Saturday, August 31, 2019

Keeper dozen: vintage British comedies

This is the seventeenth of a series of posts that are inspired by the "Desert Island" phenomenon - and that uses an Ansel Adams quote in the wrong way (Adams stated that 12 photographs per year that you're satisfied with is a good showing). In this post, deviating from the music topics used so far, I will select my 12 favourite vintage British situation comedies (taking 2000 as the cut-off year for the definition of vintage). There is no ranking, I'll list them by year of release. I hope these lists inspire you to check out works you do not know yet.

The good life [1975-1978]
Fawlty Towers [1975-1979]
Yes (Prime) Minister [1980-1988]
Allo! Allo! series 1-6 [1982-1992]
Blackadder series 2-4 (1986-1989)
Red Dwarf series 1-6 [1988-1993]
Keeping up appearances [1990-1995]
One foot in the grave [1990-2000]
Bottom [1991-1995]
The Brittas Empire [1991-1997]
Absolutely Fabulous series 1-3 [1992-1996]
The vicar of Dibley [1994-1998]

Since all of these are pretty well-known, I won't discuss them further. As always, several others came close, such as Dad's army, The young ones, KYTV, Man about the house, etc.

Copyright statement: low resolution screenshot, deemed fair use.

Friday, August 30, 2019

No surprises

The Postmodern Jukebox project that I recently stumbled upon on YouTube is a delight. They took well-known songs from recent decades and give them a makeover in the styles of the 20s to 50s, with excellent guest musicians. I've picked this cover of a Radiohead classic in vintage 30s style (featuring Chloe Feoranzo), but almost every song I sampled is a hoot.

Copyright statement: screenshot from video deemed fair use.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Rimini

As the summer is slowly coming to a close, a suitable vintage poster from 1922, advertising the Italian beach resort Rimini in a rather surreal way. It's interesting that the same image has been used for many other resorts, from Calabria to Puerto Rico.

Copyright statement: image in public domain.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Up to the roof

An alternative take on the modern organ in the Elburg museum that was depicted before in the blog (link).

Camera: Canon IXUS 170 handheld
Aperture: f/3.6
Focal length: 4.5 mm
Exposure time: 1/25
ISO speed: 400
Post-processing: Picasa 3.0

Copyright statement: image created by myself. Copyright Hennie Schaper.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Descent from Wallberg

When I encountered this Macke painting at the German Expressionists exhibition in the Singer Museum Laren, my first reaction was that it did not look at all like his usual style. Then I noticed that this was not August, but his cousin Helmuth Macke (1891 - 1936), who painted this in 1925. Not in the league of his famous family member, but still worth while.

Copyright statement: image in public domain.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

The American Magazine January 1922

The American Magazine makes a first appearance in the blog. It was issued from 1906 until 1956. No information about the illustrator of this attractive portrait.

Copyright statement: image in public domain.

Friday, August 23, 2019

Summertime sadness 80s remix

A theme that I recently encountered at YouTube: remixers who take fairly recent hits and remix them into an 80s sound, with astonishing results. Here we have Lana del Rey the way she would have sounded three decades earlier.

Copyright statement: screenshot from video deemed fair use.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Don't mind the rain

One of the best sheet music covers I've encountered. The song is from the early 20s, and one would presume the same holds for the illustration used. I've tried to find more information on the illustrator but no results.

Copyright statement: situation unclear, likely in public domain, or deemed fair use.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Postcards by Elisabeth Sonrel

Whenever Art Nouveau illustrations are mentioned, one tends to think immediately of Alphonse Mucha. Yes, he was the master, but there were others worth noticing as well. A great example is France's Elisabeth Sonrel (1874-1953), who created inter alia a set of postcards around 1900, some of which are shown above. More about her in the linked Wikipedia article.

Copyright statement: image in public domain.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Eve

Here we have one of the vintage album covers that I've used to decorate my computer corner. This 1979 album by the Alan Parsons Project is one of many of the time to have a cover designed by the Hipgnosis group.

Copyright statement: low resolution images of album covers deemed fair use.

Monday, August 19, 2019

Woodstock

As you probably have noticed, a few days ago was the 50th anniversary of the famous Woodstock festival. For the occasion, the beautiful eponymous song by Joni Mitchell, in the brilliant cover by Matthews Southern Comfort. Art Rock score: 9/10 (very strong song, one of 1000 best songs of all time).

Copyright statement: screenshot from video deemed fair use.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Organ sonata in the modern style

About a week ago, we visited the organ museum in nearby Elburg. A lovely experience, and I was particularly impressed by this colourful modern organ. With these lines and colours, the shot becomes quite abstract.

Camera: Canon IXUS 170 handheld
Aperture: f/4.5
Focal length: 8.9 mm
Exposure time: 1/20
ISO speed: 500
Post-processing: Picasa 3.0

Copyright statement: image created by myself. Copyright Hennie Schaper.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Keeper dozen: pop/rock albums of the 00s

This is the sixteenth of a series of posts that are inspired by the "Desert Island" phenomenon - and that uses an Ansel Adams quote in the wrong way (Adams stated that 12 photographs per year that you're satisfied with is a good showing). In this post I will select my 12 favourite pop/rock albums from the 00s. There is no ranking, I'll list them by year of release. I hope these lists inspire you to check out works you do not know yet.

Porcupine Tree - Lightbulb sun [2000]
Peter Gabiel - Up [2002]
Porcupine Tree - In absentia [2002]
Tori Amos - Scarlet's walk [2002]
Kayak - Merlin, Bard of the unseen [2003]
Green Day - American Idiot [2004]
Keane - Hopes and fears [2004]
Kate Bush - Aerial [2005]
Porcupine Tree - Deadwing [2005]
Blackfield - Blackfield II [2007]
Porcupine Tree - Fear of a blank planet [2007]
Steven Wilson - Insurgentes [2008]

Steven Wilson runs away with it in this decade, with four albums as front man of Porcupine Tree, one for his collaboration effort Blackfield (with Aviv Geffen), and a sixth one for his first solo album. There are repeat performances for Peter Gabriel, Kate Bush and Tori Amos. The Green Day album is the absolute highlight in their discography for me, and the Keane album is one of the best debuts of all time. Finally, we have the Dutch prog band Kayak with their concept album based on the King Arthur legend. Just missing out are some of the early albums by Coldplay and Muse.

Copyright statement: all covers in the mosaic are thumbnail size and deemed fair use.

Friday, August 16, 2019

The zoological garden

Another painting that was displayed in the exhibition at the Singer Museum in Laren, and arguably the most important one. This large triptych is among the best works of German expressionist August Macke (1887-1914).

Copyright statement: image in public domain.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Stafelalb in moonlight

Last Tuesday, we went to the Singer Museum in Laren to see their exhibition about German expressionists. An amazing collection, on loan from various German museums. Many of the paintings we saw will feature on the blog the coming weeks, starting with this beautiful alpine landscape from 1919 by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (1880-1938).

Copyright statement: image in public domain.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Pandora's box

Going back in time to the jazz age for the poster of this Pabst movie - well, any excuse really to post Louise Brooks, one of my favourite movie stars.

Copyright statement: lower resolution images of movie posters considered fair use.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Fire and ice

The third in a series of art abstractions that I shot some weeks ago in the Kampen City museum. All are details of three dimensional art works by Sibyl Heijnen. This is my favourite of the bunch.

Camera: Canon IXUS 170 handheld
Aperture: f/3.6
Focal length: 4.5 mm
Exposure time: 1/13
ISO speed: 800
Post-processing: Picasa 3.0

Copyright statement: image created by myself. Copyright Hennie Schaper.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Keeper dozen: great covers (not better than the original)

This is the fifteenth of a series of posts that are inspired by the "Desert Island" phenomenon - and that uses an Ansel Adams quote in the wrong way (Adams stated that 12 photographs per year that you're satisfied with is a good showing). As a follow-up of the previous keeper dozen post, in this post I will select my 12 favourite pop/rock cover songs, which I do not like better than the originals (no versions in other languages, no live in concert renditions, no jazz standards etc), but which are very much worthwhile nevertheless. There is no ranking, I'll list them alphabetically. I hope these lists inspire you to check out works you do not know yet.

Bad Wolves - Zombie (Cranberries)
Disturbed - The sound of silence (Simon and Garfunkel)
Easy Star All-Stars - Time (Pink Floyd)
Elbow - Mercy Street (Peter Gabriel)
No Doubt - It's my life (Talk Talk)
Nouvelle Vague - Fade to grey (Visage)
Pat Benatar - Wuthering heights (Kate Bush)
Rocksferry - The raven that refused to sing (Steven Wilson)
Sarah McLachlan - Blackbird (Beatles)
Steve Hackett - Firth of Fifth (Genesis)
Steve Hackett - Supper's ready (Genesis)
Yes - America (Simon and Garfunkel)

A mix that may be more surprising than yesterday's counterpart. Metal versions of The sound of silence and Zombie (Cranberries' singer Dolores O'Riordan was scheduled to take part in that one, but her untimely death prevented it), and another cover of a Simon and Garfunkel song in full prog mode. Elbow's version of Mercy Street is part of Peter Gabriel's mutual covers project. Then we have a female take on Blackbird, a hit version of one of the best Talk Talk songs, and Pat Benatar covering Kate Bush. Three of the covers were selected to represent these bands extensive covers repertoire: the hilarious reggae dub version of Time, the bossa nova cover of the Visage hit, and the Mexican band Rocksferry, best known for their amazing Steven Wilson and Porcupine Tree covers. Finally, Steve Hackett, helped by excellent guest vocalists, revisits two of the most amazing works of his Genesis years.

Copyright statement: image in public domain.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Keeper dozen: great covers (better than the original)

This is the fourteenth of a series of posts that are inspired by the "Desert Island" phenomenon - and that uses an Ansel Adams quote in the wrong way (Adams stated that 12 photographs per year that you're satisfied with is a good showing). In this post I will select my 12 favourite pop/rock cover songs, which I like better than the originals (no versions in other languages, no live in concert renditions, no jazz standards etc). There is no ranking, I'll list them alphabetically. I hope these lists inspire you to check out works you do not know yet.

Carpenters - This masquerade (Leon Russell)
Jeff Buckley - Hallelujah (Leonard Cohen)
kd lang - After the goldrush (Neil Young)
Manfred Mann's Earth Band - Blinded by the light (Bruce Springsteen)
Matthews Southern Comfort - Woodstock (Joni Mitchell)
Natalie Imbruglia - Torn (Ednaswap)
Peter Gabriel - Suzanne (Leonard Cohen)
Roxy Music - Jealous guy (John Lennon)
Steven Wilson - The guitar lesson (Momus)
Sinead O'Connor - Nothing compares 2U (The Family)
This Mortal Coil - Song to the siren (Tim Buckley)
Tori Amos - Time (Tom Waits)

Many of these were very successful and do not need additional information. Perhaps the least known to the general public are Steven Wilson's cover of the rather creepy Momus song - part of his series of "cover version" singles, kd lang's take on the Neil Young classic included in an album of covers of famous songs from Canada, and Tori Amos' take on Tom Waits' Time, also from an album completely consisting of covers. Some of those just missing the cut include Alison Moyet's The windmills of your mind (N Harrison), Linda Ronstadt's Blue Bayou (Roy Orbison), Ray Conniff Singers feautring Jackie Ward's The way we were (Barbra Streisand) and David Bowie's Friday on my mind (Easybeats) and China girl (Iggy Pop).

Copyright statement: image in public domain.

Friday, August 09, 2019

Running up that hill (First Aid Kit cover)

When I was surfing YouTube in our gallery last week, I came across this wonderful cover of Kate Bush' masterpiece Running up that hill (a deal with God) by Swedish duo First Aid Kit. Although it does not outshine the original, it is a wonderful feat, especially live on a massive rock festival like Werchter's.

Copyright statement: screenshot from video deemed fair use.

Thursday, August 08, 2019

Backside lyrics

A gorgeous shot by my Flickr friend tapatim - I love everything about it, from the colour palet to the composition that suggests a collage rather than a photograph, to the mysterious title.

Copyright statement: posted with explicit permission of the creator who retains all rights.

Wednesday, August 07, 2019

Secretions

Garfunkel and Oates is an American comedy–folk duo consisting of actresses and songwriters Riki Lindhome (Garfunkel) and Kate Micucci (Oates). You may know them from their own TV series, or from their guest rols in the hit sitcoms Scrubs (Kate) and The Big Bang Theory (both). I'm not a big fan of their music, but I love the cover of this 2015 album.


Copyright statement: low resolution images of album covers deemed fair use.