Music diary project – Day Seven

10:15 – 10:45
Bon Iver – re:stacks
Robert Wyatt – Shipbuilding
Billy Bragg – The Saturday Boy
Rachael Yamagata – I’ll Find A Way
Daft Punk – Something About Us
Dido – Here With Me (skipped after 30 seconds)
Talking Heads – This Must Be The Place
Ani Difranco – Overlap (live) (stopped after 2:30)

How: Spotify playlist on laptop, hooked up to external speakers
Where: kitchen
With: partner

I decided to experiment with The Guardian’s “Songs that make us cry” collaborative playlist, while we had breakfast. I chose the Bon Iver, then left the rest to shuffle. Mixed results – dry eyes – and more than a few bitchy remarks about some of the selections. By the time we got to the Ani Difranco live track (over 11 minutes long, and EXACTLY the sort of thing they play in the deli at lunchtimes), I felt that there was no more useful mileage left in the experiment.

10:50 – 11:50
June Tabor – Ashore (whole album, but I only listened to tracks 1 to 6)

How: CD
Where: morning room
With: partner

Background music for reading the papers. I’ve played this a lot in recent weeks. Second version of “Shipbuilding” this morning! Went to have a bath during track 6. When I came back downstairs, the final track was just ending.

11:15 – 11:45
Desert Island Discs: Terry Gilliam
- Elvis Presley – Heartbreak Hotel
- Original Pinocchio soundtrack – When You Wish Upon A Star
- Tom Waits – Alice
- Parno Graszt — Odi Phenel Cino Savo / Azt Mondja A Kisfiam
- The Beatles – Taxman
- Van Dyke Parks – Opportunity for Two
- Richard Strauss – Ein Heldenleben (final movement)

How: BBC Radio 4, via portable digital radio
Where: in the bath
With: just me

This wasn’t typical. For long weekend soaks in the bath, I usually take up the portable Logitech speaker dock, hooked up to Spotify on the iPhone – but I’d forgotten to bring it over from Nottingham, so took a punt on the radio and stumbled across the start of Desert Island Discs. There was nothing that Gilliam chose that I disliked, so this was a happy accident.

12:20 – 13:00
Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues (tracks 1 to 9, some of track 10)

How: iTunes on laptop, with external speakers
Where: kitchen
With: just me

Although I love its title track, the rest of this album isn’t quite doing it for me, and this play didn’t change things. In particular, I’ve begun to find Robin Pecknold’s voice rather wearing in extended doses. The more envelope-pushinng track 10 (The Shrine/An Argument) held my interest more than the rest, but I had other stuff to do by then…

16:52 – 17:00
John Grant – Chicken Bones
John Grant – Silver Platter Club

How: iTunes on laptop, with external speakers
Where: kitchen
With: just me

“Chicken Bones” was an earworm killer – and as I had hit the “jolly bit” of John Grant’s album, I let it run onto the next track.

17:35 – 17:55
Gerry Rafferty – Right Down The Line
England Dan & John Ford Coley – I’d Really Love To See You Tonight
Andy Kim – Rock Me Gently
The Pretenders – Back On The Chain Gang
Neil Sedaka – Laughter In The Rain

How: iTunes Genius playlist on laptop, with external speakers
Where: kitchen
With: just me

This was the first time I had activated Genius on the new-ish laptop. A nice, comfortably familiar AOR pop playlist ensued.

17:58 – 18:27
Pink Floyd – Grantchester Meadows
Jennifer Moss – Hobbies
Joanna Newsom – Ribbon Bows
Mary Halvorson Quintet – Right Size Too Little (No.12)
Laura Nyro (with Alice Coltrane) – Map To The Treasure
Daphne Oram – Rockets in Ursa Major (Excerpt 1)

How: BBC 6Music streamed through laptop, with external speakers
Where: kitchen
With: just me

I caught the end of Jarvis Cocker’s show, and then it was onto Stuart Maconie’s Freak Zone, which I had enjoyed the other week and had resolved to listen to more regularly. This turned out to be a special on female musicians, which would have been great if it hadn’t been for the announcement that this week’s featured album was to be Joanna Newsom, who I cannot abide. Some interesting stuff, and it was good to let someone else choose the music for once – but this selection wasn’t quite working for me.

18:27 – 20:10
Marva Whitney – Mama Don’t Know About Sugar Bear
Donald Byrd – Love Has Come Around
Tamiko Jones – Let It Flow
John Davis & the Monster Orchestra – Ain’t That Enough For You
Massara – Margharita
Fantasy – He’s Number One
Scissor Sisters – Fire With Fire
Take That – It Only Takes A Minute
George Michael – Precious Box
Yazoo – Walk Away From Love
Hot Chip – Thieves In The Night
Caribou – Jamelia
Kingdom – Bust Broke
Permanent Vacation ft Kathy Diamond – Tic Toc
Katy B – Easy Please Me
DJ Sprinkles – Ball’r (Madonna-Free Zone)
Nicolas Jaar – Etre
Michael Brook – Andean
These New Puritans – Hologram
These New Puritans – 5

How: iTunes DJ (manually re-ordered) on laptop, with external speakers
Where: kitchen
With: just me

Once again, iTunes hit the spot good and proper. Some useful rediscoveries and some great segues. I spent most of this time doing the ironing.

20:10 – 21:10
Various Artists – DJ Kicks: Wolf + Lamb vs Soul Clap (whole album)
How: CD
Where: kitchen
With: me and partner

During the second half of the Nineties, I bought shedloads of mix CDs. These days, I buy maybe two or three a year. I bought this unheard, on a hunch, and it turned out to be a super-lucky punt. My only frustration is not having an unmixed version, which I could have had if I’d bought it on download rather than CD. This played while dinner was prepared, and while we ate it – although a large part of it was drowned out by a long conversation on issues relating to the ban on gay men giving blood.

Favourite track of the day: Caribou – Jamelia
Worst track of the day: Discounting Dido and Ani Difranco, which I switched off before completion, it was Joanna Newsom – Ribbon Bows

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