Swear I'm not Paul: 13/09/2009

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Saturday, September 19, 2009

Album Review: Blind Pilots - The Toys Have Gone Berserk EP

First let me start by saying: I like Blind Pilots. It's for one main reason. They remind me of the late Rubyhorse, an Irish band who actually were bigger on the other side of the Atlantic than over here. So that's one reason why I want Blind Pilots to succeed over here. The second is that they make damn good music.

The Toys Have Gone Berserk is a four song EP, and my first introduction to the band. Each of the four songs is a little different, as you'd hope from an EP like this - there's nothing worse than repetition at this early stage. 'Fractured Boy' is the upbeat grinding tune, 'Seat Ga Ga' is the more relaxed atmospheric song with a gorgeous nonsense chorus, 'Stillbeats' is a straight-up pop track, and 'Jealous Hands' is the broody dark one.

All-in-all, it's a really solid collection of songs, and something to really build on for the future.

More info:

Watch 'Fractured Boy':

Album Review: CODES - Trees Dream in Algebra

Few Irish artists have great debut albums. It takes most of them years practicing their craft before the release an essential record. CODES have taken their sweet time about making and releasing their debut, and as a result, it's one of those rare beasts - a stellar debut album.

'Malfunctions' serves as an introduction to the record, but is not a reflection on what's coming up. As soon as second track (and single) 'This is Goodbye' gets going, you know you're onto something special. It's a song already crying out for an arena tour, and maybe even a stadium tour. It has everything needed to make it a live classic, it soars and droops, returns, and is a powerhouse of a tune.

Another great masterstroke is how each song segues into the next, making this a compellingly cohesive album, rather than just a bunch of songs. Thus 'This is Goodbye' sails into 'Guided by Ghosts', a song better than the majority of the new Muse album. The production of this song and the rest moves the album above many other Irish releases as it's so glossy - this is all thanks to Manics helmer Greg Haver. Listen to 'Our Mysteries (Missed Histories)' to see what I mean. On a different record, this would have a raw edgy feel, but thanks to its smooth edges and shiny sound, it sounds like a single waiting to happen.

The album isn't just shiny, it's glorious lyrically as well as musically. 'Telos' is a lovely soft intimate instrumental interlude, worthy of Sigur Ros. The band excels all-round, and lyrics like this testify this brilliance: "The faded photographs of winter / In the spaces inbetween, I find your letter / That’s when I begin to wonder, if all the hope in a new year could bring you back". Beautiful.

There are tonnes of possible singles on this album, and each listen will bring a different favourite track. That's the power of this debut. Every song is a standout. 'Memorial', 'Starry Eyed', 'Cities', everything I've still to mention, is fantastic.

One of the best albums of the year, and a debut to stand alongside Fight Like Apes last year. Five stars. If I could give it six, I would.

More info/preview the album:

Catch C O D E S . live on the following dates:

Sept. 20th 2009 Dolan’s Warehouse Limerick
Sept. 25th 2009 The Clarence Sligo
Sept. 26th 2009 Album Launch Show, The Academy Dublin
Sept. 27th 2009 Leixlip Festival 2009 Kildare
Oct. 2nd 2009 The Set Theatre – Langton’s Kilkenny
Oct. 3rd 2009 The Forum Waterford
Oct. 4th 2009 Cypress Avenue Cork
Oct. 9th 2009 Greystones Theatre Wicklow

Watch 'This is Goodbye':

Stream: Pearl Jam - Backspacer

Pearl Jam - Backspacer

It's already out in Ireland (it came out in yesterday), so if you haven't picked it up yet, or are waiting for the UK or US release date, you can stream the entire new Pearl Jam album Backspacer on MySpace.

Stream it here:

Friday, September 18, 2009

Single News: Ryan Adams - Pax.Am Digital Single No 2

Another week, another new Ryan Adams single. Brilliant. Again, it's $1.49, and again has two tunes, with a demo of Cardinology cut 'Go Easy' as a bonus. 'Allumette' was recorded during the Cardinology sessions, and 'What Color is Rain' was originally a Foggy Notions release on the RA website.

'Alumette' and 'What Color Is Rain' are the two songs. And you can buy them here:

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Stream: Bob Dylan - Christmas in the Heart clips

Bob Dylan Christmas

Who cares if there's four months to go? It's Bob Dylan. And anyhow, the album is out next month. Amazon has some 30 second clips of all the songs, and they sound incredible.

1. Here Comes Santa Claus
2. Do You Hear What I Hear?
3. Winter Wonderland
4. Hark the Herald Angels Sing
5. I'll Be Home for Christmas
6. Little Drummer Boy
7. The Christmas Blues
8. O Come All Ye Faithful
9. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
10. Must Be Santa
11. Silver Bells
12. The First Noel
13. Christmas Island
14. The Christmas Song
15. O Little Town of Bethlehem


Watch: Obama calling Kanye West a jackass

Brilliant. Especially the last line.

Live: Yusuf Islam at the O2

Great news music fans, Cat Stevens is coming back to Dublin! He's on the road for the first time in three decades and will be starting his European stint in our own capital at the O2. He's known by his actual name Yusuf Islam these days, and still records and releases fantastic pop tunes.

There hasn't been a date confirmed yet, just a message on his official website, but it seems the shows will be sometime later this year, with tickets perhaps going on sale next week. More news as I get it.

Here's a Cat classic, 'Moonshadow':

Setlist: David Geraghty, Button Factory, 16 September 2009

Patchy Set-list from Peter over at 2uibestow who was at the gig and did a lovely review. He also has some vids of Dave and support act Carol Keogh.

The Emperor's Hand Me Downs
Watch Her Win
Soft Spot
*2 old tunes.... unsure of names*
Last Time Around
Wear Out Your Name,
It Won't Be Long
Instant Sunshine,
Use Me ... Bill Withers Cover
Tuesday's Feet
Long Time Running
All The Kings Horses

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Stream: Richard Hawley - Truelove's Gutter

Thank you very much Guardian Music. It's streaming the entire new Richard Hawley album, Truelove's Gutter. Album is out next week in the UK and Friday over here.

01 As the Dawn Breaks
02 Open Up the Door
03 Ashes on the Fire
04 Remorse Code
05 Don't Get Hung Up in Your Soul
06 Soldier On
07 For Your Lover, Give Some Time
08 Don't You Cry


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Setlist: Coldplay, Phoenix Park, 14 September 2009

Niall was at the show last night and absolutely loved it. He sent me the setlist too. So thanks a lot. You should check out some of his excellent posts over on culch.ie here. Also, anyone notice the family resemblance?

Violet Hill
In My Place
Cemetaries of London
Fix You
Strawberry Swing
God Put a Smile on my Face (techno) >
Talk (techno)
Hardest Part (Chris solo)
Ruled the World
Singing in the Rain interlude
Drum country interlude
Billie Jean
Disco Ruled the World
Lovers in Japan
Death and All His Friends
The Scientist
Life in Technicolour

Monday, September 14, 2009

Competition: Win 2 Tickets to David Geraghty at the Button Factory

Bell x1 guitarist David Geraghty will be promoting his excellent new album The Victory Dance at the Button factory on Wednesday, the 16th of September, and I have two tickets to give away.

All you have to do is tell me what was the name of the band which featured Bell x1 members as well as Damien Rice? They had such songs as 'Weatherman' and 'The World is Dead'. Leave your answer in the comments section as well as your full name.

I'm running this competition in coalitaion with Culch.ie, so you can enter on either website. The winner will be drawn at random.

Check back here at 5 p.m. on Tuesday (tomorrow) to see if you've won.

Watch David in action at Electric Picnic:

Stream: WPA - Works Progress Administration

Once I hear about a new Glen Phillips project, I'm sold.

WPA (Works Progress Administration) consists of some of the most accomplished and legendary musicians in today s American music scene. Founding members Glen Phillips (Toad the Wet Sprocket), Sean Watkins (Nickel Creek), and Luke Bulla (Jerry Douglas Band, Ricky Skaggs, Lyle Lovett) have teamed up with Sara Watkins (Nickel Creek), Benmont Tench (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers), Greg Leisz (Joni Mitchell, Wilco, Sheryl Crow, Beck), Pete Thomas (Elvis Costello and the Imposters, Randy Newman), and Davey Faragher (Elvis Costello and the Imposters, Cracker), and long-time acclaimed producer Jim Scott (Wilco, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Rolling Stones).

Their debut album is out tomorrow, and you can stream it in full below...

<a href="http://wpamusic.bandcamp.com/album/wpa">Always Have My Love by Works Progress Administration</a>

Live: Coldplay at the Phoenix Park Stage Times and Bus Information

Phoenix Park

Everyone who's going tonight, enjoy. But if you've forgotten how to get there, or are too lazy to walk, here's the Stage Times and Bus information.

GATES OPEN AT 17:00hrs
SHOW STARTS 18:15hrs


Stage Times:
6:20-6:50pm White Lies
7:10-8:10pm Elbow
8:40-10:40pm Coldplay

Here's the bus info from MCD.

A limited direct shuttle bus service to the Phoenix Park will operate from Custom House Quay in the City Centre. Service will start at 4pm. A limited return service will operate after the show.

These Dublin Bus routes serve the Parkgate Street entrance of the Phoenix Park
approx. 15 minutes walk to the concert site:
10 Donnybrook (UCD Belfield) to Phoenix Park (Infirmary Road)
10a Stillorgan (Shopping Centre) to Phoenix Park (Infirmary Road)
25 Pearse Street to Lucan (Dodsboro)
25a Pearse Street to Lucan (Esker Church)
26 Pearse Street to Palmerstown (Cherry Orchard)
66 Pearse Street to Maynooth (Straffan Road)
66a Pearse Street to Captains Hill (River Forest)
66b Pearse Street to Leixlip (Castletown)
66d Waterloo Road to Leixlip (Easton Road)
67 Pearse Street to Celbridge
68 Aston Quay to Newcastle / Greenogue Business Park
69 Aston Quay to Rathcoole

Routes 37, 38, 39 & 70 serve the Ashtown Gate of Phoenix Park, approx. 15 minutes walk to concert site. Phoenix Park is also served by Routes 121 &
For more information tel: 01 873 4222 - 0830hrs ­ 1800hrs (Monday -
Saturday excluding Public Holidays) or www.dublinbus.ie. Remember there is no Nitelink service on a Monday night.

Rant: Kanye West's VMA Outburst

By now, you'll no doubt have heard about the controversy when Kanye West stormed the stage during Taylor Swift's acceptance speech. Swift had just won the award for Best Female Video, and was in the middle of her "thank you"s when the one-man-ego came onto the stage to protest that Beyonce's video should have won as it was one of the best videos ever, never mind this year.

Taylor's speech/Kanye's rant:

Beyonce went on to win the overall Best Video category (which is a bit strange, how can it be the best video overall and not the best video by a female?)

My problem however is not that Kanye harassed Taylor (who rightly deserved to win), but that Beyonce's video is all kinds of awful. Forget what the song is about for a minute, that's rarely important in music videos, but what is the video about?

Well... nothing, it's just Beyonce dancing around for three minutes or so and grinding her hips while shaking her arm to "put a ring on it". On said arm is what can only be described as the Power Glove from 1989's The Wizard.

Yes, this...

All in all, Kanye was wrong to do what he did. Not because of poor Taylor, but because he was championing not only one of the worst videos of the year, but also one of the stupidest videos ever.