Swear I'm not Paul: 23/05/2010

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Saturday, May 29, 2010

Eurovision 2010 Liveblog

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Welcome to my liveblog for the final of Eurovision 2010 taking place in Oslo. Never mind Marty Whelan or Graham Norton, this is the place to be. Here's my song by song opinion...

Azerbaijan: 'Drip Drop' is the song, I think the first half of it may be intended for the UK entry Josh Dubovie. It's a ballad. My gran likes it. No seriously, she does. She's here watching it with me.

Spain: Hey, Daniel Digres, I'mma let you finish, but 'Puppet on a String' is the best marionette song ever.

Norway: Hosting the Eurovision is expensive, so you'd never try to win two years in a row. How else can you explain this travesty?

Moldova: SunStroke Project sounds like a dj, but the resulting ballady nonsense has all the pain implied by the artist's name. (ooooh, burn!)

Cyprus: The only hope the UK have is with this Welsh guy. Surely he could afford to buy a new guitar with all the exposure the Eurovision giv... Oh wait.

Bosnia and Herzegovina: I totally missed this song. Pee break. These things need to be done. Especially since you need to have about twelve whiskeys to actually hear songs in tune.

Belgium: 'Me and My Guitar'. A sitar would've been more interesting, or maybe a pipe, but Ireland already has that down. Wait and see...

Serbia: Unpronouncable title? Tick. A song about vodka? Tick. Bomb under the stage? Tick.

Belarus: 'Butterflies' is the song, and oh wait, they turn into Butterflies half way through. To be honest I prefer the Crazy Town original.

Ireland: Do we actually expect this song to do anything? It needs a crescendo worthy of Westlife. Shane Filan needs to teach someone the art of key change.

Greece: A man dressed entirely in white is never a good idea. Remember the bodybuilder Jason in Big Brother a few years back? This is what he's doing now.

United Kingdom: 'That Sounds Good to Me'. I'm glad Josh, because from where I'm standing you're even more out of tune than your backing singers.

Georgia: 'Shine'. So close. One letter. So close.

Turkey: I just don't get the angle grinder halfway through. Surely she knew after Thursday's semi final that if she put that costume on again she'd have a hell of a time getting it off.

Albania: I don't think there was anything memorable about this tune. Rats. Shoulder pads straight from the 80s. I think Juliana and our own Niamh might be having a shoulder off at the interval.

Iceland: Her surname is Bjork. That's where the comparison ends. Maybe she's channeling the former Sugarcubes singer. She could well be in there. There's definitely something inside so strong.

Ukraine: Fact fans: This song didn't actually win the Song for Ukraine, another one by this same girl did, but it was already under licence. It had to be better than this.

Framce: 'Allez Ola Ole' sounds like a World Cup song. Rub it in you pricks.

Romania: The piano shoots fire halfway through. Woo. Shania Twain's sister barely fits into that leather. Garish.

Russia: He's singing to a "photo"? Is that not a drawing? Translation obviously isn't his strong point. Singing isn't either though...

Armenia: Pervy cameraman really focused on her "necklace" there. The Icelandic volcano is back - as a backing singer. What is with the Big Mommas at this year's Eurovision?

Germany: The favourite, at least it was the other day. Did she just say "dyke"? Her accent doesn't suit singing, sounds like she's got phlegm, a lot of it. We need a doctor over here!

Portugal: According to Marty they've never won before. Nothing's going to change tonight. I'm not sure which sounds more like Harry Nilsson, this or the Irish one.

Israel: Next year's contest may well be like a Glee episode - see who can do the best take on Christina Aguilera. Even the fellas want to be her. Oooh shiny. Lucky I was looking at the shine, the dire tuning problems didn't seem so bad.

Denmark: God that dude is so freaky looking. Love his 1980s Jon Bon Jovi hairdo though. Such a rip off of 'Every Breath You Take'. Ahhh, that's what it is, not Jon Bon Jovi's hair, it's Sting's!

Spain2: We got to hear it all over again. Eurovision has rules for replays. Are you watching Sepp Blatter?

Seriously how many reminders do we need of the songs? Especially as Netherland's earworm 'Shalalie' didn't make it.

The interval was fairly impressive, apart from the repetitiveness of the Norweigan Coolio.

In-House poll, 'How many points will Ireland get?'

Here are the results of the Irish vote: byeeeeeeeeeee!

So after 6 judges/public votes we're in the lead, with 2. No wait, that's not the lead. At least we have more than that poor Welsh fella for Cyprus. They have nothing, along with Belarus.

19 Countries in, Ireland second bottom with 6, UK have 7. Germany way out in front with 122. Marty sounds like he's going to cry. It's amusing. But unless we move Ireland into the Mediterranean or the Black Sea, we won't get any votes.

I can't believe people are shocked we're doing badly. (a) we have one neighbour, and (b) have you heard the song? Total yawnfest.

That's it, it's over, Lena has won for Germany with 'Satellite', It was the favourite, so not that much of a shock. See you all next year...

Watch: Josh Ritter - The Curse

Some videos are very much throwaway. They serve as no more than just a vehicle for the song. Others, like this one, are definitely worth watching. Sometimes more than once too. 'The Curse' is the new song from Josh Ritter, and the video is entirely the work of Liam Hurley (of Ritter's Royal City Band). It's gorgeous, have a look below.

Josh Ritter also has some more Irish dates coming up:
Sun 18 July - Iveagh Gardens, Dublin (with Special Guest Villagers - solo show)
Fri 23 July - Festival Big Top, Galway (with Special Guests Damien Dempsey / Cathy Davey)
Sat 24 July - INEC, Killarney (with Special Guest John Spillane)

Watch Josh Ritter - 'The Curse':

Download: Dave Matthews Band - Break For It

Dave Matthews Band opened their summer tour in Hartford, CT last night with a very varied set, including a 'JTR' opener and a rare appearance of 'Kit Kat Jam'. The biggest surprise of the night, however, was kept for the encore: the never before played 'Break For It' (previously known as 'Run While We Can'). Have a listen to the song below, or else download the FLAC from Kozmo Kramer's recording. Lyrics transcribed by pkrfan.

(With a start?)
Woke up, the bang
It's too many ghosts in here
Makes me wonder
Will we find peace anywhere?
When you hold me, girl
It falls all far away
If only if I could
Always feel this way

Can't help but think (that I/about)
Come on lets take a ride
Come on just you and me
Come on

Let's make a
Break for it baby
Let's make a
Place of our own desire
Let's make a
Break for it baby
Let's run while we can
While we, let's run while we can

TV's on, turn it off
Too many lies in there
Makes me wonder
Will we find the truth some day?
But then you talk to me
You are the truth I need
I could walk through any door
If I could always be this sure

Can't help but think (that I/about)
Come on lets take a ride
Come on just you and me...
Come on

Let's make a
Break for it baby
Let's make a
Life of our own desire
Let's make a
Break for it baby
Let's run while we can
Let's run while we can

You got me
You got me

Let's make a
Break for it baby
Let's make a
Life of our own desire
Let's make a
Break for it baby
Let's make a...

Let's make a
Break for it baby
Let's make a
Life of our own desire
Let's make a
Break for it baby
Let's run while we can
My Queen
Let's run while we can
Let's run while we can

Dave Matthews Band - 'Break For It' (FLAC)
Dave Matthews Band - 'Break for it' (June 7th, 2010) mp3


Friday, May 28, 2010

Album Review: The Divine Comedy - Bang Goes The Knighthood

The Divine Comedy - Bang Goes the Knighthood

Neil Hannon has always been a fantastic lyricist. It's probably the best thing about the Divine Comedy. (That said the music is awesome too). Less than a minute into Bang Goes the Knighthood, you know you're in for a treat. Who can't relate to the line "Talk about how the film ain't half as good as the book"? Fabulous. This is the Divine Comedy's tenth album, and is probably their best since Fin de Siecle. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a hater of their recent material (Absent Friends still gets regular plays), it's just that this is a standout record in a career full of brilliance.

Opener 'Down in the Street Below' is a gorgeous song about looking at the world through the eyes of others, and features a masterful breakdown and wonderful harmonies. But don't worry, Hannon is still clever and witty (much like he was on his last release, 2009's Duckworth Lewis Method). 'The Complete Banker' is a typical Hannon-esque look at the banking crisis and those who caused it. The first time I listened to it, I had to check the inlay booklet to see if there was a diagram telling you to pull your mouth apart and say "complete banker". (Some of the more juvenile among you will know what I'm talking about "My daddy's a banker".)

As always, there are songs here to transport you to another world. 'Neapolitan Girl' is set in Italy in 1944 after the occupation, and is based on Norman Lewis' war memoir Naples '44. The lyrics are totally at odds with the jangly melody. Inspired genius.

I have only mentioned three songs so far and I've already run out of superlatives. That's how this album makes me feel. Definitely a career highpoint.

'Bang Goes the Knighthood' is about, well I won't ruin it on you, but it reminded me of the only good section in Joseph O'Connor's Star of the Sea. The bridge is utterly splendid though. Lead single 'At the Indie Disco' was a perfect choice to show off the album's strengths. There is sure to be many more tunes selected, but none as fun as this namedropper. This is definitely going to be one of my songs of the summer.

Not all the songs are belters. The title track is a slower, more mellow tune. 'Have You Ever Been In Love?' is an old-school romantic song, along the lines of Bacharach and David. Which is exactly what Neil Hannon was going for. Mission accomplished. Similarly, 'The Lost Art of Conversation' has a wonderful old-time feel to it. Apart from talking about Frank Lampard in the first chorus, of course. 'When A Man Cries' is the saddest tune on the album by far, but Hannon is as easily able to handle this kind of song as he is the more jaunty numbers. The fluttery Alice in Wonderland/Peter Pan feel is fantastic too.

'Assume the Perpendicular' is another one of those songs to showcase Hannon's verbal dexterity. Who else could get away with lines like "Crunch of the gravel driveway / Dash by the grand facade / Just for today we're lords and ladies / Oh what a gay charade / Livinia loves the lintels / Anna the architraves / Ben's impressed by the buttresses / Thrust up the chapel knave". The title is brilliant too.

'Can You Stand Upon One Leg' reminds me of 'Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head', and makes me want to dance just as much. 'Island Life' was originally written for the musical version of Swallows and Amazons and has that kind of feel to it. Neil, you're my Dorothy. The album ends brilliantly with 'I Like' a love song to everyone. You know what I like? This album. A lot, a lorra lorra lot. Simply glorious. Easily one of the Divine Comedy's finest releases.

Stream: Ryan Adams - Orion (Three Songs)

Ryan Adams' vinyl only metal-country album (or whatever you want to call it) shipped earlier this week. Only a limited number of copies were pressed, so good luck trying to hear the whole thing. Luckily, some of the songs have popped up online, so you can have a listen to three of the tunes below.

Stream Ryan Adams - 'Fire & Ice':

Ryan Adams - 'Signal Faded':

Ryan Adams - 'Victims of the Ice Brigade'

Competition: Nokia 6700 Winner

A large number of entrants guessed correctly that the contents of the red box was a red candle (not made from ear wax though). They were put into a hat and Rob C picked the winner. So blame him if you didn't win. Congratulations to Bruno who won the Red Nokia 6700 Slide. It should be on its way to the winner in the next few days.

If you're looking for more Nokia news, make sure to become a fan of them on facebook here. The best part of their facebook page is the excellent what colour Nokia 6700 are you application. Check it out here. I'm not a pink, I swear!

Also, remember you can join the Swear I'm Not Paul page too.

Thanks to all the entrants. It was a great competition, with a marvellous prize.

Live Review: Eurovision Second Semi-Final

"Irlande Douze Points, Douze Points, Play that Funky Beat!"

I watched parts of Tuesday's first Eurovision semi-final (it was on at the same time as the Ireland-Paraguay soccer match), but last night I sat down to watch the entire second semi-final, especially as it was probably the only chance we were going to get to see Ireland's entrant, former winner Niamh Kavanagh.

I'll get this out there early on: I was sure we wouldn't make it. Not because of block voting (although I was waiting for the stage where our name wasn't announced and Marty Whelan would utter his usual complaint - wait for the votes from the Norweigan jury on Saturday night at the final, you'll definitely get it then). It's just that this year's Irish entry is a dull, dull song. It's a poor ballad, and didn't stand up against most of the other semi-finalists. It's our worst song since Dervish, and didn't deserve to win the Song for Ireland on The Late Late Show. It's just that the panel and the public felt we owed Niamh something for winning a decade and a half ago. Lee Bradshaw's tune was far better.

So on Saturday night when the votes are coming in and Ireland has got 0 once again, it's not down to block voting (it's half jury-half public this year), but down to the fact Ireland's song is awful. Even Azerbaijan's (with Safura) ballad is miles better.

Of the ten who made it through to Saturday's final, the ones with the best chance are probably Romania (Paula Seling and Ovi - 'Playing With Fire'). Of the 17 semi-finalists last night, it's the only one that actually sounds good enough to hear on the radio. Which is exactly what you need. They have a good few neighbours too. A real dark horse is Turkey (MaNga) with their own take on Linkin Park. Solely because it's different. Other ones that could do well are Armenia, Denmark, and Cyprus. Armenia's anti-Azerbaijan tune will probably still end up getting 12 points from Azerbaijan, so that won't hold them up. Denmark's male-female (Chanée and N'evergreen) ballad is the kind of stuff we usually send, so we'll probably give it an 8 or so. And Cyprus have sent a Welshman (Jon Lilygreen) with a multi-national backing band. Thus the UK could give it high marks. The fact he plays an instrument could help too.

Notable omissions from last night's ten successful semi-finalists were Sweden (just for its location to the hosts this year), Netherlands, and Lithuania. The Netherlands and Sieneke had the most catchy song of all, 'Ik ben verliefd', better known as 'Sha-la-lie' (which was even trending on twitter when the semi-final was over). Ridiculous stage show, but a damn catchy tune. Lithuania's InCulto also had a catchy song. I mean look at the title: 'Eastern European Funk'. They probably would have been better if they left on their tartan trousers though.

On Saturday night (tomorrow), Ireland's Niamh Kavanagh will sing tenth. However, she'll be up against the best from Semi-Final 1 as well as the automatic finalists. The favourite this year is Germany, looking for their first victory since 1982. Lena's 'Satellite' is getting a lot of hype over in Oslo, and rightfully so. It's a great Eurovision song, and would be a worthy winner.

Ireland should be happy if we place in the top 20. Never mind the rubbish Marty sprouted at the end about how this would lift the nation and how we didn't need the World Cup. Surely he's heard our tune. It has as much chance of winning the Eurovision as North Korea does of lifting the World Cup.

(Like last year, I might liveblog the Eurovision final, so if you're online, come on over...)

Read Aidan at GoldenPlec's thoughts on it here:

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Setlist: Biffy Clyro, O2 Dublin, 25 May 2010

Biffy Clyro played a special intimate gig at the O2 Blueroom in the O2, Dublin on Tuesday. Here's the short setlist. The band are due to return to Ireland this summer to play the 2010 Oxegen Festival.

Saturday Superhouse
God and Satan
Little Soldiers
Many of Horror
The Captain

Watch 'Mountains' live at the O2:

Live: Joanna Newsom at the Grand Canal Theatre

I read last month in the Observer's excellent New Review section that Joanna Newsom's live act has improved a lot since her breakthrough album Ys. Great news for us Irish fans who are due to get a chance to see her on September 14th (I would've posted about this before now, but was waiting for ticket details).

She'll be playing the Grand Canal Theatre in Dublin. Tickets cost €33.60 and €39.20 and go on sale tomorrow morning (Friday) at 9.

Here's Joanna on Jools Holland recently:

The Annotated Divine Comedy - Liberation

Although technically the second album from the Divine Comedy, Liberation is recognised as the band's first proper release, not least by Neil Hannon, who has had Fanfare for the Comic Muse deleted (although it might be worth something if you own a copy).

Liberation came out in August 1993, and featured the following band members:
Neil Hannon - Vocals, guitars, bass guitar, piano, keyboards, harpsichord, and organ
Darren Allison - Drums and Percussion
Lucy Castle - Viola and Violin
Monica Scott - Cello
Quentin Hutchinson - French horn


An ordinary day down on Festive Road1
The children will play and never will know
That when Mr Benn of No. 52
Walks in through that door
Peculiar events will ensue

The shopkeeper peers through spectacles round
As Benn wanders in and shuts out the town
The shopkeeper wears his customary grin
'Cause he knows when they go to try on his clothes
Each fantasy chosen begins.

1 Mister Benn was a children's television and book character, created by David McKee. Every morning he left his house on 52 Festive Road to go to a Fancy-Dress Costume Shop. At the shop, Benn would put on a costume and leave through a magic door to an adventure determined by the costume. These included costumes for a knight, balloonist, caveman, cowboy, pirate, and astronaut. Of all the available costumes, Neil Hannon himself seemed most interested in Benn's regular world clothes of suit and bowler hat. c.f. Bell x1 'Just Like Mister Benn'.


See my solitude
Where once was truth now only doubt
Touch my tortured skin
Torn from within and from without
Kiss my blistered lips
My fingertips frost-bitten and grey
Heal my wound within
And watch the dead skin fall away

See what can’t be seen
Between the table and the chair
Touch what can’t be touched
The national trust2 don’t own the air
Kiss what can’t be kissed
This is the risk we have to take
Heal what can’t be healed
And feel the dead skin fall away

Only you and I know exactly how it feels
To unblinker a narrow mind
And by doing so reveal the obscurity of life
The intensity of dreams
Only you and I have realised exactly what it means

See the infant sun
Whose time has come to climb the mist
Touch the autumn sky
Burned by the supernaturalist
Kiss the purest lips
The morning slips into the day
Rising from the bed
We feel our dead skin fall away

1 The song begins with a quote from EM Forster's A Room With a View, specifically the 1985 James Ivory film of the book, starring Daniel Day-Lewis. It was one of the few films Day-Lewis did not receive an Academy Award nomination for. He probably wasn't sufficiently destitute and depressed.
2 The National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty is a mouthful if nothing else. No wonder people refer to it as merely the National Trust. Its aim to preserve the coastline, countryside, and buildings of England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. It was founded in 1895 and administers many national treasures across Britain. Many of the lands under its preservation are inalienable, meaning they cannot be sold. This contrasts sharply with land in Ireland, which nobody can buy.


Bernice bobs her hair in the barber's in the square
All her new-found friends are there to see it done
Bernice bobs her hair
She's been driven to despair
'Cause her cousin doesn't care about anyone

Her hair was long
Her hair was dark
Her hair flowed down her back
And now it lies upon the floor
Bernice runs out the door

Marjorie had told her what to wear to the parties
Marjorie had told her what to say to the boys
Now Marjorie was jealous of her social advances
And presented her with this choice

1 Bernice Bobs Her Hair is an F. Scott Fitzgerald story from 1920 first published in the Saturday Evening Post. The story centres on the titular character Bernice who feels as if she is outside the social circle, however, through tutelage she learns to be appealing, particularly to men. This angers her tutor, Marjorie (who is also her cousin), who makes Bernice follow through on her threat of "bobbing her hair" (one of her methods to win the attention of the opposite sex), and thus Bernice returns to being a social outcast. In the end, Bernice gets her own revenge by cutting off Marjorie's pigtails. The story is very much of its time, as anyone who has watched America's Next Top Model will tell you. I mean, look at Amber Rose.


I... I was born yesterday
And I believe all that you say
I have no choice
I must obey you
Is this the first or the second day
Of the rest of my life?
Well hey
Why should I care either way
If what you say is true?

Saturday morning, 18th of December
I cannot remember
The last time that I saw such a young ballerina
In love with the loveless
In tune with a tuneless old upright piano
Standing en pointe
Going through each position with gentle precision
She measures each movement
Her classical features and elegant waistline
Are going to waste as she pleases her parents

What if they died on the road to Rathmines1
Where a dog in two minds times his run to perfection
An orphan at last
She'd be sick in the loo-bowl2
Then go to the funeral and cry by the graveside
Then she would sleep with the first man she sees
And she'd catch some disease
Which she would give to her doctor
She'd cook her own breakfast and she'd cook his as well
Yeah and they'd both get on swell
Even though he was married

You are a part of me
I am a part of you
Why should I let you walk all over me?
All over me

1 Rathmines is a suburb of Dublin, located on the more prestigious southside of the city. However, since I lived there for a year or so, it has become much less prestigious.
2 A loo-bowl is another name for a toilet. Other terms for toilets include WC, washhouse, potty, johns, Leitrim, and jacks.


We took your daddy's car
And drove it to the sea
We fooled around for hours
And then when we got tired and it got dark
We found a place to park
And we watched the sun set fire
To the sea

Can you feel the sadness in our love?
It's the only kind we're worthy of
Can you feel the madness in our hearts
As the key turns and the engine starts?
Engine starts

We took your daddy's car
And drove it into town
We steamed into a bar
And we bought the biggest bottle of champagne
And driving through the rain
We sang: "God bless this car, and all who sail in her!"1
Can you feel the sadness in our love?
Well, it's the only kind we're worthy of
Can you feel the madness in our hearts
As the key turns and the engine starts?

Engine starts
We took your daddy's car
And wrapped it round a tree
We didn't know what for
We didn't feel like driving any more
It was so good
We got bored

And we are driving from the day we are born
Can you feel the sadness in our love?
Well, it's the only kind we're worthy of
Can you feel the madness in our hearts
As the key turns and the engine starts?
Can you feel
The engine

1 Play on the traditional good luck message exclaimed at the launch of a new marine vessel, "May God bless this ship, and all who sail in her", usually uttered by a buxom lady. Got to give those sailors something to think about while out at sea.


What would you like to know?
What would you like to hear?
What if I just disappear inside myself?
What would you like to know?
Who would you like to see?
Who would you like me to be if not myself?

And the Europop (pop) makes me dizzy
And I just can't stop (stop) 'til it's finished
And I don't know what (what) you find funny
'Bout the Europop and the love of money

Where is it cool to go?
When is it cool to leave?
What is it cool to breathe inside myself?
Don't tell me what I already know
Don't show me what I've already seen
Don't take me where I've already been inside myself

Financial gain is a very pleasant thing
The transitory pleasure that it brings
Counts for nothing

What is there left to know?
What is there left to say?

And I thank God that you're aware
Oh thank God that you're aware
Of the earth and of the air
And of the girls making like they don't care
That they are blessed and you are cursed
With the conscience of the universe
Of the mind and of the soul
And reduction science2 digging itself a hole
And I thank God that you're aware
Oh thank God that you're aware
It's taken time but I think you'll find
That everything is alright

1 Europop is an alleged genre of "music". It originated in the 1970s, and has been stuck in heads ever since. Sing it with me: "ooh, eeh, ooh ah ah, ting tang walla walla bing bang".
2 Reduction science, or Reductionism, is an approach to understanding things by breaking them down to the interactions of their smallest parts. It is in direct opposition to the holistic approach. Only reductionism can really show you the truth, like how it's actually a little gremlin inside your television painting on the pictures and doing all the voices. Since the introduction of flat screen televisions, the amount of gremlin child labour has increased tenfold.


When I fall asleep it could be forever1
So I'll never fall asleep again
When I fall apart put me back together
And my life will be complete

Maybe it's tonight
Maybe tomorrow night
Next week
Next month
Next year
We've only time to fear

When I fall behind in the quest for pleasure
I shall treasure this short time with you
We shall not be chained
We shall not be tethered
And we'll never be unkind

If I fall in love it could be forever
So I'll never fall in love
But the moment I can feel that you feel that way too
Is when I might fall in love with you
Fall in love with you

1 Much of this song is a play on the popular Victor Young/Edward Heyman song 'When I Fall in Love'. There have been hundreds of cover versions of the song, but none better than the Rick Astley version, which reached #2 in the UK Singles Chart.


Laugh at the tears you're crying
Smile while your head explodes
You don't have to take this lying down
So blow your nose, baby
Just get your fingers clicking
To the rhythm and the rhyme
Otherwise, you'll just be kicking around
And that's a crime
How can you talk that way
On such a lovely day?
When sunshine comes your way
It's time to make some hay
I fall for this season every time
When it's hot and everybody smiles
I can't help myself
I'm in love with the summertime
Even when I get hayfever, I find
I may sneeze but I don't really mind
As long as I'm in love with the summertime
Oh, stop your belly-aching
We all know what it's like
There ain't a pill I haven't taken, I guess
But that's alright, baby
'Cos your daddy's car is waiting
To take us to the sea2
She feels like celebrating life
And so should we!
How can you talk that way
On such a lovely day?
When sunshine comes your way
It's time to make some hay
I fall for this season every time
When it's hot and everybody smiles
I can't help myself
I'm in love with the summertime
Even when I get hayfever, I find
I may sneeze but I don't really mind
As long as I'm in love with the summertime
I fall for this season every time
When it's hot and everybody smiles
I can't help myself
I'm in love with the summertime
Even when I get hayfever, I find
I may sneeze but I don't really mind
As long as I'm in love with the summertime

1 The pollen count is a measurement of the amount of pollen in a cubic metre of air. The higher the number, the more hayfever sufferers will be affected. How they (a) measure air, and (b) count the individual grains of pollen is beyond me. That would require some damn powerful magnifying glass.
2 c.f. 'Your Daddy's Car'


Please don't look at me that way
You'll only make me want to say
Something I will regret
You are April you are May
What a stupid thing to say
Just forgive me and forget
That I ever opened my mouth
And let it all come out
Let it all flood out

I am worried for your health
Put something warm around yourself
Don't let your feet get wet
I'm in love and I'm in pain
If I say something stupid again
Oh just forgive me and forget
That I ever opened my mouth
And let it all come out
Let it all flood out
Queen of the South1
She has opened my mouth
And let it all come out
Let it all flood out

Something is getting in the way
What it is I cannot say
I wish we had never met

1 I'm not sure which Queen of the South this refers to, but it's surely not the Scottish football team, Queen of the South FC, founded in 1919 and located in Dumfries. If anyone does know who it refers to, leave a message in the comments, below.


I don't know where I am

Who's that boy you're leaning on
(Victoria1 ceases to care)
You're not the only one
(Virginia2 creeps through the air)
Summer evening, summer sun
(Virago3 will publish her diaries when she's dead)
To the world
(Unlocking the dreams in her head)
And the world is blind
(Unstable, unhinged and unfed)
She'll wed the summertime
(Unable to answer the questions of her life)

I don't believe you I don't believe
I don't really need to I don't need Victoria
I won't let Victoria fall

When the night has come and gone
(His ghostly perfection remains)
Melting in the morning sun
(His pale saint complexion unchanged)
Lovers go and lovers come
(And some stay for longer but never long enough)
His shadow lingers on
(Victoria ceases to care)
His shadow fades like a pop song
(Virginia creeps through her hair)
Death to the supernatural one
(Virago will publish the story of her life)
Queen of the South

I don't believe you I don't believe
I don't really need to I don't need Victoria
I won't let Victoria fall

I don't defend you
(I don't defend you)
I don't recommend you but
(I don't recommend Victoria)
I won't let Victoria fall away

1 Victoria (1819-1901), Queen of the United Kingdom from 1837-1901. Member of the House of Hanover and serving regent while Prime Ministers such as Benjamin Disraeli and William Ewart Gladstone were in power. Victoria was also the Roman goddess of victory. The waterfall Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe was named after the Queen of England by explorer David Livingstone. He should have called them the Livingstone Falls and gotten all the acclaim himself.
2 Here's a question for you: which of these Virginias does this refer to? Answers on a postcard to the usual address.
3 A virago is a strong woman, especially one who features in war. c.f. GI Jane


This Autumn breeze shall strip the trees
And freeze me to the bone
Why must these three sisters tease
Their lonely brother so?

Knowledge is a curse
But ignorance is worse I fear
Would you agree my dear?
I have watched you grow
From the same seed as my own shall grow
And they will never know how

How this Autumn breeze shall strip the trees
And freeze me to the bone
Why must these three sisters tease
Their lonely brother so?
I don't know
I don't know

Pleasure is a sin
And abstinence shall win this day
And that's the way it's gonna stay
Black Parisian lace
Your salvation-my disgrace
My God
Where did you go wrong?

I don't know if I can stop my eyes
From drifting slowly over holy temples of the soul
No self control

That Autumn chill is with me still

1 This song is based on the play of the same name by Anton Chekhov, written in 1900 and inspired by the three Bronte sisters. In the play Andrei is the only brother of the three sisters Olga, Maria, and Irina, and after accumulating large gambling debts becomes a laughing stock and a failure in the eyes of his sisters and of the entire town. See what happens when you gamble? That said, Ireland are 18-1 to win the Eurovision. Not bad odds.



1 It's pretty hard to talk about lyrics for an instrumental song.


I travelled among unknown men,
In lands beyond the sea;
Nor, England did I know till then
What love I bore to thee.

'Tis past, that melancholy dream!
Nor will I quit thy shore
A second time; for still I seem
To love thee more and more.

Among thy mountains did I feel
The joy of my desire;
And she I cherished turned her wheel
Beside an English fire.

Thy mornings showed, thy nights concealed,
The bowers where Lucy played;
And thine too is the last green field
That Lucy's eyes surveyed.

She dwelt among the untrodden ways
Beside the springs of Dove,
A Maid whom there were none to praise
And very few to love:

A violet by a mossy stone
Half hidden from the eye
-Fair as a star, when only one
Is shining in the sky.

She lived unknown, and few could know
When Lucy ceased to be;
But she is in her grave and, oh,
The difference to me

A slumber did my spirit seal;
I had no human fears;
She seemed a thing that could not feel
The touch of earthly years.

No motion has she now, no force;
She neither hears nor sees;
Rolled around in earth's diurnal course,
With rocks, and stones, and trees.

1 The lyrics here are all from William Wordsworth, specifically his three of his five Lucy poems. So not only does Hannon include a song with no lyrics on the record, then he follows it by totally stealing someone else's words. Read all five poems here, and then if you're feeling like it, copy and paste them as song lyrics.

Album Cover: Arcade Fire - The Suburbs

It's not just the new Arcade Fire 7" that's called The Suburbs, it's also been confirmed as the title of their new album, which is due on August 2nd/3rd (July 30th in Ireland). BBC Radio 1 DJ Zane Lowe played both of the new songs, 'The Suburbs' and 'Month of May' in their entirety yesterday, so you can have a listen to them in full below.

Stream 'The Suburbs':

Stream 'Month of May':

Watch: Tom Petty - I Should Have Known It

Tom Petty is awesome. That's all that needs to be said. With an album as good as Full Moon Fever, who can argue? He's back with his Heartbreakers for a new album Mojo later this year, and has just unleashed the excellent first single. Have a look here...

Watch Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers - 'I Should Have Known It':

Live: Cathy Davey, JVMcM at Electric Picnic 2010

Thanks to Jim Carroll's On the Record for the heads up with this one. A lot of new names have been added to the Electric Picnic 2010 lineup, including two fantastic Irish acts: Cathy Davey (who topped the charts just two weeks ago with The Nameless) and upcoming sensation James Vincent McMorrow. There was also other local and international acts announced, with Foals a must-see on the bill.

New additions to the lineup:
Cathy Davey
These New Puritans
Hypnotic Brass Ensemble
Archie Bronson Outfit
Philip Selway
James Vincent McMorrow
And So I Watch You From Afar
Goodtime John
The Mighty Stef

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Album News: Nick Cave - Grinderman 2

Nick Cave's non-Bad Seeds project Grinderman are back with a second album of dirty rock. Grinderman 2 is due for release September 13th across Europe on Mute Records (so make that the 10th in Ireland).

It was recorded in London, and is produced by the band themselves along with the debut album's producer Nick Launay. They've also announced Autumn European dates, but no Irish one.

Tour Dates:
09-25 Nottingham, England - Rock City
09-27 Leeds, England - University
09-28 Glasgow, Scotland - Barrowlands
09-29 Manchester, England - Academy
10-01 London, England - Hammersmith Apollo
10-04 Lausanne, Switzerland - Les Docks
10-05 Zurich, Switzerland - Volkshaus
10-06 Milan, Italy - Live
10-07 Rome, Italy - Atlantico
10-10 Vienna, Italy - Gasometer
10-11 Munich, Germany - Muffathalle
10-13 Leipzig, Germany - Haus Auensee
10-14 Berlin, Germany - Columbiahalle
10-15 Cologne, Germany - E-Werk
10-17 Brussels, Belgium - Ancienne Belgique
10-20 Utrecht, Netherlands - MCV
10-21 Hamburg, Germany - Docks
10-23 Copenhagen, Denmark - Falkoner Theatre
10-24 Randers, Denmark - Power Station
10-26 Paris, France - Cite de la Music

Stream: The Last Tycoons - debut album

The self-titled debut album from the Last Tycoons can be streamed in full on the band's MySpace page below. Click the link to hear the entire thing. And then see whether or not you agree with my album review. I also listed them as one of the Top 40 Irish Acts Today. So they're definitely worth checking out.



The Annotated Bell x1 - Blue Lights on the Runway

The final part of my Annotated Bell x1 series is fourth album Blue Lights on the Runway from 2009. Read the previous three sections here:
Neither Am I
Music in Mouth


She was only just a girl in a picture
But he thought if I could only make her smile1
Then she'd be mine
He'd folded it, re-folded it so many times,
He'd already lost some of her to the creases
Precious pieces
He wondered how close he's ever been to her
In this ebb and flow of the distance between us
Maybe she got the same bus
And he left a trail of string wherever he went
When he was sleepin', he tied it to his toe
If she crossed it, then he'd know

But he knew
That all was unravelling
And he was bare
Stripped of his skin
Like the ribs of a broken umbrella
Sticking out of a bin

He'd pull his collar up against the wind,
Against those who said that trying was the first step to failing
Oh he was railing
And filled with new found purpose and pride,
He'd make something out of this heady glow
Now where would she go?

But what do I know?
Cause all is unravelling
And he was bare
Stripped of his skin
Like the ribs of a broken umbrella
Sticking out of a bin

But he knew how to fix it, dear Liza, dear Liza2
With time's great elixir, dear Liza, dear Liza

She was only just a girl in a picture,
But he thought if I could only make her smile
Then she'd be mine
Oh the thought of being faced with her
Gave him the fear and sometimes in the morning a tent3
Oh Lord give him strength

Cause he knew
That all was unravelling
And he was bare
Stripped of his skin
Like the ribs of a broken umbrella
Sticking out of the bin

1 Likely reference to Leonardo da Vinci's (1452-1519) 'Mona Lisa' (1503-1506). Perhaps the most famous painting in the world, it's not actually that great. Sure she's curious looking, but have you seen it up close? Probably not, it's a tiny painting and there's usually too many fat tourists in the way at the Louvre.
2 Main character in the children's song 'There's a Hole in My Bucket'. It actually reached #32 in the UK Singles Chart in 1961, proving that even back then, people would buy absolute rubbish.
3 Not an actual tent, but rather the pole used to hoist it.


My tongue is scaling the north face of your neck
And we're glaring like warriors but,
I've a feelin' you won't look at me that way in the morning
Cause lately you seem less sure of this thing
You're like Bambi on Ice1
And there's something in the flash of your arms
A certain longing

Kick the can2 I can't see you now behind that temper and ire
Mister Wolf knows what time it is3
He says it's dinner time
I don't know what you're carrying or how you're heart is wired
But there's a dangerous ticking.

I cut the red one, No, the Blue one4
I cut the red one,
I cut the blue one
Raking over the embers and what I come across?

Is that you, combing your hair?
Is that me, eating an egg?

And are we there
Like John Boy said?5

My tongue is scaling the north face of your neck
And we're glaring like warriors but,
I've a feelin' you won't look at me that way
I've a feelin' you won't look at me that way
I've a feelin' you won't look at me that way
in the morning.

Is this how it goes,
In these, the final throws?

1 Skating-based recreation of 1942 Disney children's film Bambi. These "on Ice" spectacles are usually cheap imitations of the real thing, with costumed actors playing different roles. Said actors are usually skaters who didn't have the ability to do it professionally, so instead are stuck inside what is essentially a cheap football mascot knock-off. How's that for being proud of your job?
2 Kick the Can (also called Tip the Can) is usually an outdoor game that is a cross between tag, hide and seek, and capture the flag. On wikipedia, it's part of the category "Children's Street Culture" which sounds like something more Colombian than European.
3 What Time is it Mister Wolf? is also a children's outdoor game, but one without a wikipedia page. This is a huge omission that must be rectified. I'd do it myself, but this stuff isn't going to annotate itself. And anyway, it's dinner time. Raaarrr!
4 References to the wiring of a bomb. What I don't get is: Why don't bomb makers make all the wires the same colour? No-one could diffuse it then. (Dear terrorists, if you're reading this, please gloss over that last part)
5 Character in American homestead drama (1972-1981). John Boy was played by Richard Thomas from season 1 to 6, but came back as Robert Wightman in Seasons 8 and 9. Do parents not recognise their own children? What is this? LOST?


I am the defector
And you’re the farmer’s daughter
You been teasing us farm boys
Til we start talkin’ about those rabbits, George1
Oh won’t you tell us ‘bout those rabbits, George

I am the defector
I give it what it need
Let’s make a new world order
Let’s make it rhyme

You’re the chocolate at the end of my Cornetto2
I love the way your underwire bra
Always sets off that X-ray machine3

Comin’ into land and
Now I love the colour of it all
Blue lights on the runway
I love the colour of it all

I am the defector
‘Cause someone stirred my soul
With that great big stick of hers
Kinda looks like an oar

The accountants have taken the movie
Yeah, they’re on set
The people from the mobile phone company
Say who gets to play and who gets to not

You’re a picture of the check out girl
Hand me a plastic bag
I got the sweats trying to open it
As it all piles up, I wish I didn’t bite my nails

Comin’ into land and
Now I love the colour of it all
Blue lights on the runway
I love the colour of it all
Getting ready to spill my guts and
I love the colour of it all
To the waitress on roller skates
I love the colour of it all
Oh the colour of it all

I am the great defector
So I must affect an air
Of a man who’s maybe seen too much
But still just manages to care

Still you’re the chocolate at the end of my Cornetto
I love the way your underwire bra
Always sets off that X-ray machine

Comin’ into land and
Now I love the colour of it all
Blue lights on the runway
I love the colour of it all
Getting ready to spill my guts and
I love the colour of it all
To the, to the waitress on roller skates
I love the colour of it all
Oh the colour of it all

Waitress on roller skates
Love the colour of it all

1 George Milton and Lennie Small are the two main characters in John Steinbeck's (1902-1968) depression-era novel Of Mice and Men. Lennie is mentally disabled and dreams of having pet rabbits. It's a fantastic novel, you should check it out.
2 Chocolate ice-cream in a cone made by Wall's, HB, Hazelbrook Farm, Algida, Frigo, Streets, Frisko, Tico Rico, Good Humor, Kibon, Lusso, and about twenty other names. However, they're all the same company. Something fishy about that.
3 X-ray machines are used in all airports to detect suspicious devices or packages. However, what Paul Noonan means to say here is "metal detector", but that wouldn't have the same ring to it, would it?


I should know my time and place
I'm Tuesday's child without the grace1
bring your canary, bring your flame
there's a rich seem of wind in my coal mine2

We're just blow ins
On the storm of time
Yeah we're just stoppin'
For a while

Bucket of water to separate
Those horny dogs of church and state
God of ego and god of light
Pushes us to the corner of our own life

We're just blow ins
On the storm of time
Yeah we're just stoppin'
For a while

I'm like a magpie with all that's shiny and new3
I can't help myself, I pick a pocket or two4
And if our time was, but a day
We'd show up around midnight, and say hey

Cause we're just blow ins
On the storm of time
Yeah we're just stoppin'
For a while

1 Children's rhyme which tells about a person's character based on what day of the week they were born. About as accurate as astrology. It has a Roud Folk Song Index number of 19526. I'm sure someone finds that last bit interesting.
2 A canary is often used as an animal sentinel in a coal mine. The canary was an early-warning system for leaks of dangerous gases. This gave the miners a chance to escape before they became sick. In 1984, the canaries joined together in a union and began the UK Canaries' Strike of 1984-1985, which is well documented.
3 Magpies are often attracted to shiny objects - jewellery is often found in their nests. cf. eggsforgold.com
4 Song from the musical Oliver!, based on Charles Dickens' (1812-1870) Oliver Twist, which focuses on a group of pickpockets in Victorian London. In 2005, Roman Polanski (1933-) directed a film version of the novel, which is questionable, given his past history.


I'd say life's a different story when you're facing certain death
I wonder did they kick back when they knew the game was up
Static on the radio ain't no soundtrack for this end
Stick on a bit of anger and we'll go down
Let see if we skim

Maybe there's no time, for grand exits and pause
Twistin our propellers, dropping at the froth
And as she turned to Fred she saw the fear in his eyes
And whatever was between them, was heavy in the last word he said


Or maybe they went on to grow oranges and pears
On their own island, Amelia and Fred2
She'd dance for him in the evenings as the red sun fell
he'd sit there smiling up at her thinking this is just swell
take me

Some say she resurfaced as a Tokyo rose
Talking on the radio, telling sweet lies
But remember when the farmer asked have you flown far
She just smiled back at him and said
'I've come, from America'


Time has cast its shadow3, the story lost its legs
Our favourite missing person, still rears her head
Not on the milk cartons4, just some bones on a beach
That just might be a tall white girl called Amelia

Just might be a tall white girl called Amelia

Oh Amelia

It's just like flying

1 Amelia Earhart (1897-1937) was an American aviator, the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic. She went missing when trying to fly around the world, and was later declared dead.
2 Fred Noonan (1893-1937) was Earhart's navigator on her last voyage, where they disappeared somewhere over the Pacific Ocean. The following numbers were inscribed on their plane: 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42. Fred Noonan probably stands out to Paul Noonan as they share a last name.
3 Time not only pulls faces, but also casts shadows.
4 In North America, missing persons are often displayed on milk cartons to aid in the search. In Ireland, we get a local farmer on some of the cartons. Although the Avonmore ones have a great cow barcode thing going on. Check it out.


Is this room getting smaller,
or is it just me?
I pace myself, brace myself,
trying not to breathe.
All these walls are closing in on me,
like the Death Star bin,1
Oh that'll learn me,2
That'll squeeze out all the sin.

Ths world is bearing down on me,
like a 'fish eye lens'
and when it comes down to it,
do I have any real friends?
How long were those monkeys typing,
to make all Billy's work?3
I've some way to go yet,
I'll finish this one first.

Something's got to give.

I'm a failing restaurant,
all expectant and sad
with one eye on the door,
playing cards out the back
I'm love me love me love me,
I'm a small bit of a prick
I got the meat sweats
from this realpolitik. 5

Sometimes I can see you
shining in the night
There's Polly, and Gillian,
and your man in the big suit
spitting out confetti that wallops with a kiss
and I'm left thinking

I wanna be a better band

This is it, what are you crying for?
This is it, were you expecting more?

I wanna be a better band
and shoot fire from my hands
Fire from my hands...

1 A trash compactor on the Death Star, a spherical space station featured in George Lucas's (1944-) series of Star War films (1977-1983). It is used to destroy waste on board the ship, however, it cannot be used to erase all memory of the prequel trilogy.
2 Backwardization of the verb to learn, used here to mean "to teach".
3 Reference to William Shakespeare (1956-1616) and the Infinite Monkeys Theorem which states that if a monkey is given a typewriter and an infinite amount of time, it will eventually produce the entire works of Shakespeare. Although my guess is that there would probably be some cyborgs and oatmeal-based-lifeforms mixed in there somewhere. It'd be like the best fan fiction ever.
5 A form of politics based on practical rather than moralistic thinking. Since it was used by Henry Kissinger (1923-) and Richard Nixon (1913-1994), I strongly would advise against it. It didn't go too well for them.


You're so pretty and I'm so lame
You're ever changing, I stay the same
You give good sermon, I say bad grace
My food for the soul it leaves a bad taste

You save yourself, I'm saved by the bell
Never left my head, I've no story to tell
You save yourself, I'm saved by the bell
Never left my head, I've no story to tell

I was doing fine when I was breastfed
Blame it on the milkman on my deathbed
I was doing swell when I was breastfed
Pasteurise, homogenise, he said

You've got convictions, I've got fence-arse1
I'm nowhere near the cliff but I can see the drop
I'm all sound and fury, I'm smoke without fire
I see your watermark when I hold you to the light2

You're so pretty, I'm so lame
Cleanliness is closer to godliness they say3
well now what does that mean?
If you can be God, well I can be clean

I was doing fine when I was breastfed
Blame it on the milkman on my deathbed
I was doing swell when I was breastfed
Pasteurise, homogenise, he said

1 From "sitting on the fence" or taking neither side in an argument. It's what agnostics do. Either believe or don't. I don't know is never an answer. It's like people who spoil their votes on purpose at an election. What a waste of time. Just don't vote, you're not making a point. You know what happens to those votes you deliberately spoiled? Nothing, cause no-one cares. [/rant]
2 When a modern banknote is held up to the light a watermark can be seen. This is used as a prevention for forgery.
3 c.f. Emptiness is loneliness and loneliness is cleanliness and cleanliness is godliness and God is empty, just like me.


The dog-eared Disprin1, in your handbag
A gathering of crumbs and, twenty fags2
I'd steal some chewing gum, a few stray coins
I'm sure you noticed but didn't much mind

and so it goes

Here I am, in the condiment aisle
I'm worried about my basil from Israel3 and New World4 wine
I need to lose these poses, reset my charms
to when I left the factory in your arms

singing aaah
and so it goes

But the words on the page start to swim
As light catches your face you're smiling
This must be what all the fuss is about


You're trying to talk to me, all grateful and smiles
I'm glued to the TV giving one word replies
It's small and shameful it's a poor show
Beat myself up on the way home and go crying to my girl

And so it goes
Yeah so it goes
Yeah so it goes

But the words on the page start to swim
As light catches your face you're smiling
This must be what all the fuss is about

1 Disprin is an over-the counter paracetamol tablet used for aches and pains. It's probably just sugar in a capsule which induces a placebo effect. Or maybe not. I'm sure there are complicated studies someplace.
2 Fags are cigarettes in Irish slang. It's something else entirely in US slang. A bit like Sunday's child.
3 Basil is a condiment used in cooking, especially in Italy. It is native to the Middle East and Asia (thus the Israel reference).
4 The New World is a name for the continent of America, which was found in the fifteenth century, and became the new world. Europe and Asia being the old world. It was a land of opportunity, where many Irish went in the 19th century to escape having to eat poor quality potatoes. Now, 150 years later, there is a McDonald's on every block.


A safe pair of hands
A reason to stand
Some guns to stick to
Rational demands

Come on now ladies
They1 won't fertilise themselves
Get into the ball game
Let's clear those shelves

That's what I read in that Sunday magazine
The anvil is falling, falling on your head
You're just picking your knickers from your arse
Like you're playing a one stringed harp2
Like you're playing a one stringed harp

Like Wile E Coyote3
As if the fall wasn't enough
Those bastards from Acme
They got more nasty stuff

Salt in my wounds
Sticking in the boot
We're all bulimic
But keep forgetting to puke

That's what I read in that Sunday magazine
The anvil is falling, falling on your head
You're just picking your knickers from your arse
Like you're playing a one stringed harp
Like you're playing a one stringed harp

Chalk it up, and write it down

The hand of history
Is clawing at my back
The iron fist of she
Cupping at my sack

Grip is tightening
My voice is heightening
This orange alert
Is beginning to crack

That's what I read in that Sunday magazine
The anvil is falling, falling on your head
You're just picking your knickers from your arse
Like you're playing a one stringed harp
Like you're playing a one stringed harp

Chalk it up, and write it down

1 If you don't know what "they" is here, it'll take more than me to explain it.
2 This is perhaps the best simile in the history of music. A one-stringed harp would be fairly useless, unless it was tuned to a B, and then you could play one of Tenacious D's most famous songs.
3 Wile E. Coyote (1948-) is a character from Warner Brothers' Looney Tunes series of cartoons, who tries to capture the Road Runner through a series of over-elaborate traps. It has many latin names, one of which is the splendid Famishus-famishus. He uses Acme brand products to try to catch the Road Runner, all of which fail spectacularly, particularly anvils. His greatest enemy, however, was gravity. Much like the bosom of Kathy Bates.


The curtains are twitchin, this house is getting bored
The newborn is itchin to have a go at the cord
The curtains are twitchin by grubby little paws
that darken the stitching for a good gawk
The curtains are twitchin, and we can't help but look
Feed our bitchin at who gave and who took
The curtains are twitchin on these windows of the soul
Some call it blinking
Eyes open, eyes closed

All these gestures, like flowers
Feed ties and affections, like ours
My love, like ours

The curtains are twitchin, an involuntary tick
A nosey affliction, afraid of what you might miss
The curtains are twitchin at Mrs.Carey's limp1
A minor operation, or was she beaten by her pimp?
The curtains are twitchin at all who pout and preen
The director is screaming for less drama and more queen
The curtains are twitchin, please don't pick me last
give me a star on my forehead, make me top of the class

All these gestures, like flowers
feed ties and affections, like ours
my love, like ours

1 Is this an allusion to someone in particular, or is Paul Noonan just going all Rear Window on us? Can anyone clarify, if so, leave a message in the comments

Live: Black Rebel Motorcycle Club at the Academy

San Francisco garage rockers Black Rebel Motorcycle Club (BRMC) will be coming to Dublin to play the Academy on December 13th. They released their sixth album Beat the Devil's Tattoo in March. It's good, but I'm hoping to hear more early stuff, particularly from the self-titled, Howl, and Baby 81.

Tickets go on sale this Friday, at a cost of €25.

Watch BRMC - 'Stop':

Vintage Review: Robert Post - Robert Post

If you were wondering what Conor O'Brien did between the Immediate and Villagers, here's what he was up to. Well, actually not, but just compare their voices. Identical.

Robert Post - Robert Post

Originally posted on March 22nd 2006 on Canadian website TwoWayMonologues.

We here at twowaymonologues are big fans of Scandinavian music – after all, the website is named after the second album of Norwegian singer-songwriter Sondre Lerche (for those who didn’t know). A few months ago, I selected Robert Post’s ‘Got None’, an early single from his debut album for Track-Fu. Unfortunately neither Dan nor I could locate the song, and something else was entered in its place. The album itself wasn’t easy to find either, and after much searching (like Terri’s attempt to find Jamie Lidell, or Brandon’s attempt to find Waldo), I came across the album in a second-hand record store in Dublin (if you’re ever in Dublin, make sure you give Freebird Records a visit!) So now, some months after its European release, I can finally review it.

The album opens very strongly with ‘There’s One Thing’. It’s somewhat similar to the kind of music the aforementioned Lerche makes. And people from Norway sound great singing in English – it’s something about the accent which works so well. The chorus here is really catchy, and the song has that familiar feel – like you’ve heard it before, even though there’s possibly no way you even knew who Robert Post was before you saw this review. For me, however, two of the songs here I have heard before – both ‘Got None’ and ‘New Born’ are in the rotation in the shop where I work (there’s about 300 or 400 songs, so you don’t hear them too often). The way Post sings “girls” on ‘Got None’ is more alluring than any way Hugh Hefner could say it! The chorus is really breezy, and the female backing vocals really enhance the song.

The trend of powerful memorable choruses is continued with ‘Silence Makes Him Sick’ – a percussion led song with a very pounding melody – think Eleanor Rigby for the modern generation. It’s not every day you compare someone to the Beatles. Post however, isn’t bigger than Jesus! The piano solo is notable, and sticks out as a strong point on an album full of strong points. ‘High Tide’ slows things down a bit, and replaces the powerful chorus with a nice soul-infused one. The female backing returns to prominence, and Post once again speaks of “girls” – damn I wish I could say it the way he does. That accent would get more women than Sean Connery’s accent!

‘More and More’ is another great pop song, and it’s a wonder why I’ve never heard it on the radio or seen it on MTV (probably because it’s not crap like Cribs or Room Raiders!) The song would be excellent live, as there’s a clap-track in the background, and it’d be sure to get the audience going. The album is full of great pop songs, and ‘Big Boat’ is another one. Although how anyone can be “on a date with the moon” I don’t know. Maybe it’s the man in the moon, he’s on a date with… The bridge section and outro here are excellent and sound like they wouldn’t have been out of place on Parachutes or A Rush of Blood to the Head.

‘New Born’ is a return to the powerful up-tempo chorus, and this chorus perfectly contrasts as well as compliments the verses. ‘Everything is Fine’ is a slower, acoustic number. Fortunately, Post does the down-tempo just as well as he does the up-tempo. It’s the album’s “sit down and get your cigarette lighters out” song. ‘Ocean & A Tear’, one of the best songs on the album, is quite similar to the album’s opener – and that isn’t a bad thing. It shows that Post’s lyrics are just as good as any native English speaker, as the tune is full of excellent maritime metaphors. The song itself is even like the sea: sometimes calm, sometimes choppy, and like Ishmael’s Oceans, very engrossing.

‘Come Home’ is the album’s weak point. It’s a slow song, and seems like there’s something missing throughout. The album’s bonus track, ‘Far Away From This Town’ also suffers from this symptom. It tries to be sentimental, but does this at the expense of what makes this album – strong pop hooks. It’s a nice little ditty, but unfortunately is just that: a little ditty.

Tracks to Download:
There’s One Thing, Ocean & A Tear, Got None, New Born

8.0 – a very solid pop album, and ranks up there with Sondre Lerche and Norway’s finest. Let down by the last two songs though.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Live: Jamie Lidell, Biffy Clyro, Plan B at Oxegen

Some more bands were added to the Oxegen lineup today. There's something for everyone as a whole host of genres are covered. The highlights for me have to be Biffy Clyro (their album Only Revolutions was one of my favourites of 2009), Jamie Lidell (whose latest Compass is not as good as Multiply or Jim, but is still a decent album), and Delphic (who were listed in this year's BBC Sound of 2010 Poll)

Just added:
Biffy Clyro
Plan B
Tinie Tempah
Dirty Projectors
Gabriella Cilmi
Wild Beasts
Hudson Mohawke
Jamie Lidell
Alex Metric
The Capitols

Watch Jamie Lidell live in Dublin:

Setlist: Alicia Keys, O2 Dublin, 21 May 2010

On Friday night R&B superstar (and winner of more Grammys than most everybody else) Alicia Keys came to Dublin's O2 for a one-off show. Here's what she played...

1. Caged Bird
2. Love Is Blind
3. You Don't Know My Name
4. Fallin'
5. Another Way To Die
6. Karma
7. Like The Sea
8. I Need You
9. Pray For Forgiveness
10. Diary
11. Like You'll Never See Me Again
12. Wait Til You See My Smile
13. Go Ahead
14. Put It In A Love Song
15. Unthinkable
16. Feeling Good
17. Try Sleeping With A Broken Heart
18. Superwoman
19. If I Ain't Got You
20. Doesn't Mean Anything
21. No One
22. Empire State Of Mind (Part II)

Watch Alicia Keys live in Dublin:

Setlist: Rihanna, O2 Dublin, 22 May 2010

RiRi stopped off at Dublin'2 O2 on Saturday night to perform all her hits new and old. Rihanna is also set to play Ireland's capital again on Wednesday 26th. I think there may be a few tickets left.

Mad House (Intro)
Wait Your Turn
Shut Up and Drive
Rude Boy
Pon de Replay
Hate That I Love You
Cold Case Love
Rockstar 101
Live Your Life/Run This Town
Russian Roulette
Take A Bow
Breakin' Dishes
Don't Stop the Music
Fire Bomb

Live: Elvis Costello at Vicar Street

Legendary musician Elvis Costello returns to Ireland for a special one-off gig at Vicar Street this summer to promote his latest album Secret, Profane & Sugarcane. The show takes place on July 1st and should be amazing.

Anyone who's watching the excellent new David Simon show Treme may recognize him from a fantastic cameo in the first episode. If you haven't seen the show yet, I highly recommend it. So far, it's better than The Wire (yeah, I said it). No doubt you're looking for a new show in your life now that you've seen the LOST finale, right?

Tickets are on sale tomorrow at 9, and cost €55. It'll probably sell out rapidly too, so make sure to get in line early.

Watch 'I Just Don't Know What to Do':