Category Archives: festivals

Iceland Airwaves 2015 is on….

Iceland Airwaves 2015

Peeps, here we go again. Iceland is getting darker these days but Iceland Airwaves will light up and warm your hearts and ears. It’s very exciting to see this northernmost capital get ready, music lovers arrive, bands are strolling around the city, the people from KEXP are getting ready for their beautiful broadcasting in Kex Hostel. You can feel the vibrant air and the good mood of everybody who is around. We can’t wait to see all this international acts, as there are not many of them coming during the non-festival months. There are the big names like Beach House (Sat Nov 7th, 22:10, Harpa Silfurgerg), Father John Misty (Thur Nov 5th, 0:00, Harpa Silfurberg), John Grant And The Iceland Symphony Orchestra (Thur Nov 5th, 20:00, Harpa Eldborg), Mercury Rev. (Thur Nov 5th, 22:30, Harpa Silfurberg), Perfume Genius (Fri Nov 6th, 22:10, Harpa Silfurberg) , Bianca Casady and the C.I.A. (Fri Nov 6th, 22:30, Harpa Norðurljós), Battles (Sat Nov 7th, 23:50, Harpa Silfurberg) and Låpsley (Sat Nov 7th, 22:50, Reykjavik Art Museum).

Beside of christmas, this is the time of year when almost all the icelandic bands are on this little island. So we are happy to see from tour home coming Agent Fresco and Low Roar, Junius Meyvant, Retro Stefson, VAR, Vök, Futuregrapher, Hjaltalín, Soffia Björg and Valdimar. And many more which are worth to take a listen:

Ylja

Máni Orrason

Axel Flóvent

Grísalappalísa

HAM

Valdimar

As we are checking our favorites list, we realise there are many many great girl power bands. But not just this, but we can’t wait to see those to play:

BRNS (Belgium)

Great Mountain Fire (Belgium)

HINDS (Spain)

Meat Wave (United Kingdom)

Mourn (Spain)

SOAK (United Kingdom)

Rozi Plain (United Kingdom)

Saun & Starr (United States)

The Drink (United Kingdom)

Chastity Belt (United States)

So, check out the Iceland Airwaves schedule, don’t forget the off venue schedule and listen to their great playlist on spotify and stay updated with our facebook and instagram!

Advertisements

Haldern Pop 2015…be true – not better

LOGO_HP_2013.indd
Just one month to go until the great and cozy Haldern Pop Festival is taking place at the fields and gras grounds of the tiny village in the west part of Germany, just few kilometers away from the border to the Netherlands. And also not far away is the Autobahn, but there is Autobahn everywhere in Germany. So, in a few weeks there will enter around 7000 guests the gates of Haldern to have three (13. – 15. august) days full of best music, hopefully sun and a lot of love. Love for the short ways from the campsite to the festival area, love for sitting in the gras in the beergarden, love for the morning coffee, love for the heat in the famous Spiegeltent, love for the big diversity of food and drinks and of course much much much love for great bands.

And there are many to explore, and to fall for in the end. Here are some of them:

SOAK from Ireland. She is not 20 yet, she is writing about her growing up things (listen to her album “Before We Forgot How To Dream”), just as we all went through it. So you find a lot of feelings, strangenes and weirdful thoughts which are guided by sensible singer-songwriter sounds and a special voice. She could be the little sister of Cat Power. This will not be the last time you heard from her!

AnnenMayKantereit from Germany. Yeah, it’s in german but beside that, the voice is a wonder. This guys are young and the singer sounds like an old wise man. Dusty and rough and empathic with no doubt about their talent.

Kiasmos from Iceland. No less than piano artist Ólafur Arnalds is having this project with his friend Janus Jasmusse from Bloodgroup. The piano is still there but combined with some beats and poppy sound effects. Very chilly and dancy and dark and happy and everything you need and expect from icelandic electronic music.

Father John Misty from the United States. Maybe since ages an american folk singer-songwriter, but for some time also the drummer of Fleet Foxes. J. Tillman was also touring with Damien Jurado. All of that sounds like a good thing, huh?! So, go and listen to his kind of self destroying and self ironying songs!

Furthermore go and find out about Delta Rae, dEUS, Die Sonne, Intergalactic Lovers and Alcoholic Faith Mission! But all of the Line-Up is worth it to give an ear and a heart! All of this loveable musicians here:

Alcoholic Faith Mission (DK) – AnnenMayKantereit (DE) – Bear’s Den (UK) – Benjamin Booker (US)
Bernd Begemann & Die Befreiung (DE) – Bilderbuch (AT) – Big Sixes (UK) – Cantus Domus (DE)
Courtney Barnett (AUS) – Curtis Harding (US) – Dan Deacon (US) – Delta Rae (US) – dEUS (BE)
Die Sonne (DE) – DMA’s (AUS) – Dotan (NL) – Douglas Dare (UK) – Family Of The Year (US)
Father John Misty (US) – Frances (UK) – Freddie Dickson & The Guard (UK) – Grandbrothers (DE)
Heisskalt (DE) – Ibeyi (FR/CU) – Iceage (DK) – Intergalactic Lovers (BE) – Johann Sebastian Bach (DE)
Kapok (NL) – Kate Tempest (UK) – Kiasmos (IS) – Kiko King & Creativemaze (DE) – LÅPSLEY (UK) Laura Marling (UK) – Liam Ó Maonlai & Peter O’Toole (Hothouse Flowers) (IRL) – Low Roar (IS)
Magnus (BE) – Mammút (IS) – Marcus Wiebusch (DE) – Mark Geary feat. Grainne Hunt (IRL)
Nils Frahm (DE) – Olli Schulz (DE) – Public Service Broadcasting (UK) – Puts Marie (CH) – Rae Morris (UK) – Savages (UK) – Soak (IRL) – Someday Jacob (DE) – stargaze & André de Ridder (DE)
Steve Gunn (US) – Sunset Sons (UK) – Terra Profonda (HU) – The Bronze Medal (UK) – The Districts (US) – The Slow Show (UK) – The War on Drugs (US) – Tour of Tours (DE/NL/US) – Tor Miller (US) – Tora (AUS) – Viet Cong (CAN) – Villagers (IRL) – White Fence (US) – Woods of Birnam (DE)

These bands are well choosed from the Haldern Pop team, which are doing their heart job since 1984. There is no doubt about this heart thing. It will win in the end. Always! At least every year at the gras grounds of Haldern. BE TRUE – NOT BETTER!

Haldern Pop Festival
13 – 14. august
Sold out!
(but there is always a chance to catch a fair priced ticket even if it is sold out…go and try the ticket market at their homepage or the FairVerkauf group on Facebook)

Festival: Saga Fest Iceland

SagaFestLogo
Strong winds are blowing over Suðurland, you can see it in the short yellow brownish gras which is everywhere. The green is almost breaking through, so the icelandic spring is on it’s way. As excited the people here are waiting for this, as excited it is, that there will be a kind of newish event will take place just one hour drive from the capital of Iceland.

On 23. and 24. of may on the Stokkseyrarsel farm the Saga Fest is asking “What’s our story?”
And that’s what we will do in less than one week. We will have an interesting get-together, meet new people with interesting stories, interesting ideas and we are curious as hell to experience all of this and music, art and workshops. Just to name few great things which will go on:

Music:
La Fontaine (Electronica)
Ylja (Folk)
Var (Psychedelic Pop)
Axel Flóvent (Indie/Folk)
For A Minor Reflection (Postrock)
Soffia Björg (Singer/Songwriter)
Kippi Kaninus (Electro/Acoustic)
and more

Workshops:
Balancing Trust
Skateboard Design
Narrative Oral History
Sharing Your Story
Opening Meditation
Burlesque
and more

Art:
Sound Healing
WE
Wind Sculpture
Concert In The Dark 2.0
and more

I was asking Scott Shigeoka some questions about this interesting project:

What is Saga Fest about and where does this idea come from, who did the first step?

Saga Fest comes from the idea of creating a space where people feel safe and vulnerable to connect to each other and to nature. It’s also about connecting to ourselves, finding the essence of who we are and crafting shared purpose. We picked “What’s Our Story” as our tagline is because we believe storytelling can facilitate many of these connections. Since we are a community-driven festival at heart, the first real step came from the local community of Selfoss who is supporting this event whole-heartedly.

From the first idea to now, how long took it to plan this kind of festival?

By the time the festival long weekend gets here, it will have been 9 months in planning.

As it will take place at a farm in the south of iceland, will there also be some camping possibilities for the guests or are you working together with hotels, hostels in Selfoss or Reykjavik?

Everyone that buys a weekend ticket gets a camping permit with it. There will be little village areas where people can co-live together. This festival is all about community building, so those that choose to live on-site will get the most enriching experience. Though, we understand that other guests will want to stay at nearby hostels, B&Bs and hotels in the area. We recommend looking in Selfoss, Stokkseyri and Eyrarbakki, since these three towns are the closest to the festival site.

It’s not just a music festival. What do you expect from this intercultural event?

Saga Fest is a people-powered event. Although we have a dedicated team of co-producers, we believe in a flat-structured festival without hierarchies. We believe beautiful connections and experiences can be created when artists, musicians, organizers and volunteers collaborate with the festival’s participants.

There will be two stages for music performances, art and dance; a community stage for poets, storytellers and community members to share; geodesic domes built for workshops and late-night DJs; a bonfire for storytelling around the sagas and southern coastland; a focus on local food and communal eating; and participatory art experiences.

At the end of the day, this festival is about connecting people to each other and to nature. And to do it in a space fostering vulnerability, transformation and open-heartedness.

Are there also some fears that this would not work?

There is something beautiful that happens when there is full trust involved with everyone participating and organizing the festival. Everyone has worked together to co-create a beautiful culture that supports open-mindedness and creativity. Already, through the process of creating this festival, we are seeing minds open and creativity sparked. It has been beautiful to witness and we are excited to see everything in action in May!

So, come and spent a great weekend with us, it will change your life (isn’t everything which you experience changing your life somehow?!)
Tickets are still available on Midi.is

Interview: Matthew Caws from Nada Surf

IMG_20150411_180958
Those were the days when I went to germany for a bit of family and friends time. But the reason I chosed this special time was the small but beautiful Husum Harbour Festival in the north of germany, very close to my beloved Hamburg. And the fact, that Nada Surf singer Matthew Caws will play the sundaymorning show. We arrived at saturday afternoon in the very typical north german weather: rain, cold and wind. So no big difference to the icelandic weather. Husum is a place where you are in holidays, getting away from stress at work, from the big city life, from everything. You can breathe the clear air of the ocean, hear seaguls scream, see the tide coming and going. And so is the cozy Husum Harbour Festival, which is more an indoor singer songwriter festival which take place in the cultural centre called Speicher, where a big bunch of musicians already played.

After I already enjoyed the great first concert ever of projektor and the lovely lines of Florian Ostertag and right before the always wonderful Talking To Turtles and the dark beauty Scott Matthew, I went up to the artist area to meet Matthew and had a little talk with him.

Hi! How are you?

I am good.

You came from Hamburg, right?

Yeah, I played in Molotow. I am saying this that Nada Surf hopefully will play another 1000 / 2000 concerts but recently I am playing by myself and I really enjoy it. I haven’t done this before last year, but I live in Cambridge, England and Germanwings is going for cheap almost everywhere.

What’s the difference between the solo shows and the ones with the guys?

It’s really peaceful cause there is not this summercamp feeling.
You know there are this personality types like introverted extrovert and I feel like that. When I am by myself both sides of this are satisfied…busy social evenings with a lot of interaction and then all day by myself travelling.

So you also take your time to see the surroundings?

Sometimes. Today we had a slow drive and we were at the place where is the dam. We had shrimp in a bun and matjes or herring and everything what you eat here. Also on Nada Surf tours I try to bring a folding bicycle and put it in the back of the bus. And some days, when you wake up early, not in purpose, or when you are arriving in a new town at eight in the morning cause you were driving over night. Then you get up at one, have soundcheck at four and you would never see this town. And then I remember this little bike and go and explore the town. Otherwise it would happen all the time, that you don’t realise in which city you are.

Does this tour now means that you want to do a solo album?

I don’t know. I mean…not on purpose, it’s no goal. I have another record which is almost finished with Michael Lerner from Telekinesis. He is a friend of mine and the story how we recorded the first song is quite funny. I had a good parking space in Brooklyn, he put his van there and we were hanging out together. I like the things he is doing, he likes the things I am doing. So we were just playing a bit music, like thirty seconds of something. And later that night we were sitting in my house, drinking beer and he said: “We should record that song”. I said in between a sip of beer: “Yeah, sometime”. And he was like “Now”. We just had this tiny thirty seconds and he was very serious when he asked me for paper and a pen. And short time later we were writing it, we were recording it on the computer on my coffee table. And we put it on the record, you can hear the dogs barking upstairs. Why I am telling this? Ah, there is no purpose in the things. As you can see, sometimes the things just happening. Maybe there are more of this spontanous records or the next Nada Surf records are coming faster. Who knows!

Husum Harbour 2015

© Doreen Reichmann

So there is no really plan, like we have to make a new Nada Surf album every one and a half year?

We tried it sometimes. But after the last one we took a break, which we never did before. Our 20st anniversary is next year, we never really stop to work but now and then little breaks. So I did the Minor Alps record with Juliana Hatfield.

Now I am a bit in a panic, cause I thouht the new record is almost done but then I realized that we need a couple more songs.

Ok, so there will be a new Nada Surf album. When are you planning to release it?

I don’t really know but I hope in september.

That sounds great, I didn’t expect it that early.

You never know. Let’s keep the fingers crossed for this.

Yeah! Imagine yourself being in your 70s. Will you be still a musician?

If I would still enjoy singing, yes. People are aging differently, some people lose their voices. As long as I like the sound I am doing it cause I like the act. But if not – for a reason – I would write a bit more. That was always an ambition of mine which I never did that much. My mother is a writer and she is always saying “You need to write write write!”. I think everybodys life story is super interesting, everybodies interpretation of life is totally fascinating and every single person is sitting on a great book.

That’s also an ambition of mine. But no biography, more a fictional story with of course the influences I got in my life, the people I met, the stories I heard. Your own life is mixing up with others lifes, this could be a great plot.

I totally agree. And it sounds like it could be a flexible idea. I am wondering sometimes if finding your voice in the way you are writing is more important. There are some people like Nicholson Baker, David Foster Wallace who passed away – the way they think seems so interesting. I don’t really care about what they are writing about. Actually I am reading the book “My Struggle” by a guy called Karl Ove Knausgård – it’s an autobiography, and it’s amplified. Often the people who are writing this kind of books are just pumping up the drama and this is like: “I made coffee, then I drink it” and then interesting things happen.  It’s just like life, like you drop a needle to the record, everything happens in the real time.

I like writing songs, I am not doing it as often as I like to. Some friends of mine do the “One song a day” thing. But I never had the discipline but I really would like to do that.

Would this not be a big pressure for yourself? If you can’t write one song a day you feel worse.

Yes but it would also train you to not worry about standards so much. Even if it is a bad song, just finish it. Which doesn’t mean that it’s good to write a bad song but good to feel free. The problem with not writing for a while and then start again and happens to me now, cause I just startet to write again, is that you are so self-conscious about what you are saying and you think everything sounds bad…and in a way it is. You are not free, you are thinking about thinking.

Are you throwing away ideas very often, are you very critical with yourself?

Yeah, but not as a negative critical thinking. It’s not all bad and to be honest as see that 90 % isn’t that good is ok. It is worth going through it. You might be glad to find the 10 % which are great.

Are there songs from the old records which you don’t like so much anymore?

Yes, a few. There’s one weird one, it’s “Mothers day”. It’s the opposite of “Robot” which is about male sexual violence. I am still very proud of this song, it still says what I wanted to say and what I am thinking.

But the story about “Mothers Day” is before we made the follow up record to “Let Go”, the guy from the record label was expecting us to make a new hit. He was always looking over my shoulder and said that we don’t have this kind of song yet. I was kind of new in this thing in this time, so I tried to write a hit in a cheesy way. I thought about this kind of guy, out of time, out of the idea of gender, not relating other women, not seeing them in a human enough way, like their sister, mother. It was the time of rap rock, sodom metal rock. There was a band in the practice space next door. They played a special riff and we heard it through the electric plug and I think I kind of stole it for “Mothers Day”. To be preachy in a song is good as long it is affective instead of rising your finger into the air and nothing is happening. I think the song isn’t catchy enough. So I think I feel sorry for “Mothers Day.

Husum Harbour 2015

© Doreen Reichmann

I am not sure about that, but I realised that you are not playing the french songs in germany.

Yeah, we were playing them a bunch of times. French is a difficult language to play and to write in. I’ve got a pet theory about why french people are so proud and difficult of their language. Maybe I am totally wrong but nevermind. France is uniqe in Europe. It has all this borders and is surrounded of so many cultures. Even England is almost a border. And England and Germany and Spain are so powerful cultures. So they have to defend all of their language and cultural things and are so intense about it. In english they encourage you to use it like you want. I don’t know if it is like this in icelandic or german. In french the standards of expressions are so high and it is not possible to play with it as a non french speaker. Serge Gainsbourg is doing it, he is a magician in french word games, but he can. Even if we in the band are speaking french, it’s always challanging to do it at the stage but I like to keep trying.

What are your next plans?

I am going to Ibiza, to visit Daniel and have some brodown with him. It’s an american expression which means, to hang out, talk to your friend, doing things which friends, bro’s do. And then I will participate in a interesting show. I will play a philosophical conference in New York and its a 24 hours thing in a beautiful french cultural center. And I am playing at 6am. Whoohooo, this is early. But I like this weird things.

Sounds great! So thank you for your time and for this talk!

Thank you too!

I can’t tell it often enough…thanks to Sebastian from Husum Harbour Team who made this real! And thanks to Doreen who took some nice pictures. And of course thanks to Matthew who made me forget about my shaking hands cause of a really easy and kind talk.

After a really great breakfast on sunday morning, which was filled with lovely decorated salads, crunchy bacon, delicious salmon, creamy cheeses and hot coffee and sparkling sparkling wine, we sat down for listening to Nada Surf songs, played by the maybe a bit excited Matthew Caws. After a few sips of the sparkling sparkling wine, he was talkative, funny, yeah quite entertaining. He also introduced us the new song “Friend Hospital” of their upcoming new album, with the working title “You Know Who You Are”. As we all were enjoying his songs, I was impressed of the text of his dad, which he read to us. Nothing new to hear, but indeedly inspiring. The whole thing, the whole time, no excuses, no exceptions. And in the end, the sun was shining. I’m just a happy kid!

IMG_20150412_141108
Want to read the interview in german? Go over to Concert News and enjoy!

I never went south – Aldrei Fór Ég Suður 2015

WF07
Iceland is not just well known for its unique and wild nature, it is very well known for its grand music scene and festival culture. More than twenty big and smaller festivals are held during the whole year.

Now these days it comes up to “Aldrei Fór Ég Suður”, which will take place on easter (3.-5. of april) in Isafjörður – the capital of the beautiful westfjords of Iceland. This music festival was originally founded by musician mugison​ and his pabbi – only icelandic musicians are playing free shows all over the town…in that case “aldrei fór ég suður” means “I never went south”.

So on Easter you could see the small city of Isafjörður crowded with music lovers and musicians like Gudrid Hansdottir, Valdimar​, Pink Street Boys, Boogie Trouble​, Prins Póló, Rythmatic​ and Júníus Meyvant​!

If they never went south, then we are going north (west)!

First bands of Haldern Pop Festival

Konzerttipps Februar 2014
The video starts and the piano sets, the goosebumbs are growing and there is a big longing. A longing for the smell of summer, for the bunch of friends sitting in front of the tent and having breakfast under the sun. I can hear the music playing from the car and there is a quiet waiting for something. Waiting in the line for getting the wristbands, waiting for the first bands to see at Haldern Pop. It could be like this this year from 13th to 15th of august. This is (almost) how we know it. And I can smell the dust at the field in front of the stage and I can feel the air in the Mirrortent. Let’s enjoy the first announcements for the beloved festival in west germany, tickets are already sold out, but that doesn’t matter:

In words:
AnnenMayKantereit (DE)
Benjamin Booker (US)
Bernd Begemann & Die Befreiung (DE)
Courtney Barnett (AUS)
dEUS (BE)
Die Sonne (DE)
Dotan (NL)
Father John Misty (US)
Frances (UK)
Heisskalt (DE)
Intergalactic Lovers (BE)
Jack Garratt (UK)
Johann Sebastian Bach (DE)
Kiasmos (IS)
Mammút (IS)
Olli Schulz (DE)
Rae Morris (UK)
Soak (IRL)
Steve Gunn (US)
The Districts (US)
Woods of Birnam (DE)

Be true – not better!

15 Jahre Astra Stube

A4_plakat_webHamburg wäre nicht Hamburg ohne seine Club- und Konzertszene. Hamburg wäre nicht Hamburg, wenn es nicht neben den “großen” Konzertorten auch die kleinen gibt, die sich ganz genreunabhängig eher den unbekannten Musikschaffenden widmen. Dazu zählt seit 15 Jahren die Astra Stube, die einzigartige Astra Stube in Hamburg.

Wie oft stand man schon davor, hatte sich bereits ein bisschen vor dem Konzertbeginn mit Freunden getroffen, um dann manchmal nur mit sechs anderen Konzertbesuchern oder ohne Möglichkeit an Bar oder Klo zu kommen laute wie leise, aber meistens ziemlich schöne Konzerte zu erleben.  Oft tropfte der Schweiß von der Decke, wenn der Laden pickepackevoll war, inklusive kleiner Bühne, die für 10 Musiker doch etwas muckeligeng wurde.

Nun wird genau das gefeiert. Am 12. Oktober als Sonntags-Geburtstags-Matinée, natürlich mit Musik. Aber nicht nur. Mit Kuchen und Kaffee, eine fragmentarische Rückschau mittels Fotografien von Claudia Höhne und Dimitri Moskalenko, Skizzenbüchern und mit DJ von Volt.

Natürlich wird auch Live-Musik nicht fehlen, die von Tonfang (P-Funk), Tintin Patrone (elektroakustische Performance), Porsche (Poetry Rap) und Niederluft Window Electric (Krautrock) durch die Lautsprecher gejagt wird.

Und zu guter letzt und als Geburtstagskomplettierung wird an jenem 12. Oktober auch der Release des Stuben-Samplers gefeiert, der in Form eines USB-Sticks erscheint und teils neue Stücke von Asmus Tietchens, Audible Pain, *Binoculers*, Corwood Manual, Found, *Exits To Freeways*, Delay Trees, Ditterich von Euler-Donnersperg, Gregory Büttner, Ilse Lau, Jetzmann, Katzenkönig, Kitty Solaris, Las Kellies, Legoluft, *Mimas*, Passierzettel, *Plokk*, Rivulets, *Schwervon!*, Sexual Objects, *¡Son Turistas!*, Sonata Rec, Sorry Gilberto, Sport, Swearing at Motorists, Tellavision, Tonfang, *TWISK*, TV Buddhas, Woog Riots, Xyramat, ZEBU! enthalten wird.

Bestellen kann man das ganze bei info_ät_astra-stube.de oder sicher auch am Sonntag vor Ort  für 8 Euro käuflich erwerben.