Browsing Category: Directors Favorites
This is a new video of mine for a most unique and beautiful Irish songstress. Her new album is sublime. We should give talent like hers all the support we can. I’ll leave her introduction to these few minutes of video and the words of Brian Keane from The Irish Times. Her new album is available at lbum available http://www.delphilabel.com/the-artist/jennifer-evans
After honing her skills for four years on the Irish music scene, Jennifer Evans’ Works From the Dip and Foul is a stunning blend of jazz, blues and rock
Good things come to those who wait. And what’s the hurry anyway? Explaining her slow songwriting process to The Ticket recently, Jennifer Evans put it succinctly: “If it takes that long, it takes that long.” Fair enough.
Having honed her skills through a steady schedule of gigging and practice as well as an array of theatre and performance art projects, Evans is very much in control of her chosen art form, and it shows.
A stunning blend of jazz, blues and rock, her debut album boasts a singularity of vision that places Evans in the same category as St Vincent and Anna Calvi, her serene demeanour belying a restless spirit and questioning mind.
Opener Uncomfortable Word sets the tone, condensing several wide-ranging ideas into one mutated shape.
These are songs that duck and jab, never failing to hit their target and leave a mark, underpinned with a deliciously dark atmosphere (kudos to co-producer Stephen Shannon).
Lyrically, Evans keeps her cards close to her chest; her deliberate, intimately delivered words frequently laced with a cryptic edge. She embraces the painful side of love on Colour of Bruises with a breezy nonchalance while the languid multi-tracked vocals on My Own Assassin prove deceptively soothing.
Jennifer Evans: “I operate at an extremely slow pace because I’m trying to understand what I am writing about”Jennifer Evans: in search of the essence
The joys hinted at on After Berlin and Your Cause unravel to reveal layers of disquiet. The latter – written by fellow Dublin musician Rhob Cunningham – finds Evans’s electric guitar sparking and flickering out of control before subsiding to a gently strummed close.
Similarly, Empire glides from tranquillity to ferocity and back again with the minimum of fuss.
Captivating and never predictable, this is as strong and memorable a debut you’ll hear from an Irish artist this year.
Written by Brian Keane for The Irish Times
First published: Thu, Nov 20, 2014, 12:00
The second of three video installments..
I edited this one while in the remote mountains of Flores in Indonesia. This is a little post I wrote about what turned out to be quite a surreal experience!
This morning it was not all rosy in Flores, the land of flowers. I found myself editing The Frames Live In Whelans Chapter II, a brilliant way to pass the time waiting in a non-English speaking clinic, 18000 miles away from Whelans, to treat a pounding ear infection that I’ve had for the past three days. The locals sitting opposite me, also sick as dogs, glared at me as I took this panoramic photo, with a kind of “who the fu*k is this westerner showing off with his pricey technology” look on their faces.
A kid in his teens, dressed in rags and clearly suffering with a bad flu, sat down beside me. Like most people living in remote Indonesia, I presume he had only ever heard of artists such as Shania Twain, Bryan Adams, Phill Collins, Bob Marley and the extremely progressive, ahem, Coldplay. I had no headphones so the volume was very low on my laptop but he leaned in closer to me and became enthralled with the video. How could I stop and go back to tweak that camera shake, he was tapping his feet and hands. I had to let the video run through, rough as it was.
As the waiting room filled, more people sat around me, watching and listening intently. I raised the volume a touch. More feet and hands got tapping. Then I was asked to play the video again, as they handed me their phones to write down the name of the band.
It suddenly dawned on me. Like the Portuguese who made the whole Island of Flores catholic, hundreds of years ago, that if I went from town to town, showing these people new music, I could totally fu*k up the infrastructure that big western labels have laid down here, to sell poor second hand and out of date 80’s and 90’s music to South East Asia. It’s all you hear on the radio. ALL YOU HEAR. Streaming video on the internet, or downloading music here is not possible. Good internet is saved exclusively for the rich and tourists in big hotels.. even then, you can hardly get a Giff to play, the download speeds here are so dark ages.
That kid, and the people with him are now hard core Frames fans! I caught them before they eventually hear Rihanna or Gaga (some ten years from now). The feeling of satisfaction was tremendous, ten times that of posting a great unknown folk artist online for people at home. I’m beginning to think I should dawn the cloth of a music missionary and sacrifice everything to come here and spread the truth. That The Back Street Boys are dead, history. I’m alright with a bit of nostalgia, but these people’s hearts are so open, honest and sincere that it seems they connect immediately with anything different and guitar based that I play for them. They love it.
Press article about the show http://www.orderinthesound.com/frames-gigs/the-frames-whelans-30-june-2014
Brothers Diarmuid and Brían Mac Gloinn are Ye Vagabonds. They currently play Walshe’s in Stoneybatter, Dublin, every Monday night.
Brothers Diarmuid and Brían Mac Gloinn are Ye Vagabonds. They currently play Walshe’s in Stoneybatter, Dublin, every Monday night.
The first of three live videos filmed in the Pepper Canister Church Dublin, this is Sun Collective, an ensemble of freelance musicians based between Dublin and London. Their arrangements explore popular acoustic music and ‘traditional’ instrumentation. An interest in the dynamic and ethereal possibilities available to an ensemble comprising two keyboards, several voices and a string trio is at the heart of their writing.
Please take time to visit their site http://breakingtunes.com/suncollective
A glorious day spent in the Irish countryside with songwriter Peter Doran. First Peter plays his song Little Room while we stopped by his Granny’s house, then Peter performs the new song Tug, taken from his latest album release online now, due for hard copy release in September.
Please take time to visit Peter Doran’s website http://www.peterdoran.com
The first of three video installments..
Music video by Mick Flannery performing The Small Fire. Starring Ross Hamilton. (C) 2014 Universal Music Ireland Ltd.
A film by Myles O’Reilly documenting the Trailblazery event We Need To Talk About Ireland, a 90-minute creative celebration of Ireland past, present and future which took place in front of a live audience from The Round Room at Dublin’s Mansion House on St Patrick’s Night, Monday 17 March, 2014.
The brainchild of Irish creative collective, The Trailblazery, this innovative cultural event challenges some of Ireland’s brightest innovators, thinkers, artists and creative entrepreneurs to explore what it means to be Irish in 2014. Featuring inspiring TED-style talks, interspersed with music, comedy, poetry, film and a large-scale choral spectacle, We Need To Talk About Ireland was produced by The Trailblazery and was broadcast on RTÉ Player and The Washington Post.
Over 90 minutes, the speakers and performers told the story of Ireland, from our ancient past to our potential future. The vision of the project is to evoke a new cultural storyline about our social, political, cultural and spiritual evolution on this island and beyond, and aims to re-imagine the kind of Ireland we want to live in.
Partners & Sponsors: The Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Fáilte Ireland, Dublin City Council, RTÉ and The Washington Post
More event and music films by Myles O’Reilly at http://www.arbutusyarns.com
List of participants:
Abbot Mark Partick Hederman
Colm O Gorman
Nina Hynes and St. Brigid’s Choir
Discovery Gospel Choir
Jimmy Cavanagh ~ conductor
In, the end of the day and the heel of the hunt, you’re left with the songs. Everything else comes and goes – the shows and the tours and the applause and the acclaim which goes with them, the prattle and the palaver which accompany an album release. Everything else fades out of view. Everything else doesn’t matter in the long run.
But the songs remain. The songs you write on your own stick around. They’re going to be here for many years to come so they deserve to be treated with due care and utmost respect in the creation process.
Mick Flannery realised this a long time ago. He also realised that songwriting was the best part of this strange job of being a jobbing-gigging-talking-singing musician.
“It’s never a chore”, Flannery says about the craft. “The creation is the nicest part, it’s something you always have and you can use it to work through stuff that’s in your head. You have to take it seriously if it’s going to be any good. It’s always my favourite thing, like putting Lego blocks together. You can make a lot of things with Lego.”
You can make an album like “By the Rule”, for instance. It’s Flannery’s fourth album but it’s a world on from anything he has put his name to before now.
“Evening Train” (2007), “White Lies” (2008) and especially 2012’s best-selling and critically acclaimed number one album “Red to Blue” had their advocates and champions. They were significant staging posts along the road for the songwriter from Blarney, signs that he was finding an unique voice and vision, signs that he was finding his feet as he was finding an audience.
We can now consider the apprenticeship to be over. “By the Rule” is the work of a confident, assured songwriter, someone who knows how to turn a list of nouns, adjectives, verbs and adverbs into graceful, minor-key pen-pictures and poetry which will resonate with the listener.
Beneath and beyond the beautifully understated, uncomplicated and uncluttered production on “By the Rule”, Flannery’s songs usher us into a world which is by times emotional, romantic, dark, insightful and hopeful.
It’s a world he brought into being in Berlin. He took a notion to go to Germany and, after a bitter cold winter initially beat him home again, he settled and spent seven months there in 2013. In a flat with big, open rooms and lovely acoustics, Flannery set up base and went to work.
He was largely by himself in the city. He did a college course to learn the language, but there was no social circle or gigs to distract him. He’d wander around that great city, taking in the history and grandeur and pace of the place.
Occasionally, he’d throw on a pair of runners, stick Eminem on the headphones and go for a run. “There’s things he does with words that no-one else does”, Flannery says of the Detroit rapper. “He rhymes two words with one word, the two syllables of one word with match two separate words, internal rhyming, skip rhymes.”
Back at his little room in Kreuzberg, Flannery’s new songs began to slowly take shape. His songs are usually based on stories and experiences he has heard from people or overheard in the clatter of a café or bar.
“I’d be a bit of a detective about people, the way they are, how they behave. You have to care about them. If you only want to write about your own experiences, your own break-ups and trials, you can do that without leaving the house.”
The compelling strengths of “Pride”, “Get What You Give” and “Live In Hope” benefited from Flannery’s methodical approach to getting the lyrical dimensions just right. “It takes me a while to pare them down and get the lyrics correct and make everything as concise as possible. You have to think about the songs again and again and again. You have to have a foothold in the song.”
Back in Ireland, the next job was to record the songs. Flannery called on O Emperor’s Phil Christie (piano) and Alan Comerford (guitar) to give him a hand and liked what they were doing in rehearsals. “They were finding things in the songs and I thought the things they were finding were nice.”
The pair of them joined Flannery, Christian Best (drums), Shane Fitzsimons (bass) and Karen O’Doherty (violin) for a fortnight in Beechpark Studios in Rathcoole in December 2013 with Ryan Freeland (Aimee Mann, Ray LaMontagne, Joe Henry, Ramblin’ Jack Elliot, Carolina Chocolate Drops etc) producing alongside Best.
Flannery knew the sound he wanted and that meant less rather than more playing. “The most effective thing to me is a dynamic when something just swells and gets louder and tenser and effects the listener. There’s no need to play a lot of notes to get that. It’s simple stuff, really.”
A few months on from recording, Flannery is still digging what he and the band produced over that winter fortnight. Unlike his other albums, he an imagine himself listening to this one for many years to come. He likes the way it was recorded and the way it sounds.
He likes the way he sounds too. “I sound like myself here. I’ve been trying to get away from singing with that old American twang which is left over from listening to too much Tom Waits. The more I get away from it, the more comfortable I feel.”
This satisfaction with “By the Rule” could also be about the growing up process. Flannery turned thirty last year and finds he’s less bothered than he used to be by the small stuff. When you get to this age, you’re happy to let the small stuff go.
“When you get to the end of your twenties, you become less self-obsessed. You start worrying less about your feelings. You become calmer. It gradually becomes easier to be yourself.”
“By the Rule”, then: the sound of Mick Flannery getting comfortable in his skin. The sound of a man at ease with his work. The sound of a master songwriter creating his best work to date.
Music video by Mick Flannery performing EPK. (C) 2014 Universal Music Ireland Ltd.