It’s time again for the annual Taste of Iceland event here in Boston. The cultural event that brings a sampling of Icelandic culture to different cities around the United States every year.
Food, film, music and writing are all part of this year’s event. For us music-minded folks there is a two-fer of sorts. Along with the Reykjavik calling concert, they are also showing “Rokk I Reykjavik” at the Brattle theatre.
This year’s cuisine event will be held at The Merchant, a great little spot located in the finance district /downtown crossing area. The Merchant’s chef Matt Foley will collaborate with Thrainn Freyr Vigfússon of LAVA, the Blue Lagoon restaurant in Iceland. Learn more about the menu here, as with all of the events of Taste of Iceland, it’s highly recommended you reserve your spot sooner than later.
For the literature lovers and writers out there, I suggest you attend “The Write stuff” led by Eliza Reid, a co-founder of Iceland’s writers retreat. On March 5th, 1:00-2:30pm she will go into the hows and whys of Iceland’s strong written word history at the Barnes and Noble in the Prudential Center. Also, there will be a lot of great books written by Icelandic authors available for purchase, including Halldór Laxness, and Jon Gnarr. Learn all about it here
Rokk í Reykjavik is playing at the Brattle Theater, March 6th at 3PM! This documentary is one I suggest everyone watch. It’s chock-full of music goodies and interviews and concert footage of a lot of classic Icelandic musicians. You’ll see a lot of the folks you already know, and most likely, you’ll learn about new artists and bands you really should know. Not only does Boston get treated to this documentary, but Sigtryggur Baldursson, A man who happens to have been in a lot of my favorite classic Icelandic bands including Sugarcubes, Kukl, and Þeyr, will be on hand afterward for a Q&A. Here’s the band Þeyr doing “Rúdolf” from the Rokk í Reykjavik documentary:
And now, Reykjavik Calling. On March 5th at 8pm the annual concert at the Middle East will happen. This concert combines both local Boston bands with Icelandic bands, typically the atmosphere is uplifting, and it feels like a giant party. This year Boston locals Neme and Adam Ezra Group will play with Axel Flóvent and CeaseTone. The Concert is free, and I suggest getting there early as it always fills to capacity quickly.
You can see photos of previous Reykjavik Calling’s here.
From Boston, Nemes is an indie folk-ish band, with high energy and excitability their charm comes in exciting crowds a mix of folk, country and rock.
In excellent contrast, Axel Flóvent from Iceland will be there. Calming, mellow and harmonic music reminiscent of Nick Cave. I’ve seen him live a few times up in Iceland, and it’s difficult not to get sucked into the music. He’s one of the great new exports of the Island and it’s rare I find folks who dislike him.
Also from Boston, the Adam Ezra Group will be performing. Boston is famous for large bands, groups of friends getting together to make great music. Adam Ezra Group certainly fits the bill. a great group of folks churning out good ole rock and roll.
And last, certainly not least CeaseTone will be here. CeaseTone is just as much about guitars and rock as electronics, expertly combining the two creating great music. Another band I’m looking forward to seeing here in Boston.
It’s going to be a great couple of days here in Boston. I highly suggest you RSVP on Facebook or the Taste of Iceland website, as things fill up quickly and sell out every year.
I asked CeaseTone the standard 4 questions, and Hafsteinn Þráinsson was kind enough to answer:
- What’s your favorite place in Iceland to play: A place called Húrra!
- What is you or the band’s favorite color: Deep Blue
- What are 3 of your favorite little known bands of Icelandic origin: In The Company Of Men, Gangly, Muck and soo many others
- If you could be any creature playing your favorite song, what would the creature be? And what is the song: Do you mean favorite song in general or with the band? If in general I’d like to be Yoda rapping “Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe” by Kendrick Lamar. If with the band I’d like to be Gandalf The White playing “Full circle”
See you there!