Friday, January 30, 2009
I, however, am a firm subscriber to the church of Weebls Stuff and relish the prospect of a new instalment of Cat Face adventures. Episode 12 does not disappoint.
If you haven't experienced the joys/torture of Cat Face yet, be sure to check out episodes 1 - 11.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
I decided to investigate the source of all this excitement and, sure enough, there seems to be good reason for all the endorsements. Imelda May is a London-based, Dublin-born singer fusing rockabilly with some more contemporary influences. She's not the type of artist I would typically take an interest in but, based on this Jools Holland performance, I'd be surprised if she doesn't make a major impression on the live circuit over the next twelve months.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Ugly Megan - After being impressed by their support slot for Tilly and The Wall last October, I was delighted to catch Orlando and Kathi's performance at TAC last night. Their wonderfully weird brand of Waterford hip-hop was made all the better by the sudden appearance of about twenty semi-naked dancers onstage for the closing number. File next to Camille O' Sullivan and Duke Special under 'Artists That Sound Much Better Live Than On Your Ipod'.
The Pope on Youtube - I jest not.
Credit Munch - Spar have sandwiches for €1, Londis have Pepsi Max for 30 cent and Kit Kats for 38 cent. Recession come good. More of this, please.
Skins Season 3 - Although many are still pining for Tony et al., the consensus is that the first episode of the new series exceeded expectations. We got NTL digital today at our house so hopefully I'll be able to avoid snail-pace streaming from the E4 site from now on.
Dressing Up - Costumes make any night out at least 17% more fun. FACT.
Twitter - This looks poised to be the next online social networking fad. I previously 'shoved' Facebook and then had to eat my words so I expect it's only a matter of time before I succumb to this site too.
The Demise of State Magazine - Everybody seemed to love State when it first hit the shelves a year ago so it's a little surprising to see the magazine floundering. After a couple of months, it was downgraded to a free-sheet and now, because of a lack of funds, they've had to ditch the physical format altogether and distribute it as an online PDF. Bad buzz.
Extortionate Gas Bills - Let's just say I'll be reaching for my biggest, ugliest jumper instead of the central heating switch.
Cancelled Nitelink Routes - From Monday 2nd February there is no Monday to Thursday nitelink service. It's things like this that result in CIE getting 'shoved' on here more often than anybody else.
"This Service Is Not Available in Your Country" - Racists.
[Ugly Megan Image: Analogue]
Historically, the Meteor Awards have thrown up some questionable nominations and winners (The Revs beating Gemma Hayes and Damien Rice for 'Best Irish Newcomer' in 2002, for instance) but, apart from The Killers being nominated for a performance that didn't actually take place, there are few glaringly obvious inclusions or omissions this year.
The Blizzards, The Script and face-borrowers Fight Like Apes (above) lead the nominations with three apiece. I'm pleasantly surprised to see Camille O' Sullivan and Lykke Li shortlisted for 'Best Irish Female' and 'Best International Female' respectively. Nicely done, Team Meteor. Nicely done.
The awards ceremony takes place on 17th of March in the RDS and, if it sounds like an enjoyable way to spend St. Paddy's Day, you can buy tickets from tomorrow for a reasonable price of €30.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
I discvered them as a result of an excellent remix they did of Ladyhawke's 'My Delirium'. Their brand of pastiche pop might be a bit 'done' at this stage but Fan Death's latest single 'Veronica's Veil' is undeniably super.
On my hitlist are:
14 Feb, 2009 - 20:10 @ Cineworld
15 Feb 2009 - 20:00 at Movies @ Dundrum
20 Feb, 2009 - 18:00 at Cineworld
Details on all the screenings can be viewed here.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Their quirky rendition of the track is fairly brilliant and it turns out their own stuff is decent too. Latest single 'Skeleton Boy' is great and the song is teamed with an equally impressive video.
Isn't the melody on the chorus very similar to Olive's 'You're Not Alone'?
[Image: The Fader]
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
1. Rather predictably, the two biggest selling UK acts of 2008, Duffy and Coldplay, lead the nominations with nods in four categories each.
2. The Ting Tings being nominated for Best Album: criminal. The Ting Tings not being nominated for Best Single: criminal.
3. The Streets? Paul Weller? Ian Brown? Obviously a vintage year for the British Male Solo Artist.
4. Jay Z? Neil Diamond? Seasick Steve? Obviously a vintage year for the International Male Solo Artist.
5. Girls Aloud vs. Radiohead for Best British Group is genius. Somebody needs to make a 'Jaydiohead' style mashup album. G.A.-diohead perhaps.
6. Cover versions should be banned from the Best British Single category. Alexandra Burke's 'interpretation' of Cohen/Buckley is one thing, but the inclusion of the X Factor Contestants' butchering of an old Mariah tune is bordering on farcical.
7. Santogold's inclusion in the Best International Female category somewhat compensates for Gabriella Cilmi's theft of Rihanna's nomination.
8. Florence (of 'and the Machine' fame) should kindly decline the 'Adele Prize' unless she plans on following Adele's popularity trajectory.
9. Adele's inclusion in the nominees is most likely an attempt by organisers to justify her 'win' last year.
10. No Brits for Brit.
The full list of the nominations is availble from NME here.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Narrowly edging out the word 'bailout' to top the list was the word 'change'. Here's hoping the man advocating this 'change' is up to the challenge.
All the best, Mr. President.
I watched the movie last night on a reasonably large laptop screen but, a few minutes in, I began to seriously regret not forking out the cash to see it in the cinema. The cinematography is easily the best of any movie I've seen over the past twelve months and I imagine it'd be even more impressive on the big screen. The film's score, which features a number of appearances by genre-melding songstress M.I.A., is equally fantastic.
The film is based on a book I'd previously read, 'Q&A' by Indian Author Vikas Swarup. I enjoyed the book but thought its story of a young man competing on the Indian version of 'Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?' was slightly contrived and that the narrative was a little formulaic. The story has been adapted quite drastically for the screenplay and, altough I think the plot is probably one of the weaker facets of the movie, it's a massive improvement on Swarup's original text.
A woman in Eurospar today went to enormous effort to persuade a slightly-mortified sales clerk, who possessed very little English, that he should go see this film. Statuettes or no statuettes, if 'Slumdog Millionaire' can have that sort of effect on people, it's destined to become a modern classic.
[Image: The Guardian]
Monday, January 19, 2009
The Daily Mail report claims the collective gloom is a result of six factors: winter weather, Christmas credit card bills. abandoned New Year's resolutions, fears over job security, mounting debt and the house price collapse. They also predict that one in five people will call in sick to work. Disaster.
If you've fallen victim to the epidemic of woe, my advice is to try some lolcat therapy. The abundance of feline funniness on this cult site is bound to lift anybody's mood.
Cat's That Look Like Hitler
Cats in Sinks
Sunday, January 18, 2009
In her latest youtubular post, the thirty-fifth in the series, she namechecked the excellent David E. Sugar and a Canadian electronic artist called Milosh.
Credit must go to Immi because Milosh is a quite a find. His sleepy, lo-fi lullabies are the perfect companion to the M83 album 'Saturdays = Youth', which has been providing the soundtrack to my January blues.
Keeping with the theme of lonely robots, this song 'My Name is Lucy' by Lucy London offers a deliciously satirical take on net culture. I heard it when getting my hair cut and, after a great deal of difficulty, managed to track it down.
[Image: Last FM]
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Here's the first part of the first episode of Series 3 of Skins, which kick off on E4 next week. It provides an introduction to some of the new cast, as well as welcoming back a couple of familiar faces.
Lyndsay found this alternative trailer for the American Market. Eyes peeled for Ardal O' Hanlon.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
According to The Irish Times report, the biggest talking point regarding the list is the inclusion of the debut album by commercial pop-rockers The Script "at the expense of critically acclaimed efforts by Ham Sandwich and Republic of Loose".
As much as I dislike The Script's music, their eponymous LP has been monstrously successful both here and abroad in a year when very few Irish artists' albums were. Surely this is worthy of recognition? Plus, Ham Sandwich never quite warranted their initial hype, as far as I'm concerned.
The awards, intended as an Irish equivalent to the Mercury or Polaris Music Awards, are now in their fourth year. Previous winners are Julia Feeney (2006), The Divine Comedy (2007), and Super Extra Bonus Party (2008).
The shorlist in full:
Fight Like Apes - Fight Like Apes and the Mystery of the Golden Medallion
Mick Flannery - White Lies
Halfset - Another Way of Being There
Lisa Hannigan - Sea Sew
David Holmes - The Holy Pictures
Jape - Ritual
Messiah J & The Expert -From The Word Go
Oppenheimer - Take The Whole Mid-Range And Boost It
R.S.A.G. -Organic Sampler
The Script - The Script
[Image: Button Factory]
The latest in a long line of artists to be called [Boy's or Girl's Name] and the [Inanimate Object], at least the fact that the singer's real name is Marina Diamond makes her moniker a little more fathomable than the likes of Florence and the Machine, Joe Lean and the Jing Jang Jong, or Tilly and the Wall.
On her myspace, Diamond claims to be from Ancient Greece and 'melodramatic popular song' is the genre ascribed to her music. The three songs featured are equally brilliant but I'll leave you with 'Obsessions' because Marina and her diamonds are the latest additions to mine.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
All non-music items, such as interviews, movie reviews, etc. have been dropped as RTE cuts back on its number of radio producers. Una hits the nail on the head when she says that 2FM are naive to let the talents of these two presenters go to waste as they churn out playlisted pop instead: "Do the people who make decisions at 2fm not understand that if young people want to listen to music, they plug in their iPod or whack on Last.fm? Do they really just want the afternoon slots at 2fm to turn into a soundtrack for customers at Spar or petrol stations?"
And here was me thinking that radio-journalism was the route I wanted to take...
Monday, January 12, 2009
Reading: The Sunday World. I saw the paper mid-way through production when I visited their office during the week so I was curious to see how it turned out.
Listening to: 'Secret' by The Pierces (above)
Eating: Christmas cake. I've almost eaten a whole one single-mouthedly.
Watching: Youtube clips of 'Lions vs. Buffalo vs. Crocodile'. Seriously.
Excited for: Upcoming trip to Prague in February.
Dreading: Facing DCU library tomorrow morning.
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Saturday, January 10, 2009
Today I stood waiting in a shop for two cents' change. After about five seconds, I realised that they weren't coming and, at precisely the same moment, the shop assistant realised what I was waiting for and scooped a two-cent piece out of the till for me. A friend of mine had an almost identical experience last night, so I got to wondering: what's the protocol in situations like this?
If you just walk off without waiting for your coppers, is that not a bit blasé? A bit "the extra few seconds of my precious time that I've saved by not waiting is worth a lot more than two bloody cents"?
Or is it perhaps courteous to leave those cents with the shopkeeper, particularly considering the recessionary times we're living in? Maybe all the cennies will build up and help to postpone liquidation just that little bit longer?
Friday, January 09, 2009
The poll of music industry experts placed Gaga as the sixth most likely artist to succeed in 2009.
Earlier in the week, the fifth, fourth and third spots were conferred upon La Roux, Empire of the Sun and Florence and the Machine respectively and yesterday White Lies were declared runner-up in the list.
The lone 'rock' act in an especially poppy Top 5, the London based trio make moody rock music that combines heavy guitar riffs with earthy vocals from vocalist Harry McVeigh. Of the artists in the Top 5, this act is the one I'd be least likely to listen to but I reckon they are one of the most likely to enjoy major success.
Here's the video to their morbidly titled new single 'To Lose My Life'
Today, Little Boots (known as Victoria Hesketh to her mammy and daddy) was unveiled as the number one artist likely to succeed this year. Yet another synth-pop princess, the Little Boots project was born after Hesketh's involvement in a band called Dead Disco (who I always felt had the ingredients to be quite brilliant but somehow weren't) came to an end in 2007.
Over the past twelve months, she has amassed a substantial online following as a result of regularly posting cover versions of songs by other artists on her Youtube channel. Theses songs ranged from Hot Chip and Girls Aloud to The Human League and Estelle.
[Image: The Fader]
Later, Little Boots' own material began to surface and generated considerable blog hype. In November, she appeared on Later with Jools Holland playing a Japanese gadget called a Tenori-on in a performance that no doubt widened her fanbase. Check out the video below as well as her single, Stuck on Repeat, whose title aptly sums up how much I've been playing the Fake Blood remix of the song the past few days.
Frankmusik didn't even make the Top 10 on the list. Better luck next year, eh?
Thursday, January 08, 2009
Chanelling Kates Bush and Nash in equal measure, 22-year-old Florence Welch has established a reputation as a formidable live performer over the past twelve months. The striking freshness of her singles 'Kiss With a Fist' and 'Dog Days are Over' has endeared her to many but her quirky renditions of other people's tracks, such as Beirut's 'Postcards from Italy' and Candi Staton's 'You've Got The Love', have garnered just as much attention.
The Critics' Choice Award (aka The Adele Prize) is to be presented to Florence in February at the Brit Awards. Personally, I think these types of awards can be a mixed blessing as there will undoubtedly be people that take issue with accolades being bestowed upon artists they feel have yet to earn such honours.
In any case, enjoy 'Dog Days are Over':
Wednesday, January 07, 2009
Free downlaod of Röyksopp recent special release 'Happy Birthday available here.
A few weeks back, I mentioned that the BBC 'Sound of 2009' shortlist had been unveiled following a poll of music industry gurus to assess which new musical acts are likely to make a splash in 2009. Previous 'Sound of...' predictions have been spookily accurate so I was eager to see the final list.
This week, the Top 10 are being announced (in a somewhat convoluted fashion) and, so far, they've named the fourth and fifth acts most likely to make a name for themselves this year.
At number 5 is La Roux, who I've previously blogged about.
Seemingly, La Roux are a duo and the name is not just a pseudonym for singer, Ellie Jackson. Their sound fuses Jackson's Annie Lennox-esque vocals with luscious synths and quirky beats from her production partner, Ben Langmaid. A mission statement to "bring back the 1980's" is hardly a novel ambition right now, but we'll forgive this silliness if their album delivers on the promise of single, 'Quicksand'.
Fourth position has been bestowed upon Aussie pair, Empire of the Sun. (Is it just me or have duos suddenly become very trendy? Probably something to do with Same Difference, I suspect...)
Empire of the Sun are yet another act drawing on the 1980's for inspiration, both in terms of music and image. The brainchild of Nick Littlemore of electro outfit, Pnau, and Luke Steele of indie band, The Sleepy Jackson, the band are aptly described as "extras from a psychedelic Star Wars" by BBC. With the pair assuming the identities of superheroes Emperor Steele and Lord Littlemore, it seems they're having some fun with the project but, even if the longevity of their appeal is questionable, the blog-hype surrounding this pair suggests we'll be hearing plenty from them over the next few months.
Here's their single "Walking On A Dream":
The Top 3 will most likely contain Lady Gaga and Florence and the Machine. Not sure who else will be there. I'd love it to be Franmusik or Little Boots but I reckon they'll want somebody less poppy so perhaps Passion Pit, Kid Cudi or White Lies will make the cut. We'll soon see.
Saturday, January 03, 2009
This trailer for the third series, featuring an (almost) all-new cast, positively spews all over your computer screen:
My spider sense tells me there'll be a backlash to this. The series begins on 22nd of January on E4.
As in RebekkaMaria - At the end of the calendar year, bloggers LOVE making lists of what was good and what was bad about the past year. One album that came to my attention as a result of these lists is 'Queen of France' by Denmark-born, Sweden-based pop pixie As In RebekkaMaria. With Norwegian poptart Annie out of the picture for the time being after her recent departure from Island Records, somebody needed to take over the helm of the europop revolution so the arrival of As in RebekkaMaria and her punchy pop ditties couldn't have come at a better time.
http://www.reasonsyouarespecial.com/ - One of a selection of cute websites from the people who bring you Converse.
Six Feet Under - I had forgotten how much I love this programme until Santa Claus brought me a box set of Series 2. (Series 1 might have been a better starting point but I'm not complaining). The brilliant characters, superb acting, gorgeous cinematography and murky themes all make for compulsive viewing and, as a result, I've now resolved to collect all five series. The best thing about re-watching Six Feet Under is that I get to look forward to, what at least one other person agrees is, the best series finale of all time.
Sarah Cramer Photography - She'll be photographing scantily-clad Miley Cyrus in no time at all.
Jameson Dublin International Film Festival - Soon to be my new employers, the JDIFF is shaping up to be a great auld fest. Here's hoping my employment extends a little longer than Christmas on Ice (two weeks) and that I catch a glimpse of some of the superstar-stars.
Emigration - Friends, family members, multinational corporations. They're dropping like flies.
"Your love-life's DOA..." - I haven't so much as fancied somebody in months. What's wrong with me? Although, I must admit that this shot of Frankmusik succeeded in brightening up my day.
Alexandra Burke - Biggest selling single of 2008? Tch. Be gone, you one-woman-blubathon.
RTE Television - I watched a lot more television than normal over the festive period and the standard of programming on RTE is truly appalling. Maybe it's competition with digital TV that's driving them to produce this lowest-common-denominator drivel but I really wish they'd ditch at least some of the reality TV shite and focus on making some quality drama along the lines of 'Raw' and 'Batchelors Walk'.
Bus fares - Up again? €1.15 and €1.60 are awkard, awkward amounts, Dublin Bus.
The rules are as follows:
1. Go to the 4th folder in your computer where you store your pictures.
2. Pick the 4th picture in that folder.
3. Explain the picture.
4. Tag 4 people to do the same!
This picture was taken last May after I received an e-mail from my friend Ann Marie requesting an "upclose pic of yourself, maybe wearing something unusual". The picture was to be used in a personalised version of the boardgame 'Guess Who?' that was being made as a birthday present for our friend, Jo-Ann. This was a failed attempt at taking the photo. I think I may have pressed the button on the camera before I was entirely ready. Oops.
Lyndsay has already ear-marked three of the most likely candidates for me to tag so I'm going to go with: Eimear R, Michael, Noel and Maeve.