Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The New Neighborhood

Over the weekend I moved to Södermalm, the southern island of Stockholm where I spent most time as a kid growing up. In fact, this place is sort like home as my grandfather grew up within two blocks of my current apartment. I am on a bluff that looks over the water and the photos that do look out on the water from on high were taken from the balcony of the new place. I am only renting a room here, but it's a choice part of town. The housing market is so tight here that even the room I rent is hot property.

Here are some photos from the new locale (click on any or all of the photos to enlarge):

Monday, October 29, 2007

A Walk on a Rainy Day in Autumn, in Photos

All of the following photos were taken in the part of town, Södermalm ("Southern Rock," it's an island) where I now live. Cheers!

American in Stockholm

If you can read this article, you would soon know that Charlie Davies, an American playing football here in Stockholm just yesterday scored a hatrick from my club here. This may mean nothing to the most of you, but I happen to think it's pretty cool. He came from Boston College to Stockholm towards the beginning of this year and scored in his debut, which was a cup match. Alla hylla Charlie!

Friday, October 26, 2007

MTV Ad in Sweden

I wish I could explain how funny this is to me. If you do not understand Swedish, you might imagine what Johannes is saying in light of the clear disgust he displays. The fact that this is on ordinary TV in Sweden makes it that much more liberating for somebody who has grown up within the prim and austere confines of the regulating and strangling FCC. Mind you, I am not in favor of unnecessary profanity on TV, but being treated like an adult with the expectation that we act like one in return, even as a 14- or 16-year-old, always provides a great sense of dignity and self-worth.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The Morning Commute

I rode my bike today for what may be the last for some time. Soon after I took this snapshot, my pedal fell off again, further elucidating the fact that the my right crank (a Eno one-speed) continues to strip itself of threading. Ugh! I just bought these last spring for a good deal and felt lucky to have such a good brand of crank. Nevertheless, the shot shows the waterway between Solna, from where I'm moving, and Danderyd, a northern kommun where my school stands up on a hill. More on my new school later. Nevertheless, I do get to take in some of nature's beauty on the way to school. Once I move to Söder (the southern, inner-city island of Stockholm), I'll have a longer and less aesthetically pleasing ride. Tunnelbana here I come!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Kanye West & Peter, Björn and John Live Together

Here my two musical worlds collide as Chicago's Kanye West blends his boasting with Stockholm's Peter, Bjorn and John's ubiquitous "Young Folks," recorded live at Gothenburg's Way Out West festival in the western port of Sweden. I am somewhat nonplussed with overall performance, but I enjoy seeing people experiment, mix it up and generally work out of their comfort zones. I suspect that is exactly what will keep these acts alive while their peers fade into the past like yesteryear's flannels and Air Jordans. Peace.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Hilarious Bergman Spoof

I recently came across this spoof while reading a letter to Camille Paglia on Salon.com. Bergman is considered holy by many, myself included; yet, I am glad that even a group who holds him so sacred would also be able to laugh at him (unlike some other religious groups).
Here it is.


I recently read about how the photographer and now director Anton Corbijn will be attending the screening of his first major film Control, the biopic of the late Joy Division singer Ian Curtis. The film has been written up well at least once. I hope to catch it here during the Stockholm Film Festival at the end of November and see the director himself present it. I've come to enjoy Corbijn's grainy, contrasty style (Miles Davis, Tom Waits, William Burroughs and Iggy Pop), a style which first attracted my eye in Breathless—in which Jean-Luc Godard used only a hand held camera and all natural light. This new film also sounds like a labor of love on the part of the director. Only one or two other films this year have woken me up, the new Paul Thomas Anderson film There Will Be Blood and Quentin Tarantino's latest, Death Proof, which was a good but cheap and highly stylized thrill. Nevertheless, here's a trailer for the forthcoming Control.

Here's the write up for those who can read Swedish.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

You Know You're In Sweden When...

you are walking down the street on a rainy Thursday evening, slightly cold (both you and the temperature), and you happen upon a fox doing it's sly thing, ducking in and out, and around bushes, completely aloof and uninterested in the human walking his way. I had the desire to take a photo, but there are many experiences that photos cannot capture.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

That Time of Year

I quite often grow tired once the school year has gotten rolling and then I need some chill music to relax to. Some years ago it was the Swedish DJ J�sper Dahlb�ck. I happened across this at pitchforkmedia.com and it seems to fit the bill. I likehow the guitars are woven into the beats, licks almost like Pink Floyd at times.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

As Radiohead, So Go The Charlatans

Now The Charlatans have one-upped Radiohead and are giving away their new album for free. Not even one pence! Check it out the full story here. I haven't heard much of their music in years, maybe a single or two, which I appreciated. (They always seemed like a "singles" band to me anyways, also a sort of second coming of The Stone Roses.) Nevertheless, if you are so inclined, check it out there. The single is forthcoming soon, while the rest of the album will be available by January or thereabouts. Enjoy.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Radiohead - Videotape live from the basement 2006

This song haunts with the beauty of "Pyramid Song" and I am now eagerly awaiting In Rainbows, the new Radiohead album to be downloaded (at your chosen price, for Christ's good will!) at inrainbows.com. In a rather adventuresome spirit, Radiohead has decided to release their album as a download first and allowing us buyers to pay what we think we should pay. I am quite sure the business world sees this as financial suicide, but I recognize it as a herald to the new age of partonship that once gave the poets a financial life on which to float while they wrote their great works, a la ancient Rome (and perhaps Greece, too?). And they created some good works back then, now didn't they.

The Prize of Prizes

Around a year ago when I first found myself pondering a new life here in Sweden, I became excited about the possibility of being present in Stockholm when the Nobel Prize in Literature will be announced. This year I will be eating lunch between International Economics and English B when the big pronouncement beacons out into the world. Here you can read an interesting article for an overview on the process, should you be so inclined. I became excited when reading it because one hypothesizer suggested that American Cormac McCarthy stands as a front runner, although I've heard fellow American Philip Roth mentioned more frequently. It never ceases to amaze me at how much people get haughty about literature at this time of year. I guess this proves better than a lack of interest, but why not show more interest 24/7/365? I'd piss myself if two high school seniors busted into boastful, roastful talk over who was better, McCarthy or Delillo? Fuentes or Amos Oz?

A guy can dream a little, can't he?

Monday, October 1, 2007

Teaching Foreigners Swedish

Click Here

I wish I could explain how funny this is to people who don't speak Swedish, but there you have it, in any case.