Drunk – Thundercat

He’s back! Thundercat (AKA Stephen Bruner), bass player, singer, producer, funkmeister extraordinaire, drops his fourth studio album Drunk this Friday. I’ve already pre-ordered it and you can be guaranteed I’ll be caning it in my gaff this weekend. The album includes two previously released tracks, ‘Them Changes’ (which I have played to death and still adore) and ‘Bus In These Streets‘.

Drunk promises collaborations with Pharrell, Kendrick Lamar, Wiz Khalifa as well as 80s favourites Michael McDonald and Kenny Loggins who guest on ‘Show You The Way’ which was the first single. ‘Friend Zone’ is the most recent single, the one which is responsible for me walking around singing, ‘Because I’d rather play Mortal Kombat anyway-ay…’ for the last week!

Thundercat plays Vicar Street on March 27th. See you there!

NewBliss – National Concert Hall – 28th February 2017

The wonderful man that is Keith Donald (AKA father of The Multiverse) is performing his one-man show, NewBliss, in the John Field Room of the National Concert Hall on 28th February. Tickets are €20 (€18 concession) and you can book online at the National Concert Hall.

NewBliss tells the story of the highs and lows of Keith’s six-decade long career, half of which was spent under the shadow of alcoholism. It is an insight into the life of a musician, from pit orchestra gigs to pay the bills, all the way through to sold out stadium tours. The show is one man on stage with 900 lines of verse, 10 songs and 5 musical instruments.

He’s most well known as a founder member of Moving Hearts, but he’s played with the greats (I know, I was there for a lot of it!) from Van Morrison, Ronnie Drew and Christy Moore to Gerry Mulligan, Zoot Sims and Vusi Mahlahsela. NewBliss has already been performed abroad and in Ireland and the reception has been amazing. If you have any interest in Irish music, or the life of a working musician, or in seeing how someone manages to overcome an addiction that threatens to derail everything they’ve worked for, then put this in your diary!

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Anymore – Goldfrapp

 

Last week Goldfrapp debuted the first single from their upcoming album Silver Eye which will be released on March 31st. ‘Anymore’ is unmistakably Goldfrapp-ian: fuzzy four-to-the-floor synth-pop underneath signature breathy vocals. The sound is reminiscent of their second album Black Cherry and is bound to be a winner at gigs. I can’t wait to hear the rest of the album.

Christmas Entertainment

After the nightmare that was 2016 I sincerely hope that Multiverse readers are looking forward to a relaxing and joyful festive season. In case you’re looking for something to while away your time over your holidays, here are some suggestions. I look forward to seeing you again in 2017. Squillions of love to you all.

The above video is a cute interpretation of a classic and one that is a tradition amongst me and my best friend’s family. It always makes me think of her.

A recent and hilarious Vanity Fair article on Trump Grill(e): ‘And like all exclusive bastions of haute cuisine, there is a sandwich board in front advertising two great prix fixe deals.’

I’ve become a huge fan of Taffy Brodesser-Akner‘s writing and this article on sugar dating (published last year in GQ) is just brilliant: ‘A thing you should know is that there are very few people to root for in this story.’

A great Harper’s article on the 80s literary Brat Pack: Jay McInerney, Bret Easton Ellis, Donna Tartt, et al. ‘One member would go on to win a Pulitzer; one would become better known for controversy than fiction; another would exemplify the excessive highs and very public lows of the decade; and another would slowly fade from view.’

I’ve read so many books this year and as always I try to read a mix of recent and classic fiction. Some were terrible, some were superlative and a lot of them aren’t even worth talking about. Here are a few of the books I’ve really liked but not gotten around to reviewing in depth, (if you click on the links they’ll bring you to reviews of the work in question): Beware of Pity by Stefan Zweig, Spill Simmer Falter Wither by Sarah Baume, Devoted Ladies by Molly Keane, The Eden Express by Mark Vonnegut, The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim, Hallucinations by Oliver Sacks, The Sea, The Sea by Iris Murdoch.

I’ve been a bit obsessed with this Thundercat song for months, even though it was released in 2015. The Prince influences and the 70s disco vibe combined with the funk bass-line all coalesce into an infectious groove.

Anyone browsing Netflix should put White Girl (Kids for Millenials), Black Mirror (dystopian tech nightmare), The Crown (sumptuous period drama), Love (Freaks and Geeks all grown up), and Daft Punk Unchained (documentary about the electro legends) on their list.

Go Fug Yourself is one of the websites I have visited daily for many years now. This year I particularly loved their AbFabtrospective and their SWINTON retrospective (Tilda being one of my sartorial heroines).

Lose yourself browsing the archives of Hooked on Houses, a website devoted to gorgeous homes, from celebrity abodes to houses featured in movies and random real-estate inspiration.

And now it’s time for my sister’s family’s favourite Christmas song, Nobel prize winner Bob Dylan singing a Pogues-esque polka version of a 60s classic. It’s barking and brilliant! Enjoy!

Murdered Out – Kim Gordon

I’ve spent the last week painting my bedroom, which makes it sound huge when in actual fact it’s just slightly bigger than a postage stamp but I make a lot of clumsy mistakes necessitating many do-overs and clean-ups. In the process I’ve been listening to way more music than usual, caning much beloved old albums and buying newer stuff.

One of the new tunes on rotation is Kim Gordon’s very first solo single ‘Murdered Out’. It’s droney, discordant, distorted, and I love it! It harkens back to Gordon’s post-punk roots but the crisp production lends it a more modern feel.

Can you believe that it’s Gordon’s first solo release? I couldn’t. She’s a founding member of Sonic Youth, a songwriter, musician and singer, a fashion designer and visual artist. Now sixty-three years old she’s a rock icon and a revered trailblazer, with artists like Roisin Murphy, Karen O, and Kathleen Hanna claiming her as an influence. A solo release seems WAY overdue. Here’s to a lot more.

 

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping

 

The world of manufactured pop has been begging for a mockumentary for a long time and in Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping it finally gets the parody it deserves. Conner4Real (Andy Samberg) forms a band called Style Boyz with his childhood friends and they become popular due to their good looks and dance gimmick, the ‘Donkey Roll’. When they inevitably break up under the pressures of fame, Conner goes solo, with bandmate Kid Contact (Jorma Taccone) relegated to hitting play on an iPod under the guise of beat-maker and DJ.

Conner is propelled to superstardom with his catchphrase verse on ‘Turn Up The Beef’ by Claudia Cantrell (Emma Stone), and it seems he can do no wrong until he makes a deal to automatically upload his newest album to household appliances via WIFI (shades of Ireland’s original boyband?) leading to a backlash and Conner’s fall from grace.

Never Stop Never Stopping has its roots in the carefully controlled promotional films of pop stars since the genre began, from The Beatles to Madonna to Katy PerryJustin Beiber‘s ‘Believe’ seems to be a direct inspiration – just check out this trailer which might seem like a parody if you didn’t know any better. Writers Andy Samberg and Akiva Schaffer have hit every recognisable plot point: a mother who gave up her own dreams of stardom and now parties with the kids (Joan Cusack), a faux relationship with a fame hungry singer (Imogen Poots), and a support act in the tradition of ‘All About Eve’. Sarah Silverman as Conner’s publicist delivers some gems in her trademark deadpan: ‘I’d like to get Conner to the point where he’s everywhere, like oxygen or gravity or clinical depression.’

The cameos are a who’s who of the Billboard charts: Ringo Starr, Questlove, Pink, 50 Cent, Carrie Underwood and RZA are among many recognisable faces. Mariah Carey in particular is worth watching out for, brilliantly sending herself up in just a couple of lines of dialogue. And Andy Samberg is perfect as Conner: handsome enough to be believable, a better than decent dancer and singer, and so committed to the role that you can’t help but be on his side even though he’s eye-rollingly stupid.

Never Stop Never Stopping is cleverly written and its Spinal Tap style satire delivers proper laughs. If you haven’t seen it, it’s one to put on your list for an afternoon watch this weekend.

Feel Like I Do – Disclosure

Last week I DJed for the Louise Kennedy AW16 fashion show in her stunning atelier on Merrion Square. When compiling the playlist I rediscovered some overlooked gems in my music collection and found some new ones on iTunes. ‘Feel Like I Do’ by Disclosure fell into the former category – it was first released in June and I bought it when it came out. It didn’t make the cut for the show but I’ve been playing it at home for the last few days. It’s perfect for the end of our Indian summer; laid back, with a feel-good groove and gorgeous vocals.

The vocal is sampled from an Al Green song, ‘I’m Still In Love With You’. Disclosure asked permission to use it and when Al Green heard the track he gave them the original vocal recordings to use, a stamp of approval if ever there was one!