Never, never, never land: approximation of a playlist ยง27

24 11 2006

Never Never land

Never ever All Saints
Never stop – Echo and the Bunnymen
I’ll never fall in love again – Dionne Warwick
You Never Know – Goldfrapp
Never understand – The Jesus and Mary Chain
Never had no-one ever – The Smiths
I never wanted – Idlewild
Never never – The Assembly
You Never Can Tell – Chuck Berry
Never look at the sun – The Delgados
Never my love – The Association
Never Here – Elastica
There is a Light That Never Goes Out – The Smiths

Do you set your watch five minutes fast?

18 11 2006

If so, why?watch

And what does it say about the way you operate….?

I do (well, four minutes fast). Means that, as long as I don’t think about it, am rarely late for anything.

Animals (but no pigs) in space

16 11 2006

Writing about web page

Interested to see such helpful information about animal astronauts.


I must admit I thought that (a) there would have been a lot more than this (although there were extra mice etc on some trips) and (b) that none of them ever returned (wrong!).

An all time favourite

13 11 2006

Book front cover

What a Carve Up! (Essential.penguin)
Jonathan Coe
5 out of 5 stars

What a Carve Up! by Jonathan Coe

As with Lanark (see earlier entry) this is pretty much up there in my top 10 of contemporary (if not all time) novels. Really can’t recommend it highly enough. Better than The Rotters Club too.

No 54

11 11 2006

Wu Ming
4 out of 5 stars

54 by Wu Ming

A wonderful array of interlinked narratives, highly evocactive of a quite distant age (ok 1954). The cold war provides a backdrop to mafia operations in Naples, post-partisan melancholia in Bologna, and a bizarre set of engagements in Yugoslavia, including an attempt by the British Secret Service to persuade Cary Grant of his duty to work with Tito.

It lakes the depth and poiitical reach of Q, the last offering by the collective formerly known as Luther Blisset, but is still powerful and entertaining read.

Highly recommended.

Zoology: approximation of a playlist no 26

6 11 2006

Johnny MorrisSongs about zoos and their inhabitants:

The Lion sleeps tonight โ€“ Tight Fit
Tiger feet โ€“ Mud
Zoo(m) โ€“ Fat Larry’s Band
Zoo(ropa) – U2
Teddy bear – Elvis
The snake – Al Wilson
The Jackal – Ronnie Jordan (but, more importantly, CJ Cregg)
Penguins – Lyle Lovett
Good Morning Spider – Sparklehorse
The hippopotamus song – Flanders & Swann
Monkey’s gone to heaven – The Pixies
The Funky Gibbon – The Goodies
Crocodile Rock – Elton John
Porcupine – Echo & The Bunnymen

Pastoral pleasures

4 11 2006

Music front cover

From Gardens Where We Feel Secure
Virginia Astley
5 out of 5 stars

From Gardens Where We Feel Secure – by Virginia Astley 1983

I remember reading an NME review of this upon its release – it sounded so bizarre I felt I just had to get it. I suppose it qualifies as a ‘concept’ album but it is such an extraordinarily ordinary and yet brilliantly executed notion that the term seems inappropriate.

The title and a couple of the tracks – ‘With my eyes wide open I’m dreaming’, ‘Hiding in the Ha Ha’, ‘Too Bright for Peacocks’ – hint at the experience. Essentially you get wonderful floaty piano backed with sheep, church bells, a swing, gates, cows (I think), more sheep and lots of birds. You can almost hear the vicar on his bike and smell the flowers in the meadow. It is totally evocative of summer’s day in an English country village: light, airy, spacious and dreamy. A wonderful, ethereal, pastoral idyll.

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