17 January, 2018

Dreaming in Stereo episode 22

As you can see, with the new year comes a new naming convention for the shows. I'm not sure it really matters, but I feel that having the episodes less tied to the date might make them more listenable in the future. And it makes hiding the erratic nature of the release schedule less obvious (did I just admit that?). I'm definitely looking forward/hoping for more consistency in the coming year.

I said before that I wouldn't indulge in a "best of" show for 2017, so this is as close as we'll get. Partly it's clearing out some tracks that have been patiently waiting to get played (I've been trying to work that Autumn Sighs song in for several episodes now) and partly featuring songs that made the end of last year far more enjoyable. With that new Ride EP already on the way, I'm looking forward to what the one-eight has to offer. And I was recently going through an old computer and found some gems I'd forgotten about, so I figured it would be good to share (especially that last one).

As you can hear, I'm still working out the mic configurations, but at least now you won't have to deal with the extreme volume disparities (hopefully). One of the joys of DIY is actually having to DIY, but we should have the kinks out sooner rather than later, I'd think.

This is all less music-oriented than I'd planned, so enough of me, let's get to the music:

Spiritualized -  Medication - Pure Phase - Dedicated
Look Blue Go Purple - As Does the Sun - Time to Go: The Southern Psychedelic Movement 1981-86 - Flying Nun Records
Asobi Seksu - New Years - Citrus - Friendly Fire Recordings
Deafcult - Stars Collide - Auras - Hobbledehoy Record Co.
The Autumn Sighs - The Autumn Sighs - Branches - Reptile Music
Amber Arcades - Right Now - Fading Lines - [PIAS] Recordings
Echo and the Bunnymen - The Back of Love - Porcupine - Sire
Japanese Breakfast - Diving Woman - Soft Sounds from Another Planet - Dead Oceans
Ariel Pink - Feels Like Heaven - Decicated to Bobby Jameson - Mexican Summer
Alvvays - Plimsoll Punks - Antisocialites - Polyvinyl
Morrissey - Jacky's Only Happy When She's Up On the Stage - Low in High School - BMG
Blink-182 (feat. Robert Smith) - All of This - Blink-182 - Geffen

12 January, 2018

New Songs to Tide You Over

When I first came up with the idea for Dreaming in Stereo 2.0, the idea was to replicate the radio show I used to have way back when - 2 hours a week of playing the jams and yammering on in between sets, hopefully entertaining music fans while scratching the DJ itch I've had for a while now (and since I don't foresee re-entering college any time soon, the Internet was the natural next choice). Between the technical limitations that come with relying on freeware and, well, life, the format and schedule didn't quite work out that way, but the hour-long shows are probably sufficient for the modern attention span anyway. Despite my best efforts, there are still some technical issues to be resolved, so while I set out to record a new show tonight, it was not meant to be. Hopefully I'll be back up and running again soon, unless this all turns out like some horrible Black Mirror episode.

That all being said, I don't want to leave you with nothing in the interim. So I'll share some new gems I've recently uncovered:

First things first, and you've probably already caught this by now, but the Iggy Pop/Jarvis Cocker cover of Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds' Red Right Hand. The song has been used as the theme for the Netflix series Peaky Blinders (which is completely worth your time), and if you wanted to know what it felt like to watch the show, this track is actually the perfect summation. This is one of those duet teams you'd never think to put together, yet the combination works so well, and turns the brooding doom of the original and makes it manifest as some wild fever dream. And frankly, after so many years of watching Jarvis perfect his singer/songwriter persona, it's nice to see there's still a bit of the wild man left in him.

And for another take on the song, PJ Harvey contributed her version as well, which is brilliant in its own right:

After blowing us away with their return album last year, Ride are back again (already!) with a new EP, Tomorrow's Shore, coming next month. The first track, Pulsar, is a solid continuation of the gazey rock of Weather Diaries, while Catch You Dreaming, features more keyboard and electronics than I'm used to, and sounds a lot to me like Mew circa 2005 (which is not a bad thing by any means). Definitely looking forward to hear the rest of the release.

I've mentioned KEXP's blog on the show before, and it might be cheating, but they have been a great source of music, not just in the DiS format but in general. A new artist I just discovered (as in right before I started typing this entry) is Nabihah Iqbal, a British artist who's apparently making the transition from straight electronica (do they even still call it that?) to a more indie/dreampop sound, and well, damn. She's got that solid groove/rock balance that New Order struck so perfectly in the early '90s, with a nice contemporary take. Definitely worth checking out:

Monday would have been David Bowie's 71st birthday and yesterday marked the two year anniversary of his passing. I still haven't been able to bring myself to watch the Lazarus video. Perhaps this will be the year, perhaps not. I was recently tipped off to Tony Visconti's remastered edition of Lodger that came out last year (yes, I am out of touch), and thanks to Henry Rollins and his Fanatic radio show got to hear it and the original mix back to back for a nice compare/contrast. Can't say I was in love with all of it, and it all sounds a little to of the moment for me to be really comfortable with, but some of the songs got a nice kick, particularly one that's always been near and dear to my heart (at least since I started getting behind the decks):

Way back when, I got Lodger (the Rykodisc edition, to be exact) through the Columbia House CD club, back when you'd get a stupid amount of CDs for the price of one, and it completely went over my head at the time (to be fair, I was young). Giving it a re-listen, I realize now what a great album it was, and now I'm sad again that we'll never get any more new material from David (although I keep holding out hope that there's some secret unreleased album or extra songs that will see the light of day).

Speaking of Visconti, he's apparently producing a new The Good, the Bad, and the Queen album. So there's that to look forward to.

28 December, 2017

2017: A Year in Shows

This was a year for concerts. Last year wasn't (although there was no shortage of shows to attend), and I made going to shows the goal for 2017. And the universe responded, in one of those "careful what you ask for" types of responses.

Granted, most of the shows were of established-to-old bands, but frankly there haven't been to many new bands that have caught my fancy enough to get me out to see them (I missed Chvrches by a year, and will probably have to wait until the new album at this point).

To a one, I can't think of a show that I didn't leave completely and thoroughly entertained by and satisfied with. The Decemberists in Richmond, VA were spot-on as always, with their show closing rendition of The Tain aptly demonstrating not only their sterling musicianship, but the work it takes to pull off this 22 minute song live as well as their willingness to do so.

(Please note, none of the following videos were actually recorded by me. Thanks to the internet, I can enjoy the show and leave others to the chronicling.)

Depeche Mode in DC were stellar. At this point, it would be easy for them to just play a couple of songs off the new album and stick to the familiar hits (a tactic I'm sure many fans would not have a problem with). Instead, they focused squarely on material from the 1990s onward, and made it clear they were touring the new album, as opposed to using the album as an excuse to tour. Their form was perfect, their sound was great, and Dave Gahan moved around more on stage that one night than I do in a normal week.

Speaking of DC, let's not forget Morrissey, not least of all because he actually showed up. Considering that he canceled all the shows on the tour afterward, it was a lucky thing indeed. Perhaps the Der Spiegel controversy had made him circumspect, or perhaps the signs on the door stating the show was being recorded meant I'll have a chance to see the show again on DVD at some point, but Moz was not only on his best behavior (no rants, no Meat is Murder to kill the mood), but he and the band put on one of the best performances I've seen from them (and this would be the fifth time I've caught him). As I treat every Morrissey concert as if it's his last, this would be a fitting note to go out on.

Also in DC, Gary Numan proves to not only refuse to give in to nostalgia, but delivers to a degree that artists half his age aspire to. As with Depeche Mode (and Morrissey, for that matter) he was definitely touring the new album, but made sure to sprinkle in enough classic tracks to keep the fans happy. And he fucking rocked. Personal note: While eating dinner before the show, the friend I went to the show with asked what song I wanted to hear. Grasping, I said "I Die: You Die," from the Telekon album. Not a huge hit, but a personal favorite. So, the show happens, Gary does the main set, then an encore, then comes back out for another encore. On the screen behind him comes the familiar red bands on black motif from the Telekon cover, and within a few notes I realize he's closing the show with my song. Whether it was fate or chance, I'll never know, but it was a great note to end the year's concerts on.

Slowdive and Ride were back after decades-long hiatuses, and performed like they'd never stopped. The Slowdive show in particular was perfection, and meeting Rachel Goswell after the show was a nice touch. AFI offered a nice return to my punk roots, and proved to be just as good as they'd been fifteen years ago when I saw them last (although I missed a lot of that show due to the terrible decision to go into the pit - this time I wisely stuck to the balcony). That show also introduced me to Nothing, who sounded like they stepped right out of the '90s.

Also on the punk note, caught the Damned on their 40th anniversary tour, and even though they're a little slower than in years prior (I could actually understand what Dave Vanian was singing), they still had that fire and wit of decades past. And they even played that song from the Young Ones.

And, of course, U2 had their Joshua Tree tour. Now here's a band not touring on a new album - in fact, one released thirty years prior - but who sounded as fresh and engaged as if it had just come out. I went in somewhat interested in the band, and with the first drum measure of opening song "Sunday Bloody Sunday" was a converted fan. Well played, boys. (It helped that the rest of the show was amazing, and it was great to see a band who knew how to play a stadium and make it feel just as good as a small venue).

Of course there were plenty of shows I didn't make it to (Jesus and Mary Chain, the barely-advertised Specials reunion tour, Kool Keith), but I can't complain. Here's looking to next year.

16 December, 2017

Dreaming in Stereo for December 16, 2017

Will this be the last episode of 2017? I'd like to think not, but I make no promises. I do promise not to do a Best Of show, in any event. Not that it's a bad thing to do, but there was so much great music that came out this year, it would almost be a disservice to only focus on some of it.

Speaking of focus, this episode features a spotlight on releases from The Blog That Celebrates Itself's Bandcamp page. Their latest collection just came out a few days ago, and while listening to it I realized that their catalog in general deserved a segment of its own. Also, who doesn't enjoy a good cover version, especially one that crosses genres? (A shoegaze Ramones collection? Tell me more...)

And yes, that is a new Noel Gallagher song. Hey, I said this show covers Britpop. Listening to it makes me sad that his collaboration with Amorphous Androgynous will never be heard. Tosser!

Anyhow, enjoy!

Hey Elbow - Quest - single
Moon Palace - Shapeshifter - Moon Palace
Lor - Aquarius - single
Alice Boman - Dreams - single
Fawns of Love - The Ghost in You - Highwire Days, The Psychedelic Furs' Reverence - The Blog That Celebrates Itself
Coloring Electric Like - Lullaby - The Cure in Other Voices - The Blog That Celebrates Itself
Klam - Today Your Love, Tomorrow the World - Here Today, Gone Tomorrow, A Ramones Reverence - The Blog That Celebrates Itself
Soft Wounds - Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow? (The Shirelles) - Girl Groups: The Underground Versions - The Blog That Celebrates Itself
Brian Jonestown Massacre - Leave It Alone - + - 'a' Records
Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds - She Taught Me How to Fly -  Who Built the Moon? - Sour Mash Records
Stone Roses - I Wanna Be Adored - The Complete Stone Roses - Silvertone
The Dead Suns - Don't Stop - Sunny Side Of Heaven, Fleetwood Mac Revisited - The Blog That Celebrates Itself

Dreaming in Stereo for November 17, 2017

Not much to say about this one - had a bunch of good songs accumulating that I finally got to share, as well as some classics I was feeling particularly fond of.

Here you go:

Tall Pines - The Day is Gone - single
Au.Ra - The Triangle - Cultivations - Felte
Airiel - Song of You - Molten Young Lovers - Shelflife Records
Desperate Journalist - Hollow - Grow Up - Fierce Panda Records
RVG - Vincent Van Gogh - A Quality of Mercy
Wishmonger - World Hurt - Wishmonger EP
Catherine Wheel - The Nude - Chrome - Fontana
Galaxie 500 - Blue Thunder - On Fire - Rykodisc
Cold Solstice - Jennifer's Body - Phosphene
The High Violets - Longitude - Heroes and Halos - Saint Marie Records
Cocteau Twins - Iceblink Luck - Heaven or Las Vegas - 4AD
The Chameleons UK - Swamp Thing - Strange Times - Geffen Records

Dreaming in Stereo for November 8, 2017

This was intended to be the Halloween episode, but between working on another Halloween mix in a completely different genre and general life stuff (like handing out candy on the day itself), this ended up being a bit late. Or, as a friend said, really early for Halloween 2018.

The days of wearing all black and spending entirely too much time at the goth club may be long past (are there even any weekly goth nights left in the U.S.?), but this time of year always brings out the nostalgia. You can take the boy out of the boots and ridiculous hair, etc. I toyed with doing an all goth show, but thought that would be too obvious (and honestly, I don't have that much of that stuff left), but instead opted for a variety, but all on theme.

And of course, everyday is Hallo- oh, never mind.

The Cure - Lullaby - Disintegration - Sire
Siouxsie and the Banshees - Halloween - Juju - PVC
The Sisters of Mercy - Floorshow - Some Girls Wander By Mistake - Merciful Release
The Virgin Prunes - Pagan Love Song - If I Die, I Die - Rough Trade
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Up Jumped the Devil - Tender Prey - Mute
Ritual Howls - Blood Red Moon - Their Body
The Horrors - Ghost - V - Wolf Tone
Chvrches - Bela Lugosi's Dead - Vampire Academy soundtrack - Universal
Lush - I Have the Moon - Chorus - 4AD
DIIV - Incarnate Devil - Is the Is Are - Captured Tracks
Bauhaus - Bela Lugosi's Dead - Crackle - Beggar's Banquet

15 December, 2017

Dreaming in Stereo for October 19, 2017 - Going Dark

Upon finishing this up, I don't think this episode turned out nearly as dark as I'd thought it would be when starting it, but it's definitely a more electronic and moody set than most. But, as autumn was just beginning (although it turned out to be a false start at this point, but such are things now), it just felt right. Also, it was a good excuse to finally drop that Zola Jesus track into a show (holy shit is Okovi an amazing album), as well as hitting on the trip hop that made up a good portion of what I was listening to back in the days when you could hear a shoegaze/dreampop/moody electronic show on commercial radio (You could in Michigan, anyway).

So, here you are:

Zola Jesus - Exhumed - Okovi - Sacred Bones
Drab Majesty - Oak Wood - single
Skeleton Hands - Hollow - Flood Spell
Depeche Mode - Going Backwards - Spirit - Mute
Lamb - Illumina - single
Fever Ray - If I Had a Heart - Fever Ray - Rabid Records
Massive Attack - Dissolved Girl - Mezzanine - Virgin
Tricky featuring Martina Topley-Bird -  When We Die - Ununiforn - False Idols
Second Still - Jo - Early Forms
Bauhaus - Hollow Hills - Mask - Beggar's Banquet
New Order - In a Lonely Place - Substance - Factory
The Horrors - Ghost - V - Wolf Tone