Swear I'm not Paul: 02/05/2010

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Saturday, May 8, 2010

Setlist: KISS, O2, Dublin. 7 May 2010

A lot of you went to see legendary rock band KISS at the O2 in Dublin last night, and rock and rolled all night. I bet they're not partying today though, due to very, very sore heads.

1. Modern Day Delilah
2. Cold Gin
3. Let Me Go, Rock 'N' Roll
4. Firehouse
5. Say Yeah
6. Deuce
7. Crazy Crazy Nights
8. Calling Dr. Love
9. Shock Me
10. I'm An Animal
11. 100,000 Years
12. I Love It Loud
13. Love Gun
14. Black Diamond
15. Detroit Rock City
16. Lick It Up
17. Shout It Out Loud
18. I Was Made For Lovin' You
19. God Gave Rock 'n' Roll to You II (Argent cover)
20. Rock And Roll All Nite

Watch 'Crazy Crazy Nights' from their O2 gig:

Album Review: The Dead Weather - Sea of Cowards

Yesterday saw the Irish release of the second album from Jack White and Alison Mosshart's Dead Weather. The album, Sea of Cowards came with four exclusive photos if you bought it at HMV (there's still some available as far as I know), and will be released worldwide early next week.

Sea of Cowards probably isn't as immediately accessible as their debut, Horehound, which launched them on the scene last year, but the highs are much higher this time around.

The album is as dirty and as aggressive as the first, and the greasy 'Blue Blood Blues' really sets the tone. It's a great, gritty opener with a fantastic repeated riff, and includes the amazing line "shake your hips like battleships" and the refrain "I sing at Sunday service". Nobody else but a Jack White band could pull this off.

'Hustle and Cuss' is the album's first Alison-fronted tune, and although it has a fantastic title, it's one of the album's weaker tracks. I probably was expecting a lot more from the song's name. It just never really gets going. You know what its problem is? It's not loud enough. Loud is exactly what you want/need (delete as appropriate) from the Dead Weather.

'The Difference Between Us' is the only song solely credited to just Mosshart and White, and is one of their finest songs yet. It's got a kind of B-movie sci-fi theme, and has the feel that it wouldn't be out of place on a White Stripes record. 'I Can't Hear You' is similar, and features fantastic guitar lines. How can you not love the squeal from White's guitar?

Some of the songs are complete throwaway tunes, 'I'm Mad' and 'Old Mary' particularly. The schizophrenic 'I'm Mad' totally interrupts the flow of the album, and is the worst song in the Dead Weather canon (and probably one of the worst things White has put his name to).

Luckily, most of the album is fantastic. Single 'Die By the Drop' (which is missing White's name in the credits) was a fantastic way to introduce the new album, but the highpoint comes later on 'Gasoline', which improves on 'Cut Like A Buffalo' in every way. 'Die By the Drop' features fantastic vocal interplay between Mosshart and White, and has a chorus that demands to be sung along with at maximum volume.

'Gasoline' is the best song so far from the Dead Weather, and would probably be in a list of the top ten Jack White songs. It's that damn good, and is worth the admission price along. Even the opening few bars are incredible. It's definitely Mosshart's best song of her career (Kills tunes included). Go and listen to it now...

Friday, May 7, 2010

Album Review: The Butterfly Graveyard

The liner notes/booklet for the self-titled album from The Butterfly Graveyard (which is the brainchild of Terence O'Connor along with the Corkonian producer Herbie Macken) would indicate you're in for something overly-lyrical and self-indulgent. There's references to Shelley and Prospero, as well as songs about Fenian mythology. However, on the surface (all that is under the surface to be explored on further listens), it's a wonderfully melodic album in the vein of Blue Nile's Hats.

Opening song and debut single 'Writing You Off' is a gorgeous tune carved out on a wonderful ambient landscape. Herbie Macken did a great job here (he has previously worked with Gavin Friday, Daniel Lanois, and Bic Runga) and no note seems superfluous.

'Underdog' is a gritty Jack White-style tune, and is much more aggressive than the opener. The album mixes these ups and downs, the mellow and the heavy perfectly. It's a wonderful meld, but wouldn't be complete without O'Connor's sharp vocal. Three years in the making, this is an album that epitomises hard work, and shows in its construction.

'Pray' is the song that stands out as being the most influenced by the Blue Nile, and the whole thing is sure to appeal to fans of the Scottish band (particularly as there's been nothing from the Blue Nile in 6 years!)

The album contrasts brilliantly: 'One in a Million' is a haunting, sensitive tune, whereas 'Sunburn' could easily be a radio single.

Overall, it's an enchanting record that yields more with each listen - especially when you take time to investigate the beautiful lyrics. 'Butterfly Graveyard' particularly, it's full of fantastic lines "The sad muse sat like a photograph / Biting her nails with worry / And the lark sang and his song it rang / It was me for you and you for me".

A wonderful debut, it's out now on Oracle Records.

Album News: Antony and the Johnsons - Swanlights

After releasing the wonderful album The Crying Light (his best yet, in my opinion) last year as well as his Another World EP just beforehand, Antony and the Johnsons continues his/their prolific phase with a new album in 2010. The album will be called Swanlights and is due for release on October 4th on Rough Trade. Not a lot of other info yet about it, but it will be accompanied by a 144 page booklet of his art as well as a lot more.

More info when it appears...

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Stream: Ham Sandwich - The Naturist

Ham Sandwich - The Naturist

Up above is the cover for the new Ham Sandwich single 'The Naturist', which is taken from their upcoming album Natural Causes. The single comes out next Friday (the 14th) and is sure to be all over the radio. Have a listen to it below... They're also playing Whelan's in Dublin on May 15th, so expect to hear plenty more new tunes.

Download: Dave Rawlings Machine - Cedar Cultural Centrer, 9th December 2009

Here's a fantastic bootleg from late last year, just after Dave Rawlings Machine released their excellent debut Friend of a Friend. Before that, Dave Rawlings was best known as being a guitarist with Gillian Welch as well as Ryan Adams. His debut marked him out as a wonderful artist on his own merits. Check out some of the songs on this bootleg, taken from the Cedar Cultural Center in Minneapolis, MN on the 9th of December 2009. The download is courtesy of dluva, who says "I've been listening to a ton of Dave Rawlings Machine lately. Here's a link to a great show. The sound is excellent, too. Enjoy!"

1. Monkey And The Engineer
2. Elvis Presley Blues
3. Hot Corn, Cold Corn
4. I Hear Them All > This Land Is Your Land > I Hear Them All
5. Ruby
6. I'm On My Way Back To The Old Home
7. Copper Kettle
8. Throw Me A Rope
9. Sweet Tooth
10. C.C. Rider
11. It's Too Easy
12. Spodeeodee
13. No One Knows My Name
14. Look at Miss Ohio
15. Method Acting > Cortez the Killer
16. Field Of Opportunity
17. Bells of Harlem
18. Queen Jane Approximately
19. How's About You
20. Red Clay Halo
21. To Be Young (Is To Be Sad, Is To Be High)
22. The Weight

Dave Rawlings: Vocal/Guitar/Banjo
Gillian Welch: Guitar/Vocal/Banjo/Harmonica
Ketch Secor: Fiddle/Harmonica/Bass Vocal
Willie Watson: Guitar/Vocal/2nd Fiddle on "It's Too Easy"
Morgan Jahnig: Bass

Full Show

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Album News: RSAG - Be It Right or Wrong

Kilkenny's Jeremy Hickey is back with a new album. The follow-up to R.S.A.G.'s excellent 2008 record Organic Sampler is due June 11th. Rarely Seen Above Ground's second album will be called Be It Right or Wrong and is sure to be every bit as good as the Choice-nominated debut. Wonderful Irish music website State.ie has a stream of the first single 'The Roamer' which was given its first play by On the Record's Jim Carroll last night.

10. MAKE

Upcoming dates:
Wed 16 June – Cyprus Avenue, Cork
Thu 17 June – Dolan’s, Limerick
Fri 18 June – Roisin Dubh, Galway
Thu 24 June – The Academy, Dublin
Sat 26 June – Spirit Store, Dundalk

RSAG - 'The Roamer'

Live: Eels, Fight Like Apes at Electric Picnic

Some more excellent acts were added to the Electric Picnic lineup today. Firstly there's Mister E and his marvellous Eels. Eels are one of the most consistent bands around, and regularly release fantastic albums, such as this year's End Times and last year's Hombre Loco. It'll be great to hear some of the material from those at Stradbally this September.

Also added are our very own Fight Like Apes, Friendly Fires, The Fall, Bonobo, Channel One, Stonaway, and Laurent Gardner.

It's sure to be a great weekend. It takes place 3rd-5th of September, with tickets at €240 on sale now.

Live: O Emperor in Whelan's

A little late to be mentioning this, but not too late, as O Emperor play a headline gig in Whelan's tomorrow night. It was the gig of the week on 98FM's Totally Irish, and rightfully so. It should be a fantastic night. Support comes from the Gorgeous Colours, as well as Walter Mitty and the Realists.

If you have nothing else planned (i.e. if you're not staying in to watch the UK Election Results), then pop down to Whelan's around 8ish. Tickets are €15, and are on sale now.

Watch O Emperor on BalconyTV:

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Live Review: Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, Set Theatre, Kilkenny, 30 April 2010

Friday night's late, late gig at the Set Theatre in Kilkenny as part of the wonderful Rhythm and Roots Festival was my third time seeing Jason Isbell, and second time with the 400 Unit. From this experience, I think he's much better with the 400 Unit rather than solo or with just guitarist Browan Lalor accompanying.

The last time I saw Jason was in a three-quarters full Whelan's and he didn't seem in good spirits, however the Smiithwicks on Friday night must have gone down well, as he was in great form and was entertaining throughout. He was extremely chatty and even told stories between songs.

One was how he liked visiting Ireland because the people understood what he was saying, unlike New York or Amsterdam. Thus we could understand his "Sometimes I miss my ex-wife, but my aim is getting better" joke, which he said didn't go down as well in the Netherlands.

Many of the people in attendance popped along as part of the festival, and were easily converted as the 400 Unit pulled out all the stops on fantastic versions of their own songs, as well as some Drive-By Truckers classics. There were many standouts, 'Outfit' and 'Never Gonna Change' are always excellent, but 'Decoration Day' impressed me more this time than on past occasions.

Isbell and the 400 Unit's own repertoire was well represented too, especially from their self-titled record. 'Streetlights' and 'Soldiers Get Strange' were impressive, but it would've been nice to hear more from Sirens of the Ditch. As it was, 'The Magician' and 'Dress Blues' stood out most.

There wasn't too much new from what I had seen Isbell perform before, but Browan's take on Talking Heads' 'Psycho Killer' was a highlight, as was their instrumental performance of a New Orleans blues track, which I think Isbell called 'Believing' (although I could have misheard).

The Set Theatre is a gorgeous venue (Kilkenny's finest, in my opinion), and Isbell thought so too. He commented that it was like a strip club in Alabama called Platinum Plus where he used to visit, and could see Triple 6 Mafia on the balconies "throwing down piles of money at the strippers". "You know those guys have an Oscar now?"

Watch Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit - 'Outfit' at the Set Theatre:

Album News: Seth Lakeman - Hearts and Minds

Seth Lakeman's second and third albums Kitty Jay and Freedom Fields were two of the finest folk records of the past decade, thus I'm excited to hear that he has a new album (his fifth) on the way.

Hearts and Minds is due on June 14th, and one of the tracks can be downloaded now from his official website (via twitter or facebook).

Possible tracks:
- Circle Grows
- Preachers Ghost
- Fire & Dirt
- Stepping Over You
- The Watchman
- Signed and Sealed

Seth Lakeman - 'Hard Working Man'

Making of Video:

Monday, May 3, 2010

Setlist: Florence and the Machine, Olympia, 2 May 2010

The most overhyped woman on the planet (and that includes Lady Gaga) performed another sold-out show at the Olympia Theatre in Dublin last night. Florence and the Machine seem to play Dublin every few months, and each time her tired old schtick seems to find an audience. Anyhow, here's last night's setlist.

(EDIT: Legendary music blogger Nialler9 enquired as to why I posted the setlist when I don't like the artist. Two reasons (a) to let you all know how much I love her, but more importantly (b) because readers Gary and Karen both requested it.)

Girl With One Eye
Strangeness & Charm
You Got The Love
Dog Days Are Over

Watch Candi Staton 'You Got The Love':

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Links: 98 FM Interview

Anyone who was listening to John Barker's Totally Irish on Dublin's 98FM would have heard yours truly talking about O Emperor, I am Not Lefthanded, free music, as well as upcoming gigs. I promised to post links to all the free music (as well as the other stuff I covered), so here it is:

O Emperor - Reverie EP

I Am Not Lefthanded
New Album/Donate


Cast of Cheers - Chariot - debut album of Bloc Party style rock from the Dublin band, made available for free, were due to play the Best of IMRO Showcase Tour last night, but pulled out due to concerns over the IMRO Licence, as “a show of solidarity in support of blogs, upcoming artists and artist-led labels.”

Holy Roman Army - Desecrations EP - excellent collection of five covers from the Carlow duo. Their version of Bon Iver's 'Skinny Love' is a standout.

Fight Like Apes - Live at Eurosonic - represented Ireland at the 2008 Eurosonic Festival, this year's representatives were And So I Watch You From Afar, Imelda May, Delorentos and Villagers.

Bill Coleman - Black and Red EP, Black and Green EP, Black and Blue EP, but you can also download his older material, like his excellent 2007 album I Tear My Own Walls Down.

Sacred Animals - Sacred Animals EP - Thanks to Peter at 2UIBestow for pointing me in the direction of the wonderful three song EP from up and coming Sacred Animals as well as the fact that Declan de Barra is offering up his past catalogue for free.

Declan de Barra - Song of a Thousand Birds his debut, he's working on a new album, A Fire to Scare the Sun, at the moment. de Barra also represented Ireland at last year's Eurosonic Festival.

Setlist: Cheryl Cole, O2, 1 May 2010

In what may be Cheryl Cole's last ever bunch of performances under the name Cheryl "Cole", the Geordie lass supported Black Eyed Peas at the O2 in Dublin as part of their tour.

Fight For This Love
Rain on Me
Make Me Cry
3 Words
Stand Up
Boy Like You

Watch 'Fight for This Love' live in Dublin:

Setlist: Black Eyed Peas, O2, 1 May 2010

Black Eyed Peas stopped off in Dublin's O2 as part of their The END tour last night, and were supported by FHM's sexiest woman in the world Cheryl Cole. Thanks to Daegan Walsh for the setlist.

Let's Get it Started
Rock That Body
Meet Me Halfway
Don't Phunk With My Heart
Shut Up
Imma Be
My Humps
Missing You
Rocking to the Beat
Big Girls
Now Generation
Pump It
Where Is The Love?
Boom Boom Pow >
Showdown >
Party All the Time
Outta My Head
I Got a Feeling