Friday, January 05, 2007

About to flatline

The blog is gasping for breath; there's a gurgling in the throat; the eyes are rolling back in the head.

I've been quite busy, writing about music and such elsewhere on the Interweb, and as a result, this blog has suffered. I fully expect any one of these posts over the next few weeks to be my last. Such is life and the swirling shitstorm that is blogging.

In the meantime, here's some Spirea X: "A vehicle for the '60s pop-art visions of ex-Primal Scream member Jim Beattie, who was accompanied by Judith Boyle and Andrew Kerr. Two EPs appeared in early 1991: Chlorine Dream, which updated the sound of The Byrds for the shoegazing era, and Speed Reaction, a fiendishly catchy melding of harmonies and The Who. The trio's sole album, Fireblade Skies, followed in the autumn. Jim left 4AD shortly after, going on to make records as Adventures In Stereo."

Since I'm a upstanding man of letters, one who abides by all its many varied creeds, I will tell you this information was procured from the 4AD web site. Hear it for yourself. Download: "Chlorine Dream" by Spirea X. Get in on this good Scottish pop now. Before this entire dump flatlines and you're left with jack, hands fumbling as you navigate your mouse to the latest Hype Machine-like site for your daily mp3 fix.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

A stream of Saxon gore

The Battle of Glenmalure took place in Ireland in 1580 during the Desmond Rebellions -- rebellions of the Earl of Desmond dynasty and their allies against the efforts of the Elizabethan English government to extend their control over the province of Munster. During the battle, an Irish Catholic force made up of the Gaelic clans from the Wicklow Mountains, led by Fiach MacHugh O'Byrne and James Eustace, defeated an English army under Arthur Grey, 14th Baron Grey de Wilton, at the O'Byrne's mountain stronghold of Glenmalure.

Around 800 English soldiers were killed, including Peter Carew, cousin of his namesake colonist who had made claims to, and won, large tracts of land in southern Ireland. The remainder of the English force retreated to lowland Wicklow and from there, to Dublin. However, the following year, when offered terms, most of the Irish rebels, including O'Byrne, came in and surrendered. The exception was Baltinglass, who fled for France.

"Follow Me Up To Carlow" is an Irish folk song celebrating the Irish victory. It's rather notable, as it's one of the most graphically violent of all Irish folk songs, containing lines such as, "From Tassagart to Clonmore/There flows a steam of Saxon gore," and, "Now for Black FitzWilliam's head/We'll send it over dripping red/To Queen Liza and her ladies."

Download: Follow Me Up To Carlow."