The Wheel of Your Tune

Late again…today I put it down to spending the best part of 6 hours yesterday evening at the local gin festival….ooh my poor head.

This little series has been going for a while now and after this week there are only 2 more letters of the alphabet to go.  My question to you ‘Spillers is this: do you want me to carry on with TWOYT in a slightly different format (e.g. I choose A23 and you choose the 23rd track you own by any artist beginning with A or the 23rd track in your collection that starts with A)?  Or shall I think of something new for Saturday mornings?  Or does someone else have something they’d like to do on a Saturday morning (to be fair, you are probably all sick of me at the start of your weekend).

Let me know what you reckon.

To this week…

The Wheel of Your Tune works like this; I metaphorically turn my spinning top to reveal a random letter and number. The letter relates to an artist or the name of an album in my collection and the number relates to the track by that artist or on that album. This week’s spin landed on X1.

How can I not choose X-Ray Spex – Oh Bondage! Up Yours! the first track from their album Germfree Adolescents.

What’s your X1?

The Wheel of Your Tune

The Wheel of Your Tune works like this; I metaphorically turn my spinning top to reveal a random letter and number. The letter relates to an artist or the name of an album in my collection and the number relates to the track by that artist or on that album. This week’s spin landed on N8.

I seem to own a phenomenal number of tracks and albums by artists beginning with N. I’ve got a lot to choose from so have chosen a favourite track 8. This by Nitin Sawhney from his 2001 album Prophesy narrowly pipped Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds (Are You) the One That I’ve Been Waiting For. Here we are then:

Breathing Light

What’s your N8?

Marvelous Middle Eights – Discuss

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Better late than not at all….

 

A spooky thing happened to me last week on my way home from work and when cooking dinner a bit later.  I had a random playlist on in the car (always far too loud so as to distract me from the annoying traffic), for once I was really listening to the music rather than allowing the issues of the day to invade my subconscious and begin to worry me.  A song called Shining Light by Ash came on.  It’s a sweet tune from 2001 with some lovely lyrics you could send to someone in the hope they’d pick up your meaning…it’s not as rocky as Girl from Mars, but still passable commute listening.  As the song progressed, it suddenly changed tempo and key “Ah that’s a lovely little middle eight right there” I thought to myself – I never think of these things generally, so it was a weird thought to have.  End of little anecdote number 1.

Here’s the track as a reminder:

Later I was cooking dinner with a new releases round table discussion on the radio in the background.  They played the new St Vincent release called Los Ageless. (which is a great track btw).  The panel members loved it, but one of the guests (Jimbob from Carter USM) mentioned how brilliant the middle eight was in her track.  How bloody weird!  I’ve never really thought about middle eights and there it was; twice in the space of a couple of hours.

I agree with Jimbob; a good middle eight keeps you interested and moves the track on.   There are loads of great Motown tracks I can think of with very good middle eights – Ain’t No Mountain High Enough as a starter.  The Beatles and The Beach Boys were pretty good at middle eights too.  I love the middle eights in Stevie Nicks’ Edge Of Seventeen and in Justin Timberlake’s Rock Your Body.  Both tracks ramp back up after their middle eight lulls, propelling the tune to its end.

Since last week I have tuned into so many middle eights in the songs I’ve listened to; I notice them even when I’m not really paying attention.  There was a middle eight RR topic back in 2009 and the songs that made the list are all good examples (although I can’t claim to like all the songs – Kaiser Chiefs???).  So, yet again ‘Spillers I come to you to discuss this issue. What do you know about all of this? What are your favourite middle eights?  Or maybe you think they are a waste of time and an attempt by the artist to self indulgently show off?  Discuss.

The Wheel of Your Tune

The Wheel of Your Tune works like this; I metaphorically turn my spinning top to reveal a random letter and number.  The letter relates to an artist or the name of an album in my collection and the number relates to the track by that artist or on that album.  This week’s spin landed on U7.  The 7th track I own by reggae dancehall and toasting expert U-Roy is Wear You to the Ball featured on vol 2 of Don Letts’ compilation called Dread Meets Punk Rockers Uptown (which in itself is a great collection – currently have the Downtown version on in the background).

What’s your U7?

Does an album sound better if there’s a tragic story behind it? – Discuss

A few weeks back I stumbled on a track called “Nothing More to Say” by a band called The Frightnrs. One of my favourite DJs added it to his essential listening list and it immediately caught my attention. If you regularly read these rambling Discuss pieces, you’ve probably already predicted what I did next; dear reader, having never heard of them, I looked them up.

The story of The Frightnrs is a sad one. I read this NPR article with their album on in the background. As I read, the music touched me more. It is undoubtedly an accomplished piece of work; lyrically, musically and vocally. It’s reminiscent of classic, smooth 70s reggae – straight out of New York. Even the album artwork has the style of that era. I listened to the album a few times and although it’s by no means a classic, it’s certainly lovely.

However – and here’s the “discuss” bit – I wonder whether I’d think of it as fondly had it been produced in straightforward and more happy circumstances. The story makes it a remarkable and poignant piece of work, without it, the album is good and would have held my attention for a while, but perhaps no more than that. Does this make me a bit of a hypocrite?

Yet again ‘Spillers I come to you to discuss this issue. What do you know about all of this? Are average albums made better because of a sad back story, or does the back story make the album a much better piece of work?

While you think about it, here’s my favourite song from The Frightnrs album.

Till Then.

The Wheel of Your Tune

A bit like Carole, I am up to my eyeballs at the moment. Hence no recent “discuss” topics on Fridays and this week I haven’t even had time to do WOYT.

So, I thought I’d just ask you which new releases you’ve been listening to this week? For me it’s been Villains by Queens of the Stone Age and A Deeper Understanding by The War on Drugs.

The QotSA album has really got under skin and had me in tears a couple of times. I’m in love with it.  Here’s them performing a track from the album in the live room at BBC 6 Music.

What new stuff are you listening to?

The Wheel of Your Tune

 

Better late than never…

The Wheel of Your Tune works like this; I metaphorically turn my spinning top to reveal a random letter and number.  The letter relates to an artist or the name of an album in my collection and the number relates to the track by that artist or on that album.  This week’s spin landed on M1.

I’ve chosen the track 1er Gaou by the Cote d’Ivoire band Magic System.  About 15 years ago I travelled in Ghana whilst visiting family based there.  As we drove along the beautiful coastline away from Accra towards The Ivory Coast this song was playing almost constantly on the car stereo.  Every time I hear it I’m taken back there.  My brother in law bought me the album as a Christmas gift after our trip.

What’s your M1?