Thursday, 29 January 2009

Filthy Dukes-This Rhythm: New Video

I love this video to The Filthy Dukes new single This Rhythm. It features Sam Dust on vocals and is released on March 13th. NOTE: It should be played loud and check out the freaky eyes.

John Martyn RIP

It was sad news today to hear of the passing away of legendary singer songwriter John Martyn.
I remember in the few record shops I worked in, there were at least one or two people who would play his albums on a regular basis and it's because of them I ever listened to him.
In John Martyn's career it saw him release twenty studio albums as well as collaborate with some of the greats including Eric Clapton, David Gilmour and Danny Thompson whom he continued to work with throughout his career until his death. John Martyn passed away this morning at his home in Kilkenny. May he RIP.

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Cocknbullkid-I'm Not Sorry video

The new single from currently unsigned newbie Cocknbullkid gets a release through Moshi Moshi on March 9th. File next to Roisin Murphy, Lykke Li and Goldfrapp. It's pretty deadly.

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

The Scottish Invasion...well kind of!!

It seems the spotlight has moved away from London and indeed England for a wee bit to accommodate the brewing music scene in Scotland right now.
There are many bands already dominating a flourishing scene and not only are the up and coming just visiting Glasgow and Edinburgh to showcase their sounds but Aberdeen, Inverness and Dundee are getting a look in too and about time.

The View, Sons And Daughters and Glasvegas are the more recent bands to break into the mainstream and enjoy some commercial success with their releases but there is a school of new kids in the up and coming bracket that stand strongly and more importantly independently against the rest.

One of those bands is indie rock and sometimes hearty punk pop,
Having released singles through
Moshi Moshi, Jealous Records and Best Before Records and an EP 'Sissy Hits' through Holy Roar Records, the band have earned themselves tour support slots with the likes of Foals, Holy Fuck, Johnny Foreigner and currently the Kaiser Chiefs throughout Europe. The biggest release for the band is yet to come in the shape of the debut Dananananaykroyd long player, Hey Everyone! out in April 2009 also on Best Before Records.

The sextet are a band with their fingers in many other musical pies, but what makes them so good together is that they seem to just love playing and being a part of music. They draw influences from the likes of Sebadoh, Pavement and Mice Parade and their live shows are already somewhat legendary in their home town of Glasgow.
If it's just the name alone that you like (yes a drunken night out was responsible for the take on the legend actor Dan Aykroyd's name) then check them out, as that alone deserves kudos.
You can see them support the Kaiser Chiefs @ the 02 at the end of Feb.
If you like these then check out
We Are Physics and Dolby Anol.

Check out the Dananananaykroyd video to Pink Sabbath

Monday, 26 January 2009

Loney Dear - Dear John: Album Review

Dear John is singer-songwriter Emil Svanängen's fifth album, the second proper for Seattle label Sub Pop.

On a label that boasts the prestigious likes of Low and Fleet Foxes, Loney Dear is in good company with his lo-fi soundscapes of fuzzy beats, sparse electronica and plaintive vocals.

Emil's singing is the most immediately binding aspect of the album, a croaky range that brings to mind Markus Acher's from the Notwist, especially as the musical context is similarly constructed. Yet while the latter's emotional capacity is undeniably consistent, he tends to lapse into banal vocal patterns and a whiny falsetto that scrapes at times. This is not to say that the songs are unattractive- there are promising splashes of well-programmed beats and a few catchy hooks that work well in the opening tracks, though the recurring na-na-na's get a na-na-noying after a while.

The songs are also nicely structured. However, with the album clocking in at just over 40 minutes, it feels as though the promise suggested in the stronger opening songs is never really delivered, as later tracks peter out in a wash of timid delivery and restricted ideas.

Loney Dear seems much more at home in the faster tracks, letting the rhythm carry his voice and musical ideas along to a more suitable and satisfactory denouement.

Review by Andrew Cooke

Check out some tracks from the new Loney Dear album on

Friday, 23 January 2009

Tommy Sparks-I'm A Rope

Who hires someone to hypnotize the extra's in their music video? Tommy Sparks that's who.
Not hugely known just yet but expect to hear plenty about him in 2009. 
He was Bloc Party's drummer on their last tour and he features on new albums by The Prodigy and The Filthy Dukes.
Check out the video to his own single I'm A Rope.

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Nonsense In The Dark

London has partied many a night away to the sounds brought to the masses by Olly Dixon and Tim Lawton aka The Filthy Dukes. Add Mark Ralph to the mix and hey, you have yourselves The Filthy Dukes the band. Having earned their stripes promoting club nights, supporting some of DFA's finest (LCD Soundsystem and Hot Chip) and running the ever popular Kill Em All night in Fabric which has featured artists such as Justice, Late Of The Pier, James Murphy and Bloc Party, it's fair to say these guys know how to do it right.

March sees them release their interesting debut album Nonsense In The Dark on Fiction Records.

Guest vocalists feature in their abundance on what can be described as a dirty electro, indie, pop-rock, disco treat. Sam Dust from Late Of The Pier, Brandon Curtis from The Secret Machines and Orlando Weeks from The Maccabees all lend their vocal talent on various tracks.

The band also proudly mention how they acquired a mixing desk once built and used by legendary krautrock producer Connie Plank, who was responsible for producing some Kraftwerk's early records as well as Neu! and Guru Guru, a nice little nugget of info and one they are quite proud of.

You can hear a couple of tracks up on their MySpace and check out the website for a fantastic free remix of their killer tune Tupac Robot Club Rock which you can hear below.

The Filthy Dukes are set to go on tour with The Secret Machines in February and embark on their own tour of the UK in March.

Mick Harvey, founding member of Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds to leave the band.

Here is what he had to say..."For a variety of personal and professional reasons I have chosen to discontinue my ongoing involvement with Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds. After 25 years I feel I am leaving the band as it experiences one of its many peaks; in very healthy condition, and with fantastic prospects for the future. I'm confident Nick will continue to be a creative force and that this is the right time to pass on my artistic and managerial role to what has become a tremendous group of people who can support him in his endeavors both musically and organizationally. It was a fantastic experience to finish my touring days in the band with the recent shows in Australia and the unique events that took place in conjunction with All Tomorrow's Parties, especially Mt. Buller, which was one of the many highlights of my involvement with the band throughout the years. I shall continue working on the Bad Seeds back catalogue re-issues project over the coming year and look forward to the new opportunities I shall be able to accommodate as a result of my changed circumstances."

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

We Are The People That Rule The World....

If you are already sick of Walking On A Dream from Empire Of The Sun then here is their follow up single and video We Are The People.
It should come with an ' infectious sing-a-long' warning!

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavillion : Album review

Imagine a bubble of psychedelic colours twisting with the consistency of an oil slick on a hot path, out of the spacey blend emerges an eye ball, and the vast infinity of space opens up beyond. This is just one of the images conjured when I listen to the new Animal Collective album Merriweather Post Pavilion.

The eight studio album from the Baltimore outfit is probably they're best received to date, and for good reason. The 11 tracks span across blends of looping electronics and repetitive harmonies that at times make one think that a hard 4/4 beat would make them dance floor classics across the land, but the band never lets it get quite that far. Instead tracks linger off into psychedelic whirls of sound and vocal drones escape into a midst of pops and clicks. At times MPP reminds me of The Flaming Lips but never for long enough for me to think they've been ripping them off and this is what makes the album that bit better. History damned to repeat itself? Not in this case. Animal Collective, although having grasped a rather solid fan base over the last few years have probably now done enough with this new album to confirm a much wider audience as part of their listenership. It seems a new era of acid-inspired pop has made it to market and is setting up the tie-die resurrection.

Merriweather Post Pavilion goes down smooth and blends seamlessly together, it's early doors, but I'm guessing this will still be one of the top critic's choices come next December, and deservedly so.

Review By Patrick Fennelly

Get Up To Get Down: A note on breakdance culture.

Get up to get down:

It was 1970's New York, the rubble of a failed socio-political experiment dubbed the Bronx had become and no go zone for police and politicians. Huge blocks of high rise buildings had been thrown together like Lego and the suburbanites watched in horror as the feedback loop of poverty and poor education destroyed communities and spawned huge gangs who marked out their territories with blood.

That however is only half the story. Due to the social vacuum created in this seven mile stretch of American soil, Hip hop was miraculously born. Hop, taking the latter part of the term, was mostly the first thing people did to the grooves and beats pounded out by DJ Kool Herc, originally a Jamaican born and Reggae spinning DJ.

He began putting together funky records for the demanding tastes of his new American clients. What was distinct about him was his choice of music, picking obscure titbits off LPs and daring to cut out the break or fillet of the song and throw the rest away to rot. This fervent energy resonated with so many disenfranchised but highly culturally sophisticated movers and shakers. This melting pot had a unique factor, a new world ethic that allowed for unprecedented multiculturalism that spawned a music, that would re-write musical history. So many times it could have simply disappeared. Yet it conquered music and dance and appeared just in time to do this via television, and now the Internet.

Hip hop is extremely accessible at any level, that's why it works. It is something that binds together many diverse strains of urban culture, although some practitioners of graffiti for example still point out that they listen to punk and rock and have no interest in hip hop or rap culture. Regardless Hip hop has become a catalyst for transmission. All the elements owe their popularity and survival to Hip hop, it gave people a context to write graffiti, to rap, to mix breaks, or to break to mixes. It was a means for Afrika Bambaata, formerly a Black Spades gang member, to create truces amongst warring gangs at parties and later in many cases to provide an alternative economy to drug trafficking. Despite being reviled by Jazz musicians, it has built a bridge for many tenacious teenagers to dig deeper and find Jazz through a sampling culture that pays homage to great Jazz artists.

The previously mentioned tools such as radio, television and the Internet were used to boast and brag about style as protest and display a joyous party attitude, a lighter side to dark tale, a crucial balance.

Although not a solution, Hip hop was a welcome alternative to so much gang and drug violence in the Bronx and all others areas it spread to. It became a curiosity to Blondie and other white mainstream artists who helped slingshot it to the far reaches of the globe.

Hip hop is the language of globalization, the bastard child of American culture, given form by enslaved and exploited peoples and bankrolled by white suburban kids with a mass identity crisis. Interestingly, with the breakers, there seems to be less of a racial divide than with rappers. There is a bravado that many use to build confidence and have fun in darker times, but in rap many have taken this too far and become a parody of their former selves. They have trivialised a culture that was built on the shoulders of great DJ's who both knew the musical and cultural context in which to be creative enough to change world music forever, and yet be light hearted enough to laugh at themselves.

This balance has made Hip hop the new cool kid of music.

However, it is the dance which concerns us here, for there is quite a an interesting dance culture in Ireland. Thanks to the lively spirit of the dancing Irish and a wave of immigration over the past decade or two, we have some fantastically athletic breakers who have raised the bar to gymnastic proportions.

But as breakers move to a world level in terms of aspiring standards, there is a crucial issue.

When does it stop being enjoyable and start being a gymnastic circus event?

How can endless head-spins, windmills or hand hops hope to reflect the energy or enthusiasm shown by poor Bronx kids, who tore up t-shirts to make fat laces and express their style at every chance?

To protest the dullness produced by materialists and worshippers of the clock.

The problem may lie in the type or the quality of recognition. When people see breakers here in Ireland it is a disconnected event, usually a disco or a rave or a street that doesn't breathe hip hop culture really. People make a circle out of shock and awe at the amazing moves they see but eventually become happy clappers or jeerer's of what can become a nuisance in their dancing endeavours.

Breakers can appear as narcissistic vermin who block peoples pathways to fun. The context is rarely set and like with rap the DJ panders to the spectacles and spectators, there is simply no progression. Thus a ground hog day experience ensues where the same moves, combos, and even gestures surface again and again. This is reflected in the world championships where so called B-boys seem to forget where their energy comes from. Hanging with punks and rockers and being exposed to new sounds and mixtures of movement, literally mixing it up.The inspiration sometimes leaves the scene and B-boys appear a bit unsure as where to go next, as there will always be stronger and more flexible athletes, but what defines a B-boy?

Style? Power? Attitude? Personality? Unity?

In truth all these and more, but really being even a little less conservative, and not just breaking to 70's American Funk or pre-prepared mixes of the same old shite would help. Moving to Brazilian funk, now that would be a flavour filled challenge and perhaps acknowledge the usually under emphasised Latin contribution to hip hop. The fact that Black culture tends to de-value its own creations once it passes on to outsiders, this post-colonial mindset we share in Ireland. What is lacking here is an Irish identity and unity in the scene. People walk like gangsters whose parents are late late show watching farmers.

Europeans swagger and parade without knowing the context of the attitudes they sample and loop.

A mythology is spun and dogmatic restriction ensues, everybody has their own version of the true way.

In a globalized world, the ones that survive are the ones that combine.

There are many talented people around, but gigs and events tend to be chaotic and sporadic.

This can be due to the underground ideals people cling to nostalgically, when in reality they never would have known these styles and ideas unless New York gave up some of its beautiful secrets and styled its own tag on the pop scene, changing it forever.

Piece by our very own B-boy Ian Lysaght

B-boy Ireland

Monday, 19 January 2009

Passion Pit & Hockey play double headliner in Whelans on March 1st

This news makes me very happy indeed!
As the headline suggests Portland Oregon's newest, Hockey and the seriously fantastic Passion Pit are set to play a double headliner gig in Whelan's on Sunday March 1st.

Tickets are a steal at €15 and this shall sell out so don't be a fool and get them from Wednesday the 21st!

Friendly Fires - Skeleton Boy

I love the Friendly Fires and their new single is Skeleton Boy from their self titled debut.
It has been mixed up a bit with more beats and synths by Paul Epworth and the video is pretty damn deadly too.
Check it here....

Friendly Fires - Skeleton Boy

Friday, 16 January 2009

Empire Of The Sun - Walking on A Dream: Album Review

Empire Of The Sun is Luke Steele and Nick Littlemore.

You may know these two super talented Aussies as members of The Sleepy Jackson (Steele) and Pnau (Littlemore).But together they have been tipped by everyone including the neighbours’ cat to be one of the biggest new acts of 2009.

Their debut album 'Walking On A Dream' combines the musical strengths of both individuals with Steele's distinct vocals and the eccentricity of Pnau's more weird and wonderful tracks. It kicks off with 'Standing On The Shore', a colourful, Balearic, electro pop track setting the tone for the album. But the song that has everyone talking about them is the ethereal Walking On A Dream which is infectious on the first listen and is reminiscent of MGMT and their quirky production.

Described by someone I know, (whom shall remain nameless) as Spinal Tap with their odd get up and nostalgic tribute to 80's psychedelic electro pop.

However it's obvious when you listen, that Empire Of The Sun are more than a gimmick.

The second single due from the album 'We Are The People' is not dissimilar to the first but starts off with just a vocal and an acoustic guitar and builds into another summery synth pop classic. It gets a bit haunting with 'Country' half way through the album bringing a Twin Peaks type eeriness to put you off track a bit. Adding to the fantasy styling of the album 'Swordfish Hotkiss Night' could be mistaken as a track from Prince's back catalogue, circa 1988, with some crazy rapping and a killer soundtrack and this is probably one of my favourite tracks on the album.

As a whole, it is an interesting and spiritual collaboration between both artists, with their majestic theme and kooky demeanour and one that has the music world talking about them. The album lives up to its hype and further more so do the band.

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

The Choice Music Awards 2009

So this years nominations for the Choice Music prize have just been announced and since 2008 was one helluva year for strong Irish releases, I don't envy being a judge with this years album line up.

So here goes:

Fight Like Apes-Fight Like Apes & The Mystery Of The Golden Medallion
The Script-The Script
Mick Flannery-White Lies
RSAG Organic Sampler
Halfset-Another Way Of Being There
Oppenheimer-Take The Whole Mid-Range And Boost It
Messiah J And The Expert-From The Word Go
David Holmes-The Holy Pictures
Lisa Hannigan-Sea Sew

Hmm I think I will get on to paddy power and see what are on offer!

Monday, 12 January 2009

U:Mack gigs for 2009!

I think it's a pretty great
start to 2009 when U:mack announce a bunch of gigs and you want to go to them all.

Billy Childish

It kicks off this weekend with Wild Billy Childish & the Musicians Of The British Empire taking over Whelan's on Friday January 16th. Childish has formed an array of bands since 1977 with his more famous groups including, Thee Milkshakes, The Mighty Caesar's and The Buff Medway's. 100 albums later and he is back live with The Musicians Of The British Empire. After his Buff Medway's gig a couple of years back you can expect fans of all ages at this, it will be a great one!

Four Tet

On February 28th Four Tet brings his live show to Andrew's Lane Theatre or ALT as it is affectionately known with support on the night coming from Tim Exile and local electronica outfit Sunken Foal, who released their debut album 'Fallen Arches' on Planet-Mu last year.

Jamie Lidell

March 13th sees the return of once quirky, beat boxing, electronic protigee Jamie Lidell, now soul training most days with only touches of his beat boxing live. This shall still be a fantastic show as Lidell, now on his third album with Warp Records knows how to deliver and the ALT show should be no different.

Venetian Snares

Lastly on April 11th (that's the Easter holidays for those of you who don't know) the crazy breakcore genius that is Venetian Snares takes to the stage in ALT. Beware of the the common side affects associated with a VS gig, those include sweating profusely, ear bleeding, the uncontrollable urge to lose the plot and a joyous feeling that shall leave you with a huge grin on your face. Support on the night comes from Legion Of Two.

Friday, 9 January 2009

Abigail Smith: Oh Sam video

Adena Rice from the Tisch School of Arts in NY, has made a very brilliant video to Abigail Smith's equally brilliant track Oh Sam. It is beautifully edited and leaves you feeling quite happy after watching it.

Thursday, 8 January 2009

Dead Wrong

Dublin has never been a place lacking in original musical input, there is a long standing tradition of bands, musicians, singer song writers, bards and more from Dublin’s fair city. They only thing it may have ever lacked is diversity. Not to say Dublin’s always been straight-up with no edgy undertones at all, quite the contrary, bands like the Gorehounds and the musical insanity of Daniel Figgis is testament to an Ireland willing to experiment. The only problem is that music of ‘difference’ has always been outnumbered and un-listened to, cursed to share the shadows with every other band on the peripheries.

A few years ago however a number of young punk and hardcore fans decided to build themselves a little scene to house gigs and encourage musical growth, it’s not for everyone and some older punks might stick up their nose at it, but it certainly works for them.

The latest band to emerge from this hardcore DIY conglomerate is Dublin’s DEAD WRONG whose latest demo has just become available by download. Dead Wrong are no frills hardcore, straight and to the point. The sound brings me back to the mid eighties bands who dominated the states, in my opinion the glory days of hardcore punk. In a worldwide scene awash with copycat bands Dead Wrong manage to sound fresh and energetic in a genre that’s been long recycled and repeated. One can only hope they reproduce the sonic performance of their EP live and I for one look forward to their first full release. Watch this space.

EP available at

Catch them playing live on January 14th in Fibbers supporting The Carrier [Boston, MA]

Review by Patrick Fennelly

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

So it's 2009.....

Happy New Year one and all.
We are back after a wee festive break and ready to plummet head first into what we hope shall be a year full of musical delights.

First up we have a few artists that we are tipping to make some waves on the musical scale in 2009.

This Parisian trio fuse electro clash and indie together to deliver cool pop songs with high energy and a bit of grit. They formed in early 2008 and are currently unsigned but we're betting this won't be the case for very long.
The tune to check out: Snap Dragon

2. Heartsrevolution

Duo's these days are the new cool and Heartsrevolution are no exception to this formula. They are New York based and are signed to indie label Iheartcomix. Heartsrevolution produce choons that would leave Crystal Castles weeping in their wake as they know how to project the harder side of electro punk. Oh and who wouldn't like to tour in an ice cream van?!

The tune to check out: C.Y.O.A is pretty deadly!

3.The Ambience Affair

This Dublin based indie duo (see I told you it was all the rage) consist of Jamie Clarke on vocals and acoustic guitar and Marc Gallagher on drums. They met while working in a music shop together and after catching them live this pairing works. Best described as quirky indie folk, these guys are set to release an EP in February and tour throughout Ireland and the UK.

Check out their plausible cover of Final Fantasy's 'The CN Tower Belongs To The Dead'.

The Ambience Affair TV on MUZU.

4. Passion Pit

After releasing the excellent The Chunk Of Change EP in 2008, Boston's Passion Pit are like a balloon caught in the wind as they set for lift off worldwide. It is the brainchild of Michael Angelakos who originally wrote the EP as a present for his girlfriend for Valentines day and performs live with four other uber talented musicians. They may be musically compared to The Avalanches and The Postal Service but Passion Pit bring a sprinkling of good vibes and anyone who stumbles across them want some of that sparkle.
The tune to check out: Sleepyhead

5. Empire Of The Sun

Okay so a lot of people have been tipping this band to be one of the big new stars of 2009 but with good reason.
Empire Of the Sun are yes you have guessed it another duo, consisting of Luke Steele of The Sleepy Jackson fame and Pnau's Nick Littlemore. Their debut single 'Walking On A Dream' gets a UK and Ireland release next month as does their LP of the same name. Both Steele and Littlemore have combined the best elements of the Sleepy Jackson and Pnau to release a synth pop stomper. Stay tuned for a full album review this week.
The tune it check out: Walkin On A Dream