Ninth music presentation session for the blind and visually handicapped took place on 14th of November 2018 in the presentation room of Czech agency SONS (Czech Blind United) in Prague. I was really honored for very positive feedback from the first eight sessions, 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 Opeth, Phil Campbell And The Bastard Sons and Beth Hart
|01 – Phil Campbell And The Bastard Sons – Spiders||10.5|
|02 – Azusa – Interstellar Islands||4.5|
|03 – Charlotte Day Wilson – Funeral||4|
|04 – Esazlesa – V Dobrém i Zlém||3.5|
|05 – Beth Hart – Caught Out In The Rain||9.5|
|06 – GoGo Penguin – The Letter||7.5|
|07 – Ulver – Bring Out Your Dead||4|
|08 – Opeth – In My Time Of Need (Live)||14|
|09 – Tremonti – The Things I’ve Seen||3.5|
|10 – J.A.R. – Když ti před Moskvou dojde pervitin||5|
|11 – Dub FX – Love Someone||2.5|
|12 – Sting, Shaggy – Don’t Make Me Wait||5|
During the first eight sessions I have used number of songs which I truly love, therefore it is getting more challenging to come up with more and more songs. Luckily there are many that I come up based on listeners’ feedback or from my current journalism or personal experiences, which I share in between songs. My guests surprise me each time with their preferences, which pushes me to pick “extremes”. I usually concentrate on prog rock or ambient jazz, but I am more than open to add everything from experimental metal through avant-garde electronics or lounge jazzy pop.
It has become a tradition I am starting a playlist with something energetic. It sets the mood, gets everybody’s attention and it also helps ambient pieces to stand out.
Current project of Motörhead guitarist Phil Campbell fits the category very well. Lemmy is having a drink on the other side, but his two colleagues are still very active. Mikkey Dee is touring with Scorpions and Phil formed a band with three of his sons. Their mother was not so happy with the name “Bastard Sons”, but same as with the track I played called Spiders, it fits. Do you want a proof? One of the core viewers said right after the last note: “Damn, this was great!”
Azusa is a brand new project of The Dillinger Escape Plan bass player Liam Wilson. After the break-up of his main band, he brought back to life project John Frum and formed Azusa with members of Extol and amazing singer Eleni from Sea + Air. Liam has incredible taste for extreme prog/almost grindish rhythms and Eleni’s versatile vocal is also amazing. My guests surprise me every time with a preference for extreme female vocals, so I gladly brought this up.
On the other hand, Charlotte Day Wilson is a lady from completely different spectrum. I discovered her through Spotify and her melancholic smooth jazz just blew my mind. Big compliment goes also for the lyrics, which reminded me a bit of the beginning of the movie Fight Club. Just read this: “I went to a funeral, so I could feel something”.
In the similar lyric mood Czech band Esazlesa also blew my mind. I remember enjoying their work, while I went for a long walk outside of Prague where I gave their album Společnost psů a try. In some weird way so many of their melodies and lyrics spoke to me. This was also a great moment to turn around the laptop and let those with partial visual handicap enjoy the video.
American blues rock diva Beth Hart was always popular in these series. As she played in Prague just a couple of days ago, it was a great opportunity to pick another track. There are just so many to choose from, but when I was shuffling through her discography, Caught Out In The Rain just screamed out loud to be picked. Final score approved this choice and her recent Prague show was amazing.
As I am lately really into smooth, progressive jazz, I discover GoGo Penguin very soon after Mammal Hands. I am not missing their March 2019 show, as I did with Mammal Hands. One of the big reasons is a track The Letter, which blew my mind right after the first listen and I remember listening to it at least thirty times in a row as a teenage girl. I am also really glad about their final score.
Ulver on the other hand unfortunately didn’t do so well. But, with the respect for this band, they are surely used to various reactions to their music. During the previous months I conducted couple of interviews where top class artists spoke about their admiration for Ulver. I personally also respect their massive progress from black metal into eighties synth pop. Simply, their amazing quality is not for everyone. On the other hand, during the break I played their cover version of legendary Frankie Goes To Hollywood track The Power Of Love. Naturally recognized within seconds by everyone in the audience…
After The Break
If anybody would tell me before this session, Opeth will win this meeting, with such a score, I would not believe it. Not that I am not a fan, it’s just I didn’t expect it. I love their older albums, as well as their progress into seventies prog rock. Therefore I wanted something which will fit somewhere in the middle. Therefore I have chosen their track In My Time Of Need released originally in 2003 on their Damnation album. However, as I received a press version of their latest live album Live at Red Rocks Amphitheater, I played the live audio version. However, as the video is not officially released as a video on YouTube yet, enjoy the version from Rock Hard Festival 2017.
I have a massive respect for Alter Bridge & Creed guitarist Mark Tremonti and I also got involved in supporting his recent solo Tremonti show in Brno, by creating a small competition for his local fans. It didn’t work much and unfortunately his solo shows never bring as many people as in the case of Alter Bridge. But the least I could do is spread one of his amazing solo tracks this way. Amazing melody. Great lyrics.
Next to international treasures, I love to give space also to the Czech icons or talents. J.A.R. are legendary Czech badasses playing mix of funk, rock and rap. Last year they have released one of the best albums of 2017 and the qualities of album Eskalace Dobra escalate over time. Btw, the name of the song relates to the doping of German soldiers in the Second World War. In a certain way, we can say Germany lost the war, as they went out of methamphetamine before Moscow.
I recently joined Czech TV Seznam as a music reporter and one of the first interviews and reports I did was with Australian looper, beat boxer and singer Dub FX. He did an incredible show at Colours of Ostrava festival in 2013 and he has become very popular in Czech Republic. Selling out venue called Lucerna is an adequate proof.
For the end I brought a genre surprise. I believe there is no one in the audience who doesn’t know Sting, but rarely anyone heard about his latest cooperation with “Mr. Boombastic” Shaggy. Even long term fans are asking themselves: “What happened?” But in all honesty, looking at all of Sting accomplishments, if he was having great time in Jamaica, everything is fine. Plus, if you give the new album a try, you will discover its qualities. Same as the audience of recent Sting & Shaggy’s show in Prague.
Same as during the previous session, one gentleman brought his little daughter with him and she was drawing the whole time, while the music played. Here is the result.
Next session is planned for 12/12 where we will enjoy “The Best Of” playlist from all the previous sessions.