Music! What are you listening to now?

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This will be the final installment of classical (in the broad sense of the word) music. Choral singing and harmony have been part of my life from childhood and music is "in my bones". This is something I'll return to in my "folk" section. I'm lucky that my job allows music to accompany many of my working hours and classical music creates a great background.

19. Mozart - Requiem.
The only truly "classical" piece among my selections. I really first came across his Requiem watching the film "Amadeus" (particularly the Confutatis). I had never really liked Baroque and Classical music, as I had found it too mathematical :eek:. However the power and emotion of this existential battle has me transfixed. I sang it with one of my choirs around 12 years ago and has remained as one of my favourites since.
Mozart - Requiem

20. Faure - Requiem.
I sang this with the same choir in the US exactly one year after 9/11, which was an eye-opening if sometimes surreal experience. I was wondering if I should select 2 Requiems, but Faure's Requiem is almost a mirror image of Mozart's, peaceful and serene.

Faure - Requiem (Introit)

21. Prokofiev - Romeo and Juliet.
Interchanges between the playful, romantic and violent as befits a ballet score to the story. As I student I played bass guitar in a band and I surprised flatmates by practicing the Montague and Capulet theme. I've already posted that, so here's something a bit more romantic

Prokofiev - Romeo and Juliet (The Love Theme)

22. Vaughan Williams - London Symphony/Fantasy on a Theme by Tallis
The fantasy is an atmospheric reworking of a piece by a much earlier English composer. Vaughan Williams' music is often rooted in English folk music, but especially in his later work the influence of 20th Century Russian composers is obvious.

Vaughan Williams - Fantasy on a Theme by Tallis
Science and Music

Just listened to Desert Island Discs which featured Prof. Brian Cox (particle physicist and former "pop star").

We're the same age and have a similar history. A couple of good choices (Bowie, the Jam) and I'm guessing that he was at the first gig I went to (OMD in Manchester). My band was cooler than his though :D, but not so successful :(
kate bush has never been my cup of tea at all, but now that i got "50 words for snow" to the significant other for xmas i must say that her latest record is really good. perhaps it's due to the fact that some compositions and slowly boilin song structures remind me of the neurosis & jarboe collaboration album which i must admit is more up my alley, but nonetheless i've been quite taken by it.
on3m@n@rmy said:
I had posted this song a while back and have really taken a liking to it and so looked up some information about the song. The song was recorded on their album titled "Ghost", which is a concept album based on the idea of houses retaining stories of things that have happened in them. Each song is a story and some of the stories are told from the house's point of view. With that in mind, read the lyrics and then see what you think. :cool:

Sleep don't visit, so I choke on sun. And the days blur into one.
And the backs of my eyes hum with things I've never done.
Sheets are swaying from an old clothesline,
like a row of captured ghosts, over old dead grass.
Was never much, but we made the most.
Welcome Home.

Ships are launching from my chest. Some have names, but most do not.
If you find one, please, let me know what piece I've lost.
Peel the scars from off my back. I don't need them anymore.
You can throw them out or keep them in your mason jars.
I've come home.

All my nightmares escaped my head.
Bar the door, please don't let them in.
You were never supposed to leave.
Now my head's splitting at the seams. And I don't know if I can...

Here, beneath my lungs, I feel your thumbs, press into my skin again.
Happy new year, everybody. Here's the next installment

23. The Velvet Underground - The Velvet Underground and Nico
What needs to be said? This band were cool. The third time they've been picked already (although a different, but similarly titled album). Since it's Sunday morning, here's one of the classic weekend chill out songs.

The Velvet Underground - Sunday Morning

24. Portishead - Third
While I was studying in Bristol, it became one of the happening places musically (see also Massive Attack, Tricky). Portishead are named after a small town on the Bristol channel. There was a long gap between Portishead's second and third album, but worth the wait. One of my favourites for long journeys. Beth Gibbons' sometimes fragile, sometimes warm voice giving humanity to the musical accompaniment which often gives the feeling of a desolate industrial wasteland. In some places though the humanity simply breaks through. Here's one place
Portishead - The Rip

25. Stevie Wonder - Songs in the Key of Life
In some ways an opposite to Third. Stevie was at his peak in the 70s (see also Talking Book) before the schmaltz of “I just called..” and the like. This album is just full to the brim of a love of life with obvious jazz and classical influences. Here's a jazzy number.
Stevie Wonder - I wish

26. Scott Matthews - Passing Stranger
His debut album is sometimes playful, sometimes mysterious, beautiful with Eastern influences. His vocal style is reminiscent of Jeff Buckley. I guess he's one of my more obscure picks and I don't think I've posted him before, so here's a couple of tunes. Elusive obtained an Ivor Novella award.

Scott Matthews - Dream Song

Scott Matthews - Elusive

27. Jeff Buckley - Grace
Jeff's falsetto voice has been a great influence on a number of artists. Here, this is a touching version of a Benjamin Britten composition.
Jeff Buckley - Corpus Christi Carol
Jun 22, 2009
Tank Engine said:
Happy new year, everybody. Here's the next installment

23. The Velvet Underground - The Velvet Underground and Nico
What needs to be said? This band were cool. The third time they've been picked already (although a different, but similarly titled album). Since it's Sunday morning, here's one of the classic weekend chill out songs.

The Velvet Underground - Sunday Morning
Good morning all, and Happy New Year!

The Velvets have always been one of my biggest favorites since the day I got their first album with the famous Warhol cover.

However, now on New Years Day, as my personal tradition dictates, I am watching the annual NYD Strauss concert from Vienna. Always a joy for me since I grew up in Vienna.

edit - although I'm not too crazy about iphones and people flying through the air....
Nice picks there, Tank Engine. VU & Nico is obviously great, although, as mentioned earlier, I prefer the self titled third album. Sunday Morning is a fantastic song. Jeff Buckley probably deserved a spot on my list, at least because of how much I listened to Grace back then, but I rarely put on the album today. The Portishead album was a nice surprise to me, because I've totally written them off during that long break. But Third is just as good as the earlier albums. The Rip is fabulous and We Carry On even more so.

My next installment:

7. Beat Happening - Black Candy (1989). I'm relatively new to Beat Happening, but this one caught me completely off guard three or four years ago. Not exactly technically brilliant music, but underneath the primitive chaos, layers of feedback and Calvin Johnson's...ahem... eccentric vocal performances, some wonderful pop gems are hidden. Pretty it ain't, but damn it works!
Cast a Shadow (one of the more straightforward songs)

8. Velvet Crush - In the Presence of Greatness (1991). Severely underrated power pop band. This one has everything I love about that early 90's power pop revival; fiery guitars, sugar sweet vocal harmonies and heavenly melodies. Bonus info: It's produced by another darling of mine, Matthew Sweet. Bonus bonus info: Velvet Crush were signed to Creation Records, one of my favorite labels.
Drive Me Down

9. Slowdive - Just for a Day (1991). Speaking of Creation Records, Slowdive were part of their roster too. But their blurry dreampop is a completely different animal. It starts off with the MAJESTIC The Cure-like 'Spanish Air' and continues from their with walls of guitars heading for the sky. At best, Slowdive puts me in a trance I don't ever want to exit. This is a masterpiece. As simple as that.
Catch the Breeze

10. The Cure - Wish (1992). Speaking of The Cure - here they are. "Wish" was the first album of theirs I heard, and it was quite an ear-opener. It's not very cohesive, but it puts together more or less all aspects of the band: The sweet pop songs ('Friday I'm in Love', 'High'), the lengthy über-melancholic tracks ('Trust', 'Apart'), and the slit-your-wrists desperation ('From the Edge of the Deep Green Sea', 'End'). I love this to death.
From the Edge of the Deep Green Sea

11. Depeche Mode - Songs of Faith and Devotion (1993). From the opening screeches of 'I Feel You', you know you're in for slightly a different DM ride than usual. And what a ride, not a very merry one, but nevertheless a rewarding one from a band in shambles. Like U2, Depeche Mode went from strength to strength in the second part of the 1980's, and I love most of their work from that period. But my favorite is this more 'rock-orientated' album. Although departures to gospel ('Condemnation', 'Get Right With Me'), pipe-led atmospherics ('Judas') and orchestral ballads ('One Caress') works equally as brilliant.
In Your Room
Jun 7, 2011
happy new year to everyone :)

mortand said:
I'll have to check out EST.
you definitely should :cool:

I almost feel bad for not including DCD and Swans here
you shouldn't feel bad, i thought, perhaps you'll include cowboy junkies (or wilco; while CJ are even closer to me). next day, i saw you have THE cowboy junkies. belongs on the list, as it might be one of the start points of alternative country, and is pure beauty. and it has to be the 87er take.

i'm happy that tank engine represents the other VU (it's been close between the two), portishead and mentions massive attack + tricky. how cool you were living in bristol that time!

Cobblestoned, go on. i'm curious if you'll include some german folklore like for example Einstürzende Neubauten, or if you're into hip hop, there are nice things too.
remember early Fettes Brot "ich liebe meine mudder doch mein rad lieb ich noch mehr"? funny stuff!
Amsterhammer said:
edit - although I'm not too crazy about iphones and people flying through the air....
I'm not too crazy about Strauss (Johann, that is, and his relatives). I like Richard though. Both were included in the film 2001: A space odyssey. Richard Strauss - Thus spoke Zarathustra (the dramatic music that plays when the "plinth" visits the caveman, also accompanies the take off of real space rockets). Johann Strauss - The Blue Danube (the docking scene).

To Mortand - Zooropa is a definitely a "grower". I like a few things on Pop, "Dead Man" in particular. Since then they seem to have concentrated on being the biggest rock band in the world rather than the music. DM and The Cure :)

Anyway, here's my penultimate installment of my 33.

Someone a while back asked where is the love for Kylie? So here is an album with Kylie on

28. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Murder Ballads
I love Nick's lyrics, which are full of irony and oozing with dark, biblical imagery. PJ Harvey and Nick Cave are just a perfect musical match.

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds (featuring PJ Harvey) - Henry Lee

29. Simon and Garfunkel - Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme
The remaining artists on my have all been at least heavily influenced by folk music. When I was growing up, we didn't have a large amount of recorded music (at least by my present standards, some early Beatles, folk and Abba). On long car journeys when “The Boxer” came on, we'd start singing in raucous harmony. In my teenage years, Simon and Garfunkel became about the only thing that my parents listened to that I could bear. Under the lilting melodies and harmonies, there often lay the political radicalism of the 60s (e.g. their version of Silent Night from this album which I posted recently). “For Emily ...” is just a straightforward beautiful ballad full of longing.

Simon and Garfunkel - For Emily, whenever I may find her

30. Nick Drake - Five Leaves Left
Another artist who left this earth too early, after only recording 3 studio albums. Fruit Tree was the first Nick Drake song I heard. His fine guitar work moulded perfectly with a string section to produce something of melancholic beauty.

Nick Drake - Fruit Tree

31. John Martyn - One World
John was a friend of Nick Drake (the song “Solid Air” was about Nick). His career started in folk clubs, but he was influenced by jazz and “world music” in developing his laid back style. Small hours was originally recorded outside in the “small hours” of the morning (at one point you can hear a flock of geese). The link is to a live performance.

John Martyn - Small Hours

32. Rachel Unthank and the Winterset - The Bairns
Now called the Unthanks, the band is fronted by two sisters who come from the North-East of England. I first saw them after hearing them on a folk programme on the radio. The gig was attended by about 15 people. A few months later, they were nominated for the prestigious Mercury prize for this album and haven't looked back, though the Bairns remains my favourite album. Most of their songs are traditional folk songs from the Northumberland area, very often dark and brooding, but with a sense of humour. The Unthank sisters clearly love traditional music, but do not treat it with reverence and make it their own. They've also got fine taste in music (at least according to me) as they've covered Robert Wyatt, Nick Drake, King Crimson :eek: and the guy who's next (and last) on my list. They are also very down to earth and run many folk singing workshops (of which more in a couple of weeks).

Rachel Unthank and the Winterset - Felton Lonnin
33. Tom Waits - Swordfishtrombones
I was introduced to Tom Waits by someone I worked with during my year out before going to university. He lent me a cassette with various artists on and the one track which really struck me was “Downtown Train” from Rain Dogs. The Frank trilogy (Swordfishtrombones - Rain Dogs [Time, Rain Dogs, Singapore, Jockey Full of Bourbon] - Frank's Wild Years [You're Innocent When you Dream, Temptation, Way Down in the Hole]) remains my favourite period. Before Tom's music had been jazz/blues infused with a tinge of country, wonderful storytelling (touching - e.g. Martha, dark - e.g. Potter's Field) and humour (The Piano has been Drinking, Step Right up, Pasties and a G-string). After meeting his wife Kathleen and moving to the California countryside, his music took on the one hand more experimental, edgy feel (Kurt Weil, Captain Beefheart being obvious influences) while also picking up more folk influences, including gospel. I saw him in Paris on the Glitter and Doom tour a few years back. The show was in an old cinema theatre and he was the epitome of a circus master. Tom skips between the bizarre, the terrifying and the heartbreakingly beautiful, with his rasping whiskey-smoke infused voice, which you either love or hate. But his voice is also a surprisingly fine-tuned instrument (e.g. Black Wings). Here are a few offerings from Swordfishtrombones

Tom Waits - Shore Leave.
An evocative story of a sailor on shore leave in Hong Kong. The warmth of the night and the tension are almost tangible in the music and lyrics.

Tom Waits - Johnsburg, Illinois
A heartbreakingly, tender piano ballad. I can almost see him taking out a photo of Kathleen from his wallet and showing it to his neighbour on some Greyhound bus.

Tom Waits - Rain Birds
A beautiful, jazz infused piano instrumental. The perfect way to end an album.

Other recommendations
Asylum Years - A compilation from his early albums. A great introduction. (Heart of Saturday Night, Martha, Ruby's Arms)
Small Change - Often humorous, often touching (Tom Traubert's Blues) with some great vignettes (Small Change).

Bone Machine - Dirt in the Ground (the version from the Glitter and Doom tour is spine tingling, but beautiful), Black Wings, Jesus Gonna be here.
Alice - Based on Alice in Wonderland. Tom returns to his jazz roots (to some degree), as well as the title track - Poor Edward, Lost in the Harbour, No one Knows I'm Gone.
Mule Variations - Picture in a Frame, Chocolate Jesus, the creepy “What's He Doing up There?”. Won a Grammy for best contemporary folk album, while “Hold On” was nominated for Best Male Rock Performance. As always Tom breaks the boundaries of genre and convention.
Oct 28, 2010
@Tank Engine
now, when i got to see (and obviously listen to) your whole list of 33, i should say it's a great piece of work which i absolutely enjoyed, thank you!
Jun 22, 2009
Tank Engine said:
I saw him in Paris on the Glitter and Doom tour a few years back. The show was in an old cinema theatre and he was the epitome of a circus master.
Yes! Were you there on 24/7 or 25/7? I was at the latter. I actually skipped my graduation to go to that, meeting up with an old friend from Lyon. Fantastic day.
Libertine Seguros said:
Yes! Were you there on 24/7 or 25/7? I was at the latter. I actually skipped my graduation to go to that, meeting up with an old friend from Lyon. Fantastic day.
Same gig :). I didn't get tickets for Dublin, so I had to go to Paris for the weekend :( :rolleyes: I should have thought about the tour ending that weekend though as I flew back on Sunday afternoon :(
Jul 16, 2010
Michielveedeebee said:
Sum 41 is awesome :D I've known 'em for a couple of years, really like them :)
I've known them for ages :p

Was really popular music when I was a kid(and I think you're not much older than me). Yeah, they have some good "skater" music :D