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Saturday, 27 February 2010

Video question / Melodifestivalen countdown

Does anyone know if there will be an official video for "Keep On Walking" and if so, when will we get to see it?

EDIT 28.02.10: Yes there is an official video, yes it's now available...and I just want to thank everyone who replied. Isn't it wonderful! There are so many good moments in the video - Salem's Melodifestivalen journey in three minutes - that it would take me too long to list my favourite ones! Anyway it's now available to watch at www.salemalfakir.com.

So... two weeks till the Melodifestivalen final, and 8 of the 10 finalists are now known. Apart from Salem - week 1 winner! - Eric Saade, Ola, Darin, Anna Bergendahl, Peter Jöback, Andreas Johnson, Timoteij have all gone 'direkt till Globen' whilst the two remaining finalists will have to go through next week's Andra Chansen round first.

All of this year's entries are now available to hear at
http://svt.se/2.129088/kolumn_alla_bidrag_klippsymfoni?lid=puff_1908737&lpos=lasMer
(but of course none of them are as good as "Keep On Walking"!!)

Off Beat Band playing Mosebacke, Stockholm tonight

Sorry if I'm a bit late bringing this news, but if you're a fan of some old-school hip hop and you live in and around Stockholm, you can catch the Off Beat Band at the Raw Fusion night at Mosebacke in Stockholm tonight at 10.00 pm.

Friday, 26 February 2010

I've ordered my copy of "Ignore This" tonight....!

Very excited - only 12 days to go till the CD release of the album, so I finally ordered my CD copy from CDON tonight :))))

Anyway here are some links to where you can order the album....

CDON: http://cdon.se/musik/al_fakir_salem/ignore_this-8299134
Bengans: https://www.bengans.se/popup/salem_ignore/se.aspx
Ginza: http://www.ginza.se/Product/Product.aspx?Identifier=17449
Megastore: http://www.megastore.se/template/next%2CProduct.vm?itemid=2185406&banid=14848&source=1300

And here are some links to where you can buy your copy of the "Keep On Walking" single....

CDON: http://cdon.se/musik/al_fakir_salem/ignore_this-8299134
Bengans: https://www.bengans.se/popup/salem_ignore/se.aspx
Ginza: http://www.ginza.se/Product/Product.aspx?Identifier=17449
Megastore: http://www.megastore.se/template/next%2CProduct.vm?itemid=2185406&banid=14848&source=1300

Swedish charts update

Unfortunately "Backseat" has now dropped to no.34 in the Sverige Topplistan singles chart.

But we all still love it, don't we!!! I notice that a Facebook fan-group has been set up for Damien Adore - http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=325826488197&ref=ts#!/group.php?gid=325826488197&ref=ts

Thursday, 25 February 2010

My Gothenburg countdown: four weeks to go!

Yes, it's only four weeks to go until I fly over to Sweden to see Salem play live at the Gothenburg Konserthuset. Of course I'm really looking forward to my trip, although I just hope that the weather will be warmer and the snow will have gone by then!

(Oh well, even if it is still cold and snowy, it doesn't matter - what matters is seeing Salem again!)

According to the Konserthuset's website, www.gso.se, approximately 20 musicians from the Göteborgs Symfoniker (Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra) will accompany Salem on stage where he will sing and play his own material over two sets.

Tickets are still available (although are selling fast) and you can buy them at the following link: https://sale.se.iticket.com/Sale/ShowRequestedArrangement.iticket?moduleId=10&pBasketTag=977de3be-531b-4d2d-9118-937ac9d14517&clearBasket=0&pCompanyId=3201&pArrangementId=40#top

Of course I bought my tickets a few weeks ago, I'm glad I got them then as most of the seats in the stalls are now sold out!

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Swedish charts update

"Backseat" has fallen from no.15 to no.24 in this week's Sverige Topplistan singles chart.

It's good to see that there is a massive buzz on the internet for this very hot track: everyone in blog-land seems to be talking about it at the moment, which is great news. I really believe that it has international hit potential....and of course it's introduced Salem (sorry, I mean Damien Adore!) to a whole new audience.

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Salem will be back on Morgonpasset this Monday!

Readers of Planet Salem will know that Salem is a regular visitor to the Morgonpasset show on Swedish radio P3 - and he'll be back again on the show on Monday 22nd February.

More information at http://www.sr.se/sida/artikel.aspx?programid=2024&artikel=3455338 - where you can also find the email address for the show if you want to send in any questions to ask Salem.

Review of H3FK concert in Visby

Helagotland.se has a review of H3FK's concert which took place on Thursday night in Visby, at the following link: http://www.helagotland.se/noje/artikel.aspx?articleid=5851227

"Ignore This" will be available for download at Amazon UK!

Here's the link:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Ignore-This/dp/B0038RADFE/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&s=dmusic&qid=1266688098&sr=8-8

For a brief period there were very short clips of the album tracks but these have now been removed, but here's what I thought anyway ....

On first hearing of the clips, it certainly sounds very different from anything that we have heard before. But then, if you are a Salem fan then you will be used to that by now! There is no end to his musical diversity: and there are many different musical styles on this album which, as predicted, has a synth-pop feel.

On first listen....

1. "The Song I Never Wrote": 58-second long synth-based instrumental, recalling "Begin" from "This Is Who I Am".

2. "4 O'Clock" - A synth-driven story of a sleepless night, with a triumphant chorus.

3. "Virgin Mary" - oh I really like this! Uplifting synth-driven pop song with a lively chorus - I really want to hear more of this song and I think it will be one of my favourites.

4. "Red Rock" - driving synth/techno beat with vocoder-vocals. Don't know how this will go?

5. "Keep On Walking" - Melodifestivalen 2010 entry. Win or lose, it has already reached classic status and won Salem so many, many new fans.

6. "This Is For" - very different sound for Salem, driven by an unusual urgency and almost-vocoded synth beats.

7. "Part Of It" - I think this will also become one of my favourite songs on this album - "I dare you to take a step outside...."

8. "Brooklyn Sun" - already a classic. A totally beautiful song, no more, no less. I would have preferred an orchestral-arrangement on this but there is a nice echoey production and a layered chorus, and that is enough for me.

9. "Don't Wanna Talk About It" - frenzied techno-instrumental. Someone on Twitter compared this to Mr Oizo: good description.

10. "Bloody Breakfast" - "let them all have a sniff and taste"....I'm intrigued by this, and I want to hear more of it. Another strongly synth-influenced song.

11. "Split My Personality" - a bit more serious, synth-driven song which I'm really keen to hear more of.

12. "Cowboys and Dinosaurs" - a mix of acoustic guitars and synth-strings. Very dream-like: probably this album's answer to "Hymn" or "Purple Lady".

13. "I'm So Happy" - it sounds like "old" Salem - the song has a very happy and uplifting vibe, with the 'la-la-las"....I really, really, really want to hear more of this!

All in all, a very different (and more contemporary) sound for Salem - I like it!

If you were lucky enough to hear the clips, let me know what you think!

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Radio Creme Brulee: spreading the word about Salem!

I would like to share this email with you all, which I received just the other day from Pranav who runs the internet radio station Radio Creme Brulee, and which I have kindly been given permission to republish here.


Hi,

I am an internet music radio broadcaster based in Boston (USA). My radio station is called "Radio Creme Brulee" (http://www.radiocremebrulee.com/). It features an eclectic assortment of current pop/rock music from both sides of the Atlantic alongside guilty pleasures, forgotten gems, and radio hits from the 80s, 90s, and 00s. While most of my listeners are based in the US, there is a substantial number of listeners from the France, Italy, Mexico, Canada, Germany, Argentina, Costa Rica, Japan, and Spain. My station is licensed by ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC. Artists receive royalties based on airplay of their music on my station.

I recently discovered Salem Al Fakir and his music and stumbled on your excellent blog about him recently. Salem does not receive much promotion in the US. Hence, we only recently discovered him and his musical brilliance. His songs, if promoted well in the US, could be modern day classics. He belongs to a rather rare breed of exceptionally talented musicians. Unfortunately, when he released "This is who I am" in 2007, I did not hear about it at all. Hence, as playlist manager, I was unable to give any of the tracks on that album high-rotation airplay. I typically only give tracks that are less than a year old high-rotation airplay. I recently discovered Salem's 2009 album "Astronaut". Despite the album having been released in 2009, it still meets our "less than a year old" requirement for high-rotation airplay. Hence, we just added "One Of The Others" for high-rotation airplay on Radio Creme Brulee. That basically means the track is getting 4-5 plays a day and will continue to do so for at least 2 months.

I will go ahead and add your blog to the list of "Recommended Links" within the next two days. Meanwhile, if you get a chance, please do check out our radio station. To listen, log on to
http://www.radiocremebrulee.com/

We do feature tracks off the "This is who I am" album. There is currently a "radio hold" on the new single "Keep On Walking" until February 27 so we might have to wait a while before it makes its debut on American internet radio. If you have suggestions for the radio station (specific artists, specific songs, or just general recommendations), please feel free to let me know. If and when you hear "One Of The Others" on the station, please click on the "thumbs up" button next to the track on the online radio player. If you like the station, please do let your friends know about it.

Last, but not least, I enjoy your reading your blog on Salem Al Fakir.

Regards,
Pranav


http://www.radiocremebrulee.com/
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Radio-Creme-Brulee/89215179548


Thanks Pranav - much appreciated!! We need more people like you to spread the word, worldwide, about Salem's music.

Salem's Stockholm signing session!

Salem will be appearing at Bengans record store on Drottninggatan in Stockholm to play a couple of songs and sign copies of "Ignore This". The date will be 10th March - of course that is the same day that "Ignore This" is released on CD.

(The time of Salem's appearance has not been announced yet, but if you keep checking back at Bengans website then it should be announced very soon)

http://www.bengans.se/upcomingartistvisits.aspx?Currency=sek&language=se&

Salem at Berns, Stockholm in May

As announced at www.salemalfakir.com today: Salem will play a concert at Berns in Stockholm, on Saturday 8th May 2010: this will be his only Stockholm concert during the spring period so I expect tickets will sell out very quickly. So you'd better hurry and book your tickets at Ticnet! http://www1.ticnet.se/PriceTable?eventId=STH21447BER05081

H3FK concert in Visby - 18.02.10

H3FK will be playing Visby Jazzklubben on Thursday 18th February - and even though he's very busy at the moment, Salem will be appearing with the band, which he has been a member of since 2002. There is an interview with Salem and Mats Karlsson at the following link:

http://www.helagotland.se/noje/artikel.aspx?articleid=5846621

In case any of Salem's many new fans are unfamiliar with H3FK, Salem is a member of this renowned Swedish "world jazz" band in which he plays violin and keyboards. If you are going to the show - remember that Salem will not be playing any of his solo material, but H3FK's music is so diverse and different that if you enjoy world music, you will be in for a treat.

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Salem on style...

I have just found this Allt om Stockholm article, where Salem is talking about his style/clothing: http://www.alltomstockholm.se/incoming/article534413.aos

"Ignore This": tracklisting revealed!

Here is the tracklisting for Salem's third album "Ignore This" which is released in three weeks time!

01. The Song I Never Wrote

02. 4 O'clock

03. Virgin Mary

04. Red Rock

05. Keep On Walking

06. This Is For

07. Part Of It

08. Brooklyn Sun

09. Don't Wanna Talk About It

10. Bloodybreakfast

11. Split My Personality

12. Cowboys And Dinosaurs

13. I'm So Happy


Some very interesting titles here: we're all familiar with '"4 O'Clock" and "Brooklyn Sun" and of course "Keep On Walking" but I haven't heard any of the other songs.... This is very different from "Astronaut" where most of the songs had been played live for a few months before the album's release and I knew almost all of them.

The countdown is on....it's only three weeks until the release of the album and of course I am so excited! If you're following Salem on Facebook and Twitter you'll know that he is currently rehearsing in the studio, doing interviews and all the last-minute preparation before the album is released.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Halv Åtta Hos Mig - Grattis Nabil!

One of my favourite British television programmes is "Come Dine With Me" in which a group of people take turns to cook a meal for their fellow dinner guests and mark them out of ten. I didn't know until last night that there was a Swedish version of the show, which is called "Halv Åtta Hos Mig" and is broadcast on TV4.

But what does this have to do with Salem? Well, I just found out yesterday that last week was devoted to parents of famous people in Sweden - and one of the contestants was none other than Salem's father, Nabil Al Fakir! Even better news - he was the week's winner with the highest points total. I watched last Tuesday's show (when Nabil hosted the other dinner guests) on TV4 Play last night and really enjoyed it: I thought Nabil came across as a lovely, friendly person and a very talented cook.

The complete shows from last Wednesday and Thursday are still available to watch at http://www.tv4play.se/hem_och_fritid/halv_atta_hos_mig , unfortunately the Tuesday show hosted by Nabil will no longer be available on the website after tonight (sorry everyone, I wish I could have given you all more notice about this). It was a very enjoyable show too, which featured a couple of clips of Salem and Nassim talking about their father's good cooking :)

There is more about the show at http://www.tv4.se/1.1505383/2010/02/13/vem_blev_tittarnas_favorit_i_halv_atta


If you want to try out Nabil's winning recipes you can find them at http://www.recept.nu/1.305498/2010/02/08/halv_atta_hos_mig

Monday, 8 February 2010

Salem's sites update

You probably know already, but here is a reminder anyway :))

If you go to Salem's Facebook page you'll find video clips and lots of photos from Salem's Ö-vik adventure. Salem is now tweeting regularly on Twitter - I don't know how he's got the time to fit everything into a 24 hour day!

Don't forget to check out Salem's official site for updates. And of course keep on visiting Planet Salem :))))

Salem on SVT's "Gomorron Sverige" 08.02.10

As Salem 'keeps on walking' on his journey from Ö-vik to Globen, Planet Salem will be following him every step of the way! Needless to say there will be lots of TV appearances and interviews between now and then.

On Monday 8th February, Salem was interviewed at 7.45 am on "Gomorron Sverige", SVT's breakfast show. If you missed the interview then, it is available to watch again at http://svtplay.se/v/1879967/gomorron_sverige/salem_al_fakir

I managed to understand some of it, but as usual it would be much appreciated if one of my lovely friends could translate it for me :)))

And as usual, I've been busy with my camera again - here are some screencaps from the show.




You will probably all agree with me that Salem is one of Sweden's best-dressed and most stylish men - he certainly was the most stylish on Melodifestivalen! - and I loved his smart-casual look on this morning show :)

Sunday, 7 February 2010

The Melodifestivalen-effect

Although we will have to wait a while longer before we can buy "Keep On Walking" (it won't be available until 3rd March) it will be interesting to see if Salem's Melodifestivalen appearance will impact upon sales of his previous albums/singles.

The answer is...yes. Checked the Swedish iTunes albums chart today to find "Astronaut" is at no.12 whilst "This Is Who I Am" is at no. 66.

Meanwhile "Backseat" by Staygold featuring Spank Rock and Damien Adore, is no. 7 in the Swedish iTunes singles chart whilst it was a new entry in the Sverige Topplistan singles chart this week at no.19.

SKÅL!



After the show it was time to party.....I bet there are a lot of very sore heads today :)
(Photos courtesy of Dagens Nyheter/Scanpix)

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Welcome....to all new visitors!

Good news! I can confirm that today, 6th February 2010, Planet Salem has received the highest number of visitors since the blog started just over two years ago. If you didn't know about Salem before tonight and have only just discovered him after his Melodifestivalen appearance...then thank you for visiting Planet Salem and you are all very welcome to my blog!

Some information for my new visitors....my name is Laura, I live in the UK and have been a fan of Salem and his music since July 2007. I started Planet Salem in December 2007 and my mission is to spread as much information about Salem Al Fakir and his music because I truly believe that he is the most talented singer/songwriter/musician in the world today.

Over the last two years Planet Salem has developed as a community of appreciation of Salem and his music: you are all welcome to leave comments or send emails anytime you want to discuss anything Salem-related and I'm very happy to chat with you all.

Once again, thanks for visiting. This has been a very good and happy night for all Salem-fans and the celebration goes on.....

SALEM GÅ VIDARE TILL GLOBEN!!!!!!

SALEM TILL GLOBEN !!!!!


Tack, Salem.

Och tack, Sverige.

You did the right thing and sent Salem to Globen. Tonight I am so happy and can't stop smiling! I thought Salem's performance was terrific, the song is wonderful and this is just one of the happiest nights ever.

Grattis Salem. You deserve it :))
Edit 07.02.10: my full review of last night's contest is over at my other blog EuropeCrazy. Enjoy!

It's almost time for Melodifestivalen - Rösta på Salem ikväll!

In two and a half hours time, the 2010 Melodifestivalen finally gets underway.

It's always a very special competition for me, but this year it's more special than ever. Tonight in Örnsköldsvik, Ola, Jenny Silver, Linda Pritchard, Pain Of Salvation, Anders Ekborg, Jessica Andersson, Frispråkarn will all perform their songs and finally - saving the best till last! - it will be Salem's turn to take to the stage to sing "Keep On Walking" - the best song of the night.

The rules of the contest have changed this year: the song with the most votes will automatically qualify to the final in Globen, Stockholm on 13th March. There will then be a second round of voting for the songs placed second, third, fourth and fifth, whilst the sixth, seventh and eighth placed songs will be eliminated.

The winner of the second round will take the 2nd slot in the final; the second and third placed songs will go to Andra Chansen on 6th March, and the remaining song will be eliminated.

Good people of Sweden - you know what you have to do - VOTE FOR SALEM!

Here are the phone numbers that you need to call tonight (thanks to http://www.salemalfakir.com/ for the info!!)

Om du vill rösta på Salem kan du ringa 099-202 08 eller sms’a 08 till 72111. Om du dessutom vill skänka pengar till Radiohjälpen ringer du nummer 099-902 08 eller sms’ar 08 till nummer 729 99. Det kostar 9,90 kr.

All the best for tonight Salem!

I'm going to watch SVT's webstream tonight - check back later tonight for my thoughts on the show and remember to leave your comments!

Friday, 5 February 2010

But once again the sun is rising....


At last! "Keep On Walking", well 64 seconds of it anyway, is finally available to hear at the following link: http://svtplay.se/v/1870389

Here are my thoughts after just one listen: it's complex, beautifully produced and arranged (as you would always expect a Salem song to be), and completely breathtaking and uplifting and inspirational. Is that enough adjectives for now?

(By the way, I see what some of the reviewers meant by the "Bond" references as it does have the sweeping drama of a Bond theme).

No gimmicks, no distracting dance routines, just the simplicity of a smartly dressed man sitting at a piano singing a beautiful song. (photo above courtesy of SVT)

Utterly fantastic.

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Countdown to Melodifestivalen: 2 days to go

Is everyone as excited as I am about Saturday night????

Apart from this morning's Goteborgs Posten webchat (see previous post) there was the following....

Today there were more rehearsals and a press conference in Ö-vik. Expressen has an interview with Salem at the following link: http://www.expressen.se/noje/melodifestivalen2010/1.1869939/salem-al-fakir-jag-ar-lugn-som-en-porlande-back : I thought this was a very interesting interview indeed, in which Salem states that he remains calm and has everything under control. He describes the performance as taking shape - he'll be sitting at a black piano and there will be some other things happening on stage. Salem says that he feels no pressure as he is his own biggest critic.

About "Keep On Walking", Salem says that this was inspired by his own feelings..."many feel that they are far, far down sometimes and need to get up. There is a help for me and a help to others that there are more who are in the same situation - it's a hopeful song".

Mattias Dahlström (Dagens Nyheter) describes "Keep On Walking" as a 'Beatles pastiche' and wonders if it's maybe too vague to be a Melodifestivalen song....http://www.dn.se/blogg/melodifestivalbloggen2010/2010/02/04/salem-al-fakir-pa-scen-6048

The general view so far based on the press articles and blogs I've read would appear to indicate that "Keep On Walking" is: a catchy song/big arrangement/disappointing/potential radio hit/too good for Melodifestivalen/not right for Melodifestivalen/a grower/too good/not one of his best/too clever/reminiscent of his first album....

What everyone needs to remember is that "Keep On Walking" wasn't specifically written for Melodifestivalen, unlike many of the songs on show over the next four weeks: in that context it will be even more interesting to see how well the song is received by the Swedish voting public.

We and then finally hear the song in full on Saturday night.

In the meantime you can keep up to date with Salem's Ö-vik adventures on Facebook, where there are lots of great new photos too :))) http://www.facebook.com/salemalfakir

Tomorrow: at last we will finally get to hear (a brief clip of) "Keep On Walking" on SVT's website tomorrow afternoon!! (I won't be able to hear it till tomorrow night as I'll be at work, so I'll be counting the hours till I get home....!)

Salem's GP webchat, 04.02.2010

Salem had a webchat this morning on GP's website and you can now read it at the following link:
http://www.gp.se/kulturnoje/1.304028-chatten-med-salem-al-fakir

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Countdown to Melodifestivalen - 3 days to go

OK....here's my daily round-up of info.

Salem is blogging for Aftonbladet in Örnsköldsvik: http://blogg.aftonbladet.se/salemalfakir

There will be a webchat on Göteborgs Posten’s website at 11.00 am Swedish time on Thursday. More info at http://www.gp.se/kulturnoje/1.303428-chatta-om-schlager-med-salem-al-fakir

Meanwhile here's what Göteborgs Posten’s blogger says about "Keep On Walking"...http://blogg.gp.se/nojesbloggen/2010/02/03/keep-on-walking-salem-al-fakir/

...and Dagens Nyheter says...http://www.dn.se/blogg/melodifestivalbloggen2010/2010/02/03/latarna-6017

...and here's what Tobbe Ek in Aftonbladet thinks on first hearing......http://blogg.aftonbladet.se/schlagerblogg/2010/02/salem-kor-med-klassiskt-schlagerknep-fram-till-snopligt-slut and then on second hearing...http://blogg.aftonbladet.se/schlagerblogg/2010/02/andra-genomlyssningen

A contemporary Bond-ballad mixed with Mika's falsetto? Overloaded instumentation and production? Interesting....of course it won't be long until we all get to hear the song and make our own minds up.

More MF news tomorrow....

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Countdown to Melodifestivalen: 4 days to go

Örnsköldsviks Allehanda reveals a fascinating fact - Salem is the favourite to win on Saturday...according to the other contestants! The newspaper has a new interview with Salem about Melodifestivalen, and some other things too! Link: http://allehanda.se/noje/1.1773976

I discovered a Facebook group which has been set up to support Salem at Melodifestivalen and get him all the way to Globen for the final. The name of the group is self-explanatory - "SALEM AL FAKIR TILL FINAL" so if you're on Facebook then get along there and show your support. You can find it at http://www.facebook.com/pages/SALEM-AL-FAKIR-TILL-FINAL/276454492727

Finally - some BIG news! Salem is now on Twitter and you can find him at www.twitter.com/salemmusic.

Monday, 1 February 2010

Here we go, here we go again....

Salem appeared on SR's "P4 Extra" on Monday where he was interviewed and there was also an exclusive play of "4 O'Clock" which is one of the tracks which will appear on "Ignore This".

On first listen, I thought it was great - I like the synthpop sound, and it has a very anthemic, singalong chorus which gets stuck in your brain very quickly. Salem's lyrics are just getting better and better too.

If you haven't heard this radio show yet, catch it on Swedish Radio's website: http://www.sr.se/webbradio/webbradio.asp?type=latestbroadcast&Id=2151&BroadcastDate=&IsBlock=
(Salem appears about 25 minutes into the show).