Category Archives: Book

Wanna Crawl Up On Your Floor

Work’s been a bust recently and I’ve had the same damn cold for a couple of weeks now. Spent too much time on the internet listening to new music and ordering it – now I have a load of vinyl on its way including the latest releases from Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O. and Ruby The Hatchet.

So I guess it’s time to break the cycle of wake, work, eat, order music, sleep…………. and re-join the real world.

I was aware of John Lee Hooker for some time before I actually sort out his music, I knew of him through The Groundhogs, via Dr Feelgood’s ‘Milk and Alcohol’ and finally by stumbling across a copy of ‘Dimples’ in a Cornish record shop (can’t remember exactly where, it was next to the harbour).

In 2000 I was on holiday with Mrs P in France, just outside of Saumur, and my holiday reading included his biography. His colourful life (pun intended? who knows?) piqued my interest in his music and I found this CD in a French record shop.

I’ve listened to this any number of times and if truth be told I’m more of a blues wannabe fan than the real McCoy. When I play this all the way through the tracks become a bit ‘samey’ and I tend to zone out (this time round I don’t remember anything after about track 18………….and this was with me concentrating). However as a CD to dip into, an indication of his skill and style, and a document of music some 60+ years ago this is invaluable.

John Lee Hooker – Boogie Chillen 1948-1949 (2000)

      • Sally Mae
      • Boogie Chillen
      • She Was In Chicago
      • Who’s Been Jiving You?
      • Shady Grove Blues
      • Do The Boogie
      • Miss Lorraine
      • Talkin’ Boogie
      • Hobo Blues
      • Drifting From Door To Door
      • Crawling Kingsnake
      • Alberta
      • Howlin’ Wolf
      • Momma Poppa Boogie
      • Whistlin’ And Moanin’ Blues
      • Graveyard Blues
      • Burning Hell
      • Sailing Blues
      • Black Cat Blues
      • Don’t Go Baby
      • The Numbers
      • Forgive Me

Rate – 3/5

Listening Since Day One

CDs – 15, Vinyl Singles – 14, LPs – 9, Downloads – 5, Total Tracks: 328, Time: 23h 38m 26s


A Child’s Mitten Hangs by a Single Peg

And so to books and starting off here with a music focused book that I got for Christmas –

japrocksampler

Japrocksampler: How the Post-war Japanese Blew Their Minds on Rock’n’roll – Julian Cope (2008)

Now I’m a fast reader but here we are in the second week of February and I’ve only just finished a book of c300 pages, what’s going on?

The issue here I think is a combination of Japanese names and the condensing of decades of rock music that caused my synapses to become blocked and unable to take in more than a handful of pages everyday. What wasn’t the issue was Julian’s writing style. I’ve seen it criticised elsewhere but it gave me no grief whatsoever, it’s obvious that he’s passionate about the music and he’s just trying to get that across. In fact I find it refreshing to come across a book like this where the author is enthusiastic, too often they can end up being dry and academic.

And what is a “book like this”?

Well it’s a detailed romp (if such a thing is possible) through the postWar Japanese rock mind, ethos and industry and it’s one hell of a ride as you cover musique concrete, eleki, the Japanese performance of Hair, a hijacked plane, sniffing paint thinners, futen and Miles Davis. This is then topped off by Julian’s top 50 Japrock albums all with their own brief resume, a list that includes (in the author’s own words) – “hard rock, proto-metal, purely psychedelic free-rock, experimental theatre works, choral and orchestral music, experimental percussion works, improvised ambient wipe-outs, progressive rock, and unadulterated guitar mayhem.” A list so wide ranging that it must include at least one thing for every reader that’s into rock music in some shape or form.

For me the biggest discovery, so far, has been Flower Travellin’ Band (track below – it won’t be to everyone’s taste, what is?) but it’s early days and there’s a lot more discovering for me to do!

Rate – 4/5