Thursday, January 29, 2009

Raise Them Standards High

Just heard the news that John Martyn passed away today at the age of 60. Over the past few years news of my favorite singers dying (Nina Simone, Sinatra, Ronnie Drew and Layne Stanley et al.) has saddened me but none more so than this. His music accompanies many fond memories of my time spent sitting round the Spanish Arch in Galway amongst friends.

The following performance was from The Old Grey Whistle Test 1973

R.I.P John.
Image via

Thursday, January 22, 2009


"I haven't fucked much with the past, but I've fucked plenty with the future. Over the skin of silk are scars from the splinters of stations and walls I've caressed. A stage is like each bolt of wood, like a log of Helen, is my pleasure. I would measure the success of a night by the way by the way by the amount of piss and seed I could exude over the columns that nestled the P.A. Some nights I'd surprise everybody by skipping off with a skirt of green net sewed over with flat metallic circles which dazzled and flashed. The lights were violet and white. I had an ornamental veil, but I couldn't bear to use it.

When my hair was cropped, I craved covering, but now my hair itself is a veil, and the scalp inside is a scalp of a crazy and sleepy Comanche lies beneath this netting of the skin. I wake up. I am lying peacefully I am lying peacefully and my knees are open to the sun. I desire him, and he is absolutely ready to seize me. In heart I am a Moslem; in heart I am an American; in heart I am Moslem, in heart I'm an American artist, and I have no guilt. I seek pleasure. I seek the nerves under your skin. The narrow archway; the layers; the scroll of ancient lettuce. We worship the flaw, the belly, the belly, the mole on the belly of an exquisite whore. He spared the child and spoiled the rod. I have not sold myself to God. "

' Babelogue' by Patti Smith

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Beat Goes On

I always associate Stevie Wonder with the piano but turns out he's pretty nifty on the drums also!


The Banshee is an anglicization of an bean-sidhe. This roughly translates as 'Fairy woman' or 'woman of the mounds'. She is generally acknowledged to be an ancestral spirit appointed to forewarn members of certain ancient Irish families of their time of death. According to tradition, the banshee cries for five major Irish families: the O'Neills, the O'Briens, the O'Connors, the O'Gradys and the Kavanaghs. Intermarriage has extended this select list over generations. Although she is not always seen, her mourning call is heard, usually at night when someone is about to die.

Fuelled by my grandparents stories as a kid and wanting to know more about the subject, a few years ago i read a book called 'The Banshee-An Irish Supernatural Messenger of Death' by Patricia Lysaght.

The banshee chiefly appears in one of three guises: a young woman, a stately matron or an old crone. These three images represent the triple aspects of the Celtic goddess of war and death: Badhbh, Macha and Mor-Rioghain/Morrigan. She usually wears either a grey, hooded cloak or the winding sheet or grave robe of the dead. She has been appeared to people calling and brushing her hair.

Her cry or call varies from place to place. In parts of Leinster, she is referred to as the bean chaointe (keening woman) whose wail is piercing and unnerving. Her call has also been described as low sweet singing or a thin screech similar to that of a bird. The banshee may also appear in a variety of other forms, such as that of a crow, stoat, hare and weasel - animals associated in Ireland with witchcraft.

I found the following on YouTube and thought it was beautifully shot. It's from a documentary called 'Glenafooka: The Glen of the Ghost'. It was directed by Mary Sue Connolly and shot in Co Waterford. This documentary explores folk traditions, superstitions, and cultural beliefs as they are practiced from the past to the present. It reveals traditions and beliefs of rural Ireland and provides insight into how these traditions have influenced the daily lives of the people who preserve their memories.

At the risk of sounding sentimental it captures a side of Ireland that is nearly extinct; nowadays the notion of the Banshee is considered a fairytale or a myth. The pace of life is hectic, the emphasis is on material goods and certain parts of our heritage and folklore are lost forever as we become more cosmopolitan.

Director of Glenfooka:

Images via Occultopedia
and Kyxbanshees

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Excira / Delira

Today has been one of the best days I've had in a while and it's only just begun.

In the space of time between getting outta bed and making a cup of tea, i became aware of two things.

1: President Barack Obama. America, Papa's got a brand new bag .
2: An Cathach made it onto the Irish Blog Awards nomination list in 2 categories! Best Arts and Culture Blog and Best Newcomer. Thank you to anyone who nominated the blog-i'm chuffed :)

Picture via Gapingvoid

Sunday, January 18, 2009

La Connaissance

"Seize the moment of excited curiosity on any subject to solve your doubts; for if you let it pass, the desire may never return, and you remain in ignorance."

Monday, January 12, 2009

Living Art

Tattoos seem to be something that people either love or hate; as well as being slightly fascinated by. I love listening to people when they talk about their tattooing experiences or why they dislike them. At the age of 16 i was inked for the first time. I thought long and hard before taking the plunge. I currently have 2 pieces done and have been drawing/dismissing designs for a future piece. It is not a case of I'll regret having them done, as suggested by some people I've met. They are now an intrinsic part of my skin, along with freckles, scars and tiny stretchmarks.

There is an artist, Kore Flatmo whose work is of such high quality (in my opinion) that most tattoo work pales in comparison.

Kore Flatmo runs a tattooing studio called Plurabella and has been tattooing for over 15 years.Plurabella originated with one studio in Cincinatti, Ohio in 1999 and he opened another custom studio in Los Angeles recently. He also paints in his spare time.

If this is the year i get a third tattoo inked, I'd love to have a piece of work done by him. From an artistic point of view i am always in awe of a skilled tattooist. His work is a beautiful balance of colour and black and white. He has mastered the art of shading (sadly something not a lot of artists can do perfectly) and at times it reminds me of sfumato. He is capable of capturing the essence of a person- i love art that captures and emanates a subjects personality.

For better quality images of his work check out:

Plurabella Tattoo Studio

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Lady Day: Sing It Like It Is

Listening to Billie Holiday today and feeling very much like a little girl in a big city.
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