MacBecks

27 01 2009

macbecks-image

MacBecks, a musical comedy about a certain footballer and his demanding popstar wife, is currently running at the Olympia Theatre, before moving to the Cork Opera House on the 2nd February for a 2 week stint. I went to see the show at the weekend and would highly recommend it – it will brighten up an otherwise dreary January day. Afterwards, I caught up with Paul Reid, who plays MacBecks in the show, to grill him on how it felt to play the larger than life role that satirises this  ‘certain celebrity footballer’.

 

My interview with Paul for Totally Dublin can be read here. 

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Hush at The Royal Albert Hall

25 01 2009

Back in August ’08 I posted something akin to a slushy love letter to a song that I had heard from little-known band, Orphans & Vandals. The song is called Mysterious Skin and it remains firmly in my top 10 tracks of 2008. Much to my dismay however, Orphans & Vandals did not become the overnight success that I had predicted, but rather seem to be something of a slow-burner. This, I have decided, can only be a good thing. Rather than becoming the next band to fall victim to the turbulent trappings of superstardom, Orphans & Vandals are slowly winning a mounting fan-base that will stick with them for longer than the time it takes to sign a contract. The only issue that I have with this refusal to play nice within the world of  indie-scene whoredom is that we never get to bloody hear them, much less see them.

Imagine my delight, so, when I discovered this:

hush_240209_flyer

Orphans & Vandals will play alongside ‘beautifully peculiar’ violinist Roxy Rawson in support to Ivor Novello Award nominee, Ben Onono, on the 24th February ’09 for Hush at the Royal Albert Hall. Hush, which takes place within the intimate confines of the Royal Albert Hall’s opulent Elgar Room, has played host to such highly acclaimed acts as Absentee, Hot Club de Paris and Slow Club. Hush was designed to give emerging artists the opportunity to play at the historic Royal Albert Hall and also to give the venue itself a chance to transcend genres and generations by appealing to a younger and more eclectic crowd.

Headliner on the night, Ben Onono, is best known for his work in the dance music industry and has collaborated with the likes of Fatboy Slim and Bob Sinclair in the past. In 2008 Ben was nominated for the prestigious Ivor Novello Award for Songwriting for co-writing the hugely successful ‘It Just Won’t Do’ with DJ Tim Deluxe. Born in Cardiff, Onono moved to West Africa as a child where he cultivated his musical tastes. As a classically-trained pianist, Onono’s latest album sees him return to his roots with sublime acoustic melodies that incorporate a twist of electronica resulting in a sound that span continents and gives a fresh perspective on world music.

Roxy Rawson has been closely compared to Joanna Newsom and Regina Spektor (and there’s more than a hint of similarity to 2008’s media-darling Florence and the Machine, in her vocal cords). Rawson is set to join the burgeoning list of LadyPoppers expected to make waves in the music industry in 2009. Her classic violin and piano training and her capricious attitude to songwriting combine to produce a playful yet polished collection of songs that are just off-kilter enough to separate her from her peers.

So if you find yourself in London on the 24th February, my advice is to snap up a ticket to Hush. At just £10.00 (£7.50 in advance) you’d be mad to miss it. Further information and tickets available here.





Can’t Hear My Eyes

24 01 2009

This song has been looping around in my head for the best part of a week now so I thought I’d try to exorcise it by  sharing it with y’all.  The track, I Can’t Hear My Eyes, is the latest from Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffitiwhich is really more of a project than a band.

Pink, self-indulgent control freak or visionary musical genius, depending on who you talk to, was first thrust into the spotlight in 2003 when he gave a homemade CD-R to Animal Collective, which led to him becoming the first act to be signed to their newly-formed record label, Paw Tracks. Since then he has built a steady cult following, stopping short of receiving the critical acclaim that label-mates Animal Collective have garnered, due perhaps to his obscure production techniques. Pink records much of his material at home using simple recording equipment in order to achieve a sound as ‘un-produced’ as possible. His albums are littered with tape hiss and production blips that make them  sound like they were recorded on a mono cassette recorder in someone’s garage circa 1970. Influences can be picked out when listening to his music and patches of everyone from Hall and Oates and Roxy Music to Frank Zappa and  Talking Heads are sewn together to produce a sound that is decidedly un genre-specific (that’s what we like). Forced to describe it, you could say that his music is something of a new wave, 1980’s pop, lo-fi kind of muddle, but the afore-mentioned eccentric recording techniques give it a lovely gritty finish.

I love it anyway… let me know what you think.





Free Art Friday

22 01 2009

 

If you’re at a loss for summat to do tomorrow, why not saunter around the city picking up some free art along the way? Free Art Friday is bringing em, free art, to the streets of Dublin with guerrilla-style drops at various locations around the city. Organised by Will Saint Leger, All City Records and Micromedia amongst others, Free Art Friday provides an opportunity to make art accessible to everyone by asking artists of all disciplines, working through a variety of mediums, to submit pieces for the event. On the back of each piece will be the artist’s name and contact details so that you can get in touch and tell them where their beloved work has found it’s new home! More info available at http://freeartfridayireland.wordpress.com/

 

Happy hunting!!!





Burger King get Dumped

17 01 2009

whopper-sacrifice

 

 

Burger King, purveyors of such classy advertising as the Whopper Virgin campaign, has been unceremoniously dumped by Facebook quicker than a provocative snap of a breastfeeding mamma. Up until recently, the Whopper Sacrifice campaign urged Facebook users to drop 10 friends from their list in return for a free Whopper. However, when 82,771 fickle Facebookers decided that their Whopper cravings held a higher place on their list of priorities than their collective 233,906 friends, the social networking site realised that this process of dropping friends for food was proving to be a little, eh, unsociable and axed the campaign.

Facebook disabled the Whopper Sacrifice application on Thursday, citing that Burger King had breached  their privacy terms by notifying users that they had been ‘de-friended’ in return for the burger. Nice. Needless to say, the amount of Facebook groups set up to have the application reinstalled is impressively pathetic – do people really care that much about a fucking €2 hamburger? Not that the notion of dropping 10 Facebook friends bothers me in the slightest, most of them are people you haven’t talked to or seen in 10 years anyway, it’s the fact that people are actually setting up petitions for this… as if there aren’t better causes to turn your attention to. But I’m sure they’re all going to take their saved dollar and donate it to an NGO of their choice, right?

 





Choice Music Nominees Announced

14 01 2009

The 10 nominees for the Choice Music Prize were announced earlier today. Chosen on merit, rather than radio play or album sales, the ten albums are intended to represent the cream of Irish music released in 2008. By and large, it’s one of the stronger lists to have emerged since the innaugeral Choice Music Prize in 2005. The Script are obviously the token ‘mainstream’ nominee and there are a few predictable contenders in the shape of Fight Like Apes and Jape, both of whom put out extremely popular albums last year. I hope in my little heart of hearts that RSAG wins but my money’s on Jape all the way. Speaking of which, Paddy Power are now taking bets

The winner will be announced on Wednesday 4th March at a ceremony in Vicar street that will feature performances from as many of the nominees as possible, subject to their availability on the night. Tickets for the event go on sale Monday 19th January at the bargain price of €27.00. 

So, without further ado…

 

The Choice Music Prize shortlist for Irish Album of the Year 2008  

 

Fight Like Apes “Fight Like Apes and the Mystery of the Golden Medallion” (Model Citizen) 

Mick Flannery “White Lies” (EMI)

Halfset “Another Way of Being There” (Casino Gravity Records)

Lisa Hannigan “Sea Sew” (Own label)

David Holmes “The Holy Pictures” (Canderblinks)

Jape “Ritual” (Co-Op)

Messiah J & The Expert “From The Word Go” (Inaudible)

Oppenheimer “Take The Whole Mid-Range And Boost It” (Fantastic Plastic)

R.S.A.G. “Organic Sampler” (Psychonavigation)

The Script “The Script” (Sony Music)





Saucy Monkey

12 01 2009

LA-based band Saucy Monkey are still, surprisingly, relatively unknown considering they’ve been making music together for the best part of seven years. Their cover of the Divinyls I Touch Myself received a moderate amount of radio attention in Ireland thanks to typical loyal patriotism to Irish front-woman Annemarie Cullen (the rest of the band is 2 parts American to 1 part Israeli). Some of their singles have also been featured on Nickelodeon shows like iCarly and Zoey 101. If, like me, you’re the parent of a Nickelodeon-obsessed child you may well recognise some of them and be thankful that you’ve moved on from the days of Lambchops Playalong and ‘The Song That Doesn’t End‘! Pleasers for pre-teen audiences aside, they do fantastic cover of The Carpenter’s Superstar. The hauntingly poignant song has been re-worked with palpable electric guitar and base-heavy percussion sounds giving it a more grimy feel than the previous cover of the same song by Sonic Youth, who deviated from their usual grungy style to produce a beautifully melancholic version of it for the If I Were A Carpenter tribute album. The song is one that has proved to lend itself well to covers so check out the latest below and see what you think.