An evening with Barry Hyde (186, Jan 2018)

For the fifth January in a row, we’re very pleased to be involved in the First Fortnight mental health arts festival. It’s a fantastic initiative as it puts the focus firmly on challenging mental health prejudice through arts and cultural action at the very start of the year.

This year, we’re joined by Barry Hyde, a musician and performer who first found success as the frontman with The Futureheads when he was 19 years old. That was was also the year he had his first manic episode. For Banter at First Fortnight, Hyde will join us to talk about his life, music and how solo album “Maldoy” played a big part in his recovery. He will also perform songs from the album.

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The details: an evening with Barry Hyde will take place at The Workman’s Club, Dublin on Tuesday January 9 at 6.45pm and tickets are available here.

Christmas & Me (184, Dec 2017)

We’ve done a few of these themed Banters this year – see Culture & Me and Nature & Me – so it was kind of fitting to do Christmas & Me as part of the Young Hearts Run Free Present Yule! extravaganza.

On the night, we will be joined by Alison Spittle, Brian Deady and Sonya Kelly to talk about what Christmas means to them. What are the Christmas traditions, rituals, songs, notions, records, TV shows, food and what-have-you which means Christmas to them?

Aside from Christmas & Me, there’s a huge bill of fare on the night (see poster below). It all happens at the Gloucester Street Sports Hall (21 Gloucester Street South, Dublin 2 – off Townsend Street) on Saturday next, December 9. Doors open at 7pm and admission is €15 in advance or €22 on the door. All proceeds, as always, will support work of the Simon Community.

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Banter at Other Voices (182, Dec 2017)

It’s that time of the year again. As we’ve down annually since 2012, Banter heads to the Kingdom for Other Voices and takes over the back-room of Foxy John’s in downtown Dingle for the weekend where we are joined by a fine cast of talkers, makers, do-ers and players for some conversations and music by the fire. We’ll be open for business next Saturday and Sunday, December 2 and 3, from 2pm to 6pm and admission is free. Please note that capacity is limited so get there early if you want a seat or standing room.

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Enda Walsh

We’ve been trying to bring Enda to Dingle since we started this odyssey and, joy of joys, he’s finally not got stuff to do in Luxembourg, Hong Kong, London or New York. The playwright talks shop, collaborations and stagecraft.

Geoff Travis & Jeannette Lee

A total honour to welcome the pair behind the legendary Rough Trade Records to Dingle.

John Mulholland

A welcome return to Banter for The Observer editor, John has spent much of 2017 as Acting Editor of The Guardian US so he’s ideally placed to let us know what the hell is actually happening across the Atlantic right now with yer man Trump.

Emer Reynolds

The woman behind The Farthest, one of our favourite film experiences of 2017, discusses space, film-making and dark skies in Co Tipperary.

Luke O’Neill

A deep dive with the chair of biochemistry at Trinity College Dublin and one of the world’s leading immunologists in what the world of science is doing for us all.

Sarah McBriar

The founder of the AVA electronic music festival in Belfast, one of the best new European events in recent times, tells us her story.

Una Mullally’s Arts Review of the Year

What it says on the can: the year in film, theatre, music, books, TV and whatever else comes to mind as narrated by Banter’s most popular repeat visitor. Unmissable. She’d better big up The Florida Project….

Caitlín Nic Gabhann & Ciarán Ó Maonaigh

What’s the state of traditional music in 2017? Concertina player Caitlín and fiddler Ciarán join us in Foxy’s to go through this and other topics, plus some tunes from the duo

There will also be music over the weekend from Maria Kelly, Roe and Josienne Clarke & Ben Walker

Massive thanks to my Banter OV co-consipirator Molly King (this is a CarrollKing Production), Banter producer Jack Gibson, Banter at Foxy John’s Head Of Design Mary Ni Lochlainn, the good folks at Other Voices, our patient and savvy soundman Stephen Andreucetti and the people at Foxy John’s for putting up with us and our antics for six years in a row,

Review of the Year (183, Dec 2017)

It’s nearly time to say goodbye to 2017 but, before we go, how about a recap on a year of Hurricane Ophelia, the Paradise Papers, Harvey Weinstein, Leo Varadkar, more tracker mortgage scandals, more Garda scandals, more Brexit, the National Maternity Hospital mess, the Citizen’s Assembly, Leo Varadkar’s socks, Donal Trump in the White House, the Russians in the White House, Ireland not qualifying for the World Cup in Russia, Leo Varadkar’s tweets and Ireland not getting to host the Rugby World Cup in 2023? And trust us, there’s more – much more.

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As we’ve done in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016, Banter will be bringing together a panel of news makers and news observers to talk about the stories of the last 12 months which have resonated with them.

The now annual Banter Review of the Year is always one of the highlights of our year, chiefly because it’s a night which reminds us of stuff that happened which we’d forgotten all about and casts new light on some of the stories which dominated the news cycle for so long.

The panel: Oonagh Murphy (theatre director, Tribes at The Gate), Catherine Sanz (reporter at The Times Ireland Edition) and Gavin Sheridan (CEO Vizlegal and former Innovation Director at Storyful)

The details: Banter’s Review of the Year takes place at The Liquor Rooms, Wellington Quay, Dublin 2 on Wednesday December 6. Doors open at 6pm and we start at 6.30pm. Tickets are available here and all proceeds from the event go to the Peter McVerry Trust.

Social housing: can it save us? (185, Dec 2017)

What’s the solution to the affordable housing shortage in Dublin? What role should social housing play in solving this crisis?

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At this event organised by Banter and Dublin Inquirer, a panel of experts will discuss the history and role of social housing in Ireland, the Part V provision, how these fare in 2017, what their roles are in the current crisis, and where could we go from here.

The panel: Debbie Mulhall (Community Development Worker in Dolphin House), Michelle Norris (Head of the School of the School of Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice at UCD), Ali Grehan (City Architect, Dublin City Council) and Hugh Brennan (CEO, Ó Cualann Cohousing Alliance)

The details: the event will be held at the Robert Emmet Community Development Project, (3-8 Usher Street, Dublin 8) on Wednesday December 13 at 6.30pm. Admission is free, but tickets must be booked in advance here.

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.

How to beat imposter syndrome in the workplace (181, Nov 2017)

Ever have that lingering sense that you’re not cut out for something? Or that pit-of-the-stomach feeling when you suspect you’re going to be caught out as less able than you are, even when you know you’re more than capable of the task at hand? You might have imposter syndrome.
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2017 was the year that imposter syndrome made it into the Oxford English Dictionary, but it’s an experience which has been affecting people across many different industries and continents for some time. While the feeling of being inadequate in the workplace and the fear of being exposed for having the right skills is something which unites genders and generations, it’s something which is particularly pronounced with millennials.
Join Nathalie Marquez Courtney, Aoife McElwainDean Van Nguyen and Dr Sandra McNulty as they talk to Banter guest host Aoife Barry about what imposter syndrome is, and isn’t: whether we need to pay any heed to it, how gender and race could determine how badly imposter syndrome might affect us, and how we can start to give those feelings of inferiority the old heave-ho.
Banter on how to beat imposter syndrome in the workplace takes place at The Liquour Rooms, Wellington Quay, Dublin 2 on Wednesday November 29. Doors open at 6pm and the discussion starts at 6.30pm. Tickets can be obtained here and all proceeds from the event go to Rape Crisis Network Ireland.

MMA: art or savagery? (180, Nov 2017)

Mixed Martial Arts is one of the world’s fastest growing sports, with stars such as Conor McGregor becoming household names. But many critics claim it is no better than street brawling and there have even been attempts by the British Medical Association to ban it.

People within the sport say that far from being a brawler, MMA requires you to be an athlete in prime condition with a strategic thought process, and participants are experts in many forms of martial arts including karate, jiu-jitsu, wrestling, boxing and kickboxing.

So what makes MMA so appealing and the focus of so much media attention? We’ll discuss this and more with MMA fighters Leah McCourt (IMMAF European & World Champion), Phil Campbell and Danny Corr (MMA World Governing Body Coaching Committee, chairman Ulster Amateur MMA and founder of MMA Youth Development programmes).

MMA fighter Leah McCourt

MMA fighter Leah McCourt

The details: Banter on MMA takes place at the Bullitt Hotel, Belfast on Wednesday November 1 at 6.30pm. Tickets can be booked here.

The wrap knows one of your secrets

(1) A shout out for dogged music journalism and a reminder that those who call themselves music journalists should actually do more than review new releases or docile Q&A interviews with pop stars. Superb profile of Chicago writer Jim De Rogatis, the man who made it his business to dig into the R. Kelly story and investigate allegations of sexual abuse against the r’n’b performer. Real music journalism work.

(2) “A Porky Prime Cut”: the secret history of messages etched into records.

(3) Monday morning sounds: Anne Briggs “The Time Has Come”

(4) One for those running the Dublin marathon next weekend: inside the strange, weird and downright bizarre world of social media marathon cheating

(5) If you’re one of those people who walk through airports and wonder about the amount of people rocking those travel pillows with them, this is for you. TL:DR? Yep, they’re useless

(6) Banter podcast: an encounter with the one and only Fachtna O Ceallaigh, the straight-shooting music manager. There’s lots to dig into here, from his days writing about music for The Evening Press to managing acts like Clannad, the Boomtown Rats, Bananarama, the Bothy Band, Donal Lunny, Morrissey (for seven eventful weeks), Eamon, Ricky Gervais (when he was in Seona Dancing), Dread Broadcasting Corporation and, currently, Hare Squead.

(7) John Jeremiah Sullivan is one of our favourite writers because his work is also so detailed and colourful. In new essay The Curses, he writes about the history of what may be the first blues song ever written, an 1887 sheet-music hit titled “The Curse” by composer Paul Dresser.

(8) 30 new songs every Monday: the science behind Spotify’s Discover Weekly.

(9) Time to go back to Detroit: the story of how techno was born, developed and continues to thrive amidst the city’s financial and social strife.

(10) Tune

 

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?”