Delighted to say I’m one of the ‘curators’ for the Camden Crawl this year – we’re awaiting the line-up info, but the venue will be the small and cosy Stag’s Head. More info here: http://www.camdencrawldublin.com/
A pic I took of Sarah Grimes of September Girls before a Community of Independents interview
There are two new (and radically different) albums out now that I’d love to draw your attention to.
One of the bands, Christian Bookshop, have featured on the blog before. A duo of Jimmy Monaghan and Aisling Walsh, they’re based in the West and have just released their self-titled debut album.
Like many good things, it’s available on Bandcamp:
Rather charmingly, these timeless folk songs were recorded “over two weeks in a pantry in Belmullet, Co Mayo“. The domestic setting seems to have imbued them with a comfortable feel, like they’ve already been embraced hundreds of times.
Plus, there’s something very familiar about these tracks; like I’ve heard them before, but in the best way. The sometimes salty language gives a bit of a jolt now and then, while the songs are at times appealingly rough-around-the-edges. Keep an eye out for any gigs they may have planned in the future.
Sam Jackson, meanwhile, is an accomplished composer and pianist who has just released his debut album, a beautiful and energetic collection of piano-based songs that could fall under the genres of modern classical, ambient and, jazz.
Maybe it’s because I’ve spent the last few weeks listening to the re-released Keith Jarrett album Sleeper, but I can definitely hear sprinkles of him here, particularly in the jazzy album opener. When Jackson channels that sort of spirit, his music is at its best for me, though the teasing ‘An End of Sorts’, with its plaintive strings and repetitive keys, is another high point.
The occasional addition of found sounds – like a sputtering motorcycle – help to give the record a very fresh feel, and the whole album is altogether a joy to listen to. It must be some feat, releasing your debut album proper when you have a long musical career already behind you (Jackson works with Garry Hynes and Moya Brennan), but this is certainly a release that bodes well for Jackson’s future solo work.
Here are some of his upcoming live dates:
Monday 1st October 8pm
National Concert Hall, Dublin 2
Tickets: 15 euro (12 euro concessions)
Tel: +353 (0)1 417 0000
Friday 5th October 8.30 pm
The Model, The Mall, Sligo
Tickets: 10 euro, 8 euro concessions
Tel: +353 (0)71 914 1405
Wednesday 10th October 8.30pm
Druid Lane Theatre, Galway
Tickets: 10 euro on the door, 8 euro concessions.
The ABSOLUT Fringe Festival is on in Dublin at the moment, and one intriguing show that’s coming up this week is David Turpin‘s We Belong Dead.
The man himself got in touch with me last week about it, and when I heard this track included in the mail, my interest was piqued:
Turpin’s music is very theatrical, and also quite intense and dramatic, so it makes sense that this project, We Belong Dead, would be “an experimental song cycle imagining the end of man and the return of the animal kingdom”. How’s that for an event description, eh? And I haven’t even gotten on to the fact it is a “combined concert, installation and occult ritual”…
He’ll be joined by (Sweet Oblivion fave) Hunter-Gatherer and Cathy Davey on the night, and if you’d like to see the trio at work, this one-off event may be your only chance. The show takes place on Wednesday night at 9.30pm. Tickets are available here: http://www.fringefest.com/programme/we-belong-dead
Last, but by no means least: The Cork-based Noise blog is hosting its first Weekender this month. It’s a brilliant line-up:
Fri Sept 28
Dead Skeletons with The Altered Hours
Sat Sept 29
Mumblin’ Deaf Ro, with Marc O’Reilly & Phantom Dog from the Moon
No Spill Blood, with Trumpets of Jericho & Nagasaki Suntans
Sun Sept 30
Cormac O’Caoimh, with Rory Francis O’Brien & Wasps vs Humans
Windings, with Lamp, The Great Balloon Race & Für Immer
Weekend tickets are €24 and include all shows, plus two free pints of Murphy’s. You can buy tickets from Plugd Records.
It’s really exciting to see a mini-festival taking place in Cork, especially one that brings together both Cork-based acts and acts from outside of the city. Fair play to the Noise blog and Plugd/The Triskel for getting it altogether – it’s great to see ambitious events like this being organised around the country.
Café Irlandaise is a great compilation of female Irish musicians/vocalists that was put together by Valerie Hely and released early this year. It’s not so common in the past few years to see an all-female compilation on the shelves – post-Riot Grrrl and in the late 1990s / early 2000s, there was a (welcome) rash of books and compilations exploring the idea of women-only spheres.
But of late, the notion of having to showcase women’s music in the context of it being surrounded by other women’s music hasn’t been as widespread. (The reappearance of the Woman’s Heart compilation is more of a nostalgic anniversary celebration than anything else.) There are both positives and negatives to this, as it helps to show that music made by women isn’t ‘women’s music’ and only there to be seen in relation to the performer’s gender, but also means that there are less examples of spaces that celebrate music being made by women because they are female (given that the challenges male musicians face aren’t always the exact same as those female musicians face)
As you can see, within that above sentence are the contradictions encompassed in the idea of an all-female anything. It both includes and excludes, creating a space (that in Riot Grrrl times was seen as a ‘safe’ space, for example) for women that both puts them in the spotlight – but also removes them from the normal world of working alongside their male counterparts.
But such actions should be viewed through lenses that also take in the fact that the world of music is not, and never has been, free from sexism (or racism, or homophobia, etc). So celebrating women’s role in any form of music is a gentle two-fingers to those who ever thought women shouldn’t be on stage, or performing, or writing music… just as celebrating the output of gay musicians, transgender musicians or musicians of colour, for example, is also an important way of acknowledging how entire communities of people have been (and are) marginalised.
Café Irlandaise doesn’t claim to have any political beliefs behind its creation; and from what I can see, Valerie’s sole and laudable aim is to showcase some of the many female vocalists and musicians working in Ireland. It’s a great snapshot of who is making music now, and it’s important to note that all of the acts were chosen so that their music complements each other, rather than it being a slapped-together compilation of random odds and sods.
I was curious to find out more, so the current tour – which ends tonight at the Pavilion venue in Cork city at 8PM - was the perfect opportunity to ask Valerie some questions about how it all came about.
Interview: Valerie Hely of Café Irlandaise
Can you tell us about Café Irlandaise - where the idea for the compilation came from and why you put it together?
The idea came about when it struck me how many individual, talented and strong contemporary female singers there are in Ireland at the moment – writing and recording gorgeous songs. I wanted to put together a collection of tracks which would act as a showcase for this talent. I think this is something to be highlighted and celebrated.
What were the most important things for you about putting together an all-female compilation?
I’ve listened to a lot of compilation albums and have found at times that tend to be a group of unconnected tracks all thrown together, without much thought put into arrangement or flow. In trying to avoid that, I spent a long time carefully choosing female artists (both in bands and solo artists) who had tracks which I thought would sit well alongside one another, as well as suit the overall vibe of the compilation. I took the liberty of selecting a track from each artist and thankfully they were all fine with that.
What other things did you consider, besides gender, when putting it together?
I wanted a feminine name for the compilation, but also wanted the name to reflect the type of music which would be on it. So the name came from a desire to reflect the feminine, the Irish, and the style of music on the compilation. There may be a nod in there too to the Café Del Mar compilation series; although the music isn’t all electronic, it does make a compelling and diverse collective.
My aim is for every aspect of the compilation and tour to connect in some way and I wanted to create an image for the album cover, of a girl who looked Irish and edgy. There’s a model in Cork called Kellie Forde, who I thought has just the right look for what I had in mind and she was delighted to get involved. She was one of the contestants in the current series of “Britain & Ireland’s Next Top Model” .
Do audiences treat female musicians any differently?
That I don’t know, however we have found that audiences have been very attentive and interactive with us for the gigs we’ve done so far together. At times you could hear a pin drop and it’s unusual at gigs these days for people not to be chatting during the songs.
Is sexism an issue that female musicians face regularly – and do they tend to talk about it? Is it taken seriously?
It’s not something that I’ve experienced and hasn’t been discussed as such amongst us. I asked the girls what they thought and here’s what Sí said ‘I don’t think I have ever faced sexism as such, just the assumption from people that because you are a girl and you write songs that your music will fall into the singer songwriter/songs about relationships/chick music category. Which mine do I suppose. But still, annoying maybe for those who don’t.”
What was the reaction to the compilation?
When we released the compilation as a free download, we didn’t have any expectations as such, but the reviews in both the national and local press have been outstanding. It seems to have really clicked with a lot of people and they started wanting to hear more tracks from each artist on it – which was one of the objectives of the compilation in the first place so that’s cool!
When did you decide to go on tour, and who has gone on tour?
A few months after the release I approached the 3 other Cork based acts (Foxglove, Sí and Bona Fide Federation) and asked them if they’d like to tour together under the ‘Café Irlandaise’ name. They loved the idea and we pooled our contacts and experience to make it happen. We’ve had great support from so many friends and acquaintances along the way, such as graphic artists who designed the cd cover/posters, photographers, film-makers, and cafés (for the photo shoot). ODi and Sive from the album have also joined us in Limerick and Galway.
How has it gone so far and was it what you expected?
It’s been a total blast so far! Great fun altogether. I felt it would go well anyhow, because we’ve gotten to really know and like each other while we’ve been organising this tour and I think that positivity and energy is shining through.
I know I’m biased, but the standard of each acts is outstanding so I’m in awe of each one of them when I see them performing.
Any tour highlights?
We’re gotten some super feedback from the audience and they’ve been saying things like ‘these singers are amazing – why haven’t I heard of them before?!”. They also remark on the fact that all the acts that have such different styles of music yet blend together so well on the same night.
Another highlight for me is when we all go on stage at the end to perform a couple of tracks together.
When did you yourself start making music, and who inspired you?
I’ve been singing and making music for as long as I can remember. Started in the church choir, then moved onto busking, joined a rock band in college followed by a hip-hop band in Sydney and had a short stint as an entertainer for banquets in a medieval castle. Now I’m one half of electronica duo ‘In Valour’ and we also have a track on the ‘CaféIrlandaise’ compilation album.
I’m inspired by creative people who have the drive and self-belief to make their ideas become a reality.
What are the future plans – will there be another compilation?
I’ve been asked this a few times if I’m going to put together another compilation and have even been contacted by various artists who’ve asked me to consider them for it.
I have a few other ideas floating around my head at the moment though which I’ll run by the other artists on ‘CaféIrlandaise’ and will see if we can develop them together.
Cork’s Ping Pong has provided me with many of my favourite nights out in its time, so I was quite sad when the guys who run it (Shane, Niall and Albert), decided to take a break. But they are, thankfully, back in the promoting game once again, and are bringing Ensemble Economique and Strawk to the city this weekend.
The gig will take place in the Half Moon Theatre, which has undergone quite the impressive facelift in the past few years. It is a theatre space but one that lends itself nicely to shows, especially as there is a balcony if you feel like getting an alternative view of the band.
The Ping Pong lads are always ahead of the curve when it comes to bringing bands to Cork, so it’s always a treat to see who they have in store.
Here’s the spacey, synth-heavy, atmospheric sounds of Ensemble Economique:
The band is essentially a project of Bryan Pyle’s, and I can imagine the rumbling drums and droning synths sounding pretty tasty in the Half Moon.
Meanwhile, support band Strawk is described as an “excellent Cork-based electronic noise, fuzz and drone merchant”, and that’s about all I know about them/him/her.
That said, in Cork slang ‘strawk hawling‘ is
An expression of satisfaction with oneself and life in reply to an enquiry about one’s health, etc., and expression of good-humoured resignation.
Here’s the Facebook event page.The gig is €8/€10 in and there will be DJs afterwards till 2am.
B&W pic by me
Yesterday I squinted my way through an interview with the band Nibiru for a Community of Independents shoot at a sunny Bernard Shaw – it will be aired on DCTV on Thursday night, and online the next day. I had this image in my head of Nibiru as grizzly guys in their late 20s/early 30s – and it turns out they were a little more fresh-faced than that.
They are all members of different bands and two of them had just come back from touring Europe with one of their other projects. It never fails to impress me how people can jam, practise, write, tour and record with a number of different bands at the same time – and I say that as a freelancer who is always juggling a few different things.
Here’s a track by Nibiru to whet your appetite for the interview:
You Kiss By The Book
In other news, Hefty Horse will present a special fundraiser for the band You Kiss By the Book (whose Americana stylings couldn’t be more different than Nibiru’s sound) in July
Wednesday July 11th
That is a pretty sweet line up – entry is €10 with free digital copy of new album and doors are at 8pm.
Here’s more info from the band themselves on their fundraising intiative:
You Kiss By The Book have finished their third album, Family Tree, and are looking to raise some money to give it a physical release. The record was recorded wth the help of Sean Lynch is his recording studio in Cabra, mixed Paul and Fran at Storm Studios and mastered by Stephen Quinn at Anologue Heart.
The money made on the night will go towards releasing the album on CD, which we plan to have out towards the end of July. We will be accepting any extra donations for the album and we will give you a thank you on the liner notes. There will be t-shirts and vinyl available at a discounted price as well.
Niamh de Barra
Finally, Niamh de Barra has released another EP, Below the Sea. Niamh’s music is as dark and atmospheric as always, but this time she has expanded her sound, introducing electronic textures and beats. With its layered vocals and tribal grooves, it’s a treat for the ears.
You can download the album here.
Polaroid & pics by me
Hey folks, hope you’re all enjoying this wonderfully grey June-uary! I’m back on Sweet Oblivion on 2XM after a few weeks’ break (which included a trip to Primavera), so here’s a link to the latest show.
Here’s the full setlist:
Eleventy Four – Snapshot (released on 10 August 2012)
Fiona Apple – Paper Bag – When the Pawn…
The Walkmen – Heartbreaker – Heaven
Father John Misty – O I Long to Feel Your Arms Around Me – Fear Fun
Bonnie Prince Billy – Because Of Your Eyes (Band Version) – Hummingbird EP
Arborea - Careless Love – Red Planet
Slow Place Like Home – Selkie – There go the Lights Again
Laurel Halo – Two Years – Quarantine
Faws – Hummingbird – Blue Notes ep
Horsemen Pass By – The Lies of Christian Shaw- Giallo
Moon Ate the Dark – Explosions in a Four Chambered Heart – Moon Ate the Dark
You’re probably wondering who those cheery fellas are up at the top of the post. Well, despite always fearing doing any sort of TV work at all, I was asked to help out on the volunteer-run Community of Independents series which is broadcast by DCTV.
I’ve already done two panel interview shows with DCTV, so I was delighted to hear that I wasn’t as disastrous on air as I’d imagined, and the folks in charge wanted me to do band interviews for the second Community of Independents series, which is presented by Danny Carroll (and edited, produced and put together by a lot of other lovely folk who are DCTV staff or volunteers). Interview bands? You don’t have to ask me twice! It has been a (fun) learning experience, and great getting to know a bunch of new people too (some of whom are featured in these pics I took while we were filming the Crayonsmith interview).
I recently did a voice training workshop for radio (thanks to AIRPI), which was absolutely invaluable and showed me how to s l o w d ow n while speaking on air… watching the recent DCTV vids, it’s obvious I need to employ the new technique there too. Having been shown the difference in my voice when I am nervous or scatty, and calm and composed (or at least trying to be!) I know that it’s something I need to keep an eye on.
Here’s the first show:
And here’s the second show:
While I have you, here is the A Joyful Slog documentary made by some members of the team – their experience in both documentary-making and music-making is certainly evident throughout the one-hour show. Watching this got me thinking about how the shape of the music ‘scene’ in Ireland will evolve over the next few years. Who will be the big players? Who will last, who will shut up shop?
We’ve just recently seen the closing down of the great Richter Collective label after four years, and though their influence on Irish music will be seen for years to come, it is sad that they have decided to finish up. Other DIY outfits, like Popical Island are, thankfully, still going – Popical are launching their final compilation soon – but how will they evolve and change? Time, obviously, will tell, and I look forward – though with a tiny bit of trepidation – to what happens next, and meeting the future movers and shakers. It’s an uncertain time in many ways, but people keep on trucking, unpaid, and sometimes ignored, because they want to. That’s the music biz for you.
Happy (almost) weekend! Here’s the latest Sweet Oblivion show (click) and playlist
Artist / Track / Album
THEESatisfaction – Enchantruss – QueenS
Big Star – Ballad of El Goodo – #1 Record
Grandaddy – He’s Simple, He’s Dumb, He’s The Pilot
Townes van Zandt – Waiting Around To Die
Yawning Chasm – Seen Like A Bird’s Cold Cold Eye – Snarl
Woven Skull – Cattlemart Crows – Moods of the Hill People
Leyland Kirby – A fluid wilderness of nothing – Sadly, the future is no longer what it was (Limited edition)
Áine O’Dwyer – In A Fugue State of Mind – Music For Church Cleaners
Robert Glasper Trio – Mood – Mood
One track I’ll definitely be playing next week is from S Carey, whose new EP ‘Hoyas’ is due out on Jagjaguwar in May. I loved his debut, and this new track is a confident, electronics-tinged progression on the subtly affecting, gently-creeping feel of his earlier work.
Sweet Oblivion will be on 2FM this Sunday at 11pm. It’s the weekly 2XM on 2FM slot and it’s a great one to be included in! I’ll be playing some tracks from the likes of Little Xs for Eyes, Lower Dens, Balam Acab and Orcas.
The gig features Resound, You Can Call Me Frances, Buzz Aldrin Allstars and Ryan Taylor Doyle, and the visuals will be looked after by Donal Dineen, Hector Castells and Jane Cassidy. If you’re wondering who Resound are, they’re a talented bunch indeed:
Crash Ensemble Cellist and Kaleidoscope co-curator, Kate Ellis. RTE Lyric FM composer in residence, Linda Buckley. Rising star aka Glitterface of NanuNanu, Laura Sheeran. Jazz maestro and world music specialistFrancesco Turrisi. The inimitable John Lambert aka Chequerboard. Old-time and traditional fiddle player (amongst other things), Adrian Hart. Words of wisdom from the award winning poet Billy Ramsell and visuals from the uber talented Jane Cassidy.
You can call me Frances is a band of four dancers, Justine Cooper, Jessica Kennedy, Emma Martin and Áine Stapleton, They formed in Dublin in 2010 and taught themselves to play an instrument.
The Buzz Aldrin Allstars are a collection of like-minded musicians from the following bands – Si Schroeder / 3epkano / Halfset / Strands / United Bible Studies / Beautiful Unit.
Finally, Ryan Taylor Doyle says he is a solo artist “after years of trying to put the perfect band together and failing miserably”.
Finally, I’m currently putting a feature together for The Ticket on Limerick, and if you’re in the Limerick area on Sunday then I highly recommend you head to A Love Supreme in Leddins Bar, where the Cork Shape Note Singers will be performing. It’s a daytime event (4pm – 8pm) that promises to be the perfect place to raise your spirits and invigorate yourself for the week ahead. More info here.
Pics: From my Golden Half
The past two years have seen a huge rise in the amount of young electronic musicians emerging from their bedrooms and plonking themselves onto blogs, radio shows and into the ears of many.
It’s not like Ireland wasn’t a place for great electronic-based music before, but it’s very easy now to get your hands on the software needed to make purely electronic tracks, and even easier to get your music online and into people’s heads. You don’t even have to release a full album – look at Toby Kaar, who is wowing people on the strength of a handful of official tracks, great remixes and awesome live shows.
That all brings me to Feel Good Lost, and the Fundit campaign set up for this Cork-based duo’s new project, The Lightbox Tour.
We are organising a short Irish tour taking in Dublin, Limerick, Cork, Galway, Belfast and Waterford over a week at the end of February. The tour will have 7 acts wich include Bantum,Feel Good Lost, Monto, Reid, Sert One, Simon Bird and Tenaka.
The tour will go under the banner ‘Lightbox’ as each of the acts perform using visual based music hardware such as Monomes, Kaoss Pads, APCs and iPads. Feel Good Lost will be providing live visuals for each of the acts over each of the nights.
Workshops will be staged before each night which will allow people to come and see how each of the acts interacts with the software/hardware so as to provide an even more interactive elements to the nights.
Each night will also host DJ sets in secondary rooms which will include guest DJs such as Nialler9, Jim Carroll, Logicparty and Ian Malaney as well as several of the featured acts.
The gig will take place in Cork on Saturday, February 4 and admission so far is TBC but I will update as soon as it is confirmed.
This is instrumental rockers Rest and Ten Past Seven first co-headlining bill since 2006 (I feel a bit old reading that!).
They say that the capacity for the show will be very limited, so you can expect to get up close and personal with Corkonians on the night. I expect it will be intense!
Ten Past Seven:
To find out more, visit:
Finally, here’s the new tune from Daniel Rossen, he of Grizzly Bear/Department of Eagles fame. It’s sweet, it’s piano-based, and it’s suitably minor-key-mournful for all us Grizzly Bear fans out there.
You’ll find it on his solo debut Silent Hour/Golden Mile, which will be released on 16 March this year.
It’s Friday, so how about a little catch up on what’s been going on this week? Music, radio, juicing (!) and more are included here.
Choice Music Prize
By now, we all know that The Choice Music Prize nominees have been announced – was your pick in there? I have to say that I’m delighted to see Tieranniesaur and Patrick Kelleher and His Cold Dead Hands in there, and overall the list is really solid. It’s never going to satisfy everyone, and it’s nigh on impossible to put together a list of 10 nominees that every single person will be happy with.
I did have fears based on the new sponsors, Meteor, given how disconnected the old Meteor Awards were from the Irish independent music scene, but overall the decisions here are down to the judges, a very trustworthy and knowledgeable gang.
That said, it is perhaps inevitable that the music would all come from one corner of the Irish music scene – I wonder how this could be remedied, or should it be up to other awards ceremonies to reward the best albums in Irish hip hop, metal, trad, etc?
What do you think? Let me know in the comments.
Free music: Out on a Limb Records
Out on a Limb Records have been giving away free downloads of albums from their back catalogue all during the week. So far, Owensie, Windings and Giveamanakick have been featured. Who is on offer today? Check out their website and twitter for more info.
Free music: Orcas
Orcas is the new musical project by duo Rafael Anton Irisarri (The Sight Below) and Benoit Pioulard. The first inklings that they were working together came when they released a haunting cover of the Broadcast song Until Then, in tribute to the late Broadcast musician Trish Keenan. Now they’re back with their first original release, which is available for free download (see below). Combining their ambient sensibilities and love for layered, ghostly sounds, Carrion is both stark and beautiful. Expect a full album later this year.
Fancy listening to some incredible old Katie Kim songs? Check out VAULTS Vol 1, which is only available to buy on tape during her forthcoming tour, and is on Bandcamp now for your listening pleasure.
I achieved one of my dreams a few months ago when I got to sing as part of a small ‘choir’ for a song on the Walpurgis Family album. The album, Dawn, is released this month and it has already gotten a rave review from Patrick Freyne in Hotpress, who really knows his stuff. Here’s Let’s Go Camping from the album – listen closely and you might hear me (ha!). Congrats to Jeroen and Popical Island on the release!
Is your favourite venue fully accessible to all people of all abilities? You might be surprised to hear the truth about whether wheelchair-users can get to gigs in their favourite haunts, as this fantastic article by Louise Bruton in The Ticket in the Irish Times shows today. Good on Louise for highlighting this!
Many venues tick the boxes but do not go further than the token requirements. The wheelchair area often has a restricted view or limits you to having one mate with you, even if you’re with a gaggle of mates.
This great event, which aims to challenge mental health prejudice through creative arts, brings Royseven, Cashier No9, Le Galaxie and dREA together at The Button Factory at 8.30pm on Saturday night. More info here.
Whelan’s: Ones to Watch
What homegrown acts should you be listening to in 2012? Whelan’s have put on a showcase aiming to tell you just that. The gigs have been going since Wednesday, and run until tomorrow (Saturday), when the following bands play:
My tips are Nanu Nanu, Depravations, Alarmist, Bouts, and Come On Live Long – but heck, it’s a bloody great list of bands.
I love Radiolab in a big way – it’s like the younger, more rambunctious sibling of This American Life. Its latest show is about the bad things that people do, like, er, commit murder. Expect to feel very informed (and a bit wary of humanity) after listening to this.
Gib from the independent record store Elastic Witch had a chat with me for this week’s Sweet Oblivion. You can listen to it by following the link here.
Gig of the Week
My gig of the week next week is definitely going to be A Winged Victory for the Sullen. They play the Sugar Club on Thursday 19 January and it’s going to be a guddun’. Tickets are just €13.50 and you can find out more here.
Drink yr Juice
Courtesy of the great Home Organics, a blog post about juicing for all you vegaholics out there.
This looks great – it’s a book about taking photos with Polaroid cameras, and it comes out in May. I’m doing one of Susannah Conway‘s photography e-courses at the moment and loving it. It’s really changing the way I see things, even if I’ll never be the next Cartier-Bresson
Jon Cohen interview
Montreal-based musician Jon Cohen is playing Ireland next week – Dublin’s Grand Social on Friday 20 January to be exact. If you’re a fan of Brendan Benson, The Dears, and Broken Social Scene, I think you’ll really dig his stuff.
Finally, I’ll leave you with this video from Dirty Beaches. I really love his stuff and so does Cohen – we had a chat about how he really wears his influences on his shirt sleeve, and yet manages to maintain his own originality.
His album Badlands and other releases can be found on Bandcamp.
Here’s the video for his song True Blue:
What have you been enjoying this week?
Does radio really matter? Does it matter to you, to me, to him, to her, to bands, to venues and listeners and dancers and writers?
Of course it does, you might say.
But does it really? It wasn’t that long ago when the only way you could hear a new track was to tune in to a specific show at a specific time; before Bandcamp and SoundCloud, before blogs and mp3s, you had to wait for music. Now, music is everywhere. Rustle the cyber-branches of the internet and mp3s will fall on your head; two listless clicks and you have a free song in your Downloads folder. With or without the band’s permission.
Radio is an intimate, vital force. The presenter is a curator, handpicking music they love and that they want you to love too. They search and find, paw and poke through shelves and boxes, because they know you like to do that too. They want your feedback; they want to speak to you. With you.
That’s what Donal Dineen does, what all great, talented, special radio presenters do. They invite you in. They open the door, hand you a mug of tea, and sit you down. Or they tuck you in, give you a book, tell you to breathe out. They offer you this chance to escape for an hour, or two, to dive into an aural world with them, to share with them.