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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: February 9, 2012 @ 7:45 pm

    If you only do one thing this weekend . . . eat some tiny birds

    Laurence Mackin

    Listen: Music fans – if you’ve little to be at this weekend, you could decamp yourself to Cork and be spoilt for choice. This is largely down to cutting-edge label Popical Island, which is launching a mini Leeside invasion. On Saturday night, it is bringing Tieranniesaur, Squarehead and Land Lovers to the Pavilion for a (shock horror) free gig. And if that wasn’t enough, The Walpurgis Family will be pitching their wares on Sunday night (again for nowt).

    Elsewehere in the city, multigenre specialists Tarab are bringing their traditional, jazz and classcial vibes to UCC’s Aula Mxima tomorrow afternoon. One of the best double-headers in months is on in Dublin’s Sugar Club on Saturday night, but it’s sold out – lucky, then, for those in the south that Michael Kiwanuka and The Staves will be bringing their live show to Cyprus Avenue on Sunday.

    If they’re a bit stuck for cash, perhaps they could go sharesies with Ms Dynamite on car rental. The rapper and singer is reclaiming her place in the hip hop firmament with a gig in Twisted Pepper on Friday, before showing Cyprus Avenue who is boss on Saturday. And if you manage to get a good spot at the bar in Cyprus Avenue, you might as well stay where you are. Hotly tipped Nordie act Fighting with Wire are rocking into town on Monday.

    A rare embarassment of musical southern riches.

    Art: There’s something odd happening on the streets of Nenagh. Strange shifts of movement in the night, and odd sounds down nighttime streets. Do not be alarmed. This is art in action. Switch 2012 is currently in full swing, with projected film and video works being thrown on to the town’s shopfronts, with work from international artists including Sarah Buckius, Flatform, Paul Grimmer, Fergus Fullarton, Mark Neville, Lucie Kim and Felix von der Weppen, David Theobald and Nathalie Lavoie. There’s a twilight walking tour at 6.45pm on Sunday, which is your last opportunity to see this excellent project in action. Other towns would do well to follow suit.

    Nenagh by night. Exotic

    Eat: Tomorrow sees the opening of the Science Gallery’s latest exhibition, and today I managed to get a tasty sneak preview. Edible: The Taste of Things to Come, aims to probe “how our actions as eaters shape what is sown, grown, harvested and consumed”. As well as a selection of fascinating exhibits, including an enormous inflatable colon you can climb into and a kind of nebulised Bloody Mary you can suck through a glass straw, punters can sign up for their own little taste challenge. The gallery is holding two “feeding times” per day where you get the chance to sample dishes that relate directly to the show’s theme. Today, we got to munch on insects, seaweed-inspired creations, and a version of perhaps the cruellest dish in the world: Ortolan. This now-illegal French dish involves catching the tiny Ortolan birds, force feeding them, and then drowning them in Armagnac. Traditionally, they are eaten under a napkin to “hide your shame from God”. (Former French president Francois Mitterand had it for his last meal.) Our version was vegan – so no animals were killed – but it was a brilliant approach that gave a full palette of flavours and all the crunchy texture you would associate with chewing your way through a whole, tiny bird. Science with bite, then.

    A science experiment, earlier today. The beer was essential. The scientist said so

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