Olof Arnalds

Ólöf Arnalds – Við og Við by uncensored

Olöf Arnalds at the West End Cultural Centre, Nuna Festival, Winnipeg, May 7 2010

– review by eugene osudar

i don’t know why
and
i don’t know how
i just know when
beauty strikes me deep inside
it wears me out

inside me

it breaks me
d
o
w
n

okay,
i’m waiting for
Love,
Love,Love
(again)

the double rainbow
after
the sudden,
fierce storm.

your songs are spells
you’re a ruby red siren
drawing us into your
double rainbow caress
sweetly,

you’re colors!

we dive
headlong into

The Falling Place

she breaks me
and shakes me
to my melting,
molten core

i’m hardly
i’
m softly
i’m in love
with her ruby red
presence,
(softly she)
a love
ly red dress
(sings)
and a bright jewel,
a young
woman’s voice

ah, those hypnotic
guitar caresses
repetitive tingles

you call them
your omelet
guitar pickings

(you tell us
of the guitar picking
competitions
you and your artist
friends have)

i call them
enchantments

invitations to
breath,
taking
wonder

in our hearts

Olof Arnalds
minus the accent
mark and dots
from Iceland

Nuna Festival
means
Now

Iceland
is all ah, blaze
it’s cold
it’s hot,

Olof’s
volcanic
kisses

exploding the sky
grounding planes
the passengers
singing hymns
Iceland
Nuna
Now!

we’re in Winnipeg.

we know

the beauty is
splendidly,
now

we’re grounded
in the volcano
from Iceland
lifted high bursting
into the starry sky
these heavens
oh My Winnipeg
heavens!

last night
150 people
came out
to feel it

down to our twinkling
toes
shivering deep in,
side
our music
loving souls

earth’s,core
ashen
kisses
her passionate
caresses

are you gonna break my heart?

yes
yes

you are

Olof Arnalds

break us into
exquisite pieces
put us together in
in your siren spells
your enchantments
in the choir

The One Great City Memorial Choir

The I Hate Winnipeg Memorial Choir?

choose a name
we’ll sing
we’ll sing

(for you)

you asked us
again and again
to sing

(we’ll dance for you)

and yes
we sang
in your enchantments

some even whistled
helping you
when your red
red lips
became dry,
dry,
dry

(your pearls
flashing
happily)

John K Samson
served you
a glass of red wine
and
a glass of water

Olof Arnalds at the West End Cultural Centre, Nuna Festival, Winnipeg, May 7 2010. Ailsa Dyson photo

Olof Arnalds at the West End Cultural Centre, Nuna Festival, Winnipeg, May 7 2010. Ailsa Dyson photo

and when Ruby
a little girl
asked to dance
you encouraged,
Yes dance!

and dance Ruby did
in twirls and spins
dervish wonder
big love crumbs
(ee cummings)
her eyes are

your voice
is soft and
a lullaby
we’re in your arms
rocking and waiting
for your
child
like
kisses

wet and beautiful
just a little innocence,

these enchantments

your voice can boom
can shake
and thunder
can storm
in awe,some
wonder

as when you drove
those noisy
manner/less young,
fellows
away
and
out of the venue

beautiful storm

your ruby red dress
your blue stockings
your black shoes
lift
you
high!

armadillo
shell
ukulele,
yes you’ll return to us
as a musical instrument

Olof Arnalds at the West End Cultural Centre, Winnipeg, May 7 2010. Ailsa Dyson photo

Olof Arnalds at the West End Cultural Centre, Winnipeg, May 7 2010. Ailsa Dyson photo

reborn
in your omelet
guitar pickings
there’s a rhythm
there’s a rhyme

what’s that song?

1920s
acoustic guitar
and tunings

sweet little tortures

you’ll never not
enchant us
torture
us
into wanting
your lullaby spells
more and more

omelet guitar picking
songs that slide
into Bruce Springsteen’s
I’m On Fire
and then John K Samson’s
One Great City

I Hate Winnipeg

Olof Arnalds at the West End Cultural Centre, Nuna Festival, Winnipeg, May 7 2010. Ailsa Dyson photo

Olof Arnalds at the West End Cultural Centre, Nuna Festival, Winnipeg, May 7 2010. Ailsa Dyson photo

what are those lyrics?

and yes,
John K comes on stage
as you beckon
(Siren)
and sings the lead
in the choir
and shows you where
when
and how
to kiss
the melody
into poetry
into his magic
bittersweet
kisses

your red lips left
and leaving
our faces
a crimson glow

our hearts
lost
(to you)

we’re shaken
we’re lifted
we’re alive
again

in this perfect time

this perfect
Now

this Nuna
this Festival
celebrating
Iceland
celebrating
Manitoba
the Icelandic community
here and now

and yes
we sing
with you
you kiss
us heave
us into
exploding
skies

we lift
this choir
we sing,sing,sing

i don’t know
when i’ll recover
(i don’t know how)
from this heart
shattered

your ruby blue
voice
lifting black
your dreamy caress
your red-jeweled hug
and blonde dress
lilting tassels
fringing our hearts

give us
song
give us
cheer
give us

The Falling Place
again.

in nearly 90 wondrous
minutes,

you even gave us
an intermission,

as you played
on stage

an omelet picking song

written in Finland
for the drinkers
to go and get their
beer
their wine
their washroom break
their talking break

and yes,
we roamed and drank
and socialized.

Olof Arnalds at the West End Cultural Centre, Winnipeg, May 7 2010. Ailsa Dyson photo

Olof Arnalds at the West End Cultural Centre, Winnipeg, May 7 2010. Ailsa Dyson photo

the set list
is chaos
and poetry

it’s beautiful.
art.

i rarely keep
set lists.
this one
is mine.
treasured
forever.

Christine Fellows
gave us
Laurie Anderson
Kate Bush
Jane Siberry
(she always does)
on piano
all in her original songs
feminist folk symphonies
lifting in scope
in meter
(in rhyme)
in the sublime
of her poetry.

Winnipeg
musicians,
Winnipeg
artists
i
Love,Love,Love
you.
you amaze me
every night
every day
every light
every way.

how can i ever leave
(oh, you horrible winters!)
i’ll have to stay.

then John came out
with Olof and Christine
and sang to Bach’s melody
a freshly written
song
and the set began.

in wonder.
in deadpan humor.
in sweetness.
in your enchantments.
your softly smile.
your twinkling eyes.

every song
a spell.
Siren.
sing.
play.
your omelet
pickings.

Bach
Skuli
Innundir
Crazy Car
Klara
Madrid
dagnij
anglarog
dirar
I’m On Fire
I hate Winnipeg
Alltiguddi
Marie Befenia
Close my eyes
Avinkonur
Hifori Botdin
Surrender
Vorenturtridur
Blimin Safe

(and really,
i can’t make out
much
of the beautiful
scribbling,
so these are
immensely
silly guesses)

but when i showed
John K Samson
your set list
his eyes
dazzled and dizzied
by the beauty
these scribblings
are.

you.

Siren.

Enchantress.

Poetess.

Lullaby Singer.

Omelet picker.

and really,

from your song
Crazy Car

you’re

“beautiful
so bright and young
you’ve got mojo
you’ve got soul
full of colors
pearls and
poetry.”

Olof Arnalds
Christine Fellows
WECC
May 7.
Nuna Festival!

About Eugene Osudar

“born, august 16, 1963. i’m 45, and yes, i’m getting too old for this. bring out the rocking chair. my first concert, november 1978, elvis costello and the attractions. i was 15. their blisteringly brilliant 65 minute set only served somebody to affirm my new direction in the musical parallel universes, new wave punk alternative, oh sanctity oh celebration (!Freedom!) college radio! i’m old, i’m used up and i’m free. i see 50something Full sets of music every month and dance most of them. and when i dance, i mean to say, I Dance and Celebrate, 2/3/4 hours a night. The Gaslight Anthem. The Boss. The Weber Brothers. The Wind Ups. i’ll dance with Los Campesinos. i’ll move to The Long Winters. The Replacements. Husker Du. The Pogues. oh elvis costello, oh Clash! i could go/go/go Gogol Bordello forever. L(eonard) Cohen. come, Dance With Me (Old 97s) wherever you may be, sincerely, eugene
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