Shameless plug time with Lookleft issue 5 in shops now.
This time around my inclusions are an interview with The Mighty Stef, some short pieces on Girl Talk, Maverick Sabre, Visionair and Nouveanoise as well as a piece on a historic game between Ireland and Wales in 1906.
This issue also includes:
Free Education for Everyone: The student fightback: Donal Fallon
The End of Fianna Fail?: Brian Hanley
The Zapatistas 17 years of Rebellion: Andrew Flood
The Art of History, graphic novels; a refreshing new look to history writing: Kevin Squires
and much more for €2 over 32 pages.
It’s in the usual outlets including all Easons in the North and Easons in Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Galway and Top Twenty, Roseberry Stores & Centra in Newbridge. For a full list check the website.
The premise is pretty simple, it’s a way of paying tribute to him and his legacy, after all Peel was probably the most influential radio DJ in history who since the 60’s had been exposing mainstream UK listeners to bands they would have otherwise never have heard and introduced punk, reggae, hiphop, and drum & bass to them.
I’m delighted to be taking part, if you would like to too its simple; post something on 25th October which is Peel related. If you have a blog or a Twitter or Facebook then post a Peel Session track from your favourite artist and label it #keepingitpeel. It couldn’t be simpler really.
As some of you may already know I made my radio debut (for the blog) last night on Dublin’s 98FM show Totally Irish. I was joined on the panel by the lovely Aoife from Sweet Oblivion as we chatted about the highs and lows of last weekend’s Electric Picnic with presenter John Barker. Regular readers will be unsurprised at the artist who received praise, LCD Soundsystem, Johnny Flynn, These New Puritans and ASIWYFA amongst others.
It was pretty nerve-racking to begin with but once the palpitations were over with it turned out to be very enjoyable. I haven’t heard it back yet but hope it came across well. Thanks to John & Shane asking me along to take part in the show.
ASIWYFA were one of the major highlights of the weekend so here’s ‘S Is For Salamander’ is taken from the bands Letters EP.
Super Mario Bros, one of the most recognizable and popular game series will celebrate its 25th birthday this week. The game was released in Japan September 13, 1985 revolutionising computer games forever. I, like most people spent a lot of time playing the various Mario games over the years.
The mushroom munching plumber has had an eventful 25 years, anyway it’s the perfect excuse to share this super RAC (Remix Artist Collective) ‘Mario Bros mix’ – it’s not new but it’s a keeper, enjoy!
With only a few weeks to go before the 90km cycle to Electric Picnic from Dublin in aid of Temple Street Children’s Hospital I’m up to 60km which is 2/3 of the full cycle, not bad. The route was Barretstown-Carragh-Kilmeague-Allen-Milltown-Newbridge twice, it’s a nice cycle with probably Kildare’s only hill, the Hill of Allen .
The first 30km were fine but after a short break it was difficult to get back into a rhythm again, something I will have to sort out, it was only after the 50km mark that I began feeling fatigued. I’m okay today afterwards, so it seems this ‘training’ is working.
On the donations front the current total in the totalometer is €526, a big jump from the last time and thanks to everyone, you know who you are. Funds raised must be in before 20 August so anyone wishing to sponsor me still have time to do so if you want. Please give as little or a much as you can afford it all makes a difference – To donate simply go to my charity page or those who meet me in person, I will see you around.
All funds raised will go towards the Neurosurgery Appeal to assist patients suffering from diseases or injuries of the brain or spine.
Here’s a tune I never get tired of hearing from Blur legend Graham Coxon, enjoy!
It’s a couple of weeks into this 90km ‘Tour de Picnic’ malarkey and things are going pretty well even if I didn’t get any real-time on the bike last week due to two broken pedals. It provided the perfect opportunity to get some sponsorship in, it’s about raising funds for Temple Street Children’s Hospital after all. Sponsorship has gone very well since the last time with the total amount received up to an impressive €327 – Thanks to everyone, you know who you are. If you would like to sponsor you can go to my charity page.
I managed to get out on the bike this week with the express purpose of increasing from two weeks ago’s 36km inaugural cycle. I kind of had a plan as I left Newbridge the back way once more through Barretstown and Tankards Garden heading towards Naas. Instead of heading into Naas I turned off at Jigginstown House towards Kilcullen in an attempt to cover some of the actual ‘tour’ which will pass this way.
I have mentioned before I’m not normally one for campaigns to get songs to No.1 etc. unless there is a message behind it, this is certainly an exception. A Facebook campaign to get Irish Hip-Hop pioneers Scary Éire ‘Dole Q’ to number 1 this Christmas has begun in earnest.
With a record over 450,000 people in Ireland unemployed this would send a pretty clear and concise message, it’s better than picking one Sony song over another. As a member of the growing ranks of unemployed workers in this country facing another Christmas without work I whole heartily support this campaign not only for the message but it’s a brilliant track, an Irish Hip-Hop classic.
This one will take a lot of work and spreading by word of mouth but you can start by joining the Facebook page and inviting your friends
I’m delighted to announce I will be taking part in 90km cycle ride that is ‘2Wheels Tour de Picnic’ to raise some much-needed funds for Temple Street Children’s Hospital, Dublin. The 90k cycle will leave Dublin at 9.30 on the morning of Friday 3rd September bound for Electric Picnic in Stradbally Co. Laois taking the quiet scenic back roads through Blessington, Kilcullen and Athy.
While I’d cycle quite a bit i’ve never taken on something as challenging as this so it’s a bit of a step into the unknown especially as there’s a festival to enjoy when I arrive. I will keep you up to date on how my ‘training’ and fundraising progresses over the next nine weeks with a weekly post on the blog. It should be interesting to see how I do on both fronts but it will be fun and most importantly all funds raised will go towards the Neurosurgery Appeal to assist patients suffering from diseases or injuries ofthe brain or spine.
Please give as little or a much as you can afford it all makes a difference – To donate simply go to my charity page or you can post a cheque or postal order just drop me a line here or at barrygruff[at]gmail[dot]com for details, you can also make a donation in person if you would be frequenting the same places as I that is.
Some Syd Barrett Pink Floyd for the occasion – I’m off for a spin, it’s a nice day!
With squads finalised yesterday the World Cup in South Africa is almost upon us but for French hand Ireland could be there in all their sunburnt glory but what’s done is done. It’s an excellent opportunity to see what we’ve really missed out on, great world cup songs. By and large football songs are an awful breed but sometimes they’re pure novelty gold, World Cup songs can be even worse but in 1990 two classics appeared to spur on the ‘Irish’ team attending its first ever World Cup.
‘Put em Under Pressure’ and ‘Give it a Lash Jack’ are football songs par excellence – dodgy samples, stolen riffs and choruses, what more could you want? Perhaps you’re glad we didn’t make it now. Oh well to stave off the hunger for a new generation of songs we have a mash-up of Justice and Put em under Pressure from USA!USA!USA!, lovely stuff!
It has to be said Pac-Man is looking pretty well for a lad who’s been poppin’ pills since 1980. Just so you don’t think I’ve lost the plot altogether it’s the 30th anniversary of the release of landmark computer game Pac-Man. I have always been really shit at the game but much like Tetris it’s served me well over the years in wasting time especially when I should be doing something more productive.
In a fitting or not so fitting tribute here is a Pac-Man inspired tune from Ed Rush & Optical, one of the greatest stunts from French prankster Remi Gaillard before leaving you with the immortal words of Kristian Wilson from Nintendo, “Computer games don’t affect kids; I mean if Pac-Man affected us as kids, we’d all be running around in darkened rooms, munching magic pills and listening to repetitive electronic music”.
Right muchachos time for some reflection of sorts.
So I’ve kept up this blogging malarkey for over two months now and I’m enjoying sharing my musical (and other) views and discoveries with you all. Traffic to the blog has been growing steadily and I would like to thank you all for continuing to listen to my ramblings. I’ve been thinking of ways to make the blog better, hopefully I will get around to implementing these ideas. Consequently if any graphic designers would like to help me come up with a blog banner/logo I’d be forever indebted. Oh suggestions are always welcome on how to improve things.
As it’s my birthday I had hoped to knock a mix of some sort together but I never really got a chance, after mulling over the possibilities I decided to post some good cover versions instead. Semi-inspired by listening to LCD Soundsystem’s Joy Division cover comes The National, The King Blues, Echo & The Bunnymen, The Hot Rats, Babyshambles (& Friends) and The Kooks take on some classics. Personally speaking, it’s a good selection of covers doing justice and giving a new lease of life to the originals.
That’s not all, there’s two of my favourite songs, Gang of Four’s ‘Armalite Rifle’ (Riot Dog would be proud)and HMHB’s ‘All I Want for Christmas is a Dukkla Prague Away Kit’.
A shameless bit of plugging here today for one of my favourite online haunts, Irish Election Literature Blog, a pretty amazing archive resource of Irish political leaflets from way back when to the present day. It’s got plenty of stuff for any of you interested in politics or design but there are piles of hilarious ones too, remember Clifford T Reid’s Euro Campaign?
It’s a blog that I’m delighted to say I have been donating some stuff to lately, it’s definitely worth checking out and if any of you have old election materials lying around send them on.