Cornudella de Monsant

May 19, 2013

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All the King’s horses

March 29, 2013

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December books

January 14, 2013

Pulphead by John Jeremiah Sullivan. Really great writing on an eclectic and sometimes challenging range of subjects. Essays include his brothers accidental electroction; Bunny Wailer interviewed in Jamaica; living in the residence of an ancient man of Southern letters and Axl Rose.

Boneland by Alan Garner. A blend of the theme of Thursbitch and the characters of the Wyrdstone stories brings an adult finish and flourish to the series of children’s books from the 70’s. I have to say I preferred Thursbitch and The Stone Quartet but this is a great book nevertheless and clearly an itch the author needed to scratch.

Train Dreams – Denis Johnson. A perfect novella that deserves five stars or more. An history of the American 20th century told through the eyes and story of one man. One of the best books of 2012.

KLF: Chaos, Magic, Music, Money by J M R Higgs. Interesting and entertaining ebook that’s more about discordianism, dada, chaos and Robert Anton Wilson than it is about Jimmy Cauty and the KLF. Good if this stuff is of interest.

Museums without Walls by Jonathon Meades. Meades! in writing! all the essays! essential…

Heavy Duty People by Iain Parke. Novel based upon the Northern biker wars a few years back. Noir’ish and interesting for the subject matter. The author clearly got further inside of a closed culture than Hunter S Thompson ever did.

Sharon Olds – Stags Leap. I’ve been to the winery and have a bottle of the Cabernet that the poet named this anthology after in my limited wine collection. It was the favourite wine of Old’s and her husband until their separation which this collection describes in excruciating and moving details. Kind of, erm relevant…..

Music of the Year 2012

December 21, 2012

New Stuff that’s rocked my world this year.

Cerebral Ballzy: Cerebral Ballzy – A blast of 80’s style hardcore punkrock with great tunes and brilliant production.

Burial: Street Halo/Kindred – Streets ahead of any other post rave/dubstep/bass music producers. Melancholy and exciting at the same time. Listen on a big bass heavy sound system.

The Eccentric Research Council: 1612 Underture – Maxine Peak (Shameless and film actress) and the Sheffield based “All Seeing Eye” conjure up a psychogeographic and contemporary evocation of the Pendle Witch trials. Really different and really good.

Ichabod: Dreamscapes from Deadspace – Psychedelic, stoner, sludge rock of the highest quality.

Bob Mould: Silver Age – A return to Sugar style pop rock blasts and a renaissance of sorts for the ex-Husker Du frontman. Sunny day psyche music.

The Seer: Swans – Just awesome, troublesome and epic.

Alexander Tucker: Third Mouth – Beautiful, gentle, finger picked guitar with an electronic backwash. Introspective, rainy, Sunday afternoon edge-of-sleep listening (and the cover art is great)

Hirsuite Pursuit: Tighten that Muscle Ring – Filthy techno disco from Bryin Dall (Thee Majesty), Boyd Rice and Peter ‘Sleazy’ Christopherson (Throbbing Gristle, Psychic TV and Coil). Sleazy, hardcore and just Ace.

Dragged Into Sunlight: Widowmaker – Take last year’s DIS album and chuck in some Godspeed and the result is terrifying from this bunch of anonymous scouse noise merchants.

Gravenhurst: The Ghost in Daylight – Just lovely guitar and electronica gentleness with a hint of darkness from Nick Talbot.

Rangda: Formerly Extinct – Improv psychedelia from the ‘supergroup’ of Ben Chasny (Six organs of admittance), Sir Richard Bishop (Sun City Girls) and Chris Corsano.

Pig Destroyer: Book Burner – 19 tracks in 28 minutes. Blistering grindcore.

TurboNegro: Sexual Harassment – This is just brilliant. Like The Dwarves, Lazy Cowgirls, Cheap Trick and The Stooges got stuck in a mixer with a modern twist. I’d love to see them live.

Sandy Denny: Box Set – 19 CD’s and accompanying books, artwork and other stuff from her entire career. Has all the recordings with Fairport, Fotheringay and solo performances. Just stunning.

That’s it for new stuff. Other sounds that have rocked my world this year include:

Rihanna: Can’t stop playing her Loud LP.

Phil Spector: Playing all the wall of sound stuff on repeat all year.

Bobby Beasoleil: Scorpio Rising – Soundtrack to the Kenneth Anger movie recorded by BB in prison following the murder of Sharon Tate.

Stephen Stills: Manassas – Country rock at its best.

Roxy Music: CD boxed set of all the albums. Just brilliant.

Liszt: Bartok in the desert – Scratchy recordings of Bartok played on piano by the pyramids of Giza. Great train window gazing soundtrack.

Ghost of a flea

November 4, 2012

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A long way from home

October 21, 2012

June 1971, Soyuz 11 undocked from the Salyut 1 orbital space station. Forty seconds later, the three cosmonauts suffered cardiac arrest in the vacuum as the pressure in the damaged capsule mirrored that of the empty space outside its confines. The ground crew waiting in Kazakhstan knew nothing until they opened the capsule to hail their returning heroes and found three silent unmoving men. Patsayev sustained bruising to his hand in an attempt to manually shut the valves to save himself and his crew members. Far from home, in a lonely place.

Seething in the alembic

October 21, 2012

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16th Century Alchemical text.