Friday 29 February 2008

A Letter To Sheryl Crow

You either get this or you don't.

Dear Miss Crow,

I am writing to you in relation to your unspeakably dire new album Detours. I find it to be a most rotten dirge. A pus ridden inflammation on the cornea of decency. Every second of its duration is an offence. However, there is one song in particular that annoys me more than the others. It is called "Gasoline".

In depth criticism of your efforts here could go on forever, so I shall be swift... What in the name of Gandhi's crusty gooch is that chorus about?

"Gasoline will be free, will be free! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!" (Repeat 4 times)

Ok then. Sheryl, I'm imagining that this is your feeble attempt at some sort of socio-environmental commentary. If so, please have another glance at your lyrics there petal. A few problems lie within, don't you think?

First off, if gasoline was to somehow become a magically gratis natural resource, how would this be a good thing? Let us ignore the immediate and devastating collapse of the world's economy for a moment, and deal with your proclamation on a purely ecological level... You are, or are you not, an obsessive enviromentalist? So, if gas - or petroleum as it is known in the evolved English - was suddenly the cheapest natural resource on the planet, what would that instigate? Oh yeah, its consumption on a heretofor unprecedented scale! Excuse me if I'm incorrect here, but wouldn't that completely fuck up Auntie Earth quicker than we're managing already? However, I suppose you could use as many sheets of bog roll
as you'd want in this apocalyptic eventuality. Every acid rain cloud has its sulphuric lining, wha?

Secondly, in case you counter with an argument for the chorus' resonance on a metaphorical level, I shall just say this... The freedom of gasoline as a metaphor? The intensely distilled and fossilised remains of extinct creatures... Ok... Which whereupon the surface of the earth shall be set free - your words - to wreak their well documented devastation on every biological milieu they infiltrate... Right...

You're one mad twit Sheryl. With one terrible new album.

Yours apoplectically,

The New(ish) Journalist.

Thursday 28 February 2008

Super Extra Bonus Party. Choice.

Super Extra Bonus Party are the winners of this year's Choice Music Prize.

Congratulations to the band, for theirs was quite certainly the most impressive Irish release of the past year. Congratulations to the judges for being willing to award such an eclectic and vibrant mix... Hip-hop from Kildare via Brazil. A precedent? Let us all hope so.

Those of you who experienced these guys for free in Róisíns on Saturday, I hope you appreciated it. It could be some time before admission is gratis again.

Wednesday 27 February 2008

The Greatest Album Cover Album Ever

I know it's an old one, yet I believe this oddity is easily deserving of the above title. Hands down. Pun inconsequential:

Surprisingly, my mates do not agree. What say you? Alternatives?

Boredom is a bitch.

Tuesday 26 February 2008

The Róisín Dubh Buzz in May. Impressive.

Check out the following triumvirate of gigs that shall be staged in the bosom of Róisín in May:
  • Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. Tuesday 13th May. €28 in.
  • Saul Williams. Wednesday 14th May. €22.50 in.
  • Jens Lekman. Saturday 24th May. €18 in.
What fantastic news indeed. Huzzahs all round to Gugai & Co! Expect tickets to be like gold dust - especially for Saul and the BRMC - so do act with steadfast rapidity if you are interested folks.

By way of celebration, here's Saul's "List Of Demands":

And then Jens Lekman get busted:

It shall be a fun few days.

Monday 25 February 2008

The Oscars Make Me Smile. For Once.

A truly terrible pun folks. I do apologise. Yet today my cynicism reflex was paralysed by happenings at last night's Academy Awards ceremony. First off, we had an Irish winner that proved to be by far the most popular on the night:

An avalanche of huzzahs to Jon Stewart there. What a thorough gent.

Secondly, the Coen brothers finally received a statue for Best Director. And Best Picture. Apart from Tim Burton they are possibly the only true auteurs currently operating in mainstream Hollywood cinema and it delights me to see their peers finally recognise that fact in award form. The absolutely mesmerising film probably didn't do any harm either.

P.T. Anderson, as stunning and all as your oil opus seems to be, you can console yourself with the fact that none of these chaps ever brought one home either:
  • Alfred Hitchcock
  • Stanley Kubrick
  • Robert Altman
  • Ingmar Bergman
  • Orson Welles
  • Akira Kurosawa
They probably would have won one if they were Irish.

And I'm not being sarcastic. Honest.

A Galway Girl & The Donahue Sisters

Saileóg O'Halloran and Brendan Ryan in A Galway Girl.

I reviewed this Geraldine Aron double bill on this very blog before. I was highly impressed by all involved. Zelig Theatre, take a most deserved bow. Theatre enthusiasts, take note. At the moment the show is currently in the midst of another run in the Town Hall Studio in Galway. I would strongly recommend that you attend.

Galway Girl Maisie is a working class mother struggling to keep her marriage, family, and life from disintegration. Dermot, her husband, is an abusive alcoholic, a man with
"poetry in his soul" yet with precious little in his demeanour. Maisie loves him but hates staying with him because of his unjustified behaviour.

Annie, Rosie, and Dunya are The Donahue Sisters. Life is not what each of the girls had hoped for as tales of unruly children, sham marriages, and flatulence problems slowly come to the fore. Their frustration is epitomised in a re-enactment of a childhood event that has disturbing consequences.

Geraldine Aron's writing is effortless. Hers is a firm grasp of tone, theme and character development. The five performances are uniformly excellent; the actors creating visceral characters of humanity and definition. The direction is subtle and knowledgeable. One can only applaud the technique with which both tales oscillate between witty one-liners and unsettling malevolence. Pathos and grand guignol often make for difficult bedfellows. Yet not here.

Be entertained. Be at the Town Hall Studio at 8.30pm from Tuesday 26th February to Saturday March 1st... That's when and where the play is on.

Saturday 23 February 2008

Dee Dee Ramone. Rapping.

I'm afraid so:

I truly hope that this monstrosity does not set the tone for your weekend. Ghastly stuff... So why in the name of Jehovah can't I stop watching it?

Right so, that's me. If you're out tonight, enjoy. If you're out in Galway tonight, then be sure and make it to the Super Extra Bonus Party in Róisíns. Then enjoy.

And if you're staying in this evening, do check out this beatboxing dog.

Wednesday 20 February 2008

Another Robot Sunset & Me

Honestly, I do not think that I have stopped smiling since watching the very fine Ellen Page in the very fine Juno. That movie is just such a mesmeric and succinct collage of life affirmation. Beautiful and intelligent. The holy grail of combinations.

Anyways, such was the emotive power of the aforementioned Juno that I find myself suddenly receptive to recently unacceptable levels of sweetness and light. My inner Scrooge has been vanquished. "Oh my", you probably don't say, "could this be the end of the misanthropic waffle that saturates these pages?" Certainly not. However it has lead to me listening to quite a bit of Nashville indie hip-hop outfit
Another Robot Sunset. Theirs is a most lovely buzz. This is a delightful song called "Angels In Airplanes". Be sure to watch the vid until the very end:

Everybody.... Awww! "Death Of A Robot Doctor" is also very worth checking out on their Space Of My. If what they claim is true and they are "all just making this up" as they go, then fair play to the boys.

Once again, via
Fabulist. Blogroll add anyone?

Tuesday 19 February 2008

New Kids On The Block. The Comic Book.

With added Richie Rich:

My word, such an orgiastic maelstrom of the tenets of capitalism! The power of Klein compels you! Seriously, what kind of twisted message would this send to an innocent child? What coke addled mongoloid would give such a sinister union the green light?

Despite the animated promise of harm to those rotten bastards, this cover has genuinely unsettled me. I crave a return to the purity of my
Saved By The Bell epoch. Formative and oh so very hilarious. But most importantly of all, those kids always knew when to just say no.

Monday 18 February 2008

Charlie Brooker. Right About Everything?

Charlie Brooker's Screenwipe is one of those rarest of beasts... A television show that is both absolutely hilarious and actually quite informative.

On said show Charlie was right about cocks in advertising.

He was spot on about the intrinsic manipulation involved in editing reality television. (An obvious one in fairness.)

He offered his own Freudian insights into the ridiculous notion that Phil Mitchell is hard.

Introspection is also a talent of Charlie's as he considers what it is to be "The Talent" on a television show.

In fact, Charlie is apparently so preposterously wondrous that English band types The Attery Squash have seen fit to compose a song in his honour. It is called "Charlie Brooker Is Right About Everything":

Erm, sorry, what? Did irony just have a nervous breakdown?

The Best Little Bookshop In The West

I bought these books today:
I also picked up a collection of short stories by a certain Bertolt Brecht. All four together cost me a woefully exploitative, wait for it now, €5.

Huzzah for Charlie Byrne's! A truly impressive literary smorgasbord. In the midst of an exceedingly generous sale. A most alluring and satisfying buzz all round really.

That's all for now. I shall leave you with this snippet of Brechtian wisdom:

From the cradle to the coffin, underwear comes first.


Sunday 17 February 2008

A Voyage to the Inner Circles with Ronald.

Seriously, what twisted freak devised this mess? The easily rattled amongst you should look away now. Those brave enough to actually watch it all, ask yourself this one question... Why?

They're currently building a McDonald's in Ennis. On the Gort Road. Hear that Dublin? The West's awake!

Hat tip to The Slurkid for the vid.

Friday 15 February 2008

Free Dan Deacon Stuff

Greetings friends! You find me in a most jovial mood this afternoon. What is the cause of this levity of inclination? A certain Mister Dan Deacon. He has only gone and made a considerable number of his old releases available for free. Download them here.

The legend continues unabated. Express your gratitude to the man here.

By way of footnote, and as the parties of the weekend loom forth, there resides a filthy (and fairly old) Dan Deacon Vs Khia mash-up right here... Enjoy?

Thursday 14 February 2008

Be Kind, Rewind. Then Get Sweding.

Be Kind, Rewind is the burgeoning movie picture event that has excited me more than all others these past few months. Michel Gondry, Jack Black, Ghostbusters, Robocop, an inventive and inspiring story... This should well be the shiznit. Its primary narrative device is the act of Sweding.

For those unitiated; to Swede something - ideally a favourite movie of yours - is to re-imagine it in a cheap, brief and nonchalant manner. However, it must be funny and imbued with a creative grá for the story. And you have to be in it. Need an example of a Sweded piece? Observe Michel Gondry Sweding the trailer to this very movie. The man is one freaky genius:

Brilliant stuff. Most achievable too. Which is a good thing as Filmbase are currently running a very cool competition in conjunction with Pathé, Darklight Film Festival, Eclipse Pictures and the Irish Film Board... Basically, a rather magnificent prize awaits the person(s) who makes the best Sweded version of a classic Irish movie. Details of entry are available here.

It may not be a classic, Irish, a favourite of mine, or actually even made yet, but I have already written the screenplay for the ultimate Transformers 2 Swede. Here it goes:

INT - A Large Room.

A young man in his early twenties walks into a large room. He is rather inexplicably wearing a Saw Doctors t-shirt. He walks over to a wall in the room. There is a large sheet of plywood leaning against this wall. It has been painted neon green. He coughs politely. He looks around the cavernous room.

(Considerable Pause)

The young man continues to look around the room. He seems nervous and confused. This confusion is probably brought about by a complete lack of narrative structure. Slowly and with considerable embarrassment, he begins to touch himself through a hole in one of his pockets. His efforts continue for roughly two minutes before he breaks down in tears. He is an empty shell and he knows it. Devoid, meaningless.


Wow. I'm actually not quite sure how this became a jibe at Michael Bay. I fully realise that I should not despise his films so. Each to their own and all that jazz. Yet their spurious venom swims in my blood now. Their needless CGI embellished explosions springing forth minute bubble after bubble. Incessant. Frightening.

Are you still here? Why aren't you Sweding?

Indiana Jones. In A Brand New Trailer.

Cynicism and indie rhetoric be damned, I simply cannot wait for this:

What say you on the matter?

Wednesday 13 February 2008

Scroobius Pip. The "Astronaut".

Monsieur Pip's talent frightens me at times. It truly does. This is him adding some sublime rhymes to "Astronaut", the beats supplied by Yila. This kicks posterior:

A most gracious hat tip to Mister Jim Carroll. He also brings word of a (probable) May release date for Dan Le Sac Vs Scroobius Pip's debut LP. Glee!


There were recent rumours that the much beloved Mongrel magazine had ceased to be. Whilst it has been aeons - well, just over a month - since last an issue of this fine publication graced the hipster milieus of Ireland, it simply is not the case. A new issue is due by the end of this month. (A quick nod to Aoife and David.) I am very glad that the magazine shall endeavour onwards, ever onwards. I would rather have missed the music reviews:

James Blunt
All The Lost Souls
It’s become very fashionable to dismiss James Blunt’s music out of hand, just because "You’re Beautiful" got perhaps a little bit overplayed on the radio. But if you do the guy the service of actually listening to more than one of his songs, you may come to realize that he is a songwriter of incredible range and ability. I’m joking. Of course I’m joking. The guy is a wibbly voiced fool and I hope a bird shits on his head. My real score is 0.01% And even that’s being kind. Cunt.

Two friends of mine met James Blunt in the airport in Barcelona once. Apparently he was quite approachable and mannerly. He was on his way to his recently acquired villa in Ibiza. Fair play to him. I got the bus from Galway to Ennis yesterday. The heating was broken and a deranged Lithuanian woman kept stroking my knee. She had the aberrant, asymmetrical eyes of a Baltic knee stroker. I had no mp3 player, no reading material, and no machete... I was not on my way to a villa in Ennis.

There's a metaphor in there. Somewhere. Possibly.

Tuesday 12 February 2008

Super Extra Bonus Party Newsflash Buzz

The sweet - in both the traditional parlance and the parlance of today's yoof - new video to "Everything Flows" by the most excellent Super Extra Bonus Party:

The SEBP posse are currently meandering throughout the hills and dales of Ireland promoting the recent release of their Everything Flows EP (12"). It is quite the belter and features remixes from Cadence Weapon, Jape and Nouveaunoise... The Jape remix currently sits proudly on their myspace. Well worth the 02:49 of your time.

As will be their upcoming gig in the Róisín Dubh. Their live shows are adrenaline fuelled delights so if in Galway on Saturday 23rd February, then be sure to make yourself present and correct. (Hurleys and full Kildare kit optional.) Need further convincing do you? It's a free gig. Almost unethical really.

Monday 11 February 2008

Moi? On an Irish Blog Awards shortlist? Get thyself out of this town post haste!


I really cannot get my head around this one at all.
The New(ish) Journalism has somehow made the shortlist for Best Arts & Culture Blog at the Irish Blog Awards. A most intrinsically validating, surprising and deadly buzz. I mean, just check out the high standard of my fellow nominees:
Seriously, thank you so much to everybody who voted for this blog in the first place. Also, a massive thank you to those judges who then deemed the petulant ramblings of this New(ish) Misanthrope shortlist worthy. Finally, thanks to Don Mulley, Poetry Ireland - sponsors of this particular category - and all the other sponsors for making this whole awards shindig possible. Mesmeric legends, one and all.

Congratulations and good fortune to everybody in the running and I shall hopefully see most of you on the night... My frock is already in order so I'm off now to the unisex salon to get my teeth sculpted and eyeballs massaged. Or something

Sunday 10 February 2008

The Salvador Dali Gameshow

Welcome back once again to Surrealism Sunday! And who's our guest this evening? Why, it's Salvador Dali. So moustache wax at the ready folks and prepare yourselves for the agreeable nonsense ahead... But first, a word from our sponsors (popular 1960s televisual gameshow What's My Line?):

Also worth a peek is this gleefully demented televisual chocolate advertisement starring the very same Mr. Dali. An oldie in interweb terms, but decidedly mirthful all the same.

Wednesday 6 February 2008

I Hate Jerry Seinfeld!

Actually, no. I don't hate Jerry Seinfeld at all. However, this angry chap feels quite strongly about everybody's favourite Jewish Scientologist. And Bee Movie. Observe:

Amazing stuff, a genuinely worthwhile addition to the lexicon of film criticism. Quite reminiscent of early Cahiers du Cinema era Bazin. Huzzah my young freak! Huzzah!

Also worth checking out is his wondrously insightful review of the new Rambo debacle. Wow McWowser.

Sunday 3 February 2008

Hot Press. The very last bastion of decency and virtue in these troubled times of ours.

Praise to ye gods! Praise to thee for blessing us with the selfless crusaders that populate the halls of Hot Press. For without these intrepid souls how else would the Irish people have learned about the crippling talcum powder and botched make up job epidemic that is sweeping the nation:

Niall Stokes... Defender of baby arses everywhere. What a man.

Saturday 2 February 2008

Irish Blog Awards Nominations

Aw shucks! I currently reside equidistant between the conditions of totally chuffed and perfectly bemused. Apparently there are enough benevolent souls amongst you to have garnered me a place on the (considerably) longlists for both Best Newcomer and Best Arts and Culture Blog at this year's Irish Blog Awards.

Although decidedly inferior to many of my fellow nominees, I shall take this opportunity to thank everybody who voted for The New(ish) Journalism. Seriously, you guys! I also want to take this next opportunity to apologise to all y'all for the sizeable cessation of activity here
over the past month or two. Less daily buzz, more fortnightly buzz, at best. It truly has sucked, being unable to fully exploit this twisted soapbox dynamic. It is also going to change post haste. Distractions have been removed and things have fallen into their appropriate ass grooves and what not. Huzzah!

Oh, just in case you are wondering how I got to be so damn good, I owe it all to this baby right here:

Thanks again folks! And best of luck to the multitude of blogospheric legends also in the running!