Sunday, 29 November 2015

The Listening Club - 29th November 2015

Evening, all! @JimMcCauley at your service, what with @kleptones (and of course @nessiest) being away on some sort of Club 18-30 holiday complete with sun, sea and shit hotel wifi. It's a miserable day here in Bath, but I'm taking comfort in the fact that it's doubtless worse for everyone who's swarmed into the city to brave the horrors of the annual Christmas Market.

Last week @samsmitter stepped up to the decks and spun us a good 'un in the form of Christine Perfect, the debut solo album from the artiste latterly known as Christine McVie, and some splendid Sunday evening listening to boot. Thanks to Sam for the pick, and for tossing the frisbee in the direction of @rougeforever.

Before we get on to tonight's entertainment, here's your four-week warning for the impending 2015 #FestiveVortex. It's the original and best Vortex, made up of all our favourite tunes released over the past year, so start making your shortlist and check it at least twice.

But now, is it the #IMissedThatVortex or is it the #EspritdEscalierVortex? I'm calling it; it's the #EspritdEscalierVortex, an hour or so of tunes that you would have submitted for previous vortices if you'd only thought of them in time. It's a thoroughly random selection as you might expect, but it all seems to have fitted together rather well, so thanks to everyone's who's chipped in a song or two.

The download's here, and here's the HearThis stream:

See you at 8pm GMT!

Sunday, 22 November 2015

The Listening Club - 22nd November 2015

Hey all,

22nd already? Jeepers, how time flies. Bloody fine week here tho, despite shitty weather, some awesome gigs now stored in the memory banks from Zu, John Grant & Brad Mehldau. Three very different shades of excellence, but wow and gosh is really all I can say. Sure makes the crappy parts of life bearable when there's such wonders to be witnessed...

Speaking of such wonders, next week is (1) #vortex week and (2) me on holiday. Still looking for a subject for (1) and a deputy for (2). Let's have a chat later about it, eh?

Last week, @JonnyDaPigg was in the chair and reflected the mood rather well with his pick of The Beatles "Love" soundtrack album. Big thanks to him for the selection, and for flipping the frisbee down to @SamSmitter, who is here with this week's pre-match....

"This album comes into the well-established Listening Club category of “lesser known solo album by someone from a famous band”. 

Although I have nothing against them I’m not particularly a fan of the band in question, but this record reflects their roots and inspiration rather than their better-known material. It has some fine playing from the musicians, a charming (if technically limited) singing voice, a combination of original songs and classic covers, and some pleasingly simple/clunky production as was common at the time. It has a coherent sound and vibe of its own, which I always like in an album. As these mp3s are ripped from vinyl I have provided audible crackles for extra authenticity and atmosphere. 

The album disappeared for a while after its initial release, to be re-released once the artist’s profile had become bigger, and so apparently acquired “legendary” or cult status while it was missing from record shops. I’m hoping it will be new to most people, and hope it slots nicely into your Sunday evening/morning/daytime. 

Cheers! Sam"

Direct download is here, and the HearThis stream is...

See you at 8pm GMT!

Sunday, 15 November 2015

The Listening Club - 15th November 2015

Greetings all,

Hope you're well and good. An expectedly muted intro this week, Friday's events casting a dark shade on any attempt at chirpiness. That said, it's very sad to see high-profile artists immediately cancelling shows both in France and neighbouring countries in the aftermath. Although indeed security would be of a much heightened concern, if ever there was a time to show that life, and concerts, go on, now is that time. And it's certainly not the "first direct hit on music", Bono you ass - as the fleeing survivors of martial musical censorship in Mali, Senegal and Pakistan among many other places will testify. Big up, surprisingly, to Madonna, for being the first of those high-profile folks to speak a little common sense for once. On we go...

Last week on Planet #LC @akx was in a curveball mood, throwing out a serious dose of multicultural pop in the shape of Katzenjammer's "Le Pop", which hit the spot for quite a few of you. Many thanks to Aarni for the pick and for flipping the frisbee across to @JonnyDaPigg, who is here with his intro...

"I thought I had my pick for this week narrowed down to 3 choices, had the blurb all ready then Friday evening happened. Suddenly didn't feel right. I thought about using one of my French albums in tribute, top of the list was the soundtrack to La Haine a brilliant film I'd been introduced to by my French housemates whilst at uni. Looking at my Facebook and Twitter timeline it seemed an apt title, only it didn't. In fact it was the opposite of what I wanted. So my pick was really simple after that. It's an album full of songs you will all know. It's not a hidden gem, it's fucking obvious. It's an album we can all switch off to and enjoy (I hope). It's one of those remastered and reworked albums that actually is remastered and reworked, not just a little extra gain to add some loudness *cough, definitely, maybe, cough*. There is so much to hear within this, some Chemical Brothers and an M&S advert to name two, I may just stick the headphones on relax and float down stream.


Reety-ho. Direct download is here, and the HearThis stream is...

See you at 8pm GMT!

Sunday, 8 November 2015

The Listening Club - 8th November 2015

Evening all...

Or morning, or whatever. Hope you're getting on and by anyway. Mildness in the air here, which is nice, not quite reached the level of multi-layered swaddling yet, gig wise only a below-par performance from Jaga Jazzist to report (sound engineer having an off night? band in a grumpy mood? bit of both? who knows... - Support act Elephant9 were well on form tho, so not all lost)... this week there's shows from Zu and St.Germain to look forward to, both of which should be grand, I hope.

Quick note to say I'll be away from these environs on Sunday 29th November on a lil' holiday, so if anyone cares to help out by heming the old ship #LC, on a vortex Sunday too, please let me know...

Last week Hull's finest @DaveW took his debut turn in the chair, and smashed it to smithereens with his choice of Crass's "Stations Of The Crass" from 1979. Thanks to Dave for the pick, and for flipping the frisbee across to Finland, where @akx is ready with his intro...

"Hi hi hi and hugs from an increasingly cold and dark Finland!

So my first instinct, upon catching the frisbee from @DaveW, was to post an album I'd recently purchased, but hemmed and hawed about it and decided not to, after all.

So, instead, I looked through my profile for an alternative, and here's an album I had to actually travel abroad to actually buy (seven years ago, huh...) after a friend linked me the MP3s.

The band's style is rather unique, and I'm pretty sure those of you who have heard them before will recognize who this is. Those who haven't . . . well, I guess it might be pretty polarizing. We'll see! Here goes!

PS. For those who do download the .zip, no, those are not the real track/album/artist names. They're anagrams of them, though.

PPS. This isn't a very long album, so your #drinkingclub libations needn't last for more than 40 minutes."

Okaydoke. Direct download is here, and the HearThis stream is....

See you at 8PM GMT!

Sunday, 1 November 2015

The Listening Club - 1st November 2015

Greetings folks,

Hope you're all fine and dealing with your halloween-induced sugar-enhanced hangovers, if you're that way inclined. Not so fussed about it personally, although it did tickle me to see some rather gruesomely dressed and made-up sights trundling back and forth on their bikes last night - a two-wheeled zombie apocalypse? Only in Amsterdam...

Last week we were stretching our perceptions in a very different way with the #surrealvortex, which was really rather excellent fun indeed - many thanks to you all for the selections and the ormolu.

Back in regularly-scheduled-programming land, we find @DaveW clutching his debut frisbee, so here he is with the pre-match...

"When Eric tossed the frisbee in my direction I've got to say my instinct was to hide under the duvet and pretend it hadn't happened. I've been lurking around here for a while, had my mind blown by a few of the choices, opened up to some new music and, ahem, don't want to let you all down!

After much umming and aahing, headshaking and telling some real world friends what a mess I'd got myself into, I started pondering why my shelves and hard drives are cluttered with such a jumble. And I thought back to 14-year-old me, in the playground of a horrendously violent all-male school.

1979. We didn't know who we were. Mates that wore brand new Harrington jackets were unfathomably listening to new wave of British heavy metal, punks flirting with hair stiffening products seemed to be clutching Two Tone releases, kids in denim were humming songs from The Jam's Setting Sons. Addled by a diet of solvents and diet pills, we were a mixed up bunch, all swapping vinyl because none of us could make up our minds who we were.

Which is how I came to this album. A friend of mine was telling me how it was better than everything else the genre had to offer and the next thing I knew I was taking it home on the bus, marvelling at the crazy, DIY nature of the stencil-laden and collage-a-go-go cover, and couldn't wait to drop it on to my low-rent Fidelity record player.

What I discovered is what I hope you'll be down with. A jaw-dropping, intelligent racket, if ever there was one. A wall of sound, grating guitars, stolen bits of audio, a healthy dose of profanity, plenty of politics and some excellent humour. It was an antidote to everything else around at the time and, dare I say it, was a damn sight more 'authentic' than pretty much everything I'd listened to up to that date (and most things since).

It's long. In its vinyl form it's a double album (although three sides played at 45rpm). And the last 30 minutes give you a chance to here the raw nature of the band playing live. Although you might have given up on it by then.

Not sure what you'll make of it. I might be asked to leave after this. But I hope you're able to appreciate something that I continue to play. It means something. As all of the choices on here do. Enjoy, if you can."

Righty ho. Fidelity-owners club represent! Direct download is here, and the HearThis stream is...