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. Photo in upper-left is Hallandale Beach's iconic beachball-colored Water Tower on State Road A1A, September 2008; March 2018 photo below of North Beach, looking left-to-right, looking north, HYDE Condominium, Etaru Japanese Robatayaki restaurant, and Hollywood Beach in the distance, with umbrellas. All photos by me, © Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

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...


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#HollywoodFL based photographer/entrepreneur Esther Chuang

#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 now-closed 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 atop Mount Corcovado way out in the horizon on the top of another mountain, to the left of her head. To the right is the world famous beach of Ipanema and to the left is the equally famous beach of Copacabana. In case you forgot what the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio looks like, up close, plus the Amazon area of Brazil that Esther grew up near in Manaus, here's another Brazilian beauty to connect-the-dots for you: Gisele Bündchen, aka @Gisele.

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

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A floresta Amazônica tem um papel fundamental no equilíbrio do clima na Terra e, portanto, na vida de cada um de nós. Nos últimos anos a proteção diminuiu e o desmatamento aumentou drasticamente. E o que já era ruim, pode ficar ainda pior. Se as medidas que o governo vem tomando não forem vetadas, nosso futuro estará ameaçado. Diga NÃO à diminuição da proteção da Floresta do Jamanxim! Diga NÃO à exploração de minério no coração da floresta! #TodosPelaAmazônia #342Amazonia #TodosPelaAmazonia Assine a petição: link na bio. ������✨���� The Amazon Rainforest plays a key role in balancing the climate on the Earth and therefore in each of our lives. In recent years, protection has decreased and deforestation has increased sharply. And what was already bad can get even worse. If the measures that the government has been taking are not vetoed, our future will be threatened. Say NO to the reduction of the Jamanxim Forest´s protection! Say NO to ore mining in the heart of the Forest! #togetherfortheAmazon

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