A bit of a bonanza today. Firstly there are free songs (tasters from forthcoming albums) from Bob Dylan and Kings Of Leon to be had on the interweb. In October Dylan will release the 8th volume of The Bootleg Series, which is entitled "Tell Tale" Signs and runs to 3 discs (if you still do discs these days). The free song, "Dreaming Of You" is available at bobdylan.com for free. Yay! And, it is absolutely fantastic - apparently recorded for the Time Out Of Mind album, it somehow missed the cut. Well worth nabbing the free download, splendid stuff. Over at Kings Of Leon's site you can get a download of "Crawl", an advance track from the new album, "Only By The Night". Again, very much worth the free download. Whilst so many bands burst onto the scene with a good debut then fade away, the signs from this is that K.O.L. are going to continue their growth and improvement.
As for Icelandic Music, there are a few sites to get hold of the music without actually travelling to Reykjavik. The best of which are related to two record shops... world's best record shop, 12 tonar, has an online store as does Smekkleysa (or Bad Taste if you're not local). Bad Taste was set up by young Icelandic musicians in the eighties and is still run by the wonderful Einar Orn, once of The Sugarcubes. 12 Tonar really is the best record shop there is, and is run by the less famous but also very wonderful Johannes (Hi Johannes!) - the shop should be an essential part of any trip to Reykjavik. Today I came across new singles from The Motion Boys and the mighty mighty Reykjavik! . (very hard to punctuate when a band have punctuation in their name). The new Reykjavik! song is called "Aeji, plis" (no, me neither) and... I like it. I like it because it sounds like Reykjavik! and that's a good thing. It does sound a little bit like singer Boas is singing more and more, as opposed to the slightly screamier early days. Maybe because of this nasty incident (I don't know how that would happen) - hope you are well now Mr Boas. Reykjavik's debut album was my very favourite of 2006, new material on the way is a good thing. The Motion Boys do good electronic pop stuff, they came over and played at The Luminaire about a year ago with Hafdis Huld and Jan Mayen. They're like a good, and less annoying, Scissor Sisters.
Finally, I got myself the debut album by Ida Maria - the latest cute Scandinavian girl that so many of us are suckers for (Annie, Lykke Li, Jenny Wilson and I guess the Icelanders Hafdis Huld and Lay Low) and another really talented one. The album doesn't disappoint especially when she's more upbeat and rocky - which thankfully is often. There are plenty of potential singles to follow "I Like You So Much Better When You're Naked". I love it when the hype is right. Two other bands getting a load of hype in the UK right now are XX Teens and Jyrojets. I try to ignore hype but I usually end up giving it a listen - I don't get XX Teens, maybe I'm too old, but Jyrojets sure have a few good tunes, one called "Favourite Thing About Jane" is excellent. I'm singing it now. In My Head.