David Bowie

So, The Man Who Fell to Earth has left us.

At the age of 69, David Bowie passed away on January 10th 2016 after what the tabloids dubbed a “secret” battle with cancer.

I think the word they’re reaching for is “private”.

I can’t really add anything new to the beautiful tributes I’ve read and heard, but there really is a Star Man waiting in the sky now, and he’s already blown our minds.

I think New Order said it best:

“Oh, you’ve got green eyes
Oh, you’ve got blue eyes
Oh, you’ve got grey eyes
And I’ve never seen anyone quite like you before”

RIP, Aladdin Sane.

david-bowie2

Oh, you pretty thing…

 

Girl in a Band, book review

As a teenager in the 90’s, I was completely besotted by Kim Gordon, a proper rock and roll ice queen, the epitome of cool.
Girl in a Band, Kim Gordon
Book-ended by her and Thurston Moore’s break up, Girl in a Band is raw and self-aware at times, but never cringey or oversharesome (no, it’s not a word, but it should be). Artsy and nostalgic, it’s well-paced and I think she gives just enough of herself away to let the reader in, while preserving much of her mystery.
There is a slight simmering anger bubbling under at times, as well as thoughtful sensitivity, I found her so relatable, whether discussing her childhood in LA, her relationship with her schizophrenic brother, her first days in New York, art, music and (of course) Sonic Youth, and on into marriage and motherhood, the tone seemed so conversational that I ate this book up in a matter of hours.
While it’s no “Just Kids” (my favourite memoir ever), it’s a really decent, classy read, which I thoroughly enjoyed and would recommend.

Are ‘Friends’ Electric?

Does something ever catch you unawares? A song you’ve heard a million times, a book you’ve read to death, a photo you’ve looked at every day… one day you hear/read/see it in a different light and it changes.

I was walking to work this morning and “Are ‘Friends’ Electric” by Gary Numan came on the radioΒ and Jaysis, the feels!

This verse hit me as so sad, so tragic and real.

“So I found out your reasons
For the phone calls and smiles
And it hurts
And I’m lonely
And I should never have tried
And I missed you tonight
It must be time to leave
You see it meant everything to me”

I went through a friendship break-up around this time last year, and it’s been on my mind lately, so thisΒ was so poignant.Β Mff.

 

 

Gavin Glass @ Whelan’s, Dublin

Last Sunday night, I went to a gig.

A belter of a gig.

A hot, sticky, love-infused belter of a gig.

Gavin Glass brought his New Shakers (not a euphemism, it’s his band’s name… actually maybe it *is* a euphemism??) and his Sunday Songs along to Whelan’s on Wexford St for a good auld airing.

I missed NC Lawlor, the first warm up, and arrived just as the Sleep Thieves were finishing up.

Without much ado, or any introduction, Gavin burst onstage and straight into a couple of numbers before declaring “Happy Sunday Songs everyone!!”

While not packed, the room was a who’s-who of Dublin music – I spotted a couple of Hot Sprockets, Ross Turner (drummer with Lisa Hannigan, also drums on some of Sunday Songs), Tomo (drummer with Damien Rice and Lisa Hannigan), Shane Fitzsimons (bassist) and I was standing… next… to… Paul… Noonan… from… Bell… X… 1…

I was madly starstruck, mainly because Rocky Took a Lover is one of my favourite tunes, and we’re planning on playing it at our wedding. Gush.

Anyway, I digress… Gavin grooved through his new Sunday Songs, along with some of his oldies, such as Just Like Rome and Myna Birds.

A gig filled with love, there were lots of “Happy Birthday Gav!”, thrown up from the crowd and, in a moment of love supreme, Gav announced that his mot is expecting their first child.

A few misty eyes in the house after that.

A highlight of the night was his rendition of Witchita Lineman, where he was joined on stage by Conor O’Brien of Villagers (who knew he was so short?).

Rarely have I come away from a gig with so much joy in my heart, it was really special.

❀ you Gav.

Hazel

Sunday Songs is available on iTunes and in Tower Records….

Here is the title track πŸ™‚

Pure M awards – Best Male Solo nomination

Good evening!

Things are still quiet chez moi as I have the lurgy of all lurgies, but a bit of news: Barry has been nominated for a Pure M award – Best Male Solo Act.

Tis a long list, in fairness, but it’s nice to see his name up there, first award nomination.

Whoop πŸ™‚

If you’d like to check us out, we’re on soundcloud – www.soundcloud.com/barryfinnimore

Pure M Award Nomination

Pure M Award Nomination

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 Grohl 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! πŸ™‚

(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