Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Hurricane Paulo

DUBLIN, September 27 - Last night a tropical depression named Paulo formed in Dublin city center in The Olympia. Despite the hot and humid conditions during the Maximo Park gig there just wasn't enough time or space to sustain any dangerous air guitars or scissor kicks.

However, Declan Murphy from Met Eireann has warned that the storm is far from finished. "We have been keeping a close eye on this storm during the last few weeks and we think that there is a very high potential for some serious damage. There have only been a few disturbances during the last couple of weeks but we have reason to believe that things are going to get a lot worse before they get better. After the Maximo gig last night the depression settled down but it looks to be gaining strength again today and we fear that it will increase to a tropical storm by about 9pm this evening. Paulo is a lot more concentrated on The Bluetones in The Village and we think he will be able to relate to the band and feed off their set a bit better than Maximo. We are also very worried about the larger venue which of course provides the opportunity for prolonged bouts of air guitar and more violent scissor kicks".

Following tonights gig it seems that the storm will head south to Spain by the end of the week and could create some chaos down there for just over 7 days. Then, if the predictions are correct, the following 3 weeks should be fairly quiet with just a few tropical disturbances here and there most likely on the weekends. But the big fear is October 30th - the bank holiday Monday night.

"Oh, it will be very, very bad" says Declan. I think last night was a teaser and tonight will be a bit of a taster but make no mistake Paulo will attain hurricane status for the We Are Scienists gig in The Ambassador on October 30th. This storm will be extremely organised and disturbed with perturbations and gale force winds that we have not seen since the Ned's gig in London last summer. It will be a major, intense hurricane and we can not even estimate the amount of air guitar playing, windmills and scissor kicks that will occur. There is also the extreme possibility of tsunami-like effects from prolonged, sustained crowd surfing. Ned's was bad but Paulo is really, really focused on this gig. The damage from WAS will be extremely widespread and the destruction could be enormous".

The management team from The Village have taken the warning on board and are said to be taking some precautions for this evening. However, the management from The Ambassador were unavailable for comment.

Maximo Park At The Olympia

I went to see Maximo Park last night in The Olympia in Dublin and it was a crackin' gig! The band are full of energy and frontman Paul Smith and keyboardist Lukas are total loo-las. They only played for 75 minutes but it was absolute quality. I was reminded by the lads that I had stated last year their album A Certain Trigger was so good that it could change your life. Perhaps that is a bit of an overstatement but it is fantastic none the less.

Their new album is currently being recorded and set for release next March.

Their setlist for the night was:

01. Girls Who Play Guitar (New Song)
02. Now I'm All Over The Shop
03. Graffiti
04. Postcard Of A Painting
05. A Fortnights Time (New Song)
06. I Want You To Stay
07. By The Monument (New Song)
08. Limassol
09. I Want You To Leave
10. Signal And Sign
11. The Coast Is Always Changing
12. The Night I Lost My Head
13. Once, A Glimpse
14. Going Missing

15. Kiss You Better
16. Nosebleed (New Song)
17. Apply Some Pressure

After the gig we ambled next door to Brogan's for a pint or two of the black stuff (because it would just be down right rude not to). While we were sitting there the keyboardist came in for a drink but the bar had stopped serving. We finished our pints and had an idea - if he was wandering around maybe the other lads were as well.

We walked back up to the Olympia and spotted the bassist Archis who happily signed a setlist sheet for us. Then the guitarist Duncan appeared and was also very obliging. After about a 15 minute wait the singer Paul emerged and he too was a really sound guy who was more than happy to sign an autograph.

Who says that rock 'n' roll stars can't be nice guys?

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Celebrating Victory

The cycling World Championships were held this past Sunday in Salzburg, Austria. In typical fashion the 265km race came down to the last 700 meters in a sprint finish. The Italian Paolo Bettini took advantage of a Spanish leadout and beat the German Erik Zabel and Spaniard Alejandro Valverde to become the new champion.

Afterwards on the podium the two lads decided to celebrate by tossing Bettini into the crowd:

The Ryder Cup also concluded on Sunday with the European team making a right show of the Americans. The undisputed hero of the European team was the Irishman Darren Clarke who won all three of his matches including the singles match on Sunday on the 16th hole and broke then down in tears. It was an unbelievably emotional moment and I can tell you there wasn't a dry eye in the entire pub.

Later, in full celebratory mode he had a bit of fun. First he drowned the European captain Ian Woosnam in champagne:

Then, he downed a pint of Guinness in one:

I think it would be quite interesting to combine both celebrations. Something like downing a bunch of pints and then tossing around the smallest guy you can find...

Friday, September 22, 2006

What Is Funk?

Funk is a many splendored thing.
Funk is a nasty vibe, and a sweet sexy feeling.
Funk is a high, but it is also down at the bottom, the low-down earthy essence, the bass elements.
Funk is hot, but funk can be cool.
Funk is primitive, yet funk can be sophisticated.
Funk is a way out, and a way in.
Funk is all over the place.
Funk is that nitty-gritty thang that affects people when things get heavy.
Funk is what you say when nothing else will do.
Funk is whatever it needs to be, at the time that it is...

Sadly, last night marked the last Soul Food gig in Bia Bar. After a year plus of quality Thursday nights of lounge, funk and soul the lads have decided to change directions with the music and will be introducing a new night featuring latin, reggae and drum & bass. Fortunately, I was invited to play one last time at Soul Food and did my best to get the "funk" out. Thanks to those of you that came to listen to me and show your support.

My set for the evening was:

01. Mission Impossible Theme - Lalo Schifrin
02. Coming Of Age - Jay-Z
03. Cold Bear - The Gaturs
04. It's My Thing (You Can't Tell Me Who To Sock It To) - Marva Whitney
05. Let The Music Take Your Mind - Kool & The Gang
06. Go With The Flow - Pete Rock & CL Smooth
07. Wicky Wacky - Fatback Band
08. High - Freeze, Mr Blue, Hotdog, DL Swift
09. California Soul - Marlena Shaw
10. This Is Soul - Paul Nero
11. Soul Kitchen - The Doors
12. Honky Tonk (Part 1) - The James Brown Soul Train
13. Advice - Sly & The Family Stone
14. Got Myself A Good Man - Pucho & The Latin Soul Brothers
15. Can I Get A Witness - Barbara Randolph
16. If It Ain't Broke... Break It! - The Limp Twins
17. Vida de Otario - Antonio Pinto / Ed Cortes
18. Neighbor! Get Your Own - The Rimshots
19. Superfly - Curtis Mayfield
20. Sunshine Of Your Love - Spanky Wilson
21. Make Me Believe In You (Beedle / BSO Re-Edit) - Patti Jo
22. The Magic Number (Chad Jackson Hip Hop Mix) - De La Soul
23. Groove Is In The Heart (12" Version) - Dee-Lite
24. Superbad (Parts 1 & 2) - James Brown
25. Hypnotize - Notorious BIG
26. Addicted - Only Child ft Veba
27. Milk - The Basic
28. Tuxedo Rap - People Under The Stairs
29. Bust A Move - Young MC
30. White Lines (Don't Do It) - Grand Master Flash & Melle Mel
31. Hate It Or Love It - The Game ft 50 Cent
32. South Soul Party (South Soul Scat) - Montana
33. Giraffe Walk - Quantic & Mr Scruff


Friday, September 01, 2006

Puesta Del Sol Musica I

'May peace, love & music be the message...'

You can listen to this mix here.

The songs included are:

01. Private Session (25th Mix) - Lovers Lane / 00:00
02. Breezin' - Boris Gardiner / 04:44
03. Sunbeams - UKO / 08:07
04. Warm Weather - Pieces Of A Dream / 12:24
05. Get A Life (Album Mix) - Rae & Christian ft Bobby Womack / 16:22
06. Montego Slay - People Under The Stairs / 19:59
07. Closer Than Before - Nostrum 3 / 23:55
08. Monika's Summer - Future Loop Foundation / 30:04
09. I Just Can't Help Myself - Terry Callier / 36:09
10. Invisible - M-Seven / 39:19
11. Love Unlimited - Fun Lovin' Criminals / 44:25
12. Sunset - Lonnie Liston Smith / 47:43
13. Close Cover - Wim Mertens / 51:52
14. Romeo (Acoustic Version) - Basement Jaxx / 55:04
15. Cette Planete - JP Juice / 58:32
16. Another Day - Kings Of Tomorrow / 64:38
17. LIPSTICK - Ralph Myerz & The Jack Herren Band / 69:17
18. The Gift - Way Out West / 72:28

The picture was taken at Cafe Del Mar, San Antoni, Ibiza on 15 August of this year.

This mix is dedicated to my mother, who is celebrating her birthday today.


Robert Förster: "If my body is my fortune, then today I am broke"...

I think that Robert Forster has become my favourite cyclist. With all of the doping scandals and bad press that plague the sport now it is very easy to become completely jaded and just presume that everyone is on dope (which I believe to be true). But Robert seems (from what I have read) like a really normal dude who is racing clean. He has an on-line diary on but unfortunately it is all in German. Luckily because he is very funny and never short of a story or two there are often quotes and excerpts of his entries on

Three of the most recent stories are about the Vuelta (Tour Of Spain) which is currently taking place.

On the meal after Stage 06...

Don't be surprised if the rest of the peloton does everything it can to stay away from the Gerolsteiner riders in Friday's stage of the Vuelta a España, says Robert Forster.

It's not that they're worried about crashes, have personality conflicts with them, or anything like that; it all comes down to what the Gerolsteiner guys ate for dinner last night.

On Thursday night, totally out of the blue, Rene Haselbacher started eating garlic, and the others joined in. "There was sort of a paste, we put it on everything, on noodles, on meat, absolutely everything," Forster told "The theory was, if we all ate it, we wouldn't smell it ourselves... We emptied the bowl. Well, garlic is good for your health, isn't it?"

On the Vuelta: Stage 05...

Needless to say, the mountain stage was not at all to the liking of Gerolsteiner sprinter Robert Forster. On the second climb he found a small group with "...the usual suspects, my homeboys like Backstedt and Renshaw." He even found an advantage in riding so far back. "The good thing when you ride alone off the back is that you never have a problem getting something to drink. In the field it's always a big thing until you've made your way through all the autos. You have to look at it positively!"

With 8 km left, he worried about making it to the finish within the time limit. "So I went to work: I rode up as if in a delirium," and made it with minutes to spare. His summary of the day: "If my body is my fortune, then today I am broke!"

On the amount of water needed for a stage in the Vuelta...

It's a good thing that Robert Forster's team sponsor is in the bottled water business: the Gerolsteiner rider and his teammates needed it in Monday's Vuelta stage. "It was total chaos back by the team cars, because thousands of riders were constantly getting water," he wrote in his Vuelta diary on "I asked one of our helpers: we nine Gerolsteiner riders used 280 bottles today! The most of them were to drink, of course, but some of them we poured over our heads But you'd better not do it like the British rider Wegelius did: He took a bottle from another team, and poured half of it out over his head before he noticed that it was coca-cola... We all laughed like crazy!"

The average temperature in Spain that day was 39,5 degrees, at times underway it was well over 40. "It was so hot already at the start that we didn't want to get out of the air-conditioned bus."

And when 'Frosi' got to the hotel after the stage, he knew it couldn't be good news when someone asked him, "Have you heard the news?" Turns out that his and his roommate Marcel Strauss' suitcases got left behind in the last hotel...