Thursday, November 24, 2011


 If I profane with my unworthiest hand this holy shrine, the gentle sin is this: my lips, two blushing pilgrims, ready stand to smooth the rough touch with a gentle kiss.

Good pilgrim, you do wrong your hand too much, which mannerly devotion shows in this; for saints have hands that pilgrims' hands do touch, and palm to palm is holy palmers' kiss.

Have not saints lips, and holy palmers too?

Ay, pilgrim, lips are things to use in prayer.

Oh...O then, dear saint, let lips do what hands do; they pray, grant thou, lest faith turn to despair.

Saints do not move, though grant for prayers' sake.

Then move not, while my prayer's effect I take. Thus from my lips by thine, my sin is purged.

Liberia ’77

"If you don’t know where you came from, how can you know where you are going?”

I had the privilege of attending a screening of Liberia ’77 recently. It documents the return of two brothers, Andrew and Jeff Topham to Liberia, thirty years after living there as children. They grew up as expatriates due to their father working for Exchem, a Canadian manufacturer of mining explosives. The Topham family lived in Charlesville, a small village, for three years and left prior to civil war ravaging the country. Upon moving back to Canada they became known as the kids who grew up in Africa. Time spent in Liberia made a distinct impression: memories of a vibrant community, the beloved housekeeper James, their pet chimpanzee Evelyn and the freedom to run amok in nature.

It was these memories coupled with a large volume of photographs that their father took that prompted the desire to return to the West African country. Originally there was two main ideas behind the trip: they were going to try and find James or recreate their dad’s photographs, to do before and after shots of each. However things evolved when an unexpected individual turns up and leads the documentary in a different direction. (trailer embedded below)

Liberia '77 is well made, poignant without being depressing and captures the strength and humour of the Liberian people. It explores how photography has become part of cultural identity and how the people of Liberia rebuilt their lives after two devastating civil wars.

Most of the images of Liberia's peaceful past were lost and in an effort to help rebuild memories and images of the pre war country, the Tophams have set up a project. "Many lost all their images and have no way to look back on happier times. Many fled Liberia at the last minute, leaving all their belongings behind. Your photos might contain people and places other long to see again. Your photos can help heal." If you have photographs of pre war Liberia please upload them here. There will be an upcoming exhibit at the National Museum in Monrovia consisting of images submitted.

Click on the link below to watch the film in full (watch now tab):

To learn more about the film and project in full:

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Fizzy Good Make Feel Nice

Places, Loved Ones

No, I have never found
The place where I could say
This is my proper ground,
Here I shall stay;
Nor met that special one
Who has an instant claim
On everything I own
Down to my name;

To find such seems to prove
You want no choice in where
To build, or whom to love;
You ask them to bear
You off irrevocably,
So that it's not your fault
Should the town turn dreary,
The girl a dolt.

Yet, having missed them, you're
Bound, none the less, to act
As if what you settled for
Mashed you, in fact;
And wiser to keep away
From thinking you still might trace
Uncalled-for to this day
Your person, your place.

Philip Larkin

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Bad Music for Bad People

In addition to creating some of my favourite music, Lux and Ivy were avid fans of surf music, blues, northern soul, rockabilly, 60’s garage, novelty songs and general aural weirdness.

A Cramps fan painstakingly compiled a list of songs that Lux and Ivy had referenced in interviews and books or in his own words "It started as a way to keep track of some of the songs Lux, and or Ivy, mentioned in THE INCREDIBLY STRANGE MUSIC BOOK. It was never really intended as anything but a way for a friend of mine and me to have 2 really kick ass compilations. So we went about the arduous process of finding all the songs mentioned in that interview. One thing lead to another and when word got around that these compilations were out there, they started being traded from fan to fan to fan. So, at some point I decided to put them up on Napster and let anyone who wanted them have them. As the years went buy, more interviews with Lux and Ivy kept popping up, and the list of songs they mentioned got longer and longer. This resulted in new volumes. "

The compilations are a musical education featuring the likes of Ersal Hickey, Slim Harpo, Jackie & The Starlighters, Charlie Feathers, The Sparkles, Booker T. & the MG’s and the 13th Floor Elevators. I downloaded all eleven and it has taken me months to wade through the amazing and often difficult to find tracks.

Links to download the 11 compilations are at:

and click after the jump for a full track listing

Thursday, November 03, 2011


A spectacular murmuration over the River Shannon in Ireland.

"Sit with me a while
And let me listen to you talk about
Your dreams and your obsessions
I'll be quiet and confessional

The violets explode inside me
When I meet your eyes
Then I'm spinning and I'm diving
Like a cloud of starlings
Darling, is this love? "

'Starlings' by Elbow

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