Rounding up 2016: 30 days of music

Recently I posted the 30-Day Music Challenge to my Facebook profile. It was one of my Sunday afternoon projects: I scrolled through my music collection and made a list, then used Hootsuite to schedule thirty Facebook posts, one to go out each day at 4pm.

The full list is as follows:

DAY 1: A song you like with a colour in the title

Monday 21 November 2016: Amy Winehouse – Back To Black

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DAY 2: A song you like with a number in the title

Tuesday 22 November 2016: The Selecter – Three Minute Hero

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DAY 3: A song that reminds you of summer time

Wednesday 23 November 2016: Rainbow – Catch The Rainbow

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DAY 4: A song that reminds you of someone you would rather forget about

Thursday 24 November 2016: Red Hot Chili Peppers – Wet Sand

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DAY 5: A song that needs to be played LOUD

Friday 25 November 2016: System Of A Down – Chop Suey!

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DAY 6: A song that makes you want to dance

Saturday 26 November 2016: James – Laid

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DAY 7: A song to drive to

Sunday 27 November 2016: Ministry – Jesus Built My Hotrod

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DAY 8: A song about drugs or alcohol

Monday 28 November 2016: The Verve – The Drugs Don’t Work

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DAY 9: A song that makes you happy

Tuesday 29 November 2016: Outkast – Hey Ya

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DAY 10: A song that makes you sad

Wednesday 30 November 2016: Janis Joplin – Piece of My Heart

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DAY 11: A song that you never get tired of

Thursday 01 December 2016: Rammstein – Sonne

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DAY 12: A song from your preteen years

Friday 02 December 2016: Duran Duran – Friends Of Mine

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DAY 13: One of your favourite 1970s songs

Saturday 03 December 2016: Funkadelic – Cosmic Slop

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DAY 14: A song that you would love played at your wedding

Sunday 04 December 2016: The Damned – Love Song

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DAY 15: A song that is a cover by another artist

Monday 05 December 2016: The Lightning Seeds – You Showed Me

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DAY 16: One of your favourite classical songs

Tuesday 06 December 2016: Delibes’ Flower Duet from Lakme

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DAY 17: A song you would sing as a duet on karaoke

Wednesday 07 December 2016: The Beautiful South – Song for Whoever

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DAY 18: A song from the year that you were born

Thursday 08 December 2016: Bruce Springsteen – Born To Run

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DAY 19: A song that makes you think about life

Friday 09 December 2016: R.E.M. – I’ll Take The Rain

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DAY 20: A song that has multiple meanings to you

Saturday 10 December 2016: Pearl Jam – I Am Mine

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DAY 21: A favourite song with a person’s name in the title

Sunday 11 December 2016: Madness – Michael Caine

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DAY 22: A song that moves you forward

Monday 12 December 2016: The Killers – Everything Will Be Alright

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DAY 23: A song that you think everybody should listen to

Tuesday 13 December 2016: Triggerfinger – First Taste

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DAY 24: A song by a band you wish were still together

Wednesday 14 December 2016: The Smiths – There’s A Light That Never Goes Out

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DAY 25: A song by an artist no longer alive

Thursday 15 December 2016: David Bowie – Absolute Beginners

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DAY 26: A song that makes you want to fall in love

Friday 16 December 2016: India Arie – Ready For Love

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DAY 27: A song that breaks your heart

Saturday 17 December 2016: Bette Midler – Stay With Me

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DAY 28: A song by an artist with a voice that you love

Sunday 18 December 2016: Selah Sue – Crazy Sufferin’ Style

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DAY 29: A song that you remember from your childhood

Monday 19 December 2016: Phil Lynott – Old Town

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DAY 30: A song that reminds you of yourself

Tuesday 20 December 2016: Catatonia – Strange Glue

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Amazon.co.uk Ad-free stations, playlists & songs included with Amazon Prime

A voice to the name?

Courtesy of LBC 97.3 and Duncan Barkes

While I have a face for radio, I certainly have the voice for… writing. Proof is in this clip from LBC 97.3 from 22 February 2013 featuring me phoning in to Duncan Barkes. As for the subject of this call, the topic of discussion was “songs you’re meant to love, but loathe”. (Click here for the blog entry listing the other songs mentioned.)

As unpleasant as I find the sound of my own voice, at least this gives me a chance to give you ‘a voice to the name,’ so to speak, and a taster of my taste in music.

The B(l)and

(As previously published on MOG)

They’ve essentially become Bon Jovi II. Or Rolling Stones III. When in fact, they could have chosen to ‘do an R.E.M.’. Personally I wish they had done the latter – leave a phenomenal musical legacy and either retire or move on to pastures new.

Because now they’ve done what neither the most wicked of their fans – think: beliebers on acid, alongside (mostly middle-aged, middle-class,) Under-The-Bridge-humming, s*xual-favours-on-ageing-roadies-performing housewives (“It made me feel, like, closer to ‘Anf’nay’1) who feign ‘friendships’ with ageing rockers’ mothers only to hear the latest gossip (and pass it on), and other sycophants – nor any of the members of their extended families and entourage managed to do: to finally, after 25 years, put me off them.

They are big and rich enough to ignore critics, even when those critics write reviews like these2:

“We had to wait until the encore until we got to see the Red Hot Chili Peppers the way that made us cherish them all those years ago, as a tight funk bad. ‘Sir Psycho Sexy’ and Robert Johnson cover ‘They’re Red Hot’ finally saw the band blazing, before sending home the crowd – which covered the full width and breadth of the meadow featuring the Main Stage – with Give It Away.”

“If this festival wishes to grow bigger, it will become ever more important to feature big names like the Red Hot Chili Peppers in order to draw in the masses. The band’s performance, however, appeared to have become routine after all these years. Without guitarist John Frusciante, but with his successor Josh Klinghoffer (32), the music just seemed to lack the right balance. Flea’s bold disco bass was often drowned out by rampant guitar offensives and reverberating drum strokes, while Klinghoffer’s style is less fluid than Frusciante’s. That took some getting used to.”

“The band interspersed newer material with the more pop-ish tunes from Californication and By The Way as well as the funkier stuff from Blood Sugar Sex Magik. While there are no complaints on our part regarding the setlist, what’s the point of those jams between songs? Then when ‘Under The Bridge’ was choked by DJ Steve Aoki’s beats blowing over from the Pyramid Marquee there was definitely an issue. It’s not that they can’t deliver, it’s just that they don’t deliver quite enough. Well, not until the encore, anyway.

They won’t have to bother with journalists writing reviews like this one:2

“In the encore I saw the super group. ‘Sir Psycho Sexy’, ‘They’re Red Hot’ (thank you, Robert Johnson) and ‘Give It Away’ proved beyond doubt: the Peppers are as HUGE as ever, and no band is better at marrying funk with rock ‘n’ roll.”

“But there was, of course, something preceding that encore: a rather doubtful set. Stuff like ‘Can’t Stop’, ‘I Like Dirt’ and ‘By The Way’ was delivered skillfully, and I trust they had they very best of intentions with their latest album – ‘Monarchy Of Roses’, ‘The Adventures Of Rain Dance Maggie’ and ‘Ethiopia’ didn’t sound bad. But I missed er, well, the chili peppers: the funk, the machismo, the humour. The illusion that they were there to play for you, and not just for the bank account, the glory and the Wikipedia update.

Most of all, they’re probably best off ignoring yesteryear’s fans and go bland, because blandness suits more people’s tastes, more people equal more paying customers, and more paying customers equal more money in your pocket. And hey, who can blame’em.

When, as a band of musicians, you observe your music as business, that’s exactly the thing to do! Who cares if anyone says you’re “selling out” in the unflattering meaning of the term, when you can afford to surround yourself with an entourage of merely yes-men to affirm you are always right and great and fabulous, whose most ‘negative’ thing to ever tell you is that you will feel, look and be even better if you hire even more yes-men! (And cosmetic therapists and surgeons, of course; heroin BAD, fillers GOOD! A new hair style, with or without facial hair and *cough* trendy *cough* headwear will cover any scars nicely.)

Moreover, if you extend the yes-men-only principle to your fanbase and ignore anyone who is not willing to just buy whatever sh!t you’re selling, you significantly increase your profits! (Don’t fear the batsh!t crazy fans, they’re like born-again Christians spreading your gospel, including that hilarious evangelic lie that you’re only in it for the love of music. Security detail will keep these weirdos at safe distance from you.)

I totally get all this; it’s called music business for a reason. But I can’t help but wish some people’s mothers would just put the phone down on the sycophants and stop writing their “how dare you criticise my (quinquagenarian!) baby” letters and emails, to give their sons a good old “I’m not angry, I’m disappointed” monologue. (Which won’t happen, I know, but it was worth a shot.)

I’ll crawl back under my rock now.

1Actual quote
2Source: De Standaard
3Source: Humo

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