Archive for Sigur Ros

Elevator Music: Two New Songs

Posted in Stupid Bands, Track Review with tags , , , , , , on July 7, 2009 by peteymenz

Today, I legally downloaded the first single, Boy 1904, from Sigur Ròs frontman Jónsi Birgisson’s side project with his lover Alex Somers, listened to it, and found the absolute nadir of ambient music.  

It’s easy to see why people like Sigur Ròs; it’s absurdly beautiful music that’s also essentially meaningless.  The lyrics are sung in a nonsense language made up by Birgisson, meaning uptight parents don’t have to worry about the band spreading any messages dealing with Satan, vegetarianism, or gay lifestyles, no one has to worry about getting the words wrong (it’s all phonetic anyway), and no one has to bother looking for any artistic message whatsoever.  The good thing is that this it’s pure pleasure music, and thus pretty listenable.  Boy 1904 is listenable too.  But what makes it so much worse than Sigur Ròs is that it’s pretty much the same thing they always do; anthemic melody stretched out and slowed down, but never to mind-boggling lengths.  The Ramones had more complexity than this.  There are no layers to this music; repeated listening doesn’t reveal anything at all.  

What strikes me most about it is how it’s even more meaningless than the usual stuff from the group; it features a recording of the last castrato singer, which doesn’t add anything to the song (Jónsi sounds like his balls were cut off anyway), the title doesn’t even pretend to be something in Icelandic, and worst of all, it’s treated to sound like some old record.  The song wants the air of something antiquated and epic, but it just rings false.  The album, Riceboy Sleeps should be more of the same.

Right after that song finished, my iTunes library switched to “If I Ever Feel Better” by Phoenix, which has pretty fluffy lyrics and might be just as meaningless.  But it’s infinitely better than Boy 1904, simply because it has a beat.  

 

AIR has a new song out too, from their upcoming album Love 2; like Boy 1904, it follows the same pattern, but it’s a hell of a lot more successful, simply because AIR is more fun to listen to than Sigur Ròs.  Do The Love even indulges in B-movie synths and the cheesiest vocoding effects these Frenchmen have used yet.  It’s an immensely enjoyable and lightweight track.  

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Highlights of the Year So Far

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 26, 2008 by peteymenz

 

No, he didnt make a new album.  But hes Lou fucking Reed.Lou Reed (Duh).

Seeing as we are nearly two-thirds through 2008, I thought it apt to publish a few of the musical highlights so far.  Read on:

 

  • Sigur Rós frontman Jónsi Birgisson sang a song in English (!?!?) on their latest album, “Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust”, proving himself to be the most strikingly incoherent singer since Darby Crash, though considerably more melodic.
  • The Mars Volta took enough hits of acid to believe that a Ouija board was both possessed AND worthy of a seventy-five minute album.
  • Nurse With Wound combined smooth jazz and light classical, two supposedly relaxing musical forms, into a record, Huffin’ Rag Blues, that made you want to kill yourself. Not because of any avant-garde neo-dada tape experiments, just because it was so incomprehensibly bad.  
  • Lou Reed released a concert film, “Lou Reed’s Berlin”, possibly starting down the path that will lead to “Metal Machine Musical” opening on Broadway.  
  • Suicide released a SIX-CD set of live performances from 1977-78.  Who said they’d never make it? 
  • Girl Talk sampled Twisted Sister (We’re Not Gonna Take It), Jimi Hendrix (Purple Haze), Aphex Twin (Girl/Boy Song), the Cure (In Between Days), and nearly everyone not sampled on Night Ripper to create one of the most cohesive albums of the year.  Well, I liked it.
  • Throbbing Gristle planned to release their new record, a cover of Nico’s Desertshore.  They didn’t, but if Nico’s voice is deep and hypnotic, Genesis P-Orridge’s could be likened to HAL on downers.
  • The Magnetic Fields released a pretty good homage to the Jesus & Mary Chain.  They titled it “Distortion”, proving themselves for the third time in a row to have the most unimaginative titles since Jackson Pollock.
  • Coldplay’s new look proved once and for all Sgt. Pepper was the worst thing for fashion since corsets. 
  • ZE Records celebrated their 20th anniversary, kind of strange seeing as the label actually dissolved for a while in the eighties and nineties.  But who doesn’t like parties?
  • Teenage Jesus & the Jerks reunited to give me tinnitus for three days after the concert.  
  • Madonna refused to accept she was getting old, and chose to attempt to look younger by dressing as a cheap whore on the cover of her new record.  The music wasn’t so hot either.
  • Flight of the Conchords released their debut record, which was funny, but more so if you’d ever seen the show.  Or just searched them on YouTube.