The wrap’s tsundoku is pretty sweet
Including John Berger, new year’s resolutions, George Michael, business, The Zutons, This Ain’t No Disco, Frank Murray etc
(1) A new year usually brings some bracing new resolutions and here’s what OTR is planning to write about – and not write about – in the months ahead. This is one time when we hope other music writers will copy.
(2) Don’t call it a comeback: This Ain’t No Disco premiered over the break, a new music show from Donal Dineen (the first presenter of RTE’s seminal music show No Disco and various other ventures over the years) and Myles O’Reilly (Arbutus Yarns film-maker). Here’s the spiel: “We want to bring musicians and visual art together in to a space where we can nurture and document each collaboration to create improvised, visceral and organic live performance films. We’ll walk and talk with some of our personal music hero’s, to journey and meet their own music heroes. I think its time that all our passions combined opens a discussion, and we make the best possible effort to help showcase the true and sincere, deep and unearthed network of raw talent in this country, and paint them in the most beautiful light.” And here’s the first episode
(3) RIP Frank Murray. The Dubliner had a long and fruitful music business career, from working as a tour manager with Thin Lizzy, Elton John and The Specials to managing The Pogues during their heyday, The Frames and, most recently. The Lost Brothers amongst other projects. Condolences to his family.
(4) New politics 2017: how many vacant sites are there in Dublin? According to Dublin City Council’s new register, zilch, none, nada. Here’s Olivia Kelly’s back-story on why this register will be blank for quite some time to come and here’s Dublin Inquirer’s reckoning on who owns the many vacant and derelict sites in the city.
(5) Seasonal obversation: is it just me or was there absolutely nothing on the telly over the Christmas? And just what is RTE’s fascination with Mrs Brown’s Boys? We’re with Euan Ferguson on the latter.
(6) This is the best column you’ll read all year linking indie rock also-rans The Zutons and rugby’s Pro12
(7) RIP George Michael. The star’s sudden death on Christmas Day meant, as has become the norm on these occasions, another outpouring of grief, shock, memories, hot takes and recollections. In this case, as his songs were played on the radio again and again, it was telling that this was the first time many of us had heard Michael’s brilliant, shapely, adventurous pop in quite a while.
(8) In view of (1) above, it’s always good to see writers writing more than just the usual few lines of guff about an artist’s new release. Bernard O’Rourke’s fine piece on Jinx Lennon’s 2016 brace of albums, “Past Pupil Stay Sane” and “Magic Bullets of Madness to Uplift the Grief Magnets”, is one well worth reading
(9) RIP John Berger. The influential and Booker Prize-winning writer and visual art critic passed away yesterday at the age of 90. Here’s a very recent BBC documentary John Berger: the Art of Looking with contributions from Simon McBurney, Michael Dibb, John Christie, Selçuk Demiral, Jean Mohr and two of his children, Katya and Yves Berger.
(10) One other new year’s resolution? There’s no need to be really that busy so chill out, kick back and look around.