Loaded: 11th - 17th April
It was good to see The Breeders in Vicar Street on Monday night. Kim and Kelley Deal can still deliver. What was not so good was the same band deciding they'd had enough after an hour and retreating to the sanctuary of their dressing room, with jeers ringing in their ears.
For a group on the go 20 years, with four albums to their name and plenty of side projects, not least Kim's stint in Pixies, playing a headlining show for just 60 minutes smacked of contempt for their audience.
It's absolutely fine for acts on a first album to play short sets -- they simply don't have enough material yet and there will be an implicit understanding of that from their audience.
I'm not suggesting that they should rival Bruce Springsteen in the concert longevity stakes, but they should have performed for at least another 30 minutes.
Their early departure soured an otherwise good show -- and seemed to be the main topic of conversation for the punters in the bar afterwards.
n Earlier this week there was a minor spat on blogosphere -- it's such a ridiculous word, but I love it -- about the winners of Vodafone's Bright New Sounds' battle-of-the-bands competition.
The On The Record blog got het up about the fact that the triumphant band, The Minutes, boasted two members who work for Vodafone. An unfortunate coincidence, I think you'll agree.
But whatever you think about such bands competition -- and I've judged a number of them in my time -- the fact that some members of the band happen to work way down the rungs of the corporation who sponsored the event is neither here nor there.
The band were picked on merit and there was nobody from Vodafone among the judging panel. Perhaps Vodafone should have included a disclaimer from the off stipulating that that all employees were exempt from entering. But they didn't and for that reason, The Minutes have nothing to feel bad about.
Good luck to them. Like all young bands they'll need plenty of luck and a small measure of goodwill. It' s a tough, cynical world out there -- as they have already discovered this week.
n People like Willy Vlautin make me sick. Not only is he content to front one of the best alt country bands around (Richmond Fontaine) but he's also making a name for himself as a richly talented novelist.
Now, he's combined the two. His latest book, Northline, comes with its own soundtrack album, composed naturally enough, by Vlautin himself.
He has built quite a fanbase in Ireland and will be heading here later in the month to perform songs from that soundtrack and to read passages from the book. Vlautin will touch down at Whelan's, Dublin on April 25 and will call at Dolan's, Limerick (April 27), Cyprus Avenue, Cork (April 28) and The Crane, Galway (April 29).
Salmon Rushdie will be reading from his latest novel in the Gate Theatre, Dublin, on April 20. In the light of Vlautin's, ahem, novel idea, maybe he could coax his old buddies in U2 to provide some musical accompaniment ...
n "Silent discos" -- where the participants wear headphones -- have been a feature of Electric Picnic for a number of years. Now the concept is coming to the big smoke as part of this year's Dublin Dance Festival.
Two DJs from Phantom FM's roster, Sinead Ni Mhorda and Jim Carroll, will be providing the tunes on Saturday, April 19 (between 7pm and 10pm) in the city's coolest public space, Grand Canal Square.
"All you need is to bring an FM radio with headphones," says the publicist. "You could use your walkman, mobile phone (most mobile phones have a built in radio), your MP3 player or any other device with a radio and headphones."
The event is free, but ticketed and said tickets need to be collected in advance from the Dublin Dance Festival box office at Temple Bar Cultural Information Centre opposite Meeting House Square, 12 East Essex Street, Temple Bar, Dublin 2 or from the Phantom 105.2 offices at 73 North Wall Quay, Dublin 1.
n The Fall's cheerful frontman Mark E Smith has fallen foul of the RSPCA after he boasted of killing rare squirrels.
In an interview with Uncut magazine, the veteran singer claimed he would happily "set about an endangered red squirrel with a set of professional hedge-clippers".
The 51-year-old Mancunian said "Squirrels mean nothing to me. I killed a couple last weekend actually. They were eating my garden fence. My sisters are animal lovers and they'd been leaving food out for these squirrels. They've got rats in the bloody house now. Serves 'em right."
Warming to his theme, Smith went on to boast he "wouldn't have a problem" with running over seagulls for fun.
The RSPCA haven't seen the funny side. According to spokesperson Klare Kennett "The comments made by Mark E Smith are extremely irresponsible and he has basically admitted to committing an offence under the Wildlife and Countryside Act by killing two red squirrels. "These animals are highly protected and anyone killing, harming or taking red squirrels from the wild is liable to prosecution and can face up to six months in prison and/or a fine of up to £20,000." n