Thursday, September 17, 2009

Nordic trifecta on the LES

I had a chance to see Karin Park, a Norwegian electro-pop diva, at Pianos last night, and it was a humbling experience. This woman is probably 6'2" in pumps, all legs and torso and bangs, and plays one mean keytar, which I haven't seen used to such effect since I saw Vagenius (now Hello Stranger) at Eclectic at Wesleyan. This photo is obviously not taken at Pianos, but observe:

A total vixen. Her drummer is also apparently her brother, which earns her serious bonus points. Anyway, it's good, danceable stuff (you can download an mp3 sampler here, if you want to dance to it on the go), so it was a stark contrast to head over to Rockwood Music Hall afterward to see petite Icelandic songstress Olof Arnalds deliver a stunning performance that fell somewhere between Edith Piaf and Roseanne Cash, with a little Tchaikovsky thrown in, care of her bearded accompanist. They also played covers of "We're Not the Jet Set" and "In Spite of Ourselves" (two solid American country numbers originally recorded by John Pine and Iris DeMent). When their set ended, I noticed the woman sitting at the table next to mine was Bjork. Go figure. Olof's playing another show at Union Pool tonight -- check her out, you won't regret it.

Oh yeah, and Miike Snow was at Mercury Lounge last night, only a few blocks from Rockwood, but I'm trying to exercise moderation. Though I did come home to find some music in my inbox by a Norwegian spin on the Talking Heads... more on that later.