Young Pines (Or How To Discover The Actual Meaning of ‘NSFW’ The Hard Way)

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The Young Pines organisation has just finished curating an exhibition of words and images at the Liverpool School of Art and Design. The work was taken from their self-published book ‘The Dream of the Fisherman’s Wife’, a collection of sexually explicit prose, poetry and illustration which uses mythology and fairy tales as a starting point. As part of the exhibition, visitors were invited to listen to audio versions of these stories and poems in a beautifully decorated ‘fantasy room’ lit by UV. And here’s one of them: ‘When Lucy Met Tumnus’ by writer, poet and storytelling genius Emma Hammond, with a sound design by Robin The Fog. But WAIT! Before you click on it I should point out that tt contains rather strong language and reasonably graphic sexual content. NOT suitable for the easily-offended, faint-hearted or readers of the Daily Mail! These people should probably click here instead, where they’ll find a nice comfortable link to a gentle, non-threatening repeat of ‘Bargain Hunt’.

Has that got rid of them? Splendid. Whack it on:

Emma says: “We chose this theme [for the event] as we were interested in subverting well known stories and themes. Some of the work is grotesque and uncomfortable yet in places it is quite beautiful.  We wanted to make the stories even more fantastical and in some ways absurd. We have had submissions from some of the most exciting young artists and writers from all over the country and the standard of contributions has far surpassed what we were hoping for.” 

You should almost certainly check out the Young Pines website and of course Emma’s own site . And there’s an interesting blog post about the project from her that you can read here. I note that the tags for this post are ‘bestiality’, ‘cocks’ and ‘prog-rock’, which means it should appeal to a worryingly-large number of my social circle.

Here’s hoping for more collaborations in the new year. Until then, Happy Christmas, everyone!

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Monocle: A Very Kinky Sting And A Cosy Little Piece

A few weeks ago I was approached by Monocle Radio in my capacity as a ‘record obsessive’ and asked to file a report on recent news that, against all possible odds, sales of vinyl have actually increased in 2011. I was certainly happy to fufil this obligation, as the mini-resurgence is the one piece of good news I have been clinging to, limpet-like, for the past few months. Weddings of dearest friends? Pah. Recent additions to the family courtesy of beloved cousins? Meh. But tell me that a new record store has opened somewhere and you’ll find me down on my knees leading the Hallelujah Chorus. This is probably why I have yet to marry.

Kristina Records, Dalston. Thankfully some distance from a cashpoint.

Yes, for once my addiction is actually bringing some money in rather than the usual spending it in droves- that’s against all possible odds too. Where are you now, nay-sayers? Having said that, quite a lot of my fee went on obtaining records for purposes of research. I was also asked to work under the pseudonym ‘Robin Fog’ as apparently the producers didn’t think ‘the’ had enough zing to it. But let’s not split hairs. Here it is, ripped from Monocle Radio’s ROT, for your infotainment:

I must extend my heartfelt thanks to all the people who agreed to be interviewed for the piece including the good people of Kristina Records in Dalston, Raphael Mann of the excellent Frizz Records,  Mr. Shiver and Simon Kurrage of Size Doesn’t Matter; and most of all, the exceptionally affable Travis Elborough, who’s vinyl history ‘The Long-Player Goodbye’ is not only a fascinating read but saved me countless hours of fruitless Wikipedia scrummaging. As a bonus, I’ve included a rather jolly interview he did with The Quietus from a couple of years back.

PS As a further afterthought, and because I actually bought the LP from a record store only this week, I was going to include one of my favourite songs about the joys of record-collecting, ’43 Labels I Like’ by the mighty LA-rap duo People Under The Stairs. But unfortunately I was unable to find it anywhere online, so thought rather than just sling it up myself, I should just advise you to track down a copy of the album ‘Question In The Form Of An Answer’ for yourself. After all, the hunt for buried treasure is surely the most exciting part of digging…

Or you could go for the new LP ‘Highlighter’ released this year. They’re a fully independent group, which rather chimes in with today’s topic, as well as being refreshingly free of the usual bling-and-bitches rap tropes. You can save vinyl and the soul of hip-hop all in one day. Job well done!