Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas...

What a Banker Part 2...

Back in 12OCT08 I wrote about the audacity of Sean Fitzpatrick, of Anglo Irish Bank, advising the Government about fiscal and social policy after his bank needed to be bailed out by the Irish taxpayer.

As you probably know by now, he was discovered last week to have been, ahem, hiding his own loan of €87M from the bank's auditors by transferring the loan to another bank before the annual audit and then putting it back into his Anglo-Irish a/c after the audit. This was going on for 8 years and the auditors never noticed it in either bank until this year! Full story and other Anglo-Irish resignations here.

Neck like a jockey's .....

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Hallelujah Quiz...

I got eight.

See how you get on.


The Christmas Number One...

Back in the day, this used to be a big thing; now no-one even knows what's number one at the moment.

Anyway, click HERE for all the songs that have been U.K. Christmas Number Ones.

I personally will never forgive The Pet Shop Boys for beating The Pogues & Kirsty McColl to #1 in 1987!

RTE's new USA Correspondent...

I know I shouldn't laugh at this:

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Leonard Cohen Bucks The Trend...

While this has been a brutal economic year globally, it has been an amazing earning year from good ol' Mr. Cohen.

After a critically acclaimed World Tour that has grossed handsomely, his song HALLELUJAH has been chosen as the 1st single for the new X-Factor winner. This is the icing on the cake.

I read in The Sunday Times, that expectations are, it'll give him a windfall of €278k based on a 10% royalty (this is more than the actual X-Factor singer will earn from the sales of the single).

Of course, Len was badly burnt when his former manager bled him dry while he was training to be a Buddist monk back in the boom times.


Monday, December 8, 2008

Some great new songs from 2008...

THE FELICE BROTHERS Frankie's Gun: Available here. Listen here.

RANDY NEWMAN Feels Like Home: Available here. Listen here.

RY COODER Waitin' For Some Girl: Available here.

JOSEPH ARTHUR & THE LONELY ASTRONAUTS Heart's A Soldier: Available here. Listen here.

ISOBEL CAMPBELL & MARK LANEGAN Come On Over (Turn Me On): Available here. Taster here.

VAMPIRE WEEKEND Oxford Comma: Available here. Listen here.

THE KILLERS Human: Available here. Listen here.

THE LAST SHADOW PUPPETS The Age Of The Understatement: Available here. Listen here.

These cost €0.99 each, so knock yourself out.

On the Dylan Tour Again...

Dylan has a UK and Ireland tour planned for the Spring.

2008 was the first year in ages I haven't been to a Bob gig, so this is good news.

Tickets have been gathered for Glasgow, Edinburgh and Dublin in early May.

Looking forward to seeing Rita, Fred, Liamy and Jim there, or thereabouts.

Hope security is tighter than this:

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Dylan Plays Dublin on the 5th Day of May...

Tickets go on sale on Monday 08DEC08.

Click here.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Dunphy Disses the "Roy Keane Mythology"...

... with John Motson, on the BBC (yes, the station and people that he always dismisses on RTE)...you really couldn't make this up:


Watch the Irish media mirror the Dunph's view over the coming days/weeks, as they always do.

It's the ECONOMY, Stupid...

Ok, I'm confused.

In the light of the ongoing credit crunch here's what's going on presently:

Here in Ireland, our government has increased VAT. and told us we've been borrowing too much and it's time to save.

The Brits have decreased VAT and told their subjects to spend, spend, spend.

The American's have taken control of a load of their banks, like only socialist countries did before, and put their interest rates somewhere near zero.

Who's right?

Meanwhile, in all these country's media, economists have become more recognisable than the celebrities you would see on a reality show.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Rolling Thunder Review Photograph Exhibition...

The above photo exhibition hits Dublin in Gallery Number One in Castle Street, Dublin2.

Details HERE.

Friday, November 28, 2008

The Focus Group and Jinx Lennon...

And so it was off to The Bailey last night to see The Focus Group open for Jinx Lennon in the basement bar.

The boys came on stage gowned up in anti-contamination work-wear and warmed the crowd up nicely with their contagious sound.

Then it was over to the guerilla folk-punk of Dundalk man Jinx Lennon. This was my first time seeing Jinx (I had only heard him on the interweb before) and I was mighty impressed.

Jinx tells it like it is and sings songs that ring true about the bad and the good of modern life. He also got great accompaniment from Miss Paula Flynn. If he is playing at a venue near you, check him out. His album is called KNOW YOUR STATION GOUGER NATION!!! The picture above is of Jinx and your host....two Louth men in the South-East.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Tell Tale Signs Disc3...

Just a quick line to let ya'll know you can listen to the extra disc from Dylan's Tell Tale Signs (legally) over at his website. "Duncan & Brady" gets things off to a great start.

Here's the link:


Nice graphics too!!!

Economists and their predictions...

The interesting thing about this video-compilation is not so much how much one American economist (Peter Schiff) was right but how wrong (and sneering) all the other economists were:

Like Father, Like Son...

Here's Jakob Dylan's recent performance on BBC's Later...

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Nicodemus Review of a 1980 classic...

My recommendation of Searching For The Young Soul Rebels got shown, as this week's pick, on the 7Digital/The Word download store.

You can read it here (up until next Thursday).

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The IT Crowd...

The IT Crowd is back, on Channel4, this Friday (21NOV08) for it's third series.

Jolly Good!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Curb Your Enthusiasm...

Season 7 Confirmed. Look here.


Discovery Of 2008...

A pretty good 11min video profile of The Felice Brothers:

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Bill Bailey retires from tv panel shows...

A great pity for tv comedy watchers. Click here for the story.

Here he is on QI:

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Joe Frazier doesn't forget...

Watched a powerful documentary on MORE4 last night called "THRILLA IN MANILA".

It tells the story of the Joe Frazier/Muhammad Ali fights of the 1970's, with interviews with Frazier and various other background people.

In these days when Ali is deified (and he was a great sportsman), it's poignant to remember some of his, basically nasty, comments to Frazier from this time.

Anyway, this brilliantly made film is a great reminder of when boxing really was the most important sport in the world.

Keep an eye on your tv listings for this one.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Glenn Tilbrook, The Spirit Store and a Fish Pie...

Went to see SQUEEZE man Glenn Tilbrook perform a solo gig in Dundalk (Co.Louth)'s Spirit Store on Saturday night and what a great show he put on.

Alternating between a twelve string and six string guitar Tilbrook cooked up a storm. On a set that was sprinkled with SQUEEZE classics and solo stuff it was a really entertaining night. On the intermission he even brought out some fish pie he had cooked earlier in his camper van for the crowd to sample!

The Spirit Store is a tiny venue but that only adds to the atmosphere.

A highly enjoyable night and I recommend you go see him if he's playing in a town near you.

Brendan Keane, who writes a music column in the Enniscorthy Echo did a fine job in the sometimes precarious opening slot.

Yes, that's me with Glenn on a slightly shaky photograph.

Great to meet up with a lot of family and friends on the night too.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Obama night..

Watched the results coming in through the night. What a victory!

Here's the ever modest Gore Vidal on BBC News:

Monday, November 3, 2008

Rory Delap and that throw...

I see Rory Delap created more goals at the weekend for Stoke. This is becoming a phenonomen.

Time for an Ireland recall?

Friday, October 31, 2008

Songs For Halloween...

I'll open up the crypt with these:

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Kings Of Comedy...

Prize cesspits Jonathon Ross & Russel Brand have been displaying their , eerr, sense of humour by phoning up 78yr old actor Andrew Sachs and leaving lewd messages on his answering machine regarding his grand-daughter and generally slagging him off; all as a part of Brand's BBC radio show.

Listen to all the full clips here.

Timeline of events, and other relevant links, here.

The reason given by Ross was "you don't realise, that what you're doing, has a reality outside".

Ross is BBC's highest paid broadcaster.

Update: Interview with Sachs.

Negative Article About Roy Keane in Irish Paper SHOCK...

Nearly fell off my chair when I found a negative article about Roy Keane in the Irish Independent to-day.

Normal service will be resumed soon, I'm sure.

Ian Dowie Sacked...

Q.P.R. have "terminated the contract" of Ian Dowie after 15matches in charge (official, short, statement here).

This time last year The "R"'s were bottom of the Championship and out of the Leagure Cup. This year they are 9th and still in the League Cup after beating Premiership competion en route.

The club would have been delighted with this position 12 months ago.

I suppose, when there is big money put in, the pressures are different.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

"When Dredger Shoots...He Shoots To Kill!

I was a relatively big reader of 1970's comics as a young lad.

Favourites were:

Roy Of The Rovers,
Tiger and Scorcher,
and, best of all, ACTION.

This last one was quite violent and featured tough guys for tough situations. Just the thing for a nine-year-old boy. Even the sport was killer...Spinball, anyone?

Anyway, I've come across a site that details all things ACTION. It details the the story of the comic, the ban, some of the actual strips etc.

Here it is:


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Sarah Silverman's London Debut...

Comedy's new "big thing" from America has had pretty dire reviews for her U.K. debut:


Saturday, October 18, 2008

Levi Stubbs R.I.P.

One of the great voices in pop:

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Gerry Ryan's book...

Brace youself for the following thoughts of an Irish DJ:

"My canteen is the restaurant of the Four Seasons Hotel," he writes in a chapter headed Fine Dining. "I have all my meetings in that restaurant. I know Louis Walsh does the same thing."

"I think Irish people still need to wake up to the joys of sommeliers... My favourite sommelier was Pascal in Dromoland."

"I go first class with Aer Lingus to JFK.....There's a big seat, everyone's attentive and nice," he goes on. "I have a few drinks, and when I'm with my family, I see them enjoying the fruits of my labour .... Then we get to New York and there's a limousine waiting to take us to Manhattan.

"We check into Fitzpatrick's and go upstairs to one of the suites, or as we did last year, to the penthouse ... And the path is always greased. Maybe U2 are playing in Giants Stadium, and the backstage passes will be waiting for us in the Rockefeller ...."

"My favourite tipple is Jameson twelve-year-old. I like Gold Reserve ... I used to spend a lot of time collecting single malt whiskies .... At one stage I had a big collection of whiskies, fifty or sixty, and I would delight (in an obsessive compulsive way) in lining them up."

"My eldest son Rex, who was eight or nine at the time, was in charge of the two big humidors [cigars], and he had the business of keeping the cigars at the right temperature down to a fine art. ..."He kept the whiskies' labels all turned out front too."

"These days, Paris for me is staying at the Hotel Meurice up at the Jardins des Tuileries.

"You can't even get in there unless you've got a grand in your sock

I've quoted all this self-absorbed crap, as it was reviewed, here.

Should stop you buying the book in case you were considering it!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Three Little Bops...

I reckon I'll be down circa. €2k after to-day's budget.

So, to cheer myself up I'm posting this old Jazz era cartoon:


Monday, October 13, 2008

Recent albums ripped to mp3 player...

I've been getting some of my recent (and one not so recent) cd's onto my Creative Vision:M this evening.

Here's the list:

Wavelength (2008 version) - Van Morrison
Radio Bob vol2 - Uncut compilation cd (November'08)
Now Hear This! - Word compilation cds (Sept & Oct '08)
Best Of - Creedence Clearwater Revival
No Guru, No Method, No Teacher (2008 version) - Van Morrison
Harps and Angels - Randy Newman***
I, Flathead - Ry Cooder
Tell Tale Signs - Bob Dylan
Vampire Weekend - Vampire Weekend
Seeing Things - Jakob Dylan
A Piece Of What You Need - Teddy Thompson

and the oldie from 1998

Deserter's Songs - Mercury Rev

Pretty tasty bunch.

*** here's a sample from the above list that's pretty timely:

Here's a good chuckle...

Peter Serafinowicz impersonates 50 "made-up" celebrities in 2 minutes. It goes by so fast you'll want to play it again:

See more funny videos at Funny or Die UK

Sunday, October 12, 2008

With friends like these...

McCain has to stand up for Obama from his own voters:

Then again, he did pick Palin as his running mate....

What a Banker...

A Bailed-Out Banker's advice for Ireland:

Sean Fitzpatrick of troubled bank Anglo-Irish Bank, which was one of the Irish banks bailed out by the tax-payer due to their poor value property loans, has advised the Government in the upcoming budget to introduce a cut in corporation tax, a reduction in children's allowances, a reduction in the state pension and put restrictions on the medical card scheme.

That he has the nerve to lecture on social policy in Ireland, and still sees fit to offer suggestions on tax policy, so shortly after the way he and his ilk have put the economy at risk, is breathtaking.

Oh, and what was he earning for a year's work at the height of all this reckless financial carry-on?

Details still available by clicking here.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Its Nighttime In The Big City...

Season3 of the acclaimed TTRH has begun.

First show MONEY can be downloaded from here.

For further shows check on the link on the RHS of this blog every thursday.

Peace Out.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Hollywood targets the big guys...

The Film Industry is targetting playschools that show films to the under-fives.

They want "each child [to] pay a fee of €3 plus 17.5% Vat per year to watch DVDs in their playgroup.

Ahh, heartwarming stuff.

For the full story, from The Sunday Times, click here.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Dylan & Son...

Went down to my local independent record shop and bought Bob Dylan's new album, Tell Tale Signs (Bootleg Series vol.8). I just don't like buying the new Dylan cds over the 'net. I guess I'm old-fashioned and too impatient to wait for the postman (I wouldn't dream of just geting the download). The 1st three songs are previously unreleased versions of "Mississippi", "Most Of The Time" and "Dignity". What a trio to kick things off.

Its another reminder how strong some of the stuff Dylan has done in what would be a time of "clocking it in" for most other artists.

Anyway, while I was down there I spotted his son Jakob has a new album out too (also on Columbia), so I bought that too.

Imagine trying to make it in the music bizz, on your own terms, when Dylan is your father! The best of luck to him.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Joe Kinnear's first week in the job...

This is a hell of an exchange between the new (temporary) Newcastle United manager and the local press as recorded in The Guardian.

After reading down the potty-mouthed transcript, you'll enjoy the last question & answer.

Click on the link below.


Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Palin's foreign policy expertise...

... is that she lives in Alaska and eeerrr, Alaska is near Russia:

Good God! Surely McCain/Pailin can't win...... can they?

Listen to new the Dylan album for free...

NPR have been give permission form Columbia/Sony to stream the new "Bootleg Series Vol.8" release TELL TALE SIGNS for one week before it's Oct 7th release. Click on the link below:


Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Focus Group Hot Press review...

Excerpt from the FIRST CUTS CLINIC column by Jackie Hayden mentioned in my previous post:

The Focus Group impressed with their quirky attitude and their damn fine music. The attractively repetitive "Clothes" was inspired by espying a girl's underwear and it shapes like a Velvet Underground track remade for the 3rd millennium. Their front man Steven O'Brien oozes the required attitude in spades. "Private Function" is a sort of put-down of bouncers and has the confidence and art-swagger of a Roxy Music, while "I'm In Retail" is a hilarious punkish rap, with metal overtones. For a band who claim not to be a band at all, and only meet every second Sunday in some body's living room, they make a stimulating racket.

[then at end of the column]


WOW! Well done to Steven, Colm et al.

There are previous posts on the lads to be found here on the blog archive.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Some small gigs coming up...

Hoping to catch Glen Tilbrook in the (very petite) Spirit Store in Dundalk in November.

And, staying with the Co. Louth connection, I also hope to catch Nicodemus favourites The Focus Group as they support Dundalk man Jinx Lennon in The Bailey in Enniscorthy (also in November).

By the way, I'm hearing rumours on the grapevine of a glowing (live) review for The Focus Group in this week's Hot Press. More news when I get the magazine to-morrow.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Blood Meridian, Cormac McCarthy..

Have recently finished the above book and what a tough read it was!

It's the story of a band of scalp hunters in the old West circa.1850. This doesn't even begin to describe the violence that is within. The band of evildoers basically go on a (near) endless odyssey of slaying, torture and depravity around the Texas/Mexico region collecting Indian/Mexican scalps for money.

It's all told in very descriptive, albeit overlong, writing style.

It's had tremendous reviews, so it must be just me, but I didn't enjoy it.

Friday, September 19, 2008

This is NOT a radio comedy sketch...

Found this over at The Word.

This is an actual conversation between BBC West Midlands' Les Ross and his guest, the writer/broadcaster Hardeep Singh Kohli.

It only lasts about 4mins. Here's some advice: take off your shoes to allow your toes to curl. Now, press the play button on the left.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

John Lydon advertises butter...

Now, I know that everyone is entitled to make a living and they can advertise anything they like but when I remember the self-righteousness of the young Johnny Rotten, I can't help thinking what he would have made of this.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Roxy Music...

One of the great pop bands is getting the BBC4 treatment this Friday night.

Here's the details:


Monday, September 15, 2008

Flippin' eck, Tucker...

I see here that Grange Hill has finally come to an end on the BBC.

Back in the late '70's, early '80's this was essential viewing for any young teenager.

For me, it lost my interest after the initial cast left.

Here's the theme tune:

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Daily Show from the Republican Convention...

Wanna quick rundown of the Republican convention?

Here's Jon Stewart from St. Paul last week:

and some good ol' fashioned political hypocrisy:

As I write, McCain/Palin are ahead in the polls...

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Wire Season1...

I've just finished the dvd box-set of season1 of the HBO series THE WIRE and have to say, after reading all the glowing reviews, it's as good as I dared to hope.

I got delivery of season2 on Tuesday for just €21 including p&p (good old eBay).

Hope to get started into it next week. In the meantime I've got another bid going on for Season3.

[The next comment is NOT a spoiler, in case you're worried]

The thing that struck me about season1 is how many decisions in life are made to try to avoid work or hassle.

Guess it's just part of the human condition!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Spiderman goal celebration...

Newcastle have signed Jonas Gutierrez. Here's him celebrating a goal:

Football pundits...

I was watching the tv coverage of the Georgia/Ireland game last night on RTE.

John Giles was asked, as usual for his pre-match prediction of the game. Now, I think you'll agree this is not a curveball question for a professional football pundit.

However, John said he "had no idea" as he didn't know anything about the Georgian team and therefore couldn't give an analysis.

I would have thought that, if your job was football punditry that you would do some homework on the teams you are about to be watching (especially as the fixture was set ten months ago).

Come on Johnny, the job isn't that hard!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Fine Gael strikes again...

The latest brainwave from the main Irish opposition party, in response to the increasing unemployment figures, is to pay off "foreign" jobless workers and try to send 'em home (look here).

This comes after their suggestion a few weeks ago about "segregating" immigrant school children, previously mentioned here.

And I thought the present crowd were worth worrying about.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Mad Men on Rte...

I see here that RTE have picked up the excellent series "Mad Men". It's on pretty late but you should try to catch it.

The 1st episode of series one went out last night. I watched the whole series earlier this year on bbc4 and can't rate it's production values highly enough. It makes 48 years ago seem like a whole different planet (on so many levels).

Don Draper is the new anti-Hero.

Season2 is currently underway in the U.S.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Top Gear is coming to Dublin...

If you happen to be in Dublin on the same day as Jeremy Clarkson please buy 6eggs and use them accordingly.

The U.S.A. Election...

The Republican Party appear to be the "natural party of government" in America. It seems to take a hell of a lot for the Democratic Party to win elections in the modern era.

I mean, how is the present race so evenly poised?

The last 8years of Republican rule has, to put it mildly, been embarrassing. The Democrats have a candidate that is intelligent, eloquent and apparently level-headed. Surely this would make a refreshing change? Yet the pools have the vote as "50-50".
Bizarrely, the Republican Party have focused on Obama's lack of experience and then they put in someone of even lesser experience, as their VP candidate. [This is seemingly to get Hilary's Democrats to flip over. The fact that these two women hold diametrically different views on almost every liberal/conservative issue doesn't seem to bother them].

Still, it'll be an interesting nine weeks ahead.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Ex-Irish Players Take Over Soccer Media...

The amount of Republic of Ireland soccer players from the late '80's and 90's who are employed by the media is quite impressive. Look at this lot:

Andy Townsend, Jim Beglin (ITV),

Mark Lawrenson (BBC, TV3, Irish Times, TodayFM)

Mick McCarthy (BBC)

Tony Cascarino (The (London) Times, TodayFM))

Frank Stapleton (Sky Sports)

Pat Bonner, Kevin Moran (TV3)

Liam Brady, Ronnie Whelan, Kenny Cunningham, Ray Houghton (RTE)

Michael Robinson (Spanish station Cuatro TV)

Paul McGrath, Denis Irwin, John Aldridge all do various media stuff too.

Nice work.

Friday, August 29, 2008

A bit of A Bit Of Fry & Laurie...

I loved the above series when it was on tv. There is loads of sketches on youtube to investigate.

Here's one of them:

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Seven Days Too Long...

I was listening to the brilliant (1980) debut from Dexys Midnight Runners, Searching For The Young Soul Rebels, to-night.

One of my all-time favourite albums.

There is one cover-track by the lads on the album. Here's the original version:

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man...

I watched the above documentary/film on DVD recently.

Basically it's performances of the great man's songs by other artists (I had been at the Dublin leg of this retrospective) with bits of an interview from L. Cohen himself interspersed throughout, along with more talk from the guest artists. Full details at the imdb site.

The songs were all performed admirably enough but, of course, you would prefer the man himself singing them, along with listening to more of his chatter.

And it should be mentioned, as a matter of public service, that there is a high level of Bono content.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Classic Albums PodCast...

This is basically a chat between two music lovers (Gary & Stephen) about the music they've been recently listening to. They generally pick two albums and give their thoughts on them. Both have different tastes which make it interesting.

It ain't earth-shattering stuff but an enjoyable listen if you're driving your car or stuck on the bus.

I listened to my first one yesterday (Sgt. Peppers/Blue) and will be dipping back in for more.

Here's the link:


Thursday, August 21, 2008

Van Morrison's revamped site...

Van's people have set up a video channel on the official site.

This is good news because it features some great performances (the bad news is all the unofficial stuff has been removed from youtube).

Anyway, here's a great version of St. Dominic's Preview:

and an oldie:

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Off-Licences now must close earlier...

Just back from my local off-licence, picking up 6 bottles of Tooheys Extra Dry, when the proprietor tells me that he now has to close earlier.

Seemingly the government are trying to stop binge drinking and under-age drinking. In order to achieve this noble aim, they have brought in legislation to make off-licences close at 10pm (they used to have roughly the same opening hours as on-licence premises).

Of course, if young lads/lassies want to get out of their face, they are always well stocked-up long before 10pm.

Just another example of politicians being able to say "look, we did something".

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Irish Political News to-day...

All the front page news in to-day's Irish Independent is of interest.

1) Segregation call in Irish schools: An opposition TD wants to "segregate" immigrants who don't have English as a first language from the "mainstream" school population.

I won't even go into how dangerous to society this policy would be; but what is laughable is how we would staff up these additional classes. We already are screaming out for more teachers and, indeed schools.
Surely it would be better to have "out-of hours" English classes for these kids. Maybe, they could be taught by people trained to teach basic English (not necessarily fully trained teachers).

2) TD's & Senators employing relatives in their departments. 'nuff said.

3) Houses built in the last 15yrs, on flood plains, blamed for recent floodings of roads and towns.
Why were houses allowed to be built on flood plains & water tables ? Oh yeah, politicians gave permission to property people.

4) The Department of the Taoiseach's phone messages instruct callers that Bertie Ahern is still our Prime Minister.
He resigned 4months ago.

5) Bono had lunch with Queen Rania of Jordan, Nicolas Sarkozy & spouse Carla Bruni. What do they talk about?

Monday, August 18, 2008

Props needed for The IT Crowd...

Graham Linehan is looking for props for the new series (well, in a casual way).

The main piece of interest, of course, is that there is a new series of the quite excellent sit-com.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Ronnie Drew R.I.P....

Another sad passing:

Here's The Dubliners with The Pogues on ToTp:

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Jerry Wexler R.I.P....

Producer Jerry Wexler, who passed away on Friday 15AUG08, was involved in some of the greatest music recorded in the last 60 years. Indeed, the term producer isn't big enough for this guy.

There are reams of stuff about the great man that you can read on t'net.

Here's just one guy he worked with, Big Joe Turner:

Obama sings Astley...

Friday, August 15, 2008

Major Sports & The Olympics...

The Olympic medal is the pinnacle of achievement in a wide variety of sports.

However, since the abandonment of "amateurism", in major sports it is definitely not.

Therefore, in my opinion, it is totally inappropriate to have medal competions in, say, soccer and tennis when the likes of the World Cup and Wimbledon totally supersede them.

What's next? An Olympic medal for golf? Horse racing? Snooker?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Taxi Driving has gone easy...

Myself and Mrs. Nicodemus got a taxi from Dublin airport in the early hours of Sunday morning (a canoe might have been a better idea).

Anyway, we gave the driver our desired address, he promptly inputted it into his sat/nav, and brought us directly to our destination.

Looks like having local knowledge is no longer a necessity for a cabbie.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Back from Italy...

Came back on Sunday morning to a waterlogged Dublin airport and it hasn't stopped raining here since. At least we got 2weeks of great weather in Italia!

Anyway loads of news on the web about the Dylan bootleg series vol8 release but let me draw your attention here and here.

Also heard from Fred that the Tom Waits gigs were a triumph in the Phoenix Park. He also gave me this link to a full concert from the tour here.

Leonard Cohen may be coming to the new O2 (Point) venue.

Now I have to go and get ready for work to-morrow. Grrrrrr....

Friday, July 25, 2008

Right, I'm off to Italy in the morning...

See ya when I get back.

I'll leave you with this classic:

Getting Entertainment For Holidays...

I'm off to Lake Garda, Italy for two weeks on Saturday, so I've spent the night uploading audio books & podcasts to my old Creative ZEN Xtra.

I already have all my music/videos on my newer Creative Vision:M.

Along with a paperback of BLOOD MERIDIAN by Cormac McCarthy, I should be okay poolside, whilst my skin gets toasted (hope I don't get the same colour as the students below!).

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Orange students BANNED...

No,no, this isn't some Orange Order ban that the N.Ireland Executive have brought in.

Seemingly teenage girls are turning up, in school, with "Jaffa fake tans" that they have styled on their role models, .i.e glamour models and wives/girlfriends of rich men (what ambition! does Career Guidance cover these aspirations?).

And one school headteacher has had enough.

In my day a good tanning at school meant a whole different thing.

First things to do when recession looms...

Since the downturn in the Irish economy I've heard the following proposals being put forward [on mainstream media]:

a) Reduce the minimum wage by €1 an hour.

b) For people starting to sign on the dole (because of the downturn), abandon the modern system of their benefit going into their a/c's by direct debit and, instead, make them revert to the old way of having to physically queue up every week for their money.

Good to see we're tackling the luxuries in our economy(!)

Also noticed that our ex-leader Bertie has been appointed to the "World Economic Forum's Council on Negotiation and Conflict Resolution".

In the meantime he's been called back to the Mahon "payments to polticians" tribunal for, ehh, negotiation and resolution of his bewildering evidence to date.

Methinks The World will seem a piece of cake after that!!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Sarkozy gets a "Cead Mile Failté"...

The French President dropped in for a visit to-day.

rte.ie opened up it's website for comments. Here's two of them:

Name: Rita Crampton
Location: Dublin
Mr Sarkozy, Stop playing 'grown-up' games like a good boy and go back to playing with your new toy - oops, I mean wife!

Name: Padraig Murphy
Location: Dublin, South Side
Can I please go back to Paris with you? Things have gone belly up here and I don't want to be the last to leave town. giss a Job!!!

Click here for more.

Au Revoir.

Harrington wins Open for 2-in-a-row...

Just been watching the highlights of Padraig Harrington's British Open win and it again occurred to me how much success/influence this small nation of 3 - 4 million has in the sports/arts world.

Quite extraordinary.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Ever get the giggles...

I found this on the excellent Graham Linehan blog (link on the RHS):

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Wire...

I've been reading* rave reviews about the above HBO tv series for the last six months, or so, in various magazines and newspaper columns.

As it was too late to get into the show (series5 starts on tg4 next week) I've been sourcing the 1st series on dvd. I got a great price to-night on eBay of just €20 including delivery (luckily I got a seller based in Ireland, as the postage on these things is usually prohibitive). On the high-street, Zavvi & HMV were selling it for €35.

I was a big fan of THE SOPRANOS and pretty much thought you couldn't get much better tv drama than that, but all the chatter says THE WIRE even surpasses it!

Looking forward to seeing if it does.

* When I say "reading" I never got very far past the first few words in case there were any spoilers in there. I even avoided watching the creator of the show on THE CULTURE SHOW on BBC2 the other night, in case too much was said.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Sorry it's only Friday, and not Wednesday...

Here's Flight Of The Conchords anyway.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Ageing Rock Stars Saved From Poverty by Charlie McCreevy...

I see here that "ageing rock stars and session musicians will keep receiving royalties for their old recordings for the rest of their lives under a European Union plan".

Whilst this is good news for minor performers, session musicians, bit players etc., the big boys get a hell of an extension to their earnings.

Of course, all this means for us is that it'll "lead to increased costs for consumers, who would be forced to pay for royalties for longer".

Fair play to struggling performers Sir Cliff Richard, Roger Daltrey, Sir Paul McCartney and U2 who campaigned for the move.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Big Beer...

It just struck me that I haven't mentioned Beer yet on this blog:

I see that Belgian beer behemoth InBev (Stella Artois etc.) have bought out that other behemoth Anheuser-Busch (Budweiser etc.) to become No1 in the beer producing business (SABMiller was numero uno).

Heineken/Carlsberg recently bought out Scotttish & Newcastle.

And then, of course there is Diageo.

I personally try and drink independent brewed beer (had some Indian beer called COBRA on Monday night, lovely stuff). Of course, being Irish, the honourable exception is Guinness (Diageo). I have a fondness for the stuff.

Totally unrelated, here's an update on Ronnie Wood.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Bowie as Ziggy in 1972...

Been listening to the new official release of the previous bootleg "Live In Santa Monica '72".

Its a barnstorming gig from Bowie/Ziggy's first tour of the U.S. backed up by The Spiders From Mars, with a tour-de-force performance by the late Mick Ronson. Highly recommended.

Here is a review from Rolling Stone.

Yeah, it's Monday but try sitting still to these...

don't fancy yours...

digital with a capital D...

Hey Ebo!..Ebo-nettes

This guy is just showing me up...

my memory has just been sold...

Have a great week...

Saturday, July 12, 2008

The Irish Weather...

Another miserable, wet, grey day here in south-east Ireland.

When I was driving home this morning, from nightshift, a public-funded ad came on the radio saying not to use too much water if you're hosing the garden or, better still, to not hose the garden at all.

Are they 'aving a laugh?

Btw, if you see Ronnie Wood around Ireland tell him to phone home.

Friday, July 11, 2008

New Sherlock Holmes Movie...

A new Holmes movie is great news*

That it'll star Robert Downey Junior is great news.

That it'll be directed by Guy Ritchie is ....well....we'll see.

Some details in Variety.

* Not to be confused with the new Sherlock Holmes comedy starring Sacha Baron Cohen.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Wedding ATM...

I came across this story to-night:


Why didn't I think of that on my wedding day?

The Focus Group: Last Night At The Fair...

Thanks to lead singer Steven for alerting me to the fact that the lads put up a montage of their (previously mentioned here) Enniscorthy Strawberry Fair capers on youtube; backed up with their new song.

Lovely stuff:

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Handy Dandy...

The song Handy Dandy from Bob Dylan's UNDER THE RED SKY album was performed live for the first time on 27JUN08 in Spain. This now means that every song from this under-rated album has now been performed in concert.

I've always picked this song in the predictive song-list parlour game Dylan pool (now at http://www.theneverendingpool.com/) in the hope it would get played.

The subject of this opaque song has always been a mystery with everthing from Prince(!) to Jesus(?) (under HANDY DANDY here http://www.alilyamongthorns.8m.com/cgi-bin/framed/3228/frarticles.html ) getting a mention.

Anyway, thanks to a kind dude, here is the released version and that new live one:

Peace Out.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Enough by John Naish...

I'm currently reading the above book by the above author.

It's basically about how modern life has fooled our brains into wanting more and more when we already have enough "stuff".

Anyway, here's a practice that is going on that I wasn't aware of before I read it in the book.

There are high-security garages that offer a service of minding your top-of-the range Ferrari, Rolls Royce etc. An owner of one of these garages tells the author that people leave them there for fear of the car getting robbed, damaged, vandalised etc. For the same reason they very rarely drive them. As an example, there is one guy who comes 'round most Sundays and takes the car for an hours drive and then brings it back and leaves it there for another seven days. Other people sometimes don't even drive their motors at all. They just come around at weekends and sit in them (in the garage) appreciating the "feel" of them, the smell of the leather etc.

Part of the service that these garage owners provide is to move the cars so they don't develop "flat-top tyre"; and also to start the engines so that they don't seize-up!


Thursday, July 3, 2008

The new Irish Times website...

I see The Irish Times have launched a new website having left the old ireland.com one.

First impressions are pretty good, nicely laid out, plenty of substantial reading etc. but of course the news doesn't change much; with the economy getting most of the attention what with tax receipts down by €1.45 billion, and the exchequer in the red to the tune of €5.9 billion.

It really is the 1980's all over again. Pint of Furstenburg anyone?

After listening to economists (who seem to get more media attention than pop stars) predicting a downfall for the last 15yrs now feeling vindicated at last, it'll be amusing to see which of them will be first to predict the recovery.

Lets just hope it doesn't take as many years for them to be right!

Also noticed that Murraymania ended yesterday with the shy retiring "muscle bound" British player being beaten by Nadal ( http://www.irishtimes.com/sports/other/2008/0702/1214949336690.html) .

The news never does change...

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

"I Won't Lie To You, Bryn..."

Just noticed that RTE2 are showing the BBC3 comedy series Gavin And Stacey, from the beginning, this Thursday (03JUL08) evening at 9pm.

This has been one of my favourite tv programmes of recent times and, if you've never seen it on the BBC, now is a great chance to start looking. It's not "zany", "nasty", or "in-your-face", just good fun.

It's written by the two co-stars Ruth Jones (of Saxondale, another personal favourite) and James Corden.

If you want to get the full jist of the set-up, you can read about it here. Otherwise, just dive in blind like I did.

What's So Great About Bob Dylan...

BBC Radio4 show asking, a pretty good cast, what the hell is so good about the great man. 30 minutes of an enjoyable, distracting nature, if there's nothing on the telly.

Click on this: http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/noscript.shtml?/radio/aod/radio4_aod.shtml?radio4/whatssogreat

and then just click on the green "launch bbci player" button.

Please note that this link is only available until this Saturday morning.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Do You Want A Lift?

Bit of a slow news day but I just found this on the bbc website.

Wonder will they take off (and I mean that literally!)?

Also a lot of internet chatter (none of it confirmed) about the new Bootleg Series (vol8) Dylan release scheduled for September. Appears this is mainly consisting of outakes from Oh Mercy!, Under The Red Sky, Good As I Been To You/World Gone Wrong, Time Out Of Mind and Modern Times. Also some other studio work not related to these albums.

Again, I want to reiterate this is just speculation at this point.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Spanish is the Loving Tongue...

Yes, my bet has come through. €50 up. Ole! Ole! Ole!

What a Sunday line-up!

First up is the GAA SFC. Will Westmeath shock the Dubs? Will an upbeat Down beat Armagh? Details here.

Followed later by the EURO2008 final. Will my bet come through? If you're away from a tv, follow it here.

All the while Glastonbury goes on in the background with Leonard Cohen due on later this evening. All of this on BBC2/BBC3/BBC4 throughout the evening.

And I have to read the Sunday papers!

Jeez, hope I'm not too tired for work to-morrow.

Sunday Service...

To-day's sermon comes from Joe South & The Believers.

I have the 1st part here on vinyl somewhere, give me a minute... ahh yes here it is:

Here's the exit hymn, but remember if you're going to the match, drive carefully:

Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Enniscorthy Strawberry Fair...

... started to-night and aforementioned group The Focus Group kicked off proceedings but not before an impromptu busking session (which got broken up by the local Garda Siochaná.....very Rock 'n' Roll!!!).

Great set by the lads included a song about previous Fairs and finished off with Bits & Bobs.

Onwards and upwards...

Friday, June 27, 2008

Kevin Rowland/Dexys Midnight Runners...

Here is the official Dexy's myspace page. Features a demo of a new song, IT'S OK JOHANNA, that is due to appear on the (hopefully) imminent album (the first since Don't Stand Me Down). I first heard this album was due out in 2007, so I'm not sure where its at now. Anyway, you may want to bookmark this link:


Oh yeah, and because it's a Friday, here's a favourite for The Dapper Don:

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Boots Of Spanish Leather...

My tenner goes through the mill again to-night as, my bet, Spain take on Russia in the 2nd semi-final of Euro'08.

Can the Spanish, against all previous experience, make it to the final? Whatever the score, its lining up to be a cracking game.

Get the beers in...... I have :-)

Ain't My Cup Of Meat...

The topic is Cultural Blind-Spots.

You know you should like them (hey, even your friends like 'em) but you just can't: Here's mine...

MUSIC: The Doors, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, U2, Radiohead

FILM: Star Wars/Trek, James Bond, Sideways, Animated Films

TV: The Young Ones, Little Britain, ER, Deadwood, CSI: Wherever

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Ireland forecast for first recession in 25 years...

Report from the ESRI that Ireland is facing into a recession. Here's hoping you enjoyed the boom of the last 15 years!

Of course, the good times didn't always sit well with some people. They seemed to think we were better off when we were poorer*, but I wasn't one of them!

Anyway, here's Guthrie singing about those hard times that could be on the way back. [No, no! Not Woody.....Gwen].

* Is that an oxymoron?

Monday, June 23, 2008

Lack of original tv thought...

I see that TV3 are going to do a version of "The Apprentice" (from the USA) whilst RTE are doing their version of a series of "Who Do You Think You Are?" (from British tv).

Where are the original ideas in Irish tv?

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Sports Sunday...

A full day of big games here in Ireland and beyond.

In Croke Park there are no less than 2 games involving my adopted* county in Football(SFC) & Hurling (SHC). Alongside this, Clare and Limerick fight it out in Thurles for a date with Tipperary in the Munster SHC final and it's Mayo v. Sligo in the Connaught SFC.

All this will be followed to-night by a mouth-watering clash in, a so far excellent EURO'08, between Italy and (the team I backed before the tournament started) Spain. Will my tenner be safe after to-night?

I read a letter in today's Sunday Times from someone complaining about the fact that there is so much coverage of Euro08 whilst none of Ireland, England, Wales etc. are in it. Where's the problem?

All of the above can be followed here.

* I still can't bring myself to discuss my own county's defeat to Dublin in the SFC!!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Mid-Summer's Day...

... and there has been constant rain here in Ireland since early this morning. The summer here, almost always, lives down to expectations.

Anyway, it has given me time to browse the net and read the paper and I've noticed the following:

1) There are plans afoot to re-make My Fair Lady with Keira Knightley as Eliza Doolittle and Daniel Day Lewis being pursued to play Professor Henry Higgins. You may ask...why? Details here.

2) Greil Marcus has written in to-day's Guardian about Dylan's Visions Of Johanna.

3) Finally, if you can hold your nose and buy the Mail on Sunday to-morrow, there is a special BOWIE feature in their Life magazine; this will be followed by a free Bowie CD the following week (29JUN08). Click here.

Hope the weather is better where you are.

Peace Out.

New QPR Club Crest...

I see that in the exciting new dawn happening at Loftus Road that they have ditched the traditional club emblem and replaced it with this.

Now, maybe I'm too much of a traditionalist, but why change a perfectly good crest? And I bet it cost a small fortune to get the thing designed.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Leonard Cohen/Tom Waits...

Two gigs that got away from me this year due to work (LC) and holidays (TM).

Here's a video of each:

and the eggs chase the bacon around the frying pan:

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The WORD cd...

The free cd in the July issue of The WORD is particularly strong this month (and I'm not just saying that because they quoted me on the blurb for track 12..... I promise)

Apart from the obvious(!) there are interesting tracks from Fleet Foxes, Half Man Half Biscuit, Imelda May, Cathy Davey, and John Hiatt. I even enjoyed the Mick Hucknall version of the Bobby Bland song "I Pity The Fool".

Anyway, all the details can be clicked right here for the next few weeks.
On a further point, my video music channel (Nicodemus Music Channel) is now a permanent link under the last.fm widget.
I've noticed that it may play the same song twice within one listen/visit, which is quite annoying, I am working on a fix for this; in the meantime just press the "next" button if this happens. Of course, this option is always available if it plays a song you don't like also.
As always, any comments/suggestions are welcome.

Peace Out.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Republic of Ire...

We couldn't qualify for Euro08; we sent a turkey to Eurovision; then we said no to the EU.

Maybe it's time to join another continent? Australia maybe? South America anyone? How about Africa?

Where do we go from here? I believe we should send the think-tank Libertas, Sinn Fein, Coir, The People's Movement, Dunphy, Myers, Arnold, Ross and Gay Byrne (along with their cheerleaders from the U.S., UKIP and News International) on a plane to Brussels to hammer out the new deal.

Of course, before they even got to Belgium, that little lot wouldn't be able to decide the seating arrangements on the plane, nevermind having to negotiate a treaty with 26 other countries.

Republic of Ire indeed.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Dylan Still Going Strong...

Here is a recent piece on the great man by my Westport connection, Liamy, in his De Facto column for The Mayo News.

Lovely stuff.

Friday, June 6, 2008

The Pope & Capitalism...

Interesting article here from Will Hutton in The Observer about his time partaking in a discussion in the Vatican about "what is happening in contemporary capitalism, and what could be done if it is not to become as destructive, iniquitous and unstable as it was 100 years ago".

As, basically, all other political doctrines have failed the need for "moral capitalism" is examined.

Dylan Art Exhibition in London...

From the DRAWN BLANK series.

Here's the book: http://www.play.com/Books/Books/4-/3583195/-/Product.html?searchstring=bob+dylan+drawn+blank&searchsource=0

Here's an interview and a taster: http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/music/article4074327.ece
Here's a BBC News video piece:

And finally, here's the details of the exhibition:

The Drawn Blank Series exhibition opens on June 14 at The Halcyon Gallery, Bruton Street W1.

The Focus Group report...

Went to see local burgeoning group The Focus Group to-night. This is my third time seeing James, Colm & Steven and they are becoming a tighter sound with every new listen. With influences from everthing from ABBA to ZAPPA there's something in there for all the family. After a quiet word in the ear from Steven to-night, I've updated the weblink on the right-hand-side to show their current website (apologies for displaying the out-of-date one up until this).

Anyway, the next sighting is strongly rumoured to be in the Market Square, Enniscorthy, Co Wexford on 27JUN08. So, if you're in the locale........ be there.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

CD recommendation...

I've been listening to Chris Difford's new album The Last Temptation of Chris lately and it's a beaut.

A lovely wide-ranging collection of songs, looking back on a life full of tribulations and jubilulations, written with wit and aplomb.

Great to hear the SQUEEZE man sounding so good. I know you'll like it.

Here's a couple of links :



Saturday, May 31, 2008

Personal Music Television...

Here's a clever mash-up idea between last.fm and youtube that I was e-mailed about.

It basically plays videos that tie in to your musical taste on last.fm or, if you prefer, a favourite artist.

Here's my profile as a starter but mess around with it yourself:


Friday, May 30, 2008

The Felice Brothers Live Reviews...

These reviews from the following night's London show were brought to my attention (thanks Crowdedmouse):


And under the Editor's diary here:


The word is spreading...

Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Felice Brothers report...

What a show in The Sugar Club last night! Fred got up on stage with other members of the audience for the final shindig (above left). We met all the Felice Brothers and had a good chat with accordian/keyboard player James afterwards in the smoking area. Despite magazine talk these guys never heard Dylan's Basement Tapes! James did have good memories of listening to SLOW TRAIN COMING growing up, though.

Anyway, these guys put on a hell of a show and I can't enthuse enough about them. You gotta catch these guys when they play near you. Highlights were many, with a the solo performance on "St. Stephen's End" resonating most.

Second photo (top right) shows Jim with James Felice having a smoke before the show. What a talent!
On a personal note it was great to meet up with Philip, Francesca, Tom, Sean D, Marc, Elaine, Gerry and Brian.
Roll on Prince in June :-)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The last.fm widget...

I've noticed that the pink widget on the right sometimes does not display a play button due to "not enough content". This shouldn't happen (there is enough content). To overcome it just refesh your page.

Of course, if you don't want to play music this won't affect you.

The Felice Brothers...

I'm off to see The Felice Brothers in Dublin to-morrow along with Fred & Jim. Should be a great gig.

The 2 albums I have of these guys are bloody great.

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart...

Presently watching the excellent Daily Show on MORE4 and it just struck me that there is nothing like this on Irish or British tv, which is a great shame as both countries are ripe for some sharp political satire.

A great pity.

Very 1st Post...

Welcome to my first ever blog. I'll just be using this to put up stuff that might be interesting. We'll see how it goes.

Sean Mc.