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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Things I always Tell myself I will do After Exams End

I'm in the middle of exams and as always when I'm closer to the end than the start (one more week to go. finally) I always start thinking of what I'll do when exams are done. Like if there'll be this big change or new era that dawns when I have so much time free that I spend studying before exams. Usually never happens but I figured I'd list them. Maybe if they're visible and not mental I might stick to it more.

1. Sleep at a reasonable hour and for more than four hours a day

2. Eat proper meals at regular times with good nutrition

3. Following from 1&2, go gym regularly with no skipping days. Keep track of workouts. Try to progress. No cheats and slacking off or lazy days.

4. Read more

5. Write more

6. Try to figure out what I want to do, where I want to be in the next 5 years. Where to apply for postgrad research studies. What to apply to study. Do I want to study Creative Writing or Finance?

7. Practice playing guitar until I'm somewhat decent. Practice playing bass until I'm better than decent.

8. Run 5 miles in less than 35 minutes. Complete a lap of UWI in less than 9 minutes.

9. Don't skip days of football. Actually develop some level of control.

10. Perfect a backflip to go with a frontflip.

11. Learn to bake. Cheesecake mainly. Only cheesecake. Maybe a coffee crumble

12. Travel. This is the only one that usually works out. I feel like I need to fly somewhere every six months or so.

13. Learn a foreign language, leaning towards German or Portuguese.

14. Perfect my 3 point shot

15. Not waste hours watching films on the laptop.

16. Attempt to figure out if my sister is sane. Signs suggest not a chance.

17. Go to temple more regularly.

18. Attempt to deconstruct why poetry is good when it is good, instead of just being able to realize when is without understanding why.

19. Figure out a decent thesis proposal in case I really want to study Econ or Finance. Probably with football and financial fair play. Or value of goals and who is the best value striker wrt wages vs revenue creation.

20. Complete a manuscript in case I decide I want to do a MFA in Creative Writing. One that people won't believe a non-Humanities student created.

Friday, November 16, 2012

A list about decent romance films (This Millennium) -part ii

I did a list pretty similar to this one about three years ago( Time flies, yeah? Good films have been out since then and I figured why not update. Probably put in some descriptions of why it's good too. I'm going to lean more toward the romance than romance-comedy but I'll probably draw from a few genres. I don't think only happy endings deserve mention (I like reality reflected in film), so don't expect romance to equate with successful coupley-ness. I'm going to stick with movies that have one main couple or one clear transition (Vicky Christina Barcelona is out but Midnight in Paris is in, to stick with the Woody Allen motif), but even that might be not set in stone.

Extra: Cause I saw Take This Waltz between publishing part one and two of this list

* Take This Waltz -2010

Why: I love my home city, Toronto and so I was already likely to love this film (especially with the Leonard Cohen song-reference as a title). It plays out brilliantly with everything I like in a romance film: chance meetings, realism, tension, questioning of what's the right thing to do.\The slow, confusing, tension-filled build-up of the entire film (even though it may possibly run on just a bit too long) interspersed with the intimate portrayals of marriage only help to make the characters more relatable.

9. Slumdog Millionare -2008

Why: I've always thought this film was a Bollywood film in English, with the same themes of unlikely events and tragic, separated lovers that are everpresent in Indian cinema (or used to be anyway. I haven't seen a Bollywood film since 3 idiots and that's not really conventional filmi). I'm not a big fan of Bollywood but the themes are solid and with a good script, director and support staff it can be a great experience (the actors in India are more than good enough). To come back to the point; poverty, unlikely triumph against the odds and enduring love. What's not to like?

8. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind - 2004

Why: Haven't we all wanted that selective memory removal device after a break-up? I know I've wanted to wipe some people out of my brain (still working on it). I thought this film managed to show reality of a tumultuous relationship but in a completely original way. This film could be characterized as sci-fi, romance, maybe even psychological thriller (cause it's happening in the head, right?). Plus everyone who wants to wipe their selective memories also has a part wanting to keep them too, just like in the film. Also Jim Carrey in an excellent serious role.

7.Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amelie Poulain (Amelie)  - 2001

Why: More Audrey. This film, you can be forgiven for forgetting is a romance, because Amelie dominates the screen. She is an unforgettable; mischievous and quirky character but who ultimately needs help ending her loneliness in the same way she helps others in their lives. The film is sweet enough to rot teeth but never cliche (or maybe in a good way). And it's set in Montmarte mostly, my favorite arrondissement part of Paris (cept for maybe the Latin Quarter).

6. Midnight in Paris- 2011

Why: If you can't appreciate this movie, it says a lot about if you've ever felt the need to read.Ever. Great film about Paris during my favorite era (or at least how I imagine it was). I relate to Owen Wilson's character quite a lot. And I also think the love story in this is as much about love for an era or a city as much as for a person.

5. Once- 2007

Why : I love the camerawork most of all, surprisingly. The shaky, single camera, homemade feel of it gives more appeal to this musical. Of course, the actors (really musicians) give a natural feel to the movie and have immense chemistry, which helps the movie to never lag. The music scenes are poignantly romantic too; the studio and the music shop scenes especially. Also this is the film that gave us the song 'Falling Slowly'.

4. Wall-E -2008

Why: It's a future post-apocalyptic robot love story. Doesn't sound like too much fun but it's Disney-Pixar so it's not too dark and scary, obviously. As visually perfect a film as could be created (it is animated after all). And it gives one the important lesson that perhaps one needs to give a girl a plant to be taken seriously. I've been advised I need more plants.

3. In The Mood for Love -2000

Why: Gorgeously shot film, set in Hong Kong during the 60's with the costumes and cinematography to set up the magic. A story about getting closer but never close enough; dealing with shared secrets and the borderline between requited and unrequited love. The magic that could have been yet only managed to fade away. It's impossible not to feel strongly for these characters.

2. (500) Days of Summer - 2009

Why: When I first watched this I despised the character of Summer. I still don't like her much (reminds me of too much girls I know) but it's taken a lot of repeated viewings to realize that Tom is far from a flawless character. Or even a good one, for that matter. I still think this film is one of the most accurate representations of (some, a specific type really) relationships or at least the relationship most guys have to become un-Tom-like.

1. Before Sunset - 2004

Why: I have been watching this film over and over since I discovered it (actually saw this before Before Sunrise). This didn't need to be made after the perfect ending of the first film but I'm so glad it was made. There is such a natural flow between Julie Delphy and Ethan Hawke, the conversation never lags nor do the discussions seems cliche or overdone. It is, without a doubt, possibly the most realistic and unforgettable romance film of the decade.

Monday, November 5, 2012

A list about decent romance films (This Millennium)-part i

I did a list pretty similar to this one about three years ago( Time flies, yeah? Good films have been out since then and I figured why not update. Probably put in some descriptions of why it's good too. I'm going to lean more toward the romance than romance-comedy but I'll probably draw from a few genres. I don't think only happy endings deserve mention (I like reality reflected in film), so don't expect romance to equate with successful coupley-ness. I'm going to stick with movies that have one main couple or one clear transition (Vicky Christina Barcelona is out but Midnight in Paris is in, to stick with the Woody Allen motif), but even that might be not set in stone.

18. In Search of a Midnight Kiss - 2007

Why: Possibly another dull and miserable New Year's ahead? We've all been there. Wilson gets talked into posting a personal ad on Craigslist and then it takes off from there. A story that's strange and funny, very realistic and without a perfect ending. Easy to relate to and hard not to feel for the characters.

17.Garden State - 2004

Why: I didn't like this at all when I first saw it, which is probably why no one takes criticisms on film from sixteen year olds very seriously. I watched it over in 2008 and loved it. The themes of making a start and breaking away from living half a life resonate, as well as the idea of closure and being able to progress via meeting new people. As much as it has been said, the soundtrack for the film is as much as what makes it good as the acting or script. (Give us another just like it Zach Braff)

16. Gegen die Wand (Head on) - 2004

Why: I like immigrant stories (despite how cliche that is with my displacement-ness) and I like immigrant love stories since they're so much more hopeful than other stories. Isn't immigration on the whole an act of faith with hope of redemption or deliverance? Perhaps. Sometimes it isn't always what is expected. Sometimes marriage isn't what's expected. All of that is explored in this film, set in the Turkish-German community.

15. Certified Copy -2010

Why: Not really a film about art, though art plays a major role in it. It covers a day where the main characters set out as strangers and then the depth of their relationship blurs. The cinematography is brilliant, especially with the use of mirrors. The couple, with their topical variances from serious to comic, have no semblance of artificiality  at all. Might be as much down to the screenwriter as to the actors.

14. Two Lovers - 2008

Why: I spent most of this film thinking the guy is an idiot for going for the wrong one. But I guess everyone has been at a point when they think what they want is what's right even when it seems obvious it isn't going to end well. A sad movie in the majority but with occasional crescendos of happiness found through character interaction. A little bit predictable perhaps but I'm ok with the ending being happy (which is unusual for me).

13. Moulin Rouge -2001

Why:  Gorgeous film. Rich colour saturation, tremendous costumes and, of course, a totally over the top soundtrack with regular musical numbers. Tragic love story set in Paris with musical re-imagining of pop songs. Perfect.

12. Un long dimanche de fiancailles  (A Very Long Engagement) - 2004

Why: I have a thing for Audrey Tautou. But it's also a good film. The historical backdrop of World War I and enough battle scenes makes it categorize-able as either a war or romance, telling the story of a woman's refusal to believe her fiance is dead and trying to discover exactly what happened. It's a very visually compelling film, in perfect synch with the compelling storyline.

11. Sita Sings the Blues - 2008

Why: It's been a very controversial film since it's done by a Western filmmaker/artist but really I find it well done and in no way disrespectful. I especially love how the contemporary parallel is done. I didn't like the computer graphics and flash animation at first but it grew on me.

10. Punch Drunk Love - 2002

Why: Adam Sandler in a role he was born to play. It is a strange film (Paul Thomas Anderson directed, so it was expected). There's a likability about the character Barry Egan that I find makes him easy to support and hard to be surprised by, despite his many eccentricities. Emily Watson is great as well but it's as much about Sandler's character making himself capable of love than anything else.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Desert Island Discs picks

I've been irregularly listening to Desert Island Discs since about 2008 (weirdly enough it's my grandfather that put me on to it. Guess he used to talk to the Brits about BBC Radio back in the day). I always thought it was a cool concept (format outlined below) and I was supposed to (try to) determine my picks. So here goes:


Guests are invited to imagine themselves cast away on a desert island, and to choose eight pieces of music, originally gramophone records, to take with them; discussion of their choices permits a review of their life. Excerpts from their choices are played or, in the case of short pieces, the whole work. At the end of the programme they choose the one piece they regard most highly. They are then asked which book they would take with them; they are automatically given the Complete Works of Shakespeare and either the Bible or another appropriate religious or philosophical work.
Guests also choose one luxury, which must be inanimate and of no use in escaping the island or allowing communication from outside. 

^ From Wikipedia, obviously.

Book: In Search of Lost Time (A la recherche du Temps Perdu) by Marcel Proust ( translation by C.K. Scott Moncrief). I'm going to be greedy and get the English and French versions (if  the presenter allows it) so I can kill time by seeing how well the translation is.

Luxury: Endless supply of footballs

Religious Text: Ramayana (Usually they give the Bhagavad Gita but I lean toward the narrative epic more than the discourse/ dialogue, though I suppose if I took the Mahabharata I'd get both forms of writing). English and Hindi/Tamil/Sanskrit version needed obviously since my knowledge of Indian languages is poor and reading ability non-existent.

Record Choices:

  1. John Coltrane - Equinox  ( from the album Coltrane's Sound (1964) )
  2. Bruce Springsteen - Racing in the Street ( from the album Darkness on the Edge of Town (1978) )
  3. Journey - Don't Stop Believing ( from the album Escape (1981) )
  4. Bob Marley & The Wailers - No Woman, No Cry ( from the album Live! (1975) , originally on Natty Dread (1974) )
  5. Coldplay - The Scientist ( from the album A Rush of Blood to the Head (2002) )
  6. Sergio Mendes - Mas que Nada ( from the album  Herp Albert Presents (1966) )
  7. Oasis - Stop Crying Your Heart Out ( from the album Heathen Chemistry (2002) )
  8. Between the Buried and Me - Selkies: The Endless Obsession ( from the album Alaska (2005) )

Monday, October 15, 2012

My favorite writers who aren't dead - part 2

These are inclined to change order depending on the day, so there's no ranking system. It might not even be these same writers all the time. But that's who it is today. Pretty easy list to make, I just have to look at the bookshelf. Novelists only since I don't read enough non-fiction or poetry these days, unfortunately.

5. Orhan Pamuk - Turkish

Reference Novels: Snow; The Museum of Innocence; Istanbul: Memories and the City

Why: I have always been of the opinion that love stories cannot be serious literature (in modern times, anyway) unless it's unrequited love. Snow disproved that for me, despite its complex politics and heavy symbolism it's essentially a tragic love story. The Museum of Innocence ( a book I found accidentally in Shakespeare&Co) I also love because of the emphasis on obsessive love and the importance of things (garbage, really) in fueling obsession.

4. Ian McEwan - English

Reference Novels: Atonement; On Chesil Beach; The Comfort of Stranger

Why: It's most difficult to explain why I like McEwan. His books (to me) are all different except in terms of the themes of ordinary people adapting to the change in situations brought about by one moment. The moments are all different though, in every novel. I think I love the writing most. McEwan crafts the type of story that can get very dull before the 'changer' if someone with tremendous ability isn't at work. Luckily, he's got lots of ability.

3. J.M. Coetzee - South African/ Australian

Reference Novels: Disgrace, Youth: Scenes from a Provincial Life II; Waiting for the Barbarians

Why: If Naipaul dies, Coetzee is the writer with most complete mastery of the English language. Coetzee can write in one paragraph what other writers would take pages to do. And his level of comprehension of literature is immense too, as can be seen in his essays. His novels are that of supreme technical as well as literary ability. One or the other would equate to a dull novel, but both equals only good stuff.

2. Haruki Murakami - Japanese

Reference Novels: Kafka on the Shore; 1Q84; Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman

Why:  Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman is also on my desk right now (I don't use it so much for composition reference as for pacing of mundane events).  Murakami gives me that dose of surrealism I need with that representation of loneliness and alienation that make it relevant. Murakami's books are both very real and very fantastic and there's seamless flow between the two (not like Magical Realism) and it's strangely entertaining. Perhaps a bit because it shouldn't work so well but does.

1. Margaret Atwood - Canadian

Reference Novels: Cat's Eye; The Year of the Flood; The Blind Assassin 

Why: I don't just love her cause she's also an Ontario native, but it doesn't hurt. I like her sci-fi stuff least (mostly because of my sci-fi issues) but they're still very good. Her characters are amazingly developed as are her analysis of emotions and situations. I feel as if I could quote from every page of Cat's Eye.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

My favorite writers who aren't dead - part 1

These are inclined to change order depending on the day, so there's no ranking system. It might not even be these same writers all the time. But that's who it is today. Pretty easy list to make, I just have to look at the bookshelf. Novelists only since I don't read enough non-fiction or poetry these days, unfortunately.

11. Phillip Roth - American

Reference Novels: Portnoy's Complaint; Nemesis; American Pastoral

Why: Been good since the sixties and still at it (Nemesis was released in 2010), I loved Portnoy's Complaint (yes, I'm a perv) and how it sounded like a long novel of standup comedy. First time I'd ever seen that done. He's got character-driven prose down too, American Pastoral is as cerebral a novel as they come.

10. Salman Rushdie - British/Indian

Reference Novels: Midnight's Children; Shalimar the Clown; Haroun and the Sea of Stories

Why: Sadly most famous for the fatwa due to The Satanic Verses which isn't one of his best works. The epic novel spanning generations and locales is his specialty and nowhere is it more magnificent than Midnight's Children; a novel which has influenced every Indian writer in English since 1982 (no matter what they say).

9. Gabriel Garcia Marquez - Colombian

Reference Novels: One Hundred Years of Solitude; Love in the Time of Cholera; Strange Pilgrims

Why: Strange Pilgrims is on my desk right now (I use it for referencing both during editing and crafting). I've read  Love in the Time of Cholera more than fifty times and despite how damaging that must be for my psyche I'll probably read it another five times next year too. One Hundred Years of Solitude is the most influential novel to every Latin American writer post-1968 and for a lot of Caribbean writers. Maybe for the whole world.

8. V.S. Naipaul - Trinidadian/British/ (world?)

Reference Novels: A House for Mr. Biswas; A Bend in the River; An Area of Darkness

Why: Fiction or Travel writing, he's undoubtedly the master of both. No one has a command of English like Naipaul. Either no one sees what he sees or no one is willing to commit it to paper. Love him or hate him (in the Caribbean it's usually hate) he is among the elite of writers today, probably ever.

7. Kazuo Ishiguro - British/ Japanese

Reference Novels: The Remains of the Day; Never Let Me Go; The Unconsoled

Why: The Remains of the Day was one of the first novels I'd read in a long time and immediately re-read it once I finished.  Never Let Me Go was the most clever novel I'd read in a long time and gave me a taste for science fiction (that taste was fleeting, unfortunately). I like The Unconsoled most because it reminds me of works by one of my favorite writers of all time, Kafka. It's has no clear start and no clear resolution, with issues of the past haunting but never defined. So, it's just like real life.

6. Milan Kundera - Czech/ French 

Reference Novels: The Unbearable Lightness of Being; The Book of Laughter and Forgetting; The Art of The Novel

Why: Mostly essays these days but Kundera's novels are like no one else's. Regularly breaking the fourth wall to address the reader directly, multiple lead characters and always that setting that defines everything but never becomes intrusive. It's a mix that's very accessible without ever being anything less than excellent

Best Anime (short series. post 2000)

I don't watch very much anime. Don't have the attention span for long series. I blame fillers for that. So I'm picking my favorite short series (less than 52 episodes) that have been released since 2000. I count series add-ons as separate ( so Hellsing Ultimate is a distinct series from Hellsing). Won't include ongoing series, obviously. So Hellsing Ultimate just got cut.

10. Gurren Lagann (2007) - 27 episodes

Why watch it: I like mecha anime. And this series is exciting and unpredictable. With giant robots. And if you don't care for robots the comedy,drama and great characters are enough of a draw. It's the kind of show that gives the message 'you can do anything' but you won't roll your eyes on hearing it.

9. Bunny Drop (2011) - 11 episodes

Why watch it: Every now and then a good reality-based, slice of life anime catches my attention. Fun to watch for a change (and a little like a travel documentary into Japan life). This one about a thirty year old who becomes the guardian of a six year old. It is deceptively simple in its dealing with complex issues but with beauty derived from such simplicity.

8.Texhnolyze (2003) - 22 episodes

Why Watch it: Initially very confusing and always dark and gloomy. It's like an anime version of film noir. And I love film noir.

7. Ghost in the Shell: S.A.C. 2nd GIG (2004)- 26 episodes

Why watch it: Not as good as the first series, I think. Perhaps because it's more on characters and investigation than action. Doesn't mean it isn't excellent, just that the first series was elite. This one gets you thinking a lot about ethics and philosophy. And that's always good.

6. Baccano! (2007)- 16 episodes

Why watch it: Complex plots and what feels like hundreds of characters, it seems a bit intimidating. But it's clever and fun. Especially if you like mafia films (who doesn't?). This one might be one of those anime that's a starting point for a new style.

5.  Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex (2002) - 26 episodes

Why watch it: Every episode is excellent. Every moment of every episode, every character; is there to drive the plot forward. It's clear this is an intensely thought out series and supremely crafted. The artwork is also exceptional.

4. Rainbow: Nisha Rokubo no Shichinin (2010) -26 episodes

Why Watch it: Historical anime set at a reform school in 1950's Japan and the experiences there of the six characters. The characters are very likeable and you get caught up in seeing all the tough times that they have to face. It's a series that's hard to not connect with.

3. Death Note (2006) - 37 episodes

Why watch it: The first 25 episodes are what make the series great. It could have ended there. This series is very much a psychological thriller. The viewers are introduced to two of the most complex anime characters ever created in L and Light and get to see exactly what their motives are and get to see some brilliant deductions too.

2. Samurai Champloo (2004) - 26 episodes

Why watch it: Brilliant series and a worthy follow-up to Cowboy Bebop by  Watanabe. I loved the use of hip-hop culture in the samurai-era Japan setting. Some of the later episodes were a bit unnecessary but throughout the relationship between the contrasting main characters are what drives the show. And the great action scenes.

1. Fullmetal Alchemist (2003) - 51 episodes

Why watch it: A little bit sentimental and intentionally-emotional to get a response but this anime is like serious literature- intensely character driven. It could be your classic novel about an odyssey toward redemption, not just in storyline but quality.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

My favorite jazz albums (solo-artist-named) (1955-1965

 I listen to a lot of jazz. I'm very indiscriminate hence this list has all types from bebop to free jazz. More serious or more learned jazz fans can probably generate a list for each genre of jazz, but I'm not at that level yet. So this is it for now.  I'll pick one album from an artist and I'm trying to get the ones a particular artist is credited with (ses, I know they're all over each others records). The Jazz at Massey Hall or Getz/Gilberto  will be on another list but I'll include 'X and a quartet'. There's a logic to it, trust me . In no particular order:

1. John Coltrane - A Love Supreme -1964- Modal jazz/Post-Bop

2. Miles Davis - Kind of Blue- 1959- Modal Jazz

3.Charles Mingus -Mingus Ah Um - 1959 - Free jazz/Jazz/Post-Bop

4. Sonny Rollins Quartet -Saxophone Colossus - 1956 - Jazz/Hard Bop

5.  Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers - Moanin - 1958 - Jazz/Hard Bop

6. Cannonball Adderley - Somethin' Else - 1958 - Cool jazz/Hard Bop

7.  Wayne Shorter - Speak No Evil - 1964 - Hard Bop/ Post bop/Modal Jazz

8.Thelonious Monk - Brilliant Corners - 1957 - Jazz

9. Count Basie and his orchestra - The Atomic Mr Basie - 1957 - Big Band/Jazz/Swing

10. The Dave Brubeck Quartet - Time Out -1959 - Cool Jazz

11. Bill Evans Trio - Waltz for Debbie - 1961 - Jazz/Cool Jazz

12. Joe Henderson - Page One - 1963- Jazz/Hard bop

13. Herbie Hancock - Maiden Voyage - 1964 - Modal Jazz/Hard Bop

14. Ornette Coleman - The Shape of Jazz to Come - 1959 - Free jazz/Avant-Garde Jazz

15. Errol Garner - Concert By The Sea- 1955- Jazz

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Best (music) Albums of the 1990's part 5

10. Belle and Sebastian - If You're Feeling Sinister -1996 -Scotland

Why: The Belle and Sebastian indie-pop might be something entirely new or a throwback to 80's music like The Smiths. It was different but familiar. (lack of) Romance and childhood sadness, dealt with by the characters in the form of walks of solitude and reading. It was resonant with many then;as it still is now.

Example Tracks: Seeing Other People; The Boy Done Wrong Again

9. The Verve - A Northern Soul -1995 -England

Why: Intense and full of songs that can only be described as anthemic. You feel the hurt, the isolation, the drug-filled recording sessions. It's said too much that artists put it all in the record, like catharsis. But The Verve let it out, and it's great to hear all that turmoil of young men feeling so very old.

Example Tracks: History, On Your Own

8.Nine Inch Nails - The Downward Spiral - 1994 -USA

Why: A good industrial album that sold enough to go quadruple platinum. Seems unlikely, but that's what NIN managed. Reznor has hooks and melodies mastered, so much so that I'm inclined to believe the topics of S&M, power and hate pass over without being noticed cause of how good the music is.

Example Tracks: March of the Pigs, Closer

7.Dr. Dre- The Chronic - 1993 - USA

Why: So very offensive, in a time when rap was new (especially gangsta rap), but so creative; in both lyrics and flow. It's a Snoop and Dre album really and it was a look into the daily life in Compton.  Violence and misogyny laden, for sure; but it's hard not to bob your head to it.

Example Tracks:  Nuthin' But a 'G' Thang;  Let Me Ride

6. U2- Achtung Baby -1991- Ireland

Why: Look at the documentary 'From The Sky Down', about the making of this album. U2 made albums of brilliant music, both lyrically and rhythmically (I'm waiting for a return to albums like that but maybe they set the bar too high too early). This was the album that U2 got less upbeat and more darkly introspective. Possibly the best idea they made.

Example Tracks: One, So Cruel

5. Nevermind-Nirvana-USA-1991

Why: Fifth for one of the most influential albums of all time? Seems low, I know. It can't be helped because the 90's were so good. What more needs to be said. It sent grunge and alt rock mainstream, the lyrics were timeless; the music so good it could be stripped down acoustically and still be excellent (can any other predominant noisy band say that?). Nirvana were pioneers and Kurt Cobain was probably the best songwriter out of America in recent times.

Example Tracks: Come As You Are, Smells Like Teen Spirit

4. Oasis - (What's the Story) Morning Glory - 1995 -England

Why: Maybe you can be popular and good. Not that artistic and not that deep, Morning Glory is still the best of the Britpop albums. I've always loved Oasis and I think a lot of the appeal comes from the fact that the album is for the fans. There's no snobbery in it, no "you can't make music like we can'. A gift to the fans, this one

Example Tracks: Some Might Say, Don't  Look Back In Anger

3. My Bloody Valentine -Loveless -1991 -Ireland

Why: Honestly, I first heard this (and heard about it) in 2001; so I was clueless to some of the greatest music around for a decade. Not exactly commercial success, but its a great album. An album of a bit of everything; being shouted at you in a wall of noise. Noise that doesn't cause stress but wipes the stress away.

Example Tracks: Only Shallow; I Only Said

2. Public Enemy - Fear of A Black Planet -1990-USA

Why:  Thought provoking rap with music that makes you want to get up and do something. Very anti-establishment, Public Enemy have been my pick for the most important and influential rap group of all time (yes, more than Run-DMC). This album encapsulates the powerful lyrics, the need to get people educated and, of course, the lyrics of very clever rappers.

Example Tracks: Fight The Power; Power to the People

1. Radiohead- OK Computer-England -1997

Why: Landmark. Like nothing else before it. Every single thing about this album was innovate. Slow moving search into paranoia and solitude. The most introspective of albums. Radiohead have ability most bands only dream of and are always challenging themselves. It started here. A follow-up exactly like The Bends (1995) and no one would complain. It takes belief to start from scratch, it takes ability to do it so well.

Example Tracks: Paranoid Android, Karma Police

Sunday, May 27, 2012

A list about potential future Nobel Prize winners (part IV)

Disclaimer: I'm sure there will be many authors I've missed out simply because I haven't heard of them. It is impossible for me to read anything not published or translated into English or French. Or works that I cannot get a hold of even if translations exist ( the book market in Trinidad is a bit limited. It's not a perfect world). I'm making guesses with the material I have and hopefully the guesses are good. In no particular order:

12.  Thomas Pynchon - United States of America

Language : English

Genres: Short stories; Novels; Essays

Reference Works: V. (1963); The Crying of Lot 49 (1966); Gravity's Rainbow (1974); Mason & Dixon (1997)

11. Martin Amis - England

Language:  English

Genres: Novels; Short Stories, Essays

Reference Works: Other People (1981); Money (1984); Heavy Water and Other Stories (1998)

10. Ngugi wa Thiong'o - Kenya

Language: English, Gikuyu

Genres: Novels, Plays, Short Stories, Essays, Children's books

Reference Works: Weep Not, Child (1964); A Grain of Wheat (1967);I Will Marry When I Want (1977); Decolonizing the Mind:  The Politics of Language in African Literature (1986)

9. Les Murray - Australia

Language : English

Genres: Poems; Essays

Reference Works: The People's Other World (1983); Dog Fox Field(1990); Fredy Neptune (1999)

8. David Dabydeen - Guyana

Language : English

Genres: Poems, Novels

Reference Works: Slave Song (1984); The Intended (1991); A Harlot's Progress (1999)

7. Margaret Atwood - Canada

Language: English

Genres: Poems, Short Stories, Essays, Novels, Children's Books;Libretto

Reference Works: The Handmaid's Tale (1985); Cat's Eye (1988); The Blind Assassin (2000); Morning in the Burned House (1995)

6. Kazuo Ishiguro - Japan/ England

Language : English

Genres: Novels; Short Stories

Reference Works: The Remains of the Day (1989); The Unconsoled (1995); Never Let Me Go (2005)

5. Amos Oz - Israel

Language: Hebrew

Genres: Essays; Short Stories, Novels

Reference Works: Black Box (1987); Fima (1991); A Tale of Love and Darkness (2002)

4.Amitav Ghosh - India

Language: English

Genres: Novels; Essays

Reference Works: The Calcutta Chromosome (1995); The Glass Palace (2000); Sea of Poppies (2011)

3. Peter Handke - Austrian

Language: German

Genres: Novels; Essays; Plays

Reference Works: The Goalie's Anxiety at the Penalty Kick (1970);Short Letter, Long Farewell (1972); The Hour We Knew Nothing of Each Other (1992)

2. Mo Yan- Chinese

Language:  Chinese

Genres: Novels; Short Stories

Reference Works: The Republic of Wine (1992); Big  Breasts and Wide Hips (1996);  Life and Death are Wearing Me Out (2008)

1. Peter Nadas - Hungary

Language : Hungarian

Genres: Short Stories; Novels

Reference Works: A Book of Memories (1986); Love (1999); Parallel Stories (2005)

A list about potential future Nobel Prize winners (part III)

Disclaimer: I'm sure there will be many authors I've missed out simply because I haven't heard of them. It is impossible for me to read anything not published or translated into English or French. Or works that I cannot get a hold of even if translations exist ( the book market in Trinidad is a bit limited. It's not a perfect world). I'm making guesses with the material I have and hopefully the guesses are good. In no particular order:

12. David Malouf - Australia

Language: English

Genre: Novels; Short Stories; Plays; Poetry

Reference Works: The Great World (1990); Remembering Babylon (1993); The Complete Stories (2007)

11. Assia Djebar - Algeria

Language : French

Genre: Novels; Essays; Short Stories

Reference Works: Les Impatients (1958); Loin de Medine (1991); Vaste est la prison (1995)

10. Jonathan Franzen - United States of America

Language: English

Genres: Novels;Essays

Reference Works: The Corrections (2001); How to be Alone (2002); Freedom (2010)

9. Ismail Kadare - Albania

Language: Albanian, French

Genres: Novels, Poems

Reference Works: Broken April (1978); Dorutine (1980); The Pyramid (1995)

8. Michael Chabon - United States of America

Language: English

Genres: Essays; Poetry; Short Stories

Reference Works: The Amazing Adventures of Cavalier & Clay (2000); The Yiddish Policeman's Union (2007); Maps and Legends (2008)

7. Lyudmila Ulitskaya - Russia

Language: Russian

Genres: Novels, Short Stories

Reference Works:  Sonechka (1995); Kukotsky's Case (2001); Sincerely Yours, Shurik (2003)

6. John Banville - Ireland, Republic of

Language: English

Genres: Novels; Plays; Short Stories

Reference Works:   Birchwood (1973); The Book of Evidence (1989); The Sea (2005)

5. Peter Carey - Australia

Language: English

Genres: Novels; Short Stories

Reference Works: Oscar and Lucinda (1988); Jack Maggs (1998); True History of the Kelly Gang (2001)

4. Michael Ondaatje -Sri Lanka/ Canada

Language:  English

Genres: Novels; Poetry

Reference Works: There's a Trick With a Knife I'm Learning to Do (1979); The English Patient (1992); Anil's Ghost (2000)

3. Tahar Ben Jelloun - Morocco

Language: French

Genres: Novels

Reference Works: L'Enfant De Sable (1985); La Nuit Sacree (1987); Le racisme explique a ma fille (1997)

2. Adam Zagajewski - Poland

Language: Polish

Genres: Poems; Essays

Reference Works: Canvas (1991); Eternal Enemies (2008); Unseen Hand (2009)

1. Vikram Seth - India

Language: English

Genres: Novels; Poetry

Reference Works: A Suitable Boy(1993); All You Who Sleep Tonight (1990); An Equal Music (1999)