Last week a funny thing happened, in that my paymasters at the Reykjavik Grapevine handed out the gongs for their first ever Music Awards Ceremony. Truly an auspicious moment, they decided to corral myself Kamilla Ingibersdóttir from Iceland Airwaves and Andri Freyr from RÁS 2 to make the final choices on what was apparently the best music made in Iceland in 2012.
The feature on the discussion itself is now online and you read an overview of our arguments and tantrums HERE.
Overall it was rather interesting experience, not what I was expecting. I’d ever really done this kind of thing before and was prepared to be subjected to a bearpit of volleys of verbal and emotional blows from the outset. But it wasn’t really like that to be honest. For example, I like Kamilla a lot and have a lot of time for her, but it’s fair to say in the past we’ve had some rather “spirited” discussions about music and the scene in Iceland. But was interesting (and rather unsettling) for both of us what that we actually agreed on more than we disagreed. Andri was just being his usual chill self most of the time going “yeeeeeah.”
So how did the discussions really go down? Well unlike those poor bastards judging Musiktilraunir who are told not to speak to anyone afterwards (Presumably to fend off such questions as “How the hell do you award points to that shower of shit that won?”), I’m under no obligations of secrecy. So here goes….
THE MEET: We all met at Hornið, which was useful as it can serve beer AND coffee. Everyone was on time except for Haukur as per usual. As I was the only one of the group hacking and consumptive with the early onset of the flu, I was banished to a far corner of the room, lest I infected the others with my gutter filth. The whole thing would be sorted out over two meetings.(Note Hakur has pointed out that he was on time for the second meeting.)
BEST ALBUM: This was the easiest of the lot. We actually pretty much decided on it between the three of us before Haukur even arrived. Haukur did manfully try to put in other suggestions, but there was no way we were going to give it to the likes of Ágeir Trausti, Petur Ben, or Retro Stefson. Done and dusted and pretty much 10 minutes. This shit’s a dawdle!
BEST SONG: OK, this was a little tricky as I don’t listen to that much Icelandic Radio (X-IÐ, if wanted to listen to Of Monsters And Men and the fucking Lumineers 89 times a day, I’d illegally download their shit, OK?), so to begin with there were a few “um….”s around the table. Again Ásgeir Trausti’s name was mentioned, only to be met with signs, shrugs and possibly the word “boring” being uttered as tumbleweed passed by. Some other names popped up such as Sudden Weather Change, Tilbury and Þórunn Antonia (?). but the early front-runner was Retro Stefson which brought out the first disagreement between myself and Kamilla (She liked “Qween,” I preferred “Glow”‘) while Andri brought up Ojba Rasta. Then someone mentioned Moses Hightower whereupon all eyebrows arched at the suggestion – interesting we all said in unison. Haukur put on “Háa C,” and all our heads pretty much nodded in unison.
BEST LIVE BAND: Again this took a while to sort out. Kamilla sang the praises of Retro Stefson, while Andri put out for Muck. I too was interested in Muck, but I also put Legend into the mix. However that was given short shrift by people who clearly should know better. This pretty much reached a stalemate throughout the two meetings with other suggestions not really getting anywhere. And this was the state of affairs until Haukur suggested,
“What about Gus Gus?”
And it took a moment or two to sink in, but we had to admit, these guys really do know their shit. the thing is you really need to see them at Airwaves, or Sonar. When you saw them at NASA their stage show was great but you were surrounded by tweaking dickwad roid-rhinos and Ásdis Rán lookalikes in every direction. But we found that there was no other act we could all agree on, so Gus Gus it was!
ONE FOR 2013: Actually the front-runners in this one was Pascal Pinon and we all did agree that they were great and stuff. But by the second meeting other names had crept in, such as Oyama and Muck. and to be honest, Muck are a REALLY exciting band to watch and hear right now. so this one was pretty much sorted out like that.
And that was pretty much it bar the drinking and coughing, and heading off to the Kraumslistinn awards. However I could only stay in there for 10 minutes due to illness and the chuminess on display by the great and the good causing me to break out in hives. Eventually the awards were all doled out at Dolly’s last Friday to a packed house that in no way was due to the free beer on offer. I managed to behave myself, although it was fair to say that I was fairly wrecked the next day for work. I wonder if i really want to do it all again next year (Yes if there’s free food).