Apr 20, 2012

Watch this Space: Maverick Sabre

I got a text message from my brother yesterday asking if I've heard of Irish singer Maverick Sabre. He had just heard an interview and insisted I check him out. In his words: "Some voice, I'll tell ya — I think you will like."
It took me twenty-four hours (I'm off caffeine this week so everything takes at least twenty-four hours) but I checked him out this morning. You should, too. This is the first single from his new album, Lonely Are the Brave.

I Used to Have it All

Predicting instant mainstream success for this London-born, Irish-raised singer. Love that distinct raspy voice, the reggae vibe, and the throwback (Amy Winehouse/Adele 'ish) sound. Also love that he's talented and not manufactured. Can't wait to listen to the entire album. A few more songs ... just because it's Friday, and I'm off alcohol and sugar, too.

Let Me Go
I Need

Stalk him on FB, YouTube, and Twitter.
Buy his album, Lonely Are the Brave

Apr 10, 2012

Pause: Conor Walsh and the 1961 Fleadh Cheoil

A mesmerizing piece by Irish musician Conor Walsh, featuring footage from the Fleadh Cheoil held in Swinford, Co. Mayo in 1961.

Because it's Tuesday. And it's early enough in the week to allow yourself a moment.

ConorWalsh on YouTube

Apr 2, 2012

Kickstart Ireland!

Kickstarter, the community funding platform for creative projects, is one of my favorite sites to root around in. It's such a kick in the arse to see how many great movers, thinkers, shakers, and doers are out there trying to make their ideas come to life. I was kicking around the site recently, checking on the status of the fully-funded 1661 Poitin campaign as well as my friend Suha's campaign to fund the filming of her romantic comedy about women who are considered "expired" when they don't get married in time (please help fund it if you have a few bucks sitting idle in your pocket as there are only a few days to go!), when I came across a couple of projects with an Irish focus and thought to share them here, should you feel like investing in Ireland!

Ring of Kerry

Kenmare-based gold-and-silversmith Paul Kelly, along with filmmaker-photographer Evan Payne, are looking for funding to kickstart Kelly's Ring of Kerry design, a very beautiful ring inspired by Kelly's Co. Kerry surroundings, and composed of two interlocking torc rings—one silver, one gold, one set with a diamond, and one with an emerald—that connect to form the Ring of Kerry.

The rings are handmade using traditional techniques in Kelly's Kenmare workshop and are a rare and lovely example of authentic Irish design—amid a crowded jewelry market of cheesy "Celtic" jewelry.

Several versions are available (along with photographic prints by Payne) as rewards to pledgers: $100 gets you one silver and gold torc ring; $200 gets you two interconnecting silver-and-gold torc rings; $335 gets you the gemstone version; and $450 the complete ring with both diamond and emerald stones. All pledges get you the satisfaction and bragging rights of supporting an Irish designer and helping a beautiful design come to life in the heart of Kerry.
Paul Kelly, PFK.ie
Evan Payne, evanpayne.com

Mag Mel
If gardening's your thing, you might want to support the recreation of a mythical Irish fairytale woodland for the Chaumont Sur Loire International Art and Garden festival in France.

Landscape designer Rita Higgins and sculptor Peter Little work together to create fanciful and fantastical landscapes inspired by the Irish landscape and filled with Irish plantings and hortisculptural art (be sure to  use that word today!). Their Mag Mell installation seeks to recreate the mythical island of Mag Mell, an island off the west coast of Ireland, and will take visitors from a fairytale woodland across a moor-like area to a moss-covered pod suspended over  water. The pod is a functional sculpture and provides a porthole view of the garden and an opportunity for the visitor to be immersed in the landscape.

Pledger rewards include postcard images of the garden, tickets to the festival in France, a crew tea-mug and t-shirt, a bogwood pendant, and long-distance garden design ... and again, those bragging rights that you kickstarted the Irish economy.

I might need to create my own Kickstarter campaign just to be able to fund all these cool Kickstarter campaigns!