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Sunday, 30 December 2007

Things we want to see in 2008.

Salem winning at the Grammisgalan, the P3 Guldgalan and the Rockbjornen - as many awards as possible!

A new album - we can't wait to hear some new material!

And most of all... an international launch, particularly here in the UK - more than anything I would love to see Salem and his band play live because they are brilliant!

Salem - I don't know if you are aware of the existence of my site, but maybe one day you will discover it and hopefully enjoy what I've been writing about you. I just want you to know that your music has brought so much happiness to me and to many others, and you are such a talented musician, singer and songwriter who deserves worldwide success.

Tack så mycket for your wonderful music, and good luck for 2008.

Nisse's band Conrytmo featured in Göteborgs Posten

I didn't know that Salem's drummer Nisse has another band, but he does! It's a group of five drummers called Conrytmo (like the Blue Man Group only without the blue paint :-) ), and there's a feature in today's GP about them. Seemingly they will play a show in Gothenburg at New Year and they also have a show lined up in Las Vegas next March among other things. I don't know where this leaves his commitments to Salem's band though?

Swedish Grammys: how many will he get then??

Over at my other blog EuropeCrazy I've been doing predictions for the Grammys. Much as I would love Salem to win all seven, I need to be objective and realistic and therefore I think he is likely to win the following:

Best Newcomer
Best Song
Best Composer

I would really really love him to win Best Album too, as "This Is Who I Am" is utterly fantastic.

Thursday, 27 December 2007

Final list of nominations for Swedish Grammys announced today - SEVEN NOMINATIONS!!!

Today the final list of nominations for the Swedish Grammys was announced, with the initial lists of ten nominees in each category now narrowed down to the final five.

Absolutely brilliant news that Salem is nominated in seven categories - he is the artist with the most nominations this year, closely followed by Kent (six nominations).

Salem is nominated in the following categories:

Best Album
Best Male Artist
Best Song
Best Lyricist
Best Composer
Best Newcomer
Best Producer

When the initial list was published (nine nominations) I didn't want to get too excited until the final shortlist came out, but now it has.....I'm excited. Very excited indeed. I'm realistic enough to know that he won't win all seven, especially now that it's decided by the Swedish public and not the industry professionals, but surely now he must win at least one or two?

Anyway big congratulations on the nominations - well done Salem, you deserve it!

Wednesday, 26 December 2007

Stuff from another blog, about last night's Stockholm gig

I read a Swedish blog just now, the person who wrote it went to see Salem at Debaser in Stockholm last night. Not surprisingly it was a very good review, the band were great as ever and the songs were even better live than on record. There were apparently a lot of new songs and the blogger said that there could be a new album in the spring - I know Salem's very prolific but this might be wishful thinking, although how good would it be if that was to happen?

A festive appearance on SVT's Bolibompa...!

Have only just come across this one: SVT Play has a video clip of Salem's appearance on "Bolibompa" which of course is presented by his big brother Nassim. Rather funny clip of Salem playing "Jingle Bells" on a number of musical instruments. OK so kids' TV isn't the most credible thing in the world, but if it gets him some new fans then bring it on!

Find it at: http://svt.se/svt/play/video.jsp?a=1002195

Monday, 24 December 2007

Salem playing Stockholm tomorrow night

Still no real news to report apart from this: Salem plays his last gig of 2007 at Debaser, Stockholm tomorrow night. Hopefully there will be a bigger turnout than at his last gig in Gavle :( anyway I hope someone from the Swedish media will review this at some point. Good luck for this gig Salem, hope it's a great one.

Right I'm off now to get ready for Santa Claus!

Friday, 21 December 2007

End-of-year polls (part 1)

Another no-news week, but things should pick up as all the end-of-year polls are coming around.

At the end of every year Swedish news agency TT Spektra commissions a poll of all music reviewers for their Swedish and international albums of the year. The results for 2007 are as follows:

Best International Album:

1. Arcade Fire: "Neon bible"
2. Feist: "Reminder"
3. Robert Plant & Alison Krauss: "Raising sand"
4. MIA: "Kala"
5. UGK: "UGK"
6. Band of Horses: "Cease to begin"
7. LCD Soundsystem: "Sound of silver"
8. Amy Winehouse: "Back to black"
9. Ryan Adams: "Easy tiger"
10. Foo Fighters: "Echoes, silence, patience & grace"

What we're interested in of course is the Best Swedish Album list:

1. Säkert: "Säkert"
2. Anna Järvinen: "Jag fick feeling"
3. Jens Lekman: "Night falls over Kortedala"
4. Kent: "Tillbaka till samtiden"
5. Sahara Hotnights: ""What if leaving is a loving thing"
6. Eldkvarn: "Svart blogg"
7. Laakso: "Mother, am I good looking?"
8. Salem Al Fakir: "This is who I am"
9. The Tough Alliance: "A new chance"
10. Moneybrother: "Mount pleasure"

We'd have "This Is Who I Am" at no.1 of course but 8th isn't doing too badly, as this is one of those "trendy" polls (!) Good to see Kent and Moneybrother in there too.

Sunday, 16 December 2007

My top 50 songs of the year (over at my other blog)

This afternoon I completed my countdown of my 50 favourite songs of 2007 over at my other blog EuropeCrazy (http://europecrazy.blogspot.com) and inevitably there were a few appearances from Salem!

No.1 - Good Song.
No.2 - Dream Girl.
No.7 - Count Me Out.
No.9 - It's True.
No.13 - This Is Who I Am.
No.17 - It's Only You.

Grammisgalan appearance confirmed

Only 24 days to go now, till the Grammisgalan: Expressen revealed today that Salem Al Fakir will be playing at the show, also on the bill are Lars Winnerbäck (sorry but I can't understand his appeal), Maia Hirasawa, Lasse Stefanz, 50 Cent, Westlife and Motorhead. If that's not a diverse bill then I don't know what is. Fingers crossed that TV4 are as good as SVT at putting stuff on the web for us non-Swedes to drool over :-)

Saturday, 15 December 2007

Gävle gig review in Gefle Dagblad

Another four-star review of Salem's gig from Thursday night can be found in Gefle Dagblad: http://www.gd.se/Article.jsp?article=121264 . The heading reads "Big entertainer - small audience" and the reviewer highlights that despite the poor turnout, Salem ("Mr 100 percent") took it like a professional and provided those present with a high quality show. I liked the reviewer's comments that if there was a "most humble" and "most charming" category in the Swedish Grammys, Salem would win. The reviewer also highlighted that Salem and his band are at their best in smaller venues such as this one. The review also stated that Salem has taken Sweden by storm this year, with many hit songs and sell-out concerts (and a bigger tour bus now) but looked forward to what he'll come up with next, as he's got much more to give. We certainly agree with that. Here's a picture from the gig, courtesy of Gefle Dagblad:

Friday, 14 December 2007

Gävle gig review in Arbetarbladet

There is a great review of Salem's gig from last night on the Arbetarbladet website http://www.arbetarbladet.se/PGarticle.php?id=586955&avdelning_1=111&avdelning_2=173 . The heading read "Al Fakir hot - but Gävle dead" in which the reviewer Erik Suss expresses his disgust that only a very small crowd (50?) turned up at the Slick City club for the show, which was the only gig on Salem's current tour which wasn't sold out. The review stated that in spite of the low turnout, Salem put on the same high quality show which he gave when playing to thousands at the summer festivals this year, and the reviewer described Salem's band as one of Sweden's best. It was everything you'd expect from a Salem gig by now - headbanging, swinging from the lights, running around from one end to the other whilst delivering a mixture of everything from pop to soul to heavy rock. Mr Suss apologised on behalf of the people of Gävle for not coming along to what was an amazing gig, and said that this gig proved that Salem was worth every one of his Grammy nominations. Here is a picture of Salem from last night's gig (courtesy of Arbetarbladet). Wink wink!

Marlene: we salute you

Over the past week I've been enjoying Marlene Gustafsson's blog posts on the Klubb Smart blog on the Örebro Expressen website. She is a big fan of Salem's and she was the person who had the dream about Salem's hair being made of foam rubber. Her latest blog post revealed that at last week's gig she had to conscientiously examine his hair - in the public interest of course!!!! - and she said it was definitely real, exceptionally curly, fine and newly cut. Thanks Marlene - I love your attention to detail! :-)

Thursday, 13 December 2007

Salem's tour reaches Gävle

After a few days off, Salem and his band will be playing the Slick City venue in Gävle (north of Stockholm, that's today's geography lesson) and on checking their website, I note that he won't be on stage till 23.30. Ooh what a late start! Too bad if you're going for the last train/bus home :-( Anyway I know whatever time he's on stage he will be wonderful!

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

Aftonbladet's Rockbjornen nominations announced...

...but there's only one nomination for Salem, in the newcomer category, where he is up against Danny Saucedo, Måns Zelmerlöw, Miss Li and Oh Laura. OK so I like the ex-Idol boys but in terms of musical talent, none of these nominees will ever come close to the mighty Salem, but this poll is after all Sweden's most, how shall I say, populist music award. Draw your own conclusions.

Monday, 10 December 2007

Now comes...the 9th nomination!

It was announced today that 20 songs are nominated in the "Best Video" category at the Swedish Grammys. "Good Song" is among them - deservedly so, not just because I'm biased but because it is an excellent and very funny video which perfectly matches the uplifting nature of the song.

Sunday, 9 December 2007

Swedish Grammys: voting opens tomorrow

Been over to http://www.grammis.se/ and found out that the voting opens at 12.00 tomorrow. More than likely it will only be open to Swedish residents, just like the P3 Guld awards, therefore I won't be able to vote as I'm not Swedish and don't live in Sweden either (something I hope to rectify in one of my next lives!). Anyway if you are reading this you know what to do - get voting for Salem in every category that he's nominated in.

Saturday, 8 December 2007

New interview clip from Örebro, and some screencaps from it.

Meny @ Nerikes Allehanda has a video interview with Salem before his gig in
Örebro on 08.12.07: follow the link from
http://www.na.se/meny/artikel.asp?intId=1258926

I see that he's had his hair cut again, which is back to its nice mid-length curly-ness, although I rather liked the out-of-control look which he sported on that recent Norwegian TV appearance. Oh whatever, I like both styles, as long as he doesn't hide his lovely hair under the flat cap :-(

Anyway my Swedish is still rubbish but I was trying to listen and pick up some info, I think he said his next album is in the planning stages but no further forward than that. Might need to be patient and wait a bit longer, that's not going to be easy for me....! Will just have to accept the fact that it won't be as soon as I thought. (Also, "This Is Who I Am" took 3 years to make so roll on 2010!!)

Anyway I decided to do a bit of screencapping from this interview. It's not always easy to screencap Salem because he's very animated and fidgets a lot while he's being interviewed (!) but here are three nice pics from this interview.

Friday, 7 December 2007

Another day, another live show

Tonight Salem is playing the Konserthus in Vara, I wasn't sure whereabouts in Sweden that was so I had to Google Earth it (!) and now I know it's in the west of the country, north-east of Gothenburg. That's my Swedish geography lesson for today :-)

Thursday, 6 December 2007

New Swedish newspaper interview

The Nerikes Allehanda newspaper from Orebro has a new interview with Salem today at http://www.na.se/artikel.asp?intId=1257848, prior to his Klubb Smart gig this Saturday.

In this interview he said that although he's not always as happy as he comes across in interviews, he has a positive attitude to life. Also he said that he wants to make a commitment to his live performances, but don't expect the rock & roll lifestyle - he's too busy eating fruit and drinking water backstage!

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Grammys: now comes the backlash

If you're over here reading this rant, then do not expect me to be unbiased.

I've been checking out some Swedish press articles since yesterday which have described Salem as 'overrated' and 'over-nominated'. The same Swedish press which have hyped him up all year and went on about how good he is.

FACT: Salem Al Fakir deserves each and every one of his eight Swedish Grammy nominations. OK so he's a newcomer and doesn't have the career longevity of the likes of Magnus Uggla, who controversially received no nominations, but genuine new musical talent should and must be recognised.

It's not just the press who have been commenting but also several websites have been joining in the backlash.

And another thing....I don't understand why, on his blog, Swedish singer Mauro Scocco dared to suggest that he's never met anyone who was able to hum one of Salem's songs. Eh?????

Anyway after last year's controversy when multiple Grammy winners The Knife didn't even turn up to the awards, we needn't worry that Salem will do a no-show. He told Svenska Dagbladet that he will be at Globen on 09.01.08. (We hope he'll not just be there, but be picking up as many awards as he can carry!)

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Salem nominated for 8 Swedish Grammy awards!!!

The full list of nominations for the Swedish Grammy Awards were announced today: but what we're really interested in is the fact that Salem Al Fakir's name turns up in no less than eight of the categories! Best Album, Best Composer, Best Song ("Good Song", of course), Best Male Artist, Best Newcomer, Best Producer, Best Lyricist and Best Live Act (the latter with Moneybrother and Sakert on the Parksommar tour).

After my slight disappointment yesterday about the P3 Guld awards, this cheered me up no end.

The only thing is that each category has a list of ten acts nominated by the jury, this list will now be narrowed down (in a public vote!) to five acts. I'm a bit concerned as he doesn't really have a solid fanbase as yet compared to some of the acts on the list, it has also struck me over recent months that he seems to be more popular with the critics & media than with the general public: even though his album has sold well, he still seems to be playing relatively small live venues, or maybe that's just the way it is in Sweden?

Anyway I will enjoy this moment today and hope that on the night of Wednesday 9th January 2008, he will be going home with at least one award. There would be no justice if he didn't win something!

Monday, 3 December 2007

Today's gratuitous Salem pic

A recent one from his gig at the Rival in Stockholm. As the man himself would say...."Nice!"

Two nominations for Salem in Swedish Radio's P3 Guld awards

The nominations for Swedish Radio P3 Guld awards have just been announced. Salem has been nominated in two categories, Best Male Artist (he's up against Danny, Jens Lekman, Mange Schmidt and Lars Winnerbäck) and Best Live Act (other nominees are Laakso, Mustasch, Säkert and Timo Räisänen).

To be honest, I expected a few more nominations, but I suppose two are better than none. Salem's already rallying the troops to vote over at his MySpace and I'm doing the same here, so - good people of Sweden, you know what you have to do!! Vote vote vote!

New site soon?

Bit of speculation now. I'd been on Google the other day and discovered a salemalfakir.net address - when you go to this there is a link directing you to his MySpace.

Now I'm not one to gossip (!) but I would hazard a guess that this could either be (a) someone just messing around or (b) the possibility of a new, long overdue, official site. How good would it be if it was the latter.

At the moment there is only the MySpace site and the EMI Sweden page so we really need an official site now. And an international launch. Please please please!

If anyone knows anything about this, please feel free to comment.

Good morning!

It's Monday, which is never good .... but I decided to cheer myself up by listening to my Salem playlist on the way to work this morning. I hadn't heard "Devil Look" for a while and had forgotten just how good it was.

Screencapping!

I've been doing a bit of screencapping tonight because there aren't enough pictures of Salem around so I thought I'd make some of my own!

This one is from the very first time I ever saw him, on SVT's "Grattis Victoria" concert in July, when he sang "It's True" and "Dream Girl", the moment when I realised we were in the presence of greatness. And yes, there is such a thing as love at first sight!

Sunday, 2 December 2007

YouTube: new Uppsala clip added

There's now a brief clip of "Magic Night" on YouTube from the Uppsala gig - it's short but very funny with Salem dancing, clapping, making funny faces and being his usual entertaining self. Video cuts out just as it's breaking into a manic funky jam.....I so want to see him play live!!!

"Good Song": the video


Catch it over at http://www.emi.se/artists/salem/tiwia/index.htm and follow the link to the video of the magnificent "Good Song", in which Salem and his chums mess around in white suits and be completely nonsensical, which is ok.

If you've ever visited my other blog, EuropeCrazy (yes, let's have a gratuitous plug: http://europecrazy.blogspot.com/ ) you will be aware that there is much love for Snook in this blogger's world: uncontrollable delight therefore that Oskar and Danne appear in the "Good Song" video. Salem's big bro Nassim is also spotted playing keyboards. Oh and by the way, Salem looks very nice in that white suit. Wish I was that girl dancing with him....!

Saturday, 1 December 2007

A man in a flat cap in Uppsala: new videos on YouTube


Been watching these videos on YouTube again. It's a real rarity to hear "It's Only You" live, it's so pretty and beautiful on record but my initial reaction to this was that it was a bit throwaway, however I'm just glad someone uploaded it anyway. Notice that he plays it on keyboard rather than on guitar.

"Damien and Bob"/"Dream Girl": kind of bombastic, and proof that there's that "edge" in his live performance which isn't there on record. Strange ending though!

Current Swedish tour: full list of dates - updated 02.12.07

18.11.07 - Rival, Stockholm
26.11.07 - Storan, Gothenburg
27.11.07 - Platens Bar, Linköping
28.11.07 - Konserthuset, Västerås
29.11.07 - Katalin Jazzclub, Uppsala
30.11.07 - Mejeriet, Lund
07.12.07 - Konserthus, Vara
08.12.07 - Klubb Smart, Örebro
13.12.07 - Heartbreak Hotell, Gävle
14.12.07 - Högfjällshotellet, Sälen
25.12.07 - Debaser, Stockholm

Welcome To Planet Salem!


Hello and welcome to Planet Salem !!

This blog is a spin-off from my other blog, EuropeCrazy, and if you've ever visited that blog then you'll know how crazy I am about Salem Al Fakir, who is my favourite singer/songwriter/musician in the whole wide world.

My Salem obsession has now outgrown that blog, therefore I have created this one for news, information and obsession about this brilliant Swedish musical genius.