Wednesday, April 30

Bonnie June Billy..Woohoo!!

Will Oldham is bringing his freakishly gurning mouth, beard and genius to Vicar Street on June 15th. So says Jim Carroll on his blizzog (hyperlink thingy not working so just go to On The Record). Not sure about tix yet but this is already my summer highpoint. Now I need Joanna Newsom to come back and I'll pop my clogs happy. I said clogs.

Oh and also, Fran Cosgrove is doing a DJ set in Zanzibar on Saturday night so warm up your flame-throwers people. Warm 'em up goooooood. toasted Franmallows for all.

Tuesday, April 29

Knowing meme knowing youyou. Aha.

So Gardenhead 'tagged' me for this MeMe thingy and I have become more interested than I thought i might on first glance. Many thanks for giving me the chance to snoop around other people's accounts and find out things about them. I'm gonna dispense with my cynicism and jump arse first into this.

Rules are..

Link to the person that tagged you.
Post the rules on your blog.
Write six random things about you in a blog post.
Tag six people in your post.
Let each person know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
Let the taggee know your entry is up.

Here's my random dingleberries, hanging below:

1) I can fit the entire top of a pint glass in my mouth and usually drink most of the contents, without using my hands (to hold the glass, not to drink with...that would be mad, like the concept of Alien Nation). People who are pissed seem to enjoy this.

2) As a kid I convinced my little sister to get into a suitcase, which I then locked and brought downstairs to the sitting room and to my parents. She freaked out and it's something she recalls to this day when telling peeps about her older bruv. That and the fact that I hanged her dolls from her wardrobe..sometimes. I love her really.

3)Edward Furlong in Terminator 2 was my fashion idol when I was a teenager. I even had that fringe thing swooping across my head.

4)I have often been mistaken for Graham Hopkins (Boss Volenti, Therapy) over the years, when I am sporting a beard, and have had long conversations with people in nightclubs about my touring of the world and being a rockstar. One guy in Crawdaddy wouldn't let me go and made me tell him rock stories for at least an hour before. Secretly I loved it. I met Hopkins a few weeks ago in Whelans and we do kinda look alike. His friends thought so too. I'm sexier though. Ahem.

5) I do good impressions of many different accents; Scottish, and specifically Edinburgh, being my speciality. Actually, I also know the 'Alien Nation' word for pigeon so if you see me, ask and I'll say it for you. It sounds kinda like 'dork' but you have to cluck before you say it, like a chicken. Remember Alien Nation? Nice.

6) I once, many moons ago, pooped in someone's front garden on the way home from a nightclub and I'm not proud, but it happened and it's along time ago but it just happened and that's it so deal with it.

I'm tagging:
Off Her Rocker
Two Wheels on My Wagon
red mum

I cannae do another one coz they're all tagged already and my intaynet connection keeps shutting down so i'm cheating, slightly. Sorry if you were tagged twice or thrice. Adios.

Monday, April 28

Crayonsmith interview

Hey, here's an interview I did recently with Crayonsmith (who supported Why? at ALT the other night and were excellent).His new album is cracking and he's a really nice fellow. Read the interview here

Saturday, April 26

Vespers and the internet..a match made in the bowels of hell?

Read this today

The gist being that Polish Catholic priests are being chastised for plagiarising sermons of other priests, due to the younger generation of smock-wearing God-peddlers having access to t'internet where many sermons in this modern world end up.
Jaysus, isn't it bad enough being a Catholic priest these days hah? There have been a few stories knocking around about them for a while you know?..
Now they can't borrow a few thoughts and ruminations from the more experienced members of their ilk (thoughts and ruminations which have been stolen for many moons from the shitting bible!).
They panic on a Saturday night about having nowt to say on Sunday morning and they turn to the web for inspiration, like many students and professionals have been doing for quite some time.
Christ, at least they might find something decent to nick, mightn't they?
Mass was bad enough in my youth, having to listen to some decaying old gin-skulling virgin lament the state of modern society and cloak his contempt for everyone (except God, naturally) in some deathly dreary parable from whatever chapter of the not-ironically-titled 'Good Book' he had drunkenly bookmarked the night before.
Maybe young priests, stealing from the internet, can make those who still go to mass actually feel like they are doing something constructive in church, by perusing a selection of online sermons from their elders and picking something relevant and comprehensible to a younger audience. These people go to church every week. At least reward their efforts by keeping things interesting.
Jesus wept.

Thursday, April 24


It seems that most of the bands I go to see live these days are starting out and plugging a debut album while establishing a new army of fans - thanks to the ridiculously fast buzz-building that goes on on the interweb - as opposed to playing to a crowd familiar with a vast canon of work.
Sebadoh last night in Whelans though was a different kind of animal altogether.
It's strange because you are watching guys in their forties who were around and participating actively in a scene that is very dear to my teen years - grunge.
Lou Barlow in particular has seen it all, in Dinosaur Jr aswell as in Sebadoh, and it was funny to watch a band of their pedigree tune their guitars between songs (because they had no tech to do it), swapping instruments with ease (because they are around long enough to have considerable practice on everything), and having those 'just out on tour' awkward moments where applause makes them grin and they try to crack jokes and sell a few t-shirts. I never got to see Nirvana, Alice In Chains, Soundgarden or alot of the bands whose songs I would probably recognise from the opening note, even if they're from albums I have not listened to in many many years. Seeing Sebadoh definitely pulled at my musical heartstrings because so many of their songs have that Black Flag early 80s punk thing, crossed with that 90s grunge minor chord guitar crunch.
Will the younger new bands have the legs of some of these acts. Will they be part of a new scene that will change music? I'm not talking about the kind of all-encompassing fame and adulation of the Rolling Stones, but the steady fanbase that will want to see them in 15 or 20 years.This is a great time for new bands and new music as we are exposed every day to SO much stuff we may not have heard of the day before. But Sebadoh reminded me of the time I was given a tape with Therapy on one side and Rage Against The Machine on the other, of copying my cousin's Nevermind CD he had gotten for free because he worked in Dolphin Discs, of hearing the Jesus Lizard and Lard, of listening to NOFX for years without knowing what they looked like because...well, there was nowhere to get a picture.
The gig itself last night was excellent. And nostalgic...if I haven't made that clear. My thanks to Sebadoh.

Wednesday, April 23

In case you haven't come across Onion TV yet..

Wildly Popular 'Iron Man' Trailer To Be Adapted Into Full-Length Film

is the link for tons of other clips.

Music magazine articles over the last 30 odd years

Found this link in The Guardian's Guide on Saturday. It is a subscription service which seems to work out at 40 euros for the year - but Jesus, it seems well worth it. You get access to an absolute wealth of music articles from as far back as you would probably care to go. This is their archive and it is excellent. Some years are missing and if you really wanted something specific you might be unlucky but it has a serious amount of stuff..

Tuesday, April 22

Brasilintime - Tivoli, May 2nd

This seems interesting with the current penchant for Afrobeat in the indie music scene. Samba music has never been my favourite but Madlib is playing and if he manages to not smoke his own bodyweight in weed before the gig - actually it doesn't matter if he does or not, he will be just as good - then this could be an outstanding night of music. Has this been kept relatively quiet on the advertising front in Dublin or have I just missed alot of posters??

This is from the Tivoli website:

"This show will rely on the backbone of Afrobeat legend Tony Allen, Fela Kuti's drummer, recent collaborator with Damon Albarn on 'The Good, The Bad & The Queen'. Cited as creating the genre Afrobeat, Tony Allen is no ordinary musician.
Add two of Brasil's finest musicians Ivan Conti (Mamao) 1/3 of Azymuth, the collosal force in Brasilian music who sold 100s of thousands of records worldwide and Joao Parahyba renowned percussionist with samba rock band Trio Mocoto and backing band for Jorge Ben. Sprinkle this with...Producer, MC, instrumentalist extraordinnaire..MADLIB.. The BeatKonducta aka Quasimoto aka Yesterday's New Quintet aka Jackson Conti and producer of the new Erykah Badu LP. Add your JROCC...the founder of The Beat junkies, arguably the best club DJ in the world and place him alongside South America's DJ Nuts and this event becomes devastating."

Things that are wonderful indeed..

Charlie Brooker.

Elbow at Vicar Street tonight. Guy Garvey is probably the most affable frontman of all time.

Madvillain album. Should have gotten this for my ipod ages ago.

Berocca. Hangover cure to rule them all.

3 days off work midweek. Really looking forward to it.

Monday, April 21

Foals: live review (for drop-d)

I went to this gig with my staunchest ‘impress me you angular art bastards’ attitude, as a music fan weary of NME hype, fringe-floppage and drainpipe-jeaned automatons clambering for the best spot in the smoking section of (insert hip bar name here). Not to mention the reciprocal contempt that front man Yannis Phillipakis has shown for ‘lazy’ journalists, which has been well documented in the music press of the last nine months.

On arrival at Dublin’s Academy venue, it is wall-to-wall Skins fodder as I’m dazzled by haircuts and the stench of ripe hormones in the air. The place is packed and the crowd are really geared up by the time the band saunter on to crank up the electronics and, after some technical noodling, tear into album opener, French Open.

Their Antidotes album has received widespread critical acclaim and in a live setting their sometimes over-polished sound is messed with, giving a much scuzzier, edgier feel to their host of songs. They tear through Cassius, Olympic Airways is the weakest song of the set, and Heavy Water is decent but Two Steps Twice provides a real highlight.

With the gruff-looking front man facing sideways on stage, one gets the impression at times that you are watching an intricate jamming session that sonically falls somewhere between The Cure and Shellac. The Bloc Party comparisons are indeed lazy, as Kele and company have never rocked out as riotously as this, with the kind of math rock intricacies that the Oxford quintet display, and they certainly have never featured the kind of full on rave dancing that Foals’ keyboardist Edwin Congreave launches into spasmodically.

They rip through most of their repertoire and their encore is preceded by what looks like a roadie telling a highly dodgy joke about Rome, a hairdresser and the Pope.

With so much reprehensibly unimaginative dross around the ‘indie’ scene at the moment and with The Kooks recently opening their wet, straw hat wearing arses and excreting a new album into our world, it is fantastic and intriguing to see a young band emanate such energy and show as much real musicianship as Foals do. They are deliciously preoccupied with making the receptive crowd boogie and it is a hard rhythm to resist for the hour-and-a-bit they are onstage, at the end of which the crowd are still chanting for ‘one more tune’ as the house lights come up.

Foals as a live prospect prove to be extremely capable, jittery, musically able and groove-oriented and while their album is a fine offering, it will be interesting to see what they come up with in their next few albums, if they bring that raucous edginess to the recording studio.

Sunday, April 20

Memories of the last ever Alternative Nation on MTV, a long time ago

Jeru the Damaja - ya playing yourself

Guided By Voices - bulldog skin

Wesley willis - alanis morrisette

Does anyone remember the programme?

Friday, April 18


Robert Downey Jr. to get the attention he thoroughly deserves at last. Cannot wait for this. And for Ed Norton's take on the Hulk too.

Respect the cock

Check this out

Are we really all so afraid of the onscreen penis?
I mean to be fair, I'va seen Kevin Bacon's more times than I can remember. Keitel and DeNiro? I was happy to look at theirs, the pair of legends that they are. Let's just slap them in every film and we'll soon not care anymore eh?

Tuesday, April 15

Another Drop-D review: Daedelus at Whelans

It’s not every day you go to an electronica gig where the gent behind the laptop and Monome (more on that later) is dressed in Edwardian coat, tails and ascot, sporting Creedence-friendly sideburns.
Santa Monica’s Alfred Weisberg-Roberts chose the nom-de-musique of Daedelus after spending his childhood daydreaming of becoming an inventor and in the last 6 years there have been an impressive slew of albums as well as countless singles and side-projects.
This prolific musical output over the years has often combined samplings of 30s and 40s tracks with elements of left-field hip hop, outright dance music, soul and electronica and has led to work with such luminaries as Prefuse 73 and MF Doom.
Onstage he takes the unique step of using the afore-mentioned custom-built Monome, made by a friend of his in Philadelphia, he tells me after the show. This is a minimalist sample trigger box connected to his Macbook laptop which represents his showtunes-era samples as lights darting across the unit's display, while also giving him the chance to avoid the navel-gazing antics of some artists of his ilk and indulge in some nimble finger movement at high speeds.
As pill-gobblers five yards away swill back the Budvar, Daedelus cranks out the tunes, comfortably contrasting IDM flourishes with chest-pounding breakbeat and house. The tiny venue on the top floor of Whelans is packed in front of him and as he bangs out the music the crowd’s euphoric responses have him beaming like a kid at Christmas.
He flicks so fast between tracks and vocal samples that it is nigh on impossible to keep up, but his most popular tune, Fairweather Friends, is greeted with a huge roar by the up-for-it audience.
At the end of the set, a beaming Daedelus has his hand shaken by nearly every punter around his equipment and then he is away into the night to do whatever it is Edwardian DJs do these days.
A thumping, belter of a gig. Catch him next time he’s over.

Joe Pesci's rap. I'm saying nowt.

Filed and delivered. And a bit of Bowerbirds.

Just finished up a feature I'm doing, for the next issue of Film Ireland, on Headrush director Shimmy Marcus and am absolutely wrecked. I'll assume it's overflowing with spelling mistakes at this late hour but we shall have to wait and see. On the upside, I have been listening to Bowerbirds' excellent Hymns for a Dark Horse and half-watched Vampires on TV. Must be the 'James Woods in 80s clothing' factor.
I can't seem to do that hyperlink thing at the moment so the Bowerbirds myspace is Simple enough. Adios.

Sunday, April 13

Live review: Holy fucking Fuck (gratuitous swearing alert)

While the Camden Street venue of Whelans was yet again packed with a melange of Dublin musos, this doesn’t really bother Brian Borcherdt and Graham Walsh, AKA Holy Fuck, as they hop onto the stage to take their positions behind a bewildering amount of electronic equipment and synthesisers.
Hailing from Canada, Holy Fuck bear little similarity to the sounds their countrymen have become famous for peddling over the last few years. Their sound is a punishing, slightly industrial yet melodic electro-rock with an emphasis on analogue equipment and on tour they are joined by a live bass player and drummer.
While there have been grumblings in the blogosphere of this country - and in some of the English papers - that Holy Fuck live are not as pulsatingly ear-splitting as one might hope, the set at Whelans is a high-energy, bouncing, poppy, sweaty occasion where they jam in most of their album and EP with tracks like Royal Gregory, The Pulse and their big crowd-pleaser, Lovely Allen.
What looks like a real mix of a crowd are dancing like maniacs in parts and both frontmen seem to be thoroughly enjoying the set as they rhythmically bob their heads and jab away at their multitude of buttons and switches, the funniest of these being the comically large red button on display at the front of one keyboard, used to great effect in neary every track.
Because of their limited amount of material, this show was never going to go on for too long but after just over an hour, and an encore of two songs, the sweaty pair thank the whooping crowd and scuttle off.
Although tonight was a success, it's also clear that this is a band that would really wow a festival, with the feelgood factor they emanate and the mesmerising beats they serve up; tonight's climactic techno foray being a great example of how to whip up the punters before finishing. Definitely a band to check out live and I'd imagine in a festival atmosphere they would blow you away.


Who doesn't want to watch this on a Monday?

Saturday, April 12

I've watched the last episode of The Wire

And so it has ended.I will say nothing to ruin it, except to say that it ties everything up and you will not be upset...except for when it's over because this is the end. Shit.

Friday, April 11

Bring back No Disco

Here's a clip of an animated Leagues from a special episode of No Disco back in the day. The campaign to bring back No Disco begins here. There is no doubt that it would be a huge hit so c'mon RTE, do something decent with our fucking fees. Also if anyone knows how to actually organise an online petition so that it is mildly convincing, let me know. Seeing Donal Dineen at the Milosh gig made me nostalgic.

Milosh: gig review

The relatively new upstairs section of Whelan’s was the venue to which Toronto’s Mike Milosh returned, courtesy of the ever-busy Foggy Notions posse.
The Canadian singer-songwriter of micro-produced electronica is accompanied on the night by the visuals of No Disco and Today FM legend, Donal Dineen, and he ambles onto the stage, hands in pockets, with only a guitarist, two mics and a keyboard, following a pulsating double laptop set from support act, Storkboy Choons (keep your eyes peeled for this pair).
On album format, Milosh oozes a kind of comedown clicks-and-twiddles electronic music; the kind you might appreciate waking up to on an orange-hued beach with the sun making it’s early morning efforts to shake you awake after a 7-hour pounding DJ set in an 8000-person capacity Mallorcan warehouse.
Unfortunately, he eschews this approach tonight in an essentially percussion-free live set that mostly features him looping, then harmonising, his vocals as the guitarist plucks far too loudly on an instrument that turns out to be a loaner from a local music shop, after his own was damaged during their flight over here.
Milosh’s voice is undoubtedly beautiful; soaring and dipping as he works hard at the various vocal layerings and tweakings throughout a set that includes, You Make Me Feel (from his first full-length of the same name), The City, Awful Game (from his soon-to-be-released new album) and one of his best songs, It’s Over.
However the decision tonight, while on a mini-tour of this country, to go with more stripped-down versions (if there could be more stripped-down versions) of his songs, tends to diminish their appeal and draws unnecessary attention to his often whispery, ethereal voice, which seems a little naked without the pleasurable aural noodlings of his album work. His recorded songs work because of the subtle, offbeat, electronica flourishes and without these some songs seem, if not flat, then inoffensively average. While the projections certainly complement the evening, Dineen seems to disappear after two songs and Milosh, despite his best efforts, is unable to dazzle the crowd in the way we know his songs can. Full marks for the vocal performance but musically, too much was left out. He is due to play the Electric Picnic this year so let's hope he uses the keyboards at that..

Thursday, April 10

And here's Daedelus makin' it look easy..and sexy

Playing Saturday night in Whelans. Unreal.

Bon Iver...lovely stuff

This is what we're in for in June.
And I want to tell Sinead that her name for him - Bon Whingy - is not nice or true. But it's funny.

Monday, April 7

How to alleviate the shitness of Mondays

After a weekend spent in the blustery sunshine of Howth with m'lady, guzzling booze and meeting up with people in a concentrated blitz of 'doing stuff' at the weekend, one has then to deal with fucking Monday. As it's deadline day at work, tis easily the worst day of 'em all. What you need to do on days like this is have stuff arrive to you in the post (The Art Book, Sex Drugs and Cocoa Puffs - the first recommended by the red scrapbook blog, the second by Sinead Gleeson), listen to decent music (The Dodos, Atlas Sound, Bon Iver), drink alot of coffee, read the bits of the paper from yesterday, send messages to people on myspace et al, and think about the gigs on this week (milosh,holy fuck,this will destroy you,maps).Also, you should have done something memorable on Sunday, that you can spend the day mulling over i.e. watched There Will Be Blood and The Assassination of Jesse James again..
Shallow as it may seem, these things do the job. Probably not every week, but some...

Thursday, April 3

Review: Crayonsmith's new album

With just one album behind him - 2006’s self-released Stay Loose - Ciaran Smith, AKA Crayonsmith, delivers his hot-off-the-press new offering, White Wonder, having signed last year to Limerick-based label Out On A Limb, home to giveamanakick and the excellent Waiting Room, amongst others.
Crayonsmith’s musical pedigree is remarkable, having, in the last few years, played with the likes of Sparklehorse, Casiotone For The Painfully Alone, Grandaddy (sadly now defunct)’s Jason Lytle and former Cocteau Twins member Robin Guthrie, and the melancholic melody of these artists has not passed Ciaran by without a few notes being taken.
Taking a slightly different direction to the previous DIY ethic, this time Crayonsmith enlisted the help of one George Brennan (from instrumental hip-hop act Deep Burial) to develop the beats on the album, while all instrumentation was subsequently recorded by Steve Shannon (from electronic artists Halfset) at Experimental Audio Studio, a Dublin city studio that boasts several vintage amplifiers and synthesisers as part of its recording process.
The album opener, White Wonder Theme, is a grinding, chunky instrumental track, less than a minute and a half long, that kicks in at the tail-end of the album again and, as its title suggests, gives an idea of the warped, erratic beats and glitches that flow throughout the record.
Lost In The Forest bubbles with understated electronic effects and the plaintively beautiful The Boat works wonderfully with its perfectly-timed backing vocals. Other songs like Anything and Anxious have a familiar, warm sound that grows with repeated listening as does stand-out track -and a song I personally found made me misty-eyed for RTE's fantastic No Disco programme from many moons ago - 16 going on 63.
Headphones are probably the best way to fully appreciate the amount of background work going on in every track here and the array of instruments and percussive styles are numerous.
If one were to try and pick some reference points as a guide, you could do worse than choose Grizzly Bear, (some) Postal Service, Casiotone and that Irish 90s alternative vein at times, but this is not an album that is easy to categorise. Synths and electronic sounds are coupled with guitars, harmonies and direct lyricism to create a whole album that is cohesive, melodic and emotional, without ever plunging into navel-gazing or predictability. Incidentally, the unusual album artwork is by Mike Ahern, from Irish animation collective D.A.D.D.Y. and it quirkily adds to the mood created by listening to White Wonder. Highly recommended.

Tuesday, April 1

Hitchens airs his outrage over Clinton's 'sniper fire' claims

Christopher Hitchens sticking it to Mrs Clinton in an article written for The Slate.