Archive for Music

Listening Stats

This evening I had a hunt through my stats pages and found some nifty hidden features for subscribers which I have made use of in order to share some pretty cool information with you all

The following is a music clock that shows my hourly listening habits throughout the past year, aggregated. Do I really get up that early some mornings!?

Listening Clock

Then we have the artist photo collage, the size of each photo corresponding to how frequently I’ve listened to that particular artist. Really rather cool I must say. Do you recognise them all?

Year Artists

Last but most certainly not least, a huge (and I mean huge) downloadable PDF chart of my last year’s listening, highlighted in colours and shades to show trends and listening frequency. Really quite an eye opener!

Listening Trends

Now I know why I spend £3 per month in a subscription! Well, there are plenty of other good reasons, but this stuff is just awesome.

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Regular Slot

I’m pleased to announce that I now have a regular weekly slot on Hospital Radio Swindon. As expected I’ll be presenting a jazz and blues show focusing on album and concert reviews, gig listings and a smattering of great jazz and blues (and the occasional bit of fusion) from across the decades.

It’s great to be back behind the desk again after a long break since my time on URY. I look forward to getting back into the grove with presenting and hopefully moving onto bigger and better radio orientated things in the future.

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Song For Ireland

Listening to this evening I was played a song that “I may like” on the grounds that it might be similar to music I already had in my library.

Living on your western shore,
Saw summer sunsets, asked for more,
I stood by your Atlantic Sea,
And sang a song for Ireland

The wonderful voice, lyrics and deep heartfelt emotion in Song For Ireland very nearly brought tears to my eyes. This is one not to be missed.

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In the wee small hours

I just put on Chris Botti’s slowing down the world album and heard this song which I haven’t listened to in ages. Never have truer words been sung.

In the wee small hours of the morning
While the whole wide world is fast asleep
You lie awake and think about that girl
But never ever think of counting sheep

Now when your lonely heart has learned his lesson
You’d be her’s if only she would call
In the wee small hours of the morning
That’s the time you miss her most of all

Now when your lonely heart has learned his lesson
You’d be hers if only she would call
In the wee small hours of the morning
That’s the time you miss her most
For as now you miss her most
That’s the time you miss her most of all

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Trip to Cumbria

A couple of weeks ago, I took a trip to Cumbria to stay with Jill Amey for a couple of days and then afterwards headed slightly further north for the Solway Festival where I stayed with Sarann and enjoyed the sights and sounds for the remainder of the bank holiday weekend.

When I went off to university I all but lost touch with my school French teacher and good friend Jill Amey, but fortune allowed us to get back in touch via e-mail and led to an invite to go and stay for a few days at her new home in Cumbria. We spent some time discussing what had been going on at my old school after I left and also caught up on everything we’d respectively been doing since I left A level French class. In addition I was given a grand tour of the local area and took in some fantastic sights. It was certainly not hard to see how you can move to the country for work and then fall in love with the surroundings.

Solfest was spectacularly good fun as always and catching up with Sarann and her family at the same time was great. To say we got a little wet would be an understatement but the atmosphere and music were excellent and I certainly wouldn’t hesitate in going again next year, especially seeing as the eclectic nature of my list is more than just a little enhanced by my visits to the event!

A full and more comprehensive description of my trip is best done in photos and these have already been uploaded to my gallery. I’ve tried my best to capture the Cumbrian scenery but the photos really don’t do it justice – you should definitely spend a few days in the area yourself.

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Photos from North Sea Jazz 2009

John Scofield at North Sea Jazz 2009After a short delay I have finally put my photos online from North Sea Jazz 2009. I have yet to add the titles and captions but I’m sure you’ll be able to capture the wonderful atmosphere of the festival and of the musical acts by the facial expressions alone.

My best shots of course came when I was closest to the stage but of those, my favourites would have to be of John Scofield (the thumbnail features him) as the emotion he showed on his face while playing guitar with his Piety Street band was incredible.

Click on the thumbnail above to view the whole gallery and feel free to post up comments on some of the photos if you feel so inclined.

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The sound of dub

Dreadzone Album CoverJulia: What is this you’re listening to?
Me: It’s dub. Do you like it?

The genre was first introduced to me when I saw Dreadzone perform at Solfest last year and while enjoyed at the time became quickly forgotten.

That was until I found myself becoming reacquainted with the sound of dub through recently and surprisingly for some (those who know my tastes in jazz and blues) found I’ve taken quite a shine to it.

Mellow yet upbeat, dub encompasses everything uplifting about reggae and more than a mere hint of soft house which permits the listener to indulge in the sound irrespective of what one happens to be doing at the time.

I’ve found the sound of dub amenable while cooking, writing code for Calendar and reading the book I currently have on the go. I’m sure I’ll find other situations where it is more than acceptable listening material too. If you give it a try yourself, or indeed are a regular listener to the genre already, let me know what you think in comments.

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Back from North Sea Jazz

I’ve now been back from North Sea Jazz for a few days and have been letting all the wonderful music sink in before starting my concert reviews or the publication of my photos. I hope to have some free time on Tuesday though so I expect my work to start soon.

At this point though, suffice it to say that I had a wonderful time and had the opportunity to listen to some simply first class jazz. I will most certainly be attending next year!

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North Sea Jazz 2009

North Sea Jazz 2009

I travelled to Rotterdam for the 2009 North Sea Jazz festival and took as many photos of the action as possible

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North Sea Jazz Weather

I’ve just looked up the weather forecast on the BBC for Rotterdam during the 3 days of the North Sea Jazz festival. Unfortunately it looks like we’ll be subjected to rain for the entire duration. While far from ideal (I have fond memories of the balmy evenings and hot summer days of my last visit to the city) most of the festival venue is under cover, including all of the concert halls, so a thorough soaking may well be avoidable.

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