Sunday, 25 November 2012

Listening Club - 25th November 2012

Greetings and slight bleurgh,

Listening club intro this week is a little wobbly, as the pub lunch I had yesterday has spent the last 24 hours waging war with my insides, so last night's plans went out the window, and the purchased Sunday feast stays inside the fridge, as I consume a light broth and await the settling of the insides whilst typing this out at a 90 degree angle to usual. Que sera and all that. At least it's not raining.

Last week, in happier, weller times (as opposed to Weller Times, the mod periodical), @samsmitter finally broke Listening Club's reggae duck with his selection of The Congos' legendary Lee Perry produced "Heart Of The Congos", which worked a treat with all concerned. A fine, fine choice, as was Sam's pick of the snoozing @JimMcCauley to step up to the plate this week. And here he is...

"Well, this was unexpected.

Honestly. There I was on Sunday night in a somewhat relaxed state after the evening’s roots fun, watching a bit of telly but not really taking much in, and I had a quick look at Twitter only to discover I’d been nominated to pick this week’s LP.

Actual panic. Possibly exacerbated by my relaxed state. You know what I’m saying.

After a bit of shortlisting and auditioning a couple of possibilities, this one came to mind on Tuesday evening just as I thought I was going to pick something that sits at a sort of halfway point between shoegazing and Britpop. Maybe another time.

Instead you get something more recent. I’ll level with you. It’s a concept album. It has guitars. It's a bit, ahem, prog. 

Still with me? Good! It’s the work of a band I’ve been aware of for a while and who definitely have their moments, but this is the first thing of theirs that has properly grabbed me. It’ll doubtless garner comparisons to other bands, especially the long track that forms the centrepiece of the album, but it carries it off well without ever being too pastichey. 


(A handy note: the main body of this album consists of tracks 1-14, about 55 minutes. There are another four tracks afterwards, but they’re more in the way of bonus tracks. Feel free to skip them if you’ve had enough.)"

Verily, there you go... Download is here (UPDATED DROPBOX link - Mediafire police killed the first one) or you can takes your chances with the increasingly infuriating Mixcloud here.

Start time is 8pm GMT. Search #listeningclub to see what's going on, and follow@listeningclub for the admin.

Hoping I'll be seeing you at eight!

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Listening Club - 18th November 2012

Hello there!

Brr. The inevitable changing of the seasons is taking it's toll on the London landscape, necessitating the perusal of one's scarf and glove collection, as the sound of the last few fireworks (seriously, it's been two weeks since bonfire night and you're still letting them off?) is replaced with the distant yodel of hawkers selling three-for-a-quid rolls of wrapping paper and santa hats. All of this can only mean one thing, which is that I have nothing more interesting to say in this intro other than attempts to wax lyrical about the bleedin' obvious. Rumbled again, eh?

However, I can certainly be more enthusiastic about last week's LC selection from @Holette, which took us on one of our rare excursions into the dim and distant past, for a spin of Dennis Wilson's 1977 album "Pacific Ocean Blue", hailed as a classic and with good reason. Barring the occasional slip into Pub Rock Boogie Woogie 10pm BBC2 territory, its woozy grooves and harmonies soothed the LC faithful to fine effect. Thanks to @Holette for the pick, and for flipping the seasalt-encrusted LC frisbee across to @samsmitter for this week's selection. Over to Sam...

"Right kids, Sunday is Listening Club day, and today we are going to Sunday School for some righteous Biblical education. This one falls into the following categories:

1) a classic album that in my most humble opinion should be more well known than it is

2) a “genre” album that transcends its genre and is one of the best albums ever (again, in my humble opinion)

3) a “genre” that has not been feature in Listening Club before (unless I missed that week due to family commitments or some such)

4) an album that may well be known to some but I hope will be new to some 

You might want to roll a Camberwell Carrot for this one. I won’t be, as I don’t really “know a guy” any more. But I sort of wish I did when I listen to this album.

And – as always – turn it up load and crank up the bass. Hope you enjoy it."

Download is here (Dropbox link) or you can listen via Mixcloud here.

Start time is 8pm GMT. Search #listeningclub to see what's going on, and follow@listeningclub for the admin.

See you at eight!

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Listening Club - 11th November 2012

Hello to you all,

I'm nursing a hangover of impressive proportions today, following the first London Kleptonite last night, which went down really rather well indeed. Everything a little behind schedule now, though, so will nip the intro waffle in the bud and get on with the important things...

Last week @CakeHugga blew quite a few minds with Princess Superstar's concept-tastic "My Machine", and has flipped the glitter-speckled LC frisbee across to @holette for this week's selection. Over to her for the intro...

"This has been namechecked by musos of taste and influence as one of those classic culty albums. A TV documentary about this artist first intrigued me to want to hear the album properly and I’ve been meaning to listen to it for ages. Thought it would be good to hear it for the first time with fellow Listening Clubbers...

Also, it’s November, it’s dark, it’s damp and I think we could all use a little more sunshine in our lives right now. So, pull up a deckchair, fix yourself a cocktail, and maybe put a knotted hankerchief on your head (British Listening Club contingent only, obvs.).

And if it’s shit we can all blame Bobby Gillespie."

Okily dokily. Download is here (mediafire link), or you can stream it via Mixcloud here (might blow the surprise though - damn you Mixcloud!)

Start time is 8pm GMT. Search #listeningclub to see what's going on, and follow@listeningclub for the admin.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Listening Club - 4th November 2012

Greetings from E17!

Yup, finally, after several months of much looking, trying and failing (interrupted by an American sojourn), I've moved home, this morning waking up for the first time in Walthamstow. Always fun to have a new neighbourhood to investigate, which I shall be doing once I've extracted myself from Box City and taken care of today's LC business...

...which of course starts with a recap of last week, in which @dingster hit us hard with Amon Tobin's side project Two Fingers' new album "Stunt Rhythms". The general thumbs up was given, although many (m'self included) had reservations about the guest rappers performances, which seemed to interrupt the flow somewhat. Still, a worthwhile listen, so thanks to @dingster for the pick, and for skimming the LC frisbee across to @cakehugga for this week's choice. And here she is...

"My listening club choice this week was an obvious one for me, as it is one of my favourite albums by one of my all-time favourite artists.

A shared love of this artist was a bonding moment early in my relationship with @Jayesofine, she had the back catalogue, I’d seen her perform live… Our love was clearly meant to be!!!!  Early on in our relationship we saw the artist perform this album at the Roadhouse in Manchester. It‘s a tiny but fab venue but full marks to the artist for managing at least 5 costume changes in a venue slightly bigger than your average living room. My favourite outfit was the dominatrix with whip or possibly the Elvis cape...  She knows how to work a crowd…

This album is a concept album – no, stick with me, it’s not prog rock… but it does tell a story in amongst some blinding songs. There’s a confidence, some amazing beats and interesting concepts… Mostly it just makes me want to swagger around the flat singing along. It’s an album that takes you on a journey.

The artist is a talented lyricist and rapper/ vocalist and this album crosses musical boundaries (bit of hip hop, bit of dance, bit of rocking out). I just hope that some other listening clubbers like this album even a tiny bit as much as I do…

P.S. This week is the second week that my Nan has been in intensive care – she is a fighter but is now very ill. I would like to dedicate this album to my Nan Betty."

Download is here (direct Dropbox link) or you can listen via Mixcloud here.

Start time is 8pm GMT. Search #listeningclub to see what's going on, and follow@listeningclub for the admin.

See you at eight - if I'm lucky I'll have my studio speakers wired in by then...