Albums versus Podcasts

I find it extremely difficult to switch off at night.  While on tour with Storyman, or The Guggenheim Grotto as they were then known, Kevin & Mick dubbed me “tippy tappy”, such was my penchant for being interrogated by the glow of my teeny netbook, clacking loudly on the keyboard, while everyone else was trying to sleep.  (More about Mick in a sec.)

Two years ago, I wrote a little post with some links to some things I had been listening to.  One was an intriguing podcast called “Find The Conversation”.  I never explained why I was recommending podcasts.  I had discovered around that time, that listening to podcasts helped me to fall asleep more easily than ever before.  Listening back the next day, or the following night, I’d sometimes realise that I only made it ten minutes into the show.  It was effective because it allowed my mind to focus on something without having to respond.  I was paying attention until I conked out.  It worked like a dream.  (Sorry.)  Anyway, there are a few podcasts I listen to on a regular basis, which I thought I should recommend / thank, if anyone out there suffers from a similar affliction.

Firstly though, I’d like to link to just a few Irish friends who have released albums in the past few months.  They are marvellous people, and make fantastic music.  There are loads more, but I’ll give you three for now, in no particular order.  Support them if you can…

Mick Lynch
I met Mick & Kevin of Storyman about ten years ago.  On one particular US tour, all three of us spent 1440 hours in a row together.  That’s two whole months.  Yet, we’re still firm friends.  At least, that’s what their lawyers tell me.  This is Mick’s solo debut.  (I highly recommend Many Moons – it’s a heartbreaker.)

Oliver Cole
Ollie is a fellow Meathman, and was a member of Turn, whose album Forward had a lasting effect on me.  Always positive and confident.

Patrick Freeman
Paddy’s debut is a little gem.  Often at sessions, when Paddy’s breaking out in song, other musicians will audibly mutter “bastard!” in appreciation of the man’s talents.  I think, in these parts, that’s pretty much the highest accolade going.


Albums versus Podcasts

So they’re some albums to keep you company for a while.  I will never be able to listen to music while nodding off to sleep.  I get too involved in it, and it just ends up keeping me awake.  So, hence the podcasts for bedtime.

Second Captains (podcast)
I would normally never watch or listen to shows solely about the to and fro of sport.  They usually speak in very grave terms about things which really don’t seem awfully important, like Mitchell & Webb’s Sky Sports ad parody.  However, I love the Second Captains’ podcasts.  Yes, it is about sports – but they make it compelling with their wit and intelligence.  I got hooked on the show around the time the Lance Armstrong case was finally blowing apart.  Also, they pepper the show with fantastic sound clips.  Here’s one from Japan’s incredible defeat of South Africa in the World Cup featuring commentary from New Zealand, Japan, France & Italy.  I will freely admit, my eyes well up every time I hear it.  (For some reason I’m unable to link to the exact time in the podcast.  Jump forward to the section in question – it’s at 1h 02mins and 41secs – just before the end.)
https://soundcloud.com/secondcaptains-it-com/dublin-rain-kerry-flop-japan-shock-ireland-cruise#t=1:02:41
http://www.irishtimes.com/sport/second-captains

99% Invisible (podcast)
This is a podcast about design.  If you like amazing stories, or have an unquenchable thirst for knowledge, this will be right up your street.  To be honest, the presenting style annoys me a little.  But the content often more than makes up for it.  My favourite podcast so far has been this gem about architectural engineering gone wrong, and then covertly made right – the Citicorp building in NYC.
http://99percentinvisible.org/

No Such Thing As A Fish (podcast)
QI is a show on TV in the UK.  The QI Elves are the researchers behind the scenes who seem to have the same obsessive need to collect stories and interesting facts, for no reason other than to just know them.  Extremely entertaining and informative.
http://qi.com/podcast/

 

PaddyWhacked Records

I’ve grown tired of the weekly post of tweets that I’ve had automated for a while, so I’ve stopped it.  It stopped working properly a while ago anyway.  I have a few bits and pieces to write about our Eastern European travels.  I’ll be posting them over the next week, but first I want to tell you about PW Radio and PW Records.

At a time when the Irish arts scene is live and kicking, despite the massive financial and chronic lack of funding for contemporary arts – and by contemporary, I mean none of yer high feluttin’ stuff – it’s great to be able to count on support from radio.  PW (or PaddyWhacked) Radio has been broadcasting from Greensboro, North Carolina for quite a while now, and Shawn Fitzmaurice has tirelessly sought out Irish music to play on this Irish music show.

A recent St Patrick’s Day special podcast displays the breadth of music that’s being put out there.  So check the podcasts out.  The playlists are online too, so if you want to find a particular song – all the details should be there…

To save yourself some time, you can also visit the PaddyWhacked Radio shop – PaddyWhacked Records – which showcases some of the music featured on the show.  Huge thanks to Shawn and Natalie for supporting Irish music!

Melle’s Mixtape – Music & Interview

The lovely Melle of Melle’s Mixtape (a great music show on Delta Radio from north western Germany) interviewed me for her show and broadcast it yesterday evening.  Here’s a little recording of the show, including tracks from the new album “Fingertips of the Silversmith“.  Huge thanks to Jenni & Purgen for their help in putting this all together, and of course to Melle, for the opportunity.  Happy listening…