Music Diary 2012 – Day One

2012’s Music Diary week is underway, overseen by splendid music writer Nick Southall (who you may know as SickMouthy) and undertaken by, well, anyone who wants to. I’ll be tweeting as I go, but I’m aiming to offer an overview at the end of each day on here, because I rather like the idea of paying a little more attention to what I listen to. I retweeted a rather splendid post by Twitter’s own @3AlvestonPlace the other day, in which he advocated spending more time with what he already owns, not dissimilar in sentiment to Lucy Jones’s excellent piece on ‘slow listening‘ from a few weeks back.

Today was a funny old day, not least due to the fact I seem to be getting another cold. In May! However, the soundtrack was pretty lovely.

Ben Folds – ‘The Best Imitation Of Myself – A Retrospective’

Not all of it. Or even the most commonly available bit. Instead, I plumped for a spattering of live tracks from the second disc in the 3CD deluxe edition, as a result of getting tickets for the November nostalgia-fest that Foldy Benjamin and his Five are bringing our way. Ace version of ‘Mess‘, cacophonous take on ‘Song For The Dumped’ and a tremendous rendering of ‘Careless Whisper‘ as a duet with Rufus Wainwright. Soundtracked the making and eating of breakfast rather marvellously.

Beirut – ‘The Rip Tide’

Lovely cloth coated LP sleeve for this one, which commenced the turntable listening for the day. It’s a relatively straight forward set, with less of out and out oompah than some of Mr Condon’s work but I still find it hard to love it. Like it though, I do.

Graham Coxon – ‘A&E’

A curious, brilliant, disorienting record. It’s unmistakably our Graham and yet unlike any of his prior outings. The riffery of ‘Love Travels At Illegal Speeds‘ is neatly crossed with the scratchy ethos of his first few solo outings. I truly adored his last release, ‘The Spinning Top’, when he went all folksy and figured he’d found his niche. Wasn’t to be, but this is still a fine record. Slowly falling under its charms.

Trembling Bells & Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy – ‘The Marble Downs’

This shouldn’t work, but from the slightly garish artwork to the almost conventional singing from Mr Oldham, this is a great folk rock album and an interesting example of when other people are around to influence or shape BPB’s near ceaseless flow of tunes. It’s been out a few weeks now, so I imagine his next album is only a matter of days away.

Everything But The Girl Reissues

Their first four albums are being issues in 2CD hardback book sets in a few weeks, and I’ve been working on a review for Clash. I have the sleeve notes and the discs, but sadly not the books. Still, what wondrous music. Still have a soft spot for ”The Night I Heard Caruso Sing‘ on 1988’s ‘Idlewild‘, but there’s so much great stuff here, including some ace 80s Mike Hedges production on ‘Baby, The Stars Shine Bright‘. Very much recommended.

Gene – ‘Olympian’

Ah, the soundtrack to some furious ironing. Since the recent stylus update, certain albums have sounded even better and this one is now pretty much flawless. Cracking indie singalong with the divine voice of Martin Rossiter. It remains a favourite album, and despite all of the lazy criticisms flung at them in the 90s, Gene were one of the finer contributors to Britpop.

Beach House – ‘Bloom’

And, as I type this, I’m listening to my promo of ‘Bloom‘, which still hasn’t clicked yet. It feels a bit like more of the same, whereas ‘Teen Dream‘ was such a staggering achievement two years ago. I gather NPR have just started streaming it, so, by all means, find out for yourself.