AUDI6 SNOBBERY

Boy are we five smug-ass Snobs. In certain religions, the number Six is considered the worst of all numbers; just shy of the perfect number Seven and thus entirely imperfect. However, when it comes to Audio Snobbery, it would seem that the Number of The Beast suits us quite well, as we are thrilled to release our sixth playlist, AUDI6 SNOBBERY.

In recognition of John’s superb re-appraisal of Blur’s majestic album, 13,  we open with Trimm Trabb before taking you through a sumptuous journey that also includes Family Curse by Beirut, who we saw in April. The playlist truly captures the wide range of collective musical interests your illustrious Snobs enjoy, and marries well with this annual change of the seasons. Your Snobs, in turn, are changing; switching money treadmills and carefully planning many exciting things for Audio Snobbery en générale. Stay tuned and keep reading.

We also note that we Snobs can see what you’re reading, dear Reader, and we feel quite strongly that you aren’t paying sufficient heed to the simultaneously released B-SIDES that accompany each playlist. These playlists, too, are curated for your listening pleasure, and many a treasure is to be found there. In AUDI6 B-SIDES we mirrored the A-sides, opening with fellow 13 track, Battle, before moving through a more varied and at times lower-key catalogue, which includes the phenomenal Mountains by Prince, whose stellar mid-‘80s backing band The Revolution we worshipped back in February.

Each of us felt the need, once again, to add some personal notes to our decision-making, below. We do hope you enjoy AUDI6 SNOBBERY and AUDI6 B-SIDES – they go well with… well, everything.

Cuzomano

My personal top track for this playlist has to be the utterly sublime All The Elements by Methyl Ethel, a truly exciting and thoroughly enjoyable band whose 2019 release, Triage, is certain to make my personal Albums of the Year.

Bad Vibes are also, in fact, Great Vibes, with Nine Inch Nails’ superb All Time Low from 2013’s Hesitation Marks – a manifestly under-rated LP from the best band you probably haven’t delved into. I note that this song – as well as my first recommendation – were not personal additions; Methyl Ethel coming from our beloved Easy C and NIN from John, the belligerent hedonist.

Particular kudos must also be given to, err, KUDOS by complete newcomer Ka-Li from North London, whose silky smooth vocals gave us all the feels.

Lastly, huge praise to a personal favourite from our B-sides: Super Trouper by bloody ABBA because it is a perfect slice of Pop music from an era when enormous Pop bands were actually talented, and it’s fucking great.

There are, however, so many absolutely superb tracks on both these playlists, that I truly encourage you to take in all of them. Listen to them all. All the time. I don’t want to steal my fellow Snobs’ thunder in shouting out to other songs chosen in these playlists, but – honestly – I very much want to.

Easy C

The Snobs continue unabated in our quest for you to indulge in the same musical pleasure we seek. Unlike Don Quixote and his Subordinate, Sancho Panza, the Snobs quest has borne the fruits of AUDI6 SNOBBERY.

I wonder what bangers the likes of Odysseus, Hercules et al. had playing in a pre-Walkman era as they ventured out into an undiscovered World?  Well, for your not-so-brave, muscular, nor fearless Snob the first port of call arrives at LCD Soundsystem in the form of Seconds. The band’s third live studio album revisits their past discography with some added grit and Seconds opens a great live album that is worth exploring fully.

I can imagine that the mythical heroes of our past – not our Cuzomano’s musical Heroes – would be blaring This Is The Day full volume from their ship as they reached the shore of a tropical island, laden with mermaids and other worldly delights. I certainly would be.

Our love for Brazilian Girls palpitates ever more through Let’s Make Love (a lot of the L bomb going on, I know), while SOS marks the return of one of the most underrated dance bands going in Crazy P.

While there is a constant desire to shout out every track, your dear Snobs must continue on their perilous musical quest and on that, I leave you with Pregoblin’s debut belter, Combustion.

John

So you know the drill. A lot of music listened to in the past two months, a lot of music added to AUDI6 SNOBBERY, a big hedonistic curating session in the Snobbery HQ (accompanied by the now-classic Easy C delicacies) and there you have it: our newest release, freshly made for our readers’ ears.

Given that my fellow Snobs have already taken the liberty to highlight the more “evident” belters of this playlist, I will take this opportunity to point out the less glamorous tracks of AUDI6 SNOBBERY for your listening pleasure. First honourable mention goes to Entre Dos Aguas, a flamenco masterpiece that was 22 weeks at the top of the sales charts in 1976, and catapulted Paco de Lucia‘s career – perhaps the most famous of all Spanish guitarists. Follow that with Japanese Breakfast‘s Diving Woman and Baltimore from the great Nina Simone (despite not being her most memorable work, it is an interesting spin on a reggae vibe which one does not usually associate to the jazz vocalist) – two female powerhouses that add an interesting touch to AUDI6. I also have to highlight FoalsSunday, which, for a moment there, was probably the most heard song on my Spotify, Blackbird, from 23-year old rising star Tash Sultana (more to come!), and All the Elements by Methyl Ethel – I think Cuzomano pretty much summed up the latter when he said this will probably make the top albums of 2019.

Appreciating that the above may be quite the mellow selection of music, and to also leave with you some good hedonistic vibes, make sure you listen to Jorge Ben Jor‘s Take It Easy My Brother Charles, undoubtedly one of the strongest tracks of AUDI6 (despite what my fellow Snobs might say), Sometimes Enough by the Black Seeds and Woman, the new collaboration by New York legends Karen O and Dangermouse – these should put a smile on your face as you are boogie-ing down the street (boogie-ing down the street with everyone looking at you is the best way to listen to music, trust me).

In any case, and as always, every song is worthy of your time, and we do hope you appreciate our most recent endeavour.

El Mascarado

Special shout out to Friends by Guts, A Funky Space Reincarnation by Marvin Gaye, I’m a Ram by Al Green and of course Living for the City by Stevie Wonder.

We hope you enjoy this one as much as we enjoyed making it. Keep listening and keep on reading!

Otacon

Dear reader, I am writing you from a non-descript airport lounge surrounded by a colorful cast of characters as I wait to depart for some much needed R&R from the vicious cycles of the money treadmill. My contributions to AUDI6 SNOBBERY were very much a product of my environment over the last few months. I moved back to sunny California just for that, the Sun, and San Francisco has not been delivering on its end. The city has seen nearly double the amount of rainfall of Seattle, which is saying a lot. It is in this vein that my initial contributions to the playlist carry on where Bad Vibes left off: dark and moody. We start off with Bauhaus’ nearly 10-minute, dark and brooding epic, Bela Lugosi’s Dead. While many might bicker back and forth whether Bauhaus is new wave or post punk or goth, this song is nevertheless largely considered the forerunner to the Goth movement that would take hold in the ‘80s and would be largely influenced by my next pick.

Next up, we have one of my favourite The Cure songs, A Forest. Another dark and moody song that, depending on the version you hear, can last up to 9 minutes in length. Unfortunately, my other favorite The Cure song, Killing an Arab, based off Albert Camus’ The Stranger has been mired in controversy since its first release in 1980, and has been rewritten over the years to be “Kissing an Arab”, “Killing Another,” and various other iterations, is nowhere to be found in Spotify’s library. That being said, both songs provide excellent examples of The Cure’s unique sound.

As we headed into spring and SF was graced with two weekends of the type of weather that makes you happy to be alive, my spirits were gradually lifted. If you can listen to either the Tom Tom Club’s Genius of Love or even more so Candi Stanton’s Young Hearts Run Free (while my beloved Cuzomano shared in my ecstasy for this track, some of the other Snobs demoted it to the AUDI6 B-SIDES) and not want to smile and get up and dance, you, my sir or madam, are a sad, sad soul. While I will be the first to admit that I am not a fan of dance music – don’t get me started on E.D.M. – KH’s (i.e. Four Tet) rendition of Nelly Furtado’s Afraid is pure gold.  

Lastly, even during these dark times, what with the UK running around like a chicken with its head cut off and The States being run into the ground by he-who-must-not-be-named, there is still hope dear readers. They say that the best is saved for last and my final contribution does not disappoint.

Not all music is created equally. Some songs are just songs, in one ear and out the other, but some songs moves us in ways that cannot be explained. As our dear El Mascarado so eloquently put it in his live review of the The Como Mamas, “I am not a religious man, but the way these ladies sang had me believing in something.” Dear readers, I present you with part 1 and part 2 of Aretha Franklin’s rendition of Precious Lord, a truly religious musical experience if there ever was one. While we Snobs have a strict one track per artist per playlist policy, I fought hard for you all so that you too could experience this wonder in its entirety (the reason for the two part split was so that the entire track would fit on a single 78 RPM vinyl record). In today’s world, everyone and anyone can upload a song to the internet and become the next big trend, but as Whitney Houston put it back in 2000:

“It was different back then. You either got it or you don’t; no in-betweens. Aretha had it…Now there’s a lot of studio stuff goin’ on, no real live acts. You see them and you think, ‘What the hell is this? That ain’t the record I bought!’ Back then you saw Aretha, and you got the record and more.”

And speaking of Aretha having it, this live version of the song was recorded back in 1956 when “The Queen of Soul” was still only 14. Let that sink in for a minute… at the tender age of 14, Aretha’s voice had a power and authority that any singer, regardless of their age, would kill for.

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