Aqua, NOT the Barbie Girl one

Shoey suggested an album of the month, and I have taken that to heart …. substituting ‘month’ with ‘year.’ Oh, and ‘album’ with ‘building’. Close enough.

This is the 82-storey Aqua in Chicago, the 2009 international Skyscraper of the Year. The signature feature is the undulating balconies, but they have greater purpose than eye candy, man.

Hands up everyone who remembers Chicago = the Windy City. Those winds whip across the sea-like Lake Michigan, so the ‘waves’ of balconies are not only visually informed by the Great Lakes and their limestone shorelines, they also diffuse the massive wind gusts, reducing heating costs. Chicago is smack dab on North America’s major bird migration route, so flocks of birds tend to crash into the city’s skyscrapers. This one’s irregular lines and reflections are meant to prevent that.

The balconies shade the occupants, earning more green points.  The whole building uses green building materials, it has public charging stations for electric cars, and a terrace that doubles as a green roof.

Significantly for unshackling future architects, a new concrete forming apparatus had to be invented to allow each balcony to be individually shaped without delaying construction or adding huge costs.

Building of the year? One for all time, seems like, and in music terms, a crossover hit. How many other buiildings has the ‘Spill reviewed?

Too Many Words

Album Of The Month – May

Due to popular demand (from GF – he’s popular), you now (if I did it right) get 3 votes, just like a real election.

Warning:May contain Americana & electronic bleeps.

Warning:May contain hip hop & racket


A week from today (June 1) is my anniversary. This is the song we first danced to at our wedding. Of course it has a story (although not an extremely interesting one). When I first met David (23 in 93) he had just purchased this brandy-new Bob Marley 3 CD set of previously unknown material. On zillion (I think). I’ll bet goneforeign remembers – the albums were called Kinky Reggae, Lively Up Yourself, Rainbow Country. I was glad he liked Bob Marley, cause I did, too, but it was more than that…

I’d never been in love before in my life, and something about lying in David’s small bedroom, listening to these, looking for a sign or portent around every corner – Well, it felt like every song was about US. (The arrogance of youth, eh?) Listening to them since, I realize I was wildly wrong, but – not about this song. This one was definitely about us in the spring of ’93.

So…the question is…what’s your song? If not the song at your wedding, then the song that represents a relationship, or the song you’d like to represent a relationship. Any variation on this theme is accepted.

Earworms (May 25)

Kinkaid – Parachute
I got the Super Hawaii album on a whim while CD shopping in Portland with my daughter 10 years ago. The shop was playing it & upon my inquiry the shop girl informed me it was the only copy they had & she was wanting it. A conversation followed involving Kinkaid’s influences, people she & my daughter both knew & the Kinks as I recall. The girl decide to sell it to me if we could let her listen to the rest. A quite delightful 1/2 hour was had. Have no idea still what Parachute is about but it still gets an automatic repeat when it pops up on the multiple playlists I have it on.        – Fintan

Future Islands – Tin Man
Something about this track caught my eye. Actually, it is chosen to mark the 30th anniversary of Ian Curtis’ death. This newish North Carolina (a hotbed of late) band draws approving comparisons with New Order and Peter Hook. – tin

PJ Harvey & John Parish – Black Hearted Love
Probably already familiar to many, this is classic Polly. A brilliant riff, off-kilter rhythm, travelling from almost-sweet to almost-harsh with a joyful spring in its step. Simply brill!       – Chris7572

High Llamas – Checking In, Checking Out
Some of you will know this early 90s item; but it always arouses interest amongst those who don’t… it came up on my shuffle the other day, and it sounded like a perfect harbinger for summer. I strongly suspect this is a deliberate pastiche of a well-known 70s LA duo, but that might just be my over-exposed ears playing tricks.       – Shiv

Lo Jo – Dobosz
A French group from Angers who play north and west African influenced music. The two female singers – Yamina Nid el Mourid and Nadia Nid el Mourid – are Berbers from Mali. The group was active in Festival du Desert, which brought Tinariwen to western audiences.     – goneforeign

Freddie Robinson – Wonder What It Is
It’s the harmonising on the chorus that counts as a 12-bar blues-earworm for me; throw in some great lyrics, an Otis-Carla type relationship, Freddie’s guitar playing and excellent piano support and there you go. If RR does duets, or songs about wondering, then it might stand a chance.  – DaddyPig

Anouar Brahem – Dance With Waves
From The Astounding Eyes of Rita, this tune conjurs lovely images and I can’t get the main riff on bass clarinet out of my head!      – GlassHalfEmpty

Come Home Loaded Roadie

Four Tapping Shoes And A Kiss Her Space Holiday
these don’t fit in with concerts so an added extra:
Shoot The Singer (1 Sick Verse) Pavement
French Singer Liz Green
Folk Singer Brendan Benson
Vicious Battle Raps DJ Format Featuring Abdominal
Entertain Sleater-Kinney

don’t want to get in the way of the Jess Music appeal
so go over HERE FOR A CONCERT BOX of tunes