Archive for April, 2008

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Dark Room Notes- Button Factory 10th of May

April 30, 2008

Great news from DRN– missed their gig in the Village and the one in The Button Factory is now going to kick off that insane week of gigs!

From the bulletin:

Hi All,

For those who missed us on Tubridy (and it was on a Saturday Night, so who’d blame you?) – you can catch the show on RTE’s website now here:

http://www. rte. ie/tv/tubridytonight/av_20080412. html?2361988,null,228

(Thanks to Sean for the link).

May sees us heading to Sligo for the Fancy Pants Castle Party (fancypantscastleparty. wordpress. com) on the 3rd, over to London for a headliner at the Metro Club on Oxford Street on the 7th, back to Dublin for a headliner at The Button Factory on the 10th, then into the Bernard Shaw for a pre-Antics mash-up on the 28th.

More gigs TBA in June/July – but we do know we’ll be back in London for ‘London Calling’ on 19/20 June as part of the Music From Ireland Showcase (thanks to IMRO and FMC).

August sees us back in the studio in Kilburn to record the album.

Hope to see you at some step along the way!

Cheers

‘DRN

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Tagged

April 30, 2008

Home from Gemma Hayes last night to find I have been tagged by Becs of her UnbearablyLightness!!

So describe myself in six words- probably not the best to do this in the morning since there is only one thing on my mind but…

Needs coffee and chocolate to survive.

Both are an essential start to the morning which isn’t exactly the healthiest…am trying to get rid of the two Snickers and the massive cup of coffee but it’s proving difficult!

So tagging these people now…trying not to duplicate since some of the people I would have tagged have already been done in the last round…

Aoife Yeah I know you just got memed as well…you shouldn’t have said it was fun;-)

Derek (Tie in to the Phantom show) Dont want to sully your pages so you can leave a comment here if you want!

K8theGr8

Kspin

Luncheon Roll

Rapture Ponies

Apologies if you are ‘Down with this sort of thing!’

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BibliOdyssey

April 28, 2008

I came across BibliOdyssey through Strangemaps and it is just a stupendous blog that has “books, illustrations, science, history, visual materia obscura, and eclectic bookart” . It certainly taps into the historic/artistic nature in me which many people don’t see with me being Mr I.T. guy most of the time. There is some fabulous material there so its worth adding him to your read (along with Strangemaps) for the wonderful things that he may find!

[EDIT] Also came across Recogedor from BibliOdyssey…problem with following links in blogs is that it is never ending!  Maybe not a full day wasted Becs but probably just an afternoon….

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The Accidental- There Were Wolves

April 28, 2008

Have been waiting for debut album from The Accidental since I first heard the single Wolves and my goodness is it a great one. A supergroup of sorts (see the blurb below) with some extremely catchy songs. This is an album made for the hifi- the mp3’s just do not do justice to the sublime background sounds and the harmonies of the group- absolutely fabulous on the stereo since you can pick up every little detail that the compression of mp3 looses. If you can, pick up a copy of the cd with the bonus tracks since Battlesea is quite good and a bit more electronic than the others.

The standout tracks for me at the moment:

Knock Knock

Wolves

Jaw of a Whale

Illuminated Red

Birthday

Battersea

You can stream all of their songs in full at LastFm or they have some up on MySpace. The only tour dates they have at the moment are festivals in the UK but hopefully they will come across the sea for Electric Picnic.

The blurb:

Take the man behind The Memory Band and co-founder of Trunk Records (Stephen Cracknell), the twisted songwriter from Tunng main man (Sam Genders), one half of Fence Collective duo The Bicycle Thieves (Hannah Caughlin) and singer-songwriter Liam Bailey. Put them in front of a PC and add occasional input from guests including harpist Serafina Steer, Lisa Knapp, and various members of the Elysian Quartet and The Memory Band.The outcome is new collective The Accidental and their beguiling debut single Wolves, out through Full Time Hobby on the 31st March. This will be swiftly followed by their first album There Were Wolves on the 14th April.

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Breaking News From Onion Radio- Asshole In Blogosphere

April 28, 2008

From Onion Radio News:

Researchers Discover Massive Asshole In Blogosphere

and given the previous post about wolves this one caught the eye…

Congress Overrun By Wolves

Unfortunately half the audio is an add for Grand Marnier…I severely dislike advertisements that are forced on you but damn doesn’t that just make you thirsty!

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I am surrounded by wolves…

April 27, 2008

Just one of those things over the last week with coming across something relating to wolves almost everyday!

The Accidental– There Were Wolves

Le Loup – Planes Like Vultures

We Are Wolves– Fight and Kiss

TV On The Radio– Wolf Like Me

Wolf Parade– Call it a Ritual

Time of the Wolf– Michael Haneke film

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The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (Le scaphandre et le papillon)

April 27, 2008

I was finally able to see The Diving Bell and the Butterfly after missing it in the IFI since it was thankfully released at Cineworld- a brilliant film and it was certainly worth waiting for.

The cinematography is really what makes this film stand out- the first part of the film is literally seen through the main characters eye and you only see what he sees. It is only in the second part of the film that you actually see people and events from the third person. Given that this is a film about a person who is locked in their body there is no better way to show this than by limiting what the viewers can experience around them- between that and the voice-over of the main character you certainly feel that you are locked in there with him.

Since it is based on a true story you can check the facts here– the way that the story is translated to screen is a one of the masterstrokes of this film. Between the first-person, third-person and flashbacks you eventually build up the whole story and it is done in a way that keeps your attention through out.

The cast is absolutely superb – Mathiew Amalric is excellent as Jean-Do and Max Von Syndow as the father is simply brilliant. There is such empathy and emotion between these two that the couple of scenes that they are together are the most memorable for me. The lovely Marie-Josée Croze does a great job as his nurse who devises his method of communication and just as an aside if I had only one eye onto the world I would love if she was constantly in view. Anne Consigny, Marina Hands and Emmanuelle Seigner all have memorable roles as well and really support the conflict around Jean-Do. It did fell like a reunion of sorts with the cast since there were quite a few actors that were in Munich, Tell No One (Ne le dis à personne) and The Barbarian Invasions (Les invasions barbares).

This is a must see on so many levels that I can see what all the buzz was about- and you really should see this as any descprition is really just going to fall short of good this film is. The only comment I can think on the negative side is that you are nearly reciting the letters of the revised alphabet that he used since it features so much in the film…that is not a bad thing though since that is the whole reason on how the book and this film came about in the first place.

Just had to upload a pic of Marie for this one…

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Joanna Newsom

April 27, 2008

Came across Joanna Newsom when I was looking up Tunng on a BBC website- she had a set on BBC as well and her elf look caught my attention. Then I heard her play and between the harp and her voice I was mesmerized-similar voice to Julia Stone and Olivia from The Do who I have been listening to over the last few months. There is just something about those voices that resonates with me and I am just captivated.

She doesn’t have a MySpace site and her official site is lacking on details so I don’t know if she is touring at the moment. There is an official video of one of her songs on YouTube along with a good interview.

The Sprout and the Bean



Interview

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Funny Games U.S.

April 26, 2008

I approached Funny Games U.S. with a bit of trepidation…not because of the content of the film but because of the only other Haneke film that I had scene up to this point was Caché which I nearly fell asleep in and thought was very art-house…a fact held up for me since the majority of people that raved about this film seem to be quite pretentious. However, Funny Games is a different film altogether and it is certainly one that will keep your attention.

I haven’t seen the original release of Funny Games with the European cast and since I don’t read reviews I didn’t know until afterwards that this was an exact copy of this film with a Hollywood cast. There are some interviews here and here about the two films which explain the story and ideas around them and why he felt he had to remake it.

The acting is quite simply astounding- there are times where you simply cannot take your eyes off the screen. Naomi Watts is unforgettable here and has restored my faith in her acting ability after seeing her in Eastern Promises. Tim Roth is excellent as well as the weak husband/father and Michael Pitt shows what he is capable of with a good director. A surprise was the outstanding acting by Devon Gearhart as the son- there have been some excellent children actors lately which is great to see.

The cinematography is very good as well- quite often the camera is just left in one position while the action takes place around it which can be very effective in letting you take in all the details without seeing absolutely everything and letting your imagination work. There are moments as well where the fourth-wall is broken and Pitts character will ask the audience questions.

While not easy viewing this is really a film that has be viewed- descriptions don’t do this film justice.

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There Will Be Blood

April 26, 2008

There Will Be Blood

Of course it was hard not to hear any hype about this film with it being nominated and winning some Oscars- it did live up to it but only just and when I think back to No Country For Old Men which had the same Oscar buzz I think that was a much better film and one I would watch again over this.

The film does start off stupendously with Daniel Day Lewis as Plainview and his actions at the well and no dialogue or music really adds to the intensity.  There is some great camera work in these scenes as well- focusing on different characters and moving the focus back to the main ones.

The story itself is quite good if on the sprawling side- to be expected over such a long length of time but there are certain elements that could have been edited to improve the focus of the story.  It is violent to a certain extent but some of the violence is what would have been expected back then…life in the west was a bit precarious so even the murders aren’t too surprising.

Lewis always inhabits his characters and he is excellent here from beginning to end.  The supporting acting from Dillon Freasier as his son HG is just superb and Paul Dano as Eli Sunday is quite good as well.  I do feel that parts of Lewis and Dano’s characters are over-acted but I put this down to the script and directing and not to their ability.

Overall I did like this film but I think it may have been a bit lengthy…there are some scenes that seem dragged out and yet near the end there is a jump of however many years which leaves quite a few unanswered questions.  The final thought I had after seeing this is that there is just something missing that leaves the film slightly in-cohesive.