Top 10 Tracks of the Year – The John Wayne

Keeping inline with the tradition of all music websites publishing ‘Top Lists’ around this time of year,  I have decided to  release my very own. As you can probably tell from the title I have decided to publish my top 10 tracks of the year. So lets kick this highly original idea off with number 10.

10. The John Wayne – Little Green Cars

Since the release of their debut single, Little Green Cars have experienced an unprecedented surge in popularity. The Dublin five piece band consisting of Stevie Appleby (vocal & guitar), Adam O’Regan (vocal & guitar), Donagh Seaver O’Leary (bass guitar), Dylan Lynch (drums) and Faye O’Rourke (vocal & guitar) formed almost three years ago and have been playing and recording ever since. They have had a phenomenal year at home with major festival appearances and an abundance of coverage. With a 2013 album in the works and a growing fan base in the states and overseas it may not be much longer till ‘Little Green Cars’ becomes a household name.

 

Stay tuned for song number 9

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Introducing: Le Galaxie

Le GalaxieFor those of you who thought the synth movement of the 70/80’s was dead, check these guys out. Le Galaxie are an electro-synth group  who hail from Dublin. Their music consists of an interesting blend of everything from Kraftwerk to Daft Punk. I wouldn’t normally be the biggest fan of this genre but Le Galaxie just seem to make it work. The video isn’t to shabby either.

‘Midnight Midnight’ is taken from their Laserdisc Nights 2  album. Check it out below and be sure to let me know what you think? 

Ireland: The slave capital of Europe

The Black Stuff
The Black Stuff

On first glance this title may appear to be a bit extreme. Especially for those of you with the fantastical view of Ireland as a green lush country over-populated with mystical little leprechaun’s, where we dance our way to the pub to battle our on going love affair with the ‘black stuff’. A more likely story reads closer to these lines. The green has long been washed out of our lands thanks to the almost non-stop year round rainfall. Also we do not dance our way to the pub for two reasons. One being that the literal meaning of the term ‘slip jig’ would be put to the test with our abundance of rainfall. The second, and more plausible, reason being that the cost of a ‘night out’ in our recently nominated ‘happiest country in the world’ would amount to a bill equaling a weekly spend on groceries. And what about the slaves I hear you ask?

Ok, so Ireland may not be leading the way in terms of conventional slavery, by which I mean that there is not a great deal of human trafficking carried out in this country. Not to say that it does not happen. But in terms of this article I hope to highlight a new form of slavery which has actually been spearheaded by our very own Minister for Social Protection. Ironic right? Well welcome to Ireland. The land of 1000 welcomes and all that. But at this point I suppose you want to hear about this legal brand of slavery?

Here in Ireland our devout ministers and government officials, looking for a solution to the great unemployment epidemic which is spreading through the country, have come up with a ‘flawless’ amendment to the problem. In a genius moment of clarity they have decided that the main problem surrounding employment is money. Well salary and wages to be precise. So to counteract this problem, they decided to stop paying workers. But of course this would be illegal, so they opted to pay workers 5o euro per week instead and have label it as the ‘National Internship Scheme’. But let me clarify this a little bit. Of course the entire working population takes home more than a measly 50 euro per week. I should have specified earlier that the scheme only applies to educated workers, who have obtained a formal College/University degree.

The aim of the National Internship Scheme is to assist in breaking the cycle where job seekers are unable to get a job without experience, either as new entrants to the labour market after education or training or as unemployed workers wishing to learn new skills. The scheme will also give people a real opportunity to gain valuable experience to bridge the gap between study and the beginning of their working lives.

(www.jobbridge.ie)

The government claim that the scheme will help to provide work to over 5000 Irish people. They say that the scheme will help the intern to gain valuable experience and gain new skills. This is all well and good as it encourages people to get up and do something during these tough times. I myself am currently on a College work placement scheme at the moment and even though I am receiving no payment whatsoever I can say that the experience has been more then beneficial. But this minor collection of benefits is greatly outweighed by the negative and potentially harmful aspects of the scheme.

Participants will receive €50 in addition to their existing social welfare payment and they will retain all of their secondary benefits. The Scheme will not displace existing workers.

(www.welfare.ie)

Although there are current limitations in place which regulate the amount of interns that can work for any one company and the internship period is limited to 9 months there is still more than enough room for exploitation and abuse. The Irish government, especially Joan Burton the minister for social protection, have made countless assurances to Irish people that the scheme will not effect existing workers. But it does not take a genius to realise that 5o euro per week is much lower than a standard weekly wage. Also the scheme is now accessible by any company, including fast food restaurants, bars and supermarkets. This in turn means that there now is a readily available army of high skilled cheap labour to be ‘used’ as a major cost saving device.

EMPLOYERS have tried to exploit the Government’s new €20m internship scheme to get free labour.

The department monitoring the scheme has been forced to take down at least 28 job offers from its website that “did not meet required standards”.

One of the ads removed was for a delivery driver and another for a night porter, according to sources close to the internship scheme.

The scheme has already sparked fears that the candidates would replace existing staff on higher wages, or that they would not get the opportunity to develop their skills.

The scheme is open to those on the Live Register for more than three months.

Employers have to pay nothing to the interns — who get less than €2 from the State for up to 40 hours work a week, on top of dole payments.

(www.independent.ie)

The fact of the matter is that the precedent has been set. It is no longer customary to pay staff for their work in Ireland. It is accepted as part of the economic recession, paid jobs no longer exist and we should be honored to be given the opportunity to work regardless of pay. The situation has been turned on its head to the extent where job seekers have to grovel and beg, just so they can work for free in the hope that they may gain some ‘experience’. You may not agree that Ireland is currently a slave capital. But give it a few years, I’m sure your mind will be changed by then.

A Song For The Weekend: The Fallen

I recently came to the startling realization that my blog is lacking one vital component. Well it’s missing many but I just happened to spot this one. So what absence an I talking about? From the title of this post you may come to two very different conclusions. One, you may take the reference to The Fallen as an homage to the villainous robot/decepticon  from the Transformers films. Or two, you may already be familiar with the song  and thus have drawn the correct conclusion. The song is called ‘The Fallen‘ and the glaring omission from my blog is of course the Scottish band ‘Franz Ferdinand‘.

Below I have added a less than ordinary lyrics video that uses some interesting visuals to get the point across. Have a watch, have a listen and let me know what you think of this weeks song.

Mumford and Sons – Lover’s Eyes

 

Whilst I haven’t yet had the opportunity to listen to Babel, the newest musical offering form Mumford and Sons, in its entirety. I have, like the rest of you, been bombarded by the ghastly debut single ‘I Will Wait’. But rather than waiting around for a better single to be released, I fished around and found this diamond in the rough. That’s not to say that there aren’t other great tracks on the album. I just haven’t gotten round to hearing them yet. So in the meantime, I’ll leave you with ‘Lover’s Eyes. It’s been around now for over a year so most of you have probably already heard  it. But for those of you who haven’t, it’s well worth a listen.

Below is a live version they performed last year for iheart radio. Enjoy!!

 

Disappointment, Optimism And Of Course The Kinks

Before I start I should probably mention that the finalists for the Irish Blog Awards were announced this evening. And as you can probably guess that I was not included in the final list. But all I can say is that we’ll get ’em next year. I was over the moon when I found out that this blog was shortlisted. It’s not even a year old yet (October 23rd, mark it in your dairies).

Music has lost some of its appeal for me lately. You probably noticed the lull of music posts on my blog over the past few weeks. At first I wasn’t too sure why this was. Obviously the charts offer little or no inspiration when it comes to music. But it has been this way for many years now so this was hardly an excuse. The actual reason was that I was neglecting to listen to older music from the golden age i.e. the 60’s. The decade when bands were made up of musicians not generically modified talentless robots whose solitary aim is to turn a profit. (This clearly does not apply to every current band, just the majority of which who fall under the genre of POP)

And this is why I have selected The Kinks for this weeks post. Barring the fact that they are one of my favourite bands to grace this planet with their presence they were also coincided a pop band. They were up there with The Beatles and possible would have surpassed their stature was it not for a deadly sibling rivalry between the ‘Davies brothers’.
The Kinks have a more than impressive back catalogue bursting with classics such as Lola, Sunny Afternoon, You Really Got Me and Louie Louie. Below I have included three of their finest, which you may or may not be familiar with. Let me know what you think.

  • Days
  • Waterloo Sunset
  • All Day And All Of the Night

A Song For The Weekend: Yes, It’s Back!!

Okay as the title may suggest, It has been a while since my last SFTW (Song For The Weekend, I have no idea why I decided to abbreviate it when I was just going to post the full title in brackets anyway) post. The reason for this lengthy absence of weekend suitable tracks is because I have been busy. It’s no excuse really, but the best I can come up with on such short notice (which of course is a lie as I had many weeks to formulate a plausible excuse. The truth is that I am just lazy. But what do you expect? It is the weekend after all!!)

To make things up to you I have not one, not two but three songs for you this weekend. But wait there is more. (You should probably be sitting down for this next part) To make things a little more interesting all three songs are from different decades. So how about that? The three decades in questions are the 10’s (As in 2010 not 1910, which you probably already guessed) the 90’s/00’s (No I am not claiming that both decades go musically hand in hand. There is just a bit of debate regarding the release date of the second song. You’ll see for yourself later) and finally (my favourite musical decade) the 60’s .

  • Bombay Bicycle Club – Shuffle

Bombay Bicycle Club are an English indie band who have been on a constant rise since they played opening slot at V festival back in 2006. I am only a recent convert to the band and for me one song sticks out above the rest as a bubbly, fun and perfect for the weekend song. That of course in Shuffle.

  • Red Hot Chili Peppers – Californication

Californiacation (The album) was released in 1999, the single was released the following year. Now you see where the confusion originated from. Pushing all that aside, Californiacation is a great song and easily the best thing to come out of the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

  • The Sonics – Have Love Will Travel

Ah finally some sixty’s tunes.  It’s been a while since I posted anything form that golden decade for music. Have Love Will Travel was originally written and recorded by Richard Berry in the late 50’s. Years later it was adopted by the American garage-rockers, The Sonics , and transformed into that iconic generation defining anthem we know and love today. Need I say anymore? I could, but as we established above, I’m having a lazy weekend. So I will leave it here.