Sunday, 28 July 2013

The Listening Club - 28th July 2013

Greetings and salutations,

Well, yes. Hot, hot, hot. The fan is working overtime, there's a cold beer on the table and the fridge has turned into a perma-buffet. Really there would be nothing to complain about if I didn't actually have to **do** stuff in this heat. Still, it's a minor irritation, although I'm a little saddened by many Dutch folks saying "It's not normally like this in the summer, you know". Guess I picked the right year to move here, eh?

Anyhoo... keeping on with the me, me, me stuff, last week I was in the hot seat too, and very happy to find that my selection of Mark Kozelek & Jimmy Lavalle's "Perils From The Sea" went down very well indeed. Definitely one of the finest releases of this year, imho.

So... now delighted and excited to announce the first ever #listeningclub #videovortex! Huge thanks to all the contributors for their picks, and double plus huge thanks to @akx for combining the selections into the video below!

Video Vortex 2013-07-28 from Video Vortex on Vimeo.

(Also note there's a download enabled on the video, so if you think your streaming is not going to be up to snuff, you can grab it all in one. Hey, maybe you want a copy to keep also?)

Also start thinking about a theme for next month's vortex! Any ideas?

But don't touch that dial just yet! We'll see you on the twitters at 8pm BST/EST (GMT+1)!

Search #listeningclub to see what's going on, and follow@listeningclub for the admin.

Sunday, 21 July 2013

The Listening Club - 21st July 2013

Hey there,

Tapping this out a day early to avoid last week's late arrival panic - seriously, last minute uploading is never a good idea, is it? especially with a monumental hangover. So, as I'm off later today to Buiten Westen festival for a bit of a bop, thought I'd better get my shit together in advance, especially as it's my pick this week...

Also don't forget #videovortex is happening next week, please, please get your selections in as soon as you can so we can get them assembled in good time!

Last week, in the flurry of last-minuteness, @holette hit all the right hazy summer buttons by picking Frank Ocean's "Channel Orange", welcomed by both those who knew it and those who didn't (I always love seeing "I never would have listened to this unless..." type tweets), so many thanks to her for the pick and for flipping the frisbee across to... yep, it's me. So, over to me!...

"As usual when it comes to making a #listeningclub pick, first thing I think over is what's been floating my boat lately, album wise. The thread this year in my favourites seems to be impressive songwriting and particularly lyrics, preferably blended with a slightly unexpected musical core (hey, you know what I'm like ;) Both Bowie and John Grant have delivered that in spades recently, and with a new Prefab Sprout album on the horizon (which you nearly got the demos for, as they've leaked online, but as the albums getting a full release in October I thought that'd be unfair) and this one, it's already been quite a year for fans of musical wordsmithery.

All of which is by way of introducing a rather unique collaboration between two artists, one vocal and one instrumental, both of which I already knew and admire, although the end result doesn't sound that close to either of their solo work. These tracks feel more like short stories or diary entries than songs, and in my opinion lend themselves way more to a quiet, reflective, late-night glass or three of whisky than a balmy summer evening, so I'm not sure how it will work tonight (reckon this will be one of those "less chatty" #listeningclub nights ;), but hell, it moved me, so I think it's worth the risk. Hope you like it."

Okay, Direct download is here, Mixcloud stream (which may well reveal the track titles, you have been warned!) is here!

Search #listeningclub to see what's going on, and follow@listeningclub for the admin.

Hope to see you tonight at 8pm BST/EST (GMT+1)!

Sunday, 14 July 2013

The Listening Club - 14th July 2013

Hi to you all,

Rather tardy this week, for which I must apologise... yesterday's fun-packed day of oddball festivals and gig-going has left me nursing a rather biblical hangover. It was worth it though for sure. And now uploading this week's selection seems to be going at a snail's pace... But gently on with the show we go...

Time first to announce the next #vortex, which will take place in two weeks time, on the 28th July. Theme this time is favourite music videos, simple as! I'm guessing the best method is to supply a youtube link (best quality you can find will help) and the very kind @akx has volunteered a script to stitch them all together into one mix for playback. Might take a while to sort and upload, so please get your suggestions in to me sooner rather than later, thanks.

Last week @rougeforever took her debut catch of the frisbee, sending us all spiraling into the murky concepts of The Decemberists "The Hazards Of Love". A real love-or-hate album, and it definitely generated a bit of both on the night. Big thanks to her for the selection and for a short throw of the frisbee across to Wales, where @holette is waiting with the intro...

"As befits the heatwave we are bemused to find ourselves basking in here in Wales, it’s a well laid back choice this week. So go ahead and fix yourself a long cocktail. Maybe pop in a little parasol. only caught up with this album earlier this year otherwise track 7 would certainly have been tossed into the best of 2012 festive vortex. I guess it’s not the sort of genre I normally find anything interesting about but I loved this from the first listen. Some tracks just lodge themselves in your brain. The guy is so damn talented he just seems to knock out these massively commercial tunes. And what a voice he has. But the super slick production is shot through with sounds, images, tempos to make you prick up your ears. And it’s just so…musical, clever, cheeky and genuinely emotional. Turns out it’s a timely choice as this artist is playing gigs in the UK right now. There’s a lot of tracks listed but many are just fragments so it won’t play as long as you might think. Anyway, hope you enjoy the music."

There you go! Direct download is here, Mixcloud stream (which may well reveal the track titles, you have been warned!) is here!

Search #listeningclub to see what's going on, and follow@listeningclub for the admin.

Hope to see you tonight at 8pm BST/EST (GMT+1)!

Sunday, 7 July 2013

The Listening Club - 7th July 2013

Greets to you all,

Heatwave time here in Amsterdam, so lounging, fanning oneself and sipping iced drinks is the order of the day. Also plenty of local festival action occurring, Pitch Festival yesterday, and Roots Festival today, which is where I'll be off to as soon as I've finished tapping this out... tally-ho!

Last week, brothers and sisters, @jonnydapigg yet again continued the summer curveball tradition with a seasonal slice of Arrested Development's "Unplugged" album. Perfect accompaniment to a warm evening for sure. Thanks to him for the pick and for spinning the #LC frisbee across to @rougeforever for her debut selection. And here she is...

"I want to take you on a journey.  Before we begin, you should know that we'll be together nearly an hour tonight on this.  We'll be travelling through woodland, crossing streams, and seeing what happens.  Keep your eyes peeled and your ears sharp!  We'll start our journey with Margaret - who knows who we'll meet along the way and where we'll end up?

Yes, it's that time in Listening Club.  It's a CONCEPT ALBUM.  I can only apologise.  I wouldn't normally put you through one of these but it's a corker.

I have had the pleasure of seeing this album being performed from start to finish in front of a home crowd for this band.  One of the most memorable gigs of my life.  They put an interval between this and the second set so we could all regain our composure and talk about what just happened.  I'm not sure I've been the same since.

One hint - if you don't like the song we're hearing, hang on, there'll be something else along in a moment!  (You can insert your own clumsy comment here about that being a metaphor for life, if you like)

Thanks for having me, listening club!"

Okaydoke! Direct download is here, Mixcloud stream (which may well reveal the track titles, you have been warned!) is here!

Search #listeningclub to see what's going on, and follow@listeningclub for the admin.

Hope to see you tonight at 8pm BST/EST (GMT+1)!