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.

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