Posts Tagged ‘Oppenheimer’

I’m told Saint Patrick’s Day is a bigger deal here in the States than in Ireland, or at least that the celebrations/parades are bigger. I don’t really know about that, but I do know that the people here in Portland, OR will party for any reason even Groundhog’s Day. Scratch that, especially Groundhog’s Day. Anyway, with St. Patty’s looming like an Indian from a Ken Kesey novel I thought I would compile a list of bands to check out to help you organize your iPod playlist for March 17th.

Of course one could be inclusive and include any band from Ireland such as U2 or Oppenheimer, but ‘m going for over the top here. I’m going with bands that are unmistakably Irish from the first note of a song even if they may actually be from Boston or London. So here they are in no particular order. Please leave a comment if there is a band you feel I have neglected.

Drop Kick Murphy’s

How can you not have these guys. Loud, sound drunk, and I swear I get transported to some Irish pirate ship every time I hear them.

The Pogues

I think they may actually be Irish pirates, just happened to have been born in England.

Flogging Molly

Less punk and more traditional, these guys will give your party emotional balance.

Now I hear you say, “But dude, I don’t want to just get drunk and party and get in a fight.” Too which I say, “Pussy.”

But alright. Here’s for your less…enthusiastic party, shall we say.

The Corrs

Very pretty to look at and they are actually good at what they do.

The Chieftans

The great thing about these guys is their first 10 albums are titled 1, 2, 3, 4, you get the idea. They’re for your trad crowd.


Well, you saw Titanic, ’nuff said.

Now for your less Irish sounding Irish, just because:


Van Morrison


The Boomtown Rats

Thin Lizzy

Well, that should get you going. iPod up, party down, and call some Irish dude a Mick. Because everyone should be punched by an Irishman once, at least.

Musha rig um du rum da, / Whack fol the daddy O,
Whack fol the daddy O, / There’s whiskey in the jar

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I’ve blogged about Oppenheimer before here and wanted to share another video of theirs, which is below. They will be touring the east coast of the US soon and from what I can tell Shaun has moved from Belfast to New York so maybe we will see more of them on the west coast someday. Anyway here’s the vid and you can check out more of them at http://www.oppenheimermusic.co.uk/.

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First, you are never going to be president. You are never going to be on Conan-not even the new one. You will never be inducted into the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame. Even if you sound like Hendrix, SRV, Vai you will never be as successful. Hell, even if you are better than those guys it’s just not going to happen for you. Why? No reason. Shit just happens, or it doesn’t. As negative as this post may seem it really isn’t, negative that is.

You can tell me all I need to do is practice more and want it hard enough, but that’s BS and we should all acknowledge that. I’m not saying it’s not worth trying. Quite the opposite, or inverse, not quite the opposite. What’s my point? That for me, at least, it is easier and I am happier if I simply understand my limits and work within them. I can still push those limits, that’s how we improve, but they must be acknowledged, the limits I mean. My real point? If I just want to mess around on the guitar and have fun jamming with friends or playing a Cat Stevens’ song that’s OK. I don’t have to strive to be the best. I can strive to be better or not, it’s up to me.

Side note: Stop trying to sound like your heroes. Learn their stuff and how they do it and toss it aside. Clapton, SRV, and Beck don’t sound like Robert Johnson or Buddy Guy or Muddy Waters. They studied them. Let your idols, your heroes, your whatever influence you, but don’t lose yourself in them. Don’t get their exact gear, don’t play exactly like them. With enough practice anyone might play Little Wing, but can you write something that impressive? I can’t, but to get back to my original point-I’m OK with that.

Some of my heroes


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Twice now I have gone to see specific headlining bands and wound up being blown away by the opening acts. Before I get to the who and how let me make one point. You’ve spent the money, it’s for both bands, why not go? I understand if you know the opening act and think they suck. Sure, don’t go then. But if you’ve never heard of them, go check ’em out.

Now the who etc.

First, we went to see They Might Be Giants. They are all that and a book on math. So good. The opening band was Oppenheimer. They are from Ireland. It’s just two guys, Shaun Robinson and Rocky O’Reilly. They use a prerecorded, preprogrammed portions of songs when performing live. Shaun sings and plays drums while Rocky plays guitar, provides vocoder vocals, and plays the mighty Moog. Oppenheimer has a synth-pop sensibility and et completely rock. From the slow jam of Breakfast in NY to the upbeat and catchy Saturday Looks Bad To Me Oppenheimer has it all.

Second, we wet to see The Go! Team. Best show ever! If you have the means I highly recommend checking them out. The opening band for that concert was Bodies Of Water. Bodies Of Water hail from some part of L.A. They have a decidedly retro feel. Bodies Of Water have clearly done their homework and sound authentic and yet new. They have an infectious energy. Especially from Meredith Metcalf, and especially at the end of These are The Eyes. Bodies Of Water also having a brilliant vocal approach that is both four part harmony and call and response.

Check out the above bands and see if they appeal to you. They both have something different to offer. But most of all go see the opening act. You may be pleasantly surprised.

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