Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

A sneaky peeky at the upcoming Kanye video for one of the best tracks this year off one of the best albums of the year.

Tyler from Odd Future was spitting on Twitter a while ago. This is exactly what he would do if he had money….

Ego The Trip

Posted: December 8, 2010 in Uncategorized

And so in the space a few weeks Steve Coogan arrived back into the world of ‘proper’ comedy – as opposed to bad Hollywood comedy – twice, in the form of…well…himself, in The Trip, and one Alan Partridge in the new Fosters-sponsored online shorts.

Knowing me, Alan Partridge, knowing you, suspicious and cynical viewer, Aha.

The Trip was shunted onto the unusual timeslot of late on a Monday night. Maybe you had just been bludgeoned over the head by the humourless lump of Pat Kenny and were faced with a repeat of the Late Late Show, whose programme title describes its condition perfectly. Twice.

But the time slot was probably because it was a semi-improvised six-part series with no particular set-pieces other than Rob Brydon and Coogan travelling from restaurant to restaurant, having an ‘impression-off’ of sorts and playing versions of themselves that I imagine are incredibly close to who they are and how they really interact with each other. It was glorious.

Not laugh-a-minute glorious but just quality stuff. Directed with panache by Michael Winterbottom, subtly played by its ‘stars’ and with plenty of nods to the fragile egos of ‘talented people’.

Coogan plays a damaged egomaniac who knows his best work/character has been done and now he must struggle to succeed further as an artiste…or simply as a very famous star. Neither seems to be working out. Brydon plays himself as the loveable everyman who gives his audience what they want, loves doing it, is happy to have a career at all and is the proud father of a young child as well as an enthusiastic husband in a seemingly happy marriage.

Coogan is clearly a very self-aware man, to a fault, and perhaps this programme is the catharsis he needs but he really goes for his own jugular on more than one occasion. In the third episode, in a scene reminiscent of DeNiro in Taxi Driver, Coogan is shirtless, brushing his teeth and desperately trying, and failing, to do Brydon’s acclaimed ‘small man in a box’ voice. It’s a painful scene but it sums up the show very well.

As for the return of Partridge – it’s wonderful. Alan is doing digital radio for North Norfolk and these 10-13 minute weekly pieces are vintage Partridge. Without having to worry about character development, Ianucci and Coogan are just banging out Partridge-isms with style and verve and it’s high quality stuff.

As for the Fosters sponsorship, which has had some people up in arms, who cares? They paid a stack of cash, it’s a great show, more power to it. Fosters still tastes like shite anyway no matter how much I agree with their ‘bring back Partridge’ policy.

Long live Coogan!

 

Check my French

Posted: August 30, 2010 in Uncategorized
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Yeah my shirt got a fuckin’ wolf on, what you know about that, hipster muthafukka?

Following the nod from Benny, The Fader and now Wire magazine, it looks like Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All are going places real fast – that said, the places they go will likely involve hard drugs, sex crimes, homophobia, murder and skateboarding.

Welcome to the world of a bunch of teenagers with 8 free albums available on their homepage who combine the depravity of Gravediggaz with the swagger of N*E*R*D’s skate-rap aesthetic and Cadence Weapon’s distinctive enunciation with a bit of ’98 Eminem chucked in for jokes yo.

The quality of the work, all released in the last few years, is staggering, with huge bass, incredible lyrical dexterity and jaw-droppingly horrendous subject matter followed by pantaloon-crappingly horrendous subject matter.

This is not for the faint-hearted. Conversely, if you enjoy hearing about nun-rape, this is for you.

And to be fair, if you’re easily offended, you probably don’t have a lot of hip-hop in your collection though, eh?

Seemingly made up of a collective of angry character-playing California kids (Hodgy Beats, Earl Sweatshirt, Domo Genesis, Mike G, Casey Veggies, Taco, Jasper and producers Left Brain, Tyler the Creator and Super 3 along with a few others) they have produced some astonishingly accomplished hip-hop with the usual interlude bits, messy youtube channel and a refreshing DIY attitude.

Get over to their site, download the albums (Domo Genesis has a new one out now called Rolling Papers) and get stuck in.

I’d recommend Earl himself as a starting point. He’s 16. Prepare to vomit.

Fuck Steve Harvey.

http://oddfuture.com/

Phone publishing grainy fox pic

Posted: June 26, 2010 in me, Uncategorized
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Tester

Fast tracks #1: Ikonika

Posted: May 9, 2010 in music, Uncategorized
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Every so often a song can jump out and grab you by the backside, give you a little squeeze on your right cheek and make you feel like everything is going to be ok – this one from Sara Abdel-Hamid, A.K.A. Ikonika, is one such track.

It’s a bleeping chunk of dubstep with a nice bit of wobble that should be blared good and loud in preparation for our eight-minute summer, which is sure to show up soon, eh? Eh?

Naturally, Ikonika is on the Hyperdub label and her album Contact, Love, Want, Have was released last month.

Ikonika – Idiot

Mistletoe and a whine

Posted: December 20, 2009 in me, Uncategorized
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May aswell nail my red & white colours to the mast here: I love Christmas. It’s just that time of year where things just seem to slow up – not in the shopping sense but…

My mother instilled the Christmas appreciation in me. At the moment, the house in Galway most likely has a million Xmas trinkets cluttering up the porch, snow everywhere, the annual decorations, the table centre piece, the CD playing. And it’s great. I only have the best memories of Christmas from my childhood. There are a few outstanding ones but the one that has stuck with me is cycling up and down our street at 5am on my brand new BMX with a plastic AK47 in my hand and my uncle shining a huge maglight on me so I could see where I was going and whom I was about to rip apart with my high-powered assault rifle. Memories..

But to make things straightforward, here’s a taster of the best (and worst) things about Xmas.

  • The wind-up at work. You can feel Xmas oozing into the office as the tinsel pops up all over the place, people who normally don’t smile begin to crack wee grins and workmates start asking when others are going home for the holidays/is the tree up/how much brandy in the morning is too much/why is everyone not wearing the elf costume to the office like they were told to/did you eat my sandwiches and so on.
  • Town is mental. Proper mental. Not just ‘oo-er what be going on here then?’ or a little crowded – there is a palpable sense of immense danger in every shop and on every street. The roof of TK Maxx has clearly been removed and a million people have been dropped into it to try and find the cheapest Ralph Lauren pyjama bottoms or Ted Baker socks. That Butler’s chocolate shop that does the hot choc drinks? It’s got a queue of people out the fucking door, like a soup kitchen in the Mission in San Francisco. Penney’s is a war-zone. Schuh? Don’t bother. The only options in town are to duck into a pub as soon as you arrive to ‘shop’ and start guzzling hooch. Actually guzzle it too; the drunker you are the better. And watch in horror as the barman ACTUALLY rolls his eyes when you ask for either a hot port or hot whiskey. You don’t like making them, do you not? Sorry to complicate your drink-making job by having you do something other than fill a pint glass with piss-poor imported beer or knock the lid of an Easter European beer for which you are charging me 5 euros and 80 fucking cents! You do know Budvar costs about 3 cent in Prague, yeah? Oh you don’t make the prices – you just serve the beer. Right. I will leave actually yes, because you sir are the rudest barman ever. Good day. I have worked in bars too, before anyone starts.
  • The presents. Christ. Here’s where the booze will lead you astray. You arrive home with a bag full of shit you kind of wanted for yourself and a bag of random crap you blearily snaffled in nick-nack shops in the hope that whoever they are for will come to you in a few days. Those dolly pegs will be great for Dad, won’t they? And those Santa musical socks? The dog can have them; he loves weird chimes and Santa’s red, glowing eyeballs…
  • The regimented approach your mother has to Xmas. The TV must not distract from family time when you arrive home. The Xmas placemats may be 20 years old but they are Xmas. The Xmas CD is on a loop. You end up feeling like a suspected terrorist stuck in a weird Guantanamo-style Xmas internment camp. You are awoken to the clatter of dishes every morning. Everything has that shiny Xmas glow which is great at night but looks weird in the morning. Your orange boiler suit is chafing and they’ve taken away your Qur’an. Dean Martin is on all the time. As is Cliff Richard.(I love all this really)
  • Secret Santa at work. Now this year a few of us are doing it. Firstly, a few are trying to guess who got who but crucially, not in a fun way. In a ‘I KNOW who you got’ way. Another would like it to remain a secret forever so he can buy the cheapest present possible. These people have told me this. They also read this blog on occasion and the great thing is, they can have no argument for their anti-Christmas attitudes. I’ll make them pay. Somehow. Where’s my AK47?
  • Catching up. Catching up while drunk. Being in Galway pubs I’m never in anymore because I’m not home much.
  • The 11am booze fog. What’s that? A Paddy and red lemonade at 11am? You scoundrel.
  • The Snooze (you know it)
  • The Poop (you don’t want to talk about it)
  • The weird hangover of 8 tonnes of food and a gallon of red wine. Not remembering what you and your mother were chatting about til 5am..
  • There’s  more but that’ll do for the moment.

Happy Xmas everyone.

Thanks to events in the real world, I have been seriously lacking in effort with regard to these pages. Interviews, busy days, weddings, funerals. It’s all been going down. I suppose all bloggers are constantly looking at life as ‘content’ for their little online diary and for those who blog specifically on music or film, this stuff can spew forth at regular intervals.

The problems begin when one is not exactly a blogger of anything specific but rather someone who blogs on random odds and ends. And then when it becomes clear that one cannot blog on certain things (i.e. ALOT of things) without ‘giving the game away’, people reading who probably shouldn’t know certain things, that kind of piffle….forgive my cryptic ramble please. And apologies for the self-referential claptrap and for apologising for not blogging in the first place which I know can grate…erk….

So enough. I am in love with Chickatees again. Ah yes, Chickatees. How many do you think you actually swallow when you pop open a bag? Fuck all, I’d wager. They’re all in your teeth. For the diet-crazy amongst you, perhaps this heralds a new form of food non-ingestion therapy. I mean, you don’t ingest Chickatees really.You’ll eat a bag in a minute or two and then pick them all out of your teeth. The key could be to resist the urge to swallow this congealed ball of mulchy Chickatee and plop it in the bin. However, this is more difficult than you think; it tastes bloody great.

AND you can buy them in monstrous bags of 30 or 40 for a few squid too. That, combined with Spar meatballs (amazing) and some Pot Noodles – sure you’re essentially a thrifty Gordon Ramsay producing instant classics upon demand. True your salt intake would probably rival that of a large, floating whale gulping down huge waves by the hour but anyhoo.

I’m also currently sporting a rather fetching ‘tache as you may or may not know. Tis for Movember (donate here) but I can’t see myself getting rid of this badboy too quickly. The amount of action I am getting down darkened alleyways on Camden Street is outrageous. I’m raking it in. The binmen are mad for a bit of ‘tache loving. And I love the feel of their cold black jackets, the smell of Carrolls on their breath…ahhh yes…binmen….

Been busy enough beavering away for a few online publications you are probably familiar with and incoming is State mag’s top 20 albums of the decade…or is it top 100…or is it best albums of the decade in no particular order but with a non-specified number cap…jesus. Anyway, I know I’ve left Smog/Bill Callahan off one of these reeeeally difficult lists and I am going to make it up to him by doing my next post about him and most likely about A River Ain’t Too Much To Love, I think.

Also, Christmas is coming and I fucking love Christmas so, to quote a great man, BABY I’M BACK. I think I’m feeling motivated by R’n’B super-lech, R.Kelly’s banging new single

Actually banging. And without the use of contraception it would seem. Shuddering yet?

Pause for thought

Posted: October 19, 2009 in Uncategorized

One of my uncles died a few nights ago.

He was my mother’s brother, estranged, and someone with whom I had no connection, having met him only once when I was very young. It’s fair to say my mother didn’t have a huge relationship with him either – much of that side of the family are that peculiar and uniquely Irish manner of estranged, a condition borne of fractured, secretive conversations, generation gaps, parental divide and the deafening silence of too little said in too many years.

I tend to blame the Church and its powerful meddling influence on Irish life in the 50s (and after that period too) for this ‘oddness’ that we, as a nation, are so used to. It’s to blame for creating a large number of emotionally stunted, bullied, oppressed, tragic people, many of whom went on to be wonderful husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, sons and daughters, but many of whom also went on to be bastards and beasts of the foulest kind. But the Church is not solely responsible and, for whatever reasons, some people just end up…well…odd.

Whatever the circumstances, my mother has lost a brother and that gives pause for thought.

….as drop-d moves to new pastures. I usually hate reading my stuff but I actually enjoy reading this review of Mudhoney’s last album. Sorry for this somewhat self-serving post but anyway..

With the grunge era now a nostalgic bong water stain on the ripped jeans of yesterday, all we veterans can do is snaffle up Nirvana albums on vinyl if we stumble across them, watch Pearl Jam get fat and old and reminisce over Youtube footage of Alice In Chains’ mesmerising MTV Unplugged performance from back in the day.

Mark Arm and his elder statesmen of that fruitful musical period, Mudhoney, have crawled out of the sticky dirt to crank out a new album, 20 years after giving the world a grunge classic with Touch Me I’m Sick, and thankfully they have summoned the spirits of their scuzzy, raw, anthemic youth to make an album that is as relevant now as it would have been in the early 90s. It begins with the cocksure sexual swagger of I’m Now, a song many of the pubeless indie cretins of today’s ‘alternative indie rock’ bands would lop off their fringes and pointy-shoe-clad feet to have penned.

Inside Out Over You crackles with feedback and psychedelic twiddlings over a Jefferson Airplane-style bassline while the title track grooves along to a chorus of “The lucky ones are lucky they’re not around.” – a wry take on grunge’s casualties.

Other highlights are the blues-kissed What’s This Thing, the garage rock musings of And The Shimmering Light and the screaming teenage delight of Tales of Terror.

This gem was recorded in just three and a half days and the confident brevity of the uncomplicated songs would definitely corroborate this, with most of the tracks around the 3 minute mark. There is a lusty, noisy, filthy, punk vibe fused into every song – with a side order of garage, blues and The Stooges – and a sense of urgency that makes it difficult to believe these gents are on their 8th album and 20th year together. It filled this writer with joy to be aurally transported back to a time when Sonic Youth, Bleach, lumberjack shirts and Seattle were at the forefront of my mind and here’s hoping that Mudhoney bottle the energy they harnessed for this recording and churn out many more albums as enjoyable in the coming years. This is how it is done. Indie pretenders take note.

Arse life

Posted: May 14, 2009 in Uncategorized
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I truly am a picky bastard.
I can’t find somewhere comfortable I like to sit in our new place.
There’s a chair and a couch. The couch I like lying on to watch TV but, alas, it is not particularly good for balancing the laptop on my stomach and trying to type for any length of time.
I imagine that were an independent observer to poke their beak over the garden fence and observe me trying to type anything longer than a Twitter update on the brand of sausage I had just ingested while carefully trying to control my stomach ‘muscles’ to balance the laptop, they would see what looks like an overgrown, overweight idiot doing what appears to be an impression of a fighting spider (Thiania bhamoensis)perched in the Crane position and hammering away at the keys in short, uncomfortable bursts.
And so it is to the bedroom I retire, Laz-E-Boys proving too expensive, and it is in the bedroom I’ll have to remain if I want to shake the pins and needles from my poor poor legs. Comfort is an important part of bloggage, dontcha know?
I feel it’s time to start paying more attention to the blog and so expect more frequent posting, more wine coverage, more music and more film reviews..and just more blogging in general.
Also, have you seen the The Hills Have Eyes remake? It was on Film 4 the other day. Fuck me it was hardcore. Goggle,goggggggggle.