For those who've had a hard day, here are some tunes to help ease the mind and lift the soul. Thanks to @thesociallondon for soundtracking our after work drinks. Glad to take part. Sláinte.…
1. Some chill-out jazz harp and vibraphone for starters
Showcasing the criminally underrated talents of Dorothy Ashby and Terry Pollard...
2. David Axelrod channelling the ghost of William Blake
3. Fontaine is a fascinating character and much overlooked in the Anglosphere. Arrangement by the visionary Jean-Claude Vannier, who you'll know from Gainsbourg's Histoire de Melody Nelson...
4. I have a fondness for songs that are reminiscent of short stories and this is a great one
Everyone knows how great Me and Bobby McGee is. And Sunday Morning Comin' Down is almost too close to life. But this one has slipped under the radar a bit. There's a grim cinematic beauty to it that you might feel with too much or not enough drink in you.
5. The Gun Club
I hadn't listened to much of The Gun Club until Nick Cave did a version of Ramblin Mind that blew me away. Again, there's something damned and romantic at work. Footage of telegraph wires in the lonesome west seen from a cursed hotel room somewhere else entirely.
6. Now we're talking
You get to the age where all your friends are scattered to the winds but you're all held together by a song, as deep a terrible mutual secret, every time you meet, and this song is it.
One of the many treasures we found, as crate-digging scum, via the samples on hiphop records...
8. On a similar note, this is glorious
'stay awake to the ways of the world cause shit is deep'
9. South America's finest via North Africa
10. The first song I ever learned on the guitar was also the coolest - Link Wray's Rumble. Here he is in in full barnstorming glory
11. There's always talk about great cover versions but I never see this mentioned. Camille is amazing and electric as a performer. I loved the Gillian Welch original of this but the way O'Sullivan makes it build and build is incredible
12 And this, this is just sublime. You even get Lou Reed holding the door open for you...
13. This one is for my bro @W_Kelly72. Takes a while to start but once it kicks in it's a spectacular example of apocalyptic Greek psychedelia (the best kind of psychedelia), featuring Vangelis & Demis Roussos in epicurean beast mode
14. We're in the mini Ice Age that was the early 1980s now. It's cold outside and everything is made of glass and concrete, including the people. Every song in the charts is hauntological
The pub just started playing 'Disorder' as I typed that.
"I'd love to read a book set in those glacial 80s of which you speak but I just can't fi..."
"Well, funny you should mention it..."
15. Meanwhile in Dunedin, New Zealand...
Thanks to the mighty @adellestripe for tipping me off about this song. Raising a Taddy's to you.
16. I listen to the Bad Seeds an awful lot. I had the song Magneto on an endless loop while in an attic writing my lost book Tidewrack. They just get better & better. Adamson is a soundtrack genius. Here's a treasure you may not know
17. I'm a massive Eno nerd and this entire playlist could just have been songs from his weird pop albums or bands he produced like Talking Heads but I've restrained myself to this, which is perfection
Honourable mention to the song Taking Tiger Mountain, which I used to sing to get my little boy to sleep and might be the first song he ever heard but I turn into a tearful fool upon myself when I hear it now.
18. Absolute genius
Fell back in love with Curtis because of Kanye sampling him. He had such lightness and grace but such punch.
Cruelly treated by fate and the US authorities…
19. Pure Memphis soul
20. Gainsbourg and Vannier. Maybe the funkiest cinematic track they ever did
Their masterpiece remains the stunning album Histoire de Melody Nelson, which someone should write a book about
21. Stone cold masterpiece with maybe the greatest crescendo I've ever heard in popular music. Worth listening to every second of the 12 minutes that I'm now going to use to go to the gents and grab pints
22. There's only one song that could follow that one and this is it. Take care of yourselves, folks. Slán go fóill.

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