Articles in Music


Track Of The Issue: Just Another Snake Cult's "Way Over Yonder In The Minor Key"

American “Dust Bowl Troubadour” Woody Guthrie wrote “Way Over Yonder In The Minor Key” during his most productive years in the ‘40s on Coney Island’s Mermaid Avenue.

PHOTOS: Björk, Patti Smith, Of Monsters And Men ...

Here's a gallery of images from the incredible 'Stopp - Let's Protect the Park' benefit concert at Harpa.

Happening This Weekend Feb 21 - 23

The spring equinox is upon us this Friday, but don't worry, that doesn't mean Icelanders turn into werewolves - that's Halloween you're thinking of. There are plenty of great concerts and exhibitions to catch this weekend.

Portrait Series: Reykjavík Folk Festival

I took the following photos at the Reykjavík Folk Festival.

"Genius Thrives on Rejection"

Former long-time resident of Kópavogur, singer-songwriter Leoncie–often self-styled as “Icy, Spicy Leoncie” or “The Indian Princess” (she was born and raised in Goa, India)–is, by her own estimation, a “200% Awesome musical wizard” and it's hard to put a much finer point on it than that.

Happening This Weekend: March 14 - 16

With March half-way finished and spring around the corner, the music scene is waking up from its winter slumber. There are a lot of brilliant shows this weekend that we at the Grapevine are seriously stoked about.

Happening This Weekend: March 7 - 9

Say goodbye to the wet February and hello to snowy March with a weekend full of unmissable events, including Reykjavík’s Folk Festival and Gunnar Nelson’s return to the UFC after a year off.

Happening This Weekend: Feb 28 - March 2

Not only can you celebrate the end of the shortest month and least liked month of the calendar year, but you can also celebrate 25 years of beer being legal in Iceland. Whether or not you make your way to the festivals happening at KEX Hostel or Bar 11, there will be ample opportunities to celebrate beer this weekend.

The Reykjavík Folk Festival Has Announced Its Schedule

This folkie annual gathering takes place at KEX next week, from the March 6 to 8. The lineup features twelve artists and aims to celebrate the depth of Iceland’s folk music tradition by representing different generations of musicians. Snorri Helgason was involved in curating the lineup, and will close things up with a performance on the Saturday night. We had a word with him on the roots of the festival.

Nanna Dís Features Her Favourite Photos From Sónar 2014

Grapevine photographer Nanna Dís shares a few of her favourite photos from Sónar 2014. She also has a website that lives here.

Happening This Weekend Feb 21-23

If you thought winter was over, think again. February is in full swing, with howling winds and freezing temperatures. So why not head inside and let music and art warm you?

Matt Eisman's Favourite Sónar Photos

Grapevine photographer Matt Eisman picks his favourite photos from Sónar.

Happening This Weekend: Feb 14 - 16

In the US and other Western societies, the coming weekend is filled with Valentine’s Day related events and activities, but here in Iceland artists are focusing on what they do every weekend: creating a unique and memorable experience. The weekend features a variety of events, including an Elton John tribute concert and the screening of a cult science fiction film.

Premiering HE

Högni Egilsson is a busy man. He arrives at Hotel Borg’s cocktail bar in relaxed and confident form, straight off the back of a photo shoot, which came after recording some organ music in Reykjavík's cathedral earlier in the afternoon.

Meet The Venue: Harpa

Over the years, Sónar has become internationally recognised for curating cutting-edge live line-ups, but here at the Icelandic edition there's another big star at the core of the festival. Originally operating under the rather less catchy moniker of “The Reykjavík Concert Hall and Conference Centre,” Harpa is the glittering, hard-to-miss building that dominates the city centre's coastline.

A Trip Hop Legend

Simon Green's alias, Bonobo, took formal shape in the late ‘90s with the release of the 1999 song “Terrapin,” which later found a place on his seminal debut album, ‘Animal Magic,’ released in 2001.

A Pioneer Of Icelandic Hip Hop

To say in 2014 that hip-hop is solely an American art form is a grave misnomer. While the origin and root are indefinitely seated within black urban culture in the United States, to assume this is still its only functional place of residence disembodies the original placement and strength of its very genre.

Electric Iceland

Today we live in a truly globalised Bass Culture. Whether it’s dubstep from Santiago or drone techno from Kazakhstan, our digital interconnections ensure that the entire canon of dance music, past and present, is at our fingertips.

The Music Festival Season Is Upon Us

The first couple of months of the year are usually pretty uneventful music-wise, but the upcoming Sónar festival later this month is something to look forward to. The festival was born in Barcelona in 1994, and has since been held there every summer in addition to travelling to a number of other cities.

Happening This Weekend Feb 7 - 9

As everyone knows, February is the sad and short month that sits between Christmas and Easter, but thankfully we have Sónar Reykjavík to look forward to.

Happening This Weekend Jan 31 - Feb 02

The weekend is upon us yet again, and it has a range of events including feminist hip-hop, charity gigs, alternative rock and visual music festivals.

Happening This Weekend: Jan 24 - 26

The wind is blowing, the rain is drizzling, and the weekend is full of promising events, so it’s business as usual in Reykjavík. Whether you feel like seeing the high arts, trying out Scottish food or rocking out, this is a good weekend to do so.

Happening This Weekend Jan 18-19

This week the weather has not been utterly horrid in Reykjavík, which hopefully is indicative for the weekend to come because it is one absolutely packed with wonderful events.

Not Too Shabby

A lot of great albums were released this year and the best one, in our humble opinion, came early in February: Sin Fang's third album, ‘Flowers.’

Happening This Weekend: Jan 10 - 12

New Year’s has come and gone and we are now full-on into January, the month of slushy snow and black ice, but that’s no reason to be a Grinch at home, as this weekend is full of exciting events.

Happening This Weekend: Jan 3-5

This weekend has a little bit of everything, including punk, techno, indie and goth, as well as a large architecture exhibition for those interested.

Happening This Weekend: Dec 27-29

2013 has been a great year, but it’s not quite time to say goodbye yet. There is one last weekend to go, and it is absolutely crammed with exciting events.

Six Icelandic Christmas Songs That Don't Suck

The holidays can be hard on the ears for most people with a modicum of taste for decent music.


Musician Arnþrúður Ingólfsdóttir—AKA Adda—has of late gained quite a reputation for her soulful, personal (to the point of confessional) and engaging performances in Reykjavík’s bars and cafés (and various Icelandic living rooms).

1993: Last March Of The Supergroups

The year 1993 might not seem like a pivotal time in popular music, but in retrospect, a lot of narratives came to a close 20 years ago.

Surfing The Airwaves

We have to start by mentioning what a blast we had at the Iceland Airwaves festival.

Being Him Just Wasn't That Much Fun

So it’s been ten years since Elliott Smith died. By the time this article goes to print, there will probablybe a host of other pieces marking this rather infamous anniversary on blogs and music websites, as well as in magazines, podcasts and whatever other format they can conjure up.

The Haunting Of Bastardgeist

If one were to imagine what a band named Bastardgeist might sound like, certain styles come to mind.

Bam's 'Random Hero' Festival

Professional skateboarder, stuntman and star of MTV’s Jackass, Bam Margera has had a very busy year, and it’s not slowing down as he brings his trademarked brand of mischief and mayhem to Iceland in the form of a new music festival, to complement his marriage to long-time girlfriend Nikki Boyd on October 5.

Young Boys And The Movies

Sin Fang’s ‘Flowers’ is one of our favourite albums of the year and now one of its standout tracks, “Young Boys,” has been remixed by none other than Jónsi from Sigur Rós.

On And Off The Venue

First of all, we hope you read our last column and followed our advice about getting your Iceland Airwaves ticket because the festival announced this week that the 15th annual event is officially sold out.

On A Date With Úlfur

It’s a bittersweet thing when a beloved local talent leaves our black shores. On the one hand, they’re usually going off to pursue their big dreams.

Lovers Come And Lovers Go

Summer never really came to Iceland this year. Instead, the weather sort of skipped right from spring to autumn.

Autumn Horror

To begin with, the band Two Step Horror—duo Þórður Grímsson and Anna Margrét Björnsson—have just released two new songs on Soundcloud that are well worth your time and attention.

Things You Can't Control

“Two years ago, on culture night, this guy passed the stage where we were soundchecking and recorded what he heard onto his phone.

It's A Celebration!

Every once in a while we like to indulge in a bit of shameless self-promotion and we are doing so now for a very good reason, so bear with us.


Hörður Már Bjarnason, who goes by the stage name M-Band, just released a second single from his forthcoming LP ‘Haust’ (“Fall”) that will hit the shelves... this fall.

It Keeps Getting Better And Better

If Hemmi Gunn (legendary talk show host and footballer who passed away recently—bless his soul) had conducted this interview, he would have started it off by saying: “For Grapevine’s readers, the band múm needs no introduction!”

Crashing The US Embassy Party With Anti-American Propaganda

I was invited to perform at the annual 4th of July party hosted by the US Embassy in Reykjavík. Naturally, my first thought was that I couldn’t perform with a clear conscience without saying something.

The 'Chop Stands Alone

Once called “Nashville’s most fucked up country band” by Wilco’s Ken Coomer, Lambchop are one of the most complex and unclassifiable bands to emerge from the iconic southern town in the past twenty years.

Strange Beasts Bárujárn And Árni-related News

The group Bárujárn is a strange beast indeed, a dark surf rock group with a twist; their tunes feature the rarely used, sci-fi sounding theremin.

Track Of The Issue: Plúseinn - "Empire"

The words say “take it easy now” but the tone says, “fuck, what a boring summer of bad weather we’re having.”

Tr00 Kvlt Icelandic Metal!

It's been a fair few weeks ago since I weirdly managed to persuade myself to purchase 'Kveikur', the latest album from Sigur Rós.

Standing Proper

“Hey, that group of kids look pretty fly on those Segways,” said NO ONE EVER.

LungA Playlist!

The nice people from LungA sent us some tracks from musicians who will play at their week long art festival in Seydisfjörður between July 14 - 21. They're art kids so they know their shit.

Amiina Create Unique Soundtracks

Amiina’s Saturday set at the Andrews Theatre was truly one of the highlights of ATP Iceland. The last two songs were performed as a film score for old silhouette animation shorts by the German animator Lotte Reiniger, from 1922 and 1954 respectively.

The Art Of Encountering Higher Beings

Sure the winter-wonderland scene of an alien polar bear crushing a weak and flailing naked woman was eye-catching, but what really got my attention on the All Tomorrow's Parties Iceland advertisement was a single line of type that read "Thee Oh Sees."


The year is, like, only half over at this point. Still, in the spirit of our BEST OF REYKJAVÍK issue, we got our resident music & nightlife gurus Óli Dóri and Davíð Roach to compile a little BEST OF 2013 so far....

Pre-Saturday Night Party Party

I came away from ATP Iceland with a programme, a chopped wristband, unused bus tickets, a pop quiz sheet, an incomplete bingo card, a copy of Ace Frehly’s ‘No Regrets,’ and a photograph with Tilda Swinton.

Oh Say Can Oh Sees

The official festival bus left Reykjavík at five, which meant that we arrived there a good two hours after the official ATP programme had started.

Seen & Heard At Iceland's All Tomorrow's Parties

Musicians and fans convened in Keflavík July 28-29 for Iceland’s inaugural edition of the All Tomorrow’s Parties festival. If you didn’t make it, here’s some of what you missed.

The Roster of Icelandic Bands

A who's who of the Icelandic line-up at All Tomorrow's Parties.

Tomorrow's Party

The idea of Iceland as a music lover’s utopia is a recent one to surface, mostly inspired by an impressive run of internationally successful artists and propagated by the ever-increasing profile of the Iceland Airwaves festival.

Welcome To The Fall

Fall founder Mark E. Smith: a fiend, a frontman, straight up punk or a living legend? Whatever your answer, you can’t deny that the man has led a long and exciting career through his pioneering rock band The Fall—sometimes celebrated as “the last rock band standing.”

Parties of Tomorrow And Yesterday

Keflavík is the birthplace of the Icelandic rock-scene with bands like Hljómar sprouting up there in the late ‘60s.

Your ATP Mixtape Of The Issue

This issue we have a massive playlist with songs from the artists playing at ATP Iceland.

Sigur Rós’s ‘Kveikur’ Receives Foreign Critical Acclaim

Sigur Rós’s newest album, ‘Kveikur,’ which was officially released on the 17th of June has received critical acclaim around the world.

Karaoke At The Grapevine's 10 Year Anniversary Party

The Reykjavík Grapevine celebrated its 10 year anniversary yesterday at KEX Hostel. There was beer and sangria and cake and some INCREDIBLE live karaoke.

It Wouldn’t Be A Grapevine Party Without…Some Music Of Course!

It’s been ten years since the first copy of Grapevine saw the Icelandic midnight sun and that certainly calls for an all caps PARTY.

On A Date With Ophidian I: Murder Most Waterfowl!

On the Lord's day of rest (known to most of us as Sunday), some like to unwind after a couple nights of hard binging and dodgy hedonistic practices.

A Boom-tastic Concert Year

The Boom Years are finally back… when it comes to the import of popular foreign music!

The Mess Is Back!

This weekend (May 24–26), Reykjavík Music Mess takes over Volta and KEX. With the third festival bearing down fast, we caught up with two of the acts playing—homegrown electro stars Sykur and Anglo-Australian experimenters PVT—to find out what they have in store for us.

D.I.Y Or Die!

It’s been a rather busy 12 months for DJ/musician Frímann Ísleifur Frímannsson and designer Nicolas Kunysz.

Doom On, Drown In Drone, And Sludge Out

Finally, after all these years of waiting I have finally seen a growth in the Icelandic doom/stoner scene.

On A Date With: Retro Stefson

“Do you remember Dudley, Raleigh St. Clair’s test subject in ‘The Royal Tenenbaums’? Well, I think he’s got the same syndrome,” Retro Stefson frontman Unnsteinn explains, pardoning his band mate Hermigervill for asking our photographer/plumber extraordinaire whether he had any upcoming photo shoots in the ‘pipes.’

The Winner Takes It All

Iceland’s unsigned bands duke it out in a battle to the death, metaphorically speaking of course...

The Ásgeir Trausti Folk Explosion

Ásgeir Trausti approaches music in a mature manner, describing the recording process of the music “as important as writing the song,” while noting the versatility of recording in a studio where hey says “you can add all sorts of instruments.”

VIDEO: An Interview With Aldrei Fór Ég Suður's Rocker-In-Chief

The Grapevine flew to Ísafjörður last Monday to learn what’s in store for the tenth edition of Aldrei fór ég suður, a free rock festival that takes place every Easter weekend in this small fishing town in Iceland’s remote Westfjords.

All In The Family

It doesn’t get much more romantic than in the world of folk, where music is looked upon as a phenomenon of shared experience.

Heat + Dirt + Pressure = Destruction: The Diamond Version Interview

In 1996 musicians Olaf Bender and friend Frank Bretschneider got together to make the German music label Rastermusik as a platform to create a bridge between music and art that would encompass music, art, design installations and multimedia.

Track Of Issue: Pétur Ben´s "Visions"

Wherever you go, there you aren’t. Pétur Ben might not be in the same place as he used to be.

Oodles Of Sónar Saturday Photos

Surely you were massively excited by the Sónar Friday photogallery we posted yesterday!Surely you have been biting your nails, thinking: "WHEN WILL THE SATURDAY GALLERY BE ON LINE? IT'S BEEN ALMOST A WEEK ALREADY!?!" Well, look no further. That gallery is right here!

Exciting, Mad, Sombre

Sonar Reykjavík at Harpa. I went there both nights. I had a fantastic time. These are some of my highlights.

Techno Epiphanies And Evolving Soundscapes

After last night‘s shenanigans, where I spent most of the evening running around various venues like a headless chicken, I came to realize the folly of my approach and decided to take Saturday night “easy.” It’s silly to expect to see everything, so I resolved myself just go to the artists that I really wanted to see, and just let the rest fall into place.

From One Extreme To The Other

Saturday at Sónar was typified by extremes. It swung from extremely sublime, to extremely annoying, to extremely crazy, to extremely awesome.

Tequila and Chamomile

James Blake was indulgent, lush gospel. The crowd transfixed by his full-bodied, all-consuming bassline that vibrated bones and filled every corner of the room.

Sónar Reykjavík Friday: THE PHOTOS

Check out this wonderful slideshow of photos from Sónar Reykjavík's inaugural night, courtesy of photographers Alísa Kalyanova and Paula Prats.

No You Silly Person, Don’t Confuse Harpa For A Public Toilet!

I was beginning to think that after spending billions of other people’s krónur on the cultural death star known as Harpa, the only thing that the powers that be were going to use it for was yoga.


So, what to say about the inaugural Sónar Reykjavík festival?

Friday Night Lights

Inside, an anxious shuffle. The vast expanse of Harpa’s interior. Walls the colour of scorched-rock, bright lights reflecting in mirrors above the stately staircase.

Listening Becomes The Key Factor

Together, Albert Finnbogason and Tumi Árnason don't only stroke the strings and blow the reeds with The Heavy Experience, their self-described “drone, spaghetti western and blues” influenced rock band.

OMAM Pipped At The Post Down Under

At barbeques, on beaches, at swimming pools and in backyards across the country on January 26, Australians listened to the Icelandic band Of Monsters And Men claim the coveted position of second hottest song of 2012.

Go See These People At Sónar

With a heady line-up that’s heavy on local talent and features some surprisingly eclectic international names, we couldn’t be more excited for the first Reykjavík edition of the legendary Sónar festival.

Will Sónar Reykjavík Be The Second Hippest Long-Weekend On The Annual Music Festival Calendar?

The first Reykjavík edition of renowned international music festival Sónar will take place this weekend.

On A Date With: Oyama

This time last year, the band Oyama did not exist. By May, the five-piece was playing gigs and having their praises sung by fans and critics alike for their grungy, gauzy, early ‘90s slow-core tunes.

Track Of Issue: Oyama's “Everything Some Of The Time”

One would think that a band that’s been around for less than a year wouldn’t be at the point of changing up their sound, but things haven’t gone the usual way for these kids and they aren’t about to slow down now...

Hip-Hop Is A Dialogue

As the Winter Solstice promises the world brighter days in the coming future and the end of the current Mayan Calendar suggests a new era of transformation, No Borders Iceland—an activist movement working with and for refugees—is preparing to add weight to the journey of radical social change and transformation.


Of Monsters And Men Take Manhattan, The Rest Of The U.S.

Of Monsters and Men are Iceland’s biggest new band in years—and very likely the fastest rising stars of Icelandic music, ever.

Sigur Rós Announce 2013 North American Tour

Off the back of their headlining set at Airwaves, Sigur Rós have this morning announced a 13-date tour of North America for 2013.

Watch Björk's Volcanic New Video

A blue-haired Björk, submerged in a pit of quicksand, observes airborne volcanic rocks emerge from the sand only to get affectionate with one another before erupting all over the place.

Seen & Heard At Iceland Airwaves 2012

Let’s be honest—some of the best fun at this festival has nothing to do with bands, booze, partying or passing out in a gutter. It’s about watching OTHER PEOPLE do all those things.

Guys! We Made It Through Another One!

Regardless of having shifted slots on "the annual festival calendar" and lost one of its most beloved venues, the annual Iceland Airwaves festival seemed to ultimately do stellar this year (at least judging by the social media noise and multitude of glowing visitors observed wandering Reykjavík during the festival and at the airport immediately after).

What’s So Super About Supergroups?

There was a time when supergroups walked the Earth. Their first recorded appearance dates back to the late ‘60s, and they tended to include Eric Clapton, who formed Cream, Blind Faith and Derek and the Dominos in quick succession with other big name musicians.

There's Music In Your Closet

After 24 hours of hacking, coding and eating plenty of cold pizza, the first ever Reykjavík Music Hack Day came to a close on October 28.

Hacking Their Way To The Future Of Music

It’s been said that music expresses emotions that words cannot, but what if there was a scale to quantify exactly how “sentimental” a song was?

Have Some S.L.Á.T.U.R.

When describing S.L.Á.T.U.R, a Reykjavík-based music collective, it’s perhaps best not to try to describe them at all.

Oléna: Made In Hurt By Heart

On the surface of things, Reykjavík-based French singer Oléna appears to fit in well with the myriad of other kooky (in a good way) electronic artisans that verge on being a dime a dozen in these northern climes.

Echoes Of The White Ark

Reggae/dub big band Ojba Rasta released their debut album last Tuesday and it’s quite phenomenal.

Premier Division Men

“I don’t really do photo shoots. I let Jón Gnarr do them all,” jokes Einar Örn Benediktsson, Icelandic music legend, councilman and one half of mentalist electronic duo Ghostigital, as the photographer takes a few test shots.

Stereo Hypnosis To Play Canadian Harvest Festival

Canada will get a taste of Icelandic electronica when Stereo Hypnosis plays the first night of the 2012 Harvest Festival on September 14.

From Chess Board To Sound Board

In September 1972, Bobby Fischer and Boris Spassky were in Reykjavík for the World Chess Championship, pitted against each other in what would come to be known as the Match of the Century.

Sudden Weather Change: A Meta-Metaphor

Since they released their debut album four years ago, Sudden Weather Change have carved a unique nook where ’90s lo-fi grunge meets tight-knit indie rock. The band, which took home the 2010 Icelandic Music Award for ‘Best Newcomer,’ is now back in business with a newly released sophomore album titled ‘Sculpture.’ We took this opportunity to speak with Bergur Thomas Anderson (bassist and singer) and Logi Höskuldsson (guitarist and singer) about their new creation and what’s next for these young up-and-comers.

Dirty Beaches Is Prowling The Badlands Of Harpa Tonight!

If you like your music rocking, rolling and blood red in tooth and claw, then we at The Grapevine heartily recommend that you go on down to Harpa tonight for the latest instalment of their “Stop Over” series.

Gimme Gimme Morr

Morr Music have released and distributed so much Icelandic music over the last decade that founder Thomas Morr says people sometimes mistake the label for an Icelandic company. But that's not so. We met up with him to learn more about the Berlin-based label and how it came to work with Icelandic artists such as múm, Sin Fang, Sóley and FM Belfast, to name a few.

The House That Heaven Built

Japandroids is a two piece rock ‘n’ roll band from Vancouver, Canada, who have been playing up a storm and winning new fans for the past few years. And now they’re coming to Iceland, playing a show at Gamli Gaukur that will for sure be the stuff of legend!

Sigur Rós Bring HEIMA To The World

My partner Zoë and I travelled to Iceland in the late spring and as appears to be the case with most visitors, we immediately fell in love with the country and its charming populace.

Louder Than Hell And Twice As Nice!

So Eistnaflug 2012 has been and gone. Amongst all the fun and frolics, the growing consensus from both the fans and pundits was that this year’s festival was (whisper it) the best yet, both in terms of audience, atmosphere and the quality of the performances. Indeed, Eistnaflug 2012 seems to have highlighted a time where Iceland’s metal scene is experiencing a resurgence and purpose in both quality and profile.

Extreme Chill: Where Chill Meets Riotous

The wind is strong, strong enough to contort my borrowed tent and make it look disfigured, ramshackle even. It's a strong contrast to the tranquility of the glacier Snæfellsjökull looming in the distance, which will watch over the small burg of Hellissandur as Extreme Chill Festival, Iceland's premier electronica shindig, takes over.

My KEXPORT Adventure

Icelandic reggae? Why not? Icelandic hip hop? You know it's going to be good. At least, I do now. If there's anything I've learned over four trips to Iceland, it's not to be surprised by the quality of Icelandic music, no matter what the genre. While there are many reasons I'd like to be visiting Iceland, that's the one reason that keeps drawing me back.

Rocky Mountain Hydro Grind

After forming in Denver, Colorado, twenty years ago, death grind mainstays Cephalic Carnage laboured in relative obscurity in the American extreme metal underground until their 2000 Relapse Records signing and subsequent release of their sophomore album, death grind masterpiece ‘Exploiting Dysfunction.’ The band, often hailed as the most inventive band in metal, strives to marry genre bending oddness with brutality and, most importantly, stellar songwriting.

Track Of The Issue: múm, 0,000Orð

Everyone loves their múm. We certainly do. They have remained one of Iceland’s premier bands for well over a decade now, and they continue to amaze, while inspiring younger generations of musicians with their carefree-yet-ethical attitudes towards music, life, love and everything that comes with being in a band.

Guardian Of The Red Sands

Every day, Ástþór Skúlason hears the buzz of the electric lift that helps him climb into his tractor. That momentary whirring—a noise that means the paralyzed sheep farmer can get to work—is usually one of the only sounds in Rauðasandur, a blip in the corner of northwest Iceland.

All Hail To The Technobaron

The word “legend” is thrown around a lot these days, especially to hype up various over-the-hill groups riding the retro gravy train to Iceland, all with the purpose of parting large sums of cash from locals with more money than taste.


Iceland is often heralded for its wild nightlife on weekends. Late-night debauchery has even gained the attention of the US government, which now warns tourists about the carousing that takes place in downtown Reykjavík.

The Best of Reykjavík 2012: Drinking and Nightlife

If your plan is getting shitfaced by yourself and forgetting all about the outside world and its various pressures by drowning yourself in watery beer, you need look no further than Frakkastígur. The street has slowly but surely established itself as a haven for the modern drunkard.

Nuuk Posse, Sume And Other Great Bands!

I’m guilty of not tapping into Greenland's culture. Hell, my brushes with this great island’s pop culture have been hurried, few and far between. And let’s face it, rarely does Icelandic media, or any other media for that matter, pay attention to our friendly neighbours and their music.

Track Of The Issue: Tilbury: Drama

Tilbury have been creating quite a stir since their single "Tenderloin" surfaced online four months ago.

"I Have Never Written A Love Song"

“My heroes were the poet Steinn Steinarr and the drummer John Bonham,” says singer-songwriter Bjartmar Guðlaugsson who at 60 can still bang together a couplet or two. He was one of Iceland’s biggest pop stars in the late ’80s, which in retrospect can be seen as the golden age of Icelandic verse set to music.

Chamber Music For Summer Solstice In Ísafjörður

For one week during the summer solstice, the hills around the fjord-side town of Ísafjörður are alive with the sound of the annual Við Djúpið festival. Artistic Director Dagný Arnalds tells us what to expect this year…

Arpeggio Ascending

Víkingur Ólafsson sees classical music as having too much high brow and not enough high voltage. That’s why he is launching the Reykjavík Midsummer Music Festival at Harpa this June 17-19.



Enjoy camping? Concerts? Bonfires? You’re in luck, scouts.
Get in touch with your wild side at Partíþokan, a music festival that takes
place in Seyðisfjörður on June 22 & 23.

Track Of The Issue: Just Another Snake Cult: Birds Carried Your Song Through The Night

Short, sweet and kaleidoscopic, ‘Birds Carried Your Song Though The Night’ has a distinctly retro feel to it, with synthesizers echoing throughout like ghosts from the past.

Track of the Issue - Japanese Super Shift And The Future Band: The Biggest Walls

It’s been a looooooong-ass wait, but local cult favourites Japanese Super Shift And The Future Band have finally released their début LP, ‘Futatsu’, after taking over two years to make it.

The Legends Return

Make no bones about it, Entombed are one of death metal’s pioneers and arguably amongst the elite that influenced and changed extreme metal as we know it.


Snorri Helgason Makes Kids Smile Tonight

Wondering what to do tonight? Snorri Helgason will be headlining GogoYoko's second to last charity concert of the summer.


Will These Eurovision Predictions Hold Up?

Twenty six countries will compete in the Grand Final of the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest tonight. Will predictions that we made a week ago hold up tonight?

The Music Mess Needs To Get Messier

I figured a festival dubbed a ‘music mess’ would serve as a nice introduction to the Reykjavík music scene on my first Thursday night in the city. Here come the mosh pits, here come the deafening choruses, I thought.


The New Local Hotshots: Tilbury

One of the hotly anticipated local acts at this year’s Music Mess is Tilbury. Originally founded by Þormóður Dagsson as a solo project in 2010, Tilbury is now a band with members hailing from groups such as Hjaltalín, Valdimar, Sin Fang and Amiina.

The International Up-And-Comer: Man Made

Niles Marr, who performs under the moniker Man Made, is one of the foreign acts appearing at this year’s Reykjavík Music Mess.


Upon overhearing the Sugarcubes’ “Birthday” on the radio in 1987, Belgian physician Dr. Wim Van Hooste became fascinated with the band and the country it came from.


Iceland Will Definitely Win Eurovision This Time!

From the beginning of Icelandic Eurovision times (1986), Icelanders have been from 75% to 100% sure that the nation will win the song contest. This happens every year, so we have been disappointed on a yearly basis.

Track Sampler Of The Issue

This issue's sampler includes music from Benni Hemm Hemm, Cheek mountain Thief, The Dandelion Seeds, Legend, Man Made, Reykjavík!, Tilbury and more...

Haphazard Focus, Muck-Style

Reykjavík rockers work to "look beyond the mundane" as sound evolves and live shows get artsy.


Of Monsters and Men: Colour Us Impressed

So we learned this week that Of Monsters and Men have sold over 100,000 copies of their début album, ‘My Head Is An Animal’ (with a total of over 95,000 copies sold in North America and over 11,000 in Iceland).

Track of the Issue - Steve Sampling: Distance

Our treat for you this issue is “Distance” by Steve Sampling.

Markéta Irglová Live At Kex

Czech singer/songwriter Markéta Irglová has returned to Iceland and will perform along with her band at KEX Hostel’s Gym&Tonic lounge next Wednesday April 4.


We got an email the other day asking if we wanted to premiere a new song and video by the musical act Prinspóló. Of course, we said: yes! And here is the track! It is called "Landspítalinn" (this means "The National Hospital") and it is exactly four minutes long and it is pretty great!

Gone Postal Crowned Metal Champs

Bastard opens to an empty venue with a performance of generic death metal.

Track Of The Issue - Ojba Rasta: 'Baldursbrá'

Ojba Rasta is an eleven-piece dub/reggae band formed in 2009. In addition to obvious Jamaican influences, the band says they are inspired by world and film music.

Kicking And Riffing With Muck

The hardcore powerhouse that is Muck will be celebrating the release of their debut album ‘Slaves’ at Gaukur á Stöng on March 3.

Launching Tectonics

This March, Ilan Volkov is launching a new modern music festival that corresponds with John Cage’s centennial anniversary.

Bringing The Breakbeat To Book

It’s a Wednesday afternoon and I’m passing the time at Prikið while waiting for Karl “Kalli” Tryggvason, DJ and member of drum and bass collective, to appear.

Rainbow Reykjavík

Reykjavík will become a multi-coloured explosion of joy and happiness as it celebrates Rainbow Reykjavík on the weekend of 16-19 February!

Tribute To ‘Rokk í Reykjavík’ Video Competition

Calling all musicians, Dr Wim Van Hooste needs your help!

Making Digital Waves Across The World

Yatra Arts seeks a wider audience for Icelandic electronic music in 2012. That can’t be a bad thing, can it?

Think You Know Elephants & Outer Space?

Calling all brain-boxes, info-nerds, and fact-geeks! Put your knowledge to use by entering The Grapevine and Bakkus Pub Quiz!

Birds Of A Feather

In most cases when a musician finds another artist operating under the same name, they take the cue to come up with an alter ego (see: David Bowie).

Track Of The Issue - Michael Dean Odin Pollock & Siggi Sig: 'Squeeze'

Here’s a little treat for you, a track from the new Michael Dean Odin Pollock EP, out now on Synthadelia Records.

Go To Clyde's Show!

Do you like your music loud and heavy? Are the clothes in your wardrobe mostly black? Do you like evil things...and beer, lots of beer?

Icy Spicy Leoncie Live In Iceland

Unless you’ve been reading Iceland’s page six for the last decade or so, you’re probably not familiar with the peculiar and flamboyant character that bears the self-coined moniker Icy Spicy Leoncie.

Feel The Darkness

This year’s Dark Music Days programme is a cavalcade exciting modern composition (Icelandic and otherwise) and exclusive performances and premieres.

Turin Brakes Church Comeback

Remember the Turin Brakes? Well, they had a couple of hits back in the late ‘90s and early 2000s and got their hands on a decent amount of BRIT statues with their soothing, but crude acoustic tunes and mellow ditties.


Significant Music Of 2011: Musicians' Picks

Bored of year-end lists that usually don’t even manage to tell half the story, we decided to attempt a different approach at summing up 2011 in music

Put Your Dancing Shoes On For Tim Green

This young and talented Brit was voted ‘Breakthrough Producer of 2010’ by DJ Mag

Significant Music Of 2011: Writers' Picks

Bored of year-end lists that usually don’t even manage to tell half the story, we decided to attempt a different approach at summing up 2011 in music

Track Of The Issue!

LEGEND knocked veteran Grapevine music scribe Rebecca Louder off her feet at last year’s Iceland Airwaves


There's a palpable air of "we don't care what anyone else is doing or if they like what and how we do" around the Paradísarborgarplötur (“Paradise City Records”) label/collective

It Was Twenty Years Ago Today

Some decades arrive late, in a pop cultural sense at least

Singing Around Iceland, Or How To Make Friends With Icelanders

Ever get those days where you find it difficult to get going, to start something you know you'll enjoy once you've just taken that first step? Ever found you've lost sight of what you enjoy in life and can't remember how to go about finding it again? I know, welcome to my world...

More Noise, Please!

Grab your battery powered toys, alarm clocks, household gadgets and instruments and get ready to RAWK like a robot. LornaLAB invites you to share ideas and knowledge with other geek-minded audiophiles and techies this weekend down at Hafnarhús for an afternoon of electro invention and exchange.

Hope Is Like A Dog Bitten By A Sheep

Multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Gímaldin recorded in Russia for a while, but is now back at home among friends, some of whom have made an album with him.

Icelandic Hard Rock In The Eighties And Nineties - A Skin-Deep Account

In the beginning, Icelandic metal bands kept to themselves and were mostly left out of the mainstream.

Edison Electronica

Electronic music aficionados, get ready for a blast from the past.

Track Of The Issue - Reykjavík!: 'Hellbound Heart'

You thought that they’d wandered off for good, but no! Iceland's favourite scuzz rock mentalists REYKJAVÍK! are back and busy storming into everyone's hearts and minds with their third album 'Locust Sounds', a two ton gorilla opus that smashes the puny opposition... and then sits down and eats a banana.

Baroque Romantics Wanted

If you’re into the Baroque and Romantic masters Johann S. Bach and César Franck, you may want to head to Hallgrímskirkja church (which took 38 years to build!).

Like Father, Like Son!

Now you know Snorri Helgason, don’t you? Of course you do.


Look. We’ll come right out and say it. Björk Guðmundsdóttir is a genius, an innovator and a visionary.

A New Force In Icelandic Heavy Metal

Skálmöld have established themselves at the forefront of Icelandic Heavy Metal with their debut album and a slew of well-attended, impeccably executed concerts.

Dr. Gunni´s History Of Icelandic Rock / Part 30

Iceland Airwaves is upon us once more. For five days about 750 bands and artists will perform in Reykjavík, of which you only knew three before.


When I received a copy of Stjörnuryk's debut, all I knew about them
was that they are from Ísafjörður, the capital of the Westfjords of Iceland.

Ikea Satan

Ikea Satan are three guys who have decided on an ironic band name that that conveys a somewhat powerful image (“Satan”) with something flimsy and second rate (“Ikea”).

Sálin Reign Over The Country Balls

March 10, 1988 was a big day for Icelandic music. In a long-since burnt down club called Tunglið, HAM were playing their first ever concert, and in the building’s basement—at an adjoining club called Bíókjallarinn—Sálin hans Jóns míns were also making their stage premiere.

Track Of The Issue - Mugison: "Stingum af"

Mugison’s track ‘Stingum af’ has grown immensely popular since it was released earlier this summer.

Dr. Gunni´s History Of Icelandic Rock / Part 29

In the eighties, Stuðmenn ("Funmen") were the most popular Icelandic band.

Track of the Issue!

1...2...3... and RAWK! HAM are BACK! And they are as powered up and fist driving as they were when they released their last album – IN 19-FUCKING-89!!! In celebration of the release of their much, much, much overdue second album, we are frothing at the mouth to give you all this neck-breaking new track.

Dr. Gunni’s History Of Icelandic Rock / Part 28

In 1980, the world was divided into two parts: disco and punk. In 1983, three thunderous years later, punks had become new-wavers, metalheads or ‘regular people’ and the disco gang now got its’ kicks from ‘new romantics’ such as Duran Duran and Spandau Ballet.

HE’S BACK!!!111!

It’s been a while since he last graced Icelanders with his presence (nine years to be exact)—now Sage Francis is finally returning to dazzle us with his veritable rhyming skills and some of the best indie hip hop money can buy (you can also cop it off the internet, but stealing from independent artists is especially bad form). His previous two shows are by now the stuff of legend.

Track Of Issue - Stóriðjuverkefnið mig (title track of the film 'Ge9n')

This infectiously catchy song, ‘Stóriðjuverkefnið mig’ was composed and performed by Linus Orri Gunnarsson and Þórir Bogason (of Just Another Snake Cult) to lyrics from Jón Örn Loðmfjörð's book of poetry ‘Gengismunur’, which was composed algorithmically from the text in the Special Investigative Committee’s report on Iceland’s economic collapse.

Let's Tango!

The soul of Argentina will be in Reykjavík for a festive four-day weekend!  The Milonga, which features tango dance and music, will take place at Iðnó restaurant and the Kramhúsið multi-cultural dance studio.

Deep Jimi and the Zep Creams: Better When We´re Dead

Start this album on track 7—‘Don't Let Your Dreams Go’—which will tell you everything you need to know about the style, approach, personality and proper-rock-song attitude of the now-veterans.

Track of the Issue - Steindi Jr. (featuring Ásgeir Orri): Djamm í kvöld

Comedy, music and social commentary are seldom strangers to each other. Randy Neuman often blended the three, as have countless punk rock bands. Comedian and musician Steindi Jr. has now done the same with this track, ‘Djamm í kvöld’ (Party Tonight).

Join Lay Low And Of Monsters And Men For A Good Cause

Two of Iceland’s foremost artists will be joining forces for the annual charity show at Faktorý to raise money for Nei!, a movement against sexual violence, on August 18.


Back To Root Of It All

The 30th edition of the Grapevine Grassroots concerts shows off some of the series’ favourite acts – Enkídú, Arnljótur, Ahma, Sóley, and Nóló.

Full Metal Racket!

The annual sweaty moshfest that is the Eistnaflug metal festival descended upon the tiny Eastfjords village of Neskaupstaður like a bearded raven of the Apocalypse.

Track of the Issue!

Grapevine is glad today! And you know why? Yes, it’s because Grapevine’s favourite new Icelandic rock band, Ofvitarnir, has finally released an album!

Hearts Beating As Electronic Music

After a successful debut last year, the Extreme Chill Festival returns to the foot of the Snæfellsjökull glacier between August 5 and 7 to offer us a unique summer festival.


The hills are alive with the sound of music in Gøta, the small town in the Faroe Islands, which is the setting for the Faroe’s annual and legendary G! Festival. 

Lights & Music, Indeed

Outside the concert venue, face flushed pink to match his undersized varsity jacket, Berndsen looked exultant.
Honestly, it was probably all the jumping—a pigmentary euphoria triggered by his onstage synthpop-hop and ensuing gulps of oxygen.


Where have all the protest songs gone? Music, politics, ideas. You don’t really hear much about that nowadays do you?

Glen Hansard Comes To Reykjavík!

Didn’t make it to Bræðslan? Thought you missed your chance to see Glen Hansard in Iceland? Good news! You haven’t! Upon returning to Reykjavík from the Borgafjörður-based festival, Glen Hansard will be playing an additional show on July 26 at Café Rosenberg.

Learning To Löve Björk

I have always admired Björk. That’s never been the problem. Björk has constantly caught my admiration, but somehow adoration—even enjoyment—has been out of grasp.


Singer/songwriter Snorri Helgason first made his name with everyone’s favourite band of 2007, Sprengjuhöllin, who with a ‘difficult second album’ managed to fade into semi-obscurity before going on indefinite hiatus.

A Look Through the Zonoscope

Crossing over seasons, time zones, language barriers, and maybe even dimensions, Cut/Copy continue to pursue their tour of the world, which has now brought them all the way to Iceland. Nicknamed “The Cutters,” this Australian electro pop group are currently promoting their new LP ‘Zonoscope’.


Summer has finally threatened to show itself, somewhat, and if you like reggae, Ojba Rasta’s new single Jolly Good is the perfect track to put on for a nice garden BBQ party.


It’s a story that has passed into Icelandic music legend. Of how a young drummer named Stefán ‘Stebbi’ Magnússon, having moved to the Eastfjords village of Neskaupstaður, invited several of his musician friends to come and play and have a party out of sheer boredom.

It Takes Five To Tango. Ehrm

Most people’s idea of tango music evokes a night-time display of poise and passion in a small cafe in the backstreets of Buenos Aires. But what you may not know is that through travelling musicians, the dance and its music reached Finland in the 1920s and ‘30s.

Stealing Mountains

For three months, Mike Lindsey has lived alone in a cottage in northeast Iceland. Having gained some notoriety as a founding member of British alt-folk gang Tunng, he decided last March that what he really wanted to do was to go to the middle of nowhere and make music with people he didn’t know at all.

Grapevine Grassroots #29

Singing, Dancing, Poetry, Instrumental Music, Movies, Paintings…come see all or some of the above at the 29th Grapevine Grassroots event.

A Dream Realised By Accident

Afrocubism is a project that began as a dream thirteen years ago. Nick Gold’s idea was to fuse the sounds of Malian and Cuban music for an album.


Man, if there’s one band out there that’s getting us somewhat excited about Icelandic rock again, it’s the goddamn Dandelion Seeds.

Are Icelanders Americanized? Really?

With their propensity for obesity and economic mismanagement, one could be forgiven for thinking of the Icelanders as little Americans. Conventional wisdom would indeed suggest this.

The Foreigner’s Prerogative

So who the frak is Jóhann Jóhannsson? He’s an accomplished Icelandic musician, a self-taught composer with seven solo albums and seven movie soundtracks under his belt, as well as having been a member of several successful Icelandic bands, including HAM, Lhooq, Unun, Evil Madness and Apparat Organ Quartet.

Gig Long, Party Hard!

Another day, another slice of grim apocalyptic action that is life in Iceland. While Grímsvötn’s eruption took a firm grip of the country by the balls and the airport was closed, one casualty of this was the cancellation of the long awaited Caribou gig at NASA on Sunday May 22.


It appears the verdict is in: with ‘Arabian Horse’, beloved electro legends GusGus have crafted a masterpiece of a record, with mesmerising tunes, stomping rhythms and some hypnotic melodies.

Solaris 2.0

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the publication of Krakow writer Stanislaw Lem’s novel ‘Solaris’, and this should be celebrated. Luckily, the masterful Ben Frost and Daníel Bjarnason have created an ambitious project doing just that, with the help of one of Poland’s leading orchestras, Sinfonietta Cracovia.

Cyndi Lauper? Really?

When I first learned Cyndi Lauper would be one of the first international pop artists to perform in Harpa, I was really surprised. Who would want to see Cyndi Lauper? Shouldn't she just stick to playing her hits over and over in Vegas? Well, she keeps getting endlessly nominated for Grammy awards, but does anyone remember anything she’s done since ‘85? She's doing celebrity reality TV for crying out loud!

Catch Retro Stefson In Iceland While You Can

Retro Stefson are briefly coming home to play a show at NASA on June 1 before going back to Europe to play at festival all summer.

Mad Scientist Samaris

During the Reykjavík Music Mess I caught up with Samaris, the recent winners of Músíktilraunir. The band is composed of three Icelandic youngsters.


In some places in Polynesia it was common to play synchronous music in order to terrify the enemy in warfare. The music would indicate how well they were organized. An organised army is efficient and effective.


The Exponential Curve Of Caribou

With five albums under his belt, Dan Snaith's sound continues to approach a plane of infinite possibilities.


When I turned thirteen, and consequently started smelling like shit, my mom decided to break it to me in an interesting way. Rather than confront me with the mind-bending horrors of puberty, she gently told me that although she wasn’t bothered by the stench of rotting bacteria corpses in my armpits, the other kids in my class might be...

Bob And Sindri Go Músíktilraunir!

Every year, Músíktilraunir (“Music Experiments”) are held to locate and reward the most innovative undiscovered bands in Iceland.

Come All Ye Faithful, But Other People Can Totally Come If They Want To

Not all artists are assholes. Some, in fact, can be quite friendly.

Go North (Not South) For The Aldrei Fór Ég Suður Music Festival!

Conceived in 2003 by Iceland's own Mugison with his father while they were drinking in London, the Aldrei Fór Ég Suður music festival will enjoy its eighth year in Ísafjörður this April.

SPECIAL: Grapevine Gets Its Legs Back!

To celebrate that whole Reykjavík Music Mess mess we, your loyal friends at the Grapevine, are throwing a special music edition of 'GRAPEVINE GOT LEGS'! It’s happening tomorrow, Saturday April 16, at 2PM and THERE WILL BE DRINKS. Read on for more info!

For A Love Of Moisturiser And David Bowie

If you don't know much about Deerhunter's music, you probably should.

Dare We Be Excited About Reykjavík Music Mess?

OK so there’s this ‘new’ music festival making the rounds in Reykjavík (you might have noticed—you are reading a special Grapevine supplement about it).

Reykjavík Gets Steamy with Blues Music

If you're looking for something different to do around Easter break and you like smoking cigars and looking cool, then you should probably check out the Reykjavík Blues Festival. 

RMM - Your Schedule

Reykjavik Music Mess is an independent music festival in downtown Reykjavik, with shows at Nasa, The Nordic House and Sódóma Reykjavík. It is held for the first time from the 15th to 17th of April.

North Iceland Gets Jazzy

Tonak Jazz Orchestra and Matisand Jazz trio will be the last to perform in the JazzTA concert series at Götubarinn, a bar in downtown Akureyri tomorrow night at 21:00.


To help y’all get SUPER GADDAMN PUMPED for the Reykjavík Music Mess, the good people behind it have compiled a fancy compilation for your downloading and listening pleasures. Check it out!

Aural Leftovers: Computer Lust

There’s no option but to bend over and take what’s on offer from our digital overlords. Offerings such as ‘Skywatchers’ from Yoda Remote, a rabid chipmunk duo who spent their school years making crazy 8-bit electronic tunes instead of learning algebra, or sniffing glue.

“We aren't the Bee Gees or Justin Bieber”

Steve Austin is an infamous character in the heavy music world; a man who lends huge doses of brutal honesty and a terrifying, angst-ridden aura to the music he disseminates through Today is the Day (who are often referred to as ‘the most influential metal band of the last 15 years’). Since Today is the Day are playing a couple shows in Iceland this month, we thought we’d use the opportunity to e-mail him some questions.

Das Experiment, But Without All The Violence And Grown Men Pissing On Each Other

If you’re reading this and have any interest in Icelandic music, do everything in your power to see this. Between March 25 and April 2, the youngest generation of Icelandic musicians are going to strut their stuff at the annual Icelandic Music Experiments 2011.

Remembering Biogen

A pivotal figure in Iceland’s electronic music scene, whether it was during his early forays into electronic music as a member of the legendary hardcore techno band Ajax or through the many collaborations and side projects he was involved with, Biogen had a personal hand in shaping the last two decades of Icelandic music. His influence is felt by his contemporaries and will be gleaned by those who follow.

Deerhunter Are Coming! Deerhunter Are Coming!

For the first time ever, tickets are on sale for the Reykjavi´k Music Mess, an independent music festival that will take over NASA and the Nordic House on April 16 and 17.

Prepare For Battle At Sódóma!

Six bands square off at Sódóma on Saturday for the honor of playing at Wacken Open Air, a massive outdoor metal festival in Wacken, Germany.

Singing Goddess Graces Iceland

It’s always a treat to have Eivór Pálsdóttir in Iceland. It’s a treat because Eivór, a singer/songwriter from neighbouring Faroe Islands, has an exceptionally beautiful voice.

A New Reign of Terror Over Iceland

A relatively new group of Vikings calling themselves, Skálmöld, plan to terrorize Tjarnarbíó with their big bad, Viking metal on February 24.

Hjaltalín And Other Stuff At Café Rosenberg

Café Rosenberg may not be this town’s hipster mecca. To be sure, the atmosphere there is more reminiscent of bars in even smaller town Iceland.

Release Concert FRENZY Tonight!

Everyone’s two favourite Icelandic albums from last year are being celebrated tonight, with massive release concert party fun shindigs a go-go carrying on through the night. The records in question are of course Prinspóló’s ‘Jukk’ and Agent Fresco’s ‘A Long Time Listening’, and both of them of course received glowing reviews right here in the Grapevine, as well as scoring high on the annual year-end polls (of course!). Why? Because they are great, that’s why.

Get Your Geek On With Booka Shade

If you’re one of those weird people who like to go out and get monstrously drunk to rave music without being punched in the face, the CCP annual Fanfest might appeal to you.

New Music Festival Hits Reykjavik

Reykjavik welcomes a new music festival this month called, BERGEN-REYKJAVIK-NUUK, which celebrates the relationship between Norway, Iceland, and Greenland.

Dr. Gunni's History Of Icelandic Rock / Part 27

Scoring a ‘Single of the Week’ in the English music press doesn't necessary mean the instant access to the big time, but in The Sugarcubes’ case it did. After ‘Birthday’ got the honour, One Little Indian Records was swamped with interview requests and offers from record companies, both indies and majors.

Enzyme Compatibility

Icelandic alt-rock champions Ensími have been proving that punk needn’t be simple and indie needn’t be complicated over four albums and fourteen years, and have recently emerged from hiatus to support their latest full-length offering, Gæludýr.

You Don't Know What You've Got...

By the time this goes to print, Havarí will be shut. Temporarily closed while they seek a new locale, the independent record store/bookstore/small venue/art gallery/recording studio/coffee shop has been forced to make way for a new downtown hotel after seventeen months of centrally located awesomeness.

Headbanging Over A Piano

Viktoriya ‘Vika’ Yermoleva is a 32-year old classically educated pianist who hails from Ukraine. She plays, for the most part, piano versions of contemporary metal songs.

Five Albums That Shaped Bob Cluness’ Decade

The world’s most infuriatingly enigmatic band. But man when they get it right they fucking get it right!

Five Albums That Shaped Bergrún Anna Hallsteinsdóttir´s Decade

Bergrún Anna Hallsteinsdóttir picks the five albums that shaped her decade.

The Most Important Hard, Fast, and Heavy of 2001-10

No one wants to make a list like this. You like to get stoned (no pun) to death by disappointed band dorks? Birkir Fjalar Viðarsson gives his take on the most important hard, fast, and heavy albums of the last decade.

It's Almost Over!

For over a year and a half now, Havarí has been offering a massive boost to Reykjavík’s often-championed, yet seldom-supported music scene, acting as a record store and small venue for bands, as well as offering literature from young artists and writers.

Something Borrowed, Something Blue

On January 18, one of Iceland’s more dutiful musicians’ unions, the Icelandic Society of Authors and Composers, will host the third in their ‘Birdcage’ concert series.

Not Going Anywhere In Particular

Icelandic music expert Dr. Gunni lists his favourite albums of the last decade. Click through for some LIST FUN!

Attack Schmattack!

What do Páll Óskar, KK & Ellen, Reykjavík!, múm and Steini from Hjálmar have in common? They all stand behind the Reykjavík 9, the nine people, some say scapegoats, charged with attacking Althingi during protests in December 2008.

Not Your Conventional Rock Star...

 Known for his flamboyant style, manic stage shows and glam rock/disco tinged songs about Jesus Christ on crack, Tom Cruise and the Iraq war, Bobby Con was in Reykjavík as part of his 'Rise Up' tour.

Five Super-Weird Icelandic Records!

Icelandic musicians have produced their share of weird records. Some records aim to be weird, but some are weird by accident, the artist involved even being fully serious about the whole thing. The five below are truly weird, some by design, others by accident.

Grapevine TV At Airwaves 2010

The Grapevine had a film crew documenting Airwaves this year. For a recap of this five day festival, which saw a record number of performers, check out this video by former intern Sigurður Kjartan Kristinsson and his talented film crew.

Hurts to Rock Reykjavík A Second Time

Following their stunning performance at the Airwaves festival last month, UK synth-pop duo Hurts are set to return to Reykjavik’s Vodafone Stadium.

The Best Show I Witnessed At Iceland Airwaves 2010, And Why It Was The Best Show I Witnessed At Iceland Airwaves 2010

So we did it again. We compiled a team of music lovers-slash-misanthropes to review every single show of the official Iceland Airwaves programme.

Dr. Gunni's History of Icelandic Rock Part 25

International recognition has always been every ambitious Icelandic pop musician’s goal. And no wonder. Few settle for the limitations of the tiny Icelandic market.

What could have been better about Iceland Airwaves 2010 and why!

Hate brings out the best in people. Or at least in writers. You know that. Bad reviews are so much more fun to read than the good ones. LOL!

The South Iceland Chamber Choir Receives Glowing Reviews

The South Iceland Chamber Choir (Kammerkór Suðurlands) is gaining wide acclaim for their new CD ‘Iepo Oneipo’.

Datarock is Coming Back!

So guess what. Some Nordic initiative or other is happening these days...

My Airwaves Discovery Of The Year: The Dandelion Seeds

For a few depraved souls, the off-off venue Kaffistofan was the ultimate place to be on Airwaves Saturday.

Oh Oh Oh Canada

The Ring Lounge at Hressó played host to a bevy of Canadian musical marvels on Saturday for the most highly anticipated (at least for this reviewer) off-venue of the Airwaves calendar.

Efterklang Inspires A New Generation Of Efterkids

Welcome to Efterkids, the brainchild of Danish super band Efterklang.

Second Coming

I didn’t expect to see fourteen musicians on stage, a mind-boggling array of instruments and an audience ranging from rock royalty to little old ladies, but that’s what I got at Amiina’s album release concert at NASA earlier this month.

Parties And Shows TONITE!

So Iceland Airwaves is really almost over. Thank the lord. This is SO TIRING. But it ain’t over yet, and we are busy getting ourselves all hyped up for tonight’s concert madness. One last night, then it’s off to rehab. Promise.

Talking Out Of Phones

Dan Deacon is best known for two things: a profanity laden viral video and bleep-bloopy dance music that hipsters really, really love.

Don’t You Know Who I am? I’m Nick Coxon, Music Journalist To The Stars!

I spent yesterday downloading the final episode of the BBC series, ‘Sherlock.

Grapevine TV - EPISODE ONE!

So check this out: we've got a small camera crew running around the good festival, and they have been busy interviewing folks, recording bands and generally getting all crazy with their cameras.


How Abstract Can You Get, Ghostigital?

This brainchild of the mighty Einar Örn Benediktsson and the also-mighty Curver needs no introduction.

Mínus Are LEGENDary ...and so are Esja, for that matter

You all know Krummi from his epic ventures with the rock band Mínus. If you don’t, go right now and read up on Mínus and their adventures. Listen to their music.

Bang Gang Can Do Everything

You know Bang Gang, right?

Eating Pizza, Reading Books With MSAASS

My Summer as a Salvation Soldier is one of Þórir Georg Jónsson’s many musical projects.

The Lovely Crooked World Of Mount Kimbie...

In the big bad world of dubstep, there are followers and there are leaders. Mount Kimbie belong to the latter camp, for sure. Comprised of two guys, Dom Maker and Kai Campos, their debut album ‘Crooks and Lovers’ has been heralded as the best post-dubstep around this year.

Go See XXX Rottweiler Tonight!

So check this out. The last few days have been crazy, and we're not gonna lie - tonight is going to be even crazier.

Ghostigital Welcome Y'All To Their Crazy Show Tonight

We met up with Ghostigital last night. And then we shot a little teaser for their epic gig tonight at Tjarnarbíó on our shitty ass phone camera. 'Cuz we're like that.


Reptile & Retard Fell In Love With Machines

We both like rock, but there is something happening in the electronic genre that is not happening in rock.

Yeah, But Where’s Bedroom Community?

We keep getting e-mails from folks that are upset about Bedroom Community not staging an event at this year's Airwaves bash. We e-mailed Valgeir Sigurðsson, Ben Frost and Nico Muhly to ask them: What’s up with that?

Retro Stefson Welcome You To Kimbabwe!

Retro Stefson are responsible for some of the rocking-est, dancing-est, most joyous live shows this fine publication has ever had the good fortune to witness.

Special Airwaves Discount To Transaquania - Into Thin Air

Flash your Airwaves wristband to get half-off tickets to Icelandic Dance Company's "Transaquania - Into Thin Air," which shows on Sunday at the Reykjavík City Theater. It's the last scheduled showing of this piece.

The Antlers Are Open To Interpretation

“I started playing when I was six years old. I stopped playing for a while to explore some other things but I needed to come back to it. It's pretty much what I've always wanted to do.”

Screaming Masterpiece?

After a decade’s worth of editions of the Iceland Airwaves festival, the event has finally been captured for the big screen.

Grapevine’s Picks For Friday

In no particular order, some suggestions for fun things to get up to tonight at the offish Iceland Airwaves shows (off venue shows are great too, but y’know... we can only pick so much):

Introducing Everyone’s Favourite Venue Of 2010: Tjarnarbíó

So we’re two days into Airwaves-frenzy, and it’s all been going splendidly up until now! Great times! Fun bands! Wet beer! And folks have been talking a lot, too. We like to troll or listen in when folks are saying interesting things around us, so our ears have been extra wide these past few days.

Arnljótur’s Picks For Friday

Arnljótur is a member of Ojba Rasta, Sin Fang and Berndsen. He also plays solo as Arnljótur, and you can often see him on stage with a bunch of other bands.

Sonic Iceland Recommends

Sonic Iceland is the brainchild of two bloggers, Kai and Marcel from Germany and Ireland.


There are all these nice krútt bands around, but evil also lurks in Reykjavík’s cutesy music scene. There are dark sinister bands out there, bands that play dark and sinister music. One of Grapevine’s favourite purveyors of evil are definitely DLX ATX, led by the lovely Irish expat Greg Barrett. You should try and see him this weekend, for sure.

HumanWoman Pick Five For Airwaves

HumanWoman is an excellent new local band comprised of the lovely hairdoctor Jón Atli Jónasson (AKA Sexy Lazer) and Gísli Galdur (of Trabant, Langi Seli & Skuggarnir and many other excellent bands).

Urban Psychedelia And Fiery Myths

Sometimes it takes a long time for bands to form. Childhood friendships, painstaking auditions and frustrating jam sessions until the perfect balance is found.

Like Drinking A Bottle Of Cough Syrup On The Beach

New York rockers The Vandelles are very likely the coolest band to hit Airwaves this year. With their mix of sixties surf, psychedelia and a noise laden wall of sound they've hypnotized crowds with something that has been described as an audio and visual assault.

Everyone Loves Sudden Weather Change

Everyone loves Sudden Weather Change. At least everyone who loves their music sprinkled with fuckloads of guitar noise, triple harmonies and a sweet ‘90s spirit and weight that far too often seems missing from today’s music (think: Cap’n Jazz playing around with Sonic Youth).

The Band That Came In From The Köld...

Ever since their debut EP ‘Til Vahallar’ was released in 1996, Sólstafir have been mainstays of the Icelandic metal community.

Psychedelia and Madness: The Klink Experience

Klink have the reputation for being one of Iceland’s most brutal live acts, a blistering force of metalcore.

Morbidity And Contempt

The rise of Gone Postal within the Icelandic metal scene has been akin to something of a death metal juggernaut.

For A Minor Reflection Are Comin’ To Gitcha!

It’s all in the name. At least in the case of For a Minor Reflection.

Endless Dark Are Not Like The Other Bands

Endless Dark are one of the many young Icelandic bands performing at Iceland Airwaves for the first time this year.

The Importance Of Being Indie

If you run an independent music enterprise, it's probable that at some point you'll realise you've become something of a geek.

Bárujárn Are Just What We Were Waiting For

Bárujárn have been busy reinvigorating the Icelandic music scene for over two years now!

Your Airwaves Experience on Live Project

For the first time, Airwaves festival goers will be able to stream their concert videos and photos straight from their mobile phone to a new real time video and photo blog,

The Good Doctor’s Guide to Surviving Airwaves

While Airwaves is a rather fun and fabulous time for most, it’s possible that at one stage or another you, or one of your friends, might find yourselves at the wrong end of a flying elbow or taking a dive after one too many cold ones.

The Good Doctor’s Guide to Surviving Airwaves

While Airwaves is a rather fun and fabulous time for most, it’s possible that at one stage or another you, or one of your friends, might find yourselves at the wrong end of a flying elbow or taking a dive after one too many cold ones.

Polipe Will Prove A Nice Surprise

At the age of 14 we began to play together and let go all that bullshit. The drummer joined us later in that particular friendship as we opened up our minds together on different cultures, philosophies, drugs, and of course: sounds.

Polipe Will Prove A Nice Surprise

At the age of 14 we began to play together and let go all that bullshit. The drummer joined us later in that particular friendship as we opened up our minds together on different cultures, philosophies, drugs, and of course: sounds.

Pascal Pinon: “Be there or be a chair”

Pascal Pinon are truly something. Comprised of twin sisters Jófríður Ákadóttir and Ásthildur Ákadóttir, these girls have been writing and performing sweet, soothing, melodic and incredibly ambitious music since they were at the tender age of fifteen.

Pascal Pinon: “Be there or be a chair”

Pascal Pinon are truly something. Comprised of twin sisters Jófríður Ákadóttir and Ásthildur Ákadóttir, these girls have been writing and performing sweet, soothing, melodic and incredibly ambitious music since they were at the tender age of fifteen.

The Chamber Choir of South Iceland at Iceland Airwaves

Kammerkór Suðurlands (The Chamber choir of South Iceland), introduce their latest CD of sacred music at Landakotskirkja, Reykjavík’s Catholic Church, today, Thursday 14th.

Three Punk Rock Things To Do Whilst In Reykjavík

Morðingjarnir is the Reykjavík Grapevine’s favourite local punk rock band. It probably should be your favourite Icelandic  punk rock band, too.

Three Punk Rock Things To Do Whilst In Reykjavík

Morðingjarnir is the Reykjavík Grapevine’s favourite local punk rock band. It probably should be your favourite Icelandic  punk rock band, too.

kimono Do Not Play Math Rock

Operating out of Iceland for the greater part of the last decade, kimono have long been your classic band’s band, meaning that most of the musicians performing at Airwaves count kimono as their favourite local band (the guitar bearing ones anyway).

kimono Do Not Play Math Rock

Operating out of Iceland for the greater part of the last decade, kimono have long been your classic band’s band, meaning that most of the musicians performing at Airwaves count kimono as their favourite local band (the guitar bearing ones anyway).

You Need To See Go Go Darkness

The Go-Go Darkness are a creative vehicle for the combined forces of Singapore Sling mastermind Henrik Björnsson and his spouse, the lovely Elsa María Blöndal.

You Need To See Go Go Darkness

The Go-Go Darkness are a creative vehicle for the combined forces of Singapore Sling mastermind Henrik Björnsson and his spouse, the lovely Elsa María Blöndal.

Efterklang: You Know You Want To

“It will be our first concert in Iceland. That’s enough accomplishment for us.”

Efterklang: You Know You Want To

“It will be our first concert in Iceland. That’s enough accomplishment for us.”

Grapevine’s Picks For Tonight!

It’s on! My is it on! How fun! How fresh! Yes! To help y’all get started, we decided to pick some picks for y’all to check out tonight, if you have no idea what you’re into or what you want to see. These are just some bands that we know can provide excellent live shows, or are curious about in one way or the other.

Grapevine’s Picks For Tonight!

It’s on! My is it on! How fun! How fresh! Yes! To help y’all get started, we decided to pick some picks for y’all to check out tonight, if you have no idea what you’re into or what you want to see. These are just some bands that we know can provide excellent live shows, or are curious about in one way or the other.

Kick Off Your Airwaves Experience With A Splash At Vesturbærjarlaug

In a unique start to Airwaves proceedings, German electro troubadours Hundreds will kick off the festivities this evening with a performance in the quirky setting of Vesturbæjarlaug swimming pool

Stuff You Might Want to Know

For all you new-to-town-ers, here a little something we put together to hopefully make your stay, ehrm… make a little more sense.

Stuff You Might Want to Know

For all you new-to-town-ers, here a little something we put together to hopefully make your stay, ehrm… make a little more sense.

The Young Composer's Guide To Reykjavík Dining

Why the respectable Reykjavík Grapevine magazine would ask a non-eating, 58kg workaholic who would go for the pill—if there was one to replace all food consumption—to write a guide on Reykjavík dining baffles me.

The Young Composer's Guide To Reykjavík Dining

Why the respectable Reykjavík Grapevine magazine would ask a non-eating, 58kg workaholic who would go for the pill—if there was one to replace all food consumption—to write a guide on Reykjavík dining baffles me.

Top 5 After-Hours Hangouts

It’s an acknowledged and loathed snag, the confusion that takes over during Iceland Airwaves when the concert schedule has been concluded and you’re all too sweaty, horny and psyched up to call it a night.

Top 5 After-Hours Hangouts

It’s an acknowledged and loathed snag, the confusion that takes over during Iceland Airwaves when the concert schedule has been concluded and you’re all too sweaty, horny and psyched up to call it a night.

Everything Everything Have Never Read Naomi Klein

“I grew up without a TV in the middle of nowhere and was always encouraged to use my imagination, I learned some instruments and downloaded a really crap sequencer and just spent all my time making music. I kept playing because it makes me feel alive, and it's loads better than nearly every job in the world.”

Everything Everything Have Never Read Naomi Klein

“I grew up without a TV in the middle of nowhere and was always encouraged to use my imagination, I learned some instruments and downloaded a really crap sequencer and just spent all my time making music. I kept playing because it makes me feel alive, and it's loads better than nearly every job in the world.”

Vuk Will Probably Enchant You

“I've been making music all my life, wherever I've been.

Vuk Will Probably Enchant You

“I've been making music all my life, wherever I've been.

Árni Rúnar’s Fabulous Gear Guide To Airwaves

Árni Rúnar Hlöðversson is one hell of a guy.

Árni Rúnar’s Fabulous Gear Guide To Airwaves

Árni Rúnar Hlöðversson is one hell of a guy.

An Autodrone Shaped Bloodstain On Iceland

“Well we are Autodrone, we come from New York City and we make the only kind of music that we are capable of making.”


An Autodrone Shaped Bloodstain On Iceland

“Well we are Autodrone, we come from New York City and we make the only kind of music that we are capable of making.”


The Icelandic Electronic Odyssey

It's been a good summer for electronic music in Iceland.

Your Handy Guide For Airwaves 2010

We are always hanging out in downtown Reykjavík (it’s where most of us work and live, you know), so we are fairly familiar with the venues that will be in use for Iceland Airwaves 2010.

Your Handy Guide For Airwaves 2010

We are always hanging out in downtown Reykjavík (it’s where most of us work and live, you know), so we are fairly familiar with the venues that will be in use for Iceland Airwaves 2010.

Airwaves Off-Venue 2010

Grapevine's Most Fun Shop of 2010 sure lives up to its reputation during this years Iceland Airwaves music festival.

Airwaves Off-Venue 2010

Grapevine's Most Fun Shop of 2010 sure lives up to its reputation during this years Iceland Airwaves music festival.

Icelandic Metal Is [insert Eyjafjallajökull pun here]!

Don’t be lame. Subject yourself to Icelandic metal.

Icelandic Metal Is [insert Eyjafjallajökull pun here]!

Don’t be lame. Subject yourself to Icelandic metal.

Kraumur and Backyard at Iceland Airwaves

Icelandic music documentary Backyard, will be screened at Bíó Paradís over the Airwaves festival this coming weekend

S.H. Draumur (1982 - 1988): Kicking Against The Pricks

In 1982 I had been in bands for three years with basically the same guys in Kópavogur.

Life Outside The Mainstream (1982–1985)

Bubbi Morthens and Utangarðsmenn hit the dull sugarcoated Icelandic pop scene in 1980, spreading raw excitement in their wake.

Iceland Airwaves Warm-Up

For years, the staff of the Iceland Airwaves festival has worked tirelessly to promote the festival abroad as an exciting option for a weekend get-away destination for young people on both sides of the Atlantic.

Iceland Airwaves Warm-Up

For years, the staff of the Iceland Airwaves festival has worked tirelessly to promote the festival abroad as an exciting option for a weekend get-away destination for young people on both sides of the Atlantic.

Happy Up Here

They had me at “Alluu!”.

Blastbeats Be Gone

Momentum want to welcome you to the genre of progressive doom. Never heard of the genre?

Blastbeats Be Gone

Momentum want to welcome you to the genre of progressive doom. Never heard of the genre?

Jonsí is Way Out West

It is closing in on midnight in Slottskogen in Gothenburg and singer M.I.A. is the last act to take the big stage on a Friday night for the Way Out West music festival.

Rip It Up and Start Again

Þeyr, an Icelandic musical  phenomenon shrouded in  a veil of mystery and deliberately  obscure, recorded  seven albums from 1980-  1983 and were undoubtedly  the most progressive band of  the Icelandic new wave/punk  scene.

Dispatches From The Corpse-Painting Station

Just down road from the bruised, bloody, moshing mess of Eistnaflug’s main venue Egilsbúð was another den of depravity and darkness.

Eight Weeks Until Airwaves!

Summer is over and school is back in session, which means the party is basically over. Well, not really, it’s just on a much needed hiatus before the biggest, wildest, messiest and most drunken five-day party of the year: the infamous Iceland Airwaves festival.

Eight Weeks Until Airwaves!

Summer is over and school is back in session, which means the party is basically over. Well, not really, it’s just on a much needed hiatus before the biggest, wildest, messiest and most drunken five-day party of the year: the infamous Iceland Airwaves festival.

Insol: Hátindar

A collection of the atonal yammerings of a weird, deluded shut-in, Hátindar has mostly only novelty value.

Iceland Airwaves Warm-Up Show In Akureyri

A lot has happened since we last brought you news from camp Airwaves. The team has been hard at work booking and announcing dozens of local and international acts.


The summer of 2010 has been one of festivals and parties. 

The Scientist of Sound

“When I listen to music, I very often don’t listen to the music; I just listen to the instruments. Otherwise, I get involved with an emotional situation, which is what we are all after; but in order to learn about the nature of the sound, I have to kind of forget the music.”

The Rise And Fall Of Kukl

The Icelandic rock movement associated with the ‘Rokk í Reykjavík’ documentary got yet another kick in the groin when the radio show Áfangar ("Phases") was forcefully discontinued in the spring of 1983.

I’m Not Afraid Of Anyone

After becoming a breakaway hit in 2008 while competing to represent Iceland in the Eurovision song contest, 25-year old Icelandic-American performer Haffi Haff has worked his way up and down the ladder to establish himself as a serious artist with solid goals.

The Diversion Sessions

Former Skátar rocker Markús Bjarnason shows a softer side on his new album ‘Now I Know.’

Heading Towards Chaos

“For a Minor Reflection is a four-piece, made of two guys with indie tops, a man with glasses and a metalhead.”

Singing In The Rain

It was presented as an extravaganza of “eclectic music, inspired by Iceland.” Then it was (very quietly) announced that some of the artists (Hjaltalín, Retro Stefson, For a Minor Reflection, GusGus) would only be present in the form of ‘pre-recorded performances from scenic locations throughout Iceland”.

Rokk í Reykjavík!

In 1981, filmmaker Friðrik Þór Friðriksson began filming Icelandic rock bands in action around Reykjavík for an upcoming documentary about the scene.

Shabbiness And Bankruptcy

Obviously I have no first-hand experience of clubs before I started playing in 1980, but from what I’ve heard there were some pretty cool venues operated before my time.

Þeyr Has Spiritual Intercourse With The Nation

In 1981, a flock of serious men came out of the woodworks—often wearing long grey or black overcoats.

Into The Light

He is tow-headed and unassuming, sitting on a patio, fidgeting as he lights a cigarette. He is driving to the airport in four hours to go on a two-week tour in support of his latest album, … and they have escaped the weight of darkness, which was released at the end of April.

Reykjavík Needs Henrik Björnsson And His Music

Singapore Sling are one of the finer constants of Icelandic music.

Dr Gunni History of Icelandic Music Rock Part 18

Ahh... 1981. The best year in Iceland's rock history. At least for me, a 15 year old whose life music had taken over completely. Bubbi Morthens and his Utangarðsmenn—the most popular band in Iceland—were already passé for forward thinking dudes like myself.

A Breath Of Fresh Air

Oh boy, a lot has gone down in the seven months since the last Iceland Airwaves festival.

Smashing The System, One Release At A Time

I would guess that when most people think of the word “collective” they usually think of Stalinist Russia, dirty smelly hippies, or The Borg with their S&M kitchen tools.

Visualizing A Universe Of Hope

Since conquering the francophone World Music charts over the last decade, Amadou & Mariam from Mali have recently taken the rest of the music world by storm.

The Iceland Of My Heart

Lately, we hear a lot about Dubai being the Iceland of the desert or Greece being this year’s Iceland. Iceland, however, is more than just a metaphor for economic stupidity.

Dr. Gunni’s History Of Icelandic Rock Part 17

The rhythm section of Utangarðsmenn—Magnús and Rúnar—came from the tiny village of Raufarhöfn. Brothers Mike and Danny Pollock were the guitar players, two dudes with an Icelandic mother and an American father.

Dr. Gunni’s History Of Icelandic Rock Part 16

Punk and new wave came late to Iceland. In 1979, all Icelandic records were still either disco, foamy pop or Meat Loaf-imitations. Some punkerly types were lurking around, though...

kimono: Lowercase Ninjas keep piling it on

Mainstay indie-rock outfit kimono released one of 2009’s most critically lauded albums—Easy Music For Difficult People—four years after they unleashed the equally critically lauded LP Arctic Death Ship. The interim saw them move to Berlin, lose a founding member and... settle down.

The Progressive Folk Rock Brigade

In the seventies, Icelandic progressive folk music was mainly taken care of by two bands, Spilverk þjóðanna ("Plaything of the Nations") and Þursaflokkurinn ("Band of Titans"). It all started in legendarily artsy college MH, which would later become the breeding ground for lots of other bands.

Whooping It Up In 2009

For Icelanders, 2009 was in many ways a god-awful year. Still, there seems to be a hidden link between grim nightlife, gruesome partying and a bad national temperament-rate. So it’s easy to assert that Grapevine’s favorite pastime – getting shitfaced – had a strong year.

Artists Take Their Pick Of Music In 2009

We sorta abhor year-end lists over here at Grapevine HQ. At least when it comes to making them. That has always been a task, and whatever we’ve come up with in the past has in retrospect usually struck us as forced, rushed and ill thought out.

Looking Back On Another Fine Year Of Music

We sorta abhor year-end lists over here at Grapevine HQ. At least when it comes to making them. That has always been a task, and whatever we’ve come up with in the past has in retrospect usually struck us as forced, rushed and ill thought out.

Metal And Hardcore In 2009

The year in Metal? In order to kick the ol’ brain cell bundle into gear I got in touch with my friend to compare notes. He assured me that nothing noteworthy had happened beyond the Sororicide reunion and Sólstafir releasing their best work to date.

The Least Obnoxious Xmas Music - Ever

Christmas music is painful at best. Except it is actually Christmas—plus/minus a week. Hearing absolutely horrible songs like the Icelandic version of Wizzard’s I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday sung by heavy metal Eurovision contest dude Eiríkur Hauksson—say, in a crowded mall with red eyed people looking for gifts, gifts, gifts all around you—is pure hell.

The History of Icelandic Rock Music: Part 13

The same core players are involved in three of the best Icelandic bands from the seventies, Stuðmenn, Spilverk þjóðanna and Þursaflokkurinn. All are veritable institutions of Icelandic rock history.

The History of Icelandic Rock Music: Part 12

By the mid-seventies, indolent hippies were passé and nobody was really singing about love and peace anymore. Heavy drinking and wild hedonism were the order of the day, and this showed in pop lyrics.

You: Why are you wearing these dorky running shoes at Airwaves, man? Me: Because my feet hurt from watching all your shitty bands.

I was going to be the human iPod-shuffle last night, going from venue to venue regardless of if it was an official show or an off-venue. But then a New Jersey native who currently lives in New York wound up crashing on my couch for the weekend, and he didn’t have the precious Airwaves bracelet. So to Dillon we went.

There Will Be Klink

At the point where Coalesce and Brutal converge, the almighty Klink prey mercilessly on aural assault aficinados of the most radical stripe.
Fresh from five years in hiatus all manner of pent-up aggression so long dormant within the band teeters on the brink of eruption, and at the ungodly hour of 2 AM Saturday night at Sódóma, where Klink is headlining the Kerrang sponsored showcase, the boys are set to unleash a metalic onslaught of dire proportions.


Airwaves Goes Wild!

"Well, when lions have sex, there’s something really great about it."

Blue Lagoon, Fuck Yeah!

Two Grapevine interns defy the repercussions of the previous Airwaves night and head out to the Blue Lagoon and it's hangover party. And what a party!

Ólafur Arnalds

“I am Ólafur Arnalds. You can expect pretty much the same as at any other concert of mine: Piano, string quartet and some glitchy electronica.”


“What am I? Einar Örn, the other half Ghostigital. Also kingpin of but also: Fit and really working again. Out of breath! A bit harder, wiser and out of pocket! Dirty dancing.”

FM Belfast

“General nonsense, civil disobedience and dancing friends with blinking lights and loud music in 4/4.”

Check Out The Grapevine Off-Venue At Lost Horse Gallery Tomorrow

So this has been a pretty great festival thus far, all things considered. And it still has a bunch of greatness left, too. One of the great things that are left is the Grapevine sponsored off-venue show at Lost Horse gallery tomorrow (Saturday). At the Lost Horse, Grapevine's very own photographer, Julia Staples, is hosting a show entitled 'No Man's Land' along with GV art writer Lana Vogestad, and that is well worth visiting in itself. But add some gnarly free ice cream from Ísbúð Vesturbæjar...

Word on the Street

After the fingers and toes I’d start with the head, because I couldn’t bear him watching me as I eat the rest.

Crystal Antlers

“You should come to the show because it's our first time ever in Iceland, and we may never make it back again. We've also been working on new music for the past month and Reykjavík is going to be the first place we play our new songs.”



“We‘ve been playing together since we were small children, always with the same line-up, so we‘ve been friends for a long time. People can expect a powerful and lively performance from us at Airwaves, as usual.”



“Our Airwaves appearance will be probably be surreptitious in the clatter and commerce, nonetheless we will hopefully blow some minds and eardrums. In general, you can expect flag burnings, haddock fucking and hopefully a record soon from us.”


Matchmaker, Matchmaker, Make Me A Match

A musky aura of suspense hung in the air as Lucas (Austrian) and Tobias (Swiss), winners of our Win a Date Frímann Frímannsson contest, waited anxiously for the arrival of the man of the hour. Fifteen minutes later, Mr. Frímannsson himself glided into the bar, looking hip (as always) in an elegant trench coat and fancy hat. A few formalities, introductions, warnings, and instructions later, I pulled Frímann aside for a little interview.

Wednesday Airwaves Photos

Click for more.

Like A Bat Into Hell…

Cancer Bats have been making music as dark as their name suggests—angry, post-punk, post-hardcore metal that just raises just an occasional eyebrow to more mainstream rock—since 2004

Hear Ye! Hear Ye! Share with Us Your Tidings, Good Airwavers!

Chew on this: Attending Airwaves is, in many regards, like working a 9-5 job. Okay, just bear with me for a second and consider the facts.


“I´m Eberg, and you can expect me in more electric mood than usually at Airwaves. In general, you can expect a soft, tipsy guy who barks occasionally.”

You’ve got to hoooold on!

“Everything is live! No playbacks, no karaoke, great musicians and me in pink outfit with a lot of energy! It can’t fail!”


 “At Airwaves we will focus on new material off EM4DP and people can expect to be blown to smithereens. That is all.”

Airwaves Revisited

Photographer Ojay L'eroe has come to Iceland Airwaves almost as long as the festival has existed. He has seen the festival grow in size and scale and captured the progression of some of Iceland's most notorious acts as they flourished.

Dynamo Fog

“There seems to be this weird hype that we're some kind of fist fighting britpop-esque supergroup that does mountains of drugs and sleeps with celebrities, and I guess that's partly true in some ways, but more often than not, we're just three guys in a band.”

Moto Boy

“Let’s just say I’m the greatest singer since Julio Iglesias, and better looking, taller, handsomer, the works.”

Agent Fresco

"As a band, we promise you the most energetic and musically tight concert at this Airwaves."

Weapons at Iceland Airwaves

What you can expect from our appearance is that we will give it our best. And I will give it my best in general.    

There’s Also Icelandic Metal! Check it out!

The Airwaves festival is a good thing. Bunch of bands, amalgam of styles and genres. Couple of great bands, bunch of good ones, healthy dose of meh-bands and then there are the selected annoying, pretentious and pathetic bands.

The Jet Korine Guide To Buying Fashion During Airwaves

Jet Korine is a Reykjavík based fashion designer, stylist and costume designer. She hails from the Netherlands, although she has been in Iceland long enough for folks to call her an Icelander.

One With The Wolves

I first came across Ben’s music right around when Theory of Machines was released. Like most genres, electronic/experimental music can be very dull at times.

Squeegee enthusiast

I bought Tim Hecker’s LP Harmony in Ultraviolet off the shelf at NYC’s Other Music in 2006. Frankly, I nearly pissed myself when the album opener, Blood Rainbow, tore through my speakers for the first time.

Kasper Björke

I’ve been DJ-ing and making music for the past ten years – Icelanders might know me from one of my numerous DJ sets in Reykjavik for the past five years, or my collaboration with FM Belfast, Back & Spine, on my last album.
Its really important to come to my DJ sets this year, ‘cause there’ll be a fire-show and a juggler, and a snow-mountain builder!


Casiokids! Give us a short introduction of yourself! Why should the uninitiated check out your show?

High Fidelity

If you’re a serious musicologist you’ll know that vinyl is the ultimate form for experiencing music.

Got A Thing For Them

Since playing the Iceland Airwaves festival in 2005, Joseph Mount and his outfit Metronomy has gone from being a solo project to a full-blown electro-pop band.

The Young Composer’s Guide To Reykjavík Dining

Reykjavík is a funny town for food: the cheap places aren’t always fabulous and the fabulous places aren’t ever cheap.  However, there are a few ways to construct a soothing itinerary. There is one that I usually do alone, and another is better in pairs.

Endless Summers – Now In Iceland!

One of the most interesting international acts to play Airwaves this year is without a doubt New York [via Florida] transplants The Drums. The band was founded earlier this year (!)

Airwaves Survival Guide

It’s been a long journey, but here you are! You got through the treacherous Leif Eiríksson Air Terminal and braved the FlyBus into Reykjavík and made it in one piece. Congratulations! Now what?

The History of Icelandic Rock Music: Part 11

By spring of 1973, both Gunnar Þórðarson and Rúnar Júlíusson had turned 28.

Coming in the Airwaves Tonight...

Finally! The biggest party before the winter comedown is less than a month away.

The History of Icelandic Rock Music: Part 10

Pétur Kristjánsson was the hardest-working rocker of the seventies. In a decade laden with frothy pop music, country ballads and disco, Pétur kept the rock and roll flames burning.

To Ride, Shoot Straight...

Entombed are holed up in their dressing room, busy rehearsing a stand-in bassist, as mainstay Nico Elgstrand had a baby just the previous Monday.

Advanced Retrön & Dragons

RETRÖN is a strange animal. Loved by hipsters and metalheads alike, there's much to be said about this unique band.

The History of Icelandic Rock Music: Part 9

The Icecross album from 1973 has in recent times fetched high prices on the international psych record market.

Five Awesome Bars In Reykjavík

Do you like drinking? ‘Duh,’ you say? Good. Whether you are here for a while or just on the classic flying weekend visit, you can’t come to Iceland without pounding a few back.

No Tents Please

It started with a conga line, entwining the reasonably sized audience of friends into a daisy chain of drunken merriment and awkward expression for those who reluctantly joined—Batteríið had opened its doors to the madness of <3 Svanhvít.

The History of Icelandic Rock Music: Part 8

It is the beginning of 1971 and yet another line-up for the premium hippie band Trúbrot is born. Trúbrot 3.0 has organist Karl Sighvatsson and drummer Gunnar Jökull back on board. The latest recruit, pianist Magnús Kjartansson, is still a member, and the old stalwarts from Hljómar—Rúnar Júlíusson and Gunnar Þórðarson—round off this five-piece powerhouse version of Hljómar.

The History of Icelandic Rock Music: Part 7

Icelandic popular music has in every major way developed similarly to pop music internationally. By 1969, Icelandic pop was – much like abroad – increasingly being divided into two major classes: lightweight pop for the masses (AKA “bubblegum” or “commercial” music) and heavy and deep pop (not called rock until later, as in 1969 the term just reminded everybody of Elvis) for the forward thinking music lover (AKA “progressive” music).

Hljómar Invent Icelandic Pop

During 1967 and ‘68, Hljómar were once again the major band in Iceland.

Glastonburied With Emiliana Torrini

Love and hate. Looks like it’s going to rain again. Torrentially. That’s nothing new, seeing that it usually rains at Glastonbury.

A Conversation With Björk

As part of the promotional campaign for the new Voltaic box set, Björk Guðmundsdóttir gave out several interviews to the local press. Grapevine was invited to participate, and we of course jumped at the chance.

Girls Moderately Aloud

HOT. The only word that needs be used in order to fully describe the atmosphere when my colleague and I walked into Hemmi and Valdi. The place felt like a sauna, minus the oak covered walls, pleasant tree sap aroma and the odd hairy dude wrapped in small towel. A cold drink was certainly in order.


Our Favourite Bar!

Karamba is a uniquely awesome place on Laugavegur: colourful, fun and completely free of pretensions.

The History of Icelandic Rock Music: Part 5

The Beatles had completely changed the landscape of the pop scene and therefore, by 1965, every Icelandic garage was full of young boys (and way too few girls) belting out Beatle covers and other hits du jour.


It was that time of the year again; the time when youngsters emerge from their garages with stars in their eyes, hoping to follow in the footsteps of their heroes. It was Músíktilraunir time! And Grapevine was there, every step of the way!

What lurks By The Deep?

Ísafjörður annually hosts the classical music festival Við Djúpið – an unfailing, classical sibling of the celebrated carnival Aldrei fór ég suður – but Við Djúpið is just as prestigious and fun a festival. This one is also equally musically adventurous, no mean feat in the classical world.

The History of Icelandic Rock Music: Part 4

Having been the island’s pop superstars for a whole year, Hljómar set out to conquer the rest of the world in the summer of 1965. This was the first, but definitely not the last, case of Icelandic pop musicians trying to “make it” abroad.
    Reynir Oddsson, a young film director, offered to make a feature film about the band’s antics, concentrating on the Icelandic “country dance” phenomenon. The band was convinced to foot half of the movie’s bill. Shooting started in July 1965 and lasted for three months. All in all, 27 hours of Hljómar playing at various places out in the country were captured on film, with all the hippest dudes and chicks of the times doing the go-go on the side. The movie was called Umbarumbamba, which presumably means some kind of “South African love declaration.”

Sticks and Stones May Break My Bones But Ink Will Never Hurt Me

Loved by many and hated by mothers all across the world, tattoos are an ever-growing fashion accessory in popular modern society. But for some, tattoos are more than an accessory – they’re a way of life, so why not celebrate this? The Icelandic Tattoo Festival does just that. This year, Sódóma plays host to the festival that goes on THIS VERY WEEKEND (unless you’re reading this too late).

Beneath winner of Wacken Metal Battle in Iceland.

Beneath winner of Wacken Metal Battle in Iceland.

The History of Icelandic Rock

The development of rock music was much the same in Iceland as in the rest of the world. First we had “early-American rock” copycats, then a bunch of Cliff and The Shadows soundalikes, and then when all hell broke lose with Beatlemania, we had ourselves some Hljómar-mania.

The History of Icelandic Rock

Reykjavík, late fifties. Once rock ‘n’ roll had arrived fresh and powerful, the kids born around 1940 fell flat for it.

The History of Icelandic Rock

Iceland 1956. Only few years have passed since Icelanders lived in mud huts and died young.

Five years on...

As Van “The Man” Morrison once sagely noted: “Music is spiritual; the music industry is not”. We all know which side of the fence Icelandic music falls on (usually drunkenly), but last month in Reykjavik we’ve had both sides of the story. While Iceland Airwaves let loose its usual sonic juju, a music conference called You Are In Control took care of what we might call ‘the business end’.

Handsome Furs

The Handsome Furs for Dinner at Grapevine journalist's Haukurs house. Did they bring wine?


The celebrated solo-musician Johan Karlson comes from the small town of Hässleholm in southern Sweden. For the last year or so, he has travelled around Europe under the moniker Familjen (The Family) to charm worked-up electro admirers at every stop. Last month, Familjen was one of the biggest acts playing the Iceland Airwaves festival. When he had satisfied the crowd with his high-pitched tunes the Grapevine caught up with him in the green room.


Miri, our saviours from the East! They are as honest, loving and pure as any band on the Airwaves bill – good old country boys with no agenda but to entertain themselves and their audience, having a good time, making connections, earning friends and playing some great tunes to whomever will listen. Which is of course rock music at its finest: friendly, curious, exciting and loving. The Grapevine sat down with drummer Ívar Pétur Kjartansson and bassist Hjalti Jón Sverrrisson, the rhythm section, making sure this interview runs smoothly and has a steady backbeat.


"We have banging beats and fire"

Great Scot! Biffy Clyro Invade Iceland

Biffy Clyro have had one hell of a year.

Desertification Way Up North

Brant Bjork and the Bros

Punk in Fast Forward

Many interesting ideas saw light of day but the show suffered for its brevity.

Rock Stars in the Making

Sign proved they are ready, willing and able to rock.

Pets of the Press

Retro-Stefson on their forthcoming full-length and future plans

Esja is a Mountain of a Band

We won’t refer to Esja as a supergroup, even though they have the pedigree to back the “super” along with the unity to support “group”.

Only Amusing When Desperate

As soon as Grapevine heard rumours about a forthcoming full-length release from the dance moguls in FM Belfast they sent a reporter to find out whether the stories were factual. It wasn’t exactly easy reaching the rising stars but after several attempts of getting them all together it finally happened.

The Sweaty Musical Armpit

This summer marks the advent of two exciting releases from two of the scene’s youngest and most promising rock bands, Mammút and Slugs.

Everyone’s Invited!

"We once had to leave a harmonium organ up on the middle of the mountain on the way there during mid-winter, we couldn’t make it the whole way on account of the snow."

Airwaves 2008

The tenth annual Iceland Airwaves music festival will be held this fall starting on Wednesday October 15 and finishing the following Sunday.

Sugarcubes, Björk LPs Get Luxury Treatment

The Sugarcubes and Björk’s back catalogues to be reissued on deluxe heavyweight vinyl

Just the Same Old Rainbow

Despite all their enthusiasm to explore the full capacity of emotional expression in music, Hraun’s work is disappointingly shallow.


Youngsters Muck were already in full swing by the time I arrived at the tiny room on the second level of Bar 11, which somebody had sadly mistaken as a suitable venue for a live rock show.

Mike Monday

Everybody makes mistakes and I guess that really applies to everyone, even the Icelandic music-moguls of Jón Jónsson.

Super Mama Djombo

A week prior to the concert I received the Super Mama Djombo CD Ar Puro, and as soon as the notes hit my ear drums I was hooked.

Your Guide to This Summer’s Releases

2007 proved to be a good year for Icelandic music. Next year promises to be equally good.

The Faroese Islands

The Faroese invasion achieves momentary success at Organ.

Agent Fresco - Dr. Spock

Newly crowned kings of the newcomers, Agent Fresco, mix jazz and metal influenes, while Dr. Spock feed off their recent TV success.

Misery Index

Baltimore’s Misery Index proves that a good dose of metal is the best cure for recession.

The Last Days of the Labels

The technological changes that the internet has brought our society, coupled with diminishing costs artists face when recording their music, have put the industry into a deer-in-the-headlights scenario.

Folk and Frost


It’s Our Party, and We’ll Play if We Want to

Averaging anywhere between three and eight members depending on the day and circumstance, FM Belfast is a rare breed of electronica that sporadically borrows talent from the scene’s most prominent bands. Their club anthem and single Lotus will be released in December by TFR along with remixes by Kasper Bjørke and Télépopmusik. The Grapevine sat down with Árni Rúnar Hlöðversson and Árni Vilhjálmsson in the wake of Airwaves madness to discuss the life of a band that plays by its own rules. (NOTE: this is an interview with two persons named Árni; it will require some extra attention.)

The Grapevine Guide to the Airwaves Personalities

Since this is a special Airwaves preview issue, it is only fair to use this space to prepare some of the citizens and tourists here in Reykjavík for what they can expect. During the festival, the city will be overtaken by a creepy lot of people, collectively known as the ‘music industry.’ Some of them are rather friendly, while others are quite dangerous. You should know the difference. To this service, I have put together a short guide that will help you recognise the different types, and the usual dos and don’ts.

Countdown to Airwaves: 4 Weeks

Iceland Airwaves participants are being announced. All in all, over 190 bands and solo artists will perform at the festival, which is way more than ever before. Iceland Airwaves will take place in just over three weeks, which means that none of us will have time to properly acquaint ourselves with the many, many masterful acts we’ll be able to feast our eyes upon come that long, lager-soaked weekend in October. A great task is at hand.

Confessions of an Art-Terrorist, Part II

Few Icelandic musicians remain as active as former Þeyr, KUKL and Sugarcubes drummer Sigtryggur Baldursson. Last issue, Sigtryggur talked a Grapevine journalist through his career up to and including the Sugarcubes. This week, we find out what happened after the Sugarcubes disbanded.

Confessions of an Art-Terrorist

Few Icelandic musicians remain as active as former Þeyr, KUKL and Sugarcubes drummer Sigtryggur Baldursson. Wherever two musicians come together to play music, it seems destined that he will join them soon to bang the drums. Sigtryggur has played with so many different acts that it is nearly impossible to keep track. A Grapevine journalist sat down with this productive musician and discussed his past, leading up to the Sugarcubes. At a later date, we will bring you another instalment, where we find out what happened post-Sugarcubes.

The Boys Dance Too

2004 was undeniably the year of Franz Ferdinand, when the Scottish four-piece along with their self-titled debut ploughed the dancepop- rock competition in record sales all over the world, winning them the UK’s coveted Mercury Music Prize. In September 2005, the band played Kaplakriki in Hafnafjörður, right before releasing their second record, You Could Have It So Much Better, which debuted on the UK charts at Number 1. The Grapevine caught up with bassist Robert Hardy over the phone from Glasgow to discuss the upcoming release of the band’s third effort and their second Icelandic appearance, this time at NASA on September 14, along with support from local teen darlings Jakobínarína.

The Accidental Musician

The Icelandic musician Einar Tönsberg, better known as Eberg, has released ‘musical accidents’ for 5 years. His smooth electronic beats, delightful melodies and strangely eloquent lyrics can be heard on two album releases and various TV shows around the world. He has been described as one of the most original laptop troubadours around. Recent play on American television has definitely boosted Eberg’s fan-base and with his current work ethic and endless imagination, we can expect a lot more wonderful quirks to come. A Grapevine journalist sat down with the producer/ musician recently to chat about what’s been happening, and what’s to come.


Stephan Bodzin: Liebe ist Luna

Techno’s golden boy, Stephan Bodzin from Germany, touched down in Iceland for 48 hours in the beginning of June. A Grapevine journalist met with him to talk about the ongoing beat.

The Motion Boys Fear For Their Success

It seems like everyone is talking about the perky duo the Motion Boys at the moment. A band of two, Birgir Ísleifur, (former member of Byltan and Motherfuckers in the House) and Árni +1 (from FM Belfast and Hairdoctor), the Motion Boys, although without a record deal and only two songs released, have become the hype of the summer. It doesn’t hurt that the band’s live line-up features Mínus drummer Bjössi, Trabant members Viddi and Gísli Galdur, and Tobbi, a former member of Jeff Who?. Local radio station DJs can’t seem to get enough of their high-end electro-pop singles and the danceable tunes have scored big with the local party crowd. Grapevine sat down with Biggi and Árni at Prikið to learn a little more about their collaboration.

Standing in the Desert, Thinking of Rain

On day one of the 2007 Coachella Valley Music Festival, Jarvis Cocker offered the weekend’s most touching, politically poignant observation: “This is very different than England. I’m going to sing a song about rain, but this is the desert and it doesn’t even rain here.”

The Brotherhood of the Negative

Iceland’s favourite sons of rock n’ roll, collectively known as Mínus, are back at it. After being hailed as the saviours of metal by several esteemed rock publications following their third studio release – Halldór Laxness in 2003 – this April will finally see them release a long-awaited follow up: The Great Northern Whalekill. A Grapevine reporter sat down with two members of the band, guitarist Bjarni and drummer Bjössi, and learned more about their feelings of brotherhood and their fear of disappointment.

A Celebration of All Things Good

The fourth annual Aldrei fór ég suður festival took place in Ísafjörður this Easter weekend, having grown to a two-day affair. An estimated 2000 attended, 37 acts played, most of them didn’t suck and everyone had a good time.

194 Young People Who Just Wanted to Rock

Concert disaster is a good chance to understand a little of Argentina

Sigur Rós




Blues Gone Wild


Entertain Us


White Stripes


Goodbye airwaves

Who: Deathmetal-Supersquad Skátar Fighting Shit Jakobínarína Where: The Cave

KIRA KIRAEverything but the Elves

At the moment, Kira Kira is helping to put up the exhibition of the graduates of the Iceland Academy of the Arts, which opens on May 7th at Kjarvalsstadir. Her contribution is a video, shot on 16mm film, called “Drepst úr rómantík” or “Romantic Undead”. It is about a ghost who slithers inside a dictaphone which in turn starts playing a romantic song in a high-pitched voice. In the end, the dictaphone explodes

Alice Cooper




Live Music Review:Innipúkinn

The Innipúkinn music festival, which took place during the Merchant’s Holiday weekend at the beginning of this month, had some two dozen bands lined up, including such well-known acts as Singapore Sling, Cat Power and the Raveonettes. While some questioned the logistics of having only one venue, NASA, for them all, to me it was certainly better than having to choose between two bands I wanted to see who were playing simultaneously on two different stages. That’s the whole essence of Innipúkinn, which loosely translates as “homebody” - you stay indoors for a long period of time. For those of you who couldn’t attend, here are some highlights from the occasion.

The Nohito and Other Brennivín Cocktails

When the nicest guy in rock, Dave Grohl, recently visited Iceland again, he insisted that the local rotgut, Brennivín, was the best liquor in the world. Rumor is that he wants to import it to America on the large scale.







Foo Fighters


One Man, Many Bands:

To begin with, the conditions: a) camping area, rocky and burned ground with spots of grass occasionally visible; b) the food, potato chips, slimy cold burgers, spaghetti, cocktails and skunked Tuborg beer. These may have affected the following reviews adversely, as malnutrition and poor sleep tend to do. But below are the highlights, as best as Benni could document.

Come, Thou Divine Mistake!:

A Poet’s Guide to Mid-Summer Revelry at Verslunarmannahelgin

Touch Sveitaball, May 28, Þinghús Bar and Grill, Hvammstangi

“I guess people really need to unwind. It’s good to have a sveitaball like this once a summer to let off steam,” my friend tells me just after we have helped a young woman get first aid from a bite to her stomach.

Ian Curtis Tribute NightMay 19 Gaukur á Stöng

To begin with, we should name the winners: Worm is Green, Singapore Sling and the Pollock Brothers Ah, but was there a competition? Well, let’s explain the idea of the Icelandic tribute concert. They’ll tribute damned near anyone here: I will never forget the three-day festival honouring the musical oeuvre of Baltimora.

ALABAMA THUNDERPUSSYApril 27 Grand Rokk, supported by Brain Police

My first observation about Alabama Thunderpussy’s second show at Grand Rokk is that the band was surprisingly tight... and moist. Rarely do bands sweat so much, so early on, at a moderately chilly bar on a cold night in Iceland.


This year’s set of concerts on the First Day of Summer made the whole Grapevine staff misty-eyed. And then runny-eyed. Then we all got a kind of mad-cow gaze. Then the vast majority of this otherwise distinguished paper committed unspeakable acts of depravity. .

DURAN DURAN Rumoured Preparing for Iceland Visit: Wham fans fear for life

The Duran Duran-Wham conflict happened around 20 years ago. But for those who lived through the horror of this conflict, the scars – and the anger – still remain.


“ When I play music, I am playing around like a child,” says Sigríður Níelsdóttir as she lifts her legs and pretends to play the Casio with her feet. She selects the flavour of her tea by closing her eyes and picking a teabag from a little wooden box. She is the kind of old lady who has the wisdom of age but is still young at heart. Within three hours she has told me more about the history of Germany than my German grandparents have in their entire lifetimes.

CURVER SÆR 1991-1994

Sea Change

HURTING MY DICK: A Review of the Rolling Stones

From the get-go you might have to dig deep to find a reason to buy this CD. It isn’t until track 6 on “It’s Only Rock n Roll” that the band really comes to life and starts shootin’ from the hip. It becomes obvious that a little more objectivity and ambition is needed in the Stones camp regarding live releases. I have bootlegs that, as usual, blow the official live CDs out of the water.

PALLI and KALLI: Do they care?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few months, you will have heard of Idol. Kinda makes you wish you were living under a rock, doesn’t it? Iceland’s very first Idol, Kalli Bjarni, is in many ways the perfect choice; a good-looking sailor from a small harbour town, a family man and an overall nice guy that swept “the nation” off its feet. It’s also very hard to fault him for the predictable shortcomings of his debut because even if someone else had won the “prestigious award,” I’m positive his or her album would have sounded pretty much the same. The producers stick to a given formula and Kalli Bjarni gladly obliges because he is, after all, living the dream of being a pop-star.

Don´t mention Nick Drake

Nick Drake...there, I’ve said it. I’ll try not to mention his name again throughout this review as I’m sure Doddi, like so many like-minded artists, will attract endless comparisons to the late maestro if he continues developing the best ideas on show here. For two thirds of this homemade cd-r though, he focuses on subtle instrumental pieces that easily pass Brian Eno’s definition of ambient music and how it should be as ignorable as it is interesting, which pretty much sums up the whole album.


Prussian Blue is a folk group comprised of Lamb and Lynx Gaede, two 12-year-old girls who sing and play guitar and violin. In an interview with Vice magazine, they explained the reason for their name

Like a Kraftwerk Christmas Album Had There Ever Been One

Classic Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin versions of Christmas songs have achieved a certain kitsch value in recent years, and there´s the annual boy band ballad with inserted bell tolling sound effect and the video of them looking cute in fake snow. Then there are the eighties efforts, to be avoided at all costs, such as Bruce Springsteens’ “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” (you leave my Bruce out of this -ed.). And finally there is the Glam Rock Christmas template, recreated perfectly recently by The Darkness, which helped to place the Christmas genus firmly back on the record shop shelves...




However captivating, intriguing and special the Reykjavík music scene might be, there is also a dark side to it. With all these fantastic bands just outside your doorstep, people seem to be spoiled by outstanding, challenging music. New adventures in hifi are praised perpetually while more conventional approaches are easily overlooked. But has anybody ever considered that the simple beauty of music can be even more challenging than any lets-push-this-button-and turn-this-amp-up-so-we-get-some-strange-sounds-attitude?

LOCALS ROCK AIRWAVES, Despite the Imports

When I saw Keane, The Stills and The Shins on the lineup for this year’s Airwaves festival, I expected the worst. The Iceland Airwaves Festival would be an innocuous gathering of bands you put on an iPod because they don’t disrupt the flow. (Or bands you listen to at work because you don’t like silence, but you don’t want to be distracted.)

Apparat Organ Quartet

Who says that solid, long-lasting relationships can’t come out of an orgy? The boys from Apparat Organ Quartet would strongly disagree. The group was first assembled in 1999 under the auspices of Kitchen Motors Records at one of their “orgy of…” concerts, this one centered on electronic organ players.

“There simply has to be a song in the world called ‘Brad Pitt’”

Listening to Bacon, a new project by the duo Gísli Már Sigurjónsson and Guðmundur Kristjánsson, is certainly a mixed experience. Songs might start out as hard-hitting dance floor material, but often end with something completely different. On their debut mini album “Krieg”, which is the first part of an ongoing trilogy, they’ve managed to fit everything from furious breakcore to sleazy jazz. I met Gísli to try to clear things up a bit.

Attacking the Very Thing You´re Defending:An examination of the latter day lyrics of NICK CAVE

“Get ready for love,” is the first thing Nick Cave utters on his new album, promising not very great things to come. Cave the murder balladeer has been writing about love for the past decade on a string of albums with few peers in popular music.


Of bands showcasing original music with tight harmonicas, honky tonk acoustic guitar, and raucous bucket playing in the 101 area of Reykjavík, The Foghorns are at least in the top twenty. The Grapevine caught up with Bart, singer for The Foghorns, during a recent gig at Hressingarskálinn. In a spat of fantastically irresponsible journalism and performing, the interview took place entirely inside the singer’s head between the first and second verse of “So Sober.”

Accidental ReggaeHjálmar

Is Hjálmar Iceland’s only reggae group? Band member Siggi Guðmundsson strongly disagrees.


IN POSSE. “We met at The Reykjavík School of Music in 1996 and started as a summer project doing paid concerts in people’s gardens. Just classical,” explains María Huld, one of Anima´s violinists. “Then we started to do more studio work with bands because no one else was around to do it.” The group was originally called Anima, Latin for spirit, chosen frantically out of a Latin dictionary before their first performance.

Sunday beers with Úlpa

In a gig this summer at Grand Rokk, Úlpa reminded me of Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem, the Muppets in-house rock band. They stand out as Reykjavík’s most popular jam band, with a vocal style approaching revival music. They are also a band made up of people you see daily at the bars who, when you speak to them, honestly seem like they would never get on a stage.


Trabant has a problem. They have a growing, enthusiastic fan base and no CD to give them. A limited release EP Live at Bessastaðir is sold out. Their track “Nasty Boy” dominates late nights at Sirkús and Kaffibarinn, but you have to know someone to get it. So this September, Trabant went to Keflavík, the Detroit of Iceland, to record their first full-length album in years.






I remember the first time I heard about the Sugarcubes. I was watching MTV, and some correspondent was in a club, yammering away about a band from Iceland touring the US. Behind him, said band was playing. Einar Örn was blasting a trumpet, Björk was dancing alongside him, and the rest of the band were acting comparitively normal. The music made a pretty good impression on me, and I still think they’re one of the better bands to come out of Iceland. Which is why, some fifteen years later and in a band of my own, I was kind of surprised to hear that I was going to be recording with the Sugarcubes drummer, Sigtryggur Baldursson.


Do girls´ breasts grow bigger in the summer? Are they made out of some sort of material that expands by volume when heated, like water does when it freezes? Goddamn this heatwave. How are you supposed to think about anything else when it’s a pair of perky ones this way, a pair of bouncy ones that, a pair of pretty ones all over.

Harvesting the Fertile Imagination: Múm comes home

We are on the brink of catastrophe in the backyard of 12 Tónar music shop. The crowd is growing anxious as Múm’s singer, Kristín, has yet to arrive, the sky is threatening a downpour of biblical proportions and the band’s million and one wires and gizmos strewn all over the grass make the rather romantic notion of singing in the rain a fiery death-wish. Like a superheroin in a vintage dress, Kristín comes swooping in with her accordion in tow and out of the chaos rises the subduing strains of Green Grass of Tunnel. Múm have grown in size.

Music for the Masses

Böddi, the lead singer of Touch, is a tall, muscled blond kid with gelled hair and a penchant for Hawaiian shirts a la Old Navy, the ideal FM Hnakki that the Sirkús crowd mocks. He is not ironic. He doesn’t poke fun at anyone but himself. He is simply hard for anyone with insecurities to like. Perhaps more annoyingly, he can sing, too. And his band, Touch, can play, and will play and entertain for as long as their more and more rabid fan base can take them. The band recently put on two and three hour concerts for three days at the Pizza 67 tent at the Westman Islands festival. I attended the band’s performance on Gay Pride Day at Da Palace.


On August 11, Icelandic hip hop hit a milestone: more than 5000 fans filled Laugardalshöll for the country’s largest ever hip hop concert. True, at the top of the bill there was G-Unit, the American hip hop crew featuring 50 Cent. But Quarashi, XXX Rottweiler, and young MCs Huxin and Dóri DNA definitely supported the P I M P from Jamaica Queens.


There´s nothing like a blowjob in the wild. You´ll never be as close to nature. Sometimes you can even feel God. Every summer, young men leave the city in droves hoping for sex in a sleeping bag or that elusive blowjob in the wild. Now, sex in a sleeping bag ain´t all that great. The ground is hard and if the tent is small, your head tents to bump into it, or even out of it, as you move back and forth. Still, this is traditionally most Icelanders first run-in with sex, so you tend to be grateful.


Hot water is probably the reason anybody settled here in the first place. Who cares about the unforgiving weather if you can have a steaming stream running through your hut, and a natural hot tub in your backyard? Endless hot water on tap is easy to get used to, and fooling around in it becomes a way of life from an early age.


The poet must find the medium to suit the times. In ancient Greece, Homer and his cohorts would sing their epic poems.


On August 6th, PoppTíví will broadcast from the Battle of the MCs at Gaukur á Stöng. The favorite to win goes by the name of Dóri DNA. He won the battle two years ago and is always a finalist, though he has faltered recently. He is also coming out with a new album in a few months which promises to change the face and the production value of Icelandic hip hop. And he’s Halldór Laxness’s grandson.

While the Headbangers Are Away, the Homebodies Will Play: INNIPÚKINN 2004

The hip-hop group Skytturnar led the crowd in a mass “fuck you” towards the Westmen Islands on this holiday weekend, but the turnout for Innipúkinn 2004 was anything but jealous of their fellow countrymen stuck out in the rain and cold. By the warm glow of Iðnó’s stage, the homebodies of Reykjavík gathered and reveled in being the dregs of this year’s Verslunarmannahelgi.

Revolution or social extinction?

Is it really so revolutionary to sit here waiting and expecting some beautifully life-changing art reinvention to arrive, heralded by trumpets and bagpipes? I was at a very depressing party a few weeks ago, where I felt my apathy and hedonism slide into a deep concern for my generation´s mark on the history tablets. I was in a downstairs bedroom watching a good friend of mine while he was drumming on the host´s silver Yamaha drums.


They say guys trade love for sex and girls trade sex for love. They are, on occasion, right. Sometimes you give too much away of one without getting enough of the other, and misery results. Sometimes a shaky equilibrium is maintained, and marriage results. Which usually ends up with both parties losing interest in both commodities.


Being a relatively new band at the tender age of six months, Brúðarbandið deserves a proper introduction. Kata, Unnur, Gugga, Sigga, Eygló, Melkorka and Sunna are the seven girls releasing their debut album on the 22nd of July. Although they have just started, they have named their album Meira! (or More! as the English speaker might say).

Finding everything you lost on the way

I sailed past the monstrous bouncers with celebrity suave and straight into the lobby. After overcoming my initial relief (I was underage and had no fake ID), I looked around me as I waited patiently in the ticket line and studied the place admiringly. The least understood, or at least the most misunderstood place, in Reykjavík.


Every time a production of Hair goes up anywhere in the world, the question resounds, “Is Hair relevant today?” It’s really a pedantic question, not because there are current events comparable to Vietnam, but because we are increasingly aware of the abundant injustices present in the world and are constantly grappling with our desires to fight them. Until we are all living blissfully, feeding dried fish to one another, calm and happy and enthralled, we can put that question to rest.


The bachelor party was in full swing when I arrived. The groom-to-be was lying sleeping on the bed, having had his trousers removed by a humorist after passing out, and was sleeping on top of an equally clad compatriot. A very drunk man was standing, and having trouble doing so, by the grill, burning the remains of a chicken. Outside, a couple of the guests were going through the motions of the beginning stages of a fight without seemingly knowing why.


The bachelor party was in full swing when I arrived. The groom-to-be was lying sleeping on the bed, having had his trousers removed by a humorist after passing out, and was sleeping on top of an equally clad compatriot. A very drunk man was standing, and having trouble doing so, by the grill, burning the remains of a chicken. Outside, a couple of the guests were going through the motions of the beginning stages of a fight without seemingly knowing why.


On Thursday the 15th of July, the bar Sirkus was full of people. What looked like an audition for the Village People with cowboys, construction workers and leather-clad bikers was actually the third annual Tom Selleck competition, dedicated to the art of growing and mowing a moustache.

Singapor Sling

Singapore Sling is preparing to go on a brief North American tour to prepare audiences for their second album, “Life is Killing My Rock n’ Roll.” Henrik Björnsson, tall and slight with an I - got - beat - up - in - school - and - may - be - toting - a - gun - in - my - collector’s - lunchbox vibe, waits patiently for the rest of the band in his practice studio at Klink og Bank...

Tom Waits


Danny Pollock



After punk, Icelandic music suddenly became something that was taken seriously on the international stage. The Sugarcubes made it. Then, about a decade later, came Sigurrós. Who´s next?


Here’s the important thing: Sigur Rós is recording a brilliant new album at their studio in Mosfellsbær. The band, which recently celebrated their tenth birthday, is working together at a level that will astonish fans and anybody interested in contemporary music. Sigur Rós are critics’ darlings and they have a fanatic fan base - next year, they will prove they deserved all the attention and they will get much, much bigger.

Outclassing Metallica

On Sunday, July 4th, Metallica played the biggest rock show in the history of Iceland. Six percent of the country’s population attended the show. Mínus shared the bill. If the Icelandic media was paying attention to American rockers, the international press was starting to notice Mínus. An hour before going on stage in front of 18,000 of his fellow countrymen, Krummi, lead singer of Mínus, spoke with me for half an hour about anything I wanted to discuss.