Well we’re back from six days in Reykjavík and already missing those delicious hot dogs and the overwhelming amount of great live music. We wanted to remember our trip to the Iceland Airwaves 2013 Music Festival through a series of photos, from takeoff on Icelandair in Newark, NJ (their second flight from that airport) on through the vast array of bands, food and experiences we encountered, which are revealed through the above slideshow. Enjoy!
Exhaustion had begun to sunk in after many late nights and early mornings but I decided to power through anyways. Spirits were high on the walk over to Iceland Air Hotel where our group reconvened before a quick trek over to the Reykjavík flea market. Short on time, I jumped around from booth to booth checking out everything from cheap fur coats to handmade pottery to military fatigues.
I even dropped by the deli where I tried an Icelandic delicacy known as hákarl, or in layman’s terms: rotten shark. While the taste wasn’t something I’d describe as good, it wasn’t as bad as people had hyped it up to be. With a few trinkets in hand, we left the flea market to hop on a bus and go to the Laugarvatn Fontana Geothermal Baths. An hour and fifteen minute bus ride outside of Reykjavík, these baths are built directly on top of a hot spring where people have been coming to take in the soothing warm waters and scenic views for centuries. We jumped right in, wasting no time with dipping a toe. The water felt great and was just what we needed after a long week of covering bands, traveling on foot all over Reykjavík, and interviewing all sorts of interesting people.
It was back to the hotel for a quick bite to eat before going out to cover the last night of shows here at Iceland Airwaves.
Savages: November 2 00:10 at The Reykjavik Art Museum
If you haven’t seen Savages live, go do it. End of review. That seriously could be all that is needed to say about this London four-piece post-punk band who took the stage with a vengeance on Saturday night. Drawing from influences like Siouxsie and the Banshees and The Gun Club, lead singer Jhenny Beth oozed stage presence and had all eyes fixed on her throughout the 45-minute performance. All the girls in the crowd wanted to be her and all the guys in the crowd wanted to be with her. This is a band that is a force to be reckoned with, especially drummer Fay Milton who is like some brilliant love child of Keith Moon or something. Punky distorted bass lines abounded and it felt like 1977 at New York City’s Max’s Kansas City for a fleeting moment while these four women brought the house down. As the group closed with a loving (if not snotty) track entitled “F***ers”, there wasn’t a stationary body in the place. Savages is a must-see live act that will not disappoint.
The Vintage Caravan brought their brand of rock n’ roll to the Amsterdam late Sunday evening as Iceland Airwaves 2013 came to a close. This band has clearly listened to a lot of Kyuss and Seattle grunge, as they played loud, fast, and loose for an effective 30 minutes. With a new album available worldwide this coming January, The Vintage Caravan are for people who like their rock a bit heavier but still melodic. There are no screamo lyrics or braided beards in this band, just bluesy rock that fit the setting of a bar on a late Sunday night.
Check out the blog for more pictures, interviews, and profiles as we work to compile our documentary on our trip. Listening date(s) for the audio documentary that will play on WCRX 88.1 FM to follow!
When I arrived in Iceland one of the stories I was most excited to dig into was the exploration of creativity and politics, a conversation that Reykjavík is at the center of.
Mayor Jón Gnarr, a famous comedian come politician had taken the debate to new extremes by using comedy as a pillar of his platform and winning an unheard of majority for a fringe party. However my story took a turn when on the 30th of October Gnarr announced he would not seek re-election at the end of his term, despite being the largest party in the capitol with 37% support, 2% more than he was voted in on.
This picture is all over the city, except usually with angel wings…
Here’s a taste from my interview with the colorful mayor where he talks about his decision to leave politics and showcases a bit of his quick wit.
Check back soon for the full documentary about politics, Icelandic and American, as well as were and how creativity plays into the equation.