All 16 entries tagged Music

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May 16, 2008

The whole album and nothing but the album

This afternoon I was reflecting on the idea that thanks to the ipod my usual listening pattern is to shuffle tracks rather than listen to a specific album.

This was whilst listening to a single album in its entirety – a rare event. The reason for this was that the album was The Boatman’s Call by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. This is one of those albums that is stronger when you listen to all the tracks together. It has a mood that builds and builds with each track and there is a clear narrative through the album.

So which other albums demand that you listen to them whole as the artist intended? Which albums should you not shuffle?

I was thinking along the lines of:

- Pink Floyd: The Wall – just does not make sense to play this out of order
- Divine Comedy: A Short Album about Love – a story which it doesn’t pay to muck about with
- Air: Moon Safari – not a narrative as such but a mood thing
- Talking Heads: True Stories – again, a great narrative album. Probably helped by being a film
- Three Feet High and Rising: De La Soul – because there are so many ideas that cross song to song.

Over to you…

March 09, 2007

More iPod hilarity

Ha Ha! My iPod just played:

Should I stay or Should I Go – The Clash

followed by

Just Go Away – Blondie

Nice to see Ms Harry giving Mr Strummer a clear idea.

February 22, 2007

Musical signatures

Driving home i was musing on how some musicians have clear musical signatures that just mean whenever you hear their music you just now who it is from a few bars, you don’t need to hear the rest of the music.

For example,

Johnny Cash – the chuggachuggachugga rhythm of the railtrack
Julian Cope – a particular style of keyboard synth noise that just sticks out, though he doesn’t use it so much any more
Tom Waits – spooky percussion of death
Keane – snoring and bangs of people falling asleep

Nick Cave talked about this once saying when he was looking for a guitarist he found Blixa Bargeld who produced these fantastic dolorous funeral chords on the guitar. Unfortunately it took him a while to realise that was all he could do, hence the heavy influence on the Cave sound.

I guess that I don’t find so many such signatures these days. Modern production techniques tend to make everything sound vaguely similar I suppose. perhaps people have stopped remembering to have fun making music now.

February 14, 2007

Proof the iPod has a sense of humour #2

This morning the iPod played a piece from Handel’s Messiah – “He was despised and rejected by men” – and followed it up with Depeche Mode “Personal Jesus”

Well, I found it funny.

October 16, 2006

My iPod is freaking me out!

There was an article in the Guardian recently about whether the iPod shuffle feature was really as randomn as was suggested. The article discussed concerns that shuffle was a nefarious strategy for making you listen to apple friendly music – boo hiss.

However, today my iPod really scared me. Here’s why:

Last night I caught a bit of 100 best albums on Channel 4. I watched a few and noted during the Velvet Underground entry that I really ought to listen to that album again.

Today on the way to and from work my iPod served up 5 Velvet Underground tracks.

I have 2500 songs on my iPod.

I have 1 Velvet Underground album.

That album has 11 tracks on it.

In the last 3 months I have had 1 track from that album on shuffle.

I swear that device can read my mind – it know’s my desires and responds to my whim. How else can you explain the fact that it plays 5 tracks from an album I was thinking about some 8 hours earlier.

It’s scary – really really scary!

August 18, 2006

Music for your child you won't be ashamed of!

Writing about web page

If I ever have kids I will be buying the entire back catalogue from this lot (except for Coldplay – ugh).

What a great concept – classic indie rock tracks for your toddler!

Smells Like Baby Spirit – Excellent!

July 25, 2006

Gigs you didn't go to

You often hear people talk about the best gig they've ever been to. Here's three gigs I could have gone to but didn't – more fool me!

1. Nirvana play the Bristol Bierkeller just before they went massive – oops!
2. Sonic Youth Dirty tour – why did I not go to this one?
3. Smashing Pumpkins – crappy nobodies from the states – well, they won't go anywhere will they…

And a notable mention to a school friend who was a massive Morrisey fan – we bought tickets for his solo tour which happened to coincide with the last day of term. Unfortunately said friend got drunk in the afternoon and passed out in a park. We carried him home and left him to sleep it off whilst we all went off to see the mozz. Boy was he annoyed the next day – I believe he may have punched a hole through his door.

My Bloody Valentine – aah, the golden age of shoegazing…

Just listening to Loveless which I put on the iPod the other day.

What a great band MBV were. They were the first band I went to see at the Bristol Student's Union when I was a mere sixth former back in 1991.

Great gig notable for being one of the few bands to generate so much noise the sound wave made my clothes move like they were caught in the wind.

Plus they had a flute with reverb – awesome.

May 30, 2006

Do I replace my Stereo?

Writing about web page

I've been mulling this one over for a while now.

Since I became an iPod owner I have transferred most of my CDs to iTunes and iPod. My CD collection is now largely redundant other than as a back up. They still take up lots of space though.

I currently have: A Cambridge A5 Amp in black, Panasonic Technics CD player (forget which model), two speakers, speaker stands and lots of cable.

However, the CD player is largely not used anymore. The amp and speakers sound great but take up a lot of space. The amp is used mainly with the iPod and the DVD player.

So I have looked at the Monitor Audio iDeck as a replacement. Has anyone used one of these? What's the sound quality like?

May 23, 2006

It's a Julian Cope thing – you wouldn't understand

I've been cracking on with a few things today and have the shut the world out (World Shut Your Mouth anyone?) by listening to the ArchDrude Julian Cope most of the day.

I've also recently been re–reading the Head On / Repossesed books by the Odinistic Floored Genius. Surely one of the greatest pieces of music writing ever committed to cheap paper.

The Peggy Suicide/Jehovahkill tour was about as good as it gets for me – 3 hours of insane brilliance.

Oh well, just thought I'd mention it in lieu of a fag break…

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