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Mr. Rgs Draycott "whiskydrinker" (penzance)
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End Hits
End Hits
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £13.91

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the five albums to take to a desert island, 11 Feb. 2006
This review is from: End Hits (Audio CD)
The decision to name this album one of the five albums that I would take to a desert island is entirely disputable. Not because End Hits is undeserving of 5 stars but because each Fugazi album is individually awesome, and to single out one was nearly impossible!
I chose End Hits in particular because for me, this album is Fugazi's Sgt. Pepper. Now I'm not sizing Fugazi to the Beatles musically, but I believe that this album marked a musical transcendence for the band. Like Revolver or Sgt. Pepper, this album is a bridge, a fusion of old and new where the bands musicianship and song writing has budded and developed. Where the song arrangements matured and the structuring grew richer and thicker. I won't attempt to categorize each track or compare and contrast them to other music and bands to help you the reader better identify with this album. Doing that would defeat the identity of the band and minimize the significance of their music. I will say this though; Fugazi is a rock band in the truest sense of the saying. They put their souls into what they do and what they take back is the ability to personally connect with their music and the talent to structure and perform it sans ego.
For those of you new to Fugazi or for those who have only heard the song "Waiting Room" I would not recommend this album to you. I would suggest starting from the beginning with 13 Songs and chronologically progressing forward until you find your favorite niche. Mine is right here with End Hits.
Fugazi's End Hits is truly one of the best albums of all time. With Fugazi it's really listeners choice, in my opinion every album is a classic. To a new comer this album will grow on you like a weed. A beautiful, hard hitting, guitar smashing, bass pumping, lyrically ambigous weed. Cause that's End Hits.


Bluebeard (Paladin Books)
Bluebeard (Paladin Books)
by Kurt Vonnegut
Edition: Paperback

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A blending of wisdom and insanity., 10 Feb. 2006
Vonnegut rounds up several familiar themes and character types for his 13th novel: genocide, the surreality of the modern world, fluid interplay of the past and present, and the less-than-heroic figure taking center stage to tell his story. Here he elevates to narrator a minor character from Breakfast of Champions , wounded World War II veteran and abstract painter Rabo Karabekian. At the urging of enchantress-as-bully Circe Berman, Karabekian writes his "hoax autobiography." Vonnegut uses the tale to satirize art movements and the art-as-investment mind-set and to explore the shifting shape of reality.
Vonnegut re-encapsulates several of his favorite themes: absurdity of war, America's prevalent loneliness, how the rich become rich. However, an interesting theme specific to Bluebeard is the discussion about art. What is art? Circe Berman stays on the best seller's list by generating volumes of teen novels while Paul Salinger lives a suicidal and depressed existence trying to create introspective critiques of humanity. Dan Gregory makes paintings equivalent to being a "taxidermist" where his subjects look more real on his canvas than in real life, while the abstract expressionists make unintelligible topics. Paul Salinger and the abstract expressionists look down on the others, but which is really better? The answer might be provided with the Rabo's greatest secret. Kept in a potato barn behind his mansion, its ultimate disclosure to the world makes a dramatic statement about art.
Here we have Vonnegut at his most focused on a long time, tearing off page after page that will make you laugh and stop and think at the same time. The reader will enjoy this book on several political and philosophical levels in addition to enjoying a fine story. It is tender yet sometimes loveless, a blending of wisdom and insanity.
This is the most fun I've had with a Vonnegut book in long time. Probably one of his more obscure works, it deserves to be read along with his other classics.


Breaking the Barriers of World
Breaking the Barriers of World
Offered by themusicmerchant
Price: £2.92

5.0 out of 5 stars An absolute must, 9 Feb. 2006
Over time, the finest record labels in the music industry have always reflected the personal tastes and vision of their founders. In 1939, two German expatriates newly arrived in New York -- Alfred Lion and Francis Wolff -- formed Blue Note Records as on outgrowth of their passion for the boogie woogie, small group swing and bebop they revered in America. In 1956, Los Angeles concert promoter Norman Granz introduced Verve Records, a consolidation of various bebop and swing specialty labels he had developed during the late 1940s. In 1970, a young German entrepreneur in Munich named Manfred Eicher established his esoteric Editions Of Contemporary Music (ECM), defining a new European aesthetic in jazz. Later in that decade, a young concert promoter from Düren, Germany would similarly follow his own entrepreneurial instincts by starting up a renegade record label that closely reflected his unique taste in music.
It was in February of 1977 that Kurt Renker produced and recorded a performance of Ian Carrs Nucleus, a popular British fusion band of the day. That live document (released in May of 1977 as In Flagranti Delicto ) would in essence launch Renkers Contemp Records. Formed in association with Vera Brandes, whose Cologne-based company had coordinated tours and concerts throughout Germany, including Keith Jarrett's landmark Köln Concert, Contemp would become CMP (Creative Music Productions) Records in April of 1978.
With its rich catalog of artistically challenging music, CMP has over the past 20 years established itself as a vital force in the jazz, rock and world music arenas. A renegade player in the industry, CMP has boldly followed its own inner-directed course without paying heed to musical trends, record charts or radioplay lists. This fiercely uncompromising philosophy has yielded some startlingly fresh results, culled here as three ambitious double cds covering jazz, rock and world musics. And through it all, over the past 20 years, Renker has maintained a very simple credo: What Im really interested in is bringing out the best in good players.
The jazz set is divided into acoustic and electric explorations of the idiom. The acoustic side contains stellar early performances by Jeremy Steig and Eddie Gomez (Nein-Four from 1978s Music For Flute And Double Bass , CMP 6), saxophonist Dave Liebman (The Delicacy Of Youth from 1979s Dedications , CMP 9, recently reissued as CMP 73) and Austrian guitarist Karl Ratzer (Machista from his 1979 solo album, Dancing On A String , CMP 13). This highly evocative disc of composed and improvised material is rounded out by stunning selections from saxophonist Christof Lauer, drummer Scott Cutshall, pianists Joachim Kühn and Richie Beirach, French horn virtuoso John Clark, a trio of guitarists Mick Goodrick and Wolfgang Muthspiel with Liebman and the trio of renowned French bassist J.F. Jenny-Clark, drummer Daniel Humair and pianist Joachim Kühn.
The fusion side includes one track from that initial CMP release by Ian Carrs Nucleus (Gestalt from In Flagranti Delicato , CMP 1) along with highly charged offerings from one-time Frank Zappa percussionist Ed Mann, Everyman Band saxophonist Marty Fogel, former Santana drummer Michael Shrieve, a duo of former Mahavishu Orchestra keyboardist Jan Hammer with percussionist David Earle Johnson, Belgian guitarist Philip Catherine with saxophonist Charlie Mariano and pianist Jasper vant Hof, Indian percussionist Trilok Gurtu and longtime Zappa drummer Chad Wackerman featuring guitar hero Allan Holdsworth.
The world music set is broken up into both traditional and new expressions within the genre. An purists approach is applied to field recordings from Bali, India, Turkey, Java and Israel. More contemporary influences can be felt in new world music offerings from percussionists Mark Nauseef, Glen Velez, Trilok Gurtu and the Los Angeles-based Repercussion Unit.


Evergreen Review Reader, 1957-1961: 001
Evergreen Review Reader, 1957-1961: 001
by Barney Rosset
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars The Voice of the Beat Generation, 9 Feb. 2006
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
A rich selection of articles, stories, book extracts, poems, plays, cartoons, and covers from the first five years of America's premier avant-garde magazine of the 50's and 60's (Evergreen Review lasted until 1973, but its importance as an iconoclastic voice waned with the arising of the 60's countercultural movement). The array of writers and work published by founding editor Rosset was staggering: Reprinted here from Evergreen Review's first year alone are--to name just a few entries--original short stories by Samuel Beckett and Jack Kerouac (with his ``October in the Railroad Earth'' predating the publication of On the Road); Allen Ginsberg's Howl (previously published only as a pamphlet that'd been seized by customs officials); a selection from Lawrence Ferlinghetti's A Coney Island of the Mind; and a long passage from Alexander Trocchi's Cain's Book. Though much of the material has by now shown up in other books, numerous items (including the marvelous covers- -e.g., the classic one from 1966 of a heavily bearded Ginsberg cavorting in a sport coat and Uncle Sam top hat--and several reprinted comic strips--notably, Michael O'Donoghue's The Adventure of Phoebe Zeit-geist)--are here saved from oblivion. To see them all together is not only to take a stimulating walk down Memory Lane but to remember how much influence and prophetic insight a daring literary magazine with high standards can have.


Death of a naturalist
Death of a naturalist
by Seamus Heaney
Edition: Paperback

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The poems are slow, deep, reflective and brilliant., 8 Feb. 2006
This review is from: Death of a naturalist (Paperback)
In Heaney's early work Heaney struggles to follow men like his ancestors, and rhymes anout a alust fro childhood innocence. The older Heaney uses the voice of the peat bog where the ground speaks with a voice, Heaney's conscious voice. The poems are meant for introspection as they open inwards to a dark place where Heaney can see and discuss the 'cured wound' of a Northern Irish Roman Catholic in the midst of Northern Ireland's conflict.
Seamus Heaney's first collection of poems is an accessible and understated experiment in lyrical description. It was written in 1966 and what first strikes us now is an adherence to metrical and rhyming (usually off-rhyming) patterns which are today considered undesirably strict. Much of the time Heaney smacks of Larkin - without (for this reader) the touch of Larkin's charismatic individuality. But one quickly appreciates the earnest craftsmanship of these poems. Indeed Heaney's characteristic equation of poetry with 'working', 'labouring', etc. is evident throughout these early pieces. 'Between my finger and my thumb / The squat pen rests. / I'll dig with it.': there are many instances here of words being forged or moulded or indeed excavated to create a construct of sincere meaning.
This is what poetry is all about. Heaney has a strong, unambiguously masculine voice that can, at times, sound like sixteenth-century verse ('Scaffolding' reads like a latterday metaphysical poem). Elsewhere - despite a perhaps enervating lack of humour and whimsicality (although, on consideration, it is by no means a total lack) - these poems sound confident, clear-sighted and sensitive in the way that we see all men of the land as (stubbornly, gruffly) sensitive.


Down there on a visit
Down there on a visit
by Christopher Isherwood
Edition: Hardcover

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Isherwood's Best, 7 Feb. 2006
This review is from: Down there on a visit (Hardcover)
After A Single Man, this is my favorite Isherwood book. The four stories interconnect in several fascinating ways. They say a lot about the passage of time, about European history and Isherwood's personal history. They also say plenty about various forms of detachment. In fact, "Variations on Detachment" could be the book's sub-title. Isherwood has a way of gently underscoring the precariousness of being gay during a more repressive time in Western culture. "Mr. Lancaster" and "Paul" were the most moving sections in this regard. Throughout, Isherwood writes in clear, clean prose. It may sound like I'm reaching for a simile but as I was reading this book, I felt like I was drinking fresh spring water.


The Mint (Modern Classics)
The Mint (Modern Classics)
by T. E. Lawrence
Edition: Paperback

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The "most honest" of Lawrence's works, 7 Feb. 2006
This was written by ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ and concerns the period after the First World War when he decided to disappear from public view and signed on with the RAF anonymously under an assumed name and became Aircraftsman Ross. His time at the depot lasted from August to December 1922.
He recounts the harassing experience of boot camp and military life, with a few gems of human insight and reflection. As an accurate and honest record of his life as lived in the pre-World War Two RAF it is highly illuminating. Miltary history and Lawrence fans will particularly value this book as it provides an important source of knowledge of life at the bottom of the military pile, and also of material on one the century's most fascinating people.
This has been called the "most honest" of Lawrence's works, and much of the telling is necessarily brutal. A definite must-read for Lawrence aficionados.


Human Landscapes from My Country - an Epic Novel in Verse
Human Landscapes from My Country - an Epic Novel in Verse
by Nazim Hikmet
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a truly magnificent, compassionate and truthful work, 7 Feb. 2006
Nazim Hikmet was a Turkish communist imprisoned for his committment to social justice and dedication to the oppressed masses of the world. His love of life and the people who must live it in less than ideal conditions resulted in radiant, deep poetry that refused to sugar coat the truth. Never simple-minded, his intelligent poems grapple with what it means to live while so many suffer.
In Human Landscapes, Nâzim Hikmet accomplishes something rare in modern literature, a novel written entirely as poetry. Almost existential in describing the human character, Hikmet's verse-novel is fascinating to read, both for the stories of growth, love, loss, politics and dreams that make up the novel and for the beauty and simplicity of the poetic form.
Hikmet began Human Landscapes in 1941 while in prison and finished it by 1945. Like the wartime works of Sartre and Böll, Human Landscapes is greatly influenced by World War II, the sense of despair in the face of the cold technology of war and the heroism of individuals who stand up for what is right.
This is a truly magnificent, compassionate and truthful work.


The Dangerous Summer
The Dangerous Summer
by Ernest Hemingway
Edition: Hardcover

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bullfighting through the eyes of Hemingway., 7 Feb. 2006
This review is from: The Dangerous Summer (Hardcover)
Considered literary non-fiction, this is the account of the 1959 season of bullfighting in Spain and the intense competition between two competing matadors for the glory of that season. It is Hemingway's last major work at age 60; he killed himself the following year.
In an introduction by James Mitchener, it is explained that this piece was commissioned by Life Magazine. The assignment was for Hemmingway to revisit the bullfights he had written about in his classic novel "Death in the Afternoon" published in 1940. Hemingway was supposed to write 10,000 words for the article. Instead, he submitted 120,000 words. It was edited down to 70,000 words and ran in three instalments.
This book is only about 45,000 words and focuses specifically on the particular contests between two competing matadors who happened to be brothers in law. Hemingway had a personal relationship with both of them and brings the reader to the dinners and the parties as well as to the infirmary after a goring, the painful healing process in Spanish hospitals that do not administer painkillers, the long rides on bad roads between bullfights and the dirt and heat and fatigue and glory.
By the end of the book a portrait of the author emerges as well as an understanding of the history, the traditional choreographed performance of skill that occurs in the bull ring. Somehow, one is able to move beyond personal feelings about the slaughter of the bull, and get into the mindset of Hemingway and the people of Spain, where bullfighting is a national passion. One sees the poetry, and the drama.
It has to do with courage.
And it has to do with facing death.
Hemmingway said it all it better than I ever could:
"This was Antonio's regular appointment with death that we had to face every day. Any man can face death but to be committed to bring it as close as possible while performing certain classic movements and do this again and again and again and then deal it out yourself with a sword to an animal weighing half a ton which you love is more complicated than facing death."


Anabasis
Anabasis
by Saint-John Perse
Edition: Paperback

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly a revelation....and of course a translator sans pareil, 7 Feb. 2006
This review is from: Anabasis (Paperback)
This Faber edition of Perse's masterpiece offers not only what is one of the most worthwhile pieces of poetry the 20th century has to offer to 21st century readers, but also a work that may serve as a standard to anyone looking to locate an example of a classic that survives the often deadly process of translation, for whom here we may thank T.S. Eliot, -- the edition prints the French language on the facing page, so that readers may trace what little poetic liberties the latter has taken in order to deliver across mountains and rivers, -- resembling the nomadic journey of St.-John Perse's epic, -- of language-scapes crossed . . . Mr. Eliot deserves our esteem for this feat if nothing else, to have retained that essence of "a great principle of violence", or rather that "essence" of the journey described in this book which is really not so much one of plot, character, or any emotional developement in the specific sense, but one of a progression of language . . . certainly the distinction is difficult to articulate.
I mean that distinction existing between the emotional evolution and the progression of language, FEELING, essence, -- but that is what is so worthwhile about this book, in fact fascinating, to me, because it describes exactly this very experience, -- in that it reads as a kind of separate history, it describes the essence of man in history apart from any historical reference, apart from any identification that makes what the book describes HUMAN at all . . . we see a man here that is not a man at all except anatomically, as we would in focusing on the ancient cultures of South and Central America (Chavin, Olmecs, etc.), Egypt, China, and so on, they are only men as we are men today by an anatomical relationship. Thus this book reveals to us a sense of being, as men, that is largely lost in our modern day, and in the form of purely pleasurable poetry . . . so many lines in this books seem to sum up the entire statement of the whole vision, as if they could easily exist alone in fragments, say when our own culture has long passed to the dust of a long time's ravaging, and say all that the book builds from those lines together.
I highly recommend this book, not so much for my own reasons, which are certainly a crock of my own reflection, but for the calm and nurture of your own soul...of your very innermost self. This is a book that speaks, there are few that do so, it is a book one can hear without reading. Mr. Eliot called it "as important as the later works of James Joyce" but this book, like Egyptian hieroglyphs, can be so much more. In terms of history, this is a book worth digging up.
Truly a revelation.....and of course a translator sans pareil.


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