Some People You’d Rather Not Meet In A Dark Alley…*

Then, there are people like Icelandic singer Bjork, who you’d rather not meet in a well-lit international airport. No, she hasn’t throttled another member of the paparazzi as she’s done a couple times in the past.

From what I’ve read, the beatdowns (one in Thailand in ’96, the other in New Zealand a few years ago) were justifiable, but every time I think of them or come across their mention, the mental picture that comes to my mind is alternately comical and frightening.

Personally, I find Bjork to be one of the more fascinating humans of my lifetime. There’s certainly a unique musical and artistic vision. She’s like a post-punk Neil Young in that you never know what you’ll get, but it’s mostly pretty stellar.

She’s also instilled in me – and, I suppose many other music fans – a curiosity about her Icelandic homeland. Based on what little I know, it’s got to be on the short-list for future destinations. If Bjork’s music and imaginative videos are any indication, Iceland must be the place in this world which most resembles a locale in a Dr. Seuss’ story.

I won’t give too much away as I fear creating an immigration problem for Iceland. Imagine if the mass of humanity that is reading this blog relocated to Iceland (the chaos which would certainly ensue!), but I’ve read that roads are rerouted to not disturb areas in which gnomes are said to inhabit.

Is there legislative debate on their version of C-SPAN regarding such matters?

(I’d truly pop popcorn and be enthralled by such a discussion)

I also recall that some poll once named Iceland as the second least likely country in the world to be hit by a terrorist attack (North Korea took top honor). Not that I really fret over such a possible event, but Iceland’s status – for what it’s worth – has to be considered a bonus.

For me, the idea of Iceland as the Dr. Seuss-like world which Bjork’s music conjures in me is compelling and it’s hard for me to choose a handful of her songs as favorites. Here are five of them…

Bjork – Human Behaviour
from Debut (1993)

“If you ever get close to a human
And human behaviour
Be ready be ready to get confused.”

Yeah, that pretty much sums it all up.

Bjork – Army Of Me
from Post (1995)

Army Of Me would lead a listener to believe that Bjork runs a tight ship – she demands self-sufficience and doesn’t want to hear your bitching. If she has to tell you one more time…well, she’d better not have to tell you one more time.

Bjork – Hyper-Ballad
from Post (1995)

Now, as I’ve mentioned, the fisticuffs Bjork has engaged in in airports ’round the globe seem justified, but this lovely song also reveals her to be a mischief maker. She openly admits to tossing all kinds of items – “Car-parts, bottles and cutlery, or whatever I find lying around” – off the mountain top where she lives.

So, as delightful as she may seem, I suspect that it’s not always a picnic living in Bjork’s neighborhood.

Bjork – Joga
Bjork – Bachelorette
from Homogenic (1997)

A pair of songs from 1997’s Homogenic album. The former is skittering and twitchy, a bit of a nervous wreck of a song with the lyrics given a spoken word treatment.

The latter is more string-laden, adding to the sense of drama, and the beats are more fluid giving Bachelorette a dream-like, melancholy vibe.

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