The Songwriter’s Corner: Zach Condon (Beirut)

The second installment of the Songwriter’s Corner takes a look at the work of Zach Condon, the brains behind New Mexico band Beirut. Since the project originated in 2006, they have been responsible for two incredible albums and a host of EPs, with the third album from the band due for release at some point of 2011. Beirut are among the first acts confirmed to be playing this year’s Electric Picnic festival in Stradbally in September.

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For The Turnstiles: Jukebox Gypsy Interview

Jukebox Gypsy are a five piece acoustic folk band formed out of Liverpool. Their imminent Irish tour in support of the bands’ second album entitled ‘The Month’ will see Jukebox Gypsy play venues in every part of the country. Here Isaac answers a few questions about the band, the songwriting process, their inspirations and previous Irish tours.

Hi Isaac, how did the five members of Jukebox Gypsy come together.

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2 x 4fortyfour #2: Baum- Music for my Landlord

People keep telling us that music journalism is dead. Readers can instantly download and listen to music so why would they care what other people think? Here at 4fortyfour we think they do care but that, sometimes, music journalism and criticism isn’t interesting enough. That’s why we’ve launched 2 x 4fortyfour – DID YOU SEE WHAT WE DID THERE? – a new type of music review.

In this series, two of our contributors will listen to a record individually, then listen together while chatting over GChat or some other means of instant communication. The (almost) unedited version of that conversation will form the review. It may wander off on tangents but hopefully you, the reader, will get a better sense of the record by the end of it as there will be more than just one person’s opinion.

Baum is a Swiss artist who recently recorded an album in New York’s The Cutting Room called ‘Music for my Landlord’. The studio band consists of some very well known and respected musicians. Here is the transcript of a conversation between Elaine and Peter where they simultaneously listen to the album and share their thoughts through Google chat.

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The Songwriter’s Corner: Sufjan Stevens

Welcome to a new feature on 4FortyFour. In these (hopefully) weekly installments, I intend to examine the craft of songwriting, and pinpoint the finest songwriters of the modern era. The likes of Lennon & McCartney, Morrissey, Springsteen, Dylan and more have been examined to death, so these posts are going to look at different and often unlikely, yet no less worthy, candidates for the archives of the greatest songwriters.

This week we begin with Detroit-born troubadour, Sufjan Stevens.

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For The Turnstiles: Glastonbury Emerging Talent Competition

A few weeks back I was given the opportunity to be a judge for Glastonbury’s Emerging Talent Competition. The winning band gets to play the main stage at Glastonbury. Understandably each of the forty blogger judges were given a batch of bands to listen to. I listened to at least one song from 159 bands and artists. From that list I choose three bands which will be revealed on the main Glastonbury website here: http://www.glastonburyfestivals.co.uk/

I’m going to share some of the music which really impressed me in my batch:

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Nothing But The Girl(s): A Lil’ Bit of Country

A few 4fortyfour readers made contact with me over the last couple of weeks asking if I could feature some ladies of the country music persuasion on my feature Nothing But The Girl(s). I first assumed this was as a result of Lady Antebellum reigning supreme at the recently held 2011 Grammy Music Awards, but then I got thinking about the huge success of ladies and bands in this particular genre of music, as well as the country pop phenomenon in general. I am not the first Irish music blogger to write about this either; Ronan over at Swear I’m Not Paul admits to being a big fan of certain country pop artists and bands, even naming Lady Antebellum’s Need You Now and Taylor Swift’s Speak Now as two of his favourite albums of 2010. After further pondering, I felt my readers were right and this particular topic deserved a feature post, so I started exporing.

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Making the right Choice

This blog has its roots on the campsite in Larch Hill, sometime in the early 90s. There’s me, a step in my hair and a record number of badges on my sleeve.

Our Cub Scout troop (14th Kildare) had just won some award and there was furious debate about who should pick it up. Brian Duffy and Paul Kirwan were both insisting that it should be them and, even as our win was being announced, their positions remained entrenched.

So I did what any self-centred 10 year old would do and simply walked up and collected the prize myself.

Far from saving an argument, this actually inflamed it and, newly united, Duffy and Kirwan directed their anger towards me.

Ever since then, I’ve been wary of award ceremonies.

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