Archive for September, 2008

Fancy a tinkle?

Posted: September 29, 2008 in Uncategorized
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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

Posted: September 29, 2008 in Uncategorized
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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.

Anyone fancy a Shank?

Posted: September 25, 2008 in Uncategorized
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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.

Web awards nomination for Drop-D

Posted: September 23, 2008 in Uncategorized
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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

Blogaholica

Posted: September 18, 2008 in Uncategorized
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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?

Posted: September 18, 2008 in Uncategorized
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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…

Punk rock

Posted: September 12, 2008 in Uncategorized
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Myself (left) and Pink Eyes from Fucked Up. Shame about the quality. I also think we’re related, given the unfortunate physical resemblance

September 11th… I know.

Posted: September 11, 2008 in Uncategorized
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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

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.

Bury boys bury Burial

Posted: September 9, 2008 in Uncategorized
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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