SIGUR RÓS are otherworldly beings. The Icelandic band's lyrics are not in any human language. We didn't interview them, but if we did, we imagine they would respond to each of our questions with something like, "Cyyuuuuuuuuuuuuuuooooo." Their music is beautiful and confusing.
Sigur Rós is playing the Edgefield lawn this week, which will either be a group orgasm of cosmic proportions or a very comfy outdoor nap. To commemorate, here is some mostly made-up stuff about the band.
• Sigur Rós sing in an invented language called Hopelandic. At band practice, they also speak with each other in an invented language—not the one they sing in, a different one.
• The band's drummer, Orri Páll Dýrason, does not speak this language, and is frequently the unwitting butt of jokes at band practice. His solo album, Tár Mín Eru Jökull Sorg (English translation: My Tears Are a Glacier of Sadness), has yet to find a label.
• The New Yorker once described their music as "brilliantly inchoate, a thrumming soundtrack to our modern lives of technological superstimulation." This was a revision of the original copy, which read, "I don't have the slightest idea what the fuck these pointy-headed elves are singing about."
• Sigur Rós' newest album is called Valtari, and it is their dreamiest, most aimless work to date. It is the sound of the beating of a hummingbird's wings, slowed down nearly 40,000 percent.
• If you listen to the Valtari track "Rembihnútur" backward, you probably won't notice a difference.
• Sigur Rós songs are often sung by rowdy crowds at glíma matches—glíma being the Icelandic national style of folk wrestling, which is considerably less violent than regular wresting. Imagine, if you will, a large group of people singing, "yorrrrruuuuuul hef aftur snorrrri ll eðjoðjoðöööö" as two men in singlets stare meaningfully at each other.
• Sigur Rós and Sugar Ray were once booked to do a package tour together called the SR 4evR Tour. Sigur Rós reportedly backed out at the last minute after a routine reading of kittiwake entrails revealed unfavorable omens.
• In certain parts of Canada and Greenland, a Sigur Rós album can be exchanged for entire crates of Sleepytime tea.
• Forty percent of Sigur Rós' music is inaudible.
• Björk and Sigur Rós once started a neighborhood vigilante league in their gated community in the Icelandic suburb of Trørnní∂. It came to an abrupt halt when, according to press reports, Björk caught a feather on a pricker bush and had to be airlifted by zeppelin to a Reykjavik hospital.
• Sigur Rós' record contract explicitly states that all Sigur Rós songs must be at least seven minutes long and contain no fewer than three heart-bursting orchestral swells. If Sigur Rós does not meet these stipulations, the RIAA is permitted to throw a small Icelandic child into the volcano Eyjafjallajökull.
• Sigur Rós' 2005 album Takk... was recorded without using any conventional recording technology. Rather, the band played their instruments directly into the anus of a tigasus (half tiger, half pegasus), which then shat out individual copies of the record. The smudgy inkwork on the album cover? That's not printed; that's actual, caked-on tigasus feces, and if you lick it, you will grow an Antler of Remembering, which is, like, +7 wisdom or something.
• Lead singer Jónsi recorded the soundtrack to Cameron Crowe's We Bought a Zoo, which is a terrible, terrible movie. (This one is true.)