The Constitution at 80 (179, Oct 2017)

Blasphemy. Divorce. Abortion. A women’s place in the home. Directly-elected mayors. Divorce. Voting rights. Extra powers for Oireachtas Committees. 

These are the seven issues that we, the people, will be asked to decide upon in a slew of forthcoming referendums. Before we get the posters printed and bash out the principles involved in issues of such social and democratic importance, Banter wants to ask a question: is there a better way?

At eighty years of age, our Constitution has had a good run – should we be putting our elderly and highest law through bruising and potentially transformative trials, and repeatedly polarising the electorate with ultimatums? Or is it time to start anew? How has it fared so far and what would the drafters make of its current state?  What sort of constitutional scene could safeguard and futureproof the principles of the Irish people for the next eighty years? Could we do without one? 

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Our panel to deal with these issues and more: the Honourable Ms. Justice Marie Baker (The High Court), Dr David Kenny (Professor of Constitutional Law at Trinity College Dublin) and Ruadhán Mac Cormaic (author of The Supreme Court and Irish Times Foreign Affairs Correspondent).

The details: Banter on The Constitution at 80 takes place on Wednesday October 25 at The Liquor Rooms, Wellington Quay, Dublin 2. Doors open at 6pm and the event kicks off at 6.30pm. Tickets can be booked here, including a limited number of early bird tickets. Proceeds from the event will go to the FLAC (Free Legal Advice Centres).

The politics of culture (177, Oct 2017)

One of Banter’s favourite Irish events is Limerick’s Make A Move festival and, as has been the case since 2012, we’re are as proud as punch to be part of this year’s happenings as well. The festival kicks off on Friday October 6 and they have some pretty awesome stuff going on over the weekend, including screenings, workshops, performances, poetry jams and much more.

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This year, we’re looking at the politics of culture and the way in which popular culture and activism have begun to come together with the likes of grime4corbyn, Black Lives Matter and other movements. It’s certainly not a new phenomenon by any means – the current Soul Of A Nation exhibition at the Tate in London demonstrates that – but it shows that there is a role for art and culture in raising awareness, bringing people together and creating an effective catalyst for change.

The talkers: we’ll be joined by Sahar Ali (poet, actor and performer), Dr Eileen Hogan (lecturer in social policy at University College Cork) and Executive Steve (Dubs Against Racism and Raidió Na Life DJ) to take in all of this.

The details: Banter at Make A Move takes place at Ormston House, Limerick on Saturday October 7 at 2pm. Admission is free.

Make sure to check out the full Make A Move programme here. Big up to Shane and all the Make A Move team for inviting us along and taking good care of us.

Bad news: hate speech, social media and mental health (178, Oct 2017)

It’s a question for the times we’re in. From the publication of hate speech and the promotion of hot-air controversialists, to the use of technology and social media to draw us into an addictive diet of endless news consumption, are news organisations actually hurting their readers?

What readers consume – and how they consume it – can have tangible effects on their well-being. This discussion looks at how the media affects readers’ mental health, what responsibility news organisations and journalists need to take for that and what we might need to change.

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The panelists: Peter Feeney (Press Ombudsman of Ireland and formerly head of broadcast compliance at RTÉ and editor of current affairs television at RTÉ), Sahar Ali (spoken-word poet and comedian whose recent Dublin Fringe Show, Saharcasm, explored Irishish, Arabism and racism in contemporary Ireland), Diarmaid Mac Aonghusa (managing director of web and app development company Fusio), Paloma Viejo Otero (PhD student at Dublin City University researching hate speech and social media) and Lois Kapila (founder and managing editor of Dublin Inquirer)

The details: this event takes place at DIT, Aungier St., Dublin 2 on Thursday October 19 at 6.30pm Admission is free but spaces are limited and tickets should to be reserved in advance via this link.

This event is presented by Dublin Inquirer and Banter in association with the Centre for Critical Media Literacy at DIT. Early bird tickets were available exclusively for Dublin Inquirer subscribers – you can subscribe and support the best publication about living and working in the capital here.

The wrap is ready to kick some leaves

(1) We may well have come across the tune of the year. Rostam’s gorgeous “Bike Dream” is an absolute peach of a track, something which makes you realise that the former Vampire Weekend lad and accomplice for the likes of Frank Ocean and Solange is one heck of a talent. Check him out on a recent episode of Song Exploder where he talks about how the song came about. His new album “Half-Light” is quite marvellous and colourful so check that out too.

 

(2) Monday morning blues: why the work-from-home-dream doesn’t actually work. Bonus for those wondering who took their stapler over the weekend: 10 inventions which shaped the modern workplace.

(3) Why the iPhone camera rocks: “what Apple’s doing is using its software to light a photo as a lighting person might and, more broadly, taking away the complexity of how the fancy cameras you’d typically need to do that stuff work.”

(4) So punk rock: Year Zero is a symposium to mark 40 years since The Clash played in Trinity College which takes place in that august venue on October 21. You’ve got readings, screenings, discussions and the first ever performance in Dublin by legendary Clash associate, DJ and film-maker Don Letts. Another 40th year bash is Punk DIY 40 from Hope Collective to mark the 40 years since the release of the Radiators From Space “TV Tube Heart”. This takes place on October 1 at Dublin’s Grand Social.

(5) One of our favourite Banter podcasts of late is this conversation about the future of work, which took place in the Bullitt Hotel in Belfast over the summer. Listen back to Adrienne Hanna from Right Revenue; Kevin Curran, Professor of Cyber Security at the University Of Ulster and Philip Brady from Citibank talking robots, AI, automation and Blockchain.

(6) Long read of the week: an excerpt from Finn Murphy’s The Long Haul: A Trucker’s Tales of Life On the Road. “I can feel the sweat running down my arms, can feel my hands shaking, can taste the bile rising in my throat from the greasy burger I ate at the Idaho Springs Carl’s Jr. (It was the only place with truck parking.) I’ve got 8.6 miles of 6.7 percent downhill grade ahead of me that has taken more trucks and lives than I care to think about. The road surface is a mix of rain, slush, and (probably) ice. I’m one blown air hose away from oblivion, but I’m not ready to peg out in a ball of flame or take out a family in a four-wheeler coming to the Rocky Mountains to see the sights.”

Banter at Culture Night (175, Sep 2017)

As we did last year, Banter will join forces with RTÉ for a very special event as part of this year’s Culture Night on Friday September 22.

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Culture & Me will see 10 people from various backgrounds talking about the role of arts and culture in their lives and work. It could be a book, a film, an album, a piece of visual art or all of the above: we want to know about the art which turns them on – and why.

The Culture & Me cast is as follows

Paschal Donohoe – Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure

Emer Reynolds – film-maker, The Farthest

Michael Darragh MacAuley – Dublin GAA footballer

Philly McMahon – theatre-maker, Thisispopbaby, Riot etc

Sally Rooney – novelist, Conversations With Friends

Darach Ó Séaghdha – The Irish For and the Motherfoclóir book and podcast

Ronan Brady – physical artist, performer and former Roscomon footballer

Ellie Kisyombe – Our Table activist

Marty Morrissey – RTÉ reporter, commentator and broadcaster

Sinéad Ní Uallachain – Raidió na Gaeltachta broadcaster

Culture & Me takes place in The Coach House in Dublin Castle between 7 and 9pm. Admission is free and limited tickets can be booked in advance here. Thanks to Rachel Breslin and her team at RTE and Banter producer Jack Gibson for their help with this event.

The talent spotters (176, Sep 2017)

It’s a new start for Banter as we kick off our autumn/winter series. After a run of eight remarkable years with the Bodytonic family in the Twisted Pepper/Wigwam and MVP, we up sticks and move to a new Dublin home. Massive thanks to Bodytonic chief bottle washer Trevor O’Shea for being a sound partner and (occasionally) proper pain in the hoop during this time – we would not have done this without him and his absolutely fantastic team of people.

The new home for Banter’s regular run of shows in the capital will be The Liquor Rooms on Dublin’s Wellington Quay right next door to the Clarence Hotel. We’ll be hosting events there over the next few months and making ourselves at home in a venue where we once spent a lot of time when it was called The Kitchen (the deja-vu is something else).

Our first Banter at the Liquor Rooms will focus on the talent spotters, the people who find and spot new talent when it comes to writers, musicians, actors, theatre-makers and sports people. Just what do these folks look for when they’re assessing and gauging the pack for the individual or individuals who will stand the test of time? What’s the tipping point between hard work and genius? What’s the hardest part of the developmental process? And what about the ones who got away?

Our panel: Sarah Davis-Goff (Tramp Press – Mike McCormack, Sara Baume), Ken Allen (Faction Records, James Vincent McMorrow, Jape etc), Jenny Jennings (Thisispopbaby, Riot etc) and special guests to be announced.

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The details: Banter on talent spotters takes place on Wednesday September 27 at The Liquor Rooms, Wellington Quay, Dublin 2. Doors open at 6pm and the event kicks off at 6.30pm-ish. Tickets can be booked here, including a limited number of early bird tickets. Proceeds will go to the Peter McVerry Trust.

Diary dates: other events in Banter’s autumn/winter calendar at The Liquor Rooms will include the constitution at 80 (October 25), imposter syndrome (November 29) and our infamous Review of the Year (December 6). Tickets for all of these will go on sale shortly.

The wrap is singing in the rain

(1) ICYMI: introducing The Rattler, a new regular-ish column for RTE Culture about music, culture, stuff and all that jazz. The first instalment kicks it with various mavericks including Chuck Berry, the people behind the Voyager space mission as seen in The Farthest, Screaming’ Jay Hawkins, Little Richard, Nina Simone and Mister Please Please Please as in the following film

(2) Fashion department: the rise and rise of streetwear brand Supreme, from a shop staffed with extras from Larry Clark’s Kids to collaborations with Louis Vuitton. Limited edition exclusives: a photo essay of New York’s new geeks

(3) If Banter was a magazine, it would be Grand Royal. A fond tribute to the magazine established by the Beastie Boys where an air of anything goes ruled the roost.

(4) 75 of the best verses from Jigga. “Yeah, I sampled your voice, you were using it wrong”

(5) From the podcast archives: the GAA season has given us some great drama this summer, but would the Austin Gleeson helmetgate shenanigans, that last gasp Joe Canning point or yesterday’s heavyweight set-to in the rain at Croke Park make it into the great GAA novel? Recorded at Crinniú na Cásca at The Printworks in Dublin Castle, here are Irish Examiner sportswriter Michael Moynihan, writer and co-editor Banshee literary journal Eimear Ryan, novelist and Morning Ireland presenter Rachael English and chief sportswriter with the Daily Star Kieran Cunningham talking about the plot and characters who might feature in the great GAA novel.

 

(6) Before we had a Taoiseach who used to stalk the Canadian prime minister, we used to have a Taoiseach who was a fan of the high five. Here’s the story behind how Los Angeles Dodger Glenn Burke came up with the gesture in the first place

The wrap is looking for a sweeper system

(1) Every Friday morning, I add 10 tracks to the 12345678910 playlist. They could be new tunes or vintage tracks, recent finds or old favourites, just ten tracks which made sense to me in the previous week. Last week’s bunch went from mighty new-school bad ass Stefflon Don and the righteous Max Romeo to the incomparable Sandy Denny and quiet-LOUD-quiet troubadour Isaac Gracie. Dig in.

(2) From Vapor Wake dogs that screen hundreds of people at once to invisible anti-drone walls, the latest innovations that claim to be the future of venue and live music security. Face-mapping is mentioned in the piece which is a reminder of this New Yorker piece on the London detectives who never forget a face.

(3) The 2017/18 football season across the Irish Sea kicked off in earnest at the weekend. While you could enjoy such opening day Premier League fare as Huddersfield Town’s heroics and Chelsea’s woes, it’s really the season when the overall mood is pretty meh. Given that the dominant pre-season story has revolved around escalating transfer fees,  you’re dealing with a sport which is now as romantic and dramatic as a balance sheet. A very good blog post by Ciaran Tierney about the politics of tribal loyalties when it comes to sport in this country is worth reading in this regard.

(4) “Today the Voyagers are 10 billion and 13 billion miles away, the farthest man-made objects from Earth. The 40th anniversary of their launch will be celebrated next month.” An excellent piece of writing about the engineers and explorers who worked on the Voyager mission. And if you have’t done so already, go see The Farthest, Emer Reynolds’ superb and fascinating documentary on this once-in-a-lifetime adventure.

 

(5) The art of colour: how Pantone comes up with new colours. “Twice a year, Pantone representatives sit down with a core group of between eight and 12 trend forecasters from all over the design world, an anonymous group of international colour experts who work in product design or fashion, teach colour theory at universities, or are associated with institutions like the British Fashion Council. They gather in a central location (often London) to talk about the colours that seem poised to take off in popularity”

(6) “As people are bombarded with more and more entertainment options, quality has become a determining factor for a movie’s success. And moviegoers use Rotten Tomatoes to select films the same way they turn to Yelp to determine what restaurants they visit.”

 

Banter Stories At Another Love Story (172, Aug 2017)

Banter is as pleased as punch to make our debut at Another Love Story – and our debut in Co Meath – on Friday August 18.

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For our first outing at the festival, we’ll be hosting Banter Stories, a series of one on one interviews with some very special guests whose work we admire a lot.

Ruth Fitzmaurice is the author of I Found My Tribe, one of the year’s most magical and moving memoirs which is gathering rave reviews and notices. An urgent and uplifting letter to a husband, family, friends, the natural world and the brightness of life, it’s a call to all of us to love as hard as we can, and live even harder. (9pm-9.45pm)

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Aoife Dooley is yer wan who taught us How To Be Massive. What began as a web series on life on Dublin’s Northside has become a whole new lease of life for the illustrator, including the How To Be Massive book and the forthcoming guide to How To Deal With Poxes On A Daily Basis. Aoife recently started doing stand up comedy and has already performed at the Vodafone Comedy Festival and supported PJ Gallagher. (8pm-8.45pm).

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The wrap is up for the Rossies

(1) Because the first series of Master Of None was such a joy, I was slightly wary about jumping into the new season in case it didn’t live up to high expectations. Man, I’m such a  doofus: if anything, the show is even more of a sweet, fascinating, funny, sharp and on-point treat on second outing. The opening episode is breath-taking (“allora!”), but the sixth one is next level and makes you wow about Aziz Ansari’s smarts. One of the most striking things about the show is its use of music and this piece is a good deep dive into that process (soundtrack below)

(2) Well, it beats the Cúl summer camps…The future of summer camps is the SocialStar Creator Camp, “three days of intensive influencer workshops focusing on monetization, branding, and the basics of shooting and editing video, all aimed at kids in their early teens to mid-20s”.

(3) We did a Banter event at the recent International Literature Festival Dublin about media in an era of fake news. In the latest Bantercast, hear our panelists Kevin Donnellan (UK editor, Storyful), Lois Kapila (co-founder and managing editor, Dublin Inquirer), Jane Suiter (School of Communications DCU and Director of the Institute for Future Media and Journalism) and Cathal McMahon (Irish Independent) discuss everything from Trump and The Liberal to clickbait and the Jobstown trial.

(4) Fashion department: how special collections of music tour merchandise have become one of the newest and fastest-growing subsectors in the fashion world; the latest evolution of the band t-shirt

(5) What happens when your superfans abandon you? “In the old days, fans would find like-minded, similarly obsessed people through fan clubs you could join by mail. But online discussion boards and social media have since expanded super fans’ opportunities to find community. One major difference, though, is that social media has a greater expectation of participation. Thus, the job requirements, so to speak, of stans have grown, especially when it comes to defending their idols from the deluge of backlash such technology allows.”

(6) Berghain by the numbers

Banter at Bullitt: the Pride edition (170, Aug 2017)

We’re delighted to head back to the Bullitt Hotel in Belfast for our latest event and that this event coincides with the city’s Pride Festival which will run from July 28 to August 6 across the city. You can check out the full action-packed programme of events here.

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Diverse, equal and proud: Belfast Pride Festival puts the city’s best side out every summer. But when it comes to LGBT rights all year round, how are things really in Northern Ireland? A Banter discussion with Una Mullally (journalist, author and broadcaster), Gavin Boyd (Rainbow Project) and Ellen Murray (trans youth worker and activist) on the state of the gay nation and what’s to come in terms of same sex marriage, gender identity, the political landscape, trans rights and much more.

The details: Banter’s Pride edition takes place at the Bullitt Hotel on Wednesday August 2 at 6.30pm. More information here.

The wrap witnessed the great fruit fly massacre of 2017

(1) We have written before of our fondness for Edgar Wright’s fantastic Baby Driver. It’s a sign of the times that great movies now produce the opportunity for so many diverse think-pieces and features – see what happened with Moonlight earlier in the year. Here’s Wright talking about the music in the film and here’s a fascinating piece, complete with film-related link, about the iPod. And, sure why not. here’s the soundtrack

(2) The joy of trailers: “So often people hear that word “trailer” and their minds follow with “trash.” Maybe it was growing up going to my grandfather’s or maybe it was growing up with a trailer park just across the road, but as a child I don’t remember ever thinking that I was better than the kids I played with because I lived in a house and they lived in trailers. It wasn’t that I was oblivious to class. I recognized some folks had more than others, that I had a little more than them, and the rest of the world had a lot more than any of us. I recognized class. It’s just that I don’t remember ever equating class to a person’s worth, and I count myself lucky for that. We all rode the same bus and went to the same school. We bickered and fought, made up secret handshakes and loved each other like brothers and that’s just the way it was, kids being kids.”

(3) Confession time: I’d never heard of George Strait before I read Kelefa Sanneh’s fascinating profile of the country star for The New Yorker. It does what all great profiles should and makes you invested in a narrative which you’ve never come across before.

(4) Some day, I’ll tell you some of my favourite Tom Zutaut in Ireland stories, but here’s the legendary A&R man who signed Guns N’ Roses talking about the making of “Appetite For Destruction”. Bonus Roses: an interview with the band’s first manager Vicky Hamilton.

(5) We’re giving this great read on how music reviews have leaned on grades and stars four out of five. More pop culture numbers: the 100 greatest props in movie history and the stories behind them

(6) Inside Jack White’s record pressing plant in Detroit: “Technologies come and they go, replaced by something cheaper and faster. But what if the old technology—the slower, more expensive one—is better? What if it’s worth preserving, even if preserving it won’t stop the forward march of the new stuff? What if it’s still relevant? You can complain about the new technology, and you can reminisce about the old. You could write an op-ed. But is there anything a person can do to stop, or at least slow, a cultural shift?”

Banter at Beatyard 2017 (171, Aug 2017)

It’s time for Banter’s annual trip to the seaside. With a bucket in one hand and a spade in the other, we take the Beatyard bus to Dun Laoghaire on August 5 and 6 for a weekend of pow-wows, conversations and encounters. Here’s what to expect at Banteryard 2017

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1pm – meet the family – an encounter with Rusangano Family

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The Rusangano Family story keeps getting better and better. After a year in which they released their “Let the Dead Bury the Dead” album and scooped the Choice Music Prize for it, Godknows, Murli and Mynameisjohn join us at Banteryard to talk about the current lie of the Rusangano land, how things have changed since their first appearance at Beatyard in 2015 and what comes next

6pm – meet the legend – an interview with Larry Heard

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We talk house music and more with a man who was there when it was all coming together. Larry Heard is the producer behind such seminal house tracks as “Can You Feel It” and “Mystery Of Love”, a musician who has spent his lifetime creating sweet, warm, soulful tracks. A pleasure to welcome Larry to Banter and hear his take on life, music and everything else.

SUNDAY

1pm – UCD Psychology of Media Entertainment Lab

One of the big hits at Banteryard 2016, our friends from the UCD Psychology of Media Entertainment Lab return with more examples of and experiments in how we engage, interact and behave in our everyday lives with technology, media, art and fiction

2pm – The Banter guide to starting a rocking food business

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Just what do you need to know about opening your own food business? We’re joined by Colin Harmon (3FE), John Farrell (Super Miss SueLuna777DillingersThe Butcher GrillHang Dai, JCF Developments) and Sandy Wyer (Forest Avenue) to hear how they went about the job in hand.

4pm – Oh My God What A Complete Aisling!

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The most notions Banter ever as we welcome Aisling to Banteryard.  Ahead of the publication of their debut novel about the life and times of a girl from down the country in the big smoke, Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen talk to us about all things Aisling and especially what she would make of Beatyard.

Robert Webb on How Not To Be A Boy (174, Sep 2017)

What are the rules for being a man?

Don’t Cry; Love Sport; Play Rough; Drink Beer; Don’t Talk About Feelings

But Robert Webb has been wondering for some time now: are those rules actually any use? To anyone?

Looking back over his life, from schoolboy crushes (on girls and boys) to discovering the power of making people laugh (in the Cambridge Footlights with David Mitchell), and from losing his beloved mother to becoming a husband and father, Robert Webb considers the absurd expectations boys and men have thrust upon them at every stage of life.

Hilarious and heartbreaking, How Not To Be a Boy explores the relationships that made Robert who he is as a man, the lessons we learn as sons and daughters, and the understanding that sometimes you aren’t the Luke Skywalker of your life – you’re actually Darth Vader.
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 Robert Webb has been a male for his whole life. As such, he has been a boy in a world of fighting, pointless posturing, and the insistence that he stop crying. As an adult man, he has enjoyed better luck, both in his work as the Webb half of Mitchell & Webb in the Sony award-winning That Mitchell & Webb Sound and the Bafta award-winning That Mitchell & Webb Look, and as permanent man-boy Jeremy in the acclaimed Peep Show. He also played Bertie Wooster in the acclaimed West End run of Jeeves and Wooster in Perfect Nonsense. Robert has been a columnist for the Daily Telegraph and the New Statesman, and now lives in London with his wife and daughters, where he continues trying to be funny and to fumble beyond general expectations of manhood.

“Quite simply brilliant. I (genuinely) cried. I (genuinely) laughed out loud. It’s profound, touching, personal yet universal … I loved it”
J.K. ROWLING
“Takes us deftly from hilarity to heart-stopping hurt … A truly great read, full of heart”
DAWN FRENCH
“Written with wit and clarity, How Not to Be a Boy is a funny, rueful, truthful book. I enjoyed every page”
STEPHEN FRY
“A witty, honest coming-of-age story with a subtext that tackles masculinity and manhood. Webb has a storytelling skill many would kill for”
IAN RANKIN
“Timely and candid, told with great humour, warmth and compassion. A much-needed contribution to the vital conversation about the damage gender can do”
JUNO DAWSON

The details: Banter and Aiken Promotions present Robert Webb in conversation with Sinead Gleeson about his new book How Not To Be A Boy and other matters on Saturday September 16 at Vicar Street, Dublin. Doors open at 11.30am and the interview begins at 12 noon sharp. The interview will be followed by an audience Q&A and a book signing. Tickets go on sale on Friday at 9am.

The wrap wants to still be on a beach in Donegal

(1) What do you mean you’ve never heard of Camille? Long before Christine & The Queens captured the high ground when it came to beautifully wonky pop, Camille Dalmais was the go-to woman for that sort of idiosyncratic fare. Over five albums, Dalmais has created bright and bold pop songs where leftfield pop sensibilities and experimental notions got merry with wild abandon. Her latest release is “Oui” and, if you dig what you hear, there is a hugely enjoyable back catalogue to investigate and be smitten by.

(2) Margaret Moser has lived one heck of a colourful life. Find out more about this long-time champion of keep-Austin-weird musical high jinks in this lovely profile by Joe Nick Patoski and this selection of pieces she wrote during her tenure at the Austin Chronicle.

(3) The story behind the current boom for building new mosques in Erdogan’s Turkey

(4) Nina Simone in Liberia in 1974: ““Within a few weeks I felt as if I had been living in my house on the beach all my life. . . .They said I was wild. I wore nothing but a bikini and boots all day long and danced about with the weight gone from around my shoulders.”

(5) Anyone for a new music app which might be actually useful? Introducing Stationhead, the app which turns your Spofity accoung into a radio station. Here’s the Billboard skinny on it – if you want to tune into something for the crack, check out byjimcarroll

(6) Perhaps Stationhead and the like will see an end of acts traipsing from radio stattion to radio station in search of attention and bad coffee? Excellent piece about the radio tours new country acts have to endure

Nature and me: how nature influences our lives (173, Aug 2017)

Aimed at preserving and promoting Ireland’s natural, built and cultural heritage, National Heritage Week runs across the country from August 19 to 27 and Banter is delighted to be part of this year’s event.

We’ll be hosting a discussion which looks at how nature influences our life, work and the world around us. Poet Mark RoperBirdwatch Ireland’s Niall Hatch, educator Grace Garde, Dublin city councillor Claire Byrne and author (In Sight Of Yellow Mountain: A Year In the Irish Countryside) and actor Philip Judge will talk about the value of nature, wildlife and heritage to how they live and work.

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Banter on nature takes place at the National Print Museum (Beggars Bush Barracks, Haddington Road, Dublin 4) on Thursday August 24. Doors open at 6pm and the discussion begins at 6.30pm. Tickets are available here and all proceeds from the event go to the Irish Peatland Conservation Council.

Many thanks to Niamh Donnellan and Niamh Reynolds at the Heritage Council and Gretta Halpin at the National Print Museum for their assistance with this event.

 

The robots are coming (169, July 2017)

What will your job look like in 2027? More to the point, will you and your workmates have been replaced by robots?

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On our next visit to the Bullitt Hotel in Belfast, we talk about the future of work. The groundbreaking developments in technology and artificial intelligence will inevitable mean many changes, not least for Belfast workplaces in the years and decades to come. Are any our jobs safe from the robots? Indeed, will Banter in 2027 just feature a bunch of robots having a chat about pesky humans?

The details: Banter talks robots at the Bullitt Hotel in Belfast with Adrienne Hanna from Right Revenue; Kevin Curran, Professor of Cyber Security at the University Of Ulster and Philip Brady from Citibank. It takes place on Wednesday July 5 from 6.30pm and admission is a fiver.

Banter returns to Bullitt on Wednesday August 2 during Belfast Pride Festival to talk about LGBT life in Northern Ireland in 2017.

The wrap is staring at the sea

(1) The new Lorde album “Melodrama” truly is swell. I interviewed her recently – it’s the only interview I’ve ever done on the phone from a supermarket car park and it was a first for the interviewee too – and found her to be smart, sharp and savvy. As with our previous encounter, she also gave me some ace book recommendations.

(2) What’s it like when your job involves people shouting at you all day? A foreclosure agent, hospital nurse, restaurant manager, retail worker, security guard and call centre worker tell their stories.

(3) There’s been a lot of comment, speculation and what-have-you about Amazon’s bid for Whole Foods. Here’s a great profile of Whole Foods’ dude John Mackey compiled while that deal was going down.

(4) On the buses: “on any given Friday or Saturday night, the loudest and most public displays of bounce music come from eye-catching, brightly painted party buses. Over the past 12 years since Hurricane Katrina, the owners and operators of these buses have created their own thriving industry around bounce music in New Orleans.”

(5) Anyone for some playlists? The Dowsers collects the best of the thousands of playlists produced every week and tells you what they love and don’t love about them.
(6) If New Orleans has bounce, Washington DC has go-go. Superb long-read by Ericka Bount Danois about the rise, fall and afterlife of the Chocolate City sound.

The wrap is picking strawberries in Wexford

(1) It’s coming up to that time of the year when those best-of-2017-so-far lists will begin to appear. We live in an age of lists – like, hello – so it’s inevitable that lists marking the halfway point in a year are flourishing. One of the albums we’ve enjoyed most in 2017 has been “The Navigator” from Hurray From the Riff Raff. Here’s an interview with the band’s fascinating frontwoman Alynda Segarra and, if you want to check them out, they play Whelan’s, Dublin on October 19 next.

(2) The last post: what’s involved in planning one of those massive funerals which dominates the news cycle? Great read on what was involved in putting together Muhammad Ali’s funeral last year; why hearing Sabres of Paradise’s “Haunted Dancehall” on daytime BBC Radio One is a sign that the queen of England is brown bread; check out James McBride’s excellent Kill ‘Em And Leave for the inside story on what happened after James Brown died.

(3) Were you a fan of Ben Benjamin’s excellent Superbad web art site back in the 1990s? It’s still going as are a host of other sites which enjoyed some time in the viral limelight

(4) It was Biggie all the way at yesterday’s Hot 97 Summer Jam as the 82,500 in attendance marked 20 years of Notorious B.I.G (some attendees marked it in ways they didn’t probably expect). Here’s a piece on the long shelf life of hip-hop’s annual trend setting festival.

(5) On the road: how live music business transport firm Sound Moves keeps the show on the road. In the air: spending a week flying across the United States

(6) The art of the album review in 2017: “in the 1700s, a now extremely dead philosopher named David Hume pioneered the concept of the standard of the “ideal critic.” Despite having never listened to Lil Yachty, SoundCloud Rap, or even a single Red Hot Chili Peppers song, Hume had a pretty solid idea of what makes a good critic: “Strong sense, united to delicate sentiment, improved by practice, perfected by comparison, and cleared of all prejudice.”

StoneyBanter (168, June 2017)

How could we say no to this one? The Stoneybatter Festival takes place across Dublin 7 from Friday June 23 to 25 and they’ve kindly invited Banter to come along to be part of the proceedings.

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We’ll be joined by Dublin 7 residents Annie Atkins (graphic designer and prop maker extraordinaire for The Grand Budapest Hotel, Bridge Of Spies and many more), Colin Murphy (journalist and playwright The Guarantee, Inside The GPO etc) and Radie Peat (musician and singer with Lankum and Rue). They’ll talk to us about their work, creativity, inspiration and how both historic Dublin and the contemporary city inform what they do.

The Banter pow-wow will be followed by the JuJu Club Strikes Back, with Stoneybatter’s own Claire Moloney return to the DJ booth with some tunes alongside Jim Carroll (fresh from the DJ retirement home) and Luke McManus.

StoneyBanter takes place at the historic Clarke’s City Arms (Prussia Street, Dublin 7) on Friday June 23 from 8.30pm and admission is a fiver on the door. Big, big, big thanks to Luke for all his help with this event.

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