from Sunday, March14th of the year2010.
Last night, I went to the Icelandic Music awards, which is just about the funniest thing you can possibly go to as a foreigner. It’s essentially a scaled-down Grammeez, but with way more inside jokes and way more awkward award speeches. What’s also amazing about these awards is the way that everybody, of course, not just knows everybody but also worked on everybody’s project. Like, half of the nominees had made their projects at Greenhouse studios; another slightly different half were artists I’ve recorded with numerous times “”Â there were almost no strangers to me. All the interstitial banter was carried out by Sigtryggur Baldursson and a woman whose name I forgot but who was easily eight months pregnant. The two of them were in a perpetual state of rushing from the stage to the balcony of the opera house, and breathlessly reading from the teleprompter, and rushing back down. Divine. I would say that I understood about 82% of what was happening, which, all things considered, is not bad for a foreigner.
The big excitement for the night was that DanÃel Bjarnason won Best Composition, which is so cool, for one of the pieces from his album Processions, which was just released on Bedroom Community.
HjaltalÃn came and played the two last shows, and one of their two singers, this girl Sigga (who I just found out has the improbably delicious last name “” not a patrynomic “” “Thorlacius”) had also won an award before, so it was a little bit of a lovefest. She is my favorite because she is a big girl who rocks it out; you see her going down the street and it’s nobody better coiffed, nobody better turned out with the garments:
I am so into a diaphanous gown. I’ve been literally counting the seconds until André Leon Talley is on Top Model this season wearing his “13 custom-made Chado Ralph Rucci cloaks.” Also I have a weird fascination with HjaltalÃn’s bass player, who is one of those constantly smiling faces on the streets of Reykjavík, and also I think is the only person I know of in the entirety of Ever who can do facial hair properly “” behold:
Squinty, but he could kind of get it, right?
Also amazing was the memorial video in the middle, to commemorate everybody who died in the last year. The PHOTOS of these people, good lord, they were so exquisite! If I can find some online I’ll post them here; these men had such unbelievable hair. And it was great to see how many people on the screen were parents of musicians “” the whole audience was like, who momma that? Who momma that is? And you’d realize it was the mother of the lady from the orchestra who etc. etc. etc. Quite moving. Then, afterparties, afterparties, afterparties, confusing parties, not-confusing parties, boring parties, fun parties, screaming parties, drunk parties, sober parties. At a certain point, Jónsi and I excused ourselves to interview each other for the Grapevine magazine “” sort of like the Reykjavík Village Voice “” and we thought that the best place to do it was the Leather Bar (each town has one), which, because it’s Iceland, is run by the sweetest leather daddy you ever will meet, whose day job is translating cartoons from the English. Apparently he does the Simpsons, and then on weekend nights, runs the fetish club for, like, the two bears in Iceland. It’s fabulous. And I think now my new rule is that all interviews have to be done in fetish clubs.
Then, walking home, the typical weekend in Reykjavík zombie movie of drunk people:
It’s not much to look at, I know, but this is like, four in the morning, and everybody is on the street, and there are girls screaming and broken glass everywhere. There is something so apocalyptic about that place.
Is there a word for generational anxiety about travel? Sometimes when I see groups of backpackers my age “” be they from America, Germany, or whatever “” I get really really freaked out. Where do they buy those clothes? Why do they have those dippy smiles on their faces? I used to think that my mistrust for them was totally irrational and evil and that I was a wicked creature. But then I learned something last summer! It turns out that backpackers are really bad for small economies because they bring their own food, and don’t spend any money! Now, this was explained to me by, like, a Rather Tipsy Faroese tourism minister, but still. Transporting your own Gorp from Dusseldorf to Reykjavík is Bad for the World. This is my talking point and I’m going to stick to it. (Note: I was going to have a little inset picture of backpackers here, but I realized that I was basically trolling through Swiss Lesbians’s Flickr accounts, and that really isn’t fair usage, is it? I’m sure they are well-meaning. They should just come and spend money in the Kluh and at the health food store HERE so that this country doesn’t completely explode and turn into the Cuba of the North).