Category Archives: News

Studio diary 2014, part 8

We’ve had quite an evening! The crowdfunding campaign is now over, and we exceeded our goal by almost one third. The thousandth fan just liked us on Facebook. We’ve got the album artwork ready and the album mastered tomorrow.  I’ve kind of let the last studio diary entry slide. Let’s fix that, now that we can rest relatively easy with the album ready to be sent to the people of Jakebox in Sweden, who’ll be taking care of the pressing and printing.

Ilari is an amazing guy. He has some serious musical know-how, and he thinks quick. Real quick. He also doesn’t really rule anything out without trying. Hence the crowbar. And the steel plate (see below). It also turns out he’s very good at whistling, finger snaps and rhythmic clapping, which are all very difficult things to do well. We love Ilari.

Ilari_plate_1

We found this steel plate lying around…

Ilari_plate_2

…and Ilari turned it into kettle drums and thunder.

We also love Saara, our wonderful cellist. One of the things she contributed on the album was the almost impromptu arrangement for Zaza, including the “car horn” sound and the smoky, sordinoed jazz passage, all written out and rehearsed in a few, measley hours. For this I’m ever greatful, because the song turned out to be, for once, exactly as it should be. Saara’s also wonderful at being awesome.

Saara in the studio, rehearsing a Christmas special.

We must also not forget our Muse. During the recordings we performed with her a few times live, and she’s just a magnificent, funny, energetic person to be around. She also did some screaming, yelling, giggling and whispering (trés demure!) on a track, which is our vision of how an old dancehall band might’ve sounded if they’ve just suddenly invented heavy metal in the middle of playing a set. The inspiration for the song and Noora’s voice on the song come from Louis Feuillade‘s 1915 movie, Les Vampires. It’s actually not a single movie, but one of the first crime series in the world. A part of the album artwork also gives a not-so-subtle nod to Les Vampires.

Noora_Lgy

Virgina Woolf and rum go well together, apparently.

The other BB

Some inspiration – and solace – was provided by Brecht’s Threepenny Novel, Life of Galileo and The Good Person of Szechwan.

I think I mentioned in a previous post that we’ve been busy outside the studio as well. We’ve of course played gigs, private and public, and also been on stage for a fahsion show, where Laura was being pretty, I was being a roadie for Saara who was playing a solo piece on stage. We also played at a party in a hotel, where we were involved in a mystery crime! And somehow we managed to take some photos for the album cover, too (well, mostly in the middle of the night!).

Laura_JR_Dress

Laura some hours before the fashion show, trying on a reindeer leather dress by Jukka Rintala.

Guitar_Swipe

Must be the first time the backstage was accessed with a keycard, and the catering included poached eggs.

Ilari_Saara_Lirio

Ilari and Laura looking through frames during an all nighter.

Then we got this lovely fellow called Joel Kupiainen play some clarinet on the album. The song he plays on has an outro pinched from another song we did for a radio drama, which was broadcasted on the Finnish Broadcasting Company’s Radio 1 in the summer. I think Joel actually came up with the melody for the outro, so we wanted him to play it on the album as well. This is, by the way, a Café de Abejas song with three distorted guitar tracks. And other stuff.

Joel_Lgy_1

Trying out different approaches. We went with the ‘over the top discordant’ one.

Jere_Cordion

Accordeoniste?

MORE DISTORTION!

MORE DISTORTION!

Jere_GSpiel

Glockenspieliste?

And finally, we’ve got all the songs ready and we can sit down with Janne at E-Studio for a 9 to 5 mixing session.

Checklist_done

Checklist, with designated days for each detail.

Juha_monitor

Feeling that the songs are in good hands. Gold and platinum records, from the 80’s until 00’s.

Laura_monitor

Laura and some serious hardware.

Janne_Laura_Jere

We lasted from 9 a.m. until lunch with a single cup of coffee.  After lunch we downed a pot, each.

There are many people we wish to thank for making this album happen, but probably none so much as our grand patrons, Harri & Terttu, who’ve given us their full support from the very beginning, and let us rehearse at their city apartment, and record at their cottage, and have just been all round encouraging and most helpful.

T&H&L_monitor

Getting the final ‘go ahead’.

We’ve decided to call the album “Is this Casablanca?”. It’s also a track on the album, and a song we played, according to the setlist, on the very first full-lenght Café de Abejas gig ever. That was before the first album came out. So the songs been in the making for quite some time, but like Laura put it, “We just weren’t ready for the song before”. It makes a good title, and certainly conjures up images. For the title’s sake, and for other reasons, I’d like to acknowledge the influencers and inspirators for this album: John Donne, Pierre Berton and Charles Simon, Louis Feuillade, Bertolt Brecht, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Dorothy Parker, Concha Piquer, Serge, Charles, Bogie, Bergman and Bacall, Raymond Chandler, John Keats and Danny Elfman. There might well be others, others we’re not even aware of. But you might find it fun to return to this list once you have the album in your hands, and hunt down details – I think you might enjoy it as much as we’ve enjoyed writing these songs.

Casablanca_banner

-Jere

Leave a comment

Filed under Music, News, Recording diary

Thank you!

As you may know by now, we’re in the middle of making our second album.

As with the first one, we have a crowd funding campaign going on. And! Just a couple of hours ago our goal at Mesenaatti.me was reached (and exceeded)! Thank you, thank you, darlings, for pre-ordering and letting us know, that the album is expected! And thanks to everyone who shared the campaign at Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and even by word of mouth, we could not have done this without you!

So as a very small token of gratitude for the absolutely overwhelming results with the Mesenaatti campaign here are some wallpapers we made of the upcoming album’s artwork. There’s a desktop wallpaper (1920x1080p), and a few different mobile wallpapers (480×800), mainly because iOS7 uses a parallax effect and won’t align wallpapers as intended. So we recommend you use the last of these three images for iPhones with iOS7 installed.

We think we’ll go have a glass of bubbly now!

-Jere & Laura

Desktop background 1920x1080p. ©Café de Abejas 2014

Desktop background 1920x1080p. ©Café de Abejas 2014

Mobile background 480x800p. ©Café de Abejas 2014

Mobile background 480x800p. ©Café de Abejas 2014

Background for iPhones with iOS7, 480x800p. ©Café de Abejas 2014

Background for iPhones with iOS7, 480x800p. ©Café de Abejas 2014

Leave a comment

Filed under Mesenaatti.me, News

New album, Lost in Music, Spotify & Deezer!

Sweethearts! It’s Sextili, or Fructidor, or August if you wish, the month of the Poppy, the birthmonth of Leo (Laura) and Virgo (Jere). It marks the transition from summer to fall, and is a common month for harvest. During the summer we’ve sown some, and now it’s time to reap!

The three big news items:

1. We’ve started pre-production for our next album! It’s going to be wonderful! We’ll keep you posted on the twists and turns of this epic saga.

2. We’re playing at the Lost in Music festival, the biggest annual showcase festival in Finland, this October in Tampere. If you missed Kammerkabarett, or the various duo gigs we played during the summer, come and see us at Lost in Music to hear some of the new songs. You can find our producer Martiina Laaksonen and the band at Lost in Music and Musiikki & Media.

We are looking for partners to work with in Europe, and most specifically a booking agency and/or distributor for Germany. We love playing in Germany, her people have always treated us kindly, the audiences have been wonderful and their feedback enthusiastic. Dear German sweethearts, we want to come to you! It’s just that we are concentrating on the new album, so we simply don’t have the time and the energy to book the gigs ourselves.

3. Last but not least: You can now download ‘Mascot Moth’ from iTunes or Google Play Store, or you can stream the entire album through Spotify or Deezer. Deezer also hosts a playlist for the artists performing at Lost in Music. There are many interesting Finnish bands there, so give it a listen!

_MG_2737

Playing at Korjaamo, Helsinki, this June at Töölön juhlaviikko. Picture by Pepita Kautto.

Leave a comment

Filed under Live performances, News, Uncategorized

Media love, Spring 2014

Time for a media update for the spring! Sorry international sweethearts, these are all in Finnish except for the last one.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Helsingin Sanomat, 24th May 2014.

Helsingin Sanomat, 24th May 2014.

Finland’s biggest newspaper Helsingin Sanomat wrote a great review about our first show Kammerkabarett in Savoy-teatteri last week! Pertti Avola thought our decadence was captivating, what joy! Read the review above or on their webpage: LINK

Kujerruksia culture blog

Kujerruksia culture blog, 21st May 2014.

Kujerruksia, which was just listed as the most popular cultural blog in Finland (hooray!), loved Kammerkabarett too. Moreover, she liked the slightly twisted tone of the show, which is something we absolutely love to hear! Read more impressions in her blog: LINK

Radio Helsinki interview 20th May 2014.

Radio Helsinki interview, 20th May 2014.

The day before the show, we visited Njassa at Radio Helsinki with our lovely Muse Noora to talk about Kammerkabarett and to play a couple of our songs live in the studio. It was a lovely summer day, and we were suitably intoxicated by coffee and sun. Listen to the interview part here: LINK

Glue music blog, 11th March 2014.

Glue music blog, 11th March 2014.

And here’s the inimitable and influential music blog GLUE writing about our new music video for The Captain and the Widow (in English!): LINK
“The duo not only crafts very emotive songs and has great songwriting chops, but also knows how to mix, stir and shake a good cocktail”, he writes. We may have to shake a Strawberry Gin for this guy one day soon…

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

That’s all for now, although next week I’m to be interviewed about being an independent artist for Kirkko&Kaupunki. I’ll post the interview as soon as it comes out!

Oh, and summer plans! We have just agreed with Jere that we simply need to make some live videos of some of the new songs soon. There, I’ve said it out loud, and now we must make it happen. We also have some positively outrageous ideas for new cover songs for our summer repertoire, and it just might be that some of those end up on Youtube as well. I repeat. Positively outrageous.

Stay bright, sweets!

– Laura

Leave a comment

Filed under Media, News

KAMMERKABARETT (part 1)

The Finnish flyer for our premiere at Savoy-teatteri.

The Finnish flyer for our premiere at Savoy-teatteri in May.

Short and sweet, here’s what: We’re making a show! It’s premiering in May at the Savoy Theater in Helsinki! It’s going to have an entr’acte! It’s called KAMMERKABARETT!

It’s going to be romantic, and funny, and sad, and slightly surreal, and beautiful. We’re getting a trapeze, and veils, and hats and stop-motion videos onstage, and it’s all magical and fun and challenging and serious work. There are some new faces doing new things – like Noora Palotie, our Muse and my long-lost sister (that’s her up there in the hoop), her sweetheart Roy Boswell who’s in charge of technical affairs I understand very little about, his friend Luca Sirviö who designs the lighting, and Vera Schneider who has already measured the entire band for some lovely gowns and vested handsomeness.

We could not be more excited. Me and Jere are constantly at work –  bouncing ideas off one another and everyone around us. For my part, I’m starting to worry: Am I going to have any friends at the end of Spring? Everytime I see anyone, all my news are related to the promo video we’re planning to make, the technical difficulties our video art is facing, and how happy I am about my new KAMMERKABARETT family. I thought album making was immersive, but this is a whole new deep.

Anyway, we’re soon posting pictures of our pre-production, everyone in the Helsinki area come and see our premiere at Savoy-teatteri on the 21st of May! You can buy tickets here at Lippupalvelu.

Oh, and by the way: We have been increasingly active on Twitter and Instagram lately (I finally updated my iPhone), go follow us at the links!

Love,

– Laura

Leave a comment

Filed under KAMMERKABARETT, Live performances, News

“The Captain & the Widow” Music Video!

“She’s wearing her favourite dress, the one that he bought.
And she’s put on her dancing shoes, she’s put on her rouge…”

Looking for something to fight the February blues? Here it is, our brand new, self-made music video for our ballad “The Captain and the Widow”! It’s a sad and romantic song full of longing, and so is the video, shot in September in two beautiful locations: In the deserted villas of Kruunuvuori and at Laura’s grandparents. It took us a while to finish, but here it is now, just in time for Valentine’s Day:

Take care of your Valentines and Valentinos, sweethearts! We are working hard on our first show KAMMERKABARETT, which premieres in Savoy-teatteri, Helsinki in May. Soon we’ll tell you all about it!

Leave a comment

Filed under Inspiration, Music, News

YLE performance

It’s here! The Finnish National Broadcasting company’s Omatuntoklubi documentary features a live take on La Beauté, along with some extremely beautiful material shot in the studio. The song starts at 1:05, and there’s some merry babbling at the end by a songbird who’s just come off the stage. Easy, the spoken word is not.

– Laura

Leave a comment

Filed under Live performances, Media, Music, News, Uncategorized

“We still have Berlin”

Thank you Berlin! What a great trip full of great people, wonderful audiences and uplifting experiences! We had luck on our side, too, for in spite of the weather forecast predicting a huge thunderstorm for the night of our Amphitheater concert, there was just a light spray of rain. For the first time, we presented the original Dowson poem as an intro for Cynara!, and it felt just great onstage. Now we are burning to make our show even more lush with poems, stories and theatrical elements as well as some new songs. It will be a productive winter.

Time for some Berlin travel tips! For truly great American cocktail classics in suitably austere surroundings, we recommend the Redwood bar. Also, we adored the quirky museum Designpanoptikum – surreales Museum für industrielle Objekte, it’s definitely worth a visit!

We have no words to describe what a pleasure this trip was, but fortunately we have plenty of pictures. Here are some of them, see more on our Facebook! It might be that we’re returning to Berlin sooner than expected, but shhh – it’s still in the making. In the meantime, we’re working hard on the visuals of a music video of a very special song – we try to make it as vivid and rich as possible, so stay tuned!

– Laura & Jere

Leave a comment

Filed under Inspiration, Live performances, News

Cynara! live at 12 Grad, Berlin

Here is a video posted on Youtube by the lovely Sylvia Kasprzak from our April pop-up show at 12 Grad, Berlin’s prettiest Steampunk bar! We had such a lovely time there, and it shows.

Berlin was so good to us we cannot wait to return to play at Aphitheater im Monbijoupark, a lovely wooden venue in the heart of the city, on 19th August! Our upcoming concert there has rekindled my dangerous obsession with amphitheatres (I used to study classical Greek,you know), and it may not be long before you start seeing the results here and on our Facebook. Not telling yet!

Here’s our new concert poster though, which combines Juha’s Bonnie & Clyde portrait with Jere’s Art Nouveau design:

2013amphitheater

Enjoy the sun, sweethearts, we intend to! Plenty of time for brooding in the winter, now’s the time for sea, sun and shandy.

– Laura

Leave a comment

July 12, 2013 · 3:12 pm

One Man’s Sweetheart music video

We set up a light and made something decadent for you in good old black and white. Enjoy!

Leave a comment

Filed under Music, News