Dead Setting…..

October 28, 2008

‘DEADSET’


Caught the first installment of Charlie Brookers new 5 part horror series on E4 last night. The story is that most of Britian have been savaged by a deadly outbreak of flesh eating zombies- the only people who remain blissfully unaware of the outbreak are the contestants in the Big Brother house. 

The writing, as one would expect from Brooker is razor sharp and he managed to get a few great lines into the series- such as when Jamie Winstone ponders the meaning of her job- as a production assistant for the pompus and abrasively arrogant Tv Boss who orders her round sending her on such menial errands as coffee rounds and emergency nicorette purchaces. ‘It’s not really real is it?- I just run around getting coffee for wankers all day.’ 

Charlie also gets us on his side when the typically cowardly TV exec pushes a wheelchair user out in front of him to safe his own life- it’s like Brookers telling us- this is what these pricks are really like. And I’m inclined to believe him. There’s also a brilliant insight into the world of TV production when Patrick (the TV Boss) gets stuck in a room with the most recently evicted member of the BB house- even though they are within inches of having their faces chewed off by one of the zombies he instructs her ‘Don’t touch my fucking suit!’

The series is riveting stuff. I was expecting the usual scathing Brooker satire but the nail bitting zombie thriller aspect is an added extra. And the production quality is high end all the way. 

I’ll be tuning in tonight in the hope that Patrick (Tv boss wanker) gets it and whether Kelly escapes from the BB house with her life intact- or indeed her brain cells as she tries to explain the sordid situation to those Big Bruvva cretins…..  

Oh and repeck to Davina McCall- she makes a mean zombie……would you let this woman interview you??? 

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Let’s get sweding!

July 10, 2008

Join the sweding revolution! 

Have you seen Michel Gondry’s Be Kind Rewind?

If not go out and get it! ———>

Don’t know what sweding is? -‘Films that were erased and recreated are referred as being sweded. These remakes are unedited with only a single take per scene. As inspired by the film Be Kind Rewind in which the tapes in the video store are described as having come from Sweden as an excuse for higher rental fees and longer wait times.’ 

Visit the excellent official website here: http://www.bekindmovie.com/

There are also some brilliant swedes on http://www.swededfilms.com such as the 300 remake below! 


Kudos to all involved in this fine production! Shing shing- BLEEEEUUUGGHHH!!! 

Let’s get sweding people. Myself and my sister Lucy: Pictured above looking like a terrorist are currently hatching a plan to swede ‘The Graduate’ with the use of action figures. (c) See I’ve just copyrighted the idea so you can’t copy us! 

Let’s get sweding people!!!! 

 

Incidentally here’s a clip of the man himself- Michel Gondry solving a rubix cube with his nose: 

Laura Marling does Dublin…

July 9, 2008

Laura Marling paid her Irish fans a visit last Tuesday when she stopped by post Glastonbury to play to a jam packed Whelans. 

Here she is in action:

We had a very strange birdseye view of the gig as we the only place we could get to stand was the balcony upstairs. (as you can see from the above pic)

I never thought I’d look down on Laura Marling! Ahum, bad jokes aside Whelans was PACKED to the brim. There were people seated at little tables at the front by candlelight and then some people sitting on the floor right in front of the stage. Upstairs people were leaning over every inch of the railings trying to get a look at Ms Marling. 

And boy was she worth it! She received a humorous welcome to the stage when she was presented with the present of a pair of armbands! (her albums titled ‘Alas I cannot swim’- Doh!) She had the audience captivated throughout her repertoire of songs from her debut and thanked us for being such an attentive audience- even when she threw in some unfamiliar new songs. ‘Marcus won’t be familiar with this one yet as I only wrote it yesterday,’ she confessed at one stage.

Indeed Marcus deserves special mention here for his musical prowess. On Marling’s myspace he is credited for drums, keyboards and vocals. In truth he is a lot more than that- a veritable ‘musicman’ as marling herself described him. Looking disheleved and nursing a hangover from Glastonbury he managed to extract sounds from a stool I never thought possible. Due to a mix up with Ryanair (but of course!) Marling’s bass drum didn’t make it over to Dublin with them. Anyway, during the course of the night Marcus showed his innovative side by clicking his fingers and slapping his legs and even tapping on a ukulele for percussion.

Meanwhile Marling was a joy to watch. She had a no bullshit way about her dressed in a plain white t-shirt, simple skinny jeans and a pair of pink pumps. She didn’t ramble on in between songs either. When she did she came across very wry and witty. She nailed every single song- sounding exactly like they did on the record. This is something which less and less artists seem to be able to do, probably due to a little, or large bit of protools magic. I mean did anyone see The Ting Tings or Estelle’s performances at Glastonbury- Missus Ting Ting was singing so quietly she was virtually whispering when trying to hit the high notes on that song where she can’t seem to remember her own name- What a bunch of Pro tools!

Anyway, Marling was called back on for ‘one more choon’- and we were sent home after a raucous version of ‘Your only doll Dora)’ with the ukulele.

The most intriuging question of the night was- why did she play most of the gig with only one shoe on???!! She took it off at the start and just left it sitting behind her. I wasn’t to play her pedals or anything. She only seemed to notice it when they exited the stage and she ran back on to get it. Why oh why Laura? Still, she’s welcome back here anytime, shoes or no shoes! 

Howdie….

July 8, 2008

Haven’t updated this in a while as I’ve been away in such far flung places as Sligo and Barcelona. The latter was definately my favourite! Although they do a mean seaweed bath in Innischrone!

I also went to Sonar when I was over there, but more on that later…. 

Here are some cool abstract pics myself and my boyfriend took over there…. 


Barcelonas such a cool interesting arty city, the kind of place where you could party for a week straight. I’d like to live there. I’d definately recommend visiting! 

No Age ‘Nouns’ Review

July 8, 2008

  

You can find this review in this months issue of State magazine on page 80. The one with Interpol on the cover. Enjoy…… 

 

No Age

‘Nouns’ 

5/5

Fans of art rock bands, such as the experimental delights of Deerhoof, will be enthralled by this splice of uncontrived good time rock and roll coming to us via downtown Los Angeles creative hub, The Smell.

The Smell serves as a punk/rock music venue, performance art space, gallery and library and vegan snack bar which has cultivated some damn fine bands, amongst which No Age are duly included.

The duo, guitarist and drummer, Dean Spunt and Randy Randall create experimental art rock with skuzzy distortion laden guitars as loud as Sonic Youth and manage to encapsulate what it is to be young and ecstatic. They can do intelligent art rock, such as on ‘Eraser’ where the guitars and distortion twirl out of control, and on the explosive ‘Cappo’, but behind this initial exterior you can also hear another layer- one of fun-fueled punk/rock. ‘Here should be my Home’ is brilliant in it’s Ramones-esque simplicity. It’s repetitive refrain ‘’Jump on the tube/ Just to see you/My Heart’s in a tunnel baby/ What can I do?’ captures youthful exuberance and will have you jumping around your room like you were 16 again gurning like the kids moshing to their shows in the artwork and pressing the repeat button.

No Age go about their business in a decidedly independent and commendably old school way. They have built their reputation locally, rather than through a network of networkers on MySpace. 

And in an age when album artwork is a dying art, No Age also take a nostalgic view. Nouns features a booklet of 60 pages which gives us a window into Los Angeles art/rock scene The Smell and it’s frequenters have created. There are pictures of battered amps, The Smells backstage room, a decrepit bridge downtown and the local vegan shop which all add up to the ‘small town feel’ and localization rather than globalization. Indeed such is the intimacy of the artwork, we can almost smell The Smell!

And as the album progresses, you realize that No Age are doing something that the hyper-commercialization of the music business has managed to suck out of bands- they’re having fun. Let’s join the party. 

-Tia Clarke

If you hadn’t guessed from the above review, this record rules! Go out and get it post haste! As well as making great music, No Age also have a really cool cult band t-shirt which I wouldn’t mind getting my mitts on!

Check it  —–> 

 

 

 

 

Ringer Review…

May 27, 2008

Here’s my reveiew of Four Tet’s new Ep which will be in the next issue of Connected Magazine. Enjoy! 

http://www.connected.ie 

http://www.myspace.com/connectedmag

Four Tet 

‘Ringer’ 

The chameleonic interpreter of genres that is Kieran Hebden is back from his sejourn with Jazz Drummer, Steve Reid and has clearly learned a lot from the experience. Title track, Ringer is an epic ten minutes of hard-hitting beats. It may sound as though your record is skipping as the dance loop repeats and repeats, but it’s all intentional- it’s Hebden’s way of teasing the listener. The tune builds tentively and the beat is finally teased out and explodes into a killer dance riff. Ribbons is smart electronica. Through it’s fast crisp beats we hear glimmers of enchanting pulsating melody and it’s clear that Hebden has sprinkled some of his magic dust all over the track.

Swimmer is all dreamy abstract electronica set to a one one beat which will set your heart beat racing with the music, until Hebden decides to slow proceedings down again. Wing Body Wing has hints of afrobeat and bongo drumming set to  crack popping minimalist electronica which shifts and wriggles in millions of different directions .

In this listeners’ opinion, this last track is the highlight of the album and shows us just how much of an influence Steve Reid has had on Hebden’s growth as a musician.

With Ringer, Hebden has proved once again that he is the master of weaving and interlocking abstract melodies with deep electronica from a plethora of genres. It is this juxtaposition of genres and ideas that mark him out as a true innovator.

 

A hero worshipping 5/5

– Tia Clarke

 

 

 

New Music…

May 27, 2008

Warp’s latest wonderboy…


Along with the pile of (mostly uninteresting ) CD’s I had to review last month along came an intriguing album by the largely unknown Flying Lotus entitled ‘Los Angeles’. Within the first few minutes I was hooked, Flying Lotus posses a boundless imagination and produces some space age hip hop infused with electronica.  


Here’s some background on the wonderboy… ‘Fly Lo’, as he is affectionately known by critics and fans, released an album, 1983, in 2006, signed to Warp in 2007 and followed by the ‘Reset’ EP last year which included bootleg remixes of everyone from Kellis to Mr. Ozio. He studied film in his hometown of Los Angeles- which is evident in the visual landscapes Fly Lo creates within his music. His Aunt is none other than the legendary, Alice Coltrane and his grandmother, Marilyn Mcloed was a songwriter for Motown and produced some of Diana Ross and Micheal Jacksons work. 

He’s playing a few festivals this summer, including Mantua, in Co Roscommon, on the August bank holiday weekend. 

You can keep up to date with all things Fly and Lo at: http://www.myspace.com/flyinglotus, which I would strongly advise!

Here he is in action with ‘Riot’. There are no videos yet, but the music makes up for it. 

And here’s my review of ‘Los Angeles’ which will appear in next months issue of State Magazine. http://www.state.ie/

 

Flying Lotus

‘Los Angeles’

4/5

 

It seems ‘Warp’ are on the money again with their latest signing, Introducing Flying Lotus, a soulboy from LA who mixes hip-hop and bleeding edge dance music to create some exhilarating other worldly sounds. On ‘Los Angeles’ Fly Lo (as he’s known by his homies) wanted to create a ‘visual narrative’ of life in LA. It’s comes as no surprise to learn that he spent his formative years as a film student, the seventeen tracks here play like the soundtrack to a film which captures both the glitter and grime of LA life. The scope is so infinite it would be hard to break it down for you, but suffice to say that Fly Lo has access to a monumental record collection and that no other artist has touched upon so many genres since DJ Shadow. His imagination and producing are both boundless and mouthwateringly creative. We are treated to lush analog waves, gritty distortion, grooving breakdowns, pounding bass and electronics are so ambient, it sounds as if they have been somehow passed through water.

Flying Lotus is an album of our times, which could only have been created in 2008. It is a sign of our both our ever expanding musical Palette and the speed a which we want our music delivered- the songs are presented at a breakneck pace, barely leaving the listener with time to breathe and digest the million beats per second they have just taken in. Sit back, enjoy and let the beats wash over you.

– Tia Clarke

Outgoing…

May 27, 2008

Rediscovering some greats…

With everyone so intent on discovering the next big thing in music, then disregarding them and moving on to the next feeding frenzy, does anyone get time to listen to old records anymore? 

And I’m not even talking about records from a couple of decades ago! This week I rediscovered LCD Soundsystems self titled debut and it’s only from 2005. 

People don’t linger on bands long enough anymore and in doing so you could be neglecting some greats in order to get your latest hype band fix. Slow down people and enjoy the music- it’s supposed to be fun! 

Anyway, let me again reestablish that LCD Soundsystem RULE! 

Here’s my favourite track off the debut, the rocking Trials and Tribulations. Turn it up nice and loud to get the full bass effect. 

 

 

 

Incoming…

May 14, 2008

Laura Marling is the shit! 

Have you heard this?    

It’s the debut album from 18 year old Laura Marling ‘Alas I Cannot Swim’.

Forget Duffy and Adele- Marling is the real deal. 

Marling’s song are dark, quirky, intense, poetic, contemporary and far, far beyond her mere 18 years old. 

She even refused studio make up when she appeared on Jools Holland- you wouldn’t get that from Duffy! 

Marling is currently on tour with Adam Green. You may recognize her voice from the vocals on the new Mystery Jets new single ‘Young Love’. 

Have a listen to her performing ‘My Manic and I’ below and check out the haunting video. 

She’s a regular Joni Mitchell. 

Laura will play Whelan’s on Sunday June 1st. See you there! 

Existentially Speaking…

May 14, 2008

Why Charlie Brooker is right about everything… 

After reading the below article, by Guardian columnist, Charlie Brooker late last Friday night I began to have an existentalist freak out of sorts. In the article Charlie writes about having a moment where he realizes- Jeez, I’m alive! This insightful piece of writing manages to get under your skin and force you to ask yourself some tough questions, such as am I living on autopilot? Are my lives views, beliefs and lifestyle choices being constructed by the media? The article may also lead you to ponder some of the biggies,such as- what is the meaning of life… 

After I read the article people were furiously commenting on the piece suggesting he should read John Paul Satres’ ‘Nausea’. I’ve been reading some of Satres’ and Kierkegaards’ theories, but whilst they raise some interesting questions, they seem to me deeply negative and ultimately unconstructive. I think existentialism is important and something which should be delved into- otherwise you really would be in danger of living your life on autopilot- but I fear it may be all too easy and dangerous to get lost and disheartened by it’s shallow and often nihilistic views. It seems to say, existence is meaningless- which I do not agree with.  

Anyway I’m not any closer to finding the answer, but maybe you will…… 

It will certainly get you thinking. 

 

Sometimes I feel giddy at the thought of being alive. Does this mean I’m on autopilot the rest of the time?

Charlie Brooker, The Guardian, Monday May 5th 2008 

There’s a characteristically brilliant Peanuts strip which opens with Linus sitting on the living room floor, anxiously clutching his mouth. Lucy enters and asks what’s wrong. “I’m aware of my tongue,” he explains. “It’s an awful feeling! Every now and then I become aware that I have a tongue inside my mouth, and then it starts to feel lumped up … I can’t help it … I can’t put it out of my mind … I keep thinking about where my tongue would be if I weren’t thinking about it, and then I can feel it sort of pressing against my teeth.”      

Loudly declaring this the dumbest thing she’s ever heard, Lucy scowls away. But a few steps down the corridor, she stops dead in her tracks. She clutches her own mouth. Suddenly she’s aware of her tongue too. She runs back and chases him round the room, shouting, “You blockhead!” with her gigantic booming gob.

Occasionally, late at night, while trying to sleep and failing, I experience something similar – except instead of being aware of my tongue, I’m aware of my entire body, the entire world, and the whole of reality itself. It’s like waking from a dream, or a light going on, or a giant “YOU ARE HERE” sign appearing in the sky. The mere fact that I’m actually real and actually breathing suddenly hits me in the head with a thwack. It leaves me giddy. It causes a brief surge of clammy, bubbling anxiety, like the opening stages of a panic attack. The moment soon passes, but while it lasts it’s strangely terrifying.

I asked around and discovered to my that relief I’m not the only one. Many of my friends have experienced something similar and have been equally spooked. One of them, a smartarse, pointed out that Jean-Paul Sartre was so rattled by the sensation that he was inspired to write an entire book about existential dread called Nausea, which became a student classic. I prefer Charles M Schulz’s take. It’s far more succinct and comes with funny pictures.

Anyway, what troubles me about such moments of heightened awareness isn’t the dizzying headrush that accompanies them, but the implication that the rest of the time I must be essentially asleep, cruising around on autopilot, scarcely even aware that I’m alive. Here, but not here. Like I’m watching a TV show. That’s the bulk of my life. I might as well set the video and nod off completely, catching up later while eating a takeaway dinner.

I didn’t mention this to my smartarse friend – but if I had, they’d doubtless point out that Kurt Vonnegut was so rattled by this sensation that he was inspired to write an entire book about it. In his 1997 novel Timequake, a bizarre rift in time sends everyone on Earth back 10 years – but only in spirit. Trapped inside their own heads, mere spectators, they’re forced to watch themselves living their day-to-day lives for an entire decade, making the same mistakes, experiencing the same joys and heartaches – and they’re powerless to intervene. Naturally, they get bored and drift off, leaving themselves on autopilot. At the moment the timequake eventually ends, and they’re back in the present day, most of them simply drop to the floor, confused – it’s been so long since they were at the controls, they’ve forgotten how to walk and talk for themselves.

That’s the stuff of science fiction, but it increasingly applies to our everyday lives. The gap between your stupid face and cold hard reality is increasing all the time. We plod down the street holding remote conversations with voices in little plastic boxes. We slump in front of hi-def panels watching processed, graded, synchronised imagery. We wander through made-up online worlds, pausing occasionally to chew the fat with some blue-skinned tit in a jester’s hat. We watch time and space collapse on a daily basis. Our world is now running an enhanced, expanded version of reality’s vanilla operating system.

As a result, it’s all too easy to feel like a viewer of – rather than a participant in – your own life. And living at one remove can be crippling. You spend more time internally criticising your own actions, like a snarky stoner ripping the piss out of a bad movie, than actually knuckling down and doing stuff.

All of which means that those late-night moments of lurching fear, of existential nausea, of basic “I’m alive!” horror now feel more extreme than ever. The gap has widened. Our sleep is deeper. We’re like mesmerised rabbits. That explains why we fail to do anything in the face of mounting dangers. We’ve done piss-all about global warming, the Bush administration, and Piers Morgan’s rising media profile – each of which has the potential to destroy us all – because we hardly know we’re born.

That’s my theory anyway. Clearly, the only solution is for us to set about smashing up every single machine in the world, before we nod off completely. Yeah. That’s the best conclusion I can draw at present. Because I didn’t set out to write a weird existential column this morning, but hey: I’m fast asleep myself. Sue me when you wake up.

Just to prove that Charlie Brooker is right about everything, here’s a song by the Atterey Squash proving the fact!