College Tribune Entertainment Supplement 9.02.2010
the Siren Fionn and games THe siren meets singersongwriter Fionn Regan
Strike Anywhere Tucker Max Precious Mary Kate Olsenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Style
The Siren 9.02.10
Electronic favourite DeadMau5 has just confirmed a Dublin date at the Olympia for Friday May 7th. Tickets €39.20 including booking fee go on sale soon. New York’s ‘Fun Lovin Criminals’ have announced an intimate Academy date on Easter Sunday April 4th. New album “Classic Fantastic” is set for release on February 26th. Tickets are €30 including booking fee and are on sale now. The 2nd Inspirations Gig in aid of Barretstown takes place on Friday March 5th at The Olympia. The night will feature a host of acts performing songs by their musical heroes and some of their own material. The line up includes David Gray, Paddy Casey, Mundy and many more. Tickets are on sale now on ticketmaster. Grammy Award nominees One Republic have announced two Irish dates as part of their forthcoming tour. The band will play on Tuesday April 13 at Dublin’s Academy, with the other taking place the following day in Belfast.
Jim Scully meets punk band Strike Anywhere Page 5
New Releases After a seven year wait, Massive Attack are releasing their fifth studio album entitled ‘Heligoland’. Featuring special guest vocals of the likes of Horace Andy and Damon Albarn, it’s a must have for fans of the British music production duo. It is scheduled for release today. One Life Stand is the fourth album from British alternative dance
Katie Godwin gets chatted up by Tucker Max Page 11
With the metrosexual trend forever gaining new victims, Cathal O’Gara decides who makes it onto the best dressed male list
band Hot Chip and was released digitally on 8th February 2010. ‘Valleys of Neptune’ is an upcoming studio album by American psychedelic rock musician Jimi Hendrix. Due to be released by Legacy Recordings, the album will include five officially unreleased songs, including the title track along with many other classics, which is due to be released as the album’s lead single today. Giants Park Belfast Fatboy Slim, global icon and electronic music extraordinaire, will make history on May 8th as the first artist to perform a concert at Giant’s Park, Belfast, located on the North Foreshore of Belfast Lough. Giant’s Park will be a landmark public park for north Belfast and the entire city. It will be made up of around 220 acres of land, currently the Dargan Road Landfill site on the North Foreshore beside Belfast Lough. Along with recreational and educational purposes, the site is set to become a prominent venue for music lovers in the near future. Along with Fatboy Slim, Deadmau5 has joined the bill followed by other international acts such as Zane Lowe, Sidney Samson and Thomas Gandey, a.k.a. Caged Baby. Tickets are on sale now. Dont miss it! Ryan Cullen
New noise Delphic Paged as the next big thing for 2010, Manchester’s newest offspring, Delphic are yet another band to be burdened with the pressure of high expectation; calling them a sure-to-be success is as good as handing the band a white elephant on a leash. However, something about this band indicates they might just be as good as we’re being told they are. Could be the fact they spent a lot of 2009 playing all the major UK festivals, or the act they were one of the fifteen shortlisted music acts for the BBC Sound of 2010 where they ultimately placed third. Or, it might that they’ve already appeared on Later…with Jools Holland, renowned because of his nose for upcoming sensations. Delphic’s James Cook remains remarkably grounded despite the waves of praise washing the band’s way. He discussed their current situation, “Last night we were in Wolverhampton and had a few problems because our set up is a little bit crazy. Then, we woke up in Liverpool in the back of a bus. We’ve been a bit all over the place and tomorrow we’re going to be in Glasgow as well.” Sounds like they’re living the rock and roll lifestyle but Cook laughs at the suggestion. “Yeah, well we’re not really that rock n’ roll. Sure, last night after the gig we just packed up and got into bed and played the guitars and listened to our iPods.” For someone unfamiliar with their
sound, Cook tries to classify Delphic’s sound; “Well, I suppose, classically you would say we were electronic. But, with a lot of electronic music, it lacks real groove so I’ve found the easiest way to describe us, is electronic music with soul.” Delphic’s debut album, Acolyte, has been recently released. Cook discusses the respite of finally getting it out; “It was a massive relief to have it released and it was good to get it off of our shoulders because we’ve been gearing up for it over the last eighteen months. So, to get all the recording, artwork and song writing out of the way and to have it all there in a finished piece of work, it’s like, fantastic.” Bands that are dragged into the spotlight often lose a lot of fans. Cook claims not to be fearful of the labels; “We listen to so much music and some of it is mainstream, some trendy, indie kind of pitchfork type music.” “The problem with our status in music maybe has something to do with the BBC Sound of 2010. Unfortunately, a lot of people get put off when a major music corporation like the BBC tells you what you have to listen to. Maybe that takes you away from being an indie band and more sort of mainstream. We don’t really know what we are; are we indie or mainstream, we just make music that pleases the three of us.” Cathy Buckmaster
The Siren 9.02.10
American VI: Ain’t No Grave David Tracey As the final album of new material from the “American” series, “American VI: Ain’t No Grave”, represents the final work of one of the most important figures of American popular music to emerge in the latter half of the 20th Century. Due to this fact, the album faces the unenviable task of acting as the concluding chapter of a remarkable musical career. As a result it is inevitably burdened with the weight of expectation that comes from the knowledge that whatever compilations or collections may emerge in the future, this is the last album of new material from Johnny Cash. What we end up with, however, is an album that doesn’t sit completely comfortably with this weight of expectation, despite being, for the most part, a fine record. Undoubtedly, the album’s greatest strength is that voice. The powerful baritone of earlier days may be long gone but despite his limited vocal range, Cash imbues each track here with an incredible degree of emotion, resulting in extraordinarily moving performances, while Rick Rubin captures every subtle, glorious detail expertly. The main problem with the album then, is that “Ain’t No Grave” seems totally satisfied with simply offering fans what they have come to expect from the “American” series and nothing more. Once again we are confronted with bare-bones arrangements, numerous interpreta-
Midlake The Courage of Others
David Tracey On their third album, Midlake have taken the brave decision to go against the sound they developed on 2006’s “The Trials Of Van Occupanther” a record that won them significant critical praise. If that album was informed by and suffused with a very Californian brand of folk and mid-70’s soft rock, then their latest effort “The Courage Of Others”, takes a left turn into the much colder climate of late sixties English folk. This results in a style that lacks the instant likeability of “Van Oc-
cupanther”, but instead reveals its wonders, of which there are many, at a slower pace. Midlake have skilfully crafted an album of melancholic grandeur, the intricate arrangements manage to be cold yet emotional, the stiff chill of winter is almost tangible on tracks like “In the Ground” and “Small Mountain.” Tim Smith’s vocals, as ever, are a joy to behold while his lyrics, obsessed with naturalistic imagery and some undefined long gone time when life was somewhat simpler but no less difficult, conjure an atmosphere of foreboding without becoming wearying. Simply put, “The Courage of Others” is a remarkable achievement. Midlake have created a thoroughly satisfying album which reveals more of its strange beauty and subtle song craft with each subsequent listen.
Fionn Regan Shadow of an Empire
Michael Vaughan Shadow of an Empire is the second album to be released from the critically acclaimed Irish folk singersongwriter Fionn Regan. The album has already been nominated for the Irish Album of the Year at the Choice Music Prize. On Shadow of an Empire, Regan takes a drastically different road from his previous album The End of History but manages to pull it off surprisingly well. The influences of other musicians such as James Blunt and Bob Dylan can be clearly heard
throughout with Regan’s own personal touch added to it. This latest album shows the artist growing in confidence and casting his net across more musical styles. The addition of the electric guitar fills out the tracks without taking away from the raw and rhythmic acoustic guitar. The lyrics still contain that feelgood effect but with the hint of a deeper and darker underlying tone. The tempo has been stepped up a notch or two which adds to the feel of the album. Along with the warm beat and his soft, raspy voice, Regan has created a truly unique sound.
tions of other people’s songs and the usual themes of love, loss, spirituality etc. The result is a pleasurable listen yes, but in what is by now a rather well worn setting Cash’s greatness is too often only hinted at or witnessed in short passages. Only one song here, in the form of “Aloha Oe” is undeniably dreadful (absolutely no one needed to hear Johnny Cash crooning along to this insipid Hawaiian number) but far too many tracks, such as Kris Kristofferson’s “For The Good Times” and “Cool Water”, seem content with acting as mediocre and forgettable exercises within the familiar, safe confines of the American Recordings set-up. Too rarely do the arrangements rouse themselves from their overly-polite default mode to coalesce with Cash’s affecting vocals to create something truly memorable that could stand alongside the man’s best work, as on the heartfelt, scene-stealing rendition of Tom Paxton’s “Where I’m Bound” or Sheryl Crow’s “Redemption Day”. It is perhaps unfair to expect a posthumous album to act as a worthy send-off to a figure as imposing and influential as Johnny Cash’s and in truth this record is, at times, fitting in its own humble, respectful way as a final farewell to a giant of American music. It is only that “American VI” is best approached as a pleasant coda to Cash’s final act rather than the closing statement on the man’s enormous legacy.
Massive Attack heligoland
Philip Connolly The surprise isn’t really that it took so long, more that Heligoland has arrived at all. The last time they released an album, Massive Attack seemed to be in the process of vanishing, both in the physical sense, the sprawling collective that made their 1991 debut album Blue Lines had been reduced to one member, Robert “3D” del Naja, and musically. A wash of softly flickering electronics and spectral guitar figures, 2003’s 100th Window sounded barely there, withdrawn
and drained. When another founder member, Grant “Daddy G” Marshall, returned, he told a journalist that he would “bring the black back to Massive Attack”. He was joking, but he had a point. The problem with 100th Window was that it had cut itself off completely from the band’s reggae, hip-hop and soul roots. Heligoland offers merciful proof that, when it comes to evoking a certain sort of restive, overcast unease, an on-form Massive Attack can still deliver. You’ll be unlikely to spin your click-wheel towards it on a bright summer’s morning. But that was never what this band were for. In the small, anxious hours for which it was clearly designed, Heligoland makes light work of dissolving the barrier between the stillness outside and your interior world.
The Siren 9.02.10
Living on the dark side of the moon God is an Astronaut frontman Torsten Kinsella talks touring, dodgy venues and the music press with Philip Connolly
God Is An Astronaut are a rare thing in the Irish music scene, peddling a searing combination of swirling Kevin Shields tinged guitar layered over pulsating programmatic ambient beats ala Massive Attack. They reject the post rock label and provide a welcome alternative to the singer/song-writer doyens lapped up by the Irish music press or Devo impersonating bands from across the channel riding fresh on the new wave of British indie rock. Saying this, the band has received little in the way of attention and has been left relatively isolated with their fan base mainly emerging outside of Ireland. While most Irish bands are lauded within the country yet struggle once they leave Irish shores, God is an Astronaut are the complete opposite, selling out shows all over Europe yet remaining relatively small considering their overseas appeal. “European audiences seem more open to what we do, even in England although it’s much more difficult getting concerts, London will be sold out. In Ireland its predominantly an indie scene, and it’s
hard to understand, we have our fans and were grateful for that but the Irish scene has never really seen eye to eye with us, hopefully that will change this year. It would be nice to get a little bit more coverage here, Hop Press have finally come on board which has been a long time coming” states Torsten Kinsella, the brains behind the band, supported by his brother Niels and drummer Lloyd Hanney. “Hop Press have an extreme amount of power, I’m kind of in two minds about it. In one way you have to tip your a hat from them becoming so influential, I do think certain bands get overlooked, ourselves and Primordial have been for a while, there are plenty of examples. I do think that certain bands don’t get enough respect, take fight like apes, a great band, but were a lot bigger than them outside of Ireland, yet you read about how well they did this year and they say nothing about us. I think it’s slightly misinformed sometimes, I don’t think it’s anything personal.” While one cannot be but impressed with
e d i u G GIG Heathers/ We Cut Corners/ Wounds/ Little Green Cars – Feb.11th – The Village - €8 Dublin twin sisters Heathers headline this year’s Trinity Arts Festival gig at The Village. Having packed out the IMRO tent at Oxegen, traveled to New York with The Blizzards for CMJ, they will blow you away with their sweet, sweet harmonies. Support on the night comes from We Cut Corners, a duo of (male) primary school teachers playing catchy tunes ala White Stripes and Bright Eyes and hailed by Jim Carroll in The Ticket and tipped by State. ie as hot for 2010. Sextet Little Green Cars will blow you away with youthfull talent, fresh from their sell out gig at Whelans and appearance on The Café, they may or may not be underage. And finally the eclectic, chaotic, thrash punk sounds of Wounds, just back from a string of gigs in the UK, will rattle your socks. Paranoid Visions/ Runnin Riot/ Dipsomaniacs/ The Snipes – Feb. 13th – Fibber Magees - €10 Those who know punk on this island will
know that Dublin’s Paranoid Visions and Belfast’s Runnin Riot are by now veterans of the scene. Both band’s have energy in abundance and a healthy lack of bullshit. This night is offering a lot of bang for buck, with the two
the burgeoning reputation worldwide, pan European tours can create some difficulties. “We’ve come across some hairy situations, I particularly remember one in Bologna in Italy where we were playing a gig, and we were only told a few days before that it was going to be an outdoor concert. So we got there and were told everything is going to be fine, the weather was good, and so we sorted out all our equipment on stage. Then we were told there was going to be an 80 decibel level limit which is absolutely silly.” “We kind of looked at each other and though right say nothing let’s just get on with it. Then having set up all the equipment we were told we would have to move inside. So we though oh Jesus right sure we’ll get on with it. When we got inside there were two speakers, powerful ones but basically hi-fi speakers.” “So we said are we going to bring in the equipment form outside so we can play a proper concert? The said no its fine, we were thinking well it’s not fine. We played Rage against the machine to test it and it was so distorted it was horrible. Water Music. Regardless, what they do they do well. Touring in support of their second full-length, “Chasing Hamburg”, a good live show is guaranteed. And with six local bands on the night, including Find A Way and Soldiers Take Half, it’s a steal at €10.
We forced them to bring the equipment in. At the end of the gig our sound engineer came over and told us he was being threatened physically for it being too loud. I didn’t think anything of it until we were packing up and this guy jumped up on the stage went head to head with our sound engineer and speaking aggressively in Italian. I remember tapping him and trying to get his attention and him putting his head to mine, I remember hitting him slightly in the head to get him away. I remember about five bouncers jumping up onto the stage and me standing there with a screwdriver in my hand thinking, come on fuckheads, that was a hairy situation but you get that sometimes.” “Looking back I think we were right, another band Sunn O))) played in there the next night with no P.A system at all just the speakers. I was reading on forums that we were good and Sunn O))) were terrible, I know for a fact that they are a great band, and that might end up being damaging to them and their reputation. That’s the part of the touring I don’t enjoy.”
Not that America was much kinder to the band; “We had just finished New York and the police knocked on our door and said our van had been broken into. They had taken everything that was ours and nothing from the hire company, which was fortunate in a way, in another way seems highly suspicious. I don’t know who took it but I certainly have my suspicions, it was certainly an inside job.” Yet aside from the more auspicious aspects of touring the band have had a great 2009 and 2010 promises to get even better. “It is great playing to new audiences; I remember starting off in Dublin playing to five people in Isaac Butts. To see 700 people turn up to Rome, or play in front of 2000 people in Moscow. It puts you under more pressure, were called superstars in Poland, which I’d never heard before. People turn up with high expectations, in Poland we’re fifteen times bigger than we are here, so you can walk over there with instruments and a small screen, but they expect the same standards that they would get from Nine inch nails or other bands like that.”
Asian Dub Foundation – Feb. 19th – Tripod - €22.50
bands at the bottom of the bill boasting members of Cock Sparrer, Letherface and Angelic Upstarts. You’d be mad not too. Polar Bear Club – Feb. 13th – The Pint - €10 Favourites of that ever so fashionable haircut magazine (Alternative Press), Polar Bear Club are a band who have made a major name for themselves riding the waves left in the wake of bands like Hot
Live sensations ASIAN DUB FOUNDATION are set to return to Dublin for a full live show at TRIPOD on Friday 19th February. One of Britain’s most politically conscious bands will be debuting brand new material from a new album soon to be recorded, as well as playing all the What? greats from classic releases such as Rafi’s Revenge, Community Music, and 2008’s Rock Jihad vs. Club Racan Punkara, their first album with former King Prawn singer Al Rumjen on lead Where? vocals.
be joining the Rock Jihad DJ’s for a night of tunes, tunes and more tunes. The stereo goes up to 11 at 8.30 and it’s a recession friendly zero euro cover charge. Music will probably start with punk and rock, from there who knows where it will go. Perfect for those of you wanting to start off your weekend with something a little different.
Friday, February 12th. 8:30pm
Drink prices are reasonable for the city centre, with no charge on the door you’ve already made a saving.
The International, Wicklow Street.
Dregin and Lukas, the lovely lads from the somewhat defunct Club Racan will
The Siren 9.02.10
SOUNDING A CHANGE
After playing a blisteringly energetic set in Dublin’s Whelan’s back in December, Strike Anywhere front man Thomas Barnett sits down with Jim Scully to discuss punk rock past and present It would be no exaggeration to say that Strike Anywhere are one of the most hard working bands in the punk circuit today… or is that the hardcore circuit? “Sometimes I think, what people consider punk, that gets lifted up and turned into a commercial quantity with things like warped tour. But then you’ve got hardcore scenes and we don’t really see much difference between the two, we’re probably a band that rides the line. We’re made up of hardcore kids that think they’re in a punk band and punk kids who think they’re playing in a hardcore band. So I see now the hardcore scene carrying the flag of DIY shows or at least independent shows with venues that are really exciting and sometimes it feels like its catching fire, sometimes it feels like a movement again.” Speaking to Thomas Barnett as he winds down from another trademark energetic performance, the Virginia native’s passion and work ethic certainly can’t be doubted. Touring in support of the band’s fourth full-length release “Iron Front”, in true Strike Anywhere style the bus will once again become home for the band’s foreseeable future. Iron Front sees the band move from Fat Mikes Fat Wreck Chords to Boston’s hardcore stable Bridge Nine Records, a move which the ever-polite Barnett
insists was amicable. “Fat are such good friends of ours, we’ve nothing but respect for them, they’re unbelievably fair, they are amazing. We started writing Iron Front and we thought it would be interesting to do this with someone else, and that someone else could only have been Bridge Nine. We didn’t leave Fat Wreck Chords because we couldn’t stand pervert nurse jokes or songs about drugs, although in retrospect that’s not really what we think punk should be
about. Someone should be doing it, but maybe we don’t need to be that close to it.” Closer to home with Bridge Nine, a label which shares the bands passion for hardcore, Strike Anywhere can only go from strength to strength. The band are no strangers to the road, releasing four albums since 2001, with the majority of the time in between spent on tour. The band’s commitment and passion is undeniable, working extremely hard for little reward. “We are ten years
deep in this band, some of us are in our mid thirties, and it’s an odd and almost irresponsible thing to say “we still don’t give a fuck!” because we believe in independent international punk rock that’s about the message. Its awesome, but that means that our girlfriends, our families are like, ‘fuck!” they’re picking up the slack. Because there is a real world out there, there’s a wolf howling at the door. And we come back from tour with a few Euros in our pocket, it’s not really solving the problem.” With such little financial gain to be had, Strike Anywhere exhibit a refreshing dedication to the music and disregard for the commercial possibilities. “It’s not about opportunities, cause we don’t give a shit about careers, we do this because of the movement and the culture and what it means to us. We stepped off the grid of any of this making economic sense in an ambitious way a long time ago.” Barnett is very assured of his band’s purpose and place, and knows just as well the personal problems that presents. “I’m sure our friends and families and significant others and lovers would love it if there was anything predictable economically about it, even to the equivalent of being a public high school teacher or something where there was a health plan and a bit of a wage so you could know what bills to
pay. We do make wild choices, like we’ll go to Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and that’s not even going to be breaking even, we’re just gonna be paying money to do it, there’s just a point where you just fucking have to do it. For us every moment that we sing along, every moment that we can have that shared catharsis with people it transcends all of the differences in the world.”Barnett’s intentions and sentiments no doubt do proud the legacy left by punk pioneers like the late Joe Strummer, a man whose own commercial success presented a certain personal conflict. As the Clash rose to the heights of musical fame, the man who once sang in a squat about certain groups “turning rebellion into money” was now standing in front of a stadium of thousands, profiting from his youthful songs of rebellion. At the risk of sounding disrespectful, I think it’s fair to say that Strike Anywhere won’t have to worry about a conflict of such proportions, but it does call into question the role and position of punk today, a quite often commercialized and recycled routine at this stage. Seeking Barnett’s opinion on punk todayI quote a recent interview with Don Letts in which he claimed, “punk was the first rung of the ladder of expression, you weren’t supposed to get stuck on that rung.” As much as Barnett agreed with this, he has
his own affirmed ideas about where his band fits into the great punk rock jigsaw. “That’s a great question and a great analysis by him and you, because we’ve heard that often, and Ian McKaye would say the same thing. It’s like “move forward past that”. And each of the bands now, maybe they would accuse any bands like us of re enacting only a period, and the thing is we write the songs the way they come out and the way we want them to feel, and that’s what we love about it. And we don’t have any allusions that we are doing something completely fresh, but at the same time it’s unique because it’s from us, we believe in that personal stamp. We’re not a cover band; this is our two-minute protest poetry, our vulnerabilities. Everything manifested, and also for us I think that’s what moves us, what feels authentic is also just punk hardcore from the east coast. We feel we play like soul music or folk music, something that has its form, has its language, has its delivery, and putting your personal human stamp on it is the creative part. It’s a platform, and we believe in the particular emotional narrative and the catharsis of the way we play punk music, is right for us.” The band are obviously self-assured in their belief in what they do, and it shows. The proof is on the stage.
RE-LIGHTING A FIRE
Arriving a few generations too late to encounter a personal musical hero, Ryan Cullen finds the next best thing to Jim Morrison in the lead singer of The Doors cover band, The Doors Alive, as they prepare to make their way back to Dublin
Where is Jim Morrison buried?
Win a VIP table for you and 3 mates at The Doors Alive – The Academy on 12th February, just email the answer to firstname.lastname@example.org
Recreating the sound of one of the most influential rock bands in the world is never an easy task, however, The Doors Alive remain one of the most faithful and dedicated bands to recreate not only the sound, but the presence and looks of the original Doors. Following sellout shows all across the United Kingdom, they once again return to Irish soil to transport fans of The Doors fans back into the bluesy psychedelic journey that won the hearts of millions of fans worldwide. The front man Willie, who has the daunting task of recreating the stage presence of the late great Jim Morrison, never disappoints as he captures the attitude and vibe as well as the voice of the legendary front man. The Doors Alive captures The Doors’ organdominated avant-garde bluesy style to perfection, with all members playing out the many classics such as ‘Light my Fire’ and ‘Roadhouse Blues’ note for note in perfect fashion. In the past few years, their attention in regards to sound and attitude make them the number one tribute band and a fitting recreation of the legendary, Sixties, Californian rock gurus.
“The band came about a few years ago when a chap called Jason started the band, this was before any of the current members had joined, since then The Doors Alive name sort of grew and grew until we welded it down to the best musicians we have had so far, and now it seems to just really gel.” Willie went on to explain how his love of The Doors came about giving him the passion that has contributed immensely to the success of the band. ”I have been a fan of the doors since I was a kid, to be honest, I became a fan because of the Oliver Stone Film ‘The Doors’ as a lot of people in my generation did, after that I just listened to a hell of a lot more material and eventually got really really into it”. From Christian on the organ and Rhodes bass to Baz and Buzz on guitar and percussion, a lot of work has been put in place to achieve that authentic Sixties sound. The band themselves use the very same instruments that members of the Doors originally used creating a sound and atmosphere so similar and precise that you could imagine being in the Hollywood Bowl in
68’ as Jim worked the stage and Ray, John and Robby created the mood and sound that made them the icons they are today. “We wanted to get it as close as possible. We use the same guitars, but most importantly, we use the same keyboards. The keyboard that we use is a Gibson organ and a Fender Rhodes bass that we have had for a while, but recently we have got a new Gibson organ from the 60’s and it just sounds fantastic. People in Ireland will hear the new instruments first.” Since the Doors sound has resonated through every decade since the 60’s, a mixed generation of people come to enjoy the musical experience “It’s such a mixture, from grandmother’s right down to people asking to get their kids in” Following an excellent performance in the Academy in Dublin during last year, Willie spoke of how “he really enjoyed Ireland” and was “dead excited to come back”. With such detail to sound and a front man with the charisma and attitude to challenge Jim Morrison himself, The Doors Alive are surely the band to relight the fire.
Stepping out of the shadows A very fidgety but nonetheless flowery, Fionn Regan takes time out before his album release to chat to Cathy Buckmaster about seaside towns, musical memories and the tricks of the night
The Siren 9.2.10 Turns out, releasing acclaimed records, performing in huge festivals to many adoring fans, getting nominations and winning awards does not equal a well adjusted, confident character. There are two things that strike you when you meet acclaimed Irish singer song writer, Fionn Regan. Firstly, just how awkward, shy and uncomfortable he seems in the given situation. Secondly, his fairly haunting turn of phrase and the long pauses in-between each. For example, when classifying his sound for those unfamiliar with his music, Regan describes it as the following: “Like sometimes you can lean on darkness. Say, on a stormy night, you can fall into the water. You can be in a room, looking for a light source and the writing process for me is like looking for the light source. Sometimes the light source is under your foot and you’re turning around 360 and you can’t see it. I think that’s as close as I can come to anything that describes it.” Idiosyncrasies aside, Regan makes a memorable character from his aesthetic value also. Most of his face is shrouded by his mop of dark, auburn hair which he plays with when talking. His piercing blue eyes constantly dance, in an attempt to avert eye contact. Donning dark skinny jeans, buttoned up black trench and pixie shoes, he makes quite the remarkable silhouette. Produced by Regan himself, his debut album, The End of History, was released in 2006 with raving reviews all round. Off the back of that album, Regan was nominated for two Meteor music awards, as well as a Choice Music Prize and was shortlisted for the Mercury Music Prize. His most well known single, Be Good or Be Gone transcended any definite context by being used in Grey’s Anatomy, Skins and oddly enough, car advertisements. However Regan seems perplexed by the latter; “It was Be Good or Be Gone used but I never saw it.” Regan finished his second studio album, Shadow of an Empire which was released on the 8th February. Regan speaks lovingly about his new record. Twiddling his thumbs, he explains how the record was formed. “Well the record had an intricate journey. A lot of the songs were written on the road as I took on quite a lot of touring after the last album. A lot of the songs came about and the rhymes came about on a page.” He explains tailing off into a mumble followed by a lengthy pause leaving me a bit unsure where he’s going with this point. However, he suddenly interjects; “Then when I went to record it, I recorded it in a very old fashioned, traditional way. The record was made more along the lines of how the Beatles made records. Basically everyone sets up in a room and plays live. So that’s the way I went about it.” When asked why he chose this kind of space to record the album, he explains it simply. Pointing to my jacket, he monosyllabically suggests; “The same reason you have a red coat on, because you like it or it suits you.” However, he elaborates with a nudge. “The recording took place just near the Wicklow Mountains. Sort of a factory space and there were no airs or graces about it. I didn’t want to record to have any flashy facades. I didn’t wan to pull the wool over anyone’s eyes.” He adds, in some of his more eloquent phrasing, “I don’t want it to be a beautiful box with no contents which is a currency that’s exchanged quite a lot. I wanted it to be cloth sack laced with sapphires or I wanted something like a tea chest that when you break the base of it you find a piece of jewellery.”
As for the influences for the record, Regan explains the often strange but quotidian things that sway his mood. “Influence is a funny word. With the record, my influence first and foremost comes from what I see, what I hear, how I feel. You can look at somebody just walking to the bus stop and you can tell that about what’s happening on that street. Might even be able to tell a lot about what’s happening in that county just by the way someone moves.” Picking lint off his jacket and concentrating hard on the process, he continues; “A lot of my influence stems from travelling and seeing things and travelling. I covered a lot of ground from Australia, around America
The Siren 9.2.10
and around England and Europe. That’s where the influence came from. I do also love writers, especially Lord Buckley. He’s a monologist. He’s definitely worth looking into.” Born in the seaside town of Bray, Regan had the pleasure of growing up in that most strange of towns which have that last stop on the train vibe. While discussing his earliest musical memory, he revels in dramatic pauses and some very interesting idioms. “My first musical memory was probably the wind coming in off the sea blowing through the letter box, the welsh flag in the hull blowing. Or maybe it was playing the piano with some sort of ghosts inside it,
reaching up to the keys, playing the notes, just getting completely lost in it and also feeling connected to something else that I hadn’t really feel connected to.” He finishes, once again tailing into inaudible mumbles. On the subject of Bray, Regan explains that his hometown has had quite the affect on his music. Gesticulating he explains; “I think anyone that grows up in seaside town, especially one that’s a destination would be influenced in their endeavours. If we sat here for long enough, this would play a part. If we went out on that street and stood there for long enough, we’d get to know peoples names and when the shutters go up and down and when the lights come
on, when people come back from work.” “I think it’s the same with the place you’re from; it definitely stays with you. Your memory of the place might not be exactly what the place is like now because within a small space of time, everything changes. However, it definitely occupies a certain place in your mind.” Regan has been a slow burner for a few years with his name getting more and more familiar around the country. So when quizzed about his break, he finds it hard to state just one incident or any incident for that matter. “I don’t know what it would have been. I mean I focus on the writing and I enjoy the challenges that it presents. When it comes to anything like my break, I don’t know really. I presume when you become more visible, people think that you’re going somewhere else. I suppose from the top to the end of a song, that’s a break. Doing that ten times and raising the bar within yourself, that’s a break.” “The external things that happen a lot of the time is a projected thing; it might be on the back of your coat and you can’t see the film that’s being projected. Within the walls of what I’m doing, I’m focused on getting better and enjoying the challenges and really the rest of it just tales place around you. But I don’t take it for granted or anything.” He adds earnestly. When discussing song writing, Regan’s azure eyes glow. His best work comes about in the nocturnal hours. With a mischievous glint in his eye, he comments; “I like the tricks of the night. Sometimes, you just have to learn to walk the tight rope and still be able to scribble stuff down in your moleskine.” “When the winds are blowing around, chairs going that way and that way, you have to keep focused. It’s like a spirit level. I do stay up late at night writing but then other times, it happens early morning. A lot of writing takes place, when you’re just processing things and thinking.” Regan pops a sweet, lockets for a sore
throat, into his mouth but seeing an issue arise, quickly changes his mind and takes it out to wrap it up for later. “I realise that if I suck this sweet I won’t get any words out.” Despite his seemingly awkward manner, Regan claims he has no problem performing I front of the huge crowds at festivals. “I like to perform; doesn’t matter if it’s a phone box, a shed, up in the attic, the basement at the side of the road, in a huge big room or wherever. Sometimes it’s like being beside a fire and other time, it’s like a forest fire. That’s the way it feels but that can happen anywhere.” He explains in a typically vague, slightly nonsensical way. Regan finds it difficult to think of a stand out show in but has a clear memory of a certain feeling; “I can’t remember a show in particular. However, there were a few performances where it sort of went from the moment when people got the record in their hands; the energy levels changed and it just lifted our spirits. That feeling of suddenly, it’s a different thing, was wonderful.” As for the highlight of his whole career, Regan finds it less difficult deciding. “Getting the record finished and getting to the end of something and knowing they’re going out to the shops is the highlight for me really.” At this stage, the interview is coming to a close and Regan becomes decidedly more comfortable in his skin. He becomes more interested in finding out about me than answering any more questions. Upon hearing we’re a university paper, his eyes widen and he dreamily mentions. “That must be fascinating. I would have like to have studied English. I never studied at college myself.” After a quick chat about how part time jobs and a music career aren’t so different as well as discussing my long year spent as an usher, Regan quips; “Sure ushers have a flashlight right? You were looking for the light source too.” He smirks before slyly whispering; “It was in your hand.”
Bearing All Aisling Kennedy investigates where to draw the line, or hemline, when it comes to revealing flesh When we’re dealing with make-up, us gals know that less is often more. Yet, when it comes to flashing a bit of flesh what counts as too much? Or in this case too little. There has been a increase of articles in the media of late, damning the return of sexism in society. One of the main perpetrators is the oversexed under-dressing of our female celebrities. Firstly, who said sexism ever left society? And secondly, just because there are highly sexed images in the media and in celebrity culture, does not mean that every little girl who
sees former glamour model Katie Price is going to want to be a page three glamour girl when they grow up. As an aside, it should be pointed out that a survey carried out by IrishJobs.ie revealed that women are set to assume even more senior roles by the year 2020. Yes there are a lot of social pressures out there to look and dress a
The A-Z of style:
make. Celebrity influence is a tour de force in our society, but we are not totally brainwashed drooling followers. What is the verdict on our very own student ladies? Feargal Keenan, third year Arts, gave his viewpoint on the matter. “Women, it’s their prerogative if they want to dress scantily or not but they should probably consider the fact that men will only appreciate it to a certain limited extent. In the sense that they will probably brand them a ‘slut’, which is bad because if a girl wants to dress in a short skirt it doesn’t mean she’s easy or anything like that.” It’s a sad and blatant fact that if you dress a certain way you will be perceived in those terms. If you dress too scantily, despite having ladylike intentions, you will be visually judged. I know it is not fair, but it is just a fact about our society.
Kim Mulligan, second year social science, holds this opinion. “During the day I’m against [girls dressing skimpily] … night however is different everyone has their own personal dress code. I think there is a way that you can dress yourself that shows off your figure but still has a nice cut.” This probably is the key to the whole flashing the flesh debate. Who said you couldn’t look sexy covered up a bit, just don’t go mental and take things to extremes. A great misconception is that necklines have to be plunging and skirts have to up to your backside before you look sexy. This is definitely not true. It’s all about style and dressing to suit your figure. A little bit of cleavage looks great and a thigh-skimming dress can look gorgeous as long as it’s done properly. So the overall verdict is just a little less ass. Simple.
Loud and Browed
Considering what a good set can do for any face, Laura McNally dishes out the secrets on how to achieve and maintain, the perfect eyebrow
B is for Biba
Spring has arrived and its time to get in shape, but we don’t mean cutting down on the calories. No, we mean achieving the perfect shape for your eyebrows to suit your look and flatter your features. The shape of the eyebrows are an important feature and the significance of perfecting the shape most suitable to you is often lost in the midst of all the beauty enhancing products we apply every day. The eyebrows frame the eyes and create structure within the face. Celebrities who have mastered the art of creating the perfect eyebrow shape include Rachel Bilson, Kim Kardashian and Hayden Panettiere. For first time pluckers, it may be a good idea to start off by going to see a professional. However, if you would prefer a D.I.Y. job, then here is what you need: tweezers, Vaseline, an eyebrow pencil or an eye-shadow that matches the colour of your eyebrows, an eyebrow brush and tissues. a shop- it was an identity. Big Biba was a Firstly, you must decide on what shape you wish to place where Saturdays could be spent, eatachieve. Some girls like the straight brow shape, while some ing, drinking, shopping and socialising. prefer the Glenda Gilson style, arched brow. There was a ‘Casbah’ area dedicated to evA good tip when plucking eyebrows is to draw the shape erything oriental, there were live flaminyou want onto your eyebrows in eyeliner and pluck around gos and penguins on the roof garden, and bands such as the New York Dolls and this. Also, applying Vaseline to the brow area before beginning, The Bay City Rollers graced the concert makes plucking a lot easier. Start off by plucking any hairs in hall with their presence. between your eyebrows - the mono-brow is not a good look! Unfortunately, all good things must come Next, move on to the actual brows themselves, to an end and Biba was bought starting underneath the brow area. out by The British Land Organisation. This led o n fact … One of the most widely believed beauty i h s a to an upsurge in comsf myths is that you shouldn’t pluck above s mercialism, with In th le your eyebrows. However, sometimes 8 the introduction of ther1y, it wase you’re allowed to bend the rules tacky mannequins, th gaudy signs and centusideredhion to slightly and this is certainly the case fluorescent lightcon t of fas ebrows in. in this situation. k y ing. These un-Biba heigahr false emouse s If you have a few stray hairs above like modifications, we out of where your eyebrow begins, feel free e caused Barbara Humad to pluck these too, but make sure to be lanicki to throw in the towel and move to extra careful while plucking above the South America, leaving brow. Don’t forget to stand back every the place of dreams to now and then to check that you aren’t fall on it’s face. plucking too much away and are on the way to achieving your Today, Biba items are still circulated in vintage shops and on e-bay and are perfect shape. known to gather more than a generous After you have successfully achieved the perfect brows price. for you, your brow area will probably look quite red and sore, so wipe off the Vaseline and leave your skin to calm for ten By Aoifa Smyth minutes. When you come back, use an eyebrow brush to brush
Biba epitomises nineteen sixties fashion. The mini skirt, those knee high boots and the shift dress- all attributes of this ground breaking business. Biba, which ended up such a huge success, started modestly in creator Barbara Hulanicki’s apartment as a cheap and cheerful mail order business. As orders began to rocket to unmanageable numbers, Hulanicki knew it was time for her to upgrade to something bigger. She started out with a humble shop on Kensington High Street, and from there the only way to go was up. Biba’s goods were appreciated for their price, girls from all walks in society could be seen the same clothes. The everyday working young adult could buy an outfit worn by her favourite T.V star, for a mere £3. Celebrities such as Cathy McGowan, Cher, Julie Christie, Twiggy and Brigitte Bardot would be spotted browsing the rails, like any other girl. Celebrities were an every day occurrence for Biba shoppers and seen as no big deal. The shop got too small for the capacity of customers, which were drawn to the shop daily, so Hulanicki made the decision to take an even bigger step and open the first department store since World War II. ‘Big Biba’ opened it’s doors in 1974, costing a lavish sum of £3.9 million. This place was known as a fantasy land for Biba lovers, and was much more than just
certain way. From the air brushed perfect pictures of many a celebrity, to the raging size zero debate. However, honestly at the end of the day we are free thinking adults with choices to
The Siren 9.02.10
brows into place. Alternatively, clear mascara can also be used to brush the brows into a neat shape. Lightly colouring the brows in with an eyebrow pencil can create a fuller, darker look to your brows, however, this part is optional, so when you feel content with the colour and thickness of your brows, you’re set to go!
Tips for maintaining eyebrows: When purchasing eyebrow pencils, you don’t need to splash out on an expensive brand name product. You’ll be happy to hear; any relatively cheap eyebrow pencil will work and will create the same effect. Rimmel have some great eyebrow pencils and they also come with a small brush on the lid. Handy. Waxing eyebrows to keep them in shape is not recommended. While waxing is more convenient compared to plucking, as it is faster and has longer lasting effects, waxing can cause the skin underneath the brow area to sag after a long period of continued use. So, unless you want to have saggy skin hanging off the bottom of your brows by the time you’re 40. To make plucking even easier, invest in a pair of tweezers which come with a small built-in light. These kind of tweezers are available in most large chemists, such as Boots and don’t cost a bomb either. The light will shine directly onto the area you are plucking for perfect and precise results.
c h t i s c ’ e C , k a e r f e L athal new victims, Cst g in in a g r ve re fo le li xual trend e best dressed ma th to With the metrose on it es k a m ho O’Gara decides w
Ask any girl who their favourite male style icons are and names such as Brad Pitt, Taylor Lautner, and Robert Pattinson, or Edward Cullen as they haven’t yet begun to comprehend that their obsession is with a fictitious vampire, will make the list. Ask a man, and he will name James Dean, Johnny Depp, or Robert Downey Junior as having the most stylish and modish look. Style surpasses attractiveness and designer labels; personal panache as well as taste will always outdo what’s ‘in’ this season. Behind every well dressed man is probably a well dressed stylist or significant other. Jay-Z has always been a well groomed and flawless dresser, of course it doesn’t hinder to have Beyoncé as an accessory. His look is audacious and powerful, preferring classic suits, ties, and pocket squares, combined with a fedora or a classic tailored jacket worn with trainers to give him a bit of a hip hop edge. Few people wear a hat well, and I mean few, but Jay-Z manages to make the look work with his confidence and originality.
arts Music Fashion
The Siren 9.02.10
Although he may have been considered as a style icon to many previous to 2009, Jay-Z really stepped up his game in the past year. While he didn’t forgo his signature hip hop style, he did indeed clean it up. Jay added distinguished pieces like knitwear, leather, thick framed eye wear, clean high tops, and raw denim - neither excessively skinny nor baggy. He consolidates this look with his character colour: black. I imagine his wardrobe to resemble something of the hues out of a Henry Sellick film, favouring this shade more than any other, from jackets to sweaters, and of course the shades which escort him everywhere. Brandon Flowers has an authentic and sometimes eccentric style mixing Area-51 with Vegas showgirl, managing to never cross the line into fashion farce. Very slim fitted suits and jackets that are tailored to within an inch of their life coupled with interesting, almost playful, accessories, his overall appearance is both striking and individual. The Vegas native has an exceptionally innovative style which has only got-
ten better with time. Like Jay-Z, he sticks to his darker tones but still manages to spice it up with colourful ties and adventurous handmade bows. He can wear tight burgundy leather spacesuits and yet manage to have the confidence – and the chagrin – to pull it off. Even when experimenting he’s always pulled together, whether he’s in black-tie, denim jacket and jeans, or that feathery blazer, which I’m sure caused ruckus at PETA, Flowers manages to achieve the most difficult of looks naturally and effortlessly. Finally, and most unfortunately, Robert Pattinson’s moody insouciance and elegantly grungy look has won him legions of screaming and adoring fans. His style offers an amalgamation of causal and smart with grunge around the edge. The subtle elements of his fashion sense come together so the young Twilight actor portrays youthful carelessness, with a whit of thought for an apt up-to-date image. The man behind Edward Cullen once said in an Instyle interview that he doesn’t “want to
I’m not talking about head to toe leopard print, but simple accessories, such as scarves, shoes and bags are oh so chic.
Pastel Nail Polish look trendy”, this is exactly what makes him so ‘hawt’ to your lady-friends. It’s always ‘cool to be uncool’. Dress up in Armani or Dolce, but wear it like you just drove to your destination on a Harley. Messy hair, loosened ties, unbuttoned coats, and similarly un-fastened finery are de rigueur here. Whichever male fashion icon you choose to channel, remember that it is your personal style and the confidence in which you wear it which will make you stand out against the crowd, so bearing fake fangs and staring at innocuous objects for an unreasonable amount of time may not exactly have the ladies swooning, yet an original take on Pattinson’s disheveled look may arouse interest, as well as something else.
Fashion Icon: Mary Kate Olsen
Despite being best known for many a dodgy film and being part of a set, Kelly Nwaokorie tells us why we can now call Mary Kate Olsen a fashion icon We all know the small, angelic twin; the one who always got on our nerves with her high pitched voice, PG 13 sitcoms and her too happy, happy smile. But Mary Kate Olsen has since emerged as a figure of high fashion. Mary Kate and her twin sister Ashley began their career at just six months old on US TV show ‘Full House’. Since then, the girls have amassed a multi million dollar fortune through countless business ventures including films, clothing lines, books and fragrances. These days, however, it is mostly her odd outfit choices that have MK hitting the headlines. The New York Times has declared Mary-Kate a fashion icon for pioneering her signature look. Her style may be described as grungy and a little bit dotty; the girl actually looks like a “homeless” copycat. But still, the unusual look found its way into the fashion hall of fame after much criticism. MK is baffled by her status as an international fashion icon - because she created her sloppy bohemian style by accident. The 23 year old insists she’s just too lazy to put clothes on. Her style, sometimes referred to as bohemian-bourgeois, is similar to that of bohemian chic. The look consists of over
sized sunglasses, boots, loose sweaters, and flowing skirts all with an aesthetic of mixing high end pieces with low end. Layering is a key part of Mary Kate’s day time look, as she sports baggy t-shirt dresses, cardigans, leather jackets and scarves in different colours and fabrics typically with a giant bag in tow. When night falls and glamorous parties and award ceremonies call, MK loses the layered hobo look for a more elegant feel. Mary Kate is usually caught in a vintage piece that seriously works the red carpet, often resembling a 1940’s icon. Along with her sister, Mark Kate was tapped as the face of upscale fashion line, Badgley Mischka in 2006, in an attempt to gain credibility in the fashion industry. MK and Ashley have launched their own new couture fashion label “The Row” named after the famous Savile Row of London. A new line for The Row, entitled “Elizabeth & James”, named after their siblings has also emerged. Mary Kate is a force to be reckoned with and she is taking the fashion world by storm. New York stylist Karen Berenson hit the nail on the head when she said: “Mary Kate is the real thing, a fashion role model for a generation entering adulthood.”
Say bye-bye to neon nails and say hello to pastels. Pastel shades, such as greens and pinks, are going to be huge this year. Incredibly feminine and incredibly stylish.
The sailor look is so hot right now. Just head to town and witness the windows filled with reds, blues and whites. All aboard for this trend.
Eek Accessory ‘Overload’
As Coco Chanel says; “when accessorizing, always take off last thing you put the on.” It’s quite simple really- when it comes to jewellery, less is truly more.
The Jumpsuit Unless you are Lady Gaga and are starring in the Paparazzi video, the jump suit look is a complete nono. We’re yet to find anyone who can pull it off.
Head to toe Denim The 90’s called. They want their outfit back.
By Christine Redmond
The Siren 9/.02.10 Film Do’s and Don’ts for getting lucky on Valentine’s Day By Ashling Maguire
Life is hard. Life is short. Life is painful. Life is rich. Life is....Precious Precious
Reviewed by: David Maguire Director: Lee Daniels Starring: Gabourey Sidibe, Mo’Nique, Mariah Carey
Precious is set in 1980’s Harlem and we’re immediately drawn into the lead’s world and made aware of the harsh realities she faces at the time. It begins with a pregnant Precious (Gabourey Sidibe) being politely kicked out of school at the age of sixteen when she is almost completely illiterate and already a mother. We soon learn that her troubles do not end there as her home life is dominated by a resentful, vicious and highly abusive mother, brilliantly played by Mo’Nique, and her sexually
abusive father. Precious’ determination to fulfil her potential and not to rely on the daydreams she uses to escape reality, which are filled ideas of grandeur and celebrity, is truly inspiring and her journey from a poor, illiterate teenage mother to an educated and independent young woman who has friends that love her is gripping from start to finish. She is helped along the way by her new classmates in an alternative school and her sympathetic and devoted teacher
Ms. Rain (Paula Patton). There are scenes of absorbing tension and frightening violence which draw gasps from the audience yet there is also a humorous streak running through it and a massive feel good factor is derived from Precious’ life prospering into something slightly closer to her ideal. The acting is so powerful and the storyline so real that it feels akin to a documentary at times and this thoroughly entertaining film is fully deserving of its six Oscar nominations.
It may seem like a cliché but trust me, girls need to know that they can be a total bitch to you and you’ll still be completely devoted to them when they’re old and grey and have Alzheimer’s. This is exactly the message that the lovely Ryan Gosling sends in this film. The Ring Not an obvious pick but still quite effective. The goal here is to appear manly and tough while she’s all “OMG, this is so scary, hold my hand!” In fairness it is a genuinely scary film so it might be a good idea to watch it a couple of times in advance to make sure you’re not kacking yourself along with her when that damp girl crawls up the well and out of the TV. Alexander I know what you’re thinking but hear me out. This is three long, grueling hours of countless battle scenes, bad hair and questionable accents. Sooner or later she’s bound to get bored and want to make out. Probably around the 4th time you think the film is about to end, but then continues on its stubborn and inaccurate way. Unfortunately this won’t work if she’s a Classics major as it will just enrage her and you’ll be treated to a lecture on the film’s many historical shortcomings. Avoid: Twilight
Reviewed by: Michael Vaughan Directed by: Clint Eastwood Staring: Morgan Freeman, Matt Damon This awe inspiring film tells the true story of Nelson Mandela’s dream to unite a divided nation through the Rugby World Cup. Invictus shows the racial injustice in South Africa in the wake of apartheid and the attempts of Mandela with the dedication of the country’s rugby captain Francois Pienaar to show the world and the people of South Africa that they can overcome their shocking history. The moment Morgan Freeman graces the screen, he becomes Mandela. His
flawless portrayal really captures the essence of this infamous man. Matt Damon also carries off the role as the South African captain brilliantly with his determination to win the World Cup for his nation. The actors succeed in actually pulling off on the accurate accents aiding in their efforts to remain believable in their performances. Clint Eastwood’s vision for this film has come together spectacularly; the breathtaking scenes of landscapes, cities and the poverty ridden towns as well as the images of the rugby matches that bring you right into the action when the teams clash all contribute to a fantastic finish. However, the slow motion scenes near the end were a little overdone which took away from their over all effect. All in all, it is an excellent film that leaves the viewer with a sense of hope and optimism for equality in the world. Any film that can be this uplifting is really worth the watch.
Reviewed by: Yasmin Lehmann Director: Scott Cooper Starring: Jeff Bridges, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Colin Farrell Crazy Heart, based on the novel by Thomas Cobb, is the story of ‘Bad’ Blake, an aged country singer/songwriter past his peak. Married four times already, Blake’s life consists mainly of small gigs in Podunk towns, alcohol excesses and groupie hook-ups, until he meets journalist and single mother Jean. Colin Farrell plays Bad’s more successful apprentice, Tommy Sweet, who has surpassed his master in the country music business. But it’s not just his rival relationship with Tommy that makes him confront the reality of the twenty-eight year old son he’s abandoned. At the core of Crazy Heart is the love story between Bad and Jean and her
four year old son Buddy. There is a curious tension between young Jean’s maturity and Bad’s child-like egoism that makes for a complex and eventually impossible love story. Maggie Gyllenhaal’s performance ranks in nothing behind Bridges and both deliver a compelling and intimate picture of a love made impossible by private failure. After breaking his leg in a car crash, Blake experiences a period of peace and harmony living with Jean and her son. Despite her reservations, Jean trusts her son to Blake, who ends up losing him and her trust along with it. Eventually, the fifty-seven year old goes into rehab and rediscovers his talent for song writing. Thankfully, the movie stays quite realistic and we don’t get a cheesy ‘last-performance’ a la Rocky. Crazy Heart is a heartfelt, but not overtly sentimental musical film. Haters of country music or music snobs in general may be slightly disgruntled with the songs, yet both Bridges and Colin Farrell’s voices are worth the attention. Jeff Bridges acts out all the unkempt charm of a burnt out legend with a refreshing honesty.
This is never a good idea for the simple reason that you are not Edward Cullen. You’re not a 180 year old vampire, you don’t sparkle and you’re not nearly angsty enough. If she insists on watching it you’d better get out your glitter glue and start practicing that broodingconstipated look or prepare for an evening of disappointed glares. Teeth Nothing kills the mood quite like a film about a woman with a toothed va-jay-jay. Apart from the fact that it has absolutely no direction or plot, it’s just plain unsettling. You’d be forgiven for thinking this was actually going to be a comedy. I myself made that mistake when I went to see it at the cinema with a date (we don’t speak anymore). But alas, there really isn’t one comical moment in the whole thing. She really does just go around chomping off man parts with her vagina for 2 hours. I defy you to find a more unsuitable Valentines’ film.
The Siren 9.02.10
I got 99 problems but...
Tucker Max recovers from an Irish mugging to chat to Katie Godwin about corrupting women, getting sued, strange sexual habits and a fairly horrific experience in Ireland
“I was walking in an alley I bump into this guy; if I was in America I’d say he looked like a bum but he looked pretty much like any Irish person. So he starts getting aggressive towards me and I was fine, I could do with a fight. So I say; come on dude and so he backs up a little and then all of a sudden he pulls out a knife.” “But of all knives it was a fucking steak knife! I’m serious he was trying to rob me with a steak knife and at that moment I said to myself St Patrick himself is telling me to get off this fucking island.” exclaims infamous frat-lit author / man-whore, Tucker Max. Two days in Ireland and Tucker Max is not impressed. Unsurprisingly he is not in a good mood when I talk to him. He looks around asking, “Have you seen a skinny girl with stringy blond hair? She’s freaking the shit out of me.” We are in the club XXIs and he is explaining what it’s like to be stalked;
“You wouldn’t know what it’s like.” he assures me, “but stalkers, especially female stalkers, are terrifying.” Tucker had come to Ireland on account of the UCD Law Society who want to present him with an honorary life membership. I ask why he accepted it considering the fact that he hated studying law himself while at law school; “I was tricked, that’s why.” he exclaims. “I thought I was just going to come over and give some inspirational speech but instead I get picked up in a shitty fucking Honda and then get landed in this dirty hotel room and then I’m asked to give a free speech.” Although complaining, he admits the speech or rather a Tucker Max sex-ed session (see below) was more fun than he thought it would be. When asked to give an opinion about Irish girls he explains that he didn’t see any ‘cute’ ones in Dublin city. However, there were plenty of them in UCD so they must all be hiding there.
He has no fear of being blunt about his disgust at various girls’ appearances as many girls who tried to ask him sarcastic questions at his Q and A session discovered. For the most part, he blatantly highlighted to any sarcastic girl that they were far less ‘cute’ than all the other girls in the hall. Needless to say, the sarcasm stopped quickly enough. The sarcasm was indicative of the skeptical attitude many have about the plausibility of Tucker Max and his extravagant drunken endeavors. However, standing next to him at the bar, I could see how many of these stories came to be. As I talked to him an endless stream of, offers, came his way ensuring that he will keep the reputation as our generation’s Casanova for the foreseeable future. Tucker is currently working on two new books ‘Assholes finish first’ and ‘Hilarity ensues’ and also updates his website with blogs and stories on www.Tucker Max. com.
A very Tucker Max sex-ed If you had your own brand of something what would it be? “Probably condoms; I’ve had to deal with so many fucking abortions. In America, if you’re an artist you can write off anything to do with research. So, I got my accountant to check it out and then I got to write off all my abortions. Everyone’s been there, waking up with a really ugly fat girl who just lost her virginity.” After sex with two midgets and an amputee, what’s your next frontier? “I’d say a blind chick but those eyes would just freak me out, unless it was like a really hot girl with like glasses on. I’ve always had this fantasy that I could go into like a doctors exam and the doctor is a woman and just starts blowing me. I guess that shows the type of porn I watched when I was a kid. I don’t know something might show up like a quadriplegic Thai girl or something.” Would you have sex with a donkey? “Do I look Mexican?” he laughs, “The line for me is more about what makes sense at the moment; like no dudes and I’m not going to take a dump on a girl. It’s like I think, if I told my friends about this, would they think it was cool or not.”
“No, my theory is that she is waiting until I get really rich and then she’ll come get me with her lawyer. The question is not was what I did wrong; the question is how much is it going to cost me?” Did a girl ever get one up on you? “Of course, any guy that’s been with a girl and says he hasn’t been played is either lying or he’s never been with a girl. In life, youre going to break hearts, get your heart broken, fuck people over and get fucked over.” Would you ever take on an apprentice? “Dude, if you want help getting drunk and getting laid, you’re not the kind of person id be hanging out with”. Have you ever gone to a therapist, who read your book and gave their opinion of you afterwards? “Well, you have to understand all the stories take place when I’m like 21/22/25. Back then, I was just an unguided missile. All guys at that age suck and it’s not their fault but then you change. A friend of mine said to me, ‘Tucker I hope you have a daughter.’ Nothing, not marriage or my wife, changed me like having a daughter did.” What porn site do you use? “Right now, it’s pornhub.com”
How many people have tried to sue you?
What’s fame and having girls all over you constantly like?
“Two. And I won both cases because I was smarter than they were and I was right.”
“I don’t know; I can’t really describe it. It’s like when you eat a jalapeño and you can say it’s hot but that’s not enough to properly describe it.”
Did you ever hear from the girl you recorded from the closet?
Where is the weirdest place you’ve ever had sex?
“Well I know some people like to have sex in weird places, but its really not my thing. I was once with this girl who had two kids and I ended up getting her to fuck me in her kids bed.” When you go out, is it always in the back of your head that the night might turn into a story for your book? The only way you can become a parody of yourself is if your influence is external rather than internal. A lot of the time, to be myself, I just go out with my real friends who don’t give a shit and aren’t watching my every move. I avoid places where there’s a young crowd and people are like, ‘Oh. there’s Tucker Max, lets see what he’s going to do.’ That’s like a fucking zoo then. If you try to make something happen, it doesn’t happen.” Who is the most famous person you hooked up with? “Well it was before she was famous, she’s an actress now. I promised her I wouldn’t talk about it, but lets just say when I hooked up with her when was ‘Almost Famous.’” Are you going to let your kids read your books? “Of course” He exclaims. “How do you think I’m going to train my daughter what not to fucking do?” What’s the best lie you ever told to a girl? “I love you. Well that’s not even a lie; I assume that it’s so ridiculous that they could see through it.”
The Siren 9/.02.10
An Triail Reviewed by: Aisling Kennedy “An Triail”written by Mairéad Ni Ghráda and directed by Danielle Fox, is a play written and performed entirely as Gaeilge. Despite my dunce status in speaking in Irish, the play was quite accessible even to those who only possessed a limited cupla focail. Thanks too in part a brilliant cast and the dynamic use of stage effects. I was pleasantly surprised how the play itself and its dialogue succeeded in refreshing my memory for my own native language, which had regrettably seeped almost entirely from my brain since I had skipped out of my Irish leaving certificate examination a few years ago. “An Triail” showcases a story filled with love, rage and tragedy, interspersed with little infrequent gems of light-hearted moments. One such scene involves the Ó Chathasaigh brothers when Liam (Adam Jenkins) continually and comically slaps Seán (Dónal ó h An) on the head. The main plot is centered on a young girl, Máire Ní Chathasaigh (Sarah Ní Mhuirí), who falls pregnant by a local teacher Pádraig Mac Cárthaigh (Paul Fox). Shunned by her family and rejected by Pádraig, Máire moves to the city were she is again marginalized as a pregnant girl and then a single
e d i u G Event
mother. A chance encounter with the father of the baby, who again rejects her, leaves the tale to ultimately end in a devastating tragedy. Each scene is told chronologically and is intersected with the ‘trial’ scenes were two imposing and faceless silhouettes interrogate each character. The dynamic use of a limiting space was impressive. The modified interpretation of the attorneys as unknown and unseen figures feeds into the ever-present threatening existence of apprehension and melancholy that pervades many of the scenes. The lighting and music must be mentioned as both helped to create an atmospheric and poignant setting. The most touching moments were complimented by a soft and mournful piano concerto. A striking performance was given by Anna Ní Uiginn (Bean Uí Cathasaigh) in one scene in particular she left the audience terrified with her vehement curses and screams at Máire. Katie Nic Andréis as Mailí delivered another brilliant performance, most notably in the heart-wrenching scene were she directly addresses the audience. And the verdict of this trial? The collaboration of both Dramsoc and An Cumann Drámaíochta was outstanding and enjoyable.
and from Kylemore Road and it is within three minutes from Black Horse stop on red Luas line.
Milk and Cookies story telling event 18:30-22:00
Story Telling Time in Hughes & Hughes
Exchange Dublin, Temple Bar The fourth Milk and Cookie event will feature the theme ‘Taking Flight’ and will take place on Tues 09 Feb. Admission is free . Wednesday 10th
Thursday 11th Love Lab – Science Gallery 12:00-20:00 Naughton Institute Building, Trinity College The Science Gallery is converted into a Love Lab, investigating the Science of Desire.
Every Sunday from 12:00 Dundrum Town Centre Bring all the family for storytelling and cookies plus activities like crafts & face painting. All ages welcome.
Friday 12th The Dublin Chinese New Year Festival
Seven Deadly Skins Reggae gig
12th -21st Feb
The DCNYF celebrates the year of the Tiger. A variety of arts and cultural events, exhibitions and activities will take place.
Bewley’s Cafe Theatre Every Mon from 20:00-22:00 78 Grafton Street
Admission is free.
Saturday 13th Blackhorse Flea Market + Car Boot Sale. Every Saturday from 10:00-18:00 You can reach it from Tyrconnell Road
Netherland is a story of diversity, fear and alienation. Set in New York City in the aftermath of 9/11, it focuses on the character of Hans van den Broek, a Dutch financial expert living in New York with his English wife Rachel and their young son. Although the novel takes into account the troubles in Hans’ marriage and the effect of 9/11 on the city, the main focus of this book is Hans’ love of cricket. Much of the novel describes the game of cricket, played by a group of immigrants in New York. After joining a cricket club Hans meets a Trinidadian businessman, Chuck Ramkissoon and the two become friends. Through a sequence of flashbacks we are told the story of Hans’ life and how he came to be live in the infamous Chelsea Hotel in Manhattan. Although the plot is lacking at times, the real fault with Netherland is the vast amount of time spent describing the minute details of cricket, which is of little to no interest to many readers.
Arts Focus Jameson Dublin International Film Festival 16th - 25th February 2007
Admission free but donations are appreciated.
The Mezz, Eustace Street, Temple Bar. Seven Deadly Skins are playing Reggae/ Ska Covers with DJ Dotsie later.
Netherland by Joseph O’ Neill Reviewed by Aine Keegan
The recently-formed music collective the ‘Lazy Band’ is playing roots, trad and folk songs from Ireland, England, America and anything else they like. Admission is free
This year’s Jameson Dublin International Film Festival programme was launched last Thursday at the tricked out Tripod bar by actors Brendan Gleeson and Nora Jane Noone. With the line-up unveiled, film fans everywhere are eagerly awaiting the festival’s opening night on Thursday the 18th of February. Confirmed attendees include Colin Farrell, Kristen Scott Thomas and Oscar winner Tilda Swinton who all have films premiering at the festival. Commenting on the line-up, the festival director Gráinne Humphreys said, “With special seasons from Russia and Korea, an increased focus on
documentary and classic films, our Irish film season, a retrospective of Kenneth Anger, a celebration of the film music of Nino Rota, and new films from famed filmmakers such as Werner Herzog, Martin Scorsese, Tim Burton and Woody Allen, I hope we have found something for everyone.” Some of the most anticipated films this year include a first look at Tim Burton’s ‘Alice in Wonderland 3D’, Russian film ‘Hipsters!” which has been described as an Iron Curtain version of ‘Hairspray’ and Korean gangster film ‘Breathless’. Check out the full programme of over 100 films from 30 different countries packed into just eleven days at www.jdiff. com. Ashling Maguire