The lobster is a somewhat absurdist take on a contemporary question. What does it mean to be in a relationship, what pressures are placed on us from society and how an inability to conform to the status quo can single one as a ‘social piranha’ forced to live out in the wilderness.
On paper Sicario is the latest film to explore the violent depths of Mexican drug cartels. And whilst it does this very well I have to admit that when I saw the posters I was somewhat underwhelmed. The plot is one which has popped up in a variety of films, TV series and even documentaries in recent years so hopefully my reluctance and overall lack of interest is understandable.
Indiependence really has to be commended for the addition of the Bier Halle stage to this year’s festival. Situated within a huge barn, it is more of a music venue than stage with its own bar stocked with the finest local craft beers, lounge area with comfortable seating and even ping-pong tables. But it is the line-up itself which makes the Bier Halle so special. The honour of kicking Saturday off early fell to Wexford band, Redwoods. Their upbeat blend of indie-pop ballads including the newest single, ‘Don’t Take Me Down’, were the perfect antidote for the tired heads camped out on the hard but dry concrete floors of the Bier Hall.
Staying put for Kapitals proved to be a wise decision. Their throat-wrenching vocals and pleasing guitar riffs did well to blow the cobwebs away and recharge empty batteries for the long day of festival merriment that lay ahead. With songs like ‘Paris is Burning’ it’s easy to see why this North Dublin band have been tipped for big things.
A search for pastures new ended in the Maxol Big Top with Irish electro-synth band, Le Galaxie. What followed was one of the weekends best live sets. The band, all male band, were decked out in matching sparkly outfits and spurred on by the mad antics of frontman Michael Pope and his ‘questionable’ dance moves. The set list trawled the bands back-catalogue, especially the ‘Laserdisc Nights 2’ album, with noticeable fan favourites coming in the shape of ‘Midnight Midnight’, ‘The Nightcaller’ and ‘Solarbabies’.
Unfortunately Kodaline failed to replicate the same levels of energy and enthusiasm over on the Main Stage. Their careful and subtly crafted set seemed lost amidst the inadequate sound levels emitted from the premier stage. But that didn’t stop the band forging an instant connection with the crowd. Kodaline may have come a long way in a short period of time but it is apparent that their roots are not forgotten. With announcements regarding the bands humble campsite accommodation and songs such as ‘All I Want’ and ‘Love Like This’ it’s not hard to see why Kodaline are fan favourites.
Headlining duties at the halfway point of the festival fell to Bell X1. In a day that did so well to showcase the current strength of Irish Music it would have been hard to find a more fitting headline act. Adoring fans relished the display of instantly recognisable hits including ‘Flame’, ‘Velcro’ and ‘The Great Defector’. But it was the encore of ‘Rocky Took A Lover’ that cemented the Dublin group’s place on the Indiependence Main Stage.
With the formalities of day two at an end, all left to do was to enjoy the post-apocalyptic jam session that is King Kong Company. The glow stick laden musical conglomerate did well to keep spirits high and ensure the longevity of late night festival revellers.
What’s more important to you at the moment, Live gigs or studio sessions?
Right now, live appearances. I’ve written music for years without ever intending to try and recreate anything live. Now that I’m doing just that, I realise how incredibly fun it can be once you get over the whole “nervous shakes” thing. But recording music will always be my first and most abusive love.
Do you enjoy playing live gigs?
I love them when they go well. I’ve gone to a lot of concerts so I know what has connected with me when I see someone playing an acoustic show. It supposed to be personal, yet not put you above the audience even though you’re up on stage. It’s a tricky line to walk, but I’m figuring it out.
Do you find it a solitary experience playing as a solo artist?
It does get lonely up there sometimes. I’m enjoying playing the songs in a stripped down fashion but I’m starting to realize that they’re meant to be powerful. I’ve been considering getting some other musicians together to help me present the album in the way it was intended: really loud
How do you manage to ‘fill the stage’?
I usually get models to stand around me, ala Robert Palmer, and they mime playing instruments and just generally look pretty. But with an acoustic show, moving around the stage while playing is difficult because if you screw up something you look a lot less like David Lee Roth and a lot more like an asshole that can’t play. I just try to give the songs the right amount of emotion in my singing and playing so that people will hopefully be moved enough to ignore their waitresses. Sorry, waitresses.
What scale is your recording operation? (Home Studio, Production team etc)
A couple of Shure mics, a stereo mic, a mac and instruments all set up in my home office. I booked time in a real studio once, but realised quickly that if you’re going to experiment with songs while there, you better have some serious cash. It’s just so easy to set up a home studio now that it’s kind of crazy to pay to use someone else’. I MacGyver’d a studio and I’m happy with that.
Does this add/subtract to Golden BC’s overall sound?
I think that it adds infinitely. While I understand that engineers and producers have years of knowledge that can really add to a recording, I know what I want to hear coming out of those speakers and it may take longer at times, but I’ll get it. Experimenting with sounds while recording the new record would never have been possible for me if I had used a studio outside of the one I built.
Do you have any experience in the area of music production and recording?
Besides my own work, no. I started recording with Audacity, then Garageband, now Logic Express and have taught myself the whole way. I’m not exactly going to produce someone else’s record, but I’m getting better at perfecting my processes as you can tell in the difference between “The Truth in the Facts” and “Just Take It”.
Does your skill level hinder your ability to truly express yourself?
What are you trying to say? J
Sometimes, but I think that’s the case with most musicians, even the amazingly talented ones. To me, music is always the best when it’s simple in structure, lush in sound. So you could have a song like “Get Rid of It” where there is so much shit going on in the song but the whole thing comes from two chords that play the whole time. So skill is kind of irrelevant when it comes to expressing myself, I’m just going to start playing the guitar like a percussion instrument and sing to that if I can’t come up with something better.
What do you aim to achieve with your music?
I want to have a truckload of Junos dumped on my lawn. Otherwise, I think the biggest aim of my music is simply to get people to listen to it and buy it. I know that sounds kind of shitty to say, but honestly, the money all goes back into making and releasing more music. I see it as an encouragement to create more music, and an investment from a fan that I will repay tenfold.
How close are you to satisfying these goals?
No Junos yet, but if Celine Dion doesn’t put out an album this year it could be a possibility.
So you released an album last year, Just Take It. Are you happy with how it turned out?
For the most part. There will always be things that I’ll wish I had done differently but once it’s out, I’m not about to George Lucas anything. But really, its my most fully-formed record and I’m very proud of it.
How did you find the overall process of creating an album?
Tedious at times. This was the first time I had attempted to have an ongoing theme through an entire album and sometimes getting the pieces to fit took a little smashing. “The Idiots” was rewritten about 4 times before it ended up as what you hear on the record. It was a folk song, then it was very ambient sounding, then I ripped apart everything and made the final version.
How has it been received?
Pretty well so far, its kind of strange record to review because it can be all over the place from song to song. But I’m hoping people will give it a few chances to grow on them because, (and I’m not biased at all) it’s a pretty great record.
So finally, what do you have planned for 2013? Any new projects on the horizon?
After taking 2 years to make one record, 2013 is going to be hyper productive. I have a plan to write, record, and release 40 songs this year. There may be a full length album here or there, or maybe just a lot of EPs, I haven’t really decided how to divide it up yet. But yeah, there’s going to be tons of new Golden B.C. stuff this year as well as some live appearances, maybe even with a full band. Wouldn’t that be nice?
And so we reach the penultimate position of this chart. My selection should not come as a surprise to anyone even remotely familiar with the Irish Music Scene. The Dublin Alternative band, Kodaline, turned heads with their impressive single ‘All I want’. So much so that it took the number two position in my tracks of 2012 chart. With it being New Years Eve and all that I think I will cut this post short. I will be unveiling my number one song of the year tomorrow. Until then, feel free to check out Kodaline below and share your own favourite songs in the comments below.
Kodaline – All I Want
And so we reach the halfway point in this list of intricate and inspiring melodies from the year that was due to bring about our Armageddon. I apologise for that little outburst. I am currently suffering from a minor bout of writers block and so I have decided to use this blog post to hopefully jump start my mind. As well as that I am also going to unveil the fifth place song in this highly unique end of year poll.
Mick Flanery – No Way To Live
There was no way I was going to exclude this gravelly voiced corkonian from my top tracks of 2012 list. No Way To Live is taken from Mick Flannery’s very impressive 2012 album, Red To Blue and is a stand out track from the year gone by. The lyrics are poignant, the vocals hard-hitting and the music is overall energetic, uplifting and refreshing. I think that says it all.
Stay tuned for number four.
Hey guys, this is just a quick post to let you know that I have launched a Facebook page for my blog. You can find this illusive page on the right of your screen under the Join The Club tab or you could just follow this link.
Like my blog, this page will be a place to discover new music while celebrating the old. I hope to create a mini community where people can share their favourite bands, musicians, DJ’s or whatever. All I ask is that you go easy on the pop music.
And now how about something good?
See what I did there?