Friday 28 December 2007

Musicophilia


This book is certainly the best Secret Santa gift that I have ever received. A mean tome. Mr. Sacks, a gifted neurologist, explores the complex relationship between music and the human listener. Why is it that we listen? Why is it that we are affected in such countless ways? A melody contains no tangible concepts or images, yet as we listen the bombardment of memory is oft visceral. Curious, no?

Myriad theories, a smorgasbord of cracking and compassionately spun tales. Well worth checking out is Musicophilia
.

Wednesday 26 December 2007

Cascada & Interpretive Dance...

... Are two of the most repulsive things on the face of the planet. I would be suitably disgusted if I wasn't so busy laughing my bottom off:



Huzzah to all concerned (except that Cascada wench)! The Festive Ennis Seisiún is upon us tonight and the busting of some of these moves is a wretched possibility. Oh well. Hope you are all having a wonderful Christmas folks. Outty.

Saturday 22 December 2007

The Book Of Wrong

You may be already aware of The Book Of Wrong, a work otherwise known as Irish Love and Marriage Jokes by Des MacHale. If not, allow me to present you with a choice selection of the witticisms from this peculiar tome from the year of some folks' lord 1977 AD:


An Irishman has been defined as somebody who would trample over twelve naked women to reach a bottle of Guinness.

Definition of an Irish queer - Somebody who prefers women to drink.

Bridget had twenty children.
"You must love children a lot," a friend remarked.
"Love them?" said Bridget, "I don't even know half of them."

"He was a good husband to me," sobbed Bridget after Pat had died, "he always hit me with the soft end of the mop."

Definition of an Irish gentleman - One who never strikes a lady without provocation.

Pat was telling Bridget off because of the size of the household bills.
"Look at this gas bill," he roared, "you and your unsuccessful suicide attempts!"


Well holy God there Des, but racist stereotypes, homophobia, blatant misogyny, and a mockery of suicide and depression thrown into the pot... Aren't you a grand ould laugh all the same, a mhac!

"Different times". Total arsehole.

Thursday 13 December 2007

Happy Christmas (At Last)


Work has been biting the big one these days. I've really not been feeling the festive buzz at all. Think Buddy in Elf after the divorce, buggered with an intense predilection for the ould smack... That is until I saw this utterly legendary Christmas tree. Decided kudos to the Madridinites of Madrid!

Observe the
Youtubey goodness of it all.

Clipset via technabob.

Monday 10 December 2007

Blip Festival 2007

The Blip Festival in New York City. It finished on the second of this month, but it looked damn cool. The following is a snippet from the official blurb:

Manhattan art space
The Tank and New York artist collective 8bitpeoples announce the Blip Festival 2007, a four-day music and multimedia event taking place in New York City November 29 - December 2, 2007. Focusing on the modern artistic exploration of primitive video game and home computer technology and featuring 40 musicians and visualists from around the world, the Blip Festival showcases artists adopting and re purposing familiar but forgotten hardware - such as the Commodore 64, the Nintendo Entertainment System, the Atari game console and home computer line, and the Nintendo Game Boy - exploring their untapped potential and unique aesthetic character.

Basically, highly inventive loons make some bangin' toons using old Game Boys and what not. This is what it would have been like to attend (last year):




Almost Deaconesque. A decidedly cool enterprise indeed.

The Chocolate Teapot


Aoife Mc: She has a decidedly sweet and informed blog over at The Indie Hour. It's also the name of her music show on Dublin City FM, which is also really rather good.

Aoife Mc: She recorded an album in 2005 and 2006 with the aid of a few talented and friendly sorts. This album is called The Chocolate Teapot. Just click that ould name there and you shall be transported to the appropriate MySpace, whereon there resides four songs from the album for your perusal and downloading pleasure. It is certainly worth the trip... Sumptuous vocals, direct and heartfelt lyricism, intelligent and fitting arrangements and production, a decidedly kick ass trumpet... I'm really rather enjoying the "Laura" buzz. It's a beguiling and wry wee ditty, utterly nonchalant yet plainly emotive. A tricky combination that.

Impressive stuff all round really. A most worthwhile huzzah to thee girl!

Sunday 2 December 2007

The Singing CIA Agent

Dave Lippman. Or is that Agent George Shrub? Either way, he knows your name. This is investigative satire at its finest:



But wait, there's more:



Huzzahs abound then as the Lippman/Shrub show is coming to Ireland very soon. He shall be performing in Dublin in Seomra Spraoi on Friday 7th December. Admission is a mere €7 and it all kicks off at 8pm.

My sources indicate that a show in good old NUIG is on the cards too. Which is nice.

Dan Deacon. Hero.


There is a hulk of a man, down by his children,
We have his table enclosed, there is a countdown,
"Ethan Hawke! Ethan Hawke! Ethan Hawke! Ethan Hawke!"
That gibberish is deliverance, unable to talk,

Or think.

Or communicate with anybody else in the house without the widest of grins.

Dan Deacon in the Róisín Dubh, 30 November 2007. Quite possibly my favourite gig of the year. Put simply, this man is a hero. He is a singular movement, an intense benevolence. His only desire seems to be to spread some love through the medium of apeshit nonsense. And amazingly tight tunes. And one-liners that most stand ups would kill for.

"The Crystal Cat" lifts the spirits and limbs like no other tune I've heard live these past twelve months. My cohorts beside Dan's desk of goodness would surely agree. "Wham City" is an anthem unparalleled. It unites the audience completely, their collective giddiness mirrored by the transcendent ráiméis on the hymn sheets. These are passed about in a millisecond. The choir is adequate. And loving it... The human corridor works perfectly. Everyone lets go and embraces their inner spastic, and that of their stranger. We all dance through, utterly bemusing the crusty chin strokers in the front bar. Which is nice.

Alas, it was all over far too quickly. Mister Deacon, I applaud you! On your set. On your intentions and trajectory. And the fact that you are a very sound fella to boot. As is Leagues O'Toole... Name drop much?

In summary... Being in an audience of Dan Deacon's? Like being one of the backing dancers in High School Musical, but without the choreography, the gimps, or the sinister Aryan undertones.

And infinitely better tunes. Magic.

Tuesday 27 November 2007

Shrooms



Paddy Breathnach's Shrooms. A Hasty Review.

What works:
  • The film looks sumptuous. Whilst obviously aesthetically indebted to recent Asian mindfucks such as Ring and Dark Water, the predominantly Irish crew can be proud of their visual accomplishments in this piece... Locations, photography, post-production... Huzzah to you all on this front!
  • Don Wycherley and Seán McGinley are absolutely hilarious as the inbred local types. Think Podge & Rodge without the jaded cynicism.
  • Those Yank lasses sure are easy on the eye.
What does not work:
  • Those American characters sure are bloody annoying. Such preposterously cliched misfortunes - the jock, the stoner, the virginal good girl, the bitch - that it is impossible to feel even the slightest semblance of emotional attachment to them. Generic staples me hole!
  • Was it really necessary for them to be American? I do understand the marketing logic behind such internationalism when writing and casting. However would Irish youngsters really have been that unsettling for our overseas cousins? Such pandering to the American Dollar, whilst (possibly) fiscally sound, only serves to prostitute the artistic integrity of our national cinema in the long run... This might only be a horror flick, but it is symptomatic of a lack of self-confidence in our industry that continues to persist. There really is no need. Garage anyone?
  • The Irish dancing young ones in the airport. The constant talk of ancient druids. The ironic treatment of Oirishness that fell flat on its arse.
  • That monumentally fucking stupid, yet blindingly obvious ending!
  • The fact that Shrooms is not even a mite scary, dramatic, or funny (with the exception of the cow and the dogging scene). Even a stopped clock though, what?
In conclusion, Shrooms is a bit of mess. If you must, then at least wait a few months. A possible second rental, but only if you're stuck.

Alas, yet another opportunity missed.

Monday 26 November 2007

Really Bad Santa

The juxtaposition of headline and photo. The touching innocence/glaring stupidity of it all:

Friday 23 November 2007

Dawn Landes & Her Young Folks

I was feelin' something kinda rough this morning and I desperately needed some cheer. Luckily for me, this cheer was but a handful of button clicks away. It came in the form of Dawn Landes and The We Sorta Tried Bluegrass Band... A few months ago they came together to cover that most ubiquitous of recent summer hits "Young Folks", re-imagining it as an old-timey bluegrass delight. The beguiling alternating female-male vocals remain, but are now reinforced by a delicate amalgam of acoustic orchestration. Enjoy:



As a result of this tune, I started to give Dawn Landes a listen. I liked what I heard. This is her MySpace. Check it out. Y'all.

Thursday 22 November 2007

Sex In Irish Cinema Survey

RTE's The Clinic: As about as sexy as we get. Which is very sad.

Award-winning Irish screenwriter and actor Mark O'Halloran joins Film Ireland magazine as guest editor for the January/February 2008 issue which is devoted exclusively to the topic of sex in Irish cinema and television... The complete lack of sex in Irish cinema and television that is. This issue of the magazine hopes to discern the reasons behind our prudish filmic impulses. Is it deeply engrained Catholic guilt? Or is it that we are simply more emotionally mature than our European neighbours? Are we satisfied with the (figurative) hand holding? Not that restraint has ever struck me as a typically Irish characteristic.

Personally, I think the aeons of total cultural dominance that the Catholic Church enjoyed are an obvious factor. Sex is a sin and never may we forget it. Furthermore, the antiquated values of our censorship system hardly help matters. It is getting better but the procedure remains snail paced and quite behind the times.

You can express your thoughts on the subject
here. A simple, quick, and anonymous survey that will help in the compilation of what should be a fascinating issue.

One of the questions asked concerned what you believed to be the sexiest scene in Irish cinema history. I was utterly stumped. What say you?

Monday 19 November 2007

Girl Talk. In Dublin. For Christmas.


Ok, so I'm like a million years behind himself on this one, but how ludicrously exciting is this prospect?

FOGGY NOTIONS CHRISTMAS PARTY
DEC 13TH

GIRL TALK
DJ KOOL DROOL
PLUS SPECIAL GUESTS (
You're Only Massive)
PLUS VERY SPECIAL GUEST (Intrigued)

WHELANS. DOORS 8PM
TICKETS FROM WAV, CITY DISCS, ROAD, TICKETMASTER.

I'm going to try so very hard to be in De Big Schmoke for this. It could be fair decent like:




Saturday 17 November 2007

Michael Palin. On Home & Away.

A decidedly Pythonesque Michael Palin talking to Flathead and Marilyn about sharks and surfing. How very peculiar:



The hat tip must go to my mate Ronan. Jolly good show old boy!

Friday 16 November 2007

30 Days Of Night


David Slade's 30 Days Of Night . A Hasty Review.

What works:
  • Having vampires descend upon an isolated Alaskan town - Barrow - that endures a month of night during the winter is a simple and ingenious premise. Well done Steve Niles!
  • The cinematography is sumptuous; the contrast between the dark red blood and the untainted white snow resonates smartly throughout.
  • There are some terrific set pieces. Elaborating further would only diminish their impact.
  • Danny Huston is a malevolent bastard as the head vampire. The vampires as a whole are impressive; supernatural inbred gimps with a penchant for throat ripping.
  • Melissa George. Angel.
What does not work:
  • For every victim massacred by a vampire there is a plot hole. These vary from the minuscule and fleeting to the jaw droppingly stupefying... We're at Day 3 of the attack. Now we're at Day 18. How did that happen?
  • The romantic subplot between Josh Hartnett and Melissa George is a cliched mess that only serves to distract from the main action. The actors battled valiantly. Alas, the situation was beyond rescue.
  • Dialogue often as clunky and derivative as it comes. Even for a horror flick.
  • Be prepared to groan at that final shot.
In conclusion, 30 Days Of Night presents a fairly enjoyable horror experience. A lost opportunity in terms of the purity of the premise, but that's Hollywood for you I suppose. Only worth a trek to the cinema for the true vampire aficionados, a worthwhile rental for everyone else.

For some reason I just can't help thinking that the creators of Northern Exposure missed a trick.

Tuesday 13 November 2007

Prostitutes For The Disabled

This is a bit fucked up... A Swiss welfare group has begun recruiting volunteers to have sex with disabled people. The Basel-based Welfare Group for Disability and Sexuality already arranges erotic massages for people with disabilities. However, it is now branching into full sexual intercourse and is seeking homosexual volunteers to have sex with homosexual disabled people.

The group's leader Aiha Zemp had this to say:
"It's a big taboo that needs to be broken. Having sex is a basic human need like eating and drinking and we have to fight for this right for the disabled."

At present three men and one woman offer an erotic 'touching service,' and nine new volunteers have come forward to offer sex at £65 per hour.

Yes. That's right. These volunteers are getting paid to have sex with strangers. However, Zemp insists that this does not make them prostitutes:
"The big difference between the assistants and prostitutes is that the assistants show tenderness and are conscious of the needs of the disabled, rather than rushing and just taking the money,"

Erm, no. Aiha pet, they are still prostitutes. They are just good prostitutes.

Lewis Hamilton - My Book


Lewis Hamilton... You know the guy... He's that British young lad who is good at driving incredibly quick cars incredibly quickly. His autobiography has just been released. It is entitled Lewis Hamilton: My Story. Now, for any of you who may be eager to read this story, I have a nice surprise. Below lies the complete transcript of Lewis' tome, utterly verbatim. Bask in the intoxicating relevance of it all:


Chapter One:

I'm very young. I'm really good at driving go-karts quickly. I'm not famous.

Chapter Two:

I'm still young. I'm really good at driving F1 cars quickly. I'm quite famous.


Chapter Three:

Erm... I've been famous for less than a year now. Still driving the same car.

Chapter Four:

I had somebody ghost write my book. You bought it.


Seriously, Lewis Hamilton is 22. He is good at one thing, which he has been doing at the highest level for barely twelve months. What's more, the team he was driving for have been stripped of all their championship points for the year and fined close to $100 million because they were fucking cheating! Lewis achieved what he did whilst he was driving a car designed by cheats. Wow! Lewis Hamilton, you're my hero!

I just do not see what gives this guttersnipe the right to burden us with his twelve month story. At most there is enough there to fill a generous and picture laden pamphlet... Something to distract you while you sit in your doctor's waiting room, hoping to find out just what that odd rash on your elbow actually is.

"I wonder what cream I'll need for this... Seriously, why is that pregnant woman staring at me with eyes as twisted as Dante's inner circle... Oh look, Lewis finished in the top three in some race. Again. He's amazing!"

Bah humbug.

Sunday 11 November 2007

Cultural Exchange

There was a Polish man wearing a Chelsea jersey being ever so slightly patronised by Derek Mooney on Winning Streak last night.

He won a car and a holiday. Which was nice.

Saturday 10 November 2007

Hooray For Humans & Crayonsmith @ Róisíns


Not much to say here really. That title is quite all encompassing... The splendidly upbeat Cork crew Hooray For Humans and Dublin dazzlers Crayonsmith are playing the Róisín Dubh next Thursday. Admission is free and the gig is followed by the all-knowing Gugai and his Strangest of Brews. Festivities commence at nine bells and you would be quite the eejit to not pop down.

Apparently Hooray For Humans need a new drummer. For those interested in the position, this is what it would be like to play with them live:

Too Much Time On His Hands (And Knees)

Some fellow created the following miniature city entirely out of stacked eggs. Could not find any information on why he chose to do so, but it looks damn impressive nonetheless:


Via
Popsucker.

To appreciate just how long this must have taken, have a peek at the following egg stacking enthusiast
in action. One has to wonder why.

Friday 9 November 2007

The Great Sufjan Song Xmas Xchange

Sufjan Stevens is a bona fide genius. None could genuinely dispute this fact. He is also a generous soul... Sufjan has composed an original Christmas song, and has decided to give this song to a deserving fan. However, it being The Season (TM) and all, he wishes to receive something in return. It is "The Great Sufjan Song Xmas Xchange", and those vital folks over at Asthmatic Kitty explain the venture thusly:

Here's how it works: write an original Christmas song, record it, and email the song to us. Asthmatic Kitty will pick a winner, and that person will trade rights to their song for rights to Sufjan's song.

Just like a gift exchange, Sufjan's song becomes your song. You can hoard it for yourself, sell it to a major soft drink corporation, use it in your daughter's first Christmas video, or share it for free on your website. No one except Sufjan and you will hear his song, unless you decide otherwise. You get the song and all legal rights to it. We get the same rights to your song.


Owning an original Sufjan Stevens composition. Now that would be rather sweet. If you're interested, perhaps the following clip may be an inspiration:



I normally despise talk of Christmas in early November. I find myself in a strangely jolly mood today though. Huzzah!

Thursday 8 November 2007

Little Dragon in Róisíns & Free Beer in Car Parks

Fronted by Swedish-Japanese singer Yukimi Nagano, Little Dragon are a Goteborg based collective who specialize in melodically luscious, downbeat glitch-soul. Nagano's voice is a joy to behold; her dexterous lyrical wanderings a potent ally. "Twice" is just such an endearing tune:



These guys are playing Róisíns tonight at 21.00. Admission is free, making this a gig decidedly worth checking out... But not until you have sampled the following free shindig, also occurring this evening in Galway.

Sorry ladies, but I've got plans.

Wednesday 7 November 2007

"I just don't get it..."


TULCA is a Galway based season of contemporary visual arts exhibitions, live-art performances, discussions & forums that aim to offer opportunities to local, national and international artists and to develop and stimulate the growing visual culture in the area. It is indeed a principled and intriguing prospect.

However, I am finding one of TULCA's resident exhibitions somewhat difficult to understand:

Michael Mayhew, artist, will create a project called the ritual of being not being (vanished = to die away from latin) using stories from live interviews on campus with 25 people regarding persons that have vanished from their lives. Interviewing five people per day between Monday November 19th and Friday November 23rd inclusive, he will create a text from these stories and in the evening at 6pm, in the gallery, the stories will be written onto his body in ink and then washed off with water from the River Corrib. The water will be collected and poured into a cast of part of his body, then frozen.

When the five evenings have been completed and the five casts filled, the project will finish on Nun's Island where the casts will be defrosted and the contents melted on canvas. 25 words, one from each story, will be tattooed onto his body while this is happening. To set the project in motion there will be a talk by the artist on Thursday 15 November at 6.00pm, in the NUI Galway art gallery, where the artist will be sheared and shaved from the waist up in preparation for the project, while talking.

Now, it might well be ignorant of me to say, but what unadulterated bollocks! Seriously, can somebody explain the point of this to me?


Please.

Tuesday 6 November 2007

Subtle - Pitchfork Interview


Over at Pitchfork, there currently resides a very interesting interview with Subtle frontman Doseone aka Adam Drucker. Well worth checking out.

Doseone on writing his break up song:

"I am writing a breakup song about all this stuff. It is hard to be in a relationship and then be alone, and be left to that. She grew a dichotomy where an "us" was. And I returned to only the far side of that dichotomy. So it was terrible. And I felt pretty fucking abused."

On the next Subtle LP and commercial success:

"The Mercury Craze is actually the blueprint for this entire record. We entered that out there in the single world. It didn't do any of what singles would do. People enjoyed it, it's good music out there, but no limos to the door or any of that. And then like months later, Tom Brown (at Lex Records) has this Scroobius Pip song that goes fucking gold on digital downloads, you know? So, I'm sitting there going, "Okay, it's just a window you throw shit at. Whether we get through or not doesn't fucking matter." It also made me not as stressed about the notion of making bright music, and making something different in the song world. I was like, just because you make a pop song, it doesn't even matter. It's just music you make."

Thankfully, the music Doseone and his band mates conjure up is sublime:




"The Mercury Craze". Unquestionably my favourite single (and video) of the last few years... If this is the blueprint, then their burgeoning album could be immense.

Buck 65. Utter Hero.

Buck 65 is a bit of a genius... Of this fact we should all be already aware... Situation is his new album, and judging by what I have sampled thus far it seems to be a damn impressive collection. "Dang" has managed to lodge itself deep within the recesses of my mind; it being a somewhat catchy record:



One Canadian and his suit, succinctly rocking it four seperate ways. Pas facile... Do be sure to check out other Situation tracks over at his MySpace.

Do it now!!

Saturday 3 November 2007

Hunter S Thompson's widow unhappy with Jann Wenner's HST bio


Anita Thompson, who was married to Hunter S Thompson for two years before his death, is quite displeased with Jann Wenner's Gonzo: The Life of Hunter S. Thompson, An Oral Biography. She had this to say to the NY Daily News about the book:

"There are beautiful parts in [Wenner's] book, but it sensationalizes Hunter unnecessarily. It's meant to portray him as losing his mind at the end, but he was not. He was just as kind and decent and brilliant as when he was younger.

"When Hunter was compiling his second letters book, there was some humiliating correspondence between Hunter and Jann. His publisher was urging him to put it in, but in the end, Hunter didn't run it. It would've sold more books. But he protected his buddy. I'm sad that Jann didn't do the same."

"Jann is going to make quite a lot of money off this book, and we're having trouble paying the bills."

Jann felt inclined to counter her claims:

"She's attacking the book because she's not in it... We just took her out. We took her narrative thread out and had other people tell the story. Anita and I get along fine, but she has an exaggerated sense of who she was in terms of Hunter. She had another kind of role."

A needlessly bitchy comment from Jann there, I'm sure you'll agree. However, it is interesting that Hunter's good friend Johnny Depp wrote the introduction for the book... He clearly found no fault with the material.

A messy one this (via
BoingBoing).

Personally, I would question the need for a HST bio. Via the decadent and depraved - wink, wink - tenets of Gonzo Journalism and his constant insistence on the truth, Hunter S Thompson put more of himself to paper than any other could... More of the man, and more of the myth.

Electric Picnic 2008 Tickets. Already.

Yup, tickets for next year's Picnic shall go on sale from next Friday, 9th November. These limited Early Bird tickets will be priced at €199 and available from Ticketmaster and all the usual contemptuous shylocks. Etc.

Not even a hint of a line-up though.

I must say that this whole enterprise smacks of cynicism and consumerist stoicism to me. What say you?

I'm off for a Heineken.

Thursday 1 November 2007

The Insane Covers Of YMCA Compendium

So, do you prefer the Jane Fonda aesthetic of this Finnish version:




The slightly less restrained Korean interpretation:




Or these snowboarding French Christmas penguins:

Wednesday 31 October 2007

Spaced... Being Remade For US TV... By The Director Of Charlie's Angels.

Spaced is one of my favourite comedies ever. I really do love it. I find myself oddly validated by its hilarious portraits of directionless mid-20s fuck ups. Ergo, the following news has upset me somewhat.

The brainchild of Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright et al is set for a US television reinvention. The idea of this alone is quite possibly enough to irritate the purists amongst you. However, it gets worse. Much worse... The US version of Spaced will be produced by McG. Yup, McG, the understated auteur behind both Charlie's Angels and Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle. But wait, there's more. The show will be written by Adam Barr, a former writer on Will & Grace.

Jesus Christ. I need some absinthe.

I mean, the director of Charlie's Angels will surely fathom and replicate the subtle explorations of the following scene:




And Tyres will, like, so work on American television:



Seriously, I need some absinthe.

Tuesday 30 October 2007

The Unbearable Shiteness Of Being?

Or... How I Learned To Stop Worrying & Needlessly Punish Myself With Absinthe.

Fuck the fetishism of Hemingway. There truly is no dignity in the consumption of that puke. The helpless fool lies, wistfully fingering the atrophied remnants of the soul... And yet, for all such parallax Wisdom, I know that the bank holiday weekend will eventually become nothing but a degenerate regret.

In the meantime, I must start a new job and find a new apartment in Galway. Could this be any more fun:

Thursday 25 October 2007

Mondovision... C'est Fantastique!

Luigi&Luigi is a post-production design shop in Paris. Mondovision is a mashup project of theirs. World music performances, Mexican soap opera dialogue, introductory salsa videos... This is indeed a miscellany that fractures convention. Enjoy the following excerpts.

Chuckey's Dream:




Basicamente
:

De Gaffer Is Dead! Long Live De Gaffer!

The next Irish international football manager?

I know a guy who works in the bookies. He just gave me the inside track on the current favourites to succeed Steve Staunton as Irish manager. They are as follows:

Katy French - 4/5

Steve Staunton - 7/2

Enda Kenny's forehead - 8/1


A damp shoebox of chimpanzee elbow scrapings - 11/1

Eustace The Anorexic Badger from Kinnegad - 13/1

David O'Leary - 22/1


Sigh. As Stangate and the ensuing media scrum continue to envelope all, I would argue that even a modicum of perspective would be rather darling... That said, I won't be holding my breath.

Wednesday 24 October 2007

Dear Avid Reader,

Somebody recently asked me why I bothered blogging. To answer their question I quoted a certain Joseph Conrad:

"In literary action a man wins friends for himself mostly by the passion of his prejudices and the consistent narrowness of his outlook."

A fair summary of my tendencies here at The New(ish) Journalism... Yet, a man can also acquire friends via the gnarled subtleties of his MySpace page. I must confess to being obscenely late in joining the MySpace brigade, being otherwise consumed by the Bebo imperative. However, do feel free to add me as a friend... Unless you are the spamming type. In which case you can go fellate an exhaust pipe.

This is my MySpace. Check it out. If you want like.

Apologies for the unbelievably half-arsed nature of this post, but I am very busy at the moment. Indeed, posting could be rather intermittent over the next few days. I am on the job hunt you see, floundering in a turlough of interview prep and cover letters... Any takers?

Tuesday 23 October 2007

Mexican Institute Of Sound


The turntablistic nous of Mexican Institute Of Sound has been receiving some heavy rotation chez moi over the past few days. Perhaps it is a reaction to the quintessentially Hibernian weather we are currently enduring. Or perhaps it is due to the deftness with which the Institute - actually only one man, Camilo Lara - renders his beat collages. For arguments sake, I'll go with the latter.

Lara's latest album is called Pinata, and was released in July of this year. A sophisticated smorgasbord of modern latin hip hop, electronica, old school samples, laser effects and miscellaneous other musical trivialities... This is party music without farce, intelligent in design. If it sometimes asks that little bit extra of the listener, it nonetheless retains a consistent sense of fun. The effervescent spirit of el mariachi permeates completely... Basically, an early J5 era Nu-Mark or DJ Format block party buzz. But Mexican.

Two album tracks are available for 'perusal' over at the superlative Aurgasm.

Alternatively, you can lounge back and enjoy this half arsed youtube-ing of lead single "El Microfono". Such a sweet tune:




"But you're no stranger, you really are Ronald McDonald!"

Right. Okay. So, the McDonald's Corporation is actually the manifestation of pure evil... This freak is worse than Pennywise:



Monday 22 October 2007

"Good afternoon to you! We're talking to Unfulfilled McVapid from Clontarf..."


"Well, I have three children myself Joe. And I just have to say that I was absolutely appalled by this Halloween costume for babies. It's just sick Joe."

"Sure, sure."

"I mean I don't mind telling you this now Joe, but I nearly wet myself in frigid terror when I saw Alien twenty years ago. And to think now that this child is being forced to go through the same ordeal. Unbelievable. I just needed to talk to someb... I mean, share this outrage with you and your listeners."

"Sure, sure, sure..."

And so on and so forth. Joe adopts a needlessly sombre tone, whilst quietly thumbing through his Thesaurus for Uppity Plonkers. The caller's desperate insecurities are temporarily assuaged, as she wobbles back to her midday Manhattan. I mock, and forget what this post is even about.

Sunday 21 October 2007

"Arrah sure, me decidedly latent Irish Catholic Guilt is killing me all the same!"

Alas, this is just too funny:


French artist Soasig Chamaillard offering a somewhat iconoclastic interpretation of the Virgin Mary. Imacculately rendered... Link, via Miniature Brainwave.

Saturday 20 October 2007

Help! - A Slight Review


Help! is a one act play devised by the abnormally artistic Tiernan clan. It is directed by stand-up comedian Tommy, a man of whom you may have heard. It stars his cousin, comedian and actor Eleanor Tiernan, and his sister, actor Niamh Tiernan. Events play out like so.

Eleanor is a stand up comedian who has just "died on her hole" at the prestigious Mullingar International Comedy Festival. The repercussion of this catastrophe for Eleanor would seem to be a total nervous breakdown... A breakdown that can only be stopped by the intervention of Niamh, Eleanor's alter ego/sinister subconscious/glorious idol. However, Eleanor has another gig tomorrow night so they best get busy.

'Busy' would certainly be a fitting adjective to describe Help! There is a lot going on in this single act. The intense insecurities and neuroses of the stage performer are deconstructed by both players, to hilarious effect. The mythic aura that envelopes Samuel Beckett is torn asunder by constant jibes at his oeuvre throughout. They still like him though... There is even time for a 10 minute comedy routine from Eleanor, during which the actor subsides and the stand up takes centre stage. A welcome mutation, as this woman is damn funny. That Jane Austen punchline had me in tears!

Seamless pacing, superb performances, (sometimes) weighty subject matter and perfect comic timing... Attending this play is a most worthwhile experience. Y'all.

Help! has just come to the end of a lunchtime run in The Ruby Room in The King's Head in Galway.


Be sure and give these a look:


The MySpace of Help!
The MySpace of Eleanor Tiernan
Eleanor Tiernan's Newsreader School (Balcony TV)

Wednesday 17 October 2007

Random Stuff in Brief

1. Rubber ducks can travel 17,000 miles and survive for fifteen years at sea.

2. Some Russian men like to
marry their grannies.

3. Glowing Orwell's impossible pizza! This
Will Ferrell Movie Generator really is remarkably accurate.


4. The new video from Brazilian MC Edu K... My eyes! They bleed! Figuratively! The end of baile funk chic must come soon.

5. Babylon Fields is the one of the most insane TV pilots never to be greenlit... Zombies come back from the dead, enjoy some sex/necrophilia with their recently bereaved partners, then attempt to solve murders. Amazing. Watch some of it here.

6. It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia. Truly the funniest show on television:

The Preeminence Of The Xmas Decoration

Or... How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Appreciate That CSI Boxset.

Monday 15 October 2007

The Bullets Of Tunng

I am quite fond of the folksy acoustics and faintly fey electronica of Tunng. "Bullets" is a sumptuous delight; probably my favourite track from this year's Good Arrows. The accompanying video is a nonsense of Gondryesque proportions. Too lovely:

Fear And Loathing In Gonzovision


Fear And Loathing In Gonzovision (Google Video)

I'm assuming that some of you have already seen this 1978 BBC documentary about Hunter S Thompson before... However, if you have not, then be sure to set aside some time for a viewing.

This is an affecting (if occasionally cloying) portrait of a writer very much at odds with his public persona. Exactly whose existence is being scrutinised here? That of the "normal" Hunter S Thompson or the turbulent extremes of Correspondent Duke? How does the man salvage his own personal humanity from the madman rhetoric he fervently espouses? Funny, wise and true, a malignant soothsayer, yet also a husband and a father... A twisted dichotomy that was never resolved.

Interestingly, this documentary features an initial meeting between Hunter, illustrator Ralph Steadman and a screenwriter in Hollywood. They meet to discuss the premise for Where The Buffalo Roam (1980). Starring Bill Murray as HST, that film invested completely in the myth surrounding the man, and as a result is completely devoid of emotional resonance or depth. Hunter Thompson himself derided it as "cartoony crap", and I would have to agree.

To focus solely on the Drugs, Booze and Mayhem was to utterly miss the point. There was so much more to the man.

Saturday 13 October 2007

Gigs Of (The Rest Of) The Year

Buzzes do not come any more ludicrously savage than this. My excitement is such that I have interrupted an important weekend's debauchery to blog it up. We must have been good people, because we are in for some serious treats.

On Friday 21st November one has the opportunity to see
The Go! Team, Cadence Weapon, and Super Extra Bonus Party in Tripod... This can not be missed. The Go! Team are a superb live act who have released one of the albums of the year in Proof Of Youth. Cadence Weapon is one of the most exciting acts in hip-hop, a consistent fountain of dopeness. Super Extra Bonus Party? You lot should already know about my grá for those lads... Buy tickets for the impending wickedness here.

Nialler speaks of a burgeoning Cadence Weapon remix for Super Extra Bonus Party. How freakin' cool is that!

In other excellent gig-related news, the Irish
Dan Deacon dates have been confirmed. Mister Deacon shall visit Galway (Róisín Dubh, November 30th), Sligo (Model Arts, December 1st) and Dublin (Whelan’s, December 2nd).

Dan Deacon in me beloved Róisíns. The rapturous bedlam of that event in Tripod. Life is indeed good... I take my leave of you now my friends. Misplaced self-confidence, unnecessary man chats, and the fervent consumption of sweet liquor awaits.

Thursday 11 October 2007

"And not a lot of people know that!" # 2


2. The United States Of America: the democratic home of some truly fantastic lawmakers.

In Massachusetts, it is against the law to put tomatoes in clam chowder.

In the state of New Jersey, it is illegal to sell cabbage on a Sunday.


In Chicago it is illegal to fish whilst sitting on a giraffe's neck.

In Wyoming one may not take a photograph of a rabbit from January to April without obtaining an official permit.

In Virginia, the Code of 1930 has a statute that prohibits corrupt practices or bribery by any person other than political candidates. (
Is that Bertie Ahern I hear salivating profusely?)


You have to hand it to the Texans though. Literal adherence to the Bible sure does enliven the mind:

In Texas, it is illegal for one to shoot a buffalo from the second story of a hotel.

The entire Encyclopedia Britannica is banned in Texas because it contains a formula for making beer at home.

When two trains meet each other at a Texan railroad crossing, each shall come to a full stop, and neither shall proceed until the other has gone.


Altogether now... And not a lot of people know that!

Wednesday 10 October 2007

Let's Dance To Joy Division!

INT - Dingy Indie Basement Nightclub.

Impressionable Youth #1:

Are you being ironic?

Impressionable Youth #2:

I don't even know anymore.


Strangely enough this song is called "Let's Dance To Joy Division". Liverpudlian group The Wombats sing it. Theirs is a particularly gaudy myspace.

Willie Van Groundskeeper


Quite clever indeed. Other examples of such ingenuity can be located here.

Tuesday 9 October 2007

Dublin Stories

Today over at That's Ireland, Michael mentioned a series of comedy mockumentaries called Dublin Stories. A series made by Novara Films and comedy sketch group Diet of Worms. These are quirky and surrealist slices of abnormality posing as normality. Witness the oddities of Dublin "characters" being laid bare. Their confessions are often dark, but always funny:



I worked with "Frank" during the Galway Film Fleadh. Sound chap. Honest!

More stories can be found here.

RTÉ's The English Class


The English Class is RTÉ's latest comedy offering. I missed the first episode last week, so I caught the second one last night.

Adjectives flounder at a chasm of mongrel incompetence.

I should launch into a vitriolic deconstruction of everything that is wrong about this 'comedy', but I am too tired. Not physically tired mind, but emotionally. That vapid muck has sucked from me the will to hate.

It was The Office re-imagined by a mental patient with a penchant for crippled puppy torture and the IQ of a satchel of soggy, lukewarm nappies.

It was more excruciating than Twink playing the title role in "Dida: The Musical".

It was like a Michael Bay film without explosions or breasts.

Monday 8 October 2007

Polysics - New Wavin' Go Go Jump Go!!!

A mate of mine has recently begun to pontificate about a peculiar Japanese collective called Polysics. According to their myspace, the band were formed in 1998 "in homage to the high energy and eccentric music of the 1980’s New Wave scene". As a consequence, apeshit electro-punk-pop noodling is their buzz... Polysics Or Die!!!! is the title of their current release, a collection of the best tracks from their previous albums. A 'best of', if you will. "Electric Surfin' Go Go" is the lead single:



Apparently, Polysics admire Devo. I must say that there are subtle aesthetic similarities between the two groups... If you look hard enough, that is:


A bit of a giggle all the same, wha?

Strike! Hollywood Gets Busy.

I pity the fool that messes up the burgeoning movie debut of B.A. & Co.


News of an impending strike in Hollywood has been circulating for quite some time... Image rights, advertising on the Internet, adequate remuneration, miscellaneous other grievances... The Writers Guild, the Directors Guild and the Screen Actors Guild shall all strike by June of next year, if negotiations with the Producers Guild do not get settled between now and then. The threat of such action has understandably caused considerable panic amongst Hollywood executives, and a result many projects are being fast-tracked for production before the (possible) strike would commence... You see, while it may come as a surprise to some of you guys, altruism and camaraderie can be at something of a premium at the high end of the biz.

However, you (possibly) care not for such the industrial machinations of Planet Movie Star. Therefore, onto the fun stuff. Due to this sudden rush, studios have sent lists of their most imperative projects to casting agents in order to attract talent quickly. The full list of movies is
here. Yet, below lies a collection of the ones that caught my eye. They are divided into two categories: Savage Buzz and Michael Bay Sodomised My Brain And All I Got Was This Lousy Sense Of Righteous Indignation.

Savage Buzz:

- Jean Pierre Jeunet's adaptation of Yann Martel's
Life of Pi. This chap is a master of the quixotic. I just hope his CGI expertise is up to scratch.

-
World War Z. Ten years after the human triumph over the world wide zombie epidemic - referred to as World War Z - Max Brooks scours the world collecting the stories and experiences of those who have survived the conflict that almost eradicated humanity... A difficult one to compose this. Interesting concept though.

- The Coen brothers, who are already directing
Burn After Reading pre-strike, are going to try to squeeze in
A Serious Man - a Fargo-ish dark comedy - before June.

- Hunter S Thompson's The Rum Diary. Starring Johnny Depp (the embodiment of HST in Fear & Loathing...) and directed by Bruce Robinson (Mr. Withnail & I). This could be immense. The book is.

- The A-Team. Need I say more?


Michael Bay Sodomised My Brain And All I Got Was This Lousy Sense Of Righteous Indignation:

- The Birdcage 2, and The Fast and The Furious 4 are in development... Think about that. Somebody pitched these movies. Somebody agreed to finance them. Now people are desperate to get them made!

- Big Momma's House 3... Martin Lawrence, almost as annoying as Michael Bay.

- Comeback. An 'inspirational' sports drama starring Ice Cube, directed by Fred Durst. Yes, that Fred Durst.

- Star Trek. Directed by Tom Cruise's buddy J.J. Abrams... Nothing in particular bothers me about this project except the fact that Trekkie 'culture' is one of the most retarded things to happen to humanity since the Catholic Church's prohibition of Galileo Galilei's advocacy of heliocentrism as potentially factual.


Thoughts?

Friday 5 October 2007

Dan Deacon Newsflash - Irish Dates In November & December

Scooptastic! Delightful vibrations shall be bountiful when the messianic freak they call Dan Deacon returns to Ireland on the following dates (according to his myspace):

November 29th.
November 30th.
December 1st.

Gig venues have yet to be confirmed, but it would probably be safe to assume the following: Dublin (Whelan's - the 30th is the only date available - or Crawdaddy - all dates available), Galway (Róisín Dubh - the 29th and 30th are available), and Cork (Liquid Lounge - all dates available).

There is precious little news that could make me happier. It's gonna be big:


UPDATE @ 16:46 - Apparently two of his Irish dates have already
been confirmed: Sligo (Model Niland) on Dec 1st and Dublin (Whelan's) on Dec 2nd. Who to thank for the tip? Why Nialler, of course.