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A few weeks ago, ChrisC fell across a list of the Forty best-selling singles of 2016. We read the list with blank little faces, muttering "I haven't heard any of these!"

To be fair, ChrisC did better. He'd heard number 40, Hello by Adele, which he encountered while doing due diligence on the headliners before we went to Glastonbury. I am less diligent. However, I have spent a lot of time this year in gyms, trying to exercise my knees back into working order, and there is some rule that all gyms must show multiple TV channels, all with the sound off, and play terrible radio. Surely I would have heard some of them, even if I couldn't identify them by name.

Testing that... )
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Are you in Cambridge? Do you like guitar bands? If so, you should absolutely go and see Mammoth Penguins at the Portland Arms on Tuesday.

Unfortunately, the only reference I have for this is on FaceAche:

If you are not in Cambridge but like guitar bands, you could just go and listen to Mammoth Penguins on Soundcloud instead.
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Well, thank you YouTube autoplay... which just found me this amazing "concert" of a singer/fiddle player who uses livelooping:

I've never heard of NPR's "Tiny Desk" concerts before; the above features 2016's winner. You can read about the concert competition here.
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Blimey. Mr. Heintz is properly reverting to type on this new The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing album, isn't he?

Anyone else going to see The Men... on Saturday?
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The plan this morning: wake up, go running, have breakfast, have shower and get dressed, pack an overnight bag, go to the post office, go to the shops, set off by 10am to visit friends in Cheltenham.

The actuality: wake up, realise I have not written [ profile] stegzy the album review I promised by today, sit in bed with laptop listening to Bowie and checking facts on Wikipedia. At 9am I am now about to get out of bed and do the non-running parts of the plan in a massive hurry.

If you wish to read my review, or indeed to browse around the rather ambitious thing that is Stegzy's Music Project, you can do so here:
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Weirdest way to be earwormed ever...

The door to the place I go to do yoga has developed a squeak. It didn't have a squeak on Monday, but today it does. While donning coat and shoes, ready to leave, I heard it repeatedly. A loud, scrapey, two-note squeak.

Which hits exactly the interval of the first two notes of the theme tune to Antiques Roadshow :(
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When writing up my day out at the Helen Love gig, I noted that something exciting happened. If you are a London gig-goer, I'd love to hear at what point you recognise this story... Or indeed if you don't.

Look! )

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Mostly what I have learned this week is that you lot are much more into jam jars than you are gig reviews. Still, I shall press on :)

Helen Love @ The Lexington )

Getting chilled to the bone on the stupid bus home )
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Some time back, a festival was announced on Blackheath. OnBlackheath, in fact. We looked at it and thought, hey, look at Sunday's line-up. Frank Turner! The Levellers! And err... probably some other people. The tickets were £60+, and we decided that weren't that excited.

Then ChrisC spotted a deal somewhere, selling tickets for less than half price. He grabbed a couple quickish, and then we realised... everywhere was selling them cheap. Possibly everyone else had decided it was too pricey, too, and stayed away in droves. Would it end up being cancelled at short notice?

In the end, no. Blackheath is a very long way away from our bit of London, but a tube, a train, and a bit of walking got us there. And wow. You may remember me describing Latitude as the most middle-class festival every. Not so! OnBlackheath had celebrity chef demos, and a stall advertising and demonstrating the latest model of Neff oven... Probably not that surprising, given that it was sponsored by John Lewis. Rock and roll, man.

Obligatory list:
Rhys Lewis and the Relics, [Athlete], Stealing Sheep, Levellers, Steve Mason, Imelda May, [Red and Pink], [TOY], Frank Turner & the Sleeping Souls, Radiophonic Workshop

You sound middle-class, but I'll let it pass )
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A month or two ago, ChrisC and I were taking a stroll to Greenford tube station to view one of the last wooden escalators on the network before it is replaced. We have all the fun :) (Mind you, at dusk you get a much nicer panoramic view of West London than you might expect from Greenford's platforms.) Anyway, he mentioned the 1p Album Club.

The basic premise of this is that you get paired up with somebody, you buy an album priced at a penny on Amazon Marketplace, and you send it off with your recommendations to your somebody. A nice idea, don't you think?

Obviously, the idea is that you recommend an album you enjoy. Now, it doesn't make sense for ChrisC to recommend albums to me. If he likes an album, then he owns a copy, and thus I have access to it already. He expressed his intention of buying a 1p album on a whim and sending it to me.

Which, by the time an anonymous padded envelope turned up containing a CD, I'd forgotten. However! Here is my review...

The Boy Least Likely To - The Best Party Ever )

If anyone fancies a 1p album-swap with me, drop a comment in the usual manner :-)
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I'm the sort of anti-social type who sits at my desk all day with headphones on. The lovely pair of Sennheisers I bought well over a decade ago were looking rather shabby by the time I started newJob so they have been promoted sideways to be headphones-plugged-into-the-piano at home. I set off to buy some new ones.

Now, the last pair came from a tiny little audio shop in Reading. They let me faff about trying headphones on for an hour or more, checking whether I could still hear someone talking to me when wearing them, checking that my music didn't leak out to annoy colleagues. Sadly, that shop shut years ago. And the model of headphones is discontinued. Since almost all headphones are uncomfortable for me, there's no way I'm buying without trying. Where does one go to try on headphones these days?

Everywhere! )
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I've been doing some tidying up recently, and trying to sort through a massive stack of unlabelled tapes. Some have been easily dismissed as blank, or not things I recognise as mine. Some turn out to be taped-off-the-radio tapes from the late 80s/early 90s. Which has been fascinating, even as it has confirmed that my early teenage self had flippin' awful taste in music.

The most recent tape appeared to feature me inadvertently leaving the tape recording until it fell off the end, capturing me a fascinating slice of local radio. I think the overal quality of songs actually went up without my curation, despite it taking in Male Stripper. And it includes one of the fabulous "The one you've got to come back for" McEwan's Best Scotch adverts. The cars advertised were G-reg, meaning I can place it as somewhere between 1 August 1989 31 July 1990 (thank you, Wikipedia).

Anyway, I'm on to another one and I thought I'd have a little go at live-blogging it as I listen[**]. I have absolutely no idea what's on it. This may turn out very dull :)

Side A )

Side B )

[**] If you accept "typing it into a text file at the time then forgetting to post it for a few days" as a reasonably definition of 'live-blogging'.
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FAO [ profile] metame and [ profile] undyingking, primarily:

Helen Love @ The 100 Club

Tickets not on sale yet; there have been several sale times announced which haven't come good, so don't hold your breath ;)

Edit Damaged Goods has just said "100 CLUB gig update : Something is wrong with the wegottickets link, we're sorting it, try after lunch"

Apparently there are only 100 tickets, so this may require fast action when they do go on sale.

Edit Edit I've had my lunch (pie and a pint of very nice blonde beer). Where are my tickets, dammit?!

Helen Love said (on Twitter) "We are waiting for the We got tickets website to get back to us as there is a error seemingly at their end,when they do we will try again."

Edit Edit Edit On sale RIGHT NOW (twenty-past four), and going like moderately warm minority cakes...
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When I lived in Oxford, and got real milk delivered by a real milkman, it was inevitable that I sometimes had to leave notes saying "no milk today". At which point I was left singing No Milk Today for the forseeable.

When I used to help out at the beer festival in Darlington, one of the staple ales severed was the (now, I think sadly defunct) Butterknowle Brewery's Old Ebeneezer. In between pulling pints, I invariably sang bits of the sea shanty about "the good ship, Ebeneezer". This was particularly annoying, because I only know about a line and a half of it. Why a shanty I barely know instead of the perfectly excellent Ebeneezer Goode? I don't know. I don't do it on purpose.

Sometimes, I don't even need a phrase to be actually mentioned in a song. On the mercifully rare occasions I have to mess with my Windows desktop settings, I invariably end up warbling faintly to myself The shareef don't liiiike it... lock the taskbar, lock the taskbar! Once heard, it cannot be unheard.

Today, I walked through Reading's centre and observed that the Early Learning Centre had shut. Which means as soon as I've managed to forget it was there, I won't start nearly so many of my working days singing Magic Streets - We went to the Early Learning Centre, with the money that I'd lent yer....

There seems to be an inexhaustible supply of things which make me burst into song (usually, for the sake of everyone around, quietly). Does anyone else have similar problems? What sends you off into a song?
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At the weekend I went to Indietracks, the tiny indiepop festival held at the site of a preserved steam railway in Derbyshire. I've never been before.

And, do you know what? I really, really enjoyed it. And as a result, I'm going to write about it in excruciating detail. Read at own risk.


The Tuts, Bis

This is the good stuff, this is music for girls )


[Northern Spies], Finnmark!, Jupiter in Jars, Tunabunny, [Pale Spectres], The Understudies, Milky Wimpshake, When Nalda Became Punk, [Secret History], [McTells], [The Wave Pictures], Cars Can Be Blue, [The Pastels], The Brilliant Corners, Camera Obscura

Oh, the thing that you do, you make me go, oooooh )


The French Defence, Seabirds, Good Grief, Alpaca Sports, [Flowers], Lardpony, Kid Canaveral, Making Marks, [Fear of Men], Martha, The Lovely Eggs, Helen Love, [The Still Corners]

Jumping up and down to your favourite tune )
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So, while at Glastonbury, I watched Amanda Palmer. She was awesome.

As brought to my attention by [ profile] fractalgeek, the Daily Mail covered her performance. They could have written about all kinds of stuff - performing in the face of adversity having lost all the kit in a BA mix-up, say. They could have posted a fabulous picture of her singing while crowd surfing, with about twenty feet of sky-blue train spreading across her audience[*]. They could have mentioned a triumphant Pulp cover which had a whole field jumping up and down. They could have written something about an independent artist carving her own unique path through the music industry and still ending up on a main stage at one of the world's greatest festivals. Hell, as a last resort they could have written about the music.

Did they?

No. They reported that her set "saw her breast left on show after it escaped her bra".

For the record, I failed to notice this happen at the time. Besides, if you want to look at her breasts the internet and/or her shows and/or her videos provide absolutely no shortage of opportunity.

I think Amanda Palmer is one of those people I'd approve of, even if I hated her music. She's doing her own thing, and good luck to her. And now she's composed her response to the Daily Mail. I think this is filmed-on-a-phone in the Roundhouse in Camden, but it's worth a watch.

Video NSFW because - have you guessed yet? - there's nakedness in it.

[*] No, I'm not quite clear why someone who's lost all her stage costumes still has a coat with a train like that. I do hope she flew in wearing it.
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Goodness, I'm behind the times. Last week featured no LJ-writing, largely because it did feature (at various times) piling over to Cheltenham and back, one night with almost no sleep (no idea why), getting lost in some woods (mildly embarrassing, very small woods), a certain amount of having to pretend to be a grown up and then unexpectedly finding myself having to speak extempore to a lecture-theatre full of students (ulp). Plus a lot of frantically rushing from point A trying not to be late to point B.

However, a week last Friday I went to a very exciting gig.

Public Service Broadcasting @ The British Library )

If you haven't met Public Service Broadcasting, I do urge you to check out their album. Suitable for fans of the Avalanches, experimental music, or actual Public Service Broadcasts. Or WWII-era culture in general.

If you want some listening, try Signal 30 or Spitfire (yes, [ profile] huskyteer, it is about the plane ;) My personal favourite is probably Night Mail, made out of the 1936 film of the Auden poem, but there isn't a decent version of that on YouTube.
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So, as promised (and with apologies to [ profile] bibliogirl if it's disappointing):

The Most Exciting Thing In Kingston )

Apparently I missed the Coronation Stone in my enumeration of Things in Kingston. Any more suggestions?
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Sunday turned into a day of Doing Things this weekend. Sadly, as is always the way, not quite as many Things got Done as I'd hoped.

ChrisC had also noticed the date and insisted we celebrate St Patrick's day. So we soundtracked our day with Irish bands. We stumbled dazedly round the flat to Whipping Boy, got ourselves in order to the Frankenwalters, accompanied the trip to the tip with the Sultans of Ping F.C., recovered with cake and Divine Comedy, indulged in extravagant bouts of cleaning to the Stiff Little Fingers and ultimately sat down to roast beef with Catchers and The Cranberries.

Cleaning. Aargh. )
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Miscellaneous extra thoughts from DERT...

Gender issues in the world of rapper )

Who is that music for? )


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July 2017



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