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    The Right to have Rights

    Hannah Arendt’s famous phrase ‘the right to have rights’ was coined in her 1958 book ‘The Human Condition’. The condition of being stateless, of being a displaced person, which began its modern history in Europe with World War I, has been experienced since by untold millions who have had to listen to the claim that ‘human […]

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    U2’s First Recording Session Reviewed For The First Time

    U2 released ‘Songs of Experience’ before Christmas as a companion piece to 2014’s Songs of Innocence. Thematically, ‘Songs of Innocence’ was inspired by the band’s memories of their youth in Dublin in the 1970s with Bono describing it as “the most personal album we’ve written”. ‘Songs of Innocence’ touched upon these memories as perceived four […]

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    History Rarely Repeats, But Often Rhymes

    For over a decade now, Dublin-based five-piece The Spook of the Thirteenth Lock have been fusing the folklore and musical traditions of their home city with sounds and processes from further afield, with elements of drone and post-rock sitting alongside the foundations of folk and trad across their previous pair of full-length records. In addressing […]

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    Adventurers in immortality and Nazism

    The revised edition of ‘Francis Stuart: Artist and Outcast’ (Kiely, Liffey Press, Dublin 2007; Areopagitica, NC 2017) coincided this year with two other biographies about Nora O’Mara and John Lodwick, close friends of Stuart’s in wartime. The challenge for the biographer is to interrogate the sources about Stuart, O’Mara, and Lodwick each of whom was […]

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    The Shaker Hymn: There’s no redoing things

    Independent music is odd: for a wide umbrella of music that breeds the creative freedom and cultural autonomy needed to help progress the overall artistic discourse, there’s no shortage of revivalists of various stripes, rejigging and refreshing previously well-worn sonic tropes. It’s been hard in the past to look at Corkonian psych-poppers The Shaker Hymn […]

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    Trouble Pilgrims

    The Radiators From Space, Ireland’s first punk band, captured the subversive mood of 1979 in the groundbreaking ‘Ghostown’ album. Now they cast a long shadow over Trouble Pilgrims who have inherited band members Steve Averill and Pete Holidai. But the iconic pair of Irish rockers are not just surviving, they’re thriving. The reason for this […]

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    The rock star should be sometimes alone, but never lonely

    The story of the contemporary rock diva, Lady Gaga, who literally could not stand to be alone, is a philosophical fable for our times. A few years back, according to claims in a legal action filed by the rocker’s former personal assistant, who sued for overtime pay, the singer could not tolerate being in her […]

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