I just wanna be your pet

Icelanders are definitely cat people. I think one in every two households owns a cat. Why are cats so popular, especially in the capital area? Possibly maybe because there is a high tax on dogs? Because dogs used to be prohibited in urban areas? Or Icelanders love the independent character and search for freedom of cats. Besides that cats are easy to keep, you don’t have to walk the cat. But walking the dog is getting more popular last decades.

Felines or canines

Research shows that your preference for felines or canines really does say something about your personality. A study by The University of Texas revealed that those who define themselves as dog people are more extroverted, agreeable and conscientious than self-proclaimed cat people. Those with a preference for felines, on the other hand, are more creative, adventurous and prone to neuroticism or anxiety.

Cats, dogs and The Beatles

Dog people are 18 percent more likely to consider Paul McCartney their favourite Beatle. Cat people are 25 percent more likely to consider George Harrison their favourite Beatle. A study found that dog people prefer jam bands, reggae and psychedelic rock, while cat people listen to more New Wave, classic rock and electronic music.

It is raining cats and dogs…

You Know The Christmas Cat
That Cat Is Very Large
We Dont Know Where He Came From
Nor Where He Has Gone

He Opened His Eyes Widely
Glowing Both Of Them
It Was Not For Cowards
To Look Into Them

His Hair Sharp As Needles
His Back Was High And Bulgy
And Claws On His Hairy Paw
Were Not A Pretty Sight

Years later, in 2004, Björk’s video for “Triumph of a heart” (3rd single of Medúlla album) features a cat-boyfriend. This video was directed by Spike Jonze.

Icelandic punk princess Heiða Eiríksdóttir sang the funny song “Dauði kötturinn” (The Death Cat)(2003). Watch this video from the children’s movie ‘Didda og Dauði kötturinn’, directed by Kristján Kristjánsson based on a book by Kristlaug María Sigurðardóttir. Both video and movie were recorded in Keflavík , by far the Rock Town of Iceland.

A Song by Dr. Gunni &Vinir Hans (His friends) is called “Ó kisa mín”(Oh my cat). This song was featured on the original “Abbababb!” album (Smekkleysa, 2003, SM76CD) with Heiða on vocals. She definitely loves cats, although she sometimes dares to sit on a cat while putting a signature on an album… The (nearly) dead cat! Lucky cats have 7 lifes in Iceland as well.

Hardcore rockers Reykjavik! recorded the song “Cats”, featured on their 3rd album “Locust Sounds” (2011) for KEXP Radio from Seattle at Airwaves 2011.


Dogs

“Chihuahua”, a track of the 3rd album by The Sugarcubes (1992).

Oli Hundaoli. Yup, another song by Dr. Gunni &Vinir Hans from the”Abbababb!” album (Smekkleysa, 2003, SM76CD).

Eberg’s song “Inside your head” from his second album “Voff Voff” (2007) features a dog, referring to the record’s title, the sound a barking dog in Icelandic makes. Video was made by Soffía Gísladóttir and Eygló Scheving (the singer of the band Vicky).

The making of Inside your head By Soffía Gísladóttir

When two friends sit down for a drink ideas come to life….couple of weeks later I got a very molded sandwich going on in my basement. That was the start of a music video I made for the song “Inside your head” with Eberg. After getting the sandwich ready for molding I needed a story. I teamed up with Eygló Scheving and when we got our story plot straight we went out with a camera and Eberg to shoot the video. As a photographer I have always been fasinated with freezing the moment, a frame. We made a stop motion video with a Canon camera. Instead of thinking about the video as a motion picture I saw it as a thousunds of photos. We played with that consept, freezing the moment, therefor some frames are exposed for longer time than others.With the sandwich in the basement I put a camera on tripod and took a photo about 3-4 times a day. Couple of weeks later I got lots of photos in the form of stop motion of a sandwich and vegetables getting molded. Then there is Voffi the other star of the video, an easy going dog who likes red wine and playing the piano… Since “Inside your head” was on the album “Voff Voff” with Voffi on the cover we decided to make a story starring Eberg and Voffi. I already had made Voffi and a short animated video before Eberg asked to have him on the cover of the cd. The story is about this nice sandwich Eberg made and Voffi is eager to steal it and so he he does and Eberg steals it back. That´s how it goes, back and forth. We were kind of going for the Tom and Jerry feeling, the hitting a head with a pan, stepping on a rake, the cartoonish kind of stuff. And a little bit of throwing up. But all is good that ends well…

Rappers XXX Rottweiler Hundar made the song
“Reykjavik Belfast”

Reptilicus released the song “Shrimpy dog” on the EP “Temperature of Blood” (2000), track was also featured on the Smekkleysa compilation album “World Domination or Death Vol. 1” (1990).

Singer Friðrik Dór, Dr Gunni & His Friends, released a single of the forthcoming album “Alheimurinn” (The Universe) entitled “Glaðasti hundur í heimi” (Happiest dog in the world).

Cat(ch) you later!
-Wim Van Hooste