"Sometimes it is a spiritual experience, but most of the time it's not...You have to work very hard to get that. But that's okay. There's no free lunch, y'know?" – Van Morrison Leave it to Van Morrison to lend a bit of welcome perspective at the end of From a Whisper to a Scream, a three-hour history of Irish pop music, originally produced for RTE, now available on … [Read more...] about Music: From a Whisper to a Scream
Paul Brady Oh What A World Compass Records Let's all ponder Paul Brady's career for a moment. The man has written songs that have been recorded by the likes of Tina Turner, Joe Cocker, and Cher. He's co-written with Roseanne Cash, Beth Nielsen-Chapman, and Curtis Stigers. "Luck of the Draw," as recorded by Bonnie Raitt, netted a Grammy in 1991. His own work – listen … [Read more...] about Music Roundup
Throughout the 1980s, U2 would close their live shows with "40, their anti-war reworking of the New Testament's fortieth psalm. Over a loping Edge guitar figure, Bono would sing "How long/To sing this song" over and over and over, until every member of the audience joined in as one. The band would then leave the stage one by one, leaving the audience singing the "how long" … [Read more...] about Music: U2 Fans Find What They are Looking For
Tom Dunphy talks to Chris Byrne of Unity Squad. Chris Byrne is an unrepentant Fenian bastard. That's not a smear by this writer, mind you: the Brooklyn-born uillean piper, who recently departed the Irish agit-rock band Black 47 after a decade in that group, will freely tell you that – and rap you that – himself. That's clear on "Fenians," a track from Seanchai … [Read more...] about Who’s Rappin’ Now?
Martin Sheen, the star of The West Wing, is a complicated, ebullient tangle of philosophy, Catholicism, politics, altruism, and homespun wisdom. It's a disconcerting sight: The leader of the free world is, uh, combing his eyelashes with a small mascara applicator... Okay, so it's the make-believe leader of the free world. And it's not such a far-fetched notion that … [Read more...] about The Acting President