Twenty-fourth music presentation session for the blind and visually handicapped took place on 2nd of June 2020 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 David Bowie, Tom Misch & Yussef Dayes and Fanfán Tulipán.
|01 – Pearl Jam – Dance Of The Clairvoyants (Mach III)||9.5|
|02 – Rosalía – Que No Salga La Luna (Cap II: Boda)||6|
|03 – Thundercat – Show You The Way (feat. Michael McDonald & Kenny Loggins)||6|
|04 – Arctic Monkeys – Star Treatment (Live)||7.5|
|05 – Pure Reason Revolution – Silent Genesis||7|
|06 – Audience choice #1 – Jeff Beck – You Shook Me||12.5|
|07 – Nil – Mrs. Blame and Disgrace (Live)||16|
|08 – Fanfán Tulipán – Fjord||21|
|09 – Tom Misch & Yussef Dayes – Lift Off (feat. Rocco Palladino) (Live)||21.5|
|10 – Audience choice #2 – David Bowie – Lazarus||30.5|
|11 – Bonus – Ipče Ahmedovski – Dodji da ostarimo zajedno||9.5|
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 experiment within genres. 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. Over the years I have realized, I have number of grunge fans in the audience. Plus, this session was planned very close to the date of Chris Cornell’s death. Therefore I wanted to pay tribute to the whole scene and the memory of its icons, with a current great work of one of the legendary grunge bands Pearl Jam. Their latest album Gigaton has a chance to become an album of the year. For the track Dance Of The Clairvoyants they even prepared three different versions of the video and this track truly deserves it. Amazing rhythm, impressive touch of electronics and extremely powerful chorus.
Recently I re-joined a crew of Czech magazine Full Moon and next to busy writing, I like to read works of my colleagues and stay updated with artists, which I don’t know much, but having an influence. One of them was Catalan singer Rosalía. She was one of the headliners of Colours of Ostrava festival previous year, but after seeing her visual side and listened very quickly to a song or two, I superficially skipped her. I gave her another try with a front cover article from the Full Moon’s editor-in-chief. Middle-aged alternative capacity was throwing one compliment after another on her side, including her performance at Primavera Barcelona. Eventually I fell in love with her, especially thanks to a track Que No Salga La Luna(Cap.2: Boda). So dark, passionate and tastefully respectful to its literal source. As none of the live videos are top quality, I chose to play the two best ones at the same time, with an original audio underneath. Right after Rosalía you can naturally move to Kill Bill 2 soundtrack song Tu Mira.
First contact with mighty Thundercat might be bit of a shock, but his album Drunk, which was recommended to me by Cory Henry, was one of the two albums, I listened the most during my trip in Myanmar/Burma. American bass player and a singer is a massive institution in R&B, funk, soul, or even hip hop scene, but I am fascinated how many rockers and metal heads are getting inspired by him. I can only say, I am fascinated by his work and cannot wait to arrange an interview and see him live in Berlin late 2020.
I am not much of a fan of a British pop rock scene, but one of my biggest addictions in the last two years are the two latest albums of Arctic Monkeys. You know, I am aware of their massive fan base, but to be honest, so far I only love their last two albums. I even went to see them live in Barcelona 2012, but I only did that for a friend, I had a crush on. Really sorry to say, but the show did nothing with me. Now, I cannot imagine my life without Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino album, which is one of the albums I listen when I am going for a date or job interview. It brings so much healthy self-confidence, power and peace.
Next to the big names, I naturally also follow bands, that didn’t make it as far as they deserved. I discovered British band Pure Reason Revolution about ten years ago, soon after they released their third album Hammer and Anvil. It was a great underground discovery, where I respected great touch for intelligent electronic music. After a long break, they are back with an album, where they finally did the right move and perfectly combined they touch for electronics and progressive rock. One of the albums of the year and a great choice for fans of prog in the audience.
First choice of the audience
I naturally keep a tradition of audience votes, as it brings a fresh air to the playlist and gets the audience debating. As the stable guests voted in the previous sessions, I love to give space to the newcomers. First choice was taken by an older lady, which I later discovered is a mother of a friend of mine, a waitress from my favorite café. She asked for something old like Led Zeppelin, Jeff Beck or Queen. I immediately thought of a great compromise and offered Jeff Beck’s version of You Shook Me. Truth from 1968 is one of the best hard rock albums ever and I tend to recommend it quite often, simply because of the insane songs quality and amazing performances by Jeff Beck and Rod Stewart.
Next to a big international names, I also love to give space to Czech names, no matter how huge they are. Similar to Pure Reason Revolution, I also always wished much bigger popularity for Czech rock band Nil with a frontwoman Hanka Kosnovská. I always called them Czech Guano Apes, but put Hanka’s insanely emotional vocal presentation on top of it. Can’t wait to see them live again. I would also love Hanka to come personally and sing one or two songs live for us. Wish me luck.
Another band which makes me proud of the Czech scene are Fanfán Tulipán. This ambient jazz formation recently release their new album Genius Noci and has the qualities to compete with an international elite. I was contacted directly by the frontwoman Eliška Vidomus, and as to everybody else, I promised to check it out and give an honest opinion. I was blown away by the album and in some phases it made me so relaxed, I fell asleep listening to it. This doesn’t decrease its quality. It just gives more credit to masterpieces as Fjord track with a trumpet parts from Oskar Török.
However, if I could pick one track, which was my main personal tip after Corona limitations, it would be Lift Off track by Tom Misch, Yussef Dayes and Rocco Palladino. I am exaggerating, if I say I listened to it thirty times in a row on the day, right after I heard it for the first time. Therefore naturally I said to my audience, I feel jealous, they are hearing this for the first time.
I was very grateful some of my family members arrived. Let say my mother, came for the first time. She brought her brother and his colleague, as they were just reconstructing my bathroom. My uncle raised his hand for a second vote and as a big David Bowie fan, he chose a Lazarus track. When he said it, you should have heard the common exhale of agreement. No doubt this track won in the final voting. As a music documentaries addict, I fully recommend this piece: David Bowie: The Last Five Years.
Final bonus thing was naturally a gift for my family. I am half Yugo and I love digging deep in the Balkan music treasures. Shamefully, just recently I discovered a legendary Serbian and Macedonian folk singer Ipče Ahmedovski, which is among the most respected singers from that region. His main quality was singing insane heights or complicated sections with a laid back physical input. Unfortunately he died in a car accident when he was 28. This live version of legendary Šaban Šaulić track, will luckily stay with us forever. Even a “King of Balkan folk music” Šaban Šaulić agreed Ipče could sing his songs better than him.
Next session is planned for tomorrow on 14th of July.