150 Years of Alice In Wonderland at the British Library

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Absolutely love that logo by Fiona Barlow, shouldn’t work but it does. To celebrate 150 of Alice In Wonderland there’s a small exhibition at the British Library with art from various versions of the book over the years, including John Tenniel’s original illustrations as well as examples from Ralph Steadman, Salvador Dali and morel.

Resonance FM fundraiser and radio show

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I’m doing / have done a couple of things for Resonance FM – London’s great station of the weird, wonderful and avant garde. Last week Robin The Fog, aka Howlround, came errrr… round and we spent a hugely enjoyable three hours going through the odder ends of my collection. It rapidly descended into, ‘have you heard this? you haven’t? oh my god, check this out’ etc. etc. We’ve all been there but Robin’s and my tastes are quite acutely tuned to a specific end of the musical spectrum marked ‘miscellaneous’. This is all for a new series on his and station cohort, Hannah Brown‘s ‘Near Mint’ show about ‘excessive record collecting’.

He left with over an hour of audio and a lot more of me wittering on about German concept albums about the body, a children’s alphabet in space LP, one-off record booth finds and cut up psychoanalysis experiments. We touched on old favourites like Ken Nordine, John Rydgren and Marshall McLuhan too but our shared love of Sesame Street‘s more experimental side wasn’t discussed. Below are some examples of some of the delights we explored and you can hear the show next Tuesday, February 9th at 6pm.

The week after that I’ll be joining both of them. as well as host of the station’s Luck Cat show, Zoe Baxter, at the West Norwood Book & Record Bar to help raise money for the station as part of their annual funding drive. There will be a raffle with prizes, some from my own collection, but most of all, there will be great music (see flyer above for details).

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Freaky Formats #2: Op Art sleeves

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The second of my ‘Freaky Formats’ features just went up on The Vinyl Factory site. This second installment focuses on Op Art sleeves which speak for themselves really. Check it out and there’s a link to the first one about 3D covers too, there are more in the pipeline so look for them roughly monthly…

Big Fish Little Fish Mini Vault event Feb 6th

MINI-RUMPUS1Only two and a half weeks until the Big Fish Little Fish ‘Out of this World’ Mini Vault event in Waterloo. Saturday 6th February | 11am – 2pm. Robin Hexstatic played this last year and I’ve been looking forward to it for ages because it has a space theme. If you’re unfamiliar with the BFLF concept it’s a day time party for families with under 10 year old children that goes under the banner ‘2-4 hour party people’. Kids have lots of activities to get involved in, can get dressed up, there’s a parachute dance and the parents can relive tunes from their clubbing heydays.

They’ve got a whole heap of extras at this one including Korg synth and gadget workshops. Info and tickets here
The last one I did at the (admittedly free) Southbank was a roadblock that had to be stopped halfway because of the number of people trying to get in. It all ends mercifully early and you emerge, blinking into sunlight to realise it’s not breakfast time but not long until dinner.

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Found In Sounds #12: Malcolm McLaren special

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Malcolm McLaren would have been 70 years old today, here’s a collection of articles surrounding his seminal ‘Duck Rock’ album release in the early 80s from Sounds. Click to enlargeMcLaren Sounds 4.12.82 2web
I’ve added a small news piece about the Double Dutch girls to the interview above to fill space. Big interviews were frequently cut up and placed at different points of the paper and I’ve cobbled this one back to a double page spread.

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Above: The Garry Bushell-penned review of ‘Duck Rock’ which is rather damning – see the three ads below that were run in the paper the next week, all deftly extracting a rather different angle using quotes from the piece. There’s a definite whiff of Paul Morley on the tagline at the bottom and this would have been around the time when he and Trevor Horn, the album’s producer, would have been setting up their ZTT label.

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It quickly became common knowledge that McLaren had ripped off several compositions and taken writing credits on the album (something he had already done with Bow Wow Wow and would do again with ‘Fans’). Not even two months after the album’s release the writs were already flying.
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Back in 1981, Fred Vermorel – never one to mince his words and badly burned by his experience with Malcolm over the extremely dodgy ‘Chicken’ magazine – laid into him over two pages. It’s hard to justify what McLaren was intending with this publication (and I wouldn’t try) and thankfully we’ll never find out. There’s also a piece about the pirate fashions McLaren and partner Vivienne Westwood created that they launched Bow Wow Wow with.
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