Music Television 1.5

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Post  misery guts on Thu Feb 18, 2016 7:50 am

Labrinth @ Snowbombing 2012
At the Eristoff Forest Party, a short set from 2012, which perhaps reminds one that he ought to have some new material out sometime soon, presumably.


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Post  misery guts on Sat Feb 20, 2016 11:33 am

Kerrang! Meets... Panic At The Disco
Brendon Urie of Las Vegas' rockers talks before their gig at Brixton Academy on Jan 12 of this year, amid clips from past videos. He enthuses about the whole experience, nods to David Bowie (famous son of Brixton), UK fans, being a tourist, Positive Hardcore Thursdays, and much more. Quite a likeable guy, really, with a good band.

MTV World Stage: Nicole Scherzinger
From the Isle of MTV at Malta in June 2014, Nicole ran through her solo hits and a few PCD numbers, before encoring with her guest duettist Enrique Iglesias. Quite alright, really.

Jungle - Live @ Ibiza Rocks 2015
A pleasant enough little showcase from an alright band.

HARDtalk: John Cale
The Welsh wunderkid worked with Lou Reed in the Velvet Underground and left a legacy of influence, not least when it came to being a producer for other bands. He was very warm about the experimentation days, and the use of drugs. His own abusive suffering as a teenager was understandably a tough cross to bear. But he showed no wish to take it easy, still full of ideas and the will to use them.
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Post  misery guts on Tue Feb 23, 2016 8:09 am

MTV Crashes Cork: Gorgon City
Apart from Zak Abel on the opener, it was mostly a star-less effort, but that let the songs take centre stage, or something.

MTV Crashes Derry/Londonderry: Afrojack
A very intense light show in the first half (warning epileptics beforehand seemed a bit optimistic, this would have stunned almost anyone). Then again, the crowd seemed happy enough.


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Post  misery guts on Thu Feb 25, 2016 8:39 am

MTV World Stage: Alicia Keys
At the O2 Academy, Glasgow in Nov 2014, with a quite pregnant Keys belting out a few numbers inbetween chatting to the crowd. Emeli Sande joined her at one stage.


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Post  misery guts on Sun Feb 28, 2016 9:27 am

Rhythm and Blues Revue
From the Apollo Theatre, Harlem, 1955, a rather cobbled event, the Harlem Variety Revue, featured quite a talented mixture, from Lionel Hampton and Sarah Vaughn, to Count Basie and Cab Calloway, not to mention Nat 'King' Cole. The show was hosted and held together in several comic skits between numbers, but unfortunately ended abruptly so I missed these added names. Interesting show, though.

Daft Punk - Unchained
Worthy hagiography of the electronic duo, which I'm pretty sure didn't mention Kraftwerk even once. Instead their early works, how they got their name, their breakthrough with "Homework" in 1997, a monumental gig at Coachella in 2006, and their recent collaboration with Nile Rodgers all helped the predictable story along. They're the Godfathers of the EDM craze, which says a lot about the music industry really.
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Post  misery guts on Tue Mar 01, 2016 9:40 am

Craig David Presents TS5 Live
An odd little show where his performance in a closed studio was interspersed with chats to host Becca Dudley. Apart from his recent comeback single When The Bassline Drops, it was pretty safe oldies. He spoke of how he took a long hiatus after a record company persuaded him to do a covers album of songs like Sitting on the Dock of the Bay, which was too far from his comfort zone.

Pop Profiles: Rihanna
Made around the time of her 5th LP, it covered her early years, being star spotted, and making a big leap forward with the Good Girl Gone Bad LP. I was surprised to learn Umbrella had been turned down by Britney Spears and Mary J Blige before Rihanna turned it into a winner. Jay Z has proven a helping hand more than once, too.

Marc Almond - Live at the Water Rats
Felt fresh stuff, but he did throw in a couple of Soft Cell numbers towards the end. He seems healthy and happy enough.


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Post  misery guts on Fri Mar 04, 2016 8:04 am

Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of
Entertaining 2014 mega-doc covering their reunion & 20th anniversary tour, as each member chatted about their early days and journey, highs and lows, attempts to put together a new album, etc The frailties undoubtedly turned what was already an impressive effort into something special. Whether it was AJ's knackered knees, Brian's knackered voice, addiction & recovery issues, age difference and parental loss, and so on. They all came across as genuinely nice guys who got some unfair knocks during their heyday (their Svengali manager not only formed a rival band, N Sync, but laundered money as a matter of principle, besides other schmuckery). Happily, they finally get the new LP done, and the tour goes so well it extends into a 3rd year...

They Came From Manchester - Five Decades of Mancunian Pop
Just a clip compilation show from 2008, notable for its more esoteric inclusions, whether John Cooper Clarke or Sweet Sensation, M People and the Ting Tings. A useful reminder that Liverpool isn't the only major home of music in that neck of the woods.
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Post  misery guts on Tue Mar 08, 2016 8:45 am

The Pointer Sisters in Africa
Very odd concert from 1974, during a music festival coinciding with the Ali-Foreman fight, apparently. Seeing them about a decade before their career zenith led to some well-sung but totally unfamiliar numbers.

Perfect Pianists with David Owen Norris
A compilation handily held together by an expert. Many greats were included here, and some surprising names were omitted. But maybe there'll be a follow-up sometime.

Discovering: Iggy Pop
"The man who invented punk rock" or "The musician's musician", he and the Stooges were credited with inspiring punk and so much of what came after. Though he was inspired by the Doors, who do not get any such credit. They did 3 LPs and all flopped. He started getting somewhere under the helpful guidance of David Bowie in Berlin. By the mid-80s, he was finally having hits and critical kudos. He appeared in films and TV roles, and reformed the Stooges so he could financially help his old band-mates. He kept producing new LPs, but was considered at his greatest live.
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Post  misery guts on Sat Mar 12, 2016 1:04 pm

Amy
Oscar-winning documentary which conveniently uses home movie footage from before she was famous, and so on. The talking heads are mainly sound only, which probably helps as the footage speaks for itself in many cases. It's little wonder her father objects to this film, as he gets most of the blame, though I was reminded of the similar buck-passing about Ian Curtis. Anyway, it's a very self-serving film that fails to do more than allow her fans to worship her some more. That it won an Oscar tells its own story.

Discovering: Cher

The fun series covers the half-decade career of "the ultimate disco diva", from a troubled childhood, a mildly accidental superstar duo with Sonny Bono, a hit telly series, her own solo adventures, her movie successes, and music revival in the mid-80s & thereafter. Her strong self-belief and willingness to take herself over-seriously were seen as keys to her longevity.
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Post  misery guts on Fri Mar 18, 2016 8:27 am

Anvil - The Story of Anvil
Engaging 2008 rock doc about Toronto rockers Anvil, who nearly made it big in the 1980s, but didn't. Lead characters Lips and Robb remain the nucleus from the old days, struggling to keep going despite the lack of financial reward. The first part of the film sees them on a disastrous European tour where their thrill at meeting old faces like Brian Robertson or Michael Schenker is tempered by shonky travel issues and crappy venues. They decide their imminent 13th album needs the use of a decent producer, which costs money they haven't got. Having raised the £13k, they spend weeks recording in Dover, and try to interest record companies, with no luck. An offer of a Japanese gig seems like a mixed blessing, but it proves a hit after all. I was pleased to research after that this film gave them a huge publicity boost and they seem to be on a better keel these days.

Virtuoso Violinists with Nicola Benedetti
Another collection of ace musicians, from Nigel Kennedy and Yehudi Menuhin, to Henryk Szeryng and Gidon Kremer. Pleasant enough hour.


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Post  misery guts on Tue Mar 22, 2016 11:26 am

Black Stone Cherry: On Record
Matt Stocks interviews Chris and Ben from the rockers touring the UK, 10 years on from their 1st record, and promoting their latest, 5th, LP. They discussed politics (some muddled views there), the sonic experiments they felt emboldened to make on the new LP, how they got Halestorm, Shinedown and Highly Suspect as tour support. The chat was broken up by several of their hit videos, which generally seemed alright stuff.

Live With... Frazey Ford
She's a Canadian singer-songwriter, was in the Be Good Tanyas, and was now backed by the Quiet Revolution. They did half a dozen numbers, pleasant enough.

John Williams at the BBC
Legendary classical guitar-player, looking back on old performance footage, both serious, and some more light-hearted turns alongside Eric Sykes and Les Dawson. Cleo Laine and the great Herbie Flowers were also hailed (the latter because of Williams' part in the super-group Sky), with more serious praise from Julian Bream and Antonio Pappano. An impressive showcase all through.
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Post  misery guts on Tue Apr 05, 2016 1:46 pm

Live With... Tanita Tikaram
She may never have matched the heights of her 1988 debut album, but she continues to write and record, and here played some numbers from her latest album, Closer to the People. Gratifyingly, she did old favourite Twist in My Sobriety as well.

SoulPower!
A major 4-part series looking at the rise and evolution of soul music, from its early beginnings, though its 1960s heights, changes in the 1970s & 1980s, and then bringing the story up to date. By bringing in Disco and Hip-Hop, as well as a multitude of lesser tags, the message seemed that soul is still fighting white prejudice in the market, especially in America. Hmm...
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Post  misery guts on Fri Apr 15, 2016 7:58 am

Monteverdi in Mantua: The Genius of the Vespers
A lengthy plod about the composer who was lumbered with a long stint in the service of the Duke of Mantua, who exploited his work contract to the point of despair. But Monteverdi came through to create his masterpiece, and when the Duke finally died in 1612, Monteverdi was able to spend 30 years working happily in Venice.

Master and Maverick: Sir Peter Maxwell-Davies at the BBC
A compilation out together after his recent death, with snapshots of his career from telly appearances, and concert performances, and talking about his creative works, his Knighthood and career zenith as Master of the Queen's Music.


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Post  misery guts on Mon Apr 18, 2016 7:49 am

Katharine Jenkins - Believe : Live From The O2
Lengthy concert enlivened by some help from Escala and Amaury Vasilli. She does mix in the odd pop tune with the classical stuff.

The Glenn Miller Story
James Stewart and June Allyson give a good account of the bandleader who struggles to create his new sound, but cleans up once he does so, up until his fateful war-time plane trip.

Beyond The Sea
Kevin Spacey's entertaining Bobby Darin biopic, enlivened by a fun cast, and a rare out-of-the-ordinary turn from Spacey as Darin, clearly putting his joy across well on screen.

Live At The Water Rats: Danni Nicholls
Solid enough performance of 7 songs for an appreciative live crowd.

Live With... The Carnabys
A band from Twickenham get to put across half a dozen songs of varying interest.
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Post  misery guts on Sat Apr 23, 2016 12:14 pm

Mavis!
A lengthy tribute to the career of Mavis Staples, surviving singer from the Staples Singers (with her sister Yvonne anyway), and how the family made its name and fought the good fight, ably led by Roebuck aka Pops. Many fans such as Bob Dylan, Chuck D and Bonnie Raitt happily sang their praises, whilst collaborations past and present with Jeff Tweedy and Prince were considered, too. She was saluted as a Chicago icon, amongst obviously all the other civil rights struggles and so on. A fun programme, with a moving final reel where Mavis gets to hear Pops' final album, restored from unwelcome musical baggage.

Deftones: On Record
Chino Moreno chatted to presenter Jon Mahon to plug their new album Gore and chit-chat about their previous works, a new gig high at Wembley Arena, keeping setlists fresh to the last minute, an upcoming appearance at Download, having the freedom to develop across genre boundaries. Several videos were put it along the way to split up the excitement. Seem like a good bunch.
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Post  misery guts on Fri Apr 29, 2016 7:01 am

Jim Carter: Lonnie Donegan and Me
Reliable Brit actor gets to present a show lauding the King of Skiffle, 1950s legend Lonnie Donegan, whom Jim saw as a young fan and maintained a life-long support for. He managed to get interviews with Ringo Starr & Paul McCartney, Van Morrison, Roger Daltrey and Jack White, as well as the secretary of his fan club, and his 1st & 3rd wives, and one of his sons. Lonnie only died in 2002, but the brief window of Skiffle meant he had a long time as an entertainer trying to balance his proper hits like Putting On The Style or Rock Island Line, with his novelty successes with My Old Man's A Dustman.

Yehudi Menuhin - Who's Yehudi?
Born in 1916, the violin child prodigy grew up into a formidable performer who helped with morale during WW2, married twice and had several children, worked with Ravi Shankar and Stephane Grappelli, founded his own musical School (which gave us Tasmin Little and Nigel Kennedy, to name but two), and died in 1999. For a man who made his debut at the Carnegie Hall in November 1927, he spent the following 7 decades still learning his craft and listening to others.
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Post  misery guts on Tue May 03, 2016 7:31 am

Snowbombing 2016
An hour report from an alpine festival somewhere, with Groove Armada, Wilkinson, The Prodigy and Fatboy Slim amongst those performing. Performance footage was limited to a couple of tracks from Skepta and three from the Prodigy.

Shinedown: On Record
Another in this series, an American rock band who released their first album back in 2003, and recently released their latest, "Threat to Survival". They boasted 21 consecutive top 5 hits in some American chart. They knew Black Stone Cherry and Halestorm of old. They had some tricky personal obstacles to overcome, but are happy to embrace radio, and try varying things on their albums. They even wrote a song for a Stallone movie. Maybe we'll be hearing more from them here.

Live With... Graham Parker
Short half-hour performance from the veteran British rocker, ably accompanied by none other than Brinsley Schwartz himself, as impressive a name as Graham himself. Good stuff.

John Lawton Band - Shakin' The Tale : At the Magician's Birthday Party
Recorded at the Mean Fiddler, a band I'm unfamiliar with, but who have plenty of solid material all the same.
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Post  misery guts on Thu May 05, 2016 6:58 am

Tinie Tempah @ NCS Yes Live
A short gig from some young person charity, with a fair mix of material, and finishing with one of his duettists actually present for once, and unsurprisingly it's Jess Glynne.

Relentless Ultra presents Soundchain on MTV: Foals
Nick Grimshaw presents for once, as Jack & Yanis discuss their 4 albums, the bands that first opened their ears to music, early band efforts of their own (Black Tulip and Car Bomb Dating), how tour life affects them, and the evolution of their sound. They seem to be set steady for as long as they care to.
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Post  misery guts on Tue May 10, 2016 6:54 am

Prince: Sign O' The Times
1987 concert film filmed in Rotterdam, with a few added link bits to give Prince time for his many costume changes. Sheena Easton turned up for "U Got The Look", Sheila E got a namecheck for her drumming, whilst Cat did dance stuff that maybe seemed more impressive at the time. Good songs, mind.

Grateful Dead
Despite a lack of location or date, or song titles, this was still an affable hour of concert stuff, and they covered Little Red Rooster amongst their own stuff. They always seem to belie a gruffer image.
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Post  misery guts on Thu May 19, 2016 7:28 am

The Everly Brothers - Harmonies From Heaven
Only a couple of years since the last Ev Bros doc, but here we go. This one scored well in the number of famous faces willing to pay homage, whether Graham Nash and Keith Richards, or Art Garfunkel and Dave Edmunds, and even young guns like Jake Bugg and Will Oldham. Don Everly was still happy to talk about old times. I was amused that the brothers were even divided politically (Phil a Republican, Don a Democrat). Their story was one of steady success until entering the Marines in 1962, during which time the musical landscape shifted forever.

Snowbombing 2016
Another edition of this, with actor and occasional DJ Idris Elba presenting, amidst chat from Wilkinson, the staggeringly unfunny Cuban Brothers, Wilkinson, Craig David and Netsky (these last 2 both provided the featured music).

The Sound of Fury
A thoroughly entertaining account of the heyday of Billy Fury, who was one of Larry Parnes' stable of singers (Vince Eager did most of the talking about being part of that clan), with Billy's mother and brother giving their side, and the inevitable band of famous fans including Boz Boorer, Len Goodman, David Puttnam and Imelda May. He was keen on marijuana for his weak chest, but couldn't crack America (hardly surprising when they already had Elvis). Like most of Parnes' boys, he barely made any royalties, and died in early 1983. At least he has a statue in his hometown of Liverpool.
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Post  misery guts on Sat May 21, 2016 11:19 am

Bob Marley - Up Close and Personal
The usual stuff about his uniting the Wailers and his backing singers, meeting and signing with Chris Blackwell at Island Records, finding life more amenable (and less violent) in London, how he suffered what turned out to be his fatal foot injury in Germany, and how his prolific number of albums resulted in more dross than gold. Ah, but what gold!

An Audience With Barry Manilow
From 2011, and partly plugging his then latest album, this was a showcase of classic material and rather simplistic Q&A. He seems another one who claims to write songs, when I gather he's more of a one for cover versions (including "I Write The Songs" ironically). Nice show, mind.

NCS Yes Live! 2016
From the Roundhouse, Camden, London, a showcase for young people in connection with some Social Action prize. Jess Glynne, Tinie Tempah and Izzy Bisu were on hand to do some songs.

Live With... Hunter & The Bear
Never heard of them before, but their songs were OK.

HARDtalk: Brian Eno
A self-styled "non-musician" talked of his ideas of painting in sound, his experiments in sound, from ambient to generative. Described David Bowie as a "scenius", that is a genius who could create a whole scene. Thinks the new creativity is coming from the world of gaming. Has an enormous archive of material, most of which doesn't deserve to see the light of day when he dies (he says). Always thoughtful and provocative.

When Pop Went Epic - The Crazy World of the Concept Album
Rick Wakeman presented an amiable hour covering the usual bases (Yes, Pink Floyd, The Who) and some of the more unusual ones (Public Enemy, the Flaming Lips, Laura Marling). Clearly despite the somewhat dubious critical reputation, the concept album will never die.
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Post  misery guts on Mon May 23, 2016 7:11 am

Justin Timberlake - Suited Up
This 2013 effort detailed the rise of Memphis' own JT, from his early steps in showbiz winning a talent contest, and his stint on the Mickey Mouse Club, to joining and then outgrowing N Sync. I always preferred the Backstreet Boys anyway. His solo successes are fawned over, from his first 3 solo albums to his movies. Not to mention his high-profile other halves, who seem to exist to provoke a break-up song after they've split. Perhaps in some respects he is the male Beyoncé.

JS Bach - Goldberg Variations
Alexandre Tharaud wos an audience with his piano work on this classical piece, a joint production of Warners and ARTE France.
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Post  misery guts on Mon May 30, 2016 8:06 am

Live With... Jon Allen
Nope, me neither, but the songs were alright.

Simon Rattle conducts The Seasons
With the London Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican Centre. Rattle introduced each segment of this Joseph Haydn gem in effort to point out the fun to come.

Relentless Ultra presents SoundChain: Florence and the Machine
The duo (!) were formed in 2007, and talent spotted in a toilet. Such is the modern way. Florence felt herself part of a scene with such forgotten stars as Jamie T, Jack Penate and The Horrors. She talked of her influences, and the different results on her first 3 albums.


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Post  misery guts on Wed Jun 01, 2016 8:09 am

EMI - The Inside Story
Fun look over the fortunes of the record company founded in 1931, but chiefly its music business work in the last 50-odd years. This meant talk about the Beatles, Abbey Road Studios, Pink Floyd, the Sex Pistols, Duran Duran, Pet Shop Boys and Blur. The company's evolution and its highs and lows influenced choices of acts to sign, or companies to work with. The Internet is now the big problem, but they'll probably be around for a while yet.

Bertrand de Billy conducts Orchestre de Paris
They did two pieces, a short-ish one from Saint-Saens, and a longer one from Schubert. Pleasant listening.

Live With... Turin Brakes
To some dismay, they didn't do Pain Killer, or indeed anything I recognised. Otherwise fine.

Video Killed The Radio Star: Billy Idol
Dave Mallet spoke fondly of working on White Wedding, Eyes Without A Face, To Be A Lover and Catch My Fall, whilst the ubiquitous Robert Elms tried to give the guy some belated credit for his success and innovations in videos in the 1980s, and living the rock star dream so well.


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Post  misery guts on Mon Jun 13, 2016 8:46 am

Perspectives: The Great American Love Song, with Nicky Campbell
Somewhat bland Scottish DJ waffles around New York to select 6 songs which he feels best sum up the era of the Great American Song Book, and tell a few related anecdotes. Those 6 are:
1. Manhattan
2. The Man I Love
3. Ain't Misbehavin'
4. The Way You Look Tonight
5. Night and Day
6. The Night We Called It a Day

He spoke to Annie Lennox and Michael Feinstein, interviewed a surviving friend of Cole Porter, and some rap artist.

Live With... Mike Marlin
Supposedly famous for a vocal styling compared to David Bowie. Not his songs, you notice. To be fair, it was alright.


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