October 10, 2007

Sigur Ros: new DVD and midnight acoustic set

There’s something otherworldy, icy, and enchanting about Sigur Rós. This collective from Reykjavik, Iceland makes astoundingly rich atmospheric music that lopes and meanders, sounding like it belongs in a dream about floating on an iceberg or walking through a frozen black forest, shoes crunching in the snow underfoot.

They’re really hard to talk about in person for a number of reasons:
1) I’m still not completely sure if Rós is pronounced like the Friends character or the flower, despite being told numerous times by pals
2) my favorite album by them is called ( )
3) they have song titles like Njósnavélin, Með Blóðnasir, and Ágætis Byrjun.

So it’s better to type about them to hide my lack of mad Icelandic skills, plus that way you can give them a listen, even if you think that the description of them doesn’t sound exactly like something you would be into. Give ‘em a chance; I was blown away the first time I did.

Sigur Rós was in NYC this past weekend to screen their new live DVD/companion album Heima (out in November). The film traces the band on a two-week tour of their homeland through “ghost towns, outsider art shrines, national parks, small community halls and the absolute middle-of-nowhere-ness of the highland wilderness,” including the largest gig of their career –and in Icelandic history– at their triumphant homecoming Reykjavik show. Check the trailer:


Their tour page lists upcoming screening dates worldwide; at the New York one they played an acoustic midnight set at the Florence Gould Hall. They performed three songs over a gorgeous twenty minutes, including the new title track for the film.

Listening to studio material from Sigur Rós lets you hear the dense and magical production, but I also really enjoy letting my ears and my imagination experience their ability to spin stories in sound just as effectively in an acoustic setting.

Sigur Rós, midnight acoustic show
Oct 6, 2007 – Florence Gould Hall, NYC
Ágætis Byrjun


[thanks to nyctaper for recording. Photo from this Flickr photo set]

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  • The first and third links both point towards Njosnavelin. Show sounds wonderful though, thanks for letting me hear it.

    Ryan — October 10, 2007 @ 12:08 pm

  • I love Sigur Ros. And the ‘Ros’ is pronounced as a combinationf Ross and Rose. More like Rose without an ‘e’. I love their instrumentation, only if I understood what the lyrics meant. Bands like these prove that you don’t really have to be english speaking to be a success.

    neo — October 10, 2007 @ 12:14 pm

  • Please don’t give me credit for those flickr photos, I just posted a link on my site for them. I did not produce them, just the recording.

    nyctaper — October 10, 2007 @ 1:37 pm

  • WOW posting about Sigur Rós, but not about how “BRAD” is play 4 shows it the next 10 days in Seattle and New York.

    This is one shitty Pearl Jam blog.

    I bet if Vedder was playing you would have posted it.

    Rob — October 10, 2007 @ 1:57 pm

  • Named after a Pearl Jam song, not a Pearl Jam blog per se. Critical distinction. That being said, yes that is cool news, thanks for mentioning it.

    heather — October 10, 2007 @ 2:00 pm

  • Critical Ok

    Rob — October 10, 2007 @ 2:10 pm

  • been a fan of your a blog for awhile…are you in NY? I was at the Sigur Ros screening…amazing night.

    eric — October 10, 2007 @ 9:30 pm

  • The sound of them reminds me a lot of The Album Leaf. They also have this slow, mysterious, calming sound to them, like you kind of get lost in listening to them and realize you’ve been staring at the same spot at the corner of the coffee table for 10 minutes. I like music like that. You should check them out.

    Kristy — October 10, 2007 @ 11:22 pm

  • Great post. One of the most interesting bands on the planet. Ethereal music… the musical equivalent of their homeland.

    Been a fan of your blog for a longtime now, keep it up.

    This will help with the pronounciation Heather:



    Pete — October 11, 2007 @ 4:21 am

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Bio Pic Name: Heather Browne
Location: Colorado, originally by way of California
Giving context to the torrent since 2005.

"I love the relationship that anyone has with music: because there's something in us that is beyond the reach of words, something that eludes and defies our best attempts to spit it out. It's the best part of us, probably, the richest and strangest part..."
—Nick Hornby, Songbook
"Music has always been a matter of energy to me, a question of Fuel. Sentimental people call it Inspiration, but what they really mean is Fuel."
—Hunter S. Thompson

Mp3s are for sampling purposes, kinda like when they give you the cheese cube at Costco, knowing that you'll often go home with having bought the whole 7 lb. spiced Brie log. They are left up for a limited time. If you LIKE the music, go and support these artists, buy their schwag, go to their concerts, purchase their CDs/records and tell all your friends. Rock on.

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