1. From the ashes of Dublin’s-most-annoying-band come quite a good new band: Talulah Does The Hula (Myspace yo). Though they’re prone to the same pull-a-pose-on-the-dancefloor-even-though-you’re-not-actually-on-a-dancefloor-love schtick as the Chalets, it’s hidden to the side, and shouty girl-boy choruses are switched for synths and a touch of doo-wop. Pas mal at all.

2. If you have a goosey gander at the Analogue website you can see that Railcars have uploaded a free EP. It’s only 10 minutes long, but comes with Jamie Stewart’s seal of approval.

3. Indiecater records are re-releasing one of my all-time favourite Irish records: Senor My Friend by Mumblin’ Deaf Ro. If you look at his blog and scroll down a bit, you can see a nice awkward email interview I did with him about a year ago, during which I asked possibly the most convoluted question I’ve asked to date:
Has your muted style, and ego-free demeanour aided or inhibited your career to date? (Obviously an entirely ego-free demeanour would result in a total loss of sense of self,so that’s not what I mean, but you know what I’m getting at.) Wonderful.

4. The video which opens this post? ’15 Step’ off In Rainbows, which, bizarrely, is played over the closing credits in Twilight.



Rod Stewart: Young Turks.

There are many things that I enjoy in this video though- mainly the synchronised energetic dancing and cropped tops.

I don’t enjoy how they promote ignoring the traffic lights at a busy intersection.

Also, Mary gives birth to a ‘ten pound baby boy’. That’s a doofer of a child, by all accounts, and Mary looks like a slender girl.

My Chemistry teacher in school looked a bit like Rod Stewart. She was a woman. Unfortunate that. Her looking like Rod-o, I mean. Not her being female. Natch.

omg i like denimz too

Would everybody like a brief look into my musical past? YES! oh oh okay. At the turn of the century, all I would listen to was Mary J. Blige and Ashanti. A significant turning point came when, in 2002, I had the choice between splashing out on The Very Best (it really was) of Pure R ‘n’ B Vol. 2 or The Calling’s LOVELY Camino Palmero (first blog to mention this album in a favourable way more than once? probably.). After one hella deep breath, I chose the latter. However, before this dramatic life-changing event, even before Dr. Dre gave me a prescription for a daily dose of No More Drama, I was a full on girlband addict and severe wannabe (zigga ziggahh). If I were able to root out my old diaries as Ailbhe has done recently (mine are long since torn up in embarrassment) you would be sure to find my ‘top threes’. In the musical sense it would include the likes of Spice Girls, B*Witched, All Saints, Eternal and possibly even Cleopatra at some point. But really, in my eyes, there was only one all girl group worthy of worldwide appreciation and fame. Girls 2000. Never heard of them? Formed in the late half of the 1990s, Girls 2000 consisted of two sisters and a some-amount-of-times-removed cousin (none of these were me or relatives of mine…Okay so one of them was me and two of them were relatives of mine). The following is an exclusive look at the lyrics from their first single, stunning…just…stunning.

Extra! Extra! Read all about it the girls are back in town!
Makeway! Gateway! For the Girls 2000!
Girls 2000 are here, and nobody’s safe, nobody’s
From their love, their power, their sweet devour!

(note the excessive use of exclamation marks.)

We definitely exercised our artistic license and made up words along the way for the sake of a good rhyme. We definitely bought shoes from the bargain bin in Penneys and spray painted them gold and silver. I definitely teamed these with a pair of orange cat tights from The Sock Shop (up there in my ‘top threes’ of shopping destinations at the time), a black velvet skirt and a stripey woollen polo neck.

Somewhere out there is a grainy video of Girls 2000’s first and only public appearance at a Christmas party. I need it quite urgently. I would treasure it forever and only wish I could say the same for my poor old diaries.

Hopefully, you will all get a look into the mind of teenage Ailbhe very soon with a couple of diary extracts. She might even tell you about the conceptual band (with actual instruments) that she started back in transition year, The Xams.


Catfights and Spotlights

‘Catfights and Spotlights’ could equally have been named ‘Heartbreak and High Heels’. It’s a record by a band that is right on top of their game, and are well aware of it. ‘You on a Good Day’ ticks all the right boxes. There’s a chugging bass line, a mini vocal breakdown in the bridge and the obligatory call and answer in the middle 8 that demands that the beat be brought back, a.s.a.p. ‘No Can Do’ boasts a surprising chorus, and a smashing fade-out. ‘Sunday Rain’ borrows a little from the Moonlight Sonata by way of ‘Back to Black’. There will probably be some kind of moody video involving lots of walking.

The lyrics save the record from wallowing in nostalgia, and from leaking into the current spate of 60’s throwbacks. Roughly half the tracks were co-written by the ’babes themselves, and it’s easy to tell which. There’s no erudition, no clever similes and no Coward-esque puns. Lines like ‘Let me tell you bout a boy who’s going la-la tryin an get my ya-ya’ and ‘I read a magazine last night/All our issues came to light/ I memorized it piece by piece but I guess it’s not that easy’ distill segments of the advice pages of Cosmo into bite-sized, standard backbeat-ed chunks. Is it fair to say then, that this could be a concept album, chronicling a Saturday night out? It follows a group of friends getting ready to go out (‘Girls), who bump into an ex (‘No Can Do’), which leads to a domestic by the side of the dancefloor (‘Side Chick’), and ends in a Deep Meaningful Conversation in the chip shop (‘Can We Call a Truce’). It’s only a pity that they felt compelled to sellotape on a tacky duet with Taio Cruz at the end, which means that instead of the album ending on an acoustic, lovelorn downbeat, it fades out through over-produced synths. Mutya wouldn’t have let that one slide.

Thank you thank you K-to-the-atie for minding our blog while I was away and not in Dublin. I had a lovely time in London. Very lovely.
I went to the new club/barn/airport hangar in the ex-millenium dome. Matter? Is that what it’s called? It was terrifying. They did play Orange Juice though, which impressed me greatly:

I’m a little bit snowed under with catching-up work and ting, but I can can can promise a review of the new Sugababes record very soon. Perhaps this evening? In the meantime, listen to The Big Pink. They are superverygood.

oh susannahhhhh

October 18, 2008

Diana, even.

Considering a move to britain so I can vote for her.

Thoroughly suggest you all hop, skip and/or jump on over to this one. If you are busy, just see it as a relaxing and cultured form of procrastination…Somewhat like the way that I am writing this post while the piles of crap in my bedroom look increasingly larger, more sinister, and much more likely to engulf me at any given second not to mention the open sketchbook beside me that looks depressingly empty, uninspiring and much more likely to lead to me failing my first assessment of the college term on Monday.

Now, I suggest we all stall it over to youtube to watch some Diana Vickers videos.


Put On Your Dancing Shoes

October 10, 2008

This is amazing amazing amazing amazing. It is, of course, Alesha Dixon’s new jam. In the chorus, she gives out about how her manfriend never helps around the house. This is ok though, because in the verses, she talks about how good a dancer he is. That’s all well and good Alesha, but dancing won’t take the dog for a walk.

There’s an annoying clappy and shouty and hollery bit at the end that should have been faded out, but instead has been left in for ‘effect’. Bad form, that. The song does, however, feature the line- ‘Take a sip of dancing juice’- so I’m willing to overlook the shouting.

Bonus points for anyone who can figure out why the small child features in the vidjoe.

Los Angeles Calling

October 5, 2008

BAM i’m back. Yes go on…welcome me…with open arms yes…little wider…wider…that’s better. I feel the need to return with a BANG…a BLAST even. Blast from the past, perhaps?

I always find it unnerving the way music can have the ability to transport you back to a certain time or place in your life. It can leave you feeling bewildered and unprepared to deal with the emotions and memories it drags from somewhere deep in your mind. There is one band that causes this reaction in me more than any other. Let’s take some time to appreciate the most under-appreciated band in the history of music, The Calling. I’d like to think that they are everybody’s guilty pleasure but truth is, most can probably safely and honestly say that, in their opinion, The Calling are not their cup of tea, coffee, or whatever varierty of hot drink it is that gets them off. I’m on a quest to find someone who feels the same way about them as I do. I devoted more of my earspace to their debut album Camino Palmero back in 2001 than I have to any other album to date, so much so that I have become preoccupied with the notion that every song written ever since sounds just like one of theirs. It takes one identical note in any song and I will launch into my account of the facts that led to the downfall of The Calling from the chart throne which, in a nutshell, is that every other musician was sooo jealous of Alex Band & Co’s super amazing talent that they sabotaged them and took apart their songs with a fine-toothed comb and proceeded to share the little snippets of musical genius amongst themselves. Yeah, true story. Or perhaps their second album ‘Two’ was really really really bad (guffaw, as if). I wouldn’t know as I…eh…didn’t listen to it once. So all you Calling fan(s), speak up, we are soulmates you see. We have lots of lost time to make up for. Perhaps we could be penpals.

Youtube embedding is ‘disabled by request’ on all of The Calling’s videos. Not happy. As a result, I really shouldn’t do the right thing and mention that lead singer, Alex Band, is pursuing a solo career and has been honoured with a place on the soundtrack for Bratz: The Movie, but I’m just nice like that.

If you’re wondering who or what occupied second place in my earspace rankings it was this absolute TUNE that featured on a TV Hits compilation tape from heaven.

Now excuse me, I have some colouring-in to be catching up on.


p.s. Don’t forget to click on the link in the post below to see Ailbhe transported through the power of the internet to the world of Amelia’s magazine. I give her an A+. Amazing Ameliated Ailbhe.

Yes yes, as promised. More record reviews for your reading pleasure.