Best of March 2015: Monthly Playlist Apr07

Best of March 2015: Monthly Playlist...

If February belonged to Father John Misty, it was Sufjan Stevens who owned March; his seventh studio album Carrie & Lowell was a devastatingly beautiful retreat to the simple, stripped back folk style songs of his earlier work. Irish pop perfectionists The Would-Bes released their best song since their return after a lengthy hiatus, while fans of electronic/ambient music were well served with very fine albums from Scuba, Inventions and Errors....

Remix, Re-Package, Re-issue  – the Golden Era of the 12″ Single Mar23

Remix, Re-Package, Re-issue – the Golden Era of the 12″ Single...

The fondly remembered 12″ single – some personal favourites from the 80s.

Best of February 2015: Monthly Playlist Mar02

Best of February 2015: Monthly Playlist...

February belonged to Father John Misty – a sell-out show in Dublin and an album that will take some beating for album of the year. Other releases worth checking out include fine efforts from Champs, electronica pioneer Dan Deacon and a sophomore release from The...

10 Essential Ambient/Classical Albums Feb09

10 Essential Ambient/Classical Albums

Ahead of A Winged Victory for the Sullen and Olafur Arnalds visit to Dublin this month, we take a look at ten of the very best albums of the Ambient/Classical genre

Best of January 2015: Monthly Playlist Feb02

Best of January 2015: Monthly Playlist...

10 of the best tracks from January 2015.

10 Melancholy Masterpieces Jan19

10 Melancholy Masterpieces

Sad songs say so much – 10 melancholy masterpieces.

Guest Lists: Julie Bienvenu’s Top 10 albums 2014 Jan01

Guest Lists: Julie Bienvenu’s Top 10 albums 2014...

Julie Bienvenu of the brilliant A Lazarus Soul picks her top ten albums of 2014.

Rewind: 10 Most Underrated Irish Bands of the 80s Dec30

Rewind: 10 Most Underrated Irish Bands of the 80s...

Nostalgia trip: 10 eighties Irish bands that could and should have went on to greater things including A House, Stars of Heaven and Microdisney.

Guest Lists: Craig Walker’s Top 10 albums 2014 Dec26

Guest Lists: Craig Walker’s Top 10 albums 2014...

Craig Walker of Mineral chooses his favourite 10 albums of 2014. Craig is currently working on Mineral’s second album, scheduled for release in mid 2015.

Guest Lists: Pat Barrett’s Top 10 Albums 2014 Dec23

Guest Lists: Pat Barrett’s Top 10 Albums 2014...

Pat Barrett of the Hedge Schools picks his Top Ten albums of 2014. The Hedge Schools release their new album ‘At The End Of A Winding Day’ on the 23 January.

Weird Scenes Inside The Mainstream: Ten Of The Best From Pixies Dec15

Weird Scenes Inside The Mainstream: Ten Of The Best From Pixies...

Ten essential tracks from Boston legends Pixies.

Best Albums of 2014 Dec11

Best Albums of 2014

End of year round-up time. There has been some truly outstanding albums released in the past 12 months but for me, nothing came close to the tour de force that is To Be Kind by Swans. A truly stunning record from the veteran art rockers. What are some of your favourite albums of 2014?

Best Songs of 2014 Dec10

Best Songs of 2014

Let’s list again: 30 of my favourite songs of 2014.

Cool Yule – 10 Songs for a Slade-free Christmas Dec07

Cool Yule – 10 Songs for a Slade-free Christmas...

!0 songs for Christmas. None of them are Fairytale of New York. Most of them are free of any semblance of Christmas cheer.

Psychocandy: Black Leather & White Noise – The Jesus & Mary Chain Aug08

Psychocandy: Black Leather & White Noise – The Jesus & Mary Chain...

Psychocandy: Black Leather & White Noise – The Jesus & Mary Chain

Loving the 80s: 10 Song-writers that soundtracked the decade Aug01

Loving the 80s: 10 Song-writers that soundtracked the decade...

10 song-writers that sound-tracked the eighties.

Rewind: The Smiths Revisited Jul15

Rewind: The Smiths Revisited

Were eighties Manchester legends The Smiths the most important British band of the last 30 years?

Magic and Loss – Lou Reed Remembered (1942 -2013) Oct30

Magic and Loss – Lou Reed Remembered (1942 -2013)...

“One chord is fine, two chords are pushing it. Three chords and you’re into jazz.” – Lou Reed     We tend to imagine that our idols are indestructible, resistant to the ravages of time and the slow and steady decline that sets in as the years roll by. We hold them in memory, picture perfect, raging with the youth and vitality that first drew us into their orbit. And so for a whole generation of music fans, the news of the sad passing of Lou Reed at the age of 71 felt like a cold, sharp slap to the face, a timely reminder that greatness confers no guarantee of immortality, and eventually, the music will fade away and die for all of us. Genius is a word often bandied about a little too freely when eulogising dead rock stars – in the case of Lou Reed, it seemed too small a word to encapsulate his talent. He was the original street poet, unflinching in his portrayal of the seedy underbelly of life and uncompromising in his approach to making music. With the Velvet Underground, he dropped a grenade into the Summer of Love – blasting the cosy psychedelia of the late sixties to pieces with a debut album that moved from tender to terrifying with seamless ease. The Velvet Underground & Nico (1967) remains a landmark record, and is arguably the most influential rock album of all time. While the Beatles and the Stones cloaked their references to drug-taking in layers of ambiguity, Reed cast a cold, dispassionate eye on the junkie experience – on the face of it, ‘Heroin’ is a song that sounds dangerously like glamourisation. Dig deeper and it becomes clear it was just Lou Reed telling it like it...