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o-two 2nd Nov 2010 Issue 4 Vol. XVII

The University Observer’s Arts & Culture Supplement

Tiger Eyes Songstress KT Tunstall tells o-two about the challenges facing female musicians and her change in musical direction

+inside

> Super Mario turns 25 > Fashion blogs > Another Year > The Pulpit


Contents

03 REGULARS

14 HEADLINER

WHAT’S HOT & WHAT’S NOT Alison Lee tells you what’s cool.

16 FILM

SOAPBOX Natalie Voorheis is sick and tired of Trinity students’ pity.

SHOW PATROL Keeping you in the know for events coming up. ATTEMPTS Paul Fennessy tries to kick his caffeine habit.

06 HEAD TO HEAD

– Richard Drumm doesn’t get all the hype about X Factor and Rachel O’Neill couldn’t disagree more.

07 THEATRE INTERVIEW

– o-two talks to Frank McGuinness about adapting Ibsen.

08 TRAVEL

– All the secrets Paris has to offer brought to you by Rachel O’Neill. – Sarah Doran has tips and hints for any potential Berlin visitors.

09 WEBWATCH

– Where DIY meets WTF, regretsy.com, as explained by Ethan Troy-Barnes.

10 HOROSCOPES

– Cancer need not bother reading Mittens this week – far too depressing.

11 FASHION

– Kieran Murphy has a deep and meaningful chat with some fashion bloggers. – Foot fetishists are in for a double spread treat this issue.

– Talking tigers, her new album and the future, KT Tunstall speaks to Grace Murphy. REVIEWS – Jackass 3D, Another Year and Animal Kingdom all reviewed in depth for our loyal readers this issue. TOP TEN Just in the nick of time, o-two brings you the best non-scary horrors. TV The Hardy Bucks lads feel the scornful and judging eyes of Conor O’Nolan scanning them and Kieran Murphy looks at all those lovely girls on Americas Next Top Model.

20 GAMES

– Celebrate 25 years of Super Mario with our retro review. – Pirates, an island and retro graphics – The Secret of Monkey Island reviewed.

21 MUSIC

INTERVIEWS – o-two interviews hit artists Roll Deep, Trentemøller and Bowling for Soup, along with promising newcomers The Mariner’s Children and Tiger Cooke. SHUFFLE – All those songs you once loved, ruined by pale imitators. WRITE LIKE APES – The fourth edition from our writing Apes, with MayKay.

26 FOOD AND DRINK

– A lovely trip to Seapoint restaurant has Elaine Lavery raving. – Killian Woods seeks out bizarre delicacies.

28 BACK PAGE

– Campus band The Pulpit chat to Lorenz Beyer. – Talking to o-two is a sign of strength.

Letter from the Eds O hai readers, The leaves are falling off the trees, it’s getting cold and mid-term exams are offering the first potential pants-wetting experience of the ongoing exam rollercoaster. However, life goes on and procrastination still remains students’ favourite pastime. Normally editorials should have hardhitting truth bombs about the various cancers of modern society, but here at o-two we say kick back with some puffer fish and read our trashy mag. o-two had a serious problem two weeks ago as our whole email system crashed thanks to the droves of people entering our competition to win The Social Network t-shirts. We hope all you lucky winners enjoy your prizes. On a serious note, due to the sheer volume of emails being received, it is unrealistic for our resident sex columnist Fadora McSexypants HGV to answer all your queries. Do continue to read her column, which always has delightful advice for those of you who are into that sort of thing. This issue, we are delighted to bring you a fantastic interview with KT (not Katie) Tunstall. o-two Music Editor, Grace Murphy, chats about tigers and the future for the Scottish singer-songwriter. Meanwhile, Jon Hozier-Byrne hits you up with Oscar shoe-in Jackass 3D and Kieran Murphy gets feet and puts shoes on them, all in the name of fashion. Till next time, Emer and Killian


Rant

o-two

No hipster Trinity English student is going to tell Natalie Voorheis that her degree is inferior to theirs

R

ecently, I got chatting to a guy whose nan’s sister’s grandchild was a neighbour before I could walk or talk. Having one of those textbook awkward conversations, which happen with people you don’t know but are obliged to be polite to, he mentioned he was in English at Trinity. Blessing God that we finally had the makings of a relatively bearable conversation, I explained that I was also studying English, but in UCD. While opening my mouth to clarify that I am, in fact, a joint major Arts student, he cut across me and vehemently launched into a tirade against all things Arts. He pontificated at length about how awful it was for me in UCD where, shock horror, they have the straight English students mixed in with those taking English through general Arts. The inclusion of these “yobs,” he told me, was “such a drag,” before explaining how it was devastating to the standard of my education. Presumptuously, he extended a hand of sympathy to me for my situation, a hand which, all things considered, he was lucky he didn’t get chopped off. Any Trinity Arts student worth their salt, for example, would have you believe that a culchie has never set foot on their

campus. They’ll also tell you that there is a special magnet in the Arts building that keeps them grounded out there. Similarly, UCD Arts students continually wonder about the strange subsection of people with bad eyesight that have sprung up in Trinity, requiring all those blackrimmed oversized glasses. If you’re not a hipster, D4 or culchie, you’re something else which an Arts student somewhere will no doubt find a derogatory term for. Trinity and UCD Arts students can barely mingle anymore, so intense are their opinions of each other. For a group of students in third-level education, we seem to be unable to apply even the most basic powers of rational thought with regard to each other. But whatever about these stereotypes; let no one insult the validity of my college education. The guy in the pub and so many Trinity students I have encountered are of the opinion that their arts courses are fundamentally of greater educational merit than ours. The facts are that single major degrees are Arts and that we all leave college after 120 hard-won credits with a BA in our respective fields. We are equal. Your accent, what you wear or where you party will never have the power to change this, so take off those stupid glasses and see the truth, Trinity.

HOT NOT

&

Need something hot to assuage the forthcoming November breeze? Alison Lee provides the answers to your prayers

What’s Hot

SOAPBOX

WHAT’S WHAT’S

What’s Not

19 October 2010

Freddy Mercury

The colour Come Around purple Sundown

Sacha Baron Cohen is set to star in a movie chronicling the life of Queen frontman, which apparently does not focus on Mercury’s premature death from AIDS, instead treating his life with tact and sensitivity. Should be interesting to see how the man who brought us Ali G and Borat handles being tactful and sensitive.

Some say it’s the colour of royalty, others say it’s the colour of sexual frustration. Either way, anything from lilac to violet is in this season. So whether you have blue blood or whether you’re just gagging for it, be sure to include some in your winter wardrobe. In the form of coats, scarves, hats, tops and gloves, purple is ubiquitous for winter.

It’s hard to believe the Kings of Leon have released five albums. It seems like only yesterday they were being touted as the next big thing. Now they are officially the big thing and this new record sees their signature sound maturing like a rock version of high quality cheddar cheese and cements their place as rock gods.

The Late Late Jogging Toy Show in November

Andrea Corr as Jane Eyre

The Late Late Show’s seasonal cheese-fest airs in November this year. How dare RTE ignore the sacred tradition of broadcasting the hallowed Toy Show in December. How are we supposed to get into the Christmas spirit when Ryan and co. play with toys a full month before December 25th? Bah humbug to this, says o-two.

Orson Welles, Michael Gambon and Ralph Fiennes are just some of the theatrical legends who have bestrode the stage of Dublin’s Gate theatre. They’ll soon be joined by Andrea Corr, one of Ireland’s favourite lovely girls, who plays Jane Eyre in this winter’s token period drama. She may be “irresistible” but can she act?

Cancelling your gym membership to save some cash and going jogging instead seemed like such a fantastic idea in July. Now winter is well and truly with us, the sun rises late and sets early, and it won’t be long before frost and ice make that morning run an even more daunting prospect.


Advice

o-two 2 November 2010 4

Each week, our resident sexpert, feminist and pog-champion Fadora McSexypants answers your questions on love, lust, and life Yo bitch, I have uggo friends? They’re, like, mega uggo. All the time they seem to be uggo and up in this bitch’s face? What should I do, lol? Bitches be out, Keeva in Killiney

Good evening Keeva. It seems you’re in the middle of a tight spot that I find myself in almost every day: being surrounded by people not as attractive as you. As anyone who’s ever walked into the Science building knows, it can be a daunting experience. You’re faced with a dilemma. On one hand, no one wants to be around ugly people, for fear that you

Show Patrol November 2nd

The Olympia – €39.20

The Doobie Brothers – The Grand Canal Theatre – €54.80 Keith Farnan – The Projects Arts Centre – €12/€15

The Deans – Whelan’s – €8/€10 Shane Davis – Whelan’s Upstairs – €tbc

November 3rd

Cancer Bats – Academy 2 – €13.50 The Mystery Jets – The Academy – €18

November 4th

Chromeo – Tripod –€20 Dan le Sac Vs Scroobius Pip – The Workmans Club –€18.50

November 5th Tokyo Police Club – The Academy –€17 Therapy? – Vicar Street – €28

November 6th

Paramore – The O2 –€38/€41 O Emperor – The Sugar Club – €15 God is an Astronaut – The Academy – €22

November 7th

Midlake – Whelan’s –€27 Simple Red – The O2 – €49.20/€58.30/€60.80

November 8th

Love Amongst Ruin – The Academy – €13.59 Avenge Sevenfold –

November 10th November 11th

Gorillaz – The O2 – €59.80 Nouvelle Vague – Tripod – €20 Octopussy – The Academy – €4

November 12th

M.I.A. – Tripod – €38.50 Rodrigo y Gabriela – The Grand Canal – €30/€35/€39.20 Martin Stephenson – Whelan’s – €17.45

November 13th

Chilly Gonzales – The Sugar Club – €19.85 Lost Boy – The Academy 2 – €23

November 14th

Michael Forever – The Sugar Club – €18.45 Rhod Gilbert – Vicar Street – €tbc

November 15th

Diana Vickers – The Academy – €19 Foals – The Olympia – €23.50 Carl Barat – The Academy 2 – €16 Gruff Rhys – The Sugar Club – €20 Local Natives – The Village – €16.50 The Walkmen – Tripod – €22.50

might catch inferior genetics. By definition, ugly people have nothing interesting to say, and are boring to be around. Why talk to ugly people when you can spit at them, as you would a dog? On the other hand, God put the facially challenged on this earth for a reason. Ugly people make the rest of us, the ‘uber-frau’ if you will, look good. If there were no ugly people, we wouldn’t have anyone to affirm that we’re better then everyone else. Think about it for a moment. If there were no ugly people, who would fetch our coats, clean our spacious houses, or read our newspaper columns? Just imagine a world without the visually dull, the plain Janes, and the flat-out uggos. Sure, there would be positive aspects, everyone would have perfect teeth, but the price we’d pay is having no one look up to us, no one with whom our radiance contrasts. Just as the dark is simply the absence of light, so is beauty simply the presence of the ugly. So, Keeva, try not to be too hard on your doublebagger friends. Sure, they may be more impasto then oil painting, and sure, they wouldn’t even be able to get a quick shift in a FAS office, and sure, maybe they when they were born the doctor tried to put them back in, but... I’ve forgotten where I was going with this. Love and implants, Fadora McSexypants, HGV. Next week, Fadora explains why you don’t literally ‘blow’. Send your relationship and sexual queries to mcsexypants@universityobserver.ie

Gig of the Fortnight: Darwin Deez November 9th – The Academy – €14.50 Musical man of the moment Darwin Deez returns to Dublin for his first headline show in the city. With his self-titled debut album under his trendiest hipster belt, Deez will be stopping by the Academy on November 9th, with support from Ireland’s RAMS’ Pocket Radio. The set list is certain to include charming singles ‘Radar Detector’, ‘Up in Clouds’, and most recent release ‘Constellations’. Audiences should also expect dance moves to push the boundaries of hip movement even further. Hopefully Mr Deez will even drop ‘The Spring Dance’, but expect dreamy vocals and snappy indie pop to make you smile, and quench those November blues.


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2 November 2010

ATtempts

o-two

o-two Attempts

kicking caffeine

Inveterate caffeine addict Paul Fennessy chronicles his failed period of rehabilitation from the cursed drug

A

certain colleague at The University Observer, let’s just call her ‘Mom’, has been expressing concerns about my health lately. Being involved in student journalism requires far more energy and late-night work than people would imagine and thus, a prodigious consumption of caffeine is practically mandatory. It came to the point where, last weekend, it was recommended that I reduce my intake of all-things-caffeine-related. Being the sadist that I am, I figured I might as well go the whole hog and renounce my unsavoury habit entirely. Unfortunately, this proved to be more difficult than was initially expected. Getting me to give up caffeine is a bit like telling Jesus to ditch the whole religious shtick. It’s nigh on unfathomable. Aside from causing me to perpetually compare myself to the Lord Almighty, caffeine induces a plethora of other idiosyncratic mannerisms in yours truly. From listening to Animal Collective on a regular basis (the band’s unyielding hyperactivity could appeal only to a chronic coffee addict) to rendering myself girly by acquiring a taste for vodka and coke (purely for the caffeine hit as opposed to any homoerotic reasons), my life has been laced with numerous shenanigans ever since this influence permeated my being. And so, it was with a heavy heart that I readily allayed my caffeine proclivities temporarily. Indeed, I have frequently claimed that I am willing to die for the sake of journalism. Yet I never anticipated coming so close to reaching this fate in the form of my enhancement-deprived body sprawled across the office desk, clutching an empty mug in vain whilst mumbling “KILL URSELF” over and over. Going cold turkey on the first day was not too bad – assuming you interpret ‘not too bad’ as code for extremely hellacious to the point that it made every bodily movement seem so laborious that the simple act of getting out of bed became a struggle of epic proportions, replete (in my increasing feverish imagination) with a sensationalistic Hollywood blockbuster-style soundtrack. Of course, getting out of bed would turn out to be the least of my concerns. Sod’s law determined that my week of caffeine abstinence would coincide with the onset of the worst kind of cold. You know the sort; it meticulously goes through all the various stages day by ever-moreexcruciating day – the sore throat, the perpetually snotty nose, the infernal cough in which you spend what seems like hours glumly undergoing the hopeless pursuit of extracting the palpable but evasive phlegm from the vast reaches of your innards. And yet the situation simply required a nice (though depressingly unattainable) warm cup of tea, so I could drink my traumas away. In addition to significantly impeding my convalescence, I felt slightly stoned and incredibly weary; such was the dramatic extent of my docile state

Coffee beans: Enough to turn Paul Fennessy into a crazed addict. following the enforced absence of caffeine from my bloodstream. Having trudged out of bed and walked meekly to college with breakfast-in-hand (I got up late you see), I sat slumped at my desk drifting in and out of consciousness while reading what seemed like a more pointless and boring newspaper article than usual. What’s more, my abstruse music tastes began to dissipate and new, unsettling insights arose. Glee didn’t seem so bad after all and I even felt inclined to sing along to X Factor songs. But it wasn’t until I developed a sudden fondness for the music of Tom Petty when I acknowledged that my worst nightmare had been realised – I was, like, so mainstream. However, aside from the many aforementioned distressing occurrences which it entailed, giving up caffeine also proved beneficial in some ways. Time seemingly moved at a more gradual pace in a manner that felt refreshing and enabled me to exude a calmer countenance. Urgent problems which required immediate attention turned into minor pains in the ass that could be dealt with in the not-too-distant future (whenever that might be). Furthermore, the urge to respond to that gargantuan

array of unanswered emails was replaced by a hankering to grant my over-worked posterior some much-needed couch time. Perhaps Two and a Half Men was watchable after all. Calmness descended over me thereafter and I felt like The Dude in The Big Lebowski. Luckily or sadly depending on your perspective, my caffeine-free spell from hell has now elapsed. I would hardly have been able to muster up the willpower to write this piece otherwise. But I have learned a few home truths for my troubles. The obvious realisation was never to give up caffeine amidst a busy period. My biological psychology lecturer used to warn me of the danger of going off coffee in the lead up to exams. And now I know she wasn’t telling porkies. I have also learned the importance of avoiding extremes. While completely eliminating caffeine from my diet is a senseless act, it is equally idiotic to guzzle in excess of three or four cups a day. Therefore, I am now a more rounded human being who is possessing of a depth of knowledge that is richer than the taste of those sumptuous Nine One One-produced Americanos. Thanks Mom! [You’re very welcome, Paul! – ed].


HEAD to HEAD

o-two 2 November 2010 6

X Marks the Spot?

In between ad breaks, Richard Drumm and Rachel O’Neill debate the relevance of X Factor Rachel: Okay so here's my first question Mr. Drumm, did you see the last episode of X Factor?

Richard:

No I most certainly did not. My eyes would have gouged

themselves out.

Rachel: That’s a very interesting point. So you mean to tell me that you’re

entering into a debate on the merits and alleged downfalls of something you haven't even bothered to research? Seeing as you appear completely ignorant of the facts, let me bring things back to basics. In terms of successful entertainment, we need a few core elements, a bit of flashiness to get the ball rolling, drama, conflict, a baddie, a hero, the underdog. X Factor is a one-stop shop for all of these things. I’ll admit that the producers might run away with themselves and you get that feeling of embarrassment, like when your Da starts belting out the tunes after a few pints, but so what! You still love him at the end of the day, right? And that’s the same relationship the public have with X Factor.

Richard:

While this is mostly true, this entertainment you worship is just built on lies and starving children. It’s all just a pretence to take your money and make you buy crap you don’t want. The text votes alone must bring in millions, not to mention the fact that Simon Cowell is getting an insane amount of free market research. So when ‘Generic Sob Story 5’ wins this year, he knows exactly who his market is, he’ll get his Xmas No.1 and then let them fade into obscurity.

Rachel:

You’re just clutching at straws! X Factor is like Ronseal. They say they’re looking for a ready-made pop star who’ll sell records, generate attention and basically make Simon Cowell and co shed loads of cash. Nobody’s denying that fact. But the calibre of contestants cannot be denied even by the most cynical of you. Tell me my friend, how exactly you can slate this programme offering fun for all the family? You know the government could launch this as part of a family bonding initiative. Dad loves old rocker Storm, who he thinks he could sing just as well as if not better. Mam loves sweet Matt Cardle, the lovely lad from next door. Your brother can’t choose between Belle Amie, Gwen Stefani lookalike Katie and shy scouser Rebecca Ferguson. And for yours truly – One Direction – enough said.

Richard:

But think of the amazing things these bright people might be achieving if they weren’t spending three straight hours, if not more, having their brains assaulted by lowbrow, average, false ‘entertainment’. It’s all the fake emotion that gets me. Oh look, they’re inside his house looking at the family. They don’t know yet that he got through. Except wait, the camera crew is in there. Oh of course, THEY’RE ACTING.

Rachel: Oh now, somebody clearly hasn’t done their homework. Contestants are told at bootcamp whether they’ve gotten through to the judges houses. The only people present are other contestants and the judges. Not a sobbing nanny in sight. And the process is even more intimate when it comes to deciding who’s made it through to the live finals, as it’s just the judges and the contestants themselves... So I'm happy to say you’re misconception of X Factor is exactly that.

Richard:

Well back in the dark days of my youth when I actually did watch it, things were done a little differently and all this fake emotion was present. However, if what you say is true and they’ve done away with all that, then that somehow makes it worse. People are tuning in to watch a load of robots talk in a scripted manner before giving away their money to someone who really doesn’t need it, so that they can tune in the next week and repeat the process. Entertainment? Ha. If it wasn’t too popular, then it would be fine. But so many people get so engrossed in it. It’s so shallow and sterile. It distracts people from the real issues in the world. Newspapers shouldn’t be clogged with gossip from a show that’s so false they might as well have a script writer if they don’t already.

Rachel: Might I just say referring to your previous point that it appears you

assume an awful lot about this show without giving it a chance. You have to give credit where it’s due and X Factor provides an overarching variety of artists on the show. Modifications have been made to the age limits on categories so that contestants are assigned to the right age group and appropriate competitors. Love it or hate it, X Factor as you’ve pointed out, is all we’re talking about. This very debate serves to cement its popularity from my point of view, or notoriety from the more cynical approach. Either way, X Factor fever has come to town.


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2 November 2010

Interview

o-two

Exploring Ibsen

Esteemed playwright and UCD lecturer Professor Frank McGuinness speaks to Paul Fennessy about his latest Ibsen adaptation and his unyielding love of Shakespeare

“D

o you believe in the supernatural?” These were the first words I ever heard spoken, booming across a rapt Theatre L, from the lips of Professor Frank McGuinness in his inimitable Donegal brogue. They were of course in reference to the question which, according to McGuinness, Shakespeare forces his readers to confront at the beginning of Macbeth. In my impressionable first-year mind, the play suddenly took on a resonance entirely disparate from the cold, formulaic Leaving Cert-style readings with which I had previously associated the work. Four years on, McGuinness’ passion for Shakespeare’s works remains undimmed, yet it is Henrik Ibsen – a playwright that he in fact considers to be “the key European figure since Shakespeare” – whom he is currently bringing to the attention of the Irish theatregoing public. Starring Alan Rickman and Fiona Shaw, McGuinness’ adaptation of John Gabriel Borkman has consistently played to sold out audiences at the Abbey theatre. While it may have a somewhat morose reputation, Ibsen’s penultimate play bears unmistakable relevance to contemporary times, given how the title character is a failed banker. Did these obvious parallels to the financial crisis provoke McGuinness into staging the play, or was the work’s imitation of life a happy coincidence? “Or an unhappy coincidence,” McGuinness laughs. “That’s absolutely the case. I think over the last two or three years, the thing with the Abbey, they’ve kind of known that the times would be appropriate for the play to be put on. But that didn’t in any way attract me to it initially. I was much more attracted to the nature of the family and the family destroying itself. “I think that a play must speak for itself,” he continues. “I think that’s the best way to let things stand because I don’t want to improve on Ibsen, or make Ibsen relevant. Ibsen knows what he’s doing. Ibsen makes himself relevant.” In addition to its stark contemporary significance, McGuinness attributes the play’s current popularity with its ability to derive humour from the bleakest of circumstances. “Borkman himself, in his sheer self-obsession and his selfishness, in his greed and in the selfassertion he has, is ultimately quite a comic character,” he says. “He has done terrible things to his people. He has brought great ruin on his people, on his family and on his society, but there is that sheer naked expression that is bleakly comic as well. This is one of the great powers of the play and Ibsen never loses sight of that.” In conjunction with this latest venture,

“There’s not a writer worth a damn who hasn’t faced the horror of losing it or not being able to keep going”

McGuiness began his writing career in 1982 with The Factory Girls. McGuinness has also written two other adaptations of Ibsen’s works in recent years, bringing the total number of the Norwegian’s plays that he has worked on to nine. Furthermore, McGuinness is fresh from finishing The Hanging Gardens – an original work set to be performed in the Lyric Theatre in Belfast, whose plot he rather cryptically describes as focusing on “a mind losing control of itself”. Given this prolific output of plays, is he forced to adhere to a meticulous schedule in order to combine writing with his academic commitments in UCD? “There’s no fixed routine actually,” he says. “[Teaching] kind of gets me out of the house and gets me out of my own head, which I find necessary. Also, what I find is that by exposing yourself to a different generation, then you’re stepping out from your ivory tower and people are coming at things from a radically different angle and bringing their sense of experience to bear on a text.” In addition to the hours he spends rigorously analysing the likes of Shakespeare, McGuinness is also Professor of Creative Writing at UCD. When quizzed on the topic, he provides some useful advice for aspiring writers.

“Half the battle is self-belief and the other half is having a hard neck to last. The one quality I really wish to anyone starting off writing is stamina. “Because you’re going to get hard knocks at every stage of your career – some of which can silence you if you’re not careful,” he continues, giving the impression of someone who has had to cope with their fair share of vitriol. “And that happens at every stage of your career and to every writer. It may look as if some are charmed or blessed with their success, but there’s not a writer worth a damn who hasn’t faced the horror of losing it or not being able to keep going.” McGuinness speaks with the fervour of someone for whom the theatre is so integral to their being that it is practically coursing through the veins. And yet for all his praise of Ibsen and Tennessee Williams among others, it is Shakespeare, and in particular A Winter’s Tale, that remains his number one love. “It makes me glad to be on the earth,” he reveals. “It makes me glad that I can speak English. And it makes me glad that I’m working in theatre.” John Gabriel Borkman is running until November 20th in the Abbey Theatre and is reviewed on page 27.


TRAVEL

o-two 2 November 2010 8

Ich bin ein Berliner I

Berlin’s exciting nightlife proves popular with students.

With its exuberant nightlife, efficient transport system and friendly inhabitants, Berlin proves ideal for a trip away, writes Sarah Doran

had never visited a city that was in a sense, technically younger than I am until I set foot in the German capital. The Berlin Wall officially fell eight days after my birth. 21 years on and the EastWest divide still perturbs the tourist. To stay in the East or West? I journeyed to Berlin to investigate for myself. Ryanair and Aer Lingus operate frequent flights to Berlin’s Schönefeld airport. Getting around Berlin could not be easier. Buses, trams and trains are at your disposal. The U-Bahn and S-Bahn link up at numerous stations, providing over and underground transport that is both efficient and comfortable. Invest in a Berlin Welcome Card when you arrive at the airport; it’s fantastic value for money, offering you unlimited use of the city’s public transport for a set period of time. Staying in a pretty well-known chain hotel in the Friedricshain area of East Berlin, I found myself in quite comfortable surroundings. Perhaps I didn’t journey far enough into the East to encounter the reality of East Berlin. Staying near Karl-Marx-Allee, formerly Stalinallee, was as close to Soviet Russia as my adventures came. Traversing this monumental socialist boulevard, built between 1952 and 1960 by the East German Government or DDR, I learned that Berlin needed no introduction; it is simply a city that tells its own story. For history enthusiasts there are an endless list of museums, monuments and historical sites. Berlin is

one of those cities that has witnessed and played host to some of the most significant events in the history of Europe and has lived to tell the tale; a story emanates from every inch of this metropolis. From the Wall to the Gate to Checkpoint Charlie, you’ll never be short of iconic sites to see. I’d personally recommend checking out Berliner Unterwelten. This organisation offers fascinating guided tours of the city’s underground network of bunkers from both World War Two and the Cold War. Take the U-Bahn to Platz der Luftbrücke; the station is located beneath Berlin’s former city centre airport Templehof, the site of the Berlin Airlift. The grounds of this magnificent airport have been transformed into a sprawling city park. Berlin’s nightlife is second to none; numerous bars, pubs and clubs across the city operate until the early hours with very few restrictions with regard to closing times. There’s also an endless array of shops and boutiques for those looking to part with their cash. I’ll admit that I was concerned about the language barrier when travelling to Berlin; my German extends about as far as ‘danke’. With a few very basic phrases, it was surprisingly easy to converse in both German and English with enthusiastic and friendly people in most shops and restaurants; learn even a little and the effort will get you a long way. Unlike JFK I’m no ‘Berliner’, the local phrase for jam donut, but I certainly felt right at home in Berlin.

Une Amour Éternelle Whilst taking a gap year, Rachel O’Neill was seduced by the city of love

M

y love affair with Paris began as a teenager and culminated in my taking a gap year and moving there at the ripe old age of eighteen. I learned more life lessons in that one year than all the rest put together. Paris is a nation in its own right. This fact is easily discovered when you speak to other French citizens and I can confirm, without any hesitation, that my heart and soul rests firmly with the Parisiens. The following article should be thought of as a users guide to Paris. Basically if you landed there tomorrow with a map and a metro ticket, this piece underlines what you absolutely must do. It’s a well-known fact that Paris is a heavyweight

in the world of gastronomy. With such a range of restaurants, the right choice is crucial. First stop is Angelina’s Tea House, opposite the Tuilleries Gardens. Here, you can enjoy the most decadent hot chocolate (the real kind) and bask in the knowledge that you could be sitting in the very seat once occupied by Coco Chanel herself, who was a regular visitor there. Paris epitomises diversity and multiculturalism. In the hub of the Latin Quarter, you’ll find an independent bakery by the name of Paul’s. Surrounded by a quaint veranda and serving the best crêpes at the most reasonable prices, a visit is a must. By far the most animated and intriguing quartier of the city is that of the Marais – the Jewish quarter. An explosion of culture awaits you as you venture through the cobblestones, finding such gems as L’As du Falafel, where the constant queue is proof of its amazing food and the unbeatable Vintage Désir where you’ll find treasures like no other. I tend to avoid tourist areas like the Eiffel Tower. To experience what the city has to offer on a more intense level, Printemps Department Store is the place to go. On the ninth floor, there’s a cafe aptly named Déli-cieux, where you get a panoramic view of Paris at no cost. Admittedly, you are somewhat obliged to purchase something in the cafe, but I’ve

The Eiffel Tower is one of the primary tourist hangouts in Paris. been many times just to have a look. Paris is a hectic city. The atmosphere is buzzing and it really is sink or swim. There’s so much going and it’s impossible not to love that pace of life. So, if you’re feeling the same spark of intrigue that drew me in, get booking those flights now.


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2 November 2010

WEB

o-two

Homemade Hell Ever wanted that crazy item that never seems to appear on eBay? Ethan Troy-Barnes is here to help

I

n the past week I’ve realised something very distressing. My life on the internet is dreadfully boring. Only when tasked with writing about some sort of trendy website/internet phenomenon that I found interesting, did I realise how little I expand my horizons on the web. I use Facebook, YouTube, Wikipedia... I would say the list could go on, but that would be a lie. I was originally going to write about this fantastic new thing called Twitter, but apparently everyone already knows about that. So, after asking my closest webophiles what’s what, I decided Regretsy would be more apt. Regretsy, neatly summed up by its tagline: “Where DIY meets WTF”, is a site that showcases the weirdest creations on the web. It offers up a smorgasbord of the homemade, ranging from the amusing to the downright perplexing. It sources nearly all its content from the website etsy.com, which is a sort of eBay for handcrafts. However, as

Regretsy does its best to point out, homemade is not always better made. Regretsy’s hand-picked delights include the brilliant Barrack Obama-themed bag of coffee beans, a gold sequin-covered dust mask and a ‘Made to Order Real Leaf Toilet Seat’, in which many a certain type of leaf are suspended. In the description, the seller asks: “Who wouldn’t want to sit on ‘The Pot-Pot’?!’’ Classy, and a steal at only $75. In addition, Regretsy houses some genuinely scary wares. A ‘One Of A Kind Sculpted Realistic Baby Monkey Doll’ is probably the creepiest thing I came across, but it’s doubtless mild compared to what a more thorough perusal of the site would reveal. Also very funny is the fact that most of the oddities on show carry absurd price tags. If you thought the ‘Pot Pot’ good value, you’ll probably be very interested in the dust mask at a mere $20! As well as physical items, Regretsy also features ‘WTF Alchemy Requests’ - weird and wonderful requests made to the Etsy site – the best of which being one for matching Sister, Sister-style hats for someone’s twin guinea pigs. In addition, there are also more abstract things for sale, such as the tragically comic person who promises to help you find new ‘ideals’, if you’re having trouble thinking of your own ‘ideals’ for things to sell in your shop. But act fast: there’s only one of these items in stock. Regretsy is hilarious and often confounding. However, perhaps the best part of the site is that all revenue raised is donated to charitable causes – a great and, dare I say, virtuous way to kill some time on the internet.

One of many bizarre items advertised for sale.

Down to the Wire Despite Limewire's recent closure, downloading has changed music forever, writes Emer Sugrue

L

ast week saw the demise of the bafflingly popular Limewire. After a four-year battle with the Recording Industry Association of America, a federal court in New York issued a “permanent injunction” against them, shutting the operation down permanently. Although this is just one of many peer-to-peer downloading services, this ruling is ominous. The US recorded music sales fell from $14.5bn in 1999 to $7.7bn in 2009, and the blame is being laid squarely at the internet’s massive omnipresent feet. But how fair is this accusation? For the first time in human history, people have been able to separate a physical property from the intellectual property. In the past, if you wanted some music, you would buy a record or tape. You weren’t just buying the music, but the company’s production costs. Each extra record would cost the

company a small amount of money to produce and you ended up with a physical entity in your hand. Now producing extra copies has no cost at all. One MP3 costs the same to make as a hundred million. Other production costs have fallen too. Music can now be recorded cheaply by artists themselves while being distributed on MySpace and YouTube with no studio or money changing hands. Studio backing is still the way to make it big, but it’s now possible to go it alone. Over the last century, the idea of music has changed enormously, from being indivisible from a person playing an instrument or singing nearby to a piece of plastic, to nothing – it is a digital file essentially, a series of ones and zeros. It’s very hard to make people pay for that. With the rise of the internet age, it’s imperative that the existence of purely intellectual property is recognised. How

Sites like Limewire have changed the way we listen to and share music forever. to do this? I have no idea. Maybe steal all those hippies’ DeviantArt drawings, see how they like it. As for piracy itself, the Limewire decision probably won’t have much effect. There are better ways of downloading anyway, though it will probably inhibit the more technologically inept among us. Most will move on to Bittorrent, and illegal downloading will continue full flow. But the net is closing in.


Horoscopes

o-two 2 November 2010 10

Mystic Mittens

Mystic Mittens is back and she knows where you’ve been and what you’re up to

Aries

Leo

Sagittarius

(March 21 – April 20) Go find that lotto ticket from last week. d5 is a lot of money these days.

(July 24 – August 23) Some people are sheep, others are leaders. Baaaaaa.

(November 23 – December 22) You will have a lucky streak this week, but the ends won’t justify the means.

Taurus

Virgo

Capricorn

(April 21 – May 21) The answers to your midterm are: D. B. C. E. A. A. C.

(August 24 – September 23) Something may or may not occur within the next week. The crystal ball is fuzzy.

(December 23 – January 23) You will meet a long lost friend today, but may not recognise them. You will also become fond of drag queens.

Gemini

Libra

Aquarius

(May 22 – June 21) The sudden decrease in your sex drive will pass. Just take those pills you saw on the internet.

(September 24 – October 23) I know about that recurring dream you have about your cousin. So does your mother.

Cancer

Scorpio

(June 22 – July 23) So glad I’m not you right now. Orion really isn’t happy.

(October 24 – November 22) Don’t bother organising a big birthday party, no one will show up.

(January 21 – February 19) If it’s any constellation, everyone else lied about passing that MCQ last week.

Pisces (February 19 – March 20) You’re loud, obnoxious and your classmates dislike you.

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11

2 November 2010

FASHION

o-two

The New Fashion Frontline Finding fashion in new media, Kieran Murphy explores the world of fashion blogs as he talks to Anne Marie Boylan of whatshewears.ie and Jo Linehan of S-Oh-S-Ew

T

he internet has changed the way we access information in our daily lives. From watching television online, to doing a quick Wikipedia search on an essay, the web has quickly become one of the most important ways in which we devour fashion. Fashion blogs have become the new frontline of fashion in recent years and the industry has taken notice. Possibly the most famous fashion blog is The Sartorialist (http://thesartorialist.blogspot.com) set up by Scott Schuman in 2005. Schuman pioneered fashion photography in blog form by walking around New York City and just taking pictures of people that caught his eye and posting them on his blog. This ranged from people in their dirty work clothes to Karl Lagerfeld and as a result, Schuman has gone on to work for serious fashion publications in companies like publishing powerhouse Condé Nast. Bringing it closer to home, blogs have become more important in Ireland with the Irish Blog Awards running since 2008. Fashion award nominee, Anne Marie Boylan of whatshewears.ie, tells o-two that: “Bloggers are now included in press days and media days which is great, because I suppose the brand are realising that they have to reach out, that people are looking for the stuff online as well as in magazines.” Boylan started whatshewears.ie at the beginning of 2009 out of frustration, because there were no prominent Irish fashion blogs apart from RTE Fashion. With a background in websites and writing online content for the Irish Times, she set up her site. Whatshewears.ie offers readers a mix of written content and video interviews of prominent people in the fashion industry. Those who have featured include David Greene, winner of TV3's Style Wars, and most recently, style director for Grazia magazine, Paula Reed. But does Boylan believe that fashion blogs appeal more to women than fashion magazines? “I wouldn’t say it appeals more, I’d say it works hand in hand. There’ll always be a need for a magazine, like when you're visiting a hospital, or [for] women who love to sit down with a magazine in a bath or wherever. I don’t think that will ever be replaced, but I think there is a need for instant gratification for fashion. Like the morning after the Oscars, you want to see the pictures of the dresses on the red carpet.” Instant gratification has become the norm for readers, with the likes of Penneys offering copies off the catwalk within weeks. Boylan offers a degree of professionalism on whatwhewears.ie by tracking down pieces that celebrities have worn and keeping constant updates, but more importantly, she listens to what her readers want. A unique feature of the blog is the ‘Ask the Stylist’ section, where you can e-mail in your style conundrums, such as how to wear leather trousers. Readers are also given the opportunity to discuss topics such as what Cheryl Cole wore on last week’s X Factor. Furthermore, blogs have become so easy to set up in recent years. By signing up to sites such as Wordpress, bloggers can have their own personal forum to voice their opinions within seconds. One person who did just that was Jo Linehan of Mallow, Co Cork, who set up her blog S-Oh-S-Ew (http://s-oh-s-ew.blogspot.com) a year ago. She has gone on to be shortlisted in the Next

Generation of Fashion Photographers on Vogue.com. S-Oh-S-Ew is the go-to site for Cork street style, and as Linehan tells o-two: “I love fashion and I love to watch people, so I thought it would be a really fun way to document my people-watching and you can do whatever you want with a blog. Nobody’s telling you what to write about and I just thought it would be a really fun way to create an online portfolio.” Linehan goes on to explain how her blog would appeal to people more than fashion magazines, because it’s localised. “I’m taking pictures of people in Cork city, whereas Vogue can be very out of touch sometimes,” she argues. “The clothes that they feature are all designer and I suppose the good thing about my blog is that people can relate to it. I’m putting up stuff that I bought in Topshop at the weekend as opposed to a Chanel outfit, so in that way it’s probably more relatable to people.” Fashion bloggers have allowed consumers to tell the fashion world what they want. Before spotting trends meant designers sending interns out into the streets and taking photos, but now fashion bloggers have taken things into their own hands and created trends and inspiration for themselves. Hollywood and Wags are no longer people’s style icons. Nowadays, they can look up to the humble college student on their way into town. Linehan finds inspiration from a number of sources, including her sister, pictured.


FASHION

Slouched Boots - €17

If the Shoe Fits o-two 2 November 2010 12

UCD’s Ugg boot obsession is being threatened by a season of stylish winter boots, writes Sophie Lioe

W

e are constantly told that winter equals Ugg boots, but just because the temperature has dropped dramatically doesn’t mean your style has to. This season has more than enough to offer in the shoe department, as it encompasses items that will ensure comfort, warmth and style. What more could you ask for? Whether you’re racing to make a lecture on time, or you get caught in a rain shower on a night out, the high street has made finding an alternative to your favourite pair of Ugg boots easier than choosing which sandwich to have for your lunch in Nine One One. Firstly, there’s biker boots. Biker boots are the perfect practical accompaniment to any casual college day outfit. Throw them on with an eye-catching pair

of ankle socks, or customise with the latest pair of patterned tights and there you have it. They provide flat-heeled comfort that won’t turn your feet into a mushy mess if the heavens decide to open. This season’s shearling trend has even managed to find its way down to the shoe department; so you won’t have to give up that cosy fleecy feeling just yet. This heeled version from Penneys is the perfect versatile footwear to pair with jeans to class, or with tights and a dress for the evening. Just don’t wear these items with an aviator jacket and a pair of aviator sunglasses in order to avoid what some people may describe as overkill. Knee-high boots may sound like they should be reserved only for those brave enough to withstand the

stigma attached, but in truth, there is a lot more to them than pairing them with hot pants and standing on a street corner. Nude shades like on-trend camel are the way forward in this area. Keeping the palette neutral will ensure any outfit is given a classy edge, making you stand out from the crowd in a good way. Keep the rest of your outfit simple, and let your boots make the statement. So there you have it, three easy ways out of your Ugg-boot-shaped rut. Not that o-two has anything against the ease and comfort of Australia’s biggest export, it’s just that this winter, the high street is bursting with other options at far more affordable prices. So what’s stopping you? Cosying up for winter has never looked more inviting.


13

2 November 2010

FASHION

o-two

Tan Boots €17

Black Military Heels €19

Models: Rachel Heavey & Catherine Murnane Stylist: Emily O’Hanlon Photographer: Sophie Lioe Style Assistant: Niamh Beirne All shoes from Penneys

Heeled Shoes €11


Feature

o-two 2 November 2010 14

Eye of the Tiger Following the release of her third album, Tiger Suit, KT Tunstall meets with Grace Murphy to chat about being a weirdo, beards and the difficulties of facing women in music.


15

I

2 November 2010

o-two

t’s September 2008 and Kate Victoria Tunstall, better known as KT, is headed to Greenland. Following four busy years of recording and touring, the singer-songwriter decided to take some time out and head to the Arctic with climate-change activists Cape Farewell. The trip was undertaken by Tunstall along with fellow artists Jarvis Cocker, Martha Wainwright and Feist, to name but a few. Although intended to be both a break from touring and an inspiration for her next record, the expedition left the multi-platinum selling artist feeling low and intimidated. “The Arctic was amazing and it actually ended up a lot more influential on the record than I thought it would. It was the first trip I’d done since I stopped touring and I knew that I had this album to make and my confidence just went down the plughole, it was really weird.” And so Tunstall donned the armour she later dubbed Tiger Suit. “That’s what I needed to do. I think touring, as much as I love it, you can become quite guarded. And that's kind of what Tiger Suit is about as well – it's about having an armour, so that night after night, you can go on stage and be fierce and be a warrioress and be whatever you wanna be. “But at the same time you kind of protect yourself from being judged all the time because you’re just constantly looked at, having people write about how good or bad you are. You’ve just got to be immune to that stuff.” Tiger Suit is something of an alter ego for Tunstall and it’s something she’s been familiar with her whole life. “It's just acknowledging that there is a difference between me when I'm on my own in private compared to me on stage with my band playing for people. I guess it’s adrenaline; it changes you into something else. “I’ve had this recurring dream since I was a kid that there was a tiger in my garden, and I'm outside and I'm stroking it. It’s really friendly, and then it's not until I go inside my house and look at it through a window that I'm just thinking to myself ‘that was mad, what was I doing, I could be killed’. “I can never see myself in the dream so I just thought: ‘Am I disguised as a tiger, am I a tiger myself?’ I’ve always enjoyed having the dream. It’s made me think of my approach to life, and music particularly, where I'll just sort of jump in and worry about it later.” So she just tends to go with the flow, as it were? “And maybe do some stupid stuff that could really go wrong, but it hasn’t so far. I’m waiting for that. One night I’m gonna have the dream and the tiger’s gonna bite my head off and I’m gonna go: ‘Maybe I need to think a bit more about stuff before I do it’.” But things have been working out for Ms. Tunstall so far. “I think not worrying, not over-analysing stuff and just sort of being very present in the moment has been great, and it’s really helped me.” Tunstall decided that in order for this new record to be worthwhile, she would have to dig deep and do things differently. “I did feel like I was sort of excavating myself, like I needed to make quite a lot of effort to find out what I really wanted to make. It doesn’t fulfil me enough to just do the same thing.” She continues: “It would be easy to churn out records that sound the same, and just do what comes very naturally to me, which is rhythmic folk rock, pop-tinged tunes. The whole record was very liberating; it was all about getting out of my comfort zone and pushing myself to do stuff I hadn’t done before. It meant that I had to get the chisel out and not only push myself emotionally to write stuff that was meaningful, but also really push myself to be experimental and embrace new stuff.”

Feature And experiment she did. Tiger Suit sees Tunstall inventing ‘nature techno’, and attempting to use dance music as a major influence. “I was going back and listening to Leftfield a lot, and particularly Leftism, which is one of my favourite records,” she explains. “I was just really interested in trying to create dance music with natural instruments as well, and then mixing it with synthesisers and drum machines. It [nature techno] was really just to describe what I wanted to achieve which was kind of describing how I feel with music. I find that I can just get lost in the rhythm of it and it doesn’t really matter what genre it is or what style it is. It’s really about rhythm.” Nature techno isn’t the only new aspect to this album; Tunstall collaborated with producer Greg Kurstin in order to achieve a more dance, less folk-y sound. “I’d heard really good things about Greg, but also I’m a huge Beck fan and he’s been a member of Beck’s band for a long time. “I love that sound, so I knew that as a member of his band he was going to have a sensibility of getting those sounds and knowing where I was coming from. We just had an amazing few days writing together where we would write a song a day.” One of those days produced was ‘(Still a) Weirdo’, the delicate lead single from Tiger Suit. Merging the

heard terrible stories of other people. Y’know Sid and Nancy, enough said.” Indeed. Another question that o-two felt had to be put to the artist was one involving gender. Just how much does being a woman in a heavily male-dominated business matter? “It can be frustrating. I’d love to be able to tell you that it doesn’t matter. I'd really, really love to get to a stage in my career where I can say: ‘I don’t think it makes any difference that I’m a woman,’ but I think it still does, which is really annoying.” She elaborates: “And the thing that I think gets my goat the most is about image. You get treated differently as a female artist on the way that you look in a way that guys just don’t get. Wrinkly? Grow a beard! Now doesn’t he look interesting? Wear a hat! Grow a beard! Hide your face, you’re still rocking! “Maybe I’ll just stick on a beard when I get to a certain stage in my career...I think that there is such a large proportion of the female side of music dominated by women who could easily be models if they weren’t singers. I am absolutely not one of those women, I am five foot two and I would not be on the front of a magazine if I wasn’t a musician, there’s no way. “So that can be quite a lot of pressure where people have an attitude like: ‘well yeah she’s a good singer, but

“I'd done this really crap beat-boxing on [the song], I think it totally sounds like an asthmatic cat hocking up a hairball” unlikely triad of intimate lyrics, looped vocals and beatboxing, ‘Weirdo’ is a song so beautiful that not even Tunstall herself could better it. It was written and recorded in five hours, and the version that appears on the album is the original demo. “I couldn’t sing it the same way I’d sung it because there’s this really magic little window where just when you’ve written a song, you’re singing it but you don’t actually know it yet. “It’s funny cause I’d done this really crap beat-boxing on [the song] thinking this is never gonna make the record, this is me messing about. And my label boss was like: ‘I love the beat-boxing’. I think it totally sounds like an asthmatic cat hocking up a hairball. He was like: ‘I don’t care, I love it’. So any asthmatic cat comments I completely take on the chin.” Good to know. “It’s funny that they went with it for the first single, because I was like: ‘I think you’re mad, that’s like the little runty puppy, the little fragile guy,’ and they said: ‘well that’s kinda why we love it, it’s just emotional’. People have responded to it really well and have really enjoyed it. It’s just a very personal little song.” The now thirty-five-year-old Tunstall married her drummer, Luke Bullen, in 2008. O-two had to ask if this move affected the band dynamic. “I’ve been playing with [them] for seven years and I married one of them – band-crime! Never ever marry one of your band. Well it’s lead to nothing but good stuff for me, but I’ve

she’s not much to look at’. Well, fuck off. I don't want that to matter in the same way that it doesn’t matter to a lot of guys.” After fuming silently for a few minutes, Tunstall recalls one last anecdote. “I remember when I went to New York early on in my career and I went into Rolling Stone offices. They’ve got a huge corridor with all their covers in frames. There were so few covers of women without their tits out. “The women that were there – the majority – had not much on. It’s such a shame. I was so concerned with not wanting to be seen as a sex object and judged in that way, rather than being judged as a musician. So I kind of just completely didn’t engage at all with a sort of sexuality as a performer, which is always quite frustrating for me.” But Tunstall has managed to embrace sexuality in recent times, without having to resort to ‘getting her tits out’. “This album has been really great, I feel like I’ve kinda really got away from worrying about that. I can enjoy being a woman, feeling good, feeling confident. And it’s a real liberation actually, that. “I really love the hair and the make-up and the photo shoots. I can just feel comfortable and enjoy getting dolled up which I didn’t find easy to do before. I think we can take it as a sign that basically, women are better looking than men. And that’s how it’s gonna be.” Tiger Suit is out now. KT Tunstall plays the Olympia on February 21st.


FILM

o-two 2 November 2010 16

Another Classic

Middle Aged Mayhem Title: Jackass 3D Directed By: Jeff Tremaine Starring: Johnny Knoxville, Bam Margera, Ryan Dunn, Steve-O. In Cinemas: November 5th

Jackass 3D – not exactly girlfriend friendly.

Another Year features Leigh’s characteristic blend of humour and austerity. Title: Another Year Director: Mike Leigh Starring: Jim Broadbent, Lesley Manville, Ruth Sheen, Imelda Staunton. Release Date: November 5th Heralded by some critics as being the best film at this year’s 2010 Cannes film festival, Another Year lives up to the hype. Oscar-nominated and BAFTA award-winning director and screenwriter Mike Leigh beautifully captures the emotive essence of a particular time frame in human history. Manchester-born Leigh creates an immensely gripping portrayal of tragic drama, which revolves around the blissfully happy life of husband and wife couple Tom and Gerri (yes, the obvious pun is used at some stage in the film). The film largely focuses on the middle-aged couple – convincingly portrayed by Jim Broadbent and the eminently loveable Ruth Sheen. With their solid relationship built on trust and love of family, they effortlessly portray the contented couple. The rich and witty dialogue, emanating mostly from the couple, serves as an antidote to the many frustrations, grim dispositions and general unhappiness of their fellow friends and family. Moreover, the warmth of Tom and Gerri’s relationship also acts as a perfect contrast to the cold and depressed lives of the supporting characters. The film is divided into chapters based on the

four seasons and the inevitable passage of another year. Leigh structures his film around these series of encounters with friends and family members who drop by, occupying centre stage as they unload their problems and then exit, only to have their stories continue as the film moves into another season. There is a sense of familiarity permeating the film, as its themes are similar to those of Leigh’s other works (most notably his 2004 film Vera Drake). Another Year deals with an array of complex issues and is as cerebral a film that one would expect from Leigh, though the film’s laudable intelligence levels do not come at the expense of entertainment value. The music, arranged by Gary Yershon, provides the perfect backdrop throughout the film. It is particularly key in certain scenes where the orchestral chords enrich the emotions and add to the intensity of the drama in the film. Ultimately, the film is a deeply absorbing look at a couple that seem to have gotten it right and a bunch of people who haven’t. The film demonstrates, time and again, an ability to break from the clichés of traditional cinematic narratives, enabling it to be more meaningful and visually interesting than a dozen predictable blockbusters put together. In a nutshell: Provides a level of verisimilitude befitting of the very best art-house cinema. - Laura Brennan

Finally, we’ve found the reason 3D exists. The Jackass boys are back and with far more money than sense. Armed with some of the most expensive cameras ever made, they’ve created a film that is at once grotesque, puerile and genuinely hilarious. Jackass was a hugely formative part of our early lives, and was one of the defining cultural phenomena of the early 2000s. It inspired hundreds of us young, impressionable teens to do dangerously stupid things for no particular reason. All we needed was a skateboard, a bowling ball and a beloved family pet. Finally, we have the Jackass film that our mediocre, apathetic generation has been waiting for and it’s utterly brilliant. It would be doing readers a disservice to discuss any of the sketches, pranks and stunts that make up the bulk of the film, as the surprise each one delivers is part of what makes them so entertaining. You’ll just have to trust me when I say they’re hilarious. Granted, some of them are disgusting to an unprecedented extent, particularly the clear obsession the Jackass boys have with faecal matter. The humour grows stale after a while and it’s certainly not a good film for a first date, unless you’ve found a girl with particularly discerning preferences. It is notable just how much the crew have aged since we last saw them, especially when their unscripted conversation hints at the alcoholism and failures of their lives after the TV show was cancelled. Regardless of the wrinkles, they still pull off some of their most audaciously immature pieces yet (‘FartTrumpet’ springs to mind), and considering their age, it’s remarkable one or more of them weren’t killed during production. Johnny Knoxville in particular, who is nearly forty, narrowly escapes death on several occasions throughout the piece. Most remarkable of all is how fresh it still feels. Apart from a slight over-reliance on ‘Preston Lacyis-fat’ jokes, it’s generally original without lessening the nostalgia of the whole experience. The addition of high-speed cameras adds a huge amount to the Jackass experience, and the Rocky sketches alone are turned from a standard punch in the face to something genuinely visually remarkable. It took James Cameron $500 million to do what Knoxville and co did with a fish, a midget and an utter lack of shame. In a nutshell: A throwback to our teenage years with an all-new stunning aesthetic, Jackass 3D is not to be missed. Just don’t bring your girlfriend. - Jon Hozier-Byrne


17

2 November 2010

FILM

o-two

Animal Kingdom

Top 10 Non-Scary Horror Movies

The Wicker Man was not regarded as one of Nicholas Cage’s finer moments.

With the annual damp squib of Halloween just passed, Stephen Allen takes a look at the ten most laughable horror films 10. Santa's Slay (2005) What could be scarier than a wrestler playing a killer Santa? Well, fruit, the economy, Bill from accounting, pigeons and your own shadow.

9. Day of the Dead (2008) So the sequel to the great Dawn of the Dead remake has Ving Rhames in it too? Didn’t he die? Also, it teaches us that people who are vegetarian won’t eat you when they’re zombies. What nice people. Animal Kingdom is the fourth feature which David Michôd has directed. Title: Animal Kingdom Directed By: David Michôd Starring: Ben Mendelsohn, Joel Edgarton, Guy Pearce, Luke Ford In Cinemas: Tbc Animal Kingdom tells the story of a 17-year-old named J who, after his mother overdoses in front of him, turns to his grandmother whom he has not seen in many years. It is revealed that said grandmother, along with J’s uncles, are part of a criminal family. The plot follows J as he tries to fit into this family, while the police begin to crack down on crime. J’s uncle is high on their list of priorities. As the family’s criminal activities escalate and the police start to close in, the tension builds as J has to choose where his loyalties lie. However, tense doesn’t quite describe it. There hasn’t been a film this extreme since David Lynch’s Inland Empire. Most of the film’s emotional power is due to its superb soundtrack. The score, which is somewhere between Hans Zimmer and Angelo Badalamenti, maintains an almost continuous and unsettling drone in the background. This is combined very effectively with a sharp, minimalist sound design. It’s rare to see such restraint these days with regards to sound. The film largely features diegetic sound which

occasionally blends into the everpresent and unsettling score. There is a consistent tension built up over the first half of the film which never truly emerges until its final moments. Out of all the performances, Ben Mendelsohn steals the film as Pope, J’s unpredictable and deranged uncle. You’re never quite sure where he’s going with a conversation, to the point where you’re half expecting him to whisper “why so serious?” Pope is also the source of most of the film’s uneasy but surprisingly frequent humour, which doesn’t break the tension, so much as momentarily distract you from it. However, hearing the Harvey Norman jingle did elicit quite a few chuckles from the audience. James Frencheville also deserves recognition for perhaps the first truly accurate on-screen representation of an awkward teenager. The final third of the film isn’t quite as strong as the preceding sequences. It meanders and stretches the plot out as far it can. However, this is beneficial in some ways, as when the final scene does come, you’re relaxed enough to be utterly shocked by the suddenness of it. In a nutshell: An atypical crime drama that is intense, well-acted and beautifully shot. - Richard Drumm

8. The Wicker Man (2006) Nicholas Cage running around the woods and punching women, all while dressed as a bear. Does that remind you of the original Wicker Man? Me neither.

7. Octane aka Pulse (2003) This film features driving at its best, awkward ‘getting high’ montages and a cult leader who makes Freddie Prinze Jnr look butch. So when do the scary things happen?

6. Night of the Lepus (1972) Giant, mutant, killer rabbits? I’m there! Oh, they’re just rabbits shot with a wide-angle lens. I want to hug every one of those vicious, fluffy, little guys (insert Holy Grail reference here).

5. Sex and the City 2 (2010) Oh, come on! The least this movie could do is have the sense not to try to scare me with such plastic-looking monsters. At least the trailers looked terrifying.

4. Godmonster of Indian Flats (1973) So, the Godmonster is a mutant llama/sheep thing, which is in the movie for five minutes before humans decide to kill it. Thus, we see the real monster is... man! Or a mutant llama/sheep thing.

3. Plan 9 from Outer Space (1958) An infamous comedy that was intended to be a horror from the mind of Ed Wood. But it has aliens AND zombies, so how can it be bad? Pretty easily, it seems.

2. House of the Dead (2003) Hero: “You did it all to be immortal. Why?” Brief pause. Villain: “To live forever (evil laugh).” Oh, Uwe Boll, just stop. Please?

1. The Happening (2008) Help! My plant is making me depressed, get Marky Mark (of Mark Wahlberg fame) to awkwardly talk to it and, somehow, outrun the wind.


Film

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Burton’s relationship with Johnny Depp has remained constant throughout his career.

Burton: Hipster or Hapless? While Tim Burton is invariably associated with Halloween, Conor Barry questions whether he retains any credibility

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s everyone knows, Hallowe’en is a time for re-watching a bunch of old films and condemning them for not being as good as you remember. With this in mind now is the perfect time to pick apart Tim Burton’s body of work. While the cynic in o-two was getting all riled up to start hating on Burton when we actually went back through his films it became apparent that he’s, well, pretty good. It seems his talent has been forgotten because he made a few pretty atrocious films. Even though all of his earlier ones only seemed good because of my rose-tinted nostalgia specs, there is some genuine cinematic gold in there. But that was the problem; his pretty poor recent outings have overshadowed some of his genuinely impressive films. This prompted the question: What actually went wrong with Tim Burton? While it sounds horribly prententious to say that his old work was better, it’s true. Sometimes it seems as if a lot of his new stuff feels a bit soulless. It’s not that there’s any problem with having a set style, which Burton clearly does. The issue arises when he uses this style instead of any actual substance. For all the flashiness of comparatively recent Sweeney Todd, it was just so instantly forgettable because you really don’t invest in the slightest with any of the characters. This only got worse with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which only exists because Burton thought that Gene Wilder’s version was a bit ‘meh’. Even if you’re sitting up and saying that the films

looked brilliant and were very enjoyable, well, fine, but that’s all they are. They’re just pretty meaningless cash-ins on his style rather than trying to say or do anything. Alice in Wonderland in particular upset me a little, as it was a complete abomination. She falls down a hole, she wanders around a blurry CGI forest where quirky stuff happens on a green screen. Johnny Depp is there and we all went home. It’s as if he doesn’t really put effort into it anymore and it feels like he’s just arbitrarily picking films that already exist and going “we can make it a bit more black and make that plant sort of twisty and call it a day”. The type of Tim Burton you want to watch is the genuinely awkward, angsty teenager trying to burst out of the fully grown man. He is one of the most clearly autobiographical directors and nowhere is this more evident than in Edward Scissorhands, which is fondly remembered for obvious reasons. Not only that but you can tell that the entire plot is something Burton actually believed in while making it; Edward’s isolation because of his silly hands and his dark view of the world in comparison to everyone else’s cheery 1950’s view. It was far more genuine and, most importantly, the style reflected the themes. The same goes for with its cool and freaky style, which existed not just for the sake of it, but because they were necessary to get across the ideas. Then there was Ed Wood, Burton’s love letter to the spectacularly crap film director of the title. Later still there was Mars Attacks, a film that focused on

his admiration for 1950s alien invasion films. All of these films actually tell you something about Burton himself, the man behind the big glasses and messy hair. The main problem is his whole “I’m so weird and nobody understands me” schtick became a bit more difficult to buy when he started having droves of people lining up saying “Yeah, me too”. Burton still clearly picks films about an outsider trying to fit in but the problem is that it doesn’t seem as if he feels like that anymore. Sure, he started off as the geeky little Disney animator who preferred to draw people dying in a spirally tree than Mickey Mouse. There’s no doubt he probably did feel a tad insecure in his surroundings and his first bunch of films reflected this well. It’s just that now that he’s buddying up with Johnny Depp on a daily basis, marrying Helena Bohman Carter, raking in millions for each consecutive hugely popular film and dressing like a hipster in the age of the hipster it’s difficult to buy that he doesn’t fit in. It seems as if Tim Burton’s films should man up a little. He needs to stop pretending to be little wussy boy who goes on about how we don’t understand him. Of course we understand you, Tim. You’re not all that complicated. Thankfully, there’s a slow but steady criticism of Burton’s pseudo-angsty ideals and if this keeps up, maybe he’ll make another decent movie. If not, at least we’ve still got Planet of the Apes.


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2 November 2010

Television

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Hardly Worth It Hardy Bucks is now a fullyfledged TV show, but it has become a pale imitation of its online predecessor, writes Conor O'Nolan

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am rarely ever dumbfounded by a television program. My brain generally reserves such a reaction (or lack thereof) for that Catherine Tate creature, or the mother of all abominations: Katherine Lynch. Needless to say, when I sat down to watch the new TV adaptation of Hardy Bucks, I expected to at least laugh a bit. Instead, I sat there, with my mouth agape, wondering: “What the hell happened to Hardy Bucks?” For those of you unfamiliar with Hardy Bucks, it started off life on YouTube back in 2009. It was a web series partaking in an RTE competition to become a TV show. Back then, Hardy Bucks was a brilliantly surreal mockumentary, following the life of a group of lads in the fictional location of Castletown. It had a beautifully strange plot connected with the most outrageously odd set pieces, like the ‘Mitzi Turbo Cup’ and the epic ‘Foamy Nites’. The TV series consists of the best bits of the web series re-shot with better equipment. Sounds good? Yes. Is it? No! I’m not sure if it’s RTÉ putting pressure on the writers to make the show fit for broadcast, or if it’s the actors actually trying to act, but the show has become a slow, unfunny mess, with some incredibly forced acting.

Hardy Bucks began life as a YouTube phenomenon. The first episode got off to a bad start with a two minute segment that consisted of disconnected oneliners, strung together in an attempt to get a laugh out of the viewer. In the entire 28 minutes of the first episode, I laughed twice. Once at an exercise sequence and again at the admittedly brilliant Pan African Irish Garda Exchange Scheme. The second episode just went further downhill from there, so much so that I didn’t even laugh once. They somehow managed to ruin two of my favourite pieces from the web series – the foam party and the previously

Fierce World F

ashionistas rejoice. America’s Next Top Model has returned to Living TV for a triumphant 14th season. One would think that after seeing over 100 models crying, bitching and backstabbing, it would get tired, but everyone keeps coming back for more. In the two-hour season premiere, we’re treated to life partners to-be Mr and Ms Jay putting the wannabe models through their paces at model boot camp. They conduct their various endeavours by utilising My Fierce, Tyra’s social network for models, which is really just an excuse for her to kick out the ugly ones. After Tyra picks the girls with the most potential to both model and create drama in the house, she whisks them off to NYC. Upon arrival at the Big Apple, Perez Hilton greets them, before they discover the first twist of the season – Tyra brings the handpicked Ren into the fold, and we can feel how welcome she is by the other twelve contestants. Tyra, being the smart producer she is, realised by the 14th season that all we really care about is the makeover meltdowns. She brings the girls into the Sally Hershberger hair salon, and we’re treated to the

hilarious project manager interview scene. Both scenes were again reduced to stilted and forced attempts at acting. The show is just plagued with problems. Most worrying is the fact that the actors are trying for too hard. The web series, by comparison, was so much more natural. The Viper, the main antagonist, is no longer funny. In addition, the show is just far too long. At around 25 minutes, it more than doubles the length of the original web series’ episode length. Maybe they’re just not funny enough to hold our attention for that long.

What the hell is dreckitude anyway? Fashion Editor Kieran Murphy walks you through the latest season of America’s Next Top Model

usual drama of girls crying over getting their hair cut short – now a classic trope of reality TV. We also learn the importance of not shaving your armpits for women’s rights, but if you want to model, you have to give both of those things up. Finished with butchering the model’s hair, we’re rushed into the first photo shoot of the season. For their shoot, the models must pose nude apart one item of clothing, which obviously shocks the token religious girl. Such incidents force us to question if she’d ever actually watched the show before applying to be on it. After the lacklustre photo shoot, viewers are introduced to Ms. Jay’s replacement, editor-at-large at Vogue, André Leon-Talley, who is just slightly more femme than Ms. Jay was. After last year’s revelation of ‘smizing’ (smiling with your eyes), we’re introduced to ‘dreckitude’. I’m still not sure what the phrase means, but if you get called it, you better take your earrings off. Ultimately, ANTM’s 14th season brings very little extra to the table and won’t win over any new fans, but it will certainly keep die-hard fans happy. Tyra can

Tyra Banks is renowned as a strict taskmistress. also be commended for leaving out any cause célèbre like the previous series. Instead of focusing on the show’s first transvestite contestant, or a cycle full of midgets, we’re allowed to appreciate ANTM for what it truly is – twelve skinny bitches that are all desperate to win Ms Banks’ approval.


Games

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Super Anniversary 25 years on and still going strong, Super Mario still never fails to impress Steven Balbirnie

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his year marks the 25th anniversary of one of the most definitive events in video gaming history: the release of Super Mario Bros for the Nintendo Entertainment System. Super Mario Bros is something of a phenomenon, not only because of its immense success (it was the best-selling video game in history until Wii Sports recently surpassed it in sales figures) but also due to the fact that the game, and its star, have become such an enduring part of mainstream culture. The character of Mario, and even his theme tune, can be recognised by people who’ve never even played a Mario game. The game’s success is incredible when you consider the outlandish concept behind it. You play as an Italian-American plumber who, with the aid of his twin brother Luigi, must travel through the Mushroom Kingdom stomping on turtles and eating size-changing fungi, before confronting a giant, firebreathing lizard to save a princess. Clearly, the game’s creator (Shigeru Miyamoto) is either a genius, insane or, most likely, both. The plot may be surreal, but the game design is superb. Consisting of eight worlds, each game also contains four levels. The locations boast great diversity, with Mario having to brave his way through

The Super Mario series is estimated to have sold over 40 million copies worldwide. levels set amid the snow, the sky, dungeons, the underground and the sea. Equally diverse is the variety of enemies populating these levels, ranging from hammer throwing turtles to smiley-faced giant bullets; all of which require different strategies to defeat. To assist in this, Mario has several power-up items that he can use, including a mushroom that causes him to double in size, a flower that allows him to throw fireballs and a star that grants him temporary invincibility. This arsenal was greatly improved by

Super Mario Bros 3, with the ingenious addition of the frog suit, tanooki suit and a giant clockwork boot. The best thing about Super Mario Bros however, is that it is a genuinely challenging game, requiring precision platform jumping and quick reflexes for the player to succeed. To do well enough to receive a firework salute at the end of a level gives you a real sense of accomplishment. Super Mario Bros is a brilliant game in its own right, but the true mark of its enduring popularity is how many sequels and spin-offs it has spawned.

Monkeying Around Long before the Pirates of the Caribbean hype, the adventure classic The Secret of Monkey Island set the standard for funny, creepy pirate stories, writes Lorenz Beyer

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he Secret of Monkey Island was released in 1990 by then-famous Lucasfilm Games. Since the, the game has quickly garnered a cult following and the numerous websites dedicated to it prove that it still has a huge fan base. The plot is simple. Would-be-pirate Guybrush Threepwood is stranded on the Mêlée Island. While he tries to rob the island’s governor Marley, he falls in love with her. This is where Pirates of the Caribbean kicks in: the evil ghost pirate LeChuck kidnaps governor Marley and takes her to the legendary Monkey Island, where he intends to marry her. Guybrush chases them and gets into lots of trouble. He is imprisoned by vegetarian cannibals, kills ghosts with malt beer and engages in huge amounts of absurd situations. You keep playing the game because you can’t wait for the next sound bite. For instance, when swordtrainer Smirk wants to see his sword, Guybrush answers: “I do have this deadly-looking chicken.” Smirk then replies: “Yes, swinging a rubber chicken with a big metal pulley in it can be quite dangerous... BUT IT’S NOT A SWORD!!!”

Guybrush learns during the training that the most important aspect of a swordfight is to insult one’s enemy properly. At one point, a character says: “I got this scar on my face during a mighty struggle!” Consequently, another one responds: “I hope now you've learned to stop picking your nose.” The puzzles are equally eccentric. For example, you have to hit a tree with a huge rock to get bananas, which you feed to an ape so that he follows you to the other side of the island, where he hangs on a crank to open a door for you. It takes a while to figure that out. Another strength of Monkey Island is its music. The blend of cheesy honky-tonk music and Caribbean reggae fits perfectly with the atmosphere of the game. Certain fans loved the music so much that they even transcribed it and played it on the piano. Search YouTube for the Monkey Island classics. Retro fans will of course prefer the cheesy MIDI sound of the original game and its 256-colour graphics, but everyone else should enjoy the special edition published in 2009 with modernised graphics and sound. No matter which edition you use though, Monkey Island is always good for having a laugh.

Future novelist Orson Scott Card wrote some of the dialogue for The Secret of Monkey Island.


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2 November 2010

MUSIC

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Celtic Tadhg

Following the release of his second album, Tadhg Cooke tells George Morahan about evolving as a musician and his love of Elliot Smith

Ambience Par Excellence From a lonely cottage in Iceland to Dublin's Tripod, Lorenz Beyer explores the dark side of Danish indie-electro producer Trentemøller

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Cooke’s new album was produced by David Geraghty of Bell X1 fame.

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adhg Cooke (aka Tiger Cooke) admits that five years is too long a time to spend between albums, but he looks at the man who made 2005’s Wax and Seal and he doesn’t recognise himself: “God, I’m a completely different person,” he admits. He sees a young man just finding the ropes of the music industry, let alone learning them, although little has practically changed for Cooke. He even continutes to book his own gigs. However, the last half-decade has seen him evolve as a person and a songwriter. Cooke was lucky enough to have Bell X1’s David Geraghty to guide him through tumultuous beginnings: “It was just invaluable to have someone who knew the industry. It’s great to have someone who has a definite opinion about things, because sometimes democracy doesn’t work in music.” Every release is a new milestone, a distillation of Cooke at any one time. “When you finish an album, you listen back and it becomes someone else. I almost feel detached from that person. For me writing is an act of catharsis, helping me to exorcise my demons.” On the verge of releasing his second studio album, Fingertips of the Silversmith, Cooke takes the time to explain its rather striking title. “A friend of mine was training to become a jeweller, and in the treatment of silvers they use a lot of acid to

clean. If the acid gets on your hands, these black and grey marks appear on your hands a couple of days later.” He sees it as a metaphor for our coping mechanisms, only noticing the less appealing aspects of truth in retrospect. The songs continually burrow their way into Cooke’s niche of jazz-infused folk, but the revolving cast of backing musicians keep the sound fresh. “The musicians on Fingertips... bring vast amounts of experience in so many different areas and genres. It makes work a lot easier; we can pick and change things very quickly.” Cooke’s musical inspirations, such as Jeff Buckley and Elliot Smith, hang at large over his creative process and output. ‘There’s an Elvis in Us All’, taken from the new album, was originally written in the wake of Smith’s suicide in 2003 and slowly evolved with its writer. That generation of wasted American talent roused Cooke during the slog of recording. “It’s easy to become a magpie; picking out sounds from your favourite records and trying to emulate them in the studio, and in doing that, you can come across something completely new and better to your ear.” Cooke cuts a singular figure in modern Irish music, and surely enough he is getting the hang of things. Tadhg Cooke's new album Fingertips of the Silversmith is out now.

ou think techno is anti-intellectual and superficial? Anders Trentemøller might convince you otherwise. His celebrated record, Into the Great Wide Yonder, merges the soundscape of minimalistic electronic music with indie-rock elements. Its mysterious and spooky atmosphere recalls similar-minded artists such as Boards of Canada and Aphex Twin. “During the process of making the new album, I was in Iceland for some weeks with my girlfriend,” he recalls. “We went to this deserted place, a four-hour drive away from Reykjavik. There, we stayed in a solitary cottage. Nearby was a black wooden church in the middle of this stone desert. I took that picture home with me in my head, because it was so dramatic. The nature, the weather and this total quietness inspired me a lot.” Trentemøller has made a living from making music for ten years now. He started out by playing in several indie bands in his hometown of Copenhagen, and eventually moved on to producing minimalistic electronic music. Unsurprisingly, it feels natural for him to be caught between two stools. Trentemøller has made friends with two similar acts from Germany, who are celebrated for their organic sound: Pantha du Prince and Kollektiv Turmstrasse. Both have contributed remixes to Trentemøller's current single: ‘Even Though You're With Another Girl’. “I was playing several gigs in Berlin with Kollektiv Turmstrasse. They were my friends in a way. It's a different story with Pantha du Prince. I never met him in person. That is the weirdest thing about remix culture – you often work on someone else’s tracks, but you rarely meet the person.” He continues: “But I will remix our support band Chimes and Bells while we are touring Europe. It will be great to listen to my sketches together and maybe have them play some instruments on my remix.” Trentemøller's European tour took him to Dublin's Tripod on the 23rd of October. “We are six or seven musicians on stage: Two guitar players, a drummer, three singers and me. I want to make it a more visual experience to see the show. Our scenery was specially built to reflect the spooky and mystic vibe of the music. We also have visuals to make it more cinematic.” Trentemøller's new album Into The Great Wide Yonder is out now.


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CD Reviews

Artist: The Mariner’s Children Album: New Moore Island EP

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London-based folkies The Mariner’s Children are the most recent additions to a revival that includes wunderkind Laura Marling and surprise hit-makers Mumford & Sons. But the group’s debut EP offers something far darker. New Moore Island is a work of desperation, a mile apart from Mumford’s earnest, carpe diem attitude. Musically, this seven-piece ensemble owes most to the group dynamics of the Arcade Fire. The band’s atmospheric sound revolves around building crescendos of strings and drums – quiet acoustic sections turn to dense blasts of melody tied with the lyrics of ‘Coal’, a man’s plea of devotion to his suffering family, or ‘Golden Pine’s’ narrative of an isolated widow. Ultimately, these songs haunt the listener in a way little modern music can. Alas, like all wellmade EPs, it leaves you wanting more. Keep an eye on these guys. In a nutshell: A teasing debut of folk balladry that is as brilliant as it is heartbreaking. - Cormac Duffy

Artist: Meljoann Album: Squick

Artist: Stereolab Album: Not Music

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Self-proclaimed “wonky R&B” artist Meljoann bursts onto the electro scene with gusto with her debut album Squick. Some will already be familiar with this artist’s previous contributions as one half of Gland & Conduit. However, with tracks as vibrant as ‘Maritime Safety Announcement’ and ‘E.X.I.T.’, Meljoann opts to tone down her usual heavy industrial beats in favour of more glittering tones. Squick imposes itself upon the listener full-force, and not without good reason. Grand electronic crescendos and funky digital soundbites sweep across an offbeat, yet oddly catchy, melodic landscape that’s something akin to Battles, but more fun. Meljoann’s debut will certainly not be everyone’s cup of tea – the multitudinous buzz can at times feel too busy. However, what might be chaos in less safe hands is beautifully orchestrated here, and married wonderfully to our protagonist’s more than capable vocals. Squick is a bizarre and unrelenting ride, but one that is brilliant from start to finish. In a nutshell: Crazy, but in a good way. - Ethan Troy-Barnes

Artist: Kings of Leon Album: Come Around Sundown

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As multi-million selling artists go, Kings of Leon have always been the type your Dad likes – rock music without the weirdness of Radiohead or the unabashed sensitivity of Coldplay. Notwithstanding their all-too-obvious MOR leanings, they have often demonstrated a consummate level of swagger and ear for a killer tune which has enabled them to enter rock’s big leagues.

But while the Texans were never a band to seek indie cred, Come Around Sundown sees them in full-

on Eagles mode. It consistently eschews edgy musical aggression in favour of lugubrious sing-along soft rock – a sound that is epitomised by ‘Mary’ with its plethora of rock ‘n’ roll clichés, replete with Caleb Followill wailing the eponymous girl’s name continuously. Essentially, this record is the aural equivalent of McDonalds – likely to go down a storm with the tremendously thick among us, while also maintaining its status as a guilty pleasure for people who should know better. In a nutshell: Devoid of wit. - Paul Fennessy

Although this isn't technically new material from the British/French post-rock group, this collection of B-sides from their 2008 album Chemical Chords is still a treat for fans. Not Music has a lounge feel that ranges from the sound of horns to electronic beats. The album includes remixes of old songs, one being ‘Silver Sounds’, a ten-minute journey to the band’s relaxing yet stimulating sound of loopy xylophone and repetition of an electronic base. The standout track ‘Sun Demo’ changes moods effortlessly and includes all of the interesting instruments the band has to offer. Stereolab have an innovative sound similar to Caribou, while the chilled-out listening style and sweet vocals of Lætitia Sadie are reminiscent of Beach House’s dream-pop vibe. This is especially apparent on the track ‘Two Finger Symphony’. In a nutshell: Not Music is music – just music that you would listen to when you want to chill to some electronic and xylophone beats. - Laura Hyson

Artist: Tiger Cooke Album: Fingertips of the Silversmith

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Tiger Cooke’s new album Fingertips of the Silversmith is the enchanting jazz-rock sounding follow up to his debut album Wax and Seal. It was produced by Bell X1’s David Geraghty – a friend of Tadhg (yes, he had to change his name to ‘Tiger’ due to constant spelling errors). The opening track ‘Rid of Her’ is an acoustic number featuring heartfelt lyrics which mirror the sounds of similar artists such as John Mayer and Jack Johnson. This smooth style of vocal continues throughout the album in tracks including ‘There’s an Elvis in us all’ and ‘Your Green Lights’. The album’s lead single, ‘Out of Reach’, definitely hits the spot, with some interesting touches that hint at a darker folk vibe which sounds promising enough to warrant further exploration on future releases. In a nutshell: Simple easy-listening that could do with a few more standout moments. - Laura Brennan


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2 November 2010

MUSIC

o-two

Write Like Apes In this fortnight’s column, Fight Like Apes’ MayKay ponders the wonders of Justin Bieber and magical bum-toning runners

Great Songs that Ruined Music Ever hear a piece of trite, lacklustre pop music and wonder who is to blame for its existence? Cormac Duffy outlines the great songs that influenced terrible music Joni Mitchell – ‘A Case of You’

Kraftwerk – ‘Autobahn’

Are you sick of self-pitying singer-songwriters? Think there are too many vapidly introspective songs polluting our airwaves? Blame Joni. Blame this song. Blame Canada.

Pioneering German geniuses open the Pandora’s box of electronic music. A million awful trance and rave “musicians” crawl out.

The Ronettes – ‘Be My Baby’

These New York legends proved that anyone could make iconic music with a few chords and a 4/4 beat. Turns out they couldn’t. Yes, we’re talking about your band. Give up now.

It says a lot about the sheer lousiness of girl bands that the first one was arguably the best. The breadth of this song’s influence spans countless awful covers, the Phil Spector murder case, and worst of all, Amy Winehouse.

The Beatles – ‘Please Please Me’ Four young lads from Liverpool sing a badly concealed ode to oral sex, establish popular music as a legitimate art form and kick-start social revolution, only to undo it all by influencing Oasis.

Bob Dylan – ‘Mr Tambourine Man’ The legendary Minnesotan troubadour persuades music community to pass motion to give up on lyrics that made sense. Blurred the already hazy line between the symbolic and the pure bollocks.

Led Zeppelin – ‘The Battle of Evermore’ Long hair! Mandolins! Tolkien! This six-minute tribute to Middle Earth is responsible for four decades of self-important, fantasy-referencing concept albums as well as such wonderful genres as folk metal. Cheers.

Rites of Spring – ‘For Want Of’ By cross-breeding confessional songwriting and hardcore punk, the DC legends created the godawful genre that is emo. Maybe they could have stayed at home that day.

Ramones – ‘Blitzkrieg Bop’

Queen & David Bowie – ‘Under Pressure’ A known accomplice of wanted criminals Vanilla Ice and Jedward, this song was on the scene at the disappearance of David Bowie’s talent. The police are appealing for any information.

Sugarhill Gang – ‘Apache’ An undeniably fun slice of classic hip-hop, yes, but one that legitimised sampling (see plagiarism), and which was apparently playing when Flo-Rida was conceived.

Descendents – ‘Hope’ These SoCal punks made caffeinated energy, puerile humour and ex-girlfriend hating the norm. They could sue every single pop punk band into poverty, and yet they make us suffer them instead.

Nirvana – ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ This tune’s success cemented the 90s as a decade of low grade, angsty alternative rock. One wonders how Kurt Cobain lives with the guilt. Oh, wait.

Following on from Pockets’ musings last fortnight, can I start by saying that one dissolvable Disprin has gotten me through a vicious post-wedding hangover and no one even asked me what I needed it for. They’re dead right about reading the label before you take any medication though. I had a friend who took a laxative by accident once when he had diarrheoa, with disastrous consequences. I’m boycotting Solpadeine in an effort to force them to rethink this new interview madness. If the whole band do this, they’ll most definitely notice the lull in sales.  Anyway, I’m furious. Every time I hear someone who isn't actually trying to speak French put ‘tres’ in front of a word I get homicidal. To be honest with you, I have been accused in the past of having a short temper, but surely I’m not alone in this. It makes everyone sound like Rosie Webster, and she is a horror. Example: “Bumped into Fuinneog last night, it was TRES awkward”. Disgusting. On another Coronation Street related point, can someone PLEASE kill off Ashley and his beor, sharpish. Absolute horrors. I think I wish I were Justin Bieber. Like, obviously he doesn’t know he's a knob end, but he’s got more money then 789 times me and all young birds seem to fancy him. He also looks like he has really soft skin and loads of pairs of jeans. I’d say he doesn't even have to wash any because he always has another pair around. And even if he did need to wash a pair he almost definitely wouldn’t have to do it himself. I can’t imagine ever wanting for anything more. In related news, I was just watching that Nanny 911 show. Never has a woman laid down ‘a carpet of stability’ with such ease as this one. Her main area of expertise apparently is getting children to go to sleep in under 60 minutes. They timed it. 55 minutes. Unreal.  Anyhow, I was going to go for a run and not put butter on my bread in an effort to become healthier, but instead I’m off to buy a pair of these Reetone runners. Apparently just putting them on tones your arse and thighs in minutes. You'd be stupid not to. Anyway, this week’s homework is to buy dissolvable Disprin, watch Rubberbandit’s Guide to Limerick City and listen to Grand Pocket Orchestra.  Also, I had absolutely no idea what dress up as for Hallowe’en. Turns out I’m too tall to be Awesome-o from South Park so you I had to leave that out. Also, Pockets and I have gone as ghosts the last couple years, but this year, we wanted to be inventive.   X MayKay


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The Rolling People Target from Roll Deep takes time out to chat with Aoife Valentine about the new album, unexpected collaborations and an impending clothing line

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ince Roll Deep signed a new record deal with Virgin last November, it’s been all go. They have achieved their first two number ones this year, and have hopes to make it a hat-trick with the new single. New album Winner Stays On is released this month. It caters to everyone from the hardcore grime fans to those who prefer the more commercial sound. It also features numerous collaborations, surprisingly including Alesha Dixon. “We had the song recorded and we wanted to get someone who was interesting to collaborate with, who people maybe wouldn’t have expected us to work with. We’ve been fans of Alesha for a long time. She’s one of the most down-to-earth people we’ve met, so cool and easy to work with. It was a privilege.” Winner Stays On is quite different from their last album, Street Anthems, a greatest hits album of sorts. The grime scene isn’t exactly renowned for these kinds of compilations; what was the reasoning behind releasing one? “I think we just got to the stage where we had a lot of tracks from the early, early days that hadn’t been released and then there were a lot of tracks that

Even with a long list of old members, Roll Deep are still a tight family. people used to ask for. “We just took an opportunity to release some of those tracks that had never been released and re-release some of the tracks that have helped to make Roll Deep. A lot of the new fans may have missed some of that history, so it’s another chance to catch up.” Roll Deep were nominated for a MOBO for Best UK Act, which must have been rewarding after their busy year? “It’s just nice to know that we’re getting the recognition for the hard work we’ve done this year. To be in a category with the likes of Tinie, JLS, Chipmunk, N-Dubz and whoever else, it’s just a good feeling.” They’ve been performing at events throughout the UK for the last six months, but they’re due to go on tour in February next year. “This is going to be our own

headline tour and we’re going all across the UK. We’re going to be performing the new album for the first time on this tour, so it’s going to be a chance for our fans to come out and catch us performing the new songs and of course some of the old classics.” With a tour to keep them busy, is there much else on the horizon for the band? “We’ve got a clothing range called Swagga Muffin coming out. We’ve been wearing the t-shirts ourselves and we’re going to be releasing that in the new year, and [we’re] just working on the music and trying to get the band and ourselves to a bigger level. We’re happy with our progress, but we still feel like we’ve got a lot of work to do so we’re looking forward to getting to all of that next year.” Roll Deep’s new album Winner Stays On will be released on November 8th.

Children of the Revolution

Only days before their UK tour, Ben Rubinstein of The Mariner’s Children talks to Imelda Hehir about the reality facing a new band in a modern music industry

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t’s still early days for Brighton’s alternative folk seven-piece band The Mariner’s Children, but the name is circulating quickly around the media and their reputation is growing. Ben Rubinstein opens his interview by telling o-two that: “I have only done one interview before, so I’m not very good at it.” But for a man unfamiliar with interviews, he has a firm opinion on the press and the genre grouping which he and his band are often subjected to. “I mean it’s inevitable that the press will compare bands, [it’s a] sort of musical short hand.” He also isn’t keen on being part of a particular scene. “It’s my job to make music, and journalists can sort of decide what they want from it, but I don’t really like it to be honest.” The band was recently featured as the Guardian’s ‘New Band of the Day’, in which they were described as a cross between Arcade Fire and Mumford and Sons. While Rubinstein is delighted and almost still surprised by the feature, he also says that “every band that plays an acoustic guitar” is now linked with Mumford and Sons. Rubinstein tells o-two of his own musical preferences, such as “Akron family, Angels of Light, Iron and Wine

– those sorts of people. I’m more interested in dense, textural psychedelic stuff.” He also recommends new bands such as tour buddies Tristan, as well as Kristin McClement. When discussing The Mariner’s Children’s actual sound, Rubinstein explains: “The musical element I find most interesting is texture and finding parts that interlock rhythmically. The more instruments you have, the more opportunity you have to do that.” The singer then apologises for sounding “pretentious”. The modest aspect to his character continues to emerge as we talk about the recording process of debut EP New Moore Island. Rubinstein explains how every recording was worked to an itinerary to record at every possible minute, as they couldn’t afford a longer time period. The numerous instruments required for their sound was an added contributory factor to how “stressful” it got. o-two could conclude this article by insisting that The Mariner’s Children are the next big thing; but we wouldn’t want to sound pretentious. The Mariner’s Children’s debut EP New Moore Island is out now.

Ben Rubinstein, member of The Mariner’s Children – possibly the only seven-piece alt folk outfit in existence.


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2 November 2010

MUSIC

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Bowled Over The band are renowned for their eccentric sense of humour.

Bowling for Soup’s Jaret Reddick talks to Jason O’ Mara about his band's longevity, getting to know their fans and their association with a rather large phallus

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owling for Soup are often dismissed as a joke band. The band itself, consisting of members Jaret Reddick (vocals, rhythm guitar), Erik Chandler (bass), Chris Burney (lead guitar) and Gary Wiseman (drums), do little to play down this image. The music video for their single ‘My Wena’ features a woman dressed as a giant penis and their songs often include topics such as their love of beer. However, when speaking to Reddick, it becomes clear that despite the humour in their songs and playful atmosphere of their live shows, Bowling for Soup’s members are serious about the band and their fans. When o-two speaks to Reddick, Bowling for Soup are approaching the end of their tour and the schedule seems to be quite intense: “We’re doing eighteen shows in eighteen days so we’re all pretty ready to go home I think.” Despite this, when asked about his thoughts on the tour, Reddick enthuses: “It’s been amazing. It’s always great when we tour this part of the world,” before exclaiming: “Anyway, we’re in Ireland now!” Judging by the crowd that attends their show later that evening, Bowling for Soup definitely have a strong fan base in Ireland, even though it is likely that many of those in attendance have had few opportunities to see the band previously. Reddick explains: “It’s a different promoter over here. So [for] a few tours that we’ve done, we’ve had to leave Ireland out, and kids get pretty mad at us, so we’re excited to be over here. Tonight is sold out, tomorrow is sold out, so it’s exciting.” The members of Bowling for Soup are very aware of these kids. They have embraced the internet as a means of communicating with them and have given these fans a method of interacting with the band itself through

Twitter, blogs and podcasts. “It’s interesting, because I see fans in the crowd that I actually feel like I know because, whether it’s someone who tweets me all the time, or who follows me on MySpace or whatever, or comments on things that I’ve put out there,” he says. “It’s pretty interesting, because fans have so much access to you now. But you have to put it out there, because that’s the way the world is these days.” For their current tour, Bowling for Soup also allowed fans to vote online to choose which of three rare songs they would play live. In relation to this poll, Reddick admits: “They actually picked the one that we really wanted them to pick. We would have played any of the three though.” When asked about the use of humour in their music and the importance of keeping things fun for the fans, Reddick says: “We’ve always been a sort of a fun party band live and we’ve wanted to stick to that. A lot of bands that started around the same time as us that sort of had that formula have gone on to do other things and some of them great things.” But does he see Bowling for Soup following the example of these other bands?

“We’ve always been a sort of a fun party band live and we’ve wanted to stick to that”

“I feel like Bowling for Soup is collectively the four of us. It is what it is, so we definitely don’t plan on making changes”. During the summer, Bowling for Soup celebrated their 16th year as a band. On the subject of his fondest memory of their career thus far, Reddick is noncommittal. “There’s way too many to even mention. We’ve toured the world; we’ve been to China, we’ve been to Australia. Over in the UK and Ireland, we’ve done twenty-two times or something like that. So I can’t even pinpoint one, but it’s been an amazing ride.” After 16 years and ten albums, it must be difficult to choose a set list for concerts? “This tour we’re doing most of the singles and just throwing in some various stuff; some fan favourites, one new song.” But Reddick is definite on his favourite song to play for fans: “Still ‘Girl All the Bad Guys Want’. It’s definitely the fan favourite. It’s a really fun song to play on guitar and the audience reaction is always so great.” Bowling for Soup had stated that they would be releasing an EP this year, but recently decided to bring forward the release of an album instead. When quizzed on the status of the album, Reddick explains: “It’s done. There are still a few songs to mix, but all of the songs have been recorded. Basically just sorting out some label stuff, who’s going to be putting it out here and who’s going to be putting it out in the States.” With such a heavy workload of touring, recording and keeping up to date with fans it is clear that Bowling for Soup are not a joke band. They clearly take what they do seriously, even if what they are doing is incredibly fun. Bowling for Soup’s new album will be released next spring.


Food & drink

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So Hungry I Could Eat a Horse After numerous problems frying sausages in a pan, Killian Woods looks out for some food that could quite possibly turn your stomach

Puffer fish

These days, much stress is placed on the preparation of food. Whether it is ensuring your chicken is sufficiently cooked, or double-checking that there are no nail clippings in your McWhopper, nobody fancies eating ineptly made meals. Well the puffer fish pushes the aforementioned boundaries to the limits. As seen on The Simpsons, this fish’s skin and insides contain poison that is 1,250 times stronger than cyanide. If incorrectly prepared, a period of paralysation culminating in death will quickly follow.

Horse

So after cutting off its hooves and selling them to the glue and jelly industry, you will be left with a large carcass and a lot of cooking to do. Unfortunately, horsemeat is very susceptible to contamination and will be ruined if not kept in proper conditions. Surprisingly, some horse owners are very fond of eating their horse once they have passed on due to natural causes (check out The Adrian Kennedy Phone Show for further details). Then again, others particularly like the distinct tenderness of horsemeat. In the end, if it was thrown into a stew, you probably wouldn’t notice.

Tuna eyeball

While eating horses and dogs is taboo in most

Savouring Seapoint Despite the occasional culinary hiccup, our resident food critic Elaine Lavery gives the thumbs up to Seapoint Restaurant

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n Dublin, we have the best restaurants of the country on our doorstep, but many of the real treasures of the city are to be found on the city’s outskirts. Last Thursday evening, I went to Seapoint Restaurant in Monkstown to investigate whether I had discovered yet another of these gems. At Seapoint, the house menu offers two courses for €24.50, or three for €29.50, which is a very fair price for a restaurant of this calibre. Sucked in by the value of the house menu, a glance at its posher cousin, the à la carte, and all sense of making good economic decisions went out the window. Ultimately, both menus are exciting and descriptive. My fellow diner stuck to the two-course value menu, choosing the salad of smoked chicken and tabouli for

Cute, cuddly and completely edible. countries, the tuna eyeball has certain creepy characteristics about it, aside from the obvious ethical questions it raises. It could be because it is food that looks back at you while you boil it, or it could be simply that eating eyes is weird. o-two shall coin it the “egg of the east,” as it supposedly tastes like egg. Who knew?

Live octopus

Cut up into pieces and then served whilst still alive, this dish is a battle from the off. Physically, it is a challenge to swallow the tentacles which tend to stick to your tongue as they cling for dear life.

starter, and the grilled marinated salmon, mango and grapefruit salsa, olive oil and spring onion mash for the main. I went straight to the main, opting for the panfried coconut encrusted monkfish, butternut squash risotto, sweet onion & chilli sauce (€22.50). Tap water times two and a free basket of bread were promptly delivered. The salad was devoured graciously – a goodsized portion for which the smoky flavour of the meat defined the dish. The bulgar wheat salad, which was full of good things, was not just the usual afterthought you get from so-called starter salads. Having been wooed by the description of the monkfish dish, the plate arrived and certainly looked

Seapoint is located in Monkstown, home to the beautiful Monkstown church.

You could nearly call it a party in your mouth given that the experience is allegedly enjoyable. This delicacy tests some of the golden rules of eating, as chewing with your mouth open could see your dinner squirm back onto the plate. Word of warning though: chew thoroughly. Otherwise that octopus will have the last laugh, as their tentacles can cling to your throat. Morals aside, there are many diverse options out there for late night midweek dinner. However, it’s probably for the best to stick with soggy sausages for now.

the part. The risotto cooked in a rich fish broth, coupled with lots of cream, was to die for. The sweet onions were sticky and delicious. The fish was beautifully cooked, but the coconut crust was more crust than coconut. Unfortunately, the salmon dish did not work out so well. The fish was described as watery, and while the mango worked with the cooked salmon, the grapefruit did not. Grapefruit and smoked salmon is a familiar partnership, but this was one inspiration too far. For dessert I went for the rhubarb tartlet served with strawberry and balsamic ice cream (€8.50 – yes I am insane). Strawberry balsamic ice-cream à la Seapoint amounted to plain old vanilla ice cream, plus a whole load of poetic licence. The rhubarb tartlet didn’t impress much itself. Instead of a shortcrust pastry base, the kitchen had cut a corner by using puff pastry, which just went soggy. Service was so-so, which is regretfully too often the case when you are young and not deemed a valuable customer. However, a good standard for recommendation is to ask someone would they return. And the answer here is a definite yes. So destitute students, save up one night’s allowance of drinking money, take a trip on the 46a, and discover Monkstown in all its culinary glory. Seapoint Restaurant, 4 The Crescent, Monkstown, Co. Dublin, 01-6638 480.


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2 November 2010

CULTURE

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Frankly Genius Title: John Gabriel Borkman Cast: James Macdonald Director: Alan Rickman, Fiona Shaw, Lindsay Duncan. Running Until: November 20th in the Abbey Theatre Tickets: €13-€40

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he Abbey Theatre’s latest offering, John Gabriel Borkman, a play by Henrik Ibsen which has been translated by UCD Professor of Creative Writing Frank McGuinness, is truly a theatrical treat. With an all-star cast, including Alan Rickman and Fiona Shaw, it is hard to find fault with this production. The story centres on disgraced banker John Gabriel Borkman, played by Rickman, and the ripples that are caused in his family upon the arrival of his wife’s (Fiona Shaw) estranged sister (Lindsay Duncan). The three leads shine in their respective roles, but special mention must be given to Duncan. The star of Dr Who and Rome, who won plaudits for her performance in the celebrated That Face, shines with an icy glamour. Her cold exterior perfectly hides a pained interior and Duncan switches between the two flawlessly. In contrast to Duncan’s icy calmness, Shaw plays her hysterical foil perfectly. The two steal each scene that they are in. Rickman too must be commended for his stoic portrayal of the disgraced Borkman, who remains impassive in the face of Shaw’s hysterics.

The play itself is incredibly engaging. Upon the interval, my companion and I could not believe that so much time had passed. The dialogue is both thought provoking and hilarious at times – the audience laughed out loud on several occasions. While the actors bring the words to life, McGuinness must be commended for his rich translation of the play. Additionally, McGuinness’ characters are loveable despite their shortcomings. While the characters are not overtly good people, as an observer, you find yourself drawn into The cast of John Gabriel Borkman shine in Frank McGuinness’ their lives and stories and translation. finding yourself sympathetic to individuals you thought irritating and shallow at first. engaging, while also being emotive. The actors fill The set design of John Gabriel Borkman is innovative their roles perfectly and the sets provide an interesting and uses the impressive stage of the Abbey well. While spectacle. This is a play that should not be missed by transitions between the two floors of the house may anyone who is even remotely interested in drama. It seem overly elaborate in writing, the Abbey creates an cements McGuinness’ reputation as a consummate easy transition. Similarly, interiors and exteriors remain translator of other playwright’s work, in addition to separate but blend easily. being one of the most important voices in Irish drama McGuinness must be commended for creating a in recent memory. unique version of this play. The story is pacy and - Bridget Fitzsimons

Review from the Library Only a Game? The Diary of a Professional Footballer by Eamon Dunphy Only a Game is undoubtedly a good book which could even be considered a great one. It is a diary which was written with the intention of capturing the gritty essence of life as a professional footballer in the lower leagues. Eamon Dunphy subsequently encapsulates the highs and lows which most footballers experience, while chronicling his time spent at Millwall FC during the 1973/74 season. The fact that events are written about in their immediate aftermath makes for compelling reading, bringing a sense of clarity, detail and (most importantly) impulsiveness to Dunphy’s entertaining mixture of hilarious anecdotes, self-deprecating match reports and intriguing personal insights – narrative attributes which would be nigh on impossible to adequately replicate were he to recall everything in hindsight.

Got no social life and even less cash? Steven Balbirnie and Paul Fennessy rate the best that the library has to offer

Those familiar with Dunphy’s invariably provocative football punditry for RTÉ will surely allow themselves a wry smile upon reading the many opinions he elicits, as Only a Game reveals a man possessing of a flair for making outlandish statements, albeit in an incredibly articulate (at least for a humble footballer) fashion. Therefore, although his football-related assessments are often fanciful in the extreme (for example, at the beginning of the season he is adamant that Millwall will gain promotion, only for the side to struggle badly), the mixture of passion, honesty and wit which imbues Dunphy’s writing has consolidated Only a Game’s reputation as one of the best books on sport ever written. - Paul Fennessy Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror Vampires have exploded in popularity in recent years and whether you love or hate the current direction they are taking, it is worth watching the original vampire film, Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror. Directed by FW Murnau, this black-and-white silent film was released in Germany in 1922, but its influence has endured to the present day. Nosferatu is a loose adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, which

almost led to the film’s destruction when the author’s widow sued for copyright infringement. Thankfully, copies of this film survived. Otherwise, we would have lost one of the finest examples of early cinema The film’s plot is centred on an estate agent called Hutter, as he assists a Transylvanian by the name of Count Orlok in his efforts to relocate him to Hutter’s hometown. Hutter soon discovers however, that there is more to the Count than meets the eye. Despite the lack of sound and the limitations on special effects, Nosferatu is a competent horror film, which is genuinely creepy. The sinister atmosphere of the film is largely due to an excellent performance by Max Schreck as Count Orlok. The portrayal of the Count as a repugnant monster is a welcome contrast to the overly romanticised vampires of today. - Steven Balbirnie


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Please Talk!

What was the best costume you ever had for Halloween?

John Muldowney, 2nd Year Science - “A baby. I wore a pink onesie and carried a big lollipop around with me”

Campus Band Interview

The Pulpit

Sadie Lowe, 1st Year Modern Languages - “Amy Winehouse. I put extensions in my hair, dyed it black and drew on loads of tattoos”

Evan O'Leary of electro-surfers The Pulpit rises to the challenge of this issue’s Campus Band Questionnaire Who are your members and what do they play? Laura Lovejoy on guitar and vocals, Evan O’Leary on synthesiser and Neil Mooney on drums. Where did you get the inspiration for your name? We wanted something that sounded Catholic. Where do you gig? Our following is quite diverse. We played Whelans and The Twisted Pepper, but also lots of gay venues like Pantibar. I’m gay, Laura and Neil aren’t, so we are to some extent a part of the scene and I think we are kind of camp. Our singer Laura, for example, is not very macho, but she is a strong woman. Anyway, we don’t question gender roles in our lyrics. We’re not that intellectual. Most of our songs are about loneliness and love, which are easy topics to write about for me. What do you play on your tour bus? Our tour bus is a Morris Minor, which Neil owns. I get no choice in the music, so it is usually the Cramps or the 13th Floor Elevators. The other guys have a preference for 60s surf rock. What's the best thing about going to UCD? I have a boyfriend, but I would say attractive men. And there are lots of cool places where you can have tea and hang around.

What's the worst thing about going to UCD? I suppose the library. It looks like a prison. The pseudo-innovative lights on the escalators don’t make it better. Which acts would you choose to headline your dream festival? Laura and Neil would probably pick Dick Dale or the Cramps, but I would pick the Pet Shop Boys. I like them, because they are very theatrical and they put on a good show.

 Marelle Murphy, 1st Year English & Film - “I wore loads of different coloured clothing and went as a rainbow”  

Where would be your dream place to play? I really like the Olympia Theatre on Dame Street. It’s a small, but very underrated venue. How do you differ from other bands in UCD? We don't sound like the Coronas and I think we have a unique sound. We call it electro-surf. We also differ from others, because there are not many three-piece bands around. The instrumentation is unique as well: You don't get synth and guitar without bass very often. Unfortunately, the combination of electronic sounds and indie guitars has become quite popular, but 60s guitar is not really in fashion at the moment, so that's how we stand out. In conversation with Lorenz Beyer The Pulpit play Whelan’s on Friday 19th November.

(From left to right) Sean HughesClarke, Sarah Burke, Aidan Earley and Dearbhla Burke, 1st Year Physio  “All four of us went as Tetris pieces” - Catherine Murnane


o-two 2nd November