Third music presentation session for the blind and visually handicapped took place again in the presentation room of Czech agency SONS (Czech Blind United) in Prague. I was really honored for very positive feedback from the first two session, therefore I prepared a playlist based on visitors’ preferences and also added some pieces to expand their musical horizons. You can find the background of this story in an article about the first session here.
List of songs and their final scores:
Congratulations to Steven Wilson, Sade and The Gringos
|01 – Anathema – Springfield||10.75|
|02 – Beth Hart – Over You||3.25|
|03 – Blackmore’s Night – I Still Remember||8.5|
|04 – Crippled Black Phoenix – Bastogne blues||9.75|
|05 – Sade – Is It a Crime (Live)||12.75|
|06 – Gibonni – Judi, Zviri I Bestimje||4.625|
|07 – Redemption – What Will You Say||7.5|
|08 – Chelsea Wolfe – The Culling||6.25|
|09 – Diamond Head – Don’t You Ever Leave Me||6.875|
|10 – Casualties Of Cool – Bones||8.15|
|11 – Wolves In The Throne Room – Mother Owl, Father Ocean||3.75|
|12 – Steven Wilson – Song Of Unborn||13.375|
|13 – The Gringos – Candy Coated Nightmare||12.75|
During the first two sessions I have used number of songs which I truly love, therefore before the third session I was getting nervous, I might have used the best songs already. However now, while I am writing about third session and preparing the forth, there are still so many great pieces to use. I either come up with them based on listeners’ feedback or from journalism experiences.
We have started with British band Anathema, which is the only band whose song has been played during every session so far. I have chosen Springfield, which is by my opinion the best song from their latest album The Optimist. Another reason, why I wanted to include them, was the fact Anathema will be playing on 28th October in Prague. I have seen them multiple times and their shows are always breathtaking. I would love my guests to experience the sound of a live show themselves and promoters were so cool, to provide us two free tickets for two members of SONS.
Beth Hart was one of the first to send me compliments for my sessions online, as I played a track I Would Rather Go Blind in the second session and we talked about it afterwards during our recent front cover interview for Czech magazine Muzikus. Beth also asked me to say “hi” to my guests before I played her magnificent piece Over You. Blackmore’s Night are popular in Czech Republic since their formation and if I can recommend, try to catch them live playing on some of the wonderful Czech castles. Crippled Black Phoenix is a very unique band, which I respect, but I do love only two tracks from them. One of them is a twelve minute masterpiece called Bastogne Blues. Even when I cut out the intro monologue, it’s still ten minutes long. Our session lasts two hours, but it’s worth it.
I am in contact with Sade’s music since I was a baby, as she is one of my dad’s most favorite artists. Over time, I built up my own personal admiration for her (Not only because of her legendary white dress at Live Aid 1985). Even few decades later she shows her skills on live album Bring Me Home, where I would kill for legendary track Is It a Crime. Same as my guests, I would like to ask you to wait for the final guitar solo from Ryan Waters, where you can even hear the tension between the strings and the wood. 6:11
If we stay in the family area, I have chosen Croatian singer Gibonni, as he is the most favorite singer for our family within ex-Yugoslavia. This region is very close to me from my mother’s side. I remember his albums being played in our family car for ages. Next to that, after his first concert in Czech Republic, I organized an interview with him, where my father joined us. We supported him in number of promo campaigns including radio. There were also negotiations with number of magazines, but it failed. He is selling out stadiums with his heart reaching pop rock and lyrics. However, outside of ex-Yugoslavia, it’s tough world. Anyway, I will always remember his personal trick for protecting vocals: “From alcohol drinks, I prefer Jägermeister. From non-alcoholic beverages, I love red wine.”
What Will You Say from Redemption would be “the best break-up song” I have ever heard. It helped me twice in my life and I do always recommend it to those who need it. Its lyrics and arrangement gradation are phenomenal. Beware, this is one of the rare ballads from this progressive metal oriented band. Maybe that’s the reason behind their skills.
During a break we heard some weird beating sounds from a room next to us. We were wondering the whole time, if it is from a restaurant or some electronic music played in other room. Therefore one of the guests said: “Daniel, did you switch into electronic music?” I used that as a great moment to fill out the space during the break and played them a bit from Perturbator. It is a dark electronic music project, which sounds if the 80’s synth pop mixed with Blade movie soundtrack. I really love it and everybody always laughs, when I say, he prefers black metal clubs for his shows.
Chelsea Wolfe is one of the most rising artists within underground atmospheric metal scene and she is also breathtaking live. Plenty of people outside the metal scene are interested to hear something from her when I say: “One of her tracks was used for a trailer of Game of Thrones show”. I have used a track The Culling from her latest album Hiss Spun, which was released just four days ago. Chelsea is also a big fan of Prague and if possible, she starts her European tours here, because of her technical support company Nomads Of Prague.
Diamond Head’s Don’t You Ever Leave Me could be called another piece for heart broken. For me it’s precisely tasty melancholy piece with unique sound, structure and emotional singing. Casualties Of Cool is one of many examples, where I love side projects of well-known musicians. Devin Townsend is an icon in progressive metal, but with Ché Aimee Dorval they created beautiful melancholic country rock album.
I have chosen Wolves In The Throne Room as I conducted really interesting interview with a drummer Aaron few days before that about his lifestyle near the forest and building houses from natural materials. As it is a black metal band, I have chosen an ambient track Mother Owl, Father Ocean which includes guest vocals from Anna von Hausswolff, which was part of the playlist for the first session. Naturally I played them a bit from WITTR other track, to get a taste of black metal, but we went quickly back to hear Anna, whose voice was described by Aaron as: “We needed a voice of a woman on this record and her voice needs to evoke the cold, grey salt water of the north and have the shimmering of ice in her voice.”
Steven Wilson is one of the most favorite artists in our sessions and I just couldn’t skip his latest album To The Bone and amazing track Song Of Unborn. In our sessions I am trying to combine the common interests in prog rock and intelligent pop. Steven’s new album is a great example in combining these two worlds and I was really honored, he loved the idea of music presentation for blind in our recent interview.
For the final song, I have chosen The Gringos from Brazil. Over time, I received number of requests for reviews or interviews from the bands from all around the world, at a starting point of their career. They were simply the best and I wrote a review for their second album The Animal Kingdom for Czech magazine Rock&All. As I stay true to my philosophy, I only do that for bands I really like. As I said to the guests: “Music has no geographical limits. Even thought they might not never come to Europe, let’s just hear some good rock quality and let’s pretend they’ve just arrived.”
Our fourth session will take place on 25th of October and we will be arranging our group visit for Anathema show. Next to that, I would really love to take the guests to some professional studio to fully enjoy the sound. I was also thinking to make it sort of a “best of” playlist close to the Christmas. Mainly, I will keep playing the best tracks that come to my mind at the moment. As one friend once told me: “Put maximum to it. Don’t save nothing for later as a treasure!”