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FALK News Alert: ULTRAORTHODOX Album Release Concert

VITAL ORGANS PROMO VINNSL FIN-6

This is happening next week!!

We unleash ULTRAORTHODOX upon an unsuspecting world!!

Invite your friends! Your enemies! Random strangers!

Listen and bow in reverence!

See you at Hurra!

 
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Posted by on June 24, 2015 in live music, Uncategorized

 

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PIMPIN’ AIN’T EASY – GIG UPDATE – GRUMBLING FUR PLAY ICELAND!!

GRUMBLING FUR - LIVE IN ICELAND!

During my hiatus from blogging, I somehow ended up becoming a member of the improbably awesome and perpetually disorganised FALK (Fuck Art Lets Kill), the art/music collective that is fronted by my good friends Aðalsteinn (AMFJ) and Baldur (KRAKKKBOT). As part of our ongoing quest to shake some of the dead skin of the rotting corpse that is the “Icelandic music scene,” we’re looking to bring some of the better, more interesting artists up here.

So when the guys from GRUMBLING FUR agreed to come up to a special Easter gig we were setting up with SIN FANG, well…. that just made our celebration of the death of the God-child just that little bit more special.

If you’re around downtown Rvk at the beginning of Easter, then pay us a visit!

Details below (Or go to the FB event page for vids and more info)

Who: GRUMBLING FUR + SIN FANG

Where: Húrra

When: Wed 1st April

Cost: 2500kr (a goddamn BARGAIN if you ask me!!)

but don’t take my word for it, have a listfor yourself…

 
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Posted by on March 18, 2015 in Iceland, live music

 

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Like, Totally Bangin’ And Shit!! SONAR Reykjavik 2014 round up….

Jon Hopkins by Matthew Eisman

Well… that’s all now done and dusted now for another year. Yup SONAR Reykjavik passed off for another year with nay a hitch (Well one or two little ones), and most of our reputations are intact.

So what did we like? Well below is the total coverage from The Grapevine over the weekend, spelling mistake, and shitty grammar aplenty! Go and click and have a good read!

THURSDAYHERE & HERE

FRIDAYHERE

SATURDAYHERE HERE

So in the end what were the pluses and minuses that can be gleaned from the festival? Let’s start with the pluses….

THE OVERALL PERFORMANCES: now this can be subjective because we’re not doing Airwaves here.You’re not stuck in one venue so if you get a bit bored you can be like a punter and go exploring. But across the board, the DJ and live performances I saw were really good  this year. International acts such as DAPHNI and Jon HOPKINS exceeded expectations while many of the locals upped their game.

A MAN NAMED EXOS: He’s been away for a little while, and there’s a whole warts and all story about the guy and his exploits over the previous decade that one day needs to be written. But if there was one act that showed that there was something missing in Icelandic dance culture that needed to be filled, it was Addi Exos. Natalie Yamaho was brilliant, but I’ve gotta say that the level of mixing, set selection and timed drops we heard form Addi was on a major par with some of the best out there and definitely some of the best Techno DJ’ing I’ve seen in from an Icelander. Heck it was some of the best techno DJÍng I’ve heard in a while, full stop. And you could tell he was loving it big style, the way he was standing there, smiling and cheering the crowd on. He’s hopefully going to be releasing remixed and new stuff this year. I will be trying my best to my hands on the stuff.

HOUSE MUSIC IN ICELAND MAY BE BACK (It never went away of course!): One of my main bugbears with local dance music was that looking back a couple of years ago, the house scene was frankly stale as mouldy toast. There was way too much bland minimal house music being produced and played, and many of the older DJs were relying on tired old moves and classics to an audience that didn’t know any better. But the SONAR weekend showed that over the last 12/15 months, there have been major signs that good house music is making a resurgence on this Island. While they can’t take all the credit, you have to lay a lot of this at the door of the guys from BORG. As mentioned in the review, the three of them have the right attitude from the outset, with a clear identity and goals, as well as pushing in new styles, moves and sounds from good deep house to UK garage and footwork. All this has placed a bit of a rocket up the bums of some of the other DJs in the scene. FKNHNDSM was the best I’ve heard them in ages, while INTRO BEATS is turning from a hip hop beats man into a rather nifty deep house DJ/producer that took quite a few by surprise. There is going to be releases from BORG as well as Lagaffe Tales over the coming year. Lets hope that this can be built  upon and people push each other to even better things.

LESSONS LEARNT: Overall the organisers learnt some of the lessons form the problems last year. They had a proper procedure with media passes this year (Last year was amateur hour over there). While their work at the bay view area venue showed the ability to change a venues sound and atmosphere completely for the better.

So what about the negatives? Weeeeell….

FUCKING DIPLO: Jesus man, he was just awful. A friend I know back in Blighty said that I’d find his live sets “interesting” and I did go to his live show thinking “Okaaaay, maybe he’s going to pull something interesting out the bag here.” But to be honest, everything about the man just sounded and felt wrong. As i was leaving another local DJ walked out with me and he was actually angry about what he’d just seen (“How can a guy that be so shit, yet so popular?”). Well he’s taken on that party hard/keep on slammin’ attitude to the nth power, along with getting the local women onstage to take some clothes off and “twerk”… and people seemed to like that. He’s the Slurms McKenzie of the EDM world. they can keep him. Not a good booking IMHO.

WE’VE GOT OUR EYE ON YOU (nick nick): Now every event needs security of some form. Something may happen or people get hurt or require assistance. This is accepted by everyone. But the level of security theatre at SONAR this year was way beyond anything I’ve seen for this style of event. It´s all very well organisers saying that the media focused way too much on the number of people arrested over the weekend for drugs offences (around 45 in total over 3 nights) but It was things such as the use of sniffer dogs on Thursday to the look the security projected (most of them had that look of a pissed of bouncers wearing leather fingerless gloves). It certainly surprised several of the tourists that I spoke to who came to SONAR this year. Add to that rumours of undercover security keeping an eye on comings and goings to the toilets, and it left a slightly paranoid taste in the mouth for quite a few people. Our bright future. Not wow.

SCHEDULING: Yup there were some great acts and some good performances, but there were a few occasions where the scheduling of acts made you think “why the hell did they do that?” It´s pretty much a science as well as an art and a perfect example of this was on Thursday at the bay view area, where you had Intro Beats building up a really huge crowd, only for the ’80s synth rock of Kiryama Family to pretty much bring the energy levels riiiiiight down. There were a couple of times you had things like this over the weekend, where you have dance music DJs playing to less than 10 people in places like Silfurberg which is DJ hell for anyone. That brings me to

YOU, THE CROWD: OK, overall you guys were great at dancing to music and stuff. And I get it; alcohol is expensive and the thought of having to go a whole night in a place that charged 1000kr for a 400ml plastic cup of beer filled me with dread as well. But on Thursday and Friday, there was a real lack of energy in Harpa over the first couple of hours, as people decided to wait until later to come and see most of the bigger acts who were playing. I found that this for me was a real buzzkill as you had are acts who in some ways are playing to no one and that sucked. Your apparently really cool party people who have this legendary reputation. Show it better.

 

There were other niggling issues about SONAR that made me go “Hmmm…” such as the lack of female representation among the international artists, the sense that a lot of the artists booked were from their mates in Denmark (SIX acts from there this year!) which seemed to show a slight narrowing in ambition and knowledge of what is happening in dance music out there*. Also some of the online discussions between locals DJs and the organisers about issues such as pay got a little too overheated, with accusations of lies and hatefulness, general oversensitivity from all concerned, comment threads being taken down and all round internet drama occurring.

But yeah…. SONAR was good fun and enjoyable this year. I’d give it a definite plus, with continuous room for improvement. Bloody ingrates, we’re never satisfied are we? Mind I lost count of the number of times i got my taps aff. Let’s see what happens next year, OK?

And while you’Re thinking about that, here’s a recent remix of a classic EXOS track from another Icelandic electronic Legond, Ruxpin…

* – What was interesting when I spoke to some of the local DJs and people in the scene, that when the subject of the upcoming Secret solstice festival came up, there was not a single negative comment about it! Everyone was really excited to be going and the consensus was that while it is slightly UK-centric in the acts, the dynamism of the music in the line up was absolutely brilliant. Can’t wait personally.

 
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Posted by on February 21, 2014 in Iceland, live music

 

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Linkbait!! (Or… stuff I did gone done wrote…)

More posts will be following soon while I get back on the writing horse….

In the meantime, here are some things I’ve written over the last couple of weeks to tide you over for the next couple of hours.

AIRWAVES – Yeah i wrote some reviews on it. No I’m not going to do an analysis/review on it this year. Can’t be doing with it any more these days (I have my reasons). But still, here’s what happened

Thursday night at Hressó

Saturday night at Harlem

Saturday night at Cafe Amsterdam

After all that was done, I decided to decompress by going and listening to some loud and nasty punk 7″ singles with Birkir Fjalar for his HALIFAX COLLECT blog. You can read the results HERE.

 

NOW BEGONE CHILDREN!!!

 
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Posted by on November 13, 2013 in Iceland, literature

 

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Reykjavik Grapevine: Reviews: Live: Wacken Metal Battle 2013

So last month, local technical death metal band OPHIDIAN I won the annual WACKEN METAL Battle at Harpa Concert Hall.

Of course myself and GV intern John (Random Quote. “Oh Maaaaaan! I so fucking stoked for this! METAL!!”) went along to check out the proceedings.

You can read about it all HERE. And while you’re reading it you can also hear the madness that comes from their brains below….

 

 

 
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Posted by on May 14, 2013 in Iceland, live music, music

 

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Infofelch: Pay The Musician/DJ You Fool! – Social Media And The Live Scene In Iceland….

On Friday, the Grapevine did a small report on the towering Juggernaut that is OF MONSTERS AND MEN being interviewed in the Scottish Sun about the fact that “They can’t go back to Iceland” to perform here. Now bearing in mind that they were talking to the Scottish Sun, that bastion of truth and objectivity, it’s likely that this may have been deliberately misinterpreted, but she came out with this quote.

“Our gigs are nothing like playing in Iceland,” she said. “For a start, we hardly have any venues left. It’s a sad thing and they keep shutting them down… It’s so expensive to be travelling out of Iceland and, to be honest, back home being in a band is considered a hobby – people don’t expect to pay you for it.”

Posting this on Facebook that same day provoked a few comments from many musicians and DJs in the scene about the state of play for artists being paid for their performances in down-town. The discussion did veer a little off course about musicians vs DJs (In this situation, I didn’t see much difference), but some of the comments I think are worth putting out to a wider audience. Forget the elves, this is the real state of play in Iceland’s music scene right now…

 

“She’s also slightly too young to remember that before 2007, bands got paid all the time, and support for gigs was readily available through various sponsors and special events held by businesses and political parties. Since everyone has scaled back their budget since then, things have obviously changed. I’m not saying she’s wrong about the current situation in Iceland, but no-one in their right mind would call a platinum-selling band a “hobby,” nor do they think that musicians don’t deserve to get paid. People just prioritize their spending, and hearing live music is not a priority after 2007.

Also, Of Men And Monsters are in a unique position to change things in Iceland. If they come back and pressure venues into paying them for gigs (which they totally can), and outright refusing to play venues that don’t pay other bands, they might be able to change attitudes here. I’m not saying they’re under any obligation to do this (why would they want to?), but they could.”

 

“There are many aspects to this…
– Bars promoting gigs with free entry, and as such will pay bands/DJs in beer

– Many people baulking at attending a DJ night that charges 500ISK, or people trying to get into a paying gig for free (And pulling a massive strop when they don’t).

– Disjointed costs. If you are the putting the gig together, even when you charge for a gig, the costs in getting it together (PA, sound-man, promotion, size of venues, paying support bands), you’re not going to make much money if you’re only charging 500-1000 Kr a ticket. 

– Supply outstrips demand. We have LOADS of bands/musicians/DJs in Reykjavik. Do we have a punter base that can actually support it all? I remember going to a Kimi Records showcase event that had 8 bands but only 20 people turned up.”

 

“I consider myself extremely fortunate to be able to make a living just doing what I want do do, play my music to people that want to hear it. I manage it by not having any overhead cost and no bullshit to cover, plus having a very loyal and engaging fan base. Also, I show the self respect of starting my concerts at the advertised time 21.00 instead of 01.00 and charging a normal amount of money for my concerts instead of 500 Krónur for 3 amazing bands, which is ridiculous but people still do that, because the punters in Iceland have been taught to disrespect the artists by being loud, drinking and placing beer over good music in their priorities…

“I think it has a lot to do with the fact that people are paying for what they perceive themselves to be enjoying. If they come to a concert that’s starting at 2 in the morning and they’re already pretty drunk, the aesthetic part of “enjoying a concert” is kind of anaesthetised. So their enjoyment is now a lot less and the amount they’re prepared to pay follows.

“When I decided to live off music in 2008, I made one promise, that I wouldn’t play any gig, knowing that the people there would be drunk. I’ve had to compromise a couple of times, but I’ve managed to hold onto that principle 99%.

“Drunk people don’t enjoy music, they start to talk loudly and ignore the music. Faced with this reality, musicians start to play louder and get drunk themselves, to try to drown out the humiliation and lack of appreciation that they are feeling. Vicious cycle right there…”

 

“I want to backtrack a little here. I think this is kind of an odd discussion and I think that OMAM’s points are a little odd, because if a band or musician attracts a following (like OMAM certainly do), then they will get reimbursed nicely for their shows (like OMAM certainly do). I think the issue is not people refusing to pay admission or promoters/clubs refusing to pay musicians (people pay to go to gigs all the time, and clubs pay bands all the time), but maybe the local tradition of charging so little for gigs (esp. with up and coming acts). 

“Maybe this has to do with alcohol culture in Iceland and how deeply ingrained it is with music culture. With alcohol prices being what they are, folks maybe can’t afford to pay to get properly fucked up AND go to a show, so they skip out the less essential part of it..”

 

“If a dj is paid 40k (as someone mentioned)… out of that he has to buy music, taxi to & fro, equipment, time to prepare etc. etc. i calculated last year that it costs me at least 18k to just show up and that was very loosely calculated in favour of being on the cheaper side.”

 

“I have a few points: 
 – If Iceland has more/many “good” bands proportionally than other countries (I’m not sure this is the case, are there numbers to back this up), I think it is because its hard to drive a tour bus/van to Reykjavik and not because we are special in any other way. 

– Reykjavik isn’t a conventional stop on any small bands tour (european or american), where as similar sized cities in the states or mainland Europe get touring bands coming through all the time. For an Icelandic gig you have to book things especially and fly them over, the economics are totally different. Less touring bands -> more local bands, people make their own fun.

– Bands and dj’s shouldn’t play for free, they shouldn’t have to bring equipment that is standard for a venue to have (monitors, cables, dj gear etc) and people should pay to get into to a proper club. In an ideal world.

 – I think the best thing that could happen would be for the current Reykjavik night-life would be to turn the downtown venues back into the bars and cafes that they really are and only give long hour licences to proper nightclubs. Locating these nightclubs in non residential neighbourhoods would be preferential too, and spreading them out a bit. So you go downtown to a club, pay to enter and go to see whatever is on there. Kill this drunk “í bæinn” wandering around from place to place.

– I can’t speak for the live band thing, because I don’t really know that scene. But for dj’s and club nights it’s been a race to the bottom as all the promoters have started putting on nights with free entrance (relying on sponsor money, getting paid from the venue or doing things out of pocket). There should be a concentrated effort to reverse this imo, but it is hard to be the odd one out.”

 

And the last word on this from the esteemed Harlan Ellison…

 
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Posted by on February 25, 2013 in Iceland, music

 

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Picking Over the Remains: The Iceland MeGaCaNcElAiRwAvEs 2012 Eulogy – We knew it well!

Ugh….

So we’re a few days after the event that ended all events (It certainly put Ragnarok to shame), and I am now trying to collect together some kind of cogent stream-of-thought down on this here battered keyboard. Well if you didn’t know it, this time last week, I was undertaking writing duties for the main soirée in Iceland’s musical Calender, Frostrósir Iceland Airwaves.This year was certainly a bit of a slog, for reasons not really involved with the festival itself (One day kids when you’re older I’ll let you in on it all, and about how your uncle Bobby pretty much acted like an embittered prick to pretty much everyone he met). But enough of that! let’s get down to the reviewing business.

So this year’s (Cancel)Waves was when pretty much anything that could have gone wrong, more of less did. You had a whole stream of headlining acts cancelling on the festival at the last-minute for numerous reasons, ranging from whiny hipsters hedging their bets by blowing off the festival to be at the BBC (Poliça), to the drummer “having a sore thumb,” or something (Django Django), to the worst news of having (the real) headliners SWANS cancel because they couldn’t get out of New York due to hurricane Sandy.

Which leads us to the next foul aspect of this years Airwaves. While there has been some crappy weather in the past (The storm last year on Friday was a doozy!), this year was probably the worst weather I’ve ever experienced at Airwaves. Sub zero temperatures throughout nearly the whole festival, and hurricane storms on Thursday/Friday pretty much blew a lot of the spirits out of some festival goers. There were some actual moments of real fear from people going down Laugavegur on Thursday evening due to being knocked off their feet by the flying debris of hipsters being blown into the air.

Despite all of this, everything managed to sort of run smoothly. I have to tip my hat to the Airwaves organising team for seeing through so many FUBARS and not getting too flustered. Personally, I’m certain that if i was involved I would have had a near breakdown by Wednesday afternoon.

DARK DAYS OF THE LEGEND

So how was my Airwaves? Weeeeell, it was…. pretty good! I enjoyed a lot of the stuff I saw. Mind you, I also said this last year. Maybe it’s the beginning of a new, inevitable cycle of, “Oooh Airwaves is coming!/What fucking band is this they’ve booked?/I really can’t be fucked with it all this year/OK, I’ll review some gigs, but I’m going to complain the whole time, OK?/Wow, this is a lot better than it thought it was going to be!” With climate change now upon us, this is probably going to be a more reliable way to tell the time than the seasons.

Was it the best airwaves I’ve been to? No, of course not. But that’s not really the organisers fault to be honest. There was a lot of shit going on in this neck of the woods that meant that I was pretty much frayed and spent when Airwaves arrived.  Some major writing hassles, problems at home, and the cancellation of SWANS basically caused me to almost walk away from the whole weekend. I remember that afternoon, sitting at home staring at the wall, thinking, “how can I get out of doing this?” God knows how i must have looked at the staff meeting that afternoon. But NEVER retreat, never surrender that’s my motto, and having Reykjavik!’s “Flybus,” and the Rocky 4 Training montage video on an endless loop managed to get me out of the slump.

THE LAPTOP (IN THE FACE) IS MIGHTIER THAN THE SWORD!

So yes, we were all writing during the festival and stuff. This year we had a small army of foreign based writers from the likes of The Line Of Best Fit, Drowned In Sound, Rolling Stone, and numerous freelancers joining our small, hardened core of regular writers (Myself, Birkir, Paul, Ragnar, Bergrun Anna, Vala, Angela, Aðalsteinn), and our shiny interns.

Now, what follows is an apology of sorts to those writers who will be reading this. When I was first told about what publications would be coming up to write with us a couple of months before, I wasn’t completely over the moon about it. This wasn’t because i didn’t like the people who were writing (I hadn’t met them yet), but rather I was worried that we would be deluged by wide-eyed, elf obsessed Airwaves groupies who would fawn over everything Icelandic, and would exclaim that absolutely everything they saw was so “beautiful,” “natural,” and “cool”, etc, etc…

But not only did that not happen at all, I now feel like a total fucking arsehole for thinking this in the first place. Everyone who wrote for the Grapevine during Airwaves this were absolute pros. All. Of. Them. And the stuff they produced was top-notch. The stuff coming from Amy & John, Christian & Joel, Lauren & Francine, Gary & Chris D,  and Al & Paul was probably the best stuff we’ve had for the Grapevine since… ever!! And they were all so friendly, really into what was happening, and were HONEST. This may sound silly, but it was nice to see stuff being written that didn’t have the lingering touch of our jaded cynicism on it. They wrote what they loved, what was OK, and what they didn’t like. Reading Christian’s piece about Retro Stefson & Gus Gus was great as I’m sure if it had come from someone like myself, I would have come down on it way much harsher, and therefore would receive a lot of dagger eyes from people in the street.

Out of all the other writers, a special shout out should go two groups. the first is Paul Fontaine, who ended up doing the whole of Faktorý on Saturday night (all 8 bands!) till past 3am in the morning, and didn’t complain once. It was a great review as well! The other shout-out goes to the 3 GV interns, Arit, Thomas, and Kirsten. They worked their arses off over the whole festival, and some of the reviews they turned in were entertaining (such as Kirsten’s on Wednesday), illuminating (Arit’s much-needed pointing out of the general crapness of The Vintage Caravan), and Thomas’ enthusiastic embracing of Iceland’s electronic music culture was also fine to cast your eyes upon. Well done everyone!

HEARING WITH MY EYES!

So what about myself? well I ended covering most nights in some form. And you can read ALL of it (As well as all those in-depth features I did in the run up) right HERE.

I have to say that many of the local acts across the board really upped their game this year in terms of show and performance, and if some of them get some success outside of Iceland, then it’s all to the greater good. As per last year, my covering of Airwaves meant my viewing patterns were slightly off the grid. I never once set foot in Iðno, or the Art Museum. And I only once set foot in Harpa (well with the prices they were charging for beer, I counted myself lucky!). This meant that a lot of the hype bands/big local headliners were missed. Not that I didn’t mind of course. It wasn’t that I hated them  but I’ve seen many of the local bands so often that they don’t hold that much mystery for me any more. It was best to let other people experience them instead,

Nearly all my time was floating around the GaukurAmsterÞýski triangle with occasional journeys to Faktorý for the odd act. I also never saw/reviewed much electronic stuff, again mostly because I was reviewing other things, and it was also considered better to have some fresh ears check it out.

And yes, I also never went to see Sigur Rós at Laugurdalshöllin on Sunday. I mean, why the hell would I want to go and do that??

SO, WHAT NEXT?

Usually at this point, I would have posted an “Oh Airwaves failed in so many ways, I would have got THIS band, or that band, done it all differently, etc, etc,” similar to the rant that Ragnar posted on his Sunday night review. And while many of his words were understandable, I’m not going to go down that road. I mean, what’s the point? To be honest, the organisers can’t please everyone. Plus, my own increasingly divergent music tastes meant that I know some of the acts I would have wanted to appear would likely have completely bombed with the audience. I am forced to admit that would I have organised a better festival?…. No, I probably would not have. So let them get on with it I say, and I shall simply hope and pray that there will be someone on next year’s bill that will have me going “YESYESYES!! I am SO going to that!!”

What I am interested though is the directions that Airwaves will be taking in the next few years. This year saw Harpa take full command, front and centre, in the festival’s plans, and this did change the dynamic of the party somewhat. It wasn’t that perceptible, but you will notice it a bit more over the coming years. And will it alter the atmosphere of the festival itself? Remember that airwaves has often been promoted as this wonderful dirty, crazy, “organic” beast of a festival that’s so relaxed and off the cuff. But because now of its size, it’s had to move on and shape up. It’s not really a cute small party any more.

But the biggest changes over the next few years are likely to be completely outside the sphere of Airwaves control. By this I mean the city of Reykjavik itself. A comment by Vala on her Sunday night review  – “Because this city and its music scene are one,” intrigued me, because this city is changing now before our eyes, and not necessarily for the better according to many. For example there were (unfounded) rumours floating around that Faktorý was closing down soon after the festival due to the issues with the Heart Garden developments, but with the closing of NASA, that sort of thing would have been a massive blow to the cultural landscape of the city. There is a real fear that 101 Reykjavik could end up being, in the near future, a soulless, hollowed out tourist trap. In the next 3 years, for example, there going to be a HUGE Marriott hotel built right next door to Harpa. How much would a building like that curb trade to local establishments during Airwaves in the future?

It’s also ironic that the upcoming Sonar festival is making a big nightclub in the car park of Harpa, (Like some kind of Nordic Blade movie or something), when there is not a single actual club space In Reykjavik itself. Along with bars such as Bakkus closing and not being replaced, along with shorter opening times, It will be really interesting to see how Airwaves is going to accommodate these changes that are likely to occur. Rather them than me!

THE AWARDS!

OK! enough of the belly aching.So what was my final verdict you ask? Well read on for my glitzy Airwaves awards round-up special!!

BEST MUSIC ACT (Reviewed): This was a tough one, but I would have to say, LEGEND. If Minus release their latest album tomorrow, then announce their split for good, then I won’t be all that sad to hear it. This is because the new age of Krummi in Legend is so good to watch. The way he merged both sound and stage visuals/actions meant that he’s pretty much up there with being one of Iceland’s most arresting performers right now.

Runner Up: Angist – If they don’t get some proper international press/recognition in the next year, then we will all have failed them as a nation.

BEST MUSIC ACT (Not reviewed): This is a TIE between NOVA HEART… and REYKJAVIK! Yes, I acknowledge I am a slutty little fanboy for these guys, but seeing our guys Chris and Joel Hoard (and several friends of Iceland) go absolutely mental for them at Þyski Barinn was totally brilliant. Nova Heart were my stand-out foreign act discovery of airwaves for me, and I have to thank Rebecca Louder for planting the seed into my head to make the journey from Faktorý to Gaukurinn in the storm to see them. The day after, Paul Bridgewater and I were all wide-eyed with enthusiasm for them, going “Woah, how good were they last night??”

Runner Up: Sindri Eldon at Amsterdam. Fucker KILLED it!

BEST OFF VENUE GIG: The Crunchy Frog concert at Bakkus was simply great, Thee Attacks were fucking wild, spitting blood, and reminded me that classic rock needs to be seen in the moment (Thereby in one fell swoop, making Ég and The Vintage Caravan totally redundant in the process). Shiny Darkly were also the guys that Airwaves managed to let slip from their grasp. Why? They were totally awesomez! Oh yeah… and having 100 litres of free beer also helped the proceedings!

Runner Up: Ghostigital at KEX. Oww me ears…

The “Wow they were a lot better than I thought they were going to be,” Award for confounding expectations: This would have to be WOODPIGEON at Kaldalón. His sublime music was very much needed o Saturday. Though he would be so much better if he called himself RADIOACTIVE TIGERPANZERCORPS!! or something similar…

Runner Up: Thee Attacks.

The “They don’t pay me enough for this shit,” Award for worst performance at Airwaves: Without a doubt it was RETROBOT. Funnily enough, when mentioning them and their performance to numerous people and musicians during the festival, it was met with a pretty much unanimous, “I know, right??” Oh well, haters gonna hate…

Runner up: Lockerbie. Luckily I managed to see these guys on the first night, thereby getting all the rubbish music out of the way.

BEST VENUE: For the sound it was Kaldalón. For the Atmosphere it was… Amsterdam! Yeah, i know, right?

Runner Up: Bakkus. RIP guys, it was a great bar, and I had some wonderful moments there. Also, most of the infections I picked up at that place have cleared up thanks to Antibiotics.

WORST VENUE: Faktorý. There were some really good acts there, but there was this really uncomfortable, clammy,  scuzzy feel to the place. The doormen didn’t help much either.

BEST CELEB SPOTTED: Björk. About 50,000 times. Including seeing her trying to get a kebab at 5am on Sunday morning.

MOST EXPENSIVE BEER: 1200kr for a beer at Harpa. We are now in the New Normal of bad times….

And that is it for me. After this, I’m taking a much needed break from music and writing till Christmas time probably. The only stuff you’re going to see will be up on this here blog (which no one reads anyway…). But again thanks to all those who did at least make the year go special – Hilmar and Palli at the GV, Cath Fulton,  Elly, Veerle, the Doormen at Gaukurinn, the boys in Muck!, Palli and all the boys and girls at Bakkus, Halldór Ragnarsson & Dabbi Örn for the art, Nick, Adam, Mark, and all the other travellers whose names I may have forgotten (Please add them in the comments below!!)

But before I go, If you want some nice free music to get a feel of what Airwaves was all about, then I suggest you go HERE, to download the Grapevine’s great free airwaves 2K12 compilation (50-odd tracks of some great music!), and then go HERE, to download the special compilation compiled by the Crunchy Frog label for us for Airwaves. you know it makes sense!!

Peace out motherfuckas!!!

 
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Posted by on November 10, 2012 in Iceland, literature, live music

 

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