Sunday, 28 June 2020

Chop’s Journal - 21 Jun 2020

This week I took a break from doing top fives and launched a new thing on Twitter to encourage me to listen to older music or bands I’d not had time to investigate. 

In trying to make it interactive it kind of blew up to be bigger than I expected but I got an interesting list of recommended albums out of it. 

Oh, and we saw the Red Arrows & Patrouille de France fly over our house in Shepperton (photo from a pal who was in Chertsey). 


Down at the So and So on Somewhere Street - Fiery Furnaces

Music I’m enjoying

New releases from Wesley Gonzalez & Jehny Beth have been on my three play roster this week alongside some albums related to the Chops A2Z thing I’ll explain below and several albums related to James Acaster’s book Perfect Sounds Whatever. 

Chop’s A2Z - Week 1: A

I listen to a lot of new music and often fail to go back and listen to bands or albums from the past that I’d probably love just as much. My plan is to get pals on Twitter to suggest an album by a band beginning with the letter of the week & explain why I should listen to it. 

I then pick four I’ve never heard & four I already own and run a poll to vote for the albums I’ll listen to at least three times. 

Albums I’d not heard:

1. American Music Club “California” @realruskus - AMC were exactly the type of band I was thinking about when starting this feature. I’m two plays in & it’s not grabbed me yet but having won the poll I’ll play it at least twice more & try to find the gem I’m sure is there.

2. Archie Bronson Outfit “Coconut” @brinyhoof - Big swirly noisy rock with a good groove underpinning it. Not quiet as noisy as I expected but worth further investigation. The basslines reminded me of Peter Hook and there’s a bit of a psych vibe going on too.

3. Amanda Applewood “I Love Boys” @608represent - This is a lovely bright & uplifting summer record. Amanda used to play keyboards with The Boy Least Likely To. Her vocals remind me a little of Miki from Lush and a little of Lail Arad though lyrically she’s closer to the latter.

4. Action Spectacular “From Here On In It’s A Riot” @sharkastic - Pretty sure I’d heard of Action Spectacular though there’s very little information about them online. This has a lot going on musically and some wryly observed lyrics. This warrants further listening.

Albums I Own:

1. Adam & The Ants “Dirk Wears White Socks” @DavidRogMoor - This is an album I only discovered recently after Marc Riley played a few tracks. The post-punk link is clearer than their subsequent big hits. Really love this.

2. The Auteurs “Now I’m A Cowboy” @Perlalaloca - Turns out I got confused & don’t own this album but I’m glad I gave it a closer listen. Luke Haines whip smart lyrics find their feet on this second Auteurs LP and Lenny Valentino stands out as the best track.

3. Art Brut “Bang Bang Rock n Roll” @cpsouthon - I forgot how brilliant this album is. Every song hits the mark for me & Eddie Argos’ lyrical powers shining through. This came out when I was discovering more new music via the internet but I know these songs so well. 

4. The Amps “Pacer” @MrStuRobson - I pretty much love everything Kim Deal is involved with and this standalone album is a little gem that came out after The Breeders went on hiatus. Surprised it didn’t poll higher so give it a spin if you like The Breeders.?

I also add a selection from James Acaster’s book about the music of 2016, Perfect Sounds Whatever, as I’m reading that currently & listening to the albums he mentions. He has over 600 from that year so I figured there should be one for each letter. This week’s pick is “The Impossible Kid” by Aesop Rock. I picked it as the first “A” album on the list I hadn’t listened to yet. Turned out it’s hip-hop which isn’t a genre I’m a huge fan of but two tracks in and I’m already more engaged than I expected to be. Lyrically this isn’t usual hip-hop fair. There seems to be some fairly dense themes and I guess the delivery is a little closer to the rock end of the spectrum too making easier for me to connect. 

Here’s the full list of nominated albums. I got more than I was expecting so ended up creating two polls;

🔺Albums that are new to me 

🔹Albums I own

🌀Album from Perfect Sounds Whatever


🔺American Music Club - California

🔺Action Spectacular - From Here On In ...

🔺Amanda Applewood - I Love Boys

🔺Archie Bronson Outfit - Coconut

🔹Adam & The Ants - Dirk Wears White Socks

🔹The Amps - Pacer

🔹Art Brut - Bang Bang Rock n Roll

🔹The Auteurs - I’m A Cowboy Now

🌀Aesop Rock - The Impossible Kid 

▪️Adorable - Against Protection

▪️Ayla Nero - The Code of the Flowers

▪️A Girl Called Eddy

▪️Amazing Snakeheads - Amphetamine Ballards

▪️Able Tamsans - Store in a Cool Place

▪️Ambulance Ltd - Ambulance Ltd

▪️Audioslave - Audioslave

▪️Terry Allen - Juarez

▪️Louis Armstrong - Disney Songs ...

▪️Astrid - One in Four

▪️All Natural Lemon & Lime Flavor - All Natural Lemon & Lime Flavor

▪️Arboretum- Coming out of the fog

▪️C Adigery - Zandoli

▪️Aimee Mann - Magnolia OST

▪️Ahem - Try Again

▪️ACR - Sextet

▪️Airstream - Follow Through

▪️Agent Orange - Living in Darkness

▪️Air Formation - Daylight Storms

▪️Amber Arcades - European Heartbreak

▪️The Associates - Sulk

🔹Ash - 1977

▪️Albion Band - Light Shining

▪️Afghan Wigs - Gentlemen

▪️Aziz Abraham - Rusholme Rock

▪️After the Gold rush - Neil Young

🔹At The Drive In - Relationship of Command

▪️Allo Darlin - Allo Darlin

▪️Aztec Camera - High Land, Hard Rain

▪️Aimee Mann - Lost in Space

▪️Aberfeldy - Young Forever

▪️Alvvays - Antisocialites

🔹Trail of Dead - Madonna

🔹Adverts - Crossing the Red Sea

🔹Arcade Fire - The Suburbs

▪️Amen Dunes - Blue Rose

▪️ABC - Alphabet City

▪️Abraham - Blue For The Most

▪️Apples in Stereo - New Magnetic Wonder

▪️Aim - Cold Water Music

▪️Ane Brun - It All Starts With One

▪️Absentee - Schmotime

▪️Autechre - Incunabula

▪️A House - I am the greatest

▪️Alvvays - Plimsoll Punks

▪️All We Are - All We Are

▪️AK/DK - Patterns / Harmonics 

▪️Amiina - Kurr

▪️Alabama Shakes - Boys & Girls

🔹Air - Moon Safari

▪️Allah Lahs - Allah Lahs

▪️Archie Roach - Charcoal Lane

▪️ABC - Look of Love

▪️TheAudience - theaudience 

▪️Arctic Monkeys - AM

▪️Alien Ant Farm - Anthology

▪️Amusement Parks On Fire - Amusement Parks On Fire

▪️Annie - Anniemal

▪️APB - Something To Believe In

▪️Fiona Apple - Tidal

▪️Aaron Neville - Tell It Like It Is

▪️The Aliens - Astronomy For Dogs

▪️American Analog Set - Know By Heart

▪️Alpha - Comes From Heaven 

Saturday, 20 June 2020

Chop’s Journal - 14 Jun 2020

Running late with this one. I decided this would be the final week of, mostly, daily top fives. It’s been over three months which felt like enough but I do plan to keep it going at least weekly after a short break. 

Photo below was taken by Mrs T5 on one of her walks. 


Nothing At All - Emma Kupa

Music I’m enjoying

This week’s best new release is the Roxy Girls EP though I’ve also enjoyed Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever’s second full length album. 

Spent more time keeping up to date with BBC radio shows (Marc Riley, Natasha xxx Ruskin Sharp & Michael Bradley) and Mixcloud shows (Dan Whaley, Contraflow & Yesterday’s Jam). 

Lockdown Top Fives - Week 12


▪️Monday 8th: Northern Soul songs

  1. I’ll Keep Holding On - The Marvelettes 
  2. Nothing But A Heartache - The Flirtations
  3. There’s A Ghost In My House - R. Dean Taylor
  4. Let’s Wade In The Water - Marlena Shaw
  5. Landslide - Tony Clarke 

▪️Tuesday 9th: Bands or Solo Artists from Germany 

  1. Can
  2. Kraftwerk
  3. Neu!
  4. Amon Düül II 
  5. Helloween 

▪️Wednesday 10th: Indie Songwriting Partnerships 

  1. Mimi Parker & Alan Sparhawk 
  2. Nick Cave & Warren Ellis
  3. Colin Newman & Graham Lewis
  4. Ariel Sharratt & Mathias Kom 
  5. Darren Hayman & Emma Kupa 

▪️Thursday 11th: Albums of the 10s (2010-19)

  1. Meilyr Jones - 2013
  2. Kathryn Joseph - From When I Wake ..
  3. Richard Dawson - 2020
  4. Mogwai - Hardcore Will Never Die ...
  5. Jen Cloher - Jen Cloher 

▪️Friday 12th: Films of the 80s

  1. Paris, Texas (W.Wenders)
  2. Blade Runner (R.Scott)
  3. This Is Spinal Tap (R.Reiner)
  4. Ran (A.Kurosawa) 
  5. The Shining (S.Kubrick) 

▪️ Football Matches you attended

  1. Fulham 4 Juventus 1 (Mar 2010)
  2. Portsmouth 4 Fulham 4 (Jan 1985)
  3. Southampton 4 Ipswich 3 (Oct 1981)
  4. Fulham 1 Lincoln 1 (May 1982)
  5. Aston Villa 0 Fulham 2 (Jan 1999)

Wednesday, 10 June 2020

Chop’s Journal - 7 Jun 2020

One of the great lockdown conundrums is how I’m putting on weight despite drinking much less than I normally would (honest) and exercising more frequently.

Thursday I watched a Knock2Bag comedy show streamed via the MOTH Club. It featured Lou Sanders, Tim Key and a bunch of comics I hadn’t seen before and it definitely boosted my mood. 


Out Of Time - Shark Toys

Music I’m enjoying

‪Stats dominated by my three plays approach so new albums by Deerhoof, Erland Cooper (the final album in his brilliant Orkney trilogy) and The Cool Greenhouse leading the way this week. 

Lockdown Top Fives - Week 11

▪️Monday 1st: One Hit Wonders

  1. Echo Beach - Martha & The Muffins
  2. 96 Tears - ? and The Mysterians
  3. Mexican Radio - Wall of Voodoo
  4. Uptown Top Ranking - Althea & Donna 
  5. 99 Red Balloons - Nena

▪️Wednesday 2nd: Music Biographies

  1. Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys. - Viv Albertine
  2. Sleevenotes - Joe Thompson
  3. Bound For Glory - Woody Guthrie
  4. Margrave of the Marshes - John Peel
  5. Hell Bent For Leather: Confessions of a Heavy Metal Addict - Seb Hunter

▪️Thursday 4th: Songs about Rain - i40

  1. Dry The Rain - The Beta Band
  2. It’s Raining - Irma Thomas
  3. So. Central Rain - R.E.M. 
  4. Spring Rain - The Go-Betweens
  5. Have You Ever Seen The Rain? - Creedence Clearwater Revival 

▪️ Xtra: Songs about Weather & Weather Systems

  1. Weather With You - Crowded House
  2. British People In Hot Weather - The Fall
  3. This Is A Low - Blur
  4. Stormy Weather - Pixies
  5. Like The Weather - 10,000 Maniacs

▪️Friday 5th: Films of the 70s

  1. The Godfather (Coppola)
  2. Annie Hall (Allen)
  3. Dog Day Afternoon (Lumet)
  4. The French Connection (Friedkin)
  5. Slap Shot (G.R.Hill) 

▪️Saturday 6th:  Football Grounds you’ve been to

  1. Craven Cottage
  2. Easter Road
  3. The Dell
  4. Emirates Stadium
  5. Volksparkstadion

Tuesday, 2 June 2020

Chop’s Journal - 31 May 2020

This week I’ve mainly been angry. Angry about Dominic Cummings. Angry about the lack of leadership from the Government. Angry about the lack of clarity on rules. Angry about the general ignorance shown by a large percentage of the UK population. I wrote to my MP. I got a stock reply but I wrote again to say how poor it was. It might not mean much but I feel I have to try. 

Then, just as I was getting control of my senses, I got angry about the senseless death of George Floyd in America and see the troubles faced by Black Americans and remember how lucky I am. I need to explore options to be a more proactive ally to all those people who are suffering. 

My focus next week will be on the good things in life. Hopefully I’ll be feeling more upbeat. 


Ballet of Apes - Brigid Dawson & The Mothers Network

Music I’m enjoying

‪Despite the numbers below the album I’ve enjoyed the most is Ballet Of Apes by Brigid Dawson & The Mothers Network. Brigid was a member of Thee Oh Sees for many years but recently released an album with John Dwyer under the OCS moniker and this album feels like a nice progression from there. 

Home Time is Darren Hayman’s second album of the year and it’s another great set of tunes. Featuring Hannah Winter (AKA Common or Garden) and Laura K (of Fortitude Valley) it features songs about break-ups recorded acoustically to 8 track. 

Completing a trio of fine new releases is Four Against Fate by The Nightingales which continues their excellent run of form and might be my favourite ’Gales album yet. 

Other notes

Despite the doom & gloom above I was off work until Thursday but didn’t really do a lot. The main bonus was not having to work. 

My eldest boy was 20 this week, which doesn’t seem possible. A bit of a dull birthday for him but he was happy with a takeaway current, a big homemade chocolate cake and a few beers. 

On Wednesday I did a 9 k walk on my own. That gave me time to catchup on episodes of the Off Menu podcast but also got me thinking I could maybe run that distance and Mrs T5 set me the challenge of running 10k by the end of June. 

Lockdown Top Fives - Week 10

▪️Wednesday 27th: Bands / Solo Artists from New Zealand 

  1. Aldous Harding
  2. Nadia Reid
  3. Tiny Ruins
  4. Marlon Williams
  5. Lorde / The Beths

▪️Thursday 28th:  Comic Book Writers

  1. Alan Moore
  2. Grant Morrison 
  3. Chris Claremont
  4. Stan Lee
  5. John Wagner 

▪️Friday 29th: Films of the 40s

  1. Passport To Pimlico (Cornelius)
  2. Kind Hearts & Coronets (Hamer)
  3. Arsenic and Old Lace (Capra) 
  4. The Third Man (Reed)
  5. Notorious (Hitchcock)

▪️Saturday 30th: Favourite Music T-Shirts 

  1. Jim Jones Revue “Voodoo Face”
  2. British Sea Power “Heron Addict”
  3. Japandroids “Photo Snaps”
  4. Art Brut “Popular Culture”
  5. Inspiral Carpets “Cool as Fuck”