Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Gratulere med dagen din, Elskede!

Le litt!

Thursday, August 04, 2005

a show for grown-ups

I was mid in a log this afternoon, when we had a total blackout. Now I feel like all the following will be repeating what I already said. *sigh*

First, an introduction. For those of us who don't know who or what Sigur Ros are/is, they are a band of musicians, four men, from Iceland. The music is a bit tricky to classify - probably a good ting.

Let's start with the basics.

They have a singer, who who generally sing in Icelandic at the top pitch of his range in a slighty 'vocalese' style. He wears a guitar, low-slung, and occasionally sings into its pick-ups for the effect. There's a keyboardist. The rhythm is slow, but the drummer often plays very fast.
(I feel like I'm doing charades or something here)

There are a lot of effects used, like warbling eerie organ notes and then a bit of thrashing but slow guitar riffing, then back to a guitar that sounds like a jew's harp. (gee, I'm floudering. no offense to the fans...)

Overall, the effect is like rock, but lullabies. Its sort of ambient metal. I don't know what it is, but its good. Hey, at least i TRIED to describe it.

OK - now, they usually play on stage with another band, called Amina, which is comprised of 4 Icelandic women. At the gig last night, Amina joined the main concert about halfway through, as a string section. They also played the pre-Sigur Ros warm-up, but weren't all strings for that.

The wierd thing was, it was a rock-type audience at the Melbourne Arts Centre. White as. So, we all gathered around the padded glossy interior, looking like the types of people who aren't used to being in well-lit places at night. Although I think there was a fair contingent of Icelanders there who were just attending to be patriotic.

When Amina began playing, from where I sat up in the stalls, everybody was quiet was attentive. They were dressed in long dresses with what looked like box-pleats. Very feminine, very hus-fru. On stage, they had a big table with a floor length table-cloth. It was easy to imagine them in the depths of the northern winter in a cosy kitchen with a reindeer stewing on the stovetop, all gathered around a table, tinkling away with their instuments, no doubt with a child or two around them.

Then, a terrible thing happened. The gap between the seriousness of the venue, the art of the music, and the dishevelledness of the crowd got to me. I got the giggles. I nudged Børge, and he got the joke (yes, we are the in-joke type of couple).
(whispering) "Do you want to try crowd surfing?" (pffffff! tee hee hee!)
"I feel like I'm in church!"
"I reckon you're the only person here without a blog" (pffffff! snigger snigger!)
"Did they remember to pre-heat the oven?" (Ga! tee hee snigger snigger!)

But of course we still appreciated the music. At the interval before Sigur Ros, the grown-ups behind us SHOOSHED us! Just because they have long attention spans. Or something.

Sigur Ros were good. The music was magic. However, they seemed a bit navel-gazing last night, and I expect it was because they had a purely Sigur Ros audience.
The light show was creative, very beautiful. Water-like effects, like light playing on water, and the play set to bright music, with the depths of the water echoed in the music's sobriety and smoothness. I sat there and thought about the significance of light to an Icelander. I wondered if they thought about the significance of darkness to an Australian audience?
The baby doll with its eyes poked out was disturbing and I would have preferred, a war scene perhaps? What added to my experience is that I was well back from the stage, whereas the previous time I was at the very front - this can make a big difference with some bands.
I wish there were more bands that could do what they do so well.