Archive for March 2012
This weeks mixtape is delivered by the letter D. Before you ask, yes it was utterly impossible to pick one David Bowie track. No I am not ashamed of loving The Doobie Brothers, they remind me of my Dad and when I play this track I instantly hear him singing along like he’s actually in the band, with gusto and a huge smile on his face.
Underwater musicals, manly meat and poetic books. What a mixed bag of a week I’ve had…
1. All thanks to Summer Camp (see swoon number 3) I developed a huge crush on Aquamusicals this week, more precisely Esther Williams. I am slowly working my way through her splish splash synchronized swimming films from MGM. The clip above is from Dangerous When Wet, her co-stars were Tom & Jerry on this occasion. Brilliantly kitsch, charming and quite bonkers (especially if you watch after a few gins).
2. I really don’t want to say too much about this book as I know a couple of regular readers are halfway through it and I’ve also said I’d lend it to a friend (as an escape from her book club reads) but the language is beautiful, the characters tragic yet lovable, their little obsessions are poetic and educational. Highly recommend Muriel Barbery’s The Elegance Of The Hedgehog.
3. My first live experience of Summer Camp was at Efes Pool Hall in Dalston last year and I can happily report that upgrading to a bigger venue doesn’t lessen the intimacy and audience inclusion you feel seeing them live. Elizabeth and Jeremy still keep the rolling montage of vintage films (hence my swoon number 1) back of stage lending to their concept town of Condale (and making you nostalgic for your youth with Mary Poppin’s and Teen Wolf). As well as the familiar album they played new material and stripped down acoustic tracks including a sing-a-long inducing cover of Fleetwood Mac’s Everywhere (no microphone required for Elizabeth to give you an idea of how powerful and pitch perfect her vocals are). Truly special live.
4. There is an underground den for music geeks halfway along the Edgware Road called The Rock & Roll Public Library – Mick Jones. It’s a collection stemming from the man himself’s personal collection that started before The Clash was a glimmer in his eye. It takes in books, vinyl, fanzines, posters and is a truly fascinating historical archive. It’s only there until March 31st so time is ticking. A photo set is on my Flickr.
5. I’ve been to meat mecca and it’s name is THE RIB MAN. Leaves the likes of Bodean’s in the shade not only in the quality of the slooowwwww cooked ribs pulled into fluffy white rolls the size of your face, but service comes with a huge chirpy smile (unlike aforementioned restaurant). Worth the queues and crowds on Brick Lane. £5 well spent. You can read more about The Rib Man on his website here. ♥
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This weeks mixtape is delivered by the letter C. From the CSS track that never fails to brighten my mood, to Carole King whose album Tapestry never fails to make me cry.
- Chairlift – I Belong In Your Arms
- CSS – Let’s Make Love & Listen To DFA
- The Cars – Just What I Needed
- The Cribs – Another Number
- The Cure – The Lovecats
- Clap Your Hands Say Yeah – Over & Over
- Camera Obscura – My Maudlin Career
- Charlotte Gainsbourg – Heaven Can Wait
- Carole King – Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow
- Cat Stevens – Oh Very Young
I have to start off by saying that never will you find a crowd so diverse and different in age, choice of footwear, height, regional accents, choice of tipple, background (you name it) than 6 Music listeners. I don’t think this really hit home for me until I had the pleasure of meeting so many of you/them at their 10th birthday party at The Southbank Centre last Friday.
From a statuesque giant rocker clad head to toe in leather, young hipsters wearing gold lamé skirts and pop socks, cheery cockney chaps flying solo for the evening refusing to watch Graham Coxon due to a bad experience at a previous festival. Impeccably turned out suburban types looking slightly traumatized at having to drink wine out of plastic cups. Women wearing wellies and dancing around pink gloves on the dance floor, another in her late 40’s swinging around a carrier bag, her feet performing the perfect shoegazing shuffle (both of whom looked happy as pigs in sh#t).
All united because of a radio station that was very nearly axed two years ago. Where would we all congregate without it?
It also speaks volumes that 6 music were able to provide a line up that wouldn’t be out of place at the likes of Glastonbury. Beth Jeans Houghton and The Hooves of Destiny started live proceedings in Queen Elizabeth Hall, she thanked “sparkly eyed Marc Riley” for being the first person to play them on the radio. Her album Yours Truly, Cellophane Nose has been one of my most played albums this year but hearing it live really highlighted what a big sound this petite blonde has. Orchestral, classical, deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as Bon Iver and Beirut.
Anna Calvi, by general consensus of people we spoke to that evening, was the real highlight of the evening. About a year ago we saw her perform at the NME emerging artists tour at Koko and never have I seen a crowd so attentive and focused. Now she seems even more self-assured, people were motionless, rapt with her performance. There’s something dark and brooding in her, demonstrated in her sultry version of TV On The Radio’s Wolf Like Me.
Now my review will get slightly vague due to the amount of wine accidentally consumed.
Graham Coxon adapted his trademark stance (striped t-shirt, head slightly bowed, feet turned in, guitar go) and delivered exactly what he always does, a man so talented he’s unlikely to make any slip ups. I was holding out for Freakin’ Out which was frantically and energetically delivered. The beautiful Gruff Rhys dressed reminiscent of Wes Anderson’s Team Zissou and a hot science teacher you never admitted to fancying playfully poked the audience with cards saying “Thank You” after applauds, his solo work not a million miles away from the SFA but cosy, heartwarming and melodic.
PIL closed the evening to an audience on their feet, flooding into the aisles to dance and defying the staff trying to keep them seated. John Lydon gave thanks to the 6 music listeners saying “someone’s got to put up with this stuff”. This Is Not A Love Song was a personal highlight of the evening (though perhaps played a little too early in the set based on audience reaction).
What exceeded my expectations of the night, yet perfectly sums up the sense of community and interaction 6 Music shares with its listeners, were the moments you found yourself side by side with the DJ’s. Radcliffe and Maconie’s Northern Soul Disco was the most I’ve danced this year, and I have to say Stuart Maconie is possibly one of the warmest, genuine characters I’ve ever had the pleasure of talking too. Don Letts played songs that helped me get through sleepless nights of Tinnitus when it first forced its way into my ears. John Holmes pulled off a mash-up of ABBA & Van Halen (you can listen to it on Soundcloud) and I suspect was as drunk as us by the end of the night. Peter Serafinowicz was utterly and effortlessly charming and I think both the boy & I developed a smidgen of a crush on him. Huey Morgan also treated us to an acoustic set of his new solo material (a love song to Shaniqua). If Queen Elizabeth Hall was the main party the foyer turned into the kitchen where all the brilliant people lurk with the gin picking the most amazing songs to play.
6 music could easily turn this into a yearly occurrence. Huge congratulations to all involved and thanks for the memories. Also, massive IOU to Mondonomy for swiping up tickets.
PS Would love to hear from anyone that had tickets for the Purcell Room for Laura Marling and Lianne Le Havas. Please do comment below if you stumble across this blog.
A weeks round up with Paul Weller, a big moth, Hot Chip and more……
1. Hopefully I’ll get round to writing a more full review of 6 Music at The Southbank Centre at some point this week as it deserves its own spotlight, but had to include it in this weeks round-up. Exceeded all expectations, met a lot of DJ’s that have introduced me to bands I now adore, great performances from the likes of Anna Calvi and Graham Coxon. A real credit to everyone involved in an amazing evening and congratulations to the staff, audience, artists and 6 Music for making it such a memorable night.
2. Album of the week has to go to Grimes for Visions. This album is a truly a headphones moment, it’s been my soundtrack to solo strolls around the streets. It’s addictive and the track above is what I’d urge you to listen to as a way in. The video is brilliant as well, a shed load of testosterone. Muscleheads in the locker rooms, sport fans roaring in the stadium and petite Grimes with her stereo singing an electro lullaby. She’s also on the cover of this weeks Dazed & Confused looking stunning.
3. I blogged about Paul Weller at Maida Vale for 6 Music earlier in the week so you can read all about it here and be saved from my ramblings again.
4. Craig provides the words and then Thom sketches for “Me And My Big Moth“. Super funny content from super talented boys. All those things you probably shouldn’t be laughing at but will. Please check out the whole set on When Monsters Attack.
5. Hot Chip – Flutes is the first offering from forthcoming album ‘In Our Heads’ out in June. I woke to this song Saturday morning and I’ve been frequently going back to listen again. What I love so much about this band is that I literally find it impossible not to be feel happy and full of joy when they’re on. Infectious positive bunch of talented boys. ♥
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I have my moments with London where I am so utterly in love with it. They are typically unglamorous moments, a shared joke with a stranger when typically you can’t make eye contact with someone, a stroll over Hampstead Heath just at the right time in the autumn to catch the blue hour, the Soutbank in the sunshine. The smell as you get on the Bakerloo line at Paddington, sooty and warm, especially clenches at my heart for inexplicable reasons.
Seeing live music is also a huge part of this love for London. Yesterday, courtesy of BBC 6 Music, we got to see Paul Weller at Maida Vale studios. For free. I could never take opportunities like this for granted and where else would I get to see an intimate gig with a musical legend without denting my pocket? Where I grew up you had to travel over thirty miles across Devon to catch a gig with the Modfather, my poor sister having to be the designated driver due to my lack of driving license. Yesterday we just jumped on a bus down the Kilburn High Road.
Paul Weller was in chirpy spirits, clearly less angry and more mellow as he gracefully ages (flawless dress, he is still a Mod of course). More importantly he still performs like he means it, deep in his bones and running through his veins. No fakery or false sentiments. Just raw sincerity.
You can listen again on BBC 6 Music. He played Around The Lake • That Dangerous Age • The Attic • The Changingman • When Your Gardens Overgrown • Wake Up The Nation • Andromeda
Today is 6 Music’s 10th birthday and my ears tell me I owe them a special dedication so this weeks Sunday Swoon is especially for all involved and the people with impeccable taste that fought so hard to save the station. I dread to think how many bands I may have missed out on, that have become integral to my life’s soundtrack, had it not been for this music station. A huge thank you and here’s to another 10 years.
1. The sense of community that 6 Music creates with its listeners is a huge part of the charm. Shaun Keaveny’s middle-aged shout-outs, Lauren Laverne’s memory tapes, Just having a text/tweet/email read out can make you feel instantly connected. There’s a great piece in The Independent today where the presenters are described as ‘radiating warmth’ and I can’t sum it up better than that. The people who do the talking in between the tracks play equal importance to the excellent, diverse, I can’t believe they’ve just played that, eclectic, makes your heart stop music.
2. Sometimes 6 Music burns a small, specific, joyous memory into your mind. New Years Eve 2010 the boy and I were sat in my flat necking champagne listening to 6 Music’s top 100 countdown of the year before heading to Kentish Town Forum to see Foals. Spanish Sahara was their number 1 as we predicted the further down the list they got without it being played. After we jumped in a cab to see them welcome in 2011 live. This song still gives me goose bumps. Best new years ever.
3. Sunday afternoons are no longer about roast dinners and Last of the Summer Wine, it’s all about lying in bed and having a Huey Jarvis sandwich. If you’re a sexy nerd then the mixture of these two starkly contrasting presenters (and lets not forget music legends) banishes all thoughts of Sunday blues. Adore the energy Huey gives me for Jarvis to then calmly talk me off the ledge.
4. When it comes to Steve Lamacq my list of thanks is exhaustive. He gave me Sissy & The Blisters. He told me about John Peel’s Shed (the play). I was lucky enough to take part in “Good Day/Bad Day” last year where I chose Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Date With The Night. But, possibly above all those things, he once played this Stan Freberg track on his show. “Lammo” was discussing songs you loved as a child, apparently he was obsessed with Sh-Boom. Now I am. This track has me grinning like an utter fool every time I put it on.
5. I think any 6 Music fan would place Adam & Joe in their top 5. There have been occasions where I’ve been close to wetting myself with laughter (see pom pom party and the Royal wedding song wars). Saturday mornings used to truly be my happiest of hours, I miss them. ♥
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