Howlround’s Quick Note And Ray’s Return

Hello you. First off, a quick note from Howlround in video form, to announce that new material will be arriving soon. Created using a notebook and a photocopier during a brief period of thumb-twiddling inactivity over the weekend, it just happens to coincide nicely with my receiving the masters for my contribution to part 2 of Front And Follow’s series ‘The Blow’, a split cassette with Time Attendant due out this autumn, from which the video’s soundtrack is taken. And of course there’s the brand new audio-visual album/film arriving soon on Psyché Tropes in collaboration with genius film-maker Steve McInerney! Both sounding pretty great, though I say so myself and both pulling the Howlround project into interesting new orbits. Very much looking forward to sharing the results with you in the coming months.

Rays Record Room 2

Next up, Near Mint is back on the airwaves for a second visit to Ray’s Record Room, where genial proprietor Ray Carmen has prepared another selection of vintage home-made records for your enjoyment. Featuring the long-lost voices of 1940s and 50s Ohio lovingly restored and preserved, it’s another journey back to a forgotten age. These are editions of one, mostly made by members of the public as messages or keepsakes for loved ones, but on this week’s show we also get to hear some ‘radio spots’ recorded for use on local stations, including advertisements for long-forgotten brands of beer and ice cream – I’m such a sucker for these little domestic details. There’s even a contribution of my own, the only home-made recording I’ve ever found in my long history of collecting, a yellowish 7″ Recordiodisc, cut on what appears to be some sort of cardboard, dated 1949 and titled simply ‘Straightening Jack Out’. Clearly recorded while slightly intoxicated – a recurring theme of many of these discs – it’s wonderful to hear a strong Lancashire accent, beautifully incongruous amongst all the American voices and to imagine how she came to be there. Even more intriguingly, this disc might actually be the first documented example of the problems caused by our countries’ differing uses of the word ‘fanny’, so could in fact be capturing a key moment in Anglo-US relations. A little slice of slightly tipsy history…

Howlround Vinyl Deptford

Finally, thank you to everyone who came down to Vinyl Deptford last weekend to catch Howlround in action – especially multifaceted performer and Linear Obsessional label boss Richard Sanderson for the invitation, and a number of brave volunteers who had to stand very still for the duration of the performance holding the loops in place! I’d cut them just a little bit too long and the whole thing ended up being a bit of a massive tangle, though thankfully no lives were lost. You might even notice a couple of familiar faces amongst them – genius photographer Laura Yawira Scheffer and one Mr. Tony Alpe, owner of THE Torridon Gate, who came along with partner Kath and bravely threw his hat into the ring. The results were chaotic but fun – well, for me at least. And it being Vinyl Deptford, the night ended with my spending more money I didn’t have on yet more records I didn’t need. It was ever thus….

Howlround Helpers

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