I’ve always had a special appreciation for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations – my top three reasons:
1. One of my nieces was born on this day…she’ll be celebrating with shamrock shaped birthday cakes and green Bud Light (post-21, of course) for the rest of her life. Happy 3, E.
2. One of my best friends was born and raised in Dublin – she and her family are just about some of the dearest people I’ve ever met.
3. The first St. Patrick’s Day my husband and I spent as a married couple we were at an all day pub crawl – I kept complaining about side ache – he told me to just keep drinking – some 12 hours later we realized I was having an appendicitis. Oh, and apparently, I’m HILARIOUS on morphine. Good times.
So, in honor of the Irish, I’ve put together a playlist of my favorite artists from the Emerald Isle.
• The Thrills (I’m weak for the song One Horse Town off So Much for the City. I bought that disc years ago while on a trip to Ireland to visit my friend (see reason #2 why I love St. Patrick’s Day). The way she says this band’s name sounds like the Trills – gotta’ love the Irish accent).
• Bell X1 (I’m LOVING this band right now. And critics do as well – Paste magazine calls them “one of Ireland’s greatest bands.” Some may also know them from when Damien Rice was their front man and they were called Juniper. Their latest album released this month in the U.S.).
• The Cranberries (This used to be my twin sister’s band. She even named her cat after the lead singer, much like that episode in Seinfeld. R.I.P. kitty Dolores 1995 – 2009).
• Damien Rice (He had me at “O.” No really. His album O, released in the U.S. in June 2003, should only really be described as hauntingly beautiful).
• Van Morrison (You cannot and should not make reference to an Irish bands list without including this American Blues, Jazz and Folk influenced musician. I mean, really, can you go to an American wedding reception without a Van Morrison song being played? I don’t think so Brown Eyed Girl).
• Dolores O’Riordan (Also see Cranberries – she has since gone solo and is producing some amazing stuff).
• The Pogues (This band has been through it all since forming in the early 80’s…success, breakups, reunions…and round and round again. Atlanta was lucky enough to be one of the U.S. stops for the March 2009 tour).
• The Frames (An indie band from Dublin – the lead singer is one part The Swell Season. They are fantastic and I thank my friend for introducing me to them way before they were mainstream).
• The Script (This Irish trio recently started their American tour, supporting multi-Grammy winning Brit soulster Adele. This band’s hooks are stick-in-your-head catchy. They’re what the Irish like to call brilliant).
• Sinead O’Connor (I’m fascinated how the same woman who rips up a picture of Pope John Paul II on national television (SNL circa 1992) goes on to become an ordained minister…talk about the twists and turns of a life. Often, I still find myself listening to her 1990 album I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got and think it was way ahead of its time).
• David Gray (Although Gray is from Manchester, England, we can thank the Irish for his success – he made a name for himself there before hitting it big stateside with White Ladder).
• Snow Patrol (The founding members of this band are from Northern Ireland, though they met while attending university in Scotland. I feel like they come up the most often on playlists I make…they are just plain good).
• The Swell Season (This critically acclaimed duo’s music is beautiful. And oh yeh – they just won an Oscar for Best Song with their composition Falling Slowly, featured in the independent Irish film Once).
• Chieftains (Putting them on here is sorta like putting Enya on here, so let’s kill two birds with one stone and say they both made the cut…for the record, I don’t think either of these bands are cool. Musically talented, yes; hip, no way. But, I felt like I’d appear as if I didn’t know my shiz if I didn’t at least list them).
• The Coronas (A great band out of Dublin with strong lyrics supported by poppy, catchy music…can’t stop listening to them. They are perfect sound of summer).
• The Blizzards (They toured with their latest album, Domino Effect, as support for Brit greats Kasabian and Kaiser Chief. I can’t get enough).
• Cormac Kenevey (Sounds like a newer version of Harry Connick Jr. Not my usual music genre, but much like a Brit would say, it’s quite nice).
• Director (Another band I’m loving right now – they sorta remind me of synthesizer faves, Yaz, OMD and Erasure).
• Lisa Hannigan (Damien Rice’s former collaborator and backup singer – her voice is so gorgeous and yea for her for doing her own thing and it being so critically acclaimed right out of the gate).
• The Answer (A bit too metal for my liking, but Rolling Stone magazine calls them “rock gods in training.” Their new album releases in the U.S. at the end of the month).
• U2 (My husband and I pretty much fell in love at a hole in the wall bar called The Righteous Room in Atlanta. We used to go almost nightly after work. U2’s Running to Stand Still was always (and probably still is) in standard jukebox rotation. My favorite song by them, evah, no question).