canadaherligste · 2 years ago
I completely forgot about my tumblr this year (it’s been a hard one), until I saw this clip posted. A few things.
1) Yes, there was a meltdown. 
2) Holy crap he sounds incredible.
3) It really sounds like Bård has been working on his upper range. He sounds stronger, more confident and more in control than he did even 5 years ago. I mean, that vibrato is just...*chef’s kiss.” 
4) Hope all of you are doing well!!
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canadaherligste · 3 years ago
Reblogging because this is still a need, but WOW how things have changed in 2 years. 
My thoughts on Zendaya as Mary Jane
I remember the first time I saw the animated movie, “Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman,” and being so excited and floored when I saw Bruce Wayne’s love interest, Kathy Duquesne. She was a black girl.
You have to understand. I was 19, a black nerdy girl, growing up loving superheroes and animation. I had a bigger crush on Bruce Wayne than I did on any of the Backstreet Boys. So I can’t even put into words how huge that was for me - that my favourite superhero could want a girl that looked like me. And she was ANIMATED. Freakin’ animated and it rocked my damn world.
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There are not enough black female superheroes as it is. Ask any random person, and the most they may be able to name is two off the top of their head - Storm, Vixen. A more-than-average comic lover might be able to name Bumblebee, Spectrum or Rocket.
Black female love interests are a whole other non-existent ball game. They’re virtually non-existent in comic-lore. (Yes, pedants, I know Wolverine had a thing with Storm. I said virtually).
While it’s important for black women to have more roles that depict us as powerful, I think it’s also important for us to see ourselves in roles that show us as desirable. It shouldn’t be far-fetched or fantastical that a good-hearted, noble hero could find a dark-skinned woman interesting, intriguing and attractive.
So the notion that Zendaya will play Mary Jane Watson in the next Spider-Man movie is going to be huge for all those teenage black girl nerds who love superheroes. All those girls who daydream about their heroes but never see themselves as a possible object of their affection.
Zendaya is going to be some young girl’s Kathy Duquesne. And this time, she’s not animated.
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canadaherligste · 3 years ago
I drove a little bit in Norway on our trip last month, and I gotta say, the speed limits are SUPER LOW on the freeways and highways and it’s HARD to drive that slow when you’re used to speed limits a good 20-30km/hr faster 
I am very much The Mom Friend™️ in most of my friendships, except when it comes to @lundsdotter scolding me about my driving
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canadaherligste · 3 years ago
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Rong, Øygarden, Norway 24.08.2018
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canadaherligste · 3 years ago
What is this name, McBurgleson, in Ylvis' "Push the button"? I cannot find a meaningful reference anywhere. Help!
Hello there!! Hopefully I can help :-)The primary mascot of the McDonald’s burger chain is a clown named “Ronald McDonald.”  However, there’s another character from McDonald’s called “The Hamburglar” who, in advertising, would try to steal hamburgers from Ronald McDonald. Also, Ylvis seems to like to add the suffix “-son” to names they’re joke-Americanizing (see Jimmy Kimmelson LOL). I’m not sure if that’s because patronymic surnames are super common in Norway causing their Norwenglish way of saying American names, or if it’s because they actually think it’s an American thing like their obsession with America and burgers (patronyms are pretty universal, and “-son” is more British [colonizers] than American, but I digress...). So I think “Ronald McBurgleson” is a mishmash of Ronald McDonald + The Hamburglar + Ylvis’ Norwenglish  “-son” joke.
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canadaherligste · 4 years ago
Every day at work...
current mood: SHUT UP
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canadaherligste · 4 years ago
Hello everyone!  We promised you a ranking post for Stories From Norway, and here it is!  Since there are 7 episodes in the show, we thought we'd keep it in the spirit of Ylvis, and do it "list of 7 tops" style.  We will have a more formal final review later on, but for now let's just talk about the best that Stories From Norway had to offer.
So try avoiding double-triple-quadruple-racism-in-the-car during your list of 7 tops, and come join us as we rank everything from episodes to music to characters to cameos. You can give a list, you can elaborate, you can pick and choose which ones you answer - just make sure you only give 7!  (1=favourite, 7=least favourite).
We're looking forward to seeing what you guys liked the most!
1. Rank your favourite episodes. 2. Best song from each episode (not necessarily your favorite!): 3. Top 7 favourite songs in the series 4. Top 7 earworms 5. Top 7 Bård characters/performances 6. Top 7 Vegard characters/performances 7. Top 7 cameos & guests 8. Top 7 hottest moments from the brothers 9. Top 7 funny moments 10. Top 7 unexpected moments/surprises 11. Top 7 WTF/absurd moments 12. Top 7 SFN songs you would want to hear live
1) Rank your favourite episodes (1=favourite, 7=least favourite).
Eve: 1. Northug Pt 1 2. The Diving Tower 3. Skrik 4. The Andoya Rocket Incident 5. Superstar In Norway 6. Northug Pt 2 7. Mette-Marit og Haakon
This is incredibly difficult to do! First and last were easiest, but in the middle … I’m torn between the episodes that had the biggest emotional impact versus the episodes that I thought were tightest and best made. My top two I think are the best made, and then after that it’s the episodes that gave me the most feels or that I have the most affection for, is the best way to put it. I feel like Northug Pt 2 should be higher on the list because of the emotional impact of “What Will I Say”, but I also thought it was not as thematically tight and not as funny as the episodes above it. Also, Skrik and Rakettskandalen are really kind of tied.
Robin: 1. Northug Pt 1 2. The Diving Tower 3. Mette-Marit og Haakon 4. The Andoya Rocket Incident 5. Superstar In Norway 6. Northug Pt 2 7. Skrik
It was a tough choice between "The Diving Tower" and "Northug Pt 1" for the top spot. The music, story and performances were pretty impeccable for both episodes. That said, what put "Northug Pt 1" in the top spot was that it was much funnier, and the creativity in anthropomorphizing the guardrail was an incredible stroke of genius that still blows my mind.
2) Best song from each episode (not necessarily your favorite!):
Robin: • The Diving Tower: Tango Problematique • Superstar In Norway: Superstar In Norway • Northug Pt 1: Langrennsfar • Northug Pt 2: What Will I Say • The Andoya Rocket Incident: Russian Government Process • Skrik: Nå er det OL • Mette-Marit og Haakon: Alenemor
Tango Problematique was a sensual, intense song with some of the best vocals I’ve ever heard from Bård. Superstar in Norway was musically and lyrically the most interesting and fun song for that episode (and it’s a jam). Langrennsfar gave the episode its motif. What Will I Say was performed impeccably and probably the most emotionally powerful song in the series. Russian Govt Process was sharp and on point.  Nå er det OL was a stunning song, it was inherently funny, and Vegard nailed it. Alenemor is probably one of Ylvis’ best songs ever.
• The Diving Tower: Sink the Tower (like two different songs in the same perfectly parodied style and structure) • Superstar In Norway: Superstar in Norway (great structure, super catchy) • Northug Pt 1: I’m Sober (Unexpected, original, hilarious) • Northug Pt 2: What Will I Say (So much emotion, so much ridiculousness, such a perfect power ballad) • The Andoya Rocket Incident: Aurora Borealis (such a great peppy way to introduce the scientists and convey their excitement) • Skrik: Nå er det OL (stunningly beautiful and ridiculously banal) • Mette-Marit og Haakon: Alenemor (an amazing way to tell that story, of everyone attacking poor Mette-Marit and her understandably upset reaction)
3) Top 7 Favourite songs
Eve: Okay, I was listening to all the songs last night while cleaning the kitchen, and I’m going with the ones that I was the most excited to hear when they came on. I think “You and Me” is my favorite song emotionally, and “Driving without Purpose” is my favorite comedically.
1. You and Me (feels!) 2. Driving Without Purpose (if there were a “Tobias Award”, this would get it) 3. What Will I Say (more feels!) 4. Push the Button (I don’t even know why Iove this so much) 5. Nå er det OL (sooo beautiful and soooo ridiculous and HOW DOES VEGARD MAKE HIMSELF SOUND LIKE A WOMAN?) 6. Guard Rail (for pure unexpected ridiculousness and yodeling) 7. Min Bok (because operatic hissy fit)
Robin: 1. Aurora Borealis 2. Alenemor 3. What Will I Say 4. Tor Kraft 5. Superstar In Norway 6. Tango Problematique 7. Langrennsfar
While Aurora Borealis probably isn’t the best song in the series, it makes me the happiest. Alenemor (mini-meltdown) is my favourite Vegard performance (sorry Jan Egeland), and What Will I Say (total-meltdown) is just everything. Tor Kraft is a jam, and it’s the best driving song ever. Superstar in Norway is *also* a jam and is the best walking song ever (just try listening to that and not strutting down the sidewalk).  Tango Problematique still gives me chills and is an earworm, and Langrennsfar’s musical motif recurring through the Northug episode brings me much joy.
4) Top 7 earworms
Robin: 1. The rocket is READY, the rocket is BIG, the rocket is PERFECT, the rocket is COOL, the rocket is SUPER, the rocket is GREAT…. 2. HaaaaMAAAAAR the THIIIIIIIINGS I DOOOOOO... 3. Justiiiiiiiin....Superstar in Norway...Justiiiiiiiiiin… 4. Fa-la-la-la-la-la-la going to a party fa-la-la-la-la testing things... 5. I'm coming back, I'm coming back, I'm coming back with a coooomeback... 6. Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh LANGRENNSFAAAAAR** (note - the rest also gets stuck in my head but I sing it in fluent gibberish) 7. SIIIIINK THE TOWER sink the tower burn the tower BUUUUUURN THE TOWER.....
Eve: 1. Push the BUTTON / I love America, okay, I do / Push the BUTTON 2. I wanna boom bang bang with your body, yo 3. Justiiiiiiiin....Superstar in Norway...Justiiiiiiiiiin… 4. He's the man who makes it bigger / Tor can make it stronger / Everything is better with Kraft / He will use his power / Maximize the tower – Tor Kraaaaaaaaaaft! 5. Who can looooooove you / Nobody / Hooooooold you / Nobody / Make your body wind, like me 6. Every time I see a Red Bull can: “What’s this? Empty Red Bull bottles lying on the ground? Who can it be who can it be who can it beeeee?” 7. Every time I use Excel: “Column B is available dates.”
It is kind of awful that the song that sticks in my head the most isn’t even theirs. But the visuals in my head are always of Ylvis as Haakon and Mette-Marit on the beach in the beautiful golden light.
5) Top 7 Bård characters/performances
Robin: 1. Geir Byberg for the win 2. Juri Mikhailovich 3. Petter Northug 4. Mette-Marit 5. Thomas Numme 6. Pål Enger 7. Mette-Marit's Dad - this was so touching and I love his old man voice
Geir Byberg wins this for me because Bård managed to give the character such depth with such a subtle performance. Juri Mikhailovich makes me wonder where Bård disappeared to. Drunk and despairing Petter was incredible. Mette-Marit was endearing and if you felt nothing during Alenemor I’m not judging you but I can’t help you either. Thomas Numme was just hilarious. Pål Enger I will mostly remember for heavy breathing. Mette-Marit's Dad was so touching and I love his old man voice.
1. Juri Mikhailovich. This performance was just pure perfection. Possibly the most un-Bård-like character he played, and with no makeup or prosthetics. 2. Petter Northug. He would get this for “I’m Sober” alone, but he also had contrasting emotional range of  “What Will I Say” and “Driving Without Purpose.” Wonderful. 3. Pål Enger. I’m still amazed at how he captured the distinctive mannerisms of this guy. 4. Mette-Marit's Dad. Such perfect delivery of all the caveats to “hva du vil.” 5. Geir Byberg. This was good, but I thought his opportunity to express his range was limited with this role compared to the others. 6. The cop who goes to England. Loved the tourist and then those uncertain glances when the violence started.
6) Top 7 Vegard characters/performances
1. Skrik. Those puzzled, sad eyes, and the joy during “You and Me” 2. Tor Kraft, starting with that fingersnap/hip-thrust in the beginning and continuing with him bopping along to “add a bridge built with floating cement.” 3. Boris Yeltsin, particularly those small subtle moments of wordless acting around the officers. 4. Russian Bureaucrat, primarily for “[sigh] Every time.” 5. Mr. Riot Coordinator, for being so gung-ho and rallying despite the setbacks 6. The straight-haired lady with the baby who complains that Mette-Marit is from Oslo. Vegard completely disappeared and he was so VICIOUS!
Robin: 1. Vegard as everyone in Alenemor for the win 2. Prince Haakon 3. Russian Bureaucrat 4. Hallstein Thomassen 5. Boris Yeltsin 6. Tor Kraft 7. Mr. Riot Coordinator
Vegard’s showcases were definitely “Mette-Marit og Haakon” and “The Andoya Rocket Incident.” Vegard was a real bitch in Alenemor and I loved every freaking second of it. His performance as Prince Haakon made me believe in romance for 20 minutes. That sniff of disdain he gave as the Russian bureaucrat was just everything, and he was just so freaking adorable with his awestruck nasally voice as Hallstein. Boris was also great, as he showed him going from uncertainty to resolve. Tor Kraft was super fun, but also a good performance, as Tor went from pompous grandiosity to sheepish regret. And you can almost watch the Riot Coordinator’s resolve deflate as he goes along.
7) Top 7 cameos & guests
Robin: 1. Lasse Kolsrud for the win 2. Patricia Morales 3. Bjarte Ylvisåker 4. Little Emma Ylvisåker as the disapproving guardrail 5. The three courtiers in “Mette-Marit og Haakon” 6. The dude with the bass voice doing the response in “Sink The Tower” 7. The lady that threw her arms around Bård during Aurora Borealis
Lasse Kolsrud wins MVP (sorry Bjarte) because his both his acting and vocal performances were just so freakin powerful. Patricia Morales gave a beautiful performance in Tango Problematique, and I am STILL irked with Ylvis that she hasn’t gotten a credit in the song’s title when she sang like 80% of that song (every other guest singer did). Bjarte’s appearances were all fun, with my faves being the thief and as the raunchy skinhead-looking Langrennsfar singer. Little Emma Ylvisåker was adorable as the disapproving guardrail. The courtiers were really interesting, especially that one who was all judgey.  My last two go to people who barely made appearances but were so memorable. The “Sink The Tower” guy just looked so likeable, and that woman that hugged Bård is all of us.
Eve: 1. Bjarte, Bjarte, Bjarte. Every time he appeared he was a joy. 2. Lasse Kolsrud. Wow. He was perfection, acting-wise and singing-wise. 3. Priscilla. I wish we had seen more of her. For me she stole the scene from Tor Kraft and the other Kraftettes. 4. The guardrail posts. Every single one of them, from Emma to the scatting (is that the word) dude to the two Ylvis fans who cameoed. 5. Haakon’s courtiers and their hilarious subtle facial expressions during “Castle on the Hill” 6. Vegard in a cowboy hat 7. The watch shop guy. He was the same actor as the Hamar mayor and the “You’re Fucked” guy, but watch shop guy was the cutest.
8. Top 7 hottest moments from the brothers
Robin: 1. From Byberg’s hesitation to Haakon’s consternation...every freakin’ time these guys showed us what they were made of and acted the hell out of a scene. 2. Bård as Mette-Marit zipping up thigh high red boots in a sexy nurse outfit. 3. Bossy Vegard strutting around giving orders as the Hotel Manager. 4. Vegard’s courtship dance as Haakon. 5. Bård’s post-coital breathlessness after “The Smell of Money.” 6. Bård’s back as shirtless Petter Northug. 7. Vegard as the Langrennsfar singer - the punk look works for him!
1. Vegard as the bad-boy middleman in “Skrik” 2. Vegard as Riot Coordinator. Curls and intensity! 3. Vegard doing his “boom bang bang” dance as Haakon 4. Vegard’s “Every time” and sexy glasses as the Russian Bureaucrat 5. Half-naked, glistening, golden-lit Bård working in the wood shop. Can’t go wrong with that. 6. Pink-cheeked Bård sipping a stout in England. 7. Bård as Juri because he was JUST SO GOOD.
9) Top 7 funny moments
1. Dead Veguardrail 2. “Can those morons even count?” 3. Vebieber sings “Normal house” and we see a shot of a port-a-potty. 4. The entirety of “I’m Sober”. This is one of the funniest things they’ve ever done, visually, musically, and lyrically. 5. The matching huge gaping expressions and the loud gasps from Petter Northug and VeGuardrail just before the former hits the latter. 6. "Unless you wanna go to jail and get fucked again" 7. When Vegard stamped the document with a stamp that said “sånn og sånn.”
1. “I walk the liiiiine, I walk the line! <clap!>” 2. Vegard’s record-scratch elbow to the face of a Belieber mannekin in London. 3. “Byberrrrrrrg….you have forgotten who you are….” 4. Haakon licking a frozen pizza will forever be one of my favourite things. 5. “Whoa, unpleasant language? You must be a THIEF!” 6. “He, she, it, is, English, yes, hello!....and we have a TV show! Hip-hop!” 7. “Excuse me, Mr Riot Coordinator…” is just such a ridiculous line (riots don’t have coordinators and polite participants) and it took me a while to realize how funny that is!
10) Top 7 unexpected moments/surprises
1. The singing guardrails (can you tell this is a favorite?) 2. V & B on the TV in “You’re Fucked” 3. God recommending a “Presss Conferenssss” 4. Backup singers appearing in “Tor Kraft” 5. Vegard bursting into operatic dramatics for “Min Bok” 6. The Kaviar feeding scene. Sigh. 7. Any time Bjarte showed up
Robin: 1. The first contrast between ballad-singing Petter and drunk Petter 2. Anthropomorphized singing guardrails! 3. Bård’s power tenor in Tango Problematique. 4. Everyone sharing the blame at the end of The Diving Tower. 5. The appearance of Mikhail Mouse. 6. “I am heeeere all alone, I am here in a shop by myself..” 7. Bumpy Ride not being an Ylvis song.
11) Top 7 WTF/absurd moments
Eve: 1. Northugs Vis (everything about that whole scene, but especially the drums and spit) 2. The Kaviar feeding (blegh) 3. The flour-throwing scene in My Cheget with the cheget just … sitting there 4. “The Smell of Money.” Just … ew. 5. Mette-Marit in the nurse’s uniform. Sadly this didn’t push my buttons. 6. The watch shop guy with his dramatic singing in the middle of the catchy funk 7. “Norwegian shitting snack”
Robin: 1. I’m still a little mad about the caviar, to be honest… 2. Tor Kraft’s storm-eyes and giant-sized everything LOL 3. Everything about “My Cheget” was weird 4. “I just came here to get laid for the first time of my life…” 5. Skrik and Pål made a connection? WHEN? 6. An orange muppet being the Northug family consultant. Bang-on-target, pal. 7. “Northugs vis” was absurd but it really grew on me.
12) Top 7 SFN songs you would want to hear live
1. Alenemor 2. Push The Button 3. What Will I Say (but only with Lasse Kolsrud there) 4. Langrennsfar (but only with Bjarte there) 5. I'm Sober (because Bård solo and I still haven't seen Intolerant live) 6. Tor Kraft  (but I need to be a backup singer for this one) 7. Superstar in Norway (see above-mentioned backup singer caveat) 8. Johnny Fra Stovner (this one I want just for the band)
1. Langrennsfar (such a great song for a crowd) 2. You’re Fucked (because it’s just sooo fun and should be easy to do onstage with the old-timey dancing) 3. What Will I Say (I agree about Lasse, but I’d be curious to see what Vegard could do) 4. You and Me (A lamenting duet between the brothers? Have we seen that since Ka Kan Eg Gi Deg?) 5. Nå er det OL (I want to hear that beautiful singing live) 6. Push the Button (because I love Vegard intensity and that last butTOOOOONNNNN!) 7. Superstar in Norway (with dancing!)
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canadaherligste · 4 years ago
There is so much Bård Ylvisåker on my dashboard right now that I might not actually make it through to tomorrow @my-ylvis-world @rethatview @addictedtoylvis y’all are killing me DEAD
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canadaherligste · 4 years ago
Hello everyone, and welcome to the music review of Episode 6 of "Stories From Norway." As usual, there’s a separate post to the music of the episode, giving us all the freedom to get into detail! Today I'm flying solo, so I'm hoping that you guys will come keep me company here :-)
So oh my gosh say goodbye and hang up the damn phone already, and come join me as I get long-winded as usual about the songs, their genres and videos, their vocals. As usual, I want to know what you loved and didn't love, and I'm looking forward to learning from you all as I always do!  So here goes:
1. Which was your favourite song? 2: Genres. Homages. Parodies. Tropes. Music. Vocals.  Let’s break this down, song by song: A - Nå er det OL B - Man Of A Thousand Faces C - The Smell Of Money D - You And Me E - Non-Ylvis song choices: Africa (Toto)
BONUS QUESTION: Pål had Toto's "Africa." What would be your getaway song?
1. Which was your favourite song?
Robin: "Nå er det OL" by a pretty wide margin. I'll get into it more below, but this song is pretty perfect; lyrically, musically, vocally on point. Plus I was really happy with myself because I understood most of the song the first time I watched the episode in Norwegian!
2: Genres. Homages. Parodies. Tropes. Music. Vocals.  Let’s break this down, song by song:
A - Nå er det OL
Robin: Guys, this song is freakin' phenomenal. It really is and I'm in love with this song and I'm going to ramble about why so buckle up LOL.
They were definitely going for the style of inspirational Olympic theme, like Gloria Estefan's "Reach," Koreana's "Hand in Hand,"  Nikki Yanofsky's "I Believe." Some usual staples of the inspirational song are here: the instrumental opening, the soft wind instruments, major key, modulation with choir, quiet fade out. They certainly nailed the genre. Having Vegard dress (and look) like Sissel was perfect since she did the Olympic Hymn at Lillehammer that year.
That said, though, Lars does his usual thing and adds his own flair to the song to make it interesting. Because of course Lars would compose a song with two different time signatures. The verses are in 6/8, the chorus is in 4/4. Guys, I'm a complete sucker for mixed time signatures in pop music. Even if this song had nothing else going for it, I'd be in love with it just for that. But it has so much else going for it.
For one, there's Vegard's vocals. I have never heard Vegard sing like this before; you don't get head voice from him very often because he's often doing power vocals. It's insane how beautiful and feminine he manages to sound. The break as he switches from head to chest in the last part of the choruses are just soooo smooth and pretty. And can we talk about his own voice doing the background vocals and how freaking high he gets in that last chorus, though?  My goodness.
Then there's the lyrics. This song is hilarious and thematically on point for the episode. I love that they managed to write a whole song about there being no law enforcement in Oslo interspersed with random mentions of some of the opening ceremonies' characters. It almost works like the world's worst subliminal message: "It's the Olympics, we have gremlins and trolls NO POLICE IN OSLO and bushes and snow PERFECT TIME FOR ROBBERY we're all here celebrating NO POLICE IN OSLO..."
Okay, yeah, I've talked enough. I'm sorry. I love this song.
B - Man Of A Thousand Faces
Robin: This is a fun song! I've tried but failed to remember what this song reminds me of, so I'm asking all the theatre gurus to tell me where it comes from!
I mentioned this in the review post; my favourite part of this song (and the episode) is the jazz break in the middle of the song, which musically is highly reminiscent of Henry Mancini's "The Pink Panther Theme" with the percussion style and tenor saxophone. Bård then launches into a French accent like Inspector Clouseau from the Pink Panther movies; a character known for his outlandish (and mostly ineffective) disguises.
Bård is soooo over the top in this song it's *almost* too much! This is probably the most energetic I've seen him since I can't remember when. I can't imagine how much work this video was to shoot. So many costume changes, so much energy; Bård must have gone straight to sleep after this because even I'm tired after this song.
C - The Smell Of Money
Robin: This song is in an R&B style that started in late 90s when the genre started moving away from New Jack Swing, and continued into the 00s. This sounds like it could have come straight out of Teddy Riley's, Rodney Jerkins' (Darkchild) or Timbaland's production studios; they were the most well known producers of that time. Similar songs musically would be Destiny's Child "Say My Name" along with almost anything by Blackstreet, and the vocal style is similar to the musical storytelling that R.Kelly (eww) did with "Trapped In the Closet."
I really want to love this song, and lyrically it's hilarious, but it is not their best work vocally and I'm a bit disappointed. Both Vegard and Bård are flat with their pitch a lot. I understand can happen because the duet is pretty rapid-fire and the intervals move quickly, but R&B is pretty unforgiving that way; even with rapidly paced lyrics like this you have to be on point (see "Satisfied" on the Hamilton soundtrack).
That said, it's still a funny song, and the awkward "byes" at the end are hilarious. I assume they used R&B (a sexy genre) to relate to the idea that the money is seductive and arousing. So arousing that Vegard-Jan steams up the phone booth, they both constantly have their hands on the windows Titanic-style, and Bård-Pål has a look of satisfaction and can barely catch his breath after the song is done.
Honorable mention goes to Bård's dancing; that spin is everything.
D - You And Me
Robin: This is a beautiful song. It's the kind of soft rock ballad that you could find in any decade from the 70s onwards.  Also, Vegard even sounds a little like Kenny Loggins. I'm sure there's some musical theatre precedent to this song that I'm unaware of. Lars' composition here is stunning, and I loooove the ending chords of this song (similar to "The Prayer").
I mentioned this in the previous post; this song could have had a much bigger emotional impact if the relationship between Skrik and Pål had been alluded to or highlighted before this moment. The song is great and the connection between the two is solid at that moment, but there's no investment on the viewers' (or at least my) part before then. Maybe that's just as well for me; I don't think I would have survived another "What Will I Say."
In any case, both Vegard and Bård do a fantastic job here, both vocally and in the music video. They really sell the connection at the time between the two characters, and the first time we see Skrik smile is really something. Watching them go to their respective prisons was pretty sad.
E - Non-Ylvis song choices: Africa (Toto)
Robin: There are numerous articles online about why Toto's "Africa" is a magical song, and I agree with every single damn one of them. There's something about "Africa" that is just uplifting, that you can't help singing along with, that makes you feel good when you hear it. So that choice was perfect for this moment, as Real-Pål talks about how electric and magical it felt to have pulled off the heist and to have Skrik.
Lyrically, it was some fantastic irony. "It's gonna take a lot to drag me away from you..." - it took three million kroner. And he was almost literally dragged away from Skrik at the end by much less than a hundred men. "There's nothing that a hundred men or more could ever do" wasn't exactly right now, was it...
BONUS QUESTION: Pål had Toto's "Africa." What would be your getaway song?
Robin: OutKast's "Rosa Parks," Seal's "Padded Cell", or Ylvis' "Pressure."
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canadaherligste · 4 years ago
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Yes, it shows…
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canadaherligste · 4 years ago
AFTER THE STORY: SKRIK - TYVERIET; Stories From Norway Episode 6
Hello everyone, and welcome to this week's After The Story!  In Episode 6 of Stories From Norway, Ylvis takes the investigative musical to the world of art, as they chronicle the 1994 theft of "Skrik" (The Scream), Edvard Munch's most famous and beloved painting.
@addictedtoylvis and me was not meant to be this week, as my usual partner in crime is on vacation. Never fear, though, because my fellow Canadian and living Ylvis encyclopedia Meredith is standing in for Eve on this week's review!
So put down your extremely long ladder, and join Meredith and me as we talk about our favourite and funniest moments, the characters, the storytelling and more. We also give our best Charlie comebacks in convincing a skeptical felon!
As usual, have at it in the replies and comments. We want to know what you think!
1) What was your favourite moment?
2) What were the funniest moments for you?
3) Favourite Vegard character: Sissel, Jan Olsen or The Scream?
4) Bård had two main characters: let's talk about his work with both. First: Pål Enger.
5) Bård's second character:  Undercover agent Charlie Hill.
6) What are your thoughts on the documentary portions?
7) What did you think of the storytelling in this episode?
8) Which were your favourite make-up and costume jobs?
9) What is your general impression of this episode?
10) Any other interesting notes or background info from the story?
11) As usual, pick the episode’s MVP.
Bonus Question:  You are Charlie, the man/woman of a thousand faces, working undercover. Your mark looks at you and says, "Huh, I think you're a cop." Convince this criminal that you're a thief.
1) What was your favourite moment?
Robin: My favourite moment was the genius "Pink Panther" break in the middle of "Man Of A Thousand Faces," as Bård/Charlie channels his best Inspector Clouseau to convince Felon-Bjarte of his criminal nature. Freakin' fantastic.
Meredith: You’re right, I missed that completely!! That’s why he was French, LOL. I liked the sight gag with the really long ladder. Pål says something like “you look really stupid carrying something like that around” and it cuts to a visual of the ladder stretched across an entire street.
2) What were the funniest moments for you?
Robin: Bjarte's response to the above: "Whoa! Unpleasant language. You must be a thief!" Bjarte's delivery of that line is SO PERFECT I was crying with laughter...and then the look on his face as he gets arrested while Charlie yells "cocks and balls!!" made it even funnier.
Meredith: It’s a toss-up between Charlie’s “American” small talk (You know hamburgers? Have you tried hamburgers, from America? I only eat hamburger meat, man...) while kitted out like Colonel Sanders, and Vegard floating through the air after the smell of money, then falling when the bag is zipped shut.
Robin: YES! LOL -  I will never completely understand Ylvis’ fixation with hamburgers and America!!  I mean, I get it, but they are just so fixated!! It’s hilarious!
3) Favourite Vegard character: Sissel, Jan Olsen or Skrik?
Robin: This is a really tough one. Sissel was fantastic, and Vegard is disturbingly, wonderfully convincing as a street thug. All that said, this may be a case of absence making the heart grow fonder, but man oh man do I wish we had more of Vegard as The Scream. There was just not enough. I am completely amazed by how much Vegard conveyed with JUST his eyes for so much of the episode, and his actual scream was actually a bit heart-wrenching. His performance was incredible and I wish we had gotten more somehow.
Meredith: Vegard as Skrik really creeped me out on first viewing. That is not a painting I would want to see come to life. But I have to say he grew on me at the end when he and Pål had their emotional parting. But surly criminal Vegard wins for me, because he was so unlike the dorky, bossy, long-winded Vegard we all love and because of his awesome leopard-print underpants (watch the arrest scene closely.)
Robin: WHAT?!? (goes back to watch scene...multiple rewinds later) Meredith, you’re my hero.
4) Bård had two main characters: let's talk about his work with both. First: Pål Enger.
Robin: This is another character I really wish we got to see more of. Honestly, I mostly forgot that was Bård. The facial hair and makeup made a big difference, and somehow even his posture and gait seemed different. As usual, Bård disappeared into the role.
I'm a little befuddled as to why the character of Pål Enger was used so little, especially given how fascinating real-life Pål Enger was and how central he was to the story. I thought that Real Pål had a calm, nonchalant cockiness to him that was intriguing and charismatic, but we really didn't get the opportunity to see much of that at all, which is too bad because Bård would have nailed that.
Meredith: To me Pål was weirdly phlegmatic - he described the decision to steal the painting like it was a shopping trip he was planning once he got out of prison. But you could tell how amused he was by the ease of it - the substandard glass in the windows and the lack of security around the nation’s most famous painting. I was also curious about whether he has a straight job now - it was funny that he was credited as “art thief.”
I agree that Bård disappeared into the role. I’m wondering if he underplayed it because they didn’t want to make Pål look too heroic or attractive? Like, the attention might go to the real Pål’s head and he’d try to top that heist with something more daring.
5) Bård's second character:  Undercover agent Charlie Hill.
Robin: I can't even imagine how much work that character was to play. All those costume changes in one freaking song! Charlie was a fun character, and I already talked about how much I loved the break in the middle of his intro song. I really enjoyed his performance at the undercover operation.
I did think that Bård's portrayal might have been a little too much on the caricature side, and I am again befuddled by the decision of Team Ylvis to write and portray him as such. I get that real-life Charlie looks too much like Stephen Root to be taken seriously as an undercover agent, and the way he described his job was a bit funny sometimes, but he seemed like a consummate professional who was pretty highly regarded. I wonder if the portrayal was influenced by the choice of song style, or if it was vice versa.
Meredith: Charlie Hill is the kind of broad character that Vegard normally excels at, so I enjoyed seeing Bård get his ham on this time. Bård looked exactly like Robin Williams in his first screen appearance as Charlie, but once the song got started he was channelling old-school British comic actors (the late Terry-Thomas came to mind.) I think Ylvis decided to go over the top with Charlie’s character because of the way he described his modus operandi - behave like the total opposite of a cop to throw people off the scent. Tell ridiculous lies and act like you believe them.
6) What are your thoughts on the documentary portions?
Robin: I thought it was kjempe cool how they overlapped the documentary with the performances, especially during the sting operation. Jan Olsen's lines as told by the interviewee were in almost perfect sync with Vegard's delivery of them. I thought that was a great decision; I think it added to Vegard's believability as a street thug, as the familiarity of his voice wasn't there to keep the viewer grounded.
Presumably Scotland Yard would have been working with Norwegian police, so how did the Norwegians fail to inform them about the events at the hotel?! I thought it was absolutely insane and amazing that they managed to salvage an undercover operation in the middle of a police conference. I personally can't recall if money has a smell, but my perpetually broke ass definitely hasn't been around enough money all at once to verify or negate that claim.
Meredith: Yeah, I would have liked to know a little more about how they missed the police convention happening at their meeting place.
7) What did you think of the storytelling in this episode?
Robin: I enjoyed the story; the heist was great (omg that ladder) and the sting op was tense. That said, there were a few narrative choices that I wasn't quite on board with. I quite liked the episode, but I wanted more from it.
For one, I've already mentioned minimal Pål Enger. To me he was the most interesting person in the story and in the documentary, but he didn't quite get as much screen time and development as I would have liked. I thought it was strange that Charlie became a much more central part of the story than Pål did.
I feel that having more Pål Enger would have given a better chance to sell the bonding between him and Skrik. I didn't think that the story between the two characters was developed enough. The last song is phenomenal, but it came out of almost nowhere, and it didn't pack enough of an emotional punch for me. I wish there had been some more interaction between the characters somehow to take us to that end song.
Meredith: I thought it was a pretty tight episode. There were a lot of talking heads to navigate - is this the most in one show so far? - but they used them well to set up how the police caught the thief.  I think they went with making Charlie the focus of the episode because of the way he outsmarted Pål Enger, who admits that he basically lost control once a large amount of money was involved. He may have been clever and very taken with the painting,  but at the end of the day he’s still a criminal with poor impulse control.
8) Which were your favourite make-up and costume jobs?
Robin: Best makeup definitely goes to Skrik (and how did they even do that with his face and a moving framed painting), with a close second to Pål Enger.  As for costume: I freely admit that I totally fell for the pizza gag and did not notice Charlie/Bård on the wall AT ALL. That was freakin' genius.
Meredith: Have to agree about the Skrik makeup, and the special effects they used during the duet with Pål. Also, Charlie as the lamp.
9) What is your general impression of this episode?
Meredith: I liked this episode because it seemed like a real-life Ylvis prank. We didn’t get a lot of insight into why Pål became an art thief in the first place - he claims he didn’t even need the money when he sold Skrik. The impression I got is that he did it for the sheer joy of getting away with it. His reasoning was very Ylvis-like: hey, everyone in Oslo is going to be in Lillehammer,  let’s see if I can steal that painting of the weird guy screaming and totally upstage the Olympics too!
Robin: The theft story was fascinating and I enjoyed it. As much as I feel there may have been some missed opportunities at the centre of the story, it was still completely fun and interesting.
10) Any other interesting notes or background info from the story?
Robin: So I was reading about this theft from a few different sources after I watched the episode, and the absolute most badass part of this story for me was that, apparently, Pål Enger and his thief pals left a note at the crime scene saying “Thanks for the bad security!” I actually can’t believe that Ylvis left that out because it seems like a detail they’d love, but hey, maybe it didn’t come up during the interviews.
Also, Pål Enger actually broke out of jail during his sentence. LOL...I feel really weird praising a felon, but he is a pretty badass thief. He’s totally right; he’s the kind of criminal that movies get made about.
Meredith: I’ll repeat what I said above about them not wanting to glamourize Pål too much. I guess someone else will have to make the movie where Pål is the hero.
Robin: You’ve raised a really good point about not glamourizing Pål, and that makes total sense. It would be weird if he came out looking like Danny Ocean, especially given that this show is about Norway and he stole a national treasure just for kicks.
I do wonder if Ylvis could have achieved the same kind of balance as they did with Petter Northug and The Biebs; though those two displayed a little more conscience than Pål does. Maybe you’re right and it was best that he took a secondary seat to the man who outsmarted him.
11) As usual, pick the episode’s MVP.
Meredith: Skrik, even though he scared me. Making the painting sentient could have been a huge mistake, but Vegard pulled it off.
Robin: My vote goes to Vegard in general as he was fantastic all around, and especially for his performance as Skrik. I thought he was phenomenal.
Bonus Question:  You are Charlie, the man/woman of a thousand faces, working undercover. Your mark looks at you and says, "Huh, I think you're a cop." Convince this criminal that you're a thief.
Robin: Me? A cop? That’s some supercrapperfuckerifficexpialibullshit!
Meredith: Holy fist-fucking father of fucker, why do you think I’m a cop? Have some guacamole and relax.
Robin: HA!  Nice one, Meredith! I can’t top that LOL
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canadaherligste · 4 years ago
Hey! I'm here to help you with the High School Musical reference in "Push The Button" :) There's a song in HSM 2 called "Bet on it" which is basically the same in the beginning. Also the situation of the character Troy Bolton aka baby Zac Efron is similar (being told what's best for him and losing himself in the process etc). I can really recommend checking out a video of that song, if only for the hilarious dance moves which Yeltsin clearly stole haha :D Have a nice day :)
HELLO!! Sorry, I haven’t been on tumblr much.  Thank you, dear anon (and also thank you to @rethatview and the FB fans) for pointing us in the direction of the HSM 2 video.  I’ve watched it and it’s soooooo obvious now that “Push The Button” was completely inspired by that song. The musical structure is the same, and as you just pointed out, the theme is the same as well!I really, really love when you guys point stuff out that we missed, so please always keep it coming! 
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canadaherligste · 4 years ago
After The Story: The Music of The Andøya Rocket Incident
Hello everyone, and welcome to the music discussion of The Andøya Rocket Incident. We apologize for the delay; both Eve and I have had a very busy week, but we were determined to get this to you!
This week Eve and I were stumped at times, so we’re really looking forward to hearing your views on the music. We always learn a lot from you all, and we need it this week!
So take your application to the corresponding station in a classified location no one can access, and then sit back as we talk about our favourite songs, and about the genres and themes of the songs. Join in, we want to hear you!
1. Which was your favourite song?
2: Genres. Homages. Parodies. Tropes. Music. Vocals.  Let’s break this down, song by song:
A - Aurora Borealis
B - Russian Government Process
C - My Cheget
D - Push the Button
E - Never Again
F - Non-Ylvis song choices: Fly Me to the Moon (Julie London)
1. Which was your favourite song?
Eve: Although I am gaining an appreciation for Vegard’s deep rich tones in “My Cheget” (despite it’s jarringly weird romance montage) as soon as “Push the Button” starts, I realize it’s definitely my favorite. It makes me want to leap across the lawn in tandem with Boris.
Robin: While I think "Push The Button" is the best song this week, my favourite is “Aurora Borealis.”I can't get enough of it; I have to hear it on repeat at least 5 times before I can move on to the next song. I’m sure many an elevator surveillance camera has caught me dancing to it. I love everything about that song, it just makes me so happy. (A far cry from my weepiness from last week!!) I’ve even changed my ringtone to the instrumental ending of the song.
2. Genres. Homages. Parodies. Tropes. Music. Vocals.  Let’s break this down, song by song.
A - Aurora Borealis
Robin: Man I love this song. I believe that the genre inspiration for this song is Brazilian bossa nova jazz fusion, in the style of Sergio Mendez and Ivan Lins. “Aurora Borealis” reminds me most of “Mas Que Nada,” Sergio Mendez’s signature song; the chord structure is very, very similar. Mendez is also known for working with current artists and giving his songs modern and contemporary touches, and this song seems right in that vein.
Guys, the background vocals! Oh my gosh the harmonies. The “aurora borealis, aurora polaris” lines are just so gorgeous (they’re a choir girl’s dream), and freaking Bård at “lift off!!” holy crow. I also really love the background vocals at the second verse; they’re punchy and give the second verse a little more energy to take it to the countdown.
That said, it’s actually Vegard’s hyper-nasal geeky voice that sells this song for me. I. Love. It!! Remember when I said in the Bieber music review for “Normal Boy” that Vegard can’t contain that beast of a voice? Well, I stand corrected, because Vegard doesn’t sound anything like Vegard in this song!
The voice he puts on in this song, along with his demeanor in the video, give this song the wonder and joy and excitement you would expect to have when you’re about to press a button to launch a science rocket into space! His happy geek voice singing about the rocket, his awe of the auroras, and his confidence in the countdown just all works so well.
Besides all that, you have that killer bass going on, and the wind instruments sound so breezy and light! Vegard and the music together give a very light-hearted feel to the song and to the situation, giving a little irony given that we know how that happy moment takes a really dark turn.
Vegard’s voice also blends really well with Bård’s more muted version of his own voice. Bård sounds like himself, but with a much more controlled prosody, which works well to make his character sound different and separate from all the incredibly melodic background vocals he’s giving to the song.
I love that last scene where you can hear the party going on from the outside. All I can think off is the He-Man/What’s Up parody on YouTube (it’s one of my favorite things on the internet, don’t judge me) where the chef in the kitchen is hearing the muted version of the song. I’m sure it’s unrelated (unless Ylvis has as weird a sense of humor as I do) but that was the first and only thing that came to mind LOL https://youtu.be/ZZ5LpwO-An4
Eve: Although I can hear the bossa nova now that you’ve pointed it out, that wasn’t what I originally got from the song at all. The quick steady beat and the sort of regular, stiffness to the song (except for the lovely Aurora Borealis interlude) song, accompanied with stiff old-man dancing reminded me of Devo’s “Whip It”, of all things. It was a like a musical reflection of the concept that “white men can’t dance.” Or “White and Nerdy.” But I loved it because of that, and and how it was combined with delightfully nerdy lyrics like “look at all the data / look at the results / numbers numbers numbers / exactly what we want.” I also found it amusing that all the scientists dancing around looked a lot like the club scenes in “Pressure” and “Work It”, complete with the bursting champagne bottle, but with a bunch of old nerds dancing arthritically (in other words, me in about 20 years). I like that it’s a very happy, cheerful song, too. Something I could sing when my program compiles and produces the desired output.
B - Russian Government Process
Eve: This is another one of those show-tune-ish songs that I feel like I’ve heard before and can’t remember where. The plucked bass line with the other instruments responding, the minor key, it all sounds very familiar. I don’t know how they can keep singing when the song speeds up -- I can barely keep up until lunch! tiiiiiiime! and once they start up with “grill it, spice it, supersize it / flame it, boil it, circumcise it” I’m lost. So lost, in fact, that I didn’t realize until I paused it to get those lyrics that they threw “circumcise” in there.
Robin: I’m the same; I cannot for the life of me figure out why this song is sooooo familiar. Everything about it is familiar; the melody of the verse, the chord structure, the increasing tempo. I’ve had this problem a lot this episode - the songs all sound vaguely like something else I’ve heard but I can’t place all of them!  Lars has really gotten me this episode. Freakin’ Lars. I’m hoping someone comments with some insight into what inspired it because I am so stumped.
Vegard’s vocal performance in this song is stellar; man, he is on fire this episode. His voice is strong and stately, and he totally sells the character throughout the song. That said, I would pay to see him get through this song and get all the lyrics right and in order. Y’all better get started on those prompter cards.
The lyrics are hilarious: “take your application to the corresponding station in a classified location no one can access!!” Bureaucracy defined. That said, the standout moment in this song is the combined visual and lyric of “equal rights for gays” going into the trash. It’s songs like this one and like “Normal Boy,” songs whose funny moments are inherently tied to their videos, that make me really wish they would do commentary on this show.
C - My Cheget
Robin: This song has a slower bossa nova jazz groove going on, it again reminds me of some of Sergio Mendez's and Ivan Lins' work. This song reminds me most of “Fallen” by Lauren Wood, from the Pretty Woman soundtrack. It has a similar style and laid-back mood, as well as the bossa nova jazz groove, the horns and similar background vocals. I think.  I'm sorry, everyone, I am failing spectacularly at the music analysis of this episode! I blame Lars for being too good at his job.
Again, Vegard's killing it here. Man, his baritone is insane in this song. At no point during this song does Expensive Jacket Vegard Ylvisåker make an appearance; he is absolutely "Boris Yeltsin" in this song (and in the next one). In the extended version online, there are glimpses of his regular voice during his instrumental ad-libs, but that quickly devolves into hilarity as Yeltsin drunkenly loses control of his ad-libs. That makes me snort every single time I listen to it.
The lyrics of the song itself are super weird. Yeltsin daydreaming a love song to his nuclear suitcase in the middle of a crisis is almost as random as a Flat Eric puppet being Petter Northug’s life coach. It’s weird and almost completely incongruous. That said, it is interesting that he repeatedly declares that the Cheget is “his” at this time, because that’s exactly what he needed to remember as his military advisors urged him to do something he wasn’t sure about. He was the president, he had the power, and the decision about the Cheget was his to make.
Lastly, that shot of Yeltsin looking on at Putin’s inauguration gave me a chill. Not the good kind.
Eve: One of the cool things about this format is that Ylvis can make songs about whatever ridiculous bit they want to, and let the song be as long as it needs to. I feel like this is the type of song that might have resulted if they took that “What car do you drive?” digression from “Stongehenge” and made it its own song. Unlike the other songs which reflect plot points, this song is just a weird imagining of a romantic relationship with his nuclear briefcase because it’s always by his side. For some reason, I find this whole thing vaguely icky, particularly the flour-throwing scene, although “handle in hand with another man” makes me smile. I do enjoy the song, particularly since Vegard sings lower than I can remember hearing him sing for an entire song. I love how he sings “You are my Chegeeeeet” at the end. The photo album full of pictures of Yeltsin with the briefcase at McDonald’s or famous landmarks (I see the Eiffel Tower, Taj Mahal, and a skyscraper on a beach -- Dubai?) is fun. Is it in a cabana on the first page?
D - Push the Button
Robin: "Push The Button" is an intense, driving, powerful song, and everything about it represents the tenseness of the situation. The 3+3+2 drum rhythms at the beginning and at the bridge give this song a feeling of urgency. You can hear a similar use of that rhythm in Rob Thomas' "This Is How A Heart Breaks," one of my favourite workout songs for precisely that reason. I've been told that this also has some High School Musical inspiration, but since I haven't seen those movies, I'm hoping you guys can tell me more about that!
I also love that the other vocals aren't harmonized, but in unison at different pitches. There's nothing pretty or harmonic about this situation, it's an unevenly balanced argument. The only harmony comes in the silliest line, the digression, the Russian extra furry hat, thrown in there just to give the listener (and Yeltsin) a breather from the intensity of the situation.
I seriously can't talk enough about how Vegard's killing every song in this episode. I mean, damn, guy. If you're just listening to the song while streaming, there is no Vegard Ylvisåker, only Yeltsin. He really sells the conflict that Yeltsin is feeling, with every counterargument, the pressure he feels to make a decision.
There was a lot of discussion about Mikhail Mouse on the episode post so I won't go too much into it, but it's interesting to listen to how Vegard's tone and enunciation (and thus Yeltsin's attitude) change slightly after he talks to Mikhail Mouse. In the beginning he's really feeling the pressure and uncertainty and his voice wavers a little more in that vein, but after talking to Mikhail he sings more strongly (to the point where the Russian accent fades a little), because he is defiant and certain of what he wants and what he can do.
Also, "YYYYES, I'm a Russian, just like you!" gives me life every time. And man, Vegard's energy is insane; how he does all that dancing in that ill-fitted suit is beyond me.
Eve: I love the heavy drums in this one, that feel like a wave pushing Yeltsin closer and closer to the moment he has to make the decision. And it’s super creepy when they set the visuals of mushroom clouds and houses exploding to the beat of those drums. The repetition of the firm “Push the button” interspersed with the emotion explanations why he can’t are awesome. I also love the sections where the bass line pauses (“Do it for Stalin / Do it for Molotov”). I don’t quite understand why Yeltsin gets his American pop culture so mixed up, but I am always going to refer to it as the “Super Canyon” from now on. (And if you haven’t been, it really is all that.) Is there any connection, musically, between the carnival-sounding music of the Mikhail Mouse visit, and the rest of the song?I listened for one but can’t make one out. And finally, I gotta mention how much I adore that last “butTTONNNNNNNNNNNN!!!” I hope I get to hear that live someday.
E - Never Again
Eve: This song reminds me of “We Are All To Blame” at the end of “The Diving Tower”, one of those wrap-up songs sung by the entire company with a cheerful tune and “all our problems are solved” theme. Except in this case, they keep driving home the point that it is NOT solved, we’ve only had a narrow escape and the chance of this happening again is still looming heavily over our heads. The music and the happy dancing almost feels like a sort of “fiddling while Rome burns” thing, or at least some pretty severe denial.
Robin: Finally, a song I can talk about with certainty! The style of this song is 1960s-70s traditional black gospel music, a genre of Christian music. Some of the hallmarks of this sound is the fusion of southern gospel with the black gospel choir and distinct influence of soul music. This, along with contemporary black gospel, is mostly what I've performed as a vocalist.
As far as gospel songs go, this is a pretty decent one. The chord sequences and melodies in traditional black gospel can be a bit predictable if you're familiar with the genre, so kudos to Lars for still making it sound mostly fresh and original.  Also, the Hammond organ sound is a staple of gospel music, so I loooove that Lars had that sound going on in the song!
The background vocals are great, though I wish they had used more layers or singers to give a real choir sound (more like Massachusetts). I also wish they had added a little more of the gospel ad libs to the end. Bård had a decent go of it, but they should have let those singers go a little nuts!
The use of this genre is all in the name of irony. The word "gospel" literally translates to "good news." The lyrics of the song, "this will never happen again" would seemingly be good news, except Ylvis is being completely sarcastic and actually sharing terrible news that nuclear war is incredibly likely to happen someday just because someone inadvertently messes up.
I think the use of this genre was inspired directly by Dr. Pry, as he states in his documentary interview that we've avoided a nuclear holocaust through the grace of God. One of the common themes of gospel music, especially black gospel, is hope. That said, Dr Pry isn't hopeful that we can continue to avoid that kind of disaster without some interventions on our end. Ylvis completely run with that, also painting a pretty bleak picture in the guise of upbeat, optimistic gospel music.
F - Non-Ylvis song choices: Fly Me to the Moon (Julie London)
Eve: I had to look this one up, only to find that it was the delightful cheerful music at the beginning of the episode I wanted to mention! I thought it was some of the ambient music that’s usually woven into the episode but not part of an Ylvis song. It sounds like they “tech-ed” it up a bit to fit with the science-y mood of “Aurora Borealis”. I thought it was a great opener and I love that it’s a real song with a space theme.
Robin: I don’t have much to add here; I thought they used a really cool version of “Fly Me To The Moon.” They really used a lot of Latin jazz in this episode, and this version was a good introduction to the episode.
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canadaherligste · 4 years ago
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What? Bård meltdowns? Me? ihavesomanynotes? we would never…
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Ok, fine, those most certainly happen on an all too frequent basis…
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I mean really…
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canadaherligste · 4 years ago
AFTER THE STORY: The Andøya Rocket Incident - Stories From Norway Episode 5 Review
Hello everyone, and welcome to another edition of After The Story!  In Episode 5, Ylvis gives us a picture of the Andøya Rocket Incident, the 1995 event where a scientific rocket from Norway almost triggered nuclear war. This week, @addictedtoylvis and I are joined by my fellow Canadian Aicha, for whom this episode hit all the right comedy spots!
So please put your coffee somewhere far, far away from the nuclear console, and join us as we talk about our favourite moments, the character portrayals, and our impressions of the episode in general. As usual, we want to know what you think!
1) What was your favourite moment?
2) What were the funniest moments for you?
3) Favourite Vegard side character: Launch Chief Hallstein Thomassen, or Juri's boss?
4) Favourite Bård character:Admin Director Kolbjørn Adolfsen, Juri Mikhailovich, or Mickey (Mikhail) Mouse?
5) What did you think of Vegard’s portrayal of Boris Yeltsin?
6) What are your thoughts on the storytelling in this episode?
7) Nuclear war, as with DUI, is fairly serious subject matter. What did you think of Ylvis’ handling of the subject?
8) Do you think the situation was as serious as portrayed, or was there some creative license with the story?
9) What did you think of the makeup and costumes?
10) Any other interesting tidbits you’d like to point out from this episode?
11) What is your general impression of this episode?
12) As usual, pick the episode’s MVP.
1) What was your favourite moment?
Eve: Listening to Vegard sing that last note in “I cannot push the butTONNNNNNNNNNNN!” And also the moment in the first song when the two scientists talk about how they never get tired of the Northern Lights. That makes me feel a little weepy.
Robin: I have a couple (surprise!). I love the scene in Andøya as they all survey the aurora borealis. Having seen the auroras when I was in Northern Canada, I was a little nostalgic. The lights truly are breathtaking and I really felt their awe. Second is literally everything about “Russian Government Process”, but the “equal rights for gays” is a cut above the rest just because that line was so quick and dirty! Loved it.
Aicha: Am I allowed to cop out and say the whole episode was my favourite moment? As you’ll soon find out, I can’t shut up about “Russian Government Process” so all the tiny moments in that segment were my favourite.
2) What were the funniest moments for you?
Eve: In an episode which was too scary to me to laugh much, my favorite funny moment was when Vegard stamped the document with a stamp that said “sånn og sånn.”
Robin: My biggest laugh out loud moment was when Mickey Mouse said, "Do you really want to kill me and all my friends?" - and they cut to a picture of Ross and Rachel. I loved that play on words and it surprised me...I was cracking up.
1. “Sann og sann og sann og sann”
2. The Russian official running through the Kremlin yelling “Raketa, raketa, raketa!” 3.. When the Russian officials point to the garbage as the place to put “rights for gays” and “asking for a raise” and also when they request that their omelet be “circumcised”.   4.  When Boris Yeltsin refers to Mickey Mouse as “Mikhail Mouse!?” I just lost it. 5. Poor Juri’s feet hanging from the ceiling during the final song (literally gallows humour) 6. LUNCH TIIIIIME! *flying papers*
3) Favourite Vegard side character: Launch Chief Hallstein Thomassen, or Juri's boss?
Eve: Juri’s boss! I don’t like the overdone prosthetics (more on that later), so I was happy to see Vegard acting with his actual face. The exasperated-but-resigned delivery of “Every time” always makes me smile. Even when a character LOOKS like Vegard, he still changes his mannerisms so much that he does disappear into the character, and this is a good example of that.
Robin: I don’t think I can actually choose between the two. I really love them both. Vegard was adorable as Hallstein and the voice he used for the character made him so cute! I really felt his enthusiasm and passion about his job, and I was totally getting excited with him as he got ready to launch the rocket. That said, Super Serious Russian Office Manager Person was so much fun. He had that condescending sniff down, and Eve already talked about my favourite part: his delivery of “Every time.” was SO perfect. Vegard was completely in character and I really, really enjoyed that. I want more of that, guys! More Vegard nailing it!
Aicha: Don’t forget he’s also playing the Russian technician who first detects the Norwegian rocket on the radar!  I loved the shot of him dropping his mug in slow-mo. He completely disappeared into that character because it’s only upon my 2nd or 3rd rewatch that I recognized it was Vegard! 
I love all his roles for their own reasons. Like you Robin, there’s something about his voice as Thomassen that I found particularly endearing, but Juri’s boss has to be my favourite.  I feel like he sold it as a  strict bureaucrat and his heavy Russian accent was fun to hear especially when he says “Just rellyaxx”.  That scene was very tightly paced and everything he did was on point.
4) Favourite Bård character:Admin Director Kolbjørn Adolfsen, Juri Mikhailovich, or Mickey(Mikhail) Mouse?
Eve: Oh my heavens, Juri Mikhailovich. Wow. Bård’s performance never wavered. He never lost that faintly scared, wide-eyed look, and I can just FEEL the nervousness, uncertainty, and eagerness to please radiating off him. Maybe it helped that he didn’t have to sing, so he could focus all his energy on embodying that character. There were so many perfect physical moments as well -- dropping the envelopes in the beginning, squaring his shoulders and sitting straight at the desk, and a moment I’ll leave to Robin to describe. I almost think this may be my favorite Bård character in the entire series. As great as those performances were, I thought Geir and Northug were occasionally overwrought, with all the neck and head rubbing, but this role was just subtle perfection.
Robin: POOR JURI! I feel like at this point we’re a broken record about how freakin’ good Bård  is and it shouldn’t still be surprising five episodes in, but how he managed to become an 18-year-old nervous Russian clerk is beyond me. I actually forgot at one point that it was Bård, and I was really feeling for this kid who was new on the job and completely overwhelmed. One of my favourite moments comes at the end of the "Russian Government process", right before the scene ends. Juri is holding the letter from Andøya and looking at the shelves, and he just sighs and drops his shoulders. There's something about that moment that's just so very human in the face of being overwhelmed and helpless. It's such a simple movement but it conveys so much.
Aicha:   Poor, poor Juri </3 A good actor makes the audience feel empathy during a relatable situation, and Bård was able to do just that. We’ve all been the “new guy” at some point.  Bård totally nailed the nervousness and confusion I know I felt at my first job where everything looked  too complicated and it seemed impossible to keep up with my new instructions. Juri was so genuine that I felt like he was a real character with a tragic backstory (and tragic end). I agree with you Robin, at one point I forgot it was Bard too!  I especially liked the part with him acting all flustered while taking lunch orders. Juri is my favourite Bård character in the show so far.
5) What did you think of Vegard’s portrayal of Boris Yeltsin?
Eve: Initially I thought this was a little exaggerated, but after Robin pointed me to some Yeltsin videos on YouTube, I was instead impressed with how accurate it was. He could sometimes be very high-energy and I can *almost* see him leaping across the lawn for real. But my favorite moments in that performance are two very small subtle ones (I am seeing a trend here): When they first present him with the suitcase and open it, and he looks up at them with a bit of indignant shock and slams it shut, and then when he comes out of his Cheget reverie and looks up at the officers shouting at him to push the button, and he looks overwhelmed and a little frightened. Vegard often acts with a bit of a wink to the audience (as opposed to Bård often playing roles completely straight), but I didn’t see him winking there.
Robin: I think Eve and I have similar observations. If you ever watch “The Best of Drunk Boris Yeltsin” on Youtube, you understand why Vegard (and Ole Martin, I presume) ramps up the caricature. Vegard is REALLY good at playing characters with high energy, and he does shine that way. The genius of Yeltsin, though, isn’t so much in the exaggerated moments, but in the quieter ones and the forceful ones. My favourite moment is during “Push the Button” where he goes, “Yes, I’m a Russian, just like you.” At that moment, you really see Yeltsin’s resolve and defiance, and the fact that Vegard could get that across with the amount of prosthetics and makeup he had on was absolutely brilliant.
Aicha:  I live for Boris Yeltsin’s Mikhail Mouse breakdown. Ylvis took full liberties with the CIA agent saying that he probably suffered mentally from the stress. It was the perfect way to showcase Yeltsin’s love for America while also portraying the man’s “frayed nerves” at the same time.
I think Vegard did very well considering all the prosthetics, and mad props for running down those flights of stairs so fast! I love how he went into an small interpretative dance routine worthy of a Sia music video despite the ill fitting tux and fat suit, that made me laugh. The Russ-English butchering of classic American things like “frenchy fries” and “Timey Square” were a nice touch. The way Vegard changed his voice for the role was what sold the character for me.  
6) What are your thoughts on the storytelling in this episode?
Robin: After the random absurd madness that was Northug Pt 2, I enjoyed the structure and flow of this episode. The documentary portions were relevant and seemingly well-informed, and I thought they did a great job of getting points of view from all the stakeholders; Norway, Russia and the US. That said, man was this ever a dark story.
Eve: The story was riveting. I was on the edge of my seat for all of it. I enjoyed how happy and excited the scientists were, and then the sense of doom when the radar guy saw the rocket and dropped his coffee, and the gradual buildup to the tense moment of Yeltsin’s decision. But it wasn’t much of a relief after that, so it ended on a fairly tense note. The only part that felt a little off, too much of a tangent from the buildup, was “My Cheget”, which I mostly cringed through, although it did have some great lines.
Aicha:    Yes, after last week’s surreal episode, this one set me back on track. It had the same fast pacing of some previous episodes that I loved. It felt like a real mini-documentary ; something a social studies teacher could actually show to their class. It also feels like something that people who aren’t Norwegian or aren’t into Ylvis can appreciate because they can learn something new and the subject matter is  sadly still relevant to our current political climate. In terms of pacing, it was near perfect but I have to agree with Eve that the “Cheget” segment threw things off a little. That being said, it was one of the few times in the episode where the comedy lightened up and wasn’t so dark. It was like a reverse PayBack episode where Ylvis are actually nice to an inanimate object, lol! “Russian Government Process” really made this episode for me. It gave me Wes Anderson vibes (Tight shots, quick editing, vintage colour scheme, dry acting, quirky humour, immaculate uniforms etc) …I hope they release it on Youtube because I’ll be watching it an unhealthy amount of times.
7) Nuclear war, as with drunk driving, is fairly serious subject matter. What did you think of Ylvis’ handling of the subject?
Eve: They never let up on the seriousness of the situation. It was a little overwhelming. All those shots of bombs going off, mushroom clouds billowing, and things being blown to smithereens … this episode was one long nightmare punctuated with pops of comedy. So much so that I think it’s a good episode, but it was too heavy for me to feel light enough to laugh. The end of it was particularly scary, with the serious faces in the pub, the counts of nuclear bombs in each country, and the knowledge that there WILL be another near-miss, if not an outright error.
Robin: Hahahahaha WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE!! I agree with Eve, they definitely did not sugarcoat the actual incident. Not to mention they chose to end the episode by making us understand by far how completely super fucked we are, with all these nuclear capable countries with questionable leadership and/or precarious or volatile international relations, as Mickey Mouse walks away into the distance of a nuclear disaster zone while whistling to the sound of a Geiger counter rattling. Man. Ylvis was not playing around here.
Ever since watching the (ancient) “Bongo Party” sketch where Ylvis comment on racism, I’ve been waiting for them to handle heavier subject matter again.
I’m a sucker for social commentary, and I  think they approach heavy topics with a finesse, class and maturity that many comedians lack. For example,  they were able to roast Bieber and Northug without going too far.
This episode was rife with gallows humour and I found myself laughing from beginning to end. Yes it’s a serious topic, but some would argue that a big role of comedy is making hard subjects easier to discuss and digest without going into total despair.
I think this episode does that wonderfully; we’re fundamentally f—ed,  but it’s also pretty absurd at the same time, innit? The ending was sarcastic in a way that makes us reflect about how we deal with these things as a species. We sweep it under the rug and cross our fingers, which is such a ridiculous thing to do when faced with such potential devastation.
8) Do you think the situation was as serious as portrayed, or was there some creative license with the story?
Eve: Well, I think it was serious in the sense that this is the closest we’ve ever been to actually launching a nuclear attack, because it was the only time a nuclear suitcase has ever been opened. But the reports by the interviewees really ramped up the fear factor, and when Ylvis translated that into Yeltsin being yelled at by officers and agonizing over whether to push the button, it was really kind of terrifying. I assumed that was actually how it happened, but with tense talking instead of yelling, and with Mickey Mouse and Ronald McBurgleson not being part of the decision. But I Googled, and the nuclear suitcase, according to Wikipedia, was automatically activated as a result of the alert, not because Yeltsin specifically asked for it. This article from PBS/NOVA (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/military/nuclear-false-alarms.html) sheds a little more light on the situation: The suitcase contains the launch codes AND it “allows the Russian president to communicate with his top military advisers and review the situation online… However, we can be fairly confident that Yeltsin's football showed that Russia was not under attack and that the Russian early-warning system was functioning perfectly.” So in other words, the alert jumped up to the top extremely quickly -- which is necessary if there’s a bomb-lookin’ thing approaching your airspace -- but once they looked at the data, it became clear it was not an attack. So you could say that the system worked as intended, despite the drop in communication from Norway, and the creative license may have been taken by Peter and Pavel and everyone else who speculated about what happened in that room.
Aicha:  I  doubt that generals were standing in front of Yeltsin literally shouting in his face, but I think that was necessary for the story telling.
It’s pretty serious and scary that the Cheget was brought out and opened, regardless of the details!
Robin:SFN is a show in a weird awesome genre which seems to solely exist to take creative license with the accounts of real life situations. There probably was as much yelling as there was caviar chugging at the Northug cabin. I’ve been doing some reading and there seem to be a lot of contradictory accounts of the incident. That said, I’m with Aicha on this one. Regardless of whether there was yelling or just conversation, whether it was a button or an elaborate sequence of codes and communications, whether it was automatic or instigated, whether it involved a dance number or just serious concern, the fact that the world came so close to nuclear war due to a simple miscommunication is actually insane and scary. But hey, this will never ever happen again, right?
9) What did you think of the makeup and costumes?
Eve: Sigh. I’m really not a fan of the overly exaggerated prosthetic faces. They look like Jocelyn Wildenstein and it covers up the subtleties of their acting that I so enjoy. I mean, it would have been cool for them to convey the excitement of the scientists with their faces, the way they do when they talk about CERN or airplanes. Bård as Kolbjørn also looked weirdly like Ted Danson to me, but I will admit they nailed that strange brow ridge that Yeltsin has. And I do like the costumes -- the scientist outfits were dead on with the button-down shirts and Dockers, and the military uniforms looked great. I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re really accurate too, unless they just grabbed them out of the closet where they got the “fox” costumes.
Aicha: If this had been a dramatic production, I think the prosthetics are way over the top and would never pass  basic Hollywood standards. Because it’s a comedy, it works.  If anything I just felt bad for the bros because that amount of latex looks really itchy and uncomfortable. The military and bureaucratic uniforms were immaculate and beautiful and I love them. As for Mikhail Mouse, I found the costume unsettling and not at all cute like a real cuddly Mickey Mouse from DisneyLand,  but it fits in context of the episode. Mikhail Mouse looks like he should be an eerie mascot haunting the decrepit abandoned amusement park from Chernobyl - the site of a catastrophic nuclear failure……. Robin: I agree with both of you. I think the over-the-top prosthetics and makeup are part of the comedy and I enjoy watching them. They’re not supposed to look exactly like the people; they’re supposed to look like they “tried” to look like their subject. I also think it’s awesome and hilarious how they always match the interview clothing of the person they’re portraying. That said, I do agree with Eve in that the prosthetics, especially when they’re as heavy as Yeltsin or the Andoya staff, can distract or obscure the facial nuances in their performances.
10) Any other interesting tidbits you’d like to point out from this episode?
Eve: Priscilla!! She turns up briefly, in at least two shots, in the pub at the end.
Robin: I want to sing with Priscilla!! Anyway...as much as I enjoyed the “Friends” reference, I’m just going to point out that Ross and Rachel were not actually together yet on “Friends” when this incident happened in January of 1995. So there’s that. Also, I LOVE the opening frame of the credits, with “Concorde” in the Disney font, and “presented in Nukavision and glorious atomichrome.” These guys, I swear.
Aicha: HA! I was curious as to whether Ylvis would have bothered making sure the “Friends” timeline made sense - thanks for checking Robin! One thing that bothers me slightly is how positively ancient they made Thomassen and Kolbjorn look with the prosthetics. Yes they are old now, but this incident happened 23 years ago! Surely they didn’t look as old then… One thing I liked is how Mikhail Mouse isn’t in the picture frame when he’s standing on the desk. It’s small acts of continuity like this that really sells a production! I also appreciated the diversity of the people present in the Andoya pub. Norway is regarded as being one of the “whitest countries ever”, so it was nice to see Norwegians of many races represented there especially in a scene that drives home the point that big issues like this affect us all.
11) What is your general impression of this episode?
Robin: This episode had teeth and claws, it was amazing and unsettling, and this was probably the blackest humour that I recall seeing from Ylvis. The insanely sharp jab at Russian LGBT discrimination, the “our leaders are intelligent” frame, the hanging legs at the Russian Foreign Affairs office - these guys were not pulling political punches at all. It was both startling and glorious all at once. Then there’s how they chose to end it, with a song whose chorus and upbeat mood completely incongruous to the actual pessimism they were portraying. I loved all of the choices they made in this episode. I’m happy with this.
Eve: This is going to give me (more) nuclear holocaust nightmares. In all honesty, I’m not sure that I thought this was a funny episode. It  was entertaining, and amusing, but I didn’t laugh out loud once, and when people talk about what made them laugh, sometimes I don’t see it. I’m not sure if it’s because of the heavy subject matter or if the humor just didn’t work for me this time, for whatever reason.
It’s such a typical haughty hipster thing to keep saying “I have a dark sense of humour” but I guess there’s no way around it for me! I’m head over heels with this episode, I have watched it on repeat since it came out and find myself loving it more every time. I can’t help but feel like Ylvis has been itching to do heavier subject matter and I think they pull it off extremely well. I don’t necessarily want them to make every single episode like this because it would get too dark over time,  but I’m very happy this one exists.  I love all the creative choices they have made with this one and can’t think of anything else to say!
12) As usual, pick the episode’s MVP.
Eve: Can I say Mikhail Mouse? He’s the one who talked Boris out of pressing the button and saved the world from a nuclear holocaust. In terms of what made the episode work, though, I’ll have to go with Vegard. He’s the one who put all the drama and tension into the episode, from dropping his coffee at the radar screen, to his sped-up useless instructions confusing poor Juri and causing the miscommunication, to his emotional, heroic turn as Yeltsin, defying his military officers and preventing global thermonuclear war.
Aicha:  I’m going to say Vegard because he had a toughie and smashed his face on set. I also really liked the ex-CIA agent, he seemed really passionate about the subject which gave the whole thing some added gravitas.
Robin: It’s a tie between Vegard and Former CIA officer Peter Pry.  I’m telling you, Peter Pry had me riveted. The way he told the story really had me enthralled, and I love that he was so compelling that they worked him into a scene instead of just the documentary. I loved his honesty at the end about how he saw the world’s condition. That said, I agree with my comrades; Vegard propelled every part of this story, from Andøya to Russia, and he really transformed himself for each character, down to his voice and incredible physical comedy.
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canadaherligste · 4 years ago
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canadaherligste · 4 years ago
In which I have another meltdown...
After the Story - The Music of Northug: En Familiehistorie
Hello everyone, and welcome to After The Story: The Music of Northug - En Familiehistorie. As usual, we are dedicating a second post to just talking about the musical pieces of the show.  This week you guys were super excited and got way ahead of us LOL, so we’re going to include a couple of your incredibly insightful and informative comments!
So sit back on your floating tube in the Mediterranean sea, and join us as we talk about our favourite songs, what we think inspired them, and please just smile and nod patiently as Robin talks through her meltdown. I think she needs it.
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