To some (including me), July can mean only one thing – the Tour de France. This year’s edition is the 97th and is important for a couple of reasons.
First, it is the last-ever Tour de France for Lance Armstrong. This is his 13th Tour and it is proving to be an unlucky number for him. Despite being included amongst the favourites at the start, some initial bad luck and a prevailing lack of interest have led to what will be his poorest placing ever. He doesn’t seem to mind though and is, apparently, enjoying his last trek around France.
Second, it is the 100th anniversary of the inclusion of the Pyrenees in the race. The first seven years did not feature any large mountain passes, but in 1910 the organizer, Henri Desgrange, decided to include the Pyrenees. Legend has it that upon hearing the news, 26 of the 136 entrants immediately dropped out and most thought that Desgrange was being ‘dangerous’ and ‘bizarre’. The tenth stage of the race included the Tourmalet and the Aubisque, both of them considered Hors Categorie in modern racing parlance. The organizers placed cars at the top of both of the climbs to watch for riders and record their placings at the summit. Most of them could barely turn the pedals as they approached the top of the climbs and hurled abuse at the race directors for being so inhumane.
Fast-forward to this year’s race, which features four long days in the Pyrenees. This year’s race is proving to be a two-man duel between Andy Schleck (Saxo-Bank) and Alberto Contador (Astana) with about half a dozen other riders fighting for the final place on the podium. The French are enjoying a resurgence at the front of this year’s race with five stage victories to-date. For years, the French complained that they were unable to win stages or produce a podium placing because of the rampant drug use by all the other nations represented in the Tour. Whether that is true or not, this Tour has been heralded as the cleanest in years and (so far) there have not been any positive results.
To pay homage to the greatest bicycle race in the world, I have compiled and mixed a podcast called ‘Le Tour’. Click here to listen to 14 songs about bikes. Viva le Tour!
I began podcasting over four years ago in March, 2006, when I compiled and mixed a little diddy called ‘Digital Kicks’ on a flight from Madrid to Dublin. The premise was simple – choose the best new songs from my collection this month, sequence them and make them available to listen to or download for all of my friends. Little did I know then, how fun it was going to be to provide a monthly dose of new music. I quickly became addicted to compiling, sequencing, editing, mixing and posting all my current favourite tunes. Digital Kicks lasted for 50 episodes, until last month when I decided to retire the podcast. I could have kept going, but I felt it was better to stop at 50 and try something new. The question was – what to do next?
I spent several months contemplating this and finally realised that there was no need to change something that wasn’t broken. All I needed to do was come up with a new concept, but maintain the basics – good, quality music collected to reflect my current listening preferences. So, I am starting all over this month with a brand new podcast, which I am calling Soul Kitchen.
This month’s inaugural track listing is:
01: Let’s Take Off (Far Away) :: Dam Funk
02: I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do) (Extended Dance Remix) :: Hall & Oates
03: Let’s Get Together :: Jimmy Reed
04: Chicken Reel (Original Mono Version) :: Les Paul & Mary Ford
05: Memphis :: Lonnie Mack
06: King Of The Rodeo :: The Bamboos ft Mega Washington
07: Bongo Break :: DJ Design
08: Os Grilos :: Walter Wanderly
09: Ballade De Melody Nelson (Howie B Remix) :: Serge Gainsbourg & Jane Birkin
10: Billie Jean :: Syler
11: Locomotion :: Les Sophia Lorenians
12: Super Mario Bros (Remix By D Marin) – Nintendo
13: Photobooth :: Friendly Fires
14: Everybody Wants To Rule The World (12″ Version) :: Tears For Fears
15: Cars (Demo Version) :: Gary Numan
16: La La (Means I Love You) :: Jackson 5
Mixcloud Cloud Cast – Click Here
You can also go to my Soul Kitchen podcast page to listen to the mix or download it. The collecting of music will continue for many months to come, as will the endless hours of listening and creating new podcasts. I hope you enjoy the new Soul Kitchen collection and look forward to a new episode each month. Thanks for listening and supporting my passion.
Keep your feet tapping on the ground and your hands reaching for the stars.