Archive for the ‘Random’ Category

Documentary: Singing Through the Pain

This is a documentary I made as part of my Masters course. Inspiration for this piece of work came from the strength of Irish music at a time when the music industry and the Irish people face considerable financial challenges. All interviews were compiled and edited by myself. As I lack the requisite expertise in audio editing it’s noticeably rough around the edges but I really enjoyed making it and am very happy with the result. I hope some of you find it interesting.

My thanks to And So I Watch You From Afar, Ham Sandwich, Jim Carroll, Alison Curtis, Albert Twomey and Barry Lennon.

Choice Music Prize 2010 Shortlist

Today saw the release of the 10 albums in the running for the 2010 Choice Music Prize. This is the first year the co-founder Jim Carroll isn’t involved in the selection process, the beautiful headache of chairing the Prize has been passed onto Jim’s Irish Times colleague Tony Clayton-Lea. He and the rest of the panel arrived at the following:

Adebisi Shank – This is the Second Album of a band called Adebisi Shank
The Cast of Cheers – Chariot
Cathy Davey – The Nameless
Fight Like Apes – The Body of Christ & The Legs of Tina Turner
Halves – It Goes, It Goes (Forever & Ever)
Imelda May – Mayhem
James Vincent McMorrow – Early in the Morning
O Emperor – Hither Thither
Two Door Cinema Club – Tourist History
Villagers – Becoming a Jackal

Considering the landmark year in Irish music that was 2010 it was always going to be difficult to pick ten albums out of the crowd of sumptuous LPs. As expected the list has already been subjected to the “I can’t believe _ wasn’t included” treatment. For my part I’m pretty happy with the list. The sad fact is the list of Irish albums I missed out on in 2010 is too long, hence the lack of an ‘Irish Albums of 2010′ list on this blog. I would love to be in a position to support all the great Irish acts out there but the reality is on a student budget it’s just not possible, what with my penchant for food and shelter and all. Somadrone, Meljoann, Thread Pulls, Halves, Strands, Windings, Fight Like Apes, these are just some of the albums that have eluded me. With that in mind I’m not in a position to say what 10 should have been listed.

I will however, say that were I to make a top 10 of the Irish albums I did encounter last year Adebisi Shank, Villagers, Two Door Cinema Club, Cathy Davey, James Vincent McMorrow and The Cast of Cheers would certainly all appear. The lack of recognition for the considerable quality of Irish electronic albums last year will not go unnoticed by punters. Personally Solar Bears’ She Was Coloured In was my pick of home-grown albums in 2010 and Nouveaunoise were not far behind with Paraphrase Accolade. The post-rock jem We’ve Been Talking from Enemies was another personal fave.

Villagers not winning is about as likely as Paul McShane clinching the Ballon d’Or in 2011.

Good list and a great year for Irish music, let’s just hope the list in 12 months time is just as hard to compile for the very same reason.

MCA Still in Recovery Process

A statement made by Michael Diamond (Mike D) on Zane Lowe’s BBC Radio show that fellow band mate Adam Yauch (MCA) was in the all clear, having been diagnosed with cancer of the parotid (salivary) gland back in 2009, understandably provoked a huge outpouring of relief and support online. Unfortunately the reality is not quite as uplifting. MCA has since released a statement which clarifies that he is not totally cancer free and treatment is ongoing but he remains optimistic.

I remember clearly hearing the news that the legendary rapper had fallen ill. I had just bought tickets to the All Points West festival in New Jersey which the Beastie Boys were due to headline. To be denied the opportunity to see such an influential act was devastating but the reason for their cancellation made the news all the more tragic. Jay-Z filled in as headliner in his first festival performance and paid tribute to the Beastie Boys by opening with ‘No Sleep ‘Til Brooklyn’ which ran nicely into his own ‘Brooklyn We Go Hard’.

Let’s hope MCA is back doing what he does best as soon as possible.

Free Download: Cork Rock City

Cork: Rock City is a compilation album which documents the vibrance and variety of the Cork music scene at the moment. It will be available for free download from from the 1st of November. The compilation features over 42 tracks, as well as videos and band biographies. It’s exactly the type of venture needed to expose the rich talent in this island of ours. Artists featured on the album include KVX, When Good Pets Go Bad, Toby Kaar, Hope is Noise, I’ll Eat Your Face and many more.

Artist: Goldfish

My pick of the Jazz weekend performances (I must confess I made quite few) was the South African duo Goldfish. Having met studying music in college both “fishies” had a background in jazz which they bring with them into the realm of the¬†electronic. On stage the two swap headphones and samplers at various intervals for double-bass, saxophone and jazz-flute. The pairing turned a packed Bodega bar into a sea of bouncing¬†with fists pumping at every bomb dropped…not exactly your typical jazz weekend routine.