Friday, November 15, 2019

Faded Love

The Christmas of ‘62.

Never were they closer.

Has time has faded their love?

So many years, so many smiles, so many tears.

All of it turned to dust.

But although this memento remains as a light-struck Kodachrome,

It seems to be fading as well.

When this image is gone the love will remain.

Friday Fiction
Found Image

By Professor Batty

Comments: 0 

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Nice Things

At the risk of entering the land of Conspicuous Consumption, I present the latest addition to Flippist World Headquarters: A pair of chairs.

Walnut and leather, new, and a far cry from the rest of the wooden furniture in the house (which was mostly gifted, from bargain or thrift stores, or even found at the curb.)

Nice things that complete a corner that has a “designer look.”

Based on a chair that Kennedy once used for a conference, these Scandinavian Modern pieces have a certain timelessness.

A place for morning coffee, a place to engage in civilized discourse.

Civilized, indeed.

By Professor Batty

Comments: 1 

Monday, November 11, 2019

The Island

A thriller by
Ragnar Jónasson
Translated by Victoria Cribb
Minotaur, 2019

Although this is the second of Jónasson’s “Hulda” novels, it is set before the first one. In 1997, ten years after the death of Katla, a young woman who was found dead at her family’s summer cabin, a group of her friends gather at an isolated hunting lodge on one of the smaller Westman islands off the south coast of Iceland in memory of her. When one of them ends up dead Hulda is brought in and this new death is tied to the old one, including its botched handling by the police.

There is a fair amount of atmosphere (including a trip around Hvalfjarðavegur that I got a personal kick out of) and Ragnar never lets the reader forget where the story is taking place but it isn’t really a “thriller.” It is more of a police procedural. The writing (and translation) is good, but prosaic, this isn’t great literature. The set-up and finale are handled well, but the plot developments are workmanlike.

A good effort but I enjoyed The Darkness, his previous Hulda book, more.

By Professor Batty

Comments: 0 

Friday, November 08, 2019

Iceland Airwaves… NO!

If any of you fortunate enough to be attending the 2019 Iceland Airwaves are weary of the music and need a change of pace, Auður of the I Heart Rekjavík website has the answer. Flyover Iceland is a new attraction in the harbour area, I’m sure you can’t miss it. Even if you aren’t in the mood for a fabulous VR trip through the Icelandic countryside, I recommend reading the article anyway. The first half of it is a rumination on the authenticity of the Iceland experience for tourists, Reykjavík in particular. Auður’s site is nominally a travel one but, with her personal touches, she gives her posts a greater depth than is usual in the genre.

Iceland Airwaves… YES!

Getting back to the Airwaves, here are some videos of JFDR, the most interesting 2019 Airwaves artist I’ve seen on line, first performing and then being interviewed:

By Professor Batty

Comments: 0 

Wednesday, November 06, 2019

Iceland Airwaves Begins!

Opening ceremony: Hjaltalín at Grund:

JFDR performing White Sun at Slippbarinn:

Instagram updates…

Some acts from last year’s Airwaves playing this year as well:

Ateria ~ Hard Rock Café, Saturday, 20:10. Spooky Icelandic teens, not to be missed.

Bláskjár ~ Nordic House, Thursday, 18:15. Sensitive performer and songwriter.

Between Mountains ~ Fríkirkjan, Thursday 19:50, Hard Rock Café, Saturday 21:10.

Hugar ~ Fríkirkjan, Friday, 21:30. Moody tone-poems, very disciplined.

Jóhanna Elísa ~ Bryggjan Brugghús, Thursday 16:00. Accomplished pop singer/keyboardist.

By Professor Batty

Comments: 0 

Monday, November 04, 2019

Iceland Airwaves 2019 …

… or, “I’m Not There.”

I wish I was.

The good news is that there are now over twenty off-venues. More good news is that Harpa is not a venue. The not-so-good news is that Þjóðleikhúsið (The National Theater) is not a venue this year—they are staging a musical version of Shakespeare in Love Wednesday the 6th and Sunday the 10th and Halldór Laxness’ Atómstöðin the 7th and 8th (both highly recommended!)

That won’t help you get your Airwaves fix, however. This post might.

 Wednesday is usually a good day to find undiscovered acts. With the exceptions of Gróa at the KEX hostel (16:30), Between Mountains (below) and JFDR at Slippbarinn (17:30, 18:30) and Svavar Knútur (everywhere!) I’m not familiar with them but here is a good guide for the new Icelandic acts (with videos.)

Between Mountains, The Current

Thursday’s off-venue schedule is good again at Slippbarinn  with Sóley (above) at 16:30. A revamped Between Mountains is at Fríkirkjan (19:50) and Hjaltalín commands the stage at the  Reykjavík Art Museum (21:50). If Páll Óskar shows up for a cameo in their set there will be complete pandemonium.

The ever-evolving JFDR will perform in Gamla Bio (22:20):

Friday’s best bets are the line-up at Fríkirkjan in the early evening and Iðno later.

On Saturday afternoon you can catch Ateria (above) at Lóa Bar-Bistro (16:00), not the best venue for three moody teenagers, but they are well worth it (you can also see them at Hard Rock Café at 20:10 followed by Between Mountains at 22:00).  Fríkirkjan’s Saturday night has another solid line-up. The big show is at Vashöllin, a stadium about a kilometer from the city center, where you catch Agent Fresco (20;25) and Of Monsters and Men (23:45), both of whom do great shows. Sólstafir at Iðno (00:00) may be the best metal show of the festival (bring earplugs!):


One off-venue that is listed but not yet scheduled is the senior home Grund. They have had a 10 a.m. show on Wednesday the last couple of years; last year Sóley gave a heroic performance with her dad (and had an introduction by the President of Iceland!) It was the emotional highlight of the festival:

The Minnesota radio station The Current will have live video from Hresso on Friday and Saturday starting at 12:30 GMT (06:30 CST).

Dillon has music for seven days, starting tonight (Monday) and going through Sunday.
Most shows are open but some (Wednesday—Saturday evenings) need a wristband/or admission.

If you have a hankering for Icelandic rockabilly, you can’t do any better than Langi og Skuggarnír, Lucky Records, Thursday, 17:00

KEX Hostel has radio broadcasts by Seattle station KEXP—they are consistently great (and crowded) and start in the afternoon on Tuesday. This year you will need a wristband to attend (come early!)

The Nordic House (south of the pond, across Ringbraut) also has consistently exceptional performances in what is arguably the most intimate venue (Notables: Bláskjár, Thursday, 18:15, Nising, Friday, 15:00.)

Ólöf Arnalds is at Iðno Saturday, 21:00, I saw her there in 2004(!) and in Seattle in 2011. She is a knockout—a triple threat of singing, playing and songwriting. Perhaps she’ll be one of the “special guests” at KEXP, Friday, 21:30?
Full Airwaves schedule is HERE.

(all images from 2018 Iceland Airwaves)

By Professor Batty

Comments: 1 

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Halloween Terrors

Halloween is big in my hometown. Its motto is “The Halloween Capital of the World”; who am I to disagree?

There is a special parade for the middle school and younger kids:

And even some princesses:

But the real horror is parked just down the street from the parade:

By Professor Batty

Comments: 2