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Cork, Ireland
An Irish based alternative music blog. Music news, gigs, live reviews, album reviews... You'll find them here. If you want anything featured or removed, please shout. I hope you'll discover something new to love on this little experiment of mine. Currently editing the Music Section of the UCC Express and contributing to Motley magazine on campus, as well as writing for PopCultureMonster and 4FortyFour. Always looking for new projects so please get in touch if interested. Thanks for reading.

Friday, September 10, 2010

A Week In Music [Mon 6th - Fri 10th Sept]

This is the first in what I'm hoping can become a new series on BullBlackNova. I have redesigned the site once more (I promise I'll try and stop...) and hope to begin a new era of enthusiastic, informative and enjoyable posting with that. Check back regularly for continued work and updates on the blog...

This post (and hopefully the resulting series) is a simple concept - I'll talk about the major happenings in the world of music that occurred over the week including gigs I caught, bands I discovered, etc. as well as music news and events. If nothing else, this one is attempting to rectify my rather poor posting record of late.

My week began in a haze. Waking at about 6:30a.m. in a drenched field in Stradbally having gotten roughly an hours sleep or so, I was quickly rushed away from the whimsy and wonder of the Electric Picnic back into the harsh realities of the real world. Never easy...

However, with the post-EP hangover comes the inevitable: a host of gig announcements. As is the case with any festival, a considerable number of major acts announced gigs for the coming months. Among them were a trilogy of shows in the Olympia for the National (all sold out this morning. Get your tickets?), one for the Frames, two for Imelda May, one for Two Door Cinema Club, a countrywide tour for Villagers and eh... Kylie Minogue. Something tells me that wasn't Picnic related though. Either way, there's a huge amount to please even the most ardent music fan over the next few months.

The National: Bloodbuzz Ohio (High Violet, 2010)

Coming back to Villagers, Irish eyes were firmly fixed on Conor and co. for the Mercury Music Prize. The eventual winners were the xx, though Conor did himself no end of favours with a spellbinding performance of Becoming A Jackal. For me, it was always a tough call. The Irishman in me was yearning for a homegrown victory, though since both Wild Beasts and Laura Marling were released I've been championing the two. In all honesty, though, let me just say I'm delighted that Paul Weller and Dizzee Rascal left empty handed, while I do hope that the xx don't suffer the same fate as say Gomez, but rather go the Arctic Monkeys route.

Villagers: Becoming A Jackal (Live on Later With Jools Holland, 2010)

The xx: Islands (xx, 2009)

In other big musical news this week, we had the premiering of the first track from the forthcoming fifth album from everyone's favourite U2 tribute band: Kings of Leon. Now, for one, I didn't realise that alternative rock bands felt the need to "premier" their new songs, Earth Song-inspired video and all. Check it out and see what you think: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-IAxoqoqJ44.

Unfortunately, the option to "embed" the track has been disabled so you'll have to follow the link. For me, Radioactive, is a pretty bland song. Several days of listening to it have left me thinking "meh". They've done better, they've done worse. In reality, it doesn't have the urgency of say Red Morning Light, while it also doesn't have the stadium filling capabilities of Use Somebody. Here's hoping for a little bit more from Come Around Sun Down when it is released this October.

Sticking with new releases, the best I came across all week was the new EP from Swede folk-maestro the Tallest Man on Earth. On the back of the simply sublime The Wild Hunt from the start of this year, Kristian Matsson dropped this 5-track EP (Sometimes the Blues is Just a Passing Bird) with no warning and it really is a treat. It retains the stripped back raw beauty of Matsson's earlier work and, while it doesn't exactly push the boundaries of the genre, it is a real gem. A sign of what this man is capable of when he sticks to his mantra of "simple is better". There's no sampling, no reversed guitars, hip-hop beats, autotune... And it's all the better for it.

The Tallest Man on Earth: Little River (Sometimes the Blues is Just A Passing Bird, 2010)

Finally, we come to the best of the new acts that I discovered this week: Evil Uncle and Blackbird Blackbird.

Evil Uncle is an Irish musician who only came to my attention this morning via the excellent http://sweetoblivionloves.com/. The man himself has sprung to the attention of many bloggers due to his guerrilla EP distribution plan - basically he is just leaving the 7000 or so copies of the EP in various locations around the country for people to discover. This included 5000 under the wipers of car windows at Electric Picnic.

It would be a lovely present to find anywhere and I'm hoping anyone who is lucky enough to come across one takes the time to enjoy what is a very self-assured debut work. It comes across with the swagger and sting of Nick Cave, the Mighty Stef, etc., while he namechecks Grandaddy, Wilco and Pulp as influences himself. You can hear each on show on the EP. As he's such a nice guy, the whole thing is available for free download from his website (http://www.eviluncle.eu/fr_hi.cfm) but only for a limited time so don't miss out on this fantastic opportunity. There is also details of a handful of live shows around the country in November. The best thing I've found in weeks...

Evil Uncle: Timmy (The Siloette Sessions, 2010)

Secondly we come to the Californian lo-fi/dream-pop outfit Blackbird Blackbird. Yeah this type of act is a dime a dozen this year (Where to start? Memoryhouse, Toro Y Moi, Teen Daze, Neon Indian, etc, etc) but these guys stand out a little from the recent ones I'm coming across. It has that lovely quality of both being ambient and upbeat, rather than a simple nonchalant dreamy texture. Well worth a listen. http://blackbirdblackbird.bandcamp.com/

Blackbird Blackbird: Summer Heart (Summer Heart LP, 2010)

There we have it. The mammoth post is out of the way. I hope you enjoy it anyway. Feedback always gladly welcomed and if the post is a success then I shall hopefully continue with more of this ilk in the future.


  1. Nice blog! Pity about villagerd not getting mercury. I got an evil uncle cd in the carrier of my bike last week. Great stuff.
    Are you going to do one of these every week?

  2. Thanks for the comment! Very lucky to find one of the Evil Uncle discs - I'd love to.

    My plan is to do one of these posts every week so hopefully time allowing I'll get them out pretty regularly.

  3. Hi Kevin,

    Stevil Uncle here. Thanks for the kind words here about the music chief. Drop me a mail and I'll sort you out with one of the cds!

    steve at eviluncle dot eu