Music Diary Project: Wednesday

WEDNESDAY starts withKaty Perry feat. Kanye West – ET (alone, music video online)…about which I’m unsure. Listened to it because it popped up on Kieron Gillen’s Formspring. As usual, he’s fairly spot on (except about California Gurls, tut tut). I can’t imagine this song actually existing outside of the video, which isn’t a particularly good sign. The Yeezy bits are pretty good (especially the mentions of bathing his ape in your milky way) but … does it remind anyone else of Tatu, a bit? The video itself is interesting though, and it’s good that after the visual inadequacy of the Gaga Born This Way video, good to know someone’s still making absolutely ridiculous music videos.Childish Gambino – Break (alone, on Spotify, having downloaded the free MP3)Still brilliant. Increasingly fond of the so elegant its fragile opening.Neutral Milk Hotel – King of Carrot Flowers, Part One (alone, on Spotify)An attempt at listening to what is possibly my favourite album, but I forgot to turn shuffle off yesterday and so an advert and a leap into a song by a different band ruin it. Sigh. Then it’s time to finally break openBritney Spears – Femme Fatale (alone, on Spotify) Which is neither as bad as I’ve heard claimed, nor as ‘sick’ as my sister suggested it might be. It’s just Britney embracing current musical trends, and thus getting away from some of what makes her actually a bit unique, a lot like Madonna for the majority of the last ten years (and especially 4 Minutes). The real test is: would I dance to it, in the right situation? There is only one way to find out, dear readers.LCD Soundsystem – All of My Friends (alone, on Spotify)Inspired by a skim of the mammoth Pitchfork article on every James Murphy release, which I intend to properly read at some point. It finished, leaving silence as I polished up some resources for a lesson I’m teaching; in need of a inobtrusive soundtrack I put onMystery Jets – ‘Serotonin’ (tracks 1-3, alone, on Spotify)then, showertime, so I hook my phone up to my portable speaker and on comesLos Campesinos! – In Medias Res (alone, through my mobile phone) Courtesy of Mr Bradley et al’s This Is Not Yr Indie Radio podcast. An unexpected but pleasant meeting of Miles’ voice and my nudity. Including, in a continuation of his apparent mission to convert me to The Cult of Glover,Childish Gambino – Freaks & Geeks (alone, mobile phone)Which I do not enjoy as much as yesterday’s Song of The Day Break, but is still highly pleasurable, especially the “are there Asian girls here? Minority report!” bit, which like all the best jokes took me a little moment.Dismemberment Plan – You Are InvitedOwls – Everyone is My FriendThe whole experience is ruined somewhat by getting water in one ear. Ears are my body’s primary weakness, Alex-Spencer-Fact-Fans! They get unexpectedly warm, turn to ice in the cold, and do a weird itchy thing where I have to click my tongue to do a sort of internal scratch. …I am deeply, deeply gross.Childish Gambino – Break (with Ben, on Spotify)goes back on to remind myself what it’s called so I can mention it above, and then am too scared to put anything else on, as I would have to note it down and inevitably write about it, and while I did that I’d no doubt have to put something else on, which I’d then have to write …. curse your infinite Moebius loops, Music Diary Project! I was meant to go home an hour ago!Errors – A Rumour in Africa [Gold Panda remix]The Weeknd – What You NeedNick Straker Band – Straight AheadMatt & Kim – Lessons Learned (all on train, through phone)…I finally do, and put Not Yr Indie Radio back on for company, followed byThe Flaming Lips – ‘The Soft Bulletin’ (whole album, on the train/walking round town, through my DS)Radiohead – ‘The King of Limbs’ (whole album, on the train, DS)to accompany my reading of a music magazine from 2003 I picked up for 50p from the record shop and of Chabon’s Wonderboys. This fills the two-hour journey home beautifully, so much so I don’t notice when King of Limbs runs out five minutes before everything else. As I put the book down, I’m still humming bits of the album to myself.Radiohead – Karma Police (on Zoë’s car radio)Muse – Knights of Cydonia (on Zoë’s car radio)Both of which – it being sunny, smelling of cut grass, shooting round my hometown in my sister’s shiny new car – somehow summon Summer and make me wonder whether radio stations have an emergency ‘it’s sunny!’ backup playlist.Amanda Palmer – ‘Who Killed Amanda Palmer’ (tracks 1-5, alone, on Spotify)is a lot noisier than I remembered, despite it only having been a week since I last listened to it, and I recoil a bit. Weird side-effect of this ‘Project’: I think it’s actually making me a bit more afraid of music. So I take a hours-long break afterwards, not listening to anything else till just the right side of midnight, squeezing inKanye West – ‘My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy’ (whole album, alone on Spotify)in preparation for forthcoming blog post. I’m familiar enough with it now that even the noisy lyric heaviness can be blended into the background of my consciousness while I write a different blogpost. …Wednesday was my most music-filled day yet this week – for a good few weeks, even – but no definitive Song of The Day that has grabbed me by the lapels and demanded my attention. Which is very much the kind of day it has been through and through, actually. Tomorrow I’ll probably be busy working and the post will be much slimmer. You lucky people!

The Music Diary Project: Monday & Tuesday

Given that the recent explosion in people adopting the 30 Days of Music format made me ache for that halcyon April last year, in a way that got me one step closer to fully appreciating Losing My Edge, I thought I’d hop on the latest bandwagon, courtesy of Nick Southall. Basically, an investigation into how people listen to and use music, promising some kind of spreadsheet of finding at week’s end. I’ll be swimming off, as usual, in my own direction, but it seemed fun and very much within my wheelhouse. MONDAY was one of those days where music is constant and unavoidable. Radio 1 in the car, a sequence of increasingly noisy pubs, meant I heard – if not listened – to a much wider range of songs than I normally would. Only two stand out:Rihanna – S&M (4 times, pub/radio)The definite success of Monday. Started out not liking it, ended up praying loudly that it would get played again, just one more time, and walked home shouting the lyrics. Last time I did that was Rude Boy. vs. Chris Brown – (4 times, pub/radio)Which I heard the thousand-headed anonymous hydra that is local radio DJs fawn over, telling us how they’d OMGed when they heard it, and multiple times in pubs. It might be more than 4 times, to be honest; I wouldn’t know. I’m not even taking offence for the obvious woman-hitting reasons, it’s just the most bland generic thing ever, so much so that I can’t express why without going back to listen to it. Which I won’t. And, as ever with these nights, Monday bled over into what was technically TUESDAY which began too drunk to really record what I listened to. I faintly remember a crawl across Youtube. But Friday proper began with repeated listens toPatrick Wolf – The City (4 times, alone, Youtube)Which is the new single, or at least new to me. It’s certainly very Patrick Wolf, ebullient yet fey and all that. There’s a bit where a deep-voiced vocoder echoes the chorus against the most 80s bit of saxophoning you’ve heard since 2008, and then Wolf’s singing kicks back in, doing the accelerated verse. This bit undeniably is brilliant; the jury of my heart is still a little out on the song as a whole.Gil Scott-Heron & Jamie xx – Tracks 1-3 from We’re New Here (alone, Spotify)This didn’t prove as compatible with my hangover as I would’ve liked. Abandoned the album three tracks in to seek softer, more headache-friendly forms of entertainment.Johnny Boy – You Are The Generation That Bought More Shoes And You Get What You Deserve (alone, Spotify)Rose-Elinor Dougall – Tracks 1-5 from Without Why (alone, Spotify)Which was much more in line with the hangover. Proved a little too soft after a while and an argument with a call centre via a payphone, so I changed to bigger, external speakers andCrystal Castles & Robert Smith – We Are Not In Love (alone, Spotify)which struck the balance I was looking for all along. Soft by Crystal Castles’ standards, but still crisp and a little bit noisy. Queued upThe Decemberists – 16 Military Wives (alone, Spotify)and then put every playlisted song on shuffle for a bit. This means skipping a lot of my alt-Christmas songs and stuff people have added to party playlists (T.I., shudder) but also throws upThe Arcade Fire – Wasted HoursBig Boi – The Train, Pt. 2The Arcade Fire – We Used to WaitLCD Soundsystem – Pow Pow (all alone, all on Spotify)Which I am really enjoying, and then my phone rings, which meansSuper Smash Bros Brawl Soundtrack – Pokemon Battle Theme (on my phone)I am such a smug post-Pilgrim hipster, but this is a briliant ringtone, especially for someone like me who is: a) rubbish at not missing calls, b) a little afraid of phone conversations. Really brings the tension. This leads to a break from my room and thus my music, though I do hear a snatch ofRebecca Black – Friday (unknown, sounded like teenaged girls singing)from an unidentified source, accompanied by a lot of gleeful voices, while I am in the phonebox outside my house. Back to the shuffled music, back toAmanda Palmer – Blake SaysStandard Fare – DancingJay-Z – 99 ProblemsLCD Soundsystem – All My FriendsXiu Xiu – Apple for a BrainBelle & Sebastian – I Didn’t See It ComingCut Copy – Pharaohs & PyramidsLos Campesinos! – Straight in at 101The Horrors – Do You RememberMy Chemical Romance – PlanetaryThe Kinks – All Day & All of The Night (all alone, all on Spotify)and then, at the recommendation of Mr. Miles Bradley’s Tumblr, I put onChildish Gambino – Break (alone, web browser)–which is promptly interrupted bySuper Smash Bros Brawl Soundtrack – Pokemon Battle Theme (on my phone)Hi Mom! Back toChildish Gambino – Break (3 times, alone, web browser)Which is my first exposure to Childish Gambino, or AS&F! Man of The Year Donald Glover, even. And I really like it, balancing as it does sharp lyrical turns and I-want-to-eat-them-up beats. It’s clever and silly and crammed with pop-culture references, but it feels pretty honest too. The use of All of The Lights works brilliantly, too, which surprised me. I’ve spent a lot of the last couple of months listening to that song (culminating in The Greatest Moment of last Friday’s party) and this channels that love into something that doesn’t wear it out for me. Turns out to be Song of The Day; thanks Miles!Michael Nielsen – Splinter Cell Conviction OST (7; random tracks, alone (obv), Spotify)soundtracks the polishing up of a post on the game, before a long tea-and-Coen-Brothers break, which is followed hours later by my final song for the day,Gonzales – I Am Europe (with Sam, Spotify)because it came up in conversation. “I am gay pastry and racist cappucino” …Well, quite.

Looking the (April) Fool: 30 Days Of Music

Stolen from Kieron Gillen* who stole it from Sarah Jaffe who stole it from love & zombies. I’ve never got involved in one of these blogger memes before, felt like the time. (New month, battling dissertation insanity, fighting a bad habit of long-long-long-form writing.) A daily song on a set theme, with accompanying writing. As follows: day 01 – your favorite songday 02 – your least favorite songday 03 – a song that makes you happyday 04 – a song that makes you sadday 05 – a song that reminds you of someoneday 06 – a song that reminds of you of somewhereday 07 – a song that reminds you of a certain eventday 08 – a song that you know all the words today 09 – a song that you can dance today 10 – a song that makes you fall asleepday 11 – a song from your favorite bandday 12 – a song from a band you hateday 13 – a song that is a guilty pleasureday 14 – a song that no one would expect you to loveday 15 – a song that describes youday 16 – a song that you used to love but now hateday 17 – a song that you hear often on the radioday 18 – a song that you wish you heard on the radioday 19 – a song from your favorite albumday 20 – a song that you listen to when you’re angryday 21 – a song that you listen to when you’re happyday 22 – a song that you listen to when you’re sadday 23 – a song that you want to play at your weddingday 24 – a song that you want to play at your funeralday 25 – a song that makes you laughday 26 – a song that you can play on an instrumentday 27 – a song that you wish you could playday 28 – a song that makes you feel guiltyday 29 – a song from your childhoodday 30 – your favorite song at this time last year In a sparkling bit of originality, I shall be doing them… backwards!Day One struck me as the big one, so I thought I’d build up to it. I look forward to the challenge of posting something (however small) every day, and to seeing what I choose. Some of them, I have no clue. If you would like to join in, please, go nuts. *As we say round these parts: Standard.