Saturday, 14 March 2009
recently I've been having a tough time of things and I've found myself coming back to this album. It helped me through bad times years before and once again I've been drawn back. Rarely has music been able to bring out so much different emotion at once. Particularly the last four longer "dark" tracks. This is one of the few albums I consider perfect. The themes (of nothing) are amazing. The only concept is what your mind makes of it. Truly stunning stuff which the band will never top in my opinion now they are being raped by BBC documentaries, sentimentality and coffee table intellectuals. That aside this album really does border on perfection.
Sigur Ros. ( )
"The album's title consists of two opposing parentheses (in the conventional order, much like those surrounding this parenthetic statement); it has no other official title, though members of Sigur Rós usually refer to it in Icelandic as "Svigaplatan" ("The Bracket Album"). In the credits of the movie "Heima" it is referred to as "The Untitled Album". Fans have referred to it as "Parentheses" or "Brackets". A few call it "Vonlenska" due to the fact that the whole of the album is sung in that semi-language.
The packaging of ( ) is elaborate, consisting of a plastic protective sleeve with two opposing parentheses cut out, which reveal a nature shot printed on the CD case underneath. Apart from the band's name and a sleepwalking child on the plastic sleeve, there is no identification on the CD case itself. Included is a 12-page booklet of thick tracing paper with various black and white nature shots, on which fans were invited to draw or write their own interpretations of the music. Four different covers were made for sale in different areas: America, Australia, Europe, Japan. There is also a limited edition version of the album, released only in Spain, which contains a 94-page digibook of contemporary art. Very few copies remain in circulation today.
The album's vocals are recorded in "Vonlenska" ("Hopelandic"), which consists of meaningless syllables and resembles scat singing. The "language" is named after Von, the first song that featured it. Most of the syllable-strings sung by vocalist Jón Þór Birgisson are repeated many times throughout each song, and often throughout the whole album. Sigur Rós went on to release a music video for untitled #1 (a.k.a. "Vaka") directed by Floria Sigismondi. The video later won the "Best Video" award at the 2003 MTV Europe Music Awards in Edinburgh, Scotland. A snippet from track 8 was heard during the trailer for the Nicole Kidman film The Invasion. Untitled #7 is featured in the trailer for the game Dead Space. Untitled #4 (Njósnavélin) was used prominently in the film Vanilla Sky. Untitled #3, listed under its working title of Samskeyti, was used in the credits for the Gregg Araki-directed film Mysterious Skin (based on the book by Scott Heim), and in an episode in the second season of the British drama serial Skins.
( ) was produced by Sigur Rós and engineered by Ken Thomas, who was also the engineer on Ágætis byrjun. On the majority of the album the band is accompanied by the string quartet Amiina, which is composed of four young Icelandic women. To date, the album has sold over 500,000 copies worldwide."
Untitled #1 from the lighter side of ( )
Untitled #6 from the darker side of ( )
Sunday, 1 March 2009
The symptoms of a "broken heart" can manifest themselves through psychological pain but for many the effect is physical. Although the experience is regarded commonly as indescribable, the following is a list of common symptoms that occur:
A perceived tightness of the chest, similar to an anxiety attack
Stomach ache and/or loss of appetite
Partial or complete insomnia
-Apathy (loss of interest)
-Feelings of loneliness
-Feelings of hopelessness and despair
-Loss of self-respect and/or self-esteem
-Medical or psychological illness (for example depression)
-Suicidal thoughts (in extreme cases)
-The thousand-yard stare
-Constant or frequent crying
-A feeling of complete emptiness
-In extreme cases, death
Very interesting read. And even more interesting is the fact that I'm sharing this Via an online blog! Slightly hypocritical of me as I find my self more and more addicted by this phenomenon, yet I am aware of the irony. Something I have been pondering on of late and find the thought of a "facebook" rehab more and more of a realistic future.....
"Online networking 'harms health'"
Taken from BBC news Online.
People's health could be harmed by social networking sites because they reduce levels of face-to-face contact, an expert claims.
Dr Aric Sigman says websites such as Facebook set out to enrich social lives, but end up keeping people apart.
Dr Sigman makes his warning in Biologist, the journal of the Institute of Biology.
A lack of "real" social networking, involving personal interaction, may have biological effects, he suggests.
He also says that evidence suggests that a lack of face-to-face networking could alter the way genes work, upset immune responses, hormone levels, the function of arteries, and influence mental performance.
This, he claims, could increase the risk of health problems as serious as cancer, strokes, heart disease, and dementia.
Dr Sigman maintains that social networking sites have played a significant role in making people become more isolated.
"Social networking is the internet's biggest growth area, particular among young children," he said.
"Social networking sites should allow us to embellish our social lives, but what we find is very different. The tail is wagging the dog. These are not tools that enhance, they are tools that displace."
Dr Sigman says that there is research that suggests the number of hours people spend interacting face-to-face has fallen dramatically since 1987, as the use of electronic media has increased.
And he claims that interacting "in person" has an effect on the body that is not seen when e-mails are written.
"When we are 'really' with people different things happen," he said.
"It's probably an evolutionary mechanism that recognises the benefits of us being together geographically.
"Much of it isn't understood, but there does seem to be a difference between 'real presence' and the virtual variety."
Dr Sigman also argues using electronic media undermines people's social skills and their ability to read body language.
"One of the most pronounced changes in the daily habits of British citizens is a reduction in the number of minutes per day that they interact with another human being," he said.
"In less than two decades, the number of people saying there is no-one with whom they discuss important matters nearly tripled."
Dr Sigman says he is "worried about where this is all leading".
He added: "It's not that I'm old fashioned in terms of new technology, but the purpose of any new technology should be to provide a tool that enhances our lives."