Archive for June, 2011

THE FIGHT AGAINST FILES

Originally published in The Irish Times, April 15th 2011

IT’S BEEN a while since Jon Bon Jovi was described as anything close to a spokesman of a generation, but his recent denunciation of download culture resonated more vociferously than expected with music fans of a certain vintage.

You could argue that the rocker is being more than a little excitable with his dramatic statement that “Steve Jobs is personally responsible for killing the music business”, but in many ways he has a point. Although CDs remain the most popular format for music buyers, their value has been diminished by the convenience of MP3s, not to mention illegal downloads.

Nevertheless there are bands, companies and music fans still doing everything within their power to stay connected to the physical world. Continue reading

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MERCURY REV: DESERTER’S RETURN

Originally published in The Irish Times, May 13th 2011

HOW DO you define a ‘modern classic’? The criteria for such an accolade is so wide-ranging and subjective that it’s rare for records to be conferred with such an esteemed label.

Jonathan Donahue certainly doesn’t have the answer, but that won’t stop the mild-mannered Mercury Rev man from enjoying his moment in the spotlight. Earlier this year, the band were approached by the organisers of ATP’s ‘Don’t Look Back’ concert series to recreate their 1998 album ‘Deserter’s Songs’ live in its entirety. Previous albums deemed ‘seminal’ enough to have been given the same treatment over the past six years include John Martyn’s ‘Solid Air’, Public Enemy’s ‘It Takes a Nation of Millions…’ and Slint’s ‘Spiderland’.

Continue reading