Tag Archives: Nørrebro

intimkoncert 14 juni: anna valgreen @ RETRO Nørrebro

RETRO Nørrebro is happy to be hosting Danish singer-songwriter Anna Valgreen for her debut this Friday as a solo artist. A soulful vocalist and prolific songwriter, Anna is excited to bring her individual talent to the singer-songwriter scene in Copenhagen, and we are excited to showcase her!

“I have around 520 songs on my computer just from over the last three or so years,” she said. “ I’ve been writing songs for so long, I figured I had to do something about it.”


Valgreen, 25, comes from a music-oriented family and started singing in a band when she attended music school as a teenager. She then moved from her hometown of Fredericia to Århus, where she and her friends started an electro band.

“It was weird! It’s not something I would do today, but it was definitely what felt right at the time.”

Today, Anna’s folk/rock sound has come into its own. Her work is raw, vulnerable, and always spontaneous. Rather than spending hours in the studio perfecting individual tracks, she prefers to play on a whim, record everything, and upload what she likes to YouTube. Her songwriting approach is often varied; half of the time she writes lyrics before the melody, the other half of the time she writes the melody before the lyrics. While the latter allows her to take the song in whichever emotional direction feels right at the time, Anna acknowledged that she often returns to one theme.

“I can write in both a very good mood and a very bad mood, but most of the time [the lyrics] turn depressive,” she said. “I never start writing intending to spend a lot of time on a certain subject, it just happens.”

“For example, ‘My House’ is very personal,” Anna continued, when asked if she had a song that she was particularly proud of. “I didn’t write anything before it, just started recording. It’s about my childhood, and about how you never really move on. But I don’t know if it’s really about my [physical] house… it’s just about the place I used to be-mentally, and physically.”

As far as her musical muses, Anna listens to Nick Cave, Cat Power, Juliana Hatfield, The Lemonheads, Sparklehorse, Diane Izzo, Johanne Robertson, and Elliot Smith for inspiration. Although, given the tools of self-made musicians today, you may be able to find Anna among the ranks of these artists soon.

“Right now I’m just on SoundCloud and on YouTube, but my next step is Spotify, and then, to eventually record an LP,” she said.

Although Anna enjoys writing and performing in Danish, the majority of her repertoire is in English. So, my fellow Americans- see you there.

Anna’s show starts at 20:30 tomorrow night (Friday) at Jægerborggade 14, 2200. And just a reminder- the profits from all that beer you buy will go straight towards the RETRO Association’s projects in Sierra Leone, including KONO, Dreamtown, and REACT. Start your Friday night off the right way!

vi ses i morgen aften (fordi nu kan jeg tale lidt dansk, wuuuuhuuu)!



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first impressions, spring in copenhagen, family time

If I had both the money and energy to apportion to one creative project while living here, I would place twenty cameras in strategic places throughout my regular bike commute in Copenhagen and program them to take video footage over a year. Then, I’d be able to craft an epic time-lapse masterpiece that would capture the essence of the city as it changes with the seasons.

It’s the only way to show the incredible contrast between winter and spring. I feel like I’ve suddenly been transported somewhere else. Suddenly, all the doors are open, people are actually making use of outdoor seating, people are smiling and switching to their spring jackets, and, finally, leaving the house doesn’t feel like a punishment. What a difference ten degrees makes! There are people biking in swarms. I had no idea this many people lived in Copenhagen. Achiamar is terrified.

On a more personal note, the change in weather meant the city had more of a reason to make use of me (about freakin’ time). This week I was introduced to two new positions I’ll be taking on as classes wrap up: one in a cafe in Norrebro and the other in a new craft beer place opening up on Thursday. I met around twenty incredibly awesome people this week, and the only thing I regret about it is that I didn’t meet them earlier.

RETRO Norrebro is a young cafe on Jaegersborggade, which I discovered when working at Manfreds & Vin on the same street. It’s a brilliant and refreshingly organized non-profit cafe/bar whose proceeds are sent directly to fund three humanitarian projects in Sierra Leone. The RETRO association focuses on engaging creative individuals in order to promote charity, and have successfully created an uber-cozy environment that comes with an added karmic bonus. Performances are hosted twice a month, foreigners can come practice their Danish on Tuesdays, people who are cold (so, everybody) can come to knitting circle nights, and there are several social mixers for the 200+ volunteers that make it all happen.

But probably the best part of this deal is that it all really works. After leaving my last volunteer barista position for utter lack of organization (as in, the ‘profit’ part of the ‘non-profit’ never happened) it’s exciting to be a part of something with a deserved reputation for doing good. I’m going to be joining the music coordination team, seeking out singer/songwriters and booking them to play on Friday nights at the cafe. Bonus: I have the opportunity to get some actual interviews done in the process and get some new content for this site!! But even if not, I’m excited to become familiar with a small section of Copenhagen’s undiscovered to up-and-coming music scene.

And the second: Søernes Ølbar is a brand-spanking-new beer bar right on the lakes in Osterbro. This one has twenty taps (convenient because I know my numbers in Danish to just about that point), plenty of space, done in neutrals and brick, and complete with outdoor seating and a view of the ducks.

But the best thing about this new gig is the staff dynamic. There is absolutely NO replacing my UCD Hickey Pool coworkers, but this is the first time I’ve met a bunch that came even close to the bar that has been set so high. The combination of old and new bar staff is a truly stimulating and OUTGOING (!) handful of twenty or so individuals who were hand-selected based largely on personality. Everyone is excited about the new bar and, for the first time, I’ve seriously considered extending my stay here to continue to be a part of it.

SO: it’s a beautiful time to visit Copenhagen, and if you happen to be dropping by in the next week, here are two things to check out:

  1. Søernes Ølbar is opening on Thursday 4/11 at 5:00pm. FREE BEER until 7. Check them out on FacebookSortedam Dossering 83, 2100 Kbh Ø
  2. Singer-songwriter Anja Ahm is performing on Friday 4/12 at 8:00pm @ Cafe Retro, Jægersborggade 14, Copenhagen 2200 N

Until then. Achiamar has landed in Copenhagen! Three Lee girls in the apartment means triple volume, triple trouble, triple helpings of food, and triple laziness. Achiamar is also an amazing photographer, so you can look forward to seeing some more aesthetically pleasing things on here in the next week or so!

tak for at læse,


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