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planktonproduktions

Cult Films & Sounds, Spain & South America

In Extremadura, coming in 2017

Coming out in 2017, my second book is a radical deconstruction of the Brit Abroad genre (see, for example, A Year In Provence, or Driving Over Lemons) . Yes, it’s “about” me (again) my family and our idyllic life in Spain (zzzz) but it’s also about the under-explored and relatively unknown province of Caceres, which lies in Extremadura, in south-west Spain. Its people, its history, its culture, traditions and peculiarities. Above all, its peculiarities.   Continue reading “In Extremadura, coming in 2017”

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68½

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68½: Movies, Manson & Me” is the first book by PlanktonProduktions, available as a free download from Smashwords, on Amazon Kindle (for 99p) and as a paperback, exclusively from Plankton Produktions (click on Buy above). A mind-bending journey through the outer reaches of the late 60s and 70s, the drugs, the movies, the murders, it’s equal parts autobiography, paean to the cinema of the time, DIY guide for aspiring screen-writers, and inquiry into the nature of truth and memory. “A true genre-buster,” says Nick Gilbert (no relation).

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Every Album I Own: D is for Del-Byzanteens

The clamour for the next instalment of Every Album I Own is deafening, so here we go. Bit of a cheat, this one, as the Del-Byzanteens record in question is actually an EP, with a mere three tracks on it. They did release one album, and it’s pretty good, but I don’t own it, whereas the 12 inch single of Girl’s Imagination (backed with My Hands Are Yellow and My World Is Empty Without You) occupies pride of place in my collection, right there between De La Soul’s Three Feet High & Rising and The Dells’ Freedom Means. I’d take those three records to a desert island any day of the week (except Thursday – I have a dental appointment that day). Continue reading “Every Album I Own: D is for Del-Byzanteens”

Archaeology Cornel: A Walk on the Wilde Side

The subject of today’s post is Cornel Wilde, B-movie actor turned independent producer, director, actor and sometimes writer, whose handful of 1960s and ‘70s films, while not entirely ignored on release, have now been more or less forgotten, probably because they had the temerity to be clumsily written, badly acted, and directed with fists of ham so great the Spanish could sell them to the British in their overpriced tapas bars. Continue reading “Archaeology Cornel: A Walk on the Wilde Side”

Every Album I Own: The Clash, Cash & Cohen

Yes, we’ve reached C on the long journey to Frank Zappa and Zerfas, and I can’t make up my mind whether to go for The Clash, or Johnny Cash, or Leonard Cohen, so I’ll attempt to say something about all three, in less than a thousand words. Continue reading “Every Album I Own: The Clash, Cash & Cohen”

Archaeology Corner: Inca Roads

Did a vehicle come from somewhere out there, just to land in the Andes? So sings George Duke on the Mothers of Invention album One Size Fits All, recorded in 1975 and perhaps the pinnacle of this, the very finest of Mothers line-ups. Well, in spite of Erich Von Daniken and Close Encounters, we can be fairly sure that the answer is no, a vehicle did not come from out there just to land in the Andes, or anywhere else. There are plenty of perfectly rational explanations for the Nazca lines, some of which also acknowledge and incorporate a relationship with the Gods/cosmos, albeit one emanating from Earth, and focusing on the entirely understandable need to believe in other worlds/higher powers, rather than entertaining the actual existence of extra-terrestrial or supernatural intelligence. Continue reading “Archaeology Corner: Inca Roads”

Buy the paperback

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Buy the paperback for only £6.00 including UK postage!

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Every Album I Own: Andy Bey, Experience & Judgement

We’ve reached B, and the temptation to ramble on about the Beach Boys, and the brilliant octet of albums that followed the over-rated Pet Sounds, is almost too great to resist. BUT – as the smug and irritating Chris Tarrant might say – we don’t want to do that! The Beach Boys have been done to death. Not so Andy Bey, a man whose extraordinary four octave range I first encountered on saxman Gary Bartz’s jazz dance classic Celestial Blues. Continue reading “Every Album I Own: Andy Bey, Experience & Judgement”

From A Certain Ratio to Zappa: Every Album I Own

Inspired by a link which my brother Matt recently sent to me*  in which another middle-aged, middle-class white man indulges his passions for the edification of nobody in particular (you mean, I’m not the ONLY one?) I have decided to embark on a new strand of posts, riffing on each vinyl album and CD I possess, telling the stories behind the stories, the memories they evoke etc. But fear ye not, I won’t labour through every SINGLE album I’ve got, or we’d be here forever. Continue reading “From A Certain Ratio to Zappa: Every Album I Own”

Archaeology Corner: Lorca, Killer Wail

Anyone with more than a passing interest in Spanish culture knows that Federico Garcia Lorca was “Spain’s greatest 20th century poet” (copyright, every single guidebook ever written about Spain) and that he was murdered by the Fascists at the start of the Spanish Civil War, either for being a Leftie (which he wasn’t) or a homosexual (which he was) or both. Continue reading “Archaeology Corner: Lorca, Killer Wail”

Archaeology Corner: Northern Soul on Film

First of all, a big shout to my colleague Laurence Elliott, who, while being in no way related to Joe Elliott, the lead singer of Def Leppard, IS a bit of a fellow Germanophile and, more importantly, recently lent me his prized copy of the much-trumpeted film Northern Soul (much trumpeted on its own website anyway – join  the club, I say) which he got for Christmas from his nan. Or it might have been his sister. This small act of kindness has prompted me to offer up a modest overview of Northern Soul on film, both fictional and documentary. As if there were a difference in these post-truth times! Continue reading “Archaeology Corner: Northern Soul on Film”

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