Friday, 11 May 2012

Music Diary 2012 - Day 5

After yesterday's post I wondered if I was taking this Music Diary thing a little too literally. It took me a fair while to list every song I heard, though that was not helped by my excessive use of the shuffle facility. today I'm going try and be a bit more expansive with my comments rather than just blat out a vast list of songs. I also realised that I'd been so wrapped up in my own world I hadn't really got involved with any of the other Music Diary participants. I think one of the aims of the project was to encourage interaction between music fans so, last night and this morning I've taken the time to scan through what other people are up to and it's really interesting to see what other people are listening too and how they've approached reporting it. I'll link to some of those examples over the weekend if I get the time.

This morning got off to my normal start with my iPod on the drive to work. I felt the need to play something a little different this morning and decided to play Efrim Menuck's solo album, "plays High Gospel" which I've had on my nano for some time now but not really listened to from start to finish yet. I'm a big fan of Efrim's previous work with both Godspeed and A Silver Mt Zion but, other than when something new comes out or I've just seen them live, it's not that often I feel the desire to play a whole album. His solo album is an interesting progression from his earlier releases. The 9 minute "a 12-point program for keep on keepin' on" is just a little bit too electronic for my tastes but "august four, year-of-our-lord blues", ""heavy calls & hospitals blues" and "i am no longer a motherless child" are right up there with my favourite Efrim inspired music. I finished listening to the album at work and then replayed it all over again(though I did skip "12 point program ..." second time round). One of the benefits I find with using shuffle so much, particularly with my more "challenging" choices, is that when I eventually go back to playing the complete album I'm more familiar with the songs and am able to enjoy the full length album more than perhaps I might have done on first few listens.

Nearing lunchtime and I had a bit of time to kill so selected something a little easier on the mind. I picked up The Antlers' "Burst Apart" after reading some favourable reviews in last years' end of year summaries. DiS choose it as their album of the year, and thanks to the joy of Spotify I was able to give it a spin before eventually buying it via eMusic. It's an instantly likeable album, probably not the sort of thing I would normally go for, but an album full of songs that make me feel glad to be alive. The guitar sounds are warm and gentle, it's beautifully produced and whilst I can happily get on with other things whilst it's playing there are moments when I can just stop and listen and enjoy a truly marvelous piece of music.

I went to the pub at lunch time but there was no music. That's not a bad thing, I like "old man's pubs" that just sell beer and don't bother with the trappings of modern society like Sky TV and digital juke boxes, but I have noticed recently that the new landlord has decent taste in music and was interested in what he might choose today. That said, it turned out to be sunny enough to sit in the beer garden. Which was nice.

Back to work for the final hour or so (short day today) and I decided to play the new Field Music album "Plumb". I saw them last November at the Memphis Industries 13th anniversary shindig and have been frantically picking up all their stuff ever since. "Plumb" has taken a while to settle in for me but it's definitely growing with every listen and there are one or two songs ("Start The Day Right", "How Many More Times" & "(I Keep Thinking About) A New Thing") that are absolute gems.

At home and while I'd been out the man had been to install a satellite dish & FreeSat box, so I listened to Steve Lamacq on 6music while I tidied up the rooms we'd moved furniture in.
Israelites Desmond Dekker & The Aces
Sound of the Suburbs The Members
Oblivion Grimes
She Sells Sanctuary The Cult
Burning Hey Sholay
Believe Chemical Brothers

Later I went out to take son 1 to Scouts and took my iPod classic for a rare trip. On shuffle again, this threw up an excellent mix of tunes from Jazz to Hardcore to Alt-Country and back to Hardcore.
Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood Nina Simone
It Follows Minor Threat
Wayfaring Stranger Neko Case
Theologians Wilco
By You Fugazi

At bedtime Mrs Top Five fell asleep with the TV on whilst I was reading, so I switched it over to Classic FM to provide a bit of background music that wouldn't distract me from my book.

I had planned to try and catch up with a couple of radio shows this week but didn't get the opportunity to listen via iPlayer as much as I'd hoped. I also wanted to give My Bloody Valentine another go, having read that several other Music Diarists were play the Loveless remasters. My weekend opportunities for music listening may be limited by family activities and general chores but we'll see how things pan out.


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