Mixtape | 1Q18

Well, as March comes to an end, so does the first quarter of 2018, also known as Q1, so I thought I’d do a bit of a recap of what’s come out so far in the music world.

Obviously I don’t know all the songs that were released in the past 3 months sooooo…if you feel very strongly about a tune that didn’t make the cut but really should’ve, drop me a line on the comments below. Love to listen to new stuff!!

I guess this is also a bit of an alternative to New Music Friday – does that playlist sound like it’s all the same to you as well?! Dance/pop, female vocals, maybe a rapper (that trend seems to be fading out…), y’a know! I’m more of a Release Radar kinda gal. For example, today they let me know Garbage has a new song out!

Ok, ok, to be fair, the latest Pearl Jam made it to New Music, but anyway.

Obviously Lissie tops the list because she’s Lissie and it really blows my mind why she doesn’t have a bigger following…on that note, can I just brag that I met her last week, saw her play a couple of gigs and yes, she’s still every bit as amazing as always. That voice!! Bloody hell!!

A post shared by Liv (@mixtapeliv) on

I have to say, I almost forgot to include Brian Fallon to this. Really not a big fan of his new album but a couple of tracks were pretty good. Live, however, everything sounds awesome! He’s a really great entertainer, comedian, musician and threw in a bit of Gaslight, a bit of Horrible Crowes, even a U2 cover!

Other bands I’d like to highlight are: the latest London buzz makers, Ferris & Sylvester – these two live are incredible!!!, Gang of Youths who’s an amazing band from Oz currently touring the US before heading back to our shores (The Forum, London 12 May), Nathaniel Rateliff’s new album is pretty solid, Dream Wife’s debut is mandatory listening, Leon Bridges latest…George Glew and Martin Luke Brown are also pretty new in the scene. I heard them both first through work and fuck, again, what a voice they each have! Myles Green’s first ever single, “Catching Fire”, out on TwoSides/Sony, is a very good start to his career – and I’m not saying it just because one of my writers worked on that track! =)

Finally, surf dude Ben Harper has a new bluesy rock album with Charlie Musselwhite and the pair plays London this coming Saturday 7 April. We Are Scientists’ have a new single out ahead of their April release and 4 May London gig!

Not a bad start to the year, eh?!

Mixtape | shiny happy people

After what felt like 37 weeks, today is finally the last day of the month of January.

So many things happened this month that it feels like it’s already October or so! But we’ll get through it, guys, hang in there! We’ve passed Blue Monday, we’re almost through the end of today which saw the ridiculously rare Super Blue Blood Moon (if you were in a different corner of the world because here in the UK, it was business as usual) and, I don’t know about you, but I’ve been to 4 different countries in just this little period of time (although that’s always a great way to spend time!).

I’ve been waiting for January to be over for so long that I made this playlist days ago when I couldn’t take it anymore!

To be honest, a couple of days ago someone tweeted about how February is usually worse but, c’mon! It’s got 3 days less and LOADS of gigs coming up. It’s already winning…

And it’s in this spirit that I present you with this latest mixtape to help you perk up and look forward to longer and warmer days. Ladies, gents, binaries, I present to you: shiny happy people!

Of course, no upbeat, happy playlist is complete without the ray of sunshine that is Colbie Caillat. That girl’s like if Hawaii were a song!

Among the mix there are also indies, classics and newcomers such as the latest hype in London town, Ferris & Sylvester*. The one word of warning is that it’s very hard to keep still while listening to it so…choose your location/timing wisely or just let yourself go and find your inner carefree self!

Happy February!

*you can catch F&S live in London on 1 Feb at their usual hangout, the Spiritual Bar in Camden, on 15 Feb at the Green Note and on 25 Feb at Battersea’s The Magic Garden.

Mixtape | Walk Idiot Walk…

I’m not the only one making mixtapes around here, Adam’s made you one too and #wednesdayhumpday sounds like the best time to dive in this one.

Ladies, gents and binaries, here’s Adam:

I’ll cut to the chase, the moral of the story is that whilst you should totally go on a 20k walk exploring an new city with great company, be prepared to pay the price if you’re doing so in flip flops!

The day in question was almost two weeks ago on a trip to Portugal and having soldiered on things haven’t been healing as I might have hoped (don’t improvise surgery on blisters with nail scissors kids 😉). Having arrived home in the UK at 4am I was struggling for motivation to get up and out for a friend’s birthday in Tufnell Park. So whilst I was soaking away some aches and pains I started to fill a playlist with motivational tracks to get me back on my feet.

Some, like Walking on broken glass and Hole in my sole, have titles that perfectly captured the Pain I was feeling, whilst Walk idiot walk captured my general mood having only myself to blame. Walk This way takes me back to the van rides to the beach, in the Land Rover with no stereo, where I was the DJ singing along with so many new friends that I look forward to seeing in the waves again. Others catch me looking forward to when the recovery is over and I’ll Run back onto the Softball pitch on October 1st (hopefully 🤕). We round out with one of my all time favourites, a track I’ve heard live 20+ times, Look what happened indeed ‘we’ll walk in circles around this whole block/ walk on the cracks in the same old sidewalk/ then we’ll talk about leaving town…’

I’ll heal up soon and forget about the injury but the memories of catching waves, beautiful sunrises with beautiful people and nighttime ponderings of penguinologists will stay with me forever. 

Thanks to Liv for letting me play in her space for a bit and to you for reading this far. Enjoy the music.

Adam

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Mixtape | Summer Daze

I don’t know where you guys are but it was a holiday Monday here in the UK and there’s not much better than an extended weekend. Except for a hot and sunny extended weekend, which this one so happened to be.

As I was lying in the sun with two books to catch up on, I couldn’t carry on with either. Not because they weren’t interesting or because some dudes were playing ball way too close and I had to concentrate on not being hit. But because my Daily Mix of choice was so, OH SO chilled and the books were one about business, one about 90s grunge, so….as I found myself in a, well, summer daze!, with the soundtrack that was playing in my ears I figured I’d turn it into a playlist and share it with the world. Or at least with my 3 or 4 readers.

I don’t always make playlists – even though it’s what I set out to do here! – but, when I do, it’s usually summer-related…I swear I have completely different ones in the pipeline and I promise I’ll, er, try to post them in the very near future but, for the time being, as this may or may not have been the last we’ve felt/seen of hot sunshine, behold, Summer Daze.

Mixtape | 99 Luftballons

Du hast. Du hast mich. So goes one of Rammstein‘s classics. You’ve heard of them, right?! Or krautrockers Kraftwerk.

Well, these two – among others – are quite fitting to the German stereotype. So I’ve come to debunk this myth that they are cold, surly people and their language sounds ugly and hard (‘hard’ as in ‘not soft’ because ‘hard’ as in ‘not difficult’ is definitely true!).

Germans are, in fact, pretty loving AND loveable people! I lived with a local family in a little village near Frankfurt a few years ago and found myself missing that life these past couple of weeks and listening to all those tracks that helped me understand der, die, das and the difference between akkusativ and dativ cases (yeah right, a lifetime wouldn’t be long enough for that!).

Anyway, today’s mixtape brings you a bunch of German love songs (or Liebeslieder) so the world (cause I have SO many readers…) can also fall in love with that great nation of soppy folks.

It consists of mostly mainstream pop music such as Wir Sind Helden (they played at the old London Astoria back in 2006!), Juli*RevolverheldSilbermondPhilipp Poisel (the German Ed Sheeran) and German Idol alumni Yvonne Catterfeld among a few others.

*Fun fact: Juli‘s “Tränenschwer” holds a special place in my heart as it was the first song I heard and understood in full what it was saying! That’s not the fun fact for you though as you probably couldn’t care less. This song also caught my attention for sounding A LOT like another one I had heard before in English performed by an American popstar in 2004…can you guess which?! I might actually send you a prize (even if you get it wrong, really. Basically just because I’ll be really happy I have at least ONE reader so, please, don’t be shy!). The German one was released 3 months after the American. I’m not quite sure who made a version of who though.

I won’t translate every lyric of every song because who has time for that?! (me. I do. But I’m job hunting at the moment and gotta get back to writing all those exciting cover letters) so let’s pick a few and check out how romantic these guys can get…

I think about 99.7% of Juli‘s songs are about love.

One of my favourites is “Regen und Meer” (Rain and Sea). I love the sound of it, the rhythm and I can still picture a friend of mine dancing around pretending to look for something as they sang “[ich] lauf blindings durch die Straße. Hier bin ich, doch wo bist du?” (“[I] walk blindly through the streets. Here I am, now where are you?”). My guess is the dude ran away right after the first verse where she sings about watching him sleep…er, psycho alert! (“und ich zuseh wie du schläfst“)

Soll das alles sein? Should that be all?
Ich war so lang allein, I was alone for so long
Es war alles ganz in Ordnung, It was all in order 
Ganz okay, und dann kamst du. All ok, and then you came along (I mean, c’mon! #sorelatable)

Und jetzt verlass’ ich deine Stadt, And now I leave your city
Ich seh’ zurück und fühl’ mich schwer, I look back and feel full of sorrows (“feel shit”, that’s what she meant)
Weil g’rade angefangen hat, because it has just begun
Was du nicht willst und ich zu sehr. the thing you don’t want and I want too much (told ya, the signs are all there…psychooo)

Ich bin der Regen I am the rain
Und du bist das Meer. and you are the sea

But I think that’s the only Juli song we should slightly worry about the subject’s mental health. Some others are sweet like most Germans are (Hitler was AUSTRIAN!) and they can also get a little raunchy! I mean, Elektrisches Gefühl, Electric Feeling, wooooah.

Let’s move on to…Xavier Naidoo. I’m not quite sure who the equivalent would be in the UK, but he’s a pretty big deal in Germany. Legend has it that he was snubbed for the World Cup 2006 opening ceremony in favour of Herbert Grönemeyer because he isn’t the stereotypical German (he’s of Indian decent). Organisers claimed it was because Grönie was more like a German institution in music but who knows?!

He’s a bit of a nutter though. He claims the Federal Republic of Germany doesn’t exist and that the country is occupied by foreign, enemy forces. He was also up for representing Germany in the Eurovision 2015 but was vetoed because apparently he’s had some homophobic songs recently…I mean, the last place homophobes belong in is an Eurovision stage!

Naidoo’s career started out in the 90s but really only solidified about a decade later when he also collaborated with many other musicians such as the all male vocal group Söhne Mannheims.

One of his biggest hits when I was there was Dieser Weg, which is a pretty good explanation about how life works:

Also ging ich diese Straße lang, und die Straße führte zu mir. 
So I walked along this street, and the street led to me
Das Lied, das du am letzten Abend sangst, spielt nun in mir.
The song that you sang last night, is now playing in my mind
Noch ein paar Schritte, und dann war ich da, mit dem Schlüssel zu dieser Tür.
A few more paces and then there I was with the key to this door
 
Dieser Weg wird kein leichter sein, dieser Weg wird steinig und schwer.
This path will not be easy, this path will be stony and hard
Nicht mit vielen wirst du dir einig sein, doch dieses Leben bietet so viel mehr.
You won’t agree with many, but this life has so much more to give
 
Es war nur ein kleiner Augenblick, einen Moment war ich nicht da.
It was only a little blink of an eye, one moment I wasn’t there
Danach ging ich einen kleinen Schritt, und dann wurde es mir klar.
Afterwards I took a step and then it was all clear to me
 
Manche treten dich, manche lieben dich, manche geben sich für dich auf,
Some kick you, some love you, some surrender themselves for you
Manche segnen dich. Setz dein Segel nicht, wenn der Wind das Meer aufbraust!
Some bless you. Don’t set your sail when the wind flares up the sea

…which is all true and poetic but not a love song (super catchy though!), so we’ll go for his hit ballad “Ich Kenne Nichts (Das So Schön Ist Wie Du)” I Don’t Know Anything (as Beautiful as You)

I thought I’d share a different version of it though…the 2006 season of Deutschland Sucht den Superstar (German Idol!) had the half Italian, half German, Nevio Passaro covering it and it was a big deal at the time as all the contestants were always singing Anglo-American songs and, although this one starts out in English, it ends in German and everyone went apeshit (in a good way) because he was singing in German! I mean…it WAS the German Idol after all, but ok…I do like his version a lot more but watching the performance now, just over a decade later, is kind of funny.

 

Anyway…I just laughed my head off while googling Nevio because I just saw he’s half wearing a mask on an album cover and remembered the producers/judges/whoever at the time thought people were voting for him because he was handsome so he wore a mask for his following performance. Seriously, you can’t make this shit up!

Speaking of German Idol…one of the winners of contests past was Yvonne Catterfeld. For her I can definitely find an equivalent: Kelly Clarkson. Only, while Clarkson sings about how her life’s a billion times better after getting rid of the asshole, the German popstar channels her inner Juliet in Eine Welt One Dich:

Ich will nicht fühlen, was ich fühle, I don’t want to feel what I’m feeling
Nicht glauben, was man mir erzählt. Not believe in what somebody says
Ich will nicht hassen, wen ich liebe, I don’t want to hate whom I love
Wenn mir deine Liebe so fehlt. If your love is missing from me
 
Diese Bilder von dir rauben mir den Verstand, These photos of you rob me from what I learnt
Sind wie Schüsse ins Herz, ins Gedächtnis gebrannt. Are like shots to the heart burnt in my mind
 
 Ich will nicht geh’n in eine Welt ohne dich. I don’t want to carry on in a world without you
Nichts ist so leer wie eine Welt ohne dich. Nothing is so empty as a world without you
Nichts ist so leer wie eine Welt ohne dich. Nothing is so empty as a world without you
 
Nur mit Tränen im Blick denk’ ich an dich zurück. Only with tears in my eyes I think back at you
Wenn ich geh’, wird der Abschied sehr schwer. When I leave, partying will be very hard
Nichts ist so leer wie eine Welt ohne dich. Nothing is as empty as a world without you

Are you thinking what I’m thinking? Sounds like she was about to pull a Hannah Baker and leave a song trail instead of audiobooks on tapes…but I’m happy to report that, a decade later, Yvonne is alive and well. The person who wrote that song, however, I’m not quite sure…

To be honest, going back to Rammstein, “Du Hast” is somewhat of a love song too…at least for their standards. It’s a bit of a wedding vows parody and full of double meanings as explained by someone around the internet.

If the line is read as “Tod der Scheide” it would be “until the death of the vagina” and not “until death, which would seperate” (“Tod, der scheide”). The whole song is a play on German wedding vows (Wollen Sie einander lieben und achten und die Treue halten bis dass der Tod euch scheidet? – Do you want to love and respect each other and to remain faithful, until death seperates you?). Instead of answering with “Ja,” Till says “Nein,” finally answering the question he said nothing to in the beginning.

So you see?! Germans are not only romantic (sometimes too much!!) but they DO have a sense of humour as well!

And it’s with the most beautiful song in all of the Deutschland that we end this thread.

Behold, legendary punks, Die Ärzte*:

Apologies for a shitty playlist, actually. Spotify UK doesn’t offer much in the Deutsch department…and vielen Dank to my dear Freundin Dani Mysterio for contributing to the playlist with the latest German heartthrobs!

*Männer Sind Schweine Men Are Pigs

Hello, darling, I love you.
You’re the only one for me.
It think the others are all dumb.
That’s why I’m courting you.
You’re so different, totally special.
I always notice such a thing quickly.
Now undress and lie down.
Soon it’ll be dark, soon it’ll be nighttime.
A word of warning is advisable:
Men are pigs,
Don’t trust them, my child,
They all want just one thing,
‘Cuz that’s just how men are.
A man doesn’t feel like a man until
he can take care of you.
He lies like a trooper,
just to get you in bed.
And then in the morning,
he has no idea what your name is.
Reckless and unihibited,
Feelings are alien to him,
For him, love is the same as a loss of semen.
Girl, that’s why you need to be aware:
Men are pigs,
Don’t ask for sunlight,
Sadly, there are no exceptions.
There’s a pig hidden in every man.
Men are sows,
don’t belief a single word they say.
They swear they will always be true,
Then are gone the next morning [yeah, yeah, yeah]
[“What did I do to make you distress me and say, you don’t love me anymore?”
“You don’t have the slightest idea what love is. We don’t even know each other.”]
And, in case you make a mistake,
And catch a husband,
your noble suitor mutates
into an animal right after the wedding.
He then shows you his true self,
completely unshaven and rank,
drinks beer, watches TV and quickly becomes fat.
And burps and farts in the marriage bed.
Then you’ve got King Kong as your husband.
That’s why I’m telling you, please always think about:
Men are pigs,
Don’t trust them, my child,
They all want just one thing,
They are blind to true love.
Men are rats,
Approach them only with cunning,
They want to copulate with everything.
That with three it’s not in the trees.
Men are pigs,
Don’t ask for sunlight,
Sadly, there are no exceptions.
There’s a pig hidden in every man.
Men are cars,
Only without a spare tire. [yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah]
Leftist pigs, horrible pigs,
Disgusting pigs, horrible pigs,
Dumb pigs, dumb pigs,
Horny pigs
Leftist pigs, horrible pigs,
Disgusting pigs, horrible pigs,
Stinking pigs, leftist pigs,
Horny pigs
Leftist pigs, horrible pigs,
Disgusting pigs, horrible pigs,
Dumb pigs, Nazi pigs,
Horny pigs
We don’t want any cops*
horrible pigs, horrible pigs
Molitav-Cocktails and Stones against the cops.

Send nudes!

You heard right, we want to see your naked…well, playlist! This a music website! What were you thinking??!!!

Global advertising agency Wieden+Kennedy challenges you to bare all in new Spotify campaign. It’s really easy to look cool on the internet but let’s see who you are in real life…

Ok, ok, it’s not exactly a challenge. We here are not really keen on the “guilty pleasure” terminology. After all, why guilt in listening to music that makes you happy? And also, what exactly constitutes a “guilty pleasure”?! Judging artists by genre, looks or whatever it is that gets you worked up is only keeping you from finding what could be your new favourite song.

It’s this unfounded prejudice from pseudo-music snobs that has people in 2017 still saying things like “wow, I didn’t know Lady Gaga could actually sing!” – no shit, Sherlock! If only you hadn’t judged her for the fact she makes pop music. (as if pop music was Satan’s invention or something…and I’m saying all this while drafting a post condemning shit lyrics…oh, sweet hypocrisy!)

The finest music snob in the galaxy!

The finest music snob in the galaxy!

This thing reminded me of a friend who once told me she watches “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” but, when I brought it up in front of other people, she denied like she feared for her life as if anybody actually gave a rat’s ass that she liked it!

Just love what you love and consume whatever entertainment makes you happy! As long as it’s not hurting anybody…sometimes music is art, sometimes it is what it is: entertainment. It’s true it makes me sad that something like the Chainsmokers are chart toppers while so many super talented people struggle, but hey, it’s a big world andryanadams1989 there’s space for everyone. We should be glad to have such diversity catering for everyone.

I mean, if Ryan Adams can cover a whole Taylor Swift album, who are you to judge anybody’s taste?

Anyway, my “naked playlist” is pretty much on par with everything I’m always posting: lots of Pearl Jam, Brian Fallon, Wolf Alice, Lissie and Ryan Adams. The two surprises were: the lack of Backstreet Boys – not even ONE track! – and the presence of an Usher song I had on idea existed! If anything, I’d say I’ve listened to “You Remind Me”, “Confessions” and “U Got It Bad” more than any other song by him, but oh  well!

What’s in yours? Get it here. Play it loud and share it proud!

Mixtape | Discover Australia

oz-flagRemember Jet? You know, Are You Gonna Be My Girl?, Cold Hard Bitch…I don’t know if you guys are aware but, last week or so, they kind of teased everyone with a post saying “Come around again…?” and everyone thought they were reuniting or something, especially as this year would be their 15th anniversary as a band.

One or two days later, however, they revealed the big secret and, although nothing about a proper reunion nor new music was announced, they did confess to be getting back together to support none other than Bruce Springsteen during his tour down under.

Pretty exciting news nonetheless – maybe that’ll inspire them to give us new music (please, thank you, Jet!).

Anyway, this piece of news alone was enough to inspire a whole Australian revival in my Spotify. The last time I had done a playlist with nothing but bands from Koalaland had been over three years ago, so here’s a more current version of it.

Australia has a big soft spot for all things rock, especially the 90s-sounding alternative kind and some country-ish stuff, so expect lots of guitar with a bit of synth here and there – ya know, Empire of the Sun and the likes.

Here’s about 15 hours of music to keep you going and it’s still missing some key artists and bands. I actually think there aren’t enough female voices so, if you’d like to suggest some (or any voice whatsoever!), please do get in touch!

You’ll find classics such as AC/DC, INXS, Men at Work and Silverchair as well as the latest import hits The Jezabels, Birds of Tokyo, Guy Sebastian (you might remember him from Eurovision) and Boy & Bear.

Don’t be surprised if you catch yourself thinking several times “What? These guys are aussie??” You’re not alone. I mean, Savage Garden, The Temper Trap, er…Bee Gees?!

Heads-up to Powderfinger, possibly Australia’s biggest band, yet for some reason I’ll never understand, they never really took off elsewhere having played a few times around these British shores mainly to the antipodean crowd.

The playlist also features a ton of old school, pre-David Guetta Sia which is my favourite Sia. But have a listen and judge for yourself.

If there’s anything you’d like to see here, any artists/genres you’d like to know more about, do hit us up! We’d love to do some research for you. =)

 

Mixtape | Discover Chill

If you’re not familiar with Spotify‘s Discover Weekly, I’ll give you a brief explanation: everyone who has an account with them gets this personalised playlist that is updated every Sunday night and it’s filled with 30 tracks recommended exclusively for you based on what you’ve been listening to.

Now, I don’t know what’s been playing on mine that made Spotify give me all these chill tracks – and I am definitely not complaining!! This past week’s playlist brought me a pristine collection of tunes that transports me straight to Jamaica, or maybe Costa Rica, and if I close my eyes while listening, I’m on a hammock under a palm tree sipping coconut water. beach-hammock

Because the playlist changes weekly, I couldn’t just share it here (or on my Facebook page where I often share tracks, albums and playlists if you’re interested!), so I made one myself with a selection of tunes Spotify sent my way and a couple I thought would fit in.

Are you stuck at work in need of a break? Trapped in a random lottery of meaningless tragedy and a series of near escapes? (cough, Reality Bites, cough)

Close your eyes and crank it up:

Pearl Jam + Robert Plant = too much love!

There’s been so much going on in the music management life, so much in the music industry and the world in general that I’ve been meaning to mention on here but there’s also been very little time. So I come just for some quick sharing.

Tomorrow I turn 30 and, although I’m not one of those freaked out people as these things don’t really faze me, after trying to answer friends’ questions about the plan for the day and being unable to come up with one (mostly because I didn’t want to), I have decided to spend the day with myself doing all my favourite things after about a month of full on, non-stop work and constantly being surrounded by people.

It started the moment I set foot at home tonight and it led me to this “discovery” (I can’t believe I hadn’t seen this before!): my favourite band playing my favourite Led Zeppelin song with Robert Plant