Sunday, October 18, 2009


As always, I am a bit slow on the uptake but the sentiment expressed in Radiohead's song Like Spinning Plates is remarkably similar to the poetry of Seigfried Sassoon. Both written with the same sense of disillusionment, however one  draws from experience while the other from observation, but who says modern artists can't write.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Lion and the Lamb With Ghosts In The Hall

Beat Radio have their new album out now for a few weeks. As mentioned before on this blog they are  in my humble opinion one of those great internet finds. Their new album safe inside the sound sees a more layered approach when compared to the previous EP. Its been mentioned elsewhere that a few years ago this music would have appeared on every tv teen drama (The Hills to the sound of Beat Radio is wrong on about six levels). However lucrative this maybe for the band, it would be doing the album a disservice, it should and indeed deserves multiple listens and not be categorised with that throw away pop type stuff. More immediate than its predecessor with the opening track (follow you around) a proper stand out tune along with the lion and the lamb. This is just real quality independent music that deserves all the success it achieves.

So as not to spoil the album, here is a live performance of Elegy, and people just go and enjoy being safe inside the sound!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Another List

So after a long drawn out i-tunes catalogue tagging operation I can now finally compile a top 5 songs of 2009 list or a top 5 songs of whatever year you like list. What is it about that essential Apple application that causes one to so obsessively rate and re-rate songs like they were never intended to be. What is the baseline for a 5 star effort, is it something of the Jam's All Mod Cons album or can a new, freshly heard song just jump from nowhere to float in the rarified air of a classic from the vaults? So many questions and so few answers as the goal posts swirl around in never ending motion. Anyways 2009 has been a slow year in terms of cd buying/downloading with releases from  the legendary Bruce Spingsteen to the mighty Wilco.

The case for The Yeah Yeah Yeahs producing the greatest album of all time appears to be dimming with each listening despite the protestations of one more cultured/Q influenced listener may think. As with all things dustinthespotlight related this is a poorly thought out and half assed attempt at list creation that was entered on the spur of the moment egged on by boredom. The lack of completeness is more than likely down to the absence cold hard cash and aversion to all things torrent related. However pleading both ignorance and forgiveness here is the.... Three Quarter's of the Way Through The Year Top 5 Songs of 2009 (The Hits of Needing Something to Write About).

Brevity was never a strong point.

5. The Chapters: Perfect Stranger (The ever so slightly The Cars influenced title track... now if only I could find a line, so those clicking will be listening to Videotapes, its along the same lines)

4. Regina Spektor: The Calculation (Pop piano type music with word play a plenty, she is a lyricst after all I suppose so I should have expected it)

3. Camera Obscura: French Navy (And to think I thought they might sound like a Roddy Frame cover act!)


1. White Lies (NME have a lot to answer for and I know its played off the radio but shur I'm a populist)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


I am currently torn between whether or not to purchase that giant Beatles box set yokey. So in true Irish fashion I have decided to implement a far more expensive/short term solution by buying the back catalogue one by one. So first up was the soundtrack to the film Help!, having watched it recently (thank you BBC4 and Kerstin for sitting through it with me), I decided that it was far better than my memory had served me. So off to planet cdwow to purchase said same cd. The stand out track was the Lennon penned You've Gotta Hide You're Love Away. Also the other thing that stands out from repeated listening is how amazingly solid and brilliant a Beatles' album is.

Anyways to keep Apple Corp from tracking me down today's video is a cover of the song mentioned above from Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam fame.

Oh and the new Editors album is out in the near future, here is the new song Papillon, and also one quick question, why is there a Goran Ivanisevic look a like running??

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Doctor Leaves

This is the internet, and the wonders never cease. Using an array of talents to produce an E.P. of quirkiness and all round self deprecation. A winning combination. I'm still not sure on the business model (indoctrination of business courses is hard to shake) but its great great music. Doctor Leaves deserves to be heard and also possibly an award for website design!

An Old Fashioned CD Buying Expedition

In the past few weeks there has been an upsurge in all things music related. A splurge of the CD buying variety. First up the new Arctic Monkeys one Humbug which is decent and not as poor as some recent reviews would suggest. I suppose if songs don't win people over within the first two listens it will be consigned to the bin labeled "ill-advised trip to the U.S.", a label which one will never find a Cat Steven's album. In typical fashion the first single picked is slightly left of centre, but Crying Lightening is a quality tune with perfectly weighted and observed lyrics. The rest of the album just gets better with each listen. A return to listening to albums ala the eighties is required (or else some proper reviewing, the Q review of the debut Interpol album always springs to mind), and I doubt a Smith's album is best appreciated after one/two listen then scribble a review.

Next up is the gang how drove me mad every time never mind in Five Year's Time, however this album is a little gem. Noah and the Whale with their First Days of Spring, full of strings and madness with just the right pitch. Just buy it, simple as.

As we would say as gaeilge.... sin sin (for the phoenetically minded, shin shin).

Finally just because I can, The Byrd's and a unique take on Dylan.

Monday, August 17, 2009

From American to Local Townland

In days of yore it was once something akin to The Electric Picnic with stars such as Van Morrison in Astral Week pomp and Rory Gallagher headlining what was then the Mountain Dew festival (the first outdoor festival of it's type in Ireland). History such as that highlights the gaping hole that requires filling and finally this has come about. The first step on the road to artistic recovery see's Macroom host the Lughnasa festival. The line up includes the previously posted Interference and Director(snazzy site by the way). Also to ensure the local connection is not lost Fred and Remma are just part of the line-up that will ensure the festival will continue for years to come. (This has been a public service blog posting!)
The days of yore.

And of now.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

American Townland

A quick visit to the archives (can 2002 be filed under archived, christ I'm getting old). Anyways this is an excellent live recording taken from a music series Other Voices recorded within an old church in Dingle of the County Kerry. Introduced by Glenn Hansard (I will forgive em that) and probably known most for their track on that Oscar winning soundtrack yoke of his Once. This is Interference are their opening track American Townland is a joy to behold.

Random Thoughts Like The Google

The wonders of modern technology unfortunately do know some bounds. Take for instance the wonderful google ad app that appears on the right hand side of this blog appears to generate based on the content of the site. I'm kinda fuzzy on how the whole thing works but I imagine its a mixture of meta tags and wonderful algorithm (more than likely a Lucky 8 Ball placed on the coffee machine of the Viz inspired Google open plan workspace). So this has lead to the wild and wacky world of randomly generated ads that I for one do not endorse. Why not uninstall I hear people shout, well 38 cent over three months is reason enough not to and also for the head shaking and giggles the whole thing has provided.
Anyways back to matters more important, the outstanding indie machine that is the Hold Steady return to these shores in September in the county of Clare of all places on the 12th of September. Worth the festival price alone and more festival classics than the proverbial stick can be shuck at.
To finish, as a fan of slightly off kilter cover versions, this is one of the more bizarre I have stumbled across recently (well the man can definitely sing).
Frank Sinatra: For Once In My Life

Monday, August 10, 2009

Cosmic Love

I'm never the biggest fans of more or less home movies at gigs but this one those highlight the talent of Florence and The Machine. Of course this song has the unfortunate link to all things mobile phone, but still its floats above it like those bubbles in the ad for the same company. She is mad as a box of frogs and as according to every other media source on the planet has a passing resemblance to a certain Kate Bush. In a previous posting not a million miles away from this post she helps Glasvegas create a classic cover, here she shows quirky lyrics with an amazing voice and some crowd motivating arm swinging. Cosmic Love for the 21st Century, on another note reading the Ascent of Money, so far its depressing, that is all!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Beat Radio: Safe Inside The Sound

Thanks to a chance encounter facilitated by the blog aggregator I first listened to New York band Beat Radio, now as an acknowledged fan of said same band, I was delighted to see that they are streaming their second EP on the blog cinema of sunshine (you're off-line for a few weeks and this happens... typical). Continuing on that upward curve this EP takes off from where in my mind where Elegy left us. The songs strike deep and anything that drops some Neil Young references (Memoir of a Lightening Bolt)  is all good with me. The distinctive sound remains (Hard Times For Dreamers) though and well worth a listen. Now let's hope Beat Radio get more of the credit the album richly deserves.
Below a demo version of their song Mexico with accompanying video. The gift of an on-line community.

The Drums

Quick post. This crowd are worth checking out.

The River

Its been a long break since the last post. A time to reflect and basically gather some more music together. A new Wilco album imaginatively titled Wilco (The Album) has been released and its pretty decent. Nothing outstanding but solid. Thanks to spotify this album listening to lark has become both an easier and cheaper past-time.

However this week I've decided after much reflection to go back to five tunes that keep me blogging..

5. The Jags: Back of My Hand
4. The Police: So Lonely
3. Mick Flannery: Wish You Well
2. The Hold Steady: Stuck Between Stations

1. Mainly cause he is playing here Sunday night, I can really only go with the Boss and one of the greatest songs of all time and song in the style of Nebraksa.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Buy The Album

A week without writing on the blog means that the sun and work have taken too strong a hold. This past week though I have been mainly listening to Eels. New album is a solid contribution to an already excellent back catalogue. Unusually for one of the more popular artists all the video's are able to be directly embedded on a blog post, ergo, it has to be played.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Check The Meaning

The wonders of google ad sense. I was on my google mail for a while today and one of those predictive ad type things appeared (all that information stored somewhere on a server, well its probably data rather than information but lets not get into that argument), low and behold I'm told thanks to the wonder of the t-internet that Diabetes is reversible even Type 1. This came as news to me and they even have a fupping youtube video to 'prove' their claims. A doctor Nick type tells me its true so it has to be. Stop using insulin completely while your pancreas still doesn't work. If I follow this advice I can see it all ending badly (minus some limbs and eyesight). Hope is the cure but this is ridiculous.

Well after getting a good laugh out of that, I went in search of some music that should give us all some hope and I came up with this. I reckon insulin and listening to this might be a slightly more pragmatic solution. Strings and Sigur Ros is just a winning combination even if I haven't a notion what the song is about, but it sure as hell isn't stop with the insulin.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Loud Noises

Interchange formats for desktop publishing should be held accountable. Well mainly for wasting my time. Loud noises required.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Classic Album of The Week (Part 5)

The road to hell is paved with good intentions, or so the saying goes. This was meant to be a weekly slot an as so far as material goes it should run dry for want of material. With no apparent pattern or sense of purpose I have hopped from Neil Young to Fleetwood Mac through Bruce Springsteen to end last time I wrote at The Stereophonics. The path is something like travelling the world with a Lonely Planet guide by visiting places chosen through closing one's eyes and using a thumb tack (apologies to all for the long and meandering metaphor). This week is no different and neatly contains some giant chunks of i-pod listening time.

The Bends was Radiohead's last traditional rock album. It saw them teetering on the edge of stadium rock stardom, something which they have pulled back from in recent years to take up the mantle of plain greatest band of the modern era. Anyways The Bends, the soundtrack of disaffected youth, without really understanding what in god's name they were signing about. From disaffection with modern life (Fake Plastic Trees) to disaffection with modern life (Black Star). An album with a rhythm section to die for and some mesmerising Johnny Greenwood guitars (if I continue along these lines I will have to search for the patented Rolling Stone album review phrase book).

Finishing with deeper than you first think Street Spirit [Fade Out] a song which perfectly encompasses all of what Thom Yorke is about, its an album that will be continued to be played. Anyways the song of the album (which really is a contradiction in terms) is Blackstar, doom/angst/comment all rolled into one. Genius

Sunday, June 14, 2009

"Invested" In Books?

After my trip to Dun Laoghaire (it was excellent, I love the place and company) I returned with a ninety year old book. Well seeing as the property market investments had taken such a kicking recently I decided to invest in fine antique books (note sarcasm). Anyways "Shelley's Poetical Works" now adorn the book case or the pretentious corner as the more sarcastic refer to it. Also to keep my mind off people talking out loud on public transport I was mainly listening to this. The Kings of Leon vibe continues, and I've just realised that this is possibly the greatest driving song of all time.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


From Youth and Young Manhood, its the Kings Of Leon playing Trani. This was before the marketing people got their hands on them and production went a bit mad. This is bluesy and just a builds like every good song should. It doesn't make the immediate impact of lets say Use Somebody but Christ its a grower. Also the aversion to shaving just makes them a proper rock band.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

It Is Two Video Post, Oh The Fun

To continue the long tradition of fooling myself that I have stumbled upon some new act and quickly find out that most of the world new about it all along (and yes they have usually played on Letterman). So following on from Autolax, Silver Sun Pick Ups and Okkervil River here is the Manchester Orchestra. They have SFA to do with the Hacienda club or Joy Division for that matter, hailing from the US of A and more influences than one can shake a stick at (in a good way, not in a Jet Are You Going To Be My Girl kinda way).

Also included in today's post mainly cause it was super-handy and appeared in related videos for the above one on youtube. With the best song off the second album Favourite Worst Nightmare, its the Arctic Monkeys and Fluorescent Adolescent (not a patch on Mardy Bum).

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


Ryan Adams is an expensive habit for devoted followers seeing as very few months go by without the appearance of a new album. Our first introduction to this workaholic was with Whiskeytown but his break through stuff here in Ireland at least was the release of the his best album to date Heartbreaker (Jack Daniel drinking soundtrack if there ever was one). Reviewed his most recent album with the Cardinals a couple of weeks ago. Here though is a live performance from a BBC 4 show a couple of years ago. From one of the more stylistically all over the place album Demolition here is Desire.

Monday, June 8, 2009

In The Begining. When We Were Winning

Cracking decade the nineties when songs like this (Animal Nitrate Suede, go on listen to it, genius) were released on a monthly basis. Those famous bands which filled most summer evenings back then are slowly coming back into vogue. Problem is you buy the album give it about three listens, declare it alright and then slip back to the older stuff comfortable in the knowledge that there is the appearance of coolness and keeping up with the whole newish music scene without having to wander too far from the records of youth. Bob Dylan's stuff is a typical example for me, got most his new stuff but probably can't list a track, while Freewheelin' probably can be song (if ears could take it) from heart.

Anyways all that rambling leads me nicely into Manic Street Preachers new album Journal for Plague Lovers (for those of a spotify persuasion click here). Crunching guitars, crashing drums in the opening track Peeled Apples and we are away in a hack. Seemingly (according to a trusty issue of Mojo) the lyric book of Richey Edwards were raided in the making of this album and yes it does sound a little like The Holy Bible (the 1994 album rather than the yoke that causes about four different wars a year). So far on first listen at least this album appears to be their most accessible in a long while and as good as what is out there. Although if I'm being honest after three listens, I will probably go back to this...

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Sing The Blues

Well, God is in heaven
And we all want what's his
But power and greed and corruptible seed
Seem to be all that there is
I'm gazing out the window
Of the St. James Hotel
And I know no one can sing the blues
Like Blind Willie McTell

One of the great songs of all time and not a bad youtube video find either. All in all a very good day.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Lights Out

Seeing as it's roasting and half the country have turned into lobsters some R&B is required with a summer vibe.

On a literary note, just finished reading Micheál Ó Siochrú's finely written historical account, "God's Executioner". From an Irish perspective a very reasonable account of what can at best be described as a dark time in history or else a pack of lies, of course its a question of perspective. Anyways an interesting footnote of history is that one of the greats of English literature Milton (he of "Paradise Lost" fame, the poem I dug out of Soundings) was a long time supporter of Cromwellian tactics in Ireland and even wrote poetry celebrating the victories. On further investigation this was never mentioned in Irish syllabus although his posting as a foreign minister was briefly included. (For a far more complete and coherent review: see here)

What has taken me on this tangent? Well it has to be the heat and also the realisation that this happened within a few miles of home and we were never told about it. Reading always surprises you. Lights Out though for now (Santogold and Cromwell, what do I be thinking!).

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

A Million Miles Away From Today

Memories of silent footage being played in the sitting room of this guy playing at our local festival and for the outrageous sum of £2.50.

Stuff like that just sticks in the head.

Rattling Through Life

Ah yes the joys of Ryanair, herded like cattle into a pen waiting for a flight, a stressful way to end an otherwise relaxing weekend. For places visited see here, here, and here and listened to this(is it Green Day in disguise) : madness I tells ya madness!

Anyways can't get Frightened Rabbit out of my head, they have taken over what little brain power I have. Genius lyrics and delivered in American TV series ready dramatic fashion. It has got it all, enjoy The Modern Leper.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

There Went The Romans

Well after watching good old Barcelona hand out a footballing lesson (who knew someone five foot five could jump so high, there is hope for me yet), my belief in good over-coming evil has been confirmed. To celebrate such an occasion, classic montage music is required and here in facta do come the Romans. Cherry Ghost and not a bad song from Bolton.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Autolux: Sounds Like A Brazilian Car Kit Manufacturer

Once more the technological combination of lastfm (the sounds like feature, god its like a music related Play The Game reference. Charades on television, no wonder the eighties were so damn depressing here) and spotify, in Captain Planet style, to open the magic door to the wonder of Autolux. Really they should work on the name, doing themselves no favours there! (British Seapower take note, brilliant band, dodgy name that ain't gonna shift many units, but its really too late to change it). More to the point Turnstile Blues has most excellent riffs and decent beats. It just works as a unit. Enjoy...

Monday, May 25, 2009

Smashing Pumpkins meets JJ72

This gettin spotify to work discovery has been a revelation. No longer does one have to wait to head to the record shop after reading Q/Mojo/Hot Press. Now one can confirm one's anger almost instantly with piece of streaming software. No more will beepy beepy indie crap music be given a conditional nod while you wait to buy the actual album, now the dissing can start within about thirty seconds. The wonders of the internet (on moral grounds downloading was never an option).

Anyways first discovery for me anyways on this piece of software, although after checking out youtube looks like I'm about 200,000 views behind the curve. Not even leading edge never mind bleeding edge. Here are Silversun Pickups and Lazy Eye. Smashing Pumpkins meets JJ72!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Calm In Your Eyes

Guitar intro to, "Once I thought I saw you in a crowded hazy bar". It can only be Like A Hurricane.

I was going to do my version of five steps to understanding Neil Young, but then realised that it was bloody impossible. Instead the definitive version in many peoples eye's of Like A Hurricane. Guitar solos abound, just a genius tune. Shame about the sound quality, its shit, this should only be a prompt to dig out the vinyl version and enjoy it in its full glory!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Now That's...

Finally some time to compile a list. This week, songs I vaguely remember being on a local radio station and not fully understanding the lyrics. Not the most concise of titles but I can't afford an editor.

5. J. Geils Band: Centrefold

4. Dexy's Midnight Runners: Geno (Buy the album Searching for the Young Soul Rebels, actually its quite good)

3: Spandau Ballet: Through The Barricades (Only Video to appear twice in the blog. Sad, very very sad)

2: Shakespeare's Sister: Stay (You gotta love nineties drugs, what was the director thinking.... hmm!)

and finally

1. The Jam: That's Entertainment.... Indeed it is Mister Weller

Err Funny All Blacks, Just Don't Mention Rugby Semi Finals

A musicish/comedish related posted. Flight of the Conchords, pretty... pretty... funny as Larry David would say!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Blue Squares Make Twenty Million You Know

After getting a chance to watch some proper television last night (thank you BBC4 and your constant stream of nerdy documentaries) which was mainly concerned with the bubble within the modern art market (I'm sure there is a Paul Simon pun in there somewhere), I have meandered to being a part-time art critic (I don't get 90% of modern art hence I criticise it, and how can you be an artist and have six offices????) and Malthusian disciple (we are all fucked). One hour of television has caused moral abhorrence within me for people trying to make money out of creating false demand within an art form (should I be angry at EMI for Leona Lewis???), and then people going to a gallery because someone oligarch paid thirty million for some dubious art just because they want a look see out of curiosity. To top it all off Hirst had a GOLDEN CALF within the last proper auction to make money. At least he has a sense of humour I suppose.

Anyways at the end of the documentary the market goes belly up and for some reason you start thinking of tulips in Amsterdam and did anyone ever read a history book. On a less angry note there was a cracking programme on poetry (whoever thought) featuring the work of George Makay Brown who I was ignorant of until last night but after the opening lines of Hamnavoe I was caught. Seemingly its on the national curriculum across the water so maybe its not looked on as kindly over there (something akin to lots of us pretty much hating Yeats).

Moving away from an attempt at a critique of modern society and art ( Poetry good, modern art rubbish, I call it a caveman review) I have started using spotify and it is the business. Go to England buy yourself an office and install a server if needs must to access the site. Never again will an album be bought in the dark although that does take the whole romance out of the ritual of cd shopping.

After plummeting the depths of art and soaring with poetry only one song is appropriate. The Well and The Lighthouse (see what I did there, its almost, almost, a metaphor)

Monday, May 18, 2009

North Country

Still not interested in writing too much. Eels do you are a great job covering this and the string section makes it. Just a quality song.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Exit Music

Don't feel much like writing. Just let Radiohead play us out

Thursday, May 14, 2009

If This Was An Essay I'd Be Told To Re-Submit

Oh the joys of public transport! Damn kids and their Nintendos driving me slowly towards the edge of reason. I always find having to turn up the i-pod to ear bleed levels slightly counter-productive when trying to block out background noise, it just appears to produce an even larger headache and the search for respite continues. This search includes attempts to simulate smoking using a Biro so as to try to chill the fuck out.

Guinness Store House today and didn't sample any of it. Instead listened to people talking about development environments and machine translation code (not a notion what was going on). I have seriously got to set some priorities.

As I was heading home after the excitement, I realised why the shuffle songs function is the bestest thing ever and its because of this. It would never appear on a play list but its just raw class, and all in all the day didn't turn out so bad.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Keep Your Trap Shut

Von Bondies was eventful last night. Put on a decent show and rocked out a small venue like Cyprus Avenue. Word to the wise, stuff not to do at a Von Bondies gig: comment out loud during a lull between songs on your feelings regarding an anecdote that in your humble opinion wasn't up to scratch. As a result, pushed to the front row and get the piss mercilessly ripped out of you for the evening. I will learn to keep my trap shut for the future. Pretty funny though and for being a muppet I deserved it.

Who would have thought that Been Swank would cause such hassle. I will never live this one down.

Monday, May 11, 2009

C'Mon C'Mon

In a post more akin to a twitter (Christ, what the internet has done to the English language), off to see the Von Bondies in about an hour, so here is C'Mon C'Mon...

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Romeo & Juliet

God I haven't posted a shambolic eighties video in a while!!! Crap video, cracking song. Nothing like literal interpretations of lyrics through-out the music video. Imagination was in short supply.

Here is Dire Straits with Romeo & Juliet

Thursday, May 7, 2009

This Week I Will Mostly Be Listening...

To this!

I'm a culchie at heart and the lyrics make no sense. Culchie's were never known for the intelligence so I'm not too bothered if I haven't a notion.

Last Night, I.....

It has been a few day's since I have been able to get enough time together to even contemplate a blog posting. The government enforced 8% of professional fees has seen to that. Mad scurrying around to try and get the house in order so things can keep going. Seeing as it the first time one of these emergency laws have really affected me, I decided to go take a look see. After a quick review of the thing I have realised what a complete load of bollix it is and how basically it allows them free reign while not aiming at anything in particular. A case of head in the sand while having a card board cut out looking around for you. To top it all off the newly enacted law is called the Public Interest Act 2009. Irony sucks some times.

Well back to more important things, recently purchased the Yeah Yeah Yeah's new album It's Blitz!. The album did come with the usual hype and one of my music listening compadre's described it as the greatest album ever. A slight exaggeration perhaps, its okay and Karen O is always quality but I think the title of greatest album ever (which is something similar to the Ricky Bobby Oscar for Greatest Movie Ever which was won by Highlander is case anyone is wondering) is safe for the time being. Its a decent effort with probably about five hit singles on it although Zero is already doing my head in. How come alternative music stations keep playing the same music, not very alternative if you ask me.

Today's video though is coming from another direction entirely. Duke Special has this song out for quite awhile and had completely slipped my mind until now when someone suggested that it was the saddest music video they had seen. It now appears that all I do is rank stuff in greatest/saddest/funniest of time, but that usually is not the case.

Also Didier Drogba is an idiot. That is all.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Pop Lie

Recently I have begun listening to Okkervil River and in particular one of their older album's Black Sheep Boy. As with all things, once you meet it for a first time it keeps cropping up again and again.

Just started listening to their newish single and if they are on Letterman they have to be relatively big. Although I can't make you my mind if I like this new stuff or not they have an uncanny ability of fitting a large number of guitar players on one stage which is all good in its own right. Pop Lie by Okkervil River and in a typical one word Corkonian sum up.... ambivalent!

Sunday, April 26, 2009


After having taken the RTÉ version of BBC i-player for a test drive over the weekend I was disgusted to find out that Tubridy Tonight and The Late Late Show were in the 5 Most Watched programmes on-line. It's okay that you might see either of the programmes if its a quiet night at home and you are stuck for something to watch but seriously logging on to a website so you can watch it on demand is a bit much. Word to the wise Secrets of The Stone is a quality documentary even if they did go a bit over-board on the CGI and for a while there I though some of our national monuments were something akin to the Inca (the wonders of modern technology).

Anyways enough of talking of the joys of Irish Terrestrial Television viewing and back to the music. One of the greatest songs of all time written by Young and played with The Band from their Last Waltz, this is Helpless. (Also a case study for some back stage excess)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Tree Hugging

Still waiting for spotify to get it's ass in gear and allow us Irish to sign up to there free service. All in all it looks pretty cool but I just can't be arsed going through a proxy so as to spoof my I.P. address being in the UK. Anyways its unpatriotic which is always a good way to justify laziness as Mr. Chomsky would point out in any of his books. Speaking of him, with Hegemony or Survival, those predictions haven't really worked out, and his hope for some mass sixties style popular stand hasn't materialised, especially in these days of Twitter which appears to be far more successfully utilised in demonstrations in Moldova than here, although it appears the student population of Moldova don't confuse appathy with patriotism.

That tangent was brought courtesy of the fact that spotify is not available here, which is like Hulu and that music yoke that the pitchfork have on their site. Are we living in the fupping stone age here or whats the story?

God damn licensing agreement, no wonder everyone went to pirate bay, who also are trying to convince us that the Swedish (as a race) have a tradition in file sharing! C'mon for fuck sake, who has a tradition of file sharing???? I haven't read one history book that highlights the Swedish love of filing cabnets, for matches yes (built a shagging empire on it) but filing cabnets no!!

So after all that its quiet obvious that the mood aint so hot (could also be explained that after finishing work the first song I heard on the radio was Bryan Adams: Heaven, yikes). So to cheer me and everyone else up I think some Polyphonic Spree is required and Light and Day.... Lets not have a concert, lets have a gathering. Maybe Chomsky was onto something with this tree hugging lark! Finally based on the evidence of the video, having a laugh in Japan at concerts appears to be banned or something.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I Feel Better

Just stumbled across this animated video on Vimeo. The excellent Frightened Rabbit and I Feel Better. I think calling it folk rock is doing the song an injustice. Also the video highlights once again that creative people appear to have too much time on their hands cause that is some painstaking animation and also they have the ability to confuse the fup out of me.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

It Sounds Like Something, But What?

Just after watching Later On... this evening and this band were playing. A certain mid eighties vibe and I cant put my finger on what this song is a bit of homage/rip off depending on perspective. Here they are at that indie/major talent spotting/making everybody loads of money get together that is SXSW festival in the US of A. Hockey and Song Away

Monday, April 20, 2009

Funny In A Geeky Way

This is the internet.

Classic Album of The Week (Part 4)

So far, to the best of my knowledge at least my selection's for classic album of the week have been best described as safe (Fleetwood Mac Rumours, Neil Young After the Goldrush, Bruce Springsteen Nebraska) and would make most recommended must listen before you die type lists. Today's selection is slightly more left field but does have that personal impact that allows it to be placed within the same classic container.

1997 and the first band that I could say I truly found (I'm trying to figure out how but for some reason I think it had to do with Atlantic 252 radio station but I always thought that station just played Simply Red over and over). The Stereophonic's debut album Word Gets Around captures what small town life means to all who grew up.

The opening track the attention is caught with Thousand Trees which is a disturbing take on when illusions are shattered in an insular community. From there the album takes a look at the joys of working in the local supermarket with More Life In A Tramps Vest with the line "Last Minute Shoppers Picking Cauliflower, The Fuss They Make You Swear They Were Buying A Car" which somehow rang true for a young fella working in the fruit and veg section of Super Valu earning somewhere in the region of ninety pence an hour if memory serves me correctly.

Local Boy In The Photograph and Billy Davies Daughter deal with the unexpected loss and really do highlight Jones' ability as a songwriter with the latter highlighting a tender side while the former proving to be a rock belter. In between one is treated to the classic Traffic with accompanying small town paranoia and the bass drum drive Not Up To You.

All in all this is an under-rated album that deserves more attention and also highlights the golden era of mid-nineties music although that may be just nostalgia on my part. Slightly controversial choice but in my mind at least classic all the way!


As promised, a photo of all things holiday.

It's in the middle of a mountain and ice age related supposedly!

Recent music purchases, yes I am old skool enough to continue to buy cds thank you very much.

1. Bell X1, Blue Lights on The Runway. Not great, was expecting a little bit more.
2. Doves, Kingdom of Rust. Don't understand the hype, solid album but nothing special either.
3. Peter, Bjorn and John, Living Thing. Go out and buy it immediately, pure quality.

Finally, relaxing song of the weekend. Interpol and Leif Erikson, what a song.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Bukowski Quote of The Day

To keep up the pretence of being cultured, I bring a Bukowski quote for the day (I haven't figured out yet if I'm being sarcastic/ironic or pretentious)

"There is nothing

Makes you think doesn't it. Answers on a postcard or at least the comments section.

Vacation: I Hate The Return

It's been a while as that pretty poor American band Staind once said and its over a week since my last post, a week which has seen the delights of Munich airport (everything bloody verbotten, make a smoking area god damn it) to the spaghetti junction that is Dublin airport (where everyone stares at the baggage carriers hoping that somehow this will speed the whole process up). In between times a lot of shit has gone down, my hatred of all things Chelsea related has increased, pirates are back in vogue, government like taking more money off us in the name of equality, Munster have kicked Osprey ass in rugby, MGMT will be at that most electric of picnics (they prices are pretty much in line with what utilities charge as well i.e. lots) and finally the good people at pirate bay have been put behind Swedish steel bars (make sure none of those dubiously acquired mp3's are existing on the old i-tunes).

Anyways my music listening in the past week has pretty much been confined to Frightened Rabbit and the crap thats played on the radio (Lady GaGa you have a LOT to answer for) due to the fact the different newer versions of software aren't bloody backwards compatible (or screw you programming as it should be referred to). This has increased my overall crankiness level and Ryanair haven't helped with the fact that for bizarre reasons my flight is about sixty euro more expensive than advertised (currently shaking fists at jet planes in the sky and hoping they are Ryanairs). As a result today's song is from the album Robbers and Cowards by the Cold War Kids and the aptly titled (for Irish at least) We Used to Vacation!

Friday, April 10, 2009


Update, in Germany!! Weather is all good. Getting a suntan. No music, pictures to follow.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Heat Of The Moment (Shakes Head)

Hectic day today, although while on the good old beeb website I found this. Interesting reading and as good as reason as any not to have a expense account. People actually check up on what your buying, god who would have thought working in the public service would make you so accountable.

Today's post besides the above takes in that brilliant age of the eighties and this weeks shame is Asia and The Heat of The Moment. I think I heard it once on a night out in a bar called the Idle Hour, a lawless place I tells ya, a lawless place. Anyways its starts with "I never meant to be so bad to you" and progresses steadily downhill.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Gold Lion

A nice relaxing weekend in the land of the Gaelic Footballers. Plenty sun ensured my budding career as a photographer continued apace, now to buy a bloody memory card to stop having to delete photos every five minutes to allow me to take more photos. My penny pinching has finally caught up with me. Anyways I was thinking of a good Kerry band and I'm still at a loss. The 4th Dimension were from Tralee I think but that isn't even close to what I like in terms of music. So I say fuck it, and just pick a song that I want to listen to! Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Gold Lion, I just like the video...

Friday, April 3, 2009

That It Is, Is The Mystical

Darwin's Angel by John Cornwell is a riposte to Richard Dawkin's The God Delusion where Cornwell attempts to show up some of the inconsistencies of Dawkin's central thesis by way of a guardian angel. Now after writing that opening summary, I'm trying to figure out why anyone should read the book, its sounds about as grounded as a kestrel on speed. But if you give it a chance it actually works and begins to break down some of the certainty associated with the God Delusion by cleverly using the work of people ranging from Wittgenstein to the spiritually tortured philosopher/mathematician Pascal.

The book however isn't blatantly religious if one is going on the narrower definition of the word and is far less dogmatic and stringent that the Dawkin's atheist vibe. Anyways my head seriously hurts after all that profound thinking, and I thought first mover only ever referred to commerce and was just reference in a Michael Porter paper from the eighties and bob's your uncle. How wrong I was!!!

So after getting that book off the shelf I was tempted to play If God Was One of Us or the SouthPark Faith +1 Christian Rock Band, but I resisted, instead I went for Placebo and Running Up That Hill, mainly because I just couldn't inflict Kate Bush generally prancing around the place on anyone.

Also a band called Placebo singing about god, the irony is delicious.

In The Headlights

It's early on a Friday morning as type I this out. Just back from the Frightened Rabbit gig which was on in Cyprus Avenue. A middling to decent crowd was at and I made three non-expectant buddies tag along for the gig. First off I can confirm I am not in anyway close to being able to write a gig review. I couldn't tell you what song was played from first to last but the performance was excellent. A cracking version of Keep Yourself Warm was played to finish and I was the business. Merchandise shopping and various chats with the band followed and it was all good. Well worth checking out and an excellent nights entertainment. Damn, damn good!! This was quality too, Floating in the Forth.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Join The Stampede

U2 playing on top of a shopping centre in Cork, Stephen Ireland returning to the Irish soccer squad, and thinking a conference can save the world. It has to be April 1st, it just has to be.... And the song choice is so obvious its not funny.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A Very Literal Photo Related Blog Post

In the beginning of this Hold Steady blog of mine I mentioned Davos, playground of the rich a site of the an annual economic forum where in time honoured tradition nothing of consequence happened to prevent the economic meltdown (as A.I.G have proved). Today see's the start of the G20 summit in London where a load of very important people swan around and really do very little (already the French have threatened to pull out, I think it impinges on their institution enshrined six hours working week but that has yet to be confirmed).

Unfortunately this echoes previous attempts, in the thirties, to lead the world out of a global economic meltdown which is never a good sign. So lets hope that by signing a big fuck off check, ignoring all the systemic issues while looking the other way this problem will go away without much fuss (didn't Einstein consider madness to be doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results). I wonder if these economists ever read a history book or is there some form of collective mindset that allows a group of people to actually ignore a problem! (That course in project management finally came in handy, I'll solve world hunger with it yet, mark my words).

Anyways to move away from all the doom and gloom, football365 provided quote of the day,

"I am diabetic, I ate a few apples before driving" - Polish MP Marek Latas convinces nobody after he was found to have 0.7 units of alcohol in his blood while driving.

I can confirm as a practicing diabetic that the excuse is bollox but fair play for trying. An eighties classic to leave with. Serious surgery is required to have the ability to sing this song, and the antithesis of yesterday post, The Sun Always Shine On TV.

Monday, March 30, 2009

If This Song Is Prophetic We Are In Trouble

This group, were according to no less a man than Thom Yorke, one of the main influences and reference points for a developing Radiohead (when the moved from being destined to be the greatest rock band of the nineties to becoming the voice of a generation). Scott Walker (originally Engel) is an enigma of popular music (popular music not meant with its usual derogatory connotations) and disappeared for a number from the recording arena for a number of years. This song probably didn't influence the epic Kid A as some of his later work did, but it still is a stone-wall classic from the sixties.

Amazing voice, superb lyrics and a base-line that can only be described as quality. It seems to cause a flow of sixties images in my mind at least. As a result I think I'm going to relax and chill out to the Walker Brothers and the optimistically entitled The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore..

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Music Is The Shorthand of Emotion

So after surviving a night of much stag related madness back to base again today. I'm getting old as the hangovers don't clear so quickly and the back aches after having to sleep on the floor. Also a number of things are beginning to seriously piss me off in my old age.

1. People using their fupping mobile to play music out loud on the train. The old forehead vein begins to throb and if I hear Poker Face one more time on a crap sound system that removes the base and makes it only appetising to teenagers ears I'm going to flip! This stuff used not bother me but now its getting seriously annoying.

2. Footloose being the only song DJ's have when it comes to eighties music in a club. C'mon show some imagination.... Lazy, lazy, lazy!

3. The Limerick-Galway road. Its a joke!!!! Rocks frigging everywhere. One tractor = half hour addition to the commute.

4. Republic of Ireland soccer team. Soccer is simple pass the ball to a guy in the same coloured shirt and stop hoofing it forty yards up the field every time you get it. Its not junior football for fuck sake.

Rant over.

Soothing music required. Think ocean noises and the smell of rosemary and some of the spiritual stuff. As Tolstoy said "Music is the shorthand of emotion". Thank god there is a chance Sigur Rós might calm me down

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Keyboards In German

My first post on a Saturday in over a month and on a german keyboad to boot! This thing has about five extra keys and everything is in the wrong place. I'm ever so slightly confused. Now I hope to God that white cat stops staring at me, but in general the mood is excellent! I suppose Everbody's Gotta Learn Sometime.

Friday, March 27, 2009


Just a quick post today while I grab five minutes of free time. A whistle stop tour of places outside Cork awaits this weekend, in other words the big smoke that is Dublin and capital of the west Galway. So in a totally random way Mullingar is somewhere in between as a result The Blizzards deserve a play. Here is Fantasy

Play It Again and Again

A song to help me hit the hay and unwind after another one of those days, and also with no end to those days on the horizon. The genius of Radiohead and Pyramid Song. Amazing

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Keep Warm

They have been heard on Gray's Anatomy which should mean they are one of those staring into lakes next to trees signing about emotions and a sense of loss band. However I don't think this was the song that appeared on the show somehow. A modern classic (oxymoron???) dealing with the tribulations of getting old in today's age. Frightened Rabbit are playing in Cork next week for the ridiculously cheap price of €12.50 so I'll be checking it out anyways. This is the closest to blogging about relatively new music I have done in a while.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Nothing To Worry About

God NME Tv is one bad music video channel. One and a half hours of watching/listening to indie beep beep disco music was slowly driving me slightly mad. Then this, bizarre video (reminds me of Chicken Payback by the Bees) and as far away from Young Folks as possible. Peter, Bjorn and John and they got Nothing to Worry About