Siren College Tribune Volume 23 Issue 4

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College Tribune Entertainment Supplement 20.10.09

the Siren

Bouncing off the wall Exclusive interview with Andrew Maxwell Noisettes R.L Stein Tim Burton’s 9 Agyness Deyn The Handsome Furs



20.10. 09

The Scoop


Jim Scully meets the Noisettes Page 4

Last week saw troubled artist Peter Doherty postpone three Irish shows due to health problems. The Artists agent released a statement explaining, “Last night Peter Doherty was admitted to Swindon Hospital with exhaustion and breathing difficulties. He is currently under observation by doctors”. The former Libertines man postponed three Irish dates including a show in The Academy, with the others scheduled in Galway and Belfast. The shows are currently being rescheduled with dates to be announced. Tickets can be refunded/exchanged from original point of purchase.

Northern Irish rock act, Ash, have announced a date at the Button Factory on Wednesday 25 November. The Button Factory show gives fans a chance to see Ash playing their biggest hits from Oh Yeah to Shining Light in an intimate setting. Tickets are on sale now, costing 23 euro including booking fee.



The Siren 20.10.09

Ian Brown My Way Daniel J. Finnegan The Stone Roses were one of the biggest grunge sounding, Brit bands of the late ‘80s. Their debut broke through in 1989 to the ears of millions of listeners still rocking to the likes of “The Smiths” and other progressive bands of the era. The hit single “Fool’s Gold”, was an instant mark for the band, with its groovy bassline and wave guitar sounds. Since their split in the mid 90’s, the lead singer, Ian Brown, has continued to work on harnessing his musical talent. With this latest instance of his, musings and tributes to other artists (Brown has named the late Michael Jackson as inspiration on the new album) are woven through the seams. Ian Brown’s latest work, “My Way”, can be seen as a message of hope and the importance of identity. From the beautiful refrain of “Always remember me” to the headstrong message behind “Own Brain”, it is apparent that Mr. Brown has something to say. The lingering effect of syncopated piano on the album’s opener, “Stellify” instantly grabs you and demands your attention. From that, Brown takes us on a detour from the happy tonality of “Stellify” to the darker sounding pulse of “The Crowning of the Poor”. The symmetry behind the bassline of the two songs ironically helps the contrasting sound. “Stellify” is driven by the bounce of the bassline, however “The Crowning of the Poor” sounds more like a political march as Brown drones on through the song telling us of a

Legendary Irish band The Pogues have announced an extra date at The Olympia Theatre, Dublin on Saturday 5th December. The band will now play on Friday the 4th and Saturday the 5th at the venue. Tickets went on sale on Monday 12 October from Ticketmaster and usual outlets nationwide. New Releases “Out of Ashes” – the debut album from Dead By Sunrise (Featuring Chester Bennington of Linkin Park) is in stores now. The 14 track album was released worldwide by Warner Bros. on the 13th of October. Indie rock’s favourite Canadian twin sisters, Tegan and Sara are set to release their sixth studio album entitled “Sainthood”. The full length album is set to be released on October 27th. Chicago Punks The Lawrence Arms have confirmed that they are releasing an EP called “Buttsweat and Tears”. The album is scheduled to be released on the 27th of October by Fat Wreck Chords. Ryan Cullen

world turned upside down. The harrowing voice and synth minor melody create an atmosphere, which evokes powerful images of mass-protest, violence, and provoke fear. As well as identity, another clear theme throughout the album is reflection. This is perfectly captured in the track “Always remember me”. With the echo strings and the base drum, Brown sings about past memories spent with a beloved friend. While admitting that nothing is eternal, he requests that he not be forgotten; with the hope he can live on forever in memory. “... All good things truly come to an end”. The song climaxes with a clean tone and electric melody which brings the song to an end upon a major lift, creating a glimmer of hope. In “Own Brain”, the track which emphasizes the albums’ title, Brown sings about independence and prevailing through all obstacles. The songs meaning of identity is portrayed through such lyrics as “through after-shock tremors”, “..Upon my path, upon my way”. He expresses his own will to overcome any and all obstacles and he’ll do it his way. The album centres on sometimes excessive syncopation, dance rhythms and sometimes poor, clichéd lyrics. However rather suffer from these problems, they merely part-cloud it. The sincere enthusiasm which is to be found in every song, and the effects and production help to raise the album above these blockades.

New noise

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Dates Announced

Stephen Gately, one of the five members of Boyzone, has died. A Spanish Court has declared that the thirty three year old has died of natural causes while on holiday in Majorca. Having had initial success with Boyzone, Gately went on to also star in several West End musicals following the bands initial break up. The bands reunion tour saw them play dates in the RDS Showground’s & 2 dates in Dublin’s O2. “We’re all absolutely devastated,” Louis Walsh said. “I’m in complete shock. I was only with him on Monday at an awards ceremony. We don’t know much about what’s happened yet. I only heard after X-Factor and we will rally around each other this week. He was a great man”

Cathy Buckmaster meets the man who terrified us all, R.L Stein

Aoifa Smyth shows you how to copy Agyness Deyn’s style

Pete Doherty shows postponed

Stephen Gately passes away on holiday



The Siren 20.10.09

Frank Black profiles upcoming Dublin four-piece The Strutts With the amount of often commercially successful crap floating about, the opportunity to write on new and up and coming bands; something with a bit more substance, is a welcome prospect. Thank Christ the Strutts haven’t disappointed. Stumbling upon the band this year in Pravda, again at Eamonn Dorans and both times pleasantly surprised at the consistency of their live performances regardless of electric equipment that was clearly lacking. I made sure I caught them at the release of their EP, where any band worth their salt should and had better play out of their skin. Again the Strutts didn’t disappoint. Their Myspace page describes the band as ‘four lads from Dublin’. They are indeed four lads but their sound is anything but Dublin. Liverpool runs through their veins and is their lifeblood. Early rockabilly is eaten for breakfast seasoned with Johnny Cash, lunch mainly served with a helping of acoustic Stones (Rolling) and a side order of The Coral. The main course is undoubtedly the Beatles, which the Strutts return to for seconds. According to their five a day the Strutts take a small helping of the pixies and the La’s for desert. A loose, immediately raw sound defines The Strutts however this deceives the obvious craft, care, attention and direc-

tion behind the band. Tight, solid rhythms provide the backing for rich and light guitar work all of which compliment backing and lead vocals. The majority of the tracks on their newly released EP, available on iTunes, notably ‘Down’ and ‘People Talk’ have the hallmarks of indie hits. There is lots of potential to grow for a band that has produced this calibre of work so early in their career. Let’s hope that they don’t disappear into the musical ether or up their own arses. Despite being around for only a short period of time The Strutts have already garnered a small underground following which unlike most new bands goes beyond just their mates turning up to gigs. Also, the Strutts lack of tenure on the music scene hasn’t stopped them from exploiting every avenue in getting their music out into the public domain and more importantly getting it into people ears.

Greatest hits AQUA ] Frank Black I am lost for words. I have seen the light, my demons have been exorcised. I have heard the lord’s name and it’s spelled A. Q. U. A. My soul was literally penetrated to the core by this throbbing musical phallus. Lyrics from ‘Love fast die young’ display such an emotional dexterity that I have to fight back tears. “Like a little schoolboy - in my daydreams, Lighting up the candles – one by one, Freaky giant old men – coming closer, Blowing out my candles” Forget Dylan and Springsteen. You think that Rasted, Nystrom, Robson and McLaughlin would have exhausted the well of inspiration with Billboard smash hit tracks like Barbie Girl and the seminal Dr. Jones but their ge-

nius seems fathomless. Don’t make the same mistake as I did for many years and dismiss Aqua as innocent bubblegum disposable trash. They have a darker more mature side that is rarely seen in contemporary music. I’m ashamed to admit, for all my refined sensibilities that I get slightly aroused listening to the track ‘Lollipop’, but just slightly. “I wish I were a Bubble Yum, Chewing on me, baby, all day long, I will be begging for sweet delight’ Holy shit; Forget D. H. Laurence and DeSade. As I’m sure you are well aware, being the well informed scholar that you are that medical professionals recommend 6-8 glasses of water per day. With water charges inevitable that may be a rather costly exercise. Why not buy Aqua’s greatest hits and get your fill whenever you need it.

Julie Feeney Pages ] Roe McDermott Three years after her first album won her a Choice Music awards and some seriously fanatic fans, Julie Feeney is back with Pages, a twelve track album that blends quirky creativity with some seriously striking orchestral tracks. Which she composed and conducted herself, by the way, just in case you thought getting up for your 9am lecture qualified as hard work. The result is an incredibly original sound, and the combination of her classically trained voice with mellifluous strings, muted brass and woodwinds merit comparisons to Enya, Kate Bush and Bjork and mark Feeney as an equally unique performer. The first two tracks, Love is a Tricky Thing and Impossibly Beautiful showcases the sumptuous orches-

tra melodies that perfectly compli- Star Fucking Hipsters The latter possibly the ment Feeney’s lusty lounge voice. Never Rest in Peace highlight of the record, Charmingly quirky inflections and a featuring guest vocals staccatoed rhythms make the songs from Punk Stalwart Dick more than a little reminiscent of ReLucas and a catchy Ska gina Spektor, but Feeney’s mellow Jim Scully rhythm, and a tasteful and effortless delivery mark her as touch of brass. a more mature and effortless singer Never Rest in Peace Having recorded their album in the than her younger counterpart and shows the constant development various bedrooms of their East Vilare universally appealing. in the group’s sound, gone are the lage squat in NYC, The Star FuckPages occasionally veers on becomloosely thrown together songs, and ing sickeningly sweet and sentimen- ing Hipsters are the definition of the bass heavy recordings which DIY. tal, like on the unrealized Knock Sturgeon relied on for so long, Knock and Nothing to Declare, It shows too, the songs have the replaced with higher production where Feeney’s kooky delivery same rough and ready appeal that values. While this does sometimes threatens to undermine her incred- has followed Stza and his gang takeaway from the energy of the ibly honest and open song-writing. of misfits from the early days of band’s sound, it does help to acHowever she manages to pull it back Choking Victim and Leftover cent Sturgeons trademark lyrical just in time, instead embracing a Crack, to this, his latest, slightly attacks. gorgeously simplistic and ethereal more polished instalment as SFH. On Never Rest in Peace the targets sound on songs like Stay where ex- While Scott Sturgeon’s trademark have remained the same, with Scott blend of shredding riffs and catchy pertly layered vocals add depth to the Sturgeon once again taking aim at lilting ballads and exude stunningly Ska rhythms are still present, this his favourite topics of The Police, album displays a more sedate side raw emotion. Society and injustices. While he Humorous, reflective, flirty and ele- to the band. This comes mostly by comes close to the mark on this giac, Pages marks another endear- way of a feminine touch from sec- one, none of the tracks compare to ingly dreamy and urban offering ond vocalist Nico De Gaillo, most the Crack Rock Steady anthems of from Julie Feeney that’s difficult to notably on tracks like “Dreams Are the past. categorize, and impossible to ignore. Dead” and “The Civilization Show.”



The Siren 20.10.09

Having a whale of a time

Don’t Upset Their Rhythm Before taking to the stage of a sold out show, Dan Smith of The Noisettes, chats to Jim Scully about the strains of touring, staying grounded and getting even with Jools Holland’s producer After being led through a side entrance to Dublin’s Vicar Street, past a crew of techs and engineers working frantically to be ready for the band’s sold out show that night, I was directed across the stage and up a set of stairs to a dressing room. It was there I was greeted by the friendly face of Dan Smith, guitarist of The Noisettes. In the early stages of their current tour, the band are doing their best to get readjusted to the touring life. Smith informs me, “There’s an art to living out of suitcases.” An art they have perfected it seems, judging by the neatly packed open suitcase on the floor. The band are more than familiar with life on the road, with years of touring and hard work behind their sudden mainstream success. “That was the main focus for the first two years, being a live band. And then we wanted to up our game in terms of recording and songs.” Given the way in which The Noisettes have stormed the charts and the radio waves recently with their second album, ‘Wild Young Hearts’, the band’s plans seem to have paid off. Since releasing their first record in 2007 The Noisettes have been steadily rising, with some major achievements along the way. “It didn’t sell as many records but it got us touring, and touring a lot.” Some of the tour slots secured by that record would fulfil the

ambition of many a band, and clearly they made an impression upon Smith, “The best thing we ever did was doing that tour with TV On The Radio in America.” “That was a really good fit. They have a really unique energy, it’s more like a really spiritual thing, and their audience really embraced us.” From there the band went on to fill the support slot on tours with Bloc Party and Muse. Within three years, the band have had to quickly adjust to living in each others’ shadows, Smith admitting that life within the confines of a tour bus brings with it a certain amount of stresses. “It can be tough. It’s like, you know when you look at other bands and they seem to do well? And then your hear stories about cracks forming.”

Hot off the release of his new album Truelove’s Gutter, Richard Hawley comes to Dublin to grace us with his awe-inspiring presence. This is a live performance from the Sheffield crooner that is to leave you emotionally uplifted. Ticket prices are steep enough for the typical cash-strapped student but if you have the money or a way to obtain it; this is a performance that should not be missed. Other gigs you attend in the near future probably won’t leave such a lasting impression in your memory. Dublin Electronic Arts Festival (DEAF) (22nd – 31st October, Various venues) The 2009 Dublin Electronic Arts Festival begins on the 22nd and runs until the 31st. This week long festival includes live gigs, art exhibitions, film showings, workshops and club events throughout the capital. Events are mainly centred in Temple Bar venues but bass/reggae style group !Kaboogie play The Bernard Shaw located on North Richmond Street on 22nd Oc

and swanning around with wine and cheeses. I want to come out of it without needing a Betty Ford clinic.” With the band’s profile steadily rising, the band are not prepared to sit on the highs of their recent success. Always looking ahead, Smith has more than enough ideas to keep the band hard at work into the near future. “We definitely get restless and we always want to be evolving. We definitely want to take it as far as it can go, and we haven’t realized all of our musical ambitions at all. It’s one thing to make a searing punky record, which is what our first one was.” “But to do this is another part of it. I think we’ve got a lot more electro and soulful things, and more jazzy things to do. Our

“You think, ‘well fuck it, when we get there we don’t want to do the same thing’. But there’s been occasions where it’s nearly happened to us, but at the end of the day it’s always been a really frank conversation where you swear a lot and you get it out of the way. Fucking God forbid it happens to us, but there’s a point where you have enough resources to live in a separate world.” “I heard that’s what happened with Oasis. Playing on stage together but not having spoken to each other for literally eight months. I can see

e d i u G GIG

Richard Hawley (22nd October, Olympia, €29-€31)

how it happens with the infrastructure that comes with touring as you get bigger and bigger.” While the band may be on the up and up, they are still quite a way off becoming casualties of their success, the London guitarist always conscious of keeping himself grounded. “Everyone’s got a different thing. My one is to get involved with loading in and stuff like that as much as possible. It feels like you’ve done a bit of honest hard work. Pushing amps in, without that I think I’d go mental. I’d start turning up

tober. There are also live performances from Irish bands, such as, The Jimmy Cake, Channel One and David Holmes. For information about tickets and locations of the events taking place, visit

Delorentos (30th October, Whelans, €20) This Dublin based four-piece, indie altrock band made a u-turn on their decision to split and have just released their second album, ‘You Can Make Sound’ to much critical acclaim. They have added this second date for their strong following having sold out Whelan’s on 17th October. On a Friday, this could be a good way to kick-start your Halloween weekend before donning your costume the night after.

recordings are getting more into the soul side of things. There’s definitely more of that to come. We’ve still got a good lot of psychedelic axes to grind as well.” When asked to cast his mind back over the highlights of the whirlwind that has been the past two years, Smith’s lengthy deliberation is a symbol of just how much the band have achieved within that time. “There have been lots and lots of highs”, but one in particular stuck with the band as somewhat of a personal victory.” “Jools Holland. That seemed like a door that was going to be closed forever, and we got told indirectly that the producer didn’t like us and there was no way they were ever going to put us on that show.” “So to get it was like okay, walking into the studio going ‘Lovely to meet you, how’s it going? We’re The Noisettes. We are on your show. How do you like them apples!’ That was fucking cool.” What could top that? Except perhaps a sold-out date in Dublin, “It’s amazing to have sold out this place. I’ve heard a lot of good things about this place.” Letterman, Glastonbury, Vicar Street, It’s all the same to The Noisettes. After wowing a packed Vicar Street the band can continue with the rest of their tour, confident in having converted another legion of followers as they continue to ascend towards stardom.

CLub Night

Passion Pit (2nd November, The Academy, €16) Passion Pit are back again to showcase their upbeat, electronic, synthesised, indie rock. They played The Academy earlier on in the year coinciding with the release of their debut album ‘Manners’ to a sell out crowd. They also played Oxegen and are back again to treat us to their rip-roaring live show. Being on the Monday after the Halloween weekend isn’t ideal but at a reasonable price this is something that should be checked out if possible. If a good jump around to some clever beats is your thing then this is ideal for you.

David Murphy

Shebeen Chich, No.4 South Great Georges Street.

Boasting international acts and a general “good time” theme, the recession club brings you one of Dublin’s more diverse nights out. The next instalment of this monthly event is on October 31st, Halloween night with Matt McManamon from The Dead 60’s. Check it out.



Last Saturday of every month, with the next outing on 31st of October. Why?

Free admission with reasonable drinks prices. A simple drink selection means there’s never much of a wait for whatever it is you’re having.

Fan of Punk, Reggae, Rockabilly and Ska? If so, this is the place for you.

Ryan Cullen

The Recession Club Where?



The Siren 20.10.09

Urby Whale of Noah and the Whale took a breather before their Dublin gig to chat to Conor Felman about the new album’s narrative, unusual lyrics and the joy of school concerts With his strawberry blond mop, scraggly beard and a busy shirt, the bass player of British indie folk band Noah and the Whale, Matt ‘Urby’ Whale, makes for a curious sight. The band consisting of Whale on bass as well as, Charlie Fink who does vocals and guitar, Doug Fink on drums and Tom Hobden playing the fiddle, have been busy at work all year with the album The First days of Spring. Although preparing for gig that evening, Whale is painfully laid back as he talks about the origins of the band’s unusual name “It’s taken from the film The Squid and the Whale. There’s contention between Charlie and Doug about who came up with it.” Whale goes on to discuss the message behind their new album, “There’s a narrative running through the music on the new album. Certainly approaching the project, one of the things that are really important is that fact that we felt and still very much feel that the album as a concept has kind of lost its value to a certain extent.” “People pick and choose very quickly to not appreciate a album because everyone just has mass exposure to everything nowadays. So it’s a way of essentially basing the album in a context where it can run from beginning to end and hopefully people are forced appreciate it as a piece of work from beginning to end. So that was something we really wanted to get across.” Noah and the Whale always manage to

combine very melancholic lyrics with painfully happy melodies. Whale explains the thought process behind this unusual concept; “With the first album, we always appreciated the marriage of music that sound uplifting in a major key but which is tied to darker lyrics. We really like that concept.” “It’s a very well travelled path; lots of bands do it as it layers up something and puts a twist on it. Although I don’t know how many people get that, because a lot of people just like the sound and don’t listen to the lyrics. However, at least if you’re putting it in that context, it’s definitely more interesting for us.” As for their discovery, Whale explains it was no overnight happening and the work that went in. “We were gigging ridiculously hard. When I joined the band, we were playing five or six gigs a week. That was what we always did. So it was a series of very little steps one after the other. It didn’t feel like a mas-

sive change for us.” Whale began to seriously consider a musical career from an early age; “I was sitting at one of those school concerts and it was one of these ones where it’s all really quiet and your parents are there so everyone gets up and plays a nice piece.” “The evening was incredibly dull but at the end, there were guys that were in the highest year so were about twelve who had gone up with a drum kit and two guitars and a bass. It probably wasn’t that loud but relatively to the other stuff, I remember it was deafening. It was amazing and it was the coolest thing I’d ever seen.” Even after the exhausting career they’ve had so far, Whale claims to enjoy it as much, if not more, now as he did when they started. “I think the most exciting thing is that you get better at it. The more you learn, the more you don’t know. That’s more exciting because there are more things you can do. More potential you can harvest.” He concludes eagerly.

others. It is this energy that the audiences feed off and the band themselves are more than aware of how a crowd relates to those on stage. “It’s weird. I was talking to my friend; we were talking about the similarities between eastern European crowds and Irish crowds. There’s less of a psychological barrier between the audience and the people on stage.” No strangers to Irish stages, Boeckner has his own theories when it comes to Irish audiences, “I’ve noticed it’s really different. Take a show in say Manchester, and then comparing it with Dublin. It’s a completely different world. Playing in Ireland people seem really comfortable, nobodies looking around to see if people are looking at

them looking at the band.” As the couple return to the touring life, they seem genuinely happy to be returning to somewhere they truly enjoy being and performing in. The front man making sure to please all Irish ears awaiting the bands return visit. “We’ve been going over there (Europe) two or three times a year for the last 3 years, including coming over last year with Wolf Parade. But we love it there. I played in Dublin three times between the two bands. I’m really excited to be playing more than one place in Ireland.”

Mister Handsome One half of the husband and wife combo that is the Handsome Furs, Dan Boeckner, speaks to Jim Scully as the duo prepare to kick off their European tour “We leave tonight, at seven o’clock”. Dan Boeckner is in Montreal, passing the hours before he and his wife Alexei Perry catch their flight to Bucharest, where they are set to tour for close to a month. The pair are not your typical married couple. Together they make up the twoman (or woman) band that is Handsome Furs. A band that has been gathering quite a head of steam recently, following the release of their highly acclaimed second album, ‘Face Control.’ Boeckner himself is no stranger to the lifestyle that accompanies such success hav-

ing first achieved recognition as the front man of indie sensations Wolf Parade. But hitting the road with your wife is an altogether different experience, one which the subdued Canadian clearly appreciates. “It’s really good for us, it’s actually become this huge part of our lives to be able to travel and perform. You get to be with the person you love in a different city every night. There’s a real romance to it.” Europe has seen more than their fair share of the duo over recent years, particularly in Eastern Europe. A place where they themselves have a great affinity for. So no

surprises that the tour kicks off in a region that held strong influence over the band’s most recent album. “Eastern Europe had a major influence on it. We were playing a lot of these shows in Serbia, and Croatia. And after we were done playing, they would play on the sound system this really bizarre, cheaply made eastern European techno. So that sunk into the creative process.” As they prepare to bring their sounds back to the places that influenced them so much, Boeckner exudes a subtle excitement about the prospect of performing their stripped down stage show. “It’s something we really wanted to do with this band you know, just work it up to something that’s really loud and overwhelming with just two people. Those live arrangements, they’re not wildly different from the recorded ones, but there’s a lot more craziness sonically going on. It would be easy for an electronic band to get up on stage and just recreate the album, but that’s not something I ever wanted to be.” For two people on a stage, the Handsome Furs create a lot of energy, something which sets their live performance apart from many

Handsome Furs play The Academy on Tuesday 27th October. See for details.



The Siren 20.10.09


The Siren 20.10.09


Irish comedian and all round outspoken chap, Andrew Maxwell, openly rants to Jim Scully about those Tommy Tiernan comments, Ireland’s sexual holocaust and his venom filled hatred for the government At the end of a phone line somewhere in London is Andrew Maxwell, one of Dublin’s most loved sons on the comedy circuit. It’s easy to see why; his ever subtle and polite manner shining though in his greeting. “Sorry about that fuck up the other day.” There’s that north side charm. That “fuck up,” is a reference to a failed attempt at communication between both parties a few days previous, although we’ll forgive Mr. Maxwell for not calling on time as he was preoccupied “with the fucking taxman,” the poor bastard. With the informalities out of the way, Maxwell was eager to get into the thick of the questions. It turns out he had quite a bit to say. Top of the Kilbarrack native’s agenda these days is dealing with the issue of getting an army of comedians to the top of a mountain for his snowboarding-comedy mashup that is Altitude Festival. For six days in March, Meribel in the French Alps will become home to a motley crew of comedians, musicians, DJs and snowboarders. It all sounds a little ridiculous, but we should expect nothing less from Andrew Maxwell. “It’s slightly fucking retarded, the actual bad timing. To start a comedy festival at the top of a fucking mountain at the height of the worst recession since twenty nine.” Regardless of how “retarded” it might seem, it is something that Maxwell is sincerely passionate about. “I’ve been snowboarding since I was nineteen, and I’ve been gigging out in the Alps since pretty much that time as well.” I’ve always had this parallel career out in the snowboard fraternity and gigging in all the various ski resorts.” That might seem like a perfectly normal sentence were it not for the fact that Maxwell grew up in Dublin, not exactly the hub of snow sport activity. “In the early nineties there was like 40,000 Irish students all living in Munich. My mates were living and working in Munich and I’d go over and visit them regularly, and when you’re in downtown Munich you can see the Alps. We had some cars and we just went for it one day after a massive piss-up that lasted several days. We decided we’d go and learn how to snowboard.” Before the snow-laden madness kicks off, Maxwell has a few more home commitments in his calendar, a date in Vicar Street on the 24th of October, and soon after that, recording for a new series of The Panel. “We’re coming back with another series of The Panel. We record on November the 4th so presumably it goes out November the 5th for a seven week run.” As he prepares for his homecoming gig, he’s doing

his best to make sure the performance is as fresh and new as it can be. “I always just try and work through new stuff all the time. Particularly in Vicar Street, there’s always a shit load of audience participation anyway. I’m just trying to bring new stuff online. But I don’t like to package shows up because it’s not entirely sincere. It’s a marketing gimmick to pretend that you’re going to only do new stuff.” “I rather have it a lot more loosely. There are never two shows that are the same. There’s always x amount of weird shit going on in the room.” As he extends his Irish dates across the country, every date promises to bring something different to the show.

subconscious of your audience.” “I do a lot more religious material in Ireland because it still chimes; these organizations still have a vast amount of power over our society. You can do religious stuff in the UK but people don’t really care. It’s not the powerful organization. You’ll still get a laugh but it won’t be the gut reaction you get in Ireland when you discuss religion. What is on people minds, that’s where you’ll be able to dig that laughter out.” For Maxwell

“Ireland is a very small island but it produces a lot of absurdity”

“Every city, has a different spirit to it. Dublin audiences differ amazingly to Cork audiences and to Belfast audiences. But they’re all good; they just have a different character. Ireland’s a very small island but it produces a lot of absurdity. There’s a lot of funny shit to laugh at, and a lot of shit to get angry about in Ireland.” As the conversation goes on, Maxwell’s list of things to be angry about seems to grow. The mention of the recent hype in the media surrounding Tommy Tiernan’s comments at Electric Picnic set his blood to boil. “It’s nonsense. Having been inside the teacup when it’s storming around you, earlier on this year in Ireland, I know it’s complete and utter crap. It’s nonsense.” Maxwell firmly believes that once a comedian is on stage, they have free reign when it comes to the content of their act. “As long as you can make it funny you can say whatever you want within the parameters of the performance. I mean look; we’re living in a world where we must cater to the most weak minded and manipulative. Who the hell says you can’t be offended. So what? Be offended.” “Screw you. Tommy said a lot of welltimed and true things about Irish society and they’ve had to take it all on the chin. But they wait till there’s a minor slip up and they fucking nail him for it.”

It’s a tentative subject, but one which Maxwell feels very strongly about. The days following Tiernan’s talk, the media feasted on the story, displaying the opinions of those on both sides of the argument. However Maxwell firmly believes that the media is overly concerned with these issues. “The media feeds it, that’s how the media earns its money. Every newspaper, and every radio and television station is like, ‘look at me, look over here’. That’s all the newspaper is, it’s sticky paper to catch the fly. And you’re the fly.” “So the headline will be “Tommy kills Jews”, that’s to get you to buy that condensed form of wood. That’s all it is. ‘Come in after the break and join in the furore like ‘is he a racist...’’ come on man. Even the most cursory glance over the story is quite self evident that he was being as ironic as possible.”

When I suggest that some comedians go out of their way to attract the controversy and attention, Maxwell is quick to defend the actions of his colleagues, “You’re not looking for the controversy, you’re just trying to find what’s in the zeitgeist in the

“I don’t think an organization where officially nobody has ever had sex before should be telling me what to do with my dick”

that can be anything, “A comedian, particularly a satirist comedian, ultimately is the little boy in the parade that points out that the emperor is naked. The emperor is anything. It can be politicians; it can be whoever’s wielding unnecessary power. It can be the greedy bankers; it can be the leading celebrities. It can be whatever you want, it can be the church.” All of those topics seem to hit a nerve with Maxwell as they only serve to add fuel to his fire, burning up anything that doesn’t sit well with him. Describing the current state of affairs in the country he says, “It was all inevitable; Ireland is a deeply complacent and submissive society. It always has been, that’s why Ireland celebrates its rebels so much. Because most of the time people had their heads down just cracking the fuck on.” “Ireland is not a rebellious nation, it’s a deeply submissive nation. Otherwise how did we end up with this sexual holocaust

on our children for the last eighty years? Everybody just shutting up, ‘ah Jesus now Eamonn’. Everyone has to like everyone else, ‘ah Jesus why can’t we all get on’. While you’re doing that, somebody’s shafting you.” “Quite clearly Fianna Fáil were shafting us, all the way through the boom time, they were going through a massive system of elaborate kick backs through the banks and through the construction industry. They were lining their pockets. People never seem angry enough.” When it comes to the failings of the government in the past, it’s clear to see where Maxwell’s anger is directed, and he is all too aware of the anger in other people. “When you’re trying to get a snackbox late at night, that dude who is pissed and angry at you, he’s pissed and angry because if he wasn’t molested, his fucking dad was.” “All that ‘The Irish are great craic in the pub,’ but all those old men in the pub, you can guarantee they had a fucking dark childhood man. Because I like drinking, but really if your drinking twelve hours a day every fucking day, you’re in pain. Where is all that pain coming from?” With all his contempt for the current government, I was surprised by Maxwell’s response when it came to the Lisbon treaty, “Of course we should’ve signed it. At the

end of the day, the NO campaign was based on the Green Party who are wellintentioned people, but wooly minded idiots. Sinn Fein? IRA.” “Who really have no right to be telling me what to do at all. Declan Ganley, who is backed by all sorts of shady dudes that I can’t go any further into in case he sues me. Of course we should’ve signed it. The only reason we weren’t in there the first

time, is because Fianna Fáil are so utterly incompetent.” While on the subject of the government, I ask what changes he would put into place were he to find himself as Taoise-

“All that ‘The Irish are great craic in the pub,’ but all those old men in the pub, you can guarantee they had a fucking dark childhood man.” ach in the morning. I have a feeling Brian Cowan won’t be looking for him any time soon for some reason. “I’d legalize abortion. Fertility rights are what they sound like.” “As Bill Clinton rightly said, and I share his opinion on it, they should be safe, legal and rare. I don’t think an organization where officially nobody’s ever had sex before should be telling me what to do with my dick. There are all sorts of tax loopholes they need to sort out.” As far as food wise, a friend of mines opinion and I completely agree with it, things shouldn’t be labelled as organic food, they should be labelled as food. And then everything else should be labelled as chemically assisted food.” “We’re living on a windy island, why is the place not festooned with windmills. Why don’t we have a shit load of windmills? Instead we have to import our hydro carbons. There’s no way we should’ve allowed the Americans use Shannon airport as a stopover base. We have no official documentation of whom they have taken In and out of there. That’s appalling. Just some of the basics!” Before taking care of all that, he has an October 24th show in Vicar Street to take care of, one which promises to be a great night. “Vicar Street. Fuck. It’s just the best gig in the world. To be able to play a thousand seats in your hometown. Some of the best gigs of my life have been in Vicar Street. I just love that place.” He concludes optimistically.



arts Fashion


Looking like a corpse has never been as cool as fashion takes a turn to the dark side this autumn, Caragh Hesse Tyson investigates ert Pattinson, I think you could have something to do with this, making everyone want to be a vampire bride. If all that comes to mind when you hear the word “Goth” is that strange girl from your old school obsessed



ions either, with plum lipstick and lots of black eyeliner being a great match for a porcelain face. It seems like sales of Instant Shimmer are about to take a turn for the worst. So, where should you actually go to find some dark and dreamy fashion? One of the best places for gothic goodies is Topshop whose “horrorgirl” trend is full of lace, velvet, and Victoriana inspired lovelies. Jenny Vander, the vintage shop behind Georges St Arcade, is also a great place for a plunder with fabulous delicate prom dresses and crosses on chains to finish the look. Charity shops are good for one-off pieces if you have the time, look here for high collared blouses, religious medals and black witchy boots, Oxfam on Georges St is one of the best. Finally, good old Penneys comes to the rescue with pretty black sheer shirts (€7) and lace tights so cheap you’ll never run out (€2)

Freak Chic

With Halloween around the corner and the recession in mind, Aoifa Smyth investigates the best costume ideas around to save you an arm and a leg

With Halloween around the corner and the recession in mind, Aoifa Smyth investigates the best costume ideas around to save you an arm and a leg Students seem to fear forking out the money for a new costume more than Jack the Ripper. Fear not ladies as I will attempt to lift this burden off your shoulders, in these recessionary times. The first mistake one could make is purchasing on line costumes. They never fit, the material is cheap and, no, the knee high socks are not included. These websites are perfect though, for browsing for ideas. Once you spot a costume which tickles your fancy, print off the picture and get brainstorming on how you can re-create it yourself. Charity shops are a haven for finding bits and pieces for Halloween costumes all you need is the all important: Keira Banim18 imagination. 1st year arts Basically anything can be turned Style Icon: Cheryl Cole into anything with a few snips and & Vanessa Hudgens stitches. Browse every section- leave Fave Shop: Penneys no corners un-turned. Be brutal and brave, elbow that granny out of the way if necessary. Make a Bee-line for Georges street, which houses the best of Dublin’s l ki n g a b o ut … charity stores. s ta i e Stretching from the George to all the h on Ralp way up to D.I.T, Georges street possessored vert t c o d d r The auren a orme es the hot spots in terms of unwanted e of f n, was L g a m the i Hamilto l was clothing and while you’re in the vicinih t i rt w , ode ppa adve del, Fili kinny m al image ty, Lucy’s Lounge in Temple Bar or The d e s o i s a e rs m , y A rel Lauren e alread controve n of her Harlequin on Castle market could hold o h h i t e t p Ral ored so ner. Th d depic ad, was the hidden costume gem, which you’re doct even thin emaciate s her he d and a e e mad laying an s narrow nly releas bility, looking for. disp h hips a istake esponsi n Now for some divine inspiration. Dee wit rently m ’s full r Laur appa ompany lo Ralph cide which Halloween category your outfit c o Benjamin Crosby 23 the imed P fits into. Are you the ‘I couldn’t be bothcla Hometown:Auckland, NZ ered, I’ll just whack on these devil horns’ Course: 3rd year Philosophy kind of gal, the ‘I didn’t know these hot FAve Shop: Harlem 23 pants would be quite so short, honest’ kind Favorite designer: Supra of broad or the ‘Yeah, I’m Lindsay Lohan in Mean Girls with the wedding dress and


Naseem Nolan 18 sington Hometown: Bles , ar ye Course: 1st l Internationa Languages in Style Icon: Benjam Crosby Favorite Shop: TopShop

is soft, romantic and dreamy. Vintage fabrics and bead detailing give the dark look a feminine touch. Lace is the key fabric of this trend and can be found all over the high street in the form of dresses, tights, bodies and t-shirts. Velvet also plays a part, with crushed velvet jackets and dresses adding opulence to this look. Those of you who think that an allblack outfit would send you to sleepFear not; gorgeous gothic clothes can be found everywhere at the moment- in shades of nude, berry colours and midnight blue. This style is oh-so wearable too, striking the balance between pretty and edgy, with girly lace dresses, studded belts and vintage high collared blouses being perfect for the daytime and sexy long-sleeved velvet mini-dresses being with the devil, you’re on the wrong perfect for night time. There has never been a style that track. Forget any images you might have of ghastly blood-sucking night goes so well with milky Irish complexcreatures, as this year, gothic fashion


The A/W catwalks were swarming with dark, sophisticated lovelies as gothic looks were seen at the Chanel, Givenchy, Viktor & Rolf and Vivienne Westwood Shows. It’s not just fashion that’s fallen in love with gothic style; the sex-appeal of all things dark has saturated popular culture. The popularity of the Twilight quadrilogy and TV Series, “True Blood” stand to this new fetish. Rob-

The Siren 20.10.09

zombie make-up, and I’m loving it’ kind of lady? If you’re a last minute lady, stick to something simple, such as Mia Wallace from Pulp Fiction; Get a black bob wig, a white shirt and redlippy. Not forgetting, a cat; simply wear Black leggings under a leotard, cat ears, a tail and face paint. The typical eighties moron never fails with leggings, a leotard, legwarmers and a side pony tail. If you’re up for a slight challenge, but nothing too mad, you could be Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz. Get a blue gingham dress, an apron, white ankle socks, red shoes and a basket with a dog in it. Holly Golightly from Breakfast at Tiffany’s is another classy option. All you need to do is elegantly wear an L.B.D with pearls, long black gloves, a tiara and a neat beehive. Bonny from Bonny and Clyde, with some high-waisted trousers, a pussy bow blouse, suspenders and a trilby and optional cigar is an easy enough option. Finally, for those who don’t particularly mind looking a bit of a twat on one night of the year, go for Lady GaGa with a peroxide wig with a straight fringe, red lipstick, PVC leggings and a uni-tard. Go for some odd sunglasses to complete the po-popo poker face’s look. Happy trick or treating!

arts Music Fashion

The Siren 20.10.09


c i h C t e r M o a M e b a o n t t n a w

Blacker than Black:

thal O’Gara puts a C s, ve el sh e th ding al of the metrosexu products overcrsow se ty ri u s ea ou b ri le cu a e m th h it W and investigate down the hair gel former rapper looked good, Calvin Klein ited with shifting male Macho man has been sent six-feet-under: he’s been substituted by someone just as tough on the insides, but a little smoother around the edges. He adores Dolce & Gabanna, is just as often seen near a runway as competing in sports, confesses a love for Britney Spears. Heck, he probably even designs his own material, but there’s one thing you must know, he’s not gay. This man occupies his time differently to the average man, not only spending more of it in front of the mirror, but also at boutiques, in bars rather than pubs, dancing at nightclubs and going to beauty salons. Cosmetics brands such as Ella Bache say men make up as much as 40 per cent of their salon customers in some areas. Mark Wahlberg’s semi-naked appearance for Calvin Klein underwear in the early 1990s is often claimed as the beginning of mainstream male vanity. Marketing myth has it that the advertisement was targeted at a homosexual market, but straight men began to take notice. Whether it was because women were ogling, or men themselves believed the

soon became an advertiser’s wet-dream and instigated the upward spiral of the metrosexual. Marketers are stimulating the change, dropping the macho component of products that target men. Gone are the tough male images which used to encompass beer and car advertising. The definition of what it means to be male is changing as men are now more secure in their masculinity Men’s fashion chains are growing, with women’s stores such as Esprit launching men’s ranges, and department stores offering boutique-style experiences. Men’s magazines are increasing their coverage of fashion - not just for editorial reasons, but because they’re getting more ads. The men’s title FHM says its fashion and grooming advertising has increased 40 per cent over the past three years. Twenty years ago, male fashion, skin care and vanity in general were only identified with gay men. Now sexuality, it seems, is irrelevant. The name for this new type of man which is distorting the image of gender and sex? The Metrosexual. David Beckham, who has been cred-

behaviour to a lesshardy image, has been deemed the ultimate metrosexual. Celebrities like Beckham have aided the destruction of masculine codes, defying various manly expectations such as what a man is ‘allowed’ to wear. He differs from the traditional heterosexual male, wearing sarongs and nail-polish one day, captaining the English football team the next. He has even posed for a numerous amount of homosexual magazines, admitting that he likes to be admired, be it from women or men. Many men do not even realise their metrosexuality, and it comes as a general shock to them in its diagnosis. There are a number of things you must ask yourself when determining your possible metrosexuality. Do you use more than one product in your hair? Do you ever go sock shopping?

Mac’s new ‘Zoom fast black lash’ mascara creates intense lashes in two quick coats. The asphalt shade is the blackest of blacks and is enhanced with matching black lids and lips, perfect for adding a dramatic, gothic twist to your Halloween costume.

Student Spending Nights: Topshop, Oasis, French Connection and Urban Outfitters have opened their doors for fashion savvy students. From offering 20% discounts to organising goodie bags, sweets, cocktails, free hairstylists and makeup artists for customers. The best part? All of the above was free. Who could resist.

Do you carry a purse? Do men hit on you? If you answer ‘yes’ or ’It’s not a purse it’s a man-bag!’ to any one or more of these three questions, I can with great confidence inform you that you are mis/fortunately a metrosexual. Don’t fret at this result, because as you soon will find, metrosexuality is becoming ubiquitous. Metrosexuality is here to stay, it is no longer a segregated style but a prominent way of life, so you better get used to it.

Channel the style of... Agyness Deyn When searching for fashion inspiration, we tend look to the most innovative and inspiring fashion icons. The daring pioneers of the fashion world, who do not simply follow trends, but create them. A real fashion icon is somebody who combines imagination, ingenuity and creativity, who incorporates this into their personal style and has the confidence and demeanour to pull it off. One of the finest examples of these daring trendsetters is 26-year-old English model Agyness Deyn. One of fashion’s hottest muses of the moment, she has graced the covers of the most prominent high fashion magazines including several international editions of Vogue, i-D, POP and most recently, Harper’s Bazaar. She has starred in campaigns for the likes of such high profile designers as Burberry, Giorgio Armani and Hugo Boss. Agyness, who has risen to iconic status in the fashion world, has successfully tailored her own adventurous signature style. Fun, fierce and fearless, Ms. Deyn is a fashion icon to behold. This is one lady who is certainly not afraid to experiment. Pushing beyond the boundaries of the conventional norm, her dress sense can be best described as experimental with a rock chic/80’s edge. Agyness teams vintage rock tees with stonewashed denim miniskirts and skinny jeans for a laid back daytime look. Oversized plaid shirts and studded belts are also a favourite. Match these with an old pair of converse and ankle socks.


Keeping make-up to a minimum, sunglasses are an absolute essential to finish off this cool and casual look. One of Agyness` signature daytime accessories is her bike. The eco-friendly Ms. Deyn has been snapped on multiple occasions cycling from place to place. For a night time look, throw on a blazer, complete with 80s style shoulder pads, a trilby hat and some leather accessories. Agyness is also a big fan of mixing vivacious colours and bold prints. If you’re feeling particularly daring, team these with brightly coloured tights. Vintage pendants and badges are a must have to perfectly recreate this look. Agyness has enthused about her favourite vintage stores in the past. And rightly so; they’re the perfect places to pick up cheap one-of-a-kind pieces. Add a slick of vibrant lipstick to match your bright red fingernails and you’ve coined the cutting- edge Deyn look. All that’s left now is to imitate the confidence and attitude. Walking down the red carpet at any event, Agyness is always the picture of perfect poise and elegance. She effortlessly draws the attention of the camera, with one hand on her hip and that sweet charming smile that sends the photographers into a frenzy of rapid snapshots. Adopt this demeanour to your own behaviour and you have successfully accomplished one of the most iconic looks of the modern fashion world.

Boudoir Chic: As seen in the couture collections of Dior and Valentino; think Dita Von Teese with a dark edge for a truly eye-catching Halloween Costume

Eek Jeggings: The Jeans and leggings combo from hell which provides proof that just because everyone is wearing them, it does not make them in anyway stylish.

Killer Heels: Spindly heels, Irish weather and the consumption of vast amounts of alcohol, not to mention plans to rip up the dance floor make for a lethal combination on a night out. Choose cute stylish flats as a great alternative.

Neon: Only acceptable if you are fully prepared to dress-up as Boy George circa 1982 for Halloween. This is a trend that should never have been revived.



The Siren 20.10.09

Burton Brilliance

5 films to... make you scream and laugh at the same time By Caoimhin Millar

5: Return of the Living Dead – “You’ve got to let me eat your brains!” Punk rock pastiche of George Romero’s Night Of The Living Dead, in which that classic horror turns out to have been based on a government screw-up. The dead walk again, only this time slicker, quicker, and definitely funkier. Excellent Soundtrack. Killer Scene: Zombies rise from their graves to the sound of 45 Grave’s “Partytime” 4: Re-Animator - “Cat dead, details later.”


Produced by Tim Burton Starring: Elijah Wood, Christopher Plummer, John C. Reilly Reviewed by: Katie Godwin

This Fantasy film is based on Shane Aker’s short feature. It is a very unusual visual experience. From the offset the audience is emerged in a world that is dark, depressing and dangerous. The movie definitely has the same sort of sad undertones as Burton’s other productions such as Edward Scissorhands, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Beetle Juice and Corpse Bride. The story is bleak. Nine tiny ragdolls, the only souls left in an obliterated world, have to fight against a soulless, merciless monster but it is not clear that the destruction of the monster will lead to a better life for the little dolls. 9, the youngest and bravest encourages the others who wish to hide until the monster goes away. 1 is the hardest to convince

to join the fight. When 9 condemns him for being afraid of the monster 1 replies ‘Sometimes fear is the right response’. It is easy to empathise with 1 when he wants to hide away. The little hideout full of trinkets is very much like the old comfortable home anybody would hate to leave behind. Unfortunately for 1, he can’t hide forever because the monster, who has been given a human intellect by a scientist, insists on sabotaging his hideout. Given no choice 1 and his sidekick, the ugly-yet-adorable 5, join the others. There are some genuine upsurges of emotion throughout this movie. The 9 ragdolls have something vulnerable and pathetic about their appearance that inspires utmost sympathy. They are no match for the

monster. As the body count goes up and the promise of a better future still fails to present itself the audience inevitably wonders is their quest worth the effort. After an action-packed battle, 1 realises that one must fight fear to attain peace of the soul but that this peace comes at a price and the audience is left to ponder if it was worth that price. The computer animation is the highlight of the film. The backdrops are impressively rendered, offering a memorable vision of a blasted world, all dilapidated buildings and refuse. The dark visuals suit the bleak tone of the movie, the bleakness which makes it so moving. The film is a very different but a very worthwhile watch.

Delightfully weird and creepy, Herbert West discovers how to re-animate the dead, enlisting reluctant straight arrow Dan Cain to assist in his experiments. Things, predictably, get out of hand. Cue decapitated re-animated mayhem orchestrated by the severed head of Dr. Hill. Killer scene: Re-animated intestines go all “anaconda.” 3: EvilDead III: Army of Darkness - “Hail to the King, Baby!” Sam Raimi gives us the great Bruce Campbell, engaged in medieval warfare. Need I say more? Killer Scene: Too many to count. 2: Idle Hands - “As usual, marijuana saves an otherwise disastrous day.”

Couple’s Retreat

Director: Peter Billingsley Starring: Vince Vaughn, Kristin Bell Reviewed by: Fiona Dunne Jason (Jason Bateman) and Cynthia (Kristen Bell) are dangerously close to getting a divorce. In a last ditch effort to save their marriage, they decide to take a vacation to a tropical resort meant to help ailing couples through therapy. Short on cash, they enlist help from their friends to offset the cost through a group rate: the kid-raising Dave (Vince Vaughn) and Ronnie (Malin Akerman), the lovelessly married Joey (Jon Favreau) and Lucy (Kristen Davis) and the recently divorced Shane (Faizon Love) and his much younger girlfriend Trudy (Kali Hawk).

The three other couples think they are just going to have fun and help their friends, but they realize they are in for having their relationships examined as well. The trip is slightly bemusing but in interrupted by a string of unbelievable surprises that make it tedious to watch. Much like the trip at the centre of Couples Retreat, this film has so much potential, but ultimately becomes painful and tedious. Unlike the trip, however, there is no joyous ending that makes it all worthwhile. Instead, it ends with a predictable fizzle that not only betrays what I believe the film was trying to say, but also falls victim to the most woefully-overused conventions of the genre. Its likable cast, all well-trained in comedy and prepared to do anything for a laugh, feel like they are drowning in a bad screenplay that, just when they get their heads above water, pulls them back down again.

The Vampire’s Assistant Director: Paul Weitz Starring: John C. Reilly, Josh Hutcherson, Chris Massoglia Reviewed by: Aisling Kennedy The Vampire’s Assistant tells the story of Darren Shan, played by newcomer Chris Massoglia, a typical all American teenager, and his trouble-making, best friend Steve, Josh Hutcherson. Eager to rebel, the best friends wander into a travelling freak show, Cirque Du Freak, were events begin to dramatically unravel as they both enter the disturbed and terrifying world of vampires, sideshow freaks and grotesque deformed creatures. It is with a dramatic, yet rather obvious twist with which eerie forces, beyond the pairs understanding, draw the friends to opposite parts of the feuding vampire di-

vide. At the centre of this is Larten Crepsley (John C Reilly) a vampire who feels bound to Darren’s fate. John C Reilly is a highly commendable actor yet his role as Crepsley seems almost an inexplicably ill-fitting role for him, and this does not allow for a truly plausible performance. His attempts to appear ominous and threatening seem at times somewhat farcical. The director Paul Weitz created a fascinating fantasy world, with the opening credits of the film denoting burtonesque undertones; the overall effect was artistic and well crafted. This film truly had the potential to be brilliant, but half-hearted acting and a rather convoluted story line left me wondering how they will get away with producing a sequel. The film really belongs in the bargain bin at a HMV store, where it will probably end up in a couple of months, however if you’re interested in the storyline the book it’s based on, of the same title, is a worthwhile read.

Stoner-teen Anton discovers his hand has been possessed by the devil. Having severed said appendage, he realises it has designs on his girlfriend, the always-stunning Jessica Alba. Anton, aided by his undead mates, (they saw the light, but it was “like, way too far”), sets out to stop the beast and save the girl. Stonerhorror at its best. Killer scene: Your man from The Offspring having his scalp removed. About time. 1: Braindead (Dead Alive) - “I kick ass for the Lord!” Pre-LOTR Peter Jackson gives us SumatranRat-Monkeys, copulating zombies and their crazed offspring, the decomposing mother from hell locked in the basement, a touching love story, kickass Catholic priests, a fierce inheritance dispute, murder-by-mower, colossal amounts of blood, guts, and gore. What more could you ask for? True cinematic class. Killer Scene: Walking baby in the park (Seriously, look this up.)


Music arts

The Siren 20.10.09

Giving you Goosebumps RL Stine, the bestselling author of children’s favourite, the Goosebumps Series, takes time out to chat to Cathy Buckmaster about his childhood, the scariest monsters, his very creative early career and the lines you never cross with a child audience Vampires, ghosts, werewolves and evil scarecrows, not to mention the worst of all; ventriloquist dummies, are the monsters which haunted the nightmares of many a nineties child. Kids were introduced to the creatures of their worst fears through the medium of R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps series. However, we can’t complain that we weren’t warned; it is the tagline that remains familiar with many a well read child, “Reader beware, you’re in for a scare!” Stine is one of the highest selling children’s authors in history. He is also the author of more than 300 novels, 106 of which are part of the Goosebumps series; which, combined with Yops, TCC and multicoloured leggings made up my childhood. With a very pronounced American accent, his slow-paced voice emanates a calm which contrasts harshly with the bloody guts and gore of his childrens’ novels. This notion is the resounding irony of the whole conversation; he writes about monsters and gore and terrifies children around the world, yet R.L. Stine could not be a friendlier guy. Although never having visited Ireland himself, Stine reveals his one tie to the country; an unlikely friendship, “I just had a friend visiting from Ireland; the writer, Sebastian Barry. He was here with me in New York for a while.” With 106 books in the series, the evil villains add up. However, Stine thinks he has his scariest monster figured out. “The one kids respond to the most is Slappy the Evil Dummy. For some reason, the idea of a ventriloquist dummy coming to life is very scary to kids.” “I’m still doing Slappy books and I’ll be doing one for next year called Slappy New Year. I have no idea what it’s about but I have the title.” Stine began his life consuming writing career at an early age and never looked back. “When I was a kid, I found a typewriter in the attic and I dragged it down to my room and I just started typing even thought I’d never really learned how to type. I used to use one finger. I still do. I never learned how.” “I started writing when I was nine. I don’t know why I thought it was so

interesting. I was a kid and I’d just stay in my room typing little stories. My mother would be outside the door, telling me to ‘go outside and play, what’s wrong with you?’ But I’d say ‘It’s boring out there’ and I’d just keep typing. Here I am, still doing it.” He says laughing As for Stine’s influence, he claims there was no shortage of comic books to keep

“For some reason, the idea of a ventriloquist dummy coming to life is very scary to kids” him inspired. “Well I read these scary comic books when I was a kid called,” putting on a vintage, quivering, creepy voice, “Tales from the Crypt and the Vault of Horror.” He then continues on with the usual American twang; “Those writers later went on to do Mad Magazine. They all

had great, wonderful twists but they were gruesome horrible comics and I just loved them. They were a big influence on me.” Having always been a children’s writer, Stine tried a short stint at writing adult novels. However he found it wasn’t for him. Stine explains why; “Well kids are just a wonderful audience and writing for children has been my whole career. Goosebumps is for seven to twelve year olds, that’s who reads it.” “I get them at the last enthusiastic time for their lives. It’s the last time they can be really enthusiastic and crazy about an author. Then they go on after twelve and have to be cool and they discover sex and discover all these things and they don’t have time so it’s the best time to catch them.” With such huge success, Stine must know how to tap into children’s imaginations. He explains why he relates so well with them; “I like kids. I have one. He’s not a kid anymore, he’s 29.” Explains Stine, before adding sarcastically, “That’s horrible; he’s too old for anything. But I had a kid, I liked kids and I just relate. Maybe that’s just my mental age.” He finishes laughing. However, Stine retains a certain policy when writing the horror series so his scary stories never become too scary for the children. “I’ve one rule and that is that the kids have to know it’s a fantasy. They have to know it’s not real so the stories can never get too real. I never deal with any real issues.” “They have to know it’s all fun and that it could never happen. I don’t even have divorce in the books and I don’t have child abuse or drug abuse. The world today is scary enough for kids.” With the increase in violent video games and gruesome TV shows, many assume children nowadays have been de-sensitised to horror. However, Stine refutes this theory. “I don’t think kids change but technology has changed.”

“No one was walking around with cell phones in 1992 which was when we started Goosebumps. That all changes but kids stay the same and the stuff they’re afraid of stays the same. They’re still afraid of the dark and that somebody’s lurking in the garage...” he tails off. As for his first job, Stine has no quips about starting at the bottom. “My first job was making up interviews with the stars for these movie magazines. I was 22 years old and this woman would come in every day and say, do an interview with the Beatles or do an interview with Diana Ross.” “So I’d just sit down and write an interview but it was all made up. Nobody cared; they all just wanted to be written about. It was a simpler time but it was great training. It was very creative and I learnt to write really fast because I had to do three interviews a day.” After breaking away from making up interviews, Stine began writing dozens of joke books for kids under the pseudonym, Jovial Bob Stine. “I did about a

“I was at this point in my career where you don’t say no to anything. So I said, ok no problem” hundred joke books. I was funny then. I never even thought about being scary.” The moment R.L. Stine changed from being funny to scary was not part of a plan or aim. Stine ashamedly admits the turn of events that lead up to his horror debut. “It wasn’t even my idea” He exclaims. “It’s embarrassing. I was having lunch with this editor and she said, ‘I need some scary novels. Go home a right a scary novel for teenagers called Blind Date.’ She came up with the title and everything. I was at this point in my career where you don’t say no to anything. So I

said, ok no problem.” It was then Stine had his epiphany; “So I thought, wait a minute, I’ve struck a chord here. I’ve found something kids really like, they like scary stuff and I’ve been scary ever since. It’s pretty funny, it wasn’t even my idea; I just wanted to write joke books.” Despite writing hundreds of books, Stine has not yet had writer’s block but it is a real worry for him. When asked if he ever runs out of ideas, for the first time in the interview, he becomes very serious. “Don’t say that. That’s the one thing I’m afraid of, but so far so good.” Goosebumps seems to have primed the young audience for the Teenage Gothic genre so common at the moment. Stine seems to have worked out why the consumer market for these sinister stories such as Twilight is ever increasing. “Well I think whenever the world gets really scary and times are really hard, people turn to fantasy; I really think that’s a big part of it. Its’ a way to face something creepy without really facing it. I think that’s probably why all the vampires and zombies are coming out; it’s a real escape in a way.” He concludes reflecting on the frightening world today. Absolutely Stine chilling.



The Siren 20.10.09

Professor Taranne

The Birthing House By Cristopher Ransom Reviewed by: By Aine Keegan

This week’s play was Dramsoc’s annual Co-Op. A time when the bright new stars come out to play with our old ones, in the hope of sharing some sparkle. It is my fortunate pleasure to have bared witness to some truly exciting sparkle. The play was existential in nature. It was an interesting choice for a Co-Op and would almost have certainly been a challenge to those actors who had never acted before, and indeed for those who call the black box home. To say they rose to the challenge would be an affront to some of the excellent performances that occurred. Prof. Taranne, played by Sam Mc Govern, a college newborn, gave a performance that left you enthralled by his mysterious story. The professor, a pompous self indulgent scholar, who honoured himself beyond his genius, is the centre piece for our chronicle. When those around him didn’t recognise

him or his work he was simply bewildered. Mc Govern, portrayed such repulsive arrogance and anguish at this anonymity

e d i u G t Even Tues 20th Open Mic Night with The Last Tycoons in O’Donoghues on Suffolk Street every Tuesday from 8pm. FREE Wed 21st The Berlin Wall Film Series in DCU: From 7th Oct -16th Dec. Where: Room C124 in DCU. Sonnenallee/Sun Alley is the film today at 3pm FREE

Thurs 22nd Galway Comedy Festival: Father Ted. Where: Galway Town hall theatre Fri 23rd Edvard Munch exhibition taking place in National Art Gallery from 19th September to 6th December

Sat 24th Last chance to see the wonderful Caboret in the Gaeity Or Andrew Maxwell at Vicar st.

Sun 25th Blackhorse Flea Market. Every Sunday from 10am to 6pm. You can reach it from Tyrconnell Road it is within 3 min from Black Horse stop on red Luas line. FREE

Mon 26th The Glór Sessions take place in the International Bar every Monday from 9pm: They feature singer-songwriters, comedy, spoken word and poetry hosted by Stephen James Smith. FREE

that the distaste you felt for him grew with every word and gesture. Special recognition must also go out to Keith Thompson, our chief inspector, who is the first to introduce us to the suspicion that we should have of Tarannes character. Both Colm Kenny-Vaughn and Finbarr Doyle played the policemen that were investigating Tarrane. Their ominous interrogation of Taranne gave us a fantastic insight into the possible fraudulent nature of Tarannes genius. Set was bright orange leaving us with no doubt that we were not to consider any other reality than the one what was in front of us and what must seem crazy should be Tues 27th Adrian Colwell In The Front Lounge: ‘Body’ is an exhibition of new photographic work by Adrian Colwell From 1st Oct to 1st Nov.

Wed 28th Quiz Night in The Lotts Cafe Bar on Lower Liffey St. 8-8.30pm Or D4 comedy debate in UCD FREE

accepted here. Did Tarrane really write his ideas down in his notebooks or were they really just someone else’s cleverly claimed from those more brilliant than himself? It seems very possible that he did. The much more interesting question that was pressed upon the audience was if Taranne had stolen those ideas consciously or was he so deluded by his own intellect that he convinced himself that his ideas were fresh and new as opposed to tired and worn? Was Taranne to be loathed as a hateful thief or pitied as a lonely sad old man that was simply deceived by his own need for recognition? I’m afraid that was a matter to be decided by every audience member but I got the feeling that it was only the question that mattered.

Aisling Mulligan

After a few mediocre offerings, ‘RemThe debut novel of Christopher Ransom begins with Conrad Harrison taking a wrong turn on the way home from his father’s funeral. Finding himself unexpectedly in the small, rural town of Black Earth, Wisconsin and looking to escape the stress of life in L.A., he decides to impulse-buy a 104 year-old Victorian house that he finds up for sale. It quickly becomes apparent that there is more to this house than meets the eye. Soon after arriving, Conrad begins to hear a baby crying during the night and starts being haunted by a ghostly figure resembling his wife. Intrigued and frightened, Conrad takes it upon himself to unravel the dark history of the former birthing house. While the author does a reasonably good job of building up suspense and tension, the cover’s description of this as, ‘The scariest novel since Stephen King’s The Shining’ is unfortunately wide of the mark. The plot, which at first seems promising, is lacking and at times it is confusing to know what is going on. While the final pages of this novel are full of enough blood and gore to delight any horror fan, it brings the plot to a ridiculous and frustrating conclusion.

Arts Focus Edvard Munch Exhibition Currently taking place in The National Gallery of Ireland, Merrion Sqaure West, is an exhibition of the work of the Norwegian artist Edvard Munch. Forty prints of Munch’s works spanning his whole career are on display, including a print of his most famous work, The Scream. Numerous portraits, such as that of the famous philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche can be viewed alongside examples of Munch’s unique woodcuts and prints. The exhibition takes place in the Beit Wing of The National Gallery and runs until December 6th.

Thurs 29th Early Trick-or-Treating possibility at Temple Bar Chocolate Festival. Starts: 12:10 FREE

Tickets are €5 full price and €3 concession with free admission on Mondays. Well worth a visit.

Aine Keegan