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Tag: "Dublin"

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Discourse & Dischord

The Good

Gordon Pinsent reads excerpts from Justin Bieber memoir

Get your LOLs right here, folks. First up, a memoir written by a 16-year-old. Ha! And, it’s entitled “First Step 2 Forever.”  The laughs don’t end there. Here’s a video of the esteemed actor Gordon Pinsent doing a dramatic reading of Justin Bieber’s riveting tome. Enjoy—we did.

Alicia Keys gives birth to Egypt

Not the country! That would be sooo 3150 BC. Alicia Keys and husband Swizz Beatz (born Kasseem Dean) welcomed a baby boy this week named Egypt Dauode Dean. May he grow up to become a very successful pharaoh.

The Bad

Glastonbury Festival shelved for 2012 due to toilet shortage

We wouldn’t wish more port-a-potties on anyone, but this does give us pause. England’s Glastonbury Festival has been canceled for 2012 due to the Olympics taking place in London that same year … and the ensuing toilet shortage. Athletes are such loo-sers.

Kanye’s album cover art banned? He wishes.

Kanye West is a legend in his own mind. But he may also be a victim in his own mind as well. The rapper griped on his Twitter page that Wal-mart had censored the cover art for his upcoming album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Tweeted the rapper: “So Nirvana can have a naked human being on they [sic] cover but I can’t have a PAINTING of a monster with no arms and a polka dot tail and wings.” Oh the injustice! Is it too much to ask for a man to be left in peace with his armless polka dot monster? IS SOCIETY SO INTOLERANT—what’s that? Wal-mart didn’t censor the cover? Oh. Uh, never mind. As you were.

The Ugly

Cantankerous singer pegs bottle at Mumford and Sons

Mark E. Smith of the band The Falls was getting ready for his set at a Dublin music festival when a terrible caterwauling struck his ears. Next door, the hugely successful English folk band, Mumford and Sons, was warming up. “I just thought they were a load of retarded Irish folk singers,” Smith explains. So, understandably, he threw a bottle at them to encourage them to silence their plaintive yawping. The bottle fell short of its target and Mumford and Sons went on to sell one trillion records.


Pluck o’ the Irish


Cold Hands, Warm Hearts: The Guggenheim Grotto

Plenty of Irish folk bands have found eager listeners on American soil over the years, beginning with the Chieftains and Clancy Brothers in the 60s and 70s. If Irish folk popularity had waned a bit in recent years, the 2007 Irish musical “Once,” and its resulting folk duo, the Swell Season, reindoctrinated audiences here in the States. So it’s no surprise that another duo of Dubliners, The Guggenheim Grotto, is riding a wave of success stateside as well.

The twosome is comprised of Mick Lynch and Kevin May, who create lush and euphoric folk pop with just a handful of stringed instruments, a keyboard and some pretty great vocal harmonies. “Her Beautiful Ideas” begins with marching beat and a funereal organ and then breaks into a soaring pop chorus of pulsing guitar and bubbling bass lines. Likewise, “Fee Da Da Dee” is a dreamy synth pop melody that harkens back to ‘80s dance floors. Sometimes complex, sometimes deceptively simple, The Guggenheim Grotto’s arrangements are almost always infused with joy. If you’re seeking solace in a sad song, maybe put on the soundtrack to “Once.” Otherwise, we recommend spinning these guys – just make sure you clear some room to dance.





Today we journey to The Emerald Isle to throw back a Guinness and take a look at the Irish music scene. Have you ever heard of some guy called Bono or a lady called Enya? How about the pope-picture-tearin’ Sinéad O’Connor? Apparently the entire world has. These international superstar artists helped throw Irish music into the consciousness of the American mainstream. Many Irish bands like The Chieftains and The Corrs stay true to their Irish folk roots. Other Irish acts, such as Bell X1 and My Bloody Valentine, are hard to tell apart from their American or British contemporaries. Then, of course, there are artists like Morrissey with Irish blood and English heart. Nevertheless, Ireland has a strong track record of producing quality music. Give a listen to these up-and-coming OurStage Irish acts before you’re spending $300 on their special edition iPods and taking a third mortgage out on your house to see them live from the nosebleed seats:

Irish folk rock band The Rye keeps things festive with their spirited tune “The Banana Song”. One listen and you’ll soon picture yourself in an Irish pub surrounded by an entire village of friends singing along. Just try not to your footprints all over the bar.

With Bloc Party rhythms and dreamy harmonies, Angel Pier has a sure fire recipe for power pop stardom. At least that’s what NME thinks. Judge for yourself by listening to their rock ballad “Emily”.

Sisters Fiona, Nayome and Evangeline O’Neill form the dangerously addictive pop trip The Girls DEFY. Formally known under the name Sirocco, The Girls DEFY moved to the states to try their hand at the American music scene. Lady Gaga better watch out for these girls. With hooks reminiscent of The Writing’s on the Wall album by Destiny’s Child, The Girls DEFY are poised to dominate Top 40 radio for the next decade.



BATS are a noisy Dublin rock band that recently recorded their debut full length, Red In Tooth & Claw with Kurt Ballou from Converge in Salem, Massachusetts. The band has been making a name for themselves after a few choice opening spots for bands like The Locust, Liars and These Arms Are Snakes. Their song “Credulous! Credulous!” is full of raw post-rock energy with a dash of dance-punk and a touch of cowbell.

Stand is an Irish band with an old school country fried approach to storytelling through music. Fans of The Hold Steady and Magnolia Electric Co. are sure to warm up to this band. Stand is set to co-headline with Jukebox the Ghost on CMJ Opening Night at the Delancey October 20th.

If you’re tired of waiting for Garbage to put out new material you can look no further than Alphastates to fill the void for electro pop with female vocal attitude. Their track “Angel Kiss” shows us a band that was reared on a healthy diet of Portishead and Joy Division. Alphastates have had the honor of opening for the likes of Cat Power, Mercury Rev and Zero 7.


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