Wednesday, September 17, 2008

we saw: Kria Brekan & Olaf Arnalds

Pixie Dust

Todd P sent out an email yesterday that read:

2NITE -> a special beautiful night of quieter sounds w/ Múm alums Kría Brekkan -&- Ólöf Arnalds (both from Iceland) -&- Sam Amidon @ LUTHERAN CHURCH OF THE MESSIAH
Immediately, I knew I was in. Even more so after my delirious eyes realized the Lutheran Church of the Messiah is a few measly steps from my front door. The basement of the Greenpoint church was dark and dank, quite the contrast from the cool evening outside, which seemed to usher in autumn. We arrived at 9 just in time for Kría Brekkan's set of tape looped, piano driven, whimsical dream cycles that flutter in and around your head like specs of gold dust after you've run into a brick wall. Quite refreshing, and entrancing too. Kría wanted the room dark and finagled with the lone flood light that lite the stage. She pushed a table in front of it so its ominous glow was more of a shadow than a spotlight. Her live show was much like I envisioned after hearing the Wildering 7"; gorgeously quiet, as if her music was seeping out from 5,000 years of frozen dreams. Kría often stopped songs claiming she was messing up, or didn't know the words, but she is so beautiful and charming on stage that none of that mattered, as if it should. Music to dream to, most definitely. Even reminded me to get back into William S. Burroughs My Education: A Book of Dreams.

Her former múm partner Ólöf Arnalds set was similar, albeit totally different than Kría's more experimental set. Leaning closer to traditional Icelandic folk than Lau Nau-ish experimentalism, Ólöf stunned the crowd with her voice, which sang like you wish your mother would've sung you to sleep. Of course, Ólöf is a new mom and her son was in the audience, arguably making more noise than the dudes running down the stairs, popping beer bottles and shuttering lenses. All good though, he was just hungry and when Mommy called him on stage for some food, and an acapella lullaby, he seemed to relax. Ólöf ended the evening by bringing VT bred ambient folkie Sam Amidon, whose set we regrettably missed, and Kría back on stage for a string of collaborations that carried me off into a purgatorial state, which I may still be in while writing this. Absolutely beautiful evening from some of Iceland's most provocative, most enchanting songstresses.

Next up, Sigur Ros tonight. Iceland's really taking over.

Kria Brekkan- Gömul vísa um vorið

Ólöf Arnalds performing "Klara"

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