Issuu on Google+

College Tribune Entertainment Supplement 26.01.2010

the Siren 30 Seconds to Mars

Nice Planet, We�ll Take It Exclusive interview inside propaghandi Jon Kenny the lovely Bones Georgia May Jagger’s Style


2

Music

The Siren 26.1.10

The Scoop

26.01.2010

Music

Dates Announced With Pendulums upcoming album ‘Immersion’ being one of the most eagerly anticipated releases of 2010, the electronic rock group have announced that they will play two exclusive live Irish shows as part of their 2010 UK and Ireland tour. They will play a Dublin show in the intimate surrounds of the Olympia on May 18th 2010 with the other taking place in Belfast. Following their three sold out Academy shows last week, The Coronas are pleased to announce their return to the Olympia Theatre on December 10th 2010. The group have just been nominated for two Meteor Ireland Music Awards at this years ten year anniversary ceremony for Best Irish Band and Best Irish Album for ‘Tony Was An Ex-Con’. Chicago based punk band ‘The Lawrence Arms’ have announced a UK tour and dates for Belfast and Dublin shows are in the works for early April. Wolf Parade are back in Vicar St. after their stunning sell out performance there in 2008. Tickets for this unmissable show are €19 on sale next Wednesday at 9am through Ticketmaster and other usual outlets nationwide.

Sam McGrath explores UCD’s early 80’s rave scene Page 4

Arts

New Releases The legendary Gill Scott-Heron releases his long awaited album “I’m New Here”. The new album is to be releases on 5th February 2010 on XL Recordings. Grammy-winning guitarist Jeff Beck is set to return with his first studio album in seven years - titled Emotion & Commo-

Katie Godwin meets legendary Irish funnyman Jon Kenny Page 11

Fashion

Cathal O’Gara gets shirty about denim Page 9

tion. The album will be released on Friday April 9. Dublin punks Paranoid Visions commemorate the Stardust disaster with the Valentine’s Day release of Strobelight And Torture, which will be available as a three-track 7” and six-track CD. Today also sees the release ‘ The Very Best of KRS-One’. The Brooklyn born Artist has been boasted as one of the greatest MCs of all time. Meteor Awards The Meteors will celebrate its ten year anniversary this year at the RDS Friday 19th February. One of Ireland’s most successful alternative rock bands Bell X1 have just been added to the star studded line up at the Meteor Ireland Music Awards joining Westlife, Snow Patrol, The Script, Florence And The Machine, Paulo Nutini, Pixie Lott and The Coronas as performers on the night. Bell X1 are nominated for 3 awards on the night including Best Irish Band, Best Irish Album and Best Irish Live Performance with Brian Kennedy expected to scoop up the Lifetime Achievement Award. Bell X1 are up for three gongs – Best Irish Band, Best Irish Album and Best Irish Live Performance with Amanda Byram hosting the show this year again. The Meteor Ireland Music Awards will be aired by RTE on Sunday 21st February 2010 on RTE 2 at 9pm. Tickets €40 including booking fee are on sale now from Ticketmaster and usual outlets nationwide. Ryan Cullen

New noise The Downtown Struts San Francisco’s The Downtown Struts list their influences as “love, heartbreak, traveling, and bad luck.” A list like that could easily give the wrong impression of the band, one of just another heartbrokn emo band, or the age old down on their luck punk band á la Social Distortion or Rancid. But that’s not the case here. While these boys play straightup punk rock, there is definitely a whole mixed bag of influences within the songs. Sounds as varied as Americana and country shine through, while others bear the influence of upbeat New York Dolls. They are at times a little reminiscent of The Gaslight Anthem, only with a little more balls. TDS certainly like to keep it varied, and as is evident from their songs, they certainly don’t like to pigeonhole themselves into any one genre. At times the band wouldn’t sound out of place in a Nashville blues bar, on the flip side the band would be well within their comfort zone in CBGB’s circa ‘76. Originally from Indianapolis, they released “...Show You How to Rock ‘n’ Roll” in 2006. Their second album, “Make it Cry, Boys”, was recorded in January of 2008 and is now available on iTunes. Now residing in the punk rock hotbed of San Francisco, the band say their

music “infuses ‘77 punk, rock’n’roll and country.” The band do have an original sound, however it rarely strays too far away from the distinctive tones of many San Francisco punk bands gone before. Bands like One Man Army obviously bear a lot of responsibility for the sound of The Downtown Struts. Fast clean guitars, melodic lead riffs and razor sharp vocals, and a bucket load of energy help to define The Downtown Struts as a band. In a time when punk rock all too often keeps recycling the same old routine, The Downtown Struts provide something a little more interesting and forward thinking. With two records under their belt, the band are still relative unknowns. Little reward have they received for their years of hard work, but the band’s tough work ethic keeps them zig-zagging across the U.S in a van. Still unsigned, the band are once again leaving behind their beloved home town to kick off the new year on the road as they do their best to bring their unique brand of punk rock to the masses. www.myspace.com/thedowntownstruts Jim Scully


The Siren 26.1.10

3

Music

Vampire Weekend Contra

Philip connolly Vampire Weekend are the type of band you want to despise. They are painfully hip, a little too preppy and shameless in their rape and pillage of world music. And yet for all their contradictions and clichés their first album turned out to be quite the pop gem. There are few things as intriguing as a contradiction in pop, especially when it resolves itself tunefully. Vampire Weekend are a mass of them. They named themselves after a Super-8 film some members shot at university, a shlock-horror moniker that clashed smartly with the four Ivy Leaguers’ sophisticated indie Afro-pop. Despite their debt to Paul Simon’s 1986 Graceland album, Vampire Weekend sounded utterly fresh. Their eponymous 2008 debut showcased both breeziness and depth, drawing on the interchangeability of melody and rhythm found in major strands of African music. Vampire Weekend’s second album starts with “Horchata”, ostensibly a punching bag for people who didn’t like their first one. Singer Ezra Koenig rhymes “horchata” with “balaclava”, while keyboardist Rostam Batmanglij arranges the song around the polite plinks of marimbas. It’s a sweatless calypso, buttoned-up and breezy. So, of course, detractors will still find plenty to hate about Contra, and they’ll hate it with vigour. Meanwhile, Vampire Weekend sound like they’ve fallen in love with what they started and are hugging it tight without

The Colossus RJD2

Ryan Cullen A new decade, a new full length album and his own record label has left Ramble John Krohn a blank canvas to work with after a striking departure from his usual style on his 2007 album “The Third Hand”. Over the years it has been evident that RJD2 has never been totally consistent with his sound but the Colossus carries Ramble back into refreshing territory, effectively delivering more hits than misses. Covering many genres with elements of funk, pop, soul and hiphop, the Colossus mixes the synthheavy sound and rugged drum beats (“A Spaceship For Now”) heard in his early albums with more soulful tracks such as “Games You Can Win” and “The Shining Path” which features the vocals of

Phonte Coleman. The opening track “Let There Be Horns” starts the album off with his trademark hip-hop beats that has earned him his cult fan base over the years fused with a variety of instruments that plays out in impressive fashion. Although he ventures into pop and funk, RJD2 keeps fluidity whilst giving the album relevant body and soul. Heather Fortune’s scintillating flute performance and added performances from artists such as Aaron Livingston and Kenna add extra flavour to the Colossus showing that RJD2 has not lost his touch when it comes to producing quality tracks. All in all, The Colossus ventures into many different genres and sounds with RJD2 holding strong to the end. Although never hitting the heights of his debut album ‘Deadringer’, RJD2 had the creative vision to create a fun and adventurous album giving him a healthy start to the decade and further expanding his ever-changing style.

Motion City Soundtrack My Dinosaur Life Jim Scully

The production on My Dinosaur Life isn’t so much polished as it is pristine, it’s tight and sharp to say the least. A little look behind the scenes and it’s easy to see why. The team behind the desk are undoubtedly responsible for much of this records sound. Producer Mark Hoppus who worked with the band on their 2005 release “Commit This To Memory” returns behind the desk, and it’s clearly evident. The man from Blink-182 has an ear for a hook, and having worked closely with the late Jerry Finn, Hoppus has the recipe for catchy pop-rock songs engraved in his head. Beside him at the desk, is Chris Holmes whose work with Rick Rubin over the years has no

doubt left him with a wealth of experience when it comes to producing a record. Anyway, enough with the personnel nerdiness and onto the album. This is somewhat reminiscent of “Commit this to Memory”, which is hardly surprising. Don’t mess with a good thing and all that. But this band have definitely matured both as people and as musicians. The lyrics are still light hearted and witty, the music; typical MCS but with plenty of unexpected twists thrown in for good measure. The band have an ear for a melody and know how to keep the listen interested. Justin Pierre’s vocals are at times exposed for being somewhat weak but deep bass and a very full guitar sound carries his voice as an extra layer to the band’s distinctive sound. There is nothing terribly standoutish about this album, but it is damn good pop.

shame or apology. Where much of the first album’s charm was conceptual here the band has put on some muscle. The drums are bigger, the guitars are faster, and the songs are outfitted with synth beats and hip-hop, reggae and electro accents. “ The Clash named their fourth album Sandinista, after the Nicaraguan left-wingers; you can only assume Contra is some sort of perverse reference to Vampire Weekend’s favourite band rather than any support for the right-wing death squads covertly funded by the CIA. The Clash references, though revealing, are fleeting; Vampire Weekend certainly haven’t turned into rebel rockers. Geopolitics features in passing on Contra; Koenig is too evolved a lyricist for anything else. Rather, each impeccably crafted nugget here is an experiment in rhythm that grabs inventively from both high culture and low. “California English” boasts disorienting Auto-Tuned vocals and more violins. Moreover, Koenig no longer seems to be quipping his lyrics, but crooning in falsetto on an album whose joyousness is tinged with wistfulness and regret. Contra, then, confounds and delights once again, with new heart offsetting Vampire Weekend’s not inconsiderable brains.

Graffiti Chris Brown

Ryan cullen

Graffiti is the third studio album by American singer and woman beater Chris Brown. Although hoping for a few hits to go with his spectacular one with Rihanna, Chris brown has yet again created another bland, occasionally obnoxious, crap R&B album. Although beating Rihanna to the albums release date in more than one way, the original release date of the album was changed many times due to many court appearances involved with Chris Browns horrific assault on Rihanna. Following the case, Brown had to change the title of the album from “The Attitude Adjuster” to the less controversial “Graffiti” because he believed it would bring further bad

press. Although Brown claimed that he was trying to “fix the dishwasher” he was sentenced to five years probation and months of community service which hampered the organisation and recording of this Casanova driven drivel. All throughout his album he gloats about “the cars and the girls and the cribs” and other self-absorbed lyrics, his voice reminds me of a cross between Joe Pasquale and Kate Bush if they had taken an overdose of concentrated oestrogen. Following these many setbacks in his personal life, “Graffiti” has made music history. Not only is it one of the worst albums I have personally ever heard but in fact one of the only albums that Stephen Hawking could do a better job of. Although currently remixing The Prodigys classic hit “Smack my Bitch up”, people can expect Chris Brown to slowly fall into the shamed celebrity trash along with such stars as Gary Glitter and Mel Gibson.


4

Music

The Siren 26.1.10

SAVE THE RAVE François Pittion speaks to Sam McGrath about Belfield’s infamous late 1980s rave scene

Pittion began studying French and Linguistics in UCD in 1985 as part of an Arts Degree. He became involved in the UCD Students Union (UCDSU) early on, being elected as a class representative and joining the Ents Committee. He admits that facilities in Belfield at the time “weren’t really bad” but there was always an underlying feeling that students had to “get the degree and emigrate”. As there were no jobs going, students had the choice of either leaving the country or “stay and party.” Pittion chose the latter. Up until then, there was no (electronic) dance scene in Belfield (or Dublin for that matter). The highlight of the week on campus was the disco in the Student Bar on a Saturday night. The DJ was Dave Lowe a.k.a Bambi who played “all sorts” Pittion remembers. He admits that cheap pints of beer during an extended Happy Hour were the main attraction for most students. After a couple of years in the Ents committee, Pittion ran for Ents officer in 1987. The elections were hotly contested and he came up against the Kevin Barry

Cumann i.e. the “Fianna Fail machine”. Fortunately, due to his contacts in Agricultural Science and Science, Pittion won by 260 votes. Soon after his victory, Pittion and a close friend Mick Heaney began organising nights in the bar on Fridays “as an alternative to the Saturday disco”. The Friday nights, soon to be known as the ‘Unlimited Freak Out’ (UFO), would go down in Belfield campus infamy. They began by playing a mixture of indie, 70’s punk and techno - “about 50% rave 50% guitar”. “I suppose”, Pittion ponders, “it would have been called madchester/ balearic beats stuff ”. (Quick music history lesson. Madchester – Alternative/indie/ psychedelic 90s rock music. The Stones Roses, Happy Mondays, The Charlatans etc.. Balearic Beat – Genre of ‘house’ electronic dance music that originally emerged in the mid-1980s.The sound was initially typified by a distinctive, relatively heavy, slow (90–110 bpm), R&B-influenced beat) The UFO nights really took off. Pittion remembers that “the place would be packed

by 8, and crazy by 11”. Due to this success, Pittion and Heaney had the idea of continuing the club after the UCD bar shut by running buses from UCD into The Rock Garden (until recently known as Eamon Doran’s) where the fun continued well into the early hours. When questioned about drugs and the rave scene in UCD, Pittion is honest. He admits that the UCD authorities had no idea that every Friday night “half the bar was mashed on speed, acid and mushrooms.” The barmen knew what was going on, he says, but they turned a blind eye. Though always associated with the rave scene, Ecstasy was not a popular drug during the late 1980s in UCD. It was too expensive. At the time, a single tablet of ecstasy could set you back £20-25. The widespread use of the drug in the rave scene didn’t come into play until the prices dropped in the early 1990s. Pittion’s personal high point (no pun intended) during his time in UCD was convincing Mark Collins (Ents Officer 1990/91) to put on The Shamen, the Scot-

e d i u G GIG ASLAN – Student Bar/ 28 Jan/ ���5.50 Dublin’s own hometown heroes play the UCD student bar this Thursday. As the band are no strangers to UCD, most will know what to expect from this night. Some decent tunes with some cheap(ish) pints; for just over a fiver you might as well. What else will you be doing on a Thursday evening? TALIB KWELI – Tripod/ 30 Jan/ €22.50 Underground hip-hop visionary TALIB KWELI is set to return to TRIPOD on Saturday 30th January. The thinking man’s rapper tours Europe ahead of the release later this year of his upcoming album “Revolutions Per Minute”, his second as Reflection Eternal with long time collaborator Hi Tek. Support on the night comes from Dublin’s own Messiah J & The Expert; a line-up sure to make it a night to remember. COBRA STARSHIP - The Academy/ 04 Feb/ €16.50 COBRA STARSHIP make their long awaited Irish live debut at The Academy in Dublin on Thursday 4 February as part

of their Hot Mess Across The EU-Niverse Tour. Beloved of hipsters and emos alike be sure to have your skinny jeans at the ready. This night is sure to be an energetic and colourful one.

tish electronic band, at the 1991 Rag Ball. Well after graduating, Pittion was still asked to come back to Belfield to DJ the big Rag and Fresher Balls; he did this up to 1993. Francois ran the UFO/Alien nights until 1997. From there he moved onto a Friday

CLub Night JAMIE T – The Academy/ 09 Feb/ €18.95 Jamie T’s postponed sold out Irish dates have been rescheduled to take place at bigger venues to accommodate demand for tickets. Now moved to the larger surrounds of The Academy, Wimbledon’s Jamie T hits the stage in support of his acclaimed second album “Kings and Queens.” This unique blend of indie and hip-hop is not to be missed.

What? The Punky Reggae Party Where? Seomra Spraoi 10 Belvedere Court, Dublin 1 (Off Mountjoy Square)

LOW ANTHEM - Vicar St./ 08 Feb/ €18 Indie-Americana trio The Low Anthem released its 2nd full length record, “Oh My God, Charlie Darwin”. Moved to Vicar Street due to demand for tickets, this could be a high point of the year in music. Now in the close surrounds of Vicar Street, this should be one to remember.

night residency in The Kitchen (which was based in The Clarence Hotel) a position which he held until 2001. For the last few years, he has taken a back seat in Ireland’s dance scene but still plays about four gigs a year, most recently in Tripod at the end of November.

When? Friday, 29 January 2010 at 20:00 Why? Following the success of previous outings, The Punky Reggae Party is back for its January installment in Seomra Spraoi. With resident DJ’s Jim Scully & Carax including well known Dublin ‘DJ’S Worries Outernational’ and ‘Radiator Trev’.

Trev is one of Dublin’s most well known gig promoters and DJs. He currently runs ‘Trashed’ on Tuesdays in Andrews Lane, co - promotes ‘Transmission’ on Saturdays in The Button Factory and has started running a new monthly indie/ ska/punk night called ‘Rehab’. For the past six years Worries Outernational have been running Dublin’s definitive reggae night, Dancehall Styles, at the Button Factory every Sunday. Expect a classic mix of floor stompin’ ska, red hot reggae, melodic punk and sensational soul. Price? Admission fee is 5 euro and is a BYOB event.


5

Music

The Siren 26.1.10

ROCK FOR SUSTAINABLE CAPITAiSM? Chris Hannah, guitarist/ vocalist of seminal hardcore band Propagandhi took some time out to talk to Ciaran Murray ahead of their gig in The Village back in December I meet Chris Hannah in the quiet downstairs surrounds of The Village on this, the third visit of Propagandhi to Ireland in the past nine years. As is to be expected a lot has changed in that time, not least the band’s music; which has evolved and matured from the band’s early days. Along with the band’s music, the line-up also saw adjustments as the Canadian three piece added another guitarist in the form of David “Beaver” Guillas a couple of years back, which has undoubtedly made a big difference to the band. “As a three piece, we struggled to reproduce the songs live as they were on record; it was always mildly disappointing to hear it live- all our records have two guitars, and sound more layered.” “So this has helped us to get something more accurate when we play live- When Beaver plays, it gives things a better sense of atmosphere.” Having known Beaver from the Canadian hardcore scene, his addition made little disruption to the band. Playing in the Canadian scene, Propagandhi were undoubtedly influenced by their peers, and still are as they progress as a band. “Older bands like SNFU, Guilt Parade, Voivod, NoMeansNo, Sacrifice, Razor – Mainly bands that had their heyday in the 80’s. Some of them, like

Voivod and SNFU are still playing, and are staging a revival having made some of their most compelling music in the last five years, and that’s really inspiring for us, we’re getting fucking old now, two of us are hitting forty and we’re starting to feel it!” As Canada’s hardcore heavyweights grow older, they have kept their youthful passion and energy, playing music with the same urgency they did when they began. “Being able to play with friends is a huge thing, playing with guys I’ve been friends with for many years.” “I always had this sense of wonder – I remember being six or seven and my mom bought home this tape recorder, pressed record and played it back; I remember listening back to my voice with this sense of wonder, and that’s something that has stayed with me, I have it when I listen to our songs back through the speakers, and I guess when that dies…”. Undoubtedly Hannah’s passion for the music hasn’t waned over time. With Propagandhi, wherever there has been music there has been politics. On the band’s last record “Supporting Caste” the lyrics come across more personally reflective than overtly political. When asked if he is still as passionate about his politics as he always was, Hannah is very assured. “More-so than ever I would say. There’s

individual members who are more politically engaged back home, whether that’s in progressive community initiatives or supporting international solidarity movements, the only thing that’s changed for us is the sense of the scope and the scale of what’s wrong – We haven’t felt as if we’ve mellowed at all. As for the new record, well it’s just a different writing style.” Over the years the band’s writing style has proven itself as a tried and tested method. It’s a formula that works, but one that Hannah can’t really put his finger on. “It’s just a big mish-mash really; sometimes it’s easier when you’re playing with friends… sometimes. But again, Beaver is the only guy with any training or musical background so it’s sometimes hard to communicate ideas.” Ideas are something Propagandhi are rarely short on. One of the key areas of focus for the band has always been the discussion of ideas relating to social change. So much so that Hannah and band-mate Jord Samolesky created G7 Welcoming Committee: a record label with the purpose of providing an outlet for bands with ideas of social change. In recent times that has taken a bit of a backseat as the two focused their time on Propagandhi. “The reason I pulled back from the G7 thing was to do the band full time, and that’s taken up all of 2009, and actually most of 2008 too, so that’ll probably be it until next year.” “When we’re home, Jord does a lot of organising with the Canadian Haiti Action Network, he does a lot of stuff in the Refugee Centre down town, Beaver is working on a music programme in a poor area of the city. Also OCAP (Ontario Coalition Against Poverty,) they’re a kick ass organisation.” Propagandhi’s music has always

been political in its lyrics and has stayed pretty true to its punk and thrash origins. Punks aren’t necessarily political as we all know – so do the band ever get stick from crowds for their political beliefs? “Not really; not much anymore. It seems like a lot of those people have been weeded out over the years and they don’t come to shows any more, like back in the nineties, a lot of people were quite aggressive to the things we were saying but thankfully, that died down towards the end of the nineties…” Not wanting to dwell too much on the past and talk about the Fat Wreck days but it would be fair to say that there were some bands who hung around that scene who have, effectively, sold out on the political aspect of their music in order to make a quick penny. This is undoubtedly a topic which has been much debated by Hannah. “The idea of “selling out” is hard because there is a spectrum of compromises you have to make within the framework of a capitalist society, and ones that we have to make sometimes, although we might not like them, but some people have a different zone, where that changes from necessary compromise to a “Sell-Out.” “Not everyone agrees with this, but take a

band like Rage Against the Machine, they did something worthwhile with what they did with a major label; I don’t think it’s impossible to use ubiquitous media to a large degree and come out with a positive experience.” “But it’s not for us, none of us has the facility to engage with mass media- We’re just these guys, we’re not well spoken, we play songs that aren’t particularly well received by the general public. Even the things we talk about has the capacity to offend more peoples core values explicitly than say, Rage, so there’d be no point in moving to a bigger label, it’d just be the same people listening to us anyways.” He exclaims. Regardless of how many people are listening, Propagandhi consistently release material which attracts an audience who are tuned in to what’s going on in the world. So with another successful album and tour in the bag Hannah is clear in his mind as to the next step for Propagandhi. “Go home, get our heads together and start, as far as the band goes, putting together new material to record next year, politically, Jord has his work with the community stuff he’s doing, Beaver has the music programme, and I’ll try and help out somewhere!”


6

music

Preparing for War

The Siren 26.1.10

30 Seconds to Mars drummer Shannon Leto catches up with Philip Connolly to discuss their new album, tour and stowaway fans Before there was 30 Seconds to Mars, there was Jared and Shannon, two brothers sharing a bedroom with some Marshall amps and a drum set. “You know what, it was a great time,” recalls Shannon. “It was very cool.” Although the brothers lived in Hollywood, they avoided playing venues in L.A., opting instead to travel cities, sometimes states, away. “We refused to play L.A. we were in it for art rock’s sake. We would change our name every night. We didn’t give a fuck if a show was promoted or advertised or any of that. We played to play. We were playing for ourselves.” And their sound was slightly different back then. “It was like super long progressive songs, and it was basically a ‘Fuck you, love it or leave it’.” The brothers’ fearlessness eventually paid off when EMI’s Virgin label signed 30STM in 1998. By that time, the band’s sound had evolved into what some critics were calling neo-Prog and post-Grunge. Then their music caught the ear of legendary record producer Bob Ezrin, who had worked previously on several groundbreaking projects, including Alice Cooper’s Love it to Death, KISS’s Destroyer, and Lou Reed’s Berlin, but who may be best known for his production of Pink Floyd’s The Wall. Ezrin came on to produce the band’s first album, helping them to create a larger, more distinct sound that would set them apart from the mainstream. “The size of the guitars, and everything really, was big. But it’s not aggressive. It’s not heavy music. It’s not metal. But it’s not shoe gazing indie rock, either. It’s kind of its own thing, its own world.” It is difficult to talk about 30 Seconds to Mars without mentioning the elephant in the room, front man Jared Leto’s film career. Having rose to prominence as with his portrayal of heroin addict Harry Goldfarb in Darren Aronofsky’s Requiem for a Dream in the year 2000, garnering him critical praise. It seemed that Jared Leto’s career path was laid out for years to come, but ten years later it seems he is now more know as a musician, with the band rubbing shoulders with Hollywood and musical elite at various award shows. Perhaps given the bands cinematic background, it’s hardly surprising that the band should put so much into its music videos. “We always what to have an experience with the video, we want to take a risk, have fun and challenge ourselves, and that’s kind of our thing. We shot From Yesterday in China, A Beautiful lie in the Arctic Circle; those just mimic our motto, and support the idea to do things differently.” “This latest video, Kings and queens, we wanted to bring it home and show the world another side of Los Angeles, so my brother decided to shoot there and came up with the idea of the riders, who represent unity and freedom, we ended up shutting down monumental places to film, we always try to do things that sup-


port thinking outside the box.” The bands third album This is War represents a venture into different territory for the band, the group has deviated to a sound that is more reminiscent of a hybrid of the Killers retro new wave and My Chemical Romance’s gothic prog. “I’m so happy with This is war, it is everything I’ve ever wanted in an album. There are many colours shaping the album, there are the bombastic energetic songs, songs that are electronic, songs that are just broken down, there is one song that is so broken down its just a microphone in an room, Jared is on the piano I’m playing the drums, Tomo is on guitar and when we went back to listen to it you can hear dishes being washed in the background, that’s how intimate that was,

7

Music

The Siren 26.1.10

it’s a track called alibi.” “We had a couple of years to make it, and recorded it at me and my brothers’ house.” Produced by Flood, producer of everyone from U2 to Sigur Rós, and Steve Lilywhite, the Grammy award winner who produced among other tracks the Poges fairytale in new York sung by then wife Kristy McCall, the album has an epic and dramatic sound.” We had monks come in and chant. We had this thing called the summit that we come up with, we had fans fly in from all over the world and participate in the album. You have these gang vocals, those are all fans. I think that the fact that we recorded it in our house makes a big difference, in a studio you share your energy with everyone who has been there, your using the same bored

as everyone else. So at our house we were left with this unique sound, our sound. We had never recorded at home before and I think that it lended itself to the outcome sonically” “taking two years to make, there were a lot of changes going on in the world, there was the economic fallout, we were being sued for $40 million, and we were getting a new president as well. There were so many changes, and I think you can see that in the album.” Not that it has all been plain sailing for the band. In August 2008, Virgin Records filed a $30 million lawsuit, claiming the band refused to deliver three albums as required by its contract. According to the lawsuit, the band “repudiated” a 1999 contract in July.

In an early 2009 interview with MTV, Jared said that they hope to have their third album out by summer 2009, and he also gave information about the meaning behind the record saying, “I think this record is about faith, about spiritual matters, and that just happens to be what we’re thinking about and talking about in our lives right now. I said when the last album came out that I wanted to destroy the first record, which I think we did. We took a dramatic turn from the first to the second, and I think this new record follows that path. It’s exciting to us, and we’re really passionate about it.” This is war finally came out in December after legal matters with Virgin were solved. “It was a pain in the ass, you try and create something and then you have this nuisance on your back. I think if we didn’t have that going on, we wouldn’t have the same sound now, we then had the freedom.” The album was due to contain a collaboration with enigmatic hip hop star Kanye West, but record label disputes have forced the track to stay on the shelf, “We’re still working on the Kanye West track.” 30 Seconds to Mars are a band that seem most at home on the road, and will spend most of 2010 on a globetrotting tour. “I like the touring, I like to share the experience with people, with different cultures, it’s a magical thing. Sometimes it’s fun, but

sometimes you bus then you play and then you head to the next show, you end your show and then you have to leave. We’ve always been a hectic band, pushing and asking “what else can we do” that’s never

changed.” Although strange things can happen between stops; “We were in this small town once, after just finishing a show, driving about 8 hours to the next one, it was really late. We were all sitting talking in the front lounge, and we hear this rustling going on, and we wondering what the hell is that? We got up and moved towards it and it turned out we had a stowaway, a fan who had hidden on board. That was very strange.” So will the bands February date feel like somewhat of a homecoming for the band? “I love Ireland, it’s my roots. My name is Shannon, I was born O’Brian” So where did Leto come about? “We were kidnapped by an ugly monster and he forced us to change our last name”.


8

arts Fashion

Eat, Sleep, Breathe, Accessorise

Never a part of fashion to be far from the spotlight, Kellie Nwaokorie explores the importance of accessorising As people, we all adapt certain traits within our personalities; sarcasm, wit, humour etc, traits that define us individually and add to our character. Could it be that accessories hold the same defining key to our outfits as traits do to our personalities? Baring this thought in mind, should it not be essential to daily equip ourselves with the right accessories as much as we flaunt our personalities, creating unique and original outfits.

A vibrant sense of humour is crucial and the backbone of a strong character. In turn, the over-sized handbag is the key staple of accessorising. The best thing about the large handbag is that it can range from being simple, such as the satchel, to flamboyant, as a Guess bag with pockets, buttons, zips and frills just as long as it is big enough to suffice as a make shift college bag. Tossing away the typical

two strap school bag can instantly resurrect your take on accessories. Even though the handbag is just big enough to carry the kitchen sink, it will not aid you when you are trying to keep warm by acting as a temporary wind shield. This is where the scarf enters the equation. Our weather is unpredictable, to say the least, so when you find yourself battling gale force winds you

The Siren 26.1.10 are going to want to at least try and look good doing so. Thick knit scarves in pastels, earth tones and blacks are like the wit within a personality – it receives the reaction it’s meant to and you look good using it. Smaller decorative print neck scarves can add to an outfit too, if the weather is holding up and you need that little splash of colour to enhance your look, for this the small neck scarves are ideal. But when the sun goes down, the smart neck scarf should be slipped off and replaced with a cute hair band, a stylish flower clip or even decorate feathers. Placing a simple yet funky hair band on the head can add character and subtle style to a simple evening outfit. It gives chic simplicity, effectively. Along side the Alice band, chunky necklaces are a great style supplement. Heavy, or ‘ghetto gold’, jewellery is fun

to play around with, several long gold necklaces and chains or smaller attempts at knuckle duster type rings bring funk and a cutting edge look to any night on the town outfit. It works best when playing down the clothes and upping the anti on the bling; a great way to maximise the utilisation of your accessories. Excessive jewellery is a good way to spruce up a tired outfit, such as sarcasm in personalities; very much staring you in the face but we all want to give it a try. Assuming that the different traits we exercise through our personalities make us the kind of people we are, then accessories compliment and heighten our outfits alike. Adding small items to our looks can make the biggest difference. Soon enough you will be accessorising without even realising and it’ll be a way of life just like our personalities.

Spring Chic-ken

As we come into Spring, Aoifa Smyth lends a hand and gives some tips about what to invest in this season

e

Us

The king of crazy couture, Alexander McQueen, will be our “A” in our new a-z of all things fashionable and stylish. With a dedicated army of celebrity friends McQueen is a fashion force to be reckoned with. Discovered by the late Isabella Blow, who was instantly wooed by his creations, he began his rocket-fuelled trip towards designer celebrity status. Many of you dedicated fashion-lovers will know that this man can single-handily create the sparkly stuff that dreams are made of in some of his couture collections. He is infamously known for his outlandish, shocking and beautiful designs. McQueen manages to combine theory, art and fashion to create a completely signature look. His collection for Spring/Summer 2010, titled ‘Plato’s Atlantis’ is definitely one of his most impressive to date. Stunning, couture fashion at its best and most surreal. The collection can be described in many ways, most love it, some hate it. I, for one think it is beautiful, a much needed form of escapism from the mundane and bleak that has summed up Ireland’s New Year.

A

The A-Z of style:

Finally, we get to wave good-bye to the noughties. As we begin a new decade, we look back at fashion trends of the last ten years, which, quite frankly, most of us would rather forget. We saw the trucker cap, with tacky Ed Hardy and Von Dutch designs, the velour tracksuit, Uggs, Size zero, P.V.C, neon, boho chic and outer space, to name but a few. So, what’s next? This Spring sees the emergence of the trend of underwear being worn, as outer wear. Look to the Dolce and Gabanna Spring/Summer Catwalk show for inspiration. We see feminine and detailed corsets and basques which are clearly inspired by nineteen fifties under garments. This fashion trend shows us exposed corsets, silky tap pants and sheer dresses, yet still manages to remain classy. We also saw the use of ‘waspies’ on the catwalk- which as sporty bras with chunky, modernist bands of elastic. If you happen to prefer wearing lingerie simply under clothes, do not fret, as this trend can be rocked with the help of dresses with built in busts and corsets over tops, or dresses. The ‘futuristic warrior’, is also a new trend to watch out for this spring. Think a fierce combination of military and tribal Describing the actual collection, all I can say is if a disco ball and something with rolled into one, think ancient Rome, Egyptian goddess and scaly armour had a baby it would resemCeltic warrior with a futuristic twist. ble one of the collections shoes. That is This trend comes in the form of metal plating, leather tuthe dreamlike scale of extremeness that is nics, chain mail and tribal patterns, and is not for the dealt with. It sounds questionable faint hearted. Mix the futuristic warrior look but looks amazing. Another variation of o n fact … with soft and flowing fabric, if you fear i h s a the shoe in question sf looking a little too barbaric. s can be seen in Lady le Nudes and silk material can be gore Gaga’s music video Th geous when juxtaposed with metal or e for ‘Bad Romance’, g a avern in the studs. Accessories come in the form of in the scene were a m she rocks what can wo uses sixstick a f leather studded belts and bags, chunky d only be described worl ds of lipt most os that cuffs, bib necklaces and gladiator sanas a very glitterpoun, yet whta know i monly dals. r ing reptilian-esque yea do noient comacturA hot trend which is predicted for body suit. themingred manuf Lets be honest, we this Spring is adventurous head wear. one d in its scales wont being seeing Models on this year’s catwalk were seen use is fish many attempts to recing sporting bunny, Minnie Mouse and cat reate these looks any old ears. These super cute head accessories are best night out in Dublin but they teamed with big, messy, sex kitten-esque hair. certainly are beautiful to look at. Alexander McQueen is a designer genius. The Mark Jacobs for Louis Vuitton runway show saw all shapes and forms of bunny ears, while back in the Autumn/ Winter collection for Moschino Chic and Cheap we saw Minnie make her catwalk debut. Don’t make the ultimate fashion faux

pas for going for the entire bunny get-up as there is nothing cute about that. Finally, this season we can expect to see the ‘Aphrodite’ trend. This is an exciting trend for those who love all things feminine and girlie. We will see oodles of ruffles, romantic silhouettes, feathers, nude shades, dreamy palettes and soft pastels. Ornate neck pieces are worn as well as long decadent earrings. Karl Largerfeld featured this trend largely in the S/S 2010 Chanel collection, making outfits that dreams are made of. All in all, this spring sees the emergence of exciting new trends. Other trends which a predicted are clogs, court shoes, sheer fabric, denim, shorts, dungarees and fringe. Remember to stick with what suits your body shape and complexion. Not every trend is for every person, and some can be simply left to the catwalk models.


arts Music Fashion

The Siren 26.1.10

c a k b , e c i s m h h C o c i y r m t s i s i h T

The Coatigan

ets, Cathal O’Gara re st r ou f of g n ri ow disappea , the denim shirt With the last of risn ng trend for men delves into a sp There are various different types of shirts. There are the crisp, bold suit shirts for work and the more formal occasions. Then you’ve got the check shirts; adaptable and relaxed. And then there are the light linen shirts for the summer months and warm holiday evenings on the beach. When you think of shirts, denim is certainly not a fabric that quickly comes to mind. Yet, when worn in the right setting and with other complementing pieces, a denim shirt can look very individual and stylish and is certainly a must have piece this coming season. I’m not talking about old worn out shirts that paraded by lumberjacks and pedophiles alike. No, the denim shirt in question for this year’s wardrobe is hardcore James-Dean style. Denim shirts are a diverse range of clothing that can be worn in an equally diverse range of situations. Certainly they can compete with the check pattern shirt, which has come to dominate the smart/ casual look emulated by many the socialite.

There are a wide range of styles available, along with many different shades, including grey and multi-shaded. Denim shirts can work very well as part of a vintage look. The Denim shirt is certainly a must have for Spring/Summer 2010. Informally, as with the check and linen shirts, a denim shirt looks well worn over a tee or vest, the lighter shades of denim look especially relaxed when worn in this way. The darker the shade of denim, the more formal the shirt tends to look, although there are certainly no definite rules when it comes to shade of fabric. Don’t be scared to experiment with this type of shirt, a fitted, well styled denim shirt can look amazing if you’re heading for a night on the town, just as it can left open and layered with a graphic tee as casual day wear. When wearing a denim shirt certainly don’t worry about wearing jeans as well. However, try to vary the colour between the upper and lower denim pieces, even just slightly – there was that awful tenden-

cy a few years ago to wear the same shade of denim all over, which unless you are a bona fide cowboy, you will end up resembling some form of work-seeking-eastern-European-immigrant. Also, if you are wearing a smart denim shirt, wear a smart pair of jeans, otherwise the overall look of your outfit may not seem coherent. Certainly do not be afraid to test this type of shirt out with most styles that you can think of. You will be pleased to hear, especially if you are a full-time student like me, and in these times of recession, that these shirts are not necessarily very expensive. Topman, All Saints and many other high street brands sell them, as well as online labels like Asos. You may even be able to find one in your local charity shop for a real bargain. Although it would be advised to go

As you may have guessed, this garment is a mixture between a coat and a cardigan. Perfect as the weather begins to get milder. Wear with a belt for definition.

Fresh Faced makeup Lay off the slap ladies. Make-Up artists at fashion week for S/S 2010, said that bare faces were in. With minimal fresh pastel colours being the extent of it

Deck Shoes for a good quality shirt; with shirts being washed more often than jeans, if the quality of the fabric is too poor, they may lose their colour and vigor quite quickly. Denim is adaptable, stylish and comfortable, and denim shirts certainly live up to this description.

Rising Icon… Georgia May Jagger Laura McNally gives us the low down on the rising fashion icon and rock royalty that is, Georgia May Jagger 2010; it’s a new year, a new beginning which is full of new talent to watch out for in the fashion world. One young lady to keep a close eye on this year is eighteen-year-old model, Georgia May Jagger, daughter of model Jerry Hall and lead singer of The Rolling Stones, Mick Jagger. Following in the footsteps of her older sisters, Georgia is embarking on a career in fashion and modeling, and is on the brink of stardom. Not only has Georgia graced the pages of top fashion magazines, such as Vogue, i-D and Vanity Fair, she has also secured advertising deals with Hudson jeans and most recently, Versace. Georgia’s look can best be described as laid-back rock chick with a touch of glamour. To channel this look, try mixing bold bright dresses with torn denim jackets and studded boots to add that rock chick edge. Add a large black belt to floral or print dress, and team with a black coat and black accessories.

9

Choose a loose, off-the-shoulder top for a casual and skinny jeans or denim shorts and ankle boots for a laid-back look . When it comes to make-up, for this look, your two best friends are red lipstick and black eyeliner. Georgia is rarely snapped without her trademark pillar-box red lips. Use a strong, vibrant red to achieve this look. The rest of Georgia’s make up is kept to a minimum. Opt for a soft, matte foundation with a light peach blush. Apply a similar peach colour to the eyelids and finish off with a slick of liner on the upper and lower lash lines. Moving on to the hair, the natural wavy look is what you’re aiming for. This look is very simple and requires little effort. Try putting hair in loose plaits before you head to bed and brush out with your fingers in the morning. If you would prefer a more glamorous look for night time, use a thick barrelled curling iron to achieve soft loose voluminous curls.

No not in a South Dubliner way, in a preppy, geek-chic way. Perfect with skinny jeans for boys and girls alike. Check out the Vans website for delicious decks.

Eek Long Hair Extensions

Au- natural seems to be the reoccurring theme this Spring. That thick, back combed mane is for the bin. Leave it out for birds to use for building nests.

Cropped Jackets

Flatter a small amount of people out there and are simply impractical, my belly and lower arms get cold too! It’s all about the wide shouldered blazer.

Flares on men They haven’t worked since the seventies. An absolute no-no in my book, or any book ever written. And yes, boot cut is just as offensive.

By Aoifa Smyth


10

arts

The Siren 26.1.10 5 DVD’s to get you in the back-to-college spirit

by Katie Godwin Greece

The story of a life and everything that came after... The Lovely Bones

Reviewed by: Ashling Maguire Director: Peter Jackson Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Mark Wahlberg, Susan Sarandon

Based on the best selling novel of the same name by Alice Sebold, The Lovely Bones tells of what happens to Susie Salmon (Saoirse Ronan) and her family after she is brutally murdered by one of her neighbours. As a fourteen year old growing up in the 70’s Susie had had a bright future ahead of her. She had dreams of becoming a photographer and had recently been asked on her first date. However all this disappeared when she was lured into an underground room by Mr. Harvey (Stanley Tucci) never to see the light of day again. After her death Susie finds herself in a sort of limbo or an “In Between” which appears as a fantasy landscape that

changes with her moods. From here she watches her family fall apart as they attempt to come to terms with the fact that she will never return. Both Susie and her family are reluctant to let go as her murderer has yet to be brought to justice. A compelling and evocative work, the film definitely does the book justice in many ways. The same constant tension, urgency and anticipation are felt throughout due partly to the talent of the actors and partly to the fast paced script. In particular, Tucci flawlessly portrays the infinitely frightening and creepy Mr. Harvey while some of the most moving moments come when passages from Sebold’s original book are included in

Ronan’s narration. Although this film is on a smaller scale than Peter Jackson’s previous works like Lord of the Rings or Kong he still shows his flare for visual effects when it comes to the scenes that take place in Susie’s “In Between”. Unfortunately Jackson falters slightly when it comes to the development of some other characters such as Ray, Susie’s would-be boyfriend, and his friend Ruth. Although they have some importance in the overall plot it is difficult to understand what this importance is unless you’ve read the book as Jackson fails to give them the emphasis needed to warrant their inclusion.

Sonny: Geez! Every teacher I got flunked me at least once! Well, I ain’t taking no crap off her this year! If she crosses me, she’s gonna find out who’s boss! Principal McGee: SONNY! Sonny: Yes ma’am? Principal McGee: Aren’t you supposed to be in class right now? Sonny: I was taking a walk Principal McGee: Well, you’re just dawdling now, aren’t you? Are you just going to stand there all day? Sonny: No ma’am, I mean yes ma’am, I mean no ma’am Principal McGee: Well which is it? Sonny: Um, no ma’am Principal McGee: Well, I’m sure an afternoon of banging chalk erasers together will help you now, won’t it? Sonny: Yes ma’am. Danny: I’m sure glad you didn’t take no crap off her, Sonny. Breakfast club John Bender: Don’t you ever talk about my friends. You don’t know any of my friends. You don’t look at any of my friends. And you certainly wouldn’t condescend to speak to any of my friends. So you just stick to the things you know: shopping, nail polish, your father’s BMW, and your poor, rich drunk mother in the Caribbean. Claire Standish: SHUT UP. John Bender: And as far as being concerned about what’s going to happen when you and I walk down the hallways of school together, you can forget it because it’s never going happen. Just bury your head in the sand and wait for your fucking prom. Mean Girls Janis: That one there, that’s Karen Smith. She is one of the dumbest girls you will ever meet. Damien sat next to her in English last year. Damian: She asked me how to spell orange.

Brothers

Reviewed by: Aisling Kennedy Directed by: F. Gary Gray Starring: Gerard Butler and Jamie Foxx Brothers tells the story of two siblings, thirty-something Captain Sam Cahill and younger brother Tommy Cahill, who are polar opposites. A Marine about to embark on his fourth tour of duty, Sam is a steadfast family man married to his high school sweetheart, Grace, and their two daughters. Tommy, his charismatic brother, is a drifter just out of jail who’s always gotten by on wit and charm. When his helicopter is shot down in the mountains Sam is presumed dead

and the Cahill family suddenly faces a shocking void. Tommy tries to fill in for his brother by assuming newfound responsibility for himself, Grace, and the children. In the grief of their new lives, Grace and Tommy are naturally drawn together. Their longstanding frostiness dissolves, but both are frightened and ashamed of the mutual attraction that has replaced it. This movie was very simplistic. Nothing flashy, no real special effects, small amounts of simple guitar music as a soundtrack. But it conveyed a whole roller coaster of emotions. The growth of Jake Gyllenhaal’s character, the anguish displayed by Natalie Portman, the palpable pain and suffering by Tobey Maguire, and the fear and anger displayed by the eight-year-old Bailee Madison all combine for a very gripping tale. Many regard this movie as anti-war. However, soldiers are praised for their heroism on the battlefield, but all too often the wounds they suffer physically

Youth in Revolt

Reviewed by: Karina Bracken Directed by: Miguel Arteta Starring: Michael Cera, Portia Doubleday, Ray Liotta, Zach Galifianakis The words ‘Youth in revolt’ may evoke images of sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll, but they only apply to this film if the sex is masturbation, the drugs are sleeping pills and the rock ‘n’ roll is Frank Sinatra. The youth in question is a sixteen-year-old teenage boy with a thing for ancient crooners who, in his quest to get laid, blows up a building and sabotages his girlfriend’s education. The story follows Nick Twisp played by the perennially youthful, awkward-looking Michael Cera who is hell bent upon los-

ing his virginity. In the mean time he also wants to escape his dreary life and uninterested parents. In attempt to avoid a trio of angry sailors whom his mother’s boyfriend shafted in a dodgy deal, they go away on holiday. Nick meets and falls in love with the beautiful Sheeni (Portia Doubleday) who is attracted to French boys with a rebellious, yet poetic streak. In a Grease-style makeover Nick develops a moustachioed, white-skinny-jeans-wearing bad boy altar-ego. Together they cause havoc in the hopes of impressing the girl he loves. Once of film’s biggest flaws is that the altarego character is never really very convincing – it appears that Michael Cera may be doomed to play the sweet, but pitiable loner forever. There are some funny moments, particularly Nick’s attempts to escape the police. However, there is something unsettling about seeing Cera in his underwear for so much of the screen time.

Napoleon Dynamite Pedro: Do you think people will vote for me? Napoleon: Heck yes! I’d vote for you. Pedro: Like what are my skills? Napoleon: Well, you have a sweet bike. And you’re really good at hooking up with chicks. Plus you’re like the only guy at school who has a mustache Ferris Bueller’s Day Off Cameron: I don’t know what I’m going do. Sloane: College. Cameron: Yeah, but to do what? Sloane: What are you interested in? Cameron: Nothing. Sloane: Me neither! Cameron: [to Ferris, who’s singing on the parade float] YOU’RE CRAZY! Sloane: What do you think Ferris is going to do? Cameron: He’s going be a fry cook on Venus!


The Siren 26.1.10

Absolutely D’Unbelievable Half of Ireland’s favourite comic duo D’unbelievables, Jon Kenny, chats to Katie Godwin about his plans to make a musicalcomic-comeback this January

11

Music arts With a CV that can tick the boxes for comedian, musician, actor, not to mention, an upcoming solo gig on the cards, I call Kenny expecting to be interrupting some artistic endeavor only to find him baking. “It’s part of my new year’s resolution.” he says. “I haven’t stopped and the worst thing about baking bread is that you eat it all yourself.” He exclaims. Entertainment wise, Kenny has been preparing a musical-comedy solo routine which he will be performing in Belfast this month. This stand-up show heralds a return for Jon to the type of work that made his reputation as one of the most talented comedians in Ireland. “I used to do stand up years ago when there was very few people doing stand-up. In the eighties, there would have been Ardal O’ Hanlon and Barry Moore, but there wasn’t an awful lot of people doing it. So, I kind of wanted to get back to that kind of rawness where I started off because I just fell into comedy by accident” he explains. Kenny uses the changing face of contemporary Ireland as the scaffold on which to build his hilarious observations and characters including his own interpretation of the Celtic Tiger. “I touch on the so called Celtic Tiger thing because it’s all we heard for years, like how well we were doing. I never really believed that we were doing that well. I’m not an economist or anything but I was asking what were we making that was our own there’s a whole raft of issues where was the money coming from because everything we were using wasn’t our own.” “Like to make something, you must get material. The way a performer has to write something is the same, they must think up material to have. That makes you who you are as a performer and I suppose it was like our country just got up and plagiarised everything.” “My show, on at the moment, just kind of laughs at the silliness of the whole thing. For example, the way we were living in houses that we thought were worth millions and there was a report in the paper that we were the wealthiest nation in the world etc. That’s because the banks had our properties down as five times more than they were worth. It’s not as if we had any money in our pockets.” Kenny’s show is aimed at no particular age, he says. “I don’t focus on one age group that will tell you how stupid I am. It surprises me the variety of ages that come along to my gigs. I just don’t really think about it.” The light heartedness of his material and his lack of swearing probably make this possible “I stay away from political things even though I’m aware of them myself. I like to keep things light-hearted. It’s not about mouthing off all the time and me lecturing people and

that’s why I do a few songs and stories… and people have the craic. At least I hope they do.” Although a simple act, Kenny brings in a bit of technology in his show to further the ‘craic’ element. “I bring my camcorder on stage and ask the audience to video me and I video them and it’s great craic.” “I think it’s great that now ordinary people have such access to media like that these days. It gives great power to ordinary people to say what they want to say to find out what they want to find out. Like politicians coming out with these blank statements all the time but now people can check up on them and use it as a forum for themselves as well.” The musical element in his show carries on from the many musical adventures he has embarked on during his career. His career in entertainment started at the age of sixteen as lead singer in the glam rock band called GIMIC. They toured extensively in Ireland and the UK, and were also one of the first bands to tour Eastern Europe. In the mid eighties Kenny embarked on a solo career where his madcap blend of music, comedy and theatrics began to emerge and he was soon seen on RTE. When asked whether he would ever do a pure musical show Kenny modestly replies; “I don’t think I’d be able to pull it off. You

would have to sit down and write all these songs. I know it’s not easy. I just go up there now with my guitar and make up a song on the spot but I don’t think I could come up with an album of stuff.” Although acclaimed comedian and musician, on reflection of his endeavours, Kenny’s favourite experiences were his times in the theatre. He was part of a dance and classical mime company in the mid-eighties. They toured throughout Ireland, England and America. Kenny also performed on stage and was nominated for the prestigious Irish Times Best Actor Award for his performance in Under Milk Wood with The Island Theatre Company. “It was a lovely thing to do just as a piece of characters there was about 50-60 characters so we had great fun.” He remembers. Kenny is most famously known for his D’Unbelievables act with Pat Short. D’Unbelievables proved to be Ireland’s most popular comedy duo ever as they performed their shows to sell-out audiences all over Ireland, Great Britain and America. They also produced four chart topping videos; D’Video, D’Telly, D’ Mother and D’Collection. When asked about the success of D’unbelievables Kenny has a variety of explanations. “It was two country lads putting their own spin on comedy. It was mad stuff that no one else was doing and it broke the rules in terms of theatre. It was a real one-to-one experience there was great movement and it was kind of unpredictable. No boundaries like.” When asked about a come-back for the duo Kenny gave the usual never-say-never response usually heard when either he or Pat Short are questioned about it. “When the time is right. Whenever that is…” He finishes vaguely. Jon Kenny appears at the Linenhall Arts Centre on Thursday, January 28, at 8pm. Booking advised. Tel: 094 9023733.


12

arts

The Siren 26.1.10

King Lear Astra Hall, 18 January 2010 Niamh Hanley Dramsoc’s recent production of King Lear saw many of the country’s Leaving Cert students mill into the Astra Hall for a matinee performance that, at times, tested the patience of its audience. Indeed the atmosphere was more reminiscent of the raucous surroundings of a Renaissance theatre than that of a modern university, and the cast deserves praise for maintaining the illusion and retaining their characters throughout. While director Sarah Finlay used the minimalist production values of a black box theatre, the costume design was strikingly effective. The simple choice to differentiate characters by the colour of their clothing meant that even the uninitiated reader could effectively tell them apart. Murderous Regan and her husband wear blood red, while the traitorous Edmund, envious of his brother’s inheritance, wears green. Lear and his faithful ally Kent, meanwhile, wear white, as a symbol of their essential goodness in a world gone mad. Finlay’s instinct to give the play an abstract, uncertain setting proves correct, as the play’s universal themes shine all the stronger for it. Aptly, the only character who wears various colours is that of Anna Simpson’s Fool, who

perceives the faults and flaws of those who would seek to hide their intentions. Wearing a nightcap and paint-splattered clothing, her presence is refreshing both to Lear and to the audience, and the decision to cast a woman in the role should be commended, as her portrayal adds new light to what is usually perceived as a stock character. In such a large production, some cast members’ performances are lost amidst others. Gerard Adlum proves an effective Lear, vocally capable of a kingly performance, and strangely touching in the latter stages of the play, as his madness takes hold. Paddy Jo Malpas’ Cordelia is suitably deferent, and her cadences emphasise the beauty of Shakespeare’s poetry. Yet the royal family is ultimately upstaged by that of Gloucester, with Keith Thompson, Gavin Drea, and Ian Toner all delivering powerhouse performances. Drea, in particular, holds his own in a charismatic, finely nuanced performance as Edmund, which exposes the one major flaw that Shakespeare has for modern audiences. More often than not, the dramatic villain proves a larger draw than the hero. Judging from the vocal response of these Leaving Cert students on curtain call, their sentiments in this case are decidedly modern.

Tiny Acts of Rebellion: 97 Almost-Legal Ways to Stick it to the Man by Rich Fulcher Reviewed by: Ashling Maguire This book is perfect for those who are pretty cheesed off at the world but are unwilling to put any sort of effort into doing something about it (Let‘s face it, that‘s most of us). Rich Fulcher of the Mighty Boosh gives us a look into the hilariously bizarre workings of his mind as he lists 97 mostly consequence free ways to stay sane either by saying “fuck you” to pointless rules and conventions or just amusing yourself at the expense of others. Highlights include; taking off your seatbelt before the plane comes to a complete stop, flipping off everything in sight (extra points for babies or dogs) and acquiring a universal remote so you can change your neighbour’s TV channels from outside their window. There’s even a handy “degree of rebellion” key for each tiny act ranging from one to four frowned upon hand gestures so you know what you’re getting yourself into. There are some pretty sweet illustrations too. And by ‘sweet’ I mean ‘downright offensive’.

Arts Focus

e d i u G Event The Arts Ball Thurs 4th February. Royal Marine Hotel Single ticket: 50e Table: 40e Temple Bar TradFest Temple Bar Square 27th – 31st January. 5th Birthday of festival Little Gem 20th Jan – 27th Feb Abbey Theatre 20e 8pm

Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Dramsoc Theatre 25th – 29th Jan 7pm An Trial Dramsoc Theatre 1st – 5th Feb A play in our native language 1pm

A Lesson in Love with Captain Picard Dramsoc Theatre 25th – 29th Jan 1pm

Capital Comedy Club 31st Jan Sunday Tommy Nicholson Geroid Farrelly Gary Jones 9:30 pm

Dara O’ Briain Live @ Vicar St 28-31st Jan 28e 8:30pm

Katie Holten, Golden Bow

The

The Hugh Lane Gallery 28th Jan- 2nd April

Adam Green The Academy Tues 26th Jan €17.50 Katie Holten: The Golden Bough The Hugh Lane Art Gallery 28th Jan – 2nd April Free

Diverse influences from nature and the organic, to history and geographical graphs have all had a deciding impact on the work of Katie Holten. These factors are still explored in Holten’s latest work, along with the added interest in the relationship between drawing and object in her work. Holten’s first solo exhibition in Ireland since 2002 is currently taking place in the Hugh Lane gallery. Holten’s older work definitely had in my view a distinct almost fairytalelike ethereality to it. The drawings always reminded me of finely crafted

illustrations from old classics, this is most likely attributed to the fact that some of the drawings of trees, flowers and the organic were executed in fine lined black inks. The designs so fine and delicate look, even for flat two-dimensional drawings, incredibly fragile. However, Holten’s latest exhibition derives its inspiration from the cosmos and Universe. Usually creating her work in a monotone black and white, Holten, with the help of the John Hopkins University has included the ‘average’ colour of the Universe in this particular project. Holten’s works are truly beautiful; this exhibition is a definite must for any art enthusiast.


The Siren