Monday, November 21, 2005

Happy Birthday, Björk!

by Mark Burbey

Born on November 21st, 1965, Björk turns 40 today. Forever moving forward, forever experimenting, forever progressing, Björk has made the most of those 40 years. Creating music and performing since childhood, Björk's entire life has been both enviable and inspirational. How much else one say? Happy birthday, Björk! And may the next 40 be no less brilliant.

Click on the image for a larger view.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Björk Inspiring at 2005 Q Magazine Awards

by Mark Burbey

On Monday, October 10, 2005, at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, London, Q Magazine hosted a music awards presentation that puts the Grammys to shame. Instead of celebrating the most ephemeral and mediocre music available for consummation via MTV and iTunes, The Q Awards of 2005 turned an insightful and progressive ear toward music of greater quality and substance. Inexplicable is the only word I can find to describe Coldplay being named “Best Act in the World Today” or Oasis winning “Best Album,” but when Jimmy Page wins the “Icon” award, and Nick Cave wins the “Classic Songwriter” award, and Paul Weller wins the “Outstanding Contribution to Music” award, and Prodigy wins the “Innovation in Sound” award, and Joy Division (!) wins the “Legend” award, and Yoko Ono accepts the “Q Special Award” for John Lennon, you know those who voted in the Q Awards had something more on their minds than most records sold.

Most exciting and gratifying was Björk being given the “Inspiration Award.” Instead of winning an award for a particular album, track or performance, it seems much more appropriate that she win in this uniquely comprehensive category. Not long after hearing Debut and becoming a life-long Björk fan, I saw her profiled and interviewed on The South Bank Show, and the first thought that came to mind afterwards was how inspiring she is, both as an artist and as an individual. Even more fitting is that Robert Wyatt was chosen to present her with the award. Apart from being counted among Björk’s many friends and collaborators, Robert Wyatt has been producing amazing music of his own since the 1970s. (Rock Bottom is a 1974 classic that everyone should listen to, but the more recent Shleep and Cuckooland are no less brilliant).

Björk looked as stunning as usual, and was wearing the same amazing shoes she wore to the Venice Film Festival!

The October issue of Q Magazine offered a post-awards mini-interview with Björk, presented here courtesy of bjö, a wonderful website that rivals the official bjö The photos appear through the gracious auspices of bjö, as well. Thank you, Jocelyn!

What have you been up to lately?
I'm living in Reykjavik again. It's great. I've started work on a new album. I've just been hanging out with friends and DJ'ing at my little local bar, which is fun and no pressure.

What are you drinking?
Champagne. It keeps you sparkling!

Made any new friends?
I was chuffed to meet Robert Wyatt again. He sang on my last record. I went to his house in Louth, it was a really special day. Otherwise -- I know a few people here, but they're not my special friends

Will you keep your Q award in the loo or on the mantlepiece?
We still run our indie label in Iceland, Bad Taste. We put all our awards in the office there.

Liam or Noel?
Oh. Can I pass?

Who should have an award today but didn't?

David Attenborough. Which award ? Ha! I dunno, but I like the way he looks at life. He's really positive.
Your favorite speech today?
Jonathan Ross just cracks me up. I don't always agree with what he says but that's not the point. And I went all mushy for Joy Division when they played Love Will Tear us Apart.

Where are you going next?
I'm going back to Iceland tomorrow. Today? I dunno. I'm going to improvise.


The Gathering