Monthly Archives: June 2014

And the bands keep coming for Airwaves ’14

10607889094_a598cfa7b3_oAnother chunk o’bands have been released.  This brings the announced total to 124, 63 of which are Icelandic.  A lot of Icelandic veterans playing this year such as Sóley, Prins Póló, For a Minor Reflection and Validmar, and there are even more newbies that I look forward to hearing.

As the list is getting bigger, I am going to break down my Iceland Airwaves reference page into a few more categories hopefully later today, definitely by the end of the weekend.

You can see the full line up On the Iceland Airwaves site.  And you can see the broad genre breakdown of the Icelandic artists on my Iceland Airwaves 2014 page.   You can read all my posts on Iceland Airwaves here, and see my photos from 2013 here.

I have a few hopeful Icelandic bands I am still holding out for such as Knife Fights, Ghostigital and Boogie trouble, but I am really enjoying the roster so far.

So get your tickets, it always sells out, and the longer you wait, the less options you will have for hotels and housing, it definitely is one festival where the more of an early bird you are, the better your choices are.

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You really should be at ATP in Iceland…

ATPIceland

Why go all the way to a continent straddling island for a music fest?  Perhaps because it’s at the old NATO base Ásbrú, perhaps because Iceland is really beautiful in the summer, and/or perhaps the fact that Portishead, Slowdive, Shellac, Interpol and Fuck Buttons, and all the other goody bands listed in the graphic above will be there.

This is the second ATP Iceland and combine it’s newness with their already selective process for music and you get a festival made just for music lovers.  Neil Young and Ólafur Arnalds will be doing ATP Takeover events near the city on days leading up to the festival, and the long weekend of the festival looks to be chocked full of music and mayhem.

There are movies, DJ sets, as well as the concerts, so if you get bored that’s your own fault.  The Icelandic music blog Rok Musik has a great post on the festival, and the folks over at Grapevine did a little Q&A with some of the artists coming up.  Get yer tix and we’ll see you there.

I have to put in a special plug, as not only is Pharmakon from Sacred Bones Records playing, but the guru of Sacred Bones himself, Caleb is DJ’ing a set in the DJ tent.  They are not Icelanders, but one of my favorite labels out of NY.

ATPICELANDgroup

**All pics pilfered via google image search

As this is an Icelandic music blog, or at least tries to be, I’ll forego my crushes and gushes for some of the non-Icelandic acts (Shell-Fukkin-Ac) and focus my admirations and infatuations on the Icelanders involved.

I put together a playlist on Soundcloud of the Icelandic bands playing, and I put videos down below for bands not really represented on Soundcloud.

HAM:

Singapore Sling:

It’s a mix of metal and electronics, all somewhat enjoyably on the heavy side.  Epic metal veterans HAM will be there, as well as Icelandic music 101 staples, For a Minor Reflection, MAMMÚT, Singapore Sling. and self described “dynamite rockers” Náttfari are performing.

Sóley is back from the time she took off for her family, and it wouldn’t be an Icelandic gig without Sin Fang doing something for the crowd.  The sweethearts of Pascal Pinon and Samaris are also doing a set, and one of the founders of the Bedroom community, Ben Frost, will be performing.  Captain Fufanu has nixed the Captain, so Fufanu will be entertaining the masses, and adding another artist to the list of musicians I haven’t seen previously, Kría Brekkan (formerly, like 8 years and a musical lifetime ago formerly, of múm) will also be there.

So yes, you should be in Iceland mid July for this awesome festival, I will be.  Learn more about it here.

This is the Playlist for all the bands, foreign and native alike:

spotify to follow soon.

 

 

Ásgeir with Connor Youngblood at Great Scott

asgeir

Anytime an Icelandic band comes to Boston, I do everything I can to be there.  As it so happens, the Ásgeir gig this last Friday coincided with my new purchase of a much faster camera lens.  So, I was able to practice and catch a great gig, two birds…one stone kind of thing and the like.  You can click any of these pics to see the actual photos on my Flickr account.

The gig was at Great Scott, a bar in Allston famous for hosting acts rather late in the night.  FM Belfast played there last year also to a sold out crowd.  It’s a simple set up, but the sound is typically good, and the beer and vodka rather cheap.

connoryoungblooc

Connor Youngblood opened for the band.  He’s a youngin’ out of Dallas Texas often seen on stage with multiple instruments strapped around him.  His pedal boards were impressive, and so was his ability to shift between the sounds and loops he created during his songs.  There is very little out there on him, but I did find this interview, and his website. (which could use an about me section.)

Ásgeir and his band of motley fools were next.  Filling the tiny stage to it’s capacity and beginning the soothing songs he’s famous for.  We luckily got to hear a few songs in Icelandic, and he did a very smooth, high pitched version of Heartshaped box a little more than halfway through his set.  The girls, and a few guys, were swooning and it made taking photos nearly impossible as the crowd was all but sitting in the band’s lap on the stage.

TrioasgeirI have to say that I loved his drummer, and even though the lighting wasn’t very good and he was in the dark a lit of the time, it was fun to watch him play.

I still have quite a bit of practice to get the hang of the new lens, there were noise issues, and a prime lens takes some getting used to.  But the concert was great, and good times were had.  So, thank you to Ásgeir‘s management for the opportunity to snap some shots, and thanks to  Ásgeir and Connor Youngblood for a great gig.

It was a fantastic Iceland music snack before ATP Iceland, which is less than a month away.  But that’ll be an entirely different post.

 

Brighter days -FM Belfast

FM_Belfast-Brighter_Day-hires

FM Belfast are back with another high energy album just in time for Summer, Brighter days. somehow, they’ve found time between a plethora of individual side projects to put together a fantastic album. Lóa Hlín Hjálmtýsdóttir has her Lóaboratorium project, Árni Vilhjálmsson is in the acting group Kriðpleir, most recently acting in a play called Tiny Guy. Árni Rúnar Hlöðversson is making synths and controllors for his side project Plúseinn, Örvar Þóreyjarson Smárason’s been busy with Múm and even the dancer, Egill Eyjólfsson, spends his non FM Belfast hours as a bureaucrat for Brussles for EFTA. As if that’s not enough, they have been touring globally for quite a while now. So really, when do they find the time?…

It begins like any FM Belfast record should, sharp stops and high energy beats about Brighter days, Deloreans, ears and Gold. But then comes a surprise. A smoother, more layered track called “Holiday.”

It’s energy brews right under the surface, like a wide river that at first glance seems to be meandering all the while the current is raging under the surface. After “Holiday”, the album takes a slight turn giving us new beats to get excited about such as the ultra heavy sounds in “Ariel”, which drops quite a bit lower than the typical FM Belfast track shaking one right out of their earbuds.

Overall, it’s fantastic. Brighter days delivers the beats we expect from FM Belfast, and gives us a new sounds to dance along to. You can listen to it, and buy it for $7 from their website. Check out their tour dates as I find them best live.  Their Youtube channel. is chocked full of videos.  And of course, follow them on Facebook.