Other people’s bookshelves: Daniel Blumberg from Yuck

Daniel from the excellent rock band Yuck chooses some books off his shelf worth your time.


Words by: Charlie Jones

Yuck are a super band from around London that we’ve followed pretty intensely for a while. Here’s a set of books that we asked Daniel to tell us about. Click YUCK INTERVIEW: ‘A DISTANT DREAM.’ when you’re done. Oh, and download that Georgia song on the right, and get a hold of their self-titled album, it’s really good.

Werner Herzog – Of Walking In Ice

I bumped into this in Analogue books in Edinburgh where they sell zines and interesting art books (and my drawing books!). Herzog has this incredibly warm, articulate voice that narrates his documentaries and his film commentaries. I have never felt so sad to finish a book because it literally felt like losing a companion (and for me, Werner Herzog is the ultimate companion). This is a diary of his walk from Munich to Paris in 1974. He walks because his friend Lotte Eisner is dying and he thinks that him walking to her is the only way she’ll survive. As he walks he reflects on the surrounding landscapes in that beautiful child-like fascination that he possesses.

David Berman – Actual Air

It’s very rare for a musician to move to another form of art and do something brilliant. This poetry collection was well received in the literary world, as you’d expect from the best lyricist ever. To me it feels like the 7th Silver Jews album because you enter the same world that Berman has created in his music over the last 20 years. He notices and animates the tiniest details that surround everyday life with unique wit and weirdness. one poem is called ‘The Spine of the Snowman’. You can buy it on Drag City’s website.

Writers and Readers For Beginners Series

These were published in the 70s and 80s and are really informative comics that introduce readers to some of the most influential critical thinkers. They made introductions to Marx, Freud, Hegel, DNA, Darwin, Chomsky, Art History etc etc . Obviously with these things, if you’re not starting with the root works it can be difficult to find a book that you can trust to give you a well-rounded, unbiased viewpoint. These don’t necessarily, but I like the angle of their approach. Especially the ones by a guy called Rius. The 70s editions also look amazing with their brown paper bag-like covers.

David Sylvester – Interviews with Francis Bacon

If I had to choose one book in the world it would be this. Francis Bacon is by far my favorite artist of any art form. I bought it after seeing his massive retrospective at the Tate a few years ago which was the best thing I’ve ever been to. His work hit me hard before I’d read anything about him but this book was the beginning of my deep obsession with him and his art. David Sylvester is the man when it comes to Bacon. This is a rare example of a successful interview, something you tend to see more of in visual art than in music. Bacon is such an articulate, informed, highly intelligent man and his interviews are always wonderful to read. But this is the bible in my opinion because Sylvester gently eases everything possible out of him. I love the way the reproductions of his work are in black and white in order to help the reader to understand what they’re discussing and effectively use them like a map. Colour reproductions of oil paintings like Bacon’s are the equivalent of playing an album through the left headphone and then cutting off a minute of the front and back of every song!