Archive for April, 2008

Apr 17 2008

That’s All Folks

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I really look forward to each weeks’ Postsecrets. Some of them are hillarious, some are shockingly heartbreaking, some thoughtprovoking, some are just plain strange. It’s fun to read about the quirks and foibles of all these different people (I guess it’s reassuring to know that we all have our own odd sides).

Sometimes you look at one of the postcards, maybe give it a smirk and then move on to the next, only to come back to it and see something more in it.

This week there was one like that for me:

That's All Folks

I smiled when reading it and clicked on to the next site. I came back to it a little while later and thought about who may have sent this card in. Are they depressed over lost youth? Are they so down that even Looney Tunes can’t perk them up? Do they spend their days faking a big Bugs Bunny smile, while aching on the inside? Or maybe they just made the whole thing up so they could appear on the Postsecret site(cynic alert)?

Whatever the reason, it gave me pause and made me think.

That’s all folks!

6 responses so far

Apr 16 2008

Battlestar Galactica

Published by under Blog,TV

I have just started to watch Battlestar Galactica on the recommendation of many people, most recently Lette.Battlestar Galactica It seems to be everywhere I look at the moment, due to the start of the new series. Anthony has been twittering about it, Bock is giving up his political commentary to devote his time to it, Sarah Carey of GUBU is in a similar situation to me, Alexia is already talking about a prequel, even Will Wheton‘s life goes on hold for BSG!!

So, how have I missed this show? I’m a sci-fi fan, I watch far too much TV, and yet, I have let this incredible show slide by.

Battlestar GalacticaI never had any fond and fleeting memories of the original 70’s show. I knew of its existence, but didn’t know much about it. When the ‘re-imagined’ show began, I watched a half an episode one evening and didn’t understand what was going on (Gaius Baltar was in two places at the same time and having a bunch of conversations at once – it was too much for me). It is only now when the excitement over the new series became infectious that I wanted to find out what I was missing.

Last week, I bought the new series of House and a boxset of the first three series of BSG (including the mini-series) and I have been engrossed in it since then. I am currently half way through the third series and my interest hasn’t wained even slightly. The only negative thing is the freaky BSG dreams I had on Sunday night. I may be OD-ing a little on Adama and his crew.

Battlestar Galactica

8 responses so far

Apr 16 2008

Lost – Just Another Typical American Show?

Published by under Blog,TV

I love Lost, I think it’s a great show. It’s different and while it may be full of typical Hollywood hunks and beauties, it doesn’t generally conform to the typical US TV Show standards.

The ppls that gave us Weebl and Bob have asked the question, what if JJ Abrams wrote the show like everybody else in the US media? Would this be the opening titles of Lost?

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Apr 15 2008

Would You Like To Ride With Batman?

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Do you remember this?

There have been some brilliant ads over the years, but this one is so funny and simple – I love it.

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Apr 15 2008

The Sound System Podcast#49 From Kilkenny Music

Published by under Blog,Music

I listened to Ken’s 49th Sound System Podcast over the weekend and I’m pleased to say Some Man Darren Byrne™ got another mention. I don’t think I’ll become famous for my mentions on Ross and Ken’s podcasts, but it’s sufficiently feeding my easily inflated ego all the same. The past two weeks podcasts, numbers 48 and 49, have seen Ken flying solo. Ross is apparently deeply engrossed in finishing his thesis. So, good luck to Ross and we look forward to your return.Sound System Podcast

So, Mr McGuire is left to hold the fort on his own and, while all the information is there and the strong song choices are there, he seems a little reluctant to let himself go and be a bit silly. Let yourself go a bit mad, Ken – we don’t mind.

The pair have great chemistry (nothing funny) and I look forward to the return of Ken’s compadre.

The 49th show featured:

Next week’s 50th is quite the milestone and a big congratulations to the lads at Kilkenny Music for keeping a quality podcast running for so long. They also have their 20th One Take Session, the podcast of “an open music night showcasing some of the finest raw talent on the Irish music scene”. Be nice and drop them a line

Previous Podcast Posts:

The Sound System Podcast#46 from Kilkenny Music

Kilkenny Music

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Apr 14 2008

Judgement Day?

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Apparently CERN, the organisation that are credited with ‘inventing’ the Interweb, have developed the next stage in Web evolution which can reach speeds in excess of 10,000 times faster than current broadband speeds. Hundreds of thousands of gamers will be able to interact simultaneously and seamlessly in vivid online environments, far greater than we can today. This all sounds wonderful…doesn’t it?

Maybe it’s just my paranoia mixed with a far too active movie watching life, but this sounds like the start of Skynet:

David Britton, professor of physics at Glasgow University and a leading figure in the grid project, believes grid technologies could “revolutionise” society. “With this kind of computing power, future generations will have the ability to collaborate and communicate in ways older people like me cannot even imagine,” he said.

The power of the grid will become apparent this summer after what scientists at Cern have termed their “red button” day – the switching-on of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the new particle acceleratorArnie built to probe the origin of the universe. The grid will be activated at the same time to capture the data it generates.

Surely we should stop Skynet now before the Terminators come back to get us? Where’s Sarah Connor? Protect her baby! Save us all! Judgement Day is here!

Ahem, well, better to be safe than sorry!


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Apr 14 2008

Be Careful With Your Drinks

Published by under Blog,Night Out

Following on from my self-pity post, I have had a mentally messed up weekend, which I have only emerged from today.Spiked

I suspect (as I have no evidence other than how I felt), that my drink was spiked or otherwise tampered with a few nights ago. I had had a few drinks and I know that that could explain some of what happened to me, but to collapse on a street corner, to break down in tears on the phone for no apparent reason, to feel ‘high’ and have the shakes and heart palpitations – I don’t see how I can blame that on a few drinks. It was something I have never experienced before and have no interest in going through again.

Lottie, as you may know, has been in the midst of exams for the past few weeks, so to have me ringing her in bits, desperate for help, cannot be at all helpful. I am so guilty for that, I sincerely am. But that guilt does not compare with the fear that I felt on Saturday, when looking back over what could have happened, what might have been. I have heard many horror stories, far worse than anything I went through, and that has played over my mind all weekend. I just don’t understand why anyone would put anything in my drink. It’s so fucked up. It was suggested today that someone may have been attempting to rob me. Maybe, but no one tried to take anything from me and I was in no fit state to defend myself if anyone had tried.

So, while I don’t see myself having a night out in a bar anytime soon (or at least not without surrounding myself with people I trust), I will certainly be very careful about keeping a close eye on my drink. And I would urge anyone who reads this to be equally vigilant.

Has anyone else experienced this? Have you heard of anyone who went through this…or worse? It’s truly horrible to feel that helpless.


6 responses so far

Apr 11 2008

I’m Not A Well Boy

Published by under Blog,Music

Really feeling like crap today – I’ll expand on it later…maybe.

In the meantime, this is a great song!

7 responses so far

Apr 09 2008

Little Show Of Horrors

Published by under Blog,Music,Night Out

Thank you very much to Catherine in DublinBlog for posting about the Teachers Musical Society’s production of Little Shop of Horrors. On a whim, we decided to go see it last night, it’s opening night, in the O’Reilly Theatre at the Belvedere College.Little Shop of Horrors

It’s an amateur dramatics production, but the production values were very high. The set looked great and the plant was very funny without being silly, very animated and interacted well with the ‘other’ actors.

For those who don’t know, the show is about a florist in the crappy part of town and a plant that drinks blood. That’s it! Well, not quite. It has some of the strongest musical numbers from any show and great comic characters who sing out brilliant one liners such as “I know Seymour’s the greatest, But I’m dating a semi-sadist”.

Set in Mushnik’s Flower Shop, it centres upon a love story blossoming (sorry!) between the hard-done-by Seymour, raised by the slave driving Mr Mushnik, and the battered blonde Audrey, beaten up both by life and by her Nitrous-Oxide-Addicted dentist boyfriend. To save the impoverished shop, Audrey encourages Seymour to show Mushnik his “strange and interesting new plant”. The plant, the Audrey Too, immediately begins attracting customers and profits begin to soar. The problem for Seymour is he is finding it hard to feed his rapidly growing genus-horribilis, as all it wants is blood, his blood. So, faced with losing his job and losing “Audrey one”, he finds other ways to feed the plant.

From the opening number, we are treated to some great R’n’B numbers, sung well by four members of the Teachers’ Musical Society, but it is only when Denise King (Audrey) sings that we hear some truly great voices. For me she steals the show. With the beautiful love duet Suddenly Seymour, Tom Flanagan (Seymour) matched her voice to send a shiver up my arm. Shay Byrne (not my father) voices the plant and apart from a few lip-synch (or is it tendril-synch?) issues, he is very good.

The show differs significantly to the movie I grew up with (the movie with Ellen Green and Rick Moranis), but this just lead to some pleasant surprises both in the storyline and the songs. The huge closing number is fantastic and a credit to all involved in the production. Well done and thank you for a great night out.

Little Shop of Horrors runs from now until Saturday 12th April. Tickets are available through As far as I’m aware, if you show up tonight there will still be tickets available, but you can call 087 7866864 to confirm.

10 responses so far

Apr 08 2008

If I Were A Rich Man…

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Ya ha deedle deedle, bubba bubba deedle deedle dum.
All day long I’d biddy biddy bum.
If I were a wealthy man.

Poignant words and words to make us truly think about ourselves, our lives and our futures. Eh, yeah!

I’m afraid that’s the best I can do with regards weighty opening of a post that asks, what would you do if you won the Lotto?

Firstly, we’ll clear up the amount. You didn’t win the 14 point whatever million from a few weeks back. You’ve won a more modest €3million. How do you react? Do you go into work the next day? Do you ring all your friends and head down to the local pub for the night? Do you tell no one?Lotto Logo

I think my first reaction would be to break out the champagne (admittedly the only champagne we have in the apartment is a bottle of Russian plonk that’s been sitting on the rack for about two years). After vomiting up the dodgy bubbly, I’d leg it down to SuperValu to stock up on the good stuff. I think I’d keep it between Lottie and myself at first. Then after a few days maybe let friends and family know we had won a smaller amount. Is that wrong? It sounds a bit miserly lying to avoid having to be Mr and Mrs Generosity. Hmmm!

We’d drink to our success for a few nights (calling in sick to work, perhaps due to the dodgy bubbly), before letting the cat out of the bag (ok, I know we shouldn’t be keeping Amy in a bag, but we’re rich now and can get away with it). We’d definitely share the wealth (not all of it mind). We have, between us, a large family who could all do with a few extra bob.

ChampagneLottie likes the idea of buying a plot of land, designing a house and then fecking off for a year while it’s built. Yeah, that’d be fun, but I’m not sure I’d want to leave Ireland and my friends at a time when I could afford to enjoy the country and spend time doing all the things on my wish list. I’d definitely build a house though. That’s a long term dream of mine.

Of course, one of the very first thing’s I’d do is buy the iPhone. Not really sure about any other initial purchases though. Any ideas?

19 responses so far

Apr 07 2008


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Apr 04 2008

Bright New Sounds Big Night Out

Published by under Blog,Music,Night Out

Bright New SoundsA big congratulations to The Minutes, who, last night, picked up the Vodafone Bright New Sounds Award.

Let me first say that I make no apologies if this post seems like an indie band love fest. The five acts were all superb – they each justified their position in the top five of the initial 20.

My evening started off with a tour of the venue, Tripod on Harcourt Street, while the band, Chaplin, were in the midst of their sound check. Listening as they performed, it was clear that this would be a good night.

At the bar backstage, two hours before kick-off, I enjoyed pizza and a beer with the lads from Starturtle. If there was an award for nicest band of the night, these guys win hands down. Matt, Jonathan and Daragh are great guys. They each have a passion for the music but have their feet firmly stuck to the ground. That said, Jonathan, a teacher in Ballyfermot, looks more rock and roll than chalk and blackboard. And Daragh is no stranger to the classroom either – being that he is probably studying with his classmates as this post is published.

I spent much of my evening chatting with Phil of Norn Iron Music, the manager of Superfreakz. He’s a guy who loves the music and is behind his band completely. It was refreshing to see someone so fervently promoting something he believed in, without sounding like a pushy fool. I think Phil may have felt the disappointment of not winning, far more than than the band themselves.

The show kicked off at 9 o’clock with a three song set from Chaplin and they did not disappoint. The harmonies captured the small crowd’s attention immediately and their drum beats pumped the adrenalin of each and every one of us. Between acts, there was plenty of time to meet and chat with the bands while PJ Gallagher, the one true disappointment of the night, fell through his MC job on stage. He really seemed to be phoning it in.

Sitting with Chaplin after their performance, the lads were buzzing. For a band who say they rarely play Dublin and actually rarely get out of Wexford, these guys were serious professionals. They had the biggest equipment set up of the night, but the size of your equipment isn’t what matters – it’s what you do with it that counts and these guys delivered.

79Cortinaz were a different band entirely. While I didn’t get chatting with the band for long, their music speaks for itself. Picking up where the indie scene of the early nineties left off, the music is funky and energetic. While I could hear a lot of influences from bands past, 79Cortinaz sound was still very fresh.

Phil and I decided to inject a bit of life into the increasingly stoic crowd by cheering on The Minutes upfront, but we were just left looking like a couple of spares. The MinutesThe band, however, could have been playing to a packed Croke Park for the pace and energy they injected into their performance. While they weren’t my choice to win, they certainly deserved the award. Their sound is very ‘now’ and will sell well. I feel The Minutes will hit it big this year.

SuperfreakzUp until I heard Superfreakz perform, I had pegged Chaplin as the winners, but Superfreakz got one of the best reactions of the night (maybe they had a lot of friends in the crowd?), and I really thought they were in with a chance of winning. I’m looking forward to hearing a full set from these lads soon.

StarturtleThe last band up were the lovely guys from Starturtle. As the lead singer said, he tries to go for the mysterious brooding look, but after about 8 seconds it falls away as he enjoys himself too much. And it’s clear they do enjoy themselves on stage. I mean this in a good way – their music was a hark back to eighties rock. I wanted to punch the air and rock out. Great sound and I hope to hear them again in a few weeks time.

While Jim Carroll may have had some good points to make about the organisation of the event and the motives behind it, the organisation on the night was flawless. Every one of the bands were happy with how things were run and all said how positive an experience it was for them. It raised their profile, it gave them some great experience and it was great to play at a large venue and event. Personally, I think Vodafone did a great job on this one. I hope they learn from mistakes and aren’t afraid to run another Bright New Sounds next year.

4 responses so far

Apr 03 2008

What A Difference A day Resignation Makes…

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I am not going to offer up my opinions on the whole Bertie thing, basically because I don’t have any.Bertie I Owe You I’m one of the many Irish people who doesn’t really care about politics and I am one of the many that the Politico Critico blame for voting FF back in. Across the last 24 little hours I have glanced over the barrage of Bertie-posts online, only stopping when I saw a funny picture of Bertie photoshopped onto one of his daughter’s books, etc.

However, I did come across one post that summed up what I would be thinking if I was to be thinking about thinking about Bertie. I think! Turlough, via Daragh’s blog, offered his impassioned view of the resignation. I’m not sure he would like someone of my apathetic standing agreeing with him, but that’s just tough.

Bertie is just a man, just one man. His departure will not change a thing. Government will still continue, the economy will still drift, the health care system will still be in need of vital surgery. Can we all stop dwelling on the man and do something about the things that matter?

5 responses so far

Apr 02 2008

Doctor Who Is Back

Published by under Blog,TV

I guess this is in addition to my ambassadorial post on Monday.

Doctor Who rocks and the new series begins on BBC One, Saturday evening at 6.20.

One response so far

Apr 01 2008

Jack L

Published by under Blog,Music

Jack LI’m a fan of Jack L. I’m a huge fan. I’m an addict for his music. I was introduced to his very unique sound by my girlfriend about nine years ago, and while my tastes in music have varied and changed over the last decade, I can’t help but still call Jack L my favourite artist.

His early offerings are translated versions of the work of Jacques Brel, the French musician, poet, actor, artiste and madman. One of Jack’s strongest hits is his take on Brel’s Jacky.

While Jack’s later albums have veered away from Brel somewhat, there’s still an unmistakable thread running through his work which lets us know that his inspiration comes from Brel, Scott Walker, Nick Cave, Tom Waits.

Jack LJack Lukeman is a Kildare man who began his working career as a mechanic before heading off to Germany with where he hooked up with The Black Romantics. After releasing his first album, Wax, with them, he went solo to make the incredible Metropolis Blue, the album which made his name. Blue includes tracks such as the seminal Georgie Boy, Ode to Ed Wood (see video), Bedsprings and Rooftop Lullaby.


For the past seven years, whenever he’s played in Dublin, we’ve immediately bought tickets. When he did his Chez Jack L show in Spirit/HQ on we went no less than 6 times. Earlier this year, he played a show in the National Concert Hall and two weeks ago he was in Vicar Street. I’ve yet to be disappointed by one of his shows. His voice is haunting, from the deep and frightening baritones to the sweet angelic falsettoes, he’s a master of his craft.

One of my favourite songs of all time is Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah. I’m not actually a fan of Cohen’s version. I enjoy Jeff Buckley’s. I love Rufus Wainright’s version. And Jack’s version is truly brilliant……


Jack L’s Website:



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