Sound of Music

Hi everyone! Remember the blog of my 20ish favorite pictures from my trip? Well, here’s one kinda similar to that. Music was a huge part of my trip both purposely and inadvertently.

I purposely chased down Death Cab for Cutie in Norway and Muse in France. I purposely tried to see as much live street music as possible. And, of course, I purposely attended Saga Fest in Iceland.

And as great as all of that was, sometimes I think the random people I met on my travels provided the most memorable tunes. From the Icelandic Couchsurfing host and his collection of guitars to the drunken Herzegovinian guys celebrating a birthday on a Croatian beach, music surrounded me every step of the way.

So, I wanted to share some of these memories. Here is a list of people from all walks of life that I met (or saw perform) on my trip. Note: this list will not include the guy trying to sell me his hip-hop CD in an Amsterdam McDonald’s who, upon being rejected multiple times, looked me up and down and told me I looked “like Eminem before he got famous.”

Anyway, here goes:

AUSTRALIA: 

I saw this little guy jamming at Manly Beach in Australia. He’s 13 years old. Enough said.

ICELAND:

I met Clayton, from Santa Cruz, at a Couchsurfing meetup in Iceland. He brought his guitar and played for us a little bit. This is my favorite tune from his SoundCloud page. According to Facebook, Clayton is working at a hostel in Sevilla, Spain these days – the dream lives on!

Arnar came out to the bars with some friends and I in Reykjavik. It didn’t take us long to figure out he was a singer (seriously, every Icelandic person is born with incredible pipes for some reason). He has some performances on YouTube, including this awesome Joe Cocker cover.

The first Saga Fest act I saw was Axel Flóvent. We were in a tiny tent on a farm in the middle of nowhere in Iceland. Most of the musicians there killed it, but this guy and his band set the tone for the rest of the festival. Here’s my favorite:

SPAIN:

I didn’t think Robin, our friendly bartender/DJ in an awesome hostel in Granada could top his impressive drink-mixing skills. Then I spotted this video on his Facebook page. Killin’ it.

MOROCCO:

Lucky me that I happened to crash at the same hostel in Chefchaouen as Victor. He had the air of a musician, but when I listened to his band Memphis Hill (Victor is lead guitar), I was blown away. Here’s a winner, but you can pick any of them and your ears will have a good time.

GERMANY:

Konnexion Balkon is a phenomenal group of street musicians I stumbled across one night in Munich. The music was great, but it was their showmanship that really sold me. The video below is a good representation of their musical chops, but if you want to see the entire band (piano guy included!) that I saw, and a little more of their silliness, there’s also this lower-quality video.

There was the organ grinder in Paris, the musicians in the botanic gardens in Munich, countless friends in Iceland and many more along the way. These were some of the most memorable. Check them out if you get a chance!

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