Loaded: End the summer with a perfect picnic?
It's hard to believe that yet another summer is almost over and next weekend the annual last hurrah in Stradbally looms. Don't forget to pick up your essential EP guide in next Friday's edition of Day & Night
Despite some dodgy reports about the current live prowess of Roxy Music, there's more than enough juicy potential on the bill to see out the summer in style.
Public Image Ltd are reportedly in sensational form, and this show could help banish the admittedly awful appearance of the Sex Pistols two years ago.
The National are a far better band live than they are on record and Heligoland by Massive Attack (below) is one of the most underrated albums of the year. Throw in Hot Chip, Liquid Liquid, Caribou, Laurent Garnier and The Horrors and you've all the makings of one hell of a party. Interestingly, both Hot Chip and the annoyingly omnipresent Mumford & Sons both played Oxegen this year. Normally, festival contracts dictate that one plays one or the other, but occasionally one or two slip through the net. The same applies for Mercury Music Prize hopefuls Villagers.
A day-by-day breakdown is available now, while stage times will be posted next Wednesday, so you can try to figure out how to negotiate the various clashes. Hot on the heels of Oxegen, Electric Picnic will also make available that 21st-century festival essential -- an iPhone application.
And congratulations to Cloud Castle Lake who won the first ever Heineken Music Pick for the Picnic competition in Crawdaddy last week. The judges were Celina Murphy from Hotpress, John McCallion of Warner Music, Niall Byrne of this parish and Electric Picnic booker Declan Forde.
- Bizarrely, Electric Picnic is not the final festival of the season. That honour now falls to the new kid on the block, Templemore House in Ballymote, Co Sligo. However, mid-September will also host the Clonakilty International Guitar Festival. They've scored a considerable coup in bringing Sonic Youth guitar legend Lee Ranaldo to West Cork for an exclusive solo show.
- Not to be confused with the Cork hurler, Ireland's leading DJ John O'Callaghan is up for yet another placing in the DJ Magazine Top 100 DJs in the world. In 2008, he entered at 60, climbing to 24 last year. He is the only Irish DJ in the Top 100.
You can do your bit to make John climb ever higher this year by voting at top100djs.net. O'Callaghan is without question our hottest dance export. If we all play our part, we could easily see him break into the top 10.
- As we all know by now, Road Records has finally shut up shop with Everything Flows by Teenage Fanclub becoming the poignant farewell tune as the Fade Street emporium slammed down its shutters for good.
This leaves Spindizzy, City Discs, Claddagh, Freebird in the Secret Book and Record Store, Celtic Note and Tower as the only independently run music shops left in the city centre.
It's heartening to hear that Plug'd Records in Cork has reopened for business, which is a welcome respite from all the doom and gloom. Meanwhile, I heartily recommend checking out Day & Night digital correspondent Nialler 9's blog for an excellent post on the wonderful Monorail in Glasgow. Run by the indie band The Pastels, the facility boasts a shop, café, bar and venue all under one roof. It's an amazing music shopping experience and could point the way for a sustainable future model.
Monorail and Rough Trade East just off London's Brick Lane are two of my favourite shops anywhere in the world. Prospective music retailers would be well advised to take close notes.
- Finally, I'd like to wish Paul Timoney all the very best in his new role as booker in the Button Factory. Paul 'Timo' Timoney has been a scene stalwart in Dublin for years, bringing the diverse talents of Fugazi, Shellac, Doug Stanhope, Andrew Weatherall and Dirty Three to Ireland with his promotions company U:Mack.
It's an astute appointment and I'd expect the Button Factory's schedule to really hot up over the coming weeks and months. Put Friday, September 10 in your diaries for a special farewell party for Road Records featuring Electric Picnic-bound noiseniks The Redneck Manifesto and a host of others.