Ben Frost – By The Throat (Bedroom Community, 2009)

Nick: M50 during rush-hour?

A question comes to my mind when listening to stuff like this; is it music or is it sound? And is there a difference? There probably is.

This…well I don’t know how the rest is going to develop, but I wouldn’t categorise this as music, this is sound.

Hmmm, now it seems like there are some cattle dying on the M50, they’ve obviously been hit by the heavy traffic.

When was this done?

Last year.

Right, yeah. Certainly eh… expresses the onset of the overall depression pretty well, I’d say.

I’m still trying to analyze why repetition seems to be so incredibly hard to handle for some people. Why Is Phillip Glass’ repetition so intriguing, where this is immediately boring?

When Glass repeats you want it to go on, but this, I want it to change straight away. Glass seems to repeat something that is already there, in your subconscious, this repeats……

There is a Roman Catholic philosopher, one of the few I have any time for, called Romano Guardini, he has written about how a work of art becomes, apart from…

‘Something of itself’?

Yes!

You’ve spoken about him here before.

Really?

Yeah, hold on while I find it.

…he compares art to a stone….

February 2009.

…while this needs a movie, or light effects or….

Ducktails!

What? ducktails? What about ducktails? What do ducktails have to do with anything?

That is who you said this about before.

Oh ok, shows I’m getting old, I’m starting to repeat myself.

Starting?

Haha, that’s not fair!

Sometimes there’s a part that raises your hopes that it might go somewhere, but then it all falls into a mire of sounds again, goes nowhere.

This guy’s Australian but based in Iceland.

Woahohohohoho…THAT is interesting….based in Iceland eh?

Even from a ‘sounds’ point of view, it’s a bit of a hodge-podge isn’t it? These howling winds, or wolves…they come from a different part of the forest…Haha wolves from a different part of the forest! Ehrm..they come from a different part of the forest as the M50 bits from earlier.

Well, the M50 passes some forests.

Yeah but not with wolves in them.

This record was requested by Darragh from Asleep On The Compost Heap, easily one of the best music writers in this country and a long time supporter of this here blog. Thank you Darragh.

http://www.myspace.com/theghostofbenfrost


Adebisi Shank – This Is The Second Album By A Band Called Adebisi Shank (Richter Collective, 2010)

Nick: It’s a very strange effect in a way, if you think about it.
Because if you compare it with other music from now, it seems quite advanced. But on the other hand it’s very old-fashioned – it sounds industrial, like a clinking klonking factory, we don’t have them anymore, this is the digital age. But this is filling plants, bottling plants, machinery working. This is Charlie Chaplin.

It’s intriguing and interesting but not pleasant to listen to.

Is this what they call Math Rock?

Uhhhhhm…

Because it is mathematical, constructed rather than composed.

I guess it could fit into Math Rock but it’s more…..loose?

I wouldn’t buy it, certainly not.

Because of its industrial, heavy sound it also, to me, comes across as German. No, not German, Germanic. It’s… uhh.. hobnail boots music. Know what I mean? Hobnail boots?

Someone said to me the other day, well these aren’t the exact words, but it was something like: because they know the guys are Irish they can only… ehh.. respect the music, I guess, but if they had been told they were Japanese they’d think it was the most amazing thing ever. What do you think about that?

Well that’s a very skewed way to look at music – you have to separate. Japanese, Chinese, Irish who cares?
Actually if it came from central Papua New Guinea I probably would think it’s the most amazing thing ever.

{Track 4: (-_-)}

This is very clever.

It’s certainly pretty unique – I wouldn’t know of anything that sounds remotely like it. This part {Outro to ‘Logdrum’}, you could say there are Debussy and Ravel influences, there probably aren’t but that’s what I hear.

In this later part the heavy industrial thing disappears. It’s very much processes.

It is processes?

Yeah. If you walk in to a room and you hear this you expect to see something, something to go with it, a documentary maybe, so this is processes music. Like what I said above, it’s still industrial in that way. Don’t know if I’m expressing this well.

It sort of grows on you – there are some nice bits, but I guess it’s just kind of unsympathetic.

That old ‘nickism’.

Haha, yeah.

It’s unique, sometimes nice, industrial, Germanic and unsympathetic music.

I wish I could put into the words the shivers and rushes that flew through my body the first time I heard opening track ‘International Dreambeat’, they’re still there, every time it plays. And the best thing is, it never dips from then on.

http://adebisishank.bandcamp.com/

Grand Pocket Orchestra – The Ice Cream (Pigeonheart, 2010)

Nick: Sorry, I need to go to the loo, back in a moment.
But so far I like it, it’s enthusiastic, fun, it has a sense of humour. You can hear they’re enjoying it and that’s the best incentive for listening, if you can hear that the musicians enjoy what they’re doing then you can enjoy it too.

I’ve said it before but too many musicians these days sound like they don’t want to be there and to that I say ‘well… GET LOST!’

Only bad thing is it’s a bit too hectic.

The record is called ‘The Ice Cream’ what flavour is it?

Oh this would be the one with the ehh… thingys, the speckly colours and things, wouldn’t it? I mean it’s great fun but eventually it’ll get on your nerves. You need relief.

(Track 10: Worms)

Just like this! But then this will get hectic any minute won’t it?

(It does)

What kind of people do you reckon made this? Do you reckon this is a release for them? That they’re very quiet and boring in real life?

They’re art students.

Or actually! Maybe they’re music students, it’s very well put together, very musical.

Are you going to ask me what kind of animals they would be? Because I already know that: squirrels!

Do you know what sort of people they are? Please don’t say bank clerks.

Well an ‘art student’ and a ‘bank clerk’ aren’t a type of person.

No. Well, to a degree they are, you can’t say they’re not.

Do you like it?

Yeah I love it.

Me too.

I know it’s probably not but it sounds very spontaneous, almost reminds me of that first Arcade Fire record, like they just got together for a mess and this was the result.

I mean, there is so little music with real humour, and this has it and it makes it incredibly attractive, that is what got me into Thelonius Monk – the minute I heard him I knew; this is Jazz with humour, this is my music.
Too many musicians, especially in pop, take themselves too seriously. This has a lovely sense of humour.
Long may they stick around!

GPO kinda remind me of Happy Tree Friends – it’s a cartoon where a bunch of really cute lil’ critters get into all sorts of really disgusting mishaps that leave them all bloody and mutilated. GPO are all twee and twinkly glocks and sugary melodies on one hand but there’s this weirdly disturbing undercurrent running through it all, maybe because singer Paddy Hanna seems to be foaming at the mouth for the album’s 36 minutes. Does that make sense? It’s been a while since I wrote one of these.
GPO launch this glorious record next Saturday in Whelans with the awesome Girls Names and Hipster Youth in support. Go!

http://www.myspace.com/grandpocketorchestra

The End

Oh hey.
So the blog has totally petered out, kinda sad right? But i knew this would happen. I wanted to kill it at the 12 month point, keep it neat. Nick convinced me to keep it going and, well..yeah.

But that’s not good enough! We’re proud of this – it’s probably the best Irish blog of all time ever, actually scratch that – it’s definitely the best website since the invention of the internet. So we’re coming back! But only for two weeks. For the first week things will be as they always were, ‘Classic Nick Thinks…’ if you will. But for the second week we’ll change things up a bit – Nick is gonna pick the albums he wants to review, they might be his favorites or his least or who knows? Exciting, right?

Ok, gotta go, MASSIVE thanks to anyone out there who still cares, see you on Monday!

xx r&n

Jogging – Minutes (Richter Collective, 2010)

Nick: Are they Irish?

{nod}

{nod}

Is this a new album?

Came out on Friday.

Sort of amazes me because…it sounds like it comes from a number of years ago.

But I….ehh yeah. I sort of like it.

Remember when I went to the Battle of the Bands in…Temple Bar, when you played…Well there was a band playing and I went to the bar and when I got back I thought…

you thought they were still playing the same song, you’ve used that line here too many times, think of something new.

It’s an old line but it’s the truth, what else can I say?

I guess you could gimme an analogy rather than tell the tale again.

True.

You could say….Jogging are like……eating……10 chocolate eclairs.

What does that mean?

What genre is this? It’s not Heavy Metal.

Maybe Post Hardcore? Rock n’ Roll?

I think when a band goes down this route, they have to have heavy beats, heavy riffs and shouting or else it becomes a different type of music. And then they get stuck in a situation where they become samey. You want to hear them suddenly do something gentle but if they did they wouldn’t be playing their music anymore. Awful pity.

Obviously they’re seriously talented musicians.

They sound angry but I bet they’re not really.

I met a guy last night in Whelans, I’ve forgotten his name (sorry) but he said he was a big fan of the blog, and I immediately felt bad that we hadn’t updated in weeks, so here we are, guilt post. Anyway Jogging are deadly and this is for that guy.

http://jogging.bandcamp.com/

Owensie – S/T (Self Released, 2009) & Terrordactyl – S/T (Armed Ambitions, 2007)

Nick: Owensie? I see.

I suppose…of it’s kind…this is very good. However, the kind is not my kind.

How do you feel about folk music in general though?

Generally I like it, but it depends on the type and where it comes from, maybe not where it comes from actually.

The kind of folk music I like is the sort that……Ok maybe not….but I was going to say I like the type that happens when people who aren’t musicians get together and sing. Pubs, weddings and so on.

But this person is very professional, under certain circumstances this could be quite nice but right now it’s ultimately quite boring.

So would you buy a CD of drunken wedding sing-a-longs?

Haha yes I probably would! No. I didn’t really express myself correctly there, but you know what I mean.

If you really think about what folk music is or should be, then this isn’t folk music at all. Folk music is music for folks. It’s for enjoying with people. This is not sing-a-long music, this is listen-to music. And it’s quite intense in fact, you have to give it a lot of attention.

I know now why I don’t like this; it comes across as precious, very precious. To me anyway. And it lacks…a lot of folk music sounds spontaneous, as if it was thought up on the spot. Whereas this is the exact opposite. There is no spontaneity¬† whatsoever. But then Beethoven wasn’t exactly spontaneous.

Seeing as we’re here, how about we listen to his old band?

Ok sure, seeing as we’re here.


This is fascinating, despite the fact this is completely different it comes from the same part of the mental forest. Complex, planned out…

The mental forest! Haha.

I didn’t say that, don’t twist my words.

You did.

I said the same mental part of the forest.

That’s even better actually.

I’d say he is very talented, you could probably ask him to write a Flamenco piece or a Classical piece and all he’d need is 5 minutes.

Well don’t forget there’s 3 other people here as well now.

I wonder what set him in the direction of this dirgey troubadour kinda stuff. Mind you, this does even less for me.

This song’s called Pat Kenny’s Mind.

Oh is this guy Irish!?

Yep.

Oh.

Owensie plays the Rothar.ie benefit on Saturday night with Betamax Format, Groom and Yeh Deadlies, grab his lovely record for free at: http://owensie.bandcamp.com/

Terrordactyl are no more (I think), which is a shame (if I’m right) (which I think I am).

http://www.myspace.com/thedactyls

Dennis Wilson – Pacific Ocean Blue (Caribou, 1977)

Nick: I find it very difficult to say anything sensible about this.

When it started I thought “Yeah, I’m gonna like this’ but now I’m not so sure.

For what should really be easily assimilable music it’s overly complex, so many extraneous bits, the production is a bit overboard. ”Little bit of this, little bit of that, ok.. yeah that’s good. No! More!” It’s quite nice but all over the place.

Well I think he was really trying to prove himself on this, he’d been seen as the pretty-boy, not-very-good-drummer in the early days while his brothers were the ‘talented’ ones.

Well he’s gone a long way to proving everyone right here. The further you get into it the worse it gets, it’s all over the kip!

Nah, nah Mr…..whoever you are…Wilson, not good. Basically he didn’t know what he wanted to do did he? It’s almost like he found 100% compatible samples from 60 different recording and put them all together. But I guess it’s typical, coming from where he’s coming from.

Must be hard being Brian Wilson’s brother.

Yeah, but take up knitting or something, beat him at that!

I’m going to make my comparison about painting again….

Don’t…

He takes every colour of the rainbow…

Seriously, it’s ok, everyone knows it by now.

Hi, my name is Dennis Wilson, I make Rock n’ Roll records. I’ve had a career of 15 years making records, hit records with The Beach Boys, during that 15 years I’ve had some very exciting moments but I’ve never been as excited as I am now, as a matter of fact, I am very proud to announce;
D. Wilson Knitwear, a new venture run by me and my spiritual advisor Nick T. Hinks.

Listen to Pacific Ocean Blue on Spotify.