This is the final post of four things on http://www.fourfortheday.com but the site will remain open with updates on the things to come.
This has been a truly amazing year with this project. From day one I knew when I was organizing my studio and seeing how many small collections of things I kept and really loved, to Allison Sommers first post on January 2nd 2011, and in early November when all weeks had been assigned, and now when everything is all said and done that the concept of this project was something people really enjoy. We love our stuff and other peoples as well.
I can’t thank the Guest Editor’s enough for making this what it is. It takes courage to expose the things we hold onto. The Guest Editor’s did it and the internet has found out a little more about each of them.
I encourage everyone to keep checking back to find out what is next for this little project. My hope is a bound book and art exhibition. But I am open to other possibilites.
My humble thank you to everyone who made this possible and the collectors around the world, past, present, and future.
Happy New Year.
s. arden hill
While hanging out in my basement the other day I ran across a milk crate labelled “junk.” (not labelled by me). I thought to myself, “I’ll bet there’s something bloggable in there,” and here we are. I’m pretty sure all but Diana’s photo are from Grade 9 (1992-93 for me), and hers is from grade 5. You can imagine how my Grade 5 heart raced when I read her PPS at recess. I included Andrea’s note because it stood out from all the other self-deprecation…and she was right, it is a super-cute picture. The only subject who might run across this post is Laurie, who I hope is not embarrassed by her spelling mistakes, as she is now a genius. Actually, she was near genius back then too…must’ve been an off day. Or maybe she was so enraged by my insensitivity that she couldn’t think straight.
I know, I know, it’s been done here before, but I had to post some of my own children’s book collection, because there are so many beautifully illustrated examples to choose from. To whittle down the choices, I decided to mix up the languages…which worked well because the little Wladyslaw Zawistowski book was a “must include”. It was illustrated by Wladyslaw Kostiuk, whose name yields only one result when entered into google…a dead link to a reference to this book. All of the illustrations are in a weird ‘wet ink and watercolour’ style, like the cover. I think the four characters are supposed to represent the seasons, which I only guessed at based on the illustrations from another printing of this story.
The “Londres” book by Miroslav Sasek was originally put out by Casterman in 1960 (that’s the version pictured here), and I’ve just discovered that it’s still in print today! I’m glad because the illustrations are beautiful; they’ve very angular and textured like a lot of children’s illustration from the 50s, and they kinda remind me of the UPA animation style.
I know nothing about the Chinese book – the pictures and organization of the text suggest that its a reader or encyclopedia maybe. I bought it for one amazing illustration of a guitar player with coloured lights blasting at him, although all of the images are pretty charming.
“The Clumsy Cowboy” is from 1963. It has great line drawings throughout that are printed in two colours: black and orange. The blog Golden Gems posted a later book illustrated by Shel & Jan Haber, The Animals’ Vacation. It also appears that the couple run a kaleidoscope website?
Hard synths, get it? The interesting thing about this set is that the little one was the most expensive, and the biggest one was the cheapest. I can’t remember what I paid for it exactly, but I DO remember that I got it from the dump store in Montreal, which is literally a little shack beside the dump where they sell the good stuff that people try to throw away. It sort of works, which was fine because I intended to circuit bend it, but of course I still haven’t gotten around to it. I’ll add that to my summer list of things to do. Sidenote: I think this is the first time that the Lonestar LS-18 has ever been pictured on the internet! Try and prove me wrong!
The little one is the Korg Monotron, which in-and-of itself is an analog sound effects machine (i.e. it’s hard to play tuned notes with it), but the great thing about it is that you can run instruments through it’s VCF filter, giving you a cutoff and a peak knob to play with.
The Concertmate-650 is basically a souped-up SK-1, allowing for 4 samples to be recorded in and triggered from the keys or the cool sample pad. You can also reverse samples on this one, or record one longer sample instead. It also features a second set of handy sample pads, so you can have a lion’s roar or a laser gun at your fingertips.
The TYU-30 just sounds super tough through my distortion pedal. There’s a song on my next album that’s built around this keyboard. Here’s the Japanese version on the amazing website miniorgan.com
I record my music using a combination of real and virtual instruments, which was novel when I started out (15 years ago!!), and is now the norm. Here are four virtual synths that I like because they can create sounds that are not corny, which I find rare in a soft synth. Of course, corniness is in the eye of the beholder….er, ear of the behearer? If you want corny, Plastique and Sytrus can do that too, but everything out of the MiniMogue is pure bliss. I use the Tapeworm almost exclusively for the flute sound, which is fuzzy and shy sounding.
Clockwise from tiny:
*Note: these are all(?) Windows instruments, and I’m moving to Mac…so i’m doomed.
Yep, you guessed it – four long players, and they all feature space-themed cartoony covers! Let’s start with the Space Cadets album, which I declare to be my favourite funk album of all time. Bernie Worrell of Parliament fame played synths in this band, but Nairobi Sailcat seems to be the brains behind this record, with writing credits on all but one song (the corny love ballad).
The “Galactic Funk” record was produced by MECO Monardo, and Wikipedia tells me that this record went platinum in the US. It features a huge cast of musicians, including artists from the CorMar Galaxy, who were apparently teleported to Earth courtesy of TELE-CON Ptz 88.4. Meco went on to disco-ize Close Encounters, The Wizard of Oz, and Star Trek among other soundtracks.
On the left we have two takes on alien life-forms, one French Canadian and one Portuguese. The French would have you believe that there are pirate aliens (Piratomic), spy aliens (Lorgnette 007), alcoholic aliens (Gintomic), and walking computers (Odini). The Portuguese version also paints aliens as lushes; after Amalia Rodrigues tries in vain to start up a conversation with “Senhor Extraterrestre”, she gets him drunk on wine and sends him off to drink and fly in his “Objecto Voador nao Identificado” (OVNI). Thrift store vinyl gives so much, and asks so little in return.
Here we have a set of good looking 10″ records from the collection. I LOVE the character design and the fonts on the Perez Prado cover, so much so that it was hanging in our apartment for a while. Also, I think you’d agree that the cover design for the Top of the Pops Collection could easily be the cover for the next Smiths “Best of…” (or the next Belle & Sebastian if you’d rather). There’s no date on this record, but it’s probably from 1959 or 1960, judging by the song selection and Steve Race‘s biography (he’s the arranger.)
The Jewish Mother Goose records (there’s 2 in the set – so sue me), are housed in the hard cover that you see pictured. Inside there is a glossary of terms to help you understand the stories and songs on the record; so now if someone says to me “We saw soosim on our teyul to the shool,” i’ll know what they mean. The four sides are titled:
Side 1: Shabat
Side 2: Holiday Guessing Game
Side 3: The Happy Mishpacha
Side 4: Mother Goose in Isreal
I can tell you nothing about the Asian 10″…and judging by the cover you can probably guess what it sounds like. Cute.
I figured i’d set forth with some alliteration for fun and flourish on my first foray into four for the day. Of particular note is the Japanese 45 in the bottom right corner, which is one of my favourite records of all time. If anyone can translate the cover I would really appreciate it…and it would be especially great if you could explain the strange pile of objects to his right.
Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada
My basement workspace is centred around my computer desk. To the left we have two 6 foot shelving units; one full of smaller instruments and keyboards, and another full of silkscreening materials. To the right is a large electric Technics organ, my guitar amp, , my Bontempi Air Organ, and my drum kit. On the desk there’s always random pieces of scrap paper with lists, and numbers that I need to work with. I’m training myself now to use my computer’s sticky notes to keep my desk a bit more clear.
I almost never buy anything retail. Everything I use to make music comes from the thrift stores, pawn shops, or occasionally Kijiji. My drum kit came from a neighbour’s garage sale, and I still use my first guitar that my folks got me in Grade 9.
I’ve got a few weird records that I cherish, but I remember the day I found both a toy Zither AND a set of toy hand bells at a thrift shop (see day 24 on the blog). That was a great day.