Reading - March 2013

Thelwell Country by Norman Thelwell (1959)
Also funny. It is a shame that such beautifully detailed pictures are printed in a small paperback, though.
Angels On Horseback by Norman Thelwell (1957)
I loved Thelwell's cartoons as a child and I learned to draw by copying them. Still classic, even though it now only takes ten minutes to read, and it gives me immense pleasure to watch B laughing over them too.
The Pleasures And Sorrows Of Work by Alain de Botton (2009)
Ostensibly a rumination on the meaning of work in the modern era of micro-specialisation, this is really a series of entertaining vignettes on widely different occupations. Always highly readable, amusing (and occasionally laugh out loud funny), thoughtful and thought-inspiring, it nevertheless feels like a compendium of repurposed magazine articles, even though I don't believe this is the case. Still, I enjoyed it immensely.
Chase The Morning by Michael Scott Rohan (1990)
An old favourite that I seem to remember discovering in the library when I lived with my parents, which means it must have been pretty new at the time. It's an enjoyable fantasy of an average man somehow caught up in a parallel world. The writing could be better but the overall story appeals to me. I've only recently discovered that there are two sequels - now ordered for the princely sum of 1 penny each (plus P&P). Isn't the internet wonderful?
Moondust by Andrew Smith (2005)
Notionally an investigation into how the nine (at the time) remaining men who have walked on the moon are faring, but more a rumination into how the author feels about the Apollo mission and the astronauts who flew in it. A bit too much "me me me" at times but never less than very readable.


Shopping 23 March 2013

On Saturday, Brian and I braved the snow and the cold in London. Suitably fortified by Sammy Smith's finest brews, we first ventured out to find K West (now the site of chi-chi restaurants) and then Jessie Matthews (subject of the blue plaque on the right). As luck would have it, she was born in what is now the Music & Video Exchange on Berwick Street. Destiny. Three shops later (it's really not what it used to be on Berwick Street) I wandered back the the Duke Of Argyll clutching the following immortal albums.

One Day Remains by Alter Bridge (2004)
Blackbird was one of my favourite discoveries of last year, and this is the album before it.
McLemore Avenue by Booker T & The M.G.'s (1970)
The Beatles' Abbey Road, covered by Booker T & The M.G.s. What's not to like?
Happy Sad by Tim Buckley (1969)
Another in the ongoing mission to a) like Tim Buckley, and b) listen to all of those 1001 albums.
Supernature by Cerrone (1977)
I first heard "Supernature" at a Goldfrapp gig - obviously, really.
Armed Forces by Elvis Costello (1979)
A must have, not sure why I don't already.
Almost Blue by Elvis Costello (1981)
Similarly classic.
The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan by Bob Dylan (1963)
I think Dylan is vastly overrated but this album has memories of winters with Josh.
Here Come The Warm Jets by Brian Eno (1974)
Eno's first solo album comes highly rated.
Before And After Science by Brian Eno (1977)
Well, I already have about seven Eno albums, what's another one?
American Beauty by Grateful Dead (1970)
A classic, required listening apparently. We'll see. I have my doubts.
A Donny Hathaway Collection by Donny Hathaway (1990)
I heard Donny Hathaway mentioned on the Danny Baker programme about albums and thought I should investigate.
British Steel by Judas Priest (1980)
Another 1001 Albums ... purchase, and in any case I seem to be getting back into guitar music.
The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society by The Kinks (1968)
And another ...
La Roux by La Roux (2009)
I'm vaguely aware of La Roux as eighties retro-istes, which has a certain appeal for me.
Hymns Of The 49th Parallel by k.d. lang (2004)
She has yet to make a poor album, as far as I'm concerned.
Roots by Curtis Mayfield (1971)
Another classic artist I know too little music by.
Sail Away by Randy Newman (1972)
His most well-known album - although not by me, so attempting to correct this.
Vulgar Display Of Power by Pantera (1992)
More classic metal, more guitar action.
Introducing ... (Selected Works) by UNKLE (2006)
When I bought this I thought it was their first album, but it's actually a promo of some sort. I hope the track featuring Alice Temple (of Eg & Alice) is on it.
Stevie Wonder's Journey Through "The Secret Life of Plants" by Stevie Wonder (1979)
One of the few albums from Stevie's "good" period (i.e. anything up to Hotter Than July) I don't already have. Sorted.
Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) by Wu-Tang Clan (1993)
More 1001 Albums ... choices, although I feel I should have more hip-hop anyway.

Reviews to follow in the coming weeks (or, let's be honest, years - I still haven't quite finished reviewing the last batch).