All Apologies – Montage of Heck

“I’m not like them
But I can pretend
The sun is gone
But I have a light
My day is done
But I’m having fun
I think I’m dumb
Maybe just happy”

As a teenager, I was a major Nirvana fan. The first album I bought was Nevermind and I remember feeling devestated when he died, by his own hand, at the age of 27.

Over the years I’ve avidly read interviews about him, read books about him and really bought in to his story, always frustrated that the true “him” remained hidden. He didn’t give frank or serious interviews, his Nirvana bandmates seemed to reel with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after losing him and Courtney Love? Well, she had her own well-documented issues to deal with.

So, after reading lots of gushing reviews online, my boyfriend and I took ourselves to the IFI to see Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck on Friday night.

As I say, I had read a lot of great reviews about it and I was/am such a fan of Nirvana’s music, I wanted to see what the hype was, if anything “new” was revealed of him. Basically, to see if I could get to know him better.

I won’t lie: I didn’t love it. Although some of the home movie footage was poignant (clips of a 2/3 year old Kurt playing and goo-gooing with his parents are a bit tear-jerking, the gig footage is raw and LOUD and *some* of the family moments with Courtney and Frances are touching), it felt kind of exploitative at times.

A reluctant interviewee who famously and passionately spoke against wanting to be a spokesman for a generation, its hard to imagine that Kurt would have embraced the idea of someone poking through the deepest, darkest corners of a storage unit of his private recordings, demos, journals, art etc to find snippets worthy of displaying to the world.

Also, there is a recurring theme in these interviews and journal extracts that “Kurt hated to be humiliated”, however we’re treated to scenes of him totally off his head on heroin and tales of him trying to seduce a girl described as “slow”.

Possibly this is an attempt to de-mystify him, to show him as human, not the grunge idol/hero who died for our sins…

Apart from the home movie footage there is nothing much new on offer here…although we’re given splices of his voice recordings, gig footage, photos and home movie footage and old MTV interviews, they really are just splices – its hard to capture his personality. We don’t get to “know” him beyond what we already did.

There is limited input from others in his life – a little from Krist Novoselic and Courtney Love (who looks amazing, by the way) and his immediate family.

Pat Smear, Dave Novoselic and Butch Vig are notable by their absence, as are Billy Corgan, Michael Stipe or any other friends you’d imagine knew him well and who could speak to his personality, humour and life apart from his well-documented torment.

I think the fact that his daughter helped to co-produce it has given it creedance and elevated it beyond eye-rolling “here’s another guy trying to make money out of Kurt’s life story” territory.

Not to be all doom and gloom: It’s definitely a nicely put together “montage”, and if it brings Nirvana’s music to a new, younger audience, what’s the harm?? I know that I’ve been “introducing” it to my neighbours all weekend! :-)

(By the way, I found it REALLY hard not to sing along with the live music scenes!! )

Courtney Barnett in Whelans

On April 4th, my fella and I popped along to Courtney Barnett’s sold-out gig at Whelan’s, Dublin.

It was a warm Saturday night and I was kinda “meh” about going out, to be honest, but I am so glad we did!

Barry heard Courtney on TXFM some time last year and I bought him her EP ” A Sea of Split Peas”. I loved her grungey, almost monotone trails of consciousness lyrics:

“the paramedic thinks I’m clever because I play guitar. I think she’s clever because she stops people dying”

and her wordplay “it’s Monday, so mundane”.

The gig was sweaty and jammers. The middle aged lady in front of me was pressed up so close against me, I think she got me pregnant…

Courtney and her band played a blinder, a lot poppier than I’d imagined and almost psychadelic in places. I thought she was gonna lob herself in to the drum kit and a couple of points, but she managed to restrain herself!

She was cool enough to come to the merchandise stand after the gig and do some signing, which was deadly, my boyfriend was thrilled cos he had popped over to buy me a copy of her new EP “Sometimes I Sit and Think, and sometimes I just Sit” as a Thank You for the gig tickets.

She gave me a big wave through the crowd too. She has an amazing fringe. And a Torvill and Dean tshirt. Total girl crush.

Moi’s EP (I think you can tell from her handwriting that she totally wants to be my bestie)

Courtney Barnett EP

This is my favourite track, from her debut EP

Great Friday 2

So many people I know seem to be in a slump lately, me included, so I’m making an effort today to be a bit kinder to myself.

Inspired by a flick through Facebook, I visited my local leisure centre to use their pool. It’s years since I last swam and I was half-scared that I’d forgotten how and drown! But no, I had a bit of a swim, jacuzzi and sauna (jaysis, it’d roast ya in there!!) and then brunch in Sister Sadie’s on Harrington St.

Now, I’m listening to my favourite album (Gracelands), drinking peppermint tea from my favourite mug and just being delighted with myself ;)

Have a great Friday, chaps x

Great Friday

Bonjour!

So, I’ve got my UPC connection finally sorted, its Good Friday (or Feckin’ Great Friday, if you’re off work, like me), so this seems to be a good time to re-start the blog as its been bouncing around my head for a while now.

I used to blog sporadically before… I had so many ideas and was far too ambitious (I wanted to be Yelp, Picture This and Lovin’ Dublin all in one, but hadn’t the time, equipment or energy to post more than weekly!), so it fell by the wayside.

I’m reigning in my ideas now, just trying to be me and sharing the shizz that I see along the way.

Well, thanks for stopping by, talk soon!

She Shook Me

Hi guys,

It’s been a while since I posted, but I’m happy to report that our EP, She Shook Me is now available online at itunes and bandcamp.

We’ve been lucky to have gained some great support. The track has been played by the BBC on their Introducing show, the Irish Times gave us a mention, TXFM have given us a few spins, as have Dublin South FM and 8 Radio.

We’re really grateful for everyone who’s playing, listening and buying tracks.

If you’d like to support us, please do!

xx

Barry and Hazel Irish Times

 

Culture Vulture at The Odessa

culture-vulture

Just a quick note about my night…

Barry and myself went to the Odessa to Culture Vulture, a monthly night curated by Tony Clayton-Lea.

This month’s guests were John Cummins, Lisa O’Neill and Lenny Abrahamson, who did a Q and A.

Lisa’s set blew the doors off the room, it was lovely, charming and quirky, like the lady herself. We saw her a while back supporting Rodriguez in Vicar Street, and I fell in love with her song Elvis, I give you Irish Stew. Her between-song chats were great too, so engaging and fun.

John Cummins is the Irish Slam Poet Champion and an absolute legend. I believe he should be the poet laureate. His line about “Agenda Kenny” got a whoop last night.

Here’s John in action at the Brownbread Mix in 2010.

We had a great night, can’t wait to see who’s up next month.

:)

*Culture Vulture poster from theĀ Odessa’s website