Friday, September 28, 2018

Iceland Airwaves Countdown #4

40 days!

Unfortunately, one of my favorite Icelandic singers won’t be performing at Airwaves this year:

Páll Óskar

Not a problem though, as I managed to score a pair of tickets for the Borgarleikhúsið’s live production of Rocky Horror Show, the full-fledged musical (upon which the cult movie Rocky Horror Picture Show was based), with Páll in the lead role. Words fail in trying to describe how perfect the casting of Páll as Dr. Frank N. Furter is so here is a clip of one of show’s numbers from this production:


By Professor Batty


Comments: 0 




Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Ghost Squirrels



The onset of fall brings new dimensions to my after dinner walks. The Halloween (and even some Thanksgiving) decorations are appearing:



Also in the fall spirit are the numerous squirrels that infest my neighborhood (as well as wreaking havoc to my gardens and lawn), one for every tree. They are frolicing and scampering their little bushy tails off. In this throng of tree-rats there have always been a couple of albinos, but they always stay out of my yard.

We spotted this one just down the block, sauntering down the sidewalk as if he owned it:



And a while later it was on different block, or was it different individual?



I imagine that the reason they are better behaved than the gray ones is that they are easy to identify.

And they know I’m watching.

By Professor Batty


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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


Comments: 2 




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


Comments: 0 




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. My mothers taste in clothes was decidedly old school. As for me 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 new or 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


Comments: 0 




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


Comments: 2 




Monday, September 10, 2018

50th


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


Comments: 0 




Friday, September 07, 2018

Laxness í enskum þýðingum

My other internet endeavor, The Laxness in Translation website, was featured on the Gljúfrasteinn Laxness Museum’s news:



Translated:

Laxness in English Translation

Halldór Laxness fans can be found all over the world, as his work has been published in more than 40 languages. Published works vary, however, depending on country, and books are often sold out or hard to access. Several English-speaking readers of Halldór have undertaken and collected information about his work published in English. These include audits of books published in English, information about Halldór's relations with the United States, information about film work on Halldór's works and much more. The site contributors range from enthusiasts to professionals in the literature sector. One can also find one Icelander, Silu Aðalsteinsdóttir, publishing director of Works and culture. Contact can be found below.

Laxness in Translation

Their are other  sites that reference LIT as well, including Iceland Rovers, Jólabókaflóð, and Vísindavefurinn.

By Professor Batty


Comments: 0 




Wednesday, September 05, 2018

Parcel Post #4

It was a dark and stormy day.

The doorbell rang.

A man was standing at the door.

It was Mike, the letter carrier.

He handed me a mysterious package.

It came from Wisconsin…























It was placed in a position of honor (above the bathroom sink):



Thank You, Shoshanah!

By Professor Batty


Comments: 4 




Monday, September 03, 2018

Everybody’s Heard…

… about the world’s most beloved Dada anthem, The Trashmen’s top ten hit of 1963-4, Surfin’ Bird. It has been featured in both a John Waters and a Stanley Kubrick film as well as in recurring episodes of Family Guy. Recently, my high school class had its 50th reunion and we managed to get 7 guys from our class to perform. The Trashmen’s founder, Tony Andreason, had graduated from our school a few years before we did so, of course, we had to play this song:



Here are the lyrics in full:

A well a everybody's heard about the bird, bird, bird, b-bird's the word
A well a bird, bird, bird, the bird is the word
A well a bird, bird, bird, well the bird is the word
A well a bird, bird, bird, b-bird's the word

A well a bird, bird, bird, well the bird is the word
A well a bird, bird, b-bird's the word
A well a bird, bird, bird, b-bird's the word
A well a bird, bird, bird, well the bird is the word
A well a bird, bird, b-bird's the word

A well a don't you know about the bird?
Well, everybody knows that the bird is the word!
A well a bird, bird, b-bird's the word
A well a (drum break)

A well a everybody's heard about the bird
Bird, bird, bird, b-bird's the word
A well a bird, bird, bird, b-bird's the word
A well a bird, bird, bird, b-bird's the word
A well a bird, bird, b-bird's the word

A well a bird, bird, bird, b-bird's the word
A well a bird, bird, bird, b-bird's the word
A well a bird, bird, bird, b-bird's the word
A well a bird, bird, bird, b-bird's the word

A well a don't you know about the bird?
Well, everybody's talking about the bird!
A well a bird, bird, b-bird's the word
A well a bird

Surfin' bird (extended nonsense vocalese)

Pa pa pa pa, pa pa pa pa, pa pa pa pa, pa pa pa pa
Pa pa pa pa, pa pa pa pa, pa pa pa pa
Papa, ooma mow mow
Papa, ooma mow mow

Papa ooma mow mow, papa ooma mow mow
Papa ooma mow mow, papa ooma mow mow
Ooma mow mow, papa ooma mow mow
Papa ooma mow mow, papa ooma mow mow

Papa ooma mow mow, papa ooma mow mow
Oom oom oom oom, ooma mow mow
Papa ooma mow mow, papa oom oom oom
Oom ooma mow mow, papa ooma mow mow

Ooma mow mow, papa ooma mow mow
Papa a mow mow, papa ooma mow mow
Papa ooma mow mow, ooma mow mow
Papa ooma mow mow, ooma mow mow

Papa oom oom oom oom, ooma mow mow
Oom oom oom oom, ooma mow mow
Ooma mow mow, papa ooma mow mow
Papa ooma mow mow, ooma mow mow

Well a don't you know about the bird?
Well, everybody knows that the bird is the word!
A well a bird, bird, b-bird's the word

A well a ooma mow mow
Papa ooma mow mow
Papa ooma mow mow
Papa ooma mow mow
Papa ooma mow mow
Papa ooma mow mow
Papa ooma mow mow

By Professor Batty


Comments: 6