Friday, October 31, 2008

Ricky Gervais: give him a chance

Ricky Gervais: when he's talking to a bunch of menopausal wagons - not so funny. Fix him up with a couple of Irish gays - funny.

Ricky Gervais: One Trick Pony

Ricky Gervais on ITV's Loose Women? Just watched the repeat after the pub. I swear, he's a one trick pony, it's not that funny, and he knows it. Waiting to embed the YouTube clip and you'll know what I'm talking about.

Oh, and Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Rounding off the weekend

Went to see Milosh and Chequerboard in Red Cross Hall tonight. It was certainly a lovely way to round off the weekend, and its looking like Red Cross Hall is gonna work out as a sweet new venue for all sorts!

Nice to have a pint with the gang after, get the politically correct lowdown on Toronto vs Vancouver and walk home. Lovely lovely.

Friday, October 24, 2008

DEAF 08 - Nurse with Wound

Went to the first night of DEAF tonight in Andrew's Lane Theatre. Had some confusion figuring out who exactly was onstage and what exactly we were supposed to be listening to when it was just some dude with two massive amps playing the same three chords on his guitar over and over. Oh wait, it was art I think. Soundart, the worst kind of art.

Nurse with Wound however wer
e pretty cool.
Apparently they've been around since the Seventies, and I guess the auld lads just command a bit more respect for it. Particularly when they lash into 'My Lovely Horse' out of nowhere (obviously that's going to go down well with this particular blogger), and proceed into what we were told was a "rock'n'roll jam".
I suppose you don't have to understand it all or be able to relate to it, or however you want to describe that relationship that a listener has with a piece of music, to enjoy it. And when the dudes onstage are so clearly making these sounds for their own enjoyment, without conceit or posturing, well it makes it even easier to enjoy. Throw in a bit of Father Ted and I'm in.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Two songs

Its amazing when you hear a song for the first time and you instantly think 'yes'. Something clicks and you know you're going to keep coming back to it, its like making a new friend!
(That's enough of that talk now)
Anyway, today's song is 'Lump Sum' on For Emma, Forever Ago by Bon Iver.

Meanwhile the love affair continues with 'Ragged Wood' by Fleet Foxes . . .

Pivot/Halfset: Whelans

Up in the big smoke for a couple of days, popped into Whelans to see Pivot: ('Sigur Ros' favourite Aussie band'), who I have to say were at times pretty savage and at others pretty bewildering - in fact just as I write, suspicions are confirmed; their music is much more of a headphone-friendly affair than it plays live. Check it out

Halfset, however, impressed nicely with their support set. Look forward to listening to more of their new album and catching the full live show at some point - with harp and all apparently! 'Riversong' from their previous album Dramanalog is a favourite - listen to it here (

Monday, October 20, 2008

Albums I'm enjoying . . .

Lisa Hannigan - 'Sea Sew'

Last night I stood in on keyboard for the BPLO! It was great fun, I'm a big fan of the tunes, and felt very welcome as a keyboard deputy. But my God, could I have picked a quieter/more exposed first gig to join them on?! It was on in Limerick City Art Gallery and while the surroundings were gorgeous, it was one of those Belltable Sessions type intimate gigs, with the audience all ears! Eek!
As soon as I put on my piano necktie, though, it was all gravy.

Mugatu - invented the piano necktie

I wasn't well

My God I was very sick this week. Amid a lot of speculation, I was reminded that when we first boarded the plane back from Cuba, the air con wasn't working and it was honestly around 25 degrees celsius for the first 45 min of the flight. Perfect viral flu incubation temperatures. Presumably, 'cos that's what happened to me. Thanks Virgin Atlantic!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Universally Challenged

Time for my weekly fix of Monday night 'feel stupid' TV - University Challenge!

We used to have a dog, Bud, who would bark every time one of the teams buzzed as it sounded very similar to our doorbell. I loved that dog.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

best trailer ever?

he's nothing if his timing isn't good (oliver stone that is)

god i hate the man . . . but if a good movie (and the new realisation of a savage tune) can't make him look sexy . . .

Best Trailer Ever?

This from the man who played the older brother to Sean Astin (aka Samwise Gamgee) in The Goonies?

"I'm gonna hit you so hard when you wake up your clothes are gonna be out of style."
Hollywood is nothing if not poetically just.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

B & The Honeyboys

Just in the door from another crackin' gig with bluesy rockers B & The Honeyboys in Baker Place!
Its great to get to jam it out on the keys, with such a great band, and original music to boot!
Be sure to check out their MySpace, and they have a nice set of gigs coming up to catch them live. Its well worth checking out!

Cuba - Holy Shit Wow!

Well, we had our two weeks in Cuba and holy shit it was fantastic. What a place! The music, the history, the buildings, the old cars, the cigars, the rum, the music (deserving at least another mention), the heat, the food . . . unbelieveable.

Cuban music is so much a part of the culture and everyday life, and fucking hell its all the better for it. I have to say, it really made me think about what playing music means to me. The auld lads playing savage tunes in every bar, restaurant, cafe, street corner (see dancing lady below) - its so cool, and the some amazing musicians. One Sunday afternoon in the Casa Del A Trova (like an arts house/music venue) there was a 'troubadour' lady singing with probably the best guitarist I've ever seen playing live. I was kind of caught off guard by them, they were outstanding and one or two songs were really moving - powerful I suppose. Like Hannah said, someone like Jools Holland would just pick up this lady and have her on his show, and that would be that. This is all on a quiet Sunday afternoon in Santiago de Cuba.My rucksack was bursting at the seams with bottles of rum and a couple of boxes of cigars on the flight home. I seemed to get through the mojitos at a much faster pace than the girls, dunno why probably just cos they're tasty out! Cohibas are definitely the best cigars, but you can get some equally fine brands for a bit cheaper, and if you're lucky can score a nice handy box for next to nothing. I think the trip may have started a lifelong obsession! Great - the last thing I need is another vice!

I suppose I'd have to mention the whole ideology of the Revolution and Cuban politics. I didn't realise how much of it was down old Che; the fact that he was Minister for Industry and president of the first Cuban National Bank, and so on. The ideology of the Revolution and in particular Che's "New Man" is particularly interesting, maybe even more so for "New Ireland" who in my opinion could do with a little less concern with material things. At the risk of sounding preachy or indeed hypocritical, I think happiness is more to do with health and culture than obnoxious 99 inch TV screens and urban SUVs

The suspicious sloganeering and some reports of general unhappiness with the government- mainly still stemming from the difficult 'Special Period' in the 90's after USSR's collapse - doesn't really detract from fact that the Revolution as an idea is extremely interesting. Communist Cuba as an idea is alive and well. If Westernisation and Capitalism does eventually find Cuba, and unfortunately its probably only a matter of time, well still, it'll be a sad day.

I can't wait to go back - the idea to just hop on a plane and half a day later be sitting in 30 degree heats drinking mojitos smoking cigars and listening to great music. Fuck yeah.