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Thursday, 29 January 2009

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Salem at the Rockbjörnen

Well, did you see it?

Salem was fantastic on the Rockbjörnen tonight, when he sang "It's Only You Part II". He was on about 10 minutes ago, I hope they post this performance on Aftonbladet's website at some point as I need to watch it again (and this would be good for anyone who missed tonight).

He was in great voice too, and when he sang the last "It's only you I think about" in a higher register than usual towards the end of the song I just melted!!!!!

Salem was dressed in a big raincoat, and I thought his hair was rather nice tonight - in fact he looked lovely, well as lovely as a man in a big raincoat could look. :)))

A delightful comeback - great to see Salem and his band back on stage again.

But just one question - where is Gunnar? I didn't see him on stage tonight and he didn't play at Berwaldhallen either. Has he left the band or was there another reason why he wasn't there? Does anyone know?

EDIT 23.01.09: Link to video: http://www.aftonbladet.se/webbtv/noje/rockbjornen/article4245533.ab unfortunately I can't watch this as I'm at work at the moment and the link is blocked, but I'll watch it tonight. And tomorrow. Probably about 50 times tomorrow :))))))

19:15: I have now watched the video however my internet connection is very slow at the moment and keeps breaking up. Anyway I've made three fuzzy screencaps, and will try to make some better ones over the weekend.

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Rockbjörnen tomorrow

As you will probably know, Salem is one of the artists appearing on the Aftonbladet Rockbjörnen awards ceremony which takes place tomorrow - Thursday 22.01.09 - at Cirkus in Stockholm. The event will be broadcast live on the internet at http://www.aftonbladet.se/ - more information at http://www.aftonbladet.se/nojesbladet/musik/rockbjornen2008/article4179750.ab. Of course I'll be watching it!!

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Question about concert tickets?

I was just wondering about something tonight. If I was able to come over to Sweden to see one of Salem's concerts, I'm trying to find out what would be the best option to buy tickets. I've checked www.ticnet.se - is this a reliable site for buying tickets online?

I have another question for Gothenburg readers - how many people does Trädgår'n hold? Is it a very large venue?

I'm still trying to find a way to get over to Sweden to see Salem play live in April (although I don't think I'll make it and the chances of this are still very small!)

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Can anyone help with this request?

One of our readers has contacted me to ask where they could purchase the sheet music notes for Salem's songs. As I don't live in Sweden I'm not sure if these are available or not, so would any of you be able to help and advise if these are available to buy from any shops or websites?

Thanks!

Saturday, 17 January 2009

Salem, Sami & Nassim at the Ellegalan

Check out http://www.rodeo.net/partybilder/2009/01/17/ellegalan-161/ which has a picture of Salem and his brothers Sami and Nassim at last night's Ellegalan.

What a very stylish family :)))

EDIT 19.01.09: check out http://stockholmstreetstyle.feber.se/tag/elle?p=1 where you can find Salem looking cool and stylish, and very reminiscent of a young Frank Sinatra. Very cool indeed. Here it is ....

The 200th Post!!

Time flies when you're having fun, I didn't realise that I had written as many posts over the past year but one thing's for sure, there will be many, many more this year. :))

Now that we know the album is on its way, I decided to play a little prediction game to predict the tracks that would be included on the album, based on the songs which have been played live over the past year or so. Remember this is only a game, no-one knows the tracklisting for the album yet so I've probably got some of these wrong, but it's only a bit of fun to celebrate my 200th post!

Here's what I think will be on the album:

It's Only You Part II
The Astronaut
Someday
Twelve Fingers
Black Sun Black Moon
Beautiful
Emperor
Mirror
One of the Others
Purple Lady
Seven Steps Ahead

Don't know what will happen with "Japanese Man" as it was played live in 2007 but seems to have disappeared.

If anyone knows anything about the tracklisting, let me know either via comments or email!

Tack!

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Dear Salem, can we please have a live DVD soon?

Whilst I’m delighted about the news of Salem’s Swedish tour, I regret that I won’t be able to get over to Sweden for any of the shows this year due to financial/practical/transport/work/other reasons.

I’m sure that there are many of Salem’s growing audience of international fans who, like myself, would love to see Salem live but can’t make it over to Sweden.

Therefore, I think it would be a great idea if Salem released a live DVD, recorded at one (or more) of his forthcoming concerts.

Salem - if you or any of your people are reading this, can we have a live DVD soon?

It’s still my dream to see Salem play live one day: hopefully that dream will eventually come true.

Full list of Salem's Spring 2009 Swedish tour dates

3 April - AF Borgen, Lund
4 April - Sigurdsgatan 25, Västerås
8 April - Konsert & Kongress, Linköping
9 April - Culturum, Nyköping
11 April - Ritz, Arvika
16 April - Cirkus, Stockholm
17 April - Katalin, Uppsala
18 April - Trägår'n, Gothenburg
23 April - Nolaskolans Aula, Örnsköldsvik
24 April - Gamla Teatern, Östersund
25 April - Spegelsalen, Sundsvall

New album out March 25!!

I am so excited tonight I can't put it into words!!!!!!

It was announced today that Salem's new album will be out on March 25, which is only 9 weeks and 6 days from today. It will be called "Astronaut".

There are various articles about this on the internet today, I won't list them all but if you do a search on Sesam or Google you should find some.

http://plaskis.se/wp/2009/01/15/salem-al-fakir-slapper-uppfoljaren-till-succedebuten/ has a short interview with Salem, in which he wonders how people will react to the album, as his music has become a little more thoughtful. Whilst he has written, recorded and produced this album himself, he has also involved a few friends this time. Salem is also looking forward to his spring tour of Sweden and playing the new songs live. It was also confirmed in this feature that "It's Only You Part II" will be on the new album.

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

New concerts announced, and Salem to appear live at Rockbjörnen

As a couple of our readers highlighted in their comments on the previous post (thanks!!!), two new concerts have been announced for Salem's April tour of Sweden.

Thursday 16.04.09: Cirkus, Stockholm

Saturday 18.04.09: Trädgår'n, Gothenburg.

Aftonbladet has announced today that Salem will be playing live at the Rockbjornen gala on 22.01.09. Other acts in the line-up include Titiyo, Lisa Miskovsky, Ola, Melody Club, Lykke Li and Soundtrack Of Our Lives. I watched last year's show on the internet and hopefully Aftonbladet TV will be webcasting this again.

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Salem in Östersund in April

Salem will be appearing at the Gamla Teatern in Östersund on 24th April.

List of concerts announced so far:

17.04.09 Uppsala
24.04.09 Östersund
25.04.09 Sundsvall

I'm just wondering today....
Will more dates in Sweden be announced?
Will Salem be playing some festivals in Sweden during the summer?
Will Salem be playing any concerts outside Sweden this year?
When's the album out?

If anyone knows the answers to any of these, let me know! (If you don't want to leave a comment, feel free to email me, this will remain confidential and won't be published here).

Thursday, 8 January 2009

New-look Salem at last night's Grammisgalan: think 1920s king-of-swing

Last night I was trying to find pictures/video of Salem at last night's Grammisgalan but couldn't find anything. TV4's site didn't seem to work for me and there was nothing on YouTube either.

Tonight I've finally tracked down Salem and his new look: dare I say 1920s king-of-swing? Salem presented Anna Ternheim with the best album award (clip at TV4's website, http://www.tv4.se/1.283438?videoId=1.797857&renderingdepartment=2.757) whilst YouTube also has a clip of Robyn and the Supreme Court Allstars - featuring Salem on keyboards - wonderfully performing "Dream On" last night.

Monday, 5 January 2009

Other blogs talking about Salem...

I thought I'd mention a couple of excellent blog posts which both had some really nice things to say about Salem and his music.

Poster Girl has "It's Only You Part II" in her chart rundown of songs from 2008: http://poppostergirl.blogspot.com/2009/01/75-salem-al-fakir-its-only-you-part-ii.html

Don't Stop The Pop has Salem as one of his 'Arrivals of the Year' in his review of 2008: http://dontstopthepop.blogspot.com/2009/01/dont-stop-pops-reflections-of-music.html

Link to P4 Berwaldhallen concert

I've just been over to Salem's MySpace for my daily visit - thanks Marty for your lovely comments! I just realised I hadn't posted the direct link to Salem's P4 concert, so I thought I'd make it easier to find, for anyone who's not really familiar with the Swedish language.

It's at http://www.sr.se/cgi-bin/p4/programsidor/artikel.asp?ProgramID=2111&Artikel=2513054 then click link at the left hand side of the page at 'P4:s Jul och Nyårprogram'.

Edit 31.01.09: Sadly this has now been removed from SR's website as the 30 day archive limit has now expired :(

Salem to present an award at the Grammisgalan

If you remember, I'd been wondering the other day if Salem would be presenting an award at the Grammisgalan - well yes, he will be! Expressen reports today that Salem will be presenting this year's award for Best Album.

Sunday, 4 January 2009

Some screencaps - P3 Guldgalan press conference

You can still see video of Salem's performance at the P3 Guldgalan press conference at http://www.sr.se/P3/diverse/AppData/P3live/video/P3GuldPk-20081203-Salem.asx, I'm not sure how long this will be available for, so enjoy it while you can!!

I took the opportunity to make some of my (fuzzy) screencaps on the computer and here are a couple of them!





I'm sure there will be some new (official) photos of Salem soon!! Now, all we need to know is...when's the album out? Salem is playing two shows in April, which would suggest that it would be around that time but we don't know for sure. The first half of the year would be nice :)))))

Saturday, 3 January 2009

Hottest artists of 2009 poll - Aftonbladet

Aftonbladet has published the results of a poll carried out among record companies about whom they thought would be Sweden's hottest artists in the coming year.

Lars Winnerbäck topped the poll (I still can't understand his appeal, IMHO) followed by Håkan Hellström.

Salem was in joint-seventh place along with Lykke Li, Markus Krunegård and a few others.

Of course if we had a poll on this site, Salem would be the hottest artist of any year!!

Salem to appear at the Grammisgalan

Swedish news agency TT Spektra reports that Salem will be appearing at this week's Grammisgalan as part of the Supreme Court Allstars, a "supergroup" of 16 well-known Swedish artists backing Robyn and Christian Falk, who will perform "Dream On". This will be played as a tribute to Swedish jazz musicians Esbjörn Svensson and Arne Domnérus who died in 2008.

Salem to play in Uppsala in April 2009

Salem will be playing the Katalin jazzclub in Uppsala on Friday 17th April.

Friday, 2 January 2009

Grammis 2009

Does anyone know if Salem will be presenting any awards at the Grammis 2009 show next week? Just wondering!

Thursday, 1 January 2009

A great start to 2009...!

Well...did you hear Salem's concert on P4 on New Year's Day? (If you didn't or if you want to hear it again and again - as I do - you can find it at www.sr.se/p4 ).

Song list:
Begin
This Is Who I Am
Good Song
Dream Girl
It's Only You Part II
Damien and Bob
Purple Lady (not sure if this is the song title?)
The Astronaut
One of the Others
Twelve Fingers

If any of you were at any of the Berwaldhallen concerts, can you let me know if Salem did any more songs which weren't broadcast on P4? (I know that "Tell Me" was one of them, as this was mentioned in the Svenska Dagbladet review). I got the feeling that it was an edited version of the show. Not that there was anything wrong with the Swedish Radio Orchestra's interludes and Anders Widmark's solo pieces, but given the choice I would rather have heard more of Salem's songs in this radio broadcast.

It all started with "Begin" appropriately, as a nice overture to the show, which ran smoothly into "This Is Who I Am" which was probably one of the most successful songs with the orchestral backing.

I think there may have been another song between this and "Good Song" as Swedish radio didn't do a very good job of the editing here!!

Of course you all know that "Good Song" is my favourite Salem song but I will be honest and say that I've heard better live versions of this, Salem sang well but was a little drowned out at times by the occasionally messy musical arrangement which (IMHO) didn't do the song justice.

"Dream Girl" next, which is still an utterly enchanting song. Salem's voice is getting better and better, stronger and more expressive whilst retaining that sensitivity which makes his voice so distinctive. I thought this was great with the orchestra as the arrangement was both grand and restrained at the same time.

Next was "It's Only You Part II" where the sparkling synth-pop of the recorded version was swapped for an equally sparkling orchestral backdrop. I didn't think this was going to work....but it did.

"Damien and Bob" as you know is probably one of my least favourite Salem songs but I've learned to live with it and did go through a brief period when I began to like it then didn't like it again....anyway I haven't really changed my mind here. I thought this was a bit of a mess with the orchestra, but it was interesting to hear him sing it anyway.

Then a complete contrast and a new song I hadn't heard before so I don't know if I've got the title right - "Purple Lady". I can only describe this as being very close in musical spirit to "Hymn" and has the same childlike, lullaby quality. Incredibly pretty.

"The Astronaut" is already popular with Salem fans and was the only song of the night where Salem didn't use the orchestra but instead just sang and played this on acoustic guitar. I like this song a lot and have listened to it so many times that it's like an old favourite now.

I think there may have been more editing at this point as it went straight into "It's True", a timeless song which seems to work in any version - whether the piano-based original or Axwell's dance mix, so add yet another great version to the list - I thought this was perfect with the orchestral backing, particularly the string arrangements - and Salem also sang this perfectly.

And then it was time for my favourite new Salem song - "One of the Others" which I'd previously heard on a YouTube phone-video and declared my total, complete and absolute love for this song. After today I love it even more. Salem is becoming an even more talented lyricist than he was before - the lyrics on this are very clever indeed. Everything about this was perfect - the orchestral arrangement was fabulous and really suited the song. Please excuse me for going over the top, but ....well, I just love this song and I can't wait till it's on the album!! At which time I will probably wear out the CD!!

Last but not least, "Twelve Fingers" which brought the concert to a lively and grand conclusion. Once again, the orchestral backing really suited this song.

A brilliant show which proved (what we already know) that Salem is a fantastic singer, musician and performer.



Above: Salem at Berwaldhallen (Picture courtesy of Expressen)