Tuesday, December 30

Blue water, white death

Cool footage of a Carcharodon Carcharias menacing kayakers less than a mile off Australia's east coast on Saturday.

Only last week a man was apparently eaten by a Great White on the west coast off Australia while searching for crab (story here)
The man, Brian Guest, was a vocal supporter of the protection of sharks and had written on the Western Angler website forum in 2004:
"I have always had an understanding with my wife that if a shark or ocean accident caused my death then so be it, at least it was doing what I wanted. Every surfer, fisherman and diver has far more chance of being killed by bees, drunk drivers, teenage car thieves and lightning. Every death is a tragedy – regardless of the cause – but we have no greater claim to use of this earth than any of the other creatures [we] share it with."

Deschanel death knell


Yes, I am one of the internet nerdburgers who feels the pangs of unfathomable sadness at the news of Zooey Deschanel's engagement to Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Music..Cutie...or whatever. I'm off to watch Elf and cry all over my Christmas jumper.

Friday, December 26

My 11 like most favourite albums of 2008. Totally.

Efterklang - Parades (seemed like this year but turns out it isn't, so I'll mention it but it must be excluded from the list. Sorry Casper, you beautiful Danish man you)


11. Flying Lotus - Los Angeles (Perfect instrumental hip-hop with considerable depth. Fuck off Soulja Boy.)

10. Portishead - Third (What a comeback. Terrifyingly good.)

9. Christian Fennesz - Black Sea (Noisy,wondrous,feedbacky,synthy,legendary)

8. Vivian Girls - Vivian Girls (Feedback, fuzz and harmonies. All you need)

7. The Bug - London Zoo (Filthy, evil, angry. Dubstep rarely gets this good)

6. Fucked Up - The Chemistry of Common Life (Punk and panpipes. Brought me back to my hardcore punk roots this year and for that I thank them. fucking rocking tunes too.)

5. Bonnie Prince Billy - Lie Down in the Light (He could release anything and I would love it...but I really do love this. Country-tinged beauty, the opposite of the bleakness of I See A Darkness, and an effortlessly impressive album from my favourite solo artist by a long way. He's a God.)

4. Times New Viking - Rip It Off (What? Sorry, I can't hear you over the tinny production and pop melodies. Yes the keyboard player IS hot, you're right. No that has not influenced this number 4 placing, you sexist.)

3. The Walkmen - You & Me (How drunk are they? Very. And they write songs too. Fantastic ones. And what a gig in the Button Factory this year.)

2. Roots Manuva - Slime and Reason (Best MC around and an absolute classic of an album. Put many a sloppy grin on my chops. If it was summertime now, this may have claimed my topspot by a nosehair. I missed his gig coz I had the flu. It bothers me still.)

1. No Age - Nouns (Genius. Brilliant. Full of new ideas, passion and energy. AND I interviewed them too. I love No Age and want to have their babies.)


There you have it. Bon Iver is technically 2007 so I left it out. Alopecia by Why? is just on the outside but to be honest alot of the albums could be shuffled around slightly depending on the hour of the day or whatever.
I whittled it down with great difficulty from a longlist of about 19 and it was difficult but goddam it it was worth it.
Get them all.

Tuesday, December 23

sleigh bells ringing


And so, it's time to head away to the countryside to see The Family and The Friends in Galway. I've a week off (which for a journalist, I think, is pretty good seeing as how last year I had about 3 days off and enjoyed a festive dose of animosity with 'management')
The home time visit will also, hopefully, give me a chance to post up end-of-year blog stuff, just like everyone else.
I've spent most of the year finding my feet with this blogging stuff, taking riotous abuse from my friends for having a blog in the first place, met some great dudes and dudettes (and simply corresponded on t'internet with some too)and discovered what I think are a friendly, knowledgeable, cool bunch of people, all doing different kinds of things with their blogs and all providing me with hours of entertainment, music and laughs.
This is not my last post for a few weeks or anything (unless I am grabbed by 'Xmas cheer' and disappear off the grid for a while) but I'll just wish all of you readers, commenters, browsers, visitors and peeps in general a Happy Xmas and I'll raise a glass of red wine to you all in the next few days.
I've left you with a classic Xmas picture that all the kids will defo enjoy. Ho ho ho Santa, you crazy, disgusting lush.
Have a good 'un.

Wednesday, December 17

Eat a dick

For starters, comedy moment of 2008 has got to be Ice muthafuckin' T addressing Soulja Boy as part of a 'beef' some time back.
It's absolutely brilliant, mostly in an unintentional way. The highlights are when he talks about Soulja Boy being 'garbage' and talks about being 'caked out'. Hilarious stuff indeed. And Soulja Boy? Eat a dick yo'

Slowgress


I'm still slaving hard on my end-of-year lists and, album-wise, it's a real eye-opener.
It's only now you start to realise how much your taste is dictated by the usual suspects on the internet.
But, that said, the sheer quality of stuff I have heard this year is top notch.
I disagree that it was a bad year for music or albums or whatever people are saying out there. It really wasn't. There has been a huge amount of brilliant albums, songs and (also) films. I have had album after album on repeat in my headphones and this was the year that the glorious Fucked Up got me back into listening to punk, the music genre it all began with for me, listening to Dead Kennedys, Black Flag, Lard, Crass, NOFX, Rancid, Sex Pistols, No Use For A Name et al.
The 14-year old me would have hated me now though, with my dubious penchant for Bon Iver, Final Fantasy, Fennesz, Horse Feathers and the like.
There was a time in my teens I wouldn't even listen to the words Led Zeppelin being spoken aloud. But such elitism is behind me now and my spikey, bleach-blond haircut is but a wonderful memory.
I'll press on anyway. I'm a sensitive soul deep down under the hairy, drunken exterior (as my mother, my best friend and my girlfriend all like to remind me when the mood takes them) so here is the celestial, gorgeous, wondrous strains of Peter Broderick of Efterklang and Horse Feathers fame with the song Games Again from this year's Home album.
Download

Monday, December 15

Huge Ackman

I've rewatched both The Dark Knight and There Will Be Blood (again) and while both stand up very well indeed, it's the latter that grows and grows in the wow factor stakes, such is the sheer power of the whole shebang.
And that moustache.
Wow again.
Twas early in the year, around February I think, when this blog kicked off (yes I am still relatively new to it, thanks) and I was mildly obsessed with this film.
From the dialogue-free opening gambit to the ominous horror of Jonny Greenwood's score. From the fact that practically every frame of the movie could be the poster to the often hilarious, melodramatic, eminently quotable script.
From the powerhouse performance-of-a-lifetime effort of Day-Lewis to the snivelling genius turn of Paul Dano.
It's a work of art.
But more of that in a week or so.
This post is about Hugh Jackman. Kind of. The sexy bastard.
Here is the newest trailer for the upcoming Wolverine film.

Jackman has been chosen to host the next Oscars and his stage appearances in musicals, often camp demeanour and sheer likeability should make him the perfect host. Unfortunately he is so nice, he forgets how to say no to shit scripts (Swordfish, Kate&Leopold, Van Helsing...christ should I go on?) and so, an actor clearly capable of huge diversity, ends up starring in this kind of bilge. But then he has also done the overrated but fun X-Men films, the excellent The Prestige, the ambitious The Fountain and the I-have-not-seen-yet-but-it-looks-dire Australia with small-nosed drink of water Kidman.
All that aside, the trailer here looks like it'll be a good romp and Jackman wins 'Hunk Of The Week' on this blog. Well done, Hugh. And good luck with your future endeavours.

Friday, December 12

Words 'n' stuff

With reviews of The Day The Earth Stood Still flooding in, I'm really enjoying the word Klaatu.
It's just a brilliant word.
I can't stop saying it.
Klaaaaaaaaatuuuuuuuu.
Isn't this why blogs were invented? For this kind of rubbish?
Now, my children, tell me what words you like?

Wednesday, December 10

Getting closer...


Photo from..

A great list
that's over at mp3 hugger is his top 42 songs of the year.
Such a great blog that has a far more dedicated blogger at work than you have before you here.
The list is done in a really easy-to-use way, which is handy for an idiot like me who has a habit of using the back button too many times when scouring the internet and then losing every page I've just come from.
Enjoy the tunes and it's great to see Elbow high up on the list too.

Tuesday, December 9

Halogen EP


Got a heads up from Tenaka about this EP from Halogen. I stuck the info up on drop-d for it anyway and the EP is free to download. If you're an IDM and glitch fan with a nice dollop of ambient thrown in, then this is for you. Quality stuff and free to boot.
Download it from here

Saturday, December 6

Epic noisemongery


This track is from Flannel Graduate, a Japanese tour-only CD-R that sold out during No Age's tour with Zach Hill from Hella.
There are three tracks, two of which are only seconds long.
The third track, California Bird Dudes, comes in at over twenty minutes long, featuring Zach and Dean Spunt's drumming chaos, Randy's feedback and guitar squall, incomprehensible vocal bits, drum loops and washed out noise.
This track sounds like it would fit in better with any of the bands that Zach Hill drums for, rather than on a No Age record.

For those who like noise; get yer lugs around this badboy.

The link that never was


C'mon...it was never gonna be that easy.
I'm just curious how many people will actually be directed here.
Sorry.
EDIT: I feel a bit bad about this now because everyone is clearly scouring the internet (myself included) to get the Animal Collective album. Just make sure you don't download that Jethro Tull double discer by mistake. The No Age track above is my apology to those that came here in good faith to try and illegally download Animal Collective's hard work.
EDIT2: I've changed the title because the hitcount was ridiculous and most likely annoyed the shit out of hundreds of people. At least it shows that ALOT of people are looking for the new album

Late night telly

I've just gotten home from the work Xmas drinks thingy and In America is on TV.
Sweet jesus promise me you'll never watch this dire shite.
I love Paddy Considine and Samantha Morton but even they cannot save this self indulgent twaddle, with a pair of D4 brats playing supposed 'working class' kids, in America. They play a couple trying to escape the trauma of their young boy dying (I think) by starting a new life across the water, and it features some of the most overwrought, melodramatic balls ever committed to celluloid.
Words cannot really explain how much I dislike In America and the cinematic world is a far worse place with it existing.
I would rather watch Transformers for a second time....and I hated Transformers.

Thursday, December 4

List-less

No joy with these end of year lists yet but I'm thinking the key is to wait until about December 30th to post top 10 albums and top 10 movies and only include stuff I've heard/seen between now and then, thus reducing the odds of my list and every other list looking quite similar.
Ah no, I wouldn't do that to you.
But, I can download loads of small films that never made it over here for the next week or so and try to make some recommendations for DVD purchases in 2009.
For Xmas, you should really be looking for the Zodiac special edition DVD, brimming with brilliant extras, and There Will Be Blood special edition too. It seems that Blu Ray is the future and those Blu Ray discs need to be coupled with HD televisions so...time to start that life of crime.
Quint over at Aintitcool has compiled a mind-boggling selection of Christmas present movie stuff which you probably won't buy at this stage but I bookmarked so much shit off it, my laptop melted with sheer excitement. Some of the toys are absolutely (geekily) amazing.
Browsing this list in work will lead to at least 3 hours of non-productivity. You have been warned.

Tuesday, December 2

There will be blaaaaarrrrrrggghhh


This is a picture Graham Sutherland painted of me looking smugly at nothing in particular...well...it might be W. Somerset Maugham...

A quick blast through some stuff I've been listening to the last while - some stuff that made me nostalgic and some stuff that's just great (particularly Grouper and Q-Tip). You decide what's what.
It was meant to be a zip file but something went wrong, i.e. me, so now it's just individual tracks, unfortunately.
I hereby tip Ivan Colon (that should have a Hispanic-sort-of inflection over the second 'O' so he isn't named after a vital body part) to be the Sufjan/Bon Iver grower of 2009 (despite his religious leanings) and reckon he'll probably play a Foggy Notions or Crawdaddy gig that everyone raves about for months at some stage. If this doesn't happen, you ain't seen me , roigh'?

Download here

Here's the tracks, artists and my one word sum-up after the artists name.

What Is Gained - Ivan Colon (luvverly)
Five Minute Dream - Like Honey (shoegazey)
Clam, Crab, Cockle, Cowrie - Joanna Newsom and the Ys Street Band (harpy)
Fortunate Son - Cat Power (sultry)
Heavy Water, I'd Rather Be Sleeping - Grouper (underwaterbeauty)
Ciccone - Microfilm (groovy)
By Horoscope Light I&II - Doseone (nasaltastic-y)
Resurgam -Alias (jackyerbody)
Corrupt - Dalek (tasty)
Believe - Q-Tip (featuring D'Angelo) (oldschool-y)
Sugar - If I Can't Change Your Mind (solo mix) (nostalgic-y)

Beach House: Review for Drop-D (but here for the moment)

Drop-D's editorship has been passed onto another, so while it is in this state of flux I'll stick up my review of last Thursday's Beach House gig here.

With Baltimore now probably more famous for the drug-addled urban cesspool where Marlo and his crew sling their product and McNulty boozes his way to early retirement in best-show-ever © The Wire, the duo of Alex Scally and Victoria Legrand, AKA dreampoppers Beach House, are busy forging their own way in a hazy world of narcotic rock and ethereal hymnals .
Standing awash in the unusually harsh lights of Whelans, they seem surprised at the reverence of the shuffling crowd and proceed to grab the room with an enchanting performance that combines Legrand’s surprisingly strong - and deeply sexy - live vocals with Scally’s fuzzy slide and a little percussion to top it off.
Legrand proves to be a more than capable frontwoman, joking that this is ‘the best night of our worst tour and Dublin was the best night of our first tour’ while the harmonies on songs like Heart of Chambers are bracingly gorgeous, with opening number Gila and the wonderful Wedding Bells mixing with debut album tracks such as Apple Orchard and Tokyo Witch.
On record, their monicker becomes a bit of a misnomer and tonight’s stage performance is no different as the lethargic pacing of the songs evoke a feeling of a kind of forlorn isolation about as far from the mental picture of a beach house as one could probably get.
Yet, compared to their recorded output, the stage gives Beach House a little more; it gives them a kind of melodrama and edge that makes it seem as if David Lynch could easily have invented them to lull him to sleep as he conceives notions of twisted Americana and how to drive a big shitting train through your ideas of linear cinematic narrative.
Seeing them on stage seems like the final piece in the puzzle, it shows the concentration Legrand puts into the vocals, the careful timing of the various instruments and effects they employ and gives you a chance to see firsthand the haze, hues and silken hair you probably just about imagine when listening to Devotion on your headphones in bed.
When she invites the crowd back to the band’s hotel after the gig, I imagine there is not one person who wouldn’t have wanted to do just that and get to kick back with a glass of red wine, basking in a few impromptu acoustic interpretations of the group’s carefully crafted, moving, musical vignettes while gathered around their feet in some budget hotel on Camden Street. Bliss.

Monday, December 1

Why watching Gandhi fucking Penelope Cruz is wrong...and other ruminations on the film Elegy


I've just watched the Ben Kingsley film Elegy, an austere adaptation of one of Philip Roth's recent novels, A Dying Animal.

But first things first, the new trains between Galway and Dublin are becoming more common than the old trains and so it is now actually possible to plug in the trusty old laptop - since the battery lasts roughly 4 minutes on its own - and watch a legally-obtained movie on it...I'm sure mininova's Axxo wouldn't be involved in the nefarious underworld of illegal torrent uploading would he/she?

I haven't really watched a film on the train before, due to the shitness of said battery, and so it is an unusually conflicting circumstance in which I find myself.
It's all very well cracking open the computay but, despite my firm atheism, Irish Catholicism still has a pleasureless grip on my conscience at times and the film has got boobs in it.
Boobs?
On a public train?
Jaysus.
I can feel that tea-supping, Twix-gobbling biddy behind me, drowning her friend with the spittle-soaked news that some devilman is titillating himself a few seats away with them 'Cruz missiles' while there are children within a 100-mile radius.

Surely I'll burn in hell.

Anyway, I watched the film so balls to her. On with the opinions.

Roth has long been an observer and diarist, in his novels, of the mind-workings of the modern male and in this Nicholas Meyer adaptation (Meyer incidentally also adapted Roth's The Human Stain, which proved to be a pretty underwhelming film overall) we meet David Kepesh (Ben Kingsley) an erudite, shaven-headed, sexual predator of an old-but-sexy Coloumbia University professor who beds his fave fawning female students every year...but only after their final grades have been given.
When he claps eyes on the phenomenally hot Consuela Castillo (Penelope Cruz) their ensuing relationship takes him to places of jealousy and idiocy his little shiny head has never been and to a melodramatic climax that cannot ruin what is essentially a piece of upper middle-class romantic drama tosh aimed at those who know their Goya from their Manet and like their cerebral, funereal film-making served up with an Argentinian Malbec and a hand shandy to Mozart (Which in the book, Kepesh actually does indulge in).

Quite.

Everything in this film is working so hard to impress.
The pretensions are bubbling there all the time and as Kepesh becomes the saboteur of his relationship with Consuela, you wonder what it is she really sees in him beyond his intellectual prowess and finely-trimmed goatee.
Director Isabel Coixet (director of the excellent My Life Without Me) employs some camera tricks familiar to Stephen Soderbergh fans out there as the lens lingers on faces, bobbing slightly with different parts focusing and unfocusing and we are left with silences and 'heavy themes' to deal with along with finely-polished production values and a predictably weighty classical score.
We are also left with a film that promises - and indeed Kepesh's narration suggests as much - violent desire, yearning, palpable sexual hunger and emotional trauma but, through this medium, Roth's visceral detail is torn away like meat from a bone and you are left with...well, a bone.
Dennis Hopper is fine as Kepesh's poet friend and both Patricia Clarkson (as a lover)and Peter Sarsgaard (as Kepesh's son) are more than welcome in any film really, but the whole thing just teeters from set-piece to set-piece, not coming off the screen hard enough to make you really care what the fuck happens.
Kepesh is not a likeable man. He's a 60-something horny teen with juvenile emotional reactions and a smug demeanour that makes you quietly desire the worst happens to him.
Cruz is gorgeous and not bad. Her part requires that she portray the object of desire (but with a brain) and she is never less than convincing.
But again, it's hard to really care too much.
When the final act arrives and the 'twist' is revealed you will, I hope, groan like I did and bemoan the heavy-handedness of this piece of up-its-own-arsery and go watch a really wonderful pretentious film like Solaris.

Wednesday, November 26

Trains


And also
Dublin - Galway by train at the weekend = 44 euro
Dublin - Belfast by train at the weekend = 55 euro
Both prices = fucked.
Seriously, it's cheaper to fly to Paris.

You'll Never Eat Lunch In This Town Again


Have been lazy about the blog recently so just a quick film post here.
Having read the interview with Mickey Rourke in the weekend's Observer, it seems that Darren Aronofsky's new film The Wrestler is set to be the catalyst for one of the biggest Oscar wins of all time.
Rourke is a man who has really been through alot of shit, most of it his own doing, and it seems that before his comeback run of the last few years, he has been a poverty-stricken loser who thought it was all over for him.
The interview reveals a sensitive man, once touted as a future Brando, who has battled with himself for a long time and is being given one last chance.
His is an intriguing story and I'm hoping The Wrestler lives up to the hype that is starting to build around it.
In other film news, I meant to post about Body Of Lies a while ago after I had watched it. It's a pile of bollocks and again the standard for anti-CIA, cerebral political film-making has been set by the wonderful Syriana. It will be hard to top that, especially if Hollywood's default actor for an Arab-speaking, covert agent in the Middle East is Leonardo di Caprio. I actually think he is a great actor but only in certain roles and in Body Of Lies he has neither the gravitas nor beard-growing abilities to make it all work.
Next on my to-see list is Waltz With Bashir , an animated documentary of sorts by Ari Folman, which deals with the horrors of war in a way not previously seen. Looks like an intense experience.
Anyone catch the Kurt Cobain doc recently there, About a Son? Audio clips of journo Michael Azzerad talking candidly with Kurt while the hack was researching his book at the time. The audio is complemented with stills from the areas Cobain grew up in and used to hang around. A really moving song at the end (Mark Lanegan doing Museum) had me in silence for a good 10 minutes after the credits had rolled. Also on recently was The Thrilla In Manila, the documentary about Ali and Joe Frazier's relationship from friends to foes. The doc reveals some genuinely uncomfortable stuff about Ali, who is so revered amongst sportsfans, and shows him as a nasty, racist man who mouthed off a little too easily on things about which he should have known better. Easily as good as When We Were Kings. Quality stuff.
Anyway coming soon. My ten best films of the year (because everyone else is going to do albums).
Spoiler warning: said list may feature There Will Be Blood. Feel free to suggest your own faves of the year too.

Thursday, November 13

Ah paris...


Zere weeell be blogue,on tour

Tuesday, November 11

War. Huh. Yeah. What is it good for? Absolutely nuthin'. Say it again


Sorry to get all serious here on There Will Be Blog but 20 million people (yes, 20 fucking million) died in the First World War and today is the 90th anniversary of its end.
BBC4 recently screened a great documentary - presented by Jeremy Paxman - on Wilfred Owen, a soldier whose anti-war poetry only became really well-known in the 60s and who was befriended and mentored by his poetry peer, Siegfried Sassoon, when they were in Craiglockhart War Hospital in 1917.
These are two poets that I do remember well from school and Anthem For Doomed Youth, one of his most famous poems, was also one of my favourites.
Owen was killed in action in November 1918 at the age of 25, only a week before the end of the war and his mother was told of his death a week later as celebrations rang out on the streets.
Pretty fucked up that the world really learned nowt from the horror stories of WWI and in 2008, war still rages on.
Here's Anthem For Doomed Youth just to get you in a cheery mood for the day.

What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?
Only the monstrous anger of the guns.
Only the stuttering rifles' rapid rattle
Can patter out their hasty orisons.
No mockeries now for them; no prayers nor bells;
Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs, –
The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells;
And bugles calling for them from sad shires.
What candles may be held to speed them all?
Not in the hands of boys but in their eyes
Shall shine the holy glimmers of goodbyes.
The pallor of girls' brows shall be their pall;
Their flowers the tenderness of patient minds,
And each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds.


Strange that war is fought over either land ownership or religion, neither of which I care about that much - I rent and am an atheist.

Monday, November 10

That face is too shiny by far


It's strange to watch David Cameron speaking on television; be it at a Conservative Party conference or meeting, during a soundbite to criticise Labour, an appearance on a BBC political discussion show or whatever.
I get the impression that he walks in the door of his pristine Conservative home, props his bike up against the white radiator, removes his cycling helmet, unplugs his iPod headphones with the din of James Blunt just faintly audible..'you're beautifulllll it'sss truuuue'... , strolls nonchalantly into his kitchen, kisses his wife on the cheek, hugs his rosy-cheeked children, traipses through the basement door and descends the stairs, pulls on his white labcoat, slaps awake the young immigrant he has tethered to the large wooden pole in the middle of the floor and plants a shiny axe right in the middle of young Ahmed's head while listening to Huey Lewis and the News, simultaneously telling the rest of Ahmed's family in the basement corner that he doesn't care what they say or how much they cry, he's enjoying himself and won't be finishing up any time soon.
There's just something not quite right about him is there?
Then again, that's nothing when compared to Easter Island-faced Gordon Brown.
He actually comes across like that alien-in-a-human-body from Men In Black; as awkward as a teenage boy in tracksuit bottoms watching a Flake ad.

Wednesday, November 5

Yes they did


BBC had Christopher Hitchens on their panel last night but not for long enough, unfortunately. And all I want for the rest of my life is to have Ted Koppel read bedtime stories to me. What a voice. Are you watching, Bryan Dobson??

Friday, October 31

Euro racism: alive and well


Dodgy quality pic from Madrid last week that I meant to post sooner. I'm not even sure what these posters were for but they certainly grabbed my attention...


Edit: Maybe I shouldn't be surprised

Thursday, October 30

Celluloid spookiness


I've probably left it too late to recommend a creepy, atmospheric horror film for you to tuck into late tomorrow night - or any night - but I'll recommend one anyway.
Made in 2001 by Brad Anderson (who would go on to deliver the excellent Christian Bale film The Machinist) Session 9 is a delicious piece of disturbing, understated, lingering horror that is set (and was actually shot) in the abandoned Danvers Mental Hospital just outside Boston.
The plot sees grizzled, walnut-faced Scottish actor Peter Mullan as the manager of a group of asbestos removal men, hired to tackle the chillingly Shining-esque structure and remove the asbestos within before a major renovation.
His small gang of workers begin the job in the looming, spooky hallways and abandoned rooms of some 'extreme' forms of therapy and, typically, things start to get a little crazy following the discovery of recordings revealing the 'recovered memory' treatment of a patient long ago...
This is a gem of a movie that, on paper (or computer) reads like it has been done to death but thanks to Anderson's guidance, the beautiful cinematography of Uta Briesewitz, and an excellent cast, of perhaps slightly under-written characters, in which Mullan, Josh Lucas and even David Caruso shine, the end result becomes a slowly building crescendo of dread, the subsequent piecing together of a horrible story and an ambiguous last act that should have taught (but didn't) a multitude of horror directors in the last 7 or 8 years how to actually construct a proper chiller with a brain and no laughs.
If you liked The Others or the recent Guillermo Del Toro-produced El Orfanato (The Orphanage) then Session 9 should appeal to you too. Happy Halloween.

Wednesday, October 29

Dean No Age and Keith from giveamanakick...kinda

Seperated at birth?

Mary Whitehouse must be back..



So Brand and Wossy have been suspended because the 'public' are 'offended'.
Apparently Sachs was happy with an apology but as the issue came to the mainstream media, the complaints mounted and now two of the Beeb's most popular employees have been suspended. Is this really what we care about? Woss making a joke about Brand shagging Sachs' grandaughter? While the world is about to melt in a financial disaster?

Edit: Kelvin fucking MacKenzie - former ed of The Sun and conservative Thatcherite bastard - is on Sky News acting outraged at this saga. This is officially bananas.
Ok, I'll stop now.

Madrided


Going away for a few days with 5 mates is physically trying.
Where once you could bound out of bed at 9.30am after an Oliver Reed-esque session, as you get older the bound becomes more of a 'head falls on floor of hostel, followed by body and then sheets/pillows'

You realise that you have a morning routine - that everyone has a morning routine - and because you are in an unusual environment (a 6-bed, exclusively male, stinking dorm) then your day begins...weirdly.
Just me?
Fair enough.
Also, men fart. Alot. And unless the window is immediately opened first thing, the hangover nausea can become unbearable at best and projectile vomit-inducing at worst.

Luckily, Madrid is very warm this time of year - compared to here anyway - and the Spanish know how to do coffee. Strong coffee at a reasonable price too. Not like the Tim Hortons shit I banged on about a while ago.

Got to see No Age in a Madrid venue called Moby Dick, which was a nautically themed rock venue akin to sticking a load of wooden fish and ship wheels around Crawdaddy. I bought a lovely No Age t-shirt (the one that no other blogger seemed to like the last time they played upstairs in Whelans here in Dublin) and a 10" vinyl with three songs, then proceeded to leave them in some ropey Columbian bar up the road about an hour after the gig.

Naturally our group got separated and everyone was beyond intoxicated and into some kind of strange limbo world where upon standing still one looks like a malfunctioning robot in the corner of a room.

Somehow we all survived and made it back to Ireland on Sunday night. Now I have a cold/flu and my work holidays are being wasted by having to stay in bed doped up to the eyeballs on a concoction of over-priced drugs that make me feel drowsy and have me discussing the American election at length with the dog who, to be honest, is far more interested in showing me how easy he finds it to lick his gonads no matter what room he's in. I also get to witness first hand that all he does all day is sleep and snore. Must be nice actually.

This post has been brought to you by Nurofen, Sudafed and Rubex

Saturday, October 25

The lads


Evening tipples in Madrid

Thursday, October 23

Surprise


That above tastes ok,first thing in the morning.I'm off to Madrid and hopefully I'll get to see No Age again tomorrow.Adios.

Wednesday, October 22

Palin-tology

Said by McCain campaign spokeswoman, Tracey Schmitt, following questions regarding Republican party spending since late August for Sarah Palin and her family.

"With all of the important issues facing the country right now, it's remarkable that we're spending time talking about pantsuits and blouses. It was always the intent that the clothing go to a charitable purpose after the campaign."

Is she for real? Charitable purpose? They have spent $150,000 on clothes for the Palins in the last few months as an economic doomsday looms and this is the shit we get fed? No wonder The Daily Show is so damn good these days with material like this to use.

Tuesday, October 21

Templeton of the Dog


Ed Templeton + Sonic Youth = Cool as fuck

Dead Set


Charlie Brooker is a God of sorts.
If you haven't caught the ads yet, there is a new 5-part horror series, devised by him, about to launch on Monday the 27th of this month and running until the 31st. It's a zombie series set in and around the Big Brother house and sounds like it's going to be alot of fun. First episode is over an hour with four follow-up episodes of about 35 mins. The whole lot is also meant to be out on DVD in early November this year too, in case you ain't got E4.
Read about it all here in an interview with Mr Brooker

Saturday, October 18

Face-shreddage


I have managed to pry my eyes open and get some tea and toast into me after last night's Shred Yr Face triple-bill with Times New Viking, No Age and Los Campesinos. Budvar is a harsh mistress but switching to Kopparberg probably didn't help either. Also I was obliged to head to Howl At The Moon later in the night to visit my good lady at a work bash and there really is not enough alcohol in the world to numb yourself enough to that utterly horrifying place. My first time there, and I pray it's my last.

Great night before that anyway and I interviewed No Age for The D.
Randy and Dean are two of the nicest interviewees I've had and aswell as the band being absolutely brilliant, they are involved in so many other things I'm surprised they have time for the music. For the first time I felt properly nervous just before we began and had to get my 'I really love your band' speech out of the way to calm myself.
I made the cardinal error of asking them the same question twice but when the interview ended, and the recorder was off, we finished our beers and chatted for a while more. Lovely guys.

They also told me of the dismay the Los Campesinos gang were feeling that they're being dismissed on this tour (despite it being their tour) and that everyone is there to see the other two bands.
While that was true of myself and a few others last night, it can't be denied that Los Campesinos had the biggest crowd and went down extremely well with the heaving masses on the floor.

I didn't notice that they had shredded my face - and if they did it was a remarkably blood-free affair- and I'm still not entirely convinced by their style of music but they had energy, stage presence and passion and if I had a hat, I would take it off to them.
Right, time for a bit more tea. Enjoy your Saturday.

Wednesday, October 15

55 stone and counting

I never watch these Jamie Oliver programmes because he is basically a twat.
He's got a bit of get-up-and-go though. And I share his shock at seeing the 'fat chairs' in the Rotherham hospital he visited tonight on his programme.

Usually we only see the obese portrayed on television as massive, coke-guzzling Americans but it was nice to see it closer to home tonight. Apparently the largest patient this hospital had was 55 stone. Now, everyone puts on a bit of weight here and there. In Ireland - and for me personally - it's generally the booze. We all know how to lose weight and it takes willpower.
But 55 stone?
You're a disgrace, put down the sandwich.
There is no excuse at all.
If you are that obese, or anywhere near it, you have systematically avoided eating well for a lengthy amount of time with flagrant disregard for your health and appearance.
If you have half a brain you have no excuse to get to a weight like that.
Now, I'm going to order Chinese. Who's in?

It's not just an economic crisis that needs to be addressed

'America are thirsty for answers on this economic crisis and right now they are drinking sand...and that sand is Senator Barack Obama'

Said by a young lady to John McCain at his recent speech rally.

This is why America desperately needs a young, intelligent, thoughtful,approachable, interesting, non-Republican for their president.

So he can call the CIA and have an idiot fuckhole like this ghosted away and disposed of in a shallow grave, never to be heard from again.

Just because it made me laugh out loud in work



via the Unarocks blog place site

Quick and to the point..

Saturday, October 11

Verboten post #1

"Where's the toothpaste?"

"I threw it in the bin, it was empty"

"But I could have squeezed a last drop out of it"

"We'll just get some more"

"It's 2a.m."

"Get it tomorrow so"

"....."

I knew the storm was gettin' closer but all my friends said I was hiiiiiiiigh

Certainly deserved of a far longer, more in depth post, but Guns 'n' Roses are the reason I really started listening to music.
Hated by as many as loved them, for me, they were everything I wanted in music as a greasy-haired teenager and as they developed into a pompous, drug-addled behemoth, I loved them more and more.
I'm glad I have not grown up in a microwaveable music world where bands can come and go as quickly as Firefox shuts down unexpectedly.
When G 'n'R were all that mattered to me, I had all their albums on cassette, three t-shirts on rotation and a slew of blank videos bursting with MTV clips, videos and interviews for years.
They started out raw as botulism and spiralled into an obnoxious, cocaine-and-heroin-addled blur of overblown shit and musical genius.
Listening back to Use Your Illusion I & II, they were so clearly deep in the throes of egomaniacal snort-fuckery....it was gripping.
There was no better place to begin a musical discovery as they straddled punk, hair-metal, cock-rock, acoustic balladry, encroachment - via MTV awards shows - on the grunge scene and then they sent me off in the direction of hip-hop and hardcore punk at the exact same time...in a way.
I began listening to the Dead Kennedys and the Wu Tang Clan around the same time thanks to Guns 'n' Roses conversations with friends - and older brothers of friends - who then turned me onto the Jesus Lizard, Big Black, Butthole Surfers and the like.
But G 'n' R were the beginning of it all for me.
A more considered post is probably required but for the moment I'll leave you with a classic G'n'R song that represents what they were, far better than any track from Appetite For Destruction could. Youtube was made for these moments...

Thursday, October 9

Again & again & again

In brief...

*Got a horse and carriage home from a massive Dame Street session at the weekend. I highly recommend it. I fully expected to be held up by a highwayman or, at the very least, Adam Ant.

*How are these Obama vs. McCain debates being touted in the media as 'having no clear winner'? It's Obama every time. Seriously. Am I just biased? Probably.

*Plastic Little in Whelans last night: excellent. Check them out. Bringing a nice dose of non-po-facedness and scatalogical humour to Wexford Street, or as I call it, Camden Street.

*I have taken to drinking red wine lately and have so far destroyed most of my favourite t-shirts, most notable my Why? t-shirt. At the moment it looks like I was shot in the chest while in a nightclub of disrepute.

*Those people that do the keyrings for a fiver in clubs? Genius idea. Collect one of yourself with every friend you have and then attach them all to your keyring to avoid awkward questions.

Saturday, October 4

The Modern Condition


If you are like me, you probably spend alot of your travelling time with earphones in and an iPod on.
I travel to work by bus and it's about 40 minutes each way from home.
Have you ever done a familiar bus journey without earphones? Really strange. Everyone seems really quiet and way too close to you.
Paranoia kicks in.
The modern world has ruined us all.
Now I understand why wars are started.

Friday, October 3

Do not fear the onion, Luke. Twat it!

The previously mentioned Vivian Girls album is about to come out (it's brilliant too) so surely it's only a matter of minutes before an Irish gig is announced? Anyone?....If you build it they will come and all that shite?

Wednesday, October 1

The Clash

Roots Manuva and Why? both playing on November 1st?!!
Goddammit.

Monday, September 29

Fancy a tinkle?

I just got the new Hauschka album, Ferndorf (I'm pretty sure it counts as an album although I once got berated for accidentally referring to a Gorecki 'symphony' as an 'album'. Jeez, some people are so picky. It had tracks on it; why can't it be a fucking album?...)

I really liked/like his 2007 offering, Room To Expand, and I'm acclimatising myself from listening to alot of Roots Manuva's Slime and Reason album in the last while (it's fantastic) and getting into this.

This is the work of German pianist and composer, Volker Bertelmann, and in many ways he is trying to strip away the stuffiness and rules of piano-based music by meddling furiously with the style, technique and often the instrument itself.
He's a musical manipulator and experimentalist in the world of 'prepared piano' - a term coined by John Cage, for a style where the pianist places objects on or between the strings and/or hammers to get a particular sound.
Bertelmann embraces this technique along with the incorporation of some beautiful string work and even some flourishes from the world of glitchy electronica (Aphex Twin has dabbled with prepared piano too).

The result is often unusual and frequently beautiful and I think this clip should demonstrate it well. The new album was released last week as far as I know and Pitchfork TV have a lovely clip from it which I will not embed here because it's too big for the Blogger format. It's here.

Raw

That RTE programme. No. Just no. It's all been done before elsewhere and despite the presence of our very own Olsen twin, the excellent Charlene McKenna, it's all just bits and pieces from other programmes such as the vastly overrated This Life and so on.

Friday, September 26

Anyone fancy a Shank?


Adebisi Shank tonight in the Boom Boom Room. See ya there, hopefully.
That's me in the pic after I got back from 'Nam and spent a few years in the park. Say hello if you see me. My tipple is either Buckfast in a brown bag or tinnies of Linden Village.
Saw a film called Sleep Furiously there earlier as part of the Stranger Than Fiction Festival. Will blog about it again anyway, so this is just a reminder.

Tuesday, September 23

Web awards nomination for Drop-D


I'm delighted to say that Drop-D (where I do most of my writing at the moment) has been nominated for an Irish Web Award for Best Music Site. It seems we are on the shortlist and I'm not going to pretend to be 'cool' about this; I love awards and attention so fuck it - come on the D!
I don't know how it works but if there's a voting system, I'm all up for rigging it, Balkan-states-in-the-Eurovision style.
I also pray this guy is there

Thursday, September 18

Blogaholica


Does anyone else pay as much attention to the blogrolls there on the right as I do? It's becoming obsessive.
At work, I generally spend an inordinate amount of time perusing a huge amount of blogs. I now treat them in the same way as I treat news sites. I will flit from the Irish Times to The Guardian and over to the New York Times, Slate, Huffington Post, The Nation, Pitchfork and others while dipping in to all the blogs in my sidebar (and other people's sidebar too).
I get weird notions of missing out if I don't get to look at certain blogs. And if you read these (Irish) blogs you can't miss a gig. You can miss alot of other important shit, but not a gig.
On The Record provides a platform for all kinds of shenanigans and it seems that at one time or another everyone reads it. I find that sense of community-verging-on-character assassination encouraging during the week. Meanwhile the daily reading list grows.
And the blogrolls continue to fascinate me.
What blog is not on this one that is on these ones and why is that blog not on that one and why am I noticing this? What am I missing that no-one else is? How many clubs of mates are there in these blogrolls here? Are these people all old friends/workmates? At any rate, I do enjoy the community vibe. Does any of this matter at all? Unlikely. But it makes Tuesdays interesting. And let's be honest, Tuesdays are shit.

The banks did what now?


I usually think of myself as relatively clued in, up-to-date, on-the-ball and so on.
But when it comes to the financial market I haven't really got a clue. As far as I can gather, money has been handed out by every poor, suffering bank to every other poor, suffering bank. Now the world's assorted governments have stepped in to dole out loans to anyone in trouble. The reason for this?
Well, I won't insult your intelligence but suffice it to say that I went into a Spar the other day and got coleslaw, ham, turkey and cheese in a 'freshly baked roll'.
Cost: €4.90.
The thieving bastards. How long did they think this gravy train was going to continue? A pint for €5.50? A bag of crisps for €1.75 (posh crisps like Sensations or something). A pair of thick, black 80 Dernier tights for €3 (don't ask)
And where are the banks with the great loans for me? €480 billion at 3% interest? Bargaintown. Sign me up.
Let music be the cure, say I.
New albums/EPs by The Walkmen, Okkervil River, Mogwai, Final Fantasy and Roots Manuva are all worth checking out. Sun Kil Moon in the Academy on Saturday night should not be missed. Hopefully Mr Kozelek will be as grumpy as he was in Whelans.
In the meantime let's hope our credit card woes are all wiped out in some kind of financial meltdown and, just like in Fight Club, we all have to start all over again from zero. Cue the Pixies...

Friday, September 12

Punk rock


Myself (left) and Pink Eyes from Fucked Up. Shame about the quality. I also think we're related, given the unfortunate physical resemblance

Thursday, September 11

September 11th... I know.


September 11th has been a strange one for a good few years now.
The day of the twin towers attacks was my girlfriend's 21st birthday and we spent much of the day watching the news on television and then eventually having a few beers and heading out in Galway, as far as I remember.
A really weird day.
Anyone else remember where they were? Just out of curiosity.
Anyway, Happy Birthday Sinead x

Wednesday, September 10

The kind of news I want to read

Don't we all get sick of Obama, hurricanes, wars, recessions.
Don't we really want to read about scientists trying to recreate the Big Bang under laboratory conditions?
Don't we want to see articles finishing like this one below, taken from the Irish Times article about said project?

Websites on the Internet, itself created at Cern nearly 20 years ago as a means of passing particle research results to scientists around the globe, have promoted claims that the LHC will create black holes sucking in the planet.

"Nonsense," say the Cern - and other leading scientists. "The LHC is safe, and any suggestion that it might present a risk is pure fiction," declared Dr Aymar.


Black holes sucking in the planet. Today, the news had a victory.

Tuesday, September 9

Bury boys bury Burial


I couldn't resist that headline; it's the sub editor in me.
And I also couldn't be happier that Elbow have won the Mercury.
They're easily one of my favourite bands and Guy Garvey is one of the greatest frontmen around (Jeff Tweedy is up there too) with a witty, warm stage presence and beautifully honest lyricism.
They've had their ups and downs - with various label changes and a lack of commercial success - and until recently haven't been nearly as big as they might be, although they did have One Day Like This featured in the final Big Brother highlights wrap-up bit last week and they've now won a famous prize..
After a gripping, butterflies-in-the-stomach Electric Picnic performance, they return to us in October and I cannot wait.
I should be a little more reserved about them, maybe, given my girlfriend's open love for Mr Garvey (I received this message from her when I said I was blogging about Elbow: 'How sad you'll be when I run away with Guy. Even more so now he's been propelled to megastar status) but when they are this good, I'll just have to live with that threat..

Station Approach - Elbow

Newborn - Elbow

Saturday, September 6

Hack: A day in the life


A comment over on Jim's blog annoyed me a bit recently...well lots of comments piss me off but this one warrants a post on my insignificant blog. Yes, I'm fishing there. It was a comment asking if there could ever be a 'bad Glastonbury or bad Electric Picnic' in the review stakes as the journos who go there - often for free - to review it, would never dole out a bad review for fear of exclusion the following year when the coveted press passes are being offered out.

As someone who came late-ish to journalism, I spend my day working in a busy, well-known Dublin paper. As you may or may not know, I also write for a few different publications/e-zines.
The dayjob can be shit and it can be fun - like any job.
And given the unpredictability of recent economic times, it can be depressing.
I have seen people with families and mortgages arrive to work in the morning and have no job by the evening. And I wish I was being dramatic, but I am not.
Things have gotten ugly.
And parallel to this, I have witnessed the clashes that occur between 'advertising' and 'journalism'. Ads make the money for the company and the journalists provide the vehicle for said ads as well as providing the bloody reason one buys the paper in the first place.

In an ideal world, journalism would be the incorruptible warrior of truth, drudging through the facts and figures to grasp the truth firmly by its throat and drag it kicking and screaming to the eyeballs of the lied-to proletariat. This is, of course, bollocks..but hopeful.

This high and mighty ideal is vaguely related to the whole reviewing thing too.
If any of the hacks who went to the Picnic filed a positive review after a crappy weekend, they should be ashamed. But I just don't think it has happened. And I would like to think that those of us who did go to Stradbally and review the event, gave an honest account of their time and didn't pretend they had a blast to try and secure next year's freebie.
Also, from my experience, having to file the negative review can be soooo much more fun than filing the positive one and I believe that if someone had thought the entire weekend was a load of pants then they would gleefully have banged out 2,000 scathing words, emailed it to the relevant editor and sat back to wait for the backlash calling them every name under the sun for having a differing opinion from the media masses.

Mostly, I have found, journos thrive on being told they are wrong/arseholes/ill-informed or whatever. Those reactions are the most fun. The highest paid, and sometimes even the best, writers are the ones that are despised by many of their readers. Basically, despite the fact that we are hated by millions, I enjoy being a journalist and believe I have found a career that suits me, that I have a genuine interest in and that I hope to do for the rest of my life. I did Arts in college, and then an English MA, so for such a directionless oik as myself to be able to say that I now have a direction is something, I can tell you.

Despite all that meandering, what I want to say is: I try to be honest in my writing and I hope others in my profession do too. Maybe I should have just posted that? Typical fucking long-winded, gasbag, egomaniacal hack.

Moonshine Travellers

I mentioned this before and it's on next Thursday. Patrick and his cohorts (including me in one of the episodes) shot a mini series lead up to it and it provides a kind of backstory to the whole thing.
It's a really unique concept and Patrick has put a shitload of effort into the whole thing so if you are around next Thursday and fancy heading to Vicar Street (as opposed to the increasingly annoying Jimmy Carr in the Olympia the same night) then come along. I might even buy you a drink for being a reader. Howzat for an offer?! There Will Be Booze.

Thursday, September 4

Syriana's script vs. The Script


So now in the middle of Syriana on RTE, I am subjected to an item on The Script recording their new video. Because they have the financial clout of Sony behind them, they warrant a place on the national news as they commit the video for their new heinous aural atrocity to film? As Eddie in Bottom once pointed out, I would rather have a pineapple inserted violently into my rectum.
What a load of cock. Yes, they are easy targets and slagging them off is as obvious as saying 'red bull coke tastes like metal vomit' or 'the tyrannosaurus rex had small arms' but why does this need to be on the news; even as a late night 'squirrel in a miniature speedboat' moment?
And in the middle of Syriana too? Clooney's finest moment and a wonderful film that demands a second and third viewing. A film that never panders to the viewer, never spells things out and has Matt Damon explain, in one succinct delivery, the reason why war happens in the Middle East. Brilliant stuff.
In other news - and news that by now is old and boring - State mag is going free from next month. The blog buzz around this today has been interesting as people banged on about, among other things, journos at State having to take a possible paycut. Poor them. I work a day job for wages and do my Drop-d/Connected/and soon Analogue work for nada but the love and respeck, so I'm afraid I don't have sympathy for any paycuts.
Yes, yes that's bitterness, of course.
I dream of the day that hard cash is included as one of my motivations for doing all that writing.
Hard cash and love: two wonderful components vying for top spot...some day.
Actually Film Ireland pay me (God bless the movies) so there is a positive.

Tuesday, September 2

Back and alive


Stradbally didn't eat me alive and the review should be up on drop-d tomorrow. It was an exhilarating and tiring experience and having to work the Monday morning after 1 hour of sleep was not pretty. Hope you enjoyed it too, if you were there.
There's plenty I've left out of the review, I'm sure, but I hope it gives a good feel for the weekend. Incidentally, there was some arsehole in the press tent moaning about the quality of the pint-pulling at about 11.30pm on Friday night - the bars outside closed at 10pm.
There's always one, eh?

Thursday, August 28

Smell you later


Like all the other blogeurs I'm splitting to Stradbally tomorrow. I hope to meet up with all the blogheads available so keep an eye out for me, if you know what I look like and I'll do the same. I've been giving some thought to going to see Grace Jones when she's on, but only if she has her human cigar haircut. This year, I want to be sure to catch Donal Dineen DJing too. I'll be reviewing the whole shebang for Drop-D next week and am thinking of something along the lines of a gonzo piece featuring an over-sized friend of mine, out of his bin...and Christy Moore. See you all soon.

Monday, August 25

I'm sorry, humans. We are a horrible blight on a lovely planet


Trying to save every last penny available for next weekend's Electric Picnic means that alot of time has been spent lolling about the house in front of the oversized flatscreen (that actually came with the house?!) like a stroppy teenager, drinking coffee, watching shit television and getting understandably agitated at many many programmes.
I'm sure nobody reads this blog for Big Brother news but it is absolutely necessary to alert you to the fact that life-size, inflatable sleazemonkey, GI Joe Mario came back for an excruciating cameo on Sunday to propose to dead-eyed shark woman Lisa in a stunt that was so irredeemably naff it made watching the closing ceremony of the Olympics - and subsequent handover to London - seem like a wonderfully inclusive spectacle that we should all embrace while wearing United Colours of Benetton cardigans and tickling little playful monkeys on the belly. I'm lying, of course, about the Olympic thing being in any way watchable.
Mario and Lisa make me feel sick. I would rather watch my grandparents copulate loudly in front of me than ever see the two of them on a television screen again. They repel me to my very soul and I think I could probably watch 27 episodes of Grey's Anatomy back-to-back rather than have to see a single photo from their horrendous future nuptials. Jesus Christ.
And as for the Olympic handover. What the fuck? A London red bus bungled into view with a bunch of ethnically balanced dancing Troglodytes whirling about with umbrellas until the top of said vehicle eventually peeled down to reveal the legendary Jimmy Page - now looking like a dulling, badger-like Chinese pensioner - and Leona 'reality TV singing sensation?' Lewis singing one of the greatest Zep songs of all time. Jesus wept. Then David shitting Beckham smiled vacuously at the little Blue Peter competition girl and booted a football into the braying masses, a football which I think one of the Chinese athletes caught and looked like he had just soiled himself with glee.
Who was this aimed at? Is there really a lobotomised collective that watched it and thought 'yes, I am so glad to be a part of this wonderful circle of life, this championing of inclusiveness'? Maybe I'm just a bitter old bollocks and this
really was wonderful but I doubt it.
In other news, I have had interviews recently with both Calexico and Fucked Up that have made me feel glad to be alive and have helped build a little foundation of hope for the future. Joey Burns was a lovely man, full of knowledge and wit and Fucked Up's lead singer, Pink Eyes, proved to be an outgoing, chatty, shockingly honest interviewee. And the punk gig that happened after the interview was the most fun I've had in Whelans in a while.
Thank god for the music.

Sunday, August 17

No Age

No Age's last outing in Dublin was an excellent, if somewhat confusing, gig for the band. Most people were there as actual fans and as far as I recall there was no support and they came on fairly late.
It also became clear they were used to a crowd that rocked the fuck out, but to be honest it was a Tuesday evening and a mostly sober crowd were not going to partake in much shenanigans. I still thought they put on a great show.
A return gig has been announced for October 17th and they are to be joined by fellow noisemongers Times New Beth..I mean Times New Viking along with the unusual choice of Los Campesinos.
This video for Keechie, made from some left over Eraser video footage, is not really a good representation of a full No Age show's loudness but it is still weirdly hypnotic in the way surf movies, Apocalypse Now and the album by The Field are.
I remember my mother (who I'm sure doesn't read my blog but hi mam anyway) watching American Beauty with me, and more specifically watching that plastic bag scene saying 'that's not the most beautiful thing in the world; that's just a bloody plastic bag blowing around the place'.
I like to think that, in their own ways, both Sam Mendes and my mother are right but I think on a certain day, the weirdest and most simple thing can seem really beautiful.

Friday, August 15

Sunday, August 10

Generation Kill: Behind the scenes

Tim Hortons vs Insomnia


Now, for those of you who might know me, I like coffee. Alot. Living in Ireland in the present day, it has become as commonplace as pyjamas in a Ringsend newsagent to see a Spar on every corner of every suburb/main street of this godless island.
Spar have an uncanny knack of not just inflating the prices but of doing so at a rate that would make you wonder if Mugabe has somehow managed to transpose his country's particular brand of inflation by some kind of osmosis (I saw a jar of instant coffee for 8euros in the Rathmines Spar earlier this year).
But we all know how expensive Spar is and everyone needs to buy toilet roll at unusual times of the night...which they only ever seem to have in packets of four for 6 euro or else you can buy the Spar 'own brand' of two rolls in a packet - which is like wiping your arse with the party hat from a cheap Christmas cracker.
Sidetracked again.
Anyway, Spar in the UK struck a deal to have Tim Hortons coffee and doughnuts available in some of their outlets earlier this year and this has now spread to Ireland.
Here is the problem.
Tim Hortons coffee is fucking disgusting.
Previously, many Spars provided Insomnia coffee, which is quite nice from actual Insomnia branches and not bad from the little machines they had in the Spars. These seem to have been removed and replaced with Tim Hortons shit-vending units (named as such because they vend shit, but if not properly maintained they probably become shit too).
When you press the little button on the Tim Hortons machine, there is a fart of steamed water and then a shit-brown syrup concoction blurps into the cup mixing with the water. It doesn't look like coffee, smell like coffee or taste like coffee.
And in the morning, I really want a decent cup of coffee.
So if you are reading this Tim Horton; fuck off back to Canada and take your freeze-dried doughnuts with you.
I know this post is a real 'I'm so middle-class my Guardian is about to burst into flames with my frustration' thing but just give me a real cup of coffee in the morning. Please.