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This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… Songs about food September 21, 2019

Posted by irishelectionliterature in This Weekend I'll Mostly Be Listening to....

A week and a half ago the cooker at home broke. An old fashioned all in one with hob , grill and oven in one ….. Yep we’ll get takeaways till we get a new one!…… You get sick of takeaways and it’s time to try the microwave dinners… you’d get sick of them fairly quick too. Sandwiches, bowls of cereal, microwaved soup, beans, toast, tinned rice pudding ……..
Was at a Funeral down the Country during the week and there was a meal in the hotel afterwards, was never so delighted to see Broccoli, mash, carrots and parsnips on a plate! A proper dinner.
The new cooker arrived but there’s an issue with the Switch on the cooker….. So there could be more microwave dinners.
As an aside you’d wonder how people can live normally in a Hotel Room without any proper cooling facilities.

This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh & Thomas Bartlett September 7, 2019

Posted by irishelectionliterature in This Weekend I'll Mostly Be Listening to....

Am off to see these next Friday in Dublins’ Pepper Canister Church. I think it’s the Album launch. Two amazing musicians themselves and of course part of The Gloaming. Have never been in the venue before and aside from choral performances, I don’t think I’ve seen artists perform in a church before. Oddly enough my son saw Rick Astley in the Chapel in Trinity earlier this year which I gather was quite a show with the audience dancing in the Ailses!
Can’t see too much dancing here but instead a quiet appreciation of the beauty and intricacy of the music.

This Weekend I’ll mostly be listening to songs… from Woodstock August 31, 2019

Posted by WorldbyStorm in This Weekend I'll Mostly Be Listening to....
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50 years ago today… okay, not quite today, some months back, but we’re still in August and that’s Summer, so, let’s wind back to the first Summer of Love.

Actually I’ve mixed feelings about Woodstock. I remember seeing the film in the very early 1980s and while it was enjoyable enough, man, did it seem archaic. Now, with the benefit of another three, or is it four, decades having passed it seems to have acquired a more interesting resonance. I’d have heard the soundtrack album sometime about the same time – I seem to recall skipping a lot of tracks to get to Hendrix and the Who.

Without question the line up was fascinating. And I’ve subsequently dug deep into some of the back catalogues of those there (perhaps to the greatest extent with Crosby, Stills and Nash). But I find it telling that when I first saw it it was Ten Years After who I liked best, because they were – in truth – the loudest, the most rock-like. And even still I enjoy them. But I’ve never gone digging their back catalogue.

Arlo Guthrie (beloved of proto-proto-stoners for some reason back c. 1980 in Dublin at least), Tim Hardin, Ravi Shanker, Joan Baez, Canned Heat, Santana, Creedence, Janis Joplin, Sly and the Family Stone, Jefferson Airplane, Joe Cocker, Country Joe, The Band, Blood, Sweat and Tears, Johnny Winter, Jimi Hendrix. Then there’s the list of those who declined invitations, I like the rationale from Ian Anderson best of all (it’s on the wiki page), and you could make a pretty great compilation of those who didn’t attend.

All that said Woodstock has always seemed to me to be the symptom rather than a cause – that it reflected enormous changes taking place not just in US society but more broadly where what is understood as youth culture was coming to the fore in a way that would have significant ramifications subsequently. What is astounding is how little actually changed in the political or economic context, or perhaps for those of us who still have a smidgin of Marxism in our make up that is no surprise at all. When later there were the complaints that some counter-cultural figure or another had deftly moved into full-on capitalist mode that almost seemed inevitable (though to personalise it is to misunderstand the all-embracing nature of capitalism itself).

I can understand the idealism, but as noted before on this site for me the Ladbroke Grove crew of Hawkwind, the Pink Fairies and so on were always if not quite attractive, somehow more resonant of a cynicism and sceptical approach that I’d find more my speed. Part of that, is doubtless, the memory of hippy refracted through the utter antipathy towards it from punk.

The music? Nowhere near sufficient women on the line-up. Without question a snapshot of a particular moment and with some real stand-outs albeit not hugely edgy.

Still, I can’t listen to Wooden Ships or just about anything from Santana without feeling the tug of nostalgia for a time that I didn’t encounter in the slightest at the time (being about four or so). Would I have enjoyed being there? I do not think so, being someone who hates open air gigs and who likes my comforts. Am I sorry I wasn’t. Not in the slightest. But I’m kind of glad it took place.

Jefferson Airplane

Janis Joplin (with The Kozmic Blues Band)

Arlo Guthrie

Canned Heat


Jimi Hendrix

Ten Years After

The Who

Crosby Stills Nash and Young

This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… A Lazarus Soul August 24, 2019

Posted by irishelectionliterature in This Weekend I'll Mostly Be Listening to....

Have been listening to A Lazarus Soul a good bit recently. Great to hear some more uniquely Dublin bands with great music. “Long Balconies” is a brilliant song and the video which has some great footage reflects the song beautifully. It’s one of those songs when you first hear it you listen to it over and over.
They have some other great songs but “Long Balconies” stands out.
Well worth listening to.

This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… U2 and Ash at The Waterfront Hall May 18th 1998 August 10, 2019

Posted by irishelectionliterature in This Weekend I'll Mostly Be Listening to..., Uncategorized.
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Billy Bragg did a three hour broadcast recently on the BBC included was “Beautiful Day” a documentary (from 1.01 here) on the concert in The Waterfront Hall a few days before the Good Friday Agreement. It was the concert that gave us the famous image of John Hume and David Trimble arms held aloft by Bono. It’s a great listen and brought back memories of the weeks before The Good Friday Agreement Referendum. How the concert was arranged, the people behind it and the assumption too that the concert made a difference.

This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to…Different Trains – Steve Reich/Kronos Quartet/Pat Methany August 3, 2019

Posted by WorldbyStorm in This Weekend I'll Mostly Be Listening to....
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I was recently in a museum which had an audio-visual installation with footage of train journeys across the United States in the 1940s and 1950s and Different Trains by Steve Reich, as played by the Kronos Quartet as a musical accompaniment – or perhaps the visuals were the accompaniment to the music. The two combined provided a mesmerising experience, it was impossible not to stop and look. Oddly this reminded me of Ulrich Schnauss playing live in Dublin some years ago which used similar footage during the gig, albeit the music was considerable louder and faster.

Of course the pieces are deeply politicised – Reich sought to meditate upon not just his personal experience as noted here where he travelled across the US by train as a child, but also on the death trains in Nazi Germany that took Jews to the concentration camps. And the pieces incorporate quotations from a range of people – survivors, railwaymen from the US and others, which touch on those very topics to a profoundly moving effect.

There are three other pieces in the Electric Counterpoint which are quite different, courtesy of Pat Methany, but no less effective (though to an old Durutti Column fan like myself not unreminiscent of them).

A fantastic achievement.

Different Trains (Part 1)

Different Trains: After The War [Third Movement]

Electric Counterpoint (Fast Movement – Part 3)

This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… Billy Bragg July 27, 2019

Posted by irishelectionliterature in This Weekend I'll Mostly Be Listening to..., Uncategorized.

Am off to see Billy Bragg for three nights in Whelan’s next week as he does his “One Step Forward, Two Steps Back tour” in Dublin. A 50th birthday present to myself. He’s one of those constants in my musical taste and I have a host of LPs, Singles and 12 inches. What he is doing is a really good idea , Monday he will play his current set, Tuesday material from his first three albums (and I presume The “Between The Wars” EP) and on Wednesday material from his fourth, fifth and sixth albums. So for the likes of myself it’s a once off three nights of heaven! … although what state I’ll be in after three late nights jumping around a bit!! Whelan’s is a lovely venue for it too.
I presume too for a touring artist it’s nice to have time to actually stay in a place for a few days and go off and explore, meet up with friends and so on rather than going somewhere and literally just going from the airport to the hotel, to the venue, post gig hostelry, hotel and back off to the airport again.
For someone with such a back catalogue there will always be fan favourites missing from sets so hopefully I’ll get to hear my favourites. Whats nice too is that after much negotiations over who will use the second 3 day ticket, on Monday my wife will go and on Tuesday and Wednesday my son will go along. Since the record player was resurrected in his room last year my son has had various Bragg albums playing away on the turntable. Having seen Billy Bragg live umpteen times (including the night Thatcher resigned!) it’s great that my son will get to see him now too.
It’s probably Tuesday that I’m looking forward to most, “Lifes a Riot with spy versus spy” (I’ve previously done a TWIBMLT for that album) ,“Brewing Up With Billy Bragg” and “Talking with the taxman about poetry” are all really excellent albums.
The Wednesday will feature “William Bloke”, “Workers Playtime” , “Don’t try this at home”. Judging from Reviews (a review of the Bristol leg of the tour) there will be plenty of other material thrown in over the three nights and you’ll have the usual bit of humour, politics and song.
Can’t Wait.

This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… Rodrigo Y Gabriella July 13, 2019

Posted by irishelectionliterature in This Weekend I'll Mostly Be Listening to..., Uncategorized.
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A really interesting band that moved to Dublin in 1999 from Mexico. Having been previously been part of a Heavy Metal band they kind of mix metal rifs and Mexican style guitar. Have seen them a number of times live and they are excellent.

This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… A House “I Am The Greatest” June 29, 2019

Posted by irishelectionliterature in This Weekend I'll Mostly Be Listening to....

Off to The National Concert Hall Tonight to see the David Couse, Fergal Bubury and friends show “A House is Dead – I am Still The Greatest” where they will “re-interpret the seminal 1991 album for 2019.
Saw them umpteen times, have all the albums, some singles, 12 inches …… So am really looking forward to this.
“I Am the Greatest” is such a brilliant album. Starting with “I don’t care” and not a poor song in between , ending with “I am the Greatest” and it’s end of “I Am ,I Am, I Am, I Am, I Am, I Am, I Am, I Am, I Am …….” and I can already feel those multiple “I Am” going through the Concert Hall as the show ends.
Twenty Eight years ago and it was a staple on the record player…. indeed another album I had on vinyl that I bought later as a CD, knowing each and every word of every song, the guitar lines… A great album

This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to…Priests June 22, 2019

Posted by WorldbyStorm in This Weekend I'll Mostly Be Listening to....
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I’ve mentioned before the difficulty in finding new music in an age where there’s so much stuff. It’s not that there’s not new music available, but how to determine what to listen to?

For a long time emusic was a treasure trove in this regard – but in the last year or so it has been losing labels hand over fist. There’s still good stuff there but not much new music appearing, at least nowhere near as much as was evident a few years back. Other options are bandcamp – and albums can be significantly cheaper there. Soundcloud too is useful for working through groups of similar sounding approaches.

Review site are great, but again where to start? Anyhow, oddly enough this crowd I discovered looking up another group on Robert Christgau’s site. I’ve long mentioned my liking of Chrisgau’s reviews – albeit I’ve never liked his, granted, tongue in cheek ‘Dean of American Rock Critics’. Let us be the judge of that Robert. That said he still has an ear for the good stuff.

And here’s a group that fits right into that bill. Priests are from Washington D.C. and their second album, The Seduction of Kansas, is an expansive thing. It’s deeply political – feminist, left-wing (Bodies and Control and Money and Power was the title of one of their EPs). No surprise they run their own label – Sister Polygon Records and do so with an avowedly community and DIY ethos.

From opener Jesus’ Son through to the almost pop like title track and then on to Youtube Sartre and I’m Clean, and that’s just the first four tracks. Other standouts are Good Time Charlie (an excoriating and commanding take-down of mythic aspects of congressman Charlie Wilson) and Texas Instruments.

But it also is just great music. Sharp, witty, angry, and encompassing a range of genres with considerable facility – post-punk (there’s some attention to the incidental sounds that crop up on tracks used on tracks that is very early 1980s), dance and pop. A fraction over-produced perhaps, but that’s a minor complaint given the overall strength of the work. Comparison’s are invidious but there is a similarity approach with EMA (lauded here previously) or in terms of the vocals Cate le Bon. Extremely listenable.

Good Time Charlie

YouTube Sartre

The Seduction of Kansas

I’m Clean

Jesus’ Son

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