Sunday, 29 July 2012

Listening Club - 29th July

Hi there,

Another week zooms by and here I am again. London, as I'm sure you're very much aware, has now been completely taken over by the Olympics, the opening ceremony causing more discussion, argument and polarised opinion than anything seen on these shores for many a year, which is quite a welcome achievement.

I'm generally not much of a patriot, but do feel rather proud to be part of any country that pretends to parachute their 86 year-old head of state out of a helicopter in front of a global TV audience. And managing to do it without plastering sponsors names all over your eyes. As for the rest of the games, well...

So, our global image safely re-affirmed, we cast our minds back to last Sunday, when @jonnydapigg rattled an equivalent number of braincells and earholes with The Deftones "Adrenaline". Okay, maybe not quite the equivalent number, but the effect was pretty much the same. Thanks to him for the pick, and for plucking @thejayarr out of the moshpit for this week's choice. Over to him...

"I mentioned on twitter immediately after last week’s session that there was one album that came to mind for my choice, as there was a pretty much direct autobiographical link to @jonnydapigg’s Deftones selection. Well, this is not that album. Ultimately, that incredibly obscure Australian sort-of-comedy-metal record seemed a little too ‘out there’ and I'm not brave enough to force it on everybody. There was another very strong contender, but I’ll probably hold that for another time.

Instead I’ve gone for a pretty straightforward choice - one of my favourite records by one of my favourite bands. I try not to think about music in those kinds of absolute terms because tastes change all the time, but it’s just one of those albums I can always listen to. Actually, I could have happily picked anything they’ve released but this is the one I listened to first; it’s the one that made want to seek out everything else they’ve recorded, and it’s the one I recommend to people whenever I get half a chance.

There’s no great story behind how I found this record – it was recommended to me by someone whose opinions I generally agree with and I loved it after the first listen. I certainly have a couple of bittersweet stories that relate to this album, but well… we don’t need to go into that.

Oh, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if elements of the Listening Club knew this one, it’s not exactly some long-overlooked secret gem. But it is really good. Enjoy!"

Download is here (mediafire link), or you can stream via Mixcloud here.

Start time, as always, is 8pm BST (GMT+1). Search #listeningclub to see what's going on, and follow@listeningclub for the admin.  

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Listening Club - 22nd July 2012

Hello there,

Mighty fine day to you! The sun has finally showed it's face here in London for more than a five minute stretch, and so a day of lounging in the park beckons, providing, of course, it isn't still off limits after the "transportable fiery thing for the huge sporting event that one dares not mention for fear of a lawsuit" passed through my neighbourhood yesterday...

And lounging in a park was exactly what I was doing this time last week also, watching Paul Simon & Co play Graceland in Hyde Park and absolutely loving it. Listening Club IRL? You couldn't get much better, believe me... Meanwhile you lot didn't seem to be doing too badly, enjoying @dingsters selection of Beck's "Modern Guilt", and not trashing the place in my absence. All good, then :)

So thanks to @dingster for the pick, and for choosing @jonnydapigg to step into the limelight for this week's choice. Over to him for the pre-match...

"Ooooooh, me again so soon. Well this should be easy, take the album that I had as runner up to the Dub Pistols and bosh, job done, pour a drink and enjoy...

Hmmmm, second place sounds almost a continuation of Dingster's choice, maybe I'll go third or forth choice, but then there's XXXX and not to forget XXXX. This is how it went in my head for a while. So, not one to leave any stoned unturned I filled my vlc player with 8 albums spanning a plethora of bpms and styles, live and studio performances all of which hold some special part in my collection. My final choice stood out amongst all the others, the memories I get from hearing it made it a dead cert from the first bar of track one. This album was introduced to me during that wonderful transitional period of being known as first year university. A darkened room or two, after a couple of bevvies and party favours a pause in the nukleuz records, for track 5 of this beauty. Certainly blows the cobwebs off. An hour and more hard house/techno later back to this album, track 10 (with extended unlisted track 11 finish). Possibly the most beautiful and powerful piece I had ever listened to. It left tingles down my spine, and to this day it still has that effect.

This album has more in it than I have ever expected from one in it's genre, to me it feels like it has a narrative, each song taking me part of the way of a bigger journey rather than a collection of tracks. For me the pick of this band's bunch still, all worth a listen.

Not entirely sure how this one is going to down to be honest, suppose that's the fun of this really.

Cheers and enjoy


Download is here (mediafire link), or you can stream via Mixcloud here.

Start time, as always, is 8pm BST (GMT+1). Search #listeningclub to see what's going on, and follow@listeningclub for the admin.  

See you later!

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Listening Club - 15th July 2012

Hey there,

Speedy intro and 'ting this week, as I'm off to Hyde Park very soon, to see Paul Simon's 25th Anniversary Graceland show with me ol' mum! And yes, that means I won't be around this evening, so you lot better behave yourselves, y'hear?

Right, last week @tibieryo stepped up to the plate at the last minute and delivered unto us The Internet's "Purple Naked Ladies", which got a rather cautious thumbs-up in whole I think, a lot of "I wouldn't normally do this kind of thing, but I like it", but hey, that's listening club!

So thanks to @tibieryo for the pick, and for selecting @dingster for this week's mission - Over to him for the preamble...

"To be honest, I didn’t really give this much thought overall. Despite initial panic (once again) as to what to choose, the decision was actually made more or less for me the following day.

I suspect most people will guess pretty much immediately who this is, but I don’t think that actually matters at all. This album is an absolute tour de force in my opinion; the product of a brilliant artist and a very (in my opinion) interesting producer.

It took me a long time to warm to this artist initially (a friend of mine first introduced me at 16) and then I tried to jump on board many years later with a very difficult album which didn’t help. But then 2 albums came in fairly quick succession (this being the latter) and I was hooked. And then I did go back and start listening all over again. 

Anyhoo, enough of my blurb. Let’s have at it, and talk about @kleptones behind his back as he can’t join us this week... ;-)""

Download is here (dropbox link), or you can stream via Mixcloud here.

Start time, as always, is 8pm BST (GMT+1). Search #listeningclub to see what's going on, and follow @listeningclub for the admin. 

Enjoy yourselves, and don't go making a mess of the place, m'kay?

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Listening Club - 8th July 2012

Greetings to you all,

Another week, another intro in which I have a grumble about the English weather. Yes, I know it's expected, and more than a bit of a cliche, but floods? three months rainfall in a week? An early July lunchtime and I'm sitting in a room with the lights on because it's so black outside? Jeepers in my creepers, people, if this is not the end of days, it's a pretty good dress rehearsal. I'm certainly glad I'm spending significantly less time under canvas than usual this year.

And so along comes Listening Club, forever playing the fiddling Nero to our atmospheric calamities, and providing us all with a reason to stay in for an hour on a Sunday night. But even the beloved LC continuum has suffered, as @Holette was picked to make last week's selection, but had to cut and run, quickly frisbeeing me the stomping Drum'n'Bass of Black Sun Empire's "Driving Insane" before keeping her appointment with a bicycle and 250km of Welsh countryside... Thanks to her for a fine pick, especially under duress, although it did have to compete with the Euro2012 final. Still we didn't do too bad.

However in the follow up, the treasured LC baton sadly fell in the mud. I thought @Holette was going to pick a successor, I think she thought I would take care of it... yadda, yadda, yadda. So we all should be thankful that @tibieryo has emerged from the other side of the timezones, picked up the LC baton, and given himself a reason to get out of bed a little earlier on a Sunday. Over to him...

"We all know how most albums in our lives have stories, or ways we listen to them or general stuff like that. For my first week here, when I'd actually won, I told the story of a romance that I was never quite sure did or didn't happen with the older sister of a friend of mine. 

Except, not a lot of albums in my life have stories. That was one of the rare ones, and when it comes to the 50-odd albums on my shortlist, very few of them have stories as modestly spectacular as that behind them. This is one such album with pretty much no preamble or context. 

I can tell you that in my first year of university (also my last), I met a guy named Dan who has gone on to be pretty much my best friend through thick and thin. Some time last year, he turned me onto something that absolutely thrilled me--rocked me to my core as it were. And for the past year, I've been watching that entire scene like a hawk for something that moved me as deeply or in a comparable way. 

As it happens, the scene I've been watching has blown up like Chappie's bubblegum, eliciting more controversy in a year than any other act I've seen in the last ten. Maybe I'm watching the wrong acts. Maybe watching for controversy is the wrong thing to do. But it seems like everything this camp does, everybody's got an opinion and it's frequently negative. 

Best part is, he actually got this from his older brother's sister, who isn't even into this genre of music.

Like I said, finding love, wondering if you have love and losing love is a lot much more of a story than the real life ways we just follow artists and find albums. That said, this album is one of my faves this year and I still expect almost entirely negative reactions. 

I wonder if that's just me." 

Download here (via Mediafire), or stream it here (via Mixcloud) 

Start time, as always, is 8pm BST (GMT+1), providing the world hasn't ended before then. Search #listeningclub to see what's going on, and follow @listeningclub for the admin. 

See you then!

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Listening Club - 1st July 2012

Hello to you all,

Back home in London this weekend, so no hungover iPad tapping in other people's living rooms for a change, just me, the bustling metropolis and the unpredictable weather (aka "English Summer").

First up then, big thanks to @fraserlaeto for his pick last week of "The Raw Dents" by Dead Rider, which got quite a resounding thumbs up on Sunday night, despite it's angularity, although I'm inclined to think it's definitely a night-time album, as the latecoming @jayesofine didn't enjoy it quite so much at 7.30am on a Wednesday morning!

Onwards and upwards then, most literally in this case, as Fraser picked @holette for this weeks selection. However, as Madame H has spent all of this week being most definitely outward bound, I've sorted out the upload and stream for her. Before she sped off though, she left these words...

"Surprise baton tossing to me just as I’m about to set off on a 250 mile bike ride along mountain lanes from North to South Wales has necessitated fairly off the cuff selection this time. Apologies in advance if I’m not able to join you on Sunday when I will be subject to the vagaries of interweb reaching out to me in one of mid Wales’ finest B & Bs or hostelries. 

Was thinking of seeing what everyone thought of the most recent album I bought – Mary Epworth’s excellent Dream Life – loving the big voice and Double Fantasy style production on that one. But then, under the influence of last week’s awesome LC selection, Dead Rider, I thought, no, let’s try something a little more, erm feisty. So, in haste, here it is. Quality. Are you ready Listening Club? Let’s ‘ave it."

Download is here (mediafire link), and the stream can be found here!

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