Friday 8 April 2011 – #musicdiaryproject

Mammoth music listening day today as on Doctor’s order I was told to take a long weekend to rest up after leaving Hospital. Taking time off work is not something I’m used to and I would usually drag myself into work unless I literally can’t get out of bed. However the Hospital incident had given me sufficient concern to follow Doctor’s orders.

For me relaxing is listening to music so after a long sleep and lie-in to around midday I took myself to the music room / office / spare room for some dedicated listening and also listening whilst writing the Monday to Thursday entries for this blog. The strange thing was when writing the blog what I was writing in some cases informed what I would chose to listen to.

Listening was as follows:

Smile EP + 2 tracks from Carnival of Light – Ride

I read an article in Uncut Magazine first thing on the making of the first Ride EP, so I was inspired to give it a listen. Weirdly I started at Drive Blind (track 2) then went back to Chelsea Girl when I reached the end. After Chelsea Girl I had From Time to Time (from Carnival 0f Light) lodged in my head so decided to play it and that led into Natural Grace the next track on the album. Carnival of Light is an often derided Ride album but was actually the first of their albums I bought on CD (I had Going Blank Again taped from the library as I was in love with Leave Them All Behind from first hearing it on the BBC Top 40 when it entered at No.9 and Reverence by JAMC entered at No.10, what a week!) so I do have a natural fondness for it but still think it is a very good album and think I’ll give it a listen this weekend.

Screamadelica + Dixie Narco EP (remasters) – Primal Scream (from Higher Than The Sun onwards)

When Ride finished I noticed it was gloriously sunny and I fancied listening to something to match the mood outside, Screamadelica is one of my first choices for great weather. I decided to start at Higher than the Sun. I have had a strong impulse to listen to that as soon as I think of Screamadelica after the Brixton show in March where it was the definite highlight for me especially as it merged into the Dub Symphony in Two Parts and had a fantastic jammed outro. After it finished I decided to stay with the rest of the album as I need to hear both Come Together and Loaded on a beautiful sunny day, it’s some kind of music law. After which I let the album play out as I surfed the net, took a shower and generally relaxed. The remaster sounds great as I had bought the super deluxe boxset version as a present for myself, for beating my best half-marathon time earlier in the month, excessive price but I think this is one of the few albums I would buy such a boxset for. I keep meaning to buy The Stone Roses boxset as well but still can’t bring myself to make such a lavish spend when there is so much new music I want to buy. One thing I noticed during the album (from the play counts) was in comparison how little I have listened to Shine Like Stars, not sure why, it’s not that I don’t like it, maybe just after the heights of the Dub Symphony I don’t think anything can top it and turn off or go elsewhere. Anyway…

Space Is Only Noise – Nicolas Jarr

… on return from making some breakfast/ brunch and during the Dixie Narco EP I started writing the Blog, during writing I e-mailed Nick Southall to let him know that I would be participating in the Music Diary Project and had a flick through his blog. The Nicolas Jarr album has been in my eMusic Save For Later list since it came out, I liked the first track on a listen last week and it seemed to have a good write up from Nick on his blog so I was in the mood for something new and downloaded it from eMusic. I played it through from start to finish. Another album I definitely look forward to coming back to, especially for summer listening, light, breezy, relaxing with lots of good sounds going on.

Constant Future – Parts & Labor

After Nicolas Jarr finished I put on another recent download from eMusic, the new Parts & Labor album. Don’t really know much about this band but read a DiS messageboard post how the album had some songs with weird time signatures which spiked my interest, noticed it was on Jagjaguwar Records (a general sign of quality) and flagged it as one for investigation. Three of the tracks I listened to on Spotify made the Current – April 2011 Playlist on iTunes (Hurricane, Constant Future, Never Changer) so I was looking forward to listening to the album through and  wasn’t disappointed. Sounds really good, but I was writing the majority of the blog during the album so it didn’t have my full attention but I will be going back.

Welcome to Lunar Industries / Two Weeks and Counting … – Clint Mansell (from the Moon Soundtrack)

I continued to write the blog, and this was one of the choices which was informed by writing about my listening earlier in the week. I was writing about Wednesday’s music and noted that the piano on With Love by Elbow sounded like a piano figure from the Moon soundtrack, so whist writing I played the track which is definitely very similar and it ran into the subsequent track on the soundtrack. Great film and great soundtrack.

Journey to the Line – Hans Zimmer (from the Thin Red Line soundtrack)

Whilst I was thinking about soundtracks I remembered the last piece of music I had heard before I went to Hospital on Wednesday night, it was on the advert for the new Kennedy’s drama on the History Channel. I knew the music but couldn’t place it (big emotional orchestral piece) so Shazammed it on the iPhone app and noted to listen to it later.

Rejoice – Secret Mountains

Took a break from writing and decided to listen to some new tracks I had downloaded from Pitchfork, this was the first. Not bad.

Elizabeth Fraser (Cocteau Twins rework) – Starslinger

This was the 2nd as it followed alphabetically, good track, will go back.

Still Sound – Toro y Moi

Not really been hit by Toro y Moi, despite / because of  the hype, plus the new album sleeve disgusts me, what the hell is on his face? Please tell me it is grapefruit pieces and not weird polyps or something (I’ve just Googled it and found this interview, it’s pomelo). This however sounded good on a breezy sunny day. Listened as it followed alphabetically.

On the Corner / Blackbird and the Fox – Twilight Singers

A band I seem to own every album by since I loved the first album after adoring 1965 by The Afghan Whigs. Before buying I downloaded a couple of free tracks from the Sub Pop website. Will definitely buy the album at some point. Listened as it followed alphabetically.

Troubles of the Brain EP – The Veils

I love this new EP and decided to sit back and enjoy it from start to finish. Another eMusic download.

Crazy Yes Dumb No – The Naked and the Famous

iTunes single of the week from a few weeks back, hadn’t listened yet. It’s ok.

Think You Can Wait – The National

Listened as it followed alphabetically. Have written about the track earlier in the week.

Belong – The Pains of the Pure Beating Heart (Tracks 1 – 3)

Went back to write about Thursday’s listening and decided to stick on a newly downloaded album from eMusic which has had some decidedly mixed reviews, got as far as track 3 before ….

Music from Treme

… I started writing about David Simon’s Treme and was inspired to dig out a few of the tunes. Firstly online samples on before moving to Spotify to listen to the actual sountrack. I listened to Feel Like Funkin’ It Up (Street Version) by The Rebirth Brass Band I really cannot recommend this tune more, especially if you love brass / horns (which I do), so goddamn funky; Shame Shame Shame by Steve Zahn and Friends a George W. Bush baiting post-Katrina rant wrapped in some funky blues, Steve Zahn’s Davis has been cited in reviews of Treme as potentially ruinous, not sure he is even polarising as no one seems to like him, is it wrong that I don’ t mind him too much?; and Indian Red (Wild Man Memorial) by Mardi Gras Indians one of my favourite tracks from a scene involving the fantastic Chief Albert Lambreaux (Clarke Peters).

Belong – The Pains of the Pure Beating Heart (Tracks 4 – 10)

After finishing writing briefly about Treme and digging out a cool sunset photo I took on my trip to New Orleans for the blog entry I went back to the The Pains of the Pure Beating Heart album. Passed me by, a bit generic indie rock, maybe in a good way, may listen again.

Last Night At The Jetty – Panda Bear

Listened as it followed alphabetically. can’t wait for the album. Want that Record Store Day version with the awesome T-Shirt.

I then decided to have a break from listening / writing / surfing and went to watch some TV with my wife. We watched the final two episodes of Justified which had been shown on Five USA this week. Music wise during the viewing there was the theme tune and closing the final episode was a pretty cool country track which I’ve now found is You’ll Never Leave Harlan Alive by Brad Paisley. If you haven’t seen Justified yet you definitely should, however I still cannot get over how much Timothy Olyphant looks like Jimmy Anderson, it’s uncanny.

I then went to listen to some more music before dinner.

Yuck – Yuck (Tracks 9 – 12)

One of my favourite records this year for it’s unashamed rip-off / homage of earlier 90’s indie rock mainly Dinosaur Jr. and Teenage Fanclub, but equally it’s an album that Steve Lamacq could have played a track from circa 1993 on the Evening Session and I would have probably ignored. I listened to tracks 9-12 as I hadn’t given them a listen since my first few play throughs, tracks 9-11 are the album’s weakest but final track Rubber is a guitar-fuelled beast.

Several Shades of Why – J Mascis

Realised I hadn’t played through since I bought this two weeks ago, which is a breach of my new music buying / listening rules. Picks up in the 2nd half and some good guitar solos for an “acoustic” album. Will definitely be back.

If I Had A Boat – James Vincent McMorrow

Listened as it followed alphabetically. Really good track, an iTunes single of week, will give the album a listen on Spotify.

Country Dumb (Piano Version) / Thou Art Loosed – Josh T Pearson

Was chatting with my wife and these were in the background as they followed the last songs played alphabetically in the recently added playlist.

After which I then decided to spend the rest of the evening watching TV. We watched the Judd Apatow movie Funny People which was a lot better than I thought it would be as it had been on the Sky + box since it was first premiered on Sky Movies. I enjoyed the stand up and the ensemble cast was strong. Music wise there was a constant reference to Wilco throughout and a live version of Jesus etc. featured. Otherwise there was lot of West Coast soft rock including a fairly touching moment with a song I now know is Keep Me In Your Heart by Warren Zevon (I’ve just downloaded it whilst writing).

After Funny People finished my wife quickly watched American Idol mostly on fast forward, I heard a flash of Unchained Melody by a former alumni (as Ryan Seacrest put it) I can’t be bothered to look who it was and the version was awful. Iggy Pop played Wild One, which was not great and then there was a shock eviction and one of the favourites sung I’ll Stand By You by The Pretenders as a leaving song, the music went out of tune as did the vocals and the whole thing was quite poor for a show watched by 50 million people or whatever.

Friday Night Dinner was next, a good show which could be better and the definite highlight is Mark Heap as the creepy next door neighbour very much like his roles in Blue Jam / Jam and in Spaced, I convulse with laughter at his interactions with his dog. Music wise the music doesn’t quite fit with a show ostensibly about having dinner at your parents, although it is rather good (I Hot Those – Casio Kids, Meddle – Little Boots, Animal (Punks Jump Up Remix) – Miike Snow).

Before sleep I noticed that Jools Holland (I now can’t watch him without thinking of Joe Cornish’s hilarious impression) had a new series so switched over hoping to see Elbow. I saw Tallest Man On Earth play King of Spain and noted to listen to the album I had downloaded last year (and only listened to once) as live he seemed a completely different artist. Beady Eye then played Millionaire, Andy Bell was playing on the last piece of music I would hear that that day and coincidentally he also played on the first piece of music I heard that day, he looked incredibly bored, though maybe a little less than Liam who growled with no passion. I switched off after 30 seconds I had seen enough….

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