“Ofskynjunarkonan (Live @ KEXP)” (by Jónas Sigurðsson)
From the KEXP Blog:
For the second year in a row, we return[ed] to Reykjavik, Iceland, for the Iceland Airwaves festival starting [October 13, 2010] and running through [October 17, 2010]. Last year, we had no idea what we were getting into but were immediately struck by the incredibly diverse music of local bands. With a national population of barely half of the greater Seattle area but a staggeringly high literacy rate and a tendency to support all areas of artistic endeavor, Iceland boasts a high concentration of musicians — many of whom are in multiple bands at once. Yes, think of Ballard as a frosty island nation.
Since punk first took hold of the city, its central tenets have remained strong — not the later interpreted tendency to piss off one’s parents but the necessity to do something different. No two bands in Reykjavik are alike. There’s just not enough room! And that has led to a microcosm of music found nowhere else.
Last year, we caught up with a handful of bands at RUV radio, the nation public radio service, and broadcast these sessions back in Seattle... It was our first foray into Icelandic music, and Einar Orn, elder statesman — figuratively in punk as a founding member of The Sugarcubes and currently as a city politician — was our host.
Over the weekend, we met up with more musicians in their studios, practice spaces and even their homes.