Song of Norway

R�opp are playing Chop Suey this weekend. And I had every intention of interviewing the Norwegian electronic duo, so they could tell Seattle what to expect from the show and discuss their next album and so on. But I didn’t. Because I’m preoccupied. You see, I’m moving. Today. The truck from Starving Students should arrive in two hours. So for the past 10 days, I’ve been wrapping dishes in newspaper, canceling my utilities, and, mostly, shoveling armloads of LPs and compact discs into cardboard boxes. (And then slathering on hand lotion because of the paper cuts.) So I never got around to phoning Norway. Sorry. Regardless, here are some facts that may or may not pique your interest in what promises to be a great show.

1. My copy of R�opp’s percussive house single, “Poor Leno,” featuring vocals by Erlend عe of Kings of Convenience, is one of roughly 3,500 vinyl records I packed. Right now, it is nestled in a carton between the LPs Avalon by Roxy Music and Everybody’s Free by “where is she now?” dance diva Rozalla. That seems appropriate, since musically the band resides in a middle ground between the escapist club music of the latter and the lush romanticism of the former. In fact, Complex magazine recently declared R�opp’s debut, Melody A.M., a “future make-out classic for the thinking man,” and I agree . . . which is good, since I wrote that review.

2. Melody A.M. is one of 3,200 or so compact discs I own. I had more than that before this move began, but I’ve been purging titles I don’t listen to. However, none of the five grocery bags of music I sold at a local store last Saturday contained any titles by Norwegian artists.A-ha, the aforementioned Kings of Convenience, and Edvard Grieg’s Peer Gynt Suites all survived the downsizing. Surely that says something about the consistent quality of the music made in this chilly corner of the globe.

3. Melody A.M. was originally released overseas on Wall of Sound. Wall of Sound is also the Propellerheads’ label. I used to have a massive crush on Alex Gifford of Propellerheadswe’d bonded once over our mutual love of Shirley Basseyuntil one night, after an industry showcase in Austin, Texas, I popped backstage to say hi and found him making love eyes with Rufus Wainwright. I sold several Propellerheads platters last week (although I held on to their cover of the theme to On Her Majesty’s Secret Service). Ironically, I kept both my Rufus Wainwright CDs, which goes to show how forgiving I can be, even when I’ve been crossed.

4. The U.S. version of R�opp’s album (which adds several bonus remixes) came out on Astralwerks, a label that sends out entirely too many promotional T-shirts. I used to stick them all in a drawer designated for workout clothes, until I realized that I had accumulated 20-something shirts for bands I don’t listen to. And that my gym membership had expireda year and a half ago. So I donated them all to Goodwill. I thought about dropping them at a men’s shelter, but I realized that dressing a homeless person in a Fatboy Slim shirt that reads “Better Living Through Chemistry” is probably a bad idea.

5. The Seattle R�opp gig is being presented by the Light in the Attic crew. I like Light in the Attic for a couple reasons. They’ve only put out a few records so farSharpshooters’ Twice as Nice and deluxe new editions of the first couple Last Poets albumsso it only took a second to pack all their releases. Also, while I really don’t need any more albumseverI’m looking forward to the next LITA ones: reissues by groovy vocal pop ensemble the Free Design, and the soundtrack to the 1974 porn flick Lialeh (“the black Deep Throat“). Who doesn’t love porn? Why, I labeled the contents of the carton with all my dog-eared issues of Honcho and Mandate “porn” just to see if maybe one of the movers would express some, ahem, interest, and perhaps life would imitate art. (And by art, I mean videos like Locker Room Follies.)

6. R�opp perform live with a full band. This reportedly includes a guy who plays drums with his head. I read that tidbit in a gushing live review from a London newspaper, The Guardian, which praised the band’s “impeccable timing and contagious energy” onstage. Bear in mind, however, that the U.K. press is notoriously disreputable. For example, if a British music scribe can’t get hold of an interview subject, it is not unheard of for them to simply manufacture a page of ramblings only tangentially related to the artist. And that kind of conduct, obviously, just doesn’t fly in the States.