Sixteenth music presentation session for the blind and visually handicapped took place on 20th of June 2019 in the presentation room of Czech agency SONS (Czech Blind United) in Prague. I was really honored for very positive feedback from the previous 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 Anna von Hausswolff, Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah and Sons of Kemet.
|01 – Alice In Chains – Would?||7.5|
|02 – Quantic, Denitia – You Used To Love Me (Alfa Mist remix)||5.75|
|03 – Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah – Ruler Rebel (X aTunde Adjuah Remix)||17.25|
|04 – Phil Collins – Against All Odds (Live Aid 1985)||7.5|
|05 – Audience vote #1 – Nino Bravo – Libre||3|
|06 – Kiss – God Gave Rock ’n’ Roll To You||6|
|07 – Diamond Head – Shades of Black||11.5|
|08 – Anna von Hausswolff – Ugly And Vengeful (Live)||19|
|09 – Sons of Kemet – My Queen Is Angela Davis (Live)||12.5|
|10 – Bonus – Screaming – You Must Be a Lion||12|
During the previous 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’s a tradition we start with something heavy and energetic. Alice in Chains were and are still one of my absolute favorites from the Seattle grunge scene. I am fully aware people and musicians get sometimes irritated by this general label, but when I saw them live few weeks ago in Prague, we were all as teenagers. Groups of friends enjoying their childhood gods, all dressed in old school clothes and having hell of a great time. Fortunately, my most favorite track Would? was a final track and a peak of that great evening. Also, thank you Mike Inez for a great video interview.
Throughout the previous sessions I played couple of tracks which involved London-based jazz maestro Alfa Mist. I was just on my way home from Prague to my hometown Ostrava. Precisely to one of the last stops in Ostrava city. I just forget, this line stopped only at the first station and turned right away to another city, Opava. Naturally, I was pissed off as hell, as my friends were waiting for me and this turn would mean a big delay. I kicked few chairs around me and threw some plastic bottles around. After I cleaned the mess, I sat down and suddenly Alfa Mist’s post about him making new cover popped up. It was his remix of a wonderful track You Used to Love Me done by Quantic feat. Denitia. Brilliant atmosphere, moody lyrics and great touch by Alfa Mist. Thank you for changing my perception of that journey. “Let’s go down to the lady in red. See what’s she’s got to say.”
Thanks to Alfa Mist, Spotify took me months ago on an incredible journey, where I discover one masterpiece after another. I was keeping this track as a back-up for numerous sessions, as it seemed very dark to me. On the other hand, it’s so damn powerful and impressive. Check the final scores.
I keep firing unknown diamonds at my listeners, but once in a while, I want to put some well-known icon or a classic on the setlist. I am a big fan of Phil Collins both for his solo career and in Genesis. Next to that, he played in Prague couple of weeks ago, so I took my sister, who is also becoming a big fan. I picked up his all-time classic ballad Against All Odds as it is one of the greatest heartbreaking tracks. But this live version from Live Aid 1985 proves even the gods are mortal and capable of mistakes. Phil makes a recognizable mistake at 1:05, smiles and keeps playing further as a normal human being. Stay cool Phil.
At the previous sessions, the stable guests came up with an idea to let guests pick few tracks each time. For the first audience pick, we had one of the oldest ladies choose a track. She is a student of Spanish and Portuguese language classes, so she chose very old classic Libre from Nino Bravo. Grandma would have been proud.
Another opportunity to add an icon came up with Kiss, which played recently in Prague. Plus I was honored to interview them few weeks before the show in Germany. You can say the track God Gave Rock ’n’ Roll To You is slightly cheesy and sentimental. You are right, but it’s still amazing. I just love those old days footages.
After the break
You probably heard about one heavy metal band called Metallica. But did you know who wrote tracks as: Am I Evil, Helpless, The Prince or It’s Electric, which were in their setlist, mainly in the early days? They were all written by legendary NWOBHM band Diamond Head. I worship their album Borrowed Time from 1982 and I am very proud of them for getting back on the radar of the music scene. This piece called Shades of Black is by my humble opinion the best track from their latest album The Coffin Train and the audience agreed.
There were only few tracks in the recent months which completely blew my mind as much as Anna von Hausswolff’s live performance of Ugly and Vengeful. It was released already about a year ago, before she went on to concentrate on her drone project BADA, but I love coming back to it. The band managed to create absolutely breathtaking atmosphere during hard-to-believe twenty minutes performance. I cannot describe how much I love how the song is progressing, naturally jumping between moods and exploding in the right moments. Masterpiece, which naturally won the first place.
Mark was set very high, but London based jazz band Sons of Kemet know how to fight their way. They were for me one of the coolest discoveries within Colours of Ostrava festival line-up and I was eager to talk to them, but unfortunately, they were not doing any interviews. Plus I was really pissed I caught only last few seconds of their performance, as I was just returning from Shilpa Ray interview. Hopefully some other time, as these guys are really great.
For the bonus track, I picked a track from Czech underground death metal band Screaming. My audience always positively surprises me with their taste range and demand for genre extremes. Over the past couple of months I became a good friend with the band’s founder and a guitarist Jerry. I was really honored he traveled over half of Czech Republic to be in the audience, so I picked a track You Must Be a Lion from their debut album. I would not say, I am a natural death metal fan, but I enjoy getting an idea about a local underground scene and a community, which is dealing with the same positive and negative experience as any other music scene.
Next session will be on 23rd of September.