Norweigian rocker brings back naked

BY DI ARTS STAFF | JUNE 18, 2009 7:21 AM

People are much better when they’re naked.

Well, not really, but that’s what Norwegian rock goddess Ida Maria thinks. She will take the stage today at 9:30 p.m. at the Picador, 330 E. Washington St., with local DJ favorites the School of Flyentology and Beast Wars. Admission is $8.

Ida Maria’s début album, Fortress Round My Heart, has been a huge success in Norway. The album was released in the United States in March, and it’s been getting more airtime each week. The first single, “I Like You So Much Better When You’re Naked,” has been on the Billboard Hot Modern Rock chart for the past 11 weeks. Her next single, “Oh My God,” played on the popular CW television show “Gossip Girl” earlier in the year.

Kevin Koppes, the Picador’s booking agent, is excited about the opportunity to book her.

“It’s not very often that artists come into the U.S. who we can snag on off days,” he said. “Usually, the bands that come in from Europe are big-time acts that are playing arenas such as the U.S. Cellular Center, so it’s not always easy to for us to grab those.”

Ida Maria’s voice howls like rock ’n’ roll should, often gaining comparisons to classic rock star Janis Joplin. Her music blends the lines among rock, pop, and dance and is described by Koppes as an up-tempo M.I.A or CSS.

“There’s going to be a full band,” he said. “It’s not going to be her with a guitar and a drum machine or anything like that. It’s going to be a rock show.”

With her success in Europe, combined with her growing popularity here, he believes now is the time to catch the concert.

“I think people should come out to the show, because it’s uncommon for a big act such as this, and a big act from Europe, to come through and do a regular club show,” Koppes said. “This is something that is up-and-coming, and this might be as close to her as you get to see in Iowa City or maybe as close as you get to see her in the U.S.”

Hopefully, the audience members will come clothed. Who knows how they will leave.

— by Eric Sundermann

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