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

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 … Continue reading Sam Jackson, David Turpin, Christian Bookshop

Community of Independents & Hard Working Class Heroes Festival

If you’re someone with an interest in the Irish music scene as a whole, a great festival to give you an insight into what’s going on here is Hard Working Class Heroes. Yes, it doesn’t cover every single band in the country but it’s a good snapshot of what’s happening nationwide. One interesting aspect to the festival is its panel discussions, where people working in the music industry in a number of different countries gather to give their opinion on subjects such as technology, downloading, labels, and more. Jim Carroll of the Irish Times was the man asking the questions during … Continue reading Community of Independents & Hard Working Class Heroes Festival

Focus on: Stop/Run

It never fails to amaze me how many people are creating beautiful, challenging and eye-opening music in Ireland. And in turn, it never fails to amaze me how many people get up off their arses and put on unusual gigs, or unique events, simply with the aim of bringing new sounds to people and exploring the realms of music and performance. There’s a real feeling in the air these days when it comes to Irish music events that if you can imagine it, it is possible. And this is being exploited in a wonderful way by those who call Ireland’s … Continue reading Focus on: Stop/Run

Let’s get Popical!

Has it really been a year since the Popical Island compilation #1 was released!? Strike me down with a feather. It has been a pretty amazing year for this Dublin-based collective, thanks to a stream of excellent shows and releases and a constant focus on keeping things fun, accessible and smart. The first compilation helped to introduce the collective and now this second one is here to cement its important role in Ireland’s DIY landscape. Once again the covers for these albums are all handmade – each one featuring a unique painted design courtesy of a group of Popicalists and … Continue reading Let’s get Popical!

Concerning a Sufjan Stevens sighting, The Olympia, Dublin

Great musicians become great musicians because of one thing: innovation. Think David Bowie’s flirtation with a new musical persona; Talking Heads’ layered basslines and polyrhythmic experimentation on Remain in Light; or Tom Waits’ ability to consistently reinvent himself while staying true to his grizzly spirit. The history of artists reinventing their careers does feature some car crashes, but those that did it successfully demonstrated that it is better to embrace change than fear it. Michigan-born musician Sufjan Stevens is a perfect example of someone who is consistently innovative. With the release of his fourth album Seven Swans, in 2004, Stevens … Continue reading Concerning a Sufjan Stevens sighting, The Olympia, Dublin