Sunday, February 17, 2008

And no, I'm not getting paid to do this.

Since we agreed, originally, to branch out into freaky music and movies as well as books, I thought I might as well get the ball rolling a bit, eh? Also I'm really excited to get you Freakybloggers into this band, which is why I'm taking the luxury of posting twice this month, instead of once, which is what I usually do for the sake of politeness.
I have already raved about these guys on my other blog ,so you might wanna check that post out first for more info on the band. Basically Sigur ros are an Icelandic quartet, a bunch of four skinny white dudes with impossible sounding names who one day decided that they would much prefer to hole up in a studio and make strange, wonderful sounds together rather than go to school, which is what they should have been doing.


They recorded their first album way back in the mid to late nineties, making a deal with the studio owners to paint the outside of the building in exchange for permission to use the equipment. For their second album, the members of Sigur ros glued and put together the CD casings on their own, resulting in most of the CDs being useless because of glue deposits on them.
But what makes them freaky, you ask?
They're freaky in a good way. The lead singer's voice is so high-pitched, ethereal and spine-tingling , that you would be graciously forgiven for thinking the voice came from a woman's throat, or the throat of someting that wasn't even human. They sing in a language that doesn't exist. Even their own countrypeople don't understand them, most of the time. According to keyboardist Kjartan Sveinsson, the lyrics aren't important to them. They aren't interested in tagging each of their songs with a message or a story. They would, in fact, much prefer the listener to interpret and understand and "feel" the sounds in whatever way they feel.
And what a sound that is. In various reviews, the music of Sigur ros has been described as everything from "irrelevantly pretentious" to "the sound of God weeping tears of gold from heaven" .
They have been tagged with almost every musical genre imaginable ;post-rock, progressive rock, avantgarde, new-age, world music; when in reality the sheer size and scope and depth of their sound defies any attempt to categorize them. They are an acquired taste, like blue cheese or raisins (for me, anyway).
I raved about them constantly to one of my friends and whined about how difficult it was to find their stuff. But Annmarie came through spectacularly, and dropped by at my crib with a copy of Sigur ros' 2005 release, Takk...
I now take this opportunity to thank Annmarie, very publicly, on Blogger.

Takk is easily the band's most musically accessible record. Most of the songs remain under 10 minutes long (which is unusual for Sigur ros, but we don't mind) and have a definite structure. They tend to start out slow and soft and tinkly before exploding in a magnificent wall of sound that is predictable but still wondrous. Despite their huge, ethereal, apocalyptic soundscape, the songs aren't about God and Heaven and Hell and Judgement or angels and monsters, but simply about walking in the rain, or admiring the sunrise, or jumping in puddles, or holding hands with someone special, or smelling grass.
At some point, words fail to describe or do justice, when it comes to this band. In the same way that they defy being pigeonholed into a specific genre, they also defy the limitations of language to fully grasp what they have done to music as we know it.



Glosoli (from the album Takk.., also probably my favourite music video of all time).


Hoppipolla


Sigur ros live in Philadelphia (you gotta watch this, I'm telling you)



The trailer for their new (gorgeous) tour film, Heima.


Buy their albums here.
Stream their stuff here.
Download (free and legal, don't worry.) mp3s here.
Visit their official site.
Check out their MySpace.
Read other (better) reviews here.
Have a look at their Youtube channel.

The official site of their new tour film, Heima.

I think I've pretty much covered everything. Please please please do give them a try, in the spirit of Freakishness! And let me know what you think, regardless of whether you like them or not.

(International Mastermind also recommends!)




edit :International Mastermind, who is something like our Boss here (except that we don't get paid) is adamant that I add more freaky details about Sigur ros. But I'm a wee bit lazy to do that. Soo...if you are interested in learning more freakish trivia on this wonderful wonderful band please head on over to my humble blog and stuff yourselves with all manner of weird and wonderful gifts, talents, behavioural problems and disabilities that make this band true Freaks in their own freakish right! And if you still aren't even a little bit interested in trying their music out, well then I really cannot help you there.

6 comments:

International Mastermind said...

GO SIGUR ROS!

Awesome post, (especially with Hoppipolla! Wahoo!) but you forgot the freakish details! remember?

Fish-catching, Half-blindedness, and cello bows?

Bloody Awful Poetry said...

Oh yeeeah!
THOSE!
I thought the people could just follow the link and read it on my blog.But since you asked =P

International Mastermind said...

i am not your boss, i am your all-mighty 'Blog Administrator'.

happy wednes day!

Bloody Awful Poetry said...

Oooooooooooh Blog Administrator..that sounds waaaay more authoritative.
Happy Thursday!
And dude? Where is everybody else? Hellooooo?

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