Interview: Seán Ó Corcoráin of Outsider

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Outsider (Photo by Paudie Bourke)

Inspired by musicians such as Joy Division and The Jesus & Mary Chain, Ireland’s Outsider makes music that strikes you with its depth. Certainly, Outsider writes poetic lyrics and sings them with passion, but he also crafts melodies that dance and soar through you.

Outsider took his name from Colin Wilson’s 1956 book, The Outsider, “which examines the psyche of great artists and their place in society,” reads his bio. His real name is Seán Ó Corcoráin. Seán is a terrific talent and a wonderful person, and Parklife DC’s Mickey McCarter had the absolute pleasure of chatting with him recently about his debut full-length album, Karma of Youth, released April 17 by OK! Good Records.

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Live Review: Lankum @ Jammin’ Java — 3/12/20

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Lankum (Photo courtesy Rough Trade Records)

The droning guitars and eerie pipes of the Irish folk band Lankum have led some to describe their music as apocalyptic. On the evening before the declaration of the coronavirus pandemic as a US national emergency, the band darkly joked, “Thanks a million for taking your lives into your own hands.”

Frontman Ian Lynch added, “We kind of feel like the band on The Titanic.”

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Live Review: Fontaines DC @ U Street Music Hall — 9/11/19

FontainesDC56 Fontaines DC performs at U Street Music Hall on Sept. 11, 2019. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

Stage performance defines a band — eager audiences arrive at a concert to determine if your songs are meant to be delivered live. In the case of young Irish band Fontaines D.C., the answer is a resounding yes, as seen in a sold-out show at U Street Music Hall recently, where the band dominated with pacing, presence, and something to say (which is best heard live).

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Live Review: Fontaines D.C. @ Rock and Roll Hotel — 5/11/19

FontainesRNR12 Fontaines D.C. is a force at the Rock and Roll Hotel on May 11, 2019. (Photo by David LaMason)

Fontaines D.C., the Dublin-based (the D.C. in the name reflects Dublin City) band melds poetry and punk — a sense of immediacy with hooks that are hard to shake. Grian Chatten, frontman of the group, sang/spoke in what can feel like a conversation and a call to arms in the same breath at the Rock and Roll Hotel recently. 

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Live Review: Hudson Taylor @ City Winery — 2/4/19

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Hudson Taylor performs at City Winery on Feb. 4, 2019. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)

Hudson Taylor turned DC’s City Winery into a raucous Irish pub complete with hand-clapping, singalongs and rug cutting. Hudson Taylor’s folky (and folksy) but lively Irish pop lends itself well to this type of behavior and certainly brightened a recent weeknight.

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Music Park: Hudson Taylor @ Lincoln Theatre — 10/2/18

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Hudson Taylor perform at the Lincoln Theatre on Oct. 2, 2018. (Photo by Marc Caicedo)

Harry and Alfie Hudson-Taylor have assembled friends and family for their current tour, opening Hozier. On Tuesday night at the Lincoln Theatre, with their high energy tunes, soaring harmonies and expert musicianship, they had the crowd asking for more after a brief, but hugely satisfying opening set.

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Interview: Hudson Taylor (@ Songbyrd Music House, 10/4/18)

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Hudson Taylor (Photo courtesy Big Hassle)

It has been a busy 12 months for Irish pop-Americana duo Hudson Taylor. Brothers Alfie and Harry Hudson Taylor have been true road warriors, living out of suitcases, while selling out shows in Ireland and across Europe. North America will be the next leg of their seemingly nonstop tour schedule. The band will open for Hozier on Oct. 2 at DC’s Lincoln Theater (its sold out) and headline Songbyrd Music House on Thursday, Oct. 4. Alfie Hudson-Taylor talks to Parklife DC about his experiences as a young musician.

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Music Park: Glen Hansard @ The Anthem — 3/24/18

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Glen Hansard listens to the audience at The Anthem on March 24, 2018. (Photo by David LaMason)

Glen Hansard recalled an abandoned car in his neighborhood and how it sat neglected for quite some time. Finally, one day, he peered inside, spotted a cassette deck, and found a cassette in it.

The folk rocker took the cassette and listened to it, delighted to discover it was a mixtape of rocksteady songs from ’60s Jamaica. One song particularly struck him: A number apparently by Ken Boothe that contained the line, “Love is going to find you.”

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