Categorie: music

Purity vs Dark Brown suppression – The Noise of Time

article20lead20-20wide1005472468gmmqqbimage-related-articleleadwide-729x410-gmmris-png1455240867759-620x349I somewhat randomly bought the The Noise of Time by Julian Barnes.
Barnes is one of the writers on my ‘read anything they write’ list (another one is Haruki Murakami, yet another Douglas Coupland).

So I did buy the book for its main topic – a fictionalised biography of Dmitri Shostakovich. Actually, as I had not read any review of the book nor its cover, it took me a couple of pages to reach the point where I realised this was about Shostakovich. Or probably more precisely, about his moral struggle with the Soviet government. Lees verder “Purity vs Dark Brown suppression – The Noise of Time”

Frankly, Mr. Shankly, celluloid history

The third album of The Smiths, The Queen Is Deadthe_smiths_pic_1311243720, released in 1986, was much later evaluated as one of the best albums of its era.

This album contains the song Frankly, Mr. Shankly, a song that is no longer than 2 minutes (I love – still do –  how bands like The Smiths, Ramones and The Pixies fitted most of their songs in an old-fashioned 2 minutes).

Who is this Mr. Shankly, I was wondering?

I google and searched a few books, and Mr. Shankly seems to be the founder of the Rough Trade label, Geoff Travis.

The song is about a frustrated employee who is completely fed up with Mr. Shankly as his boss, and more importantly want to change his life drastically and become famous in ‘celluloid history’.

Has celluloid since become history itself? 

Keep Buggering On – or – The Obstacle is the Way

I predict Ryan Holiday will break the world record for writing the most quotable texts.

His The Obstacle Is The Way is book about  stoicism. And hasthe obstacle is the way a lot in common with buddhism (just finished Buddhism for Dummies).

Marcus Aurelius is Holiday’s big example, and the name-giver for the book and the core idea of the book. Lees verder “Keep Buggering On – or – The Obstacle is the Way”

Austin Kleon and Johnny Rotten: a desire to constantly evolve

I hate self

To start with the same introduction that Austin Kleon uses in the beginning his Show Your Work.

I just read in Walden from Henry David Thoreau, a book that I had to let go. I could not consume these long elaborations on his simplified way of life any longer. Though I found his world views interesting. And the way he exchanges philosophical elaborations with down to earth statistics and lists of stuff he bought and sold for his house or from his gardening. Lees verder “Austin Kleon and Johnny Rotten: a desire to constantly evolve”

Taxi to Hell-sinki airport sliding towards Arto Paasilinna and others

The taxi driver took off like crazy, sliding through the snow. At every traffic light the same recipe: full throttle, tyres spinning through the snow.

liaOn the highway he was taking over a lorry on the right hand side, while typing an SMS, slipping through a corner.

Then he slid a cd in the stereo, and this horrible kitsch music from Aerosmith sounded though the car: Love in An Elevator, Smoking in the back of the Yard (or so – I could not find it online afterwards, and do not want to put too much time into it), and other completely retarded music and lyrics.

I hate Aerosmith.

I was glad when we arrived at the airport and I could get out.

Nevertheless I could not call the taxi driver impolite. Just socially clumsy probably. Generally I find the Finnish people incredibly nice and helpful people. It’s terrible to come back in this little overcrowded country with it’s ill-mannered people.

And of course: it is raining back home. I just got so used to the Finnish freshness of the dry frost and the snow.

And since this post is beginning to be all over the place, I will continue that drift with a reading recommendation from Finland:
Arto Paasilinna
His stoArtories are extremely funny, with a dry sense of humor, very Finnish, you will not find something close elsewhere, so really unique story teller. Very entertaining and stories with surprising twist about the melancholic Finnish people getting into crazy situations.

I like these books that give the impression that the author sat down behind his desk, started the story and let it go where ever it leads them. It give a very loose touch to the man zonder ziektecatch 22

Freely associating while concocting story. Paasilinna is like that. Murakami has the same attraction to me – A Wild Sheep Chase being the outstanding one for me.

More of those: Joseph Heller , Arnon Grunberg De Man Zonder Ziekte / The Man Without wild sheep chaseIllness, Douglas Coupland Worst. Person. Ever..worst person ever

The greatest All American Guitar band of all times

In the car I listen to podcasts (James Altucher, Tim Ferriss, The Candid Frame, Freakonomics, …).

Or I listen to music. For that I have an SD Card that I load with a random “smart playlist” from my iTunes library. 8GB of musical history. (Spotify is for the gym.)

Today I hit this fantastic Thin White Rope song, It’s OK. I had not listened to them for quite some time. Somehow they must have been missed by the randomization algorithm in iTunes.

thin white ropeThey are still fantastic to listen to. The greatest All American band of all times. Grungy guitar rock from the desert. John Wayne, Billy the Kid, saloons, cowboys, buffalos, oversized vehicles, overloads of street signs, New York, Lincoln, guns, George Bush, Apaches, Ernest Hemingway, hamburgers, Dear Hunter, slavery, baseball, Texas, NASA, the electric guitar, Rock & Roll, FDR, IBM, obesitas, white sneakers, kaki trousers, Elvis, Omaha Beach, Winnetou and Old Shatterhand (Karl May himself jawohl), revolver, Ford Mustang, getto’s, Fox News, CNN, every 10 minutes advertising on tv, Star Wars, Joseph Heller, John Irving, William Eggleston, You Kill It We Grill It, Apollo I, II, III and following, Tom Peters, J.D. Salinger, The Blues Brothers, Apple, Casablanca, … I give up, but sure there are a few others.

And Thin White Rope.

The Quietus has written a very good article about the band, and their music. Can’t improve upon that one.

“‘It’s OK’ blasts down the synaptic highways, a thing of both terror and awe, before locking into a monumental end groove that the band proceed to demolish with searing feedback and a hammering counter-riff. This is one of those tracks it’s simply not possible to play loud enough.”

Classic. Listen.

Lonely Island classic albums: Stranded

What album will you bring on your Robinson Crusoe adventure?greil-marcus-628x400

Greil Marcus let American rock writers chose their album and justify their choice in Stranded.

I can continue reading this type of literature forever. Or create a blog on it. Or a podcast. Or maybe there is one, but I don’t know about it. And I am too lazy to check it out.

The book describes a beautiful image of the 60s and 70s and of course specifically the rock scene at the time when vinyl was still mainstream. Some of the bands have become pretty obscure. The Ronettes, ok I still remember them and may kids may have heard a song from them once. But Little John Willie, Hugh Smith, … WTF, as they would say. I can’t even recall having heard of them. And I was into music, in my time (reading ferociously on the topic: Oor, Rolling Stone, NME, what had you).foto

The first one leaving a note, I will send the book for free (item condition: read).


Dec 2015: started a list.