SURVIVING SELF-ISOLATION: RECOMMENDATIONS FROM SUNFLOWERS | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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April would have been a month packed with excellent gigs, theatre and comedy shows – many of which we’d have previewed and reviewed. We didn’t want to ignore the contribution these artists (and promoters) make to the region, so we asked some of them to give you a few tips on how you can spend your time in isolation.

Portuguese fuzz-pop experimentalists Sunflowers have rescheduled their show for promoters Wandering Oak at The Cumberland Arms on Friday 25th September. Here, Carlos and Carolina share some musical and literary recommendations.

MUSIC (by Carlos)

Brian Eno – Here Come the Warm Jets

One of our favorite albums ever, it just sounds as good as it gets. Brian Eno’s career is full of amazing records but this one keeps coming around to our stereo.

Lou Reed – Rock ‘N’ Roll Animal

Not being able to play or see shows sucks. So why not blast one of the best live albums ever?

Stevie Wonder – Journey Through the Secret Life of Plants

The follow up to his magnum opus, this record was not well received by critics or fans. But we just love when an artist or band decides to take a sudden turn and experiment with something new. If you like calm, reflective music and synth movements almost lost in the airwaves, we recommend you listen to this.

Space – Magic Fly

We’re deeply investigating vintage synth music and this album from 1977 is one of the best artefacts we’ve found.

Michael Rother – Flammende Herzen

This is a killer album and you should put it on WHENEVER you get the chance.

BOOKS (by Carolina):

Kurt Vonnegut – Sirens of Titan

An LSD trip on paper, this book will take you on a visual and metaphysical journey between the Earth and our galaxy. This was actually Vonnegut’s second novel and the one where he really defined his writing style: simple syntax and sentences, filled with irony, black humour and the inevitable questions about free will.

J.D. Salinger – Nine Stories

There’s more to Salinger than Catcher in the Rye. His writing style was very honest and captivating, teasing us with open-ended stories that may appear ‘simple’ at first sight. This is a collection of short stories that speak of suicide, prodigies and dysfunctional families.

John Kennedy Toole – A Confederacy of Dunces

John Kennedy Toole committed suicide at 31 without successfully publishing his masterpiece. In 1980, A Confederacy of Dunces was published and one year later it won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, having since become a classic of American Literature. However, one should not focus on the sadness that preceded the story but rather on its amazing content, the adventures of Ignatius J. Reilly throughout New Orleans.

Aldous Huxley – The Island

The utopian counterpart of Brave New World; both these novels explore themes such as sex, drug use, spiritual enlightenment and industrialisation, among others. The way society lives on the Island is diametrically opposed to the society in Brave New World. Without spoiling it too much, let’s just say that Huxley really had the talent to portray humankind as it deserves.

Albert Camus – The Plague

The relatable story of a Frech Algerian city struck by a plague. The reactions of the characters in the novel to a new disease that appears from nowhere and spreads around town may now seem very familiar to all of us, from the human condition to the way a city lives in quarantine.

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