Tickets for the Mogwai show went on sale absurdly early, at least four months or so before the concert rolled around. On the night of the show, there were a few procrastinating individuals milling around the Showbox at the Market desperately looking for tickets, which...

The Maserati and Sleepy Eyes Of Death billing was one of those interesting mashes. Two bands theoretically playing the same broad spectrum of music, but proving that genre tags really mean nothing. These two "post-rock" bands couldn't be more different sounding at all. The Sunset Tavern Seattle,...

In spring 2010, Iceland's Eyjafjallajökull volcano erupted, billowing an ash cloud so large it disrupted air travel in Western Europe for nearly a month. News stations scrambled to cover the event, and all eyes turned to Iceland, both praising it and admonishing it for its native geographic wonders. But once the ash settled, so did the attention. Once again, Iceland found itself inhabiting its own isolated region of the world.

Iceland is a small country with a reputation built upon a foundation of misinformation. Few people have first-hand knowledge of the country, but many think they do. They spread the myth that Iceland is frozen over by glaciers year-round, that it's barely inhabitable during the winter months. They harp that quirky Icelanders have a widespread belief in the existence of fairies. No wonder a musician as eccentric as Björk would spawn from such a curious land! These hastily-draw conclusions do not paint the whole picture.
Iceland is certainly cold in winter months, but the famed landscape of eternal tundra is reflective of Greenland, not Iceland. Belief in mythological spirits certainly does exist, but Iceland is far from being an underdeveloped rural society of loons. The country's most famous export, Björk, is considered unique by any standards. Her musical and aesthetic choices are hardly reflective of the conventional norms of the country, and your average Icelander is far from outlandish.

Björk's recent accomplishments have taken the form of collaborative projects with musicians like Dirty Projectors and Antony And The Johnsons. Ostensibly, her solo career has been deferred, and to fill in the void, the world has shifted towards Iceland's other successful musical acts. Few and far between, those acts have wielded tremendous power, their sheer dearth providing them the opportunity to mold global perspectives on Icelandic's music scene.

Post-rock quintet Sigur Rós has, in the recent past, contributed to the rebranding of Iceland with a new visual and musical face -- a move that has unwittingly opened the scene up to another slew of stereotypes and associations.
"Icelanders are blessed with beautiful nature, lots of water, and space, and there's great energy in the country. But I think that more importantly, the most successful Icelandic musicians have been led by their curiosity and put a lot of time and effort into their art, and as result, created their own unique musical world." -- Ólöf Arnalds

 

It's almost guaranteed that if you're in an instrumental band from Great Britain, your band will be more inclined to play post-rock of the Mogwai variety. England's is no different. The EP Autonomy has some pieces that sound as if they were almost taken...

Talk about a bittersweet release. The first thing I thought of when I put the new Maserati album on was the unfortunate death of their old drummer Jerry Fuchs. So, Pyramid Of The Sun seems like it was his last testament of sorts. A large...

While movie studios compete to outdo one another with the latest in 3-D technology and even pop stars like Jonas Brothers and Justin Bieber are getting a bite of the action with their own 3-D concert films, Austin's The Octopus Project is leaving them all in the dust by thinking in terms of eight. With the desire to expand their already kinetic, spacey sound, the band has cooked up an idea that plays with a number of dimensions and would actually be experienced in a live setting, involving eight speakers, eight video projectors, and eight video sequences synchronized to music. The concept places the band in the center of a tent with an audience encircling them and the speakers surrounding the audience. Projected images on the ceiling replaces the night sky and watches over the crowd.
Before writing a note of music, though, the band took the performance idea to the Whole Foods Market flagship store in Austin, proposing to perform the project in the store's parking lot during SXSW 2010, says band member Yvonne Lambert. Without knowing all the specifications, Whole Foods agreed. However, The Octopus Project was then challenged with the task of figuring out how to make the idea come to life and write music that would do justice to such a colossal endeavor.

"We had a little bit of a freak out moment after they said yes," says Lambert. "It was exciting and scary at the same time."

The band named the venture Hexadecagon, and the music that was created later went on to form the latest The Octopus Project album by the same name, which was released by Peek-A-Boo Records in Fall 2010. However, making the music for the two free live performances at SXSW and recording it for the album were two different undertakings.

Listen to "Fuguefat" - DOWNLOAD MP3

To copy and paste from Jagjaguwar's description: "Some of the questions raised when we announced the existence of Volcano Choir were 'When are they going to tour?' and 'How will they re-create this live?' The answers to those are 1) They will tour only in Japan,...