Sunday, 30 September 2012

Listening Club - 30th September 2012

Hello All!

Apologies for the lateness of this weeks post. One thing leading to another last night ended up with me on completely the opposite side of the (rather huge) city, waking up on a very unfamiliar sofa with a dead phone. As you do. Only popped out for a swift half of ale, too... heh. I blame the full moon. Gosh, London is a daunting place when you have no access to a map - god knows how I used to manage without GPS. Anyway, a jolly good time was had by all, and I'm back now, so on with the show...

Last week, as you should be well aware, @EastVanHalen stepped up to the plate and delivered us an excellent blast of Vancouver Punk history in the shape of The Pointed Sticks retrospective compilation "Waiting For The Real Thing", which got everyone good and sweaty. Many thanks to her for sharing an excellent slice of her formative musical experiences, and for picking @faberfedor to slide into the driving seat for this week. Over to him for the intro...

"The first time I was selected to choose the evening's audial libations, I was ready; I had already decided which album I was going to choose. Truth be told, I also had a selection on the off-chance I was selected a second time. I was set.

Then @eastvanhalen chose me after playing an awesome selection of Vancouver Punk from the 80s. How the hell am I supposed to follow that? My second selection, another of my all-time fave albums, just wouldn't stand up to the Pointed Sticks.  So I start flipping through my iTunes library and I came up with 13 albums I think you guys should hear. But I can only choose one, so I spent the week listening to them all. After much deliberation, I chose this one. Why? A couple of years ago, I was reading in my living room when this came on the stereo.  After a short time, I laid the book down, "watched" the stereo and just listened. It was a great afternoon.

So, for this week's Listening Club selection, I give you another of my all-time faves. 

(And I don't want to hear Jaye complaining that it's too short!)

(Note to self: don't choose @eastvanhalen for next week's hotseat!)"

Okaydokay. Download is here (Mediafire link) or you can listen via Mixcloud here, if the gods are merciful!

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

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Listening Club - 23rd September 2012

Hello from rainy London.

Yup, back from the colonies, and still a little bit shell-shocked from a rather excellent couple of weeks away, although my faith in humanity has been considerably restored by the great folks that I got to play to and spend time with whilst over there (if you're unaware, I was here, amongst other things).

And despite the seemingly endless procession of quality conversation, food and ale, I still managed to find time to report back chez LC (just!), delivering you all Negativland's seminal 1987 album "Escape From Noise". As I mentioned last week, an album that had a considerable effect on my teenage psyche, and still an all time favourite, so I was chuffed to see that it rattled your collective cages pleasurably:

None more so than this week's selector @EastVanHalen, so over to her for the pre-match...

"So this is what happens when I (a) get out of bed before noon and (b) open my yap on the Twitter machine: I have to get all you fine people a record to listen to. After my initial panicked oh-god-I'm-out-of-my-league brain-search for something suitably impressive I shook myself out of it and decided on something simple and obvious: by way of introduction, I would like you to hear the band that introduced me to independent music.

I live in Vancouver, BC, Canada, and the only bit of weirdness in my unexceptional suburban childhood arrived in the form of the best babysitter in Burnaby, the excellent Louise. My folks thought they were paying Louise to get my sister and me to brush our teeth and go to bed on time, but she saw herself more as a mischief-making governess and set about giving us a proper subcultural education. She raised us on the Stooges and Bowie, the New York Dolls and the MC5 and Queen. The first record I bought was "A Night at the Opera," inspired by Louise's habit of fashioning a Queen "Q" out of paper and placing it round her navel while sunbathing to make a sort of reverse brand. I was awestruck.

In 1978, when I was 12, as a Christmas present she brought each of us a copy of a 45. It was the first time I'd ever seen a local independent record. It hadn't occurred to me that all this fascinating music could actually be happening in some place other than New York or London and I resolved to find it when I could.

By the time I was old enough to underage-bluff my way into my first local show in 1981 this band had been signed by a famous English indie label - a Very Big Thing in our west coast colonial outpost - suffered a studio disaster and the rejection of their (frankly unlistenable) recording, returned to Vancouver semi-defeated, recorded some tracks locally, and broken up. For my part, I kept showing up for gigs, worked for a tiny local label, and, Vancouver being a very small city, eventually came to know everyone who'd been in this band.

Some years back their old recordings were noticed by some people in Tokyo, and they were convinced to reunite and play some songs in Japan, and then in Vancouver and Toronto and New York. I finally saw them play for the first time in 2005, and it was a different kind of fun than I'd imagined as a kid, but every bit as wonderful.

A couple of local labels have gathered together their studio work in compilations. This is my edited version of the one I think is most listenable, and it begins with the A and B-sides of that single. This is as personal a choice as I could have made, and I don't know if it will be to everyone's taste, but if you have any love for youthfully bittersweet power pop then you might have some love for this. Enjoy."

Fascinating stuff, for sure. Looking forward to this! Download is here (Mediafire link) or you can listen via Mixcloud here, if the gods are merciful!

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

Spread the word!

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Listening Club - 16th September 2012

Greetings from Portland, Oregon!

Well, not strictly, as I type this I'm still in San Francisco, getting this sorted well ahead of time, as I know not what craziness awaits me in PDX. Hopefully it will involve more good breakfasts, much conversation, and lots of tasting of micro-brewery produce. It's most likely to be rather hectic though, as I'll be checking out all the joys that XOXO Festival has to offer over the weekend after my sets on Thursday and Friday...

So, last week yes? Another splendid selection, this time from @jayesofine, of Bonaparte's "Sorry, We're Open". A band unknown to pretty much all who heard, and, in my opinion anyway, one of the finest picks we've had. Actually the last two selections have both been pretty awesome, but the #LC baton has now been passed back to me, so despite being 5371 miles away from (most of) my music collection, thanks to LogMeIn, here I am to fuck shit up again...

"Oooookay. I'm going against the grain of relatively new albums that most folks (myself included) have been picking, with something from a long, long while ago, and an album that I can honestly say completely turned my world upside down when I first heard it, still ranks high in my all-time favourites list, and at the time contributed considerably to my nascent understanding of what is, and what could be considered music. (Scared yet? Don't be... you can trust me!)

Add to that the fact that at the time of typing I'm residing in this ensemble's home state, and that the subject matter of at least one of the tracks is pertinent to LC peculiarities, and well, it was a shoo-in.

For exposure to this record in the first place, it comes as no surprise that I have to thank John Peel, who gleefully dropped several of these tracks amongst his indie selections of the time. It truly tickled my earbuds, so the next time I was in London (nearest home of decent record shops), I headed straight for Oxford Street HMV (being too young to know of the more savvy indie shops) to see if they had it. I delightedly plucked the only copy in stock from the racks (can still picture this in my mind, as you may be able to tell), scurried home, dropped the needle on side one, and well... as I said, life, and my perception thereof, was never quite the same again. 

I guess that's a common story, but this is not a common album, oh, lordy, no.

I could wax more lyrical ("really?"), but I'll save it for the playback, which I will try my best to attend, despite, as mentioned above, being in the middle of XOXO festival in Portland. Who knows, I might even be able to blag some speakers and convince a few folks there to share the experience with us. We'll see...

A couple of you may know this album already, although if you do, I'll bet you haven't listened to it from top to tail for quite a while. Like all the greatest recordings it bears repeated listening, revealing more and more secrets every time.

So dim the lights, turn it up a bit, crack open a bottle of something good and strong, and settle in for a very unique ride indeed..."

There you go! Download is here (Mediafire link) or you can listen via Mixcloud here, if the bloody thing works!

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

Spread the word, and as with last week, I shall endeavour to be joining you at 8pm BST to guide you!

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Listening Club - 9th September 2012

Greetings from San Francisco!

Boy, does this feel rather odd. Different day, different city, different timezone. But in between sorting out my set for Bootie tonight, and stuffing my face full of deliciousnesses at any opportunity (I mean come on, this is a country that encourages you to eat steak for breakfast), there's time to see what's cooking in the Listening Club kitchen... (gag shamelessly borrowed from every daytime TV link person, ever).

So, casting my mind back to last week, @JimMcCauley managed a rare occurrence. Not only did he find himself back in the hot seat ridiculously quickly, but he offered up a new album that he himself hadn't even played yet. And what's more it went down so well with the LC massive that it resulted in gig tickets being bought pretty much immediately after. So, yea verily thanks to Jim for his excellent pick of the new Dan Deacon album, "America".

Jim selected the newly wedded @Jayesofine for this week's selection, so over to Jaye...

"Umm, I don’t really have a story to tell you about my next Listening Club selection. The main thing I need to point out is that Peaches put me on to him/them. (In a tweet, I don’t actually know Peaches).  Also, a bonkers and eye catching album cover along with a good poster campaign in Berlin helped draw me to this album.

Rewind to 3 weeks ago and I would have told any person that wasn’t a member of Listening Club what my next 2 albums were gonna be and how much I was looking forward to my next possible chance to drop them on the lovely Listening Clubbers (I hasten to add that conversations with non-listening club members about Listening Club choices are actually only happening in my head).

Forward 1 week to 2 weeks ago (this is getting confusing) and I’ve heard this album for the first time, within a few days I’ve tracked down all the back catalogue and since then, apart from Dan Deacon (huge thanks Jim!), The Orb & Lee Scratch Perry and the LCD Soundsystem Gigumentary I haven’t stopped listening to this and the previous 2 studio albums!

This album,…… ……I just really love it, the dynamics, the lyrics, the theatrics, the hooks, the looks, the costumes, I MUST SEE THIS BAND LIVE!!! Oooooh, they’re only playing in Germany. :(

Please enjoy this week’s Listening Club… (said and gestured in the style of Dave Lee Travis introducing another load of toot on a 1976 Top Of The Pops)."

So there you have it. Download is here (direct Dropbox link) or you can listen 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.

Spread the word, and if there's any justice and I'm not snoring off a hangover, I shall endeavour to be joining you at 8pm BST!

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Listening Club - 2nd September 2012

Hello there, hope you're all doing well.

A little more relaxed in the intro this week, following last week's (justified) pre-carnival hyped mood. My only pressing need today is to pop out and purchase some decent horseradish sauce, along with sharing this week's LC joy with you all, of course... Steve Marriott would be proud.

But O my brothers and sisters, what a turn of events occured whilst I was off carnivalizing. Not only did @faberfedor 's pick last week of Charlotte Martin's "Test-Drive Songs" go down rather well, but in a bit of subconscious tit-for-tat, he picked his own selector, @JimMcCauley to go back in the hot seat this week. Nothing in the rules to say he can't, of course, because we don't actually have any rules, so onwards we go - heeeeere's Jim....

"Isn’t it lovely that my previous stint proved so popular that I’m back behind the big Listening Club desk so quickly! Yes.

This time I’m taking us back to the Listening Club old skool, in that I haven’t heard this week’s LP yet and we all get to experience it for the first time together. I own a couple of the artist's albums, particularly liked the first of them, wasn’t grabbed so much by the second, and then didn’t really pay attention for a while. I’d initially thought of choosing the first album, but then I discovered a brand new offering and couldn’t resist.

As I understand it, they've moved on a bit since their earlier work and I’ve not much idea of what they sound like now; probably in a similar ballpark but more refined and less completely hatstand, if what the briefest clip I checked out (just to make sure, you know) is anything to go by.

Annoyingly it’s reviewed rather well and I’d quite like to listen to it now and I’m worried that some of you will have already bought it, but rules is rules. I hope we enjoy it!"

So there you have it - a Listening Club first, in which everyone, selector included, will be hearing the album for the first time. Big advance thanks to Jim for managing to wait for the rest of us to be around for the inaugural listen!

Download is here (direct mediafire link) or you can listen 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.

Spread the word, and see you in the pipes at 8!