From Desk Till Dawn

My mainly music & nerd bird blog

Posts Tagged ‘Music Monday

A Christmas Mixtape

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When I was a small child I used to decorate the house by unwrapping every Lil-let I could find in the house and hang them from the Christmas tree or sellotape them dangling from the window frames. I was too young to know what their real purpose in life was for. However, I must have known it was wrong as I would only ever Blue Peter the house up, using sanitary products, when my mums back was turned. I remember still feeling slightly perplexed as she frantically ran round the house tearing down all my hard work before guests arrived.

Inevitably one fluffy white icicle would always remain unspotted, which possibly spurred me on to keep repeating this action until I was old enough to know better.

Merry Christmas to everyone that’s ever supported, stumbled upon, shrugged off this blog. Hang an unused tampon from your doorbell this year if you want to scare away the carol singers. This tip (and the mixtape below) are my gift to you.

Click here to play the mixtape. I’m especially fond of Jarvis Cocker dancing in Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds video, and if you have never heard Cyndi Lauper & The Hives, In A Christmas Duel, you will instantly want to dangle mistletoe over their heads and snog their faces off. ♥

  1.  Emmy The Great & Tim Wheeler – (Don’t Call Me) Mrs Christmas
  2.  Saint Etienne – I Was Born On Christmas Day
  3.  Cyndi Lauper & The Hives –  In A Christmas Duel
  4.  Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Fifteen Foot Of Pure White Snow
  5.  Lynrd Skynrd – Santa’s Messin’ With The Kids
  6.  Ike & Tina Turner – Merry Christmas Baby
  7.  Summer Camp – All I Wonderful Christmas Is You
  8.  Yeah Yeah Yeahs – All I Want For Christmas
  9.  Dolly Parton – Hard Candy Christmas
  10. The Ronettes – Sleigh Ride
  11. The Pogues & Kirsty McColl – Fairytale Of New York
  12. Bob Dylan – Hark The Herald Angels Sing
  13. Kate Bush – December Will Be Magic Again
  14. Wham – Last Christmas
  15. Al Green – The Christmas Song
  16. Mariah Carey – All I Want For Christmas Is You
  17. She & Him – Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree
  18. The Kills – Silent Night
  19. Elvis Presley & Martina McBride – Blue Christmas
  20. Clarence Carter – Back Door Santa
  21. Sufjan Stevens – Put The Lights On The Tree
  22. Slow Club – Christmas TV
  23. The Maccabees – Home Alone Medley
  24. Darlene Love – Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)

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December 12th Mixtape. “Heartbreaking but redemptive”

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This mixtape is for someone on Twitter who gave me the challenge of compiling tracks that were;

“heartbreaking but redemptive. A journey from the end of things to the start of something new”.

My life has a constant soundtrack, it keeps step with me when I’m dancing, whispers at my shoulder when I’m at a loss, brings forgotten memories to the forefront of my mind, a companion when I’m alone. I usually write about the tracks I pick but felt this would take something away from the songs I’ve chosen. I want the person I made this for to find their own meaning in the lyrics. Enjoy.

 If you’re a spotify user click here to play the mixtape, for YouTube click here

  1. Blur – No Distance Left To Run
  2. Antony & The Johnsons – Hope There’s Someone
  3. Peggy Lee – It Never Entered My Mind
  4. James Taylor – Fire & Rain
  5. LCD Soundsystem – Someone Great
  6. The Kills – The Last Goodbye
  7. Walker Brothers – No Regrets
  8. Sam Cooke – A Change Is Gonna Come
  9. Foals – Spanish Sahara
  10. Mercury Rev – The Dark Is Rising

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Written by Anon PA

December 12, 2011 at 11:07 am

December 5th Mixtape

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Normal mixtape duties resume after I’ve returned from a week working in Istanbul. I especially relished, loved, metaphorically rolled around in the tracks below. I’ve had a week of 2 Unlimited, Haddaway and Simply Red from my Italian colleagues. It’s like they stopped taping the top 40 in 1992. Either their tape deck stopped working or they were content that music couldn’t mutate into anything better so stopped listening at that point. My ears needed healing. The tracks below made them happy again.

If you’re a Spotify user click here to play the mixtape and if you’re a YouTube purist click here to play the videos.

1. The Duke Spirit – Procession (The Duke Spirit are one of those bands that have been steadily slogging away for 8 years, Liela Moss goes filthier than ever before on this years album, Bruiser).

2. Metric – Monster Hospital (Listening to The Duke Spirit reminded me of this track immediately. Gritty, eerie. This track always makes me think of Prozac Nation, in one of those unexplainable links your brain sometimes makes when you hear a song).

3. The Black Keys – Lonely Boy (In love with this band and giddy excited to be seeing them live next year. The video to this track at the bottom of this blog will warm your cockles! They made audition tapes for five people but this chap stole the show and they used him for the entire video. El Camino could be a late contender for my album of the year).

4.  Siouxsie & The Banshees – Spellbound (I always used to view Siouxsie as Chrissie Hyndes evil twin, alter ego, nemesis. Perhaps one of the more commercial, well-known tracks but it still raises my spirits whenever I hear it).

5.   Slow Club – Where I’m Waking (Lolita picked this track. We’ll be seeing in the New Year with Slow Club. The more I listen to the album the more I adore them, such lighthearted indie. Good Monday morning soundtrack).

6. Bow Wow Wow – Go Wild In The Country (Blinding track, unique, quirky, no one could possibly imitate or plagiarise what Bow Wow Wow had. Fact).

7. Field Music – (I Keep Thinking About) A New Thing (A welcome return for an underrated band that seem to be getting a lot of air play with this track. Every time it comes on the radio I let out a barely audible, but very content little sigh).

8. Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks – Senator  (When an artist can convey witty, dry humour through music without being tacky they have my attention. Stephen Malkmus achieves this on Senator, adore how he haves me merrily sing along to the word blow job like I’m singing about innocent spring mornings. So upbeat and jolly!).

9. Belle & Sebastian – Lazy Line Painter Jane (I recently went to see John Osborne’s John Peel’s Shed. In it he briefly mentioned it is an unwritten rule that ALL girls like Belle & Sebastian. If you are female and don’t follow this rule listen to this track and you will be onside).

10. Clarence “Frogman” Henry – Ain’t Got No Home (For those of you of a certain age of course you’ll instantly link this song to The Lost Boys. Life was simpler when Vampire movies involved the two Corey’s)

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November 28th Mixtape – Friendly Fires Frenzoid

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Tonight I am full of steely determination. Determined to dry my knickers in time for the morning as I fly out to Istanbul a day earlier that I was expecting. Determined to post my weekly mixtape even though it will be a rushed effort. Determined to catch up on Misfits. I fully expect this post to therefore not be my finest moment, and I suspect I will be wearing damp pants tomorrow morning.

My birthday celebrations this weekend felt like I was at a festival. I’ve been weighing up whether it was the relentless, carnival energy Friendly Fires rocket at you. Or if it was being with all my nearest and dearest, most loved and genius raggedy bunch of friends. Both parties smashed it at Brixton Academy for me on Saturday night. This mixtape is solely dedicated to those on stage and those off it. The ones that poured cocktails down my neck, performed interpretive dances of my birth, trudged around Brixton until the early hours of Sunday morning with me when I craved more G&T. Yet more cherished gig memories as I get older… and older… and older.

If you’re a Spotify user click here to play the mixtape.

1. Lovesick/ 2. Jump In The Pool/ 3. Running away/ 4. Blue Cassette/ 5. True Love/ 6. On Board/ 7. Chimes/ 8. Skeleton Boy/ 9. Show Me The Lights/ 10. In The Hospital/ 11. Pala/ 12. Live Those Days Tonight/ 13. Hurting/ 14. Pull Me Back To Earth/ 15. Paris/ 16. Hawaiian Air/ 17. Kiss Of Life.

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Written by Anon PA

November 28, 2011 at 10:03 pm

November 21st Mixtape Guest Blog from A Very Cool Pea

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And so the first girl steps up to the mark to guest blog a mixtape for me. Pea is so unbelievably cool she’s a frozen pea, fact! I have many musical soul mates, but Priyam really stands out for me as the epitome of über aceness when it comes to all those bands that could have slipped past my radar had it not been for her enthusiastic links to tracks (Zulu Winter, The Rubens, Yeasayer). She has a charming way with words as well, do feast your peepers on her blog, All Things In Print.

Making a list like this is bloody difficult. Make a mixtape she says, pick a few songs she asks, OK! I agree enthusiastically. Then I realise how many songs there actually are. It’s like asking a mother which of her children she loves the most. Cest tres difficult man. So, rather than just list everything that is on my iPod I have decided to dedicate my cameo, debut, guest appearance on From Disc Till Dawn to my all time, favourite, numero uno, live music experiences.

If you’re a Spotify user click here to play Pea’s mixtape, if you dig the Youtube then click here instead.

1. Augie March – Here Comes The Night (This song is taken from the band’s first of four albums, ‘Sunset Studies’. They are the first ever band that I truly obsessed over after I saw them at an Australian music festival in 2001. I was a massive festival rookie so after almost being killed and salvaging one of my shoes in the middle of an unexpected mosh pit, I decided to abandon the crowd and find some quiet place to put my shoe back on. It was about 37 degrees that day and the only way of cooling down was to stand under one of the many hoses that they had jetting out cool water. I stumbled, soaking wet, into the nearest tent and was blown away by the tremor and delicacy that is Glenn Richard’s voice. They are kings of Australian folk music and may they forever reign).

2. Roisin Murphy – Ramalama  (Roisin is one of my biggest hero’s. She’s outrageous, eccentric and so fucking cool Eskimos could live on her quite happily. The album Ruby Blue can only be described in exactly the same words. Oh and it’s quite sexy too. I saw her play at the Roundhouse (one of my favourite venues) in February 2008 and hearing/watching her live blew my tiny mind. I’m pretty sure I overdosed on endorphins. Or gin. Either way, this was the encore and ’tis my favourite. Ramalama is a religion. Bang Bang!).

3. Yeasayer – One (Anand Wilder – swoooooooooon. He is a Brooklyn God. I came across these guys listening to a compilation album called Dark Was the Night. I’ve seen them as many times as I possibly could – if you were there that was me yelling ‘Anand, I love you’. I begged Lady H to see them at Field Day one year and have suitably converted her into a fan. The most memorable gig I saw them at was at Digital in Brighton. Their music makes me want to get naked, put a daisy chain on my head and dance in mud. There can’t be any better feeling can there?).

4. Mozart – Porgi Amor (This is the most beautiful thing I have ever had the joy of listening to. It’s a song about the pains of love and you can feel every emotion in the Countess’s voice. I had tears in my eyes watching this in the Gods of the Royal Opera House. If you’re not a fan of opera perhaps I can persuade you with this? If not, then opera and champagne go hand in hand).

5.  Joan As Policewoman – Chemmie (Oh this was a disastrous day. I woke up not being able to remember what happened the night before and was physically unable to get out of bed. I shamefully had to cancel my afternoon plans of watching Fantasia on the big screen and very nearly missed out on this gig which a friend of mine had treated me tickets to. Mustering my will power, I dressed, drugged and watered my broken self to see her at The Barbican. She came on wearing an all-over, leather playsuit and I was immediately thankful for being there. Take it away Joanie).

6. Wild Beasts – Vigil For A fuddy Duddy (A friend of mine once described the Cumbrian quartet as operatic. I scoffed and asked what the hell he knew about opera (cause I’m such a officiando yeah). Turns out his dad is some big shot in the Scottish orchestra arena. Lucky I had my top off to distract from this embarrassing, backfired mockery. Annnyway, I freaked when I missed out on tickets to their gig at Wilton’s Music Hall and literally begged a friend to take me instead of his girlfriend (what? she wasn’t a fan anyway). Summer Camp supported, I almost wet myself on refusal of not wanting to miss a second with the inconvenience of a loo break even after 4 pints, the venue was spectacular and intimate, and the boys performed to perfection. I even had my ticket signed by all the lovely chaps).

7. Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zero’s – 40 Day Dream (Amazing, transcendent, fantastic, supernatural, spiritual, enchanting, enigmatic. These words are the closest I can get to describing the phenomenon of their gig at The Old Vic Tunnels. The Tunnels were transformed into a small universe with everything from an ethereal Texas Tavern with its very own haunting Les Enfants Terribles, spacecowboys, shamans, sun, moon, contraband candy and magical rum cocktails. Credit to the production of this 3-day extravaganza goes to the almighty Nick Cave but Ed Sharpe and his Zero’s brought the love and the music and sent my soul soaring higher than it has ever  been without the use of class a’s. Nothing will ever compare to this gig).

8. Battles – Tonto  (Drrrrrrruuuuuuuummms! I love this band. They are phenomenal. My companion for their gig at Heaven was From Desk Till Dawn. My focus was entirely on the drummer. I was in absolute awe of his stick mastery, his rhythm, his concentration but most of all the sheer amount of sweat that he was exuding. By the end of the gig his shirt was sodden. I love instrumental bands and these guys are probably the best (ahead of Errors). Watching this kind of stripped, raw, heavy sound be created live is pretty damn special).

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November 7th Mixtape

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So I’ve had rotten flu for the past few days. Instead of being perched on Primrose Hill with cans of lager watching the fireworks on Saturday night I had to be content sitting on my windowsill in Willesden all by myself, blanket wrapped round my shoulders, straining to spot sprays of electric dots brightening my bleak horizon. I had to settle for local youths setting them off in the garage forecourt opposite, one hand poised over the 9 key in case I had to call for help. It’s a strange and extremely frustrating thing to me, a weekend indoors. I am mightily relieved I didn’t start talking to myself, making pasta shape paintings and writing dark, bleak poetry.

I did make hot buttered rum and didn’t know such a thing existed until my solo bonfire night. I also got to listen to a ton of music. There’s not enough hours in the day… scrap that, there’s not enough years to listen to everything I want in my ear drums. The Pavement back catalogue alone took up most of Saturday.

On a side note I’ve been compiling a Motape in support of Movember. Once I started thinking of mustachioed musicians I couldn’t stop and as a result I am posting a tashtastic song a day on a dedicated page so please do check that out and donate if you can!

If you’re a Spotify user click here to play the mixtape and if you’re a YouTube purist click here to play the videos.

1. Black Mountain – The Hair Song (was convinced I could add this to the Movember mixtape but alas my memory failed me. They’re just hairy in general. Which suits this track perfectly).

2. My Life Story – Sparkle (I’ve been taking a trip down Britpop lane this weekend, all will become clear in a post later this week. Always adored this track for its Marc Almond sense of pomp &  theatrical occasion. I dug out the 7″, all glitter and see through vinyl).

3. Hooray For Earth – True Loves (Single is out today. Remember when buying singles used to be exciting? Usually in Woolworth’s with some pick ‘n mix if you had enough cash? I wish iTunes gave out sweets. I digress. This is my Autumn song, trudging over leaves, skulking on tube platforms, pausing on London Bridge to watch the moon. I’m in my own world when I listen to it).

4.  Infadels – Love Like Semtex (Lolita & I were reminded of this band when we went to see Duologue last week. This track would have made every going out playlist I compiled in 2006).

5.   Duologue – Push It (I reviewed this band for Flush The Fashion last Thursday and highly recommend you check them out. Their site has a couple of free downloads so head over there and let me know what you think of them. My opinions are summed up in the review).

6. Florence + The Machine – No Light, No Light  (She can do no wrong. Number 1 album, angelic yet eerie performances on Jools Holland, face angles you could sharpen a HB pencil on. This is a stand out track on Ceremonials for me).

7. Camera Obscura – French Navy (John Osborne said it’s a rule in music that all girls like Belle & Sebastian. I also think that applies to Camera Obscura).

8. Family Of The Year – St. Croix  (I just love love this track. The same way my big sisters probably adored Prefab Sprout. Yes, it sounds a tad cheesy but I am willing to put good Euro’s that you’ll be joining in with the “Whoah a whoah oh” backing vocals and dreaming of making love potions and dancing in slow motion. Listen!).

9. Pavement – Stop Breathin’ (I honestly did listen to the entire back catalogue when I had sleepless nights this weekend. I’ve not listened to them for what felt like years. Vast work, underrated band).

10. R.E.M – We All Go Back To Where We Belong (Has it sunk in yet? Has it? No more. No more. I have no words for this*insert sad face*)

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Written by Anon PA

November 7, 2011 at 12:30 pm

November 1st Mixtape Guest Blog from Bob Winckworth

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I am truly racking them up now. Both Dan Thompson and Thom Vincent have contributed their mixtapes, now it’s the turn of Bob Winckworth. I love looking through people’s record collections, this is a cyber way of doing just that! I geek out to find bands I’ve never heard of one second to then be surprised at certain songs people profess a love for. He’s opted for a mixture of relatively new and old and you can read about his choices below. I particularly love Bobs inclusion of the Bee Gees and his use of the phrase “good-looking swine” and shall endeavour to use it as much as possible.

If you’re a Spotify user click here to play Bob’s mixtape.

1. Fairport Convention – Matty Groves (A favourite Fairport Convention song of mine. I love the foot tapping beat besides the tale of adultery and love).

2. I Like Trains – Terra Nova  (Sometimes I forget about I Like Trains. Their first EP and album feature songs based on historical events. Terra Nova recalls Scott’s expedition to the Antarctic. Other topics have included the murder of Spencer Percival, Dr. Beeching and witch trials. Usually epic and brooding, this remains my favourite of theirs. Very good band, should be playing bigger places than the Horse & Groom).

3. Caitlin Rose – Sinful Wishing Well (I could write a whole blog post about how much I love Caitlin Rose. First came to my attention when Marc Riley played ‘For The Rabbits’ on his show. Since then I’ve seen her at every London date. This is from her first full album, ‘Own Side Now’. There’s a fragility and sadness in her voice which I find rather charming. She’s really good live, terribly modest and very very funny).

4. The Waterboys – White Birds (From ‘An Appointment with Mr. Yeats’, their adaptation of a Yeats’ poem. Wonderful arrangements. There’s a risk of coming across as pretentious when one adapts poetry to music, but Mike Scott has past experience and is smart enough to ensure it sounds anything but).

5.  The Smithereens – Behind The Wall Of Sleep (I have no idea when I started listening to The Smithereens. Maybe after I watched the Bogey film ‘In A Lonely Place’, which, coincidentally is another Smithereens title. Anyway, I just really love this groove).

6. The Triffids – Born Sandy Devotional (There are three different recorded versions of this song. A truncated version on the original pressing of ‘In The Pines’, this version appears on the remastered edition of that album. Another take with a harder, bigger sound appears on the album ‘Born Sandy Devotional’. Such an understated band, particularly when compared with fellow Australians The Go Betweens. David McComb was a very good writer and a good-looking swine. Such a tragedy that he is no longer with us).

7. When Saints Go Machine – Church and Law (Very dreamy. This is from their second album, ‘Konkylie’ which apparently means ‘conch shell’ in Danish and isn’t about scamming an antipodean sex midget. That’s not Anthony Hegarty singing, though doesn’t it sound like him? A lovely, relaxing album).

8. Jimmy Walker – Where Do We Go From Here?  (From the OST to ‘Vanishing Point’, the cult classic film from 1971. Such a brilliant album, and this is a stonking track. The title is in keeping with the existential crisis that appears to trouble the lead character, Kowalski. Purely by chance I’m sure).

9. Bee Gees – Odessa (City On The Black Sea (This is the title track from their 1969 double album, which is just mind-blowing good. A musical hotspot tinged with lavish arrangements, wonderful harmonies, and occasional hat tips to country music. I love the Bee Gees).

10. The Clancy Brothers & Tommy Macken – The Parting Glass (I think this is solely Liam Clancy singing. I was fortunate enough to see him before he passed away a couple of years ago. This arrangement makes me want to weep).

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Written by Anon PA

October 31, 2011 at 10:31 am