Introduction:

"This blog is not necessarily for lovers of art, it includes a variety of topics and whatever. I'm a painter who likes to know what's really going on in the world today. So you might find anything from Shamrocks to Salmiakki mentioned here on my blog. There will of course be some boring, factual and informational posts, but I'll keep them to a minimum, I promise!

And I might get a bit nostalgic now and then.

So you have been warned!"


- Alan Hogan



Showing posts with label bands. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bands. Show all posts

Friday, February 20, 2015

Top Hat In Bloom (updated repost)





Kurt Cobain
(February 20, 1967 – April 5, 1994)



If he were alive today he would be celebrating his 48rd birthday. Unfortunately on April 8, 1994 Kurt Cobain was found dead after committing suicide by shooting himself at his home in Seattle. While not a huge fan of the singer and his band Nirvana, I did enjoy their sound and I witnessed the impact it had on a lot of people, mostly those of my younger brother's generation in the early nineties.




Kurt Cobain and Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth

Dublin, 1991










One concert I recall hearing about while living back in Ireland was their support gig to Sonic Youth at the 'Top Hat' venue in Dublin on 21 August 1991. I recall this gig as I was more a fan of Sonic Youth at the time, and it was a concert I really wanted to be at, but I just couldn't get a ticket. This concert at the Top Hat was held just one month before Kurt Cobain's band Nirvana released their biggest album called Nevermind and it was the first time Irish fans got to hear their biggest ever hit Smells Like Teen Spirit. That moment must have been really special I reckon.




Here's an advert for that concert which I kept from a magazine at the time. (looks like the magazine printed the wrong date!)















Nirvana played support to Sonic Youth at a gig the previous night in Sir Henry's Pub, Cork before heading to Dublin.  

Here's an audio clip of their song 'About a Girl' from that gig.






It is known that Kurt Cobain felt a spiritual connection with the city of Cork while he was there. He researched his family name and concluded that it may have originated from this area of Ireland. It is without doubt that Cobain and his music was and remains much admired in Ireland, and I imagine that he will be remembered once again by Irish fans when fellow Nirvana band member Dave Grohl returns to Ireland in 2015 with his own equally good band the Foo Fighters to play at the mighty Slane Castle. That promises to be something special I reckon.  
Kurt Cobain can be heard in this interview below with rock journalist Jon Savage on July 22, 1993 talking about such ancestoral notions and other issues such as his parents' divorce and the impact of other bands on his music. The video is wonderfully animated by the people at Blank on Blank, (Cobain was found dead in April 1994)



Read also..





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Thanks for reading my blog and please feel free to share it with any of your friends.

You can receive my blogposts direct to your email or facebook profile by pressing the follow button at NetworkedBlogs  and you are welcome to visit my art page on Facebook by clicking the 'Like' button under my signature below.


- Alan 



                     


Friday, March 2, 2012

Hogan's Heroes of Music - Manic Street Preachers



"Most of the posts on this blog are art-related. So I wanted to include a regular posting dedicated to music, another art form which inspires me. Unfortunately (or should that be fortunately?) I don't play any musical instruments myself, but I do love to listen! This series of blog posts will cover just a few of the musicians and bands who I have admired and listened to over the years. I won't be listing my favorites in any particular order. Some of you reading this will most likely have your own opinions and views on the bands mentioned. And some of you will have your own favorites which I may not list. But for now I am just going to list off a few of my personal faves. You are welcome to add any comments below after reading. Thanks!"


- Alan Hogan
Manic Street Preachers - photo by Julian Broad.

Manic Street Preachers

The Manic Street Preachers are on my Heroes of music list for several reasons. Firstly, they brought a kick-ass attitude to a somewhat boring year of music for me when they first arrived on the scene. The year was 1991 and the music charts were full of boring and unimaginative tunes, with a few exceptions. It was a year full of re-releases and greatest hits. The summer of 1991 was held hostage by Bryan Adams and his number one hit single '(Every thing I do) I do it for you'. You couldn't turn on the airwaves and not hear it being played. While it wasn't a bad tune, it felt as though mainstream radio was plagued by this song. 

Anyway, one day while watching a tv show I witnessed this new band called the Manic Street Preachers singing a tune called 'Motown Junk' and I said "wow, that'll do for me!".  
After being somewhat disappointed by another favorite band of mine R.E.M. and their 1991 'Out of Timealbum release for it's lack of guts and energy, seeing the Manic Street Preachers' 'Motown Junk' being played live on my tv screen was a welcome treat. The song itself was a great introduction to a band who were critical of the world, culture, politics and even iconic idols. While they may have been seen as new wave rebels singing about such controversial topics, I was more focused on the musical energy and fresh attitude this band were dishing out.





This four-piece band from Blackwood in Wales continued to gain notice, credibility and success in the early 1990's when in 1995 their main lyricist and rhythm guitarist Richey Edwards vanished. The musician, who then suffered from dispression has since never been found and in 2008 was officially announced as 'presumed dead'. After his disappearance in 1995 the band continued and in 1996 they released their acclaimed album 'Everything must go'. It contained lyrics for five songs by Richey Edwards. Here's one of the tracks he wrote from the album, and it's also a favorite of mine called 'Kevin Carter'.





Unfortunately I have not kept up with the Manic's releases after the year 2000. Although, while I still listen to their earlier work, I hope to get to listen to more of their recent albums soon in time. I would also like to see the band live in concert someday. 
Perhaps I'll come back here one day and update this blog. But for now, here's lead man for the Manic's, James Dean Bradfield singing two more of my favorite songs. The first song below was their first UK number one and it's also in the Guinness Book of Records as the number one single with the longest title without brackets. It's called 'If you tolerate this your children will be next'. The second song 'Motorcycle Emptiness' is from their 1992 debut album 'Generation Terrorists'. It's a full-on melodic tune said to be about capitalism and it's fake reality. Good Stuff!!!






Manic Street Preachers



Thanks for reading my blog and please share it with all your friends. I also recommend reading about Manic Street Preachers on allmusic. There's also a Finnish website called MANIC FINLAND.


Read more Hogan's Heroes of Music
The Beatles




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Thanks for reading my blog and please feel free to share it with any of your friends.

You can receive my blogposts direct to your email or facebook profile by pressing the follow button at NetworkedBlogs  and you are welcome to visit my art page on Facebook by clicking the 'Like' button under my signature below.


- Alan 



                     




Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Hogan's Heroes of Music - The Beatles


"Most of the posts on this blog are art-related somehow. And I wanted to include a regular posting dedicated to music, another art form which is very important to me. I don't play any musical instruments as such, but I do love to listen! This series of blog posts will cover just a few of the musicians and bands whom I have admired and listened to over the years. I won't be listing my favorites in any particular order, but I just thought that I'd start off my list with the The Beatles as they have been the most influential band in my life and probably many others. Some of you reading this will most likely have your own opinions and views on the bands mentioned. And some of you will have your own favorites which I may not list. But for now, as it's my blog I am just going to list off a few of my personal faves. You are welcome to add any comments below after reading." 
- Alan Hogan 



The Beatles

One of the greatest forms of art is of course music. And music is very important to me. I would find my daily life very boring and uneasy without listening to some form of music during the day. It's a form of relaxation, inspiration and sometimes a vent for frustration. I've had it with me throughout my life. In fact I can honestly say I've been listening to music since before I was born. I believe there's a truth in the practice of mothers trying to relax their unborn babies by playing music to them.
However, I think the music I heard was by coincidence rather than intentional. Luckily for me it happened to be a generation for great music, and finding a radio playing loud at home wasn't at all unusual. Maybe it was a sign of the times, but for some reason I can remember the sound of The Beatles playing even before I was born.




The song in question that I seem to remember being played way back then was 'Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds'
I later heard this song again and again on the radio while growing up back in Ireland. 
The Fab Four played at the Adelphi Cinema in Dublin 1963. This was the only concert they ever played in Ireland. Three aunties of mine went to the show and met the band briefly afterwards. They were tipped off that the band were exiting secretly through a back entrance due to crowd worries. And before being ushered away in an old newspaper van to the Gresham Hotel the band stopped to say hello to a few of their fans.




Twenty years later I borrowed a few of my aunt's Beatles records and start listening to their music properly. Still in school at the time, I had just gone through a phase of listening to British new wave sounds and began listening to another favourite band of mine called REM. But none of that could ever compare to Beatles albums such as 'Help' and 'A Hard Days Night'. Here's a little clip from 1963 taken from 'The Beatles Anthology' dvd with a short intro by producer George Martin.




I like to think I have good taste in music, even though I don't listen to too much of any one style. I will of course get bored if I listen to the same music genre for too long. After too much listening I even get turned off great bands such as Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin and The Rolling Stones. I purposely make a break from listening to bands because I know that when I return to their music it will amaze me all over again. The same can be said for more modern greats like U2, Springsteen, REM and Metallica.




Of all the bands and musicians I know, I think The Beatles have endured the longest, mainly because of their wide range of music and the crossover of genres made by the band in such a short period (10 years!). From early sixties beat-music, to psychadelia, to heavy blues and to the perfect ballad, they had it all. This is why I find their music very difficult to put away, I always seem to have one or two of their cds or a vinyl album sitting somewhere nearby. Their music is timeless for me, and it can sometimes feel like a breath of fresh air after a drive in the car listening to whatever the regular radios stations are throwing at me. I certainly hope their music will be around for as long as I live, and I hope more young people listen to it. Maybe it will keep inspiring more and more musicians to write better songs and music into the future.



The Beatles


Thanks for reading my blog and please share it with all your friends.
You can receive my blogposts direct to your email or facebook profile by pressing the follow button at NetworkedBlogs  and you are welcome to visit my art page on Facebook by clicking the 'Like' button under my signature below.

-Alan 


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Monday, May 23, 2011

Soul Inspired!




When most people think of Irish music festivals they think of fiddles, tin whistles, lively dancing and the odd refreshment. But times have changed and nowadays Ireland has many other musical festivals to offer, and for many different tastes. Festivals such as the Cork Jazz Festival, the Electric Picnic, and the Castlebar Blues Festival for example. And this month another festival which has only been around for 5 years comes back to Ireland's capital. Set up by a group of young dedicated Dubliners in 2007 the annual 'Dublin City Soul Festival' is an event about creating positive feeling through soul music. It's a way for musicians and like-minded people to come together and show their passion for what's best about Ireland. One of the big attractions of this year's festival I reckon will be the amazing and charismatic Mirenda Rosenberg, a singer from the U.S. now living in Ireland since 2005. Tickets are only €15 to see her, an absolute bargain! Check her out here in this video, fantastic!



There has been a wholesome connection between the roots of soul music and various musicians in Ireland over the years, and a great bond of musical respect has been established because of this. Well-known Irish artists such as U2, Van Morrison, Sinead O'Connor, The Chieftains, Damien Rice and Lisa Hannigan come to mind.



And I suppose we shouldn't forget that little movie by director Alan Parker called 'The Committments'. This is the band that came to my mind first when I heard about this new festival in Dublin. It's a film I really enjoyed for the energy, the acting and of course that sweet soul music! Although I don't recall anyone singing soul music on the buses when I was growing up in Dublin. Weddings perhaps, but never on public transport!



It's not a bad redition of the old classic soul tunes. But let's be honest here and say that the originals are the ones to savour and add to your cd collection. The Committments were at their best an excellent covers band, not unlike a lot of the cover bands doing the pub circuits around Ireland at the moment. It is however nice to see that the old gang are back together again these days, and they have a 20th Anniversary Reunion Concert planned for next November in Dublin's Olympia Theatre. In fact they play two nights on November 9th and 10th, 2011. If you're lucky enough to be in Ireland around those dates you might like to enter this competition here to win some tickets. They recently had a comback concert last March with all of the original line-up. Here's a little video from Irish television with a few of them singing the classic 'Chain of Fools', and yes, that is the gorgeous Imelda Quirke singing!!...sorry I mean Angeline Ball!







  
The Dublin City Soul Festival's big banner-call this year is 'Cead Mile Failte', which is an Irish welcome as described in this short poem here.

An Irish Welcome
Here's Céad Míle Fáilte to friend and to rover
That's a greeting that's Irish as Irish can be
It means you are welcome
A thousand times over
Wherever you come from, Whosoever you be.

I recently received an email from one of the Soul Festival's event people asking me if I'd like to take part in this year's event. The organisers have a project called Eye Candy where they ask artists to donate a piece of their work in aid of the festival's charity. The charity in question is called the 'Musical Youth Foundation'. It is the aim of this charity to provide more access for every Irish child to music through free lessons and musical instruments. I did of course donate a painting. I didn't have a lot of notice about the event, but I hope this little piece which I sent over can help somehow. I call it 'Soul Inspired' with a slight pun towards Dublin city's most controversial landmark called 'The Spire' on O'Connell Street (see photo below). The 'Dublin City Soul Festival 2011' is on from May 26th to May 29th 2011.








Finally, speaking of charity events, for anybody living in Ireland there's a great little table quiz being held in Dublin on June 1st, 2011 in aid of the Irish Cancer Society. It's called 'The Hogan Quiz' and it's organised by a wonderful bunch of people with plenty of heart and soul. And they also happen to be cousins of mine so you will definately have a great night. For more information check out their event page on Facebook here!



Thanks for reading my blog and please share it with all your friends.

-Alan

You are welcome to visit my art page on Facebook by clicking the 'Like' button here.



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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Magenta in March!


While the colour green may get a mention here in Finland during the month of March, the colour 'Magenta' may also feature prominently in the news. As myself and many other people prepare for the 'greening' of St.Patrick's Day here in Finland next month a band called 'Magenta Skycode' bring their mellow sounds on tour around the country.





'Magenta Skycode' are a Finnish band based in the city of Turku, 150km west of Helsinki. Their music is a sublime mix of easy tones and pleasant melodies. Think of bands such as Iceland's 'Sigur Rós' and Irish band 'God is an Astronaut' and you will be in the right ballpark. This music drags you in hypnotically and gradually grabs your full attention before you decide to listen to it over and over again. 



The band recently received accolades from the media and press in Finland after their album entitled 'Relief' (shown below) won the 'Best Alternative/Indie album' award at the Emma-Gaala music awards.

Magenta Skycode - Relief






'Magenta Skycode' are on tour in Finland during March and April 2011, playing at venues listed here. Here's a clip of the band live in Tampere from October 2010.






Thanks for reading my blog and please share it with all your friends.
You can receive my blogposts direct to your email or facebook profile by pressing the follow button at NetworkedBlogs  and you are welcome to visit my art page on Facebook by clicking the 'Like' button under my signature below.

-Alan














   
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The Art Garage, Finland

The Art Garage, Finland
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