Sunday 15 March 2009

Rue Morgue Fever

Someone calling herself - rather brilliantly - Liisa Ladouceur has reviewed I Shot a Man in Reno over at Rue Morgue Radio (a new one on me, I must confess). You can listen to her call the book "quite perfect.... highly literate" and graciously forgive me for my lack of metal coverage here. It's about 30 minutes in, and lasts about 10 minutes.

Also, I have contributed a whole stack of stuff to the Guardian/Observer's "1000 Songs Everyone Must Hear" series, which started yesterday and is running all this week until Friday 20th March. Inevitably, it's as infuriating and flawed as these kind of things always are, but there's some good writing on display, some interesting interviews from a whole raft of musicians, some fine tunes (and links to Spotify so you can hear them all), and you can make your points, favourable or otherwise, on the blog site. Catch up with it all here.

Finally, I review the chilly but impressive Fever Ray album here, for the Observer.

Thursday 12 March 2009

On the Blogs

An interesting debate over on the Guardian music blog about the relationship between real life murder and black metal music in Scandinavia. Tenuous, apparently.

Also over at the Guardian, I throw down the gauntlet on the thorny subject of live recordings, specifically the growing trend of buying - legal - recordings of a gig that you'be just attended. An expensive and almost inevitably disappointing exercise, I'd have thought, and entirely contravening the whole point of gig-going. What do you think?

Tuesday 10 March 2009

Edinburgh Man Blows Own Trumpet

I've been undertaking a spot of light blog curatorship, and in doing so have added links to reviews of my three books to date on the right hand side.

Around 6 months after publication, it's particularly rewarding to see the many reviews for I Shot a Man in Reno gathered in all their glory. I know writers aren't supposed to care about reviews but, c'mon, we're all human - and as a regular critic myself, I know how easy it is to write a scathing one. So, all in all, I'm rather pleased with this haul.

Monday 9 March 2009

Final Songs Vol. 1

A rather glib but vaguely interesting piece over at the Guardian about a new record called Final Songs Vol. 1, in which a variety of dance music illuminati, including David Holmes and Gilles Peterson, choose their funeral songs.

The selections on the record range from Satie’s “Gymnopedie 1” to the Strangler’s “Golden Brown” to some obscure Chilean folk song. Good stuff, and good, too, to hear the writer shares my distaste for that horrific death-bed rant, “My Way.”

Thursday 5 March 2009

Apocalypse Jukebox

This new book looks interesting. Here's the blurb:

"From its indefinite beginnings through its broad commercialization and endless reinterpretation, American rock-and-roll music has been preoccupied with an end-of-the-world mentality that extends through the whole of American popular music. In Apocalypse Jukebox, Edward Whitelock and David Janssen trace these connections through American music genres, uncovering a mix of paranoia and hope that characterizes so much of the nation’s history."