Friday, December 19, 2003

2003 has been a strange year music wise with no real stand-out albums, a point demonstrated by the lack of any consensus across all those best of year critics polls. (Although that intriguing nu-Prince hiphop crossover album by OutKast is prominent in many of them). For what it's worth, here's my list of seven albums that really impressed me this year.

- Cat Power - 'You are Free'
- M Ward - 'The Transfiguration of Vincent'
- Radiohead - 'Hail to the Thief'
- Calexico 'Feast of Wire'
- Kings of Leon 'Youth and Young Manhood'
- Evan Dando 'Baby I'm Bored'
- My Morning Jacket - 'It Still Moves'

So, if you don't hear from me before then have a great Christmas. See you in the new year...

Thursday, December 18, 2003

Here's an interesting article about controversial photographer Jock Sturges and an exhibition of his prints of Connemara schoolchildren. The photographs may have been critically acclaimed but he's not welcome back in Galway.
Neil Warner of Warner Corporate Photography has some nice aerial shots of Galway available to send as e-cards. Check them out.

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Wow...there's nearly a thousand Irish phone blogs already. Who would have thunk it?

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

Bid for Tidings of Comfort and Joy on eBay...
F.Y.I. Aer Lingus sale on today with flights to and from Ireland from €1.
There's two Irish acts in the top ten of's best albums of 2003 as selected by their editors. Unfortunately, although competent and enjoyable, both of those albums are seriously overrated. Oh, and the Chieftains are at no. 30 too...

Monday, December 08, 2003

I picked up the two new EP's from Ryan Adams over the weekend - Love is Hell parts 1 and 2. I'm happy to say that although their quality is inconsistent, both EPs feature several songs which can stand with his best work and which are far superior to anything on his current official new proper album 'Rock N' Roll'. Interestingly one of the better songs is 'English Girls Approximately' - a splendid number featuring Marianne Faithfull on backing vocals and which from the lyrics I can only assume is addressed to Beth Orton - whom he is rumoured to have had a brief fling with while helping her out on her album 'Daybreaker'. Here's the verse which clinches it:-
Tall drink of water, she's a Norfolk waterfall
Little daybreaker, she's a shootin' like a cannonball
Crazy like a rocket when you're coming through my radio
Kept me in your bed till the wintertime turned to fall
Fall time coming, and I guess my little bird can sing
Come on Elizabeth, a come on a Bethany
Come on further, I'm tired and I want to sleep
My little dove do, and I guess she was done with me
Said you didn't love me, it was right on time, I was just about to tell you that it'll be alright
Said you didn't love me, didn't want a thing, English girls can be so mean
But ohh, look at you now
Ohh, look at you now
Mmmm, best I've ever seen
Just a tall drink of water, just a-pourin' on down the sink.

The full lyrics are here. You can listen to the song in the discography section of Ryans official site - the complete albums are being streamed.

Friday, December 05, 2003

From Canadian TV archives: "Punk Rock is a term based on contempt...". Chat show interview with Iggy Pop from 1977.
Courtesy of the BBC: The ten most embarrassing political moments. Vote for your favourite. I think the classic Bush interview will take some beating.

Thursday, December 04, 2003

From a couple of weeks backs. A short piece in The Guardian on blogs by music writers.
Here's a brilliant idea. Seamless City - a 30 mile long continuous portrait of San Francisco. Via Incoming Signals

Monday, December 01, 2003

I hadn't realised there is a separatist movement currently active within Galway and Mayo. Here's their website.
John Lydon to attempt to revitalise his career by appearing in 'I'm a Celebrity, get me out of here'?. Didn't he used to have some credibility...even a teenie weenie bit?

Friday, November 28, 2003

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

I thought I had a problem. Only last Saturday did I manage to finish reading the previous week's Sunday Times one day before it was replaced by this weeks edition. But Irving Tobin has a real problem; he's a full year and five months behind in his reading! Via ThePlasticCat - good to have you back Cormac.
Arts News : Barclaycard to sponsor a premiership 'chants laureate' to compose topical football chants 'observing key moments within the season'.

Monday, November 24, 2003

Smoke Kills.

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Cajun & Zydeco Music for Kids!
Just in case your're wondering - I take no responsibility for the Google ads that appear on top of this page. I mean c'mon - Bon Jovi???

Friday, November 14, 2003

The Night of the Living Feelies. A page dedicated to one of my favourite bands of the 80's.
Government announces new 'turd tax'. Proof that earnest young anarchists have a sense of humour too.
There seems to have been quite a bit of UFO activity in Northern Ireland over the last few months. Intergalactic observers of the peace process perhaps?

Thursday, November 13, 2003

Guinness is good for you. Us Irish have known this for years but now it's official.
Looks like everyone is getting in on this blog thing. Here is the blog of one of London's classier 'ladies of the night'. Although it contains no photographs, do not read if you are easily offended by frank discussion of the sexual arts: - Belle de Jour.

Friday, November 07, 2003

Not true......
Pat Freestone surpasses himself once again. Through unusual cirumstances he has revealed the mathematical expression that explains everything we need to know about the universe.

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

Oxo Tower Brasserie London - Restaurant Review and Information. Read the review which starts "When my Boyfriend....."

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

Just how weird is Roger McGuinn's song 'Chestnut Mare'? The chorus goes :
"I'm going to catch that horse if I can
And when I do I'll give her my brand
And we'll be friends for life, she'll be just like a wife
I'm going to catch that horse if I can"

Monday, November 03, 2003

If you missed the Aurora over Ireland last Wednesday night and you don't want to ever miss it again, then this is the website you need to be keeping an eye on.
Take the 80's lyrics quiz. It's tough.

Friday, October 31, 2003

What is it about Ryan Adams? Whereas other musicians generally mature with each album, he seems hell bent on becoming more infantile. Luckily the good folks at Lost Highway are streaming his new album on his website - so you can make up you own mind about it without spending your hard earned cash. And what's with the record cover artwork - replace the Les Paul with a Telecaster and he could almost be Bruce; although it's hard to believe - at the time that record was made, Bruce was a good 3 years younger than Adams is now. Doesn't that put his talent into perspective?....

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Check out the KCRW radio tribute to Elliott Smith.

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Strange but great ideas on the web #100034 : The Expressive Photobooth.

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Very sad news. One of my favourite songwriters, Elliott Smith, commited suicide yesterday. He was 34.
Trying to keep up with our friends in the North during these turbulent days in the peace process? Well then, get thee over to Slugger O'Toole - the foremost weblog on all things relating to the Northern Irish scene.
Proof of total IRA decommissioning?
Kevin Baker in the American Heritage writes about America's most overrated and underrated photographs. Also, check out the other overrated and underrated things here.

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Interesting, somewhat disturbing photographs from Margi Geerlinks.
And we thought our judges were bad?

Thursday, October 16, 2003

The latest findings from the 2002 Irish Census were published yesterday and are available online at the CSO's really excellent website. I note that the population of single females in Galway city is now at 22,283, whereas the population of single males is 20,259 - over 2000 less. Of course, only about 29% of this 2000 are of eligible age - still, one cannot deny that the odds are stacked in my favour....
Super 8 stories of Northern Ireland. It sounds like a great idea for a TV program and I'm sure it'll be fascinating when it's broadcast

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

I had a weird dream last night that I was at an Iggy and the Stooges reunion concert. As you would expect, Iggy was a shirtless dervish on stage - all strut and swagger and sweat. I was disappointed they didn't play anything from the first two Stooges albums - in fact , I didn't recognise any of the songs apart from something off metallic KO - which is particularly strange considering I have never heard the album. I put the unfamiliar set-list down to the fact that the band included James Williamson on guitar - basically it was the Raw Power line up (which I do own - but again no Raw Power song were played). At the end of the gig Williamson attempted to prove his proto-punk credentials by throwing a bottle into the audience - it landed at my feet but it didn't break on account of it being an empty plastic water bottle. What does it all mean I wonder?

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Can you train a dog to be a fascist? Some Germans seem to think you can.

Thursday, October 09, 2003

The Rugby World Cup is kicking off in Australia this weekend. For those who don't know one end of a ruck from a maul here's Aussie newspaper The Age's bluffer's guide to Rugby.
Do you enjoy making stuff? Well then, is the site for you!

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Here's a chance to win a free house. To qualify you need a fiancé though... Auditions in Galway tonight.
Photojournalism and the American Presidency - here's an excellent video discussing some historic still photos.

Monday, October 06, 2003

Freestone is on form these days. Go visit.
I saw the great Nick Cave play Vicar Street on Saturday night. The full contingent of Bad Seeds didn't make it so the tone of the gig was dominated by the moody piano ballads that Cave has been turning out by the dozen for the last few years. Nick, sporting a new slimmed down streamline haircut (male pattern balding perhaps?), stayed behind the grand piano for the duration of the set while Warren Ellis danced like a dervish and turned out sounds from a fiddle rarely heard this side of a Les Paul. Highlights were the stunning version of 'God is in the House' and ' The Singer' - in tribute to Johnny Cash. A rendition of Fred Neil's 'Dolphins' was unexpected but the crowd were kept happy by favourites 'Into your Arms' and 'The Mercy Seat' (an ultra laid back version at that). A satisfactory gig, although I was disappointed that he didn't roll out 'Babe I'm on fire' - a song that surely was written to be played live as a concert encore.
This chap Phil is having a 35th bithday party - and to celebrate in style, he's inviting 35 celebrities along too.

Friday, October 03, 2003 Syndicated Photography Feeds - via RSS. It's still in its early stages but it sounds like a great idea.

Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Rock band Hell on Earth to feature a live suicide at their forthcoming concert in St. Petersburg, Florida. A tad extreme, no?

Monday, September 29, 2003

From the Phoenix Magazine.....

"Staff in Castlebar tourist office were bemused recently by a complaint from a Northern couple about the standard of the caravan park they had stayed in the night before. It was crowded, they said, dogs were running wild, there was only one outside cold water tap and they were charged EUR50 for the night. Explaining the location, they said there was some sort of complex of houses in the middle of the caravan park. It took only a short while for the staff to realise that the couple had been guided into the halting site along the main ring road which circles the town. They were advised not to seek a refund of their EUR50 but to write it off as the price of experience."

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Health advisory! Do not eat, smoke or drink tea made from these flowers. Ignore this advise and you might end up doing something you'll later regret.

Friday, September 19, 2003

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Look at all the Irish blogs. And this list isn't even complete given that theres no sign of our favourite imaginary feline there.
Good news on the jobs front for a change. eBay and Paypal are setting up an 800 job operation in Dublin.
A weblog for archaeology buffs: The Modern Antiquarian.
"A high-tech sofa developed in an Irish university could help create the ultimate couch potato." Good to see some healthy innovation going on in Irish universities.
Scary news from the world of performance art:Yoko Ono's art show bares almost all.

Monday, September 15, 2003

Thursday, September 11, 2003

A worthwhile website: - Your Guide to Rip Off Ireland. Things are so bad here now that even prices in Sweden and Finland don't seem so expensive any more - and that's saying something.

Monday, September 08, 2003

Sad news. Warren Zevon died yesterday after a battle with cancer.
Check out this great Icelandic rainbow photo. Beautiful.
Apologies for the paucity of posts. Its one of those stupid realities for the type of job I'm in - take two weeks off and then spend the next few weeks doing (unpaid) overtime to try and catch up....In the meantime - check out my fotolog for some holiday snaps.

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

Gone for two weeks and the place is in a heap - Blogrolling and comments seem to be out of action - and in the real world it's much the same.....

Tuesday, September 02, 2003

Well I'm back from holidays - a few days in Stockholm then Helsinki and a week in Estonia, punctuated by a few mad ferry trips. I cannot say it was very relaxing - as I was 6 days into it before I had a night where I was in bed before 3:00 am, but it was definitely a fun holiday.

Thursday, August 14, 2003

See you in two weeks. I'm off on my holidays to Sweden, finland and Estonia, flying out tomorrow. As the man says - Take it easy, and if you can't get it easy, take it any way you can....

Wednesday, August 13, 2003

As a ciotog, I should feel special today - the 12th annual left handers day. Whoo hoo - I think I'll drive home on the right side of the road this evening...
The first ever transatlantic flight by a model aeroplane landed in Clifden on Monday. The flight path retraced that of Alcock and Brown's historic flight. The BBC has the story.

Monday, August 11, 2003

The Elite Force Aviator: George W. Bush - U.S. President and Naval Aviator - 12" Action Figure. No comment.
Congratulations to Scott and Helen on their marriage this weekend. Well I hope it works out for them - especially since Scott went to all that trouble with the website.

Friday, August 08, 2003

Flash mobs are the latest internet driven 'craze' - although that may be too strong a word for it. According to reports in the media, we should see the first Irish flashmob happen somewhere in Dublin very soon. This is your contact if you're interested.

Thursday, August 07, 2003

One for our Unionist friends - How to draw the Union Jack Accurately. Via Incoming Signals.
David Beckham's celebrity hairstyle quiz!
Writing with Elvish fonts. These people need to get out more.

Tuesday, August 05, 2003

Great news just in: M Ward is playing a couple of gigs with Beth Othon in Ireland in September. Here's the details:-

Mon 1st Ireland, Cork, Half Moon Theatre
Tue 2nd Ireland, Galway, Roisin Dubh
Wed 3rd Ireland, Galway, Roisin Dubh

Thursday, July 31, 2003

Despite reports to the contrary, I think it's been a much quieter race week in Galway this year than in previous years. I was out in town last night and the few pubs I was in were hardly packed. The crowds of people that usually throng Cross street and High street barely extended further than the usual mob of drinkers outside the Quays. Maybe it's the weather, or maybe it's a definite sign of economic meltdown. Then again, tonight and tomorrow could prove me wrong.

Tuesday, July 29, 2003

For those who don't know, it's race week in Galway this week. So far, I've had little luck, with zero winnings to show for 6 races. Not to worry; I'm off up to the racecourse in half an hour to throw away more of my money. Sure, what else would I do with it?

Monday, July 28, 2003

Thursday, July 24, 2003

The Damien Dempsey gig the other night was surprisingly good. There aren't many contemporary Irish musicians who can be truely called 'protest singers' but he fits that role with remarkable conviction. He's a bit of a cross between Bob Marley, Henry Rollins and Ding Dong Denny O'Reilly but anyone who has a song called 'Bring me the Head of Louis Walsh' is alright by my book.

Tuesday, July 22, 2003

A fine review in Pitchfork of the new album from The Thrills - currently riding high at No.1 in the Irish album charts. I bought it last week and once you get over the fact that the sound and style of the band has been completely appropriated from any number of West Coast guitar pop bands from 1965 onwards, one cannot deny that it's a consistently entertaining record, expertly produced and containing more than a few ultra-catchy numbers.
I bought one of these yesterday. It's probably a piece of junk, but I think it looks cool - and the 'radioactive' lens is supposed to be a gem. Anyway it cost me less than the price of a round of drinks.
A ticket for Damien Dempsey's gig in the Roisin came my way, so that's where I'm off to tonight. I'm not familiar with his recent work but he sure looks like a serious chap doesn't he?

Friday, July 18, 2003

I know, posting was light this week due to the pressures of work. In the current economic climate I'm lucky enough to have a job at all I guess... Anyway I'm off to Ballina for the annual Salmon festival this weekend. Have a good one y'all.

Wednesday, July 16, 2003

At the moment, I'm listening to 'Youth and Young Manhood', the new album by the Kings of Leon. It reminds me a lot of an album I haven't thought about in years - 'Teenage Head' by the Flamin' Groovies. The Leon boys have a harder sound and lay off the obvious Stones references but like the Groovie's they know how to construct a perfect skinny hardass funky rock 'roll song. They might look and sound like a support act on a Creedence Clearwater Revival US tour circa 1970 but don't let that put you off - 'Youth and Young Manhood' is a cracking record.

Tuesday, July 15, 2003

Bananaslug - a revolutionary new search engine (not).

Monday, July 14, 2003

Friday, July 11, 2003

1978 to 1983 may have been the golden age of punk and new wave , but in Ireland it was also the golden age of MOR showbands. Here's one musician's record of that era.
So what exactly is the origin of the phrase "by hook or by crook"? Some contend that it derives from the practice of cutting firewood by using either a hook or crook - common tools in medieval times, but another school of thought has it that it relates to the geography of Waterford Bay - with Hook head on one side and a place called Crook on the other. One opinion is that the phrase may date to Oliver Cromwell's attempt to take Waterford in 1648 (incidentally, in the news today because of the recent discovery of a related ship wreck). Tony at discounts this explanation on the basis that the phase certainly predates the 17th century. However a letter published in the wonderful online archive of the 19th century journal 'Notes and Queries' makes the Waterford connection to a much earlier historical event - the 1172 visit of King Henry II to Ireland and his landing at Waterford bay. Fascinating suff, no?

Thursday, July 10, 2003

Wednesday, July 09, 2003

Apparently, builder James C. Kenny of Kenny Construction Company will be President Bush's new ambassador to Ireland. Sure, he might be able to help us out with some of those hot infrasture projects that are currently stalled.
Here's an interesting little engineering project:- Building a megapixel digital camera from a flatbed scanner.
Here's a map showing the mobile phone mast closest to where I live. I'm not sure it's up to date since a strange construction which I assumed was a new mast has recently been erected near Rahoon Road.

Monday, July 07, 2003

Cabin Fever is filming in Galway this evening - perhaps I'll pop down for an up-close look behind the scenes of this misfortunate excuse for a reality TV show. Then again, the mast or suchlike might fall off the ship and kill me.....
May I draw your attention to the amazing life story of James Kirker - an Irishman who became one of the most notorious Indian hunters of the old west and who at one stage was known as the King of New Mexico. Indeed he sounds like a despicable character - however, this account from 1847 upon a rare visit by him to St.Louis, casts him in a slightly different light:
"he is still the free, kind hearted aquaintance, yet years of peril, privitation and exposure have done their work in altering his outward man: while his long association with the Mexicans and Indians has so changed his accent that few would suspect him of being a son of the Emerald Isle. Col. Kirker is a highly intelligent man, and the experience he has aquired by his intercourse with the semi-barbarians of the West, has pre-eminently qualified him to aid the public service at this crises..."
From today's Indo - 'Net firm told thou shalt not shield nuns from evil e-mails'. The company which set up a website for a local enclosed order of Nuns has been found to be in breech of the Irish Data Protection Act for attempting to screen vulgar emails from desecrating the holy purity of the good sisters in-box. Here's their site if you wish to email them a prayer of your own.

Friday, July 04, 2003

It's a big day in Galway this Sunday. We have the Connaught Football Final between Galway and Mayo - and I'll be there shouting for the green and red - followed by the Salthill Airshow (accompanied by the ubiquitious protests). I expect traffic and parking chaos but since I live within walking distance of Salthill, this won't bother me too much. With the weather expected to stay fine, I reckon that I'll be breaking my normal rule of not drinking on a Sunday (and no, I'm not religious) to kick back with a few creamy pints of Guinness.
Dublin's cappuchino culture is in for an upset - Indymedia's intrepid reporter Kevin is on the story.
If you haven't yet cast your vote in Pat Freestone's 'Who Wants to Marry a Hundredthousandaire?' competition get yourself over to his site and do the decent thing. I'm rooting for Kristi - I think they'd make a lovely couple - although it looks like she still has some ground to make up to beat Susan.
I've started a fotolog - the Smoke Signals Image Repository.
A man has sold what he billed as the world's largest chip for £120 on eBay. And, it was only 6 3/4 of an inch long. I wonder how much I'd get for what is possibly the world's greasiest chip - purchased in Blue Thunder chipper last night.

Thursday, July 03, 2003

At the moment, I'm listening to "Happy Songs for Happy People" - the new Mogwai album. It's pretty good - quietly impressive in the way that the band always delivers the goods. "Ratts Of the Capital" and "Golden Porsche" could be the soundtrack of the summer if you spent all your time indoors decorating the walls of your room with a monsterous map of an imaginary continent. The songs aren't particularily happy but then again, neither am I. I think I need a haircut.
LIT.ORG: a community for readers and writers.
What a great bit of scientific investigative work. Using relatively simple experimental methods, researchers have discovered that the African dung beetle uses the polarisation of moonlight to navigate - the first animal known to do so.

Wednesday, July 02, 2003

The Great Canadian Beaver Eating Contest. Charming entertainment for a night I'm sure.
Still Life With Stem Cells.

Tuesday, July 01, 2003

How Spanish are the inhabitants of Galway? A question considered by a gentleman in an 1854 edition of "Notes and Queries".
Isn't it strange to think that 'Tory' is probably the most used Irish word in British politics?
A guide to the counties of Ireland ..."Most of Fermanagh is deserted; the only urban centre of note is Enniskillen, which is a bit like Ennis, but with more killen". Unsurprisingly, the author has emigrated.

Monday, June 30, 2003

Boys will be boys. Update - just noticed I'm linking to the wrong photo (should be this). The caption still stands though.
Fluxblog has a new Sonic Youth MP3 up - "Mariah Carey and the Arthur Doyle Handcream". And in spite of it initially threatening to be one of those off the shelf Kim Gordon noise-rants, this one actually turns out great - the compelling chorus and menacing bassline might have something to do with that. I like.
There's something weird with the comments here - not all are showing up....hmm...suspicious.
I'm back, newly refreshed from my week in Donegal and Mayo. Unfortunately, I expect the feeling to last for all of a day while I go about trying to chip away at the mountain of work that awaits me this week.

Anyway - here's a fascinating link to the online 'Proceedings of the Old Bailey London 1674 to 1834'. Each case is a snapshot of somebody's personal tragedy - including this one relating to some poor unfortunate who paid the ultimate penalty for doing the unspeakable with a horse; (his defence was he was merely "making water"). Via Incoming Signals (no relation..).

Wednesday, June 25, 2003

George W like you've never seen him before.
You Can't Wear Nail Polish to a Surgery - a weblog by Music journalist Michaelangelo Matos. Check out his review of the new Cat Power album here.

Friday, June 20, 2003

Well folks, it is with regret that I have to inform you that there will be no further postings here until Monday 30th. I'm off for a week to one of the finest places on this good Earth - the Rosses in Donegal, the land of my mother's people.

Thursday, June 19, 2003

Here's a great Dutch website packed to the gills with Realplayer streams (including some video) of concert and radio session recordings. It includes several recordings of sessions by the Portland songwriter M. Ward. Mr. Ward has in 'Transfiguration of Vincent' released one of the truly great records of the year. I know it's a cliche, but since I bought the record a month ago it has rarely left my cd player (unlike the transient attention given to the new White Stripes, Stephen Malkmus and Blur albums). Download the wonderous track 'Undertaker' from the Merge website.

Wednesday, June 18, 2003

Some people get excited about the strangest things ... here's a page dedicated to some wonderful buses spotted around Galway - yes you heard me right; buses. Note the 'scantily clad girl' in the photo of the blue double decker.
World's luckiest man wins the lottery. Amazing. Anyway, this story has taught me something .... never buy a used Wartburg car.
I mentioned last week that Maricopa County's Sherriff's office in Arizona (home of America's toughest Sherriff) boasts an online jail information system with mugshots of all recently arrested inmates. Well, coincidentally, it appears this same sherriff's office is in the news this week after their high profile arrest of the Catholic Bishop of Phoenix, Thomas J.O'Brien, on charges of leaving the scene of a crime. Unfortunately, his photo doesn't appear on the site yet; they probably need a day or two to update it.

Tuesday, June 17, 2003

A little animation showing Alexander the Great's path of conquest. Via Incoming Signals.
I know we're a day too late but here's the Ulysses for Dummies website anyway.
Time lapse Quicktime movie of the first 6 months of pregnancy. Pretty cool.

Monday, June 16, 2003

Yesterday evening, I saw a dolphin jump out of the water with a fish in it's mouth. And no, I didn't need to go to Seaworld to see this - It happened in Galway bay 100 yards off Silverstrand beach. The school of two adults and two or three juveniles must have chased a shoal of fish into the shallows off the shore. It was a wonderful sight which put the top hat on a splendid sunshine filled weekend in Galway.

Thursday, June 12, 2003

Maricopa County Sheriff's Office has fully functional online jail information system which includes mugshots of everyone booked into it. It even has a 'crime of the week' feature. Of course, it does disclaim that all 'pre-trial inmates are innocent before proven guilty'. (Although there's something about mugshots that makes everyone look guilty). Wouldn't it be great if had of these systems for the Mill Street station in Galway?
Barbra Streisand Sues to Suppress Free Speech Protection for the California Costal Records project website. Perhaps she thinks we're all as nosy as she is.
Indie MP3. A selection of indie tracks from the 80's. Includes classic blasts from the past such as The Weather Prophets 'I almost Prayed' and a demo of The Primitives 'Crash' and also a really shit early song from My Bloody Valentine. It's amazing how innocent it all sounds now.
This year's Galway arts festival programme has just been announced. I must say the music line up is disappointing, with a distinct singer-songwriter theme but not a lot of rock n' roll thrills promised this year . Having said that, Linton Kwesi Johnson should be a highlight while the Waterboys and Ron Sexsmith will certainly deliver value for money. Besides those gigs, I suspect the shows by Karan Casey and Erin McKeown could be something special.

Outside of music, the event which catches my eye is the multimedia presentation by acclaimed US cartoonist and fellow blogger Tom Tomorrow. It sounds like it could be a fun night.

Overall, I'm delighted to see less of an emphasis on the big-spectacle performace theatre which has dominated in previous years and which in my opinion has generally been crap. Indeed, the inclusion this year of a series of new locally produced productions is a very healthy development.

Tuesday, June 10, 2003

Friday, June 06, 2003

No social life? No life..period. Well if you live in Dublin you're in luck because there's a really interesting seminar in Trinity college next Friday night. It should provide enough material to keep you talking bollocks for months to come. Finish the night with a juicy burger and curry fries and you'll be sorted.

Wednesday, June 04, 2003

Good news for Neil Young fans. After years of waiting, his classic album 'On the Beach' is finally to be re-released on CD. Which means that this site will shortly be defunct. Incidentally, the album contains 'Ambulance Blues' which happens to be one of my favourite Neil Young songs and which is also - after 'Cortez the Killer' - one of only two Neil Young songs I can reliably remember the guitar chords for.
As expected the Springsteen gig was great, in spite of it being the first gig I have ever been at that not only started on time but started five minutes early! I missed the first few songs on account of me being across the road outside Paddy Cullens enjoying a pint - fully expecting it not to start until 8:00.

More seriously though, and luckily for the organisers that nobody was injured, for the RDS was filled far beyond what I had ever experienced before for an open-air gig - normally there is plenty room at the back of the concert space - in this case, however the organisers had literally filled the place to capacity allowing each punter what seemed like 2 sq. ft of standing room. It was a very dangerous situation at times, especially with the crush as people rushed to get into the gig after it had started early - and of course, there wasn't a steward to be seen.

Friday, May 30, 2003

Just one last thing. Go and see 25th Hour. It's the best movie I've seen all year.
Seals at Tawin Bay by Jack B. Yeats. I visited Tawin island for the first time a few days ago while driving the backroads outside Oranmore. It's an interesting and charming place of which I was not previously aware. I expect there is some history to the island. This link - concerning the life of Eamon DeValera - makes reference to Dev spending some time at a "Tawin Gaelic College, of the Galway shore". Where is that now? Perhaps it was located at the old national school at the very end of the island or perhaps it somewhere else entirely?

In other news - it's a long weekend here this weekend and I'm off to Dubland to see the Boss do his thing. But I'll try and remember - there's more to life than cars and girls.
Front page story in today's Irish Times:- Committee chairman to speak to senator about her conduct. I didn't realise it was the 'silly season' - the annual slow news doldrums - already.

Wednesday, May 28, 2003

How to Fake A Hard Day at the Office. Obviously, it goes without saying that I do not need to do this.
Here's a preview of the new kit for the Mayo Ladies Gaelic football team.

Tuesday, May 27, 2003

Monday, May 26, 2003

Slashdot - Seeking The Source For Ireland's E-Voting System. It appears that the Dept. of the Environment doesn't even have a copy of the source-code for the country's brand spanking new electronic voting system. Not good.

Friday, May 23, 2003

How to make friends by telephone.
I've never heard of her before but according to the BBC one Erin McKeown is playing the Roisin Dubh on July 16th. Evidently, she's a 25 year old singer from Virginia who has already released a few albums. I've listened to the samples of her music on her website and I must say I like like her songs. So, a gig to pencil in my calendar methinks.
We love the Eurovision song contest here at Smoke Signals. This year I'm betting on the Belgian cod techno-folk entry to win (simply because cod techno-folk is alway popular with our Euro brothers and sisters even when, as in this case, it is sung in an imaginary language - never did the Cocteau Twins any harm). Second place will be this piece of shit from Austria. And I forsee null points for Mickey Joe. Of course, there's always the possibility that TATU's teen lesbo antics might win the day. Sure, what do I know anyway?

Thursday, May 22, 2003

This is excellent - Are your religious beliefs rationally consistent? Test them with Battleground God. I was awarded the TPM Medal of Distinction - taking no direct hits and biting only two bullets.

Wednesday, May 21, 2003

A-list web-celeb James Lileks takes a wee dig at Ireland in today's Bleat ; ".. every time I reach for a Guinness I remember that the Irish were neutral in WW2". Well, at least we weren't neutral for Operation Iraqi Freedom eh?
Campaigners for Scot's Gaelic are to lobby Microsoft to develop a MS Office spellchecker for the ancient language. apparently it's not as big a job as it first seems since it can utilise much of the work already done for the Irish spell checker.

Monday, May 19, 2003

The leprechaun watch webcam from Co. Tipperary. They would be better off spending more time at the hurling.

Thursday, May 15, 2003

Last Saturday, I purchased the new records by Vic Chesnutt and Arab Strap and also a a double cd compilation of music by the late great Ted Hawkins. The Vic Chesnutt album 'Siver Lake' is a grower - pleasant enough but first listens only reveal a couple of songs that can stand in the company of his best work. Still, one real gem per album is all I ever expect from him (and all I need, for the best Vic songs are worth twenty of a lesser artist's). Regarding the brilliantly titled Arab Strap album, 'Monday at the Hug and Pint' , it's interesting but also requires a few more listens. Not as mellow as 'Elephant Shoe' (an album I keep coming back to) but probably all the better for it. The Pitchfork reviewer enthused over it a few days ago. And finally, as far as Ted Hawkins' music goes - all I can say is he was the genuine article and "Watch your Step" is the best song that never made it to No.1 on the back of a TV ad.
The Soulmate Calculator. It seems I only need to meet 28 single American women before I find my soulmate. Who said I was picky?
A man convicted of dealing drugs from his house in Swinford has been told that he must either sell out and move back to England or serve a nine month prison sentence. Is this constitutional?
From the Jordan Times: Iraq - deconstructed rather than rebuilt.

Wednesday, May 14, 2003

The Apathetic Online Journal Entry Generator. Via DMMC. And also this story, which should be of great interest to Brendan and his troupe of polyglot monkeys.
A great piece on 'Fear Factor'. The writer is on the money when he states.."the stunt that makes "Fear Factor" great, traditionally the second of the three stunts, is what the Food Network would be like if William S. Burroughs were in charge." Of course, I only ever watch it for that bit.

Tuesday, May 13, 2003

If like me, you have an interest in local history, you will find this collection of extracts from old Irish newspapers absolutely fascinating. It seems that not a lot has changed in Limerick in 180 years judging by the following story from 1823 :-
LIMERICK, Feb. 5-On Sunday night, a farm house on the lands of Brianstown,
in the North Liberties of this City, was visited by a large party of
ruffians who entered the house, and after removing the care-taker, his wife,
and such furniture as belonged to him, deliberately set the house on fire,
which was shortly consumed. Mr. RUSSELL had lately set the farm to a man
from the neighbourhood of Park, who had not yet taken the possession of it.
Immediately after the fire, a party of Captain DROUGHT's very efficient
Police proceeded to the spot, where they made prisoners of some suspicious
person found straggling on the road.

A good selection of in-studio recordings broadcast on Seattle radio station KEXP.

Friday, May 09, 2003

The history of the pike in Ireland. This magnificent predator is a much maligned fish so it's good to see evidence that it is indeed a species which is indigenous to Ireland.
Blogger forces Irish domain registry into sunlight. Fair plays to him. €69.95 for a 1 year registration is a total rip-off. I would not be surprised to find that somebody is creaming money out of the operation.

Thursday, May 08, 2003

'Desktop Texting' comes to Irish Republic. Will it still allow me to send the 500 free messages per month I can currently send on the 02 website?
Into the Clash? Check out this site. His concert bootleg MP3s can be downloaded from here - just register on the message board. Via the link-tastic blog The Ultimate Insult.
Which Country of the World are You?
brought to you by Quizilla
Switzerland -
A neutral power for as long as most can remember,
it has avoided war for several centuries.
However, it is still considered highly advanced
and a global power.

Wednesday, May 07, 2003

News from everybody's favourite Iraqi blogger. It's a fascinating report of life inside Baghdad during it's recent liberation.
That was the shitiest weather for a May bank holiday weekend I can remember. Particularily so since I spent it on a boat on the river Shannon. Between the drenchings and navigating the wild waters of Lough Ree we managed to find time for a drink or two. Big nights were had in Carrick, Athlone and Longford, pool games were played in Tarmonbarry, snooker was watched in Lanesborough and the convivial atmosphere of the Hodson bay hotel, yucky lasagne was feasted on in Roosky, and boats were run aground in Lough Boderg. A great weekend and sod the weather.

Wednesday, April 30, 2003

Bum Wines. Is there an export version of Wild Irish Rose?

Tuesday, April 29, 2003

Wouldn't you have trouble bringing this MP3 player onto a plane?
Which Country Is Next? Ireland ranks in 20th place along with the Mugabe's Zimbabwe...
This town is going to pot. Some gurriers tried to steal a car from outside our house a few days ago. They were foiled by a couple of lads from the house across the road who chased them down the street with hurleys. You wouldn't mind but the car isn't much more than a banger - obviously easy to break into and to start and good for 30 minutes of joyriding craic. But without that little car the owner wouldn't be able to work and it's not that she can afford the time or money to be fixing windows. Scumbags.

Friday, April 25, 2003

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the discovery of DNA. So to mark the occasion, here's a link to a guide on how to extract DNA from anything living, using kitchen equipment and materials. Have fun!
Sinead O'Connor announces retirement. This may be fake, but if true it's a shame. Whatever one may think of her, Sinead has consistently been one of the most interesting personalities on the music scene for the last 15 or so years.

Thursday, April 24, 2003

Eighteen Haunted Web Cams.
Bible Sex Stories. All old testament as far as I can tell.
Councillor Frank Durcan (aka. 'The Maggot') has sent a file to the Director of Public Prosecutions alleging 'fraud and collusion' in local authorities in Co. Mayo. Now we all know that, unfortunately dodgy dealings are a fact of life amongst planning authories in Ireland, so it's good to see someone within the system take action to expose it. However, I have to question Cllr. Durcans motives or agenda here. Apparently he indicated that "house prices had risen by 100 per cent during the past twelve months due to overpricing by contractors and a shortfall in land being provided by local authorities to develop property". Assuming he's referring to Castlebar, my understanding is that the housing shortage has arisen because the council is not authorising any new housing developments until the town sewerage scheme which is currently extremely overloaded has been extended. Stating that prices have increased by 100% is a bit of an exageration though - but since Cllr. Durcan's runs one of the larger auctioneering businesses in the town, maybe he knows better than I do.
This guy reckons Swervedriver's 1993 album 'Mezcal Head' is more satisfying than MBV's Loveless. I bought the album on the same day as I bought The Smashing Pumpkin's 'Siamese Dream' and I must say that while it features two or three very good tracks it's hardly worthy of mention in the same breath as MBV's classic. Still, he's entitled to his opinion and he does make a good case for it.
Confessions of a Dangerous Mind - A bit like 'A Beautiful mind' with gameshows instead of mathematics, fantasy instead of insanity and sex instead of sums. Good but not great, it has Clooney in a tash, a script by Charlie 'Adaptation' Kaufman and the horrendous big gob of the insufferable Julia Roberts - what do people see in her?

Friday, April 18, 2003

Wednesday, April 16, 2003

Michaelangelo Matos reports on the fun time he had at what sounds like a Music Critics love-in.
Interesting. It appears that Uday Hussein's email address is I must add him to my Yahoo messenger 'friends' list.
Here's a PopMatters interview with the Sawdoctors - aka Ireland's answer to Slade.

Tuesday, April 15, 2003

Chistopher Allbritton's reports in his weblog prove that Iraq is still a very dangerous place for jounalists.
The Cliche Finder.

Monday, April 14, 2003

While taking a stroll on Nimmo's pier last week, I spotted a group of 5 or 6 large fish swimming just off the edge of the pier heading in the direction the docks. Each was about 1.5 m - 2m long and swimming maybe 2 m below the surface. They were quite unlike any fish I had seen around the docks before and while I originally thought that they must be very large Grey Mullet I now suspect that it could have been a school of Harbour Porpoises. What else could they be?
I picked up this album for €10 at the weekend. A bargain if ever there was one.

Friday, April 11, 2003

Getting back to sexy album covers - check out the fantastic album artwork in the catalogue for Naked Music Recordings.
This summer sees the return of the legendary Lisdoonvarna Festival. I think I'll go - I won't get too excited about seeing Crusty Hoor but the line-up also includes the Frames, Bonnie Prince Billy and my favourite contemporary uncategorisable band of the moment - 'The Microphones' (whose last brilliant album seemed as far as I can tell to be based around the concept of climbing a mountain while stoked to the gills on acid. Anyway, I'll go with 4 or 5 friends, we'll take some tents and a supply of beer and it'll be brilliant.
retroCRUSH: The Sexiest Album Covers of All Time.

Thursday, April 10, 2003

Well worth reading. Back In Iraq 2.0: Independent journalism from the Northern front.
Flak Magazine: .."world events have ordained Three Kings as the most important American movie of the past decade."

Wednesday, April 09, 2003

Another side of TV war reportage. Listen to the second clip. The guy is in the middle of a war zone. He's attempting to deliver a report on the death of two journalists yesterday yet his biggest concern seem to be with his hair. Is this show business or what?

Tuesday, April 08, 2003

Pitchfork gives Evan Dando's new record 3.6 out of 10. Whatever, I like it and it's good to have him back.
I had a few bob on the winner of the Grand National on Saturday so to celebrate here's a steeplechase game.
A brand new meme? "Baghdad Bob" Now Official Term. Seriously, they should spare the guy and give him his own Letterman type show on the Fox network. It'd be huge.
Indymedia report on the antiwar protests at Hillsborough. Sounds like the extensive security around the town rendered the protest a bit of a damp squib.

Monday, April 07, 2003

Casualties of war. BBC producer Stuart Hughes suffered a leg injury last week after stepping on a anti-personal mine while working in Northern Iraq. Tragically, his cameraman Kaveh Golestan was killed in the same incident. Read Stuart's blog here. Surgeons are due to amputate his damaged foot today:-
"The saddest thing is that I have five perfectly perky toes held in place with a meccano set of pins and bolts but, in medical terms, that’s not enough to save my ballrooom dancing career. Like a killer virus, the landmine has done what it’s designed to do with perfect precision. I feel no bitterness but I hope whoever manufactures the things is pleased with their handiwork."

Friday, April 04, 2003

Every home should have one.
See the satellite phone number on this leaflet ? What would happen if you rang it?
I had an anxiety dream last night. I was playing in a rugby match - anxious because I have never played the game before and to tell the truth I cannot even say I know all the rules ...I mean what exactly is a 'knock on'?

Thursday, April 03, 2003

While buying stuff on Saturday, my path crossed with one of these guys. They played Pacino's last Friday nite and I'm sorry I missed it. How come I didn't know about the "Things your Missing" tour? Probably because I don't regularly read this or this.
Ahem...Heather Loves Bill.
Is 'Werewolves of London' not the best movie theme song ever? What's better? Maybe the theme from M.A.S.H?
A new blog for me: Hipster Detritus. Check it out - he's just started running a list of his 100 favourite singles of all time.
Trés amusing - The Poetry of D.H. Rumsfeld.

Wednesday, April 02, 2003

On Saturday I picked up this, this, and this at the secondhand wonderland that is Bell Book and Candle...and today I received this in the tell me why do I feel unfulfilled?
Not one April Fool joke yesterday. It must be the war I suppose. Ho hum.

Friday, March 28, 2003

Another bad week for blogging I'm afraid. Smokesignals is in danger of whithering on the vine - damn work is just taking far too much time. I had intended to post a few things - comparisons between the versions of 'Sweet Child of Mine' played by the band (Breakpoint) in the Roisin on Tuesday and the band in Soldeu (Redshift) the previous Saturday. (And whats with the technical/spectroscopic names?? It's only big hair power rock). That and how fantastically good the new Calexico album is - but you knew that anyway.

Wednesday, March 26, 2003

New R.E.M. protest song against the war in Iraq: Final Straw.

Tuesday, March 25, 2003

Nostalgia corner - there was a time when Castlebar Co. Mayo looked like it could be Ireland's answer to Woodstock. I was only a young fella at the time but I clearly remember the Occaision at the Castle clearly. While the organisers had the good sense to organise mass for the revellers on Sunday morning, they failed to ensure the security of the unfortunate Guinness lorry that was hijacked as it made it's way through the throngs that turned the Mall into campsite central no.1.

Monday, March 24, 2003

I'm back in one piece after a great week away in Andorra. So, anything new happening in the World while I was away?

Thursday, March 13, 2003

Not a moment too soon, I'm off to Soldeu for a week's skiing this weekend. So the likelihood is there will be no further postings here until March 24th when I will return with a far better state of mental (and hopefully physical) well-being.
Lebanese celebrities arrested for engaging in devil worship. The influence of Ozzy Osbourne perhaps?

Wednesday, March 12, 2003

Signs are I've been watching too much Newsnight. I had a dream last night that I and my family were in Iraq and that the big meanie Saddam (who just happened to be in the room with us) had marked us out for death in the event of a war. Under protest he capitulated and let the Women go - but my major concern was that I wouldn't be able to go Skiing next week. As an aside, Saddam mentioned he was a pretty handy skiier himself and tough shit to Western dogs like me........
More rumours of Bin Laden's capture. Something is up for sure.
Now that's not a bad deal at all. For their first ever gigs in China, the Stones are only allowed to play tracks off "40 Licks" - with the exception of "Brown Sugar," "Honky Tonk Woman," "Beast of Burden," and "Let's Spend the Night Together". Sure maybe they might slip in "Cocksucker Blues" or even the brilliantly provocative "Stray Cat Blues" (which happens to be my second favourite Stones song of all time) into the encore of the second show. (Then again they could always do a cover of Beefheart's 'China Pig'?).

Tuesday, March 11, 2003

The Cheltenham festival of National Hunt racing kicked off today - and I marked my participation by placing a few bob on Iznogoud in the 4:00. Unfortunately he lived up to his name. I should have guessed he was a dead loss from the entry on the card: Iznogoud No Trainer b f Unknown Sire - Unknown Dam .
The Perpetual War Portfolio. Money from blood.

Monday, March 10, 2003

And from Invention and Technology's sister publication - American Heritage - here's an interesting piece by Kevin Baker who's historical novel set during the New York City draft riots has recently been published.
"It uses structural mechanics and materials science to counteract the law of gravity". Interesting.
I attempted to book a couple of tickets for the Neil Young show this morning - unfortunately I was scuppered by a slowish connection to TicketMaster. Not to worry - it's probably for the best that I didn't get them. After all, it is a rip-off of the highest order. Now I can spend my €105 on 6 or 7 albums or a few gigs by someone who's still making decent music. Or maybe even see another Sixties survivor who was responsible for the greatest album of psychedelic west-coast guitar pop ever recorded - an album that was originally going to be co-produced by Mr. Young himself.

Friday, March 07, 2003

Bin Laden Captured in Pakistan? I'll believe it when I see it.

Thursday, March 06, 2003

€105 a ticket for the upcoming Neil Young gig in Dublin's Vicar St. It's a tad pricey. Will it be worth it though?

Wednesday, March 05, 2003

NME - Top 100 albums of all time. This is all over the place... The Stroke's 'Is This It' is at no. 7 - beating the Clash's 'London Calling' at no. 12. Explain that to me. Or Coldplay's 'A Rush of Blood to the Head' at no. 40 while Led Zeppelin IV is only at no. 45 and 'Blood on the Tracks' is at a measly 47. And any list that places Andrew WK's album 14 places above 'Astral Weeks' has to be absolutely devoid of credibility. If this list was actually based on the votes of the NME writers then it's a sad indictment of the state of that once great music magazine.

Friday, February 28, 2003

The Plastic Cat has a new layout. Check it out, it looks good.

Tuesday, February 25, 2003

Have you ever pondered that age-old question? - Why do the bubbles in Guinness float down?

Monday, February 24, 2003

I nearly crashed the car last night after driving through a red light on the Headford Rd. roundabout at 2 in the morning after spending the whole weekend at work....there must be easier ways to earn an honest euro or two. Listening to 'Mum' - 'Finally we are no one'....a couple of interesting tracks - good but not great. Isn't that a melodica on track 7? Super.

Tuesday, February 18, 2003

I've just about time to let you know that Cat Power's new album 'You are Free' is brilliant - it's the best thing I've heard this year so far and is arguably her finest album yet.
Posting will be sporadic until work eases off - am up the walls at the moment.

Wednesday, February 12, 2003

Pixies for Peace to march in Galway this Friday. Apparently the group consists of "a formidable alliance of pixies, leprechauns, wood nymphs, zwerge, satyrs, cherubs, sídhe, mermaids, barmaids, bogles, deserting Valkries, sylkies, fairies, hobbits, na beansídhe I gcoinne cogar, and elves"....!

Tuesday, February 11, 2003

P0rn as Art. I love the titles of the paintings.

Monday, February 10, 2003

Paintings by a man who has spent more than 30 years in psychiatric care are to be shown at the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin this week. What a wonderful story.

Thursday, February 06, 2003

No joy. Our performance in the quiz was poor - worse than last year, even if the questions were easier. It's hard to compete with those record store clerk types who know the catalogue numbers of every record Rough Trade ever released. Still it was fun - and we'll be back next year God willing.

Wednesday, February 05, 2003

Last nights entertainment was the truly excellent Lunasa in the Roisin. Tonight's will be the annual Arts Fest Rock 'N Pop table quiz in the Warwick. Hopefully we'll finish better than last years fifth place.
Free book: 100 poets against the war. It includes a contribution from Galway poet Kevin Higgins.

Tuesday, February 04, 2003

Six ways to make a woman love you.
No, these people are not the cast of a new BBC comedy drama set in the some rural idyll. They are in fact, the five peace protestors who yesterday broke into a hanger at Shannon airport before unleashing their wrath upon a US Navy transport plane. They also built a 'peace shrine' and started work dismantling the runaway with pickaxes and lump hammers. It appears that the lonely Guard assigned to secure the hanger was powerless to stop them. Now the talk is of bringing in the Army (the Irish one) to prevent further breachs of security by the dreadlocked menace. One can only presume the local Gardai are too busy elsewhere to provide much assistance. Note to terrorists - do not get any ideas...contrary to appearances, Shannon is not an easy target, and anyway Ireland is a neutral country, isn't it?

Sunday, February 02, 2003

Friday, January 31, 2003

I mixed it with the cooler than thou types at Death Disco Galway last night. Shane McGowan didn't make it - 'lost in transit' apparently and Beep pretty much played exactly what you would expect any avergage joe with a fondness for the guitar music of 1967 - 1970 and 1977 - 1980 to play. Disappointing really, even if I did get to shake my bootie to 'Louie Louie' again. And then I had a god awful kebab....and woke up this morning with the table lamp in my bed..........

Wednesday, January 29, 2003

Now this is what I call a cultural artifact of great significance:- Ref. No 2 in EGM's 10 naughtiest games of all time. Uuuuuuggggh....

Tuesday, January 28, 2003

It seems that last Sunday there was a 'spate' of unbleeped swear words uttered on U.S. network TV. Surprise, surprise - but Irishmen were responsible for two of the three incidents.

Monday, January 27, 2003

I'm a bit late with this story but never mind. There was some serious angling done out of Clifden last October. Check out the 700lb bluefin tuna caught by local man Martin O'Malley. That's real Ernest Hemingway material.
The 100 Greatest Moments in Rock according to Entertainment Weekly.
Songs to listen to - Domino Records download page.

Sunday, January 26, 2003

The latest Stephen king adaptation - Dreamcatcher. It'll be out in April. Will it be any good?

Saturday, January 25, 2003

I'm not quite sure what the point of this is - Pretend you're a sperm. The Dutch can be a funny lot sometimes...

Friday, January 24, 2003

Sick and depraved - A Furniture P0rn Movie!

Thursday, January 23, 2003

The best game ever. Via QBB.
The 100 Greatest Music Videos. The list includes my favourite video from last year - Royskopp's 'Remind Me' at no. 74.
My favourite headline of the day so far.

Wednesday, January 22, 2003

Oh look - It's the blog of UK music journo Simon Reynolds. If my memory serves me right, he used to write for Melody Maker back in the days when it was worth reading (i.e the late 80's) - or maybe it was the NME? or both? Anyway, these days, amongst other things, he's a regular contributor to Uncut - which happens to be the only magazine I buy on a regular basis.

Monday, January 20, 2003

Play Virtual Journalist.
I wondered, way back in October, what had happened to the expected follow up to 'Figure 8' from Elliott Smith. Now, Pitchfork has the answer (maybe).
This guy runs live music webcasts from his living room. Nice idea isn't it?

Thursday, January 16, 2003

The brilliantly poignant video for Johnny Cash's extraordinary version of Nine Inch Nails' 'Hurt'. Directed by Mark Romanek, I believe this is only the second proper video ever made for a Cash single. Via The Plastic Cat.
Frodo has failed. Don't bother with the third film.

Wednesday, January 15, 2003

Play at being Homer Simpson for a while - Nuclear Power Plant Simulator. This and the last link via 3 Bruces.
Gladiator Chicken strikes a blow against Mankind.

Tuesday, January 14, 2003

I never knew BP Fallon had a web page, but it appears he does. Anyway, I found this because he is behind the wonderful sounding 'Death Disco' which is coming to Galway on Jan 30th. No other than Shane MacGowan is guest DJ. I intend to be there.
A very cool ASCII Generator. Handy for doing nice mail signatures etc.

Monday, January 13, 2003

Interesting interactive psychological tests from the BBC.
This is very good news. Mark it up as a small credit on America's balance sheet of moral authority.
The Office Flirt Test. According to this, I'm a 'shark' - and I suppose the fact of the matter is I am.

Friday, January 10, 2003

Flakmag writes about Bono Vox.
A blog from Iraq of all places:- Where is Raed ?

Thursday, January 09, 2003

According to the Galway Advertiser, Tuam town council are considering plans to put a roof over the town. Hopefully they'll do a right job and make it like the Domed City of Logan's Run. Then the next steps will be to enforce a strict lifespan of 30 years on all inhabitants and to make sure they are happy enough never to want to leave that beautiful place ever again.
Is there a point in Ireland beyond which Cordylines cannot grow? A visitor from London once remarked at the number of these around Galway. Apparently they are not so widespread in the U.K.. Maybe the thing is that they only grow well near the coast - as they are found up north too.

Incidentally this is my first ever horticultural post. Don't expect any more.

Wednesday, January 08, 2003

You have to hand it to the North Koreans and their style of diplomacy. Threatening war with the U.S over economic sanctions, accusing the Americans of being the biggest producer of weopons of mass destruction and telling the Japanese to sod off and mind their own business. Meanwhile the good folks in South Korea are fairly non-plussed with the whole thing, being more worried about the economic consequences of a war with Iraq.

Tuesday, January 07, 2003

The first erotic drink in the World? I can't see it taking market share from Guinness or even Coca Cola anytime soon so I think I'll give this business opportunity a miss.
Call that a bike? Now, this beast is a bike. Can you imagine the insurance premium on this baby?
The site for Kill Bill, Tarantino's new film - his 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon'. Ridiculous but very very cool.

Monday, January 06, 2003

I'm back and it's now 2003. Not a bad bit of a break for the holidays - some good relaxed afternoon drinking and a few busy and bumpy evening drinkings, Christmas day and the usual claustaphobia. I made sure not to watch any tv this year. Read a book about Richard I and one by William Goldman the screenwriter. Met up with old friends. Comforted my best friend who was dumped by a lousy bastard on Christmas day. Tore the arse out of New Years Eve - my roommate threatened to sleep in the car I was so scary after too many whiskeys - jeez it was only snoring (and some sleepwalking). Everybody is happy now. I think I've lost my touch with women...maybe I'll find a girlfriend I can tolerate for more than a few months. Debauchery isn't what it used to be. Remember how wonderful we all are. Oh, and this blog is not about me. So I'll stop here.