Swear I'm not Paul: 07/02/2010

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Friday, February 12, 2010

Album Cover: Laura Marling - I Speak Because I Can

Laura Marling releases new album I Speak Because I Can next month, and has unleashed the cover of the beast. You can see it above, and in addition to that, have a look at the official video for 'Devil's Spoke' below.

'Devil's Spoke'
'Made By Maid'
'Rambling Man'
'Blackberry Stone'
'Alpha Shallows'
'Goodbye England'
'Hope In The Air'
'What He Wrote'
'Darkness Descends'
'I Speak Because I Can'

Watch 'Devil's Spoke':

Interview Index

Yet another index (or archive if you will) to put the links of all the bands and artists I've interviewed in one place. I've interviewed some fine bands from not just Ireland, but from all over the globe, and hope to continue doing so. Look out for some interesting Q&As in the future.

NOTE: The date next to the artist's name is the date the interview was posted.

The Chapters, 2 November 2009
CODES, 14 December 2009
Ultan Conlon, 26 February 2010

Delphic, 1 March 2010
Drive-By Truckers, 1 December 2009
The Dutchess and the Duke, 12 November 2009

Fight Like Apes, 20 January 2010
Mick Flannery, 2 December 2009

Hockey, 29 October 2009
Patterson Hood, 1 December 2009

Jason Isbell, 8 February 2010

Franz Nicolay, 4 March 2010

Glen Phillips, 3 November 2009

Works Progress Administration, 3 November 2009

Last updated: 4 March 2010

Cancelled: Mika Tuesday Olympia Theatre

Mika has cancelled his second date at the Olympia Theatre. He was due to play next Tuesday, the 16th, but now will only be playing one of two scheduled shows.

Here is the (terrible) excuse he gave:
"I am thrilled and honoured to be nominated for best Male at the Brits. I’m really sorry to cancel the second Dublin sow but I have to take this opportunity to attend the awards. I apologise to all my Irish fans that I can’t see on the 16th, but I am looking forward to being in Dublin on the 15th."

There's still tickets available for Monday, and you can exchange Tuesday's for them, or alternatively get a full refund from point of purchase.

There's more chance of me winning than Mika. Granted, nobody in his category is any great shakes, but Calvin Harris, Dizzee Rascal, Paolo Nutini, and Robbie Williams are all better options. This year, they should've just had two Best Female categories.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Single Review: Ultan Conlon - The Universe Tune

Next week, Ultan Conlon releases the second single 'The Universe Tune' from his splendid debut album Bless Your Heart. The album came out last year, but at the time, it totally missed me. Peter Nagle over at 2UIBestow was all over it though, and directed me in its direction.

The album itself is gorgeous, and this is it's highest point. It's a wonderful single from the Galweigan, and reminds me of that raw, uplifting feel of an early Frames album. The single version of the album is snipped and remastered, making it even more radio-friendly. It was always radio-friendly to begin with, it gently lulls you in, and keeps you around for seconds. You'll definitely find yourself putting this one on repeat. A glorious triumph, and no doubt one of the Irish singles of the year.

More info:

Watch the single live in Tullamore:

Live: The Duke and the King at the Academy

It's not quite the Felice Brothers, but it's the next best thing. Simone Felice's sideproject, the Duke and the King will be playing Dublin's Academy2 on April 30th. They released the excellent album Nothing Gold Can Stay last year, and this is a great chance to catch them in a small venue for a minimal fee.

Tickets are priced €12.50 and are on sale tomorrow.

Watch 'If You Ever Get Famous':

Not My Album Review: Joanna Newsom - Have One on Me

(click to enlarge)

Not my work, this is taken from this month's Wire magazine, and it's the first review of Joanna Newsom's triple EP Have One on Me that I've seen anywhere.

Download: Small Black - Despicable Dogs

Small Black is the latest addition to the Jagjaguwar stable, and are set to release an extended version of their 2009 breakout Small Black EP. There's two new tracks on the EP, 'Kings of Animals' and 'Baby Bird Pt. 2', but the real hit is still the excellent 'Despicable Dogs'. The remastered EP comes out April 27th.

1. Despicable Dogs
2. Weird Machines
3. Bad Lover
4. Pleasant Experience
5. Lady in the Wires
6. Kings of Animals
7. Baby Bird, Pt. 2

Small Black - 'Despicable Dogs'

Watch: Keith Mullins - Across the Ocean

'Across the Ocean' is the second single from Tuam singer-songwriter Keith Mullins. He's currently playing around the country, so if you do get a chance, go to see him. He makes really catchy songs, and releases debut album The Great Atlantic this coming Friday.

Tour dates:
Saturday 20 February The Gaf Cafe, Galway (Early show)
Saturday 20 February Canavans, Tuam, Galway
Sunday 21 February The Crane, Galway
Wednesday 24 February De Barras, Clonakilty
Friday 26 February The Purple Sessions, Drogheda
Saturday 27 February Olympia Theatre (supp Saw Doctors)
Wednesday 3 March Brazil’s Cafe Bar, Belfast
Friday 5 March Common Grounds Cafe, Belfast
Sunday 7 March An Cruibin, Cork.
Thursday 11 March Whelan’s Upstairs, Dublin
Sunday 14 March An Realt Dearg, Cork

Watch 'Across the Ocean'

More info:

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Live: Final Fantasy at Whelan's

Owen Pallett (formerly known as Final Fantasy) has added another Whelan's date. He'll now be playing Friday 19th of March as well as Thursday the 18th.

In a recent interview with well-respected music website Pitchfork, Pallett named our very own Dublin venue as one of his favourite places to play.

Tickets cost €24 and are on sale tomorrow morning.

Here's Owen Pallett playing 'Peach Plum Pear' at Whelan's for Foggy Notions' Christmas Party in 2007:

Live: Grant-Lee Phillips at the Sugar Club

Grant-Lee Phillips returns to Ireland to play Dublin's Sugar Club on April 20th. The singer-songwriter, and former frontman of Grant-Lee Buffalo is visiting as part of his promotional tour for October's Little Moon solo album.

Tickets for the Sugar Club gig are €24.50 and are on sale now.

Watch 'Soft Asylum':

Album News: Be Yourself: A Tribute to Graham Nash's Songs for Beginners

On May 25th, Grassroots will be releasing a tribute album to Graham Nash's 1971 debut album. Nash was a member of the Hollies, and more famously Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, but his solo material is definitely worth checking out if you haven't heard it before. The album will be called Be Yourself: A Tribute to Graham Nash's Songs for Beginners, and features a whole host of splendid artists covering Nash's originals.

Bonny Prince Billy, Robin Pecknold (of Fleet Foxes) and Brendan Benson's takes on Nash should all be interesting. Here's the full tracklist.

01 Port O'Brien/Papercuts: "Military Madness"
02 Brendan Benson: "Better Days"
03 Nile Nash: "Wounded Bird"
04 Vetiver: "Used to Be a King"
05 Robin Pecknold: "Be Yourself"
06 Bonnie "Prince" Billy: "Simple Man (Hombre Sencillo)"
07 Moore Brothers: "Man in the Mirror"
08 Alela Diane: "There's Only One"
09 Mariee Sioux with Greg Weeks: "Sleep Song"
10 Sleepy Sun: "Chicago"
11 Various artists and Nile Nash: "We Can Change the World (Reprise)"

Bonus 7":
01 Tyson Vogel: "Hey You (Looking at the Moon)"
02 Johnathan Rice: "On the Line"
03 Jonathan Wilson and special guests: "And So It Goes (Music Gets You High)"
04 Bart Davenport: "Better Days"
05 Citay: "Military Madness"

Watch the original 'Sleepsong':

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Cancelled: Drop Haiti's Debt

Press release just came in the post. Would've been a great gig, but the second paragraph more than makes up for it...

"Due to unavoidable circumstances the Drop Haiti's Debt gig this Thursday in Vicar Street has been cancelled. A full refund for tickets purchased is available from the point of purchase.

On a hugely positive note, at the G7 summit in Canada last weekend, world leaders indicated they are prepared to drop Haiti's debt in its entirety in the imminent future. Full information on the status of Haiti's debt will be posted on trocaire.org shortly."

Download: Josh Ritter - Change of Time

'Change of Time' is the first single from Josh Ritter's new album So Runs the World Away. It'll be released in Ireland on April 23rd ahead of his nationwide tour, but the US and other countries will have to wait until May to hear it. You can download the song by entering your email below, and also have a listen to the title track.

Irish dates:
April 24 - Radisson SAS, Galway
April 25 - Dolan's, Limerick
April 27 - Grand Canal Theatre, Dublin
April 30 - Kilkenny Rhythym and Roots Festival

Download 'Change of Time':

Stream 'So Runs the World Away':

Album News: MGMT - Congratulations

Congratulations is the title of the follow-up to MGMT's massive breakout album Time to Pretend, but allegedly promises to be less single-based than the first album. Whether this is a good thing, we'll have to wait and see, but it does mean that 2fm, Beat, and Today FM will have to find something else to play this summer. 'Siberian Breaks' is reported to be 12 minutes long.

"It's Working"
"Song for Dan Treacy"
"Someone's Missing"
"Flash Delirium"
"I Found a Whistle"
"Siberian Breaks"
"Brian Eno"
"Lady Dada's Nightmare"

Watch 'Congratulations' live at Bonnaroo:

Download: Fulton Read - Synchronize EP

Some bands have terrible names - the Buttless Chaps is probably the worst I have ever come across - but Fulton Read is probably my favourite. They played SXSW last March, and are generating a bit of hype. Great news is that they've made their new EP, Synchronize freely available to download from their website. In case you don't know what the name is about, he played #44 for the District 5 PeeWee hockey team. Google it!


Monday, February 8, 2010

Interview: Jason Isbell

Jason Isbell

Since leaving the Drive-By Truckers to pursue a solo career, Alabaman Jason Isbell has gone from strength to strength. His debut album, Sirens of the Ditch is a fantastic alt.country record, and one of the best albums of the 00s. Follow-up Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit is just as good, and 2010 should see the release of his third album (his second with the 400 Unit). He took the time out of his heavy touring schedule to answer a few questions for yours truly. Here's what he had to say...

Your live shows with the 400 Unit are different from your solo or duo shows with Browan Lallor. Do you approach them differently?
Yes. We have to. When you're in an acoustic setting, you have to be on your toes. Dynamics make a huge difference in those situations, and you have to try and sing your best.

What's the strangest thing that's happened on tour?
The strangest? I guess that fact that people actually show up to see us play.

You haven't played 'Daylight' in a long time live, are there any plans to bring it back? I know lots of fans who'd love to hear it.
No plans. I'm kinda over that one, to tell you the truth. Maybe one day.

You've played live with some great artists, who has been the highlight?
I guess Neil Young at Farm Aid in '02. I've followed his music and career since I was a child.

And is there anyone you'd love to tour with?
I'd love to tour with The Whigs again. They're one of my favorite bands on Earth.

Your live EP is absolutely fantastic, would you think of extending this and releasing a full-length live album?
Thanks. We'll almost certainly do that somewhere down the road. Maybe after another studio album or two. I want to have a lot of material first.

Was it a conscious decision to call the new album after yourself and the band? Sirens was recorded while you were still a Trucker, so did you want to further distance yourself from your past work with them?
I don't care to distance myself from that work at all. I'm very proud of it. However, this was the 1st record I'd made with this group, and I felt like they deserved some recognition for all the creative work they did.

You've written a few songs about war (Dress Blues, Sunstroke, etc), how do you feel Obama is doing? And did you vote for him?
I did vote for him, and I feel like he's doing a great job, considering that his is the most difficult job in the world right now.

How do you go about writing songs? What's your method/process?
I'll take it however it comes. I've used pretty much every method there is. Usually, though, I sit with a guitar and hum a melody until words pop out.

When recording your two albums, were there songs that didn't make the cut?
Not really. I'm not all that into recording a ton of material and culling at the end of the process. It seems like a waste of time.

Nothing? No B-sides?
We did a cover of Big Star's "When My Baby's Beside Me" that should be available with the Australian version of the album.

You sometimes play Van Morrison's 'Into the Mystic' live, and 'No Choice in the Matter' sounds Morrison-esque. What is it about Van that appeals to you?
He's very spur of the moment. Very intuitive in his lyrics and melodies. Plus, his voice is incredible.

And who else are your influences?
All the standards- Neil, Dylan, Bruce, Petty, Creedence, Stones, Beatles, and some old-time Southern music. I also got a lot from pop radio in the 80's. I love Crowded House, Till Tuesday, Prince, that sort of thing. Then there are the non-musical writers like Faulkner, Mark Strand, Eudora Welty, Louise Gluck.... I could go on forever, I guess.

What's your favourite lyric that you've written? And one by someone else you wish you'd written?
I love the bridge to "Goddamn Lonely Love," honestly. It's a pain in the ass to write a good bridge. I really wish I could've written "Happy Birthday." Imagine the royalties. From a creative point, though, I would've loved to have written "I Dream a Highway," by Gillian Welch.

You're a twitter user, do you feel this helps you connect with your fans? Or is it just a way to let off steam?
It can be both, depending on how drunk I am at the moment. I also love knowing what my friends are up to on a random day.

The decade and year have come to an end, so a lot of publications have drawn up lists of the best albums of the 00s and of 2009 (including my own which has both your albums in the top 20). Do you pay any attention to these lists?
Only the ones like yours.

So what's your favourite album of the decade?
Love You Just the Same by Centro-Matic. Runners-up would be Calexico's Feast of Wire and Kid A by Radiohead.

And do you read reviews of yourself? Live or studio? Admit it, we're all prone to googling ourselves every now and then!
Sometimes I do. Luckily, they are usually positive. I like the ones that say Browan (our guitar player) looks like a King of Leon.

I've seen in a few places that you're an avid reader, what are you reading at the moment? And do you have any recommendations?
Rushdie's Shalimar the Clown. Really great. Also, I have to recommend Edward P. Jones' The Known World. It's one of the best slavery-era novels ever written.

Should we expect another studio album any time soon? Have you written anything for it?
Sometime this year. I have been writing some lately, but I don't usually work with a specific project in mind, so I don't have a particular direction for the album yet.

Do you have any plans for 2010? Aim to return to Europe any time soon?
Huge plans. We're planning on making a short run to Europe in late April- early May, after I get home from Australia.

So expect a lot from Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit in 2010. But the most exciting news definitely has to be the new album...

Setlist: Delorentos at the Set Theatre, 6 February 2010

Delorentos played the Set Theatre in Kilkenny City on Saturday night, and Ian Healy was in attendance. He sent me over the setlist, but on his own blog, he has heaps of photos and videos from the show. The band played two new tunes in a nice long set.

1. Hallucinations
2. Sanctuary
3. Body Cold
4. Do You Realise?
5. Basis Of Everything
6. Going Down [New Song]
7. Say It Now [New Song]
8. Leave It On
9. You Say You’ll Never Love Her
10. Leave Me Alone
11. Waiting
12. Any Other Way
13. Eustace Street
14. Secret
15. Stop
16. Idle Conversation

Check out Ian's pics and videos here:

Live: Idlewild at the Academy

Scottish rockers Idlewild are set to return to Ireland to play Dublin's Academy on Thursday, April 29th. They'll be playing in support of their 2009 album Post-Electric Blues, which is their seventh overall. But expect material from all through their career, not just the new stuff.

Tickets go on sale this Wednesday, and only cost €18.

Watch 'Readers and Writers':