Archive for January, 2010
The magnificent Fever Ray in chilling form during her acceptance speech for “Best Dance Artist” at the P3 Gold Awards in Gothenburg, in her native Sweden. Although maybe not as terrifying as some of the goons who normally given awards for doing any old amateur rubbish, it’s a behind-the-sofa moment like no other I’ve ever seen. Continue reading
If we’re looking for positive messages in these recessionary times, look no further. Here, in this newly unearthed archive from 1974, is proof that persistence really does pay off. Well, even if not, maybe it’ll pay off next year.
Because I’ve been vegetarian most of my life, I have an inbuilt belief that butchers are somewhat evil. Well, I’m sure in their own way and in their personal lives, some of them are very nice. (Like Hitler, perhaps; a friend once pointed out to me that Adolf was probably very nice to Eva. “Here is a cup of tea, darling! You vill drink it!”) However, it takes an especially sick sense of “humour” to sell your bloody wares by pretending that animals are complicit in their own slaughter. Take this nice advert for a Clonmel pork specialist: no jolly, red-faced, fat, boater-wearing, cleaver-wielding, blood-thirsty Fred Elliot look-alike dribbling all over a window display of animal carcasses here – oh no, this one depicts a cannibalistic pig in a butcher’s apron, knife and fork poised, dancing above a blackboard advertising how he’s about to dissect himself for your gastronomic pleasure. Not quite sure what part of himself he’s selling as ‘chicken fillets’, but there’s no reason why pigs shouldn’t have moobs, I suppose. However, I’m more concerned about wtf a “slipper of ham” is. Actually, you know what, I’d rather not find out – the whole notion is far too grim to even think about. Continue reading
Great news for people who like bands with truly dreadful names – the “mighty” Year Long Disaster are set to join the equally “mighty” and atrociously monikered Karma To Burn on their current tour, which rolls into Dublin (to a chorus of guffaws) on April 23rd at the Academy 2. For anyone unaware of what sort of music these bands play – just read those names again.
In even better news, tickets have yet to sell out (but they will, they will) so get your €14.35 at the ready so you can watch those stage-obscuring pillars in extreme comfort from the seats at the side. And, as it’s only January, there’s still time for more piss-poorly named acts to join the bill – so bring it on, Crotch Rock It and Blownload!
So there we were on a merry, snowbound Saturday; Team Kiosk still giving it plenty of hi-5s and loud, Americanised “whoops” after yet another fabulous edition of our show, when the Phantom 105.2 doorbell rang. I answered it to find a very nice and handsome man who introduced himself as Federico. It wasn’t an entirely social call, he had wares to peddle – his friends’ band, De Grinpipol.
His pitch was impressive: firstly, he explained that the band’s name came from the way an Italian would say “The Green People” (?); then, he told me he’d targeted Phantom because they’re an indie rock band, something quite rare in Italy; also, they’re from Sardinia, hardly the centre of the Italian rock ‘n’ roll business anyway; and they’ve already gained a four-star review for their new single, Clap Your Hands (Like Monkeys), in Italy’s premier music magazine, Rockstar. Continue reading
As if getting old and being stuck in hospital isn’t miserable enough. You get all the way to the final few years of your life before they break the news to you that not only is Santa not fat, “he”‘s actually a woman. I mean, surely those well-meaning folk from the Positive Ageing Group could’ve raked up some jolly, overweight male to keep the dream alive for those for whom this may have been the ultimate festive season? Or even a slender man prepared to bulk himself out by strapping a couple of pillows to his midriff?
But no, they appear to have gone for the old, “ah, they’ll never notice it’s not the real Santa” routine and palmed them off with the hospital dinner lady, the one who normally boils their ham, potatoes, carrots and tea in the same giant vat. Continue reading
Right, the festivities are over, and that means the indulgence must stop and the power walking must start again. There’s no point in trotting out excuses about “needing a winter layer”, “defending myself against the cold with a ring of blubber” or “walking conditions are too treacherous to even consider setting foot outside” – although, believe me, I’ve tried them all in the past. I’m not sure when middle age actually sets in but I’m determined to do my utmost to avoid it, or at least delay it, by ensuring that its associated “spread” doesn’t claim me too early.
OK, I should obviously mention that I’m not, by any means, the most susceptible when it comes to weight gain (in the kind words of a dear friend, “you’re no Carnie”) but all the same, gentlemen of my age group must guard against complacency, and resist falling back into bad habits, or even into those tins of Celebration which still seem to be hanging around after Christmas. Trouble is, not being a smoker, a big drinker or a carnivore, there’s not much more I can feasibly give up – so now it’s all about the dreaded ‘portion control’. Continue reading
An article not too dissimilar to this one appeared in The Sunday Business Post on 19th December. Yes, that was a long time ago and this is now way too late to fascinate anyone but I went to the trouble of making a crap montage for it – so here it is.
2009 will undoubtedly be remembered for the emergence of a new generation of bankable female talents – not simply manufactured, flash in-the-pan commercial successes, but genuine artists who released albums of enduring influence and integrity.
Foremost was, of course, Florence and the Machine, with the eponymous Ms Welch’s debut, Lungs, exceeding many expectations in terms of quality and sales.
But bubbling under were many works with perhaps less commercial appeal but at least equal resonance: prodigious Austrian teenager Anja Plaschg, under the name Soap & Skin, gave us her spooky, gothic opus Lovetune For Vacuum; mucky rapper Amanda Blank’s I Love You persuaded me she’s one for the future as well as the present; Brooklyn duo Telepathe’s debut Dance Mother gave Animal Collective’s avant-garde dance niche some serious competition; and St Vincent‘s beautiful and joyfully inventive second album Actor pipped everyone else to be my album of the year. Continue reading