Skip to content

Monthly Archives: January 2009

Roberto Bolaño: 2666

Well, that was something. The quick context is that Bolaño was a Chilean writer who died in 2003; this novel (basically finished at the time of his death) was published posthumously to great acclaim, and when the English translation appeared in 2008 it was immediately hailed as a masterpiece and made every critic’s top 10 […]

Jack Vance: Ports of Call / Lurulu

I’ve read most of the Jack Vance that’s in print in the US, and some that isn’t, which means that in order to read more I have to either track down out-of-print books or read his grade-B material. This is the latter. It’s published as two novels, but it’s really one novel ripped into two […]

Another member of the Vance/Pollard group

Can I call them the Spewers? I seem to have a knack for coming up with derogatory names for groups I like. Anyway, going to sleep last night I remembered a name that fits in that group perfectly – William Vollmann. He passes every criterion, as far as I can tell. Unfortunately I’m not actually […]

Vance : books :: Pollard : music

I discovered Robert Pollard (the guy behind Guided By Voices) around 1996. His music seemed boring at first, but after a few tries I recognized his genius and since then have acquired most of his recorded output (I own 67 CDs of his by a quick count). I discovered SF author Jack Vance a few […]

Shudder To Think, Get Your Goat

In a comment to my last post Matthew Amster-Burton asked me what I thought of Shudder To Think. The only album I have of theirs is Get Your Goat from 1992 (Matthew has since informed me that he doesn’t think that’s their best, but it’s what I have), so I gave that a listen for […]

Naively complex music

My recent chronological voyage through the XTC back catalog, and excitement at hearing many early songs I hadn’t listened to in ages, got me thinking about some aspects that much of my favorite rock music has in common. I like to think of myself as having pretty varied tastes, but it’s true that a certain […]