Fourth 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 three 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 Madder Mortem, W.A.S.P. and Sound Of Contact
|01 – Blues Pills – Little Sun||5.2|
|02 – Sound Of Contact – Pale Blue Dot||7.65|
|03 – Emma Ruth Rundle – Medusa||1.5|
|04 – Mono – Kanata||7.33|
|05 – Alcest – Opale||3.72|
|06 – Madder Mortem – Where Dream & Day Collide||13, 75|
|07 – Sólstafir – Hula||1|
|08 – Melanie De Biasio – Lilies||6.5|
|09 – W.A.S.P. – Miss You||8.69|
|10 – California Breed – All Falls Down||6.79|
|11 – Placebo – Bosco (Live Unplugged)||6.38|
|12 – Gizmodrome – Spin This||3.6|
|13 – Long Distance Calling – Waves||6.41|
During the first three sessions I have used number of songs which I truly love, therefore it is getting more challenging to come up with great songs. Luckily there are many that I come up with based on listeners’ feedback or from my current journalism experiences.
Blues Pills were a simple choice, as I wanted to include them on a playlist multiple times for their amazing psychedelic hard rock sound and emotional ballads. I have seen them multiple times lives and Little Sun has become my absolute favorite. Sound Of Contact on the other hand were a complete accident. I was just going through my music collection at home few days ago, when I came across their 2014’s album Dimensionaut. As the guests love prog rock, intelligent pop and good stories, I had a perfect solution. First of all, this is a prog rock project of Phil Collins’ son Simon, where you can see not only a visual connection but also voice and drumming resemblance. Next to that, I remember talking to Simon one summer over phone, when I went with my buddies to grab few beer to beer gardens on Letná hill in Prague. But it was so windy, I couldn’t here anything. Therefore I used a tactic of asking question, when I heard Simon has stopped talking and spent hours “decoding” everything at home.
Emma Ruth Rundle is one of the best recent discoveries of mine. I came across her latest album Marked For Death through Spotify, which read my music taste perfectly, as I enjoyed lately plenty of Chelsea Wolfe and Russian Circles. I fell in love with her music instantly for its mature melancholy. I enjoyed tracks Marked For Death and Protection constantly for days and maybe that’s the reason I have chosen Medusa for this session. Japanese Mono are one of the bands, with whom I could say: “How come I didn’t play them earlier?” As a big post rock fan, I consider their track Kanata as one of the best pieces within this genre and I love to share this magnificently beautiful track in every possible occasion. They were so polite, when I spoke to them at Brutal Assault festival and everybody loves the story, how their fresh fans tend to misspell this track as “Katana”.
I have chosen Alcest, as they have been chosen as a support band on current European tour of Anathema. After weeks of negotiations I was granted from promoters and Anathema’s management some free ticket for SONS members, which was an incredible gesture. I love to get surprised by support bands, but I love to know them even more. Therefore I wanted to give those, who were going for the show a taste of what’s ahead of them. Norwegian Madder Mortem are one of the closest bands to my heart. I enjoy their music for ages and I got to know my best friend through their music. You know, those strange moments, when bunch of people start talking before a show, as they are bored. Well, at The Gathering show, the discussion was about female fronted bands and when somebody says something as unique as Madder Mortem, it was simply a beginning of a beautiful friendship. We even made our Madder Mortem t-shirts during semi-hiatus period of the band and lack of merchandising around. Anyway, I wanted to include some of their tracks real bad, but I was afraid, their heavier parts would be too much for some people. Well, surprisingly the track Where Dream & Day Collide turned out to be an unrivaled winner in this session.
Icelandic post rock/metal band Sólstafir was included in one of the earlier session, however I was kindly asked by one of the guests to consider their track Hula for our playlist. Well, I must say their latest album Berdreyminn is breathtaking, same as their few last albums as Svartir Sandar or Ótta, therefore I could only agree with a recommendation.
Melanie De Biasio, on the other hand is quite a recent discovery. Her ambient jazz is simply phenomenal. I wanted to include something for the ladies, but it turned out her voice was mainly enjoyed by male guests. After a break, I wanted to bring a tempo up again and I have chosen another track from an area which I love to call “broken hearts club”. I am enjoying a beautiful relationship right know, but I do love to enjoy sometimes a bit of a dark melancholy of break-up songs. Miss You from W.A.S.P. is one of the best I know. Next to that, I strongly respect their guitarist and gear innovator Doug Blair, who has also some Czechoslovakian roots.
California Breed might not sound familiar to everybody. But Glenn Hughes, who is an ex-bass player and singer of Deep Purple, that’s another story. It’s miraculous, his singing sounds better with every year, whether he plays solo or with Black Country Communion. Therefore I have chosen a ballad All Falls Down from one of his recent projects California Breed. However before I played the track, I shared my shameful story related to this rock legend. I was supposed to do an interview with him some time ago, but the time of the call was, due to a time difference, 3 AM CET for me. I set-up an alarm, but I woke at 6 am anyway, hating myself big time. I was not granted any alternative time slot till today, unfortunately. This story was also very useful for a parody drawing of me when I wrote a guest article “Ten tips for starting music journalist” for Czech student magazine Redway.
I was never a fan of a Placebo, but their MTV Unplugged album was recommended to me by one of the guests and I found some favorites after all. I fell in love with track called Bosco and I must compliment Brian Molko for his frontman skills. Gizmodrome might be also quite unknown band name, but it was formed by Stewart Copeland, the drummer of The Police. I recently conducted a front cover interview with him, where I told him about this music presentation and asked him to pick a song, which I should play. He has chosen Spin This without a second of consideration and added: “We should observe the world around us, not just with our eyes.” Long Distance Calling, same as Mono are one of my most favorite bands within post rock scene and I cannot believe I haven’t play their breathtaking track Waves earlier. I love their artistic approach and incredible skills to build up songs.
Our fourth session will take place on 22th of November and based on the success of visiting Anathema show, we will be arranging some other show, possibly Sólstafir. Next to that, I started sending emails to professional studios, with a kind request to provide us a space once a month for our music presentation session. I really want the guests to enjoy massive sound.