Here’s my month of Pop Music-related stuff for February 2015, starting with a monthly playlist of songs that came my way. After that you’ll find links to interesting things I saw online about Pop, followed by a few words about records I bought and things I did.
Lots of interesting stuff this month. The return of Blur, new stuff from Courtney Barnett and Matthew E White, lots of new discoveries (Nev Cottee, Kenny Rankin, Levon Vincent, Ibeyi). For best results play on shuffle…
Interesting Stuff I Came Across Online
A history of 1990s UK music told through the covers of Select magazine
My pal Jon Bounds listened to every single Beatles song in chronological order, and then wrote about it here. Talking of The Beatles, this article about their 1960s US TV cartoon series contains links to all episodes.
Bobbie Gentry is my favourite pop star ever. This article in The Quietus about her in the forthcoming book from the 33RPM series is great. Also in The Quietus, This interview with Hank Shocklee sheds some light on the processes involved with the making of a number of classic Public Enemy tunes.
Talking of Hip Hop, the Straight Outta Compton trailer did the rounds and looks great
WhoSampled.com provided an overview of the top 10 most sampled Reggae tunes.
On the subject of samples, The Amen Break was everywhere this month. Someone made a wooden representation of the wave form, the BBC made a radio documentary about it, and this campaign was launched to raise cash for surviving Winstons.
Stuart Maconie had a go at the posh in pop. On a similar tip, this oral history of Shoegazing talks about perceptions of class in the early 1990s Indie scene. And talking of Shoegazing, this video of My Bloody Valentine from 2008 contains the infamous ‘holocaust’ section of You Made Me Realise in all it’s glory
Luca Sticagnoli’s solo acoustic version of AC/DC’s ‘Thunderstruck was quite something
The days of the Cover Version in Pop might be numbered. New records will now be released on Fridays, apparently. And streams now count towards the album charts. Here is some ‘deep analysis’ on that from Popjustice. Meanwhile, Data will save music, it says here.
Peter from Popjustice wrote this great piece about One Direction fans and pop music fandom.
Which leads nicely on to Duran Duran vs Spandau Ballet in the battle of the New Romantics on BBCs 1980s ‘Pop Quiz’
I didn’t have a great deal of time this month, but still managed to pick up one of two things. 13 records in total, and with hopes for more next month. That I’m more excited by the Sarah Brightman 12″ than The Monkees LP perhaps sums up the month in crate-digging.
Writing & PhD
I posted two lengthy written pieces to the blog that were created as part of my PhD. I’m now in a Pop Music Writing Group with some other researchers. The idea is we each right 2000 words a fortnight on a given topic. Both of mine are posted to this blog, so have a look if you’re interested. The first (The ZZ Top Paradox) is about Pop Music and Time. The second (Walking Through The City With Headphones On) is about Music and Data.
In other PhD news, I went to a meeting with the Audience Research Team at the BBC in fancy London and also to a 24-hour Data Hackathon. Both were very interesting and have given me the necessary push to get as busy with the data side of things as I have previously been with the literature in the field. I’m still struggling to get my head around the fact that people are prepared to pay me to do this. I’m very fortunate.
More next month…