Great Lakes Myth Society ~  Ad Frank ~  Rooftop Suicide Club ~  Paula Kelley ~  Cathal Coughlan

Bit Me Zine Album review

Great Lakes Myth Society is not your typical everyday band. However, their unique sound will make you sit up and take notice. Hailing from Ann Arbor, Michigan, Great Lakes Myth Society was borne of the ashes of the Original Brother and Sisters of Love. The band's obsession with their hometown is reflected in their dense and mesmerizing tunes, which conjure up legends from the past and also focus on present day life in MI. Songwriting duties are split between James Christopher and Timothy Monger - one weaves tales of fact - the other fiction. Singer/songwriter Gregory Sean McIntosh also adds his clever wit and his songwriting is a mixture of the two. The music is beautiful and it paints the perfect backdrop for the band's tales of fact and fiction. You'll hear a slight Celtic influence as sighing vocal harmonies and lilting melodies glide fluidly across flourishes of violins or jazz horns. With its blend of folk, rock, pop, and prog Great Lakes Myth Society is a fascinating album that sounds like no other. Each song on this self-titled disc is a mystery waiting to be uncovered. ~ NIN

Detroit Free Press 05/08/05 album review

DETROIT DISC: A wistful ode to northern Michigan

You won't often find a group whose material matches its name as well as the Great Lakes Myth Society. On the Ann Arbor quintet's debut CD you get just what the moniker implies: autumnal, and sometimes even spectral, folk-rock that mines our fine state's hidden histories and shadowy corners. Led by brothers James Christopher Monger and Timothy Monger, who share most of the songwriting and vocal duties, the band sounds remarkably self-assured considering this is its first disc. The accomplished arrangements are rooted in countryside folk but never fail to surprise with a strident march here or an oddball ray of sunshine there. Guitars, violins, accordions, banjos, dulcimers and glockenspiels all make their way into the mix.

Lyrically, the 15-song cycle is interested in the Michigan of Escanaba, St. Ignace, Calumet -- places where pre-industrial history seems both way-back-then and very-much-now. Think anonymous beer halls, clogged dams, buffalo nickels and starry trips across the Mackinac Bridge. The overall effect is wistful but not entirely romantic, certainly celebratory but in a sad kind of way. Opening track "The Salt Trucks" starts things out traditionally enough, but then segues into a bed of positively ghostly (yet undeniably beautiful) harmonies. The simple refrain of "Seeds for Sale" becomes something almost orchestral. "The Northern Lights Over Atlanta, MI" adds a dash of vinegar, and might remind alternative rock fans of the excellent English act the Wonderstuff.

This is a special disc, often great and consistently good, featuring expert production, fine playing throughout and stories that are sure to resonate with anyone who's ever traveled north of Gaylord.

Motor City Rocks 04/27/05, Motor City Music Conference wrap-up

White stuck around for a while after the set, which meant he was also lucky enough to catch some of the crisp performance churned out by Great Lakes Myth Society. Timothy Monger gets props for taking an accordion on stage and playing the damned thing as rock as possible; the rest of the band gets the same for carrying tight harmonies and rhythms. At times, three guitars rang out through the bar, and all three resonated clearly (an amazing thing, considering the sound problems in the previous set). When Monger and the boys called out, "H-O-M-E-HOMES!," the crowd drank and cheered, united by cold beer, loud music and, unintentionally, a direct reference to the Great Lakes of Michigan. Gorgeous pop-rock blasted through the 313.Jac, layered in geographical and historical Michigan references - who the hell ever saw this coming? April 25, 2005

In Canada, we cherish the Great Lakes. In elementary school, we study the hell out of them, paying close attention to the largest one, the smallest, the deepest, the coldest, the longest, the shortest and just about every other word that ends in "est." However, not once in all my years of study did I hear of any sort of conspiracy surrounding them. Odd that 20 years later, this oceanic conspiracy comes to me via a group of Ann Arbor guys making beautiful music about one of Canada's geographical masterpieces. Instrumentation on this album is second to none and lyrically its as though these guys are pure bred Canadians. Snowshows, Indians, the Northern Lights, canoes, and maple trees. With such a blatantly north of the 49th parallel lexicon, it's astounding these guys aren't Canadians. I guess there's another mystery. Regardless, there's music to discuss.

"Love Story" is the perfect blend of folk and rock, taking its place among such bands as Okkervil River. Mandolins join violins in perfect unison and sound effects provide great layering for the vocals. "Big Jim Hawkins" is a distinctly Irish song about a bar room brawl that leads to some serious bloodshed. A heavy-barreled violin winds its way through the song like a harlot avoiding flying beer bottles as the brawl rages on. "Isabella County, 1992" is Pogues-inspired gem that leads to the band singing in unison. It explodes with all the orange and green flare of an Irish countryside, but is so pure that it's as though the chord progressions had never before been made. "Seeds For Sale" is operatic in its delivery with a rising beat joined wonderfully by a string section that has surely heard one or two operas in its lifetime. Pounding sounds work perfectly with the haunting cry of 'SEEDS FOR SALE'. "Lake Effect" closes the album as wildly as it begins. Vocal tracks overlay each other as trumpet drift in moments before an explosion of ba-ba-ba-bops and some winding guitars...

...While Great Lakes Myth Society gears up to release this album, one can only hope that lake-dwellers on both side of that infamous line get a chance to hear it. Its success lies in its genre-bending ability and almost limitless reservations. Thundering drums join epileptic violins in perfect unison, creating an album that is both uplifting and thought provoking.

The Times Herald (Port Huron, MI) Apr 15, 2005

Perhaps no band embraces their home state like Great Lakes Myth Society. Through music and lyrics, Michigan is painted with sweet voices and subtle guitar work that conjures mystical images, such as in The Northern Lights Over Atlanta, Michigan, where voices, guitars and drums coalesce into musical pulsations... Simulataneously ancient and modern, Great Lakes Myth Society is a feat of folk writing that will appeal to fans of musical groups as varied as Bright Eyes and Epitaph-era King Crimson. - Jamie Carracher

All Music Guide 4.5-star review

Few bands state their intent as clearly in their very name as the Great Lakes Myth Society. The Southeastern Michigan-based quintet is singularly captivated with their home state, conjuring legends from the past and meditating on living in the state in the present day. These obsessions bubbled to the surface on H.O.M.E.S., Vol. 1, the 2001 second album by the Original Brothers and Sisters of Love, which is the former incarnation of the Great Lakes Myth Society. Four years later and minus one member - violinist/vocalist Elisabeth Auchinvole, who nevertheless is present on Great Lakes Myth Society's eponymous 2005 debut, and even receives a "featuring" special billing in the credits - the group re-emerges as a similar but distinctly different beast, at once stronger, stranger and all the more compelling than before. While the blending of folk, rock, pop and prog will be familiar to anyone acquainted with the two TOBASOL albums, Great Lakes Myth Society explores more territory and delves deeper than either of those two records, resulting in an album that tantalizingly hangs in a place just out of time and fashion. What's most fascinating about the album is that the band's two main singer/songwriters, the brothers James Christopher and Timothy Monger, reach common ground by following two different paths. James's songs are rough and ragged, rooted in folk and written with a romanticized American gothic bent; his tunes give the album muscle and bone, as well as a haunted soul. Timothy, in contrast, has a softer touch, crafting sweet, breezy pop tunes that are gentle as spring, but never cloying or precious. While the differing perspectives of the Mongers compliment each other well, they're tied together by the band's third singer/ songwriter Gregory Dean McIntosh, - the George Harrison to the Lennon/McCartney of James and Timothy. McIntosh's songs on Great Lakes Myth Society fall halfway between James' dark, robust, over-sized folktales and Timothy's smaller-scaled, precisely detailed songs, recalling the mood of the former and the introspection of the latter. Throughout it all, certain musical signatures are shared - sighing vocal harmonies out '60s sunshine pop, folk instrumentation played with rock vigor, flourishes of violins or jazz horns, strong memorable melodies that make the complex, suite-like songs sound fluid - and it's all grounded by the sinewy rhythm section of bassist J. Scott McClintock and drummer Fido Kennington, who provide a center for the adept multi-instrumental skills of the Mongers and McIntosh. It all results in a spellbinding, fascinating album, one that sounds like little else in the past or present. ~ Steven Thomas Erlewine

Observer-Eccentric review

Forget, for a moment, Detroit garage rock. Think a little broader and consider checking out the mysterious Great Lakes Myth Society.

The harmonious musical project, led by Ann Arbor brothers Timothy and James Christopher Monger (and the other band members all formerly of the well-established Original Brothers & Sisters of Love) celebrates and captures the quirkiness of the Michigan.

This is a band whose members would rather vacation along Michigan's rugged shore lines than California's waters. The string-heavy, nostalgic, folk rock band is influenced by Beach Boys, Flaming Lips, Camper Van Beethoven and Celtic sounds. GLMS tells tales about Michigan's winters, loggers, bus stops, buffalo, ghost stories, the city of Novi, the Northern Lights and more.

"We stay away from the nameless-girl love songs ... let someone else do that," vocalist_accordion_guitar player Timothy Monger said.

The band is hosting its CD release party on Thursday, March 10, at the Blind Pig in Ann Arbor. The band, setting themselves apart from messy garage rockers, dress in dark suits during their performances.

"And we don't mandate it, but we ask the audience to help us make it a luminous affair. Dress well for the occasion," Monger said.

To some, the Great Lakes are inland oceans. To others they're just large pools of water that aren't very exciting. For the five members of the Great Lakes Myth Society, the five bodies of water that form the chain of freshwater basins are living souls worthy of celebration and fear.

"Michigan is beautiful and strange ... the lakes are enchanting, small enough to be personal but large enough to fear," Monger said. "The people are enchanting and interesting. And I can't imagine life without the seasons ... if I went through a winter without scraping the ice off my car I'd miss it in a weird way. It's part of our culture, almost a ritual."

The band writes stories of their Michigan road trips and the people they meet. The music is stream-lined, harmonious, textured with soaring harmonies and lilting melodies. While the music of the Original Brothers & Sisters of Love was more improvised, intense epic monologues, the GLMS sound is tightened, amped-up rock - but still with a pop harmony that's very lyric-based, vocalist_guitarist James Monger said.

"Tim and I used to live downtown on Ann Street (Ann Arbor) in a rented house from the 1850s," said James Monger. "In June, storm clouds would come in from the west and hold steady over us like a wraith in a Ray Bradbury novel. I like the idea of severe weather as an apocalyptic hiccup ... a window into the past that, for just a brief moment, would re-animate our pre-World War I neighborhood of old. The chimes, thunder and sirens that appear on (song) Buffalo Nickel, were recorded from my bedroom window during one of these occurrences." Each song takes the listener on a journey.

The self-titled CD, on Stop Pop and Rock Records, encompasses many aspect of the Great Lakes region, specifically the dark tales of its people and natural surroundings.

Through the lyrics, it's refreshing to hear a band celebrating the mitten. ~Lana Mini

Bit Me Zine Album review

Wow, apparently Ad Frank thinks he's the world's best ex-boyfriend. Well, we'll just have to see about that. Ad's fourth solo album starts with "The Five Days We Were Friends". It's a melancholy piece that spews bitter views towards relationships past. The title track is a groovy little ditty reminiscent of '60s beach party fare. "Car Fascist" is one of those ass shakin' pieces, and "Lucky" is a fine little ballad. The album's breezy pop tunes are inspired by Adam's various loves, and the tales unfold via witty, clever lyrics. To say the least, Ad Frank Is The World's Best Ex-Boyfriend is an interesting album that spans the gamut of glam, new wave, and alt-pop. This disc shimmies through a plethora of styles with ease. It's punchy, moving, and on occasion it will make you dance. ~ NIN

The Weekly Dig Apr 27, 2005

The carefully cultivated career of girl trouble that has framed Ad Frank's ascendance to local crooner extraordinaire (best represented so far on his Girl Trouble CD of two years ago) has landed him in the doghouse. His new chunk of wispy, sparkling pop is a survey of schisms, fuck-ups, awkward silences, indecencies and all sorts of other afflictions that get in the way of love proceeding perfectly. Ad's songwriting has stepped up yet again, generously mixing sonic textures and emotional colors without getting gaudy (see Stephin Merritt) or extraneous (looking at you, Rufus). He has a knack for elevating simple annoyances into elegant significance-take "Car Fascist," which viciously disses peeps that offer you a ride home, only to keep you waiting around while they say their good-byes. Each "fuck-off" is for real. Annoyance is a symptom of love here-as slight skirmishes and irritations are frequently central (take "If I Find Another One of Your Bobby Pins in My Bed, I'm Coming By to Shove Them Up Your Ass," for example). He even disses nosey haters on the Noise Board! But it's not all nasty. "Unspeakable" is a delicate roadhouse slowdance that could easily soundtrack a sloppy French kiss between mismatched lovebirds in a John Hughes movie. For all the glitz and sedated glamour, Ad Frank has made a charming, down-to-earth record about why love sucks (and sucks us back in). [MICHAEL BRODEUR]

Boston Globe Calendar Apr 15, '05

"There's something to be said for sticking to what you do well," confesses pop fop Ad Frank. And what Frank does well is write incredibly catchy songs about getting his heart kicked around Union Square like a Hacky Sack. The title of his third (sic) album "Ad Frank is the World's Best Ex-Boyfriend," hints strongly at its contents, namely greakups, sobbing, heartbreak, more sobbing, and disappointment. "In order for me to write a proper album, I have to really screw myself up, or have someone do it for me," he says, hlaf joking. "I think the people who get my music can simultaneously take it seriously, which is exactly what I do." The title of the new album comes directly from a diary entry of a woman Frank says he dated for three months, and then spent 15 months breaking up with. Because he has one of the most emotive voices in pop, these saongs are a natural fit for Frank's quivering tenor.

Rochester City Weekly Mar 23, '05

So much for judging a book by its cover. The artwork for Ad Frank is the World's Best Ex-Boyfriend shows Boston-based singer-songwriter Ad Frank (in a cape, no less!) slumped against the wall, looking pathetic, with a bottle in his hand and "hangover" written all over him. You hope the album's as cool as it looks, and it's even better. With song titles like "If I Find Another One of your Bobby Pins in My Bed, I'm Coming By to Shove Them Up You Ass," Ad Frank certainly isn't short on wit or bite.

Luckily, he's no one-trick pony, so wise never turns into wiseass. Thanks to an impressive ability to present familiar aspects of '80s pop in a fresh, modern frameword - and present them diferently from song to song - Frank is able to heap on the self-deprecation without risking self-parody. Some songs make fun of being heartbroken. Others dive right in and wipe the grin off your face with beautiful melodies and sheer woe.

Frank's distinctive voice doesn't hurt either - picture David Bowie crossed with Linda Perry and you're getting close. Cape or no cape, incoherent face-in-the-toilet heartbreak has a new hero in Ad Frank, and you'll still respect yourself in the morning after going a few rounds with his new record." - Saby Reyes-Kulkani

Review of the Day music blog

With as much as I listen to, sometimes I don't give discs a full listen or enough of a chance or otherwise in some manner overlook some quality releases. Normally my listening consists of stuff I've acquired the last 4-6 weeks on shuffle play, but every weekend or two I fire up all 16,000 songs on shuffle on my ipod, which I was doing this morning. About a dozen songs in, I hear this incredible track that doesn't sound familiar. Who is this? I get up and go over to the stereo, and it's Rooftop Suicide Club's "If I Could Tell The Truth". And then I remember the album from last year, and iTunes even said I last heard this song on December 1. Guess I must have not been paying attention or something.

Anyway, RSC is a power pop band out of New Bedford, Mass., and they're on the best-named label I've seen around: Stop, Pop & Roll. They do a good job of melding numerous well-known power pop influences - they have a modern sheen about them not unlike Rooney or Fountains of Wayne, but also remind me a lot, especially in the harmonies, of Teenage Fanclub. Leadoff track "The Bones That Kept Me Alive" is a good example of this dynamic, combining guitar crunch with a heavenly chorus. "Plea For My Life" is another that would fit nicely on a TF album, and aside from the plaintive synthesizers, "Our Ride" sounds like a lost Posies track (or perhaps something from a Ken Stringfellow solo disc). I love the lyrics of "Indie Girl", a plea to a hipper-than-thou girl in which our narrator begs her to drop the posing and trade in her Dashboard Confessional for some Air Supply, complete with horns that sound borrowed from Beulah's The Coast Is Clear. And then nearly buried at track #12 is the aforementioned "If I Could Tell You The Truth", which starts off with a Figgs-like guitar opening but quickly moves into highly melodic territory. With Teenage Fanclub in mind, the song almost sounds like a cross between "Neil Jung" and "What You Do To Me".

The Standard Times, South Coast Today Apr '04 preview for Rooftop show at Bridge Street Station

Modern rock has many faces and so has Rooftop Suicide Club. The band plays pop music with a richness that most pop doesn't always evoke, yet they occasionally make their way to the verge of modern alternative rock, as well. The quartet of guitar, bass, drums and keyboards provides a spectrum that goes from top-down summertime rock to something that digs for deeper, more serious emotional ground. You get the impression that these guys -- Mike Almond, Eric Stotts, Chris Haskell and Josh Gobush -- are sure about what they want to convey, resulting not in a sound so much as a collage of emotional experiences. Rooftop Suicide Club's sound stays full enough to carry their more expansive mellow material, but it's not overbearing when they open it up.

Mundane Sounds May, '06 (click here to read the accompanying interview)

Paula Kelley has always been a favorite of mine. Her first band, Drop Nineteens, was a blast of shoegaze-influenced indie-pop, and though her next two bands were good, they didn't set the stage for what would come next - a trip into delicate, grand Bacharach-styled orchestra pop. The Trouble With Success, or How You Fit Into the World was one of the best records of 2003, and we certainly wasted no time in proclaiming it so. It's a great record, and you need to seek it out ASAP.

As a result of a recent move to the West Coast, Kelley took some time and went through her recording archives, and the resulting record, Some Sucker's Life, Pt. 1, (recently released by Stop, Pop, and Roll) is just as strong as any of her previous releases. One might expect a record that compiles demos and unreleased songs from the past fifteen years to be rather chaotic and not at all cohesive in style, but that's certainly not the case. True, a good majority of the songs found here are mellow, occasionally solo acoustic affairs, there's plenty of variety. There's the excellent power-pop/pop-punk of "B.S. I Love You" and "Your Big World," the psych-rock of "High Boots" and "Talk Away" (which sounds like a long-lost Brian Jonestown Massacre jewel), and the utterly wonderful shoegaze of "Untitled" and" Born to Be a Star." The record also contains some rather nice pop moments, like "You're Up" and "Girl of the Day." Though most of these songs date from the 1990s, one song, "Goodbye September," is a new track from some recent sessions. Then there's the gorgeous cover of Blue Oyster Cult's "Burning for You," which in its stripped-down acoustic mode, is about as ominous as BoC's "(Don't Fear) The Reaper." Ultimately, though, these songs prove Kelley's superior talent. After all, isn't it a sign of brilliance when an artist's "rejects" and unreleased songs are of such a high standard? I think so. These demos are excellent, and this is a wonderful collection.

North Shore News Mar 5, '05

With luck, it'll be the biggest baseball song since the beloved 'When You're Sliding Into First' chant

As soon as the Red Sox won the World Series last October, we knew that the number of fringe benefits that came with their first world championship in 86 years would be pretty overwhelming and wholly satisfying. There would be an endless amount of championship memorabilia to buy, players' faces on cereal boxes - not to mentin th expected surge in bloody socks as a new fashinon statement. Thanks, Carl Schilling.

Anyhow, We're glad to see that the [Red Sox]'s success is also paying off for local singer/songwriter Paula Kelley, whose song "A New Time" will be featured in the upcoming Farelly Brothers movie "Fever Pitch."

Kelley, who recently moved to Los Angeles after living in Wenham - her parents still live in Gloucester - is a lifelong Sox fan who says she's thrilled to be a new part of Red Sox lore.

"I thought there had to be some significance to the fact that I lived in Boston just long enough to see the Sox win a Series," she says. "That's got to be a good omen for everyone in the city." Perhaps it is, Paula. And for your sake, hopefully your song will be as popular as a bloody sock.

Harp Magazine Mar '04 review of Trouble With Success

Boston, Mass., native Paula Kelley has proudly worn her love of Burt Bacharach on her sleeve for almost a decade. On her second solo release, Kelley's sound reaches a new level of maturity, incorporating the Bacharach influences with lush chamberpop backing, and a steady supply of strong rock hooks. The Trouble With Success incorporates a unified sound throughout, augmenting the basic rock rhythm section with strings, horns, and tasteful backing vocals, resulting in a strong, melodic album. Thus we have solid tunes like "My Finest Hour" and "Where Do You Go," possibly the strongest on the disc. The song features Kelley singing in her high, girlish voice over the harpsichord-accented rhythm section, followed by a heavy, dynamic horn section that adds real depth to the melody. The baroque elements that filter into the instrumental portions of the disc contributing to an already classy album.

Big Yawn review of The Sky's Awful Blue

This is one of the greatest albums you will never hear, unless of course my frenzied hosannas over the next few paragraphs can persuade a few beneficent souls to gamble some of their hard-earned cash. Heck, forget cash, this album is worth racking up a little credit card debt for! So who the hell is Cathal Coughlan' Well, by way of background, one of the first things you see when you visit his website is the following wry statement: 'Please remember that downloading mp3 files damages the music industry ' so do it early, often and cheerfully...' Hmmm, 'bitterness', I hear you wonder' Definitely.

Coughlan has been making music ever since the 1980s when he fronted Microdisney, who blended Coughlan's acerbic lyrics with guitarist Sean O'Hagan's bouncy pop melodies. Despite being signed to Virgin, nobody, or at least not enough people listened and in 1988 the band imploded. O'Hagan went on to form The High Llamas , while Coughlan formed The Fatima Mansions, which provided a more appropriate musical outlet for his righteous rage. More critical acclaim followed, with highlights including the blistering 'Blues for Ceaucescu' single, a support slot for U2 in 1992 which culminated in a near riot in Milan, after Coughlan simulated sodomizing himself with a statue of the Virgin Mary, and even found themselves at Number 1 in the U.K charts with a terrifying (and frankly awful, although whether more awful than the original is open to question), musical decomposition of Bryan Adams 'Everything I Do (I Do it For You)', which shared double A-sided status with The Manic Street Preachers' version of the theme from MASH. But, yes, you guessed it, all this was met with continued indifference by the record buying public and in 1996 The Fatima Mansions went the way of the dodo. Two solo albums, Grand Necropolitan in 1996 and Black River Falls in 2000 bring us to 2003, and The Sky's Awful Blue, released by Coughlan on his own Beneath Music label in Europe and in the U.S. by the tiny Stop, Pop, and Roll label.

It's fitting that for someone who exists at the very periphery of the music industry, that his songs should be populated with those who live on the periphery of society: tramps, murderers, prostitutes, thieves, junkies, convicts, and the rogue republic of Viagrastan. Stylistically, The Sky's Awful Blue mirrors Coughlan's previous solo efforts, presenting a bare acoustic/classical approach, with cellos, clarinets, flutes, and Coughlan's self-described 'piano mistreatments' all lending further intimacy to his portraits of tortured souls and empty lives.

The album opens with the solemn lament of 'And Springtime Followed Summer', which aches of weariness, mistakes made 'the churchmen are saying it wasn't their fault / and they'll fix the whole thing if they're asked,' and chances lost, culminating in a late night encounter with a prostitute. 'She went with men for money / I begged her to hold my hand / We sauntered down the main street / as the birds flew forth and sang / We went to the four-star hotel / the 22 nd floor / The light was dim but merry / as she set to work I roared / I wept with indignation for the life I'd almost had / 'Never mind', she said to me / 'There's still time left, maybe it won't be so bad.'

In an album full of emotional ups and downs, mainly downs, 'You Turned Me' is clearly the high (or low) point. It also underscores Coughlan's abilities as a songwriter, with the bare minimum of words conveying maximum emotional impact. 'And the looks became words / and the words became flesh / and the heat of summer came screaming out of me and you / and all our aimlessness / and treachery too / You turned me / drew back every blind / shedding scalding light into corners that I didn't know / concerned me.' All set against a soothing background of hushed strings and a lonely, mournful clarinet with Coughlan's mellow baritone fitting the mood like a glove.

On 'Amused as Hell,' Coughlan returns to the type of social commentary that characterized much of his work with The Fatima Mansions. A jaunty and poppy track, it's a little out of place compared to the rest of the album, but whatever sheen there is on the music can't hide the biting lyrics. 'Now there's a purchase to smooth every frown / trucks packed with catalogs yawn into town / Billboards and flatscreens announce all is well / the peak of our history, united, assured / amused as hell.' The CD also contains a video for 'Amused as Hell', in which Coughlan solemnly, but hilariously, ridicules our 24-hour news culture and obsession with news 'personalities.'

I could go on and on, but am already pushing my luck with my editor. Other highlights include, 'Denial of the Right to Dream', possibly a contrarian view of Irelands Celtic Tiger economy in recent years, 'A Drunken Hangman', and the apparent optimism of 'Goodbye Sadness' that's quickly dispelled with lines like 'He spoke of the need for more layoffs / as his golf pals suggested he do / Technology stuff would mop the lives up / computer graphics and digital bluff.'

Simply put, Cathal Coughlan is one of Ireland 's finest living treasures. Talent like this deserves to be heard. Buy it!!!

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