Saturday, July 30, 2005


A somewhat crappy, slung together, loose-trousered string fling laid down as a gauntlet for the Tom Kid to tweak, if the man fancies. A chance to see it build in moosikal bricks and the first slice of pie here

Also, on the birw0rking front, a long-overdue remix, tweak, & post for the Sam-inspired ditty, Looking Out.
A sticky afternoon with bruised fingers...

Thursday, July 28, 2005

New Bob

Rarer now that it used to be, natch, but still occassionally these days musical releases demand that I dig out & stick on me selkieyebirdarsegoggles, surgically implant speakers directly into the aural synapses, and leap around the room for moosikal joy like a certifiable, strategically-shaved, contactgelled, and consquently electrocuted polecat.

Uncle Bob's Body of Song fits the bill.

Eye on Oirelund

More reflections on Dublin...

The city is always one of those places I often hanker to return to, but this most recent visit has reminded me that I don’t actually want to linger that long when there. It’s like a quick, satisfying fix of something you want regularly, but not often. I’m sure with broader exploration that opinion may change, but for the city centre, a short, sharp blast of finest Grinness, a wander along the Liffey, a deep inhale of the hops in the air from St. James’ Gate, that does the trick and I’m ready for the off again.

There’s definitely a gentrification that strikes you visually compared to the Dublin of say, fifteen years ago. Objective 1 cash has been spent and invested pretty wisely. The streets have more urgency and speed, buildings, shops, and pubs are generally more tourist-friendly chic and smart, the poverty has been further nudged to the suburbs and off the beaten track. While the rich vs. poor contrast is a fair way from what can be found in NYC, it’s still in evidence in Ireland’s capital and easy to stumble across. The building below, just off of the river and under half an our from O’Connell Street, is a good example - half derelict and shelled; half lived in, decrepit, and grim.

The benefit for the visitor is that Dublin is a more easy-on-the-eye, convenient, clean place to come to. The downside is that some of the character has been erased, it doesn't have the large-city-with-a-small-town-feel that it once possessed. Pros and cons though, eh?

One recommendation is to wander the Trinity College campus, home of the Book of Kells and film set for the likes of Educating Rita, late at night. The gentle lighting, soft curve of metalled pathways, looming statues, and sense of stepping back in time is most poignant at the midnight hour.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

"Mummy, what's the opposite of hair?"

An infinite number of nuggets here!

Saturday, July 23, 2005


Summer isn’t conducive to putting words to screen for me – too much open air & run/pedal around in the warmth to spend further time infront of a keyboard, generally. A hazy, lazy afternoon tapping into the Bryant Park freebie wireless in the shade of the Center for the Humanities on 42nd Street means I’ve at least pointed myself this way briefly. There’s copious brain leavings (phrase copyright Selkie) for me to deposit regarding the trip to Scotchshire (not to mention just how many gigs of photos to wade through?) and recent nyc fun, the meat of which I’ll just have to catch up on in time. The days will get shorter well before I’m ready for them to, after all.

Things tend to clump and aggregate in life although it may be pure coinkerdink that over the past week or two I’ve met in person a few significant bods known previously only from online discourse. Flickr, I’m sure, is different from other online communities (footie aside) in that the number of like minds is much higher and the chances of meeting reasonably socially-rounded folk is greater than elsewhere. Generally, I have little interest in finding community in cyblerland, but the mixture of the above, the impact of and passion for the digital image, and a good slice of good luck no doubt, means that I’ve ended up touching bases with some superb individuals.

First off was Brendadada in Edinburgh – someone who’s good humour, good slice of cynicism, and overall zest for life is mirrored in her personal, real world self by her 2D online wordsmith self. I suspect that I was somewhat typically birds and probably slightly abrasive when with her, but she took all in her stride. She’s complex, doesn’t take life too seriously, has boundless energy, and was a joy to finally meet. More briefly, we also spent a few hours with Shooz, who’s probably a bit more reserved in demeanour that I’d expected, but another sure-fire lively mind and someone with a real photographic skill. The fact that she’s landed her very own photo exhibition there in Glasgee is superb news and summat that she no doubt deserves. Distance is the bitch about meeting people in this way – I’d happily trot out for a quick bevy with these people on a regular basis to get to know them properly, but geography deems otherwise.

That sentiment goes doubly for Sarah (Knautia) & Vik (BingoLittle) who came through New York on their jollies and whom I sort of met up by flickr chance, although nortier Knautia & I had yapped online at each other a fair bit. A drunken night in NYC’s Ginger Man, a lot of laughs, and total soul mate comfort and ease being with ‘em means I missed them before they’d even gone. Sarrh & I share a sense of ridiculous and stewpidity with the camera lens, I think, that means I’d never get bored in her company and given the opportunity, would lead to childlike amusement to an ugly degree. We’ll doubtless be meeting up when next over in Blighty. (T. had fun with them too, to the point of gin-inebriation, natch…)

Lastly, I’d neglected making it to various NYC flickrite events during work mayhem and subsequent travels. A quick Friday afternoon slink out of responsibility meant I spent a few hours at Belmont Park racetrack on Long Island with Ingrid (other flickr nyarkers flaked, as it turned out). Her initial shock that I wasn’t a woman (which is just peach), despite briefly meeting me before, didn’t stop us from having a blast betting (and mostly losing, for my part) single dollars like completely clueless novices. Ingrid has a perfect mix of humour, bitterness, antisocial tendencies, and intelligence that makes her excellent company (and if I dare say, not typically American). If the rest of the NYC crowd are cut from a similar cloth, I predict they’ll be equally entertaining.

I think my screen’s about to melt….

Sunday, July 17, 2005

I Don't Fancy His Much

Dublin (or more specifically, Temple Bar) on a Satdee night has changed a little since I was last privvy to the Grinness-fueled fest. Stag and hen night swarms, mainly the latter, from the likes of Southport, Guilford, and Burnley dressed in cliched themes (the nurses; the prom queens; the hockey team (ughhhhh...); and of course, the cheerleaders) drunkenly stagger from pub to pub getting progressively more bladdered, louder, and more disheviled (in that order). The bride or groom to be is identified by a particuarly fetching/embarrassing piece of headgear or visible underwear and most groups wear labels to let you know who each of them are, sort of ala Spice Girls parlance: "Pouty Girl"; "Bouncy Belinda"; "Sam the Swallower"; "The Short Fat Ugly One"; etc. What's interesting is the mixture of responses to the whole event within each group: the obvious ring-leader who's idea it was, all loud, in-yer-face exhuberant, flip-top-head; the 'nahahhahhahhahhha" I don't fancy yours much couple of revellers that have tagged along happily, but would be doing the same in Cleethorpes on a Saturday night anyway, only in slightly less (only slightly, mind) ridiculous clothing; the lone "doing-this-only-cus-it's-me-mate", "hate people staring at me in this St. Trinian's Uniform 'cus it shows off my enormous thighs", not-quite-into-it tagger on; and the pre-bride herself, normally wearing a drunker, more detached serenity, happily being shepherded by the gals around her, and taking whatever henious hazing is coming her way from her chosen gaggle. It is actually fun & interesting to see all this spilling onto and out of the streets of Dublin, but it's not summat you'd want on the doorstep (particurly when the later, multicoloured alcopop vomm starts to flow...)

Two places to find refuge include the Stag's Head, still a paragon of Grinness drinking, tucked seedily away down a seedy alley in a seedy corner off of Dame Street where the pint is as stout as it gets and the clientelle mixed and relaxed under the brass and stained glass. Always a pub I try and slink through while in town.

The other is the Brazen Head, a nice hike down the Liffey on Bridge Street. Not what it once was in terms of small-town welcome or atmosphere, but it claims to be the oldest tavern in Dublin and just has a great staging inn look to it. Worth a look at least once.