Sunday, December 29, 2013

# 85: Bag of Joys

Bag of Joys

May 1995 (DV)
September 1995 (Morgunbladid)
September 1995 (Morgunbladid)
 October 1995 (Timinn)
 December 2005 (Ordlaus)

April 1996 (DV)
July 1996 (DV)
July 1996 (Helgarposturinn)
July 1996 (DV)
July 1996 (Morgunbladid)
July 1996 (Timinn) 

February 1997 (Dagur)  

February 1997 (DV)
 February 1997 (Morgunbladid)
 April 1997 (Morgunbladid)

 July 1997 (Morgunbladid)
August 1997 (DV)
 September 1997 (Morgunbladid)
October 1997 (Morgunbladid)

October 1997 (Morgunbladid)
October 1997 (DV)  
 November 1997 (Morgunbladid)
November 1997 (Morgunbladid)
December 1997 (Morgunbladid)

December 1997 (Morgunbladid)
November 1998 (DV)
 November 1998 (Morgunbladid)  
 November 1999 (Morgunbladid)
August 2001 (Morgunbladid) 

August 2001 (Morgunbladid)
July 2002 (Morgunbladid)
August 2004 (Grapevine)
 May 2009 (Morgunbladid)

Text provided by: Magnús Hákon Axelsson Kvaran

Bag of Joys were a quirky and funny band which never got the recognition I think they deserved. They will now however get some, since I’ve gotten their permission to post some of their excellent songs. The band was formed in Iceland in 1994 when a few friends who’d been making music together at home decided to start rehearsing properly and put together a live band. In 1995 they released a cassette called “Minnir óneitanlega á Grikkaland” of rather poor recording quality. The name roughly translates as “Kinda reminds me of Greece”. It was limited to a total of 40 editions, and managed to get bad reviews which were then reprinted on the sleeve of their next publication, the 7 single “Nú á ég vermand vini”. This single was released in 250 editions later that same year and the recording quality had improved somewhat.
In 1997 Bad Taste ltd released a series of smallish cd’s with a few notable young underground bands, each CD containing around 7-9 songs, so these were kinda mini-LP’s designed to get the bands some starting point, but not distributed or promoted widely it seems. I think all of these bands disbanded pretty soon after those releases, and never properly got off the ground. One of them was Soðin Fiðla mentioned in an earlier post, and one of them was Bag of Joys. The CD “Eins og ég var motta” (“Like I was a rug”) was released in 1997, and here they had aquired a female vocalist named Lena. The recordings are great and the songs are sparkling with naivety and non-sensical lyrics, including a cover of “We like to do it” by a band I do not know called Avocado Baby. They had a well attended release party, and then promptly disbanded.
Since then they’ve occasionally resurfaced playing one concert in 2002 and at a wedding last year, and one member named Sighvatur, also known as Musikhvatur, has been seen lurking behind keyboards as member of Apparat Organ Quartet along with Jóhann Jóhannsson of Daisy Hill Puppy Farm.
Now, here are a few songs for your listening enjoyment in chronologial order. I do recommend starting with the CD.
From the cassette “Minnir óneitanlega á Grikkland”:
- Hey
- Goldfinger
- Hummingbird Cookie
From the 7 “Nú á ég vermand vini”:
- Skepnur (“Beasts”)
- Fleskmangarinn og dvergatuddinn (“The fleshmonger and the dwarf-ox”)
From the CD “Eins og ég var motta”:
- Lovepotion
- Sveitasnakk
- Sappa oj
- We like to do it
- HA 498
- Í berjamó með Bag of Joys (“Picknick with the Bag of Joys
  1. In case anyone is interested the French song “Le Petit Garcon” from the album “Eins og ég var motta” is available here:
    Le Petit Garcon
The song is 1:56 long, which makes it a longer than average Bags song in length.
If I remember correctly the song was created quite quickly and spontaineously after the three chords that make it up had been put together. The lyrics were then put together by Gústi from a textbook in French. Sounded good at the time, but having been recently in France it doesn’t really sound like the same language.

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