Thursday, December 31, 2009

My Favourite Albums of 2009

This is becoming a tradition now! For the second year, here is my list of favourite albums of this year. Again, somewhat different from all the other lists out there. Here are my top 5:
As always all comments are welcomed!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Lisa Hannigan Live in Vicar St, Dublin - December 3rd, 2009

Musically, Lisa Hannigan is about the complete opposite from Yes. Barely a week later after seeing them I was treated to the perfect week for a Thursday evening. I discovered Lisa a while back through her work with Damian Rice but I became a big fan after the release of her Mercury Price nominated album See Saw. I don't know the full story behind the break up with Mr Rice, but nothing in the set made reference to her musical past. Having seen him opening for Leonard Cohen and then Lisa's show earlier this week. I am firmly on Lisa's camp.

The set started with a fantastic version of Pistachio, and was made up of most of Lisa's debut album. She complimented it with a couple of covers and she was brave enough to play 3 or 4 new songs. For me the highlights of show where "I don't know", "Teeth", "Lille" and the closing song, which was a fantastic version of Depeche Mode's "Personal Jesus".

The simplicity of Lisa's music accompanies her voice perfectly. The beauty of the arrangements and the energy and happiness of the musicians made for an incredible gig. I imagined myself going back to Vicar St to see her over and over again for the next 20 years as the memories build up of her incredible music.

  • Pistachio
  • Sea song
  • Blurry
  • Ocean and a rock
  • My Pirate disco
  • Braille
  • Venn diagram
  • Courting blues
  • Passenger
  • I don't know
  • Just like tom thumb
  • Couldn't love you more
  • Teeth
  • A Sail
  • Lille

  • Blow the wind southerly
  • Keep it all
  • Personal Jesus
Lisa's live picture is from kDamos's flickr Lisa Hannigan Live Set.

Yes Live at the Olympia, Dublin - November 26th, 2009

Nearly 8 years to the date after I saw Yes for the first time as part of their Symphonic tour at The Point in Dublin, I had the opportunity to see them again. The fact that Jon Anderson is not with them doesn't bother me, but don't et this the wrong way, I understand the importance of Jon Anderson in the history of Yes, but 2 things: The fact that he is not with them on this tour means that they played a couple of Drama tracks, and more importantly, right around the Union tour I remember him making a comment that Yes was like an Orchestra, where it didn't matter who was playing as long as the Spirit of Yes was kept alive. Indeed it is!

The crowd in Dublin was fantastic, like me, most of them didn't seem bother with the fact that Benoit David was singing or that Oliver Wakeman was on keyboards, although lets face it, the number of keyboard players in Yes over the years is rather large.

First to Benoit, I think he did a fantastic job. He was able to hit all the notes ad he had lots of energy, even if his dancing was a bit dodgy. He gave the show a different vibe. The guys were having fun on stage, and I think he was the main driver behind that.

As for Oliver, he is a really good keyboard player, although his timing was not impecable like his father's. A lot of the previous reviews pictured him as a bit cold, I felt he was really involved in the show.

Alan White played a good set with a a solid and fun drum solo. I think his playing is a bit understated, and to be honest I wasn't paying to much attention to him as I spent most of the time enjoying Steve's playing.

Chris Squire played a fantastic show, although he was about to collapse at the end of it! It still gets me how he can sing background vocals while playing Roundabout, if you have a bass, try playig it, let alone singing at the same time. A highlight for me was the bassline for Tempus Fugit.

But to me, the star of the show was Steve Howe. I have seen him with Yes a couple of times and with Asia a couple of times, and this was by far his most fun performance. He was dancing around and improvising in some of the soles, which is unheard off! In true over the top prog rock mode, at some stage he had his Gibson ES, while playing the Line 6 Variax on a stand, beside the Fender Dual Pro Steel and changing between the three. Fantastic!

For his solo set, I wanted to see him play Mood for a Day, which he played the last time I saw him with Asia, but instead he played Classical Gas... it was superb!

As I mentioned before, the highlights of the show where the two Drama songs, and the fact that there were no 20 minute epics didn't bother me. Easy for me to say because the last time I saw them they played Gates of Delirium and Close to the Edge. The other song that is worth mentioning was Siberian Khatru. So the opening was exactly like the start of the famous Yessongs. All in all a fantastic show, from a fantastic band, and yes, if they come back again, I will go and see them. Doesn't matter who is playing what instrument, as long as the spirit of Yes is alive, I will continue to support them.

The Setlist:
  • Firebird Suite
  • Siberian Khatru
  • I've seen all good people
  • Tempus Fugit
  • Onward
  • Astral Traveller (with Drum Solo)
  • Yours is no disgrace
  • And You and I
  • Steve How Solo
    - Classical Gas
    - Cactus Boogie
  • Owner of a lonely heart
  • South side of the sky
  • Machine Messiah
  • Heart of the Sunrise
  • Roundabout

  • Starship Trooper

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Cats and Cats and Cats - Oh Boy!

On the way back from work this afternoon, I was listening to the latest BBC Introducing Podcast. The featured DIY Label of the Week was Robot Needs Home records. One of the bands they showcased was the fabulously named Cats and Cats and Cats as they have a new download only double A single out. It is available on iTunes and

I immediately logged on to emusic and used my remaining credits for this month to download the few songs they have released. Real high quality indie rock, specially their newest release. Worth checking out! I do hope they make it big!

Check them out on their myspace page.


Sunday, July 26, 2009

U2 Croke Park, Dublin - July 25th, 2009

Yesterday I saw U2 for the 4th time, but it had been a while since the last time in Slane in 2001. U2 have been known for a while as the masters of Stadium Rock but in recent years they seemed to have lost some of that spark that made them so popular in the late 80's and early 90's. And certainly "No Line on the Horizon" hasn't helped much to improve that image. But was I in for an amazing show!

The concert started promptly at 6:30 with a short set from Republic of Loose who to me where a bit disappointing. In all fairness, the place was less than half full. I things in the pitch may have been a bit better for them. They finish their set with their most well known song Comeback Girl.

They were followed by a slightly longer set from Kaiser Chiefs, who rocked the place. They were fantastic! Highlights for me where Ruby and Oh My God. Ricky Wilson said at some stage that his job was to get us moving, and he did it very well. I hope they regain the momentum from their previous albums. I would like to see them headline one of the summer festivals soon.

Finally at 8:50 U2 came out and started with 4 new tracks, which worked much better on a live setting than on the album. From the new songs I really liked Magnificent, Get on Your Boots and I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight. Despite the fact that they played many new songs, they brushed up a few classic tracks, and although I missed I Will Follow and New Year's Day which they had played every time I had seen them, they played Angel of Harlem, In a Little While and The Unforgettable Fire, which I had never heard live.

The first time I saw them in Mexico City for the Zoo TV Tour, I remember an interview with Bono who said that he had heard that Mexican crowds where the only ones that were as loud as the Irish. I think he was wrong and Ireland is still the best place to see U2. One of the highlights of the night yesterday was when they started I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For, Bono stopped singing and the crowd took over until the end of the first Chorus. It was something incredible.

The setlist changed significantly from Friday to Saturday to make it worthwhile to go to all the gigs. Now I am thinking if I should get tickets for Monday.

Here is the full setlist thanks to swearimnotpaul:

No Line on the Horizon
Get on Your Boots
Beautiful Day
Mysterious Ways
I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For
Angel of Harlem
In A Little While
Unknown Caller
The Unforgettable Fire
City of Blinding Lights
I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight
Sunday Bloody Sunday
Pride (In The Name of Love)
Walk On
Where the Streets Have No Name
Ultraviolet (Light My Way)
With or Without You
Moment of Surrender

By the way, can anybody tell me if Adam Clayton's hollowbody bass is a Jack Casady, a Rivoli or an EB2?

Monday, July 13, 2009

Bruce Spingsteen Live in Dublin - RDS, July 12th 2009 - Review and Setlist

About 20 years ago, a friend told me to make sure that if I ever had the opportunity to see Bruce Springsteen, that I should take it as it would probably be one of the best concerts I would ever go to. He did this while bragging over the fact that he had been on the concert in LA that ended up
as most of the last album in the Live 1975 - 1985 retrospective. It took a long time but finally yesterday I was able to see The Boss play live in the RDS Stadium in Dublin.

I wasn't disappointed!

We got to the stadium at around 7:00 PM, the concert was scheduled to start at 7:30, but it didn't start until just after 8:00 and in typical Irish fashion after a short shower, but even the rain couldn't dampen the excitement from the crowd. Thankfully that was the last of the rain we saw for the evening, in contrast with the Saturday gig where it poured over Dublin for most of it.

The stage was quite plain. And as for gigs this size (I read somewhere that it was 40,000 people, can anybody confirm it?) it was lacking a lot of flair. It had two screens on either side, and a big screen behind the stage which would come on and off from time to time. Lights were fairly basic and most off them were to illuminate the crowd. A couple of times during the show they even turned on the floodlights! The show is obviously about the music, and no better man than Bruce himself to carry the show for the 3+ hours that the show lasted.

Springsteen is well known for his changeable setlists, where he throws surprises and takes on requests from the crowd. The full setlist is below, but let me give you some of my highlights and lowlights first. I was bitterly disappointed that he didn't play The River, he had been playing it
for the last few shows so I had high hopes. The River is up there with Billy Joel's Scenes from an Italian Restaurant as one of my favourite story songs. I have seen Billy Joel play that song live a couple of times, and I was really hoping to hear my other favourite, but it didn't happen. He
played other great tunes, including No Surrender, Darkness on the Edge of Town (which he has played only a handful of times during this tour), Jungleland, 41 Shots (which according to Stand Goldstein is the first time he plays it since 2003!) and Born to Run.

The show started with Nil's accordion solo which morphed into the Irish song Fields of Athenry and after 3 hours it ended with a bang with Rosalita, Glory Days, Dancing in the Dark and Twist & Shout, where he also had us singing La Bamba for a little while.

You could see the smiles on the faces of the people as they left the stadium. It was a night to remember for a long time.

Full setlist:

Intro: Nils accordion solo - Fields of Athenry
No Surrender
My Lucky Day
Outlaw Pete
Hungry Heart
Working On A Dream
Johnny 99
Darkness On The Edge of Town
Raise your Hand (Instrumental)
Spirit In The Night (Request)
Sherry Darling (Request)
Proud Mary (Request)
Prove It All Night
Waiting On A Sunny Day
Promised Land
Radio Nowhere
American Skin (41 Shots)
Lonesome Day
The Rising
Born To Run

American Land
Glory Days
Dancing In The Dark
Twist & Shout (with a little bit of La Bamba!)

Please let me know if you have a goo picture of the gig that I could use for the post!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Yeats to Music: Mike Scott at the National Library Dublin - June 30th, 2009

So I caved in to the pressure of my adoring fan base who were asking for a review of yesterday's poetry reading. Yes, your eyes are not deceiving you, I said poetry reading. Yesterday was the final event of the summer programme that the National Library of Ireland had dedicated to the work of Irish Poet W.B. Yeats: Yeats to music by Mike Scott.

If you don't know Mike Scott, he is the lead singer, and the main force behind The Waterboys. Check out one of my first posts for a review of the Midlands Festival a couple of years ago where they were on the bill. Mike Scott has already recorded a few songs with Yeats' words, most notably Love and Death (on the album Dream Harder) and A Song of the Rosy-Cross (with Sharon Shannon). Mike is also working on a full stage production of Yeats' songs that will be on stage next March in the Abbey Theatre.

The "gig" was an hour long event where Mike read Yeats' poetry for the first 30 minutes or so, focusing on some more obscure poems, and then he was accompanied on stage by Steve Wickham on the fiddle and John McCullough on keyboard.

For the musical part of the event, they played five or six "musical adaptations" of Yeats' poems. I particularly enjoyed the last two songs as they reminded me more of the Waterboys sound:

  • Politics, which happens to be the last poem on the last poetry compilation... not necessarily the last poem he ever wrote! I hope this song gets released at some stage.
  • Let the Earth Bear Witness which was inspired by the current events in Iran. Mike explained that he took the lyrics from two poems that seemed appropriate for what's going on over there at the moment. And composed the music around them.

WARNING: The video has some very strong and violent images of the events in Iran

I have to say that all in all, it was a very interesting event from the National Library of Ireland well worth attending

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

iPod Touch 3.0 - First Impressions

Well, for once I am disappointed! Granted, I am using an old 1st Gen iPod Touch but for that reason I had to pay €7.99 to get the update, and what do I have to show for it...
  • Shake to shuffle (like I will really use it)
  • Cut & Paste (that is cool!)
  • Spotlight search
  • Landscape keyboard
  • I can download movies directly, if there were movies available in iTunes in Ireland
  • Sync notes. I thik this ability will come in handy.
And I think that's about it!

Here is the link with all t he details from apple

Comments are welcomed.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Tesla, Journey, Witesnake & Def Leppard Live at the O2 Dublin - June 12th 2009 - The Review

Last Friday I ventured to the O2 for the first time since it reopened at the end of last year. What a change! It really is a magnificent arena for rock concerts. It has a capacity for 14,000 people and it is perfectly designed to ensure that you have the best experience while you are there. It really is miles apart from the old Point Depot. Now, if it only had a proper car park.

With 4 acts on the bill, the show started promptly as advertised at 5:45 when Tesla hit the stage. I was trying to get my backstage passes (more on that later) so I missed the first couple of songs of the set. It had been years since I last heard them. They didn't disappoint, even if the place was only about 60% full, they gave it all. They played for about 45 minutes, and their set included the classics Signs and Love Will Find A Way. In typical 80's rock fashion, at some point Frank Hannon was playing an acoustic guitar on a stand while holding a double neck SG! You can almost make it out on the picture if you squint a little bit.

Journey came out at around 6:45 and played close to 60 minutes, you can see the setlist on my previous post. A much shorter set than the one on the National Stadium last year. I think Arnel Pineda is getting better and better. It sounded fantastic, but I was left wanting a bit more. The highlight was obviously Don't Stop Believin'. The place was about 95% full by the time Journey came out, and it was great to hear the whole place singing along with them.

On came Whitesnake. The reviews on the web are a bit mixed. Those who liked them didn't like Def Leppard and Journey, and vice versa. I fall on the later camp. I have never liked Mr. Coverdale, and he didn't do anything on Friday to change my mind. The highlight for me was a little bass solo at the beginning of Is This Love. We ended up getting up and going out to get a beer and a hot dog.

We decided to chance it and get downstairs to see Def Leppard, we had backstage passes after all! We found a perfect spot on the left hand side of the stage. I had tickets to see Def Leppard for the Adrenalize tour in the early 90's, but I ended up being sent on a business trip and had to give them away. I started listening to Def Leppard in the mid 80's when Pyromania came out and then a bit later with Hysteria. I used to simply love those records. I had forgotten all about it, but Friday reminded me just how much I did.

Def Leppard are the ultimate hard rock professionals, their sound was really tight and clear. For the most part, Joe Elliot is still well able to reach the high notes and bring the audience along with him. I was particularly impressed with Vivian Campbell's playing. As a kid, when Hysteria cam out, I wanted to see Rick Allen play live on that fancy drum kit of his... he didn't disappoint. He is not the fastest drummer in the world but he has a punch that cuts through the music and holds the songs together. The setlist was a good mix of old and new. In particular, the second part of the show was very strong. You can see the full list on my previous post as well. Highlights for me were Armageddon It (my favourite DL song!), Animal, Rock of Ages and Photograph.

To top it all up, and if seeing three great bands on stage in one night wasn't enough, thanks to my brother, who met Rick Allen as a result of some charity work they have done together through their charities The Raven Drum Foundation and Fogo es Fuerza, I got back stage passes for the meet and greet after the show. Rick came out to meet us and had a chat with us about the concert. A true gentleman, despite the fact that it was nearly 1 o'clock in the morning he still spent some time talking to us about the show. He was very tired, and I was too cool to bother him asking to take a picture with me... now, that was stupid!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Julie Feeney, Pages Live at Crawdaddy - June 10th, 2009 - Review

This was a fantastic week from the musical point of view. Two concerts, one intimate and one huge, eight acts over three days.

It all started with Julie Feeney's concert to promote the release of her second album Pages last week. As I have mentioned before on other posts, Crawdaddy is a fabulous place for an intimate gig like this. It only has capacity for about 300 people. There were tables on the ground floor and although the second floor was full I think there were only about 200 people in there. Most of them looked like family and friends, and a handful of loyal fans. Crawdaddy is the perfect place to see an artist like Julie.

The night started with Kevin Nolan (can someone confirm the name?) playing a couple of songs that he described as "dark fairy tales" . Although I enjoyed his music, his singing was, let me call it, non-conventional. Having said that, I will try to check him out later.

The second person on stage was Vertigo Smyth, definitely worth checking out. Again, he only played two songs and where incredibly powerful. You can listen to some of his songs on his website. I haven't checked whether he has released anything just yet. Let me know if you find anything.

Vertigo was followed by Size 2 Shoes, two brothers from Limerick that I can probably describe as the Irish Flight of the Conchords. Musically they are incredibly gifted, yet they don't take themselves very seriously. I thought they were fantastic. They do have an album out that you can get from their website. Definitely worth checking out.

Finally at around 9:30, Julie's musicians started setting up. She had 7 or 8 people on stage (was there someone to the left of Eugene?): Violin, Viola, Cello, Double Bass, Percussion, Trumpet and Flute. A guitarist joined her for one of the songs while Julie played the keyboards for the 13 Pages songs, and the Harmonium for Aching.

The concert started with the video for Love is a Tricky Thing. Afterwards we heard Julie singing a cappella, she started walking from the back heading towards the stage. She weaved through the tables as she was singing. She played a number of songs from 13 Songs on the keyboards before moving to the Harmonium to sing a beautiful version of Aching, followed by a very different arrangement of Alien where she sang accompanied only by her percussionist playing a Cajon. At some stage she spoke about the difference between her two albums and how Pages represents her current mood, definitely more lively!

After that she played all of the songs from Pages. Highlights for me included Mr Roving Eye Guy, Love is a Tricky Thing, Myth, and my favourite song from the album Impossibly Beautiful. Check my previous post with the setlist which I got from the stage. After the show Julie was signing copies of her album, as I had already bought it, I asked her to sign my ticket which she did. The handwriting was the same as the one on the setlist!

Every song was arranged differently. Julie's attention to detail definitely paid off. The arrangements took into consideration everything, even the place itself. For instance, on Valentine's Song, the trumpet player played from the second floor, while Julie sang from the middle of the ground floor without microphone. It was simply beautiful. One of my favourite arrangements was definitely One More Tune hard to describe, but just look at the musicians as I caught them in the middle of playing that song!

It was a fantastic concert, where the music was the main character. Brilliant music and extraordinary musicians enjoying themselves and really bringing the public along on their journey!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Def Leppard Live - The O2, Dublin - June 12th, 2009

Setlist from the Def Leppard show yesterday

C'mon C'mon
Make Live like a man
Too late for love
Nine Lives
Love bites
Rock on
Two steps behind
Bringing on the heartbreak
Switch 625
Armageddon It
Pour some sugar on me
Rock of ages
When love and hate collide
Lets get rocked

Update: I have posted a review of the show

Journey Live - The O2, Dublin - June 12th, 2009

Almost a year to the day I saw Journey for the first time, I saw them yesterday for the second time. Even better! I am glad I saw them last year because this was a shorter show and I would have been left wanting a lot of songs that they didn't play this time around. But Don't Stop Believin' sounded even better... if that's possible. No printout of the setlist this time, but here it is:

Separate Ways(World's Apart)
Stone in Love
Ask the Lonely
Change for the Better
DD Harp Segway (this time Neal used a mandolin rather than acoustic guitar)
Wheel in the Sky
Wildest Dream
Don't Stop Believin'
Anyway You Want It

Anybody got Def Leppards setlist from the concert?

Again, I will try to post a review later on.

Update: I have posted a review of the show

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Julie Feeney Live at Crawdaddy - June 10th, 2009 - Setlist

Here is the setlist for yesterday's concert. It was fantastic! I will do up a review at the weekend with some pictures. Hopefully my little camera worked OK as it was very dark.

I got the setlist from the stage handwritten by Julie, I will post a scan later on.
Update: I posted the setlist, please note that she changed things around a little bit!

Hiho - Julie a capella
You Broke The Magic
Wind Out Of My Sails
The Reaper
Aching (with Harmonium)

Nothing To Declare
Valentine's Song
Mr Roving Eye Guy
Life's Nudge
Knock Knock
One More Tune

Love Is A Tricky Thing
Impossibly Beautiful

2nd Encore:
One More Tune

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Julie Feeney - Pages. My first impressions

I finally got the long awaited (for me anyway) Pages last Friday when it was released here in Ireland. If you are in the UK you will have to wait another few weeks. I am afraid I am not sure when will it be released for the rest of the world.

As much as I liked 13 Songs, Julie's first award winning album, Pages feels like a far superior album. It is more coherent and consistent. Where 13 Songs was a collection of great tunes where each song stood on its own, Pages has a sense of purpose. 13 Songs was at times quirky and the arrangements a little overworked, Pages in turn is well structured and the arrangements let you appreciate the melodies for what they are. Each song flows from the previous with great ease. Julie says on the album notes that she spent a long time preparing for the album and working alone on it for most of 2008. The notes appeared last January on her blog and you can get a link to it from my previous post.

One of the things that you notice immediately is the orchestration. Julie worked very hard since the release of 13 Songs to improve her orchestrating and conducting skills. In my view it really paid off. The arrangements are beautiful and they support and lift the melodies. Some of the vocal harmonies are, well, just beautiful. Two songs jump straight away: 'Mr. Roving Eye Guy' and the aptly named ' Impossibly Beautiful'.

In terms of the orchestral arrangements, perhaps the best example is the opening track 'Love is a Tricky Thing' which you can download for free from Julie's website.

I already have my tickets for the show in Crawdaddy next Wednesday (June 10th, 2009). I am really looking forward to the show. I am wondering how will Julie be able to pack so much music in such a small stage!

If you are reading this outside Ireland and the UK, I really recommend you buy this album as an import from one of the online stores. Some details on the mittens website, the label that Julie setup to release her music. You won't regret it!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Julie Feeney live at CrawDaddy in 10 days!

There has been very little activity around here the last few months. But I am looking forward to a few gigs during the summer. I will start with Julie Feeney next week, on the 10th of June in CrawDaddy.

Her new album Pages is out in Ireland next Friday (June 5th) and in the UK on June 29th. If 13 songs is anything to go by, this new album should be great. I am really looking forward to the gig and the new album. Besides I think it CrawDaddy is the perfect venue to see Julie play live.

I'll post my review of the concert next week and hopefully a picture or two. If you are in Dublin on June 10th, you should get your ticket now!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Steve Lawson's - Behind Every Word

These days I find new music through means other than radio. Podcasts, blogs,music websites like Spotify or and even through social networks like MySpace and Twitter. I download music mainly from and directly from the musician's websites. The radio is simply not enough these days.

Through emusic in particular, I have come across a huge number of different things, from the back catalogue to artists like Elbow and Porcupine Tree to gems like Bill Evan's Complete Village Vanguard Session.

One of those gems that I found recently was Steve Lawson. Steve is a London based bass player who mainly plays solo bass music. He is very well known for being highly active and visible on the internet on Twitter in particular, but also a very active blogger. He teaches bass through normal face to face classes but also using new and innovative means like skype and iChat.

Recently, I asked him which album to download to start getting into his music and he recommended going for his latest one, which I got from emusic in the last few days. This is incredible music that you wouldn't be exposed to if it wasn't for the power of the internet. Steve's solo music is made of live looping of multiple layers of bass "soundscapes".

Essentially, what this means is that Steve plays the first layer of a song and records it, probably the equivalent of the bass in a "normal" song. That keeps on repeating. Then he plays a second layer. Lets say, the rhythm guitar equivalent. And then he plays the melody as a bass solo on top of it. Don't know how long has this technique been around. The earliest example I have seen was Jaco Pastorius for some of his solos with Weather Report. These days is very common with artists like Michael Manring but even with mainstream artists like KT Tunstall

The first song of the album, Blue Planet, is a particularly good example because of the way the layers are played, it is very easy to understand the process.

I really recommend this album, but if you don't believe me, believe Victor Wooten himself when he says:

"Steve Lawson is a brilliant musician. I've known about him and listened to him for many years. He may not be one of the most famous bassists but he is definitely one of the most talented."

Taken from the notes page of the CD in

Friday, March 27, 2009

George in India - New Single

George in India have finally managed to release their first single, produced by production wizard Jim Soundman. You can check the new single on their blog.

George in India is not a real band (at least I don't think they are) but the brain child of Tommie Kelly, writter of the web comic Road Crew, which tells the story of Jim, the sound guys, who is working as a roadie for a Rock Group and has recently taking on the job of producing the bad that was opening for the band he used to work for.

The comic is wellworth checking out. It can be found at

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Catching up with my podcasts - BBC Introducing

Over the last few weeks I hadn't been able to listen to the Huw Stephens BBC Introducing Podcasts.

The introducing podcast is one of my favaourites, as they showcase new and upcoming unsigned bands. Last year they played bands like Fight Like Apes, Pete and the Pirates ans Los Campesinos, well before they released their albums.

I particularly liked the episode from feb 19th which showcased Peggy Sue and Marina & The Diamonds. And the episode from Feb 26th with a track from the band from Northern Ireland And So I Watch You From Afar.

Check Huw's Blog for more details

You can find the podcasts on iTunes

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Suzanne Vega talks about melody

Another instalment of the Measure for Measure blog. This time Suzanne Vega talks about melody in her own unique way. As always, it is a beautiful piece.

This time accompany it by listening to Cracking on

Interestingly one of my favourite melodies is Gipsy by her. Beautiful song! There are a number of versions on YouTube. I had never seen this one, it is over 20 years old from a German TV show and starts with Tom's Diner. Despite the obvious effects of the VCR on the video, Suzanne's voice is as clear as always!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Making a Piñata of your mother in law!

What a great idea... although I would prefer to use a picture of my mother in law rather than my mother.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Lisa Hannigan - I Don't Kow at the Tonight show

I shamelessly stole this from the swear I'm not Paul blog, but it's 4:15 minutes worth watching.

And here is another beautiful "unplugged" version recorded in in a pub in Dingle!

I really like the drums!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Journey Live in Dublin again

Almost a year after they last played in Dublin, Journey are coming back again, this time the are sharing the bill with Whitesnake and Def Leppard. I have ordered my tickets already.

There is that, and a couple of weeks later the boss...

Now, I need to get myself to a gig with younger musicians!

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Monday, January 19, 2009

DB2 on Mac!!!

Yes, you read it right, finally IBM has released a version of DB2 for the Mac! On December 22nd they released a version of DB2 Express-C for Mac (Leopard on Intel), which is essentially a version for developers who will be able to now use it to work on enterprise solutions on a Mac! I never thought this day would come.!

Antonio Canguiano has an interesting blog post that discusses some first steps, very useful.

You can get DB2 from the IBM Download Page.

I installed it using Admin GUI (as root) install and the tested the Ruby connection as per Antonio's blog. Initially I had a few issues with some libraries, but after downloading the latest version from the website, all is working well now.

This initial version does not have any of the admin tools (Comand Centre, Control Centre, etc.) but I was able to use SQL Workbench/J without any issues. It seems however that some of the tool jar files are there, I will look into that later.

There is a DB2 Express Forum, but feel free to ask any questions through this blog.

Next, Ruby on Rails!!!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Julie Feeney's Pages, coming soon

It has been a while since I wrote a music related blog. Yesterday I came across this blog post from Julie Feeney and I thought I would share it. For those that don't know Julie, she is a athe multitalented musician (add here composer, singer, multi-instrumentalist, etc...) winner of the Choice Music Prize for the Irish album of the year in 2006 for her debut album '13 Songs'.

Julie's blog entry talks about the process she went through to create here new album 'Pages' which will hopefully be out in the next couple of months.

If you haven't heard '13 Songs', look for a copy of it and be prepared for a really good (and different) experience.

Update: I left a comment on the MySpace version of the blog post, and Julie wrote me back a quick e-mail thanking me for it. I thought it was a really nice touch!!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Coditional formating for tables in TiddlyWiki

Well, sort off. I have been using TiddlyWiki for a long time to keep notes. TiddlyWiki is essentially a self contained wiki that can be easily transported. Read more on the TiddlyWiki site. One of the really interesting things about TiddlyWiki is that it can be easily extended with plugins and javascript. I use it with a number of plugins to have a ToDo list of sorts.

I use a couple of plugins:

  • The DataTiddlerPlugin, which lets you store structured data on your tiddlers.
  • The ForEachTiddler plugin, which lets you generate customised lists of tiddlers.

One thing I had been struggling with was to come up with a way to have conditional formatting on the tables. The idea is to change the colour based on the priority of the ToDo item, or whether the target date is in the past or not.

I have posted an example in TiddlySpot. You can find it on the followuplist TiddlyWiki.

Here is the script I used for the tiddler:

  1. <<forEachTiddler

  2. where

  3. 'tiddler.tags.contains("FollowUp")
    && tiddler.tags.contains("Name") &&
    !"Completed") == true &&
    sortBy '"Priority")'

  4. script

  5. '

  6. // date format DD/MM/YYYY

  7. function dateDifference(tiddler) {

  8. var d1, d2;

  9. var s ="TargetDate");

  10. if (s == undefined) { return 0 }

  11. d1 = new Date();

  12. d2 = new Date();

  13. d2.setMonth(s.substr(3,2)-1);

  14. d2.setDate(s.substr(0,2));

  15. d2.setFullYear(s.substr(6,4));

  16. return d2-d1;

  17. }

  18. function writeRow(index, tiddler)

  19. { var result = ""; if (index == 0) {result = "|!Priority|!Description|!Date Opened|!Target Date|\n";}

  20. if ("Priority") == 1) {result += "|bgcolor(orange):"}

  21. else if ("Priority") == 2) {result += "|bgcolor(yellow):"}

  22. else if ("Priority") == 3) {result += "|bgcolor(lightgreen):"}

  23. else {result += "|"}

  24. // result += dateDifference(tiddler) + "|";

  25. result +="Priority") + "|[[" + tiddler.title + "]]|" +"DateOpened") + "|" ;

  26. if (dateDifference(tiddler) < 0 ) {

  27. result += "bgcolor(orange):";

  28. } else if (dateDifference(tiddler) == 0 ) {

  29. result += "bgcolor(yellow):";

  30. }

  31. result +="TargetDate") + "|\n";

  32. return result;

  33. }

  34. '

  35. write

  36. 'writeRow(index, tiddler)'

  37. >>