All Mixed Up

Cassette Store Day 2013

Today is Cassette Store Day , which is the brainchild of a trio of music business people based in London: Matt Flag, Jen Long and Steve Ross. The three of them also run record tape labels and it was Steve who got the idea from the more established Record Store Day. Like its vinyl counterpart, Cassette Store Day will feature live bands performing in record shops and various venues worldwide today. About fifty cassettes have been released especially for today and these include titles by lesser known acts as well as more familiar names like The Flaming Lips, The Pastels, Waxahatchee and múm. You can check out a complete list of releases here and have a look at where things are happening here

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These Go To Eleven

Today’s post is brought to you by the number eleven and is just one tune shy of a dozen tracks. Each song contains the fifth prime number in its title, though I don’t know if any of the songs feature an eleventh chord. I had to leave a few songs off the first eleven, but I’ve included a couple of instrumental pieces and also two spoken word selections. You can listen to them in whatever order you like and at whatever volume you find comfortable. Just remember that all these songs go up to eleven

Today is also the day that eleven Irish footballers will line up in the first of two games against Estonia to see who’ll go through to the European Championships next year. I’ll be watching that first leg in my local in Galbally, Co Limerick, and I’ll actually be at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin to watch the second tie. Most people are quite optimistic about Ireland’s chances of getting through, though it may go right down to the eleventh hour. We don’t really mind as long as we don’t go out in similar circumstances to that night in Paris nearly two years ago. Good luck, Ireland

11 Days – Nick Cucci
Eleventh Street – Ravens & Chimes
Mornings Eleven – The Magic Numbers
Blue Yodel No. 11 – Jimmie Rodgers
Number Eleven – Jack Frost
Fragment Eleven (The Day After Yesterday) – Kenneth Bager feat Julee Cruise
Oceans 11 – Cecil Lloyd & Roland Alphonso
Eleventh Hour – Abdullah Ibrahim
11 O’Clock Tick Tock – U2
11.59 (Blondie cover) – The Postmarks
These go to eleven… – Spinal Tap

It Might Get Loud

I like all kinds of music, but I’d have to say that rock ‘n’ roll is my favourite and particularly any kind that makes prominent use of the electric guitar. Earlier in the week, I watched a brilliant documentary that focuses on three different generations of guitar players from three different backgrounds. The three are Jimmy Page from England, Jack White from America and The Edge from Ireland. The film follows them as they tinker around in their own studios and each one takes us back to their humble beginnings, their first forays into music and the songs and musicians that influenced them. The film opens on Jack White as we watch him make his own guitar from bits of string, pieces of wood and a few nails. The Edge also reveals that he and his brother both built their own guitar in their early teen years in Dublin. Jimmy Page started playing in skiffle bands and went on to become a session musician before finding initial success with The Yardbirds and later with Led Zeppelin. Instead of focusing on one musician at a time, we move from Jack to Jimmy to the Edge and back again throughout. This approach highlights the differences between the three and also their similarities. White and Page found a lot of their inspiration in the blues, while the Edge was more influenced by punk rock and new wave. Nevertheless, they built on the simple sounds offered by blues and punk to create more interesting and complex soundscapes

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Bono Bloody Bono

Earlier this year, Ireland’s national broadcaster, RTE, announced its plans for a new TV series that is currently being broadcast on its main channel. In an effort to find out who Irish people consider the greatest ever Irish person, the station conducted a poll back in March that would whittle down their shortlist of forty to a more manageable five. The quite unusual list of forty was composed of politicians, historical figures, sports stars, writers and a rather large number of entertainment figures. These entertainers included such internationally known figures as Liam Neeson, Phil Lynott and Saint Bob Geldof, but also such bizarre choices as Daniel O’Donnell, Joe Dolan and Ronan bloody Keating. Eyebrows were raised when a preliminary list of ten featured the late Boyzone singer Stephen Gately and bloody Bono. The madness continued when the U2 singer made it into the top five along with four other Irish men and women whose claims to greatness are far more deserving. Those four include two men who were actually born in the United Kingdom and only one woman, but I think it’s fair to say that any one of James Connolly, Michael Collins, John Hume or Mary Robinson would be worthy winners of this dubious award. It’s the general public who’ll be choosing the victor, however, so there’s every chance that the man born Paul Hewson could yet emerge as the winner

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