A Year in Music – 2019 – Niall McCann (Film Director)
by Killian Laher
For our first of our ‘Year in Music’ posts, we talked to Film Director Niall McCann ahead of screening of his film on Adrian Crowley, ‘The Science of Ghosts’ in the IFI tonight. You can see the results below.
THE SCIENCE OF GHOSTS + Q&A – Niall McCann – Tuesday 17th December 2019 @18.20 (Q&A)
Let’s begin with 2019. What music/albums have you enjoyed most this year?
Lists are not a good way to judge the arts but as a chance to mention some albums, particularly Irish records I loved this year I’ll take it. My favourite record of the year if I had to pick one would be Lankum – the Livelong Day which is perfect and mind blowing but everyone here is a winner:
Flying Lotus – Flamagra, Purple Mountains – Purple Mountains, Bill Callahan – Shepherd in a Sheepskin Vest, Kim Gordon – No Home Record, Jenny Hval – The Practice of Love, Cate Le Bon – Reward, Richard Dawson – 2020, Kate Tempest – The Book Of Traps and Lessons, The Comet is Coming – The Afterlife, Girlband – the Talkies, Maija Sofia – Bath Time, Tandem Felix – Rom Com, Junior Brother – Pull the Right Rope, Sunken Foal – Le Doux Nord, Pt. I.
Gigs of the year:
This year I mostly attended gigs promoted by Enthusiastic Eunuch and it made it a wonderful year (music wise). He is easily putting on the best gigs in Dublin and if you aren’t already going to them you are a massive dickhead and you better start.
At mostly the Sound House venue (amazing sound system, above The Wiley Fox pub @ 28 Eden Quay, also Bello Bar and Workmans) were Mr Dermody operates out of, I was lucky enough to attend some fantastic gigs. Below are some of them and others I enjoyed this year. I’ve probably missed loads, but we should all be celebrating Irish music right now and all the time. We are lucky to have so many great musicians here on our often-annoying wee island:
The Bonk, John Francis Flynn, BB84, Sunken Foal, David Kitt, Aoife Nessa Frances, Sing Sinck Sing, Landless, Percolator, Tandem Felix, Adrian Crowley, Bill Callahan, Deafkids, Katie Kim, Helm, Rising Damp, Microdisney, Brigid Mae Power, Jinx Lennon, The Nits, Naive Ted, Not I, Paddy Hanna
Do you think this decade has been good for music? What are your highlights?
Yes, I think so, it’s easy to be cynical and say we have seen it all before but there is a hell of a lot of great music out there, key is to avoid the middle of the road and head for the ditch, that’s where the interesting stuff is. If you listen to Today FM you’d still think it’s 1995 but it’s not, at least I don’t think it is. It has been a great decade for Irish music and I expect the next one to be even better. If we don’t all perish in a war or in climate apocalypse.
Is streaming taking over from owning music completely?
I think (hope) people are turning back to physical media, even if you prefer streaming please avoid Spotify and don’t give them your money, they are vultures who don’t pay musicians properly for their work and make money off their backs. Buy music directly from artists when you can and don’t steal music.
Anything really big for you musically that ten years ago, you had no interest in?
Plenty but I will soon have a child in my life and I’m trying to be positive so I won’t mention them.
Is music as important for you as it was ten years ago?
Yes I think so, the older you get sometimes it is hard to keep at it and not become cynical but there has been a hell of a lot of music that was wonderful. It’s there if you want to find it.
How are things yourself, have you any interesting projects going on?
Yes, I am finally starting a new film, after three music-centred films it will be a bit different but hopefully similar in spirit. My favourite film of the decade was The Irishman.