Tweet Remember being a kid and it being the first time you looked out the window of an airplane? The giddy excitement of watching Dublin turn into toytown? The momentarily shocking realisation that yes, you are suspended in a huge vessel made out of all sorts of metal about half a mile over the sea? It was almost mystical. Nowadays, mysticism has given way to grumpy fucks pulling down the plastic window thing to read about britney spears latest genital mole in closer magazine (its shaped like Kentucky!) while undulating oceans of cloud ripple unnoticed below. Loreana loves planes and airports, so she has made a smashing new mix about the wonders of flight. I'm about to go on a holiday for a few days (which will involve a plane and Loreana) so the compost heap will remain fairly quiet. I'll put up those albums of the year soon enough (like anybody could give a rats mickey about another list), and business will resume as normal in about 8 days. In the meantime, your exits are located on the front of the plane on the left and the right, and in the case of decreased cabin pressure, for your listening pleasure headphones will drop from the ceiling to be attached to the ears as so... Brian Eno- Burning Airlines Give You So Much More M.I.A- Paper Planes Peter and The Wolf- Safe Travels Chocolate U.S.A- She's an Aeroplane The Moody Blues- The Best Way to Travel Billy Bragg & Wilco- Airline to Heaven Angus & Julia Stone-Paper Aeroplane The Frank and Walters- Walter's Trip The Sonics- Have Love Will Travel The Beatles- Flying Brian Jonestown Massacre- Cabin Fever The Robot Ate Me- The Tourist Neutral Milk Hotel- In The Aeroplane Over The Sea Gary Numan- Airline Download Lolomix 3: Airports HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM THE 'HEAP AND I'LL SEE YOU IF YOU'RE OUT ROCKING TO JAPE IN WHEELIE BINS!
Tweet All seems quiet this week. Christmas looms large on the radar, getting ready to swing us up into its madness, have the craic with us and then greasily plop us into the grey misery of January like picked over turkey bones. We all love Christmas. But do we sometimes forget it can be a cold-hearted and unceremonious bastard the way it shits us out once January comes? I think I'll resurrect my original idea of making this a food blog in January and post up a few recipes for hearty and cheap soups. Of course, there will be an MP3 to go with each soup, possibly starting with something by Bowling for Soup (who are frickin' awesome and only the band Alien Ant Farm could have been if only you tried harder guys!!). But that could go the way of my zillion other promised posts which currently languish in some imaginary shameful pile that sadly, is a lot less worse than the Mount Kilimanjaro of promises I've broken in real life. I'll roll out the old chestnut of albums of the year in a couple of days. But first, I'll have to snake a sly look at picthforkmedia's top 50 and emulate it in a crafty way that'll show I share those dude's taste but am most definitely not copying them. I'll probably put Panda Bear number 3 (one would be too obvious), throw in something poppy from this side of the water (sugababes instead of Amerie), a cool Irish record (just checked here and it seems Super Extra Bonus Party are rockin' right now) and then roll dice to re-jig the positions of the rest of the songs in the pitchfork top ten for mine. That should do it. Bet yis can't wait to read it! Corey and Tegan's interests include earmuffs, vegan food and pitchforkmedia.com. They are sound. In the meantime, here is a song that recently fascinated me enough to play it 13 times in the last two weeks (according to the statistical magnificence of itunes). MP3: Bobb Trimble-Premonitions- The Fantasy (MP3 not currently working will post it up myself later dudes) Its from Bobb Trimble, who was a lone American guy who made a couple of strange 60s revival albums in the early 80s that went completely under the radar then, but were rereleased on the secretly canadian label recently. I don't know much about him other than this tune, which I magpied from someone else's blog after reading a piece about the dude that piqued my interest. There is the pleasant rough warp and weft of Lo-Fi to this this track, but with much underlying oddness. He sings expressionistic lyrics in a unique voice (hi-pitched, strangled) that seems to come from 5 or 6 different places at once, adding one more bizzaro element to a composition that is already very disorientating. The album cover is an out of focus picture of him looking at a 'unicorn' that is actually a goat with a horn attached to it. What more can I say? UPDATE: I wouldn't normally credit a random blogger I nicked a bit of bandwidth from, but in this case I will because its actually a great site full of little nuggets of psychedelic music you won't find anywhere else, The rising storm.
Tweet Foggy Notions were right on the money when they invited Girl Talk (aka one time biomedical engineer Greg Gillis) to close their recent run of gigs with a bang. He's basically a mash up artist, but he does it with such intricacy, flair and imagination that the finished tunes become much more than the sum of their parts. He's also a complete and utter space cadet. He is a grade A loolah. Raggedy and bearded, he stripped down to his boxers and (among other hijinx) he crowdsurfed over the revellers in Whelans screaming nirvana's scentless apprentice into the mic over pummeling Hip Hop. The set started off at the level of bonkers and sort of just went from there, quickly stopping off at insane and finally waving goodbye to demented. It was all a bit National Lampoons Animal house. It made me secretly wish I was a fratboy. Hey Douchebag!! If I see you at the girl talk show, I'm gonna knock your puny little block off! And all this after Owen Pallett played his not so secret show, which saw him relaxed, playful and pleasing an appreciative crowd who got 'this is the dream of win and regine,' 'song, song, song' and 'peach, plum, pear' three popular tunes absent from the show in Vicar Street. I dare say a standing audience suits him better in Dublin. There was a proper spark in the air that I didn't feel on Tuesday night. Its been some month for gigs, but my new years resolution will unfortunately be to go to less of 'em, because there's the small matter of a thesis to be done all next year. But what a way to end it. Girl talk you are a fuckin legend! MP3: Girl Talk-overtime UPDATE: Nialler 9 threw up a few choice pics and vids from the gig.
Tweet The DJ returns with a barnstorming megamix of songs which use her favourite instrument, the trumpet. Trumpets are fuckin' deadly altogether, and crop up in many's an indie choon as the less serious cousin of the dreaded string section. Its hard to listen to a big parpy trumpet bit in a song without smiling. So for your listening pleasure... Download LoLomix 2: Trumpet Triumps The Apples in Stereo- Go Beulah- Silver Lining Jim O'Rourke- Something Big Jens Lekman- Sweet Summer Night on Hammer Hill Frank Valdor- Soulbrother Clifford Neutral Milk Hotel- Holland, 1945 The Boo Radleys- Lazarus A Hawk And A Hacksaw And The Hun Hangár Ensemble- Ihabibi The Beatles- Got To Get You Into My Life Beirut- Scenic World (EP Version) Belle and Sebastian- Expectations Spoon- The Underdog New Dance Orchestra- Pop Looks Bach The Go! Team- Bottle Rocket James Last- Popcorn Now thats some savage trumpeting with some savage art design that shows a nice continuity from megamix 1. Fair fucks Loreana. As usual let me know what yis think. Oh, and also I can only host this on Zhare for the time being as I've exceeded my fileden bandwidth. I will put it on fileden soon. I wanted to blog in detail about how good Jens Lekman was in Whelans last night but time is against me. So here are a few descriptive words-Magic, Christmassy, moving, awesome, goosebumpy. Oh and there was a bit where he loop recorded the audience softly singing the chorus to Black Cab and then played it back over the speakers to us with a look on his face that said "Holy shit. This is one of the most amazing gigs I've ever played." At times he seemed genuinely taken aback by what was happening. And there was a genius chorus-removed cover version of 'Call me Al.' It was really one of those "i love it when a plan comes together" nights. There was a support dude too, a guitar-touting troublador type who was pulling all these fey lines and pretending to be bashful, but he didn't fool me. I'm guessing he's a cold sociopath in the vein of Christian Bale as Patrick Bateman and is currently butchering a Dublin groupie to the strains of 'The greatest love of all.' It was in his eyes.
Tweet Merry listmas!! I found out today that constructing a list is an exquisite way to forget the global economic downturn, climate change and hype-mongering journos telling me that the country I live in is in fact a floating artificial island constructed entirely out of gak. So here is my first list of the season. Its the compost heap rundown of my top nine favourite choons this year with a little spiel on each. I've tried to whip them into order but to be honest this feels a bit arbitrary as the order of these things changes in my head every few hours. I'm chucking in the odd MP3 so those readers who may not know the tune in question can judge for themselves if I'm on the money or just talking out of my bumhole. 9: The Twilight Sad: Walking for two hours Once, at dawn, I trudged home in a very fragile state from a weird houseparty that was held in a freezing country gaf owned by a bunch of Kells hippies of the pagan bent. It took about two hours. Years later, the Twilight Sad heard of my long morning of the soul in rural Meath and chose to write this melancholy accordion driven epic about it. Cheers lads! (Might not be true) MP3: The Twilight Sad-Walking for two hours 8: Dan Deacon: Wham City When your commodore 64 died, it went to heaven where it found out that Dan Deacon was God. It got to have big electronic orgies with loads of other commodore 64s while God watched kindly on, sampling the resulting noise for mindblowing music of which Wham City is the finest example. 7: Fight Like Apes: Jake Summers Like Jape's floating before it, this song is Irish indie breaking through a ceiling made of utter shit and rocking out in the glorious sunlight. A sorta 'where's me jumper' for the noughties. 6: Gui Boratto: Beautiful life I've a sneaky feeling this might be of the 2006 vintage, but fuck it. Beautiful life is a thumping powerhouse of a track that (although released on the Kompakt label) ultimately sounds about as 'minimal' as an Andrew Lloyd Weber musical. Its all long build-ups and the sort of colour-saturated synth climaxes New Order excelled at. Magical, feel-good stuff. MP3: Gui Boratto-Beautiful Life 5: Panda Bear: Bros Animals hooting in the woods. Strange, eddying harmonies bubbling in and out of focus. This is the ghostly world of Noah Lennox's exceptional album perfectly summed up in one tune. Like walking through a forest in the rockies on a balmy night and hearing a distant camplit sing-a-long in the velvety darkness. 4: Stars of The Lid: Humectez La Mouture And their refinement of the decline has now broken the grizzly bear barrier to become the most profoundly affecting album I've heard since Neutral Milk hotel fever first possessed me six years ago. Its an album to listen to in its entirety, but a few tracks do stand out. Like this. At one point a dog barks and a voice cries out the single word 'Susan' a few times. It kills me every time. The evocation of desperate loneliness is crippling. 3: Deerhunter: Strange lights If Deerhunter were to confirm my doubts and split up it would be a shame. Y'see although Bradford Cox seems well able to write good shit on his own, this perfect storm of white-noise and killer hooks is mostly the work of band member Lockett Pundt. It wins my prize for the most evocative lyrics of the year, a drowsy description of two close friends slowly marching to certain destruction in the centre of the sun, but somehow enjoying it. Its the kind of sentiment Wayne Coyne used to do brilliantly until he turned into a cliched parody of himself. 2: The Field: Everyday I'd be hard pushed to cherry pick one track from Axel Willner's instant classic 'from here we go sublime' but this seems to pip the post. The Field's album divided people because for many the level of repetition and apparent simplicity made it seem like a case of the emperor's new clothes. But listen up kids and listen closely, because there is so much more than bleeps and bloops goin' on here. There is a great emotional pay-off in this music for the open-minded listener. For me, the most breathtaking moment on the record occurs about halfway through this track. It shifts gears, a treated female vocal drops into the mix and its as if a million monged party sunrises are being kaleidescopically refracted through a block of Scandinavian ice. MP3: The Field-Everyday 1: Animal Collective: Fireworks They basically owned 2007 and its well deserved. Fireworks sits trophy-like in the very center of Strawberry Jam and is a testimony to just how forward-sounding and unique among their peers Animal Collective are. It is a wonderful sprawling thing that falls apart in a mess of squeaky toys, bells and all kinds of junk from these boys' massive imaginations. When it dusts itself off and chugs back to life there is a thrilling moment that reminds me of the overwhelming sense of giddy excitement I experienced after hearing 'I am the Walrus' for the very first time. A treasure of a song from a band currently operating at the level of terrifying brilliance. Thats all for now! This section will be back before the new year with albums. UPDATE: I was very tired writing this and did not complete it. It was initially envisaged to contain 15 songs. Here are the ones that did not get put up. 10: LCD Soundsystem Someone Great 11: Amy Winehouse: Valerie 12: Justice: D.A.N.C.E 13: Deerhoof +81 14: Modest Mouse: Spitting Venom 15: Sunset Rubdown: The taming of the hands that came back to life See Yis!!!
Tweet Loreana is deadly at making mix CDs, so I've talked her into making some mixes for download on this blog. Each mix will be a bunch of songs held together by some random theme or other. So, without further ado, here is the first one, a mad eclectic bundle of choons about outer space chosen by a space cadet. Its really cool stuff with a bit of imagination thrown into it and all that. It even has its own cover art! Let me know if ye can download it okay and what yis think. 'Cos if it works, I'll stick them up regularly. Download Lolomix 1: Space Voyage Update: The same mix hosted on a different site if the first one does not work Download Lolomix 1: Space Voyage Jean Jacques Perrey- Four, Three, Two, One Optiganally Yours- The Outer Space Tornados- Telstar The Notwist- Another Planet The Olivia Tremor Control- A Sunshine Fix Arthur Russell- This is how we Walk on the Moon Major Organ and the Adding Machine- Your Moonpie Eye Can- Moonshake Menomena- Ghostship Deerhoof- The Galaxist Guided By Voices- Hardcore UFOs Sebadoh- Telecosmic Alchemy Silver Apples- Misty Mountain Joe Meek- Dribcots Space Boat Green Milk From The Planet Orange- In the Space, Far away from this Planet Circulatory System- The Lovely Universe
Tweet The man responsible for the official-most-astonishing-night-in-Whelan's-ever had images from his gigs used to promote the American bus company Greyhound without his prior knowledge or consent. In a glorious tirade respoding to this on his blog, Deacon demonstrates a creative mastery of the abusive end of our language of which Eric Cartman would be proud. Over to you Dan... Greyhound bus company is one of the worst run, bullshit companies i have ever had the misfortune to use. they are a total monopoly and take advantage of that with poor service and price hikes and route cancellation. they have bought all the other smaller companies and run them out of their office in dallas. they treat both their employees and customers like shit. they are a cancer. since i do not drive i used to use them to get to shows (when nothing else was available). on many occasions i had to cancel shows because the bus would be late, my luggage would get lost/stolen, the over sell their buses, and fuck i fucking hate them. it really upsets me that i am being used to promote them. if i had my way i would see all their buses transport guns to all the people they have fucked over. like many evil companies they are trying to use subversive advertising and i will not allow myself to be a cog in their wheel of lies and deceit. these rats stink like rotten cum. fuck them with 1000 fires. in case this message finds its way to someone in the advertising department of greyhound: eat my shorts you dickless pig fuckers. Dickless pig fuckers no less. What a man. MP3: Dan Deacon-Wham City
Tweet Anyone who ever visited the Santa's grotto in Carolan's Londis shop in Navan during the 80s will know that Christmas can be as creepy a time of year as Halloween. Santa had thick orange fingernails, coldsores, and resided in the shadowy confines of a black polythene cube decked out with the odd fluttering wisp of tinsel. It didn't help that there were stray Halloween decorations knocking about his 'grotto' either. Or that he spoke with a swollen-tongued Navan accent. Or that the shop in question was a garishly-lit bargain barn with no customers, that my parents always took us to at five minutes to closing on a Friday evening. This was the time when everyone else was driving home from the normality of Quinnsworth with boots full of luxury edibles. They always piped a lower grade of Christmas song through the speakers in Carolan's. Bizzaro bargain-bin stuff like Chris De Burgh warbling about aliens or to really chill your spinal fluid, how about a vocoder and panpipes version of the little drummer boy? MP3: The Cocteau Twins-Frosty the Snowman In their freakish take on 'Frosty the Snowman' the Cocteau Twins seem to have somehow managed to bundle everything I ever found spooky about Christmas into one of the most profoundly upsetting pieces of music ever. They have taken a relatively second league Christmas song, drenched it in reverb and created a wibbly nightmare of off-kilter overlapping voices and synthesizers. The song's once innocent lyrics about a snowman who comes to life and frolics with a group of children take on a nightmarish new intensity against the Cocteau's hall-of-mirrors sonic treatment. Listening to this, I get the horrible feeling of what it must be like to be trapped in the Ilac centre at midnight with all the shoppers gone home and only the increasingly more life-like Christmas mannequins to keep you company...
Tweet Once upon a while ago in Iceland, a man maintained a gigantic IBM computer. Unlike the computers of today, it was a big cumbersome yoke. It was always whirring, clicking, groaning and about half the size of your garden shed. It was fragile too, and in need of constant care. Coolant, fans, replacement parts, oil and loving attention kept it going for many years. The man who maintained it loved it. For he was not only a technician but a keen musician, and he had figured out ways to magic music from the prehistoric business machine in his care. He discovered that by messing around with the computer's most basic programming and placing a radio receiver near its CPU, he could generate melodies of a sort. They were sparse sounds, oscillations and waves from the machine's lonely core. As the computer grew old he knew that one day it would have to die, so he arranged a funeral of sorts. Before it was unplugged for the very last time he recorded its songs and gave them a voice by overlaying them with the clipped instructions from the audio recording of the user's manual. It seemed to suit the lonely, not quite human, but somehow living melodies he recorded. Years later, his son found these recordings. As luck would have it, his son was the regarded Icelandic composer Johann Johannsson, a serious young man with a solemn face that looked like a sad scribble on a grey egg. Johann saw the value in his father's recordings. So much so that he composed an entire classical album around them. He filled in the gaps between the crackling sine waves with emotional orchestral swells that gushed through the glacial binary soundscapes created all those years ago by his Dad and his Dad's computer. The MP3 I'm posting is one of them. Its called part II, after the corresponding section in the user manual. The hair will begin to stand up on the back of the average human listener's neck not long after 3 minutes and 40 seconds in. My mate Richard turned me onto the album a few months ago, and I've barely gone a few days without listening since. MP3: Johann Johannssonn-Part II
Tweet Last night I found myself swept up in the frenzied worship of a strobing green neon skull on a stick. A man who looked like Timmy Mallet after losing a fight with a barber had erected said skull as part of his live show. It was a cunning focal point for the crowd's attention while he kneeled on the floor sending out wave after enormous wave of jackhammering electrochip noise. The skull, flickering evilly in the centre of all this, made the endeavour one of the strangest and most exhilarating gigs I've ever been to. By setting up in a tiny spot of floor in the centre of the venue, Dan Deacon subverted the dynamics of how performers and audiences traditionally interact, making the madness unfolding around the skull feel revelatory. It was a giant, democratic free-for-all freak out. Lots of stuff happened. There was a dance off. The audience engaged in a bit of pre-techno yoga. We sang off lyric sheets. But this was all beside the point. The real point of Dan Deacon's show were those moments of almost ejaculatory abandon when the music hit another impossible sky-high freakout. Here, the skull seemed to take complete control of the crowd, mercilessly whipping it into a single juddering mass of sweaty, gawky, elbowy kids whose inhibitions had long since been shot to pieces by Mr Deacon. Here's the free pitchfork MP3: Dan Deacon-The Crystal Cat Update: Nialler 9 just posted a great review of this gig, and he includes some self-shot camera footage that goes someway to capturing the wild magic of the show