David Bowie celebrated his 66th birthday earlier this week, and the elderly white duke marked the occasion with the release of his first single in 10 years, and news of an album to follow in March. The new tunes have been produced by Tony Visconti, the legendary studio whizz who also worked with Bowie on albums such as Heroes and Scary Monsters. Incidentally, Visconti has also worked with several Irish acts, most notably Thin Lizzy for the classic Live and Dangerous album. Unfortunately for another septuagenarian of the music biz, recent news hasn’t been so good. Bobby Womack, who came through surgery for colon cancer last year, has been diagnosed with the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. Meanwhile, Bono’s ailments are of a milder nature. His pal Julian Lennon has been spilling the beans about how brightness really bothers the U2 singer’s eyes — hence the 24-hour sunglasses — and apparently the condition is deteriorating. Johnny Depp and Gore Verbanski have another compilation of sea songs coming out in February, and one of the most interesting collaborations, Tom Waits and Keith Richards’ version of ‘Shenandoah’, surfaced online earlier this week. Other contributors on Son of Rogue’s Gallery include Shane MacGowan, Patti Smith and Iggy Pop. As well as that song, it’s been a high-profile week for Waits, as he also appeared as himself in a US broadcast of The Simpsons.
GIG WISE: First it had the cast of Tallafornia, now it has Ne-Yo — the Wright Venue certainly seems the place to be in Dublin. The well-muscled superstar (Ne-Yo) performs in the Swords venue tonight as part of a promotion for drinks brand Malibu. One would imagine that Ne-Yo will draw a slightly different crowd than that currently getting excited about the first solo visit of Keith Jarrett to Ireland in 30 years. The legendary pianist plays the National Concert Hall on Feb 21. Hip-hop afficianados will tell you how Kendrick Lamar’s 2012 album, Good Kid, M.a.a.d City, was one of the genre’s most exciting releases in years. You can catch the talented Comptonite at Vicar Street on Monday. At the Everyman in Cork, the return of Jack L is scheduled for Mar 30, while Aslan headline events at The Castle bar in Glanmire for the St Patrick’s weekend celebrations.
FILM TIPS: Triskel Christchurch in Cork begins its new weekly family screenings tomorrow at noon with A Cat In Paris, the Oscar-nominated tale of feline adventures. There’s also a full-length screening of Lawrence Of Arabia next Thursday at the venue, While other films over the next few days include The Master, directed by Paul Thomas Anderson and starring Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman. At the Briery Gap in Macroom, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy shows on Wednesday. The Roman Polanski season continues at IFI in Dublin with Tess on Sunday and The Tenant on Tuesday.
COMEDY CAPERS: American comedian Michael Winslow, better known as Motormouth from the Police Academy films, is at INEC Killarney on Feb 9 and the Everyman in Cork on Feb 10. British TV fave Sean Lock , left, brings his Purple Van Man show to the Olympia in Dublin on May 21.
THEATRE NIGHTS: London Classic Theatre return to the Everyman in Cork from Jan 29 with a production of The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde. The Cork Young Performers’ Festival runs at the Cork Arts Theatre until Sunday, with a programme of plays featuring actors aged 8-18. The same venue has a production of Love, Peace and Robbery, by this paper’s court reporter Liam Heylin, running from Tuesday to Jan 26. In Dublin, Frank McGuinness’s stage production of The Dead runs at the Abbey until next Saturday, while Alan Stanford directs Bedroom Farce by Alan Ayckbourn at the Gate from Jan 31.