On a day too rainy to manage any sightseeing, I trudged through a torrential downpour from my hostel in Ponsonby to Auckland’s Real Groovy Records. From the moment you walk into the cavernous warehouse space, you can see why Real Groovy is a real feather in the cap of Auckland’s music scene. The place has a very similar vibe to California record titan Amoeba Records, feeling both inviting and slightly overwhelming. [Read more…]
I’ve written a brand-new packing list for super-cool women’s travel gear site Her Packing List, to help women going to Iceland Airwaves Music Festival pack for their epic musical adventure!
Autumn is upon us, which means that music fans from around the world will soon be flocking to Reykjavik for Iceland Airwaves Music Festival. Airwaves is one of my absolute favorite festivals, taking over the city for five days every October or November, and showcasing a ton of incredible Icelandic talent, as well as some awesome international acts. Not only is the festival great, but the location can’t be beat. Iceland is stunning, with Reykjavik as its cool, small-yet-cosmopolitain capital. I’ve gone to Airwaves twice, and have made some of my favorite travel memories at this festival.
One of the things that differentiates Airwaves from most other major music festivals is that it takes place in a chilly climate in late autumn, which means that you have to plan your packing very differently than you would for other music festivals, which are most often put on in spring or summer.
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To be entirely honest, the size and quality of the music scene in the Faroe Islands totally took me by surprise. At just under 20,000 people, Tórshavn is the world’s smallest capital. Despite the small population, there are dozens of bands and musical projects active in the Faroes, and at the center of it all is the prolific Tutl Records.
Tutl (Faroese for “whisper”) was founded by a Danish Jazz composer named Kristian Blak, and in the last 35+ years has put out hundreds of releases for 100 or so artists. The roster is mostly comprised of Faroese bands, but Tutl has released albums for bands from outside the Faroes as well: from Italy, Iceland, and Estonia, to name just a few. Their releases cover an impressive range of genres, from traditional Faroese ethnic music, to folk, metal, jazz, reggae, and many more. [Read more…]
Bop Street Records, located in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood, is a veritable treasure trove for serious vinyl collectors (and casual browsers too).
The staff are incredibly helpful. From the moment I walked in, I was being asked about the kind of music I like, and what I might be looking for. They’ll point you in the right direction, then give you all the space you need to comb through their fantastic selection of records. They’re always around, ready to answer any questions, but without interfering with your browsing. Their prices are quite fair, as well. [Read more…]
As we approach the 20th anniversary of the tragic death of Kurt Cobain, the legacy of Seattle’s grunge movement is once again in the spotlight. The grunge era helped define the culture of Generation X, and propelled popular music into the alternative rock movement of the late 80’s and early 90’s. Grunge’s popularity also drew the eyes of the world to our rainy little corner of the world, helping to make Seattle the major hub of independent music it is today.
The nice folks at location-based photo sharing app Trover (read about it here) asked me to create a list detailing of some of Seattle’s grunge landmarks, and share it using their new widgets. The list highlights some of the spaces and places critical to this slice of rock history, including the original location of Sub Pop Records, important music venues, and Kurt Cobain’s unofficial memorial. You can read about them by clicking “See More on Trover” on the list above.
Easy Street Records is easily my favorite record store in Seattle. They carry a ton of Northwest music, have super friendly and helpful staff, and cater to pretty much everyone’s taste. They also regularly have live music in-store. The entire first floor of ESR is CDs & DVDs (both new and used). The walls are covered in fantastic posters, art, collectibles, and featured music. [Read more…]