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12 Irish Movies to Celebrate St. Patrick's Day

Posted by Billy Gil, March 14, 2016 04:55pm | Post a Comment

You don’t have to be Irish to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day or appreciate great Irish films. Here’s a list of 12 releases we love, in no particular order. (At Amoeba Hollywood, find our St. Patrick’s day movies and music in a special section near the stairs.)

Once (2007)

This Irish musical/romantic drama stars stars Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova as struggling musicians in Dublin who bond musically and fall in love. The film became so beloved that it was adapted in a Tony Award-winning play. If you’re in L.A., you can win tickets here to the show’s closing night at the Pantages Theatre March 20.

 

The Secret of Roan Inish (1994)

This fantastical drama from John Sayles tells of a young girl sent to live with her grandparents in a small Irish village near the island of Roan Inish, where selkies — seals that can become human — are rumored to reside. This combination of heart and Irish folklore makes the film a family-friendly winner.

 

Brooklyn (2015)

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Everybody Loves Lizzy!

Posted by Kells, March 17, 2011 12:20pm | Post a Comment



















Happy St. Patrick's Day, everyone! This year I thought I'd round up a Thin Lizzy tribute comprised of covers in a celebration of the rocker legacy Phil Lynott & friends gifted to inspired vagabonds the world 'round.

I am firm believer that there might not have been a "Run to the Hills" if it weren't for Thin Lizzy. Here is Iron Maiden's rather straightforward yet bad-ass version of "Massacre" from Lizzy's Johnny The Fox album. This track appears on the b-side of Maiden's "Can I Play With Madness" UK 12" single.
 
"Massacre" covered by Iron Maiden


The Cure covering Lizzy came as a bit of a surprise but I think they really pulled it off. Again from the Johnny The Fox album, here is the Cure's take on "Don't Believe A Word," keyboards 'n' all:
 
"Don't Believe A Word" covered by The Cure

For a band that is seemingly so often compared to Thin Lizzy, it comes as no surprise at all that The Sword have gotten in on the homage. Here is their version of "Cold Sweat" (a very popular Lizzy tune for hard-rockin' cover jams) from the final Thin Lizzy record, Thunder and Lightning. Dig that pencil-on-notebook-paper artwork tribute to the original Thunder and Lightning album sleeve as well! This track released as a limited 45rpm vinyl single:

"Cold Sweat" covered by The Sword


Click these links to check out some other versions of "Cold Sweat" like the throaty metal of Kalmah and the much tamer Sodom jam.

Motorhead, having shared the stage with Thin Lizzy in the past, make every effort to keep the legacy alive with their frequent covers of Lizzy jams, most notably "Rosalie," the Bob Seger penned single from Lizzy's Fighting. Check out this slick capture of Motorhead doing the "rock 'n' roll band" thing at the Montreal Jazz Festival. Indeed!

"Rosalie" covered by Motorhead at Montreaux 2007
 
Here is another cover I hadn't expected, however much sense it makes: Mastodon doing one of Lizzy's epic action-adventure jams, "Emerald," from the classic Jailbreak album.
The cover originally appeared as a bonus track on Mastodon's Japanese release of their album Remission.
 
"Emerald" as covered by Mastodon

Check out another triumphant cover of "Emerald" by Dragonlord here.


In keeping with the recurring western themes of cowboy life and hard livin' on the wild American frontier, here is a cover of "Genocide (The Killing of the Buffalo)" from the Chinatown album by Running Wild as it appears on their Little Big Horn EP.

"Genocide (The Killing of the Buffalo)" - Running Wild


By far it seems that the proto-metal Thunder & Lightning garners the most cover jams of all; here's yet another one:

"The Sun Goes Down" covered by Sinner


But I've saved the best for last, and no, I'm not talking about Metallica's cover of "Whiskey in the Jar"...
 

I remember the first time I saw Huey Lewis talking about his friendship with Phil Lynott in a documentary, he seemed really touched by Phil's creative spark and, like so many others, offers a fresh (okay, I admit this video is kinda tired) perspective on the breadth of Thin Lizzy's influence on rock 'n' roll from top 40 pop to metal's sludgy bottom feeders. "The Boys Are Back in Town," yes, but I have a feeling they'll never really leave.

Still want more? Here's Pearl Jam and Bon Jovi's covers of  "Boys Are Back In Town" plus Anthrax's take on "Cowboy Song" (I was disappointed) and, fuck it, click here for Metallica's vid. Cheers!

(Which sees our author recovering.)

Posted by Job O Brother, March 21, 2010 12:55pm | Post a Comment

Whew! Am I glad to see you! Because it means that it’s a new week, and let me tell you – I used last week until it was nothing but a grey and tattered rag. So I can’t wear last week anymore, but I can use it to clean my car.

But I don’t have a car.

Life is complicated.

Since I arrived in Hollywood five years ago, a young and vibrant crackerjack of a kid with high hopes and boundless dreams, I have used my wit and spunk to cultivate a lifestyle wherein which I spend most of my time hidden away in my spooky study, hunched over my laptop and writing scripts about young and vibrant crackerjack kids which I ceased to resemble about five years ago. It’s a circle of muthuhfuggin’ life.

As a result, I haven’t ever actually developed a circle of friends. I’ve just kind of Yoko Ono’d my way into my boyfriend’s social circle, hoping no one would notice. People from my hometown find this hard to believe.

“Job, how is it that a young and vibrant crackerjack like you hasn’t been surrounded by fawning admirers?” they collectively ask.

“Well gang,” I answer as I mix up a batch of my famous celebrities, “I’ve just been so focused on my writing career. I’ve already met the person I want to be in a relationship with for the rest of my life, so unlike my single friends I’m not driven out to socialize in order to find a mate; plus there’s something about fun and laughter and good times that gives me a tummy ache.”

But it’s 2010, the year I make contact. I’m done with being a reclusive writer. A writer, yes – I’m that by nature more than choice – but reclusive, no. While I love Virginia Woolf’s books more than I love most people, I don’t want to end up like her. I will rise from her watery grave! (metaphorically speaking) I will walk the Earth and meet it’s people! I will… well, I guess I’ll be a Virginia Woolf zombie? (metaphorically speaking)

A zombie needs a room of her own and brains if she is to write.

Ugh… I hate it when I lose control of these blogs. I’d take medication for my ADD but I always get distracted.

Anyway, last week I uncharacteristically went out for St. Patrick’s Day. Like, to a bar. Where people were.

I know, right?

And here’s the kicker: I had a great time! It turns out that fun and laughter and good times are as enjoyable as they say. Who knew? I still got a tummy ache, but that didn’t come until the next day, after consuming more beer than I had blood in my body.


Did you know if you drink too much beer you get drunk? No one tells me these things! And it gets worse: the next day you feel awful. Like… like… (I’m searching for words to describe how it feels.) Like you've been hung… over some… thing. I don’t know. Hung over something. Hung? Forget about it. It feels gross – let’s leave it at that.

I suppose I should have anticipated this would happen considering that the MC of my evening was my new friend, Señor Danger. The name’s a tip off, I suppose.

Señor Danger picked me up in his truck, which is roughly the size of the state from which he came, and we spent the next two hours looking for parking (I didn’t realize we were looking for parking until about an hour in; I just thought we were taking a really complicated route to his house).

We relaxed in his apartment, drinking some preparatory bruskis, and waited for a taxi. It was my first time at his place, so I quickly snooped his book and music collection, which is always the best way to discover who someone is. Titles like How to Win Friends and Influence People into the Back of Your Windowless Van and The Holy Bible, King’s African Riles Version, would perhaps prompt lesser people to question Señor Danger’s character, but I perceived a diamond in the rough.

No, really. There was this rough patch in his linoleum, and stuck inside it was this perfect, glittering diamond. I showed it to Señor Danger and he said I could keep it! I was so excited. He muttered something more about some curse or something: “…life around me… crumbling into ruin… monkey’s face… etc…” I was too hypnotized by the beauty of the gem to pay attention.

His music library consisted of a lot of country and Latin jazz, and that’s something to be proud of.




The taxi came, and after a classic verbal exchange with a heavily accented driver wherein which each party repeated directions – with neither driver nor passenger fully understanding the other – until everyone gave up and assumed it would all work out (which it usually does), we cruised into Boys Town. All the while the taxi radio blared…


...Which is a song that always makes me kind of sad, because they played it at my Grandma's funeral. But I digress...

We met up with a couple of Señor Danger’s pals, St. Andrew and The Nurse.

“Who names their kids these things?” I wondered to myself, until, and to my relief, I remembered that these were just pseudonyms I was making up for my blog.

After a meal of ground beef patties served on rolls of baked bread, garnished with vegetables, melted cheese and various sauces, plus a few more preparatory brews (see a pattern forming here?) we set out in search of a party.

We ended up at some cantina where beers were $1.00 each, which sounds like a great idea until about $20.00 later. Señor Danger and I were accused of being brothers on a few separate occasions (us white people all look alike), and we alternately answered that we were brothers, or that we were lovers, or on at least one awkward occasion, combined these two answers into one.

Time passed. The bars in West Hollywood seem to match the volume dials on their sound systems with their clocks, so with each passing hour the music grows louder, until about one o’clock ante meridiem, when you can feel the music more than you can hear it. Señor Danger noticed a slight trickle of blood dripping from my ear, so we decided to call it a night.

We walked back to his home in Beverly Hills, all the while discussing what was most broken about us, both emotionally and spiritually – a topic that, as a man of Swedish decent, feels as natural to me as discussing weather.


After safely seeing him home, I set out for my own abode on the Miracle Mile. It was a pretty straight-forward route; from Beverly Hills you head east on Wilshire. Even so, and even with the aid of Google maps, I managed to set forth for what would have eventually been Santa Monica, had my compassionate boyfriend not intervened with a late night car rescue. Did you know that when you’re drunk it makes you more likely to make poor decisions? No one tells me these things!

The next morning I had to go to work at Amoeba Music Hollywood. Here’s where working in a record store has a real advantage: if you show up looking hung-over, you pretty much look like everyone else. I spent the day begging my co-workers to select headache-friendly music choices, such as these:






...All of which is stuff you can find in the back room at Amoeba Music.

My search for new friends and experiences outside my home continues. If you’re interested in being rad with me, do drop me a line. (metaphorically speaking)

Vagabonds of the Western World

Posted by Kells, March 17, 2010 05:21pm | Post a Comment
Happy St. Patrick's Day, everyone! While you suck down a shamrock shake or a Guinness float (it's a little toastier than usual here in San Francisco at present) or sip on some whiskey from the jar-o today, please remember to raise your glass and toast the greatest rock band to ever come out of Ireland; this one's for Thin Lizzy!


What can I say about Thin Lizzy that hasn't already been said? To quote Peter May, "when Thin Lizzy first hit the pubs in Dublin in 1970 they were quickly heralded as the best band since Van Morrison's Them." With a long list of classic/ hard rock radio hits like "The Boys are Back in Town," "Whiskey in the Jar," "Jailbreak," and the Bob Seger penned "Rosalie," Thin Lizzy and their particular brand of vagabond rocker timelessness stands forever poised to span the annals of rock 'n' roll legend despite the early death of founding frontman and bassist Phil Lynott at the age of thirty-six. Revered by longhairs young and old and frequently lovingly covered by the likes of Iron Maiden, Motorhead and Metallica, there is no evidence that the adoration rockers around the world feel for Lynott and the many skilled members of his skinny Lizzy throughout the years will ever fade away. 

This Friday night, March 19th, at Amoeba Music San Francisco, I'll be spinning nothing but Thin Lizzy in tribute to the world's greatest Irish rock band. I'll be focusing on the more Irish influenced Lizzy jams and other choice deep cuts like the title track from Thin Lizzy's third album, Vagabonds of the Western World (a favorite of mine and one that sadly, along with several other Lizzy releases, never gets any play in the store -- an oversight I seek to remedy). Got a request? Come on down and lay it on me -- especially if it's something you think I don't have. I'm more than a fan, baby, I'm cruisin in the Lizzy mobile!

Also, if you've never checked out any live footage of Thin Lizzy (like the fabulous Live and Dangerous DVD) here is a little nugget of unreleased amazingness that really needs to be locked down, remastered and shipped out (to my house, immediately)! After scouring the shelves at Amoeba and sifting through countless vidoes on dem innernets, this is a clip that I believe deserves top billing as Lizzy at their brightest and very best, live in Sydney, Australia 1978. Enjoy:

Flossin' Season - Leprechaun Movies, Music, &c

Posted by Eric Brightwell, March 17, 2010 12:30pm | Post a Comment

Everyone knows a couple of things about leprechauns (aka lurachmain, lurican, leprechawn, lepracaun, leprechaun, lubberkin and lurgadhan). They’re small, tricky gingers that, if caught, will show you the money. One theory about the word’s origin is that it comes from luacharma'n (or luchorpán), the Irish word for “pygmy.” Another theory is that the word is derived from leath bhrogan, meaning “shoemaker.” Not as many people know but leprechauns usually find employment as cobblers or shoemakers. Presumably they make and repair the shoes of other faerie folk and Tuatha Dé Danann, because how else could they make money off each other if they all practice the same trade? And leprechauns make money. If you lay your eyes on one, don’t look away or they’ll vanish.

Although the Irish believe that leprechauns emigrated from the island of Fir Bolg, they’ve nonetheless become one of the most common stereotypical images of Eire, along with that Romano-British Englishman, Sanctus Patricius, whose saint day is (of course) today.

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