Nineteenth music presentation session for the blind and visually handicapped took place on 25th of November 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 Slowly Rolling Camera, Zvíře jménem Podzim and DIIV.
|01 – P.O.D. – Sleeping Awake||3|
|02 – Slowly Rolling Camera – River’s End||5|
|03 – DIIV – Doused||4.5|
|04 – Zvíře jménem Podzim – Psí sny||5|
|05 – Audience vote – The Kills – Fuck The People||1|
|06 – Mayhem – Watchers||0|
|07 – Cigarettes After Sex – Don’t Let Me Go (Live)||2.5|
|08 – Wardruna and Aurora – Helvegen (Live)||4|
|09 – Laco Deczi – You Go To My Head||4|
|10 – Bonus – Sinan Sakić – Bogatstvo je ljubav||2.5|
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.
As a teenager, I was really into nu-metal scene and P.O.D. were at that period one of my top favorite bands. Since then my contact with their music was not as intense, but I keep returning to their old stuff or discovering their new stuff. Therefore meeting their bass player Traa Daniels for a video interview and seeing them live with Alien Ant Farm was a great experience. They didn’t play Sleeping Awake live thought, but it is still one of the best soundtrack singles ever made.
I discovered bunch of amazing bands and projects over Spotify and I keep extended Spotify playlist with these sort of tracks. I came across Slowly Rolling Camera’s track River’s End couple of months ago, added it next to other masters, but sort of left it there for weeks and skipping it for some reason. Just few weeks ago on the cottage with my friends, it popped up and I kept playing it. I felt like: “Why did I throw you in a corner?” Since then, I was listening to this track for weeks multiple times a day. I also fell in love with Into the Shadow track from the EP of the same name. But River’s End is a true masterpiece for its gradual atmosphere, spectacular vocal and for one of the most emotional guitar solos I ever heard in my life in the second half. It fits great for evening walks and I was listening to it, when I saw some workers fixing tram lines during evening hours. I recorded it in a slow motion and it just fits the part starting from 7:15. It would be just wonderful and rarely very meaningful Instastory. Unfortunately this track was not in the song offer on Instagram through Spotify. At least I played it on the screen for guest with partial visual handicapped and assistants. Really proud this track won shared first place.
While I am writing this, I am just waiting for another try for a FaceTime interview with American rock band DIIV. These guys are one of the biggest talents within indie/shoegaze scene and now they released their third album Deceiver. We had a great interview few days ago, even though the connection was falling sometimes. Their new album is melancholic masterpiece and we had a great deep talk about dealing with life challenges, meditation and having adequate people to talk about smaller or bigger progresses. On the other hand, to introduce the band properly I picked an older legendary track Doused.
In the previous months, due to a job for Czech TV Seznam I had an opportunity to meet number of members of Czech music elite. I am quite picky, so I prefer progressive artists, strong personal values and inspirational figures. Plus, I always had a great support from my superiors, so I didn’t have to talk to the biggest local mainstream stars, often not fulfilling my personal criteria. Jakub König from ambient/rock/electronic/atmospheric project including impressive number of musicians called Zvíře jménem Podzim was one of the most inspirational figures. We spoke about today’s society, his abstinence and mediation. Track Psí sny won shared first place. Next to it I was grateful for very personal interpretation of this song from one of the stable guests Antonín over email. He keeps impressing me how much meaningful text he manages to write while having strong visual handicap.
It is also great to experience genre shocks. Another track was an audience vote from another stable guests, with no visual handicapped, but being always a great assistant for another stable guest. The Kills – Fuck The People. No comment needed further. 😉
As I said, I love genre shocks and as rare metal picks get always a lot of votes, I picked a track from legendary black metal band Mayhem, as I spoke recently with their frontman in Prague. Interview was great, plus Watchers track is impressive but due to very competitive playlist, cold season, therefore lower number of guests, no points left for Mayhem.
After The Break
During a more than a year at Seznam TV, I always spoke to artists which I like and respect. Some I knew for a long time, some just shortly. American shoegaze band Cigarettes After Sex is a formation I discovered very shortly before the interview. I knew very little about them, but on the first listen, I knew there is something about them. It turned to be a great personal video interview about relationships, dealing with breakups and melancholy in music. Plus it was great to have that teenage moment when you listen to some track over and over again. I must have listened to Don’t Let Go track for thirty times a day week after the interview. 😉
I knew Nordic folk project Wardruna is a respected name for years, but I finally had my personal live experience at Brutal Assault festival in 2018. It was an extreme honor to conduct very friendly and inspirational video interview with a frontman of the band Einar before sold-out Prague show. When I asked him which song he would like me to play, we both agreed on Helvegen.
As we had very family/intimate environment with couple of the most stable guests, I adjusted last two tracks accordingly. One of the most stable guests is an older madam Mrs. Vondráčková who is Spanish/Portuguese languages student. I didn’t pick a band from those regions, but as she is a world music and romantic jazz fan, I picked first of all a track from legendary American trumpet player – born is Slovakia, Laco Déczi. He is one of the most entertaining figures in Czech Republic and Slovakia these days and hell of a respected trumpet player globally and in especially in USA, where he lives for decades, but regularly coming to Central Europe. In our interview we spoke about Balkan music, mafia guys’ stories but also about Chris Botti, which he hates. On the other hand, my most favorite album from his discography is called Sentimentálna trúbka, which is also romantic thing but as Laco says: “Not as cheesy as Chris.” Fully agreed.
And for the end, I chose an absolute genre shock. It was a special track for Mrs. Vondráčková, as well as to make gentleman in the audience laugh. I am half Yugoslavian and I got addicted to Balkan music, filled with emotional melodies, Middle Eastern vocals and lyrics about broken heart. Bring me a pool of red wine, and let’s do this. Everybody laughed and enjoyed this world music moment.
Next time, we are having a Christmas special with the most favorite tracks from previous sessions since the eleventh one. Here is an article about the first The Best Of evening.