Weekend Listening: Everything Everything

The fourth album from this Manchester-based Indie-Synth outfit has been gracing my ears for several (or more) weeks now. It’s really, really good. Really good. The best good. Really good.
And with them releasing a third single from A Fever Dream, it’s high time that I shared something from it. Trouble is – which one?

Desire? A powerful monologue about needing to own and control everyone and everything, with a brightly colourful performance video.
Can’t Do? A desperate plea to escape a demanding and possibly doomed relationship, with a fitting video featuring emotional contemporary dancers.

Or this one: Night of the Long Knives with diving synth drops every few bars and a suitably busy, eclectic visual offering.

There’s lots more good stuff on this album though. Commercially good stuff, nogal. If you’re looking for something (mostly) energetic and just eminently listenable for the upcoming weekend (and beyond), may I humbly – and most highly – recommend this

Fullpod

My iPod is full. Yes, I still have an iPod. I realise that having an iPod is horrendously old-fashioned, but I still have an iPod.
Also, it’s a big iPod. So it’s even more uncool.

But being uncool is not what this post is about. This post is about the fact that my iPod is full. And with so much good music coming out recently and soon (Depeche Mode, Future Islands, Slowdive to name but a few), I need some more space.

It’s either a new iPod or some culling. And because I’m still poor after buying my Mavic (and will be so for the next several years), I’m going to have to lose some music. But what should go, because I love all 11,000 songs on there, otherwise they wouldn’t be on there, right?

Right?

Well, I have started a random playlist on my journeys to and from work. And when a track comes on that’s obviously bilge, I check who is performing it, and I decide whether they get culled later. Not everything will go based on one song. Everyone has their off moments. But it will put them in the firing line.

So far? Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley (who were really only ever on there for a roadtrip with the mother-in-law), Train (saw them at Glastonbury 2003: one good song, otherwise trash), Robbie Williams (through it all, he offered me protection), Kylie Minogue (probably bought for a party in 2012), and Lana del Rey.

That last one raised an interesting question though, namely:

What the f… (ishcake) is Lana del Rey doing on my iPod?

Is this some sort of illegal land grab on my iPod’s hard drive? Do I need an interim court order to get it removed? (spoiler: no, I just click delete). The most worrying bit about this is that I don’t ever remember putting her stuff on there.

And we’re only one day in.
It’s left me very worried about what else I’m likely to discover on there.

But the premise is good: concentrating more on quality rather than quantity. Just like I don’t do on this blog.

Acoustic a-ha

Just when you thought it was all over…

a-ha will make a live acoustic album and concert film from a series of intimate performances to take place between June 26 – June 30, 2017.
The album, DVD and broadcast are scheduled for release in November 2017.
In early 2018, a-ha will take this special acoustic set on the road, giving the fans a new way to experience the music they love.

So… where are we going to see them this time, I wonder? After all, there’s still time to slip a couple of tickets into my Xmas stocking, darling…

The a-ha.com page is currently oversubcribed, suggesting that there is significant interest in this endeavour. The venues for the “series of intimate performances” haven’t yet been announced, but the first confirmed dates are in January 2018 and are in Germany, Switzerland and Austria.

Presumably, the Cape Town leg of the tour will be in February or March.

I guess we’ll find out soon enough.

Musical offerings

‘Diverse, eclectic and actually rather good’ was one review of my recent musical purchases. They included (but were not limited to), DJ Shadow, Chemical Brothers, Grandaddy, The Duke Spirit, Haley Bonar, Primal Scream and Kate Tempest.

And they’re all good, but those last two have been taking most of my attention. And there’s a chaotic link, with the Primal Scream album being Chaosmosis and Kate Tempest’s Let Them Eat Chaos. Some message for us all there, perhaps? Two different sounds though, with a real old skool 80’s electronic feel to the Primal Scream offering. There’s Depeche Mode, some OMD and there’s even Zebra & Giraffe (I know, right?), all mixed with a hefty does of Britpop. It is, brilliant. Standout tracks include Private Wars, the gorgeous Autumn in Paradise and the wonderfully quirky Where the Light Gets In:

It’s unapologetic electronic fun. Positive, bouncy pop for the most part, but then those moments which take you back to the late 90s and wonder if you’re listening to James or Dodgy. It’s a really good, easy to listen to album. Try it.

Oh – and if you’re wondering about Kate Tempest, that’s amazing too, but deeper, harder to formulate opinions: it’s taking a whole lot more time to digest. So watch this space for more on that one.

Music Button gets hit again

I have previously described the hitting of the Music Button here, but with being away from school, it’s been a while since it has been struck. But as was noted yesterday, school restarted this morning.

I was unprepared. Not for school, but rather when the voice piped up from the back:

I haven’t said this for a few weeks, but… HIT THE MUSIC BUTTON!

Still, I hit it as instructed, but when I did, it was playing dan le sac Vs Scroobius Pip’s 2013 offering Repent Replenish Repeat. Look, I love it, but it’s far too dark and much too naughty for a 7:30am trip to school with an 8-year-old. Hence some quick fiddling with the iPod in order to find something more appropriate for the journey between campussescampii… the two different school sites.

It would be rude not to share, so step forward the alphabetically-convenient Daft Punk. And their Random Access Memories was what took me on a musical odyssey through the traffic. Thus here’s Instant Crush, featuring the unlikely-monikered Julian Casablancas.

I’d forgotten just how good this album was. It was a hot contender for the 6000 miles… Album of the Year, alongside such greats as Depeche Mode, Ludovico Einaudi, The D.O.T., the Pet Shop Boys and, ironically, dan le sac Vs Scroobius Pip. Regular readers will know that no-one ever wins these things, but you get some decent (IMHO) recommendations to make your musical life better.

I hope it’s done that for you. Have a great Monday, even if the traffic is FUBAR and you have to be up at 6am tomorrow.