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Reykjavik Calling


And there it was, Saturday night.  Taste of Iceland’s Reykjavik Calling in Cambridge, MA at the Middle East Club.  Three Icelandic bands acting as ambassadors of music coming together with two local bands to bring Boston a cross-cultural event.  Reyka Vodka supplied the alcohol, and a slew of Icelandic sponsors all helped in the event.

Hermigervill, or as he became known; Hamburgurville,  started the show off with a high energy set.  The  crowd was instantly sucked in as he danced right along with his set.  He gave a shout out to Reykjavik’s Harlem bar, as well as delivering a hip hop version of “Glugginn” by the old peace loving Icelandic hippies, Flowers.  near the end he gave another nod to the Icelandic Reggae band Ojba Rasta with a remix of “Jolly Good.”  The man rocks a theremin like nobody’s business.

hermghostHermigervill always performs with an incredible amount of energy, bobbing in and out to and fro with such speed and vigor it’s tough to snag a clear pic.  He was dead center when I hit the clicker on the ole camera, but only his ghostly remains were captured, he’s that quick.

There was so much energy in the crowd and on stage, so nobody could fault him as he attempted to squeeze one more in.  Unfortunately the powers that be stepped in, and that was that.

Next up, Boston locals Skinny Bones played.  A drum, a Guitar and a little Moog creating a pleasant set of shoe gazing rock.

sinfangerSin FangSindri Már Sigfússon, was next.  The crowd was in for it, as Sindri gave us samples of new bits as well as reworkings of old bits, while some bits stayed the same.  He was joined on stage by Skinny Bones for a collaborative version of “Young Boys.”

Speaking with Sindri before the show, he mentioned we can expect new music from him shortly, and of course he’ll be touring in the future.

The Love Experiment was next.  Dance, funk, jazz, soul….  Too many styles to list, all wrapped up in almost an hour of jamming on stage.  There seemed to be a bit of freestyle jamming going on, especially once Joined by Unnsteinn Manuel Stefánsson and Logi Pedro Stefánsson of Retro Stefson.

3 out of 7 ain’t bad, and that’s what we got from the Retro Stefson camp.  Unnsteinn Manuel Stefánsson and Logi Pedro Stefánsson joined by Hermigervill came on stage, bringing the Retro Stefson unique dance style with them.  Perhaps the alcohol had been flowing a little too freely, or perhaps I was just in a good mood, but I really got into their set, though I will whole-heartedly deny any and all rumors of dancing…

allinallTo end the evening, all of the musicians came back on stage.  There were sax’s, guitars, theremins and synths.  A lot of singing and hanging out and of course, a cover of Lauren Hill’s “Ex Factor.”  Because, why not?!  Definitely a great way to end a great night.

I harassed Logi Pedro about Highlands, his new side project with Karin Sveinsdóttir.  They are working away and hope to have something early 2015.  They will be playing at Iceland Airwaves in November as well. He was nice enough to answer one of my questions:  What animal, what song?” to which he replied “a lion, singing wrecking ball by Mylie Cyrus.”

And finally, let it be known that after Hermigervill’s set, and much to the chagrin of all in my household, I will very shortly own a Theremin… it’s time

Iceland Airwaves 2013

I plan on reviewing and aggregating information on all the Icelandic bands that will be playing Airwaves 2013. Just click one of the bands below and you will go to the post. If I have not completed a post on the band, clicking on the link will lead you to their Gogoyoko profile, their webpage, a soundcloud page, or their Facebook page. You can also click here and listen to my playlist, which will have all artists on Gogoyoko.com that are playing the festival.
Membership to Gogoyoko is free, and you can stream all the music absolutely free. Also, if you do choose to buy, the artist gets 90% of the sale, that is why I love to use them.

To find an up-to-date list of all the bands playing Airwaves 2013 click here.

1860 AMFJ Amiina Angist Apparat Organ Quartet Aragrúi
Árstíðir Auxpan Björk Viggósdóttir La la Alaska Blood fued Bloodgroup Borko
Captain Fufanu Dimma Emiliana Torrini Emmsjé Gauti Endless Dark FM Belfast
Grísalappalísa Hermigervill Hjaltalín Hymnalaya Icelandic Symphony Orchestra In the Company of Men
Jónas Sen Kiriyama Family Kjurr Kontinuum Leaves Legend
Lord Pusswhip Low Roar Magnoose MAMMÚT Momentum Moses Hightower
Muck múm Nini Wilson Nolo Nóra Ojba Rasta
Ólafur Arnalds Ólöf Arnalds Ophidian 1 Oyama Pascal Pinon Pedro Pilatus
Prins Polo Reptilicus Retro Stefson Retrobot Runar Magnusson Samaris
Sign Sin Fang Skuli Sverrison Sólstafir Stafrænn Hákon Tilbury
UMTBS Valdimar Þóranna Dögg Björnsdóttir AKA Trouble Þórir Georg The Vintage Caravan Vok

Iceland Airwaves has become my favorite music festival. 4 days of music on a small Island straddling two continents. It began in 1999 at an airport hangar, and has now become a web of pubs, concert halls, discotheques and coffee shops sprawled out over the city of Reykjavik. Unlike most festivals, where you have stages competing for sound. Airwaves utilizes multiple venues, granting you the ability to actually see the band you’re listening to in person, not just on a massive screen. During the day you get to see acts play smaller gigs around town in Hostels, coffee bars, bookstores. And last year there was even a small little shack in the town center for a cozy kind of experience. After the festival there are plenty of after parties where bands continue until 6-7 in the morning. It truly is, 4 days of non-stop music.

You can always check the website for more information, and book all-inclusive festival packages here. They also have a playlist on Soundcloud of all the artists, not just the Icelandic ones.

and here is their Spotify playlist:

Take a coupla shots of Reyka and go here. I’ll see you there, I’ll be the one with the triple vodka tonic listening away.