Happy Saint Patrick’s day to Ireland. Although I have Irish roots, I have few strong musical connections with the country. Music via Ireland flows through one man, and it’s not Van The Man. It’s Phil The Man. Phil Lynott was actually born in the West Midlands but grew up in Dublin adopted by his grandparents and effectively, by Ireland itself. A statue of Lynott is right there in Dublin’s town centre. Read more.
In memory of Mark Hollis. 4 January 1955 - 25 February 2019.
I can forgive myself for my early doubts about Talk Talk. For a start, their name appeared to be a ham-fisted nod to Duran Duran, whom they supported on tour in 1981 before they’d so much as released a single. Read more.
Americana is a broad genre. The word has one visualising a vintage Mustang burning along a highway that cuts through a rocky mountain pass. A semi-abandoned gas station perhaps, with a battered sign blowing in the breeze. Steak with eggs on top. Tumbleweed. And these new tracks! Hit the road. Read more.
Teddy Pendergrass, Same Cooke, The Delfonics, Isaac Hayes and company tell you about love, heartbreak and what it means to be human, back when humans performed impeccable soul music. Not that long ago, you feel me? See the movie "Teddy Pendergrass - You Don't Know Me". Read more.
2019 sees the wild boys (mostly) from Birmingham claim their 40th year in pop. Celebrate differently with these deeper cuts from the cannon. You can get the more obvious choices elsewhere!
At their peak, I couldn’t much stand Duran Duran. They were too good looking and ubiquitous, and besides, I was a rocker. In the mid 80’s peak Duran time I was a northern council estate kid into the LA rock scene - Van Halen, Ratt, Motley Crue, that kind of stuff. Duran Duran was literally, music for girls. Then something strange happened. Read more.
Someone told me once that the world is so much better when you fancy someone. Perhaps, but then some of these songs beg to differ. The best Valentines playlist on the web? The darkest and deepest. We have SZA, Arlo Parks, Mahalia, ELIZA, Dawn Richard et. al. so mix that Dark & Stormy, drink up and forget they ever existed. Read More.
An early evening mix of retro forgotten and maybe more modern laid back disco to get you in the mood, but dance only if you dare!
Now, this concept of the Despacio playlist takes some explaining. Despacio is Spanish for slowly, and this playlist series was inspired by James Murphy (of LCD Soundsystem) and Soulwax, who created the Despacio Disco - epic, hours-long sessions that feature slower ‘dance’ numbers, mixed with tracks that might be previously more associated with ‘yacht rock’ or guilty pleasures. Read more.
Gerry Cinnamon, Frightened Rabbit, The Twilight Sad. All here in the Scottish Indie Songbook. Rabbie Burns night in for ye hen? Grab a wee dram and sit back and relax. Aye why not, eh?
Rabbie Burns knew lyrics. He did write Auld Lang Syne after all. The Bard’s Red Red Rose was the primary inspiration behind none other than Bobby Dylan, so his connection with modern music is a thing. With his very own day in the Scottish calendar, Burns is the inspiration behind yer playlist here, pals. If Burns night means nothing to you (i.e. you are not Scottish), it should. Read More.
Lizzy, Maiden, Priest, Leppard. Growing up with British Heavy Metal was one of the benefits of being a child of the 70s & 80s in Britain. Metal, make Britain great again!
There were a couple of good things about growing up in the late 70s and 80s in northern Britain. One of those is British Metal. The other one will come to me if I think about it long enough. Being a northern metal fan was something a bit special - a tribal thing that has disappeared now. Read more.
SZA, Solange, Lykke Li, Jorja Smith, Tirzah, Fatima et. al. provide us with a mood playlist evoking an air of melancholy and regret. You might have just been dumped from a great height, or you might just be in need of a good cry at the state of the world and your place in it right now. Drink up.
In the current music age, R&B and hip hop reign supreme. That can be hard going if it’s not really your genre, since R&B and hip hop are everywhere — dominating the ambience. Read more.
Yes that’s right, the party’s over. You just have to face it. The whole end of year thing brings on the usual arc of thoughts & feelings - the pre-Christmas sense of anticipation, a heady euphoria of the holidays, the mixed emotions of bringing in another new year. If you’ve been with wider family, usually all those feeling are even more amplified and mixed-up. Read more.
Like most people, I love a good Bond film, and a good Bond theme to go with it. I’ve often found myself slightly disappointed by the choices and the execution though. I mean, these slots are an opportunity to make songs part of cinematic and cultural history. A Bond theme is proper ‘event’ music. Read more.
For a few years now, the pop music scene — as represented by the charts and browse pages of the big streaming services — has been dominated by R&B and Hip Hop. I’m not big in those genres personally, so it can be frustrating sometimes to hear so much of it around my ears, on the radio or leaking out from the earbuds of some young millennial…Read more.