mánudagur, október 29, 2007

Elíza Newman Geirsdóttir @ NASA @ Iceland Airwaves 2007

Elíza Newman Geirsdóttir @ NASA @ Iceland Airwaves '07
Wearing the most beautiful dress of the festival - Iceland's colours red-blue-white.

All photographs of the Slideshow by Wim Van Hooste

Elíza sings
"Hjartagull" Live @ Icelandic TV Program Kastljos

More Elíza: www.myspace.com/elizanewman

Gus Gus @ NASA @ Iceland Airwaves 2007

See the "I love Icelandic Music" T-shirt in the press pit (2:12 and further)
Video by Kitty von Sometime

Here is de Slideshow of my Gus Gus photographs (taken in T-shirt):

It took a while (see Kitty Video above) until Gus Gus with Daniel Agust came on the NASA stage. A performance with D.A. as sort of J.C. (Jesus Christ) on the cross & colourfull dressed (backing vocal) singers. Climax with President Bongo and friends (Esja, Hairdoctor) screaming for Einar Örn to join the band with the Gus Gus song and my Friday anthem "If you don't jump, you're English".

Ghostigital @ NASA @ Iceland Airwaves 2007

Einar Örn "Sugarcube" Benediktsson & Bibbi "Curver" Thoroddsen of Ghostigital did a performance @ NASA @ the 9th Iceland Airwaves '07 Festival. There was a unique collaboration, a sort of mess-up, involving President Bongo (Where are you Einar?), Esja (= Duo Daniel Agust (ex-) Gus Gus & Krummi of the band Minus), the singer of Hairdoctor, Curver doing all together Gus Gus song "If you don't jump, you're English".

sunnudagur, október 28, 2007

Dýrđin's "Bubble Girl" one of the best songs of Airwaves '07 according to Pitchfork's Douglas Wolk

Iceland Airwaves Review
by Douglas Wolk of Pitchfork
"I feel a little odd cutting out of !!!'s packed, stellar gig-at the same time as Bloc Party and Chromeo are both playing a few hundred yards away -to check out a band I know only through a couple of MP3s. Fortunately, Dýrđin, playing upstairs at the tiny Grand Rokk to about 30 people, are the discovery of the festival for me - a gloriously pithy, pogo-worthy sha-la-la band in the Pipettes/Heavenly vein. ("No no no no no no no," in Icelandic, turns out to be "nei nei nei nei nei nei nei.") They've got a keyboardist in what looks like a Marimekko sweater, a bassist with an Iron Maiden T-shirt, and a pair of harmonizing singers with Swinging London haircuts; their set-closer, "Bubble Girl", is so familiar and perfectly formed that I figure it has to be a cover. (It's actually one of the songs I'd heard on the Iceland Airwaves site, but they play it about twice as fast."

I was one of the 30 people ... and one of the few who was taking pictures. Here's Wim Van Hooste's Slideshow of Dýrđin's energetic Bubble Girls & Boys performance @ Grand Rokk @ Iceland Airwaves '07:


Abbababb! A review of the Musical by Wim Van Hooste

In 1998 Gunnar Lárus Hjálmarsson, aka Dr. Gunni, made with a little help of his musical friends an album for children called “Abbababb! Dr. Gunni og vinir hans syngja og leika fyrir börnin”. Gunnar is one of the central figures of the Icelandic underground music scene since 1980s, and prominent member of S.H. Draumur ('Black & White Dreams') which transformed into the band Bless. Bless made in the album “Gums”, on which Björk Guðmundsdóttir, the singer of The Sugarcubes, did some backing vocals on 2 songs. Dr. Gunni is a very active person who works as a freelance writer, a radiopresenter/DJ, but as well as a TV host of the pop music quiz show called Popppunktur on the Icelandic television. Not to mention Dr. Gunni is world famous in Finland, especially in Oulu. And the book by his hand, “Eru ekki allir í stuði? Rokk á Íslandi á síðustu öld” (translated as ‘Are we having fun yet – Icelandic rock music in the last century’), a sort of anthology or even sort of encyclopaedia of Icelandic (rock) music in the last century, is a milestone in Icelandic music history. The unique part of this book is a list of the 100 best records ever made in Iceland, accordings to various music specialists. The various friends who collaborated with Dr. Gunni for Abbababb! were, among others: Unun’s singer Heiða Eiríksdóttir, Reptile’s singer Magga Stína, Icelandic ‘Beatle’ Rúnar Júlíusson, gay popstar Páll Óskar, Iceland best known catholic and comedian Jón Gnarr, and Didda. Valgeir Sigurðsson, nowadays of Bedroom Community fame, was in charge of recording the album at Groðurhúsid. The Compact Disc, number 76 on the Smekkleysa hf (Bad Taste Ltd) label, became a huge hit. The song “Prumpufólkið” (translated in English as ‘The Farting Song’) is known by heart by everyone who was a kid in Iceland a decade ago.
Nearly 10 years later, Dr. Gunni decided to make a musical with the CD as a starting-point. With the help of the musical director María Reyndal Abbababb! The Musical was created. Some totally new songs were written to make a logical play for children, both big (read: parents) and small. February the 11th 2007, the musical had the premier at the City Theater of the town Hafnarfjörður, Hafnarfjarðarleikhúsið, just next door to the famous Norwegian-kitsch Viking Restaurant and Hotel Fjörukráin. By the 15th of June, it already won the Icelandic Theater Award Griman, the Award for the Child’s Play of the Year 2007.
While attending the Iceland Airwaves Festival this year for the third time in a row, I was so lucky to get a VIP treatment, sitting in the first row – for the adults – even seeing the rehearsal just before the real show started. So not just a lazy Sunday afternoon! I have to tell you that, while working in the local hospital of Akureyri back in 1998, I used the Abbababb! album to get grip on the difficult Icelandic language. So for me it was like sitting in a time machine straight back to the capital of North-Iceland and singing along with the songs.
A whole bunch of kids and relatives got a terrific show lasting more than 1.5 hours, with a candy and toilet break in between. The music, as performed live by the trio Birgir Baldursson on drums, Elvar Geir Sævarsson on guitar and Dr. Gunni as bass guitarist, fitted exactly with the play. The actors (and the band if functional) were using the whole stage and the visual and sound effects were perfectly integrated in the story.
The musical play tells the story of three young kids, Óli, Halla and Aron Neisti, who discover the world and got involved in a Rock ’n’ Roll adventure of a lifetime. Troubles by the bullying by the big boys (Stóru Strákarnir), the friendship with a female punk pirate Systa Sjóræningi (a Siouxsie Sioux but without Banshees, a character created long before Johnny Depp played hid rock pirate à la Keith Richards), 3 Russians with explosives, and some unavoidable American tourists in the land of fire and ice making a lot of noise by farting. The ‘boy meets girl’ story line, here Disco versus Punk music, making this musical also a sort of Icelandic 'West Side Story', with finally everybody rocking in a free world (unfortunately a world with schools): “Ástin er Rokk og Ról”. The punk (and rock) symbolism and behaviour were used well, even featuring some spitting and stagediving from a school roof and crowd surfing. The children saw John Travolta look-a-like transforming in Neil Young: “Disko Sökkar”. The musical show featured one of my Icelandic heroes, probably Iceland’s best drummer Sigtryggur (Siggi) Baldursson as Hr. Rokk. As a kind of Bogomil Font put in a rock outfit, he’s table dancing around the clock. But also as baby or dog, he proved that he is ready for Hollywood. I only missed the song about the kitten of the original album, "Ó kisa mín”.
Jæja krakkar, Þa er Þetta bara búid! Over and out. Now it is only waiting for Abbababb! The Movie, coming soon at a theater next to you. I hope that Dr. Gunni finds an actor to impersonate the cat.
See you at ‘Rokkland’ Iceland, and please note that the Hotel Borg of the 21st Century is now being moved to a place near the harbour of Hafnarfjörður.
Dr. Gunni, the man who learned the Icelanders how to rock from a young age. Maybe this is the reason why Iceland has so many great musicians since 1998…

Many thanks to Heida & Elvar (of Hellvar ekki Helvar) for this one of a kind Iceland Airwaves Off-Venue arrangement. Takk fyrir siðast. Dankuwel.

The CD Abbababb! is out on the Sögur ehf Label (number SOG007).
Copyright Wim Van Hooste, the 28th of October 2007.

Suitcase full of Icelandic Music I Love

Picture of Purrkur Pillnikk on stage - This Board was a Part of the (too) small Disco - Punk Exhibition @ Nordic House, especially brought there for the Airwaves Festival.
A week ago, I bought the Photobook Pönk/Disko a Islandi (Made by Armann Agnarsson, Listahaskola Islands 2004 - Lokaverkefni) @ a shop @ Laugavegur R'vik. Only 100 copies made (I own now nr 41/100).
Here is the List of the Icelandic musical material I brought back home to fit in my collection:
4ta herdeildin Skipið siglir CD (5ta herdeildin, 2005/Manchester Files, 2006)
Bellatrix Silverlight CD Single
Bellatrix Jediwannabe CD Single
Bellatrix The girl with the sparkling eyes CD Single
Bogomil og Flís Banana veldið CD (Smekkleysa)
Dr. Gunni & Vinir Hans Abbababb! Dr. Gunni & Vinir hans syngja og leika lögin úr söngleiknum CD (Sögur, 2007)
CD (Skipping Stones Records, 2006) Thank you this present Magnus !
Elíza Empire Fall CD (Lavaland & Smekkleysa, 2007) Thank you for signing it Eliza !
For a Minor Reflection Reistu Þig við, sólin er komin á loft … CD (2007)
Grýlurnar Mávastellið CD Digitally remastered (1981 & 1983)(Spor, 2002)
Hafdis Huld Dirty paper cup CD (Mvine, 2005)
Hellvar Bat out of Hellvar CD (unreleased yet) Thank you Hellvar for this premier !
Hooker Swing Promotional CD (2007)
Iceland Airwaves Eruption CD (Icelandic Music Export IMX / Iceland Airwaves, 2007)
Jan Mayen So much better than your normal life (Smekkleysa, 2007)
Kolrassa Krokriðandi Kynjasögur CD (Smekkleysa, 1994)
Lada Sport Time and time again CD (Geimsteinn, 2007)
Lada Sport Iceland Airwaves '07 Promotional CD (2007)
Mammút CD (Smekkleysa, 2005)
Minusbardi Strákarnir okkar CD (Bang & Smekkleysa, 2004)
NilFisk Iceland Airwaves '07 Promotional CD
Skátar Ghost of the bollocks to come CD (Grandmothers Records, 2007) Thanks Benni for signing the album !
Stafrænn Hákon Í ástandi rjúpunnar CD (Vogor Recordings, 2002)
Stuðmenn Sumar á Sýrlandi – 30 ára afmælisútgáfa CD - 30 year Anniversary Special Edition (Sena, 2005)
Utangardsmenn Geislavirkir - 25 ára afmælisútgáfa - 25 year Anniversary Special Edition CD (Sena, 2005)
Various artists Frjáls Palestína (12 Tónar, 2004)
Various Artists Gemsar (Tónlist úr kvikmynd) CD (Dennis, 2002)
Védis In the caste CD (Spor, 2001)
Worm is green Push play CD (Dennis, 2005)

föstudagur, október 26, 2007

Jan Mayen Video "We just want to get everybody higher"

A Video for Jan Mayen's song "We just want to get everybody higher", taken from their 2nd Album "So much better than your normal life" (Label: Smekkleysa, 2007), produced by Eberg and the band. Actually the last album I bought on my trip to Iceland (Airwaves).
A band that I saw performing the first time, some 2.5 years ago @ Reykjavik's University Basement Venue.


miðvikudagur, október 24, 2007

Song of the 31. Week was by Worm is green

I took some nice photographs of the Worm is green gig @ Reykjavik Art Museum on Thursday. More to come soon.
They also performed the beautiful Joy Division cover "Love will tear is apart" which was the song of the 31. Week.

Song of the 32. Week "Ten foot bear" by Mr. Silla and Mongoose

Photograph by Wim Van Hooste of Mr. Silla and Mongoose.
One of the best lo-fi performances I saw @ the last Airwaves was by the duo Mr. Silla and Mongoose. Their gig was @ NASA Friday night.
Song that I choose for this 32. week is therefore "Ten foot bear".

Dr Gunni about I love Icelandic Music Blog & Go to Hellvar Fanblog

Íslandsáhugafólk er sérstök tegund af fólki, en ég skil það alveg. Ísland er náttúrlega upplagt til að dást að úr fjarlægð; landslag sem maður getur upplifað smæð sína í samhengi hlutanna í, klikkaða listræna liðið, menningarafurðirnar. Wim Van Hooste er á kafi í íslenskri tónlist og bloggar um það hér: http://icelandicmusic.blogspot.com/. Hann sýnir mikið úthald og heldur upp á Heiðu. Síðu henni til dýrðar starfrækir hann hér: http://gotohellvar.blogspot.com/. Topp gaur!
And Heida herself started recently a fanpage for the famous band HAM :

New múm Video for song Rhubarbidoo

múm Video for "Rhubarbidoo" by directors Overture

þriðjudagur, október 23, 2007

My program @ the Airwaves 2007

Photograph of Hellvar @ Grand Rokk by Wim Van Hooste
More about Hellvar @ www.myspace.com/hellvarmusic, http://hellvar.blogspot.com/ and http://gotohellvar.blogspot.com/

I had a very busy schedule; 51 gigs in 6 days:

My Anthem of the Festival was
World Domination or Death!

Anthem of Tuesday: So much better than your normal life
Tuesday @ Gaukurinn:
Mammut, Sudden weather change, Who knew and Jan Mayen

Anthem of Wednesday: My favourite colour is blue
Wednesday @ 12 Tonar Shop:
Wednesday @ Rafskinna DVD Magazine Party @ Organ 2nd floor:
Seabear and Skakkamanage
Wednesday @ NASA:
Runar Thorisson, Single Drop, Eliza, Smoosh (US), Soundspell, Lights on the Highway and Shadow Parade

Anthem of Thursday: F*** you, I don't do what you tell me
Thursday @ Nordic House:
Boys in a Band (Faroe Islands) and Sprengjuhöllin
Thursday @ Smekkleysa and Pop, Rokk & Rosir:
Smoosh (US) and Eliza
Thursday @ Icelandair Opening Party @ Kjarval Museum:
FM Belfast & Örvar (of Mum)
Thursday @ Reykjavik Art Museum
Worm is green and Ampop
Thursday @ Organ:
Ulpa, The Telephatetics, Kimono and Skatar

Anthem of Friday: If you don't jump, you're English
Friday @ Nordic House:
Lay Low and Interview with Bubbi Morthens and Mum
Friday @ Frikirkjan:
Siggi Armann (part) and Steintryggur & Ben Frost
Friday @ NASA:
Mr. Silla & Mongoose, Bloodgroup, Skakkamanage, Prinzhorn Dance School (UK), Motion Boys, Gus Gus, Ghostigital and Hairdoctor

Anthem of Saturday: Give me gold
Saturday @ Smekkleysa, Pop, Rokk & Rosir:
Smoosh (US) and Bloodgroup
Saturday @ Frikirkjan:
Saturday @ Naked Ape Party:
The Ghost and FM Belfast
Photograph by Wim Van Hooste of the singer of FM Belfast @ Naked Ape Party on Saturday

Saturday @ Grand Rokk:
Stafraenn Hakon, South Coast Killing Company, Hellvar, Noise (part), Dyrdin, Eg and Hooker Swing

Anthem of Sunday: Astin er Rokk og Rol
Sunday @ Hafnarfjördur Theatre:
Abbababb! The Dr Gunni Musical
Photograph of the City Theatre of Hafnarfjördur by WVH

Sunday @ Organ:
short part of Coral
Sunday@ Gaukurinn:
part of Sudden weather change, Who knew, and Cut off your hands (NZ)

Anthem of Monday: Aeroplane
Björk in my ears on Channel 7 in the IcelandAirplane

We are the Earth Intruders !

Top Ten List of Gigs @ Iceland Airwaves 2007 according to Wim Van Hooste

Photograph of Dýrðin by Wim Van Hooste @ Grand Rokk
More Dýrðin @ www.mmedia.is/dyrdin and http://www.blogger.com/www.myspace.com/dyrdin
For what it's worth - My favourite gigs @ Airwaves (listed alphabetically) by Icelandic artists:
Amiina @ Frikirkjan on Saturday
Dýrðin @ Grand Rokk on Saturday
Gus Gus @ NASA on Friday
Hellvar @ Grand Rokk on Saturday
Motion Boys @ NASA on Friday
Mr. Silla & Mongoose @ NASA on Friday
Skakkamanage @ NASA on Friday
Sprengjuhöllin @ Nordic House on Thursday
Steintryggur & Ben Frost @ Frikirkjan on Friday
Worm is green @ Reykjavik Art Museum on Thursday
The Extras:
Eliza @ Smekkleysa and Popp, Rokk og Rosir Shops on Thursday
FM Belfast @ Icelandair Opening Party on Thursday
FM Belfast @ Naked Ape Shop on Saturday
Jan Mayen @ Gaukurinn on Tuesday
The band Jan Mayen on Tuesday night @ Gaukurinn (Photo by Wim Van Hooste)
The Best Musical:
Abbababb! by Dr Gunni & Friends @ Hafnarfjördur City Theatre on Sunday (with special thanks to Heida og Elvar)
The Non-Icelandic bands:
The Ghost @ Naked Ape Shop on Saturday
Cutt off your hands @ Gaukurinn on Sunday

mánudagur, október 22, 2007

I survived Iceland (Airwaves Festival 2007)

Photograph found @ site of www.icelandairwaves.com
Just back home from the Iceland Airwaves Festival. I skipped a night of sleep. After a good night of sleep, I start to bring you a report from tomorrow on. Some comments, best performances I saw, and of course lots of photographs and some small videos (mpeg) I shot.

mánudagur, október 15, 2007

I love Icelandic Music @ Iceland Airwaves Festival 2007

C U @ Iceland Airwaves Festival 2007 !!!

Next week you can read & watch my Airwaves Festival report @ this blogspot.

sunnudagur, október 14, 2007

Song of the 31. Week: "Love will tear us apart" by Worm is green

Joy Division's song "Love will tear us apart" performed by Worm is green is the Song of the 31. Week.
The band performs @ the Iceland Airwaves Festival 2007:
Thursday @ the MySpace Stage @ Reykjavik Art Museum @ 19:30


Icecross, I mean, who the hell knows, really? They were from Iceland, and their sole, self-titled album from 1973 had a really scary cover with frozen skeletons on it. It looks like a Hellhammer record! It does not, however, sound like one. Scented Gardens Of The Mind, a rather bitchin’ guide to vintage psychedelic bands, pegged these freaks as lost Sabbath-ites, but the truth is, they weren’t nearly as heavy as Iommi and co. They did manage to kick out some acid-gurgling jams though, and here’s one of them, the staunchly anti-religious Jesus Freaks. Worship accordingly.

Herbert Guðmundsson Big Hit in the 80s

A short clip of Herbert Guðmundsson's Eighties Monsterhit "Can't walk away".

The song became is included in the Superhits of the 80's Hitbox.
Herbert in Wikipedia
Herbert was born 15. December 1953 in Reykjavík. When he was 12 years old he began his music career by joining the band "Raflost". Only 17 years old he was the singer of "Tilvera". Herbert played with many bands over the next years for example "Eik", "Pelican" and "Sólskin" (Sunshine). Herbert also took part in the play Jesus Christ Superstar.
With the band "Eik" he played in the Icelandic television station RÚV. There they played some popular songs like "Kung Fu Fighting" and more. This footage was shown again in 2003 when a TV show about Herbert's life was broadcasted in RÚV.
Herbert left the music for a while and began working as a chef in Icelandic fishing ships. He worked at the sea for 8 years. He was a chef at the sea, he once said that he would never cook fish on a ship. Along with cooking for the sailors he had his guitar and wrote some songs so he didn't quit altogether in music at that time.
When he had had enough at working at the sea he moved to Bolungarvík in Vestfirðir (West Fjords) and joined the band KAN. With "KAN" Herbert made the album "Í ræktinni" (In the gym) and the band was a big hit in Iceland. "KAN" only sang in Icelandic and was therefore only well known in Iceland. KAN was the biggest band in Vestfirðir at that time. The album Í ræktinni was released in 1984 and Herbert was the main man behind the decision of making the album. Their popularity in Vestfirðir were huge and people at all ages bought their album.
He wrote the biggest part of the songs and some became very popular. The song "Ertu í Ræktinni?" (Are you in the gym?) became very popular and was played much in the radio. The album was mixed with great party songs and gentle ballads. Herbert re-released two KAN songs in 2001 in a new version with his solo-album "Ný Spor Á Íslenskri Tungu". The songs were "Megi Sá Draumur" (May the Dream) and "Steypa og Gler" (Concrete and Glass).
KAN made a comeback in April 2006 in the music festival Aldrei Fór Ég Suður which is held in Ísafjörður in Vestfirðir. KAN didn't play more than just this one gig but the reactions to the band were amazing. The reunion got a lot of attention and Kastljós the biggest TV-Show in Iceland talked to the band and showed some live footage from their performance.
Solo career
Herbert left "KAN" and moved to Reykjavík. There he began his solo career. He decided to sing in English because he had high hopes of becoming a big star outside of Iceland. In December 1985 he made the song "Can't Walk Away". The song became a huge hit when it was released in the album The Dawn Of The Human Revolution, but it was released in 1986.
"Can't Walk Away" Success
The success of Can't Walk Away was amazing and Herbert became well known in the world. Later the song was included in the Superhits of the 80's hitbox. The song tells the story of how we shouldn't just walk away from the world's problems. We should face them and solve them. The lyrics are quite deep, especially for a pop song.
Herbert said the following words in an interview way after Can't Walk Away was released:
"Then [when Can't Walk Away was released] did only Channel 2 and the "Steam" exist, so the whole country [Iceland] knew that a heavy-mega-hit from Hebbi had been released. When I woke up the day after the song reached the first place the kids in Breiðholtsskóli had written "We love you Hebbi" in the snow outside my apartment in Breiðholt.
Let's Help Them
In 1986 after Herbert had released his major solo-title, The Dawn Of The Human Revolution, he took part in a recording session to help poverty in Africa. All the biggest stars in Icelandic music at that time helped and made the song Hjálpum Þeim (Let's Help Them). Herbert sang both as a lead singer and as a backing singer in the song. It became very popular in Iceland.
Herbert kept on going and made some new songs after the major success of Can't Walk Away. He made the song "Hollywood", which became popular but not as popular as Can't Walk Away. The song Hollywood tells the story of how hard it is to become a success in the big world when you come from a small place like Iceland. Hollywood was released in the album Being Human in 1993. Herbert shot the video for Hollywood in Hollywood and because of that some Icelanders became angry with Herbert and said that he was trying to be a big shot by going to Hollywood and shoot a video there. Herbert answered them by saying that the video wouldn't be the same if he would do a bluescreen video home in Iceland.
After releasing Being Human album he stepped out of the spotlight and was not very active musically speaking for a few years. He moved to Sweden and learned how to be an ice cream master in Italy.
Back in action
In 1997 Herbert became again a very popular singer in Iceland when a new radio station FM957 began playing Can't Walk Away. Herbert came back to Iceland and was again a big star. He decided to release all his biggest hits in a Best Of CD which he called Faith. Faith was released in 1998 and contained Can't Walk Away, Hollywood, I Believe In Love and many other hits. I Believe In Love was a new song from Herbert and it was clear that Herbert had left the 80's feeling and moved on into the techno. The song became very popular and Glitnir (a big Icelandic bank) used the song in its commercials. Herbert also included two remixes of Can't Walk Away in Faith.
He made his first solo-album in Icelandic in 2001 "Ný Spor Á Íslenskri Tungu" (new steps in Icelandic). There was a song that became a big hit called "Svaraðu" (Answer), the song was about a guy who couldn't find the girl that he loves. He is looking everywhere for her and is calling out for her but doesn't get an answer. He shot the music video for Svaraðu in Canary Islands. In "Ný Spor Á Íslenskri Tungu" was "Svaraðu" in three different versions. The normal one, original mix and Dance Superfly Guy Mix (remix).
Herbert held a big concert in Iceland to celebrate the release of his first solo-album in Icelandic. It was sold out and the reactions to the concerts were good. The music in the album is much more relaxed than the music he made in the 80's. He included two KAN songs in the album (as mentioned in the article about KAN) but he changed the name of "Megi Sá Draumur" (May the Dream) into "Draumurinn" (The Dream) but it was still the same song.
Like every Icelander, Herbert was a part of the Icelandic National Church when he was born. When he had grown up he discovered that he didn't feel right in the Icelandic National Church and decided to leave the church. He joined the world of Buddha and today he is like an ambassador for Buddhism. Everytime Herbert goes into an interview he talks about the world of Buddhism. In the TV program Sjálfstætt Fólk (Independent People) Herbert showed how he meditates, he meditates each day.
HG Records and Ice Cream
Herbert owns his own record company, "HG Hljómplötur" (HG Records). HG stands of course for Herbert Guðmundsson. He has released his own material since he started with "HG Hljómplötur". Faith and "Ný Spor Á Íslenskri Tungu" were released by "HG Hljómplötur".
After releasing Being Human, Herbert decided to move to Sweden and step away from music for some time. He went to Italy and learned how to be an Ice Cream Master. After he had become an Ice Cream Master he decided to open up an Ice Cream Shop in Sweden. Business was hard so he decided to work as a bookseller in Iceland at the same time. So he was constantly traveling from Iceland to Sweden. Finally he decided to move back to Iceland but when he was leaving the Ice Cream business was becoming more successful.
He opened an Ice Cream Shop in Reykjavík when he got back to Iceland. He opened up in Síðumúli 35 and the store was called "Stikkfrí". Herbert made his own Ice Cream recipe so his Ice Cream was one of a kind. A newspaper in Iceland called DV (Dagblaðið Vísir) made some research in the Ice Cream business in Iceland and found out that Herbert was the best Ice Cream seller in the country. He sold the biggest Ice Cream and his Ice Cream was the cheapest. His Ice Cream was very good and had a retro taste to it, you could really taste the cream in it.
Along with selling Ice Cream in "Stikkfrí" Herbert sold his CDs in the store. The shop was successful and Herbert's wife, Svala Jóhannsdóttir, served the customers while Herbert made the Ice Cream. But in 2006 the store was bankrupt. A shop was opened not far from "Stikkfrí" and gave away Ice Cream for free. This was clearly an attempt to take Herbert out of the market and it was a success. Herbert later said that he got into the "Ice Cream Mafia" and he couldn't compete against them.
Modern Life
Herbert is still popular in Iceland and sometimes he makes some new songs that are played in the radio but he hasn't found the great touch that he had when he made Can't Walk Away, Hollywood or other of his classics. It's quite popular to get Herbert to sing for you and your friends and Herbert is always up for the task.
Today he lives with his wife, Svala Jóhannsdóttir, but they met when Herbert lived in Bolungarvík and played with KAN.
New Stuff
Recently Herbert started work on a untitled solo album, and he has already recorded three demo tracks. Wile recording the song "I Believe In Love" on the album Faith, Herbert got the opportunity to work with a gospel choir and he has stated that he wishes to do so again. It is rumored that two of his youngest sons will be participating and playing the electronic keyboard and drums. No release date has been announced, but Herbert is known for not releasing anything until he is absolutely satesfied with the end product.
Magic Feeling
In 2003 when Herbert appeared in the TV show "Jón Ólafs" (show hosted by Jón Ólafsson, where he talks to famous musicians) Herbert played along with Jón Ólafsson a new song written by Herbert Guðmundsson. The song was called "Magic Feeling" and is about that old Hippie feeling. A key line in the text is "What a magic feeling, you can get inside". Herbert often sings about how you should feel or act so the lyrics are ideal for Herbert's music. The song hasn't been released.
Driving Wild
In the summer of 2005, Herbert played in Rás 2 along with Lokbrá. They played live in the radio. They played some well know songs such as I Saw Her Standing There by The Beatles. But the biggest part was the fact that they played a new song made by Herbert, called "Driving Wild". The song is about a man who is so down that he is driving fast to try and forget his problems. Later that day Herbert went into an interview in Rás 2 where he decided to play the song "Driving Wild" himself only with his own guitar. The song hasn't been released, although you can download the live performance with Lokbrá at www.rokk.is and search for Herbert.



Herbert Guðmundsson was the singer of KAN, a band from the West fjords ('Vestfirðir') of Iceland (Bolungarvík)
Album cover of Í Ræktinni (In the Gym), released in 1984
KAN made the album "Í ræktinni" (In the gym) and the band was a big hit in Iceland. KAN only sang in Icelandic and was therefore only well known in Iceland. KAN was the biggest band in West fjords region at that time.
The song "Ertu í Ræktinni?" (Are you in the gym?) became very popular and was played much in the radio. The album was mixed with great party songs and gentle ballads.
KAN made a comeback in April 2006 in the music festival 'Aldrei Fór Ég Suður' which is held in Ísafjörður, capital of the West fjords. KAN didn't play more than just this one gig but the reactions to the band were amazing. The reunion got a lot of attention and Kastljós the biggest TV-Show in Iceland talked to the band and showed some live footage from their performance.


Eik were obviously one of the most accomplished symphonic progressive rock bands from Iceland, as clearly showed on their album "Hrislan og straumurinn" from 1977. The opening 14-minute title-track Hrislan og straumurinn is the strongest track, and features influences mainly from Camel and Yes. Some of the Moogs reminds me of Kansas in the "Song for America" period. Here are many fine melodies and themes. The performance of it is also convincing. "Fjöll" is another good song, and all the lyrics are sung in the band's native language, adding a certain degree of originality to their otherwise quite typical, late 70's symphonic progressive rock. The rest of the album tends to be more instrumental and has overall a funkier edge, with the instrumentals "Eitthvad allmennligt" and "Fúnk" as the highlights. Some of the remaining tracks sound a bit like unfinished bits and pieces, although the good ones weights up for these. So, if you're going to buy a progressive rock album from the legendary island, then this album would probably be one of the most obvious choices.
Eik's Album "Hrislan og straumurinn" Label: Spor (1977)

Emiliana Torrini Videos Part 5: "Fisherman's Woman"

Emilíana Torrini - Fisherman's Woman - kewego
Emilíana Torrini - Fisherman's Woman - kewego

Emilíana Torrini - Fisherman's Woman - kewego
Emilíana Torrini Davíðsdóttir (born 16 May 1977) is an Icelandic singer, best known for her worldwide debut album, Love in the Time of Science


laugardagur, október 13, 2007

Iceland Airwaves 2007 Program @ Frikirkjan (Free Church) - Reykjavik

Slideshow of photographs by Wim Van Hooste of Frikirkjan and the lake Tjörnin (taken October 2006 while attending the Iceland Airwaves Festival 2006). Last year Johann Johannsson (of Lhooq and Apparat Organ Quartet fame) gave a concert @ this religious spot.
This year, this church , which is located next to Reykjavik's famous lake Tjörnin, full of swans & ducks, and just a few steps away from the City Hall (Radhusid), will host the following Iceland Airwaves artists
Program @ the Free Church (Frikirkjan) 2007:
18:00 Fjallabræður
18:40 Siggi Ármann
19:20 Steintryggur + Ben Frost
18:00 Amiina

Love is Disco – Life is Punk

Love is Disco – Life is Punk
Ástin er diskó – lífið er pönk
A musical by Hallgrímur Helgason (author of 101 Reykjavik)
Director: Gunnar Helgason (brother of Hallgrímur)
Musical conductor: Þorvaldur Bjarni Þorvaldsson
The era circa 1980 was one of conflict in the cultural history of Iceland – the time when disco peaked and punk emerged. People were pigeonholed according to their musical tastes and style of clothing, and there were two camps: punk and disco. Yet beneath the surface were discernible social conflicts that stemmed from matters more complex than just safety pins and shoulder pads.
Rósa Björk, daughter of a wholesale merchant who lives on Seltjarnarnes, is elected Miss Hollywood Disco. During its first outing in the prize car from the Hekla car dealership, the disco gang meets up with Nonni Rock and his band Neysluboltarnir, the most severe punkers in the land. Nonni and Rósa appear to have little in common at first, yet some strange attraction draws them to each other.
A mish-mash of things is thrown into the fray here: mirrored disco balls and Mohawk haircuts, middle-of-the-road pop music and hardcore punk. Some of Iceland’s most popular musicians will contribute to the score for this production, which is mainly made up of Icelandic smash hits from the 1980s. As Maggi Mercury would say: “Lose the attitude and have a blast!
Icelandic version
Tímabilið í kringum 1980 var átakatími í íslenskri menningarsögu - þá reis diskóið hæst og pönkið kom fram. Þú og ég og Brunaliðið sungu sína helstu smelli um leið og Fræbbblarnir og Utangarðsmenn stigu fyrst á svið. Fólk var dregið í dilka eftir tónlistarsmekk og fatastíl en liðin voru tvö: Pönk og diskó. Undir yfirborðinu mátti þó greina þjóðfélagsátök þar sem tekist var á um þýðingarmeiri hluti en öryggisnælur og axlapúða.
Rósa Björk, heildsaladóttir af Seltjarnarnesi er kosin Ungfrú Hollywood og strax á fyrsta rúnti á vinningsbílnum frá Heklu, ekur diskógengið fram á Nonna rokk og Neysluboltana, svaðalegustu pönkara landsins. Nonni og Rósa virðast við fyrstu sýn eiga fátt sameiginlegt, en eitthvert einkennilegt aðdráttarafl dregur þau hvort að öðru.
Hér ægir öllu saman, diskókúlum og hanakömbum, vinsældapoppi og harðri pönktónlist. Einnig munu nokkrir af kunnustu dægurtónlistarmönnum samtímans semja tónlist sérstaklega fyrir sýninguna. Tónlistarstjóri sýningarinnar verður Þorvaldur Bjarni Þorvaldsson.
Eins og Maggi Mercury myndi orða það: „Engan móral, allir í stuð!

Iceland Airwaves @ Nordic House (Reykjavik)

A special Iceland Airwaves Program at The Nordic House!
The beautiful Nordic House – designed by architect mastermind Alvar Aalto – has long been a staple of Reykjavík’s cultural life. For this year’s festival, Mr. Destiny has teamed up with The Nordic House and Nordic Culture Point to present a special Iceland Airwaves day-program at the Nordic House, where festivalgoers can attend intimate performances by selected Nordic Airwaves artists, check out a photography exhibit of past Airwaves highlights and fill up on a special “Airwaves Brunch” put together by the Nordic House’s skilled chefs – no wristband required. Enjoy!
Nordic Showcase at Iceland Airwaves
Nordic Showcase at Iceland Airwaves is a day program of intimate, laid-back performances by some of the top Nordic talent appearing at Iceland Airwaves 2007. Taking place in the Nordic House cafeteria as well as its performance space, the concerts will provide the perfect opportunity to enjoy some fine music in unorthodox surroundings, while feasting on the fabled Airwaves Brunch menu.
Open Interviews
Friday, 17:00
Top music journalists Árni Matthíasson (Morgunblaðið), Arnar Eggert Thoroddsen (Morgunblaðið), Christian Hoard (Rolling Stone) and others will interview selected local and international talent on-stage for your pleasure. Expect many, many golden moments as well as some great surprises. Stay tuned to the Grapevine dailies and Icelandairwaves.com for a complete schedule.
Screaming Masterpiece
Saturday, 17:00
Screaming Masterpiece is just that: featuring performances by múm, Björk and Sigur Rós among others. Enjoy a special screening of this famed Icelandic music documentary at the Nordic House screening room, courtesy of Zik Zak films.
Iceland Airwaves Photography Exhibit
Every day
Curated by veteran Airwaves photographer Árni Torfason, the Iceland Airwaves photography exhibit displays a selection of some of the finest moments from past festivals.
Punk vs. Disco
Every day
In Iceland, Punk and Disco reigned supreme at the dawn of the eighties. “Punk vs. Disco” – an extremely fun historical exhibit put together by the Árbæjarsafn historical museum – chronicles the rise, fall and decline of those scenes. And you can catch a branch of it on display at the Nordic House throughout the Airwaves week.
Iceland Airwaves @ Nordic House or Norræna Húsinu, nearby the main building of the University of Iceland

Icelandic artists on the Program
Lay Low
Benni Hemm Hemm, Ólöf Arnalds and Motion Boys

Thursdag/Fimmtudagurinn 18. október
13:00 - Boys in a Band (FO)
13:30 - Sprengjuhöllin (IS)
17:00 - Fjallabræður (IS)
Friday/Föstudagurinn 19. október
13:00 - Lay Low (IS)
13:30 - Jenny Wilson (SE)
17:00 - Opin viðtöl m/Árna Matt, Bubba Morthens o.fl.
Saturday/Laugardagurinn 20. október
12:30 - Ólöf Arnalds (IS)
13:00 - Frost (NO)
13:30 - Seabear (IS)
14:00 - Benni Hemm Hemm (IS)
14:30 - Radio LXMBRG (SE)
15:00 - Deathmetal Supersquad (IS)
15:30 - Snake & Jet's Amazing Bullit Band (DK)

16:00 - Motion Boys (IS)
17:00 - Gargandi Snilld (Screaming Masterpiece)

VilHelm Video "Your dancing song'"

VilHelm "Your dancing"

First video for song of the album The Midnight Circus. VilHelm's friends Heimir and Steini made the video, they are also the dancers. Allthough the song was writen for his girlfriend when she told him the album was very slow and no song to dance to. He fixed it and wrote Your Dancing Song and he put it smack in the middle of the album.
More VilHelm @ www.myspace.com/revwhitedog

fimmtudagur, október 11, 2007

múm Special IMX

múm are one of Iceland’s most successful (and magical) musical exports. This month sees the release of their 4th album, go go smear the poison ivy [Fat Cat, UK]. Coming three years after the release of their acclaimed third album summer make good' it’s the cause of much excitement for the band’s ever-growing global fan base. A colourful, twitching and playful work of art, full of life affirming energy, the album has been preceded by the mysterious single 'they made frogs smoke 'til they exploded'.
Espousing a familiar otherworldly aura, múm have once again managed to make an experimental record that’s infused with a subtle pop sensibility.
IMX tracked down founding member Örvar for a chat…
It’s been three years since your last album, and fans have obviously been waiting with great anticipation for something new. What have you been doing mainly in this time?
We toured quite a lot after Summer Make Good and we wore our selves out, so after that whole gypsy period we took almost a year off from the band. I went to Prague for that time where I studied screenwriting and cinema history as well as focusing on my writing and other projects. After that we put our instruments back in the suitcases and went to record this one.
What did you personally want to achieve with this album? Was it a conscious move away from earlier stuff, or a direct continuation?
There is no clear goal when we open up for a creative process like this, it's more a case of putting yourself in the right position and letting things flow. You could call that and organic progression, whether it is conscious or not is harder to say.
What are your favourite aspects of the new album? What key things make you happy with it – the production? Certain songs? Vocal parts? Overall aura?
I am happy with doing much more singing on this one than before. Overall I am very happy with the whole album, I haven’t listened to it for months, but the memory of it sits nicely.
Where was the album recorded? I heard stories about Finland and a music school in Ísafjördur…
I think we recorded it in about 10 maybe 12 different places and most of them were a really nice experience. The best places were probably the music school in Ísafjördur and the island schoolhouse in Finland, these places were both fertile places to record: things really came alive there.
The band always seems to be expanding and changing. Can you give us a breakdown of current personnel?
Samuli Kosminen our Finnish drummer has been with us since before Finally We Are No-One. Eiríkur Orri has been with us pretty much since the first recordings and Ólöf Arnalds has toured and played with us for the last 4 years probably so they are all very important collaborators and play a big part in the heart of the whole thing. Hildur Gudnadóttir has also played with us on and off since the beginning, so it's hard to say she is new to the whole thing, even though this is the first album she plays a big part of and she does play a very big role on this album. Mr. Silla is probably the only newbie on the record and her input is hypnotising.
You’ve played some pretty amazing gigs since Summer Make Good - what have been the best ones for you guys personally?
Taiwan was very special, I don't think a lot of groups come there so it makes everything more glowing and people are more receptive. This summer in Paris was very beautiful, we played in a circus tent of some sorts and Pascal Comelade played before us and I have wanted to see him play for a very long time.
Has the live set up changed much for this album?
Well, it's always gonna keep changing, sometimes taking sharp turns and sometimes just slowly evolving. That's the way it goes and we wouldn’t have it any other way. Stability isn’t a goal of ours.
And what are your touring plans now that the album is released?
U.S. in the autumn and then Europe and then probably beyond and a few more circles. We will play where people want us to play.
Finally: Gunnar and Orvar - what are you up to individually outside of the mum project?
I am writing and doodling and working on my books on the side and Gunni does a lot of recording and producing for other bands. I think we might even see his alter project Illi Vill come alive in the near future.

Evolution of Waters Video

Valgeir Sigurdsson & Bonnie Prince Billy: "Evolution of Waters"

From Valgeir's album Ekvílibríum.
Director/animator Una Lorenenzen:
The video is made with a mixture of three different methods; The main part is made with oil paint that is animated frame by frame on top of underlitt glass. Linedrawings are scratched with a needle on the surface of a 35mm film and layered on top of the painted animation. The third visual is a recording of an experimental 16mm film performance by the artist Miles A. Martinez.
The usage of these different textures in these handcrafted and often slightly rough visuals are meant to illustrate the different textures and layers in the song. The visuals are also illustrating the lyrics of the song that can be interpreted as either metaphors or real situations. Most of the video seems to happen underwater or perhaps in the mind of one man. There are glimpses into scenes that suggest a lovestory but it is left to the audience to put the puzzles together and create their own version of it.

I love Icelandic Music - But which Music is loved by Björk

Björk talks about the music she loves (on MTV)

Two Little Dogs PR and Reykjavik to Foundation join forces

The English Two Little Dogs PR and the Dutch Reykjavik to Foundation have decided to join forces, as from 2008. Their combined strength will result in a cooperation with strong promotional and organizational skills, operating not only as an event organizer, but also as a booking agent with an expanding international contact base.
Two Little Dogs is mostly known for being the organizers behind Reykjavik Nights in London, a successful formula that goes into its 3rd event in November. Aside from this is Two Little Dogs are also bringing European and American based artists to Iceland. Two Little dogs has been active as a booking agent for a number of Icelandic Bands involved in their Reykjavik Nights in London.
The Reykjavik to Foundation has been an organizer of large scale Icelandic Cultural Festivals for two years, Including not only music, but dance, film and art. First solely based in Holland and in 2008 venturing out into Germany, Denmark, Finland and the Baltic States, aiming to widen the field of operation every year. In 2009 more european countries will be added to the list, amongst them France and the Czech republic. In 2010 a long term festival tour around America will be the main objective.
The combination of the two results in a booking agency for any of the musicians participating in one of the organized events, thus enabling them to benefit to the fullest from their involvement.
Celebrate with us on October 18th!
To celebrate this new co-operation we would like to invite you to our first sign of togetherness. On October 18 we will present 3 performances: Rökkurró (Reykjavik to Rotterdam, November 24), Bloodgroup (Reykjavik Nights in London, November 28) and Æla (Reykjavik Nights in London, June 17). The event will take place in Hresso (where the info centre of Iceland Airwaves is located) from 15.00 to 18.00.

Reykjavik to Foundation
Marcel Edwin Deelen

Two Little Dogs
Kolla Karlsdottir

miðvikudagur, október 10, 2007

Johann Johannsson @ NOTCH07, Beijing

Johann Johannsson @ NOTCH07, Beijing 2007

Jakobínarína making waves in the UK

An Icelandic indie group has been making waves recently in the British indie world and music critics are predicting their popularity will only increase when the band returns to the UK on October 11th. The band in question is Jakobínarína who come from Hafnafjördur in Iceland. The group played on Sunday 30th September at an all-ages show at the Roadhouse in Manchester.
The young band has gathered a reputation for itself for witty lyrics and pop melodies, gaining a name for itself by playing supporting slots with well known groups like the Kaiser Chiefs and Franz Ferdinand.
The band is currently touring the US and Europe to promote their newest single ‘His Lyrics are Disastrous’. They were joined at their Manchester performance by Satin Peaches, a punk band from Detroit as well as the City Royals from Chester.
Ice News Network www.icenews.is
Jakobínarína @ Iceland Airwaves Festival 2006

þriðjudagur, október 09, 2007