(Image of “Paper Record Player” by Simon Elvins – details here)
A couple of months ago I spontaneously decided to set up an album listening club on Twitter, borne out of that good ol’ simple desire to spread and share interesting music. Admittedly, there have been a spate of similar things appearing in the last year, mainly either “listening together in a room”, or “listening online at an allotted time”, but they all either decided on their music by a vote, or stuck to pretty straightforward (although classic) choices.
That’s all very well and good luck to ’em, but what interests me more is that “personal choice” – those albums you discover that fit your needs of the time so perfectly you’re left wondering about the powers of synchronicity as your heart fills to the brim with joy, and those albums that boggle your mind so much that you dive online immediately to find out more about the people behind them, and what drove them to create such a thing and unleash it on the public.
Also it should come as no great shock to you that we here at Kleptones Inc. are very much big fans of the “long-play”. Albums, mixes, whatever… the ability to take a listener off on a satisfying journey is rarely something that can be accomplished in three or four minutes, as has been proven time and time again over, ohh, the last few hundred years or so.
So to empower the participants, and to increase that random “personal choice” factor, the only rule established has been that whoever selected an album for listening would pick their favourite tweeter from the playback, and the baton would then be passed to that tweeter to make the next selection. Simple as.
And it’s worked rather well – a fine troop of listeners has emerged, and the selections so far have ranged from lesser known albums by established bands, a raft of new (or “new to us”) artists from far and wide, and obscurities from the flip-side of previous decades. Not everything has been to everyone’s taste obviously, and there have already been several WTF moments, but that’s that way it should be, really. However, it’s only just getting started we think, and the boundaries are only just beginning to be pushed, which is why the time has come to let you all know about it, and invite you to come join in the fun. We need your input!
Timezone corroboration obviously is a bit tricky, but the agreed time of 8pm BST (GMT+1) each Sunday is working well (although apologies to the Aussies, can’t stretch that far sadly), however the albums generally stay up for a little while after, and there always seems to be a few folks tweeting their catch-up listen in the following days. We realise there’s no way that everyone is going to be around every week, but, like your favourite radio show, Listening Club will be there, should you be in the mood.
So yea verily, get your tweet on and come join us by following @listeningclub on twitter, where all the info is passed out and questions answered (album info gets posted on a separate blog here). It’ll be great to have you along, and find out what album you’re going to pick…