songofcopper: (montesquiou by doucet)
I’m such a contrarian. This is 2017, the world is screaming, laughing, spinning outta control, and yet now, most inappropriately, I seem to have fallen back in love with life.

I think I knew I was going to be ok when I opened one of David’s Christmas presents to me: a book about British galls. I spent most of Christmas Day reading it and getting excited about Spring, when we can go on a proper gall hunt together.

Rightful Inhabitants )

The culture has mined a new depth of decadence: you can now buy bottles of molten iceberg water from Harrods, £80 a pop.

Had it been available to him, our old pal Des Esseintes would probably have ordered in gallons of this stuff, probably for the purpose of bathing in it, followed by an acute and prolonged attack of guilt. Guilt, I think, is the most expensive luxury of all - for those with any residue of good taste. For those for whom ‘taste’ is just a thing Coca Cola has, a brazen lack of guilt is preferred: think of those shameless big game hunters who pose for grinning selfies next to dead elephants.

Yes, guilt is an emotional tax that some of us pay in return for doing wretched things. Some people, however, are temperamentally tax-evasive.


Yesterday the David and I went record-shopping and I bought one! I got this:


“X” by Klaus Schulze. This is one of my favourites. Mostly because of its side-length piece called ‘Ludwig II. von Bayern’.

Glorious Anachronistic Muddle )


Some current reading matter - a curious thing indeed:

Tenebrae by Ernest G. Henham.

Jealousy! Murder! Arachnophobia! )
songofcopper: (Sparks - Big Beat)
…I think only in certain cases. Might the mythick off-duty habits of members of Led Zeppelin comply with the spirit of the equation? You Tell Me… :-)

Anyway, I only ask because I've been out buying lps again. Yesterday saw the return of the regular Second-Hand Music Fair to Exeter, and the David and I spent an interesting few hours turning over the stock.

Serviceable Civilities )

Cosmic Sparks & Pastel Paintwork )

Planetary Reflections in Moodily Depicted Chaos )

One Closing Grotesquerie )
songofcopper: (Sparks - Big Beat)
What is this? All on a dingy December morn, sometime in eighteen-ninety-something, here's a befogged street corner, illumined by the orange hue of Cosmé's poppy-blazoned blouse.

Must adjust hat to louche angle before venturing forth to sell scandal sheets to wannabe aesthetes.

A street corner? Not a nice place for a well-brought-up article of the Cosmé type, surely!

But Stay: "Extra! Extra! Read all about it," the creature cries.

Ah, that's what it is: the dear thing has found a little job! Well, you know, 'The Haut Boy's Own Paper*' shan't sell itself (and neither shall Cosmé, before you say such a thing, thou slyness!). [*This estimable organ may perchance be an ancestor of 'Cor Anglais!' mag.]

Op-Art-Nouveau )

In Other News, one of our regular Thursday bookshop customers (our Pop.Cult. aficionado) tipped me off that there was a copy of Sparks' self-titled debut lp in the record shop next door. (Pedants, sit down: yes, on its first release it was Halfnelson's self-titled debut lp, until Halfnelson changed their name to Sparks and re-released the album.) It's a weird record, with a sort of warped-calliope, demented-cute air.

The band photo gives you a clue - Russell (2nd left) looks sweet in his sailor suit but Ron (far left) has evil-clown hair and kohl-rimmed eyes.

Cheerfully-Defiant Eccentricity )
songofcopper: (Purrodigy)
Yes, a Merry Frippmas indeed! I made a discovery the other day, in WH Smiths of all places - or to be more precise, the back page of 'Prog' magazine, which some enterprising soul had liberated from its cardboard envelope. (I still can't believe it costs £8-ish per issue - there doesn't seem to be £8-worth of things in it, really, although you do get a free CD… still, this example, having been shop-soiled, seemed like fair game, so I don't feel too guilty for having had a brief look at it.) Anyway, it wasn't the heinous price that was discovered - actually, it was a recipe for Christmas Cake provided by Bob'n'Toyah! :-) There is something very right about that - Mr F. is, after all, extremely fond of cake. (I expect a Toyah-approved Christmas Cake might well have some kind of flamboyant decoration - orange, silver, feathers…?)

(Another discovery was that someone had roguishly relocated a naturist magazine into the very prominent display stand intended for 'Mojo'… I didn't even know they stocked naturist magazines in WH Smith - I wonder if they sell many?)

Further seasonal/musical/retail oddness - I saw a person carrying a White Stuff carrier bag in town, bearing the slogan 'Seasoned Greetings'. Well, I don't know about you, but as far as I'm concerned 'Seasoned Greetings' is a song off 'Meet the Residents'. I guess it's slightly festive, in a disconcertingly off-kilter way, but it doesn't quite go with cosy sweaters…! Inevitable next question: I wonder if any store has adopted 'Santa Dog' as its seasonal mascot?! ;-)

But returning to Frippmas - on my way home from work today I made yet another discovery! There is currently a pop-up record shop in one of the arcades in Exeter. (Grr, 'pop-up shops' - I'm not sure why that phrase annoys me so much, but… it does. Today it made me think of Frank Zappa: 'Psychedelic dungeons popping up on every street'!) I had time to look at it, and whilst the stock is small (and about half of it is new, unfamiliar stuff from the local record label - Specialist Subject Records - that is running the enterprise), there were many bargains. Lots of classic lps for as little as £1 each - wouldn't that be fantastic, if you were a cash-strapped student? Could be the beginning of all manner of musical discovery in several genres. But my find of the afternoon was 'Exposure' by none other than Mr Robert Fripp, which I've been looking for for some while. Well - it found me, didn't it!


Man with a Five-Year Plan )


Saturday, 23 November 2013 13:44
songofcopper: (Da Zess!)
D'you remember a while back my little mail order misadventure? An attempt at buying Mëkanïk Dëstruktïẁ Kömmandöh on lp via the wonders of the online 2nd-hand record market? That ended unexpectedly in sheer Mozart - an interrupted cadence, one might say. (Indeed, one just did. GCSE Music thus finds its function: informing these blogly witterings with a filmy sheen of semi-education...)

Unresolved Musical Tension is a blight on calm, as you must know. But soon afterwards another copy appeared for sale, this time in far better condition and still at a very grabbable price. I gamely grabbed, sensing a satisfyingly plagal conclusion to this toccata-'n'-fugue hoving comfortably into place.

But the Koszmik Komposzer has a sense of humour. (Well, I'm calling it 'a sense of humour' out of stubborn optimism. It might be more like 'a sense of cruel glee'.)

I had to prod the seller (gently, not in any very senstive parts) to get an invoice out of him. Then I commenced to wait for shipping... and wait... and wait... and-- WAAAIIITTT a minute, what is going on here?! You have my pounds, feller. Lob the round thing in my direction, won't you? I sent him a polite message asking for an update. Cue SIILLEEENCCEEE. (That's what a deafening silence looks like typed out, d'you see?) Our friend the Koszmik K. was obviously experimenting with the effective deployment of rests.

Time oozed on in its habitual way. I decided it was time to say Stern Things. Instead of using the Discogs message function, I sent the chap a direct email. (Well, there might have been a technical issue with messaging...) Stern Things (couched in terms of clipped politesse undercut with ominous threat such that only the English language may convey) duly offloaded, I was favoured - at long last - with a reply.

It was priceless. "Sorry," says the bloke. "I'm in Europe at the moment. I'm on tour with my band."

Now, I don't know about you, but in my opinion 'I'm on tour with my band' is just about the ideal excuse for such circumstances. There's something classic about it, it's almost as solemnly symbolic as 'The dog ate my homework' or 'I have to work late tonight darling'.

This delighted me severely, and I commenced to wait some more (the chap was not due back in this country for a little while).

Eventually, my round thing did arrive - and I am very happy to say that it was worth the anticipation! Condition as described: sleeve in good nick, side 2 looks unplayed - rather as if Zeuhl intolerance/buyer's remorse kicked in after the original purchaser had spun side 1 - and lyric insert miraculously present. It has enjoyed an outing on the turntable and is thereby officially welcomed to the household. I'm happy to give it a loving home! :-)



'Kobaïa iss de hundin' may mean 'The Eternal is Infinite' (or perhaps 'Eternal is the Infinite'), and a round thing (a Zund!) may have no beginning and no end, but we have here a dénouement - maybe not 'la fin des fins', but I guess the old Koszmik Komposzer is working up to that one. I am still not 100% convinced that buying lps online is something my nerves can stand, but at least I got my plagal cadence in the end. ;-)
songofcopper: (pendigestatory interludicule ^_^)

Perhaps when we respond to a music it is filling up a space within us/going to meet an appetite/our appetite is going to meet It. Music (of quality) provides nutriment - spiritual calories. We all need these and are actively, though often unconsciously, seeking them out.

Grammatical Gravy )

Good old Universe. It's a bit like Staples: 'You want it, we got it!'

Permit me, gentle reader, to elaborate. (And, cheekily, to address you as 'gentle reader'.)

Thursday night, I Ooood the Tooob in search of the luminous Mr Fripp. A small urge to cup an ear around his well-received album 'Exposure' led me hither and yon.

Circular Encounters )
songofcopper: (peter hammill)
It's very unusual for me to go so often to concerts as I have in recent months. The reason for this is tripartite - first, I live in rural seclusion and quixotically combine distance-from-cities with reliance-on-trains. (I'm a whimsical so-and-so.) Second, I'm picky about music. Only a very few things really please me, or please me well enough to send me out-of-doors after dark to stand-or-sit in a room with 'em. Thirdly, the musical personages I do like are often (a) semi-retired, (b) permanently retired to the Sussex Downs or (c) irrevocably retired to the Next Life. This makes that rare beast the concert-I-want-to-go-to a Special Occasion indeed.

I wasn't sure when I started listening to Van der Graaf Generator whether I'd get an opportunity to hear them (or just Mr Hammill) play live. They had done the whole getting-back-together thing in triumphant fashion, even weathering a personnel change and sending out new albums into the aether - pretty well-received new albums, too (haven't heard these yet myself, but people seem to like 'em), which is quite unusual amongst reconstituted prog rock* formations.

A Joyful Noise )


Sunday, 5 May 2013 16:26
songofcopper: (magma lava)
Hooray for round things, and the square things they sit within! In other words... lps. Yesterday there was another record fair in Exeter and I enjoyed a pleasant morning with Davey, turning over the stock. I failed yet again to find my grail (Magma lps) but I did find some other cool stuff!

La collectomanie, c'est fou... )
songofcopper: (Zzzzzzzappa)
...Like a wheel within a wheel...

Nope, I have not been tilting at windmills.  Instead, I've been to a record fair, for the first time in I-don't-know-how-long.  And instead of going on my own to run the gauntlet of shifty fellows in leather jackets scowling from behind paste tables groaning under the weight of several kilos of Beatles albums, half a ton of Jethro Tull (why is there always half a ton of Jethro Tull? Not that I have anything against 'em!) and reams and seams of Pink Floyd, this time I had a David to accompany me!  (Just call him Sancho Panza...)

Tryin' to make a living off an elpee's worth of tunes... )
songofcopper: (Zzzzzzzappa)
...Like a wheel within a wheel...

Nope, I have not been tilting at windmills.  Instead, I've been to a record fair, for the first time in I-don't-know-how-long.  And instead of going on my own to run the gauntlet of shifty fellows in leather jackets scowling from behind paste tables groaning under the weight of several kilos of Beatles albums, half a ton of Jethro Tull (why is there always half a ton of Jethro Tull? Not that I have anything against 'em!) and reams and seams of Pink Floyd, this time I had a David to accompany me!  (Just call him Sancho Panza...)

Tryin' to make a living off an elpee's worth of tunes... )


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