Archive for the ‘Fontaines D.C.’ Category

[ATTENDED: April 22, 2022] Just Mustard

Just Mustard are a five piece band from Dundalk, Ireland.  They make a fantastic noisy mess of shoegaze combined with a wall of noise and singer Katie’s droney but at times piercing vocals.

The blew away Underground Arts when they opened for Fontaines D.C.

They have a new album coming out soon and they played a bunch of songs from it.  Lead singer Katie Ball was wearing a cheerleader-type outfit with her name in letters across he front.  This was about the only whimsical thing in their entire set.

The band exuded seriousness and they were exceptional musicians.  Drummer Shane Maguire played some amazing and unexpected fills and when he hit the snare hard (which wasn’t always) it cracked to attention.  I was in front of guitarist David Noonan who played a lot of rhythmic sounds (not so much rhythm guitar as rhythmic sounds–his playing was very percussive.


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Drummer has a funny story about joining My Little Funhouse.  It’s especially funny given how young he was and how raunchy the band seems.

This album feels like a hair metal band whose second guitarist had just heard of grunge.  Lead singer Alan Lawlor sounds bratty and sleazy like an L.A. hair metal stud.

There’s some ripping guitar solos (“Destiny”) and big soaring ballads (“Wishing Well”) and there’s a dumb straight up rocker (“L.S.D.”).  There’s even the quiet intro (lighters up in the air) “sensitive” song (“breaks my heart/tears me apart”), “Anonymous.”

The one musical surprise is the summer guitar intro of “Been too Long” which sounds like it belongs to another song all together.  Although the bass/drum clap along is pretty apt.  “raintown” is another song that is a little unusual here–it feels like a B-side.  Lawlor’s vocals are toned way down and the production is much softer.

Perhaps the one thing that sets them apart from the West Coast metal is the song “Catholic Boy.”  Yup, it’s just as sexual/ist as a typical metal band, but the specificity of being Catholic seems very Irish to me.

My Little Funhouse opened for Guns N’ Roses when they toured Ireland.  And that makes perfect sense.  This album is completely of its time (or maybe a year too late).  With the right exposure, they would have been huge.  But this is the only thing they released before they broke up.

[READ: December 30, 2020] Irish Drummers Volume 1

I received this book at work and thought it would be interesting to look though.  I flipped through the names in the contents and was pretty sure I hadn’t heard of any of these drummers.  But it turns out I knew a lot of the bands they played in, just not their names.

Gilligan says that he created the website Irish Drummers several years ago.  It was an opportunity for him to interview Irish drummers and celebrate them.  Gilligan himself is a drummer but never really played with any bands.  Probably the most famous Irish drummer, U2’s Larry Mullen, Jr is not in this book, but he is on the website.

Gilligan thought it would be very cool to publish a book and here it is. The interviews are truncated for the book, you’ll get a lot more online.

Each interview has a picture (or two) and three to seven questions.

I have made some notes of interest from the drummers who had something unique to say. (more…)

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[POSTPONED: May 4, 2020] Pottery / P.E.

indexI saw Pottery open for Fontaines D.C. and was really impressed by them (I actually enjoyed them more than Fontaines because the Fontaines crowd were jerks).

Pottery were weird and cockeyed and really fun. They have an EP out that is only online. They have a full length coming out soon.

I didn’t know they were touring until recently and I probably wouldn’t have gone to this show because I’d have had a show the two nights in a row before it.  But I’m pleased to know that they were coming and that they are going to come back when things settle down.

P.E. is a band formed out of the band Pill (who I’ve not heard of but who were a skronky and intense DIY art-punk band).  Three members of Pill have gone on to form P.E.  The song I heard “Top Ticket” was a propulsive thump, strung along by drill whirs and Torres’ snotty deliver: “I want the top ticket/ Nothing average, nothing contrived/ None of that consumer-grade shit.”   Noisy and weird, a pretty good fit for Pottery.

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SOUNDTRACK: THE SULTANS OF PING FC-“Wheres Me Jumper?” (1992).

The Sultans of Ping were, of course, named after the Dire Straits song.  They were named when “it was sacrilege to say anything whatsoever funny or nasty about Dire Straits.”

This song (or 30 seconds of it) was used as the opening  to the TV show Moone Boy.

The song was an unexpected, presumably novelty, hit in 1992.  It’s stupidly catchy and amusingly nonsensical and your appreciation for it is pretty much entirely dependent on your appreciation for Niall O’Flaherty’s voice which is comical and rather shrill in this song.  The other songs on the record are somewhat less so, but are still delivered in his speak-singing style.

I get a sense of them being like Ireland’s answer to The Dead Milkmen with a sprinkle of John Lydon on vocals–a fun punk band that flaunted a silly side.  Of course, I wasn’t in Ireland at the time, so perhaps they’re more akin to the Ramones in punk legacy.

The Sultans of Ping (later named The Sultans) were (a subconscious at least) predecessor to bands like Fontaines D.C.

But whereas Fontaines D.C. tackles existential life in Dublin, this song tackles a more urgent and pressing concern:

Dancing in the disco, bumper to bumper
Wait a minute:
“Where’s me jumper?

It’s all right to say things can only get better
If you haven’t just lost your brand new sweater
I know I had it on when I had my tea
And I’m sure I had it on in the lavatory
Dancing in the disco, go go go
Dancing in the disco, oh no, oh no
Dancing in the disco, bumper to bumper
Wait a minute:
Where’s me jumper?…

[READ: Summer 2019] Moone Boy

Chris O’Dowd is an Irish actor (we love him from the IT Crowd, and he has since been all over the place).  In 2012, he created Moone Boy as a sitcom based on his own childhood growing up in Boyle, County Roscommon, Ireland.

The show was a hit and they made three six-episode seasons.  This book came out around the time of the second season.

The story focuses on Martin Moone, a 12 year-old boy growing up in Boyle.  His friend Pádraic has an imaginary friend and Pádraic encourages him to get an imaginary friend (IF) of his own.  The rest of the book follows the exploits of Martin and his first (and second) imaginary friend.

But the book begins with some absurdist comedy.  Turns out he book is written from the point of view of the imaginary friend (we don’t really learn that until later) and he starts off with this:

Before we begin, I need to carry out a quick survey,

Are you reading this book because:

A. You have a scientific interest in the moon.
B. You have a scientific interest in the misspelling of the word “moon.”
C. You want to find out how quick and easy it is to obtain an imaginary friend that you’ll cherish for life.
D. You’ll read anything  You’re just like that.

If your answer is A or B, then I’m afraid you’re going to be disappointed.  There’s very little moon action in this story, apart from the brief appearance of a wrestler’s wrinkly bum.

If your answer is C, then you’ll be equally disappointed.  I suggest you pick up a copy of Imaginary Friends – The Quick and Easy Guide to Forever Friendship by a former colleague of mine, Customer Service Representative 263748.

If your answer is D, the good for you!  You’re my kind of reader.  I’m glad we got rid of that other bunch of idiots who picked A, B and C.


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[ATTENDED: September 7, 2019] Fontaines D.C.

I had heard of Fontaines D.C. from NPR.  They raved about the band’s live show.   I was pretty exited to get to see them in a small place like Johnny Brenda’s.  Then I was really quite surprised that they sold out.  I feel like a lot of times bands that I think have a lot of buzz either don’t or don’t have it in Philly.

But it was sold out and the crowd knew the band really well (much better than I did).

When Pottery went off stage, the floor cleared out a bit and I got a great spot right up front.

Then they turned on these awful blue lights.  Was that the band’s decision?  Why were they like that for the whole show?  Who thought that wa sa good look for anyone?  But I didn’t really care because I was ready to hear this legendary (already) band.

They are an interesting band to be sure.  Many (but not all) of their songs are fast.  But all of their songs feature lead vocalist Grian Chatten speak-singing ala Art Brut but with a Dublin accent.  On stage Chatten is something of a caged tiger, walking around grabbing the mic stand, lurching, looking distracted or pissed off.  And then he bursts out his vocals.  (more…)

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[ATTENDED: September 7, 2019] Pottery

After cutting it so close last night for the Joanna Newsom show, I made sure to leave plenty early for this sold out show.

A few months ago, Route 95 was closed at Girard Avenue.  For TWO YEARS.

So the ease of getting to Johnny Brenda’s has been removed.  They are also doing a lot of other road constructions in the neighborhood.  Which meant it was impossible to find a parking space.  I drove around for nearly 30 minutes before finding a spot in a neighborhood I’ve ever been to before. By the time I arrived for the show, Pottery had already started.  I don’t know how much I missed, but I am bummed I did because e I really enjoyed them a lot.  [Judging by other setlists, I suspect I walked in during the first song, but I’m not sure].

Nevertheless, I did get to hear a solid 30 minutes of their set. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: September 6, 2019] Joanna Newsom

This was scheduled to be a busy concert weekend for me–three days, three shows.

I was glad the first one was a seated, relaxed show of Joanna Newsom playing her harp and piano.  The traffic into Philly was light, until I got into City Center.  I had planned to park on the street (you can find it sometimes), but I wound up driving on a street under construction behind a bus and I watched as the time ticked away.  Finally I grabbed the nearest parking garage and sucked up the $22 fee and then hustled over the theater and managed to get into my seat just as the lights dimmed.  Holy cow.

I had never seen Newsom before, and I suspect that I was quite lucky to see her on this limited run tour because I understand it’s her first solo tour in about 15 years–she’s usually accompanied by… someone else, I guess.  It was also her first tour at all in four years.  She said she was very nervous.  And she did make a few mistakes.  But she was always gracious and self-deprecating about them.  And considering she played about 200,000 notes that night, missing one or two isn’t the end of the world.

She came out to much applause.  I gather that her fan base is pretty intense (the kind who laugh and squeal at any comment the musician makes).  However, unlike other similar fans, these were relatively restrained (it was a rather formal setting after all).  But it was nice to be enveloped in so much mutual love.

The strange thing for me is that I didn’t really know any of her songs before this show.  I knew what she sounded like and I’m sure I’ve heard a song or two somewhere, but I was a Newsom novice.  I just knew it would be an excellent evening.  And so it was.

She came out on stage to thunderous applause.  She had on a beautiful floor-length dress, which–when someone asked her–she said was by California designers Rodarte.  And that they had made four dresses, one for each of her albums. (more…)

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