Sunday, 11 June 2017

Are those clothes yours?

There’s good drying out there today folks if you can hold on to ‘em.

Question? What could be more satisfying than sipping coffee while watching the undulations of one’s laundry?

Answer: The creative avoidance of housework by reading clothesline poems – or listening to laundry songs

Like this gorgeous cover, by Suzzy and Maggie Roche, of Bob Dylan’s Clothes Line Saga.

After a while we took in the clothes
Nobody said very much
Just some old wild shirts and a couple pairs of pants
Which nobody wanted to touch

Mama come in and picked up a book
An' papa asked her what it was
Someone else asked, what do you care
Papa said well, just because

Then they started to take back their clothes
Hang 'em on the line
It was January the thirtieth
And everybody was feelin' fine

The next day, everybody got up
Seein' if the clothes were dry
The dogs were barking, a neighbor passed
Mama, of course, she said, hi

Have you heard the news he said with a grin
The vice president's gone mad
downtown when last night
Hmm, say, that's too bad

Well, there's nothing we can do about it, said the neighbor
It's just something we're gonna have to forget
Yes, I guess so said ma
Then she asked me if the clothes was still wet

I reached up, touched my shirt
And the neighbor said, are those clothes yours
I said, some of them, not all of them
He said, ya always help out around here with the chores
I said, sometimes, not all of the time
Then my neighbor blew his nose
Just as papa yelled outside
Mama wants you to come back in the house and bring them clothes
Well, I just do what I'm told so I did it, of course
I went back in the house and mama met me
And then I shut all the doors

 Sing along HERE

If you liked that here are the Roches again with Loudon Wainright III

When I’m at your house

When I'm At Your House everything's strange
When I'm At Your House I go through the change
I feel out of touch, way out of reach
Like a fish out of the water or a whale on the beach
When I'm At Your House, When I'm At Your House

When I'm At Your House everything's weird
There are so many things there to be feared
The telephone rings and I get scared
The machine takes the message,
I wouldn't have dared
When I'm At Your House, When I'm At Your House

Somebody's at the front door and I wanted to hide
They want in I'm locked inside
Today's Thursday, and it's your cleaning lady
She wants to get paid today, she's got a key
When I'm At Your House, When I'm At Your House

When I'm At Your House I go out of my head
I lie on your couch, I sit on your bed
I eat and I drink I don't know what for
I spill wine on the carpet, and food on the floor

When I'm At Your House God only knows
Why I go through your drawers, and try on your clothes
I shower and I shave, use your tortoise shell comb
When I'm At Your House and you're coming home

Listen HERE.

Saturday, 4 March 2017

Eight reasons to make a trip to Bray

My favourite singer Clara Rose hangs out with the coolest of people. 

This weekend Clara was in the Mermaid Arts Centre in Bray with Flo Mc Sweeney, Emma Nicolai and Jhil Quinn.  The four Ladies in the Blues were accompanied by blues band veterans Ed Deane on guitar, Garvan Gallagher on bass, James Delaney on keyboards and Kevin Malone on drums.

These eight maestros put on a live music theatre show honouring pioneer women in the blues - like Ma Rainey, Bessie Smith, Big Mamma Thornton, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone, Memphis Winnie, Vera Hall - and boy did they do them proud.

Alan Monahan Photography

It was really hard to choose a favourite - every number was stunning - but Emma Nicoli's 'Trouble so Hard' and Clara Rose's 'Ball and Chain' made my heart stop.

For a big treat check out these recordings of our modern day Ladies in the Blues side-by-side with the original Divas....

This is VERA HALL (1902 – 1964) singing Trouble so Hard HERE
Now listen to EMMA NICOLI sing Trouble so Hard HERE

Check out BIG MAMA THORNTON (1926-1984) singing Ball and Chain HERE
Now listen to CLARA ROSE sing Ball and Chain HERE

Can't wait for next year to hear it all again - thank you Mermaid Arts Centre - well done!

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Want to know how to keep rats away from your shoes and survive algorithms?

Question: Where would you go to hear in one conversation about the Hindu Festival Diwali; how Thomas McDonagh kept the rats away from DeValeras shoes; Internet memes; post truth society; algorithms: coptic monks; echo chambers and clickbait?

Answer: Into any Irish pub - or maybe onto the Late Late Show!

This conversation featuring writers Stephanie Preissner (Can't cope, won't cope), Michael Harding (Talking to Strangers) and Artist and Rubber Bandit Blind-Boy Boatclub is so 2017 Ireland. 

Well worth watching HERE.