Sunday, 30 March 2014

The Listening Club - 30th March 2014

Greetings and all that jazz...

Well, quite a lovely weekend here in Amsterdam. Temperatures are up, everyone comes out of hibernation, music is played, beers are drunk and before you know where you are, you're blearily pushing your key in the front door as the sun rises. Happy days are, indeed, here again...

Also note that as per usual, daylight saving shenanigans mean that we're on our summer schedule of 8pm BST (GMT+1)...

Last week, rule-bending season continued with @mutster101 merging together parts of Peter Gabriel's covers album "Scratch My Back" with the corresponding parts of it's reciprocal twin "And I'll Scratch Yours", unintentionally setting a trend for cover versions on our birthday. A grand piece of synchronicity, and appreciated by all. Thanks to @mutster101 for the pick, and for flipping the frisbee across to @emmaprice for next Sunday...

But now... it's #travelvortex time, so fasten your seatbelts, and let's set off to 13 splendid audio destinations!

Download here and the Mixcloud stream (which may reveal the song 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 (GMT+1)!

Sunday, 23 March 2014

The Listening Club - 23rd March 2014

Greetings to you all, and Happy Birthday to us!

Yes indeed, twas two years and a couple of days ago that this very entity sprung into existence, all because I fancied some company whist listening to a dodgy compilation of Bob Dylan cover versions. But what a fine two years of listening it's been - taking in a whole host of excellent albums, some mighty vortexes, laughter, tears, the Threat Of Sting and the hitherto unknown erotic properties of All Around My Hat along the way. A grand bunch of friendships have been forged and Sunday evenings have been turned into a marvellous thing, so for all that, I extend huge thanks and hugs to everyone that's participated - what a damn fine time we're having!

In admin mode, next week is vortexy time again, and from the looks of it #travelvortex is a go-er, which opens up a world of possibilities (arf), so let's have your selections to the usual address this week please!

Last week, rule-bending season continued with @akx picking part 64 of the White Light mix series, assembled by RAC - I was in absentia m'self, but looks like it went down very well indeedy. Big thanks to him for the pick and for sending the frisbee over to @mutster101 for the anniversary selection...

"Since it was kindly pointed out that this is the closest Listening Club to its 2nd Birthday, I found myself feeling very nervous about choosing something for tonight. No pressure, and all that. What I decided fairly quickly was that I couldn't continue the current trend of bending the rules. At least, not too much.

This isn't something weird and wonderful and obscure. You'll all know the people involved in this project and you've probably heard of the project itself. At a guess it's the sort of thing that you read about, think "Oh, that looks interesting" and then forget about and never get around to hearing. So now is your chance to hear it.

This is a game of two halves, except I've taken the two halves and woven them together. I've not listened to it like this before so parts of this will be a revelation to me as much as it is to you. Be that as it may, I hope this proves to be a fitting birthday gift for Listening Club.

Many Happy Returns! ::clink::"

Intriguing! Download is here and the Mixcloud stream (which will definitely reveal the origin, as it's the source, 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 GMT!

Sunday, 16 March 2014

The Listening Club - 16th March 2014

Hello, good afternoon and welcome!

Lovely to see you, indeed. Good to have a break from spring-cleaning housework to tap this out, prior to popping off to see "Grand Budapest Hotel" in one of the finest cinemas in Europe, then to take in The Men later this evening, so yes, I'll be in absentia again... but there's plenty goodness to be had here, and also a #vortex theme to be thought up for two weeks time (hint, hint), so onwards...

Last week, cor blimey, @JimMcCauley pulled off quite an achievement, sending out live visuals to accompany the playback of  'Nothing Lasts... But Nothing Is Lost' by Shpongle, to the delight of those of us with a cast-iron internet connection - A stellar performance indeed - many thanks to Jim for effort above and beyond the call of duty, and for flipping the frisb across to @akx, who is here with the pre-match...

"Now that we've been on a Club-rule-bending, erm, bent as of late -- and thankfully so, because I was genuinely drawing a blank as to what album I'd offer up -- here's something a little different again.

It's a mixtape, from an excellently tastefully curated hidden gem of a ninety-five-and-growing-part series of mixtapes meant for driving and/or the after-party after a rambunctious night out (this particular instance is one of the latter, so let's call this week a rambunctious night out and its Sunday the afterparty). I tend to listen to them at work, which really is neither driving or an after-party, but hey, bending rules.

Anyway: out of all the 95 published so far, this is the one I've come back to most often (both according to my own knowledge and's!), which is why it's my pick to share with you.

<3s from a not-that-cold-and-miserable-anymore Finland.


Drinking club recommendation: Something mellow. A bottle of wine to share with someone, perhaps."

Excellent. Download is here, trackist reveal for afters is here, and the Mixcloud stream (which will definitely reveal the origin, as it's the source, 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 GMT!

Sunday, 9 March 2014

The Listening Club - 9th March 2014

Hello to you all...

Commencing LC intro checklist: Heartfelt best wishes to the assembled? check. General bonhomie? check. Lighthearted comment about recent good weather and it's effect on the writer's locale and general sense of well-being? triple-check. Additional info about fine gigs attended, satisfactory amounts of good food & alcohol consumed etc? check, check, check. AOB? Damn fine new haircut check and large amount of fresh cream cake in the fridge check. Boffo! Level up!...

Last week, in my own absentia, @eastvanhalen shook the collective speakers with Redd Kross's 1993 opus "Phaseshifter" - seemed like a mixed response from the assembled, but top notch banter ensued, which is grand to see. Thanks to Steph for the selection, and for flipping the frisb across to housewives favourite @jimmmccauley, who has been having an interesting time sorting stuff out - over to Jim for the major explanations...

"Brilliantly, this time around I already knew what my pick was going to be. It's something that I'd nearly chosen for my first go, but that I'd rejected because back then we tried to keep things under an hour, and this is a little over. It's from a label that's been here before; in fact on that occasion I'd pondered if it was a new album from this lot that I somehow hadn't heard about. It wasn't, but it was in a similar ballpark. It's brought to you by the letters D, M and T. Bring your dancing shoes, bring a nice cushion, and bring fractals.

And that's where my easy, not-actually-worrying-much-about-my-pick week went wrong. Why not, I figured, do some accompanying visuals? The short answer is that it would require a lot of dicking around with screen capture software, streaming services, bitrates and so on, and would ruin about three nights' sleep in a row due to thinking of stuff late in the evening, trying it out and jamming my brain into the fastest setting for a bit. I am an idiot.

Despite the clear idiocy, this week I'm going to try streaming some live visuals to go with the mystery LP. If it doesn't all go wrong they'll be at and they should mostly look quite nice, if a little low-res and glitchy at times. Streaming isn't very kind to the sort of thing I'll be generating, but I think I've tweaked the settings into something I'll probably get away with. One way or another it should be fun.



I think I've managed to get this into the sweetest spot I can, but I'm still pushing it. At worst this'll be a pretty heroic failure :D

ANYWAY, some tips for niceness:

1: Have enough internets: I'm uploading at 3.5Mbps and just lobs it straight out the other end, so if you have a reliable 4Mpbs down then it should be fine.

2: Use the pop-out option on the video player, then stretch it to about 800x600 (or more if it looks nice, but that's the res I'm runing Neon at).

3: Start streaming before 8 - because it'll show you an advert (plus another in the pop-out window if you use that). I'll be up and running before that anyway.

4: Try the Twitch.TV iPad app and search for jimmccauley on that. Its search is a bit flakey but the video comes out really nicely.

5: Don't go into a trance.

Hooray! Seeya later!

PS Bear in mind I won't be streaming the audio, because it'll eat bandwidth and sound like shit!"

All rightey! Download is here, and the Mixcloud stream (which may 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 GMT!

Sunday, 2 March 2014

The Listening Club - 2nd March 2014

Greetings to you all, hope you're getting on and getting by...

Amsterdam is looking quite splendid at the moment, another sunny weekend bringing out surprise and shock on the faces of both residents and tourists expecting grey gloom. Could this really be spring already? Lawksalordy I hope so...

Last Sunday, as well y'all know, twas the #drinkingvortex, and a seriously tasty concoction it was too, some fine and unexpected treats there for sure - many thanks to all who contributed, as always - great fun!

Back to modern times, we find @eastvanhalen dealing with plenty real-life-situation stuff, but (bless her cottons) managing to find time to pick out something for us all. And here she is with the intro...

"A half dozen years or so ago I made a three-entry band/artist bucket list, and this band was on it. Though considered a cult band, they aren't particularly obscure. Nor are they inaccessible, favouring the kind of smart, gleefully melodic, guitar-driven songs that people will variously insist are power pop, punk/pop, or plain old rock. They feel very West Coast to me: part sunny California power pop, part LA hardcore. You can headbang and harmonize to them at the same time, which is a surefire route to my musical heart.

I know our esteemed host likes this band, and some of the cohort likely have heard this record, but given that they're a West Coast phenomenon I suspect folks across the Atlantic might not know them so well.

Hope you all enjoy."

Okaydoke. Download is here, and the Mixcloud stream (which may 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 GMT!