Tag Archive: Books

Keeping Me Sane

May 5, 2010

As the daily grind of reality stomps on my throat for kicks I need STUFF to help me get through the day. Here’s some awesome stuff which I will utterly fail to describe properly (how the hell did I ever run a record label).

worriedaboutsatan as recommended a couple of times by Nick. Some words that may or may not describe them: ambient, electronic, interesting, exciting, strange. My favourites are Arrivals and Arrivals Remixed. There’s plently of free stuff on their website to download and get a taste and a fair amount on their soundcloud account – worriedaboutsatan on soundcloud – including a full length live set.

Yndi Halda another great band to code to. Enjoy Eternal Bliss is just beautiful instrumental post-rock. Few reviews have rather negatively complained about lack of originality with comparisons to Mogwai or Godspeed You! Black Emperor, but fuck ’em it’s a lovely EP, a little more accessible than a lot of post-rock and at an average of about 15 minutes a track for 3 quid there’s not much to complain about.

Sick Music 2 as pointed out by DeathBoy. I know close to fuck all about Drum ‘n’ Bass and breakbeat aside from a growing love of the stuff. No idea of which artists to look for or where to look but apparently Hospital Records is a good starting point. Excellent set of tracks for very little cash. Much prefer the instrumental tracks, although those with vocals don’t grate too badly. Ace for keeping energy levels up when working until the stupid hours.

The Gentleman’s Review Favourite podcast of the moment, heard about it through the fucking awesomely funny Precious Little. I don’t know how to describe it other than: Three men, sometimes a lady, sometimes a dog, Doctor Who, cheese, chaps, filth, leftie, humour, shouting, drunk, Yorkshire, geeks, what? Listen to it, it’s free. Even when it’s not outstandingly funny (which it often is) it’s always engaging.

Reincarnationfish – War With The Newts video – Ace new mashup video for the new Reincarnationfish track.

This Is Radio Silence – I Blame – Sublime music (as always) from This Is Radio Silence

Spucktute – Go To War – Free to download EP from Max from History Of Guns new band. Dark, harsh and not afraid to terrify.

Jim Bob – Storage Stories – Having completely forgotten I had pre-ordered this it was an extra-nice surprise when it turned up. First novel by Jim Bob of Carter USM, it’s heaving with the same dark wit (sometimes a little cheesy in a good way) that I’ve come to love from Carter lyrics. About halfway through and it’s absolutely brilliant. Story of an ex-rock star who has taken over the running of a self storage unit and the strange and interesting characters he encounters. You can get it on Amazon – Storage Stories (and get me some affiliate pennies) but I’d recommend going straight to the source and giving the author a bit more.

Pip pip!

Books of joy #2 – Typaedia

April 9, 2010

Hush now Daily Mail readers, Typaedia has nothing to do with children. I love this book, mostly for nostalgic reasons but also for the little bit of history as well.

The Typaedia is exactly what it looks like, a great big book of index numbered typefaces which you could leaf through to order sheets of letraset-type font sheets to create layouts, negatives and all the other stuff a working print-shop may use typefaces for. There’s an introduction page:

Introducing Conways’ Typaedia*
Conway’s Typaedia is a unique collection of some 4000 display faces.
Each is shown in its entirety, with caps, lower case, variants, punctuation and signs, arranged alphabetically in two separate sections, and all available at Conways’ as headline photosetting.
The first section shows the bulk of the faces – 3300 in alphabetical order with the second section showing 700 faces in the Agency series.
There is an Introduction to each section, a Latest additions section and a comprehensive Index.
The first section of 3300 faces is enclosed along with with the full Index.
The Agency section together with the introductions and the Latest additions, all at present at the printers, will be delivered to you early 1980.
Altogether…a unique work of reference
* Typaedia,-paedia (Latin,fem), a doctrine or learning.

From there we just dive into pages and pages of fonts, no other explanation needed. It’s a lovely catalogue, nicely spaced with no unnecessary crap, no explanations, no sales pitch it assumes the reader knows it’s purpose and doesn’t need to patronise or hard sell at them. Lessons on simplicity could be learned from here (mostly by me).

It’s a great reminder of how stupidly easy it is for us these days even in comparison to 30 years ago. When we need a new typeface we can purchase it and be using it within a couple of minutes, back then you had to go collect them or wait for an order to turn up. Every character you used had a cost, if you knackered up your design there was no undo, it was back to the supplier to get another sheet. And most importantly you had to keep your stash of lettering safe from your 8 year old who found the whole concept fascinating and would happily apply your lettering to any surface given half a chance.

My Dad gave me this book recently, which was really cool. For most of my childhood he ran a print shop (and still does), and I have some really happy memories of laying into his assorted work materials and making crap with them. I have especially fond memories of letraset and some really sharp memories of sitting on the floor rubbing the letters onto whatever materials happened to be around. Not with any real creative intent, I just found the whole process amazing, it held an almost bubble-wrap type fascination. The Typaedia was never that far from hand.

The book itself is well used, covered with splatters of ink, random bookmarks, biro scribbles and the other assorted grunge of a workshop. It’s almost comforting to have on my bookshelf. I’m slightly annoyed that I forgot to photograph the back cover which has one of Dad’s promotional stickers on it as drawn by a local illustrator (Peter Classey), as they also form a strong part of my early memories.

Thanks Dad.

Full set of Typaedia photos on Flickr.

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I am Bob. This is my blog. It is an outlet and a substitute for real life. It contains my art, photography, illustration and thoughts on mental health (I deal with anxiety on a pretty much constant basis).

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