Tweet This should be a blog about music stuff I'm looking forward to, but first there's a little something I need to get off my chest. I don't know about you but if I had a chance to appear on the hate-stuff show 'Room 101,' top of my list of things to put in would probably be wedding photos (after Brendan O'Connor, Eurospar and the Knorr Vie ad with all those dildos singing on the street). By wedding photos I don't mean the cute old shot on the mantelpiece of mum and dad on their special day. Naw, I mean the modern version, which isn't just a few shots, its a deluxe vellum box of the fuckin' things. Its a blockbusting modern-Irish torrent of tack that will set you back about three grand. The 'set' consists of about 40 hideous snaps of gurning boggers dressed in full white-tie regalia in fields, in front of castles and on windswept Wicklow beaches. Its often tastefully shot through lenses smeared with vaseline to take the edge off the chin that poor Dymphna inherited from the Reilly side of the clan. Classic shots include such marvels as Declan 'candidly' squeezing Dymphna's orange knockers like he has her in the heimlich maneuver in front of the twinkling Shannon- her dress photoshopped into an eerie virginal glow that defies the laws of Daz and mystically leaks a good three inches clear of the sturdy contours of her body. And who can forget Declan and the best man 'candidly' wrestling in front of a Celtic cross in perfect focus, while blurry bridesmaids look on from the dreamy brink of the vaseline fog. Gah! In case you think I'm going mad, I'm not. Its just that people floating around my professional life seem to be getting married a lot recently. And they sometimes come into lunch hour showing off the photos. When they do, its all I can manage to keep my jaw from falling off at the grotesqueness on display. I think wow, these people have actually paid three thousand quid to turn their special lifelong bond into a Daniel O'Donnell calendar. But then again, they are normally the sort of people who get excited about bathroom tiling and religiously watch the Wednesday night movie on RTE1. Even when it is Norbit. Maura and John Paul ran into their romantic future of mortgage repayments and pinewood decking. Right-o, gigs. Cabin fever has well and truly set in and I can't wait to start going to the odd gig or two this spring. There is a lot of really cool electronic shit on the agenda thanks to remedy @ spy who have a colossal series of gigs and DJ sets in the offing, which in terms of quality are the ravey mirror image of the avalanche of indie Foggy Notions brought our way last December. I'm most looking forward to German techno genius Michael Mayer who is playing Spy on March 16th. Apparently he'll be on the decks for a full five hours. Now thats one seriously mental start to the bank holiday. And anyone familiar with his seminal mix CD 'immer' will know that Michael Mayer can bang out some deep and delirious shit. Five hours of it will make this one of the DJ sets of the year. MP3: Ada-Maps (Michael Mayer and Tobias Thomas mix) 3 hours into Michael Mayer's set, Kevin's head began to act strangely. Oh, and on the indie end of things, I'm treating the news that Animal Collective are returning to tripod this May with trepidation. I hyped the last visit up to be the second coming, and erm, it wasn't, thanks to a throat infection and the band being a bit disingenuous by keeping that information from the confuddled masses until the end of the set. But I fuckin' love 'em, and if they bring those blinding neon rectangles back and play 'grass' and 'fireworks' it would make my year. And finally, I'm looking forward Ham Sandwich's album launch for 'Carry the Meek' in Whelan's on February 23rd. Apart from loving their gigs because they are a ballsy riot of a band live, I have an interest in their success because the bearded creature who half-fronts the band is one of my oldest friends (right back to when we played with Mask figures in his utility room). I wish them every success in their quest for world domination!
Tweet I just found out from this looong list that the mucky old compost heap is in contention for a blog award. It's cool to see my blog on it, and big thanks if ya nominated me. So many of the other blogs on that list are great. There really is a bit of quality out there huh? I'm gonna go to that awards thingy and see what everybody look like in real life, see if its true that all bloggers have heads like dribbly, decomposing spuds. UPDATE!! (The compost heap is also nominated for best blog, best blog post and funniest blog post!) Random picture of brain-damaged pet... Random MP3: Menomena-Wet and rusting
Tweet Woop! This weekend the mixmaster made us a new LoLomix. This is easily my favourite one yet. With forests, she has picked a lovely transporting sort of theme. So put on your best woolies and go out for a bracing walk in LoLo's forest. Enjoy the sights which include old toasters, ghostly mountains and decomposing trees. But be vigilant too! Loreana loves bears, and she let one run loose in her imaginary woodland. If you wish to stay, you can camp overnight and wake to the near-overwhelming beauty of Boards of Canada's dawn chorus. Trentemoller- The Forest Grandaddy- Broken Household Appliance National Forest Deerhunter- Heatherwood Badly Drawn Boy- Camping next to Water Animal Collective- Leaf House Bon Iver- The Wolves (Act I and II) My Morning Jacket- The Bear Galaxie 500- Decomposing Trees The Unicorns- Ghost Mountain Schneider TM- Camping Boards of Canada- Dawn Chorus MP3: LoLomix 4: Forests (Its on fileden, which means there should be no problem downloading it. Enjoy!)
Tweet Some money finally plopped into my bank account today. This comes as some relief after spending the last few weeks in a financially barren wilderness. A few days ago I found myself in Dunnes stores staring forlornly at a packet of finish dishwasher tablets I couldn't afford. Bad. But not as bad as the last January payday crisis. At one point, I resorted to eating alternate gobbets of peanut butter and wholegrain mustard from a spoon because the last tuc cracker fell into the sink. Yum, dinner. Even though half of my paycheck is rapidly being hoovered into various debts and cards like drugs going into britney spears, I should still have enough to enjoy at least one or two good nights out this month. I'm now considering Explosions in the Sky tomorrow night. Anybody know what they are like live? Will it be all slow and stately and unfurling, or will they actually rock out a bit? Wouldn't mind a bit of an old rock out. Today's MP3 is cribbed from a new EP brought out by The Field, who is one of my favourite artists at the moment. Its tied together by a fairly pretentious concept more suited to a pomp rock album by muse or somesuch than to a minimal techno artist. Each track on the EP is supposedly inspired by a different time of a certain day Willner spent in a hotel made out of ice. Yikes, what next? Live from Pompeii, The Field brings you a 12 song suite based on popular symbols from the Kabbalah and Zodiac? Hope not. Anyway, the songs on the EP are all about 15 minutes in length, which just about pushes the repetitive formula perfected on 'from here we go sublime' to that precarious point where hypnotic revelations meet ferocious irritations. However, the 'morning' track really works, and it works beautifully, continually switching gears between cyclical chopped samples. The listener is led on a mock journey that for all its twists and tricks, begins and ends in the same wintery place. Sorry that the MP3 is only itunes compatible. The EP was released exclusively on itunes. And I hate its cover, it looks like it was cut out of an annoying interior designs page from a poncey sunday style supplement. So I'm replacing it with the arctic caribou inn. This place looks like it belongs on the set of twin peaks. I'm guessing that its sole clientele are wet and bearded men from the crab ships, who dine out on a buffet of black coffee and raw reindeer. MP3: The Field-Morning
Tweet Yikes, we're all hurtling into a recession. So before we all sign on the dole, grow 1983 bono-mullets, and stock up on homestead beans, lets wave goodbye to the Celtic Tiger with a gullet full of posh soup. This is a recipe for celeriac velouté with celeriac crisps. I prepared it on Saturday as part of a poncey five course meal where my flatmate and I attempted to impress some former college pals. Its very intense, so its best served up in little cups as opposed to bowls. It's more suitable for a meal where you try to get someone into the sack through the magic of showing off, as opposed to just warm yerself up on a cold day. Oh, a quick warning if you are attempting to use this soup as part of a sophisticated seduction. Don't let your prospective breakfast companion see the celeriac itself. Its a nobbly, grotesque sort of a veggie thats not unlike Darth Vadar's dying head at the end of Return of the Jedi. Or Sean Ryder's head for that matter. + = It tastes great though! Celeriac Velouté: Ingredients (Velouté) 400grams of peeled Celeriac (about half of an average sized one), diced into very small cubes. 50grams of shallots, finely diced 750ml double chicken stock (this is 1.5 litres normally concentrated stock reduced to half by hard boiling-if not fresh, please use liquid stock for this, Just Bouillion or even Tesco Finest) 30grams of butter 40ml olive oil 3 tablespoons cream Snipped chives (Crisps) A good few fine slices of celeriac (use the slice bit on a cheese grater to do this) Enough groundnut oil to fill a wok to about an inch depth (Optional Extras) Dried chantrelle mushrooms to put at the bottom of each cup for the ultimate pretentious flourish Recipe: In a small saucepan sweat the shallots in the olive oil and butter until they go see through. Then add the celeriac cubes and keep it going at a medium heat until they soften too. It will seem very oily at this stage, but that is key to the richness of the recipe. Then add the double chicken stock (boiling hot) to the saucepan and simmer for 10 minutes. Liquidise the whole lot until it has a pure smooth consistency (oh yes). It should be like silk. Keep piping hot. In the meantime heat your wok oil until its hot enough to brown a small cube of stale bread in 15 seconds. Once thats done, throw in two or three of the fine slices of celeriac at a time and fry until evenly crisp. Remove them and throw onto some kitchen paper. Allow two crisps for each cup of velouté. Now to serve, stir the cream into the saucepan of velouté and pour it out into the individual cups. Sprinkle each with a few chive snips and place a crisp or two artfully on top. Congrats because now you have made some really fancy shit worthy of Gordon Ramsay you ponce! Finally, that promised MP3. This is after all a music blog. Its a song from Times New Viking who are getting mega-hyped on the back of their ace new album 'rip it off', a gloriously unholy fuzz-racket that sounds like it was recorded in an hour through a mike hooked up to this speaker... MP3: Times New VikingTeenage Lust Hip-hip-hooray kids 'cos the spirit of Guided By Voices lives on! The MP3 I've posted is a bit of a lo-fi anthem from their previous record 'present the paisley reich,' which is also totally ace. I've a feeling, however, that your appetite for this sort of stuff depends on how much insane fuzz your eardrums can cope with. I've an insatiable appetite for it.
Tweet The latest issue of the rather mega Analogue Magazine is slowly gestating somewhere, and will hit the shelves for public consumption pretty soon. As far as I'm aware there will be some pretty hot shit in this issue, including a brave as fuck interview where concerns over extortionate pricing for a certain gig in Malahide were put to a very taken aback member of Radiohead. This will certainly beat the brown-nosing that regularly passes for interviews with those guys in the big English glossies. I did a couple of pieces. One was an interview with Miracle Fortress before they supported Final Fantasy in Vicar Street last month. Since then, I've often come back to their album 'five roses' and find it to be a real solid, cohesive work of 60s channeling pop. Although they tour as a full band, the album is all the work of one very tall, very ginger Canadian, Graham van Pelt. If you like the MP3 below, you'll deffo dig the record. MP3: Miracle Fortress-Have you seen in your dreams Combine harvesters are great. I'd trade a bollock to escape the dreary January buzz right now and drive a combine into a dusty Canadian sunset.
Tweet I stuck up a few mp3s of my twin brother's DIY electronic tunes over the past few months as a bit of a wheeze. It was pretty much a diversionary little hobby he engaged himself in when not working on his science. Now he's going to play whelans. Its a foggy notions gig in support of casiotone for the painfully alone. I find this both surreal and mad. He'll be helped out by his mate Jiffy aka 'colours move'. Jiffy just remixed sad songs by another Kells band Ham Sandwich. I'm putting up the MP3. The track itself is brilliant, but the only thing is that its a teeny bit rough on the ears so don't turn it up too loud. Go on the Jiffy. MP3 Colours Move-sad songs remix Micro review: British Sea Power in Whelans Pitchforkmedia recently reviewed a british indie box set and ended the review with the grand proclamation that modern british indie is pretty much dead and died with gay dad. In americanese I have 'issues' with that review. For the following reasons; the clientele, gorrilaz, glasvegas, los campesinos and British Sea power. I went to see British Sea Power in Whelans last night. They give good gig. Weirdly dressed and with a guitarist who looked like the incredible hulk dusted in blue pool cue chalk, they destroyed the place. By the end of the night it was obvious the security were not happy, what with mad fuckers hanging out of the light fittings and a random topless fat dude babbling nonsense into the mike. It was a performance to be reckoned with. And their music, especially the new album, is the sort of classic arch British pop that the yanks could only dream of appropriating. So fuck off pitchfork you over-simplifying radiohead fellaters.
Tweet Okay because I was so quiet over the holidays I'm about to do something as depressing as force feeding you furry 4-week-old turkey bones from the bin, and post my favourite albums of 2007. If I don't I'll go mad, cos it will feel like a festering itch that never got scratched. Its gonna be an exercise in brevity though. Five albums, a few lines on each, and a couple of MP3s... Oh and a really good album I'm currently getting to grips with that would have probably made this list if I had more time to live with it, is the Tough Alliance. 5: Deerhunter- Cryptograms Edgar Allen Poe has a short story called 'a descent into the maelstrom' about a fisherman sucked into a huge stormy vortex, only to come out the other side looking like an 'oul fella with white hair. I'd like to pretentiously think that listening to Cryptograms on my ipod is like having my own little bit of that fictional fisherman's experience. 4: Panda Bear- Person Pitch Imaginayyyy-shunn Imagin-ayyyy-shun! Noah Lennox flew away to imagination land and brought back a magical bag of music to share with the world. MP3: Panda Bear-Take Pills 3: The Twilight Sad- Fourteen autumns and fifteen winters Those gloom ridden fuckers. They weren't happy to just have fourteen autumns and fourteen winters. Oh no, they had to fuck an extra winter in for good measure. Personally, I know that this is not objectively one of the 'great' albums of the year. Its patchy. But the mood of it, the lumpen Scottish brogue, the thundering sweep of its best songs and such abstract apocalyptic emo-proclamations as "the kids are on fire in the back room/ while the cunt sits at his desk" made it a personal fave. 2: The Field- From here we go sublime Here, Alex Willner managed to spin mind-bending dynamism out of the most simple repetition. Its a perfect headphones album, full of expansive depth, texture and surprising moments of clarity that feel like psychedelic tetris pieces falling perfectly into place to create new patterns. 1: Stars of the Lid- And their refinement of the decline I have literally listened to this album almost every single night this year. I'm obsessed. Of course, with ambient music being like marmite and all, I'm sure many people see it as alienating pretentious bobbins for losers. That's their loss. This is an incredibly well structured, deeply emotive album. It even has a sense of humour- there's a song called 'November hunting for vegetarian fuckface'. Well, I thought it sounded funny.
Tweet ...and now for some soup. At this time of year you don't want to daintily sip on a tepid and delicately flavoured consommé. No sir, what you need is some reddy brek style central heating for kids. A thick velvety flood of buttery warmth that oozes into your miserable rain-ravaged frame and makes your tummy glow like ETs did when he came back to life at the end of the film. This is my favourite soup to make. Butternut Squash soup ingredients: -1 Butternut squash (as big as you can get, and be careful if buying in tesco cos they often serve rock hard smaller ones that don't give the desired effect.) -A big lump of butter (40 grams) -1 smallish onion chopped finely -Course salt and black pepper (to season) -Seven cups of chicken/vegetable stock (if its from cubes buy Kallo cos the knorr and oxo ones are shite-apart apparently from oxo beef which according to loony chef marco pierre white is an important ingredient-I won't argue). Optional extras -cumin and chilli flakes for a spicier beast Or... -Half a granny smith apple, cubed and sauteed with the squash for an apple and squash soup (yum!) RECIPE: -Peel and cut the squash into 1 inch cubes, dump them in yer saucepan and saute them in the butter over a medium heat with the onion until the onion is softened up (lets say for 10 mins). Keep an eye on them and stir them around so nothing burns. The onion should go see-through. -Now add the hot stock, bring to the boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook it only until the squash is tender and no more as it will lose its lovely flavours. -Liquidise (or mash with a potato masher if you are blenderless or the type of rustic fucker who likes to pretend to live in 19th century France) -season with salt 'n' pepper, stir in a little cream if you fancy -Serve -YUM!!! As he tightly gripped the squash he selected from tesco's vegetable aisle, Jeremy was strangely reminded of the night before.
Tweet Last year it was obvious to those of us observing Deerhunter through the sometimes uncomfortable transparency of their blog that all was not well. As the mighty album cryptograms was borne up on a swell of critical praise, the band members were stressing out and falling apart at the seams like a shitty anorak from Penneys. This all culminated in their current hiatus, which feels a bit more like everyone is sitting in the corner and having a good think about their behaviour than the definitive end of a great band. I have a feeling they will be back again recording as Deerhunter. In the meantime, Bradford has been very busy with the Atlas Sound project and is about to give birth to the full length 'let the blind lead those who can see but cannot feel.' Now I've been a bit of a bad monkey and listened to the illegal downloads of the whole thing, and after one listen I'd make gurgly throat noises of sexual pleasure if I wasn't surrounded by my college contemporaries. Its an excellent sounding album, spun from lighter, spacier stuff than the dense murk of cryptograms. Bradford has jumped off the end of the flourescent grey ep and into the funny looking mist that was calling out to him. It smells to me like this year's answer to Grizzly Bear's 'yellow house.' Not bad for January. MP3: Atlas Sound-MP3: River Card The track I'm linking to is the one Bradford put up for free. Its one of the clearer sounding tunes. It has a twinkly velvet underground type momentum that eddies along like the river he's singing about. The light beats and sparkles counteract the song's dark heart, the lyrical deathwish "you drown me." I'm gonna be good and go out and buy this on CD.
Tweet ...after a long and loopy christmas break. Gonna start blogging in earnest again real soon. In the meantime here is a video my mentalist brother made for one of his homemade storkboy choons called 'do the octopus'. Its a bit perplexing, and I'd warrant it only truly makes sense to people on horse tranquilizers. Enjoy...