Friday, 29 January 2010

H.P. Lovecraft as poet

(Lord Bassington-Bassington would like to remind his readers that the online magazine Knokkelklang (Jingle Bones) is still fresh. He would also like to re-use a short text he wrote for that eminent publication, and some pictures he found of the town he grew up. Et voila: Blog post!)

In time, H.P. Lovecraft (1890-1937) has come to be regarded as the most important horror writer of the 20th century. The destitute writer has become a huge industry, the unknown has been hailed by Metallica and Michel Houellebecq. In short, he has become one of the cornerstones of modern popular culture.

Lovecraft is best known for his stories of cosmic horror, but for a long time, he wanted to be a poet – some of his earliest attempts stem from the age of seven.

Luckily for us, his readers, he largely gave it up. For, as anyone who has tried to delve into his poetic production quickly realizes, he was never a very interesting poet. At his worst, as in his “On the Creation of Niggers” he was among the most awful poets in history.

This doesn’t mean that Lovecraft’s poetry is without merits. Sometimes, it’s quite decent. But its main value is that it helps us understand his fiction better. Lovecraft’s very poetic prose, and especially his uncanny ability to conjure atmospheres at the drop of an adjective – this is surely a legacy from his attempts at poetry.

This cycle of sonnets (a short excerpt below), “The Fungi from Yuggoth”, is the most relevant for understanding Lovecraft’s horror stories. Not only does “The Fungi from Yuggoth” show his poetic abilities at their best, it also contains clues to his later fiction. The ”Fungi” of the title, for example, are identical with the Mi-go which later appear in “The Whispererer in Darkness”, one of Lovecraft’s best stories.

“The Fungi from Yuggoth” was composed between December 27, 1929 and January 4, 1930, and parts of the poetic cycle were published in a variety of journals over the next five years. They were not published as a collection until 1943, well after Lovecraft’s death.

Lord Bassington-Bassington

XXX. Background

I never can be tied to raw, new things,
For I first saw the light in an old town,
Where from my window huddled roofs sloped down
To a quaint harbour rich with visionings.
Streets with carved doorways where the sunset beams
Flooded old fanlights and small window-panes,
And Georgian steeples topped with gilded vanes -
These were the sights that shaped my childhood dreams.

Such treasures, left from times of cautious leaven,
Cannot but loose the hold of flimsier wraiths
That flit with shifting ways and muddled faiths
Across the changeless walls of earth and heaven.
They cut the moment's thongs and leave me free
To stand alone before eternity.

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Cellarium Haereticum – requiet in pace

Tonight will be the last Heretical Cellar ever. But after seven years and close to 50 nights it's time to call it quits, and move on.

That doesn't mean the old Cellar won't be missed. This is a melancholy moment.

Rest in peace, you old club. You gave us much pleasure. And judging by the tremendous number of people who showed up, you gave our guests some pleasure, too. Perhaps you'll be resurrected some day.

And as a way to mark the occasion, here are some of Lord Bassington-Bassington's favourite posters from those years. All design by Baetylos.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Neofolk, politics and "metapolitics"

(UPDATE: Our good friend The Dodologist has expanded on this theme a bit further).

Politics is a boring and complicated subject, and Lord Bassington-Bassington prefers to avoid boredom and complication. But these Chronicles write a bit about neofolk, one of Lord Bassington-Bassingtons favorite musical genres, and in neofolk political disclaimers are increasingly necessary these days.

This sad situation has come about because two groups of people are trying to portray the neofolk scene as some sort of fascist conspiracy. Yes, it's ridiculous, but still worth taking seriously, and Lord Bassington-Bassington feels the need to share some thoughts with the readers of these Chronicles.

Forms of music that are outside the mainstream tend to attract people that are outside the mainstream. Therefore neofolk, like musical subcultures such as hardcore punk, black metal and power electronics/industrial, has an overrepresentation of people from various unusual backgrounds – be they radical rightists, radical leftists, members of new religious movements or sexual minorities. Go to a neofolk performance, and there’s bound to be a far higher percentage of homosexuals, Satanists, traditionalist Catholics, communists and neo-fascists than at your typical U2 concert.

This is fine. In fact, it's more than fine. For this strange mix of eccentric and extreme personalities is not only an integral part of what makes neofolk interesting, but also a big part of what makes life itself interesting. Lord Bassington-Bassington hasn’t the slightest interest in limiting himself to associating with people he agrees with on every subject under the sun. Heck, he can’t even agree with himself half the time!

What is not fine is that certain people want to use neofolk to promote their own political agenda. And as mentioned above, two groups in particular are starting to cause problems for people who just want to enjoy some music.

The first group is composed right-wing extremists, the political heirs of Roderick Spode.

(Roderick Spode, amateur dictator and P.G. Wodehouse character)

These extremists see that some elements within neofolk are sympathetic to some of their ideas – and yes, there are a few neofolk bands and fans like that. So, desperate for anything to latch onto, they claim that neofolk as a whole is sympathetic to their ideas. The word "exaggeration" doesn't even begin to cover it.

This situation is particularily bad here in Scandinavia, where certain tin-pot politicians have explicitly (and, strangely, publicly) made clear their intention to infiltrate various underground music genres, including neofolk, and use them as an arena to make their politics more palatable to the public. This is called “metapolitics”, and is essentially a way to spread your political ideals without being explicitly political.

So if you are an artist, record company or similar who operates in the underground, and someone from Scandinavia offers you a concert, a record deal, distribution deal, review, interview or something similar, chances are that you might find yourself part of some “metapolitical” campaign. To make matters worse, these people have proved that they have a very – let’s be diplomatic and call it “alternative” – approach to concepts such as copyrights, moral responsibility and simply telling the truth.

(While not a big fan of T-shirts, Lord Bassington-Bassington nevertheless thinks this one is very appropriate).

This “metapolitical” strategy will fail. Not only will it fail, it will create (and has already created) the opposite effect of what it is trying to achieve. Instead of spreading the extremist ideas, the "metapoliticians" will create a backlash. Examples are anti-racist statements from leading bands, extremists being banned from concerts, and political statements like the one you are reading right now.

But sadly, the “metapoliticians” will still be able to cause problems for normal neofolk lovers. Especially because they work in tandem with the second group, which is composed of scholars or anti-fascist watchdog groups who overemphasize the fascist elements within neofolk to make themselves seem interesting, insightful and important.

One such scholar is Ukranian political science student Anton Shekhovtsov, who has had a few otherwise excellent people take his shoddy work seriously. There is a long tradition of anti-fascists and scholars who do good jobs of monitoring and understanding right-wing extremist parties, but go haywire when they try to understand musical subcultures. But Shekhovtsov is a particularily bad example.

Shekhovtsov’s approach seems to be to use modern definitions of fascism, especially as put forth by the eminent fascism expert Roger Griffin, on neofolk.

Griffin’s understanding of fascism is summed up as follows:

Fascism is a political ideology whose mythic core in its various permutations is a palingenetic form of populist ultra-nationalism.

The strength of Griffin’s thinking is that it is flexible enough to allows you to see that fascism sometimes mutates, and when brown shirts or bomber jackets don’t cut it anymore fascists will think of new ways to sell their ideas. This is why fascists spend so much time and energy coming up with new things to call their ideology.

The weakness of Griffin’s thinking is that it can take you to where Anton Shekhovtsov is: A place where people who don’t say fascist things, don’t do fascist things, aren’t members of fascist groups, or indeed have anything to do with fascism, can still be labeled fascists if you don’t like them. And if you, like Lord Bassington-Bassington see problems with slapping heavy labels like "fascist" on young people (a label which can have serious consequences for peoples' lives), then you probably won’t be reassured by Shekhovtsov’s approach to ethics in research. “There are no ethical issues involved,” as he commented when Lord Bassington-Bassington tried to argue with him.

In such a climate, where both fascists and scholars (however shoddy) of fascism seem to consider anyone involved with neofolk as a potential fascist, it’s important to make clear where one stands. So this is where the Lord Bassington-Bassington Chronicles stand: Lord Bassington-Bassington is a caninist, and his political views tend to be very moderate. As they say in skinhead circles, he is "neither red nor racist". Human racism, he thinks, is kind of silly, as the true master race is white, black and brown.

(The real master race!)

But, as he doesn’t think he has the monopoly on what people should think, he also supports freedom of speech and freedom of assembly. In short: Democracy. Not because democracy is so great. But, as it says in one declaration Lord Bassington-Bassington supports:

He does agree than no one has invented a better political system than democracy – but still doesn’t like it.

Because Lord Bassington-Bassington sees democracy as the lesser of many evils, he rejects all anti-democratic and totalitarian systems. He is therefore an anti-fascist, an anti-communist and firmly against all mixture between religion and state, be it a state church or an Islamist theocracy. One of his main hobby-horses is freedom of religion, which of course includes the right to freedom from religion.

Furthermore, despite being old-fashioned and grumpy Lord Bassington-Bassington supports things like gay rights (as long as homosexuals follow certain traditional norms). Actually, despite thinking fur-less, tail-less half-apes are slightly silly, Lord Bassington-Bassington still thinks they are entitled to human rights (this also applies to women).

And as for being enlisted into any sort of extremist political or "metapolitical" project, Lord Bassington-Bassington prefers to take his cue from that most eminent of bipeds, Mr. Reginald Jeeves.

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Pocket square dance

When you like to wear pocket hankies, you need to iron them.

And when you do iron them, it can be fun to put them next to each other, in a little line.

Aren't they cute together?

Monday, 25 January 2010

Otto Rahn in the Court of Lucifer

Otto Rahn (1904-1939) was a rare soul. Dedicating his life to finding the secret of the Holy Grail and searching for it in the caves underneath the ruined Cathar Castle of Montségur in Southern France, Rahn travelled and wrote extensively, trying to unravel what he saw as hidden messages in various strands of European folklore and myth.

Anyone familiar with Rahn's books, and of a skeptical disposition, will quickly realize that Rahn's etymological and anthropological speculations might be a bit off-target, to put it politely. However, that does not diminish from the value of Rahn's books. For they are wonderful. Rahn was one of those people who is able to make his readers see the world in an entirely new, entirely poetic, way. His exploration of Europe's hidden soul was also an exploration of his own.

And like some other poetic souls he was seduced by the utopian promises of National Socialism, only to have his soul - and life - crushed by it.

The passage below is a from his book Lucifer's Court.

Lucifer came from the German forest into my room. I cannot see him, but I feel his presence. It can be only Lucifer who lifts the piece of temple frieze from my desk. Columns grow under it and the other rubble conforms to it as a roof. Apollo’s Delphi stands suddenly in virginal beauty before me, and, through the sacred darkness of the olive trees and laurel bushes, I gaze at the sentence: “Know yourself!” It can be only Lucifer who picked out that inconspicuous stone from the rubble of Montségur Castle. It was a piece left from a stone bench railing. I see the bench clearly. Laurel bushes cast shade upon it. A man sits there, blond and noble. He wears a black tunic. A cap, like a beret, covers his head. The man, a Cathar, looks at me and speaks: “Greetings to you, Lucibel, to whom injustice occurred!”

The story of Rahn's unhappy Grail quest has been turned into an excellent documentary film by Richard Stanley (most known for films such as Hardware and some spectacular music videos for Fields of the Nephilim.) If you have a single romantic bone in your body, Lord Bassington-Bassington recommends that you see it. The introduction is below.

Friday, 22 January 2010

Three little pups

Regular readers of this blog will know that there has been a virtual conspiracy to cover up the immense influence the Basset hound has had on the history of culture. Pieces of art have been carefully doctored to remove the Basset hound; one needs only to look at literature, where seminal stories such as Arthur Conan Doyle's suspenseful Hound of the Bassetvilles, Clark Ashton Smith’s Basset Hounds of Tindalos and Maurice Sendak’s Where the Basset Hounds Are have suffered from de-Bassification.

The same fate befell the classic fairy tale about the Three Little Basset Pups, which was turned – by anti-Basset fairy tale gatherers – into a story about, of all things, pigs.

So thank heaven we had the cartoon genius of Tex Avery. He saw the heinous injustice that had been committed, and proceeded to right the wrong. Not only that, he cast Droopy, Basset hero extraordinaire, in the lead role.

(Droopy, cartoon hero)

So please enjoy one of the world’s most famous fairy tales, the way it should be told.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Neofolk lookbook: Mr. Bell of Birmingham

Lord Bassington-Bassington first saw Rupert Bell at a Sol Invictus concert in London.

While there's usually a few interesting-looking people at neofolk concerts, and top hats aren't that uncommon (neofolk tends to attract a certain gothic element), but it's rare to see people wearing top hats and have the full Victorian evening kit to go with it. So Mr. Bell, whom His Lordship had no idea who was at the time, struck quite a figure.

Later, while snooping around the miraculous Webatron, Lord Bassington-Bassington ran across Mr. Bell there and was immediately impressed by his self-presentation. It's Mr. Bell's fault that Lord Bassington-Bassington has joined the New Sheridan Club and, in fact, a few of the pictures below are from the outings of this most exclusive (Lord Bassington-Bassington had to fork out five pounds to join!) club.

Not only that, His Lordship was so impressed with Mr. Bell's wardrobe that he felt it was time for another neofolk lookbook.

So, dear readers of the Chronicles: Look, learn, and imitate. This is how you dress for a walk in the park or night at the club.

And if you're in the general Birmingham-y or England-y, area, or anyhere really, consider attending Mr. Bell's upcoming burlesque event, Dawn of the Black Hearts. Sadly, Lord Bassington-Bassington is stuck somewhere entirely different then.

While there is undoubtedly much to be learned from Mr. Bell, the picture below clearly ilustrated how even the most perfect gentleman's figure might be ruined if one does not behave like a gentleman.

Manners, Mr. Bell! Manners!

Monday, 18 January 2010

Where cats go at night

Lady Mju's publication of T.S. Elliot's hymn to the Jellicle Cats made Lord Bassington-Bassington reflect on another writer who had an appreciation for the feline.

That H.P. Lovecraft loved cats is no secret, as he penned a plethora of tributes to his feline friends. His short story The Cats of Ulthar should be compulsory reading for cat lovers. How can anyone resist a description of the feline such as "the Sphinx is his cousin, and he speaks her language; but he is more ancient than the Sphinx, and remembers that which she hath forgotten?"

But Lord Bassington-Bassington, also great admirer of the feline family, is especially fond of another Lovecraftian paean to cats, namely a passage from short novel The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath.

This passage starts when protagonist Randolph Carter finds himself on the dark side of the moon, surrounded by strange, alien – and hungry – beasts. In other words: in a difficult position.

Then through that star-specked darkness there did come a normal sound. It rolled from the higher hills, and from all the jagged peaks around it was caught up and echoed in a swelling pandaemoniac chorus. It was the midnight yell of the cat, and Carter knew at last that the old village folk were right when they made low guesses about the cryptical realms which are known only to cats, and to which the elders among cats repair by stealth nocturnally, springing from high housetops. Verily, it is to the moon's dark side that they go to leap and gambol on the hills and converse with ancient shadows, and here amidst that column of foetid things Carter heard their homely, friendly cry, and thought of the steep roofs and warm hearths and little lighted windows of home.

So if you’ve ever wondered where your cat goes at night – now you know.

(The model at the top is the ever-photogenic Azazel Katt, adopted son of Fraulein Frost and her Evil Biker Dude).

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Italian Neofolk: Spiritual Front

Dominik Tischleder, one of the world's leading writers on neofolk, once observed that Italy was the country where neofolk music was taken to interesting and inspiring lengths. It's an astute observation, so we here at the Lord Bassington-Bassington Chronicles will be casting our eyes southward a bit in the weeks to come. Starting with Spiritual Front, a band which keeps getting better and better. Musically, Spiritual Front has come a long way, from being a pretty typical run-of-the-mill neofolk band to their current incarnation, which owes as much to Nick Cave and Johnny Cash as it does to Death in June and Weimar Berlin.

They're also a superb live band, and understand the importance of dressing stylishly when on a stage.


The quality on this last clip is a bit dodgy, but the song is one of His Lordship's favourites, so it felt necessary to include it.

Monday, 11 January 2010

Bow ties and the American gentleman

Lord Bassington-Bassington prefers ties for stylish occasions, but it's always been clear to him that some day he would experiment with bow ties. And last week, His Lordship purchased his first bow tie. We're sure The Dodologist will claim credit for this development, tireless champion of bow ties that he is, and he surely deserves to be recognized as an important influence on His Lordship's tastes. But an even bigger influence was the picture above, which is taken from one of Lord Bassington-Bassington's favourite books on style, Jeremy Hackett's excellent Mr. Classic.

Anyway, it's when you decide upon your first bow tie and bring it home that the fun really begins. For under no circumstances should you buy a clip-on. But how do you tie the bloody thing?

Luckily, the Interweb comes to the rescue, and YouTube is awash with instructional videos on how to tie bows.

The two videos below might not be the best in terms of instructional value. In fact, they seem to be meant for people who just need their bow tie skills refreshed, not for freshmen. But they are certainly the most charming. While His Lordship is an avowed Anglophile and has an ambivalent relationship with American style (there is something strange about a people who refer to suits as “sacks”), there is something to the old-fashioned American gentleman that always manages to melt the heart of any old-fashioned Basset. And those Southern accents are to die for.

Oh, and there is also this video, but Lord Bassington-Bassington feels that it’s useless as an instructional video for any heterosexual male, as one’s eyes tend to wander away from the tie.

Friday, 8 January 2010

The Queen of Eldritch Horror

In his years of being interested in things that fall a bit outside the cultural reference points of TV and U2, Lord Bassington-Bassington has encountered quite a few unique individuals. Of all these, Wilum Hopfrog Pugmire has been one of the most unique.

W.H. Pugmire is nothing less than a gay Mormon punk rocker (with a penchant for drag) who writes Lovecraftian tales. And as if that wouldn’t be enough to capture Lord Bassington-Bassington’s attention, Mr. Pugmire is one of the best practitioners of the Lovecraftian tale in the world today. Even if Lord Bassington-Bassington has set out to become the leading Norwegian expert on Lovecraft (a bit like being West Sahara's leading ice skater), you needn’t take his word for it. For in his work The Rise and Fall of the Cthulhu Mythos, S.T. Joshi, the world’s foremost authority on Lovecraft and his literature, hails Pugmire as “one of those rare authors who can channel their literary influences while at the same time remaining profoundly individual”.

Personally, Pugmire refers to himself as "the Queen of Eldritch Horror". And so should you refer to him.

The Queen resides in the American city of Seattle, Washington, and in a recent email to Lord Bassington-Bassington, he explained that because of some recent health problems, he is now “basically staying home and living the life of a recluse.” Which, of course, makes him even more Lovecraftian, as The Gentleman of Providence also preferred to keep to himself most of the time.

Mr. Pugmire was kind enough to take some time away from his fiction to answer some questions. So this is the first in a series of short interviews here at the Chronicles. The idea being that there should only be three questions, ideally one of each of the Chronicles' core subjects - culture, style and religion/philosophy - to not steal too much of these excellent people's time and energy.

– There are a lot of writers who write in the tradition of H.P. Lovecraft. But you’re one of the few Lovecraftian writers who can really make the genre your own. What’s your secret?

– I believe my success as a modern Lovecraftian author comes about from staying true to my vision of wanting to write mature Lovecraftian weird fiction. Composing such fiction is my focus as an author. I want to write tales that are authentic homage to Lovecraft, and I want to write tales that delight other fans of Lovecraft's tales.

– My tutors in this genre are those who knew Lovecraft in life, mostly as a correspondent, and who fell under his spell and wrote stories in what was then the new tradition of the Lovecraftian tale. Thus, when I write my stories I'm not only influenced by Lovecraft but by Robert Bloch, August Derleth, Carl Jacobi, Donald Wandrei, Joseph Payne Brennan, Fritz Leiber, Ramsey Campbell, Clark Ashton Smith – it is a rich tradition! But mostly I return to Lovecraft, cull my inspiration from his tales, writing direct sequels or taking little bits from his tales and expanding on them in my own way.

– Because I don't care about commercial success, I am free to write exactly the kind of story that I want to write, in exactly my own style. I've been writing these tales for many decades, and as I mature I write tales that are uniquely mine own, yet utterly tainted with my Lovecraftian Muse.

– My invention of the Sesqua Valley is an absolute gold mine – its possibilities for stories has no limit, because anything supernatural and Lovecraftian can and does happen there. One of the books I am writing now is a collection of stories inspired by the weird fiction of Robert Bloch – yet it will be an extremely Lovecraftian book, for Bloch is my direct link, through correspondence, to H. P. Lovecraft. Of course, one of the main helps has been that we are living in the age of S. T. Joshi. His books of editing Lovecraft's texts (fiction, essays, poetry, letters), especially his annotated editions from Penguin Classics, and his highly esteemed friendship has been fundamental in inspiring the best of my writing.

– You dress in a very flamboyant and unique style, which it is tempting to describe as ”Lovecraftian punk drag”. How important is style to you, and how do you go about creating your own style?

– I have always loved dressing up. As a kid I used to walk around the neighborhood in a variety of monster outfits of mine own invention. My first job was dressing up as a vampire for the Jones' Fantastic Museum, where I taught myself the art of horror makeup. When I came out as queer it was only natural that I would be attracted to dressing up in weird drag, a combination of horror and gay transvestitism. Then punk came along and part of its appeal for me was that I could dress-up freaky in a wild punk way. Later I became a huge Boy George fan. All of those things combined.

– I rarely go out these days, so now I only dress up for my webcam when I record my video logs on YouTube for my MrWilum channel. It is, for me, very punk, this dressing up any way I want to, as is my determination as a writer to write absolutely the way I want to, to be a Lovecraftian to the core, to do it all “my way”. Punk rock has been a foundation of freedom in my life and has given me the guts to live on my own terms. To do so gives me great joy. The child I once was still lives within me, and my dressing up is actually a very innocent form of self-acceptance.

– You were a lapsed Mormon, but have recently been re-baptised into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. There seems to be quite a few Mormon Lovecraftians (like Sandy Petersen, creator of the Call of Cthulhu role-playing game). What is it with Mormons and Lovecraft? Could it be that there are certain similarities between Joseph Smith’s vision and that of Lovecraft, not just that both were extraordinary visionaries (Harold Bloom hails Smith as an “authentic religious genius”), but in that both present a world with a rich prehistory unsuspected by mainstream science, lost documents of great importance and so on?

– I've never considered that there is a link between being a Latter-Day Saint (a Mormon) and a Lovecraftian. Early Mormonism is filled with folk magic, and one of its strong appeals to me now is that it is indeed an extremely strange religion, much as the modern LDS leaders want to stress that we are a “normal” Christian religion, not freaky at all.

(Mormon temple in Washington, D.C.)

– The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is indeed freaky and cool and disturbing and infuriating and liberating. Returning to the church has been an extremely strange adventure, and I love it. But the main reason I returned is because I had an uncanny supernatural experience while praying, a religious epiphany that I cannot explain or ignore – and it was that titanic and emotional experience that made me return to Mormonism after twenty-five years of excommunication.

– We have, as Latter-day Saints, our very esoteric ways – our temples and our rites, our sacred Book of Mormon, the golden plates found by Joseph Smith, buried in a hillside on New York and revealed to him by an angel. I find all of this extremely easy to believe, and I believe it all absolutely. Perhaps it is this function of belief that helps me to write tales of Lovecraftian horror that are, in their own queer way, authentic and convincing.

Mr. Pugmires publications are available in various outlets, such as Amazon. If you have the slightest interest in modern horror or Lovecraftian fiction, you owe it to yourself to investigate them.

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Epic noise fail

We like Internet memes here at Bassington Manor. We particularily like these memes when they can be combined with something we love.

And while he has always had an ambivalent relationship with noise music, Lord Bassington-Bassington has enjoyed quite a few noise bands through the years. One of these bands have been Survival Unit, one of a plethora of excellent electronic acts from Northern Sweden (Kammarheit being another example).

This track, accompanied by images from a medical film about schizophrenia, is a good example of the sonic world conjured by Survival Unit.

But Survival Unit were not just known for their brutal audio assaults and adherence to the tenets of cultural terrorism, they were especially infamous for their confrontational performances. A short video from one of these performances, where things went a little - wrong, has been circulating around the Interwebs for a while now. It is, honestly, hilarious.

But it wasn't until the video was combined with one of the best memes of all time that it reached the brilliance that you can observe below.

Luckily, Lord Bassington-Bassington knows from personal experience that Survival Unit front man Kristian Olsson is not only blessed with a range of artistic talents, but also with a great sense of humour. So he feels confident that Mr. Olsson won't retaliate by invading Bassington Manor and staging a performance in the sitting room here.

Though that would be entertaining.

By the way, Mr. Olsson is not only noise artist but also works in collage, and continues his work under names such as Alfarmiana. Some of his work can be enjoyed here.

On a final note, Lord Bassington-Bassington has suggested that Lady Mju, who has played keyboards for several bands, purchase a small keyboard to keep in her purse and play His Lordship off whenever he does something stupid. So far, she has refused. Lord Bassington-Bassington suspects she is just afraid that all the playing she would have to do could cause carpal tunnel syndrome.

Monday, 4 January 2010

New year, new plans, Jingle Bones

(A wintery view from the window of Bassington Manor, courtesy of Lady Mju).

Dear readers:

It’s a new year (a new decade, even), and time to figure out what to do with the Lord Bassington-Bassington Chronicles in the year to come.

The Chronicles have been in circulation for a year now, and have attracted a small but select following who have provided a lot of encouragement. Thank you all for your clicks and comments, but the most heart-warming compliment was possibly when Lord Bassington-Bassington was referred to as a ”long-eared Lucifer”.

As a result of this, Lord Bassington-Bassington has decided to keep dictating these Chronicles. More or less in their now-established form, but some new developments can be expected. For example, the Chronicles have developed a format for mini-interviews with various interesting and inspiring people. The first of these interviews has already been conducted, and will be published whenever Lord Bassington-Bassington finds it appropriate.

In the meainwhile, here are two quick updates on what's happening in the world of Lord Bassington-Bassington.

Firstly, readers of these Chronicles who have not already done so should immediately check out the latest issue of Jingle Bones, or Knokkelklang as the original Norwegian title is. This excellent publication, which features contributions from a range of Lord Bassington-Bassington’s friends and colleagues, features material both in English and Scandinavian languages.

Secondly, readers within travelling distance of Oslo might want to mark January 28th in their calendars. This day marks the year's first instalment of the Heretical Cellar, the club Lord Bassington-Bassington is involved in. Not only that, this particular Cellar also marks the release of acclaimed Norwegian novelist Torgrim Eggen's new book, which is the first work of fiction to feature His Lordship's secretary as a fictional character!

Expect more posts on this blog in the days to come. In the meantime, things are a bit difficult, as Little Storping in the Swuff is covered in a thick layer of snow. This presents certain problems whenever His Lordship tries to leave Bassington Manor, for, as the film below shows, Bassets can have problems dealing with deep snow.