Melodifestivalen 2015 #2

Magnus Carlsson

I’m quite a fan of the Swedish pop singer, Magnus Carlsson. To be precise, Magnus who was in Swedish pop bands Barbados and Alcazar, not Magnus Carlson (one “s”) who was in Swedish indie band, “Weeping Willows”. I even met him once, briefly, at a bar in Stockholm (see photo below). Although his obsession with recording Christmas albums is something I still don’t understand (beyond the fact they sell well), he can be relied upon for really great pop tunes. His self-titled solo album remains a firm favourite. Along the […]

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Christmas Music and Sweden

Over the last few years I’ve written a couple of blog posts about the proliferation of of “Christmas Music” on the Swedish pop charts at this time of the year. The first post was in 2009 when I mentioned that… One of my colleagues, half-Australian/half-Swedish, asked me today if I had any Swedish Christmas music she could borrow. “Of course I do”, I told her, promising to bring some in to work. She said she was feeling a little homesick. I don’t quite understand why “Christmas Music” is so popular in Sweden. Perhaps it’s the snow? In the same way that we so strongly associate this time of the year with summer, perhaps the Swedes, with their dramatically contrasting weather, feel as strongly as we do about the season, but for completely different climatic reasons? And then last year, I wrote about it again, noting… THE leading nation for Christmas music has got to be Sweden. Every year at this time their charts are dominated by Christmas albums and singles. It’s quite a phenomenon. I remember a couple of years ago when something like 6 out of the Top 10 CDs were Christmas-themed. Check out swedishcharts.com and you’ll see with words like tomten (santa) and jul (xmas) there are currently about 10 albums in the charts which are Christmas albums. Even Benny from ABBA, with his group, BAO, has a Christmas album this year. Today I was asked to come […]

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Christmas Musik

Signs of Christmas in Sydney

When it comes to public opinion, “Christmas Music” can be a real conversation divider. There’s a radio discussion forum I participate in , for example, which seems evenly divided at the moment by those who quite like or are indifferent to “Christmas Music” and those who absolutely loathe it. I must admit years ago I fell into the latter camp. It was mostly because I worked at Coles Supermarkets and had to “endure” weeks and weeks of “Christmas Music”. What made it especially unbearable was the limited loop and predictable […]

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Meeting Magnus

Meeting Magnus Carlsson at Golden Times in Stockholm

Over the last five years or so I’ve become quite a fan of the Swedish singer, Magnus Carlsson. Not to be confused with Magnus Carlson (one s, not two) from the band, “Weeping Willows”, it’s the dance band and pop singer that I really like. I first became aware of him when he was a member of Alcazar. Though the story gets a little complex and there are conflicting stories on the public record, but it looks as though he and Alcazar mainstay, Andreas Lundstedt were in a relationship together. […]

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You know it’s Christmas in a week and a day…

Magnus Carlsson from Youtube

You know it’s christmas in a week and a day and I just can’t figure out what to give away So I just wrap myself in paper for you baby “Wrap myself in paper” by Magnus Carlsson has been my favourite “Christmas song” for the last few years. I discovered it at about the time I discovered the broader Magnus oeuvre and, although it’s camp and cheesy, I LOVE IT. The music is fun, the lyrics are playful, and Magnus sings it in just the right tone. In case you’re […]

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Disco Ball

Disco on Parramatta Road, Lewisham

I thought for a moment I was in a Swedish disco tonight. I’d just left the Lewisham Hotel which is my regular Wednesday night venue with friends. As I walked towards the bus, I’d put my headphones on, and was listening to some Magnus Carlsson, one of my favourite Swedish pop singers. It was one of his louder disco numbers recorded in Swedish. All of a sudden I found myself walking past a shop with a disco ball circling in the window, with the flashing lights making their way out […]

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Gävle och Sandviken

Absinthe Bar at The Clarion in Gavle

I was almost late for the ABBA tribute concert tonight in Sandviken, near Gavle, north of Uppsala in Sweden. As much as I love ABBA, this wasn’t, however, the attraction to move out of Stockholm for a couple of days. Rather, I was keen to see one of the participants, Magnus Carlsson. I discovered Magnus when he became a member of Alcazar a few years ago. Aside from “Crying At The Discotheque”, my favourite period in the band’s history was when he was a member. They had great songs and […]

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