Una Mullally

Society, life and culture on the edge

PopLives #22: Niall Byrne

Every week this Q&A will find out what various heads in music, film, fashion, theatre, bukes, performance, tech stuff, and whatever else are consuming. Niall Byrne is a multi-award-winning music blogger who blogs at Nialler9.com. He has curated gigs at SXSW, …

Thu, Oct 25, 2012, 08:45


Every week this Q&A will find out what various heads in music, film, fashion, theatre, bukes, performance, tech stuff, and whatever else are consuming.

Niall Byrne is a multi-award-winning music blogger who blogs at Nialler9.com. He has curated gigs at SXSW, HWCH, Camden Crawl and Minimum Maximum at Monster Truck Gallery. He is also a DJ, a columnist for the Irish Independent, and a web designer.

(photo by Sean Conroy)

What are you reading?
I read a lot of music books, I’m dipping into the 2011 edition in the Best Music Writing series,  David Byrne’s How Music Works and Simon Reynolds’  Bring The Noise book which collates a lot of his early music writing work. Also, lots of longform articles from the web via Readability on the iPad.

Last film you saw and your verdict?
Aidan Walsh – Master Of The Universe. I’ve been wanting to see this for about five years since I found it existed. As it turns out, it’s on Volta.ie now. It’s the story of a man who is well known to the Dublin music scene as a bit of a chancer and while the film focuses on his antics, it also covers his early life in a Cork orphanage and his subsequent reuniting with his brother and aunt in Australia.  I only knew him as an odd dude who put on gigs for teenagers in Dublin 15 years ago so it was interesting to learn about his somewhat difficult life before then. A living Dublin legend.

You have a golden ticket to Easons, what magazine is first on your list?
I’ve recently been gifted a yearly subscription to The New Yorker, which is exactly the kind of magazine I’ve been looking to read for a long time. I just never got around to reading an issue until this summer. As I read and write so much about music, I wanted to read something that serves as a mix of great articles not just about music and The New Yorker fits that criteria. But, if that wasn’t there, I’d probably get a copy of Wired.

What are your most clicked bookmarks?
Feedly for a fancy looking RSS reader and a gateway to so many other websites and blogs, Soundcloud for music listening, Buzzfeed.com and Lememe.com for silly laughs.

Do you have a favourite podcast or radio programme?
Benji B on BBC Radio One, the best selection of electronic and rap music around.  It’s broadcast on Thursday morning at 2am but I generally start the weekend with his show on a Friday afternoon. My favourite podcast (other than our own of course) is All Back No Front, Jon Hillcock’s weekly show of new music.

When you fall into a YouTube hole what’s the general subject matter of the videos you’re watching?
I’m trying to restrict the amount of silly meme videos I watch but it’s hard. Lately though I’ve been watching lots of original humour from The Onion and Funny Or Die which never gets old.

What song should we listen to right now?
Chad Valley’s ‘Fall 4 U’. It’s such a perfect mushy synth ballad and one of my favourite singers, Glasser, provides the female vocal part.
YouTube Preview Image

Which boxset/TV series do you have on the go at the moment?
Boardwalk Empire and Homeland. The former’s third series is a bit boring so far while the second season of Homeland is zipping along thanks to the frequent appearances of Claire Dane’s rubbery thespian chin.

Last gig/concert you went to and your verdict?
The Knoxville Morning album launch in The Cobblestone. The singer Ciaran Dwyer is a long time pal so I had all sorts of feelings of pride for him and the seventeen (yes, SEVENTEEN) musicians and friends who played with him. It was inspiring to see as there was a very distinct buzz coming from the musicians, a clear passion, which you don’t always get. I wrote about the gig afterwards.

Which app do you use the most?
Tweetdeck. I’ve actually been on Twitter since July 2007 which is sort of mad. Lately though, I’m being over-run by One Direction/ Niall Horan fans who can’t read bios or figure out that I’ve nothing to do with him. “PLZ FOLLOW ME BAK , i LUV NIALLER 4EVAZ TOO LOL. THKS.” It’s worse when #nialler is trending, which is frequently.

And finally, if you read one blog or Tumblr this month, make it…
Bitzlr.com. Alan Reilly’s taste is impeccable and he always has stuff I’ve never heard of. Which to many people might be saying something.

Previously on PopLives: Jeanie Finlay, Kevin BarryBrigie De CourcyJohn ScottWillie WhiteNiall MuckianPhil BoyleAngela DorganRoise GoanJoshua GordonMick MinogueEilis BoyleAnnie MacBen FrowMichael McDermottSinead O’Connor,  Shane LanganKathy ScottEoghan KidneyMichael Roe, and Phillip McMahon.

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