Hello, world. I’m MacDara Conroy, and this is my blog.

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Michael Gira interviewed, movies reviewed and more

Michael Gira

In early August I had the good fortune to do an interview with Swans leader Michael Gira for Thumped ahead of the band’s shows in Ireland. I attended the Dublin gig and it was incredible, as expected. And though I didn’t meet Gira after the show as I had to dash for the last bus home, he was nothing short of a pleasure to deal with on the line, and I’ll make a point of saying hello next time he or the band passes through town.


Weeknotes #595-601

Where to start? February began, as I wrote last time, with my interview with punk rock legend, and my musical hero, Mike Watt. You can read the whole thing here on Thumped if you’ve got a spare half-hour. I finally, properly met the man himself at the Il Sogno Del Marinaio gig at Whelan’s earlier this month, which was a great night only marred by the last support band and their truly horrible fans (all I’ll say on that note is: kids, don’t do drugs).


Cloud Rat, Rest reviewed and more

Cloud Rat by Adam de Gross

Quite a few reviews by yours truly since my last update. On Thumped you can find my takes on new ones from local lads :Hounds:, Oxbow singer Eugene S Robinson’s collaboration with Philippe Petit, French grinders Blockheads, the ethereal Jodis, Aussie scumdogs Krömosom, the mighty Cloud Rat and Cork’s prog metal titans Rest, who play a launch gig for their record this Saturday night at Whelan’s. You should come with me, it’ll be sweet.


Converge reviewed

Cover of Converge's All We Love We Leave Behind

Two more reviews from me are up now on Thumped: Year Naught Doom from Mayo quartet On Pain of Death, and the new Converge record All We Love We Leave Behind. I’m also hoping to have an interview with Converge ready to go before their Dublin gig next month.

Elsewhere, my second contribution to Burning Ambulance is my review of the first record from Nazoranai, a ‘free music’ trio comprising Stephen O’Malley of Sunn O))), Oren Ambarchi and improvised rock legend Keiji Haino.

Nihill, Grave and more reviewed

Cover of Nihill's Verdonkermaan

My latest reviews for Thumped include my takes on Verdonkermaan by Dutch avant black metal outfit Nihill (one of the last from Hydra Head), Horseback’s Half Blood (out on Relapse), Chaos Reigns by Danish crusties Nuclear Death Terror, The Divil Wears Prada EP from local boys The Bridges of Madison County, and Poison Idea’s The Fatal Erection Years on Southern Lord.

Also up is my first piece for the music/culture zine Burning Ambulance: a review of Endless Procession of Souls, the new record from Swedish death metal OGs Grave.

Chord reviewed

Cover art for Gmaj7 by Chord

My latest on Thumped is a review of Gmaj7, the third proper full-length from Chicago ‘power ambient’ ensemble Chord. Do check ’em out if you’re into drone type stuff.

Pelican reviewed

Pelican by Lisa Shelley

Just like the ungainly bird they’re named after, Pelican might not look like much, but they’ll bite the arse off you. My review of their new EP Ataraxia/Taraxis is up now on Thumped.