Goodbye 2022, Hello 2023

Another year is at an end, unfortunately it has been quite an unproductive one for Centuries of Sound as I seem to have become bogged down in the Second World War – in case you were wondering, I consider the main culprit to be the hundreds of hours of original radio recordings which I downloaded and then had to listen to. It was also a difficult year in some other ways I would rather not go into.

Thank you especially for my supporters on Patreon all for your patience sticking around through this!

So two bits of good news.

  1. I have a plan as to how to reduce working time on mixes and should be able to get back to a one-per-month release schedule. 2023 therefore looks something like this:

10th January – 1944 part 1
6th February – D-Day Special
6th March – 1944 part 2
3rd April – 1945 part 1
1st May – 1945 part 2
5th June – 1946 part 1
3rd July – 1946 part 2
7th August – 1947 part 1
4th September – 1947 part 2
2nd October – 1948 part 1
24th October – Halloween Special
6th November – 1948 part 2
4th December – Christmas Special

Can I get back to a-year-every-month? If I can manage to make this a full-time job for myself, then yes. But no expectation for that to happen within the next 12 months.

  1. I have a new show launching next year called “Texture and Artefact”. It’s a different kind of a show to Centuries of Sound, a combination of personal stories, field recording, interviews and original music, but some of you may be interested, so I will share a couple of episodes on this feed (hope nobody minds) – I am not sure how much overlap it will have with Centuries of Sound in terms of audience, so will try not to mention it too much here unless requested otherwise.

So, see you in 2023 for all of that. In the meantime, here’s a list of the films, books, Youtube channels, podcasts and LPs I’ve consumed in 2022.

Films (watched at cinema)

Alcarràs (2022) **** (Slow, relatively low-stakes story about Catalan farming community, all the better for its scope and pace.)
Everything Everywhere All At Once (2022) ****** (The third perfect film of the 21st century, endlessly inventive, insightful into human condition, relevant on very personal level for me and my half-Chinese family)
The Souvenir Part II (2021) *** (enjoyed but also found it quite self-indulgent and felt I took nothing away at the end, probably would have enjoyed more if I’d seen part 1)
She Said (2022) **** (investigative journalism movie has very much been done before, this is more of the same but just done better)

Films (watched at cinema with kids)

Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile (2022) **½ (fine, I guess.)
Minions: The Rise of Gru (2022) *** (first minions/DM film I’ve seen, perfectly acceptable)
Sonic The Hedgehog 2 (2022) * (just horrible, every shot seemed to be a misfiring ironic joke, visually repellent, kids seemed to like it)

Films (watched at home)

Carnival (1946) **
Carol (2015) ***½ (particular highlight was all the shots that look like the cover of the first Peter Gabriel album)
Chariots of Fire (1981) ***
Coronation (2020) ****½ (wasn’t what I was expecting, but visually spectacular boredom plus occasional horror is one of my favourite vibes)
Eighth Grade (2018) ****½ (such a brilliant film which captures something real and generally uncovered about being that age at this time)
Go Kart Go (1963) *** (anarchic early 60s British kids film, surprisingly dangerous race scenes)
Goodfellas ***½ (A quarter of a century after film school I can appreciate Scorcese, but I don’t care for empathising with selfish murderers, I do not share their feelings.)
Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949) ****½
Lady Bird (2017) ****½ (really personal film about the shifting personas we adopt in early adulthood, characters very complex and believable, very mature work for someone so young)
Maps To The Stars (2014) **** (My favourite Cronenberg films teeter on that edge between reality and unreality so long that you begin to see both as equally illusiory, despite its flaws, this is true here.)
Match Point (2005) ***½ (a pleasant surprise)
Nowhere Special (2020) ***½ (low-key but very much not low-stakes)
Promising Young Woman (2020) ** (why didn’t I like this? everything just felt unconvincing, could not forget they were acting, also the ending is extremely glib and badly thought-through)
Rebecca (1940) ****½ (third viewing, I am increasingly convinced that Maxim is the real villain)
Rita, Sue and Bob Too (1987) **** (utter bleakness in the guise of a knockabout sex comedy, only let down by the cop-out ending)
Suspicion (1941) **½ (very much D-tier Hitchcock, but evil (OR IS HE?) Cary Crant is worth a look)
The Fabulous Dorseys (1947) ** (The Dorsey Brothers, in their mid-40s, play themselves in their mid-20s, and, musical performances aside, they shouldn’t have bothered.)
The Magnetic Monster (1953) * (Is it possible to make a horror film where the monster is an immobile piece of grey metal? Not on this evidence.)
The Martian (2015) *** (Fails basic suspension of belief, just plain stupid at times, still kind of entertaining)
The Power of The Dog **** (very well-crafted and subtle, can even accept Cumberbatch’s American accent)
Yesterday * (once again Richard Curtis takes an interesting premise and manages to wring aboulutely zero insights out of it)

Films (watched at home with kids, most have seen many times before)

Addams Family Values (1993) ****½
Beetlejuice (1988) ***½
Big (1998) ***½
eXistenZ (1999) *****
Groundhog Day (1993) *****
Indiana Jones & The Temple of Doom (1984) ****
Interstellar (2014) ****
Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl (2003) **½
Shaolin Soccer (2001) **** (a big hit with both my football-loving son and my football-hating son)
Sing (2016) ***
Slumdog Millionaire (2008) ***½
Stand By Me (1986) ****½
The Jungle Book (1967) ****

Books

PG Wodehouse – Heavy Weather (1933) **** (amazing that this and Summer Lightning take place within two weeks, such intricate, flawless plotting)
Mark Fisher – Capitalist Realism (2009) **** (still essential, wish he were around to give us an update)
David Nobbs – Pratt à Manger (2006) **½ (dregs of the Henry Pratt series, still worth reading)
Jonathan Coe – Middle England (2018) *** (diminishing returns in the Rotters Club series, some parts excellent, some parts should have been cut)
Mervyn Peake – Titus Groan (1946) ****½ (yes, I should have read this years ago, I know)
Eric Hobsbawm – Age of Extremes The Short Twentieth Century, 1914-1991 (1994) ****
Taylor Downing – 1942: Britain at the Brink (2022) ** (just not what I was looking for here)
Terry Teachout – Duke (2013) ** (some parts are excellent, unfortunately spoiled by his bizarre insistence on tutting at Ellington for not being a classical composer)
PG Wodehouse – Blandings Castle and Elsewhere (1935) **** (some of the best Blandings stories, Mr Mulliner stories are fine but not up to same standard)
Ted Gioia – The History of Jazz, Second Edition (2021) **½ (interesting as an overview of what the consensus (to be challenged) is, devoting more of the book to Winton Marsalis than all non-US Jazz is pretty inexcusable, also he is very sniffy about free jazz and has apparent contempt for hip-hop)
Alex Ross – The Rest Is Noise (2007) ***½ (very good overview of 21st century classical music, which I am still not really into after reading)
PG Wodehouse – Lord Emsworth and Others (1937) ***½ (some stories are excellent, not enough Blandings for me though)
Louis Menand – The Free World (2021) **** (excellent primer on cold war era culture and thought, have just finished this and am letting it sink in)
Edward Joffe – Hancock’s Last Stand (1998) *½ (on Tony Hancock’s last months from someone who was there, would expect any showbiz memoir to be more engaging than this)

Youtube channels

Ogmios School of Zen Motoring – https://www.youtube.com/@Ogmioszen
Geowizard – https://www.youtube.com/@GeoWizard
JustJP – https://www.youtube.com/@JustJP
Cinebinge React – https://www.youtube.com/@CineBingeReact

Podcasts (favourite episode)

A History of Rock Music in 500 Songs (Episode 146: “Good Vibrations” by The Beach Boys)
Pappy’s Flatshare Slamdown (S12 E10 “Draw The Curtains)
Revolutions (10.103 – The Final Chapter)
Rex Factor (S3.36 Margaret of Anjou: Biography)
RHLSTP with Richard Herring (RHLSTP 409 – Sally Phillips)
The Adam Buxton Podcast (Ep.180 – Jarvis Cocker)
The Alexei Sayle Podcast (21: Spycops Like Us)
The British Broadcasting Century (E57/E58 – 100 Years In 100 Minutes)
The British History Podcast (391 – The Battle of Hastings)
The Prince (E07 – Wolf Warriors)
The Trojan Horse Affair (Part 5: A Study in Scarlett)
This American Life (786: It’s A Game Show!)
Which Decade Is Top For Pops? (E03 Rockin Berries vs Rubettes vs Nick Kershaw vs The Mreal McCoy vs Geri Halliwell vs Ed Sheeran)

Last.fm Artists

1 Broadcast – 244 scrobbles
2 Art Tatum – 148
3 Miles Davis – 135
4 Bernard Herrmann – 107
5 Toby Fox – 95 (this one is my kids)
6 Astor Piazzolla – 86
7 Benny Moré Y Su Banda Gigante – 83
8 Glenn Gould – 82
9 Frank Sinatra – 74
10 Machito and His Afro-Cuban Salseros – 72
11 Charlie Parker – 61
12 Howlin’ Wolf – 57
13 Jacques Brel – 56
14 Lawrence Winters, Camilla Williams, Inez Matthews, Warren Coleman, Avon Long, J. Rosamond Johnson Chorus – 56
15 Dizzy Gillespie – 54
16 Hank Williams – 54
17 C418 – 53 (this one is my kids)
18 Masaru Satoh – 52
19 Fred Astaire – 51
20 Music of the Magindanao in the Philippines – 51
21 Yma Sumac – 51
22 Akira Ifukube – 48
23 Sarah Vaughan – 48
24 Boston Symphony Orchestra/Munch; New England Conservatory Chorus – 46
25 Elmer Bernstein – 46
26 Fats Domino – 46
27 Speedy West & Jimmy Bryant – 45
28 Duke Ellington & His Orchestra – 42
29 – Broadcast & The Focus Group – 39
30 Elvis Presley – 38

Albums (there were a lot of these – here is a selection of some of my favourites, all have music from the years 1948-1956)

Akira Ifukube – Godzilla OST
Art Blakey – A Night at Birdland
Astor Piazzolla – Ses Premiers Enregisrements
Benny More Y Su Banda Giganta – Grabaciones Completas
Bernard Hermann – The Day The Earth Stood Still OST
Bo Diddley – The Indispensible Bo Diddley, Vol.1
Four Freshmen – Four Freshmen and Five Trombones
Frank Sinatra – In The Wee Small Hours
Glenn Gould – The Goldberg Variations
J.J. Johnson with Clifford Brown – J.J. Johnson with Clifford Brown
Jackson Do Pandeiro – Sua Majestade: O Rei Do Ritmo
Jerry Byrd – Early Country & Hawaiian Steel Guitar Classics
Les Baxter – The Exotic Moods of Les Baxter
Maria Tanase – Malediction d’Amour
Mahalia Jackson – Gospels, Spirituals & Hymns
Maxima Mejia – Los Grandes Exitos de Maxima Mejia
Miles David – The Complete Blue Note Sessions
Moondog – Moondog & His Honking Geese
Peggy Lee – Black Coffee with Peggy Lee
Salum Abdallah & Cuban Marimba – Ngoma Iko Huku
Speedy West & Jimmy Bryant – Stratosphere Boogie: The Flaming Guitars of Speedy West & Jimmy Bryant
Stan Kenton – New Concepts of Artistry in Rhythm
Thelonious Monk – Genius of Modern Music Vol 1/2
Various – 1950: The Bomb In The Heart of The Century
Various – Africa at 78RPM
Various – Atlantic Rhythm & Blues 1947-1974
Various – Blowing The Fuse (Series)
Various – Dim Lights, Thick Smoke and Hillbilly Music: Country & Western Hit Parade (Series)
Various – Forgotten Guitars from Mozambique
Various – London is the Place For Me: Trinidadian Calypso in London, 1950-1956
Various – Music of the Magindanao in the Philippines
Various – OHM+: The Early Gurus of Electronic Music
Various – Township Jazz ‘n’ Jive
Various – The Complete Sun Singles
Various – The Doo Wop Box
Various – The Pig’s Big 78s
Various – Ultra-Lounge, Vol. 1: Mondo Exotica
Yma Sumac – Mambo!

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