108 Spotisfaction Monday 06/09/10 – Rhys Howell

Morning folks. I trust everyone had a lovely weekend? Last night was pretty fun for me – at least 4 streets in my neighbourhood were plunged into darkness for the majority of the night due to a power outage, which was a bit surreal. There’s always some light around, whether that’s streetlights or otherwise, so being able to see stars was a treat… even if I did stub my toe trying to find a torch, and never did manage to heat up my treacle tart…

Today’s playlist is by Rhys, and as themes go it’s a great one. My normal exercise regime involves doing as little as possible as often as possible, but if I were to go running every now and again this’d be the playlist I’d use!

Hope you enjoy,

Rhys Says:

Good Evening one and all. I’ve crafted a playlist to listen to when you go running. Some of these tracks are on my own personal running mix but as that mix tends to be a couple of albums all muddled up it wouldn’t make the most interesting mix for Spotisfaction.

Hit the jump for a talk through of the workout and also some shameless plugging. (If you don’t see any shameless plugging then the editorial gods have come from on high and excised it.)


FEATURE: In Defence of Simon Cowell

Article by Rhys Howell.

The X Factor returns this Saturday, and we all know what to expect: the treacly piano score; the soft focus blur; the tears beginning to trickle down the contestant’s face during their tale about their paraplegic gran, and how she used to hum “Danny Boy” using only her throat mic after Nazi dentists stole her larynx, and that’s why in a modern interpretation they’ll now be singing “SK8R Boi” for dear old Gran. Its such a cliché that as soon as Keane come on the soundtrack you know the weeping chancer is going through. Other than this one downside, I’m looking forward to what is the saviour of the music industry.

Last week we had a feature lambasting reality TV shows and their impact on the music industry (If you haven’t read it yet then it can be found here. I’ll wait while you do.). I think these programs are a good thing and will attempt to convince you, too.


95 Spotisfaction Friday 06/08/10 – Rhys Howell

Afternoon folks. I’ve spent a good portion of today listening to two local, home-grown acts – the mighty John Madden and Tom Mitchell, and our very own Ben’s band Stressechoes. As such, I’m feeling pretty awesome right now.

After Wednesday’s call-to-arms, we’ve added a few new people to our team and you can expect to see the first few posts from them shortly. There’s still time to get involved with Spotisfaction, so if you’re interested check out this post and give me a shout via email or Twitter.

Today’s playlist is by Rhys, and is a lovely, meandering mix perfect for a Friday afternoon.

Love, hugs and mealy bugs.

95 Spotisfaction Friday (6 Aug) – RHowell
Hit the link for tracklist and Rhys’ blurb.


REVIEW: Broken Social Scene, Live at Birmingham O2 Academy

Morning, guys.

As you know, we went to see Broken Social Scene (one of our favourite bands) on Saturday night with our competition winner, Rhys Howell. Rhys has written a review of the gig for us, which you can read after the break.

We’ve embedded a live vid of “The Sweetest Kill” for those that couldn’t make it (shame on you!).

Spotisfaction Crew

Rhys says:

On discovering I’d won Compisfaction I thought wouldn’t it be great to write up a review of the Broken Social Scene gig I’d just won a ticket for. I then had another brainwave. Why not do it in the form of Haiku? So I have.
Part 1. The competition and pre-gig.

Late night I enter,
“Mr Blue Sky” is the song.
Will I win or not?

Discover a text;
Hypothetical, it is:
If win can I go?

Affirmative “Yes!”,
I reply to the message.
Still not offical.

Check on the website –
Amazingly, I have won!
Ready to drive South.

Ignorant of band,
Wikipedia’s my friend.
Spotify, also.

Listen to album,
“Forgiveness Rock Record”, huh?
Then go to the Gym.

At work ‘haikuing’.
Football on soon, I’m stuck here.
Few days to learn tunes.

Must borrow CD –
Checked out to another…
Damn you, library!

Could listen tonight,
But have to go to dance class.
Damn you, busy life.

Made it to the day…
Still no expert on the ‘Scene.
Wish I had more time.

Car drive the last chance
to listen to their CDs.
Now I know some songs!

Part 2. The warm-up act.

New to the O2 –
floor not as sticky as told.
Booze costs so much. :(

Here come Sky Larkin;
Thought it was one guy alone,
but lady led band.

Like it, but not new.
Ace performance, but music
sounds stock. I’ll explain:

Well made, well done tunes,
in a style heard before.
And many times, too.

Do not write off Sky –
Good band, good sound, good all round;
just been done before.

Part 3. BSS!

Onto the main gig.
Broken Social Scene are on!
Setlist a surprise.

Here are the highlights
as I recall them. Order
could be off a bit:

“World Sick” to begin –
love the twiddly guitar bit!
du du de du duh…

“Texico Bitches”:
BP mooted for title…
Crowd look unsure.

Next song has rude word!
“Ungrateful Little Father”
personal fave track.

“Seven Slash Four (Shoreline)”…
Should be punctuation there,
but couldn’t fit it.

Next, a new singer.
Young lady singer steps up;
“All to All” the song.

Last song dead catchy.
Moves at a pace with great horns.
The title, forgot. :(

Check with Dave and Thom:
It’s “Meet Me in the Basement”.
Ta, David Vader :)

A wonderful gig.
I will follow these guys more!
Five out of five stars.


Just click on this link
to hear a brief gig playlist.
I hope you enjoyed!



Spotisfaction Monday 17/05/10 – Guest Mix by Rhys Howell

Af’noon all. I hope your weekends were as lovely as mine (and that they were less of a drain on the ol’ coffers). I’m on the early shift, so am off home in t-minus 10 minutes… this means Monday has been fine!

Today’s mix is from Rhys, and it’s a wicked theme in my opinion.

Call to arms: We really need some more submissions as the cupboards are getting a little bare. If you’ve got something in the pipeline, get it in to us yo! Hell, we’ll even help finish it if you’ve got an idea and lack the time to finish it.


Rhys says:

Evening all again. I’ve gone for a themed list here. The theme is â€œJames Bond Artists but not James Bond Songs”. I think that’s pretty self explanatory.

Here’s the excuses.

1) Sorry that there is so much Shirley Bassey but she did do 3 Bond theme tunes. And I was aiming for a song per film
2) I’ve only done the official films. Feel free to argue about the canon in the comments
3) No real theme song for Dr. No so took John Barry as the artist for the James Bond Theme and went from there
4) Just went for Paul McCartney rather than Wings
5) Check out the youtube literal version of Take on Me if you haven’t already.
Here’s the link
Track Listing

  1. John Barry – Midnight Cowboy
  2. Matt Monro – No Puedo Quitar Mis Ojos De Ti (Can’t Take my Eyes Off You)
  3. Shirley Bassey – History Repeating
  4. Tom Jones – Kiss
  5. Nancy Sinatra – Shot You Down (Album Version) (Feat. Nancy Sinatra)
  6. Louis Armstrong – La Vie En Rose
  7. Shirley Bassey – Kiss Me Honey Honey (Kiss Me)
  8. Paul McCartney – Paperback Writer – Live at CitiField, NYC – Digital Audio
  9. Lulu – Feelin’ Alright – LP Version   2006 Remastered
  10. Carly Simon – You’re So Vain – Live
  11. Shirley Bassey – Killing Me Softly With His Song
  12. Sheena Easton – Prisoner
  13. Rita Coolidge – I Want To Know What Love Is
  14. Duran Duran – Ordinary World
  15. a-ha – Take On Me
  16. Gladys Knight & The Pips – I Heard It Through The Grapevine
  17. Tina Turner – I Can’t Stand The Rain
  18. Sheryl Crow – All I Wanna Do
  19. Garbage – Stupid Girl
  20. Madonna – Ray Of Light
  21. Chris Cornell – Ground Zero
  22. Alicia Keys – Empire State Of Mind (Part II) Broken Down

Spotisfaction Tuesday 20/04/10 – Guest Mix by Rhys Howell

Morning chaps. Working the late shift is all kinds of awesome. Woke up without the usual blind “ah crap I’m late” panic, managed to grab some breakfast and a coffee (a rarity, let me tell you), had a play with the kitties and listened to some music before coming to work. Bliss. Downside? I’m stuck here until 7pm tonight. You win some, you lose some.

Anyway, today’s mix is by the powerhouse that is Rhys Howell (@Ghop56 on Twitter – bully him into posting some more), a guy I’ve known for many years now. Don’t let that put you off.

Love you lots and Jelly Tots,
Rhys says:

Good evening all. Being a musical troglodyte compared to most of you, I’ve started simple and put into my mix the music I’ve listened to most over the past 6 years. I’ve only put in one track per artist otherwise it’d be a very dull list. There are some notable absences. Arcade Fire (The Arcade Fire? Discuss) would have been there if Spotify had it. I’m pretty sure no one else is going to like them all but also that there will be at least one track on there you do. They may not flow seamlessly but I love them all. Here’s the listing and below some sort of explanation. And here’s the link…

Track List

  1. Eels – Hey Man (Now You’re Really Living)
  2. Johnny Cash – Solitary Man
  3. Kanye West – Jesus Walks
  4. She Wants Revenge – Tear You Apart
  5. Malcolm Middleton – We’re All Going To Die
  6. Sigur Ros – Gobbledigook
  7. Twinkle Twinkle Little Rock Star – Weird Fishes Arpeggi
  8. The Polyphonic Spree – Light & Day/Reach For The Sun
  9. The Cinematic Underground – My Dear Self
  10. Pixies – Where Is My Mind?
  11. Damien Rice – Cannonball
  12. Talking Heads – Once In A Lifetime
  13. Los Campesinos! – You! Me! Dancing!
  14. Rage Against The Machine – Killing In The Name
  15. Modest Mouse – The Good Times Are Killing Me
  16. The Undertones – Teenage Kicks
  17. Blur – Song 2
  18. The Killers – Mr. Brightside
  19. The Knife – Heartbeats
  20. London Symphony Orchestra – The Planets, Op. 32: I. Mars, The Bringer Of War
  21. LCD Soundsystem – All my Friends
  22. System Of A Down – B.Y.O.B.
  23. Bloc Party – Flux
  24. David Bowie – I’m Afraid Of Americans (V1) (Radio Edit Of Trent Reznor Mix)
  25. Rob Dougan – Clubbed To Death – Kurayamino Variation
  26. Antony & The Johnsons – Hope There’s Someone
  27. David Gray – Babylon
  28. London Music Works – 28 Days Later – In The House-In A Heartbeat
  29. Willy Mason – Oxygen
  30. The Streets – Don’t Mug Yourself
  31. U2 – Beautiful Day
  32. The Buzzcocks – Ever Fallen In Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve)?

There you go and now for my defence.

Eels – Hey Man (Now You’re Really Living).
I don’t know about you but the daily grind can really get me down. I love this song for the way in which it reminds me that life is life. There isn’t a do over option and there’s no such thing as not really living so enjoy it. That goes for if its kissing a beautiful girl or crying your heart out. These emotional aspects remind you that your living so chin up and keep on going.

Johnny Cash – Solitary Man.
It’s the man in black which is a great start and also it a great “I’ve been alone for so long” anthem. Everything in its time and until then me and Johnny will keep singing along.

Kanye West – Jesus Walks
Don’t really have a story for this one. Just one of the first tracks I bought on itunes so got muchos plays on the system before I had a chance to add more music.

She Wants Revenge – Tear You Apart
This is a bit of a cheat. I actually wanted to put on a mash up of Tear you apart and Love will tear us apart by A + D. (Strongly recommend A + D for some quality mash ups) but quelle surprise Spotify doesn’t have it. So I went for the lesser known track and bunged it on here.

Malcolm Middleton – We’re All Going To Die
A failed Christmas number one campaign a few years back brought this to my attention. Its vein of black humour appealed to me as did the tune.

Sigur Ros – Gobbledigook
On my to do list is hearing these guys play in the open air surrounded by snow as the Aurora Borealis lights up the sky. Failing that listening to them on my ipod is pretty good too. This one is up here as I listened to it almost daily for the entire time I worked in a café in Sheffield as I tried to find a better job. It infectious la-la-laing made the tram ride not seem so bad.

Twinkle Twinkle Little Rock Star – Weird Fishes Arpeggi
I wanted the original here but again Spotify let me down. No matter. Have a lullaby instead

The Polyphonic Spree – Light & Day/Reach For The Sun
Happy clappy chappies to make you feel good. It makes it seem like the sun is shining even on those days when the clouds are there and its chucking down cats and dogs

The Cinematic Underground – My Dear Self
A haunting melody and lyrics about the necessity for human interaction and companionship. Love how it ties into the down feelings when feeling alone. And on a juvenile level the masturbation joke towards the end is good too.

Pixies – Where Is My Mind?
The closing track to one of the best films ever. A cutting satire on the nature of manhood in the modern world or an excuse for Brad Pitt to punch people in the face? You decide. Would have also loved to have had the “This is your life” track from the soundtrack too.  About the fleeting nature of existence and how it all ending. For some reason it cheers me up but doesn’t motivate me to do much.

Damien Rice – Cannonball
Again no story. I just like it.

Talking Heads – Once In A Lifetime
I remember hearing this at some point as a youngster but for the life of me can’t remember where. I wasn’t until about the age of 18 I managed to find out what that part remembered song lurking at the back of my head was and for it to become a fine favourite. Again another song about life and what it chucks at you. Hmm maybe this is a themed list after all.

Los Campesinos! – You! Me! Dancing!
I listened to this album on repeat whilst writing my dissertation. This was great for a break at 3am in a little study room in the library. Put it on, bop about a bit and then go back to staring at a screen not really knowing about what your talking about. Ahh Good times.

Rage Against The Machine – Killing In The Name
Great for angry dancing in the basement at Bradford University. Get all those anti social tendencies out in a safe manner then go back to being a more pleasant human without actually telling people to F. Off.

Modest Mouse – The Good Times Are Killing Me
Let’s just say that I do have a hedonistic side and leave it at that.

The Undertones – Teenage Kicks
If John Peel(God Bless his soul) rates it then its at least worth a moment of your time. It harks back to teenage years even if your teenage years weren’t as cool as the song makes them sound, as mine surely weren’t.

Blur – Song 2
Another good jump around the room song.

The Killers – Mr. Brightside
This is great for belting out on a dancefloor and having a good old sing along to in the car. No deeper reason than that.

The Knife – Heartbeats
I want to say Jose Mourinho released a cover of this a few years back but have a feeling that I’m slightly confused there [Editor’s note: It was on the album “The Special One Sings The Blues”, I think – Dave].  As much as I love covers its always good to go back to the original every so often.

London Symphony Orchestra – The Planets, Op. 32: I. Mars, The Bringer Of War
We can all thank my dad for this choice. He had this on tape back when I was a wee lad and I’ve loved it ever since. The bombast and driving rhythm behind it are just engrossing and captivating. The whole suite is brilliant but this is my favourite part of it all.

LCD Soundsystem – All my Friends
Another good track to remind you of the good times when you’re mates are far away.

System Of A Down – B.Y.O.B.
Shouting sing along action again.

Bloc Party – Flux
Again no real story

David Bowie – I’m Afraid Of Americans (V1) (Radio Edit Of Trent Reznor Mix)
I love the multi layering of the sound in this track and also the idea of Bowie fleeing screaming every time an American pops their head around the door.

Rob Dougan – Clubbed To Death – Kurayamino Variation
You may know this from a little film called “The Matrix” but Rod Dougan’s whole album is worth checking out.

Antony & The Johnsons – Hope There’s Someone
Hauntingly beautiful song which builds and builds until it explodes towards the end. I think this is another one from the early days of Itunes and I loved it so much I bought the album too. Album not as good but still worth a listen.

David Gray – Babylon
Not sure why this is here. Still a catchy song

London Music Works – 28 Days Later – In The House-In A Heartbeat
This song does seem to have its own heartbeat and after hearing it in the background of various adverts and trailers I tracked it down and am always willing to be swept away by it.

Willy Mason – Oxygen
A less shouty sing along one here. I want to describe the pum ta pum pum beat as one of the things I like about this but don’t think that is going to translate. Feel free to ignore that bit.

The Streets – Don’t Mug Yourself
Another driving beat behind this one. Its got the feeling of hanging out with your mates shooting the breeze and ragging on each other whenever you can.

U2 – Beautiful Day
Another sing along one here which I don’t associate with the football which is probably just as well.

The Buzzcocks – Ever Fallen In Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve)
I know I have. And I’ll be surprised at anyone who claims differently.