The Monocle Arts Review

Podcasts, books and music: a different spin on hospital records

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18 August 2017

Episode 535

45 minutes

In the studio we talk books and podcasts with John Mitchinson, co-founder of Unbound, and Fiona Sturges, arts columnist for ‘The Guardian’ and ‘The Financial Times’. Plus we head to Moscow to learn how Soviet music lovers managed to smuggle music into the USSR on old hospital X-rays and we dial up Edinburgh to find out how the fringe festival is going so far.

18 August 2017

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Chapter 1

8 minutes


Photo: Bayek Photography

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Chapter 1

Book review

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John Mitchinson, co-founder of Unbound publishers, gives us his tips of what to read this August: Kamila Shamsie’s Man Booker-nominated ‘Home Fires’ and the second novel by Alex Christofi, ‘Let Us Be True’.

8 minutes

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Chapter 2

5 minutes

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Chapter 2

‘Bone Music’

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In some of the darkest times of the USSR, bootleggers came up with an ingenious way to bring banned music to the people. Between the late 1940s and early 1960s they’d buy used X-rays from hospitals and record western jazz and rock 'n' roll onto them, as well as illegal Russian songs. Thomas Lowe heads to a new exhibition in Moscow’s Garage Museum of Contemporary Art to find out more.

5 minutes

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Chapter 3

16 minutes


Photo: Barney Poole

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Chapter 3

Podcast review

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Fiona Sturges, arts columnist for ‘The Guardian’ and ‘The Financial Times’ tells us about Jon Ronson’s new podcast ‘The Butterfly Effect’, a tender look at the pornography industry, and one of Gimlet’s latest, ‘Mogul: The Life and Death of Chris Lighty’, which explores hip-hop’s history through the life of one of its greatest music executives.

16 minutes

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Chapter 4

5 minutes


Photo: The Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society

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Chapter 4

Edinburgh Festival

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We check in with Dominic Maxwell, theatre and comedy critic for ‘The Times’ to see who has been tickling his funny bone at this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

5 minutes

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Chapter 5

6 minutes

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Chapter 5

The global countdown: France

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Fernando Augusto Pacheco joins our studio guests to talk French rap and run through the top-five singles in France’s music charts.

6 minutes

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