The final Sweet Oblivion on 2XM… and Camden Crawl Dublin gigs

Tonight will see the last Sweet Oblivion go out on RTÉ 2XM at 11pm. It has been a hard decision to make, but for now I’ve decided to take a break from the show. Sweet Oblivion has been going out on the digital station for almost four years, and aside from a year or two’s break I’ve been presenting a show under the Sweet Oblivion name for around 10 years, since the days of Cork Campus Radio in UCC… so it’s going to be strange not having a weekly show to make. 2XM is a fantastic resource and I was so lucky to…

[Pics] Moving house

My mum moved house last month, out of the family home where we had lived for more than 20 years. I took these photos during the move, feeling restless and strange about the house being emptied of everything that had meant ‘home’ since I was a child. I’ll miss the squeaky step at the bottom of the stairs, the front door that would never shut properly unless you shoved it like you were furious with someone, the cold terracotta-coloured tiles, the kitchen walls that must bear at least five much-deliberated-over layers of paint, the strange noises that emanated from the attic at…

HMV closure, nostalgia, memories and music

Photo by me It feels like another lifetime, but in reality it has only been just over a decade since going to HMV (or Virgin Megastore, the other record store chain in Cork City when I was growing up) was a Big Thing for my peers and I (and, if you’re reading this, most likely you too) to do on a Saturday. I’ve so many memories of buying albums in there, browsing even when broke, learning about bands from friends, reading the backs of CDs to try and figure out if the album would be any good, buying singles on tape… Today,…

Low, Arthur Russell, Lord Huron, Benoit Pioulard

Pic by me, Dublin There are few things better than going through a phase of listening to the same artist for a week after not listening to them for quite a long time. That immediate feeling when you put on the first track is like a restorative sigh – you can instantly relax into that blissful space where every note, every beat is deliciously familiar. With that in mind, here’s some Arthur Russell for your ears. Thanks to his intense work ethic and ability to create music spanning a number of genres, you can listen to him if you’re in the mood…

A rush and a push and 2013 is ours

Pic: Me/Declan Kelly When the rush and stress that is the end-of-year best-of lists (all those hyphens is enough to bring me out in a rash) is over, it’s time to start imagining what lies in store for the next 12 months of music. Being honest, I go through phases with music (and with blogging too, as my haphazard approach proves). Sometimes I’m all about new music, soaking up whatever fresh sounds I can get my ears around; other times I can’t find anything new that excites me, and retreat back to the familiar songs that made me swoon first time around.…

Interview: Vicky Langan

I’m delighted this is finally online – an interview I did with my friend Vicky Langan (performance artist/experimental musician/event curator) about her work and inspiration. I’ve been really curious for a long time about what motivates her, so it was great to get to chat about it. After we did the interview, we took some photos outside in the back garden – the treacle was her idea and it worked out so, so well despite my nerves. I’m really proud of these photos.

Podcast & Column: NewFound Sounds

Now is a very exciting time to be involved, in any way, with Irish independent music. It’s not that the music being made now is necessarily better than in times past, or more important, but that the game itself has changed. It is easier and cheaper to access recording materials; it’s easier and cheaper to promote your music thanks to the internet and its numerous iniatives; we still have great venues; the DIY spirit is alive and kicking; and collectives and labels are springing up all over the place. There is another side to all of these changes, and that’s the uncertainty…