Hallandale Beach Blog -A common sense public policy overview offering a critical perspective on the current events, politics, govt., public policy, sports scene and pop culture of the U.S., South Florida and Europe, especially the UK and Sweden. In particular, Broward & Miami-Dade County, and the cities of Hallandale Beach, Hollywood & Aventura. Trust me when I tell you, this part of Florida is NOT the Land of Lincoln. Pictured in upper-left is Hallandale Beach's iconic beachball-colored Water Tower on State Road A1A; September 2008 photo by me, South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Music to their ears, but as whose expense? Even as new tools emerge to help music lovers find under-the-radar tunes and musical talent, veteran rock guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen laments that the rise of digital music, which should've led to an era of higher-quality, better distribution and more financially-stable musicians, has instead, led mostly to the rise of record piracy that affects the livelihood of professional musicians/songwriters who DON'T have a team of corporate professionals at their beck and call; He's right of course!; @mashable, Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!

But somehow, despite all that is known about its power to sift and find that hidden thing which you seek, the article above never mentions the power of Google Alerts, something I swear by and testify to. Just saying...

Music's long-tail idea not working out exactly as planned, is it?

I last wrote about rock guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen in my April 30, 2011 blog post titled, If the blog is rockin', don't come knockin' - Yngwie Malmsteen: Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (HQ); original version by ABBA (LIVE at Wembley Arena, 1979)
http://hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/2011/04/if-blog-is-rockin-dont-come-knockin.html of which this remake of ABBA's Gime Gimme! Gimme! is but one of many videos there.

2Shaymcn videoYngwie Malmsteen: Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (ABBA) HQ 
If the blog is rockin', don't come knockin'...


Friday, September 27, 2013

Avicii vs. Timoteij remix of "Wake Me Up" & "Kom" = "Kom Me Up," done by Mr. Sjökexet, is amazing! Trending and then some at Hallandale Beach Blog! Completely crazy as an idea, but brilliant and dynamite as reality with Aloe Blacc's amazing voice; #Aviciioncapital, @Timoteij, @ceciliakallin, @bodilbergstrom, @elinathorsell, @johannatimoteij

MrSjokexet YouTube Channel video: Avicii Vs Timoteij - Kom me up (Sjökexetmix) 
Uploaded September 19, 2013. http://youtu.be/VFhABtdzAiI
Melodies (melodiernas)? Oh, yes! In spades!

Sounds completely crazy as an idea, this mixing of Country House and schlager, but brilliant and dynamite as a reality, as heard on Sveriges Radio's P3 Stockholm last Thursday. 

Three different people in Sweden I'd never heard from before, separately emailed me this link and their comments since last week, which is very odd to say the least.
One person I can see, maybe even two, but three different people writing me about the same thing that I hadn't already heard about?
Now THAT'S unusual.

And then, of course, adorable Cecilia Kallin, long one of our personal favorites here at the blog, the lead singer and guitarist of Timoteij referenced it on her very popular
Webstagram feed last Friday just minutes after the song aired.

To me, she seemed, in general, like everyone else -astonished that such a creative Mashup even was contemplated and created, as much as pleased by the wonderful reaction it was receiving, since it definitely  caused a buzz throughout Sweden in certain circles.
All to the good I think as far as creativity goes!

In any case, as crazy and unlikely as it sounds, I think I may've actually first heard about this song -via email- before one of the most well-informed and well-connected people in the world of music in Scandinavia and schlager, Karl Batterbee at Scandipop,

He was smart enough to write about it right away, while I've just been sitting on it, trying to think of a good and logical hook for the readers who come to the blog who would might have no idea who or what I was talking about. 
But then maybe I'm over-thinking it, since that never stopped me before.

Here's the original version of both songs, in case you forget what's been changed... 

AviciiOfficialVEVO video: Wake Me Up (Official Video) by Avicii. Uploaded July 29, 2013. http://youtu.be/IcrbM1l_BoI

Wescertine YouTube Channel video:Timoteij - Kom (Melodifestivalen 2010).  
Uploaded February 27, 2010. http://youtu.be/ASRry6HQ54w

In case you've forgotten the context, the first time you see Timoteij in the Mashup video at the top of today's post, it's the happy moments three years ago when Cecilia Kallin, Elina Thorsell, Bodil Bergström and Johanna Pettersson were waiting anxiously at their tables for the results to be read, and their absolute delight when their name was publicly announced, telling them and the world that they'd advanced to the Finals of the 2010 Melodifestivalen in Stockholm with "Kom," 

Rolling Stone
How Avicii Helped Aloe Blacc Wake Up and Break Out 
Vocalist on smash 'Wake Me Up' chats about his inspirational team-up with the Swedish DJ-producer   
By Patrick Doyle 
August 28, 2013 10:00 AM ET

If someone in the world can figure out the formula, timing or complementary rhyming scheme to marry the melodies that can make a successful Mashup of Avicci and First Aid Kit, trust me, it will be like Alchemy 2.0, as heads will be exploding all over a few cities and countries I can think of, many of them originating from Country Calling Code 46.

Aftonbladet TV video: Avicii: ”Aldrig meningen att jag skulle göra country” Svenska stjärn-dj:n i intervju om sin nya genre. (Avicii never sensed he'd do Country. Steller Swedish DJ Tim Bergling interviewed about getting into a new genre, Country House.)


Via my newsdesk subscription I received an interesting press release on Thursday from Universal Music Sweden. 
Well, the long story short, plus what I know and can share with you, is that 24-year old Swedish DJ Tim "Avicii" Bergling has written music history, becoming the first Swedish artist to ever hold the top three spots on the Swedish singles charts, something that neither ABBA or Roxette ever managed to accomplish, though I think it's a bit unfair to compare the pre-digital era with the current one, due to the much-easier system of logistics and distribution that exist now.
All three songs are from his new album, "True, " which is currently number five on the U.S. albums chart.

Those three songs of his that are taking Gold, Silver and Bronze right now in Sweden are:
1.  "Hey Brother"
2.  "Wake Me Up"
3.  "You Make Me"

2013-09-26 05:35 EDT



Avicii Launches Brand New Mix Show On Capital FM - Audio Capital's newest presenter Avicii has launched his brand new 'Levels' mix show.

I last wrote about Cecilia Kallin in my May 9, 2013 blog post titled, "Smiling Cecilia Kallin! :) Sweet! Nobody but nobody can smile as often when she speaks and with as much appeal as talented and vivacious lead singer and guitarist Cecilia Kallin of Timoteij. She's such a charmer!; #Timoteij, #CeciliaKallin, #BodilBergström, #PontusTidemand, #gopontus"

The band has been posting much more frequently at their individual Instagram accounts than the official blog at their website, since that generates more immediate reaction, but they are going to try to start posting at the blog more often, so they say... 

Plus, there's...

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Irresistible Veronica Maggio delivers two new infectious songs for us to linger over and become addicted to, just when we needed her talent and moxie the most - 'Sergels Torg' and 'Dallas'; Veronica and Stockholm NEVER disappoint!; Jag älskar Sergels Torg!; @veronicamaggio, #stockholm, #sweden, #sergelstorg

UniversalMusicSweden YouTube Channel video:Veronica Maggio - Sergels Torg (Lyric Video). Uploaded August 21, 2013. http://youtu.be/kSdqLlyqZX8

In Veronica's own words from this recent Sveriges Radio interview, it's "a love song about having struggled in vain.

'Nuff said!
We knew it wouldn't be the same as her last album, 'Satan i Gatan' -and it's not.

Sveriges Radio
"Du har hittat mitt mest utmärkande mönster
torsdag 12 september kl 12:25 Nyheter P4 Radio Stockholm


Sure, we've got that covered :)! :)!

Veronica Maggio LIVE on Radio1 Norway - Sergels Torg (acoustic) Uploaded September 11, 2013. http://youtu.be/Siol4nbT6pw

Some comments about the new songs at SVT's music blog: 

Sergels Torg, released less than a month ago is already at #12 on the Swedish singles chart, Sverigetopplistan, the official Swedish music chart, http://www.sverigetopplistan.se/

EriicTheKing YouTube Channel video: Veronica Maggio - Dallas. Uploaded September 5, 2013. http://youtu.be/Zqzl_udVSkM
Still trying to figure out completely what I think of this song.

COPENHAGEN BETA YouTube Channel video: Veronica Maggio - Dallas (Talk)  
(In Swedish, with Danish subtitles) Uploaded August 27, 2013. 

Long story, sort-of-short: In late May, right before the Memorial Day holiday weekend here in the U.S., and just over four months after I got back from my trip to Stockholm, despite having a Google Alert for her, I hadn't seen anything in ages regarding super-talented Swedish singer Veronica Maggio, whom I've written about a few times here, complete with her crazy-infectious tunes.

So, I decided I'd spend a little time one weekend at the usual online haunts trying to find out what's the latest with Veronica -whom Google often refers to (unintentionally funny to me) at some websites where its instant translation immediately pops up without you asking it to, as "The Veronicas"- I penned an email to a friend in Sweden with real 'connections' to the Swedish music industry, basically asking ¿Qué Pasa? 
What's going on with her? Was she sick or seriously ill or have some family crisis?

I asked because all of her various personal Social Media sites as well as the Swedish media sites that could usually be counted upon to note any movement or scintilla of news or activity about her seemed unusually quiet. 

Too quiet.

In the case of her Social Media, it was as if nobody was even bothering to keep them properly maintained, like a lot of dead blogs I could name.
That made me only more curious and even a little bit worried about this curious low-profile for one of Sweden's most talented and popular performers.

If you didn't know from my previous posts, Veronica is a three-time Swedish Grammy winner, and was Sweden's most-played radio artist in 2012, with three of the nine most-played songs according to STIM, the Swedish royalty collecting society that is sort of like the Swedish cousin to ASCAP in the United States.

I certainly heard more of Veronica on the radio than any other Swedish artist when I was in Stockholm in mid-January and walking around with my earbuds underneath my Dolphins cap, checking my ears every so often to make sure they weren't getting too cold, since it was never over 20 °F the whole time I was there, and usually in the single digits.

But I heard her even before I left Arlanda Airport and caught my very comfortable ride via the Flygbussarna airport bus into the city, 40-something miles south on the E4 roadway that had its road lights on full blast at Noon because it was still snowing, though relatively light in comparison with just a few days before.

These very reasonably-priced buses are frequent, frequent and frequent, to and from the airport to Stockholm, even late at night as I discovered on my way back late Friday night on my last night in the city, which was spent walking around from the Royal Palace in Gamla Stan up to the skating rink at Kungsträdgården, over to Nordiska Kompaniet for an hour and then down to the bus station at Central Station to get an early start on being ready for my Saturday morning flight, which is why I crashed at the airport. 

*Warning: Arlanda's International Terminals have ZERO carpeting, so while you can use your down jacket as a pillow under your head, the rest of your body is in big trouble with the hard floors. 
Also, there's NO real comfortable seats like you can find at BWI or O'Hare, just lots of blocky and hard plastic-like couches that seemed less inviting than a splintered wooden bus bench, quite frankly, which is why once I got onboard my return SAS flight, tired and sore, I tilted back and slept until we got near Iceland.

ACENDigital YouTube Channel video: Flygbussarna (Swedish Airport Coaches), "50 cars or 1 bus". Uploaded April 29, 2009. http://youtu.be/k5o6oFQwLKA

Veronica's degree of popularity was proven rather conclusively in this article last winter in Aftonbladet, under the category of Mest spelat i radio 2012: 3 of the 9 most popular songs! #3 was Välkommen in, #8 was Satan i Gatan, and #9 was Jag kommar.

In considering why Veronica might be keeping a low profile, even while recording new material, I also thought about what I knew and had learned over several months about the tragic death last year of her 58-year old friend, the acclaimed producer and sound engineer, Tom Hofwanderand how that might've affected her plans. 
He perished as a result of accidentally falling out of their tour bus in Copenhagen late at night, after they'd finished touring in Denmark in mid-August, and were on their way home to Sweden for their last four dates.
From all public accounts, it seems that while everyone else on the bus was fast asleep, he may've accidentally come into contact with a door release button -located at knee-height- in the back, since a back door opened and...
Really, what can you say?


Veronica Maggios ljudtekniker hedrades av svenska artisteliten. Nu slår polisen fast: Dödsfallet var en olycka
By Martin Gustafsson

A week later, a photo-filled article on the heartfelt performance by Veronica and several artist friends honoring him thru their grief: 
Här hyllas Tom Hofwander

But the few articles I could find about her often made no reference to that very upsetting incident, either, so what could it be? 

In retrospect, of course, I shouldn't have bothered wondering, because whatever it was, now Veronica has released two new singles from her fourth album, the follow-up to Satan i Gatan
and already, fans and critics are raving about them, especially Sergels Torg

But Sergels Torg is not only a great song, but also a great place that is very important to all of the people of Stockholm, and what an amazing place it is.

Below, some more of my January 2013 photos at Sergels Torg, Stockholm, Sweden. All original photos below by South Beach Hoosier.  © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Only one of my favorite places in all of Sweden and anywhere, and somewhere where I literally spent HOURS standing and walking around it and the adjoining areas in January's cold, marveling at it all.

I went inside for an hour or so and gave myself the self-guided tour, and saw the awesome and impressive Kulturhuset arts, retail and civic complex and saw the public library, the theatres, the cozy and chic and alternately swank restaurants, all of which is organized and planned in a stylish way that would cause anyone from South Florida, who is used to the sort of mediocre design and half-assed results we see all around us, to have their jaw drop.

Plus the very impressive Stockholm on the Move exhibit! 
2016 Update: That site was replaced by http://www.fargfabriken.se/en/

That featured a room with a scale-model display of the entire city of Stockholm and environs and what it might look like in the future, which made me thinks of the diorama located at Gettysburg.
That's when all those hours of walking around for days I did really came in handy, since I feel like I now know Stockholm much better than I do Fort Lauderdale right now, which is both odd and comforting. As I've said before, I felt very much at home there.

Sergels Torg is the sort of public space writ large of the sort where, when you are there for the first time, at least me with MY particular personality, and living in an area of the U.S. like I do in South Florida with none of the energy and synergy it has, unlike when I was in D.C., made me wish that my friends and family could be there so they could be wowed by it, too.
Here's some perspective:

Oskar Sigvardsson YouTube Channel video: Robyn - Show Me Love (LIVE, Sergels Torg, Stockholm, 2010) Uploaded March 11, 2010. http://youtu.be/T3IdGD9SLwk

Bounce Sweden YouTube Channel video: [OFFICIAL] Michael Jackson Dance Tribute - STOCKHOLM. Uploaded July 9, 2009. http://youtu.be/lVJVRywgmYM
At Sergels Torg and Stureplan.

Martin Larsson YouTube Channel video: Stockholm in motion. Uploaded January 8, 2013. http://youtu.be/oV_NEayqfvs
This is a terrific video of Stockholm, and not just because I was at all of the popular locations shown here -but two- within one week of this being video uploaded. The only difference was that there was a LOT MORE ice and snow on the ground when I was there! The photo shown here in the vid is of the fountain at Sergels Torg (Sergel's Square in English), festooned with light-covered Christmas trees and reindeers, with the SEB building in the background, looking slightly northwest from the Kulturhuset, also one of my favorite places! I took a lot of photos right around there because there's so much energy there that it's positively infectious. Sergels Torg comes at 1:38.

Some older songs of Veronica's that we love -and frequently sing and hum to ourselves- and have featured before here on the blog:

BBL.se youTube Channel video: Veronica Maggio - Jag kommer (LIVE on SVT's 'Allsång på Skansen' in Stockholm). Uploaded July 16, 2011. http://youtu.be/3LuMvh8nr00

SwedishStereo2 YouTube Channel video: Veronica Maggio - Välkommen in (LIVE on SVT's 'Allsång på Skansen' in Stockholm). Uploaded July 12, 2011.

allnicktaken YouTube Channel video Veronica Maggio - Snälla Bli Min (with Benny Andersson on piano) on SVT's "Moraeus med mera," aired September 18, 2011. http://youtu.be/sWOHGCKPRfU 

UniversalMusicSweden YouTube Channel video: Veronica Maggio - Mitt Hjärta Blöder. Uploaded February 15, 2012. http://youtu.be/kJafqgvwKMs

UniversalMusicSweden YouTube Channel video: Veronica Maggio - Måndagsbarn. Uploaded March 3, 2008. http://youtu.be/NtJxy0zc7nU

re @veronicamaggio  
Veronica doesn't actually use Twitter herself, but lots of people do in talking about her. 
See what they're saying at: 


Some of the videos on her official Facebook page will not play for readers in the U.S. since they have not yet been officially released yet by the Universal Music Group, which is why I have them above for you to listen to, notably, Dallas.





For those of you with an interest in her Social Media scores...


Sunday, September 22, 2013

'They think they are terrorists' -Gripping CCTV mobile phone video captures harrowing initial moments of stunned store customers as screams and gunshots ring out at Westgate Mall as team of al-Shabaab terrorists methodically take over Nairobi shopping mall, killing 68, injuring 175 and taking 30 hostage; #Kenya, #Westgate

CCTV Africa mobile phone video shows the initial confusion and shock as shoppers at Nairobi's Westgate Mall tried to decide what to do as they heard more and more gunshots that only got louder and closer to them. http://youtu.be/Zi7Kkot67oA
See this video and analysis of video at Sky News website:

Related article: 

The Daily Mail
Shouts, screams... and then a sprint for their lives: Raw video footage shows full terror of moment Muslim terrorists struck at Nairobi mall
CCTV Africa reporter filmed clip at Westgate shopping centre in Nairobi
Video shows people running or cowering behind shelves and boxes
Man heard saying on his mobile phone: 'They think they are terrorists'
PUBLISHED: 14:31 EST, 22 September 2013 
UPDATED: 14:39 EST, 22 September 2013

In my opinion, this video was the definitive TV news segment on what happened Saturday morning.

As of 6:30 tonight EDT Sunday, the Kenya Red Cross has is still reporting that 58 people were killed and 175 have been injured, confirming reports early this morning from Reuters. As of this afternoon, the second floor of the five-storey Westgate Mall was thought to be the only floor that has not been secured by Kenyan Army Special Forces or Kenyan Police, who are now both above and below the 15 terrorists and what officials believe are approximately 30 hostages. Electricity to the ground floor has been cut-off but there are still fears that more terrorists are holed-up in the large Nakumatt supermarket. 

British, American and Israeli according to reports. Three Britons already known dead, many feared held hostage.

Reminder: Nairobi is 7 hours ahead of Miami and Eastern Daylight Time in the U.S. & Canada. 

Watch Sky News LIVE thru the day for regular updates on the harrowing situation in Nairobi at 

BBC is streaming reports with lots of details on the standoff here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-24193284

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Even The Drudge Report is now sleeping on weekends! Today's deadly al-Shabab terrorist attack at #WestgateMall in Nairobi is more proof, as if needed, that on Saturdays, in the year 2013, just like the past 15, the U.S. News Media has left the building and only the JV team is manning HQ -and that includes Fox News, which should've been airing Sky News' coverage but didn't. Heaven forbid something bad or important actually happens on a Saturday and we need to know the actual details

Channel Four News video: Kenya attack: Al Shabaab claims responsibility
Story at: http://www.channel4.com/news/kenya-nairobi-mall-shooting-gunmen-killed-shopping

Latest harrowing ITV video athttp://www.itv.com/news/story/2013-09-21/gunmen-open-fire-in-kenya-mall-nairobi/


Sky News hasn't updated this tweet in over seven hours even as more and more people have died in the terrorist attack. 
NOT impressive.

Keep up with tweets at: https://twitter.com/search?q=%23WestgateMall&src=hash&f=realtime

Toll has gone from 20 dead to 25 to 30 within a few hours.
Sky News is still sticking with 22 dead.

Witnesses say people were executed on scene.
Terrorists yelled out beforehand, "Muslims get out, we are here to rescue you."

Similarities to Mumbai attack already being made.

I've been watching and listening to SkyNews LIVE for hours at:
So should you.

Disappointingly, but in keeping what I and many other have seen and commented on privately, even The Drudge Report has had nothing about this incident many, many hours after-the-fact.

That only adds fuel to the, first, speculation, and now, common belief, among myself and people I know throughout the country in the media that despite the record numbers of readers going to that website, the people who are actually physically manning the Drudge Report on weekends, whoever they are, are NOT doing as good a job as readers were used to, and came to expect on weekends years ago.
Boring stories stay up far too long -sometimes 3-4 days- and stories that ought to be up stay unposted after even lamestream media has them.
What the hell is going on? 

As I've detailed here on the blog more than a few times before, contemporaneously, largely as a result of MSNBC and CNN continually sleeping on the job while breaking news was happening around the world overnight -while I was awake and listening to the BBC or Sveriges Radio or watching the morning TV shows on SVT and TV4 in Sweden- Fox News Channel is what I usually turn to first when some Breaking News happens, but today they are TOTALLY f-ing missing the boat.

Watching them today is painful, like watching portfolio videotapes of some once-cute girl doing Community College TV newscasts in Oklahoma, circa 1987.
Why, why, why???

You have a family relationship with Sky News -you are the younger, dumber and more shallow brother in case you forgot- and yet Fox News is refusing to use any of those amazing resources, including video of the situation and reporters in the area.
What are you waiting for, an invitation?

We have a huge country where real news is happening all the time and yet Fox News is doing another story with three guests about funding Obamacare? Really???
Can you you please stop kicking Obama and contemplating your navel and your ass for just a couple of hours?
It's embarrassing for me as a regular Fox News viewer to see this disregard for viewers intelligence and be served up this swill.

And at 2 pm, as I just flipped the TV back to Fox from a college football game, they give us a tan John Boehner, the soon to be ex-Speaker of the House because of what a horrendous job he's been doing the past two years.
(It's a reflection of how much everyone within the House GOP either hates or dislikes Eric Cantor that he can't push over a push-over like Boehner that is barely coherent at times.)
Is everyone in New York today inside a TV studio sleeping?

Also, I've wanted to say this for quite a few days and since i haven't seen anyone else say it anywhere -that I've seen- let me be clear.
IF hundreds of people were missing from New York City's Upper West Side after a flood there, you better believe the national news coverage would've been a lot more intense, professional and lengthy than what we saw in Colorado this past week, which many NY and DC-based news organizations treated like another bus in India or Bangladesh that went off the side of a mountain and killed all aboard.
Colorado, they still consider you "flyover country," even if they come visit you to go skiing.

Oh well, hurricane season isn't over yet here in South Florida! 
And we all know how the people in New York at the TV networks root for us to get hit hard by one so they can fly in and do stories where they can 'act' like brave journalists facing the elements!
Just saying...

#HOLLYWOODFL based photographer and entrepreneur Esther Chuang with Hollywood Mayor-elect Josh Levy

Thumbs up! What a night! #HOLLYWOODFL based photographer and entrepreneur Esther Chuang with a very elated Hollywood Mayor-elect Josh Levy at his Victory Party, held at Leo Anato's Atelier3/AT3 on Harrison Street & S. 19th Avenue, Hollywood. AT3's great environment and the amazing variety of food prepared by chef Kevin Dreifuss, former owner/chef of ENDS MEAT restaurant, was SUPERB! November 8, 2016

Esther Chuang, Morro Dois Irmãos, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2015

Above, perhaps my most-favorite photo ever of Esther, which is really saying something considering the THOUSANDS that I've actually seen of her, from all over the world. But despite the fact that you can't actually see it here, trust me, her amazing smile and inner and external beauty are there. This photo is an even more amazing achievement when you know the backstory of what it took for Esther to get to the top of the mountain, since it's NOT for the faint of heart. Next time you see her, ask her about that! Morro Dois Irmãos, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on her birthday, July 10, 2015. That's the Christ The Redeemer statue way out in the horizon on the top of another mountain, to the left of her head. �� In case you forgot what the Christ the Redeemer statue looks like, up close, here's another Brazilian beauty to connect-the-dots for you: Gisele Bündchen, aka @Gisele.

Abençoado por Deus e bonito por natureza!✨ ������

A post shared by Gisele Bündchen (@gisele) on

View of Rio De Janeiro from my room.

A post shared by Bebe Rexha (@beberexha) on