Sense Of Place: Come For The Beer, Stay For The Music | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : World Cafe

Sense Of Place: Come For The Beer, Stay For The Music

Throughout the week, World Cafe travels to Dublin, Ireland — the first stop in a quarterly series called Sense of Place. We hope to give you an idea of the past and present of the city's local music scene and provide tips from musicians and music lovers for those hoping to visit this culturally rich town.

Acting as tour guide is Glen Hansard, the Academy Award-winning songwriter and singer for both The Frames and The Swell Season. Hot Press editor Niall Stokes, who helms the Irish equivalent of Rolling Stone, and musician Conor O'Brien of the band Villagers also provide local insight.

If you're a musician traveling to Dublin, there's one thing you can't avoid talking about. No, it's not music. It's beer: Guinness, to be exact.

"If we had royalty in Ireland ... it would be the Guinnesses," Glen Hansard says. "They're like the new high kings of our land."

He's not exaggerating. When the Guinness family opened its Dublin brewery in 1759, the factory employed thousands of Irish workers, gave them medical benefits, built them flats and started running soup kitchens for the homeless. A constant reminder of this still hangs in the air: "The smell of Dublin is the thick smell of burnt hops," Hansard says.

So maybe musicians visit the town for the beer, but they stay for the music. Josh Ritter toured with The Frames for a year, and was enticed by the city's enthusiasm for good music. Guitar duo Rodrigo Y Gabriela took it a step further and relocated to the city from Mexico. Because Dublin is so small and friendly, it's easy to meet musicians, even your idols — Hansard tells of meeting Bob Dylan on the street, and of making such an impression that Hansard was invited to open for the legend the following night in London.

"We're a communicative nation," Hansard says. "So come and talk to someone. We're very open."

Click here to learn more about Sense of Place, and check out WXPN's interactive map of Dublin.

Copyright 2011 WXPN-FM. To see more, visit http://www.xpn.org/.

NPR

Women Can't Make Sushi And Other Fishy Myths, Busted

Sushi is supposed to be eaten at room temperature and right after it's made. So why are we buying out of the cold case at the supermarket? And where are all the women sushi chefs?
NPR

Women Can't Make Sushi And Other Fishy Myths, Busted

Sushi is supposed to be eaten at room temperature and right after it's made. So why are we buying out of the cold case at the supermarket? And where are all the women sushi chefs?
NPR

Congress Quietly Extends The Budget — Past Election Day, Anyway

Since the GOP retook the House, the chamber once brought the country to the brink of a debt default and once shut down the government. But in election years, including this one, there's no such drama.
NPR

Retailers' Customers Cautioned As Cyber Attacks Continue

Home Depot says some 56 million card holders were possibly compromised in a cyber attack. It says there's no evidence that debit PIN numbers were comprised or that the breach affected online shoppers.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.