Sigur Ros @ the Dorothy Chandler, Campus Circle

The lead singer of Sigur Ros is rubbing a violin bow against an electric guitar, and it’s, like, deep. So there’s this tension between this classical, traditional instrument working this rock instrument, and this, like, friction is making noise that’s loud and harsh and, you know, not music. So there’s, like, this tension that these two instruments are making noise, not music, but it’s kind of like, who decides when noise, becomes music, you know what I mean?

Sigur Ros is like discussions about poetry: it’s all this intellectual masturbation, this getting off on how deliciously smart you are. It’s about self-expression that’s intentionally difficult to decipher — how about singing in a made up language part English, part Icelandic? — rather than communication that is challenging and accessible.

It’s about me sitting there, thinking about taking my shoe off to beat myself in the head with it, while what I can see of the audience gives a standing, hooting, nonstop clapping ovation.

But the art-for-art’s-saker in me was pleased. Sigur Ros utilized psychodramatic lighting and imagery: blurry faces of children danced in the background, white lights shone singularly on their spectacular drummer while he soloed. And the opening band was hardly bad; they were just a baby Sigur Ros: tee-shirted John Does slightly grooving on stage, heads bowed. Like Sigur Ros, they made ambient frou-frou rock, and they were boys that’d probably slip by in a crowd. Unlike Sigur Ros, they dared mumble in English that they were the Album Leaf from San Diego, and they played with more electronic bleeps and bloops.

I want to enjoy the Sigur Roses, the Mogwais, the Album Leaves, I really do. And I have my moments. I have them just as easily and often as with the hypercommercial Justin Timberlakes, the Kylies.

So la-la-la, cry me a river.

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