Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Your Exclusive AGOFR 2010 Calendar is Attached

(Email sent to friends on December 26, 2009)

Ah...2009! What a year for the music! Who could have foretold on that fateful day so many years ago when I found that used copy of Aliens by a band with the most singular name of Horslips in Temple Bar, Dublin where the future would lead? Who could have foreseen that I would one day be sitting in a sold-out house of a venue not even yet built and listening to that same band return triumphantly to form?

But as the crowd of twelve-thousand whistled and stamped and cheered through that legendary chant of "Horslips! Horslips! Horslips!" (except for the guy two rows down for me who kept bellowing for "Sharon! Sharon! Sharon!") and the building intensity of the opening chord of the opening song exploded with the spotlight's corona into a fiery King of the Fairies, I suppose I couldn't help but wipe away a wee tear.

"Ah," I said to myself, even as I uploaded the first of fifty pictures of the Night to Facebook and Twitter fans gathered online and following along in real-time around the world. "Truly, my work here is done."

A bittersweet joy, yes, but sadly it is so.

For it must be admitted that when it comes to Celtic music, yours truly (That's me. *waves* Right here. In the flannel nightgown and just finished with the really scary episode of Dr Who with the Bowie reference) prefers the Obscure, the Overlooked, and the Unloved.

(Hence the reason I pass on Enya. One out of three is not enough.)

And in the world of Celtic music, they don't come more Obscure, or Overlooked or Unlovable than The Guireans.

It will always be one of my dearest honors to champion the music of Horslips to its much-deserved place of greatness in Irish rock music history. (And I know I follow in the footsteps of several lifelong fans who will always have my true admiration!) But how much more fun it is to champion the music of The Guireans in the very teeth of their own low-res, self-referential, belligerent obstinacy!

And then there's the quality of their music...

Yes, it must be said that my efforts to promote the Guireans have probably only succeeded in increasing the number of people who now hate them.

I do want to take a moment here and acknowledge the Dun Ringles of Stornoway, who would have been worthy successors for my fangirl devotion. Rather like their heroes in Horslips, The Dun Ringles had a triumphant Thirty Year Reunion of their own music scene (The famed Avante Gaelic Obscurist Folk Rock and note that crucial word "Obscurist" there. Yummy! And here they are with the YouTube sensation Airidhbruach.) at this last summer's Sounds on the Grounds festival. But they release albums, perform gigs and may even possibly headline the next year's Bootstock Festival in Tain.

So, you know, where's the fun in that? They're half-way to a cover story in Mojo.

But it's the Guireans who continue to forge a solitary path of musical achievement that avoids those industry cliches of pitch, rhythm, tone, rehearsal or performance. Somehow they're convinced that fame beckons anyway and they've launched the first in what we all can hope is a one-off tradition with the AGOFR 2010 Calendar.

Lovingly detailed with all the major holidays of the Outer Hebrides such as 30 Mar: Fleekeen Clapton’s Birthday, man: Public Holiday (J*e Ell*ot’s House); 2 Apr Latha na figuring out yesterday was Latha na Gogaireachd: (Airidhbhruach); 23 Sep Fleekeen Springsteen’s Birthday: Public Holiday (Thon MK II Escort in Perceval Square Car Park and featuring vignettes and folkloric scholarship of island life like:


Until it was forced to close by clean air legislation, the miasma of decaying fish offal exuded by Stornoway's Herring Byproducts plant (also known as "Tigh nan Guts" or "The Gut Factory", gave the town a distinctive and inspiring character (see the Dun Ringles' "Fish and Education").


or


The spectacular Xmas Lights at David Iain's are one of Sandwick's seasonal wonders, with goggle-eyed motorists from as far as Branahuie and Plasterfield braving the chicanes and speed humps of North Street especially to see them.


But there's no need for me to quote the entire calendar gem by priceless gem. Because it is attached here as my gift to you (requires some assembly. Refer to attached photo of calendar in office environment) and is now yours to enjoy and savor in the months to come! For as long as there are friends who will say "Yeah! You were right about the Dun Ringles! They were totally class. But that other band you sent....Not So Much," I will be a true and hopelessly devoted fan of the last practicing band of the once mighty genre of Avante Gaelic Obscurist Folk Rock.

(PS, I've cc'd the Guireans here so you can personally contact them and request to never hear of their music or marketing efforts again. You can really rub the salt into the wounds by writing the Dun Ringles and and tell them how excellent it was that they made the recent Horslips concert in Belfast and wish them all the best for this year's upcoming festival season in Lewis. Be sure to cc the Guireans on that one for maximum salinity.)

Happy Day After Christmas Which America Doesn't Have a Proper Name For!

Miss Templeton

(To which I received this reply)

Huidh, Huidh, Mrs T

On behalf of Plook Records CEO Coinneach, we wish to congratulate you on a top class piece of AGOFR marketing. Your message was targetted at a group who stand little chance of understanding or gaining any pleasure from the product (although admittedly that applies to pretty much everyone) and laced with sufficient factual inaccuracy to ensure that if anyone did - for some reason - experience a glimmer of interest and investigate AGOFR or the Guireans further, they would become totally bamboozled, think "fleek this for a game of soldiers" and quickly give up.

Best of all was the following:

I do want to take a moment here and acknowledge the Dun Ringles of Stornoway, who would have been worthy successors for my fangirl devotion. Rather like their heroes in Horslips, The Dun Ringles had a triumphant Thirty Year Reunion of their own music scene (The famed Avante Gaelic Obscurist Folk Rock and note that crucial word "Obscurist" there. Yummy! And here they are with the YouTube sensation Airidhbruach.) at this last summer's Sounds on the Grounds festival. But they release albums, perform gigs and may even possibly headline the next year's Bootstock Festival in Tain.


The Dun Ringles??? That there was the AGOFR Supergroup aka the "Lechends of AGOFR", which may have included some Dun Ringles but also members of the Guireans, Cyclefoot, Zing-Pop, Frogaidh Beag and many other AGOFR bands. The AGOFR Supergroup's YouTube Sensation "Airidhbhruach" is (ahem) a Guireans song. And the 30th anniversary was calculated not from the beginnings of them upstart newcomer Dun Ringles bleigeards (who have not even been 20 years on the go) but on the 1979 recording of the Guireans' first album. For it was with the Guireans and Zing-Pop that AGOFR began.

The Dun Ringles are, as you know, signed to Tape Records, bitter rivals of the Guireans' label Plook Records. The AGOFR Supergroup is an uneasy (and no doubt temporary) marriage of convenience contrived by CJ Mitchell and our Coinneach, the respective and mutually antagonistic CEOs of Tape and Plook - kind of an AGOFR Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact.

As EVP Marketing North America for Plook Records, you have just bigged up your rival label's flagship artistes and given them credit for the only thing your own label's top talent has produced in 30 years that anybody liked. For this display of complete AGOFR marketing genius, Coinneach is proud to promote you to Plook's Executive VP Marketing for the entire Americas and Asia/Pacific Region. So get practicing your Spanish, Portuguese, Mandarin, Japanese, and Tagalog for 2010. Oh yus, and Pidgin as well... Coinneach reckons there's real sales potential in Papua New Guinea.

The only minor criticism we would have is that you sent out the calendar in time for next year. It would have been a more classic AGOFR marketing masterstroke to forget about it until early February 2011 and send it out when it was all too late.

Congratulations on your new appointment and we look forward to great things in 2010!

Chearaidh an dradhars agus Bliadhna Mhath Ur when it comes

The Guireans

10 comments:

玉苓 said...
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夏文宏 said...
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翔馨陳陳翔馨陳陳 said...

Learn wisdom by the follies of others.............................................................

敬周喜 said...

知識可以傳授,智慧卻不行。每個人必須成為他自己。. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

雅王任 said...

好的開始並不代表會成功,壞的開始並不代表是失敗..................................................

怡楊雯 said...

.有價值的東西,都要付出代價。-................................................

璇陳陳陳竹 said...

人不能像動物一樣活著,而應該追求知識和美德................. ................................................

瑰潼 said...

我在戀愛著?--------是的,因為我在等待著.....................................................................

洪涛 said...

這一生中有多少人擦肩而過?而朋友是多麼可貴啊!......................................................................

張王雅竹欣虹 said...

一棵樹除非在春天開了花,否則難望在秋天結果。............................................................