A Question of Taste with Michael Carr

Michael Carr: Green Room on 96fm.

Michael Carr is originally from Dublin, but has lived in Cork for 16 years. He co-runs Blue Monkey PR agency, looking after a variety of clients, and also presents The Green Room on Cork’s 96FM on Saturdays at 6pm.

Best recent book:

The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen. Set in the aftermath of the Vietnam war and written from the point of view of the Vietnamese who were forced to flee their country. Manages to be both harrowing and disturbingly funny, while conveying things from a perspective not often seen in the West.

Best recent film:

Suburra — Italian crime film in the vein of the excellent film and series Gomorrah. Multi-layered, well written and pulls no punches.

Best recent show/exhibition/gig you’ve seen:

I went to see Grandaddy at Vicar St a few weeks back, one of my favourite bands of the last 15 years and a band I’d managed to miss on several occasions. They seemed a bit nervous as they haven’t played together for a good while, but didn’t disappoint. They were supported by Windings, one of my favourite Irish bands — excellent gig.

Best piece of music you’ve been listening to lately: Have to be careful here as we are working on a few brilliant albums and it would be like trying to pick a favourite child. Staying neutral, I think Katie Kim’s new album, Salt is a very moving piece of work.

First ever piece of music or art or film or gig that really moved you: When I was very young I saw the old B&W version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame with Charles Laughton, pictured, and Maureen O’Hara. I don’t think I could sleep that night and thought about it for days afterwards. Stayed with me to this day.

The best gig or show you’ve ever seen: Pixies at the National Stadium in 1990 still stands out in my memory as one of those musically defining moments. Cureheads, indie kids, goths, rockers and punks all going mental together to a band at the peak of their powers. Literally had the shirt torn off my back and loved it.

Tell us about your TV viewing:

Increasingly less and less as time goes on. The Big Bang Theory seems to be on a loop in my house. Other than that, I’m enjoying the new series of Black Mirror on Netflix.

Radio listening and/or podcasts:

Cork’s 96FM of course! I’m also a big fan of Off the Ball (Newstalk) and some mad digital techno station that broadcasts from Prague.

You’re curating your dream festival — what three artists are on the bill? Joni Mitchell, Sonic Youth and King Tubby.

Your best celebrity encounter:

I’ve been lucky enough to have a few over the years through the job, but if I had to pick a stand out from pure respect for what he has done over the years, both career-wise and socially, it would be Chuck D from Public Enemy. I got to spend some time with him and his crew a couple of years back at Indiependence.

Best animal encounter: We went whale watching off the coast from Union Hall recently and got to see fin whales up close and personal. It was a calm day on the water and we got to within 15 metres of them lunging. That was pretty amazing.

Unsung heroes: A few years back I spent some time with the Hope Foundation in Calcutta. They are well recognised for their work in fairness, but what really amazed me was the attitude of the Cork secondary students who go over to do voluntary work every year. Seeing them with the Indian street kids, and knowing the amount of fundraising they do, made me very proud to be Irish.

You are king for a day — what’s your first decree?

Insist that the Central Bank pays off everyone’s first mortgage.


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