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]

PICK OF THE FORTNIGHT: The Focus Group.

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:


http://www.bbc.co.uk:80/programmes/b00djn0s

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.