This is my listening diary for the fourth Harkive event held on 19 July 2016. Harkive is an annual, online music research project that gathers stories from people around the world about how, where and why they listened to music on a single day.
7:47 Drive to work
Being early in the week, I pop my iPhone on the dashboard and shuffle the Spotify Discover Weekly playlist to hear something new.
- Billy Gibbons And The BFGs — Got Love If You Want It
- Black Mountain — Mothers of the Sun
- The Sonics — I Don’t Need No Doctor
- Antemasque — 4AM
- Giant Sand — Forever and a Day
- Shearwater — Backchannels
- The Derek Trucks Band — Crow Jane
- Rival Sons — Good Things
- Frankie Lee — East Side Blues
Anything by Rival Sons is a welcome treat. Good Things from my favourite album of 2014, Great Western Valkyrie, is apposite lyrically in this post-referendum summer. It’s a call to recognise what you have and enjoy the moment. The standout track though is The Sonics’ brash cover of Ray Charles’ I Don’t Need No Doctor.
10:14 Music for Concentration
Another Spotify playlist on shuffle but in the desktop app. I choose the Music for Concentration while I do some technical writing at work.
- Silver Maple — Partly Cloudy
- Nancy Elizabeth — Cairns
- Sophie Hutchings — In The Wake
- Jon Hopkins — Small Memory
- Alaskan Tapes — Surfacing
- Luke Howard — Atlases
- Alex Kozobolis — I Promise
- Peter Sandberg — Viona’s Lullaby
- Clem Leek — Breaking Down
- Christian Löffler — Alpine Sketch
- David Darling — Illumination
- Goldmund — The Hidden Observer
- Luke Howard — Nocturne
- Akira Kosemura — Hicari
- Nils Frahm — Some
- Dustin O’Halloran — Umrika
- Surrogate Sibling – CDI
- Abel Korzeniowski — Everyone Likes Oranges
After an hour, the delicate, gentle piano is becoming soporific, so I turn the music off.
It’s swelteringly hot today, and I’m feeling fazed after lunch. Time for some energetic, jangling power-pop. I choose The Decca Years 1965-1967 by The Small Faces. The tiny power rocket Steve Marriott is one of my favourite band leaders. This early-years collection throws up plenty of spiky mod-rock treats as well as the more familiar hit singles.
17:30 Drive home
Still using Spotify and back in the iOS app, I shuffle all songs saved offline to avoid data charges.
- Supersonic Blues Machine – Running Whiskey
- Supersonic Blues Machine – My Way (feat. Chris Duarte)
- Muse – Mercy
- Muse – Reapers
- Muse – Revolt
- Muse – The Globalist
- Tamikrest – Imanin bas zihoun
Muse have everything I love about contemporary rock: originality, ambition, superb songwriting, imagination and technical chops. Revolt is so good I repeat it. Such a great chorus and a welcome opportunity to practise falsetto in the car. “We can revolt, we can revolt”, I screech, not even close to harmony with Matt Bellamy, while sweating through a traffic jam on the M42 with the other demob-happy desk drones. (See what I did there?!)
19:42 Rhythm and booze
I keep a stash of recent vinyl purchases under the record player. No spirits though, they’re not my thing. Picking up The Faces’ Ooh La La, I put it back, not fancying a Rod ‘n’ Ronnie romp after such a heavy session with The Small Faces earlier.
Instead I play The Best of Little Walter, a lovely Italian pressing in fantastic condition I bought from The Diskery in Birmingham (which claims to be the oldest record store in England). The aural blues harmonica feast pairs nicely with a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.
- My Babe
- Sad Hours
- You’re So Fine
- Last Night
- Blues With A Feeling
- Can’t Hold Out Much Longer
- Mean Old World
- Off The Wall
- You Better Watch Yourself
- Blue Light
- Tell Me Mama
20:30 A side of Bobby Bland
The last listen of the day is one side of a Bobby Bland compilation on vinyl, one of those budget 10-tracks-a-side greatest hits. I took a punt on this for a fiver, another purchase from The Diskery, only aware of Ain’t No Love In The Heart Of The City beforehand. It’s been a regular player this summer; a great mix of laidback soul, funk and blues. This also wins the prize for the best album cover of the day. Cheers, Bobby.