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April 16, 2009

YOU’RE ALL INVITED

Except if you are poorly dressed, a cheater or I just generally don’t like you.

Nervous Stephen has extended the invitation to his private view to his new exhibition to readers of my blog:

Thursday 23rd April at 6.30pm

Franklin Alvarez
53 Columbia Road
London E2 7R6

Selections of the collection have been printed and bound in three
volumes.These will be available to buy on the night.
Volume Three is hot off the press!)

there will also be a chance to hear the record collection being played by
Nervous Stephen and Rocky.

Light refreshments will be served.

xx Lektrogirl

LOOKS AMAZING


Stephen Fowler & Rocky Alvarez, originally uploaded by Lektrogirl.

Stephen Fowler and Rocky Alvarez are exhibiting their collection of HOME MADE RECORD SLEEVES.

24th – 26th April

Franklin Alvarez
53 Columbia Road
London E2 7R6

Stephen Fowler and Rocky Alvarez have been picking up home made record sleeves from junk shops,flea markets,second hand record shops and charity shops for a good few years and along with donated sleeves from their friends they have managed to collect a stunning collection of funny,tragic and clever sleeves.

Jessica Lack recently wrote a piece in the guardian about the collection:

Artist Stephen Fowler is not your average record collector. Sure he’s a sucker for rare vinyl like the rest of us, but since his self-imposed retirement from the DJ circuit last year, he has been exhibiting some of the more peculiar examples of his collection. Yes, it’s DIY cover art courtesy of the general British public, found in the dusty corners of charity shops up and down the country.

It is easy to forget in the era of the iPod, the passion we once had for the single. Tantalisingly affordable at £1.99, it was the cheap slutty shortcut to musical nirvana fit only for pre-teens and philistines. Wrapped in a flimsy paper sleeve, it didn’t take more than the average teenage bedroom sulk to find your beloved Purple Rain cover had become a shadow of its former self. Mottled with white creases, torn corners and buckled innards, it was glossy vinyl’s shabby partner, like Midnight Cowboy’s Ratso to Joe Buck.

Fowler’s collection is the fall-out of cover destitution. His warped specimens are bittersweet testaments to love and loss. Some are perversely pathetic, like a song called Baby Oh! Baby, which has been painstakingly repaired using adhesive plasters. Others are just deeply ironic. The Glitter Band’s 1974 hit Let’s Get Together Again has been re-packaged and a photograph of the group stuck on the front with sellotape has discoloured to a sticky amber, they really are a tarnished version of their sparkly younger selves. More hilariously is a cartoon of a car-crash, complete with decapitations and blood splats drawn onto a makeshift sleeve of Candi Staton’s Nights on Broadway – surely the work of a beleaguered younger brother driven to murderous vengeance by repeated playing?

Other covers say so much more about the teenage psyche than a song ever could. The Human Leagues’ pioneering electro single Being Boiled was released in 1978 before Oakey teemed up with the photogenic Joanne Catherall and Susan Ann Sulley. But here, some pubescent heart has been driven to an act of futile endeavour by sticking pictures of the girls all over the cover – as if the concept of the band without them would be too painful to consider.

Ultimately it is the simplest examples that are the most telling. Rod Stewart’s larger-than-life persona is reduced to a blank white cover with his name written in purple felt-tip pen, Elvis’ face cut out of Jailhouse Rock to make way for Roy Alton’s reggae version of The Lion Sleeps Tonight and Eddie Cochran’s C’mon Everybody – that rallying cry to disaffected youth – is illustrated with a sketch of a dude smoking a reefer. It would be easy to dismiss these acts of random creativity as nostalgia for a time when new release meant queuing with the rest of Britain’s spotty youth for Our Price to open. But the cartoons, doodles and day-glo handwriting speak of the hopes and desires and perversities of generations of school children and their thrifty parents that can never be conveyed by the simple click of a download button.

- – - – - – - – -

P.S. This is my 1000 post!

xx Lektrogirl

July 1, 2008

FOUL PLAY FOWLER

My friend Stephen Fowler is about to have a new exhibition – this time at The Horse Hospital. Let’s hope I make it to the opening on Friday without having to stand outside ‘in the fresh air’ and lean on a car because I was worried I would pass out and die from too much drinking the night before, then end up at Tsouni’s birthday by accident with a bottle of Lucozade in my hand and end up playing musical statues til 5 in the morning watching Amph and Alex T wrestle in their socks. [Like I did at the last one...]

The Chamber of Pop Culture Is Proud To
Present:

‘Instead of wives, they shall have toads” 
An exhibition by Stephen Fowler

Exhibition
Saturday 5th July – Saturday 26th July, 12-6pm
Mon-Sat 
Private View Friday 4th July, 6.30pm till late

The artist will be in residence on Thursday, Friday
& Saturday of each
week.

Stephen Fowler is a Folk Artist of extraordinary complexity, who over the past 5 years has created a vast body of work illustrating a deep emotional journey of personal identity. Discovering Fowler’s work is literally like leafing through the pages of a giant eclectic scrapbook, which at first glance could have been created half a century ago, Fowler’s multifarious practice embraces many traditional crafts, forgotten techniques and skills that belong to bygone age, drawing freely from the worlds of Dada, Surrealism, Constructivism, Abstract Expressionism, Outsider Art and Steam Punk to create his own diverse and rich aesthetic.

From naïve paintings of remote architecture, places of worship and hospitals, to moving portraits of troubled individuals, plant life and shell fish, Fowler presents us with a chronicle of assorted drawings, paintings, prints, posters, intricate handmade bookworks, leaflets, flyers, badges, sculptures, found objects and ephemera which reflect his various obsessions for graphics, poetry, old records, photographs, film.

“Instead of wives, they shall have toads” puts forth a meloncholy and playful world engendered carefully and lovingly 
by this sensitive artist. 

Fowler is well known for his creative collaboration with: The Murri Folk Club, Tapestry Music Festival, Tatty Devine, Zeel, Mark Pawson, Rob Ryan & Rocky Alvarez.

To accompany the exhibition there will be a programme of film and live music events. Curated by the artist.

FILM NIGHTS +
EVENTS

Wednesday 9th
July, 7.30pm

£5-£4 mems/concs 
We Have No
Art 
1967 26 minutes 
+
Mary’s Day 
1964 12
minutes
Two documentaries on the Artist, Teacher, Nun; Sister
Corita. 
+
Danielson: A Family Movie (or, Make a Joyful
Noise HERE)
2006 105 minutes
Starring Danielson Famile & Sufjan Stevens with cameos from Steve Albini, Rick Moody, David Garland and DANIEL JOHNSTON.

Tuesday 15th
July 7:30pm

£5-£4 mems/concs
Charlie Chan at the Wax Museum 
Directed by Lynn Shores
1940 B/W 66 minutes
Wax figures, hidden rooms, secret passage ways and pelting rain.
Sidney Toler stars as Charlie Chan in this claustrophobic museum setting.
+
The Bat Whispers 
Directed by Roland
West
B/W 83 minutes 1930
An old dark house melodrama.

Friday 25th July
7:30pm

£7/£5 members & concessions 

Home Made Record Sleeve Performance
(D.Js Nervous Stephen and Rocky play records from ‘Home made records sleeves volumes 1 and 2′ books, as corresponding record sleeves are projected). 
+
William Fowler Band 
(Post Barrett Space Folk)
Monogram
(Old Timey tunes)
The Country Teasers
(The Fall meets The Carter Family)

The Chamber of Pop Culture – “SERVING UP POPCULTURE FOR 15 YEARS
The Horse Hospital – Colonnade – Bloomsbury – London – WC1N 1HX
phone 44(0)207 833 3644
The Horse Hospital

April 10, 2008

FOWL PLAY FOWLER

This is Nervous’ exhibition poster. I know I am going to love the exhibition already.


Here is a banana picture that Fowler gave me and I post another picture on the blog before – a red screen print on yellow paper…


Here is a picture of it with a half full bookshelf.

Anyway the guy on the exhibition poster – I suspect it isn’t – but it reminds me very much of Stephen Fry the Tea Man with Bipolar Mood Disorder. That is neither here nor there as I shall being going to the exhibition to see Nicky Noo Nah Noodles and Superduck and whoever else I should bump into. WONDERFUL. Light refreshments – hmmm – probably Gingerbeer from a plastic bin or tea served from giant 50’s Urns… hmmm… What will it be this time Fowl Play?

xx Lektrogirl

March 1, 2008

SOME OF MY 7 INCH RECORDS

Back in 1999 I had just come out of the Women’s Homeless Women’s shelter on West End Lane [just a few doors up from DJ Venoms house actually.] The council moved me into my new council flat round on Balmore Street with a single mattress, a single duvet without cover and a kettle and that was it. The start of my beautiful new life. When the money that gets paid out to people who were in my situation, which at that time was about 1200 quid to fully decorate their apartment [cooker, fridge, saucepans, curtains, chairs, table etc] I chose to ignore all of that on my shopping list and go to MicroAnvika and get a Tangerine iMac for 999 pounds. I bought a table from IKEA and a chair. And then I took over my own website. Monsieur Raide had started on for me already but I wanted to make stuff myself. Everything I learnt about the Internet and computers was from a string of Internet boyfriends – I ICQ’d my way into the hearts of many nerds. And it really helped that I had a record out on Rephlex too.

During that time, I started collecting 7″ records. I now have hundreds. It was great when I met Foul Play Fowler [that you might know as Nervous Stephen] because we used to go on 7″ record shopping dates and then DJ together at The Dog Star on Sunday afternoons. God – I will never forget the number of crack heads that would come in and start freaking in the middle of everyone else having a Sunday lunch.

So below is some recycled content from my old website probably first online in about 2001. A shame that the Shorditch Whore joke is still exactly the same with the clothes and everything. And I have added a few YouTube videos to bring us up to date to Web2.0.

It is not often that a girl would find seven inches lasting three and a half minutes anywhere near satisfying – unless it is made with vinyl and comes with a picture cover



KOTO : Jabdah (1986) and Japanese war game (1983) Italian euro pop from the mid eighties. The cover art is credited to Al Porta. Both sleeves come with “dj information” – Jabdah is 117bpm for example. The tracks themselves echo the futuristic hi tech covers but don’t be fooled into thinking that they show any kind of Kraftwerk electro type futurism. Jabdah for example sounds more like something you would find on an album of library music described as “modern, uplifting, punchy” but with a few vocals written by someone who barely understands English and spoken by someone that never heard English. Japanese War Game give a very vague nod to computer sounds that appear to be in some sort of conversation but I wouldn’t like to push that notion too far.


RIGHEIRA: vamos a la playa (1983)
Italo – thin synths, not quite in time drums – inane lyrics This is one of the times you take a risk on the cover alone and are rewarded with a great treasure. The title translates as “Let’s go to the beach” and from knowing that and looking at the cover you kind of get what Righeira are about. Their follow up single “No Tengo Dinero (We’ve got no money)” sounds almost identical but it doesn’t matter, it is just an excuse to keep drinking sangria all summer. Drx from Bodenstandig 2000 promised me that their next album cover will look just like this but it will have Drx and Bern on the front dressed as soldiers from WWII
1Kr from the Record Palace in Stockholm


J.J. FAD: supersonic (1988) and way out (1988)
Girl rap produced by Dr Dre and Easy E – quite pop
Well the cover of the J.J. Fad album and these two 7″ sleeves are all from the same photo shoot but the girls look great. They manage to slag off Salt and Pepa in one of their tracks. My favourite track they did though is “Blame it on the music” from their album that has a great little talking section between one of the girls and a guy about learning to dance “I don’t believe it! I’m dancing!!”
Supersonic was £2.50. I paid US$8.50 for Way Out and it wasn’t really worth it.


DAIMYO: electric dance (1984)
deluded Michael Jackson fan. The lyrics are “the Jackson Five should be the Jackson Six” with different Jackson hits in the mix. A poor substitute for the real thing, but now that Michael is entirely prosthetic maybe Daimyo has a place in the real world after all.
5Kr from some shop in Stockholm that smelt like pee.



THE FLIRTS: passion (1982) danger (1983)
Bobby “O” produced girl group
Now that The Flirt’s look has been worked to death by every Shoreditch Whore and her best friend around Hoxton, Bobby Orlando’s sound is also finally trendy – The Hacker even gives respect to him on the back of the album he has released with Miss Kittin. This version of Danger isn’t the best – cause it doesn’t have all the explosion sound effects in it. But the 12″ doesn’t have their version of “Love Reaction” that Divine also did for Bobby O. so i would say it is better to own both.
15DM for all 7 ‘hit’ singles by The Flirts on ebay


BOBBY O: i’m so hot for you
Bobby Orlando singing and producing his own brand of synth pop. I have waited over 8 years to own a copy of this 7″ after a friend gave me a cassette she nicked from Woolworths bargain bin. This is a Belgian version of the 7″. The lyrics are banal and Bobby O thinks he sounds like Elvis. Great cow bells and synth but as for the girl on the cover – MINGER.
PET SHOP BOYS: west end girls
pet shop boys produced by Bobby O before they got the vocal delivery right. B-side is an amazing track “pet shop boys” that sounds like it was cut with scissors.
MY TWO MOST COVETED RECORDS – price DONT ASK



NEW EDITION: popcorn love (1983) and candy girl
boy band sound like they have been singing whilst sucking helium – produced by Maurice Starr and Arthur Baker The picture disc and poster sleeve for the two tracks are form the same photo shoot but there are a few important points to note. The major one is that Bobby Brown is the only one wearing squeaky clean ’sneaks’ and has all the chains so maybe he was getting paid even from back then. The poster for Popcorn Love folds out with the same photo from the cover, but there it is easier to see the pubic hair that was printed onto all the artwork. I just wonder who’s it is as New Edition on these records sound as though they are yet to hit puberty.
Popcorn Love was £1.50 and Candy Girl was £3


I wish the real song was on YouTube but watch this instead.

SIDNEY: let’s break
let me hand over to my operations manager and dear dear friend Soby to explain this record
“about the jpeg….. it’s really great and funny. the guy on the first is come directly from my children time i was a tv show called H.I.P H.O.P on the French TV with 80’s tunes and first hip-hop tunes. i’m really a big fan of his show. and in this show. it’s the first where i can see Madonna like a dancer. 1or 2 year before her first album.”
Soby really made me laugh the day we walked around in the sun and ate nectarines in Brussels and he sang “papa don’t preach”
this record was 25p but now it is worth a lot more….


And this is a second best as well. The Clean Clean video was rotten.

BUGGLES: video killed the radio star and clean clean
Clean Clean is one of my favourite 7″ for not only the cover but the track is awesome. Trevor horn is a brilliant producer – even if they had crappy video’s. and the b-side kid dynamo is better than the a-side video killed the radio star.
I paid more than I should have for clean clean and I cant remember how much the other was. I have a few copies of it cause I really like the cover and don’t like that it gets so trashed


LOL – I bought this from Black or Dread and the man put the needle on the record for two seconds and whipped it off. “You want it or not?” I think he would have also shanked me if he wasn’t so stoned. The record by the way is fucking terrible and I only bought it out of fear.
It is Babycham and Foxy Brown.

A selection of records [some with nudity] that I liked for some reason or other to be bothered enough to scan them:

And the only videos I could find for all that lot:

Colonel Abrahms then


Motley Crew now. LOL – Imagine this for a whole set!
HAHAHAHAHA I cried laughing.

xx Lektrogirl

February 5, 2008

A NICHE DISTRACTION

So I just ate a muffin with the Confiture de Châtaigne I brought back from Paris ages ago from the little place at the back of the market who’s name I forget right now quite shittily. Châtaigne are sweet chestnuts. I just had an online conversation with Deano about The Wombles and did they eat chestnuts. I felt really guilty for getting him involved in such a twee and ridiculous conversation when I don’t care so much anyway. The confiture however – is INCREDIBLE.

We also had a brief conversation about T2 – he sent me the link for this:

I don’t think he will be spinning it any time soon. Nor me. I liked Heartbroken.

It says in the description for ‘Gonna Be Mine’ that the two girls, Addictive are 20 and 21. I don’t believe it. One of them looks as old as me. The one with the silver boob tube. The thing I like about this kind of music is that 1] it is a distraction from wanting to go back to the kitchen and eat another muffin and 2] it kind of reminds me of 2Unlimited except for 2008 – like after it got rung through the drawers of like 50 Cent after he sweated it out on stage doing ‘In Da Club’ or something. I remember when Pure Groove was the UK Garage shop in North London instead of the white leather belt hipster zone that is is today and being on a train with EDMX and Nick from Rephlex making jokes about speed garage. If I was still in pleasant conversation with Nick, that must have been years ago. [Long before I claimed the mechanicals due to me from the company which didn't go as smoothly as I had hoped.]

See another 5 minutes have passed and I didn’t eat more confiture.


Here is another blast from the past. Nervous Stephen gave this to me for my birthday one year. Well from the message on the back I guess he missed my birthday by a week. I found this and decided to put it on the wall again. I used to date Stephen you know [also a long time ago].


This picture is another birthday picture. I picked it up in Hamburg last time I was there and I will frame it and put it somewhere in the house. I used to have a framed mirror printed with Rocky on it above the toilet but it used to put all the guys off peeing so I had to move it. I won’t put this in the loo OR in the bedroom I guess.


Behind this postcard is part of a Paperrad silkscreen that is meant to be cut into business cards for some art fair in Miami. I love it so much cause Dracula is on his lap top. That is the best part. The postcard in front is the best postcard and piece of New Media Art ever. I bought it on Tottenham Court Road.

Of all the more interesting things I could post on Gumtree, I was considering posting a wanted ad for a 160cm square piece of vintage floor vinyl or set of Dalsouple rubber tiles. [That is only 5 tiles!] It is for my bathroom. If anyone has anything like that, let me know. Or if you have a link to a website for a dealer specialising in vintage floor vinyl please give it up!

xx Lektrogirl

January 17, 2008

MICHAEL BOW

FREAK IT OUT / FREAK IT IN

[Videobuff's voiceover is INCREDIBLE too.]

LOVE AND DEVOTION

ONE SHOT / SO HOT

This is the kind of music I was clubbing to when I first started going out underage. I guess it explains a lot. We drank Midori and Lemonade [a hairdresser's drink YGM] and wore neon lycra and feathers. I just remembered about Michael Bow cause I have been sorting through all my old 7″ records wondering what to do with them. I used to DJ at the Dogstar on Sunday afternoons for Nervous Stephen and that is where the 7″ habit came from. R.I.P. Beano’s in Croydon!!

xx Lektrogirl

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