What is Album Commentary? It’s a “director’s commentary” of an album by the artist, as the record plays.
(What is it not?) (It’s not a listening party, or one of those events where you sit quietly and reflect on the *importance* of a record while it plays over expensive speakers.)
A good Album Commentary should be a bit like being in the pub, discussing an album you’re really passionate about, or listening to someone explain why you should be really passionate about a certain album – except instead of your drunk mate Dave doing the talking, it’s the person who made the record. Them being drunk is optional, but encouraged.
How does it work? An Album Commentary can be an audio recording like a podcast or on a bonus CD in a boxset, or a live event that’s a bit like the one described above, but slightly more organised.
👈 Album Commentary is organised by this joker, Joe Sparrow: a blogger, podcaster, and who has worked with a gaggle of emerging bands and artists doing those hard-to-describe and murky jobs that you need to do at that stage in a music career.
He used to run the they-don’t-make-’em-like-that-any-more music blog, anewbandaday.com, which is now in “stasis” (it’s dead). You can now find him on Twitter, or read his personal website, terelinck.com, or even email him if you’d like to do your own Album Commentary with him.
Some comments on Album Commentary, by Joe:
Album Commentary exists because lots of people really like hearing about how artists’ made certain musical artefacts that we subsequently obsess over. The idea is that, by talking to the artists as the record plays, the songs dictate the discussion, and re-kindle forgotten moments or feelings.
What I really like hearing about are the utterly improbably stories, the odd coincidences, the banalities, the lies, and the downright stupid stuff that happens when writing or recording an album.
I also like hearing about all the hard work that is spent striving for something that never quite works, but also accidentally spawns something else brilliant. And in a nutshell, that’s kind-of-why Album Commentary exists. Also so I can lig with bands a bit.
The Run-Out Groove:
DISCLAIMER: Album Commentary exists because I nicked the idea from the Beastie Boys, who sat in a studio and talked over the top of some of their albums: Paul’s Boutique, Check Your Head, Ill Communication and Hello Nasty.
Ill Communication is my favourite album of all time, except for when it’s Endtroducing or Live Through This. Or It Takes A Nation Of Millions… Or Second Toughest In The Infants. Etc.
The Album Commentary logo is made up of letters from lots of my favourite albums. A special prize awaits for someone who can recognise them all.