Wednesday, May 27, 2009

FC Barcelona Do It With Style...

Just seen a beautiful, stylish display by a Barcelona side that strolled to win the UEFA Champions League against a hapless Manchester United on tv.

However, the worrying thing for every other team in The Premiership is that Manchester United are (by far) the best team in the English league.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Toon Many Managers...

I was watching the last-day-of-season Match Of The Day on BBC1 earlier.

It was all about the relegation battle and, in the shake up, Newcastle lost out (it made sense, they were very poor). But what I had totally forgotten was that Kevin Keegan was their manager at the start of the season.

They have had so many different people in charge over the last nine months that I thought it must have been far longer since KK was at the helm.

Anyway, West Brom, Middlesbro' and Newcastle... welcome to my world.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Levon Helm...

Levon Helm, God bless him, has a new album coming out called Electric Dirt.

Here's a short film he made inspired by his last album Dirt Farmer (great music contained within):

The Good Old Days...

After viewing, hearing and reading about the findings of the Ryan Commission of systemic child abuse in the Industrial schools and orphanages of Ireland (example here) I sure don't want to hear about the "good old days" again.

One of the things it does prove is the need for media to bring these ugly things to the public attention; because the powers-that-be sure can't be trusted to do so.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Duke & The King...

Simone Felice has recorded a new album in a sideline band called The Duke & the King (click here).

A song is on youtube (click here).

The home page is here (HERE contains the reasons Simone doesn't play with his brothers regularly anymore.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Fox News Really Dislike Obama...

This is hilarious only for the following fact:

A sizeable amount of people get all their views from Fox News. That thought is just too disturbing.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Political Sleaze....

Reading all the stories around Europe about political shenanigans, whether it be in the U.K. Italy or France, just brings home to me that we in Ireland are no worse nor better than any of them.

There is always an attitude here that corruption is somehow worse in these parts than in other places but in reality all politics involves grubbiness and the bending of principles to a large degree.

Ireland is a lot smaller than these countries and that does highlight it's own parochialness but essentially none of us have a monopoly on corruptness, nor integrity.

On a related matter, I hereby predict that Fianna Fail will not have one MEP after the European elections. The loosing of the two by-elections (for the Dail) already seems a foregone conclusion. I'll be expecting terms like "massacre" and "wipe out" after the local elections also.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Album Review Time...

ALBUM: Yonder Is The Clock

ARTIST: The Felice Brothers

First the bad news: this is not a slick production job. Second the good news: this is not a slick production job. The Felice Brothers have the the kind of organic rock'n'roll appeal that last struck me when I first heard The Band. Stop jeering, I'm serious. Lyrics, music and attitude that dovetail into the noise that these boys make is a rare thing... and it should be celebrated. Let's get down to business: there are 13 songs, and while two are just the boys having fun, and maybe three are songs to dance to, the rest are just incredibly good. From what I've seen and heard of these guys I'm torn between wanting them to be widely celebrated and wanting them to keep on, keeping on the way they are. The Felice Brothers don't seem to care either way. I much prefer that attitude.

Download HERE.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

My Three Dylan Shows...

The Bob Dylan European 2009 Tour came to an end in Dublin to-night and, by all the accounts I have heard, it was a great show. Sadly, due to work, I was not there but I was at the previous three shows at Glasgow, Edinburgh & Dublin (1st night):

Stirring up the ghosts of the old blues men, there is something spiritual going on at these performances that I can only flounder at explaining: but it's there in that voice, the hammering of the keyboard, the stabbing of the guitar and in the blasts of air through the harp.

Every night I saw him, Dylan was totally into sound that he and his band were making. The previous night's show was forgotten and the next one wasn't even on the horizon. Each night is a separate entity. Sure, some nights work better than others, but the "here and now" is what matters. No previous recordings, no previous versions, no previous accolades count. Only concerned with the job-in-hand.

Throwing funny shapes and walking around like a stringed puppet being operated by a child, Dylan is also entertaining from a visual point of view. His riverboat gambler attire and impressive collection of broad rimmed hats all add to the old timey feeling that we're experiencing. The band circle around him following his moves and the interaction amongst them all was good.

The choice of songs changed fundamentally every night within a frame-work of rocking 12-bar blues numbers, folk, rollicking rock'n'roll, ballads and Dylan epics. Loving the old stuff, whilst dying to hear a new one.

I could go on about how Edinburgh was my favourite show of the three, and how The Ballad Of Hollis Brown (Glasgow), I Don't Believe You (She Acts Like We Never Have Met) (Edinburgh) and If You Ever Go To Huston (Dublin) were moments that will stay with me for a long time and how sorry I was to miss his last Dublin show.....but I won't.

Suffice to say I can't wait to see him again.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Dylan Tour...

I arrived back last night from attending the two Scottish Dylan shows. Had to get up early this morning for work (feeling mighty tired as I type). Then it's off for my third and final Bob Bash in Dublin to-night. Hope to have a piece written up about all three over the coming days.