“The Best Of #2” evening was a special music presentation session, shortly before Christmas, for the members of Czech agency SONS (Czech Blind United) in Prague, which is helping blind and visually handicapped. I am honored to present music to their members for the past years and it was a great opportunity to play the most favorite tracks from the eleventh till nineteenth session.
After each session, guests have a chance to vote for their most favorite tracks. It gives me an inspiration for the upcoming playlist, but I love to expand their musical horizons at the same time. You can find the background of this story in an article about the first session here.
List of songs and their final scores of The Best Of session:
Congratulations to LP, Pierce Brothers and Brutus.
Each track includes a link on the session, where it won the first place. Each link also includes the behind the scenes story.
|The Best Of #2 – Songs||Score|
|11 – Des Ark – You Pregnant Motherfucker||18|
|12 – Brutus – War (Live at Rain City)||25|
|13 – Cult Of Luna – Approaching Transition||6.5|
|14 – Stream Of Passion – Nostalgia||20|
|15 – LP – Muddy Waters (Live)||27|
|16 – Anna von Hausswolff – Ugly And Vengeful (Live)||18|
|17 – Pierce Brothers – Keep In Mind (Live)||26.5|
|18 – Type O Negative – Love You to Death||14.5|
|19 – Zvíře jménem Podzim – Psí Sny||13.5|
|20 – Slowly Rolling Camera – River’s End||13|
Des Ark – You Pregnant Motherfucker
For the couple of sessions, we included a chance for guests to include in the playlist one or two tracks which have a huge personal meaning to them. During the eleventh session I gave a space to my good friend and a music journalist Waghiss from Full Moon magazine. He picked a track with a rather controversial name but as he said: “Don’t worry, it’s truly beautiful ambient track.”
Brutus – War (Live at Rain City)
One of the coolest discoveries for me these years is a Belgium trio Brutus. I discovered them, as they supported Chelsea Wolfe in Prague. At first it took me some time to get used to their wild power trio sound and very energetic vocals, but it turned out as their main power. We conducted a video interview and stayed in a contact since. It was hell of a useful, when they came to Czech Republic again last year. After another video interview, it gave me a chance to introduce them to a Czech band Brutus, which is active for couple of decades. It was really interesting to discover Belgian Brutus have a t-shirt of Czech Brutus in their practice room, including a fact drummer and a singer Stefanie often wears it. Their performances are always amazing and I am really happy, their track War did another great score among my audience.
Cult Of Luna – Approaching Transition
During the previous session, this one with playing full Cult of Luna & Julie Christmas album Mariner, was a biggest experiment so far. It means a lot to me and early last year I decided to listen to the whole thing one month in a row. Therefore I had plenty of thoughts to share with my audience. It was a massive portion to digest, but they all managed and shared some hell of an impressive thoughts, including solving some deep personal troubles. Feel free to check the story, which was shared by Cult of Luna on their FB profile.
Get well Marcela
Stream Of Passion – Nostalgia
Since the first session I try to understand the taste of my audience and pick tracks which they might like but at the same time expand their horizons. One of the most stable guests is older lady Mrs. Vondráčková, which is a Spanish and Portuguese language student, so I did try couple of times to bring a track in these languages. As I invested plenty of time and energy into female fronted bands, I picked a track from a project called Stream of Passion with Mexican singer Marcela Bovio. This track did great again, but unfortunately Marcela was diagnosed with cancer couple of weeks ago. She is doing better, but we are all here wishing her quick and full recovery.
LP – Muddy Waters (Live)
Just a couple of months ago, I didn’t know much about LP. I just knew she won over the crowd in my hometown at Colours of Ostrava festival and her track Lost On You was played on mainstream radios quite intensively. But I started truly respecting her based on our personal meeting in Prague before her recent second sold-out show last year. She was energetic, unique but incredibly friendly. She did four face-to-face interviews that day, majority being video. Some TV crews were slightly pushy with stand-ups and asking for greetings from LP to their viewers. I just wanted to make sure, we are having relaxed talk about topics as table tennis, Metallica or her plans to build a studio on the beach in Greece. In the end, LP asked if I will be at the show. I confirmed, as I was going with two friends, mainly Veronika which loves her very much and even looks a bit like her. During the final chat I asked for an autograph for her. She did not only write a nice message for Veronika, but she also gave me two aftershow passes. It was a nice surprise, as I just asked for the autograph. She said she enjoyed the questions and I was also the only one who did not ask for a selfie. I brought Veronika an autograph for her and kept the invitation as a secret bonus. But when I showed her two backstage passes she said: “I can’t do this. I am a huge introvert. It would kill me. This means a lot to me and the fact, I was invited is enough for me. Thank you, but I will not go.” It took me a while, to digest it, but it gave me a totally new perspective. Veronika enjoyed LP show anyway and my audience enjoyed this story as well, before I played them LP’s breathtaking performance of Muddy Waters which won the first place again, in The Best of #2 session.
After The Break
Anna von Hausswolff – Ugly And Vengeful (Live)
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 two years 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.
Pierce Brothers – Keep In Mind (Live)
I was very fortunate to do great amount of interviews in 2019, but one of the coolest interviews I did last 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 sessions with a projector, especially for assistants or guests with partial visual handicap. It was very strong experience as you can see on the score list.
Type O Negative – Love You to Death
I always had a feeling for female fronted bands, but gothic rock Type O Negative (massive inspiration for one of my most favorite bands as Lacuna Coil) were never on my playlist before. It was Spotify again and I must say Love You to Death explains why they are such a cult. Melody structures are brilliant but I mainly enjoy the sound of the guitar.
Zvíře jménem Podzim – Psí Sny
In the previous year, 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 in the nineteenth session. 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.
Slowly Rolling Camera – River’s End
Lately, 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 great tracks, but sort of left it there for weeks and skipping it for some reason. Just few months 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.
Next session is planned for 15th of January