Sunday, 27 May 2012

Listening Club - 27th May 2012

Eurovision greetings to you all!

Mixed feelings here over a contest victory decision that showed the Euro-mass expressing preference for wiggle-footed trance-pop over a posse of biscuit-baking octogenarians. Lordy, and indeed Lordi, what has the (euro)world come to?

Meanwhile, back on planet LC last week, @jayesofine stepped up to the turntable and delivered Leslie Winer aka © 's "Witch", which managed the rare feat of silencing quite a few of the LC faithful as they moved into "serious listening" mode, and showing how tough it is to get deep into a record and tweet simultaneously. Another fine choice - Thanks Jaye!

(Note also that, in a wonderful bit of synchronicity, the John Peel archive picked the same album as their "Hidden Gem" of the week at exactly the same time, showing how we, the LC, are firmly in the centre of the retro zeitgeist, if you allow such a thing to exist in your universe.)

Although the tweequency (c) was reduced, wit and wisdom was still in evidence, allowing Jaye to nominate @SamSmitter to be thrown into the spotlight this week. Over to him...

"The album I have chosen for this week comes into the 'neglected artist' category. I don't have an autobiographical tale about how I came to it - I read an article about the artist (it may even have been an obituary) which sounded interesting, and I investigated and ending up buying everything they produced in a sadly truncated career. I wanted to choose something with a different feel and genre from the previous Listening Club selections, all of which I have enjoyed, and some of which I have loved. This is a much older record, made before I was born. I wanted something which I consider to be a great album, but which may not be familiar to everyone. If you don't know the artist, you will probably know at least a couple of the songs on this album in versions by other people.
This one is more of a mellow 'downer' of a record than a roller-coaster ride. A single-malt whisky in a darkened room sort of record. As is now customary for Listening Club, it will not be to everyone's taste, but I hope it will be a discovery for one or two. If you know it, I hope you will enjoy the close listen I think it rewards. If it is new to you, relax and enjoy the warm blanket of a great voice, great musicians, and a great songwriter."

Download is here (direct dropbox link), or the album can be streamed online here (via Mixcloud)

Start time, as always, is 8pm BST (GMT+1), search #listeningclub and follow @listeningclub to see what's going on. I'm off to boil in the sun whilst building my mum a new shed. Happy Sunday, and hopefully see you this evening.

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Listening Club - 20th May 2012

Hello once again,

Writing this up a day early, as I'm off on the razz tonight, and want to get it promptly to you, unhindered by whatever state I happen to find myself in come Sunday morning. To post today or to rely on my phone tomorrow though, I don't know. I'll think about it whilst I run through the scores on the doors...

So last week @dorianrodgers came amongst you all with the decidedly outrĂ© choice of Sudden Sway's "76 Kids Forever". Were the #LC ready for an album-length 80s soap opera dwelling on the changing attitudes and fortunes of a bunch of small-town Englanders? For the most part the answer was "yes", although a rather muted "yes", to be honest. It certainly got the chat flowing though, and fitted the LC bill to a tee, so thanks to Dorian for the pick.

Not only did Dorian make a fine album choice, he also nominated @Jayesofine to go into the hot seat this week, making her the first two-times nominated selector, and forcing her to take time out from planning her upcoming wedding to write this!...

"Picture the scene…

It’s the Nineties, a young woman walks the streets of a small town in East Anglia, streets of boredom, streets of charity shops, dog shit and discarded McDonalds wrappers. 

She’s searching, searching for something new to listen too, something to lose herself in. Escapism is all there is in this town, be it drink, drugs, or losing yourself in the soundscapes available at the local independent record shops. (remember when you had more than one?)

Mix tapes were the currency that kept you free, traded over full ashtrays and half-drunk cups of coffee in friends kitchens, usually kitchens of the disco variety as if there were any other kind. But the mix tapes were predominantly old songs, not that there is anything wrong with the old songs, but she wanted new songs, songs that smelt of a brighter future. 

But then out of nowhere a new CD/Magazine arrived, ‘Volume’  its name, the size of a CD it was packed with new bands, new music, rare songs, remixes and interviews. A chink of light shone into her life, leaving her feeling more confident than ever.

Through this magazine her CD collection grows and thanks to a 6 page interview and 1 track she discovers an album that still gets regularly played today and that is the overly flowery write up of how my selection for tonight’s listening club was discovered.

It’s another WTF is that album. It’s a fairly mellow affair containing aspects of dub, techno, sampling, rock and spoken world but mixed into a hypnotic whole. 

It’s also the first album to Listening Club by a woman and it has something to say.

All I ask from you Listening Club is that at 8pm tonight could you turn the lights out please?"

Download is here (direct dropbox link), or the album can be streamed online here (via Mixcloud)

Start time, as always, is 8pm BST (GMT+1), search #listeningclub and follow @listeningclub to see what's going on. I'm going to post this up now, so I've one less thing to remember! See you Sunday...

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Listening Club - 13th May 2012

Hello again,

Sun has finally poked it's head out in London, and after spending yesterday afternoon enjoying live music and jynnuntonix at an impromptu street party, I dare to suggest that summer may have arrived in this part of the world.

Which is just as well, as I've spent most of the week cleaning up LC-HQ following last week's chaos - the first time I've missed a playback and oh boy, look what happened... @rebeldiamond7 's choice of Foxy Shazam's eponymous 2010 album certainly provoked a stong Marmite reaction. Some hated, some loved, lines were drawn and shots were fired, but huge respect to @rebeldiamond7 for giving it a go, this is truly what the LC should be about.

Now the dust has settled, and been hoovered away, we find @dorianrogers in the hot seat...

"As you can tell from my inventive Twitter handle my name is Dorian Rogers. I edit and write stuff for the music website/blog Not professionally though as you can tell if you read my stuff.

I spend most of my time listening to jangly guitar based indie pop, miserable country music and chin stroking guitar noise records. Although none of that really describes the choice I made this week.

I thought it would take me a while to come up with a selection if I was picked, but in the end it really selected itself. I had just picked up a CD of this album so i could have a digital copy after previously only owning it on slightly scratched vinyl.  It fitted the bill for me by being unusual, unlikely to be well known and most importantly a fantastic record. It isn't going to be to everyone's tastes I'm sure but I hope that people enjoy it and find something to like.

Happy listening!"

Download is here (direct Dropbox link), and the Mixcloud stream is here!

Start time, as always, is 8pm BST (GMT+1), search #listeningclub and follow @listeningclub to see what's going on. Let's see what happens this time....

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Listening Club - 6th May 2012

Salutations to you all,

On the zoom-zoom today, as I'm off to the Camden Crawl in an hour to spin a few tunes, drink beer and, if I'm lucky, eat a good lunch, so imagine a selection of bon-mots and witticisms in this paragraph, if you would...

Last week, @JimMcCauly stepped up to the plate and delivered the musical punch that is The Wolfmen's "Modernity Killed Every Night", which left the entire squad guessing fight until the end. A mighty fine record, and a smart selection - many thanks to Jim!

Jim has picked @rebeldiamond7 to be this week's carrier of the LC torch, so over to her for the pre-match...

"So the (musical) torch has been handed to me by Jim McCauley, I hope it is still lit by the time you’ve heard my choice! In fact I hope the torch starts an almighty bonfire that we all dance around with gleeful abandon!

I thought I might start by clarifying that I am actually a girl. Lady, woman, chick, gal... and not a boy. I think the name Rebel Diamond must be a little ambiguous and many out there have mistaken my twitter presence as that of a man. I have to admit I quite like the ambiguity...

Now that’s cleared up: onto the good stuff. I’m very precious and protective over the music I like (as I’m sure we all are on here) and so it was a tough decision choosing what to play you guys. There were so, so many in the running. Some that I am certain you would all know and others that were a little more obscure.  My taste in music is pretty varied, from heavy rock to pop and everything in between – but mostly I love guitars, drums, interesting vocals, heart wrenching lyrics, witty lyrics...

I knew there was one band I had to avoid: I couldn’t bear to hear anything negative about a certain Mr Flowers so didn’t dare put you through a random Killers album or even solo BF album through fear that you might not feel the same way about Mr Feathered Epaulettes as I do. I’ve had many a heated debate about ‘he’ from Las Vegas and there are simply not enough characters on twitter to defend him fully (don’t worry the mister is well aware of my feelings and Mr Flowers is on ‘my list’ should the occasion arise...)

So fear not, I have chosen something upbeat, fun and rip roaring! It’s a bit glam rock again, a bit punk, bit pop, bit soul and more than a bit bloomin fantastic. But then you might think otherwise!... They don’t take themselves too seriously – so neither should you, but at the same time they are one of the most professional acts I have ever seen and give it more welly and heart on stage than I knew possible. A joy. I adore every track but a favourite is no.7. Hit me with your thoughts! (Softly please – am a gal don’t forget) and most importantly enjoy!

Bombs away..."

Right, that's you lot suitably informed! Download link is here (mediafire link), and Mixcloud is here for all you streamers.

Start time, as always, is 8pm BST (GMT+1), search #listeningclub and follow @listeningclub to see what's going on... see you then!