For the next couple of weeks I will be investigating if it would work to open up a Booktunes shop. Literary merchandise is hardly ever seen in The Netherlands and, according to my research so far, shipping a single shirt or such from the US to EU brings high shipping costs. My aim is to find out if I can make a profit by helping you get that nice Hemingway T-shirt, Mr. Men mug or, bear with me, a Penguin beach chair (?).
I am not so sure about the Penguin beach chair, and I don’t really like talking about fashion, but I must confess I am pretty happy with the Henry Miller V-neck I bought in a roadside shack near the Big Sur. Same goes for my brother sporting his City Lights shirt.
Unhappy with the fact that Booktunes has been on the back burner for too long, I hope a shop will bring in money to get it going again. How about a nice combination of books, sounds, shoppings and bloggings?
What stuff would you like see easily available for EU shipping?
At the beginning of this new year Goodreads member Vincent posted a thread about reversal of the Murakami & Music combination:
Its often spoke about how Murakami has been influenced by various types of music but does anyone know of any notable musicians that have claimed to have been influenced by his writings?
I had to dig deep through folders and gigs to find the original Booktunes page dedicated to Murakami-inspired music. Noting that by now the list would be a lot bigger – apparently mainstream artist Lykke Li found some inspiration as well – I hope you and Vincent enjoy the tunes on display.
Screenshot of the original Booktunes Music inspired by Murakami page (click to enlarge/zoom):
Raisa: El caso es salir de aqui
Ryan Anthony Francis – Wind Up Bird Preludes
Lykke Li: Get Some – inspired by Wind-Up Bird’s Creta Kano
If you have tunes to ad, please share your thoughts in the comments field!
So my one best ambitious film friend who is serious about setting up shop, interviews my other best film friend who set up shop already. The result? A Masterclass about Film Posters with great insights into the world of an Amsterdam poster collector. And seller. Now what’s with the nipple poster?
The following interview by BelleOog shows Mr. MOVIE★INK. discussing the different kinds of posters in his collection. Good stuff for anyone who enjoys movies, ink, paper, real stuff.
If you want to know more about Wim & his MOVIE★INK. Gallery watch the more personal interview here. If you like wondering through the beautiful streets of De Jordaan feel free to pop by and be amazed.
The title of Murakami’s latest Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage clearly refers to Liszt’s three suites. Tsukuru often plays his favourite record, left by a lost friend, as it reminds him of a lost time. Not exactly homesickness, but plenty of Temps du Mal.. and much more less obvious references.
Apparently when the book got released Universal Music sold out of hardcopies (CD’s that is). Japan and the rest of the world then had to queue up online for a digital alternative. Maybe the whole Booktunes project (building an online source of book related music and musical novel knowledge) was not such a bad idea at all.
The power of the music made it all possible, Everytime he listend to the music, […] a vivid recollection of them appeared.
With the original Booktunes site is still on the back burner in the kitchen of the lab, I decided to upload Side B of Tsukuru’s treasured vinyl on the Booktunes YouTube channel. You can check Monk & Elvis by clicking their names. Enjoy!
‘First Year: Switzerland’. He sat down on the sofa, closed his eyes and concentrated on the music. […]
Amsterdam has a Murakami Festival coming up! On Januari 11th, 15 small book clubs will spread throughout the city centre to read and discuss their favourite author. Hosted by the likes of Anna Drijver, Jeroen Vullings and Philip Huff this could be a fun nite out. If you do have tickets for this sold out Litfest you will get a bonus: an advance copy of Murakami’s yet to be published De kleurloze Tsukuru Tazaki en zijn pelgrimsjaren (Colourless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage).
I do feel a tad bit sad missing out on this event. Once I completed my studies with a thesis on Mr. Murakami, and in the early days of Booktunes we were part of the 1Q84 book launch taking care of the musical program. “Well, Booktunes is on the back burner and you are reading Bukowski at the moment” is what my wife said.
Her remark got me thinking. Would I want to play (a role) at this fest? How? What about my plans regarding Booktunes in general? When do I see Job & Mina again and decide where to take this project?
Regarding the first and second question: Maybe not. I quit dj-ing and don’t see any other role for me on festivals. Seriously.. personally.. festivals, public performances and get-togethers are music things. I do like to share thoughts on books, but preferably with my brother or Will (who is great).
The happening did get me fired up on the future of Booktunes though. I would love to build a new site that would function as a music and knowledge base for all music related books. An online community? Essential and a starting point will be the option to listen to the tunes straight away, no matter where you are. To have tunes at hand while reading.
So I re-upped the original Booktunes Soundtrack for Murakami’s After Dark. A good opportunity to start testing some new music players as the WordPress audio options are way too basic (arent they?). Basic, but still worth tuning in to listen to some Murakami music and get ready for the festival on Januari 11th. Enjoy!
More info on the Murakami Festival here (in dutch).
Have you ever wondered what happened to the more jazzy (and more true to the Jazz Age) versions of the tunes that bouncing off the roller coaster ride called Baz Luhrman’s The Great Gatsby? They got released as The Great Gatsby Jazz Recordings. Yass!!
Bryan Ferry and his Orchestra redid some of the popular songs on the Original Soundtrack to this great movie. And then they added a few classics by Mr. Armstrong and Jelly Roll Morton. That’s what I call sweet music.
Universal Music finally released the track list for the Soundtrack to Baz Luhrman’s take on Fitzgerald’s novel The Great Gatsby. Seems like Jack White and Kanye (playing in my previous Gatsby post) get the company of Soundtrack Executive Jay-Z, his friends and his wife.
The pop hip-hop soundtrack might fit pretty well with the larger-then-life production and art direction for the 2013 Great Gatsby movie (that was originally scheduled as the ultimate Christmas Cracker of the year 2012). Some new stars of which Emili Sandé and Bryan Ferry’s rework of ‘Crazy in Love’ should be fun.
Now why did Beyoncé have to redo Amy’s ‘Back to Black’… and how did it end up on the list? I think Baz should used his veto at this point and play the Moody Boys Refix of ‘Love is a Losing Game’. Loud. Like he did with ‘Love is Blindness’ by Jack White.
Great Gatsby OST Tracklist:
1. “100$ Bill” by Jay-Z
2. “Back to Black” by Beyoncé & André 3000
3. “Bang Bang” by Will.i.am
4. “A Little Party Never Killed Nobody (All We Got)” by Fergie + Q-Tip + GoonRock
5. “Young and Beautiful” by Lana Del Rey
6. “Love Is the Drug” by Bryan Ferry &The Bryan Ferry Orchestra
7. “Over the Love” by Florence and the Machine
8. “Where the Wind Blows” by Coco O. of Quadron
9. “Crazy in Love” by Emeli Sandé and The Bryan Ferry Orchestra
10. “Together” by The xx
11. “Hearts a Mess” by Gotye
12. “Love Is Blindness” by Jack White
13. “Kill and Run” by Sia
Please send tunes to erik at booktunes dot net!
Off to the English & Welsh Countryside I brought along some titles I came across in Kemptown Bookshop. Books that pop up in my mind every now and then but tend not to surface when surfing on the Amazon river. While lighting the BBQ I found out Banana Yoshimoto is a great author and that her ’88 debut novel Kitchen is beautiful read! How I love the solitary protagonists detached from the world / emotionally connected to others…
Yes, exactly. The same kind of characters that made me fall in love with Murakami’s writing. A love that made me stay away from other Japanese writers as I couldn’t get my mind not to expect finding the same features with all other fictional Toru’s.Yoshimoto’s novel is too short to summarise here. Read it, enjoy the two stories that both relate to music, each in it’s own way.
Kitchen – available online and beautifully illustrated by Lianne Leeflang – plays a hard to find tune by 80’s pop start Momoko Kikuchi. Hard to find if you trust the English translator for this book / if you don’t have friends at Goodreads helping you out. Grab it!
Moonlight Shadow bears the same name as Mike Oldfield’s piece, mentioned by Banana as the inspiration for her story. Nice vid.
More info on Dutch artist Lianne Leeflang here.
From now on all visitors to the Booktunes website will be redirected to this blog. I guess we all felt we had to bring Booktunes back to the lab, back to zero, and take time to rebuild it step by step.
Some of these steps will be smaller then the ones we have made before, some bigger, and some steps will lead us in a completely different direction. We’ll see. I still believe Booktunes – a website playing the music with your favourite novel – is a promising idea.
Over the next weeks I will add dedicated Booktunes pages to this blog and share all Booktunes compilations, info and all interviews with the authors of those beautiful books that have music involved. All previous Booktunes content will be available again soon.
Hereby I would like to thank all the people that helped me bring it this far. Mels, Mina, Job, Oli, Ytje, Will, Laura, all photographers that contributed to the artwork, all friends who wrote articles on the books & authors, all people in the book and music industry who supported us, all professionals who were willing to share their visions, all authors and musicians featured on the Booktunes website and of course Rose & my fam.
Feel free to drop me a line if you have any thoughts on the future of Booktunes or if you would like to be involved in the Booktunes project.
Stay tuned, see you soon in the Booktunes lab!
I must say March is a little late to buy a new calendar. Still the Murakami Calendar App is worth the full 2 bucks as it will give you 10 more months of starting your day with the occasional Murakami quote, Murakami info, Murakami art, Murakami covers and some new Murakami stories!
The app itself is pretty basic – I would say perfectly minimal – and matches both the dreaminess we find in his stories as the new and old cover art for all Murakami titles published by Random House. The ‘new’ stories (that apparently already appeard in Irish literary magazine Southword in 2006) bring us the shortest Murakami texts ever. Could it be that the upcoming April release will be the first Murakami flash fiction collection? We know he likes to alternate his longer works with short stories… and personally I think 1Q84 was a bit too long.
What are you going to do today?
Read an exclusive story by Murakami. Without the music.
Once we had been duped out of our mosquito coils, we had nothing left to defend ourselves with against the attack of the sea turtle. I tried ordering more mosquito coils by phone and from a mail-order house, but, just as I thought, the telephone line had been cut, and there had been no mail service for more than two weeks. I should have known the cunning beast would never let us get away with such a thing: our stock of mosquito coils had kept him in misery too long. Now, for certain, he would be gloating and smiling and napping on the ocean floor, preparing himself for tonight.
“We’re done for,” my girlfriend said. “As soon as it gets dark, the sea turtle is going to eat us.”
“No, we can’t give up hope,” I said. “If we rack our brains, we don’t have to let any damned sea turtle have his way with us.”
“But he stole every last one of our mosquito coils.”
“No, keep your mind on fundamental truths, woman. If the sea turtle hates mosquito coils, there’s bound to be something else he hates.”
“Julio Iglesias,” I said.
“Julio Iglesias? But why?”
“I don’t know. The name just popped into my head. A kind of intuition.”
Following my intuition, I put Julio Iglesias’s “Begin the Beguine” on the turntable and waited for the sun to set. The sea turtle was sure to attack after nightfall. Then it would all be settled one way or the other: the sea turtle would either eat us or weep.
Just before midnight, we heard the wet slapping of footsteps outside. Instantly, I dropped the needle onto the record. As soon as Julio Iglesias began singing “Begin the Beguine” in that syrupy voice of his, the footsteps halted, to be replaced by the anguished groans of the sea turtle. Yes! We had beaten him!
That night, Julio Iglesias sang “Begin the Beguine” 126 times. I myself hate Julio Iglesias, but fortunately not as much as the sea turtle does.