Tag Archives: sigur ros

Sigur Ros new song Brennistein

I had the luxury of seeing the Sigur Ros tour last summer when they played a magnificent set on the lake shore just outside of downtown Toronto (see picture above).  With the skyline as their backdrop they played through almost two full hours of absolutely gorgeous music.  If you like even one song from the band I highly recommend that you get out and see their current tour.  You will not be disappointed.

Speaking of their ongoing world tour – the band from Iceland is doing it in support of an upcoming all new album that will be released on June 17th.  They’ve posted their first single from the album and it sounds like it’s going to be another epic album.

mp3 : Sigur Ros – Brennisteinn

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Sigur Ros upcoming album Valtari

On May 28th of this year one of my all time favorite bands will release their long awaited studio album.  After basically dissolving, following their brilliant Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust (amazon) (itunes) in 2008, it seems the Iceland boys have finally come back together.  Over on their website they are currently playing a song from the album which I assume is the second track from Valtari.  If the rest of the album is anything like this song we can all look forward to another sparse, atmospheric, and quietly brilliant album from Sigur Ros.

mp3 : Sigur Ros – Ekki Mukk

On their website Georg had this to say about the upcoming album “i really can’t remember why we started this record, i no longer know what we were trying to do back then. i do know session after session went pear-shaped, we lost focus and almost gave up…did give up for a while. but then something happened and form started to emerge, and now i can honestly say that it’s the only sigur rós record i have listened to for pleasure in my own house after we’ve finished it.”

Preorder the album on Amazon here.

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Wedding Music vol 07 : Reception

Another day and another glimpse into my insanely controlled wedding music playlist.  I don’t mean to brag, but I did just receive compliments on my wedding playlist this past weekend.  It’s always good to know that random people appreciate good music as well.  All of these songs were played as background music during the cocktails and dinner.

mp3 : Louis Armstrong – Sittin In The Sun
mp3 : Gary Jules – Mad World (Tears for Fears Cover)
mp3 : Johnny Cash – Hurt
mp3 : Sigur Ros – Inni mer syngur vitleysingur

Yes, I do still listen to this mix.  And yes, you can see all of the wedding music I’ve posted so far by clicking right here.

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Wedding Music vol 02 : Ceremony

This is volume 02 of the Wedding Music series.  As stated before much of this list was an exercise in compromise between my wife and I.  Ultimately I was very happy with the music we came up with (and that might be because she gave me complete free reign for background music at the reception.  Stay tuned for those posts).

If you’d like to see all of my Wedding Music click here to see this entire series.

Below are the tracks that we used during the actual ceremony.  At one point in time we were going to have a live string quartet play songs during the wedding, but we couldn’t find proper sheet music for the songs we wanted and it became too much of a hassle to have a quartet learn all of this music by ear.  We did have a piano player play a song live during the ceremony, but I don’t have a recording of that.

mp3 : Pride and Prejudice – The Secret Life of Daydreams
mp3 : Pride and Prejudice – Dawn
mp3 : Vitamin String Quartet – Yellow (Coldplay Cover)
mp3 : Vitamin String Quartet – Hoppipolla (Sigur Ros Cover)
mp3 : Coldplay – Lovers In Japan (Osaka Sun Mix)

Lovers in Japan is the track that we used to exit from the church where we were married.  The Vitamin String Quartet songs are from an ever rotating, ever evolving, ever amazing group on the west coast that continues to provide excellent string quartet interpretations of influential modern music.  They claim on their website that they will be offering sheet music in the future, but at the time of our wedding the best we could find was audio tracks (fortunately the church had a great sound system and decent acoustics).

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BOTR vol 15

It’s a good day for BOTR (Best of the Remix).  Why not.  If you’d like to check out past volumes just click here.

mp3 : Calvin Harris – I’m Not Alone (Tom Molloy Remix)
I received an advance copy of Calvin Harris’ debut album awhile back and I didn’t really like anything on it.  This beat heavy remix goes a long way to salvaging my mental image of him.

mp3 : Chris Brown Annie Designer Drugs – Kiss Anthonio (White Panda Remix)
I’m not sure what to call these remixes by White Panda.  They come from the website mochibeats.com and I’m not sure how White Panda becomes involved, but who cares because they’re sick mashups.

mp3 : Crystal Castles – Vietnam (LightsoverLA Remix)
At one point in my life I was fortunate to spend two months wandering the beaches of Thailand.  Remixes like this take me back to nights by the ocean watching fire dancers.  Pure class.

mp3 : Drake & Coldplay – The Fly Scientist ft. Page & Silver Medallion (“October’s Very Cold” Chi Duly Remix)
As I’ve said before in other BOTR volumes I’m a sucker for hip hop vocals laid over the top of a modern pop song.  There is something captivating about spitting venom over a gorgeous Coldplay backdrop.

mp3 : Fatboy Slim vs Outkast – Praise Outkast (White Panda Remix)
I will never grow tired of hip hop and pop (or any other modern musical genre) mixed together in an inventive and seamless way.  Never.

mp3 : Felix Cartal – Skeleton (BbopNRokstedy Remix)
I’m not sure how I feel about this remix.  I am sure that BbopNRokstedy is a great name.

mp3 : Fol Chen – In Ruins (Bath Remix)
I”ve never listend to Fol Chen and if I can recall correctly I’ve never listened to any other remix by Bath.  This combination, however, has me interested enough to do some searching.

mp3 : Lady Gaga – Bad Romance (The Kids are Radioactive Remix)
I’m not sure where I stand on the entire Lady Gaga situation.  I can’t tell if she’s a flash in the pan diva or if she’ll end up being the next version of Madonna.  I’m sure I don’t really care though.

mp3 : Lady Gaga vs Sigur Ros – Just Dance (CJ Milli Remix)
Judging by this remix/mashup if Lady Gaga teamed up with Sigur Ros for her next album it could be absolute genius.

mp3 : Phoenix – 1901 (BbobNRokstedy Remix)
Just when you thought Phoenix fever from last summer was finally gone the cleverly named BbopNRokstedy throw down a loop heavy remix that keeps it fresh.

mp3 : Smashing Pumpkins – 1979 (Spin.Kidd Remix)
Smashing Pumpkins, at one point in time, were my favorite band.  Then they broke up, then Billy Corgan went weird, then they sorta kinda formed another band under the same name.  Regardless 1979 remains one of their greatest songs and this remix does a good job of destroying it.

mp3 : Snoop Dogg and Kid CuDi – That Tree (Vim Cortez Remix)
This is Snoop Dogg and CuDi if their song That Tree existed in the middle of the upcoming Daft Punk scored soundtrack to Tron Legacy.

mp3 : Snoop Dogg – That Tree (Star Guitar Remix)
I cannot get over the opening thirty seconds of this remix.  I simply cannot force my brain to move beyond the dirty bass line that permeates this track.  If you only listen to one remix from this BOTR this should be your choice.

Keep listening to good music.

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Jonsi new album Go

Jonsi Birgisson is most well known for his work as the front man for the Icelandic group Sigur Ros.  On their albums he usually sings in Icelandic or a made up language he coined Hopelandic.  On the rare occasion he switches over to English but those tracks are few and far between.  This is not the case on Jonsi’s debut solo album.  Each track is packed with energy and the album only contains one track not sung in English.  What it boils down to is this album feels like Jonsi has recorded everything he wanted to sing that didn’t quite fit in with his Sigur Ros compatriots.  (And note, this album is head and shoulders above the Jonsi and Alex album from last year).

mp3 : Jonsi – Go Do
mp3 : Jonsi – Boy Lilikoi

Overall this album tends to be more joyous and more pop oriented that Jonsi’s previous efforts with Sigur Ros.  Where his band leans toward atmospheric sparse soundscapes filled with melancholic emotions his solo effort veers toward territory that is undeniably happy.  Melodies are playful and many tracks drive about with the abandon of children of play.  It is undoubtedly a solid solo effort and it proves that Jonsi is a huge part of the Sigur Ros talent pool.  The album, entitled Go (amazon) (itunes), will be released on April 5th.

And because I’m a huge fan of Jonsi’s music I thought I would throw out this cover he performed on BBC 1 during an interview.

mp3 : Jonsi – Time to Pretend (MGMT)

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Vitamin String Quartet cover Sigur Ros

Strange things happen when you’re a music blogger with a passionate stance on what constitutes “good music” and you’re seeking to reconcile those views with what is “wedding appropriate.”  You’ll find yourself watching endless youtube clips and scouring the web for anything that remotely meshes your personal taste with something passable in a formal setting.  Believe me, this is no easy task.

In my intrepid wanderings I stumbled upon a collaborative effort that goes by the name of Vitamin String Quartet.  Chances are you’ve heard of them, but for me it was a new revelation and I’ve been enjoying listening to their compositional renditions of more contemporary artists (check out their wikipedia page for a “partial” discography which is quite ridiculous in the amount of artists they’ve covered).

mp3 : Vitamin String Quartet – Hoppipolla (Sigur Ros Cover)

I love the beautiful simplicity of this track and the string arrangement is divine.  Now if only they sold their sheet music I would be set.  And for those that are wondering the rest of their canon, available largely from either amazon or itunes, is solid as well.

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We Are Scientists cover Sigur Ros

I havent’ had a chance to really fall in love with We Are Scientists but this cover they did just might work at changing my mind {and heart}.  According to my sources this track hails back a long ways, but seeing as how I just discovered it this week I thought the least I could do was throw it up for everyone to enjoy.  It’s not quite as, well, impressive as the original, but it just might be the best cover of a Sigur Ros song to date.  Actually, and this is a direct challenge, has anyone actually heard any other band cover Sigur Ros?  Ever?

mp3 : We Are Scientists – Hoppipolla (Sigur Ros Cover)

It’s a simple acoustic rendition of an amazing song.  And while it never quite reaches the heights of a true Sigur Ros masterpiece it’s nice to hear a band really give it a go.

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The Best Albums of 2008

If for some reason I thought it was hard last year to decide the top ten albums then this year has been a nightmare compared to that walk in the park.  Quite honestly this year has produced a veritable slew of brilliant albums.  From up and coming acts to bands on their forth or fifth album 2008 has seen some incredible music released.  Here is my personal list of the top ten albums of this past year.  If you’re still looking for a gift for someone special I suggest snagging few of these albums and stuffing their stockings with the best of what came this year.

All the tracks in one zip file : here {zshare = left click}

01 : Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust (amazon) (itunes)

I’ve long been a supporter of all things that Sigur Ros has done.  From the first time I heard their music when I was in university there has been something special about these boys from Iceland.  This year they released their most easily accessible album to date and they’ve literally stolen the show.  There are a great many artists who have put their best foot forward this year, but although many came close, none of them quite live up to this masterpiece.

mp3 : Sigur Ros – Gobbledigook
mp3 : Sigur Ros – Inní mér syngur vitleysingur
mp3 : Sigur Ros – Fljótavík

02 : Frightened Rabbit – The Midnight Organ Fight (amazon) (itunes)

This album is a perfect combination of melancholy and clever lyrics.  The music sets the mood perfectly on this trip through lost love and a true feeling of being sad.  Although a bit of a downer emotionally it never strays too far into the realm of depression to leave you wallowing in your own self pity.  If this is what Frightened Rabbit will sound like in the future you can be sure to see them appear on best of lists for years to come.

mp3 : Frightened Rabbit – The Modern Leper
mp3 : Frightened Rabbit – Fast Blood
mp3 : Frightened Rabbit – Poke

03 : Cloud Cult – Feel Good Ghosts (Tea-Partying Through Tornadoes) (amazon) (itunes)

Last year Cloud Cult topped my list for the best album of the year.  To think that less than one year later they went out and made an album that is literally better than their last is simply mind numbing.  What other band puts out this high quality an effort in back to back years?  Literally no other band is producing at such consistently high a level.  If there was one band on this years list that everyone should immediately start listening to I would recommend Cloud Cult.

mp3 : Cloud Cult – Journey of the Featherless
mp3 : Cloud Cult – The Ghost Inside Our House
mp3 : Cloud Cult – Love You All

04 : Coldplay – Viva la Vida (amazon) (itunes)

I’ve been a fan of Coldplay since the first awkward steps Chris Martin made to the microphone and it’s been a delight to watch them move from behind the U2 and Radiohead curtain out into their own worldwide acclaim.  And rightly so I might add.  Viva La Vida found this foursome out of England reaching a new height and a cohesion of sound that was only alluded to on their previous albums.  It’s great to hear a band really starting to use their full potential.

mp3 : Coldplay – Lost!
mp3 : Coldplay – Death And All His Friends

05 : Greg Laswell – Three Flights from Alto Nido (amazon) (itunes)

Greg Laswell has a streak of brilliance not often found in the overflowing singer/songwriter set.  He has a mind for clever arrangements built upon relatively simple, but elegant, melodies and in this regard he reminds me a bit of Sufjan Stevens {they definitely have very different musical tastes, but their gift for arrangements is the parallel I see here}.  Regardless of who or what this album reminds you of one thing is certain; this is the best Greg Laswell has done and it’s easily one of the best albums of the year.

mp3 : Greg Laswell – Comes And Goes (In Waves)
mp3 : Greg Laswell – I’d Be Lying

06 : The Dodos – Visiter (amazon) (itunes)

When you pare down a musical group until it contains a simple guitar and a simple drum kit you either get garage based disaster or you find that within a minimalistic setting true brilliance shines through.  In the case of this duo it’s easy to hear the talent that lies behind this album.  From track to track Visiter flips through well written stories with a sense of quiet urgency that never leaves your mind, and yet never becomes a frustrating distraction.  There is a fragile and perfect balance to be heard.

mp3 : The Dodos – Fools
mp3 : The Dodos – Ashley

07 : Mates of State – Re-Arrange Us (amazon) (itunes)

This year the top ten seems to be filled with established acts who just now are releasing their best album to date.  This is the case of Mates of State.  Their previous albums have largely been forgettable with a few random acts of brilliance sprinkled throughout.  This album, on the contrary, is solid from start to finish and it’s refreshing to see an older act pull their formidable talent together and focus it on a full album.

mp3 : Mates of State – The Re-Arranger
mp3 : Mates of State – Blue and Gold Print

08 : MGMT – Oracular Spectacular (amazon) (itunes)

MGMT found a way to make space rock and classic rock throwback into an insanely enjoyable acid trip of mashed up tracks.  There’s no simple or easy way to quantify this album as it caterwauls from proggy futuristic beat heavy pop to songs that remind me of a mythical pairing of The Beatles and Led Zeppelin.  Whatever words you find to describe this album I’m sure they’ll be of a positive nature.

mp3 : MGMT – Weekend Wars

09 : TV On The Radio – Dear Science (amazon) (itunes)

Their previous effort, Return to Cookie Mountain, began to hint that this eclectic gathering of talented musicians just might be onto something.  With Dear Science the boys that make up TV On The Radio proudly display their particular brand of music.  I’m willing to put money on the idea that twenty years from now this album will be listed as one of the most influential albums of this decade.

mp3 : TV On The Radio – Lover’s Day

10 : Snow Patrol – A Hundred Million Suns (itunes) (amazon)

Somehow Snow Patrol’s latest album found a way to sneak into the top ten.  This is probably largely due to the fact that the final sixteen minute mega-track is insanely well constructed I kept listening to this album over and over again.  Snow Patrol has found a way to consistently make solid albums.  They might not be as attention grabbing or as trendy as their counterparts but the find a way to impress with each album they release.

mp3 : Snow Patrol – If There’s A Rocket Tie Me To It

All the tracks in one zip file : here {zshare = left click}

And that’s it.  That’s the top ten albums of 2008 in my humble and rather correct opinion.  I’m sure you’ll find a way to disagree with me {even going so far as to claim you’ll delete me from your feed reader}, but in the end you’ll see the wisdom of my discretion.  Granted there are two other bands that I really wanted to include on this list, The Walkmen and Nada Surf, and for their effort they easily deserve an honorable mention.  Amongst the letdowns of the year were the fact that both Sufjan Stevens and The Postal Service failed to make good on rumours that new albums would drop this year, Weezer put out a really great half of an album and then mucked it up with three or four tracks that are just terrible, and Death Cab, Ben Folds, The Killers, and Phantom Planet put out decent albums but not really the quality that deserves a spot on the top ten.

Until next year so long.  I’ll keep posting as long as you all continue to listen to good music.  If you’d like to see my 2007 list you can click here.

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Sigur Ros

On occasion I allow my personal life to bleed over and contaminate the lovely and witty pages of TWF.  It doesn’t happen all that often, but I do feel as the sole author, writer, and creative personality behind this blog that I can afford myself the luxury to pretty much say whatever the heck I want.  As some of you may remember, and as a scant few of you worried, I talked about landing a job in the wonderful city of Shanghai and possibly moving there soon.  Let me simply say that the amount of ma fan {trouble in Chinese} involved in this process reminds me a lot of movie Waterworld; I’m struggling to find a piece of land to put my feet on.

For a long time I’ve found comfort and peace in the songs of the Icelandic band Sigur Ros.  If you’ve been reading, or just listening, here on TWF for any amount of time at all I do hope that you’ve found yourself enjoying their music as well.  During the past month I’ve really been loving the sounds of their latest album, Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust (amazon) (itunes), and I’ve come to appreciate the track Ára bátur more and more throughout successive listening.

mp3 : Sigur Ros – Ára bátur

What makes this track even more impressive, and what proved to be the deciding factor in me posting it here today, was what I recently read about this track.  Ára bátur was recorded in a live format, in one take, with over 90 musicians on the track {including the London Sinfonietta and the London Oratory Boy’s Choir}.  This song encompasses the magic of Sigur Ros and has worked to calm my mind and heart as I attempt to stumble my way into a job decision.  I hope it helps you as well.

If you’re interested in listening to the entire album, which I quite strongly recommend, Sigur Ros has graciously made this possible by following this link.

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