“Quand un étranger vient dans ch’Nord, il brait deux fois, quand il arrive et quand il repart.” – Ch’ti Proverb
The final day. I’d bought my tickets for The War on Drugs/Flaming Lips closing show a few weeks before arriving in Iceland because of two reasons: 1) I am paranoid, and 2) I did not want to wake up early like my fellow Airwaves compatriots on the Friday morning to stand in line at Harpa for four hours to show my wristband in exchange for 1 of 2200 tickets. The $80 was worth the extra three hours of stress-less sleep. I was over-tired, hungover, and it was my last full day in Iceland so I shouldn’t be spending it nursing said hangover, right? Fortunately, Iceland is one of those places that just lets me be. I was quite happy to spend most of the day leading up to the closing show doing nothing but walk up and down Laugavegur once, and stopping into Eymundsson for a coffee and quick show. The evening’s performance, as it would turn out, would be well-worth a day of nothing.
Today was THE day. The day so crazy that a few months back, when I saw the announcement that the Iceland Airwaves schedule had been announced and looked at the Saturday, I screamed at my computer in frustration. When it comes to music, sacrifice has always been a difficult concept, and having never been to a music festival of this scale before, I had naive beliefs that I wouldn’t have to make any tough choices. My schedule could have gone a million different ways. And almost a week later, I still look back and think of how I might have done things differently, even though the way I did do things was, nonetheless, an amazingly perfect evening.
The weekend was here, and somehow the nights were going to get later (Young Grandma over here already thinks nights that end at 1:00AM are far too late). Airwaves was halfway over, but the shows I was most excited for were nearly here. I was meeting all kinds of people, and living in a permanent state of excitement and anticipation about what great show I was going to see or discover next. This day was a little more planned out than Day 2, as I had a couple specific bands I needed to see, but there was still room for flexibility and checking out some bands I’d never heard of before.
With no idea what to expect or how I should plan out my schedule, I survived my first day of Iceland Airwaves. And holy shit – my first day set some amazingly high expectations of what to expect over the next four days.
I’ll be heading to the Iceland Airwaves music festival in just a matter of weeks, and I am extremely excited. Aside from the local Edmonton Folk Music Festival and Sonic Boom Rock Music Festival, I have never attended a real music festival before. Of course, a few weeks ago I was highly disappointed to find out some of the acts I was looking forward to seeing are appearing at the exact same time as each other, so there will be a few things I will have to miss out on. As a result, I now know I will learn many lessons from attending this music festival – first one being don’t expect to see everything! I decided to make a playlist of 21 songs by 21 artists who will be appearing at Iceland Airwaves, being 21 songs and artists I have heard and have listened to prior to the festival. Following the festival, I will make a playlist of new songs and artists I discovered while attending the festival. So here it is! Spotify just came to Canada, so …
Today is my 24th birthday. So I decided to make a playlist of 23 amazing songs that were released in the time I was 23, August 25, 2013-August 24, 2014. These are all songs I knew about during that time as well, and was repeatedly listening to throughout my 23rd year of existence.
I’ve been thinking a lot about what the concept of home means to me – whether it’s a feeling, a place, a mood, a person or a group of people. It was Canada Day last week, my first Canada Day actually spent in the city where I grew up in a long time.
Next to travel, music is probably one of the most important things in my life. I make playlists for just about every mood, situation, or place, and keeping my iTunes library down to a manageable number is a task I gave up on a long time ago. I listen to music from a wide variety of genres, languages, and time periods, from the early American love songs of Nat King Cole to modern-day Icelandic prog-rock. And there’s almost nothing I like more than getting a really good music recommendation from someone else.