Swedish stuff that's distracting us today.
True Blood’s Alexander Skarsgård appears naked on the cover of Rolling Stone with real-life newlywed co-stars Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer.
Citigroup traders cheekily suggest that Tiger Woods’s divorce settlement could have triggered a on the krona last week, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Chicago Sun-Times’ David Hoekstra visits Sculpture at Pilane in Tjörn, one hour north of Gothenburg, and takes part in a herring tasting at Salt & Sill, a restaurant and floating hotel on the Marstrand Fjörd.
Miscellaneous: August 10th, 2010 at 12:53 pm by PVS
The braves of Långholmen, The Local’s partner football club in Stockholm, will be entertaining the travelling faithful of Scotland’s Tartan Army this evening in an international friendly that is set to be the social event of, well, this evening.
A Långholmen select eleven, featuring faces from The Local past and present, will be lining up to represent Sweden against the Tartan Army in a match in aid of Min Stora Dag – a Swedish children’s charity. The game will kick off at 7pm at Östermalm’s IP (T-bana Stadion behind Djurgården’s home pitch).
Pre-match festivities will begin in the Southside pub on Hornsgatan on Södermalm at 5pm and will continue afterwards with discounts for anyone who can muster an approximation of a highland brogue.
So dig out your sporrans, tune up your vocal chords, and come down to Östermalms IP for a feast of football to lift the spirits ahead of Wednesday’s full international.
Miscellaneous: August 2nd, 2010 at 11:27 am by VT
In the UK Guardian on Sunday Andrew Anthony links Scandinavian noir fiction with the real life intrigue of the Göran Lindberg sex case and the Olof Palme murder case, pondering whether Sweden’s otherwise wholesome image may indeed have a dark underbelly.
Miscellaneous: July 29th, 2010 at 1:37 pm by VT
Sometimes older articles on The Local find new life weeks, months or even years after they are initially published when they are picked up by external sites.
Recent examples of this are a sudden spike in traffic of 8,000 readers on June 16th to Swedish parents keep 2-year-old’s gender secret, initially published nearly a year earlier on June 23rd, thanks to a pickup on i am bored.
More recently, on July 8th, Cracked.com cited our article Black Cobra gang steals selection of small cakes from March in a roundup of 5 bizarre real-life gangs, sending 4,700 readers our way to read about their exploits that merited the mention (they came in 3rd).
This week alone, we’ve seen a significant spike on Artists lose out as fans stop burning CDs and Cerebral palsy fraudster gets 3 years in jail thanks to Fark and Swedish women vote to keep their tops on thanks to reddit.
How can we narrow down the dates, numbers and sources of the traffic coming to our site? Google Analytics. We could spend hours tooling around to see where people are coming from to our site, but we would never get any work done.
We love to see where our stories end up on the Internet, so please feel free to share any articles (old or new) that amuse or enrage you from our site (using the buttons at the bottom of each story or elsewhere). And don’t forget to check out our new and improved Facebook page.
No one can accuse the Dutch for not throwing a great party whether they win or lose. After being told at the door of the Dutch embassy that it was full on Sunday for the World Cup final against Spain, as soon as the staff of De Hollandse Club Stockholm heard about The Local, it was all smiles and a warm welcome in.
Wandering into the courtyard, a big-screen TV broadcast a live Dutch feed with the names of the evening’s sponsors spliced in was the focus of the attention of the crowd. Organisers estimated 550 people watched the game, with the event costing about 70,000 kronor ($9,300).
There was indeed orange, orange everywhere – jerseys (one curiously with “Björklund” on the back), hats, one vuvuzela, shoes, pants, suspenders, furry lobster pendants, wigs, blow-up plastic crowns. However, the face paint was clearly the red, white and blue (the stripes in that order) of the Dutch flag and the hand stamp for re-entry when leaving the premises happened to be a red, white and blue crayon. In addition to Dutch fans, there were also a number of Swedes and English speakers of all accents among the crowd among the lucky ones who arrived early enough for entry.
They also lived up to the promise of Dutch beer at Dutch prices – Grolsch at 30 kronor, as well as wine-in-a-box and soft drinks. Curiously, the bitterballen (Dutch pub snack food) were free. Only when those ran out did they starting charging minimally for the kroketten.
One does not truly feel short until he or she watches the World Cup final with a Dutch crowd – ironically forcing one to the back of the viewing area. After the crowd of Dutch fans who were denied entry finally dispersed well into the second half, seven-year-old Emilia Bouterse, a Stockholmer with a Swedish mum and Dutch dad, still lingered on at the front door, seemingly indifferent to the action on the big screen.
There were many gasps, jeers and cheers throughout the game for each of the numerous yellow cards shown depending on which team they were directed to, as well as every corner and free kick. Most audible were the shouts of relief when Nigel de Jong did not get a red card for kicking Xabi Alonso in the chest.
Interspersed throughout the game, as well as pre-match and during half-time was a DJ blasting out of the loudspeakers, as well as typical Black Eyed Peas fare in addition to classic Dutch favourites. In addition to the lone orange vuvuzela, other decible-shattering horns blew intermittently, peppered with “Holland!” clapping chants and oddly, “¡Olé Olé Olé!” once or twice.
The red card shown to Johnny Heitinga in extra time seemed to signal a turn for the worse and hinted that the game in the end might not go to penalty kicks, but there was not any excessive shouting at the screen for the decision. There were also nary but groans when Andres Iniesta finally scored four minutes before the end of the game.
As the final whistle blew, a palpable disappointed silence fell over the courtyard of the Dutch embassy as the fans streamed out to Götgatan to meet the oncoming jubilant Spain supporters, but the mood remained festive and cheerful in spite of the loss. However, there is no doubt there would have been partying all night had Oranje won – the line for beer disappeared instantly when Iniesta scored.
Christian Love may not be instantly recognizable, but perhaps the name of his father Mike Love’s band might ring a bell.
The Beach Boys are celebrating their 50th anniversary as a band next year. There has been speculation that founding members Brian Wilson and Al Jardine would reunite with the band ahead of the 2011-12 tour season, both among fans and in the media.
Christian is in Sweden right now, both with his band 5 Alarm, which is performing for free at Stockholm’s Debaser Slussen tonight with Japandroids at 8pm, as well as for the Beach Boys’ four dates in Sweden this weekend and later next month.
In a statement on the Beach Boys’ website from June 22nd, Mike Love wrote, “The Beach Boys continue to tour approximately 150 shows a year in multiple countries. At this time there are no plans for my cousin Brian to rejoin the tour.
“…We have had some discussions of writing and possibly recording together, but nothing has been planned. I, as I’m sure he is, am proud and honored that The Beach Boys music has endured these 50 years, but felt the need to clarify that there are no current ‘reunion’ tour plans.”
The major surviving Beach Boys have not performed together since September 1996, but reunited for a public appearance four years ago for the 40th anniversary of the album Pet Sounds.
The current touring lineup includes Mike Love and Bruce Johnston, who joined in 1965, as well as Christian on rhythm guitar. On this leg of their summer season, they will perform at three concerts in Sweden this week before departing for a festival in Spain and return to Västerås the following weekend.
“It’s going to be a lot of fun,” he told The Local. “The concerts will be really good. The shows were very energetic.”
Christian last played in Sweden around the same time last year, both in central Sweden’s Töreboda and northern Sweden’s Piteå. On Tuesday, Christian learned of some Swedish ancestry among the Wilsons and Loves dating back to 1870s through some distant relatives. Christian also has Danish roots.
Ahead of the Beach Boys tour, 5 Alarm, which began 16 years ago, will perform at Debaser. The name was coined by the wife of the drummer, who is also a fireman. In firefighting parlance, a five alarm denotes that five engine companies have been called to respond to an incident.
Unlike his father’s band, Christian’s describes sound as reggae/pop-rock, but the band is firmly rooted to its member’s southern California origins. The band’s first album, Dancing with the Sun, released one and a half years ago, is available on iTunes.
Basketball is another passion in the Love family. Mike Love’s younger brother, Stan Love, was an NBA player, as is his son Kevin. Stan Love was employed as a full-time bodyguard and assistant to Wilson in the mid-1970s and 1980s and filed a petition to be appointed as his conservator in 1990.
As to whether he watches Kevin play in person, “I tried to see him play at UCLA,” Christian told The Local. “I can see him play on TV. It’s too far to see a home game,” as Kevin plays for the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Touring is clearly a family affair, with Mike Love’s wife and Christian younger sister joining them for their Sweden dates. Having already done some sightseeing and “walking around” on Tuesday, they are ready for their upcoming shows.
There may also be a special surprise appearance at 5 Alive’s free gig. As it turns out, Matt Volsky, brother of The Local’s Dana Wikström and current Stockholm resident, is a (former) member of the band.
Beach Boys 2010 Swedish Tour
Thursday: Kungälv, Bohus fästning
Friday: Karlstad, Mariebergsskogen
Saturday: Målilla, G&B Arena
July 10: Västerås, Power Big Meet
Miscellaneous: November 19th, 2009 at 11:11 am by DL
And while sex toys sailing through the air may have been a one-time (albeit memorable) occurrence, the scrappy team from central Sweden has once again found itself in the international limelight.
Taking the mantel from Leksands Jan Huokko, who was the object of last years famed dildo downpour, is 18-year-old up-and-comer Henrik Andersen.
Normally, a goal by a virtual unknown in the countrys second highest league wouldnt draw much attention even if it’s a rather nifty score.
But its not the goal that has everybody talking.
Rather, its Andersen’s jump for joy after notching his first goal in the league that has catapulted this budding hockey talent from obscurity to overnight sensation.
Andersen celebrated the score, the first in a 4-0 drubbing of opposing Björklöven on Tuesday night, by not merely jumping, but more or less taking a flying leap right through the plexiglass behind the goal.
The YouTube clip of Andersens unintentional celebratory somersault over the boards (see below), already linked to by sports websites across North America, is certainly on its way to becoming a highlight reel classic.
If only Andersen could have matched the grace he displayed in slyly slipping the puck past the goalie when he tumbled into the crowd. On the bright side, hes likely caught the attention of NHL scouts, although not necessarily in the way he intended.
And speaking of Huokko, he announced on Wednesday – the day following Andersens acrobatics – that he’s retiring from professional hockey due to a career-ending knee injury. Hopefully hell be able to find something to keep him satisfied during all his new-found free time.
The question now is, who will be Leksand’s next international star?
(To see the clip with a classical music soundtrack, click here)
Miscellaneous: November 4th, 2009 at 2:09 pm by PO
The BBC sends a reporter to Sweden to seek out voices in the great language debate.
Says Swedish singer Samson for President:
“I do not believe in some sort of fascist regime where you protect the Swedish and exclude international cultures, I do not think that you are supposed to only be allowed to sing in Swedish about Karl-Åke that dances on some bridge somewhere in the archipelago.”
But not everyone is enamoured with the onward march of the English language. Read the article for more.
Miscellaneous: October 22nd, 2009 at 3:50 pm by PO
Public broadcaster SVT has blurred out a presenter’s cleavage following a volley of complaints from viewers caught unawares as the camera panned from northern Sweden’s slopes to those of the reporter.
SVT’s complaints flashboard lit up after Helene Albrektson from Västerbottensnytt stripped to her bikini as part of a segment on weather conditions in Tärnaby. With piste-keepers resorting to artificial snow, it was perfectly feasible for skiers to shed their winter wear and go jump in a lake.
This was illustrated by the camera operator zooming in on Albrektson’s cleavage as she prepared to brave the chilly waters.
Not acceptable, said SVT’s higher-ups, as a decision was taken to liberally apply the infamous blur effect that is generally reserved for heinous criminals.
Expressen TV is there with the before and after (segment follows a short advert).
Miscellaneous: October 22nd, 2009 at 3:27 pm by PO
So it turns out that Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt has a beautiful singing voice. Watch and learn as he joins great musical talents such as Hugo Chavez, Gordon Brown and Barack Obama.
Listen without prejudice as the Täby tunesmith offers hope of “a better world to live in for future generations”.
Miscellaneous: October 2nd, 2009 at 10:11 am by JS
We’d spent the afternoon practicing our Oscar-loser rictus smiles, in preparation for the moment that Dagens Nyheter was declared Digital Newspaper of the Year. The practice was not in vain.
Arriving at the gala at Stockholm’s Clarion Sign Hotel, we should perhaps have been nervous. Indeed, many of the other nominees appeared to be really on edge. But at The Local’s table we were just delighted to be plied with free food and booze. Besides, it was fun to have been invited to party with Sweden’s big media names.
It was really only after the winner was announced and we saw the delight on the faces of the DN.se staff that we realised that this was quite a big deal.
The staff of the website of one of Sweden’s oldest, highest-circulation and best-resourced newspapers (and a jolly good site it is too), were whooping for joy and cracking open the champagne when they won this prize. And we, the little ol’ Local, had managed to get nominated alongside them, despite having a tiny fraction of their resources and brand recognition.
That, in our book, was cause for a little celebration of our own.
Yes, we would have been even happier if we had won the big, shiny prize. But we’re still pretty chuffed. Honest.
Miscellaneous: September 15th, 2009 at 12:09 pm by JSUsually, when I read about newspapers being nominated for awards, the cynical journalist in me assumes that they’ve all nominated themselves.
But yesterday, when Medievärlden called to tell me The Local was nominated for their Digital Media of the Year prize, I was (to use a cricketing term) absolutely knocked for six, as were all my colleagues. Reader, I can assure you that in this case The Local certainly did not nominate itself.
Once we’d managed to stop ourselves running around screaming like momentarily deranged Beatles fans, our amazement was compounded when we found out that our co-nominees were DN.se (the website of Sweden’s largest quality daily Dagens Nyheter) and Dagen.se (the website of a well-known Christian newspaper).
To put it into context, Dagens Nyheter has a staff of 580 and Dagen has a staff of 60. The Local, on the other hand, has a full-time staff of just 11. That includes all editors, journalists, business developers, salespeople, IT developers and managers in Sweden AND Germany. Even when you add in our varied band of talented freelancers, we’re still nowhere near half the size of Dagen, let alone DN.
Not only are we smaller in many respects than our competitors – we are also much younger. We were founded in 2004; DN, by contrast, was founded in 1864; Dagen was founded in 1945 (although naturally their websites are rather younger than that). Yet despite being so young and having so few staff, we managed to reach 2.1 million unique visitors last month (of which 1.2 million were visiting the Swedish site).
It would, of course, be astonishing if we were to win the prize – the competition is tough, to say the least (I know I’m supposed to say this, but this time it just happens to be true).
But just getting nominated is a welcome pat on the back for us, and particularly for Paul O’Mahony, editor of thelocal.se, and our associate editor David Landes. They thoroughly deserve the recognition.
Moreover, the nomination is a nod to only to The Local, but also to our loyal readers – a new generation of diverse, mobile, internationally-minded people who want to get involved in the societies in which they live.
But perhaps the most important thing about this is that it will spur us on to keep improving what we do – and to continue developing our plans to take The Local to new places around Europe with renewed vigour.
Thanks for all your support!
Miscellaneous: August 4th, 2009 at 2:29 pm by DL
Last week an unlikely trio of Swedes showed up on the Colbert Report, the popular mock current affairs program on Comedy Central that lampoons the numerous right-wing blowhards who populate other US broadcast outlets.
The three natives of Luleå in northern Sweden make up the “swing-hip-hop-jazz” band Movits (yes, there actually are Swedish swing-hip-hop’jazz acts).
All three donned nearly identical hairdos and oversized Buddy Holly-esque glasses as they took questions from Colbert about the challenges of living in a “socialist state”.
|The Colbert Report||Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c|
They then performed (in Swedish) their single Fel Det av Gården (‘Wrong part of the garden’).
|The Colbert Report||Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c|
|Movits! – Fel Del Av Garden|
The episode is set to air in Sweden on tonight, but in the week since the show’s broadcast in the US, the men of Movits, which Colbert claims he discovered on the news aggregator website reddit.com, have seen themselves catapulted from virtual obscurity into the pop culture spotlight.
Later in the week, Colbert erupted into a self-congratulatory fit on a follow up episode, claiming that he was solely responsible for the band’s meteoric rise on the Amazon sales list – from 93,400 to number 75.
And he probably was.
Miscellaneous: July 13th, 2009 at 10:38 am by PO
Columnist Jonathan Power provides Prospect readers with a potted guide to Sweden. It’s not all sex and loose morals you know. Or is it? Nobel committee secretary Horace Engdahl gives his view:
Urbanisation came late in Sweden, and consequently the influence of the middle class with its strict norms of sexual behaviour has been limited.
Read the full article. It’s worth it.
Miscellaneous: July 3rd, 2009 at 9:15 am by DL
Swedes never miss a chance to celebrate the arrival of summer and the extended twilight that displaces winters cold endless nights.
But sometimes, alcohol-soaked celebrations can go a bit overboard, with consequences that are normally shrouded in darkness suddenly laid bare for all to see in the bright glare of the midnight sun.
The phenomenon is made all too clear by this recent video clip shot in Östersund in northern Sweden at around 10pm in the evening.
Hard to say whats more difficult to believe (especially for folks who havent spend time above the 60th parallel in June): the rampage or the claim that the video was shot at just two hours before midnight.
Click here to check out the original video on YouTube
The daughter of one of Sweden’s most feared criminals has posed for a popular men’s magazine in a bid to bring shame on her father and give him “a taste of his own medicine”.
In an interview with lad mag Slitz, Jackie Ferm explained that she wanted her father, Lars-Inge Svartenbrandt, to feel ashamed in the same way she felt ashamed all the way through school.
It’s not surprising that young Jackie had a hard time of it. Svartenbrandt is one of Sweden’s most notorious criminals and has spent more than forty years in jail for a string of robberies and violent crimes. He was last arrested as recently as April.
But Jackie admits that she did have a way of responding to the kids who taunted her which involved judicious use of her father’s reputation.
“I told them he’d come and murder them if they didn’t watch out,” said Ferm.
Remember the Japanese popstar dressed as a pineapple who was assaulted in Malmö earlier this year. Of course you do.
Well, you’ll be glad to hear that Hideki Kaji made a speedy recovery and the video he was shooting at the time of the attack has seen the light of day. We’ve been meaning to post it for ages. Here it is: