Saturday, 21 December 2013

Casual(ty) ward

Over the years, Lord Bassington-Bassington has reached the point where he will don a tie or bow tie on practically every weekday and social occasion.

You know how it is: You feel naked without a jacket, a jacket needs a pocket handkerchief, and then it all looks wrong without an ironed shirt (which of course is no fun without cufflinks), and an ironed shirt looks sad without some neckwear, and suddenly you're dressed to the nines even if you're only popping out for a pint.

Well, possibly you don't know how it is. Because you just might be a sensible person, because most people are more sensible than Lord Bassington-Bassington. Who, in his defense, is a Hound, not a person.

So this blog post is simply a small assortment of pictures that Lord Bassington-Bassington has found himself returning to for examples of more casual looks that still cut a dash.

This picture comes straight from the Facebook page of Jeffery-West, His Lordship's favourite footwear outfitters.

Because cultures such as mod and skinhead are good places to go when you need to dress down.

This has been shamelessly lifted from the web page of esteemed milliners Lock & Co. And yes, naturally His Lordship ended up getting a hat or two from them.

While this picture of Scottish journalist Vic Galloway is ripped from the Facebook page of tweed dealers Walker Slater, another of His Lordship's favourites.

So, apparently, Lord Bassington-Bassington is now at the point where he considers a three-piece suit to be casual clothing as long as one dispenses with the tie and pocket hankie.

Could someone please refer His Lordship to some sort of dress rehab?

Sunday, 8 December 2013

A dogged theology

Lord Bassington has a deep and abiding interest in various religions, ranging from Satanism to Sufism and with a special passion for various expressions of the Christian traditions, be they conventional, more novel or utterly out there.

When the push comes to shove, though, Lord Bassington-Bassington remains a Caninist of the secular variety, waddling through life without any faith in gods or an afterlife.

So finally, here is a theology that even a Caninist and Atheist can get solidly behind.

(Photo from the Interwebs, thanks to Fraulein Frost for the tip).

Yes, we know. Lord Bassington-Bassington is on a fast track to Doggy Hell.

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

A styling challenge

Corduroy jacket are not just hard wearing - they can also be hard to wear. This is the reason why an olive green cord jacket has been haunting the wardrobe here at Bassington Manor for a few years now. There is nothing wrong with the jacket itself, quite the opposite in fact: Its manufacture is excellent, as it was snached at a sale at a Hackett supplier in London. The problem is how to wear it. How do you accessorise a cord jacket?

As the reader can clearly see, the jacket is a bit too much "geography teacher". Now, teaching is a noble profession, and Lord Bassington-Bassington occasionally finds himself giving lectures (or at least waving his paws and going "woof woof" a lot). But on such occasions, His Lordship tends to prefer tweeds.

So what can be done to liven up this jacket? Perhaps it would be an idea to match it with a fair isle sweater (from Cordings) and a knitted tie (picked up for a couple of euros from a Swedish webshop that was changing its collection).

Ummm, what was that about "geography teacher" again?

So here's another idea: Fill the jacket's lapels with badges and other neofolk bling for a slightly post-punky look.

Again: No. The badges don't work at all. Perhaps they would work better if they advertised the Socialist Worker's Party and FNL Solidarity or something. And then we're not even in teacher territory anymore, we're in leftist teacher territory. Not to belittle the great leftist teacher Lord Bassington-Bassington was exposed to in younger years, but they werem't exactly style icons.

While there are certainly leftists that can out-dress anyone on the right, Lord Bassington-Bassington is more comfortable with a more conservative look. So perhaps the jacket can be saved by a touch of tweed - a reassuringly reactionary fashion statement?

No. Njet. Nein. Nie. The pocket hankie and bow tie don't work at all.

But there must be a simple fix, an all-round accessory that can elevate any outfit. Perhaps...

Well, there we are. Perfection! Winthrope always helps out.

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Lovecraftian film favourites

There's a steady stream of Lovecraft flicks trickling out these days. Most of these are ultra-low-budget fan adaptations who actually tend to be better than the major movies, because they tend to stick more closely to Lovecraft's original stories. Still, for someone like Lord Bassington-Bassington, whose approach to Lovecraft is through an interest in the numinous they tend to leave a bit to be desired. For frankly, very few of these films manage to maintain the sense of the mystical and otherworldly that one gets from Lovecraft's best stories.

Lord Bassington-Bassington was a bit disappointed by the recent adaptation of The Whispererer in Darkness. For instead of cosmic horror, the creators seemed to want a science fiction adventure film. As an aside, Lord Bassington-Bassington has actually found that Whisperer is better on the second watching, as one won't be disappointed by what one gets. And anyway, it made His Lordship read a whole biography of Charles Fort.

But some films really manage to maintain the mystical and mysterious. So without further digressions here's a few of His Lordship's favourite short Lovecraft adaptations.

Nyarlathotep was one of the first Lovecraftian amateur productions Lord Bassington-Bassington ever saw, and it still has a special place in his heart. The film is available on DVD as part of Lurker Films' Lovecraft Collection, and is an essential addition to any Lovecraftian household.

Sweden is a happening place for Lovecraftian adaptations, apparently. This production is also available on DVD, which includes some spiffy behind-the-scenes features, and has already found its way to the shelves here at Bassington Manor. Lord Bassington-Bassington would like to claim that this is part of his policy of supporting independent artists, but in reality it might be mostly due to His Lordship's sad collector's mania.

Oh, go and see the film Nightgaunts too, by the same people.

Alexander Pavlenko delivers an excellent interpretation of Lovecraft's story "The Temple", Lovecraft's treatment of the Atlantis myth. And while on the subject of lost worlds, Mr. Pavlenko's meditation on Jewish life in Russia (or is it the Ukraine?) is certainly worth seven minutes of your time. See it here.

And looking forward, Lord Bassington-Bassington suspects that the new film Miskatonic University might be worth seeing.

Perhaps it's time for another Lovecraftian film festival...

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Altarior motives

Peter Horneland is a Norwegian artist based in Oslo. Mr. Horneland is not only talented, but also sports an impressive moustache - something that rarely fails to win extra points here at the Lord Bassington-Bassington Chronicles. The young artist has already created several intriguing artworks, but Lord Bassington-Bassington was particularly taken with his cycle Altarspace, which explores the sacred and sacrificial.

The altars of Mr. Horneland reminds Lord Bassington-Bassington of the ritual works of Halo Manash in that they seemingly belong to all, and none, religious traditions and esoteric currents. And His Lordship suspects that the young man might win a prominent place in that subcurrent of Scandinavian artists working in the weird and esoteric, such as Karen Nikgol, Fredrik Söderberg and Johannes Høie.

Surely there is some sort of sinister influence at work up here in the far North.

Thursday, 17 October 2013

A craving for cravats

Tomorrow is cravat day in Croatia. And if you wonder why the country has a day dedicated to a piece of neckwear, it helps to know that the very word "cravat" is developed from Croat. Indeed, the custom of tying a piece of stylish cloth around one's neck spread around Europe after Croatian mercenaries were seen sporting some very stylish neckpieces.

The oldest known depiction of a cravat. Naturally, sported by a Croatian.

As such, the question isn't why Croatia has a cravat day, but why the rest of Europe doesn't celebrate this excellent piece of neckwear as well. Lord Bassington-Bassington is certainly planning to get in on the action.

But what of the cravat today? Here in Norway, the cravat has long been associated with certain insufferable upper-class types, eminently parodied by legendary comedian Trond Kirkvaag. Unfortunately, this clip only seems to be available in Norwegian, but even non-Weegies should get the point.

In many ways, the cravat has fallen from favour, a sad fact that is also reflected in contemporary style books. While perusing a rather entertaining tome known as The Chic Geek's Fashion, Grooming and Style Guide for Men, Lord Bassington-Bassington came across the following passage:

Cravats. This is a difficult one. Because the tie has become so much smaller, the big voluptuous cravat looks wrong at the moment. If you can find a way of making the cravat seem casual - and this will depend on the fabric and pattern - then try it but generally one to avoid.

Well, with His Lordship being the natural contrarian that he is, it wasn't hard to predict what would happen next.

For if there's one thing that punk rock should have taught us, it is that when dressing in the morning, one's ability to annoy boring conformists should definitely be a factor. And as today's boring conformists are people who wear jeans and t-shirts and think they are rock'n’roll rebels, or wear suits because they have to but skip the ties because they think that shows individuality, cravats are the new bondage collars.

Oh bondage up yours!

So it shouldn’t surprise anyone that Lord Bassington-Bassington has amassed a small collection of cravats. And what would be the use of having one's own private Chronicles if one can't inflict one's peccadilloes on the world?

His Lordship’s cravats are, from left to right, a vintage item bought at a flea market in Lisbon, a summery cravat from Holland Esquire, a skull and paisley-patterned loveliness from Jeffery West and a nice and heavy number from New & Lingwood that is great for the current season.

Lord Bassington-Bassington's most recent acquisition on the cravat front was a vintage piece from legendary manufacturer Tootal, bought from eBay. And here modelled by the lovely Balbina Basseti, who hereby makes her debut on the fashion scene.

So cravat up! You know you want to. Unless you don’t. Which is also fine. Sort of.

Friday, 4 October 2013

Live in Oslo

Because neofolk concerts can be a great choice for a civilized night out, and because concerts by In Gowan Ring has become something of a yearly tradition in these parts, here are some pictures from Sangre de Muerdago
and In Gowan Ring's performance in Oslo yesterday. Thanks to The Light Thief for snapping.

And here's a picture of Sangre de Muerdago from last Saturday, playing at the punk squat Blitz in Oslo.

Suede operators

Yes, Lord Bassington-Bassington has a long-standing interest in various street style cults such as skinheads and suedeheads. It has even escalated to the point where His Lordship commissioned artworks inspired by those cults.

And as Lord Bassington-Bassington is still a bit high after Cock Sparrer's recent concert in Oslo, here's a few more or less random pictures stolen from the Internet to pay tribute to some of the greatest style cults ever.


Friday, 27 September 2013

Dandified canines

The British artist Julian Quaye has produced some stunning studies of superbly stylish canines. With the artist's kind permission Lord Bassington-Bassington would like to share them with the readers of the Chronicles.

From a Bassetological standpoint Mr. Quaye's work has some obvious flaws. Where is the master race, one might ask. But Lord Bassington-Bassington isn't going to let the lack of droopy jowls and droopier ears detract from his enjoyment of these magnificent pieces. And His Lordship certainly feels tempted to acquire a piece or two.

This is how stylish canines can hope to be. As for humans – those hairless apes – they are beyond help. Lord Bassington-Bassington can only hope that they will realize what is good for them.

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Nightmarish reviews

About a decade ago, Lord Bassington-Bassington fell asleep while reading a collection of tales by Clark Ashton Smith – and ended up being awakened by the sound of his own screams. Realizing that this might be the ultimate compliment for a writer of weird (or horror) fiction, this experience has inspired His Lordship to launch a completely new form of literary criticism.

The Hypnocritical Method is deceptively simple: One reads a book, goes to sleep and later recounts the dreams the book inspires. In short, one gets one's subconscious (if such a thing exists; Lord Bassington-Bassington doesn't really buy all this Freudian stuff) to do the work. One could of course insinuate that only a Basset Hound could come up with a form of literary criticism where sleepi is essential to the method. But such insinuations will be sharply rejected by Lord Bassington-Bassington - before His Lordship goes back to dozing on the sofa.

Reading Joseph S. Pulver, Sr's Blood Will Have Its Season on a recent trip to Copenhagen (a trip which might have coincided with Rome playing there) gave Lord Bassington-Bassington some rather magnificent nightmares. The first night, spent in a comfortable cabin on a huge ship, brought on three distinct dreams.

Mr. Pulver (top) and his magnificent moustache (bottom)

The first dream was of a poltergeist phenomenon, and a rather spooky one at that. It didn't help that His Lordship woke up at 1 a.m. because the television had turned itself on.

The second was of three men dressed as Sikhs. Sadly, Lord Bassington-Bassington doesn't remember much of this dream. He hopes it was creepy.

The third was of meeting weird writer W.H. Pugmire on the bus. It possibly has something to do with Mr. Pugmire being referenced in the book, but also with Lord Bassington-Bassington having long wanted to meet "The Queen of Eldritch Horror".

Mr. Pugmire. About to embark on a bus journey?

The next night had a truly beautiful rainstorm raging outside the hotel window, and brought on an epic (or perhaps just a bit long-winded) dream about vampirism. Splendid!

Lord Bassington-Bassington, who actually has a past as a literature student, could of course share his opinions about Mr. Pulver's literary style, reference the author's inspirations (Lovecraft etc), discuss the standard of editing and proofreading of the book and so on.

But to heck with that. Let's read, sleep – and dream. And perhaps wake up screaming.

Blood Will Have Its Season rates four sweat-soaked pillows out of five. Get it here.

Friday, 6 September 2013

Delayed tape

Gyron V is an example of the rarest of flowers: A Norwegian neofolk band. They're slowly but steadily getting a cult following of sorts by playing on the art circuit, and also recently opened for Blood Axis. Though Lord Bassington-Bassington's favourite Gyron V gig will always be the set they played at his and lady Mju's combined stag-and-hen-party.

Gyron V has some rather charming self-released (and self-made!) records behind him, but here, finally, is the proper debut.

Muscae Volitantes marks the tenth anniversary of Gyron V's existence and is released on an ultra-limited tape which should appeal to anyone with the slightest hint of geekiness. Not least to Lord Bassington-Bassington, who dabbled in tape trading in the olden days, and who feels sweet waves of nostalgia wash over him when he holds this frail piece of plastic in his paws.

It doesn't hurt, of course, that Muscae Volitantes is a pretty solid release. It runs the gamut of Gyron V's reportoire, from folk songs to more metal-inspired stuff and the occasional arty electronic touch. The stand-out track, though, is "Shepherd of the Owls". This is not only the best neofolk track ever produced in Norway, it's pretty close to a perfect new-wavey neofolk pop songs. In short - a real hoot.

Go get it already. You can also get it electronically, if you don't share Lord Bassington-Bassington's luddist tendencies.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Friday, 30 August 2013

Rumour control

The rumours have been circulating for a while now, so Lord Bassington-Bassington would once again like to put the record straight: His Lordship is not planning a pop career under the name Lord Baba.

The following picture, produced by notorious Internet busybody Sara Dee, has been circulated as proof of these outrageous claims. But come on! Obviously the picture looks nothing like Lord Bassington-Bassington. The ears are... And the 'tache. And...

Well, alright. It is the spitting image of His Lordship. But jumping Jehosephat, it's still not him!

Not Lord Bassington-Bassington. No. Nein. Njet.

That Miss Dee should keep an eye open for Basset assassins in the future.

Monday, 19 August 2013

Rite at the end ov summer

Being a bit "old school" (preferably one of those schools with plenty of ivy on the walls) Lord Bassington-Bassington never quite got into the downloading thing. Streaming is fine for when one doesn't have access to one's vinyl collection, but His Lordship still has problems relating to music he can't hold in his paw in some way. There is a reassurance in actual physical objects; like anchors in a time of flux.

There's also the moral issue. Downloading may not be killing music, but it has certainly contributed to making it harder to live off it. And services such as Spotify, while legal, pay a pittance to the artists.

But hey, all of this might be an elaborate argument to distract from the fact that Lord Bassington-Bassington is one of those slightly hopeless collectors who desperately need justification for their disease.

So perhaps His Lordship should be happy that his favourite recent release is only available in electronic format. The Rites of Summer is a compilation, a collaboration between two of His Lordship's favourite neofolk acts, Swedish sensation Solblot and Alpine ascendants Jännerwein (who have already created a charming video for their contribution) and sundry satellite acts. All paying tribute to the summer by playing some spiffing tunes.

Well, there's little point in elaborating further. You get the point – that Lord Bassington-Bassington thinks this is swell. So in short, if you're only going to download one Swedo-Austrian conceptual neofolk compilation this summer, this should be it.

Sunday, 28 July 2013

An alpine summer

A perfect little neofolk summer song, courtesy of those lovely Whiners.

Friday, 5 July 2013

Summer essentials

Summer has well and truly arrived, even here in the cold North. So as a small salute to the season we present a small selection of Lord Bassington-Bassington's summer essentials.

Sunglasses by Persol because one needs protect His Lordship's eyes. T-Shirt because this is after all the season for going casual and enjoying the sun. Seven inch record because one has a thing for Of the Wand and the Moon. Tiki mug because, well, it wouldn't be summer without a Tiki drink or ten. Book to motivate one to exercise, because decadence needs to be balanced by discipline. Runic bandana because one needs bandanas when doing the above-mentioned exercise. And Basset because, well, Bassets are always essential – and right for every season.

Have a good summer. The Lord Bassington-Bassington Chronicles will return in the fall.

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Germanic bear search

When a good friend of Lord Bassington-Bassington visited Norway recently, he brought with him a small selection of Alpine leather accoutrements which (sadly) didn't fit His Lordship. So in the spirit of generosity, Lord Bassington-Bassington decided to hold a Great Germanic Bear Search for some of his friends.

The concept was simple: A bit like the fairytale about Cinderella, but with fewer petite feet and glass slippers, and more hairy bellies and leather.

The guys get ready, trying on which leather pieces fit (all pictures courtesy of The Cub Scout).

Mr. Huseby tries to look extra Germanic by posing in front of a Bavarian flag. A Blutharsch beer stein helps too.

Frater Zog tries the same maneuver, but goes even further. But to little avail.

For it was easy to see that Superfritz would be the winner of the Germanic Bear Search. Hardly surprising, what with him being a demigod and all.

The two runner-ups try to score some extra points by flirting with the camera and showing a bit of leg.

At this point, the "bear" theme of the evening got a little overtaken by the "beer" theme. There was also a bit of cuddly Kameradschaft with a certain Mullah who isn't exactly known for his adversity to strong drink.

For as the good Mullah said in a recent fatwa: "Many Sufi poets compare wine with love and love with God. And if it is so, there can be no sin in letting God flow through you. Even if it might be a bit inappropriate for the stream to end in the toilet. But as the Christian tradition teaches us, God moves in mysterious ways".

And later in the evening, the bears walked happily off to see Blood Axis play.

The end.


Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Racial supremacy

This film makes Lord Bassington-Bassington wonder if someone has found some old notes from His Lordship's forebear, Hans B.K. Günther – the slightly demented gentleman better known as "Bassen-Günther." In fact, the only thing separating this film from the late Hound's bizarre ramblings are the lack of mumblings about the international Beagle conspiracy.

But then, there are films such as this. Which show pure poetry in motion.

This clinches it! "Bassen-Günther" was right! Basset Hounds are the master race.

Bassetocracy now!

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Unconventional conventionalists

Lord Bassington-Bassington has just returned from the bi-annual conference of the European Society for the Study of Western Esotericism, held in Gothenburg.

Despite coming from a line of great thinkers Lord Bassington-Bassington himself hasn't exactly distinguished himself as an intellectual. Unless, by "intellectual" you mean "obessing about things few others care about", in which case His Lordship is practically a new Einstein.

So instead of trying to say something meaningful about the superb conference program, Lord Bassington-Bassington took a Jungian descent into silliness at the closing dinner, which was held at the Masonic Hall in the heart of Gothenburg. So here are pictures of a few, to borrow a turn of phrase from the Rocky Horror Picture Show, "unconventional conventionalists".

As usual, we here at the Chronicles apologies for the shoddy photography. If you want professional-looking style pictures taken with a proper camera, go read The Sartorialist or something. We here at the Chronicles are proudly punk in that respect.

This look demonstrates that all one needs to look spiffy is a cravat. Though posing in a Masonic Hall is also a good style tip.

Like the turban, the kippah is one of those pieces of headwear that go with absolutely anything. And one of the few head coverings that men can wear indoors without breaching etiquette (or looking like a ruffian).

Surely this is the way to wear a brown shirt: With a colourful tie and a warm smile. And a lively interest in the coolest film ever made.

When, like Per Faxneld, you are an expert on Satanism, it is fun to wear as little black as possible.

While George Sieg rocks a more subcultural academic look, which fit the occasion well. After all, Gothenburg does translate as the "City of Goths".

Lord Bassington-Bassington's dear friend Frater Zog really matches the interior.

A Harvard tie, magnificent beard and some stylish slippers are quite the trinity of style. Lord Bassington-Bassington hereby considers stylistic Unitarianism (also known as minimalism) disproven once and for all.

Mark Sedgwick isn't just the author of the monumental Against the Modern World, but also a scholar of Islam. And, as such, surely entitled to wear the the no-tie look.

Kenneth Granholm gets a lot of respect for his magnificent muttonchops and perfect Lemmy impersonation. But let's not forget that he is an interesting scholar too.

In closing, let Lord Bassington-Bassington acknowledge that, yes, this little report is as "gentlemen only" as the Masonic lodges here in Scandinavia. This is not meant as a slight to the ladies, a group Lord Bassington-Bassington is rather fond of.

But while there were some extraordinarily stylish ladies present at the conference, the style section of The Lord Bassington-Bassington Chronicles tends to have a focus on male dress. And so a male-only style report is defensible.

Well, that's the excuse anyway. For the real reason for the lack of ladies is that His Lordship is much too shy to approach strange ladies and ask if he can take their pictures.