Yann Tiersen plays Dublin

I went to see French musician Yann Tiersen play in Vicar street last night. If you haven’t heard of him, you have probably heard his music as he only became well known outside France after he did the soundtrack for Amelie and Goodbye Lenin. His songs are certainly distinctive and atmospheric and some of them are very reminscent of Bon Iver (or maybe that’s the other way around).

At stages last night he seamlessly switched between the violin, mandolin, guitar and synthesizer and the result was some hauntingly mellow tracks mixed in with big loud anthems.

While he didnt engage hugely with the crowd, this came across more as an endearing shyness than ego and the music certainly made up for it. Each track was layered with depth and ambience.

I would recommend picking up one of his albums particularly his latest Skyline,  it’s a slow burner to add to your collection and will give you some dreamy escapism.

My Forbidden Fruit picks @ForbiddenFFest

The Forbidden Fruit Festival taking place over the June bank holiday weekend in KIlmainham, Dublin has released its line-up. As you can see above some great acts on the bill, for me Sunday is by far the strongest.

A really nice mix there of New Order, Death Cab for Cutie, The Rapture, Rarely Seen Above Ground and Modeselektor among others.

Early bird tickets are on sale now : Day Tickets: €45 / Two Day Tickets: €85 / Weekend Tickets: €110

Looks like a good option if you plan on being around the city for the long weekend!

Soundtrack for the week @roughtradeshops

Rough Trade Counter Culture 11 is Rough Trade Shops’ annual report 2011, comprising 42 tracks that were either a favourite with our customers, a big seller on the shop floor or a recommendation by a member of the Rough Trade staff.

As always with Rough Trade picks, you know there are going to be some absolute gems here. A nice gift for someone or even better…for yourself. List below and it can be pre ordered here for £9.99

CD1
1. Josh T Pearson – Drive Her Out
2. Lanterns on the Lake – Ships In The Rain
3. The Head and The Heart – Rivers and Roads
4. Mara Carlyle – Bowlface en Provence
5. The Decemberists – Rise To Me
6. Drive-By Truckers – Ray’s Automatic Weapon
7. Richmond Fontaine – The Chainsaw Sea
8. Still Corners – Into The Trees
9. King Creosote & Jon Hopkins – Bats In The Attic
10. Kurt Vile – Peeping Tomboy
11. Real Estate – It’s Real
12. The History Of Apple Pie – You’re So Cool
13. Veronica Falls – The Fountain
14. Little Dragon – Ritual Union
15. Planningtorock – Manifesto
16. Peaking Lights – Hey Sparrow
17. Nicolas Jaar – Too Many Kids Finding Rain In The Dust
18. SBTRKT – Wildfire ft. Yukimi Nagano (Little Dragon)
19. Ghostpoet – Us Against Whatever Ever
20. Koreless – MTI

CD2
1. EVOL – Three Hundred Grams Of Latex And Steel In One Day (Redux)
2. Hype Williams – Untitled
3. Clams Casino – Natural
4. Fatima Al Qadiri – Hip Hop Spa
5. Holy Other – Touch
6. Factory Floor – A Wooden Box (Angus Andrew remix)
7. Samiyam – Kitties
8. Zomby – Things Fall Apart
9. drmcnt – work
10. Martyn – Viper
11. Big Freedia – Azz Everywhere
12. Azari & III – Tunnel Vision
13. VCMG – Spock
14. Goitia Deitz – Romance
15. Maria Minerva – Ruff Trade
16. U.S. Girls – The Boy Is Mine
17. John Maus – Quantum Leap
18. Dope Body – DillonAero
19. Divorce – Love Attack
20. Iceage – Youre Blessed
21. White Hills – The Condition Of Nothing
22. David Shrigley – Joy

Album pick of the week @FirstAidKitBand

Maybe I’m coming to the party late on this one but picked up a copy of this album above this week by First Aid Kit who are Stockholm-based sisters Klara and Johanna Soderberg. The Lion’s Roar is their second album following on from the very successful and critically acclaimed debut LP The Big Black & The Blue last year.

They have recorded covers with Jack White of Buffy Sainte-Marie’s “Universal Soldier” and blues classic “It Hurts Me, Too.” They also spent 2011 touring with Bright Eyes and the fantastic Lykke Li, and I love the fact that their dad plays the bass on this album making it a family affair.

The sisters’ harmonies are great together and this is just one of those albums that I know I will be listening to again and again. The perfect soundtrack for my lazy Saturday afternoon.  Hopefully they’ll play in Dublin over the next few months!

Gift ideas for those you love

I am currently on the hunt for gift ideas. You would think I would currently be earning a well deserved hiatus following the Christmas present season but I have several birthdays coming up including my mum and dad and some friends and I even have to think of something small for Valentine’s Day seeing as it is our first married – phew here are some of the thoughts going through my head.

The Great Food Boxset by Penguin Classics £140: Collecting together the twenty Great Food titles, from Elizabeth David’s A Taste of the Sun to MFK Fisher’s Love in a Dish, this is a boxed collection of the series. Great for any foodies or aspiring chefs.

Downton Abbey: Season 1 & 2 Boxset £24.97 on Amazon: I haven’t seen this yet myself but have heard really good things and think it would be right up my mum’s street. Plus the added benefit that I could borrow it after 🙂

Rough Trade Album of the Month: A must for music lovers. London based Rough Trade choose the best album each month and post it out to you so you get to keep up to speed on what is happening on the music scene. Available for 6 or 12 months as a gift membership.

Kindle: This is controversial as if you read my previous post on books, you will know I am an old fashioned girl who loves the feel of a book in my hand. Still I think my dad would love this so it’s on the list. I remain unconverted.

Diary, planner or calendar: The good thing about this time of the year is that it’s still not too late to give someone a diary ir calendar. I find art galleries the best places for inspiration like The National Gallery of Ireland or if you want something different check out MOMA in NY for calendars below with a difference.

If you’re a dab hand in the kitchen you could make some jam or pickle and wrap it up below for a personalised touch.

Or if you’re feeling adventurous and like the look of the necklace below, you’ll be glad to hear it’s easy to make and the tutorial is here.

2012 albums going on my iPod this month

Another good reason to rejoice in February being here means the release of some good music and albums. December and January are generally seen as the silly season for the music industry. The run up to Christmas is dominated by the release of compilation albums, think Michael Buble does swing and the clamour for Christmas no 1.

By the time February rolls around the machine starts cranking up again. My iPod is badly in need of an update so here are just some ( the list is endless) of the albums on my wishlist to listen to that have been generating a buzz online.

Miike Snow – Happy to You: Am very excited about the new album release from this Swedish band who belt out sharp poppy tunes that get you dancing. A highlight of this album is the track Black Tin Box, the collaboration with the awesome Lykke Li, this is a must.

Sleigh Bells – reign of terror: Already being hailed as one of 2012’s biggest albums, the duo have promised fans that they will be staying faithful to their trademark loudness. Highlights include ‘Comeback Kid’ and ‘Born to Lose’.

Lana Del Ray – born to die: Her debut album following the success of her single Video Games last year. The album has received mixed reviews with many saying it feels ‘unfinished’ but I want to make my own mind up on that as I think her voice is incredibly atmospheric.

Leonard Cohen – old ideas: His first studio album in 8 years it seems there is no slowing down for the 70 something poet and songwriter. It is described as “addressing some of the most profound quandaries of human existence – the relationship to a transcendent being, love, sexuality, loss and death. arguably the most overtly spiritual of the revered artist’s albums”. Am thinking it might be a slow burner.

Sharon Van Etten – tramp: The third album from the Brooklyn based singer and being described as the album where she has finally found her voice. Described as a great rock album of the year which is both tough and vulerable at the same time. Highlights include ‘Serpent’ and ‘We are Fine’.

The Heart Strings – flap your crazy wings: This is the second album from the North London group and while the whole album comes in under 40 minutes, the 12 tracks are diverse from each other. Described as ‘mgmt meets monkees technicolour as lullaby’s and waltzes sit side by side with fuzz pop anthems and space age indie’. Em ok.