Monday, December 20, 2010

Music Monday: Sigur Rós

I've had a bit of coffee: hope this doesn't end up too stream-of consciousness for you.

[Sigur Rós:]

Do y'all remember that one time that Kanye West said "I am the voice of this generation"?

Anyway when he said that my friend who listens to a lot of music like me asked me for my opinion and I agreed with him that if there is a "voice of our generation" that it isn't Kanye. My friend was of the opinion that it's actually Radiohead. He said that Radiohead encapsulates how we feel about the world almost perfectly. Now I am more of a sound guy than a lyrics guy--I think he was talking about both but I mostly think about the mood and feeling that the sound evokes, and he is right to a certain extent. We see everything as dark and mangled and changed forever. The future is here but the future is a parody or a distortion of what the previous generations thought it would be.

For me Radiohead does represent our outlook pretty well, but I told my friend "I think you are close but not 100% there". "I think it is Sigur Rós". When I first told him that it was partially a joke because I just love the way they sound and it was kind of me playing off what he said because Radiohead are kind of the people who "discovered" Sigur Rós or at least are responsible for a lot of their popularity. But anyway after I said it I thought about it harder and harder as time went on and I think I was right.

I mean think about what I am saying here. "I think that the voice of our generation sounds like a cross between a baby whale and a eunuch and sings in a made-up gibberish language half the time." I mean my friend laughed when I said it and he had good reason. But I am serious.

Maybe it is the optimist in me speaking out but I think that it is our desires rather than our current outlook that define our "voice". And that is why I feel like Sigur Rós is a better choice than Radiohead. Radiohead hits the nail on the head concerning our cynical outlook, but Sigur Rós captures perfectly what we desire and how we wish things would be. We want things to be simple and beautiful and light. We are sick of heavy stuff and we want to go back to simpler times without cellphones and radiation and chemicals and gas shortages and wars and hatred. I have mentioned this blog post from Pitchfork Reviews Reviews to like 80 people and they are probably sick of it but I am going to mention it here since I haven't mentioned it here yet. We want to return to the womb.

[Or the next best thing, the ocean:]

[No more wars?]

There are lots of different versions of what heaven is like, but I feel like for us heaven sounds like Sigur Rós more than it sounds like anything else.

[PS Jonsi plays guitar with a violin bow]


  1. I've never been a huge Radiohead fan--they're good, but I have to be in the right mood to listen to them--so I definitely wouldn't call them the voice of our generation. I do think people of our generation have a tendency to want to ignore anything unpleasant, though--or maybe that's just me.

  2. @heidenkind I was big into Radiohead in high school but by the time I had that
    conversation I was way way way way way over them. They're still good
    I've just already listened to them way too many times. I still think
    they're a more accurate "voice" than Kanye.

  3. I think it's kind of hard to determine the voice of your own generation while you're still young. I feel like it's something that's easier to look back on from afar and say "Yup, that was it."

    P.S. Does the @heidenkind thing actually have any effect or is it just a habit? Because I've been trying to figure out how to reply to comments here, if you even can...

  4. @J.Leigh

    Very true. That doesn't mean we shouldn't guess. When anyone says
    that kind of thing you should definitely take it with a grain of salt.

    Re: Replies, It does nothing. I do what Heidenkind suggested and
    reply via email. If you put your email in the right spot in your
    settings you will get an email for every comment, and you can just
    reply straight to that email, as long as the commenter used a google
    account. But then after that I copy-paste whatever I wrote in the
    email as a new comment, for the benefit of future commenters.

    The comment system is pretty much not that great. Heidenkind used to
    use a 3rd-party system called Intense Debate, but it screwed up other
    things she said. IDK you can ask her about it if you want, lol.