At The Mike Stand With… Brendan O’Shea
By Mike Fitzpatrick
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’.
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?
Who’s your favorite character from literature?
What’s the greatest place you’ve visited?
Who would you most like to meet/have met?
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?
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?!