Letter #28

Seasons greetings one and all!

I hope that you’re all well, and hopefully by now you’ll be on your second egg-nog of the day. I’d love to play it all understated and cool and say that I could take or leave Christmas, but I LOVE Christmas 🎄 .

This week’s letter is a festive special – there are some certified classics, some brilliant covers, and some more-than-slightly-left-of-field songs included (the DMX track in particular…). This isn’t any old festive special though – every track has still be chosen because I think it’s great, and I’ve still gone through the same process of discovery too. I have listened to a lot of Christmas music this week. It also still follows the Mancuso / Leary / Buddhist phasing too. I hope you love it, and I hope you have a brilliant Christmas break ♥️.


–  🎼 –
TL:DR section…

Things on the tape: Otis Redding, Stevie Wonder, Run DMC, Dean Martin, Wham!, Phoenix, Julian Casablancas, Poly Styrene, Badly Drawn Boy, LCD Soundsystem, and The Maccabees.

Things to click: read RBMA feature on Flying Lotus, the story behind Wham’s Last Christmas, watch Tyler, the Creators Tiny Desk Concert on NPR, and have a brilliant Christmas and New Year ♥️ .

– ✏️ –
Christmas is a brilliant time to indulge in family, friends, and switch off a little. This year I’m making a conscious effort to switch off a bit more, as last week I left my job, and in January I’ll be starting an exciting new role. That means I’ve read very little in the last week, so I don’t have much to ramble on about. Then next week, the letter will be a ‘best of’ (my favourite track from each letter so far, arranged into a playlist for New Years Eve), and it won’t have too many notes to it either.

Normal service will be resumed in January.

You’re not completed saved from a ramble though, as I thought I’d tell you what I’m going to do over the next two weeks instead 😊 .

I’ve got a bunch of Reith Lectures I’d like to listen to. I’ve found a crackers-sounding project from Bo Constantinsen called What Music Really Is, that I’d like to at least pretend that I understand. I’ll be reading FADER’s Music moments that moved us in 2017 feature. Wire has an extensive feature on Fela Kuti that looks brilliant. RBMA has what looks like an amazing piece on Flying Lotus, here. I’ll be trying to watch as many of NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert’sas possible – starting with this Tyler, the Creator one.

I’ve got five books I’d love to get through; Uncommon PeopleArt Sex MusicHit Makers, Dylan Jones’ Bowie biography, and David Hepworth’s Secret History of Entertainment. All very music related, but all giving a much broader view of either culture or the industry. I’m halfway through Uncommon Peoplealready, and it’s full of amazing anecdotes about a whole raft of artists (did you know that Ringo Starr’s drumming technique is so hard to replicate because he’s left handed, but his mother forced him to play on a right handed kit?!).

I’m also planning to do a few live mixes too (let me know if you’d like to receive a note when I do). I’ll also be  starting to learn Ableton, which will be strange for two reasons: 1) I’ve not used any production software for about ten years, and 2) the last time I did, I was making pretty hardcore techno. I’m also going to try and write up some notes that I’ve been kicking around for the last twelve months.

Finally, I’ll also be reorganising my record collection (the ultimate indulgence). Going for a mammoth record finding mission at a brilliant second hand store with 150,000+ records from the 70s and 80s all priced at 50p. Trying not to forget to meditate and do some exercise. Trying to nap (no mean feat with a toddler who rules the roost).

And eating and drinking. Lots of eating and drinking.

If you’re stuck for something to listen to over the festive period (and you’ve had enough of Christmas songs!), then the Love Will Save the Day archive is now fully up to date, here. 27 letters, each with a handpicked playlist, lots of interesting links, and extensive notes from me.

As always, if you’ve read to here, thanks for indulging me ♥️.

– 📄 –

  1. The Temptations – Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
  2. Otis Redding – Merry Christmas Baby
  3. Carla Thomas – Gee Whiz, It’s Christmas
  4. Gary Walker – Santa’s Got A Brand New Bag
  5. Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings – Ain’t No Chimneys in the Projects
  6. Jimmy Jules  & Nuclear Soul System – Xmas Done Got Funky
  7. Clarence Carter – Back Door Santa
  8. Stevie Wonder – What Christmas Means to Me
  9. Kurtis Blow – Christmas Rappin’
  10. Run DMC – Christmas in Hollis
  11. DMX – Rudolph the Rednose Reindeer
  12. Bootsy Collins – Happy Holidaze
  13. Mariah Carey – All I Want for Christmas Is You (So So Def remix)
  14. Dean Martin – Jungle Bells (Dan the Automator remix)
  15. Vulfpeck – Christmas in L.A.
  16. Earth, Wind, & Fire – The Little Drummer Boy
  17. Wham! – Last Christmas
  18. Eurythmics – Winter Wonderland
  19. !!! – And Anyway it’s Christmas
  20. Phoenix – Alone on Christmas Day
  21. Julian Casablancas – I Wish It Was Christmas Today
  22. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah! – In This Home on Ice
  23. Poly Styrene – Black Christmas
  24. Badly Drawn Boy – Donna and Blitzen
  25. Low – Just Like Christmas
  26. Courtney Barnett – Boxing Day Blues (revisited)
  27. LCD Soundsystem – Christmas Will Break Your Heart
  28. The Maccabees – Walking In The Air
  29. Au Revoir Simone – Christmas Time is Here
  30. She & Him – Silver Bells

See you by the Christmas tree.
Love Will Save the Day

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