heard on the wire

Drink cocktails, go to launderettes

Launderette

I hate bucket lists. I hate the idea of bucket lists. I hate the self-congratulatory smugness of it all. Look at all the things I’m going to do with my life, loser.

A student at the school I teach in wasn’t going on holiday this summer. Nor were they able to go on the school trip to a local theme park. Their parents couldn’t afford it. This is the loveliest, most hardworking student you could imagine, one who’ll likely get a slew of GCSE grade As. Tell them about swimming with dolphins in the Maldives.

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I procrastinate, deliberate

Crystal_Palace

I procrastinate because for the first time 11 months I can, the school year having ended. This gives me time to deliberate on the contents of this, the latest Heard on the Wire selection. And such procrastination and deliberation has yielded a bumper, multinational selection of tunes for your delectation.

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There’s beauty within you

Le Corbusier pavilion 4

And so, as the first half of 2016 drifts off behind us, it’s time to reflect on some more records from…

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I’ve tried to persevere

Motorway

The last post ended, as is so often the case, with the Fall. So where better to start the new one with a track from the new EP by A Sudden Burst of Colour. It will all make sense in a minute.

Being largely averse to classic rock, I’ve never seen the appeal of compilations of ”ultimate driving anthems” that would sooner have me driving off a cliff than imagining that the latest stretch of average speed restrictions on the M1 was in fact an open road reaching across the American West.

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You lose your sting and die

Sinatra

A friend and reader suggested recently this week that ELO might have been better than New Order. Doctors have been called. (He’s a Brentford fan, so he has previous).

He was referring to the bands’ performances at the recent Glastonbury festival, where Jeff Lynne’s ELO, as the hirsute, prog-ish, sometimes-pretentious rockers are now known, brought lots of grey-haired, pot-bellied men of my age to the Pyramid stage on a soggy afternoon. Later New Order lit up the night sky on one of the festival’s plethora of other stages, presumably to an audience comprising, in a not insignificant part, of grey-haired, pot-bellied men of my age.

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Under-passing all your dreaming

Underpass

A year ago I bought a CD. It was an accident and I’m not quite sure how it happened.

I thought I’d bought a download, but a week later a CD turned up, from Pittsburgh, PA, bearing the three songs that make up the most recent single from City Steps.

I’ve never played the CD. I don’t have a CD player. But thankfully, having purchased it through Bandcamp, I was entitled to the download I’d initially sought.

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The world is filled with silly love songs

Cranes

Mooted themes for this post included, places I have lived, the reasons we like the music we do (and don’t like the rest), the nature of change and the futility of staring at a blank document and hoping for inspiration.

Whereas the theme should really be, here are some records I’ve listened to over the past few months that I’ve liked a lot. Plus none that I haven’t. Which, in the light of the nature of this blog, is about as relevant as it’s possible to be.

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Pretending that I’ve got a clue

Lucky Soul

And so it was that in response to a Facebook meme I posted a list of the 12 LPs that have had the most influence on me, both personally and musically. And it was like looking in a mirror, for all was male and white.

So, I thought, what if the list weren’t male and white (for I like to use the subjunctive). And so I sat down with my MacBook Pro and my text editor of choice (iA Writer, since you didn’t ask) and…. Well the first few records came easily. The rest not so. This puzzled me till I realised that most of the black, female music I like is soul music, a “genre” that has always leant itself to the single rather than the long player.

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Sometimes it Snows in April

Prince Parade

Sometimes it snows in April
Sometimes I feel so bad, so bad
Sometimes I wish life was never ending
And all good things, they say, never last

Audio MP3
 

Such a tender game?

Sabatinit

Five years ago I was an out-of-work journalist, with little ambition in that industry and no idea of what I was going to do next.

A lot of water has flowed under many bridges since then: a change of career, a change of country and a change of life, all of which have made me deeply and fundamentally happy in a way I had never imagined. It’s never too late, kids.

I’ve learnt to open my mind, once more, to possibility.

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heard on the wire is a blog about music old and new, but mostly new. It occasionally uses 21st century file formats that may not be supported by 20th century web browsers. For best results use Safari or Chrome. And If you like the music posted here, please think of the effort and expense that has gone into making it and consider buying a copy of your own.

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All the music on this site is posted to encourage listeners to enjoy it and then rush out and buy as many songs by the artist as they possibly can. Any artist, record label boss, publisher or other rightsholder who doesn't want their works featured here only needs to get in touch and the offending file(s) will be removed at the earliest opportunity.