Sigur Rós – Heima
By Zach Patterson Tuesday, 25 Nov 2008

I’ve been a fan of Sigur Rós since picking up () on a whim. While their music isn’t the easiest to describe, to me, it always feels dream-like, minimalist, melodic, and having elements of post-rock. The lead singer Jónsi Birgisson’s high falsetto voice is one of the defining points of the band, and has always drawn me to pick up their albums, even if they are one of those bands I don’t ever feel exactly “in the mood” for at any given time. To me, it’s a great atmospheric band. Since most of their songs are in Icelandic or gibberish, it becomes great music to relax to, to sleep to, to ponder to, or even just to work to. So, when I picked up the Heima DVD, I honestly thought it might be a mistake. I mean, I think I’ve regretted nearly every live DVD I’ve ever purchased to some extent (for various reasons) and for music I usually just left playing as ‘atmosphere’, this had “one viewing I’ll fall asleep on and then never watch” written all over it. But instead, this is probably one of the best documentary/live videos I’ve seen. So, what makes this worthy of such praise? Well, various things come to mind. For one, the performances are top notch and flawless, and each buy cialis live recording is immaculate. As far as I’m concerned, these live performances are perfectly recorded, and I have no doubt in a nice home surround sound theater it would sound just as great as being there. In addition to great performances, they also mix up a few of them enough to keep it interesting. There are acoustic versions of songs, longer jam versions of some songs, horn sections that come marching through the performance, etc. And that’s all well and good, but a lot of bands have great sounding live performances. A big reason this one is so captivating is the diversity of each performance on the disc. Each performance, each song seems to have it’s own personality due to where it is performed. There are songs played on a desolate green countryside with nothing but an old house and miles of mountains. There are songs played in front of thousands of captivated fans with large flashy light shows. There are personal studio acoustic songs where the band plays by themselves, save a small child wandering through the camera shot. There are songs that are played at a small coffee house where the main audience seems to be small children and older folks. Even if the music doesn’t grab you, the different shots certainly will.

What adds to these performances is Iceland itself. It’s a beautiful country, and the documentary takes full advantage of that. There are tons of cutaways to countryside, animals in the wilderness, establishing shots of old architecture. It’s all very beautiful and serene and fits the music perfectly. Another thing I like about the direction is the focus on children. For a band whose music seems so happy, carefree, and innocent, it’s great to see small kids standing wide-eyed and amazed at the performances. There’s just a nice organic feel to the direction, as if you have the luxury of being someone in the crowd, soaking in an amazing mountainous view while looking around at all the kids and various age groups that are gathering around and enjoying their music. There also some nice blurring of reality in the direction. When the horn section comes walking through the band playing during one song, you see the song and scene fade out with the horns still playing, and the next scene is that same song with the horns walking down the street playing. Then there’s a great performance that looks like it’s taking place in some crypt or pit (or something), and it cuts away at various times to a different video performance of that song live at a big concert.

The documentary also features several non-performance parts that delve into some Icelandic culture and while I didn’t follow all of it, it really gave you a great sense of how personal and close they made this film. They visit store owners

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and perform with (or listen to) older gentlemen, and there are several parts where they just talk to the people on the streets. It’s just a different culture, and it’s something a band almost couldn’t do in America. My favorite song (“Untitled 8”, or “Popplagið”) of theirs is performed on this album as well, and if you want a good idea of what to expect, check it out here. This is one of the bigger performances on the album, but it shows a lot of what I was talking about too, as far as the excellent direction and diversity of shots in the documentary. “Olsen Olsen” is a different performance that shows you just how different their venues are and really showcases the Icelandic backdrop. Ultimately, this has probably become my favorite live DVD. It’s full of great performances that I can listen to without getting tired of them, and it’s a great documentary to watch for fun or just to relax and zone out to. I highly recommend it if you enjoy Sigur Rós or the videos I linked to above.

One Response to “Sigur Rós – Heima”

  1. Andrew Raub Says:

    I am very much interested in this.

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