Your liking of Sigur Ros and singer Jonsi’s side project don’t have to be exclusive to one or the other, and in fact it probably behooves you to like both. I was a slight bit timid in my review of Jonsi’s first solo effort “Go” a few weeks back, but my beef is that compared to his main band Sigur Ros, it wasn’t as good. In reality though, how could you expect it to be? Still, with a group of collaborators that included his boyfriend Alex Somers and avant-garde composer Nico Muhly, “Go” is one solid effort, even if it doesn’t eclipse his other stuff. Now in terms of a live show, Jonsi has pulled out all the stops for his current American tour. There’s a heavy theatrical element and a stage design that’s second to none. The photos and online video I’ve seen of both are nothing short of impressive. I would have and should have gone to see Jonsi when he stopped by Chicago for a pair of shows last month, but unfortunately I fell ill for a few days and decided against going. Hopefully there will be a next time. For those, like me, who are/were unable to see the Jonsi concert experience, this Live Friday should give you an idea of how good it is. In fact, for you collectors out there, this session from Minnesota Public Radio actually includes a performance of an unreleased song. Yes, Jonsi prefaces the song “Stars in Stillwater” by saying that he wrote it 10-15 years ago, and went so far as to record it for “Go”, but felt that it wasn’t good enough to include on the album. It is, in fact, pretty good. You also get the song “Go Do” performed with just a baritone ukelele, and “Around Us” on solo piano. To sum up, it’s a great session and most definitely worth downloading if that’s your sort of thing.
There’s also the streaming interview portion (link below) which, if you paid any attention to the “masters of awkward silence” interview Sigur Ros did with NPR a couple years back, had the potential to be equally as strange. Thankfully, Jonsi is very talkative and open about all sorts of topics. He discusses why he chose to release a solo album now, the Icelandic volcano situation, and his love of strawberry pies. Pretty good actually.
Jonsi, Live on MPR 3-24-10:
Jonsi – Stars in Stillwater (Live on MPR) (Unreleased song!)
Jonsi – Go Do (Live on MPR)
Jonsi – Around Us (Live on MPR)
Stream the entire interview/performance