I guess it's not okay for me to miss Homeskillet Fest anymore. Alaska is a weird place; there's sideways rain, night time sun, eagles as big as bears, and bears who think they're people, so I don't usually go there on purpose, but the reports from this year's festival have me reproving myself. I became curious when in 2011 Shabazz Palaces and Hanni El Khatib both played the festival, because those two groups' every work is a staggering work of heartbreaking genius, which I will need years of therapy to even begin to think about removing from my MP3 player.
Iska Daaf is the collaboration of Benjamin Verdoes of Mt St Helens Vietnam Band, and Nathan Quiroga (a.k.a. Buffalo Madonna of Mad Rad). While this isn't their first work together, (Verdoes contributed guitars on the last Mad Rad effort, The Youth Die Young, and is a staple at live performances), Homeskillet Fest was their first stage effort as Iska Daaf. Their songs "Rumi" and "Happiness" are echoing, harmonius, post-punk pieces, complete with Verdoes's bright and sad arpeggios and Quiroga's poetic bleakness, which is, as usual, film noir in 16 bars / a new realism work of art.
They only have two demos up thus far on Soundcloud, but that doesn't mean there isn't a lot to listen to.