Archive for the ‘Trabant’ Category



trabantI learned about Trabant from the magazine pictured to the left.  It came with McSweeney’s issue #15 and is completely in Icelandic.  Trabant are apparently a pretty huge band in Iceland, and they have a  lot of songs on YouTube.  And many of their songs are very different sounding so I’m not entirely sure what kind of band they actually are.

This song begins with strange clicks and sound effects and then a big throbbing bass.  There’s kind of a funky keyboard background and then a slightly off kilter riff.

Then the big guitars kick in and the vocals (which are “if you want a love song”) don’t start until about two minutes in.  There’s a break in the middle where the band starts changing Ma Mo Ma Mo Maria and then the singer starts free associating over some wild guitar riffing and more sound effects.  It’s a really weird song and I have no idea if this is representative of the band (they did make a video for it so it can’t just be a throwaway, right?).

I’m really intrigued by these guys, and I’m going to have to look for more.

[READ: May 18, 2013] McSweeeny’s bits.

4Over the course of my reading the McSweeney’s issues, there were bits and pieces that I missed for one reason or another.  I tried to be complete, but sometimes it wasn’t easy.  So, with the publication of The Art of McSweeney’s I have now been able to read two things that I missed earlier.  And the third is something I didn’t exactly read, although I tried.

Just as issue 1 had a short story by Dave Eggers on its spine! issue #4 (the box of books) had a brief piece by Ben Greenman ringing the contents list of said box.  I never noticed it before (indeed I may not have ever read the back of the box before, shame on me).  But anyhow, in very tiny print is “More Notes on Revising Last Night’s Dream” by Ben Greenman.   And in this brief piece (which is several bullet pointed items–although arranged as a line rather than bullets) there are several ideas about last night’s dream which include “Egg on breakfast plate need not bloom into flowers” and “Cut out part in which Leslie Nielsen meets Trotsky–silly.”  And, of course, “More Invisibility.”  This is the kind of short silly thing that the first issues published which have more or less been relegated to the McSweeney’s website now.  And while I feel the website is a better place for it (and I need to go read the website more), these silly things are certainly missed.


The second missed item is also found thanks to The Art of McSweeney’s.  I mentioned in my review of Issue #20 that the story on the cover was completely covered by art.  And I wondered why and I wondered if you could find the whole text anywhere.  Well, in The Art of McSweeney’s they print the original cover!

I was delighted by this because it did two things–it explained how the cover was made (the 3D art was not “added on,” rather the white section under the art was “Compressed” which is how it came out 3D.  Very cool.  There’s also a brief breakdown of costs of the issue.  But the bulk of the cover story is about how the author (Eggers, I assume) broke up a fight in New York City.  A man and his family are walking down the street when a lady bumped into their little girl.  The man freaks out because she didn’t apologize and he gets right up in the lady’s face (really, dude?).  Eggers is on the phone arranging to meet someone when he says he has to get involved.  So he tells the guy to chill out.  Things quiet down a bit, but then the woman starts screaming “You got knocked up!”  And that’s when Eggers takes a look at her and realizes that she is homeless and crazy and not ever going to apologize.  But the screaming gets the mother involved in the fight which starts up again.  Things finally settle down with the family acknowledging that the lady doesn’t understand anything.  And they all depart.  It’s probably the most exciting editor’s note of them all, and yet it was covered up.

15My guess is, from what I know about Eggers, that story may have seemed too self-serving to include   Or maybe it was just fun to cover up words with a picture.

The final item comes from Issue #15.  It is a small magazine called Séð og Heyrt (Seen and Heard).  It is a real weekly magazine, although I’m not sure if our version is complete (I assume it’s not since it’s only 16 pages, but who knows how much tabloid you can fill each week in Iceland).  It is a pretty typical scandal magazine  For some insight into this magazine, check out this post on I love Icelandic Music.

I can’t even begin to guess what half of the articles are about as the pictures are mostly crazy.  There seems to be something about an Idol show, there’s a female body builder, something about some wholesome looking people who may be called Icelandic Pearls.  And then the centerfold is called Rokkorgia, which should be easily translated. It features half naked pictures of the guys from Trabant.  The next page has Love Guru in strange positions with his lady friend and a big headline Bingo I Beinni.  The back page has an ad for Krit Paradis Eyjahafsins which appears to be a nice resort.  What a fun, odd addition to the Icelandic Issue of McSweeney’s.

Then as I was glancing through I caught something that said That 70s Show.  And sure enough, it was a preview of a new episode tonight (is it dubbed into Icelandic??).  So even though I played around with translating bits and pieces of the magazine, this was the only one I did fully.  So in Icelandic (excluding some accents)

I kvold hefjast syningar a nyrri syrpu um unglingana i Wisconsin.  Jackie þarf ad velja a milli Hyde of Kelso.  Red er að ba ser eftir hjartaafall og Eric er með samviskubit yfir þvi að vera að fara i burtu i haskola.  þokkadísin Estella Warren leikur gestahlutverk i þaettinum

Which Google tells me means:

Tonight begins exhibiting a new series about a teenager in Wisconsin. Jackie has to choose between Hyde of Kelso. Red is ba after a heart function and Eric is guilty not be going away to college. charm diesel Estella Warren plays a role in the show.

Cool huh?  What a strange thing to find in a magazine that was not meant for me.  But I’m glad I read it because now I know all about Trabant!

For ease of searching, I include, well, I’m only including the magazine, because there’s way too much otherwise: Sed og Heyrt.

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