KaRL BaRX

KaRL BaRX

BandPopAlternative

KaRL BaRX is one of Norway’s most multifaceted bands. Sigurd Brörs (former member of national cross-country team!) has wrapped his mix of pop and rock, energy and melancholy, dream and reality, ease and unease, in yellow gift paper. The resulting package is delivered by a skilled and energetic band.

Biography

From the reviews of ‘A Produkt Of Imagination’ (2008):

"refined arrangements, still simple and delicate (...) the record gives a surprisingly instant impact, still every listening makes it grow” - Adresseavisen
references: New Pornographers
character: 5/6

“hooray! (...) you get in a good mood (...) a splendid indiepop album” – groove.no
references: Wannadies, New Pornographers, The Beautiful South, Kirsty MacColl, Pixies
character: 5/7

"there is an impressive range of musikal touchstones in evidence on the album (...) interesting, konsistent, engrossing, very ambitious and stuffed with pleasant melodies (...) Karl Barx could go on to be a very impressive band indeed” - Nö Musïc Media
references: New Pornograhers, My Morning Jacket, Weezer, Mando Diao, The Coral, Maximo Park
character: 6.9/10


Norwegian indie-rockers KaRL BaRX have been rambling around in the parking lot for some years, but the five-piece orchestra is now regularly rolling their yellow Volkswagen Karavelle out on the road, loaded with equal shares of pop and rock, energy and melancholy, dream and reality, ease and unease.

Their first full length album A PRODUKT OF IMAGINATION was released October 13th 2008 to finally follow up their acclaimed mini-album THE SEKRET SONGS OF KaRL BaRX from 2004. Back then the critics tried to locate the center of gravity in the wide mix of genres and influences that KaRL BaRX allows into their music, by using a lot of cross-references - ranging from “the pop side of Motorpsycho” (not only fellow Norwegians, they actually live at the same street in Trondheim, a city of 150.000 inhabitants), via New Pornographers and Stephen Malkmus to Suede and Kinks - some even put Mercury Rev in there. However, they all ended up concluding that the band most of all sounded like themselves. For those familiar with Scandinavian popular music some decades after ABBA and a-ha, their catchy melodies and close man vs woman harmonies could be mistaken for being Swedish.

Although their music is varied, most elements in the KaRL BaRX package are very consistent. No wonder, as song craftsman and band leader Sigurd Brörs makes all band graphics, including web, animation and even the first video, ‘KaRL BaRX Part One’. Now the second video is out, see Time Is Money in the video section to get a first taste of the unique universe of KaRL BaRX.

Lyrics

Boy With a Band

Written By: Sigurd Brörs

Here I am. Just a boy with a band. Or a man. I’m a man with a plan: To play pop and some pop kind of rock. I wear black. I’m no man with a tan

Here I am. Just a boy with a band. Or a man. I’m the man with the plan. No, I’m not. I’m a fly in a fan. I’m a lot. I’m a toy on a stand.

It’s so konfusing when the band is a brand. So misuse me. I am nothing but this song. Sing me.

Here we are. We’re the boys in the band. And there you are: You’re a girl in the world. Or a boy - you’re the boys and the girls. You like pop. Or the band or the brand.

It’s not konfusing when the toy understands. So excuse me. I am nothing but this song. Sing me.

I am nothing but this song. Sing me.

The Feeling You Feel When You Realize It's real

Written By: Sigurd Brörs

Fat rats down in the basement , fresh puke parked on the pavement. Grey smell of dust and diesel, a bad wound from a biting weasel. Dirty socks and a soft rock classic, dirty words from a football fanatic. Cold potatoes, leftover gravy , my cousin’s haircut when he left the navy.

And the feeling you feel when you realize it’s real.

The world is ugly, it’s full of ugly things. The world is ugly, and if you got a little bit of ugly in your mind, you’ll be fine.

A little village seen from an airplane, a leaf detail seen through a drop of rain. A quiet porch in soft September sun, a shy kid when school has just begun. An ace of spades with a telephone number, a freckled face signed by summer. An old copy of ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s, a favourite coffee cup, a Beach Boys harmony.

And the feeling you feel when you realize it’s real.

The world is pretty, it’s full of pretty things. The world is pretty and if you got a little bit of pretty in your mind, you’ll be fine.

This Is Norway

Written By: Sigurd Brörs

He followed the ice, he followed the glacier. How safe on his horizon it had been! With the wind in his eyes, it was him and the snowkow. But she preferred extinction in a week.

And nobody was looking at him as he departed. They all were busy having fun in the rising sun. And that’s how it started: I’ve been living here for ten milleniums. And I never think that I’ll be any dumber than now.

I look for the glacier when it bekomes a river every spring. Still in love with the ice, but there’s a trace here: Now I know sunlight doesn’t kill the thing.

And nobody is looking at me up in my mountain. I built my kabin far away. Well anyway, this is Norway. I’ve been living here for ten milleniums, and I never think that I’ll be any dumber than now.

This is Norway, now there’s no way back to the snowkow. We’ve learnt to deal with people like ourselves. We all get around, it’s ok, but somehow it’s safer when we do diskover snow white skin beneath the tanning lines.

And nobody is looking at us up in our mountains. We’ve been living here for ten milleniums and I never think that we’ll be any dumber than now.

This is Norway, now there’s no way back.

Chicken

Written By: Sigurd Brörs

Scene 1: I’m at the poultry farm. The housekeeper she will do me no harm. I’m proud to be the the biggest in her bunch. Scene 2: I’m at the slaughterhouse. Now it’s too late for the whos and hows and why she prokreated me for lunch.

Free at last. Running around for the first time. Head over heels, wonder what my body feels now. Here I am, running around for the last time. Life kan be so wasted if you taste it when it’s already too late.

Scene3: I don’t kare if I preceded the egg. I limp along with a wounded leg and nothing else to testify. Flashback: I should’ve fled when there still was time. You know I should’ve run away, but I’m a koward, I’m a chicken.

I am free at last. Running around for the first time. Head away from heels, wonder what my body really feels. Here I am, running around for the last time. Bite the hand that feeds you, kause it needs you too, don’t wait till it’s too late.

Free at last, running around for the first time. Free at last, running around, running around, running around. Here I am, running around for the last time. Life kan be so wasted if you taste it when it’s already too late. Let’s hang out tonight, free our bodies from our minds.

Boy With A Band part 2

Written By: Sigurd Brörs

Thank you. Thank you in advance.

Help me out now. Kan’t make it on my own. Help me out now. I kan’t do it all alone.

Battery and bass, konfidence and safety, add a good guitar, shine on mine and save me.

Help us out now, we’re not as strong as we seem. Help him out now, help her out now, help them out now, everybody needs a team.

The resonance of hearts pounding at the same pace. The bigger sum of parts when senses blend in right ways.

A tongue to taste my inspiration, ears to tune in to my station, eyes for my imagination, nose for new nuance, a feeling for totality, the touch of personality, one that will enhance, so thank you in advance.

Help me out now, I need another voice. Help us out now, we need another noise.

Do you smell the boom? Do you hear the flowers? Bursting into bloom, fusing our powers.

And like the sea we need the sky, we feed the sky to unify, to rain the same rain in Spain and Germany and France. We are like vapor, ice and water - all potensials of each other. But changing is to chance, so thank you in advance.

Help me out, lend a hand and a heart. Help us out, join the band, be a part!

Thanx for saving me. Thank you in advance.

In Touch

Written By: Sigurd Brörs

So you went away. Always knew you wouldnt stay. Like a star like a season like a fly or a flower. We were only friends, but a friendship shouldn’t end in a missing friend museum with no opening hours.

Don’t know where you are. Kould be near, it kould be far. Kould be hell, kould be heaven, borders I never krossed. Rekall an old man (not a member of this band), said “forever in possession is only the lost”.

He was so damn right.

I never wanted too much. Who’s got it all got a distance to it all. I only want to stay in touch with you.

So make a little kall. I dont kare if it is small talk, kause any talk is bigger than the signals you send. Drop a little line, I dont kare if its unkind. Even enemies are better than invisible friends.

Stay in touch.

I never wanted too much. Who’s got it all got a distance to it all. I only want to stay in touch with you.

So make a little kall. I dont kare if it is small talk, kause any talk is bigger than the signals you send. Drop a little line, I dont kare if its unkind. Even enemies are better than invisible friends. Invite me where you are I don’t kare if it is far. Kould be hell, kould be heaven, places I’ve never been.

Stay in touch.

Guess I wouldnt sing if there wasn’t one thing: It was me who let go, I was letting you know that I wanted something more and I turned into a bore. This is really what I say, this is really why I'm asking you to stay in touch.

Produkts Of Imagination

Written By: Sigurd Brörs

Andrew and Kate: Two biology researchers going on a date. Akquainted for a while from sharing office, koffees and (till now) the social smile.

Evening going well, professor jokes to tell, gossip from the golf klubs they attend. Kate is saying something about the two: “Funny what friendships do to you“. And Andrew says: “Let‘s watch a film tomorrow“.

Apokalypse now! In his own apartment Andrew starts to wonder how. And he says something nice, something wise, about how “only Produkts Of Imagination really are worthwhile.

TVs krash but all you lose is kash. And the video machine is useless by itself“. Kate is excited and loud and agrees, says something like: “Things are nothing but the dreams they trigger!“. And then she lifts her beer to Andrew: “Cheers! Bottoms up, and here’s to Produkts Of Imagination“.

Andrew is proud. Proud of knowing Kate and how he got her to be loud. And he’s starting to dream, producing and imagining and getting up his steam. Everything going well. Soon some news to tell to kollege kolleagues, to golf klub friends.

So this is the time to tell you, Andrew: It is us who got news for you. Bad ones first: Kate has not your future plans. In fakt, she’s got no plans at all right now. She and you will always be A Produkt Of Imagination.

She and you will always be Produkts Of Imagination.

Yours.

And ours.

Time Is Money (I Don’t Wanna Pay)

Written By: Sigurd Brörs

(We must spend more time together…)

Dear God, give me one more hour a day. Don’t you think the day of today is passé? What was right for Adam and Eve isn’t right for the twenty-first century me.

(Me and you kan last forever…)

Give me one more hour a day, why must there be shortage of time, anyway? Give me a break, and give it for free. I say: If time is money, it’s money I don’t wanna pay.

I was praying to God for twenty-five hours a day. I was asking a lot, why shouldn’t I? God is OK.

You know I work twelve hours a day, and need to sleep for six to keep it that way. Another one lost inbetween, if you kan kount, we’ve reached nineteen. And kount one hour spent at the loo, which only leaves four hours with you.

I was praying to God for twenty-five hours a day. I was asking a lot, why shouldn’t I? God is OK. He’s OK, hey! Change my day - and God’s OK.

(You and I kan last forever if we spend more time together…)

Give me one more hour, I pray. Twenty-four just isn’t enough nowadays. Twenty-four was plenty before - before the wheel, the war, before me and you. If I’m denied more hours a day, I must have to steal all this time in some way. As a start I’m late for each date, just making sure I’m not the one who must wait.

I was praying to God for twenty-five hours a day. I was asking too much, or God is not working that way.

Don’t believe in a God or twenty-five hours a day, just believe in yourself and a date who is willing to wait.

KaRL BaRX Part One

Written By: Sigurd Brörs

Dad grew up with grandaddy. He learned his yelling early and the girl he married yelled and gave him yelling kids and Karl.

Daddy yelled at Mummy yelled at Johnny yelled at Jenny yelled at Kenny yelled at Bobby, everybody yelled at Karl.

Karl was just a tiny kid, so little that nobody did take notice that he never yelled back, Karl would hardly gnarl.

He had few opinions, so he didn’t need a language, just a TV and a sandwich, a new Neanderthal.

Everyone was yelling and no one was ever telling what the hell was going on around and suddenly the rest remembered:

Karl had turned eleven. Let’s pretend he’s only seven, send him off to skool where Misses says: “Welkome to us, Karl! Please tell us who you are!”

Silence – then a snarl:

Karl barx!

Daddy yelled at Mummy yelled at Johnny yelled at Jenny yelled at Kenny yelled at Bobby, everybody yelled at Karl, and Karl barx.

Life At A Different Size

Written By: Sigurd Brörs

Last night I diskovered that I kould change to a different size. Just how I don‘t wanna reveal, but in your mind there’s a magikal wheel. Human ape or ant or whale - turn the wheel, adjust your skale.

Pretty soon I was walking around the height of a middle klass house. All the loox didn’t make me blush - I rapidly learned to reply with a krush. My oh my, to my surprise: Feeling mighty felt so nice.

Ooooh - it’s easy to bow to the view when size doesn’t matter to you. Man, it’s great and it’s awesome to greet the rest of the world at your feet.

I tried a different disguise I resized to blend in with the mice. My turn to beware of a krush - I hid under a lid and I nearly got flushed. Someone sold me to a zoo. People pried and then I knew:

Ooooh - it’s easy to bow to the view when size is no issue to you. Man, it’s mean and it’s kreepy to meet the rest of the world at their feet.

I decided to avoid the eyes so I shrunk to the minimum size, blowing outside in the wind until a scientist invited me in. He was working for a heavenly kause, and when you’re small you’re a sucker for applause. Now I’m a tiny little Trojan horse: I’m the head of his bakterial force.

Ooooh - it’s easy to bow to the view when size doesn’t matter to you. Man, it’s great and it’s awesome to greet the rest of the world at your feet. Ooooh – will you ever get used to the view when size is an issue?

Last night I diskovered that I kould change to a different size. Just how I don‘t wanna reveal, but in your mind there’s a magikal wheel.

After The Fair

Written By: Sigurd Brörs

Running in a fairground, you don’t know what for. Wearing a pyjamas someone bigger wore. You have no idea why your palms are sore, and you didn’t see when the sun went down.

Look, a bearded lady (maybe she’s a man) speaking in a tongue you do not understand. Baby language backwards - or Italian? Suddenly she turns with an evil frown.

And you run. And you hide. And you wish you have ridden a final ride on the horse, everything was so much kooler then.

Hiding in the basement of a house you know. Head is saying no, but body has to go to the inner hallway where the bulb is blown. Open up the door and you see - your self.

And you run. And you hide. And you wish you have ridden a final ride on the shark. Everything was so much kooler then - no surprises when you ride a karousel.

Are you feeling lonely with this silence all around? Maybe you’re the only one who doesn’t hear a sound? Maybe you’re dead, maybe you’re dying.

Kouldvebeens

Written By: Sigurd Brörs

Kould’ve been a sailor if I had a sea. Kould’ve been a gardener if I had a tree. Kould’ve been a doktor if I had the guts. Kould’ve been a golfer if I had the puts.

Are my kould-have-beens far from kould-have-been-true?

Kould’ve been this, kould’ve been that, kould’ve been more like the dreams that you had. Kould’ve been good, kould’ve been bad, kould’ve been famous and kould’ve been fab.

I kould have been Paul McKartney if only I had started yesterday.

If I had a mission I might’ve been a priest. Politikal ambition - ease the Middle East! Kould’ve been a genius if I had the genes. Kould’ve been the future if I was seventeen.

Are my kould-have-beens far from kould-have-been-true? Are my kould-have-beens far from kould-have-been-you?

Kould’ve been this, kould’ve been that, kould’ve been more like the dreams of your dad. Kould’ve been good, kould’ve been bad, kould’ve been famous and kould’ve been fab.

Too many plans, fly in a fan, try to let go what is out of your hand. You kould’ve been A, you kould’ve been B, but kould-have-been people will never be free.

I kould have been Frank Sinatra if only I had figured out my way.

(Kould’ve been an asshole if I was full of shit. I’m glad I’m not an asshole, but I wish I was - a bit)

Discography

Why Don't You Love KaRL BaRX? - 4 track EP 2001

...And If We Don't Kome Up Again - 9 track CD 2002

THE SEKRET SONGS OF KaRL BaRX - 6 track EP 2004

The Boy & The Band & The Beatles - 3 track promo EP 2006

A Produkt Of Imagination - 11 track CD 2008

Plus: KaRL BaRX One Song A Month 2009. Monthly demos at www.karlbarx.com/onesongamonth.html

Set List

We can do sets up to 70 min, but usually they are 30-40 mins.

A maximum set can contain the following songs (alphabetically):
After The Fair
Cheesekake
Don’t Bother
Fan Of A Fan
Go See The Beatles
KaRL BaRX Part One
KaRL BaRX Part Two
Kouldvebeens
Life At A Different Size
Mute Seasons
Produkts Of Imagination
Problems Of Imagination
Song Of Self-Pity
This Is Norway
Time Is Money (I Don’t Wanna Pay)
Yeah Yeah Yeah