From Desk Till Dawn

My mainly music & nerd bird blog

Posts Tagged ‘Bookworm

Sunday Swoon. 26th May 2013.

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1. So I have a huge soft spot for Baz Luhrmann films. I’ve heard people niggling at his adaptation of The Great Gatsby, someone saying they walked out after ten minutes, but I loved it. The party scenes were visually breathtaking, made me feel like I am missing glittery ticker tape in life. The casting was perfect for the characters, Mulligan and DiCaprio as Daisy and Gatsby especially. It stuck close to the original book by F. Scott Fitzgerald. The soundtrack was perhaps a little too much vanity from Jay-Z.

2. The much talked about Parquet Courts played London’s historic The 100 Club last Sunday. Without getting drawn into the whole “is guitar music dead?” question what I will say is it was great to see a band who didn’t look like a Top Man advert, over groomed and too stiff for movement. There was a kid alone (he really was a kid, around 16) right at the front looking like he’d just discovered the greatest band of all time. Eyes unblinking, mouthing every word, rapt with attention. I love seeing that look on people.

3. I always get sucked into these “great summer read” books (I admit it, I even read Dan Brown). I read Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn in about two days, staying up until the early hours to get to the end. It’s surprising and full of twists without over complicating the plot. I predict a film adaption will follow by the end of the year.

4. Field Day was utter brilliance on Saturday. Perfect weather, great company for the day and some real standout performances from the likes of How To Dress Well, Kurt Vile, Animal Collective and Bat for Lashes. I’ll opt to put a track of hers on here because it was the last crystal clear memory I have. Things after that got a bit gin hazy. The best day of 2013 so far, by far.

5. Lastly a new track this week from bare-footed, natty haired Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros – Better Days.

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Sunday Swoon. April 21st 2013

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1. On the occasions I write about music I always scurry away from attempting album reviews. For the sole reason I never agree with the ones I read. Music is so personally emotive that the only thing I’d have to say is “go and listen to it yourself and make up your mind”. I’ve read some disappointing reviews of Mosquito, the latest album from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, this week. For me their albums are always consistently creative and brilliant. Also, I shall now approach life with all the enthusiasm of a choir master. I also like Karen O’s love child of Willy Wonka and Elvis Presley look.

2. I’ve just finished Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? The book behind Bladerunner. I am sure many of you will disagree with me, but I felt that the book was far richer than the film. But then I always do tend to prefer the original texts. Bookworm over film nerd.

3. We’ve all listened to this a dozen times by now? After numerous false starts, fan edits and sketchy Coachella videos. This is the official edit of Daft Punk’s new song Get Lucky featuring Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodger. It has summer written all over it. Now to dream of a surprise Glastonbury appearance.

4. I opted for Place Beyond The Pines based solely on the fact I have ovaries and Ryan Gosling is in the film (thems the rules now). I knew nothing about the plot other than suspecting it was Drive on motorbikes. I was wrong. It is refreshing, surprising and had a soundtrack that spans every possible genre. Tip for the chaps reading this; Inside out t-shirts and bleach blonde hair is very S/S 13.

5. Perhaps lost amongst the Daft Punk hype the new track by Thundercat is worth your ear time as well. Heartbreaks + Setbacks. Pitchfork fawn over it in their review. They have said exactly what I would, but far more eloquently.

Sunday Swoon. June 10th

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Technically not events that happened within the past seven days but all that real life/bad hangovers got very much in the way of Sunday’s recently. Macaroni Cheese, Baseball and some seriously skill, brill & ace music….

1. Feels like I’ve been waiting an eternity to hear the album from Friends. Such perfect indie pop. Think Karen O fused with Debbie Harry. Makes me want to wear those 80’s neon headphones and pretend I’m in a music video (which I am sure people do frequently in Dalston irrespective of soundtrack so perhaps I should move there). Manifest! is making me smile. A ton.

2. Finally my stomach got to try Pitt Cue this week. Guess what’s inside those panko breadcrumbs? Go on guess. Macaroni Cheese! Sounds bizarrely suspicious but oh my does it work. Topped with pickles and pulled pork in a brioche bun, with a side of shiitake mushrooms. I’m not sure if this is their invention but it’s the first time I’ve ever seen such a culinary combination. Pitt Cue, if you are responsible for this invention let me know so I can leave you something amazing in my will as a thankyou?

I went to the trailer instead of the restaurant which is on the Southbank, lovely to sit by the river with a book and some decent grub. Follow their Twitter updates here.

3. I’ve been playing Crybaby for a couple of weeks now, unable to blog about it on its release date due to weddings and hangovers (which often go hand in hand). If I could buy everyone that reads this blog a copy I would. Think early Richard Hawley, scrap that, think better than early Richard Hawley. It’s heartbreaking and truly beautiful music from Danny Coughlan. It will give you goose bumps and tingles.

4. It takes a talented teller of tales to make me invest so heavily in an American college baseball team (Geena Davis and Madge never managed to peak my interest in the game after all). Chad Harbach has created such flawed, painfully human, broken but brilliant characters in The Art of Fielding. Amazing debut novel.

5.  Technically not this week unless you include the hour I got home after Field Day but they deserve to be mentioned as my ultimate highlight over the bank holiday weekend. Of course I didn’t get to see all the bands I wanted, I am never quite militant enough when it comes to festivals but those I saw (Pond, Summer Camp, Kindness, Sleigh Bells, Theme Park, Franz Ferdinand) gave me that muddy knees wild abandon experience I cherish so much at festivals. It’s impossible to pick an absolute favourite but Kindness excelled all expectations. At all costs I would dash to see him and his band again, anyone that covers Womack & Womacks Teardrops is the boom and the lick. 

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Sunday Swoon. May 6th

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A comic book makes me want to run away to Paris and Mystery Jets welcome return…

1. I am guessing that every music lover out there has whiled away some well spent hours this week perusing the John Peel archive thanks to the Centre for Creative Arts. I believe the aim is to upload 100 albums per week up to October from John Peel’s vast and legendary record collection, sessions and radio shows. Think of it as Spotify but with soul and love, and no awful records. Visit the website and lose yourself in the archives. I implore you.

2. In my state of frequent Tinnitus insomnia I sometimes plough through a book in a night and this morning I finished French Milk by Lucy Knisley. Such a beautiful journal. A tale of five weeks in Paris with her mum told through words, cartoons and photos. Charming, unique and conjures up such a strong sense of the smells, taste, views of Paris that I want to elope right now.

3. Mystery Jets consistently release albums that instantly find their way to my heart. This week they released Radlands and despite some bonkers moments (The Hale Bop is a touch Scissor Sisters, indie does glam rock, works on a level I can’t get my head around but find myself singing along regardless) I instantly love this album. Opening three tracks especially.

4. I am certain people fall either side of the fence when it comes to The Gossip. I imagine for many they’re too pop, too mainstream. Whatever your opinions of their music the music world seems like a gobbier place when they’re around, Beth Ditto is transparent, ruthlessly honest and to hell with the consequences. I respect that approach. Interview and album stream on The Guardian’s site here.

5. I have a soft spot for Studio Ghibli films. For completely brainless reasons I like being distracted by the colours, fairytale, animation. I’m possibly regressing and trying to ignore reality but I’ll take escapism any day. This week I got lost in Ponyo

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Sunday Swoon. April 29th

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Inspiration from Santigold, Breakfast like a king and World Book Night… 

1. It is no exaggeration to say that Santigold’s gig at Heaven on Thursday night utterly inspired me and lifted me to a better place. She just sort of left me thinking I want to be better at everything, all the time, whatever I choose to tackle. A pantomime horse, dancers that I couldn’t take my eyes off, a sweet spirit and singer that connected with her audience. Her album is also released this week and there’s not been a day where I’ve not played it, Disparate Youth and The Riot’s Gone standing out. Exceeded all expectations.

2. Monday night I took part in World Book Night. It was a brilliant experience and I immediately blogged about it once my copies of Let The Right In were handed out to the commuters of North West London. You can read about it here.

3. A very early start this morning was eased by a visit to The Breakfast Club. We’ve patiently  queued on many an occasion out in the rain and quite happily. It’s always worth the wait, Mocha’s, perfect poached eggs, pancakes and service always with a huge sunny smile.

4. Adore the tongue in cheek strap line on the poster’s for Blunderbuss. Jack White pitches it as his debut album which makes me smile considering his vast back catalogue and musical projects. This album is perfection, predictably Jack White but that’s why we’re all on the edge of our seats every time he releases something, with whomever is graced by his genius. 

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Written by Anon PA

April 29, 2012 at 5:24 pm

Let The Right Book In

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This morning I sat on the Jubilee line and was suddenly overcome with a slight twang of ‘What have I done?’ I had chosen my commute as the place I would give out copies of Let The Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist for World Book Night. Looking around at the people avoiding eye contact, claiming kingdom over armrests and smacking of misery. The thought crossed my mind for a fleeting moment that this was going to be a tough crowd to crack.

Then I remembered that the one common thread that has led me to conversations with commuting strangers has been books. Whether it’s a small knowing smile I’ve shared with the dozens upon dozens of people I’ve seen reading Cloud Atlas over the years. The time someone tapped me on the knee when they spotted I was reading American Gods on the Piccadilly Line and we ended up chatting about Neil Gaiman’s books all the way from Kings Cross to Osterley. Or the time I looked over to the person sat next to me on the Metropolitan Line to see we were both reading Mrs Dalloway  and we shared a surprised laugh (what are the chances). I’m yet to witness this with Kindles, book covers are so much more easier to spot. One more reason why print wins for me every time.

It’s been fascinating seeing the range of facial expressions people go through when you approach them, strike up conversation and offer them a free book. Heavy browed suspicion, bemusement, eventually a genuine smile. Someone literally gave me a pat on the back and said thank you for being a volunteer, another lady said I had made her day. A man screamed “Mr Crawley, you have broken my feathers” at me (that’s Kilburn for you) and declined the book. At one point I found myself in competition with someone else offering eternal life (I am pleased to say I think I won that round). Mainly, I was surprised how many people just wanted to chat once they got over the initial scepticism. Even those that declined the book had a natter about what they’re reading, asked how many books I’d shifted.

I’m back home now, with a cup of hot ribena and an empty bag. Ready to pick up my own book for the evening, Angela Carter’s The Magic Toyshop. Thanks for picking me World Book Night. It was a page turning experience.

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Written by Anon PA

April 23, 2012 at 8:10 pm