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Archives for September 2012

Pickin guitars, spittin bars - This week in BBC Music

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Elisha Sessions Elisha Sessions | 11:28 UK time, Friday, 28 September 2012

This week


The Gaslamp Killer

The Gaslamp Killer

A banner 20th series of Later... with Jools Holland kicked off on Tuesday 25 Sept with live performances from The xx, Public Image Limited, Muse, The Beach Boys and Natalie Duncan. Pretty wild when you remember that they're all actually in the same room at the same time, a short walk from Shepherd's Bush Green in London. An extended (non-live) version of the show airs tonight, 28 Sept at 11pm BST.

Benji B's hard-to-classify late-night Thursday show brought back the 3am request line this week, which resulted in Omar S being mixed into Erykah Badu, Teedra Moses and Gang Starr. The previous week, underground LA hip hop DJ The Gaslamp Killer was in the studio for a chat and a guest mix. The show's expired, but you can still hear the interview and the mix.

Staying with hip hop, 1Xtra rap don Charlie Sloth took to the road in search of British rap beyond London's borders. He found it, and then some. This is a new kind of 1Xtra Story that you can watch - yes, it's a video. From a radio station. How about that? It's called Rap Britannia and you can watch it for the next three weeks or so.

Coming up

Ben Watt

Ben Watt

You've got another chance to hear left-field pop impresario Ben Watt (also known as one half of Everything But the Girl) on Saturday 29 Sept at midnight (OK, OK technically it's Sunday, we know) when his sinuous collage of deep house, rock and soul gets a rewind in full on The 6 Mix.

Guitar Heroes at the BBC concludes in the wee hours of tomorrow morning, 29 Sept., with Part 6, documenting some standout performances at the BBC from the 1970s. Highlights include the yodel-rock of Dutch proggers Focus, the brilliant traditional picker Ralph McTell, and some classic riffage from Pete Townshend as well as The Faces.

Out next week

They hit the shelves next week but we've already got reviews of brand new albums from Beth Orton, Betty LaVette, Carl Nielsen, DJ Fresh, Faces, Flying Lotus, Hidden Orchestra, John Coltrane, Lower Than Atlantis, Moon Duo, Quicksand, Tim Burgess and Wintersleep.

Strings and bling - This week in BBC Music

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Elisha Sessions Elisha Sessions | 11:18 UK time, Friday, 21 September 2012

This week

Oliver Sim from The xx

Oliver Sim from The xx

The big deal this week was The xx performing with the BBC Philharmonic in Bridlington Spa, streamed live on the Radio 1 website, on FM and DAB, and on the Red Button all the next day. If you somehow managed to miss it all, you can catch up on Zane Lowe's page. We've got video of the entire show and guess what - it'll work on your mobile!

Geoffrey Smith took you on a tour of the highlights of Ella Fitzgerald's remarkable career in the latest installment of his personal journey through jazz on Radio 3.

Radio 4's brilliant documentary series Soul Music looks at Dire Straits' Brothers in Arms this week, and how it's come to soundtrack memories of conflict and loss, both personal and public.

And we also want to remind you about the national treasure you may never heard of, Bobby Friction on the Asian Network. Every Mon-Thurs at 10pm BST, Bobby plays brand-new desi beats, bhangra bangers and Asian electronica with guests like Apurva C, Kan D Man, Swami Baracus and more dropping in regularly to play exclusive tracks and talk about the scene. It's an amazing show.

Coming up

Mrs. Mills

Mrs. Mills

Tonight it's Part 1 of an in-depth look at each of the six finalists in the Leeds International Piano Competition, with a full concerto performance. Host Suzy Klein will also look at the history of The Leeds, and presents interviews with Lang Lang and the founder of the competition, Dame Fanny Waterman. The show begins at 7:30 BST tonight, 21 Sept.

Also tonight is Tom Jones in a special concert from LSO St Lukes in the City. Informally shot, Sir Tom sings with Josh Osho, Tom Paley and Seasick Steve on a handful of American folk, gospel and blues tunes from the 50s and 60s. That's at 10pm BST, 21 Sept.

On Sunday, BBC Four tells the glorious story of Mrs. Mills, the secretary who shot to fame in the early 1960s with her piano renditions of classic music hall tunes. It's on at 9pm BST, on 23 Sept.

At the exact same time, but presumably without much audience overlap, Charlie Sloth takes the pulse of UK rap in an hour-long doc for Radio 1Xtra. You'll hear freestyles in Belfast, rhymes in Welsh, and a rap showcase in Edinburgh, among other rarities.

On Monday, get ready for Behind the Label - XL Recordings, an hour-long documentary on the label that launched The Prodigy and now boasts a roster featuring Adele and the White Stripes. You can hear all the docs in the Behind the Label series until 10 Oct 2012. Previous episodes feature Ed Banger and Ram Records.

Out next week

We've got reviews of brand new albums by DJ Shadow, Efterklang, INXS, Lucy Rose, Mumford & Sons, Terror Danjah, Ultrasound and Woodpecker Wooliams.

Symphonics and pop clips - The week in BBC Music

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Elisha Sessions Elisha Sessions | 09:46 UK time, Friday, 14 September 2012

What you (haven't) missed (yet)

Last weekend Radio 2 was in Hyde Park for a big outdoor concert with the likes of Tom Jones, Paloma Faith, the Average White Band and more Radio 2 stalwarts. The weather was impeccable and we have loads of video up for you to watch.

Richard Hawley performing with the BBC Philharmonic


There was also Richard Hawley's concert with the BBC Philharmonic on 6 Music, and while the entire three-hour extravaganza is only available for another day, the songs themselves stripped of extra gubbins have been made available as a clip that you can listen to for the next three weeks. Result!

For fans of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, it's set for an online revival with a new director, experimental music dude Matthew Herbert.

We've got highlights of Last Night of the Proms if you want to zoom through to the best bits. Purists might cringe but think of it like one of those pills in science fiction stories that provide an entire meal's worth of nutrients in one gulp.

And finally, 1Xtra have put together an hour-long documentary about Odd Future, the unhinged LA hip hop collective that spawned Frank Ocean, some of the most wigged-out lyrics you're likely to hear this side of death metal, and a panoply of interconnected ventures from writing to skateboarding and photography.

Coming up

Tonight at 11pm BST you can watch Richard Thompson: Solitary Life on BBC Four, a documentary about the enigmatic English folk rocker that traces his career and life from early days with Fairport Convention through a legendary and fractious US tour, and up to the present day. There is quite a bit of never-before-seen footage here, we're told. There's also a doc about Fairport Convention lined up for 9pm BST. 

Gene Krupa


Part 2 of Gene Krupa: Drumming Man! airs on Radio 2 this Sunday at 8pm BST, presented by Police drummer Stewart Copeland. If you've never heard of Krupa, or have heard of him but don't really know what he was about, this is really worth a listen. Krupa basically invented the modern drum kit, and his hard-swinging jazz style was a heavy influence on several generations of rock drummers.

Looking a bit further ahead, The xx will be performing with the BBC Philharmonic in Bridlington. It's sold out, sadly, so you'll need to tune into Zane Lowe's show at 7pm BST this coming Wednesday, 19 Sept. on Radio 1.

On Saturday at midnight (OK, technically Sunday, yes, yes), Geoffrey Smith's Jazz is doing an Ella Fitzgerald special, with classics like Blue Skies, How High the Moon, Stompin' at the Savoy and her own take on the children's rhyme, A Tisket A Tasket.

Out next week

We have reviews of new albums from Band of Horses, Ben Folds Five, Brad Mehldau Trio, Dinosaur Jr., Django Bates Belovèd, Grizzly Bear, Homeboy Sandman, How to Dress Well, Jim Noir, Rival Sons, Rudi Zygadlo, Stian Westerhus, The Killers, The Sea and Cake, Thee Oh Sees and We are the Ocean.

Riots, prizes and more - This week in BBC Music

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Elisha Sessions Elisha Sessions | 15:49 UK time, Friday, 7 September 2012

What we've been tweeting throughout the week...

Monday we told you that Nemone had snagged a rare interview with Four Tet over on 6 Music, where he discussed his new album, Pink, among other things.

Hand reaching from hoodie

1Xtra's Stories

Tuesday we linked to the latest 1Xtra Story, entitled Did Hip Hop Predict The Riots? The answer is: not exactly, but what they're getting at is that UK hip hop has been talking rather a lot, and for some time, about the issues that newspapers seemed to suddenly become aware of all at once. Charlie Sloth, new don of the 1Xtra schedule, presents.

Wednesday we reminded you that the Mercury Prize shortlist is out next week. If you'd like to bone up on the contenders, our own Mike Diver has put together his predictions.

Thursday we let you know that Jarvis Cocker is back on 6 Music, with a typically delightful selection of songs for you. This week Jarvis visits the mighty Africa Express as it departs Euston Station.

On Friday we pointed you toward the Asian Network's Summer of Melas, available via the Red Button on your TV, hosted by Tommy Sandhu, Noreen Khan, Ray Khan & Rupal Rajani.

We also mentioned that Ben Drew - sorry, we mean Plan B - did Call My Name by Cheryl Cole - sorry, we mean Cheryl - for Fearne Cotton in the Radio 1 Live Lounge this week. We're trying, Ben and Cheryl, we're trying. There was also the perhaps less surprising choice of his new single, Deepest Shame, and a duet with Timothy McKenzie - sorry, we mean Labrinth - on Playing With Fire.

Coming Up

Patsy Cline

Patsy Cline

If you missed BBC Four's and 6 Music's Punk Britannia season earlier this summer, you can watch this hour of great punk performances on the BBC. The show airs tonight and will be available to watch for a week.

Tonight, on Radio Scotland's Another Country With Ricky Ross, there's also what promises to be a terrific tribute to Patsy Cline, who would be 80 years old on Saturday.

On Sunday, Radio 2 is in Hyde Park! Tom Jones, Jessie J, Paloma Faith, Emeli Sande and the Average White Band will be soaking up what's left of the summer sunshine (and hopefully nothing wetter).

Out Next Week

Here are our reviews of next week's tipped releases, from the likes of Alberta Cross, Animal Collective, Bob Dylan, Calexico, David Byrne and St Vincent, Gallows, Gwilym Gold, Jack Beats, Mala, Pet Shop Boys, Race Horses, The xx and TOY.

Monday Roundup

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Elisha Sessions Elisha Sessions | 11:55 UK time, Monday, 3 September 2012

What we've been tweeting about and more...

Last week

Parade participant at the Notting Hill Carnival

Notting Hill Carnival 2012

1Xtra was broadcasting all afternoon from Notting Hill Carnival on Monday, with Sarah Jane Crawford, Adele Roberts, Seani B, and Ace & Vis welcoming guests throughout the day in their "secret location" (it was... a pub). When the sound systems shut down, we played Norman Jay's set from the Good Times bus, which you can still hear for the next few hours.

Tuesday we let you know about The xx's new album, Coexist, reviewed by our own Mike Diver. It is hotly tipped! By the way, have you noticed the similarity in the cover art between this record and Alt-J's? What does this trend for oily iridescence portend?

On Wednesday we linked to the Country Music Association Music Festival (there's a mouthful) on Radio 2 but sadly the audio's expired. If you're still in the festival mood, there's 1 1/2 hours of Reading + Leeds 2012 coverage available to watch as a full-length programme, or you can watch individual sets online.

DJ Q in the 1Xtra studio

DJ Q in the 1Xtra studio

We also told you about Huddersfield native DJ Q's last show for 1Xtra, featuring a ridiculous array of guests in studio and on the phone, paying tribute to arguably the most open-minded and surprising UK garage DJ going.

Amy Macdonald was in Fulham on Thursday for a live gig on Radio 2. She talked with Jo Whiley about her new record afterwards.

On the other side of town, Sir Simon Rattle was conducting the Berlin Philharmonic in performances of Wagner, Sibelius, Debussy and Ravel, as Proms 2012 continues.

On Friday our album reviews editor Mike Diver interviewed Rita Ora for this very blog (scroll down), asking her about her album, her vocal range, and what it's like to take studio songs to festival stages.

He also highlighted his favourite albums of August, so if you've been away somewhere, lounging at a cafe on the beach listening to a 2002 Buddha Bar compilation on repeat, this is a good way to catch up.

Coming up

The Shadows

The Shadows

Richard Hawley presents a Radio 2 documentary on The Shadows tonight at 10pm BST, from their Tyneside skiffle days to the years of London rock and roll.

Wretch 32 is in the studio with Toddla T on Friday, picking out some of his favourite tracks.

And finally, Last Night of the Proms is bearing down on us in all its pomp and glory. If you can't be there in person, there are plenty of other ways to see it - at your local cinema, on a big screen in the park, or at home - in 3D!

Out this week

We review brand-new albums by Alberta Cross, Animal Collective, Booker T. & the MG's, Cat Power, Euros Childs, iamamiwhoami, Ronan Keating, Sam Carter, Scouting for Girls, Staff Benda Bilili, Sucioperro, The Orb feat. Lee "Scratch" Perry, The Vaccines and Two Door Cinema Club

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