That was the month that was Novemeber 2019

  1. Air raid by Alexander Kluge
  2. Concrete by Thomas Bernhard
  3. An answer from the silence by Max Frisch
  4. The Pledge by Frederich Durrenmatt
  5. Homage to Czerny by Gert Jonke
  6. The trap by Ludovic Bruckstein
  7. All my cats by Bohumil Hrabal
  8. And where were you, Adam by Heinrich Boll
  9. The Cold Centre by Inka Parei
  10. Stand in Companion by Kazufumi Shiraishi

I managed to review ten books last month seven for this year’s German lit month I had hoped to get the Eighth life finished ut time was against me so that be coming later this week hopefully. Last month took me from the effect on one town of an air raid in world war two through a writer suffering writer’s block and hating Viennese life, then a man finding himself in the Alps a cop gets his man that wasn’t the man he thought it was in the start. Then a pair of siblings recreate a party from a year earlier then we visit a town where we see the war creeping in on the Jewish families there. A man suffers from two many cats a german soldiers at the end of the war see the horrors they have committed and the wrongs they have done then a man rushes to his ex-wife and a past event in East Germany and then I left Europe for a short novella from Japan about androids standing in for our partners. Where did your reading take you last month?

Book of the month

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I popped for Air raid it was a close month reading-wise by Alexander Kluge had been on my list of writers to read in the last few years. This textured account of his home town and the after math of an air raid that was only caused when the original target was canceled and the bombs dropped on Halberstadt a town now famous for doing the longest piece of music in the world John Cages As slow as possible is currently being performed in the organ at Halberstadt for the next 600 years . A fact I discovered after reading this book and looking up info on his hometown.

Non book events

Well this year is the first in many I have to listen to a lot of new bands and this month it has been a new album by the  Canadian experimental band Deliluh they remind me a little  of the post-rock group  slint  with there often spoken-word lyrics and slow melodic guitars and then more noise-based guitar anyway here is a track from youtube of there new album.

Then a film from the  BYnwr website Murder in Mississippi  described as Torn-from-the-headlines exploitation or daring social commentary? Joseph P. Mawra’s film is a little of both, using the true story of the killing of civil rights workers in the American deep South as a gritty springboard for another ultra-low-budget entry from the director of Chained Girls. on MUbi where I watched it a take on the south in the 60s restored from the last 35mm film of it. A film worth watching as a low budget gem of the time. Nicholas Winding Refn love of old rare and forgotten gems has led to his website reshowing the gems He and his guest editors have found and restored.

My top ten albums 2017

I’m at work the today and tomorrow so I wrote this as a short post about my albums of the years

There is a Spotify playlist Here in no order are the ten Albums

  1. Goths by The mountain goats- I have been a fan of this band for about 15 years since there album on 4ad. A quirky album here remembering the goth bands of the eighties this track is about the sisters of mercy lead singer going back to his hometown.
  2. A crow looked at me by Mount eerie – A new band to me I was touched as this is a lament to his late wife and has some of the most touching lyrics I have ever heard.
  3. Pure comedy by Father John Misty – This album has been one of my all time favourites especially this 13 minute dig at the music industry and moving to la to be in a band. He may be a bit outspoken in real life but I liked this album a lot.
  4. Salutations – Conor Oberst – another favourite the former Bright eyes singer came back with the songs from the album ruminations with a band this time, both albums show how these songs can be fragile and full on at the same time.
  5. I tell a fly Benjamin Clementine – a mad second album about migration aliens and just surreal lyrics the man with the most distinctive voice of recent years made a personal rather than a commercial second album and it is utterly brilliant.
  6. New facts emerge – The Fall I always been a fan, thanks to my early years listening to John Peel. Mark E Smith carries on making great records after nearly forty years in the business.
  7. Together at last by Jeff Tweedy – He revisits some of his old songs it is more than twenty years since I brought Being there his second Wilco album. Great see him putting an acoustic turn on his songs.
  8. Hitchhiker- Neil Young – done in one night in 1976. He then sat on it until this year. Neil’s voice is at his best soul searching and tender in places.
  9. Mount the air by The Unthanks – I have been a fan for a while, but when the track Magpie was used on The detectorist, I had downloaded this album again The magpie is a real earworm.
  10. At Saint Thomas the Apostle Harlem – Diamanda Galas I been a fan of her since my college years her voice is disturbing and eerie. This was her first album in ten years this and a new studio album.

I suppose the only theme is these aren’t happy songs, but more ones that make you think.

 

Kendrick Lamarr Who and don’t forget the fall

Well it is that time of year when the Uk music Magazines run the end of year lists, I have always been a huge fan of these list. I use it to see how my dwindle current taste is doing but also maybe to find a gem that has been missed from the last year and when the same record came second in both Mojo and Uncut and it was one I maybe didn’t grasp me in the reviews earlier in the year, so off to Spotify to listen and it was the opposite to earlier in the week when Benjamin Clementine won the Mercury prize ( I first mentioned him the week the winning album his debut album came out ) , this is the other side the how did that pass me by . The album is To pimp a butterfly by Kendrick Lamarr I ‘ve always had a liking for rap and hip hop from the early days of it hitting the uk in the early 80’s so this is a mix of what I love best of the genre clever lyrics, poltics , spoken word and jazz .

But missing the lists was The fall now I didn’t listen to John Peel as much as I did when I was teen in those last year, but at the time we didn’t know it was going to be the end. But I did worry for his favourite bands like The fall as he was the main person to play Mark E smiths unique brand of  Mancunian rock is a mix of Punk, Poetry, ladism, Drink and ever changing band members, So this year saw well Album 31 from the studio Sub Lingual Tablet is classic fall what more can you say. If you not heard Mark E smith go have a listen with a back catalogue of 60 plus albums there is a whole journey awaiting you.

Autobahn to Van the man

Well I was going to do my music post tomorrow sunday as usual , nut I went to bed late last night watching west wing episodes til half one in the morning then was back awake before half seven this morning so today I have just chilled somewhat .But as the opening video is by Van Morrison , I feel it is worth saying it is a great week for his fans as finally he has reissued on digital format for the first time most of his classic albums , this song from Avalon sunset is a favourite as I know the place he mentions in the song especially strangford lock  wheere I got the ferry earlier this year .So if you have itune apple music or spotify it is worth checking out his albums he has made so many great albums

Strangford lough by Me

Then I want to talk about a debut album from a band that come out of leeds , which over time has provide a few good bands Wedding present and sisters of mercy to name two .Autobahn (I’m suprised there isn’t more bands used this name ) come out with a sound the coukld have come from the heyday of the sisters and wedding present , to me I get a tingle of Joy divison fronted by Andrew Eldrich the sister of mercy’s lead singer , I don’t know about anyone else .I’m pleased I saw them mention in the Guardian as these are my find of this year so far and this track seizure links back to joy divison .here is there labels page  .

Winston’s Music frozen blue aeroplanes !

Well its been a while since I done a Sunday music post , so what has made it on to my phone (my main way of listening to music these day is downloading and listen offline via spotify ) .First up is one of those bands that at the time I vaguely like and had one album from and thanks to spotify have now been able to go back and listen to again and that is the Bristol band Blue aeroplanes , an art pop ensemble with various members over time but a core of two brothers and a dancer .Any way beat songs by them has been one of my main listening in the last month .

Well by the title now the other thing I have been listening to is the Frozen soundtrack, I got to finally watch the Kids favourite at christmas as it premiered  on Sky tv over Christmas .So I got to see what all the fuss is about , I loved it as a kids film  it had something more than usual Disney offering but two songs stuck in my head” let it go” which as we all know is the big hit the other is “do you want build a snowman “.So yes in my old age I am going soft but sometimes we all have to be a kid at heart .

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