I was watching this short animation voiced by Jeff Tweedy and it reminded me of my own musical journey from hating my father’s easy listening music to coming around to appreciating the craft, universality and power of those old songs.

Some weekends I find myself listening to Radio 4 on a Saturday morning when the show Saturday Live plays its segment called ‘Inheritance Tracks’. The idea of this segment is a little like Desert Island Discs — guests first choose a piece of music that they ‘inherited’ and is special for them. They also choose a second track that they cherish and would like to bequeath to future generations.

It’s an interesting challenge and a while back I thought about what music was passed to me and what I would pass on to my children.

When I was young person I hated most of the music that was played in my home. Continue reading

I was listening to this album while ironing a while ago and wondering just how many hundreds of times I must have listened to it, first as a student, from LP, through to today as an MP3.

The album was recorded in 1973 by Vangelis, who was later to be more famous for the soundtracks for the films Chariots of Fire, Bladerunner and Conquest of Paradise, and was his first studio album. Earth seems like a natural continuation of the progressive rock sound of his earlier band Aphrodite’s Child (which, as an aside, also had Demis Roussos as a member) but is more visceral, with a sound that would now be seen as influenced by world music. This album is like an audio sculpture, with layers of voices, drumming, ambient sounds plus conventional acoustic instruments.

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To Be Clear … Originally written by my friend in 2003 … ‘JP – the other one’. Still true today … no?

Lately I haven’t derived the same pleasure from my music collection, or even music in general, that I’ve been accustomed to my whole life. I’m trying to figure this out.

It used to be simpler, I think. You would reach an age – let’s say 30 on average – and pretty much drop out of the current music scene. Your record collection would begin to age like fine wine. You’d stop going to gigs and reading Rolling Stone and Down Beat, and the station presets in your car were no longer college stations playing the wide range of emerging new stuff, but the major commercial channels playing bands who are all 6 months away from being featured in a Lexus commercial. There was a clear dividing line between the stuff the kids and the grown-ups listened to that has faded, blurred and, finally, today, disappeared.

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