Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

Is everyone here? The first re-up of 2009

(1) Open up your throat! Some good news to start as the band behind what we believe will be one of the best albums of 2009 are coming back to town. Animal Collective play Dublin’s Tripod on March 27 and …

Mon, Jan 5, 2009, 09:05


(1) Open up your throat! Some good news to start as the band behind what we believe will be one of the best albums of 2009 are coming back to town. Animal Collective play Dublin’s Tripod on March 27 and Belfast’s Stiff Kitten on March 28. Lets hope they don’t miss their ferry and/or have sore throats this time out. And, just to show that we do notice and acknowledge these things, tickets for the Dublin show are the exact same price as they were when the band last played that venue in November 2007 (€20 and €24.50).

(2) Change of every stripe will be very much on agenda in 2009 so it’s apt that the year will begin with Change? Organised by Dylan Haskins (he of the Hideaway House, Hideaway Records, the Roll Up Your Sleeves flick on DIY culture and a dozen other things), Change? is a series of panels, events, discussions and what-have-you in Dublin’s Project Arts Centre from January 26 to 31 which “aims to examine and dissect our perceptions of ‘change’ as a concept”. More information here.

(3) The credit crunch has claimed another blogger. Matt Vinyl has decided the time has come to shut up shop. We shall never see his likes again.

(4) Bands for 2009? The Ticket rounded up some music business movers and shakers to get their views on who we’ll be listening to in the coming 12 months. Unsurprisingly, Passion Pit figure highly in the despatches.

(5) A couple of fine pieces from this here paper which you might have missed over the last few weeks as you wondered who took the last chocolate Kimberley: Keith Duggan’s excellent interview with eternal mischief-maker Ger Loughnane, a timely reprint of Conor Cruise O’Brien’s “grotesque, unbelievable, bizarre and unprecedented” column on Charlie Haughey and a feature on why LeBron James is rocking basketball on and off the court.

(6) It was thanks to On The Record’s Pricewatch-esque special that I picked up my compilation of the season. That was the mighty “Take Me To The River” three-CD story of Southern soul from 1961 to 1977. Tower Records were demanding €45 for it but, as advised by OTR reader Mikey, I got it via Amazon for €31 (it’s gone up in price since). A hugely recommended trawl through the good stuff south of the Mason-Dixie line with William Bell, Otis Redding, Al Green Etta James and dozens more. I’m thinking about making On The Record Goes Shopping a regular feature so readers can post about bargains and highlight rip-offs when it comes to music, DVDs and books – any thoughts?

(7) And it was also thanks to On The Record readers Matt and Darren that I caught up with the writing of George Pelecanos over the break. Pelecanos was one of the writers on The Wire but he’s also an ace crime writer in his right. His latest book The Turnaround is hugely recommended: a rollicking tale of youth, redemption and revenge on the streets of Chocolate City complete with a well tuned rock and soul soundtrack. His DC Quartet is next on my hitlist.

(8) One album which got a lot of air-time from me over the last fortnight was one which definitely got away in 2008. Indeed, Camille’s “Music Hole” album would probably have made my Top 10 list if I’d listened to it as much during the year as I did over the last few weeks. A brilliant, breath-taking adventure from the French lass. Here’s a track from the album for y’all

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(9) The best thing on the TV over the last few weeks? That would be a screening of The Getaway, Sam Peckinpah’s gritty thriller involving Steve McQueen and Ali MacGraw robbing banks and driving hell for leather for the Mexican border while evading the police, a fuming accomplice and a double-crossing politician’s henchmen.

(10) The second best thing on the TV over the last few weeks? That would be The Naked City, the 1948 film-noir shot as a documentary about a wisecracking New York detective (Barry Fitzgerald) and his homicide squad investigating the murder of a model. You can probably trace all those police procedurals like Law & Order and Homicide back to Jules Dassin and Mark Hellinger’s Oscar-winning doc where the city streets are as much a feature as Fitzgerald’s begorrahs. “There are eight million stories in the Naked City; this has been one of them”.

(11) The worst thing on the TV over the last few weeks? Oh, RTE, RTE, RTE! Do those initials now really stand for Recession Television Everyday? It seemed as if there was a prize turkey on every single time I flicked the remote-control to RTE One or Two over the last few weeks. Some of the shows which probably had you also looking on in horror included Young, Irish & Wealthy (a show so shoddy they couldn’t even come up with photos of some of those wealthy young ones featured, while a couple of the talking heads on hand to give a bit of an aul’ spiel plainly didn’t have a clue who or what they were talking about) and Tubridy Tonight Rings In The New Year (I really hope this was some kind of post-modern gag which RTE pulled on the nation). And the less said about those couple of Katherine Lynch shows flung carelessly into the schedules, the better. But hey, forget about all that, are you going to watch This Is Nightlife tonight (RTE 2, 10.25pm)?