The University Times
The University Times Magazine
NO, ITS NOT A SCAM.
EMILY FLAHERTY EXPLAINS WHY SHE WAS WILLING TO WORK FOR NEITHER CAUSE NOR MONEY
MICHELLE DOYLE INVESTIGATES THE WORLD’S MOST DEDICATED METHOD ACTORS. 7
IF THERE IS A POSSIBLE SPANISH GOLDEN-AGE PAINTING IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD, WHO YOU GONNA CALL? RACHEL LAVIN FINDS OUT.
LEAVING HOME IN STYLE THE STORY OF A BRIEF SILVER LINING DURING A HOUSING CRISIS, BY DAVID WALL.
APP APP AND AWAY
NOW THAT WE ALL LIVE IN THE FUTURE, ZACH EUSTACE TAKES US THROUGH GETTING THE MOST OUT OF YOUR POCKET MULTIMEDIA COMMUNICATIONS OMNITOOL (SMARTPHONE...)
13 WELCOME TO THE BEST CLUB NIGHT IN DUBLIN
TOMMY GAVIN VENTS HIS OBSESSION WITH THE GOULASH DISKO, A MONTHLY NIGHT OF BALKAN BEATS IN THE TWISTED PEPPER
EOIN HENNESSY WAS AT BODYTONIC’S THE BEATYARD WEEKENDER, NOW IN ITS SECOND YEAR. THE AGE OF THE CITY-BASED
LOITERING WITH INTENT
Tommy Gavin discusses the Road Safety Authority and also reviews Burrito and Orange in this weeks Burrito Bar.
IN FOCUS A photo by Dargan Crowley-Long [SIGH]
CSC Katie Abrahams takes a look at the activities of college societies over the year.
In that respect then, allow me to present our third issue. In our cover feature; David Wall tells the story of an impromptu weekend art gallery that arose from bankruptcy and foreclosure (where the admittedly harrowing cover photo came from, credit to David Mannion). We also have a review of the annual Beatyard Weekender mini-festival, a look at the Twisted Pepper’s Goulash Disko, and an interview with the Trinity professor whose ability to discern “optical truth” helped identify an unknown 17th century masterpiece. Then, beyond the themes of justification and redemption, we have our continuation of the burrito bar column where in this issue we assess Burritos and Orange and find it not to be a contender for the prestigious University Times Magazine Pendiente Burrito Award, a feature on the fulfilment of working for free like a godless communist, and conversely, a feature on the lives of animals who act for money. We hope you enjoy the
Editor: Tommy Gavin Deputy Editor: Luke O’Connell Creative Director: Dargan
Alicia Byrne Keane reviews The Marriage Plot
This is not some fatalistic dirge though, where self-serving lamentation is an acceptable substitute for truth or meaning, no! It’s a preamble, to a message of celebration. All hope is not lost, and while the days get shorter, the nights get longer, and even if we lose the best among us to foreign shores, the possibility of doing or making something truly great here is as high as it’s ever been. Our national psyche is gearing towards an attitude of reclamation and reconstruction, and it is in this that we will find our wayward glory.
They can bring out the best or the worst out of musicians, Eoin Hennessy looks
Eoin Hennessy reviews all the latest albums and EP’s.
‘The Whole Milk Debate’ - Luke O’Connell harks back to a better time, a whole milk time. Screw supermilk.
COLLABORATIONS: THE GOOD THE BAD
So it’s happened then, we’re past that brief and almost indeterminate period we call Autumn, and well into the cold season like a jeep stuck in a bog. Hard to tell exactly how deep it gets, the only reassurance being that it can only get deeper, and darker. The great exodus is upon us, our generation’s mass migration, where friends and family members are leaving for the bright lights of the Continent, Australia and North America, and It is we who remain to keep the kettle on or whatever it is we tell ourselves. No longer can we repeat the mantra “winter is coming”; it’s already here.
FILM Katherine Reidy expounds on the virtues of colouring your eyes turquoise.
Culture Editor: David Doyle Photographers: Dargan
Crowley-Long. Illustrator: Sadhbh Byrne and Sinead Mercier Contributors: Rachel Lavin, Darragh Haugh, Katie Abrahams, Shauna Watson, Eoin Hennessy, Alicia Byrne Keane, Jamie Wright, David Wall, Michelle Doyle.
LOITERING WITH INTENT... THE ROAD SAFETY AUTHORITY NEEDS TO BE STOPPED!
BURRITOS AND ORANGE
“C The RSA Mansion Too long have we been ground under the heel of the RSA boot, a call to arms by Tommy Gavin
recently sat my driving test for the fourth time, and failed for the fourth time. In competition with my friend, who then seemed like the world’s most hilarious failure for having failed three times and only got it on the fourth, it was a particularly bitter sting. He had a tendency to get flustered and compromise himself, over the history of our competitions, while I, supremely confident in my ability, would venture forward cocksure and cavalier, only to fail as miserably as he, and in this and many other cases, worse. This time though, the lesson isn’t that preparation trumps both hesitation and self-assurance, or that my friend is a better driver than I am (he’s not), but that you can’t trust the Road Safety Authority (RSA). I came close the first time, I was nervous and slightly unprepared, so I wasn’t overly surprised when I learned that I had picked up a grade three which means an automatic fail as well as the necessary number of grade twos to have failed, had I not got the grade three. I had good fundamentals but work was needed. It was a fair fail. The second fail was also fair. It was snowing, and by the end the examiner who began the drive quite jolly, discomposedly seemed to legitimately consider me a danger to the road, after I picked up something like three or four automatic fails. What can I say, I was rusty. I don’t think I was a danger to anybody but I certainly had no right to hold a licence. It was the third test that griped me. After a leisurely cruise around Churchtown, the ma-
jority of which was spent in traffic which is a special treat during a driving test, I was exasperated to learn that I could not sufficiently turn left to the standards of the almighty Road Safety Authority. Everything else on my little test sheet was perfect, but for the turns. If anything, I was reassured that I really was a good driver, because I now had an indication there were no problems except for my supposed inability to turn. Yet I swallowed my pride and applied one more time, now having to at best draw with my friend. The fourth examiner seemed disappointed at how slow and boring the test was going, but I had no intention of indulging him any kerrraazy turns or high speed swerving. Still though, he got me on a tedious technicality for having stopped at a red light after turning. I’ll admit it was wrong, but it did not warrant a fail, as my new and improved fail test sheet actually proves I’m a great driver for all the marks I didn’t get. This brings me to my point, what do we actually know about the Road Safety Authority?, aka the 1%. Each time they fail me, I have to cough up a new application fee, so is it any wonder I keep failing? If I got paid to fail rubes, I’d do it all day long. We need to seriously reconsider how we let these people get away with this for so long. I can see them now, lording it over us in the billiards rooms of the RSA mansion, sipping cognac, while the tastefully decorated walls rebound their derisive and mocking laughter. So what are you going to do about it? #OccupyRSAmansion
an we award 0 out of 5?” The first question we asked upon sampling the wares of one of Dublin’s newest burrito bars, Burritos and Orange. And by the end we were questioning the” Burritos” part of the name nearly as much as the “Orange”. While Dublin’s burrito renaissance has seen other establishments follow their own path in the quest for excellence, the path here ends at a sign marked “bandwagon”. There is no love for burritos here. Upon entering, there is nothing to imply that this was a house of Mexican cuisine, the décor being more suggestive of a European kebab shop; complete with tacky paintings, gold-plated light fittings, and a desolate aquarium with 5 fish and no sand. The staff while pleasant, lacked knowledge of the food they were preparing and stumbled on simple questions put forward to them such as “What type of beans are there?” We received a short but polite response of “beans”. While the server seemed like a good and decent person, this seems to be all she was told. This may be indicative of the thought that went into the other ingredients, as they were neither fresh nor of the standard we have come to expect from the great burrito game. Steak was bland, tough and chewy, while the pork
Service/Atmosphere -- 2 Ingredients --1 Flavour -- 1 Construction -- 1 Value -- 4 Overall -- 9/25
was stringy and tasteless. The guacamole was runny and almost straight from the can, and what about the salsa you ask? “Oh, thank you, It’s just brown and water!” Unsurprisingly then, there is nothing positive to be said for the flavour. Even less than the sum of its parts, it can be said to be the gustatory equivalent of cacophonous noise. The tastes pull you in multiple directions at once, as if you’re being shouted at in different and unintelligible languages. Perhaps most odd of all though is the method of construction; whereby the burrito is wrapped and covered in foil, and then grilled, on a Panini grill. It was a curious innovation to behold, but ultimately it just made the foil very hot, and the whole thing fell apart anyway. The only good thing about the experience was the price, with every large burrito being five euro (and they are huge). But then again, just because you can get 50 chomp bars for the same price, doesn’t mean you should.
ITS NOT A SCAM Emily Flaherty explains why she was willing to work for neither cause nor money.
hy would you work for free?” inquired my friend when I informed her I was going Helpxing. Helpx and Wwoof are organisations that enable people to travel cheaply by exchanging work for bed and board. Listings vary from farms to festivals, and boats to B&Bs, while Wwoof is confined to organic farms. Both are global organisations and are great ways to travel while disregarding the typical tourist experience. As meals and accommodation are part of the Helpx/ Wwoof package, this is one of the more frugal ways to travel. There is an element of roughing it about the lodging and its naïve to expect luxury or personal space, as you might be sleeping on a futon on the floor, with only a foot between your futon and the futon of the stranger you’ve just met and are now practically sharing a bed with. However, close quarters make fast friends. Indeed you might be glad to be so close, when you’re lying awake waiting for the ghosts, as I did whilst trying to sleep in the highest room of the tallest tower in an ancient castle, and so convinced myself that the shouts, the banging on the door, and the (spooky) phone ringing were all supernatural and so didn’t get up and let the guests in (it was a B&B). For all the detriments of the sleeping arrangements, the board generally compensates and the food is often delicious. One of the places I stayed at had a restaurant, and we ate five course meals every night.
Another boasted two trained chefs who spent hours preparing delicious feasts that we would eat outside, by moon and candlelight. A lot of the food was home grown; I picked the tomatoes for lunch myself. If you’re in the country, free food is in abundance, and you could spend hours crouched beside a blackberry bush or fig tree gorging on everything in reach. Travel broadens the behind, as well as the mind. Your work pays for your bed and board, and on average you do five hours a day with weekends off, although that varies depending on where you stay, along with the type of work you do. While helping I have picked flowers and berries, made wine, cooked, cleaned, hovered spiral staircases in castles, dug holes, carried rocks, fed, groomed and mucked out horses, babysat baby birds and more than anything else, weeded. There is no end to the variety of tasks you might be called on to perform. Once I singed the feathers off a dead duck which was surprisingly empowering, as now I have been involved in the killing process, I no longer feel guilty about being a carnivore and furthermore, as I did it, learned I am tougher than I thought. Those with skills are usually able to find opportunities to use them, as Sarp used his bartending experience to run events for a bar in the Netherlands. Others learn new skills; Frances who had no experience with horses, was placed in charge of feeding them. She now proudly boasts her newfound ability on her curriculum vitae. While the work can be trying, it can often be
rewarding and all that labour burns calories, works up your appetite and ensures a good nights sleep. Unsurprisingly as they’re welcoming strangers into their home, hosts tend to be very open people. Usually they have travelled themselves and led interesting lives. Rosie, maker of floral wines and keeper of ostriches, had lived in many places including Île de la Reunion. Denis had been a photographer for Vanity Fair and Rolling Stone. Hosts are often generous; when I asked Rosie for a day off to go Inverness, she gave me three, while Paul and Alison never let me pay for drink (we went to the bar every night). Hosts incorporate you into their family and into the community. You hear all the village gossip (She had an affair with a 20 year old, his son’s a glue sniffer) and many very personal family secrets (it’s slightly scary how much people tell you). You’re invited around to their friends’ for dinner, you help mop up after that same friend’s house has been flooded, and you accompany them on disastrous blind dates and help them drown their sorrows afterwards. You insist your host go to hospital after a horse had knocked them over. You become part of a community, so you experience their way of life as it is, rather than as a spectator. The best part of helping/ wwoofing is without doubt the other helpers though. As Mark says: “Nothing builds friendships like toiling in the sun”. It’s a great opportunity to meet all sorts of people from all over, and it’s surprising how
close you become in a short space of time, through the digging of holes, getting electrocuted or constructing volleyball nets from net curtains you found in a dungeon which you weren’t supposed to be in, or doing something really stupid like climbing/falling down a cliff face. The friendships you form tend to be intense as you end up spending all of your time together; working, playing, eating and sleeping. You tell strangers things you can’t tell your friends, and you learn about their lives. You learn about Maori laws and Romanian gypsy dancers, you learn about the best the way to make road kill edible from the Californian who gets up at five am to make everyone croissants. You meet artists and exorcists, astrologists and milkmaids, and people who’ve worked with Mother Theresa or are writing books in four languages, and you find you have so little but so much in common. Kim says she misses the simplest things, “like chatting with other helpers before going to bed. It’s nice knowing that there are people out there that understand me and feel the same way about life”. I can’t help but agree. Helpx and Wwoof can both be found online. I would recommend Helpx over Wwoof as Helpx provides access to its entire global network for one fee, while each country has a separate Wwoof system that must be joined and paid for separately. The joining fee is cheap, as are living expenses. Returning to my friend’s question – why would you work for free? I lived for free.
Michelle Doyle investigates the world’s most dedicated method actors.
ast summer, working in a restaurant in uptown Manhattan I came into contact by proxy with a chimp in a red jumper who went by the name Nim. Later that month Nim was propelled into the spotlight as the titular figure of the much-extolled feature documentary Project Nim which aired throughout the US and Europe. Herb Terrace, Columbia University lecturer and the genesis of the Project Nim, came to the restaurant to give an intimate and open lecture on animal cognition, the evolution of intelligence and how Nim, aptly named Nim Chimpsky, was the slightly hippy-ish experiment intended to refute Noam Chompsky’s argument that language is a uniquely human aptitude.
Despite critics’ rapturous approval of the documentary however Herb Terrace was pilloried. Film writers and magazines cited the professor as opportunistic, irresponsible and a ‘gorilla-alpha male’, tritely pointing out that it was the humans who behaved like animals more so than the chimp. By combining this primary footage of Nim and compounding it with interviews featuring those involved with the project, Nim, now deceased, has lived on in the public conscience whilst incidentally joining the ranks as a de facto reality star. Of course Nim’s story is more relevant and poignant than the other ‘stars’ who swell the reality TV ranks - the recalcitrant pups and handbag pooches sported by Paris Hilton and
chased around the house by Ozzy and Sharon. But leaving Nim aside, it seems in recent years that TV has been trying to tap into a new market spurred on by reality television. In 2008, CNN launched its international search for an animal star with its TV show: Quest For a Man’s Best Friend. Quest for a man’s best friend? It’s easy to imagine that the kind of people who put their pets through these pageants are slightly mad and maybe limelight chasing has-beens or, alternatively, there’s a huge amount of money to be made. I contacted Irish pet agency Fir Croft and put the question of money to Mary Owens the Training Director who informed me that while “there’s possibly money to be made in America there
certainly isn’t in Ireland.” “We hear about Hollywood dogs and cats who are making a fortune but generally the money you make from it here would be small, particularly with the recession.” So if there’s no real money to be made then who are these pet-pushing owners? “Well usually they’re just people who enjoy the idea of seeing their pet on TV. “People will email me with details of their dogs, cats and any particular tricks they can do and then these details are stored on our database. “But the business is variable. Work is dependant on what films or ads are being made and whether those ads or films need animals. Often a month will pass and no one will be in touch with the agency about an animal.”
And are the animals trained or taught to cope with the demanding work of a film set? “Yes. Generally speaking, while the animal may be well behaved or trained in their own home they would have to be properly prepared for the stresses and distractions of a film set. “So usually they come to us, spend some time with us beforehand and we take them through training programs before they have to perform in front of the camera.” Speaking to Fir Croft the whole thing sounded incredibly legit. Amateur animal acting appeared to be more a past time for Rin Tin Tinw owners who wanted other people to get as much pleasure and enjoyment from their pets as they did at home. And Fir Croft was exactly the place to facilitate that enthusiasm whilst satisfying an important aspect of the Irish film business. This all sounds very wholesome and above board, but PETA (Protection for Ethical Treatment of Animals) can always be counted on to provide a bizarre reactionary contrast and they stress a more critical view of animal handlers and agencies, stating: “There is nothing glamorous about showbiz for primates, big cats, bears, and other animals who are used in television, film or advertising. “Torn away from their mothers as infants, these animals are subjected to abusive training methods and forced to spend most of their lives in small, filthy cages. “Trainers often beat the animals with fists, clubs, or even broom handles. [And this] Systematic abuse causes the animals to be constantly anxious and fearful—always anticipating the next blow.” While this extremist view seemed a far cry from the notion of enthusiastic pet-owners hoping to spot
their kitten on the small-screen, it is true that this sort of abuse and mishandling was by no means exaggerated or indigenous to developing countries with limited animal rights laws. Brokeback Mountain, the Oscar award winning feature film starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger stirred concern amongst critics: Where films made in the US are monitored by the American Humane Association (AHA), which oversees all animal proceedings, taking care that animals are not killed or
harmed during the making of films, Brokeback Mountain was filmed in Canada, meaning that the AHA had no oversight on proceedings. Consequently, scenes featuring gutted sheep, elk hunting, aggressive sheep-handling and rodeo scenes cannot be clarified as having been carried out in a humane way that is in keeping with AHA guidelines. The AHA also listed a number of films on its website that were not monitored and subsequently may have featured
animals that were subject to mishandling and abuse. These included: The Da Vinci Code (Tom Hanks how could you?), Kingdom of Heaven, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (whose rating was “questionable”) and Daddy Day Camp which was subject to AHA related complaints. Ironically, amongst the sadder stories in the acting business is the story of Keiko, better known as Free Willy. Captured from his home in the North Atlantic Sea in the 1970s, Keiko spent 20 years performing in aquariums across North America. Following his five-year stint with Warner Brothers; making a film about how it is unethical to mistreat animals for human entertainment, he was kept in conditions that were considered unsuitable for a Killer Whale he was then released back to the ocean. Keiko failed to integrate however and eventually died from pneumonia in 2003. But not all stories ended like this: Rin Tin Tin, the German Shepherd who doubled up onscreen as a wolf, was rescued from abandonment at the end of the First World War and parachuted into the public eye as the literal bright-eyed, bushy-tailed darling of early twentieth century film. Rin Tin Tin even came close to winning an Oscar, allegedly receiving the most votes for Best Actor award (although Hollywood scrapped the idea of presenting an Alsatian with the award for fear that it would bring the Academy’s credibility into dispute.) Even the wife of Rin Tin Tin’s owner, Lee Duncan, filed for divorce citing that “[Duncan] didn’t love her... All he loved was Rin Tin Tin.” While Rinty may not have received an Oscar for his film and radio work, and even developed a slight reputation as a bit of a ‘home wrecker’ he was honored posthumously on the Hollywood Walk of fame where his star still stands today. Bravo Rin Tin Tin, bravo.
Rin Tin Tin
If there is a possible Spanish Golden-age painting in your neighborhood, who you gonna call? Rachel Lavin finds out.
t is a bit weird’ sighs Peter Cherry, Professor of Art History, as he sits back contemplatively in the Alladin’s cave that is his fifth floor office. Wall to wall is rammed with art history books, and pictures of great works are blue-tacked on every available wall space. On a side desk a magazine on his recent discovery sits in pride of place. In reflection, on the sequence of events of the last few months that shot his name into international media and academic attention, it is not surprising he comes across still slightly overwhelmed by the experience. Having specialized in the field of Spanish Art, Cherry was no stranger to the works of the historically acclaimed Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez, a leading
artist in the Spanish Golden Age. While painting many pieces of historical and cultural importance, it was his realist portraits that acclaimed Valesquez to international renown and until August of last year, one such portrait was sitting anonymously in the basement of a British Gallery, awaiting to be put up on auction in Oxford marked a mere 500 pounds. Cherry however, who had always taken an interest in the identification of such anonymous artworks, was continuously coming up against adversity. ‘Young students in Art History are not interested in the role of identifying unknown pieces anymore, as connoisseurship has become popularly associated with corruption. It is considered to be rather old-fashioned. As a pro-
fessor I try to develop an appreciation in my students, as few enough art historians do it nowadays.’ His attempts with students, however, obviously paid off. An ex-student of Cherry’s working in Bonham’s Auction House, aroused suspicion over details in the ‘Portrait of a Gentleman’, bust-length, in a black tunic and white golilla colar which was the assumed work of a nineteenth century British painter. On contacting Professor Cherry, he admits being skeptical at first. ‘People are constantly sending me attributions like this, hoping that their painting is the work of some famous artist and I always approach these claims cautiously.’ So what made this painting different? He lights up
moving to the edge of his chair ignited with a sudden childish excitement. ‘It was quality’ he beams. ‘I saw it straight away. It was not run of the mill. It was a good picture with real aesthetic quality and I immediately thought ‘this has potential’. But I knew I had to see it in person to be sure.’ Flying over to England within a few days of receiving the e-mail Cherry explains how he went through a process of checking himself. ‘While I was aware of the possible financial difference a discovery like this could make to a painting, as a scholar you have to maintain a high level of objectivity and value of opinion with you’re relationship to the market. There is always a danger that those behind the painting will have vested interests that will try to sway you. After all, a recently discovered Leonardo went at 200 million, so there is a lot at stake, but you must trust your own judgment despite that.’ ‘Equally for myself, of course, the danger of vanity plays a role, just to be associated would have been amazing, as such a work is not recorded in any literature or history of the painter and as such would be completely new to the respected work of Valesquez.’ “I was afraid as well that what if it was just a good picture I’d been sent and I was overestimating myself on a wild goose chase? Often the best paintings look badly in photographs. By the time I got there I was already beginning to doubt myself’. Arriving in London with a renewed skepticism, Professor Cherry went through various stages of testing the painting. ‘You go over, look at it and think firstly, does it have the characteristics that relate to Valesquez? What way was it handled? I was specifically struck by how it communicates optical truth, a very modern characteristic, something Valesquez was ahead of his time with’. ‘Secondly we sent it for technical analysis, taking x-rays and examining the cross-sections. While most of the time Technical analysis’s purpose is to prove a painting isn’t by such an artist, ironically the results ultimately proved to me it had to be Valesquez’. Taking out a file, Cherry’s whole case rested on the picture of a ghostly image he presents me with. ‘The difference with Valesquez is
that he always painted a thin ground layer, with a thick top layer, contradictory to common methods of his time. Thus when we x-rayed through to the bottom layer we discovered this thin ghostly outline of our portrait.’ While technical analysis constitutes with Valesquez’s paintings Cherry admits his discovery is still an opinion. It has however been widely accepted in scholarly circles. ‘People are behind me, you know. I’m just glad at least they’re saying ‘Cherry’s not crazy’’. Accordingly, come the 7th of December the Portrait of a Gentlemen will be put up for auction in Bonhams Fine Art Auctioneers. It is estimated to sell for £2,000,000-3,000,000. Cherry himself admits being ‘stunned by prices’ finding the whole reception by the art world slightly superficial. ‘What amused me’ comments Cherry, ‘ was that it wasn’t until the auction house launched it and put a price on it, that suddenly everyone wakes up to it. They are suddenly taking notice of it, not because it is the most amazing portrait in the world, it’s just ‘some old boy’, but it has Valesquez behind it’. In the mean time Cherry remains humble on his role in finding Valesquez’s work. He remarks “I’m just glad to put the department and Trinity on the map amongst the international art community. And it is remarkable how extremely complimentary the lay community have been. Although, and perhaps I shouldn’t say this’ he adds jokingly, ‘fellow scholars have been a bit more quiet on the issue. But I suppose scholars are a funny lot. Collegiality amongst us is real in some ways, but when it comes to finding out things, it is still fun to have the competitive edge,’ he grins ‘in the best possible way of course’. There are still many unanswered questions though. The cleaning of the painting is set to reveal more details and renew the painting and the question of where the work will end up and whether or not Spanish museums will make a claim on it, it being Valesquez. ‘My main concern is that is finds a good home, preferably open to the public view. Wherever or to whom it goes on the seventh of December, I’d like to continue the story with it when it gets sold.’
LEAVING HOME IN STYLE A story of being in the right place at the right time during the crisis. By David Wall
veryone lives, at one stage or another, in a house where the circumstances of chance fall in their favour. For those who have passed that stage, they will know the futility of trying to recreate that one moment in time and gathering of certain people who made that one brief period exceptional. For one group of friends, this house was 200 Clonliffe Road. Originally built in the 1850’s, it was bought at the height of the boom for over 2 million by a developer trying to buy up a block of the street and demolish it. The house had been used up till then as a B&B, and the evidence of this is to be seen in one of the nastiest extensions ever to be conceived, including a warren of tiny bedrooms in the basement with windows into other rooms, which by the looks of the kid’s paintings on the walls served as bedrooms for up to 8 children. The upside of the extension was that the 6 bedrooms upstairs each had ensuite toilets. As the crisis kicked in, the rent on the house decreased in line with the fortunes of the developer. Eventually, the bank that loaned the ridiculous amount of money which they were never going to see again repossessed the house, hoping to be rid of a bad deal. As a final two fingers to the bank, the developer offered the occupants a 5 year lease, and the bank’s headache continued. Not wanting to recognise the lease, but unable to eject the occupants, the lads found themselves living rent free. From this time, the house became a crash pad for artists, architects, musicians and filmmakers. Since nobody was paying
rent, no one had a say about who could pass through. It was not uncommon to wake up and find someone staying over who nobody realised had a key. The high ceilinged drawing room became a rehearsal room for at least 3 bands, the large front room of the basement a bike workshop. The cycle friendly ethos of the house could be seen by the pile-up of racers in the hallway and the epigram ‘cycle track will abound in utopia’ emblazoned on the wall above. Visitors and occupants could regularly be found huddled around the only fireplace in the kitchen as the heat in their large upstairs bedrooms passed straight through the massive Victorian windows, but they had no complaints. Eventually, the bank came to an agreement, and it was decided that they would have to leave by the 27th of October last, after a year of living rent free. The question was, how to celebrate this one short period where everything conspired in their favour: crisis, bankruptcy, timing, luck. They considered a massive blow-out party, afterwards handing the carcass of a building over to the bank, but eventually came up with something more befitting the recent history of the house. It would be turned into an art gallery for the last weekend of its occupancy. Art, music, poetry and sound installations would be provided by past and present occupants and their friends, and the house would be open to the public for the whole weekend. I arrived down for the opening on Friday night. On the street, a lamp made out of a bicycle frame welcomed anyone interested into the house. At the end of the long driveway, the front door stood open, awaiting visitors. The first thing I noticed on entering was the large rectangular hole dug through the wall to
Cover Story electronically mashed and manipulated clarinet and guitar from Sean Óg and Shane Latimer, and saxophone dubstep from house band Ghosties, its was hard not to be drawn in by the range of talent on show. Most memorable, however, was the event that took place in candlelit glow beneath the floating green carpet upstairs. Ex-resident Niall ‘the Raven’ O’hEalaithe free versed about the recent exploits in the house, while his group Pedigree Cha relooped his verse and overlaid dodgy keyboards. With stories of finding an extra room ‘up the Anne Frank staircase’, of unknown Erasmus students living in the attic and eavesdropping on the constant screaming of the junkie neighbours, the poetry provided a mixture of nostalgia and humour that lent a fitting end to the short period when everything came together in this loved and soon to be derelict mansion. Four days after the event, an agent of Allsops arrived to the house, hoping the see the gem that could be quickly shifted in their upcoming auction. While the occupants removed the last remnants of their four year stay in the house - shifting furniture past the locksmith brought to ensure they didn’t return - the agent had a look around. From the basement, moans of ‘awful, just awful’ could be heard as he progressed deeper into the house. The well dressed agent whose 4 x 4 jaguar was parked in the driveway seemed confused that anyone would
the room on my right. On the previous Wednesday, artist Dominic Thorpe had carried out a 8 hour performance piece which included etching into the walls as he balanced on the mantelpiece and laboriously digging through the hundred and fifty year old plaster and lath walls with a set of sharpened teaspoons, while a piano was perched against him. Good art is supposed to be challenging. On the half landing, in the smallest room of the house, was a sound installation by former architect and now composer Conal Ryan. In it a G tone was variously decomposed and recomposed over a six hour period, which proved intriguing for visitors and eventually torturous for the remaining occupants. Further up the stairs, a set of battered mirrors displayed the etched message ‘we are still here’, a warning perhaps for those looking to buy the house in the next Allsop’s fire-sale. In the final upstairs bedroom, the most striking piece in the exhibition could be found. Artist Emily Mannion and architect Tom O’Brien had created a suspended, undulating topography from the lush green carpet, leaving a perfect square of old exposed floorboards where the carpet had been removed. In the basement, various artists had taken over the tiny children’s bedrooms. Andres Kindler von Knobloch created a light installation whose burning bulb could barely be looked at and yet drew the eye with its intriguing structure. Mark Durkan occupied the front room with an elegant pyramidal structure made of standard yellow spirit levels; its calm and balanced effect seemed comical seeing as the builder’s tool had helped so much in bringing about this event. In the garden and visible from the rear window, artist Michelle Brown created a tidy illuminated white house drifting into the air; a comment possibly on the instability of the residents, the house floating off to where all our property dreams have gone. Eventually, the opening night crowd having gathered, the turntable came on and the drink began to flow. The next morning, the residents sat bemusedly eating breakfast in the kitchen as the first visitors arrived to see the house. Having recently visited Dublin Contemporary and been struck by the wonderful building in itself, there was a sense that what was on display here was more insightful and contextualised than what had been parachuted into Earlsfort terrace. In the end, what made this weekend special were the events that ran throughout. Artist Ruth E Lyons gave an informal talk over Sunday lunch about social structures in society and the possibility of interdisciplinary collaborations among the arts in these straitened times. During the evening, the varied bands that had come through the house took to the basement. Featuring, among others, Donal McErlaine on the classical guitar,
The well dressed agent whose 4 x 4 jaguar was parked in the driveway seemed confused that anyone would want to take such worthless furniture; the distinct worlds of each obviously had a different concept of value. want to take such worthless furniture; the distinct worlds of each obviously had a different concept of value. God only knows what he was thinking as he watched one of the lads remove the lock off the bathroom door! When he returned from a look around upstairs, the group was surprised that no comment was made about the large undulating carpet suspended from the ceiling in the bedroom. As they left, they fought to suppress wry smiles as
they looked back – derelict house to one side, council junkies to the other. While it had served as a cherished house of the arts to these people, one could only feel it wouldn’t find so understanding an owner on the cold hearted, profit-driven open market. Overall, the weekend served as a beacon of hope and possibility in these down-trodden times. The exhibition showed that with little money (well, none actually!), the support of friends and above all a good idea, something great could be achieved to rival any state funded cultural shenanigans. So next time your thinking of having a house party, broaden your horizons and think of the many possibilities these difficult but creative times are offering us. Next show at your house!
The New Free at Rehearsal. Photo: Dargan Crowley-Long
APP APP AND AWAY Now that we all live in the future, Zach Eustace takes us through getting the most out of your pocket multimedia communications omnitool (smartphone...).
ello there! And welcome to the future! That’s right, the future! Not at all, not at all, come right in.. Yes, yes, welcome, welcome… have a seat while we wait to process you; actually, have a hoverseat! No, it’s essentially the same as a seat, but this is the future, everything hovers! Why yes, that is a miniature supercomputer in your pocket, and yes, of course you can download products from a centralized database of products, but we don’t call it that any more, not very catchy. You seem to be a bit confused: here, relax, have a honk on this Soma pipe and read this guide to some of the best smartphone applications out there.
Shazam Shazam is a magically named, incredible piece of technology that makes you realize that the world has changed. If you have ever heard a song playing on the radio, or on a TV ad, or in a shop you are ‘just hanging around in’ to kill time and act like you have money, Shazam can save you. Shazam knows every song in the world: take out your phone, press the big button, it listens to a few seconds of whatever is playing, and ‘HEY PRESTO!’, it will tell you the name of the song and artist. Think about that. Remember that feeling that used to exist, the pain as a tune faded from memory, and you think one last time: “I’ll never know what that song was…” before that feeling tumbles down into your subconscious alongside Penis Envy (Crass). That feeling is gone. The human condition is forever slightly changed, and the world is a slightly less irritating place, as if by magic. HEY PRESTO!
Tone is hard. How often has someone misread your tone from a text message and it’s caused a minor misunderstanding of some sort? Read this sentence: “God, I really love cake. “. Now have a think about my feelings towards cake. Naturally, you’ll assume that I am quite fond of cake. Well you’re wrong, you idiot. I hate cake. It’s basically just a giant muffin cut in slices. Ugh…cake. I was being sarcastic there and this snafu of yours for not discerning my tone has caused a discrepancy between your perception of how much I like cake, and how much I actually like cake. Disaster! Not to fear, HeyTell is here.
Lets you to make free calls to other smartphone users. Simple. File under: sounds like sex toy; is not.
AVOID: Avoid: QR Code Readers
HeyTell is a walkie-talkie on your phone. Open it up, choose a contact, hold down the button and speak: instantly your friend gets your spoken word message, and can reply in the same manner. Verbal communication is great, your tone can’t get lost in translation, you can fit a lot more in one message, and you don’t have to get your screen filthy by prodding it with those disgusting cake-covered fingers of yours. Protip: it is considered ‘good fun’ to pretend you are in the military when using HeyTell: “Breaker breaker! Niner Niner! I actually really love cake!”
QR codes are all about conspicuous consumption: I have an iPhone and I don’t care who knows. You’ll have seen them; square barcode type things scattered around, mainly on advertisements for international brands, which you can scan using one of several QR code readers. QR codes are links, which once scanned will take you somewhere on the internet. The idea is: someone sees QR code, someone is intrigued by QR code, someone scans using this QR code reader and gives me delicious profitable hits on my website. “QR Codes are going to be the next biggest thing in the world ever”, cried someone once. “They’re huge in Japan”. Do you know what else is huge in Japan? Lizards. Buildingcrushing, fearless, reptilian behemoths. Does that sound fun? It’s not. Neither are QR codes. And the best part is, you don’t even know where it’s going to take you. Some of us have done it, defying social norms by standing at a bus stop, taking out our phone by scanning a code like a spare prick trying to line it up just right for 4 minutes, only to end up at a Muller Crunch Corner website. You can imagine them sitting around, discussing ‘how fun it’s going to be for the consumer’., and ‘how edgy and new’ it all is. “Which do you prefer, banana or vanilla yoghurt?” I prefer not being technologically led down a blind alley and raped thank you very much. And banana. And the ones with the little chocolate cornflakes. Even worse, through spectacular ineptness, people have started putting QR codes on the internet. I could just click a link and go where I want to pretty simply, but no. Not today. Today, my friends, we make a stand: a stand against usability.; a stand against common sense; a stand against logic. That’s right: today, I am going to take out my phone, open an application, scan the thing that is already on the internet, and look at it on my smaller internet for no reason whatsoever. Welcome to the future. Not much has changed.
WhatsApp WhatsApp is probably the most important app in the world. Everyone with a smartphone should have it, and if they don’t, they’re no longer your friend. Allowing you to: text, send pictures, videos, and share contacts for free, WhatsApp should really be in your arsenal. So ubiquitous is WhatsApp, they even have it in Nokia’s Ovi Store: the banana bread of App ecosystems. Seriously though, having WhatsApp is a litmus test for knowing what you’re doing if you have a smartphone, and the only reason it’s included in this list is so that people who don’t have it feel bad. Yes, I mean you, you poor lost soul. Go on, you may as well give up reading this, donate your smartphone to an orphanage and strap a 3510 to your cave-belt. Orphans love texting. The only downside I can think of with WhatsApp is the generic status it assigns to everyone in your contacts list: “Hey there! I am using WhatsApp”, 90% of my friends appear to be droning. WhatsApp = doubleplusgood.
WELCOME TO THE BEST NIGHT IN DUBLIN Tommy Gavin vents his obsession with the Goulash Disko, a monthly night of Balkan Beats in the Twisted Pepper. The Goulash Disko is an oasis in the desert of Dublin nightlife. Oh sure, there are good nights to be had in the interim few weeks before the next one and after the last, but this Balkans themed celebration in the Twisted Pepper provides hope. It asks the question; “what do you want out of a club night?” and responds to any answer with “but wouldn’t you rather have a party? Come to me, ye who are weary of the monotony of the same music in the same clubs, and I will give you Balkan beats.” The music is, more than anything though, a premise, or better yet; an excuse. What makes it memorable and what brings people back is the sense of camaraderie encouraged by Iva and Yves who run the night, whether by the insistence that people dance on stage, the free food prepared by Iva, or the free rakia (fruit liquor) that gets passed around. Then there are peculiarities specific to the night, like the smoke machine they had in September, or the Apolonia belly-dancers who are usually there. All this, coupled with the fast paced music (imagine the
Borat soundtrack remixed by Fatboy Slim, but faster) gives the Goulash Disko the energy and enthusiasm of a carnival. So what then are Balkan beats? Officially, Bosnian DJ Robert Soko was the first person to coin the term to describe the kind of music he was playing in his sets in the early 90’s in Berlin. He defines it as “the mix between electronic dance rhythms and traditional Balkan folk music - marked by asymmetric rhythms, exciting mixtures of Eastern and Western tonal structures and an abundance of energy”. By the end of the 90’s it started spreading and now there are Balkan beats parties in practically every capital city in Europe. Now, it can be seen as being part of a wider trend with other styles like cumbia, kuduro and moombahton getting more popular, and they could all (for the pedantic) be filed under the moniker of global bass. Robert Soko actually played the Goulash Disko in May, and one of the most impressive things about it is the quality of DJ’s and performers they get in. Beside the godfather of the genre,
they’ve had the Belgian Tsiganisation project, DJ Click from France, and the Irish North Strand Kontra Band; who are in themselves part of a little EasternEuropean Jewish music scene in Dublin. In keeping with the party ideals of the night, when coming from overseas, the performers will generally stay at Yves’, as comrades rather than employed entertainers. Started in March by Iva, who is originally from Croatia, to be Ireland’s premier Balkan beats night, the Goulash Disko had its first incarnation in the top floor of the Twisted Pepper. It was so popular though, that they were asked to make it a regular event, and were given the main stage for the subsequent nights. Iva typically researches and invites the bands, as well as preparing mixes and food, while Yves, originally from Belgium, takes care of promotion. Because of this, most of the attendees tend to work for Google, Facebook or Microsoft, partly because so many of their employees tend to be from overseas and are into it, but primarily because Yves’ works at Google. The June Goulash Disko actually reached max capacity and had to turn people away, as word had spread the Mark Zuckerberg was at the last one, after he asked some regional director where the staff went for fun, while here on a weekend visit. The future of the night is in question though, as Iva has moved back to Croatia and is now only back for the couple days preceding the Goulash Disko, and Yves will be moving away after the one year anniversary of the night in March, for which they are planning a huge party in the Twisted Pepper. They’re currently talking to people about continuing the work they started, but nothing is decided yet and it won’t be easy to recreate the dynamic or the formula they currently have. They don’t do it for money, but for an eagerness about the event that is reason enough in itself. As Yves told me; “we do it because we like it. It’s all about fun.” The next Goulash Disko is on December 16th at the Twisted Pepper, where Shazalakazoo, who are huge in the Balkan Beats scene, will be playing.
Eoin Hennessy was at Bodytonic’s the Beatyard Weekender, now in its second year. The age of the city-based mini-festival is upon us. ate October saw the return of the Beatyard Weekender hosted by the Twisted Pepper and the Bernard Shaw. The four-day festival saw acts like Kode9, Toddla T, Kutmah, Jape, David Rodigan and many more take to the stage in the two venues. Starting on the Thursday the 27th and running until the Sunday night, the Beatyard also organised workshops, panel discussions, a record fair and a photography exhibition. The festival started off strongly
still an amazing performance from both himself and Toddla. Toddla T managed to keep the crowd happy by mixing hits from the early 90s to obscure jungle rhythms. The concert, which was organised by the very consistent Junior Spesh, was a sign of what was still to come from the weekend. Friday saw the Twisted Pepper play host to a huge number of acts and events including The Gruesome Twosome, SLR Renovich, Luke-B, The Candidates, Attention Bébé, a quiz night and finally
with Moths headlining the Bernard Shaw with the hugely talented Galway fiddle player Daithí. Once the night came it was time to see Sheffield Dancehall legend Toddla T in action. Accompanied by Serocee, Toddla brought the party to the Twisted Pepper, blaring tunes like his 2011 classic “Take It Back” and despite Serocee’s constant jabbering, it was
Kode9. The Hyperdub label boss, which is home to such prolific acts such as Burial and Hype Williams, brought his usual dark beats with a mixture of modern bass music. Meanwhile, in the Bernard Shaw, it was the record store/label All City’s takeover. The Brainfeeder associate, Kutmah, headlined the event. Kutmah played an all vinyl set which was easily the
highlight of the weekend. Playing hugely varied tracks which could range anywhere from J Dilla to Om Unit to Desmond Dekker, Kutmah showed the crowd why he is known as one of the best djs in the industry. wOn Saturday, pioneering English electronic musician, Surgeon, played an eerie left-field set in the Twisted Pepper. Irish blogger Nialler9 also took his weird mix of musical styles to the café area of the Twisted Pepper earlier that day. On Sunday, the closing night of the festival saw two of its biggest acts take to the stage, Irish electronic rock group Jape and Reggae legend David Rodigan. Despite these big headline acts going on in the Twisted Pepper, there was still time for Beatyard to show off its more diverse range of events as State. ie provided a first-rate photography exhibition. At two o’clock in the Bernard Shaw, Beatyard once again showed its varying styles, as tribute was paid to the late great Arthur Russell. Jim Carroll was brought in to chat to Arthur Russell’s biographer Tim Lawrence. This was then followed by a reading from Hold On to Your Dreams, Lawrence’s famous book about Russell. Thus marked a fantastic end to a dazzling four-day festival. It is easy to see why the Beatyard Weekender fits together so well. With most of the gigs
either being free or costing no more than €15 each, there is a great time to be had on the cheap, and you don’t have to give any money to MCD. Unlike other festivals, the Beatyard weekender allows the public to go home and sleep in their own beds and a have shower, in contrast to the muddy horribleness experienced at rainy outdoor events. Trev from Bodytonic (the organisers of the festival) adds: “We wanted the Beatyard to be city based… I guess as some sort of reaction against doing things in fields or country houses. There’s plenty of choice for that, we didn’t need to add to the clutter”. Started on the June bank holiday weekend in 2010 with big name acts like Caspa and The Rubberbandits, the Weekender now runs every May and October bank holiday weekend. Trev says it started because he wanted to run a festival “that in one weekend, put together all the good stuff we [Bodytonic] do over the course of a year”. Bodytonic work with various groups like Junior Spesh, Pogo, Forward/Slash, Toejam, Scribble, Loudmouth, Subject, Wobble, MUD and 12Sundays to provide various club nights throughout the year. Put all of these club nights together and you get the Beatyard Weekender. No weekend tickets are sold to the festival and each concert is run individually. This does result in the festival seeming cheaper than it actually is. However, going to six gigs will still only be a fraction of the price of a major festival ticket. One of the biggest drawbacks of the Weekender has nothing to with acts, prices or even punters. I am of course talking about the massive drunken trek from the Bernard Shaw to the Twisted Pepper. The walk from South Richmond Street to Middle Abbey Street is arduous; long enough to complain about, but not enough to justify getting a taxi. Only in its second year, the Beatyard is already going big places but where does Trev think the Weekender is headed? “We’ll have to wait and see. There are two simple choices: 1) Keep running it as is, but tweak the details and ideas 2) Take it into a bigger space, and make it a bigger thing”. He adds: “We’re living in funny times, and I’ve seen so many gigs and festivals this year that on paper looked surefire to do well, and didn’t.” Luckily for Bodytonic the festival is getting good business and their only motto is to keep it going and to try new things. For such a short running time, it already seems as if the Weekender has the potential to turn people off the bigger, more expensive festivals. Only time will tell where the Beatyard will go, but one would be wise to watch this space.
literature Another decade, another Jeffrey Eugenides novel Alicia Byrne Keane reviews The Marriage Plot.
ith his tendency to offer us a book only every nine to ten years, Jeffrey Eugenides could hardly be described as prolific. However, it’s common knowledge that his novels are worth the wait: his debut effort, The Virgin Suicides, was adapted into a Sofia Coppola film, and his subsequent novel Middlesex won the Pulitzer Prize. Having read his previous books, I was excited for the release of The Marriage Plot. However, Eugenides has definitely set a high standard for himself with his past
work. Could his third novel possibly match the dark, quirky 1970’s drama of The Virgin Suicides or the sweeping epic of Middlesex? The Marriage Plot focuses on the lives of three college students. Leonard Bankhead is a charismatic genius with too many opinions. Mitchell Grammaticus is an ungainly introvert with an avid interest in Christian mysticism, and Madeline Hanna is an English Literature student who turns to the deconstructionist work of Roland Barthes for comfort in times of uncertainty. These three characters are linked in a bizarre love triangle only Eugenides could dream up. Mitchell suffers from an all-consuming and unrequited love for Madeline, and is convinced they are destined to marry. However, Madeline is besotted with Leonard, with whom she embarks on a turbulent relationship marred by his personal problems. Typically for Eugenides, the topics covered in this book are far-flung: everything from the feminist movement to the 19th century romance novel, from toga parties to the Catholic church, from
backpacking trips in India to the mating habits of yeast cells. Eugenides, as always, is a master of contrast. In The Virgin Suicides, he narrated a 1970’s suburban drama in the style of a Greek chorus. In Middlesex, he blended the ancient myth with the coming-of-age novel. The Marriage Plot is no different, as Eugenides continues his penchant for comparing past and present. All three protagonists have graduated from college, and suffer as a result of the transition from one life to another. The classic Victorian romance novel, much beloved of Madeline, contrasts sharply with the novel’s 1980’s world of divorce and feminist revolution. The characters display contrasting philosophies. Mitchell, for example, is comforted by religion in times of need, examining the ancient faiths of the past for comfort. In comparison, Leonard looks to the future, making scientific discoveries. Loved by both Leonard and Mitchell, Madeline may even represent the state of the modern world – poised between religion and science. However, compared to Eugenides’ past works, The Marriage Plot is disappointingly conventional. This is especially shocking considering the ambitious nature of his previous book, Middlesex – a transgender twist on the epic saga spanning three generations. The Marriage Plot sticks closer to more common themes in contemporary fiction: dysfunctional relationships and the
family dynamic. In this way, The Marriage Plot resembles a Jonathan Franzen novel - while accurately documenting the politics of the middle-class family, it lacks depth beyond its function as a social commentary. That said, The Marriage Plot has many good points. Eugenides displays his usual flair for portraying the emotions of his characters. All three protagonists, no matter how bizarre their actions, are easy to identify with. We are able to understand their motives, even when their situations are unusual. His portrayal of Madeline is especially touching. Superficially attractive and confident, she is besieged by private anxieties. She appears by turns resolute and vulnerable. Trapped by a sense of obligation in a relationship she should probably leave, we both sympathize with her and wish she was more sensible. Mitchell’s character is an interesting study on the psychology behind religion: he clings to his faith for hope at a time when his life doesn’t make much sense. Equally well illustrated is the mind of Leonard: the author renders even the most erratic behavior of his characters believable through his lifelike documentation of their thought processes. Perhaps Eugenides is setting himself a new challenge by attempting to write conventionally. Although this book makes for an entertaining read, I hope his next effort shows more of his usual inventiveness.
music gets a pass.) But where are we likely to see collaborations going? Pop artists are definitely moving in more of an electronic area, as can be seen in Beyoncé’s use of Major Lazor’s “Pon De Floor” and Jamie xx’s production on the new
Drake album. Despite these quite tame examples, one can definitely see collaborations getting weirder and worse. Just look at Lou Reed/Metallica. What next? Oh? The remaining members of the Doors are working with Skrillex to do Miles Davis Covers? Oh God no…
Collaborations: The Good, the Bad & the Ugly They can bring out the best or the worst out of musicians, Eoin Hennessy looks at both.
ctober 28th saw the release of the hugely dreaded Lou Reed/ Metallica album. Predictably, it was a pile of rubbish. One could ask how a monstrosity like this could ever be created but you might as well ask why it rains when you don’t have an umbrella. Bad musical collaborations have been happening since the dawn of time, from Blue and Stevie Wonder to Ozzy Osbourne and Miss Piggy, all conceivable combinations have been tried. But what drives respectable artists to taint their careers in such a way? Despite artists collaborating on a daily basis, almost all of them end up a massive failure. That’s not to say that some of the best music ever made has been due to two artists working together; Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald, the Rat Pack, etc. But looking beyond the 60s, it’s tempting to look at collaborations as getting worse and worse. However, every five or so years something comes along to give collaborations that tiny bit of hope. In 1981, there was Blondie and Grandmaster Flash with “Rapture” and in 1986 RUN DMC and Aero Smith “Walk This Way”. But these years also produced such terrible team ups as Mick Jagger and David Bowie’s cover of “Dancing In The Street”and the horribly cheesy Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder song “Ebony and Ivory”. While the 20th century saw both good and bad musicians join forces, the 21st century saw a far more diverse range of artists work together. Due to Hip Hop dominating the charts, rock and pop artists had to step up to the plate and invite a rapper to croon over their tracks. One prime example of this happened in 2004 with the creation of
Collision Course, the shocking Jay-Z and Linkin Park collaboration. Despite the album being dreadful, it still sold a worrying number of copies and made it to number one on the Billboard Charts. This genre bending was also apparent in 2007 when the Wu-Tang Clan teamed up with Dhani Harrison (George Harrison’s son) to cover the Beatles’ “While my Guitar Gently Weeps”. While this mixture of genres never seemed to work, artists working together within the confines of their own genre are often more successful. Examples of this include, Dave Grohl’s work on Queens of the Stone Age’s Songs For The Deaf and the work the Neptunes and Timbaland did with Justin Timberlake. Many reasons for a bad collaboration include: 1) One of the artists is no longer in the public eye and needs to get in with a “hip” band to try reach the public one last time. 2) A band may be about to fail miserably and so drags in an old respectable artist to try get their credibility up. 3) The two bands genuinely think that working together will be a good idea; 4) Money. Reasons 1 and 2 seem to be the most common among artists nowadays, although reason 4 probably plays a big role in this decision too. There is also a fifth reason, this is where the two artists/ groups have totally lost perspective and just want to work together for the good of us, their fans. This is most evident in one of the more recent collaborations, I am of course talking about Jack White’s work with Insane Clown Posse to cover Mozart. This could obviously never be seen as a good idea, so one can only assume that they are both off their nut. (Ed: Jack White was always crazy, so he
ith the death of DJ Screw in 2000, many thought it would be the end of the Southern American, slowed down, codeine-induced music he made. Artists like UGK, Slim Thug, Mike Jones and Paul Wall showed that this was not case but who would’ve thought one of the best Screw sounding albums made since his death would come from a 22-year-old Harlem rapper? After a highly anticipated wait, ASAP Rocky has finally released his new mixtape LIVELOVEA$AP. ASAP, which Rocky claims stands for “Acronyms Symbolising Any Purpose”, comes from a drug dealing background and quite a troubled life growing up on the streets of New York. Now signed to a major label, Rocky sums up his current life: “I roll dice, I rap, I drink 40s, I rap, I fuck bitches, I rap, I smoke weed, I rap”. A “40” here means a purple drink filled with lots of codeine which produces a feeling of slowness. Aside from his rap star life style, Rocky also makes great music. On this album Rocky has enlisted the help of the hugely talented producer Clams Casino to make some of the best
hiphop beats of the past ten years. In all honesty, Rocky isn’t a fantastic rapper but somehow his big ego and unique style mixed in with the unbelievable instrumentals on the album fit together perfectly. Tracks like “Purple Swag” and “Peso” give the listener an almost drugged up feeling as Rocky swerves in and out of the beat. The best song on the album “Bass”, which was produced by Clams Casino, has a superb blend of weird slowed down vocals and low frequencies. The guests on this album have nothing on Rocky’s cocky quite generic raps. Rocky manages to have a certain flow which fits intricately with the instrumentals on the album, while guests like Spaceghost Purrp and Schoolboy Q seem weak in comparison. Although his lyricism isn’t hugely original, ASAP Rocky has chosen the right producers to work with and thus has created an album which will be viewed as a classic in years to come. LIVELOVEA$AP is available as a legal free download from http://www.datpiff.com/ASAP-RockyLiveLoveAap-mixtape.278798.html
“Midnight City”, a hugely party orientated track with fantastic vocals contrasts completely with another one of the stand-outs on the album, “My Tears are Becoming a Sea”. This song shows M83’s full potential as a vocalist and also contains loads of brilliant orchestral flourishes. Despite many stand out songs on the album, Hurry Up doesn’t quite
do it for me. It seems over worked and too long to be properly enjoyed, not to mention the huge amount of dull ambient interludes throughout the album (5!). On second thought, this album isn’t quite Blade Runner, it’s more of an ET: The Extraterrestrial.
Joker - The Vision
hen Joker first appeared on our radars in 2007, at the tender age of 16, he was credited as the future of UK urban music. It’s now four years on and with the release of his debut LP, The Vision, Joker has changed a fair amount. Joker, when asked in 2009, what direction his music was headed, replied: “A bit more uglier, a bit more grimy”. In this sense, Joker meant ugly in a good way. On this album we can see where this ugliness has come into play with tracks like the hugely Grime inspired “Back In The Days” and the bass heavy self titled track “The Vision”. However, this nasty sound which Joker described back in 2009 does not appear throughout the album. In fact, it barely appears at
all. On this album, Joker seems to have made tracks that he thinks will inevitably reach chart success. Songs like “Slaughter House”, “On My Mind” (which sounds suspiciously like Justin Timberlake’s “My Love”) and “Lost” all sound as if they are only there to get Joker out to the masses. Despite being the figure head of Dubstep and Grime in 2007 and 2008 with tracks like “Gully Brook Lane”, Joker seems to have fallen at the final hurdle and has produced an album that can neither appeal to chart listeners or dubstep heads. While the stand-out track on the album, the wobbly Dr. Dre inspired “Tron”, will remain a classic for years to come, sadly this LP will not.
Jeffrey Lewis - A Turn in the Dream Song
ne would have thought that after five albums Jeffrey Lewis would have lost some of his lyrical dexterity, however this is not the case. On A Turn In The Dream Song, Lewis shows us why Jarvis Cocker called him the best lyricist in the US today. The huge variance in content adds to Lewis’s appeal, from talking about whether to take your bag to the toilet with you when eating in a restaurant by yourself (“When You’re By Yourself”) to a brand of sludge which Lewis claims we all grew out of
M83 - Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming
he the sixth album released by Anthony “M83” Gonzalez, Hurry Up We’re Dreaming, sounds as if it was recorded in 1982 and was the soundtrack to Blade Runner. This is both a good thing and a bad thing. The good thing is that the album is “very, very, very epic” (Gonzalez’s words), the bad thing is that
it is almost as long as Blade Runner and does not contain scenes with Harrison Ford. This 74-minute mish-mash of songs, inspired by dreams, 1980s pop and Gonzalez’s childhood, sounds all too familiar. Mathew Dear, Ford & Lopatin and Jimmy Edgar all ring bells. However, the 2 disc CD package does have some amazingly intricate and enjoyable songs.
at the dawn of time (“Krongu Green Slime”). On “Cult Boyfriend”, Lewis addresses his status in the music world and compares it to a cult boyfriend: “worshiped by a few but ignored on the whole”. While long tracks like “Water Leaking, Water Moving” and “So What If I Couldn’t Take It” may seem daunting, one cannot fault them on becoming boring. Let us hope, for Lewis’s sake, that on the next album he will be able to upgrade his status from cult boyfriend to folk pioneer.
“sure Thor, sometimes a hammer is just a hammer”
Big Cinema: “We’ll dig our way out!”
Darragh Haugh on why originality in hollywood is too expensive.
ilms I saw this summer: Four comic book adaption’s. One prequel to an adaptation of a comic book. One sequel to a sequel to a movie based on a toy. One sequel to a sequel to a sequel to a movie based on an amusement-park ride. One prequel to a remake. Two sequels to cartoons. One sequel to a comedy. An adaptation of a children’s book. An adaptation of a Saturdaymorning cartoon. One sequel with a 4 in the title. Two sequels with a 5 in the title. One sequel that, was technically 7 ½ and pretty much was a 120 minute ending. It wasn’t a horrible summer; some of those movies even had something special. However it’s easy to see that originality is a rare commodity in Hollywood. As any feminist will tell you, most problems in the world can be traced back to men under the age of 25. As a demographic we are consistently the most reliable cinema goers, as such 90% percent of Hollywood’s output is for us. Just look at the posters the next time you go to the cinema. Everything on show is red bull infused meat eating male testosterone and to be honest that at times that’s all I want.
Hell, I even enjoyed Fast Five despite its absurdity. However the whole time I had s sinking feeling that I’d paid to see this movie 4 times before. We haven’t just settled for mediocrity anymore, now we demand it. Just look at entire comic book phenomenon that continues to sweep Hollywood. Initially it was just an easy way of applying a formula to a brand to get a formula which as a giant KACHING on the other side of the equals sign. But now the franchise is such an integral part of the formula, the plots have lost any superficial attempt at plot, character development or pacing as they intend to build to a dramatic climax in three films time. Can anyone even explain what Thor was about? I was too busy hitting myself on the head with a hammer to pay attention. Nevermind, it will all be explained in “The Avengers”. Studios are so keen on a sure bet, that anything with some form of brand recognition is game for a film adaption. Next summer we’re looking at the $200 million big screen debut of the board game “Battleship” staring Rihanna and TWO big budget versions of Snow White and the 7 Dwarves. Not to mention twilight 4 ½ because TEAM EDWARD 4EVA! Often it’s much more expensive
to be good rather than successful. Just look at “The Hurt Locker”, one of the major critical and award darlings of the last decade. Despite all the buzz, the film barely managed to gross $16 million in the U.S.A. making it the 117th highest grossing movie that year. The production of prestige films, like so much in modern times has become outsourced. The vast majority of Oscar films are independently financed by the likes Weintein Company and Fox Searchlight, and only later picked up by a studio or production company to begin its long “for your consideration” campaigns. All so they might have something to go in the trophy cabinet besides Kirsten Stewerts 6 MTV movie awards. What the actual fuck. Apparently the last refuge for adult drama is the HBO’s and AMC’s of the world. Programming that is aimed at adults who have the ability to appreciate and not just gape, has led to a Golden age of scripted hourly drama. I’d like to find anyone who can find a movie from the last 5 years that goes anywhere near the likes of Mad Men, Game of Thrones, Boardwalk Empire or Breaking Bad in terms of overall quality. It’s a golden age of TV where people with half the resources get twice the results. Screw it, at least video games are
he SUAS Educational Development session will be a chance to learn about the 2012 Volunteer Programme, and to hear from former Volunteers on their experience of the Programme. It will take place on November 22nd, at 7pm, in the Robert Emmet Theatre. Trinity FM are having a drinks reception, so stop by for your chance to schmooze, get involved and even have your own radio show. They will then be heading out to Workmans. Wednesday the 16th, Eliz Room House 6, 8.30pm. The Lit Soc have two special events planned this week. The first is their ever-more popular Speakeasy on Tuesday evening (November 15th) from 8pm in Thomas Read’s basement. It’s an open mic night where anyone can come along and read something they’ve written or something they just like; music is encouraged too! They’ll meet any and all wanderers at Front Arch at 7.45pm and walk to Thomas Read’s from there. The second is on Thursday evening (November 17th) when they will be hosting Mark Ford, British professor and poet from University College London. DUAMS are planning their first electric gig of the year, due on the week of the 21st. If you’re interested in performing on stage and entertaining via the medium of music, get in touch. In a joint effort, the DU Music Society and Trinity Orchestra bring you a showcase
of Trinity Orchestra’s finest chamber musicians. The concert, which boasts a programme consisting of works by Mahler, Saint-Saens and Fauré, will be taking place on Thursday 17th November in the Boydell Recital Room of House 5 at 6pm. Free Admission to all Trinity Orchestra and Music Society members, €2 Everybody else. On Tuesday 15th November, former Irish President Mary Robinson will address the Law Society. In her address, she will talk about her tenure as Auditor of the TCD Law Society, her time at University and ultimately her prestigious career. 6pm, GMB The annual Swing Ball is fast approaching! Tickets go on sale in the Arts Block on Thursday 17th November between 10am and 4pm. Don’t miss out on one of the Law Soc’s most enjoyed event! Tickets cost 25 Euro and this includes: Swing Dancing Lessons on Monday 21st November, 7 9pm Regent House Wine reception at the Atrium at 6pm on the day of the ball (23/11/2011) The Swing Ball in Shelbourne Hotel at 7pm The VDP strip auction is a night of general debauchery that is not to be missed, where a representative from every society willing, auctions off their clothes to the highest bidder in the good name of charity. The higher the price, the more the clothes come off! 23 November · 19:00 22:00 , The Academy
THE WHOLE MILK DEBATE by Luke O’Connell
n a recent trip to America, I was struck by the natives’ contempt for “whole milk”, a harmless drink which has served as the very bedrock of Irish society since the foundation of the state (and before, I suspect). A passer-by, for example, was overheard obnoxiously announcing to her friend or partner or whatever it was, “I mean, he drinks whole milk! Who does that?” Well, I thought, who indeed. On mature reflection I realised that this problem was not merely “state-side”. It is already rife in our own culture. Even the 2 litre bottle of Tesco Full Fat Milk in my fridge today boasts in large writing “Less than 4% fat”, as if it’s something to be proud of. If you ask me, if that really is the fattest they can come up with, then maybe someone should be finding out what Tesco is doing with all that fat. Feeding it to their fatter English customers, no doubt. Every little helps. A sign in the trendy wi-fi hotspot Insomnia informed me that they use low-fat milk in all their products unless specifically requested not to do so. In other words, if you really want to drink “full-fat milk” (or regular milk, as it used to be known), then you will have to let everyone else know. I decided to be this man. I could see a grown man ahead of me in the queue creepishly settling for low-fat, skimmed, no-fat, fatless, low-milk milk. Too much time spent with his overbearing wife. Uncomfortable with her own weight issues, I thought, she had banned him from his own simple pleasures. Even now, away from the dull chills of their home fridge’s Avonmore “Supermilk” (whatever the fuck that is), he couldn’t muster the heart, the joie de vivre, to order some old-fashioned Dark Blue. By this stage in his emasculating marriage he was probably lactose intolerant. I wondered if he could still look a cow in the eye. I decided to be this man, as I’ve said already, repeating myself now for effect.
The queue was beginning to deepen and its members began to whisper among themselves. Some of them pointed while others used their iPhones to read the Wikipedia page about full-fat milk. As the foreign barista’s (a strong word, admittedly, to use for an Insomnia employee) look intensified, she asked “Coffee?” and I suddenly realised my mistake. I had ordered in the wrong order. Sheepishly, I asked for a black coffee, since I don’t like any of the fancy options, but this presented a problem: a black coffee, by definition, is served without milk, full-fat or otherwise, as you probably know. The name gives it away. There was a pause here. Neither of us knew what to do. In the end I offered a truce: the black coffee, but with a small portion of fullfat milk in a separate cup. She seemed relieved that I was so keen to settle the situation and immediately accepted my offer. When the coffee was ready, I downed the milk in one, made an “Ah!” sound to illustrate my thirst being quenched, and left the shop with the coffee in my hand. For a moment, I felt I had achieved a moral victory of sorts, but this quickly subsided. My own mother’s milk, which I consumed with relish for much of my early life, was not skimmed by some bald man in a factory, nor fortified with unknown quantities of vitamins by scientists, and what harm did that do me? Why this need to suck all the life out of natural goodness? Light cigarettes, light beer, sugarfree chewing-gum, fake butter, hot chocolate made with water... If you’re going to try, go all the way. Children are fatter than ever. Big fat gluttonous fools, the lot of them, the statistics said this week. The obese are a growing minority, infiltrating all strands of society. Let them have a Dark Blue childhood. When I sire my first child he will be forbidden from going anywhere near Supermilk. All the fortified wine he likes, but he can get his kicks from something less sinister than steroid-pumped milk. If he turns out to be a fat little child, I will make him run to the shop to buy the house milk and back again, twice if necessary, and he will have no shame or fear of persecution for asking for milk as fat as his mother’s arse.
“Full-fat milk please!” I yelled when I got to the till. The woman (predictably, as Insomnia doesn’t seem to hire the male sex) looked at me inquisitively, as if she hadn’t heard of the original Dark Blue blend. “Fat as a fool, please! Milk with nothing added, nothing taken away, please!” 19
THURSDAY 24TH NOVEMBER
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