I'm trying to keep in the blogging groove with this post. Its easy to lose your way and every now and again you just have to knuckle down and write something. As any regular reader will attest, this blog is very much more about quantity than quality. If there was an ISO audit for this blogging stuff I'm not sure I'd reach the pass mark. Somehow that makes me a little proud inside.
Given my dearth of ideas I'll kick off by poaching news from other sources. Nialler9 brings attention to a new musical effort by my man of the moment Richie Egan aka Jape. It's a cover of the Toto tune 'Africa'. The original tune evokes particular memories for me, mostly centred around MT USA and Jack Palance in Ripleys Believe it or Not. It also brings to mind another classic by the same band, Rosanna. This tune probably holds more significance for my older brother who had a brief dalliance with a yound English girl of that name over the course of a summer in Bettystown. Apologies for the digression, lets get back on song here. I'm not sure what to make of this version, its probably a bit too similar to the original. There's a peculiar karaoke feel to it at times. It also doesn't help that the original singer of the chorus, Bobby Kimball, can sing about two octaves higher than Richie. I mention Bobby Kimball there because the verses of the song are sung by David Paitch. There's one for all you Toto fact fans out there. Anyway, its well worth a listen so go and make your own minds up. Then go and feel the velvet original here. Mind you, the words of the tune have to be the most ridiculous I've heard in ages. They obviously wrote the words first and the tune after because there's loads of instances where they're trying to squeeze the sentence in. Schoolboy songwriting error on Toto's part.
For those of you who might depend on this blog for any upcoming musical news I'd advise that you get a good grip of yourself. But in case you haven't heard, the Kraftwerk gig scheduled for Luggala in Wicklow this weekend, has now been moved to the grounds of IMMA in Kilmainham. There are other gigs scheduled by POD for the same place in October that include Seasick Steve and Human League. I just happened to bump into Eamon Doyle (DEAF, D1, Dead Elvis) today and D1 are involved with the gig this weekend. He was also getting very excited about the forthcoming DEAF 08 festival which takes place on the October Bank Holiday weekend. There's some great gigs on the schedule. Check it here. Anyhow this is a very longwinded way of telling you about the Kraftwerk story he told me today. It relates to a time when a mutual friend, Donnacha Costello was over in Berlin in the early nineties. He somehow met Kraftwerk, whether at a gig they were playing or out somewhere else altogether. When they found out he was Irish they spent the whole night wanting to talk about Sean Kelly. Not Stephen Roche or Paul Kimmage. Sean Kelly. Fair play to those Kraftwerk boys, they know the real deal when it comes to cyclists. As it turns out they're just crazzzzy about the cycling. See for yourself.
Jaysus, now I can't stop banging on about stuff once I've started, so I'll keep the rest of this short and tell you about two cultural highlights that I had last weekend. The first involves the confusingly named St Michans Church here in Dublin. Confusing because its the name of two churches within spitting distance of one another. Myself and my current wife got married in the not so well known St Michans on Halston St but my journey at the weekend brought me to the better known St Michans on Church St. The reason for the visit was to see the by now infamous mummified remains that are in the vaults of the church (Have a look here at the Blather article on it). Being a concerned and conscientious parent I thought that the remains of dead bodies would be suitable fare for my eight, six and four year old children. And so it turned out. They loved it. You even get to go in and rub a mummy's finger if that's your thing. The whole occasion reminded me of that Spider Baby episode of Father Ted.
Another cultural highlight was the annual 'Sculpture in Context' exhibition in the Botanic Gardens. Take a load of sculpture. Take a big garden. Put the former in the latter. Hey presto a great way to look at art. This exhibition has been held in the Botanic Gardens for the last seven years and at various locations prior to that. It's always great. Check it out if you get a chance.