Monthly Archives: April 2010

TDOM Day 21: A Song You Listen To When You’re Happy

Dublin Duck Dispensary – Be Happy

As a personal susceptible to crippling melancholy on summer’s evenings (and most other types of evenings), I can find the sad part in almost any song, which is annoying.

Here’s a song about being happy though.


TDOM Day 20: A Song You Listen To When You’re Angry

Wounds – Trees

I don’t really get angry that often. In fact, earlier this week I was discussing the fact that the last time I was properly blinded with rage was when Thierry Henry continued the historical fucking of Ireland by French people begun by Henry II. So it’s not like I’m listening to a whole lot of metal or anything.

Here’s an angry song, though. And fuck Thierry Henry.

Archive: Jape interview, February 2010

I worked on the Ball Guide for the Trinity Ball this year. I did see Jape in the end as well, and it was probably good. Here’s an interview I did anyway, seeing as Jape has never graced the pixels of this blog before, for a publication that’s supposed to be pretty accessible. Judge for yourself.

International superstars are all well and good, but there is nothing quite like a hometown hero. Richie Egan, aka Jape, is as close as Dublin may ever come to a living totem and, having been around here for the past few years rather than swanning around Brooklyn or Dalston, he knows exactly what to expect from this year’s Ball.

“A few years ago I actually played three gigs at the Trinity Ball, with Jape and the Redneck Manifesto, and with David Kitt as well. It was a bit mad and we ended up staying up all night drinking, as you do. One thing led to another and we ended up in Slattery’s the next afternoon.” A familiar story.

“So the guy from Humanzi is there, he comes over and introduces himself to me, and says he’s a big fan. He thought I was Damien Rice.” Egan is decidedly not Damien Rice. With the energy and meticulousness of dance music, but the good old singalong choruses of the rock tradition, Jape’s music touches on nostalgia, young love and drug use, channelling all those hazy emotions without a weepily strummed chord in sight.

His most recent album, 2008’s Ritual, earned the Irish equivalent of universal critical acclaim, winning both the Choice Music Prize and the Nialler9 Readers’ Poll. “It’s always great to release an album and have it be received like that, but it’s weird. By the time you release an album, you feel like you’ve already let go of the songs. So by the time all that was happening, a while after Ritual came out, I was already thinking about the next thing.”

Still though, being the critics’ darling well-nigh guarantees an audience for whatever comes next, and the next Jape album is already highly anticipated. “To be honest, I prefer not to have that. Don’t get me wrong or anything, I’m glad that people like the album and want to hear what I’m going to do next. But I’d prefer just working for myself. Because that’s who you write music for at the end of the day.”

“I’m a nerd when it comes to equipment and experimenting with different sounds. That’s my passion in life really, just plugging one thing into another thing and seeing what happens.”

Studio precision, and even experimentation with gaudy tropes of modern music such as chipmunk vocoder, is a big part of what makes up Jape’s sound, but his live presence is undeniable and almost legendary. Trinity News has seen him perform with equal levels of energy and aplomb in front of one hundred people at a venue with a ten o’clock curfew, and in front of 1,500 headlining the Foggy Notions festival at Vicar Street, but the definitive Jape performance came at Electric Picnic.

“Electric Picnic was the last live show for Ritual really, and we had it nailed. It was actually one more show than I wanted to do really, but I said I’d do it because it was Electric Picnic, you know.” The Ritual anthems – “I Was A Man”, “Christopher and Anthony” and “Strike Me Down” among them – received their Viking funeral in that tent in Stradbally. Not that they’re not still in the set, but Egan is excited about moving forward. “We’ll have some new songs ready. I think you have to change or it becomes a nostalgic thing. We’ll definitely be ready for the Ball.”

“The Trinity Ball is always mad. My wife actually graduated from there a few years ago, so I’ve been a few times. I’ve played a couple of times as well, and it’s good when you’re taking it easy on yourself, just watching the carnage unfold around you. One time I played, there were people in tuxedos stage-diving, which was pretty deadly.”

If the carnage takes a turn for the worse, Richie Egan is no stranger to being pelted with rotten fruit. The video to “Floating”, directed by design duo M&E and DADDY, largely consisted of Egan being pelted with technicolour fruit for the duration of the song. Painful, surely? “Actually, Superquinn gave us like a van-load of rotten fruit, which was good for two reasons. Firstly, it was already rotten, so we weren’t using anything someone could have eaten. Secondly it was quite soft. The only thing that hurt was the director throwing an apple full-force at my Adam’s apple. That winded me a bit, but I’m tough.”

Rotten apples won’t be necessary if Jape is anywhere near as good as usual. Tuxedoed-stage-divers, on the other hand, could make for a memorable night.

TDOM Day 19: A Song From Your Favourite Album

Animal Collective – Guys Eyes

One of the lesser-loved songs from Merriweather Post Pavilion. It used to be called Song For Ariel on both AC and Panda Bear bootlegs, and I always assumed that the Ariel in question was former Paw Tracks labelmate Ariel Pink. At the time I couldn’t hear the lyrics. Now that I can (they’re about masturbation), it’s funny to sub in other Ariels as the song’s Ariel. Feminista Ariel Levy. Former hardline Jewish leader Ariel Sharon. Ariel from the Tempest. Possibly most likely, Ariel from the Little Mermaid.

TDOM Day 18: A Song That You Wish You Heard On The Radio

So Cow – Random Girls

Etc etc – Brian Kelly – obligatory acknowledgement that I do this all the time – attempt to impress on everyone the importance of So Cow – some kind of Dublin-centric joke about Tuam – etc etc – really good.

For fresh So Cow related doe-eyedness, watch Nialler9’s Getting People To Name The 5 Irish Acts They’re Excited About in coming days. For old So Cow related doe-eyedness, click the tag.

Hello Koreans who still arrive sometimes via Google. Hope you are well.

…and (I’ve been waiting my whole life to say this) photo via the Cobrasnake.

TDOM Day 17: A Song That You Often Hear On The Radio

Heathers – Remember When

Haven’t listened to the radio solidly since last summer when I worked in the school book shop in Blanchardstown village. We used to listen to talk radio in the morning, followed by Phantom, until Phantom’s repetition literally killed 30% of the staff and we brought in mp3 players instead. Here’s what was was on Phantom before we switched it off

P.S. Ireland is class and has no active or dormant volcanos as far as I remember. The worst disasters we have are usually non-tsunami flooding or foot and mouth disease, or once there was a tornado entirely localised in Clonee village, Co. Meath.

TDOM Day 16: A Song That You Used To Love But Now Hate

The Offspring – The Kids Aren’t Alright

I was in the Gaeltacht in sixth class of primary school and remember, being ins an Cheathrú Rua and erego away from my at the time quite impressive CD collection of about twenty, feeling desperate to get back home and listen to the Offspring. Why am I telling you this.