New Irish RADIO:

Simon Maher (2nd from right) with northern rockers "Therapy?"

That’s right, yes indeed, while there may be a veritable articulated truck-load of radio stations already populating the Irish FM and digital airwaves, vying for the attention of your poor, confused and battered ears, that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for one more… does it?

TV: Scéal na Gaeilge

Mar cheiliúradh ar Seachtain na Gaeilge, tá ROSG an-bhródúil a shraith ceannródach nua, Scéal na Gaeilge, a thabhairt chuig an scáileán. Dhá chlár faisnéise is ea Scéal na Gaeilge a leanann aistear na teanga ó thús ama go dtí an lá atá inniu ann. Tríd meascán míreanna beochan, cúlraí scáthlán glas agus taifeadadh ag láithreacha stairiúla, nochtann an tsraith seo stair na Gaeilge le radharc spraíúil ar na scéalta stairiúla agus miotasacha a bhaineann léi. Físiúil, úr agus bríomhar, tá Scéal na Gaeilge curtha i láthair agus scríofa ag Alan Titley, stiúrtha ag Diarmuid Goggins agus léirithe ag Ciarán Ó Cofaigh do ROSG. Go minic ní bhíonn tuiscint cheart ag daoine ar céard í an Ghaeilge, céard as a dtagann sí ná cé a labhair í. Ní thuigeann siad gurb í an Ghaeilge an teanga a labhair Cú Chulainn, Naomh Pádraig, Brian Ború, Macbeth agus Dónal Ó Conaill. Ba í … There’s more

St. Patrick’s Day: What Irish films to watch and what you should avoid… like the plague.

Well, tis that time of year again, bigorah and bigosh, when the leprechauns come out to play and we all go off looking for pots of gold under the rainbow over yonder… Well it’s that time of year for Michael Flatley.  However, the rest of the known world will be donning green and drinking Guinness (a drink most people will pretend to drink while slugging vodka in the corner) and telling anyone who will fucking listen that they are Irish.  If, like me, you only celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in other countries (it is way more fun that way, you get free booze) you might consider this the most opportune time to take shelter from your fellow Irish brethren, who never really get the chance to go out and so deserve a couple of alcoholic beverages, and watch some classic Irish films.  As a nation, we are way too hard … There’s more

New Music Review: Wicker Bones – The Martry Sessions EP

About a week ago an email comes into Culch Towers from Dylan of Wicker Bones. Polite as you like, it’s a thanks for The Spirit of Folk review in which they featured. As well as that Dylan wanted to let me know Wicker Bones had just released a brand spanking new 6 track EP. I got it in the post on Thursday. Ladies and Gentlemen, please be upstanding and welcome The Martry Sessions Backtracking slightly… of all the bands at The Spirit of Folk festival why did Wicker Bones catch me ? Here’s the easy bit. So I’m having a refreshment with McGuinness and one of us goes…. What the fook is that sound…. ? The track recorded above Pipers Despair/ Follow Me Up To Carlow is just one track from the EP that I personally love. Back to it. That question can be taken on two levels. Anthony took … There’s more

New Music: We Are Losers – Sunset Song

I was lucky enough to be reared with a vinyl player in my bedroom growing up. I was fortunate moreseo to know people who knew that Ziggy Stardust wasn’t an affliction and John Peel didn’t come in a jar. In the name of Dave Fanning, the son and the Holy Spirit. Amen. At my age, one realises the better reared bands and the better music really does come the old route and in all honesty, good old hard slog, a bit of back lash hither dither and maybe one or two gigs where your amp blew up – never really did hurt anyone. At the very least you know that threatening to throw in twitter after a shite review really isn’t the way Keith Richards would have dealth with it – even if you can make decent Metallica-like hand gestures, you probably only knew one of their songs. To brighter … There’s more

Go Swoon at The Dying Seconds at The Workman’s Club. The National Commands It!

Waiting on the next big bang in your day-to-day? Ah, good news then! Purveyors of delicious soundscapes and all-round interesting people The Dying Seconds play The Workman’s Club this Thursday, so, you know, you’d want to get your arse ’round to that. From two fellas with laptops to a full line-up of musicians playing all kinds of everything (including lots of drums, we’re told), The Dying Seconds have hugely expanded on the sounds and styles of 2007′s eponymous debut and are bursting to get out there and churn up a storm. Having just finished work on their second album, Glimmerers, the gang have planned a blast of live dates to take them through the rest of 2011 … well worth catching, but don’t just take my word for it. The National found ‘em when in Dublin recently, where Aaron had this to say: “A bunch of us fell for the … There’s more

The Devil in Music

Fox Jaw Bounty Hunters first came to my attention with the raucous self -titled EP way back in 2007. They were making music unlike most in Ireland at the time and it was a refreshing blast of cheeky, heavy rock. This was my favourite from the EP: Almost 4 years on, and they could not be sounding more different. Their latest offering ‘The Devil in Music’ is a far sleeker affair than anything that they have produced to date. There is a Southern American twinge to their sound now, that I have not heard before. Their music would be comfortable sitting on any New Orleans based soundtrack (the first that springs to mind is True Blood), and this is no bad thing. The music has a deep growl, and dirty backdrop and you can almost imagine the wildness and humidity of New Orleans, and the polarised and confused religious fundamentalism … There’s more

Fred’s Eleven

I chose this title coz it sounds like “Legs Eleven”. Although the Fred EP was released in 2000, so that would make Fred eleven, too. THAT’S SO CLEVER! So yeah, from latest album Leaving My Empire, this is Eleven, the new single by Cork legends and all-round funky divils Fred. Check out that approaching-epic refrain! Both song and video are rather fantastic, and that this is Irish should reassure you that there are tight, alternative offerings out there in the great green yonder and put you in a deadly mood indeed. Eleven puts me in mind of Foals’ “Blue Blood”, both in vibe and video concept, except the kids in this one get a standing ovation and aren’t creepy little asshats wearing shirts too big for them. Youse can catch Fred this summer (and I recommend that you do) as follows: Fri 20th May Waterford – Forum Theatre Sat 21st … There’s more

Movie Review: Hanna

With its trailer debuting just before Christmas 2010, Hanna became one of the most eagerly anticipated films of this year.  Reuniting Joe Wright with Saoirse Ronan, a combination that worked to perfection in Atonement, Hanna also signed on arguably two of the finest actors working at the moment, Eric Bana and Cate Blanchett.  Wright, off the back of poor responses to The Soloist, needed another hit and Hanna, for all intents and purposes, seemed to be just that.     Raised by her father Eric Heller (Bana), a former CIA undercover agent, Hanna (Ronan) has received years of training in the wilderness which has turned her into a deadly weapon.  Following an upbringing devoid of emotion and human contact, she is sent on a mission to track down and kill CIA agent Marisa Wiegler (Blanchett).  However, Wiegler realises the threat of both Hanna and her father and in an effort … There’s more

The Cast of Cheers announce Irish tour

The Cast of Cheers, who rose to prominence having made their wonderful debut album Chariots available as a free download, have announced a nationwide tour. The terms ‘free’ and ‘quality’ are usually terms which are mutually exclusive but not so here. Chariots is a cracking debut full of taut riffs and vocals which find that perfect balance between edgy and catchy. The album is available for free download orstream HERE and is one of the best Irish albums of the year, thus far .  The Cast of Cheers are also a sight to behold live as their recent, most-pit infused, show at Whelan’s documented. The tour will include a stop at Dublin’s Academy 2 with tickets for that one priced €13.50 and tickets for all venues are on sale now. Catch them before they’re huge. Wed 22 Sep DERRY, Mason’s Fri 24 Sep BELFAST, Stiff Kitten Thu 30 Sep DUNDALK, … There’s more

Wallets Full Of Blood: Roscommon Death Trip

The injustice of time – rendered obsolete. Rain falls on the snow. The Contagion has taken hold. Ghosts from the old Dead Republic are emerging everywhere as the day of judgement approaches. On Black Tuesday a guilt ridden political functionary runs from his job burying bodies in the city. He is tortured by voices of reproach as he journeys towards home. He recounts the history of his dealings with Fingers – a boss ‘who made the old boss look like Mother Teresa’. Meanwhile, back in the city, amid the spiraling negativity, Fingers and his acolytes lay the foundations for a new Easter Rising. I had the headphones in watching this…. not paying too much attention at the very very start, I went back and started again with the earphones out….. Why ? Because…. well watch it… you’ll understand. If the film is intended to be scary, create uncertainty, an unease, … There’s more

Live Review: RSAG at the Academy

Drummers have it hard. Consigned to the background, they’re usually left to toil away in the shadows as their more glamorous guitar wielding or vocally gifted counterparts lap up the limelight. In fact, the most prominent recognition drummers have received in recent times is through a weird combination of a gorilla suit and a Phil Collins track on a Cadbury’s ad which says it all really. With the crowd having been warmed up by the understated yet immensely likeable 202s, Kilkenny’s Jeremy Hickey aka RSAG [Rarely Seen Above Ground] arrives on stage as the exception to this common ruling on drummers, taking his spot centre stage with his drum kit dominating the confines of the reasonably filled Academy. The show in itself is certainly unique; backed by three large screens, Hickey blitzes away on the drums while pre-recorded material of himself on a myriad of other instruments, from the bass … There’s more

Be It Right Or Wrong…The return of R.S.A.G.

Master percussionist RSAG ( Rarely Seen Above Ground ) returns on June 11th with Be It Right Or Wrong, the follow up to the outstanding Choice Music Prize nominated debut Organic Sampler. RSAG is entirely Jeremy Hickey, a multi-instrumentalist who composes each individual musical element by himself, carefully weaving them into the finished article. Debut Organic Sampler was something a little bit special; a uniquely eclectic batch of tracks which won near unanimous praise for both it’s inventive approach and the quality of the delivery as Hickey served up a thundering mesh of mazy percussion led anthems.

Guest Post: 3 Irish Celebrites Who Impacted Global Popculture and Why

This is an interesting guest post from Rudolf giving his thoughts on pop culture and on the influence of three ‘celebs’ of Irish heritage on global pop culture. Let’s hear your thoughts. – Darren When you think of Popular Culture, chances are you think more of teen idols Miley Cyrus and Robert Pattinson than of more prominent figures, such as JFK or Paul McCartney.  This, however, is a result of the “dumbing down” of a term that is anything but dumb to begin with.  On the contrary, the term Popular Culture—or Pop Culture—refers to a totality of ideas, perspectives, images, and political and social attitudes of the 20th and 21st centuries, as derived from art, music, film, consumer media, politics and even religion.  Popular Culture, therefore, encompasses much more than passing fads or elitist trends, having more to do with the people who set them than the actual trends themselves.  … There’s more

‘An Crisis’ TG4 series

‘An Crisis’ is a new tv series which started on TG4 a few weeks ago airing on Wednesday nights at 10.30pm, repeats Saturday at 8.40pm. ‘An Crisis’ is set in the office of a small organisation called ACT (An Comhairle Teanga) and is centred on their wrangles and fights to keep funding during the Big Crisis-cutbacks in public sector funding. Along the way we are treated to some strange and funny moments seeing the inside workings of the department. At one point in episode two, in order to suit people’s personal wishes and to get a formal meeting over and done with, they are reduced to having a meeting with some Ulster Scots in Spanish with translations being done to Ulster Scottish and Irish for the various parties. I’ve never worked in the public sector but from some stories I hear and things I read, this might not be verging … There’s more