Category Archives: Music

Where does Santa go on holiday?

Santa is very busy at this time of year and any time he gets a spare minute, which wouldn’t be very often, he probably looks forward to going on holiday. You might think Santa goes to a warm tropical climate for his holiday. I reckon he’s tried that and it didn’t work out. A place like Tahiti would be too much of a drastic change to the cold Arctic climate. I used to go to O’Shea’s in Clonskeagh fairly regularly and I always used to see a guy there who looked just like Santa Claus. This being Ireland, maybe it was. And that’s when it hit me. Santa comes to Ireland for his holidays.

When you think about it, it makes perfect sense. It’s not to hot and not too cold here. It’s not too much of a drastic change from the North Pole, even in summer (sometimes, OK maybe most of the time). Santa wouldn’t mind the lack of clear skies, the North Pole goes 6 months without any sunshine. After all that running around and flying around this time of year, all he wants to do is sit down and relax. Santa travels the world knows and knows all the best places to take it easy and everyone knows there isn’t a comfier place than a seat in an Irish pub. Saint Nick also knows that Ireland’s a place where people don’t make too much of a big deal when they see a celebrity. When he’s here, he knows he can enjoy a pint without being disturbed. After staring at snow for most of the year, a pint of stout would be his obvious drink of choice. And where do you get the best stout in the world? Answers on a Christmas card.

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“God” songs that atheists might like

Last night I was trying to think up a top 5 list or least 5 decent songs that mention God but don’t sound preachy. Being a Unitarian, I’m try to be respectful of everyone’s beliefs and I know that most songs with the words God and/or Jesus have people running for the hills. I think I found the perfect 5 songs that do that perfect balancing act of mentioning God but may not make your average non-God-fearing person cringe.

Bell X1 are probably the one band I’ve seen the most times and I remember the first song I heard them play was this one. This song imagines a dinner party where the after dinner speaker is none other than…God. The people at the dinner party first ask him about love and, just to balance things out, hate. God’s response is possibly blunt but also ambiguous. Overall, it’s one big swirling, contemplative song on religion, morality and meaning.

Regina lays down the melancholy thick and heavy in this song, which probably mentions God the most out of these 5 songs. The song first takes us through numerous horrific situations where we are highly unlikely to laugh at God before swinging over the comic side of things where, “God can be funny.” This is where the speaker pokes fun at religious “crazies”. You could probably argue this song isn’t even about God but more about people and what situations cause them to look for divine help and when our divine images go beyond the ridiculous.

I think it’s safe to say Dan Bern is a bit like Bob Dylan, a brilliant songwriter but a not too great singing voice. If you don’t mind the voice and just listen to the words, you’ll be treated to one hell of a song. The speaker here who meets God at the “edge of town” where he asks him if he can go back in time to stop the suicide of Kurt Cobain, kill Hitler and stop the crucifixion of Jesus. Each time God refuses, telling the speaker that the outcome would be different than he expected. This song plays on the desire that we’ve probably had every once in a while, where we wish we could change the past. In the end, just like the speaker, we must realise all we have is now.

The first line of this song may sound blasphemous to your typical religious zealot but if you stop after the first line, you’re missing out on a fascinating agnostic contemplation of good, evil, love, hate and miracles (or the lack thereof).

I actually hadn’t heard of this song until the recent Olympics closing ceremony and I think it’s best summed up by the woman herself:

“I was trying to say that, really, a man and a woman, can’t understand each other because we are a man and a woman. And if we could actually swap each other’s roles, if we could actually be in each other’s place for a while, I think we’d both be very surprised! [Laughs] And I think it would lead to a greater understanding. And really the only way I could think it could be done was either… you know, I thought a deal with the devil, you know. And I thought, ‘well, no, why not a deal with God!’ You know, because in a way it’s so much more powerful the whole idea of asking God to make a deal with you. You see, for me it is still called “Deal With God”, that was its title. But we were told that if we kept this title that it would not be played in any of the religious countries, Italy wouldn’t play it, France wouldn’t play it, and Australia wouldn’t play it! Ireland wouldn’t play it, and that generally we might get it blacked purely because it had God in the title.”

My Top 10 Albums of 2011

I’ve been putting this off for a while and I I might as well get this in before the clock strikes midnight (midnight [see album number 6). Here are my top 10 list of my favourite albums of 2011.

10 Zechs Marquise – Getting Paid

9 Maybeshewill – I Was Here For a Moment, Then I Was Gone

8 Austra – Feel It Break

7 Givers – In Light

6 Le Galaxie – Laserdisc Nights II

5 Fatty Gets A Stylist – Liberty Bell

4 Tieranniesaur – TIERANNIESAUR!

3 ASIWYFA – Gangs

2 tUnE-YaRdS – w h o k i l l

1 Le Butcherettes – Sin Sin Sin

Obfuscated Lyrics

A few months ago, I tried starting a new hashtag on Twitter, #obfuscatedlyrics. It didn’t really catch on but it seemed to amuse one of my followers as I got a retweet. Maybe it works better in blog form so I have for you here all of my obfuscated lyrics. The basic rule of creating an obfuscated lyric is to replace words or phrases with more complicated or complex words or phrases. In some cases, you can leave the simple words like the articles, conjunctions and linking verbs but the rest needs to be changed. I find it to be loads of fun to think up with my odd sense of humour and maybe some of you out there might have fun figuring them out. Post answers below of if you have some of your own, you can post them below too:

  • How is it possible to me to provide adequate security for you in this chaotic environment? It is satisfactory, satisfactory.
  • Can someone tell me the location of the main organ in my nervous system?
  • I belong to the non-victorious side of a head-to-head competition, therefore I offer you the chance to terminate my existence.
  • It is the 5th day of the week, 5th day of the week, I must assume a physically lower position on the 5th day of the week.
  • Please maintain an accelerated pace in the opposite direction of the luminescence of an urban area.
  • It is not possible for you to interpret the facial expression I use when playing a certain, well-known game of cards.
  • Copulate your Japanese manufactured automobile, I have an equine beast immediately adjacent to this premises.
  • An unnamed group has applied asphalt to an idyllic location, in its place is an area in which to store vehicles.
  • Please allow as much light in thru the window as possible by opening up the long cuts of fabric. A 24 hour period similar to this one in every 365 days would greatly improve my overall well being.
  • At the rear of the shelter used for storing buoyant traveling vessels, I will permit you to view something I have concealed from general knowledge that also hasn’t been exposed to sunlight.
  • I would consider you nothing other than a Canis lupus familiaris used for hunting with very active tear ducts.
  • Halt at this very moment! I would like to express much gratitude. I require someone with the caress of a homo sapien. Attention! I perceive that you constantly move swiftly on foot. Please decrease your speed and engage in amusing activities.
  • You must engage in a physical encounter in order obtain the privilege of attending a social gathering.

My Top 10 Albums of 2010

I’ve been meaning to get this blogged started so no better time than the present and no better way to start it by making up a top 10 list of my favourite albums of 2010.

 

10 The Redneck Manifesto – Friendship

The Rednecks are veterans of the post-rock or math-rock or whatever you want to call it scene. Whatever they do, it’s just brilliant instrumental rock music that feels like a big breath of fresh air. This is chin wag music that will wag the goatee of your chin.

9 The Magic Theatre – London Town

This concept album made by Dan Poppelwell and Sophia Churney of Ooberman fame tells the story of two time-travelling lovers.  It tells the highs and lows of romance with the parallel theme of the seasons of the year running in the background. This album combines 60s pop music with late 19th century classical music, reflecting the two time periods that the fictional couple come from.

8 Josh Ritter – So Runs the World Away

Josh Ritter returned this year with another album of folk tales, this time telling us stories about mummy romance and the old west as well as a song about trains. With just a few notes or a few words, Ritter’s music can transport you into another world. This album sees him at the height of his powers and gives us more classic songs to add to his already impressive backlog.

7 Glasser – Ring

One woman band Cameron Mesirow makes music that isn’t easy to categorise, it’s electronic, tropical, tribal and circular to begin with. Every listener may find a new way to describe it. It’s trippy and dreamlike without being stoner music and also deeply layered while being accessible at the same time. Every track leads into the next while the end of the last track leads right back to the first, which is how the album gets its title.

6 Adebisi Shank – This is the Second Album of a band called Adebisi Shank

The Shank open their second album with probably one of the songs of the year, International Dreambeat. The song lives up to it’s name with 100 mph beats set against loud, brash guitars. This is the type of song you could load up on your mp3 player on a walk to the shops and by the time it’s over, you’d realise you passed the shops 1/2 mile ago. The album barely lets up from there. It’s short, sweet and to the point, just the way most albums should be.

5 Cap Pas Cap – Haunted Light

Cap Pas Cap are a band that gets things just right and their dark electro-rock hits all your musical receptors in just the right places. Whether they’re going high tempo (Mirrors , We Are Men) or slowing it down (Hearts), there’s something there that keeps you going back for more.

4 Solar Bears – She Was Coloured In

Solar Bears released their very accomplished debut album this year. It creates some of the most amazing electronic landscapes that you’re likely to hear. Their music could easily fit onto any movie soundtrack and it may only be a matter of time before we hear them score an entire film.

3 Cathy Davey – The Nameless

After a decent debut album and an improved second album, Davey’s full potential is finally realised on this her third album. Parting ways with her record company probably had something to do with it. This album mines the depths of heartache, madness and despair but still manages to feel uplifting, defiant and soothing all at the same time.

2 Sleigh Bells – Treats

This albums opens with loud buzz saw guitars and plenty of attitude that’s balanced out by Alexis Krauss’ sugary sweet vocals.  Some rock fans out there may admit to you (after a few drinks) their weakness for the occasional pop tune but with Sleigh Bells you get to have your cake and eat it too, without losing any of your rawk cred. Clocking in at just over 30 minutes, this album certainly doesn’t overstay its welcome and has enough intensity to last for hours after you listen to it.

1 The National – High Violet

Between Matt Beringer’s baritone voice and lyrics that are pure, beautiful poetry, this album feels like it’s William Blake being sung by Johnny Cash. This album has a constant stream of beautiful melancholy running throughout. Anyone looking for a big rock anthem isn’t going to find one here but if you just sit back and let the words carry you away (on a swarm of bees), you’ll be abundantly rewarded.