Monday 28 January 2008

Random Monday rambles...

Agoraphobic man dies after going out.

It's like 10,000 spoons...

Music Industry takes a swipe at Internet Service Providers

Though I think the most surprising aspect of the article is the revelation of the most downloaded single in 2007 - Avril Lavigne's Girlfriend? Rhianna demands a recount.

Friday 25 January 2008

Jape @ De Barras, Clonakilty, 27/12/07

Apologies for taking so long to put the review up - shitty health will do that though.

And so it was on a wet, windy miserable Thursday night that many, nursing their St. Stephen's Day hangover, ventured to De Barras in Clonakilty for a unique one man show by Richie "Jape" Egan.
Compressing the accompanying band music down to his "magic box", Egan faced an unusual venue for his energetic indie electronica, the snug setting more appropriate for a trad session than the type of performance that Whelan's in Dublin would witness days later on New Year's Eve.
This gig, however, was tempered by low-tempo renditions of To The Sea and a cover of Leonard Cohen's Hey, That's No Way To Say Goodbye amongst others, and thankfully he didn't appear at least to be underwhelmed by the static, seated crowd, feeding off his own energy when needed, bounding around the tiny stage with gusto and necessary care so as not to trip on the myriad of instruments at his feet.
This was a good thing too, because the noise and movement of the crowd, or lack thereof was in no way an indictment of a bad show. Call it the festive mood or whatever, all were captivated and took in a gig with an intimate atmosphere and a compelling act, who, stripped of supporting band didn't suffer.
Finishing with Phil Lynott, this was an unusually cosy setting for Jape but one that was welcomed by a crowd who, like Richie himself confessed, just wanted an excuse to escape Christmas for a few hours.

Monday 21 January 2008

Some Links Worth Following Up

Have been all over the place this month, was ill for a while but thankfully (considering the state of the hospital I was in - cheers HSE!) it turned out as nothing serious. I'll have a review of Jape's one man show in De Barras in Clonakilty a few weeks back up soon hopefully.

In the meantime a couple of links to some legal free downloads.

The first is a selection of mash-ups released in 2007, including a track from the excellent Go Home Productions, who I had assumed had split.

The next is a site I've found with mp3's of live Radiohead stuff, worth a look.

Thursday 10 January 2008

The Choice Music Awards

By now you're probably aware of the shortlist for the Choice Music Awards

Adrian Crowley “Long Distance Swimmer” (Tin Angel)
Cathy Davey “Tales Of Silversleeve” (EMI)
Delorentos “In Love With Detail” (Cottage)
Dry County “Unexpected Falls” (Lazybird)
The Flaws “Achieving Vagueness” (Arrivals)
David Geraghty “Kill Your Darlings” (Decal)
Kila “Gambler’s Ballet” (Kila Records)
Roisin Murphy “Overpowered” (EMI)
Stanley Super 800 “Louder & Clearer” (Sofa)
Super Extra Bonus Party “Super Extra Bonus Party” (Alphabet Set)

Cathy Davey is the clear favourite, which means there's a good chance she won't win - I fancy Super Extra Bonus Party as an outside bet.

I also noted with interest the panel of judges:

Brian Boyd (The Irish Times), Alan Corr (The RTE Guide), Michael Carr (Cork 96FM), Ronan Casey (Westmeath Examiner), Dan Hegarty (2FM), Anne Marie Kelly (Today FM), Sheena McGinley (, Una Mullally (Sunday Tribune), Paul McClean (BBC Northern Ireland), League O’Toole (Foggy Notions), Nadine O’Regan (Sunday Business Post and Phantom 105.2) and Jon Richards (Galway Bay FM).

Quite a few local journalists...must mention that to my editor but alas I fear our policy of not reviewing music will continue. It's like Footloose around here..

Monday 7 January 2008

Next summer's Irish Aural Leaving Cert leaks...

From Cork based comedian Alan Hurley

Fair Play to Eamon Dunphy

After having picked up both English player of the season honours, came third in FIFA world player of the year, was the 2nd highest scorer in the league for 06/07 and is currently top scorer this season (from midfield), Ronaldo will be relieved to know that in today's Irish Daily Star Eamon Dunphy has done a u-turn and admitted that the lad is a decent player, and not the "puff ball" Dunphy called him last season.

Friday 4 January 2008

I want a copy of this

Scotch Mist is described as "a film with Radiohead in it made for New Year's Eve, 2007. Features every song on their new album In Rainbows"

Alas I have only seen it on YouTube but it is an interesting way to see all the tracks played live.

Wednesday 2 January 2008

Reflections on 2007

I always think it's premature to have your list or review of a year gone by until it's finally over. For example, Sky News (alright hardly a shining example of new journalism but run with me on this) had their 2007 review cut and broadcast, yet already looks horribly dated, and incomplete in the wake of Benazir Bhutto's assassination.

For me, personally it was a good year, but one with plenty of disillusionment with my profession. It has been a terrible, terrible year for journalism, both nationally and internationally. A writer can get a book and a television special on the back of sensationalist claims she can't substantiate with any hard evidence. The death of a model is elevated by hacks in the D4 circuit to the point that the leader of the country feels compelled to send a representative to the funeral. These are the journalists who control what Irish people read - the ones who by day write hyperbole after hyperbole on the scurge of cocaine and alcohol but by night go to the trendiest Dublin hotspots. What's worse is that the lines between news and celebriy has become so blurred that they are interchangeable. Here in Ireland we have a terrible need to "keep up with the Jones'" - reality TV is a hit in the UK? Lets get Celebrities doing jigs, or going wild. People want to know about the rich and famous? Let's give Lorraine Keane a DAILY half hour show on gossip.

It's a sad state of affairs when gossip is given that sort of coverage, but then again it is TV3 giving it. The channel offers little of anything uniquely Irish, the only program I recall was the shoddy, cheap and exploitational "documentary" on Irish Debs ball culture.

We need to look long and hard at our priorities as a society, when there is such apathy about the highly questionable nature of our elected leader's personal finances. But moreso the Media. This year I have been astounded at the assignments I have been given to do in the trivial and in some cases, worthless nature of the story other than a "novelty". I was trying to sum up the words to express my feelings on the media this year, and then I saw Christmas' Extras

This is something we in the media need to realise; we generate the public demand. No one would care about Paris Hilton's jail sentence had Sky not given her trip to prison live coverage. Katy French's death deserved no more coverage than that of Kevin Doyle and John Grey, but didn't the national outpouring of grief that met Princess Diana's demise sell papers by the bucketload in the UK? Let's try the same here - why not? We do it with our reality television and talent shows.
The value of Madeline McCann's life was elevated above that of all the hundreds of people who went missing both in the UK and here in Ireland because Sky decided so. There was an uncomfortable xenophobic undercurrent in the whole thing - it was all to easy to have a pop at Johnny Foreigners policing of the situation, not like the sterling work done in the UK.

There is little to inspire an aspiring journalist to stay clear of the gutter, to avoid sensationalism when it's the easy path to success that is not only apparent but absolutely promoted within the industry.

Here's to 2008.