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)!