Articles


 

I’ve written a variety of articles, reviews, features and op-eds over the years. Here are just a few of them.

 

September, 2014 –

I reviewed the Leeds band Alt-J’s live show at the 3Arena, Dublin.  This was for Irish music website, GoldenPlec.

“Pretension hung in the air. Perhaps that’s not surprising seeing that the indie darlings have catapulted themselves into a higher stratosphere and their gig is taking place in the 14,000 capacity 3Arena rather than the Olympia Theatre’s 1,240, which they played two years ago.
Too large a leap, surely…”

altj 3

 

September, 2014 –

“Ideas Are Bad” – An article on screenwriting and its pitfalls, written for screenwriting contest Three Lines or Less.

“It’s true that many of the best ideas come from little seeds, but these seeds do not help you when you have your project. The project. Which, at this stage, we should. We must. Take that one gem, the one that deep down you know really has something true in it, and embrace it fully.”

Ideas Are Bad

 

August, 2014 –

A review of Dundalk band Manifesto’s Jack’s Ghost EP for Irish music site GoldenPlec.

“Not unlike a My Bloody Valentine before the buckling grind of adult life sets in, or a Tim Wheeler on a sugar high, Yellow (But Not Really) shows a host of positives; inventive variety, clever choices, good production and a whopping chorus.”

Manifesto EP

 

 

July, 2014 – 

I reviewed the Baltimore band Wye Oak’s album Shriek.
This was for Irish music site, Golden Plec.

“Shriek is a real grower and a solid showcase of Wye Oak’s ability to stay on the right track while changing up their vehicle.”

Shriek

 

June, 2014 – 

I reviewed the Philadelphia band The War on Drugs’ album Lost in the Dream.
This was for Irish music site, Golden Plec.

“Rather than a rhythmic stomping boot, this is the playful jump of a toddler in a padded onesy – and it’s all the cuddlier because of it.”

The War on Drugs Cover

 

May, 2014 – 

I reviewed the Dublin band Cloud Castle Lake’s EP Dandelion.
This was for Irish music site, Golden Plec.

“They want you to see what they see, whether the wolf howling, the moth cloud or the cloud, castle and lake. Invariably, they succeed.”

Dandelion EP

 

 May, 2013 –

I wrote about the importance of emotional depth rather than technical perfection in music for the audio website, Audio Issues.

“The ardour with which these vocalists convey their novel and touching stories surpasses any indistinct, mass-manufactured polish, and these acts prove it.”

Technically Poor

 

November, 2012 – 

I wrote about the lack of depth and meaning in modern soundtracks and scores for the audio website, Audio Issues.

“It’s all too common these days for music in film to tell you how to feel. It should instead follow or represent the emotion inherent in the action.”

More Scores

 

March, 2012 –

I wrote about the best and worst roles and performances of Chicago actor John Cusack, for the features website, This Blog Rules.

“Cusack is the perfectly cast nervous wreck that desperately wants to be (or be with) anyone his polar opposite.”

John Cusack

 

March, 2012 – 

I wrote about the top ten Oscar snubs for the features website, This Blog Rules.

“Compare that to the dystopian Schrader and Scorsese world, or the satirical while poignant tale of the newscaster Howard Beale brought to life by Lumet and Paddy Chayefsky and you have one hell of a mismatch.”

Oscars

 

February, 2012 –

I wrote about the top ten things you’ll miss about the American television comedy ‘Community’ for the features website, This Blog Rules.

“I want to be in one these friendships; imagining the same messed up fantasies as each other and losing all of the usual insecurities that are involved when you admit your innermost thoughts. Such as eating yourself if you woke up as a donut.”

Community

 

December, 2011 – 

I wrote about the top ten album releases to look forward to in 2012 for the features website, This Blog Rules.

“With his prolific back-catalogue and his reputation as a song-machine will certainly bring the April release to the fore of our record collections.”

10 Albums

 

November, 2011 –

I wrote about the lack of tasteful movie adaptations for the features website, Indignant Rant.

“Next thing you know we’ll be remaking Citizen Kane, starring Dennis Quaid, directed by Baz Luhrman. Or The Last Picture Show featuring Shia La Boeuf and Seth Rogan. Or the fetish master Zach Snyder’s Bonnie and Clyde, complete with leather and masks.”

Adaptations

 

October, 2011 –

I wrote about the smarminess of such reality television shows as The X-Factor for the features website, Indignant Rant.

“Not only that, but you have presenters who are all so MTV and hip-to-the-groove that you just wish they would choke on their own skinny ties.”

X Factor

 

May, 2011 –

I reviewed the Australian band Tame Impala’s live show at Lincoln Hall, Chicago.
This was for Chicago music blog, Windy City Rock.

“They say that imitation is the highest form of flattery. I disagree. Look at Wolfmother. Instead, let’s try reinvention. And Tame Impala.”

Tame Impala

 

May, 2011 –

I reviewed the Californian band El Ten Eleven’s live show at the Bottom Lounge, Chicago.
This was for Chicago music blog, Windy City Rock.

“Their songs are often wonderfully named (“I Like Van Halen Because My Sister Says They’re Cool”) and are always well-structured and entrancing, moving from likeness to The Sea and Cake to the more heavy toe-tapping of Ratatat or Errors.”

El Ten Eleven

 

 

April, 2011 –

I interviewed the Chicago band, The Island of Misfit Toys.
This was for Chicago music blog, Windy City Rock.

“OK, well, the next question for –

Anthony: Let’s talk about Dads. Their Dads.

OK, how are your Dads? Jonathan?

Jonathan: Yeah, my Dad’s good.
Anthony: Julia was just on the phone to her Dad.
Julia: I was. He’s also good.
Anthony: You should write that our Dads are doing well.
Evan: Our dads are doing impressively.”

IMOT i:v

 

April, 2011 –

I reviewed the Chicago band The Island of Misfit Toys’ live show at Lincoln Hall, Chicago.
This was for Chicago music blog, Windy City Rock.

“The full team of eight young members were dynamic and their adolescent anthems were enhanced by their unerring swagger and musical ability. That is without mentioning the constant exchanging of instruments. Guitar, bass, drums. Check. Keyboard, xylophone, saxophone. Check. Flute. Melodica. Accordion. Yes. Washboard? Yes, even a washboard.”

IOMT, 4:23

 

March, 2011 –

I reviewed the Chicago band Maps & Atlases’ live show at Lincoln Hall, Chicago.
This was for Chicago music blog, Windy City Rock.

“Rarely do we hear math pop and intimate in the same sentence, but it really was.”

Maps &

 

 

February, 2011 –

I reviewed the band Akron/Family’s live show at Lincoln Hall, Chicago.
This was for Chicago music blog, Windy City Rock.

“Akron/ Family were inspired by a note left for them which said: “Flourish. Flourish. Flourish. Fuck Shit Up.” The band took this to heart.”

Akron

 

January, 2009 –

I reviewed the 2008 film, Valkyrie.
This was for the Ireland’s official film magazine, Film Ireland.

“The deeper politics of the scenario are wholly substituted by moral dilemmas, and although it is quite a mind-boggling experience “rooting for the allies while still passionately patriotic” this context is lost after thirty minutes.”

Tom Cruise, Christian Oliver, Stephen Fry and Christian Berkel Valkyrie movie image

 

December, 2008 –

I reviewed the 2008 film, The Secret Life of Bees.
This was for the Ireland’s official film magazine, Film Ireland.

“Add a black statue of the Virgin Mary, a touch of conspicuous deja  vu and a mob-inspiring romance and you have the final product.”

Secret Life