Sunday, August 24, 2008
Friday, August 22, 2008
One of my best friends, Hannah McDonnell, is competing in the Rose of Tralee contest this week as The Dublin Rose. Hannah came close to competing in Tralee a couple of years ago when she made the final selection for The London Rose so it's brilliant that she's managed to go one step further this time.
I'm hoping to be back in Ireland on Tuesday afternoon so here's hoping I'll get to see her crowned the winner on Tuesday night.
Admittedly, I've spent a lot of my time (and money) partying this week. I've been out post 4am the past four nights. I even made it to the infamous 'Penny Black' one night, a pub that opens at 6am. Yes, I'm just that hardcore.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Since coming to Edinburgh, I haven't seen any television. None at all.
I know. Crazy, right?
This hasn't bothered me really. Why sit in watching telly when there's so much else to do? The only thing I'm disappointed about missing is coverage of the Olympic Games. Normally, I would follow the progress of the Irish athletes, most of whom tend to bow out in the earlier stages of competition.
Today I learned that, after winning in the quarter finals of their respective weight classifications, three Irish boxers have secured medals at The Games. This is fantastic news, made all the better by the fact that one of the three, Darren 'The Dazzler' Sutherland, studied in DCU while I was there.
C'mon The Dazzler!
*I've never actually spoken to the guy but it's still pretty cool to have shared a campus with an Olympic medalist.
Sunday, August 17, 2008
The site is my way of sharing things I like and love with anybody who might be interested. Posts are predominantly music-related, but occasionally I'll share other things that get me excited.
I enjoy many types of music, commercial and otherwise, but I prefer to write about by new or emerging artists that I think deserve a bigger audience. I've a particular weakness for pop music with a bit of bite.
I'm currently working as a journalist (among other things) in the fair city of Dublin, Ireland. I'm very interested in opportunities to write for publications that share my enthusiasm. If you would like me to write for you, contact me at joeykavanaghfreelance[at]gmail[dot]com.
If you have some music you'd like me to listen to, or just want to say hello, please email joey[at]sphericalnotions[dot]com.
I've just left Eimear to a taxi after our weekend of fun here in bonnie Edinburgh. Unfortunately, because I was working a couple of shifts, she had to entertain herself a fair amount but there are far worse places to find yourself left to your own devices than Edinburgh at this time of year.
We caught a couple of comedy shows together (Stephen K. Amos and Adam, Jason & Friends) and she went to a few others while I was working (Maeve Higgins and Ed Byrne). We also went to the Camera Obscura, the café where J.K. Rowling wrote the early Harry Potter books, saw a great independent film called 'Breakfast with Scot' and checked out the various street performers on The Royal Mile. 'Twas really cool that she came. She's been the first (and potentially only) visitor I've had since I've been here. I just wish I'd had more time off work so we could have gone out properly and partied up a storm.
This week I've seen at least one show a day including a strange dance/performance art/experimental theatre show called 'The Blank Album' (see above), a hilarious character-comedy show called Count Arthur Strong about a fictitious sixties British television personality and a wacky production called 'Pot Noodle: The Musical'.
The best show I saw this week though was 'Scaramouche Jones', a one man show, written and performed by Justin Butcher. The story is hard to describe but its basically about a strangely white-faced boy born to a gypsy woman and the seven white masks of his lifetime that include, among others, being enslaved to an African snake-charmer and working as a gravedigger at Auschwitz. Butchr's turn as the tragic hero was honestly one of the most powerful theatrical performances I've ever witnessed and director Guy Masterson certainly seems to deserve the reputation that precedes him. This production previously played in Ireland so, if it comes back, you must go see it.
I was obvlivious to the fact that Vanity Fair actually ceased production in the late 1930's, only to make a comeback in the 1980's and provide us with these iconic images:
Grassie's work comprises mostly of paintings of other exhibiitions (both factual and fictional) that are painted in such fine detail so as to look like photographs. I found it quite interesting but some of the notes left in the comment book were very critical of his 'self-absorbtion' and 'smarminess'. Different strokes, eh?
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
The former-Sugababe is hardly a household name but I think it's a shame that she hasn't enjoyed more success with her quirky brand of avant-garde electro-pop, influenced by the likes of Kate Bush and The Cocteau Twins.
Here's hoping she gets picked up by an independent record label.
Monday, August 11, 2008
My favourite show I've seen this week was 'Clockheart Boy' which was a great play devised and performed by Dumbshow Productions. I suppose it was a kids' fairytale but sometimes the simplicity of childrens' stories can be far more affecting than 'grown up' ones. I think it's possible for productions to lose track of the main idea by getting bogged down by subtext and such. Anyway, it was a lovely little play and some of the devices they used, like shining a lamp against a blanket to make a puppet show of sorts, were really clever.
Saturday, August 09, 2008
The Bus Network - Dublin Bus could stand to learn a lot about efficiency and fare-pricing from Lothian Buses. And let's not even mention that Bus Eireann shower...
The Pub/Nightclub Opening Hours - Pubs that open 'til 3am? Amazing. Clubs that open 'til 5am? Doubly amazing. Other pubs that open at 5am when the clubs close? Amazing-o-meter explodes.
The Artiness - Aside from The Fringe, there are so many other festivals, exhibitions and culture-related things to see and do.
The Abundance 0f Green Areas - On the rare occasions that it's not raining, there's always some nice park or 'gardens' nearby to go and eat your sandwiches.
Solange (aka as 'The Girl Whose Career is Entirely Built Upon the Fact That Beyonce's Her Sister') teams up with Freemasons to deliver what, by rights, should be a monster Summer hit.
Friday, August 08, 2008
Thursday, August 07, 2008
The most invaluable purchase I have made during my time here has been the lovely £3 umbrella I bought in ‘£-Stretcher’ (my new favourite shop). The rain the past couple of days has been pretty relentless but I haven’t allowed it to dampen my spirits (hoho!) and I’ve been continuing to milk my Fringe experience for all it’s worth. (I’ve never been quite sure whether it’s correct to write ‘all its worth’ or ‘all it’s worth’… meh!)
Over the past couple of days, I’ve seen loads more shows. Des Bishop’s ‘Tongues’ was pretty good fun. He didn’t have me rolling in the aisles or anything but his canny observations on Irish culture and ‘shiny’ (as Eimear would say) personality won me over. I arrived for the gig a bit too early and decided to nip out to pick up a chocolate and raspberry muffin (I’ve been eating SO badly) just as Des was arriving. He ended up holding the door open for me even though, once I’d realised who it was, I tried to insist he enter first. No airs and graces about this chappie, I’m sure you’re glad to hear.
‘Circus Oz’ and ‘Feast of Flesh’ are two variety shows of Australian origins that are heavy on human acrobatics. Although, the latter is considerably more ‘adult’ with willies, boobies and bare bums on show throughout. ‘Circus Oz’ is on in the venue I’m working at and I actually got to be involved in one of the acts in a very small way. (I had to make sure that balls being juggled didn’t bounce off the stage. Maybe not very exciting but it was cool to be part of it.)
‘Feast of Flesh’ is in the vein of ‘La Clique’ but with less of an emphasis on spectacular stunts and more of an emphasis on eroticism. One scene, which I actually thought was pretty sexy, involves a woman starting off completely naked on a turntable before being completely wrapped in cling-film by two muscular men as she spins around. Hey, at least it’s slightly more dignified than doing porn!
Finally, I forked out £15 for a second-row seat at Camille O’ Sullivan’s ‘Dark Angel’ cabaret show but it was worth every last over-sized penny. The woman makes me want to use all manner of faggoty words like ‘mesmerising’ and ‘entrancing’ and she radiates this incredibly intense energy throughout her performance of songs by Tom Waits, Nick Cave and Jacques Brel. Each song is delivered so differently to the one before and the one after that I’m tempted to make some godawful pun about her being a ‘Camille-eon’ (oh look, I just did!)
Throughout the show, she swigs from a bottle of red wine and, at one point, breaks down in tears during ‘Look Mummy, No Hands.’ As she prowls along the front row, climbing on some patrons and snarling at others, she turns to one man and says, ‘You look scared. I’m scared too but, sure, that’s what it’s all about.” I’m not sure how much of her drunken, emotionally vulnerable persona is staged but I guess it doesn’t really matter when the performance is this good.
Right, I think I’ve enthused about Camille quite enough. I’ve discovered that the flat I’m staying in is around the pool from a 50m swimming pool. I’m sure that any of you that know me will realise that this is like all my Christmases come at once. I think I’ll head over for a quick splish splosh before work.
Wednesday, August 06, 2008
Monday, August 04, 2008
William Boyd, 'The Things I Stole'
That said, I think many were still surprised at just how quickly she moved up in the world. Less than a year after graduating from her Journalism degree, she landed her dream job as news anchor on MTV. She was selected from thousands of applicants in a reality TV show called 'Pick Me MTV' and will be fronting the MTV News segments for the next year as well as a half hour programme on weekends.
I came across this picture today and I'm sure you'll agree she looks every inch the superstar.
Here's hoping her star continues its ascent.
I've just been to see 'I Can't Sleep', which is a children's show featuring the Cork woman and David O' Doherty and it was brilliant. The show is based around David's difficulty in going to sleep. He wakes up Maeve out of sheer boredom and then it remains for the audience to help the two of them to get back to sleep. Genius.
I also saw the Soweto Gospel Choir this morning and they were equally fantastic. Admittedly, I probably wouldn't have gone to this show of my own accord, but a few people from work wanted to go so I tagged along. The choir are from South Africa and they sang a mix of familiar and not-so-familiar gospel tunes whilst lepping about the stage like nobody's business. My friend Susan would LOVE this show.
I meant to write about my accommodation situation yesterday but ran out of time. The housemates I've met all seemed really nice but there seems to be a bit of tension in the house. I arrived home late on Friday night and one of the two Asian guys, Colin, told me there had been a bit of an incident with the American guy, Spencer. 'I just hope his bad behaviour isn't extended to you' he rather ominously said to me. I've decided it's probably for the best just to keep a low profile in the flat so I'm pretty much just sleeping and washing there. It's not so bad though because I'm pretty much on the go the whole time.
I've been getting on really well with the people I'm working with (mainly the girls, it has to be said) so I think I can officially say I'm no longer Joey-no-mates. Which is nice. It's great to have other people to see shows with because I think, even moreso than at the cinema, you really need somebody to turn to and say stupidly obvious things like 'oh, that's funny' or 'that was really good' at a comedy show or play.
God, these recent blogs are so long-winded. As if anybody even cares about my opinions on shows they're unlikely to ever see. I reckon it'll be cool for me to be able to look back on this a few months down the line though.
Sunday, August 03, 2008
The only reason I've actually had time to go to an internet booth is because the show I wanted to go see was sold out. My employee pass only gets me into shows for free if there are seats left and apparently this particular show got a good write up in 'The Guardian' yesterday which resulted in a surge in demand for tickets and depriving me of a viewing. Bummer.
I've already managed to see six shows and, believe it or not, I was actually disappointed by a couple of them...
'The Magic Tree' was quite literally one of the worst plays I've ever seen. It started off with three inner-city knackers plotting to rape a more well-to-do woman on her way home from a night out in Dublin (she was also 'Irish' but didn't even try to conceal her blatantly English accent) and finished up in a graveyard in Cambodia. The first twenty minutes or so were pretty tense but it was all downhill from there. Truly heinous.
Right, I've waffled on for far too long about the shows and run out of time on this here internet booth. Gonna go grab some food before I head to work.
Watch this space for more, more, more...