Lapsang Souchong

by Ian Evans

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1.
Mission, to go to V and A Museum and see the giant 3 stringed bass of Dragonetti Sidetracked by Shaftesbury Avenue memory loss and by the Natural History Museum, which is my favourite place I saw the Tucsan ring meteorite. My heterotopian Albertopolis Got to the main arch, which tests adventurers with its inscription, “The excellence of every art must consist in the accomplishment of its every purpose” I was ensnared by the bag search, yeah… And by Dale Chihuly’s jellyfish chandelier - Guardian of the rotunda Into the corridor I fought the trap of the Ardabil Carpet (kept within glass, with light shone twice an hour) Made for Shah Tahmasp in 1539 And then the Cast Courts, the Cast Courts yeah… Parian marble for the Dacian Campaigns of Emperor Trajan Cast for the forum in Rome and the tomb of Saint Sepaldus, carried by an army of snails My next test was the giant hall of Rafael cartoons, with the Miraculous Draft of Fishes And the Dacre beasts (fish, horse, griffin and bull) which can resist fire and they blocked my path with spears I found the huge dome of the fashion section, here I faced temptations of the flesh… Christian Joy’s designs for Karen O and the Pierre Balmain cocktail dress It’s here I saw my goal up in the hidden chamber above the central display Through the iron work corridor and down the secret walkway I passed the sleeping guard to claim my prize And then the Cast Courts, the Cast Courts yeah… As I left the instrument room I saw a red herring… the imitation music room of Norfolk House Where waited Sir Foster Cunliffe the headless archer, blocking my escape And the black crown of Fred Wilson My final test was a corridor of punk paper sculptures, called the Ante room of the May Queen I fought off the grass to the metal exit doors and then into the brick tunnel to escape And so the end of a good day
2.
Big D 04:01
Thomas Arundel, protect the Beagle captain, from your set ideas Adam from the NHM has fallen Coulter or Pat Condell? Well I’m too foxed to know the difference, from Esther and Hamman So I’m going to live my life with questions, ashamed for Alan Turing A light you saw when poorly, might not infer rigid ideas about the earth It might be Sutekh or Glycon or Elphias Levi (or just a bright light) So now I’m going to walk up to the cross roads and meet a brown eyed, handsome man And then I’m going to live my life with questions And try to get beyond him Oh for a shield of brazen iron Oh for a raging sea Oh for my heart’s desire Big D give it to me Oh to save just one witch’s life Oh to do magic spells I’ll never be anti-life. First do no harm as well I’m leaving this diary, so everyone can see what love can do to a gentleman Mr Lusk one day you’ll say that he gave birth, to the 20th century So Mr D got thrown out of the heavens, just like Lord Rich of Leighs And then he made a fortune up in Essex. Religion worked out for that git
3.
Hems 01:36
Instrumental
4.
Hark at Her 03:25
Anywhere the wind blows… there goes her and me In the first days of us practicing, we would meet in Finchley We were scared of singing and our voices cracked with nervousness It’s that life I moved here to try and see We swapped demo tapes and I called each acquaintance To go out for drinks, or stand alone at gigs You keep your foes close and fight to keep your loves close Trying to impress, but you must see I’m lonely Golden days After uni, years of struggling for a social situation Nothing in the country or the joy of my friends… You graduate and expel to home towns Singing with Alexis in an Irish pub It was on a day in Sutton, when the rain was coming on You put one chord down in front of another Darlings can you hark at her? Surely within time, I’ll stagger through the rain To watch her in a play, on my 28th birthday It seemed we could talk about anything No one ever does… Hark at her In the Bree Louise pub, Carter Beats the devil Hark at her It’s raining in London, shelter under covers Hark at her A cat sleeps on top of the photocopier, where I work Hark at her A cat sleeps… under covers
5.
You don’t judge character by how well you treat your equals, but those beneath you Hardness isn’t judged by beating others, but by surviving beatings to you Steve Ditko takes a card and colours one black half… but there should be an in between… The left believe that everyone should be protected (even when that means that individuals can’t have millions) The right believe that everyone should strive for riches (even when stepping on others, so they’re inherently wrong) The theory of hurrah and boo… If I could have one wish (as Madeleine Smith would be for J.E. Oliver) I’d like to team up with a glamorous showgirl at Davenports Magic shop (Known to Karrel Fox and Jim Steinmeyer) “Quelle splendide nichons” Cool as Lee Miller Not for all the tea in China (or all the Nile in Carolina) would we want something else Youngsters fall in love with ideals until they get something (I would advise you to get something if you can) I’m not as hard as Geoff Senior’s angular lines or portrayal of motion Cynics may have focus or be trapped in their barrels (or in a case like J. Bentham) I read Sophie’s World in one weekend, to escape from real life (so I’ll never be Uber-man) If I was as brave as Max Hasting’s Dad, I might suggest that David Hume’s my favourite one Port please and a morsel of cheese, as I scan my books – there is a matter more brave, if I take a look Why would he say that life is too full of things? (That’s euphoria not Nausea I’m thinking) What I meant by that Sophie’s World comment was really true (but then I had nothing else to do) Mauvais foi is the thing to avoid and of that I’m sure (I’d be as good as Mindy on the ocean floor) She’s Princess Mindy to us, with her, “bag of all winds,” thing (what a labyrinth it is) If you can stay friendly with ex-members then you’re doing fine, like the Dillinger Escape plan
6.
Every year here in V.T., by the lights of our Christmas tree Gordon, Edd, Wilson and me, make a tape for our party In our cutting room, with the best things that we find Light our advent crown Mister Noseybonk is here, lighting a fag between takes And Janet Ellis in the pool, on the Blue Peter spring break James has brought mince pies and it’s two mins till midnight Such a crush eh James? There’s a cracking clip of me when I cast a boom shadow Tripped over leads when I worked on the Wogan show If you knew Jim like I do, you’d stay out of his way I’ve known people who mess round but no one like him and his mates on the staff are like me and our Jim Happy Christmas V.T. Happy Christmas V.T. Our Box of Delights shows this evening, last episode on Christmas Eve Happy Christmas V.T. From the Festive 50 We borrowed a giant maggot puppet, from Colin Mapson on Doctor Who See her knickers as she’s fleeing the Haemovore It’s all on our Christmas tape on the cutting room floor But if you turn away – I see a face… He’d steal Christmas, but the boys win in tonight’s final episode All gathered around, the floor staff can cheer And we’ve found fun things for the party this year Happy Christmas V.T. Happy Christmas V.T. The Acton Hilton near Survival. We’ll have Jigsaw Log and Strato-bows Happy Christmas V.T. From the Festive 50 We borrowed a giant maggot puppet, from Colin Mapson on Doctor Who Happy Christmas V.T. From the Festive 50 In the days before the video, the Christmas schedule meant something Happy Christmas V.T. Happy Christmas V.T. Our Box of Delights shows this evening and God will bless us every one
7.
Nightly dreaming brings to her the memory of her man His weapons swept the land and then he passed away For her it was a pay day I won’t let them get to me - the family house aint what it used to be Do I have to let them in? Do I have to change these plans? This mystery house needs rebuilding Lights overhead spell tragedy This mystery house needs rebuilding Death lines ahead spell tragedy Stairs now lead on to dead end walkways - banisters go nowhere Mrs. Winchester has put the legacy to use Trapdoors, labyrinthine tunnels, so the ghosts can’t find her The most haunted lady, now planning and aloof There is nowhere on haunted hill that a spirit could possibly be This mystery house needs rebuilding still Lights ahead spell tragedy Stairs now lead on to dead end walkways - banisters go nowhere Mrs. Winchester has built a house of leaves you see? Each maze needs a Minotaur, you only hear the growling But the monster just can’t find her in a House of Stairs you see
8.
Flower (a very complex friend) I’m never awkward she said (her petals disarranged) I should have guessed, the affection behind her stratagems It’s such a secret place, the land of tears Let the tigers come with their claws But flowers are weak and reassure themselves I wouldn’t feel so bothered if she were armed herself And I’m here on my own… One flower is just unique and thorny in her way And it’s fine to be happy, just to look at her star In torment to her vanity But flowers are weak and reassure themselves I wouldn’t feel so bothered if she were armed herself And I’m here on my own again… I was too young to know how to love her Or maybe I was cautious, and the fault was with her? There’s only social difficulty And no grown up will ever understand that this is so important and I held in my arms… Someone that would just hold me back If we went out, I’d only want to be Always romantic with her, which isn’t what she needs Or is she softer than she seems?
9.
Took shilling: working for the Queen A cat sleeps on the photocopier where I work By my account, the villain must still be in the room now Her crown can’t tumble, in a frenzy of Tong kukris Port please and a morsel of cheese as I scan the books There’s a matter more grave if you take a look, than gravy Priest holes (with other priest holes hidden inside of them) Which were dug up by we awesome gentlemen Mr. Creek and Ms. Brundage Being with other bees in the hive, we all have the same Mother Britain to lead on And I’m chosen to soldier on The duck press at the Savoy hotel Next to Disraeli’s meetings - planning schemes as well Hedges and Butler with V.R. Alice is marrying one the guards now By my account, the villain’s working for the Queen as well Grad student projects in consulting detection Narration: Looking back to my journals, I see that it was an unusually cold morning in the November of 1892. I'd recently returned from a case in Jamaica, and was unaccustomed to the bitter chill of the Old Brompton Road. Kind readers will recall that horrific case of the mechanical skull - owned by the pirate Higgins of ill fame. As usual I had become engaged by mistake, to a young friend of my aunt Yvette, and that had left me with something of a reputation for cheekiness on the island. Under strict instructions to extricate me without causing offence, my maid had a dickens of a time forging papers and convincing the swooning beau of my unsuitability as a fiancé. As she explained, the Sultan of Morocco had himself offered 12 camels for me, but had then fainted in disgust at my unladylike lack of a corset. As I approached the Museum, I was taken by a considerable desire for a pork pie with some mustard, and a pint of Guinness. In a moment I'd crept into a café and secreted myself at a table, my head full of the mystery that had been presented to me. The curator of the Knightsbridge Crime Museum had for many years been in possession of a kissing couch, said to have once born the weight of the murderer Paul Johnston. When the aforementioned had appeared at my office, I took the liberty of viewing him by clandestine periscope as he approached my doorknocker. Never have I seen a client in a more pitiable state of temper... I am a slight lady and, although skilled in Eastern wrestling, I cunningly hid my father's swordstick behind my back. I was fully prepared to offer the assailant a chance to taste my fists, but my surprise was great when I discovered that this brutish and dishevelled oaf was the curator of such public service. It was he who paid for my council, and I confess to wondering as to the cause of his horror, as I munched my pie. The Crime Museum is within walking distance of a corner shop, so I was pleased to feel the comfort of a chocolate bar in my be-mittened hand, as I viewed the evidence. As the curator recounted, the sinister couch had been seized from Johnston's grasp as he attempted to engage its lethal arms. True to its masters nature, I was unsurprised to find that all the mechanical apparatus for the disposal of a human form were concealed beneath the Arabic cushion of the second seat. As I tested one of the steam-powered arms with a mitten, I shuddered at the thought of the merciless springs and greased blades within. The mechanism struck me as the mouth and arms of a giant squid (over which it would be unwise to rest oneself) and the wooden chest beneath contained a pile of socks - all that was left of the unfortunate museum staff who had been drawn in. After dinner, my client regained his famous impression of nobility and I was pleased to see his horror averted. I was blessed with a fine payment and a choice of any item from the museum, as payment for my daring do. I'm afraid I had become very grumpy whilst wrestling the machine, and had complained bitterly at being lodged upside down for so long, my gallant companion holding my ankles. I still blush at the thought of my own language as I lost my hat, and I sat through dinner smudged with mascara and with my hair quite like a birds nest. As payment I chose a new hat.
10.
Snail Space 02:43
This week my chemicals seem low No energy to overcome introversion A lot of social bookings – too many though I can’t get my electricity working Or get up and go home, so I pretend to be busy when people come to work And waste time on Wikipedia My friends’ band have split up I now actually feel jealous of my friend, who’s found out that he’ll be a dad Tomorrow I’ll have to confront that other person about the room booking they’ve messed up And they’re so much better at arguing… And now I’ll have to wait 20 minutes to argue with the gas board, about their threats with bills that I’ve already paid “You’d be such a good boyfriend for someone Ian, but just not for me” What I meant was that a family seemed so right with her, but now she’s all gone It’s more romance that I’m missing… and my chemicals are too low for the effort to be charming It takes an effort not to be lonely and my arms are too weak to lift a phone Modern people think that settling down to romance is a trap and their views are worthless Most of the people that we meet on Soulmates aren’t right for us But romance comes along so rarely and I’m bitter with their stupid choices Could we not kiss at least? No, you decide to stay single, but then you’ll choose a man who’ll treat you badly
11.
Rewriting mails to get the right tone of voice Rewording for hours, which only I’ll notice If I could only find the write words to solve the argument Which only I’ve noticed I’m only angry as this band or thing/relationship is so important I’ve never told you, but every time I do I feel that it needs one more note too What’s so small to you is so large to me Obviously I think it, but I can’t say In case you get the wrong impression I’ve been on edge for days, because I told you the truth when drunk But you don’t seem to have been listening I meant that us having jobs just isn’t the same, as them being more important than what we do I’ve wanted this for a long time and I hate it that you don’t too Excuse my fingers – I don’t know what I’m doing I’m worried that I’m being blatant when I touch your arm But I guess that I can’t give out the right signs You don’t notice, but it’s all of the time I’m sorry that I can’t love everyone all the time I can’t come out now to the party, because you’ll be there with him I guess that I’ve made the right decision… But I’m lonely now that I’ve stayed in Now I’m at a pub. I’m feeling more hopeful, meeting two strangers You just don’t notice, but it’s all of the time
12.
Patisserie Valerie Mascarpone and salmon parcels Yvette serves tea Harris pick me up Absinth Gerry’s I wish I had some cash Not so much for good things, but to avoid bad Walking my tortoise Montmorency Laduree and Harrod’s pub Your class doesn’t have to mean, you should be proud to be stupid or abused Nothing’s noble about being deprived We rage against the dying of the light Ken Gore flaneur Nigella Pinochet dejeuner Yvette on the Harrod’s isles Home Counties. Mascara. Stockings Heston Blumenthal and Nigella, I should clarify that I like I am in Walker’s Court My clothes were placed in my cupboard by my enemies
13.
Sebek Answers Your Letters 1. Where does the word Trilby come from? 2. What can you find on Strand Lane? 3. Why did they arrest James Hetherington? 4. What do dolphins most often refrain? 5. Who was Jackie Comic named after? What common question and answer were on their problem page? 6. Why didn’t Benjamin Franklin write the constitution in his own hand? 7. What is the Stokenchurch shoe tree? A Corsican trap? Who is Melusine? 8. Who’s Ronnie Hazelhurst? (They say he beat Pink Floyd) 9. Who is Tony of Plymouth? 10. What was Minski’s furniture? 11. What’s at 23 Leincester Terrace? I need you Sebek. Please answer me 12. What could you see at Dennis Sever’s House? 13. At 25 East Cheap, do you see the mouse? 14. How good are Chris Husselbeck’s Turrican scores? And the level floors? 15. What was Egyptian Hall? In the Paddington Basin, they say that a bridge curls up into a ball 16. What sculpture can you see on the long park lands walk, from Finsbury Park to Ally Pally? 17. What happened to Wang Puzhi and his discovery? 18. Where was the first car crash in the U.K.? 19. What accident befell a man outside Zimbabwe House in the 30’s? 20. Where can I buy Screenwipe, Body Matters or Micro Live on DVD? 21. What’s on the top of the Brit Royal Exchange? 22. What is the font on the cover of this record? And… what did Tom Robbins say was the most important question ever? Adam and Eve It Climbing the fence at night Walking past the aviary and mice She said, “I have a secret, I love you” We’d made these grilled cheese, American things As we both had these colds and then on her laptop, watched Sky Captain Past the wicker sculpture in Clissold Park, we thought that we’d see the Tate Modern Litter men put in bins by other litter men – I don’t remember the artist but it was amazing In the evening we went to a boat by Cleo’s Needle (where I’d seen fOE, back when I had met Karen) She’d agreed to meet some Tomorrow People fans and she explained about them Two actors turned up, one hit on her She did an impression of the eel on a TV screen The next day we ate these things and walked out The Blue Legume The Stoked Up pub Feeling like Eden explorers… Daniel Defoe’s blue plaque Mary Anne Hobbs’ house The slender pillar box The Metal Crumble shop... 30 minutes by the rabbits More things than in Sports Billy’s bag… Love’s a winnin’
14.
Instrumental
15.
Ubutique 04:11
E is the best key for metal, or for open strings The peoples’ key and most, “bassy” For drones or pedal note strumming I briefly thought of the Les Paul (after Andy P) But they’re more like Mike Tyson, while the Telecaster is Bruce Lee A is the key of more trebly blues solos And the nicest pentatonic box, at the nicest place on the neck Don’t widdle scales over your mates tuning up Never play your own thing in a jam. Listen and join in, never do your own thing D is the key of prog and folk, suspended chords that fit easily It’s a bit more keen and more unusual G is the key of open middle strings, pulled on or off And stretching your singing Difford and Tilbrook fighting over the ocarina Frustration with guitar lessons It must be possible to learn a logic B is the key of warmth and victory, nobility and anthems But B flat is more so The springs on the Bigsby tremolos Properly called vibratos In the shop, where I used to go in St. Mary’s Keeping a band together is more social work than skill And that’s the way it should be And here we are again, one octave higher
16.
Being in my shell, the first time was awkward and clumsy Shouldn’t this thing be the best thing in the whole world? Spoiling your life well, if you’re thinking of guilt or shyness It’s tough for us too… it seemed like such a lot to do I’m not staying in my cockleshell There is no such thing, as being good or bad at this There is only being sensitive or insensitive Come out from your shell - the mistakes we have are funny Laughing makes all well It seemed like such a lot to do I’m not staying in my cockleshell Hiding your flame is in fashion you see But I’m sparking up mine, for as far as my eyes can see

about

This is a concept album, recorded between 2006 and 2007. I finished it on New Year's eve, just by coincidence, before I went out.

For this record I wanted to make a mental masterpiece, so went all out with odd scales and rhythms (and lyrics where everything was a reference or double meaning.) I might re-record some of these tunes with better production, but this is the full concept album! ;-) It was recorded roughly at home, but has some magic I think.

The download comes with complete pdf artwork and a booklet explaining the lyrics and references.

This album is free, but donations always help. Cheers, Ian E X

credits

released July 12, 2006

Everything by Ian Evans, except the narration on Working for the Queen by Karen. Many thanks to Karen for doing it

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Ian Evans UK

Pop/experimental/rock musician and songwriter from London

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