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Last Post 07 Oct 2004 08:44 AM by Pilchard. 21 Replies.
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PilchardUser is Offline
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Pilchard

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07 Oct 2004 08:44 AM
    I browse Cluas regularly but this is the 1st time I've felt the urge to regiser and post. The piece by Aidan Curran (http://www.cluas.com/opinion/great_irish_musicians.htm) is fantastic - a real breath of fresh air to read something provocative, original and thought-provoking. I disagree with a few things he says, but that made me happy because it made me think about my own opinions and why I hold them dear. Looking fwd already to the next piece p
    bonzoUser is Offline
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    07 Oct 2004 09:27 AM
    I liked the article an awful lot but totally disagreed with it apart from the final paragraph which calls on Irish bands to take on the world. And they should the 'will this do' attitude is very prevalent amongst Irish acts. In my opinion, Ireland has produced many, many amazing musicians who inspire people the world over. I would go as far as to say U2 are not only the biggest band on the planet but also one of the greatest bands of all time. The statement As regards the statement: 'But no young band at the moment wants to sound like U2, and I doubt that future bands will either.' Completely wrong - I give you Keane, Embrace, Coldplay, JJ72, Ash etc. All these bands hold U2 out as their inspiration. Finally though, articles such as this will provoke thought and that is a very good thing.
    cwrennUser is Offline
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    07 Oct 2004 08:19 PM
    hhhmm...a provocative piece,but one which has its flaws..for a consistent body of work from an Irish artist look towards Van Morrison from 1968 (Astral Weeks)to 1979 (Into the Music),thats 11 years of (excuse the expression) all killer and no filler.and eleven years in that stage of vans life meant...wait for it...eleven albums...look at the respect he is treated with by Robbie Robertson on the Last Waltz...listen to It's Too Late Too Stop Now,and learn how to put on a concert(oh,and for all the Republic of Loose fans who think they a breath of fresh air on the music scene,it also proves that Van was doing soul revues about the time they were born...and a lot better than them too..)(btw as an aside,I think RoL could be a great pop band if they'd drop the soul pretensions,i have nothing against them at all)... Secondly,it is widely recognised that REM and U2 rode the last train out of town with regard to be globally influential...the easier dissemination of music worldwide has led to a proliferation of bands,each of whom are fighting to get heard...the nearest modern equivalent to a band such as the above mentioned is Coldplay,and they don't have half the reach in America as they would like to..even Radiohead don't live up to the template set by those two... thirdly,with respect to pushing boundaries,it took time for Waits and Lennon/McCartney (ask yourself-when was the last time you stuck on one of the earlier beatles albums for pleasure?)to get to a place where they are pushing boundaries.Closing Time is a country album,pure and simple(and it's unashamedly my favourite,possibly beacause it is pure and simple),it took time for Waits to push sonic boundaries...give people like Paddy Casey time(he's only on his second album remember),and he might suprise you..as for Mitchell pushing boundaries?she had a nice turn of phrase,but... ...theres a few other points id love to make,but ill finish with the dreaded D.Rice...in Q's list of influential songs, two different songwriters nominated songs of his...he mightn't be a lot of people's cup of tea(and god bless that Irish begrudgery), but you can't deny people worldwide are paying attention to him(after all,he won the Shortlist award,among the judging panel a certain Mr Waits lingered) auf wiedersehn from munich... (isn't it great for an article to induce a healthy debate?fair play to ye aidan..)
    EarthhorseUser is Offline
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    08 Oct 2004 11:58 AM
    Yes, I agree the article was well written, made some good points and was easy to read. I'd have to say though that cwrenn is right about U2. Maybe nobody wants to sound exactly like them but plenty of people have been influenced by them. It's hard to know though whether there aren't experimental acts out there and that Ireland is just too small a place for them to even get a little home town gig. Just a thought.
    bonzoUser is Offline
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    08 Oct 2004 12:23 PM
    quote:
    Originally posted by Earthhorse
    Yes, I agree the article was well written, made some good points and was easy to read. I'd have to say though that cwrenn is right about U2. Maybe nobody wants to sound exactly like them but plenty of people have been influenced by them. It's hard to know though whether there aren't experimental acts out there and that Ireland is just too small a place for them to even get a little home town gig. Just a thought.
    I refer to my earlier post about U2, look at coldplay, keane, embrace, oasis etc. they are all influenced by U2. Id have to say that U2 are the most important band since the Beatles.
    spurtacusUser is Offline
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    08 Oct 2004 12:28 PM
    hold yer horses bonzo, yer losin the run of the situation altogether!
    kierryUser is Offline
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    08 Oct 2004 01:21 PM
    a really good piece, good job, i hope it continues!
    EarthhorseUser is Offline
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    08 Oct 2004 02:30 PM
    Yes bonzo but I think the article writer was of the opinion that if you don't sound exacly like U2 then you haven't been influenced by them. The bands you have listed may be more obviously influenced by U2 but there are tonnes of bands out there that were similarly influenced but in less obvious ways.
    mutchUser is Offline
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    08 Oct 2004 03:14 PM
    Keane, Embrace, Coldplay, JJ72, sounds like u2 have alot to answer for!!! (aside from Ash. but they also liked megadeth so i dont know what to say about that or what that says about them. (Go on Tim. bring the v back from the kiddie popsters!)) these are awful, awful artists. (again, im excluding ash) granted i enjoyed coldplay at witness a few years ago but i was as high as a kite i have to say the mullen dude looks like he has the same opinion as i do. you just know he's only doin it cos theres not as much money in carpentry?
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    11 Oct 2004 12:46 AM
    hmmm. Aidan's article was a great read, and if the goal was being thought-provoking I'd say mission accomplished. But it also seems like AC's mixing the issue of influence,the issue of quality, and the issue of commercial success. Debate about Van Morrison's catalog can go on forever, but it is undeniably true that Astral Weeks has influenced every single singer-songwriter since its release. He is, on (at the very least) the strength of that album alone one of the most influential songwriters of all time. and U2? i agree with those that've said that even though there aren't bands who necessarily sound like U2, a great many have been influenced by them. My favorite example is The Walkmen. They're one of the best acts rock I've heard in years, and the singer has that particular passion that's moving many people to compare him to a young Bono. Listen to 'little house of savages' (off Bows and Arrows) and you'll see what i mean. But going back to influence...to Jacques Brel and Bjork, i have three words: My. Bloody. Valentine. 'Loveless' is one of the most influential albums of the last 15 years, and MBV's innovative sound may well prove the springboard who whichever band DOES become the next Beatles, the next Waits, etc. (which i'm sure everyone agrees it's too soon to say...all these elites have released a staggering volume of records and yer newbies haven't had enough time...) By the standards of Aidan's second point (creating scenes, sounds, and movements) I'd say MBV hold up. (and let's please not nit-pick about the fact that kevin shields lived in the US until he was six.) But yes, perhaps Ireland's best current acts are not the most innovative. I still think that if you step back and assess whether ireland produces great musicians that there are too many greats to say no. And that (i agree) it's too soon to say whether perhaps another irish act will break out the gate with some real change...
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    11 Oct 2004 08:34 AM
    u2 are/were a really feck'n' influential band whether ya like it or not. it's that thing where even if you don't profess to be influenced by a band (maybe because they're not hip or whatever) you can be. it's the earworm effect. they have dominated rock for the last two decades or so. in that way they have influnced bands who heard them and said "i wanna sound just like that", bands who heard them and borrowed subconsciously, and bands who heard them and said "let's try to actively avoid that". i think that the killers, for example sound very like u2. whatever about the band as a whole, edge has been incredibly influential on rock guitar playing, what with his chimey shimmery simple + pretty approach. (you know what i mean). one person i can think of who didn't chicken out of admitting to this, well...fact, is ed o brien of radiohead. i read an interview with him once(in some guitar mag, for shame) where he stated that radiohead's "rock" guitar-y bits are borrowed from the pixies, and the prettier shimmery bits from u2. i suppose you could say that kevin sheilds(another irishman) was a major pioneer in this style of effects laden playing too. it's the basic sound of modern rock/pop,people(!!), if you consider the strokes et. al. to in fact be retro, i suppose. come on ireland!! (just kidding). didn't fully agree with the article in a few ways.a muddled argument, as it always is when one tries to write about music as something objective that can be viewed as seperate from the personal preference or geographical/cultural location of the author. damo dempsey is doing something new. the folk, reggae+ rap influences churned up and spat out in dublineese,making his own of the very wide reaching ad different influences he has, it's the best anyone can do ...some of it dodgy, though. good songwriting is something which we have an abundance of, but not something that can be seen as progressive. it has certain rules which make it work, and experimentation plus good songwriting is not usually a happy marriage. even tom waits just tends to make his songs sound very old world. is that really progress? well done on the article though, a real s**t stirrer.
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    11 Oct 2004 02:01 PM
    About the My Bloody Valentine thing, yeah Kevin Shields was Irish (though actually born in the US) as was Colm Ciosoig, but they weren't really fostered by the Irish music scene. The band had its genesis in Dublin, but they didn't sitck around for long. First they went off to Berlin for a while (a city that always seems to pop up when discussing avant-garde music) where they recorded their debut album. They eventually ended up in London, signed to Creation and it was there that the MBV line up that most people are familiar with came together with the addtion of Debbie Googe and Belinda Butcher. It was in London that Loveless was recorded. By that time they firmly part of the UK shoegazer scene along with bands like Ride. MBV may be nominally Irish, but they could never be said to be a product of the Irish music scene. On the other hand Kevin Shields younger brother Jimi was in the utterly fantastic Rollerskate Skinny, which was based in Dublin. A truly great band, with the same kind of maverick ingenuity and originality found in MBV but with their own distinct sound and identity. Proof that sometimes a truly original band can come out of Ireland. There is a difference between being influential and being truly ground breaking. John Peels favourites, The Undertones for example could be said to be influential even though they were basically apeing The Ramones bubblegum punk. Ireland has produced influential bands, but its relationship to the avant-garde is less than spectacular. I can't really think of any musical movements/genres that originated in Ireland in the last 60 years. Even little countries like Belgium managed to invent stuff like EBM. Whats Ireland come up with? Nothing as far as I can see.
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    Aidan Curran

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    12 Oct 2004 07:14 AM
    thanks for your responses, everyone - I'm really glad that I managed to create a bit of debate. just a quick couple of points: - I had considered kevin shields, but I would include him in my list of underachieving lost geniuses (shane mcgowan would be another one - a serious under-achiever and squanderer of his talents). I think his status has been mythologised because of his hermitage and long absence (apart from brief side projects and guest spots). there is also a case for saying that MBV were over-rated to begin with... - U2 are simply not the artistically-important band that some have argued above. they inspire some lead singers to become self-styled stadium gods (chris martin SO wants to be bono!!) but that's more to do with bono's personality, as I mentioned. the bands mentioned, like muse, keane, coldplay, would seem to follow this line of wanting to be a huge emotionally-adored stadium band like U2, but not necessarily drawing anything artistically from them. ash certainly don't have anything in common musically with U2, which is what I understand by artistic 'influence'. as binokular says, 'ground-breaking' may be a better term... as for van, he has come closest of all irish acts to making my ranks of truly great songwriters. I was close to making an exception for him. but my point was that more often than not he has released absolute self-indulgent garbage i.e. nearly all of his records of the last thirty years. two good albums (astral weeks and moondance), two good singles (brown-eyed girl and gloria), but a lot of unoriginal three-chord-tricks even on his good albums: 'astral weeks' is perhaps his only really experimental and innovative record, I like the jazzy touches..... granted, paul mccartney or bacharach/david haven't made a good record in thirty years either - but the ten years before that? wow!! no irish artist comes close. so the time factor wasn't a consideration. anyway, I've said enough :D
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    12 Oct 2004 08:36 AM
    ASH have so much in common musically with U2. Listen again!
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    12 Oct 2004 10:55 AM
    Ash have more in common with the Undertones bubblegum pop sensibilities and Nirvanas quiet/loud dynamics (and The Pixies by proxy as a result). If theres much of a musical connection between Ash and U2 I can't hear it to be honest.
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    12 Oct 2004 02:22 PM
    I have to agree with Binokular here. The only thing Ash and U2 have in common is the fact that both play a type of pop-rock. But there's no real musical link apart from that. I think by claiming that they were influenced by U2, the bands named above really mean that they were big fans and basically were inspired to form a band by them, not that they ended up sounding like them. Well something like that anyway.
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    19 Oct 2004 04:34 PM
    I've gotta say that discounting everything Van Morrison has done in the past couple decades is way off the mark. Plenty of filler, to be sure, but what about No Guru, No Method, No Teacher? That's one of his greatest albums, without doubt. Granted, it isn't a rock or pop album, it's a bit more "grown up" (he isn't 25 anymore); it's a whole new kind of music. Speaking of new kinds of music, I have been longing for U2 to have the boldness to work with Donal Lunny as producer and together create something great, a whole new kind of Irish music. Lunny is the D. Lanois of the Irish music world. It could be wonderous.
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    21 Oct 2004 02:40 PM
    Ok y'all, You have seen the kind of excellent public reaction you get when you take the time to sit down and write a heartfelt, reflective opinion editorial on a music-related subject close to your heart. We are actively seeking submissions from y'all for future op-eds so, if y'all have an idea for a piece and the discipline to get it done then contact me, Jules Jackson, and we'll take it from there. best Jules
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    22 Oct 2004 09:41 AM
    Has everyone forgotton ENYA. I'm very serious. She's Irish, she sounds Irish. Shes inspiring people. Suantri style. She sells millons.
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    22 Oct 2004 09:57 AM
    quote:
    Originally posted by jkford
    Speaking of new kinds of music, I have been longing for U2 to have the boldness to work with Donal Lunny as producer and together create something great, a whole new kind of Irish music. Lunny is the D. Lanois of the Irish music world. It could be wonderous.
    Donal Lunny and U2 approach music from completly different angles, so yes, I belive it could be good for U2 to participate in such a project! Excellent idea
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