What’s going on in Reykjavík right now? To be honest, I don’t know. Recently, I am feeling a little detached from current events and all the rest, mainly out of indolence. The habit of getting up at half past three may be another reason for my present state of ignorance. The biggest event that I attended lately was Caribou’s concert at Nasa on Tuesday, with the always great Sin Fang (& band) as the opening act.
For those not informed, Caribou was — or were? I am not sure — supposed to play at Nasa last May. Then the volcano at Grímsvötn — that drama queen! — decided to go bonkers for a few days and managed to disrupt all flights, Caribou’s included. May’s concert was delayed and it took place earlier this week.
I keep on correcting myself as I write, as I am a little behind and in my head Caribou is still called Manitoba. Manitoba was the former moniker of Canadian musician Dan Snaith, before he had to switch to Caribou when some moustached punkster sued him for using HIS stage name (what the heck… since when “Manitoba” is a registered trademark, anyway?). Recently, the media seem to be referring to Caribou as a band rather than as the professional music alias of Dan Snaith thus I am confused about using singular or plural form.
Dan Snaith, although he is a multi-instrumentalist, is not a virtuoso in the strict meaning of the word. The way he plays on stage is perfectly functional to the style of his music and he doesn’t venture much farther than that, I assume for love of efficiency. A very interesting approach, considering he is also, and primarily, a mathematician. As an entertainer though, he well deserves his fame and his following. He put up a show that had all the right numbers, especially if you are into the dancey branch of indietronica. Personally, I had only listened to Caribou — and Manitoba, before that — sparsely. Behind Caribou’s songs, I perceive an analytical mind trying to get acquainted with the sentimental, if you wish, side of music, although without too much involvement, like it were all part of a playful study: again, this may be a positive aspect, but I find it hard to recognize anything familiar to my own sensibility in Snaith’s songs. It’s merely a question of atmosphere and personal affinity — or lack thereof. As a fleeting amusement, it can work even for my fussy self. Nevertheless, during the concert, I kept on thinking about trivial matters, like color theory in relation to the psychedelic video projections going on in the background and Snaith’s electric blue socks; as a result I couldn’t really get into the music — my ears, on the other hand, were overwhelmed, but perhaps this was because I was stationing too close to amps and it is not Caribou’s fault at all.
It was good though that other people in the audience were not, on average, party poopers as the partner in crime and I (he kept on repeating that Snaith’s bearing and sense of fashion reminded him of a former classmate with a fixation with math and ping-pong), and the band members themselves emanated a strong energy that radiated through the live performance.
To keep myself busy, I took a bunch of pictures, which I hope will make everybody forget about the written part of this entry. I am sorry for the lack of visual documentation for other musicians, but the stage setup was awful for taking photos and I am not stupid enough yet not to understand when a shot is going to look crap. Anyway, bear with me: it’s 5 AM and right now I could fit my sanity into a miniature tea cup.