Archive for June, 2008

með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust

Beauty and grace are offered yet again from sigur ró. It bursts with joy and sorrow. It is loud and crashing, ear grabbing and heart clenching. The beauty being offered is from the fifth full-length entitled, “Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust.” Translated in English it means “with a buzz in our ears we play endlessly.”

The record begins playfully with a song entitled “gobbledigook.” The drums are contagious with it’s almost tribal feel and sets the tone for the record, which reminds me of a mix tape. It starts off with a bang, offers something new and then moves into what sigur ros does best, slow builds and bursts that make the heart ache. There is a video that was made for the opening track and can be found at their website . I love the commentary the video makes. It is free and open, using your body and the nakedness to offer hope rather than shame. I like that the body, though naked, doesn’t have to be engaged in crudeness or lurid sex but offers a new vision to how we use and treat the body. How it is offered to be free and open rather than shameful or full of fear…

The record continues with hope and moves to slow melodies become that are offered as a soundtrack to your life’s heartbreak and joy. sigur rós is one of the few bands that recognizes the delicate balance of both joy and sorrow and it is offered with the melodies and harmonies of instrumentation rather than lyrics. Some of the highlights from the record include a 90 piece boys choir for track, Ára bátur. There friends in Aminna (female orchestration) were also a part of this record. It was mixed and produced in under a month so it’s raw and imperfect and that gives it a feel that there could be more manipulation but this is where they are at. If I could only give myself that same kind of grace….

The true beauty of sigur rós is their ability to have the listener insert their own life into the journey. You have the ability to find and locate emotions or memories with their sonic landscape. It’s a rare find in this Icelandic band. If you haven’t had the opportunity to see their musical documentary, Heima please do. It’s a journey home after touring for years globally and remembering where they came from. They offered the community free performances around Iceland and documented the natural beauty and splendor of the people and places of Iceland. This new release was formed from these “Heima (home)” performances. The stripped down feel of those performances offered the ability to engage making music in new and creative ways.

sigur rós is a favorite. I hope you can make it a favorite of yours as well.

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Damien and Jeremy @Spaceland

Life has been a bit of a whirlwind and I have
felt the pull of the undertow
There are days to feel inspired
but those are hard to do when you feel stuck in dotting the i and crossing the t.

anywho….
There have been some new records heard
and some shows that engaged and wrestled with my heart.
Since that is what I like to write. I shall continue.
because there is no longer school work to worry
about getting in by the deadline.


Damien Jurado and Jeremy Enigk @ Spaceland 6.10.08

Days away from being done with my finals I had the chance to see some of my undergraduate favorites, Jeremy Enigk and Damien Jurado. Northwest friends both having voices that shake the core and lyrics that allow this to happen. I sat back and I saw myself when I was younger, a different school, and a different time. I had different memories when these men sang me their songs in my Ford Ranger truck or alone in a coffee shop trying to finish paper deadlines. This time was different. Those familiar voices engaged me with completely different faces and atmospheres. I saw Sunny Day Real Estate years ago at Calvin College right before they broke up. It was fantastic then. To see just Jeremy Enigk play felt like a dream. His voice got warmer as the night progressed which allowed him to sing songs that were so beautiful and haunting. In a way only his voice can be. stretching and tearing, soaring and crashing. His songs are poignant and beautiful. Interesting how I felt like I could hear so much that was not there because I felt his songs when I listened. They are complex and beautiful. It was a beautiful treat.

Damien is simple and slow. A true story teller with the ability to grab you and set you into a story with a scene set as like you were watching it dance in front of you. Often his songs are sad and haunting. They were beautiful and soft. Just a man with an acoustic guitar and a plan to engage life with new stories and new

The night was fantastic. Some good friends. Some $2 Pabst. Other than the dude in the white hoodie who had an opinion about everything and cared to share it with his brosef and anyone in a twenty foot radius of him the night went well. It was good to hear familiar songs in an unfamiliar time. It was like coming home again but knowing that where you have been has been just as important as where you want to go.