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February 26, 2019

Merch now available

from News – Record Store Day


A Life (1955–2019)

via The Wire: Home

CAS Classic Album Sundays & Vinyl Me, Please present De La Soul ‘3 Feet High and Rising’ with DJ Yoda: Vinyl Record Included in Ticket!

The world’s most popular album listening experience and the best damn record club collaborate on a monthly series that brings The Record of the Month to life.

The most inventive, assured, and playful debut in hip-hop history, 3 Feet High and Rising not only proved that rappers didn’t have to talk about the streets to succeed, but also expanded the palette of sampling material with a kaleidoscope of sounds and references culled from pop, soul, disco, and even country music. Join us on Tuesday March 26th as DJ Yoda and Classic Album Sundays’ founder Colleen ‘Cosmo’ Murphy will tell the story behind the album followed by an uninterrupted replay on the Classic Album Sundays’ audiophile hi-fi.

There are two tickets types:

The bundled ticket includes entry and your own personal vinyl copy of De La Soul 3 Feet High and Rising. 


For those that already have the album, we have tickets for the event only. Please be careful which ticket you select.


Time & Date: Tuesday March 26th 2019 19:00 – 22:00


Miranda, Ace Hotel, 100 Shoreditch High St, London E1 6JQ


Event Entry bundled with vinyl copy of De La Soul 3 Feet High and Rising £20 here.

Event Entry only £12 here.


Colleen ‘Cosmo’ Murphy with DJ Yoda

Audio Menu

Dynavector D17D3 MC CartridgeRega P9 TurntableRega IOS Phono Stage Audio Note Jinro Integrated AmpChord Signature Speaker CableChord Signature Tuned Aray interconnectsISOL-8 Substation Integra Power Conditioner and Klipschorn Loudspeakers

The post Classic Album Sundays & Vinyl Me, Please present De La Soul ‘3 Feet High and Rising’ with DJ Yoda: Vinyl Record Included in Ticket! appeared first on Classic Album Sundays.

from Classic Album Sundays

Mark Kimber Classic Album Sundays Sydney Presents The Flaming Lips ‘Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots’

We feature The Flaming Lips tenth studio album Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots for our March session in London. The album was well-received critically and commercially, helping the band break into the mainstream, and was adapted into a musical in 2012. Uncut declared that “even by their standards, Yoshimi is astonishing.

Join us to experience the album as never before.


Time and Date: Sunday March 31st 6:00pm


The Beauchamp Hotel, 265-267 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst, Sydney


Available Here


J.P. Ducharne (The Mancusian Circus), Jim Poe (Deep House Australia)

Audio Menu

Turntable: Rega RP6, Cartridge: Rega Exact, Amp: Accuphase E-202 Integrated Amplifier, Speakers: Klipsch Heresy, Subs: Klipsch R-10SW

The post Classic Album Sundays Sydney Presents The Flaming Lips ‘Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots’ appeared first on Classic Album Sundays.

from Classic Album Sundays

CAS Love Music in Glasgow (Behind The Counter Episode 6/12)

“It’s knowing your customers, it’s knowing your market, knowing what’s out there, what’s new. It’s a personal service.” Sandy McLean owner of Love Music Glasgow.

Love Music Glasgow is featured in the 6th part of our ‘Behind The Counter’ video series which tells the stories behind the wonderful world of the independent record shops presented by Classic Album Sundays, Record Store Day UK and Bowers & Wilkins.

A new episode will drop every Tuesday in the run-up to Record Store Day 2019 which will share unique stories from around the UK featuring the shops who have stood the test of time to the newbies on the block. Get to know your local shops.

Watch: Transmission Records in Margate (Behind The Counter Episode 1)
Watch: Action Records in Preston (Behind The Counter Episode 2)
Watch: Eastern Bloc Records in Manchester (Behind The Counter Episode 3)
Watch: Pure Vinyl in Brixton (Behind The Counter Episode 4)
Watch: Specialist Subject Records in Bristol (Behind The Counter Episode 5/12)

The post Love Music in Glasgow (Behind The Counter Episode 6/12) appeared first on Classic Album Sundays.

from Classic Album Sundays

Lonely Hearts Club Band: an interview with Trupa Trupa’s Grzegorz Kwiatkowski

via The Wire: Home

Happy birthday to the amazing Liz Vap, long time soul sister!! Long May she thrive! xM#tbt with Liz…

via The Real Mick Rock

Freya Parr Ten of the best (and worst) novels about composers


The turkey’s been eaten, there’s nothing good on TV, and everyone’s fallen out playing Monopoly. What’s next? Perhaps it’s time to curl up with a cup of cocoa and a good book. Classical bookworms can feast on a wealth of novels about performers, from Vikram Seth’s An Equal Music to Ann Patchett’s operatic thriller Bel Canto.

But how about if you head to the ‘composer’ section of the bookshelf? We’re not talking fictionalised artists – the likes of Adrian Leverkühn in Thomas Mann’s Doctor Faustus – but novels that take a look at the lives and worlds of real people.

So read on to find out how we rate ten fictional yarns about the great composers, from Strozzi in London to Elgar in the Amazon



FACTS: just how much do we learn about the composer and their world?
FUN: is it a rollicking read or one for the slush pile?


The Noise of Time

Julian Barnes (Vintage)

A poetic story based on Shostakovich’s life under Stalin’s dangerous gaze

This was quite rightly a bestseller when it was published in 2016. In his three-part tale, Barnes plunges us into Shostakovich’s nervous existence. Waiting ‘On the landing’ the composer anticipates an inevitable arrest, following the Pravda article that almost ruined him.

Then ‘On the plane’ he endures a flight to New York in the service of the Soviet regime, and finally during a meandering journey taken ‘In the car’ he muses on his legacy as he enters his twilight years.

Through each he reflects on the life he lived (mostly in fear of something) the loves he enjoyed (and endured) and the music he wrote.

Barnes’s prose is elegant and the fragmented structure makes you feel that you’re inside the composer’s head, flitting from one memory to the next. Of course, the musings are really Barnes’s – this is a fictional take on documented events and biographical detail – but his Shostakovich is a credible character. A riveting story of survival.

FACTS: ★★★★
FUN: ★★★★★



Mozart & the Wolf Gang

Anthony Burgess (Vintage)

A slightly outré but nevertheless amusing look at a handful of arguing composers

A novel by Anthony Burgess? Surely something to savour. Prepare, however, to be disappointed. Mozart & the Wolf Gang is a very different beast to Burgess’s renowned 1962 dystopian novel A Clockwork Orange.

Published in 1991 towards the end of Burgess’s life, it is based around a set of discussions between famous composers, and is written like a play. This is persistently interrupted by a perplexing dialogue between two characters named Anthony and Burgess, plus a fictionalised narrative of Mozart’s Symphony No. 40. It’s as erratic as it sounds.

There’s no real plot – instead, the narrative arc is led by the constant bickering between the composers,  who relentlessly put down one another’s music, nationalities and political leanings. Amusing, if a little tiring.

In short, this is a self-indulgent exploration of one of Burgess’s favourite composers, and it’s full of esoteric references that will be lost on a lot of readers. Really, it reads like an experiment that perhaps shouldn’t ever have been published.

FUN: ★★★



Vivaldi’s Virgins

Barbara Quick (Harper Collins)

The evocative tale of a talented orphan violinist, exploring her roots in 18th-century Venice

OK, so the title might not inspire confidence, but there is treasure within the pages of Barbara Quick’s 2007 novel. She paints a vivid picture of Venetian society, from its glittering masquerades to its downright dirty underbelly, all seen through the eyes of a young orphan growing up in the care of the Ospidale della Pietà.

Anna Maria is a sensational violinist, under the tutelage of The Red Priest himself – and dedicatee of many of his works. Through her musings and letters we learn about life in the Pietà as a member of the ‘figlie de coro’, and get swept up in her search for her Mother.

Vivaldi is painted as both father figure and mischievous ally, and there are memorable cameos, too, from Handel and Scarlatti. Quick has plainly done her homework; there’s an abundance of musical detail and while this is fiction she takes her lead from documented people, places and events. A colourful, and sometimes emotional, read. 

FACTS: ★★★★
FUN: ★★★★★




James Hamilton-Patterson (Faber & Faber)

A brilliantly-imagined recreation of Elgar’s undocumented adventure to the Amazon

When Anthony Payne elaborated the surviving sketches for Elgar’s Third Symphony, he created a remarkable piece so Elgarian in feel that it was hard to tell musical fact from fiction.

James Hamilton-Patterson achieves something similar in Gerontius, which draws on what we know about the British composer –his love of puns and of rivers, for instance – and fills in a period in his life that we know next to nothing about.

In 1923, three years after his wife had died, the rather lost, disillusioned and semi-retired Elgar decided on a whim to take a six-week voyage to the Amazon, which is where this enjoyable novel steps in.

True, it starts with a weighty and tiresome dream sequence, but the tale soon perks up. A vivid picture of Elgar emerges, as he gets to know his fellow sailors and encounters the heady Amazon. 

FACTS: ★★★★
FUN: ★★★★



Sleeping with Schubert

Bonnie Marson (Ballantine Books)

A lawyer finds herself sharing her existence with Schubert, with unhappy results

You may lose the will to live should you choose to read this. But anyway, here goes. While out shopping, New York lawyer Lisa Durbin finds herself inhabited by the ghost of Schubert (not a premise that comes easily).

With her new guest on board, she becomes an overnight piano sensation and, later, the medium by which the composer introduces a series of previously unheard works to 21st-century audiences.

As a host of grotesques – from her PR monster of a sister to a Juilliard professor from hell – line up to take advantage of her extraordinary gift, she has to come to terms with the idea of sharing her existence with a 19th-century genius.

One might sympathise were Durbin, our narrator, not so persistently self-obsessed – we’re given regular updates about her hair (large) and chest (also large), but learn little about her body-mate, poor old Schubert, other than that he gets giddy whenever a piano comes into view.

Amusing? No. Touching? No. Erotic? Hardly. Don’t expect Sleeping with Schubert to make the earth move for you.

FUN: ★



Liszt’s Kiss

Susanne Dunlap (Simon & Schuster)

A girl’s encounter with Liszt marks a turning point in her quest for the truth about her father

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times: Paris is in the grip of a deadly water-borne disease and Franz Liszt can’t keep his trousers up. At least, that’s how Dunlap’s book initially unfolds.

Liszt, the seducer of a 15-year-old aristrocrat’s daughter, actually turns out to be a sensitive sort, attracted to the married Marie d’Agoult, and shacked up with his chum in a garret where they seem to drink nothing but claret.

Meanwhile, our young protagonist Anne’s mother has died and her father has locked the family piano away, although that’s soon the least of her worries. Lessons with Liszt, encounters with a mysterious suitor, and a suave doctor, provide the slightly flabby meat.

But the music references are fun – Liszt emerges suitably flamboyant and enigmatic, and Erard’s escapement mechanism, Paganini, Berlioz and Giuditta Pasta all get a look-in. But does Liszt get the girl? And is Anne as wet as she seems? The cliffhanger is at least worth waiting for.

FACTS: ★★★
FUN: ★★★



Illuminations: A Novel of Hildegard Von Bingen

Mary Sharratt (Mariner)

A not-so-musical account of the fascinating life of the composing nun

A cursory glance at this book’s cover suggests it might belong on the shelves of a market stall specialising in crystals and tarot cards. Fortunately, however, the content inside is much more compelling.

Mary Sharratt chronicles the fascinating life of Hildegard Von Bingen, who was sent to a monastery at a young age because of the visions she had been experiencing. 

Hildegard’s liturgical songs are peppered throughout the novel, primarily as motifs to explain various moments of importance in her life. However, her music takes something of a back seat within the plot.

The focus is instead placed on her pious life and relationships with the women around her. And she was quite the early feminist, which makes for an interesting subtext. Nevertheless, if you’re after a thorough examination of Hildegard’s musical output, you’ll likely be disappointed.

FACTS: ★★★★
FUN: ★★★



Charles Jessold, Considered as a Murderer

Wesley Stace (Vintage)

A superbly entertaining insight into the darker side of early 20th-century English music

Charles Jessold, taken under the wing of critic Leslie Shepherd (the book’s narrator), is one of the most promising English composers of his day, his works the toast of the town.

But he has a troubled soul – alcoholism, sociopathy, the occult… and a fixation on the murderous crimes of his near namesake Carlo Gesualdo that manifests itself in his Britten-esque masterpiece, the opera Little Musgrave. From there, things unravel at a pace.

Wesley Stace’s novel is more than a rip-roaring tale – he knows his stuff, and peppers the book with wonderful insights into the critic-musician relationship, London’s cliquey music scene and a delightful account of the premiere of Britten’s Peter Grimes.

What’s most astonishing is that, without hearing a note, Jessold’s music comes utterly to life thanks to Stace’s brilliant contextual writing. Half the fun, too, is guessing who Jessold is modelled on. Is it Warlock, Grainger, Holst – even Vaughan Williams? Utterly quirky, informative fun. 

FACTS: ★★★★★
FUN: ★★★★★



My Tango With Barbara Strozzi

Russell Hoban (Bloomsbury)

A quirky modern-day love story inspired by the Baroque Italian composer

When novelist Phil Ockerman takes a tour of an exhibition of composer portraits, he comes across an arresting picture of La Virtuosissima Cantatrice, Barbara Strozzi. ‘What a woman!’ he notes. Interest turns to an obsession with the 17th-century Venetian singer and composer.

He goes home to luxuriate in her music, which in turn leads him to try out a tango class. There he meets Bertha Strunk, a professional glass eyeball painter who he thinks looks so like Strozzi that he starts calling her Barbara.

The tale of their romance continues in this unlikely vein, and is packed with improbable coincidences and  unexpected events that in a different author’s hands would seem ridiculous. Here, somehow, Russell Hoban gets at the strangeness of ordinary life.

We learn most about Strozzi at the start of the novel, but she then becomes a symbol for powerful infatuation. It’s a shame she’s not given her own voice – her real-life story is fascinating – yet this odd book might just inspire you to listen to her music. 

FUN: ★★★



Conversations with Beethoven

Sanford Friedman (New York Review of Books)

The composer faces death in the company of those who know him best

Now this is rather clever. What we have here is a chronicle of Beethoven’s last few months on this earth, depicted in a series of imaginary conversations that he might have had with those around him.

We, however, only get to see what they were saying to him, communicating by written notes on account of his deafness – his spoken replies are left to our imagination.

The narrative kicks off with the attempted suicide of Beethoven’s beloved but flighty nephew Karl, and thereafter we are introduced to a series of family members, friends and professional acquaintances who, as the great man’s health steadily declines, do little more than irritate him with their good intentions.

He, in turn, drives them to despair with his petulance, paranoia and painful bloody-mindedness. As the various names come and go, you may want Google close at hand to tell you a little more about them – there’s a lot to take in. It is, though, surprisingly engrossing.

FACTS: ★★★★★
FUN: ★★★★


Lonely Hearts Club Band: an interview with Trupa Trupa’s Grzegorz Kwiatkowski

via The Wire: Home

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