Swear I'm not Paul: 16/05/2010

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Saturday, May 22, 2010

Competition: Win a Nokia 6700

EDIT: Competition is now closed, winner will be announced tomorrow.

Nokia are celebrating the release of their fantastic new Nokia 6700 by offering up a Red Nokia 6700 as a prize here. The Nokia 6700 slide is a snazzy little phone, and is really handy for browsing the net, updating your social media, and checking your email on the go. It's available in four colours - silver, pink, purple, and red. I think I have the fanciest one to give away. Plus it has room for a SD Card up to 16GB, so you can hold heaps of music.

Which brings me nicely onto my next point: Nokia have moved up to second place in Europe for mobile downloads, even ahead of Vodafone. It holds a 22% share in music downloads across Europe, which is a pretty impressive statistic. It couldn't come at a better time, as mobile full song downloads are about to surpass ringtone downloads for the first time ever.

All you have to do is guess what's in the red box below, and leave your answer in the comments. Whoever gets the right answer will be put into a draw for the phone, if no-one gets it right, the closest wins.

Rules: Please enter from a google/OpenID account (and one which has your email or contact details on your user page), or if you're posting from an unregistered account, give a hint as to your email address so I can contact you if you win. e.g. swearimnotpaul[at]gmail or something like that.

Closing date is this Monday, the 24th.

Now, the question... What is in the red box? Here's your hint: It's red, but that's not important. What is important is
Cryptic clue: the answer is blowing in the wind. Some like it hot.
Standard clue: It's cylindrical, and something Father Jack can make all by himself.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Album Review: Cathy Davey - The Nameless

Cathy Davey - The Nameless

After being knocked off her one-week perch at number 1 in the Irish charts, Cathy Davey could not have asked to have been supplanted by anyone closer to home. Conor J O'Brien did not only record Villagers' Becoming a Jackal recently, he also was involved in the entirety of Cathy Davey's third album The Nameless. Oh and it's still #2 this week. Not a bad 1-2, right?

Davey's third record may well be her best yet. It takes everything that made Something Ilk and Tales of Silversleeve great and turned them up a notch. Her singing is as bewitching as ever, and her and O'Brien's music is first-rate throughout.

Opening song and title track 'The Nameless' is a captivating tune, showing off her powerful vocals, especially during the splendid closing section. It's like wrapping yourself in the warmest of blankets and blocking everything else out.

There's much to enjoy here, 'Army of Tears' with Neil Hannon is led by wonderful strings until it leaps into a wonderful chorus. Symphonic brilliance. The press release calls the tune the best ever Eurovision song not to appear at the Eurovision, but I feel that belittles it. It's so much better. 'In He Comes', 'Bad Weather', and 'Wild Rum' are equally beautiful, the first is a particular standout in the Kate Bush mould.

Single 'Little Red' showcases her talents further, and highlights how her move away from a major label has actually helped rather than hindered her career. It has given her the time to record something as mystifyingly beautiful as this.

The album is masterfully arranged, a tremendous job has gone into the album, from everyone involved. But the star of the show remains that gorgeous voice. There isn't many better instruments in Ireland. Glorious, and yet another reason why 2010 is proving to be the best year ever for Irish music.

The Annotated Bell x1 - Flock

The third part of my Annotated Bell x1 focuses on 2005's Flock.


Cute hoors1 on every corner
They're putting out, putting out
And there's many a kerb crawler2
A boy racer3
Fine young men with their spoilers spoiled4

Hail fella, well met
Makin' V's like Nixon5
A comb over6 and sweat

Cute hoors in the corridors of power7
Throwin' shapes, atin'8 grapes
The wink and elbow9 language of delight
Has been seduced by the dark side10

We are the babies that they kissed
And ours is the flesh that they pressed11

Yea they're good for a reacharound12
Always good for a reacharound
Oh they're good for a reacharound
Always good for a reacharound

Cute hoors on every corner
They're putting out, putting out
As with most things here
It's hard to pin down
It sticks to your clothes, it's airborne
It's been long celebrated
As something to make us proud
All this movin' and shakin'
Envelopes so brown13

Yea they're good for a reacharound
Always good for a reacharound
Oh they're good for a reacharound
Always good for a reacharound

1 A play on the word "whore", who'd be on the corner selling their wares. Cute hoorism is a practice of outwitting people, somewhat mischievously, like former Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister) Charles J Haughey.
2 A kerb crawler is someone who drives around with the intention of picking up prostitutes.
3 Boy racers are young men (and women in the case of girl racers) who speed around in specially converted (souped-up) motor vehicles, where the only intention is to maximise engine noise at the expense of the driver's hearing.
4 Spoilers are added to cars to increase downforce and keep the car on the road at high speeds. They would never be needed on a Fiat Punto, but that doesn't stop the boy racers from adding them, and spoiling their vehicles.
5 V is for victory, and the Vs here are the ones 37th American President Richard Milhous Nixon (1913-1994) made as he left the White House after resigning as president in 1974. The V symbol is also considered to be a sign of peace, but Nixon's frequent use of such has made a lot of people question that connection.
6 A comb over is a scurrilous method of disguising a lack of hair in aged men, by combing over the remaining strands to hide bald patches. Notable patrons of the comb over include English 1966 World Cup winning footballer Robert "Bobby" Charlton (1937-), American businessman and television personality Donald Trump (1946-), and American musician Saul Hudson (1965-).
7 The corridors of power is a term for the halls of parliamentary buildings. American television writer and producer Aaron Sorkin (1961-) is an expert at displaying these corridors, particularly his stately home improvement show The West Wing.
8 'Ating is Irish slang for eating. Although, drinkin' is our national pastime.
9 The wink and elbow is a *nudge nudge* movement which usually follows smart repartee or a rude limerick. One such limerick is "There once was a man from Nantucket / Whose cock was so long he could suck it / As he wiped off his chin / He said with a grin / If my ear was a cunt I would fuck it."
10 The dark side is something, something, something, something.
11 Politicians are known for shaking hands with voters as well as kissing babies, usually for a photo opportunity. Irish Taoiseach Brian Cowen (1960-) is better known for his ability to make babies cry while performing this theatrical endeavour.
12 A reacharound is a sexual term for giving on a second level as well as the first, if you get my drift. If you don't get it, you're probably better off.
13 During the era of the Celtic Tiger, where the building trade boomed in Ireland, brown envelopes full of illicit cash were passed between developers as well as many others, as a form of bribery. c.f. Paul Williams, every Sunday in...ah, who cares anymore?


When your hand brushed against mine
I thought I'd collapse
I'm no rolling stone
I gather too much moss1
Maybe it's 'cos I'm getting
A little bit older
But oh how your neck
Flows to your shoulder
It draws me, it draws me to your flame

I wanna be near you
And blink in your light
And toast marshmallows
On a cold dark night
By your flame

Your flesh it melts in my mouth
Like Holy Communion2
But you don't really care for
Jesus now do you?3
A photograph of this love
Hangs on my wall
I would dare to speak its name
If I knew what it was called
I would dare to speak its name
If I knew what it was called

Rattle the one who's shadow
You're standing in
Under the branches after
It's been raining
On your flame
I wanna be near you
And blink in your light
And toast marshmallows
On a cold dark night
By your flame

You brought your flame
Into the chambers of my heart
You brought your flame
Where all's been condemned to dark
And now your flame
Spits shadows on my walls
Shadow on my walls

1 Ridiculous old expression "a rolling stone gathers no moss". Actually it may not be ridiculous, neither Mick Jagger (1943-) nor Ronnie Wood (1947-) had Kate Moss (1974-). Pete Doherty (1979-2005) did, but they never had.
2 The alleged body of Christ that is eaten during Christian ceremonies. I'd tell you that it's a representation or that it turns from body into bread or remains body or whatever, but I don't want to cause another 1517.
3 Notable lyric from Leonard Cohen's (1934-) much covered 1984 religious paeon 'Hallelujah'.


He said 'I wanna shine in the eye of Orion1
But I drove my soul through the Black Hole2'
She said 'What a wonderful way to wake me
You weren't so nice last night
You're such an asshole when you're drunk'
He said 'At least I'm OK in the mornings'3

He said 'The three wise men came a long way
Following that pin hole in the sky4
Yeah that one right there'
She said 'I don't believe in any old Jesus
If there was a God, then why is my arse
The perfect height of kicking?'

He said 'I'll shine for you, I'll burn for you
Yea I'll shine for you, that's what I'll do'

He said 'They're like headlights
In the rear view mirror
They're closer that they seem5
And from this gutter we're still staring at the stars'
She said 'Would ya go away and shite
Last night all you did was curse those stars
You said they sang to you of hope'

He said 'The sun gives life, and it takes it away
But like all the greats, it'll burn out someday'
She said 'I don't mind, I don't want to get bored
I don't want to end up beached on this shore
I want to be that star'

And then I'll shine for you. Then I'll burn for you.
Then I can shine for you. That's what I'll do

1 Orion is a constellation located on the celestial equator. It contains the stars Betelgeuse, Bellatrix, Rigel, Saiph, and plenty more I haven't heard of.
2 A Black Hole is a region of space from which nothing can escape, and which reflects nothing.
3 Paraphrase of the well-known quote "Bessie, my dear, you are ugly, and what's more, you are disgustingly ugly. But tomorrow I shall be sober and you will still be disgustingly ugly" by former British Prime Minister Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill (1874-1965).
4 In the New testament the Magi, or three Wise Men, followed the light of the Star of Bethlehem to find the birthplace of Jesus. With them, they brought gifts of gold, myrrh, and frankincense. There must not have been a lot of gold, as Jesus's adoptive father Joseph had to continue to be a carpenter afterwards.
5 c.f. this


On the telephone
On the message board
On the toilet wall
Telemarket poll
By sign language
By a pigeon carriage
By pressing red1
Fastest thumbs in the west

We're waiting
For fun, friendship and maybe more
Fun, friendship and maybe more

I am the man down
I'm gonna lose my leg
So just gimme the whiskey and let's go

Yes I covet my neighbour's wife
And yes I covet my neighbour's goods2
Don't get too close I might take a swipe
And friendly fire still burns

He said She said

This is not a good time
How about the New World Wine
Or a set of shiny steak knives

I went for a video
I came back with a tan
I came back with a tan

Still they gazed and their wonder grew
In this world of it might just be you
Watch them slip on the hamster wheel
Tears give good TV

He said She said

1 Sky television has marked the arrival of the "Red button", where you can get additional services, such as the lyrics to the songs at the Eurovision song contest or alternative commentary from armchair supporters during football matches. Instead of the latter, there's a button close by that looks like this. Press that instead.
2 Two of the Ten Commandments that were spoken by God on Mount Sinai, and later taken down by Moses. There's also something about bearing false witness and honouring the Sabbath, but heck, who does either of those any more?


When I wake in the morning
Of a bad skin day
And I can't face my lover
On a bad skin day
Am I this alone?
Volcano has erupted
And the ash sails down1
And I'm a poor soul of Pompeii2
Oh Christ I'm such a drama queen
On a bad skin day

And you're far from me
You're all far from me
Right where I want you to be
Far from me

I could've got a job
I could've been a contender3, when I never…
But the streak is only so long
They're all different shades
Of the same song
There's a wind in these sails, feels like I'm always waiting…
For the gold in them there hills, feels like I'm never…
Them there hills

And they're far from me
Someday we'll all wear a crown
Far from me
Someday we'll be the fairest of them all
So far from me
Someday we'll have an
Open top bus parade
For from me
Someday we'll do the
Sorry sorry charade

It feels like we're always waiting
It feels like we're never leading

1 I just wanted to type out Eyjafjallajokull. Now how do you pronounce it?
2 Pompeii, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was a town near Naples that was destroyed by an eruption of the volcano Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. There's nothing funny about that.
3 Quote from the multiple Academy Award winning 1954 film On the Waterfront, about an ex-boxer who stands up to his union bosses, featuring Marlon Brando in the lead role as Terry. (c.f. 'Pinball Machine', but while you're there, don't read this reference, or you'll see I copied and pasted this exactly, cause I'm lazy)


Natalie always seems to notice
These traces of our lives before this
But Natalie always seemed to notice me
She said we must leave, uproot, erase this
For this is the kind of love that maims us
And I won't be happy 'til
Somebody loses an eye

Tell me, do you see me as a shadow
In the yawn of the evening?
Don't leave me to those
Who would believe me
When I sell them
Kiss and tell them

I'll have no truck with all of this madness
I still see her arm thrown over his shoulder
Like a noose
But worn loose
You say you want me to
Stay here with yours
And all those here who would
Kill me and mine
If I had a hatch, I'd batten it down1

Tell me, do you see me as a shadow
In the yawn of the evening?
Don't leave me to those
Who would believe me
When I sell them
Kiss and tell them

History is written by the winners2
Yea this history is written by the winners
And I want my say

1 Batten down your hatches is an expression exclaimed in the event of a storm.
2 If history is written by the winners, how do we know what happened in Ireland in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries?


There is a darkness to these jaded days
Maybe it's a seasonal affective disorder1
Or maybe we're just sad
There is photosynthesis
We crane our necks for sunlight
There's a different sun for everyone

And it's bigger than me, this sun is bigger
Yeah it's bigger than me, this sun is bigger
So much more to eat, this sun is bigger
To be bigger than me, this sun is bigger

There is a vacuum
There are boys with toys
These toys of coldness
And a smart arse2
There is a cuckoo
Who's been and lain in my nest
And the egg is hatching
And Christ I'll never be able to feed it

'Cos it's bigger than me, this chick is bigger
Yeah it's bigger than me, this chick is bigger
So much more to eat, this chick is bigger
To be bigger than me, this chick is bigger
Oh yeah!

I should welcome all
Both fallow and fertile
I should welcome all
Both circumcised and gentile
But I can be so, so elsewhere
And I can be so, so cold

There is a world
So full of people
Full of love and shrapnel
Full of bag ladies and bag ladies and
Wicker men3

And it's bigger than me, this world is bigger
Yea it's bigger than me, this world is bigger
Still so much more to eat, this world is bigger
To be bigger than me, this world is bigger

Am I a stone?
Am I a sponge?

1 Season Affective Disorder is the disease with the best acronym, SAD, is also known as winter blues. Whoever came up with the title was one clever bastard, just like whoever though up of hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia. Well, actually, I don't think it's true, but it's funny.
2 Much like cute hoor, a smart arse is someone who makes condescendingly witty remarks. But you'd have to be stupid not to know that already.
3 The Wickerman was a large wooden human statue burned as an effigy for human sacrifice. It's also the title of a 1973 film, and the horrendous 2006 remake.


Put your sweet fingers
A little closer to the keyboard
It's hard to read between your lines
We were the clock hands at midnight
Now you're four whole hours behind
Put your sweet fingers a little closer to the keyboard
I can't quite see the whites of your eyes
Though you bat your eyelids from across the ocean
And I fall over in their breeze
I don't bring you spices from the East
I don't bring you the world's you crave
'Cos everyday you need a new one

Just like Mr Benn, just like Mr Benn

Put your sweet fingers a little closer to the keyboard
We pass light bits in the night
Though you send your flare to the horizon
I just stare and blink in your light
I don't speak in all your tongues
So I don't even know if I'll be welcome
But what if I appeared as if by magic?
Just like in Mr Benn

So go if you're going
You keep pouring when I say when
Come home when your
Work there is done
Just like Mr Benn

Put your sweet fingers
A little closer to the keyboard
It's hard to read between your lines
We were the clock hands at midnight
Now you're four whole hours behind

1 Mister Benn is a children's book an television character, created by David McKee. A funky looking dude in a suit and bowler hat, he was one of the best dressed people on television ever who had no job.


Somewhere in this sea of Club Milks1
Tea and ashtrays
There is a song
I'm in the crow's nest2 with binoculars
Just waiting for one to come along
I've seen the flare so I know it's there
It has me tied up at a rate of knots
No navigation, global position
Just me and this midnight oil

So take me to your king
I hear he's the man to see
And I will cross his palm3

My first born for a song

Somewhere in this froth
And howling wind
There's something worth singing
Climb into the attic to write me a classic
But it's not happening
It's just Christmas up here
Between the phone calls
And text messages
The air must be thick with words
But not between us
Shoulder to grindstone
Switching to manual
Keep the head down
And I'll see you at the end

So take me to your king
I hear he's the man to see
And I will cross his palm

My first born for a song

1 A Club Milk is a chocolate covered biscuit bar made by Jacob's. It used to come in a 7 pack, but you'll now have to do without it for one day of the week.
2 A crow's nest is a place on higher ground, often with a 360 degree viewpoint of the surrounding area, from which people observe or hunt.
3 Crossing one's palm is to give them money for something. It's not usually up to brown envelope proportion though.


She had mixed me
With someone she once seen
Projected on her screen
Now I'm bluetacked1 above her feet
So go lightly don't wake her
Let her dream

Reflecting off the roof
The whole world, it shimmers for you
On a tree lined road
My body took leave of my soul
'Hold on tight oblivion' she screams
She's so strong when she's
Digging into me

My head almost broke my heart
Perfection takes me years
To unravel and maul apart
The Trampoline is getting torn
Landing hard and taking off
What now must I use
To get us both airborne

I press green to play
But the dial tone encores for me
I try to dodge the cracks
So not to hex2 it or paint it black
I'm starting feel tremor of faith
But never before on this scale

You and I
Always had someone to talk us down
You and I
Learned how to live without solid ground
You and I
Jump up and down on
These straining ties
That were guaranteed to bind

1 An adhesive substance which is commonly used by youngsters to put up posters of footballers like David Ginola or pop stars such as Donny Osmonde. It usually lasts about two weeks before losing all stickiness and the poster falls down. Unless it was used for depictions of Baywatch-era Pamela Anderson.
2 To put a hex on someone is to cast a spell over them. It's also a pretty useful word to know late on in Scrabble, as you can get at least 13 points for three letters.


I've got your blood
Under my fingernails
It feels like I could
Never wash it away
Well how about that?
I could never do that
Well whaddaya know about that?
I could never do that

I've been waiting for your blood
To appear on my hands
And there it was
Under very different circumstances
It's a clanging cymbal
To end this drum roll
It's a clanging cymbal
To end this drum roll

I've been walking you
Into those lamposts again
I'd rather do that than
Let go of your hand

I've been watching your fingers
Straddle the neck of your guitar
Since you said they'd buckle
Like the legs of a new born foal
But they're still standing
Making those sweet
Mongrel chord shapes
Yea they're still standing
And you got the middle
One raised to me

I've been walking you
Into those lampposts again
I'd rather do that than
Let you of your hand

I feel you from me
Braithim uaim tú1
I feel you from me

I've been walking you
Into those lampposts again
I'd rather do that than let
Go of your hand

1 Irish (Gaelic) translation of the expression "I miss you". Awww.

News: Villagers - Becoming a Jackal tops Irish chart

Congratulations to Conor O'Brien and his project Villagers, who have topped the Irish Albums Chart this week with their debut Becoming a Jackal. Fantastic news for Conor, whose career is going from strength to strength. He's set for bigger things than Jools Holland. This is just the start.

Stream: Arcade Fire - The Suburbs

Have a listen to the new 7" from Arcade Fire, their first proper release since 2007's Neon Bible. It's a nice preview to their upcoming album, due for release later this year. Have a listen to samples from the two songs, 'The Suburbs' and 'Month of May' below. Just click on the play button, and then the track's names to change which one you want to listen to.

A. The Suburbs

AA. Month of May

More info:

Setlist: Eli Paperboy Reed, The Academy, 19 May 2010

Eli "Paperboy" Reed and the Trueloves came to town on Wednesday night to play their swoontastic tunes to an adoring crowd. Support on the night came from local band the Pacifics, who played a mixture of originals and covers.

Read a full review of the show over at GoldenPlec, here.

The Satisfier
Help Me
It's Easier
Tell Me What I Wanna Hear
Just Like Me
Am I Wasting My Time
Pick Your Battles
You Can Run On
Time Will Tell
Young Girl
Come and Get It
Boom Boom

Live: Gavin Glass at Whelan's

Gavin Glass is set to release his third album Myna Birds on Thursday, May 27th with a special launch party at Whelan's. Myna Birds is the follow-up to his well-received Gavin Glass and the Holy Shakers.

In between then and now, Glass also appeared on Lisa Hannigan's Sea Sew, as well as being part of her touring entourage. Luckily for us though, he's back with a new record. You may have already heard 'Ooh La La' from it, as it appeared on a recent Meteor ad.

Tickets for the launch show are on sale now and cost €15. Support on the night comes from I Draw Slow.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Watch: The Hold Steady Rolling Stone performance

The Hold Steady performed a short little set for Rolling Stone magazine, playing three songs from new album Heaven is Whenever. They're fantastic videos, well-recorded. Enjoy.

Watch 'Hurricane J':

Watch 'Barely Breathing':

Watch 'We Can Get Together':

Setlist: Villagers, Set Theatre Kilkenny, 19 May 2010

Conor O'Brien's Villagers played the Set Theatre in Kilkenny yesterday in order to promote their excellent debut album Becoming a Jackal. Thanks again to Keith for the setlist. The Set Theatre is a gorgeous venue, and if you get a chance to see someone there, I urge you to take it. Jim Caroll called last night's gig the "best gig in ages", commenting that it was "Sublime on so many different levels".

The Meaning of the Ritual
Becoming a Jackal
That Day
To Be Counted
The Pact
I Saw Dead
Down Under Sea
Ship of Promises
On a Sunlit Stage

List: Top 5 Unreleased Dave Matthews Band tracks

Yesterday, Dave Matthews Band issued an official press release stating that they'd be taking the entire year of 2011 off:


As we feel the excitement building for this summer, we wanted to let everyone know that after twenty years of consecutive touring, Dave Matthews Band will be taking 2011 off. We feel lucky that our tours are a part of so many people's lives, and wanted to give everyone as much notice as possible. We're excited to make this summer one of our best tours yet, and look forward to returning to the road in 2012."

This may or not be great news, since last year's Big Whiskey and the Groogrux King was the band's best album in a decade. However, after relentless touring for that entire decade, it's about time they took some time off. That said, I wouldn't rule out a follow-up to Matthews' 2001 solo record Some Devil.

So to coincide with that announcement, here's my top 5 unreleased Dave Matthews Band tracks:

Also called 'Always', '#40' is one of the band's long lost tunes. It's sometimes teased at shows, but has only been played in its entirety once in the last eight years. The definitive version is the Live at Yoshis performance, and if you can get your hands on that bootleg, I highly recommend it. A fantastic recording.

'Good Good Time'
First played at the Bonnaroo Festival in 2004 and originally titled 'Thing' and later 'Hmmm', 'Good Good Time' made its debut as a Dave Matthews and Friends song, but was equally great when brought to the table by the full band.

One of the oldest DMB tracks, it dates back to 1992, but has not been released as part of an studio album. It's still played regularly on tour, and was recorded in the sessions for Under the Table and Dreaming. A live favourite of many long-time fans.

First played in 2004 alongside other new tunes intended for Stand Up, 'Joyride' was a million times better than 'Hello Again' which made the cut. It was released as a bonus track, but the majority of listeners would not have heard it.

'Sweet Up and Down'
Leaked as part of the unofficial Lilywhite Sessions, this song was cut from the final release of Busted Stuff, and along with 'JTR' is a huge omission from that album.

Setlist: Cathy Davey, Dolan's, 16th May 2010

Thanks to Keith at IndieLimerick for the setlist, he has a good few videos from the gig here.

No Heart
In He Comes
Clean & Messy
Lay Your Hand
Wild Rum
Bad Weather
I Want You Back (Micheal Jackson Cover)
Sing For You Supper


Download: Hoarsebox - Work Party

Dublin four-piece Hoarsebox are currently recording their debut album in the States with producer Dennis Herring (Modest Mouse, Elvis Costello, The Hives, Counting Crows). The album doesn't have a name quite yet, but is due for release sometime around September. However, having Herring on board is getting me amped up for the release, he produced Counting Crows' underrated This Desert Life as well as Modest Mouse's Good News for People Who Love Bad News.

To fill the void between now and then, the band are offering up their double A-side single 'Work Party'/'Inside Out' as a free download - all you need is to enter your email address.


More info:

Live: Smash Hits at Tripod

I'm usually not one for promoting cover bands, but when a night is as whack (or whatever the coll kids said back then) as Smash Hits's amazing St. Patrick's Eve gig at Tripod, it needs to be promoted. They're back again with all your nineties classics. This time, they'll play TriPod on Friday June 18th. Tickets are €20 and are on sale now.

Expect to hear the likes of 'Ice Ice Baby', 'Don't You Know Pump It Up', 'Can't Touch This' and maybe even the Fresh Prince theme tune.

Here's the band featured in the Irish Times last weekend:

Watch Smash Hits - 'Gangsta's Paradise':

Live: Oxegen Hot Press Academy Tent Lineup

There may be just three weeks to go to the FIFA World Cup in South Africa (of which Matthew Upson won't be attending), but there's just seven weeks to go to the biggest musical festival of the year, Oxegen 2010.

Many people complained about the lack of Irish acts when the initial lineup was announced, but the announcement of the full lineup for the Hot Press Academy Stage should surely rectify that. As well as great foreign imports such as Julian Casablancas (of the Strokes), Laura Marling, Yeasayer and Kele Okereke (him from Bloc Party), there's plenty of homegrown artists due to appear. The highlights for me will be Conor O'Brien's Villagers, Cathy Davey, Wallis Bird, and O Emperor. Oh and I forgot to mention, old frogthroat-skeleton hands herself is playing, that's right Diana Vickers will be there!


While you're at it, check out the brand new Oxegen website here:

Watch O Emperor 'Don't Mind Me':

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Guest Post: Third Man Records - 5 records you need from Jack White's label

Guesting on this post is fellow music blogger Sean Earley. You can find him over at http://seanear1ey.wordpress.com where he blogs and podcasts regularly. He also writes for HeinekenMusic.ie, is a contributor over at Culch.ie and co-runs a Dublin events blog http://todayindublin.wordpress.com

You can follow him on twitter on

Jack White's Third Man imprint was originally established as the brand name for a pubescent Anthony Gillis' furniture re-upholstery business, Third Man Upholstery. Based in Detroit, Gillis [a.k.a. Jack White] spent his late teens covering, filling and reviving old armchairs and sofas, all while wearing trademark yellow and black clobber. Between then and now; Gillis has become White, White has become a guitar virtuoso rock icon and the Third Man motif that began it all has been altered slightly but still Jack White's signature style.

White has always had a passion for exposing bands and performers he likes to a wider audience through the vehicle of his influence and production skills. An early example being Sympathy For the Record Industry's 'Sympathetic Sounds of Detroit' where White took it upon himself to gather and produce an LP of Detroit's local garage bands who were knocking about, just when the White Stripes were gathering steam. In the years thereafter, the duo brought old Detroit friends on tour with them to expose them to global audiences; the Greenhornes, Brendan Benson, the Von Bondies, the Dirtbombs and Blanche all accompanied the White Stripes across the US and around the world.

Now, in his third band, White decided to establish a physical location for Third Man Records, a previously fleeting interest, previously used to publish his previous albums and fund smaller ventures including a single and album in conjunction with Cass Records by the Muldoons. However, Third Man is no longer a fleeting interest. Serious thought, planning and money has been invested into this store, label and venue all-in-one venture. A professional relationship with Nashville's famous United Record Pressing has been fruitful for Third Man and has resulted in the pioneering of Tri-Colour records, "Three-sided" records, Glow in the Dark 7"s, and 8" singles/13" LPs. (A peach coloured and SCENTED LP is planned for Karen Elson's debut album due out this month)

Third Man's aim is to put interest back into vinyl and physical, tangible music that you can hold. Store-only editions, pop-up stores and live recordings of in-store performances all add to the store's appeal. A veritable Mecca for the Jack White enthusiast. There is a lot more to come for sure and we definitely haven't seen the best yet-

For now though here's a run-down of my top 5 most desirable releases from the Third Man Label so far -

BP Fallon - Fame #9/I Believe in Elvis Presley/BP Fallon Interview 7"

rock and roll roads lead to BP. The Irish music mogul has been in every musical circle worth mentioning over the years. He worked at the Beatles' label Apple Records in the sixties, became Thin Lizzy and T-Rex's publicist, toured with Led Zeppelin as their entertainment manager and wrote a book on his experiences with U2. Now, Jack White is BP's new interest. The photographer / journalist / Death Disco-jockey recorded a 7" with the folks at Third Man Records down in Nashville.

The A-side is a spoken word monologue, where BP considers and muses over the fickle nature of Fame. Fantastical imagery is portrayed in a smashing line about Elvis Presley

"I'm hungry he says and the door is jammed with the Memphis mafia. Each one trying to be first to return to the king with a triple cheeseburger covered in molasses and lard, the food that killed him. No one had the balls to say 'Elvis I love you, you're a bit fat. Have an apple."

The B-side is two tracks split left and right in mono: Third Man Records' patented 'three-sided record'. 'I Believe in Elvis Presley' BP's first musical outing, is a nice little ditty with slide guitar and brushed drums. BP tells us through song what he believes in, the cornerstones of his musical faith. 'BP Fallon Interview' is a stark and honest conversation between BP and Jack White's disembodied voice, hovering like a spectre. They discuss Chuck Berry, touring with Zep and the appeal of the Blues.


Wanda Jackson - You Know I'm No Good / Shakin' All Over 7"

First Loretta, now Wanda. Jack has a penchant for ageing Country music ladies. This 45 features two covers performed by grooving and shaking Wanda Jackson plus backing band. First is Amy Winehouse's 'You Know I'm No Good' which Wanda bellows amid blasts of Mark Ronson-esque trumpets. Imagine Amy being 30 years older and more bitter. 'Shakin' All Over' originally performed by Johnny Kidd and the Pirates, Jackon's version is a little more modern featuring some Jack White guitar solos and some dramatic pauses which breathe new life into the track.

The first pressing is now sold out but we are assured that Third Man is repressing the single and orders will be honoured.


The Dead Weather - Jawbreaker/No Horse 7" [Fanclub only]

One of Third Man's most innovative money spinners is a fan-club delivered through Modblast.com The site founded by Blink-182 guitarist Tom DeLonge. Modlife allows a band to charge for a subscription to exclusive content including streaming video and audio, live webcam feeds, ticket pre-sales and band blogs. As part of Third Man Records' Vault subscription you not only get access to exclusive content but also a package of exclusive releases in the form of unreleased 7"s, live LPs, t-shirts, slipmats and silkscreened posters.

It was in the first subscription to the Vault that subscribers were treated the first takes of cuts from the new Dead Weather album 'Sea of Cowards' on an exclusive 7" a full 3 months before the album was released.

On the album 'Jawbreaker' is one of the Dead Weather's finest, start/stop organ with some blistering guitar in the bridge from Fertita. Mosshart is on flying form spitting too "I'd call you a heart breaker but I reserve that for nicer things." This version is more laid back with piano replacing the guitar in an almost stripped down, acoustic version. 'No Horse' is a personal favourite from the album, but the first take version is far less evolved than the finished track.

This 7" is pretty much like listening to a Beatles Anthology track from White, Mosshart & Co. Great stuff, but only exciting/interesting to hardcore fans.


Black Belles - What Can I Do / Lies 7"

Seemingly plucked from obscurity in local Nashville, the Black Belles are a four-piece girl band. All four girls have black hair and pale skin, clearly in the Jack White fan club themselves. Appearing as part of Third Man's on-going 'Blue Series' (a series of singles in the genre of garage-blues-rock with artists photographed on a blue background) the ladies are clad in what appears to be witches hats on the sleeve.

'What Can I Do' sounds like something completely at home on 'Icky Thump' with organs reminiscent of 'I'm Slowly Turning into You' although Meg's vocal talents couldn't match these bombshells'. It must be said that there is nothing cooler than a girl who can pull off a slick blues guitar solo. The flip features a reworking of Knickerbockers' garage gem 'Lies' which features some crazy blasts of space echo and would lead you to believe it was an original track of their own.


Carl Sagan - A Glorious Dawn 7"

This is a funny one. Carl Sagan was an American Astronomer and TV personality in the 1980s . He mused on the meaning of life, the nature of the universe and the biggest questions that the galaxy posed. A Youtuber, by the name of John Boswell, remixed an episode of Sagan's 'Cosmos: A Personal Voyage' television show with a snippet of Stephen Hawking talking about the Universe. He autotuned the voices and added some trippy, cosmic music and hey presto- 'A Glorious Dawn' was born.

Issued by Third Man on one-sided vinyl, the reverse etched with the diagram as seen on Voyager's Golden Record. A limited number were also issued on 'cosmic' coloured vinyl; black with specs of glow-in-the-dark, resembling the view from the cockpit of the millennium falcon entering hyper-space.


So, if any of this interests you you can buy the tracks from iTunes if you're new-school and from Third Man Records online store over at Thirdmanrecords.com OR if you find yourself in the Nashville area why not drop by the store? There are plenty of exclusive items available there that you can't buy online.

Third Man Records
623 7th Ave South
Nashville, TN


Like this?
Check out my Dead Weather 'Sea of Cowards' review on Culch.ie
Check out my Flight of the Conchords Live review on Heinekenmusic.ie

Album News: The Walpurgis Family - Midsummer Party

Midsummer Party is the debut album from the bastard child of Groom, The Walpurgis Family. It's due for release this weekend with a special launch party at Bewley's Cafe Theatre on Friday, the 21st of May. Support for the release party comes from Jonny Fun and The... Hesitations and Mumblin' Deaf Ro.

The Walpurgis Family are made up of 3/5ths of Groom, and make equally melodic songs. Their press release compares them to Wilco and Yo La Tengo, and it's not half wrong. Midsummer Party is a lightning burst of an album, at only 27 minutes, it's full of quick fist-pounding tunes.

They'll also be playing Whelan's on June 19th as part of the Popical Island Collective.

The Walpurgis Family - 'Output One Two'
The Walpurgis Family - 'Lost in Public Transportation'

More info:

Album News: Made in Iceland 3

Compilation albums are tricky things. Most of the time they're not successful, as one act always shines far above the others. On the flip side, compilation albums are great because you get to hear songs and bands you would have never heard otherwise (unless it's a Now That's What I Call Music record). Made in Iceland 3 features some new(ish) tracks from most of Iceland's best loved musicians. As well as a tune from Sigur Rós's Jonsi ('Boy Lilikoi'), there's excellent songs from Olafur Arnalds and Valgeir Sigurdsson.

Made in Iceland III is out now on Iceland Music Export.

1. For a Minor Reflection // Dansi Dans
2. Jonsi // Boy Lilikoi
3. Hjaltalin // Suitcase Man
4. Reykjavik! // Repticon
5. Seabear // I'll Build You a Fire
6. Ben Frost // Hibakusja
7. Stafraenn Hakon // Temporality
8. Berndsen // Supertime
9. Kimono // Tomorrow
10. Valgeir Sigurdsson // Past Tundra
11. Benni Hemm Hemm // Retaliate
12. Pondus // Not Again
13. Lay Low // Aukalagid
14. Feldberg // Dreamin'
15. Snorri Helgason // Freeze Out
16. Sam Amidon // How Come That Blood
17. SkakkaManage // Now or Never
18. Sudden Weather Change // St. Peter's Day
19. Emiliana Torrini // Beggar's Prayer
20. Olafur Arnalds // Tunglid

Olafur Arnalds - 'Tunglid'
Hjaltalin - 'Suitcase Man'

More info:

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Watch: Conor Furlong - Are You Going to Sleep Tonight

'Are You Going to Sleep Tonight' is the new single from Conor Furlong, which will be made available as a free download on his website from tomorrow. There will be another song to download too, so you'll get two for the price of one.

More info/Download tomorrow:

Watch Conor Furlong - 'Are You Going to Sleep?':

Stream: Muse - Neutron Star Collision

Muse premiered their brand new single 'Neutron Star Collision (Love is Forever)' last night. It's due to appear on the soundtrack for the third Twilight movie, Eclipse which comes out next month. The soundtrack itself is due June 8th.

1. Metric – "Eclipse (All Yours)"
2. Muse – "Neutron Star Collision (Love Is Forever)"
3. The Bravery – "Ours"
4. Florence + the Machine – "Heavy in Your Arms"
5. Sia – "My Love"
6. Fanfarlo – "Atlas"
7. Metallica - "Blackened"
8. The Black Keys – "Chop and Change"
9. The Dead Weather – "Rolling in on a Burning Tire"
10. Beck and Bat for Lashes – "Let's Get Lost"
11. Vampire Weekend – "Jonathan Low"
12. UNKLE featuring The Black Angels – "With You in My Head"
13. Eastern Conference Champions – "A Million Miles an Hour"
14. Band of Horses – "Life on Earth"
15. Cee-Lo Green – "What Part of Forever"
16. Howard Shore – "Jacob's Theme"


Monday, May 17, 2010

Album Review: The National - High Violet

I am getting the sense from a lot of people I talk to, that High Violet is many people's first introduction to the National. It's probably going to be the album where their career really takes off over here. But it should be pointed out early and often that this album is not a patch on the two records that came immediately before it (although it is better than their first few). In fact, it's not even more commercial than their last, Boxer. So it's kind of strange that this is their biggest yet.

Don't get me wrong, High Violet is one of the better albums of 2010, it's just not the National's best. It's a great album full of wonderful, captivating tunes, not least album opener, the gritty 'Terrible Love'.

The National have long been a music first band, and thus the songs features big melodies and intense crescendos, which are then layered with Matt Beringer's enchanting lyrics. How can you argue with "We'll play nuns versus priests until somebody cries"?

There's plenty of highpoints to savour, particularly singles 'Anyone's Ghost' and 'Bloodbuzz Ohio', but for me, nothing tops the utterly compelling 'Little Faith'. The album is strong throughout, and closing tracks 'London' and 'Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks' are both standouts. However, overall it's not as good as Boxer or Alligator. Maybe it lacks the immediacy of those two albums, but it's just not as good.

Fantastic, but not as good. That said, 'A Little Faith' ranks among the best songs they've recorded. Immense.

Setlist: Foals, The Academy, 14th May 2010

Another setlist thanks to GoldenPlec (follow the link for a review). All said it was a marvellous night at the Academy on Friday. Expect Foals to really take off this summer. They could be massive. No doubt they'll be playing bigger venues next time around.

Total Life Forever
Olympic Airways
This Orient
Blue Blood
Spanish Sahara
Red Socks Purge
Electric Bloom
The French Open
Two Steps, Twice

Watch Foals 'The French Open' live at the Academy:

Setlist: Ham Sandwich, Whelan's, 15th May 2010

Ham Sandwich played Whelan's on Saturday night to launch their new single 'The Naturist'. Aidan over at the excellent GoldenPlec was in attendance, and wrote a great review of the night's festivities. Check it out here.

White Fox
St. Chistopher
Click Click Boom
Oh Oh
Pillar of Salt(Working Title!!)
Thru the Grass
The Naturist
When you sleep (My Bloody Valentine)

Album News: Wolf Parade - Expo 86

The third album from Spencer Krug's excellent Wolf Parade, Expo 86 is due for release in June, and from the previews of it (i.e. it leaked at the weekend), it's going to be mega. If you want to steer on the legal side of things, have a listen to mp3s of two of the songs below (thanks to Pitchfork).

1. "Cloud Shadow on the Mountain" - 4:22
2. "Palm Road" - 4:41
3. "What Did My Lover Say? (It Always Had to Go This Way)" - 5:42
4. "Little Golden Age" - 5:00
5. "In the Direction of the Moon" - 5:46
6. "Ghost Pressure" - 5:16
7. "Pobody's Nerfect" - 5:50
8. "Two Men in New Tuxedos" - 3:09
9. "Oh You, Old Thing" - 5:46
10. "Yulia" - 3:47
11. "Cave-o-Sapien" - 6:19

Wolf Parade - 'Ghost Pressure'
Wolf Parade - 'What Did My Lover Say'

Live: Beach House at Vicar Street

Beach House are due to return to Dublin to play a special one-off show at Vicar Street on November 22nd. They released their third album Teen Dream in January, so expect to hear a lot of songs from that one. Tickets are €26, and go on sale this Thursday.

Thanks to Jim Carroll for the heads up.

Watch Beach House 'Norway' live:

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Watch: Karen Elson - The Ghost Who Walks

The video for the title track from the debut album of Karen Elson has been released. The album, The Ghost Who Walks, comes out on Third Man Records next weekend, and looks set to be fantastic.

1. The Ghost Who Walks
2. The Truth Is In The Dirt
3. Pretty Babies
4. Lunasa
5. 100 Years From Now
6. Stolen Roses
7. Cruel Summer
8. Garden
9. The Birds They Circle
10. A Thief At My Door
11. The Last Laugh
12. Mouths To Feed

Watch Karen Elson - 'The Ghost Who Walks':

Download: Drive-By Truckers - Ray's Automatic Weapon

Drive-By Truckers pulled out a new song last week during a live show at the Boulder Theater in Boulder, Colorado. It's called 'Ray's Automatic Weapon', and according to frontman Patterson Hood, it has already been recorded in studio for the band's second album of the year, Go Go Boots. Download the song as an mp3 below, and then go have a listen to the full show.

1. Intro (Your Woman Is A Living Thing)
2. The Fourth Night of My Drinking
3. Three Dimes Down
4. Life in the Factory
5. Gravity's Gone
6. Ray's Automatic Weapon
7. Birthday Boy
8. Girls Who Smoke
9. Daddy Needs A Drink
10. A Ghost To Most
11. Home Field Advantage
12. Sink Hole
13. Uncle Frank
14. This Fucking Job
15. Get Downtown
16. (It's Gonna Be) I Told You So
17. Drag The Lake Charlie
18. Zip City
19. Ronnie and Neil
20. Road Cases
21. 72 (this highway's mean)
22. After The Scene Dies
23. Self Destructive Zones
24. Buttholeville > State Trooper
25. Encore Intro
26. Marry Me
27. Jay's Circus Intro > The Flying Wallendas
28. Hell No, I Ain't Happy
29. Shut Up and Get On The Plane
30. Let There Be Rock
31. Rockin' In The Free World

Drive-By Truckers - 'Ray's Automatic Weapon'

Full Show