Tag Archives: Icelandair Hotel Reykjavik Marina

Iceland Airwaves Day Five: Fontana, Our Last Night, RetRoBot (11/3)

Writing this Iceland Airwaves post is a little sad.  This will be the
last blog I post while I’m in Iceland.  Plenty of work was started on
the separate pieces we are all focusing on at the Icelandair Hotel Reykjavík Marina.  Once work was done it was time for more sight seeing and relaxation.

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We took an Iceland Excursions tour bus and headed to the Laugarvatn Fontana Spa.  I truly wish we had those geo thermal pools back home.  I know I would be as friendly as the Icelanders if I had these swimming pools too.  Starting and ending our trip with a stop at the pools was a great way to tie it all together.

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Rested and relaxed, we headed out for the last night of Iceland
Airwaves.  This country of a fairly small population really knows how
to have a great time. The act covered tonight goes by the name
Retrobot.  They played at Harlem.  RetRoBot was a true crowd pleaser.  They kept the crowd dancing with their mixture of electronic music and funky guitar rifts.  This band has powerful vocals and beautiful harmonies. Listen below to hear their song Insomnia.

I’ve made some good friends on this trip, which I hope to keep in touch with for years to come.  One of the many things that amaze me about Iceland is its vast variety of music. There’s a plethora of talent in this country.  It’s beauty, atmosphere, and friendly folk will be absolutely missed.  The word Takk means thank you in Icelandic.  So Takk Iceland, for all the fun memories I will forever remember.  I’ll be back one day.

Make sure to follow me on Twitter and Instagram: @danomalone

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Iceland Airwaves Radio Documentary Rebroadcasts Saturday, 2/2 at 11 am. Listen Now!

This past fall 2012, 10 students under the direction of adjunct professor/music critic Althea Legaspi from Columbia College Chicago, ventured to Reykjavík, Iceland, to cover the Iceland Airwaves music festival and dive into Icelandic culture.

From enjoying the Icelandic food, running from venue to venue to catch numerous amazing musical sets, sitting down and talking with artists or even just exploring Iceland’s beautiful country side, Iceland had much for us to discover.

Tune into WCRX 88.1 FM in Chicago or  live worldwide via stream for the rebroadcast this Saturday, February 2nd, 2013, at 11am and listen to the final documentary of our experiences at the Iceland Airwaves festival and the collective stories from our trip to Reykjavík.

Tune in for music and chats with FM Belfast, Árstidír, Myrra Rós, Intro Beats, Endless Dark, and Apparat Organ Quartet, as well as stories on Icelandic culture, from the music biz, to politics and even tattooing. Big thanks to Iceland AirwavesIcelandAirIcelandAir Hotel Reykjavik Marina & SlippbarinnReykjavík ExcursionsReykjavík Grapevine, KEXP, and everyone who took the time to interview with us.

You can also listen to the doc now:

Iceland Airwaves: Day Two – Valdimar, Ojba Rasta, Tilbury, Hudson Wayne

Although it may have been hard to stand, let alone walk, outside today due to high winds, it was well worth the travel from hotel to the venues.

The day started at the KEX hostel, gathering an interview with Chris Kellogg, the production manager on staff in Iceland for KEXP. He took care of the bands that KEX was hosting, dealt with the non-sense of what happened if they’re late, but most of all he mad sure things happened on time. Stay tuned for our interview.

After the interview, Ojba Rasta set up to play. They are a 10-piece reggae band, which became the first thing KEXP listeners heard waking up to in Seattle today.  Made up of guitars, drums, bass, baritone, sax, trumpet, keys, and a mixing board, this band knew how to play off of each other. They’d play a verse and chorus, and then someone would improvise. What was so different about this band was that none of the instruments had effect pedals, but instead were all hooked into a mixer on stage controlled by a band mate. Whenever delay or reverb was needed on an instrument, the band mates would surrender the tone of their sound to the one person in the band devised for controlling their effects.

Valdimar and Tilbury played at Icelandair Hotel Reykjavík Marina‘s Slippbarinn afterwards. Getting there early paid off because Of Monsters of Men had started a soundcheck and played a few songs, which sounded amazing.

Lounging around the hotel until four to see Valdimar perform, I wondered what they would sound like. Hearing only a few songs before, surprise hit my eardrums. The band mixes indie-pop and ambient music along with the addition of horns. Listening to them made me think of the ambient guitar of Explosions in the Sky mixed in with ska. The lead singers voice carried over the band, filling in the details to the band behind him and leaving the crowd with a desirable sound.

Keeping put at Marina Hotel for the band Tilbury, I stood hoping to be captivated by this band as much as Valdimar had done before. Made up of guitars, drums and synthesizers, Tilbury didn’t stand a chance when compared with Valdimar. Each song sounded the same and didn’t seem to pull the audience members in. The crowd was small and sneaking out a few songs early would have been noticeable and rude, so I was stuck watching the whole set.

Over at Harpa Kaldalón, Hudson Wayne performed. Happy to finally have seating in the venue, the few early minutes were used to relax and prepare for an entertaining show. Once the band began to play, their soulful blues sound quieted the crowd instantly. The grit of the lead singers voice added a dirtiness to the songs, fighting with the melody for an even stronger sound. At times the band’s sound turned into a country swing as the guitars plucked their strings with a twang along with the get up of the drums. Hudson Wayne was just one of the many bands that I had the pleasure to hear and definitely made me realize how awesome it is to be at Iceland Airwaves.