The wrap is up for the Rossies

(1) Because the first series of Master Of None was such a joy, I was slightly wary about jumping into the new season in case it didn’t live up to high expectations. Man, I’m such a  doofus: if anything, the show is even more of a sweet, fascinating, funny, sharp and on-point treat on second outing. The opening episode is breath-taking (“allora!”), but the sixth one is next level and makes you wow about Aziz Ansari’s smarts. One of the most striking things about the show is its use of music and this piece is a good deep dive into that process (soundtrack below)

(2) Well, it beats the Cúl summer camps…The future of summer camps is the SocialStar Creator Camp, “three days of intensive influencer workshops focusing on monetization, branding, and the basics of shooting and editing video, all aimed at kids in their early teens to mid-20s”.

(3) We did a Banter event at the recent International Literature Festival Dublin about media in an era of fake news. In the latest Bantercast, hear our panelists Kevin Donnellan (UK editor, Storyful), Lois Kapila (co-founder and managing editor, Dublin Inquirer), Jane Suiter (School of Communications DCU and Director of the Institute for Future Media and Journalism) and Cathal McMahon (Irish Independent) discuss everything from Trump and The Liberal to clickbait and the Jobstown trial.

(4) Fashion department: how special collections of music tour merchandise have become one of the newest and fastest-growing subsectors in the fashion world; the latest evolution of the band t-shirt

(5) What happens when your superfans abandon you? “In the old days, fans would find like-minded, similarly obsessed people through fan clubs you could join by mail. But online discussion boards and social media have since expanded super fans’ opportunities to find community. One major difference, though, is that social media has a greater expectation of participation. Thus, the job requirements, so to speak, of stans have grown, especially when it comes to defending their idols from the deluge of backlash such technology allows.”

(6) Berghain by the numbers

Banter at Bullitt: the Pride edition (170, Aug 2017)

We’re delighted to head back to the Bullitt Hotel in Belfast for our latest event and that this event coincides with the city’s Pride Festival which will run from July 28 to August 6 across the city. You can check out the full action-packed programme of events here.

Diverse, equal and proud: Belfast Pride Festival puts the city’s best side out every summer. But when it comes to LGBT rights all year round, how are things really in Northern Ireland? A Banter discussion with Una Mullally (journalist, author and broadcaster), Gavin Boyd (Rainbow Project) and Ellen Murray (trans youth worker and activist) on the state of the gay nation and what’s to come in terms of same sex marriage, gender identity, the political landscape, trans rights and much more.

The details: Banter’s Pride edition takes place at the Bullitt Hotel on Wednesday August 2 at 6.30pm. More information here.

The wrap witnessed the great fruit fly massacre of 2017

(1) We have written before of our fondness for Edgar Wright’s fantastic Baby Driver. It’s a sign of the times that great movies now produce the opportunity for so many diverse think-pieces and features – see what happened with Moonlight earlier in the year. Here’s Wright talking about the music in the film and here’s a fascinating piece, complete with film-related link, about the iPod. And, sure why not. here’s the soundtrack

(2) The joy of trailers: “So often people hear that word “trailer” and their minds follow with “trash.” Maybe it was growing up going to my grandfather’s or maybe it was growing up with a trailer park just across the road, but as a child I don’t remember ever thinking that I was better than the kids I played with because I lived in a house and they lived in trailers. It wasn’t that I was oblivious to class. I recognized some folks had more than others, that I had a little more than them, and the rest of the world had a lot more than any of us. I recognized class. It’s just that I don’t remember ever equating class to a person’s worth, and I count myself lucky for that. We all rode the same bus and went to the same school. We bickered and fought, made up secret handshakes and loved each other like brothers and that’s just the way it was, kids being kids.”

(3) Confession time: I’d never heard of George Strait before I read Kelefa Sanneh’s fascinating profile of the country star for The New Yorker. It does what all great profiles should and makes you invested in a narrative which you’ve never come across before.

(4) Some day, I’ll tell you some of my favourite Tom Zutaut in Ireland stories, but here’s the legendary A&R man who signed Guns N’ Roses talking about the making of “Appetite For Destruction”. Bonus Roses: an interview with the band’s first manager Vicky Hamilton.

(5) We’re giving this great read on how music reviews have leaned on grades and stars four out of five. More pop culture numbers: the 100 greatest props in movie history and the stories behind them

(6) Inside Jack White’s record pressing plant in Detroit: “Technologies come and they go, replaced by something cheaper and faster. But what if the old technology—the slower, more expensive one—is better? What if it’s worth preserving, even if preserving it won’t stop the forward march of the new stuff? What if it’s still relevant? You can complain about the new technology, and you can reminisce about the old. You could write an op-ed. But is there anything a person can do to stop, or at least slow, a cultural shift?”

Banter at Beatyard 2017 (171, Aug 2017)

It’s time for Banter’s annual trip to the seaside. With a bucket in one hand and a spade in the other, we take the Beatyard bus to Dun Laoghaire on August 5 and 6 for a weekend of pow-wows, conversations and encounters. Here’s what to expect at Banteryard 2017


1pm – meet the family – an encounter with Rusangano Family


The Rusangano Family story keeps getting better and better. After a year in which they released their “Let the Dead Bury the Dead” album and scooped the Choice Music Prize for it, Godknows, Murli and Mynameisjohn join us at Banteryard to talk about the current lie of the Rusangano land, how things have changed since their first appearance at Beatyard in 2015 and what comes next

6pm – meet the legend – an interview with Larry Heard


We talk house music and more with a man who was there when it was all coming together. Larry Heard is the producer behind such seminal house tracks as “Can You Feel It” and “Mystery Of Love”, a musician who has spent his lifetime creating sweet, warm, soulful tracks. A pleasure to welcome Larry to Banter and hear his take on life, music and everything else.


1pm – UCD Psychology of Media Entertainment Lab

One of the big hits at Banteryard 2016, our friends from the UCD Psychology of Media Entertainment Lab return with more examples of and experiments in how we engage, interact and behave in our everyday lives with technology, media, art and fiction

2pm – The Banter guide to starting a rocking food business


Just what do you need to know about opening your own food business? We’re joined by Colin Harmon (3FE), Conor Duggan (Box Burger) and Sandy Wyer (Forest Avenue) to hear how they went about the job in hand.

4pm – Oh My God What A Complete Aisling!


The most notions Banter ever as we welcome Aisling to Banteryard.  Ahead of the publication of their debut novel about the life and times of a girl from down the country in the big smoke, Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen talk to us about all things Aisling and especially what she would make of Beatyard.

Robert Webb on How Not To Be A Boy (174, Sep 2017)

What are the rules for being a man?

Don’t Cry; Love Sport; Play Rough; Drink Beer; Don’t Talk About Feelings

But Robert Webb has been wondering for some time now: are those rules actually any use? To anyone?

Looking back over his life, from schoolboy crushes (on girls and boys) to discovering the power of making people laugh (in the Cambridge Footlights with David Mitchell), and from losing his beloved mother to becoming a husband and father, Robert Webb considers the absurd expectations boys and men have thrust upon them at every stage of life.

Hilarious and heartbreaking, How Not To Be a Boy explores the relationships that made Robert who he is as a man, the lessons we learn as sons and daughters, and the understanding that sometimes you aren’t the Luke Skywalker of your life – you’re actually Darth Vader.
Robert Webb Cover

 Robert Webb has been a male for his whole life. As such, he has been a boy in a world of fighting, pointless posturing, and the insistence that he stop crying. As an adult man, he has enjoyed better luck, both in his work as the Webb half of Mitchell & Webb in the Sony award-winning That Mitchell & Webb Sound and the Bafta award-winning That Mitchell & Webb Look, and as permanent man-boy Jeremy in the acclaimed Peep Show. He also played Bertie Wooster in the acclaimed West End run of Jeeves and Wooster in Perfect Nonsense. Robert has been a columnist for the Daily Telegraph and the New Statesman, and now lives in London with his wife and daughters, where he continues trying to be funny and to fumble beyond general expectations of manhood.

“Quite simply brilliant. I (genuinely) cried. I (genuinely) laughed out loud. It’s profound, touching, personal yet universal … I loved it”
“Takes us deftly from hilarity to heart-stopping hurt … A truly great read, full of heart”
“Written with wit and clarity, How Not to Be a Boy is a funny, rueful, truthful book. I enjoyed every page”
“A witty, honest coming-of-age story with a subtext that tackles masculinity and manhood. Webb has a storytelling skill many would kill for”
“Timely and candid, told with great humour, warmth and compassion. A much-needed contribution to the vital conversation about the damage gender can do”

The details: Banter and Aiken Promotions present Robert Webb in conversation with Sinead Gleeson about his new book How Not To Be A Boy and other matters on Saturday September 16 at Vicar Street, Dublin. Doors open at 11.30am and the interview begins at 12 noon sharp. The interview will be followed by an audience Q&A and a book signing. Tickets go on sale on Friday at 9am.

The wrap wants to still be on a beach in Donegal

(1) What do you mean you’ve never heard of Camille? Long before Christine & The Queens captured the high ground when it came to beautifully wonky pop, Camille Dalmais was the go-to woman for that sort of idiosyncratic fare. Over five albums, Dalmais has created bright and bold pop songs where leftfield pop sensibilities and experimental notions got merry with wild abandon. Her latest release is “Oui” and, if you dig what you hear, there is a hugely enjoyable back catalogue to investigate and be smitten by.

(2) Margaret Moser has lived one heck of a colourful life. Find out more about this long-time champion of keep-Austin-weird musical high jinks in this lovely profile by Joe Nick Patoski and this selection of pieces she wrote during her tenure at the Austin Chronicle.

(3) The story behind the current boom for building new mosques in Erdogan’s Turkey

(4) Nina Simone in Liberia in 1974: ““Within a few weeks I felt as if I had been living in my house on the beach all my life. . . .They said I was wild. I wore nothing but a bikini and boots all day long and danced about with the weight gone from around my shoulders.”

(5) Anyone for a new music app which might be actually useful? Introducing Stationhead, the app which turns your Spofity accoung into a radio station. Here’s the Billboard skinny on it – if you want to tune into something for the crack, check out byjimcarroll

(6) Perhaps Stationhead and the like will see an end of acts traipsing from radio stattion to radio station in search of attention and bad coffee? Excellent piece about the radio tours new country acts have to endure