Name? Birgir Örn Thoroddsen Where are you from? Err…. I’m from the City of Árbær. What are you doing? I’m going to the opening of Paul McCarthys & Jason Rhoads’s art show; The Sheep Plug. It’s at gallery Kling & Bang. Two days. It’s unspoiled nature. No, wait, we fucked that up already. Then it’s…hum…ahh.. The clean and unpolluted air we breathe here. What is wrong with Iceland? Public paralysis, the population’s inability to protest against anything (see page 6 for some helpful pointers -ed.) What’s your favourite spot in Reykjavík? The spot where you can see over all of Reykjavík when you drive down Ártúnsbrekka. What can Iceland learn from the outside world? It can get more variation from the outside world. What can Iceland teach the outside world? We can teach the world how to respect other people. Well, no, I forgot how we behave in the weekends. Let’s say we can teach the world how to make the present blend in with nature. Where would you prefer to live? In Reykjavík.
In Southsea, Portsmouth, UK, where Castle Road meets Kent Road, you’ll find 101 Reykjavík, a cosy Icelandic café. Huh? An Icelandic café? Yup. There is such a thing. 101 Reykjavík (the café, not the postal code, novel or film) is indeed an Icelandic café in Portsmouth that the owners say is inspired by the ambiance of Icelandic cafés and bars. At 101 Reykjavík, you can chow down on some Icelandic hot dogs or kleinur while sipping on Icelandic beers and listening to Icelandic music. You can do all this in Southsea, the southernmost tip of the city of Portsmouth, on
Èric Lluent is a journalist from Barcelona, Spain who recently published a book, ‘Iceland 2013: A Story Of Deception,’ about the illusion and the reality of the Pots and Pans Revolution of late 2008 and early 2009 and its aftermath. Èric, who first came to Iceland in 2008, believed at first in the “Icelandic Miracle” of grassrooots democratic change. However, in talking to Icelanders, he learned that the myth and the reality of Iceland’s “revolution” were two very different things. The Grapevine caught up with Èric to get him to expand upon some of the major points brought up in his book.
Jóhann Sigmarsson has been some sort of a legend since at least the early nineties when he premiered his first feature film, Veggfóður (Wallpaper) (1992). Co-written by Jóhann, or Jonni as he is known, and director Júlíus Kemp, the film focused on parties, magic mushrooms and sexual attraction. Jonni’s later cinematic endeavours include One Big Family (1995) and Plan B (2000), both of which which he wrote and directed. On its own, the mere fact that he has succeeded in making three feature-length films, while establishing and running what used to be Iceland’s only short-film festival, bears witness to a
How important is the visual aspect to how a band or artists presents itself? Is it a necessary factor, or more of an afterthought? Speaking as a fan of music, I would say that the visual aspect always gives some hint of the thought behind a project. The visuals often present an angle on a given project, an entry point to it maybe, an attempt to position it in a visual dimension and context. As a musician, I find it necessary to add a visual touch to what’s being presented—the exterior needs to be interesting as well as the interior,
Dominique Lameule is a self-confessed, bona-fide Icelandophile. The 38-year-old Frenchman-slash-German has travelled to Iceland at least once or twice per year for twelve years running, owns upwards of 180 albums of Icelandic music, and has attended the Airwaves festival more often than most locals. Like many an Icelandophile we’ve encountered at Grapevine through the years, Dominique’s interest was spurred by exposure to a local band or artist—in Dominique’s case, it was the Gusgus hit “Believe” that entranced him back in ’97 (by now, he proudly counts members of that very band as his friends). As an outsider constantly looking in
The corridors in the basement of the decadent 19th-century masterpiece of architecture that is London’s Royal Albert Hall are teeming with musicians and hangers-on. The anticipatory energy is palpable as the Iceland Symphony Orchestra (ISO) gets ready to take the stage as a part of the BBC Proms. The BBC Proms is a series of concerts held in this legendary hall in west London, and the festival is widely considered one of the more important events in the classical music calendar. This makes tonight’s excitement all the more understandable, as the ISO will be appearing on this fabled stage for