Björk Week: The Album Cover That Never Was

This rejected Post album cover by Jean Baptiste Mondino makes the best photograph I have ever taken look like I shot it with a very moist potato.

This rejected Post album cover by Jean-Baptiste Mondino makes the best photograph I have ever taken look like I shot it with a very moist potato.

Björk Week: Watch Elton John Read America To Filth Over Swan Dress

America just can’t stop disappointing Elton John. America gave Madonna a Golden Globe for a song he publicly loathed, and broadcasted his contempt live to the world for generations to witness. And you’d think America would have known better.

America just can’t stop disappointing Elton John. America gave Madonna a Golden Globe for a song he publicly loathed, and broadcasted his contempt live to the world for generations to witness:

And you’d think America would have known better by the time the 2012 Golden Globes had rolled along, considering America was on very thin ice with Sir Elton since that time eleven years before when the entire press block Regina-George’d the wonderfully weird outfit Björk wore to the Oscars. For by 2001 Björk had discovered that her spirit animal was the swan, and enrolled Macedonian fashion designer Marjan Pejoski to dress her accordingly.

I get this. You’ve got to respect your spirit animal. And that is why, should I ever be invited to perform at the Oscars, I will be dressed as a miniature wire-haired dachshund.

But Fashion America was not feeling it and proceeded to  rip Björk a new asshole react negatively to The Swan Dress like a gaggle of provincial fools, because God forbid one should ever wear something conceptual or meaningful or experimental beyond testing the endurance of double-sided tape.

And that displeased Sir Elton beyond measure.

At the 38 minute mark, carefully pre-selected for your confort:

“I have always loved the way she dresses. I mean, to me, it enraged me when all those stupid idiots in america who have no taste whatsoever, and no idea of dress sense, i mean all those actresses wear the –they all looked the same, and bjork comes as entirely herself and has — you know, they don’t have any irony in america, and the humour in that outfit. and i just thought she looked fantastic, and of course she got panned because the americans, you know — the land of ralph lauren, what can we say?”

America, stop disappointing Sir Elton.

Björk Week: A Soundtrack For Making A Sandwich

Remember Vespertine? No, you don’t, because you stopped paying attention to Björk immediately after the Big Time Sensuality video and spent the autumn of 2001 listening to Victoria Beckham like a barbarian, don’t lie.

Remember Vespertine? No, you don’t, because you stopped paying attention to Björk immediately after the Big Time Sensuality video and spent the autumn of 2001 listening to Victoria Beckham like a barbarian, don’t lie.*

But you should remember Vespertine, because it is one of the most beautiful albums ever crafted, and it’s not just my opinion but also that of people who wear black-rimmed glasses and write for Rolling Stone Magazine (Pitchfork didn’t love it so that’s quite an endorsement in itself).

In it you find no bombastic pounding and a lot less hollering than in previous efforts, replaced instead by intimate whispers and beats created from tiny sounds such as cards being shuffled and ice being crushed, lovingly woven with swelling string arrangements and the voice of a pissed-off angel. The result evoques a Scandinavian winter morning at 4:30, you know, when everyone is asleep and you are the only one up and the air is razor-sharp going into your lungs when you take yourself out for a walk (we have all been there even if we haven’t, and if we haven’t, we should).

It is the smallest big record, a micro-musical triumph.

And then there are the visuals. Like the video for the first single, ‘Hidden Place’, in which Björk oozes a gooey substance from her tear ducts and then eats and snorts it:

You and I should neither eat nor snort things oozing from our eyes because we are not Björk and we never will be.

And then came the video for ‘Pagan Poetry’, which featured:

– (possibly maybe) Björk having all kinds of sex, rendered abstractly in post-production!

– Björk sawing a string of pearls into her live flesh!

– Björk’s unedited nipples in all their bouncing glory!

Naturally MTV had to ban it, because scandal and public morals and think of the children and then they shat on music videos as a whole and coughed up things like 16 and Pregnant and Jersey Shore. Just, no.

And, AND, as if that wasn’t enough then came the video for ‘Cocoon’, in which she shoots red thread from her tits like a boss:

Thanks for playing, Katy Perry.

Veredict:

Vespertine is so good, and still so accessible for a Björk album – which means you don’t have to writhe and squint your way through it and you actually come out of the other end feeling light and cleansed, like after a pleasant sauna session. Not super anxious and stressed about your mental health like after listening to Medúlla.

On Repeat:

‘Pagan Poetry’, ‘It’s Not Up To You’, ‘Aurora’, ‘An Echo, A Stain’, you know what, the whole thing. It’s all beautiful, all of it.

Skip:

NOTHING, you philistine!

*Just kidding, obviously. Not even *I* bought that. Although what came later is fair game, come on.

Björk Week: ‘You Shouldn’t Let Poets Lie To You’

We kick off Björk Week, a series of posts relentlessly focused on the world’s most beloved Icelandic maniac/genius, with this rare video of (maybe) 1980’s (maybe) Sugarcubes-era (definitely) Björk dismantling her television set.

We kick off Björk Week, a series of posts relentlessly focused on the world’s most beloved Icelandic maniac/genius, with this rare video of (maybe) 1980’s (maybe) Sugarcubes-era (definitely) Björk dismantling her television set, which is cool to watch but not something you should try at home because death by electrocution you void your warrantee and then what are you going to do.