Saturday, August 22, 2009

Arctic Monkeys - Crying Lightning (Review and Interpretation)

Arctic Monkeys - Crying Lightning
Review and Interpretation
By PaddyBass

The song can be found over on youtube -

Crying lightning is the first single released from the Arctic Monkey's latest album Humbug, and is produced by Josh Homme of "Queen's of the stone Age" fame. I'm going to assume you already know who the Arctic Monkey's are and jump straight into the review. The song begins with a really chunky bassline, which consists of plenty of slide's over some tasty drumming. Almost immediately the guitar's pitch in with a really dark and eerie sound, layered with heavy amount's of treble, that almost grate, but luckily stop just short and instead leave you feeling uneasy. It's not long more before Turner pipe's in with the opening lyric's

“Outside the cafe by the cracker factory,
you were practicing a magic trick,
and my thoughts got rude as you talked and chewed,
on the last of your pick and mix”

As alway's, my favorite thing about Alex Turner as a writer, is his ability to make relatable thing's such as running from the cop's, having an argument in the kitchen, or running away from home, sound totally extravagant. When I listen to rap music, the one thing that prevent's me from truly indulging myself in the music is that I can't identify myself with the subject matter. I can't say that I've ever capped somebody's ass, or killed some blood clot's, however I can say I've seen a girl working in a takeaway and thought “Hmm... I'd say she's look alright on a night out” or getting into a fight with bouncer's at a nightclub.

Also Turner's voice, while still essentially the same, seem's to have matured or maybe he's still in the process of finding the stuff that really make's his voice work, because I would easily say that his vocal work on Crying Lightning is by leap's and bound's his best performance to date. The song carries on with the lines:

“Said your mistaken if your thinking that I haven't been caught cold before
As you bit into your strawberry lace
And then a flip in your attention in the form of a gobstopper
Is all you have left and it was going to waste”

I love the fact that the song keep's using sweet's as a reference, when clearly the leading lady is anything but sweet. It's in the chorus that if we examine we start to discern more about her.

“Your past time's consisted of the strange and twisted and deranged,
And I love that little game you had, called Crying Lightning,
And how you liked to aggravate the Ice-Cream man on Rainy Afternoons.”

It's here that we begin to see that his lady isn't all sweet's and sunshine and we are left to wondering what this game, Crying Lightning is, however, it bring's to mind the idea of Crying Wolf, an idea reinforced later in the song. Also the lead character's opinion of this game changes throughout the song from “I love that little game” in the first chorus to “I hate that little game” in all subsequent choruse's. After the last line of the chorus, there is a pounding guitar riff, coupled with some nice drum's and it's a great break back to the second verse.

“The next time that I caught my own reflection,
It was on it's way to meet you,
Thinking of excuses to postpone,
You never look like yourself from the side,
But your profile did not hide,
The fact you knew I was approaching your throne”

The lady in the song, who I'm going to refer to as the queen, clearly has a very high opinion of herself or so the main character believes her to be as he consider's her to be occupying a throne, metaphorically of course. The lead character seem's to be trying to escape from this relationship, and maybe that's where the crying lightning come's into it. Maybe everytime he decide's to end the relationship she “Cry's Lightning”, in other word's cry's a storm, in the hope's of convincing him to stay. In this verse, I believe that he is confronting her and she know's about it. Next Scene:

“With folded arms you occupy the bench like toothache,
Saw them, puff your chest out like you never lost a war,
And though I try so not to suffer the indignity of a reaction,
There was no cracks to grasp or gaps to claw,”

I'm not going to lie this is the only section that I can't really discern much from. The first line screams to me that when she “Occupies the bench like Toothache” he mean's something that's very painful, but has to be removed. In the second line I get the impression that she is ready to “Cry Lightning”, if you will, and she's puffing her chest out in preperation, something the lead character can now anticipate. As for the last two line's I've thought long and hard and all I can guess is that he is trying not to react badly, and make a scene, but he is slipping down and there's nothing stopping him anymore. Now I could be totally wrong, this is just MY personal interpretation, but it seem's plausible, right?

After the second chorus we're treated to a switch in the lyric's for what could be considered, the third chorus -

But not half as impossible as everyone assumes,
You are crying lightning,”

I think that this section mean's that people find it impossible to believe that she could be faking her feeling's or “Crying Wolf/Lightning”. However the main character is now decided on how he feel's and he just out right say's “You are Crying Lightning”, indicating that he know's she's manipulating him and everyone around them.

That's pretty much the last of it lyrically, the only other stand out part I can think of is the very last line where he say's -

“And I hate that little game you had called, Crying...”

Which to most people would probably just be ending the song a word early for the heck of it, but I feel that at the very end he's trying to tell us that, maybe, just maybe, she was actually crying, and not just faking everything. Then again, it's a very interpretable song and other people might think that this theory is insane.

The solo is well constructed and has some great riffage and some nice break's in it. To be honest this song is the Arctic Monkey's most mature to date, with the lyrics still feeling relatable, even though they are so abstract, the music growing and feeling less like a homage to the member's favorite band's and really taking on their own personality, which had already begun to manifest itself heavily on “Favorite Worst Nightmare”. Love the Arctic's, or hate them, they will not be going anywhere for a long time if they keep writing material like “Crying Lightning”.



Summary: Alex Turner and crew deliver an eerie song, with some fantastic lyric's and top-notch music. Love them or Hate them, the Arctic Monkey's deliver a much needed distraction from the numerous song's nowadays about money, fame and glory, and instead write around the simple thing's in life, like, that girl who broke your heart, or being homesick. Crying Lightning, is in this reviewer's, humble opinion, an instant classic.

Please don't flame, or throw up useless comment's like
“I hate the Arctic Monkeys”,
If you hate the Arctic Monkey's then your opinion is obviously compromised and very one-sided.
Discuss if you like the song or not and why,
Will be uploading my review of Muse's Uprising soon...

Sexy Drug's and Sausage Roll's,


Auf Wiedersehen Pet - The final chapter of "The Honeymoon Blog"

Auf Wiedersehen Pet

The Final Chapter of the Germany Blog

By The Bass and The Kritter

When at home, Kathy and I like nothing more than lying in bed, on our day's off and indulging in a binge of whatever T.V show we are hooked on at that particular time. Due to numerous factors, (Us running dangerously low on Cash, Everything in Dusseldorf closing on a sunday) we decided to lie in the hotel room and simply watch a 13 episode streak of the ridiculously entertaining T.V series, Kid Nation, on the laptop. We had stocked up the day previous, with all manners of jellys, chocolates and crispy goodies and were good to go for our binge.

About 6 episode's in we found the marathon becoming a bit too much so we decided to go for a leisurely stroll. We decided to just head from our hotel towards the old t.v tower and not use any map's or anything. It was a great little adventure and we got to see alot of sight's we may not have seen, had we not run out of cash. There are some really interesting building's just outside of the media harbour in Dusseldorf, one of the more notable had a series of about fifteen seperate stairwell's leading up the outside of it, and was vaguely reminescent of something from an Escher painting.

Continuing on towards the T.V tower, we wound up in a massive park, that seemed totally hidden and secluded. It may have contained plenty of wasp's and some crazy homeless guy's but nothing could detract from it's inherent beauty. We spent about an hour just walking around snapping shot's of almost everything in the park, save the wasp's or homeless guy's. After we headed on our way, Kat's feet began to really hurt her so we had to turn off at the T.V tower and make tracks for the hotel. At the Apollo variete there happened to be a huge Olympic Sport's fair in action, so we paused to watch some of the funnier spectacles, like the kid's in Sumo suit's fighting. That was top class entertainment. It didn't take long for us to get back to the hotel, where we resumed our marathon of Kid Nation, but not before we cracked open a bottle of Rose Wine and had some intimate times. Nice. Isn't that the part that honeymoon's are all about. I then promptly fell asleep. Ha ha.

Monday... Our final day in the beautiful city. Not only that, but we were meeting Shin, who had arranged a way for us to visit Cologne and go to a traditional Japanese karaoke bar, all for just forty euro's. Top notch! The benefit's of having a Japanese tour guide/friend in Dusseldorf rock. The train journey to Cologne was much shorter than I expected, coming in at just under half an hour. As we were approaching, I caught my first glimpse of the monstrous Dom Cathedral, the largest Cathedral in Europe. Yowch, that's a big church!!

Hopping off the train I desperately needed to.. ahem, make use of the facilitys. We found a nearby brewery, where I relieved myself and promptly proceeded to start filling myself back up again, by ordering one of Cologne's famous Kolsch style beers. The first I had was called Gaffel Kolsh and was really crisp and tasty. This would not be the last Kolsch I would have in Cologne. We took some time to take a look around the inside of the Dom Cathedral. Seriously there is no point in me trying to write how huge this place is. Being inside it really make's you feel completely insignificant... which is what I'm sure the catholic church intended.

In all seriousness though, the scale of the place is impossible to get across in a blog. It's even hard to ring the point home through photo's. This place is huge. We spent all of about forty five minutes looking all over the Cathedral taking in all the sight's including a huge gold coffin, which I jokingly alluded to Shin, belonged to Michael Jackson, which set him off laughing like a hyena. It cost money to journey to the top of the Cathedral and there was no elevator, so we decided to carry on and take in some more free sight's around Cologne.

On our way out of the Cathedral we got caught up in the frenzy being caused by a troupe of Brazilian Capoeira Dancers. They were unreal, the skill and speed which they performed brought me back to Eddy Gordo from the Tekken series and on one or two occasion's I even shouted out stuff like “You lose!” and “Round 2... FIGHT!”. I was mad to stay and watch but Kat was ushering us onward's. We headed down Cologne's main street. It was kind of like a gigantic version of Grafton Street in Dublin, filled with all your usual chain store's and restaurant's.

We stopped into another Kolsch brewery which happened to have a super futuristic toilet. On said toilet, you push a button, a thing come's out and clean's your seat for you. I felt like I was part of the jetson's or something, “Rosie, please wipe down the seat for me before I place my buttock's down on it!”. Ha Ha. The Kolsch itself was called Fruh, and it was pretty decent, although the difference between Kolsch and Altbier is that most Kolsch taste's pretty much the same, so there would be no point in me now trying to discern the subtle difference's. All I can say is that it was good, easy to drink and very light and crispy.

Onward's we ventured and made our way through a french market, before I was stopped dead in my track's. This is the point where I drop all my pretentious way's and become an out and out tourist. OH MY GOD! HARD ROCK CAFE! Ha ha. For anyone who is into music, especially rock, Hard Rock cafe is always an exciting sight. In hard rock you get to not only have tasty food and beer's but you also get to look at some classy guitar's, outfits, platinum album's belonging to many of the world's premier recording artists. We sat outside Hard Rock Cafe in the sunshine and had ourselve's a nice cold glass of Sion Kolsch beer. Weird to say but it reminded me alot of Kirin beer.

After creaming myself in front of the guitar wall, and giving serious contemplation to robbing a few of them, we carried on our adventure. We took a stroll down by the Rhein and saw some more incredible architecture, including the huge suspension bridge we came over to get to Cologne. We were going to go across to the other side, but Kathy's feet had begun to give her trouble so we decided to head back to the Cologne Central Station and hop on the train back to Dusseldorf. We had spent about 4 to 5 hour's in Cologne, bought a few drinks and out of the 40 euro's, we still had about 20 euro's left. Not bad.

Back in Dusseldorf, Shintaro lived up to his agreement and took us to the Karaoke bar above his restaurant. Usually, in Karaoke bar's you have to pay a fee just to use the table, but Shin negotiated with the lady that owned the place, and she conceded that since it was off peak, she would not issue the usual charge. It was terrifying. I have played gig's, sang, played bass, read poetry, performed in play's and much more, in front of large group's of people, but performing Jeremy by Pearl Jam in front of just Kathy and Shintaro was the most terrifying experience I've had in my life.

Shintaro hopped up and did a few song's in Japanese, a couple of which I recognised, such as the ending theme to Spirited Away. He has an incredibly powerful voice, and seeing him sing helped alleviate my nerves. Other song's I performed included Twisted Transistor by Korn, Mosh by Eminem, Sexy Back by Justin Timberlake and Misery by Green Day. Jeez, once you got me started and the nerve's were gone you couldn't stop me. Myself and Shintaro performed two duets which were hilarious, one was Two become one by the Spice Girls ??!?? Ha ha, this was priceless. The other was Smell's like teen spirit.

I enjoyed a few beer's and then we left the Karaoke house and headed back to the hotel. We sat down at the italian takeaway, situated just around the corner from the hotel, and shared a pizza with Shintaro. We mostly ate in silence. I know that on my part it was because I was welling with emotions (Yes, I am a big girl), realising that I wouldn't get to see Shintaro until at least November.
So much to reflect on of our time in Dusseldorf. All I will say is this. We met some amazing people, Ate some amazing cuisine, formed lifelong friendships, saw some unbelievable sight's and both myself and Kathy agreed that we would not change a moment of our honeymoon, for the world. We said our farewell's to Shintaro, It was difficult but I can't wait to have him over in November.

Fare Thee Well, Dusseldorf,
You are now officially one of my favorite place's in the world.

Sorry if the end of the blog seem's a little rushed, but I'm mad to get started on some new material. Coming up next are some review's. I would like to thank everyone who read this blog as in your own way, I feel that you shared our honeymoon with us and I hope you enjoyed the journey.

Sexy Drug's and Sausage Roll's
Peace Out,

P.Bass and K.Critter

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

50 Way's To get Lost With Your Lover - Day 3 In Dusseldorf

Day 3 in DusselDorf

50 Way's to get lost with your lover:

From the brain's of PaddyBass and KathyCritter

Sake is truly an Exceptional drink. Not only does it taste nice and get you absolutely sloshed, It also doesn't give you a hangover. Praise the lord. I think I've found my drink of choice. Well it's Saturday in Dusseldorf and that mean's busy, busy, busy. It's also the day of a big match in the German Bundesliga (National Football League), Dusseldorf Fortuna vs.Koln F.C is kind of... Something of a big deal here in Dusseldorf so the streets are lined with football fans, draped in Red and White, the Dusseldorf Fortuna colours.

The day began on a bit of a low note. Upon awakening myself and Kathy opened our magical coin-purse, which upon coming to Germany had been filled to bursting with all manners of glorious euro's and such. However, Saturday morning we were greeted by a dismal sight. Our money was very quickly dwindling away. In our haste of believing that everything was so cheap, we didn't realise how much we were indulging in food and drink. Now... our wallet/purse was paying the price. Literally.

Our day was set in mind already however. A stroll through Old-Town, Sampling beer at some of the brewery's we missed on our previous visit, followed by a cruise down the Rhein, courtesy of KD boat-trips and finally we had arranged to drop in and visit Shintaro in the Japanishe Restaurant, Nippon-Kan before closing. So off we headed toward's central station to try and gain our bearings. On the way we stopped at a pretzel stand, where I picked up a HUMONGOUS, Pretzel for like two bucks or something. Anyway it was nice, but a bit too sweet. Kathy was not a fan. We hopped on the subway to Heinrich Heine Allee, and the from there we entered Old-Town.

Dusseldorf's Old-Town is an unusual place. It look's very old and traditional in place's but then turn a corner and you could be greeted by a McDonald's or a Burger King. My favorite part was, but of course, the street with the many brewery's dotted along it. We took some time to stop into both the Schluseel and Schumacher Braurei's. Both were very tasty, however service in the Schumacher brewery was a bit lacklustre, as the waiter pulled us both extra beer's without even asking if we wanted them. The nerve! (Editor's Note - We later found out from Shin that unless you place a coaster over your empty glass, the waiter's will assume you want more to drink)

Our stroll through old town was very enjoyable. It was also very cost efficient as looking at pretty thing's can generally be more economically viable than, say, BUYING pretty thing's. Come two o clock in the afternoon, It was time for our boat ride. Now, what can I say about the KD Boat-trip. The view's were stunning, the food was good, the trip was very cheap, But the service was absolute cack! It took nearly the entire journey for our food to be served, meaning that for that time I couldn't go out on deck and enjoy the trip, in case our food arrived. It just felt very frustrating to me, however the view's were amazing and we got some phenomonal shot's, for only 7 buck's each so I can't really complain... But i still will...

After the boat journey, we made our way back through town and decided to try and use the subway to get back to Central Station. Against my best judgement, I allowed Kathy to decide which shuttle we should take. Big mistake. We ended up in a place called Neuss, which is about as far from Dusseldorf as say... Ennis is from Limerick... So we hopped on another tram, in the hope's of getting back to Dusseldorf. Hooray, the tram brought us towards Haubtbahnhof (Central Sation) and we were just about to jump for joy, when one of the ticket checking guy's entered our car. We assumed that we had the right ticket, and were pretty worried when he informed us that the ticket we had, was good for three stops. We had taken twenty eight, from Neuss to Dusseldorf. Gulp!

Well as you can imagine, Panic set in and trying our best to communicate to this fine gentleman in a mish-mesh of german, english and some incomprenhensible whimper's, we convinced him not to charge us the 80 euro fine. I think It helped when we explained that we were on honeymoon. Say it to anyone in a position of authority and watch as their eye's go misty. It's a powerful thing. We decided to stop into a small bar we noticed on our first day, called Che Guevera's Havanna Lounge.

It was a pretty nice, little spot and they allowed me to use their cigar cutter to amputate the end of my two, fancy, cigars, I purchased previously, during the spending boom of the first two day's. We both ordered some Konig Pilsener, which was very tasty and just chilled and talked, for the bones of an hour or so, until six o clock, when Shintaro's sushi house opened and we popped in to say hello.

It was a pleasant visit, as we got to see both Shintaro and Aki again. Aki informed us that his forename, Nishibayashi, translate's in japanese to “West Forest” and that Shintaro's name, Kurokawa, translates to “Black River”. He decided that PaddyBass, translated to “Irish Musician”. It was great fun and we got some crazy pictures with him. He really is a very funny and likeable chap, as is Shintaro, who we talked into meeting up with us at the Irish pub for one or two beers later that night, around ten. We paid for our Sake's said our goodbyes and headed back to the hotel, to re-evaluate our money situation, and also to get a bit of much needed rest.

Upon arriving back at the hotel we decided that our feet could not withstand anymore walking at this point and so decided to get a cab to “The Irish Bar”. We ordered it early, expecting to be waiting for ages, like in Ireland, but were shocked when it arrived in about, literally 2 minute's. The price of the taxi was also very reasonable, at only 6 euro's from the hotel, to old-town. That's about the distance from Corbally to the Crescent, in Limerick, which as anyone from Limerick will tell you, costs, at the very least, about 12 bucks.

We arrived much earlier than Shintaro, so I decided to get stuck into some pint's and well, Baby Guinesse's soon followed. Kathy decided to stay on her new drink of choice, Warstenier, an AltBier she had sampled on our cruise down the Rhein, earlier that day. I also took the opportunity to smoke up the last of the amazing cigar I had purchased for only 6 euro's the day before. When Shintaro arrived I would say I was already more than a little merry. We all had the Craic though and I even got chatting to a guy named Eoin from Drogheda, who was on holiday as part of a stag party. I showed him my catch (Kathy) and he complimented me saying “ Ah yeah, you did well, lad, you did well!”.

The night was heavy, the atmosphere pounding, seeing as that Dusseldorf had beaten Koln 2-1, but we still ended up retiring relatively early. I would guess it was about one o clock when we headed to the subway, trying our best to avoid the drunk masse's of Dusseldorf fan's, but inadvertantly being drawn into conversation. Needless to say, they were a group of harmless lads, and simply wanted to indulge in some meandering, drunken conversation. I obliged and they simply shook my hand, all polite and friendly. We parted way's with Shintaro, at the stairs to our shuttle and continued home toward's the hotel.

So another day in Dusseldorf came to a close, not without it's amazing high's and terrible low's... More to come soon...

Sexy Drugs and Rocky Rolls,
P.Bass and K.Critter

Friday, August 7, 2009

Rain Fall Down - Day Two In Dusseldorf

Day 2 in Dusseldorf

Rain Fall Down:
From the blog of The Bass and The Kritter...

I write this blog intoxicated on a number of thing's. Primarily, it would be Sake and Kirin beer from the Japanese Ramen place up the street. Secondly it would be the Pocky Stick's, these incredible Japanese snack's we found in a supermarket that Shintaro showed us. I am dripping in sweat, even though the sky's opened about two hour's ago. It was a heavy rain, and although it carried thunder and lightning, the air was still incredibly warm and humid.

Lastly, I am intoxicated by how diverse Dusseldorf is. Since coming here we have enjoyed Italian, Japanese and Korean cuisine and we plan on visiting a german bratwurst house, and a thai restaurant in the next day or two as they are both within walking distance of the hotel. However, we do worry, as Kathy and I, both seem to have found a deep love for the Ramen house, about 10 minute's from the hotel and spent about 3 and a half hour's there drinking sake and Kirin beer tonight. The staff were also insanely helpful, and the food happened to be completely delicious, but it was definitely the sake and beer that tipped us over the edge.

We awoke this morning, on the 07/08/2009, early at the bright hour of 9.00 a.m and headed downstair's to eat our complimentary breakfast. Kathy loved it, however, I was left a little hungry as egg's, yoghurt and cereal wouldn't exactly be my bag, per se. We left the hotel at about 10:30, and proceeded down to Central Station, where we indulged in super large coffee's and some sweet cheesecake and cookies, courtesy of starbuck's. Sweet.

We then went to the Ramen house in the Japanese district, where we were to meet Shintaro at 12 noon. Shintaro was on time, and showed us through the Ramen menu, where we ordered some incredible food. I got Oro-Chon Ramen, which happened to be really spicy, and very, very tasty. Kathy had a Ramen-Seafood concoction, and also thoroughly enjoyed the meal. After this, Shin took us on a trip through Old-Town, where we got to indulge in many of the sight's, including some amazing Churches and some other fantastic architecture.

We inevitably strayed into some brewery's where we got to sample some more of Dusseldorf's famous AltBiers. In particular, we enjoyed the biere at Fuscshen Brewery. Very nice beer, that had the complexity of white beer, like Erdinger, but the hard hitting punch of pils, like Kromabcher. I was very enamoured with it anyhow! After some sampling, Shintaro showed us to the KD docks, where we found a timetable for the Schiffe-(Boats) Tomorrow, so will have more info on that then. He also took us to Eis Cafe Piu, which is one of the most famous place's in Germany for Ice-Cream and upon eating it I can safely see why. I had raspberry and banana, in a cone, and it was absolutely gorgeous. Definitely worth the long wait in the queue.

We had to part way's with Shin at about half four as he had a meeting to get to, so we came back to the hotel, rested up, changed, showered and continued on out merry way. This time we found a nice Korean restaurant called Arirang, right around the corner from our hotel. I simply adored the Bibimbap that I ordered, however the non-alcoholic beer we got was none too pleasant and we had to quickly change our drink order to “zwei Krombacher”.

We spent about an hour and a half exploring the town before finding ourselves back at central station, where we sampled some premier German Bratwurst. Kat had the regular variety, whereas I had to be different and have a curry Bratwurst. I would recommend it to anyone, it was such a fruity curry and the meat was tender and very juicy. Yum Yum! Ha ha!

We finished up the evening back at the ramen house, where we met Shintaro that morning. However, the sky's had opened and we found ourselve's changing our seat's to avoid the shower. We spent the evening drinking Sake, Kirin beer and we even tried some more side-dishe's. Myself and Kathy spent the time talking and in that time realised that in all the time that we have been together this was one of the first time's we have ever gotten to feel like kid's going out on a date. It was an absolutely delightful evening. Rain and all.

We shall have more tomorrow, Now however it is 11:29 P.M and i must hit the hay as we venture down the Rhein tomorrow and that shall be quite an adventure.

Sexy Drugs and Sausage Rolls,

P.Bass and K.Critter

Thursday, August 6, 2009

On Flying... And Taking Leaps...

On Flying and Taking Leaps -
Blog of an Irish Couple in Germany!

07:35 (Irish Time)

I can't begin to imagine how high up we are, as I write this. I could hazard a guess and say 15,000 feet, but is that an unrealistically high or low figure. We have reached an altitude where I can no longer see the ground. Just an open sea of blue and clouds dotting the horizon. We have just ordered our snacks for the flight and I can only imagine that the Burger will taste like cardboard and the hot-dog will be made form 100% real horse, however, I could be proven completely wrong. Only time will tell.

Kathy's love for the DSi seem's to have reached it's limit and mine isn't far behind, as I start 2 games and barely play them for five minutes. Flight time just doesn't seem right, spent playing video games. Drinking carlsberg, now that's a way to enjoy your flight! Unfortunately, I forgot how much I utterly despise the taste of Carlsberg and swamping it, warm, from a can make's it all the more nasty. Ah well, guess I'll get a smoothie on the way home from Dusseldorf. Kathy rates her coffee a two. She say's it tastes like drinking molten plastic through styrofoam. Nice! Also in typical Kathy fashion the coffee ended up all over the tray, her and the Dsi before being wiped up.. WITH ONE OF MY ONLY HOODIES!!

Well, we've eaten our “Food”. While I must say that I was correct in thinking that the texture of the Burger I ordered would be like cardboard, I was incorrect in thinking that it would taste horrible. Well, it was hardly fine dining but it did the trick. The middle of the burger was juicy so that was a plus. However Kathy was none too impressed with her rock-hard hot-dog, which could probably have doubled as a lethal weapon.

Looking down now and I can see boat's way below in the ocean. It's crazy. The very Idea that we are so ridiculously high up doesn't scare me... It fascinates me. Cannot wait to get to Dusseldorf.

11:10 (Germany Time)

Das eagle Hast landed. Or as we say in Ireland “We're fucking here already!”. Roasting hot, here in Germany. Bringing a load of coats was perhaps not the wisest choice! Upon landing, we were informed, by a very friendly Taxi driver, that we are still about 85 Kilometres from Dusseldorf so now we sit on a bus, eagerly awaiting it's departure so we may find our hotel and rest our weary heads, before beginning our adventures into Germania and beyond!

Also, tasted some local beer. It was called Schneider Weisse. It was tasty enough, but a very different style of drink to what Kat and I are used to.It was heavy like guinness, but with the frothiness of lager and the texture of Jelly. Unusual stuff but pretty nice, too. Everyone else was just drinking becks. Pfft, Pansies! Wasp's chased us from the scene. I do of course mean the Bug and not the religious group.

11:30 (German Time)

On the road again! How good it feel's to be.... On the road again! My god the heat is abnormal but fantastic. There's a nice breeze there, well especially now that the bus has started and everyone has their air-conditioning on. Top – notch. Felt like I was gonna pass out when the bus was just parked up! Just passed a pretty epic corn field. Must say, Germania, is much more well kept than Ireland. Their field's and such seem much more well looked after. Must be that german efficiency I keep hearing so much about. Got to go, battery almost out.

17:50 (German Time)

Well, we have now been in the lovely city of Dusseldorf since 12 O' Clock this morning, and have had a very active first day of sightseeing. I hadn't bothered writing anything into the blog, seeing as how we were busy traipsing around the place, taking in all the sight's, sound's, smell's and ... Beer's! Naw, Just Kidding. Although did try some Krombacher at an incredible little Italian restaurant, right around the corner from us and it was very, very delish! Much more so, than the Shneider Weisse from the airport.

We also enjoyed some cuisine and so far, I must say I am mighty impressed. Looking forward to trying some Sushi and Sake in the Japanese district later this evening. Yum, Yum. I never realised that Germany and Japan enjoyed such a close relationship with one another, but judging from a quick stroll through the (relatively enormus) Japanese district, I can say that the two co-exist pretty well. Once or twice on our adventures through the city I forgot we were in Dusseldorf and thought, momentarily, that we were in Tokyo.

In our adventures today we have gone tram surfing, gone shopping (But of course), taken a stroll by the Rhein and ascended to the peak of the old t.v tower which is an epic 168 floors tall. Gulp, and I'm afraid of height's and all. It was absolutely staggering though. We took in another beer at the top of that space needle. This one was called Diebels. It was labelled an Altbier, whatever the hell that means, but it was pretty tasty, something between bitter and lager. Strange but went down easy enough. Then we hopped on a tram got lost and finally returned to the hotel, safe and sound. Phew!

Well, I have waited all my life and now I can finally say... I am NOT a fan of sushi. There were exceptions, in that I loved the egg sushi and adored the mackerel sushi, but the salmon and tuna, neither Kat, Nor I, could stomach. Fried tofu also didn't agree well with our tastepallette's. It was more the texture of the tofu that didn't work for us. The big up's from our Japanese dinner service were:

1:) The warm Sake (Kanzake)

Really tasty drink this. It's about as strong as whiskey or vodka, but is much easier to drink. It taste's similar to a very light tea, but with an alcoholic kick. Once it started to cool down however then we started to taste the bitter after-taste.

2:) Tempura Noodle's

These were by far and away, the tastiest noodles I have ever had the pleasure to eat... Until I had ramen noodles. Ha ha. Tempura Noodles, were cut incredibly thick, and came served, piping hot in a kind of sea-food broth. They were filling too, although Kathy nearly ate the bowl and all. Ha ha.

3:) The Service

Everyone at the restaurant was so entertaining that it really made the meal worth every penny. Our personal waiter Aki, took great delight in lining us into photo's and posing in our shot's too. Midway through our meal, Aki brought down his boss, Shintaro, to introduce him to us. Shin has a fascination with Ireland, much in the same way that I have a fascination with Japan. So it was really cool to get to speak with him.

After our dinner, Shin was finishing his shift so he agreed to show us how to use the subway system and took us to an Irish bar in Old-Town, aptly named, The Irish Pub. We joined Shin for a drink and he pleaded with me to try the guinness and compare it to the stuff back home. It tasted watered down, like not quite as heavy as the stuff back in Eire, but still, I really enjoyed it and ended up drinking a second.

It was half eleven before we arrived back at the hotel exhausted from our day's travels. We parted way's with Shin at the tram station across from the hotel, although not before arranging to meet with him again tomorrow.

Peace and Love,

P.Bass And K.Critter

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Job Well Done - A Saturday Haiku

Well, I had such fun yesterday coming up with my little Haiku, that I have decided to try and pen another one today. This one revolves around the feeling I had upon finishing up the radio show last night. This is still done in the Jack Collom style as I am building my way up to the standard Haiku formula.


Job Well Done,
Dreaded Sense Of Self Satisfaction,
Fears Of Complacency

Hmm, I like the sounds of that.
Hoping to have more writing's up later. Currently working on some song lyrics. They aint great but that's exactly why I have to work on them, and if they were total crap I wouldn't even bother so there must be something good about them.

Catch you fiends on the flipside,

Sexy Drugs and Rocky Rolls

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Inishtari - Fictional Background

"The Inishtari" are an ancient Irish sect, whose origins reach back as far as 100 B.C. They were formed by the first High King of Ireland, Conn Cetchathach - Also known as Conn of the Hundred battles, with their purpose being to preserve the line of High Kings and to destroy any who would endanger that dynasty. The first head of "The Inishtari", was Lugh, who was said to be the son of Balor, King of the Fomorions, an ancient race of Giant's.

Whether this is true or embelished cannot truly be ascertained, however, Lugh fought and killed for his lord, Conn, and Conn's son, Art Mac Cuinn, before finally meeting his death at the hands of Aillill Aulom, while protecting Conn's grandson, Lugaid Mac Con. Lugh had left strict instructions that the person to inherit command of "The Inishtari" was to be Macann Og, who was rumored to be descended of the Tuatha De Danann. Macann Og had shown his worth during many battle such as "The Battle Of Ventry", where he was to have saved Fionn Mac Cumhaill, himself.

Under Macann's leadership "The Inishtari" disappeared into the shadows, but continued to influence the High King's of Irelands fates for another six generations. Many rumored that, Macann, himself had inherited the Immortality of his ancestors, the Tuatha De Danann. Others believed that Macann's reasons for keeping his identity a secret was because he had actually died years before and different members of "The Inishtari", had simply taken on his name. However, In a text written in the 4th Century by Eochaid Mugmedon, father of Niall Noigiallach, better known as Niall Of The Nine Hostages, Eochaid gave his opinions on Macann Og.

Translated from Ancient Gaelic:

"I have only met the man a handful of times. Although I can't be sure that man is the right term for him. He has been protecting our lineage since long before I was born. My grandfather Muireadh Tirech, told me that Macann looked as young when he, Muireadh, himself was a boy, as he does now in my old age. That spans almost one hundred years. I stand by him, regardless of what powers surround him, as he has always been a good friend to me and has always looked after my family, although not always in a public capacity."

Macann Og's "Immortality" came to a bloody end in 378 A.D when Niall Noigiallach took the high throne of Ireland, and had "The Inishtari" disbanded. Any member that refused to step down was put to the sword by Niall himself. Unbeknownst to Niall, Manannann Mac Lir, a pirate who controlled the seas around Ireland, had created his own division of "The Inishtari", but upon hearing of Macann Og's fate decided to continue protecting the legacy of the high kings, behind their backs. As to why Manannann Mac Lir, would feel compelled to protect someone who would have him slain, should they ever find out his intentions, he had this to say...

Translated From Ancient Gaelic:

"The Inishtari is a sacred sect. We are chosen to lead Eire into the future, as deemed fit by the people who command the country from the high throne in Tara. What that person decides is not for us to question. I will fight for the future of this country in the dark, unknown to my liege. A blade in the dark. An arrow in the night. I will only yield when my sword falls from my cold dead fingers!"

It was at this point in Irish history that "The Inishtari" seemingly vanished from all records, both public and otherwise. It would be nearly 600 years before "The Inishtari" would be heard from in Irish texts again.

It was in the year 1002 that "The Inishtari" came forth from the shadows, to tackle the problem of a major attack on the mighty lineage of Conn Cetchathach. The king of munster, a man named Brian Boru, was rallying to attack Mael Sechnaill mac Domnaill, who, at that time, was the residing high king of Ireland, and last descendant of the Ui Neill's, the legendary line of kings ,which could be traced all the way back to Conn of the Hundred battles. In a drawn out conflict, unspoken of in the annals of history, Brian Boru's forces faced a full fledged Inishtari force, the likes of which had never been seen before, in County Meath.

The battle raged on for several weeks and seemed, for all intents and purposes, to be in the enemy's favour, when a group of Brian's secondary forces caught the bulk of "The Inishtari's" camp off guard, one evening, and proceeded to slaughter every man, woman and child in the camp. When Brian found out about this genocide, he flew into a rage claiming...

"Let any man fight his quarter. But women and Innocents are far too often the victims in war. May any man who butchered a lady or child be gone from my army, for should I find out who amongst you was involved, they will face my wrath!"

It seemed that the ancient sect, "The Inishtari", loyal defenders of the high king of Ireland, was no more. Mael Sechnaill had no choice but to surrender his crown to Brian Boru or face destruction. Unfortunately for Irelands new monarch, he had little time to celebrate his victory, as quickly factions all around Ireland, began vying for the title of High King, themselves. He engaged in a decades long battle with the Vikings who were settled in dublin, which finally came to a head at "The Battle of Clontarf" in 1014. As any historian will tell you, this battle is where the "Emperor king of Ireland" finally met his end, at the hand's of the Viking lord, Brodir.

What they will not tell you, however, is that it was not, in fact, Brodir that killed Brian, it was Wolf the Quarrelsome, Brians brother. Unknown to the king, Wolf, had been under the control of "The Inishtari" since the battle of 1002 in meath. It was during this battle that Wolf, while captured by the enemy was brought before their leader. They called her The Morrigan, she was another Inishtari leader, supposedly descended from the legendary Tuatha De Danann. When Brian's forces laiy seige to her camp, Wolf, encapsulated by The Morrigan's beauty helped her to escape into a nearby forest as the rogue troops slaughtered "The Inishtari" in the camp. Wolf would not lay eyes upon her again for ten years.

In 1012 Wolf, while on a routine patrol with a group of soldiers in the area of Killdalua, Wolf encountered what seemed to be a group of vagrant bandits. When he asked to speak with the person in charge, he found himself face to face with Morrigan, the ex-leader of "The Inishtari" once more. The two struck up an affair and through the two years in the lead up to "The Battle of Clontarf", Morrigan conditioned Wolf to the ideas and beliefs of "The Inishtari", eventually culminating in her suggesting he kill his brother, Brian, high king of Ireland, in order to restore peace to the Kingdom.

During "The Battle of Clontarf", Wolf spied Brodir, the enemy commader, creeping into his brother's tent, with the obvious intent of murdering the high king in his sleep. Wolf charged into the tent and slaughtered the viking lord, waking his brother in the process. Wolf knelt in close to Brian and from what we have found documented in secret manuscripts, written by Wolf The Quarrelsome himself, he said:

"I'm sorry, dear brother, but the true kings of Eire must live once more. Know, that I do this for your love!""

He then took up Brodir's axe and used it to rend his brother's head from his shoulder's. When Brian's guards ran into the tent, Wolf claimed that he found the warlord standing over Brian's corpse and in his rage, tore the Viking to shreds. Brian Boru, "The Emperor King Of Ireland" was no more, but he had started a chain reaction, which would see "The Inishtari" return to the shadows for nearly nine hundred years.

After Brian's death in 1014, Mael Sechnaill mac Domnaill, reclaimed his crown as the High King of Ireland. Alas, Brian Boru's example was followed consistently for over a hundred years and with the contestation for the Crown so strong, all efforts were turned away from the invasion's of the Vikings and Saxon's. It wasn't long before Ireland had become a melting pot and the High Throne of Tara was naught but a fond memory, as the whole country became segregated. For hundred's of years before the british occupation of Ireland, a series of civil war's and petty faction feud's raged up and down the country. Brian Boru had caused the downfall of the Ui Neill, and as such their secret protectors, "The Inishtari". After "The Battle at Clontarf", both Wolf the Quarrelsome and Morrigan, seemed to disappear from all historical texts.

For nearly a millenium "The Inishtari" have laid dormant, however in recent times, whispers in country pubs from Cork to Belfast, have lingered on words not heard for over eight hundred years. Names like "Morrigan", "The Tuatha De Dannan" and "Brian Boru", are being uttered a little too frequently and many believe, that "The Inishtari" may just be ready to resurface, once more.

"War of The Inishtari"
A Blog Based Story By Paddy J. Murphy

Coming Soon...

Sexy Drugs and Rocky Rolls