SOUNDTRACK: RAGA ROCKERS-“Slakt” [“Slaughter”] (1988), “Hun er Fri” [“She is Free”] (1988) and “Noen å hate” [“Someone to hate”] (1990).
Karl Ove mentions many bands in his books. Raga Rockers appeared twice in this one. I can’t find a ton about them online, because they never really made it beyond Norway, but the Google translated version of their website says:
Raga Rockers is an ingenious rock ‘n roll band that has existed since 1982.
Today the band consists of: Michael Krohn (vocals, lyrics), Hugo Alvar Stein (keyboards / guitar), Eivind Staxrud (guitar), Arne Sæther (keys), Livio Aiello (bass) and Jan Kristiansen (drums).
The band came out of the punk community in the early eighties, but became such a “poppy” large parts of the Norwegian people have founded acquaintance with them. Songs like “She is free” and “Someone to hate” is almost singalong classics! Their greatest triumph came perhaps in 1999 when they played for thousands of ecstatic Norwegians at the yellow stage at Roskilde Festival. (Reviews of the show by Dagbladet (which Karl Ove wrote for) and Dagsavisen–both are in English.
Despite their punk roots and the rather violent song titles, the songs are almost poppy–heavy guitars but simple chords and a singer who doesn’t sound angry at all. In fact, if I didn’t read about their punk roots, I’d swear these songs are kinda goofy.
“Slakt” is a simple song, opening with a 4/4 drum and splashes of guitar. The middle is a bluesy riff with a chorus of “ah ha ha” The lead singer’s voice is mostly kind of deep–not quite what I expected from the heavy guitars.
“Hun Er Fri” is quite different from the others songs. It’s only 90 seconds long and features a piano. The chords are still simple the piano may be playing single notes in fact). The lyrics are pretty much nonstop and kind of fast. It seems like a silly pop trifle and I can see why it’s popular among their fans. The first time I listened to it, I was surprised it ended when it did. This bootleg live version is certainly fun.
These two songs came from their 1988 album Forbudte følelser [Prohibited feelings]
“Noen å hate” has a bit more of a metal sound, but is essentially the same kind of heavy rock with simple chord progressions. There’s a good solo at the end. A black metal band called Vreid has done a cover of this song (which really only sounds different because the Vreid singer is more growly).
This song comes from their 1990 album Rock n’ Roll Party.
And yes, they are still around. They took a hiatus in the 2000s but came back with three albums 2007’s Übermensch, 2010’s Shit Happens and 2013’s Faktor X.
[READ: May 1, 2016] My Struggle Book Five
I realized as I read this fifth book that I should have been keeping a vague sense of the timeline of these books. Specifically, because he opens this book with this: “The fourteen years I lived in Bergen from 1988 to 2002 are long gone.” So if he was born in 1968, this book covers roughly ages 19-33.
So my general outline for the other volumes:
Book Five: 1988-2002 (19-33)
Book Four: 1987 (18)
Book Three: 1968-1981 (1-13)
Book Two: 2008 (40) (with flashbacks to meeting his second wife in 2003 or so)
Book One: 2008 (40) (with flashbacks to his father’s death in 1998 or so)
What era could Book Six possibly be about?
We’ll find out next year in what is said to be the 1,200 page final volume.
So as I mentioned above, Karl Ove talks about the fourteen years he lived in Bergen. And it made me laugh that he says:
The fourteen years I lived in Bergen, from 1988 to 2002, are long gone, no traces of them are left, other than as incidents a few people might remember, a flash of recollection here, a flash of recollection there, and of course whatever exists in my own memory of that time. But there is surprisingly little.
And then he proceeds to write 600+ pages about that time. (more…)
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