Spotify Sunday

Spotify Sunday

Politically incorrect

Politically incorrect

The worlds of politics and football clashed into each other pretty nastily this week, as my team of choice, Sunderland, appointed a manager, Paolo Di Canio, who appears to have spent a significant chunk of his past acting in the manner of a fascist sympathiser alongside other known fascist sympathisers. [...]

by × April 7, 2013 × 0 comments

Spotify Sunday

Stringing us along

Stringing us along

‘10 tracks with a vague connection to each other,’ they said. Hmm, okay, so strings can be heard everywhere you listen. Whether it’s cheesy pop records or film soundtracks, they can be beautiful, haunting, twisted, uplifting.  It just depends how they’re used. So here are my 10 go-to tracks every [...]

by × March 24, 2013 × 0 comments

Spotify Sunday

The Orb’s air and sea rescue selection

The Orb’s air and sea rescue selection

Dr Alex Paterson is co-founder of The Orb, the dance group which has sound-tracked a million early-hour comedowns for a million clubbers. This, for Spotify Sunday, is his ‘air and sea rescue selection’ – although we’re still trying to work out why it’s called that. Such are The Orb… Ocean [...]

by × February 24, 2013 × 0 comments

Spotify Sunday

The Presidents’ Day Blues

The Presidents’ Day Blues

Most Americans regard Presidents’ Day as just another bank holiday or an opportunity to save money on cars and kitchen appliances. In our cynical, post-Watergate, post Iran-Contra, post-Monica world, the very notion of a holiday honoring our presidents seems almost quaint. But regardless of your political persuasion, there’s something we [...]

by × February 17, 2013 × 1 comment

Spotify Sunday

The American war in Vietnam

The American war in Vietnam

The US swung and crooned its way through World War II. It was all White Christmases and Chattanooga Choo Choos. They continued crooning through the Korean War – ‘Chatanoogie Shoeshine Boy’ was number 1 just months before North Korean forces crossed the 38th Parallel. By 1965 mainstream US culture finally [...]

by × February 10, 2013 × 2 comments

Spotify Sunday

Bob and I

Bob and I

What more is there to be said about Bob Dylan? A lot, for sure. But I said my bit when Dylan turned 70, and I’m here now just to choose ten of his songs. This is categorically not a top ten. I don’t want to reel out a list which [...]

by × February 3, 2013 × 0 comments

Spotify Sunday

The essential Bob Marley

The essential Bob Marley

I first became aware of Bob Marley when I heard ‘Put It On’ by the Wailers, and their version of Tom Jones’s ‘What’s New Pussycat’, in 1967. These tracks in turn led me to discover the ska songs recorded at Studio One, such as the blueprint of Bob’s all-time world [...]

by × April 22, 2012 × 0 comments

Spotify Sunday

How Radiohead improved my life

How Radiohead improved my life

I can recall the first time I heard a song by Radiohead as vividly as I remember my first kiss and cigarette. It was ‘Paranoid Android’ on a rainy May day in 1997. I was on the school bus, aged 12, fat and depressed, heading home to eat eight chocolate [...]

by × January 22, 2012 × 0 comments

Spotify Sunday

The new Christmas classics

The new Christmas classics

There are, as they say, only thirteen more shopping days until Christmas. And that, unless you don’t much care for seasonality, means only thirteen more days of Christmas music. But what to listen to? There are the old standards, of course: the carols, the hymns, that Slade song. But I [...]

by × December 11, 2011 × 0 comments

Spotify Sunday

Going underground with The Jam

Going underground with The Jam

The Jam were once described as the ‘last great English singles band’.  For a group that released such classic chart-toppers as ‘Going Underground’ and ‘Town Called Malice’ that might seem fair enough, but it grievously underestimates their musical canon.  The quality of their output on LPs, B-sides and even on [...]

by × November 6, 2011 × 0 comments