The universe is making music all the time

Whatever You Love You Are: Nadine O’ Regan

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Words: Nadine O’ Regan, Illustration: Craig Carry

At the moment I am mostly listening to…

The new Fiona Apple album The Idler Wheel — it’s strange, I wouldn’t have thought I’d become such a big fan of her latest work, probably because a lot of the songwriters who broke big in the 90s seem to have misplaced their creative mojo of late, and I wasn’t feeling confident about the new album. But Apple’s record is intelligent, moving and full of unusual rhythms — she borrows from jazz, hip-hop, alt-rock, and meshes it all together in an utterly unique way. Every time I put it on, I hear something completely new spiralling through the record. I love the sense, too, that she’s making music because she absolutely has to — this album isn’t a career thing for her, it’s a deeply felt expression of who she is.

On a completely different tip, I can’t say enough good things about The Cast of Cheers, the Irish alt-rock band who emerged a couple of years back with a debut album they put out for free. Their second release, Family, delivers on their massive early potential, and then some. I’ve listened to it more than any other Irish album released this year and I hope it takes them places — they deserve it. And speaking of deadly Irish bands, Le Galaxie’s beautiful dream-pop single ‘Love System’ featuring Elaine Mai has been stuck on repeat on my stereo for many moons now. Finally, having heard Paul Buchanan do a wonderful solo set at the Liss Ard Festival in Skibbereen, I’ve gone back once again to the early Blue Nile material — it’s timeless, transcendent stuff. . . and, weirdly, they’re one of my top bands to go jogging to — I guess I like a slow pace. . .

This month I am mostly reading……..
Well, to be honest, I am finding it impossible to get enough reading done — there are just so many big new books out and I want to read them all. I’m in the middle of Zadie Smith’s new novel NW (too soon to comment on it), and I’ve just zipped through Emma Donoghue’s short story collection Astray — a really enjoyable, colourful read, which will be out in October. But the book I loved most lately comes from Daniel Woodrell, the Winter’s Bone author who’ll be in Dublin for the Mountains to Sea books festival on September 9th. I picked up his short story collection The Outlaw Album completely by chance, and was held riveted through stories that manage to be gritty and macabre, but still unblinkingly realistic. Characters do brutal things to each other in the Missouri Ozarks, where Woodrell sets his tales, and life for them has less value than you might ever think. Shocking, absorbing and brilliant.

This month I am mostly watching………
I’ve never been as well-up on television as other people — I think it’s hard to be both a big reader and a big TV nerd, though I do like New Girl and I’ve been steadily making my way through old episodes of Breaking Bad (although I’m not sure I’ll keep going if Walt becomes any more awful — run, Skylar, run!). On the film front, the last film that stands out for me was This Must Be the Place, starring Sean Penn and Bono’s daughter Eve Hewson. Sure, it had more issues than a drug-dealing nun when it came to things like structure and storyline, but there was a gentle, weird humour meandering through it that really appealed to me. It was charming and genuinely, fascinatingly odd. On the comedy front, I also quite liked Ted and Grabbers — both a good night out at the cinema — and I can’t wait for the LCD Soundsystem documentary, which will be out in cinemas here in early September.





Nadine O’Regan is Books and Arts Editor with the Sunday Business Post and a columnist and feature writer with the same newspaper. She’s also a reporter for The Works, the new arts TV show on RTE 1, and she presents and produces The Kiosk, Dublin indie-rock station Phantom 105.2′s arts and culture show, which airs Saturday mornings at 11am. She has written for publications including Spin magazine (US), The Irish Times, The Irish Independent, Hot Press, Magill and The Gloss. In the past few years, she has worked as a regular contributor to The Last Word with Matt Cooper on Today FM, The Alison Curtis Show on Today FM and The Dave Fanning Show on RTE Radio 1. 

Written by admin

August 22, 2012 at 12:20 pm

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