Tag: Black Album

The Black Album by Hanif Kureishi

Part of me thinks I’ve read The Buddha of Suburbia, part of me doubts it very much, and a quiet part of me, which knows better, points out that it was probably White Teeth by Zadie Smith or the unending London Fields by Martin Amis. The comparison is all I’m looking for which is particularly unfair as I thoroughly enjoyed this book, far more than London Fields (still to be finished after several years) and White Teeth both of which feel a little exclusionary to those not ‘blessed’ enough to live near the capital of England.

The Black Album is the story of a somewhat naive and trusting soul who embarks, unwittingly, on a journey of discovery in which it comes to light that, of all the characters presented here, he is perhaps the best balanced and most well reasoned, if not the most rounded.

He is a young British Asian, taken in to a Muslim group whilst simultaneously embarking on an affair with an older married woman. He learns the ways of both worlds, of sex and debauchery, of fastidious religion and fanatical shortsightedness, all of which adds up to … well that’s the thing, I’m not entirely sure but so much the better to be honest.

The book covers many moral and semi-religious themes, from the bettering of oneself, the abandonment of morals and finally to the integrity of man. Large themes, yes, but all presented in an easy manner, sweeping you along as the story progresses. It’s a rich world this, veering from run down council estates and squalid student accomodation to the upper reaches of English society. Whilst perhaps a little too obvious in direction, the journey is enthralling and after a slow burn beginning you are soon turning pages, delaying dinner and generally grasping each moment you can to get to the next page, then the one after.

The Black Album

Mashing

So my Gran is doing fine, still able to talk the hind legs off several donkeys and still willing to admit she’s a stubborn old bitch. All good (there is a draft post about this but I can’t finish the damn thing without bawling my eyes out… might never be posted… ).

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Completely and stunningly unrelated; iTunes has flipped onto Raiding the 20th Century MP3, a mega mix mashup of bizarre proportions. I’m certain that it’s actually using a track from DJ Dangermouse’s own mashup based Grey Album (which took the Beatles White Album and laid Jay-Z’s vocals from his Black Album on top) – intra-meta-mashing????

Currently I have the Wu Tang Clan (Got Ya All in Check!) over the theme tune from Steptoe and Son. Quite bizarre.

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I spent a little time reading up on social networks last night, but I’m keen to find more info, any suggestions? I started at plasticbag, Stephen Downes, and Many-to-Many but beyond that I’d rather not have to dredge through squadillions of Google search results.

So any links or thoughts? What does the term “social network” mean to you? If you were a member of a site (you were listed there) would you want to include interests to enable others to find you, and would you want to find others? Push or pull?

ANARCHY!!!

Historic Online Protest: Grey Tuesday

“It’s time for music fans to stand up and demand change from the music industry’s copyright cartel. Tuesday, February 24 will be a day of coordinated civil disobedience: websites will post Danger Mouse’s Grey Album on their site for 24 hours in protest of EMI’s attempts to censor this work.

DJ Danger Mouse created a remix of Jay-Z’s the Black Album and the Beatles White Album, and called it the Grey Album. Jay-Z’s record label, Roc-A-Fella, released an a capella version of his Black Album specifically to encourage remixes like this one. But despite praise from music fans and major media outlets like Rolling Stone (“an ingenious hip-hop record that sounds oddly ahead of its time”) and the Boston Globe (which called it the “most creatively captivating” album of the year), EMI has sent cease and desist letters demanding that stores destroy their copies of the album and websites remove them from their site. EMI claims copyright control of the Beatles 1968 White Album. “

Errr… right you are then.

“Historic” you say? OK, hands-up everyone who’d heard of this Grey Album?