|20th of Feb 2010 3.03pm|
HEADING FOR A BREAKDOWN....
Being back in Horten ain't all that bad. Sure, it's a sleepy place and the few assholes you'll find wherever you go are somewhat more visible in a small town. My dayjob is OK at best. And the cultural input is ... limited. But Hey, it has taught me a few lessons about taking it easy. The leader of the ratrace is still a fucking rat, right? A nice girlfriend, family nearby and a good apartment counts for a lot. Add a rehearsal space just a block away from your house, and it can't really be better.
But I almost lost it a couple of months back. I was getting good results on my work with the songs we recorded a million years ago but still haunts a part of my brain, when suddenly, for no apparent reason, both my portable harddrive AND computer with three years of recorded material stopped working. Just like that. Gone.
A sign, I thought. This is a sign. A goddamn sign. Not a test, but a sign. An omen for me to buy a playstation 3 and quit making music forever. You can't win, man, but you can easily comprehend the rules of a good game. So I did just that.
But I'm luck. I've got a good friend, who, like me, recently moved back to Horten. And we share this rehearsal place a block away from my house. Patrick ain't about giving anything up. So he decided we'd build a studio, buy some basic equipment for recording AND he got his hand on a computer, too! A new direction? Maybe, but in any case the fun and madness of people enjoying a good ol' jam will prevail! And for what it's worth, the harddrives are salvageable, a few new digital goodies are in the house, and Stein O is coming over tonight for beats and beers. Which means I'm sorta back on track, perhaps a little wiser.
Remember kids, there's no shame in multiple backups!
|17th of Nov 2009 3.42pm|
Jim Protector fan art
My nephew drew a picture of our "French-robot".
Thank you Anders-Herman, possibly our youngest fan!
Click here to see a larger version of the drawing
Watch the video here
|17th of Jul 2009 2.49pm|
Kick out the jams
Andreas got married, Jarle became a father and geographically we are once again like a sneeze on a map. I'm back in my hometown, for how long is still uncertain. Sounds like an outtake from "summer of 69", right?
Right. Anyway, we are doing one festival this summer, Hortensfestivalen, once famous for legendary gigs by Bob Marley, Jeff Beck and one of the dudes from deep purple. This year's list of bands is somewhat smaller, with mostly locals headlining. And JP, somewhere in there. Coming out of retirement, that's what it feels like. I haven't played a chord in months, let alone worked on songs. And here I am, practicing again, as a trio for now, me, Jarle and Lars Reidar Bjerke (from local band ISKRA) filling in as drummer. The sound, the trio format, the fresh take on old songs, it gives me the same feeling I had when we kicked around with our instruments in my parents basement almost a decade ago. Fuck, a decade, talk about the full circle etc. Next week SteinO will join us for our final session before showtime. And after that, who knows? It's likely we'll reappear from time to time, like so many times before. And we still have some songs that we might finish for a release of some sort.
|20th of May 2009 10.47am|
We are in competition on a french site's Indie Top 10 for "hallmark Channel", and if we get enough votes, we will be in their regular playlist for 3 months!
|10th of Apr 2009 11.42pm|
Insisting that the world be turnin' our way...
So we packed some gear, drove, parked, unpacked the gear and set it up on a wide stage in a nineteen-sixties-style theatre-slash-cinema. And then we got to work. Well, not work. We just started playing and recorded what came out. For four days straight. Three songs, maybe two. Something worth keeping, at least. Maybe you´ll hear it on a record or on myspace or on spotify or whatever. Not the radio, I suppose. We took some pictures, too. I will post a couple of them here. But not tonight.
We have a couple of gigs coming up:
Scene 37, Horten, the 24th of april. Karl Barx will join us. Plus two more bands. That's a shitload of value for your money. And I'm sure it's gonna be lots of fun. The day after that we're playing @ club revolver in Oslo. A hip joint, so they'll dig us for sure. Succuba from Horten will join us. They rock pretty hard, like something Steve Albini would produce and is worth checking out if you haven't already.
We'll be digging out some new material for the upcoming shows. Hope to see some of you there
|23rd of Dec 2008 9.36am|
Tis the season
Christmas. What can I say? I love the flamboyance of the season,
like easter in drag or the like. Being fortunate enough to grow up
in a relatively safe environment, christmas has always been about
the warmth, the anticipation and keeping the tradition alive.
Which is really just feeding the Clichés. Same procedure as etc. etc.
This year I wrote a christmas song, which I've never done before.
My best hope is for it to be a part of some obscure tradition, too.
A holiday cliché on it's own. That would be cool.
You may download it in the Downloads section.
Happy holidays, everyone.
|16th of Oct 2008 2.17pm|
New Adventures in Lo-Fi Vol. 2...
I’m now continuing the story from where I left off last time. It’s already been twelve days since I put my pen down, which on a grander scale amounts to nothing but a small drop, so let’s keep it on a grander scale. If I keep it going at this pace, you’ll see my Cartesian equation consisting of axes “stuff that happens” and “time it takes to tell it” will be as linear as a function can be. In other words, a few more of these and I’ll be in total sync with what’s going on.
Today's subject: We recorded new songs! It’s really big news for us! The four guys of Jim protector, together 24 hours a day for one week, that's an event of leap year proportions . Not that we don’t click together or anything, cause we do. I mean, we have to, we never rehearse and usually wing our way through a gig without even discussing the set-list until like 5 minutes before we go on stage. And after that we’re usually busy with our own lives, in separate parts of the country. We handle it well, all in all, that’s how this band started off anyway, way way back it seems. That all good live, but does it help in a recording situation? We were about to find out, one blank week set aside for our mutual project, a camping trip with our little malnourished bastard child, real JP male bonding, teambuilding and every other thing. For the record, our last.. er… record took us about two years to record, we knew nothing about anything and learned a lot along the way. Since then our equipment have either been stolen or updated, and our skills refined. Through Andreas we were able to borrow a pretty decent mixing table and through me we had been able to borrow what probably is a pretty decent studio space. I’m not saying probably due to blindness, but due to what I on several occasions have implied and what further reports indicate, namely that JP the band was not exactly born, bred, baptized or bar mitzvah’d under a lucky star. Or at least not under the one that makes for organizing skills, if the cosmic aspect is something you favor. And this teacup was no different ride. Then again, in a way, is that not the enjoyment of it, us being so painfully precise in making solid things melt? Cause you really don’t where it will take you next. And although something going wrong for us is as common as sundown, the rhythm changes constantly and the colors always take you by surprise. And even if it whips up a lot of frustration when the sun disappears in a green haze at two o’clock in the afternoon, it’s never boring to know that tomorrow’s sundown might or might not be blue, brown, square, with tentacles or never bother to show up at all.
Here I was, waiting for the bus to take me to the airport in Trondheim, it’s six thirty in the morning and I’m thinking that everything is coming into place. I’m tired, not much sleep last night, but as soon as I get to Oslo, I’m meeting Andreas, we’re loading the car full of equipment before driving to Horten where a guy is taking us to his studio in a more or less abandoned industrial park in a quite picturesque part of town. We’ll meet the others, set up camp and start cracking on some songs. Smooth sailing. Then about a minute before the bus arrives, I’m turning my head around to let my tired eyes look at things around me, get some new impressions, you know, keep them retinas busy. When suddenly and to my surprise what do I see but a poster hanging in the window of the Hotel bar behind me depicting of the very same guy I’m suppose to meet in Horten just a few hours later. I’m thinking it’s curious, sure, but at this hour I’m not allowing tentacles and sundowns to connect, so it falls into the back of my head for now. Besides, it’s to early to be making phone calls anyway. I have nothing to read on the plane, and when I get to Oslo I’ll have to wait for an hour or so. It’s still early, so I drink coffee, drag my ass on the train and meet up with Andreas at the Mickey Mouse toy-factory he calls work. Together we spend the next hours packing and carrying stuff through the sluice lock system that makes up the six floors of the office building where he keeps drums and everything. Lots of heavy equipment, lots of corners that work their way through my skin, cases that are really to big to carry will not carry themselves, steps, always steps and doors that will set the off the alarm if you keep it open more than 30 seconds at a time. It’s like a bizarre funhouse for roadies. On top off that the car has been left with the lights on, and the battery has slowly died in the mean time. So while Andreas is fixing that, I’m carrying stuff down the steps and generally waiting for him to come back with the keys and the car. We’re pretty beat when everything is inside the car and we can finally allow ourselves a coke and a smile. It’s already early afternoon by now and I’m finally calling the studio guy to tell him we’ll be in Horten in about an hour, ready to go. Turns out he’s in Trondheim, the poster I saw earlier was actually a poster of him being that bar’s pianist for the week. I’m a bit perplexed, not really angry or losing my hope at this time, but I do feel like I’ve really made a mess out of stuff, although he has too. It was just that I thought we we’re cool about the dates and I had heard nothing about him going to Trondheim, and in any case, whoever’s fault it is, it does not change the fact that I’m in a car full of equipment, finally meeting the guys for a full week of recording with no place to be and it’s Sunday afternoon. It’s an hour drive to Horten, and although I grew up there, I don’t really know lots of people there anymore. But I keep that phone busy all the way home, making desperate connections on the spot, like a junkie trying to score. All in all I must say people are helpful and pass on numbers and such, but it’s simply such short notice or they know of no studios with a pro bono agreement. Prospects are looking kinda bleak, although Andreas and I arrive in Horten an hour later with one real studio option, a couple of “you can borrow this room for a few hours a day but when we’re not using it”, a few “haven’t been able to get the guy, but I’ll call him later” and one “sure, use my apartment, but you’ll have to go through my landlord”. The studio we check out is good, but we don’t need an engineer and it’s basically a great space for mixing, whereas we need space, lots of it, for recording. We keep the option open without it being a great one for our need at this point. So the sun is slowly closing the day when yet again an element of surprise turns it into a Technicolor coat. My dad’s childhood home, a house with four bedrooms, kitchen and living room, has been rented out for years, but now it’s in the process of total renovation. “You can stay there if you like”, my parents say, “but there’s no furniture in the living room”. Perfect! Let’s fill it up with our stash! Luckily we were prepared for this sort of thing equipment-wise, so except for a few key elements, we’re good for an entire recording studio. The rest we borrowed, we did, from the good friends that we have.
Sunday night and most of Monday was spent duct-taping and foaming, we’re barring windows, placing blankets and carpets, installing lights, setting up tables, equipment, wires, everything as best we can. And come Monday evening, we were finally good to go!
And the sound we produced! With emphasis on drums, we managed to get it sounding pretty decent. When we mixed “shields down” with Ken Stringfellow, he was scratching his head for hours about what to do about how crap our drums were sounding. He managed to get the goods out of it, but spent lots of unnecessary time doing it, because our homework on how to make drums sound good sucked so much. Shucks to that, this time it’s different, and we could really hear the difference. So we spent the following week working tirelessly, eating pizza, drinking coffee, red wine and inhuman amounts of Coca Cola. Come Sunday we got more than decent drums put down for around ten songs, with half of them being more or less ready to go into the mix. Our nearest neighbors, my sister’s family, lends us a studio-cat for good luck and our other neighbor, Ole Jørgen (check out his RigaRiga project on myspace) let us play his fantastic pump organ. I recorded some vocals inside a closet and somewhere inside these songs we got a feel of where this band is going, at least for this certain project. One more week like this would be perfection, but for now this will do. What will happen next? Don’t know yet, we have lots and lots of work ahead of us before we can even begin thinking about mix and such. There are plans, though, and in good time you’ll know. For now it’s safe to say we’ll sneak in a few new songs into our future live-sets, so keep your ears open
PS! Thank you everyone that made this week possible, mom dad, Ole, Ola, Linda, Thor, Rob, Patrick, Alf, Jon Levi,Oddvar, Simen, and every other individual my incompetence left out. You should probably know we recognize you with gratitude.
|4th of Oct 2008 12.37pm|
New Adventures in Lo-Fi Vol. 1... Stuff happened since the last time I wrote. We
recorded a bunch of songs (more on that further down) and played some gigs
(more on that right now). As I've already written, we had a full weekend
with gigs lined up ahead. Trondheim-Oslo-Stavanger-Bergen-Stavanger-Oslo by
car, Two gigs in Stavanger and one in Bergen, that makes a lot of miles, lots
of gas, a few ferry-rides and a enough scenery to keep your mind at ease for at
least a month, even if you were to be locked up in a room without windows, TV
or anything to read. Not to sound like a douche or anything, but Norway can be
quite exotic, even for Norwegians. Highlights of our journey included one of
nature's most beautiful wonders, the natural gas refinery, just outside
Stavanger, placed on an otherwise boring coastline. We ate pizza, spent our
days solving mysteries and nights sleeping in haunted mansions. But enough
about that, let's recap the gigs. After driving most of the day and afternoon,
we arrived in sunny Stavanger feeling weary and somewhat misplaced. We were
playing the opening of the short-film festival without expecting anything, but
when we stepped into the rather big banquet-hall and saw the tables, the
tablecloths, the fancy waiter and the candlesticks, we immediately got the
impression how this evening was going to be. During soundcheck a group of
seniors arrived, all jazzed up for artsy film, but instead meeting a wall of
sound performed by a bunch of hairy, smelling boys in ragged T-shirts. They
were at least as surprised as we were, and from there things just got more and
more Spinal Tap-ish. After settling in at our friends Anders and Cecilie’s
flat, we went back to the opening. The movies had been rolling, food and
champagne had been consumed and we had missed it all. Instead, we saw a very
lousy stand up comedian doing awful impressions of Norwegian actors, missing
the target completely and sounding like your typical stereotypic Norwegians,
the same voice used over and over with different accents. It was horrible to
watch, but stranger than anything people were actually laughing their heads
off. Not out of spite, not out of mercy, but out of the sheer fun of watching
something funny and spot on. I was rather perplexed, and actually a bit
disgusted, like the reptile scene from Hunter S. Thomson’s “fear and loathing
in Las Vegas”. Beer, I thought. That’ll take away the edge, seeing there’s no
champagne left. Now, here’s an important thing to say about
the whole beer-situation. 1) We are not greedy people. Free gigs or a salary
that covers about half of what we spend on gas and food is typical when it
comes to JP. We almost never make any money from gigs. This was one such gig.
2) You always get beer, usually a crate of beer, drink it or don’t, but as long
as you’re backstage, it’s yours. When playing a free gig, at least you get
beer. It’s an unspoken rule or what have you. 3) It is therefore a perfectly
good reason for us to ask about the possibility of beer, and so we did. “So, do we get any beer?” I asked in a common
tone. The woman, sitting with her friends, not really on the job right there
and then, looked around, talked fast and quietly to the girl sitting next to
her before saying. “Well…um…sure, I can buy you guys a beer”. I felt so cruel,
so embarrassed that the thought of saying “no no no, forget it” did not cross
my mind. Instead I gave the thumbs up to my mates and drank at least half a
pint before realizing what I just did. By the time we started playing I was
full of shame and a good cocktail of just about any feeling I could imagine. We
kicked the set off with “Hallmark Channel” Which was a good thing, because it
gave us some time to be introspective and me the chance to play a little noisy
guitar. We let it last for a while to get us nice and warm, and after that we
were our old selves again. After the gig, Anders and Cecilie took us to a bar
called “GNU” and we ended the evening with more beer and our favorite songs
playing on the jukebox. Then we slept, ate, packed our stuff plus
enough “free” champagne to last us all weekend and left for Bergen. “Hulen” is one of my favorite venues to play,
and it was no surprise that this gig was the highpoint of our little weekend.
Great audience, great set, the royalties was a great band to play with, just a
great evening! Had we only set up our little shop of Tees and CDs, but we put
that off for just hanging backstage. Nevermind, we thought, slept and headed
back to Stavanger. The Saturday gig was probably the most
anticipated gig of them all. Not only had we never played “Checkpoint Charlie”
before and the place has sort of a legend to it, but furthermore were we
supporting Ken’s new band, the disciplines, which a) was cool because it’s
always a pleasure to see him, but also b) was cool because his band has had a
lot of hype this year, meaning in theory we would get a good crowd. We did infact
get a good crowd, although there weren’t too many of them. The Disciplines
rocked out, though, and gave it all to the folks that showed up! A few of their
numbers were instant classics too, although I’ve never really digged that
“Oslo” song. But what a show, I was amazed and hereby a fan! After the gig was
over Ken and I sold merch for our respective bands, and although most people
were digging into his stuff, we got a few people hooked and it kept the shop
busy. Ani and I had prepared a new freebie, the “jim Protector ear protector™”,
and it became a very popular item. The disciplines were a fun bunch of people
and we kicked around backstage before checking out Stavanger’s nightlife. Other
highpoints of that evening includes Steins ode to decadence by pissing in a
champagne bottle and cowboy hat, JP performing a song backstage by telephone
and getting told off by the "Checkpoint Charlie" staff for being to loud, dancing
to some good old soul music at "Cementen", destroying my phone and getting lost,
and as a consequence, walking for hours before finding back home to Anders’
place to finally get a few hours of sleep. Ken Stringfellow had something to say about
that night. Check out his blog too. And now: the recording of songs. I’m gonna
post a new blog on that, I think. You must be tired of reading my words by now. I've been digging classic SNL-sketches lately, go see something like that on youtube for a minute, and come back here later. Peace Alex
New Adventures in Lo-Fi Vol. 1...
Stuff happened since the last time I wrote. We recorded a bunch of songs (more on that further down) and played some gigs (more on that right now).
As I've already written, we had a full weekend with gigs lined up ahead. Trondheim-Oslo-Stavanger-Bergen-Stavanger-Oslo by car, Two gigs in Stavanger and one in Bergen, that makes a lot of miles, lots of gas, a few ferry-rides and a enough scenery to keep your mind at ease for at least a month, even if you were to be locked up in a room without windows, TV or anything to read. Not to sound like a douche or anything, but Norway can be quite exotic, even for Norwegians. Highlights of our journey included one of nature's most beautiful wonders, the natural gas refinery, just outside Stavanger, placed on an otherwise boring coastline. We ate pizza, spent our days solving mysteries and nights sleeping in haunted mansions. But enough about that, let's recap the gigs.
After driving most of the day and afternoon, we arrived in sunny Stavanger feeling weary and somewhat misplaced. We were playing the opening of the short-film festival without expecting anything, but when we stepped into the rather big banquet-hall and saw the tables, the tablecloths, the fancy waiter and the candlesticks, we immediately got the impression how this evening was going to be. During soundcheck a group of seniors arrived, all jazzed up for artsy film, but instead meeting a wall of sound performed by a bunch of hairy, smelling boys in ragged T-shirts. They were at least as surprised as we were, and from there things just got more and more Spinal Tap-ish. After settling in at our friends Anders and Cecilie’s flat, we went back to the opening. The movies had been rolling, food and champagne had been consumed and we had missed it all. Instead, we saw a very lousy stand up comedian doing awful impressions of Norwegian actors, missing the target completely and sounding like your typical stereotypic Norwegians, the same voice used over and over with different accents. It was horrible to watch, but stranger than anything people were actually laughing their heads off. Not out of spite, not out of mercy, but out of the sheer fun of watching something funny and spot on. I was rather perplexed, and actually a bit disgusted, like the reptile scene from Hunter S. Thomson’s “fear and loathing in Las Vegas”. Beer, I thought. That’ll take away the edge, seeing there’s no champagne left.
Now, here’s an important thing to say about the whole beer-situation. 1) We are not greedy people. Free gigs or a salary that covers about half of what we spend on gas and food is typical when it comes to JP. We almost never make any money from gigs. This was one such gig. 2) You always get beer, usually a crate of beer, drink it or don’t, but as long as you’re backstage, it’s yours. When playing a free gig, at least you get beer. It’s an unspoken rule or what have you. 3) It is therefore a perfectly good reason for us to ask about the possibility of beer, and so we did.
“So, do we get any beer?” I asked in a common tone. The woman, sitting with her friends, not really on the job right there and then, looked around, talked fast and quietly to the girl sitting next to her before saying. “Well…um…sure, I can buy you guys a beer”. I felt so cruel, so embarrassed that the thought of saying “no no no, forget it” did not cross my mind. Instead I gave the thumbs up to my mates and drank at least half a pint before realizing what I just did. By the time we started playing I was full of shame and a good cocktail of just about any feeling I could imagine. We kicked the set off with “Hallmark Channel” Which was a good thing, because it gave us some time to be introspective and me the chance to play a little noisy guitar. We let it last for a while to get us nice and warm, and after that we were our old selves again. After the gig, Anders and Cecilie took us to a bar called “GNU” and we ended the evening with more beer and our favorite songs playing on the jukebox.
Then we slept, ate, packed our stuff plus enough “free” champagne to last us all weekend and left for Bergen.
“Hulen” is one of my favorite venues to play, and it was no surprise that this gig was the highpoint of our little weekend. Great audience, great set, the royalties was a great band to play with, just a great evening! Had we only set up our little shop of Tees and CDs, but we put that off for just hanging backstage. Nevermind, we thought, slept and headed back to Stavanger.
The Saturday gig was probably the most anticipated gig of them all. Not only had we never played “Checkpoint Charlie” before and the place has sort of a legend to it, but furthermore were we supporting Ken’s new band, the disciplines, which a) was cool because it’s always a pleasure to see him, but also b) was cool because his band has had a lot of hype this year, meaning in theory we would get a good crowd. We did infact get a good crowd, although there weren’t too many of them. The Disciplines rocked out, though, and gave it all to the folks that showed up! A few of their numbers were instant classics too, although I’ve never really digged that “Oslo” song. But what a show, I was amazed and hereby a fan! After the gig was over Ken and I sold merch for our respective bands, and although most people were digging into his stuff, we got a few people hooked and it kept the shop busy. Ani and I had prepared a new freebie, the “jim Protector ear protector™”, and it became a very popular item. The disciplines were a fun bunch of people and we kicked around backstage before checking out Stavanger’s nightlife. Other highpoints of that evening includes Steins ode to decadence by pissing in a champagne bottle and cowboy hat, JP performing a song backstage by telephone and getting told off by the "Checkpoint Charlie" staff for being to loud, dancing to some good old soul music at "Cementen", destroying my phone and getting lost, and as a consequence, walking for hours before finding back home to Anders’ place to finally get a few hours of sleep.
Ken Stringfellow had something to say about that night. Check out his blog too.
And now: the recording of songs. I’m gonna post a new blog on that, I think. You must be tired of reading my words by now. I've been digging classic SNL-sketches lately, go see something like that on youtube for a minute, and come back here later.
|26th of Aug 2008 12.43pm|
Jim Protector at the movies
The summer has been quiet and lazy for JP, but now the sun has turned and nights are getting to be a little darker and the air a little brisker. It's time to move around again.
We got word that our music video "french" was chosen for the official program of Stavanger's short film festival and needless to say, but I'll say it anyway, we're honored and proud as a pack of proud and honorable roosters. Furthermore, we're playing at the opening of the festival, and to top it all off, we're doing two more gigs that weekend. One supporting "the royalties" at "hulen" in Bergen and the day after it's back to Stavanger supporting our good pal Ken's new band, "the disciplines" at Checkpoint Charlie.
September will also see the groundbreaking ceremony of our new album. Location has not yet been chosen but we're eager to begin work. I've spent a lot of time this summer in front of my laptop, programming, writing lyrics and putting pieces together. I'm looking forward to see JP ripping it all apart and building it up again, reinforced.
Later this fall we're celebrating our pals Karl Barx's recordrelease with at least one gig, at the ûbercool Blæst in Trondheim. But we're thinking of expanding the relationship, and we might just show up in your Town. Or one nearby. I'm sure you're able to go there by train, at least. If there's no airport nearby.
Anyway, more details to follow soon.
your ol' buddy ol' pal
|9th of Jun 2008 9.52pm|
Summer's here kids...
Back in the days the annual tape compilation made by the norwegian postal service marked the start of summer holiday for thousands of kids in Norway. The songs weren't always good, and the skits in between were usually commercials draped in Comedy by Norwegian Television Personalities. But we loved those tapes to death, and would have long conversations with our mates about those skits, imitate them even, and on more than one occasion we would make our own tapes with skits and mindless horseplay that no one would ever hear. But for the holiday, the postal tape was king. Most of us travelled by car (i guess most of us still do), and most cars had tape decks, the tape was family oriented, so everyone had theirs. No wonder they were classics.
Long gone by now. Is it because most cars eventually had cd-players installed?
The mix-tape lives on, however, and was of course alive without the store-bought option to back it up. But with the exception of the die-hard nostalgist and such, few of us use tapes on a day-to-day basis. The process of mixing a tape right was a small piece of science. Like what do you do if the tape runs out on you before the song ends? Is there a point of no return, do you start it over again on the flip-side, or try to make a continuous flow? Those problems were avoided with the introduction of the DIY CD-burner. And today, with MP3-players, making mixtapes is a digital daily operation that blends in with the way you feel just there and then. It's never been easier (now I'm starting to sound like one of those skits, except I'm not funny).
So, with this year's summer holiday approaching, I hope you're in the process of making your very own soundtrack. And to mark this season's coming, we're letting all our songs on our myspace-page to be downloadable! Just include us on your mixtape, and have a pleasant time!
|5th of Jun 2008 9.53am|
Oslo has already established itself as the center of attention when the Norwegian offspring of La fête de la musique is held on June 7th. However, Trondheim is trying to do their version of it, and this year we've been asked to participate, which of course we're more than happy to do. In this day and age, with "by:larm" being HQ'd in Oslo, and "øya-festival" given the status as the junction of Norwegian Festivals, it's important to take good care of the cultural offerings in the great yonder. And with the weather being as good as it is nowadays, nothing but the people can stop this from being a celebration of musical diversity and all that jazz. I'm actually quite optimistic about this, a thing to be duly noted as a rare occasion. So please, if you're in the area, see us at 14:15. We're playing at jomfrugateallmenningen. After living in Trondheim for nearly 5 years, I still have no idea where that is. Just follow the sound of vocoders, trumpets and guitars and you are bound to see us.
|21st of May 2008 11.02am|
I actually wrote a long blog last week, steamy stuff about my growing frustration over all the crap I have to endure whenever I read a newspaper or turn on the radio, a lot of the bands that scream for attention in Norway really get to me. But I'm somewhat calmer now, and I won't be pissing on anyone's bandstand today.
However: Ignorant bastards at NRK svisj playlisted our new video at the odd hours between something like 0430 and 0630 on thursdays, fridays and saturdays. Thank you, douche bags! So if you are an extremely early bird or if you like to sleep on the couch with the TV on, then you are our target market, says NRK Svisj. Too bad, I like NRK, but they don't like us, obviously. Not to worry, guys, save your phonecard and don't mess up your sleep pattern for our sake. We're giving you the video. That's right - gratis! We never make any money doing anything related to Jim P. anyway, so why be stingy? Watch and download here
(Only thing we ask is that you register to our J.P. newsletter. Don't worry, we're extrtemely lazy and won't bother you unless it's really, really, really important. Meaning: hardly ever)
In other related news, I've just collected 32 songs and ideas onto 2 cds, in hope we'll get enough input to record another album anytime soon. Details are not set, as it's difficult enough for us to spend more than a few days together due to the gargantuan amount of other commitments we share between us. But we have finally a space to call our own, and although we're not settled, at least we have the op to do so. Some of the stuff is really great, kinda different from the stuff we did on shields down, and I'm anxious to get started on the recording process. The question, When?, remains unanswered for now.
Kristian, a good friend of Jarle and I, takes some amazing pictures. He did some really cool stuff when we played John Dee last month, check it and other stuff out on his website
We got namedropped in a review about that posies-tribute EP we're part of. Naturally, we're proud. Read on here. For the lazy'uns among us, I'll quote: "The artists on this selection do have a good crack at the songs but hardly any of them do anything that might be deemed original. Of the seven tracks present on this CD only Darling Cait’s version of “Precious Moments” and Jim Protector’s “Coming Right Along” really stand up to any scrutiny. The others just sound like pale imitations rather than the intended tribute. "
For those who would like a copy, check out burning sky's homepage.
Or wait 10-15 years until our "rarities collection" will be released.
Oh, by the way. I just came back from Cuba. It was sweet, y'all.
|19th of Feb 2008 3.04pm|
The end of an era...
The News of Cubas Fidel Castro retirement has travelled around the world all day, and while some people are rubbing their hands in delight as we speak, other are wondering what will happen to this small island just south of the Bahamas. I heard rumors years back about how McDonalds and Burger King already had locations in mind for their ever-growing franchise, and it will probably be no more than a common thing to see a KFC in Havana, just like the two-story monstrosity overlooking Tianamen square in Beijing. The question is not if, but when. The only thing constant is progress, and the first real step came today.
As a leader I find Castro laden with ambiguity, it's not easy to divert myths from facts. Between the romantisized image of the 81 year old bearded man who survived more than 600 attempts on his life, and the westernized picture of a tyrant formed by Democratic Governments and capitalist media, it's not easy to take a stand either way. A country with one of the worlds greatest health-care systems, that even offered USA help after the Hurricane Katrina disaster in 2005 (in which the US official made a point of not responding to), yet Cuban refugees risk their lives on home-made fleets to escape the Island for USA. Violation of Human rights is a often discussed topic in Castro's Cuba, and a lot of people, Cubans firstly, will know this subject a lot better then my little scratching on paint, but I find Cuba immensely intriguing and what comes next, for better or worse, will be a true study in sociocultural evolution and political philosophy.
in the words of Castro himself: "Condemn me. It does not matter. History will absolve me"
|11th of Feb 2008 1.09pm|
..Let's get physical..
This weekend Jim protector rented a room at "trikkestallen" and got busy.
It was if time had stood still. We haven't even been in the same room together since November, but we clicked right back into the set as if we played them last week. So we had time to prepare something we haven't done before. I am still very tired and my hands feel like they've been used as baseball mitts. I drank enough coffee to last me all year and even though I had earplugs on all the time, it still rings and rings inside my head. In other words, a great success!
Tour-dates this spring (as of now):
12 apr Samfundet, Trondheim (splitgig with yoyoyo acapulco and my little pony)
Be Sure to check out our version of "Coming right along" on the "beautiful escape" Posies tribute page on myspace while it's still available. They usually change songs about once a week or so. It's the posies like you've never heard before, I can promise you that.
|3rd of Feb 2008 3.45pm|
lost myself in a familiar song...
This week Steino and I set up a makeshift studio at his place. I dub it la casa del perro (pardon my spanish). Our first task was a song we worked on with Gary Olson of Ladybug Transistor about a year ago. Jarle came over on day two for some fresh eyes and ears and what came through was a beautiful little piece of music. Observing Ken and working with him for our Shields down-sessions has made us a whole lot more competent in the world of mixing, although we're still learning. Anyway, this track, "Finally! A Flicker Of Hope!" will appear on a compilation conceived by the Oslo-label Spoon Train Audio, and released with generous help from TUBA, Who also distributes our stuff. If everything goes as planned, march 31. will be the day to mark in your calendar.
Check out our tour-section for some dates with a few of the bands also appearing on the same compilation, namely My Little Pony and Yoyoyo Acapulco. We will be covering Oslo, Hamar and Trondheim together this spring, but you'll never know. We might grab a few more.
By the way, if anyone knows anyone with a few spare sofas in Hamar, let us know. We need a place to crash for the night of april 11.
PS! Vote for us to play Sweden rock festival this summer. Yes, I know, it's not really our kind of festival, but come on! the chance for us to share a backstage area with blue oyster cult? I'd say that's a helluva deal!
|29th of Jan 2008 5.30pm|
I Come forth with news about our video. My eyes have seen some stills, and I'm sharing them with you, good people. I didn't ask for permission, so I hope Seth is OK with me snatching them from his website. If you are still reading this and you see a few pictures too, then he is. Check out his blog, anyway, for more of 'em and a few updates on his work
I was gonna let the pictures tell their own story, you know, my words can't really say anything that these pictures can't say a lot better, but I feel I have to say a little about how much I enjoy the level of detail he is putting into every frame. I've always been a huge fan of animation, and I'm not much of a drawer, not if it's not accidental, you know. And to me it's just mindblowing to think of the scrap of paper I used to scribble down a half-baked story with an odd character I'd been thinking about for a while is turning into this larger-than-life, breathing thing. And for the first time I can remember, I've not stuck my nose into it, just trusted this man with his drawings.
And that's the beauty of it all. I'm really psyched about seeing the finished thing, not because it's a jim protector video, or an idea I had or any other acts of egocentrism. Forget about that. It's his vision that has brought this thing into a whole new level of professionalism. It really is a good feeling to trust people with your ideas when you know they are on the very same wavelength as you. And yes, I would be lying if I said my expectations weren't turned to the max about a song of ours being the backdrop of an animated world, but I guess I'm entitled to a little egomania. After all, this is rock and roll.
In my Jim Protector days we have been about the small steps. This video will represent a leap. Come february, we'll all get to see it. I'm pretty sure it's gonna be sweet.
|9th of Jan 2008 7.11pm|
The new year...
I'm not a big fan of new year's resolutions. It's not that I'm not up to the commitment, but it generally imposes a framework of rules to keep you from being yourself. Sure, we could all need a healthier diet, a regular exercise program, a personal amendment against excessive smoking and drinking or whatnot, but in the end we feel bad about not doing what we're suppose "to do", according to the "contract", because the human nature is a strong force against reason. Nutrasweet will never taste as good as sugar, so why torture yourself with a shitload of foul tasting cups of tea, when instead, just use a little less real sugar each time. Setting goals and sticking to them, yes, but not if they keep you away from a little happiness in the everyday comotion. You can quote me on that and call me a hedonist if you like.
It's been a long long time since I updated this blog. Actually, the last thing I wrote was about our little mishap with the car on that icy road. It all worked out, we got us a set of new (and expencive, I might add) snowtires, took a slow motion drive towards Oslo and did a great show. We nearly missed it, though, due to a collision and a mile long que of cars just waiting. We lucked out, got into a few sideroads in nowhereland, took a few chances and before we knew it, we were back on the main road leading to Oslo and betong, where we would play just thirty minutes later. No soundcheck, no dinner, just plug and play and get comfy. I honestly think it was for our benefit, it got us edgy.
John Hughes, the aforementioned photographer, took a bunch of cool artsy shots, and they are on display in our photo-section.
Ani and I went to London a few days after that, and on our first day we went to the Windmill in Brixton, where J.P. played last summer. Danny and the champions of the world were playing, and I joined theom on stage to back them up with some fine tambourine and misc. percussion instruments, making it the third time in a few months. They really are great guys with great music and it's always a pleasure to be a part of their set. Ani took a few pictures from the gig, and here's one from her flickr page:
That's me with the tambourine and banana-painted face, in case you wondered.
December came with an early x-mas gift for the protector boys. Eviction! All the bands rehearsing at the smelting plant has exactly one month to clear out, or (I quote) "the equipment left behind will be sold or given away". What a great message! And December, none the less. The month where nothing's really happening. Funny thing, though, we got a letter this summer saying we could go on as usual and nothing would happen in 2007. So they picked the first day of 2008 to get everyone out. I hope the business they are about to do in our old place will be prosperous and make them a lot of money. A giant pile of money for them to roll around in.
Goodbye's aren't always easy, and I think we were all a bit sad to let that place go. After all, we've spent a lot of time there, catching whatever kind of metallic dust floating in the air and inhaling it, making us either slowly immune against or slowly exposed to pneumoconiosis, and when all is said and done we have recorded a lot of songs in that room over the years, with guests like Ken Stringfellow of the posies and Gary Olson of ladybug transistor dropping by. Our debut-album "shields down" was recorded there, and now we're obviously moving on. We managed to squeeze in one more reording, though, before drumkits, organs, pianos and amplifiers were stashed, packed and stashed again. A tight scheduled marathon recording of yet another posies-song for the upcoming tribute album, this time a very jim protectoresque version of "coming right along", with Jade Hasselgård providing female vocals. I did the basic tracks on day one, and had Stein Ove coming over on day two to help me with the rest. instant karma, very "in the moment" kinda thing. A very symbolic recording, indeed, even though we don't have a place to call ours as playing and recording goes, we'll be coming right along soon. Oh yes. We'll update you further on that track, right now we're keeping a few secrets.
I'm gonna trade you another secret though. "Shields down" will finally be released on vinyl! That's right, I'm listening to the test pressing right now. Being a fan of that particular medium, I must say, it's good to finally have it on a twelve inched disc. It'll be a little while before it's ready, but when it's done, you'll know. It's gonna be sweet! And for J.P. this is a great step, this is the first time we don't reach into our own pockets to get something out. The good people at www.thegarden.no is releasing it for us, and although not exclusevly, it will be the best bet for you to get it. When it comes. Which of course, we'll tell you.
In other related news, be a-lookin' for our spanking new video for "french", animated by Seth Piper, the guy who did the artwork for "shields down". Without telling too much, it will be a glimpse into that particular world created on the cover, and if you look real close, you'll even recognize a few things.
Looks like I'll have to get a new years resolution after all. I will update this blog more frequently. Yes. 2008 is gonna be all about that, y'all.
PS! I nailed a solid "Penny lane" sounding trumpet on a track by your friendly neighborhood band "Karl Barx" just before x-mas. Watch out for the album, sometime in 2008. Check out their home
|20th of Dec 2007 11.41am|
Merry christmas, folks! As a token of our appreciation for being our friends, all of our listed myspace-songs are now downloadable until 2007 becomes 2008. Include them on your new years eve mixtape or give it away to someone who needs good music!
Eggnog and mistletoe-kisses
from the boys of jim protector
|9th of Nov 2007 12.33pm|
On our way to Oslo...
It started to snow.
The car skid 180 degrees and hit the curb pretty hard. Don´t worry, we´re all right.
And we are playing tonight. But as of right now, we´re stranded.
And "just like Christmas" by the band Low keeps on playing inside my head.
See you at Betong tonight. We´ll be there, if a little late and cold.
|24th of Oct 2007 1.40am|
A great day at Deichmanske ...
Aftenposten, Norway's number one paper according to this writer at least, gathered a huge group of people involved in the alternative rock scene in Oslo, including the protector boys. As it turns out, there is a movement going on, and it seems like we are part of it. I don't see it as a hype or a battle against the RAWKERS or what have you, but it is heartwarming to be accepted as part of something. Makes me feel this band is being taken seriously enough to be a fer-de-lance, or whatever. Anyway, this photoshoot with the immense group of people were to be taken at the deichmanske library in Oslo and I was suppose to be there at four, meet up with Andreas and rest of the bands and smile to the camera for a picture inspired by the legendary "a great day in Harlem" turnout. Piece of cake.
But, with my luck and poor judgement, I found myself stuck in traffic at ten past four with Andreas calling me with updates. The last one being "you'll have to come now, the cameraman is here and we're all lined up". Ani was in the car with me, and she made the parking arrangements whilst I ran like the Dickens. Driving for an hour and a half in heavy traffic is a bit too much when the ado is about nothing, and on a such a fine day too, we could have been somewhere else, doing something completely different. That sort of thing crossed my mind before I realised I came just in time for the shoot, and I slid into the frame just as the first picture was taken.
Later, Andreas, Ani and yours truly went for Beer and Coffee at Mono, where jim P. have played a few times, last time with Ken Stringfellow close to x-mas. No surprise to find half of the people from the shoot already sitting there over beer and "obscure bands"-conversations, but all the more welcome it was to find our pal John in the backyard enjoying afternoon brew with a couple of friends. A jolly reunion it turned out to be. John did some pictures for us earlier this year, backed by the glossy mag "Det Nye", and after that we have met sporadically for shits and giggles and beer. A great photographer and a great guy. Check out his photos here
Oh, and that article will probably be in the evening edition of next tuesday's Aftenposten.
|1st of Oct 2007 4.28pm|
|17th of Sep 2007 3.25pm|
It's been raining for a month...
This is my first attempt to write a blog, and I really don't want to call it that, the word "blog" already feels so... old fashioned, in a way, like singing the "macarena" at the top of my lungs, expecting it to sound as fresh as it never really was in the first place. The web is a train passing through new territory and here I am standing on the end rail hoping to get a piece of the action. We live in a time where lonelygirl15 is dead, and so it seems even videoblogs are a thing of yesterday. Anyway, with my brainfarts out of my system, I'd like to welcome whoever wants to read these words on the digital fortress of jim protector. We will try to keep you updated on things we do and hopefully you'll come back on a regular basis to read what we have to say. There will be no major breakthroughs, just words and the occasional picture. Simple as that. In the old-fashioned way of blogging.
It really has been raining for a month, and today I was suppose to do this grand expedition to look for second-hand vinyl and also get a rather inexpencive piece of equipment that would make my home-made songs ten times as simple to record, with the result of sounding a lot better. But I just could not make myself go out in the rain, not today. Instead, I replaced my showerhead in my, a thing I've been meaning to do for a long time, and it felt really good putting oneself into good use. I didn't have the proper whatchamacallit's for the job, but I did have a few items in my toolbox, and imagining what mcgyver would do, I'd say I did all right. The result was not something to put a picture of in a catalog, but it works great and will do fine for now. My demos will just have to sound a lot more lo-fi for a another day, but now I can sing in the shower, I guess.
We were suppose to play this student-festival called "Phonofestivalen" in Bergen last week and up until a month ago we were rather convinced that we were playing, as we were getting a constant "yes" in every e-mail correspondence we had with one of the bookers. However, it seems bureaucracy can be found in even the smallest, idealistic spirits of enterprice, and somehow our name was lost in the long mile of mental paper trails. Not a good thing for us, of course, as we were all ready to go, and that itself requires a lot, since everyone but me has an important job or an important education to maintain next to the band. Water under the bridge etc. These things happen. etc. And we were actually in luck, as the medhum organisation was hosting a benefit gig for women suffering from Fistula in DR Congo. If you don't know what fistula is, I can tell you in short that it is a hole from the bladder/rectum to the vagina, resulting in chronic incontinence. Itís a result of obstructed labor or very brutal rapes, and it sounds very, very painful. read about it on www.endfistula.org. The gig was at "Hulen", a place I've wanted to play since the mid-ninetees. Built inside a bomb shelter, it has a very significant acoustics and the place has all together a very unique vibe. We shared the stage with Bart, dobbelmono and kisskisskingkong, three very cool bands with three very distinct sounds and every one of them deserve as much attention as possible. Truly three of Norway's finest underground-bands and it was such good fun playing with them. As for our set, we spilled a sixpack of beer on stage in the middle of our second number, making the floor slippery and setting the general tone of how our gig was to be. Stein O's guitar lived a life of it's own, turning itself off and on at odd places, forcing us to play even harder and louder. None of us made a point of it, we just winged our way through, and so very few noticed. Sondre joined us on stage for a couple of songs he did with us regurlary this summer, and Anders, our first drummer, made a comeback as a tambourine man, a job he dived into with a lot more vigour than anything I've ever seen him do for the last twenty-something years we have known each other. At one point, I was standing on top of the kick drum and scraped my leg jumping off from it. We were all bruised and beaten, but we did make a point out of having fun with our songs. And it really was such good fun, meeting friends, drinking beer with cool people all night, listening to good bands and doing it for a good cause too! Without going Bono on you guys, I'd say you give a little spare change if you can to this cause, these people sure made us feel welcome and their work is important.
We have prepared a cover version of "dream all day" for a posies-tribute. Hopefully we'll be a part of it, but either way, you will hear it. I think we nailed it pretty well and Kip Beelman is mixing it to perfection. We're kinda playing the waiting game before it's done. This weekend we'll be in England for the "truck 10" festival. If you are somewhere in the vicinity of Oxford, drop us a line and meet us there. It will be awesome!
Waddayouknow! The sun just came out. Better make the most of it!