Onechord.net turns 17

Hurray for One Chord to Another. This little thing is now 17 years old. Of course this so-called blog birthday is hardly a reason for a big celebration, because it’s pretty much just showcasing my insanity, resilience, passion and stubborness. It would be easy to argue that it doesn’t make a lot of sense to spend 17 years and hundreds and hundreds of hours in something that pays absolutely nothing and doesn’t really have a whole lot of significance either. Especially because it’s been a continuous struggle to keep this labour of love project alive in the midst of the realities of the everyday life. In some ways things like these are definitely more suitable for the studying days when the dayjobs aren’t hanging over one’s shoulder draining away all the time and energy. I seriously thought about quitting for years, but fuck all that. I love this. This matters to me, this is a significant part of who I am and I’m somewhat proud of doing this for such a ridiculously long time and at the moment I don’t have any desire to quit. This has given me way more than I could ever had hoped for. I’ve met so many lovely warm-hearted people from all over the world both online and in person and many of them have become dear friends.

All this might change and I don’t give any definite promises. I’m sure there will be times when the everyday life throws more curve balls than what I can hit and I just don’t have what it takes to update frequently. The introduction of the weekly playlist seems like a good thing at the moment, because even though they are hardly viral, making it every week adds some much needed rhythm and structure to the blog. During the years I’ve come to realize that it’s so easy to let things slide and so hard to start again. A writing break so easily just carries on and on, because after a while there’s dozens of new songs and thousands of unread emails and you don’t even know where to start again and therefore things just slide and the situation only gets worse. So even though, it may sound rather strange, for me writing this continuosly seems to be far easier than taking some weeks off and then be completely overflowed with the amount of new music. This way I will do at least one post every week and it also encourages me to do other posts, because I don’t want this to become just a playlist thing.

A couple of things I’ve considered are trying to give interviews a go and dropping or changing the subtitle ”A Finnish Pop Site”. Nothing might come out off either. Maybe some kind of Q&A type of thing might not be that hard, but it’s difficult to find a unique or even remotely interesting angle. So self-doubt might be too strong for that. The problem with the Finnish Pop Site subtitle is just that it gives a bit wrong impression and therefore might not be a good thing. After all, this is closer to an americana blog these days. But sure, I’ve gotten a bit too attached to it during the years (even though it was a little different for a little while), so I might not have the heart to change it.

I think that’s enough of pointless yearly ramblings. I think I owe a beer to anyone who read all of this. But hey, I have to share some music with the seven people who read this far. After all, this blog has nothing to do with music critique, but it has everything to do with loving music passionately. So here’s a couple of songs from the album that I’ve loved the most during this current year. This is The Lonesomest Sound That Can Sound by Clay Parker and Jodi James. Such a brilliant record from this folk duo from Louisiana. They also have musical role on Blaze, the new 2018 movie about the legendary songwriter Blaze Foley.

Clay Parker and Jodi James Website

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2017 + Lokit

Thank you for everyone who visited this little blog during 2017 and thank you for all the amazing artists for creating the music that carried me through this year of horrible politics and a couple hundred hours of overtime work at the factory. The far bigger issue, politics both in Finland and USA is still an absolute shit show, but thankfully the lesser issue, my personal workload got back to acceptable levels during the last months of the year. Therefore there’s hope that this blog might survive 2018 as long as the world can too. The thought of finding a new job is still lurking in the back of my mind though, because it still feels like it went over some limit during the summer and I’m struggling to put it completely behind me. Even though it’s quite alright at the moment, I sort of lost the belief that I can be fully happy by staying there.

I was on the verge of quitting the blog several times during the year and in the darkest hour did post that great I Just Can’t Fucking Do It Anymore song by Christian Lee Hutson and stopped posting for a while. That would have been a good dramatic way to quit, but unfortunately I’ve been doing this for sixteen years and find it extremely difficult to let it go. Somehow this has become too dear and it has a hold on me. The only thing that makes any kind of sense is to quit, because I just don’t have the time or energy to do it properly and it’s not like this has any kind of significance the way I do it these days. For a long time I’ve mostly let things slide, because I can’t let them completely go. Therefore there’s a constant cloud of guilt hanging over me, because there’s always that amazing song that I haven’t posted and that kind email I haven’t answered. As for 2018, half of me wants to quit completely and the other half wants to fully commit to this and do this as well as I possibly can and see how that goes. I think I’ll start with what the other half is saying, but it’s probably only a matter of days or weeks before the reality kicks in and I will let it slide again even though it has never done me any good. But until reality bites, let’s spread some love for songs.

There’s one more end of the year list coming up within a week or so before it’s time to fully move on to 2018. It’s the Finnish songs of the year. The last entry to that list will be my current favourite song Kasevaa by Lokit (unless I go with Blades of Steel, love them both). It’s an outtake from their new seven inch single/ep. You can get it at least from Teen Wolf Records. Don’t buy them all, because I haven’t placed my order yet but plan to do so. A brilliant band and I love most of their songs that I’ve heard. At least Työttömyys, Tosi hyvä tyyppi, Blades of Steel and Kasevaa are all utterly wonderful. I can’t wait to hear their debut full-length that is hopefully out sometime in 2018. To have the possibility to feature the forthcoming Lokit album in a full excessive praising mode is a one damn good reason to continue another year. Here’s the excellent (but somewhat disturbing) music video for the new Lokit song Kasevaa.

Happy New Year’s Eve and see you in 2018!

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Christian Lee Hutson – I Just Can’t Fucking Do It Anymore

I first thought I just leave this video on the front page and stop posting until further notice. Would have been a good dramatic way out, because I really love this song by Christian Lee Hutson. There’s no drama though. I’m just exhausted because I’ve been working overtime nearly every fucking day on the day job and don’t have the time or energy to make this blog at the moment. I’ll regroup and continue. No idea when exactly. It could be only a matter of days or it could be several weeks or even months. Thankfully the second part of my summer vacation is just days away, so I’ll have some time to recess. Maybe it’s time to even consider looking for a new job, because the current one is wearing me down. Too bad this thing doesn’t pay the bills. No need to worry or anything though. Everything is still perfectly ok in the grand scheme of things.

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Eric Bachmann – Eric Bachmann

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I spent the week mostly listening to Richmond Fontaine, because they were touring here (and played a spectacular concert, definitely among my all time faves despite some disturbances from thrash metal concert that took place upstairs). Therefore I didn’t have much time to listen to other new music before this weekend.

My favourite album of the weekend has been the new Eric Bachmann album. I’ve been listening to it all weekend long. I can’t say Eric Bachmann’s song vault is my biggest expertise. Actually it’s probably been something like a decade since I last listened to him a lot. Dignity and Shame by Crooked Fingers meant a lot in the mid 00s, but I’ve lost touch since that. It’s definitely time to reacquaint my heart with Eric’s songs, because this new self-titled album is an absolute beauty. Such a compassionate hug is much needed in this current world where complete lack of empathy to one another seem to be a running theme. This is Mercy from Eric’s new album that is now out on the always great Merge Records.

Eric Bachmann Website

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14 Down, 1 To Go: One Chord To Another Turns 14!

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One year to another. OCTA is now fourteen years old. That’s already a far longer time than I ever expected, but there’s still work to be done. Ok, you might have noticed that nothing is really happening right now and I feel extremely guilty about it. I just don’t really have enough energy for this at the moment. I apologize. Maybe things will get better soon. I doubt it, but at least I’m a bit more hopeful today than yesterday. Anyway, fifteen has been my goal and I intend to keep this thing somehow alive until that point. What happens after that I’m not entirely sure. The wise thing would be to organize a little anniversary concert / memorial service for the blog and go out with a bang. It’s also possible that I just don’t have the heart to completely stop after doing this for so long and this turns into one of those dreadful “one more year” things where a person with a decent track record (well lousy track record in my case) just doesn’t know how and when to quit.

Anyway, I’ll figure out 15 when I get there. Now it’s time to celebrate the 14th birthday (the actual birthday is actually tomorrow on the 17th of September, but I don’t have time to do this then) and I’ll do that by doing what I always do. Posting three songs that I really love at the moment.

Christopher Paul Stelling – Dear Beast

Hezekiah Jones – The Dark Heart’s Out

Joan Shelley – Over and Even

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Flavour of the Month 15.5.2015 – Mäkkelä (GER) + Nightbird

makkela

We have one more Flavour of the Month event coming up before the summer holiday. The event takes place this friday at Pikku-Torre, Turku. Mäkkelä and Nightbird will share the stage. They have both played at our club before and therefore I know that they are excellent and this is going to be another great FOTM evening. Read more about it on that Finnish press release below and check out these sound samples.

FLAVOUR OF THE MONTH esittää:
MÄKKELÄ (GER) showtime 23:00
NIGHTBIRD showtime 22:00

+ Flavour of the Month DJ team
pe 15.5. 2015 klo 21-03
Pikku-Torre, Yliopistonkatu 30, Turku
VAPAA PÄÄSY!

Perjantaina, toukokuun 15. päivänä heitetään hyvästit Flavour of the Month -klubin kevätkaudelle ja siirrytään viettämään hyvin ansaittua kesälomaa. FOTM-klubin tyylille sopivasti peijaisissa kuullaan kauniinrujoa musisointia, kun Pikku-Torren lavalle ovat lupautuneet aiemminkin Flavourissa vierailleet saksansuomalainen Mäkkelä, alias Martti Trillitsch, sekä vaasalaislähtöinen Nightbird, alias Anna-Stina Jungerstam.

Suomalaisia sukujuuriaan taitelijanimessään vähän erikoisella tavalla peilaava Mäkkelä saapuu jälleen toukokuussa Suomeen lyhyelle kiertueelle promoamaan uunituoretta albumiaan ”Last Of A Dying Breed”. Mäkkelä kokenee itsensä todellakin lajinsa viimeisenä, sillä keikkajulisteessa tarjotaan kuvausta ”last of the trash folk gentlemen”. Musiikissaan hienovaraista folk punkia, rujoa indietä ja monenkarvaisia elektro/blues/roots -vaikutteita kanavoiva Mäkkelä tunnetaan tunnelmallisten ja hauskojenkin keikkatuokioiden luojana, joten uuden levyn myötä on odotettavissa lisää viihdyttäviä turinoita ja ennen kuulemattomia biisejä.

Illan toisena aktina paluun FOTM:iin tekee Nightbird. Naisen ensimmäinen visiitti klubille on jäänyt mieliin hyvinkin vakuuttavana. Pelikenttänä on pelkistetty akustinen folk ja blues, vaikea laji, jonka Nightbird kuitenkin hallitsee.

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