The Independent have published an obituary of my late friend Dick McBride, the poet, novelist, playwright and independent book distributor who worked at City Lights Booksellers & Publishers between 1954-1969:

Dick McBride was a poet of the Beat Generation who acted as a literary bridge between the United States and Britain, bringing the writings and spirit of the Beats to this country. In books and in performances of his own works and those of fellow writers, he sought to broaden awareness of the poets who had made such an impact on American writing.

Read the rest at The Independent

Multiple 16mm film loop installation by Rose Kallal. Sound by Rose Kallal and Mark Pilkington (Raagnagrok/Strange Attractor) using modular synthesizers. The installation was presented at The Hidden Noise project space in Glasgow UK.

See also: Continuum with Raagnagrok All Stars live at Day of The Dead 2008.

Best of 2009

Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavilion (Domino)
Belbury Poly – From an Ancient Star (Ghost Box)
Black to Comm – Alphabet 1968 (Type)
Broadcast and the Focus Group – Investigate Witch Cults Of The Radio Age (Warp)
Efterklang – Performing Parades (Leaf)
Emeralds – What Happened? (NO FUN)
Erik Enocksson – Man Tänker Sitt (Kning Disk)
Greg Davis – Mutually Arising (Kranky)
Nills Frahm – Bells (Kning Disk)
Peter Broderick & Machinefabriek – Blank Grey Canvas Sky (Fang Bomb)
Philippe Petit & Friends – (Reciprocess: +/VS.) (BiP_HOp)
Rameses III – I Could Not Love You More (Type)
Roj – The Transactional Dharma of Roj (Ghost Box)

‘Leaf & Rock’

Arve Henriksen – Leaf & Rock (Rune Grammofon)
Hauschka – Morgenrot (FatCat Records)
Peter Broderick – Floating / Sinking (Type Records)
Thee Stranded Horse – Le Sel (Blank Tapes)
Erik Enocksson – The State the Sea Left Me In (Kning Disk)
Our Sleepless Forest – Doors In Limbo (Resonant)
Simon Fisher Turner & Philippe Petit – Untitled (BiP_HOp)
Sun City Girls – Steppe Spiritual (Drag City)
Andy Garbi – Stratospheres (Adventures In Sound)
Hauschka – Eltern (FatCat Records)

Listen via samurai.fm or mixcloud

Dick McBride reads the first chapter of The Astonished I.

The author recalls a conversation that he had with Jack Kerouac, who had phoned City Lights to talk to Lawrence Ferlinghetti about publishing Visions of Cody.

The Astonished I (Memories & Wet Dreams) was published by McBride’s Books in 1995, and is a recollection of the authors time in San Francisco. It is dedicated to his friend, Tim Prael and contains an introduction by Charles Plymel. A slightly different version of the first chapter was originally published in Transit and then The Beat Journals, both published by Kevin Ring’s Beat Scene Press.

Recorded by J.Redman & L.Dow at St Ann’s Well Cafe, Great Malvern (Sept 10th 2004) at a reading I organised to celebrate the publication of Remembered America.

For more information about Dick McBride please visit: dickmcbride.wordpress.com

Best of 2008

Alexander Tucker – Custom Made (ATP)
Alexander Tucker – Portal (ATP)
Bon Iver – For Emma, Forever Ago (4AD)
Bowerbirds – Hymns For A Dark Horse (Dead Oceans)
Dick McBride – Upbeat & Groovy: Poems 1960-2008 (CD-R)
Digitonal – Save Your Light for Darker Days (Just Music)
Emeralds – Solar Bridge (Hanson)
Fleet Foxes – Fleet Foxes (Bella Union)
Fourtet – Ringer (Domino)
Greg Weeks – The Hive (Wichita)
Hauschka – Ferndorf (Fatcat)
Helena Espvall & Masaki Batoh (Drag City)
James Blackshaw – Litany Of Echoes (Tompkins Square)
Josephine Foster – This Coming Gladness (Bo’Weavil)
J. Spaceman / Sun City Girls – Mister Lonely (Drag City)
Juana Molina – Un Dia (Domino)
Larkin Grimm – Parplar (Young God)
Lau Nau – Nukkuu (Locust)
Lesser Gonzalez Alvarez – Why Is Bear Billowing? (Car Park Records)
Mary Hampton – My Mothers Children (Navigator)
Max Richter – 24 Postcards (Fatcat)
Murcof – The Versailles Sessions (Leaf)
Nico Muhly – Mothertongue (Bedroom Community)
Olafur Arnalds – Variations Of Static (Erased Tapes)
Our Sleepless Forest – Our Sleepless Forest (Resonant)
Peter Broderick – Float (Type)
Peter Broderick – Home (Bella Union)
Rio En Medio – Frontiers (Manimal Vinyl)
Samamidon – All is Well (Bedroom Community)
Tape – Luminarium (Hapna)
The Accidental – There Were Wolves (Full Time Hobby)
White Magic – New Egypt (Southern)
Vetiver – Thing Of The Past (Gnomonsong)

Raagnagrok - Photo by Alyssa Joye

Continuum presents the transcendental sounds of the Raagnagrok All-Stars recorded live at Day of The Dead 2008

Featuring Allison Brice (electric dulcimer), Zali Krishna (guitar/effects), Paul May (drums) and Mark Pilkington (synth and electronics).

I am grateful to Mark Pilkington (Strange Attractor/Raagnagrok) for recording the performance and allowing me to share it with you.

Listen via samurai.fm or mixcloud

More info:

www.raagnagrok.co.uk
www.strangeattractor.co.uk
http://dreamflesh.com
http://liminalnation.org

Day of the Dead - An Evening of Magic, Ancestor Worship, Visionary Art and Investigation