It's delightful to see the words "Sigur Rós" appear on a number of major news sites. The adventurous Icelandic outfit makes lovely, atmospheric music. Theirs are soundscapes that develop like a satellite lost in space -- orchestral arrangements that drift and manage to feel a little futuristic.
The band deserves a wider audience, and if it takes a naked Shia LeBeouf to get one, so be it. After all, indie rock involving naked famous people seems like a fine-enough trend.
Yet life is too short for the 8½ minutes it takes to sit through Sigur Rós' "Fjögur Píanó." The video was released today as part of a video project the band commissioned for new album "Valtari." The director is Alma Har’el, and she has a gift, no doubt, for arresting, photo-worthy moments.
Her acclaimed documentary "Bombay Beach" was shot in the California desert and described by The Times as "more lyrical tone poem than straightforward documentary." Her video for "Fjögur Píanó" is far from ordinary as well, and also proof that not everything is improved by violence and eroticism.
Granted, "Fjögur Píanó" is perhaps the most difficult song on "Valtari" to translate into a music video. It's little more than sparse piano strikes. The tone is dour, and the orchestral touches at the end are tense and panic stricken.
The video renders the song laughable, turning seriousness into pointless, art-school pretension. LeBeouf and partner Denna Thomsen are lovers, apparently, and spend the clip slapping and carving each other. They're also quite good at synchronizing their ability to sit up straight in bed. They get intimate with and without clothes, and move as if they're Olympic ice dancers. There are also dead butterflies for those looking for metaphors and worst of all, there are ceramics.
Unfortunately, the full-frontal nudity from both actors/dancers means we can't embed or link to it. If it's a bad video you want, we can instead offer this head-scratcher from the Offspring.
-- Todd Martens
Image: Shia LeBeouf and Denna Thomsen in Sigur Rós' "Fjögur Píanó." The image is a screenshot from the not-safe-for-work video directed by Alma Har’el