When I got up this morning, I spent the first half an hour just staring out of the kitchen door at all the comings and goings. The blue tits seem to have definitely taken up lodgings in the bird box. They were flying to and fro with great beakfuls of nesting material. I will issue them with a rent book in due course! When I finally got motivated, I went for a walk up town because I didn’t set foot outside the house yesterday and I had run out of food. On the way back from the supermarket I had a look in the Sue Ryder shop. I was pleased to find two nice books. The first is called Kiss Me, Judas by Will Christopher Baer. It is a first USA edition from 1998. I had never heard of him before, but I bought it because it was only £1.00 and also it was signed.
When I got home, I looked him up on Wikipedia and it says he is an American author of neo-noir fiction. He published a trilogy of novels in five years beginning with Kiss me, Judas and hasn’t published anything since. He has quite a cult following apparently. The book is about a detective called Phineas Poe who wakes up one morning to find that one of his kidneys has been removed and replaced with a bag of heroin. Crikey! If you look on eBay you will see that some people in the USA are asking up to £70 for a signed copy of this book. I wonder if I’m the only person in the UK with a signed copy? Anyway, I think it was a good find. The other book was a first UK edition of South And West by Joan Didion. I have heard of Joan Didion because I have another book by her called Slouching Towards Bethlehem. The book I found recounts her travels in Mississippi, Alabama & Louisiana in the 1970’s. In a review for The Guardian, Peter Conrad noted that Didion describes the South as "a metaphorical landscape, America’s heart of darkness"; "colonial, obsessed with disparities of “race, class, heritage”"; and its wilderness as "rank, malevolent, encroaching everywhere”. Anyway, it had to be worth a £1.00.
It is afternoon now and I am chilling out to an album that arrived a few days ago. It is called Mustt Mustt, by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. When I wrote my piece about the healing power of music a couple of weeks ago. I mentioned Sufi music and two of my friends whose views I respect made suggestions. Bent Sorenson recommended that I check out Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, so I did, and I ordered this CD. I must must! say I love it. It is the first Qawwali fusion album collaboration between singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and guitarist and producer Michael Brook, although the album is credited purely to Khan. It was Peter Gabriel who suggested that Brook and Khan work together. It was released in 1990 on Gabriel's Real-World Records label. It was recorded just down the road from here at Real World studios in Box. As soon as I heard the opening title track, I liked it. It is very danceable which must be why it was remixed by Massive Attack and was a club hit in the United Kingdom, being the first song in Urdu to reach the British charts. It was later used in an advert for Coca-Cola.
|Nasrat Fateh Ali Khan.|
Many people consider this as a classic album. Mustt Mustt was voted one of the Top 100 albums of the 1990s by American music magazine Alternative Press. It reached #14 on the Billboard Top World Music Albums chart in 1991. David Lynch of The Austin Chronicle called the album a "seminal fusion". British musician Nitin Sawhney said that it "changed the face of British music forever". It is considered a "secularized" or "Western" version of Khan's other Qawwali albums. Thank you very much to Bent Sorenson because I am really pleased I discovered the music of Nasrat Fateh Ali Khan. Later in the week I’ll let you know what I think of Birds Requiem by Dhafer Youssef.
|A message from Krishnamurti for March 20th.|