Seventeenth music presentation session for the blind and visually handicapped took place on 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 Pierce Brothers, Never Sol and Lewis Capaldi
|01 – Boban Marković – Mesečina (Live)||9.5|
|02 – Pierce Brothers – Keep In Mind (Live)||26.5|
|03 – Never Sol – Fog||21|
|04 – Charlie Cunningham – How Much||14|
|05 – Audience vote #1 – Tony Iommi & Glenn Hughes – I Go Insane||10|
|06 – Lewis Capaldi – Someone You Loved||21|
|07 – Manon Meurt – Figure It Out||19.5|
|08 – Kayo Dot – Blasphemy: A Prophecy||14|
|09 – Audience vote #2 – Dave Matthews Band – Ants Marching (from The Central Park Concert)||13.5|
|10 – Bonus – Cory Henry – Purple Rain (Live)||13.5|
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. I am half Yugoslavian and I spent my puberty in Belgrade. Even though it was a very rough experience, especially being rare metal kid in a very religious country after NATO bombing, I still have a sense of sentiment. Bring me great company of friends, a gallon of red wine and we enjoy these tracks, like it’s a wedding party every minute. Boban Marković is one of the biggest Balkan icons and it was a first choice for the beginning. Plus we had a great interview couple of weeks ago.
Talking about interviews, one of the coolest interviews I did this summer, was with Australian Pierce Brothers at Colours of Ostrava festival. We had such a great friendly chat and in the peaks, we were even yelling at trains. You have to watch it, to understand, it was purely natural. I picked my most favorite track Keep In Mind, but rather a live version, which is very emotional. I usually back-up these presentation session with a projector, especially for assistants or guests with partial visual handicap. Hope, no one is going to kill me for that, but I used press after-movie of Pierce Brothers from Colours of Ostrava which was given to me by festival organizers to back-up my interview with Pierce Brothers. As it is only two minutes long, I kept it rolling twice. It was very strong experience as you can see on the score list.
Next to international names, I also love to give space to Czech talents on Seznam TV. One of the coolest was Sára Vondrášková aka Never Sol, playing great atmospheric music often using synths. We had a great chat and found so many common music interests. I have chosen her track Fog as it speaks to my strongest eighties synth pop admirations. I loved comments at the end of the evening from the guests: “How come I have never heard of such a great talent!?” Well-deserved shared second place.
Next to Pierce Brothers, I also had a great interview with British singer and composer Charlie Cunningham at Colours of Ostrava. He has incredible taste in making strong melancholic tracks, backed with unique voice. Next to it, he is an amazing songwriting talent and on top of everything he is adding elements of flamenco into his music. He recently played a great show in Prague and he is selling-out clubs all around world. Good luck mate!
It is becoming a tradition I am letting my guests to also pick a track. They get nicely involved and also have a chance to share a song which has a big influence on their life. First audience pick of the evening was from one of the most stable guests and a good friend Vladimír Dvořák. Same as me, he is a big fan of Tony Iommi’s solo work and a voice of Glenn Hughes.
After The Break
After a break I wanted to give a space to an artist which I unfortunately didn’t catch for an interview, but he performed one of the greatest sets at Colours of Ostrava festival. With a dozen of my friends, we were hugged and singing our asses off, while it was raining. I have a big respect for Lewis’ music, but I remember times, when I was getting ready for a potential interview and I got fed up by constant flow heart break emotions in his music after listening to him too long. But when you take a break and suddenly there comes a moment where his music fits, his stuff is simply perfect. Well-deserved shared second place.
Another Czech name which really got my attention recently is a young shoegaze band called Manon Meurt. They got this tag very early on, as they supported My Bloody Valentine few years ago, and I can understand, they are tired from genre tags. But to be honest, this basic definition fits very well, as they present the best combination of post rock, shoegaze and ambient I heard in my country for a long time. Great female voice, amazing guitar and all in all great personalities. Plus they played a great show soon after, which we went to check with Vladimír.
Next to big names, I also love to give space to artists which are known only in a certain communities. American avant-garde metal band Kayo Dot has only a couple of Czech fans, but in general they are a cult for certain kind of fans. I follow them for years as they present very unique sound and emotions, which I didn’t find anywhere else. Check Blasphemy: A Prophecy.
Coming towards the end, a second audience pick was chosen by a gentleman, who is a massive Riverside fan and in general prog rock music. Therefore he very positively surprised me by picking a track from Dave Matthews Band. Even though I am very slowly getting into his music, this was another great step.
For a bonus track, I wanted to give a space to an artist, who got the biggest space in Seznam TV’s Colours of Ostrava special. I discovered Cory Henry through spectacular performances of Snarky Puppy, but I had no idea about his impressive solo career before a friend of mine told me about it. During a preparation for an interview I discovered this impressive version of Purple Rain. Plus I also used the opportunity of talking to Cory Henry for getting an autograph of Snarky Puppy’s Culcha Vulcha for a gentleman Jan Szkatula who is a big fan and especially preparing top class sound equipment for each session.
Next session is planned 30th of October