Monday, May 31, 2004

News Dump

Gentle reader,
Some news for you... Some of it old, some of it new.

Alphastates feature high in the bill for the forthcoming “Best Of Tour” IMRO show in Dublin and visit Cypress Avenue on June 12.

Ash’s new album, Meltdown (Infectious), entered the Irish chart this week at number 6. (Number 5 in the UK). Limited edition copies of the album include a free bonus CD containing live versions of all of the studio tracks (recorded on the small-club European tour that the band completed over the last few weeks).
The band head are currently on tour in the UK next week before taking on a tour of mainland Europe in June. Ash are also confirmed to play the Oxegen Festival at Punchestown Race Course 11 July as well as top slots at this year’s Reading & Leeds festivals.

Bell X1's new single 'Eve, The Apple of My Eye' will be released in Ireland on June 4.

Dublin 4-piece Hal, have just been added to the line up for the Haldern festival in Germany in August. The also play the Old Oak on June 2.

La Rocca play main support to Australian rockers Jet in the Half Moon on June 2. This will be La Rocca's first Irish date since returning from their tour of Canada, the U.S., Australia and Japan.

Stanley Super 800 in addition to playing Cork gigs this month, have released their self-titled début album on their own Bingo label.

Take care,

More Info Dumps

Gentle reader,

Another Info Dump, with my usual opinions of what is good and worth seeing once again in chronological order...

Tuesday and Wednesday June 1 & 2
This is slightly messy. Juliet
plays Middleton on June 1 and 2, but I don't know where. The
place isn't that big but...

Wednesday June 2
Hal play in the Old Oak, while in the Half Moon,
Jet and La Rocca play the Half Moon. No real decision there, Jet, but since the gig was re-scheduled from May, getting tickets might be difficult.
I've mentioned Elephant before. Their debut album 'In The Moon' has been released this April 31st on well known Cork singer-songwriter Niall Connolly's c.u.records label. The Elephant sound has been described as acoustic alt jazz/pop/country, which covers a lot. I think they are better described as "something light". I still have to figure out that the something is. They play the Lobby tonight.

Eoin Coughlan is in the Lobby, he's
working on recording his debut album with the help of Dave Odlum due for release early Autumn.

Friday June 4
London Community Gospel Choir, who are brilliant appear in the Opera House with Sam Brown (the British female singer-songwriter, daughter of Joe Brown). If you like the blusey and gospel end of soul, get your sorry ass to the box office now.
The only reason I'm even mentioning the Saville playing in the Lobby is because it's a free gig.

Saturday June 5
Stanley Super 800 – Pine Lodge, Myrtleville
The Shades launch their album in the Half Moon Theatre. No idea what they are like, but launches are usually interesting.

Sunday June 6
The great Cork man John Spillane appears in the Opera House with support from the excellent Damien Dempsey. I suspect it's been sold out for some time, but you never know.

Wednesday June 9 and Thursday June 10
Roesy plays the Lobby. He's back with a new album Only Love Is Real released June 11. Its advisable to buy your tickets for this in advance.

Friday June 18
The Future Kings of Spain have been added to the MidSummer In The City concert with takes place at The Half Moon Theatre. The line up so far includes The Tycho Brahe, Fred, Rulers Of The Planet, Rest and Stanley Super 800. Tickets are on sale at €16 and are available from The Cork Opera House box office.
The Berries play the Lobby. The P.R.o.C site has a few samples of their stuff. They also really like them and I'll trust their taste.

Saturday June 19
Stanley Super 800 – De Barras, Clonakilty

Saturday June 26
Gavin Glass gives his debut "I'd Like The World To Teach Me To Sing" album a live airing when he visits The Half Moon. The busy man has started work on the follow up with the E Street Band-er Clarence Clemmons lending a hand.

Wednesday June 23
The Co. Kerry songwriter Jamie Burke plays tonight in the Lobby. I have to admit I've caught him in support slots a few times, outshining the main act. No idea is he's committed anything to recordable media yet.

Friday June 25
Maria Doyle Kennedy does her stuff in the Lobby bar. Well since she's an actress/singer/songwriter, she's only going to do some of her stuff.

Monday June 28
Glen Hansard with Mark Dignam – Opera House

Wednesday June 20
My Morning Jacket - Half Moon theatre

take care,

Friday, May 28, 2004

sounding out

Gentle reader,

I didn't know that there was such a thing as a MP3 blog. amillionlovesongs is devoted exclusively to sloppy songs of romance. It's almost cringeworthy, but it seems to be run by the Popjustice people, so expect some barbed comments along the way.

Just wondering how they get around the legal aspect of other people's MP3?

Some what related, on Boing boing the BBC are to use Creative Commons licenses on their Creative Archive project. The main reason they can do this is, legally, they are not a for-profit company.

And, completely unrelated but for a Babylon 5 fan like me it's a bit of a shock. Richard Biggs, aka Dr Stephen Franklin died on Saturday. His funeral was on Wednesday. And I only found out about it at lunchtime.

I think I'm going to be watching quite a bit of season 4 this weekend.

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

More on the tone

Gentle reader,

Other people have done it better...
Boing Boing point out why the "real tone" ring tone costs more. With monophonic and polyphonic tones the original artists and music publishers a 10 percent royalty, the lables nothing. But with a "real tone" you require a license from the record label, of about 25 to 55 percent of the selling price, so the price goes up.

I assume most people after a "real tone" would like to pay less for it. Yes? So Engadget as part of their “How-To” Tuesday, present How to make your own Ringtones

take care,

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Catching up is hard to do...

Gentle reader,

I suppose I should play the catch up game. There is a lot to do!
Actually there isn't, I didn't get up to much that I can tell you about, its mostly work.

Let's see what are the highlights since May 12...

Well there is the Eurovision. It was a disaster for Ireland. Joint second last, with the only vote coming from the UK (or rather all the Irish people in the UK). To be honest, I'm not surprised. In the "old days", the winner was decided by a jury of "experts" in each country, coming together, listening to the songs repeatedly, and after careful consideration, voting for their neighbours. Nowadays, its televoting. This means, anyone who calls the number is a jury member. What has gone is the careful consideration. Nowadays you vote for the one you can remember.

Chris Doran isn't that bad a singer, but the song and the performance are as bland as a Tesco "value" crème brule. Bland is not remembered when you have 25 acts to consider.

If, they made the Eurovision a week long event with 10 acts each day, then the blander ones and the "growers" would stand a chance. But I suspect that no TV station could afford to do it.

No single TV station. It might be interesting to have a touring show.

Speaking of a Touring show, I went to see "Oh What a Night" with the cast from the Sound of Music (in the audience, I suspect that no one from the SoM could do all the dancing done on the Opera House stage for that show). Oddly enough, I had to do a google search to find the above site, and hit some reviews of the show. I think the plot, such as it is, has changed several times since the tour started. Not that the plot matters, it's more of an excuse to string a bunch of 70's songs and a lot of dancing together. If you can stand the music if the era, see it, you'll love it.

Over the weekend I had to drive down to Dublin. Can anyone tell me when Leinster had such a paedophile problem that it's become a campaign slogan for one of the candidates for the Leinster MEP?

To be honest, did very little. The only odd-light was bumping in to one of the teachers from my old school in the supermarket. Since his son was in my class, he never thought us, but for the same reason, he's ended up keeping tabs on most of the old class. It's strange hearing about what kids you knew and lost contact with are doing now. It's even stranger when it's not surprising!

While we are on music. "The Langer" is out on CD. I thought it was the Irish No. 1, but it's still listed as being "Eamon : F**k It (I Don't Want You Back)". Oh well, must try harder.

And so, I've done very little. I'm thinking of seeing "Troy" in the cinema having read Fluff's review of the movie. I suspect it's destined for drinking game heaven with all three Austin Power's movies. I'm also planning on seeing the new Harry Potter movie, (and my hasn't puberty been kind to Ms. Watson), I might even pick up the commemorative stamp too.

I'm also planning on cycling more (there that should keep some people off my back for a while at least).

But catching up on other sites, I see that there is another collective "oh no" coming form the US music industry. Now, my phone can play MP3s as ring tones, but some phones need the tune converted a little. A little piece of software called Xingtone lets you do just that! "It's problematic, because it has the potential to eviscerate the business model early in its development," said Ted Cohen, EMI Music's senior vice president of digital development and distribution. I almost feel sorry for them, Ring tone sales seem to be the only thing keeping vast acres of shite music afloat.


Another "Oh no" is coming from the RIIA. The RIAA trying to get the Consumer Electronics people to play along in the digital radio Broadcast Flag fight with the FCC. Well that are not playing along. (Boing Boing link).

Yet another "Oh no", but this time it's the families of the victims of 9/11 (2001) who can be heard heckling from the back row of the free recordings of the 9/11 Commission Hearings at If it wasn't for the knock on effects it would be entertaining.

And finally, no I'm not going to write a thing about that prison in Iraq nor the attack on the wedding party. Some things shouldn't need to be said.

take care,

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

sorry for the lack of updates

but I've been really really busy, and am likely to be so for a while.



Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Quotable quotes

Gentle reader,

The radio this morning has requests for people to text in "you know you're getting married when..." texts.

"You know you're getting married when the bride turns to the groom and says, 'this is my day, you'd better not mess it up'"

"You know you're getting married when you wake up with a boil on your nose for the first time since you were 15"

"You know you're getting married when you try to make a run for it from the bathroom window, and her brothers drag you back kicking and screaming".

take care,

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Interesting Iraqi Fallings

Gentle Reader,

I suspect most of you have seen the pictures leaking out from the US military of the torture / you-pick-a-word acts in the Abu Ghraib prison. I'm not going to link to any of them, partially since the only on-line versions I've seen are on news site, which tend to update things too much for posterity.

Thanks to Boing boing I've noticed a related few things which didn't hit the front pages over the weekend.

Don't worry if you've missed the pictures; there are more to come. The news last week was about the US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld appearance before the Senate Armed Services Committee and the US Congress. That wasn't all that happened. According to MSNBC (look in the second last paragraph), after attending a classified briefing about the extent of the torture, Senator Lindsay Graham saw some of the photos that will inevitably be released. "We’re talking about rape and murder here. We’re not just talking about giving people a humiliating experience. We’re talking about rape and murder and some very serious charges." he said.


Of course the little voice in the back of my head is saying "how come the soldiers were so stupid as to pose for the cameras while they were doing this stuff".

While not exactly related (9/11 wasn't an Iraqi operation, but somehow...), this one has an Irish angle.

A Luxembourgian/Irish security research team (two people, one of each) have presented a paper on a technique for identifying words that have been blacked out of documents, as when government docs are published with big strikethroughs over the bits that are sensitive to national security. (more details here).

"I was 'sitting bored' in front of television, the weekend of Easter, when the CIA memo to George Bush was published," recalls David Naccache, a specialist in data coding for the French company Gemplus. "I telephoned at once Claire Whelan, a [graduate student] at Dublin City University, whose thesis I advised, to propose an attack on the redacted passages."

It's not a cure all, but it does allow you to do some common-sense discoveries. Of course, the earlier "memo" PDF files, which if you copy-and-pasted the contents of the PFD, showed you full text dose not happen any more. At least not often.

take care,

Friday, May 07, 2004

Looking like a million dollars

Gentle reader,

Would you like to buy a 500sqft flat in London for $1,000,000? Why is a London flat being sold in dollars and not sterling? Well, if you are selling your flat on e-bay. And if you flat was decked out to look like the set of a Star Trek episode!

It's based on the next generation (and has a few pictures of Denise Crosby / Tasha Yar hosting a TV show about it). I have to admit, I couldn't live in it. I mean, where is the bed? However I like his kitchen! And it's a vast improvement on what the flat looked like before (he has before and after pictures).

However, under floor lighting in the bathroom sort of suggests a swift electrocution to me.

But why would someone build their own brig?

take care, and don't be too disturbed,

Thursday, May 06, 2004

IRC = Eeek ?

Gentle reader and Seth Schiesel,

If you were to believe this article in the New York Times, the area of the Internet called Internet Relay Chat (IRC) is a den of iniquity and filth.

The first paragraph reads...
"It was just another Wednesday on the sprawling Internet chat-room network known as I.R.C. In a room called Prime-Tyme-Movies, users offered free pirated downloads of "The Passion of the Christ'' and "Kill Bill Vol. 2.'' In the DDO-Matrix channel, illegal copies of Microsoft's Windows software and "Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time,'' an Xbox game, were ripe for downloading. In other chat rooms yesterday, whole albums of free MP3's were hawked with blaring capital letters. And in a far less obtrusive channel, a hacker may well have been checking his progress of hacking into the computers of unsuspecting Internet users."

I've included the link in the quote, as it's the only link in the entire article.

Not even the Recording Industry Association of America (who I keep mistyping as the IRRA) don't merit a link.

Which suggests that the article is a paid for scare tactic.

Having said that, IRC is also know as "the chat rooms". Those chat rooms are the scary areas of the net which you hear about with online grooming and the like.

I've never used it, but I know it's not that bad. Ten million scare stories slowly erode confidence in the warning transmitted by the scare story.

It's all very well crying wolf, but if you want a wolf skin, or an illegal copy of a movie or album or MS software, you've just told everyone where to look.

And you are going to have a hard time finding it!

take care,

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

The best laid plans of mice and men

Gentle reader,

Not that mice make plans other than get the cheese and avoid the cat. Of maybe ambush the cat "I told you to only blow the bloody paws off!"

Things started off fairly well. I went to the Elephant album launch, and even bought a CD! Their be-bop version of "Milkshake" is an odd little thing, I like most odd little things (more on this when I hit Monday).

Saturday was when the "rot" set in. I hit town in time to hear John Spillanne perform. But not on the stage, he was in the makeshift Lyric FM studio set up in the old central box office. Why did the CBO shut down?

Anyway, it turned out that the generators for the main stage had failed, pushing everything back by at least one and a half hours. But I didn't know at the time. I was going around in a bit of a funk thinking that the gigs would be, well, crap. Grand Parade is not suited for a concert, and the speaker didn't get the volume as far as the sun drenched Bishop Lucey Park. Typing of which, I never made it as far as Fitzgerald's Park.

Then I bumped in to a friend of mine; Goldberg. We sort of spent most of the day pottering around. The market place set up in Patrick Street was great (a regular occurrence? Could it work again for the Uncorked Festival in June?). Well it was different and a complete hodge podge of stuff. Variety is the stuff which makes a day special I suppose.

Around then I bumped in to "K". She was a stage manager in a show (as it happens with both Goldberg and myself) and, well looked harried. She told me about the power outage, and the havoc it was reeking on the full schedule of the performers. People were being squeezed on to the stage in between their shows elsewhere that day, before the timetable flew out the window.

Anyway I can blame Goldberg for messing up my schedule in that I ended up going clubbing with him (nothing got picked up (mores the pity)). And I crawled home in the early hours of the dawn chorus.

Which meant I was knackered all day Sunday. I missed the showcase (I believe in breakfast, no matter how much caffeine it takes). When I got in to town that evening, Therapy? was sold out (no surprise there) and I decided that I'd rather head home to bed than on to the shows in Cobh. Quality movie time? No, The Librarian was having a Battlestar Galactica showcase. He enjoyed himself, I played Science Mystery 3000 on the shows.

As for Monday, well my hearing had recovered enough to head to the showcase to receive another pounding. So I arrived at An Spalpin Fanach. The showcase was in An Crúiscín Lán. The long walk made me think of certain things... Why was the St Nicholas Church abandoned? And wouldn't it make a cool conversion? And how did so many pubs end up on Douglas Street? And why is it called Douglas Street, it doesn't go to Douglas? And where did all these black clad twelve year olds come from?

The problem with an all ages gig is that it is exactly what it says on the tin. There is something entertaining about a gang of kids trying to look cool, and usually failing from giggling too much (those hardened rocker kids!). I decided not to go in. I like to lurk at the back at most shows, but in this case it would just look predatory. There are some odd little things which I won't stomach. So I wandered off, and ended up picking up a copy of Easy Riders Raging Bulls.

I was actually a good weekend, I needed more time to recover!

take care,

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

News Dump

Gentle reader,
Some news for you... and it's been quite a while since I've done this so excuse the old news.

Ash's album Meltdown will be released on 14 May on Infectious.

Autamata release the album "My Sanctuary" on RG Records will now be on 7 May 2004 and will tie in with the announcing of live dates in Ireland following their UK tour.

On top of last week’s news of tracks being used in the U.S. for a major Mitsubishi ad campaign (and look what that did for Dirty Vegas last year!) and a Hollywood film, it now transpires that an assortment of other tracks are under consideration for other ad campaigns, too.

Meanwhile, the album itself has been substantially re-recorded, re-mixed, re-mastered, with extensive new artwork and includes the much-lauded D.A.D.D.Y. video for the "Jellyman" single; it is a wholly different beast to the original domestic project of 3 years ago.

Bell X1 with the D.A.D.D.Y. boys filmed a video for their single, "Eve, The Apple Of My Eye", which will be released on 21 May in the west of Ireland. So if you were roaming about West Cork in April, you may want to see it.

Clayhill release a new single, "Grass Cutter", on 7 May. The band will be announcing Irish dates soon.

The Chalets advert for MTV is now downloadable to via the band’s website.

Take care,

Even more Info Dump

Gentle reader,

Another Info Dump, with my usual opinions of what is good and worth seeing.

I'm not in a conversational mode, so in chronological order...

On now until May 8
"Hamlet" by William Shakespeare - A Skylight Productions - Fr. Matthew Hall, Fr. Matthew St

May 5
Stanley Super 800 – An Brog

May 6
Waiting Room / Standard Deviation – The Lobby
Part of "The Last Splash" broadcast on Today FM every Sunday night between 9 and 11pm.

May 9
Brian Kennedy - Cork Opera House

May 13
Colaiste Stiofain Naofa Showcase - The Lobby
Featuring Andy Dunne, Mick Flannery & Karen O’Doherty, Lee Jane Eastwood and Ber Quinn. Normally I don't mention these, but I know someone doing it this time, so I'm curious. Last time I was curious it was Elephant, and look how that turned out.

May 20
Out On A Limb Records present... - The Lobby
Give a Man a Kick, Rest, Waiting Room and Ten Past Seven. It this really is the line up, it's well worth €10.

May 20
Halite – An Cruisin Lan

May 22
Alphastates – Cypress Avenue

May 23
Mundy - Cork Opera House

May 23
Future Kings of Spain - Cypress Avenue

May 27
Cobh young musicians concert - An eclectic mix of classical and traditional music by young people between the ages of 11 – 18
It's a fundraiser for the great island fiddlers group, which is why I'm mentioning it.
Sirius Arts Centre

May 28
The Izzys - Pine Lodge, Myrtleville
A free show (handy at that price). Old fashioned US rock

May 28
The Walls - The Lobby

May 29
Declan O’Rourke - The Lobby
Dublin singer/songwriter who has just finished touring with Paddy Casey. Don't know a thing about him, but he sounds interesting...

June 2
Hal - Old Oak

June 3
Eoin CoughlanThe Lobby

June 5
Mundy in the Bandon Music Festival - Bandon

June 12
Alphastates – Cypress Avenue, Cork

June 15
Eoin Coughlan – De Barras, Clonakilty

June 28
Glen Hansard - Cork Opera House

take care,