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College Tribune Entertainment Supplement 12.10.2010

the  Siren Big Girls, You Are Beautiful

Hipsters Rook & The Ravens Hard Working Class Heroes Campus Style


2

Music

Music

The Siren 12.10.10

Hipsters Ryan Cullen

David Tracey  speaks   with  Rook  &  The   Raven.

Page 4

Arts

Catherine Creagh   recommends  books   by  bestselling  author   Colin  Bateman

Page 11

Fashion

Kellie Nwaokorie   checks  out  Campus   style

Page 8

Do you have 2% body fat? Do you look like

being so far up your own arse they can lick

unpopular

a monkey kicked backwards through Urban

their own pancreas, means that each and

clothing) to music,

Outfitters? Do you spend half your wages

every one of these dressed up mongoloids

where

on coffee shops and queef out the words “I

spread out their elitist aurora amongst us

music is to be listened

liked them before they were cool" after the

normal people to suffer with.

to and viewed in a strictly

mention of every mainstream band? Do you

Take for example our own fair UCD

ironic way. Since they value

religiously worship Sonic Youth? Do you

campus. Many hipsters can be spotted

independent

wear glasses even though you have perfect

talking about ‘last nights’ gig at Saffys’gaff ’

much, they should value mine;

fucking vision? Then you should either be

around the arts block or discussing how the

word of advice, take it easy on

sent to a home for the mentally bewildered,

swans are ‘gay’ down by the lake. Sometimes

your fixie bike, if you’re not careful

or you’re what society deems a ‘Hipster’.

though hipsters can show inventiveness as

your calves won’t squeeze into your

Hipsters (nothing to do with the underwear,

they roll their own fags (because buying a

skinny jeans.

or at least I don’t think so) are a subculture

packet just isn’t retro enough), and many

of men and women typically in their 20's

hipsters use the V material

and 30's that value independent thinking,

that they cut out of their new

counter-culture,

politics,

V necked sweater and use it

an appreciation of art and indie-rock,

as underwear for their female

being a dickhead and being around other

counterparts.

dickheads. Upon first sight, a hipster can be

Another common trait amongst

seen wearing tight-fitting jeans, old-school

hipsters is that they tend to be

sneakers, and sometimes thick rimmed

either

glasses but if you look a little closer, you’ll

monosyllabic. I mean if you have

find two very disappointed parents.

trouble communicating the very

Like Brain cancer, hipsterism is a state of

least you could do is shut up.

mind. With a passion for fashion, a strictly

Irony is also to be enjoyed in all facets of life,

independent music and movie taste and

from fashion (wears mismatching outfits and

progressive

extremely

sarcastic

mainstream

thought

so

or

The Specialist by David Tracey The Sound - Lo-Fi

Despite often being a shockingly broad and inadequate term, Lo-Fi is an important definition for an interesting concept in rock music. At its simplest level, Lo-Fi refers to music that was recorded using cheap, shoddy equipment, that doesn’t try to cover up that fact. Sub-par recording equipment has been in use since the start of recorded music, but the idea of actually striving for a Lo-Fi sound didn’t really catch on until the late 80’s and early 90’s with groups like Sebadoh, Guided By Voices and early Pavement. Put simply, Lo-Fi bands prefer seemingly limited resources to arrive at a less slick and often unconventional sound in comparison to “professional” groups, a fact that is especially true today, considering that all someone needs is a laptop to sound like a so-called “real” studio band. Although the following acts are quite different from one another, they all owe something to the LoFi aesthetic. Jay Reatard had been a poster boy of sorts for the indie-punk community up until his tragic drug and alcohol induced death in January of this year. Although he was only 29 years of age, Reatard had already released material with a number of groups before making his name with his solo work. At its best, his music is a seamless mix of 60’s garage/pop, Buzzcocks melodies and hardcore punk intensity. Start with his

vintage

singles collections, move onto “Watch Me Fall”, his second and final solo album, and you just wonder what heights he could have possibly reached. The latest darling child of indie garage pop since the death of Reatard is Nathan Williams, better known as Wavves. Right now no one is making punk/pop better than Wavves. Spitting out catchy, obnoxious, and high speed tunes,Williams has managed to deliver one of the best albums of the year with “King of The Beach.” It is a record that not only builds on his endearingly messy debut, but also shows both his emotional core and his ability to pack more hooks than a tub of fish bait. Continuing in this fashion, Best Coast make wonderful and accessible pop. Their sound

doesn’t stray far from the conventional verse-chorus-verse format, but with a lyrical naiveté usually reserved for early sixties girl groups (excepting the odd drug reference here and there), they do make some great pop songs. Tracks to take notice of are “Boyfriend” or “When I’m With You”, the most fully realised distillation of this duo’s magic yet. Taking a turn for the artier end of the scale, No Age are loud art punks and true descendants of J Mascis’ sonic booms. Not only do they share the sheer force and volume of the Dinosaur Jr. guitarist, you can’t help but get the same sense that deep down, all these guys want to do is write and play great (albeit noisy) melodies. They’ve taken one step out of distortion and into melody on “Everything In Between”, the fantastic follow-up to the equally sublime “Nouns”. Japandroids are, like Best Coast and No Age, a duo, even though that’s sometimes hard to believe with the amount of noise they conjure up. Great for a beer and a shouty sing-along chorus, Japandroids are quick to never forget a hook. Their mix

of simple words and heart pounding rock is best represented on “Young Hearts Spark Fire”, arguably the finest rock single of 2009.Outside of everything on this list, well actually outside of just about everything, is Ariel Pink. His most recent album “Before Today” presented a mix of Frank Zappa weirdness, synth pop that conjures up images of Hall and Oates (complete with terrible haircuts), the boundless creativity of post punk and just about anything else that comes into his head at the time. This bizarre cocktail is filtered through Ariel Pink’s unique kaleidoscope and manages not only to work, but to amaze. This can be attributed to his real songwriting ability and a great ear for a chorus. Finally we have Real Estate, a group who cook up hazy, likeable Lo-Fi nuggets that feel like a stoned summer day should (or so I hear), while owing more than a small debt to slocore greats Galaxie 500.Their self titled debut is filled with memorable guitar lines and vocal stylings often reminiscent of The Shins. It also happened to be one of the most enjoyable indie releases of last year.


The Siren 12.10.10

3

Music

The Scoop Magnetic Man Magnetic Man

The debut album from Croydon trio and dubstep giants Skream, Benga and Artwork is a much anticipated one and not just by

e d i u G G GI Cathy Davey The Academy Tuesday 12th of October €28

Arrested Development Wednesday 20th of October Button Factory €20

Yeasayer Olympia Theatre Monday 18th of Ocober €23

Alabama 3 22nd Of October Tripod €20-24.50

Tricky Sunday 17th of October The Academy €30

Cave Crawdaddy Wed 20 Oct 2010 €13

Killing Joke 13th of October Button Factory €22.50

Warpaint Crawdaddy Thu 21 Oct 2010 €14

visitors of grimy London basements. Many fans and critics alike are keen to see how a full dubstep album on a major label will fare in the charts and the public’s eye. From the opening tinkle of “Flying To Tokyo” to the laidback finish of “Getting Nowhere”, the album

chronicles the

musical journey that this underground genre has taken. Magnetic Man tries to find common ground between the artier tracks of the earlier form, and the standard wompwomp of today’s efforts, not counting their own experimentation. The album hits its worst tracks early on with “Fire”, featuring Ms Dynamite and the stadium-pleasing “I Need Air”, the band’s debut single - an accessible introduction to the realm of Magnetic Man, despite being a little boring and by the numbers. The album really begins to shine with the other vocal tracks, notably Katy B’s “Perfect Stranger” and John Legend’s “Getting Nowhere”. That doesn’t belittle the purely instrumental tracks, from the bordering-on ambient sound of “Ping Pong” to the downright filthy “Karma Crazy”. The occasional duds of “Anthemic” or the chugging “K Dance” are eclipsed by songs such as the ultra-smooth “Boiling Water”. The transition from Katy B’s hypnotic chorus line of “Crossover”, which is underpinned by dark and shuddering work on the bass, to the hauntingly minimal “Box of Ghosts” is a disarming one, and is testament to Magnetic Man’s admirable ability to morph and alter their sound drastically. It is not only this versatility that is so intriguing about Magnetic

Pete Molinari The Workman’s Club Tuesday, Oct 19 €15

Man but their potential to impress in the future, as it is clear they won’t stick strictly to any tried and tested formula. Jonathan Barry

Bad Religion The Dissent of Man

Bad Religion are one of those bands that seem to just get better with age. During their 31 year spell, the fervent spring chickens who once peddled short, distorted blasts with names such as “Eat Your Dog” in the punk dives of Los Angeles have matured into accomplished songwriters and veterans of the world stage. At the same time, they have still managed to retain the respect of the bastion of intolerance that is Southern California’s hardcore punk scene. How they have maintained this notoriously difficult balancing act is evident on their fifteenth album. “The Dissent of Man” is yet another offering of the band’s trademark bread-and-butter melodic punk, their latest testament to a formula that works. Guitarists Greg Hetson and Brian Baker, infamously ham-fisted and percussive players in their respective former bands The Circle Jerks and Dag Nasty, and as recently as Bad Religion’s 1988 breakthrough album “Suffer”, have developed into a match to rival that of Slash and Izzy Stradlin (“Only Rain”, “The Devil in Stitches”). PhD holder Greg Graffin’s unmistakeable bardic wheeze shines on this album, piquing? the listeners’ emotions while never sounding preachy or fanatical (“Pride And the Pallor”, “The Resist Stance”). In parts, his poetic lyrics cause you to press rewind again and again, while his infectious chorus lines will ensure a scream-along response in concert halls across the world. Musically, the band better than ever and are as relevant today as they were in their heyday, and “The Dissent of Man” reflects that. All dancing-about-architecture verbal masturbation aside, this is an excellent collection of songs worthy of adding to a consistently great back catalogue, and that is something that very few bands today can boast. Recommended Download: “The Devil in Stitches”, “Pride and The Pallor” Graham Luby

The Bees

Every Step’s a Yes: In 2002, the Bees’ debut, Sunshine Hit Me, was nominated for the prestigious Mercury Prize, meaning they were hailed as the next big thing. However, neither of their two subsequent albums could break the top 20, a run which is almost sure to come to an end with this, their most enduring body of work so far. The Isle of Wight six piece, due to support Paul Weller in Dublin next month, clearly share influences with the Modfather, as there is an evident love for 60’s pop within the band. The style of the Byrds, in particular, can be heard on Every Step’s A Yes, marrying country and pop in a very melodic manner. There is, however, a modern feel to this album, which is sure to find fans amongst devotees of hitmakers such as Mumford & Sons. However, there isn’t the same anthemic feel to these songs, from which it is quite difficult to pluck a definite single, aside from the opener “I Really Need Love”. “Winter Rose” is probably the standout song on the album. In truth, however, many of the songs are very similar, and none of them are in any way overly exciting. So while this album certainly has the potential to be a commercial success, and they could easily gain a substantial reputation as a live act if their performances on YouTube are repeated regularly, in fact it is quite dull, sterile and highly repetitive. Ciarán Leinster

playlist James Blunt: Stay The Night No matter what he does, James Blunt continues to infuriate many, many people. His new single will do little to change this situation, as he sings about the temperature being “72 degrees” (didn’t know England had switched back to imperial measurements...) and mixing “vodka with caffeine”. Will probably be a hit because of the annoyingly-catchy chorus and “whoa-whoa-ohs”.

The Kings of Leon: Radioactive Tennessee’s finest are back with a new track that continues in the style of previous album Only By The Night. As per usual, there’s a big Springsteen-esque chorus and an irresistible guitar hook. Expect their worldwide domination of rock ‘n’ roll to continue. The Ting Tings: Hands The embodiment of the Liam Gallagher-coined phrase “Topman music”, his fellow Mancunians have produced a fine moment of modern pop with “Hands”. Catchy, silly and suggestive, this should turn out to be a club staple. Marina & the Diamonds: Shampain Basically a less-ginger Florence Welch, Marina Diamandis’ newest single gave me a headache almost instantly that lasted well after the track had ended. It’s not just the voice and music that’s bad, though, the lyrics (“Drinking champagne, made by the angel/Who goes by the name of Glittering Gabriel”) combine to give a hat-trick of awfulness. The Hoosiers: Unlikely Hero Irwin Sparkes sings “I like everybody everybody/But not everybody likes me” on this track. If he continues to produce material of this quality, he’ll have to change it to “Everybody hates me”. The Hoosiers don’t seem to know what they’re about any more, because this sounds something Norway would win the Eurovision with. by Joseph Conroy


4

Music

On a Foggy Night A showcase of folk, post rock, pure white noise & an awe-inspiring performance from No Age. David Tracey reviewed Foggy Jam at Whelan’s last Sunday. As I arrived in Whelan’s, Squarehead were just starting the second last track of their set and I immediately regretted not grabbing an earlier bus. The band bashed out lovely melodies clearly indebted to the pop phase of 90’s indie rock. I may have arrived late but I caught what was surely the groups’ best track as the Irish trio finished with a fantastic rendition of their song “Fake Blood”. After an extended period of tuning and waiting around, Squarehead were followed by Silje Nes, a waif-thin, beguiling, wideeyed, blond Norwegian beauty who looked far more comfortable in some Scandinavian folk-tale than on the stage of Whelan’s. What followed was a set of folksy but inventive tracks mainly built upon simple looped guitar figures. The eclectic instrumentation, handled by two guys who accompanied the pixie-like figure at the centre of the stage, included a flute, an accordion, a violin and not one, but two glockenspiels. Her breathy vocals and easy sound were reminiscent of Feist, apart from when her songs erupted into tense noisy climaxes which occurred a couple of times

during her set. When she spoke, her voice was a calm, coy whisper; “Thank you, thank you so much for listening”. The London trio, Male Bonding, followed on stage afterwards. The difference between the Londoners and Silje Nes is huge, both in appearance and sound. Three scrawny, gangly, awkward and generally poorly kept misfits took to the stage. They weren’t much to look at, but when they plugged, the crowd realised that they were impossible to ignore. Their set of roughly 15 short, sharp bursts of hardcore punk brilliance was interspersed with exchanges with a particularly vocal member of the crowd. Told to “stop being a dick”, this fool, and any other dissenters, were well and truly silenced as the set reached its climax; a suitably ear-splitting version of “Year’s Not Long”. After that, everyone looked a little weary and in need of a break. After an intermission of a approximately an hour, people filed back into the venue just as HEALTH began to set up. The American four piece delivered a set of pummelling, punishing spurts of distorted white noise aimed to blow every eardrum in the house.

Them Crooked Ravens

my brother Joe, we just started playing the guitar basically when we were toddlers. Someone said ‘why don’t you start writing some songs?’ and it all started there when we were about 12.” From these humble beginnings

“Two or three albums down the line,

And Nash; I like a lot of Simon And

I’m sure we’ll end up being a ten

Garfunkel and things like that, a lot of

album band. I can see us making that

old 70s, 60s kind of music.”

many albums, I could see us doing an

Don’t let these folky influences fool

acoustic album, but we’re just enjoying

you into thinking Rook and Ravens

being heavy at the minute.” Right

are about to produce an acoustic,

now, it seems the only thing Rook and

getting-it-together-in-the-country

the Ravens want to do is “focus on

sort of album though. James becomes

rocking”, as James puts it.

excited when talking about the new

With that mission statement in mind,

album which the band are currently

the group have a number of live

working on. “The first album was very

shows around the UK to keep them

diverse, and I think the second album

busy, although for the moment, their

is definitely a lot heavier.”

attention is mostly devoted to finishing

Still though, he doesn’t rule out the

their second album, which they hope

possibility of the group exploring their

to have completed early in the New

folk roots at some point in the future.

Year.

friendly and I think (Manchester) has been renowned for that in the past. I mean with all the Factory Records

everyone there is just up for a good

family affair. “It all started with me and

should do! Neil Young, Crosby, Stills

showcases of this kind around Dublin?

is not one of bitter rivalry. “Everyone’s

For James Fay, lead singer of Rook and the Ravens, music has always been a

system and any drop in energy levels was immediately made up for by a thundering set. Playing a mixture of old material and new tracks off their most recent album “Everything In Between”, No Age whipped up a frenzied storm. A sizeable mosh pit, consisting of hipster kids who had been pretty muted up to that point, formed right in front of the stage as disorientated visuals were blasted onto a white screen behind the musicians. The duo concluded a fantastic night of diverse and eclectic sounds at Whelan’s which left everyone present wondering the exact same thing, why aren’t more affordable

James assures us that the atmosphere

the other members of Rook and the Ravens were college friends picked up along the way by James and Joe. “It’s all been a very natural kind of thing,” says James. The group have steadily built up a solid fanbase since then, with their debut album “Sixteen Holes in Sixteen Souls” and regular festival appearances. These have included sets at Summer Sundae Wychwood

Mice Parade did not disappoint as their tedious, meandering and lethargic rendition of familiar post-rock tropes with novelty flamenco flourishes became obvious during their opening tune. This unlikely mix of flamenco and post rock fitted about as comfortably as a g-string on Johnny Vegas, and as a result, the Whelan’s crowd thinned out so much that it soon resembled the musicians’ receding hairlines. This dip in energy came right before the night’s main attraction, the Los Angeles guitar and drums combo of No Age (joined by a third musician who added layers of sampled sounds over the noise of the two regular members). The anticipation built as the duo set up their considerable sound

these groups battling for attention,

David Tracey caught up with Mancunians Rook And The Ravens during their recent date in Crawdaddy to talk about Neil Young, rockin’ out and keeping it in the family.

Weekender,

At the centre of the stage, the Shaman and bassist John Famghetti stood. Famghetti’s bass was only a distraction to the real reason why he stood on stage. Dressed in a green t-shirt with what look like children’s drawings all over it, he spent the entire time jumping wildly around the stage. A curtain of hair flailed and whipped around his obscured face during the group’s set, which unfortunately was marred somewhat by technical problems that ruined a few of the night’s performances. As the middle-aged and bespeckled members of Mice Parade set up, it was clear that what was to follow was going to be slightly more contemplative than the sonic assaults of HEALTH and Male Bonding.

The Siren 12.10.10

Festival,

Kendal Calling and Tbilisi Open Air Altervision in Tbilisi, Georgia, where the five-piece played to a crowd of over 40,000 people. For James though, nothing tops playing Glastonbury. “You don’t feel like you’re on earth! It’s a whole city and culture within itself, time. It’s just like no other gig we’ve ever done before.” The band didn’t get to Glastonbury without hard work though. Coming out of a fertile scene in Manchester that includes The Travelling Band and Ten Bears, they’ve had to work harder than most to get noticed. Despite all

thing, when they all made it, they all made it at the same time and bands tend to do that in Manchester.” In fact the Manchester scene is defined by mutual respect and friendship, according to James. “We’re just all mates, I mean there’s a massive group of mates, if I want to go for a pint with someone I’ll just ring them up and there’ll be tons of people who are in bands there. It’s just musicians hanging around with musicians and you learn from them.” This sharing of ideas reflects how the group themselves work. “We all write songs individually and then we take them to band practice and they become completely different songs.” Apart from drawing influence from the local bands around him, James admits to a great love for The Raconteurs. “Everything that Jack White does basically. I do think he’s a genius.” More often than not, however, it’s to the past that he turns in search of musical inspiration. “The number one that always comes up is Neil Young because I mean we listen to lots of Neil Young, probably far more than I


The Siren 12.10.10

5

Music

Steal this Album

companies, and high profile bands such as Metallica, who are kicking up a fuss with regard to illegal downloading. With large elements of bureaucracy, and specialisation of jobs originally carried out by managers, the record companies have far more expenses than three decades ago. These expenses have been passed on to the consumer.

Paying through the nose for

albums that have become classics has had a

Conor McKenna delves into the world of illegal downloading and examines Pirate Parties, IRMA & the consumer.

detrimental impact on people’s desire to pay up for them. €14.99 for re-released Beatles’ albums is extortionate at best. Especially considering the amount of money the band has made. Are there solutions to the problem? Attempts have been made by companies such as Spotify and Qtrax to allow free music downloads, using advertising to cover

On a weekly basis an estimated 65,000 Irish

the costs. Spotify is a successful European

broadband users are taking part in illegal

example where users can create playlists and

downloading. This figure, released by the

play music on their computers. For certain

UCD Centre for Cybercrime Investigation in February 2010, was the first to shed light

downloading a band’s debut record from

addresses will be checked a week in order to

on the numbers involved in the offence

a file sharing site, there is an element to

attempt to decrease the number of people

in Ireland. An estimated €20 million in

which someone can have an impact on

taking advantage of illegal downloading

revenue is lost to illegal downloading every

the future of that band. The reason that big

websites.

year.

names such as Radiohead and Prince can

been involved in court proceedings with

To put it simply, downloading music is the

afford to give away their music for free is

regard to subscribers’ activities.

thing to do. The sales of single downloads

because they have built on the financial

(Irish Recorded Music Association), which

overtook the physical CD sales as early

successes of previous albums. They stand to

represents record labels in Ireland, has been

as 2004 in the UK. It seems premature

lose far less and gain far more by doing so.

to the fore in the fight against music piracy.

to think that people will continue to pay

Record companies expect a return on

The court actions have a direct impact not

for downloads as record companies have

the investment they place in a new band

only on subscribers’ anonymity but also

noticed falling sales in both physical and

especially through album sales. It is simply

on the costs of broadband which must be

digital formats. But despite this, it seems

not feasible for many young bands starting

changed to cope with the large fines placed

that the demand for music has stayed much

out to give away their music for free

on these ISPs.

the same over the past two decades. There

download. When you have a small fan base,

So who’s to blame?

have been calls to lower the price of singles

it may not be possible to convince your label

By criminalising unpaid downloading,

and albums on sites such as iTunes in

of your worth without proving that you

governments are blaming consumers for

order to combat the losses made by record

can sell your product. Defying the odds are

falling revenues in the industry. The ability

companies, but unfortunately there is little

The Reclusive Barclay Brothers who gave a

to monitor downloading has led to several

incentive for people to pay for music when

lucky 100 fans £27 each to download their

large fines including one $1.9 million fine

they can get it for free online.

single; not all bands are struggling it seems.

placed on a woman in the US. These fines

There is a moral aspect to consider when

Internet service provider (ISP) Eircom

come as a result of government decisions to

it comes to downloading music without

began cutting off users, who had been

uphold international copyright. In effect, it

paying for it, especially for smaller bands.

found to be downloading illegally on a

is the voters’ decision to allow the current

Record sales of a band’s first album

regular basis, in May 2010, following court

laws to stand.

can make or break them. However by

proceedings with record companies. 50 IP

And yet it is the major label record

Both Eircom and UPC have IRMA

users it negates the need to download music illegally. A premium service is available to members of this invite-only site which allows users to download music to their MP3 players and use the offline mode of the downloaded player. There have been no efforts to bring Spotify to Ireland on a free or premium paid basis. A service such as Spotify could revolutionise the way Irish consumers deal with music. Sweden, a country famous for its musical talent, notably bands such as The Knife and Kent, has become a forerunner in the file sharing debate. Pirate Bay, a website which gained notoriety after a series of lawsuits, has given inspiration to a collection of political parties firstly in Sweden, then the UK, France and many others. The

members of the Moderate Party calling for the decriminalisation of file sharing. The Irish branch of the Pirate Party currently has 322 members according to their website.

Given the large numbers

that are expected to be involved in file sharing, it is a surprisingly low figure. Their position on downloading for private purposes is illustrated in their constitution: “[C]opyright legislation must reflect the doctrine of fair use: non-commercial activities, including private file sharing, being conducted without intent of financial remuneration shall not induce civil or criminal proceedings.” Another solution might be to lower the costs of paid download sites such as iTunes. Halving the price of albums and singles could see a boost in the sales of music. Lower prices could mean lower incomes, but it could bring more members from the criminal fold into the legal. Perhaps offering incentives to users would encourage more members to download specifically from one site: giving two-for-one deals on albums and singles for example. HMV can have these deals, why not online services? Piracy is an issue that’s not going to go away. It is your choice how it is dealt with. As consumers and voters, we have a responsibility not to sit on the fence with regards to illegal downloading. In an era where bands can reach superstardom or flop on the strength of one single, it’s our choice to decide how they should get there. Should we change the laws? How should they be enforced? These are questions that will shape the future of the industry. If you’re a true music lover, don’t just sit there; stand and be counted.

Pirate Party (Piratpartiet), the aptly named Swedish political party, is an advocate for change in the laws and regulations with regard to copyright, patents and personalprivacy. Despite having a small support base of just 42,000 members, they have succeeded in electing two candidates to the European Parliament. The influence of the party is recognised at the national level with

For more information visit the IMRO website imro.ie or the Irish Pirate Party website, pirateparty.ie


6

Music

The Siren 12.10.10

Hard Work With the old order of the music industry de-stabilised, new bands have to work harder than ever to get noticed. Joseph Conroy takes a look at the Hard Working Class Heroes Festival to examine the current state of the Irish independent music scene. The Hard Working Class Heroes festival

returned

to

Dublin

this

weekend for its eight year. The weekend saw 101 acts play over 3 nights across 7 venues around the Temple Bar area of Dublin. The weekend has become one of the biggest events in the Irish music calendar and perhaps the most important event for unsigned bands and bands on small independent labels around the country, giving them a chance to showcase their wares to a

Music, which is mainly funded by

who emphasised the fact that with

to source funding for bands in the

about pursuing a career in music. “Its

host of international music industry

The Arts Council. A funding cut of

101 bands on the bill, “there’s so many

modern decentralised music industry,

rare you really see hunger in an Irish

reps.

40% this year saw the whole event

bands, it’s a great way to discover new

and how to build a fan base in the

band” he says comparing the smaller

“I think it’s essential... it offers a focal

being placed in jeopardy, they ‘nearly

music”.

industry today.

acts on the Irish scene to similar acts

point, an annual look at the best of ”

didn’t come back this year’, according

The industry aspect of the event

Jim Carroll of the Irish Times, who

abroad.

says Angela Dorgan, director of the

to Angela. In fact, on the commercial

cannot be underestimated. Its only

chaired these panel discussions, pointed

Paul Barton of Pledge Music in

festival, about the importance of this

front the festival has actually had years

when you see the full list of people

out the importance of the industry

the UK, a group which help artists

event to the Irish music scene. The

that it has made an overall loss on the

who are in town you realise the extent

presence at the weekend and the

independently source their own

festival operates on two levels; on one

weekend.

of the opportunity this event offers

opportunity it offers bands to showcase

funding for tours and records,

hand it offers punters a chance to

It was hard not to get value for money

young bands. Bands were offered

their material to international music

spoke about the importance of

take a snap shot of what’s happening

with the sheer volume and variety

Speed Sessions on Friday and Saturday

reps. Jim says that things like the

HWCH as an educating experience,

in Irish music right now, while also

of acts on offer at the festival. Angela

afternoons in The Button Factory to

HWCH are vital as a process of

offering the chance to meet important

talks with enthusiasm about the idea

get an opportunity to meet industry

education for Irish bands. Some artists

figures from the industry.

of punters coming out to see one of

people from the likes of Sony Music

have criticised the event as having

Tickets for the 2010 events were

the bigger acts or one of their friends

to some of the biggest indie labels

too large a line-up and not affording

priced €45 for the three nights or €20

bands and then going to see some

like Domino and Trangressive, as well

musicians enough stage time or time to

for a one night pass. While some Irish

other groups they would not have

as Irish radio presenters, journalists,

sound check. Jim, however, completely

music bloggers have complained about

encountered otherwise, the chance

international and national promoters

rejects these ideas and says that quite

the cost of entrance to the event rising

to discover something new that they

and festival organisers.

simply a lot of Irish bands need a

this year, Anglea stress’s that HWCH

really like. Bands are also aware of

The event also held a series of panel

reality check and need to “man up”, to

is “not a commercial festival”. The

this great opportunity, I spoke briefly

discussions on the modern music

be more pro-active, work harder and to

festival is organised by First Contact

with Jessie from Tuhula Does the Hula

industry covering areas like how

want it more if they are really serious

“its vital as an education..... it opens up the doors to what’s really going on in the music industry”.


Music

7

It’s hard to argue with the fact that its

it comes down to cuts in government

been a long time since the Irish music

expenditure in public services it’s

scene has seen so many acts with so

maybe hard to defend cuts in the

much potential. Jim Carroll points out

arts against the likes of health care

the Irish music scene has always had

and social welfare. On this issue Jim

a hand full of heightened bands, and

Carroll predicts that

that the problem has always been for

“they [the government] are going to go into the Department of Arts, Sports and Tourism like Edwards Scissors Hands, there’s going to be cuts all over the place”.

The band take to the stage at 8 O’clock in The

are in the process of releasing an album.

Angela of First contacts says quite

really need to be from the top drawer to stand out, these guys could go either way.

The festival can be used as a yard

simply that they cannot operate if

stick to track Irish bands progression.

They do have catchy tunes and it will be interesting to see where they go from here.

they face any more cuts. This could

Ann Blake of Limerick band, Brad

mean the end of HWCH, and the

Pitt Light Orchestra who have just

Irish Music Abroad projects. The

released their extremely well received

only way an event like HWCH

first album this September said that the

would be sustainable would be the

the buzz bands of the weekend

festival has been a huge help to them.

incorporation of a name sponsor,

and they didn’t disappoint.

They played last year and met a lot

probably form a drinks company

of people who helped them with the

which is something the organisers are

With songs built on looping

album. Now they are back again with

keen to avoid. If these showcase events

their album in the shops, “it’s great that

are discontinued it will be a real

can be hard to tell what sounds

when we’re back this year we have the

tragedy for the Irish music scene.

are coming from where, either

album to promote” says Ann.

On a more cheerful note, this year’s

The system seems to work. These

event was well attended and showcased

way it sounds amazing.

events have also fostered big domestic

some cracking up and coming Irish

acts like Choice Music Prize winners

acts. Even if everything else is falling

potential they have. With an EP release looming hopefully they will manage this,

R.S.A.G and Super Extra Bonus

apart at least there’s a lot of new music

until then they are definitely worth checking out live.

Party and other groups such as The

to get excited about, all of which is

Coronas and Delorentos who have

available to explore and stream on the

enjoyed large domestic success. Angela

Breaking Tunes website,

cites success stories that she has seen

www.breakingtunes.com.

more mediocre, less polished bands to escalate themselves to this level. Apart from this opportunity for bands to reach a wider audience in Ireland the festival also plays a crucial role in the development of Irish acts. Bands on the bill can be largely lumped into three different categories, new bands who have recorded some songs that are beginning to develop a following, bands who have released a few EPs or singles that are working towards getting material and funding together to release a debut album and bigger, more established bands, who have released or

With a staggering amount of bands to see, Joseph Conroy did his best to catch as much great music over the weekend as possible. Here are a few of the highlights:

Brad Pitt Light Orchestra Button Factory. Despite most people still being at home getting ready to head out, or watching the Ireland vs. Russia soccer international, a small but attentive crowd gather. With an 8 person live setup sounding at times like a mish mash of Nick Cave, Rumours-era Fleetwood Mac and Arcade Fire and instrumentation including a slinky and a trash can, they pull out an endearing 30 minute set while managing to reflect the scope and class of their debut record, Lowering the Tone.

Funeral Suits Funeral Suits play a brand of indie that so many people are playing these days you

Cloud Castle Lake Cloud Castle Lake were one of

guitars and pulsing drums it

The recordings the group so far posted have online don’t really live up to the

Planet Parade By the time I arrive in The Workman’s Club, Planet Parade have the room packed

develop through First Contact projects,

out and they are clearly in their stride. The trio offer razor tight indie chops and an

it particular HWCH bands who have

engaging live show.

gone on to reach an international audience such as Fionn Regan, Jape, Fight Like Apes and most recently Conor O’Brien’s Villagers who played

Talulah Does the Hula Staying at The Workman’s Talulah Does the Hula follow Planet Parade. This group

last years event.

absolutely brim with potential. Four girls line the front of the stage, decked out in

The final panel discussion topic of the

retro gear, wielding a Rickenbacker bass, two old school guitars and killer synths. Add

weekend was trying to sketch an idea

in drummer Mike behind them, some serious pop credentials and we have a band to

of what the music industry will be like in 2020, a slightly less speculative

be reckoned with. Despite suffering from dodgy levels on the night, their set sounds

question to ask is what will the Irish

and looks great. With their tunes and style they stand out as a band that should be

music scene be like at this time in

making serious waves very soon.

2011? The grass roots Irish music industry is about to face a huge challenge. As we all know the country is on its knees

R.S.A.G. One of the more established acts on the Friday night, R.S.A.G doesn’t disappoint.

right now, and we a staring down the

The mix of samples and live drums as well as a big visual show were a real hit with

barrel of a doomsday budget. When

the crowd.


fashion

8

The Siren 28.09.10

Big Girls, You Are Beautiful Size zero is a thing of the past, claims Aoifa Smyth, as she explains how the ‘real woman’ is returning to the catwalk. Kate Moss might go by the mantra that

‘curve revolution’, after he included plus-

are a breath of fresh air in a society so

of Italian Vogue and French Elle, claims

“nothing tastes as good as skinny feels”, but

size model, Crystal Renn (pictured right), in

concerned with appearance.

that she has never been healthier in her

nowadays I think most people would agree

a Chanel show in May at St.Tropez. Renn,

On the 15th of September, New York

life and attends gym sessions three times

that Kate’s gaunt, ageing physique may not

who also acted as a muse to designer Jean

Fashion Week broke the boundaries and

a week.

be so desirable anymore. 2010 is all about

Paul Gaultier, is a healthy size 14, but seven

featured a plus-size only catwalk show for

The secret to embracing

curves and the hourglass silhouette, and it’s

years ago Crystal suffered from anorexia. It

the first time ever, with a variety of shapes

this new attitude to body

refreshing to see different shapes gracing the

is only now that she is getting to work with

strutting their stuff on the catwalk. Marc

image is confidence.

pages of fashion magazines.

the big shots.

Jacobs is also said to have a plus-size range

People need to embrace

The new desirable size has been altered, and

Mad Men actress Christina Hendricks is

in the works, to give women of size 14 and

their shape, whether they’re

women no longer aim to have bones jutting

not only a rising fashion icon, but a modern

over the chance to wear his goods, while

naturally a size 8 or naturally

out, with the help of models such as Daisy

day pin-up girl, after being voted Sexiest

Saks Fifth Avenue in New York wants to

a size 16.

Lowe and socialite Kim Kardashian, who

Women Alive by Esquire magazine this

offer more plus-size collections. This new

The fact that fuller figures are

dare to embrace their curves. This season,

year. Her perfect hourglass figure has caused

attitude towards body shape means that

becoming the norm on our

Louis Vuitton and Prada drew attention to

a media stir in recent months. The actress,

everybody and every shape have access to

catwalks will hopefully take the

the feminine form by nipping in dresses at

who is a dress size 14 and bust size 38E, is

designer clothing and are no longer made

pressure off us ‘normal’ sized

the waist, emphasising hips and bottoms and

reminiscent of Marilyn Monroe’s figure.

to feel limited by the size of their bodies.

folk and perhaps those Spanx

revealing cleavage for a retro fifties revival

Hendricks was labelled a “role model for

Fuller figures are no longer restricted to

can take a night off.

with the help of voluptuous models Lara

women” by Lynn Featherstone, the UK’s

shopping in ‘plus size shops’ like Evans.

Stone and Laetitia Casta.

Equalities Minister, and I’d happily say I

American plus size model, Lizzie Miller,

Even Karl Lagerfeld is even embracing the

agree with that. Realistically sized women

who has graced the pages

Campus

Style

By Kellie Nwaokorie

From Left: Ruth Redmond 2nd year Science Favourite Shop?: Urban Outfitters Favourite trend?: High waisted trousers Anthony Hennessy 2nd year Health & Performance Science Favourite Item of clothing?: Dunlop man-bag Favourite Shop?: Topman Most expensive Item you have ever bought?: A waistcoat from Gentleman’s Quarters. Emma Nolan 2nd year Arts Item of clothing you couldn’t live without: Leather Jacket If you could choose one designer to intern for who would it be?: The House of Alexander McQueen One current trend you hate?:Uggs Style Icon?: Courtney Love, Alexa Chung


fashion

The Siren 28.09.10

Belt Up

3 Price Ranges to help you get started with your unique look:

Alex Fingleton explains how a belt can change your whole outfit & make you stand out from the crowd. The Arctic Circle is an impressive place the first time you see it. The picturesque terrain stretching as far as you can see leaves you in awe, however once you have seen what this natural phenomenon has to offer, little is left to be surprised by. The surroundings become boring, insignificant and predictable. Many of the animals who reside here are fully camouflaged into the blanket of white leaving them incognito to the naked eye. Polar Bears, however, are easily spotted by their prey due to their large black noses. This characteristic makes the bear stand out and be remembered. Another creature that stands out in their natural habitat is the scorpion. Its size is not what upholds its fierce reputation. The lethal sting in the tail of the insect has made it be feared by humans and animals alike. Both of the above are remembered not because of their vulgarity and ostentatious appearance such as a tall giraffe or the king

of the jungle, the lion. They have earned recognition for their unique characteristics which are uncommon whilst remaining subtle and modest. Much like the Arctic, campus style can become boring and forgettable when there is little variance in the clothes people wear. Above all, we take note of how the small differences, whilst being very minute, make the creatures exciting amongst their rather bland surroundings. If you don’t feel confident to experiment with a total makeover, like the scorpion, a small venomous sting in your tail is enough to get you on your way to a unique style and reputation. Wearing A&F, AE, Hollister or Superdry hoodies just because your social circles do, is a large mistake. Proof of this is asking yourself how many times you have seen your clothing being worn by another individual. Ran out of fingers yet?

Student Loan: Louis Vuitton Monogram Belt - €290 With less money in our pockets now, clothes shopping can be substituted and left on the bench indefinitely. If you have any interest in differentiating yourself from the masses, accessories such as belts are the best place to begin. If your reading this thinking you don’t need a belt because all you wear is tracksuits and GAA jerseys, my advice is useless to you as your mind was made up a long time ago about what image you wanted to project of yourself to others. Investing more money than you normally would in a belt is a perfect way to have something unique and fresh. There is an endless supply of belts which can help you separate yourself from the Arctic Circle effect on campus and stay unique. Be daring in your choice and let it represent how you feel. You may not think people will notice it, but most compliments are given about

Part Time Job: Armani Jeans Reversible Buckle - €69 Pocket Change: Paint your nose black - €0.89

Laura McNally explains how to pull off this retro beehive look A popular hairstyle among the rich and

smooth back.

famous of the 1950s and 60s, the retro

Alternatively, you can skip the backcombing

beehive, has made a comeback. The beauty

by taking a section of hair from the top

of the beehive is that it can be worn in a

of the head, twist at the back and push

variety of different ways; a small, subtle

forward, so the hair is pushed up on the

height on the crown can be worn as an

crown and secure with bobby pins and

everyday style, to college or work, whereas

hairspray. However, backcombing the hair is

a higher, more dramatic look can be worn

a more effective and long lasting method, so

at night time while heading out or to an

if you want your beehive to last all day and

evening dinner. A full style beehive is a very

long into the night, it is worth the effort to

high-fashion look, perfect for a black-tie ball

achieve a long lasting effect.

or a wedding. The beehive is a particularly

Stores such as Claire’s Accessories and shops

flattering style for round-shape faces, as

which specialise in hair pieces sell products

it adds height and elongates the face, but

such as the ‘JML Bump It’ which can be

generally, this style suits all face shapes.

inserted underneath the hair to achieve

There are several methods that can be used

a high bouffant style. These pieces are

to achieve this look, including backcombing

affordable, easy to use and save a lot of time.

or using a hair piece to create height. You will need plenty of hairspray, a fine tooth comb and some bobby pins before you begin. It is a good idea to style the hair a day after it has been washed, as the hair is easier to mould into shape once the natural oils produced by the scalp have had a chance to soak into the hair for a day or two. If you

Chic

Retro Doc Martens The clumpy boots come in lovely autumn shades- bottle green, beetroot purple and navy blues and they allow the allusion of tiny feet. Buy onEbay for super cheap deals and plough down to Coppers so you can make use of your stamping power- never will you wake to high heel imprints on your bridges!

Gold leaf print Bye bye florals, in with gold leaf & metallic prints on dresses, jackets and scarves.

Capes Along with the catwalk, Asos and H and M have some great cape coats at the moment. Not only do they look good, you can run around pretending to be an airplane. Fashion AND thrills.

the unexpected.

The Beehive is Buzzing

9

Eek Girls* that wear leggings as trousers.

BIG no to vajay-jay on show. No one likes a camel toe in a seminar.

*Equally effective for the male gender.

Double denim.

Too much of a good thing, often seen lurking in arts blockstyled with middle aged man syndrome hair and possibly a guitar case to ensure that backstreet boy reject image.

Over plucked eyebrows.

wish, curl the hair prior to styling using curling irons or rollers. Take a section of hair from the crown and separate from the rest of the hair. Taking the hair section by section, backcomb it gently using a fine tooth comb and spray with hairspray. When you have completed the entire section, gently comb the hair back into a shape you are happy with. If you wish to style your hair into a full, complete beehive, repeat the process on the

even save on tweezers.

Buy an eyebrow pencil and pretend your’e Kiera Knightleyyou’ll

entire head of hair (think Jedward style) and

by Marguerite Murphy


The Siren 28.09.10

10

Best in Show Roisin Sweeney reports to us from the front row of U.C.D’s own Fashion & Design society fashion show Of the newly formed societies at freshers’ week, the fashion and design society (FADS) is the one that provoked the most excitement among the student body. FADS outdid all expectations and broke the 1000 member mark. The society’s first big event, the freshers’ fashion show, took place last Wednesday in the student bar. The show started a half an hour late, the waiting time made enjoyable by watching committee members and models nervous faces poking out from backstage. The style on show in the waiting crowd was also impressive; the student bar hasn’t seen that much faux fur in a while. Everyone there had put in a lot of effort, and with all the attendees assessing each other’s sartorial choices; sideway glances were flying around the room. The set-up in the bar was well done. A makeshift runway came down the centre of the dance floor, and some red and black material draped at the back of the stage made the whole thing look more professional. Drag queen Bláthnaid McGee and comedy trio The Glen Coco Experience were MC’s for the night, with mixed results. Neither appeared to be well prepared for the job at hand, although they were both awkwardly funny. Drag Queens are an acquired taste and Bláthnaid went a little too far at one stage during her performance of Lily Allen’s ‘It’s not Fair’ to the extent that even the crudest members of the audience were a bit grossed out. The show itself however was great, the music worked, it was well styled, and the models looked beautiful. The first shop to showcase its offerings was vintage store Lucy’s Lounge. It had some really interesting, well-chosen pieces, such as some 80’s looks, draped mini dresses, and gorgeous fur coats. Penneys, Ruby Cotton, and Dunnes Stores followed. And it was the beginning of the asymmetrical

dresses and grey jumper dresses onslaught. I counted five of the asymmetrical numbers, all from different shops and in different colours, but basically the same dress. The models looked great, but the same can’t be said for the jumper dresses. Dunnes Stores showed six of them, and Urban Couture also showed them. They looked boring at the best of times, and tacky at worst. American Apparel followed, and this was one of the real highlights of the show. Every look was high waisted, with volume and draping on top. The first look was a pair of shorts worn over knickerbockers, which sounds odd, but looked really amazing. They showed a beautiful schoolgirl skirt and lots of skinny leather belts. The guys also looked great, in casual trenches and checked shirts. The whole thing just looked cool, laid back, and chic. To quote the Glen Coco Experience, they were “the best at fashion in all of the place.” The formal looks were next, with outfits by Pamela Scott, Kodilli, and Marion Gale; most of the looks from Marian Gale had a large tiered chiffon skirt, which didn’t look great. They also showed a puffball dress, something that hasn’t been in the high street for about two years. They did however have one great fishtail dress, and the models were well able to make the not so good stuff look good. Kodilli showed some beautiful Grecian dresses that really stole the show in the formal section. All in all it was a great night, and everyone enjoyed themselves. It was very well organised, and a lot of fun. A highlight of the evening had to be the the Glen Coco Experience not quite knowing what to do with the spot prizes, so just throwing them at the crowd. And the finale of topless male models of course. Hopefully FADS will be running a lot more events like this one in the future.


The Siren 28.09.10

11

No Textbooks

Who has the time or patience to read all those textbooks your course requires you to read? Wouldn’t you bet better off spending your time reading something that’s actually interesting? Well Catherine Creagh will point you in the right direction, to books that are worth reading! Last week I had the pleasure of attending a book launch by one of my favourite authors, Colin Bateman (pictured below). Now, it’s not just because he’s a fellow Northerner that I think he is one of the best people ever to put pen to paper. No, instead it’s mainly because he manages to write edgeof-your-seat, can’t-put-it-down, murder-mayhem mysteries, and makes them downright hilarious too. Any of you who are familiar with the TV series “Murphy’s Law”, a show about a smart mouthed renegade cop from the wrong side of Belfast (a character created exclusively for James Nesbitt), will already be acquainted with Bateman’s wit and style of fast paced drama.

though, he was fired from the series after two seasons. That’s showbiz. However, at the launch last week of the optimistically titled Dr. Yes, the latest book in the Mystery Man series, Bateman spoke of how they (“they” being the BBC big wigs) want to turn this particular series out on the small screen too, and ol’ Jimmy Nesbitt has already been poking around the casting directors, hoping to land the lead. The books are based in a small, independent mystery bookshop on Botanic Avenue in Belfast called “No Alibis”, with the owner and operator starring as the main character. This is apparently much to the annoyance of the real owner of the bookshop, which actually exists in real life, as he gets a lot of

autographs. Anyway, the Mystery Man novels came about because of a launch in this very bookshop. At launches, Bateman traditionally reads from the first chapter of his new book, and on one occasion, the first chapter of his latest novel “Driving Big Davie” (one of many books in the Dan Starkey series, a journalist whom trouble always seems to find, despite running away from it like a coward most of the time) was all about masturbation. Being from a famously prudish Presbyterian upbringing, he couldn’t quite bring himself to read the chapter out loud. It didn’t help that his mother in law was in the audience also… So he decided to write a short story about the owner of No

at private investigations himself. It went down a storm and inspired Bateman to write a feature length novel based on the idea. The novel begins with the case of a pair of missing trousers, but the delightfully sardonic main character (who has no name, making him the perfect “mystery man”) quickly finds himself out of his depth when he tries to investigate a murder that took place far too close to home. Bateman read the first chapter from “Dr. Yes”, in which the main character, his girlfriend Alison and his assistant Jeff, are sitting in the bookshop discussing the best way to punish a paedophile, involving seals, cows, sharks and Atlantians (who may or may not be able to converse with sea creatures).

ideas and ridiculous situations. He has also written some children’s novels, including “Reservoir Pups” and “The Seagulls Have Landed”. Pick up any book by this author and you’re sure to be hooked for life. I’ve read more books by Bateman than I can count, and I have several more on my bookshelf that are calling to me. The problem is though, there are only so many places you can read a Bateman novel. Whatever you do, don’t read one on public transport.When you start to laugh uncontrollably out loud, people tend to look at you funny… Colin Bateman has written three books in the Mystery Man series so far: Mystery Man, The Day of the Jack Russell and the latest,

Unfortunately

tourists coming in asking him for

Alibis bookshop trying his hand

But Bateman isn’t all gruesome

Dr.Yes.

for

Bateman


12

The Siren 28.09.10

The CollegeTribune, The Siren, Issue 3, Vol 24  

Big Girls, You Are Beautiful College Tribune Entertainment Supplement 12.10.2010 Hipsters Rook & The Ravens Hard Working Class Heroes Ca...

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