Friday, April 28, 2006


So it seems that all of my "problems" may not be caused by Spain, or a particular woman, or an unfulfilling job or too much alcohol. I'm just not flexible enough - I need to stretch more.

The benefits of stretching include:

  • enhanced physical fitness
  • enhanced ability to learn and perform skilled movements
  • increased mental and physical relaxation
  • enhanced development of body awareness
  • reduced risk of injury to joints, muscles and tendons
  • reduced muscular soreness
  • reduced muscular tension

Although with a girlfriend like her I wouldn't have any of the problems listed above because I would never leave the house...

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Digital Kicks 002

Digital Kicks is back and can be heard here!

Like the first mix this was recorded on the 6th of April on a flight from Madrid back to Dublin. This file is also in mp3 format with a bitrate of 192kbps but is slightly longer at 64 minutes and about 88mb.

I had a window seat for the flight which is very unusual as I always ask for an aisle seat but I was distracted with something during check-in and just took the seat I was assigned. I am really glad I did - I had a fantastic view of the sunset during most of this recording and some of the songs suited the moment perfectly, in particular Above The Clouds.

This mix begins in a slightly similar vein as the first one but is much more upbeat throughout and has a slightly more positive feel to it.

The first two tracks are by DJ Shadow (aka Josh Davis) and are featured on the 10th anniversary Deluxe Edition of Endtroducing. They are both very short but offer a taste of the brilliance that exudes from every moment of that incredible album.

The third track is Slow Jamz by Kanye West and although I put one of his tracks in the first mix, I have been listening to this track a lot lately. And besides he IS the sharpest dressed mofo in rap at the moment.

The next track is an absolute classic: I Get The Sweetest Feeling by Jackie Wilson. You can NOT listen to this song without grinning ear to ear and tapping your feet.

The next two songs Amore (I Love You) and Summer Sun (Markus Enochson Remix) are both featured on a compilation called Brazilectro (Session 4). It is a great series of CDs that come with the tag Latin flavoured club tunes. Both of them are warm weather type of tracks and go perfectly with a setting sun.

Next, I lifted two songs from the last Hed Kandi compilaton called Nu Cool. It was the first new release under this name in several years and I was deligthed to see it as the previous editions never failed to please. Ralph Myerz & The Jack Herren Band do LIPSTICK and Blue Six provide the Jimpster Remix of All I Need. Both songs are of the pre-club variety and would sound perfect in a bar like Dakota.

The ninth track is another Paul Weller tune and was one of my favourites to open with while playing at Bar Cock. Above The Clouds is also the ideal song to listen to at 30,000 feet with the sun setting.

The next song Bari Track by Doni Burdick is a bit of a mystery. I have no idea where I got it from or anything about it. However, it is a great piece of Northern Soul that would make any true mod proud.

Son Of Shaft by The Bar-Kays is next. This song is from a funk compilation called Cold Sweat and takes a slight twist on the original Shaft by Isaac Hayes. The Bar-Kays were the original Stax Records studio band and played on most of the singles released on the label in the mid 1960s. Tragically, most of the original members were killed in the same plane crash as Otis Redding in December 1967 while touring. This song was recorded several years later with new musicians.

The next track is 11 O'Clock Tick Tock by U2 and is quite a sharp turn in style but I like it. My life has been full of sharp turns recently and sometimes they are good for you. I picked up this track and the following three (Alternative Ulster, Where's Me Jumper? and Punk Rock Girl) on Dave Fanning's Fab 50 CD. All of them are post-punk gems that would have any crowd jumping at the end of the night.

Bobby McFerrin of Don't Worry Be Happy fame did a cover of Drive My Car by The Beatles that I found on a Reprise release of jazz and lounge cover songs. Normally I would never consider listening to him but this track is brilliant.

The final two songs are house and they are mixed for your dancing pleasure. First is a Derrick Carter Remix of Tera Deva's Fresh Start that has some really funky and unusual tempo changes. The last track is simply called The Jam and was done by DJ/Producer Miguel Migs. He is a bit of a legend in the deep house scene and always makes soulful music suited for both the living room and the dance floor.

Here is the full tracklisting and the corresponding start times in the mix:

01. Best Foot Forward (Alternate Version) - DJ Shadow / 0:00
02. Changeling (Original Demo Excerpt) - DJ Shadow / 1:16
03. Slow Jamz / Kanye West ft Twista & Jamie Foxx / 2:13
04. I Get The Sweetest Feeling - Jackie Wilson / 7:26
05. Amore (I Love You) - Louie Austen / 10:17
06. Summer Sun (Markus Enochson Remix) - Koop / 15:07
07. LIPSTICK - Ralph Myerz & The Jack Herren Band / 20:16
08. All I Need (Jimpster Remix) - Blue Six / 23:27
09. Above The Clouds - Paul Weller / 28:55
10. Bari Track - Doni Burdick / 32:37
11. Son Of Shaft - The Bar-Kays / 35:36
12. 11 O'Clock Tick Tock - U2 / 38:57
13. Alternative Ulster - Stiff Little Fingers / 43:06
14. Where's Me Jumper? - Sultans Of Ping FC / 45:47
15. Punk Rock Girl - The Dead Milkmen / 48:51
16. Drive My Car - Bobby McFerrin / 51:26
17. Fresh Start (Derrick Carter's All Hail The New Ugly Re-Dub) - Tera Deva / 54:04
18. The Jam - Miguel Migs / 58:35


Tuesday, April 18, 2006

L'Enfer du Nord

I'm a bit late posting this but what the hell?..

The 104th Paris-Roubaix or "The Hell Of The North" was raced two weeks ago in the north of France following many of the front lines used in the First World War.

The 259 kilometer race that includes 27 sections of broken pave (or
cobblestones) totalling 52.7 kilometers is perhaps the most beautiful
and most excruciating one day race on the professional cycling calendar.

This year's favourite, the Belgian, Tom Boonen was outwitted (along
with the rest of the field) by 25 year old Swiss rider Fabian
Cancellara (Team CSC). Cancellara attacked on the 23rd section of
cobbles about 18 kilometers from the finish and managed to hold
everyone off, savouring the final 2 laps around the Roubaix velodrome
by himself for the first Swiss victory in the race since 1923.

Before the race the Belgian legend Eddy Planckaert was interviewed and
asked about his victory in the Roubaix velodrome in 1990. He stated
that he always wondered what it would be like to arrive in the
velodrome alone and actually be able to enjoy the moment. That is
because his victory in 1990 came in a sprint against 4 others where he
beat the Canadian Steve Bauer by only a couple of millimeters!

There wasn't even a centimetre in it Planckaert remembers: "A
centimetre; forget it! Five or six millimetres, yeah. Fifteen minutes
after the finish I still wasn't sure. Did I win or not? But everybody
kept congratulating me. The soigneurs of the team fell in my arms.
Post said I had won. I didn't believe them. I hadn't seen it myself
because I was sprinting with my eyes closed that last hundred meters."

He went on to describe exactly what the victory and the race meant to
him and when he realised for the first time that he wanted to win the

"You know, more than the Ronde Van Vlaanderen, Paris-Roubaix if the
world championships of the classics specialists. Coureurs like myself,
they simply had to have Paris-Roubaix on their palmares. If I never
won it, I would have been ashamed for eternity," the most colourful
offspring of the Planckaerts claims.

"I swore to myself, as a little boy that I would win that race. I was
ten years old and stood along the cobbles, with a spare wheel in each
hand. My brothers Willy and Walter were riding. The first rider to
pass was Eddy Merckx; wearing his rainbow jersey. His face enchanted
me then. The grimness it radiated. That I had and would have to be
capable of myself. From that moment onwards Paris-Roubaix had
something divine."

Planckaert went on to paint a colourful picture of how it must feel to
win solo on the track in Roubaix. "It must be an unbelievable feeling
to enter that velodrome by yourself. To experience everything at ease,
without having to stress about those others who also want to win the
race... it has to be like an orgasm. No, better than an orgasm. A sort
of trance; a feeling as if you're floating meters and meters above

"The cobbles are the hell, and the track is heaven. And well, the
showers are inferno. It's just the order of things isn't logical.
They're tombs, from the coldest stone I ever felt. Sometimes the water
was hot and then you were lucky. But when you won, you entered the
showers as the last rider. Then there was only fog. You were standing
there; in a sort of a mist, all by yourself, underneath a measly
stream of ice-cold water.

"Paris-Roubaix, that's suffering. That's cobbles. That is dust and mud
in your nose and your throat and your ears and your eyes. That's
cursing a whole day, and yelling and shouting. But I would have never
wanted to win Paris-Roubaix without experiencing those showers

What a legend!!!

I have had the fortune to travel to the Paris-Roubaix race on two
occasions: 2002 - when I saw Johan Musseuw win and 2003 - when Peter
Van Petegem won after winning The Tour Of Flanders the week before.

During the two trips I was able to ride from the Arenberg Forest and
follow the exact route until the velodrome on 3 occassions. I rode
twice the first year (because the amount of suffering from one day
wasn't enough) and another time the second year. All 3 times I was
completely knackered afterwards. Riding across cobbles is like
nothing else I have ever done on my bicycle. The Arenberg is nasty
and the Carrefour de l'Arbre makes you want to cry. In fact the first
time I rode the course, I took such a pounding on the Carrefour that
my contact lens fell out of my eye. Miracuosly, it stuck to the lens
of my sunglasses and stayed there until I finished the section and was
able to put it back in (after cleaning it with dirty hands and grimey
water of course).

But all the pain is worth when you finally arrive in the velodrome in
Roubaix. There is a really cool little bar there with all sorts of
P-R paraphoenalia, posters, pictures etc. And the few beers I had
after each of the spins were among the best, most thirst quenching I
have ever tasted.

The Best And The Worst

Possibly the best name ever for a place...

And possibly the worst name ever for a place...

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Just Too Clever

Published: April 11, 2006

GERMANY, April 10 - A German woman who found a wallet containing €1000 outsmarted herself.

"It was a bit stupid. She could have just kept the wallet," said a spokeswoman for police in Darmstadt.

"But she wanted the finder's reward - and might have got one anyway. But she opted to extort it instead."

The 47-year old found the owner's phone number in the wallet and told the pensioner she could only have it back for €100 "plus €20 travel costs".

The owner agreed to the terms, and tipped off police, who arrested the woman with the wallet at the handover point.

The End Of The Hokey Pokey

With all the sadness and trauma going on in the world at the moment, it is worth reflecting on the death of a very important person, which almost went unnoticed last week.

Larry LaPrise, the man that wrote "The Hokey Pokey" died peacefully at the age of 93. The most traumatic part for his family was getting him into the coffin.

They put his left leg in. And then the trouble started...

April 11 1970

I thought that since today is my birthday I would do a bit of homework and see what else has happened on this day over the years in music history. This is what I found...

Other Birthdays:

1956 - Neville Staples (The Specials)

1958 - Stuart Adamson (Big Country)
1966 - Lisa Stansfield
1969 - Cerys Matthews (Catatonia)
1987 - Joss Stone

Notable Events:

1956: When Elvis was travelling from Amarillo to Nashville, the plane developed engine trouble and was force to land. The incident created a fear of flying and Elvis struggled with it for the rest of his life.

1957: 'All Shook Up' by Elivs is number 1 and goes on to become the number 1 song of the year. It was the second year in a row that Elvis achieved that feat.

1961: Bob Dylan played his first live gig in NY at Gede's Folk City, opening for John Lee Hooker.

1970: The Beatles were number 1 in the US charts with 'Let It Be'. It was the group's 19th US number 1 song in 6 years. On this day Paul McCartney also announces that he will not record with John Lennon again.

1977: Alice Cooper played to 40,000 people in Syndney - the largest crowd ever to attend a rock concert in Australia's history.

1981: Eddie Van Halen married actress Valerie Bertinelli.

1994: Oasis release their first single - 'Supersonic', which went to number 31 in the UK charts.

2001: Robbie Williams sold the hand written lyrics to his song 'Angels' for £27,000 at a charity auction to raise money to build a performing arts block in his old school.

Previous Number One Singles:

1970: Let It Be - The Beatles (US) / Bridge Over Troubled Water - Simon & Garfunkel (UK)
1971: What's Going On - Marvin Gaye (US)
1972: A Horse With No Name - America (US)
1973: Neither One Of Us (Wants To Be The First To Say Goodbye) - Gladys Knight & The Pips (US)
1974: Hooked On A Feeling - Blue Swede (US)
1975: Philadelphia Freedom - Elton John (US)
1976: Disco Lady - Johnny Taylor (US)
1977: Rich Girl - Hall & Oates (US) / Knowing Me Knowing You - Abba (UK)
1978: Night Fever - Bee Gees (US)
1979: What A Fool Believes - The Doobie Brothers (US) / I Will Survive - Gloria Gaynor (UK)
1980: Another Brick In The Wall (Pt. 2) - Pink Floyd (US) / Going Underground - The Jam (UK)
1981: Rapture - Blondie (US)
1982: I Love Rock 'n' Roll - Joan Jett & The Blackhearts (US)
1983: Billie Jean - Michael Jackson (US) / Let's Dance - David Bowie (UK)
1984: Footloose - Kenny Loggins (US)
1985: Easy Lover - Phil Collins & Philip Bailey (UK)
1986: Kiss - Prince (US)

1988: Man In The Mirror - Michael Jackson (US)
1989: Girl You Know It's True - Milli Vanilli (US) / Like A Prayer - Madonna (UK)
1990: The Power - Snap (UK)
1992: Stay - Shakespear's Sister (UK)

1994: Everything Changes - Take That (UK)
1995: Back For Good - Take That (UK)
1996: Firestarter - Prodigy (UK)
1997: Wannabe - Spice Girls (US) / Block Rockin' Beats - The Chemical Brothers (UK)
1998: Frozen - Madonna (US) / It's Like That - Run DMC vs Jason Nevins (UK)
1999: Flat Beat - Mr. Oizo (UK)

2002: Can't Get You Out Of My Head - Kylie Minogue (US)
2003: In Da Club - 50 Cent (US) / Make Luv - Room 5 ft Oliver Cheatham (UK)

Wednesday, April 05, 2006


Now that I am leaving Madrid, maybe I should consider moving to Oslo next...

OSLO, Norway - It almost seemed like a miracle to Haldis Gundersen when she turned on her kitchen faucet this weekend and found the water had turned into beer.

Two flights down, employees and customers at the Big Tower Bar were horrified when water poured out of the beer taps.

By an improbable feat of clumsy plumbing, someone at the bar in Kristiandsund, western Norway, had accidentally hooked the beer hoses to the water pipes for Gundersen's apartment.

"We had settled down for a cozy Saturday evening, had a nice dinner, and I was just going to clean up a little," Gundersen, 50, told The Associated Press by telephone Monday. "I turned on the kitchen faucet and beer came out."

Monday, April 03, 2006

A Carnival (Of Sorts)

Another Friday night. Another gig. A different bar. A different city. More self doubt and lots and lots of tinkering...

I had the pleasure of being able to play a birthday gig for some friends of mine in Dublin on Friday night. It was Michelle's 25th and we celebrated in Carnival. I had never been there before but I really enjoyed it. Good atmosphere - dark, dingy and grotty. The perfect compliment to quality tunes and lots of Heineken.

Like life, gigs are never long enough. You never get to play everything that you want to. You plan lots of different songs, different angles, different directions and you always have to stop too soon. There is always that one killer tune that you just don't have time to play. You are always begging, pleading for just 10 more minutes. Just one more song.

On Friday night I played:

01. Friday Night - Fun Lovin' Criminals
02. Thinking Of You - Paul Weller
03. Silent Sigh (Acoustic Version) - Badly Drawn Boy
04. Ease Your Feet In The Sea - Belle & Sebastian
05. Help The Aged - Pulp
06. Parachute - Something Happens
07. Carthwheels - The Reindeer Section
08. Don't Panic - Coldplay
09. Sonnet - The Verve
10. Easy - Faith No More
11. Birthday - The Sugarcubes
12. Scar Tissue - Red Hot Chilli Peppers
13. The Sporting Life - The Decemberists
14. Let It All Hang Out - Los Hombres
15. Polk Salad Annie - Tony Joe White
16. Vitamin C - Can
17. Free Salute - Little Barrie
18. Life - Sly & The Family Stone
19. I Can See For Miles - Lord Sitar
20. Nem Vem Que Nao Tem - Wilson Simonal
21. Love Will Tear Us Apart - Nouvelle Vague
22. Smoke On The Water - Senor Coconut
23. Won't Get Fooled Again - The Who
24. Black Betty - Ram Jam
25. I Can't Stand My Baby - The Rezillos
26. Totally Wired - The Fall
27. What DoI Get? - Buzzcocks
28. Teenage Kicks - The Undertones
29. When It Started - The Strokes
30. Head On - Pixies
31. A To B - The Futureheads
32. This Charming Man - The Smiths
33. Ceremony - New Order
34. Moody - ESG
35. White Lines (Don't Do it) - Grand Master Flash
36. The Humpty Dance - Digital Underground
37. Eye Know - De La Soul
38. Know How - Young MC
39. Wild Thing - Tone Loc
40. Funky Cold Medina - The Frank And Walters
41. Over And Over Again (Lost And Found) - Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
42. Take The Skinheads Bowling - Camper Van Beethoven
43. You Only Live Once - The Strokes
44. 96 Tears - Inspiral Carpets
45. Trust - Ned's Atomic Dustbin
46. 24 Hour Party People - Happy Mondays
47. Cannonball - The Breeders
48. Loser - Beck
49. Peaches - The Presidents Of The USA
50. I Fought The Law - The Clash
51. United States Of Whatever - Liam Lynch
52. I Found That Essence Rare - Gang Of Four
53. Barely Legal - The Strokes
54. Right Thing / GDMFSOB - DJ Shadow
55. Gold Digger - Kanye West
56. Sex Machine - The Flying Lizards
57. Purple Haze (Edit) - Groove Armada
58. Search - Minutemen
59. Blitzkrieg Bop - The Ramones
60. King Of The Rodeo - Kings Of Leon
61. Sabotage - Beastie Boys
62. Block Rockin' Beats - The Chemical Brothers
63. Rude Boy Rock - Lionrock
64. Dub Be Good To Me - Beats International
65. Groovy Train - The Farm
66. I Am The Resurrection - The Stone Roses
67. Birthday - The Beatles
68. Happy Birthday - Altered Images
69. Everybody Wants To Rule The World - Tears For Fears
70. The Lovecats - The Cure
71. Blister In The Sun - Violent Femmes
71. Hounds Of Love - The Futureheads
72. My Favourite Dress - The Wedding Present
73. Revelate - The Frames
74. Listen Girl - Mic Christopher
75. The Times They Are A-Changin' - Bob Dylan