The FREQUENCY-IRELAND Music Alternative

An independent voice on choice sounds from the alternative/underground music scene in Ireland.
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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

gerry nobody

After sifting through the Gerry Nobody back-catalogue over the past week or so on his Mperia space, I've come to realise that there is a genius here that is all too often overlooked. Parallels with Daniel Johnston pour from everywhere in what he does. This is a man minimalist to a purpose and emotionally intense, he has been acknowledged by Daniel Johnston himself as 'a man over the edge'. Also just like Daniel Johnston, he is obsessively creative, and has amassed five albums over the past four years, including an extensive cover album of early Daniel Johnston recordings, clearly a massive inspiration for him. Wading through his material can be tough ordeal however, I find a lot of it quite unlistenable, as he experiments with genres on a whim, seemingly, and which perhaps only the most ardent of listeners could withstand, but of those songs where it does all come together, you get some exceptionally open and fragile songs which are really worth digging for.

He released his fifth album 'Barking at the sea' earlier this year, preceeded by the single taken from it 'Someday your surrendered life will count'. The real gem on that album however is the penultimate track 'Barking at the sea Part Two', an epic song of disillusionment and despondency, professing ‘the more i try the less i get by and i can't help but feel i'm getting nowhere, as meaningful as my dog barking out at the emptieness‘ while in other lyrics revealing an everyday struggle not to throw himself into the sea. Disquietingly brilliant. Working back through his earlier material, on the album 'The late worm avoids the early bird', the lead track 'A 1000 men' is a certain stand-out, but the real special moment on the album is perhaps 'My Hole', in what is a beautifully twee and brittle nerdcore ballad. On the album 'Wonders Will Never Cease' you get a bleak tale of modern isolation in 'She loves TV more than me', which with a stroke of genius, fades with contra-parody to the Beatles 'She love you', while the 70s rock of 'Wonderful empty world' should also not be overlooked. His 2003 eponymous debut album brought one of his most memorable tracks in 'I think you're great' and the bare stripped-out punk of 'Someone up there hates us', while his Daniel Johnston cover album also has some really fine moments, perhaps none better than its lead track 'Loner'.

All tracks from these albums can be streamed from the Gerry Nobody Mperia space, while there are other outtakes and covers which can be downloaded from his website. If minimalist downbeat music appeals to you, I'd recommend starting from some of the songs mentioned above and branching out from there, undoubtedly you'll find your own gems along the way. Gerry Nobody is the creation of Gerard Farrell, an Irish artist/writer-turned-musician from Tallaght in Dublin. All his material is self-produced, where the minimalist style always sounds a fitting and intrinsic part of his music, that of a true artist at work.

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