Sunday, 30 August 2015

The Listening Club - 30th August 2015


Hope you're all doing fine - Happy August Bank Holiday to UK folks also, hope that you're making the most of it already, looks like gloomy weather may well dampen any bonus activities you had planned - Although having said that it's been a glorious day here in Amsterdam, despite rain forecast, so you never know, and it has indeed now reached that point in the North European summer where any additional good weather needs to be celebrated to the fullest wherever possible. It's our duty, it really is...

On planet #lc last week wor @nessiest was in the chair and dared to go for a cherished sound from her homeland in the shape of Fat Freddy's Drop's debut platter "Based On A True Story", which got folks bobbing and chilling in equal measures, so it seemed. Thanks to Ness for the pick, and for flipping the frisbee across to @cdrose_writer, who will be back next week with his pick...

But now, maybe the mellowness of the above had something to do with it, here comes the #sleepyvortex - 19 selections, all pertaining to the head-hitting-pillow section of the day. Will they all send us softly into dreamtime? Only one way to find out...

Direct download is here, and the mixcloud is here!

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

Sunday, 23 August 2015

The Listening Club - 23rd August 2015

Hey all,

Sunshine abounds this weekend in Amsterdam, which I'm sure suited everyone bopping at Lowlands festival, the folks lining the Prinsengracht for the annual Grachtenfestival classical concert, and the hundreds of thousands packing out the harbours to see the big-ass ships (as no-one else but me seems to call them). Even though I've been doing none of these things (a slight lie, as we did hear a bit of the music from the classical concert and many a toot from the ship horns), there's still been more than enough frolicking around the quieter areas of the city to declare it a successful weekend. Yes indeedy. Simple pleasures - good company, food, booze etc. Finest kind.

Back in #lc land, you may have noticed that I've started sticking up some "Tune!" of the day links - feel free to DM, post of email a link to a tune if you want to include one - old, new, whatever, lets keep sharing those fine sounds all week long...

Also looking for a #vortex theme for next week, so thinking caps on, tweet yer suggestions please!

Last week @mrhig was in the chair and played well against type with his pick of Fantastic Plastic Machine's "Luxury", which achieved its intention of wrong footing many of the assembled, myself included. Many thanks to Matt for the curve-ball, and for flipping the frisbee across to @nessiest, who is here with the pre-match...

"I listened to a load of new albums that have been on my playlist of late, searching for something new and interesting, goodies to share with the club. 


You know those albums that form part of the soundtrack to your life? You give copies to friends and know the tunes by heart, go to the band's gigs and shout with the joy of recognition when they bring out one of those old tunes? 


I am wearing my heart on my sleeve by sharing a dearly loved, well-worn favourite, all the way from my home-town. The desire to share this wee beauty with the discerning ears of the listening club outweighs any fear you'll be bored pantsless by it, as always you'll make up your own minds.

Ten years old and the band's first studio album, it has mellow grooves, blending roots, dub, soul, jazz and funk with the occasional moment of earnest naivete which a biased listener like me finds charming. Self-produced and released on their own label it made the band world famous in New Zealand.

I made @kleptones go to one of their gigs and he's put up with me raving about their talents for the past two years. Now I get to share the love with you guys. 

Substance of choice tip: whatever you like, the mellower the better. Best listened to with no shoes on."

There you go. Direct download is here, and the mixcloud, if we're really bloody lucky, will be here (best download just in case if you can though...)

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

Sunday, 16 August 2015

The Listening Club - 16th August 2015


Hope all is fine with yourselves - Standard European summer continues apace here in A-dam, which means, yes, quickly alternating lovely sunshine and torrential storms, although admittedly right now it's betwixt and between the two, keeping us indoors sipping coffee and peering out at soggy tourists who in turn are peering down at soggy maps, wondering where the hell their AirBnB has gone. Par for the course, indeed...

Over on Planet #LC, last week @FaberFedor did his usual head-spinning selection trick, bringing out the bluegrass with selections from The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's "Will The Circle Be Unbroken" from 1972. A serious level of hoedowning was achieved for sure. Thanks to Faber for the pick, and for flipping the frisbee back across the atlantic to @mrhig, who's here with this week's intro...

"As the years get further away in the rear view, it's easy to romanticise the decades gone by as more glamorous than they really were to live through at the time. It's only natural sometimes to look at how things are today and reminisce at how much better we had it way back when. 

Gain enough distance from the past though, and eventually a different view begins to open up. How things really were. This is often a lot darker and more horrific than we claimed to remember it. Taking a look in UK news in the last five years at anything about the past would confirm that.

Our artist tonight has a view of the past that is more or less entirely fictional, but that doesn't make it any less valid.

I first came to find this artist when their music was used on a 1990s UK comedy series. I've been a fan ever since. In common with a lot of the music I enjoy, they have a slightly fantasised look at how the past used to be. Those halcyon days when air travel was impossibly glamourous, when the future held nothing but promise, and automation would ensure none of us had dull jobs anymore and could all focus on lofty ideals, and none of us would be lonely or in need of companionship…

We get the future we deserve, not the one we long for.

For a bit of fun, as you listen tonight, attempt to work out where this artist comes from. Your mileage may vary but I think they come across as quite prismatic in their possible nationality. In addition this may be the first example of its particular genre for Listening Club (or it may not - I'm not all-knowing). Enjoy! Luxuriate.

Serving suggestion - something on the rocks, something with a bit of fizz, or maybe a martini. Go louche."

Right then. Direct download is here, and the mixcloud, if they're feeling charitable, will be here.

See you at 8pm BST (GMT+1)

Sunday, 9 August 2015

The Listening Club - 9th August 2015

Hey all!

Well well, a glorious weekend here in Amsterdam, so with a fine breakfast and bloody mary combo swimming around in my stomach and the sound of Terry Riley's "Rainbow In Curved Air" and Arvo Part's "Cantus In Memory Of Benjamin Britten" floating out of Radio 6 (good work Tom Service), it's time for a bit of tapping before a sitting out and relaxing session in the sunshine. Hoping there's no late disturbances like last week, kudos to @thejayarr for whipping a new treat out of the bag once he discovered his original selection had already been chosen last year by @eastvanhalen. For future reference, the list of albums we've already had is now here (thanks @akx, and ironically @thejayarr for the work) - a quick ctrl-f on that page if you're selecting and think you could be risking a repeat wouldn't go amiss! Also, stat fans, the track selections for the end-of-the-month vortexes are here, may prove handy if you're new and wondering what all this #vortex business is about...

So yes, @thejayarr turned it around in storming speed last week zooming back with "3rd Eye Vision" by Hieroglyphics, which did the job rather nicely indeed. Many thanks to him for the double effort, and for flipping the frisbee across to @faberfedor for this week's selection. And here he comes...

"Hi-de-ho, LC!

While listening to last week's excellent selection by @thejayarr, 
I kept thinking a good counterpoint would be $ALBUM by $BAND. Surprisingly, I don't own a copy of $ALBUM. I went to the local CD store but they didn't have a copy. Seeing how I don't want to encourage Apple's iTunes business, I looked around for an alternative.

I came up with this week's selection.

I find the background to this album to be very interesting. You may or may not. This band was a moderately successful soft country rock band in the early 70's (think early Eagles). They came across a musical tradition (which is the title of the album) which was very non-commercial. Their record company didn't want to do it but the band was adamant ("were adamant" for our Brish friends). They harassed their record company until the record company said "Fine! Here's some money. Go away!"

It became their most popular album and spawned a series of albums in the same vein with similar titles by other artists. Interestingly enough, you never hear anything from the band members themselves as they played as session musicians to the artists you'll be hearing.

During the opening strains, I expect to read a lot of "@faberfedor Are you freaking serious?!" or "I hate this style of music!" Keep listening. These were the best artists of their time in this 
genre. Not the stars. Not the headliners. The best musicians.

See you at 8 PM BST."

Indeedy. Download is here, and the mixcloud (*sacrifices goat*) shalt be here. So mote it be.

Sunday, 2 August 2015

The Listening Club - 2nd August 2015

Hey there!

A real fijn day here in A-dam, sitting in the sun out front of the house watching folks trundle past, whilst sipping an elongated bloody mary and mulling over an intense day of fun yesterday at Pride - still the most insane party day of the year; all the lunacy of King's day, but crammed into a much shorter area and time frame. Truly crackers.

Back on planet #lc we vortexed it up last week with the #lastdancevortex / #lasttunevortex, which despite the different interpretations of the theme, flowed together rather nicely I thought - many thanks to everyone for chipping a tune or two into the pot.

This week we're returning to regularly scheduled programming, which means it's over to frisbee-holder @thejayarr for this week's intro...

"Looking back over my previous picks, it's pretty clear that they all fall into the mold of 'white guys with guitars'. With that in mind, I've tried to go for something different this time. Really different. This is hard, unflinching rap which probably won't be to everybody's tastes, and there's a good chance that the people who'll like it will have already heard it anyway (because it's not exactly obscure), but screw it, it's too good to not pick.

This is a record I only came to earlier this year, after track 3 was featured on the closing credits of a TV show, of all places. It's got one of those intros you can't ignore and when I looked it up, it turned out it was by a group that I'd heard of but had never even been tempted to investigate. It's their second album and, along with their d├ębut, it hasn't left my phone for months now. Hell, I've listened it to at least five times this week and I'm still not tired of it.

Turn up the volume and enjoy. You can always apologise to the neighbours later."

Well, sadly @thejayarr picked an album we've already had, but has quickly supplied a replacement -
Direct download is here, mixcloud stream (if it survives long enough) is here.

Hope to see you at 8pm BST (GMT+1)