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Saturday, November 22, 2008

From the Dorks’ Soundtrack: The Hottest Thing in Iceland

Music from episode #42
Song: Við Spilum Endalaust
Album: Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust
Performed by: Sigur Rós

When you think of Iceland, what comes to mind. Probably ice... but I’m here to change that today. In 1994, Jón Þór (Jónsi) Birgisson (guitar and vocals), Georg Hólm (bass) and Ágúst Ævar Gunnarsson (drums) formed the group Sigur Rós, in Reykjavík, Iceland (whew, let me catch my breath). The band’s unique name comes from Jónsi’s little sisters name Sigurrós (meaning “Victory Rose”), who was born on the same day as the band’s formation. They got a record deal with Bad Taste Records and soon released their first album, Von, in 1997. The band gained a great deal of popularity throughout the snowy capital and throughout the country. But in 1999, with the release of Ágætis Byrjun (An Alright Start), the band claimed international attention. This album featured the unique playing style of Jónsi on guitar as he used a bow from a cello to create a fluid sound that gave their band their tone. Also the band became attributed with and recognized by Jónsi’s falsetto voice. In 2002, the band released their third album ( ). On this album, all the lyrics are sung in Vonleska, also known as Hopelandic, which is a constructed language that is very similar to the Icelandic language. In 2005, Sigur Rós released their fourth studio album, Takk…( "Thanks..."). With growing success, the band became more and more popular throughout the world and collaborated with bands such as Radiohead and their music is featured in several films and documentaries. In Summer 2008, before the release of their fifth studio album I was lucky enough to catch their only summer performance in the United States in Manchester, Tennessee – Bonnaroo. It was a late night show, not starting until 2 A.M. Sigur Rós immediately became a favorite due to their interesting sound and amazing live shows. Jónsi Birgisson, is an amazing musician as well as the marching band that sometimes would accompany him on stage. It was a truly life changing show. A month or so after this show, Sigur Rós came out with their fifth studio album, Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust ("With a Buzz in Our Ears We Play Endlessly"). This album proves that Sigur Rós is a band that is redefining music and creating their own genre. Sigur Rós is an example to how valuable international music is. Not just Icelandic but music from all over the world. The song premiered in episode #42 is from Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust and is entitled “Við Spilum Endalaust.” It is a great example of Sigur Rós style and if you can’t understand the lyrics it’s ok, it’s in Icelandic. So enjoy the Icelandic sensation that is sweeping the nation, Sigur Rós.Picture #1 - Sigur Rós live in Reykjavík
Picture #2 - Sigur Rós live at Bonnaroo 2008
Picture #3 - Sigur Rós behind a rock!

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