Sunday, 28 December 2014

The Listening Club - 28th December 2014

Festive greetings!

Yep, here we are, in the depths of the mighty, name-donating, leftover-munching, board-game-playing, family-amusing, ferrero-rocher-scoffing (hem), great-escape-watching, empty-pub-observing FESTIVE VORTEX. Woo. And Yay. Compliments of the vortex to you all! Hope you're enjoying it as much as I.

Speaking of woo and yay, thanks to @eastvanhalen for last week's pick of the most excellent, parent alarming "Run The Jewels 2" from El-P & Killer Mike, which went down pretty good I reckon, and thanks to Steph from flipping @faberfedor back in the chair, not long after his previous pick. We'll be hearing from him next week but now...

Yea, and verily, the #festivevortex2014 est arrive! 31 quality selections, from the truly sublime to the truly ridiculous, your favourites of the year have been selected, mailed and assembled, and here they are. Prepare your libations and make 'em strong, as we peel back the clingfilm on the aural buffet of the year.

Direct download is here, Mixcloud (let's see what it's made of, eh?) stream is here!

See you at 8pm GMT!

Sunday, 21 December 2014

The Listening Club - 21st December 2014

Seasons greetings folks!

Can't think of any witty festive banter to go here as my brain is seriously fogged with hangover - god damn those tasty Belgian beers... Hope you all have a grand holidaytime anyways, whatever you're up to. Don't forget next week is #festivevortex, so if you haven't send me your two favourite tunes of the year yet, please do!

Last week @akx was in the chair, continuing the current trend of spaced out listening with "Program Music 1" by Kashiwa Daisuke, which went down very well indeed, much to the surprise of some of you. Many thanks to Aarni for the brain stretching tunes, and for flipping the frisbee across the Atlantic to @EastVanHalen, who's here with the intro...

"Hey all!

In a pleasant change from my usual dithering, I knew what to play this week before @akx's frisbee had reached my hand, because I have pretty much had it on repeat non-stop for the past couple of weeks and it is SO GOOD.

This album is showing up on everyone's best-of lists for 2014, and there will be tons of writing about it. So I'll just say I love it because it's furious, righteous, revolutionary -- dangerous, even. Its braggadocio is interposed with heartbreaking and hilarious interrogations of masculinity. And it's and outrageously, exquisitely filthy.

Track four is probably my favourite song of this year. Track nine is just...oh hell, you have to hear it.

The download includes the PDF booklet that came with the release, so don't look if you don't want a spoiler.

Also, #drinkingclub is definitely #smokingclub this week."

Okay doke! Direct download is here, Mixcloud (it knows! and tells!) stream is here.

See you at 8pm GMT!

Sunday, 14 December 2014

The Listening Club - 14th December 2014

Greetings one and all,

Hell, it's scary typing that date out. 14th already? Where does the time go... For once, I'm not feeling the full shilling here, having been struck down by a rather odd lurgi that's left me feeling slightly feverish. rather washed out and seriously lacking in energy. Would be concerned that I'd brought something back with me from warmer climes if it wasn't for the fact that @nessiest has it too. So, one of those "something going around" things, then. To be honest, I can't remember the last time I was feeling under the weather sorting out #lc, but I can't be arsed to look. Don't remember it happening tho. Anyways, grumble grumble etc. Be thankful and all that.

Don't forget, #festivevortex coming up! Two of your most excellent tunes of the year each please - mine are already selected and in the baggie, so to speak, so get your annual caps on and submit, submit!

Last week @faberfedor continued his fine stream of selections by sending us all to outer space quite literally, supplying the "Symphonies Of The Planets" (Part 1, no less), as experienced by Voyager 1 & Voyager 2 as they zoomed about the solar system. Impressive stuff to be sure (although sadly I can't say the same about the cover artwork, yuk), and quite a bar to set for @akx, who is tasked with this week's follow up, and here he is...

"After last week's cosmic symphony going down a treat, let's see
how this fares..."

Well then, that's you lot told. Direct download is here, Mixcloud (crying into it's beer cos it can't recognise anything anymore) stream is here.

See you at 8pm GMT, in sha Allah!

Sunday, 7 December 2014

The Listening Club - 7th December 2014

Well, hello there! Long time no see...

Yes, I'm back after a couple of rather excellent weekends away, first at Le Guess Who in Utrecht, which was a whole mega-smorgasbord of quality musical delights, then off down the west coast of Africa for some delights of a very different nature. Nice to be back tho for a well needed mellow weekend in the 'Dam, even though it's pissing down outside...

So last week, @jonnydapigg run tings, and compiled the
hearthistrackvortex or #HMYRNTHTTV, which brought forth a damn fine selection of tunes that, well, we really needed to hear. Merci beaucoup to you all for the contributions!

Next #vortex, as u well kno, will be the daddy of all vorticons, the 3rd annual #festivevortex. So yes, from each of you we'd like your two favourite tunes created in this year, thee twenty fourteen. Playback will be on Sunday 28th December, and will be a right merry ding dong as usual, please get your picks in as soon as you know 'em, so as to give me a decent run up in compiling inbetwixt other festive activities...

(Also you'll be interested to hear that the fun of the last couple of vorticons has given me another cracking idea for the January vortex. Would maybe be better suited to December but we already have one sorted for then, so I will pitch it to you all in the new year and see what you reckon...!)

Back in real time, @faberfedor is in the chair, and here he is...

"After last week's rousing selection by, well, all of us, (loving the vortices, btw) and @jonnydapigg's the week before, and what with the mad rush of the holidays looming before us, I decided to go in the opposite direction energy-wise. This week's selection is mellow.

Very. Mellow.




I'm talkin' tranquilizer-level mellow.

For those of you where night has fallen, get all comfy and cozy with a glass of your favorite alcoholic beverage (but preferably a spliff), lower the lights, turn up the stereo or, better yet, put on headphones and get ready to drift off. 

For those of you where the sun is still shining, come back at the end of your day. Follow the above instructions.  Don't worry, you not going to miss anything in conversations; I suspect no one on the night side is going to be typing anything for the next half hour.

Finally, there is a very interesting back-story to this week's entry; one, I think, that will blow your mind.

It's included in the download and will also be posted to the blog shortly after the playback."

Direct download is here and the Mixcloud (caveat emptor and all that, but in this case I'll be bloody amazed) link is here.

See you at 8pm GMT!

Sunday, 30 November 2014

The Listening Club - 30th November 2014

Now then, alreet there, how's it all going?
It's all going a bit Christmas here, cats eating tinsel, boy eating baubles, wife shopping and me grumbling cos it's still only fucking November. I trust you all managed not to punch anyone over a discount and avoided any Black Friday free for alls? That said a few have been quiet so maybes still in the clink.

So, last week, was me (@jonnydapigg) with the excellent DJ Food and DK with mix and match effort that is Now, Listen! which I think went down rather well (maybes not the softer ending though, but hey, it had Spock reading Ray Bradbury in amongst some funky beats, what more could you really ask for). Next week sees the return of @faberfedor to the hot seat, but he must wait as first we have business to attend.

Yes indeedy it is time for #herematyoureallyneedtohearthistrackvortex or #HMYRNTHTTV if you so desire. So best warn the neighbours, put the cat out, make sure the dog is feeling safe as I think this one may get a little loud. For now we are metaphorically elbowing our way to the hi-fi to grab the attention of everyone at the party, "Here, mate..."

Your download link can be found here, and should you wish to use the services of mixcloud, head here. I shall post the tracklist in the comments at the end.

Note: Returning to the helm next week is Mr Kleptone so if any of you wish to delete the nudes you've been sending me through the twitter account, I've screenshot them all (double in some cases!!!) so help yourselves.


Sunday, 23 November 2014

The Listening Club - 23rd November 2014

Whey, alreet there,
yup it's me (@JonnyDaPigg) doing the intros and blurbs this week and next as Eric is off gallivanting at a festival. In his absence I'm going to encourage all manner of mischief, noise, swearing, drunken ramblings, hey, if you fancy breaking something don't let me stop you. I may even do a little wee somewhere.

Before I get on with the show an item of note to be discussed this week is the #vortex. We need a theme. I have such great ideas for this whilst in the bath but never the technological means to record said ideas and upon leaving the bathroom my mind returns to a vacant lot. So, ideas please. Upon reaching a theme can you send your choices to mrjonnypigg @ (take the spaces out, you know the score). Now,  as Newcastle don't have a home game next week so I'm more than happy for late entries but if you could get them to me by Saturday that would be awesome.

So, last week @emmaprice added LCD Soundsystem's Sound of Silver to the jukebox list of awesome that is the ListeningClub picks. Went down rather well, certainly my next door neighbours agreed as they were banging in time with it once I added a touch of volume to the evening. Top pick! Some how my shameless self promotion of number two offspring to be had the LC frisbee heading back over in my direction. So, here's me, introducing me...

"Well then, not long since I last had it but I really have an album that I want to play, so after a quick album top trumps to test it's worthiness it prevailed (shaking off a very late challenge from a recently purchased new entry) and I'm sat here getting it ready for upload... Nah, hang on, gotta stop myself there. I've only gone and changed my mind, as I'm uploading. This seems wrong. Now I feel like I'm cheating on an album but my new pick has all the ingredients of a LC album. Sunday evening culinary delight, it has a soupson of everything in this. Be fair warned mind, upon ingesting this with your ears some dancing may occur..."

Right then, cheers for that, erm, me. Download link is here and mixcloud if it behaves itself is here.

P.S. Not even proofreading this #hardcore

Sunday, 16 November 2014

The Listening Club - 16th November 2014

Hey everyone,

Hope all is fine with you all - A grey rainy weekend here in A-dam, which is actually fine by me, as I'm readying myself for two weekends away in the coming weeks, so a bit of time inside learning all about my new DJ controller (Akai APC40 mk2 if you're interested) is very welcome. Next weekend I'll be off in Utrecht with @nessiest for Le Guess Who festival (seriously, check out this lineup!), but rest ye assured the most excellent @JonnyDaPigg will be running things here in my absence. Speaking of which, we'll be needing a #vortex theme soon also, so suggestions and ideas welcome, as per.

Last week, @saucer took his debut turn in the big #lc chair, and sent forth The Herms, from San Francisco, with their 2006 album "Drop Out" which seemed to go down very well indeed. Big thanks to him for the pick, and for flipping the frisbee across to @emmaprice, who's here with the pre-match...

"I'm sitting here with happy tears streaming down my face over the little space robot that's 300 million miles away after 10 years travelling to land on a comet for a few short hours. An amazing human endeavour and one of those moments which transcends the routine of normal life and reminds us that there is a whole universe out there which we need to explore.

As I cried over a small spacecraft dying so far from home I was reminded that what separates us from machines is the capability to love, to emote, to feel pain, joy, sadness and to just dance round the room in your socks because that track came on. This is what music can do for us, to tap into the place deep within our soul & remind us what we're capable of.

This album reminds me what it is to love.

I recommend friends, a comfy sofa and an after party that goes on until the dawn."

Well then, better get on it, eh? Direct download is here and the Mixcloud (caveat emptor and all that) link is here.

See you at 8pm GMT!

Sunday, 9 November 2014

The Listening Club - 9th November 2014

Hey hey hey,

Hope you're all doing fine. Amsterdam has finally entered the brr-zone, after a good few bonus warm weekends. Blessed we have been this year, I'd say, but now time to reach for the coats and scarves, and ready ourselves for the chilly times...

Over in #lc land, last week saw @mrhig flipping his selection across the Atlantic from Los Angeles in the shape of Aimee Mann's "@#%&*! Smilers" (pronounced "Fucking Smilers"), which didn't quite result in as many smilers as anticipated, but he did issue a gloom warning, so fair call there, I think. Thanks to Matt for the pick, and for sailing the frisbee across to @saucer, for his debut selection. And here they are...

"Shocked, is what I was, honestly, when I looked up from my Activia yogurt (as it's called in the U.S.) and saw @mrhig happily tossing the @listeningclub frisbee at my head. Rather than duck... I leapt like a trusting dog and caught the surprisingly fast-spinning projectile in my teeth. Ouch.

I'll spare you the wrenching details of how harrowing and daunting this first-time selection process felt (you've, most of you, done it to live another day), although I will tell you that I auditioned and rejected DIY/outsider pop, Swedish pop, computer/noise, Neokrautrock, First-wave Europsychedelia, experimental jazz, '80s synthpop, Lounge/noir, and Dada/chamber-pop before settling on this week's album.

This duo (+ borrowed drummer) hailed from (city elided) and so very well exemplified the area's musical Ortgeist (to awkwardly coin a German word for which there ought to be a German word). Oh so sly, erudite, understated, transgressive, seriously playful, playfully serious. Not easy listening at times, but so worth it.

Looking forward to hearing who you hear them referencing (always on purpose, mind you), and joining me in bemoaning the tragedy of their minuscule recorded output relative to their outsized musical genius.

Here, then, is my first try at this listening club thing. I hope you enjoy."

Okaydoke. Direct download is here and the Mixcloud (caveat emptor and all that) link is here.

See you at 8pm GMT!

Sunday, 2 November 2014

The Listening Club - 2nd November 2014

Hello there,

Jeeps, another 20-odd degree weekend in Amsterdam? Hottest November day since 1984 (and before that 1948) say the bods. Yay to that. Sadly daylight saving has pushed the sun away an hour earlier, so back inside earlier to tap away at this...

Last week, holy mackerel fillets, was the #exquisitecorpsevortex, which will provide anthropologists, sociologists and psychologists with fuel for years to come, figuring out exactly how those connections got made. An overall travel vibe for sure, but even in some of the selections that didn't have a perambulating precursor. Hive mind at play, or pure chance? We'll never know... Big fun regardless, huge thanks to you all for your participation!

Back in regular mode, kinda, @mrhig is currently on holiday in the US 'o' A, but has sent forth a missive... here he is.

"Set phasers to glum!

I promised myself after choosing several men in a row for my Listening Club picks when I have been passed the frisbee previously that the next time I got an opportunity to choose something to play for everyone, I would pick a woman, or a female-fronted band. After all, I listen to a lot of music that fits into that category too and it doesn't seem fair for men to get all the attention.

Since then it seems that the last few listening club picks have been of women, but that's no reason to renege on my own flimsily-imposed selection criteria.

This artist is so infamous for the following characteristic that it probably almost counts as a spoiler to even mention it, but the woman I have gone for is known (perhaps unfairly) for shoe-gazing, for inward-looking, and for writing many songs that seem to be about failed or failing relationships or a life gone irrecoverably wrong with no light at the end of the tunnel.

No, it's not Taylor Swift.

So it seemed fitting to choose an album by this artist the very title of which was conceived as a "Screw You" to people who want you to be cheery. Sometimes life isn't cheery. Sometimes the right thing to do isn't to plaster an artificial frozen rictus onto your face to make other people feel comfortable.

I think the following album is a good reflection of some of what this artist is capable; superb lyrics, evocative themes and beautiful melodies. She also has a way with writing the odd short, succinct song which nevertheless is complete in and of itself. If you think this whole album is a dreary downer, we may have been listening to different things. 

There's something American about this series of vignettes of characters' lives, too, which suits my current position and location as we're vacationing in California at the moment. Enjoy!"

Right then. Direct download is here and the Mixcloud ("Surprise Ruiner of the year 2013") link is here.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

The Listening Club - 26th October 2014

Greetings to you all,

Hope you're doing fine. A gentle weekend here in Amsterdam for a change, partially due to a cancelled gig, but a good opportunity to recharge batteries, make plans, and pop down the road for a few random Belgian beers. All well and good.

Meanwhile, last week, @andershanson was in the chair, sending out "Feel It Break" by Austra, to a warm response from the assembled. Many thanks to Anders for the pick, and for flipping the frisbee across to @mrhig for next week's selection.

But now.... wowzers, it's time to reveal the wonders of the #exquisitecorpsevortex! Yes, 16 tracks, each connected to the one before by one of our selectors to create one mighty Frankenstein's monster of a hive-mind mixtape (see this post for the full explanation of how it came together, too lazy to type it all out again). This is about as wide-ranging a selection as we've ever had, not surprisingly, but does it flow? Hang on to your pants, folks, we're about to find out...

Direct download is here and the Mixcloud (let's see how many of these it recognises, eh?) link is here.

Clocks have changed here in Europeland, so see you at 8pm GMT!

Sunday, 19 October 2014

The Listening Club - 19th October 2014

Hello hello,

Fine weekend here in Amsterdam, hope you're all doing okay - Yesterday's freakish warmth (22°C) and sun brought out pretty much everyone in town and provided a lovely backdrop to the Stedelijk Museum's Alvin Lucier festival - a bucket list achievement for me to see the man himself (a very well preserved 83) perform "I Am Sitting In A Room", which blew my tiny mind when I discovered it on late night radio as an early teen. Meanwhile the rest of the city has been throbbing to a 4-4 pulse, as the annual Amsterdam Dance Event goes off all around, and the city's hipster quotient consequently goes through the roof for a few days.

Thanks to everyone who volunteered for the #exquisitecorpsevortex experiment - we're six tunes in, and ten more to go, so if you can turn your choices around as quick as possible it would be very much appreciated! I've avoided listening to what's coming in, but going by the names and reasons for choice, this is going to be quite an impressive beast when it's completed - can't wait to play it all back next Sunday!

Last week, @JonnyDaPigg was in the chair, and hit everyone with Kate Tempest's "Everybody Down" to almost overwhelmingly positive effect - many thanks to Jonny for the pick, and for pushing @AndersHanson back into the front line for this week - and here he is with the pre-match...

"Just two months after my debut pick for Listening Club, the baton has been handed to me yet again.  After rummaging through my albums (if rummaging is something that's possible to do in iTunes) I ended up settling on the album that was the runner-up the first time round.

This band I discovered once again through an iTunes free single, but after my first listen it was forgotten and just languished in the dusty recesses of my laptop before I rediscovered it late last year when I then played it obsessively for several weeks, found the full album and then listened to that obsessively too.  

It's a bit electronic, a bit dreamy, very synthy, with a bit of pop, some theatrical vocals and with some dark moody beats thrown in.  With every listen I discover something new."

Direct download is here and the Mixcloud (doomy gloomy song title warning) link is here.

See you at 8pm BST!

Sunday, 12 October 2014

The Listening Club - 12th October 2014

Hey there,

@kleptones here, back again after wringing the last few drops out of the Summer in Brighton - Seriously, sun-kissed drinks on the beach in October? Veh nice. Mind you, B-town is now pretty much under water following a few days of hyper-torrential rain so looks like we got out of there just in time, Snowy, eh?

Couple of admin notes to, er, note - I'm away now last two weekends in November - Jim's not around for the first one either so as usual we need caretaker-managers to run the 23rd Nov and the whatever-it-ends-up-being vortex on the 30th Nov. So don't be shy, step up and help a brother out!

Speaking of vortexy things, I had another one of those kerrazy kleptone koncepts (no acronyms please) occur to me the other day, which I'd like to propose either for this or future times - An "Exquisite Corpse" Vortex (appropriate for Halloween? Maybe...)

Kind of inspired by @akx asking if he could submit his own mixtape the other week, I thought, well, "What if we all made a mixtape together? but twisted in a way that only #LC can do?"

So here's the proposal - Everyone that wants to participate lets me know, I put you all in a list, starting with me (cos I'm da boss, innit). I start by picking a tune, I send that tune to the next person on the list, they listen, and pick a tune that is linked to the previous one somehow, either in style, meaning, artist, whatever, etc.... and send it back to me the next day with the reason. I send that tune to the next person sans reason, they pick a tune to go with that one, etc.. etc... so we end up (hopefully) with an exquisite corpse of a mix, that might make some sense, or might go off on a million tangents.... you get me?

Anyhoo, pitching this now so folks have time to think and respond... if everyone's in favour I'll start collecting names for the list tonight - would love it if as many of you as possible can join in, even if you won't be around for the playback (26th Oct) - only proviso is that folks need to be able to respond in 24hrs, so we have time to get through it all without me having to do any hassling.

Okay. Last week, in my absence, Jim was running things, and @akx was in the chair, picking out Crystal Fighters "Star Of Love", which got some highly positive responses from you all. Big thanks to Aarni for the selection, and for flipping the frisbee across to @jonnydapigg for this week, and here he is...

"Rights then, not gonna say a massive amount here other than this would have been my last pick had the pesky world cup not been a distraction. 

This is one of those rare albums in my collection that wasn't a recommendation (I actually saw track five randomly on soundcloud and caned it). I draw comparisons to another album in my collection as the flow/style has a similar feel, be interesting if anyone else makes the same.

Hope you all enjoy,"

Reety ho, Direct download is here and the Mixcloud (doomy gloomy song title warning) link is here.

See you at 8pm BST!

Sunday, 5 October 2014

The Listening Club - 5th October 2014

Greetings and salutations!

@JimMcCauley here for the last time until, well, next time @kleptones goes off on his travels, I imagine. Summer's giving it a last hurrah here in Bath and I've pretty much shaken off the last of my hangover from my Friday night leaving drinks; much alcohol consumed and shit talked, and I spent most of yesterday feeling completely dreadful yet pleasingly short on remorse. (Cheeky aside: need a freelance writer? Get in touch!)

Last week! Oh yes, last week. Whether it was songs you love by bands you hate, or just the one song you like by a particular band, last week's #sylbbyhvortex was a troll-tastic assortment of tunes that provoked plenty of internet rage and the very real threat of the lot of us leaving in a huff. All the best of friends again in the showers afterwards, though, so well done, all.

(We should get thinking about this month's vortex, now; are we going to do something Halloween-related or is last year's Scary as Fuck Vortex too much to top? Have a bit of a ponder.)

And so to @akx with this week's selection. Take it away, Aarni!

"Hello, hello!

So! I originally had a couple options lined up for this week's pick, but then I started second-guessing myself and picked a couple more for a shortlist (after my thought of making a mixtape was shot down  on good grounds, too, mind). Then I began having trouble deciding which of those to pick, so I ended up just choosing this one, which was my first option to begin with. So it goes.

So yeah, (shortly  I'm not good with this blurb thing) about this particular pick! I came across this album some months back and more or less immediately figured "yeah, this might be interesting to play for the LC massive", so here we are.

Oh, and it's not avant-garde black metal, sorry @samsmitter."

Right right! Direct download is here, Mixcloud (and we all know about Mixcloud and song titles by now, don't we?) link is here.

See you at 8PM! BST! (And if you want to ensure you start bang on time, this is a good place to synchronise watches.)

Sunday, 28 September 2014

The Listening Club - 28th September 2014

Greetings folks,

Well I'm back again, following another mighty dose of Kate Bush and a gentle couple of days on family tech-support duties sorting out a new laptop for my mum. One more flyaway for me next weekend and I'm done for a bit, which will probably be welcome news to Jim, who has been doing a sterling job keeping this ticking over in my absence...

Last week @samsmitter was in the hot seat, and sent forth a cracking selection of highlights from the Lee Scratch Perry box set "Arkology". A mightier set of tunes you'd be hard pushed to find, I must say. Many thanks to Sam for the selection, and for flipping the frisbee to @akx for next week...

...but first, behold the "Songs You Like By Bands You Hate" Vortex! (or #sylbbyhvortex, if you like) Yes, we have 16 songs that occupy a rather unique and lonely place in your collective collections - and some real surprises too, I'm pleased to say...

So get grabbing... Download is here (link  at top middle of page) and the Mixcloud stream (song titles, spoilers, etc.) is here!

See you at 8pm BST!

Sunday, 21 September 2014

The Listening Club - 21st September 2014

Hallo, chums!

It's @JimMcCauley here again because @kleptones is off for another helping of Kate Bush, damn him. Me, I'm making the most of a splendidly sunny day in Bath by getting some washing done and wondering whether I should mow the lawn now or save it for later in the week when I become unemployed (or rather, self-employed; back to the life of a freelance writer for me). Exciting times!

Last week @mutster101 stepped up to the decks and spun Lissie's 2010 debut, "Catching a Tiger", which went down nicely with the #listeningclub masses. Thanks to him for the pick, and for aiming the frisbee squarely at @samsmitter, who will address you presently.

Before that, next week's #vortex that I just remembered about! As suggested by @Holette, it's the Songs You Love By Bands You Hate vortex, which hashtags nicely down to #sylbbyhvortex. Get your thinking implements out and bung a pick (or two, bearing last month's rather short vortex in mind) to Eric during the week. And now here's Sam with this week's pick:

"This is a compilation (not mine, this is not another mix tape!) showcasing a truly legendary producer and former champion domino player. The actual full compilation is a 3-CD set, all of which is great stuff and very interesting, but I have trimmed it down to respectable sub-one-hour listening club size. That was a tough job, but I did it for you guys.

The music here sounds so fresh and innovative to me that it is hard to believe it was made at the time it was made, on the equipment it was made on. But it was. The producer also wrote most of the songs here, although the artists and singers are a mixture. This is a genre I have picked before (quite a while back now), but I’m not sure that anyone else has, and when I met up with some LC people it was generally agreed we could do with a bit more of this sort of thing. So, I hope it hits a Sunday sweet spot for you .. Sam x"

Mega. Download is here and the Mixcloud stream (song titles, spoilers, etc.) is here!

See you at 8pm BST (GMT+1)!

(And if anyone fancies a bit of an after-party, what say we freshen up our drinks after Sam's pick and have a 10th anniversary listen to Mr K's "A Night at the Hip-Hopera" at 9PM? Yeah? Yeah! In the unlikely event of you not already having it; grab it here.)

Sunday, 14 September 2014

The Listening Club - 14th September 2014

What ho,

Indian Summer in full effect here in A-dam, hoping it's sunny where you are also. Been a couple of action packed weekends since I last saw you, last week taking in the mighty Kate Bush show (truly, truly magnificent, and yes, I am going again next weekend, sorry Jim), the new Gilbert & George exhibition (also excellent, it's free, go see if you're in London), some quality Dalston Turkish breakfasts, and some cracking slices of Yacht Rock action at The Social in the company of @nessiest, @cakehugga and @emmaprice. This weekend has seen a flying lunchtime visit here in the 'Dam from @dingster, some awesome psych-rock grooves in the Melkweg from Action Beat and Al Lover, and ended up with a late night boat cruise around the least touristy areas of the town's canals. Oh and beer. Plenty of it. Phew and wow. Glad of a chill day today for sure...

Last week, @cdrose_writer was in the chair, and spaced us all with the way out lounge stylings of "Entropicalia" by The Soundcarriers. Many thanks to him for the fine pick and for flipping the frisbee across to @mutster101. Will he throw another cat amongst the pigeons after last time's Lana Del Rey marathon? Only one way to find out...

"So there I was minding my own business, easing myself back into the business of twitter after a month's break, and before I know it I'm holding the frisbee again. In a week's time it's the anniversary of my first pick, which is largely irrelevant but I'm mentioning it anyway.

I was ever so ever so tempted to go with a certain album that magically appeared in my iTunes this week, which for the record I have not listened to, but then I figured that would be funny for about 30 seconds and then just be low-grade trolling.

So instead... this is the first time I've had a pretty clear idea of what album to do before the weekend. I discovered this artist in the same way that I discovered the artist in my last pick (yes, THAT one), ie, via the iTunes free single of the week. While in this case it didn't lead to obsessive listening, it was once again something a little outside of my normal wheelhouse that I took a liking to. I promise that this time it's just one CD, hehe.

Oh, and I'm teetotal, but if I wasn't: bourbon on the rocks (probably)."

Okaydoke. Download is here (right click save as) and the Mixcloud stream (which may reveal the song titles, as any fule now kno)  is here!

Get yourself along at 8pm (GMT+1), be lovely to see you!

Sunday, 7 September 2014

The Listening Club - 7th September 2014

Well, hello!

@JimMcCauley at the controls again, because @kleptones is in That London to worship at the altar of the blessed Saint Kate. I'm not at all utterly consumed by jealousy. Just as long as he doesn't rub it in by going to see her again or anything. It's FINE.

So! Last week saw the #onehitwondervortex, and not only was it very sweet and extremely short, it somehow managed to avoid chucking up Joe Dolce, Clive Dunn or even Renée and Renato. Well done, all. And so to @cdrose_writer with this week's pick:

"Seeing as several Listening Clubbers are off drinking overpriced lager out of plastic cups and getting soaked by the rain while watching some wonky-haired dweebs chugging through mud and appalling sound this weekend (jealous? me? ha!), I picked tonight’s selection hoping it might replicate a festival vibe for those of us lucky enough to be stuck at home in our living rooms. Hm.

It comes from a label whose highly distinctive aesthetic I have loved, but has perhaps become slightly self-restrictive of late.  This, however, the third record from the band but their first on this label is a warm breeze through hauntological furrows. 

I’ll say no more, other than to warn the faint-hearted that there is a 12-minute wig out at one point, during which you might want to put the kettle on, nip to the loo, out for a fag, or even as far as your corner shop for a refill (though you may miss the spoken word cameo by a Hollywood A-lister...)

Drink recommendation: caipirinha (with a twist of something lysergic)."

Tidy. Download is here (download link at the top of the page) and the Mixcloud stream (blah blah song titles) is here!

See you at 8pm BST (GMT+1)!

Sunday, 31 August 2014

The Listening Club - 31st August 2014

Hi there!

Hope all is fine and good wherever you are and whatever you're doing. Bit of a summer reprieve here finally this weekend in A-dam, so off yesterday to the Magneet Festival for a dose of local hippy-ish insanity and techno-bopping Dutchies. Today, naturally, is proceeding at a considerably slower, gentler pace as hangovers get gently dealt with, yes... time to get this done and call for a curry I think.

Last week @RougeForever was in the hot seat, and boldly selected her favourite album of all time, Joni Mitchell's "Blue". A complete and utter classic indeed, and a very welcome listen. Big thanks to her for the pick, and for flipping the frisbee across to @cdrose_writer for next week.

But first, yea verily it's time for the #onehitwondervortex. A choice selection of, well, completely random, occasionally bonkers but totally ace tunes as you'd expect! Thanks all who chipped in a tune :)

Download is here (download link at the top of the page, thanks Google for the redesign) and the Mixcloud stream (which may reveal the song titles, you have been warned)  is here!

See you at 8pm BST (GMT+1)!

Sunday, 24 August 2014

The Listening Club - 24th August 2014

Hey all,

Still summer weather is proving elusive here, small breaks in the cloud now being appreciated with a fervour bordering on the religious. Here's hoping a little normality resumes before we head into autumnal territories. Making good use of the time ahead tho, by planning my little visits to London and Brighton (remember I need #LC sub-captains for 7th Sept, 21st Sept & 5th Oct) and also now aiming for Utrecht's Le Guess Who festival (check this lineup!) in November (another sub required then for 23rd Nov ;). "If in doubt, make plans" seems to be the motto right now...

Also, goddammitt it's that time again - suggestions for next week's #vortex please!

Last week @andershanson took his debut turn in the chair, and treated us all to Paul Thomas Saunders' "Beautiful Desolation", to generally positive reactions. Many thanks to him for the pick, and for flipping the frisbee across to @rougeforever for this week's pick. And here she is...

"The great thing about getting older (as I did a month ago) is that you care a lot less about what people think of you.   I've heard a few people (mainly Listening Club newbies) say that they're a bit self conscious about their choices.   Like the rest of us are going to judge them on their pick.  That if their choice isn't somehow *cool* enough we'll think less of them.   Love me, love my album.

Music is a very personal thing.  Particularly if you're as keen on it as some of us LC folk.   It soothes us after a hard day, sits with us in moments of despair and provides the backdrop to the most important moments in our lives  (what was the first dance at your wedding?   What do you want played at your funeral?) 

What we choose to share with Listening Club does say a lot about us.   Particularly if we choose a record which has enormous significance to us.

My choice this week is my favourite record of all time.  Some of you will know it word for word, some of you won't ever have heard it.

This record has been with me since 1987.  I was 19 and in my second undergrad year in London.   A friend had a tape... and then it became *my* record and over the last twenty-something years it has acted as mother, brother, secret lover.

I could talk about the chords which are slightly askew,  the soaring vocals or how it contains some of the best words ever written about a relationship breaking down.    

Or I could just say, this is my favourite record of all time.   You're welcome to judge me.   I'm 46, I don't give a fuck."

Right then. Download is here (download link at the top of the page, thanks Google for the redesign) and the Mixcloud stream (which may reveal the song titles, you have been warned)  is here!

Sunday, 17 August 2014

The Listening Club - 17th August 2014

Hey there,

What's this? Where did my summer go? Doomy gloomy skies and sub 20 degree temperatures? Grr. Fortunately it didn't stop yesterday's double bill enjoyment of a trio of classical concerts in a disused munitions factory, followed by gleeful consumption of ALL the food groups and beer groups at Kimchi Farm Festival. Fun will be had, regardless...

Advance heads up time..., in the forthcoming month or two I'm going to be away for not one, not two, but three weekends as I do a little visiting around the UK and take in a couple of Kate Bush concerts along the way (mega-squee!). So for Sundays 7th Sept, 21st Sept and 5th Oct I'll be needing caretaker-managers to look after these here environs - let me know if you're able to help out on any of those weeks, would be very much appreciated indeed, ta!

Last week the venerable @holette was in the chair, and brought forth Courtney Barnett's rather ace Double EP "A Sea Of Split Peas", which seemed to go down pretty well with everyone indeed. Thanks to @holette for the fine pick and for nominating @andershanson for his debut selection - and here he is with the intro...

"Six months on from my first ever Listening Club I was both terrified and excited when @Holette threw me the frisbee last week.  At the risk of this now turning into one of those overly emotional Oscars speeches I must also thank @EmmaPrice who introduced me to all this when I once asked her what this Listening Club was that she kept tweeting about every Sunday.

So my pick...  This is actually a very recent album, only released earlier this year.  I heard one track from it via a free single on iTunes and then just downloaded the whole album as I instantly fell in love with it.  We all have that initial enthusiasm when you can't stop listening to a newly purchased album, but this one has lasted.

What I love about it is that it's beautiful.  It is wide open landscapes, the open road, it's sunset after a hot day, it's meandering home with friends after a day in the park, it's a film soundtrack, it's calming and it's relaxing, yet it's also earnest and thoughtful.

After building it up, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this first choice of mine doesn't end my chances of every being asked to make the pick again in the future.  Enjoy!"

Okaydoke! Download is here (download link at the top of the page, thanks Google for the redesign) and the Mixcloud stream (which may reveal the song titles, you have been warned)  is here!

See you at 8pm BST (GMT+1)!

Sunday, 10 August 2014

The Listening Club - 10th August 2014

Well hello there,

Bit of a weatherbeaten week here in the Dam, sounds like similar is happening across the vicinity, seeing stories of waterlogged and windswept festivals. Ah, the north European summer eh? Gotta love it, if only to provide some small talk for these intros when my mind goes blank, innit? Hoping the weather clears up by Wednesday night, or our intended outdoor viewing of Nick Cave's "20,000 Days On Earth" may not be as joyful as expected... *crosses fingers*

Last week, oh my, @JimMcCauley was in the chair, and channelled the musical wisdom of the much-missed @jayesofine to bring us Spacemen 3's final album "Recurring". A definite Sunday night space-out for sure, big thanks to Jim for the wise pick, and for flipping the frisb across to @holette, who's here with the intro...

"I find most of the new music I like from listening to 6music. I love getting a moment when I hear a track for the first time and all of a sudden the washing up, or the making tea or whatever I'm doing suddenly stops, my ears tune in and I just think who was THAT?

Maybe it's a monster riff that's caught my ear, a clever lyric, or an unusual vocal, but it's something I can't place and want to hear more of. I had one of those moments with this artist earlier in the year, got the album and have been urging friends to listen or catch the live dates since.  No one's been disappointed and a couple of fellow Listening clubbers have already been converted...think they had to be escorted away tipsy and a bit giggly from artist's presence at a gig....

My favourite couple of tracks are 3 or 4 in, but all of them have something that I hope you'll find resonates with you.  Listen carefully, there's some cheeky lines mixed up in those sweet melodies!"

Reety-ho. Download is here (download link at the top of the page, thanks Google for the redesign) and the Mixcloud stream (which may reveal the song titles, you have been warned)  is here!

See you at 8pm BST (GMT+1)!

Sunday, 3 August 2014

The Listening Club - 3rd August 2014


Well, Amsterdam Pride went off yesterday with a huge bang, so today, not surprisingly, most of the city is in recovery mode, myself included. Gentle activities are the order of the day, and softly tapping at the keyboard, on we go...

Last week we all set sail on the good ship #nauticalvortex and what a journey that was. A seriously excellent selection of tunes indeed, many thanks to you all for chipping in. (Tracklisting has been added to last week's post in the comments, if you haven't seen it.) Casting our minds back, we see that @JimMcCauley was left holding the frisbee, so here he is with this week's intro...

"It's hard to believe it's been a whole year since we lost @Jayesofine. She was smart and funny and passionate, she could always be relied upon for a good Listening Club choice, and she gave the impression that she was constantly grabbing life by the scruff of the neck and giving it a proper living.

I still miss her online presence on a regular basis, and I feel aggrieved that we never got to meet and have the drink that we were totally going to have. And of course I feel truly heartbroken for @CakeHugga's loss; I was so glad that some of us managed to meet up with her in Amsterdam, see their wedding photos and hear so many lovely stories about Jaye.

Tonight's pick is an album that has strong associations with Jaye for me. It's one that I'd owned for a while but hadn't paid much attention to. I think of this band's music as a thing for late nights – or at least for darkened rooms – but it was Jaye who pointed to me out that actually, this last album is perfect material for a summer's day. And she was absolutely right; listening to it while walking home from work on a bright May afternoon last year was a warm and fuzzy revelation, in sharp contrast to the acrimonious collapse of the band during its recording.

I reckon it should do just as nicely for a Sunday evening, and as something by which to remember an absent friend. Enjoy!"

Okaydoke. Download is here and the Mixcloud stream (which may reveal the song titles, you have been warned)  is here!

See you at 8pm BST (GMT+1)!

Sunday, 27 July 2014

The Listening Club - 27th July 2014

Hey there!

Hope your weekend is proving satisfactory. I'm huffing to get this sorted asap so we can zoom off and spend the afternoon checking out Jimmy Cauty's new artwork which has landed in Mediamatik Amsterdam for a couple of months - yay!

Last week, @cakehugga was in the chair, and got everyone's attention with K.Flay's "West Ghost", prompting one of the most all-round positive reactions I think we've ever had. Excellent stuff indeed, big thanks to her for the pick, and for flipping the frisbee across to @JimMcCauley for next week...

(A quick aside, I was thinking that we could maybe do with a little new blood around these parts, so pondering ways that we could gather a few new folks and trumpet the all-round joyfulness that is #lc - any suggestions more than welcome, let's have a membership drive!)

But lo, what lurks upon the horizon? *raises looking glass* By jove, it's the good ship #nauticalvortex! Yep, we have 16 fine sea-faring shanties for you. There was a couple of twice-picked tunes, so I've press-ganged a few of the swarthy backup selections into service also. A seriously fine selection this one, even if I do say so myself, yaar!

Download is here and the Mixcloud stream (which may reveal the song titles, you have been warned)  is here!

See you at 8pm BST (GMT+1)!

Sunday, 20 July 2014

The Listening Club - 20th July 2014

Hello hello,

Well then, looks like the hottest weekend of the year here in Amsterdam - 34 degrees yesterday, therefore much lazing about in the park sipping wine was the order of the day, mainly because it was pretty darn impossible to muster the energy required to do much else. A little cooler today, which is most welcome, but still requiring the assistance of a tall iced coffee and a mighty floor-standing fan to keep typing. On we go...

Next week, being end of the month and all that, tis #vortex time again, and after some discussion (and a good few ideas for next month to tuck under the belt), we're going with a #nauticalvortex, so don your sailor thinking caps and search out a hearty sea-faring song for the treasure chest. Anchors away next week at 8... (*collapses under the weight of nautical metaphors*)

Back to last week, @JonnyDaPigg was in the chair, and sent us forth into a flurry of different moods with Hybrid's collection of film soundtrack music "Scores". Many thanks to Jonny for the pick, and for sailing the frisbee across to @cakehugga for this week's pick. And here she is...

"Hello Again LC peeps, 

I discovered this artist when Jaye and I were watching an episode of Girls. One of her songs was playing during a party scene. Jaye and I were both blown away by the song. We ended up pausing the episode, rewinding the song and shazaming it to find out who the artist was (the joys of modern technology). 

Jaye then tracked down all of her back catalogue which we listened to and loved.  Jaye was listening to the whole back catalogue on random on the day she died so I guess it makes me feel connected to her to listen to this album. 

This album has a darkness, intelligent lyrics and the ability to make me move. It’s also by a female artist and I love representing for the ladies. 

I hope that you enjoy."

Reety-ho. Download is here and the Mixcloud stream (which may reveal the song titles, you have been warned)  is here!

See you at 8pm BST (GMT+1)!

Sunday, 13 July 2014

The Listening Club - 13th July 2014

Hey ho, folks...

Hope all is fine and dandy with yourselves in the midst of all this summer sport crazyness. Wheels, rackets and balls flying in all directions so it seems. And as it will tonight, as England's footballing public enemies No's 1 and 2 come face-to-face at exactly the same time that #listeningclub starts! I mean come on!... I told them I had the slot booked but they just wouldn't listen. Stood there blabbering about global audiences and whatnot. So we'll just have to go head-to-head. I can multi-task (have done for most of the other matches) and I'm sure you can too, unless you're wanting to be in a public beer-supplying big screen offering sort of place. In which case, this'll be waiting for you when you get back... no worries.

Last week over yonder, @pamac66 delivered unto us all Kid Loco's 2001 album "Kill Your Darlings", which brought forth a mixed bag of reactions, some love, some indifference, all good and varied and that's what it's all about. Big thanks to Paul for the pick and for flipping the frisbee across to @jonnydapigg who now has the World Cup Final dilemma blues...

"Initial joy at the prospect of playing listeningclub hunger games with my choices this week was cut short be the fact the that the world cup final kicks off at the same time. So the latecomer to to the challenge that I was going to go with has been pushed back to another time as I suspect tonight's attendance may be lacking, in fact I feel a touch of football fever coming on myself. Still there's those of you who may not enjoy the beautiful game or are content to watch and listen, and to you I offer this selection. 

It actually ranked well in the to the death top trumps style way I go about making my choices, in fact this group had 3 albums in, all doing well and only trumped initially by something I'd recently discovered. Of the 3 I went for this because of it's rarity (though I confess I didn't know how rare it was until about 5 minutes ago) (also @faberfedor may note it is relatively short).  I suspect many will know the group after the first track but maybe not the album. So sit back and enjoy this perfect accompaniment to a summers evening."

Okaydoke. Download is here and the Mixcloud stream (which may reveal the song titles, you have been warned)  is here!

See you at 8pm BST (GMT+1)!

Sunday, 6 July 2014

The Listening Club - 6th July 2014

Greetings folks,

Hey hey, back from the funny farm and feeling all the better for it. A fine time as usual, despite a mild dose of the obligatory mud and sunburn, a welcome opportunity to flex my DJing fingers, and some wonderful musical and peepular experiences indeed (including an in-the-wild #listeningclubber and fine old friend in the shape of @matthewesdigs). Back to earth with a bump this week also as usual, tired but happy. Maybe with a little forward planning we could have an #lc posse there next year? Couldn't think of a better place, really... hehe.

Anyhoo, big up @JimMcCauley for taking the reigns last week and sorting out the mighty return of the #livevortex - a cracking selection of performances indeed. Thanks to you all for chipping in a tune! Back in the mists of time @pamac66 was chosen for this week's pick, so here he is with the intro...

"Like my last pick, here's someone new to me (but probably not to you). Discovered using the 'similar artists' button on Deezer, I've discovered a lot of new stuff that way.

Anyway, as I say, I'm not familiar with this guy's work and, reading some reviews of this album online, it would appear it's not regarded as one of his best. I like it though - easy on the ears, perfect for a Summer Sunday evening, sitting around the barbecue with a glass or two of wine ;-). My only criticism is that it's too short (only 44 mins), which gives you plenty of time afterwards to check out his other albums. Enjoy."

Okaydoke! Download is here and the Mixcloud stream (which may reveal the song titles, you have been warned)  is here!

See you at 8pm BST (GMT+1)!

Sunday, 29 June 2014

The Listening Club - 29th June 2014

Happy Glastonbury, everybody! @JimMcCauley at the controls again, while @kleptones does his thing on Worthy Farm. I'm not there because if you live in Bath it's like visiting the Roman Baths or Jane Austen's house; you just never get round to doing it. I did however get to see Jurassic 5 in Bristol the other night; sadly we didn't see much of previous #listeningclub pick, Ugly Duckling, thanks to dodgy stage monitors. After a few game attempts they had to give up; bit of a disappointment but J5 made up for it by being on top form.

Last week @EastVanHalen caught the frisbee and treated us to, I think, our second jazz excursion, in the form of "The Definitive Thelonious Monk". Quite possibly the Ken Burns Jazz Collection edition, and it definitely hit the Sunday night spot. Thanks to @EastVanHalen for the pick, and for flinging the frisbee at @pamac66.

Who of course gets an extra week to think about his pick, because tonight it's the second annual #LiveVortex! 16 live corkers for your delectation, and naturally it's an excellently diverse mix of tunes; maybe a little more laid back than last year's, but with a good few opportunities to get up and dance. Thanks to everyone who contributed a track!

Direct download link is here, and the Mixcloud stream of inevitable track title spoilers is here.

See you at 8pm (GMT+1)!

Sunday, 22 June 2014

The Listening Club - 22nd June 2014

Happy midsummer folks!

Hope that the sun is poking out wherever you are and brightening up the place. It's doing good here in Amsterdam, although the forecast for next weekend's Glastonbury is looking a little rainy (quelle surprise), so the pile of waterproofs, boots, sunglasses, sunblock etc is steadily growing in the corner of the room as you'd expect. Many thanks to @JimMcCauley for agreeing to caretaker-manage the place next week whilst I'm away, and compile the 2nd annual #livevortex - Yep, one top-quality live recording please from each of you to whip into a mighty experience. Sure Jim will announce where to send stuff via the Twitter account in due course, so keep an eye out there...

Last week @mutster101 was in the hot seat throwing the cat amongst the pigeons with his selection of Lana Del Ray's "Born To Die". The Paradise Edition no less, which resulted in quite a fine range of discourse from the lot of you. Thanks to @mutster101 for the pick and for flipping the frisbee across to @EastVanHalen who is here with the pre-match...

"Hello everybody:

This is a compilation of recordings by one of the great American jazz musicians, a great "have you heard this?" gift that was my first encounter with him. I liked him straight away. He's joyful, fresh, and exuberant, and he really swings.

It's also the record I've been listening to obsessively for weeks, pulled from the stack for more attention after I picked up a biography of the artist on a recent trip to my favourite bookstore, San Francisco's City Lights.

I was surprised to read how derisively music critics treated him for the first ten or more years of his career, only to later praise as innovative the qualities they had mocked. Even by his supporters he was often woefully misread. 

Most of the songs here are his compositions, and they're played by some genuinely mind-boggling bands. Of the lot, I think my favourite is the sixth track, which has given me a persistent but delightful earworm.

Hope you enjoy."

Okaydoke! Download is here and the Mixcloud stream (which may reveal the song titles, you have been warned)  is here!

See you at 8pm BST (GMT+1)!

Sunday, 15 June 2014

The Listening Club - 15th June 2014

Hey there!

Well, settling into a summer groove quite nicely here - festivals and outdoor events popping up left right and centre, so between those, prepping for Glastonbury and stopping to watch the locals quality international kickabout performance, there's more than enough entertainment to go round right now. Can't complain, really...

Chez #lc, thanks to @JimMcCauley for volunteering to host the #vortex in two weeks time whilst I'm away, now all we need is a theme... thinking caps on folks!

Last week, @emmaprice was in the chair, and soothed troubled souls with her pick of Mary Margaret O'Hara's sole album "Miss America". Big thanks to her for the selection, and for flipping the frisbee across to @mutster101, who is here with the pre-match...

"OK, this is either going to go really well or really badly.

When I got the frisbee again last week it seemed like only the day before that I'd last had it, but it turns out that was nearly three months.

Over the course of the week I had three or four possible picks, and I thought I'd settled on one of them. As I was reviewing my options browsing through iTunes, this album elbowed its way in and said "Pick me! Pick me! Ooh! Ooh! Ooh! Please!"

I considered its points, I decided that I actually quite liked the idea, even though it was not a typical LC pick, I got cold feet and nearly went back to one of my other choices, and then thought stuff it.

Ordinarily, I don't think I (or anyone else) would pick something like this for LC. It's a bit too mainstream and a bit too recent and a bit too well known. I'd be surprised if no other LCers had this album. However, since I have just had a week off and the weather has been mostly fantastic, I'm feeling quite summery, and this is (to me at least) very summery music. For best results it should be listened to while lying on grass and staring up at blue sky.

I was obsessed with this album last summer. I'd finally given in to the sneaky marketing ploy of buying the album again with an extra disc full of new stuff and did not regret the decision. And I listened to it a lot, lying on grass where possible.

I know that not everyone will see the summery side to this, and I know that some people will listen and think "What? Really?", and I also would not be entirely surprised if the summery weather has buggered off by 8pm tonight, but you know what? Sod it. Let's just go with it, yeah?"

Right Then! Download is here and the Mixcloud stream (which may reveal the song titles, you have been warned)  is here!

See you at 8pm BST (GMT+1)!