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Friday, April 09, 2010

Buying Music in Stockholm

No direct music post today, but I'm in what I consider to be the pop music capital of the world right now, so I thought that that deserved its own post. If you have even a passing interest in Swedish music (or Sweden in general), you've gotta find a way to get over here. Each time I arrive in Stockholm the city takes my breath away. I'm convinced that there's no more beautiful city on Earth. This is my fifth time (!) and there's a reason I keep coming back, even though the weather looks nothing like the above picture right now. It's freezing and very gray. But I've been in the Summer and there's nothing better.

Being that this is a music blog, I'll give you a how-to to buying music in Stockholm. I could spend days in all the little used record stores around town and spend WAY too much kronor. Like London, and pretty much every city in the world, a lot of the chain record stores seem to have closed down. There's still the famous Bengans on the way to Sergels Torg, and you can also find a small selection of new cds in the chain department store Åhléns, though prices for new albums are almost always expensive (between 149 and 199 kronor - that's about 21-28$). It's fun too look, but there are much better deals to be had.

The best spot to find affordable used music is S:t Eriksplan, one street (just over a bridge) with at least four used record shops within minutes of each other. Record Hunter has new music on the ground floor and used in the basement. It's probably the best known, but I prefer a couple of other shops on the street... one a dusty basement no bigger than a large closet where nothing is sorted and all the cds are in random boxes. It makes it a real awkward hunt, but sometimes you can find real treasures (I found the latest Cinema Bizarre album today for under ten bucks). There's also another shop (can't remember the name of it now--Skivba something, I think) just down from Record Hunter where I always seem to find the motherload.

There are also some used shops in the southern district of Södermalm, one in particular (Pet Sounds) that I've heard great things about. Gonna check that one out tomorrow, as I've never been.

I'm well aware that this information may not be useful to most people, but it's the kind of reference I'd like to have when traveling to Stockholm for the first time. So I hope it's useful to someone!

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Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Delays - Find A Home

"We're a light in heaven"

Hello from London! This is my last day in the city before taking off for Stockholm. Then it's back to the UK for another week with friends. Weather's been alright, and I got to see Billy Elliot, which was without question the best show I've ever seen. Still aglow from the afterbuzz. As far as music goes, it's a sad state of affairs compared to when I lived here in 2007. Not that I didn't already know about all the closures, but it's hard to believe that there's no Virgin and only one Fopp in the city. The HMV at Oxford Circus is quite nice, but that's about it. Nobody's buying cds anymore, it seems. Honestly, though, my real music quest starts when I get to Sweden. But enough about that for now. It's all about the UK, so I've got one of my favorite British bands for you today. Delays are releasing their new album Star Tiger, Star Ariel in June (on yet another record label), and have offered up the opening track as a teaser. It hearkens back to their first album. Very gentle, very pretty. I'm hoping that their harder edge will shine through as well, but this is a nice album cut to tide me over until the full release. Hope you enjoy.

Delays - Find A Home by alienhits

(Music posted for evaluation purposes only. If you like what you hear, support the artists. Download the single for free here. Follow me on twitter and facebook.