Gary Lightbody and The Assembly, This Is All That I Ask of You

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Long ago in a galaxy not THAT far away – i.e. 1999-2000 – I worked in tech PR1 and pitched people as speakers for TED talks2. That was when TED talks were only given in one place! Now they are everywhere! This is an excerpt from a TED talk given by Gary Lightbody of Snow Patrol at Stormont Parliament in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The subject of his presentation was the way the music scene in the region has flourished during the last fifteen years of peace.3 To illustrate his point he gathered up several musicians – David C. Clements, SOAK, Silhouette and the Wonder Villains – to write and perform a song. If you like it you can buy it, and all of the proceeds will go to the Northern Ireland Music Therapy Trust.     1 This was when the internet still kind of had training wheels and we were trying to convince print journalists to write about websites. 2 TED was “invitation only” then; my job was to demonstrate why clients ought to be invited. 3 The power of his observations are in their simplicity. For example: “There are so many gigs now. When I first started going … Continue reading

Fanmix: Warren Ellis, Gun Machine

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Fan mixes: collections of music created as both soundtrack and illustration for other works, usually works of fiction, intended as both appreciation of and enticement to read the work of fiction. This one is for Gun Machine by Warren Ellis, who is author of, among other things, Transmetropolitan and Crooked Little Vein, and is NOT the dude who plays music with Nick Cave. Gun Machine is a murder mystery set in New York. But not the New York you usually see on cop shows; the Financial District, which is older and darker. Down there you’re off the grid. The streets are narrow and twisty and reality can be very thin. Depending on how the wind is blowing off the water, it does feel like you could walk around a corner today and stumble into the 17th century, 1926 could be tomorrow and 2018 was last week. “Off the grid” would actually sum up the book as a whole. It is also bloody, startling, deeply lonely, occasionally bitingly funny, like watching my own city from the wrong end of a telescope, a complex puzzle, and very, very good. If you pick it up, be sure to both read and listen carefully; … Continue reading

shelf-reading at bandcamp: county antrim

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Shelf-reading has two purposes: one, to make sure everything is in its right place; and two, to discover works you would not necessarily have though to look for, left to your own researching devices. I decided to take purpose #2 and apply it to Bandcamp’s tagging system, generally, and the Irish music section, specifically. I then decided to use the counties of Ireland (North and South), arranged alphabetically, as a framing device for the experiment. I begin today with County Antrim, which contains Belfast, which has large, thriving scene, so this time my selections do skew dramatically towards one geographic location. I’ve also noticed that, as one would expect, artists from further out in the countryside have drifted Belfast-ward, which muddies the waters a bit. With one exception (David C. Clements) I’ve tried to confine myself strictly to artists who have tagged their work “County Antrim.” Without further waffle, here is what I found that I liked, drawing both from Belfast as well as the county at large: I last wrote about Mr. Clements back in January. Since then he has added five songs, one of which I haven’t yet extracted from Bandcamp’s clutches (a cover of Devil Town) and … Continue reading

Love You Through The Storms: David C. Clements, The Longest Day in History

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The Longest Day in History [free Bandcamp download!], an EP from David C. Clements (formerly Captain Cameron) and contains only two songs. But they are stunning beautiful songs. The first song is called Hurricane, and it is full of lyrical gems. It’s also a six and a half minute showcase for Clements’ magnificently supple and expressive voice.   Hurricane by David C Clements   The second song, Not Sleeping, is tiny bit more uptempo than Hurricane but no less compelling. Here is a video of him singing it at at Love Lounge, recorded by Pigmint:   David C. Clements – Not Sleeping – Live at Love Lounge from Pigmint on Vimeo.   And then there’s also his cover of Lana Del Ray’s Video Games, originally recorded live on the BBC Radio Ulster program Across The Line. I have a lot of deeply complicated feelings about that song, but his rendition has sunk its claws into my brain-meats and I cannot stop listening to it.   David C Clements- Covers by David C Clements   Finally, here’s a video Bandwith Sessions made last November at the Halloween Hoedown at the Ulster Hall, where Clements performed as his former incarnation Captain Cameron. … Continue reading