The CLUAS Archive: 1998 - 2011

Key Notes

30

It's back! Key Notes' favourite festival is returning to its spiritual Temple Bar home this September.  Once again venues such as The Hub and Eamon Dorans will  play host to the Hard Working Class Heroes Festival for 3 days (12th - 14th), after last years failed POD complex experiment.

According to the usually reliable State magazine blog the Irish bands playing this year are as follows:

202’s / 79Cortinaz / A Lazarus Soul / The Aftermath / Alphamono / The Ambience Affair / Angel Pier / Armoured Bear / Mark Austin / Autamata / Bats / The Beat Poets / Bravado / The Brothers Movement / The Cades / Carly Sings / Nick Carswell & The Elective Orchestra / Caruso / Chequerboard / Cian / Class Of 1984 / Ollie Cole / Crayonsmith / Cutaways / The Dagger Lees / Deaf Animal Orchestra / Distractors / Dolbro Dan / Dublin Duck Dispensary / Exit: Pursued By A Bear / Fiach / Fighting With Wire / Valerie Francis / Fred / Gorbachov / Grand Pocket Orchestra / Groom / Halves / Headgear / Heartbreak Cartel / The Holy Roman Army / Hooray for Humans / The Hot Sprockets / Hybrasil / Kill Krinkle Club / The Kinetiks / The Last Tycoons / Le Galaxie / Lines Drawing Circles / Little Xs For Eyes / Mackerel The Cat / Tom McShane / Fiona Melady / The Minutes / Walter Mitty & The Realists / More Tiny Giants / My Brother Woody / Nakatomi Plaza / New Amusement / Noise Control / Not Men But Giants / One Day International / The Followers of Otis / Panama Kings / The Parks / Pilotlight / Pocket Promise / The Rags / The Revellions / Robotnik / John Shelly and the Creatures / Sickboy / Sideproject / So Cow / Sounds of System Breakdown / Sparks Fly / The Spook of The Thirteenth Lock / Super Extra Bonus Party / Supermodel Twins / Sweet Jane / Tidal District / Tiger Empire / David Turpin / The Vinny Club / Vodkopter / You're Only Massive

Details of the festival headliners will be announced soon, as will information on the invasion of Scottish bands.

Key Notes can already break this list down into the following:

Band's He'd REALLY Like to See:
A Lazarus Soul
Ollie Cole
Pilotlight
Autamata
Grand Pocket Orchestra
Headgear
Le Glaxie
The Spook of the Thirteenth Lock
Tidal District
You're Only Massive

Band's He Wouldn't Mind Seeing:
Angel Pier
Carly Sings
Fighting With Wire
New Amusement
Hooray for Humans
Robotnik

Everyone Else

Tickets are still available for Hard Working Class Heroes 2008 from here


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29

This edition of Key Note Speaker see's Dudley, Mark and Joss from The Dudley Corporation take time out from promoting their latest album, Year of the Husband, to provide you with an insight into their musical, literary and visual tastes.

Favourite Songs from the Past Year
Joss
Meshuggah - Bleed
Boris - My Neighbour Satan
Dudley 
Goblin Cock - We got a bleeder! (unreleased)
Mark 
Wilco - Either Way
The New Pornographers - All The Old Showstoppers
The Melvins - Billy Fish
The Spook Of The Thirteenth Lock - The Spook

Favourite Song Ever
Joss
Today it's any one of:
Richard Harris - McArthur Park
Drive Like Jehu - Luau
Erkin Koray - arlı Dağlar
Blonde Redhead - Top Ranking
Dudley
Drive Like Jehu - New Math
Mark 
The live version of Bad Boy Boogie from If you Want Blood You've Got it by AC/DC

Favourite Dudley Song
Joss & Mark 
We Angled Our Shadows and Cast Them In Stone
Dudley
One of the new ones that won't be released for years yet!

Favourite New Band/Artist
Joss
Anna Jarvinen
Subplots
Underground Railroad
Dudley
She & Him
The Big Sleep
Small Snails
Mark 
The Spook Of The Thirteenth Lock (If this band are not huge I'll kill someone.  I know who I'll kill as well.)
Stanley Ross

Favourite Band/Artist Ever
Joss
Drive Like Jehu or Deerhoof or Erkin Koray
Dudley
Drive Like Jehu or Queen, I think
Mark 
The Melvins

Favourite Gig This Year
Joss
The Zombies or Martin Finke
Dudley
The Notwist @ The Button Factory
Mark 
Both Wilco gigs in Vicar Street were fantastic

Favourite Gig Ever
Joss
Drive Like Jehu, TJ's Newport, 1994
Dudley
Queen @ Slane, or Deerhoof at the Empty Bottle in Chicago
Mark 
Tomahawk and The Melvins, 30 Stone Street, Copenhagen, 2003

Favourite Dudley Corporation Gig Ever
Mark 
Mercury Lounge NY, Sept '05. In the middle of a really rough tour we played one of our best ever gigs to a crowd of strangers who seemed to love it. People wandered in to the room and stayed. I was really chuffed after that one. Short lived high though, walked out of the venue to discover our van had been towed!
Dudley
Either Rickshaw Stop in San Francisco or the Mercury Lounge, NYC, both nights where it felt like we were genuinely at the top of our game
Joss
Maybe the first LP launch in Whelan's Sept 10 2001 (Key Notes Birthday!)  That was very fun.

Favourite Venue
Joss
Kraftbrau, Kalamazoo (cry!)
Dudley
Same as Joss but Irving Plaza in New York was pretty great too
Mark 
The Roisin Dubh or Kraftbrau

Favourite Piece of Musical/Recording Equipment
Joss
My old Ludwig kit.
Dudley
My strat that I just spent a small fortune getting repaired, and am now too afraid to touch
Mark 
I'm the wrong person top ask that question, I'll just get all nerdy and bore folk

Download or CD/Cassette/Record
Joss
CD for convenience, LP for niceness.
Dudley
Do most of my listening via mp3s over my home network now, but LP when not being lazy
Mark 
See Joss’ answer

Favourite TV Show at the Moment
Joss
Uhhm... Flight of the Conchords
Dudley
Shark! Dexter!
Mark 
The Wire

Best Movie Ever Seen
Joss
Wild Strawberries or This Sporting Life
Dudley
Star Wars, Brazil, Deathrace 2000
Mark 
Impossible to answer, but I'll say Inner Space

Greatest Book Ever Read
Mark 
The Dirt by Motley Crue. This is not a sarcastic answer
Joss
James Robert Baker - Boy Wonder. The Dirt is great too
Dudley
Boy Wonder is amazing, Confederacy of Dunces comes in close after. The worst biog. ever is Mercury and Me. Bah!

Most Listened to Radio Show
Joss
John Peel (cry!), Adam & Joe, Donal Dineen, Alison Curtis, The Right Hook
Dudley
Not much of a radio-er since the demise of Peel (I really should mp3-ise all those old Peel tapes). John Kennedy on XFM can be great
Mark 
Morning Ireland, Alison Curtis, Drivetime with Mary Wilson, Off the Ball

What's in Store for The Dudley Corporation Next
Joss
New songs! Euro tour in Autumn! A new LP in less than 4 years, I hope!  Gigs in Mullingar, Greystones Theatre and Electric Picnic soon
Dudley
Some rehearsing would be nice!
Mark 
Find somewhere to rehearse


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21

Mercury Music Prize:
In approximately 30 minutes the nominees for the 2008 Mercury Music Prize will be announced. Lot's of speculation here and here as to who will get the nod.  While Key Notes isn't a fan of every album on the list below, he will eat his virtual hat if at least 50% of them are not included:

  • Radiohead - In Rainbows
  • The Last Shadow Puppets - The Age of the Understatement
  • Coldplay - Viva la Vida or 'Whacky' Alternative Title
  • MIA - Kala
  • Neon Neon - Stainless Style
  • Jamie Lidell - Jim
  • Portishead - Third
  • Elbow- The Seldom Seen Kid
  • Burial - Untrue
  • Token Folk/Hip Hop/R & B Album's

No doubt, a huge miscarriage of justice will be done and guess what, they'll probably have to rename it the Turner Prize* afterwards.

*Key Notes did steal this joke from elsewhere, but meh.

Free Music from Bright Eyes Conor Oberst:
Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band are streaming every single track from their (his) new album Conor Oberst  here.  Produced by the man himself and recorded in Mexico, the album contains a song called Danny Callahan whom Key Notes went to school with many years ago.  Is it the same person, probably not but still, it's free!  Oh, and so is this quasi-making of video:

Something for the Weekend:
Well the first thing you should do is check out Ian's 'Gigs of the Fortnight' but if you still see nothing of interest then be sure to get down to Andrews Lane Theatre for Electric Eel Shock, one of the best live bands Key Notes has ever seen.

Update on Mercury Prize:
Nominations are now announced and Key Notes won't be eating any hats for some time as 5 from his 9 were nominated!  The full list: 

  • Adele - 19
  • British Sea Power - Do You Like Rock Music?
  • Burial - Untrue
  • Elbow - The Seldom Seen Kid
  • The Last Shadow Puppets - Age of the Understatement
  • Laura Marling - Alas I Cannot Swim
  • Neon Neon - Stainless Style
  • Portico Quartet - Knee Deep in the North Sea
  • Robert Plant & Alison Krauss - Raising Sand
  • Radiohead - In Rainbows
  • Rachel Unthank & The Winterset - The Bairns

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15

Organisationally, Oxegen 2008 was one of the best music events this blog has ever attended. As this was the first festival it had ever attended as ‘working media’, Key Notes was pleasantly surprised at how respected media people REM Live(considering his own distaste for some of them). As soon as you flashed your white wristband you could almost kill someone and get away with it, in fact, so helpful were the stewards, they would probably have joined in.

However, outside all the great (and not so great) music, the most important lesson learned this weekend was that people still struggle to understand how you can watch the same act as them and come to a different conclusion. It’s amazing isn’t it? Having an independent thought and worse still, allowing it to escape, sends people into all sorts of apocalyptic convulsions. So what if Key Notes didn’t like the performance of your favourite band? Why would you let this blogs have any bearing on your enjoyment?

It’s not just anonymous online comments either. At the event lots of random punters, upon seeing his white wristband, would ask what Key Notes thought of a certain performance and then proceed to tell him he was wrong. How can an opinion be wrong? You might like The Ting Tings, but this blog don’t think the drummer can actually drum all that well. You may hate keyboards but Key Notes thought that Holy Fuck were one of the greatest bands he’s ever seen. It is an opinion, a subjective, emotionally based opinion, not fact, in much the same way Key Notes is of the opinion there is no nicer alcoholic beverage than Guinness but he knows this won’t stand up to scientific scrutiny. Why should music be any different?

Key Notes has written about this before and yet people still don’t seem to get it. Nobody can experience an event the way you did and likewise, Key Notes can only write reviews based on his own experience, nobody else’s. This blog is not a sheep, and will always write what he thinks and what he feels and never what he thinks people want to read.

Anyway, Key Notes really enjoyed Oxegen, how could he not? He saw some sparkling performances from the likes of Holy Fuck, Roisin Murphy and Hot Chip. He got to see pet hates like White Denim and The Prodigy crash and burn. Best of all he got to spend three days in the company of Mrs. Key Notes, surrounded by music and meeting interesting people, musicians and punters alike.

Oxegen 2008 really had everything; great organisation, clean toilets, organic tofu burgers and a wide spectrum of performances. So why can’t there be a wide spectrum of opinions?


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07

In order to pick its favourites, Key Notes relied quite a bit on google, wikipedia and, most importantly, this one.  Here are his choices in list form:

1982 – Prince1999
1983 – U2War
1984 – Prince & The Revolution – Purple Rain
1985 – Kate BushHounds of Love
1986 – Paul SimonGraceland
1987 – Prince – Sign ‘O’ The Times
1988 – Public EnemyIt Takes A Nation of Millions To Hold Us Back
1989 – Neil YoungFreedom
1990 – Depeche ModeViolator
1991 – NirvanaNevermind
1992 – Soul Asylum – Grave Dancers Union
1993 – The Flaming LipsTransmission From The Satellite Heart
1994 – REMMonster
1995 – Elliott SmithElliott Smith
1996 – Rage Against The MachineEvil Empire
1997 – RadioheadOK Computer
1998 – Elliott Smith - XO
1999 – The Flaming Lips – The Soft Bulletin
2000 – Badly Drawn BoyThe Hour Of The Bewilderbeast
2001 – Ryan AdamsGold
2002 – The Flaming Lips – Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots
2003 – New PornographersElectric Version
2004 – Interpol - Antics
2005 – Bright EyesI’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning
2006 – Joanna NewsomThe Y’s
2007 – The NationalBoxer 

Some notes regarding the above:

Though most people have gone for Thiller in 1982, Key Notes isn't a fan.

There are a number of Flaming Lips and Elliott Smith records in there but both have been a huge influence on Key Notes musical development and so he makes no apologies for having more than one entry.

Key Notes hasn't chosen an entry for 2008 because he believes the best record of the year is still to come, though it probably won't be Chinese Democracy.

'How can you not include Funeral by Arcade Fire?' you ask.  Key Notes hasn't listened to Funeral since while Antics is still on the playlist.

So, that's been Key Note's day wasted, fill in your favourite albums in the comment box below.


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30

This edition features Daragh Anderson of Codes, who has taken time out from a busy schedule that includes gigs in London, The Academy and Oxegen, to become the Sixth Key Note Speaker.CODES

Favourite Songs from the Past Year
Radiohead - All I Need
M83 - We Own The Sky
Idiot Pilot - In Record Shape
Unkle - Keys To The Kingdom
MGMT - Time to Pretend

Favourite Song Ever
I'll cop out and say John Cage's  4'33", then it can pretty much be whatever I want it to be
  
Favourite CODES Song
Currently In Algebra but it changes every few days
  
Favourite New Band/Artist
Favourite new Irish band Irish band - Halves, and on the international front currently digging The Envy Corps
  
Favourite Band/Artist Ever
  
Favourite Gig This Year
Elbow - Vicar Street
  
Favourite Gig Ever
Polysics in the Garage in London for the pure insantiy of it
  
Favourite CODES Gig Ever
Playing a charity show in Marino College in Dublin when the PA exploded in the first 30 seconds. We turned everything down and got everyone in really close and finished the show completely acoustic with no mics. It was the first time we really held a crowd. It wouldn't have worked anywhere else. Those disaster moments are always the most enjoyable in hindsight, especially when you pull them off somehow!
 
Favourite Venue
  
Favourite Piece of Musical/Recording Equipment
Our shiny Macbook Pro for opening up a whole world of cut-up electronia to us
  
Download or CD/Cassette/Record
I don’t have a Vinyl player anymore so CD's.  I'm a big "Album" fan in a traditional sense.  I like thinking of an album as a particular snapshot of an artist capturing their particular mindset at a point in time. It's about the whole package the way an artist intended it to be received.  The artwork, the sleeve notes, the songs themselves of course, the audio quality and listening from start to finish uninterrupted in the order that the artist defined. The kids are losing touch with that!
  
Favourite TV Show at the Moment
Not a big TV fan. Any old school sci-fi will do though

Best Movie Ever Seen
Again, tough to call, I love films. A toss up between; Lost In Translation by Sofia Coppola or any of Darren Aronofsky's films

Greatest Book Ever Read
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Most Listened to Radio Show
AAA on Phantom I'd say, though not a keen radio listener
 
What's in Store for CODES Next
Busy Times! Playing the Pigalle in London on Tuesday, Playing our biggest headline show yet at the Academy on July 5th, and playing Oxegen on the IMRO New sounds Stage on July 12th at 9.15pm. Then off to London again for the rest of July and commencing work on our debut album. It's always good to be busy!

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27

2008 will see Oxegen become a four day event for the first time.  Punters who have decided to stay on Thursday night will get to enjoy the Swamp Circus Theatre whose line up includes the smallest banjo orchestra in the world , a Headphone Disco and The Rocking Back the Clock Stage that will feature the likes of The Stone Roses Experience and AC/DC cover band, Hells Bells.

Friday July 11

Friday night see’s the Main Stage being headlined by the Kings of Leon and Interpol while the O2 Stage features the likes of dEUS and the Future Kings of Spain. For those of you who like their music a little more electronic, Aphex Twin, Battles and God is An Astronaut will all be appearing on the Pet Sounds Stage.

Irish interest on Friday centres on the Green Room which hosts the likes of BellX1, Mundy and (Key Notes’ personal favourite [/sarcasm]) The Kinetiks.

Key Notes One to Watch: Sugababes Cat PowerPet Sounds Stage

Saturday July 12

REM and The Verve can be seen strutting their stuff on the Main Stage on Saturday night. Key Notes first ever gig was The Verve in Slane and he has a rather interesting tale to tell about the night. However, such immoral, not to mention illegal, activities should never become public knowledge. Saturday will also allow festival goers play ‘will she, won’t she’ with Amy Winehouse being the special guest topic.

The Manic Street Preachers, Echo and the Bunnymen, Vampire Weekend and The Ting Tings are all part of a cracking Green Room line up, as are the mental, which obviously means brilliant, Brian Jonestown Massacre. Irish bands performing on Saturday include Codes (IMRO New Sounds Stage), Concerto for Constantine (Green Room) and Belfast’s own Oppenheimer (IMRO New Sounds Stage).

Key Notes One to Watch: Codes (IMRO New Sounds Stage)

Sunday July 13

Far from being the start of a wind down, Sunday has quite a strong line up. The Main Stage plays host Rage Against the Machine amidst rumours (started by, and only known to, Key Notes) of an imminent album announcement. Elsewhere, dance is well represented by Does it Offend You, Yeah (Dance Stage) and Chemical Brothers (02 Stage). 

The British invade these shores (don’t mention the war - Ed) in droves on Sunday with The Kooks and The Fratellis both playing the Main Stage while Ian Brown and Reverend and the Makers can both be found in the Green Room

Irish performances on Sunday come from Oscar winner Glen Hansard and Roisin Murphy (Pet Sounds Stage) as well as The Blizzards (Main Stage) and Fight Like Apes (2FM New Band Stage). 

Key Notes One to Watch: Band of Horses (Pet Sounds Stage)

For those of you who want to wake up hungover, tired and dirty on Monday morning, but having enjoyed a great weekend of music, a limited number of weekend tickets are still available for Oxegen from the usual outlets.


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24

Damon Krukowski and Naomi Yang are both former
members of Galaxie 500.  One of the the Eighties most influential bands, Galaxie 500 released three albums; Today, On Fire and This is our Music before breaking up in 1991.

As a duo, Damon and Naomi have released 7 albums, with their two most recent, Within These Walls and The Earth is Blue, being released on their own 20I20I20 label.  The duo play Whelan's on June 25th and, thanks to Forever Presents, Key Notes has a pair of tickets to give away. 

To win, simply email keynotes[at]cluas.com - replacing [at] with @ - stating your name and contact details.  Please put the words 'Damon & Naomi Competition' in the subject bar.  The winner will be drawn at random and will be notified before 4pm Wednesday afternoon.

Key Notes will be there, and with any luck we'll get to hear Song to the Siren, one of the best cover versions around:

 


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16

Being involved in writing about music has meant Key Notes reading a lot of books about music and musicians in particular.  Some biographies, such as Heavier than Heaven, are really interesting because they give you a genuine insight into the person, warts and all.  Then there are those, especially the ones written by big haired 80's rockers, that focus more on the protagonists ability to snort the GDP of a South American country than on the person behind the haircut.

Every now an then though, a work of genius comes along.  For Key Notes, that genius is Mark Oliver Everett, or E to his friends.  Having only a passing interest in Eels (Beautiful Freak and Electroshock Blues remained in their packaging until this weekend) this blogs curiosity was piqued when its friend Alison informed him that E was, in fact, the son of Hugh Everett, originator of the multiverse or 'many worlds' theory in physics.  Key Notes likes physics because, more than any other science, it allows scope for imagination. 

Last week, Key Notes went to Rome on holidays (nice history, horrible airport, people & traffic - CLUAS Verdict: 4 out of 10) and brought Things the Grandchildren Should Know with him.  However, as can happen, Euro 2008 (oh yeah, and culture and stuff) got in the way of actually reading the book, that is, until the plane journey home.  Upon reading that E's first physical contact with his dad was holding his cold, lifeless body at the age of 19, Key Notes was hooked and read the entire book during the 3 hour journey home.

I'm not going to spoil the book for those of you who haven't read it.  But for anyone who thinks they're having a tough time of it at the moment, think again.  How Everett has dealt with the amount of tragedy around him, particularly its timing, is almost beyond belief.  An inspiring read, so much so that Key Notes removed Beautiful Freak and Electroshock Blues from their plastic wrapping this weekend and was very well rewarded.  If you read one book this month, make it Things the Grandchildren Should Know.

And here's the song by the same name:


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06

Key Notes has teamed up with Foggy Notions to give two lucky CLUAS readers the chance to win double passes to see Dan Deacon bring his future shock sound to Vicar Street on Saturday June 14th as part of Future Days.  Also playing on the night will be Jape, Deerhunter, White Williams and High Places.

To be in with a chance to win, email keynotes[at]cluas.com with 'Dan Deacon Competition' in the subject bar and the answer to this simple question:

The song: The Crystal Cat appeared on which Dan Deacon album?

A) Spiderman of the Rings
B) Superman of the Swings
C) Oh man, I Never Win These Things

Your email should contain your contact details and the competition will remain open until midnight on Thursday June 12th with the winners being notified by email. 

Entrants must be over 18 and the judges, that's Key Notes, decision is final, so get mailing.

A special thanks to Leah for organising this competition.

And just to help your memory, here's the video for The Crystal Cat:


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Nuggets from our archive

2003 - Witnness 2003, a comprehensive review by Brian Kelly of the 2 days of what transpired to be the last ever Witnness festival (in 2004 it was rebranded as Oxegen when Heineken stepped into the sponsor shoes).