Posts Tagged ‘Music’

#rocknroll – update – @deathvalleygrls @thecoathangers @TheDartsUS @ppeachclubb

February 8, 2017

I was going to write a long blog post about how the internet has made music better.

But pictures and sound speak louder than words:

death_valley_girls_at_the_shacklewell_arms_for_bad_vibrations_on_february_3rd_201712_website_image_wkyd_standard-1

Thanks to @DeathValleyGrls for a fantastic evening last Friday and @carlasalvatore for the photo. People are too uptight! They need to loosen up!

CDs are a rubbish way of listening to music aren’t they. Bits of plastic tat. No wonder vinyl is making a comeback. I’m only got my @TheCoathangers CD at Christmas and already it’s scratched on one of my favorite tracks. This one:

It’s only February and @thedartsUS “My Heart is A Graveyard” is going to be difficult to beat as track of the year:

So which of these bands am I going to be lucky enough to see next?

Death Valley Girls say they’ll be back in May, a The Coathangers UK tour is rumored, and The Darts are in France in May which is not that far… But it might be easiest to see @ppeachclubb as they come from Norwich, not LA…

It’s too late to stop now!

Weekend listening: “New York Steam 1” and the oldest sound in the universe

November 13, 2015

oldest sound

In the American Museum of Natural History in New York there’s an exhibit which features the electromagnetic wave created by the Big Bang, turned into audio: the oldest sound in the universe.

Inevitably, I had to record this sound on my phone.

You can hear it one minute and ten seconds into the montage below.

Curiously, the oldest sound in the universe sounds a lot like New York…

Weekend listening: “Run While You Can” by Exit Strategy featuring DJ Southwold

October 10, 2015

#rockabilly

silly billy

thanks to DJ Southwold

Weekend listening: “Good Citizen, Bad Flamingo” by N.E.M.e.sis

August 15, 2015

#jazz #ambient nice guitar…

Weekend listening: “Silver Tech Bubble, Hoxton” by Exit Strategy

August 7, 2015

#disruptive #innovation #bigband #jazz

Weekend listening: “(Taking) Tiger Wash (By Strategy)” by Exit Strategy

July 31, 2015

#spacerock

Weekend listening: “Good Citizen, Bad Flamingo”

July 25, 2015

Featuring beautiful bass playing from @astrogarage aka Mr Pete Marsh  who is a member of the great @WovenEntity:

“Sonata for Jukebox” by Geoffrey O’Brien

April 5, 2014

There have been times in my life when I’ve felt guilty for paying more attention to the music around me than the people in front of me.

If you have too, you should read this book.

Geoffrey O’Brien looks back at his life, right from his earliest years through his memories of (mostly) recorded sound and songs.

It’s a bitter sweet book, and at times almost too moving to read.

Sometimes perhaps it’s too florid, over written. But how do you write about music anyway, except somehow “over” it?

Music is invisible, you can’t see it or hold it, although you can sometimes feel it. Whatever we say about music can never capture its’ essence. Does something so insubstantial, yet so powerful, have an essence?

So we write and write and talk and talk about music, turning over adjectives again and again that somehow never really fit. We make lists to try and capture it. But in the end music always eludes us. 

I’d like to thank my friend Simon Hopkins for giving this book to me.

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#nick@25: playlist

February 20, 2014
An evidence based judgement...

An evidence based judgement…

Last night I had a little drink to celebrate the strange fact that I’ve been working at the BBC for 25 years.

This was really just an excuse to gather some of my favourite people together, play some of my favourite music and indulge in some embarrassing Dad dancing.

If you came, thank you for making it a great evening. If you couldn’t come I hope to see you soon.

Most of all thanks to my wife and kids, from whom all good things flow!

Here’s the playlist:

“Always True (Alone in the cave)”
NEM.e.sis
Breakable Material

“Arms Control Poseur”
The Fall
Extricate

“Bad Motor Scooter”
Montrose
Montrose

“Ballroom Blitz”
Sweet

“Bang”
Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Yeah Yeah Yeahs

“Bass Down Low” [Edited Version]
Dev Feat. The Cataracs
Now That’s What I Call Music! 79 [Disc 2]

“Behind The Counter”
The Fall
Behind The Counter EP [Disc 1]

“Blank Generation”
Richard Hell & The Voidoids
Blank Generation

“Boredom”
The Buzzcocks
Spiral Scratch

“A Boy Named Sue”
Johnny Cash
The Best Of Johnny Cash

“Breaking the Law”
Judas Priest
British Steel

“Bring The Noise”
Public Enemy
It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back

“Cab It Up!”
The Fall
I Am Kurious, Oranj

“Call Me”
Blondie
(I suggest you give her a ring. She really does want you to call…)

“The Classical”
The Fall
Hex Enduction Hour

“Common People”
Pulp
Different Class

“Container Drivers”
The Fall
The Rough Trade Singles Box

“Counting Backwards”
Throwing Muses
The Real Ramona

“Crescendo In Blue”
Duke Ellington
The Essential Duke Ellington (1928-1937)

“Decade”
Esbjörn Svensson Trio
Leucocyte

“Did They Ever Tell Cousteau?”
Esbjörn Svensson Trio
Seven Days Of Falling

“Drive in Saturday”
David Bowie
Aladdin Sane

“Editions of You”
Roxy Music
For Your Pleasure

“Elected”
Alice Cooper
Billion Dollar Babies

“Free Ranger”
The Fall
Ed’s Babe

“Get Over You”
The Undertones
The Undertones

“Ghetto Mom”
The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion
Jukebox Explosion

“Hound Dog”
Elvis Presley
Elvis 30 #1 Hits

“How I Wrote ‘Elastic Man'”
The Fall
Palace of Swords Reversed

“Human Fly”
The Cramps
Off The Bone

“I Am the Fly”
Wire
Chairs Missing

“I Love It” [Clean Version]
Icona Pop
Now That’s What I Call Music! 85

“If I Can’t Change Your Mind”
Sugar
Copper Blue

“I’m Bad”
LL Cool J
All World

“In Bloom”
Nirvana
Nevermind

“It’s a Miracle”
Barry Manilow
The Essential Barry Manilow

“It’s Tricky”
Run-DMC
Raisin’ Hell

“Jazz, Delicious Hot, Disgusting Cold”
The Bonzo Dog Band
Gorilla

“Kicker Conspiracy”
The Fall
Palace of Swords Reversed

“Last Orders”
The Fall
Early Fall

“Lie Dream Of A Casino Soul”
The Fall
Hip Priest And Kamerads

“Loose”
The Stooges
Fun House

“Love Your Money”
Daisy Chainsaw
Sick of Sex

“Lust For Life”
Iggy Pop
Lust For Life

“Makes No Sense At All”
Hüsker Dü
Flip Your Wig

“The Man Whose Head Expanded”
The Fall
Palace of Swords Reversed

“Master Hunter”
Laura Marling
Once I Was An Eagle

“Mr. Pharmacist”
The Fall
458489 A Sides

“My Old School”
Steely Dan
Countdown To Ecstasy

“Night And Day”
Frank Sinatra
All The Best

“No Fun”
The Stooges
The Stooges

“Nonalignment Pact”
Pere Ubu
The Modern Dance

“Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue”
Ramones
Ramones

“Oh, Pretty Woman”
Roy Orbison

“Problems”
Sex Pistols
Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols

“Prole Art Threat”
The Fall
Slates

“Raw Power”
The Stooges
Raw Power

“Rock ‘n’ Roll”
Led Zeppelin
Led Zeppelin 4/4 symbols

“Rollin’ Dany”
The Fall
458489 A Sides

“Rowche Rumble”
The Fall
Early Fall

“Shop Lifting”
The Slits
The Peel Sessions

“Taxman”
The Beatles
Revolver

“That’s Not My Name”
The Ting Tings
We Started Nothing

“Totally Wired”
The Fall

“Waiting Room”
Fugazi
13 Songs

“Wake Me Up”
Avicii
True

“Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting”
Charles Mingus
Blues & Roots

“White Noise”
Disclosure featuring AlunaGeorge
Now That’s What I Call Music! 84

“You Shook Me All Night Long”
AC/DC
Back In Black

“100%”
Sonic Youth
Dirty

Random notes on music now (searching for Beethoven on Bandcamp)

January 6, 2014

1. Beyonce’s “album” released as a set of downloads first: shrewd marketing. This is how people experience music now, as a set of digital files to be downloaded, uploaded and shared. The rhetoric of “getting closer to fans” may be not much more than rhetoric but it strikes a chord. I started uploading and listening to music to Bandcamp and Soundcloud last year. My reaction: a fleeting thought, “Beyonce is like me”. This is possibly the most ludicrous thought I’ve ever had. I am the opposite of Beyonce in every respect, as unlike as it is possible to be. But as an emotional trigger… Mind you, it didn’t make me buy any of the music…

2. CDs and vinyl are not dead. I have a pile of scratched up, warped 78s in my attic courtesy of my brother in law. But both are now less important than digital downloads with no tangible physical objects attached, niches for collectors and those of a certain age.

3. Bandcamp v Soundcloud. Bandcamp feels like it’s for serious professional and semi professional musicians. Soundcloud is a messy, chaotic experience, skews younger but has the advantages of a good app and more of a social/community/sharing feel. More people have listened to my music on Soundcloud than on Bandcamp for reasons I still haven’t fathomed.

4. I’ve discovered more new music on Bandcamp than on Soundcloud (e.g this set from Jeremy Levine).

On Soundcloud I have rediscovered music from people I already know (e.g. my favourite Moist track, and Mr Pete Marsh, who as we like to say has been “on fire” recently.)

5. The tyranny of tagging and genre. Digital distribution driven by tagging and genre. But what genre is “Bitches Brew” (or even Boom Logistics)? Jazz rock? Jazz funk? (Bitches Brew isn’t jazz, and it certainly isn’t rock or funk). Does the instant feedback loop created by tagging for genre subconsciously constrict the musician’s imagination? Particularly as most musicians will not have a team of taggers doing the job for them, so will be doing it themselves. Often the best music has been made by people who don’t really know what they’re doing, or at least don’t have a clear aim of creating something that fits neatly into a genre box.

6. #improv (hedged around as it is like every other music with ideological preconceptions of the crowd making it) is the only music where there’s still the faint possibility of hearing something genuinely new. Since all other genres can be cut and pasted from an already established set of styles and templates… Or maybe I’ve listened to too much music…

7. Classical music? Sony Classical is using Soundcloud as a shop with 30 second clips. A search for Beethoven reveals a bit of a mess. On Bandcamp it’s worse. Why? Rights? Is classical music not social? No return path?