Harkive liveblogging

http://harkive.org is a project to see what people listen to over the course of one day, today, and they’ve asked people to note everything they listen to on their blogs. I’ll be updating this as the day goes on.

My primary method of music listening at the moment is on my laptop. I have two auto-updating playlists, both sorted in alphabetical order by filename, in Rhythmbox. The first of these is the top thousand tracks that haven’t been listened to since I got this computer. The second of these, which I play when my wife is around, is the top 600 tracks which haven’t been listened to and which aren’t by the Beach Boys, Monkees, Jan & Dean, Harry Nilsson, Captain Beefheart, Frank Zappa, or anyone else she’s got sick of hearing me listen to.

I choose albums from these playlists and listen to them in full. As Holly’s around at the moment, I’ve been listening to the second one (the first one is almost completely full of Beach Boys bootlegs at the moment, as the Beach Boys come very early in the alphabet).

8:46 AM Shortly after getting up (very tired after a bad night’s sleep), I put on the second and sixth Brandenburg Concertos, in the versions by the European Brandenburg Ensemble (I have a few versions of the Brandenburgs, mostly from shoddy three-quid CDs and cheap Amazon MP3 versions).

9:27 A nine-track compilation, The Essential Recordings, by Johnny Otis. Not really the collection that the title would suggest — there’s no Willie and the Hand Jive, for example — but there’s a nice version of Harlem Nocturne and a fun take on The Signifying Monkey.

10:00 I put on The Alcatraz Kid by Jeremy Messersmith. I’ve got three of Messersmith’s albums (he’s an independent artist from Minnesota who I discovered through David Bash’s year-end list one year, and who Holly also likes. His albums are available as pay-what-you-want downloads), but I’m not as familiar with this, his first album, as with his 2010 one The Reluctant Graveyard.

10:35 Jonathan Sings! by Jonathan Richman. A lovely, gentle, relaxing album. Both Holly and I have had a stressful few weeks which have made us quite ill, so I’m mostly going for quiet, easy music rather than anything more dissonant or hard work.

11:10 Clouds by Joni Mitchell Her first album, just her and her acoustic guitar. Far from her best work, but a pleasant set of songs that doesn’t make too many demands on the listener.

11:49 American IV – The Man Comes Around by Johnny Cash. We only listen to the first four songs from this before Holly says “can we have something less depressing today please?”

12:04 Back In The DHSS/The Trumpton Riots EP by Half Man Half Biscuit. This is what we’re currently listening to now, fun songs like I Love You Because (You Look Like Jim Reeves), 99% of Gargoyles Look Like Bob Todd, and Fuckin’ ‘Ell It’s Fred Titmus.

First update

13:02 Jake in a Box Disc 4 by Jake Thackray — the last disc of the box set by the great Yorkshire singer/songwriter, this consists of his acoustic demos of a lot of his more popular songs.

14:20 Coltrane Plays The Blues by John Coltrane — a collection of outtakes from the My Favorite Things sessions, released in 1962, with McCoy Tyner, Elvin Jones, and Steve Davis (presumably not the snooker player). I listen to the first two tracks of this, and then Holly goes out to the shop.

14:28 All Summer Long (2012 mono and stereo reissue) by The Beach Boys. As of this writing I’ve listened to the mono versions of I Get Around, All Summer Long and am halfway through Hushabye. I intend to listen to the complete mono and stereo versions of the album unless Holly gets back before they finish, and then I have to go out of the house for a couple of hours.

Second update

15:23 Shut Down vol 2 by The Beach Boys — Once All Summer Long finished I stuck on another 1964 Beach Boys album. This one has more filler than the last one, but does feature Fun Fun Fun, Don’t Worry Baby and The Warmth of the Sun, which is pretty good going.

Once this album is finished, I have to head out for a CBT session, so there’ll not be another update til about 7PM.

Third update

19:34 Holly’s out for the evening, so more Beach Boys. Bootlegs this time, specifically the That Lucky Old Sun demos by Brian Wilson. That Lucky Old Sun, from 2008, is the best thing Brian Wilson has been involved in since 1977’s The Beach Boys Love You, and the demos are pretty close to the finished version, but without Paul von Mertens’ orchestrations, and with rawer vocals (more multitracked Brian and less of his band) and less compression. I prefer the finished version, but both versions have their merits.

Final update

And at about 20:15 I went for a nap that ended up as nearly thirteen hours’ sleep, so that’s all the music I listened to that day.

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