micromuseum vinyl

micromuseum 5

The vast majority of my vinyl collection consists of LPs but I have a small number of singles. Some of them have great covers. Here is a selection.

This is a re-packaging of music probably about 30 or 40 years old at the time of release. Being a child of the time I particularly love the late 50s early 60s design style.

This one’s not so tasteful though. It’s from 1958 and possibly shows that UK design standards were behind US at this time. Still it’s colourful and is not totally without charm. And another example of the then booming market in 45 inch singles. Here’s the liner notes.

Yes, indeed it’s Party Time – and there’s nothing like a good old sing-song to get YOUR party under way. The drinks may be flowing nicely, the cigarette smoke curling up to the ceiling… and here’s the record to get even that non-drinker non-smoker sitting over there in the corner, to join in the fun.

You couldn’t have better guests than the Embassy Singers and Players, champion ice-breakers when you want things to go with a swing. They’ve brought along a dozen of the most popular songs of the century – so gather round your record-player, turn up the volume control (if all your neighbours are present) and let it rip. All together now…

I love this portrait of Los Llopis. It’s obvious that the outer pair are brothers (presumably Manuel & Francisco Llopis). But I like to think that the two in the middle are brothers too. All I can find is that the other two musicians are called Manolo Vegas (vocals) and Leandro (saxophone). So Leandro could have been a Vegas too. Maybe he didn’t use his surname so people wouldn’t know.

Finally a younger single – from 1967 this one. I bought it a few years ago from a charity shop. Not much to say about its design qualities. Not too much to it other than choosing between a couple of fonts and matching colours, but it’s an interesting enough photograph of what looks to be a press conference promoting Chaplin‘s last ever film. Sitting alongside the director is the film’s female star, Sophia Loren,while the male lead, Marlon Brando, is behind on the left. I’ve never seen this film, which pretty much bombed apparently on first release. I’d like to see it some time, because it strikes me that Chaplin wasn’t capable of making a bad film.

literature music

Lupus Rufus

I believe that in the future, streaming live music is going to be something that grows exponentially (up to a certain point). I’m not in a situation where I could plan to do it now, but I have it in mind and as a first tentative step I thought I would record some live songs. It’s easy enough to pick up a guitar and a microphone and record that and that’s a song, but using the loop pedal allows me to put a bit more music in than the bare bones. In the end I chickened out and dubbed the vocals over the top. Not very well either. Still it’s just a demo, that’s all.

The song is one I recorded as a demo before sometime. I haven’t listened back to it yet to see which one I prefer. It’s called lupus rufus and is dedicated to the poetry of DH Lawrence, in fact it largely consists of images and inferences from the poems. The first verse is set in Nottinghamshire, the second in West Penwith, the third in New Mexico and the last one in the Land of the Dead, or maybe that should be the River of the Dead. Ask Girflet.

By the way the track is 7 and a half minutes long.

Lupus Rufus


Fool’s Gold Part I

More old writing. This dates from about 1982/3 and is headed Imaginary Dialogue (Notes towards a drama). This is part 1 of 3 or 4. The illustrations are new.
It couldn’t have been him – he was washed out, insipid – raw egg dribbled from his ears.

Can you describe anything like that as being “understated”. Surely it’s a contradiction in terms?

We grew up quietly and almost supernaturally. Mother never allowed us to eat at table. Father ignored us largely.

I’ve had enough. If it isn’t you following me and repeating everything I say like some sort of echo.

Don’t deprive me of my crutch. Give it to me.

Wishbones – I’ve seen plenty but I never thought I’d break into this sort of sordid scene. Imagine you’re listening to the radio. Outside it’s pouring with rain. You’re recovering from a serious illness.

Pay attention, this concerns you. At least I think it does. Were you in the sports shop last Saturday?

A vast and ungainly vacuum-cleaner has drifted from the western littoral leaving countless debris in its wake.

I am known to my friends as Hilgarth. They look on me as an unconditional protector steeped in the ways of the Hunswitch and ideal for the purpose of distraction. Their simple legends tell most often of a roaming wolf who knows all the tongues of the Helterland.

Everything you say – every little syllable – would stick in a decent young girl’s throat… and probably choke her.


Lowly as I seem…

He tempted her with sweetmeats and all fine delicacies – softening her palate and ruining her complexion.

Have you been out half-way up the hill before breakfast again?

Did he say “depraved” or “deprived”?

After I had grappled for about half an hour with six of them I managed to escape during a torrential storm. Half of my cheek was hanging loose. Later an old seamstress sewed it back up. But it was then that I knew I had lost my radiant beauty, which had, needless to say, until then, been my livelihood. So that’s what made me take up golf. Seriously, that is. I had played before. But with more enthusiasm than effectiveness.

He drones like a sieve.

A calling! What calling?

Draped in some sort of luminous tent.

No… never… not unless, no I can’t. It’s too much to ask – even of me – you can’t – we mustn’t – not for anything – you must believe me – give up this whole idea – listen!

Here come and have some of this soup. And here’s some for you. Take it Tarvle – there’s plenty left in the bowl for me.

I’ve savoured something of the Natile hospitality before, so I know what’s required here.

Bilge-water fit only for bilge-rats.

So he went up to the window of the motorcycle accessory shop and before I knew what I was seeing he put his lips to the glass and it was like he was sucking it all in – all the glass, that is.

Particoloured, favourised, slowly melting, hues of purple and aniseed grey, stripped of all outer partitioning.

My chilblains, of course.

Muy rápido, señor.

A corruption of an earlier text, blown up to an exact size and then left on a suitable doorstep. Could we have asked for more?

On a grey bench, in a park, on a sunny morning. That’s when it happened.

After all, it’s not unlike your face – and you would never describe yourself as burnt-out, would you?

See where yonder white lodge breaks against the morning’s stillness. Behind you will find a boathouse. A craft awaits you there.

How should I know? I saw him passing through the conservatory, but I certainly didn’t ask him to remove his footwear.

C’est pas ma faute. J’ai suivi ma destinée.

A slow, extinguishing noise that made my flesh tingle, triggering off a constant flow of black pus from my nose.

It wasn’t till I was much older that I was let out of the house. And so I hid in he broom cupboard – it was quiet, dark and I could hear everything that was going on in the kitchen.

Drained of all his senses.

A myopic smudge on the window-ledge – that’s what I took her for. But here she is, all feathery and warm. Let’s call her Bertha. I say, let’s call her Bertha.

We stopped at the gate.

It is apparent to me, sir, that you are an uncontrollable rogue with less sense of honour than a destitute barbarian. In other words, sir, you are an inbred sort of pestilence that I could willingly dispatch with a thrust of my rapier into your foul, cold-blooded, evil-smelling heart!

It’s in the fridge.

It’s cousin Willie all the way from Spitzbergen on leave. Why hello, Willie. How well you’re looking.

Meat. A good half pound. Plenty of good fat on it mind.

Here, Canthrey, what does expatiate mean?

When you tell him keep both your hands behind your back. After he’s heard bring them round the front and do this with them. If he still doesn’t understand – ring me back.

If you wait till later it will be too late – I’m telling you. Oh I know you’ve no savings to speak of, but think what you’ll save this way.

A dragnet of grime. Twopence for a tiny fish. And not before time. Let’s waste a few more precious envelopes.

Let fall and slip away. My dearest one, my only cowslip, your omnivorous appetites must be supported and I, my sweet, must know how to drape your innocent little feelings with finely woven strands of solace.

A partridge? You’ve got a nerve!

After she came back he was like a different man – so cautious, so thoughtful. Some reckoned it was because of the accident. That he’d had time to rethink his entire approach. Oh no! not the sugar tongs!

Burst into action. A sight for sore eyes. Boots scrunching – arms all over – and finally – well we left them to it.

A drop?

Of course, you didn’t know that Scottie was expected did you?

For fifteen long miles over rough and rugged country I have battled to wish you a happy anniversary. I rose at six to be here on time. And now you tell me that there is nothing to be eaten in the whole house. Shame on you Fitzgarrett!

Your breath smells like a brewery. Are you sure you’ve been at a Save The Sedge-Grass meeting?

Baltimore. When I was seventeen.

Vixens, like other female mammals…

We spent a weekend in Stavitz. The two of us. Somehow it was as if we were separated from the rest of the world. Even our daily routine – 3 hours bath in the morning – followed by 2 hours spent crushing beans with our feet – 5 hours gymnastics and finally 3 hours playing hopscotch on the ceiling.

Not pointblank?

Suppose that you were in the haberdasher’s place. How would you act before the undertaker’s son?

I’ve never known a room so full. Everyone from the society must be in here.

It’s not asking much. Just a helping hand – a push from behind. We’re not asking for the moon.

A blend of lactic devices smoothed over and transparent, suffering from many long days in the cold, cold abattoir.

I bring you the red lips of a Mongol emperor, prised from his mouth while he slept the sleep of a thousand sleeps. Here, perhaps they would look best on the satchel that your son uses to carry his books to and from school.

My master had been talking to me, but I was all together fascinated by the shape of the ashes in the ashtray. They seemed like a map of my early childhood. Though, of course, how could ashes represent something like that?

I said innocently!

moth quotations

Quotations 4

I’ve got quite a few new things that are nearly ready for this blog, but in the mean time here are some quotations that I used last year in a blog on the neureille myspace page. They’re pretty random but I quite like the combination.

when I was ill and lay a’bed
I had 2 pillows at my head

robert louis stevenson

the cause of the 3rd plague is a mighty man of magic who carries off thy meat and thy drink and thy provisions. and he through his magic and enchantment causes everyone to fall asleep. and on that account thou must needs in thine own person keep watch over thy feasts and thy provisioning. and lest that sleep of his should overcome thee, let there be on hand a tub of cold water, and when sleep bears hard upon thee, get into the tub.

the mabinogion

it’s clear that golfo was brought up in the town. I was born and grew old in the mountains, so that I don’t care about either cold or wind, and golfo shouted last night when a moth flew around the room, because of the little breeze which he made with its wings

italian medieval tale

she has reached the point where
she might consent to give up
living her own life
only three legs archy she says
to me only three legs left
but wot the hell archy
there s a dance in the old
dame yet

don marquis

fire music

giving fire

playing with fire is a piece of music I wrote – a simple piece of 3 cycling chords (Ebmaj7 Abmaj11 Gmaj7). That’s all there is to it apart from one final B diminished type thing at the end. It has a floaty feel and doesn’t really go or get anywhere except in a sort of peripatetic picaresque sort of way. I’ve come up with a few pieces with the same sort of thing in mind over the last few years, but this is the only one properly recorded. When I first wrote it (at the start of 2010 I think) Laura and I played it live quite a few times and it generally seemed to have a bit of a buzz about it. But by the time we did this recording we hadn’t played it so much which didn’t help. Actually the worst thing was that I cracked my head 3 days before the recording session and I wasn’t quite up to the vocal demands required. Still it doesn’t sound too bad and works in a soundtracky fashion which is ideal for accompanying some moving images.

The picture we burn is by my friend Rod Henderson. He gave it to me a long time ago. The last time I moved house I rang him up and said, look Rod, I’ve got this old picture of yours and I’m trying to minimise my possessions, it’s a bit scrappy and faded now – do you want me to send it you? After a moment’s thought he said no, that I could get rid of it, but to do it in a memorable way. The film is the result of that.

I feel I’m not selling it too well. But perhaps that’s the best way. Build it up to be complete shite and then when you get to listen to it, it’s not that bad. I mean what causes streamlets to meander anyway? Declination? Glacialisation? Or just subtle sublimation maybe.

guitar, vocals * rob vasey
bass guitar, vocals * laura lambell
drums & percussion * paul wigens
tenor saxophone * tom ranby

birds literature music

Dunwich Songbook

A couple of years ago I wrote a song which I called hermetic. It’s a horror song, it’s a death song and it’s also a bird song, the bird being the whip-poor-will. And as well it’s a literature song because it derives some vocabulary, atmosphere and imagery from the work of HP Lovecraft. Not that I’m a huge fan of this writer, but I did read most of his stuff when I was in my early teens.

Here is a picture of a whip-poor-will

Caprimulgus vociferusAAP065B

And here is a picture of HP Lovecraft

Here’s the track


The sound effects I picked up here and there. I have got a small archive of sound effects but I think most of the ones I used I downloaded from the web. Eventually I would like to record it properly and it cries out for a grainy black and white video in the style of Epstein‘s The Fall of the House of Usher. See below.