Archive for March, 2008

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Ludicrous Hoe’s

March 19, 2008

Have a quick look at the map here– it appears the rapper Ludacris has been spreading his love and has a hoe in every single part of the state of Maryland.  I don’t think I have even been to every part of the state and that is where I am from!  Given its ludicrous shape though I suppose its a perfect match. 

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Things I Found Out Over The Weekend

March 19, 2008

Got my full licence for the manual car on Friday so decided to have a spin up North…

The new road up to Belfast is brilliant…and fast!

Speed limits up North are still in miles per hour….and in Newry they don’t like putting up speed limit signs while having no problems with putting up speed cameras.

Is there anywhere on this island that they are not doing major roadworks?

A Southern reg car STILL attracts attention!

LCD Soundsystem- Sound of Silver and We Should Be Dead- Forget Romance Lets Dance are excellent road cd’s…although not the best when trying to pay attention to road signs in Belfast city centre!

The view from the north of the city looking down on the harbour is spectacular.

I love the Northern accent:-)

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Stay Tuned

March 18, 2008

Only getting to the Economist a bit late this week and while I wouldn’t normally mention articles here, this one is radio orientated and quite interesting given that it’s a modern twist on old technology: Stay Tuned.

As well, just to show my tech-geek side for once there are some other great articles in the Technology Quarterly that are available to view without a subscription so get clicking!

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The IFI and I

March 15, 2008

I love the whole concept of the Irish Film Institute but unfortunately we don’t get along.  Even without the cinema it’s a great place to hang out…you do have to put up with the occasional Tosh who will know the third camera mans name on a film and can relate the whole cinematographic history of the films the best boy has been in but there is always a good buzz about the place.

Unfortunately the IFI and I disagree on two major points:

The Schedule- I need to plan my cinema around my hectic life….unfortunately here you need to plan you life around the cinema.  Some films are shown only on certain days so I would have to be free in the first place in order to even think of going…and then once I know that I am free that day I would need to take a half day from work since they are too early- and the evening ones are too late.   Even when I take off time there is no guarantee- I went down on the last day of The Diving Bell and The Butterfly and wouldn’t you know there was a sign on the door saying that it was sold out.

The Seating- the last few times I have been there I have been so tightly squeezed into the seat that my legs have fallen asleep…very very embarrassing when you have to stand up 5 mins before you move since you cannot feel your legs. On a date this is not a good thing! I had a chat with somebody that worked with the Irish Film Board and he noticed how tight the seating was as well- he is only about 5’4″ though where I am 6’4″.

Thankfully Cineworld shows a good selection of independent, Irish and foreign films so I can catch most of them up there. They may only last a couple of weeks there but they have a full schedule each and every day for those weeks and I can usually manage to catch them. However for the ones that I miss, I have been having to turn to DVD’s in order to see them which is a shame since they were meant to be seen on the big screen.

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Blueberry Nights

March 15, 2008

Actually saw this last week before Tegan and Sara but only getting around to posting it now.

Blueberry Nights

Even without knowing that this was a Kar Wai Wong film it was very obvious from the opening scenes- similar to 2046 in that it has great style and cinematography. If you haven’t seen 2046 you should for some excellent acting by Tony Leung, Gong Li and Ziyi Zhang who are all huge stars in Asian cinema. The story itself is a bit slow though so don’t expect anything too exciting.

As for Blueberry Nights- this film is about feelings: love, hate, abandonment, desire, jealousy, and above all hope. However, I felt rather emotionless by the end and I thought there where this film works well is in the small details that Wong seems to focus on in his films. There are couple of things I found a bit annoying as well- the jazz music interludes between scenes and Nora Jones voiceovers reminded me of something out of the Red Shoe Diaries which really just cheapens the imagery.

The acting was good for the most part but the standout performances were David Strathairn and Rachel Weisz– they both inhabit their characters and really made it look like the others were just acting. Nora Jones is ok in her first role- while I never really liked her voice she is good and really cute I must admit- although when Weisz is on the screen you know who the girl is and who is the femme fatale. Jude Law and Natalie Portman are both ok as well- nothing earth shattering but a decent performance.

Overall it is a good film- worth it for the cinematography and acting by David Strathairn and Rachel Weiss

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Dead Air

March 14, 2008

Was awake before the alarm this morning and just as well- when it was time for it to go off there was a very strange sound….absolute silence!  I raised the volume and still nothing…I then changed the radio station which I haven’t done in over a year and the other stations were on-air but absolutely nothing from Phantom! 

I know that they should have on some programming before 7 although I had never listened at that hour before.  Some music did come on at just before 7 but then there were tracks playing over each other and it seemed like somebody had put a cat on the desk.  At this stage I thought that Pete had been run down on the way into work- from what I here he cycles into work which in Dublin can be a bit dodgy.  About quarter past though Pete finally came on so he was alive and well but I had to get moving so never did find out what the story was there. 

The reason I was up early was to go over a few things for the driving test.  This is a saga worthy of a Gogol story- bleak humour and incompetent public servants!  I passed my first drivers test years ago but it was restricted to automatics so had to redo it for manual cars- I won’t go into all the details but suffice it to say that nothing had gone right up to today.  Thankfully the ending is better than Gogol’s would be and there were no administrative hiccups so I could do the test and passed it.  As the examiner said- it was really just a formality for me but thankfully it is one behind me.

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Essential Eels

March 12, 2008

Bit of a strange thing with The Eels– I know some of their songs but I somehow missed when they released most of their albums.  They became popular around the time the oldest was born so I am blaming it on sheer exhaustion at that time.  

Have been listening the the Essential Eels over the last couple of days and the tunes are just brilliant so I might try to get to one of their gigs up in Vicar St next week- the 17th and 18th of March and it looks like there are still tickets available for both nights.

Am in work and it is a sloooow day- can’t access YouTube but you can head over to Nadine’s site for a very good documentary about the front man Mark Oliver Everett.

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Some good Pre-orders

March 12, 2008

Was pre-ordering the new Portishead cd and noticed there were quite a few interesting artists with upcoming releases…

Portishead
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Third released 28th of April.

Gnarls Barkley
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The Odd Couple released 7th April.

Moby
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Last Night released 31st March.

Mike Oldfield
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Music of the Spheres released 17th March.
Ok-admittedly some of his music is too twee but Songs of Distant Earth was excellent.

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DRN vs The Jimmy Cake

March 11, 2008

No not a mash up….but there’s an idea!

They are verse each other though since they both have a gig on the 18th of April.  It’s not looking like I can make either but that saves me the heartache of which one to choose- I have seen both recently and they are equally brilliant live.  

Dark Room Notes

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They will be in The Village and tickets are €14 – available from Tickets.ie

The Jimmy Cake

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Via a bulletin :

This is the news: Spectre & Crown / Album launch / New trax

The first album from The Jimmy Cake in over 5 years, Spectre & Crown, will be released in Ireland on the Friday 11 April 2008 (oh my God, that’s this year!)

To launch the album, The Jimmy Cake will be playing in The Button Factory in Dublin’s Temple Bar on Friday 18th April (also this year), with special guests to be announced.

Three tracks from the album are now on our MySpace page, as a bit of a sneak preview: Jetta’s Palace | Haunted Candle (previously known as My Brass Buttons, in case anyone’s confused) | Collapsing Cloud Night At The Starry Sky

That’s the lot for now.
So, hopefully we’ll see you soon!

P.G. Cake

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Joan As Police Woman- New Album ‘To Survive’

March 11, 2008

Missed Joan as Police Woman last year when she was in Dublin so hopefully she will be back round with her new album!

From a bulletin:

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New Album! TO SURVIVE out June 9

Hi Everyone,

We’re so excited to let you know that the new Joan As Police Woman album is FINISHED!! To Survive will be released on June 9th so we’re getting ready to announce touring all over the place. Can’t wait to see you again!

We will also be playing some songs from the new album at two shows before the album is released. There are very few tickets available for these events.

On April 17th JAPW plays Roudhouse in London. Tickets on sale soon!!

On May 14th JAPW play The Mercury Lounge in New York City. Buy Tickets HERE

TO SURVIVE (track list)

Honor Wishes

Holiday

To Be Loved

To Be Lonely

Magpies

Start Of My Heart

Hard White Wall

Furious

To Survive

To America (featuring Rufus Wainwright)