Monday, September 24, 2018

Depth of Field

This venerable Minneapolis West Bank institution is closing.

Depth of Field was a Yarn/Weaving/Futon store, established during the area’s heyday in the 1970s. Close to the University, the shop furnished the raw materials for thousands of projects, starting many a young knitter down the primrose path of fiber work. When the Weaver heard that it was going to shut down she had to pay her respects with an expedition to this relic of the 70s. It also didn’t hurt that everything was priced half off, including these authentic Scandinavian buttons:

Or these classic weaving shuttles:

The mannequins that sported knitwear were still there but the vacant stare of their eyes said that they knew of their upcoming fate:

There was still a plethora of real Icelandic Lopi yarn, however, even cheaper than it could be had in Iceland:

There was only one rule posted:

And a spot of humor remained:

By Professor Batty

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Friday, September 21, 2018

Iceland Airwaves Countdown #3

48 Days!

Iðno by night

Iðno by day

One of my favorite venues at the Airwaves festival has always been Iðno, a “culture house” with a café, work areas and a venerable 19th century theater. I’ve seen numerous fantastic shows in its relatively small space. With a proper stage and a comfortable aura, it is perfect match to a wide variety of music, for an example, here’s a murky clip of Stórsveit Nix Noltes, an Icelandic band, performing a Bulgarian wedding dance in 2006:

It remains to be seen who will grace its stage this year but with any luck this group will make a return appearance.

By Professor Batty

Comments: 2 

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

60s Guild T-100D

The undistinguished guitar.

I have absolutely no idea where I bought it, and only used it on one record project in 1977. It played well, sounded OK, and was a true “vintage” axe, probably from the late fifties. The pickups looked like P-90s but weren’t nearly as assertive. I sold it to a neighbor who had it for a while who then got rid of it for the same reasons I did. They are offered for around $2000 now but I don't think there is a big market for them.

This video (not me!) gives a good representation of the sound of this guitar:

By Professor Batty

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Monday, September 17, 2018

Light Birds

Coma-tose photography done with a home-made lens.

By Professor Batty

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Friday, September 14, 2018

International Man of Fashion

Flippist World Haberdashery, September, 2018

The end of summer always meant buying back to school clothes. For me it was a mother/son ritual, until about the 8th grade. The mid 60s men’s fashion scene wasn’t yet the “anything goes” madness of the 70s, but there was a definite shift from the “Andy Hardy Æsthetic” from the 40s that lasted all the way into the early 60s. Mom’s taste in clothes were decidedly old school, but Miles Davis, so cool in his Gant shirt on the cover of his Milestones album said it all.

Now that I have attained my seniority I have to shop for myself. My old long sleeve shirts were, for the most part, worn out. My store of choice on Wednesday was Value Village, a cut above Goodwill and other thrift stores. I was lucky, five shirts for about 40 bucks, all were like new, all were tasteful without being dowdy. My strategy is to always look at the sizes above and below my usual, there is a wide variation in the concept of extra large. My theory is that the unworn shirts are bought as gifts and when they don’t quite fit right they are donated. Try before you buy.

International trade in clothing is nothing new, but outside of work clothes it is hard to find something that is made in the USA anymore. My shirts (pictured above l-r) were made in Malaysia, Indonesia, Turkey, Bangladesh and India. When I was 14 I got a “Madras” shirt from India and thought it was really exotic, now it is just another country of origin in a men’s wear rack in second-hand store.

By Professor Batty

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Wednesday, September 12, 2018

MIJ 12 String Electric

What can I say?

It must have been the drugs, or the price of $29. A vaguely “Gretschish” White Falcon copy with incomprehensible controls and painted F-“holes”.  A truly bad guitar in every aspect: tuners, frets, pickups, bridge, hardware, body integrity. I finally pulled the top frets to make this barely playable. I used it on an experimental film sound track. The neck did end up on my version of “the log,” which is a story for another day.

I have no idea which brand it was, although it had characteristics of a Teisco. It was probably made for an importer that went out of business. I got it at a liquidation sale.

“Doctor Fuzz” was my moniker at the time.

By Professor Batty

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Monday, September 10, 2018


Zeandale, Kansas, November 1968

My big sister and her hubby celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary yesterday. I was tasked with making a suitable card and I found (and colorized) the image above. Titled Early Days - Little House on the Prairie, it showed the newlywed couple in front of their first “home”, an unassuming place in the middle of nowhere, about 8 miles from Manhattan, Kansas, where my brother-in-law was stationed in the army.

The picture, which had never been seen by either of them, brought forth a flood of memories, of their first cat and dog, the Christmas tree farm (in the background) where they got their first tree, and my brother-in-law’s late sister, a distorted figure reflected in the glass on the screen door. Unseen, yet still in the picture, was my niece (who was behind the cat.)

By Professor Batty

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