SXSW Song of the Day: Saint Sister, Causing Trouble

Posted on by Gary in Everything, Song of the Day, South By Southwest | Leave a comment

Adding the adjective Celtic to any modern music automagically evokes that most popular of icons in the “New Age” of 1990, harmonizing on an island clifftop as “Orinoco Flow” plays over the airwaves, whilst I was living on an island without those same airwaves. Sad, regarding that second bit.

New Age is unfortunately a bastardized term that could taint many music genres performed by Irish women for which philistines lack the attention span to digest. Thankfully, Dublin-based Saint Sister is unlikely to be boring even to those readers of a bourgeois disposition, which of course we have none, so my bad. Having released their first EP, Madrid, just two years ago, the sisters Morgan MacIntyre and Gemma Doherty were promptly named one of the Best Irish Acts of 2017 by the Irish Times. This is high praise that has been sustained by appearances in festivals like Reeperbahn and Glastonbury, as well as major broadcasting centers like ABC and BBC1. Very exciting stuff, indeed.

“Causing Trouble” is the first track off their next album. Their songs are characterized by clear, crisp, yet delicate vocals with a distinctly Celtic and Nordic melody. The lack of a purposeful harmony is refreshing, as it steals a peek almost naturally, yet when you least expect it. I’m determined NOT to read the lyrics here, however, because “Causing Trouble” is the last thing on my mind when I hear this. Paired with a backdrop of simple electronics, it is just an atmospheric and cleansing soundscape that recalls a rejuvenation spell in Skyrim (perhaps I’ve completely destroying the imagery at this point). I also recommend “Blood Moon” from the first EP, which is a bit more sparse but also more emotional. Looking forward to seeing them live, as well as taking a stroll on a beach with this buoying my state of mind.

Song of the Day: Lucy Dacus – Night Shift

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It’s hard to recommend break-up songs. Search one’s Best-Of lists over the years, and I would argue that it’s a specific and endangered species of accolade like the albatross. In this age of hyper-connectivity and over-social carnage, spending the time to compose and write a song is more of a redundant anachronistic mechanism, like the mix-tapes from the 1980s. Where is the catharsis if you invest it into a creative work, only to prolong the hurt like an albatross around your neck every time you play it? One is supposed to vent the anger and disappointment immediately, and move on to better and brighter things one can Instagram. Plus, wouldn’t you question the recommender’s frame of mind? Who would heartily and vicariously share pain?

We covered Lucy Dacus’ excellent debut at SXSW two years ago. This new single is broken up into two parts (no pun intended). Thanks in no small part to Dacus’ evenly narrative voice, as on the first album, we are able to follow the story in the lead portion. But if you lack patience, skip to 3:25 for the beautifully written refrain: a feat all by itself that fits any shoe. It feels ever so slightly wrong to be excited in the anticipation of being depressed, but I’m sure you’ll get over that feeling very quickly, too. This is now my favorite night-shift song next to The Commodores. No, they don’t mix well.

Dacus’ new album, Historian, is coming out on March 2nd.

Hot Docs Review: Mountain [2018, Jennifer Peedom]

Posted on by Ricky in Everything | Leave a comment


Mountain is basically the subreddit Earthporn but in film form. For 80 minutes or so, you witness mountains in glorious HD film and the film shows ranges from all around the world, from Anarctica to Scotland. Featuring a very dramatic score and narrated in poetic prose by Willem Dafoe, we admire the mountains from afar and very personally, as the film also captures our relationship with mountains and the dangers that are associated with it.

You don’t learn a whole lot about mountains, but it’s quite a glorious film from an aesthetic point of view.

It’s playing this weekend at Hot Docs. Click here for more information


Song Of The Day: Charlie Daniels Band – The Devil Went Down To Georgia

Posted on by Paul in Everything, Song of the Day | Leave a comment

Last night something pretty amazing happened. In the midst of a bunch of boring tweets about a football game, country fiddling sensation and one time Murder She Wrote guest star Charlie Daniels tweeted out his distaste for a new Taco Bell ad that blatantly reveals the fast food giant’s true face:

Illuninati confirmed? Should we all be making a “run for the border?” Have all of those double triple crunch wraps and chalupas been part of some sinister plot to place us all under their thrall? I mean a more sinister plot than just stuffing us full of Doritos Locos tacos.

Really, when you think about it though, it should have been obvious to anyone with (all seeing) eyes all along. I mean, who can forget when Taco Bell appointed Jay Z as their CEO? Or that time a few years back when the ghost of Adam Weishaupt himself, founder of the Bavarian Illuminati, appeared at a major music festival’s giant taco shrine stage and vomited 2000 pounds of spiced ground beef onto the crowd, who had conveniently been carefully arranged into a pyramid configuration while the devil himself played not one fiddle, but 666 of them at the same time? The most shocking revelation in that commercial though, is that Taco Bell serves breakfast. Surely a sign of the end times if ever there was one.

Yes, truly, the Illuminati is not a frivolous subject.

Now watch this video taken from an ’80s John Travolta movie: