The CLUAS Archive: 1998 - 2011

Entries for 'Aideen O'Flaherty'

21

Yes, I still live in the dark ages, emerging from my cave to run to the nearest music shop to buy the latest indie CD as opposed to downloading mp3’s. I just have to get the CD, with the booklet and plastic casing. I probably won’t ever get used to this modern music technology (temporarily ignore the fact I actually write for a music website) because mp3s just don’t seem real to me.

An issue I have with CDs is how deceptive they can be. You wander in to your nearest music shop, and you see the CD in the shop looking so endearing. You sample 1 or 2 songs - it’s amazing! But then you bring it home and all hell breaks loose when you realise it’s not what you thought it was, much like a drunken night in Bangkok, I’d imagine.

This is something I’m sure has happened to everyone at some stage (the decpetive albums, not Bangkok), not that it makes it any less irritating. Here are some prime examples:

Green Day - 21st Century Breakdown
‘21 Guns’ was just about bearable before radio stations began playing it for every second of every day.  Admittedly I thought for the most part ‘American Idiot’ was pretty good, having loved their music from the release of ‘Nimrod’. So I somewhat reluctantly bought 21st Century Breakdown to find quite possibly the most boring and predictable CD of 2009 encased within its plastic shell. I actually can’t listen to this album anymore.

The Killers - Sam’s Town
Still a bit baffled as to why I bought this album in the first place, I’ve never really been a fan of The Killers. Well, I liked ‘When You Were Young’ and ‘Read My Mind’, but found that they were pretty much the only tolerable tracks on the whole album. I got caught up in the hype, only to realise this album is of about as much importance to me as a sock I lost when I was a toddler.


Jack Penate - Matinee
I bought this on the merits of ‘Second, Minute or Hour’ and ‘Torn On The Platform’.  Not the worst debut album I’ve ever heard, not the best either. I got my hopes up about this one expecting it to be packed full of catchy quirky indie music but instead it consisted of maybe 4 good songs and the rest seemed to be added filler just to make the collection of songs an actual album. Not all is lost though, I loved his latest album ‘Everything Is New’.

This is just a dip in the ocean, I could write about this for days. No really, I could. I don’t expect albums full of singles or amazing hooks, filler just irritates me in a way that can never be adequately expressed. Now, go and look at your CD collection or, for the really modern readers, iTunes library, and recall your disdain at purchasing that 30 Seconds to Mars album a few years ago. There’s a tenner you won’t see again!


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16

Okay, so I’m not exactly a fan of rap music. I like Eminem and Jay-Z. That’s about as far as my knowledge of rap music expands. Surprise, surprise - I’m more partial to rock and indie music. However, when searching through linking MySpace profiles in a daze a few months ago I stumbled across London rapper Plan B’s profile.

The first track I heard was ‘End Credits’ which features the electro duo Chase & Status. It’s the theme track to the recently released film ‘Harry Brown’ and is so, so catchy. Not to the stage of irritancy, more appreciation of it’s brilliance.  Here’s a taste of how great the lyrics are: “When the blood dries in my veins/and my heart feels no more pain/I know I’ll be on my way to heaven’s gate.” And that’s only a snapshot, ‘End Credits’ is without a doubt one of  my favourite songs of 2009.

The video is also an intriguing affair. As expected, it features footage from the film Harry Brown (which, judging by the footage in the music video, is probably pretty good), with Plan B appearing in various different situations, one being in a police interview room and another in a pub surrounded by people who’ve been killed. At one stage he even levitates (yes, I know). If you look closely, Cook from Skins also makes an appearance!

As for his most recent single ‘Stay Too Long’, well, the jury’s still out on that one. Not really sure what to make of it. In the mean time feast your eyes and reward your ears by watching the video for ‘End Credits’.


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01

 I went to see Sam Taylor-Wood’s highly anticipated directorial debut in ‘Nowhere Boy’, a film depicting the teenage years of John Lennon..

In my infinite wisdom I overestimated the time the trailers would be on, so missed the first minute of the film, much to my annoyance. Set in Liverpool in the late 50s Lennon (Aaron Johnson) is torn between two very influential women in his life - his Aunt Mimi (Kristin Scott Thomas), who he lived with since childhood and his mother Julia (Anne-Marie Duff), who lived around the corner with her other children. His Aunt Mimi is a staunch, strict middle class woman with upper class aspirations. It’s noticeable that while Scouse accents are of course prevalent in the film Lennon’s Aunt Mimi never speaks with one. His mother Julia is a fun loving, creative and vivacious woman.


Having already read various books about Lennon’s life from many different angles I found it hard at times to not think “that never happened!” and “that character wasn’t really like that!” In which case I found it hard to judge it on the merits of a film of its own, and to not compare it to factual accounts of certain events. But about 20 minutes into the film all of that was forgotten.


At times the way Lennon’s relationship with his mother Julia was portrayed was a bit odd, it appeared to be more like a boyfriend - girlfriend relationship, exchanging admiring glances and kissing each other a lot which are usually reserved for such relationships.

The scenes were mesmerising, at times it felt like I was actually in Liverpool in the 50s. I was expecting ’Ferry Cross the Mersey’ to start playing at any given moment, even though it wasn’t released til the mid 60s! The acting was flawless, never did it feel like the emotion was slipping and everything was very believable, it was a brilliant performance by everyone involved. The only issue I have is, again, the creepy way Lennon’s relationship with his mother was portrayed.



The film ends just before Lennon sets off for Hamburg with the Beatles, and, well, we all know what happened after that. I’ve seen many films concerning the Beatles and John Lennon, some terrible (Chapter 27 comes to mind) and some brilliant. And Nowhere Boy is definitely at the top of the list for brilliance. In short, Nowhere Boy is a film you’ll regret not seeing, especially if you’re a John Lennon fan.


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12

1. OrphanCode

OrphanCode closely rival A Lazarus Soul for the accolade of ‘my favourite Dublin band’. Their sound is very developed, free from beginner’s errors and undeniably catchy. If you have ears, and like music, then you’d be crazy not to like OrphanCode. If visual is more your forte, their video for “Last Dance” is very, very impressive. I’m eagerly awaiting the release of their debut LP, you should be too.
Key Tracks: There Is a Light, No Armour.
http://www.myspace.com/orphancode


2. Caruso
Dubliners Caruso are a combination of folksy indie music, mainly acoustic and at times similar to REM (which is no mean feat) but are unmistakeable as Caruso chiefly due to the wavering vocals of front man Shane O Fearghail and an all over Irish feel to their songs. Their 2007 debut album “The Watcher & The Comet” is striking and memorable, and they’re preparing for a tour of New Zealand and Europe after recently signing to a publishing deal in Germany. Definitely ones to watch.
Key Tracks: All Your Features, Monster.
http://www.myspace.com/carusoie

 

3. I Draw Slow
The recent resurgence of folk music thanks to bands such as Noah & The Whale and Mumford & Sons has made folk music ‘cool’ again. One Irish band worth your time if you’re into the latest folk/roots scene is I Draw Slow. With cleverly penned tracks and atmospheric music that is incredibly catchy you could do worse than listen to their songs.
Key Tracks: Santiago, Dead In The Morning.
http://www.myspace.com/idrawslow

4. Scarecrow Disco
Scarecrow Disco play folksy/mellow music, and there are very few Dublin bands who can play music like this but get it exactly on point like they do. They’ll be featuring on a compilation of the best of Dublin’s unsigned acts and are preparing to release a split 7” single with the brilliant The Hot Sprockets.
Key Tracks: Your Parrot’s Low On Batteries, Sign Of The Times.
http://www.myspace.com/scarecrowdisco


5. Travega
Travega are baffling, purely because once you hear their music you’ll wonder why you have never heard it before. Channelling the likes of Blindside and Papa Roach and having a menagerie of musical influences has worked out very well for them, they’ve shaped their own sound while not losing sight of playing the music they love - it’s apparent from their songs.
Key Tracks: Bull Run, Nowhere To Run
http://www.myspace.com/travega


This week marked the 29th anniversary of the death of John Lennon, being the Beatles obsessive I am I couldn’t let this go unnoticed. So, here’s a video of ‘I Am The Walrus’. And why exactly did I pick this song over the others?  Because any accomplished song writer who’ll happily jump around singing “I am the egg man, they are the egg man, I AM THE WALRUS! goo goo goo joob ” is a legend in my eyes. Enjoy!


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05
Switchfoot 'Hello Hurricane'
  A review of the album 'Hello Hurricane' by Switchfoot Review Snapshot: After jumping ship from major label Sony and creating their own indie label called lower case people ...

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Posted in: Album Reviews
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13
Biffy Clyro 'Only Revolutions'
A review of the album 'Only Revolutions' by Biffy Clyro Review Snapshot: The Ayrshire trio Biffy Clyro return with an album filled with explosive riffs and lyrical genius, featuring Josh H...

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19
The Swell Season 'Strict Joy'
A review of the album Strict Joy by The Swell Season Review Snapshot:  At times underwhelming and familiar, 'Strict Joy' brings nothing new to the table and deals with much of th...

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Posted in: Album Reviews
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14
AFI 'Crash Love'
A review of the album 'Crash Love' by AFI Review Snapshot: The Californian rock veterans make a triumphant return with their eight studio album, proving precisely why they've lasted so...

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18
Tommy Reilly 'Words On the Floor'
A review of the album Words On The Floor by Tommy Reilly Review Snapshot: The debut album from Orange Unsigned Act Winner Tommy Reilly adequately shows his tremendous songwriting maturity, cleverl...

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13
General Fiasco
General Fiasco, consisting of brothers Owen and Enda Strathern and school friend Stephen "Leaky" Leacock, have been setting the Northern Irish music scene alight for the past twelve months. ...

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Posted in: Interviews
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Nuggets from our archive

2002 - Interview with Rodrigo y Gabriela, by Cormac Looney. As with Damien Rice's profile, this interview was published before Rodrigo y Gabriela's career took off overseas. It too continues to attract considerable visits every month to the article from Wikipedia.