Incoming: A Quick Chat With Count Vaseline | Plays Broken Home This Saturday

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Count Vaseline is the new project from Stefan Murphy, formerly of Dublin rock ‘n roll miscreants The Mighty Stef, and The Count is bringing genre-warped garage sounds to Newbridge, for an intimate and special Broken Home show.

It was a dark day for Irish music back in May, when time was called on The Might Stef. Always a prolific tunesmith, it wasn’t long before Murphy introduced his new guise Count Vaseline. Falling somewhere between raw garage rock and crooning fuzz-pop – sonically a different being – the new project remains draped in his unique and intuitive storytelling ability. There’s already a debut LP, Yo No Soy Marinero – a genre-warped record that fizzes with energy, invention and brimming with weird and wondrous ideas, and full of heart – with album number two, Cascade to follow in December.

In support of his new endeavour, Count Vaseline has been playing shows across the US and Ireland, and this Saturday, December 3, he rolls into Newbridge town, for an intimate and special Broken Home show, with support from the Tallaght folk machine We Went Down.

Ahead of the weekend’s show I caught up with Count Vaseline, to chat about the new project, touring and all things music. Check the album below too!

You can find further details on The Broken Home Series here, more info on the show here and you can purchase your ticket from Eventbright.

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Hard Working Class Heroes 2016 Preview: 8 Must See Acts

 

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Hard Working Class Heroes takes place in venues across Dublin this week.

Running from Thursday, October 6th to Saturday, October 8th and it will showcase well over 100 of Ireland’s most promising emerging acts. One of HWCH’s biggest draws (and festivals of its ilk) is rambling around, seeing acts you have previously been unfamiliar with. That said, there are a couple of names that immediately jump out and come highly recommended with the much sought after BarryGruff seal of approval*.

The full line-up / stage times for Hard Working Class Heroes 2016 is here. And as always, feel free to share your own recommendations in the comments section below. *May not be much sought after.

Eoin Dolan: Thursday, 19:40 – 20:10 @ Tengu Downstairs

Galway-based singer-songwriter Eoin Dolan is, without a shadow of a doubt, one of the finest finds from the past 12 months. Dolan has a real flair for twinkly and whimsical, good old fashioned pop gems, with a healthy dose of Brian Wilson, Syd Barrett and Lennon/McCartney (moments) threaded through the fabric of his sound. His brand of surfy psych-pop is totally charming, entirely irresistible, easy-going and timeless. Dolan’s self-titled debut album was released last month, for a taste of that & what to expect at HWCH, check out ‘Dear Brian'; a playful blend of woozy, soothing sounds, sinuous melodies, SFA-esque synth work, giddy-pop-playfulness and reverb-drenched vocals. Not to be missed.

New Pope: Thursday, 21:40 – 22:10 @ Tengu Downstairs

Galway-based New Pope – fronted by Dave Boland – deal in truly beautiful, timeless and carefully crafted acoustic folk sounds. Passing with a whisper rather than a roar, New Pope’s songs are delivered with warmth and tenderness, as Boland’s distinctive vocal creates a warm, lush atmosphere – and an overwhelming sense of sense of nostalgia. Last year’s YOUTH EP & LP are wonderful and New Pope were excellent at Electric Picnic this year, and if that doesn’t entice you? Check out the layered, lush and beguiling beauty of ‘Love’ below:

Slow Riot: Friday, 20:10 – 20:40 @ The Hub

Limerick trio Slow Riot‘s ferocious, tense and searing post-punk, has marked them out as one of Ireland’s most promising guitar bands in sometime. Taking classic post-punk influences – Gang of Four, Television, Wire – and infusing them with more contemporary ones such as Girl Band and Future of the Left, they create an irresistible and thunderous modern take on a classic sound. Still need convincing? Check out the intense, insistent and menacing ‘Trophy Wife’ below. Peerless.

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Hard Working Class Heroes 2016 Line-up Announced

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The line-up for Hard Working Class Heroes 2016 festival has just been announced today.

The annual festival will return to Dublin once again, running from Thursday, October 6th to Saturday, October 8th in venues across Dublin, incl. The Workman’s Club, Wigwam, The Chocolate Factory, Odessa, Tengu and The Mezz, with more to follow.

Having been away for the past few years, I’m excited to check out a whole host of acts I’ve not had the pleasure of seeing yet. And of course, discovering some new music too. On a first glance a couple of names immediately jumped out; Oh Boland, New Pope, whenyoungEoin Dolan, A.S. Fanning, Adultrock, Galants, EXPLODING EYES, R.S.A.G, Slow Riot & Rusangano Family.

The full line-up for Hard Working Class Heroes 2016 is as follows:

HWCH 2016:

A.S. Fanning / Adultrock / AikJ / Ailbhe Reddy / Alana Henderson / BARQ / Basciville / Beach / Birds of Olympus / Bitch Falcon / Black Wing Bird / BlueMusic / Brian Casey / Buffalo Woman / Callum Stewart / Chris Kabs / Clarence & The Winters / Comrade Hat / Cormac O Caoimh / Craig Gallagher / Cult Called Man / Dammy Ari / Damola / Daniel McDermott / Davina and the Messengers / ELE / Elephant / Ella Naseeb / Elm / Eoin Dolan / Erica-Cody / Evvol / Exiles / EXPLODING EYES / Fangclub / Fontaines / Galants / Ger Fox Sailing / HAIL THE GHOST / Half Of Me / handsome eric / Harbouring Oceans / HAWK / Hiva Oa / JAFARIS / Jealous of the Birds / Junk Drawer / Kid Karate / Le Boom / Loah / Maija Sofia / Maria Kelly / Miles Graham / moossmann / Naoise Roo / New Pope / New Portals / New Valley Wolves / Nocturnes / Oh Boland / Oh Joy / Orchid Collective / Paddy Dennehy & The Red Herring / Paddy Mulcahy / PALE RIVERS / Participant / Patrick Freeman / Paul Creane / Peppy / Petty Youth / R.S.A.G. / Rocstrong / Rosie Carney / Rusangano Family / Samyel / SARAMAI / Search Party Animal / Slow Riot / Soule / Stephen Robinson / Strength / Super Silly / swords / Tablets / Talos / Tara Lee / Tebi Rex / The Blizzards / The Ocelots / The Shaker Hymn / Tiz McNamara / TOUTS / Train Room / Tuath / Video Blue / Vulpynes / Wake America / Wastefellow / We, the Oceanographers / whenyoung / Whim / WOLFF / Wyvern Lingo / Yonen / Young Earth

Early bird tickets to HWCH 2016 are €35 via DICE until August 10th. After that, weekend tickets will cost €45.00 & €20 for nightly tickets (excl. booking fees).

Millions Like Us Podcast – Episode #16

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After some Mac related issued hampered our first attempt at Podcast #16, we’re thrilled (and relieved) to share yet another Millions Like Us with you all.

Every two weeks, Justin & I, in conjunction with Vancouver news & culture site 604now, aim to deliver an eclectic and hand-picked selection of top class music. There’s plenty to chew on with #16, well over an hour in fact, of great tunes and plenty of chat, encompassing all manner of topics and music including festivals as we talk Music Waste and Levitation Vancouver.

You can read more on it over here and of course, listen below (and the tracklist (with links) is after the jump too). You can subscribe to ‘Millions Like Us’ on iTunes & Podcast Republic, Mixcloud & SoundCloud, or find us on Facebook & Twitter. Or you can email us at millionslikeuspodcast[at]gmail[dot]com.

As mentioned previously, Justin has been busy compiling tracks featured in the series. If you’re a Spotify user, then you can access this 6 hours plus playlist here.

Podcast #16 Tracklist:

PLAZAS  – ‘2 leave U Behind’

Jay Arner – ‘Like A Dracula’

Rusangano Family – ‘Lights On’

Ffug – ‘Love is Stupid’

Com Truise – ‘Diffraction’

Holy Wave – ‘Minstrel’s Gallop’

IcebergFerg – ‘You’re All On My Mind’

Words Hurt – ”Chekov’s Gun feat. Marilyn Carino’

Hinds – ‘San Diego’

Jade Statues – ‘Hydra’

Trails & Ways – ‘My Things’

Jo Passed – ‘Lego My Ego’

In Praise of Super Furry Animals: An Almost 20 Year Obsession

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The magnificent and legendary Super Furry Animals, make their return to Vancouver this week, playing The Imperial on Thursday, February 4th.

As one of my all-time favourite bands, I am more than guilty of some bias, but I can honestly say I believe they are one of the finest bands ever to grace this earth. Throughout their long and fascinating career, Super Furry Animals have proven themselves as one of the most enigmatic, creative and brilliant psychedelic pop bands of our time. Super Furry Animals are truly unique.

They have the stories; they procured an army tank equipped with a techno sound-system, caused national security alerts with 60-foot inflatable monsters, went into the Colombian jungle with armed Guerilla fighters, drew up plans to convert an aircraft carrier into a nightclub and turned down a seven-figure sum from a certain cola company who wanted to use ‘Hello Sunshine’ in an ad, instead allowing the track to be used in a short film about human rights abuses by anti-poverty charity War on Want. Yet these tales only tell half the story. Most importantly, there is the music.

Super Furry Animals have produced some of the most exciting and memorable records of the past two decades, in their own uniquely surreal, weird and wonderful pop genius. With an inherent gift for giddy pop melodies and excelling at rich, heart-felt and powerful slow songs too, it is an eclectic back-catalogue, imaginatively mixing up electronic beats, indie, surf rock, neo-psychedelia, Japanese culture and more.

My first encounter with Super Furries was seeing them play ‘Demons’ on TFI Friday, I then acquired ‘Something 4 The Weekend’ in some bargain bin or other, and that was enough to set in motion a process of acquiring whatever music of their’s that I could and albums, Radiator and Out Spaced, remain all-time favourites. It hard to put my adoration for these Welsh heroes into mere words for fear of underselling the virtues of their music but let’s just put it simply; in providing a constant soundtrack to my life ever since my school days, their music has afforded me so much joy.

So, needless to say, the fact Super Furry Animals play Vancouver next week is extremely exciting. Like a kid waiting for Christmas, since the announcement was first made, I’ve been counting down the days till February 4th. It has also got me thinking about the first time I saw them live, years back, 1999 in Dublin’s Olympia Theatre. It was a school night and we had a mini-bus drive us (cans and shitty fake IDs on hand) to Dublin. The gig was unbelievable. Only the second I had ever gone to at that point and it was an unforgettable experience, and one that has left an indelible mark on me. Many years on and almost ten thousand miles from where a 15-year-old me awaited that show excitedly, there’s pretty much the same level of anticipation for this week’s gig. Roll on Thursday night!

So with that, I’ll leave you with the excellent S4C documentary on 20 years of Super Furries, The Furry Years and a couple of choice Super Furry favourites.

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Millions Like Us Podcast – Episode #4

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Delighted to once again to share a brand new episode of ‘Millions Like Us’, a music podcast with myself & Justin Beats, in conjunction with Vancouver news & culture site 604now.

A bi-weekly digest of music from metro Vancouver and beyond, the fourth installment has the usual chatter and top tunes, comprised from an eclectic mix of styles and genres. There’s also a chance of winning tickets for the excellent Girl Band, for their show in The Media Club, Vancouver on November 20th.

Edit – Girl Band have unfortunately had to cancel all their upcoming shows, including Vancouver, due to health reasons. We wish them a speedy recovery and hopefully we’ll see them visit Vancouver in the future.

That#s about that then, we hope you enjoy episode 4. You can read more on it here and listen to episode #4 below, and the tracklist (with links) is after the jump. If you would like to get in touch the show, you email them at millionslikeuspodcast[at]gmail[dot]com.

You can subscribe to ‘Millions Like Us’ on iTunes & Podcast Republic or find us on Facebook & Twitter. Until Episode #5, here’s to good listening.

Episode 4 Tracklist:

Silver Matter – ‘Punks Grown Up’

Joanna Gruesome – ‘Last Year’

Knife Pleats – ‘One Step Too Far’

Girl Band – ‘De Bom Bom’

New Pope – ‘Christopher’

Martha Ffion – ‘So Long’

Mt. Wolf – ‘Hamburg’

BOUSADA – ‘Cast in Gold’

Lil Dicky – ‘Professional Rapper’

Auramics – ‘Founders of Time’

Fake Tears – ‘Second Wind’

Dead Soft – ‘The Wind’

Half Man Half Biscuit – ’24 Hour Garage People’

 

Villagers sing loud and proud: An Interview with Villagers’ Conor O’ Brien

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Having provided us with one of 2015’s finest records in ‘Darling Arithmetic’, it goes without saying that I’m very excited to see Villagers again, when they perform in Vancouver next week, at the Commodore Ballroom with Paul Weller (Tuesday, September 29th). 

It is Conor O’ Brien & Company’s second visit here this year, following their wonderful and absorbing show with Calexico back on July 12th. It  provides a perfect opportunity/excuse to share an interview done with Conor, prior to the last show.

Originally published by the Vancouver Observer on July 2nd – not long after Ireland’s Marriage Equality vote passed – here it is: 

Few, if any, recent Irish act commands as much respect as Villagers, the musical project of Dubliner Conor O’Brien.

Released by indie powerhouse Domino, Darling Arithmetic is a more stripped back affair to the two previous records, both of which were nominated for The Mercury Music Prize; it is Villagers’ most personal album yet. Recorded over eight months last year, with O’Brien putting in eight-hour days, at a barn by his home in Dublin, it is an intimate experience as O’Brien bares his soul on its nine songs.

“It just kind of evolved” that way, O’ Brien says. “I just started writing and tried to let it take me where it did. As it became more personnel and intimate, I realized that was the way it was going, so I was sort of conscious about finishing it of like that. It evolved and then became a conscious thing, and moved into a kind of little project for me to make.”

The fruits of this seclusion are breathtaking, as we’re treated to a delicate and tender, universal album of love and humanity. Previously shy about expressing his sexuality in his music, O’Brien has embraced it on Villagers’ third album.

Amid the softest of musical touches, O’ Brien tackles some of his personal demons, speaking openly about the difficulties that arise with being a gay man in Ireland, and having to deal with “homophobes” and “bigots.”

Previously uncomfortable with discussing his sexuality outside of his personal life, O’ Brien offers candid insight behind change of heart.

“I guess, looking at it objectively, growing up in our country (Ireland), I was 10 years of age when it was made legal to actually be me. I have felt the implications of that since I was born. You learn very quickly not to show people who you are really and how to hide. It’s just something I had to deal with, like most the gay people growing up.”

“When I came to my coming-out journey I guess, a lot people don’t have to come out to potentially hundreds of thousands of people at one time, so it took a little while. I was always writing about it but in a more oblique way, I was using my experiences of it to express more universal themes and this time around I just got a little bit more specific”.”

Fittingly, the album’s release coincided with the run up to Ireland’s Marriage Equality referendum, in which the Irish electorate delivered a resounding ‘Yes’ vote to equality. The result wasn’t always a sure thing, something that played on O’ Brien’s mind. “A few days before the vote I was saying my friends that we couldn’t get too excited as there was a huge possibility that it would be a No. If you look back at the divorce referendum, everyone thought it would be a landslide yes but in the end, it was passed by half a per cent or something. I just had that in my head. I’m really aware that I surround myself with very liberal thinking types and artsy folk, and you can think that’s the world, when it really isn’t.”

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