Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

The randomiser says “ciao”

The weekend was spent in the wild west and the even wilder north-west. Big thanks to Gugai and all at Galway’s Roisin Dubh for the invite to play some tunes at Strange Brew the other night. As always, a cracking …

Mon, Jul 19, 2010, 10:00

   

The weekend was spent in the wild west and the even wilder north-west. Big thanks to Gugai and all at Galway’s Roisin Dubh for the invite to play some tunes at Strange Brew the other night. As always, a cracking night out, chieftly because Gugai has schooled the club-goers so well that they know (and appreciate) their tunes . It’s the only club in the land to the best of my knowledge where that fabulous Memory Tapes’ remix of Tanlines’ “Real Life” is an anthem – or where anyone who requests Kings Of Leon gets escorted from the premises by the bouncers. Lot of love in the room for Holy Ghost!, Lefties Soul Connection, Funeral Party, Freelance Whales, Harlem, Thee Oh Sees and Foster the People too. Strange Brew will be hitting the big smoke in October for a special Hallowe’en show at the Workman’s Club.

Incoming: Calvin Johnson plays in the Exchange in Dublin on July 30. The Beat Happening and K Records will be supported by Patrick Kelleher, Laura Sheeran and the excellent Squarehead. Doors open at 6pm, admission is €6 and it’s an all-ages buzz.

Galway was, of course, all a-titter with the Galway Arts Festival in full flow. Only got to see one thing and that was Spike Jonze’s robot love story I’m Here. A hugely enthralling, imaginative and quite special 30 minute flick.

Who said the days of record labels are over? Online pop oracle Popjustice have jumped into bed with Virgin Records to kick off Popjustice Hi-Fi. First releases will come from Rosanna and Bright Light Bright Light. Speaking of labels, two interesting profiles of two very contrasting label chiefs: ECM’s Manfred Eicher and Sony Music’s Howard Stringer.

Arts & crafts dept: The Kit & Caboodle takes place at the POD on July 31 featuring Irish and International artists and crafts makers showcasing and selling their wares. Starts at 12.30pm and runs until the early evening.

As regular OTR readers will note, we usually link to a band’s MySpace site but you have to wonder how long more that particular web entity will exist as a going concern. Per Techcrunch, the site’s visitors have halved in six months – maybe Rupe will stick MySpace behind a paywall a la the Sunday Times? Meanwhile, new music offerings keep on coming: say hello to Numubu, a social networking site for musicians and music industry professionals.

Incoming (2): the mighty Of Montreal (and good pals of Janelle Monae) play Dublin’s Tripod on October 3. Tickets for the show are €19.50

Thanks to Paul, Derek, Kim and all at the Earagail Arts Festival for hosting the Banter session in Letterkenny on Saturday afternoon. Paul McLoone, Una Mullally and Declan Forde joined me and a well turned-out audience to yak at great length about the future of the Irish music festival. Interesting snippets (especially about how reduced ticket prices will impact on a festival), points and diversions galore – podcast to come.

Outgoing: John Butler Trio’s upcoming show at Dublin’s Grand Canal Theatre has been yanked, along with shows in Liverpool, Bournemouth and Dusseldorf, due to “logistical reasons”. Per band management, gigs will be rescheduled in 2011. Man, the Grand Canal Theatre isn’t having the best run of luck with shows, is it?

Pie-of-the-day: why major label acts often end up in a financial pickle.

Fred Goodman talks turkey about his new book “Fortune’s Fool: Edgar Bronfman Jr., Warner Music and an Industry in Crisis”. If it’s half as good as “The Mansion on the Hill”, it will be one for the holidays.

A lot can change in two months and so it is with Villagers. They took to the stage of the Grill in Letterkenny on Saturday night with a new-found swagger which can only come from playing like demons nearly non-stop since we last caught them in action back in May. The lovely atmospherics in the songs are now brilliantly accentuated and amplified without losing any of the emotional power, while the entire set packs much more of a cohesive punch. You begin to wonder what the next album will sound like, especially if Conor J O’Brien brings that band into the studio with him. That said, there’s a hell of a lot of road still to be covered by “Becoming A Jackal”. There’s an album with legs on it. Afterwards, there was also a lot of leg on display when Paul McLoone and myself hit the decks (not our legs, mind). Memo to Tommy from Villagers: you need to practise your scratching skills some more.

One for the Moog fans in the audience: MoogFest 2010 hits Asheville, North Carolina, the town Bob Moog called home from 1978 onwards.

And finally, a tune which put a smile on every face at Strange Brew the other night. Up, up and away:

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