From Iceland — The Unmissables: Day 4

The Unmissables: Day 4

Published November 8, 2014

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Parker Yamasaki

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You must be wondering why clocks even exist on this island. Between the sunset at 16:30 and a festival schedule that has you eating breakfast promptly at 14:00 and dinner at…dinner what? The music has started by then…Maintaining a sense of time during this week is an arduous struggle. For those of you who have given up, today is Saturday. And here is the only reason that matters…

Pink Street Boys
The Pink Street Boys were once described as “Thee Oh Sees of Iceland” by the Pink Street Boys. They have been described as “the only rock and roll band in Iceland” by my boss. I don’t disagree with either description. They’re loud and drunk and have been on the Icelandic music scene for about a decade now, without much recognition until recently. So clearly having fun and making loud music is number one for these guys. And not giving a shit. Even if they don’t really care if you’re there, I do. Go see them.

The Knife
Harpa Silfurberg
Because I’m expected to say it.

Gísli Pálmi
If you caught his off-venue gig at JÖR you may have noticed two very straight-faced men standing brick-still in sunglasses behind him. They were his hype-men. Or representations of. Gísli is so hyped himself that he doesn’t need hypemen. I heard he was struck by lightning twice as a child. Once in each hand, and that the electrical drive was channeled in both of his middle fingers, which is why he’s always showing them off to the crowd at his shows. Drop into up to Þjóðleikhúskjallarinn tonight to glimpse this showman’s magic hands for yourself.

I could insert here the incredible proportion of musical talent that Iceland has brought the world. But you already know it, otherwise you probably would not be here. Locals will complain about the downsides of this this rapid popularity, and how it has physically changed the streets and the Festival in the past decade. But you don’t really care, otherwise you probably would not be here. Somewhere in the far, far north Atlantic, one island nation has managed to maintain its obscurity. Recently, however, musicians like BYRTA have emerged on the global scene and threaten to blow this certain archipelago’s low profile. Groove all you like to the bass down clap-your-hands beats from this electronic pop-duo tonight, it will be hard to resist. Just don’t bother trying to sing along.

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