Thursday, March 17, 2011

quorate if not complete...

Well, another great night with some great chat and 40th musings...
Dave - you were missed.
Here are the notes (post it sized notes leaving a list its true, but with at least some comments at the time).

Jules Verne - 20,000 Leagues Uner the Sea
Alan Moore - Lost Girls
Miyazaki - (art from his animations)

Ben C
Norwegian Wood

Ben A
Sherlock Holmes
Jonathan Franzen (but not as god as the corrections)

David B
Pillars of the Earth
People's History of England

hasn't read anything between covers.

Joni Mitchell - Blue
Caribou - Swim
Tallis - Spem in Alium
David Sylvian - Gone to Earth (especially instrumental 2nd half)
Eno - Music for Films
LaBradford - Eluxoso
Bo Didfdly - 'concert on a beach from early 60's
Holy Ghost (album)
Propoganda, Duran Duran,
Human League - Dare
James Blake

Ben C
Big Things ("but Wild Boys is a better song to say the same thing" - Paul)
Related by Gains - "lush, 10cc" category - "Sex"
Kanye West - my dark fantasy [hopefull the album name] category - "surprise" (brought to attention from the worth-reading pitchfork review)
Eno - Small raft onb milk sea
Beach house - Teen Dream category - "easy"
Groove Armada Black.... category - "guilty pleasure"

Ben A
PJ Harvey (latest album) war songs esp On Battleship Hill
Scritti Pollitti (best of)
Leisure Society - Leisure
Bach - B Minor Mass ("is his double album of best ofs)[a bit like George Harrison??]; Sonatas and Partitas

Songs:Ohia ("slightly annoying name")
"a lot of podcasts"
Winters Bone soundtrack
Treme (soundtrack)
Shaoes and shadows - Ben Ottaway (Gomez)

Led Zeppelin
Glass - Heroes, 2,3,4th symphonies
Midlake [now i have to get the 'other one']
Money Mark
Explosions in the Sky
Múm - "Finally We Are No One" - my recommendation for y'all. Delicate, melodic electronica

and that's it! Till the next one where tales of the Pilgrimage will be a topic I hope!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

"last night's notes" - [ahem]

Tardily late (rather than fashionably), finally here are the notes from our most recent Bookclub.

And, although these things now have years inbetween, I won't use that as any excuse. Instead, moving (ie throwing away 80%) of my junk has been a bit time-consuming (as has the "which box did I put that damn notepad in...?")

Now, with my notes to hand ... oh hold on...... hmm, it turns out we were all talking at the same time for most of the time (no one holding a book and demanding respect!) which has led to a crazed scrawl with several gaps. Apologies in advance...

Right, firstly, what we're all up to....

Dave is a brand mechanic for those engines of civilisation - cities. Hopefully he'll use his considerable powers for Good and not Evil.... the world awaits. I'm confident that it will only be for Good as one of Dave's most memorable quotes was "Fatherhood has turned me into a huge man-rose."
Paul is going all oldskool and using spreadsheets to see how music socially, erm, spreads.
Ben is even more sensitive to the world around him (and maybe evenb the worlds around and between that).

Rich hasn't moved on much, except to finally move from the home of the last [cough]teen years.

Ben - Books:
Earthly Powers by Anthony Burgess.
Great for a "sustained period of picking up a book". Its both a "big book" but also "learned", "fantastic" and an "ambient masterpiece".

Corrections by Jonathan Franzen
Is "nourishing" and "page turning" and a bit like Phillip Roth.

Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
Manages to make Cromwell a "great bloke", a hero and she has "brought the whole thing to life".

Wild Wood by Roger Deacon
(another) "deeply deeply nourishin book"

Pucker Pooks Hill by Rudyard Kipling
He revisits England [at this point I ran out of page to write notes on. but it was 5 books by that time....]

Coraline - Neil Gaimon
"A frightening book"

Girl with a Dragon Tattoo - Stieg Larsson
"A page turner making you turn the light off 1/2 an hour later each night"

Frank Miller's Frankenstein

Dave - Books:
The Act of Creation - Arthur Koestler
"Inspired me .... to think"
Thnks outside of disciplines and asks "Where does creative thought come from?"

The Ask - Sam Lypsite
Wry take on trends ("New York social fetish") - an all round satire on modern life.

The wind up bird chronicles - Haruki Murakami
"Wonderful intricate detailed world - I don' give a shit"
[this is exactly as I worte it down - can't quie remember the context at the end there...]

Cities & Civilisation - Peter Hall
Stages in history. 3 forces in history
Technology, Economics, People.

Fold - Tom Cambell
A Poker novel

Pleasure of Hating - William Hazlitt
Way of getting on with the people he's with.

Tale of a Tub - Jonathan Swift
"Great satire... meanings upon meanings"

Paul - Books:
The Road - Cormac McCarthy

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen - Alan Moore
"Dark, funny, mixes everything up to create an enjoyable world".

Time of Gifts - Patrick Lee Firmer
Between the Woods and the Water
"Never been so gripped by a travel book... writing is exquisite... words like balm"
"Amazing story. Rumblings of war. Writing poetry. Wanting to learn languages. An inquiring mind. Europe back then. Not ashamed to be an inellectual."

Tales of King Arthur - John Steinbeck
"If I'd read at 20, I'd read the narrative. Now I read the influences; analogy of life is like..." [here the notes stop - a shame, but a great reason to read this to see what analogy Paul was talking about]

Rich - Books:
The Age of Wonder - Richard Holmes
A history of the beginnings of Science. Tales of extraordinary lives and stories.
Great but tiring about 3rd way through. Its a solid book with light elements but like the Herschels, some parts require patience and concentration.

Rip it up and start again - Simon Reynolds
A personal history of post punk music in the UK and US.
Great for geting across one man's (and thus everyone's) passion for music. It also gets across the fact that Punk was a way of thinking, rather than simply a raucous art form. And it certainly wasn't the regurgitated 50's rawk and roll of New York Dolls and Stooges.

The Rest is Noise - Alex Ross
A history of modern classical music from late 19th century to today. It is brilliant, although I should have used the audio guide (online) to help me as I didn't understand any of the technical descriptions of the music.
Yet I still enjoyed it!!

Ben - Music:

Midlake - "My band of 2010"
"Trials of van Occupanther"
"On the cover is some kind of Medieval forest with animals in gimp clothes"
"Within 4 or 5 notes my favourite band"
"Whole album is a thing"
"Drenched production"
"Talent talent talent talent"
Notable albums -
Courage of others

Dave - Music:
Synth Britannia (on the TV).
Eels - Days of the daisies galaxies
Like Belle & Sebastien - whimisical, can move between death and...[?]
"I'm relaxing to Wagner"

Paul Music:
Fever Ray - "instant have to hear more"
Midlake - Courage of others
Kraftwerk - Man Machine
Beatles - "their early youthful passion"
Phillip Glass - Violin Concerto
"combining lyricism and metronomic [pulse]"
Schubert - Vinterreiser
Vaughn Williams - Songs of travel
2 versions - piano and orchestral.

Rich - Music:
Has been listening to stuff he should have heard the first time round (Talking Heads, Brian Eno, 2 many DJs, and lots more).
Only thing to recommend are pieces from Polar Bear - Peepers.
"Driving, accessible, urgent, fun". "Very accessible [jazz] music" (as well as completely inaccessible harsh experimental jazz).
Try tracks 1,2,6 for accessible stuff, 4,5,7,8,9, for more serene stuff.
Avoid track 3 as its "horrible"

and over all, a wonderful night.

Let it not be years before we do this (or anything else!) again.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

confirmation of last nights recs

Hi all,

great to see everyone last night. My apologies for my inability to remember details of my recs:

Wagner's Das Rheingold was the piece of music which Herzog so beautifully and frighteningly uses at the beginning of Nosferatu.

Charles Mackay's Extraordinary popular delusions and the madness of Crowds is a series of essays on all matters including economics. but my favourite recently was on London Words

My other music recommendation was Eels Daisies of the Galaxy - I couldn't remember his name, becuase he doesn't appear to have one.

finally - we talked a lot about data visualisations - perhaps too much. but thought you might be interested in one of my favourite Ted Talks from Hans Rosling.

and his update is to the original is also very good.

good to see you all - and look forward to seeing all your recommendations here.



Tuesday, October 06, 2009

the eclectic bites

Reading: been sticking to short sharp and punchy of late - essays mostly. Enjoying J.G. Ballard's A User's guide to the Millennium . Also enjoyed Herman Hesse short stories - Strange News from another star.

Listening - Joni Mitchell and I seem to be bound together at the moment having eventually learnt to master "Joni tunings" on the guitar which has been really mind blowing. Encouraged me to buy a harmonica and everything. Can't beat Free man in Paris. The Hits album - actually a strong compilation album.

also been listening to a lot of John Williams - particularly incidental music from Star Wars and Indiana (Felix loves it and we went to see the Hertfordshire Philharmonic perform it all the other night)

Podcasts - really enjoy Philosophy bites (it's on Itunes) a nice 10 minute condensed way to be introduced to and enjoy various thinkers. Particularly enjoyed Kierkegaard - reminds me of some of my favourite book club recs including Pale Fire and If on a Winter's Night a Traveller. Both of which led me to Borges and Labyrinth (really would recommend this!) - again more short stories and the theme seems to be all that is eclectic and all that I can absorb in 20 minute bursts.

I need to the rigour of book club to make me read a novel again and to stop listening to only Joni and Johnny.

what's else is happening out there?

Labels: , ,

A new page

This article inspired a change. Everyone gets blog access and we can post recommendations etc and meet up with low pressure on reading!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Guess what?

Just found my notes to that bookclub meet in april 2007!

DA: bookclub must have passion


DA: his voice grated on my ears like a f#cking c#nt

BC: I only like one track on the whole fucking album.

RE: Ruined like a whore at Easter.

RE: There are only 4 songs on the album.


RE: Sigh of a moment grasped and missed

BC: the danger of inactivity

BA: the power of pity

DB: sentimental cack on a stick

Monday, November 12, 2007

Spanish in King's Cross

Last friday it was the turn of If On a Winter's Night a Traveller... and Calcutta Slide Guitar to divide the book club. We're lovers, we're haters, we're eaters and drinkers. Respect to Camino's for good Spanish food. So far there have been no reports of DA ending up in Peterborough again.

Next author: Saul Bellow
Next composer: Patrick Wolf

Friday, April 27, 2007

More King's Cross

Discussed Graham Greene and the Guillemots.
Can't find my notes so who knows what was said.
Pub is now a gay pub.
Selected works Dharbash (sp) Calcutta Slide Guitar and Italo Calvino's If On a Winter's Night a Traveller.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Full house

Despite an image that only shows four of us, and some 3 months later than we expected it might be, we were full house on Friday night. The first time since last October. Met in King's Cross at some pub whose name escapes me, adjourned to the Paolina thai cafe and back to the pub.

I don't have the time I used to have so, in short, under discussion:

Book - Gabrielle Garcia Marquez, My Melancholy Whores (BC)

DA hadn't read it!
And I can't remember what anyone said about it.
Oh yeah, I said it would have been better as a short poem.

CD - Elbow, Leaders of the Free World (DA)

BC thought it was sub-Coldplay.
PG said Elbow one of most underrated bands in the UK.
RE liked it.
DB liked it but couldn't find it to refreash his memory.
BA loved it , as did DA.

A new innovation is to pick the next nominators by playing stone/paper/scissors.

Next up...

venue - Ackers - Camden
music - Ackers - Guillemots' Through the Window Pane
book - Dave A - Graham Greene's Heart of the Matter

Friday, February 10, 2006

Book club lite & yet book club max

From Dave Adam:
Sorry you couldn't make it, I undertook vice-Chair duties for the blog:
Testing times for book club as the Chair was sorely missed. However, all enjoyed Tapas in Notting Hill. Especially enjoyed watching the rabble on the way down through portobello: girls pissing in the street shouting at us - Why not? You lot do it you dirty bastards!
Found a little pub after 12 (surprisingly difficult in Notting Hill), and Mr Ackland cranked up the juke box with A boy Named Sue. Back to Mr Cliffords for a wee sharpner. In summary: I shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die.
Cash (out of ten) - BA 9, BC 8, DA
BA -Same voice as Jesus Blood but an octave lower
BC - No moralizing.... shit happens
Ballard (out of ten) - BA 5, BC 8, DA 8
BC - I'm a sucker for surrealism
BA - I would have liked it stripped down to a poem

Next book
Book - Gabrielle Garcia Marquez, My Melancholy Whores (BC)
CD - Elbow, Leaders of the Free World (DA)
Venue - Dave's house in Letchworth (probably somewhere in around May after all the children are born.)

Other recommendations:
Townes Van Zandt, Bob Dylan bootleg vol. 7 No direction home, Kate Bush - Aerial
Possible excursion to see Elbow - see BA

Optional extra for PG, all to reconvene for quick drink in Holborn this Wednesday?

Friday, December 02, 2005

Three venues

We met in the Big Chill bar, actually outside despite it being December. No Mr Ackland due to Ofsted preparations. On to Brick Lane for an Indian, where we dealt with the book and CD - Captain Beefheart's Trout Mask Replica and Timothy Mo's The Redundancy of Courage. We then wandered through the rain, past the infamous Sports Club, to a not-so-late-night Shoreditch drinking haunt.

Some quotes on Trout Mask Replica.....

DB: "it's like some nutter has given a guitar to a monkey's tea party"

DA: "it really challenged what a riff is"

BC: "every now and then you'd hear a melody and you'd hang on to it for dear life"

RE: "on the best of captain beefheart there is not one track from this album"


Beefheart: DB chard, DA bicycle fish, BC flannel, RE cauliflower, PG beefburger

Mo: DB, DA, BC 7, RE 8, PG 6.5, BA.

For next book club... Johnny Cash American Vol3 Solitary Man and J. G. Ballard The Crystal World. Venue down to Mr Clifford.

Meery Xmas...

Saturday, October 01, 2005

"Don't look at her, she'll start barking!"

End of September bookclub back where we began in 2003 - Dave' s back garden. Also featuring the welcome return of Mr Butler after a couple of absences.

Feasting on goat on his decking we exchanged views on Machiavelli's The Prince (which replaced the Faulkner) and Roxy Music's Country Life. Machiavelli was criticised for being turgid and lacking values, but was generally repected to some degree for it's historical importance. Richard had managed to summarise the whole thing in his notebook. I forgot to write down the quotes as they tumbled out of reviewers' lips so you'll have to make do with my summary - but you can add anything I have overlooked by posting a comment. Roxy Music Country Life was criticised for not being their best album and not having memorable songs, but praised for being a consistent album (track 5 excepted).


The Prince - BA 3, PG 4, DB - , RE 5, DA, 6, BC 3.

Country Life - BA 6, PG 7, DB 5, RE 5, DA 6, BC 6.5.

At the end of the night Mr Butler nominated Timothy Mo - The Redundancy of Courage, Mr Gathercole nominated Captain Beefheart's Trout Mask Replica. And the next venue falls to Mr Butler.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Rain stopped play

The Feast of the Goat BarBQ celebrating two years of book club was cancelled due to inclement weather. Instead we met at the Alwyne near Highbury Corner.

We discussed The Feast of the Goat.
Mr Clifford - "docu novel"
Mr Earley - "it's galloping..."
Mr Ackland - "dictatorship...I can't get enough of it"
DA 6/10, BA 6/10, BC, 6.5/10, RE 6/10, PG 6.5/10 - AVERAGE = 6.2

...and Chavez Ravine.
Mr Clifford - "...Saturday morning when doing scrambled eggs"
Mr Adam - "...Felix - he f#cking loves that album"
Mr Ackland - "Three cool cats? F#ck off!". "whole album justified by track nine"

Mr Adam chose Roxy Music Country Life.
Mr Earley chose William Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury.

Other recommendations:
Love in the Time of Cholera
In Cold Blood
Mambo Sinuendo

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Summer - sitting outside again

Saturday June 18th. The Duchess of Kent on Liverpool Road.

Disussed Pale Fire and Up the Bracket.

Mr Earley chose Ry Cooder's Chavez Ravine.
Mr Clifford chose The Feast of the Goat.

Chairmen took few notes!

Friday, February 11, 2005

WInter in the West End

Friday 11th February 2005 - The Eagle, Rathbone Place
Beforehand Mr. Earley said “I'll say it now, that I HAVEN'T been to this place, and I'll admit that nowehere in the description is the word beer or pub mentioned.”
During Mr. Adam said “My apologies for my sudden absence at the last one, excuses: End of financial year (...) and Olympic bid, IOC visit etc. ”
Afterwards Mr. Ackland said “May I politely suggest, having bought my copy of Pale Fire today, and reaquainting myself with it after 12 years, that we do not leave it till the last minute to read...”

We discussed Intimacy and 76:14. We started the cards again and Ackers chose Bob Dylan's lyrics and Mr Butler chose Up The Bracket by The Libertines. Dylan subsequently changed to Vladimir Nabokov's Pale Fire.

Friday, November 05, 2004

Guy Fawkes Night

Friday 5th November 2004 - The Talbot, Englefield Road

Mr. Earley said “If you get fed too much honey, it's too sweet”

Mr. Clifford said “The kind of music I would listen to whilst doing the hoovering ”

Mr. Ackland said “Film music from films I wouldn't enjoy” AND “I really fancied her”

Mr. Gathercole said “It's David Holmes mate”

Mr. Adam said “He wants a girl to come to the group ” AND “Women think romance is only about longing”

Mr. Butler said “Utterly charming”

Tracy Chevalier - Girl with a Pearl Earring BA 8/10, BC 8/10, DB 8/10, DA 4/10, PG 8/10, RE 8/10 - AVERAGE 7.3
Various - Cherrystones
BA 2/10, BC 3/10, DB 3/10, DA not heard, PG 2/10, RE 4/10 - AVERAGE 2.8

We discussed Cherrystones and Girl with a Pearl Earring and Paul chose A Year with Swollen Appendices and Ben A chose the new Felix da Housecat album. Then, in a flagrant breach of book club rules they changed their minds to... Intimacy by Hanif Kureshi and 76:14 by Global Communication.

Friday, July 16, 2004

The Lord Stanley

Friday 16th July 2004 - The Lord Stanley, Camden Park Road

Mr. Earley said “...Paris Hilton...”
Mr. Clifford said “It really got on my nerves ”

Alan Clarke - Diaries: In Power
BA 7/10, BC 7/10, DB 6/10, DA 4/10, PG 7/10, RE 7/10 - AVERAGE 6.3
Scissor Sisters - Scissor Sisters
BA 5/10, BC 3/10, DB 5/10, DA 3/10, PG 3/10, RE 5/10 - AVERAGE 4

Mr Earley chose Tracy Chevalier - Girl with a Pearl Earring
Mr Butler chose Various - Cherrystones

Friday, March 26, 2004

Barely quorate

Friday 26th March 2004 - Longland's Court (Ben C's place)

Only four of us at this one.
Mr. Gathercole said “Have you got a nightcap, like a little whisky?”
Mr. Adam said “Exquisite! ”
Mr. Butler said by email “I didn't give a shit about Lanark, the only bit I enjoyed was when the oracle was describing his past, the rest, budget Huxley”

Alasdair Gray - Lanark
BA 5/10, BC 6/10, DB 5/10, DA 5/10, PG 5/10, RE 6/10 - AVERAGE 5.3
Gavin Bryars - The Sinking of the Titanic/Jesus' blood never failed me yet
BA 9/10, BC 6/10, DB 6/10, DA 10/10, PG 9/10, RE 6/10 - AVERAGE 7.7

Mr Clifford chose the Alan Clarke diaries.
Mr Adam chose the Scissor Sisters' album

Other recommendations:
Powell and Pressburger's The Red Shoes and A Matter of Life and Death
Schubert - Quintet in C Major

Sunday, February 08, 2004

Book Club south of the river

Book Club #4 - Friday 8th February 2004 - Annandale Road (David's place)

Mr. Earley said “I'll keep this short...”
Mr. Clifford said “On the train back from work I would stare into the darkness rather than pick up the book... ”

Philip Roth - American Pastoral
BA 7.5/10, BC 5/10, DB 6.5/10, DA 8/10, PG 8.5/10, RE 4/10 - AVERAGE 6.6
Jimmy Smith - Peter and the Wolf
BA 7/10, BC 7.5/10, DB 7.5/10, DA 7.5/10, PG 6.5/10, RE 8/10 - AVERAGE 7.3

Mr. Ackland chose Alasdair Gray - Lanark and said “one of the reasons I'm recommending it is because I studied it and can't remember anything about it”
Mr Gathercole chose Gavin Bryars - The Sinking of the Titanic/Jesus' blood never failed me yet. The Virgin reissue of the version recorded for Brian Eno's label.

Thursday, November 20, 2003

First Book Club Outing

Thursday 20th November 2003 - RFH Mikhail Pletnev performs Piano Concerto No.3, alongside Rimsky-Korsakov and Prokofiev, with conductor Tugan Sokhiev.

Mr. Gathercole said “The chairman doesn't just take notes at meetings...”
Mr. Adam said “excellent, our first excursion. Do we get a discount as it's a school trip? ”
Mr. Butler said “sounds great, who's supporting?”

Monday, October 20, 2003

Camden Town

Friday 17th October 2003 - Bruges Place (Acker's flat)

Mr. Earley said “hey hey.... don't you just want that cd from the cover alone??!!?”
Mr. Clifford said “RA RA RACHERS ”
Mr. Ackland said “I am officially up for seeing some johnny thump the joanna at our nation's great and glorious RFH”

Jeremy Paxman - The English
BA 4/10, BC 7/10, DB 5/10, DA 5/10, PG 6/10, RE 5/10 - AVERAGE 5.3
Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto no.3
BA 7/10, BC 8/10, DB 6/10, DA 4/10, PG 7/10, RE 4/10 - AVERAGE 6

Mr Adam chose American Pastoral
Mr Earley chose Jimmy Smith's Peter and the Wolf

Friday, August 08, 2003

In the Comatorium

Friday 8th August 2003 - Lansdowne Road (Dave's house)

Mr. Gathercole said “I trust your hi-fi's have not buckled before the Mars Volta”
Mr. Adam said “Everything will be ready - I have placed the cd player down in the comatorium just to give us the right atmosphere. ”
Mr. Butler must have been very busy, he said “The 8th is good for me too.”

Hari Kunzru - The Impressionist
BA 7/10, BC 6/10, DB 6/10, DA 7/10, PG 6/10, RE 6/10 - AVERAGE 6.3
Mars Volta - De-Loused in the Comatorium
BA 4/10, BC 4/10, DB 5/10, DA 3/10, PG 3/10, RE 6/10 - AVERAGE 4.2

Mr Gathercole chose The English
Mr Clifford chose Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto no.3
There are many recordings of Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto no3. There are some good new ones that the critics cannot choose between, but they all agree that the recoding made by Horowitz in the 50s was unsurpassed for the best part of 50 years and is the reference piece for any reviewer.

Other recommendations:

Richard's £5 recommendations at Fopp...The Rolling Stones - Exile on Main Street Sonic Youth - Daydream Nation
Indian stuff...Call of the Valley
Autumn/Winter music...Beck - Sea Changes
Bargain prices on Amazon for on of Ben C's rec's...Peter Carey - Illywhacker
And for suspense...And John Fowles' the Collector

Monday, July 07, 2003

Defining the Rules

Monday July 7th 2003 - St John's (Archway)

Mr. Earley said “no vetoes here”
Mr. Clifford said “if anyone does want to veto this i suggest that a time limit is set. 45 minutes seems quite popular at the moment... ”
Mr. Ackland said “No itchy veto finger here, tho Benc seems to want to bring a bit of e-bay pressure bidding into the veto equation. Mmm....rules...”

Mr Butler chose Hari Kunzru - The Impressionist
Mr Ackland chose The Mars Volta - De-Loused in the Comatorium

Photos of bookclub 1 at http://