Posts Tagged ‘review’

Difficult to do these things when you have listened to (and missed) such a huge wealth of music this year.

But, just to throw my hat in the ring, here are some albums I enjoyed alot this year.

Enter your disgust at my exclusion of Dirty Projectors at the bottom. For the record, I like the album, I just don’t love it.

I’ve left this quite late so I shan’t do any blurbs for the moment.

Animal Collective – MPP

Grizzle Bizzle – Veckatimest

Raekwon – OBFCLII

DOOM – Born like this

DM Stith – Heavy Ghost

Washed Out – Life of Leisure

Dieter Moebius – Kram

Fever Ray – s/t

St Vincent – Actor

Prefuse 73 – Everything She Touched Turned Ampexian

Wavves – Wavvves

PJ Harvey and John Parish – A Woman a Man walked by

Shackleton – 3 EPs

Fuck Buttons – Tarot Sport

The Antlers – Hospice

Bonnie Prince Billy – Beware

Telepathe – Dance Mother

Mos Def – The Ecstatic

Cass McCombs – Catacombs

Tune-yards – Bird-brains

Bill Callahan – Sometimes I wish we were an eagle

Bibio – Ambivalence Avenue

Hunter – Gatherer – I Dreamed I Was A Footstep In The Trail Of A Murderer

Grass Widow – s/t

Sunn 0))) – Monoliths & Dimensions (one of the important ones from earlier in the year that I had written down and forgotten to put here coz I’m an idiot. Thanks Darragh)

Plonky Tonk Man #1

Posted: April 6, 2009 in Uncategorized
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With the host of groovy foodie blogs out there, why take a few wine suggestions thrown in your direction (from a questionable source) to complement that palate?
Willkommen bis the inaugural ‘Plonky Tonk Man’ post. Possibly to become ‘There Will Be Plonk’ or ‘Daniel Plainview’s Slosh Factory’ – I haven’t decided yet.
Have a go at a title if you feel like it.
I like booze and in recent years, thanks to the cheapening prices of vino and the fact that my good lady has, in her distant past, worked as a dazzlingly knowledgeable wine sommelier, I have developed a decent taste as to what’s good and what’s not. Anyone could do this, given time, but this could prove to be a lot of fun.
For all of us, of course.
And for my first recommendation: The Catena Malbec 2006

Now, I could bang on in the most verbose manner about this wine, and may do so for future installments, but suffice it to say this is a crimson red that smells overwhelmingly of berries and currants and yet is as light on the taste buds as an bulimic starlet who’s just barfed up her tuna salad sandwich.
It doesn’t need, necessarily, to be imbibed with food and will serve perfectly well as an evening wind-down tipple or as an ‘I’m treating myself to a good wine tonight before I go out because I work bloody hard and I want to get pissed up but stay classy‘ drink too.
A deceptively lighter red for the usually more robust, jammy Malbecs.

Or as Wine Spectator put it:
Enticing, with lots of mocha, fruitcake, raspberry and boysenberry flavors stretched over a lengthy, fleshy finish. A delicious, fruit-driven version. Drink now through 2010.

Thank you, Wine Spectator.

This wine is at the more expensive end of the market, at around 17 or 18 quid, and you will have to head somewhere like The Corkscrew, near Nearys pub off Grafton Street, or that tiny wine store in Ringsend. In general it can be educational and informative to go into the independent wine stores and ask them about different varieties of wines, regions, grapes and years, tell them what you like/don’t like and get them to recommend wines and let you taste them.
Tescos won’t do that for you, now will they?
Then again, the wine shops don’t have microwaveable lasagnes or milk.
It’s a careful global-shopping balancing act.

Do yourself a favour and snap up this Malbec or I’ll send Wine Spectator around to do your fookin’ legs in.

The Dark Knight

Posted: July 24, 2008 in Uncategorized
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The ‘reimagining’ of the Batman franchise continues with this black, bleak, typically dystopian, chaotic masterwork, The Dark Knight.
With a script penned by his brother Jonathan, Christopher Nolan has fashioned a modern crime saga that displays its comic foundations proudly and takes all the best things about smart summer blockbusters and makes them even better.
The key, firstly, is to provide a decent story and script. Then get yourself a rock solid cast. Then ramp the action up to 11 and keep the violence ultra and the editing fast.
It seems redundant for me to point out that Heath Ledger’s performance as The Joker is astounding, not least because this jars so strongly with his last outstanding performance which was one of heart-wrenching quietness and poignancy as Ennis in Brokeback Mountain. Ledger brings to this role a physical and personal transformation so convincing, I effectively forgot it was an acting performance and bought into the character entirely from the outset.
His vocal stylings owe a little to Jack Lemmon, with his deliberate, whiny Middle American drawl and his hunched posture, ragged face and scar-licking lizard tongue only serve to heighten an absolute tour-de-force display as the script gives him all the best lines and he makes the most of every chance to play the creepy, anarchistic headcase. There is no sadness here and the idea that the Joker role may have been a factor in his mind’s state at the time of his death is absurd – he clearly relished the acting role and Christian Bale, in interviews, has said as much. This role is any talented actor’s dream – an opportunity to really make a mark in a massive film.
As always, there will be detractors moaning about bits and pieces but people need to remember this is based on a comic so quibbles about ‘reality’ and ‘that is impossible’ should be fucked into the bin.
Comic books people, comic books.
This is more of a hyper-reality that looks at major themes in society: terrorism, politics and vigilantism, among others, and does a decent job of it.
And Eric Roberts gets a part too? Genius. And as with any summer blockbuster, it is unbelievably entertaining – from the Michael Mann-esque opening bank heist to the truck/van road chase set-piece to the huge laughs Ledger generates with just the words ‘Yeah’ and, later, ‘Hi’.
Yes yes it’s a fraction too long and the whole Two-Face thing (that’s not a spoiler if you’ve read any reviews)is a little unnecessary but it doesn’t matter.
This is the future of the blockbuster. Everyone else needs to pay attention.