Entries for December 2010

Articles

21
Two Door Cinema Club (live in Dublin)
Two Door Cinema Club (live in The Tripod, Dublin) Review Snapshot: Having finally gained access to The Tripod after being refused entrance at 17 with a fake ID you could forgive Alex Trimble for looking a little nervous on stage, this time facing a sold out headline show with a 1400 strong crowd. With just one album under their belt one wondered whether this band could live up to standard everyone else seems to have set them.  The Cluas Verdict? 7.5 out of 10 Full Review: As it turns out, you don’t need more than one strong album's worth of material to pull off a headline show. Not when you have two equally strong opening acts and the right kind of music playing in between to keep the crowds energy pumping. Opening the doors at 7:30, you could tell the small crowd standing outside were glad to be out of the cold. It wasn’t long before we were faced with the dazzling flash of strobe lights staring blindingly at a trio that can only be ... [Read on]
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21
Caribou (live in Dublin)
Caribou (live in The Button Factory, Dublin) Review Snapshot: Studio whizzkid with a strong live reputation brings his album of the year - Swim contender to the slushy streets of Dublin. The Cluas Verdict? 8 out of 10 Full Review: Dublin is getting back on its feet (literally) after as severe a bout of cold weather as this gig-goer can ever remember enduring, Grafton Street is a slushy muddy hive of after work Christmas drinkers and shoppers. We beat a path down through the shopping thoroughfare, across Temple Bar and over a beggar strewn Halfpenny Bridge before settling into the Grand Social (Formally Pravda) on Liffey Street. The Grand Social is a very welcome addition to the Dublin indie pub scene, Gil Scott Heron's ‘Lady Day and John Coltrane‘ is playing on the stereo which for me denotes bar staff with rather excellent taste in music. They also have Leffe beer on tap which they serve by the pint - fantastic.    We tr... [Read on]
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16
Hipster Youth 'Teenage Elders'
A review of the album 'Teenage Elders' by Hipster Youth Review Snapshot: Teenage Elders captures the chaos of a Castlevania soundtrack without ever considering the likely effect upon its audience. A bad Nintendo acid trip of an album, lost in the one-dimensional platforms that inspired its inception. The Cluas Verdict? 3 out of 10 Full Review: In a business overrun with insipid intertextual references, artists should really exercise caution when they wander into the realms of retro. The advent of postmodernism opened up the floodgates of creative recycling, with the old and the new intermingling in an array of previously inconceivable combinations. At best, the trend presented the possibility of redefining the cultural relics of the past through novel hybrid forms. At worst, the market merely capitalised on the success of a few innovators, producing a litany of carbon copies in their wake.  Dublin-based artist Hipster Youth unfortun... [Read on]
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13
The Frames (live in Dublin)
The Frames (live in The Olympia, Dublin) Review Snapshot: The Frames haven’t played a small venue in Ireland in a while but Glen Hansard has proven that no matter how long he’ll stay away from his roots he’ll always return with a bang. From ‘Santa Maria’ and ‘Revelate’ to his minute covers in the middle of songs (tonight it was the turn of ‘Kashmir’ and ‘Lilac Wine’). He showed it wasn’t all serious as he delivered over-served fans with his wit the now expected quips and anecdotes between songs. The Cluas Verdict? 9 out of 10 Full Review:  “I want my life to make more sense… I want my country to make some f**king sense!” he quips halfway through the show proving that Glen Hansard isn’t as removed from the everyman as his fame would have you believe. Sell-out tours with The Swell Season and getting his hands on an Oscar has not removed this busker from his roo... [Read on]
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09
Local Natives (live in Dublin)
Local Natives (live in The Village, Dublin) Review Snapshot: LA Hipsters Local Natives roll into town to play a work unfriendly Monday night at The Village in Dublin, the reviewer can't help but be reminded of sunnier times the previous July. The Cluas Verdict? 8 out of 10 Full Review: Ado decided to drive in so I sat in the house watching Australian Masterchef waiting for the lad to pull up outside the door in his ridiculous PlayStation-like BMW. The phone rings. It's himself, too lazy to get out of the car and knock on the door and, to be honest, when it is this cold I don't blame the buck one bit. Local Natives all the way from California playing The Village on a Monday night. I got into them during the summer in my uncle's vacant house on the Aran Islands, my girlfriend from Montreal was playing albums on her iPod for myself and two friends while we drank wine in the long grass and watched the sun set out over the west coast of Mayo. H... [Read on]
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09
Bruce Springsteen 'The Promise'
A review of the album 'The Promise' by Bruce Springsteen Review Snapshot: An album of lost sessions from Darkness On The Edge Of Town that any of today’s pretenders to the throne would die-for. A collection of songs that ‘The Boss’ couldn’t find album space for now sees the light of day, over three decades later. It has certainly been well worth the wait. The Cluas Verdict? 7 out of 10 Full Review: After being proclaimed “the future of rock‘n’roll” in 1975 following the commercial success of Born To Run, Bruce Springsteen went back to the drawing board to dream it all up again. However due to legal disputes he was unable to release any new material until 1978’s Darkness On The Edge Of Town. What you’ve got here are 22 songs that chronologically belong between those two albums. Described by The Boss himself as “a great lost work recovered”, this album opens with ... [Read on]
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08
Les Shelleys 'Les Shelleys'
A review of the debut album from Les Shelleys Review Snapshot: This is the debut album from the duo of Tom Brosseau and Angela Correa otherwise known as Les Shelleys. What you get here is a simple stripped down and very raw album full of impressive harmonies and some very high points. It does seem to lose its way towards the end but its still well worth a listen and I'm sure the live act would be very interesting to see. The Cluas Verdict? 6 out of 10 Full Review: The album starts with the simplistic minimalist "The world is waiting for sunrise" (listen to the track below) which not only sets the tone for the rest of the album but is one of the strongest tracks here. The core of Les Shelleys sound is how the voices of Brosseau and Correa compliment each other. The is no chance of any over production here; the album was recorded on a mini-disk player on a kitchen table in a Los Angeles home with a battery powered microphone. "Green Door... [Read on]
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07
Ayoe Angelica 'Dandelion'
A review of the album 'Dandelion' by Ayoe Angelica  Review Snapshot:  A wise academic once professed that true art should be recognised for its aesthetic value rather than any contrite notion of commercial viability. Ayoe Angelica personifies this perspective, producing an enchanting collection of songs that captures the spontaneity and experimental side of the artistic process. The Cluas Verdict? 7 out of 10 Full Review: In a consumer-driven industry, the artistic quest for originality seems to have taken a backseat to the marketable value of music. Many virtuous acts venture into the depths of big business determined to preserve their integrity only to bow to the burden of systematic sales targets and creative constraints. Our hopes lie with the treasured few who flee from the arid mainstream in favour of the road less travelled. Genre-defying Danish singer Ayoe Angelica is one such individual.  Joining forces with multi-inst... [Read on]
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06
Elliot Smith 'An Introduction to...'
A review of the album 'An Introduction to' by Elliot Smith Review Snapshot: A number of seminal musicians emerged in the early 90s and died prematurely and where many of those musicians pushed the dynamics of their genres, Elliot Smith’s legacy was achieved via a house style that’s about as common as it gets: one man and his guitar. It’s now been seven years since the world lost something quietly elegant: a singer-songwriter gone before his time. This release is strongly recommended for those who have yet to pick at the surface of Elliot Smith. The Cluas Verdict? 8 out of 10 Full Review: Elliot Smith was one of the greatest songwriters of our era and for his dedicated fan-base, every album was the soundtrack to a new chapter in the singer's always troubled life. However this album offers nothing new for existing fans - nothing unreleased, nothing live and thought to be lost to the sound desk. Yet... [Read on]
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03
Silje Nes 'Opticks'
A review of the album 'Opticks' by Silje Nes Review Snapshot: The Norwegian singer’s second album, Opticks, is a triumph in delicacy. The Cluas Verdict? 7.5 out of 10 Full Review: Alongside flat packed furniture and, eh, I don’t know, fish, Scandinavia has also been exporting its fair share of singer songwriters over the last decade. And despite my blatant ignorance of the region, I do at least know that they tend to follow something of a formula. Scandinavian music, with notable exceptions of course, is often characterised by distant, dreamy voices and meandering musical pieces, usually involving minimal guitar riffs. And a fair amount of these folks have been classically trained. Ólöf Arnalds sophomore album received a glowing review on Cluas earlier in the year and she was classically trained in violin and singing. Silje Nes was classically trained in piano. The point is that these are talented and well educated artists... [Read on]
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