Loads of little bits to catch up on (I had a very nice holiday thanks for asking), I'll start with a sure sign that Christmas is coming. I'm a big fan of the music list, and this time of year is pretty exciting. I love to see and read what the critics (or anyone at all really, tell me...) has made of the year in music and I will doubtless write about many of them on here over the next few weeks including, I must warn you, my own (the Iceblah awards?). I've come across an early one on American magazine site Paste, who have published their top 50 albums of 2008. A good looking list overall, including a number one pick that I haven't heard, but have only and regularly heard good things about. (Dear Santa...). But the interest here comes from 2 particular entries, for this list is 4% Icelandic - punching above their weight once more. At number 25 we find the wonderful Mugiboogie by Mugison (pictured) and at number 2 (so close!) the magical Sigur Ros album Med Sud I Eyrum Vid Spilum Endalaust. Good work both, and frankly any top album list that fails to include that pair of masterpieces is just, well, wrong. More soon, no doubt.
So to the bits and pieces - first up, happy news from Iceland that the promised new album from Skakkamanage is now available. Brilliantly named, "All Over The Face" contains the recently released song Costa Bravo, which I just love. It's available to download now (and I'm sure I shortly will). There's a great article on the IMX blog on myspace, which I'll link to just as soon as I can get myspace to work on this stupid computer! The record sounds great, and was produced by Orri Jonsson of the amazing band Slowblow, so you can just be certain that this is fine work. Another Icelandic fave with a new album now available is Jeff Who, their album not so brilliantly titled "Jeff Who?" contains the recent hits Congratulations and She's Got The Touch, and the rest is bound to be just as good and can be making your toes tap and your head nod in moments from this link. A good week!
Two things happen tomorrow night. One of my favourite bands from Airwaves 2008, Half Tiger, play a show at one of London's finest pubs, The North London Tavern in Kilburn and I shall certainly be there. The band are half Icelandic, one quarter Norwegian and one quarter English. Turns out that's a mix that works well, check them out at their myspace where you will find 3 great tracks to discover. I can't wait to see the show tomorrow. Later tomorrow night (from 11pm) on the brilliant John Kennedy show on xfm in London there will be chat and live performance from the wonderful Lay Low, and she will be playing in London on Saturday night at Metro on Oxford Street. Dreamy.
Lastly for now, the global battle of the bands competition final takes place at The Scala venue in London in mid December and Iceland has chosen that it's entry will be Agent Fresco who won the vote as you can read on IMX here. They are a band that made a great impression at their debut Airwaves this year, especially on Kerrang magazine who awarded them a maximum rating for a live show. Good work guys, and good luck...