This weekend I’ll mostly be listening to… The Alarm January 14, 2017Posted by irishelectionliterature in This Weekend I'll Mostly Be Listening to..., Uncategorized.
The news that once again U2 are playing Croke Park brought me back to a few days after my Inter and seeing them in Croke Park in 1985. On the line up that day we also had Welsh band The Alarm.
The massive hair and anthems that suited the day. Their debut album “Declaration” had had a number of hits with “68 Guns” and “Where Were You Hiding When the Storm Broke?” and although I wasn’t exactly a fan I was surprised how good they were live. Subsequently got a tape of “Declaration” and it wasn’t great and for me as was so often the case a great live band failed to translate well in the studio.
They released a number of further albums “Strength” , “Eye of the Hurricane” and “Raw” before breaking up in 1991. They were quite successful in the US too.
Later on lead Singer Mike Peters resurrected the Alarm name and is still touring and recording. They are still particularly popular in their native Wales and released Welsh language versions of a number of their albums.
This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… Mise Éire December 31, 2016Posted by irishelectionliterature in This Weekend I'll Mostly Be Listening to....
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My son asked me the other day what my favourite song of the year was…… I wondered for a while and then told him that the Patrick Pearse Poem “Mise Éire” sung by Sibéal Ní Chasaide (with music by Patrick Cassisy) was probably my favourite. I’ve seen her sing it live in Croke Park and at another celebration and just thought it incredibly haunting. It’s a song I’ve probably listened to most this year as it just wafts around the room. I’ve also included Mise Éire by Sean O’Riada which is another wonderfulk piece.
This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… Ice Cream Van Music December 17, 2016Posted by irishelectionliterature in This Weekend I'll Mostly Be Listening to....
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An odd choice but a genre I hadn’t realised had a bit of a following. There’s a good piece on the History etc of Ice Cream Vans and their jingles here. There are certain themes that are more popular The Match of The Day theme tune is one, “Teddy Bears Picnic”, “Turkey in the straw” , “The Mister Softee Jingle”
There’s a number of albums such as Songs For Ice Cream Trucks that are available.
This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… Kate Ellis December 3, 2016Posted by irishelectionliterature in This Weekend I'll Mostly Be Listening to....
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A couple of weeks ago I went to see Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill in Dun Laoghaire. They were brilliant as ever. After the interval they were joined by Cellist Kate Ellis. They did an improv which was mesmeric, then back to some familiar tunes where at times the Cello added beautifully and other times it didn’t quite work. To see the Cello being used as a mix of Double Bass (Some of the string plucking really complimented the music) , a drum/percussion instrument and as a Cello was intended was really fantastic.
Alas I couldn’t find any clips….. So here is some clips of Kate Ellis. Some of it quite experimental. It’s excellent.
This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… Rock of Ages November 19, 2016Posted by irishelectionliterature in This Weekend I'll Mostly Be Listening to....
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Tonight I’ll probably be heading along to my sons school where he is one of the male leads in the school musical “Rock of Ages”. I went the other night too and it was brilliant fun.
When the auditions were on I hadn’t heard of “Rock of Ages” , I looked it up and was amused to see what was on the soundtrack. There was amazement from my son as his parents started singing (badly) a few bits from most songs in the soundtrack. The amazement that comes with youth thinking that they were the first ones to discover music and even worse that your parents actually liked all this music…. (Well it wouldn’t have all been my cup of tea, as a metal fan during the era the music comes from it drove me mad to have bands like Poison,Europe and more classed as Metal.) … but sure it was hard not to know all the songs as they would have been features on the radio, MTV and even MT USA!
Quite a feel good mix of sounds …..
John Denver died in a plane crash in 1997, had had multiple hit singles, albums with the likes of “Annies Song” , “Take me Home”, “Leaving on a Jet Plane” and “Rocky Mountain High” being his biggest hits. Yet for all that he was more than out of fashion by the time he died.
In 2000 Mark Kozelek (of the Red House Painters) decided to make a tribute album.
“My idea for this record,” Kozelek said, “is to take artists that are less likely to be associated with John Denver, have them open up a new audience to his songs, and give exposure to his popular as well as less known but significant work.”
Below is some of that album (alas some tracks are not available on youtube) and it’s really enjoyable.
This is the Spotify link if you want to listen https://open.spotify.com/album/7KU2wsOFu5wCqcyVJvLd20
There’s a good piece on the album here (with some of the tracks to download)
This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… AnDa Union October 22, 2016Posted by irishelectionliterature in This Weekend I'll Mostly Be Listening to....
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Started listening to these again recently.From Inner Mongolia AnDa Union play traditional Mongolian music in a variety of styles. Mongolian Throat singing , Horse head fiddles and other traditional instruments. They have played in the UK but as far as I know they have yet to play here.
If you’ve time the below link is to “Anda Union From The Steppes To The City” a documentary on the band.
Then some of their music
Last week I was mostly listening to… Martin Carthy… October 17, 2016Posted by Aonrud ⚘ in This Weekend I'll Mostly Be Listening to..., Uncategorized.
…I really was – I saw him play twice last week, after years of missing his gigs, and both were brilliant. If you’re not familiar wth him, Martin Carthy is a stalwart of the folk scene and one of the finer folk guitarists. He has a lot of solo work, but also often playing with the fiddler Dave Swarbrick, the Watersons (he is married to Norma Waterson), a brief stint in Steeleye Span, The Imagined Village, and various other folk groups. His arrangement of Scarborough Fair might be familiar from Paul Simon’s lifting of it (a man prone to appropriation, apprently). One distinctive aspect of Carthy’s playing is the tuning he favours, which gives a low C on the bottom string which is great for a bass-y root or drone, and widens the range as well.
He was part of a sort of memorial concert of songs of Ewan McColl in the NCH in Dublin – which included Peggy Seeger, her and McColl’s children, Martin and Eliza Carthy, and others. (Seeger, despite a somewhat weakened voice, still does an excellent performance of “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face”, 60 odd years after McColl wrote it for her). Then a couple of days later, Carthy was playing a solo gig in Belfast, which was another fantastic performance.
The NCH is an odd place for a folk gig, but I suppose it reflects an older and probably middle class audience that it was a pricey Tuesday night in the NCH and not a Friday in the pub. Maybe a certain irony in it for a communist repertoire. The Belfast gig was a more typical pub venue, though still an older crowd. (I saw Chris Wood a few months back, with a similar age profile in the room, and he said the folk scene is supported by the pensions of the same people who started it with their student grants.)
Anyway, Carthy is the master of the long narrative ballad, and played this fantastic version of Bill Norrie, recorded elsewhere below. Under that is a selection of his songs from over the years.
Another ballad for which he was well known earlier in his career, Famous Flower of Serving Men.
Here he is with Dave Swarbrick, playing his version of Byker Hill.
His version of Dominion of the Sword, which I think is a traditional tune to which he wrote modern lyrics.
Another fairly grim tale, Prince Heathen.
Something a bit livelier from Imagined Village, with Carthy on guitar, and Eliza Carthy singing, along with Chris Wood.
This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… Status Quo October 8, 2016Posted by irishelectionliterature in This Weekend I'll Mostly Be Listening to....
There was an ad on the radio recently for yet another Status Quo farewell tour, this time their ‘Last Night Of The Electrics’ European and UK tour . I laughed saying that they have been having farewell tours for the last 20 years and then my 16 year old son came out with the bombshell …. “Who are Status Quo?”
I was shocked that The Quo would be unknown to anyone!
In a way they are the ultimate feel good band, songs that we grew up to and that are hard to dislike.
This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… Doveman “Footloose” September 24, 2016Posted by irishelectionliterature in This Weekend I'll Mostly Be Listening to....
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There’s been some brilliant strange covers , Mark Kozeleks album of AC/DC covers is one that springs to mind. Through no fault of my own I’m familiar with the Footloose Soundtrack ….This cover of the Footloose album from Doveman is excellent, an album reworked into something very different. Doveman is Thomas Bartlett that I really first came across as pianist with The Gloaming. He also plays guitar and is a renowned producer.
I love the version of “Lets hear it for the boy” and “Holding Out For a Hero”.
The songs don’t seem to be available in Ireland on Youtube , hence the Spotify playlist.