MusicTown is back. Yay!
The Dublin City Council-run festival got off to a cracker of a start last year, so it's only right that it should make a return visit this year – and with so much to choose from, we thought we'd do some of the hard work for you and pick out a few highlights.
The festival runs until tomorrow week, April 17, so for now we're just focusing on the weekend ahead. Baby steps and all that...
Banter with Rusangano Family and 3 radio DJs
Today, 1pm – Teelings Distillery – €5
Split into two parts, with a break for coffee (or whiskey) in the middle, the first will focus on the Rusangano Family who will talk "roots, hip-hop, identity, Ireland and the future" ahead of their album launch in the Sugar Club later on tonight (see below.
In the second half, Kelly-Ann Byrne, Philip King and Donal Dineen will discuss the power of radio – and the importance of having someone there to select and curate music, in a world gone Spotify-mad. A particularly interesting discussion, coming directly after the demise of TXFM (where Byrne was one of the most prominent names)
Dublin Sound Lab presents Music Current – “CURRENTS”
Today, 8pm – Smock Alley – €15
And now for something completely different.
The result of an extensive workshop programme that brought together a collective of seriously talented composers, performers and music technologists – this is a pretty special opportunity to hear what they came up with.
3. Choice Cuts presents Rusangano Family – Album Launch
Today, 8pm – The Sugar Club – €10
Ah, these fellas again. This rap trio is based in the west of Ireland, and are hellbent on creating music that's unlike anything you've heard before – a big ask, in this day and age, but hold your judgement until you've seen them in action.
They're launching their new record, Let The Dead Bury The Dead, tonight – one which moved Jim Carroll sufficiently to name it Irish Times Album of the Week, saying:
"Their flow is razor-sharp, the words hitting the spot again and again. As state of the nation addresses go about the state of this particular nation after the wreaths have been laid and the speeches made, it’s quite a belter."
4. Breaking Tunes Music Trail
Sunday, 12pm-6pm – Various locations – Free
If you weren't convinced that Dublin boasts one of the most vibrant, diverse and talent-packed music scenes in the whole damn world, then this should change your mind.
A dazzling 10 gigs by 10 bands in 10 venues, ranging from bookshops to tattoo parlours to cafés around the city. A serious undertaking, and a bloody impressive one to boot.
5. Rob Heron and The Tea Pad Orchestra
Sunday, 7.30pm – The Grand Social – €10
Blending western swing, blues, gypsy jazz and country, Rob Heron and his orchestra bring the past to life – and mix it with more modern influences – in a genuine, authentic and super-energetic way.
6. Bríd Harper & Tony O’Connell
Sunday, 8.30pm – The Cobblestone – €12
What do you get when you combine of the most talented fiddlers with the Tradconnect album of the year winner for 2015?
An absolutely perfect way to round off your weekend, that's what...