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Friday, January 27, 2006


allure’ [-loor] vt. entice, win over, fascinate –n. attractiveness –allure’ment n.
-allu’ring a. charming, seductive –allu’ringly adv.

According to my giant dictionary in my house, that is the meaning of the word: allure. Oddly enough before I gave the song that name I didn’t now the meaning of the word and now that I do, I don’t think any other word could sum up the song better!

Ok, there are two characters in this song, The Tempest and The Serpentine, which are pretty much the good and bad aspects of the person whom the song is about. I wanted to capture how much this person ‘fascinates’ me. I think I did. When she heard the song she taught it was too long and taught it was ‘ok’ meaning she wasn’t impressed at all! Ha! Its kind a funny isn’t it? You write a symphony for someone and they don’t like it! Ha!

Anyways the song was written in the one go, when I was supposed to be studying for my Christmas Exams. In a way it’s the first “post isinglas song”. I liked it when I wrote it, but I knew it was missing a gimmick; which I try put I all my songs to try differentiate them from each other. Mark Whelan had bought a 12-string acoustic, he showed it to me and I picked it up and strummed the first chord of the song, and smiled to myself, I had found my gimmick! Cheers for letting me use your guitar Mark!

How I can I put this? ‘There are friggen loads of acoustic guitars on this song!’ Acoustics only here people. No electrics! Including the 12-string tracks I’d say there is close to 15!! I miked up everything, I want to get that ‘warm’ feeling for the guitars. In a way there are probably too many guitars on it, because I think the effect of the 12-string isn’t that dominant on the song. It was fun figuring out all the harmonies for the riffs. I had fun writing the lyrics too, twisting and weaving them in and out of the music.

THANK YOU CAROL FOR PUTTING YOUR SWEET, SWEET VOICE ON MY CRUMMY SONG!! Carol totally blew me away when she recorded on this in her tiny room, at the top of her house by UCC. Whatever way she delivers the second chours in the song is amazing!!

Thanks to Sham also for your words that you said. They give me the confidence to carry on with this ‘façade’!! Ha!

Friday, January 20, 2006

Garden State

Garden State is one of my all time favourite movies. It was written and directed by Zach Braff and stars Natalie Portman. It is a comedy/drama about an actor who returns to his hometown after his mother dies and the film accounts the few days that he returns for.

When I saw this film I was in LA when it was released in the summer of ‘04. I had heard about the film on IMDB and that it was creating a buzz at the film festivals. When it was released I persuaded Jim to go. I told him Natalie Portman was in it and that was all the persuasion he needed! Ha! When the film was released, it was only shown at a few Theatres around the city; The Arclight was the one we decided to go to as it was only up the road from us. The Theatre is located at the Sunset/Vine intersection just up from Amoeba Music which is the greatest music shop I have ever been in. But that’s another story!

We decided to go see it on a Friday night, which was out only day off work that we had together. We jumped on the bus which was pretty much only going up a few blocks, but we had our bus passes so we didn’t care! On the bus we met a very interesting character. Jim and I were sitting on the right hand side of the bus about half way down talking about shite when we heard someone shouting “Is that Irish accents I hear?!” from ahead of us. We looked up front to see this wild eyed George Carlin look alike with crazy hair like Doc Brown from Back to the Future grinning his yellow teeth at us!! We started to converse with him. By converse I mean we fell into the routine we did every time we ran into a “randomer” on our adventures that summer, Jim being the nice person he is, chatted to the individual whilst I stared into space avoiding eye contact! While the two conversed the same conversation about where we were from, for the millionth time that summer we passed a huge building on our right with “ARCLIGHT” across it. I nudged Jim pointing it out and pulled the cord to stop the bus and we jumped off at the next stop. We started to walk over to the Theatre when all we heard was “Hold up a sec! Hang a bell!! You gotta hear the end of my story!!” from behind us! The Randomer had followed us off the bus! He hobbled over to us with a bag with no handles clutched to his frail frame of a body and the other arm waving frantically in the air! “Fuck Sake” Jim and I muttered under our breaths! We continued to walk down the street which we eventually learned was the street which was behind the Theatre. The Randomer continued to tell us stories about the good ‘ole days and stealing food in Dublin. We eventually found the entrance to the Arclight and after another 20 stories we said our goodbyes to our new found friend!

Now there has been no cinema on earth that I have been to that compares to the Arclight. On the way in we saw a “wall of water” (that’s the best way I can describe it) before we entered enter the huge building. We qued up for our tickets. The ticket booth looked like something out of a train station. The cinema listings were on a giant LED board, I reckon there must have been over 50 showings that night. All around the building there were book shops, a food court, a merchandise shop and one of the coolest things I have ever seen. It was an area where people smoked cigars and drank port and discussed the movie they had just seen! Jim’s eyes lit up with amazement with what he was seeing, he is one of the biggest movie buffs I know, and I think he had just tasted heaven! We purchased our tickets and headed down the red carpet to our screen.

Now the most unique thing happened after we found our seats. Someone came out and introduced the film! How cool is that! He told us a bit about the movie, who’s in it and so on and then the movie began.

I must discuss my “situation” around the time I saw the movie. The only way I can describe myself was “emotionally numb” and I was pretty bent out of shape. I’m not going to go into the nitty gritty details, but essentially it was over a girl (surprise!!). We were close as ever one day, and the next day she cut me out without any reasoning or notification. (Later I found out she was a “Commitment-phoebe”). And worse still whilst all this “shit” was happening Jim, Gary and I had moved into her flat with her other 9 flat mates. So we were pretty much always around each other, even though we couldn’t bare to be in the same room as one another.

But when I saw Garden State, this heart-warming, emotionally deep, honest, funny and brilliantly amazing film, my “numbness” evaporated, I could “feel” and started to be myself again. This is why I love this movie so much. Jim and I walked home that night up Sunset Blvd, entertained and satisfied!!