Back from Madrid. El Rastro was a bit of a disappointment. It may be my memory playing tricks on me but when I was last there 15 years or so ago it had seemed bigger and more distinctive. Now 90% of the stalls were the ones you find at every weekend market in Europe these days - mind you the same goes for my local market, Brick Lane.
However my shopping spree on Saturday more than made up for it. I discovered a load of second hand record shops in the streets off Calle Arenal, which is very central (close to the Plaza Mayor, Sol etc). Pride of place goes to Discos La Metralleta in Plaza De Las Delcalzas. It is underground and has three parts - top of the range, mid-price and a genuine bargain basement which has a huge selection of LPs and 12"s going for one or two Euros - expect to hear from the Denver Mexicans, Bordon-4 and Conde Manga here at some point when I clear the backlog of vinyl to be digitalised (I have a large pile of Irish country LPs to get through courtesy of Mrs F, mother of Mr F).
There is a small but stylish record fair on Saturday mornings in Plaza 2 De Mayo (near Tribunal metro) - including one stall that had a job lot of LPs by 1980s German pop acts (I resisted) - and I was also able to pick up some good stuff in a sale at FNAC (their equivalent of HMV) including a two CD "best of" Joan Manuel Serrat, who I've featured here previously.
But it wasn't all fun, there was culture too. I went to the Reina Sofia, the modern art gallery. The best known exhibit is "Guernica", but there are plenty more familiar pieces including Dali's "The Great Masturbator", posters of which adorned many walls in my student days. As well as the big names such as Picasso, Dali and Joan Miro there are plenty of lesser known cubists, surrealists etc.
Which brings me to today's selection. From 1986 here are Surreal Estate with "Midas Touch".
I don't know anything about them but I assume they were from Liverpool as the 12" single this comes from was released on Probe Plus and produced by Will Seargent of Echo and the Bunnymen.
Here is some more music inspired by art:
P.S. If anyone can explain the significance of today's title there will be a prize of some sort (he said rashly)