Thursday, 19 August 2010

Beulah's Miles Kurosky's brilliant solo album

I have eulogised about Beulah here before and it was great news recently that the band's lead singer Miles Kurosky had released a debut solo album The Desert of Shallow Effects. Here's a stunning video released on Miles' website.

Do you know a lad down the chippy who thinks he's Elvis?

Again, another of my blog posts on The Word Magazine which gained some very funny replies.

Camping in beautiful Pembrokeshire last week I marvelled at the night sky of an evening.
On Thursday night I saw two shooting stars - when I mentioned this to the GLW she replied in a cod Barking accent 'But they were only satellites.' Everyone's a Billy Bragg these days.
The shooting stars weren't satellites, they were shooting stars and no camping holiday is complete without seeing one, or two in this case.
What have you heard in a song and experienced in real life?

Who would be in your Fantasy Writers team?

I wrote this on The Word magazine blog - there were some interesting replies.
FOR a long time I have pondered the death of the print only publication as we are apparently amid the 'vinegar strokes' of getting writing from one roster of writers. With the impending revolution of the iPad/ slates many writers believe that it will herald the opening up the possibility of a new era of micropayment-as-you-go media which unpackages the old print bundles. 
But that's not enough for me.Alas, a google reader service is not enough, I want it in a leaf through package - either physical or online.
What I mean is a product a bit like the service The Week provides now. I kind of crave for the time when I can get an aggregation of all the writers I like on a given day - weekly or monthly - whereupon I can indulge myself.
I read several newspapers daily most weeks and a few monthly magazines and have a wish list of people I would gladly pay to follow if there was, say, a nice iPad app which packaged them up in a format which I found agreeable aesthetically. I'd buy an iPad solely for that express service.
My list is:
Laura Barton
(The Word Sycophancy alert) Hepworth, Du Noyer, Fitzpatrick, Jim White
Paul Kimmage/ David Walsh (Sunday Times)
Charlie Brooker (The Guardian)
Sandy Toksvig (The Telegraph)
Mark Steel (The Independent)
Andy Gill (see above)
Caitlin Moran (The Times)
Matthew Norman (The Guardian)
Dave Simpson (see above)
Gavin Martin (The Daily Mirror)
William/ Alistair Fotheringham (cycling & rugby)
Eddie Butler (literally the king of sports writers) (The Observer)
Joe Queenan (The Guardian)
Mark Lawson (The Guardian)
Tom Humphries (Irish Times GAA writer, see Eddie Butler) (The Irish Times)
Brian Reade (The Daily Mirror)
(Irish politics writers) Eamonn Mallie, Mark Devenport, Mick Fealty, Jason Walsh, Malachi O'Doherty, Eamonn McCann, Splintered Sunrise & Anthony McIntyre.
These are the people I always read.
NB:If Drakeygirl, Backwards7, Pat Carty, Archie V, Crowther, Amitri, Law, Stimps et al (sorry if I missed someone out) wanted to put their heads above the parapet and write a column on a semi regular basis, I'd also pay for an aggregation of that.
Who would form your Fantasy Writers League?

Thanks Da for introducing me to Freddie White

MY da gave me the second greatest gift of them all: the first album I ever treasured: Freddie White Live On Tour (1978).
I still play parts of it at least once a week such is my deep affection for it.
I went to the primary school that da taught in 10 miles away and every day the car was filled with great music.
Pa H was never what you could have called a trendy - illustrated by the fact that the journey to school was always Mike Murphy's breakfast show on RTE Radio 1.
But on the way home it was always his home made tapes of Beatles/ Stones/ Dubliners/ Van/ Chieftans/ Paul Brady/ The Johnsons/ Planxty/ Moving Hearts/ David McWilliams albums.
It really was a great, unspoken education into my own culture in the midst of the Troubles.
And while all those albums were fabulous, the one album that got me into music when I was about nine or ten was Freddie White's live covers album.
It was the perfect gateway drug to the history of modern music - he did songs by Hoagy Carmichael, Tom Waits, Guy Clarke, Frank Zappa, Randy Newman and Joan Armatrading.
His guitar playing was beguiling, his voice gorgeous and soulful and his version of Guy Clarke's 'Desperados Waiting for a Train' was so brilliant that it haunts me to this day - in a good way.
After 25 years, I still have the thread worn TDK C90 with it on one side with Paul Brady's Hard Station on the other. (Don't start me on what Brady's song Nothing but the Same Old Story means to me, there'll be tears before the looming bedtime. See Gobshites passim.)
Freddie never achieved big success and moved to Boston for years making money in the clubs of the eastern seaboard. He returned to Ireland a few years back.
He remains a kind of underground national treasure, but I hope some of you here get something from the clip below and if you do, raise a glass to Freddie and to my da too. I'll always treasure the music the oul fella introduced me to.