Monday, June 1, 2009

more of today's complete and definitive tour of the contemporary popular music of Iceland

Hjaltalín kicks all kinds of ass. Even people walking into my office have expressed their enjoyment of it. They usually just stare and wait for me to turn down whatever unlistenable din I am playing, so they can talk about something else besides how much they enjoy the music.

Retro Stefson - Montaña
(listen) Upon first listen, I think Retro Stefson might be Icelandic for Modest Mouse, minus the personality quirks that make Modest Mouse unappealing to me, plus a jaunty wide musical spectrum. Or lessee... maybe if Arcade Fire was commissioned to staff a Sonic Drive-Thru in North Dakota and work being roller-skating waitstaff into their grand vision and convince the townfolk that this is a good idea. Like a hipster Footloose, cautiously deconstructed as to not have an obvious hero. What I'm really saying is that beating at the heart of this cute artsy outfit is good time rock 'n' roll, beating loudly enough to be heard through all those jackets and smart sweaters Icelanders undoubtably wear.

Worm is Green - Push Play (their website) It's a little too electro pop smooth for me, but I do like this bit in "The Pop Catastrophe" that perhaps characatures the musicians one imagines lolling around Revkjavik, leaaning their vintage keyboards against every lamppost
Listen to the synthesizer
Its attached to his waist
Speakers in his chest
His heart plays a song (repeat)
He's a pop catsatrophe
From a strange factory
He's created to succeed
You'll be sedated by the beat
But something went wrong
His moods write the songs...
Leaves - We Are Shadows (listen) Leaves make breathless anthem rock band born from U2's discovery true multi-tracking in the late 80's, orchestra swells crashing around becalmed voices. Having just recently watched a season of Friday Night Lights on DVD, Leaves woudl fit in nicely there.

Mugison - Mugiboogie (listen) Not enough people know about Iceland's other cracked genius Mugison. Wild, muscular, madman of the one-man-band exploded, like if Dan Deacon was less RAH RAH RAH all the time or J.G. Thriwell was after a T. Rex kinda thing. With a little Prince and Dr. John thrown in there as well, in the case of "The Animal."

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