Monday, 26 September 2011

Folky incantations

Lord Bassington-Bassington would like to recommend this video by his friend, the talented and stylish Kentin Jivek.

If you have no clue what the Merseburger Zaubersprüche are, His Lordship thinks this article provides a decent introduction.

Friday, 23 September 2011

Kicking for Kadath

Lord Bassington-Bassington has so far participated in one Kickstarter project, with great results. In short, it seems like a great way to both contribute to a worthy cause AND save money at the same time.

And given his love of most things Lovecraftian, perhaps this is something His Lordship should support?

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Cyclobean sounds

Headed by Ossian Brown and Stephen Thrower, Cyclobe is essentially an offshoot of Coil, a band Lord Bassington-Bassington has always had an appreciation for. But in at least one way, Cyclobe has an edge over the band that begot them.

For while Coil have tended to wear outfits that made them look a bit like furries or, even worse, as if they were wearing OnePieces, Cyclobe opt for a more conservative look. A look that complements the music perfectly, as Cyclobe conjures up the atmospheres of the ghost stories of M.R. James. And as any sensible reader of M.R. James knows, his stories make you long to put on some tweeds and explore ancient churches in the countryside. As mssrs. Brown and Thrower seem to prepare for in the picture below.

These tweedy experimentalists deserve all the support they can get, and their latest album, Wounded Galaxies Tap at The Window, is full of autumnal atmospheres that will help motivate Lord Bassington-Bassington’s current studies into weird fiction.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Stockholm turns tweedy

Lord Bassington–Bassington's call for Tweed Runs to be celebrated closer to Bassington Manor seems to be yielding results. Now Stockholm is about to celebrate its first Tweed Run.

How long will His Lordship have to wait for a Tweed Run here in Little Storping?

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Lord Bassington-Bassington: Not a twit(terer)

While Lord Bassington-Bassington thinks he doesn't do so badly at blogging, provided he has his trusty (yet slightly incompetent) private secretary at his side, His Lordship has so far shied away from that phenomenon know as Twitter.

That might perhaps be a good thing, given this analysis of canine twittering.

All things considered, Lord Bassington-Bassington prefers tweed to tweets.

Monday, 19 September 2011

In Praise of Lighthouse Keepers

While there's an explosion of Lovecraftian cinema these days, it's not every day that a Scandinavian film inspired by Lovecraft is produced. In fact, the Swedish Fyren produced by Bigbelly Films, is probably the first truly Lovecraftian film in Scandinavian history. And luckily for the non-Scandies out there it has also been given English subtitles and released internationally (in selected webshops anyway) under the title Keeper of the Light.

Keeper of the Light is a short film, shot near one of Sweden's great lakes, and like almost all truly interesting Lovecraftian films it’s a decidedly low-budget affair. The trailer should give the prospective viewer some idea of what he (or she) is in for.

While the opening captures that truly elusive Lovecraftian atmosphere.

It would be an exaggeration to say that this is a film without flaws. Moments of Lovecraftian, numinous horror are offset by moments where the budgetary constraints really show. But not only is it very enjoyable (and at times very creepy), it is also a very promising start for Scandinavian Lovecraftian cinema. This film is a treasure for anyone with a Lovecraftian soul.

Oh, and Lord Bassington-Bassington would like to extend his thanks to Van der Graaf Generator for the title to this blog post.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Moon, descending

As Danish neofolk outfit Of the Wand and the Moon is a bit of a house band here at Bassington Manor, Lord Bassington-Bassington never seems to grow tired of howling about them. Now there's a long awaited new album out, The Lone Descent. While any new music from OTWATM makes His Lordship's ears stand to attention, an extra bonus for Lord Bassington-Bassington is that this album also comes in a lavish double vinyl version. The music is of course the most important thing, but hey, a record collecting Hound can't help himself, can he?

Kim Larsen. Photo by Mark Liens, post production Diana Daia

So while His Lordship is waiting for the vinyl edition to arrive, in the meantime the living and listening room here at the Manor is filled with the digital sound of The Lone Descent - kindly sent over by Kim Larsen himself.

Suffice to say that so far it sounds not only like Of the Wand and the Moon's best album so far, but definitely the best neofolk album ever produced in Scandinavia. The music is built on the same foundation of softly melancholic neofolk, with occasional bursts of élan, that Kim Larsen does so well, but this time around Mr. Larsen's debt to Lee Hazlewood (which he has covered before) and Ennio Morricone shows more clearly.

If you have the slightest interest in neofolk, you owe yourself this album. Preferably on vinyl.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Hunting season

With autumn coming the hunting season is around the corner. And as Lord Bassington-Bassington is a bit ambivalent about hunting, His Lordship thought he'd leave it up to his old hero Droopy to show how the hunt can be made more enjoyable for both the Hound and its prey.

More lessons to be learned are surely that with a cup of tea and a monocle one can persevere through anything.

Pip pip!

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Tartan Tuesday: Now with turbans!

Lord Bassington-Bassington always finds it interesting to observe cultures colliding. Sometimes the result is a worst-of-both-worlds scenario, something that can be made worse by multiculturalist ideology. At the best of times, what emerges is something that is both excitingly new and reassuringly traditional; a sublime combination of two cultures.

And as Lord Bassington-Bassington both celebrates Tartan Tuesdays and has a soft spot (behind His right ear, if you want to be precise) for Sikhs, what can possibly be better than a combination of the two?

Meet Baron Sirdar Iqbal Singh, a Scottish Laird that is also a Sikh. Baron Singh has not only used some of earnings from his business career to purchase an island and name it after Scottish national poet Robert Burns, he has also participated in the strengthening of Scottish culture by registering his own tartan with the Scottish Tartans Authority.

And quite a fetching tartan it is, too! Imagine a pocket hankie in this tartan. Or a full kilt, if one is so inclined!

Monday, 12 September 2011

Civilized disobedience

The Chap magazine has sought for ten years to satirize what they see as the coarsening of everyday life in Britain in the form of bad manners, rudeness in public and a valorisation of the average and the mediocre, or what they see as consumer conformism. Of course, this is presented ironically in the form of a fogey-ish elitism on their part in defence of a dying older culture, and the position adopted by the magazine’s creators is one of what they call ‘anarcho-dandyism’, resistance to conformism through the cultivation of style and taste.

- Peter Wilkin, The Strange Case of Tory Anarchism

In these dark times, Lord Bassington-Bassington feels the need for a light to show us all the way forward. A way which might, as it happens, also be the way backwards. Luckily, there is a magazine – and a loose movement – dedicated to the best that European civilization has to offer. If you don't subscribe to The Chap already, His Lordship suggests that you do so.

Gustav Temple, editor of The Chap. Photo by Fiona Campbell.

Friday, 9 September 2011

Poland to Paris

Because Lord Bassington-Bassington can never resist a good pseudo-Constructivist poster. And because His Lordship can't resist the idea of Frenchmen bringing the best of Poland to Paris.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

No hounds barred

The field of human-canine understanding takes great leaps forward. In Canada, signs are made canine-friendly, there are psychoanalysts specializing in the canine psyche and many other signs of improvement.

But Lord Bassington-Bassington was especially impressed by how the bakery right around the corner had made special concessions for such as His Lordship. A bar for canine customers! It might not have sharply dressed bartenders, and the selection of drinks left a lot to be desired, but hey – it's a start!

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Bloody loafing

Sometimes, a pair of shoes are what you need to keep going. After July 22., obsessions with strange ideas, European style and bouts of megalomania felt less fun. In a moment of despair, Lord Bassington-Bassington thought about ending these Chronicles for good.

But then, His Lordship chanced upon these oxblood loafers, and got his zest for life - and footwear - back. A more usable version of a pair of loafers that caught his attention earlier in the season, these little darlings are now safely residing in the shoe closet here at Bassington Manor.

Conservative yet casual, sensible yet silly, old-fashioned but also strangely up-to-the-minute. In other words: A bit like His Lordship himself. And like these Chronicles, of course.

With the more formal (brogue-patterned) front and ridiculous back, these shoes are perhaps a bit like the footwear equivalent of the mullet: Business in the front, party in the back.

Perhaps the shoes should be worn with a fez, for a real tassel statement?

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Cultish youths

Easily the most exciting new neofolk band, Cult of Youth continue to tickle Lord Bassington-Bassington's musical tastebuds.

Cult of Youth's relatively recent, eponymous album on Sacred Bones Records is a rare blend of neofolk and hardcore punk energy that probably has been spun 100 times on the turntable here at Bassington Manor.

There's even been a very stylish video made for one of the tracks.

Their latest seven inch on Blind Prophet Records is also a small gem. But then, every Cult of Youth release is worth the money.

But it's live that Cult of Youth really seem to shine, because that's the arena where the restless energy projected by front man Sean Ragon really comes into its own. So here's a live rendition of one of His Lordship's favourite tracks from the album.

In a world of derivative, boring neofolk acts bands like Cult of Youth is what makes the flame still burn in the hearth here at Bassington Manor.

Monday, 5 September 2011

Loveable handles

While already a member of the New Sheridan Club, Lord Bassington-Bassington is currently investigating The Handlebar Club.

This august society, founded in 1947, demands that its member possess "a hirsute appendage of the upper lip, with graspable extremities". So surely the stately whiskers of a Basset Hound qualifies for membership?

In fact, Basset Hounds are so naturally elegant that even Basset ladies (such as the lovely Lucy from Boston seen above) would qualify for membership in the Handlebar Club!

And like any club worth being in, The Handlebar Club has a lovely selection of ties and cufflinks.

Friday, 2 September 2011

Summer ends

(Picture: Gloriously British by Gresham Blake).

The chill in the morning air and the thundering showers means that we are entering the most beautiful season here in the North. A season of soft sweaters, comforting tweeds and - best of all - covert coats.

Let the leaves fall from the trees and the autumn wardrobe leave the cupboards!

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Norway, Home of Giants

Like many Norwegians, Lord Bassington-Bassington has become noticeably more patriotic since the terrible events of this summer.

So in order to increase the understanding and appreciation of Norwegian culture throughout the world, and perhaps increase support for Norwegian-style politics in other countries, His Lordship would like to call his readers' attention this classic documentary.

While an very insightful introduction to Norwegian culture, parts of this documentary might be a bit outdated. For example, the Soviet Union has a different name these days. And ski technology has taken a few leaps in later years.

Part 2 and part 3 also come recommended.

And what better way to illustrate this little ode to Norwegian culture than by a picture of Gustav Beowulf of Lulubelle in a fit of patriotic fervour?