Sexiness in Modern Icelandic music (or – Will Haffi Haff cure my permanent erectile dysfunction?….)

17 Jul

I´m in a bad mood for no reason.

I´m also past it. Shit i´m so past it, it´s completely disappeared over the horizon and is half way on it´s way to Australia right now.  But what is “it?”. I´m obviously referring to the music of the “Youff” and their OTT sexy ways and shit. Half the time i´m sure i come across as a complete dud, completely bored by it all. And the worst things is, 99% OF IT ALL IS BORING!

A reason i´m kind of feeling this way is that i recently reviewed Haffi Haff’s current album, “Freak”, for the Grapevine. The editor said though that he may not use it in the publication. Not that it was a poor review mind, but he felt that my tastes in music would mean that i was more inclined to shit on it from a great height and that there should be a more “balanced” view on it.

For non-icelanders, Haffi Haff is the latest POP SENSATION to take over the Icelandic music scene (apparently). A cursory glance at his MySpace page tells us that he´s “on a journey of controversy, hidden messages and puts himself into harms way to make a statement. Without thinking twice, he is willing to paint the town green in order to get his message across”. Or read. Make himself a complete annoying twat to get any kind of attention.

And of course he isn´t the only one. Everywhere you look you have the latest pop star trying to carve a piece of the cake for themselves by trying to make out that they are more sexually full-on and in your face than the others. Now all this comes together and what i end up feeling is that for all the histrionics and in you face posturing, blah, blah, my chunky heaving carcass can only come to one conclusion…

None of it just that Sexy, or that daring.

In order to prove my point, a couple of weeks ago  i subjected my poor friend Aðalsteinn, a man who’s been around the block a few times and has seen some pretty bizarre shit in his life, to a little experiment. I wanted to show that in these supposedly permissive days, pop stars ideas of what is sexy and transgressive is just lazy posturing.

Firstly, view the video for HH’s big hit, “Jealousy”

Ok. Let´s see. Some writing around in pretty silly looking clothes, with some nice Skinka make-up while pouting for Iceland. Oh and the daring is throwing Green paint over people downtown (don´t worry i´m sure that they´re just actors and stuff). He´s saying “hey you boring plebs with your heterosexuality. You can´t handle me and my living on the edge. I´m just sooo out there!”

Then it was my turn. First was the daring, I showed Aðalsteinn the video to “Sex Dwarf” by Soft Cell.

Note that this video came out in 1981, 30 years ago, and is still banned in the UK & the US. Why? Perhaps the sight of a dwarf in full S&M gear, slapping a woman in the face with a piece of raw liver for starters. As the video progressed, Aðalsteinn, first looked amused, then slightly bewildered, then pretty much horrified when everyone started smearing themselves with meat and blood. Oh yeah don´t forget the chainsaw…..

His first response? “whaaaaat the hell was that??”. Job done.

Ok now for the sexiness. I showed him another video from 1981, this one the uncensored version for “Girls on film” by Duran Duran

Now this is for the 12″ version of the single. And for the first 1m30secs, nothing much happens. Then you get the following sexy 80´s model scenes

– two girls pillow fighting. But it’s not that or that there is cream on the pole. It’s more that after they walk off, they still have the cream on them and it´s oozing down their thighs!!

– The nurse massaging the fat old man to death. note the slo-mo of the oil spurting out of the bottle. Lovely.

– The washing down the muscular Horse man, dressed only in an S&M jockstrap.

As the video progressed, there were a lot of raised eyebrows, smirks and  general dilating of pupils. It was agreed that was indeed a very sleazy sexy video (Note: This video is ALSO banned from mainstream US & UK TV).

So what to make of this? The Soft Cell & Duran Duran videos weren´t that expensive to make/produce and could easily be done in Iceland. But even though they’re very old by todays standards, they´ve put a lot more thought into the sexiness and dirtiness, such that people are still talking about them even today.

And even though i´m now “old”, i still love some full on moistness in my music and videos. But i´m looking for something that makes me go “hmmmmm!”, something different that your basic cookie-cutter McSexiness just is not offering. Because there’s just so much of it now, it has just become blasé.  In fact a lot of the “ordinary plebs” out there often have led some pretty wild times, often behind twitching curtains, that would make a lot of these pop stars just curl their toes up in disgust.

Perhaps Haffi Haff should take a leaf from Tonetta. I was going to do a piece on this lovely man, but the UK guardian has done a piece about him today that would be a better read. He´s a solo Canadian artist who’s produced hundreds of songs (think Leonard Cohen trying to do 80’s Prince). But after recording each song, he makes a little home-made video and posts it onto YouTube.  Often in women’s underwear, full black lace, Kabuki Masks and S&M leather gear. It´s a middle-aged guy writhing in front of the camera. and it’s both alluring, mystifying and repulsive at the same time!

Right rant over. I´m off to make some potato salad. FUCKING ROOOOCK AND ROOOLL!!!

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Posted by on July 17, 2010 in Iceland, music, Video


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