Joe writes: While setting my dad up with an iPod (it's the future you know), I got distracted and ended up making this Spotify playlist of the original versions of country songs covered by Elvis Costello & The Attractions on the 1981 album Almost Blue (except where the originals weren't on Spotify, in which case I've gone for the next best thing).
Joe writes: Damn, Tenor Fly has died and Sorry If I Hurt U Feelings still hasn't been a hit. Every summer in the mid nineties Choice FM used to have a reggae playlist and that's where I heard this banger.
or if you prefer it without the annoying ident, listen on Spotify:
Joe writes: Everyone loves a song with a lyric that tells a story, so it's surprising how few songwriters write these kinds of songs. One good example is the current no. 1, 7 Years by Lukas Graham, which opens this playlist:
I have another observation about 7 Years. I reckon that until recently, a Danish soul/rap/pop hybrid might have been no. 1 everywhere in mainland Europe but still not broken in the UK. What's changed? Spotify, and their power to influence the charts and so UK radio. It's a huge change and mostly very positive.
Joe writes: I haven't been updating this blog much but I have been spending as much time as ever seeking out great music new and old - it's just that nowadays when I find a great track I tend to just add it to a Spotify playlist.
I'm sure I will post YouTube or Soundcloud links here from time to time, but mostly I will post Spotify playlists here, which are updated regularly.
This is the Mother Of All Playlists, featuring 4000+ songs and growing, including most of my favourites and plenty of new discoveries from all genres.
Joe writes: If you're not familiar, every Monday Spotify compile a playlist tailored to each subscriber, I guess consisting of tracks listened to by other people who've
listened to tracks you've listened to. It rarely includes anything I just
wouldn't be interested in, and I've found some gems through it including this
Laurie Anderson tune Let X=X which still sounds futuristic after all these years (it's from 1982).
Joe: If I were Adele I wouldn't be too worried about comparisons between Hello and Martha by Tom Waits, but this does give me an excuse to post my Spotify playlist of the best Tom Waits ballads. There isn't a Tom Waits album I really love - I'm not a big fan of the stompy noisy stuff - but I love the first twelve tracks of this playlist. No-one else does a ballad like Tom.
Joe writes: This Dutch hip hop track has been a massive hit in the
Netherlands and Belgium. The lyric is controversial even in the liberal Netherlands, as it features two drug dealers talking about all the MDMA they are selling to kids in the club. But the track is great and the video is very, er, viral.
There are various English language versions in the
offing but I actually think it could be a UK hit in this Dutch version.
Afterall, everyone understands Drank & Drugs right?
"Many people are experimenting with the drug
ecstasy. I heard you say once that a lie is sweet in the beginning and bitter
in the end, and truth is bitter in the beginning and sweet in the end. I have
been meditating, but I don't have the experiences people report from the drug
ecstasy. Is the drug like the lie, and meditation the truth? Or am I missing
something that could really help me?"
Joe writes: You're not missing much; try magic