• Some Alternative Workout Music

    Mar 8 2009, 15h02

    I recently joined and gym and I’ve been out of the whole voluntary exercise spiel for quite some time and I knew that I’d take to it like a cat to a freezing pond. I brought my MP3 player with me to help get me through it but I soon learned that the type of music that I walk down the street with isn’t exactly ideal for a stint on the treadmill. I found myself just closing my eyes and running to the beats of the music… and almost being flung off the end of the treadmill. I now understood why gyms always play an endless bombardment of “UNTZ UNTZ UNTZ” over the stereo systems - insurance reasons. People would be flying off treadmills left, right and centre should they dare to play anything decent!

    This poses a problem for me as I go to the gym to exercise and not to have blood slowly trickle from my ears thanks to being exposed to such drivel. So I’m on the look out for an alternative work out playlist which would ideally encompass some rock and electro and result in me not having to worry about being flung across the room. A quick Google revealed a few suggested playlists but they didn’t really appeal to me so I went trawling through my music collection to see if I could find anything that would be of interest.

    A few months a go, I started to hear good things about an artist going by the name of “Girl Talk” whose made a name for himself for having a knack for fusing together the latest chart hits with timeless power ballads of yesteryear and topping them off with hip-hop beats. You can say what you want about people who “mashup” songs, but there’s no arguing that Girl Talk’s end product is extremely fun to listen to! It should see me through a few miles anyway.

    Of course, once I figured that I was craving an eclectic mix of rock and electro, 2 Many DJ’s / Soulwax immediately sprung to mind. As well as consistently knocking out top-class remix after top-class remix of some of the best songs released on the alternative scene over the years, they’re also infamous for their “As Heard on Radio Soulwax” series which were sets of (usually) alternative songs that were transformed thanks to the magic Soulwax touch. With 2 Many DJ’s, you can expect great songs to somehow be made better and you’ll find yourself growing fond of songs that you weren’t too keen on to start with! Admittedly, some of their sets sound as if they don’t really have their shit together, but most of them sound as if they were hand-picked for me!

    There is absolutely tonnes of material from both of those artists available free online (as in legally). I’d advise you to seek them out if you’re growing tired of the music typically found in gyms! Hopefully I won’t have any carpet burn to report!
  • God is an astronaut come to Waterford

    Nov 15 2008, 3h12

    Fri 14 Nov – Library Tapes, God Is an Astronaut

    I got that giddy feeling again. I hadn’t felt it since I went to see Tool in the Point in 2006. God is an astronaut were coming to town! I’ll admit that I’ve only recently grown attached to the whole Post-rock genre but in the time I’ve been listening to it, God is An Astronaut are a band that constantly stuck out. Accessible, yet intricate.

    Electric Avenue was the venue - and it was packed!. However, to put things into perspective, God is an Astronaut have been selling out large venues all across Europe all Summer long,yet I describe Electric Avenue as being packed whenever there’s more than twenty people spread out around the place! It’s as intimate as it gets, and even though I only arrived to see the supporting act, Library Tapes, finish up, I was still able to get a table right at the front!

    Even though I’ve been listening to them practically non-stop for the past month in anticipation of this gig, I can’t recall their set list! I can only say that it was absolutely mind-blowing! There was something old and something new with each and every one of their songs leading up to epic climaxes. This was the type of gig that you didn’t jump around to, or mosh to, but simply stood there in awe, desperately trying to take in not only the statutory rape of your ears, but the assault of your eyes through the form of a synchronised visual display!

    In hindsight, that was my problem - I paid too much attention to the music instead of my drink! I made the “newbie” mistake of leaving my drink on the edge of the table I fought so hard to get. On the very first song, once the sound of the guitars and drums married each other for the infamous “wall of sound” effect of post-rock, my pint slid off the table! I heard the glass fall, but assumed it was one of the skangers behind us who must have taken a wrong turn and ended up in this place! Anyway, I turn around and go to take a drink - an invisible drink! Not to worry, I only have to buy another. If it was any other band I probably would have complained though!

    The rest of the show was epic to say the very least. When it was over, I went up to the band to congratulate them on their show because it’s always nice to see bands put so much energy into a small show like this. I bought their intriguingly self-titled latest album and a t-shirt and asked the entire band to sign it. I also talked to Thorsten, their “frontman” so to speak, about how their gear was stolen earlier this year. I have a lot of respect for a group of people who can bounce back from a set back such as that and continue on. A lot of people would have had their souls destroyed there.

    Afterwards, and I suppose this leads up to this present moment, I wonder if they felt weird signing an album. To most people, Torsten Kinsella, Niels Kinsella and Lloyd Hanney aren’t household names yet to me, I hold them in the same regard as I do my all-time favourite band; Tool! I wasn’t able to get the John Hancock of Maynard and co when they came to Dublin two years a go, but I’ll happily accept the signatures of God is An Astronaut on my newly bought album!

    Despite being together for eight years or so, I don’t think the time has come and gone for God is an astronaut. Their new album is fantastic and they deserve to be playing all the biggest venues worldwide and to adoring fans of all ages. I admit I have a hidden agenda though. When they “make it”, I might just ask them to buy me that pint they owe me!