Sunday, 25 June 2017

The Listening Club: 25th June 2017

Evening all! @kleptones – along with other #listeningclub chums – is away at CorbynFest 2017 this weekend, so once again it's @JimMcCauley at your service, observing my annual ritual of not going to Glastonbury despite it being only a 40 minute drive away. Looks like they're having a nice day of it there, despite some pretty horrid drizzle this morning; me, I've been doing some washing and ranking the most powerful video game characters of all time. Gots to earn a living.

So, let's see, last week it was @saucer in the hot seat, taking us back to Old London Town with the Small Faces' "Ogden's Nut Gone Flake", which put some pretty big grins on the assembled faces, all told. Deep joy. Thanks to Murray for the pick, and for hoofing the frisball at @SimonLandmine, who has the luxury of an extra week to agonise over his pick.

Because yes, it's the #FirstGigVortex! 15 tracks inspired by our first live music experiences, possibly when we were a bit too young to know better. It's splendidly eclectic and poptastic collection, folks; I'd expect nothing else from us.

Direct download's here, and the spoilerific HearThis stream's below:


See you at 8PM! BST!

Sunday, 18 June 2017

The Listening Club - 18th June 2017

Greetings folks,

Hope you're doing well and good, which in this particular section of the sphere probably involves a cool, possibly alcoholic, drink under some sort of outdoor shade. Yes indeed, Monsieur Le Heatwave has come to visit, broiling us all in 30°C temperatures. All very lovely, and personally pleasing as it means Glastonbury is looking like being far less of a mudbath than in previous years - there are some showers forecast, but it's been dry as a bone there for weeks, so in these temperatures they're probably going to be welcomed by both the punters and the parched countryside alike...

Next Sunday, whilst I cavort on Worthy Farm, @JimMcCauley will be running the #firstgigvortex, so we call upon you all to dig out prime examples of your first gig experience and pass them on to himself, please and thankyou!

Last week, @akx was in the chair, fruitlooping everyone with his pick of Asa-Chang & Junray's "Jun Ray Song Chang". Many thanks to him for the pick, and for sailing the frisbo across to @saucer, who's here with this week's pre-match...

"I once had a musical friend named Peter who DJ'd at the club where I worked. He played records between the live sets. Peter was also the manager at a record store named after two albums (one by Skip Spence, one by Roy Harper). 

Above the record store was an apartment where Peter lived along with his girlfriend Linda. Linda turned me on to Vladimir Nabokov. Her brother did sound for NNB and, after I left Minneapolis, went on to play bass with them. I spent a lot of time in Peter's apartment listening to records from Wire, Paul McCartney, Public Image, and The Only Ones. 

Sometimes I would drive Peter and Linda around town and they'd navigate. I'd say, "Straight?" They'd say, "Forward, never straight."

Peter introduced me to countless fantastic albums. One of those was tonight's selection.

This album is very much of its time but still sounds fresh to me. If you listen on headphones, or especially then, you might have some time-travel production-esthetics adaptation in store. 

Drinking club members: something vintage. 

I can't wait to hear how this hits your ears if you haven't heard it, or your history with the album if you have."

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


See you at 8pm BST!

Sunday, 11 June 2017

The Listening Club - 11th June 2017

Greetings folks,

Hope you're good. No need to comment much on the political turmoil that has hit the UK this week, sure you're all aware that things are currently more chaotic than ever in Blighty. Who knows how this is going to play out, but personally hoping that long-term damage is kept to a minimum before the tide finally turns... and that that tide turns sooner rather than later.

Last week @samsmitter came up with the fine idea of a #myfirstgigvortex, which, appealing to the majority like the absolute boy, is now slotted in for Sunday 25th June. The man @JimMcCauley will be running it, as I'll be away in a (hopefully not too soggy) field down near Pilton. So, what we need from you before then are audio mementos of your first concert experiences, whatever they may have been. Should be quite an eye-opener this one...

Also last week, @cakehugga was in the chair, boggling the faithful with some oddball Mancunian psych courtesy of The Sisters Of Transistors' "At The Ferranti Institute". Many thanks to her for the pick, and for sailing the frisb across to the ever-punning @akx, who's here with this week's intro...

"I'm still terrible at writing anything thoughtful for these blurbs, so I'll keep it short.

You might have heard the opening track somewhere, but the band has otherwise kinda flown under the radar (at least in these parts?), so you probably haven't heard the rest.

Fun fact: While trying to narrow down my shortlist of choices to, well, this one, I came across a Discogs review that describes some of the tracks as "circus on acid" and "freaky festival". So there's that.

#drinkingclub: sake or umeshu might be too obvious"

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



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

Sunday, 4 June 2017

The Listening Club - 4th June 2017

Greetings folks,

Hope you're all doing as well as can be, as per. We're feeling culturally fulfilled here following a couple of days down in Maastricht, enjoying fine weather and artistic delights courtesy of Stanley Donwood and Raymond Pettibon. A very chill and enjoyable time indeed. Speaking of excursions, don't forget I'm off to Glastonbury in three weeks time, so looking for a temporary custodian here for Sunday 25th June. Let me know if you can help!

In the land of #LC, last week @wojsvenwoj was in the chair, dazzling the assembled with a pick of "Love Waves" by Veda Hille, which went down rather well indeed. Many thanks to him for the pick and for flipping the frisb across to @CakeHugga, who is here with this week's intro...

"So the last few weeks have been a little crazy to say the least. The Manchester bomb (where 22 innocent people were killed and 116 injured) after attending a gig at the Manchester Arena has played large on my psyche.

I first moved to Manchester 20 years ago as a fresh-faced student - excited for the possibilities of this city and for myself.

Music was always a draw for me – I lived for gigs and live music and found plenty of venues (big and small) in this city. I loved the buzz, the meeting of like-minded people, the shared beautiful experiences.

One of my fears after the bomb is that people will be scared to go to gigs and there will be a generation of kids who don’t get to experience the highs of a crowd of hundreds or thousands all singing along at the top of their voices, the shared magical energy.

I wanted to choose an album this week by a band I’ve seen live in Manchester as this city has given me so many fantastic gig memories. It was hard to whittle the bands down to a shortlist. I’d almost decided on another album when I remembered this band and the fabulous experience of seeing them live.

They are undoubtedly musically talented but I really remember the visual beauty of the gig – 4 of them wearing what I can only describe as space age kimonos. I have never experienced anything quite like this gig and it shines bright in my memory.

This band have eclectic influences, their sound veering between 70s horror soundtrack to upbeat sing-a-long choruses.

This is a band formed in Manchester and I hope that the youngsters of Manchester (and everywhere else) don’t give into those who want to stop us living bold, bright, lives full of shared experiences and connections with others.

I hope it will lead to toe tapping, head nodding and slipper shuffling wherever you are listening. 

Enjoy!"

Okaydoke. Direct download is here, and the stream-of-spoilers is below:


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

Sunday, 28 May 2017

The Listening Club - 28th May 2017

Greetings folks,

Hope you're all doing as well as can be expected. Here in Amstersam we're recovering from a scorching weekend, with a weather blip giving us a glorious few days, topping out at 34°C yesterday, Needless to say barbecues and cold beers have been the order of the days, along with a couple of gigs, one mighty fine one from Jim Jones and his new band The Righteous Mind, and one not so fine one from Kamixlo (backing track, wall of fog & going "wawawa" into a mic synth = must try harder). All very well and groovy.

Last week, @MrHig was in the chair, fucking with conventions and minds with his collision of Taylor Swift's "1989" and Ryan Adams' cover of the same, along with a guest appearence by Screaming Females, which caused the expected range of emotional responses. Thanks to Matt for the experience, and for flipping the frisb across the pond to @wojsvenwoj, who is right here with this week's intro...

"Even when not sitting in the captain's chair, I'm always thinking about what album to pick -- as I'm sure most of you do as well. I've ascertained from reading these little introductory vignettes that selecting favorites - artists, albums, genres -- seems to be something shied away from. I can understand that and have doen the same myself. That's not to say what I've selected previously are not albums I'm invested in or that my self-worth is tied up in your reactions to them but I've not felt like putting something I'm really attached to out there I guess. Maybe just wanted to ease into it? Who knows, really.

In any case, figured it was time to shift that paradigm (sorry) so here is the latest record by one of my favorite artists. I don't seem to have as much time for listening as I used to so even though the album has been out for a year, I'm still learning it. It has a strange pace but I think it fits the mood of where she is in her artistic life, straddling the line between writing pop music and works for theatre, as well as her personal life. And this is a fairly personal album. I hope you enjoy it."

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

See you 8pm BST (GMT+1)

Sunday, 21 May 2017

The Listening Club - 21st May 2017

Morning folks,

Rather an early hour for me to be tapping this out, but providing the day's weather turns out nice, there's a pleasant day of lounging in the Vondelpark listening to oddball world music to be had, so better discharge my responsibilities and get this up and out before the beer starts to flow, eh?

Last week @RougeForever was in the chair, jigging and reeling the assembled with her pick of DeVotchKa's "How It Ends" before sailing the frisbaton across to the other side of the sofa, landing in the lap of @MrHig, who has this to say by way of introduction...

"I always said to myself that I wouldn’t be one of those Listening Clubbers that gets cheeky and breaks the rules. To the extent that there are rules. I might have made up the rules myself. In any case, I’ve only gone and done it. Sorry. I hope you’ll be able to forgive me.

What is the history of music, or of popular music? As time winds inexorably down are you one of those who believes music gets worse and worse with each new generation? That the best music is behind us and that today can’t hold a candle to the tunes of twenty or thirty years back? Is it your belief that music peaked in the decade of your birth, maybe the decade after, when you properly got into music? Or perhaps it’s a few decades back from before you were born. But not too far back, right? I mean no-one’s out here rating the thirties or fourties. Unless you’re a particular fan of Charlestons.

Does it depress you that the music of today, the chart landfill, may well be held up as a shining example of all mankind and music had to offer in a few short decades time? Is Ed Sheeran going to be considered the Dylan of his day?

I don’t think there’s anything to fear about modern day music. Even modern day pop music. Even modern day, mainstream pop music. Even CHART music. There’re gems everywhere if you look close enough.

We won’t be looking at Ed Sheeran.

It may not always be easy to tell what is going to last, what will stand the test of time. Maybe if you can look at the bare bones of a song - see a song reduced to lumps of clay and refashioned again along the same lines, but different - you can tell whether there was anything there to begin with.

Now BOGOF."

Right then. Direct download is here, and the old HearThis stream is below:


See you at 8pm BST (GMT+1)

Sunday, 14 May 2017

The Listening Club - 14th May 2017

Hey there folks,

Hope you're all doing fine. Amsterdam has a case of the late April showers and (equally late) blossom "snow" clogging the streets and causing many sneezes, but inbetween those there's fun to be had as usual. Meanwhile the rest of Europe reels from the shock of Eurovision being won by a regular-looking guy standing still on a stage singing a nice song in his own language. No shooting flames, no dancing violinists, no gorillas. Whatever is the world coming to, eh?

Last week chez #LC, @101retstum was in the chair, stoking the 90s revival flames with his pick of Chumbawamba's "Swingin' With Raymond", which sent some toes tapping and others reaching for the earplugs. The kind of reaction I'm sure the band would approve of. Thanks to Gareth for the pick, and for flipping the frisb across to @RougeForever, who's here, now, yes, with this week's introduction...

"It's been a great weekend for international music and for international music lovers.  Fantastic to see how Eurovision brings us all together, absolutely unified around one key idea... the wrong song won.

This album, from 2004 (just the 13 years ago then?) contains much of the best of the European ideal - multi-lingualism, multi-culturalism and of course, a sousaphone.  There are no borders here, just beautiful music which scales the peaks of joy and plumbs the depths of despair in just under an hour.

Many of you will have heard these songs before.   A couple of years after release some of them were used on one of those cool indie films that people love as much for the score and soundtrack as the film itself.  And the title track has been used in one of those big console games.  So yeah, it's not just me that likes this. 

We saw this band play this live - and they were amazing.  This gig also featured the best shout of support from the audience ever - at one point a guy just shouted SOUSAPHONE!!!!  To this day I often feel like shouting that at bands during breaks between songs. 

Anyway, I just fancied listening to this record again, and when I came downstairs yesterday and Matt was streaming one of the songs it cemented my decision.  

Drinking recommendation?  Biere, du vin, ginebra, aperol - celebrate diversity!"

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

See you at 8pm BST (GMT+1)