Friday, September 19, 2008

Hoppípolla (Or, Vowels Are A Menace)

I saw Sigur Rós last night (thank you NTIOU$) at the United Palace Theater (quite possibly one of Manhattan's most beautiful buildings - see above and below). Although the concert was well and good enough (they aren't exactly the most throw-down-and-throw-your-hands-up-and-say-hell-yeah band ever), I was more taken with the inside of the theater.

Anyway, dinner before hand must have been an odd thing to overhear...since statements like these were made:

"Hoppípolla is the best."

"What about Olsen Olsen?"

"No....Saeglópur is my jaaaaaaam."

Tossing around those unknown and unknowable Icelandic words reminded me of an ancient story. In high school, I wrote a review of the (also-Icelandic) Sugarcubes' first album Life's Too Good (see far below...and yes, I know I'm old) for the school newspaper. After I submitted my article, I was approached by my journalism teacher with a smirk and a gotcha-wiggle in her step.

Since I had used the band members' names ( Björk Guðmundsdóttir, Einar Örn Benediktsson, Sigtryggur Baldursson, etc.), I was asked to serve up the album liner as proof of two things:

A.) I wasn't making their names up.

B.) I wasn't sniffing glue.

In retrospect, I see this story as proof of how inferior my primary education was. I mean...who doesn't know how wonderfully convoluted and nearly-vowel-free Icelandic names are.

That shit should have been forefront in my high school education.

1 comment:

jason said...

I've tried repeatedly to listen to Sigur Ros...but never quite can get through an entire cd. Maybe one day.
I'm more impressed that you managed to get that tricky rune-looking thing in Gu_mundsdottir to show up.