Tag Archives: dr. gunni

Icelandic Bands of Iceland Airwaves 2017

Unlike past years, Iceland Airwaves will be in two cities this year, Reykjavik and Akureyri giving festival goers a chance to see more of the island, and from the looks of it, bringing more Icelandic bands from all over together to play. You can now look at the schedule here.

218 bands have been announced so far of which 162 are Icelandic.  I make this page as a quick reference and it’s a good thing to bookmark while you’re at the festival. There will be times where your plans may not come to fruition and you can look at the app, find a band you’ve never heard of for plan B, and use the quick reference here to see if you dig it.

Iceland Airwords is back as well.  A night of Poets, authors, and literature, including Ásta Fanney Sigurðardóttir, Kristín ÓmarsdóttirAndri Snær Magnason, Bergur Ebbi Sigurðsson, Kött Grá Pjé.  Check the online schedule for times.

With Icelandic bands it can always be hard to categorize their music styles as one of the greatest things about them is their ability to snag and grab their favorite things from all over the musical spectrum and make it work for them. So these lists are just general nods in the direction you may be looking for, for example, the Dance table, they sit right on the edge of electronic and dance pop/rock and beats. But I tried to focus on the prominence of a lead singer and the beats of the bulk of their songs in deciding which side to place them.

I’ve also made a table of just Möller Records and Thule Records artists as they have quite the strong presence this year. Both of these record labels have continually brought amazing electronic acts out of the Icelandic woodwork for years and I’m really stoked to visit their stage and get my fill of their collective music.

Categorizing some bands can be extremely difficult as they run borders are freely through genres, so if you feel a band needs to be moved into a different category let me know and I’ll change it.

Electronic / DJ / Atmospheric / experimental
Chevron DJ. flugvél og geimskip DJ Snorri Ástráðs DJ Spegill
DJ Sura Frank Murder Good Moon Deer Kosmodod
Ljósvaki Púlsvídd Röskva Ruxpin
Tonik ensemble TRPTYCH Yagya
Veteran Electronic Record Labels: Möller & Thule Records
Án (M) Andartak (M) Árni² (M) Bistro Boy (M)
Cold (T) Futuregrapher (M) Gunnar Jónsson Collider (M) NonniMal (T)
Octal Industries (T) Ozy (T) Ohm (T) Subliminal (M)
Thor (T) Vector (T)
Dance / electronic / pop / rock
Blissfull FM Belfast GusGus Mikael Lind
Milkywhale PASHN Sólveig Matthildur Sykur
Sylvia
Rock / Pop / Singer/Songwriter / Indie / Dance
200.000 Naglbítar AFK Árstíðir Ásgeir
Axel Flóvent AUÐUR aYia Benny Crespo’s Gang
Between Mountains Biggi Hilmars Ceasetone Daði Freyr
Dísa Einarlndra Emiliana Torrini & the Colorist Indriði
Fai Baba Fox Train Safari Fufanu Gangly
Godchilla Grúska Babúska Gorn Hildur
Högni Hugar JANA JFDR
Jón Jónsson KALLI Kiriyama Family Lára Rúnars
Lára Rúnars Máni Orrason Megas Mighty Bear
Moses Hightower Mr. Silla Nilüfer Yanya Omotrack
One week wonder Ösp Oyama Par-Ðar
Pascal Pinon Paunkholm Pranke Ragga Grönda
Rósa Guðrún Sveinsdóttir RuGl Rythmatik SiGRÚN
Skaði Þórðardóttir Skrattar Snorri Helgason Soffía Björg
Sóley Special K Sycamore Tree Tilbury
TSS Tusks Una Stef Valdimar
Vök Védís Warmland Young Karin
Punk / Metal / Hardcore / Garage Rock / Prog Rock
Dr. Gunni For a Minor Reflection Fræbbblarnir Grísalappalísa
Gróa HAM Hatari Hórmónar
Kælan Mikla Kontinuum Korter í flog Mammút
Phlegm Pink Street Boys ROHT Skelkur í bringu
Tappi Tíkarrass Tófa Une Misère We Made God
Hip-Hop / Trap / R&B / Rap
Alexander Jarl Alvia Islandia Aron Can Birnir
Cell 7 Chase Cryptochrome Cyber
Dillalude Elli Grill Emmsjé Gauti Fever Dream
Flóni Geisha Cartel GKR Glowie
Holy Hrafn Ider Joey Christ JóiPé og Króli
KÁ-AKÁ Lord Pusswhip Rari boys Reykjavíkurdætur
Shades of Reykjavik Sturla Atlas Tiny Úlfur Úlfur
Valby Bræður Young Nazareth
Composers / Atmospheric / Audio Visual
Amiina Bára Gísladóttir GlerAkur Gyða Valtýsdóttir
Halldór Eldjárn Jónas Sen
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Iceland Whatever Vol. 2: 11 Icelandic bands you should get to know.

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Iceland continually maintains a wealth of musicians and bands.  There isn’t a genre missing on the small island, and there is a lot of talent found almost everywhere you look.  From atmospherically haunting soundtracks to the darkest metal, you can always find something you’ll dig.  And while this list doesn’t encompass all said genres, it’s my personal list of bands I’m enjoying at the moment.

Full disclosure, this blog post is about the 11 bands I’ve been lucky enough to compile on the new Icelandic Whatever compilation.  They are 11 bands I truly dig, and I hope you will as well.  The new compilation is released on November 11th, and is available for pre-order for $3 here.  These bands are presented in the order of the compilation.

Most of these bands will be at Iceland Airwaves 2016.  So if you’re going, make sure to check them out.  The schedule and more info for Iceland Airwaves can be found here.

Berndsen – “Alter Ego”

David Berndsen is Berndsen.  I try to describe Berndsen not as 80’s retro, or a blast from the past, but as a continuation of the 80’s, with unique beats, heavy synths, and a booming voice.  It’s not just a pinhole representation of what we loved about the 80’s, it’s a feel good modernized trip back to what we dug.  In my opinion, he’s taken what can be a very dated musical genre and made it timeless.  His music videos are also something of pure genius and are frequently on almost all of my house party playlists.  The video above is “Shaping the Grey” featuring the talented singer/songwriter Elin Ey, and Högni Egilsson of GusGus fame.  It is from his new album “Alter Ego.”  The title track  is on the compilation. Other videos you should watch are  Lover in the dark, and Game of Chance.

Dr. Gunni – “Ég er aumingi”

Dr. Gunni is a veteran punk, he’s been at it since the 80’s.  And as well as the band Dr. Gunni, he has been in the legendary bands:  SH Draumur, Bless, and Unun.  He wrote, “Blue eyed pop” which is the most comprehensive book on the history of rock in Iceland and has also has released a few compilations in his time called the Snarl series which was the inspiration for me to begin releasing compilations.  The song “Ég er aumingi” is on the new comp, and it’s from his upcoming album, “ATVIK”.

Milkywhale – “Invisble”

MilkyWhale began as a musical project between choreographer Melkorka Sigríður Magnúsdóttir  and Árni Rúnar Hlöðversson (FM Belfast, and Pluseinn.)  It’s dance pop, with unique breaks and as with their music, their live shows are filled with high energy moments that somehow bring both band and audience together almost as if everyone in attendance had rehearsed their dancing.  “Invisible” is on the compilation.

Boogie Trouble – “Moldun”

Yes, Icelandic Disco does exist, perhaps it’s not well known, but one of Donna Summers favorite songwriters was Icelandic.  I fell in love with Boogie trouble the first time I saw them at Iceland Airwaves years ago.  It’s a super group of talented and seasoned musicians, and their new album, “Í bænum” is one solid disco dance-fest.  I’ve written about it before, and I still thing the song, “Moldun” is about the quest of a lonely space cowboy to find his electric-slide line dancing space cow folk.  Thankfully, the band has let me put said track on the compilation.

Pink Street Boys – “Let it down”

I like contrast, and Pink Street Boys delivers said contrast.  Dirty, sludgy punk infused garage rock.  practically insane in everything they do, they’ve been my go-to rock out band for quite a while now.  I originally wanted “Evel Knievel” for the compilation, but they delighted me with a new gem, “Let it down” and it does not disappoint.

Æla – “Rólegur!

Æla continue to be a treat.  They are a punk band whose live shows are always a must-see for me.  Every year after their gig I say “that’ll be tough to beat next year,” and every year they beat it.  The dedication they put into their show antics are only beat by their dedication to their music, and their new-ish album, Vettlingatök (Handle with kid gloves) is solid.  “Rólegur” is the track on the compilation, and the performance above was at the Iceland Airwaves KEXP stage at Kex last year.

Myrra Rós – “One amongst others”

Myrra Rós, is well known in Iceland for her solo project as well as a vocalist for the band Var. She is an enchanting chanteuse, her soothing  voice soars only grounded by heavy instrumentation below her.   Her new album, “One Amongst Others” is an atmospheric collection of other-wordly songs.  The title track shown above is on the compilation.

Svavar Knútur – “Wanderlust”

Svavar Knútur is the traveling troubadour.  From the west side of Iceland his folk songs are a contrast of serious topics happily sung.  He takes his audiences on comedic journeys and with or without a backing band an audience is never left without.  The song above is an acoustic version of the song”Wanderlust” from his newest album, Brot (The breaking) and the album version is on the compilation.

Cyber – MÁVAR

Cyber is an interesting duo.  Formerly they were what I can only describe as disco/metal/rap duo, and now they are hip hop. I was stoked when they agreed to be on my comp, as I really like their music + lyric combination.  Typically they rap in Icelandic, but the video above is in English. MÁVAR is the track they’ve let me use for the compilation, trippy beats, Icelandic lyrics.

Reykjavik! – Flybus!

It’s no secret that Reykjavik!  is one of my favorite bands.  They are somewhat garage/punk rock legends in Iceland, and they are a band I thought I would never get to see live.  So last year when they played a surprise gig at Kaffibarinn, I became that happy little kid on Christmas morning.  It was sweaty, and nobody could really move except for the band, which managed to hang off the ceiling, bars tops and audience members, you can see the pics I took of the gig here.  So you can imagine how happy I was when they let me put their classic track, Flybus! on the compilation.

Futuregrapher – Shemale

I was beyond stoked when Futuregrapher agreed to be on the compilation, even more so when he sent a brand new track.  he mixes multiple layers of trippy broken beats combined with the atmospheric noise to create unique songs you can’t help but get wrapped up in.  He’s a breath of fresh air to see live, and you get sucked in not only by the music, but by his unique style behind the machines.  I’ve written about him before, and the new song, Shemale, which is on the compilation is something different I’ve never heard from him before.  It’s the perfect ending to a great list of musicians on the compilation.

Iceland Airwaves 2015

And, the final announcement is out. Almost 230 bands will be at Iceland Airwaves 2015, and while we’ll definitely miss Björk and Mammút, The Airwaves staff have outdone themselves with the roster this year. This is the most bands I have seen yet, 155 of the 230 bands are Icelandic, and they span the spectrum of every genre. Here is the new announcement, Directed, edited and created by the wonderful Ingibjörg Birgisdóttir, Sin Fang once again is credited with the music, and… Now we all know who Gangly is.

Also announced for this year is a festival within a festival. On Sunday, the final night of the festival,the mini-festival called Extreme Chill will happen at the Vodafone Hall. One last hurrah and “laid back” night of music, featuring Hot Chip, Introbeats, dj. flugvél og geimskip, Agent Fresco, Emmsjé Gauti, Sleaford Mods, Úlfur Úlfur and FM Belfast. You can learn more about it here. It’s a fantastic idea, because if you have done Airwaves right, nothing will sound better than only having to go to one place to finish off in musical bliss.

As I did for 2014 and 2013, I’ve listed all of the Icelandic bands playing into loosely divided into genres on this page.  Clicking on their name will open a new tab with the Iceland Airwaves info page for that artist, which includes Soundcloud, Social media links, and a short bio.

This list is just the Icelandic bands playing, if you want to see the full line-up go to the Iceland Airwaves Line-up page.

RocknRoll – Indie Rock – Pop Rock – Rock Rock
Agent Fresco Bárujárn Borko CeaseTone
Dikta Dr. Gunni Elin helena FM Belfast
Fufanu Geislar Hallelewah HAM
Hide your kids Himbrimi Hjaltalín John Grant & the ISO
Just Another Snake Cult kimono Kiriyama Family Klassart
Lára Rúnars Low Roar MAMMÚT Mosi Musik
Mosi Musik Mr. Silla Oyama Red Barnett
Rhytmatik Runar Thorisson Russian.girls Sindri Eldon & the Ways
Teitur Magnússon Toneron Trúboðarnir Valdimar
Var The Vintage Caravan Vio Þórir Georg
Singer/Songwriter – Folk – Blues/Jazz – Composers – Classical
Árstíðir Aurora Axel Flóvent Beebee and the Bluebirds
Brim DALÍ Fura Grúska Babúska
Helgi Valur Hymnalaya Jónas Sen Júníus Meyvant
Justman Lucy in Blue Magnús Leifur Máni Orrason
Markús & The Diversion Sessions  Mógil My Bubba Nordic Affect
Par-Ðar Soffía Björg Sóley TUSK
Þórunn Antonía og Bjarni Ylja
All things Electronica – Dance / DJs / Composers / ambient / ElectroPop / noise
Agzilla Arni Vector Arnljótur Art is Dead
Asonat Auður Berndsen Bistro Boy
Brilliantinus Daveeth dj. Flugvél og geimskip DÖPUR
Dream wife Exos Futuregrapher Gangly
Ghostigital Good Moon Deer Gunnar Jónsson Collider Gus Gus
H.dór Hekla HimBrim Jack Magnet Quintet
Jóhann Eiriksson Jón Ólafsson & Futuregrapher Kiasmos Kippi Kaninus
LaFontaine Lord Pusswhip M-Band Mafama
Mankan Milkywhale Miri Mikael Lind
Mike Hunt Mr. Signout Odinn OHM
Royal Ruxpin Serengeti by President Bongo Skurken
SMURJÓN Snooze infinity Súrefni Sykur
Thor Tonik Ensemble Trptych Vaginaboys
Vök Waage Yagya Yamaho
Young Karin
Punk – Hardcore
Æla Börn Caterpillarmen Grísalappalísa
In the Company of Men Kælan Mikla Muck Pink Street Boys
Skelkur í bringu
All Shades of Metal
Beneath Bubbi Og Dimma Endless Dark Kontinuum
Misþyrming Momentum-Malneirophrenia Severed Sinmara
Svartidauði
Hip-Hop – Rap – Reggae
AmbAdama B-Ruff Cell 7 Cheddy Carter
Emmsjé Gauti Epic Rain Gísli Pálmi Herra Hnetusmjör
Kut Grapje Ojba Rasta Reykjavíkurdætur Shades of Reykjavik
Sturla Atlas Úlfur Úlfur

You can listen to all the bands playing this year via Iceland Airwaves Spotify playlist here:

And here are the previous video announcements:

Video four was Directed, produced, and shot by Máni M Sigfússon, starring Kælan Mikla, with music by Sin Fang:

Video three was produced by Les Frères Stefson, directed and written by, Unnsteinn Manuel Stefánsson And the banker was Haraldur Ari Stefánsson:

Video two with Hrafnkell Örn Guðjónsson drumming away as band names float across the screen:

First announcement with Dj. Flugvél og Geimski:

I would suggest getting your tickets sooner than later, especially if you are planning on doing a package you’ll have more hotel options in the beginning now than you will in a month. Typically the festival sells out, but with the line up looking as good as it does this year, I would imagine it will sell out sooner than later. I’m sure you wouldn’t want to be on the wrong end of “you snooze, you lose”

If you want to see what the past has been like, here is a link to all my Iceland Airwaves related posts.  And here is the link to the Iceland Airwaves Flickr page if you want to see just how fun this festival really is.

Hope to see you there.

T’is the season for new music, Snarl 4

snarl4It’s been decades since the last Snarl,  and Dr. Gunni certainly exceeded expectations with this 4th edition.  The compilation contains a broad assortment of what is coming up and is going around Iceland.  It’s not just double rainbows, bowed guitars, elven harmonies or hair model horses.  It’s everything from deep dark meaty punk to folk;  trippy rock to dizzying funk.  Its all encompassing with 25 great bands anyone that appreciates music will end up digging.  What else would you expect from the author of one of my favorite history of Icelandic pop-rock books, Blue eyed pop.

You can listen and purchase the compilation here on Bandcamp.  Either get a digital copy for $10, or an actual CD including a foldout cover with pictures of the band, and a long summation by Haukur S Magnússon of Grapevine. for $20.  Here are just a few of what I feel are the lesser known bands you’ll find on the comp:

Pink Street BoysEvel Knievel

They were one of the favorite new bands of Airwaves, and justifiably so.  Dirty, punkish rock that required one to take a shower after seeing them rock the shit out of wherever they played.  I was looking forward to seeing them at Airwaves, and they didn’t disappoint in the slightest.

Kælan MiklaEkkert Nema Ég

I’ve got a soft spot for this band, they really tore it up at Airwaves, and brought back nostalgic memories of Hole before the celebrity.  Angry angry gals with heavy beats behind them.  This isn’t the song on the album, but a good representation, and it was filmed in one of my favorite bars in Iceland, Bar 11, quite possibly by a drunk individual….not me.

Dj. flugvél og geimskipDraugur I Kastalanum

The compilation isn’t just dark heavy punk and rock, Dj. flugvél og geimskip, the alter ego of Steinunn Eldflaug Harðardóttir is one of the sweetest beings out there, and her funky trippy manner is best witnessed live.  Again not the song on the comp, but my favorite video of hers.

KVÖLWatching Me

KVÖL is the new project of one of my favorite Icelandic artists, Þórir Georg.  I first heard him when he was My Summer as a Salvation Soldier, and as he progressed through the years, so did his music, like a crazy river ever evolving, this new project has a fantastic gothic, Joy divisionist feel to it.  You can actually hear a lot more from him on Soundcloud, and I suggest you do, He’s releasing an album that will combine his two EPs as well as some newer stuff soon.

These along with a lot of Icelandic favorites, such as Prins Póló, Just Another Snake Cult, Mugison, Grisalappalisa & Megas, Börn, Knife fights, and Sindri Eldon are all included, and honestly this post could go on forever.  I highly suggest you go over to Bandcamp and give it a listen now.  This comp has definitely earned it’s spot as one of my favorite releases of the year.

Blue Eyed Pop, a book review

bep

Broadening the scope of the blog I suppose, I’m writing a book review.  It’s a book on Icelandic music written by a musician who is active and has been in the Icelandic scene for over 30 years.  So it’s not too far out of scope.

Blue eyed pop is a historical look at the pop music scene of Iceland.  Named after The Sugarcubes song it begins in the early 1900’s and treks across the beginning of Iceland’s love affair with music up to it’s present day music madness.  From the 25 wax cylinders Icelanders listened to for years to the hundreds of original bands that call the little island home, the book meanders through the short, but action packed Icelandic musical history, giving the reader plenty of photos along the way.

While there are plenty of books, interviews and summations of the globally famous Icelandic bands, this is the first I’ve encountered where that history is told with character, and from the perspective of another Icelandic musician, one who has been at his craft for over 3 decades.  There are so many insider stories and funny tidbits about not only Icelandic bands, but bands such as Yes, Led Zeppelin and Donna Summers.  Bands you would never associate with Iceland, but all at one point were somewhat influenced by the little island that straddles two continents.

drgunni

Dr. Gunni is no stranger to writing about music.  He’s been in the scene for over 30 years, playing his first gig in 1980 to now currently working on an adult-ish children’s album, Al-Heimur-inn.   A pop-quiz TV host, DJ and author of multiple historical accounts of Iceland’s music scene, he’s perfectly fit to write the first English account of Iceland’s Pop musical history.

In 2012, Dr. Gunni wrote Stuð vors lands.  Blue eyed pop is derived from this book, focusing more on the pop aspect.  As much as I’d love to go through chapter by chapter and give the good bits.  I think I’ll just stick to an overview, as I could never do Dr. Gunni’s writing justice.

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Fans at a Kinks concert in Iceland

The global music scene realized well before the rest of us the potential and creative eagerness Icelanders have.

Bands such as The Kinks, Zeppelin, and The Who all beat us to Iceland to tour, listen and appreciate what Icelandic musicians had to offer.  Even Disco was influenced by Icelanders who wrote for Donna Summers as well as other famous US acts of the time.

Björk gardening while writing and recording music

Björk gardening while writing and recording music

Trekking through the histories of bands popular not only to Iceland, but the rest of the world such as The Sugarcubes, Sigur Rós and even newer bands like Of Monsters and Men, the book gives the reader a better appreciation of these artists and their music.

From a pre-adolescent  Björk, telling an interviewer she may never repeat the recording process again upon completing her first recording session, to a rather kinky magazine cover shoot of Sigur Rós in dresses and bondage gear, the reader becomes aware of the Icelandic ability to work hard and yet have fun at the same time.

This book is a must for anyone who appreciates the history of music.  Even moreso, if you are a fan of Iceland and it’s people, as through the book you truly get a sense of the Icelandic culture and personality that has seen their work ethic and dedication to life help them survive over the years.

You can order the book here, Learn more about Dr. Gunni and follow his blog here.  Dr. Gunni put together a set of playlists to accompany the book, sorted by decades here.  And there’s a great interview between him and Hauker S. Magnusson on the Grapevine website.

Dr. Gunni was nice enough to answer my slightly modified 4 questions here:

1. In all your years of playing, what is your favorite Icelandic venue or festival? Iceland Airwaves is by far the bestest thing ever to happend on the local scene. I do not have a favorite venue, but I guess playing Harpa is quit nice, even though I haven’t played there yet!

2. Combine all your favorite colors, what do you get?  Some kind of disgusting grey.

3. Name 3 little known Icelandic bands we should get to know. Taugadeildin were a more poppy Joy Division with an EP out in 1981. Ævintýri were a hard rocking unit that used to be a bubblegum band. The rock version Ævintýri only managed to get one 7″ out in 1971 but later they evolved into Svanfríður. Dj Flugvél og Geimskip is this girl Steinunn Harðardóttir doing out of this world spacy fun art music on a brand new album called Glamúr í geimnum (Glamour in Space).

4. If you could be any animal playing any song, what are you, and what song?  A walrus playing Beatles’ I am the walrus, obviously.

All photos were taken from Dr. Gunni’s book.

Iceland Airwaves 2012

On a tiny island bridging two continents a festival occurs every year.  Bands, fans and puffins from all over the globe take over the tiny town of Reykjavik to blast away the cold with beats, guitars and alcohol.  This was my 4th year attending Iceland Airwaves, and even with the hurricane winds making a guest appearance it was another successful year.  I try to see at least 6 bands a day when I go, and while the evenings are dedicated to my favorite bands, day time goes to bands I don’t know, or visiting friends.

Airwaves is unlike most festivals.  The gigs are held in different venues around the city, so while it is a festival, you still get the feeling of pub gigs and concerts.   And with so many bands going on at different times, you get to see some impressive bands up close and personal.  As there were so many bands, I am foregoing the normal link to individual songs and sites, there will be a playlist in Gogoyoko with all the bands if you are interested.

First night of Airwaves landed on Halloween.  This by far is my favorite holiday of the year, in fact one of the few I happily celebrate so of course a costume was in order.  My luggage consisted of a small amount of clothes, Root Beer for my friend Dr. Gunni, and of course, this:

Yes, I was Chewbacca for Halloween.  My wonderful friend Alison was Princess Leia and we attended the FM Belfast gig at KEX, as well as a few bands at Bar 11 before heading to Gabríel.  We stood front and center for Gabríel, and it was entertaining to watch them try to perform while avoiding looking directly at the Wookiee.  To be honest, I thought many times about wearing the Wookiee costume the rest of Airwaves as outside it was heavenly warm.

A college friend of mine and her husband joined me on Thursday, they had to detour to London and back to Iceland due to the hurricane and missed the first night but we started off the day with coffee and more off-venue shows.  My goal was to hit at least 6 shows a day, these guys didn’t slow me down a bit.  And even though they made me break my sacred rule of no food, just Vodka after 6, we were able to stay out until early morning every night, and for the most part still get up early enough to enjoy the day.

I also was able to spend quality time with some of my Iceland friends, coffee’s and house visits abound.  This trip was my favorite so far as I got more of a homey feeling on the island, in fact it wasn’t until I was leaving that I realized I barely had taken any photos.

my favorite gigs of this year had to be Apparat Organ Quartet, and of course the Sigur Ros show at the end of the festival.  I am going to write on Apparat Organ Quartet later, but even with only 4 of the 5 musicians present, they did a fantastic job.  My friend and her husband had never heard of them before, and the look of satisfaction on their faces when it was over made the gig that much better.  They truly do put on an amazing show and I hope they make it stateside sooner than later.

As for Sigur Rós, I have seen them countless times in a lot of different settings, from little bars in Park City to massive arenas here in Boston, they have always played outstanding shows, but this show was the best performance I’ve seen since 2008.  They appeared to really up the ante in their home country.  Part of enjoying Sigur Rós is the uniqueness and new-ness they bring to the table.  The quality of the show made another first for my friend even better, and the new song gave me the chance to experience that new-ness again, I’m really excited with the direction they are taking and looking forward to the 2013 tour


I also was able to spend some time with Dr. Gunni.  He’s kind of a jack-of-all trades in the Icelandic music world.  My first contact with him was years ago when he worked at Smekkleysa.  At that time  he did the job of sending me the Icelandic music my store in Utah sold.  I actually met him face to face 3 years ago at Airwaves, and I stalk him on Facebook as any “normal” person would do.

This year he released a very well put together, cool book on the history of Icelandic music.  For now the book is in Icelandic but I was able to get a copy and I love the way it’s put together.  I’m also very flattered as he used a quote from a Facebook note I had written in a very delayed, very groggy state at an airport a while ago on why I loved Icelandic music and the musicians so much.  Here is a photo of the book:

if you search the archives of the grapevine website, you will find some English translated entries of his from an old History of Icelandic music book he wrote years ago.  If you speak Icelandic, or can deal with horrific google translated text here is his blog.  Again, another Icelander who takes pride in what he does, and has an incredibly humble and strong work ethic.

overall this was a fantastic Iceland Airwaves and I look forward to another fantastic one next year.  I’ve listed below the most notable acts that I saw by the days that I saw them.  You can get to the playlist here at Gogoyoko.  My next artist review will be Lay Low and hopefully it happens a little quicker than the last.

Wed:  Apparat Organ QuartetSteindór AndersenGabríel / Sin Fang /

Thur:  Ólafur Arnalds / Echo Vamper / Sudden Weather Change / Ewert and Two Dragons

Fri: WoodpigeonSin FangApparat Organ Quartet (full show) / Nico Muhly / Ben Frost

Sat:  Rico’s Band / Rökkurró / Epic Rain / GhostigitalÆla / Gus Gus / Sykur

Sun:  Sigur Rós