Monday 3 September 2018

Queasy listening: a pick-me-up playlist

Well, I've been feeling pretty sorry for myself. A trifling matter in the Grand Scheme of Things, I realise, but a wretchedly sharp broken tooth has been driving me to distraction. With no recourse to the dentist for a few days, I am having to be extremely careful when eating and - no doubt to Mrs Specs's temporary delight - try not to talk too much. Imagine! - when two of my chief pleasures in life are (a) food, and (b) banging on about things.

Inevitably, I've sought musical solace. Not able to concentrate on anything too long-form (back on the shelf with you, 'Götterdämmerung'), I've been digging out favourites ancient and modern, making new discoveries and generally pinging about YouTube and Spotify with the attention span not of a gnat, exactly, but perhaps a sloth with toothache.

The playlist that has resulted is - to dip into academic musical jargon for a moment - 'all over the shop', but the common thread is that listening to every track here made me feel better. Not just medically, so to speak - temporarily forgetting my Ailment for four minutes at a time - but uplifted and somewhat renewed. I hope you enjoy it.

Practical footnote - YouTube videos don't always stick around for ever, so the playlist repeats at the end in a version for Spotifiers. However, I recommend watching some of these videos if you can, particularly the deliriously silly 'Funky Town' - it's my new ambition to feel as excitable about life in general as the drummer in Pseudo Echo clearly does.


Poppy Ackroyd (featuring cellist Jo Quail): 'Quail'

Sandrine Piau, Jos van Immerseel: Debussy - 'De grève'

Iron & Wine: 'Woman King'

Mathias Eick: 'Oslo'

Pseudo Echo: 'Funky Town'

Trio Aristos: Per Nørgård - 'Pastorale'

Talking Heads: 'Found a Job' (Live)

Susan Graham, Malcolm Martineau: Ned Rorem - 'Early in the morning'

Sky: 'Scipio (Parts I & II)

Thomas Dunford: Bach - 'Chaconne' (from Violin Partita no.2)

Robbie Robertson: 'Somewhere Down the Crazy River'

Grant Green: 'Django'

Alice Coote, Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, Marc Albrecht: Mahler - 'Um Mitternacht'

David Bowie: 'I'd Rather be High' (Venetian Mix)

Kronos Quartet: Terry Riley - 'G Song'

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