Sunday, February 22, 2009

Researching Kari Bremnes

Working down Merete's list, I've been listening to Kari Bremnes, a wonderful folk singer.

The research takes a little time, but the end result is worth it. Here's what I did to research Kari:

Youtube: What videos have fans posted, these are usually the most popular songs. I hit some very exciting tunes right off, including "Alle vet jo det", a norwegian version of Leonard Cohen's "Everybody knows". Nice! Two other quick finds: "Togsang" sounds celtic and cool, and "Du skulle vært her" is very very good.

Search for "Kari Bremnes lyrics". I can find the lyrics to a few songs and see what they're about. I try to understand in Norwegian first, then run them through Google translate, which gives me a rough English translation to puzzle over. It's fun to explore songs, and I'm getting much better and understanding by listening.

Wikipedia: Get a glance of the career, albums, awards, and maybe some fun stories. The article is scant for Bremnes, but it does mention 3 albums that got awards... and an album where she has put Edvard Munch's poetry to music. Ah! (Munch painted that famous psychodelic picture 'The Scream'.)

iTunes store: This works great for a lot of bands, but it's very hit-or-miss with Norwegian groups. In this case, it's a hit. iTunes turns up 20 albums. Yikes! What do I do?

Amazon: often has norwegian albums that iTunes doesn't have, and they have a good mp3 download program now which makes it good place to shop for foreign music. So many albums here too. Herregud. Which one do I buy? I sample a few songs from her LIVE album which came out last year. Mark that as a maybe!

Search for "best Kari Bremnes song" and "beste Kari Bremnes sang". Sometimes I can find a discussion on message board... but no luck. But I do find a mention in a music review of a "best of" album in 1995. Her 1995 album is called "Erindring" which I look up. "Remembering". Yeah, the name fits. I recognize a few songs on the playlist from other albums. This must be it.

Official website:, of course. Should have thought of it earlier. The site's promoting her live album. Sounds good. I'll get that one. Her site also has her biography, reviews, info on all the albums, and... Lyrics! She has lyrics to all of her songs on her site! Thank you Kari!

Buy albums: I buy the LIVE album from amazon because the window is still open, and the best of album from iTunes. Share the wealth. That gives me 29 songs to enjoy, downloaded in a few minutes.

Lyrics list: I make a two-column document and put the norsk lyrics in one and the translation from Google translate into the other column. Now I can listen to the music, read the lyrics and understand them at the same time. (Not today though, I have many things to do!) I did this with some other artists and now I can walk around the house and sing the lines.

Guitar tabs: The songs I really like I can find the guitar tabs for, and then I can play and sing. (I already have the tabs for "Everybody knows", so that may be ) This is a fun and authentic way to learn the language!

Hmmm... I've got the live album playing and a few of the songs are in English, translations of songs she's recorded in Norwegian. I can listen to both versions. Thank you again, Kari!

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