Hunger Games: How much would you pay for toast?

It’s the new buzz that’s spreading through US food capital San Francisco and it’s also the comfort food yer mammy will dish up with a hot drop to soothe that sore head the next day – the humble slice of toast. Americans are snatching up artisan slices of batch, loaf, pumpernickel and otherwise for $4 and upwards thanks to a new surge in popularity for our grilled friend. But why? Lighly dusted truffle toast, chunky butter slathered sourdough or rye and cream cheese toast – put on it what you might – $4 Dollar Toast (or €2.89 toast to you and me) is on the rise. How long before we see it here? Is $4/€2.89 a crazy amount to pay for two slices of toast? Is $4 heralding the emergence of an American Celtic Tiger of wreckless spending? Check out Zagat’s mini-doc for more…  

The Riptide Movement’s new music video ‘All Works Out’

riptidemovement

We do like great Irish music around Culch towers and The Riptide Movement‘s latest album, ‘Getting Through’, is just that. You can buy it on iTunes here or stream it on Spotify below. The first single to be released is ‘All Works Out’ and the new video featuring Amy Huberman has hit the internets this week and can be viewed above. They’ll be hitting the gig circuit over the summer and we’re really looking forward to catching them. Great stuff lads.

New Irish Music: Martin Byrne, A Long Long Way From Ireland

Martin Byrne, a long long way from ireland, promo

It’s no big secret that I love my Irish music and more that I’ve a wee soft spot for the trad Irish. And when a promo copy of the new Martin Byrne single, A Long Long Way From Ireland came in my post this morning I was literally over the moon. This isn’t my first time to review Martin’s music. But, then again, I’ve also done that for great new Irish acts like Wicker Bones and The Hot Sprockets. On a mild side note ? I still hold dear cracking memories of The Galtymore dance hall in Cricklewwod. Sad to say however the place were Declan Nearney and so many of the greats once played has since moved on. What is genuinely amazing is when that era is given a reprieve or a rebirth of sorts. And Martin Byrne’s music just does that. By the truck load. Seriously ? Try … There’s more

Theatre Review: In Dog Years I’m Dead

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Two 29ish nearly 30 somethings meet against their will at a birthday party of a mutual friend that is about to arrive at the milestone that is the big 3 0. Caroline is not only 30, she is a thirty year old that has essentially made it. Married, mum of twins and still in touch with all her mates. She is the ideal and somewhat reviled success story all our parents wish we were. The two storytellers of this piece are initially introduced to us as Billie and Biddy. Biddy (Marie Ruane) is 29 but soon to be that astronomical age sometimes known as Saturn’s return. On the threshold of the 4th decade, she is a bit panicked but in a calm ‘I’m in control on the surface’ kind of way. She has fashioned a list of 30 goals to achieve before she makes it to middle age. Forced into … There’s more

Theatre Review: A Tender Thing in

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Siren Productions has brought Ben Power’s reimagining of the world’s most infamous teenage lovers to the Project Arts Centre. We meet Romeo and his fair Juliet in the twilight of their years having somehow escaped death to live a long life together. We do not get all the details of their love story. We do not learn if the Montagues and Capulets buried the age old hatchet to celebrate the union of their two young off spring. We don’t discover if the wedding was a forbidden elopement or a regal affair to challenge the likes of Kate and William. We do discover Juliet had a daughter but that the Lord saw fit to call this girl child back to heaven before she reached adulthood. The bleakness of this revelation is in keeping with the tone of the 90 minute piece. Juliet is dying; she is in pain for most of … There’s more

Hunger Games: The Craft Cocktail Showdown

For too long in Celtic Tiger we were plied with watered down mojitos and over-priced cosmos. Presently in Ireland we’re experiencing something of a cocktail renaissance. Maybe it’s the influence of Mad Men, maybe its a dissatisfaction with the standard Smirnoff Ice / Fat Frog offerings of an audience that’s grown up and matured? Whatever the cause there’s a move from the drinking public to want more of these fancy libations. Before you hit town this weekend with your long-overdue January pay packet consider some of the following mini-reviews on where best to wet your whistle! Dakota Cheap and cheerful with an array of €5 cocktails which feature all from Whiskey Sours to White Russians. These are inoffensive and won’t break the bank. Alcohol content is decent enough to order a few and not feel ripped off either. Liquor Rooms / Vintage Cocktail Club Totally capitalising on the Craft Cocktail … There’s more

Hunger Games: The Corn #TortillaRevolution

Corn Tortillas aren’t just a vessel for tastier foodstuffs as Blanco Nino would have us believe. They are, in fact, a cornerstone of Mexican culture, life and even history. For too long we have been subject to tasteless plain tortilla exports nothing compared to the authentic and original corn tortilla as it is meant to be. Well Blanco Nino is about to change all of that. Working with 30 Irish farmers and food specialists the dream is to build Europe’s first Corn Tortilla factory operation in a move to supply us with what we have for so long missed out on. Within 5 years the guys expect to occupy 600 hectares of Corn fields and reinvigorate Irish farms with a homegrown success story. It’s still in early days, but Founder of Blanco Nino – Phillip Martin tells us ‘that we’re blessed to live in one of the most beautiful green … There’s more

Free Tickets: You Couldn’t Make It Up on Newstalk

sez Pat O’Mahony: Jaze, how did we get here so quickly?  This Fri, January 24th, is our second-last You Couldn’t Make It Up recording for Newstalk.  It seems like only…oh alright, just over eight weeks since we did our first show in The Helix in DCU on November 29th.  How time flies when you’re busy as feck. Looking back on the last two months, it’s been a steep learning curve for all involved.  Even though the format’s been a long time in the preparation – my co-producer, Mark Warren of Firebrand Productions, first approached me with an idea he had for a comedy news panel show in early 2011 – it’s only when you actually go into production that you really see what does and doesn’t work. It took a lot of effort to get it as far as the starting block.  Long evenings were spent over tea and biscuits … There’s more

Damian Corless: 9000 Years of Irish Weather

9000 years of irish weather

Never heard of Damian Corless ? Say Collins Press, Damian Corless, [is] a journalist and a former editor of Magill and In Dublin, currently contributes to the Irish Independent. He has written comedy sketches for BBC TV’s classic Big Train and RTE’s award-winning Stew. His acclaimed books include The Greatest Bleeding Hearts Racket In The World…. As he says himself, I have no idea what an isobar is…. But he will happily tell you how the Irish won a war by doing nothing, how Cork had it’s revenge on and [sort of] killed Cromwell and the wonderful story of the Mayo postmaster who delayed the D-Day landings by 24 hours and changed what is now world history, to name but a few. And though the book has flip all to do with Irish weather technically speaking or with gardening, I angled it onto The Sodshow, in part because the weather … There’s more

Theatre Review: Macbeth in @SmockAlley Theatre

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Despite being a bit of a Shakespeare fanatic, I’ve probably only seen Macbeth twice on stage and I haven’t read it since my youth (and that’s some time ago now). So, I was very excited about catching Fast Intent’s production in Smock Alley Theatre this week. The Scottish Play opens as three witches, the “weird sisters”, plan a meeting with the Scottish nobleman Macbeth, who at that moment is fighting in a great battle and kicking some ass. Post-battle, Macbeth and his friend Banquo come across the witches who offer them three predictions: that Macbeth will become Thane of Cawdor and then King of Scotland, and that Banquo’s descendants will become kings. Banquo laughs at the prophecies but Macbeth is excited, particularly so when he is swiftly made Thane of Cawdor by King Duncan, in return for kicking so much ass in the battle. Macky-B writes to his wife, Lady … There’s more

Gig: Songs in the Key of D at the NCH

Photo credit: Tommy Walker

Culch.ie heads singing in a choir? Yep and not just any choir, it’s Songs in the Key of D. Following on from sell out shows at the Dublin Fringe Festival, the SitKoD choir bring you their expanded look at the songs of Dublin City. A musical journey from Handel to Hansard, Lynott to Drew. Performed by a choir of real Dubliners, rehearsals have been under way for the past fortnight with the gig taking place on the evening of February 3rd at 8pm in the John Field room at the National Concert Hall. Tickets are €18 (€16 concession) and can be purchased directly from the NCH box office or online at this link (use promo code ‘KeyofD10′ to get 10% off if booking this week). The idea of the choir came from producer, Mr Eoin Kilkenny and our musical directors are Chris O’Sullivan and Killian Grumley Traynor. There’s a lot … There’s more

The Upbeat Podcasts: Mental Health Matters

Mental Health

Upbeat Radio aired over the new year 2014 on 103.2 Dublin City FM. Presented by Brian Greene of The Sodshow Upbeat Radio brings Mental Health & Mental Wellbeing to the airwaves and extends the discussion on topics such as advocacy, reform, access to services, stigma & getting help. Over the course of the four themed shows Upbeat Radio interviewed OCD Ireland, Mental Health Reform, Bodywhys, Aware, First Fortnight & St. Patrick’s Mental Health Services. The broadcast heavily promoted Ireland’s Mental Health Arts Festival First Fortnight (Jan 02-11) with 10 specially created event promos for the 39 events in their calendar. Speaking at the conclusion of the broadcasts Brian Greene said it was great to chat to some of the main players in the Mental Health sector. The issues relating to our mind and its wellness are too often not discussed. Radio with less distractions is a perfect medium to explore … There’s more

Luke Kelly 30th Anniversary Tribute Night

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This in from musician Ronnie Delaney who sez: The Fingal Folk makes a special return for 2014 with the first concert on Fri 31st Jan being dedicated to the memory of Luke Kelly of the Dubliners on his 30th Anniversary. The night will feature songs from the Dubliners repertoire to include Luke Kelly classics. Now starting its fourth season the Fingal Folk Club encourages musicians singers to perform in an all-acoustic setting incorporating participation form the audiences. The folk club takes place on the first and last Friday of each month throughout the year full schedule below and incorporates many theme nights through the year.  Next Folk Club Dates: Friday 31st Jan: Luke Kelly Tribute Night Friday 7th Feb: Love Songs Night Friday 28th Feb: Around the house session. Details: Where: St Patrick’s Hall, Ballyboughal, Fingal, Nth. Co. Dublin Time: 8pm – 10pm Sub: Adults €5, Musicians donation, Children Free … There’s more

St Tiernans Dundrum, Dublin. Evening Classes 2014

st tiernans, dundrum

With everything from chinese cookery to Zumba and not thinking you have a note in your head to but wanting to join a choir to computer skills… the list is absolutely endless should you wish to get yourself away from watching the tele box one evening per week and taking on something new years resolution for the year 2014. Disclaimer [if that's even necessary] I teach the evening horticulture class at St Tiernans. Either or it is highly recommended, something a bit different and a grand bit of craic to break the Spring blues. I was at the open day Saturday just gone. The spring rolls tasted superb and the choir [Corus - who as a by the way of recent played The Helix, The Late Late to name but a few - don't be scared off they do a beginners class] were absolutely genius. Go on. Go on. G’wan. … There’s more

Morning Dew. Sundays at The Carnegie Court Hotel

morning dew band

At the Carnegie Court Hotel, Swords every Sunday from around 8pm play a band called Morning Dew. And last Sunday I had the honour to watch and listen to them play. If you have never heard of them before, they are a highly entertaining mix of trad Irish, country, folk and upbeat songs that could only make you wan’t to tap your feet and sing along and be merry and God knows when it comes to January and floods and new years resolutioned mice pie-less diets that life needs happy people like the father and son team that are Ronnie and V Delaney. listen to ‘The Auld Triangle – Morning Dew’ on Audioboo Higher than highly recommended. And pure genius good old fashioned Irish Sunday evening guitar and a bodhrán entertainment. Every Sunday. listen to ‘Morning Dew – Ring of Fire’ on Audioboo