Being a record of the ruminations, ramblings and obsessions of a Hound of the noblest breed (or so His Lordship claims, anyway). The focus being on dark music and culture, style, spirituality and - naturally – Basset Hounds.
Welcome to the chronicles of Lord Bassington-Bassington, coming to you from Little Storping in the Swuff – a quaint place located somewhere between England’s Lake District and the outskirts of the Norwegian capital.
This is intended as a log of His explorations of music, books, films and so on. I, your humble chronicler, is merely His Lordship’s secretary.
For more information on Lord Bassington-Bassington, please confer this blog’s opening post. Contacts can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
One of Lord Bassington-Bassington's favourite new neofolk acts these last few years has been Austrian-based Jännerwein. A charming little band that shows great promise, but which, like many new neofolk bands, has been a bit caught in the genre.
Lord Bassington-Bassington feels that music is a bit like cooking: The challenge isn’t so much to create something original (which is easy), but to make something exciting and interesting with the ingredients that are already available. But then, Lord Bassington-Bassington, being a Hound wont to think with his stomach, more or less relates everything to cooking.
Thus, it is with great pleasure that Lord Bassington-Bassington can report that Jännerwein's new album Nach der Sehnsucht takes a great stride away from formulaic neofolk. For those non-German speakers out there the title translates into something like “Towards the Longing”, a nicely romantic (and possibly pretentious) title if there ever was one.
While it maintains the underground and Industrial feel that is such an integral part of the neofolk experience, the songs on Nach der Sehnsucht are more lively, more varied, more self-assured. Just better. In fact, Nach der Sehnsucht is such a rare treat for the neofolk lover that it has been on heavy repeat here at Bassington Manor for the last week, forcing all other records to retreat.
A nice development here at Bassington Manor has been that Lady Mju has become hooked on Nach der Sehnsucht, too. And as Paolo Hewitt once remarked about The Style Council: "(...) the group did gain new converts, and they were mainly female. In pop music, this is always a good sign".
And once the references to classic British music journalism start appearing, the question of what nickname Jännerwein should have inevitably appears. While "the Whiners" and "the Wieners" both have their charm, but Lord Bassington-Bassington is looking for something more catchy. Any suggestions?
Brilliant illustrator Tini Malitius has a new project: interpreting words. And after some gentle nudging from Lord Bassington-Bassington she consented to tackle what is surely the most beautiful word in the world.
This, of course, reminds us that the redesign promised above never happened. Well, Lord Bassington-Bassington would like to blame this on His Lordship's inherent conservatism, but laziness might have more to do with it.
Having taken an obsession with covert coats to absurd levels (at last count, the wardrobe here at Basssington Manor held five to eight variations on the coat, depending on how strictly one defines the covert coat) Lord Bassington-Bassington was happy to find this opportunity to take his love one step further.
A jacket in covert material!
This is definitely something for Lord Bassington-Bassington to consider, but the basic jacket needs to be tweaked a bit. A velvet collar would work perfectly. And the jacket could be made a little longer... and doggone it! Suddenly it's yet another covert coat.
Bassington Manor is, of course, in possession of a cuckoo clock. But surely any proper manor needs more than one clock. And while waddling around the Internet, Lord Bassington-Bassington came across this lovely clock.
As Lord Bassington-Bassington sadly lacks the means to employ a butler, this talking alarm clock might be the next best thing. Especially since the clock comes with recordings of Stephen Fry, an actor His Lordship has a certain fondness for (to put it mildly). Especially Mr. Fry's portrayal of quintessential gentleman's gentleman Reginald Jeeves.
On days like this, when the darkness descends upon the North and makes the bright summer night seem like naught but a memory, one needs to dream of a warm evening.
This is an excerpt from In Gowan Ring's performance in Maridalen outside of Oslo this summer. A magical evening of fantastic food, good drinks and exquisite company. Thanks so much to Mr. Folky Churchwarden for bringing In Gowan Ring to Norway once more.
An interesting recapitulation of the evening (in Norwegian) can be found here.
Swedish accessory specialist Mannby & Rörling was first brought to Lord Bassington-Bassington 's attention by that illustrious Swedish association known as The Drones Club.
Mannby & Rörling's business idea (though M & R looks more like a hobby than a business at this point) is irresistible: Small-scale production of handmade bow ties, ties and pocket hankies. Mannby & Rörling seem open to interesting challenges, too - the diamond-tip bow tie in tweed they created for The Drones Club is nothing less than stunning.
A pocket square in their Tartanic pattern might perhaps match Lord Bassington-Bassington's beloved tie in Singh Tartan.
Cursing. Most humans do it, but if you ask Lord Bassington-Bassington, they tend to do it badly. Curses usually revolve around references to human copulation (disgusting stuff, in any Basset hound’s opinion) or blasphemy (boring, to anyone grown up on heavy metal). The art of cursing needs to be rescued. And who better to teach the world the noble art of cursing than a Satanist?
Enter sharp-dressed iconoclast Anton LaVey, founder of the Church of Satan. Like most religious teachers, be they Christians, Muslims (or, indeed, Humanists) Lord Bassington-Bassington has his his differences with Mr. Lavey's teachings, but he has usually gotten on swimmingly with LaVey’s followers (and LaVey himself, the one time His Lordship was fortunate enough to spend some time with him). They are simply nicer than they would like you to believe.
But not only was LaVey the founder of one of the most interesting new religious movements of the last century, he was also a master curser. This list is of creative curses is from a copy of The Cloven Hoof, issue 129 (1997).
"for the love of mike!" – "zounds!" – "for pete's sake!" – "gadzooks!" – "for crying out loud!" – "criminetles!" – "leaping lizards!” – "pish! tosh!" – "hell's bells!” – "suffering succotash!" – "cheese and crackers...(got all muddy!)" – "land's sakes!" – "me oh my!" – "well, blow me down!" – "what the hey!" – "son of a gun!" – "hail columbia!" – "well, i swan! " – "son of a bee hive!" – "swear to god!" – "hot dog!" – "gol dang it!" – "i'll be buttered!" – "gosh darn it!" – "what in blue blazes!" – "dag nab it!" – "what the sam hill!" – "doggone it!" – "what the deuce!" – "i'll be doggoned!" – "dog my cats!" – "jiminy crickets!" – "good grief!" – "shoot!" – "holy cow!" – "fiddlesticks!" – "by golly!" – "i'll be a monkey's uncle!" – "gripes!" – "egads!" – "jeez!" – "you're full of prunes!" – "by golly!" – "none of your beeswax!" – "by gum!" – "for criminy sakes!" – "by jupiter!" – "shucks!" – "omigosh!" – "what the (heck!)" – "excuse my dust!" – "don't stop now!" – "by heck!" – "this'll kill ya!" – "you don't say!" – "oh, fudge!" – "good grief!" – "h-e-double toothpicks!" – "good heavens!" – "land sakes!" – "go to blazes!" – "sakes alive!" – "heavens to betsy!" – "well, i'll be!" – "jumping jehosephat!" – "great scott!" – "lord love a duck!" – "great balls of fire!" – "holy moley!" – "glorioski!" – "saints preserve us!" – "land o goshen!" – "good gravy!" – "tarnation!" – "consarn – "shiver me timbers!" – "yumping yimminy!" – "oy, veh iz mir!" – "if dat don't take de cake!" – "shut my mouth!" – "yikes!" – "mama mia!" – "the cat's pajamas!" – "the monkey's instep!" – "s.o.b!" – "son of a sea cook!" – "son of a biscuit!" – "pshaw!" – "bushwa!" – "zut alors!" – "aw, nertz!" – "oh, nuts!" – "golly!" – "golly gee!" – "holy moses!" – "by jove!" – "gosh almighty!" – "goodness gracious!" – "good gravy!" – "by george!" – "great guns!" – "holy cats!" – "confound it!" – "gee whillikers!" – "gee whiz!" – "godfrey daniel!" – "cut it out...you're – killin' me!" – "good heavens!" – "holy smoke!" – "by cracky!" – "my stars!" – "judas priest!" – "bless my soul!" – "upon my word!" – "the cat's meow!" – "jiminy christmas!" – "blimey!" – "honest injun!" – "caramba!" – "i'll be a dirty – so and so!" – "i'll be darned!" – "how d'ye like that!" – "whadda ya know about that!" – "gimme a break!" – "hang it all!" – "ain't it the truth!" – "shadrack, mesach, and a billy goat!" – "three cheers & a tiger!" – "aw, figs!" – "fan my brow!" – "tan my hide!" – "great day in the morning!" – "glory be!" – "holy mackerel!" – "heavenly days!" – "stuff and nonsense!" – "my aching back!" – "for pity's sakes!" – "whadda ya gonna do!" – "that's telling 'em – "well, strike me pink!" – "you don't say!" – "sez you!" – "so's your old man!" – "your mudder wears army shoes!" – "go chase yourself!"
Lord Bassington-Bassington would like to thank Reverend Kevin I. Slaughter for transcribing this list.
It might not be the best band in the universe, as their take on neofolk tends towards the formulaic. They definitely do not have the best name. Still, Lord Bassington-Bassington has a rather large soft spot for King Dude.
Despite their flaws, King Dude have a lot going on for them, in His Lordship's humble opinion. Not only do they play neofolk that's a bit punky, something Lord Bassington-Bassington quite appreciates, they also have a fine sense of the mystical.
And when they also have the good taste to get their recordings issued on vinyl, it’s impossible for a certain long-eared Lord to not want to support them. So His Lordship have recently purchased Tonight's Special Death...
And while researching this little blog post it was brought to His Lordship's attention that King Dude have yet another record out soon on Dais Records. Definitely something for His Lordship and other neofolk connoiseurs to pre-order!
It's been fun to do the Café Grössenwahn, and we here at the Chronicles would like to thank all the jolly and sharp-dressed people that helped make it so magical. Especially Solblot, Tony Wakeford, Kentin Jivek, The Green Man and Spiritual Front, who all travelled great distances to entertain us.
Tattoos. Lord Bassington-Bassington never really cared much for them. While tattoo enthusisasts like to refer to their adornments as "body art", Lord Bassington-Bassington has tended to find that, frankly, tattoos are at best "body kitsch", and at their worst pure "body crap".
But even a Hound of conservative tastes has to admit that sometimes opinions need to be revised. Much has happened in the world of tattooing in the last decades, techniques have taken giant leaps, and tattoos look better than they ever have. Moreover, His Lordship seems to be surrounded by people with stunning examples of what contemporary tattooists can achieve.
The main problem with tattoos, though, is that there's really only one thing worth adorning one's body with. So Lord Bassington-Bassington was inspired to take a small ramble through the Internet to see how today's tattoo enthusiasts are doing in that department.
While Lord Bassington-Bassington is a great fan of cocktail culture, there is something very wrong with this tattoo.
And far from of the noble Basset's soulfully drooping looks, this hound just looks like it listens too much to My Chemical Romance.
But now we're talking! This delightful duo comes much closer to capturing the true elegance of the Basset.
As could be expected, representatives of Lord Bassington-Bassington's favourite Scandinavian publishers, Malört förlag, recently partcipated in the Stockholm edition of the tweedy rides that seem to be spreading like, well, a fire in a tweed factory (perish the thought!)
This picture captured Mr. Rosenberg and a more mysterious compatriot celebrating the better things in life. Like tweed and bikes.
But then, it's already an established fact that Malört is an extraoridnarily well-dressed publisher.
There's no denying that Lord Bassington-Bassington moves in circles where the phenomenon of steampunk is held in a certain regard. And while the Victorian futurism of steam and clockwork has a certain appeal to anyone with a nostalgic bent, His Lordship has always felt that steampunk is slightly overrated. So imagine his elation when stumbling upon the eminent webpage Your Scene Sucks, which features a brilliantly acidic write-up on steampunks.
Here at Bassington Manor, "steampunk" is what happens when His Lordship's secretary irons shirts with the iron on a steam setting – while listening to old punk records.
While on the subject of handlebar moustaches, Lord Bassington-Bassington's better three-quarters, Lady Mju, brought these cufflinks to His Lordship's attention. And they are rather iresistible, aren't they? If not divine?
In honour of our Tartan Tuesdays, Lord Bassington-Bassington thought it fitting to remind his readers that perhaps the most famous Basset hound ever, more famous than Droopy, yes possibly even more famous than Lord Bassington-Bassington himself, is Scottish.
As His Lordship is currently in the mood for graphic art adaptations of Lovecraft, Lord Bassington-Bassington thought it appropriate to bring the world news of an exciting Lovecraftian development here in Norway.
Graphic art maestro Kim Holm (who, among other things, have produced wonderful studies of none other than Lord Bassington-Bassington himself) has just released the first version of his adaptation of the Lovecraft short story "Pickman's Model".
The first version can be purchased here, and if you are a Lovecraft fanatic like Lord Bassington-Bassington you will want this gem in your collection. Here at Bassington Manor, we will soon need a separate bookshelf just for His Lordship’s Lovecraftiana.
Those of a less obsessive nature can read the work for free on the Interwebs.
But Lord Bassington-Bassington is really looking forward to the full version, which is promised in November.
Tweed Runs are launched in New York City. And they appear to be sponsored by Ralph Lauren.
Being a big stodgy, Lord Bassington-Bassington is a bit unsure what to make of this. Is this a good thing, or not?
On the one hand, it is good that Tweed Runs spread out like the splendid idea that they are. It is also good that the joys of tweed are spread to people that would otherwise be in danger of wearing streetwear.
And it must be said that Ralph Lauren's Rugby collection, which is showcased at the Tweed Run, contains some glorious pieces of clothing.
Such as these tweed slippers. Perhaps His Lordship has finally found the slippers of his dreams?
On the other hand, it is a little sad that global fashion houses get in on the act, as Lord Bassington-Bassington does tend to agree with critiques of these companies' business practices.
While on the subject of Cyclobe, Lord Bassington-Bassington thought it appropriate to mention Ossian Brown's new book, Haunted Air, a pictorial exploration of Halloweens past. The introduction by filmmaker David Lynch is also quite interesting reading.
This book makes Lord Bassington-Bassington long for Halloween. And the book trailer, of course, creates an intense need to see John Carpenter's horror classic again.
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?
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.
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.