’m sure you can sense my inner dilemma! 

After spending so many months working on a production of Hamlet last year, I thought it was only fitting for me to make a quick trip to Helsingor (Elsinore) and checked out the Kronberg Castle too.  Being the cheapskate that I am, I decided not to pay the entry fee to go into the castle itself but instead decided to do the free walk underneath the Castle. I have to admit, I was terrified!  It was so dark down there and sometimes you could hardly see where you were treading.  Because I was on my own I was panicking, I almost tripped and then bumped into a mannequin of a soldier that some maniac thought would be a great idea to put down there. I eventually caught up to a German family that I followed closely behind for the rest of the trek.  It didn’t help that the children kept making ghost sounds the whole way.  Thoughts of Hamlet and his Father’s ghost could not be expelled from my mind, plus apparently there’s a resident ghost.  I found out later that it’s supposed to be one of the most haunted castles in the world. Super. As I stepped out into the sunlight I tried to gather my composure… but I’m pretty sure I looked like someone who’d just seen a ghost.

News from Australia is that we’ve put a second show on sale at the Forum in Melbourne!  The 4th October I believe. Now, that’s a place that looks like it’s haunted… I’ve heard there’s all kinds of crazy things down underneath the stage. I’ll be sure to take someone down with me if I decide to do a little tour of the theatre.

Scandinavian Adventures Pt1

August 12, 2009

I had two enjoyable shows in Stockholm over the weekend, one at Landet and another at the Folklore Centrum.  I played with fellow Australian, Pikelet who’s on a bit of a world tour. Thanks to those people who came along, particularly the lovely lady who came all the way from Berlin. I’ll need to make a stop there next time!

Next Monday I play in the South of Sweden in a town called Malmo. I think the guys who played with me the other night – two of whom played on ‘As Day Follows Night’ will be joining me for the adventure. In the meantime I’m checking out Copenhagen. At least I’m trying to… it’s been raining since I got here! I was thinking of going to see the new Lars Von Trier film ‘Antichrist’ because I am in Denmark, but I’m not sure it’s the kind of film one should see alone in a foreign city! Lars Von Trier films are usually quite an ordeal.

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