I'll start here with a few gig and internet reasons to be positive...
gogoyoko.com - what's that? an Icelandic music website, where you can listen to full tracks by loads of artists - Icelandic and otherwise. You can buy individual tracks and albums if you want. You can send messages to other users. There's nothing not to like. My favourite discovery so far is Pascal Pinon, and especially the fantastic song, "I Wrote A Song".
Teitur at The Purcell Room, London - Fabulous artist, fabulous venue. Before the show even started, the evening was good - there was a chocolate festival right outside the place. A fine beginning. The venue was perfect, but sadly only about two-thirds full. But we were all there to hear this incredibly talented guy from the Faroe Islands (which is nearly Iceland - isn't it? - can I get away with that?). The show was fabulous - Teitur's voice accompanied by either piano or acoustic guitar, was flawless and engaging. The string quartet which joined him on stage for some songs was perfectly employed. But it is Teitur's songs which shine through, he has a knack for melody and for lyrics which sweep the audience away - every moment was listened to in a complete hush, which would break into warm applause at each tune's close. A perfect night, check out his album, "All My Mistakes" here; highlights include Jospehine, Catherine the Waitress, Don't Want You To Wake Up and Louis Louis.
Hjaltalin at The Tabernacle in Notting Hill - again, a wonderful venue for this edition of jajaja nights in London. The Tabernacle is a curious thing, a bar/restaurant downstairs and open, school-gym kind of performance venue upstairs. It works, it is the sort of venue, like Kilburn's Luminaire, that makes me more likely to go see a band. The Tabernacle is surrounded by houses and homes, and for this reason has one of those noise meter's on stage (and visible to the audience) - this little sparkly box put a premature end to the set by Megaphonic Thrift - they overdid it several times before giving up. Next up were the mighty Hjaltalin. The Icelanders certainly have improved from album to album, and now also from show to show - they are increasingly confident - buoyed no doubt by their success at home but also by having two albums-worth of strong material. The set was well-received by an only-half full room - the love in the room grew throughout and peaked for the rousing motown sounding set-closer "Feels Like Sugar" from new album Terminal. (Hjaltalin photo is from lovely website itsatrap)
Finally - Iceland Airwaves 2010 - it's happening, the dates are confirmed, and it is under new management. Now, I don't have a bad word to say about anything Mr Destiny ever did with Iceland Airwaves, but I know the people at IMX well - they even think it's a good idea to have this blog on their homepage, (thank you!) - and they are super-smart and super-passionate about Iceland and the music, I know they'll do an amazing job. First bands to be announced very soon, watch this space... :-)