I love Seattle, this small city that’s dark most of the year and supports far more than its fair share of amazing artists. The only thing I love as much as Seattle is leaving Seattle to visit new places. As the ticker to the left shows, I’ve finally pulled the trigger on an obsession with a new place that’s dark most of the year and supports far more than its fair share of amazing artists – Reykjavík.
I’m going to submerge myself in saga lore. I mean, I’m no Emily Lethbridge, but I think Skallagrim Kveldulfsson is more interesting than his son Egil (although if anyone deserves to have a beer named after them, it’s Egil Skallagrimsson) and if someone doesn’t make a big Hollywood action movie out of Njála soon, I’m going to have to do it myself. Seriously, just the scene where Skarphedin scatters Thrain’s teeth on the ice as he glides past would be worth the price of admission.
Oh, and of course there’s this little thing called Airwaves. Maybe you’ve heard of it? Over 420 bands playing all over Reykjavík for five days, plus 400 more unofficial, off-venue performances. And Sigur Rós is headlining. Acting in my role as music journalist – you have been reading my posts over on Three Imaginary Girls, right? – I set up interviews with a label owner, several indie-pop-folk musicians, and approximately half of the Reykjavík heavy metal scene.
One of the first musicians who agreed to interview with me is a young man by the name of Ásgeir Trausti; a classically trained guitarist whose dreamy folk-pop has drawn comparisons to Jeff Buckley. His debut album was released in Iceland only a couple of weeks ago and quickly sold out. You, dear reader, can find it online at IcelandMusic.com, which you are totally going to want to do after you watch this video.
Okay, so that was over 300 words and a video all leading up to this: Ásgeir Trausti and other wonderful Icelandic bands are playing Neumos on Friday, October 12 as part of a brilliant festival celebrating the parallel universes of two cities that are dark most of the year and support more than their fair share of artists – A Taste of Iceland in Seattle. Even though I get to go to Iceland in a couple of weeks, there is no way that I am going to miss this show where three Icelandic bands will premier new songs with lyrics written by local Seattle writers, and Redwood Plan will do the same with a writer from Iceland.
But wait, there’s more! A Taste of Iceland also involves an actual taste of Icelandic cuisine (no, not hákarl) at Staple and Fancy in Ballard. And oh, joy to me! an exhibit at the Nordic Heritage Museum that examines the relationship between the sagas and modern literature. Actually, the Nordic Heritage Museum has been having a bit of an Iceland-themed year, and a post to that effect is overdue…
Finally, they are looking for a local blogger to be the official correspondent of the festival.
So let’s see. A Taste of Iceland in Seattle needs to find someone who is willing to immerse themselves in intensive research of the cultural offerings of Iceland. This person must quickly turn that into absorbing prose that will immediately make clear to the reader the undeniable awesomeness of Iceland. They need, say, someone with a day job as a technical writer, which requires translation of in-depth research into readily accessible descriptions. They need someone who is passionate enough about music and literature to stay up late at night blogging about their latest discoveries – like say, someone who routinely contributes to arts and culture web sites. And they need someone who loves good food – like, well, okay, everyone loves good food.
Say, I’ve got an idea… I could be the official correspondent for A Taste of Iceland in Seattle! Oh, pick me! Pick me!