Sunday, 30 April 2017

The Listening Club - 30th April 2017

Greetings folks,

Hope you're all doing fine. Here in Amsterdam, King's Day passed relatively gently, more due to the freezing temperatures than anything else. At least it stayed dry. Of course, now that's out the way the sun's back out with a vengeance, so the day has been spent scraping the off-season grime from the outer half of the windows, and welcoming light back into the house. Typical Sunday behaviour for a change...

Last week @samsmitter was in the chair, taking us back to the world of budget CD samplers with his pick of "This Is Charly R&B", which resulted in much bopping from the assembled. Thanks to Sam for the pick, and for flipping the frisb across to @cdrose_writer, who is here with this week's introduction...

"I’m always going to love a record which includes a bibliography, especially if it’s a bibliography which includes such choice tomes as Michael Drayton’s 1612 ‘Poly-Olbion,’ the poet Geoffrey Hill’s ‘Mercian Hymns’ and Rachel Hewitt’s recent book about the history of the Ordnance Survey and map-making.

This is a record for this time of year, when (here in the UK at least), we’ve spent the week being battered by an arctic blast of hail, yet can also see the days lasting well into the evening.   It contains an oblique reference to a classic piece of 70s tv folk horror, a quotation from an early English poem, and one ‘Trad arr.’  It is a very English record, and I hope global Listening Clubbers don’t find it parochial.  I need a reason to love England right now.  This record, at least, gives me one.

Drinking recommendation:  a strong ale, cloudy cider or some ridiculous home-made wine."

Okaydoke. Direct download here, and the HearThisWithSpoilers stream is below:

See you at 8pm BST (GMT+1)

Sunday, 23 April 2017

The Listening Club - 23rd April 2017

Greetings folks,

Hope all is well in your zones. Not doing too bad here in Amsterdam, nursing a small birthday hangover from yesterday, saving the big one for Kings Day later in the week, naturally, even though the awesome early spring weather has decided to crap out just as the local party season gets going, but hey, we'll make the most of it as we always do. Hip-flasks at the ready...

Last week I was away indulging in some fine brews in Bruges (and chancing upon a highly impressive show by Lubomyr Melnyk along the way) so that man @JimMcCauley was here running things, many thanks to him for hosting @EastVanHalen's pick of Prince's last album "Hit N Run Phase 2", which went down very well with the assembled, or at least so it seemed from Bruges... Many thanks to Steph for the pick, and for sailing the frisbee back across the ocean to @SamSmitter, who is here with this week's pre-match...

"These days I often bore my children with stories of the dim distant days before pretty much all music was freely available at all times on any number of devices. Back in the day, I tell them, I would even sometimes buy music based purely on its low price. As with most things, this was almost always a mistake, evidenced to this day by a good box full of obscure-for-a-good-reason vinyl including bargain bucket gems like Cola Boy's difficult second 12 inch single. The one major exception to this was the magnificent tradition of the label sampler album. These were usually albums full of great and surprising tracks costing something like £1.99. My pick today is an early sampler CD, one that I wore out, and that was my first introduction to many legendary artists. Still giving good value today. I hope you enjoy it! Sam x "

Okaydoke. Direct download is here, and the HearBeSpoilers stream is below:

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

Sunday, 16 April 2017

The Listening Club – 16th April 2017

And a very happy Easter to you all, if that's your thing. @JimMcCauley at your service, while @kleptones is off on his travels. I'm celebrating Zombie Jesus Day by sitting here writing about wireless gaming headsets, which are a lot more interesting than you might imagine. Yes.

Last week @saucer blew us all away with his choice of Horse Lords' 3rd album, Interventions, which proved to be an unexpectedly beautiful noise that prompted a few instant purchases and at least one LP order. Good work, there. So thanks to Murray for the pick, and for sailing the old frisbaton at @EastVanHalen, who's been away for a while. No, not in that sense. At least as far as I know. Anyway, here she is with this week's pick.

"Hola to the Listening Club massive! It's been far too long.

"I've been taking a boo at what's happened in LC Land during my time away, and thinking about all the artists we've lost over that time. When I think about what this artist finally left us with I feel impossibly sad. No grand valedictory like Bowie. Not something that stands with his greatest work. But this album feels to me like the work of an artist who was trying to struggle out of isolation into the world again. The first track, especially, breaks my heart because it points to what more he might have been -- a voice joined to others in struggle, in an increasingly perilous world.

"Rest in power."

So then we are having. Direct download is here, and the HearThis stream (which will spoil the fuck out of shit if you click through, so don't do that) is just down there.

See you at 8PM BST!

Sunday, 9 April 2017

The Listening Club - 9th April 2017

Hey there,

Hope all is fine with you all. Yet again the weather here in Amsterdam defies expectations, currently being a glorious 20 degrees of sunball, so I think a little perch on the stoop or maybe a stroll in the park is in order once this has been tapped out. Don't forget I'm away next weekend, still looking for a volunteer to run things in my absence - if you can help, please let me know!

Last week @nessiest was in the chair, rocking out in a trippy way with her pick of "La AraƱa Es La Vida" by Kid Congo & The Pink Monkey Birds, which was very well received by the assembled. Many thanks to her for the pick and for sailing the frisbaton across the seas to @saucer, who has this to say by way of introduction...

"@nessiest Thank you? The frisbatonmatron is always a bit like the red pill.

But, and actually, there's very little better in my life than a reason to go exploring and shopping for music. And whatever else this planet is, if the only damn good thing that came out of it was sound art (and it's not... but even if it were), what an absolutely amazing and wondrous place.

(Just the music released in the past couple of weeks. Wow. Y'all know this. I forgot, apparently, this is how it goes, stuck head down as I've been in work and in politics-bullshit-obsession for too long.)

So, thank you @nessiest. And given that all y'all are still reading I suppose I should say a word about my pick.

I usually aim for dark corners of the musical labyrinth but this time not. This band has justly received exposure from all the usual suspects and has earned a huge/devoted following over the past five years. What I love about this recent piece is its essential musicality and its gestalt. Perfect qualities for our listening club format, I hope. To my ears, it's also their best (as in fascinating yet visceral) album.

I think it's quite funny that classifies this as "Rock."

Volume & good stereo separation (e.g. headphones) recommended. 

Hope you like it."

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

See you at 8pm BST (GMT+1)

Sunday, 2 April 2017

The Listening Club - 2nd April 2017


Hope you're all good and well. Weather continues to be rather lush here in Amsterdam, with the local press doing lots of "hottest day since records began" articles, which is a little disturbing on the old global warming front, but nice on the sitting-outside-with-a-beer front. Speaking of which, yet again I have to mention I'm going to be away, this time on Easter weekend, so if anyone can help out and run this thing on Chocolate Jesus Day I'd be very grateful, please let me know!

Last week @har_shone was in the chair flipping the genres with her pick of Mexrrissey's "No Manchester" set, which went down rather well, even tolerated by the Moz-disliking section of the listening community, which is pretty good going. Thanks to Harriet for the pick, and for flipping the frisbo across to wor @nessiest, who is (literally) right here with this week's intro...

"Flashback to June 2014: a dingy venue off a narrow street on Amsterdam's seedier side. None of the summer evening light reached the stage or the 31 diehard fans plus clueless me. What I witnessed that evening was witchcraft, I'm sure. The exertion of will over an audience no matter how small the number, or maybe because of, Voodoo. It's the best word I have for it. Two hours later we emerged, sweat-soaked, minds transformed. 32 die-hard fans.

Don't worry, distilled into recorded form this should be quite safe. Dim the lights, get a drink with dark undercurrents. Keep your dancing shoes near just in case."

Righty-ho. Direct download is here, the spoiler-happy HearThis stream is below:

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