Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Finally!

Guess who’s back? Back again? Madden’s back. Tell a friend. Guess who’s back, guess who’s back, guess who’s back, guess who’s back…

Before we get started, let's answer the most common question of the past month (for me, at least): Yes, I am on MySpace. There's not a hell of a lot on my page - it's basically just a list of my favourite stuff and a picture of a cat with a melon on its head (thanks, Caro). Anyway, check it out and if you like, be my friend. Don't just add me to fill up your friend list, though, that's kinda lame. Anyway...

So it’s come to this.

I’m kind of annoyed that I was so busy lately because there was a ton of stuff I wanted to talk about. It doesn’t help that my last post before my exams completely disappeared. I liked it. I’ve been kind of overloading on music lately, and I really wanted to talk about some of it. The main part of the last piece was on Nada Surf, a really great band I saw in Whelan’s a couple of weeks ago. I hadn’t been in Whelan’s since Christmas when I saw Rocco DeLuca & The Burden, but it was good to see that the ironic t-shirt and Converse hi-top business is still booming.

For those of you who have never been to Dublin, by the way, Whelan’s is like The Bait Shop on ‘The O.C.’, except it looks like an Irish country pub. It’s an institution in Irish music – there’s almost always a good local or relatively obscure international band playing. Plus one of the bands might make it big and you’ll be able to say "I saw them way back when…" I know people who claim to have seen Green Day and Nirvana play there in their pre-‘Dookie’ and pre-‘Nevermind’ days, respectively.

Anyway – Nada Surf. Great band. Great show. The bass player looks like a cross between Dave Pirner from Soul Asylum (which made me think he should date Scarlett Johansson, if only because she reminds me of Winona Ryder in her prime) and a guy I went to school with who, as I understand it, is still in a band that’s trying to make it. That’s what I love about this country – not only is it perfectly acceptable to live with your parents into your thirties, but you can still be trying to start a band and nobody thinks any less of you for it.

I'm ridiculously busy at the moment. I'm trying to get two jobs, along with any freelance work that anyone wants to throw my way. Plus there's a bunch of other projects (that I still can't talk about just yet - sorry!) to occupy my time.

I want to give some more love to my cousin's band, Revolution For Dogs - once again, congratulations to the boys for making it to the national final of Emergenza on June 24th in Vicar Street. Hope it all goes well. While we're here, I kinda got into trouble for suggesting in my last post that my mum didn't exactly fit in at an indie/alt-rock concert - "Are you implying that your mother doesn't rock?" I believe were her exact words. Anyway, if I want to be allowed go home on Sundays, I better print a retraction - Mum, you rock.

Still, though, my favourite 'My Mum vs. Rock Music' anecdote is the time she was complaining that Phantom FM, the local alternative station played too many songs about sex and drugs, before turning on the local easy listening station - who were playing 'Hotel California'. Good times.

Oh yeah - there was a complaint that my sports coverage (hee-hee) had tapered off to nought. This is because I had to cancel my NASN subscription (no money) and I can't watch sports at all at the moment. Assuming I get work soon, I'll re-subscribe and you can look forward to a summer of ill-advised and under-informed baseball commentary (a sport I enjoy, but don't fully understand).

Okay, rapid subject change. Why the f-word does nobody answer phones anymore? Or return calls? I’ve spent the past three days calling people and leaving messages and sending follow up e-mails and I’ve left every contact number I have AND NOT ONE PERSON will call me back. I originally called some of these people two weeks ago, was told they’d "need a couple of days" and now… nothing. Not a word.

I know this is unlikely to work but if it’s you… call me back, for crying out loud.

Lastly, some quick pop-culture hits:

Finished 'The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay' the other day. Great book - I found it hard work and it took me ages, but I'm not as smart as I'd like to think I am. Anyway, I heartily endorse this product (to quote Krusty The Klown).

Just added to the iPod: Raconteurs, Dirty Pretty Things, Wolf Parade, Architecture In Helsinki and The Postal Service. Haven't absorbed 'em enough to give a verdict one way or another, but I'm enjoying them, for the most part. Looking forward to the new Dashboard Confessional album too, that should be out soon. I want 'The Back Room' by Editors, too. And I recently decided I need more Who albums.

And finally - Season 2 of 'Veronica Mars' starts next Thursday (8pm, LivingTV). Woohoo! Good Times!

That's it - be back in a couple of days with something a little more coherent.

(Yeah - right.)

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Checking in...

Well, at least one of you has noticed the complete and utter lack of activity here over the past two weeks. Reports of my demise have been greatly... uh, non-existent.

There was something supposed to go here last week - honest to God there was. I uploaded it, my PC crashed, and I lost it. It got stuck somewhere in blogger limbo and now it's gone. It was really good, too. If the Pulitzer commitee ever introduces a 'Blogging' category it would've been a shoe-in.

Yeah, right.

Anyway, in the words of the band Giant Drag, this isn't it. I'm about halfway through my journalism exams, so the usual rants are going to have to wait just a little while longer.

One or two quick notes, though:

As much as I hate sending people to other blogs, I would like to recommend two. One is my good buddy, John Barry's blog 'An Irishman In Paris' (he's just moved to France), and the other is the 'Journals' section on the website for the band Death Cab For Cutie. Those of you who know me probably already know I'm openly gay for Death Cab, but the journals are worth a read either way. I especially like the August 2004 open break-up letter to Bjork.

I also want to send people in the direction of my cousin Ian's band, Revolution for Dogs. You can get to their website here. They played a blinder at the Emergenza competition on the Temple Bar Music Centre, though they may have been overshadowed for me by the sheer comedy of seeing my mum surrounded by rock and roll types.

Anyway, I will write more when I have time, which should be later this week. Chances are tonight I'm going to study for tomorrow's media law exam and then watch 'The Daily Show'. Which seems like an odd thing to watch while trying to get the concept of defamation through your skull, but there you go.