Monday, December 24, 2012

Song for Sunday

Efterklang (with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra) – Ghosts

Band/artist of the week: Burial
Song of the week: Best Coast – Angsty

Bit late this week, apologies. Losing track of the days of the week. Anyway, a bit of culture to make up for the delay ...

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Song for Sunday

Of Monsters and Men – Little Talks

Especially for Finn this week ...

Band/artist of the week: Beach House
Song of the week: Beach House – Myth

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Song for Sunday

The girl with the replaceable head – Bad Dreams

Band/artist of the week: Sigur Rós
Song of the week: The xx – Missing

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Song for Sunday

Eurythmics – When Tomorrow Comes

Anyone else remember the 80s?

Band/artist of the week: Gil Scott-Heron
Song of the week: Neil Young – Cinnamon Girl

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Song for Sunday

Blur – Under the Westway

So, farewell Olympics. Enjoy the after party ...

Song of the week: Shearwater – Dread Sovereign
Band/artist of the week: Ghost Society

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Song for Sunday

The Clash – London Calling

My favourite Clash song ... seemed appropriate this week for some reason.

Band/artist of the week: Ghost Society
Song of the week: 10,000 Maniacs – Scorpio Rising

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Song for Sunday

The Jam – Going Underground

Special Bradley Wiggins tribute Song for Sunday this week. Allez Wiggo!

Band/artist of the week: Mogwai
Song of the week: Mogwai – How to be a Werewolf

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Song for Sunday

Foo Fighters – These Days

Sometimes I still want to be in a rock band ...

Band/artist of the week: The National
Song of the week: The Breeders – Buffy Main Title Theme

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Song for Sunday

Shearwater – Dread Sovereign (live in Mellow Johnny's bike shop)

Band/artist of the week: Mogwai
Song of the week: Dot Allison – Message Personnel

Friday, June 29, 2012

Fantasy Tour de France

So, now the predictions are done it is time to make sure that your fantasy tour teams are completed and ready to go. Somehow, I seem to have two different competitions on the go:

Team Green Wedgie here and Team Green Weedgy here.

The rules are slightly different and you won't be able to pick the same team on both, but if you want to join in and see if you can beat my measly efforts I have set up a league on both (Green Wedgie v. The World). To join the SBS competition you will need to know that the password is geographyofhope and for the one you will need the league ID 76006.

Good luck!

Tour de France 2012

The 198 riders have been presented to the public and media. The thousands of support crews are all in place. The media multitudes are assembled and desperate to write/report about something that actually happened rather than endlessly speculate about what might happen. Yes, it is christmas eve for cycling fans – the day before the Tour starts – and time for some predictions about who will be standing on the podium in Paris in just over three weeks time.

Two in a row for Cadel? I doubted it straight after last year's victory, but looking at his form and the strangely depleted competition combined with a course that seemed to be designed to play to all his strengths I think he will manage it.

Interestingly Cadel's strongest competition looks like coming from a rider with very similar strengths and approach, indeed Bradley Wiggins has commented that Cadel's victory last year inspired him to believe that he really could win. Brad's preparation has been faultless, he is clearly in the form of his life and with wins in Paris–Nice, Tour of Romandie and Dauphiné Libéré it makes sense that he is the bookmaker's favourite.

On top of that Sky are probably the strongest team on the race, with Froome, Rogers, Porte all likely to figure in the top 10 on GC and even their domestiques looking like they could be team leaders in lesser squads.

So what could go wrong?

Well, I think the important difference between Brad and Cadel is that Cadel has realised that to win he has to take some risks, go for the unexpected moves and try to grab seconds whenever he can. Sure Sky will do a great job of shutting most things down and keeping Brad safe, but they won't be able to control everything and their predictability will work against them. Having said all that I would love to see Brad win the overall, especially since it is 50 years since Tom Simpson became the first British rider to wear the yellow jersey. (The CyclingTips article that alerted me to this fact is well worth a read and the pictures are wonderful.)

Scrapping for the final podium place there will be a group of riders all very close. I am hoping that Thomas Voeckler finally makes it on to the podium, but Gesink or Hesjedal could be there along with another three or four riders.

I doubt Mark Cavendish will make it to Paris this year – the lure of a home Olympics and the possibility of picking up Team GBs first gold medal of the games is going to be too hard to resist. It is going to be fascinating watching Cav come up against the hugely impressive Peter Sagan (they seem to have been avoiding each other so far this year) and I suspect Cav is going to have a real battle in the sprints this year. So, in Cav's absence on the Champs Elysees Sagan will take the maillot vert with Matt Goss and André Greipel scrapping for the leftovers.

And my favourite jersey – the maillot à pois – will be Johnny Hoogerland. It is only fair after his horrible crash last year and the relative lack of really big mountains and summit finishes will play right into his hands.

1 Cadel Evans
2 Bradley Wiggins
3 Thomas Voekler
4 Robert Gesink
5 Ryder Hesjedal

1 Peter Sagan
2 Matt Goss
3 André Greipel
1 Johnny Hoogerland
2 Samuel Sanchez
3 Robert Gesink

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Song for Sunday

Spotlight Kid – Haunting Me

No song or band of the week, because I am here. Normal service will be resumed next week.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Song for Sunday

Camera Obscura - Tougher Than the Rest

A little bit later than normal, but I can assure you that it is still Sunday where I am. Although for me it has been Sunday for roughly 35 hours now (still got another six to go) and it is certainly starting to feel that way ... Unfortunately it does mean that I won't have a Sunday at all next week, so I don't know what that is going to do for next weeks exciting installment. Anyway, this is very lovely. Doesn't quite have the muscle of Bruce's version, but they do bring a welcome tenderness to it. Very strange way of pronouncing baby though ...

Band/artist of the week: Mogwai
Song of the week: Airborne Toxic Event - All At Once

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Song for Sunday

Human Don't Be Angry – 1985

Easy choice this week. Malcolm Middleton's new album (under his Human Don't be Angry guise) is out now and it is rather wonderful. I think you should all buy a copy. Here is a good place. Anyone else remember Frustration?

Band/artist of the week: Saint Etienne
Song of the week: Airborne Toxic Event – All At Once

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Song for Sunday

Mystery Jets (featuring Laura Marling) – Young Love

You would have to be a miserable bastard if this doesn't make you smile even a little bit. I love the sly little reference to Blondie and the fact that they seem to have glued Laura Marling's head to the cushion. And while you're wasting your life looking at YouTube videos I wholeheartedly recommend Knock for Knock: a short film about cycling in Tokyo which is accompanied by the mighty Mogwai's Drunk and Crazy. Enjoy!

Band/artist of the week: James Dean Bradfield
Song of the week: Mystery Jets (featuring Laura Marling) – Young Love

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Song for Sunday

Saint Etienne – Tonight

From the new album Words and Music. But when is it out?
Band/artist of the week: Mogwai

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Song for Sunday

I have gone to post this a couple of times in the last few weeks, but kept reconsidering because of the lead singer's terrible haircut (not to mention the Burt Reynold's moustache), his propensity to over-sing horribly on certain lines and the fact the they seem to have re-incarnated Kenny Everett to play drums. Even so, the song just keeps worming its way back into my head. There is something about the simple organ line and sweetly understated guitar that kicks in at 0.48 that I find helpless to resist. Anyway, listen with your eyes shut first time and you will probably be okay.

Band/artist of the week: The Big Pink
Song of the week: The Twilight Sad – Don't Move

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Song for Sunday

Explosions in the Sky – Last Known Surroundings

Band/artist of the week: Mogwai
Song of the week: Mogwai – Drunk and Crazy

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Song for Sunday

Blue Aeroplanes – Jacket Hangs

With my iTunes Christmas and birthday vouchers I finally purchased a copy of The Blue Aeroplanes classic Beatsongs. The vinyl version is hidden away somewhere and I had never got round to buying the CD or downloading it. However, I can confirm that it is as magnificent as remembered and has been getting plenty of stereo time over the last week. Unfortunately there don't seem to be any high-quality videos of songs from the album (not even Boy in the Bubble!) and so you will have to make do with this track from the earlier Swagger.

Band/artist of the week: Lanterns on the Lake
Song of the week: Suede – Animal Nitrate

Friday, January 13, 2012

2011 music by numbers

According to last year's post my play count was sitting at 92,378 on the thirteenth day of January 2011. As of today I am up to 137,233 or 44,855 songs played in the last year. Or approximately 863 songs a week or 123 a day. Sounds like quite a lot to me, but given that I tend to have music going all the time at work that I don't have to be in a meeting or on the phone (and often it is on if the meeting isn't in my office) it could be feasible.

Anyway, probably of no interest to anyone but myself, here are the lists for the top 50 artists and songs for 2011.

1 Mogwai (1,386)
2 The National (1,207)
3 Bruce Springsteen (1,033)
4 British Sea Power (834)
5 Malcolm Middleton (829)
6 R.E.M. (699)
7 Frightened Rabbit (551)
8 Idlewild (541)
9 Sigur Rós (533)
10 Saint Etienne (520)
11 Radiohead (517)
12 Tindersticks (501)
13 All India Radio (453)
14 Glasvegas (438)
15 M83 (428)
16 Big Country (396)
17 The Rural Alberta Advantage (390)
18 U2 (377)
19 Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu (361)
20 Burial (356)
21 Manic Street Preachers (325)
22 Holly Throsby (324)
23 Low (306)
24 Lucinda Williams (304)
25 Arcade Fire (300)
26 Placebo (290)
27 Suede (280)
27 Dead Letter Chorus (280)
29 Belle and Sebastian (276)
30 Trembling Blue Stars (265)
31 Art of Fighting (264)
32 David Bowie (263)
33 Tanya Donelly (253)
34 Moby (252)
35 For a Minor Reflection (246)
36 Zomby (244)
37 Runrig (237)
38 Portishead (224)
38 Marillion (224)
40 Gorillaz (223)
41 Dot Allison (221)
41 The Blue Aeroplanes (221)
43 Camera Obscura (214)
44 The Cure (211)
45 ABBA (206)
45 Girls (206)
47 Billy Bragg (197)
48 The Very Best (194)
49 The Breeders (192)
50 Gersey (191)

1 Mogwai – George Square Thatcher Death Party (113)
2 Frightened Rabbit – Heads Roll Off (108)
3 Big Country – Chance (106)
4 Mogwai – How to Be a Werewolf (103)
5 The National – Terrible Love (97)
6 Mogwai – Death Rays (88)
7 Mogwai – Rano Pano (81)
8 The House Of Love – I Don't Know Why I Love You (76)
9 The Rural Alberta Advantage – Stamp (74)
10 On Volcano – Acceleration of Heartbeat (72)
11 Robyn – Be Mine (Ballad Version) (68)
11 British Sea Power – We Are Sound (68)
13 All India Radio – Rippled (66)
14 Bent – So Long Without You (63)
15 Mogwai – Mexican Grand Prix (62)
16 Dot Allison – Message Personnel (56)
17 Phosphorescent – I Don't Care If There's Cursing (54)
18 Frightened Rabbit – Head Rolls Off (52)
18 The Airborne Toxic Event – This Is Nowhere (52)
18 Forest City Lovers – Light You Up (52)
18 British Sea Power – Living Is So Easy (52)
18 Dead Letter Chorus – Yellow House (52)
23 Malcolm Middleton – Choir (51)
23 Frightened Rabbit – Fast Blood (51)
25 Holly Throsby – What I Thought Of You (49)
26 Röyksopp – Someone Like Me (48)
27 Mogwai – White Noise (46)
27 Gil Scott-Heron and Jamie xx – I’ll Take Care Of U (46)
29 The Concretes – Lovin' Kind (45)
29 Fulton Lights – Healing Waters (45)
29 Wye Oak – Civilian (45)
29 British Sea Power – Who's In Control? (45)
33 Mogwai – 2 Rights Make 1 Wrong (44)
33 Mogwai – Letters to the Metro (44)
35 Malcolm Middleton – A Brighter Beat (42)
35 Glasvegas – Euphoria, Take My Hand (42)
35 Lowtide – Underneath Tonight (42)
38 Mogwai – Cody (41)
38 Malcolm Middleton – Love Comes in Waves (41)
40 MGMT – Time To Pretend (40)
40 British Sea Power – Cleaning Out The Rooms (40)
40 For a Minor Reflection – Recite (40)
43 Burial – Distant Lights (39)
43 Gil Scott-Heron – I'm New Here (39)
43 Cat's Eyes – Not A Friend (39)
46 Beth Orton – Stolen Car (38)
47 Maxïmo Park – Limassol (37)
47 Mogwai – San Pedro (37)
49 Suede – Animal Nitrate (36)
49 Ash – Uncle Pat (36)

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Song for Sunday

Lana Del Rey – Video Games

No band or song of the week because we are hopefully still away camping in the middle of nowhere and completely off-grid, as they say ...

Normal service will be resumed next week.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Who's in Control (2011 in mixtape form)

As is now traditional, here is the track listing for this year's festive mix-tape:

Dead Letter Chorus – Yellow House
khancoban – Until It Takes You Over
Califone – Funeral Singers
Gil Scott-Heron – I'm New Here
Trembling Blue Stars – Kidney Bingos
All India Radio – Rippled
Radiohead – Codex
M83 – Wait
Mogwai – How to Be a Werewolf
Holly Throsby – What I Thought of You
The Audreys – Don't Change
Isobel Campbell and Mark Lannegan – Trouble
R.E.M. – Oh My Heart
Wild Beasts – Loop the Loop
Glasvegas – The World Is Yours
British Sea Power – Who's In Control
For a Minor Reflection – Recite

Hopefully all copies have arrived at their destinations (apart from one which still needs an up-to-date address) and is being enjoyed worldwide at this very moment. The tracks seemed to sort themselves out pretty quickly, but the sequencing was a bit more troublesome this year and I am still not totally happy with the flow. A few tracks almost made it, but didn't quite fit the overall feel and so got ditched on the way like bizness by the tUnE-yArDs, one of the Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingi tracks, a Bill Wells and Aiden Moffat tune and something off the Zomby album.

The sharp eyed will notice a couple of 2010 tracks and even one each from 2009 and 2008. They were all new to me this year and although they wouldn't normally get included I loved them too much to leave them off.

Looking forward to hearing your favourites and least-liked, and of course let me know if you didn't get a copy and would like one.

Song for Sunday

Thurston Moore – Benediction

Band/artist of the week: The National
Song of the week: How to be a Werewolf – Mogwai