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This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… Kiasmos August 12, 2017

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I was on youtube and came upon some KEXP sessions in Iceland, Kiasmos were one that caught my ear ….. and then a musical note  rekindled from the depths of my mind memories of my own times with a keyboard …….
One Christmas, 1979 I think, Santa was kind enough to bring a Casio keyboard. It was a white thing the length of a ruler and the width of a mobile phone and even came with a fancy sleeve. It had a variety of four sounds and I think eight different drum beats. The drum rhythms could be sped up or slowed down.It was battery operated too.
After a while I was hooked. I began playing around with it and writing my own tunes . (I could never read music, so never played any covers). I was playing away for months and had a repertoire of futuristic sounding instrumentals. …
I don’t recall how, but I ended up entered into a talent competition in Sallynoggin Hall that was being judged by RTE star Aonghus McAnally. So it was off to a packed hall for the competition. I had wanted to wear a denim jacket and T-Shirt but ended up going in a shirt and a horrible light blue V neck jumper which had yellow and white stripes down the front. So off we went to Sallynoggin with the keyboard in it’s fancy case and fresh batteries just in case!
There was a band , some singers and comedian and all of a sudden I was on. A school chair and a table. The Casio keyboard placed on the table, a microphone initially placed way too near to the Casio speaker as there was woeful feedback. I think I said a muted “Hello” rather than the triumphant “Hello Sallynoggin” I had imagined. I played for a few minutes said “Thanks” and wandered off to the backstage again. Some other acts came on and I waited to find out if Aonghus McAnally would judge me in the top three. Unsurprisingly he didn’t. I think I got to shake his hand afterwards, the fourth in a brief flurry of famous handshakes in the family. My older brother had shaken Jack Lynchs hand in Wexford, my sister had shaken Linda Martins hand and my Dad had shaken Charlie Haugheys hand (like shaking hands with a fish apparently) in Stillorgan Shopping centre. It was many years before any of us again had such brushes with fame!
I never entered a talent competition again .

This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… Jefferson Airplane July 29, 2017

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There was for some reason a mention of “Alice in Wonderland” at home recently which prompted me to start singing
“One pill makes you larger
And one pill makes you small …”

(A habit I picked up from my Mother of sometimes singing a song lyric related to what we’d be talking about). Then it was off to youtube to find and play “White Rabbit” which was written about Alice in Wonderland to explain the connection.
Recently there has been a running joke where I spout Replacements lyrics at any relevant moment…. which has ended up with my son teaching himself how to play “Androgynous” on the piano!

This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… Fianna Fail Singers and Bandmembers July 15, 2017

Posted by irishelectionliterature in This Weekend I'll Mostly Be Listening to..., Uncategorized.
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“It’s showtime” was the phrase PJ Mara used at the launch of the 2002 General Election Campaign. That and the recent publicity for Fianna Fail Councillor Trevor Gilligans ep release got me looking in the direction of Fianna Fail links with the music industry.
So if you were starting out in the music business FF might be the party for you!
Former Taoiseach Albert Reynolds was at one stage the owner of a number of dance halls, Donie Cassidy was involved in everything from Management (Foster and Allen), Playing the saxphone (with Jim Tobin and the Firehouse) , owning record shops, record labels and so on. Former Senator Paschal Mooney could play the tunes on his RTE radio show. Indeed the late Liam Ó Murchú (who ran for FF in Feb 1982) could do the TV presenting for the music shows.
If you were looking for a bit of Traditional music and entertainment, former Senator Labhrás Ó Murchú of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann might be the very man to ask.
Now you also need promoters and managers. Former TD Denis Foley was a promoter and in that neck of the woods former Senator Dan Kiely had a ballroom in Ballybunion.
The late Tony Loughman who aside from being a Castleblaney Councillor promoted a vast array of venues and managed among many famous names Susan McCann, Paddy Cole and Philomena Begley.
So a selection of Fianna Fail politicians below.
Who did I miss?
Any suggestions for other parties?

Long time Fianna Fail Councillor Tom Allen (aka TR Dallas)

Fianna Fail Clondalkin Councillor Trevor Gilligan

Onetime Fianna Fail candidate Sonny Knowles

Jim Tobin and the Firehouse (Donie Cassidy on tambourine)

Art Supple who spent many years as a Fianna Fail Councillor in Cork.

This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… Mark Kozelek AC/DC covers July 1, 2017

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There was a time I had all his solo albums, Sun Kill Moon and Red House Painters albums…. but Mark Kozelek is so prolific that it’s hard to keep up. I ended up buying albums and barely listening to them. Allied to that he seems to be more than an acquired taste as any time I play stuff he’s involved in I get asked to “turn off that miserable shite”. There are times though that you need slow and miserable.
So prolific is he that in recent times quality control hasn’t been great, albums are a bit hit and miss and dare I say it a bit samey. So I’ve become less dedicated to keeping up with his output. Thats a thing too in that once you start collecting material from an artist it’s slightly difficult to stop 🙂
The 2001 “Rock n’ Roll Singer” album was covers of AC/DC songs and it’s probably my favourite of his solo albums. It’s basically the songs deconstructed and put back together again very differently.

This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… Le Galaxie June 17, 2017

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Saw these recently at the Repeal thing in the Olympia. Never heard of them before that. Quite enjoyed them , they were fun and have been listening to them a good bit since.

This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… The Would Be’s June 3, 2017

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Recently I did a TWIMBLT of bands from Cavan included were The Would Be’s. They deserve a post of their own.

Formed in 1990, they shot to prominence with their brilliant single “I’m Hardly Ever Wrong” which was a John Peel favourite. They did a Peel Session and were much sought after by various labels big and small. They released a number of EPs signed a record deal but never released an album. They had a couple of different lead singers Julie McDonnell on “I’m Hardly Ever Wrong”, she was replaced by Eileen Gogan (who has since sung with The Revenants , The Drays and her own band The Instructions). They broke up in 1992…
However in 2012 they reformed and have since released a batch of albums.
Another one of those great Irish bands that were all set to make it but didn’t.
Their Facebook Page
The Fanning Sessions has some rare tracks of theirs

This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci May 27, 2017

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Welsh psychadelic rock/pop group Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci were active in the 90s and early 2000s.

Their earliest albums in particular are a fantastic jumble of psychadelic and silly, with experimental sounds and, sometimes cheesy, pop melodies merging together or even just appended to one another in an abrupt tonal shift, all in a mixture of Welsh and English. Most of their songs were written by Euros Childs and John Lawrence, organ and guitar players respectively.

I first heard them around the time of their third album, Bwyd Time (1995). We got the Welsh channels on our TV where I grew up, and finding a programme on S4C about GZM instead of a film on Channel 4 was one of the few occasions that was an advantage! A lot of the videos below are from that same programme, which turned up on Youtube some years back. Here’s Miss Trudy:

Also from Bwyd Time, The Man with Salt Hair:

The live version of Blood Chant, which differs from the album in treating it as a round:

A lot of their singles over the years were released separately from the albums or on EPs, including If Fingers Were Xylophones, which came around the same time as Bwyd Time:

There’s a clear Soft Machine fondness in their early stuff – I suspect I heard their cover of Why Are We Sleeping? before the original version – and their second album, Tatay, includes a cover of Robert Wyatt’s O Caroline, as well as the fantastic tribute to Kevin Ayers below, which sounds like the GZM take on Ayers’ Oyster and the Flying Fish.

Kevin Ayers:

In 1997 they released Barafundle, which I think marks a balance point in their albums, being much more cleanly put together and recorded, but still having a lot of the whimsy of early albums. Starmoonsun is a good summary of the GZM style at that time – catchy pop melodies, abrupt shifts in texture, through instrumentation or key, and no song can’t be improved by singing ‘la la la’ in a high register (a rule of thumb a lot of musicians who take themselves too seriously could do with trying out 🙂 ).

Also from Barafundle, Miniature Kingdoms:

Here they are on Jools Holland from that time, playing two thoroughly poppy singles. (The touch of country in Childs’ melody writing is clear in the first as well, which is more prominent in his later solo work).

Gorky 5, the last album to feature John Lawrence, and certainly Spanish Dance Troupe (their sixth album), are more cleanly melodic. As with many groups after that many albums, the sound had settled into a less experimental and more consistent style, but still contain some great songs.

From Lawrence, the instrumental Not Yet:

And from Spanish Dance Troupe, Poodle Rockin’:

It’s only about a year ago that I remembered I’d never tracked down their first album, Patio. Obviously that’s a much easier task these days, and there it is on Youtube – a brilliant cobbling-together of various home recordings over a few years of their teens (they’re young enough that there are some fairly high male voices in there 🙂 ). To be fair, it is a bit of a mess of an album, but still compelling.

Here’s Lladd Eich Gwraig (there’s one line of English in there, which stands out as entertainingly sinister for non-Welsh speakers who are getting used to not understanding the words.  I assume an intentional effect):

To finish off, here’s a great jumble of noise and video from early in their career:

This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… Bands from Cavan May 20, 2017

Posted by irishelectionliterature in This Weekend I'll Mostly Be Listening to..., Uncategorized.
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My Mother grew up in Cavan. There were no relations in Cavan , so there was never any reason to go there. My Father would call to businesses there in his trail selling around the Country and would be told stories of my Grandmother (who was a rather large lady) cycling around with the “Bike bent in two under her” (that was the polite version). Still the Cavan connection helped him there I’m sure. One day though in the 70’s we all piled in the car to go up to Cavan to see a performance of the musical “Salad Days”. I still don’t know why we went and I can’t remember the show. Although my mother did buy an album of the soundtrack a little while later. It was the journey though that was memorable. The landmarks from my Mothers childhood being pointed out as we went along. The stories we’d heard growing up being given added context. There were detours taken to include this place and that, Cavan Town and the house they lived there, the place where my Grandfather worked. School, the Church, the house where my Mother and Aunt killed rats with spades. (There was a drain under the back step, my mother would pour boiling water in one end, the rats would run out the other end and my aunt would kill them with a spade! ) Simpler times, “we made our own entertainment then…..”
Shops were passed , memories were told, the Protestant Sweet shop she used to sneak into as it had the best sweets, Was caught once and told not to go back. The invisible walls caused by religion and class. Houses were passed , family names given, little histories of what became of some of the occupants……
I saw Lisa O’Neill play recently and mesmerised by her voice I wondered where she was from. She was from Cavan.
Brendan Perry of Dead Can Can Dance lived in Cavan for years (may still do). The Strypes are from Cavan. The Would Be’s were another Cavan band best known for their debut single “I’m Hardly Ever Wrong”.
Probably a good lot of Country n Irish singers from Cavan too… but I’m not going there 🙂

This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… Industries of the Blind April 22, 2017

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The most gentle of Post Rock, Industries Of The Blind. They broke up a year or so ago leaving one three song album “Chapter 1: Had we known better (2011)” and a host of soundtrack work. Unfortunately the Soundtracks don’t seem to have made it to any release. Nor does their Chapter 2 album which was in the process of being made.

This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… Colm Mac Con Iomaire April 8, 2017

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Those of you that were lucky enough to see the recent series “Wild Ireland The Edge of The World” will have heard much of Colm Mac Con Iomaires music in the background. It was beautifully filmed, gently narrated and it’s rare that the music complements a nature show so much. It really was the icing on the cake.
I’ve only ever seen him with The Frames and he was also in Kila for a period. I could listen to him constantly…. oh and if you haven’t seen Wild Ireland it’s really worth checking out.

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