Well NPR, you've done it again.
Pure brilliance. That is perhaps the most accurate way to describe the new Sense of Place (intellectual confession -- I'm fascinated by notions of place -- how do we identify with where we're from/have been/are? what makes a place special? ideas of native/immigrant? what are local artifacts in no-longer-localized world? etc. -- maybe a research project is forthcoming -- traversing the technoscape: music, literature, food, and our sense of place [title is a work in progress -- suggestions are welcome]) feature from NPR Music. With this new quarterly series, David Dye and crew "hope to give you [and me] an idea of the past and present of the local music scene and some pointers for musicians or music-lovers planning a visit." What a smashing idea!
And where do you imagine this magical musical tour should begin...
Ireland, of course!
A destination of complexity, Be sure to listen to World Cafe's comprehensive (rather surprisingly given its less than 17 minute duration) history of contemporary Irish music -- with particular focus on the Dublin music scene. Glen Hansard's "Ireland...is a beautiful girl" introduction is reason enough to pause whatever you are doing and listen to the broadcast. The associated text is quite brief, give it a perusal, but definitely listen to the broadcast -- and then download some Irish music (e.g. The Frames, The Swell Season, Lisa Hannigan, Villagers, Sinéad O'Connor, oh and maybe less known bands such as U2 or Van Morrison).
And to top things off, here's Glen's walking tour of Dublin (be sure to take a few moments to explore the interactive map)