One thing I continue to reiterate about Norway: it’s expensive. For lunch today, I had a filet o’ fish meny (which must mean “meal”) with a water and a small fry and it came to 153 NOK.
That’s a $28 meal at McDonald’s.
It did take them a while to return with the fish patty, so there is a small chance that they had to catch, filet and deep fry it for me on the spot. I thought Norwegians liked fish and they would keep this available in mass quantities.
You know what they say about assuming, right?
After many hours of site-seeing (by myself) around the beautiful city of Oslo (because all the hookers and drug dealers were either sleeping or attending classes), I headed back to the International Delegate Lounge at my hotel to meet up with Frithjof from Propeller Recordings, who was to take a select group of individuals over to the the studio for an intimate performance from Hanne Hukkelberg [MySpace].
Hukkelberg’s latest release came out in Norway in 2006 and is just being tuned up for a proper release in North America. That’s not some sign of a lack of quality; the label she recorded with here in Norway, Propeller Recordings, is a super small, super high-quality label that, after spending time in their base of operations and talking with staff, I am now a huge fan of.
Hukkelberg’s intimate, candlelit set was spectacular; one of those rare glimpses at an artist mere moments before they’ve been ushered overseas and into the public consciousness. Her team was warm and gracious, allowing subtle beauty of the music speak for itself. I have never seen people that confident in their artist, but if being here in Norway has taught me anything, it is that these bands are very talented.
That video is awesome. When she performed that song, most of us were captivated. Her beauty is subtle, her smile coy and we were entranced. I couldn’t remember how I got to the studio. I couldn’t remember how I was getting home, and I didn’t care.
By the time Hanne closed off with “The Pirate” she had already stolen our hearts. This is one of those moments where I am more proud to have been in the room that night than to have been invited: Hanne is truly something special and whether she can enrapture the American public will remain to be seen (she won a Norwegian Grammy for Rykestrasse 68). If that never happens, it will be a true tragedy.
Favorite Songs: “Cheater’s Armoury”, “Break My Body” (Yes, a Pixies cover that RULES!), “The Pirate”