day 403 – four thank yous

This is the final post of four things on 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


day 66 – four school photo backs

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.

day 65 – four kid’s books in four languages

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?

day 64 – four hard synths

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

day 63 – four soft synths

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:


MiniMogue va



*Note: these are all(?) Windows instruments, and I’m moving to Mac…so i’m doomed.

day 62 – four intergalactic LPs

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.

day 61 – four ten inches

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.