Sunday, 23 June 2019

The Listening Club - 23rd June 2019

Greetings folks,

Hope you're all doing fine. Feeling better here in Amsterdam, partially as my back is recovering (not a slipped disc as first suspected, which is really good news, but still something I'd rather not have to deal with), and also finally we have some decent weather, and the first festival of the summer to attend, which brought lots of joy, and fine sets from African Headcharge, Joy Orbison and Laraaji amongst many others.

Speaking of ye festivals, providing my body holds together, we'll be away in a couple of weekend's time at Down The Rabbit Hole, so as usual, looking for a volunteer to run things here on Sunday 7th July in my absence, so let me know if you feel like helping out, thanks!

Last week, @akx was in the chair, going widescreen quite literally with his pick of The Cinematic Orchestra's "To Believe", which fared pretty well. Thanks to Aarni for the selection, and for sailing the frisb over to @brainspiritus, who's right here with tonight's intro...

"Happy Sunday from sunny Kiel, where the 125th Kieler Woche sailing regatta/music festival has just kicked off.

It's been a rough couple of weeks at work for me, so I hope you will indulge me in a trip to the past while I ignore the uncertainties of the future. Tonight's mystery album is a 2002 release by a band that was a bit of a two-hit wonder here in Germany around that time (even though they continue to release and tour to this day).

At that time, I had just about started university, and had the kind of priorities that people in that situation might have, i.e. finding approval and, I admit, lust, in other people's eyes may have been important to me in other ways than it is now. Alas, my salad days were not without their share of slugs (whose ever were?), and this is where this album fits in nicely, with its sense of juvenile righteousness that becomes so infuriatingly incomprehensible to people of a more sedate age.

It was also an interesting time technologically, because no longer was there the fine motor control and short-term memory needed for dialling a number from a phonebook on a rotary dial telephone, and smartphones that would need very carefully enunciated voice commands were still a thing of the far future, so it was far too easy to make drunken phone calls after listening to this album one too many times.

#drinkingclub: red wine, cheap, with the last sip reserved for blotting out that phone number on that cocktail napkin. Do not drink the lighter fluid you're using to burn those photos. And don't make that phone call.

As for my usual suspicions: I think it's fair to say there will be no surprise metal guitars in this one."

Okaydoke. Direct download is here, and the HearThis stream is below:

See you at 8pm BST (GMT+1) tonight.

Sunday, 16 June 2019

The Listening Club - 16th June 2019

Greetings folks,

Hope you're all doing fine, at least finer than me, as I'm currently horizontally confined to the sofa dealing with a slipped disc. Ouch and a half, and hoping I can recuperate in time for some festival visits in the near future... feel free to wish me well!

Last week chez #LC it was myself, getting all folky on your collective bods with a pick of Norma Waterson & Eliza Carthy's "Anchor", which went down very well indeed, I'm happy to report. Following that, the frisb was sailed across to @akx, who took time out from his busy schedule to send across this for tonight...

"As mentioned last Sunday, if you were keeping track, I'm submitting this one in absentia, since I'll be off to exotic Lahti (also called the Chicago of Finland, and not in a good way) for the weekend as one of the organizers of Desucon, arguably the finest convention on anime and Japanese culture in Finland... anyway, to the point!

This was one of those albums I knew was gonna be great the moment I heard the first single release off it (track #2), and the moment I got my paws on the full album, I knew it belonged on the #listeningclub shortlist. As such, you may have heard (some of) it already, and at the very least I wouldn't be surprised if you'd heard one of the ensemble's earlier albums. (They're all damn good.)

Oh, and this is one of those guest-vocalist sort of albums, so don't get too attached to one voice.

Anyway -- looking forward to what you think!

(As for #drinkingclub, I suggest a good wine or an elegant cocktail or several. A good whisk(e)y or bourbon wouldn't go amiss either, but maybe do skip the cheap lager for this if you can.)"

Okaydoke. Direct download is here, and the ol' Hear This stream is below:

See you tonight at 8pm BST (GMT+1)

Sunday, 9 June 2019

The Listening Club - 9th June 2019

Greetings folks,

Hope all is good in your hood. It's been rather stormy here in Amsterdam (see here, just round the corner of our abode), which is quite a surprise, sad for many festivals and events that have been cancelled or drastically reduced as a result. Hopefully the "proper" Summer will start soon... Fortunately we're still buzzing from a truly astronomical weekend of Stockhausen-insanity (see here for some pics, although that doessn't show the insane 24 channel surround sound system or the all-round enormo-scale of the staging), topped off with a dronetastic Thurston Moore show on Monday. Seriously one of the most amazing weekends of sound and vision I've had in a good while.

Whilst we were in the midst of all that, @nessiest's pick of Kikagaku Moyo's "House In The Tall Grass" was psyching out the assembled chez #LC. Thanks to Ness for the pick, and for keeping the frisb on the sofa by flipping it across to me, so...

"No, it's not Stockhausen. Tempting though it would have been to do all 25 hours of Licht, and it's not 17 hours of Radiohead outtakes either, tempting though that would have been too...

Nope, I'm feeling in a gentle mood, so playing a bit against type, here's an album from last year, by a 79 year old English lady, accompanied in places by her daughter and her husband, and featuring works by Kurt Weill and Rudyard Kipling amongst others that you will surely recognise. It's definitely an album with a twinkle in its eye. Hope you enjoy."

Direct download is here, and the HearThis stream is below:

See you at 8pm BST (GMT+1)

Sunday, 2 June 2019

The Listening Club - 2nd June 2019

Greetings folks,

Hope all is well and good with you. Tapping this out a couple of days early as we have a bumper weekend of weird ahead of us in the shape of a huge chunk of Stockhausen's "Licht" opera cycle, which is being performed just up the road from here in the Westergasfabriek over the next three days, and, well... it would be rude not to, wouldn't it? (if you want a taste of what it might be like, click here). And then for dessert, Thurston Moore & Group are here on Monday. So best get on with it whilst I still can, eh?

Last week, chez #LC and also chez here, @emmaprice rocked up and out with Pins' "Wild Nights", which got the toes of the assembled tapping quite happily. Thanks to Emma for the pick, the visit, and for sailing the frisb across to the other side of the sofa, where @nessiest was sitting. The very same @nessiest who has this to say by way of introduction to tonight's pick...

"The 2019 festival season is starting, with any luck it will bring some musical discoveries, surprises of the good kind. We could use more of those, right? 

In the next couple of months an artist is going to play the opening beats of what is about to become your favourite earworm to you. If you get out there and see them, that is. Festivals are a salad bowl of sounds and the best place to be delighted by live music that’s new to you. 

Tonight’s album is from a highlight of 2018’s festival funs. They’ve since become regulars on my personal playlist. Their albums come close to their live work. Some of you will already know them, hope you don’t mind the re-listen. If they’re new to you but not your cup of tea, hopefully you’ll discover your own new faves at a festival this summer. If they’re new to you and you love them, I still hope you’ll also discover your own new faves at a festival this summer."

Okaydoke! Direct download is here, and the HearThis stream is below:

Assemble at 8pm tonight!

Sunday, 26 May 2019

The Listening Club - 26th May 2019

Greetings folks,

Hope all is well and good. We're back from our sojourn in Berlin, much enjoyed, musical highlights being a mighty Dead Can Dance performance, and a guided tour around Hansa Studios, which was really quite enlightening, some serious history in and around that building, as you'd expect.

Last week, @JimMcCauley was running the show in both ways, with his whistle-blowing pick of The Private Sector's debut "Your Mind, Our Marketplace", which seemed to go down a treat, despite The Twitterbot network's attempts at censorship... all very sinister. Thanks to Jim for the fine work, and for sailing the frisb over to @EmmaPrice, who is right here in Amsterdam, and has this to say by way of introduction to tonight's pick...

"Greetings from Amsterdam where the weather is sunny, the cocktails are strong and the people watching is fantastic.

This act have been on my frisbaton shortlist for some time now. I saw them support the Breeders a couple of years back and was impressed with their energy, power and how they got the crowd going. 

Hope you enjoy & take the opportunity to catch the support act when you can."

Okaydoke. Direct download is here, and the HearThis stream is below:

See you at 8pm BST (GMT+1) for playback...

Sunday, 19 May 2019

The Listening Club – 19th May 2019

Time zone-appropriate salutation! @JimMcCauley here running ting while @kleptones is off doing lord knows what in, I think, Berlin. It's a lovely sunny morning in Bath right now but looks like it's going to cloud over any minute, which will be my cue to get on with some work or at least procrastinate a bit more.

Last week saw @eastvanhalen returning to the LC decks with a helping of New Orleans-flavoured R&B jazz-type stuff in the form of Jon Cleary & the Absolute Monster Gentlemen's Mo Hippa, which funked us all up good and proper. So thanks to Steph for the pick, and for conveniently flipping the old frisbaton my way.

Before I hand over to myself, a quick warning: this one's completely unsuitable for younger listeners, it features plenty of swears and vitriol, and it goes very dark in places, particularly around the 27-32 minute mark. If you see where it's going at that point and want to mute it until about 32:20, that's totally fine; I don't want to spoil anyone's evening but I do bloody love this album and there's literally nothing else I could have shared tonight.

Anyway! Over to me!

"Greetings, work unit. Do you ever worry that everything is irretrievably fucked? That the system is loaded against you and stacked in favour an elite that's not merely uncaring, but maybe even hostile towards you? Have you questioned the wisdom of labouring, day in and day out, to sustain yourself while making your CEO and directors ever more obscenely wealthy?

Trivial worries such as these can impact your productivity to the detriment of the Organisation, and to distract you from them we have arranged an enlightening and entertaining audio presentation for you, commencing at 20:00 BST in your local recreational facility.

This mandatory presentation will last approximately 45 minutes; you will be expected to make up this time at the end of your next work period. Please contact HR if you require counselling due to issues raised by the presentation. Work units are reminded that discussion of the Organisation's aims and objectives are strictly forbidden by the terms of their standard work contract, under penalty of termination.

The management calculates that this communiqué will take approximately two minutes to read; you will be expected to make up this time at the end of your next work period.

That is all. You may return to your duties."

All hail Discordia! Direct download's here, and you all know the score about HearThis and spoilers by now.

See you at 8!

Sunday, 12 May 2019

The Listening Club - 12th May 2019

Greetings folks, hope all is good.

Another grey'n'wet week here in Amsterdam, and another gig-shaped saving grace, this time in the form of Kate Tempest, who managed to get a packed little room to put away their phones and live in the moment as she debuted material from her new album (and one or two oldies). A totally spellbinding performance, as you'd expect...

Reminder that I'm away next weekend, still in need of someone to run tings here - let me know if you feel like giving it a go, thanks!

Last week in these here environs, @Holette was in the chair, with a cracking dual pick of Bobbie Gentry's "The Delta Sweete" followed by Mercury Rev's guest star studded re-imagining of the same album. Both of which went down very well indeed. Thanks to Sarah for the pick, and for sailing the frisbaton across the ocean to @EastVanHalen, who's right here with tonight's introduction...

"Of course I changed my &^%%#@% mind. I was going to play this awesome Victoria/Vancouver punk rawk album, NoMeansNo’s “Wrong,” for you all, but as I sat down to listen through it before I packaged it up for Eric I realized I might lose half the cohort to no-more-shouty-punk horror by the second track. (This is kind of a pity, because buried on the second side are two of my favourite songs, but I don’t think everyone’s recovered from ‘David Comes to Life” just yet.)

So: I went back to New Orleans, and to an album I’ve had pretty much on repeat for the past three months. It’s a mix of originals and New Orleans standards recorded live in Australia just over a decade ago. I love it because it’s irrepressibly happy, with that particular joy you get when genius players get right in the pocket playing music they love. Plus it has a Meters cover that I might even like more than the original, and that’s saying something.

#drinkingclub is something that will keep you on your feet. Enjoy."

Okaydoke. Direct download is here, and the HearThis stream is below:

See you at 8pm BST (GMT+1) tonight!