A Grapevine service announcement Pay attention: Holuhraun, still spewing lava. Bárðarbunga, still sinking.
Culture
Music
You Could Have Had It So Much Better

You Could Have Had It So Much Better

Published January 12, 2007

I had been looking forward to seeing The Brian Jonestown Massacre perform for the longest time. Throughout the years, their albums have given me hours of enjoyment and some of their songs have touched me in a way most rock songs do not.
What I did not look forward to, however, was the sight of a dead-drunk dude wandering around a stage, crying out for bottles of vodka while his bemused band members tried to seem less embarrassed than they obviously were (save for recently returned tambourine-man Joel Gion, who managed to look completely disinterested at all times). Sadly, this was exactly what the main part of BJM’s set amounted to. Endless disappointment.
After what seemed like an eternity of the band plugging in and tuning up, and eventually tuning out, Newcombe handed out salt pastilles to the adoring crowd before a familiar drone sounded and the show commenced. And for a good 20 minutes, all went according to plan. They played classics, and they played them well, the crowd danced and folks sang along. At its best their music grabs you by the nerve endings and drags you along.
Then Newcombe wanted some vodka.
The intervals between songs got increasingly longer as the show went on. Various requests for drinks, tuning up, handing out salt pastilles, and looking bored while the crowd got increasingly thin, dragged on for all too long. While every BJM fan knows that the band has a reputation for rowdy onstage behaviour, fighting among themselves, baiting the audience, I refuse to believe that’s what they all came to see. That would be underestimating the music – which is good at its worst, enchanting at its best – and its fans.
Maybe BJM were just moving in on a five-hour set, something that would have evened the bullshit/music balance to a nice equilibrium. That was not to be, however, for the venue closed at one and pulled the plug as BJM prepared to go into their next song. Alas, no one had apparently informed them of Iceland’s drinking laws, so they never managed to play the evening’s purported set. Too fucking bad.
Decadence has for long been a staple of rock music. It’s part of the reasons it’s good. Drinking, drugs, fighting and unprotected sex probably amount to about 75 percent of why people like certain types of rock ‘n’ roll; watching someone live out hedonistic, self-destructive fantasies can provide catharsis and a sense of cool essential to the type of rock BJM play. But, goddammit, they need to play it too. It’s not enough to stand around onstage, drinking and looking cool. If that was all the audience were after, they could just as well have saved some money by going to Kaffi Stígur to watch the local bums cavort.



Culture
Music
<?php the_title(); ?>

Time To Get Planny! The Airwaves Schedule Is Up

by

In case anyone missed it, Iceland Airwaves have released the official festival schedule in the shape of this handy PDF. Once you’ve scanned the lineup (and, if your taste lies on the art-pop side, realised with mounting horror that Future Islands (pictured) and The Knife are a direct Saturday night clash), you can head over to the Airwaves website and start constructing your personalised schedule here. The festival’s official lineup kicks off on the evening of Wednesday 5th November, but for early arrivals or particularly eager festival-goers, there’ll be music throughout Wednesday daytime too. The “off-venue” schedule will be dropping

Culture
Music
<?php the_title(); ?>

Autumnal Blues

by and

The pouring rain in the past couple of weeks has made it painfully obvious: autumn is upon us. It’s the time of the year when it’s best to stay inside, curl up in a foetal position under a blanket and drink some hot cocoa. For that kind of non-activity you need a soundtrack. Here is ours. Megas: “Tvær Stjörnur”  Autumn is a time for heartbreak if there ever was one, and “Tvær stjörnur,” a song about lost love and the inevitable passing of time, is Megas at his most romantic and bittersweet. Megas, whose vocals are usually raspy and indistinct,

Culture
Music
<?php the_title(); ?>

Biophilia Keeps Growing

by

Björk’s Biophilia continues to run and run, still growing new branches and tendrils three years after its live premiere at the Manchester International Festival. One addition is Biophilia 203, a continuation of the education project that the album spawned, which is currently making it’s way out of Iceland and into the curriculum of other Scandinavian countries. The project has been taken up by the Nordic Council of Ministers until 2016, after going through a refining process via a group of notable Nordic scientists, professors and educators, and Björk herself. “I knew from the start was that this would be the only

Culture
Music
<?php the_title(); ?>

PU$$WHIPPE ’93 MANIFESTOEN

by

“I don’t give a fuck/on that new school punk shit,/ all these niggas suck/this that new school funk shit,/Dizzee fell off /and Kano did too” Bounequou Fitzroi, aka Zack Taylor, from the song “SHUT THE FUCK UP” Much like the above-quoted dope UK hip-hop track, LORD PUSSWHIP is a critical reaction to the local music scene; to the inertia and nepotism of the Icelandic music industry; to typical small-town boredom. I do not want to make music that’s easy, formulaic or safe. I want the explosiveness—the fun, the surprise, the batshit insanity. We Icelanders are so open-minded and of course

Culture
Music
<?php the_title(); ?>

The Knife, Neutral Timberlake And The French Connection

by and

Just as it appeared that Iceland Airwaves’ giant lineup couldn’t get any more packed with big name international acts (see: The Flaming Lips, Caribou, Future Islands), the festival pulls a final Scandinavian ace from its sleeve. Yup, local music fanatics’ jaws collectively dropped when a long coveted Airwaves performance by sibling duo The Knife was announced earlier this month. Add to this the fact that the Swedish electro institution announced that very day that they would be calling it quits after the current tour, of which the Airwaves date will be the last, and you’ve got a music nerd meltdown

Culture
Music
<?php the_title(); ?>

40 More Acts Announced For Iceland Airwaves

by

After the big reveal of The Knife’s Iceland Airwaves performance last week, the festival has released 40 new additions for the 2014 edition. The announcement includes a fine selection of local artists, including Grapevine’s band of the year Sin Fang, the Ólafur Arnalds/Janus Rasmussen techno partnership Kiasmos, emerging nu-electronica maestro M-Band, and bearded musical polymath Mugison. From abroad, the UK indie label Domino Records will send over two of their finest, with virtuoso guitarist Anna Calvi bringing her dramatic sound to Reykjavík, alongside label-mate How To Dress Well. They’re joined by Bella Union’s indie-psych band Horse Thief, Canadian noise-rock outfit

Show Me More!