Sunday, May 13, 2012

music diary 2012

Not my idea this. Playing into my hands though...

Friday 4th May 
  • Burt Bacharach: This Is Easy (BBC4 TV documentary) - Got about five minutes into this before I realise I'd seen it before. Worth a second go though to hear again stories of Bacharach's obsessive attention to detail: viz. Cilla's story about the gruelling "Alfie" session involving many (possibly identical) takes and Carole Bayer Sager's account of the frustrations of their songwriting partnership, possibly responsible for their marriage break-up.
  • Pizzicato Five: Made in USA (vinyl) - Fellow MOR-sters' 1994 LP, not dusted off for some time. 
Saturday 5th May
  • Cocteau Twins: Four Calendar Cafe, Stars and Topsoil (iPhone) - Pat Nevin was on 5Live this morning enthusing about Liz Fraser's upcoming Meltdown gig and that, together with some fan reminiscences on the Guardian website and a three-hour train journey, presented a good opportunity to revisit the non-vinyl end of my Cocteaux collection. 
Sunday 6th May
  • Miles Davis: A Different Kind of Blue (Sky Arts TV documentary, including live footage of Isle of Wight Festival 1970) - Came across this while channel-hopping on my Dad's SkyBox. Interesting interviews from collaborators in the fusion-based period up to and including Bitches Brew. 
Monday 7th May
  • Emma Pollock: Watch the Fireworks; Gorillaz: Demon Days (iPhone) - Accompanying soundtrack to a gentle ramble in the North Wales countryside. Nice.
Tuesday 8th May
  • Nick Drake: Bryter Later (iPhone) - Another train journey. A not-very-original choice of accompaniment to the green fields rolling by the train window. And, as an antidote...
  • The Pains of Being Pure at Heart: The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Bonus CD (iPhone) - I remember reading an interview with Paul Simon once where he said that he always tries to vary the keys he writes in as it helps him to vary his style and avoid monotony. All the Pains of Being Pure at Heart's songs seem to be in the same key = bit boring.
  • Lightships & Snowgoose (Live at the Lexington) - Respective side projects of Teenage Fannies Gerard Love and Raymond McGinley. Preferred the latter although... 
Wednesday 9th May
  • Neil Young: "Lotta Love" (YouTube) - ...Lightships did a rather splendid cover of this to bring yesterday evening to a close: it's been playing in my head all morning.
  • Richard Hawley: Standing at the Sky's Edge (Spotify) - My favourite album of the year so far, I think. Reckon Alex Petridis's review is a work of art in itself.
  • Beach House: "Myth" (Spotify) - Like this lot. New album out. Good. Sound a bit like the Cocteaux (see above)...
  • Ebo Taylor: Appia Kwa Bridge (Spotify): By way of contrast, some lively Afrobeat to round things off for today. 
Thursday 10th May
  • High Llamas: Snowbug (iPlayer) - I like to stop off in Kennington Park en route to my Thursday job, park my bike and listen to some tunes. Haven't heard this for a while. It's my favourite Llamas album. O'Hagan is a genius, etc etc (see blog ramblings elsewhere on this subject...)
  • Kyle Eastwood Band (Live at Ronnie Scott's) - Enjoyable enough, accessible in a jazz kind of way, but maybe I have a problem with celebity offspring making it big? Not that they are by definition void of talent (although sometimes they are). 
Friday 11th May
  • Kyle Eastwood: Songs from the Chateau (Spotify); Snowgoose: Sycamore (band website) - another blast for a couple of the week's live music highlights.
Saturday 12th May
  • Sounds of the Sixties (Radio 2) - usual mix of classics, obscure gems and, well, tat frankly. Highlights: Skeeter Davies: End of the World, The Settlers: Major to Minor written by the British Bacharach & David, Tony Hatch and Jackie Trent.
  • Various programmes (Jazz FM) - there's some good stuff on Jazz FM, I find. On the big band programme at lunch time they played Johnny Dankworth's "Tomorrow's World" theme. Classic.
Sunday 13th May
  • Radio clash this evening. On 6Music, Stuart Maconie's Freak Zone, featuring tracks from Portishead's Third album, which I haven't played for a long time. Also: this rather lovely track from, er, Dixie's Death Pool. (You don't get much Abba on the Freak Zone...) Simultaneously, on Radio 2, the first part of Marc Almond's documentary on Jacques Brel. I'll have to fire up the iPlayer for this later in the week...
The End


Cocktails said...

Good thing I didn't discover this before now! Since I've been working at home, I've been listening to ludicrous amounts of music. Including funnily enough, Pizzicato Five this week. Have also been giving Midlake and Graham Coxon's recent solo LPs a bit of a bash.

I've been thinking about checking out some Beach House but haven't got round to listening on Spotify yet. Do you recommend them?

Hoops Hooley said...

Graham Coxon is quite prolific isn't he? So much so that I haven't really known where to start with him. I think he did a more acoustic/folky album a couple of years ago which I remember quite liking. This is my favourite of his though, a bit Coffee and TV-ish maybe?

Yes I think I would recommend Beach House. My favourite of theirs is probably their single "Norway" and also their Teen Dream album of a couple of years ago.

...And your post has prompted me to look them up on Spotify where it looks like their new album has just shown up. (It wasn't there the other day!)

Be interested to hear how you get on.

Cocktails said...

Graham Coxon's folky album 'Spinning Top' is very good indeed - once you get used to his singing voice! I also like the new one 'A and E'. Its like a clashing Fall record, with a touch of electro...

Have to spend the next few days in rainy Windermere so might give Beach House a bit of a whirl there. Feels appropriate somehow.

Cocktails said...

P.S Really liked Norway! They are less jangley than I thought they would be.

Hoops Hooley said...

Important Beach House Fact! The woman singer is the daughter of Michel Legrand.

...but you probably knew that already.

Enjoy the lakes. Is there a beach, actually?

Cocktails said...

No, I didn't know that! Interesting.And its reminded me that I haven't listened to him in a while.

I don't think there is a beach on Lake Windermere - if there ever was it rains too much for the lake ever to be low enough to reveal it.

I'm actually here for work and have just been sitting here typing up notes to Snowbug, rather than trying Beach House. I'm ashamed that it has taken me so long to listen to a full High Llama's album.

Hoops Hooley said...

I could go on and on about the High Llamas. Some of the tracks Stereolab's more recent albums are similar I think--Sean O'Hagan has done a lot of work with them too particularly on arrangements. He seems to have carved out quite a niche for himself as a string arranger in recent years (with the Super Furrys, The Coral, Tim Burgess..).

I think it's the interesting, slightly off-kilter way he has with melodies and chord progressions that particularly appeals...

Enough already.