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UKNY For November 11: Broken Wings and Birds

Ducks and geese in Akureyri, Iceland, during the city's snowfall of November 4 (photo by Kara Manning)

Ducks and geese in Akureyri, Iceland, during the city's snowfall of November 4 (photo by Kara Manning)


Last Saturday afternoon, in beautiful, snowy Akureyri, Iceland, where I was covering Iceland Airwaves for FUV, I slipped backwards when crossing a snow-covered street, a couple of blocks from the hotel, after taking this very photo of ducks and geese in a pond for the FUV blog. I was wearing my nice new Merrell Arctic hiking boots, allegedly ice-and-glacier ready, which were apparently useless. And ... I fractured my left shoulder.

A sweet, valiant group of guardian angels and friends got me to the hospital, took care of me, got me on airlines from Akureyri back to Reykjavík and eventually to NYC on Monday night and I'm grateful beyond words. Heroes all. And Icelandic health care is amazing — oh, to have their system here in the States would be nirvana. Also, all of the ambulance attendants, bearded and very kind, all vaguely resembled Ásgeir which is a delightful by-product of Iceland. Every inhabitant looks like they should be in a rock, rap or folk band.

So given my very broken left wing and the physical difficulty of pulling together a new show this week, it seemed appropriate to resurrect an episode I did last summer, celebrating birds (wings intact) and dreams of flying. All varieties of birds will flock to tonight's UKNY at 11 — from eagles to magpies to curlews. Unfortunately, no puffin songs (I do need to find one.)

Expect an hour of avian-minded tracks, metaphorically and otherwise, from Kelly Lee Owens (who performed at Iceland Airwaves!), Saint Etienne, Smoke Fairies, Beyond the Wizards Sleeve, XTC and others.

Next week, a special post-Iceland UKNY when I'll hobble back to the station, and chat about my Icelandic adventures and wonderful artists like Vök, JFDR, Between Mountains, Mammút, and others with my dear pal Alisa Ali helping me out (running a board with one hand is tough!)

Missed all or part of the show? You can now find UKNY on demand immediately after broadcast via the Weekend Archives at