Heady Days in Austin, Texas - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Heady Days in Austin, Texas

Heady Days in Austin, Texas

Published April 7, 2006

The South by Southwest music festival in Austin, Texas is now the American music industry hotspot for signing the next media darling. The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Shins, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, any range of four-star pop have broken in at SxSW. This year, six Icelanders under 17 broke in with their second festival-stealing performance of the year. As reported by Rolling Stone magazine, among many others, Jakobínarína had absolute star power. Sindri Eldon met with cold and confused Gunnar Ragnarsson and Sigurður Möller Sívertsen of Jakobínarína days after the festival and found out… Very, very little.

(Sigurður’s phone rings and he answers. Gunnar audibly rearranges about a pint of phlegm in his throat.)

/// That was impressive. What have you been doing lately? I heard from someone that you were suffering from exhaustion. Is that just a crazy rumour?
(Gunnar laughs.) Gunnar: Where did you hear that?

/// Uh…I don’t remember. I just heard it from someone the other day. So that’s bullshit?
Gunnar: Yeah, probably… I didn’t go to school the day after we got back because I stayed up all night watching 24 (popular TV show starring Kiefer Sutherland).

/// Oh god. That’s awesome.
Gunnar: I just slept all day, but it was jet lag, I think.

/// Okay. So how was Texas? Or should we maybe wait until Siggi’s done on the phone?
Gunnar: Uh… (Waits a moment, but Siggi doesn’t get off phone.) It was great. Yeah, it was awesome, really cool.

/// Really? It wasn’t weird or anything?
Gunnar: The food was incredibly disgusting, as in absolutely horrifyingly bad. Other than that, everything went really well. We basically just spent a lot of time in the house and shopping and stuff… And then we played and checked out some other bands.

/// Uh-huh. So you were like total rock stars, hanging out in your hotel room? Or wait, did you even stay at a hotel?
Gunnar: What? No, um, we stayed at some house with like 15 people.

/// I thought there were only six of you. Did you get like a brass section or something?
Gunnar: No, it was the guys from 12 Tónar (local record label and store), Þórir (musician), Þórir’s wife and Þórir’s band.

/// Wow.

(awkward silence)

/// So Texas wasn’t weird or anything?
Gunnar: Um, well, Austin is kind of the arty, Democrat town – or no, wait, city – in Texas, so it didn’t really feel like we were actually in Texas. Everyone we met was constantly rambling on about how terrible Bush is and stuff. I think Austin is considered the weird town in Texas, but to us it was pretty normal – except for the food. I just can’t describe to you in words how insanely bad the food was.

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