The Universe and Me

Monday, October 02, 2006

World domination or death

For all the Sugarcubes fans: the band will be reuniting for a one time concert November 17th in Reykjavik to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the release of their first single. And someone please videotape this puppy and release it on DVD for me to buy because it’s unlikely I’ll be able to attend, much as I’d give up anything valuable I had, if I had anything valuable, to do so. Icelandair is offering some good special package deals that include flights and concert tickets. If you fly sometime between November 9th and 23rd (on a date that isn’t sold out, as many of them already are), the ticket price is an extremely wonderful rate of $448 from JFK to Reykjavik.

People have asked me why I have this strange interest in all things Icelandic. So here's the story. Way back in probably 1988, at work we used to modify computer records and the computers back then didn't have the zippy processors they do now. To modify one record, the computer had to search through all the records until it found the right one. Sometimes it took 4 minutes for one record. No one wanted to do this job, so they stuck me and a guy named Jason on the project. Rather than just sit there being bored out of our minds, we talked while the computer did its modifying thing. And Jason came up with this idea to collaborate on a book that would encompass all the tired clichés from the world of fiction. But we needed an exotic setting. "Iceland!" he said. And then decided he would research how to write a novel while I researched Iceland. So I did.

I ready Alden's Letters from Iceland and then a wonderful novel which quickly became my favourite book of all time (Men at Axlir by Dominic Cooper.) Delving further, I looked in the handy but heavy Readers Guide to Periodical Literature for any magazine articles on the place. That's where I saw Rolling Stone and People magazines had written about a rock band from Reykjavik. The Sugarcubes they were. A few months later I happened to find their Life's Too Good CD and was astonished on the first note. From there, I kept reading more and subscribed to a couple Icelandic magazines. Ordered a bunch of CD's of other bands from Smekkleysa and here I am today. Still on the lookout for all things Icelandic. Writing about it on a blog whose name is taken from my all time favourite song, the Sugarcubes' "Planet."


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