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Irish album of the year eh?
Last Post 17 Dec 2007 04:59 AM by starbelgrade. 33 Replies.
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carry_grantUser is Offline
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Confucius

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10 Dec 2007 02:19 PM
    Let's put this one to bed, shall we? In what has been a truly dreadful year - the latest in a long line in truth - the list alluding to the best Irish album of 2007 merely confirms this. My God, why do we accept such chronic mediocrity in this country? Why is it that we feel the need to pat ourselves on the back yearly whilst alluding to our 'burgeoning music scene'?
    Largely - and this rarely gets alluded to in this country almost as if we're not allowed to talk about it - music has disappeared up its own arse. It all began back in the day with The Frames/Damien Rice alliance - pomposity begetting mediocrity and everyone bought into it. That, then, as the benchmark has meant that anything goes as this list highlights.
    The most frightening this is that there is no danger, no risk in Irish music anymore. Please tell me who's pushing the boundaries and not just operating within the concentric circles of those who have previously underachieved.
    My own personal Irish music highlight of 2007 - without question, the fact that My Bloody Valentine have reformed - a band whose wit, intelligence and vision as soundtracked back in 1991 still has not been surpassed.
    Dear God, here's to 2008.
    dermot_trellisUser is Offline
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    dermot_trellis

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    10 Dec 2007 04:19 PM
    "Why do we accept such chronic mediocrity in this country?".. I love the way people complain about the music scene like it's the health service or something.. Do you expect that by rights you should be entitled to have a bunch of local bands tailored to fit your exact taste touring around the country? Why not start one yourself, if you think you know exactly how good music should sound and everything that exists right now is so awful to you?
    nialler9User is Offline
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    nialler9

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    10 Dec 2007 04:38 PM
    Had to reply to this..

    There has been so much good Irish music in 2007. Diverse and all. You're just plain wrong and not looking in the right places. Of course, there is complete mediocrity also but don't dwell on it.

    Let me start with some great Irish stuff this year.

    You talk about pushing boundaries how about Super Extra Bonus Party? A great debut infused with Hip Hop, electronica, indie and ambient music. With a Brazilian MC also. That's not your usual bollocks.

    Dry County are also trying to do something different.

    Most music doesn't push boundaries but that doesn't mean that craft has gone out the window.

    Examples:

    Cathy Davey, Adrian Crowley, Mumblin Deaf Ro

    No breaking any moulds but absolutely splendid songwriting.

    Hybrasil's album is a great indie-pop album with electronic flourishes.

    Adebisi Shank - Absolutely killer alternative rock from a very talented bunch of musicians. Ditto Terrordactyl, The Vinny Club, Nouveau Noise, Jape.

    I used to think like you until I actually looked a little harder.

    ishrinkUser is Offline
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    ishrink

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    11 Dec 2007 01:02 AM
    Posted By nialler9 on 10 Dec 2007 6:38 PM


    You talk about pushing boundaries how about Super Extra Bonus Party? A great debut infused with Hip Hop, electronica, indie and ambient music. With a Brazilian MC also. That's not your usual bollocks.





    Says the bands best mate, visual guy and internet pimp.
    PeterQuaifeUser is Offline
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    Sig Doherty

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    11 Dec 2007 02:25 AM
    Posted By carry_grant on 10 Dec 2007 4:19 PM
    Let's put this one to bed, shall we? In what has been a truly dreadful year - the latest in a long line in truth - the list alluding to the best Irish album of 2007 merely confirms this. My God, why do we accept such chronic mediocrity in this country? Why is it that we feel the need to pat ourselves on the back yearly whilst alluding to our 'burgeoning music scene'?
    Largely - and this rarely gets alluded to in this country almost as if we're not allowed to talk about it - music has disappeared up its own arse. It all began back in the day with The Frames/Damien Rice alliance - pomposity begetting mediocrity and everyone bought into it. That, then, as the benchmark has meant that anything goes as this list highlights.
    The most frightening this is that there is no danger, no risk in Irish music anymore. Please tell me who's pushing the boundaries and not just operating within the concentric circles of those who have previously underachieved.
    My own personal Irish music highlight of 2007 - without question, the fact that My Bloody Valentine have reformed - a band whose wit, intelligence and vision as soundtracked back in 1991 still has not been surpassed.
    Dear God, here's to 2008.




    and you are doing what to push Irish music forward? apart from lambasting and lamenting of course, which always helps.....

    PQ
    aidanUser is Offline
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    Aidan Curran

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    11 Dec 2007 02:48 AM
    Fair enough if you don't like any of the major Irish albums from 2007, carry_grant; some on the list aren't to my liking either.

    What puzzles me about your post is that you lament the fact that "there is no danger, no risk in Irish music anymore. Please tell me who's pushing the boundaries and not just operating within the concentric circles of those who have previously underachieved".... and then you go on to say that your highlight of 2007 is of an old band reforming! You might want to try taking a few risks yourself, rather than banking on good old MBV.

    As Nialler said (regardless of whether he's close to one of the bands he mentioned), plenty of excellent new Irish music out there, whatever your taste - it just takes a bit of looking for. Plenty of good radio shows playing it (though not at peak hours, that's true). And thinking that the Frames/acoustic-singer-songer sound is typical of Irish music is a bit outdated by a few years at least; what do you think of the non-singer-songer acts on the shortlist?
    starbelgradeUser is Offline
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    starbelgrade

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    11 Dec 2007 02:50 AM
    Irish music is SHITE.. there hasn't been anything decent since the Lizzy. Now, that was REAL music - proper RIFFS, tight trousers, big hair & loads of headbanging. Fuck yer shoegazin' toss of the 90s & yer Noughties hippety hoppety MCs with brazilians, bring back the Lizzy I say.. dig up Phillo, dust 'im off, strap on a bass & we'll all get down to some serious moshing...

    "THE BOYS ARE BACK IN TOWN, NAH, NAH, NAH, NAH"
    aidanUser is Offline
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    Aidan Curran

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    11 Dec 2007 02:52 AM
    Posted By starbelgrade on 11 Dec 2007 4:50 AM
    Irish music is SHITE.. there hasn't been anything decent since the Lizzy. Now, that was REAL music - proper RIFFS, tight trousers, big hair & loads of headbanging. Fuck yer shoegazin' toss of the 90s & yer Noughties hippety hoppety MCs with brazilians, bring back the Lizzy I say.. dig up Phillo, dust 'im off, strap on a bass & we'll all get down to some serious moshing...

    "THE BOYS ARE BACK IN TOWN, NAH, NAH, NAH, NAH"




    No way, José!!! What about the new U2 album out this week, 'The Joshua Tree'? Bleedin' rapid!!!! ;D
    starbelgradeUser is Offline
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    starbelgrade

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    11 Dec 2007 03:35 AM
    Posted By aidan on 11 Dec 2007 4:52 AM
    Posted By starbelgrade on 11 Dec 2007 4:50 AM
    Irish music is SHITE.. there hasn't been anything decent since the Lizzy. Now, that was REAL music - proper RIFFS, tight trousers, big hair & loads of headbanging. Fuck yer shoegazin' toss of the 90s & yer Noughties hippety hoppety MCs with brazilians, bring back the Lizzy I say.. dig up Phillo, dust 'im off, strap on a bass & we'll all get down to some serious moshing...

    "THE BOYS ARE BACK IN TOWN, NAH, NAH, NAH, NAH"




    No way, José!!! What about the new U2 album out this week, 'The Joshua Tree'? Bleedin' rapid!!!! ;D




    I'm not convinced... U2 are more of a "waving hands in the air" type of band - not really headbanging material, though, you never know - this new album could be different.. we'll just have to wait & see.
    BinokularUser is Offline
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    Binokular

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    11 Dec 2007 05:00 AM
    As someone who generally finds little of interest in Irish music, purely because it has tended not to match my personal tastes, I have to say this has probably been the best year in Irish music of possibly of the entire decade. It's not like I make any special effort to seek out "Irish" music either, so if even someone like me, who can probably tell you more about what is coming out of Berlin than Dublin, reckons this has been a good year, then I don't know what planet carry_grant is on.

    OK, maybe it's not entirely earth-shattering stuff either, but this constant micro-scrutiny of the local "scene" is stupid, pointless and counterproductive. Everyone seems to be just sitting there waiting to pounce on the "next big thing". It doesn't work like that, you have to give things room to breathe rather than smother it under the weight of expectation.

    It's also worth remembering that thousands of bands have ended up being nothing but a footnote in the pages of musical history, but the world would be a poorer place without them. Just, chill out, you know? Pick and choose what does it for you (Irish or otherwise), don't stress about the rest.

    Finally, am I the only one who finds it a little silly the way MBV have been subject to historical revisionism and co-opted as an "Irish" band in recent years? Half the band isn't Irish and very little of their career was spent here at all, even early on.
    PARTONUser is Offline
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    Kevin Coleman

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    11 Dec 2007 05:16 AM
    Hybrasil's effort is my fave, second would probably be delorentos in love with detail....

    would agree with cary_grant's comments to some degree, however got slaughtered last time i gave out bout Irish music scene....

    have to say the trendy bands, FLA and the like bore the living daylights out of me...no excitment or anything...every year there is a trendy unit that are cool for about the length of time it takes to get a bus to town......remember the chalets? putrid boring shaping, posing nonsense....just cos its Irish and original dont make it good....

    i knew a bloke who could speak cling on once, now that was original, wasnt cool though.

    starbelgradeUser is Offline
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    11 Dec 2007 05:48 AM
    Posted By Binokular on 11 Dec 2007 7:00 AM

    Finally, am I the only one who finds it a little silly the way MBV have been subject to historical revisionism and co-opted as an "Irish" band in recent years? Half the band isn't Irish and very little of their career was spent here at all, even early on.




    Well, in fairness, the main songwriter is Irish, as is the drummer and as between them, they did record almost all of the instruments in the studio with little imput from the women, you could argue that they were more Irish than anglo-irish, but ya - it's splitting hairs. Not really important anyway!

    I think MBV are in many ways put too high up on a pedestal.. "Isn't Anything" was their first decent release, but it borrowed heavily from Sonic Youth (even the riff in "You Made Me Realise" was nicked straight off "Silver Rocket") and they got the idea to use melodies from the Jesus & Mary Chain (Shields readily admits this), so while their sound is rather beautiful, it's not liked they plucked it straight from thin air... brilliant album nonetheless..

    I found "Loveless" dissapointing - the release of the "Glider" EP a year previous seemed to point to a new direction ie., the MBV sound mixed with beats from the emerging dance scene, but when it did eventually come out, it really was just "Isn't Anything" recorded better with a more polished production. After that, they recorded a Louis Armstrong tune & disspeared. It was, "We have all the time in the world".. ironically, as they seem to have been gone for all that time!! Though by that time, everyone was truly on the bandwagon, so I expect to get a lot of flack for this... pity it wasn't the case when they played McGonnigales to an audience of less than 200 - no wonder they stayed based in the UK!

    If you look at U2, who released "Achtung Baby" in the same year, there was a vast difference - here was a band who truly embraced the current musical scene & very succesfully crossed over between dancefloor & rock music - MBV had touched on it with "Soon" (even enlisting Andy Weatherall for the remixes), but shyed away from it for the LP.. an opportunity lost. U2 kept it going for their following releases in the 90s on "Zooropa" & "Pop" before going up their own holes again with 2000's "All That You Can't Leave Behind".. again I expect to get stick for this but, f**k it - U2 in their heyday were possibly THE best Irish band ever - they certainly embraced a huge spectrum of genres & styles and made them their own and along the way, created some brilliant music, their only real crime, apparantely, was their desire to be a huge commercial success. Had they stuck to the cult route, I've no doubt that they'd be as, if not more revered than the Valentines.

    As for the list of this year's albums, there's really not a lot that grabs me all the same - Nina Hynes' stuff is pretty good, the Lazarus album's not bad either, some of the stuff I've yet to hear, while other like Delorentos bore the s**te out of me.. not quite as bad as The god-awful Blizzards though! I think it's been a long time since the Irish music scene has been on the edge of pushing the boundaries, but I also think that's the same everywhere for the last few years - there's certainly been no major breakthrough bands for me this century, but that doesn't mean there hasn't been any good music released... Fight Like Apes (yeah, trendy - whatever) I like immensely, Panda Kopanda (from Belfast) impressed me last year (though they've been very quite of late) and outside this island I think Sonic Youth & Damon Albarn have been making the best music of their careers.

    As for allowing bands time to develop, Binokular, I've been recording under your moniker the last few weeks & will be releasing my first Binokular recordings in February.. it's a definite step away from my works with Star Belgrade - not sure if it's one back or two forward (!) - but I'm sure you'll let me have an opinion come the time!
    carry_grantUser is Offline
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    Confucius

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    11 Dec 2007 10:26 AM
    Ah let's see......
    Dermot suggests that I start my own band because I'm not happy with the way things are in the Irish music 'scene'. Complete cobblers of course. I'm not good enough Dermot which is why I wouldn't inflict my lack of talent on others. I only wish this was true of everyone on the best of Irish list. It's not, hence my post.

    Nialler9 suggests that some of the more promising sounds out there are an Irish band who do 'great indie-pop' - ah, an Irish Shed 7 perhaps? - and, better yet, 'killer alternative rock' by 'a very talented bunch of musicians'. Nialler9 - thank you for inadvertenly summing up what's wrong.
    PeterQuaife laments the fact that I'm not pushing Irish music forward. Peter, I support Liverpool FC, and constantly lambast Riise's inability to defend, so what should I do - slot ino his preferred position? If I don't like something I'm not obliged to pick up a guitar and make some great 'indie pop'. I'm not good enough but I'm aware of my limitations, unlike some.
    Aidan - my point about MBV - and it still holds true - is that
    the 'old band' to which you refer happened upon a sound which defined a generation of copyists but remained beyond them all due to the fact that it was uniquely theirs. 'Loveless' is as fresh today as it was 16 years ago. And having listened to Kevin Shield's contributions to the 'Lost In Translation' soundtrack, clearly this is a man who has moved on to better things. There is nothing wrong with loving an 'old' band as long as they create something fresh. I'll lambast them too if the new album is cack - I'd ask to join them to develop their sound if I could but, PeterQuaife, the world doesn't work like that.
    Binokular - so this has been the best year for Irish music this decade? Sweet Jesus, compared to what other year? Were 2001/2/3/4/5/6 really that bad? And I'm scarcely waiting for the 'next big thing' - it's between the lines that I seek out enjoyment, not in the headlines.
    And finally Starbelgrade - 'Is't Anything' had its reputation cemented in an era when C86 bands were seen to be pushing the boundaries. History has look unfavourably on most of the bands from that era - justifiably so. But it was on 'Loveless' - and yes, it's a incessantly beautiful album - that they found their own sound. Sure, they borrowed heavily on 'Isnt Anything' just as Sonic Youth borrowed before them. It isn't a crime to steal, it is, though, when you don't use those influences to forge something new and fresh. 'Isn't Anything' was a rehash - brilliantly done - but 'Loveless' was what happened when they'd lost that gawkiness and matured into their own style.
    I'm glad this has stirred some debate. I'm glad people feel passionately about music in general.
    I'm optimistic about 2008 - I truly hope some bands emerge and develop in a way that make me feel as passionate as you guys do about the dross on this list.


    heartyUser is Offline
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    hearty

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    11 Dec 2007 03:03 PM
    this is a pointless argument, 2007 was the same as any year, some was good, some was bad.

    my god if i have to read another thread on cluas about how s**t some Irish band is i swear I'll pull out my hair.
    why are people on this board so negative? whats the point?

    i don't care about bands i don't like, i don't listen to them, i don't go to their gigs.

    carry_grant - you remind me a lot of james_t.

    Gar
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    dermot_trellis

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    11 Dec 2007 03:34 PM
    Posted By carry_grant on 11 Dec 2007 12:26 PM
    Ah let's see......
    Dermot suggests that I start my own band because I'm not happy with the way things are in the Irish music 'scene'. Complete cobblers of course. I'm not good enough Dermot which is why I wouldn't inflict my lack of talent on others. I only wish this was true of everyone on the best of Irish list. It's not, hence my post.

    Nialler9 suggests that some of the more promising sounds out there are an Irish band who do 'great indie-pop' - ah, an Irish Shed 7 perhaps? - and, better yet, 'killer alternative rock' by 'a very talented bunch of musicians'. Nialler9 - thank you for inadvertenly summing up what's wrong.
    PeterQuaife laments the fact that I'm not pushing Irish music forward. Peter, I support Liverpool FC, and constantly lambast Riise's inability to defend, so what should I do - slot ino his preferred position? If I don't like something I'm not obliged to pick up a guitar and make some great 'indie pop'. I'm not good enough but I'm aware of my limitations, unlike some.
    Aidan - my point about MBV - and it still holds true - is that
    the 'old band' to which you refer happened upon a sound which defined a generation of copyists but remained beyond them all due to the fact that it was uniquely theirs. 'Loveless' is as fresh today as it was 16 years ago. And having listened to Kevin Shield's contributions to the 'Lost In Translation' soundtrack, clearly this is a man who has moved on to better things. There is nothing wrong with loving an 'old' band as long as they create something fresh. I'll lambast them too if the new album is cack - I'd ask to join them to develop their sound if I could but, PeterQuaife, the world doesn't work like that.
    Binokular - so this has been the best year for Irish music this decade? Sweet Jesus, compared to what other year? Were 2001/2/3/4/5/6 really that bad? And I'm scarcely waiting for the 'next big thing' - it's between the lines that I seek out enjoyment, not in the headlines.
    And finally Starbelgrade - 'Is't Anything' had its reputation cemented in an era when C86 bands were seen to be pushing the boundaries. History has look unfavourably on most of the bands from that era - justifiably so. But it was on 'Loveless' - and yes, it's a incessantly beautiful album - that they found their own sound. Sure, they borrowed heavily on 'Isnt Anything' just as Sonic Youth borrowed before them. It isn't a crime to steal, it is, though, when you don't use those influences to forge something new and fresh. 'Isn't Anything' was a rehash - brilliantly done - but 'Loveless' was what happened when they'd lost that gawkiness and matured into their own style.
    I'm glad this has stirred some debate. I'm glad people feel passionately about music in general.
    I'm optimistic about 2008 - I truly hope some bands emerge and develop in a way that make me feel as passionate as you guys do about the dross on this list.






    I'm slightly curious - which acts in other countries do you consider to be pointing the way forward at the moment? Were My Bloody Valentine the last 'Irish' (I agree with the guy who pointed out that they're more or less a British band) group that you felt lived up to your high standards? How many local gigs do you attend, and do you go to the effort of seeking out and investigating up-and-coming Irish bands online, or though other sources? Or is it just skimming through lists like the one on this site and dismissing it all as s**te?
    starbelgradeUser is Offline
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    12 Dec 2007 12:44 AM
    Could Carry Grant be Kevin Sheilds?
    PeterQuaifeUser is Offline
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    Sig Doherty

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    12 Dec 2007 01:30 AM
    Posted By carry_grant on 11 Dec 2007 12:26 PM
    Ah let's see......
    Dermot suggests that I start my own band because I'm not happy with the way things are in the Irish music 'scene'. Complete cobblers of course. I'm not good enough Dermot which is why I wouldn't inflict my lack of talent on others. I only wish this was true of everyone on the best of Irish list. It's not, hence my post.

    Nialler9 suggests that some of the more promising sounds out there are an Irish band who do 'great indie-pop' - ah, an Irish Shed 7 perhaps? - and, better yet, 'killer alternative rock' by 'a very talented bunch of musicians'. Nialler9 - thank you for inadvertenly summing up what's wrong.
    PeterQuaife laments the fact that I'm not pushing Irish music forward. Peter, I support Liverpool FC, and constantly lambast Riise's inability to defend, so what should I do - slot ino his preferred position? If I don't like something I'm not obliged to pick up a guitar and make some great 'indie pop'. I'm not good enough but I'm aware of my limitations, unlike some.
    Aidan - my point about MBV - and it still holds true - is that
    the 'old band' to which you refer happened upon a sound which defined a generation of copyists but remained beyond them all due to the fact that it was uniquely theirs. 'Loveless' is as fresh today as it was 16 years ago. And having listened to Kevin Shield's contributions to the 'Lost In Translation' soundtrack, clearly this is a man who has moved on to better things. There is nothing wrong with loving an 'old' band as long as they create something fresh. I'll lambast them too if the new album is cack - I'd ask to join them to develop their sound if I could but, PeterQuaife, the world doesn't work like that.
    Binokular - so this has been the best year for Irish music this decade? Sweet Jesus, compared to what other year? Were 2001/2/3/4/5/6 really that bad? And I'm scarcely waiting for the 'next big thing' - it's between the lines that I seek out enjoyment, not in the headlines.
    And finally Starbelgrade - 'Is't Anything' had its reputation cemented in an era when C86 bands were seen to be pushing the boundaries. History has look unfavourably on most of the bands from that era - justifiably so. But it was on 'Loveless' - and yes, it's a incessantly beautiful album - that they found their own sound. Sure, they borrowed heavily on 'Isnt Anything' just as Sonic Youth borrowed before them. It isn't a crime to steal, it is, though, when you don't use those influences to forge something new and fresh. 'Isn't Anything' was a rehash - brilliantly done - but 'Loveless' was what happened when they'd lost that gawkiness and matured into their own style.
    I'm glad this has stirred some debate. I'm glad people feel passionately about music in general.
    I'm optimistic about 2008 - I truly hope some bands emerge and develop in a way that make me feel as passionate as you guys do about the dross on this list.






    the world owes you a living

    PQ
    starbelgradeUser is Offline
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    starbelgrade

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    12 Dec 2007 04:09 AM
    Carry's both condescending AND humourless... nice traits! I don't think I've read as many w**kerisms in one post on any thread EVER!

    "Nialler9 - thank you for inadvertenly summing up what's wrong."

    "...I'm aware of my limitations, unlike some."

    "...PeterQuaife, the world doesn't work like that"

    "...it's between the lines that I seek out enjoyment, not in the headlines."

    I suppose the bitterness can all be explained though by one tell tale statement....

    "I support Liverpool FC"

    Nuff said!




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    Anna Murray

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    12 Dec 2007 04:28 AM
    Why does it matter to everyone whether a band is Irish or not? There were some good albums out this year, and the year before, and the year before that. Some were Irish, some were not. That's it really.
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    Binokular

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    12 Dec 2007 05:21 AM
    Posted By Archie on 12 Dec 2007 6:28 AM
    Why does it matter to everyone whether a band is Irish or not? There were some good albums out this year, and the year before, and the year before that. Some were Irish, some were not. That's it really.




    Yeah, I'd agree, it doesn't really matter, I've been listening to "Walls" by Apparat lately, now theres an album for MBV fans looking for something interesting. I'd go as far as to suggest that if cary_grant can't appreciate that album, maybe he's not as adventureous as he believes?

    http://www.pitchforkmedia.com/article/record_review/44675-walls

    Doesn#t matter where a band comes from, but the nice thing about "local" bands though is that they're, well, local, you know? You don't have to wait ages for them to play a gig near you, which is nice.
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