Monthly Archives: July 2011

Rojak: Bye bye, July.

Rojak is a regular collection of assorted links as well as a bulletin summarising the week (or thereabouts) on this blog.

Assorted

Arcade Fire’s The Suburbs gets a deluxe reissue, and you can stream it. [via Pitchfork]

There is a relatively new André Kertész book, and I want it. [via The Online Photographer]

A Joseph Brodsky museum. [via The Book Bench]

Maud Newton on Raymond Chandler’s essay on Hollywood. [via nieman storyboard]

Third issue in the remix series of Radiohead’s The King of Limbs. Listen in the link. [via dead air space]

New York Public Library trades kids’ fines for time spent in the library. [via NY Daily News]

Bulletin

Since the last edition…

In art:

In literature:

In music:

In film and theatre:

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Omnivore: Old and new.

Omnivore is a regular report on some of the things that I’ve been enjoying during the week (or thereabouts).

Since the last edition, I’ve read and re-read a few books. I did The Bell Jar, a new César Aira (as far as English translations go) called The Seamstress and the Wind, and Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking. I re-read The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis (actually, I started this ages ago but only finished about two or three weeks back), Dino Buzzati’s Poem Strip, and Julio Cortázar’s Blow-Up and Other Stories.

I’ve also been watching Radiohead’s “From the Basement” performance of The King of Limbs by streaming it online. It’s great. It’s not on YouTube because of copyright claims, I believe, so you’ll have to spend a bit of time looking for it.

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Virgins and rocks.

Leonardo da Vinci’s two versions of “Virgin on the Rocks” will be united at the National Gallery.

[via The Telegraph]

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Smiths box set.

2011, The Smiths Complete. (Source: Rhino)

If you have cash to burn (I don’t) or are a Smiths diehard, then there is a huge box set coming in October featuring the whole catalogue on CD, vinyl and MP3, 25 7″ singles, many prints, a poster, expanded liner notes, a DVD and a fancy box. And a limited-edition number. Appropriately, it’s called The Smiths Complete.

If you aren’t that well-to-do or don’t want to mortgage your hovel, then there is also a vinyl and a CD edition which run for much cheaper.

[via Rhino]

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Now on iTunes.

On its 40th anniversary, The Concert for Bangladesh, featuring the likes of George Harrison, Leon Russell, Ravi Shankar, Eric Clapton, Billy Preston, and of course, Bob Dylan, is now available on iTunes.

[via iTunes]

Here, George performs Something:

[via YouTube]

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Personal vision of hell.

António Lobo Antunes. (Source: The Paris Review)

So I never set out to write a book about the war. I was very interested in the relationship between the man who speaks and the woman who listens. I was drawn to the idea that the relationship between a man and a woman can be something like a war itself, very cruel and violent. And then I realized that if I included some things about what happened in Africa, it would provide a powerful counterpoint to their story. I suppose the narrator of the book is trying to use the tales of war to seduce the woman—he believes that women are weak when it comes to these things. I was surprised by the solitude of this character, this lonely and miserable man. The book is about a very personal vision of hell.

The Paris Review talks to António Lobo Antunes about collective memory, our history of violence, and celebrity.

[via The Paris Review]

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2011 Man Booker longlist announced.

Here it is:

  • Auther Book (Publisher)
  • Julian Barnes The Sense of an Ending (Jonathan Cape – Random House)
  • Sebastian Barry On Canaan’s Side (Faber)
  • Carol Birch Jamrach’s Menagerie (Canongate Books)
  • Patrick deWitt The Sisters Brothers (Granta)
  • Esi Edugyan Half Blood Blues (Serpent’s Tail – Profile)
  • Yvvette Edwards A Cupboard Full of Coats (Oneworld)
  • Alan Hollinghurst The Stranger’s Child (Picador – Pan Macmillan)
  • Stephen Kelman Pigeon English (Bloomsbury)
  • Patrick McGuinness The Last Hundred Days (Seren Books)
  • A.D. Miller Snowdrops (Atlantic)
  • Alison Pick Far to Go (Headline Review)
  • Jane Rogers The Testament of Jessie Lamb (Sandstone Press)
  • D.J. Taylor Derby Day (Chatto & Windus – Random House)

[via The Man Booker Prizes]

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Just for one day.

David Bowie performing “Heroes”.

[via YouTube]

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Nota Bene: Jazz.

That’s right. It’s like improvising in jazz. You don’t ask a jazz musician, “But what are you going to play?” He’ll laugh at you. He has a theme, a series of chords he has to respect, and then he takes up his trumpet or his saxophone and he begins. It’s not a question of idea. He performs through a series of different internal pulsations. Sometimes it comes out well, sometimes it doesn’t. It’s the same with me. I’m a bit embarrassed to sign my stories sometimes. The novels, no, because the novels I work on a lot; there’s a whole architecture. But my stories, it’s as if they were dictated to me by something that is in me, but it’s not me who’s responsible. Well, since it does appear they are mine even so, I guess I should accept them!

Julio Cortázar

[via The Paris Review]

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PJ Harvey nominated for Mercury Prize.

Neil McCormick believes that PJ Harvey could be the first two-time winner of the Mercury Prize. And it would certainly be a deserving winner too.

Already joint favourite for the prize (with Adele), I think, in all likelihood, Harvey will become the first two-time Mercury winner. Let England Shake is a masterpiece, a profound and serious meditation on mankind’s apparently endless appetite for self-destruction, filtered through the Dorset native’s complex feelings of love, pride and disappointment in her own country.

Steeped in the language and imagery of the First World War, but rife with contemporary resonance, rich with the ancient sonic ambience of folk yet unarguably modern, this is an album about war and the state of the nation that evokes an emotional response rather than preaching from polemical positions.

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P.S. Anna Calvi has been nominated too!

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