Jens Lekman Live, at the Green Building in Gowanus, singing A Sweet Summer’s Night as part of the encore. The show had great energy. People were actually dancing, people! The new music is promising. The song about stalking Kirsten Dunst and the socioeconomic realities of potato-chip factory workers in his hometown of Gothenburg, Waiting for Kirsten, is fantastic. He needs to come out here more. If only for the Flatbush Avenue Target. He offered to sing individual requests, in your ear, afterwards. I took him up on it, and asked him to sing Your Arms Around Me and sign my sketchbook. He did both and was very lovely about it. I apologize for the poor quality of the recording. I did it with the Voice Memo App on my iPhone.
This makes me happy.
Also, He played The End of the World is Bigger than Love, which is a great song, and free to download and share (below!) He explained why he had been away from New York so long (heartbreak was involved.) In July, He had shared with Secretly Canadian the longer version of the anecdote he told on stage:
“It was the day before the american election 2008 and I was filled with a hopelessness that only a McCain supporter could have shared with me at the time. I was in Washington DC to perform for swedish TV, sitting in the couch with a profesional smile on my face, joking with the hosts and discussing the lobster with the TV chef. I saw the clips online sometime ago, it’s amazing what an actor I can be if I really make an effort.
I lived in America back then, up in New York. At the time I felt like everything I touched was turning to shit and I had decided to put everything on one card. Subconsciously I knew I needed to hit the bottom so I could work my way up again. I needed confirmation, I needed someone to tell me it wasn’t going to work out, not this way. Yes, there was a girl involved in this. I was very much in love with her.
Some things you just go through. You don’t write about it, you don’t turn it into art because it can’t be turned into art. I didn’t write any songs that year because you can’t pour manure into an espresso machine and expect a cappucino to come out. When they announced the results and the streets filled up with people celebrating I felt happy to be part of something bigger than myself. It was a feeling that lasted me until the very last days of December 2008 when I finally sat down in my old teenage room at my parents house and I wrote this song. Then the year ended.
It’s a song of hope. When love turns it’s back on you it’s nice to know there’s a world out there that doesn’t give a shit about your problems. That forces you to keep your head held high and move on. A world that is fragile and beautiful. Maybe it can sound cold to some of you, but let me make it clear that I believe in love, I just get so wrapped up in it sometimes that I need to put it into proportion. It’s something you have to do a lot when you’re Jens Lekman.”
He is as charming, quirky and witty and adept at storytelling as he is at songwriting. His music is as precious and special as he comes across.
Now I will try to shut up about him.