At The Mike Stand with Dennis Driscoll

At The Mike Stand with

Dennis Driscoll.

New York-born, bred and buttered, Dennis Driscoll, is not an easy man to describe in one paragraph. In fact, one would need a wizened storyteller as good as the man himself to give his immense talents any justice at all. An acclaimed man of words, Dennis has played with many bands in his day, though in recent years (or is that decades?) he’s focused more towards the spoken word, telling tall tales and short stories relating to his life growing up in the Big Apple. With another trip to his beloved Dublin just around the corner, where he’ll perform at iconic Wexford Street venue, Whelans (June 6th, upstairs), Mr. Driscoll is a busy man indeed. He was however, kind enough to put down his trusty microphone, stroll away from his avid listeners for a minute or two, and join us ‘At The Mike Stand’.

By Mike Fitzpatrick

Photo by Debra Reschoff-Ahearn

What would you like your own tribute act to be called?
The Dennis Driscoll Experience.

When’s the last time you laughed out loud?
I recently saw an Australian comic named Jim Jefferies, I think. He was really obscene but really funny, I definitely laughed out loud during his HBO special.

What act would you like to have seen perform live?
Derek and Clive. Dudley Moore and Peter Cook’s irreverent comedy act.

What team(s) do you support?
Yankees, Giants, Rangers.

What period in history would you most like to have visited?

The Roaring 20s. Those people knew how to have a good time.

What song would you most like to have written?
‘A Pair of Brown Eyes’ by Shane MacGowan.

Who or what, would make you leave a room?
A person that tells really bad jokes and then laughs at them.

What decade rules (and why)?
Mid 60s to the mid 70s. The music was great and people were more open back then.

What cover version do you most enjoy performing?
Well it’s hard for me to perform covers as I am a spoken word performer that mainly tells stories from my own life, but I used to be in a country band that did a killer version of ‘Viva Las Vegas’ that was always fun to do.

What movie role would you like to have played?
I always wanted to be in a western, the role Slim Pickens had in ‘Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid’ would be something I’d like to have done.

Have you ever been told you looked like somebody?
Not recently, but when I was heavier I’d be mistaken for other fat people. People think all fat people look alike.

What’s the first album you remember buying?
‘Meet the Beatles’.

Who’s your favorite Beatle?
John.

What’s your favorite Christmas song?
‘Fairytale of New York’, and not just because I am in the video for that song.

Who’s the most rock and roll person who ever lived?
Keith Richards.

What artist/song/genre do you secretly enjoy listening to?
My father used to have a record called the German Army Chorus , lots of brass and voices. Loved that stuff.

Who would you most like to meet/have met?
Brendan Behan or Keith Richards.

What book can you read again and again?
‘The Basketball Diaries’ by Jim Carroll

What’s the greatest album ever recorded?
The White Album by the Beatles

What artists would you most like to have played with in the band of your dreams?
I want to have a band called the Gemini Snakes with Bob Dylan and Charlie Watts. As we are all Geminis born in the year of the Snake. Plus I’d love to have a drummer like Charlie to play with.

What do few people know about you?
My first words were horse shit.

What sitcom character can you most identify with?
Jed Clampett in ‘The Beverly Hillbillies’. He had it all.

What movie can you watch over and over again?

‘Gunga Din’.

Who’s your favorite cartoon character?
Homer Simpson.

What’s the greatest place you’ve visited?
I love Dublin. I would love to live there, if I could afford it.

What’s mankind’s most wonderful invention?
The wheel.

What’s mankind’s most irritating invention?
The infomercial.

Who’s the funniest person who ever lived?
WC Fields.

Who’s your favorite namesake?
Dennis Hopper.

At The Mike Stand with Brendan O’Shea (Singer/Songwriter)

At The Mike Stand with Brendan O’Shea.

Every so often, the Mike Stand (that’d be us, unless you’re being unfaithful with another chap called Mike Stand, then you’re just being rude) bumps into one of those New York City-based individuals that just oozes calmness, creativity and well, a certain aura of County Kerry-ness, that, when expertly mixed with a little East Village coolness results in a masterful blend of singing and songwriting. See, Brendan O’Shea , a transplanted troubadour from the Kingdom of Ireland’s southwest, now based in New York City’s lower east, is one of those rare talents that has kept the image of the Big Apple’s singing/songwriting scene, so vibrant. Continuing upon a long (and winding) road of such talents from the bygone days of Dylan, Hardin and Buckley, Brendan O’Shea, and other masterful tunesmiths of his generation have continued to pump energy, vitality and soul into a genre that every so often, produces a diamond from a stack of pearls. With his new album ‘Songs from a Tenement’, available on November 28th through CDbaby, Brendan will be launching the recording with a special show at Arlene’s Grocery, at 95 Stanton Street (Manhattan) on the same night. Tickets are available at The Scratcher (5th and the Bowery). Brendan, welcome to ‘The Mike Stand’.

By Michael Fitzpatrick.

What would you like your own tribute act to be called?

The Beatles (!).

What song would you most like to have written?

Any song by Leonard Cohen.

 

Who’s your favorite namesake?

Brendan Behan.

Who’s your favorite character from literature?

Jesus Christ.

What’s the greatest place you’ve visited?

Japan.

Who would you most like to meet/have met?

Thomas Jefferson.

When’s the last time you laughed out loud?

Yesterday, actually. I nearly got in a head-on collision on the Long Island Expressway, and I was in deep conversation when it happened. The whole thing went right over my head, so when we got to our destination, my friend and I literally laughed our heads off.


What act would you like to have seen perform live?

Nina Simone, yeah.

What team(s) do you support?

I don’t really support any.


What period in history would you most like to have visited?

I would say the days of the Roman empire. I was in Italy some time ago, and I did the whole thing, so, I’ve quite an interest in it.

Who or what, would make you leave a room?
Ignorance.


What cover version do you most enjoy performing?

I would say ‘Crazy Dreams’ by Paul Brady.

Have you ever walked out on a movie?

Oh yes, and what’s the movie’s name? I couldn’t tell you. I put it out of my mind. I’m a movie snob, definitely!

What movie role would you like to have played/play?

The lead in Citizen Kane!.

 

Who do people say you look like?

You know, I don’t get that a whole lot.

 

What’s the first album you remember buying?

I think it was U2’s ‘Boy’, and the first single I bought was ‘Message In A Bottle’, by The Police.

 

Who’s your favorite Beatle?

That is a drawn-out question I have to say, because each of them had such a different offering to bring to the table. I’d have to say I definitely warm to Paul McCartney more, just because, I suppose, of his sanity during the whole era.


What’s your favorite Christmas song?

‘Fairytale of New York’ would be up there I’d say.


Who’s the most rock and roll person who ever lived?

Probably Jimi Hendrix.


What artist/song/genre do you secretly enjoy listening to?

I would say the whole Motown scene, or even disco. Yes, ‘70s disco, big time.

 

What book can you read again and again?

What’s his name, I’d have to say, this one, someone gave me tonight. And knowing me, I’ll read this book ten times, ‘Franny and Zooey’, by JD Salinger, so let’s go with that. A singer friend of mine said she’d read it twenty times, and dropped it into me.

What artists would you most like to have played with in the band of your dreams?

Well let’s see, I’d have Mark Knopfler on guitar, I suppose Paul McCartney on bass, Leonard Cohen, on backing vocals of course! And we’d have to have a raffle for the drummer! That’s a good question.

What’s your tipple?

Tea, I don’t go for the booze at all.

What movie can you watch over and over again?

Ah, there’s so many. ‘Rear Window’, I’d say.

Who’s your favorite cartoon character?

Jerry, as in ‘Tom & Jerry’.

What’s mankind’s most wonderful invention?

That’s a lovely question! Transportation, the bicycle of course. I’d be lost without it!

 

What’s mankind’s most irritating invention?

I would say, the cellphone, for me. It’s the abuse factor.

 

What actor would play you in a movie about your life?

Well, who should play me, or who would do a good job of playing me, that’s a different question! I would say Daniel Day Lewis, sure why not?!

 

 

 

At The Mike Stand with Lauren Klemp (Actress).

At the Mike Stand with Lauren Klemp

 

You know, we’ve really got to have a word with the guy in charge. All this hanging out with hot young actresses such as this week’s ‘Standee’, Lauren Klemp, well, it really takes its toll on a guy. Well, it doesn’t really, so don’t be going saying stuff to the boss now, you hear me? Anyway, Jersey girl Lauren’s wanted to be an actress since she was eight-years old. Having pursued drama studies throughout high school, she went on to graduate from Fordham University with a degree in Theatre. Since completing her studies, she’s worked with the Moscow Art Theatre at NYU’s Stonestreet Studios, as well as having had roles in a number of music videos and short films. More recently, she landed a lead role in the feature film, ‘Last Days of Simon’, which won the prestigious ‘Best Home Grown Feature’ award at the Garden State Film Festival. Lauren, welcome to ‘The Mike Stand’.

By Mike Fitzpatrick.

 

 

Who would be in your supergroup?

Janis Joplin on vocals, Fiona Apple on vocals and piano, David Gilmour and Angus Young on Guitar, Roger Waters on Bass, and then just fill in the rest of the band with members of Muse and Radiohead.

 

When was the last time you laughed out loud?

This weekend.  I took my boyfriend to a Russian restaurant in Brighton Beach for his birthday, and there was this 70 something year old man who karate chopped his way through the dance floor.  This man was dead serious, and his moves were fierce! He was hilarious to watch, and surprisingly hard to keep up with!

 

What act would you have liked to have seen live?

Pink Floyd, Janis Joplin and Michael Jackson.

 

What team do you support?

I am not much of a sports person, but I guess if I had to pick, I would side with whatever New York team was playing.  Unless they are playing against a New Jersey team.  Then I gotta represent the home state.

 

What period in history would you most liked to have visited?

I would have loved to live in the 70’s.  I love the style and the music! Everything was just so funky!

What song would you have most liked to have written?

“Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen.

 

Who or what would make you leave a room?

Loud-mouthed, obnoxious people.  I have no tolerance for annoying idiots!

 

What decade rules (and why)?

The 80’s ruled!! When I think of the 80’s, I think of fun! The movies were great, tv sitcoms were classic, the music was fun, and the style was absolutely insane. Just a total party.

 

What movie role would you like to have played?

Jenny, from “Forest Gump” and Scarlet from “Gone With the Wind”.

 

Have you ever been told you look like somebody?

I am told I look like everyone! I used to get Christina Ricci all the time.  Now I get Rachael Ray a lot.  I have been told I look a little like Angelina Jolie once or twice, not so sure that I agree, but I am definitely flattered!

What was the first album you remember buying?

My first CDs were “Beauty and the Beast”, and Michael Jackson’s “Dangerous”.

Who is your favorite Beatle?

I love George, but John is too amazing not to be my favorite.

 

What’s your favorite Christmas song?

“Oh Holy Night” and John Lennon’s “Happy Christmas”.

 

Who is the most rock and roll person who ever lived?

Keith Richards.

 

What artist/song/genre do you secretly enjoy listening to?

I listen to a lot of sappy, girly music, and really cheesy 80’s power ballads.

 

Who would you most liked to have met?

Michael Jackson and John Lennon.

 

What book can you read again and again?

“The World According to Garp”. John Irving is a genius.

 

What’s the greatest album ever recorded?

Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon”.  It’s like listening to a movie.  It has a beginning, middle, and end, and by the time the last song finishes, you want to start it over and go on the journey again! It’s one of the true modern masterpieces.

What sitcom character can you most identify with?

I think that I would have to say Al from “Married with Children” and Eric from
“That 70”s Show”.  Is that weird?

 

What movie have you seen the most times?

“The Princess Bride”.  No question.  Has been one of my favorite movies since I can remember, and I can quote the entire thing!

 

What’s your favorite cartoon character?

It’s really a three way tie between Garfield, Ren from “Ren and Stimpy”, and Cartman from “South Park”.

 

What is the greatest place you have ever been to?

I think that I would have to say Spain, because they really know how to live life: work a little, eat, sleep, work a little, eat, party, sleep, repeat.  Right up my alley.

 

What’s man’s greatest invention?

Aside from the internet? Indoor plumbing.  I don’t even want to think about what life was like before flushing toilets and running water.  Nasty!

 

What’s nature’s most useless invention?

The Chia Pet.

 

Who is the funniest person who ever lived?

I think Robin Williams is hilarious! He just keeps going and going!

 

 

At The Mike Stand with Dan Donnelly (Singer/Songwriter).

At The Mike Stand with Dan Donnelly.

Belfast boy Dan Donnelly is no stranger to our New York readers, having carved out a successful solo career on the east coast for almost a decade. The singer/songwriter, having first come to the attention of the music press in Europe as vocalist and multi-instrumentalist with Irish indie act, Watercress, Dan moved on once the band broke up in the late 1990s. Out on his own, Dan released 2005’s ‘Bootleg’ and ‘Yearning A Living’ two years later, as well as an acclaimed live album (‘Live in NYC’) last year. Currently fronting his own touring and recording outfit, Sonovagun, Dan, a favorite at many a British festival, has played Glastonbury, Beautiful Days and The Big Session on several occasions. He’s now based in the UK, having supported Duran Duran, Ian Dury, The Darkness, The Levellers and Air, as a solo artist, and as part of Sonovagun, Joy Zipper and The Invisible Swords Men. A phenomenal songwriting talent, look out for more Donnellyesque information at www.sonovagun.com.

By Mike Fitzpatrick.

 

What would you like your own tribute act to be called?

Hmm, Don Dannelly might be a good one!

 

When’s the last time you laughed out loud?

I laugh out loud all the time. The world reduces me to tears of laughter on a very regular basis.

 

What act would you like to have seen perform live?

I’d love to have seen the Beatles and The Doors.

 

What team do you support?

Manchester United, I know everyone will boo, but when I was young in Northern Ireland, George Best was a hero and Norman Whiteside was on the team.

 

What period in history would you most like to have visited?

I wouldn’t have minded kicking about ancient Rome for a bit and attending a few feasts and orgies.

What song would you most like to have written?

‘The Witchita Lineman’, with ‘Pancho and Lefty’ a close second.

 

Who or what, would make you leave a room?

Racism, or a really bad smell.

 

What decade rules (and why)?

I totally loved the 90s!! I had a blast, was in a great band and playing all over the world and was carefree as you like. The music was fantastic too, Smashing Pumpkins, Sebadoh, Dinosaur Jr plus the whole rave and ecstasy scene was great fun!!

What cover version do you most enjoy performing?

At the minute I love doing MGMT’s ‘Time to Pretend’.

What movie role would you like to have played?

I think every kid wants to be Luke Skywalker but as an adult? I dunno, maybe The Sundance Kid.

Have you ever been told you looked like somebody?

Yeah!! I get Rick Astley and Conan O’Brien all the time!

What’s the first album you remember buying?

Buddy Holly’s ‘Greatest Hits’.

Who’s your favorite Beatle?

McCartney by a long shot with Harrison second, then John, then Ringo.

What’s your favorite Christmas song?

‘The Little Drummer Boy’.

Who’s the most rock and roll person who ever lived?

GG Allin, Johnny Thunders and Keith Moon.

What artist/song/genre do you secretly enjoy listening to?

I have a secret soft spot for Lily Allen.

Who would you most like to meet/have met?

Would love to meet Bowie or Macca or Neil Young, I’d like to have met Jesus to see what all the fuss is about.

What book can you read again and again?

‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas’ or (the work of) Bukowski or Henry Miller.

What’s the greatest album ever recorded?

Abbey Road.

What artists would you most like to have played with in the band of your dreams?

John Bonham on Drums, Malcom Young on rhythm guitar, McCartney on Bass, Neil Young on Lead Guitar and Randy Newman on keys.

What do few people know about you?

Very little. I have a big mouth and no censorship.

What sitcom character can you most identify with?

Has to be Larry David from ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’, sometimes I feel just like him!!

What movie can you watch over and over again?

‘Dumb and Dumber’.

Who’s your favorite cartoon character?

Peter Griffin from ‘Family Guy’.

What’s the greatest place you’ve visited?

As Johnny Cash says ‘I’ve Been Everywhere Man’, but New York was so good I moved there. I ❤ NY.

What’s mankind’s most wonderful invention?

Music.

What’s mankind’s most irritating invention?

The parking ticket.

Who’s the funniest person who ever lived?

Billy Connolly.

Who’s your favorite namesake?

Sir Dan Donnelly, the first heavyweight champion boxer.

 

At The Mike Stand with Natalie Herman (Music Writer)

At The Mike Stand with Natalie Herman

Although music reporter Natalie Herman was born in New York (of Spanish and Indian descent no less), she considers herself “Irish by desire.” Having been fascinated with Irish culture for over fifteen years, and since discovering the Irish independent music scene (not that it was her who founded the genre of course, well, you know what we mean), she has immersed herself in Ireland’s contemporary artists in addition to the greats such as Joyce, Wilde, and Heaney. Since February of 2008, Natalie has worked alongside Shawn Fitzmaurice, as the news reporter for Paddy-Whacked Radio™  (to be found at http://www.pwradio.net ), tirelessly fighting in the corner of many an independent musician, spreading the word and giving them that much-needed shot of publicity. When not listening to, writing about, or collecting music, Natalie can be found reading, drawing, painting or camping in South Florida, which she calls home. Miss Herman, welcome to ‘At The Mike Stand’.

By Mike Fitzpatrick

What would you like your own tribute act to be called?
A tribute act? For me? Would likely need to be called A Good Psychiatrist.

When’s the last time you laughed out loud?
Reading Christopher Moore’s “Fool.” Laughing out loud is what I do best.

What act would you like to have seen perform live?
I almost got to see Frank McCourt do a live reading, and I regret that I missed my chance.
Musically, I have been really lucky to have gotten to see some really great bands and most of my favorites. When The Police reunited in 2007, I fulfilled a longtime dream. I look forward to seeing The Frames / The Swell Season live too.

What team(s) do you support?
I don’t really do sports. I cheer on the teams that my friends love. So The Lakers and Liverpool FC. But I have a soft spot for some people who support Man United.

What period in history would you most like to have visited?
I’d have liked to catch a U2 show when they were still struggling.

What song would you most like to have written?
“Hallelujah,” by Leonard Cohen, I think. Although the majority of songs by Rick Springfield, U2, and Michael Brunnock make we “wish I’d written that.”

Who or what, would make you leave a room?
Racism, or other stupidity being spouted off at the mouth.

What decade rules (and why)?
80’s. The hair and fashion, while laughable when looked back upon, is still cooler than a lot. And the music just lasts.

What cover version do you most enjoy performing?
I don’t perform, but I do collect covers of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” and will encourage everyone I know to send me their version. Even if they just call me and sing it over my voice mail!

What movie role would you like to have played?
Jo in “Little Women”.

Have you ever been told you looked like somebody?
Just my auntie. And there was a girl in my 6th-grade science book that could have been my twin.

What’s the first album you remember buying?
Rick Springfield’s ‘Living in Oz’.

Who’s your favorite Beatle?
John.

What’s your favorite Christmas song?
“It Wasn’t His Child” by Skip Ewing. Over the past few years, I have tended to lean more toward the religious Christmas music. I love “Mary Did You Know?”

Who’s the most rock and roll person who ever lived?

The Edge. Cos brainy rockers are incredibly attractive.

What artist/song/genre do you secretly enjoy listening to?
There is no secrecy about the music I like. On shuffle, my iPod can loop through The Monkees, The Ramones, Jane’s Addiction, Michael Brunnock, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Aerosmith, Bob Dylan, Quincy Jones and Ricky Nelson in an hour. People are amused that I actually have N*Sync on there, though.

Who would you most like to meet/have met?
Abraham Lincoln, Frank McCourt. I’d love to have a chat with Larry Mullen.

What book can you read again and again?
I haven’t really re-read a lot of books since I was a teen. It’s been more an attempt at moving forward. I have read A Confederacy of Dunces, by John Kennedy Toole, a couple of times. Ireland: A Novel, by Frank Delaney is one whose story will be with me for a long, long time.

What’s the greatest album ever recorded?
For me, there are so many “perfect” albums – where every song is just amazing and they all go well together. But for my answer, I will choose “Achtung Baby.” Ask me tomorrow and it might be different.

What artists would you most like to have played with in the band of your dreams (supergroup)?
I’m still holding out to see Michael Brunnock (guitar + vox) , Gavin Fox (bass), and Pete Wilhoit (drums) perform together.

What do few people know about you?
For kicks, I like to teach myself foreign languages. I can turn a phrase in about 15 different languages.

What sitcom character can you most identify with?
Dorothy Zbornak from The Golden Girls

What movie can you watch over and over again?
Monty Python’s ‘The Holy Grail’. And ‘Stand By Me’.

Who’s your favorite cartoon character?
Woody Woodpecker.

What’s the greatest place you’ve visited?

New York City, no doubt. I haven’t been to Ireland yet.

Who’s the funniest person who ever lived?
John Ritter, RIP, was essential in the crafting of my sense of humor. Tom Hanks gets honorable mention and Wil Wheaton cracks me up. But Eddie Izzard makes me wheeze and cry, even while watching something I have seen 100 times.

Who’s your favorite namesake?
My mom named me after Natalie Wood. She was an interesting lady. I do appreciate Natalie Portman, though.

 

At The Mike Stand with Jenna Nicholls (Singer/Songwriter).

You know, we really ought to quit opening this piece with the phrase; ‘’You know’, but also, this week’s ‘Standee’, Jenna Nicholls, is one of those girls you really should be jealous of, but couldn’t possibly be. Unless of course you don’t particularly like the Pittsburgh Steelers, and they keep winning stuff, then you could perhaps be a tad envious of Miss Nicholls (she’s a fan you see). A phenomenal singing talent, the Pittsburgh native, since transplanted in New York, and now a staple of the live music scene, is one quarter of the New York City-based musical act, Fairplay Collective, alongside fellow artists, Michael Brunnock, Brendan O’Shea and Mark Dignam. Fairplay Collective, is an organization/group/movement, made up of Irish immigrants and US natives, which came together several years ago in New York City as a new musical venture, designed at helping fellow artists out with songs, ideas, gigs, equipment and all-round mutual support. Founding member Jenna’s next local (solo) gig is at the downtown venue, Rockwood Music Hall (Allen Street between Houston and Stanton) on Sunday, May 18th (at 8pm), sure we might even see you there. So without further ado, and even less adon’t, Jenna, welcome to At The Mike Stand.

By Mike Fitzpatrick (picture by Debra Reschoff-Ahearn).

What would you like your own tribute act to be called?

Almost Genius (!).
When’s the last time you laughed out loud?

About 10 seconds ago, while wondering what my tribute band name would be called.


What act would you like to have seen perform live?

Ray Charles during the Atlantic years performing with his backup singers “The Cookies”.
What team(s) do you support?

Any team from Pittsburgh, my home town. Go Steelers!!

What period in history would you most like to have visited?

The early 60s in Greenwich Village, or 16th Century England.
What song would you most like to have written?

There are too many to choose from, I tend to live my life in envy of others.
Who or what, would make you leave a room?

I’m pretty shy actually, so it wouldn’t take much. I’m not a big fan of large crowds and small talk. I also love to sleep so that usually makes me leave the room rather early too.
What decade rules (and why)?

I’d have to say the 1960s, it was a great time for music, fashion, freedom of expression, and no cell phones.
What cover version do you most enjoy performing?

I love covering old jazz standards like ‘Stormy Weather’, or ‘Prelude to a Kiss’.
What movie role would you like to have played?

Scarlett O’Hara in ‘Gone with the Wind’.


Have you ever been told you looked like somebody?

People tell me I look like Liza Minnelli, or Audrey Hepburn (it’s the hair) I hope people are referring to Liza at 30 and not at 60.
What’s the first album you remember buying?

Duran Duran’s ‘Seven and the Ragged Tiger’. I bought it right after I got my first “boom box” for Christmas.

Who’s your favorite Beatle?

I’d have to say George. John and Paul were amazing, but best as a team. George’s guitar playing was heavily underrated. I love that you can sing his solos from start to finish. 2nd choice would be Paul, it would have been John if not for Yoko.
What’s your favorite Christmas song?

‘Carol of the Bells’.
Who’s the most rock and roll person who ever lived?
Joe Strummer.

What artist/song/genre do you secretly enjoy listening to?

I love opera, and I’m not ashamed to admit it. I think I got most of my musical training by listening to classical music in general, but I’m a sucker for a good aria.
Who would you most like to meet/have met?

Probably John Lennon/ Paul McCartney: Once I had a dream that I was riding in a Cadillac convertible with the two of them across Nevada, we were having a great chat, it was so vivid, I remember waking up and it was like I’d actually done it. Very cool, the closest thing I’ll ever get to the real thing.
What book can you read again and again?

I don’t really read books twice, but if I had to choose I’d say “East of Eden” by Steinbeck or “The Jungle” by Sinclair.
What’s the greatest album ever recorded?

‘Astral Weeks’ by Van Morrison.
What artists would you most like to have played with in the band of your dreams?

Radiohead with the London Philharmonic , wow.

What do few people know about you?

That my sister was the first child model for the Easy Bake Oven, and my other sister was published in the Library of Congress Poetry Anthology at age 13. I’ve got pretty smart and sassy siblings.
What sitcom character can you most identify with?

Grace from ‘Will and Grace’. An interior designer with a bunch of gay friends who is a complete scatterbrain.
What movie can you watch over and over again?

I think I’ve seen “The Red Shoes” about 150 times, I loved it as a kid and it’s really not that great of a movie, good dancing/ music though, but I guess I related to the idea of seeing a pair of shoes that take over your soul and make you do their bidding, like buy them.
Who’s your favorite cartoon character?

She-Ra (Princess of Power).
What’s the greatest place you’ve visited?

Tulum, Mexico ….aka paradise.
What’s mankind’s most wonderful invention?

The pedicure (haha). I would have to say indoor plumbing is up there, or the printing press.


What’s mankind’s most irritating invention?

The cell-phone, the TV, the iPad.

Who’s the funniest person who ever lived?

Thats tough, I don’t know everyone who’s ever lived, but I have a couple of friends who make my sides hurt whenever I’m with them. I like people who are spontaneously funny, not really comedians.


Who’s your favorite namesake?

I don’t know anyone who shares my first name. I wish I did, then I could call them and say “hey is jenna there? Its Jenna.”. And we’d laugh and laugh.

At The Mike Stand with Jenne Lennon (Singer/Songwriter).

At The Mike Stand with Jenne Lennon

Jenne Lennon is one of a rare breed. See, she’s an Irish/Italian/American singer/songwriter (and user of most of our backslashes it would seem, doesn’t she know there’s a recession on?). The Chicago-based songstrel, that’s what we call singer/songwriting-type young ladies round here you see, is well-regarded in her field as being something of an expert in Celtic/World music, with some critics even referring to her as the ‘Janis Joplin of Celtic music’, no really, they do. In 2009, the hard-working artist even founded her own record label, Glencoe Records (www.glencoerecords.com), which she intends to use as a base to promote and develop the recorded works of Celtic and World Music artists worldwide. Her latest single, ‘Bonny Portmore’ is currently on sale at iTunes, Amazon.com, Rhapsody and most other online outlets, and is featured on the ‘Going Back Home Volume 11’ compilation album through Quickstar/Sony Productions. In the midst of all this musician-type business however, she was kind enough to step aside and answer some ridiculous questions for us. Jenne, welcome to ‘At The Mike Stand’.

By Mike Fitzpatrick.

 

What would you like your own tribute act to be called?
Gaelic and Garlic. I’m half Irish and half Italian.

When’s the last time you laughed out loud?
About 5 seconds ago when I read your question about my tribute act!

What act would you like to have seen perform live?
I’ve never seen Sting or The Police live. Had the privilege of jamming with Sting once, but never had the chance to see him perform. I would also love to see Lisa Gerrard, Dead Can Dance, or Afro-Celt Soundsystem.

What team do you support?
Unfortunately, none at the moment! This year has really gotten away from me and I’ve found practically no time to follow sports. I used to follow The Chicago Fire and The Cubs, but I don’t think I’ve watched The Super Bowl in years.

What period in history would you most like to have visited?
I would have to say late Medieval to early Renaissance. Joan of Arc is my favorite historical person and I am fascinated with the time that she lived in. This was also a very important time in history for music. Ancient choral music and notation was starting to form and become more uniform.

What song would you most like to have written?

Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition” I could never have written anything like that. That song is not even my style, but damn! It is one hell of a song!

Who or what, would make you leave a room?

Spiders! Absolutely no exceptions! Big, small, whatever color! If I see one, I jet!

What decade rules (and why)?
The 80’s, it was the decade I was born! Seriously, I hope this next decade coming will rule and prove to be the best. I think the world and America particularly has come quite far in the past couple of years. I really hope the next decade will be a special one for all of us around the world.

What cover version do you most enjoy performing?
U2’s “Mysterious Ways”.

What movie role would you like to have played?

Any female role in ‘The Lord of The Rings’.

Have you ever been told you looked like somebody?

I’m told on a daily basis that I remind people of someone. The two women I get the most are Anne Hathaway and Norah Jones.

What’s the first album you remember buying?
Oh, dear. I think I received a Wilson Philips tape on my 10th birthday! On my 11th, I bought myself a recording of Beethoven’s 3rd, 7th, and 9th Symphonies.

Who’s your favorite Beatle?

Most people would think it was John because we share a last name, but my favorite is Paul. I think he is an incredible songwriter even after his work with the Beatles, and to this day he has such a sweet voice that really speaks to me. He never disappoints when he performs.

What’s your favorite Christmas song?
‘O Holy Night’.

Who’s the most rock and roll person who ever lived?
That’s a tough one. My favorite rock star is Bono, but if we’re talking lifestyle, I think Elvis, Janis Joplin, Mick Jagger, and Jimi Hendrix were very rock and roll.

What artist/song/genre do you secretly enjoy listening to?
I love Asteroid Galaxy Tour and Muse. I don’t think anyone would expect me to say that!

Who would you most like to meet/have met?
Deceased, Joan of Arc. Living, Barack Obama.

What book can you read again and again?
‘The Pillars of The Earth’ (Follet).

What’s the greatest album ever recorded?
Damn, that’s tough! In my humble opinion, it would be the Beatles White Album and U2’s “All That You Can’t Leave Behind.”

What artists would you most like to have played with in the band of your dreams?
That’s a great question! Sting, U2, Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney, Ella Fitzgerald, R.E.M, and Bonnie Raitt.

What do few people know about you?

I have an identical twin sister named Dani.

What sitcom character can you most identify with?

Daphne from “Frasier”. She’s quirky and silly, but kind-hearted like me. Though, my friends and family think I’m a balance between Rose and Dorothy from ‘The Golden Girls’.

What movie can you watch over and over again?
‘Stardust’ and ‘The Proposal’. I really like films that are innocent and fun. Those kinds of movies never get old.

Who’s your favorite cartoon character?
Homer Simpson and Spongebob Squarepants.

What’s the greatest place you’ve visited?

That’s the toughest question yet! My favorite city is Vienna, but Cornwall is the most powerful place I have ever been. I cannot remember being so moved by an area’s history and landscape.

What’s mankind’s most wonderful invention?
It’s a tie between written word and flight. Two things that changed mankind forever.

What’s mankind’s most irritating invention?
Fax machines. I don’t see the point especially with email attachments in existence. They’re loud, unreliable, and you can’t get through to someone on a landline if a fax is going out. That terrible screeching sound it makes over the phone pierces the brain!

Who’s the funniest person who ever lived?
Without a doubt, Robin Williams.

Who’s your favorite namesake?
I don’t know if anyone shares my name. Mine’s pretty unusual, though the root of my name is a form of Jennifer, which comes from the Welsh form of the Cornish Gwynefaar-i.e. Queen Guinevere, so let’s go with Arthur’s Queen Guinevere.

 

At The Mike Stand with Laoisa Sexton (Actress)

At The Mike Stand With Laoisa Sexton

You know, this job’s not so bad sometimes. There we were hanging around the Mike Stand eating cheese sandwiches and minding every one else‘s business, when who should we bump into, only hot  young actress, Laoisa Sexton. The bubbly Dubliner is currently in New York City preparing to star in Irish playwright Paula Meehan’s play, ‘Cell’, at the Gene Frankel Theatre, situated at 24 Bond Street in lower Manhattan (opening on September 8th, tickets are available through http://www.smarttix.com).  Stepping aside from rehearsals for a few minutes, the lovely Laoisa was only too happy to join us At The Mike Stand.

When’s the last time you laughed out loud?

Talking to my Da on the phone from Dublin this morning!

What act would you like to have seen perform live?

Front row seat: Marlon Brando in “Streetcar Named Desire” on Broadway.
What team(s) do you support?

I’m part of a great team right now, doing a play for the 1st Irish Theater Festival. It’s called CELL written by award winning Dublin playwright, Paula Meehan! We open September 8th at the Gene Frankel Theatre, and tickets just went on sale at Smarttix http://www.smarttix.com or through http://www.myspace.com/cellthenypremiereI know- Shameless plug!
What period in history would you most like to have visited?

The French Revolution, a royal or an aristocrat (who escapes the guillotine!), I would have to be able to bring my dogs with me though! They would fit in, they are feisty chihuahuas, Hamlet and Penelope.
What song would you most like to have written?

‘Somewhere over the Rainbow’.

Who or what, would make you leave a room?

Depends on whose in the other room!
What decade rules (and why)?

The Sixties around 1967-1969, the films, Terence Stamp, Julie Christie, the music, the mods, the clothes, Twiggy, Jean Shrimpton, Mick Jagger, the cars. Just the fact that everything wasn’t done already like now, or so it seems!
What is your karaoke specialty?

I’ve never done Karaoke but does singing in the bath count?
What movie role would you like to have played?

I’d love to have been in a Fellini film, or “On The Waterfront”. I’d love to be in a Roman Polanski film or Mike Leigh, anything by Tennessee Williams, or Jim Sheridan. Even though I’m not a fella, I would love to have played Daniel Day Lewis’s part in “In The Name of The Father”

Have you ever been told you looked like somebody?

Yes there’s a new one everyday, everyone from Miss Piggy to Brigitte Bardot.

What’s the first album you remember buying?My Mam had all these Broadway show records I used to listen to, like West Side Story, but I think the first CD I actually bought was LL Cool J’s “Mama Said Knock You Out”.

Who’s your favorite Beatle?

They called him the “Fifth Beatle”- George Best, in his prime!
What’s your favorite Christmas song?

“Wish It Could be Christmas Every Day” by Slade. I love Christmas music! It is mandatory in my house to dance around to Frank Sinatra’s Christmas Collections!

Who’s the most rock and roll person who ever lived?

Richard Burton.

What artist/song/genre do you secretly enjoy listening to?

Never a secret when it comes to music

Who would you most like to meet /have met?

I don’t really like meeting people I truly admire. I just love to see their work.”Great artists exist simply in what they make, and consequently and perfectly are uninteresting in what they are” Oscar Wilde. Having said that though, Elizabeth Taylor would be up there. I do love meeting anyone who inspires me.

What book can you read again and again?

‘Alice in Wonderland’ by Lewis Carroll, my Da says everyone from your own life is in there, he’s right! ‘Catcher in The Rye’ comes a close second..

What’s the greatest album ever recorded?

Anything and everything by Michael Jackson. Billie Jean is the best song ever.

What artists would you most like to have played with in the band of your dreams (supergroup)?

Can we do a play together? Cool, well then Starring Peter O’ Toole, Brendan Gleason, Sean Penn, Shelley Winters, Daniel Day Lewis, Judy Dench, Maggie Smith, Ricky Gervais, Albert Finney, James Gandolfini, Peter Sellars, and me! Directed by Mark O’ Rowe, co-written by William Shakespeare, Martin Mc Donagh and Oscar Wilde!

What sitcom character can you most identify with?

Vicky Pollard (Little Britain)…I know not really a sitcom but I don’t really watch TV!

What movie can you watch over and over again?

‘Withnail & I’

Who’s your favorite cartoon character?

Winnie the Pooh, the classic version not Disney.

What’s the greatest place you’ve visited?

My dreams
What’s mankind’s most wonderful invention?

Bed.
What’s mankind’s most irritating invention?

Reality TV although not sure if it could be classified as an invention, more like a disease!
Who’s the funniest person who ever lived?

There’s no shortage of them in my personal life, or here in NY!

Who’s your favorite namesake?

Well I have a Gaelic name, so I don’t know if there is one for “Laoisa”…hey maybe it’s a one off!

At The Mike Stand with Colin Devlin (Singer/Songwriter).

At The Mike Stand With Colin Devlin
So, there we were minding our own business, when who should happen to be drop by The Mike Stand, but Colin Devlin. The County Down-born singer/songwriter, has been a busy chap of late it would seem. You see Colin, the lead singer with acclaimed act, The Devlins has a new solo album, ‘Democracy of One’ due out soon (though it’s currently available to download on iTunes), and ‘Refuge’, a track from the album, has already been chosen as the featured song on the hit A&E series, ‘The Cleaner’, starring Benjamin Bratt. Having already toured with artists such as Sarah McLachlan, Tori Amos, Sheryl Crow and R.E.M., The Devlins, and indeed Colin himself, have amassed quite a following, due also to the popularity of their songs ‘Waiting’ and ‘World Outside’ which were used  in hit HBO show ‘Six Feet Under’ and 2004 drama ‘Closer’ respectively. Later this year Colin will play the Electric Picnic and the Sugar Club in Ireland, followed by some London dates, though in the meantime look out for an East Coast tour in the fall. Colin, welcome to pages of The Irish Examiner.

Who would be in your supergroup?Let me see, Pete Townshend, David Sylvian, two of the members of Kraftwerk, and we’d have to have Keith Moon on drums. When’s the last time you laughed out loud?Probably after our last show on Saturday night, so, quite recently! What act would you like to have seen perform live?I’d love to have seen Jimi Hendrix play live, that’d have been amazing, or Van Morrison, during the Astral Weeks phase. What team(s) do you support?I love watching the Irish (soccer) national team. I was at the Ireland versus Norway game in the ‘94 World Cup in New York, at Giants Stadium. The band were on tour and I think we flew in from L.A. for it. It was 0-0, what a crap game!What period in history would you most like to have visited?You know, living in L.A., it got me thinking. I’d love to have lived here in the 1930s, during the ‘Golden Age’ of Hollywood. It must have been amazing here, to have been a successful actor back then, it must have been like you were royalty. Who or what, would make you leave a room?Very loud people that have no idea what they’re talking about. What cover version do you most enjoy performing?I do an acoustic version of Brian Ferry’s ‘Slave to Love’. I once saw (jazz vocalist) Little Jimmy Scott perform it at Vicar Street in Dublin, and it was amazing, so my version is more Little Jimmy Scott than Brian Ferry. What movie role would you like to have played?I think we’d all like to have played James Bond, wouldn’t we?Have you ever been told you looked like somebody?I was quite pleased when someone told me I looked like a young Leonardo DiCaprio. That was a very long time ago though, make sure you put it in that it was a long time ago!What’s the first album you remember buying?It was ‘Man, Machine and Music’ by Kraftwerk. I remember it blowing my mind, at the age of twelve!Who’s your favorite Beatle?Oh, it’s got to be John. What’s your favorite Christmas song?‘O Holy Night’. Who’s the most rock and roll person who ever lived?Howard Hughes, he was pretty rock and roll, wasn’t he? What artist/song/genre do you secretly enjoy listening to?I’m a big A-Ha fan. That’s probably something you wouldn’t really tell people. What book can you read again and again?‘Modern Ireland 1600-1972’, by R.M. Foster. It’s all the stuff we were kind of force-fed in school, but it’s incredible. It’s a tough read, it’s not exactly ‘Family Guy’!What’s your favorite album?Probably ‘Secrets of the Beehive’ by David Sylvian, though that’s such a fey answer! My favorite album for a long time was Prefab Sprout’s ‘Steve McQueen’, such a great record. Actually, scrap that, The Blue Nile’s ‘Hats’, such a great record. What sitcom character can you most identify with?I’m a huge ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ fan, so probably (that show’s) Larry. I met Larry David once at a restaurant in Santa Monica. It was a beautiful bar overlooking the ocean, and he looked as if he was filming an episode, you know, same clothes, walk and mannerisms. I was convinced there was a hidden camera somewhere. What movie can you watch over and over again?‘The Third Man’ is my favorite movie. We did a gig in Vienna, (where the film’s based) a few years ago, and I just booked the gig because I wanted to go on ‘The Third Man’ tour to be honest, which we didn’t get to do in the end. Who’s your favorite cartoon character?Probably the guy from ‘Family Guy’, what’s his name, Peter?What’s the greatest place you’ve visited?Cambodia probably. I went there a long, long time ago. It was an amazing culture shock. To see the sunrise in Cambodia, it was incredible. Then when I was sixteen I worked on the missions for six weeks in Africa, as part of a school project. I went to Blackrock College, and we were to experience all sides of life in Africa, you know, one day working in a shanty town, the next visiting the ambassador’s home. It really changed the way that I see life, the whole thing about not taking anything for granted, and being grateful for what you have. What actor would play you in a movie about your life?Probably a very young Leonardo DiCaprio!What’s your tipple?Stella Artois.What’s mankind’s most wonderful invention?It’s a boring answer, but probably, my MacBook pro. What’s mankind’s most irritating invention?Again, the MacBook pro!

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