Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 11:39 am
The Newport Folk Festival has been around for more than half a century now â€” this is its 55th year, to be exact â€” and the event now routinely sells out months before its lineup is even announced. And why shouldn't it?
On World Cafe's Sense of Place: Iceland trip, we felt inspired during our visit to Reykjavik's famed 12 TÃ³nar Records. It's a homey, welcoming place where the shelves are filled with Icelandic CDs and vinyl.
Behind the counter, fielding all questions, was Einar ÃžÃ³r KristjÃ¡nsson, who has worked at 12 TÃ³nar since it opened 15 years ago. We asked him to make a list of some of his favorite Icelandic music; he obliged, giving us the history of the unique store and picking five bands. (Some you may know well, others not so much.)
Our Sense of Place: Iceland guest today is Sindri MÃ¡r SigfÃºsson, who performs under the name Sin Fang for his solo work. He also leads the folk-pop group Seabear; in fact, the first Seabear recordings were released in conjunction with another ursine band, an early version of the American band Grizzly Bear. SigfÃºsson released his third solo album, Flowers, last year.
It still surprises me that a few of my colleagues who regularly attend music festivals like Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival and Budweiser Made in America still haven't heard of, or don't seem to know much about, the annual Essence Festival, held every July 4th weekend in New Orleans at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
In February, Ethiopian-born singer Meklit Hadero was flying home from Uganda to the U.S. when her plane had to land unexpectedly near the Arctic Circle. It was so cold that to keep her fingers warm she put on oven mitts (decorated with an African print) that she'd bought to bring home.