A very welcome TWIMBLT from YourCousin, who relates his experiences at elk camp.
I will admit that this elk camp didn’t exactly start off well. Working all night and then driving out to the ranch in a white out blizzard to get the horses certainly was a less than the auspicious start than I was hoping for. But after waiting for dawn to break so we could see we got the horses loaded up alright and got off to a good if late start.
I will save you all the suspense and say that we were skunked this year. All the elements were there. We were up everyday at 3:30am out of camp by 5am, we hunted from dawn until dusk, and would get back to camp at 8pm every night. Our hunting ground was five miles in, off a logging road on which no motorized traffic was allowed so that you to ride in (on a horse or bicycle) or hike in. As the weather was worse this year than last the bicycle wasn’t really an option. Side note, Even when the weather is agreeable mountain biking can still be a pain in the ass, as last year (when we did use bikes) my innertube not only came undone and gave me a flat but also got caught up in the spokes so that I ended up carrying my bike along with my day pack and rifle out the five miles.
That being said the horse option is not exactly pastoral as it sounds. Aside from the fact that they are totally ranch broke, they were not camp broke. So that means that while they can be saddled and rode around the ranch with no problem they were not used to hunting camp and were therefor stressed out. A stressed out horse is essentially a thousand pound unhappy dog. This manifested itself Sunday morning when my horse decided that he didn’t want to go hunting but rather wanted to stay corralled and eat hay all day. When I gave him the ‘gidde up’ and eased the reins to one side he decided that that was too much and starting rearing up and back. I wish I could say that the only my pride was
hurt but that would be a lie, my ego is fairly flexible and I’m no stranger to making an ass out of my self. Unfortunately my spine isn’t able to bounce back as easily and it hurt, a lot. That being said it could have been much, much worse as the horse when he bucked me off also slipped on the snow and ice and he went down as well. Now that would have scared the bejesus out of me had I had time to think about it before it was all over but obviously had he fallen on me or had I still been on him when he went down there would have been a lot more to complain than a sore back and a cricked neck. As it was he got up, ran a few yards and started eating grass. I hobbled over and brought him back to the trail hopped onto him and rode him up.
We saw moose three times and saw fifteen deer. I’m strictly a meat hunter so I normally pull for cow elk and doe deer, but I will admit that last years fat four point buck has turned into a nice five point and he has a habit of crossing my kill zone and then bedding down in some sparse (yet effective cover as no one sees him) in my partner’s kill zone. If finances work out alright I might be convinced to drag a deer five miles out next year and put in for a buck and just buy my cow tag over the counter. We also kicked up four coveys of dusky grouse plus a number of singles which have done well since the clear cutting of the beetle killed pine trees in the area as they do best in cleared out forest, not the densely populated mature forest cover that was here before.
A quick note of explanation of how big game hunting works here in Colorado. The state is divided up into Game Management Units. Each unit is studied to see how well the different species are doing in that area and based on that it is decided how many permits to issue. In the unit that we were in you have to draw for deer, but can buy cow tags (female elk) over the counter as there are always left over tags from the draw process. You can only draw for a bull tag (male elk) in first or forth season. Rifle season goes for about a month, so you have a first through forth season which run for about a week each. There’s also archery, and muzzle loading seasons which run earlier in the year, but honestly the developments in modern compound bows and muzzleloading rifles (this ain’t yer great, great, great, grand daddies muzzle loader) renders some of the primitivist aura moot in my humble opinion.
The mix from this weekend came from two sources, firstly from a mix my brother made me years ago and from a post on the Millard of Discontent. My truck is older and as long she runs to get me to work I’ll drive her ’til she explodes, but as she pushes twenty years old she has developed quirks. The mixed CD my brother made me had been in the player for about three months when I left for camp.
Because thats about how long it takes for the CD player to spit a cd back out. So it’s fairly critical especially when leaving areas with good radio reception to have a cd you can stand to listen to over and over, and over. About half of the songs on here come from that CD.
“Shovel and Ropes” Boxcar
“Shovel and Ropes” Birmingham
Ryan Bingham “Rolling Highway Blues”
Townes van Zandt “Snowing on Raton”
Guy Clark Rita Ballou
“White Freight Liner” Gillian Welch
“Don’t let the sunshine fool ya” Townes van Zandt
This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to…..Power of Dreams November 30, 2013Posted by irishelectionliterature in This Weekend I'll Mostly Be Listening to....
A band I was very fond of when they were around in the late 80′s and early 90′s. Saw them a number of times live back then. They had a number of albums and EP’s most of which I have on vinyl. Their first album ‘Immigrants, Emigrants and me’ remains a favourite. They were slightly popular back then and were tipped for great things. They were very popular in Japan and there were all sorts of fancy looking Japanese Import Power of Dreams CDs in some of the better record shops.
They reformed in 2009. There’s a fairly good 2009 interview from Craig Walker of the band here .
The second video below was filmed in London. Same studio as nothing compares 2u apparently.
Easy to guess who I’ll be mostly listening to in two weeks time .
This weekend I’ll also be listening to… people who died November 23, 2013Posted by WorldbyStorm in Culture, This Weekend I'll Mostly Be Listening to....
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And here from Joe Mooney and addition brief TWIMBLT…
So , while checking out Willie Niles videos before his recently in The Village, Wexford Street, I saw his cover version of Jim Carrolls great “People who died”. So that got me thinking ….
Here it is , the original, by the man most famous for “The Basketball Diaries” and singer with the imaginatively titled “The Jim Carroll Band”. First released in 1980 on the album “Catholic Boy”.
I also just spotted for the first time this Patti Smith version.
And here’s Willie Niles version,that started this whole thing anyhow.
Cheery stuff indeed, but enjoy .
This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… Heliotropes – A Constant Sea November 23, 2013Posted by WorldbyStorm in Culture, This Weekend I'll Mostly Be Listening to....
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Funny talking about Lush a month or two back, for here’s a group that in a way connects with another early 1990s form of music – that being the explosion of guitar oriented rock that sort of occurred on foot of grunge.
Jessica Numsuwankijkul, Amber Myers, Cici Harrison and Nya Abudu produce an unusual mix of stoner guitars and almost post-punk vocals. A Constant Sea is their first album, and it’s an invigorating listen, and fairly tightly constrained with no track over 5 minutes and most in or around the 4 minute mark.
The cover of the album depicts a woman with a sort of Donnie Darko style metal face mask – not a rabbit in this instance but a human one. That’s okay. Sort of different given that the music isn’t goth but again, that’s okay.
They say they are big fans of Smashing Pumpkins, and that’s okay too. Always liked the music, and particularly the more new-wave/post-punk influenced stuff, never so fond of the Corgan vocals.
But these vocals are good, almost off-hand in their delivery (so much so they remind me of the Breeders). And it’s not just the vocals. It’s almost effortlessly cool, great slabs of bass driven sludgey guitar rock that stays just the right side of metal, while retaining some degree of heaviness. They could be jamming with Monster Magnet and “Moonlite” or “Good and Evil’s” riffs would not be out of place an early Sabbath albums.
But there’s a more contemporary sheen as well, in part in the way that the instrumentation will drop almost away leaving the vocals, and backing vocals, harmonised and floating above subdued beats or almost ambient guitar sounds. Or the way the multi-tracked vocals are smeared over the slower passages as on the middle part of “Good and Evil” or the vocal sounds on “Joy Unfolds”. That’s no legacy of the late 60s or early 70s but seems closer to an overtly post-punk/grunge approach. The Breeders, L7, even Sonic Youth and in an odd way Mazzy Star (or Opal), are reference points.
Yet the clear affinity the group has to traditional heavy rock forms somehow merges with them to produce something near enough unique. “Ribbons” is a perfect example, those detached vocals lead into swells of none more cool howling psychedelic tinged guitars. “Christine”, which has a 50s feel to it is the closest one gets to a pop song, and yet that pop sensibility is undercut by a wave of distorted guitars that breaks midway through the track and then almost immediately subsides.
It’s a great combination and points to directions various they might go following this album.
Some revies have said that the production is just a little too clean, but then – I don’t know, it sort of underscores the pin-point precision of the instrumentation. And it also is a nod at their origins, apparently Numsuwankijkul and Myers wanted to play Eno-styled music.
Been listening to this a lot.
Early in the Morning
This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… The Revenants November 16, 2013Posted by irishelectionliterature in This Weekend I'll Mostly Be Listening to....
Was searching through CD’s and found The two albums by The Revenants. ‘Horse of a Different Colour’ and ‘Septober Nowonder’. I hadn’t listened to them for a long time and they really brought me back to that time when they emerged in the early 90′s in Dublin. Their brilliant gigs in Whelans and that wonderful satisfaction that comes from bringing people along to gigs to bands they’d never heard and them loving it. They featured Stephen Ryan formerly of The Stars of Heaven and like the wonderful Sewing Room produced some great music that had some echoes of the Stars of Heaven. Of course they were great bands in their own right too.
Since The Revenants Stephen Ryan was involved with a group The Dinah Brand (I’m not sure if they are still going)
Of ‘Horse of a Different Colour’ the record company site had the following
The album was recorded on an 8 track machine with producer/engineer Chris O’Brien. “I think we would have lost a lot of the performances by dissecting them and spending , say 10 days getting the drum tracks done.” “Most of the songs are love songs of one kind of another” reflects Stephen with the benefit of hindsight. “They were written out of a necessity rather then sitting down and calculatingly writing a song”. The songs are populated by ordinary people battling with daily existence in an everyday manner, the delicate melodies set against Stephen’s fragile voice.
Indeed the albums liberal sprinkling of alcohol related songs “The drinking side of me”, “Let’s get falling down drunk” were proved to have been written in the first person when on a number of Irish dates the bands guitarist Doug was unable to stay vertical throughout the gig and during the first song of the set “Let’s get falling down” preceded to do exactly that and indeed stayed on the floor for the rest of the show. Also guesting on the album is vocalist Eileen Gogan who sings on two tracks “Capercailye” and “Wiliam Byrd”. Eileen was formerly singer with other Peel favourites
The Revenants on this album were;
Stephen Ryan – Guitar, Vocals
Doug Steen – Guitar
Jeremy Irvin – Bass
Chris Heaney – Drums
Don Ryan – Keyboards
Of ‘Septober Nowonder’ (released in 1999) their website wrote….
Septober Nowonder was recorded in three counties and over about the same number of years, if we include the two Kevin Shirley recorded tunes that were done in February 95 at Totally Wired in Dublin. Basic tracks on the remainder of the songs were done in Bow Lane, and from then on the band and their slim recording equipment meandered between a farm in Kilbride, Co Wicklow (electric fence clearly audible on a couple of the fade-outs), a horse farm in Rathcoole (no whinnying
audible as far as we know) and a couple of flats in Dublin. This process involved bursts of enthusiasm and activity, and a few directionless months where the momentum kind of slackened off. Not having a big money clock on the wall works both ways … If you plan to do this thing yourself, make sure that you are hiring at least one vital piece of equipment – it’ll focus you for sure.
The Revenants hold you all in the greatest esteem and hope you enjoy the
The Revenants on this album were;
Stephen Ryan – Guitar, Vocals
Connor Brady – Guitar
Jeremy Irvin – Bass
Chris Heaney – Drums
Don Ryan – Keyboards
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For most people who remember the Primitives they’ll probably have a memory of 1988’s Crash, a fast moving soft Jesus and Mary Chain inflected poppy number that raced up the charts, became a break-out indie hit and saw them achieve a passing prominence outside that particular genre. The accompanying album and its successor were in a similar vein, with vocals from Tracy Tracy (Cattell)and a sometimes surprisingly rocky guitar underpinning them. There was always something of the 1960s about them, from Tracy Tracy’s platinum hair to the sometimes near psychedelic arrangements.
I liked them up to the point, though across the length of an entire album they could on occasion be a bit samey. But in truth across whole albums most bands get a bit samey and when your songs clock in at the 3 minute mark it’s hard to complain.
The music press generally didn’t like them at all, quite unfairly it seemed to me, and despite releasing two or three albums they went quiet after a number of years.
A while back I was listening to their first album and curious I discovered that a year or two ago they’ d returned with an EP of new compositions and a covers LP.
It’s the latter which really caught my attention, because, well, it’s great. 14 tracks of obscure but unbelievably catchy 1960s and very early 1970s pop gems, almost all originally sung by women artists, and most now forgotten. As one review put it, when the most well-known track is by Nico you know you’re dealing with interesting record collections. But look at the names. Suzi Jane Hokum, Tony Basil, they’re all in there.
Thing is the Primitives approach the material with respect but with no fear about adding a certain degree of contemporary power. Tracy Cattell’s voice is assured, and PJ Court’s guitars are amped up to provide an interestingly garage-inflected sound which diverts the songs away from pure pop without losing their charm. And if the lyrical content is sometimes all too redolent of a different age Cattell conveys a sufficiently knowing and ironic quality in her vocals to undercut the reactionary aspects, though content-wise some of the lines are darker than might be expected. Panic, I Surrender, The Witch come over as instant classics, or is that classic classics? It’s all great, and there’s an interesting interview here with Cattell which explains their history and their reformation (and the not unimportant fact that she is a Go-Betweens fan). They’re still active having released the fine Lose the Reason track, written by themselves, earlier this year.
Panic (by Reparata & The Delrons)
I Surrender (by Bonnie St.Claire)
The Witch (originally by Adam and Eve)
Turn off the Moon (originally by Sue Lyon)
Sunshine In My Rainy Day Mind (by Polly Niles)
Lose the Reason (by the Primitives)
This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… Barry McCormack November 2, 2013Posted by irishelectionliterature in This Weekend I'll Mostly Be Listening to....
A very welcome guest post from my friend Jack…..
It’s been 18 years since Barry McCormack played an impromptu solo on the second single, “twenty two years” of his brothers band, Dublin lo fi merchants™, Jubilee Allstars. Immediately joining the band he went on to record two further studio albums before deciding to call it a day and embark on his solo career.
Five well received albums later, with comparisons ranging from Bob Dylan, Shane McGowan, Brendan Behan through to Leonard Cohen, Barry releases his latest set of odes to his city Dublin, with the album Cut Throat Lane.
Named after an old long since renamed street of Dublin that used lie next to the old Murdering Lane, Cut Throat Lane comprises some of McCormacks most mature work to date, ably backed once again by Joss Moorkens, Michael Murphy, John Hegarty and Gary Fitzpatrick.
I like the familiarity you get with the characters in Barry’s songs, lines like “I seem to be down to my last pair of socks,” and “Mulrooney was on the couch in his dressing gown and his jocks,” are sentiments we can all relate to.
On Barry’s albums there’s usually the one or two songs that stand out above the rest, the ones with the catchier hook or the more rousing chorus. That’s not the case on this album the set of songs stands together so well. As always Barry finishes his album with a gem, this time with “The sticky floors of you heart” containing the lyric “They’re dancing rings across the sticky floors of your heart”
A lyric which like one of my favourites from Wilco “The ashtray says, you’ve been up all night” conveys so much meaning and feeling in just a few short words.
Sit back and enjoy.
Just a round up of stuff I’ve been listening to in recent months that hasn’t made it into previous TWIMBLT’s…
“Bud” – Honeyblood
Honeyblood is a Scottish band and Bud was released this week. I know nothing at all about them, but it’s a great song and the B-Side ‘Kissing on You’ is even better.
“Forbidden Planet – Main Title” Bebe and Louis Barron
I think this is remarkable in its own way, Bebe and Louis Barron were early electronic composers, according to the wiki page on them, he built the circuits and she composed the music from snippets of sound. The score for Forbidden Planet from 1956 is perhaps their best known work, and that this does work as music is fascinating. I throw the following in, from Joan Baez and Peter Shickele for Silent Running, as a completely different way to approach SF film music, though note the undertow of electronic beats and synth.
‘This Lonely Morning’ – Best Coast
One of a number of tracks from their new album. A tougher sound than the last album, smoother than their first. I like it. More on them soon.
“Mindless Ones” – Monster Magnet
Fresh from their new album released this week, Wyndorf and Co. shift back towards the psychedelia tinged rock of their early years. Light show and Hawkwind style synth sounds obligatory. Great stuff.
“The Last Dance (Modulate Mix)” – Covenant
The original track, drawn from Covenant’s new – and in places excellent – Leaving Babylon album, I can take or leave though no end of reviewers are keen to describe it as a modern classic, but this remix is great with the addition of the driving trancy keyboards.
“Fly Feather Fly” – Donita Sparks & The Stellar Moments
I mentioned L7 a couple of weeks ago and here from lead vocalist Donita Sparks is a great single from her extremely impressive solo album released in the late 2000s. Eschewing metal punk, although an hint of it here and there, the album is in an electropop style all her own.
“Closer to Real” – Iris
Synth driven pop from US outfit Iris. They’ve been going for years now, and appear to be on an hiatus, but this, from their most recent album from 2010, is pretty great.
“I Wouldn’t Know” – Steve Kilbey & Martin Kennedy
A slice of Antipodean pop/psychedelia from Kilbey and Kennedy. The album it’s drawn from is excellent. A significant advance on their previous two.
“Delusional Waste” – SPC-ECO
Excellent bit of dance/shoe gaze from SPC-ECO who were first referenced on the CLR all the way back in 2009.
“Nix” – Dawn of Midi
Using traditional, non-electronic, instruments they take a similar line to Brandt Brauer Frick, albeit in a slower, more meditative fashion.
“1234 feat Ragga Twins” – Mark Pritchard
One half of Global Communications yet, this – out now as part of the Lock Off EP, is very different to his previous excursions.
“Private Road” – Bent
A great ethereal slice of electronica/soul from the now defunct Bent, sampling pranksters turned more serious musicians. It reminds me in some way of Cuba’s magisterial Starshine, they’re not the same, but there’s an element of the latter in the former. I throw it in just ‘cos.
“Feral Days” – Hey, Hello
Hey, Hallo, aka singer Victoria Liedtke and Ginger from the Wildhearts whip up a storm with the latter’s trademark blend of punk/metal/pop but with the vital addition of Liedtke’s vocals high up in the mix. Anyone familiar with the Wildhearts won’t find this a massive departure, big singalong choruses – check, crunchy guitar riffing – check, melodic to a fault – check. But it’s great stuff, and if you like this check out the not quite vainglorious and clearly autobiographical ‘How I Survived the Punk Wars’.
“Boulevard of Broken Dreams” – Hanoi Rocks
Never thought they sounded as good in practice as they did in theory, but this song is pretty great.
“Broadsword” – Jethro Tull
Many years ago I heard this on Tommy Vance’s metal show on BBC radio. It stuck in my head. It’s not rock, and it’s not quite folk so God knows what it was doing on the show. Apparently the eponymous album from which it’s drawn is no great shakes, lyrically it’s awful sub-Tolkienesque stuff, the kind that makes Zeppelin’s ‘No Quarter’ seem like high art, but to my ears the melody is great and I can just about forgive the none-more-pomp rock 1980s keyboard that intrudes at 1.28 or thereabouts.
This weekend I’ll also be listening to… Black 47 October 19, 2013Posted by WorldbyStorm in Culture, This Weekend I'll Mostly Be Listening to....
A very welcome guest post from Joe Mooney which complements IEL’s This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to also from today…
“Fueled by its ever-present political passion and a sense of humour to match, Black 47 has chronicled the Irish-American experience in a wonderfully unique fashion that stokes controversial fires as much as it revels in spinning absurdly funny tales.”
As one 2000 reviewer declared “They’ve raised consciousness, hell and the roof over the last decade” so it was a safe bet that I’d be liking them . As a Socialist , republican and music fan there were so many ways I could have come across the band , but it was not what you’d expect.
Circa 1992 I was flicking through a magazine called (as far as I remember)’Prison Times’, a mass market periodical aimed at Americas incarcerated population. Produced by Larry Flynt publications I think, amidst the many ad’s for body building supplements, etc, I spotted a short review of a Black 47 EP (Remember them?). The record sleeve caught my eye , and the review referred to James Connolly as a former prisoner and hunger striker. Pre iTunes era I never did manage to get that EP, despite at one stage asking a friend in New York to find it for me . Black 47 would soon after release the ‘Fire of Freedom’ CD , which reworked some of their earlier tunes and I did get this. This included ‘James Connolly’ which lived up to expectations – musically and lyrically ! And here it is, live and complete with raised fist salutes (which actor Danny Glover allegedly partook in once at a show).
How could you not like a song that not only includes the lyrics…
“…Protect the proletariat from the bosses and their screws
So hold on to your rifles, boys, and don’t give up your dream
Of a Republic for the workin’ class, economic liberty”
…But manages to make them flow seamlessly along. Black 47 vocalist Larry Kirwan recalls the power of the song when originally performed:
“The good songs would take care of themselves, the others would just fade away. But somewhere in the middle of Connolly the audience stopped dead – even drinks were left untouched. It was a strange moment. When we finally finished, there was a hush. Oftentimes, I still hear that hush during Connolly and I remember that first wonderful night.”
While singing about long martyred rebels was one thing , supporting still living versions would prove much more troublesome for the band. The band , headed up by Kirwan and NYPD officer Chris Byrne were setting the New York Irish scene on fire , gaining huge support at live shows and requests for radio play , but their political stance didn’t please everybody. They literally put their money where there mouth was , recording ‘Free Joe Now’ about maze escaper Joe Doherty , locked up awaiting extradition at that time. Black 47 refers to the worse year of the famine , so even the name was an insult in certain quarters . It is widely suspected that the bands potential success in the european market was sabotaged by this, and they never received the proper recognition they deserved.
Of course, the band was not exclusively political in subject matter – they were once described as ‘the house band of New York’ and their bar room residencies were legendary . Their catalogue of tunes would range from a capturing of the emigrant experience, the downright comical and even some underworld tales that were like Martin Scorcese ‘Mean Streets’ with bodhrans. Musically they are generally seen as celtic rock , but incorporate everything from reggae , punk, ska and all manner of ethnic flavourings. This was their breakthrough track, and is mostly a true story.
The band would continue to record songs of a political/historical nature , and Irish figures as diverse as Father Murphy of Boolavogue, Countess Markievicz ,Bobby Sands and Rosemary Nelson would all feature in songs over the years. Often presented dramatically in the voice of the subject character or those around them they offered a more political and balanced view than usual in such songs. This approach allows a song like ‘ The Big Fellah’ to recognises the revolutionary and heroic persona of Michael Collins , but also his political failure, as seen through the eyes of a former comrade.
“We beat them in the cities
and we whipped them in the streets
and the world hailed Michael Collins
our commander and our chief”
“We had to turn against you Mick
There was nothin’ we could do
’cause we couldn’t betray the public
Like Arthur Griffith and you “
The song appeared in the TV show,’Sons of Anarchy’ so here it is ,with a video that spoils seasons 1 to 5 of the show for anyone that hasn’t seen it yet.
The controversies faced by the band were not just caused by their stance on the ‘Irish situation’, nor did they limit their concerns to the plight of the Irish. Sad to say that Irish gays are still banned from the Paddy’s Day parade in New York City, but in their take on “Danny Boy” the band tell the fact based story of one New York Irish Gay man , and quite a touching tale it is too. Paul Robeson, singer, civil rights activist and international Brigade supporter is celebrated too in a powerful tribute, again told in the first person.
Both tracks appeared, appropriately, on ‘The Home of the Brave’ album, along with ‘Time to go ‘an unambiguous message about the continued British military presence in Ireland. It was shortly after this release that Chris Byrne left and continued his musical career with Seanchai and the Unity squad. Larry Kirwan remained with the band, but also undertook some solo projects. One of these was ‘Keltic Kids’ a collection of great, unpatronising children’s songs. Like some of the historical/political songs, many are written ‘in-character’ and include titles like ‘I won’t play with my brother’ (to the tune of ‘The Wild Rover’) and ‘I wanna be five for the rest of my life’. I found this CD by accident in a box marked “Various” in a record store . My daughter became a big fan of it, particularly ‘The pirate boy’, sang to the tune of ‘Whiskey in the jar”. I consider musical education an important part of parenting, and while she may be a big Miley Cyrus fan I know when she joins the 1,000s of teenage girls wearing Ramones tee-shirts she at least is a fan, and can name all the original members! Mission accomplished.
Kids tunes aside, controversy was never far away. The 9/11 attacks impacted on all New Yorkers , and the band were no exception , having to cope with the shock and loss like thousands more. Larry Kirwan describes the atmosphere for the band afterwards –
“In the tri-state area it wasn’t unusual for someone to approach with a photo of a fan and ask that we play his or her favourite song in memory. It was hard when you knew the deceased, even harder when you didn’t – to think that someone was so invested in you and you didn’t even know their name.”
As the American administration used the tragedy to justify and launch military action in the middle east the band were quick to nail their colours to the mast , and would lose many fans in the process.
“I can still see the fingers in the air as people walked out; still remember the threats, phone calls, emails, letters, and all the other instances of anger and disgust, and for what?…We lost many gigs and supporters in the first years of the war but that’s as it should be. At least we made a public stand and provided cover for others who shared our views. The saddest part was when people would write saying, “thank you for making this stand, I can’t do so because….” They’d lose their jobs, friends, even families; and this in the home of the brave, land of the free?”
The 2008 album ‘Iraq’ addresses the conflict from a number of angles, including “The ballad of Cindy Sheehan”, and was described as ‘an important historical work that also happened to have some good tunes.’ This is a live in Dublin recording of ‘Stars and stripes’, a soldiers plea to be sent home (to a rocking ‘Sloop John B’).
The title of the bands 2010 album ‘Bankers and Gangsters’ is evidence that their political outlook hasn’t changed and is still to the fore. They have recently announced that next year , after 25 years a-rockin’ the band will be disbanding . They will shortly be recording a final album ‘Last Call’ and embarking on a final tour, so hopefully they’ll be coming your way soon.
And heres a few final selections , covering the different aspects of the band across the years- history, politics, the emigrant experience and pure comedy.
Here’s the story of the Irish in the U.S. army who decided they didn’t appreciate going to war with Mexico and changed sides, and were of course punished accordingly but are remembered as heroes to this day .
And here’s the tall tales, bizarre characters and humour that made up so many great tunes . This one features the lustful ‘Citizen Gertie – a communist was she !’, intercontinental sham marriages and a bad timing misfortune brought out by the attempt to assassinate the pope. Apparently it’s a mostly true story too, and video is random dancing on a bar.
For the year that’s in it, heres ‘The Day they set Jim Larkin free’. Video is a selection of photos from recent commemoration event, with lyrics from the song appearing on a mural depicting the 1913 lockout evictions in East Wall. During the design stage quotes from Patrick Kavanagh and Sean O’Casey were under consideration but the Black 47 lyrics were deemed most fitting.
And finally this one, originally recorded in the early 1990′s. Black 47 were a band that were born in the Irish emigrant culture of New York city, almost a quarter century ago. This week we saw a budget passed which guarantees that the Irish emigrant experience has not come to an end as we see measures designed to drive another generation of young Irish abroad. The more things change…
This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… Songs about Emigration October 19, 2013Posted by irishelectionliterature in This Weekend I'll Mostly Be Listening to....
I said goodbye to a friend bound for Australia last weekend. It was almost surreal parting with the words “see you in a few years” . Himself and his wife went back down the country to spend the last few days with family before heading to the other side of the world. I thought naturally of his parents and family.
Still though like half the country we have the Sunday chats with various family on Skype and then every few months we manage to find a common time with those in New Zealand to say a few words. Seeing new nieces and nephews, waving to cousins over Skype.
The sad part is of course that our leaders had boasted during the boom that emigration was over, no longer were we rearing our young to go abroad. Thats struck a chord with many. Cork and briefly Belfast was the furthest I ever moved away from Dublin but in the years after I left school in the 80′s many of my friends left. Christmas time in the pub was full of returning emigrants from London, Germany and the odd one back from the US.
In my in-laws there is a photo from a wedding in the early 60′s, it was the one and only time all the seven siblings were together. Each one reared to leave….
Whats is disgusting though is that each person emigrating is not treated as the family tragedy it often is or as a failure of the state…..instead this Government and the last (and ones before them) treat it as a triumph of one less on the live register.
As for the music its strange there are plenty of songs about Irish Emigration, with ‘Thousands are Sailing’ possibly the best. Often its not the emigrant songs that remind you of home but any song can remind you of home …. I had a friend who reminiscing about home always mentioned a certain ‘Smokie’ song! (not icluded here thankfully)….