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A. Macfarlane (Edinburgh, Scotland)

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Foto: Modernity in Central Europe, 1918 -1945
Foto: Modernity in Central Europe, 1918 -1945
by Matthew S. Witkovsky
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 30.50

4.0 out of 5 stars A good, comprehensive introduction, 28 May 2009
This book is a fairly detailed introduction to the photography and photographers found in Central Europe between the wars. The writer (Matthew S. Witkovsky) dots around the countries therein taking a roughly chronological route from the photomontage art as it appears after the end of the First World War to its return at the beginning of the second. The collection is full of names unfamiliar to many, but contains a wonderful diverse range of often surreal imagery of the time. Some of the artists included are August Sander, "Ringl and Pit", Max Ernst, Trude Fleischmann, Erich Salomon, Josef Sudek amongst many more.

Witkovsky's prose is definitely aimed more at the academic, but is not so heavy as to be prohibitive to the casual reader and contains much detail to introduce the reader to both the artists and the times they lives in. He focuses much on fads and trends that fed into the works of these artists and manages the tricky balance of providing enough information to let the reader enjoy the work without leading them too much. He also includes a comprehensive biography and bibliography for all the artists.

This book covers so much that there is plenty in here for even people who knows the subject well to chance upon something new to them. The photographs are nicely reproduced and well set in amongst the prose in what is quite a handsome book.

An informative and interesting read. Anyone with an interest in the history of photography should enjoy this.

The Silver Spoon, UK edition (Cooking)
The Silver Spoon, UK edition (Cooking)
by Phaidon Press
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inventive, unpatronising and interesting, 28 May 2009
This book assumes a certain basic understanding of cooking and as such the recopies are short and to the point. Very few are more than the odd paragraph long; none are overly prescriptive. They cover a vast range of ingredients so there really is something for everyone's taste in here. There are real Italian classics plus lots of much less well known dishes, from the very basic to the much more challenging and involved. Every time I open this I find something that spikes my curiosity. And it is such a vast compendium of recopies there is plenty to keep even the most enthusiastic cook going for a long time.

Well worth purchasing.

by Mark Hallet
Edition: Hardcover

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Beautiful Book, 28 May 2009
This review is from: Hogarth (Hardcover)
This is a very comprehensive and pleasing collection of Hogarth's work. The commentry is involved without being overly accademic; those wishing to find out more about the man or his work will have plenty of material here delve into. If you are just interested in his paintings these are beautifully reproduced in large images throught the book.

A nice book either for those just looking for a coffee table book to flick through or wanting something more substantial.

Chrome Dreams II
Chrome Dreams II
Price: 7.10

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A decent enough effort from Neil, 28 May 2009
This review is from: Chrome Dreams II (Audio CD)
I suppose I have to put myself in with those people for whom Neil Young can't really do much wrong. That's not to say I like everything he's ever produced, just that I'll give his stuff more of the benefit of the doubt than many other artists.

So I suppose I'm warning you take my 4 stars with a pinch of salt! This is a good CD, Neil Young fans will approve. Some songs are right up there with his best, such as Beautiful Bluebird and Ordinary People. Some of these were written in his heyday so it will probably come as no surprise. The tunes range from light acoustic numbers to self-indulgent guitar heavy epics that will please those people who like classics such as Heart of Gold or Like a Hurricane.

Those people unfamiliar with Neil Young will find this a decent enough introduction. He doesn't travel too far from a fairly well-worn path. Which is perhaps why this is not a five star review. The trouble with Neil Young is some of his old stuff is *so* good newer work will always compare slightly less favourably.

But that being said I think this is a good album full of good songs. Well worth a listen.

Hotel Radio
Hotel Radio
Offered by BJD MUSIC
Price: 1.99

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good in places, 13 Feb 2006
This review is from: Hotel Radio (Audio CD)
The Hazey Janes come from Dundee and have a pop/rock 60s sound, defined by jangley guitars, melodic up tempo songs, and close harmony vocals. People who enjoy the sound of Big Star should enjoy this album. The vocal harmonies are in particular very good, and made me think a lot of Teenage Fanclub. There are some cracking songs on this CD - This Place Is Just not My Kind being the absolute standout track. Unfortunately there are also some somewhat dull efforts - non bad, but not great either -which makes me wonder if four stars is a little too high praise.
On the whole though, I enjoyed this, though it did leave me hoping their follow-up album might be better.

Fire & Grace
Fire & Grace
Price: 10.69

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fresh sounding virtuoso Scots folk music, 13 Sep 2004
This review is from: Fire & Grace (Audio CD)
Alasdair Fraser is a well known and well respected exponent of traditional Scot's music. If you haven't heard him most people can at least guess what they will get with a Fraser release - indeed there's few finer exponents of the Scots fiddle tradition.
What makes this CD better than many other contemporaries is the playing of Natalie Haas. Its relatively unusual to hear a Cello in a traditional Scots tune - but apparently it was much more normal back in Neil Gow's day. The combination is a very good one for this kind of music, so I am amazed we don't hear more of it. Its a perfect accompaniment to Fraser's playing. The melodies pass between the cello and fiddle seamlessly. Haas sometimes plays almost percussive accompaniment, sometimes she mimics a bagpipe-like drone (without the overbearing effect that often has), sometimes she allows the melody to soar - the cello is a much more attractive sounding instrument for some Scot's fiddle tunes (which can on occasion sound a little too shrill). Fraser manages to play the dazzlingly dense maze of notes as if it were the easiest thing in the world to do. This CD sounds like two very good musicians enjoying themselves.
The music as you would expect is largely new arrangements of traditional tunes, so many will be already familiar. Fraser and Haas manage to bring a fresh sound to an old tradition and very welcome it is too. I can't recommend this CD highly enough..

Everybody Knows This is Nowhere
Everybody Knows This is Nowhere
Price: 7.14

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars My favourite Neil Young album, 10 Sep 2004
This is very good. Its got well recognized Young classics: Cinnamon Girl anyone with a passing knowledge of Young will have heard, but also Down By The River and Cowgirl In The Sand - both epic tracks. The reason this only gets 4 starts though is Round and Round - which has always sounded a bit dreary and somewhat repetative. Maybe its just a personal taste think. Otherwise I'd say to anyone who hasn't heard Young "buy this CD and you'll be hooked".

Kettle Whistle
Kettle Whistle
Offered by playanywhere
Price: 8.99

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You may well know most of the tracks, but still good, 9 Sep 2004
This review is from: Kettle Whistle (Audio CD)
This is either for fans, or people who haven't heard Jane's Addiction. It mostly contains tracks you'll find on other JA releases, but some of the versions are really good. The live tracks in particular are much more intense than their studio recorded counterparts. Don't get it if you already have the first three JA albums (unless you are really keen), because ther's not much new here. A good buy.

After The Gold Rush
After The Gold Rush
Price: 7.31

4 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of his better ones, 9 Sep 2004
This review is from: After The Gold Rush (Audio CD)
Neil Young has a real mixed bag for a back catalogue: some classics, some stuff which should never have been released. This is one of his better (and better known efforts). The much covered title track is a pretty well know piece of work, but its other tracks on this which really make the CD. My personal favourite is "Don't let it bring you down". Lyrically, this album sounds dated - since its somewhat mired in the sort of early 70 hippy psycho-babble which makes so many of Young's contemporaries so tedious to lidsten to. Taken out of context the lyrics are therefore a little odd. But this shouldn't detract from what is an altogether decent album and a good show case of what has made Young popular over the last 4 decades.

The Document II
The Document II
Offered by Giant Entertainment
Price: 10.06

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as his first effort, 19 July 2004
This review is from: The Document II (Audio CD)
Still a pretty decent mix. Document I was more eclecctic, whereas this one is much more Hip Hop centred. If you liked the first one, you'll certainly like this. If you haven't heard Document I though, get that instead.

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