It’s that time again. It’s time to celebrate our strength, our creativity, our uniqueness, our heroes, our humanity and.. our ability to upload videos of unfortunate mishaps to Youtube.
What bigger heroine has 2009 offered us than Susan Boyle? She started the year a dowdy spinster. An appearance on Britain’s Got Talent and over 100 million Youtube views later and she ends the year as one of the biggest selling album artists of 2009 worldwide. Let us not forget the performance that started it all.
Other people became known for very different reasons this year. Tom O’ C (aka T O’ Pain) became an accidental rap sensation overnight, Christian Bale was caught on tape freaking out at a film crew member and Kanye had a bad year all round. Firstly, with the South Park Gay Fish parody and secondly with his interruption of Taylor Swift’s MTV award speech, an event which became an internet meme albeit an ephemeral one.
Best Christmas display ever
A Disney special effects guy has hooked up 21,268 Christmas lights to a Nintendo Wii with Guitar Hero which are programmed to light up in sync to Eric Johnson’s Cliffs of Dover.
The award for cute kid of the week goes to this ukulele prodigy performing Jason Mraz’s I’m Yours.
Colin the Giraffe – a tribute
There are dozens of these animations littered throughout Youtube. I have no idea what it is for or why it exists. Watch the 11 seconds of this WTF?-heavy video for yourself.
The Mighty Stef – Sing to Me
Check out the music video for Dublin troubadour The Mighty Stef’s piano-led festive number. It has a “late night, round-the-fire at Christmas” feel to it.
“Pass the Anti-moon dust pills please.”
The Discovery website runs down the drugs astronauts take in space to combat the appearance of “low gravity vomit.” http://short.ie/astro
The Year’s Most Amazing Scientific Images
Minutely magnified inner ear hair cells, brain electrodes, exquisite feats of engineering, volcano light shows and images of nebulas are just some of the breathtaking things featured in this photo gallery. http://short.ie/sci09
The only way to get your computer screen cleaned
Cuteness abounds if you follow this link, particularly if you are a dog lover. http://short.ie/screenclean
Fever Ray Winter mix
BBC 6 Music last week aired a special Winter Solstice mix from Fever Ray preceeded by a mix from 2006 from her brother and cohort in The Knife, Olof. Listen at BBC 6 music
Portishead for Amnesty
Gloom-hop purveyors Portishead have released a new track entitled Chase The Tear. All proceeds of the sale of the single go towards Amnesty International. http://www.portishead.co.uk
Any Decent Music
Looking to challenge Metacritic.com, this UK-based site aggregates critical reactions to newly released albums, producing charts of the most well-received releases in the last week or a period of months from 30 publications. http://www.anydecentmusic.com
A clever way to possibly get your hands on expensive goods in a recession. Mad Bid is a penny auction site where TVs, phones, computers and more are placed on auction for a limited time of up to 3 minutes at €0.00 and the user who pays for the highest number of bids wins the item. http://ie.madbid.com
CheapEats highlights value for money restaurants, snacks, bargains and grocery shopping tips as well as offering restaurant reviews and recipes. http://www.cheapeats.ie
It’s true. We’re not ones to fall in love easily. The current object of our affections is Canadian Synth-Emo Poppette LIGHTS. Part of the Owl City contingent (see BBC’s Sound of 2010 longlist)she’s already massive big in the States/ North America.
Signed by Warner in Europe, LIGHTS does indeed err on the side of cutesy- complete with keytar and self-penned animations and headbands, it gets a bit much, especially in tracks such as ‘Saviour’ (below).
The combination of a music industry unsure of its future, trying economical times and the ubiquity of the internet has left fledgling bands of the world in a tough situation. How does a band peek its head above the ocean of noise in the hope of being noticed?
Great tunes are a must but it’s never that simple. So it’s good to see an example of an Irish band seize the initiative and attempt to attract listeners and interest in what they are doing. MacroGrizzly are a rock band from Laois who are doing just that in innovative ways.
Since the beginning, the core band members of Cormac Strain (formerly of 79 Cortinaz) and Steve Ryan have used an open source social networking platform called Elgg to upload ideas and work on music remotely when it suited them. Dubbed “The Shed” after their own real-world practice space in a field in Laois, the platform has led to the creation of a (forgive me) shedload of songs.
With DIY spirit firmly intact, the band have hatched plans to release their first of 12 monthly singles on January 15th 2010. Unlike Ash, whose ongoing A-Z singles project happens fortnightly and racks up 26 single songs, MacroGrizzly’s version includes remixes, alternative versions and interpretations.
The band are also doing live web gigs from The Shed. The first took place in November, with another happening this Saturday from 10pm with streaming video via HD cameras or an audio stream. There’s even support from Carlow band The Louis Walsh Assassination Project. (more…)