Modern Love began as a column in the New York Times in 2004. It soon became a sensation as writers — anonymous and otherwise — recounted their very personal experiences with love. It spawned a podcast and a TV drama series and is still going today.
There are times when Hannah Reid feels enormous frustration. The third London Grammar album — the one that truly finds her taking centre stage — was supposed to come out last summer. Then Covid arrived and the release of Californian Soil got delayed and delayed and, well, you know the rest.
Declan Ganley has no interest in pulling punches. “Official Ireland is ashamed of Christianity,” he says. “It is ashamed of the Catholic faith. It’s embarrassed by it. It’s like a truculent 13-year-old in its awkward teenage stage and it doesn’t want to be seen with its parents.”
Later… with Jools Holland has been a fixture on BBC television for almost 30 years and has long been a much-watch for music fans of all hues. Several performances are etched in the memory, including Radiohead’s intoxicating rendition of Paranoid Android in 1997 and Arctic Monkeys making their debut on the show with a rip-roaring I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor in 2005.
It was a small news item, on Sunday March 7, that probably passed most people by. Health authorities in Austria suspended inoculations from a batch of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine as a precaution while investigating the death of one person and the illness of another shortly after receiving the jab.
Like everything else during the pandemic, our national holiday will feel very different this year. The parades will be virtual and all the cultural and entertainment activities that happen either side of St Patrick’s Day have been moved online.
It was — depending on your point of view — either wonderfully fortuitous or horribly unlucky. In February of last year, some three months after Wyvern Lingo had moved to Berlin to make an album and to forge a new life in the city, Covid-19 had gone from an isolated case here and there to something that was causing German health authorities serious concern. Lockdown looked inevitable, especially when the first case in Berlin was detected at the beginning of March.
James Corden has a tendency to be excitable. It seems to go with the territory of being a late night US TV talk show host. But, even for the LA-transplanted Brit, his rapturous introduction to Pillow Queens’ appearance on the show a few weeks back was something else: he was practically hyperventilating when talking about the Dublin quartet.
The request was simple. Would Paddy Cosgrave, the supremo behind the global Web Summit tech conference, take a quick call to check certain details for an article in this newspaper profiling his life and work. His email response consisted of a single emoji: the Jolly Roger pirate flag.
It was a killing that shocked even those immune to bad news. Urantsetseg Tserendorj was leaving her job as a cleaner in Dublin’s financial district on January 20 when she was attacked. The mother-of-two died of her injuries on Wednesday. A 14-year-old boy has been charged with serious assault.
It was October 2019, a long-ago place where we took gigs for granted and Covid-19 meant nothing. The annual Hard Working Class Heroes festival — showcasing the best of emerging Irish talent — had been renamed Ireland Music Week and among those hoping to get noticed was Dublin singer-songwriter Aaron Smyth.
We are about to bid a good riddance to January, but we may have already witnessed the most hated new film of 2021. Stardust, which looks at David Bowie’s fortunes in the early 1970s, has attracted the sort of brickbats reserved for the very worst movies, the sort that used to be given the derisory sobriquet ‘made-for-TV’.
Phil Spector was just 24 when Tom Wolfe, that great chronicler of Sixties America, described him as “the first tycoon of teen” in a celebrated 1964 essay. His impact on pop music in just a couple of years was already so profound that he would help shape the course of song not just for the rest of the decade, but forever more.
On the face of it, the Bee Gees were among the most important bands in pop history. They helped define the mainstream disco sound of the late 1970s and their songwriting gifts had been signalled in the 1960s, with such luminaries as Nina Simone, Al Green and Andy Williams happy to cover their songs.
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