Archives for May 2014

Kim And Kanye in Shock Refusal at Limerick Disco.

Kim and Kanye on their way to the Gappy Geerbox?

Kim and Kanye on their way to the Gap­py Geerbox?

Glam­orous new­ly weds Kanye West and Kim Kar­dashi­an were con­tro­ver­sial­ly refused when they queued up out­side Lim­er­ick hot spot the Gap­py Geer­box at the weekend.

Kanye was asked to emp­ty his pock­ets, and in the absence of any kind of a weapon he was told to choose form a selec­tion of the house knives provided.

The own­er of the Gap­py G, as it’s known local­ly, explained, “If you turn up at a golf club with­out a tie, they give you one to put on. Well it’s the same class of a car­ry on here. We’ve a rep­u­ta­tion to think of.”

Kim and Kanye, who are hon­ey­moon­ing in the West of Ire­land had already run into trou­ble ear­li­er that evening, when they’d been enjoy­ing a quick drink at the Jim­my Dog. Kanye had asked for Crys­tal, only to be told that it was her night off, but that Dolores here would look after him instead. This though was said with so many the­atri­cal winks, raised eye­brows and air nudges, that an enraged Kar­dashi­an stood up to object.

Before any­one could say any­thing a dozen of the fifty or six­ty min­ders they had with them descend­ed en masse on the hap­less Dolores to vicious­ly assault her. Nine of them were sub­se­quent­ly hos­pi­talised, though only two were seri­ous­ly hurt — unless you count a frac­tured skull as “seri­ous”.

Michael O'Leary strenuously denies the couple were treated any differently to any of the other customers on Ryanair.

Michael O’Leary stren­u­ous­ly denies the cou­ple were treat­ed any dif­fer­ent­ly to any of the oth­er cus­tomers on Ryanair.

Dolores her­self was not unscathed. One of the fas­ten­ers on her bra strap was bad­ly dam­aged – imag­ine, that was the night she chose to wear a bra! Though she was reluc­tant to say any­thing more, as the whole thing’s been hand­ed over to her legal team who are cur­rent­ly prepar­ing what’s like­ly to be a sub­stan­tial claim.

It was then that the new­ly weds made their way to the Gap­py G, only to be met with more trou­ble. After refus­ing to select from the blades on offer – “not even a Stan­ley” one of the locals com­plained — Kanye was then seen qui­et­ly refus­ing the joint he’d been offered. “It mess­es with my morn­ing Pilates regime”, he sheep­ish­ly explained. At which point his bride arrived to join him in the queue.

Sit­ting astride a bejew­elled palomi­no pony, with ruby-stud­ded hooves and an emer­ald-encrust­ed tiara atop its mane, Kar­dashi­an her­self sport­ed a see-through chif­fon gown woven from indi­vid­u­al­ly, fair-trade har­vest­ed, organ­ic silk worms, over a nat­ur­al-death leop­ard skin thong and brassier, with high heel shoes sculpt­ed taste­ful­ly by Jeff Koons from a 490.6 carat dia­mond, mined from the depths of the south Atlantic, and def­i­nite­ly not from South Africa. Or, for that mat­ter, any­where else in Africa.

If you’re going to go out and about on the town like, you have to make some kind of an effort. Ya one looks like she’s just fall­en out of bed. I wouldn’t let my 9 year old daugh­ter out the house like that, not even to buy her fags.”

What kind of a wed­ding do call that any­way?” one of the club’s reg­u­lars com­plained. “She’s not even preg­nant!” “Don’t mind that,” her friend said. “Sure they’re not even rela’ed!”

For a full gallery of pics, see pages 2–149.

Sign up for a sub­scrip­tion right or below and I shall keep you post­ed every week on All the Very Best and Worst in Film, Tele­vi­sion and Music!

Sharon Van Etten’s new album “Are We There” Soars.

Sharon Van Etten's Are We There.

Sharon Van Etten’s Are We There.

Sharon Van Etten has been wow­ing the good folks at NPR’s All Songs Con­sid­ered (reviewed ear­li­er here) and the boys from Pitch­fork for some time now. Her last album Tramp (2012) was pro­duced by The National’s Aaron Dess­ner and includes a guest appear­ance from Beirut’s Zach Con­don. And in his pro­file of her in this month’s New York­er (‘Relaxed Fit”), Sasha Frere-Jones describes her lat­est album as “aston­ish­ing”.  In oth­er words, we’re talk­ing indie roy­al­ty here.

Her fourth stu­dio album, Are We There, is a seri­ous piece of work. But on first lis­ten, it seems to be a tad con­ser­v­a­tive, con­ven­tion­al even. There’s noth­ing here that we haven’t heard before. Songs of heartache set to pleas­ing melodies lay­ered with lush harmonies.

The mandatory All Songs Considered podcast.

The manda­to­ry All Songs Con­sid­ered podcast.

What’s “aston­ish­ing” is how the whole adds up to so much more than the sum of its parts. These are songs that real­ly ache, and those melodies and har­monies build and grow with every lis­ten. Before you know it, they’re secure­ly lodged in the com­fort of your subconscious.

This is the album Van Etten has been build­ing up to. Son­i­cal­ly, she’s come a long way from the hushed con­fes­sion­als of those ear­ly record­ings. This is a much fuller sound, but it’s achieved with­out sac­ri­fic­ing any of the inti­ma­cy. On the con­trary, the big­ger sound ampli­fies the emo­tion­al heft. What’s she’s pro­duced in oth­er words is the ulti­mate Fleet­wood Mac album.

You can see the video for Every Time The Sun Comes Up here.

Sign up for a sub­scrip­tion right or below and I shall keep you post­ed every week on All the Very Best ad Worst in Film, Tele­vi­sion and Music!

Senna”, Remarkable Man, Thrilling Film.

The biggest sport’s star ever to come out of Brazil is, by a con­sid­er­able dis­tance, Ayr­ton Sen­na.



When he died at 34, twen­ty years ago this month, over three mil­lion peo­ple flocked to his funer­al in his native Sao Pao­lo. The gov­ern­ment declared three days of nation­al mourning.

At the time, as a Fer­rari fan, I remained cooly unim­pressed by all the fuss that was made over him. After watch­ing this film, I feel decid­ed­ly foolish.

The two things that stand out most clear­ly from this film are, on the one hand what a remark­ably appeal­ing and gen­uine­ly icon­ic fig­ure he struck. And on the oth­er, some­what sur­pris­ing­ly, even back then they filmed every­thing.

You’re there with him and all of the oth­er dri­vers, as they are debriefed by the teams back­stage before and after, as the orga­niz­ers hag­gle with them before each of the races over the safe­ty reg­u­la­tions, on hol­i­day with his fam­i­ly, at home with friends, and of course as he careers around the track.

And then there was the gen­uine dra­ma of those four of five sea­sons that saw him duel with Alain Prost, as they exchanged world cham­pi­onships and jos­tled for the seat with the strongest team. Before the arrival of com­put­ers and Michael Schu­mach­er in 1994 threat­ened to ren­der both of them redundant.

Over 3 millions attended the funeral in Sao Polo.

Over 3 mil­lions attend­ed the funer­al in Sao Polo.

Inevitably, as Prost him­self remarked, in a film called “Sen­na” his arch rival was bound to end up being por­trayed as the bad guy. Still, it’s a shame that a lit­tle more wasn’t devot­ed to how much clos­er Prost and Sen­na became in that last tur­bu­lent sea­son of his.

And then of course there’s the 1994 San Mari­no grand prix itself. On the Fri­day, new kid on the block and fel­low Brazil­ian Rubens Barichel­lo had an hor­ren­dous crash that some­how he man­aged to walk away from. On the Sat­ur­day, Roland Ratzen­berg­er was killed. And on the day itself, and just after the race had had to be re-stared after yet anoth­er crash, Sen­na came to grief.

Amaz­ing­ly, he too should have walked away, and was com­plete­ly un-bruised. But a stray piece of the car came off on impact, and hit his head at pre­cise­ly the wrong angle and in exact­ly the wrong spot.

This is a won­der­ful­ly doc­u­men­tary that just­ly cel­e­brates a remark­able man. It’s exhil­a­rat­ing, con­stant­ly thrilling and qui­et­ly mov­ing. The film came out a cou­ple of years ago but it’s out on DVD. You can see the trail­er for Sen­na here.

Sign up for a sub­scrip­tion right or below and I shall keep you post­ed every week on the very best and worst in film, Tele­vi­sion and music!

Brian Eno teams up with Underworld’s Karl Hyde for “Someday World”.

Eno, left in  Roxy Music.

Eno (left) with Bryan Fer­ry (cen­tre) in Roxy Music.

In 1979, Bri­an Eno sat down with a can of fizzy pop and a pack­et of Hula Hoops to idly watch an episode of Mork and Mindy. It was the last uncre­ative thing he ever did. Since then, he’s been for­ev­er doing some­thing.

My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts.

My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts.

After leav­ing Roxy Music and invent­ing ambi­ent music, he worked on Bowie’s sem­i­nal Berlin tril­o­gy, pro­duced three of Talk­ing Heads’ best albums, all of the best U2 albums, and pio­neered sam­pling with David Byrne with My Life in The Bush Of Ghosts back in 1981.

He’s worked on sound­tracks, instal­la­tions and albums with Gavin Bryars, Michael Nyman, Daniel Lanois, Robert Fripp, John Cale, Lau­rie Ander­son, Robert Wyatt and James Blake, as well as Dido, Cold­play and Microsoft. Despite the fact that he only works on a Mac.

In oth­er words, he’s both intim­i­dat­ing­ly pro­lif­ic, and con­scious­ly catholic in his choice of col­lab­o­ra­tors. His last two albums are hap­pi­ly more of the same.

His lat­est offer­ing is Some­day World, which he pro­duced with Underworld’s Karl Hyde. It’s an infec­tious­ly upbeat, anthemic album that will pro­vide the per­fect back­drop for your next trip in a car or on a train. But truth be told, even though it’s a lit­tle bit bet­ter than the 6.2 it gets from Pitch­fork  here, it is just a lit­tle underwhelming.

Bowie, Bono and Eno in '02.

Bowie, Bono and Eno in ’02.

Much more sat­is­fy­ing is his 2012 offer­ing, Lux. Hark­ing back to his ear­li­er, pure­ly ambi­ent work such as Music for Air­ports in 1978, or Apol­lo, the piece he did with his broth­er Roger and Daniel Lanois in 1983, Lux as its title sug­gests is both calm and inti­mate, yet warm and expan­sive. Some­how, even monumental.

It is yet anoth­er remark­able addi­tion to a stag­ger­ing back cat­a­logue. You can hear a sam­ple from Lux here.

Sign up for a sub­scrip­tion right or below and I shall keep you post­ed every week on All the Very Best and Worst in Film, Tele­vi­sion and Music!

Brian Epstein’s Brief but Dazzling Life with The Beatles.

Brian Epstein with the Beatles.

Bri­an Epstein with the Beatles.

When I saw that the doc­u­men­tary on Bri­an Epstein on BBC4 was in two parts, last­ing over 3 hours, my heart sank. What more could there pos­si­bly be to learn about the Bea­t­les? Hap­pi­ly, I was glo­ri­ous­ly wrong.

In 1963, a Bri­an Epstein act was on the num­ber one spot in the UK charts for 37 of the 52 weeks. Ger­ry and the Pace­mak­ers, Bil­ly J Kramer, Cil­la Black, and of course the Bea­t­les. And yet just three years lat­er it all began to unravel.

Texas, God bless America.

Texas, God bless America.

Dur­ing their tumul­tuous 1966 tour The Bea­t­les received a spate of seri­ous death threats in Japan, had their records burnt in the Philip­pines and had to deal in the Amer­i­can south with John’s big­ger than Jesus remarks.

They decid­ed to quit tour­ing and con­cen­trate instead on the record­ing stu­dio. For Epstein, this was a dis­as­ter. With­out in any way plan­ning it, the Bea­t­les sud­den­ly stopped turn­ing to their busi­ness man­ag­er for their every deci­sion , and came instead to rely increas­ing­ly on their pro­duc­er George Mar­tin.

Much more damn­ing from a per­son­al per­spec­tive was the grow­ing real­iza­tion that Epstein had made a com­plete mess of the mer­chan­dis­ing deals he had worked out on their behalf after The Bea­t­les had so spec­tac­u­lar­ly bro­ken Amer­i­ca. Busi­ness was his pur­pose in life and deals were sup­posed to have been his currency.

And then there was his pri­vate life. Inevitably, the ele­gant, suave and extreme­ly eru­dite gay music impre­sario had that taste for dan­ger that British estab­lish­ment fig­ures seem inex­orably drawn to. And he’d gone and got­ten him­self a bit of Amer­i­can rough. All too pre­dictably, he was humil­i­at­ed by him.

Epstein reposes at home.

Epstein repos­es at home.

By 1967, the lone­ly, gay, Jew­ish mul­ti-mil­lion­aire dis­cov­ered that for all his appar­ent suc­cess, he was as much of an out­sider then as he’d ever been. And that spring he attempt­ed sui­cide. A few months lat­er, on the bank hol­i­day August week­end, he tried again. This time, there was nobody around to res­cue him.

This is the sort of pro­gramme that the BBC does so fan­tas­ti­cal­ly well. Orig­i­nal­ly broad­cast in 1998 as part of their just­ly famed Are­na strand, it meld­ed first hand inter­views with archive footage to pro­duce a cul­tur­al snap shot of a moment in time. And the extra­or­di­nary impact one man had on it. Keep your eye out for it.

You can see a clip here.

Sign up for a sub­scrip­tion right or below, and I shall keep you post­ed every week with all the very best and worst in film tele­vi­sion and music!