Page 1

DECEMBER 10, 2013

The University Times Magazine



For all your student banking needs Talk to us today

Talk to one of our student advisers Bank of Ireland is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. 2 | MAGAZINE

DECEMBER 10, 2013

The University Times Magazine

Features 5 Every Dog Has its Day We visit Ashton Dog Pound and interview the manager, Donal Moroney. BY JANE FALLON GRIFFIN


We interview Darren Scully, the former mayor of Naas who resigned after saying he would no longer represent black Africans. BY EDMUND HEAPHY

10 Poetic License We investigate Dublin’s vibrant spokenword scene. BY CHARLOTTE RYAN



19 Interview: Sorcha O’Raghallaigh BY RACHEL LAVIN

20 Reviews 7 Days of Funk Guerilla Toss


What We’re Listening To

20 Reviews

21 Interview: Peverelist BY EOIN HENNESSY

21 Interview: Morgan Macintyre BY RACHEL LAVIN

“I’ve worked in independent music for almost fifteen years and I’ve seen it collapse first hand.” PEVERELIST INTERVIEW 21

Kill Your Darlings Delivery Man

21 Quick Fixes and Slow and Uncomfortable Screws BY THOMAS EMMET


Fashion 18 Christmas Dresses Winter Skincare Christmas Wishlist BY ELIZABETH BRAUDERS

12 Photoshoot: Everything is Illuminated 23 Sigh: Where’s my Tiara? BY ANNA BIALITSKAYA





he Russian literary critic Michael Bakhtin is known by many for his extensive writings on what he called the “carnivalesque.” He used this word to refer to situations or times when normal behaviour and accepted truths are subverted, and suppressed urges can be allowed to manifest themselves without fear of ridicule or punishment. Bakhtin traced the concept of the carnival back to the Feast of Fools, a medieval festival usually held around the first of January. Also occurring around this time of year, the most carnivalesque annual event in the Western world right now is, of course, Christmas. Christmas is a time when you can do things that you normally wouldn’t dream of, like spend an entire week’s pay on items that you will subsequently give away, or sit around for days on end eating turkey and chocolate. This is vitally important to mental health. The excesses of the Christmas period allow people to be extravagant, and this helps them deal with the tedium of the rest of the year. In this issue you will see such festive extravagances as family homes

The University Times Magazine EDITOR James Bennett dripping in coloured light bulbs, and people buying baby animals to put in boxes and give to their children as gifts. It also seems that the carnival atmosphere has taken hold in the world of politics in honour of the season that’s in it. We’ve seen Labour chairperson Colm Keaveny join Fianna Fáil in what is possibly the most astonishing political flip-flop in Irish history. Also, we’ve seen Fine Gael accept Darren Scully back into its fold, after deciding in February 2012 that he wasn’t fit to hold the party whip. These bizarre actions will most likely be attributed to severe cases of carnivalesque seasonal insanity by future political historians. Christmas madness is everywhere folks. You might as well join the carnival. If everyone agrees that we can all go a bit mental, we might as well take advantage of it. It will be January soon, after all.

CREATIVE DIRECTOR Edmund Heaphy DEPUTY/MUSIC EDITOR Eoin Hennessy ONLINE EDITOR Clementine Yost FILM EDITOR Jack O’Kennedy FASHION EDITOR Elizabeth Brauders PHOTOGRAPHERS Edmund Heaphy & Jane Fallon Griffin WORDS Jane Fallon Griffin, Edmund Heaphy, Charlotte Ryan, Jack O’Kennedy, Paul Glynn, Megan Moriarty, Thomas Emmet, Elizabeth Brauders, Rachel Lavin, Eoin Hennessy, Anna Bialitskaya




“He would join Hezbollah if he thought it would advance his career.”

The name of the fashion editor was spelled incorrectly in the last issue. She is Elizabeth Brauders. In an article ‘Spreading the Word’, we incorreferred to the radio station featured. It is Spirit Radio, not Spirit FM.


The University Times Magazine welcomes suggestions, comments, and complaints about errors or omissions which warrant correction. These may be addressed to the editor of the magazine by emailing magazine@ If you are dissatisfied with a response from the magazine, you may reach the editor of The University Times by emailing

“The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it.” GEORGE ORWELL

“Ultimately he would want us, South Africans, to be his memorial.” DESMOND TUTU ON NELSON MANDELA’S DEATH







@EverydaySexism On train home guy rubs my bum. I grab hand, lift it in the air & say “has anyone lost a hand? I found this one on my arse!” @PUNK_MANNERS

recounting tales of transformed dogs and contented owners. Ashton dog pound serves the Fingal, Dublin City, Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown and South Dublin County Councils and is situated on a large green partially wooded area on the River Road in Castleknock. From this catchment area they take in approximately 3,000 dogs per annum. Although only a half an hour away from the city centre, stepping into the pound one could be in the heart of the countryside. Trees surround the property acting as a buffer zone to the noise and traffic outside the perimeters, while green fields ensure that there is plenty of open space for the dogs to explore accompanied by their volunteer walkers. The pound itself is composed of a few prefab-style buildings located next to a large barn and the dog kennels. Inside the prefabs, posters advocating micro chipping and queries about lost pets adorned the walls. One of the pound’s two pet cats rolled around on the floor. The manager of the pound is Donal Moroney. He spoke to me about the history of the pound as an institution. The dog pound has been a feature of Irish public infrastructure since the Control of Dogs Act 1986, although there were dog wardens on patrol prior to this date. Subsequent laws have seen the powers of the wardens increase, so much so that refusing to give your name to a warden or interfering with their work is an arrestable offence without the need of a warrant. Moroney explained, however, that the most anticipated law is yet to be signed into effect by the minister although it has been passed in the Dáil. The Animal Welfare Act will allow the warden to intervene in cases of animal abuse, whereas before the warden had no authority in relation to the animal’s welfare. I began to realise why dog wardens have been seen as a distasteful group, capable of detaining dogs yet without the authority to protect them. Their actions in some cases would be provocative and their lack of influence in others unforgivable.

Every Dog Has its Day Around Christmas, many people are under the impression that the workload of dog pounds increases, with dogs being given as gifts and later abandoned. The University Times Magazine visited the Ashton Dog Pound to find out if this stereotype and others hold true. J A N E FA L L O N G R I F F I N

THE MENTION of a dog pound in any cartoon is frequently accompanied by a large, surly looking man brandishing a net on a stick in an attempt to entrap a furry protagonist. This sinister fellow usually proceeds to transport the unfortunate

canine to a cage-filled building engulfed by an atmosphere of misery and fear. The rest of the loveable rouges quake in terror as one of their own is incarcerated and the general consensus among the fortunate escapees is that he will never be seen again. My recent

experience in the Ashton Dog Pound did not resemble this at all. Uniformed wardens occupied unremarkable small white vans, prospective owners waited excitedly to meet their new canine family member and staff spoke proudly of their rehoming rate,


Following the detention of the captured dog, the next sinister event is usually merely hinted at in children’s cartoons. There is always a general sense of doom. Luckily for dogs of the animated variety, this rarely is the case, and following a daring rescue their happy ending is secured. Obviously, things are not so in real pounds. Ten years ago, when Moroney first took over, the rehoming rate was 45%. His horror at this statistic was evident as he reiterated the figure, emphasising that 55% of dogs were destroyed. Ten years on the Ashton pound now boast a 90% rehoming rate, although they are also quick to point out that they do not have a non-destructive policy and should the dog bite they will not hesitate to act. However, Moroney assured me that when it is necessary to put a dog down the process is conducted calmly and a sedative is used if required by the visiting vet. Although laws regulating dog pounds stipulate a five day holding period after which a dog must be rehomed or destroyed, Ashton bypasses this provided there is space and

Something that the staff of Ashton feel marks them apart from other pounds is that they have been pioneers of social media in their field, using Facebook to advertise incarcerated dogs for adoption as well as missing family pets. Although relatively recent, the page gets an average of sixtyfive to seventy thousand views per week, peaking at ninety-one thousand on one occasion. The comment section beside photos is rarely empty. Discussions range from comments on the adorability of the dog, to offers of adoption or fostering, to discussions on animal welfare in Ireland. This initiative encapsulates the redeeming nature of an organisation who have to destroy animals as part of their role in society. Their dedication to the adoption of their animals contradicts the skewed impressions society harbours of dog pounds. Unlike the stereotypical idea of a dog warden who appears to extract pleasure from the capture of dogs, the staff of Ashton get their satisfaction from the release of their charges.

will seek to rehome every healthy dog. The next question I had about pounds was rooted in the realm of clichés rather than cartoons. I asked Moroney about the “A Dog is For Life, Not Just for Christmas” campaign. This famous slogan was penned by Clarissa Baldwin of Dogs Trust in 1978 to try to stop people from giving dogs as gifts. It has now entered the language. Moroney’s response surprised me. He reported a huge decrease in the phenomenon in recent years, although he admitted that this was probably a result of the actions of pounds and rescue shelters, more so than public cooperation. Should someone enter the pound looking for a dog as a Christmas present, they are usually told to go and think about the fifteen year commitment they are about to undertake, or are encouraged to revisit in January. This method has been very effective with older dogs, but issues still arise, although to a lesser extent than before, with the breeding of Christmas puppies. According to Moroney, the most common problem is that the breeders will either greatly exceed the demand with the amount they produce or that late arriving puppies will have missed the window of opportunity for Christmas retail consumption. On one day alone in Ashton a few years ago, four days before Christmas, the pound took in twenty-one puppies. They are pleased to report that there has not been an incident of such magnitude since. Moroney says that people often mistakenly sympathise with him over Christmas about the workload that he will have in January. He corrects this misconception, informing them that January is not the problem. It is March or April, when the dog has made inroads on the family furniture, that the effects of Christmas puppies are felt. A more common, non-seasonal issue en-

“... the breeders will either greatly exceed the demand with the amount they produce or latearriving puppies will have missed the window of opportunity for Christmas retail consumption. On one day alone in Ashton a few years ago, four days before Christmas, the pound took in twenty-one puppies”

countered by the pound is that of people wanting to surrender their dogs. The reasons for this vary with some being seen as more legitimate than others. Cases range from divorcees who have lost a house following the breakdown of marriage, to owners whose dog has fallen out of favour or fashion with them. While the pound ac-

cepts surrendered dogs they do their upmost to avoid doing so. Moroney explains that they are legally obliged to keep stray dogs for five days but not surrendered pets and therefore the future of a surrendered dog in an overcrowded pound is far from secure. In the case of a potential surrender the pound first puts the owners in contact with charities like Dogs Trust, as well as advertising the breed on behalf of the owners. The whole idea of surrender or abandonment of dogs differs greatly between Ireland and our neighbours the UK. While in Britain dogs who wind up in the pound tend to be old, ill and weak, in Ireland those who find themselves in Ashton tend to have been discovered running amuck in urban areas. As a result Irish pounds cater for a relatively healthy and robust group of residents. This continues to be the case, so much so that the pound works with three rescue centres in the UK, to whom it ships healthy Irish dogs for rehoming. While there is a feel-good atmosphere about a lot of the work done at the pound, they are keen to stress the gravity of a lot of the situations that they deal with. Dogs loose in urban areas are potentially hazardous, especially when children are involved. Moroney recounts the case of one black spot in which the situation continued to worsen. In confronting the problem the wardens found that simple sporadic retrievals were not enough. One morning at half past eight vans of wardens descended on the area and rounded up every free roaming dog in sight. That day they took in forty-one dogs. Only three were reclaimed. What discourages many owners from reclaiming their dog is that the minimum cost for doing so is €140. While this is a deterring factor in reclamation of pets, Moroney claims that it has been proven to be effective for the control of dogs in urban areas.


In terms of staffing, the pound is different from a rescue centre in that it is required to exist by law and therefore employees are not volunteers but fully paid kennel hands. Moroney explains that while they allow volunteer dog walkers to exercise the dogs, the risks of volunteer kennel hands are too great with each employee on the premises being required to carry a high level of insurance. Moroney recounts examples of staff adopting pound dogs, explaining that everyone working in the pound has owned at least one dog from Ashton. It is understandable how such bonds are created due to the constant level of interaction between the dog and its carers. Following the sound of the high pitched barking I made my way towards the kennels. Opening the door the kennel hand assured me that while the dogs would react when I went in that there was no danger. As I stepped inside the building the left wall of the structure suddenly became a flurry of activity. Small jack russels jumped twice their height in the air in an attempt to capture my attention while cross breeds stuck their noses through the mesh to evaluate me and sniff out what I was up to. In the next room I was amazed to see, among other big dogs, three beautiful black, white and grey huskies. These dogs are considered by some to be designer dogs and often come with handsome price tag. As I gazed through the bars trying to figure out how I could persuade those I live with that adopting one was of vital importance, Moroney related that this popular breed are a constant occurrence in the pound, more so than most others. A visit to the pound challenges the traditional perceptions of the of the institution’s activities. Before arriving, I was somewhat apprehensive, fearing it to be a place of mass euthanasia, with an endless amount of sad stories and manned by emotionally removed authorities. What I discovered was an something worlds away from the iconic cartoon warden.



arren Scully talks as if he has given great thought to his words — as if they are a result of some kind of long period of reflection. Yet I found that you have to step back and ask yourself whether this is some kind of artificial and altogether illusory confidence about what he’s saying, or whether he really is sure that what he’s saying is exactly the message he wants to come across. Take for instance, two years ago. On November 21, 2011, Scully appeared on The Late Show with Niall Boylan on 4FM, having emailed the producer beforehand some of this thoughts. In his email, he said that “as a public representative [he had] taken a decision some years back to no longer deal with representations from immigrants coming from African countries”, the majority of whom he found “very demanding and very quick to play the race card”. When I spoke to Scully last Friday in Áras Chill Dara, the head office of Kildare County Council in Naas, he seemed sure that this was just a poor choice of words: “But then, you know, you, like on reflection, time is a great tool to look back on events. And in hindsight and reflection, yeah, I chose my words very, very badly. The big lesson from that is that from politics you’ve got to choose your words carefully. You can get a message across but you’ve got to choose the words that describe that message very, very carefully. So, yeah, I paid a very high personal price for my comments.” Scully appeared on the Niall Boylan show to reiterate his comments from the email with great certainty, and the following morning, he appeared on local Kildare radio to do the same: “I just made the decision, a conscious decision, earlier this year, that I just was not going to, myself personally, was not going to take on representations from black Africans.” That marked the third time within twentyfour hours that Scully had reiterated his stance in relation to black Africans. Yet, by six o’clock that evening, he had resigned as mayor of Naas, and had apologised unreservedly: “I realise now that my remarks were open to an interpretation that I did not intend. I

abhor racism in all its forms.” The following February, Scully lost the Fine Gael party whip. Just recently, he has been reinstated by the party, and selected by a Fine Gael convention to stand in the upcoming local elections. The question then, I think, was to ask what exactly he did intend. On Friday, Scully outlined exactly that: “To be honest, I had been listening to people on the show, I had been listening to people on various media, and basically what happened was, I thought it was becoming very one-sided. The debate was becoming very one-sided when it came to immigration to this country. I was listening to peo-

giving an honest opinion or an honest view or ... obviously they do because you can see in this country you know that people say ‘oh just play it safe. Say nothing. Keep the head down. Say nothing.’ “ Scully claims, as he did in the radio interviews, that over his seven or eight years as a public representative, he has been subject to unreasonable demands from the black community in Ireland: “I had met a lot of people, particularly from the black community, who were looking for a lot — demanding a lot — and I was just very unhappy with it — the way they were dealing with it.”

ry of this country voluntarily”. Despite this, he felt that certain groups had been intolerant towards him: “But what really annoyed me was certain groups and organisations in this country who claimed that I was being intolerant towards the African community in my comments. They showed absolutely no tolerance to me whatsoever after I had given my apology. They still wanted to hunt me down. They still wanted me — I don’t know what they wanted. Did they want me whipped? I don’t know what they wanted. Did they want me sent to jail?” It became clear to Scully soon after his KFM interview that his position was untenable:

Yet Scully is quick to address some of the


ple coming on to the radio, basically giving out about the country, giving out about the lack of services for them, and I suppose I was saying, as I said on Niall Boylan on the night, there was a case here where people who had been given council houses here, and they weren’t happy with them, even though what they were going to get in their own countries was minuscule compared to what they were being offered here ...” Later on, Scully went in to more detail about his reasons for broadcasting his views: “I think it was important for people to know that was the way I felt. I suppose in a way one of the greatest faults I’ve had in politics is my honesty. I’ve been extremely honest as a politician over the years. I’ve always told people my views, my opinions, what I think of something. And I think that has come back in a certain way — I don’t know do people find it difficult with a politician

positives that came out of this 2011 transgressions: “After the event, the good thing that came out of all this, was that I was contacted by a lot of groups and organisations, particularly from the African community themselves. I met with a few individuals, and it’s kind of funny: I met with one gentleman who was from Uganda, and he said to me if you had said that you wouldn’t deal with any more Nigerians, you would have been perfect, you know? He said “we’re Ugandans and we hate Nigerians”. Same way other people from other African countries say “we hate Nigerians” because of the way they come across: their cultures, their traditions.” To him, perhaps there is a lack of education and understanding as to “the different personality traits and traditions and so on”. Scully reiterated several times that he “gave the fastest political resignation in the histo-


“I think it was pretty much the following day after I listened to the interviews back myself and after talking to some people who rang me to discuss it. Some close friends — non-political friends — had rang me to discuss the situation and I suppose really that you can’t … When you sit down and think long and hard about things, yeah I did generalise. You can’t generalise, the same way you can’t generalise about politicians — people do it all the time, they generalise the whole time. What made my position untenable to myself was that I was elected as the first citizen of Naas, so I was elected as the representative of the town.” A week after his resignation, Scully appeared on Marian Finucane and reiterated how he did not put enough thought into his words. When I pressed him as to how he did not put enough thought into what he said was a “conscious decision” , Scully was a bit more open on what he believed he should have said:


2009 June Tops the poll in Naas Town Council, and gets the first seat in Kildare County Council — missing the top of the poll by one vote.


11th June Darren Scully elected to Naas Town Council, but fails to get elected to Kildare County Council.

2011 21st November P3$.1<8;5(>');5+ÂĄ <-5@Z=-) Late Show with Niall Boylan, his thoughts


P ´88)$;< 54 =-) <-5@ =5 ;).=);$=) his comments.

11th March Runs in 2005 DĂĄil by-election in Kildare North after the resignation Charlie McCreevy on appointment as EU Commissioner. Does not get elected.

22nd November P ´88)$;< 54 15'$1 .1($;) ;$(.5Z KFM to clarify his views, causing further controversy. P´5(-Ä&#x2014;4ÄĄÄ&#x160;5;(Ä&#x2014;.4'1$.3<-)-$< ;)85;=)( '>11B =5 =-) $;($Ä&#x160; +5; incitement to hatred. P 45+E'.$1 3))=.4, 5+ .1($;) councils called to discuss Scullyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s comments.


P'>11B.<<><8)4()(+;53-.</5&Y P ´= <.A 5h'15'0Z '>11B ;)<.,4< $< Mayor of Naas, and apologises unreservedly.

24th May Selected by Fine Gael convention to run in the 2007 General Election. Does not get elected.

12th December Appears before Fine disciplinary meeting.



2012 21st February .4) $)1 $=.54$1 A)'>=.?) remove party whip from Scully.

18th July Makes national headlines for claiming that young women were asking for â&#x20AC;&#x153;advice on how to get pregnantâ&#x20AC;? to increase their chances of getting housing from the council.

2013 5th November Whip restored to Darren Scully.

25th November )1)'=)( &B '54?)4=.54 +5; Â&#x;Â?Â&#x17E;ÂĄ Local Elections. 8 | MAGAZINE

“I said black Africans. Now I really shouldn’t have even said black Africans. I should have said certain people from a certain part of Africa. That’s what I should have said. And the mistake was that I generalised. I said all black Africans. And that was a mistake. But I had issues, issues with certain nationalities, which I’m not going to discuss now. There’s no point. Certain nationalities from the continent of Africa who are very demanding. And I had been thrown the race

I was very disappointed in him and I know members of his own party were very disappointed with him for what he did.” He also accused some media outlets, particularly, of using journalistic license, and misquoting him: “Yeah. I said a comment there with The Journal. I said I’m very sorry about what happened. I gave a frank, open and honest

With regards to the emotional and psychological impact, Scully said: “I knew something was desperately wrong when the Boston Globe had rang me and the Sydney Tribune had rang me and BBC Northern Ireland were sending down a camera crew from Belfast to interview me. ... It was a big story for the media and I suppose with all that media coming to my front door, with my family being there, and then


card several times. Now, I don’t like that. I don’t like being bullied and threatened by any person. And that’s what really kind of annoyed me.” Central to the debate during his KFM interview was the role of public representatives in society and whether they should represent all the people. Scully was having none of it: “The general populous get confused as well about what a politician is ... Why do we have multi-seat constituencies if that’s the case? ... I think it’s just nice political language to say that: we’re here to represent all of the people. But I don’t think that sums up politics in any democracy to be quite honest. ... To say that they represent all of the people, to me that’s just, that’s you know very clappy handy, hold hands kindof language. It’s not being realistic.” Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, a Labour Party TD, reported on the day of the controversy that he had reported Darren Scully to the Gardaí for incitement to hatred. When asked if it was the right thing to do, Scully was definitive: “No it wasn’t the right thing to do. It was political grandstanding. Aodhán Ó Ríordáin doesn’t know me. Aodhán Ó Ríordáin made a false statement to the media. He said that he had gone down to the Garda station which he hadn’t done. Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, all he had to do was pick up the telephone and talk to me, which he didn’t bother his arse to do. ... Yeah, and I thought it was Aodhán Ó Ríordáin trying to get some cheap political press to get himself on the news that night, and trying to, I don’t know, pass himself off as being some crusader or white horse, or whatever. But

apology ... I genuinely meant it. And then the journalist at The Journal said ‘oh yeah but Darren some organisations or groups are still looking for you to be barred from politics.’ Like and I said ‘what’s going to make these people happy. Do they want me to be deported, next?’ You know, and then that’s what they use then in their headline: ‘Some people want me deported.’ I never said that, you know? That belittles the whole interview. That’s why I was really annoyed when I saw that interview. They’re trying to make it out to be something that it wasn’t. They weren’t using my words to their questions.”

being suspended from and subsequently losing my job, and then obviously being contacted by the Gardaí, yes, it was a very difficult time.” To conclude, I asked Scully would he act differently if he had his time over, considering everything that he has learned from the experience: “Of course I would go back and change the language I used. I wouldn’t have used the language I used. I used the wrong language to explain a situation.”


As to why he has been selected again, Scully thinks it has more to do with having served his time, rather than any Fine Gael-related tactic based on his local popularity: “The party felt that I had done my punishment. I served nearly a year and a half without the whip, and that I was genuinely contrite in my apology and that I was genuinely sorry for what I did and they came to me and they said ‘look, we would like to offer you the whip back, but it’s completely up to you’.”



t’s a late winter Sunday night and I’m at my first slam poetry event. Aptly called Slam Sunday, these free events take place on the first Sunday of each month at seven o’clock. I’m nestled in a plush brown leather sofa in Accents Coffee and Tea Lounge, nursing a cup of peanut butter hot chocolate that is so addictive Nigella Lawson would go nuts for it (allegedly). The homely basement lounge is slowly filling up with college students in garishly mixed clothes, men with excessive facial hair and an abundance of hat-wearers all posed with varying degrees of nonchalance on bean bags and couches.   Suddenly I’m worried. I’m the sort to have recordings of poets on my iPod, to spend hours watching videos from slam competitions the way others would watch marathons of Breaking Bad. I may or may not have a poster of Frank O’Hara. What if I’ve accidentally stumbled into nothing more than a romantically lit den of hip people equipped with a rhyming dictionary? My disappointment will mate with my embarrassment and kill me. I call this poetry nerd’s remorse.   I’m gnawing on the lip of my takeaway cup when a sizeable gang of what I’m inclined to call “youths” walk in. Not your garden variety youths either. Their chic coats, chinos, artfully tousled hair and purposely oversized hoodies hint at a superiority: they’re cultured. I recognise the smiling, mop haired guy leading the pack from the event’s Facebook page. He’s Stephen Clare, last month’s third prize winner and

an up-and-coming voice in Dublin’s flourishing slam scene. He settles himself in the centre of the room in a small sea of eager teenagers. Along the edges of the room stand a few more people, some in their thirties and others in their sixties. This is what slam in Dublin looks like. Slam poetry began in 1984 in The Green Mill, a Chicago jazz club, when construction worker Marc Smith decided he’d add some spark to his poetry readings by having poets perform in public against each other competitively. The movement rapidly took off, morphing over almost three decades to the rigidly structured art form we see tonight. In traditional slam poetry, poets recite from memory full original poems without the use of props, backing tracks, musical instruments or costumes and under three minutes. Audiences show their appreciation not by clapping, cheering or shouting but rather by clicking their fingers. Here, the poets sign up on the night and twelve are selected at random to perform. Two rounds are performed. The winners of each round face off in a final round to decide the winners of first and second place, with third place being chosen by the audience. The winners receive cash prizes of €50, €30 and €20 respectively. Five judges are chosen at random from the audience to score the poets after each round, five points for style and five for content.   “Like the Olympics but with words and

… less snow,” booms Aidan Murphy, the master of ceremonies at each Slam Sunday and also the chief organiser of the Monday Echo, a popular poetry and songwriter’s event that takes place every Monday night in the International Bar. While that venture has been steadily growing over its two-year run, Slam Sunday is a very recent addition to the Dublin arts scene starting only three months ago. “One thing I noticed in Dublin was that there weren’t many venues that did purely spoken word,” Murphy says of his intentions when starting the event. “There was a lack of just slam poetry. I was looking for a way to do a slam competition but I didn’t have time with the Monday Echo. I also wanted to do it acoustically and in a nondrinking venue as they’re usually in pubs or licensed venues which is a problem for people who don’t drink or those who are under eighteen. This is a way of getting a huge amount of people up on stage reciting slam poetry from memory and of getting some money to people every month.”  While Slam Sunday is the first and only one of its kind to focus on pure, traditional slam poetry there are an abundance of similar events held weekly dedicated to spoken word, music, comedy or song writing.   Petty Cash are a collective committed to providing spoken word theatre to audiences, particularly young people, around Dublin and offering would-be performers a chance to tap into the one medium that


is designed to be accessible. Their list of inspirations reads like a page torn from Jack Kerouac’s notebook, had he lived in Dublin: “Our relationship with the city. Our relationship with the generation we are emerging from. And the tensions between this generation and generations who have gone before. Going to clubs, leaving early and getting chips. Getting up for work. Pop music. The financial crisis. The internet. The ways we communicate, and the ways we connect. Most importantly, we are interested in making work about Dublin City as it is today, as experienced by ourselves and by our peers.” The Brownbread Mixtape, a monthly themed event of music, comedy and spoken word, takes place in the Stag’s Head with featured performers booked months in advance. Hosted by MC and well-regarded poet Kalle Ryan and sound engineer Enda Roche, the focus here is on established performers with none of the freedom to sign up that Slam Sunday provides. Also a free event, it puts on one of the most highly regarded events in Dublin’s art scene in an iconic venue.   Milk and Cookie Stories sits at the other end of the spectrum, opposing Slam Sunday’s formatted poetry competition with a night of rambling tales told in the style of the great Irish storytellers. If Petty Cash invokes Kerouac then Milk and Cookie invokes Seamus Heaney. Held in a different location each month with a different theme, this is a night filled to the brim with

coffee, tea, cakes and cookies, which are all free. Although each night includes a number of featured artists, the focus here is on audience participation with the welcoming atmosphere beckoning those brave enough

It didn’t take much research to learn of the startling underrepresentation of minorities in the Irish slam scene and he saw a community he could help give a face to. “There weren’t many gay poets and there

tion. Hooked on the buzz of performance, Gibney, a self-confessed “word freak”, found pleasure in the challenge of a slam competition and the natural high of speaking in front of an audience. It’s through recommendations and social media that events like Slam Sunday and Milk and Cookie Stories start to thrive. Aidan Murphy acknowledges that “without Facebook none of this would be possible.” Tonight, he makes several requests that audience members donate anything they can regardless of how little it is. They are also currently seeking sponsorship for the new year all with the aim of making a profit out of poetry, solely for those who take the time to craft it. Murphy hopes that if enough people are exposed to movements like Slam Sunday, similar initiatives will spring up: “The more you keep it going the more other people feel encouraged to create events themselves so the scene organically grows from that.”  

“IT’S NEVER TOO LATE TO MAKE POETRY RELEVANT AGAIN.” to approach the mic: because everybody has a story. So goes the motto of Milk and Cookie Stories. It was exactly this ethos that brought Stephen Clare to the January event only a few months ago. After stumbling upon a YouTube video by renowned slam poet Sarah Kay, Clare instantly recognised slam poetry as an art form he wanted to crack. Drawn in by the unpredictable collision of dramatic performance and poetry, Clare wanted to stretch his own poetic voice. “There isn’t one person in the world who doesn’t have something to share, something only they can say,” Clare tells me, sitting in the Accents lounge after being crowned that night’s first prize winner.  

weren’t many young poets so I stood out. I don’t necessarily think I’m particularly good at what I do. I’m just outgoing and recognisable.” His enormously well-received introduction to the scene at Milk and Cookie led him to different events on different nights with different themes. Soon, he was performing new poetry at nearly every spoken word event held in the city centre. With little to no profit being made from these events, most advertising is done through word of mouth, each event directing performers and fans alike to similar events. Sarah Gibney, second prize winner at the last Slam Sunday, heard of the event from friends, although her introduction to performing was through a college presenta-

It must always start with the poet. It must start with encouraging people to think of themselves as individuals with something


of value to share. As Clare puts it, “I think a lot of people will think that no one’s going to want to hear their story, which is really sad for something like slam poetry which is designed to be accessible.” In a country with as rich a literary heritage as Ireland, where we are connected through generations and distances by verse and rhyme. It’s never too late to make poetry relevant again. It’s a late winter Sunday night and I’m listening to Stephen Clare talk about his breakup. I have almost forgotten his name. I’m fiddling with my coffee cup trying to ready myself for what I know is coming. I’ve moved on. I’m scribbling in my notebook to stop the tears welling up. My clothes smell like me again. I’m thinking I didn’t sign up for this, I didn’t ask for a dose of all-too-familiar reality. And I’ve almost forgotten his name… I’m about to lose it when: I realise that the fucker has unfriended me on Facebook. Raucous laughter mingles with the sound of forty people clicking their fingers in furious delight. I smile in spite of myself. I giggle at how easy that was to do. I remember why I love slam poetry so much, why I listen to Anis Mojgani and Shane Koyczan the way most people listen to their favourite bands. With a few sentences it can capture how glaringly human we are, and get us to laugh before we cry. 

Everthing is Illuminated We go in search of Dublin’s most extravagantly lit-up houses. The month where cards are sent out by the truckload and chocolate advent characters are prematurely devoured is upon us. Then of course, there are the decorations. Most folk will haphazardly throw baubles on a tree, stick a wreath up on the door and maybe curl some tinsel around a banister or two if they feel up to it. Some people however, take Christmas very seriously indeed. The University Times Magazine went on a walkabout to seek out those who take decking the halls to a whole new level.


Rathdrum Road Josephine Leonard has been decorating every available inch of her home for longer than she can remember. With life-sized Santas sourced from sellers located as far away as Boston and an electricity bill so hefty she refuses to divulge it to her family, her spectacular home has to be seen to be believed. Taking two weeks to prepare before a single switch is flipped, Josephine also fills the interior of her house with innumerable toys, reindeer and wise men. This year she’s raising money for Care for Cian, a charity set up to raise money for the infant son of a friend diagnosed with Cri du chat.




Bath Avenue (top and bottom left) William Tilly’s sheer dedication to the art of Christmas has turned him into something of a local legend. His front garden is a dazzling, raucous nativity-themed playpen with singing animatronic reindeer and so many lights that his neighbours are afraid passing aircraft will mistake their road for a runway. William has been celebrating Christmas this way for the best part of a decade and in the process he’s raised over €30,000 for Harold’s Cross Hospice. Recently featured on a TV3 special on Irelands Christmas lights, Williams latest addition is a rocket-flying Santa and he shows no signs of slowing down.

Keeper Road (top and bottom right) Veronica Power’s Christmas officially begins the night The Late Late Toy Show airs. With the family gathered around the house, she turns on the power, lighting up the front of her home (and the rest of the road in the process) before they head inside to watch Ryan Tubridy parade about in his latest choice of Christmas jumper. Veronica says there’s nothing more rewarding than seeing the local kids posing for photographs with her handiwork. The laughter and smiles she sees from her doorstep inspire her to add new pieces to her collection year after year.


film Kill Your Darlings PAUL GLYNN Kill Your Darlings is John Krokidas’s highly anticipated directorial debut, a dive into the tumultuous and narcotic lives of the early movers and shakers of America’s Beat Generation. It centres around the murder that would test their friendship and reverberate through the astonishing work they produced in its aftermath. The film follows young and skittish Allen Ginsberg (Daniel Radcliffe) as he starts his freshman year of college. It is here that he meets the eloquent and devilishly alluring Lucien Carr (Dane DeHaan), who serves as a sort of mentor, introducing him to New York’s developing underground writing scene and some of its more experimental and unbridled champions, Jack Kerouac ( Jack Huston) and a morphine-addled William S. Burroughs (Ben Foster) amongst them. Together these writers build a manifesto for a new literary movement that quite violently does away with English literature’s canonical works, tearing up classic tomes in the university library and instead celebrating the unconventional and the downright smutty. As idyllic as all this sounds, the group begins to unravel as tensions between Carr and his lover David Kammerer (Hall) reach a breaking point, with Kammerer’s subsequent murder propelling the burgeoning intellectuals into further tragedy. The highly changeable environment of the mid 1940s in which the authors of the Beat Generation immersed themselves is well-represented aesthetically, and Krokidas does not shy away from its at times

Delivery Man MEGAN MORIARTY David Wozniak (Vince Vaughn) is a deadbeat delivery truck driver with a particular talent for screwing things up. The most notable example of this is his relationship with his cop ex-girlfriend Emma (Cobie Smulders), who does not trust him to be a responsible father to their soon-to-be-arriving baby. David seems to be pretty comfortable with his accountability-free, directionless lifestyle until one day he finds himself visited by a lawyer who informs him that after donating sperm multiple times during his youth under the pseudonym of ‘Starbuck’, he is now the proud father of 533 children. Luckily for David, this change of events proves to be the perfect opportunity for him to get his act together and prove his worth as a father as he sets out to meet all

brutal nature. Sitting down to watch Kill Your Darlings smacks of entering one of the seedy drinking dens dotted around the New York that Ginsberg and co find themselves in. There is a latent sense of excitement channelled through Radcliffe’s embodiment of Ginsberg and his naïve, youthful enthusiasm towards his new bohemian surroundings. This provides a contrast to the piercing click-clack of typewriter keys over the dialogue, and the moody lighting and colouring techniques that create an almost noir-like mood. At times, however, the rush of excitement becomes too intense and muddled to digest properly. Drug-induced fantasies seem to come out of nowhere

and the occasional bizarre replaying of earlier scenes in reverse to capture Ginsberg’s slurring mind stick out of the narrative quite uncomfortably. The film finds strength in its well-rounded cast. Daniel Radcliffe plays Ginsberg with a convincing mixture of innocence and preppiness only to later let this front fall apart spectacularly as he delves further into the murky world of his peers. Similarly, Huston’s Kerouac is a delightfully boorish man’s man, complemented by his chemistry with the more measured Edie Parker (Elizabeth Olsen). Dane DeHaan’s Carr sometimes panders to cliché, and his enthusiastic ‘jumping-onto-the-table’ ren-

ditions of Yeats and Miller seem quite jaded and forced. However, there are glimmering moments of humanity in his performance, such as his kiss with Radcliffe and his tormenting imprisonment, that reveal a sobering sense of fragility in his character. Krokidas’s exploration of the birth of the Beat Movement is ultimately solid if a little uninspired. The poorly structured story and ill-judged artistic embellishment prevent the film from being an outright success. However, behind the pomp and drug fuelled haze created by these young authors lies a fascinating and troubling story that may have benefited from a more experienced director.

142 of the sons and daughters who wish to know Starbuck’s true identity. Delivery Man is a remake of a 2011 French-Canadian film titled Starbuck, with the same director, Ken Scott, sitting at the helm of both movies. Desperate for something of a career revival after a string of dreadful comedies (The Dilemma, The Watch and The Internship amongst them) Vaughan was clearly hoping to latch on to

yet another lacklustre, phoned-in performance with that dead eyed expression that we’ve all come to loathe. The king of the kind-hearted everyman is slowly being usurped by the likes of Kevin James. And that’s saying a lot. However, not all hope is lost as Chris Pratt (Parks and Recreation) valiantly attempts to make up for the dearth of comic relief by offering up some winning one liners as Vaughn’s lawyer friend Brett, who sets out to fight his companion’s right to remain anonymous. Pratt fits the role of the clueless father well, acting as a well-oiled piece of funny-guy machinery that sits in stark contrast to Vaughn’s bland straight man. The Irish talent is also prevalent with cameos from Simon Delaney as one of the Wozniak brothers and the up-and-coming Jack Reynor as David’s struggling actor son. This being a Vince Vaughan flick, we

can’t have dull comedy without a smattering of third act sentiment as David works furiously behind the scenes trying to solve all of his children’s problems. The pitfall of Scott’s script is the practical complexities of managing a film that features over 150 supporting characters. A select group of Starbucks babies get significant screen time and yet it’s not enough to delve into any individual character below surface level. On top of that, the female roles are barely fleshed out in a film that hails the father and erases the mother completely. Delivery Man has some serious issues in the character development, plot and overall execution departments but it has its enjoyable moments. Whilst it’s neither funny enough to be a comedy nor engaging enough to work as a drama, Vince Vaughan’s latest has some rather sweet things to say on the subject of fatherhood, and indeed the dangers of excessive sperm donation.

“All we get is yet another phoned-in performance” the goodwill surrounding the original and re-establish his comedy credentials. Unfortunately, all we get from the man who once upon a time was entertaining the masses with Dodgeball and Wedding Crashers is


QUICK FIXES AND SLOW UNCOMFORTABLE SCREWS Sex and sexuality in Don Jon and Blue is the Warmest Colour THOMAS EMMET About two hours into Abdellatif Kechiche’s Palme D’Or winner Blue is the Warmest Colour I found myself wishing they would have sex again. Not for any carnal or voyeuristic reasons I must say. Rather, my feelings sprang from a desire to alleviate the boredom that was a twenty-minute discussion on art and the body not being attached to a gender. Not only was the philosophising ponderous and pretentious in the way that French films are often unfairly stereotyped, it was shot in such deep focus that I believed I was going to be swallowed by the lips of the various Bohemians whose dialogue I was furiously following in the subtitles. It was a truly nightmarish moment. It strikes me as ironic that a film marketed as having so much to say about lust,

who bare all both physically and psychologically. And yet there is nothing for them to chew on. Adele Exarchopoulos’ Adele remains a cypher, a pansexual brooder. And Lea Seydoux’s Emma (whose titular blue hair is anything but warming) is a paragon of bourgeois carefree spirituality and indecisive fervour. The film introduces her with a girlfriend who conveniently disappears as soon as shapes need to be thrown with the experimental and less wealthy Adele. Its source material, a workaday graphic novel by Julie Maroh, does more with the build up to their coitus but decides in some needlessly melodramatic way to kill off its protagonist. But at least she goes out with a bang, whereas here we see her endure awkward conversations in cafes and art

begins just after it finishes, in the back of a car. It mediates on the quick fix, the physical representation of an inability to express anything but furiously solipsistic coitus. This is Julianne Moore’s moment and it is she who proves to be the beating heart of the film, saving Jon Martello from his ego and ultimately his porn habit. No one is saved in Blue, and this makes it all the more frustrating, its ending less a conclusion than an opener to further sadness. Don Jon, with its very American sensibility, finishes up with every loose end more or less accounted for. Its tagline “everyone loves a happy ending” is, for the audience at least, entirely achieved. We have seen redemption, and we have seen it happen steadily, not in the quick fix fashion that Hollywood sometimes

paced three hour drama. There are also interesting parallels in the two films nighttime activities. Don Jon has club scenes with many people standing round aimlessly, in search of potential sexual partners. Its characters frequent the same establishment in search of different results, Einstein’s idea of insanity. In stark contrast the scene where Adele goes to two separate gay bars (for some reason men and women are entirely segregated in this films bizarre world) has everyone and everything copulating. Adele is the only one in the establishing shots not kissing or caressing a partner. Maybe it is Kechiche’s obsession with lips that’s behind this behaviour but it seems odd that he shows no characters at these clubs who are there for the sole purpose

The characters in Don Jon are in search of something impossible to find. Those in Blue have found that something but seem to spend the entire film overthinking it.

love and loss fails to accomplish any kind of worthwhile meditation on the latter two. In comparison, a directorial debut released two weeks earlier that caused only mild ripples in the film world both commercially and critically manages to deal with these three headings with aplomb. The film I refer to is of course is Don Jon, the modern day transposition of Don Juan, where instead of being a home wrecking libertine, Don Jon is porn obsessed, gym-addicted egotist dressed in a wife beater. He’s an appropriate update for our times. But while Gordon-Levitt’s film sells itself as a light comedy on the perils of porn addiction and unrealistic romantic expectations, it has quite a lot more to say than the critical darling that struck gold at Cannes. It is hard to fault the two leads in Blue,

galleries while trying to desperately to inspire empathy in her audience and failing in the attempt. And then of course there is the sex. The infamous and lengthy scenes every mildly conservative critic has damned as pornographic and exploitative. Personally I found them mild respite from what was intended to be an intimate dissection of a first relationship. Yes, they are long and numerous, but they are the only time that Kechiche’s invasive style actually achieves something. Don Jon on the other hand has sex scenes that are quickly cut, and, according to Joseph Gordon-Levitt, never had the stars fully nude. This lends something to his film, a kind of class Blue never earns. The most important sex scene in Levitt’s film, quite late into its running time,

mistakes for catharsis. It is not easy to see initially but the potential in Jon Martello outshines his ego. Also the films view on porn is not entirely one sided. It uses Jon as an avatar to show the effect excessive porn consumption can have on an individual through quick cuts of idealised sex versus actual encounters with his onenight stands. It remains objective. Blue tries to make sex everyday and banal, and relies on the lesbian element to make it fresh. I doubt it would have achieved such notoriety if its story concerned a heterosexual love affair. It really should have taken notes from Andrew Haigh’s 2011 film Weekend, which combines the same explicit sex with a far more substantial commentary on gay relationships and their potential pitfalls. It’s also almost half the length of Kechiche’s languorously


of enjoyment. My wish for another intimate scene to break the tedium in Blue is something that is anathema to what should be the ideal movie-going experience. It signifies a serious lack of any other kind of stimulation and also highlights a lack of understanding from the film’s director of his subject matter. Don Jon’s juxtaposition of Gordon-Levitt’s porn fiend and Scarlett Johansson’s romantic comedy addict gives it the edge in that both of its protagonists are in search of something impossible to find. Sadly both Adele and Emma seem to have found that something and yet they spend the film deconstructing it to such a degree that only one of them can attain any kind of vague happiness, leaving the audience similarly muted and unfulfilled.

fashion Winter Skincare ELIZABETH BRAUDERS So you’ve probably noticed your skin doing its flaky business at this time of year. Central heating inside and bitterly cold outdoor temperatures lead to confused skin getting both dry and oily and generally needing a bit more attention. Your best friend at such a distressing time as this is an occlusive: something that stops moisture escaping from your skin. The problem with occlusive is that they tend to be quite greasy in texture, so they’re more of a night-time product. Some of the best occlusive prod-

ucts are Elizabeth Arden’s famous 8-hour cream, which costs €32 for the unscented version, and trust me, you want the unscented version, and good old Vaseline. Before you go locking in moisture though, you need some moisture to lock in. Moisture, as Ben Still informs us in Zoolander, is the essence of wetness, and wetness is the essence of beauty. The term he’s missing here is emollients, which contain lipids that can help the skin to repair and smooth away dead cells. The best moisturisers are often the simplest ones, and products like Oilatum’s Natural Face Repair Cream,

€10.99 from Boots, and La Roche-Posay’s Cicaplast B5, roughly €12 from many stockists, can hold their own amongst the most expensive creams. Products aside, it’s also a good idea to let up on heavy physical exfoliation, and avoid long steamy showers, which can lead to irritated and damaged skin. Your hands are also very exposed to the elements; so don’t neglect those either. My sister introduced me to Neutrogena’s Norwegian Formula handcream not long ago, and I’ve since become obsessed with it. It’s fairly uninspiring as a product, but it works.

Christmas Wish List


Christmas Dresses ELIZABETH BRAUDERS Festive college parties, work soirées, the big family dinner, and even just Christmas day lounging around the house all call for a fabulous dress. The perfect Christmas dress feels rich, luxurious and cosy, in jewel tones or metallic colours. The bodycon shapes from American Apparel or A Wear will work best for cocktail evenings, while the other three are loose enough to accommodate a post-feast tummy and still look glamorous. Accessorise with something big and sparkly. ‘Tis the season after all.




ASOS €59.30

NEW LOOK €14.99






Interview: Sorcha O’Raghallaigh RACHEL LAVIN Not many young Irish people today look to the Catholic Church as a source of artistic inspiration but Offaly native Sorcha O’Raghallaigh has made a fashion career out of it. Hailing from Birr, the Irish fashion designer has risen to the top of London’s fashion industry in a just few short years, dressing icons such as Lady Gaga and Kate Moss, with catholic religious iconography forming the basis for her couture collections. After studying art in Limerick, O’Raghallaigh relocated to London to pursue fashion: “I moved to London almost eight years ago and my choice to stay here is because I love living in this city!’ She denies however that Ireland lacks a viable fashion industry for up and coming designers. ‘We are in a powerful age where the Internet dominates so location is not as important as it once was. I think as long as you work hard and put yourself and your work out there you can accomplish anything regardless of where you are based.” O’Raghallaigh undertook a degree in London’s prestigious fashion school Central Saint Martins, where she burst onto the scene in the graduate show, with her models walking the runway in stilts, draped in layers of ruffled knitwear, crochet and lace. In 2012, she was snapped up by Selfridges Bright Young Things, an initiative which showcases and sells the work of rising stars. Since then Sorcha has been pursuing her career by producing seasonal collections in London. Renowned for its mysterious and ethereal essence, her aesthetic is finds its centre in the use of Roman Catholic iconography. The latest collection stays true to this. The look pictured is reminiscent of the Child of Prague, and many of her pieces encapsulate religious female idolatry, with a subversive twist. One of her key Autumn/Winter ‘13 pieces is a completely sheer white lace wedding dress. On her unique style she says: “I’ve always been drawn to religious art, memorabilia and the idea of ceremony. I no longer practice religion but I guess growing up in Ireland there was always a strong sense of the Catholic Church so maybe it’s the feeling of nostalgia as well as the purely

aesthetic side that continues to inspire me. As I’ve gotten older I’ve developed a fascination for other religions’ rituals and aesthetics. It’s just something I’m continually fascinated with.” Her religious-themed style has taken the London fashion scene by storm and recent fashion houses have displayed similar elements to her style. Most notably Dolce & Gabanna’s A/W 13 collection used rich blood reds, lace and gold accessories. However, O’Raghallaigh remains humble and denies any imitation on their part: “I would be crazy to consider that any big fashion house is referencing my work.”

Following classic feminine silhouettes, her pieces are drowned in luxurious tulle and lace, but are still sexually provocative. They are decadent and ornate, decorated with intricate hand-crafted beading and accessories such as gold and silver crowns, necklaces and beaded stockings, interestingly all constructed out of safety pins. Hand-crafted pieces are her staple and she is already, at her young age, a master of couture. Her most recent collection is no doubt more commercial than her earlier collections yet still maintains the subtleties of her signature style. Her first collection was highly avant-garde, catering to the likes of Lady Gaga, who christened one of her pieces her ‘wedding dress’ when she appeared in it on the Graham Norton show in 2011. Recalling the incident O’Raghallaigh says, ‘It was a huge honour and a moment I will never forget.’ Recruited by Lady Gaga’s stylist Anna Trevelyan, she was commissioned to make her several pieces. Trevelyan said of O’Raghallaigh: “She is very uniquely talented. I really believe that she is a true artist, what she does is couture.” Overall while her work is astounding for its simple aesthetic pleasures. One of her greatest accomplishments is taking something regarded as ugly in the eyes of young Irish people and making it beautiful again. O’Raghallaigh works between London and Dublin, often coming to the city to give classes in illustration or taking-part in exclusive pop-ups for up-and-comers in Irish design. She is currently working on her next collection, and her most recent work can be viewed on her website.


MUSIC 7 Days of Funk 7 Days of Funk REVIEW EOIN HENNESSY On February 4th 2012, the world stood in awe as the Godfather himself, Snoop Dogg, changed his name to Snoop Lion in order to pursue a career in reggae and join the Rastafarian movement. By this time, many of us had already lost confidence in the once idolised 42-year-old and this just felt like the final nail in the coffin. To make things worse, a reggae duet with Eddie Murphy

was recorded and many thought it truly was the end of Snoopy D-O-Double G. Fast forward to October 2013 and Snoop Lion has yet again changed his name, however this time things seemed different. Not only was his insulting Rastafarian outfit gone but this time he also had a partner in crime. His partner was underground funk legend Dâm-Funk. Known in Los Ange-

Guerilla Toss Gay Disco REVIEW EOIN HENNESSY Having released a handful of albums and EPs over the past two years, Guerilla Toss are back with a new record entitled Gay Disco. The Boston based art-rock group have this time released on experimental label NNA Tapes, also home to artists such as Oneohtrix Point Never and Ahnnu. The album, only six tracks long, is a collection of distorted noise, intense shrieking and primitive synth lines. From the first chords of opening track “Trash Bed”, it becomes hideously apparent that Guerilla Toss don’t make tracks for you to enjoy. Instead, they provide the

listener with performance pieces, not to be enjoyed in the comfort of your own home but rather in a filthy mosh pit at one of the band’s infamous gigs. The chaos, which is so associated with Guerilla Toss’ live shows is certainly tangible, whether for better or for worse. “Sugar Better” contains bass slapped beyond recognition while lead singer, Kassie Carlson, wails at the top of her voice. All of the remaining five songs on the album seem to adopt this same principle, resulting in emotions of panic and frustration as one tries to look beyond the band’s artistic image.

les as the “Ambassador of Boogie Funk”, Dâm has been a hero amongst many music enthusiasts (including this reviewer) for the past 6 years. With Dâm by his side, Snoop changed his name to Snoopzilla, paying homage to Bootsy Collins aka Bootzilla. The result is 7 Days Of Funk, a seventrack album with bonus beats including appearances from Bootsy himself, Steve Arrington, Kurupt and Tha Dogg Pound. Although Snoop’s last album was entitled Reincarnated, one feels that it would be a more fitting title for his most recent venture. Snoop has truly transformed himself. Instead of the awful crooning he’s been putting out for the past few years, we get a delightful array of future funk with some of the smoothest harmonies and melodies Snoop has ever made. Dâm’s beats and Snoop’s vocals fit so well together, it’s hard to believe it took them this long to collaborate. The first single off the record, “Faden Away” combines beautiful star gazing synthesizers with that classic nineties Snoop flare. On the opening track “Hit Da Pavement”, Snoop relives his gangster days while Dâm Funk channels the energy of 1970’s Funkadelic. 7 Days of Funk is essentially a critic’s worst nightmare, as it seems almost too good to be true. The only complaint one could muster is that the summery rhythms on the album might not suit a December release. But complaints like this seem petty when one’s faced with the sheer brilliance 7 Days of Funk have created. NPR summed up the album pretty perfectly in their statement saying that “7 Days of Funk re-establishes the mothership connection between the hyper-human sprawl of Los Angeles and a higher self zooming around in interstellar space”. In other words, the funk is alive and well in LA. So it’s about time for us to put down our words of criticism and say, “Snoop Dogg, all is forgiven”.

One finds it difficult to even interpret meaning from Gay Disco. The song “Pink Elephant” could potentially be about inebriation if one takes a leaf out of the film Dumbo, while “Club Kids” could be about the famous party movement of the eighties

“One finds it difficult to even interpret meaning from Gay Disco.” and nineties, where Michael Alig and James St. James brought “fabulousness” to New York. These meanings, however, can only be taken from song titles, as one can see


WHAT WE’RE LISTENING TO Ernest Wilson I Know Myself Fantastic reggae track recorded in 1978 on Pressure Sounds. Before he was doing solo work, Ernest Wilson used to be a leading member in The Clarendonians and although he’s not making music any more, tracks like “I Know Myself ” are still making people smile.

Cloud Nothings Stay Useless After previewing a new album last week, we’re revisiting Cloud Nothings great 2012 record, Attack on Memory. Their loveable indie rock has managed to stay fresh for the past three years so let’s hope the new album manages to achieve the same.

Zed Bias Luther Having released his debut album on SWAMP81 last week, garage legend Zed Bias has been the mainstay of our listening pleasures. Although it has still not been released, the magnificently upbeat “Luther” can be found on YouTube through a radio rip of a Giles Peterson show.

no resemblance between Carlson’s howling and these (probably far fetched) interpretations. Even for fans of noise rock, Gay Disco is extremely tough going. Although the album may translate into an astounding live show, when one has to endure it in the comfort of one’s home it seems too hard to look beyond the disorder. However, one can hardly criticise Guerilla Toss for their artistic merit as they’ve developed an almost cult-like following entirely based around their live performances, which may include full blown nudity and self mutilation. Guerilla Toss may not have made a good album, or even an enjoyable song for that matter, but they sure are the stuff real musicians are made of.


A MAN OF MANY TALENTS EOIN HENNESSY interviews dubstep veteran, Peverelist.

The past three years have seen a sharp decline in the quality of the dubstep movement. Many of the pioneers have sold their souls to the EDM devil, while other artists have simply fizzled out, unable to make it in a genre where the new poster boy is Skrillex. While dubstep used to be considered a genre obsessed with bass weight, dimly lit rooms and griminess, it is now represented by over-produced screeches broadcast to thousands of clean-cut ecstasy filled teenagers. Although many people hadn’t heard of the subculture until 2010, those that knew about it before still believe its zenith years were in 2006 and 2007. Tracks like Loefah’s ‘Mud’, Digital Mystikz’ ‘Haunted’ and Peverelist’s ‘Roll With The Punches’ all showed us the true meaning of bass weight. The sheer subsonic forces these tracks emanated was immense. The best way to listen to them was in a dark basement surrounded by other sweaty club goers, while a Funktion-One sent vibrations through everyone’s skull. However, it was Peverelist’s ‘Roll With The Punches’ that seemed to shine a new light onto an already booming genre. Not only did it contain earrupturing bass but it was also beautifully melodic. As Boomcat put it in 2007, it’s a ‘track [which doesn’t] entirely make sense on first listen but which eventually plaster[s] itself to your mind with stubborn determination.’ If ‘Roll With The Punches’ didn’t make sense back in 2007, it most certainly makes sense now. Its elongated synths and rolling drums still make it a joy to listen to. Shortly after the track was released it became very clear that Peverelist was a force to be reckoned with. After starting up his own Bristol based label in 2006 entitled Punch Drunk, Tom ‘Peverelist’ Ford set about releasing a series of singles from local artists along with his own production. The label played host to a number of amazing composers including RSD, Guido, Gemmy, Pinch and Gatekeeper. Ford also set about releasing more of his own production on Punch Drunk along with labels such as Apple Pips, Skull Disco, Hessle Audio and Honest Jon’s. Each time the production style would be different. It was no longer just about dubstep. Instead elements of techno and tribal rhythms were incorporated but all with the classic Peverelist flare. Then in 2011, Ford decided to start up a new label entitled Livity Sound, a label solely based around the music he and his friends were making at the time. I caught up Pever-

elist last week to see just how the iconic imprint began: “Livity Sound came about as I felt I needed to have a label which defined my own interests and ideas, combining all my influences from dub, jungle and techno … I’d been doing Punch Drunk for a few years but that was always meant to be a reflection of the Bristol scene and I wanted to do something that was more specifically me.” However, this time he was not alone in the creation of the label: “My friend Joe [Kowton] was instrumental in Livity Sound’s creation. We chatted a lot about music at the time, about what we liked and didn’t like and started collaborating on tracks together, one of which became the first Livity Sound twelve inch.” The track was 2011’s “Beneath The Radar”. One side of the record containing a Kowton mix, the other side containing a newly named ‘Pev’ Mix. Both tracks caused a storm in clubs around the world. Shorty after, a new artist emerged from the label: “The third member, Asusu, was another Local DJ and producer who I had been in conversation with about working together.” Ford says that he felt Asusu’s “ideas were compatible with [his and Kowton’s], so he supplied the second release.” Thus the Livity Sound crew was born. Once Livity Sound had been well established, the crew decided it was time to try a new venture: “As we started to release more records we decided to try to present them in a live show, something none of us had ever done before and it made sense. A new challenge.” Gaining influence from the sound system culture so associated with dub music, the group began touring the world. Along with the live show, the group also DJ separately, playing everything from reggae to garage, and techno to grime. The Livity Sound mentality seems to be one based around dance music culture from the early nineties which means that none of the collective even use CDs: “As far as DJing goes, we all play vinyl. I don’t have a problem with people playing CDs or Serato at all but for me playing vinyl is more immediate and fun and a little more chaotic. I think that adds to the vibe, especially when we are DJing back to back.” As for their live show: “The live set is a totally different thing to DJing, it’s meant to be quite upfront, intense and visceral. I think it stands alone as a separate experience.” With Livity Sound still on the rise, Ford now speaks of Punch Drunk in a more nostalgic light, even though the label has remained

functioning: “I started Punch Drunk in 2006. At that time, there was this new scene bubbling up in London based around what was loosely called dubstep and grime. It was a time when there was an anything goes attitude and a lot of Bristol producers were really influenced by the ideas in it, not wanting to imitate London, but [instead] seeing it as an opportunity to do their own music and to have an audience for it. So there was a lot of new music being made in Bristol and there weren’t really any labels through which it could come out, so I started Punch Drunk, just with the idea of it being a platform for Bristol artists to put out their music – however it sounded, as long as it had a kind of UK Soundsystem influence.” Ford’s passion for music is palpable. When asked about how 2006 differs to 2013, Ford finds it hard to put into words: “I don’t know really. I’m just getting on with it. I don’t know where the time goes to be honest, just always moving forwards and trying to be involved in things that I have an affinity with.’ Very few people in the electronic music scene manage to keep their production consistent, let alone DJ fantastically, perform live shows and run three labels. It’s pretty clear that Peverelist is one of the hardest working artists in underground music. When asked whether it all gets too much at times, he nonchalantly replies “a bit.” However, it’s obvious that times are still very tough. When asked about his opinion on the increase in independent music and vinyl sales he laughs and says: “How can I answer that question without sounding negative?” Apparently it’s not all sunshine and lollipops yet: “It’s harder and harder for independent labels. The media twist things a lot. I’ve worked in


independent music for almost fifteen years and I’ve seen it collapse first hand. Shops, labels, pressing plants and distributors all falling by the wayside and generations coming up that have never paid for music. It’s all very fragile still, I’m not sure people know how much its all held together by sellotape.” It is clear Ford’s thoughts on the matter are deeply rooted. Almost a love hate relationship has formed between him and the music industry over the years: “I’m not going to judge it though, it is what it is. It’s great that fans have access to so much music, much of it free in the form of downloadable mixes. I guess the downside is that there is less and less incentive for young and up and coming generations to start a record label and make/take music seriously, so I’m not quite sure where its all going. I guess it’s up to the younger generations to decide that.” Ford’s knowledge of the music industry seems unrivalled in his age group. Few people have achieved quite as much as he has in so little time. Despite this, he still has his concerns about what the future might hold: “My main fear is that the independent infrastructure that did exist to enable young people to start their own labels and release and control their own music has been seriously eroded and there has been a big corporate power grab to replace it. I could talk about it all day but I guess it doesn’t get us anywhere.’ Our interview ends, yet Ford is determined to not leave on such a negative note. Instead he finishes with a plea to younger generations saying: “Make a tune. Make connections. Put a night on. Start a label. What are you waiting for?!” While he may not have shown us his trick, he sure has shown us that it’s achievable.




ecember 2nd saw the launch of Morgan Macintyre’s EP, Dancing Down Ravenhill in the Sugar Club. Trinity’s own Morgan Macintyre has been captivating us with her sweet and soulful folk melodies since coming to Trinity in 2010. Last year she won Trinity’s Battle of the Bands and as a result opened Trinity Ball’s main stage. That following summer she supported Joan Armatrading in Belfast’s Grand Opera House, sang alongside Nancy Griffith at the Belfast Nashville Festival and played at numerous Irish festivals including The Electric Picnic, Vantastival and Sunflowerfest And all this while finishing her BA in History and Politics. I sat down with Morgan to talk about her burgeoning musical career.

When did you begin singing/songwriting and how do you feel you have progressed up until this point? I’ve always been singing, the way children do to entertain themselves. I’d make up songs with my friends and in the back of the car in long car journeys it was when everyone else grew out of it and I kept going I felt a bit embarrassed about it. I would sing my wee songs for my family but only started taking it seriously when I was around sixteen and I began singing at parties and chancing a few of my own songs. But I was always writing, not anything unusual, they way all kids do I guess.

if I’m going through something myself, whether its happy or sad. But it mostly is sad, again despite my best efforts. Song writing is a complete emotional exercise for me. If I’m feeling overwhelmed I just sit down at the piano and get it all out of me in the form of a song, the worse I’m feeling, the better the song and the quicker it’s written. It’s the songs I take my time over that are normally mediocre, lacking in something. Normally the music and lyrics come together but I’m much more into my lyrics than the instrumentation, I often write little lyrics without music, I guess you could call them poems but I would never do the tune without the lyrics. I find lyrics in other people’s songs so interesting, I’m obsessed by them and obsessed with finding out what they mean to the writer. I guess that’s why I take so much pride in my own lyrics and making sure they’re decent. Many of your songs have sweet folk melodies. Who are your musical inspirations and influences, what musician(s) do you most aspire to sound alike? I love story telling songs, mostly love songs really. I love all the old story tellers with great nostalgic voices. Joni Mitchell is my idol. I think her songs are just perfect and I’d love to emulate her one day. Johnny cash is another hero, along with the Everly Brothers and Patsy Cline. I’m always playing sad music which isn’t always the best thing to stick on in a social situation but they are the ones I really love

What is your creative process like? Do you write quickly or over time? Does the music or lyrics come first?

Your EP, Dancing Down Ravenhill, is coming out in December. In a few short words how would you explain this collection of songs? Are they autobiographical?

The writing process for me is always very sudden. Despite my best efforts all the songs are autobiographical so I’m only able to write a song worthy of keeping

All of the songs are completely autobiographical and filled with nostalgia, street names and real memories. They’re all ultimately love songs but each one is of


a different nature. The title track is very nostalgic, about holding on to a love which isn’t really there anymore. “Butcher” is about a destructive love, where you love someone so much you start to hate them. “The Thing Is” is the purest love song you can imagine, unapologetically sweet and simple, not very sophisticated but it does what it says on the tin. And “How About Mexico” is about a love which is barely there.

Considering you are so young and have been studying in college for the past four years you have been quite successful. Do you think music is something you would pursue as a career. Do you think the Irish music scene is hospitable to new talent? I’d love to pursue music next year. I feel I owe it to myself. Having spent the last three and a bit years studying I feel like I’ve done my bit. I’ll probably head for the bright lights of London when I get a chance and try and sing for a few years to see what happens. I’m really glad I came to college first though. It’s actually benefited my music career a lot. When you’re in college you have access to a whole community of young people who are ready and willing to listen to new music. Plus I’ve met a lot of creative and very talented people in college. All my band mates are people I met in Trinity and I know my EP wouldn’t be the same without them. As far as the Irish music scene is concerned - I guess we’ll see. I’ve been lucky enough to get some good gigs in Dublin so far but this is the first time I’ve had something I could really push and send out to people. I’m hoping the future will bring good things for myself and the EP. You can listen to Morgan’s new EP ‘Dancing Down Ravnehill’ on Bandcamp at


WHILE IT’S FUNNY to watch Toddlers and Tiaras on TV, and brush it off as a load of silly Americans, it’s quite scary to see it being acted out on your doorstep. There is a strong current of opinion that believes beauty pageants are responsible for the sexualisation and corruption of young children. And now this industry has its sights on Ireland. The pageant company Universal Royalty, established in 1995, recently decided to set up shop here. However on reaching the coast of the Emerald Isle, their Glam-ferry was downsized to a dinghy amongst the Irish media and politicians, one of whom — Jillian Van Turnhout — openly spoke about campaigning to ban these pageants in Ireland, following the example of the French. That’s all well and good, except don’t we already have the National Vetting Bureau Act 2012? It’s respected by the Irish nation, who patiently wait eight weeks to be vetted before running a two-hour Christmas card-making workshop… Yet the stroppy ‘Glam Team’ of Universal Royalty land here for under two weeks and complain about how hard it is to get things done. At these bizarre pageants little girls (yes, no boys, so that’s a bit of sexism into the mix as well) wear more make-up than Jeffree Star can dream of, model swim and carnival wear, and have their mothers spray tan the absolute bejaysus out of them. These people spend thousands of euro to enter and get ready for these pageants, and all for what — a plastic trophy and a slightly confused child at the end of proceedings? It’s almost as cruel as making them watch that new Tom and Jerry series where they talk and have iPods. As for the judging system — assessing the charisma of a two week-old baby against that of an eleven year-old must be challenging — that’s why all the judges have PhDs in Anthropology and Rocket Science. Universal Royalty — even the name is misleading, there’s nothing royal about fake eyelashes. They promote “Competition, Positive Self-Confidence and Striving to

Be the Very Best”. However, if kids are to be judged on being kids, shouldn’t judges should look at grazed knees, snotty noses and yoghurt on their school jumpers, and not how beautiful a child is from the adults’ perspective. It’s not healthy — not to mention very distorted, to see a seven-year-old mirroring Venus’ perfect contrapposto position and dancing like women who hold Pitbull’s company, whilst wearing heels and looking more made-up than a Hans Christian Andersen fairytale. This imported industry is actually had a quite disheartening experience in Ireland. Many respected hotels rejected the hosting of the pageant. They even end up looking at a metal scrapyard as a venue. Eventually they settled on Corrigan’s Kitchens in Co. Monaghan for a beer garden show. It has been rumoured that Universal Royalty are planning on hosting a Christmas-themed pageant in Cork around the 14th December. Hopefully they will be rejected from venues there as well. Having said all of that, the girls seem to have fun at these events — they like dressing up and looking like princesses in their glitter and their frills, but in a lot of the contestants are entered for the twisted inclination of their fame-jockeyed mothers. A YouTube video titled “How the Media Failed Women in 2013” went viral just under a week ago, and for the right reasons — there are no ‘Mister Universe’ pageants, and no stripped twerking men used as a backdrop to Lilly Allen’s “Hard Out Here”. Toddlers and Tiaras promote just that – you will get far in life if you’re pretty, wear heels and let yourself be judged on just that. Irish kids have talent enough to not have to compete amongst themselves for adult approval of their ‘aged’ appearance — I say let them chase stray cats and jump in puddles – the hair-sprayed curls will never hold in the Irish rain.

“These people spend thousands of euro to enter and get ready for these pageants, and all for what — a plastic trophy and a slightly confused child at the end of proceedings?”



The University Times Magazine  

Volume III, Issue V of The University Times Magazine

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you