And here we go again… my friend and social media expert Alex is insisting on a blog schedule to rival high school English homework. Sadly… I never went to high school (well, there were versions but they involved polygraph tests) so this is daunting.
Apparently the kids/public would rather read a blog than buy a record… I’m not sure what this says about kids/fans (I’m pretty sure the only kids who are my fans are my children… and that’s over as soon as they can operate their own Spotify channel)… but in the spirit of teamwork and promotion I’m diving in again. As I’ve always said “there’s no ‘your blow’ in team”… arguably… this preempts songwriting… but… see above.
One thing I’m going to attempt is to not make these things so fucking long. If you are familiar with my music and 30minute two song records you’ll understand editing myself is difficult… and it involves discipline… Humility and discipline being attributes I have been told I lack.
Landed in Reykjavik.
It’s 10:30am in Reykjavik Iceland… the sun just came up (I think… it’s been pissing rain for days… actually a version of rain they call Elf Piss) Alex championed a new laptop for me specifically for this writing… but I couldn’t figure out how to get it out of the box so I’m writing in Notes on my phone. There is a huge music festival here called Icelandic Airwaves Festival. It’s pretty amazing… front loaded with a gazillion Icelandic bands (and there are indeed a gazillion) and some great international headliners. John Grant, Beach House, Sleaford Mods… I didn’t see any of it… I had a clutch of acoustic shows in bookstores and such. And I’ve been trying to absorb non-music Reykjavik. My friend Smári Tarfur took me out the first night. Smári was a metal guitar player (as are most Nordic teenage boys… well pretty much teenage boys everywhere, I’ve found) who became a Chris Whitley (my hero) protege… now he plays… I can’t make this up… under a waterfall. He records slide guitar and waterfall and sells thousands of records (http://thesonofthewind.bandcamp.com/releases) Smári took me out for his favorite Icelandic foods…
I have eaten whale before, Japanese canned whale blubber you used to buy in Mexico… But this was Minke whale steak. As my brother Michael says… when you have 50 words for ice… you eat whatever the fuck you can get your hands on… I am not down with the whale as a BBQ item… beyond environmental morals and such… it tastes like a Porterhouse wrapped in burlap and soaked in a lagoon for two days… and not in a good way (I don’t like eating turtle and iguana… anything that couldn’t commit to climbing out of the water or staying in the pool) if the whale wants to be featured prominently on Fox Bros menus… it needs to make up its mind… fish or cow? You can’t be both bro!!!
Whale meat steak
Whale Meat Steak
And then there’s the fermented shark… fermented in its own urine… now… I’ve been there… I get it… you get fucked up and wake up days later on the floor of some Danish chick’s boyfriend’s apartment… still… you’re not claiming to be lunch. My friend Cee Digs in Berlin calls this Litter Box Shark… anyways… now I’m hungry.
So it’s amazing here… boys in pink and orange hand knit sweaters with pointy shoes and fuzzy hats with yarn balls hanging off them singing in megadeath/elf (and these are the straight boys) with their frikken Viking princess goddess girlfriends who are busy transcribing Mogwai and Iggy Pop tunes to Valkyrie lute. The fucking sun doesn’t come up till ten dude… you need hobbies. Plus everyone’s related… I have a friend here, Brooks Hood (the go to guitar maker/fixer) he’s from Alabama… and he’s already related to half the country… there’s 320,000 people total… the chance of awkward tinder hookups is very real… so they have an app… to tell you if that cute pink sweater elf Viking boy is actually your mom’s cousin (and he probably is… different rules apply on frozen volcano islands). The music industry has a way of making any cool location seem stupid and trite… I live in Portland, OR… but this scene is thoughtful and proud and having a beard is actually a thing you need to live here (and a Viking goddess for a scarf).
We reached out to the festival three weeks out… and they immediately set me up in some offsite venues and put me in their app. The idea that an American festival would do that (think Bonnamountainsierrapickasquatch… being helpful… much less hiring me) is absurd. So… this is lovely tho my coffee just cost five bucks… Bon Iver Restacks is on… I have a day to kill sweater shopping before I fly to Edinburgh… I think I’ll go try the puffin… supposedly delicious soaked in seal yogurt and Arctic fox sperm… more soon.