Project: An Album a Day

12 03 2013

I have long since wondering what kind of project/challenge I could set myself so over the last few weeks I have been having thoughts about an ‘Album a Day’ project.

mycollectionI have a good selection of albums in my collection and more than enough to run this challenge everyday for the next 3 years without stopping but I think setting it as a 365 day challenge is good enough to start with.

For me it is going to be about rediscovering music I already own and once loved, or in many cases still do love or a way of reigniting the passion I once had for music which of late I feel has dwindled. Also I have this kind of belief that the album is dying? I have no evidence to substantiate this but with the advent of online streaming, playlists and downloads I just kind of feel people are buying single tracks more readily than complete albums. For me this is anti what the artists are creating and a whole sub-industry is disappearing, that of the album sleeve. Album sleeves and liner notes cannot be so readily enjoyed in digital form and are for me a hugely important part of the whole music experience. (I expect you to give me real evidence in the affirmative or contrary to my point in the comments!)

There will be a number of key guidelines for this challenge – some might call them rules but I like a hint of flexibility! These are all listed below.

Project Guidelines:

  • One album per day will be listened to and scrutinised from my collection (this can include new purchases but must be CD format)
  • This album will get a blog post dedicated to it on the following day with my review and a mark out of 10. There will also be a mark out of 10 for the liner notes.
  • I must select a different artist each day
  • I cannot revisit an artist within 30 days
  • I can only review an album once during the project, meaning that I have 365 different reviews at the end of the project.
  • The review will be posted the day after the ‘listening’ with the next selection also noted.
  • Each post will contain an image of my copy of the album I am reviewing.

So that’s some guidelines, it’s going to be tough, especially when I go away for work or on holiday. With this in mind I may have to double up my listening on some days so that I can fulfil 365 posts in 365 days – a bit of an undertaking right?

First Selection: Sonic Youth – Murray Street, the review of this will appear on the blog on Thursday 15th March.

Any thoughts then please do let me know in the comments.


On Rotation

14 02 2013

I now have what I consider to be a vast CD collection, over 1250 titles now. A collection that is actually situated in my office, which can be a distraction. From time-to-time I grab a pile of CD’s and put them on my desk to play on rotation, most days I can only get through one album due to how busy work is but there are times when I can put stuff on back-to-back when it is that little bit quieter. Lets have a look at what I am continually playing at the moment.

I have always loved Godspeed but this album has taken me a bit of time to get into, still the same Godspeed sound just less fluid in my opinion – they are still on my list to see live however!

My favourite album out the bunch above has to be XX – I know I keep going on about this band but their music is so fragile something within it has really resonated with me, the standout track on the album in my eyes is Infinity and I have posted a video of The XX performing it live at Glastonbury in 2010 just below:

What are you currently listening to on repeat? We all have something! please post your thoughts in the comments.

Things to Look Forward to

17 01 2013

It’s been a tough week work wise but I will not dwell on that point, it really is not what this blog is supposed to be about.

It has simply made me clarify what is important to me and those things that each week, or even day in some cases, I look forward to.

For me it is beyond doubt that I haven’t been spending enough one-on-one time with my son. He is growing into an awesome young man and I know how pissed I would be if I missed some of this development, so he has become a major priority at the moment. He has started enjoying his reading and has shown a preference to read to me rather than my wife so this is most pleasurable time. In addition just him and me are spending the whole of Sunday together, just the two of us. He has football followed by his choice of afternoon trip – with lunch included as he would say!

Not sure if I have alluded to it before on this blog but I am also back playing football myself after eight years away. I am thoroughly enjoying it and now have kind of ended up as third team manager after the original manager stepped down due to work commitments. We will see how that goes but I take over with us in 5th place in Dorset Division 5 (only 17 promotions from the premier league!)

It keeps my fitness levels up and with such a solitary job at times it gets me out and interacting with people more regularly.

Cricket will take over again in the summer but I don’t have such an active role in that, and nor do I want it!

My music listening has taken a backward step recently but I do aim to get that back on track and start reviewing and talking about what I am listening to on a more regular basis. Even if what I am listening to is technically out of date in terms of where the world has gone musically. I always see music, or good music, as more like books. A quality book is timeless and is reread numerous times, a good album will be cherished and will have innumerable listens in its lifetime but less analysis is done over time of a good album compared to books.

Lastly, the thing I look forward to in my chill time everyday is the chance to read, TV has almost become non-existent in my lifestyle but books and literature are certainly in vogue. Currently I am chomping my way through 2666 by Roberto Bolano which I hope to talk about here at some point. My aim is to hit 24 books read this year, got to 21 in2012 so I think it’s achievable.

What do you most look forward to in your life?

A Bit of a Spending Spree

26 11 2012

It’s obviously the lead up to Christmas and during this time I start to play a bit of catch up with my music buying. In fairness I may be there to purchase them but I still doubt get my hands on them until the big day!

So with that in mind I thought I would list what I managed to pick up over the weekends trip to Bristol, on a side note Bristol is a great city for shopping with a number of decent record shops and numerous books shops to browse and purchase from.

They are listed in no particular order:

Godspeed You! Black Emperor – ‘Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend!
Of Monsters and Men – My Head is an Animal
The Macabees – Given to the Wind
Ed Harcourt – Lustre
Linkin Park – Live in Texas
Linkin Park – Hybrid Theory
The Vaccines – Come of Age

Would be great to hear what you think of the selection in the comments below, have you heard any of these albums? (I realise the Linkin Park albums have been out for years) How would you rate the purchases?

Holiday Time

5 08 2011

Other than a work event this weekend I am now off for the next 10 days.

Music will be an important part of those days as we travel and spend time together as a family. It is though a tough task to decide what music to take or what playlist to create.

My main problem is that of mood, I can’t tell you what I am going to feel like listening to next Thursday or even tomorrow. This often means selecting ‘safe’ music for my trips. One benefit of the playlist though is that you can throw in a few randoms.

Anyway here’s to hoping for some good weather.

The Alphabet

6 07 2011

For some time I have wanted to sort through my collection and make everything easy to find.

The easiest way of course is by using the alphabet, so, with work quiet for a couple of days I got my sole employee on the task.

Being a music student it was right up his street! It took about 6 hours in total and shelf space became premium with trying in the close to 1400 cd’s.

The one amazing thing is that I am now listening to more music than ever as it is easier to find.

In the mornings I always have a couple of albums on whilst working, I have started at ‘a’ and am going to work through every artist I have until ‘z’.

I had planned on going through every cd but listening to multiple albums by an artist became tedious!

Anyway in other news…

Bon Iver is awesome and the Tindersticks soundtracks box set is a joy to listen to. What else should I be listening out for?

Need bigger more efficient batteries

26 01 2011

Travelling on a train today to and from London. I use my HTC Desire to help with the monotony and provide some music. Trouble is even a fully charged battery lasts less than 8 hours, they need to be more efficient or bigger – I prefer efficient!

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