Meet Eggstone, the ‘Godfathers of Swedish pop’
04.26.2017
03:30 pm

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Music

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In 1990 when Swedish group Eggstone released their first single “Bubblebed” it had been over a decade since any Swedish pop act had gone mainstream. This would soon change, and although their debut album Eggstone in San Diego (recorded at their own Malmö-based Tambourine Studios in 1991) hardly made any impact in the United States, it did fairly well in Europe and a gained a massive following in Japan. AllMusic called it “layered, retro lounge-pop that is cheery, bright and infectious” and they’d go on to record two more albums over five years (Somersault and Vive La Différence!). Each Eggstone record was filled to the brim with insanely catchy, radio friendly songs. With titles such as “Hang on to Your Eco” and “Supermeaningfectlyless,” their lyrics didn’t always make perfect sense in English, but there was a fun quirkiness that came from them being written by a non-English speaker. Guitarist Patrik Bartosch told Billboard magazine in December 1996, “We won’t change something around that’s not correct English just for the sake of it, we like using new combinations of words that haven’t been used before. We’d rather be incorrect than use a cliche.”

Eggstone put their Swedish producer Tore Johansson on the map, and soon hundreds of bands all over the country began sending their demo tapes into Tambourine looking to record with Tore in Eggstone’s studio. “Out of the demos that were getting sent to us, the other one we really liked was from The Cardigans. They really had something.” Eggstone frontman Per Sunding told Tape Op in a 2015 interview. Tore Johansson helped give The Cardigans the Eggstone sound on their first four albums: lush production with gorgeous vocals in a chic, boss nova-influenced atmosphere. The Cardigans even borrowed Eggstone’s formula for their slightly off-the-wall version of English, and created fun song titles on their albums by combining words that weren’t meant to go together: such as “Pikebubbles” and of course, their huge 1997 chart-topper “Lovefool.” The “Swedish pop” sound had taken shape, and over the next two decades both Tore Johansson and Per Sunding became Sweden’s most in-demand producers working with artists like The Wannadies, bob hund, Peter Bjorn and John, Saint Etienne, April March, Franz Ferdinand (Tore produced their 2004 radio hit “Take Me Out”), Idlewild, Boss Hog, even A-list royalty like Tom Jones and Beatles producer George Martin sessioned at Tamborine.
 

 
Eggstone selflessly put their career aside to help Sweden’s newfound music scene flourish. Sunding started a record label (Vibraphone Records), built a restaurant in the center of Malmö, and hosted several bands from Japan, most of whom had insanely large budgets to record which helped fund two additional studios: Gula and Country Hell. All three studios remained completely booked year round, so booked in fact that Eggstone could never get in to work themselves. Sunding ultimately became more interested in production rather than his own band. An enormous hard drive crash which destroyed many demos Eggstone had been working on for years didn’t help matters either. Finally, in April 2016 Eggstone refurbished an old demo from 2002 called “Like So” and released it through Spotify. It was their first new release in nineteen years, their fans were ecstatic and interest in the band was renewed. 

More after the jump…

Posted by Doug Jones | Leave a comment
Meet the Wipeouters: DEVO’s surf-rock alter egos created for a children’s show
04.26.2017
12:08 pm

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Amusing
Music
Television

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Mark Mothersbaugh has quite the musical repertoire outside of being the co-founder, keyboardist and lead singer of one of America’s most inventive and beloved new wave groups - the almighty DEVO. In 1989, Mothersbaugh founded the production company, Mutato Muzika, which has also served as the band’s headquarters since its inception. Glancing at the company portfolio, Mutato Muzika (“mutato” being portmanteau for “mutant potato”) has produced music for hundreds of commercials, movies and TV shows, with credits for Wes Anderson films, Nickelodeon’s Rugrats, Pee-wee’s Playhouse, The LEGO Movie, and the soundtrack for the computer game, Sims 2 and much more, too much to mention.

In addition to the above, Mutato Muzika has also spawned The Wipeouters, the surf-rock DEVO offshoot with a rather vague existence. In the late 90s, Mark Mothersbaugh was approached by Klasky Csupo, Inc. the animation company behind Rugrats, to create the theme for their new extreme-sports themed cartoon series, Rocket Power which followed a group of SoCal kids who surf, skateboard, snowboard, rollerblade, BMX bike, play street hockey, and any other adrenaline-fueled sport you can think of. While their airborne stunts may sound intense, the adolescent complications they faced seemed to be the most challenging: math homework, getting grounded, bullies, confronting one’s fears and insecurities, and so forth. Mothersbaugh assembled his team at Mutato Muzika to record the theme to Rocket Power, which premiered on Nickelodeon in August of 1999.

At this point on the Devolution timeline, the band was, for the most part, pretty inactive. After poor record sales for 1990’s Smooth Noodle Maps and the dissolution of Enigma Records, DEVO itself pretty much disbanded in 1991. Over the years came a few one-offs, including their “Head Like a Hole” cover, the soundtrack to their CD-ROM adventure game “Adventures of the Smart Patrol,” and a few reunion shows beginning at Sundance, then the Lollapalooza tour, and onward. DEVO’s absence in the 90s, allowed Mothersbaugh to cultivate the success of Mutato Muzika as a commercial music production company powerhouse,  establishing itself outside of the DEVO context.
 
Mutato Muzika located in West Hollywood, CA
Mutato Muzika’s lair located in West Hollywood, CA

And then came the Wipeouters. The mysterious group of surf revival Mutatos featured Mark Mothersbaugh (keyboards/vocals), Bob “1” Mothersbaugh (guitar), Bob “2” Casale (guitar), and Josh “not from DEVO” Mancell (drums). At the recommendation of Gabor Csupo, co-creator of the Rocket Power series, the Wipeouters released a full-length record called P’Twaaang!!! in 2001. Inspired by the works of the Beach Boys, Jan & Dean, Dick Dale, the Trashmen, and the Ventures, P’Twaaang!!! features 48 minutes of hard-driving tubular guitar riffs, with wacky synths on top to give it that classic DEVOtional flair. Even if you had never listened to DEVO before, the music sounds much like the same band who brought us 1979’s cover of the spy-surf classic “Secret Agent Man.” In addition to the recognizable cast of spuds noted above, the record also features notable guest appearances from Jerry Casale), Jim Mothersbaugh, Robert Casale Sr. (father of the Casale brothers), and other members of the Mutato Muzika family.

More after the jump…

Posted by Bennett Kogon | Leave a comment
Yes, there is a ‘sexy women holding carp’ calendar and, of course, it’s gotta be from Germany
04.26.2017
11:46 am

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Animals
Sex

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OK, it’s April and not exactly calendar-buying season. But this is a little too good not to share. There’s a calendar that showcases pictures of sexy women holding carps. The name of the calendar is the Carponizer Calendar. Carponizer? Yes, Carponizer.

The calendar is the brainchild of a certain Hendrik Pöhler, a native of Germany who sells equipment for carp fishing for a living.

To get these priceless pics, photographer Raphael Faraggi runs the shoots in France over four weeks. He is assisted by “two competent caretakers,” who are charged with cleaning and polishing the carps’ scales before they are given to the models for the big pose. The Carponizer Calendar is, shall we say, R-rated, but if you go to Faraggi’s website some of the carp pictures are topless.

According to Pöhler, “The idea for the calendar was to bring two of the greatest hobbies of men, fishing and women together.” Right.

The Carponizer Calendar has actually been around since 2014, if not earlier. The 2016 edition and the 2017 edition are available on Amazon. In case you are wondering, the next time that the 2016 calendar configuration comes around again is 2044—leap years are tough—but you can reuse the 2017 edition as soon as 2023.

Pöhler claims that the 2017 calendar has “once more managed to courageously make every month of the year that little bit more special,” and really, who could argue?
 

 

 
More scantily clad women holding fish, after the jump…...

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Finally there are posable life-sized skeleton body lamps!
04.26.2017
10:44 am

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Amusing
Design

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Ever wanted a life-sized skeleton lamp with a lampshade for its head? Then have I got the lamp for you! Zia Priven makes these posable skeleton lamps called the “Philippe.”

The skeleton happily sits on a stand so you can easily reposition it in any pose you want. (Mine would be flipping everyone the bird.) The “human” bones come in silver, bronze or an off-white and is topped with a black or white lampshade.

There is no price listed on the Zia Priven website. I’d imagine these cost a pretty penny. I could be wrong, though. You can contact them here to ask about pricing.


 

 

 

 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment