Thursday, February 24, 2011

Monday, February 21, 2011


I'm beginning to think that Jamie xx can do no wrong musically.

In addition to being a member of the Mercury music prize winners The xx, he also remixed Gil Scott Herons latest offering 'I'm New Here' resulting in 'We're New Here' (which you can stream below). I'm particularly obsessed with 'NY is Killing Me'- all killer bass, squelchy beats and Heron's distinctive gravelly voice.

To top it off he recently made an atmospheric and eclectic mix for Benji B'S BBC Radio One show (listen below)

Timmy Thomas — Why Can’t We Live Together
Zomby — Tarantula
Jamie Woon — Night Air – Becoming Real Remix
Koreless — M.T.I.
James Blake — I Mind
Cassie — Must Be Love – Jacques Greene’s Marriage Proposal Mix
Mount Kimbie — Before I Move Off
Rui Da Silva — Touch Me – Chopped and Screwed
DJ Choko — Stealth Drums
Jamie xx — Far Nearer – The Knife Bootleg
Beach House — 10 Mile Stereo
Crazy Cousinz — Inflation – Chopped and Screwed
Tanya Stephens — Can’t Touch Me No More
Dj A B — Darbuka
Harmonic 313 — Problem 7
Lumidee — Never Leave You
Adele — Rolling In The Deep – Jamie XX Shuffle
Gil Scott Heron and Jamie XX — One Take

Image: David Thai

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Monday, February 14, 2011

Thank You!

Just found out that this little corner of the internet has been nominated for Best Arts & Culture at Irish Blog Awards 2011.
Thanks to those of you who have the patience to read my ramblings!
Third times a charm eh?!

Sunday, February 13, 2011


PJ Harvey. Ever changing, ever challenging, always brilliant. Harvey has shifted from the haunting and brittle sounds of her previous album 'White Chalk' to something more weighty and corporal on her eighth album 'Let England Shake'.

Recorded in a 19th Century church overlooking the sea in Dorset, England, 'Let England Shake' finds Harvey delving into the nuances of war and inhabiting a position of an imaginary war correspondent. Created with long time collaborators Flood, John Parish and Mick Harvey, the album references a number of wars over the past 100 years and remains impartial, narrating political turmoil, nationalism, conflict and the physicality of war.

"I’ve seen and done things I want to forget;
I’ve seen soldiers fall like lumps of meat,
Blown and shot out beyond belief.
Arms and legs were in the trees.

I’ve seen and done things I want to forget;
coming from an unearthly place,
Longing to see a woman’s face,
Instead of the words that gather pace,
The words that maketh murder."

The lyrics were constantly reworked over a three year period and Harvey has said that she wanted to explore the ideas and experiences behind war but without being dogmatic or preachy. When she began work on the music, she wanted to balance out the weightiness of the words with something energizing and engaging. With each body of work she unravels and discovers what the songs need and in this instance she felt that an impartial/characterless voice was required to act as a narrator.

To lean more about PJ Harvey:

To listen to Let England Shake on NPR:

Friday, February 11, 2011


She was 6, had auburn hair and all of the boys in my class were in love with her. She would resolutely declare that she was going to be a teacher when she grew up. I'm not sure what made me envy her more, the admiring looks she drew in the playground or her steadfast determination to do something specific in life. When asked what did i want to be when i grew up, my answer was noncommittal and varied depending on my mood: maybe an artist or a jockey. As each passing year added inches to my legs, one option was crossed off the sparse list.

Labelled a bright student albeit one who only applied herself near exams by my teachers, i was directionless and found myself studying fine art in college as i had no idea what else to do. Art college didn't seem like such a bad idea, it would probably consist of throwing paint at canvasses, chin stroking intellectualism, parties and getting high on shoddily rolled joints right? Two out of four ain't bad.

We bumped into each other in a shop 20 years later, her face lit up in recognition while mine remained blank; scrambling for some clue as to who this friendly stranger was. The auburn hair had been dyed black and the puppy fat had melted from her face. She animatedly spoke of her job - she was now a teacher. Walking away from the conversation i wondered why i've never possessed that drive or really cared about anything. Nagged by my parents for my lack of ambition and direction, who couldn’t understand my tendency to 'float more, steer less' and see where it led me.

For the first time in my life a desire for something emerged. A desire to continue working and living in Canada, a country that has allowed me to blossom as a person. The one i worked so fucking hard to build a life in; like a dog with a bone, determined to continue my personal and professional life here. If I had a dollar for every time someone suggested I marry a Canadian to enable me to do so, I’d be shopping regularly at Holt Renfrew.

Despite being told that the odds of finding a company who would support/ 'sponsor' me were slim to none and that i should just move back to Ireland, i built a website to raise my professional profile, handed out fliers to promote it, utilized Twitter/ Linkedin and numerous websites, emailed strangers (some of them were shockingly supportive), submitted over 500 job applications and made numerous phone calls. Seven months later a job emerged with a progressive company who seemed almost as excited to bring me on board as i was about joining their team. However red tape and bullshit bureaucracy tangled itself around the situation and 'the man'/Service Canada rejected their application for my work permit.

As this is the first time I’ve ever given a shit about anything, how does one know when to walk away and give up on a dream? How many times do you need to bang against a wall before you know that it’s going to crumble or remain standing? I'll find a way or i'll make one.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011


"A need to tell and hear stories is essential to the species Homo Sapiens - second in necessity apparently after nourishment and before love and shelter. Millions survive without love or home, almost none in silence; the opposite of silence leads quickly to narrative, and the sound of story is the dominant sound of our lives, from the small accounts of our day's events to the vast incommunicable constructs of psychopaths."

Reynolds Price
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