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The New Iceage

On the brink of insanity with Denmark’s greatest punk band

MUSIC

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LIKE A LOT OF TEENAGERS, Elias Bender Rønnenfelt spent hours alone in his room listening to music. He was a Danish kid growing up in the new millennium, but the sounds that excited him were American and British, from prior decades. “All sorts of New York no wave bands,” says the now 26-year-old Rønnenfelt. “David Bowie. Crass. Teen Idles.”

One of his favorites: the seminal punk band Richard Hell and the Voidoids. So it was disorienting for Rønnenfelt when Hell, a 68-year-old punk veteran, recently wrote an impassioned essay in praise of Rønnenfelt’s band, Iceage. In it, the veteran imagines himself “as a kid lying in my closed-door room in the dark, listening to this band and getting what I need.” That was weird to read, Rønnenfelt tells while visiting the New York offices of Matador Records in March. “It’s strange,” he adds, “when a voice from your teenage bedroom speaks back at you.”

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THE NEW IRON CURTAIN? For years, Russia has tried to weaken and divide the EU, supporting groups ranging from Catalan separatists in Spain to British Brexit activists. The Kremlin had offered loans to France’s National Front and used its propaganda channels to whip up fake news about the persecution of Russian minorities in the Baltics. According to Political Capital, a Budapest based think tank, Russian-based trolls, Twitter bots and social media sock puppets have been put to work, boosting exaggerated stories of crimes by immigrants and “selling pro-Kremlin narratives within a tabloid, conspiracy package.”