I Prefer The Obscure Remix Blog

Where does the time go to?

I’ll tell you where.

1. Minding hyperactive, but unbelievably cute puppies while friends are away.

2. Deadlines!

3. Six Nations rugby.

4. Chasing around after puppies, and generally entertaining them (not to mention myself).

5. Soundchecking for the Choice Music Prize.

6. More deadlines!

7. Making an album.

8. Work. Normal everyday 9-5 work (this does not include deadlines).

9. Gigs in Dublin.

10. Smoking cigarettes, drinking coffee, and worrying about finding the time to do all of the above.

Of all the weeks I wanted to blog, this was it. There is so much happening I don’t know where to start. The Choice Music Prize is this Wednesday. By this time tomorrow I’ll hopefully be sipping from a bottle of the cheapest champagne known to humanity. Thursday night, a rare appearance on the wheels of steel at a secret location – I don’t want anyone showing up to have a laugh at my mixing skills – they probably don’t even call them wheels of steel anymore. Friday night, Menomena in the Sugar Club, one of the best bands on the planet – unmissable! Saturday night, the Irish Blog Awards! How I managed this one I’ll never know. Sunday, I hit New York for 7 days!

So, what has been happening? Well, the 10 points above should be sufficient explanation, but during this time I’ve also learnt a thing or two. Puppies are experts in the art of manipulation. I sound very unhealthy on the radio. I cannot watch the Eduardo tackle. My parents do not understand what a blog is. My inability to use apostrophes correctly, frustrates sleepy people. John Lambert – aka Chequerboard – is set to release an album of immense scope and beauty. Autechre are not, their music has become infuriating. The Black Dog are still flying the flag for mid-nineties electronica – Radio Scarecrow is a welcome trip down memory lane (Ultramack upstairs in The Funnel anyone?). MGMT are charlatans – emperor’s new clothes (is that correct usage of an apostrophe?). Swimming is hard when you’re only learning – woggles are inhibitive! Smoking, and not being able to give up is embarrassing, and also inhibits swimming. Appearing on TV is both petrifying and exciting in equal measures, but oddly amusing and trivial in the grand scheme of things.

I’ve given far too much away, I know. That happens when you’re deprived of access to a very cathartic outlet such as this blog. I’m not one for the personal slant (unless it revolves around music), but I’ll make an exception this time. I’ll hopefully bump into some of you at the events listed above. Or you can merely point and ridicule if you prefer.

And if you don’t believe me about Chequerboard, have a listen here. His music is stunning!

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February 27, 2008 Posted by | Personal | 8 Comments

High treason. They’ll have my head for this!

thenational-boxer.jpg

So I just got back from The National. Yes, I caved and went. This is rapidly turning into a blog on live music, or confessions of a gig-goer. Maybe I should change the name to Belle De Tour! Anyway, I really wanted to see them, as I think they’re an intriguing band. They’re not the type of band you’d ever expect to hear on daytime radio, and their songs are generally left of centre, but somehow they’ve managed to hit the bigtime in Ireland, relatively speaking. I was a massive fan of Alligator, and I think Boxer and Sad Songs For Dirty Lovers are pretty good too. For me, it’s all about the drummer (Bryan Devendorf), and to a lesser extent, the singer (Matt Berninger). Take away either of these and I think The National would be an average band. Berninger has an interesting voice, coupled with compelling yet opaque lyrics. The drummer, Bevendorf, has a unique style that really propells the songs, and his rhythms develop and evolve throughout the tracks. He always seems to teeter on the brink of overdoing things, but somehow manages to remain in control, and maintain a consistent level of subtlety. But tonight you couldn’t really hear him, and on record the drums are always really high in the mix, so that was a real disappointment. The singer, Berninger, didn’t really know what to do with himself when he wasn’t called into action, so he generally elected to stand with his back to the audience (not very compelling). I thought the gig was very good but not great, and I expected great. I was surprised by the crowd’s reaction to Fake Empire, but I probably shouldn’t be. It went down really well, but I can’t help thinking it would only be one of the weaker tracks if it had appeared on Alligator. The first hour of the gig seemed like a lesson in restraint, and it was only the last 5-6 songs (when they seemed to loosen up, enjoy themselves, and let go) that I felt really worked. Saying that, it was great to hear Secret Meeting second in the set. I still think it’s their finest moment, and a perfect example of singer and drummer at their best. If you don’t believe me check out youtube, there are clips of drummers trying to play along with the beat. The beat might sound pedestrian, but it’s really intricate and clever. That must sound so pretentious, but it’s all subjective. People like the same band for different reasons, and these are mine. It’s only an opinion, and I know I was in the minority tonight as most people thought it was amazing.

I missed St. Vincent but I heard she was very good, and really fit (thanks Pedro!).

November 2, 2007 Posted by | Dublin, live, Music, Olympia Theatre, Personal, The National | 7 Comments

No! Stop it Dad, you’re embarrassing me!

My good friend Sinead over at Sigla Blog sent this piece of footage to me about a month ago, and I can’t quite get it out of my head. It’s shameful! Can you imagine getting dolled up on a Saturday night, getting a few drinks in, heading to a rave, maybe even necking a banger or two, only to find the dj is practically your Dad, and he’s well into the swing of his midlife crisis! I couldn’t get over it, Peter Hook how could you? It’s hilarious, yet disturbing. I know there are some edits to the footage, but at no point do you see him change a record, and correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure a set of headphones are an integral part of the dj process. Shame on you Mr Hook.

The memory of Joy Division/New Order/Factory Records is very much fresh in my mind for the last few months. In fact, it’s been impossible to avoid. The death of Tony Wilson, the arrival of Anton Corbijn’s brilliant new movie/biopic of the last 7 years of Ian Curtis’s life, Control, that bloody Pepsi or Fanta advert that uses a horrific edit of Blue Monday, and the predictable repackaging and re-release of Joy Division’s back catalogue.

I find it hard to believe I was only 5 when Curtis died, but even harder to believe that i’m now 10 years older than he was when he killed himself. It’s easy to forget he died so young, only 23. I feel like I grew up with Joy Division, discovering their music at a young age, courtesy of my older brother and his record collection. Their music and artwork is still as powerful and relevant today as I first remember it. The movie is handled really well by Corbijn, who was possibly the best choice for the job, given his close proximity to the band for the latter part of their career, and the screenplay was adapted from Touching From A Distance, the 1995 memoir by Curtis’s wife Deborah. There are plenty of reviews over at Metacritic, no need for me to offer anything more, except Sam Riley does an excellent job as Curtis, and Toby Kebbell is brilliant as the late, great Rob Gretton. Here’s the trailer, it’s well worth checking out. More so than a Peter Hook dj set!

October 22, 2007 Posted by | Music, Personal | 5 Comments

Weigh Off The Mark

According to the celebrity weighing scales at work, i weigh a whopping half a John Candy, or to be more precise, the same as Xena the Warrior Princess. The diet starts tomorrow!

October 17, 2007 Posted by | Personal | 1 Comment