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Archive for the 'music' Category

Desert Island Discs


My good friend Chris, who I’ve known since school, loves his music and he came up with a tough challenge last year. What would my Desert Island Disc choices be if I were stranded in isolation, surrounded by sea, on a beach with no rescue in sight? Not only that, could a few scribbles be put with each track to illuminate why certain tracks made the cut.

He mentioned this at the start of 2011 and set a deadline of the final day of the year. So I did a lot of mulling and of course left it til the last minute to nail my colours to the mast. Wow, it was a hard thing to do but the journey was great fun.

Having to commit to only 8 tracks was unbelievably difficult. So tough that I’ve listed some back-ups at the end of this post, just in case my original CD gets lost on the island.

In the end I picked as if sifting through my musical memory. Which tracks had stood out for me since I first discovered the joy of music?

Sweet Thing by Van Morrison (1968)
Rock On by David Essex (1973)
Take Five by Dave Brubeck (1959)
Secret World by Peter Gabriel (1992)
Seashell by Skylab (1994)
This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody) by Talking Heads (1983)
Spooky by Dusty Springfield (1970)
Tomorrow Morning by The Blue Nile (1996)

Van Morrison “Sweet Thing” off Astral Weeks (1968)
After reading many glowing reviews I was really looking forward to hearing Astral Weeks. First listen and I hated it, what a load of rubbish, garbled, conceptual, rough. But never one to give up on a good thing I kept going and loved it after a year, now ten years on, it’s probably my favourite album of all time.

David Essex “Rock On” his first single (1973)
I’ve included this as I was a massive David Essex fan growing up, complete with teenage crush. Claire (H my best friend at school) was always a Donny Osmond girl so we had endless talks on who was best. Weird thing is, both David and Donny are still going strong decades later. Bet we aren’t saying that about Matt Cardle down the line. As for the song, I still think it is superb, just a terrific pop single, way ahead of it’s time, as proved by the number of times it’s been sampled in the digital age.

Dave Brubeck “take five” (1959)
Always reminds me of my Dad. He was Beach Boys, Rolling Stones and jazz whilst Mum was Bee Gees, Glen Campbell, Stevie Wonder and Leo Sayer. A great bit of music, superb emotional playing by all concerned. Timeless.

Peter Gabriel “Secret World” off Us (1992)
PG is someone I admire tremendously. He has used his time and position for so many good things, his voice is a thing of beauty and though not perfect it always sounds heartfelt and full of soul. He’s written many great tracks and never produces work without a great deal of thought, a forest could grow in the gap between his albums. But it is always worth the wait.  This track is typical Gabriel; emotional delivery, heartfelt lyrics and has been known to make me cry.  A neck tingler of the highest order.

Skylab “Seashell” off skylab No1 (1994)
From the very first moment I heard this I loved it. Dreamy beats, very atmospheric, I’m right there on the beach. Well on the desert island this will be perfect. Very visual for me with lots of lovely scenes and places I’ve visited popping into my head.

Talking Heads This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody) off Speaking in Tongues (1983)
Captures the isolation and loneliness of being away from home. One of my all time favourite bands. I think I will find it supportive to listen to this whilst on the island. Makes me think of the people and environments that make a home a good place to be. David Byrne is such a talent, great writer and lyricist. A big regret is I never got to see them live.

Dusty Springfield “Spooky” a B-side from single How Can I Be Sure (1970)
If I ever get married, this will be my choice for first dance. It’s just so happy and lovely. What a delicate and distinctive vocal from Dusty. So cool. Great sax solo. The only female vocalist to make my DID list. What can I say, seems I’m a baritone kind of girl!

Blue Nile “Tomorrow Morning” off Peace at Last (1996)
Probably my favourite vocalist ever is Paul Buchanan. Tough choice to pick which song to represent the Blue Nile. I went for this as despite the melancholia it is hopeful, maybe the rescue ship will arrive tomorrow. Minor keys, romance, regret, atmosphere, stories. It’ll all here.

Back-Up Disc in case Disc One gets lost.
Peter Gabriel “Zaar” off Passion (1989)
Richard Thompson “Mystery Wind” off Rumour & Sigh (1991)
The Beatles “Come Together” off Abbey Road (1969)
Martha Wainwright “Bloody Mother Fucking Asshole” off Martha Wainwright (2004)
The Smiths “There Is A Light That Never Goes Out” off The Queen Is Dead (1986)
Fleet Foxes “White Winter Hymnal” off Fleet Foxes (2008)
M “Pop Muzik” single (1979)
Georgie Fame “In the Meantime” single (1965)


Best Music Tracks 2011

 
 

My Best Music Tracks of 2011:

In no particular order, I’ve enjoyed listening to these over the year. If you click on a track you can hear the song in full.

 

Iron & Wine – Tree By The River

John Grant – I Wanna Go To Marz

King Creosote & Jon Hopkins – Bats In The Attic

Warpaint – Undertow

My Morning Jacket – Holdin On To Black Metal

James Vincent McMorrow – This Old Dark Machine

Wild Beasts – Lions Share

Nathaniel Rateliff – Early Spring Till

The Knocks – Dancing With The DJ

Little Dragon – Ritual Union

Cloud Control – Ghost Story

Adele – Rolling In The Deep

Lana Del Rey – Video Games

Braids – Glass Deers

The Civil Wars – Barton Hollow

Richard Swift – Lady Luck

The Boxer Rebellion – No Harm


Talking Heads “Fear of Music” with added imagery.

fearofmusic

One of my favourite all time albums is Fear of Music by Talking Heads and it triggered a fun post over on Blake Andrews’s blog.  Blake decided to match images with each of the tracks.  Above are a few of the images plus the original cover which is the one on the far left.  I think my favourite is “I Zimbra”, middle image above, it fits the mood of the track perfectly with a hint of the tribal about it.

His blog is a great one to bookmark; delving into the photographic sphere and featuring loads of interesting, thoughtful and inspiring posts and interviews.

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Best of 2009: Music and Films.

2009_bestfilms_music

Indeed, it is that time of year again when a cultural reckoning is required.  Did you have any favourite films this year and what was cooking up a storm on the music front?  Just like a friendly chinwag round the internet campfire, all are welcome to spend their two-pennies worth, please share your own Best Of’s for the Year 2009 and leave a comment.

I shall kick things off with my choices:

Best singles:

    Laura Marling – Alas I cannot swim (came out in 2008)
    Andrew Bird – Noble Beast
    Grizzly Bear – Veckatimest
    Richard Hawley – Truelove’s Gutter
    The xx – xx
    Wilco – Wilco
    Wildbeasts – Two Dancers
    Yeasayer- All Hour Cymbals

Bubbling under
Tunng- Good Arrows (came out in 2007) / The Decemberists – The Hazards of Love / School Of Seven Bells – Alpinisms / Yeah Yeah Yeahs – It’s Blitz / Polar Bear – Polar Bear / Yo La Tengo – Popular Songs / The Antlers – Hospice

Best Films
(roughly in order, best first)

    Fish Tank
    The Damned United
    Mesrine Killer Instinct
    The Class
    Moon
    Caramel (2007)
    Sleep Furiously
    Coraline
    Doubt
    35 Shots of Rum
    Frozen River
    Let the Right One In
    The Reader
    An Education
    Inglorious Basterds
    Slumdog Millionaire
    Syndoche new york
    Public Enemies
    State of Play

…. sadly there were others but they didn’t even make the cut.

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