Sunday, 19 March 2017

The Listening Club - 19th March 2017

Greetings folks,

Hope all is well and good in your hoods. Yes'm it has indeed been five years since this here little shebang kicked off, and looking back over the list of music that has come our way over that time (here and here), I'm pretty damn impressed, to say the least. I must extend the hugest of thank you's to everyone who has come to listen, pick albums and vortex tunes, and contribute to the wounderful cassoulet of conversation, it's really been a truckload of fun.

But first, of course, we must give thanks to @akx for last week's selection of Nmesh's "Dream Sequins", which truly spaced everyone out completely, and for sailing the frisbaton across to @Har_Shone, who will be around next week with a pick, but now...

Yes, it's the #birthdayvortex! 28 seriously varied selections, mostly chosen by your good selves from the past five years of tunes, with the odd random "party-starter" thrown in for good measure. Thanks as always to everyone who flipped in a track or more!

Direct download is here, and the HearThis stream is below:

Get the bubbly chilling, and we'll see you at 8pm GMT...

Sunday, 12 March 2017

The Listening Club - 12th March 2017

Greetings folks,

Hope all is fine with you, spring has seriously sprung here in Amsterdam, the sun is shining, buds are budding, windows are being flung open for the first time in months and brooms and vacuums are doing their thing as winter grot is seasonably removed from its temporary resting place. All kinda fine really, although hoping its not the calm before the storm here as there's a General Election on Wednesday, and there's one very unpleasant person looming in the shadows looking to take a hefty slice of the governmental pie. Crossing my fingers firmly that the Dutch see sense and that doesn't happen, which is all I can do really...

Thanks to @JimMcCauley for remembering to run tings last week, and don't forget it's our 5th birthday party this time-ish next week, for which we will have a #birthdayvortex, so please send me your highlight tunes from the last five years of this gathering, and / or any other #LC related or (for that matter) birthday related audio goodness sometime this week please!

So, last week whilst I was knee deep in plum porter,
@emmaprice was in the chair, folking for her life with her pick of Mawkin's "The Ties That Bind", which seemed to go down rather well it seems. Thanks to Emma for the pick and for flipping the wotsitatron across to @akx, and lo, here he is....

"So I stumbled upon this album via Spotify's Discover Weekly playlists (which are steadily getting better, it seems!), and after the song (whichever it was) that was featured finished, I had to hear more... and listening to the whole album, I pretty much immediately knew I'd have to let #listeningclub hear (or experience) it.

Even if you're familiar with the genre (which I won't disclose directly, but you'll know it if you know it), I still bet you might not be familiar with the album itself. It might be kind of long at around 80 minutes, but I assure you, the trip's worth it. Quoting a particularly glowing review of the album: "You will travel everywhere and nowhere, just let the synthetic neon light guide you."

Looking forward to seeing the reactions, which I'm sure will be varied.

#drinkingclub: yes, sure, why not."

Okaydoke. Direct download is here (right-click-save-as), and the spoilerstream is below:

See you at 8pm GMT...

Sunday, 5 March 2017

The Listening Club - 5 March 2017

Oh, hi! Didn't see you there. Yeah, I'm writing some stuff about this pro gaming keyboard and its amazingly short actuation distance. Got to pay the bills, isn't it. No, not much more to do today, then I can get in a few hours of the new Zelda before Listening Club. What's that? Did I? Oh shit, I did, didn't I. Balls.

Hello everyone! @JimMcCauley here, covering for @kleptones while he's off inhaling the fog on the Tyne and queuing up to get into a pub, which I totally didn't forget all about. And while I'm not forgetting things, remember that in two weeks it's our fifth birthday vortex, so get thinking about what's tickled your fancy over the last five years.

Last week @wojsvenwoj kept us all guessing for the duration of his pick, which took us through basically all the genres before being revealed as "Left Foot Dance Of The Yi" by Shanren. A fine pick, indeed, so thanks to Woj for his choice, and for bunging whatever the hell we're calling it this week at @emmaprice, who’s here with a clutch of .WMA files because apparently they were out of wax cylinders.

"Evening all,

"Hope you've had a lovely weekend, I've been off visiting the Oxford dodo with @andershanson so am nicely cultured up for the next few weeks.

"I discovered tonight's artists last year when they were the support act for a band I saw down in Brighton. Sometimes a support band can completely take you by surprise as you stand there pint in hand waiting for the main event. Within the first track (also the first track on the album) you could see the crowd starting to respond. I bought the album in the interval and it's been on regular play since then.

"Since then I've seen them play a couple more times in venues large and small & I can safely say that I adore this album but my word it's even better live.

"Don't think we'll be finding any new genres for @akx's T-shirt tonight & I know this is a genre that may not appeal to some.

"This puts me in mind of a festival on the village green, as the sun goes down and the evening comes alive.

"Drinking club is most definitely a fine cider or beverages suitable for a balmy night outside dancing under the stars.

"p.s #drinkingclub song is track 2."

And there we have it. Download is here, and the HearThis stream is just down there (click through to have everything spoilered rotten).

See you at 8PM! (GMT!)

Sunday, 26 February 2017

The Listening Club - 26th February 2017

Howdy folks,

Gentling away our hangovers here in rainy Amsterdam following a couple of days of intense musical activity, courtesy of the city's Sonic Acts festival on Friday, and Osunlade's Yoruba Soul Orchestra on Saturday. Many beats and beers indeed, and so now to chill...

Don't forget I'm away next weekend, so looking for someone to manage these activities, and there's gonna be a 5th birthday vortex on 19th March, giving you plenty of time to refersh your memories and pick out some of your favourites from the last five years...

Last week we had @holette in the comfy chair, sending us smoothly sailing away with her pick of Whitney's "Light Upon The Lake", which went down very well indeed with the assembled. Thanks to her for the selection, and for sailing the frisb across the pond to @wojsvenwoj, who's here with this week's intro...

"Several years ago, a musician friend who runs a bar/performance venue in town booked this band. Not sure how he found them or how much he knew about them beforehand but when they were soundchecking, he was blown away and immediately took to Facebook and e-mail to make sure people didn't miss this show. I had nothing going on that evening so I went over and was rewarded with a superb night of music as this band melded the folk music of their home with rock and reggae and, apparently, whatever other things caught their fancy. I don't really know much about them other than that which would give too much away so, without further adieu, here is their latest record, released a couple years ago. 


Okaydoke. Direct download is here, and the spoiler-ready HearThis stream is below:

See you at 8pm GMT!

Sunday, 19 February 2017

The Listening Club - 19th February 2017

Greetings folks,

Hope you're all doing good. Spring seems to have (temporarily?) sprung early here in Amsterdam, bringing a week of mostly sunny weather to surprise the local flora and fauna and cheer the residents. So much for groundhogs, eh? Hoping it's still warm in two weeks time, as I'll be off for a weekend away, therefore looking for a volunteer to run tings on Sunday 5th March - Let me know if you can assist, please...

Furthermore, last week the very observant @TheJayarr pointed out that we're fast approaching the fifth birthday of this lil' ensemble activity (doesn't time fly? corblimey gosh, etc) so, after discussion last week, a celebratory vortex party for Sunday 19th March has been agreed, and @saucer has kindly agreed to do the assembly work, which is grand. As for the subject of the vortex? I'm not 100% sure after last week's discussions, but I think something along the lines of "favourite #LC tunes" or similar? whatsayyou? Also looking for suggestions for a catchy name?

Also last week, in regular #LC land, @SimonLandmine was in the chair for his debut pick, which turned out to be Justin Sullivan (of New Model Army) & Friends live album "Tales Of The Road", which went down very well indeed. Many thanks to Simon for his pick, and for sailing the clogbaton over to Wales, where @holette is waiting with this week's introduction...

"It seems to be quite hard to be an interesting indie guitar band judging by how much predictable, twee or annoyingly shouty stuff there is out there.  I think this band manage to pull off the indie guitar thing with a modern, melodic sound that’s wistful without being fey. I guess it’s a bit Americana and as close as I get to liking country in a gentle country rock kind of way.  The shiny trumpet melodies really add to the arrangements especially on the track which was one of my favourite singles of last year.

The vocals might not be to everyone’s taste, but I like that frail, Neil Young sort of voice. The singer also plays drums and singing drummers are cool.

This is the band's debut album, although a couple of band members have been in better known bands. It's short, bittersweet, and I'm already looking forward to what they might do next.

Drinking club: I'd advise cracking open something crisp and cold and thinking about BBQ weather."

Rightyho. Directendownloaden is hier und der HearThis streamenmitbastardspoileren is below:

See you at 8pm GMT!

Sunday, 12 February 2017

The Listening Club - 12th February 2017

Greetings folks,

Hope you're all doing good and fine. Here in Amsterdam, like most of its European vicinity, the place is looking mighty white for a change, as a long weekend of frosty weather hits us, the first half-decent snow since I arrived here way back in January 2013, when it started snowing pretty much as I got off the plane and didn't stop for a week. It's quite nice to live in a picture postcard from time to time, really...

Last week @RougeForever was in the chair and put her foot hard on the cheerful-emo pedal with her pick of Rilo Kiley's "More Adventurous". Many thanks to Liz for the pick, and for sailing the frisbaton across to newcomer @SimonLandmine who's here with his debut introduction....

"Firstly, thank you for the warm welcome. I hope that's still the case at about 9pm this evening!

Picking a single album to listen to was a hard one, as, like many of you, I suspect, my CD collection is easier to measure in yards than numbers. And, as an inveterate compilation-maker (now DJ sets and compilation CDs for friends rather than mix-tapes - but the habit remains), picking an entire album rather than dipping in and selecting tracks by a number of artists ... well, yes.

I wanted to pick something that was representative of my taste, but that wasn't going to be one that everyone was already completely familiar with. Hopefully, that's what you've got. This one is a side project from a better known act, and a live album, as they've not put too much down in the studio. More an album for drinks around tables under dimmed light than for the raging maelstrom of the pit or the flashing strobes of the dancefloor. Some sadness, some anger, some peace.

I'll stop writing now, as otherwise I'll give too much away, I fear. I hope that you enjoy it, and maybe it acts as a gateway to their other work. Take care out there."

Okaydoke, direct download is here, and the spoiler-happer HearThis stream is...

See you at 8pm GMT!

Sunday, 5 February 2017

The Listening Club - 5th February 2017

Evening all,

Now then, actually quite a positive week gone by, at least in terms of masses of people far and wide saying "Oh no you don't, matey" to a certain orange-topped lunatic, all very gratifying to see. Still in hibernatory mode here in Amsterdam, but getting busy with plans for trips and gigs, so feeling good about the months to come for a change...

Last week it was I, @kleptones, in the chair, bending the rules slightly to bring you all 33 songs discussed in Dorian Lynskey's fine tome "33 Revolutions Per Minute - A History Of Protest Songs", which went down very well indeed, not surprising though given the outstanding quality of those tunes. As she spotted it rather sharpish, the frisbaton was sailed across to @RougeForever, who is here, now, yes, with this week's introduction...

"It's been a pretty hard month, out there in the big world.  It was a pretty hard week for @mrhig and I last week - so our little family has battened down the hatches, clung to the lifeboat of each other and started pedalling for shore.   It's times like this we all have to be super kind to ourselves - so we have been sleeping more, I've been cooking more and yesterday we spent a few happy hours chatting and relaxing over boardgames with lovely friends.

It's times like this I need music to comfort and cheer up.  And this record is one of those from me.  It's a sort of indie pop record from the early part of the decade by a band who have since split.  These pop songs take me away to where they were written and I think about the lives about the people mentioned in the songs.  It's not altogether cheerful (two tracks were written about Elliot Smith) but it's cheerful music for sad people.  

I hope wherever you are and whether it's the personal or the political that has got you down this little record manages to lift your spirits some.

SOLIDARITY to your house from mine."

Okaydoke. Direct download is here, and the spoiler-happy HearThis stream is...

See you at 8pm GMT!