NWR The "What are we listening to?" Thread

One song on Aqualung I still listen to from time to time isn't prog at all, I would have thought, more a rifftastic hard blues that still stands up pretty well if you like that sort of thing. Rousing piano by John Evan.

Coincidentally the Hymn 43 in the village church hymnal ("This is the day the Lord hath made", words by Isaac Watts, music by Thomas Arne) was always one of my favourites as a boy. However in retrospect I've a feeling the vicar (who when off-duty wore a leather jacket and even smoked the occasional roll-up) might have had a sneaking preference for the Tull version himself.

 
Listening to a lot of different internet radio channels at the moment to try and get out of the rut of listening to music I already know. Current favourites are Fishnet Radio, Soho Radio, NTS, WWOZ and WGBO ( the last two are jazz stations).
 
It’s 17:00 on Friday afternoon. Having had the Covid vaccination yesterday my wife and I have been taking it easy today. I’ve been sitting looking at the sun in the garden, watching the birds, listening to music all afternoon. The sun is now going down and the light in my neighbours oak trees reminds me of the sun going down on holidays in Brittany. I have poured myself a Big Casino from the Dancing Man brewery here in Southampton and am listening to this wonderful record thankful for good health, good friends and good beer (and wine of course!).

 
I never got to see any of the favourite bands of my youth when they were at their peak, but have been catching up worth old performances on YouTube. Early Human League ‘live’ is just so much better than anything that wither stream managed later. The other high is Blondie. Listening to concerts from late 78 and 79, they really were a great band. The live versions of a lot of songs come over better than the versions on Parallel Lines and Eat to the Beat, and really make make me sad that I was not old enough to appreciate them properly at the time - I had all the record mainly due to a teenage crush on Debbie Harry (like many on this forum I believe). I’ve seen them twice in Amsterdam (and the Human League as well), but 60 year old musicians, even Clem Burke, just don’t have the were and energy of those in their prime.
 
One song on Aqualung I still listen to from time to time isn't prog at all, I would have thought, more a rifftastic hard blues that still stands up pretty well if you like that sort of thing. Rousing piano by John Evan.

Coincidentally the Hymn 43 in the village church hymnal ("This is the day the Lord hath made", words by Isaac Watts, music by Thomas Arne) was always one of my favourites as a boy. However in retrospect I've a feeling the vicar (who when off-duty wore a leather jacket and even smoked the occasional roll-up) might have had a sneaking preference for the Tull version himself.

Of course, one of the not so cool bands Mr J Lydon is on record as liking was Tull, or certainly this particular album, a fact which was repeated recently in something or other I was watching on Sky Arts a few weeks ago.
 
I never got to see any of the favourite bands of my youth when they were at their peak, but have been catching up worth old performances on YouTube. Early Human League ‘live’ is just so much better than anything that wither stream managed later. The other high is Blondie. Listening to concerts from late 78 and 79, they really were a great band. The live versions of a lot of songs come over better than the versions on Parallel Lines and Eat to the Beat, and really make make me sad that I was not old enough to appreciate them properly at the time - I had all the record mainly due to a teenage crush on Debbie Harry (like many on this forum I believe). I’ve seen them twice in Amsterdam (and the Human League as well), but 60 year old musicians, even Clem Burke, just don’t have the were and energy of those in their prime.
My Debbie crush wasn't really from those later more cosy costumes of the Atomic era, but those very first pics of her in quite skimpy black dresses which appeared weekly in the music press and made their way swiftly to my bedroom wall. I had no idea she was probably my mum's age. I never saw Blondie live, but I did see THL early on (Being Boiled rather than with the gals...at which point they became more something my younger brother was into).

It's funny just how many bands were really tamed by commercial record deals. Blondie and THL were, though both continued to exist at the more interesting end of pop whilst making a shed load more money than before. Another example would be Altered Images. I bought the rather forgettable Happy Birthday probably, tbh, after seeing Clare Grogan in the film Gregory's Girl, but at that time I had no idea the band were ten times more feisty...until I bought the excellent boxed set of Scottish indie pop from that era, "Big Gold Dreams".
 
My Debbie crush wasn't really from those later more cosy costumes of the Atomic era, but those very first pics of her in quite skimpy black dresses which appeared weekly in the music press and made their way swiftly to my bedroom wall. I had no idea she was probably my mum's age. I never saw Blondie live, but I did see THL early on (Being Boiled rather than with the gals...at which point they became more something my younger brother was into).

It's funny just how many bands were really tamed by commercial record deals. Blondie and THL were, though both continued to exist at the more interesting end of pop whilst making a shed load more money than before. Another example would be Altered Images. I bought the rather forgettable Happy Birthday probably, tbh, after seeing Clare Grogan in the film Gregory's Girl, but at that time I had no idea the band were ten times more feisty...until I bought the excellent boxed set of Scottish indie pop from that era, "Big Gold Dreams".
Altered Images: feisty? I give you Dead Pop Stars.

Dead pop stars rotting in the studio
Pretty bodies make the little girls scream
Dead pop stars hear them on the radio
Pretty bodies every little girls dream
Hello hello i'm back again
You can touch me but only for a moment
Testing testing 1, 2, 3
I am the poster on your wall
And now i've had my 15 minutes
I'm just another memory
An embarassing part of your youth
Don't leave me dying here
Don't leave me dying here
Remember how much you used to love me?
You did love me didn't you?
Don't leave me dying here
Dead pop stars
Dead pop stars
Dead pop stars
Dead pop stars rotting in the studio
Hear them on the radio
Dead dead dead dead dead
 
My Debbie crush wasn't really from those later more cosy costumes of the Atomic era, but those very first pics of her in quite skimpy black dresses which appeared weekly in the music press and made their way swiftly to my bedroom wall. I had no idea she was probably my mum's age. I never saw Blondie live, but I did see THL early on (Being Boiled rather than with the gals...at which point they became more something my younger brother was into).

It's funny just how many bands were really tamed by commercial record deals. Blondie and THL were, though both continued to exist at the more interesting end of pop whilst making a shed load more money than before. Another example would be Altered Images. I bought the rather forgettable Happy Birthday probably, tbh, after seeing Clare Grogan in the film Gregory's Girl, but at that time I had no idea the band were ten times more feisty...until I bought the excellent boxed set of Scottish indie pop from that era, "Big Gold Dreams".
Mr. Crossley may wish to know that, next time he poses for his portrait, Ms Grogan is also now an excellent photographer. I was booked to have a session with her but Covid scuppered that...bah.https://www.clairegroganphotography.com/
 
Three new arrivals this week: Sleaford Mods Spare Ribs, Fontaines D.C, A Hero's Death & Fiona Apple Fetch the Bolt Cutters.
Must buy that Fontaines DC album having watched them on YouTube a few times.
Two new arrivals for me last week that have been on the turntable quite a bit - The Buzzcocks Live in London (on red vinyl, and seemingly only 1000 copies pressed) and Monument by Molchat Doma (on a sort of turqoise blue vinyl). Coloured vinyl seems to be the big thing these days.
 
Thrilled to see in a feature in this morning's Times about the best bassists and best bass lines in popular music that a shout-out has actually been given to Derek Smalls (and his impressive double-necked axe).

This number always makes me think of the similarly name-checked Larry Graham's call to arms that he's "gonna add some bottom!" in Dance To The Music

 
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Mr. Crossley may wish to know that, next time he poses for his portrait, Ms Grogan is also now an excellent photographer. I was booked to have a session with her but Covid scuppered that...bah.https://www.clairegroganphotography.com/
Haven't you noticed that I almost never appear in photos, Alistair? It might be said that I'm generally in hiding. Whilst this comment might risk a slew of photos from times gone by, I can rest in the knowledge that I now look nothing like I did a few years ago :cool:.
 
Thrilled to see in a feature in this morning's Times about the best bassists and best bass lines in popular music that a shout-out has actually been given to Derek Smalls (and his impressive double-necked axe).

This number always makes me think of the similarly name-checked Larry Graham's call to arms that he's "gonna add some bottom!" in Dance To The Music

One of the best gigs I ever went to (and certainly the most fun crowd) was Spinal Tap at the Albert hall - they were filming a second film and didn't want to risk the excesses of fans in the US, played a full gig. I remember a bunch of skinheads in long wigs paying crazed homage to Derek.
 
Why am I still on a Bruckner binge? I'm now going through Celibidache's overly slow recordings of these cathedrals of sound at an alarming rate - how many Bruckner symphonies a day is safe consumption? I did four today. I might have a problem. Anyway, 4-5 and 7-9 are masterpieces if you like epic, grandiose stuff. I usually don't so I don't really understand my current obsession. Symphonies 3 and 6 are also near masterpieces. And the double zero, zero and 1-2 are perfectly decent. I guess in addition JS Bach I need to add Bruckner as a dangerous addiction. :D
 
Saina I share your love of Bruckner. Today I've been listening to the 8th symphony, with Gunter Wand conducting the Munich Philharmonic. Wonderful stuff. Indeed, I've no hesitation in saying that the greatest concert I've attended was a performance of the 8th at the Proms in the 1990s, with Wand conducting. An incredibly spiritual evening and I was on a high for the rest of the season. I wish the BBC would release a recording of that occasion.
 
Saina I share your love of Bruckner. Today I've been listening to the 8th symphony, with Gunter Wand conducting the Munich Philharmonic. Wonderful stuff. Indeed, I've no hesitation in saying that the greatest concert I've attended was a performance of the 8th at the Proms in the 1990s, with Wand conducting. An incredibly spiritual evening and I was on a high for the rest of the season. I wish the BBC would release a recording of that occasion.

I definitely need to listen to more Wand's Bruckner. I know he used to be an adventurous conductor earlier and promoted much 20th C. classical music but at age 60 or so devoted himself pretty much to Bruckner. I think I've only heard his 7th(?) but it was great so I'll definitely seek out his other Bruckners now. Celibidache is such a freak and I love it. He was apparently a pretty horrid misogynist and his tempos are sometimes waaaay too slow yet somehow I can block these out of my mind and just get lost in his idiosyncratic performances. He too, like Wand, became a diehard Brucknerite in his old age. I hope my recently found fandom doesn't mean I'm at the end of my life at 38yo. :D
 
Those Bruckner/Munich/Celibidache recodring are really something. According to a watch they are slow (well, not the 6th), but, my goodness, they work.
Robert Simpson's book on Bruckner talks about tempos a lot, and often how rushing the music causes it to fall apart. He talks especially about the finale of the 4th, where Celi's approach suddenly lifts the finale to match the first movement for quality and impact. The first time I heard that recording I was shocked by the slow tempo, but then it did indeed work. And I was left dumbstruck by the coda.

In concert you've got to be choosy sometimes. I'm jealous of David - I had a ticket to hear Wand conduct the 5th at RFH in 1990 but he cancelled sick, and they got Rozhdestvensky as a sub; OK, but not what I was after... (Although the previous year I heard Tennstedt do the 4th with LPO, which was good, but not Celi!)
I was at the Linz Bruckner festival in 1989, and although I got a ticket to hear Tilson Thomas and the LSO in the 6th (very average), the MPO and Celi - who were playing the 7th at St Florian - was sold out. I was backpacking, with no transport, staying in Linz - it seemed futile to hike out there (where was it?) only to possibly miss out on a ticket. But, now, I rather wish I'd tried it...
 
Those Bruckner/Munich/Celibidache recodring are really something. And I was left dumbstruck by the coda.

The Coda of Celi's 4th is like stepping out of time itself and hearing the universe breathe. Though to be fair, Eugen Jochum does that trick pretty well too in his more conventionally paced recording for DG. I actually really love Jochum's Bruckner if speaking of more conventional conductors than Celi. I'm glad to have both the Jochum and Celi box sets.
 
Confessing admiration for Karajan's Bruckner is something that takes a little courage nowadays, but I remember monumentally spellbinding performances of the 4th, 5th and 8th symphonies when I was young. I hardly dare listen to the recordings!
 
Confessing admiration for Karajan's Bruckner is something that takes a little courage nowadays, but I remember monumentally spellbinding performances of the 4th, 5th and 8th symphonies when I was young. I hardly dare listen to the recordings!

Why is that? I have a live recording of his 9th that I love (apart from the shrill sounding oboist in the slow movement). Now ok, Celi did describe Karajan & al. as camel drivers who just wanted to push things forward, but even as a Celi fan I know he is a little bit weird and unconventional and maybe we shouldn't always listen to his criticisms even though I will always listen to his Bruckner, but Karajan is good actually?
 
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