Sam Jackson, David Turpin, Christian Bookshop

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.

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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
Web: www.nch.ie

Friday 5th October 8.30 pm
The Model, The Mall, Sligo
Tickets: 10 euro, 8 euro concessions
Tel: +353 (0)71 914 1405
Web: www.themodel.ie

Wednesday 10th October 8.30pm
Druid Lane Theatre, Galway
Tickets: 10 euro on the door, 8 euro concessions.

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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

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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
TDC
Doors 9.30pm
€10/8

Nanu Nanu
Gulpd Café
11.30pm

Sat Sept 29
Mumblin’ Deaf Ro, with Marc O’Reilly & Phantom Dog from the Moon
Plugd Records
Doors 8.00pm
€5

No Spill Blood, with Trumpets of Jericho & Nagasaki Suntans
TDC
Doors 9.30pm
€10/8

Magic Pockets
Gulpd Café
11.30pm

Sun Sept 30
Cormac O’Caoimh, with Rory Francis O’Brien & Wasps vs Humans
Plugd Records
Doors 7.30pm
€5

Windings, with Lamp, The Great Balloon Race & Für Immer
TDC
Doors 9.00pm
€10/8

REID
Gulpd Café
10.00pm

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.

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