Friday, 27 June 2008

Bon Iver and Radiohead gigs

BON IVER is the stage and recording name of indie folk singer-songwriter Justin Vernon. His independently-released debut album, FOR EMMA, FOREVER AGO, mostly recorded during four months in a remote cabin in WISCONSIN, was received to critical acclaim, and subsequently picked up by indie-rock label JAGJAGUWAR, which re-released it in early 2008. During the JUNE bank holiday Monday we caught his trio perform in TRIPOD ..thanks to the fact that MICHÉAL gave me what is a great album the previous week.

In the UK, Emma received 5/5 and "Album of the Month" reviews in both UNCUT magazine and MOJO which said ''s like a skin that has been shed...despite the wilderness, introspection and hermit mystique that characterises this mucis 'For Emma, forever ago' ..reaches out and demands attention. It is a powerful act of transformation, isolation doesn't get more splendid than this'.

Bon Iver supported IRON & WINE at the Kentish Town Forum, London, in May 2008. I'd very highly recommend checking-out his appearance on LATER...WITH JOOLS HOLLAND, he performs my favourite, SKINNY LOVE.

Thanks also to DREW who brough a crew of us to catch RADIOHEAD perform in MALAHIDE CASTLE a few weeks back. It was a wicked gig and the lighting-design was something else - though it started off tame enough it belied what was pretty impressive technology behind the scenes. The skies held out nicely for Saturday's performance - the sets for both nights varied to the extent that I heard no complaints from hardened fans who compared notes from alternate nights.

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

AIB Street Performers World Championships

The AIB STREET PERFORMERS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS was a great event in DUBLIN this weekend. The festival was mostly centred around MERRION SQUARE with more evening performances in the garden of DUBLIN CASLTE and CHESTER BEATTY LIBRARY.

A lot of credit goes to the gang who set-up the festival only two years ago, it's completely FREE (thanks to some sponsorship from AIB bank) and, of course, in the great tradition of street-art, the performers rely solely on the audience coughing-up.

We moseyed along to the Catle to catch the SPACE COWBOY - native of the funky BRYON BAY in OZ and reigning world champion for the last two years running. For his evening performance he varied the act ..this time instead of uni-cycling and sword-swallowing he did a live mind-reading act. A description is pointless but, trust me, it was mind-blowing and definitely not rigged.

During his daytime show at the Square he'd suggested the audience bring cutlery along to the evening gig where he made YURI GELLER looks like an amateur. He held a fork lightly between two fingers and as he gently flicked them, in front of our eyes, the prongs began bending until they were mangled and twisted around each other as if they were molten. Then he let members of the audience give it a go and, in their own cupped-hands, spoons began arching, as the Cowboy waved his hands above and below theirs. Mind-blowing!

SENMARU, the Japanese juggler (that description does him no justice) was, in his own words, 'AaaaMAaaaZING' too and, although they weren't on the top of our 'must-see' list, the ENGLISH GENTS were a big surprise. They scooped the 1st prize and although he deserved to saunter off with it for the 3rd year in a row, I don't think the Space Cowboy will be too phased - he already has no problem packing-out the SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE!

Sunday, 15 June 2008

the IRISH spoke!

The Irish people spoke and by Friday afternoon we had the answer - we wouldn't be railroaded into accepting a less-democratic EUROPE.

The Irish are pro-Europe - this vote was not a rejection of Europe but a clear signal about the type of Europe we want to shape for ourselves and our European neighbours.

The attitude of major players such as Germany and France proves the sentiment we all saw hidden within the text of the LISBON TREATY - they are not interested in the voice of smaller members. In fact they are not even interested in the voice of their own citizens as witnessed by a determination to prevent public voting in their respective jurisdictions. When the French public voted against the European Constitution (as did the Dutch) it was re-written so it could be ratified by parliament without the irksome need to consult their peoples.

SARKOZY and MERKEL seem ignorant of the fact that the Irish voted in determination, that we took our responsibility extremely seriously (witnessed by an uncharacteristically high turn-out of the electorate) because we knew this was a major issue we were singly deciding for Europe as a whole. Yet they're already looking for loopholes that would allow them push forward even though the legal position is that the Treaty was required to be ratified in all 27 member states. They would do well to tone-down their arrogance or risk alienating greater numbers of pro-Europeans who will react against moves by an autonomous elite.

What part of democracy do they not understand?

Friday, 13 June 2008

Everyone shouted - 'don't sign-it!'

I was inundated by emails and sms messages after my last blog/email in which I claimed I needed advice. The answer was a resounding 'you're crazy, don't sign any contract you don't understand ..and don't let someone else decide for you'.

I have to thank all the horrified people who took time out of their hectic schedules to email me - but, of course, it eventually surfaced that it was all a play on the proposal to accommodate the LISBON TREATY by changing the IRISH CONSTITUTION ..a decision not to be taken lightly.

Friday, 6 June 2008

Need some ADVICE please

Am looking for advice. An organisation forwarded me contracts that are written in a rarely-used dialect of FRENCH-GERMAN (I grasp max. 30% of the wording but am still confused because my techno-speak is more rusty than my street-talk in both languages).

They reassure me it's not important to understand the documents but remind me they're legally-binding. Am merely instructed to sign where indicated by 'x'. They've made no effort to help me understand (..and to be honest am afraid I'll show my stoopidity by asking awkward questions).

If I don't turn up at the office next Thurs it will be understood that I'm automatically passing power-of-attorney to strangers who will sign the contracts in my name.

The thing is I don't get kicked-out of the group even if I do reject them - in fact it's a bit of a head-wreck, for some reason I get less privileges if I sign-them!

What do I do?
- sign on dotted line? ..apparently it's good for my wallet, sounds good
- reject this time? ..insist they translate into something I can sign
- hide at home? give power-of-attorney so someone can decide for me?

(I forgot to say that if I sign they'll make decisions without need to consult me in future. That'd be a relief, I hate responsibility - my Mom still tells me what to wear to school ..sorry meant to say work.)

If I added that it was a REFERENDUM would that change anything?
What should I do? ..add a comment below,

Thursday, 5 June 2008

WHAT IN THE WORLD? kicks-off tonight on RTE

Building on the success of the first and second series of What in the World? This third series will visit remote parts of the world to raise greater public awareness of global development and human rights issues.

TUVALU a cluster of nine tiny coral islands and one of the smallest nations on earth is in danger of disappearing because of global warming. Remote PATAGONIA is fast becoming a playground for billionaires while the people of BURMA are suffering from civil war for nearly three decades. The inhabitants of DIEGO GARCIA were forcibly evacuated to make way for a UK/US air and navy support station. Oil, diamonds and silver attract multinationals to ANGOLA and BOLIVIA at the expense of the local people.

This documentary series will focus on the ordinary people in these countries as they experience the human consequences of global economic inequalities and human rights violations.

The series is edited by our very own RONAN O'MUIRGHEASA - SEXTON+ are proud to have had him resident at our South Georges Street Studio while working on the series.

[pictured: producer/presenter PEADAR KING with a member of KAREN NATIONAL LIBERATION ARMY (BURMA)]

Check out the first in the series: THE GENERALS' GENOCIDE
Tonight MAY 5
(six-part series)

Sunday, 1 June 2008

Andrews Lane relaunched by CLAMPDOWN

PILAR recently finished work in the art department on yet another series of THE TUDORS mini-series starring JONATHAN RHYS-MEYERS, SAM NEIL, PETER O'TOOLE. Herself and CIARAN plan to wind-down (yeh right) with a 3 months trip kicking-off in NEW YORK and finishing in CUBA. So we sent them off with a whopper-of-a-night (SAT MAY 31) in the newly launched ALT - all thanks to ANYA!

It's been my mantra for some time but there's nothing like an 'economic-readjustment' to provide space for creativity to flourish - and a space that was once on the verge of being lost to 'retail-mecca mentality' has been re-branded and is just what the doctor ordered!

This wicked space is nicely disguised by the uninviting original exterior of what was ANDREW'S LANE THEATRE - SEXTON+ previously promoted productions at the theatre which was sold in February 2007 by owner & producer PAT MOYLAN (now of LANE PRODUCTIONS) because it couldn’t afford a 'modern-revamp' (that phrase gives me the chills).

Developers were snapping at the heels of what was marketed purely as a site in an ace location! Replacing the single-storey ex-theatre with a 6-storey office and retail mall - a phenomenally original concept - was the original wet-dream of developers. The building-boom was about to rob yet another space where creativity would flourish because artists - passionately-committed to stimulating audiences versus profit - can rarely out-bid a developer who's race to turn a quick-buck blinds him (yeh predominantly fellas) from the fluffy idea of contributing anything worthwhile to our culture.

The timing couldn't have been better. If Moylan had waited until property prices had stagnated she may have questioned putting it on the block ..if sold even a few months earlier the wrecking-ball would have done it's damage by the time the market slowed and the developer re-did his sums ...the opportunity would have been lost, Dublin would be poorer and I wouldn't be here promoting the re-invented space, it's an ill wind...

By opening night on MAY 3 CLAMPDOWN 'return of the warehouse party' also saw the return of substance. Knocking down a few walls easily transformed the once-weary space and, with very little architectural intervention, emphasised it's industrial, warehouse feel (it's got undertones of the disused ORMONDE PRINT-WORKS (developed as the MORRISON HOTEL by HUGH O'REGAN) but it tastes way-sweeter coz Dublin has been starved for too long).

Dublin street artist MASER, and crew, gave the place a lick to interrupt the low-key interior without going over-board. CLAMPDOWN sets out to create a 'minimal space with no fuss or pointless tacky interior design, great sound systems, underground music and art colliding policy is forward thinking but anything goes with an emphasis on quality recordings from the last 2 decades of disco, punk, funk, house, techno, electro and hip hop alongside future classics and current gems ...featuring the most interesting DJs gracing the decks from our thriving domestic electronic scene ..different AV artists and visuals will show their stuff each week' - sound fresh?

And if you're someone who doesn't like to hit the after-parties too early you're in for a treat - the venue rocks later than any other in Dublin city - last night it kicked beyond 03:30 which meant the spanish djs on our roof-garden were nicely warmed-up by the time we swung by to catch an amazing sunrise (...and fair play to the crew of gardai that arrived around 6am and clearly agreed there was no good reason to pull the plug.)