Auditorium Theatre, Chicago, IL
September 30th, 2013
There are plenty of acts that are great live, but only a few that are transcendent. Sigur Rós is one of the few bands that fit in the latter, being one of the only bands I have seen several people come away from their show crying tears of joy and calling it a religious experience. And for what it’s worth, that’s not that outrageous: the Icelandic post-rock band are arguably the most one-of-a-kind band of this generation; that, and their live act will leave you believing in the art of live music once more. This was my fourth go at Sigur Rós (fifth of you include their frontman Jonsi solo), and the show was very different from what I have seen from the band before, but no less life-altering.
With the release of Nine Inch Nail’s new album, as well as the random tracks that artists like M.I.A. and TV On The Radio have been dropping lately, we thought the topic of original artists was a good thing to focus on this week. Artist in particular that unmistakably have their own sound. Vocally, musically, production-wise; upon the first moment you hear it, you know who it is. Something that didn’t exist prior to, and something that even if attempted to be replicated, it has not happened in the same fashion since. In this respect, artists such as The Beatles or Led Zeppelin (who were extremely original for their time but have been copied a billion times over) don’t exactly qualify. Naturally this lends itself to be a very current list, but we would love to hear any arguments as to what we missed. Now onto the list of what we find to be the most uniquely original artists in music:
We have reached the halfway point of our 2013, so it’s time to bring out our mid-term lists for the season. With so many great options to choose from already in 2013 it was hard to narrow this list down. Acts like Foxygen, JT, and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs may have all gotten snubbed, but here is what made our top 5:
5. Savages – “She Will”
Let the heavens shake and the earth tremble…Sigur Rós has released a new album! And while the Icelandic post-rockers released a much more ambient album just last year in Valtari, and lead man and spirit animal of the band Jón “Jónsi” Þór Birgisson released an album three years ago (the springing Go Do), their latest feels like the first true Sigur Rós album since 2008′s Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust and their finest since the 2005 masterpiece Takk. What makes their latest, Kveikur, such a magnificent return to form, is while since Takk they have released plenty of pretty and majestic music, Kveikur marks the return of the thunder and lightning, the darkness that hovers around their music and lends such stark contrast to the band’s most angelic sound. The storm that brews around Kveikur keeps you entranced with the music throughout.
As a last minute road trip from Chicago to PA happened upon a friend and I yesterday, it gave me ample time for some good listening this week. What was also fun was playing some tracks for my friend, and hearing her reaction and preferences to them. Here were some of my and her favorites from a pool of some recent releases that also helped fit the mood of a rainy day on the road.
Baths – “Miasma Sky”
Baths’ bright tunes and dark lyrical undertones were the perfect combination for a rainy, but fun 6+ hour drive.