'Hacking, inventing, usurping old power bases'


‘Le Cool’ publisher Michael McDermott on what he’s listening to, and reading, and why he wants to Hack the City

What are you reading?Haruki Murakami’s Dance Dance Dance. I remember loving the thoughtful absurdities of The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, and this is shaping up to be compellingly quirky. His premise is usually that of extraordinary adventures befalling ordinary men, with pop-culture references. My housemate Katie Holly is a film and TV producer and a truly voracious reader. She’s flagged Chad Harbach’s The Art of Fielding as a terrific read. I also enjoy short stories and Kevin Barry’s There Are Little Kingdoms is next on my list.

What are your most clicked bookmarks? Broadsheet.ieis pure addiction with brilliantly curated content. The comment threads are hilarious with verbal high-jinks and gladiatorial-style put-downs. I’m enjoying The Racket, which is the new mixed media site by some of the team behind Mongrel magazine. I’ve also lost a few hours on informationisbeautiful.net, dreaming of sexy ways to present tedious stats. I go to Balls.iefor my occasional sports hit and Jim Carroll’s consistently thought- provoking On the Record for smart musings.

What track should we listen to right now?Think/Feel by Seattle band Beat Connection to soundtrack the endless hazy summer we all deserve. If I could stretch to a long player, it would be Bobby Womack’s The Bravest Man in the Universe.

Which boxset/TV series do you have on the go at the moment?Besides Mad Men and The Apprentice, I’m way behind on almost everything else. I still have a series of The Wire to finish. The likes of Breaking Bad and The Killing are top of the list.

Last gig/concert you went to and your verdict?I was at Forbidden Fruit which hit its stride this year. The highlight was the last act of the weekend, Chromatics, who have released my favourite album of late, Kill For Love. They did the score for some of the Drive soundtrack and a brilliant rendition of Kate Bush’s Running Up That Hill. An upbeat end to complement the hammock sounds of the afternoon.

And finally, if you check out one thing in Dublin this month, make it . . . Is this the plug bit?Well, besides the Le Cool experience walk on Saturday, June 30th, where we take people on an unknown trek of the city, which has included everything from lawn bowling to sex shops, I’m curious about the Hack the City project in conjunction with the Science Gallery. Hacking, inventing, re-moulding, usurping old power bases and making fairer playing fields – I’m presuming it’s touching on all these ideas and more besides.

Read Una Mullally's blog Pop Life at irishtimes.com/blogs/poplife

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