Italy + Iceland (but still no France)

Sometimes writing feels like this.

I'm working on a Big Scary Deadline right now, but I wanted to check in with you. My apologizes to those expecting emails from me — you'll probably have to wait a little longer. And my apologizes to anyone looking for more Paris! Writing those posts eats hardcore time, so the wrap-up will have to wait another week or two.

In the meantime, if you're in the mood for armchair travel, please allow me to direct you to Sarah, who recently took a trip to Venice! She has many great pictures and stories in her January Bookduck archives. (You'll need to scroll down a bit.) Also, don't miss the incredible story about the person she sat next to on her flight to Italy.

And because pretty pictures make me happy, I'm adding a few more. In a minute.

The picture at the top of this post is from the new Jónsi video, "Go Do." If you're not familiar with Jónsi, his full name is Jón Þór Birgisson, and he's the vocalist and guitarist for one of my FAAAVORITE bands EVERRR, the Icelandic post-rock group, Sigur Rós.

I've posted their video for "Glósóli" a few times in the past, because it's the most beautiful, magical music video I know. (And all of their videos are interesting. This one is cute.) They also made a wonderful documentary called Heima that involved playing a marimba made from volcanic rocks. The band is a significant part of the reason why I have an Icelandic obsession. If you've been reading my blog for a while, perhaps this rings a bell. If not, allow me to assure you:

I like Iceland. A lot.

Anyway, Jónsi's debut solo album, Go, is being released this April, and it would be near-impossible for me to be MORE EXCITED. The best way I can describe how his music makes me feel is . . . hopeful. And not in an "I'm gonna sing some inspiring lyrics to a heart-tugging electronic track" kind of way. Genuine hope. Hope that passes the superficial brain level and buries itself somewhere deep inside my emotional core.

[In my opinion, this is the most fascinating thing about music — how everyone reacts differently to the same work. Instant love or instant hate or instant shrug. How music can actually, physically change how we think and act. But that's a much longer post for another day.]

[For the record, I like the superficial stuff, too.]

So here are those pretty pictures, snatched from his website:

And I just bought tickets to see him this April in Minneapolis! HURRAH! (My sister lives in the city, so I'll fly there. Otherwise, yeah, that would have been a random location for me to pick.) Jarrod and I saw Sigur Rós a few years ago, and the show was the most — here's that word again — beautiful we've ever seen.

(He's not always a Ziggy Stardust bird. I'm a fan of BOTH Jónsis!)

The new show should be amazing. Here are the inspiration pictures for his stage:



I'll leave you with his new video. Even if this isn't your type of music, if you're interested in the visual arts, I hope you'll skip through it. It's GORGEOUS. Similarly, if you're interested in making music, you might want to check out his very peculiar drum. (One of my favorite things about him is his eagerness to create music with unusual items — violin bows on guitars, stomping feet, toy pianos, etc.)

He also creates music with unusual musicians.

Thus ends my Jónsi report.

Talk to you all soon! Have a lovely week/weekend!

Jónsi - Go Do from Jónsi on Vimeo.


  1. Yay! Minneapolis! That's where i am!
    Seriously though, i love me some Sigur Ros

  2. What is a Ziggy Stardust Bird? Lovely pictures, especially the last ZSB one, thanks for sharing.

  3. Glosoli is so beautiful! Sigur Ros is my favourite Sunday 'but-what-is-life' musing music.

  4. Thanks for the new obsession :)

    Myrna- Ziggy Stardust is a reference to David Bowie!

  5. I was so pleasantly surprised to see that you linked to my Italy posts that I gasped. And then smiled. Thanks :)

    And I can wait for Paris...I understand being busy. Spring Semester just started, and I had stories and pics to post from Florence and Rome, too, but those take so long that they may never happen...although they involve a subway violinist, a lady who makes soup, and a waiter who takes girls' hairpins away. So I hope they make it up someday...

  6. I'm also fascinated by the connections that people have with different types of music. It's a visceral thing to me. I can be transported by all kinds of music. There are certain types that can make me cry just by the sheer beauty. I have a huge range of things I love from alt. rock to classical. It just depends. It amazes me that some people will adore a song that is just ho-hum for me and vice versa.

  7. Thanks, Mariah!

    And thanks for sharing that beautiful video, Steph. I'm sorry you feel like you're in a time-out. We love you.

  8. Well, you've just made my husband very happy....he adores Sigur Ros. (Like he would probably marry them if he wasn't already married to me..)

    I have a question to ask you...but maybe I'll e-mail it to you, but I can wait until you are not living with the hovering deadline.


  9. [For the record, I like the superficial stuff too.] >>> I SECOND YOU!!!

    and OMG those Jónsi's pictures are exquisite! LOVE the composition!

  10. Begy — "Exquisite"! "Composition"! This is why your comments always make me smile. :D