Monday, 28 May 2012

Tweed season starts early

Even here in the cold North, there comes a time to hang away one's tweed suits and jackets for the summer. But just as Lord Bassington-Bassington had gotten used to the thought of not wearing tweed for a while, tweed season is upon us again.

For on June 18th, the O.G. (Original Gentleman) himself, Mr. B the Gentleman Rhymer, releases his third album. Entitled, fittingly, The Tweed Album.

And while on the subject of essential chap-hop news, Mr. B has recently issued a club tie.

Not only do these ties look very snappy, the quality is also quite remarkable. And rumours reveal that his chapness is also considering making bow ties!

And while on the subject, His Lordship heartily recommends Mr. B's online mixes.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Dubious ties

Much as Lord Bassington-Bassington admires people who are perfectly and traditionally dressed, His Lordship cannot quite pull this off himself. The explanation says a lot about the quirks - some would perhaps call them flaws - in His Lordship's character. For even if Lord Bassington-Bassington was raised on European high culture, there is no denying that His Lordship's tastes tend towards what can be called the subcultural.

This is probably the legacy of a youth (mis)spent skulking around the darker corners of the music culture and the fringes of radical politics. A youth that His Lordship should probably have left far behind, but, as any reader of these Chronicles will notice, that has not happened.

Lord Bassington-Bassington favours a style of dress that has been disparagingly described as "conservative" or "burgeoise" (His Lordship takes this as compliments) or, as one of His Lordhip's old friends once put it, "you're so straight you're twisted". While there are elements of truth in this, it is not the whole story either. For in His Lordship's outfits there is usually a dissonant note somewhere. It's often obvious in His Lordship's taste for footwear that is too polished, too pointy or too high (or a bit "wrong" in some other respect). It can also be seen in his choice of neckwear.

So since it's Wednesday, it feels appropriate to take a look at Lord Bassington-Bassington's collection of bow ties.

This little collection of strange bows comes from sources such as New and Lingwood and Favourbrook. The bow in the back is a Shriner tie – a nod to Lord Bassington-Bassington's interest in Freemasonry, as well as to the conspiracy nuts who claim that the staff here at the Chronicles are part of some Masonic-pharmaceutical conspiracy. The Shriners' Islamically inspired imagery also has the potential to annoy Islamophobes, which His Lordship considers a nice bonus. Fun, sure. But is it tasteful? That is another matter entirely.

Luckily, Lord Bassington-Bassington is also in possession of a few bows that are less subcultural. Though some of those, too, tend toward the overstated. To use an understatment.

As Lord Bassington-Bassington puts it, "One hopes one doesn't look too ridiculous".

Monday, 21 May 2012

A doctor who makes house calls

Lord Bassington-Bassington has had some health complaints this winter, and has spent more time slouching on the couch than is usual even for one as monumentally lazy as His Lordship. Luckily, even in these days of social decline, there is still a doctor who makes house calls.

"Doctor who?" you might ask. And Lord Bassington-Bassington's reply would be "exactly!" Except, of course, that it would sound more like "ahroooooh!"

Not only does the good Doctor make one's health and humour improve considerably, he also provides indispensable advice on both how to keep one's neck stylish...

...and how to keep one's head warm.

Now, if the good Doctor could just get a canine companion (albeit robotic) with longer ears, he would be well on the way to perfection.

Friday, 18 May 2012

Vinyl fetishes

As Ornette Coleman once remarked, ”when you like music, you like a lot of music”. And such is certainly the case with Lord Bassington-Bassington. The record collection here at Bassington Manor is of such a variety that it is bound to have some of your favourite music, and things that you will consider sonic horrors beyond imagining.

In many ways, Lord Bassington-Bassington's life revolves around music. Music serves as inspiration for success and comfort in failure, repositories for memories and emotions. In short, one of those things that make life worth living.

As many who have this obsession with music, Lord Bassington-Bassington prefers to own physical copies of music, and for the last few years that has meant vinyl. CDs are practical carriers of sounds, and can sometimes be nice objects in their own right, but vinyls are cult objects – fetishes, if you will. And as such very covetable – and collectible.

Watching the documentary Blood, Sweat and Vinyl the other day sparked a moment's self-reflection in the long-eared Lord.

Vinyl looks great, sounds great, and is fun to collect. As a result of this one easily obtains quite a bit of it. In the picture above can be seen a selection of His Lordship's recent aquisitions, and below a small slice of the huge collection of some of the finest music ever made, bestowed by the elder Bassington-Bassington onto his offspring. All in all there's quite a lot to listen to, and let's not even mention the whole wall covered with CDs. Or the cassettes.

So yes, even if one isn’t a completist, collecting can get out of hand. But even if Lord Bassington-Bassington does spend a bit of his time stalking record shops and various online vendors, His Lordship is luckily not as seriously afflicted as the people one can meet in the film simply entitled Vinyl.

This documentary comes highly recommended. You might expect it to be a bit like High Fidelity, but honestly it is a lot more like Trainspotting.