Archive for category Music

Love and Trust and Friends and Hammers

At the Academy with Richard and John C to see the Hold Steady.
The Hold Steady

I Hope I’m Proud Of Myself

Today I made a national newspaper use the F-word (twice).

History Repeating


What’s So Funny?

Cornbury time again. The highlight was on Sunday morning, listening to a bunch of eight-year-olds happily giving “Paintball’s Coming Home” a good go.

Here’s Nick Lowe, from Saturday night:
Nick Lowe

Pop Geek

Guardian Book Of Playlists

Chuffed to find myself mentioned (thanked, even!) in the preface to this book. I’m just one of several, of course, and listed under my nom de clavier, but still.


A new mash-up what I done: The B-52s’ “Love Shack” b/w the Smiths’ “Bigmouth Strikes Again”.

Download it here (4.28 MB).

There Is Nothing Left To Listen To

I did it, I listened to every single song on my iPod.

Out of interest (it’s just as expression), the last 10 songs that I listened to (not including songs added in the last month, because, like, give ’em a chance at least) were:

  • Ronnie Lane – How Come. Actually, I do like this, so I’m not quite sure why I’ve never listened all the way through. It’s not the hit single version, so maybe that’s it.
  • The Costello Show – The People’s Limousine. I used to listen to Elvis all the time, at least in the days of vinyl and CDs. Not so much these days.
  • The Chemical Brothers – Setting Sun. Fair enough, I do always skip this one. Forced to listen to it here, I admit it sounds pretty good.
  • Paul Butterfield Blues Band – Born In Chicago. This is great, and while I like the Pixies version more, I’m glad I got this on the Elektra records box set.
  • The Sugarcubes – Shoot Him. Strictly unfair that this should be here, because it’s a relatively recent arrival on the iPod, just a couple of months ago. But rules is rules.
  • Jonathan Coulton – Flickr. Odd. Surely I listened to this loads of times? But iTunes says no. Musta reloaded it at some point.
  • Yo La Tengo – The Summer. Couldn’t hum this to you even now.
  • John Barry Orchestra – 007. Another semi-recent addition
  • The Who – Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere. This is OK. No doubt a victim of that irritating iPod habit I have of skipping forward all the time.
  • Godspeed You! Black Emperor – 09-15-00 (Part One). 16 minutes 27 seconds of noodling. Would only have previously been lucky enough to be played by an iPod left on its own in random play mode.

All Songs – Unheard (Did You Think I’d Forgotten?)

Nah. Just went off the idea for a few days, but back on the case now. Right, where are we?

Well, I added a couple of Beatles LPs, plus some mash-ups and remixes from Go Home Productions, which upped the count of unplayed songs a bit. But I played through a lot of the numbers too, and at this exact moment I’ve got 163 unplayed tunes on the iPod. I’ve got through some dodgy live recordings of the Smiths and Billy Bragg, which really should be pushed off the main playlist, and can it really be true that I’ve never listened all the way through such familiar tunes as “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”, “Levi Stubbs’ Tears”, “Junco Partner” and “Hoover Factory”? Seems wrong, somehow.

Guitar Solos

Tim says no-one puts guitar solos on records any more. I hadn’t noticed, but then my listening tends towards the retro. This is terrible news, because, when I come to think about it, I don’t think I ever met a guitar solo I didn’t like. Currently on heavy rotation, for example, and only because I just noticed the wonderful guitar solo, is Crowded House’s “Don’t Dream It’s Over”.

Sarah Chang Gives It Some Welly

Richie and Davy are at my parents’ for half-term, so ho! to the Bridgewater Hall, and the expansion of our horizons. This is the first time we’ve been to a classical concert, and we’ve picked the English Chamber Orchestra and international superstar fiddle-fiddler Sarah Chang for a non-challenging introduction to the scene. The band (this may not be the right terminology) took us through Bach’s third Brandenburg Concerto, Tchaikovsky’s Serenade For Strings and Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, with Chang appearing for just the Vivaldi.

You can’t help but admire the ability of the musicians. I’d only ever heard classical music through a medium – CD, TV, radio – but to hear it live emphasised how precise the playing was, and the depth and richness of the sound that they produced was wonderful. Obviously Chang is the star, but she dominated the Four Seasons – the only one not seated, a vivid turquoise dress and facial expressions which at times reminded me of Nigel Tufnell – and I’m not sure that really helped.

Classical concert tips for newbies: (1) it doesn’t matter much what you wear – jeans are OK, but white tie is probably a bit much – and (2) don’t start clapping until everyone else does.