Dear Furby Living,
This is the most terrifying thing I’ve ever seen. Furbies on their own were creepy enough as it is with their large eyes watching you and their creepy little voices talking when no one has even said anything. They’re also just one step away from becoming gremlins, just add water.
So why in the world would you think it was a good idea to turn furbies into celebrities?
Furby as Taylor Swift? Creepy.
Furby as Nicki Minaj? She looks like she’s going to kill me.
Furby as Azealia Banks? This is the stuff nightmares are made of. Read more…
Icelandic acts Bjork and Sigur Ros played a free show Saturday to raise awareness about their country’s natural environment.
The open-air Náttúra concert, which also featured other Icelandic artists, was held in the capital city of Reykjavik and drew more than 10,000 people, according to earthtimes.org.
The event, which was also webcast live on Nat Geo Music (the musical offshoot of National Geographic Entertainment), aimed to draw attention to the increase in aluminium smelting and concerns over its impact on Iceland’s environment, as well as to promote “green” living.
“Too often battles being fought for nature turn into something negative and into mudslinging,” Bjork said in a statement before the show.
“We will not go that way, we are not saying that this and that is forbidden, we are rather asking ‘what about all these other possibilities?’”
Just three of the 54 albums nominated for this year’s Shortlist Music Prize are by Canadian artists, reports ChartAttack.com.
The award is handed out for the best album released in the U.S. between January and November of last year that sold less than 500,000 copies domestically. Albums from 48 different labels and nine countries were nominated by Gary Lightbody of Snow Patrol, Ronnie Vannucci of The Killers and four radio personalities.
Lucky Canucks Feist, Arcade Fire and Stars will duke it out against the likes of Bjork, Justice, M.I.A., The Hives and Wilco. Previous winners include Sufjan Stevens, Damien Rice and N*E*R*D.
With a weaker line-up than on Sunday, the advantage for Virgin Festival Day One was in a sunny, blue sky and a light, cool breeze. With only a few bands that I really wanted to catch, the day was spent mostly walking between the stages, enjoying the atmosphere of another concert festival on the beautiful Toronto Islands (versus the sparse fields and dusty bowl of Barrie’s Molson Park, the only comparably-sized/suited venue in the Greater Toronto Area).
I started off at one of two side-stages, catching the latter half of a set from local Arts & Crafts-ters The Most Serene Republic. Lead singer Adrian Jewett was clearly having fun, rolling around on the huge and bouncing around like a sugared-up kid. Their new album, Population (due out October 2 on A&C), was featured prominently, and it sounds great, with Jewett having toned down some of the nasally vocals that grated slightly on their first LP.
After an extended stop at the autograph tent for a significantly delayed appearance from Interpol’s Paul Banks and Sam Fogarino (they arrived an hour and a half late, cruising in on a golf cart), I trekked over to the main stage as Arctic Monkeys finished up their set. The band is certainly proof of the power of the Internet in creating rock stars, garnering huge cheers and massive sing-alongs. But they also prove that this phenomenon of Myspace-sparked overnight success strips away the traditional approach of attracting fans through an incredible live show; the Monkeys are damn boring. They delivered hits like “Fake Tales of San Francisco” and “I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor,” but simply mirror the recorded versions and didn’t even take a stab at audience interaction. Yawn.
Following their set was Interpol, another band short on banter. It didn’t help that the sun was still in the sky when they hit the stage, killing the dark mystique that so wonderfully complements their live show. Kicking off with “Pioneer to the Falls” from their new album, Our Love to Admire, the band put out a solid set of tracks mixed between all three of their records. One uncharacteristically light moment came with a mis-start on “No I in Threesome,” when Banks bemusedly announced, “I don’t know where I am,” and brought the rest of the band to a halt before they tried again.
Yet the real treat of the day (and the weekend, as it later proved) was Bjork, in her return to the Islands following a gig there on her own in 2003. Supporting her latest effort, Volta, Bjork also brought with her an apparent love of flags, as the stage was draped in brightly coloured, mediaeval-style banners featuring various animals. Even her horn section/backup singers (one in the same, incredibly), dressed in solid-coloured jumpsuits, had flags protruding above their heads.
The singer herself bounded onto the stage with the explosion of confetti cannons, dancing emphatically in a frilly, multi-layered frock. Aside from the horn section, all musical support came from just three black-clad fellows, who moved between various electronic gadgets and other percussion instruments. Two big-screen TVs set up on the stage (and also projected on the larger, side-stage screens) gave close-up views of the electronic noodling.
The light show was also incredible, with huge bursts of red flames lighting up the stage during the very tribal “Earth Intruders.” During “Joga,” those who looked toward the back of the field were rewarded by the very neat effect of a green laser light sketching out random shapes and squiggles on the tree canopy.
Bjork herself is an amazing performer, engaging through the songs with endless energy and somewhat interpretive (without being silly) dancing, contrasted her cute, French thank-yous. With a set that also included “Army of Me,” “Hunter,” “Unravel,” “All is Full of Love,” and encore-closer “Declare Independence” (with its loudening cries of “Raise your flag! Higher, higher!”), it was certainly the highlight performance of the festival. Should Bjork return to Canada on her Volta tour, the show is not to be missed.
Still to come: our coverage of Virgin Festival Day Two, featuring Editors, The Killers, and Smashing Pumpkins.
Icelandic singer BJORK is working on collaborations with TIMBALAND and ANTONY HEGARTY for her new album.
The PLAY DEAD star is promising to reinvent her sound yet again on her, as yet untitled, sixth studio album, with hip-hop and R&B beats.
She says, “I took these tracks and worked on them further.”
With her spokesperson adding, “I hear that she has taken them to another level.”
The 41-year-old is also collaborating with MARK BELL, BRIAN CHIPPENDALE and CHRIS CORSANO on the LP set to be released later this year.
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