Rory Kirwan raps in One for the road. Take note, he uses R.O.R.Y K as his moniker. I have been bored lately listening to the same kind of music. And once in a while I get updates on my newsfeed. And I got an unexpected treat when I clicked on his link via iTunes. It is refreshing because he writes about reality. He raps about people his age, and also what they do. I think this is what music is or should be about that it’s about expressing yourself and talking about what’s going on with your life. It might not be autobiographical but it is what people are going through at the moment and I think that strikes a chord in everyone.
Sound-wise I think he has a mainstream potential. I think I would not be surprised if he makes it to the Billboard charts. He’s got the swag. He is young and fashionable. One of those dudes you can find on the cover of GQ or Esquire magazines.
Yes I can listen to rap music. I mean what’s wrong with rap music? It is about self-expression. And if you like expletives and a little bit of porn then I think this is for you. And yes like I said I was bored and now I don’t think I am. I am blasting this through my speakers and I’m planning to take it everywhere especially when I go back to the gym.
Portrait by LIsa Hancock. Taken in 2011 in Brooklyn, NY.
I will be getting my own copy of Love & Gravity by Mary Fahl when it gets released next month. I am also excited to know that she will celebrate that album release with a full band in New York City. I could not make it there but it is great that her musical career is blossoming. According to her facebook post:
BIG NEWS: I am thrilled to share that for the first time in 10 years, I will be performing in #NewYorkCity … with a full band no less! Yes, on Feb. 10 I will be having my “Love & Gravity” CD release party at The Cutting Room. I would ab…solutely love to see you there! Please share this on your Facebook pages for any friends you have in the #NYC area who would like to join us.
For tickets, please call 212-691-1900 or visit the link below. I am so excited for this show! Get your tickets here:
I sent Patrick “Paddy” Brazel jr an email sometime within this week for an interview. It’s for my radio show called The Baxteria on Radio Happy. He was cool in replying me asap about Friday as a perfect day. Since I live in the Philippines, it took place Saturday morning around 10 A.M. my time. He’s currently in New York, still in the middle of their American tour. Everything was doing fine until I discovered the audio was not working. That was a crappy situation considering this never happened before. I then found out the problem. It’s my USB mic that was not configured correctly. He said it’s ok and I should not make a big deal of it. But I was making a BIG deal of it because that’s Paddy of Von Shakes! I mean hey this band is really fantastic and I’ve been a supporter since they got introduced to me two months ago. So I did some fidgeting then I look for my old headset and wala! It worked.
The guy was really awesome. The interview was like a normal conversation that you would have with someone young, knows his stuff and likes many things. We had this nice rapport talking about the super storm that hit my country recently, and how they were worried because their friends experienced Sandy when it hit the east coast of the United States. Then we talked a bit about Ireland and I love how he tested my basic knowledge in common Irish phrases. He said he would be recommending more Irish alternative rock bands when he has the time and would email me the list. I told him that would be awesome!
The interview covered things I meant to ask about the band that was not covered in my email interview. It was a wonderful moment and yes I am so excited putting the audio on my show. I am going to edit it after posting this blog and see what happens later. Check out that new video of their latest single above.
I’ve been a big Anne Rice fan since I was in my teens. And through the years I’ve read whatever she put out there. There is no denying that in every book she makes, the characters are always the focal point. Yes the stories are wonderful but to add to that, there is this great humanity she always puts in her characters. You might say it’s ironic considering the stories always involve blood, violence and occasional taking of life. But such is life after all. The shadows always define the light and there is always sense of redemption in all her stories.
I remember that at the same time, I discovered this wonderful music from a band based in New York called October Project. At that period I was listening to many Irish musicians and you can say it became an exclusive experience for me. And this American band took me out of my little basket and made me pay attention. It’s the rich drama that is found in every track of their albums that I really took to heart. Yes it’s a transporting kind of music. And the center of it all is the rich heavenly contralto voice of Mary Fahl. It’s a voice like no other. Some call it ‘the kiss of a vampire’ because at that time Interview with the Vampire became a big hit. In fact, the band was inspired by the book that they wrote a song Take Me As I Am:
Take me as I am
Someone you don’t know
Even in the dark You may not be sure
Take me while you can
I can see you standing in
the smoky entrance
Giving up your good intentions
I can imagine the song to be an appropriate theme for Lestat and Louis. Anne Rice love it but the song never made it to the movie version of the book. Fast forward to the present. Anne wrote a sequel to The Wolf Gift, a story about were wolves and there’s this scene where the main character Reuben hears the October Project song “Take Me As I Am'” playing where there’s no presence of any music player, thus understanding that the song could be part of the ‘haunting’ itself. And what da surprise! Mary wrote and performed a song for the audio book version. That song is called Exiles: The Wolves of Midwinter.
Exiles: The Wolves of Midwinter has that trademark of Mary Fahl’s soaring full-bodied voice that is like no other. And she sums up all the reasons why I love blogging about music. She’s a priestess of music and for me music is a communion of souls. When something is powerful to touch the soul and takes you to the depths of your guts up the height of your spiritual ecstasy, then it has done its purpose. As what she sings in the chorus: We belong to eternity!
Sounds like: Melodic pop rock in the vein of The Cranberries, Lifehouse and The Proclaimers.
HELLO WORLD – Track Listing
We should go blind
Nowhere Without You
Did I leave the cubicle
Make my move real soon
Price of the medicine
Father (why’s it such a secret?)
2 Bonus Tracks are on some releases – (Download Card/Online/CD)
The Bum Song
From the onset of the first track We Should Go Blind, listeners know right away they are in for an exciting and catchy sonic ride. Hello World is the new album from this New York based singer/songwriter by the name of John Munnelly who originally came from Ireland. The carrier single is called Legends which is about finding that greatness in ourselves that make us legends in our own right.
I have to admit his vocal style of yodeling on high notes really works because he reminds me of how a uilleann pipe sounds like when it becomes human. The second track People Die continues the build up with its harmonies and also delicious drums. I think I already know this song by heart because it is easy to sing along with. Big nod to the guitar solo.
The production is flawless. Hello World is a recording of high quality collection of musicians and production team. “I’d rather be in Ireland hiking in the rain’..goes the first verse off Nowhere Without You. It has an echo of old Cranberries albums.It highlights John’s breezy and easy rock vocal style coupled with really awesome melodies. He is clearly a songwriter of everyday scenes. When he writes a song it feels like you are living inside it because his prose is detailed without being sickeningly sweet.
We Are Legend is a perfect single because it is radio friendly taking focus on social commentaries. It is a wonderful pop song of the times. This is something radio has been missing for a long time. It seems that Hello World makes one believe in the transforming power of alternative ballads again. Did I Leave the Cubicle is a track you might have heard of before the release of this album as John already uploaded this on youtube but to hear this among the mix is a good thing.
All of the tracks off Hello World are solid and deserve multiple spins. There are comedic things(which he is good at) in songs like Make My Move Real Soon, Things Change and of course the very popular Does My Bum Look Big in This? I’d say you give Hello World a spin and I know John Munnely will be the name that sticks in your ears for a long time.
The only thing is that itunes doesn’t have the bonus tracks like the bum song (released as a single 2012) but they are available and included as extras via download on his site: http://johnmunnellymusic.com/hello-world-cd/