Editors: The Making of the Weight of Your Love – Documentary


Editors_Grab yourself a cuppa, sit down and watch this documentary about, as the title says ‘The Making of the Weight of Your Love’. The album itself will be released worldwide on July 1st through Play it Again Sam. If you’re like me though, you can listen to the album stream on iTunes now.

The documentary gives a great insight to the album and answers some questions about the departure of Chris Urbanowicz in April last year.


Sound City: Film Review


SoundCity_bannerDave Grohl has been a hero to many music fans for over twenty years, drummer in Nirvana, sometime member of Queens of the Stone Age and rock god in Foo Fighters, he now has turned his hand to film directing. In this case, it’s the documentary, ‘Sound City’, which follows the life on the infamous Sound City studios in Los Angeles and more importantly the Neve sound desk which helped capture some of music’s iconic sounds. It also shows Grohl to have great vision in the film making process.

The story of Sound City is told through staff and musicians who recorded there, including Tom Petty, Stevie Nicks, Mick Fleetwood and Rick Springfield to name a few. It also charts the struggle many studios encountered, not only Sound City, as the switch to digital recording took hold. Putting it nicely, Sound City looked like a shithole but the energy and chemistry in the place lead to the birth of musical gems there.

When Sound City closed, Dave Grohl bought the Neve console and took it to his studio. He then got some of the musicians who had previously recorded through the board to come to his studio and put something new down, including a hero of Grohl’s, Sir Paul McCartney.

Here’s the nerdy bit.. as a music lover and an all out audiophile, I loved this documentary. I loved the historical element, recognizing many of the albums that were recorded at Sound City. As someone who has been lucky enough to record on 2inch analogue tape, knowing the recording process and hearing what Dave Grohl said about getting the chemistry back into the music, I adored it. Neve consoles are world famous, they have a fantastic reputation and rightly so. This console was the centre of Sound City. When it was installed, business boomed, but as with many things in the digital age, recording onto tape was no longer financially viable.

The documentary isn’t just about analogue vs digital. Yes, it broaches the subject of the authenticity of digital editing and musical manipulation. Later in the film it cleverly shows how Trent Reznor uses digital music manipulation as a tool rather than a crutch. What ‘Sound City’ captures beautifully are the ‘had to be there moments’. Through good vibes in a studio space, chemistry within a band and with a producer, whether in the original ‘Sound City’ or later in Grohl’s studio when the ‘Sound City Players’ record. It brings us back to why we originally fell in love with music.

This is an interesting and informative documentary and for me has reignited my love of recording. Now I want to go to Dave Grohl’s house and play with his toys.

Sound City is available to stream on volta.ie and is running exclusively in the Light House Cinema in Smithfield from March 15th.

Watch the trailer:

The Album: Sound City Players : Real to Reel is out now, listen to ‘ You Can’t Fix this’ with vocals from Stevie Nicks.

Listen on Soundcloud

Men at Lunch – Lón Sa Speir: Documentary Review



Directed by Seán Ó Cualáin, Men At Lunch looks at the history and myths behind the 1932 photograph, ‘Lunch Atop A Skyscraper’. Taken in Manhattan, as the Rockafellar Center was being built, the documentary looks at the background of ’30 Rock’ in New York, the great depression and how skyscrapers were shooting up, if you’ve no more ground to build on, build up.

In the photograph, we see Central Park in the background, without harnesses, the iron workers eat their lunch, 57 stories up. No room for acrophobia here! Deep in the bowels of the building there is a photographic ‘museum’, which has prints of all the photographs taken and these show that it wasn’t just the iron workers up there. Pictures of photographers taking photographs of other snappers. It really interesting to see how they found out who actually took the photograph.

As for the men who are eating lunch, we are taken on a trip trying to get to the bottom of the identities of the eleven, how lots of people claim one of them is their grandfather and how a photograph in a pub in the west of Ireland has lead to establishing the identities of two of the men.

This is a documentary which both fans of photography and history will enjoy, using interviews, stills and archival footage. Photography fans will enjoy the visual element and the glimpse we get of the archives. For this viewer, the history of New York city is fascinating and we get a real gritty look at how the city was built. Very enjoyable and extremely educating with a dash of an Irish twist.

The documentary runs in the IFI until February 7.

Good Cake, Bad Cake – The Story of Lir (Video)

GoodcakeBadCakelirYesterday, a promo clip for ‘Good Cake, Bad Cake – The Story of Lir’ went on YouTube. This documentary is directed by Shimmy Marcus (Headrush, Aidan Walsh, Master of the Universe) and looks at Dublin band Lir and their ambitions in the early nineties. Even if you can’t remember Lir, you’ll know some of its members including Ro Byrne, Colm Quearney, cornerstones of the Irish music scene.

Strange fact, I went to the Senior College in Ballyfermot way back when and recorded a voiceover demo in Lir’s manager Sean Hayes’ studio in Trim in County Meath. He did an interview with me for it too. Must dig it out! Anyway this film is going to be a must watch for any lover of the Irish music scene.

How To Be Irish: Get Involved


rteThis sounds interesting. RTÉ is airing its first user-generated documentary on being Irish on St Patrick’s Day. The programme will be made entirely of clips sent in by viewers talking about, or otherwise illustrating, what being Irish means to them.

Here’s the blurb:

On Friday 17th February RTÉ Television launched its call for people everywhere, in Ireland and worldwide, to tell us #HowToBeIrish and possibly feature in this unique television programme. The call-out is also being led by RTÉ 2fm’s Rick O’Shea on his Rick in the Afternoon programme.

Anyone who wants to take part – wherever and whoever they are – should think about the feelings, images, thoughts, songs, jokes or special moments which they feel best sum up being Irish and use their cameras, camcorders, webcams or mobile phones to capture their version of #HowToBeIrish.

RTÉ will select the funniest, most touching, awe-inspiring and strange responses for the television programme, #HowToBeIrish, which will be broadcast on RTÉ One and on RTÉ.ie on St Patrick’s Day 2012. And we’ll share the best of the rest with our RTÉ.ie visitors.

There are many ways of being Irish and the conversation is open to anyone anywhere who would like to send us their thoughts on being Irish. Whatever #HowToBeIrish means to you, we want you to show us on camera.

Details of how to submit:

    1] Record up to 3 minutes of material, maybe even 5, showing us How To Be Irish.

    2] If you film in public, make sure you have permission to film anyone you interview or feature. If you film in private, make sure you have permission from everyone.

    3] It is not necessary to edit your material, although you can do so if you wish.

    4] Don’t use any music unless you’ve got permission from the rights-holders.

    5] Email a file of your footage, preferably a Quicktime, or send us a link of it on YouTube to HowToBeIrish@rte.ie by 6pm on March 5th (you can even post us in your tapes if you like).

    6]Any questions? Email HowToBeIrish@rte.ie now.

#HowToBeIrish will be hosted by Twitterato extraordinaire Rick O’Shea of RTÉ 2fm, helped by model and Facebook maven Faye Dinsmore and RTÉ Television presenter and You Tube star Stephen Byrne.

For more information on how to send us your material go to www.rte.ie/howtobeirish. If you still have any questions, e-mail us at howtobeirish@rte.ie.

Closing date for submission of material is 6pm on Monday 5th March.