College Tribune Entertainment Supplement 22.9.09
HEADING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION Exclusive interview with Director Director Puppetry Of The Penis Disneyâ€™s Up Alexa Chung Muse
15 . 1 . 09
Upcoming Shows Announced After their hugely impressive performance as Sunday night headliners at this year’s Electric Picnic, Basement Jaxx have confirmed that they will be playing Dublin’s Olympia Theatre on December 8th, while euphonic comedian Bill Bailey will play the O2 on November 21st; tickets for both of these shows are currently on sale. Also, Yusuf Islam, formerly known as folk legend Cat Stevens, is due to break his astonishing 33 year break from live performance with a four city tour commencing in Dublin and finishing in London. An official announcement of tour dates is due to be made soon and tickets will be scarce, so get yours quickly.
Cathy Buckmaster meets Newton Faulkner Page 5
New Albums on the Way To celebrate its 25th anniversary, U2 have announced plans to release a re-mastered edition of their iconic album, ‘The Unforgettable Fire’. Personally re-mastered by The Edge himself, the album will be available in four formats including a vinyl LP and a Deluxe Limited Edition. Among many other things, this will include numerous B-sides, a DVD containing previously unseen footage of the album’s conception and a number of songs which never made it to the final product. The reissues will be available on October 27th. Snow Patrol have also confirmed that they will be releasing a ‘Best-Of ’ entitled ‘Up To Now’, chronicling their musical career so far. There will be three new singles among the almost thirty songs on the album’s two discs. The first of these, ‘Just Say Yes’, will be released on November 2nd, exactly a week before the album itself.
Philip Connolly meets the man with the worlds most famous penis
Cathal O’Gara Studies 60’s MOD Style Page 9
The Siren 15.9.09
David Tracy profiles upcoming Dublin four-piece Hanshake Hanshake are the kind of group that lets you know who they are as soon as they start playing. Their “thumping, beat-driven, euphoric indie rock” rarely fails to leave the eardrums ringing long after the encore has finished. The sort of band that grabs your attention while you’re ordering a drink at the bar, and only let go when you’re distracted by an irate barman demanding payment for that pint of Guinness you got ten minutes ago. Their loud, enjoyable blend of Arctic Monkeys’ rowdiness and Stone Roses’ tunefulness, along with the handy knack of writing bloody good songs make Hanshake difficult to ignore. In person, they are a slightly different proposition. A tight knit unit with a quirky sense of humour, the four members display little of the brash, confident sound of their live gigs. They certainly haven’t developed much in the way of interview techniques. One typical example (there are many) came when the four were asked about their musical influences. After bickering amongst themselves for a few minutes as to whether or not they should include Kings Of Leon (“too pop”) or Joy Division (“too arty”), drummer Adam butted in, “Just say Jimi Hendrix, everyone says him”, which seemed to settle the matter satisfactorily. They can be a bit offhand and unserious at
times but there is no messing about when it comes to their music. Hanshake’s stated aim is to “do to people what The Beatles do to us”, or more simply, “make thousands of people throw their hands in the air and scream every single word back at us”. These aren’t exactly modest goals, but there is something convincing in the band’s quietly confident attitude offstage and bold, cocksure swagger onstage that suggests they may not be impossible to obtain. They definitely have the work ethic for it. After a hectic end to the summer playing gigs all over Dublin, the four lads are putting their heads down to record a three-track EP they hope to be ready for early October. Despite their pages still being very much “under construction”, you can find info about upcoming gigs on their Bebo, My Space and Facebook. In any case, one thing the entire band can agree on is that they never want to become stuck in the “generic”, “fucking shit” Irish music scene for any longer than they have to be. It could just be the swollen, ringing eardrums saying this, but I have a feeling that someday they’ll never have to worry about that problem again. www.myspace.com/hanshake
Jackson Flick Release Date Announced In the wake of superstar Michael Jackson’s untimely death, production has begun on the hotly anticipated ‘This Is It’ movie, which documents the rehearsals, over the final weeks of the singer’s life, for the mammoth string of shows due to be played in London’s O2 arena. Director Kenny Ortega, best known for the now infamous ‘High School Musical’ movies, draws from over one hundred hours of behind-the-scenes footage of Jackson’s preparations and includes a number of interviews with those involved in the production team. It is rumoured that Sony Pictures paid around $60 million for the footage, 90% of which went to the Jackson family estate. The movie will be released worldwide on October 30th for a limited run of two weeks, with selected cinemas showing parts of the film in 3D. Presidential Salute In true un-statesmanlike fashion, US President Barack Obama was quoted as labelling Kanye West “a jackass”, following the rapper’s outburst at this year’s MTV Video Music Awards. Obama was reported to have made the comment in an off-the-record segment of a pre-recorded interview for US TV station CNBC. NBC issued an official apology to both the White House and CNBC and ensured that Moran remove the post from his Twitter page. Meanwhile, on TV legend Jay Leno’s show, Kanye insisted he would personally apologise to Taylor Swift for his comments and claimed that he would be taking some time off from the music business.Here’s to hoping.
The Siren 15.9.09
Muse Resistance 2/5 By philip connolly It takes a degree of skill to rip off your own back catalogue and make an unholy mess of it. Somehow Muse has achieved it here. There are some beautiful musical movements, a number of wonderful sonic flourishes and the odd breathtaking beat. The problem is that Muse has done it before, and the last time it was much more satisfying. Front man Bellamy can often get caught in two minds; his penchant for classical music can produce both gems and frustrating missed opportunities. It seems he is caught between pushing the band’s boundaries to somewhere new and making a commercial, catchy pop record. There is the sprawling mess of the album’s final track “Exogenesis: Symphony”. It is a three-part suite full of grandiose orchestral swells and lyrical moans like “Why are we? Who are we?” If the The Resistance is about anything (aside from the conceptual malarkey encoded in the lyrics) it’s about mastery and ego-security. It’s the kind of all-caps, no half-stepping ART-ROCK that closes with a three-part mini-epic. The album is shameless about its own classic rock big-
Julian Plentiis,,,skyscraper Julian Plenti 4/5 By Laura Mcglynn In 2002, Interpol’s debut album Turn on the Bright Lights instantly captivated fans of Joy Division, Pavement, Echo & the Bunnymen, et al. Seven years on, lead singer Paul Banks has released his first solo album under his pseudonym Julian Plenti. Julian Plenti Is... Skyscraper starts as it means to go on - its first track, Only if you Run, introduces metronomic drumbeat, meticulous guitar, plenty of strings and a handful of interesting effects. Banks’ ever-distinguishable vocals take as much precedence over the accompaniment as they usually do; isolated during verses, then melting gracefully into the chorus. His voice is nasal but not grating,
thin but not lacking force; this is exemplified especially in Games for Days and No Chance of Survival. The album bears characteristics of a slower-paced Interpol, with a huge mixture of external genres. It’s as if Banks has given fans a portfolio of what a more expansive repertoire could potentially comprise, hinting towards different directions in each song. From pop bliss in Unwind to the suave and flirtatious style of Girl On The Sporting News, this album is definitely a grower for the hipster in you. A word of warning though - beware the dodgy retro synth-effects on the final track, “H”...
They Came From the Shadows Teenage Bottlerocket 3/5 By Jim Scully First things first, if you pick up a record by Teenage Bottlerocket expecting something new or groundbreaking, then you will undoubtedly be disappointed upon first listen. The fact that the band recently signed to Fat Wreck Chords should be warning enough of what to expect. However, maybe that’s unfair given the way the label’s roster has been diversified over recent years. There is little on this album that will change the future of punk rock. Nor will it catapult the band into your musical radar. What the album does do is rip roar through a half hour of the best in modern pop punk. Bottlerocket are not comparable to acts like Blink 182 or Sum 41, they are more along the lines of pop punk á la The Ramones, Buzzcocks or more
recently, Screeching Weasel. While the album does follow a familiar recipe, Teenage Bottlerocket do their best to add their own melodic flavour. The songs are lively and catchy, sometimes bordering on cheesy (cue album opener “Skate or Die”) There are even enough heavier melodic punk scorchers on this album to make The Bouncing Souls proud. Most notably tracks like “Bigger Than Kiss” and “Forbidden planet” set the band apart from your average pop punk bands. When these guys are fun, they’re fun, and on the rare occasions they are serious their potential is obvious. If guitar driven, good-time punk rock is your thing, this is for you.
ness - it is billed as a “Symphony” complete with “Overture”. Most of you will have given up resistance and jumped ship by now. Yet the album does have its redeeming qualities. It is very smartly produced and sequenced. As always, Muse still has the power to create a fine soundscape. Bellamy shows no fear in advertising both his musical and vocal chops. The record only really shines due to the background of blinding light from Muse’s back catalog. This is unfortunate for The Resistance, but it is ultimately inescapable. “Uprising” is undeniably catchy. You might rock out to the end of “Resistance” and sway ever so gently to “MK Ultra” and “Unnatural Selection”. However they wither away if you play them by side with the heroin-like addictiveness of tracks “Time Is Running Out” and “Thoughts Of A Dying Atheist”. Admittedly, like every other journey the band has taken its audience on so far, this one is still a ride. Yet not even the classic apologia of “It’s an evolution in sound” can hide the fact that The Resistance marks Muse’s worst album yet. The verdict is in: we want the old Muse back.
The Blueprint 3 Jay-Z 2/5 By Jim Scully
Never having been much of a fan of Jay-Z’s rapping style, it was always going to take something special from the Brooklyn native for me to be impressed. I have always felt that aspects of his songs leave a lot to be desired and this album is no different. The Blueprint 3 rarely stirs the imagination. So poor is its content that it becomes a struggle to sit through the unexciting beats and boring, self indulgent, unimaginative rhymes. The first track that has anything the slightest bit interesting to say is D.O.A. In the lyrics Jay-Z calls for an end to poppy ring-tone rap and the use of auto-tune in hiphop. While this is a move that some may welcome, the problem
is the rest of Jay-Z’s album rarely offers much in the way of an alternative. The track “Run This Town” features guest appearances from Rihanna and Kanye West. Once again, West shows why he should leave the microphone alone whether it’s his turn to talk or not. The highlight of the album comes by way of the track “Empire State of Mind”. There is a decent sample of The Moment’s ‘Love on a Two Way Street’ and some nice vocals from Alicia Keys rounding off a decent homage to NYC. It is all downhill from there. So much so that it’s not worth mentioning. If you’re looking for something to satisfy your hip-hop desires, listen Mos Def ’s new one.
The Siren 15.9.09
Conor McKenna examine how downloads have put the final nails in the LP’s coffin
e d i u G GIG FELIX DA HOUSECAT September 23rd. UCD Student Bar €16
SPEECH DEBELLE October 3rd.. The Academy €13
RZA October 8th. The Button Factory €24.50
Latest recipient of the Choice Music Prize, Speech DeBelle plays one night in Dublin’s Academy, bringing with her tales of modern London life. A surprise winner
Staying with all things Hip-hop, Wu-Tang legend RZA takes to the mic in The Button Factory. A man who has certainly proved his worth in rap music throughout the years, he has a huge list of credits to his name, on both sides of the mixing desk. Having worked with Biggie, Rakeem, Raekwon and Ghostface Killa among others through the years, the man has garnered enough experience to know what makes a good track. No stranger to the stage either, he knows how to work a crowd. Supporting his book The Tao of Wu, who knows what the night will have in store. Undoubtedly though, you will be entertained.
House, Techno, Electro - Whatever you want to call him, or whatever he decides to play, you can be sure of a good time. Making his way to UCD all the way from Chicago as part of his European tour in support of newly released album ‘He Was King’, this promises to be a great night. Expect some tracks off his new album and a whole lot more. BOYZ NOIZE October 1st. UCD Student Bar €17 In a similiarly-themed night, Germany’s electro hero Boyz Noize, aka Alexander Ridha takes to the decks at the Student Bar. With three albums and two remix albums behind him, he has any amount of material to pick a set from. Having remixed artists such as Justice and Bloc Party, it’s easy to get an idea of his selections for a DJ set. If pounding bass and hefty amounts of synth are your thing, this is for you.
Albums are becoming a thing of the past. In the last few years, the whole concept of the LP has started to become undermined by some new fad. I refer, of course, to the playlist, encouraged by Apple and their iPod among others. Now, I know what you’re thinking: surely mixtapes and radio have been destroying the album for a lot longer? The point is that although mixtapes have been around since the beloved cassette tape, its creation relied on stopping the cassette at the right point and flipping sides; all too often getting the timing wrong and having to start all over again. It’s tiresome, and unless you’re very dedicated, it’s left to one side. Radio, on the other hand, is just one long playlist if you look at it. However it’s never been as easy to turn on the radio and wait for your favourite songs as it is to turn on an iPod and scroll. It seems like iPods are maybe getting a raw deal here, being blamed for something that is becoming society’s preference. The iPod, with its facility for the creation of playlists through their “On-The-Go” function, must have had some impact. Especially on a market that now wants to hear today’s new singles in playlist format rather than listening through the whole album. The iPod certainly has many benefits, of that there is little doubt, with no need for piles of CDs or vinyl lying around your room gathering dust. But are we selling our album-loving souls to the Apple devil for some convenience and a playlistdriven system? It would certainly seem so. Many people prefer to listen to the single and create their own playlists. It gives them the chance to be the DJ, letting them decide what music goes where. The playlist is a significant advancement in the way we listen to and think about music, giving us both control and creativity when we listen to it. We can’t undermine the use of the playlist, in film, television and radio. As a format it helps raise tone, bringing life and laughs to many media for which we can award it merit. Also, one can argue, the single gives the listener a taster, a reason to buy the album to hear more. The single is of great importance to the music industry; their sales have higher revenue than
CLub Night Bodyshock Wednesdays What? Bodyshock Wednesdays: The freshest mix of house, electro and indie.
of the Choice Music Prize, there’s nothing all that new or innovative about what she does, and there are certainly more impressive hip-hop artists out there looking to make a break. However, if you’re wondering what the buzz is all about, this is your best chance to find your answer. Get back to us with your verdict, the jury is still out.
that of albums. It is a format that should be cherished and yet certainly not one that is flourishing in the wake of the movement to digital. Sales of music are down everywhere but the listenership is increasing at an impressive rate and, in the main, it’s single songs which are used to create the playlists, not the albums. So what’s the big deal? Well, the album has been the format of choice for recording artists for the best part of 70 years. The evolution of musical format is a natural occurrence, but is there nothing we can do to save this format? Well, some bands think not; after their album Twilight of the Innocents sold poorly, Northern Irish band Ash have decided only to release singles: a bold move, certainly not helping the death of the LP. It is a big deal. An album is an expression of musical art; it’s a masterpiece of some description, an endeavour which can be seen as something of an achievement for a band to write, regardless of musical quality. In a lot of ways, it can put a single in a context; helping the listener to better understand where the single fits in the mindset of the band. The album is the new epic poem; it creates stories, tells tales of heartbreak, death, growing up, and is an inspiration to all writers everywhere. What we do when we skip from Dear Prudence to While My Guitar Gently Weeps is cut out part of the story; it’s like skipping halfway through the “Odyssey” to read the story of the Cyclopes ignoring the first half. Homer would be disgusted. With the invention of the CD and the ability to skip tracks, it’s been possible to gloss over much of an album so as to get to the singles, or a particular song you like. Perhaps vinyl and cassette are the two formats that best hold the album, as neither format makes song-skipping easy. How long will it be before the album becomes defunct as a format? Time will tell, but hopefully the format still has a few gems to bring us before it dies a death. Maybe someone will write an epitaph to the album, writing about it as an old friend passing. Don McLean once wrote about “the day the music died”, maybe this will resonate with similar tone in pages of musical history.
Where? 9-17 St. Andrew’s Lane (Off Dame Street), Dublin, Ireland When? Every Wednesday, doors open 10:30.
Why? With reasonable drinks promotions and an electro-fuelled night, Andrew’s Lane Theatre offers a little more in the way of music in comparison to the more popular student nights in Dublin. With a capacity of around a thousand people and a mash-up of electro, house and indie music, Bodyshock promises an upbeat and enjoyable night for electro lovers. Britney Spears fans look elsewhere. How Much? General admission is €8 and €6 with concession. Drink Promotions on offer all night. Ryan Cullen
The Siren 15.9.09
The sound and the furry
Ginger dreadlocked Newton Faulkner put on some shoes and stopped playing guitar for twenty minutes to chat with Cathy Buckmaster about destroying his hand, attitudes to music and social networking “I’ve never even had the vaguest of back up plans. I suck at everything else. I kind of don’t have any choice but to do this, which is cool in a way. The decision was made for me.” Humbly comments the acoustic virtuoso, singer-songwriter and all round lovely chap, Newton Faulkner. Standing by the window in a sun filled room, clutching a cup of tea close to his chest, multitalented Newton Faulkner is completely unmistakable. His skinny frame turning around, he bobs toward me with his signature mop of skinny, long, red dreadlocks falling about his warmly smiling face. After a friendly handshake, he then directs us over to the darkest corner of the room, playfully referring to his fair skin, with a hint of bitterness; “I’m a ginge; I better stay out of the sun.” Relaxing with his cuppa, he resentfully comments, “Its blazing sunshine here but I was in Melbourne last week and it rained nonstop. Australia’s the one place you’d think would be warm. I didn’t even bring a coat.” He exclaims, very obviously scandalised by this. However despite being unable to control the weather, Faulkner is in remarkably good spirits even after flying in that morning at five am and playing a gig the night before. “I’ve discovered I can function on very little sleep. In this particular line of work, it’s very handy.” Faulkner’s discovery was long time coming so he had to wait very patiently for his breakthrough. “I never had a big break but it was more a series of little breaks. There was one particular moment which was a twenty minute slot in a support set which changed everything though.” “I was actually quite annoyed on my way down to the gig as I had to go on my own with two guitars, ne in each hand and a massive bag of clothes on my back and
all my equipment on a seven hour train journey. All I could think was, ‘This is rubbish.’” “But the crowd just got it in a way that no one else had really got it. People went completely mental, it was the most fun I’d ever had. Over the next couple of days, my website broke because of all the traffic. Then I went back and did a whole tour off the back of that set. It was like dropping a building in the ocean; it just made massive waves in the ocean to which I rode to this point where I am now.” “Dream Catch Me” is Faulkner’s most famous song. It reached number one in late August of last year. His album, Hand Built By Robots entered the album charts at number three. His new album, Rebuilt by Humans, is due out on the 18th of September. The strange album names, although providing novelty value, also had significance for Faulkner. “It’s weird; it kind of developed significance in a way. To begin with, it was actually a joke my dad made that kind of just stuck in my head. However, It also obviously also makes reference to a fairly nasty accident I had.” He comments grimacing, tracing the long fat pink scar running down his forearm.
After a family ski holiday, Faulkner returned home with huge doubts about his future in the music industry. He wasn’t skiing because he didn’t want to risk anything but, in a freak accident, slipped over two feet from the front door and landed really badly. “I just slipped on a patch of ice which was pretty unfortunate. I fractured my radius and dislocated my whole hand ,which generally isn’t a good idea for a guitar player.” As for whether he was scared about the possibility of losing his ability to play, Faulkner very seriously and solemnly commented; “Yes.” Before adding, “Definitely. It was really scary.” “I did remain incredibly positive at the time though. I thought if I wallow in self pity, I’m not going get anything done and I had to write an album. However, I think it had nothing but a positive effect on the album; got me to slow down a bit.” Back in the UK, Doctors sliced open his wrist and bolted a plate to his bones using nine pins and within a matter of days Faulkner was sneakily playing guitar again hence the album name, Rebuilt By Humans. In an effort to explain how the accident really helped his song writing, Faulkner
provides an anecdote. “There was a painter who did a whole series of paintings with a match stick because it was so hard to do anything that it meant he really thought about absolutely everything; every tiny little detail.” “I quite like doing that. So, with “This Is It,” I wrote it using this kind of organ foot pedal so I wouldn’t have to play guitar at all. I think the limitation in what I could do, as I couldn’t do any of the percussive stuff for a while, definitely freed up a bit of my brain.” Faulkner, among his many other eccentricities, plays his gigs with no shoes. He explains the simple reason for this somewhat odd decision. “I do indeed not wear shoes. It’s because I’m playing another instrument with my feet.” “The organ based pedals I used on “This Is It,” is what I use live. So, I’m sitting there with basically like a giant keyboard that In play with my feet so I can play guitar with my hands. It gets very confusing. But I really enjoy it, I love a good challenge” Faulkner’s distinctive acoustic sound is unmistakable thanks to his complicated beats involving tapping, hitting and plucking the guitar. Faulkner explains how he developed his style. “It is a whole school of playing. I was thought by the Eric Roche, the head of guitar school when I was at ACM.” “He probably had more influence on my playing than anyone else. Actually, he had a huge influence eon my whole attitude to music. He just understood it in a way that I don’t think I’ve come across with many people.” Faulkner’s free spirited appearance and sound sums up his attitude to music as well. “It’s like a willingness to take stuff on board. One thing Eric Roche talked about for ages which really had resonance with me. It’s basically how there’s rhythm everywhere if you look for it.”
“There’s also like melody in shapes.” he says pointing to the Dublin skyline in background, attempting to explain; “So if you look at the buildings and trees there, you’ve got a high short note then a long lower note. It’s kind of just openness to everything.” He concludes. Faulkner is part of the new breed of artist who depend for a lot of publicity off there social networking pages like MySpace etc. “For me, it worked a lot. Especially when I first signed the deal, it was the most important thing in the world. It generally works like, if you don’t have over this many friends, then, literally no one’s going to talk to you. Record companies were searching for whoever had the most hits a day and would check it out.” “I do kind of struggle with all of it.” He admits shamefully. “I just got a Twitter and I must admit the concept really scared me. I was like, so I have to tell people what I’m doing all the time? That’s really boring.” He exclaims. “Now I’m just twittering nonsense really. For instance, we were driving the road today and there was a toll booth. We were just commenting on what a rubbish job it must be and then I thought; well hold on, where do you park? So I twittered that.” He explains, seemingly quite proud of this philosophical observation. With that, Faulkner is whisked away to his next appointment. A fond, long goodbye and a pleasantry exchange later, I’m on my way out and waiting patiently for the elevator. Faulkner then strolls out and stands silently at my side, also waiting for the lift. Displaying his dry wit, he looks out the corner of his eye toward me and exasperatedly but playfully says under his breath. “Nothing more awkward then the second goodbye”
The Siren 15.9.09
Lights, Camera, Action The vocals and strings of Ireland’s best kept secret, Director, grab a cuppa with Jim Scully to talk about leaving their record label, the new album and the music industry today “It’s a full time job in that we don’t do anything else, although it would be nice to get paid a bit more.” explains Director’s Frontman Michael Moloney, who looks as distinctive in person as he sounds behind the mic, referring to their very busy upcoming months. After the release of 2006’s, ‘We Thrive On Big Cities’, which perched itself in the Irish charts for twelve comfortable weeks, Malahide natives Director took radio waves and stages all around the country by storm. With the success of their single, ‘Reconnect’, the band secured the opening slot on the main stage at Oxegen that year. 2006 was also a year which would see the band earn themselves a Choice Music Prize nomination and bag a meteor award for best new Irish act, a great year which culminated in a sold-out headline show in Dublin’s Ambassador Theatre. You could be forgiven that thinking the band never made it out of 2006 alive. Having been in what seemed liked hibernation until now, Director are back, and four months after the release of their second album, ‘I’ll Wait for Sound,’ the band are all too eager to make up for their absence in the eyes and ears of the Irish public. Having left Atlantic Records, the band are now in complete control of their future. They have once again secured a place at this year’s Oxegen festival and with the new album due to be released outside of Ireland, the band are more hopeful than ever of what lies ahead. Guitarist Eoin Aherne, who exudes the calm atmosphere of someone who has recently had a weight lifted off his shoulders, most probably in the form of a new record, leans forward from his all too comfortable armchair to explain; “We left it a long time, probably longer than we should have. At the same time, we needed the time and I’m glad we took the time rather than rushing. My biggest disappointment with the first album was that it wasn’t released outside of Ireland.” “It was something that we got hung up on for a long time. I guess dealing with Atlantic we didn’t really have a lot of options at the time. We couldn’t release it ourselves, we didn’t control it. They owned it. So my biggest hope for this album is that it will be received well. Even the first album will go farther afield. Just to have the opportunity to do that is something I’m looking forward to.” Freed from the shackles of a major label, the band made sure to do things their own way, and in their own time. Between sips of coffee Eoin Aherne gladly comments, “There was nobody beating down the door
anymore or rushing us to get something out.” The ever-attentive Moloney explains “We spent a long time then in the country, in a house in Leitrim, doing pre-production.” “That was probably three or four months just living in this small cottage for this. It was very remote, there was no distraction or anything, and we would pretty much rehearse all day. It gave us the opportunity to sit around and talk about the album, work on things late at night and start out with ideas like that.” Although the album hasn’t had the same commercial success at home as their debut album, the Dublin locals are hopeful of what is to come. “In Ireland we were certainly happy with how it did, even though
“I’d be happy if
this album almost set the scene in other countries, even if it wasn’t a big success.” it obviously hasn’t done as well yet as the first one. And, you know, probably won’t.” “I think the big thing for us this time around is that it’s coming out in other countries. It’s coming out in England, it’s coming out in France, and it’s coming out in Germany. That’s the most exciting thing at the moment.” Content with having laid the foundations for their work at home, it’s clear the band’s main focus at the minute is expanding their following elsewhere, doing their best to ensure that life for Director lies beyond the four corners of the country. “I’d be happy if this album almost set the scene in other countries, even if it wasn’t a big success. Just that people would know about us, so our name is there. It sets us up for other stuff we might do,” Moloney comments, making clear his wishes before returning to the comfort of his froth laden cappuccino. Before the focus moves too far away from home, I enquire as to whether or not the limited success of the album at home was what they had expected. A question which the band themselves seem to have asked themselves before the record even reached the public. Unfazed, Moloney explains in his characteristic relaxed tones, ���We really didn’t
know what to expect. We kind of went with our instinct a lot with the writing. So the album itself is a little rockier and maybe has less of a pop sensibility. One track is six minutes long and the other is seven minutes, so we knew going into it that it would be potentially less commercial.” Less commercial it may have been, but it did enough to ensure a return to this year’s Oxegen festival. Veterans of the festival by now, they seem to have perfected the art of the festival stage performance. With a few years of experience behind them, both agree.
“ I didn’t really like playing the main stage because it was early and it was during the day and I was uncomfortable. ”
“We enjoyed it a bit more this year because it was later and it was a tent so there was just a better atmosphere. I didn’t really like playing the main stage because it was early and it was during the day and I was uncomfortable. It’s a stage built for the big sets, when you’re used to playing a small stage. I think it’s odd for anyone who kind of does that.” Looking ahead to the future, the band don’t intend on letting up anytime soon. Already thinking ahead to their next releases, the band are making up for lost time.
The Siren 15.9.09
“There’s also the possibility of an EP at the start of next year, it’s not confirmed, maybe just some songs to have out in the meantime, before the next album”, an album which the band are already thinking about. ”We’ve been demo-ing already, thinking of it a little bit. Some of the demos are very different to what we’ve been doing so far.” “So I think the next record is going to be unlike anything we’ve done in the past, maybe a little more folky. I think we’re definitely conscious of moving fast, trying to get started in songs now as quickly as possible. We don’t have the space to keep touring here, we need to be touring and writing as much as we can.” Given the changes that have come about in the music world in recent times, a time when people are trying to figure out where the future of the industry lies, with the financial future more often than not being the main concern, the band aren’t consid-
“he next record is going to be unlike anything we’ve done in the past,”
ering changing how they operate within the industry. Moloney agrees that, as Mr. Dylan so famously once said, ‘The times they are a changing’. However he himself has no drastic plans for the immediate future. “Everybody says it but nobody knows what’s going to happen. I mean I was slow to believe it but everything is changing.” “All the things that worked before aren’t really working. Nobody really knows what’s replacing them but free downloads, which are crippling people.”, sentiments which are shared by his band-mate, who believes that there is still life left in the album format, “I think most people, me definitely, but I think a lot of people, with friends when you talk about a band you like, you talk about albums. I think most people still like albums.” “You definitely need hit songs that people talk about, but people are definitely still going to keep making albums. If you’re doing something about the house, you’ll prefer to put on ten songs than two songs.” Both share the same ideas for their future plans. With all the prospects lying in wait for the band, they are entirely focused on their objectives for the near future, “We certainly don’t have any plans for any exciting new formats.”
What the bands listening to Eoin Aherne:
METRIC – FANTASIES
PHOENIXWOLFGANG AMADEUS PHOENIX
What to Wear
an extra layer of warmth to your outfit as you can wear them either as a scarf or as a shawl around your summer dresses or t-shirts. They are also great for adding an extra bit of dimension or colour to a Summer outfit. To get maximum wear out of your Summer accessories or shoes it may be possible to dye them to this season’s hot colours. Thereby, it looks like you have hit the shops for all new season accessories. Indeed it may also be possible to dye some of your Summer clothes to get Autumn’s hottest colours. Another tip is to wear summer wedges or shoes with a pair of tights or a funky pair of knee high socks under your summer skirts or cropped trousers.
Although Winter is just around the rain splattered corner, there is no need to banish your entire Summer wardrobe to the attic just yet, explains Kathleen Henry Now that Autumn has arrived, it may feel that you have to go out and buy a whole new wardrobe. This is not necessarily so, as some of your key summer pieces may be reworked for the Autumn chill. One of the best ways to get maximum use out of your summer wardrobe is layering, whereby you wear several different pieces of your summer wardrobe together. This enables you to stay nice and warm while looking stylish.
For example you could wear your favourite pair of Summer shorts over a pair of tights or leggings with a pair of boots and accessorise it with a Summer T-shirt or blouse and a jacket. Similarly with cropped trousers add a pair of ankle boots and tights or a pair of knee high boots to give
The Siren 15.9.09
them a completely new lease of life. Another example may be to use your use summer dresses by adding a light wait sweater or cardigan and a pair of knee high boots. Scarves are another way of adding
Alternatively you could customise your summer clothes by adding brooches, buttons, studs or sequins which seem to be one of this seasons hottest looks. If you are a gifted artist you could perhaps do some sketches on plain summer t-shirts to get an individual look. Similarly with some of your summer hairpieces just add some sequins, diamante or feathers to give your hair a more glamorous sophisticated look for Autumn. If all else fails swapping clothes with your family or friends is a very easy and environmentally friendly way of adding new life to your wardrobe because you never know what you could find at the back of a wardrobe that might turn out to be your must have
If you’ve got it,blog it.
With the internet being the height of Vogue nowadays, Aoifa Smyth delves into the world of fashion blogs to discover the good, the bad and the ugly.
Style It is estimated that ten percent of blogs on the internet are fashion based. If this is the case, then how many do we have to eliminate before we find something half readable, bearing in mind that anyone is entitled to write a blog. So for this reason, how do we sort the men from the boys in terms of a good and fashionably insightful read? After hours of scrolling and clicking through sites, I boiled it down to these:
Caragh Psychology on: Current Obsessi Sequins Favourite Shop: Topshop g to: Currently Listenin Fleet Foxes
Annie- B and L Favourite Shop: Mums Wardrobe Best Buy: Rings from pennies for 2.50
www.gofugyourself.celebuzz.com Go Fug Yourself is a satirical blog which concentrates on unfortunate celebrities who are fashionably challenged at times and I know how we all enjoy a bit of a giggle over that top which was just a tad too sheer for the flash bulbs on the red carpet. Users are able to vote on whether they agree or disagree with the bloggers, Heather and Jess, who were recently invited by New York Magazine to cover fashion week from the red carpet. Meow!
www.fashionista.com With a name fitting to its suba l ki n g a b o u ject, this blog shapes our inner t s t… fashionista. With updates as ei on frequent as four to five times n O of toa day, one could easily get h t 8 s hooked on this blog. The the 1er, Chri ction e emb e’s coll om Top creator, Elizabeth Spiers, t p e s r S Kan es u ble f and her editors, give us pher s availa ction giv street e colle h front row accounts from g i m d h o bec p. His ook, at s inclu d fashion shows, backstage n l m o a e h r t s s gossip, party photos and an 39 i orie signe s a de ces withg, access y, grey incredible fashion glossary v i pr lothin ect na etallic to help us brush up on the ing c es. Exp with m nt fashion lingo. sho black ishme
Amanda - History & Philosophy Current Obsession: Florence & The Machine Favourite Trend: Floral Favourite Shop: Pennys Fashion Icon: Katy Perry
www.streetpeeper.com Street Peeper is by far the vastest and varied street style blog out there. Contributors, mostly stylists and bloggers, submit photos from Amsterdam to Zurich. The beauty of this blog is
that no two contributors have the same visions, so the style is certainly varied and you really get a feel for each city’s individual style. www.iheartthat.com If you ‘heart’ an item on a celebrity, but don’t know where to purchase it, I Heart That is there to help. Photos of stars out and about are featured, with the names of the stockists of their outfits underneath. I know what you’re thinking, I can’t afford most of them either, but it’s nice to look, know where they bought them and compile that wish list… Http://stylesalvage.blogspot.com Finally, a decent men’s fashion blog. Described by the bloggers as “an open discussion conducted by two friends, Steve and EJ on how men could and should dress,” this blog brings readers into the know in terms of upcoming designers, new talent, new style and includes detailed interviews from shop owners, designers and fashion industry insiders. Take note boys. www.thesartorialist.blogspot.com This is a street style blog, of sorts, which was started by Scott Schuman in New York City. Some of the pictures are taken with the model’s consent, others are non-posed and unaware, either way all the subjects of the photos have unusual and stand out style in common. Schuman is branching out to other major cities as of late. www.stylebubble.co.uk Style bubble is a charming and very cute blog, which is compiled of photos from fashion shows, street fashion, upcoming London fashion events and pictures documenting the blogger, Susie Bubble’s, incredible style. Beware though, style bubble is highly addictive.
arts Music Fashion
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z e i n t i s c l e d o M
the ties, Cathal O’Gara talks us through Delving into the swinging six er stylish popular trends introduced by the ev mods
Creative, cutting-edge, the bold and brash 60’s fashion belonged to London. The reason for this was mainly due to a small group of young men and women who started to look towards the European cool of Italy and France, combined with a dash of American Ivy League College, in order to concoct an anomalous British youth fashion. Like every new clique, these forward looking avant-gardes needed a new name to separate them from the proletariats of the fashion world, and thus were christened the Mods. These early-modernists were eclectic in nature, casting aside the rampant trend of Trad Jazz, and in turn replaced it with the more sophisticated and smoother sound, with the likes of Dave Brubeck and the Modern Jazz Quartet having major influence. The Brits set the tone and the world played along though of course it wasn’t all about the music. Mod fashion was immensely influenced by pop-art. A lot of the iconic images of The Who consist of Pete Townshend & Co sporting shirts with simple abstract designs of arrows and dots, or even the Union Jack. Along with this American pop-art influence, there was also a very strong Italian design influence. Scooter boy
fashion had a tremendous affect on Mod fashion. This can be seen in tightfitting shirts and trousers with simple stripes and numbers adorning them. Of course it also helps to have the most important Italian designed accessory - a motor scooter. However they were determined not to become overtly European. British Air Force symbols, medallions and patches also became motifs, highlighting the patriotism of the British youth. The Mod explosion in the 60’s also owes a lot of its visibility to its revolutionary new clothing styles. At the same time as this Mod blast, Carnaby Street in London was accolade with a considerable number of new fashions, as this was where bands such as The Who and Rolling Stones would shop for their tours. Some of these bands adopted the Mod look, spreading it across the world to every city their tours came to. The Mod look became a contagion, an acute venom which promoted a working-class aspiration with an obsessive attention to detail: the right shoes, records, shirts, everything. By dedicating a few extra minutes daily to improve your look will make a colossal difference to your appearance.
Chic Chubbies No, you didn’t hear me wrong, chubby is in; a chubby is another word for this season’s gilletstyle fur jackets. Check out Top Shop and Zara for sheep skin and faux-fur versions. Cosy and chic. Brrrrr.
So guys, in place of that basic and safe white/black tee, layer it up with a sharp sweater, printed button-front and some loafers. While you’re at it, roll up those Levis and party like its 1954. Oscar Wilde once said, “Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to change it every six months.” Or in the Mod case, 40 years later. Mod style is currently causing rampage everywhere. Mod rockers such as Pete Doherty and Samuel Preston have found the right balance between scruffy and sharp. The trick is to find your own Mod
Embrace your inner child with a nineties velvet revival, as velvet featured in many designer’s Austyle, with your own balance of oddity tumn/ Winter collections. We’re and normality. Although stores such as talking Clarissa style here, with Ben Sherman, Topman and even River extra kudos for velvet scrunchies. Island bestow some Mod styles upon us, it’s always worth visiting second hand stores and vintage shops. Here you’ll be more likely to come across eclectic gold in the form of hounds tooth men’s coats, classic loafers and unique waistcoats. Exciting styles are in for winter, revamped and modernised to a tee. Mod is back, and unfortunately for Wilde, it’s going to be with us for years to come.
Channel Alexa Chung’s Style In an effort to channel Alexa Chung’s most desirable style, Aoife Hamill gives pointers on how to attempt this popular fashionista’s unique fashion sense. How do you get ‘it girl’ status? What is this seemingly indefinable quality that is described as ‘it’? What is this vague indescribable genderless thing, this x factor? Is varies from being cosmetically perfect, irresistibly charming, fabulously wealthy, horrendously over-exposed in the media, to an out-of-control celebrity with a drug habit and a famous footballer boyfriend. A better definition of an ‘it girl’ would be an independent young woman who is confident with whatever shape and size she happens to be, who experiments with her style and fashion. Namely, Alexa Chung. Alexa describes her own style as “somewhere between a child and a
grandma.” Grandma’s wardrobe could be a good place to root out some of the vintage blouses that Miss Chung sports so adorably. The trick is to keep your shirt fitted and flattering, and team with Alexa’s favourite item, the mini skirt. Next is your fitted jacket which can be matched in a casual or classy manner. The leather jacket or a fitted blazer will give you the Chung rock chic look instantly. Sticking with leather, the school girl satchel is also essential, and big enough to carry your Ray Bans, Ipod, lip gloss and diary. The only jewellery you will need to copy Alexa’s minimalist look, is a naval length necklace with a pretty pendant. Add your own self confidence and sassiness and you are ready to go.
Moustaches I always say, if you can, grow one! If you look questionable, you can always shave it in no time. Moustaches are hot, preferably on men, this season. Who knows, they may come in handy with the cold weather.
Strictly Come Dancing Two simple questions. Who are you? And who did you steal that disco ball that you are now wearing as a dress from?
Toeless Boots Boots without toes are like forks without prongs, i.e. useless. I doubt a cold front can avoid that small gap where your toes are, or were, prior to frost bite.
Low Riding Jeans/ High Riding Thong Combo Nice underwear is always important, but not when you gather a crowd of spectators every time you bend over. Please do us a favour and invest in a belt to hoosh up your jeans by about two inches, give or take, but not so much take.
The Siren 15.9.09
On a High
Starring: Carl Fredricksen, Charles Muntz Reviewed by: Katie Godwin
Starring: Peter Sarsguard, Carey Mulligan, Alfred Molina. Reviewed by: Aine Keegan ‘An Education’ is an unforgettable coming-of-age story set in grim 1960’s England. The film centres around Jenny, a clever and pretty sixteen year old girl who dreams of attending Oxford to study English. She is one of the top students in her school and studying for her A-Levels, but can’t wait to begin adult life and enjoy the freedom it entails. However, her teenage tedium is interrupted one rainy day when David, a charismatic and charming older man offers her a lift home. Following another chance encounter, Jenny agrees to a date
“Ten years ago, we thought we’d never finish it.” said Disney Pixar director, Pete Doctor, at the Irish premier of his latest film, ‘Up’, which took place last week. After watching the movie and appreciating how well and wonderfully the whole thing fits together, it is easy to see why the film took so long to make. The story is about a lonely old man who decides to follow his deceased wife’s dream, which is to explore the wilds of South America. One day, his plan launches into action as he releases thousands of helium balloons from his roof top and
and David quickly introduces her to an entirely different side of life- a life that includes classical concerts, jazz clubs and expensive restaurants. This offers an exciting alternative to the boredom of books and school that have thus far dominated Jenny’s life and she quickly falls for him. An excellent screenplay by Nick Hornby allows this story to unfold naturally. The characters in the film are intriguingly well developed, particularly David; an urbane character who received his education in the ‘university of life’. The scenes set in Paris and London provide a fitting location for his exuberant lifestyle and perfectly evoke the experience of a flashy, whirlwind romance. The fancy parties and superior cocktails lure the audience into the film, making it easy for us to identify with a young girl who naively throws everything away as she gets sucked in to a world she’s not yet ready for.
they carry his house off up into the clouds. However, while sailing through the skies, an unwanted visitor knocks on his door; an over helpful boy-scout who has a similar need for company. Together, they embark on an adventure filled with an array of strange creatures, an evil villain and of course and a lot of going Up. As the creator of ‘Toy Story’ and its sequel, as well as ‘WALL-E’ and ‘Monster’s Inc’., he is used to touching the heart of the nation. This delightful creation is another rollercoaster of emotion. Five minutes in and you’re laughing with a lump in your throat
Narrator: Mariella Frostrup Reviewed by: Rachel Wallace Marking a return to the true-life adventures that used to be Disney’s speciality, this elegant documentary does for flamingos what ‘March of the Penguins’ did for their Antarctic counterparts. Revealing how northern Tanzania’s Lake Natron provides the birds with their nesting grounds and pink plumage, co-directors Matthew Aeberhard and Leander Ward unpick a delicate eco-system with grace and charm. Those qualities, alas, are largely missing from Mariella Frostrup’s self-conscious narration. The
and tears spilling out of your eyes. One of its best features is that although it’s sad in parts, it doesn’t get weighed down by sentimentality, because the humour keeps it so fresh. Although the storyline of paternal love is nothing new to Pixar, thanks to ‘Finding Nemo’ and ‘The Incredibles’, an old man getting over a loss and coming to responsibility adds a refreshing twist to this very ‘Pixar’ theme. The film seems so welcomingly original and filled with so many cool ideas that it’s impossible not to fall in love with it.
voiceover queen tries hard to match the visuals’ majesty; next to Morgan Freeman, however, she doesn’t have a leg to stand on. The setting is at an admirably languid pace that invites you to look at the pictures and not continuously anticipate the next cut. The music, by the Cinematic Orchestra, is so inherently combined with the pictures it feels like it was scored first. The script is a relaxingly sparse affair that doesn’t hide its mission to push you to see things differently. It balances the images and the story with a witty and romantic effect. Although the film just follows a bird from chick to flight in a remote African area, it is also so much more than that. Highly recommended if you seek a very different film experience.
Pete Doctor has really served as the leading Shepard in Disney Pixar movies and this one could possibly be his prize sheep. How he managed to tie so many disparate ideas together so well in ‘Up’ is beyond most. The film is quite simply a masterpiece, especially the first few minutes which are the most sincere. The ‘technicoloured dream coat’ colour scheme added to the floating soundtrack make the film artistic on every level.
Starring: Jamie Downey Jr.
Reviewed by: Ashling Maguire Based on a true story, ‘The Soloist’ is a moving film about the relationship between L.A. Times journalist Steve Lopez and Nathaniel Ayers, a schizophrenic homeless Julliard drop out. The pair meet by chance as Lopez is searching for a story and finds Nathaniel playing beautifully on a two stringed violin. Lopez attempts to help him get his life back together and achieve his dream of performing in an orchestra. Strong performances from both lead roles, in particular Jamie Foxx’s heart wrenching portrayal of the schizophrenic Ayers, make
the film enjoyable and engaging. The realistic look into the lives of the many homeless people in Los Angeles makes sure this film is not easily forgotten. It’s not all serious issues though; there are some excellent humorous and exciting scenes throughout, such as the race to a concert hall with Nathaniel’s trolley of belongings in tow. The soundtrack is of course superb and is well complemented by some interesting visuals. Unfortunately the movie has a tendency to drag at times, notably in the second half of the film during Nathaniel’s impossibly fast ramblings and when the plot shifts to unnecessarily focus on Lopez’s personal problems. You will find yourself urging the storyline to return to Nathaniel’s fate. You don’t have to be a music lover to love this film and the charming story, as well as the talented cast, make this one not to be missed.
The Siren 15.9.09
The most famous penises in all the world Philip Connolly catches up with Simon Morley of Puppetry of the Penis, and finds out how it feels to have the world’s “most viewed flaccid penis”
Simon Morley is a very normal, cheerful man with an infectious hearty laugh and friendly jovial nature. He also earns his living making shapes out of his genitals in front of a room full of strangers. Genital origami if you must put a name to it. How, you may ask with a healthy degree of trepidation, does one arrive at such a career path? “I could give you all sorts of fancy answers but to be honest it was probably after a little too much to drink. It is not uncommon after a few drinks for Australian men to kick off their pants and entertain their friends. I think you’ll find most of the Australian rugby or football teams can do a good hamburger. This is where it comes from - you’d be in the showers afterwards and be like, hey check this out! Basically we decided to put a cape, extend the repertoire and take it to the people.” What are the qualifications required for such a distinguished career? “We don’t like to talk size, but let’s just say the more clay the sculptor has to work with, the more he can create. Is that tactile enough for you? Let’s be honest - no one is going to pay to see a little willy.” The name Puppetry stems from the title of a self published “high-brow” calendar. It was on New Year’s Eve in 1997 with a garage full of calendars to sell and burgeoning requests for live demonstrations, that prompted Simon to team up with David “Friendy” Friend and unleash their talents on the world. Together, Simon and Friendy’s solo “acts” became Puppetry of the Penis. A global phenomenon was born. As the curtain comes down on the Olympia this month, a golden era in genital origami shall to come to an end “It’s gonna
be pretty much a hit and run, I’ll be doing the show myself. I don’t do very many shows anymore and this is very possibly my last one. To be honest it’s a great way to finish off - just really going out with a bang.” Fear not avid Puppetry fans, the show will go on even without its ringleader, “We’re constantly looking for people. We’ve franchised the show. At one point a few years ago we had 8 teams running around the world at the same time.” So if you do wish do sign up for a life on the high sea’s of genital puppetry, pray
“Let’s be honest - no one is going to pay to see a little willy”
caution before taking such a step “Oh god believe me, all the wierdos come out of the wood work! We get to see some very strange stuff. I thought this was a bit funny and I could sell some tickets. Next thing you know I’m seeing more male genital than a porn director. I dunno, it’s not something I signed up for but it’s a cross I have to bear nowadays I suppose.” “I had a guy in Montreal turn up and drop his pants. He had an eggplant on the end of his penis. I still don’t quite know what he was doing with that. “What are you doing?” I asked him. He mumbled away in French and then just waddled off with an eggplant on his cock. I still have night-
mares about it, just wondering what he was up to. What was he thinking?” Simon also holds a rather unique record of his own. “I actually was contacted by these people about a year ago that said I was in the Sexual Guinness Book of Records. I think the Sexual Guinness Book of Records is people drinking too much Guinness and getting their cock out. Anyway they actually informed me that I had “the most famous flaccid penis on earth”. I wanted to pick up the phone and call my mum.” Sadly the world has to say goodbye to the man who brought us the genital impressions of George Bush (“He basically just looks like a prick, doesn’t he?”), the Lochness monster (“we wanted to do something special for the Scottish people)” and even Yoda got the Puppetry of the Penis royal treatment. “You expect a few words of wisdom from Yoda. It’s not so much about the dick trick itself; it’s how the Yoda impersonation sounds.” As the curtain falls on an illustrious career, the Irish public has one final chance to catch this unique spectacle. “I mean everyone reacts a little differently, everyone takes something a different from the show. Women have been told for centuries that you’re not allowed to laugh at a man’s penis. In some countries you could still get killed if a man drops his pants and you just start laughing at his testicles, but not true in our show. You are not just looking at a couple of naked men; you’re looking at three story high flashes of genitalia. Normally when a woman gets close to a penis it turns into something very different.” Indeed.