1 Bob Dylan Tempest

Yet who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him?

2 Neil Young Psychedelic Pill

3 Iris DeMent Sing the Delta

4 Alejandro Escovedo Big Station

5 Jay Farrar Will Johnson Anders Parker Jim James New Multitudes

6 Justin Townes Earle Nothing’s Gonna Change the Way You Feel About Me Now

7 Jimbo Mathus Blue Light EP

8 Patterson Hood Heat Lightning Rumbles in the Distance

9 Willie Nelson Heroes

and instead of a #10 I’m going to cheat and list two old tour souvenirs released on record for the first time in 2012:

Rolling Stones Some Girls Live in Texas 1978

Neil Young A Treasure

the great Russian soprano, died today aged 86.  Did anybody, ever, commit so incandescent a final scene of Eugene Onegin to disk as Galina, round about 1960, singing with George Ots as Onegin … that sweet confession of love on the long drawn-out high A, then she goes ballistic?  (LP# ASD 2451, made in the USSR.  Fortunately I still have it.)

I have uploaded two essays (of sorts) to the Writings section of this site.  “American Surreal” was inspired by Veryl Goodnight’s monument to the fall of the Berlin Wall at the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum on the Texas A & M University campus in College Station, Texas.  “Games of the Doll” is an outtake from Prague, Capital of the Twentieth Century.  It  tries to wrestle with the disconcerting gaze of the German surrealist Hans Bellmer’s notorious adolescent doll.  I have also added a photo of our poodle Luci to the “About” section.  She will shortly be taking driving lessons.


It has taken me over ten years to research and write Prague, Capital of the Twentieth Century: A Surrealist History, the sequel to The Coasts of Bohemia (Princeton University Press 1998).  On the weekend I received an advance bound proof copy.  It felt good!

656 pages, 62 illustrations, cloth $35.00/£24.95, Princeton University Press Spring 2013.


A triumph!  Sayer’s indispensable work is at once magisterial and puckish, authoritative and subversive, intellectually dense and brilliantly accessible.”  Michael Beckerman, New York University

“This is a fascinating and brilliantly written narrative that combines elements of literary guide, biography, cultural history, and essay.  Writing with warm engagement, and drawing on his detailed knowledge of Czech literature, art, architecture, music, and other fields, Derek Sayer provides a rich picture of a dynamic cultural landscape.”  Jindřich Toman, University of Michigan

The book is already listed at amazon.com and amazon.co.uk