Friday, September 16, 2005

Scandinavian Invasion This Weekend

Of course, this weekend marks the start of both the World Music Festival and the Celtic Music Fest, but there also seems to be a bit of an unintentional Scandinavian music fest this weekend. As profiled in the Reader a while back, this Saturday is the Empty Bottle's foreign exchange night with their adopted sister club, Blå, from Oslo, Norway. In addition to curating music for the night, (Norway's JR Ewing and jazz duo Håkon Kornstad/Håvard Wiik), the staff of Blå will actually be taking over operations at the club for the night, working the door and serving up the drinks. In addition to Bottle staples like Old Style and PBR, the Blå staff will also be serving up some specialties from their homeland, including Scandinavian hard liquor favorite aquavit (mmm...booze made from potatoes!). Not only is the Bottle giving you a genuine Oslo experience without the expensive airfare, they're not even charging admission for this event! A free show on a Saturday?? I'll toast a glass of aquavit to that... As if that wasn't enough Scandinavian culture for one weekend, the next night The Empty Bottle is featuring a night of abstract Finnish folk and psychedelic music. Headlining the night will be Lau Nau, "a side project of sorts" from vocalist Laura Naukkarinen (of the band Kiila) whose recent debut solo album is being distributed domestically by the local label, Locust Music. Finally, rounding out the Viking music raid on Chicago is Röyksopp with Annie at Metro on Monday night. Originally from Bergin, Norway, Röyksopp are bonfide superstars in Europe, thanks largely to their 2001 global smash hit, "Poor Leno." Their recently released sophomore effort, The Understanding, has been slammed a bit by critics, but once you get past the fact that it's not Melody A.M., v2.0, it's actually a decent Euro-dance/electronic record. (I'm not sure why everyone's complaining about this one, it wasn't like Meoldy A.M. was completely immune to cheesy Euro-dance moments) Despite being Euro-superstars who've sold millions of records worldwide, it seems that Röyksopp are being overshadowed on this tour by their opening act, hipster-adopted pop princess (and fellow Norse) Annie. With all the press seemingly focused on her appearance, you'd swear she was the headliner. Of course, Röyksopp paved the way musically and helped produce most of her record, but she's cute and her record's hot (thanks almost entirely, I swear, to Pitchfork), so naturally she gets all the attention. However, if their last show at Metro was any indication, you'll definitely want to stick around for the entire show to see Röyksopp. Amazingly, I almost thought they sounded better live than on record last time, which is not something I've experienced a lot at electronic shows.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

##Psychic Reading##

9/16/2005 03:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Bill V said...

I was at the Bottle Saturday nite. Had a few too many at the Hideout so didn't stay more than an hour or so, but the idea was totally cool. Hope they do another bar swap, I'd go again, and the free price sure helped too.

9/19/2005 10:51:00 AM  

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