A blog on gigs, music, art and London.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013


On Monday evening I was browsing Twitter and noticed a few people tweeting about Harkive. I clicked through to the website and read about it – a project to try to capture what people are listening to on a particular day (Tuesday 9th July) and the additional surrounding details – where they listened, why that particular album/track, on what device/format etc. It sounded quite interesting. I decided to take part. 

Below is my music diary for Tuesday 9th July.


Woke up and decided to listen to BBC Radio 3 via the iPlayer Radio app on my iPhone. The first piece was Mozart's Serenade in G major. A beautiful way to begin the day. I switched my early morning listening from Radio 3 from Radio 4 a few years ago and have never considered going back once. I dozed off a bit before catching some of the Breakfast show presented by Sara Mohr Pietsch (highlights: Nocturne in D flat major by Chopin and Sextet in E flat major by Beethoven). Sometimes I feel I'd quite like to dedicate myself purely to knowing more about classical music (but then I hear something amazing like the new Eluvium or Greg Haines or Magic Arm album and think again).


I left my flat to go to work. I had decided the night before that I would listen to two playlists I had created on Spotify. One playlist featured The Pernice Brothers and the other  featured Teenage Fanclub. I listened on headphones via the Spotify app on my iPhone. I’m seeing The New Mendicants (Joe Pernice & Norman Blake) at the Lexington in London  later tonight so it felt like a good chance to revisit some music made by the bands they usually appear in. A guaranteed feelgood way to begin the day. As I stepped into the warm sunshine Working Girls (Sunlight Shines) appropriately flowed through the headphones. It felt good. I decided that rather than take my regular Central Line journey to Bond Street I would ingeniously change at Stratford and take the Jubilee Line instead, giving me a whole extra 20 minutes worth of listening. Hooray. The Pernice Brothers playlist was a kind of unofficial ‘greatest hits’ selection – Somerville, One Foot In The Grave, The Saddest Quo, The Weakest Shade Of Blue, Let That Show, Flaming Wreck. Half way into the journey I seamlessly switched to the Teenage Fanclub playlist. Two tracks from Thirteen (The Cabbage & Radio), two from Grand Prix (Mellow Doubt & Neil Jung) and randomly chosen selections from their later albums, finishing with I Don't Want Control Of You (which we might just get to hear at the Lexington tonight).


I left the office for a short lunch break (approx 40 minutes). I decided to head towards All Souls Church at the top of Regent Street and sit on the steps in the intense sunshine and listen to the eponymous album by L'Orchestra di Piazza Vittorio. I’m going to WOMAD later this month and I’m frantically trying to do some research on some of the bands playing (the list of albums I'm trying to get through is in impractically large). They have an interesting background and there’s certainly a varied range of styles on show. I particularly liked the vaguely Indian sounding track early on. Sadly I didn’t have enough time to finish the full album. To be revisited in full for sure. 


I left work and decided I needed something relatively comfortable and easy to listen to after a busy (and slightly unpleasant) day. Without thinking too much I opted to listen to Amazing Things by John Beltran (for only the second time I think). Officially a very good album. A  nice, cinematic mix of electronic and modern classical. Sure to feature in my end of year Top 100 Albums Of 2013 post I'd say.


Managed to help my little boy off to sleep at a reasonably early time so decided to listen to last Thursday’s episode of Late Junction presented by Nick Luscombe via the BBC iPlayer Radio iPhone app. The two previous shows from Tuesday and Wednesday were fantastic, resulting in several pleasing discoveries (Jim Causley, Moon Wheel, Electric Jalaba, David A Jaycock, Kesivan & The Lights and John Ellis). The last show proved similarly rewarding – tracks from CFCF, Max Richter, Doug Carn, Kronos Quartet and Peaking Lights amongst others. Can’t say how much I love that programme.


I decided to switch on the digital radio and listen to Gideon Coe on BBC 6 Music. A Peel Session by The Four Brothers. A lovely new track from Laura Veirs. Madeleine by Yo La Tengo. A promising song by a band called Halves that I'm not familiar with (*adds them to the constantly expanding list of things to investigate*). For some reason I generally prefer to listen to radio in the evening (either live or via iPlayer) and listen to albums throughout the day. I guess I make most of my musical discoveries in the evenings and then do further investigation/research during the day via Spotify (before deciding to either download the album from eMusic or buy on CD/vinyl).

Now, I wonder what I should listen to today...

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