Monday, 28 March 2011

Forest smells and bluebells

Lord Bassington-Bassington is fond of ambient music of the darker kind. And so it is with great joy that he just received the latest release from Artefactum, one of his favourites in the field.

Foxgloves and Bluebells is the name, and it has just come out on the New Polish label Ur Muzik. This, it seems, is the perfect ambient record for the spring evenings that finally seem to be a reality here at Bassington Manor.

Mrs. d’Erlette

Artefactum has always been relatively free of the clichés that make much dark ambient music so uninspiring. While many dark ambient acts make you want to kill yourself as a sacrifice to Satan, Artefactum makes you want to go for a stroll in the woods.

And on this release, Merissa d’Erlette breaks with the "sonic wallpaper for tombs" formula altogether. Foxgloves & Bluebells is a toidy step towards folk music, perhaps nudged a bit on the way by folk singer extraordinaire Andrew King (who makes a guest appearance). Indeed, the record at times feels like lost bits from the soundtrack to The Wicker Man.

Lord Bassington-Bassington holds that any good ambient record should be possible to fall asleep to. And his lordship feels certain that if he drifts off to the gentle sounds of Foxgloves & Bluebells he will have pleasant dreams about dancing faeries.

(Picture by Elisabeth Fraser.)

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

1000 days of the Chronicles

On March 12, the Lord Bassington-Bassington Chronicles had been published for 1000 days – at least if one is to believe his lordship (but as anyone with any canine competence will tell you, Basset hounds aren’t terribly good at math).

So what better thing to do for a born-and-bred pack animal like Lord Bassington-Bassington than to gather a few friends to eat, drink, and waddle around the dance floor to the banjolele stylings of none other than Mr. B Gentleman Rhymer, who kindly consented to come to Oslo for the occasion to entertain the crowd? It was Mr. B's first performance in Scandinavia, and it was so good that his lordship is already planning to get the gentlemanly rhymer back to these parts of the world.

These pictures come courtesy of his lordship’s good friend, the Mysterious Ponytailed Man. Cinematographic records also exist, and might be posted later.

Among the generous gifts lavished upon Lord Bassington-Bassington was this study of his lordship in a moment of quiet celebration, created by Bergen-based cartoon artist Kim Holm.

Lord Bassington-Bassington would like to thank everyone who came from near and far to help celebrate the occasion.

Lord Bassington-Bassington has chosen to censor all pictures of himself from this little report, as he prefers to keep private any record of his lordly body attempting such daring dances as the Basset Bogaloo and the Moonwaddle. Not to mention his necessary post-celebratory contemplation the day after.

Monday, 7 March 2011

Blogging about butling

Butling is an art. So is blogging (though we here at the Chronicles cannot claim to master it). So when the two are combined, great things are bound to happen. And so they do over at The Butler Speaks.

It's a marvellous idea - a whole blog dedicated to butling. Here you can learn about butling in the broader sense, or just pick up helpful hints on how to iron a shirt. Surely this is a big part of what civilized life is all about. So what better way to illustrate this little post than with a couple of pictures of Mr. Reginald Jeeves, who is possibly the epitome of Western civilization?

"But", you say, "I am not able to afford a butler".

Fear not, you are in good company - even such an elevated personage as Lord Bassington-Bassington, coming from a long line of outstanding individuals, is unable to afford a butler in the current financial climate. But perhaps that’s just as good, given how difficult it is to find good help these days.

But, dear reader, Lord Bassington-Bassington suggests that you do not despair. Butling is more than a profession, even more than an art, it is a state of mind. So you can always be the butler of your own life, or more importantly, the lives those around you. Help them with the luggage, make them a cup of tea or a stiff drink, in short, lend a helping hand. Be at the service of your fellow man and canine.

Lord Bassington-Bassington suggests you start by giving his lordly belly a good rubdown.