Author Archive

Wicklow Native Hozier To Perform On Ellen DeGeneres Show


Just two days after appearing on America’s prestigious David Letterman Show, Wicklow born musician Andrew ‘Hozier’ Byrne announces a slot on another chat show institution.

The singer broke the story on Twitter on Friday, referring to it as ‘dizzying news’. It’s no surprise considering that the twenty-four year old is yet to release his debut album. His heady rise to fame has been largely due to the two blistering and expansive singles ‘Take Me to Church’ and ‘From Eden’, both of which garnered intense radio play and a legion of fans. It’s hard to believe it’s not even a year since the first single became an over night hit thanks to Youtube. A winsome performance on RTE’s Other Voices series cemented his position as a new talent with a mature and soulful repertoire. Continue reading

Gabriel García Márquez and William Shakespeare: A Celebration


In a week that has seen the passing of Colombia’s greatest writer we also see the four hundred and fiftieth anniversary of William Shakespeare’s birth (or three hundred and ninety eight year of his death if you trust the sources). Both men used their creative skills to explore human nature, and while the passing of a Nobel Laureate will be mourned as much as Shakespeare’s birthday will be celebrated this month, it is an opportunity to be grateful that we had such luminaries at all.

In his most critically celebrated work One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel García Márquez managed to convey the pressure and strain of a whole continent recovering from colonial rule. In the same way that Shakespeare’s Henry V managed to embed a sub text of humanity and compassion into a story about bloody conquest, García Márquez was able to hide the whole world in his dusty village that the Buendia’s called home. There is a literary device known as metonymy, where a thing or group is identified by something associated with it. A common example is ‘crown’ to refer to the monarchy but a more fitting one here maybe the way ‘the stage’ can often refer to the whole of theatre and beyond. Metonymy is not unique to literature, we most often use it in our everyday speech, but it is in the hands of artists like Márquez and Shakespeare that it becomes most potent. Both writers could afford to generalise in the same way an artist like Jack B. Yeats could afford broad knife and brush strokes. They built worlds out of concrete themes like jealousy, love and loneliness and then deftly explored them and in doing that exposed a little of the great mystery of the human soul. Continue reading

Film Review: Frank


I have a confession to make. I’ve kept it close to my chest for a long time now, knowing that in Ireland it’s close to sacrilege. Here it is; I don’t really like Michael Fassbender. Please put down the pitchforks and hear me out. It’s not that I think he’s bad or untalented. In fact I think he’s more than capable as an actor, I just never saw the buzz around him. Yes Hunger is good but I found all his other performances either just solid or underwhelming. Or so I thought. Because now I have to admit that maybe it’s his face I have the problem with rather than his thespian abilities. In a film where he spends at least eighty percent of it in a fibreglass head I found myself enjoying his performance more than ever, no matter how bizarre he made it.

Frank is the story of an aspiring musician/songwriter who through pure chance finds himself as the keyboard player in an underground art-rock band. It’s the perfect escape from his office job and domesticated existence. However, the other members of the band are not quick to accept him, all except their masked, enigmatic lead singer Frank. Continue reading

Sony’s Project Morpheus: Virtual Reality


Next-gen consoles still haven’t arrived as far as many gamers are concerned. There’s been no title, no watershed moment to justify all that excitement, and money, that marked the releases of the Xbox One and the Playstation 4. No doubt that will change quickly with a host of new games marked for this summer but the question still remains; what will make this generation of consoles so much better than their predecessors? Well that might be Virtual Reality.

It has been promised before but judging from reports from this year’s Game Developer Conference it looks like the timing, and the technology, may be right to get Virtual Reality headsets out of development and into peoples homes.

The most promising of these new products is the Sony backed Project Morpheus. It couples existing but reworked Playstation technology like the Move controller with a Daft Punk-esque headset which would be the hub of the VR. Continue reading