Category: Hasty Music Reviews
Hasty Music Reviews provide brief analyses of songs and provide the reader with recommendations about who might enjoy the tune. These will usually be involved with supporting musicians such as for the #Music4Ukraine challenge.
Fun for Fans of Radiohead and Baked Goods
Polyphia Play With Intricacies on New Track ‘Neurotica’
Now that it’s the weekend and you’re not dedicating your brain power towards work, you’ll have time to digest Polyphia’s new track ‘Neurotica’! This …Polyphia Play With Intricacies on New Track ‘Neurotica’
Fall Favorites 2022 – Playlist Live Creation
I’ve got a couple hours to listen to new music so I’m going make this playlist live. That’s right, if you’re reading this on Friday the 23rd I’m creating this as you read it.
I keep a long list of tunes I’ve been meaning to check out. Some I’ll like, some I won’t. Those that I enjoy will end up on the list below.
Organic Musical Travel Experiences: A #HastyMusicReview of Dublin – August 2022
The Church – Traditional Irish Music and Dancers (August 18, 2022)
My wife and I arrived at the Jameson Distillery in Dublin shortly before closing time. The bartender whipped up some whiskey cocktails quick enough that we could each try two before last call.
Unfortunately, our time at Jameson was limited, it was time to go. The bartender recommended another bar called “1661” which was named after an Irish spirit called Poitín. We wandered the streets of Dublin looking for it, but we got lost. This post isn’t really about Jameson or 1661 though, it’s about the wonderful musical venue we found instead called “The Church Café & Late Bar”.
The Church was built in the 1600s. It was an operating Catholic church that has since been resurrected a bar and restaurant. The pews have been removed and in their place is a stunning copper cocktail bar. The pipe organ and stained glass remain, making this an especially beautiful place to grab a pint of Guinness.
We lucky enough to stumble in on a night with live Irish music. The band occasionally interspersed rock standards with traditional Irish music.
About every fifth or sixth song the band was joined by Irish dancers. Each time they did, the crowd would rush toward the front to get a better view. I assume this meant it was mostly tourists, hoping to catch a glimpse of the lower bodies of the dancers. (Some people believe that Irish dance was created to be camouflaged from the waste up so that British soldiers couldn’t tell the Irish were dancing through a window.)
Keep your eyes open during that periodic rush to the stage, you might be able to grab a stool at the bar even on a crowded night.
We eventually found our way to 1661, which was every bit as delightful and unique as our bartender at Jameson said. I enjoyed my cocktail, although I don’t think I’ll be rushing out to fill the bar at home with Poitín. However, the cheeseboard and romantic ambience were both notable.
Galway Bay Brewing – Musical Conversations with Dubliners (August 26, 2022)
Later in our trip, we dropped into the Galway Bay Brewery after dinner with friends of the family for a few pints of their many craft beers on tap. There wasn’t a band playing that night, although a solo Polish traveler tried to convince us that there was.
Despite the lack of live music, I had a wonderful conversation with one of men in our dinner party about our favorite music, and of course his favorite Irish music. We discussed many of his favorite bands, and I’m not sure it would be of interest to list them all here, but he notably proclaimed “Thin Lizzy is yer God now!” I’m not sure about that, but I appreciate his enthusiasm and his recommendations.
Dublin Street Music (August 27, 2022)
Like most large cities, the buskers are plentiful. You can look forward to hearing traditional Irish tunes on many of the bustling street corners.
We were pleasantly surprised when we stumbled onto a small parade. I’m not certain, but I believe this may have been the An Garda Síochána National Centenary Commemorative Event.
It was simple and solemn, and we were lucky to witness it.
Guinness Open Gate Brewery Tour – Pep Rally Style Marching Band (August 27, 2022)
One of the must-see attractions in Dublin is the Guinness Open Gate Brewery in Dublin, even if you’re not a beer drinker. Arthur Guinness signed a 9000-year lease on the facilities hundreds of years ago and it’s still there and still growing. He was clearly a man with confidence in his brewing ability and it shows.
My wife and I took a self-guided tour of this seven-story structure which included a guided tasting, a Guinness with our faces lasered into the foam, and a Guinness IPA in the Gravity Bar which has spectacular views of the city.
Amongst the many displays we found the Guinness Harp that is featured cans and bottles around the world. There also was a laser harp that you can play if you can find a chance when the children aren’t busy enjoying it.
Periodically, a small marching band erupt through the lobby doors near the gift shop. We first heard this when we were on level 5, but unfortunately, we could not see them from there. Luckily, they returned while we were shopping for souvenirs on the way out. This time I had a front row view of the monstrous five-piece band.
The Porterhouse – Modern Adaptations of Traditional Irish Music (August 27, 2022)
My wife and I spent our last night strolling along the Liffey River in Dublin.
Eventually we wanted into the Porterhouse Restaurant for a steak. It was a traditional Irish pub with ornate woodwork, except it had several levels with railing that allows visitors to look down upon the levels below- this includes an aerial view of the stage.
The drinks menu was notable with many craft brews. This was unusual compared many of the other pubs we visited during our stay which usually had just Guinness, Moretti and Heineken. I had a lovely stout that was called the “Plain Porter.” I’m not sure why they called it a porter, but I will say that I think rivals Guinness in both flavor and smoothness.
The service was friendly and enthusiastic, and we enjoyed our meal, however, the highlight was the music. There was a two-piece band, guitar, vocals, and tin whistle with occasional pipes. The guitar work is a little jazzy and funky which adds a lot of energy to the traditional rollicking Irish tin whistle melodies. Be sure to check out the clips below.
We were only in Dublin for a very short time, but we found many opportunities to experience Irish music without much effort. Of course, there are plenty of other opportunities like Dublin Symphony Orchestra but unfortunately, you’ll have to read elsewhere for info on that. Perhaps I will visit again and amend this post in the future.
“Hydronaut” by Shiva the Destructor – another #HastyMusicReview to #SupportUkraine
Some of you may be trying to support Ukrainian musicians with the #Music4Ukraine Challenge, but maybe you don’t know where to start. I’m here to help. I will be publishing a series of mini blog posts about some of the great Ukrainian music I’ve found, and I’ll give tips about the types of listeners I think might enjoy it. If that description matches you, then I hope you’ll dig further into the artist to learn more and share what you find with your music-loving friends!
By Shiva the Destructor
The first thing I notices was the stunning psychedelic temple artwork. It gave me a sense being drawn into an epic story, and the music delivered!
The song starts with a swirling with delay effect accentuated by modulation creating an underwater feeling. Eventually a gnarly and present bass lick sludges through the bottom end foreshadowing the journey that is to come.
Guitar riff slides up the neck then abruptly gets choked off gives just a moment of respite, allowing the tune to gasp for breath before it digs back in.
Eventually the tune dies off again, but instead of starting back up as it was, it restarts with series of bright arpeggios. This creates a slightly more optimistic vibe for just a moment until the heavy guitars assault the low end again- this time they crush with increasing pressure.
You might be lulled into thinking that this is a purely instrumental tune, but so you may be surprised when the lyrics start 3:26 into the song. Be patient. The voice is haunting and at times trippy- spinning in the swirling into and out of the guitar lines.
The lyrics are poignant and dark- it’s one of the few songs I’ve listen to that has a full set of discernable lyrics, sung in English.
After the vocals tell their story, the guitars pick up the intensity again and wander through a harmonized solo, ultimately arriving in the land of ambience, where they joined by an organ that opens a gap for the lyrics to rejoin the mix one final time.
Hydronaut is a beautiful soundscape that envelops a heavy griding rock tune. I think it’s likely to be enjoyed by the subset of Tool fans that don’t need everything to be super heavy (sorry, I know some of you need it to be ultraheavy and this isn’t for you), grunge fans, psychedelic rock, fans of dark complex grooves, stoners
If you’re looking for other great Ukrainian music, I encourage you check out the playlist below. As I find more tunes, I’ll add them there. I plan on publishing more “Hasty Music Reviews” like this to help you find the artist that bests suits your style. Also, if you’re interested in learning more about #Music4Ukraine be sure to check out my Listen for A Cause post.
Music Monday: Springsteen Dissects Thunder Road
It’s my favorite song of all time, and it’s been my favorite song for over 40 years now. I recently came across this video of Bruce offering his …Music Monday: Springsteen Dissects Thunder Road
Academy enables gifted Ukrainian musicians to continue their dreams
More than 40 gifted young musicians from Ukraine are continuing their education through the Phoenix Music Academy in Dortmund, Germany. By Alexander …Academy enables gifted Ukrainian musicians to continue their dreams
Thin Lizzy – Dancing in the Moonlight (It’s Caught Me in Its Spotlight)
I love listening to Phil Lynott sing. Thin Lizzy could give you a lot of different-sounding songs. In this song, it sounds like Phil was listening to…Thin Lizzy – Dancing in the Moonlight (It’s Caught Me in Its Spotlight)
#Music4Ukraine – A Playlist
I’ve been featuring this playlist in many of my Hasty Music Reviews lately. However, the playlist is but a small feature of those posts so I wanted to put it out here in the open to make it easy for you to find.
This playlist is all Ukrainian artists from many different genres. There is a lot of incredible talent here. I hope you’ll give it a listen as a show of support for the artists of Ukraine.
Hopefully you’ll hear something that you love and it will inspire you to listen deeper into that artist. When you do, please share what you found with others. Here are some tips about how you can leverage you musical consumption to support those under attack.
Do you have any recommendations of Ukrainian music for me? Have you used playlists to support other social causes? If so, let me know in the comments.