Icelandic singer-songwriter HEK to visit Public Space One

HEK w/ Julianne Mason, Luke Spartacus, Crystal City, The Men from … Beyond

Public Space One — Friday, Aug. 22 at 8 p.m.

Have you heard the one about two New Yorkers and an Icelander traveling halfway across the country together? It’s not really a set-up to a good joke, but it is a good set-up for Friday night’s show at Public Space One, which will feature the music of Icelandic musician HEK, New York’s Julianne Mason and Luke Spartacus, as well as Iowa City’s own Crystal City and The Men from … Beyond.

HEK (aka Haukur Emil Kaaber) is an Icelandic folk-rock musician whose interest in music began in 2007 when a friend accidentally left an acoustic guitar at his house. He began to set his previously-written poems to music, and three albums later, Iceland’s vibrant musical community seems to have embraced HEK’s arresting and pensive songwriting. His latest record, Please Tease Me, was engineered by Þór Eldon, Björk’s ex-husband and former member of legendary Icelandic group The Sugarcubes, and features an appearance by keyboardist Einar Melax, also of The Sugarcubes.

Julianne Mason (a former Iowan herself) plays bleeding-heart-on-sleeve confessional songs, with a whisper-quiet piano and a “thunder-in-the-distance” electric guitar. At 29, she’s started her musical career somewhat late, but her experiences of raising two children in New York clearly lend some serious emotional heft to her songs. Luke Spartacus will bring some welcome levity to the evening, playing songs with a more humorous bent, like “The Bacon Song.”

The show begins at 8 p.m. with a suggested donation of $5 for the five acts playing.

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