A Grapevine service announcement Be patient: That eruption is expected to last until 2015
Culture
Music
Iceland Will Definitely Win Eurovision This Time!

Iceland Will Definitely Win Eurovision This Time!

Words by

Published May 23, 2012

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.
It goes like this: First the quality of the Icelandic song is trumpeted to high heavens. It is without a doubt the best song of the contest. The Icelandic media tells tales of some foreign betting offices placing our song at the very top. We also get news of legions of foreign Eurovision freaks claiming our song is their favourite. When the harsh reality dawns on us after the contest we find a way to explain away our loss. For instance: It’s all cliquishness—the Eastern countries only vote for each other! Or: Our song was too good/modern for those stupid European countries that are years behind us in pop quality evolution!
 
This cycle of hope/disappointment was especially strong the first time we competed in the contest with Magnús Eiríksson’s “Bank of Fun,” performed by the shiny Icy Trio. Before the contest, the nation thought it had basically already won the contest and that it would only be a formality to go and collect the prize. When we came in at 16 (out of 20 nations), we were furious. The winner that year was Sandra Kim, a 14-year-old singer from Belgium. Her young age was obviously the only reason she won. We would have to top that novelty: “We should send two pregnant women next time to get the attention we need,” one guy from the Icelandic Eurovision Committee remarked.
 
In 1986 we were also very angry at the other Scandinavian countries. There we were, doing this stupid song contest for the first time, and they only gave us three points in total! And we gave them lots of points! Silly Sweden even got 12 points from us!
 
Our biggest fear isn’t losing though; it is winning. The nation’s economy would collapse if we had to host the show. Where would we stage it? At Harpa? At the giant airplane hangar in Keilir?
It is this mix of hope, fear and disappointment that makes Eurovision so thrilling for us. The streets are totally empty during the contest. In 1999 we almost won when Selma sang “All Out of Luck.” She was beat at the last minute by some Swedish hag; I was so worked up that I almost knocked myself out by banging my head against the wall.
 This year we send Greta Salóme, an elegant newcomer, accompanied by Jónsi (not of Sigur Rós), who competed in 2004. She sings “Never Forget,” which she wrote and composed. The chances of winning are sky high and God might even have a hand in it, if we win. As Greta said in an interview, she thanks God for winning the Icelandic pre-contest. So with God on our side, I’d say it’s 100% sure that Iceland wins this time! We better prepare Harpa or the hangar for 2013.
Still, I wouldn’t be surprised if silly Sweden wins with that super catchy “Euphoria” song.



Culture
Music
<?php the_title(); ?>

WORLD PREMIERE: A FANCY NEW OYAMA TRACK!

by

The hepcats of Oyama are all set to unleash their monster of a début album, Coolboy, which will be released in Iceland via 12 Tónar on November third (those fortunate enough to live in Japan can get it in less than a week, via Imperial Records). After giving the thing a couple of spins, we can verify: Coolboy is a good album. Great, even. Lucky you, then, that Oyama would opt to premiere its first single, Siblings via the very website you are reading. In this very story you are reading! Yes, check it out, here’s Siblings: Now, that there’s a pretty

Culture
Music
<?php the_title(); ?>

Agent Fresco Release Parody Video

by

Math-rockers Agent Fresco may be in the middle of mixing their upcoming 2015 album, but they still found the time to release new video “Dirt Water,” which is a parody of previously released “Dark Water” video. It is directed by Bowen Staines of Don’t Panic Films, who has previously shot videos for Skálmöld, Sólstafir and The Vintage Caravan, amongst others. Check it out below, and compare to Dark Water. The video was released to promote Agent Fresco’s upcoming Airwaves shows. You can catch them on the following dates: November 5: Gamla Bíó at 21:40, during which they will exclusively play

Culture
Music
<?php the_title(); ?>

Lay Low: New Video, Tourdates

by

Humble folk singer-songwriter Lovísa Elísabet Sigrúnardóttir, aka. Lay Low, has just released a self-directed video to her song “One Of Those Nights” from the 2013 album ‘Talking About The Weather.’ Lovísa describes the song as “a stripped down hummaby that I wrote after one of those nights back home in Iceland.” Check it out! “Making my own video was something that I really wanted to have a go at, even though I don’t really have much experience,” Lovísa told the Grapevine in an email. “However, I did actually make a video for Benny Crespo’s Gang’s “Night Time” a few years ago

Culture
Music
<?php the_title(); ?>

The Mengi Set

by

Amongst the fast-changing merry-go-round of music venues in Reykjavík’s city centre, something unusual sprang up around last Christmas: a small, homely, unassuming performance space on Oðinsgata, called Mengi. It appeared quite suddenly, passed around initially only by word of mouth, but quickly become a well-liked venue hosting three shows a week for an intimate, fifty-strong audience. One of the people behind Mengi is bassist, guitarist and composer Skúli Sverrisson. Having lived in New York for over two decades, Skúli had recently moved back to Reykjavík when the project began. “I had been living in a very big city for 25

Culture
Music
<?php the_title(); ?>

Akranes: Where Busted Amps Go!

by

After carefully lugging my vintage guitar amplifier all the way from New York to Iceland, I foolishly plugged it in without a power transformer. There was an unusually loud humming noise and then it started smoking. The smell of burned plastic gently wafted around my flat. My panicky brain immediately cycled through these thoughts: Smart move, Matt, not only will your wife kill you for nearly burning the place down, but also you’ve fried your amp. There was no avoiding the first problem. The second might just require a good repair guy. I started asking around and all of my

Culture
Music
<?php the_title(); ?>

Quarashi’s Music Video Odyssey

by

Quarashi is an Icelandic rap group founded in the mid-90s by Sölvi Blöndal, Steinar “Steini” Fjeldsted and Höskuldur “Hössi” Ólafsson (Hössi left the group in early 2003, and was succeeded by Egill “Tiny” Thorarensen). The band recently resurfaced with “Rock On,” their first single after a nine-year hiatus. We spoke with founding members Sölvi and Steini about their history as a band and what thoughts went into making their latest music video. “Switchstance,” 1997 Director: Arnar Jónasson (director of the documentary ‘Rafmögnuð Reykjavík’ (‘Electronica Reykjavík’) Steini: That was the first thing we did, in the way of a song and

Show Me More!