Nov 10, 2013

Irish Short Makes Oscar Longlist

Earlier this week, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced the 10 animated short films that will continue in the voting process for this year’s Oscars. The 10 films, picked from 56 qualified shorts, included Irish short The Missing Scarf, from Irish director and animator Eoin Duffy (and narrated by actor George Takei – aka Hikaru Sulu of Star Trek.)

On a quest to find his missing scarf, Albert the squirrel unearths problems far beyond his own.

The Missing Scarf – Teaser from Eoin Duffy on Vimeo.

The short is described as "A black comedy exploring some of life's common fears: fear of the unknown, of failure, rejection, and finally the fear of death. All delivered under the misleading tone of a child's storybook reading."

The final five nominees will be announced in January ahead of the ceremony on March 2nd.

Nov 6, 2013

Musical Time Out

I am under a few deadlines at the moment and generally up-the-walls in-full-headless-chicken-mode but I thought I would take a minute to calm the voices in my head and cure the radio silence on this patch of internet with—what else—some music. 

Cian Nugent
I was listening to NPR's All Songs Considered podcast this morning while I was walking the dog, and heard mention of Irish guitarist Cian Nugent as an example of American Primitive (blues-country-folk-bluegrass) music. I had to check out this non-American example of American music. Lars Gotrich listed Nugent's album, Born With The Caul, (with band The Cosmos) as "a loose jaunt that feels at home in the countryside as much as it does a dive." Especially love the slow build of the song "Double Horse" which you can listen to here, as well as this unhurried song and video for "Grass Above My Head," directed by Cait Fahey.

Born With The Caul will be released on November 13 via No Quarter.

Inside Llewyn Davis
So yesterday when I was walking the dog, because walking the dog is my social life at the moment, I listened to a preview of the soundtrack to the Coen brothers' new movie, Inside Llewyn Davis. I loved the music of O Brother, Where Art Thou from their 2000 movie so I was eager to see what genre of music the brothers Coen would revive with this movie. Turns out it's set in the early-60s Greenwich Village folk scene. I quite like the music, especially the five-minute "Hang Me, Oh Hang Me," and I know I'll probably LOVE the music after I see the movie, 'cos my ear is not so evolved as to not need the supporting visuals of Justin Timberlake and Marcus Mumford. Speaking of Timberlake and Mumford, these two boyos (along with members of Punch Brothers) perform a lovely version of Irish trad ballad, "The Auld Triangle" in the movie. This song never fails to stir and also never fails to inspire a singalong (it got me singing at the dog park and a few mutts howling along). If Oh Brother is any indicator, there will be much "jingle jangle all along the banks of the Royal Canal" after Inside Llewyn Davis is released in December.

Refresh yourself on the auld lyrics and hear the entire album at NPR First Listen

James Vincent McMorrow
If you know me at all, you know I've got a bit of a thing for JVMcM. I call him "McVitie" in our imaginary conversations (which we carry on for hours on our imaginary strolls along deserted California beaches, in open Montana meadows, and rambling around the Burren). The man is beautiful. I was hoping to catch him at Joe's Pub in a few weeks but it seems I have competition for his attentions now and the gig is sold out. Hoping he will see my absence as this-bitch-playing-hard-to-get and the suffering will lead him to write a beautiful, tormented song. 
While we wait for that, we can take comfort in this newly released song and vid, "Cavalier," from JVMcM's new album—Post Tropical—due out January 2014.