there’s more to life than books, you know – but not much more

Several worthy tracks fell between the cracks of my 2008 mixes – mostly because while there’s a place for random tracks, and a place for songs from my favorite albums, there’s not a place for songs from albums I own that don’t make my top 20. (I don’t make the rules, I just – wait: I do make the rules. Guess I could change that.)

One album that might well end up among my twenty favorite albums of 2008, if I were to redo the list after some months, is Simon Bookish’s Everything/Everything. I’d just downloaded the album from eMusic a few days before putting together my lists. I downloaded it on the strength of the two tracks linked below, which had been sent around the flackosphere for months.

First, you gotta love a guy who calls himself “Simon Bookish”…and then puts out an album with this cover:

I suppose the simplest way to describe Simon Bookish’s music is that it sounds almost exactly what you’d expect music by “Simon Bookish” to sound like. It might also help to imagine a collaboration among David Bowie, David Byrne, and Philip Glass (even though Bookish has a song called “Terry Riley Disco,” the horn and keyboard arrangements are closer to Glass’s work than Riley’s). Both “Synchrotron” and “Dumb Terminal” feature extended, multipart structures, which isn’t necessarily typical – but I think Bookish does much to recuperate the diminished stature of the saxophone, abused over these years by everyone from annoying blues honkers to Sanborn-esque cheese merchants. There’s also much to be said for the sort of insouciant abstraction of the lyrics, along with Bookish’s alternately melodramatic and distant vocals.

Everything/Everything is on Tomlab (another good indicator, if you know that label’s work), and Bookish apparently has released two earlier titles, Unfair/Funfair and Trainwreck/Raincheck (noticing a trend?), which apparently do not necessarily sound anything like this.

Simon Bookish “Synchrotron” (Everything/Everything, 2008)
Simon Bookish “Dumb Terminal” (Everything/Everything, 2008)



Filed under noise

4 responses to “there’s more to life than books, you know – but not much more

  1. Aaron

    I’ve heard Trainwreck/Raincheck and yeah, very different. It’s atmospheric and iirc mostly spoken word, delivered with (intentionally?) awkward diction. I think someone who likes both Graham Lewis and Robyn Hitchcock would be on solid ground seeking it out. :)

  2. 125records

    I get kind of a Thomas Dolby vibe from the first song. I loved “Synchrotron” but “Dumb Terminal” didn’t do much for me, so I don’t know if I should download the whole album. Hmm.

  3. tris mccall

    he is holding the chemical symbol for antimony!

    he must be a gunnerkrigg court fan!


  4. 2fs

    Tris – Nah…it's a tribute to his beloved Auntie Mony – a woman who, after founding and naming Mutual of New York after herself, was also the inspiration for the Tommy James & the Shondells hit.

    Silly Bunny!

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