Two TRINITY NEWS
issue 6 7 February 2012
GAMES & REVIEWS
PRESS RELOAD by Neil Fitz patrick & Andy Kavanagh
IF THERE IS SOMETHING Alex Towers
omebody told me recently that magazines are dying. Granted with the influx of kindles, iPads and e-readers the need for printed material is slowly being sapped away by digital versions. I’ve always preferred the physical copy to the digital copy. Something about being able to hold it in your hands just seems eminently more comfortable. As Editor this year I’ve been given a front row seat to the death of the publishing industry. With the popularity of Twitter and Facebook most businesses are questioning the effectiveness of paying for old-fashioned print advertisements, which unfortunately still remains the lifeblood to printed media. Trinity News has been around since the 1950s and this magazine has been around since the 1990s (it started off being called the infinitely more exciting “T.N.T”) and I would like to think neither are going anywhere for the time being. Change is also coming in a smaller scale to college as it’s the time of year where the students who deem themselves brilliant enough to lead the Student Union begin shamelessly prostituting themselves for your votes. When putting this issue together I asked one of the candidates if he wanted to take out a campaign advertisement out in this issue, to which he responded, “Your readers aren’t the kind of people I’m going after. They don’t vote.” So if you’re looking for a slight distraction from all the colour and pageantry you might find some relief amongst these pages. This issue marks the first time we’ve had a Games feature on our cover. For nearly two long years Andy Kavanagh has been tirelessly writing about games for us, so it’s really about time we acknowledged just how popular gaming is becoming and gave him a cover. But if games aren’t your thing we have interviews with bands, fashion articles, a comprehensive guide to enjoying New York City, the Trinity Arts Festival and Dominic West telling us what his favourite quote from the Wire is (it’s a good one). So although my days as Editor are numbered, I’d like to think this magazine still has a lot more to say. It’s been around for nearly fifteen years sounding off about culture in a college that’s populated by people who often takes things like bands and films a little too seriously. But then again, these same people apparently don’t vote... Enjoy the issue. Sentence of the Issue: “The instruments are like children in a playground, exploring a communal sonic sandbox, occasionally wandering off to see what the tobogan has to offer but never straying too far.” -Gheorghe Rusu, Earth Review, page 24 Special Thanks: The Phil for giving us some time with Dominic West,
Clíona de Paor for the competition & Orla O’Reilly at MCD for the last minute interview. Correction: Nicholas Maltby did not write the paragraph about Lana Del Rey in the “What We Are Listening To” section in Issue 5.
EDITORIAL & CONTENTS
MAY CONTAIN TRACES OF: February 7 2012
4: THE OPENERS Picasso, Tarrantino, flash-games, street style and a chance to win a Harry Potter blu-ray.
6: DEDICATED FOLLOWERS OF FASHION Stephen Moloney selects a designer, model and photographer to keep an eye on for 2012.
7: GET THE LARA LOOK Neil Fitzpatrick and Andy Kavanagh looks at the Tomb Raider franchise and interview its director.
10: ART ATTACK AND VINE Róisín Lacey-McCormac profiles the Trinity Art Festival.
11: ONE HOT MINUTE Gheorghe Rusu chats to Mark Austin, guitarist of up-andcoming Dublin band The Minutes.
12: I’VE HAD BETTER Michael Barry talks to the lead guitarist of We Have Band.
13: SNAP, CRACKLE, POP Isabella Davey on the rise of the pop-up shop
14: NYC, I LOVE YOU Aaron Devine rounds up a comprehensive highlights guide for anyone heading to New York city this summer.
17: DAMMIT MCNULTY Henry Longden talks to Dominic West about his career in theatre. Also The Wire. Obviously.
18: CHILLI & FIRE Somebody tells us about how they banged a fireman while Clare Kealey’s gives a guide to making prawn skewers.
19: REVIEWS All the latest reviews, including The Muppets, The Vow, Foam Cafe, Woman of Liberty, Elephant & Castle, Rampart and Lana Del Rey’s Born to Die.
25: HOW TO/ GUILTY PLEASURES Cormac Cassidy re-inacts León with the Sci-fi Soc while Alex Towers admits to letting Robbie Williams entertain him.
26: BITCHES CAN’T HANG WITH THE STREETS Karl McDonald defends misogyny in rap songs. Also he talks about The Wire and Kanye West because we really don’t mention them nearly enough in this magazine.
Editor: Alex Towers Deputy Editor: Michael Barry Art Editor: Róisín Lacey-McCormac Games Editor: Andy Kavanagh Books & Literature Editor: Patrick Reevell Deputy Games Editor: Neil Fitzpatrick Deputy Books & Literature Editor: Annelise Berghenti Music Editor: Gheorghe Rusu Copy Editor: Sinead Nugent Online Editor: Keith Grehan Fashion Editor: Stephen Moloney Socities Editor: Cormac Cassidy Deputy Fashion Editor: Hannah Little Theatre Editor: Henry Longden Film Editor: Robert O’ Reilly Deputy Theatre Editor: Liza Cox Deputy Film Editor: Nicholas Maltby TV Editor: Laura McLoughlin Food & Drinks Editor: Clare Kealey Deputy TV Editor: Emma Jayne Corcoran Food & Drinks Editor: Aaron Devine Staff Photographer: Atalanta Copeman-Papas 3
THINGS TO DO IN DUBLIN #6
LOVE AND MATHEMATICS ART IN D U BLIN
HALFLIFE by Mary Fitzgerald, The Green & Red Gallery till March 3rd: The first exhibition by Mary Fitzgerald in the gallery and in Dublin for some years. The exhibition consists of an array of projected, looped and even live images and objects installed in the gallery, drawing and insulating the viewer into the realm of its layered and site-specific arrangement. LIVE- M USIC: Alabama 3, The Button Factory, Feburary 11th: Although most people will know this band from the opening credits of The Sopranos, the confusingly named London octet bring their unique blend of country, blues and acid house to Dublin following a well received American Tour. tUnE-yArDs, The Button Factory, Feburary 12th: The wonderfully uplifting musical talent Merrill Garbus returns to Dublin to give those who have’nt seen her yet another chance. LIVE- COMEDY: David O’Doherty, The Mill Theatre, Feburary 10th. One night only repeat performance direct from the Edinburgh festival. Worth the €16.
DIAMOND DOGS FILM While most film posters endeavour to
encapsulate what the film is about with an image and some kind of clichéd tag line, this one is interesting as not only does it express the plot of the film so well, but it also captures a defining characteristic of the director’s films so effectively. Here, an abstract rendering of six Crayola crayons refer to the main characters: a band of criminals for hire, who are given crime alter egos in the form of pseudonyms; Mr. Brown, Mr. Orange etc. The use of crayons, a ubiquitous childhood object, to refer to the plot, effectively encapsulates the way in which Tarantino frequently integrates objects from popular culture into his films- something which we see, for example, in Jules and Vincent’s conversation over the Big Mac as an indicator of the cultural differences between France and the U.S. in Pulp Fiction, or the debate which takes place between the main characters over the intended meaning of Madonna’s “Like a Virgin” in Reservoir Dogs. Róisín Lacey-McCormac 4
Still Life with a Mandolin, (1924) by Pablo Picasso The National Gallery of Ireland This piece by Picasso represents the ‘synthetic’ phase of Cubism. Whereas ‘analytical’ cubism tended to explore the issue of form and its representation through the deconstruction of form, ‘synthetic’ cubism transformed this approach and artists instead tended to take a more constructive approach towards painting, building up the composition by abstracting forms and superimposing them onto the canvas. Additionally, the use of bold colours seen here also helps to characterize this period in Cubism, as the ‘analytical’ Cubists favoured a predominantly monochromatic colour palette in order to underline that their primary concern was form, as opposed to colour. The sharp colour contrasts give the forms seen here the appearance of cardboard cutouts, and this links ‘Still Life with Mandolin’ to the type of explorations into representation which Picasso had been undertaking with fellow Cubist Georges Braque since 1912. During this period, the Cubists had begun to incorporate fragments of real objects, such as newspapers or music sheets- into their paintings in a collagelike manner, blurring the distinctions between art and life. The incorporation of real
objects into the composition of the painting represented the emergence of a new tradition in art. ‘Still Life with a Mandolin’ is significant in this regard in terms of demonstrating the influence that Picasso was to cast over the development of subsequent art movements such as Pop Art and Neo-Dadaism in the 1950s and 60s. For example, through incorporating real flags into the composition of his ‘Flag’ paintings, Pop Artist/Neo-Dadaist Jasper Johns challenged conventional modes of representation, challenging the viewer’s perception as to whether they were looking at an object or its representation. Here, Picasso can be seen to develop the collage-like approach through combining several views of the objects onto different picture planes. However as seen here, this approach has been altered in order to carry out his explorations in strictly pictorial, as opposed to material, terms. Róisín Lacey-McCormac
TN2MAGAZINE.IE COMPE TITION Would you like a copy of
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince on Blu-ray? Of course you would. It’s the one where Snape goes all Lando on everyone. All you have to do to enter is email the correct answer to the question below to tn2@ trinitynews.ie. What is the name of Daniel Radcliffe’s new horror film? 1) The Lady In Red 2) The Lady In Black 3) The Woman in Black ONLINE tn2magazine.ie has all sorts of new and exciting content this week including reviews of new music, restaurants, art exhibits, games and Lucy Tiven detils her attempts both to relate moral philosophy to The Wire and to meet Dominic West during his recent Trinity visit. T WIT TER: Follow us at @tn2magazine for online content and occasional back & forths with our sometime rivals @UTzine. Also the Ball Guide is being made. So there might be line-up hints...
WHAT WE ARE WATCHING TRINITY STREET STYLE T V Roisín Lacey-McCormac – Homeland.
Just when I thought Clare Danes couldn’t get any better than the entertainingly melodramatic teenager Angela Chase she played on My So-Called Life, she re-emerged to show just how complex she could get in last season’s Homeland, in which she stars as the bi-polar CIA agent Carrie Mathison, who is intent on exposing government conspiracies. Aaron Devine - I’m Alan Partridge. Catching up on I’m Alan Partridge recently has given me a longing for the time when the BBC featured comedy that was actually funny and innovative. With hindsight, it’s notable how Steve Coogan’s lovably hateable Alan encompasses many of the comically awkward features of the likes of Ron Burgundy or David Brent, years before they came to our screens. Absolute genius. Nicholas Maltby – The Hip Hop Years. I recently watched this fascinating Channel 4 documentary on the history of hip-hop. Although it was made in 1999, it still stands out as one of the few successful hip-hop documentaries to have been made in the UK. Alex Towers - Party Down. While I don’t think any comedy has come close to the genius of Arrested Development, those looking for a snarky alternative might enjoy the twenty episodes of Party Down, the story of failed actor Henry Pollard (Adam Scott) who takes a job at a L.A catering company. Paul Rudd and Rob Thomas (creator of Veronica Mars) are among the creators and Lizzy Caplan, Ken Marino and Jane Lynch fill out a brilliant cast. Compiled by Michael Barry
GROW TILL TALL
GAME S The best flash games tend to be the ones that you would just
never think of. Who on earth would have thought the mundane and yet frequently perilous tasks of the average famer would render people comatose with amusement? Probably the same type of person who decided that Erasure’s “Always” was just the thing to make unicorns cool again. Grow might not be as infamous as Farmville or Robot Unicorn Attack, but it’s no less inventive. I could try and explain it here, but mere words cannot do it justice. You must escape the clutches of an evil monster thing by altering your environment and levelling up your alterations. There’s also some combat elements to it and a time-travel device of sorts framing the whole affair. Initially inexplicable and yet instantly addictive, Grow deserves to be a flash classic. Check it out, just don’t make any afternoon plans: http://bit. ly/1UunvF Andy Kavanagh
FASHION Anna O’Shea, SF, Sociology and Social Policy. A block
of bold colour is what grabbed our attention for this edition’s instalment, standing out indefinitely amongst the typical slum-like overcrowding of the Arts Block at lunchtime. After getting over that great initial cobalt shock, we focused on some of the finer details here. Advanced techniques in layering including tights + bicycle shorts + skirt on the lower half, and shirt + sweater + fur on the top challenged the Baltic conditions outright, and lend themselves perfectly to a cohesive collegiate look that endearingly nods to both genders. Inspiration is gleamed from street-style blogs and vintage stores are hit up regularly too. She was also keen to show off a tartan number picked up at this magazine’s beloved 9 Crow Street, which she pondered changing into for our sake. Stephen Moloney
EIGHT DEGREES BREWING- KNOCKMEALDOWN PORTER DRINKS Thoughts of emigration is on the mind of many Irish
students nowadays. The so-called “brain drain” is becoming a reality and indeed it sometimes seems like half the country have moved away to places like Australia and New Zealand. But it’s not all one-way traffic. Indeed, people coming from the Antipodes have contributed plenty to our side of the world as well - for example, the Aussie and Kiwi behind Eight Degrees Brewing. One of this new company’s beers is the delectable Knockmealdown Porter. According to their website, this beer is “not for wimps”, but I think that’s an unfair statement, as it is an eminently drinkable porter that is full of taste without being too complex. Similar to many other dark craft beers, Knockmealdown isn’t as nitrogenated as the likes of Guinness, Murphy’s and Beamish, so drinking a pint or bottle doesn’t feel like eating a Sunday dinner. Have a few swigs of this and you’ll be happy staying right here in Ireland. Aaron Devine 5
NEW YEAR NEW LOOK
Stephen Moloney picks a designer, a model, and a photographer to watch in 2012
he old fashion adage ‘one day you’re in and the next you’re out’, despite reaching cliché status via Heidi Klum in every episode of Project Runway, has never been more relevant than today, when each and everyone one of us has the capacity to catapult ourselves into the fifteen minute limelight. That being said, it has become a harder task not to just find fame, but to secure and sustain it indefinitely. That the internet has offered so many people with important things to say a voice and a means to demonstrate a talent is old news. Instead, what really marks somebody out with distinction is their ability to stay relevant and secure longevity within a frustratingly fickle and flippant industry, where the next up-and-comer is just around the corner from discovery and propulsion to fame every single time. Vexing as it may seem to always seek out and define the ‘next big thing’, for this, the almost first fashion story of 2012, that is exactly what we are here to do. New faces bringing new things to the table and warding off stagnation are of course the essence of a dynamic anything, so it seems a good idea to introduce those who we think are the names to know within the industry for 2012 and who we feel have it in them to become standard, household names for years to come. Talking in terms of design, modeling, and photography, home and abroad, some of those listed may be utterly unheard of, whilst others already find themselves on the cusp of superstardom. Leonn Ward is our pick of the litter in photography for the year ahead. Based in London and already snapped up for features in Dazed and Confused and i-D, two magazines who champion emerging talent, it seems she has had no problems making her voice heard over the heavy din of two-for-a-penny East London ‘creatives’. More than merely snaphappy, she’s got backup to boot through formal training in London College of Fashion 6
and Camberwell. With the atmospheric rooftops and streets of London, and the countryside alike, forming her backdrop, Leonn photographs just as diverse a variety of subjects with the whimsy and dream-like quality of 35mm photography, in which she shoots exclusively. Coupled with an ‘under-styled’ aesthetic, results are simultaneously rich and evocative, whilst retaining a wonderful realism. Works including ‘Looters’ and ‘Her Hoops’ are as much an example of photojournalism and social commentary as they are pieces with a high editorial standard. A beacon for upcoming design talent that is - key word - wearable, Natalie B. Coleman shines bright. After having cut her talented teeth at Limerick College of Fashion, and buffed them in Central Saint Martins, she now has several collections under her belt. With titles including ‘All the Jewellery I Never Got’, and ‘Damaged Goods’ her work is as much an ode to the resilience of the female spirit, as it is an example of sartorial skillfulness. For her multi-part collection ‘All the Jewellery...’, super graphic and technicolour prints are plastered perfectly over sheer skirts, boxy and oversized tees, and multi-purpose headscarves. Rich, dreamy fabrics are refreshingly cut, giving an updated silhouette that may include high crew-necks, dropped arm holes, and skirts with several hem-lengths (all in one elegant dress, no less). Her work is humorous, undeniably original, and on the radars of influential bloggers Susie Lau and Angela Scanlon. With showings in Paris, London, New York, Berlin, and Copenhagen on the way, you may not be able to avoid her, even if you try. A promising model is a tricky one to pin down, and that’s not a re-hash of the size zero debate. In the current glut of beautiful people, fresh faces abound but often remain just that - a nameless face that might front every campaign, open every show, and cover every magazine without us ever really knowing much about them. With all that in mind, Abbey-Lee Kershaw seems to be the name worth mentioning. Hardly an unknown and showing no signs of faltering or irrelevance, Kershaw is a success story personified. Almost as soon as she appears - in model terms, at least - she is granted super model status by V Magazine in their Winter 2011 issue, and touted by top agency Next Management as their current star. With seemingly never ending contracts, a versatile look, and a personal style worlds apart (but just as coveted) from what she is sent down the runway in, you never really get the impression that you’re looking at the same girl twice, or twenty times. One of her latest (and greatest) roles was Gucci’s 2012 mainline ad. At a more grassroots level, AbbeyLee’s Tumblr infiltration and saturation is a worthy, modern-day barometer of popularity amongst everyone who isn’t a noted fashion authority. With her success already established, I’m most looking forward to seeing what direction she takes in 2012. That’s the surface barely scratched of where the talent and continued success lies for 2012, and there is no doubt that there will be one hundred other names we’ll be reflecting on as ‘the best of 2012’. Let’s hope that these names can appear in that list as well as this one.
Top: A selection from Leonn Ward’s Bay Girl. Middle: A Selection from Natalie B. Coleman’s Damaged Goods. Bottom: Abbey Lee Kershaw shot by Terry Richardson for Purple Magazine
CROFTWORK Neil Fitzpatrick interviews Karl Stewart, the Global Brand Director of Crystal Dynamics and head developer on the latest Tomb Raider game, while Andy Kavanagh looks at a franchise that has sold more than 35 million units
Top row: Tomb Raider (1996), Tomb Raider II (1997), Tomb Raider III (1998), Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation (1999). Second Row: Tomb Raider Chronicles (2000), Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001). Third Row: Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness (2003), Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Cradle of Life (2003), Tomb Raider: Legend (2006). Fourth Row: Tomb Raider: Anniversary (2007), Tomb Raider: Underworld (2008), Tomb Raider (2012).
“WE SAID THAT IF WE WERE GOING TO TAKE THIS NEW STORY WE WANTED IT TO BE SET IN A REAL WORLD” ara Croft is a born survivor. For 16 years Tomb Raider’s iconic protagonist has maintained a massive presence in the world of gaming, and throughout pop culture generally. Whether it’s through games, movie tieins, or even those old Lucozade ads: everyone has heard of Lara Croft. Since her advent in 1996 she has revolutionized the games industry, embodying a strong female lead character in a genre otherwise dominated by growling machismo and boring, faceless heroes. Tomb Raider was a revelation, coupling innovative gameplay design with the most memorable, iconic character yet seen in the industry. Lara’s rise to pop-culture icon was inevitable, and it wasn’t long before the leading lady became nothing short of a household name. Despite this rapid rise to fame, Lara’s prominence in popular culture could not be sustained. A series of substandard releases coupled with a hefty barrage of copycats drove the heroine into decline, with the Tomb Raider franchise today holding only a fraction of its former prestige and cultural significance. However, with a new design studio at the helm and an all new character model taking the starring role, both Lara Croft and the Tomb Raider brand are primed to take backtheir rightful place at the core of gaming, and indeed popular culture, once more. This reinvention of the franchise has caused hardcore fans and casual gamers alike to sit up and pay 8
attention to this year’s Tomb Raider reboot. Leading this resurgence of the Tomb Raider franchise is Karl Stewart, Global Brand Director at Crystal Dynamics. Stewart describes the upcoming Tomb Raider as a total reinvention of the franchise, and points to the success of other recent revivals to demonstrate both the necessity and the opportunity presented by this challenge of reinvention. The studio “took a look at all of the intellectual properties that have come full circle”, drawing on the likes of Batman and James Bond for inspiration. Stewart says that the common thread between these revivals and that of Tomb Raider is that the audience comes away “feeling closer to that character than ever before” - an ambitious task for any game developer, let alone the studio responsible for one of the biggest names in the games industry. “That’s the mistake that was made before,” says Stewart, “She just arrived on the scene, and amid all the games they tried to tell a backstory.” This time around, however, the studio is approaching the issue of character development in a completely new way: “We said: ‘Let’s get down to brass tacks, let’s show her evolving.” The evolution of this brand new Lara, from a young, naïve explorer to hardened survivor, is what the new Tomb Raider title is all about, and Stewart makes this clear from the outset: “Through certain incidents that happen over the course of the story, she gets stronger”.
This idea of “character arc” is new to the Tomb Raider franchise, if not to gaming as a whole. More and more, developers are making use of compelling and complex narratives to deliver their overall experience, and it is in precisely this area that the Tomb Raider franchise has lagged behind for years. In order to deliver on this goal of tangible character development, Crystal Dynamics have had to address every aspect of Lara Croft’s unique character. A key component of this newly-redefined character is her voice. Stewart is coy about the identity of the voice actress in question, stating only that “the girl we’ve chosen, we’re very, very happy with” before describing the lengthy selection process the studio underwent to find the actress who could develop their new Lara even further. Stewart notes that thankfully this mystery woman has “done a phenomenal job bringing that arc together.” With a new voice in place and a newly reimagined Lara to go with it, Stewart details the next step on the developer’s path to reinvigorating the Tomb Raider franchise: the creation of a tangible, living game world. “We said, if we’re going to take this new story, what are we going to do? We want a real world; we want it to feel like she’s actually in this place.” This new direction stands in stark contrast to earlier titles, in which Stewart admits players often found themselves “in these huge
TOMB RAIDER: EVOLUTION
corridors, where you never really felt like she was a part of it”. With the game set on a remote, formerly-inhabited island now in ruins, the upcoming title shows real promise of delivering on this goal. Of course, all of this conceptual reworking will be for nothing if the game doesn’t play well. Stewart is fully aware of this fact, and goes into considerable detail in conveying the shifting focus of the franchise found in the upcoming title. Rather than maintaining the series’ recent emphasis on action and gunplay with light puzzle elements, the new Tomb Raider is, above all, about keeping Lara alive. “It’s about human endurance, it’s about survival,” remarks Stewart. This much was apparent to the fans who caught a first glimpse of the game in action last summer during the E3 conference in the US, where many voiced concerns over the move of the series towards the survival-horror genre. Stewart is quick to allay these concerns; “It’s not so much about horror,” he explains, “but more about realism.” In keeping with both the credible character arc and tangible game world outlined above, it seems Stewart is keen to emphasize the seismic shift in focus upon which the new Tomb Raider title is based. With a newly-defined gameplay focus, Tomb Raider is set to reinvigorate a series that has suffered hugely from a lack of innovation in recent years. This, Stewart remarks, translates directly into the branding and marketing
strategies Crystal Dynamics are seeking to employ for the game, as he firmly believes that “in this day and age, whether it be licensing or development, you can’t keep doing the same thing over and over.” We’re not likely to see a dilution of the Tomb Raider brand through media crossovers or big budget ad campaigns, and the days of shoddy movie tie-ins starring Angelina Jolie are well and truly over. All in all it seems Crystal Dynamics, and Karl Stewart, have a full and thorough understanding of the delicate situation in which they find themselves. Tasked with the reinvention of one of the most well-known and best-loved characters ever created, Stewart is reassuringly level-headed. The game won’t be released until later this year, and everyone at Crystal Dynamics recognises the mammoth task they have yet to complete: “We have a long road, it’s going to take some time to teach people about this new world and this new character, and it’s exciting.” It’s clear that Lara Croft is destined to return once more to the collective consciousness of gamers everywhere. She may not be the global sensation she once was, but with a dedicated developer at the reigns, and a reimagined story to tell, the icon of Lara Croft is sure to survive both in the immediate future and for many more years to come. Even now, sixteen years after she first took the world by storm, Lara Croft is still a born survivor.
Tomb Raider is set to be one of the biggest releases of 2012 and the re-invention of one of gamings most iconic characters. But it wasn’t always plain-sailing for Lara Croft... 1996: Tomb Raider Contrary to popular belief, Tomb Raider was first released on the infamous Sega Saturn, a console which would go on to go absolutely nowhere. Thankfully it would soon-after find a more fruitful home on the Sony Playstation and influence a slew of 3D action games for years to come. 1997: Tomb Raider II The level designs weren’t the only things noticeably larger in Lara’s second outing, but polygonal breasts aside, TRII was a step forward for an already forward-thinking franchise. Richer environments, tighter controls, and endorsements with SEAT and Lucozade, as well as an appearence on the cover of The Face, made Lara Croft a pop culture icon. 1998: Tomb Raider III: The Adventures of Lara Croft At this point people began to accuse Lara of ‘jumping the shark’. Minor tweaks to gameplay and visuals couldn’t mask the telltale signs of an aging formula and even the addition of some truly ridiculous adversaries (em...dinosaurs?) failed to amuse Crofts most ardent followers. 1999: Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation The first game in the series based (almost) entirely in one place. Egypt is the stage for what many (almost) believed could be Lara’s last adventure. Spoiler alert: Last Revelation is noteworthy only for the fact that it supposedly kills Lara off. It doesn’t. 2000: Tomb Raider Chronicles At the turn of the generation, Chronicles, Lara’s swansong on PSX, failed to grab the attention of gamers already enjoying far superior efforts on far superior consoles. Perhaps it would have if they’d known what was coming... 2003: Tomb Raider: The Angel Of Darkness Despite boasting the longest production time in the series’ history, Angel Of Darkness was a critical failure. Maybe it was the clunky controls or all that Linkin Park Lara had been listening to but things went far enough wrong on AoD for Core Design to go bust and hand over the franchise to Crystal Dynamics. 2006-2008: Tomb Raider Legend, Anniversary & Underworld Crystal Dynamics had a tough task, and despite their best efforts, Lara has struggled to stay relevant alongside the action games of today. From what we’ve seen of their upcoming reboot, they might just have finally solved this particular puzzle. 9
ARTS & RECREATION Roisin Lacey-McCormac profiles the Trinity Arts Festival which will be taking place across campus till February 10th
alking through campus this week, you’ll have noticed either one or two of the following events taking place: the Students Union elections and/or the Trinity Arts Festival- the latter representing a welcome alternative to the former. TAF is a campus-wide, weeklong event that’s been organized by and for students, which will be holding workshops, concerts, talks and nights out all week long. When I spoke with the organizers last week, they explained to me how foregrounding the thriving cultural scene in and around Trinity for staff and students alike was the key motivation behind this event: “We’re keen to promote the artistic heritage of our environment in Trinity, as well as the fantastic ongoing work and potential of the people within it- in this respect, TAF is both a retrospective and a forwardthinking festival as well as seriously good fun, and a well-needed distraction from the S.U. elections!” In addition to the broad range of events and activities being held, the majority of events are free of charge, so this is a good opportunity to try out something new for the first time. TAF has collaborated with a number of societies to provide an exciting array of practical workshops, which will give students the opportunity to get a taste of what various societies have to offer. The Photo Treasure Trail, organized by TAF and the Photography Society, offers a really unique opportunity to learn more about photography. Participants in the trail are provided with a disposable camera and a list of things to photograph throughout the week- ranging from the everyday to the more abstract (for example, you could be asked to photograph an emotion!). At the end of the festival, the photographs will be displayed and prizes will be awarded to the winners and best photographs. In addition to this scavenger hunt-style adventure, 10
there will be an actual photo-booth (assembled from scratch) in the Arts Block all week which staff and students are encouraged to try out. Some of the more practical workshops include pattern cutting with the Fashion Society on Thursday afternoon and a jazz workshop with the Jazz Society on Friday afternoon. Off campus, there’ll be a storytelling session in the Electric Lounge on George’s Street with members of the ‘Milk and Cookies’ storytelling co-op on Tuesday night, with a trad music set in the intervals between stories. Depending on weather conditions, TAF and Trinity VDP will be holding an interactive ‘Art Attack’ event in the Physics garden on Friday. As Sinéad Whitty of Trinity VDP explained to me, Friday’s Art Attack will offer students just a glimpse into the society’s ongoing engagement with groups outside of the college community:
“TAF IS BOTH A RETROSPECTIVE AND FORWARDTHINKING FESTIVAL” “VDP is all about giving people an extra hand, giving them opportunities they never had before, and of course, having fun! Every week a group of volunteers from college go to St. Enda’s primary school to do arts and crafts, the kids absolutely adore our visits every week and the fun they have can just make your day! So if you’re interested in helping out and revisiting your childhood, come along to the Physics Garden on Friday for Trinity’s first big ‘Art Attack’.” The event will be using SU election leaflets to create a unique large-scale work and will be based on the TV show of the same name,
which was also memorable for its lively host, Neil Buchanan, and his red jumpers. Indeed the event even received praise from Buchanan himself in the process: “I was delighted to hear from the St. Vincent de Paul about all the awesome work they are doing inspiring young people through the Art Club. The Big Art was always my absolute favourite thing on Art Attack so I’m thrilled that you are going to be attempting your very own Big Art at the Arts Festival!” While many of the events and activities of previous years’ festivals will be carried forward this year, including the campus canvas and origami workshop, the festival is demonstrably a more progressive one and its organizers were eager to point out that although the programme is keen to continue with some of the more popular events of previous festivals, it was important for them to push the boundaries even further this year. In addition to promoting the visual arts and crafts, TAF has really branched out this year, and features a great music lineup. On Wednesday night, Simon Bird and Cloud Castle Lake will be playing a set in the Exam Hall, a great opportunity to catch a live set in a unique setting. Staff and students are also invited along to a unique choral concert in House 5 on Thursday night. The concert will occupy the entire house, moving throughout the different rooms and stairwells, taking advantage of the unique acoustics of the building- an experience not to be missed! The festival’s closing party will take place this Friday night at Block T in Smithfield- the event is free entry and all are invited to come along to view a display of photographs from the treasure trail and reflect back on a jampacked week of art and culture. Event programmes are available at the TAF stands, located in the Hamilton and Arts blocks and the festival runs this week from February 6th -10th. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org.
KINGS OF THE BOARDWALK Mark Austin, guitarist and singer of The Minutes tells Gheorghe Rusu how music is hard work, but hard rock isn’t. f you spend most of your waking time in Dublin, and you haven’t heard of The Minutes, then you’re probably doing it wrong. Walk down to the nearest poster-plastered wall and look for the piece of paper advertising their next gig. It’s always been there, it will always be there, that’s how often and for how long The Minutes have been playing around the city. Right now, the power trio are enjoying their tag as the Irish harbingers of hard rock, having resuscitated it from Phil Lynott’s cold dead hands, and with their debut (packed out with floor-shakers and boot-stompers) still fresh on the shelves, they’re looking forward to their most eventful year yet. “We’re getting ready to go out to Russia, of all places. Just one date. It’s B-E-L-G-O-R-O-D. I don’t even know how you pronounce it. It’s like 10 hours away from Moscow. I’ve never been and that’s part of the appeal. Somebody offered us enough money to go to Russia so we’re going to Russia.” Russia seems just the kind of place to suit these lads - the country has a thriving underground and independent scene, with a considerable fanbase for heavier bands. The Minutes weren’t always this aggressive though. They had two softer-edged singles back in 2009, which, while plenty decent and mildly successful, didn’t feel right. “We wrote some okay songs. But they were just okay. I think we were just figuring out our sound, really. It took a while - that’s why we didn’t go ahead and just record an album’s worth of stuff that
we weren’t sure about. So we waited and waited and found ourselves going back and listening to Thin Lizzy and the shit that we grew up on and getting into that sound that we’re in now. We decided, let’s make a rock n’ roll record. The music we love.” Perhaps the switch was a conscious one, but the songwriting came naturally. “And it’s easier to make that music that any other sort we tried before. It’s not that we were fucking soft or anything before, probably more poppy, whereas when we started playing heavier it just felt easier. And better.” Honing their stage chops through playing everywhere and anywhere, including a yearlong residency at Whelan’s and mini-tour of Kildare gaffs, they finally decided to commit their exploits on wax. “We put the challenge to ourselves to write some songs, and have the recording date in our head, knowing we’ve got three months to knuckle down and write the songs. I think it was good to do it like that.” Marcata studios in upstate New York, namesake of their album, was to be their home for two weeks in October 2010. The owner just happened to have previously worked with Titus Andronicus and Real Estate. “The sound that you hear on the record - the studio was a big part of it. It was a great big room in an old barn and we just played really loud through loads of amps. You get things happening that you might not if everybody separated, all regimented. Everyone says “organic”, which is a bit of a shit word, but if you wanna make a rock ‘n roll record, that’s how you make it the way they’ve been made since the start. A
load of guys in a room, that’s how you capture something.” Despite having “had the guts of it done in three days”, with the rest spent “going to the pub, drinking, relaxing”, it took The Minutes until May of last year to release Marcata. “We didn’t want to release it ourselves. We knew we had a great record, and regardless of what people say about record companies, if you want your record to be heard, and you haven’t got time to dick around and do it yourself, you need a record company. We went to them and we said, “We have the best rock ‘n roll record you’ve heard in the last twenty years. If you want to make some money, give us a call.” Five minutes later they rang us. So there you go.” As cocky as that sounds, they’ve earned it and they remain humble beyond what their rhetoric would have you believe. “We’re not like these guys that think we have everything because we have an album and we’re doing some shit. We’ve worked way too fucking hard for the past ten, fifteen years to know that this shit can slip away at any moment. Now that we’ve got people working with us, we’re on them, every day, making sure that things get done and keep the band going for as long as we can. Cause that’s the only way you do it.. if you rest back on your laurels, and think “Oh, everything’s great now! We’re playing in the Academy whereas before we were playing in Workman’s” it can all disappear, very easily. We’re still very grounded and very driven.” The Minutes play the Academy on February 11th.
BAND A PART Michael Barry talks to Thomas Wegg-Prosser about his band We Have Band ahead of their upcoming Dublin gig at The Academy he two releases to date from We Have Band (2010’s WHB and 2012’s Ternion) can in some ways be seen as part of the aural tailwind to the dance-post-punkwhatever revival that held court a couple of years ago. However, unlike many of the contemporary acts that are labelled as such, the band genuinely harks back to the first wave of post-punk, and make plentiful use of that genre’s signature percussion effect (the one that sounds vaguely like lots of really impatient people playing Hungry Hippos). Thomas (the band’s main guitarist) does indeed have a sense of post-punk’s scratchy lineage, and the centrality of its influence on the band. “I guess we were influenced by Magazine, PiL, that sort of stuff. I like lots from that general era, like Devo and Liquid Liquid. It’s really just any music that moves us. Though unless an act is really genre-based it’s all just music.” Also in common with a lot of the post-punk acts in the late seventies/early eighties, the band make great use of stark recurring images in their album artwork and press releases, albeit without that era’s inappropriately fey grasp on Fascist iconography. “We like continuity. For the artwork related to the last record we worked with Simon Ashton, and for this record we worked with a Greek artist called Brittle. Brittle came up with all the images, the collagey-type things. I think it’s a bit odd if the singles don’t relate to the album. They should all be a part of the same family.” We Have Band’s keen sense of their own aesthetic is also demonstrated by their flashy music videos, which are usually pulled off with just the right amount of English stiff upper lip to avoid being too gimmicky. The most notable of these is the taxidermy-by-Claymation
promo for “You Came Out”, directed by known Metronomy conspirator David Wilson. Thomas is admirably open about the amount of credit the band can themselves claim for the aesthetic itself. “We never have a wishlist of people we want to work with. We usually just go with ideas or treatments that are presented to us that grab us. (With the videos) there’s usually a colour theme and something that’s quite graphic. We want to avoid just having us rocking out on stage. We’re aware that we’re musicians, not visual artists, but we do choose images that suit the band.”
“WE WANTED TO MAKE A RECORD THAT WAS NOT SO EASILY PLACED WITHIN TIME” The singles from their just-released second album Ternion sound slightly denser, like their former sound with a persistent snotty headcold, in the best possible way. This progression seems to have been enabled by the creative leeway offered by an established profile. “It was about not wanting to do what we’d done before. We wanted to make a record that was not so easily placed within time. We did want more layers to the music and we wanted to use live instruments rather than samplers. People have been surprised by how this record sounds, but I guess with a bit of age and experience we wanted to make a less poppy,
throwaway record.” The band have a terrifyingly comprehensive internet presence, something which played a major part in their initial exposure. Thomas acknowledges that the internet has undoubtedly reshaped the definition of DIY in a music industry context, although he stills sees that process as involving to some extent the material graft of previous eras. “You can do a lot more yourself. Engaging with people in that way can be quite contrived, but also more human and nice. Darren does a lot of that stuff. He likes talking to people. He’s a very modern man. I suppose when you are starting out or when you are a big band you can do a lot of the stuff yourself, but middle bands still need a bit of a push.” Which leads on nicely to an important related point for consideration. We Have Band started off by doing things completely by themselves, with an impressive amount of success, before eventually signing with French label Kitsuné. They thus have a level of insight into both the major label and independent side of things. While Thomas admits that such an approach worked for them, he is aware that a level of external management is necessary for the success of most bands. However, he doesn’t see major label involvement as constituting the natural response to this problem. “I suspect there will always be a need for something, but I’m not sure what it will be. The conventional idea of what that is is certainly dying. But musicians will always need help along the way, whether it’s with videos or events or whatever. There have always been different methods for going about this. But it is definitely a time of change.” We Have Band play The Academy 2 on the 18th of February. Ternion is out now.
POP UP CULTURE With temporary retail installations becming the only option for independent businesses to stay afloat in troubled times. Isabella Davey questions why gurrilla tactics have entered the realm of retail
rom internet businesses entering the side streets to small sample sales holding office for a limited time period, the only sign of entrepreneurship we are experiencing in this time of meltdown is that of the pop-up shop. As retail takes a turn for the worst with dragging sales and rental prices quivering like a nervous virgin, what can we expect from the fleeting frivolities displayed in a temporary retail space? Slowly but surely independent businesses in Dublin are dying out. As if watching someone fail miserably on a blind date, we wince while young enterprises in Dublin seem to be blathering incomprehensibly on the Dublin streets, before they disappear off the face of the earth, leaving only a partly dismantled sign and more than a whiff of regret and wasted opportunity. However, out of the rubble rises the shop that attempts to avoid the cruel, clammy hands of the taxman by embodying one word: temporary. By setting their own biological clock to that of a few months, not only is the pop-up shop avoiding any commitment whatsoever, but they get a good punch of business too. This business is trying to tap into the mob mentality that makes people go googoo at Christmas sales: You need to buy it now, before it disappears forever (into the wardrobe of someone richer, younger, and far better looking than you). This exhibitionism certainly attracts attention, but why enter the real world when you can just be virtual? Claire incorruptible, the eponymous Australian high-end vintage clothing website jumped on this temporary bandwagon with gusto, brandishing an express pop-up power shop exhibiting pieces globally sourced that you could never afford in the first place. While an avid fan of their online shop, with its accessible yet beautifully designed layout and well-photographed pieces, it was a whole new experience to actually find yourself ensconced in the clothes you previously saw in 2-D. While the ability to actually try the pieces on is an obvious advantage, the idea behind the creator Belinda was that of making the whole location more of an experience rather than a trawl through a website. On show was a delectable selection of Versace, Moschino and a smattering of Comme des Garçons, all minimally displayed within the confines of Sydney’s beloved Strand Arcade. Limiting ourselves to our own melting economy, there are a surprising number of individuals who are swimming like salmon up the overpowering stream of redundancy and reduced Tesco meals. New businesses
are growing ever weaker, and those that rode the wave during Tiger time are now finding it ever harder to find enough business to even keep afloat. Enter Lynn MacPherson, a blonde chatty Scot who equates to an eco pop-up shop warrior with a mission in life to spread the word of ethically produced garb. While running her own sustainable clothing label, Salty Philip, Lynn also organises HumanKind, the self-proclaimed eco conglomeration of designers who regularly hold pop up shops around the city. With the joint efforts of such labels as Acevedo and Pure Harte, a beautiful thing happens. Each designer certainly has their own theme and signature look of their pieces, from Acevedo’s de-constructed jackets to Pure Harte’s dresses reminiscent of when sweets came from overtly large jars and everyone ate the peanuts in pubs, yet their ethically conscious mind allows a spectrum of colour and variety to form in what is always a perfectly suited location. On meeting with Lynn at HumanKind’s current location at the Loft Market in Powerscourt shopping centre after a brief stint at the Exchange Dublin in Temple Bar, she explained that the idea of pop-up shops was a much more viable option for HumanKind, with landlords much more interested in small, yet consistent rentals, due to the likelihood of snaring that to a long-term business plan. The fact that no other eco, environmentally friendly pop-up shops exist in Dublin means their uniqueness has certainly held the edge for them in many situations. It was the flexibility of a pop-up shop that was a definitive factor for Lynn, with the fear of a permanent retail space turning stagnant before her eyes underlining the benefits. This temporary status also equates to lower overheads allowing HumanKind to enhance the customer’s experience and atmosphere (thus more events can be held to attract new customers and reward loyal followers.) After a successful stint at the Urban Market in the convention centre for Re-Dress has taken a slightly differing route with that of the pop-up shop, with their plans to open an online store after a successful pop-up shop in April last year. Similar to HumanKind in that they preach the reduce and reuse sermon, the business has been running for 4 years and has no plans to yield just yet. If the end is nigh for independence in retail then at least these businesses can go out saying they gave it a bash. However I highly doubt that will happen anytime soon; the future looks bright for the rise of the pop-up shop in Dublin. 13
ART IN NEW YORK In New York, the canon of modern art is represented by the permanent collections held between the Guggenheim, the Museum of Modern Art and, slightly less well-known perhaps, the Whitney Museum of American Art. While this holy trinity of modern art museums is alike in terms of the period in art that they represent, what is interesting is that they each have a distinctive and very personal history that has shaped their permanent collections. What sets MoMA apart from other international modern art museums such as the Tate in London, or the Pompidou in Paris, is the extensive range of disciplines that its collection encompasses: painting, sculpture, and photography; sure, but it also provides an indepth survey of the evolution of modern art through architecture, design and film also. The Solomon R. Guggenheim is particularly interesting because visitors to this museum are provided with a unique opportunity
to experience the more spiritual side of modern art and its collection is complemented by the museum’s extensive collection of modern and contemporary Asian art, noted for its minimalist aesthetic. If you find the array of art that the city has to offer bewildering, the Whitney Museum of American Art will definitely offer you a more focussed point of view. The Whitney’s collection is entirely dedicated to American art, and, as it excludes the European contribution to Modernism, the artists (Pollock, Rothko, and Warhol to name a few) and movements featured here will serve to give you a deeper insight into the cultural forces which shaped New York during the 20th century. Alternatively, it is also worth travelling to Queens to visit MoMA PS1. This beacon of contemporary art has built its reputation on identifying and cultivating the best of emerging artists and new trends. Róisín Lacey-McCormac
Aaron Devine delivers the Tn2 New Yo Trinity students make the trip across the Perhaps the Irish among us are somehow ancestors who made a similar trip, or ma exciting cities on the planet. Either way, fo city, these three pages outline some essent truly me
PIZZA IN NEW YORK I still dream about Roberta’s pizza. It is by far the best pizza I’ve tasted outside Italy. I loved the non-descript front of the restaurant that leads into the warm, atmospheric inside. The restaurant has a huge amount of character with a vibrant outdoor area, which you will no doubt spend a huge amount of time in while waiting to be seated. Ever since the New York Times gave it a raving review, naming it “one of the more extraordinary restaurants in the United States”, Roberta’s is a hive of activity. It never fails to disappoint. I made my own pizza, marrying Italian sausage, rosemary roasted-potatoes, and garlic. The taste was simply sublime. My sister’s “Four Chesus” had a subtle honey taste to it which complimented the four cheeses delicately. The crust is crisp and the pizzas have a rustic, smoky taste. The drinks menu is thoughtfully compiled, especially the cocktails. For those on a budget: Many a time was I too poor to afford both dinner and drinks and Aligator Lounge was my sanctuary. Every drink (from a $4 whiskey sour to a $3 bottled beer) is accompanied with a golden ticket. This ticket entitled you to a free wood-fire pizza. Delish. Clare Kealey
, NEW YORK
ork Guide . Every summer, a huge swarm of us Atlantic to explore the New York metropolis. getting in touch with our famished or war-torn aybe we all just want to party in one of the most for anyone thinking of venturing on a J-1 to the tial cultural exploits that will make any visit a emorable one.
ROCKWOOD MUSIC HALL
Situated in the midst of the East Village hustle-bustle is this popular music venue and bar that delivers a perfect insight into the diversity and quality of the New York live music scene. Every day from 6pm, or 3pm on weekends, there is a comprehensive line-up of free music across two stages. The best thing to do is just show up with an open mind and see what’s instore, because chances are you will come across some unexpectedly brilliant acts. When I was there I caught a set from a three-piece playing a brilliantly bizarre fusion of acid-jazz and modern indie beats, accompanied by the drone of a Hammond organ. You can avail of the table service to maximise your enjoyment of the music, and there are also occasional ticketed events for when more popular acts are taking the stage. Aaron Devine
WHERE TO STAY
New York Loft Hostel – This hostel can be pricey even if booked well in advance, but it’s a great place to find out what’s going on in Brooklyn and has a convivial atmosphere. The Bowery House – This is a hotel steeped in character, with the rooms previously acting as temporary lodgings for soldiers returning from WWII – a comfortable and reasonably priced way of enjoying a touch of Manhattan history. Aaron Devine
Jalopy is a one of a kind place. They fix up old instruments and sell new ones, they have music classes, workshops, live performances, a bar and more. Located in Redhook, Brooklyn, it’s easy to disregard this ramshackle building that radiates antique imagery and old-timey aesthetics. This would be a mistake. Inside is an inviting atmosphere, effortlessly mixing modern Brooklyn with the past. While there is always something happening there, the best time to go is probably on Wednesdays when Jalopy hosts a folk music cabaret called Roots n Ruckus. Corey Switzer
THE STRAND BOOKSTORE This is a mainstay of the Union Square area. Established in 1927, this is a massive bookstore selling used and new books of all shapes and sizes. With several floors and tables laying out staff picks, classics, and new up and coming books, it is not hard to spend hours browsing their shelves. The staff are informative and helpful, and the prices aren’t too bad either. The Strand Bookstore is located on 12th & Broadway in downtown Manhattan. Corey Switzer
There’s a strange ethereal charm about New York that just can’t be pinned down, a certain alluring quality that’s hard to define. But some things are better left unspoken, and many artists based in the city have created some incredible music that helps depict the intangible appeal of their hometown. 1 . Interpol - NYC 2 . LCD Soundsystem – New York, I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down 3 . Jay-Z – Brooklyn We Go Hard 4 . Alicia Keys – Empire State Of Mind 5 . Kanye West & Jay-Z- That’s My Bitch 6 . Lou Reed- Waiting for the Man Compiled by Aaron Devine, Michael Barry & Róisín Lacey-McCormac
Photo by Atalanta Copeman-Papas
Barcade is every nerd’s dream. Lining the perimeter of this spacious Williamsburg bar is an impressive selection of vintage arcade games, with everything from Donkey Kong to Frogger to Asteroids. Combined with the impressive array of retro arcade games is an even more impressive microbrew selection - there are no less than 25 taps! An everchanging giant chalkboard over the bar lists the varieties, and photocopied menus detail each brew. With cider being hard to come by in New York, I was delighted to taste not one, but three different types. Woodpecker was my favourite, and although it is extremely sweet, it’s perfect on a humid day with lots and lots of ice. Barcade is a wonderfully social place and it’s worth going once just for the experience, even if you’re not into arcade games. The airy, loft-like space never feels crowded and, with all games being 25c a pop and happy hour tap beers only $5, it can be a delightfully cheap night. It is also hipster central, so if scrawny trendies are your type, you’re in for a treat Clare Kealey 16
In rainy Dublin, the opportunities for alfresco movie watching are minimal. In fact, for most people, the closest thing to an outdoor cinema is the big screen above Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre. The same can’t be said for New York in the summertime, though, where there is an abundance of opportunities to enjoy films under the stars. There’s something enchanting about open-air cinema, perhaps in how it makes you more aware of the fact that you’re sharing the experience with other people. I saw Raging Bull in Tompkins Square Park as part of the EPIX Movie Free-For-All series. Most films in this programme were New Yorkbased, for example The Warriors, and there are music performances (Twin Sister opened Ferris Bueller’s Day Off) and prize giveaways before the film is shown. Keep an eye out for updates about this year’s River To River Festival, as special outdoor screenings are shown as part of the event on the Elevated Acre at 55 Water Street. If you’re interested in seeing something newer and perhaps more obscure, Rooftop Films also have open air screenings as part of their Summer Screenings, most of which are set against a spectacular backdrop. But, as with most cultural pursuits in NYC, the opportunities are pretty much endless. Aaron Devine
If you are Irish, one of the first things you will notice when you arrive in New York is how deficient you are in summer clothes. Your capsule wardrobe for a week in Spain cannot last the whole summer: so what to do when you want to stock up but realise that the New York “shopping experience” isn’t actually so great when you are a) broke and b) not
into Abercrombie and Fitch outlets? If you have a bit of spare cash after paying your deposit and your first month’s rent (unlikely), go to Aritzia in Soho. From silk blouses to flowing maxis, it has everything you need to get that polished, understated New York look. Club Monaco next door is also great, particularly for men. On the other hand, like myself, you end up broke and living on dollar pizza, the vintage shops of Brooklyn are a must. For incredible vintage bargains, a visit to Beacon’s Closet is essential. There are two in Brooklyn (Williamsburg and Park Slope), and one in Manhattan. Beacon’s Closet can be hit and miss, but I picked up plenty of designer bargains here including an Oscar de la Renta silk scarf ($12) and a Calvin Klein gold vest ($15). There are oodles of vintage shops in New York, especially in Williamsburg, so if you are in the area it’s definitely worth a look. Fleur Moriarty
Shakespeare in the Park offers free tickets to all those hardy enough to battle through a night queuing in, and outside, Central Park. Locals will tell you that the trick is to approach the wait as an end in itself rather than a chore. Arrive with a flask of tea, a picnic matt or some well-concealed drinks, and other friendly enthusiasts will make the time fly by. It is advisable to get there in the early hours, but 1 o’clock in the afternoon usually ensures two tickets for that night’s performance. Previous years’ casts have boasted such talent as Meryl Streep, Denzel Washington, Christopher Walken, Patrick Stewart and, two years ago, Al Pacino as Shylock. This year the company celebrates it’s 50th anniversary, so expect a spectacular production of As You Like It. So far cast announcements are limited to Lily Rabe as Rosalind, but expect much more to come. Although this summer’s programmes are for the most part yet to be announced, a general point in the right direction would be to follow the announcements on MTC, a largely varied and philanthropic organisation that produces fringe and popular plays that often move on to larger Broadway venues. Extending into the month of June, a hot tip is Tony Award-winning David Auburn’s Columnist, starring acclaimed actor John Lithgow. Sign up for their young persons scheme (30under30) and avail of bargain priced tickets. Henry Longden
WEST END Henry Longden talks to Dominic West about his move from The Wire to a recent part in Othello; the draw of theatre, and the current influx of Hollywood actors onto stage.
here has been an extensive history of major Hollywood stars returning to the stage. Although many see it as a sure fire way for artistic directors to keep large productions ‘review-proof’, the less pessimistic amongst us still try to find true faith in nostalgic actors who avoid the appeal of Broadway and the West End and choose relatively less commercial productions. After the Ritz and Glitz of a Hollywood existence, a global audience and a career-progressing cinematic schedule, the long tradition of stars returning to their theatrical routes has only been exacerbated in the last 10 years. What has changed, however, is the nature of the theatres housing the stars. Although the draw of Broadway and The West End’s bright lights to the chiselled breed of Hollywood moths is not only financially but narcissistically visible, the attraction of difficult, engaging, small audience productions is less obvious and stands in actors favour. The superficiality of an LA lifestyle may go some way in accounting for the shift amongst British actors going back to theatre (the current financial difficulties of MGM and Miramax might account for the rest), but the intense nature of interaction with a direct audience, and a thespian’s desire to act, serves as a clear illustration of stage trumping the set. Dominic West made his name playing amoral detective Jimmy McNulty in the cult HBO show The Wire. Speaking at Trinity recently, his admittedly egoistic attitude towards roles came through. Far from being disagreeable, his outlook manifests itself as a love for his chosen career rather than a brash arrogance. Despite his appearance in BBC show The Hour, his on-screen presence has been sorely missed by all those who filled their nights and early mornings with the irresponsible, inebriated and jutted chest of The Wire’s ‘protagonist’. West’s absence is partly down to his packed
theatre timetable; I ask him about the parts he has taken on since leaving the HBO studios. “We did Othello in Sheffield, where I’m from – and Butley (Simon Gray’s celebrated destructive comedy) in The West End. They were both big old 1000 line parts, so it was quite a lot.” Being the lead role seems to come naturally then, what attracted you back to the theatre after such attention in The Wire? “Well they were big parts, so I was on stage for a long time – that’s really what attracts me. I like theatre, it’s the acting that I like doing most.” Othello at The Crucible certainly highlighted how, for many actors, the desire for acting supersedes the need for an audience.
“WHAT REALLY ATTRACTS ME ARE THE BIG PARTS. I LIKE DOING THEATRE AND IT’S THE ACTING I LIKE DOING THE MOST”
The attraction of stars to small capacity theatres is best illustrated by the tenure of Michael Grandage at the Donmar Warehouse, London. Its charitable status and commercial success go hand-in-hand, but its populist programming has attracted much criticism. This undeserved condemnation has missed the value and quality of the plays produced. Although the casting of well-known actors leaves little room for emerging ones it has been a success in attracting a new audience to a previously flailing industry. Rachel Weiss in Streetcar, Judi Dench in Madame de Sade and Jude Law both as Hamlet and in Eugene O’Neill’s Anna Christie have all received rave
reviews and undoubtedly drew a new demographic to its 250 capacity. West also used the Donmar as a bridge between screen and stage. I ask him about his experience, “[We did] Life’s a Dream, which was about The Spanish Royal Family, written by Pedro Calderon the 17th Century Spanish playwright – the best Spanish playwright of the golden age.” The play blurs the line between reality and dreams and asks questions about illusions as experience. Staging such abstraction lies in stark contrast to the ultra-realism of The Wire, “It was quite an obscure play, but not [seen as] obscure in Spain, but it’s certainly a weird play.” Although star actors can often be seen in a more genuine light as they perform to small audiences, more often than not they are used as billboard figures to promote Broadway or Mackintosh hits. However, the rights to such plays are sold by the theatres that first commission them. Revenue is translated from the large theatres, which rely on the safety of an already popular play, to smaller theatres who take risks on new work. After the success of Othello in Sheffield I asked West about the almost inevitability of it touring or even transferring. “Yeah, we might be taking Othello to Broadway. We were considering going to London but Clarke [Peters] had to go to America and I had to go do The Hour, but hopefully we’ll get to do it again.” An unfortunate result of playing such a distinctive character in an early part of your career is the risk of being typecast in all subsequent roles. Although returning to Shakespearean and Renaissance Spanish writing West has spoken about the propensity for McNulty like role offers. Unfortunately I am as immature and basic as those same casting agents. As I finish off the interview I could not help but request his favourite Wire quote. The response comes in the form an answer to Bunk’s rhetorical question “‘What is the plural of Pussy?’” West’s Etonian accent changing to a drunken slur which exclaims “Puss-I!”. 17
PRAWN OF THE BREAD Clare Kealey
The Girl Who Played With Fire(men) MONDAY: I said I would sell tickets at the society stand in the
Arts Block today, but this means that I inevitably see Recent Ex who locks eyes with me from across the stairs. I wave in a friendly if tentative manner, he mournfully nods and trudges off. Recent Ex ran the society last year and had wanted me to run for Auditor so that his arch-nemesis wouldn’t be put in charge. But I didn’t want the other members to think I’d slept my way to the top.Mainly, I just didn’t want to commit to running things. I also didn’t want to commit to him. He didn’t take the break-up well. TU ESDAY: Stay in the library late but get no work done and instead spend the evening perving on studious guys with broad shoulders. I haven’t had proper sex in a very long time. I feel it’s time to up my game and stop giving randomers in clubs fake numbers. WEDNESDAY: At 4am I get yet another drunken text from Not-so-recent Ex. I miss him a lot, even if he was a nutjob. He was partly the reason I broke up with Recent Ex, although the much more pressing and harrowing reason was that Recent Ex couldn’t get it up. I had felt indignant that I was seemingly stuck in a relationship with someone I wasn’t in love with, yet who was as flaccid as a raw sausage. TH U RSDAY: I bump into a girl I had gone to school with and would occasionally see around Trinity. She had dated Recent Ex when we were at school, so now I was no longer on waving /small talk terms with her, which explains why she blanks me. I don’t really mind, I suppose blanking is just the Trinity way. Can’t help but wonder how she dealt with Recent Ex’s lack of virility, or if it was just me he couldn’t get hard for. Still feel like I dodged a bullet by ending it, even if the gun was never loaded. FRIDAY: Head out on a society pub crawl. When we get to the last pub I lose the others and accidentally end up gatecrashing one of the function rooms with the auditor of the society, Recent Ex’s arch nemesis. It’s unlike her to do anything remotely exciting, so I’m surprised when she is just as enthusiastic as I am upon discovering we’ve found a party of American firemen on tour. They’re not in full uniform, but they’ll do. One of them is very good looking if a little surly. We get along though and talk for hours. He seems just as reluctant to socialise with the others as me, and it’s obvious we both have one thing on our minds. I lie to the autitor and tell her I’m going to get a taxi home, then head back with my fireman to the hostel he’s staying in. The guy at reception won’t let him bring me up, so he has to buy the other three beds in the room. While ‘the sexy fireman’ is probably a clichéd sexual fantasy, it’s not without merit. He is better than any sex I’ve ever had with a boyfriend. The age difference means we both get a thrill out of it and all my frustrations about my ex-boyfriends and dormant sex life evaporate. SATU RDAY: The fireman has an early flight so I make sure I leave the hostel even earlier. He kisses me and takes my e-mail. I give him my real one, it’s not like I’ll ever see him again. The walk through town to the bus stop is quiet. It’s only me and the shop owners setting up for the day. I’m casually dressed so they’ve no idea I orgasmed three times last night. I had pointed out to him the night before that at his age there was every chance he’d be married with children the next time we were on the same continent. He had replied that the very same might be true in my life. Not any time soon, I think smugly on the bus home. Not one glare. The best walk of shame is the one where you don’t get caught.
“While the ‘sexy fireman’ is probably a clichéd sexual fantasy... it’s not without merit”
Submit your anonymous sex diary at http://tinyurl.com/tn2sexdiary
Because of the gloomy weather and general depression looming around, I decided to cook something that would brighten things up. This colourful dish is a real treat and simple to make for both lunch or dinner. The fresher the ingredients the better as it gives things that bit more bite. If you’re looking for a kick, add some red chilli to the marinade. The flavours will compliment each other perfectly.
PRAWN SKEWERS WITH SALAD
For the Prawns: A large handful of freshly chopped parsley An even larger handful of breadcrumbs 12 prawns 2 garlic cloves Juice of 1 lemon 1 chilli (optional) Salt and pepper For the Rice Salad: 1 celery stick ½ red onion Another handful of parsley Juice of 1 lemon A bowl of cold rice Salt and pepper 1) Soak the wooden skewers in water for 30 minutes to
stop them from burning during grilling. 2) Drizzle some olive oil, the juice of one lemon and toss the parsley, garlic and prawns into a bowl. Add a handful of breadcrumbs, cover with clingfilm and place in the fridge for 20-30 minutes. 3) While the prawns are soaking up flavour, make the rice salad. Chop the celery, red onion, and parsley and add to the cold rice. Squeeze in the lemon juice and season. 4) Take the prawns out of the fridge and season well. Pop them four at a time onto the skewers and grill for 35 minutes. 5) Serve with lemon wedges for extra bitterness.
BORN TO DIE by Michael Barry
BORN TO DIE Lana Del Rey he controversy surrounding the identity of Deep South trailer park chanteuse/actually a major label heiress Lana Del Rey has led to her emergence as a kind of Stereogum Lindsay Lohan, and has certainly given rise to a similar kind of breathless reporting of otherwise par for the course information. Despite supposedly having been caught out, the main publicity problem faced by Lana seems to be the unwillingness of some of her earlier champions to equate the probable truth behind her career with their own runaway projections. While this has been the case before, Lana has (possibly for gender reasons) had to deal with considerably more vicious invective than others. The initial collective swoon over the Bon Iver ‘alone in the woods, channelling his instinct for survival into lovelorn ballads about the freshwater fish he gutted that morning’ origin story was just as phoney as the shock which followed the revelation that the high production values on Lana’s demos was allowed by more than her canny coupon hoarding. However, unlike the case of Mr. Iver, it was to some degree automatically presumed that by virtue of having generated and then failed expectations Lana was subsequently less of an artist, the implication being that she was thus probably nothing more than a blank industry cipher with the ability to do the “fake lips” party trick with two Pringles for an extended period of time. This is a double standard which stands whether or not Lana is indeed wholly determined by focus groups and pie charts 20
depicting intersecting sets like “Deliverance chic” and “purely ornamental vodka bottles”. Although Born To Die demands some knowledge of this context, it works considerably better than expected as a work in its own right, especially given the amount of this representational baggage it seeks to take account of. The singles (“Video Games” and the title track) have already been discussed to death, and while they don’t give too much away about what the album sounds like in general, they are still two of the best songs released in the last year to forlornly buy bumper meal deals intended purely for yourself to. “National Anthem”, while about as subtle as torching the American flag on Independence Day, is the album’s best attempt at Lynchian domestic paranoia. “Radio”, on the other hand, seems to be consciously addressing Lana’s haters, and no doubt further infuriates them by wrapping these dismissals up in a highly self-referential tale of lost love and suburban prescription drug addiction. There are more qualified highlights too. Although vastly inferior to The Internet remix, the album version of “Blue Jeans” still contains the best usage of the distorted drum machine effects that pop up on almost every song on Born to Die. It also contains a jazzy coda that summons up notions of New Orleans blues half-remembered from the voodoo themed episodes of Scooby Doo, possibly to remind listeners that Lana works best on the level of recognition rather than through a full engagement. “Million Dollar Man” is an example of Lana managing to successfully translate the two layers of her public image into her music. Although the orchestration and lyrics make it sound like a closing time waltz, it’s in a bar and played on a piano which are the imaginary results of daytime Ambien usage. Born to Die does contain some significant bum notes. Second track “Off To The Races” is thematically and musically all over the place. It begins as a list of evocative Southern
Gothic accessories, before morphing into a lament to God, both parts sung by a voice that alternates between that of a faded southern belle and a trashy underage southern rose. It ends up sounding like Blanche DuBois fronting The Avalanches, and sucks all the more for ruining the potential of such a concept. “Diet Mountain Dew” is problematic as it is indicative of a worrying thread of thought in the album’s lyrics, and one which is probably the most worrying about Lana as an artist, especially if she is the marketing Pictionary board critics claim her to be. While her vacant, barely conscious expression may be studied world-weariness, in reality it risks positioning her as an even more unthinkingly acquiescent version of most mainstream pop stars, something which isn’t helped by her repeatedly cooing lyrics like, “Take another drag, turn me to ashes.” Even the Pussycat Dolls sometimes bothered to vaguely allude to things like “consent” and “respect”, in between all the boyfriend-stealing and MacGuffin double entendres. To say that Born to Die is an interesting yet flawed work is obviously a cop-out, though given its overall arch tone passive-aggressive back-handed compliments are probably an appropriate means of interpreting the album. By standing as the modern alt media equivalent of the Roswell landings the album’s short term legacy was already secure, and the music itself is clearly going to be auxiliary to how the album is used to either further beat or celebrate Del Rey. Although feeling on this subject is seemingly strong enough to render considerations of the album’s actual content as the work of a filthy LDR apologist, Born to Die is sporadically a very strong set which is let down by the over-repetition of the elements of its production that are most conspicuously “weird”. However, even when internally and externally couched in terms of the singer’s personal brand, the music is surprisingly Lana Del Okay. Michael Barry
ELEPHANT & CASTLE
Director: James Bobin
FOOD When I was a pudgy kid, I used to
FILM When Jim Henson created the Muppets
in the early 1950s, little could he have known that they would go on to become a social and cultural phenomenon. With a hit TV show and eight other films under their belt before this new release, the Muppets might not be as popular as they once were, but they’ve never really been fully out of the media limelight. With this latest film incarnation already a hit with critics and audiences in the U.S., we can certainly now expect to see a lot more of the cuddly puppets in the near future. James Bobin (TV’s Flight of the Conchords and Da Ali G Show), is behind this big-screen musical nostalgia-fest that attempts to bring the Muppets to a new audience, while also acknowledging fans from previous generations with countless in-jokes and self-reflexivity. Oil tycoon Tex Richman (Chris Cooper) attempts to buy up the Muppets’ old studio lot, pretending to want to turn it into a museum for our fluffy friends when secretly he plans to drill for oil on the land. Contract small-print means that the only way this can be stopped is if the Muppets can raise $10 million to buy the plot of land or else its goodbye Muppet studio. Small-town nice-guy Gary (Jason Segel), along with his ditzy girlfriend Mary (Amy Adams) and puppet-brother Walter, attempt to gather together the Muppets for a TV telethon, where they hope to raise enough cash to keep them from falling into obscurity. The only problem is that the Muppets haven’t seen each other for several years and it’s up
to our heroes to bring them back together for one last show. What little story there is to this reimagining/reinvention of Henson’s creation is really only a very basic platform for Kermit and co. to dominate the big screen. By gathering together the most famous Muppets one by one (the rest get a rapid montage), Bobin cleverly uses these sequences to not only give each main character some screen time for older fans to grow teary-eyed over, but also to introduce the characters to newer members of the audience. And once they’re introduced, Bobin lets the Muppets do what they do best, which is basically to out-charm and often out-act any human counterparts that get in their way. Segal and Adams are deliberately stilted as diner dimwits and Cooper is the one-dimensional baddie that one would expect from a children’s film, which only really serves to make sure that Miss Piggy and Fozzie et al stand out as the major performers of the film. Having said that, Jack Black nearly steals the show in a hilarious cameo role where he gets kidnapped by the Muppets, who need him to be the celeb for their TV show. Certainly not without flaws (including a few weak musical numbers and some issues with pacing), The Muppets has the nerve to at least acknowledge its overt silliness, and never makes the viewer feel like a mere glove puppet. So all together now: “It’s time to play the music, it’s time to... Robert O’Reilly
love sitting by the window of this restaurant with bright orange, post-chicken wing lips and watch people pass by in envy. Elephant and Castle is an institution in Dublin’s Temple Bar. It is consistently good. It must be said however, that everyone seems to overlook the bad service and expense mainly because of their legendary chicken wings (so legendary that no one ever deviates from the menu). So on my last visit, I decided not to conform, and chose the daily special, which was a shredded spiced lamb in a pitta pocket, served with harrisa crème fraiche and rocket. I was pleasantly surprised with the dish (though I must admit I was incredibly envious of my friend’s wings) and at €12.50 including a serving of fries, it was well worth it. The lamb was medium rare and well seasoned. However the rocket was absent and replacing it was regular, run-ofthe-mill lettuce, much to my disappointment. I felt the peppery rocket would have complimented the lamb well but this I must say was my only let down. Washed down with my favourite elderflower soda, I was pleased with my choice. Elephant and Castle is a restaurant designed, as Paulo Tullio described it, “for the one-plate diner”. The menu is not set out in the classic starter, main course, dessert format, rather in a type of dish format. The staff make it clear to you upon arrival that there is always a rush. Do not expect polite conversation, recommendations or the specials read to you. If I’m honest, the staff have always treated me as a kind of nuisance. Apart from the wings, the remainder of the menu is considerably uninventive and over-priced. A plate of spaghettini with olive oil, garlic and red pepper flakes is an obscene €10.50 and their mediocre omelettes range between €8.75 and €11.50. That said, there are free refills of coffee and tea, including a new tea bag which is a much welcome rarity. Also, the beer menu starts at just €3.50 for a bottle of Erdinger and the priciest is €6 for a bottle of cider. Elephant and Castle’s motto, “Copied By Many, Excelled By None” is true to their word in terms of the chicken wings, but little else. I will, like many, still return...but probably just order the wings. Clare Kealey 21
PARALYTIC STALKS II.I
A DANGEROUS METHOD Director: David Cronenberg FILM David Cronenberg’s shift away from the
horror genre towards more awards-friendly cinema this time takes him back to the early 20th century, at the dawn of psychoanalysis. We first meet Doctor Carl Jung (Michael Fassbender) in 1904, in thrall to the methods of the father of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud (Viggo Mortensen), and noticeably less enthused by married life. Jung takes on a challenging new patient in the form of Sabina Spielrein (Keira Knightley), introduced to us in the film’s opening scene kicking and screaming in the back of a carriage. As she receives treatment her condition improves, their relationship develops and they engage in a somewhat twisted sexual affair. In turn, Jung and Freud’s relationship becomes strained as Jung develops ideas beyond the restraints of Freud’s approval. The film’s true power comes from its central trio of performances. Knightley, who receives top billing, is saddled with a Russian accent and a character that for the film’s first act is in a state of perpetual hysteria. You sense that as her character becomes more stable, so too does she in the role, and convinces as a woman emotionally stunted by abuse. The ubiquitous Fassbender is as good as always, portraying Jung as a complex and flawed figure enticed by Spielrein and questioning his ideals, but it’s in his scenes with Mortensen where both actors truly come into their own. Dealing as it does with a somewhat niche subject matter, the film is unlikely to appeal to mass audiences, or even to a large portion of those who would have enjoyed Cronenberg and Mortensen’s previous collaborations, A History of Violence and Eastern Promises. This is far and away the talkiest of those three films, and the dominance of psychoanalytical spiel can be dizzying for viewers unversed in the field. The transition between Jung and Spielrein’s affair and his rift with Freud also jars slightly, with little sense of poignancy in their parting. It is to screenwriter Christopher Hampton’s credit (the film is adapted from his play The Talking Cure) that, bar these flaws and a few overly stagey moments, Cronenberg’s latest is a highly engaging look at temptation and the curious nature of the mind, benefiting hugely from engaging performances all round. Oliver Nolan 22
M USIC On initial listen, the eleventh release
from folktronic collective of Montreal evokes scenes of an alien invasion, or at least of a Rocky Horror Picture Show-themed psychedelic party of sorts. A whirlwind of sounds and genres, it is the cooler indie kid’s answer to Mika, or a more revved-up Caribou. A marked departure from their Beatles / Beach Boysdriven origins, this record is a much darker and ultimately more arresting incarnation. Lyrically the album is without doubt the most intimate so far for the band, touching upon concepts of humanity, vengeance, and even self-loathing. Lead singer Kevin Barnes’ vocals allow for the portrayal of a Technicolor range of emotion, as well as simultaneously evoking soft folk and screeching glam-rock. While retaining some elements of the falsetto barbershop quartet-style harmonies of previous albums, the result here is infinitely more daring and theatrical. This change is not so evident from the opening of the album, but begins to gradually manifest itself in the second track, “Spiteful Intentions”, with its show tune-esque background vocals and steady piano. “Dour Percentages” is perhaps the most aurally pleasing of the nine tracks; a strange love child of Barry Gibb and Iglu and Hartly. One could be forgiven for thinking the twirling, fluttering flute passages here, as well as in “Malefic Dowry”, mark a return to the band’s cosy comfort zone. However, “Ye Renew the Plaintiff”’s staggering beat and chords which rapidly descend
into musical mayhem and dissonance carve out the path for the remainder of the record. Its subsequent swerve into ethnic beats, then back to normality, then back to the madness of before signals the record’s foray into selfcontained musical movements. Indeed, listening back to the Bright Eyes-like introduction to “Wintered Debts”, it is difficult to fathom that its eerie orchestral conclusion comprises the same song. “Exorcism Breeding Knife”, meanwhile, is perhaps the masterpiece of the album. Not to put anyone off, but for any of you who studied Raymond Deane’s “Sea Changes”, this song may indeed conjure images and memories of Leaving Cert 2008. As its name suggests, the track is a downright sinister yet intoxicating mish-mash of ominous bells, wind, percussion and intermittent and elusive vocals. Thankfully, instead of plunging listeners into the depths of sonic despair, the album finishes on a vibrant, uptempo note, thus reverting to the band’s roots. of Montreal’s genius perhaps lies in their refusal to adhere to a particular genre, casting aside any solid assertions just at the very moment they have the potential to be imposed. This record makes no apologies for its fierce desire to stretch boundaries and raise the bar for their peers. At the very least, Paralytic Stalks is a work of undeniably superior musical merit and originality. Fiona Dunkin
GODDESS OF LIBERTY Project Arts Centre, Dublin 2 THE ATRE Gua Nua
FOAM CAFE Strand Street Great, Dublin 1 FOOD There isn’t really much to look at on
Strand Street Great in the so-called Italian Quarter of Dublin. In fact it’s more of an alleyway than a street. One thing that will catch your eye, however, is the façade of Foam Café, with its clever reflective sign and enticing window display of cakes and pastries. But that enticement was quashed for me as soon as I crossed the threshold, because the interior of this newish eatery could easily be described as a nightmare of gaudiness. I’m no expert on interior design, but I believe “eccentric kitsch” is the look they are going for. Instead, it appears the decorator has ingested the contents of every vintage shop, every quirky furniture or kitchenware store, followed by every offbeat poster or artwork he/she could find, and then thrown up all over the place. The inexplicable silver Christmas tree in the corner or the neckties dangling from the tacky chandelier are just two examples of what I mean. On to the food though, and I was hoping my tastebuds were in for a better experience than my eyes. Hoping was as far as it got through, as every forkful tasted mostly of disappointment. For example, the tomato and chickpea soup was watery and flavourless, and the Italian chicken sandwich was served on bread soaked through with pesto, making it almost inedible. I have to admit my coffee was pretty decent, however, and there’s a comprehensive selection of teas and lemonades. Some pasta dishes on the menu sounded inviting, and it’s good to see plenty of seafood being featured,
with a couple of salmon options and a crayfish dish on offer. That being said, I felt it best to avoid these. After all, if they can mess up a sandwich, I didn’t want to know what would happen with crayfish. Anyway, instead of getting the standard Spanish tortilla, I decided to spring the extra euro and go for the version with chorizo. I was expecting the meat to be cooked through the potato in a fresh omelette, but instead I got a thick, greasy wedge of lukewarm, microwaved stodge with two slices of Tesco’s Finest “chorizo” on top. Needless to say I wasn’t over the moon, and this was compounded by the woeful salad that accompanied the dish. Which that was comprised mainly of hard peas and beans on top of leaves that looked and tasted like weeds pulled from the cracks between patio stones. I had lost patience at this stage, so didn’t even get round to trying one of the inviting desserts. I sympathise with anyone running this type of business in Ireland at the minute. With fuel prices rising and the public having less disposable income, it can be a high-wire act. One sure way to keep customers coming back is to treat them with respect, i.e. don’t charge them €8.50 for microwaved potato. If this review is insulting to the owners of Foam Café, then it’s because I felt insulted by the service I received. But, hey, at least I said the sign out front looks pretty cool. So there’s no need to even go in - just grab a Mars bar, stand outside and look. It’s cheaper, and it’ll taste better too. Aaron Devine
Theatre Company and Civic Theatre return to The Project Arts Centre with a new play written by actress Karen Ardiff. Inspired by Steinbeck and originally meant as a novel, it’s initial implications hazardously point towards a failed attempt to combine brevity with the necessary epic nature when portraying Irish émigrés in America. Comparisons with Eugene O’Neill are immediate but Ardiff sets herself apart with a well-rounded insight into disability and dependence. An apparent star in decline, Frankie (Geraldine Plunkett), is displayed in all her unintelligibility following a stroke. Her compassionate carer, May (Máire Ní Ghráinne) is set out as a despairing naïve devotee, but throughout the play flashbacks build the relationship that is characterised by dependence. May’s daughter, T-Belle (Emma Colohan), demonstrates how their relationship stretches the family entity to the point of break as they try to escape impending economic doom. The first act constructs the conflicting relationships in a small household resting (quite literally in Maree Kearns impressive set) on the success of a gold mine. The usual themes of superficial American freedom and liberty are crushed as the all female household struggles for salvation. However, the second act saves the play from the niggling feeling of a tired formula; revelations about May and Frankie’s dissolute relationship are unveiled, and the question of personal liberty moves on from the much proliferated criticism of American values as references to Shakespeares’ A Winter’s Tale are admirably layered on the stark Alaskan setting and helps sets up a touching final scene. Geraldine Plunkett stands out with a strong performance as Frankie, effortlessly switching between incoherent imbecile and amoral egotist, through flashbacks to her younger years. Although distinctly 20th Century in style The Goddess of Liberty is much more than an attempted rehash of Gold Rush themes. Psychological insight is well balanced with emotional drama. One household’s relationship highlights the background implication of a whole population on the move. More historic than what one would expect to find in the four progressive walls of the Project Arts Centre, Ardiff’s debut play is a moving tale all the same. Running at Project Arts till February 18th with concessions €15. Henry Longden 23
THE VOW Director: Michael Sucsy
FILM Every time I see Rachel McAdams’s
perky face on screen my heart sinks. I know that I’m either going to be watching some cringeworthy romcom, or having to pretend not to cry at one of her soppier cinematic excursions. The Vow tells the story of a couple whose lives are transformed by a car crash, which effectively erases the memory of Paige (McAdams), an art student who, after quitting law school and dumping her preppy ex, marries Leo (Channing Tatum), a bohemian record studio owner. He attempts to remind her of their past together but she remains stuck mentally in her old life as a sweater-wearing sorority girl. McAdams certainly chooses her characters well, in that they are usually suited to her fan base and never venture far from her previous films. Tatum’s questionable acting skills do bring the film down slightly, but what can one expect from an actor who is primarily eyecandy in all his other roles. Those issues aside, The Vow is actually one of the better films of the romance genre of recent years. The soundtrack by Michael Brook and Rachel Portman is of the highest quality throughout, and although it doesn’t do itself any favours by attempting to find some pseudo-truth in the storyline (a device perhaps better suited to horror films than romances), the film is certainly enjoyable and worth watching, especially if you like a good oldfashioned tear-jerker. Clare Jamie Burnett
riffs. One day Dylan sold Kurt a shotgun with the best of intentions but things didn’t work out too well. But Dylan continues to make music and it should stand independent of any pop culture lore that might colour your view of it if it’s your cup of tea in the first place. But a cup of tea it is. Green, probably. None of that caffeinated stuff. It’s as low-octane as you can get. Dylan and company, (which includes In Utero and MTV Unplugged cellist Lori Goldston, K Records veteran Karl Blau on bass, and the fantastically restrained Adrienne Davies drumming) raft through calm waters on the five tracks here, creating moody, subtle textures with an unmistakeable jazzy undertow, much as they did on Angels of Light 1. The instruments are like children in a playground, exploring a communal sonic sandbox, occasionally wandering off to see what the tobogan has to offer but never straying too far. The whole ties itself together monumentally, building up and crashing in long-awaited but unexpected tension and relief. This is the aural equivalent of having warm waves lapping against your ankles in summer. Grab a beach towel and a pillow and brood without despair. Gheorghe Rusu
RAMPART Director: Oren Moverman
ANGELS OF DARKNESS, DEMONS OF LIGHT II FILM Tough, no-nonsense police officer Da-
M USIC Here’s why you should know who
Earth are. Their leader and guitarist Dylan and a certain Kurt were at one time college roommates, then best friends, then spoon-fiends. Dylan made music too. Real slow music, but Kurt dug it and they might’ve even shared 24
BAGGOT STREET WINES Upper Baggot Street, Dublin 4 Just six months after opening, this new off-license seems to be going from strength to strength. This may be partly down to the fact that it’s in a fairly affluent part of the city, but it’s no doubt also because of the very friendly and k n owl e d ge ab l e staff. With such a vast selection of quality wines and beers on offer, I was surprised by how much they were able to tell me about specific products. Encouragingly, they stock some Portuguese wine, which is so often underrated and underrepresented. Their beer selection is quite heavy on American imports, but there is also a strong showing for Irish microbreweries. The prices are pretty good too, and, coincidentally, this issue’s featured beer (which can be found all the way back on page 5 under the Street Style) or any beer from the same brewery, are on offer at six for twelve euro. Aaron Devine DRINK
family life is also causing him stress, his two ex-wives and two daughters, who all live together under the one roof, agreeing to throw him out of their house. Resorting to frequenting S&M nightclubs and using his influence as an officer of the law to extort money, Brown’s mental state begins to become as corrupt as his police procedure. Well acted and tightly scripted (L.A Confidential author James Ellroy gets a co-writing credit), Rampart is a decent cop thriller that hinges on a career-defining performance from Woody Harrelson, who is excellent throughout. The film is influenced by real-life incidents such as the Rodney King case and blends them with more fictional elements from movies such as Bad Lieutenant and Colors, and although this does work extremely well, director Moverman (The Messenger) does his best to derail proceedings by using bizarre camera set-ups and out of focus shots that only cause annoyance to the viewer. Rampart is a decent effort nonetheless, and perhaps with some tinkering and fine-tuning, could have been a classic. Robert O’Reilly
vid Brown (Woody Harrelson) finds himself facing charges of misconduct with the LAPD after savagely beating up a Mexican man who crashes into his car, camcorder footage of the incident finding its way onto national television. Detective Brown is also under suspicion for murdering a serial date-rapist a few years previously, and as if all this wasn’t enough,
GUILT Y PLE ASU RES
ASSASSINATE SOMEBODY Cormac Cassidy hunts the most dangerous game with The Science Fiction Society during Rag Week rom daily piercings to life without technology, this year our Ents officer and CSC Chair demonstrated that RAG Week encourages extremes. The Science Fiction society game of Assassin is an annual opportunity for you to participate and is always the highlight of my RAG week. It’s your chance to play Jason Bourne or any recent fictionalised form of Liam Neeson and refer to someone as a “mark”. The game is simple; you are given the name of a fellow participant to find and kill (attach a sticker to). Once you kill them, you get their target. The best hunter with the most scalps at the week’s end wins. Remember, in the context of Assassin you need to heed every cliché. Friends become enemies but still may be worth keeping close. That said, always keep a physical distance. ONE: This game begins before you are in it. Hide yourself from the TCD student finder the night before the game begins. If someone can find your email address they can find out much more. Likewise, change your name on Facebook to something completely inconspicuous. If your name is Cormac Cassidy, change it to something common like Tom Kelly. The reason you simply can’t deactivate your account is that you will need it for your own investigations. T WO: Disappear. Remember, before you get any great predatorial ideas, don’t die first. That means forgetting any and all routines. You will not go to lectures. You will not go to tutorials. You are not going to the gym as you would every Thursday morning. You will not wear the same clothes as usual. You will not use the same bus stop as per normal. You will not talk about Assassin. Everything changes for this week. FOU R: The most important thing to do in Assassin is to respect the role of “friends”. Assassin represents the spirit of RAG Week deliciously; it brings out the worst in people while raising money for mystery charities. Your friends and your mark’s friends play a crucial role in your success or failure. Why? Because your mates enjoy seeing you embarrassed/fail/humiliated. They want to see you publicly shamed, so they may well rat you out. Don’t spend time with them in public either; it makes you an easy target. Conversely, your target’s friends will want to see their own bunch fail too. Contact these potentially poisonous people (obviously under the premise of a false identity, just in case) and suggest they help you trap your target if you’re having difficulty. That’s a high risk strategy mind. FIVE: Enjoy the sweet, sweet moment when you track someone down and kill them. The disproportionate level of your adrenaline rush sends you into a state of pure ecstasy. Enjoy the very public nature of humiliating your target. That is what this game is all about. SIX: Do not fuck around while feeling good. Be a good addict and immediately feel a desire for more. You’ve had your moment, now ensure that you aren’t the next one dumped into that ‘shamed’ category. Grab the deceased’s target and get out of there. If your assassin infiltrates your determined friends and finds out who your target is, then they can trace you to that target and fell you when you allow yourself a moment.Once it’s all over don’t chalk if off as a wasted week, but rather feel good that you’ve made your contribution to the charity of RAG Week. You played your part, well done.
ROBBIE WILLIAMS by Alex Towers
“Remember, in the context of being an assassin you need to heed every cliché ...friends can become enemies but may still be worth keeping close”
hold the dubious honour of having written the first Guilty Pleasures for Tn2 when the column was started two years ago. I decided to profess my addiction to the Gilmore Girls and then was subjected to six months of insults and insinuations. Since then I’ve had some trepidation about returning to this published confession booth. I’ve always thought a guilty pleasure should be something you genuinely try and hide from people: like when you change the channel from Toddlers & Tiaras when someone comes in or the Ke$ha song you rename as “Adebisi Shank- Rare B Side” on your iPod. I think that liking them should create feelings of shame, humiliation and a bit of actual guilt. This brings us to Robbie Williams. I happened to be in an Irish primary school at the exact time Robbie Williams became big. Girls would write his name in red biro on their arms and bring in radios so that they could tune in to hear him croon “Millennium” during big break. But I only took notice after he spent an evening mooning and insulting the audience at a Slane Castle concert. This wasn’t what pop stars were supposed to do. They weren’t supposed to act like borderline sociopaths. While Westlife were covering “Uptown Girl” and Ronan Keating was singing about preferring his women quiet, Williams was rapping answers to questions as to whether he cared for sodomy (“I don’t know…yeah probably”) and pulling off his skin to try and impress rollerskating models in the video for “Rock DJ”. Although I’ll admit he is vocally limited, that doesn’t mean you should tune out. In the songs where he wasn’t screaming about his addictions or pretending to have an abusive father he was moaning about missing Gary Barlow (like in “No Regrets”, which was marketed to teenage girls as “sensitive Robbie” but is really one of the most bitterly cynical break up songs written.) The thing I really admire though is the combining of his sheer madness with the pop star aesthetic. People say Kanye West is egotistical, but he never photoshopped his own face onto every member of a winning football team for an album cover, or secretly showed the house of a movie star neighbour on MTV Cribs after deciding his own was too small and messy. “Come Undone” is probably the best example of his contradictory self-hatred encapsulated in a “pop song”, a lament against celebrity vacuity that ends with a quietly desperate fade out repetition of “I am scum.” Williams has never seemed remotely at ease in his own skin and as a result seems to ping-pong from self-destruction to career sabotage to Take That reunions to rehab. Considering the manufactured drivel in the charts nowadays, I for one miss the days when Williams was there to add a touch of mania to proceedings. So the next time your Mum sticks on “Let Me Entertain You” when she throws a boozy dinner party, give the lunatic a chance. 25
WHITE DEVILS LIKE IT Karl McDonald
ou know what art is, right? You heard the Rubberbandits very slowly explain what a joke is to the nation on Liveline. You know that Leonardo Di Caprio’s not actually dead even though he let his girl have the plank when their ship hit an iceberg and they were forced to float for their lives. So why is it that you’re mad at that rapper for what he’s saying? I’ll tell you, don’t worry. It’s partially because you are misreading rap music because of the emphasis on authenticity that’s projected within its songs and its culture. And it’s partially to do with racism. Rap music is black culture and even as it expands and evolves it remains specifically black culture in a way that stopped being true of the other genres of black music that white America adopted. Its demography means that it provides a very powerful outlet for expression to people who are for the most part alienated from the operation of high culture. What’s interesting, though, is that it is often dismissed or even attacked by the kind of people who would like to be perceived as progressive. Feminists, for example, tend to take issue with the type of male-female relationship typically implied. There’s something a little unsettling about the fact that The Wire is held up as high culture when rap music is ostracised. Sure, you could make the argument that The Wire has an ultimately positive message within its portrayal of gangs, drug addicts and dysfunctional families, but ultimately it is a portrayal of black America mediated by white people. It’s fine to enjoy a fictional murderous drug lord as long as he’s not telling you the story himself. People have been trying to square their liberal values with rap music since it stopped being about raising the roof and started being about shooting police, and they’re still doing it. Last year, when Odd Future rose to prominence, thinkpieces about Tyler and Earl’s “hateful lyrics” spewed forth onto Macbook Pro screens across the world of the supposedly enlightened. Hermione Hoby wrote an article in The Guardian about them in which she bizarrely managed to understand that she was being condescending whilst still ending the article by stating that she was hoping Tyler had “grown out of the rape fantasies and woken up to how smart he is.” Because, of course, smart people cannot create art that involves rape. Unless they’re, you know, Shakespeare, or David Chase, or Ovid. It’s especially galling because she actually quotes Jay-Z, who’s at the stage in his career where he can make coffee table books devoted to the task of convincing people 26
“Is the ideal situation a world where there is no misogyny at all in rap music?”
like Hermione Hoby that rap is a legitimate art form, saying that “the rapper’s character is essentially a conceit, a first-person literary creation.” But she still manages to strip Tyler of his agency because of his lyrical content. Jay-Z has it, essentially, and it’s a pity people still manage not to listen to him. It might be difficult to absorb if you’re not great at thinking or you’re particularly attached to complaining, but a rapper creates a persona, and the persona raps the song. Sometimes it’s incredibly obvious, like with Doom or Rick Ross or Lil B. Other times it’s much more cloudy, like with 2Pac or Drake or Jay-Z himself. But it’s the case. There are layers to this. Getting genuinely angry about lyrical content in rap music comes from assuming a one-to-one relationship between artist and art, as if a rapper was a preacher delivering a sermon or a political candidate at a rally. It’s a denial of artistic privilege, and it’s hard not to consider it racist. Australian music writer Jake Cleland told a story a few weeks ago about meeting a group of girls on a train to a festival where Odd Future, Das Racist and Kanye West were playing. He was not surprised to hear that they were avoiding Odd Future, but he was thrown by their aversion to Kanye. Misogyny is misogyny and an artist is either misogynistic or is not. Das Racist are not. The girls went to see them, but not the other two. This attitude seems laudable, an example of living by your values, but it also leads to a question: is the ideal situation a world where there is no misogyny at all in rap music? For a lot of people, it probably is. But make no mistake, to desire that is to sit on a high throne of privilege, projecting your values onto a form of expression that has nothing to do with you or what you think. It’s like wishing away a roots reggae artist because you don’t like smoking weed. Criticism is fine and desirable, but it would be nice to have it done with the understanding that a) rap music is legitimate art, b) rappers know what they are doing, and c) cultures different to your own can have values different to yours. If you’re looking for more of Karl, why not download his podcast, Them’s The Vagaries? It would make his day: http://themsthevagaries. tumblr.com/
THURSDAY NIGHT— BUTTON FACTORY, TEMPLE BAR 11PM—3AM €8 entry €5 with Concession WITH MUSIC FROM: KANYE WEST MISSY ELLIOT LUDACRIS WU TANG CLAN LIL KIM NOTORIOUS B.I.G. OUTKAST WILL SMITH TUPAC A TRIBE CALLED QUEST XZIBIT SEAN PAUL JAY Z NICKI MINAJ DRAKE AZEALIA BANKS USHER
NAUGHTY BY NATURE RICK ROSS DR DRE R KELLY BEASTIE BOYS N.W.A. N.E.R.D EMINEM DESTINY’S CHILD RUN DMC JA RULE BUSTA RHYMES SNOOP DOGG Q TIP NAS WIZ KHALIFA KID CUDI TINNIE TEMPAH
BOTTLE 33CL BEER €3 ALCO POPS €2.50 VODKA AND ENERGY €3.50 / DOUBLE €6.50 SELECTED SHOTS €2.50 GLASS OF WINE €3 PINTS €3.50 3 JAGERBOMBS €10
BUTTON FACTORY HIP-HOP THURSDAYS EMAIL NOTORIOUSDUBLIN@GMAIL.COM TO BOOK A TABLE FOR YOUR GROUP 27