Thursday, July 10, 2008

silver speakers that sparkle all day

It's heavenly to have my mobile listening studio operational once again. This morning I rediscovered Neko Case's Fox Confessor Brings the Flood, Ms Case's sweet and powerful voice filling all the corners of the urban assault vehicle as I inched along the Deerfoot. Yesterday, I howled blissfully along with Neutral Milk Hotel. It was glorious.
But I must confess that I have been spending a great deal of commuting time falling in love with Sigur Ros. I guess I was never in the right frame of mind when I heard their music before, as I dismissed it as durge-like. And perhaps some of it is, not that there is anything wrong with a good durge every now and then. But their brand new album, Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust, is exquisitely beautiful, a delicate balance of poppy melodies and sweeping ethereal pieces.

Jonsi Birgisson has an achingly lovely voice, for which I have completely fallen. I would like to see Jonsi, Stuart Murdoch, and Thom Yorke go head to head to head in a sing-off battle, to see who can be the first to make the angels weep. I'll bet it wouldn't take very long.

Speaking of Radiohead, the boys are now back home till the end of July, having finished their European tour in Berlin on Wednesday night, in fine Radiohead style - in the pouring rain. August 1, they will once again be on the same continent as one increasingly excited little Zombie, when they start off the second leg of the North American tour with Lollapalooza in Chicago. Of course they are probably way more excited about the Seattle show on August 20.

I am completely prepared for the trip to worship at the altar of the most important band in the world, having just booked the hotel and car last night. I now have an appreciation for the work that a travel agent does. Being an anal-retentive Libra, I spent more time and sweat than I care to admit, pouring over websites, reading hotel reviews, investigating neighbourhoods of Seattle, comparing prices among travel sites. Many props to you sweet souls who gave me valuable input on Seattle hotels. You are all mensches. I am pretty comfortable that the place I chose strikes a good balance between amenities/location and price.

You may recall that on the final day of the Sled Island Festival, the Dodos were just starting their set when we had to leave. I dragged my heels in order to hear them a little longer, as they were playing some pretty infectious music. A few days ago, I was sent a link to some concerts they put on at Amoeba Records in Hollywood, along with an interview they did there. Check it out if you are curious about the Dodos. I know I will be looking for some of their music.

I picked up my volunteer shirt for the Calgary Folk Festival the other evening. The neon buttercup yellowness of this year's edition should make it next to impossible for anybody to have any difficulties identifying a volunteer this year. Unless they mistake us all for Hare Krishnas or Buddhist monks or something, which is a distinct possibility. I'll let you know if I manage to recruit anybody.


mister anchovy said...

What makes a band important?

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Excellent question, Mister Anchovy, and one that could form the basis of a much longer treatise than this comment box allows.

In this case, I would say it would primarily be the influence they have had on music and bands that come after them.

mellowlee said...

I must check out Sigur Ros and give it another chance.

I would be excited too! Just remember 668 aka neighbor's hotel review *G*

Happy almost Friday! XO

Deb said...

You must be completely stoked about the upcoming show.

I feel that you could be dubbed the most important fan of the most important band in the world easily.

bloody awful poetry said...

You should blog about what makes a band important. Make it nice. And looong.

And you cannot begin to imagine how utterly mind-numbingly STOKED I am that you're loving Sigur Ros as much as you are!!
With all due respect to The Yorke, though, I personally find Jonssi's voice more capable of making angels weep first.

And yes, Mellowlee, plase do yourself a favour and listen to them. And then be good to mankind and pass the word (or the music) on.

bloody awful poetry said...

AND you added the band's link to your frickin' sidebar!!!!!!!

You,ma'am, are quite possibly my most successful effort in Sigur ros Conversion. Even if I didn't do anything I'm still taking the credit. So there.

Allison said...

Hahaha! I'm laughing out loud at the folk fest volunteer t-shirt remark. Please remember to take pictures. :)

I have to give this Sigur Ros album a proper listen. I have some of their older stuff, but not full versed in their latest. I must change this, it seems.

Glad you were able to book the hotel and car. Sometimes the planning of travel sucks the life right out of you, at least that's how I feel about Spain at the moment. But it will be worth it in the end!

Beth said...

Friends saw Sigur Ros at Bonnaroo and can't stop raving about the show. Added bonus: The band didn't hit the stage until something like 1 a.m. Wouldn't it be bliss to lie on the grass and listen to them all night long?

Sean Wraight said...

NOW that's a philosphical music question for you Barb... Just what does make a band important? I think one could write a small treatise on that recipe. You're certainly on the right track too.

Love your volunteer t-shirts, now you'll be all set to direct traffic and land small aircraft as well.

Lastly, I am glad to hear the music is back in your ears. I can honestly say I have never played Neutral Milk Hotel in my car. I might just have to now though.


Barbara Bruederlin said...

I certainly do remember her review, Mel, and took it under advisement, and it was confirmed by a resident Seattler, too!

You are sweet, Deb, but in reality I am a mere neophyte compared to the legions of absolutely batshit crazy Radiohead fans.

You must take the credit, BAP, since you deserve it. You were the one who directed me to the site where I could stream the new album which I won't even try to spell.
You make a good point re the angel weeping contest, as The Yorke can have a bitterness, a cutting snarl to his voice. He's not all sweetness and light, you know.

Travel planning is exciting for a while, I find, Al, when you first start planning and when you finalize the plans. All the other crap in between (ie the work) gets old really fast. I am sure your trip to Spain will be well worth the effort!
I will certainly take photos of my glorious yellowness come folk fest time.

That would actually be very much like heaven, I think, Beth. That's an even better setting for listening to Sigur Ros than the urban assault vehicle.

Sean, be very careful when playing Neutral Milk Hotel in the car! When you throw your head back to howl along with Jeff Mangum (as I do), you terrify the other drivers. Consider yourself forewarned.
If any of the musicians arrive at the folk fest in a small plane, I and thousands of other volunteeers shall certainly be ready to help them land safely. We've got the shirts.
Oh I don't even want to tell you the latest saga on the neverending cd player woes. I really don't.

Baron Von Justa said...

I don't know what I'd do without the portable music players we have. They allow music to easily move where ever we go.

I know what makes a band important; someone likes them. ;-)

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Someone likes them. Succinct and true, Baron von JustA.

I need a player implanted into my arm or something I think.