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• • • Being a journal by artist and designer John Coulthart, cataloguing interests, obsessions and passing enthusiasms.

Archive for October, 2006


A playlist for Halloween


Der Tod als Erwürger (1851) by Alfred Rethel. It’s a fact (sad or otherwise) that a substantial percentage of my music collection would make good Halloween listening but in that percentage a number of works are prominent as spooky favourites. So here’s another list to add to those already clogging the world’s servers, in no […]

Posted in {electronica}, {horror}, {lovecraft}, {music} | 4 comments »


The art of Virgil Finlay, 1914–1971


Mrs Amworth. Another great artist of the macabre and supernatural, Virgil Finlay was the one of the most talented and imaginative illustrators of his generation. Unlike older contemporaries such as Joseph Leyendecker, who became wealthy producing elegant yet often bland advertising art, much of Finlay’s best work was for pulp magazines like Weird Tales and […]

Posted in {art}, {black and white}, {horror}, {illustrators}, {lovecraft}, {pulp} | 4 comments »


The art of Harry Clarke, 1889–1931


The Masque of the Red Death. Halloween approaches so let’s consider the finest illustrator of Edgar Allan Poe’s stories, Irish artist Harry Clarke. Aubrey Beardsley once declared “I am grotesque or I am nothing” yet even his grotesquery—which could be considerable—struggled to do justice to Poe. Clarke, the best of the post-Beardsley illustrators, found a […]

Posted in {art}, {beardsley}, {black and white}, {books}, {horror}, {illustrators} | 9 comments »


Liberty 2006


“For a while there I was criticized as being the vice president for torture. We don’t torture. That’s not what we’re involved in.” Vice President Dick Cheney, October 24th, 2006. “In the “war on terror”, the US administration has resorted to secret detention, enforced disappearance, prolonged incommunicado detention, indefinite detention without charge, arbitrary detention, and […]

Posted in {design}, {politics}, {work} | Comments Off


NBC censors Dixie Chicks ad

More happy news from the Great Banana Republic Across the Water: the Dixie Chicks, who faced earlier censure and death threats for daring to criticise Generalissimo President Bush and the war in Iraq, have had their ad for movie Shut Up and Sing stopped by NBC who say they “cannot accept these spots as they […]

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Jean-Philippe Guillemain


Marc by Jean-Philippe Guillemain.

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Ghost Box


Q: What do you get when you cross analogue synthesizers, samples from obscure public information films, the graphic design of Pelican Books, Arthur Machen, HP Lovecraft, Algernon Blackwood, CS Lewis, Hammer horror, the Wicker Man and the music from Oliver Postgate’s animated films for children? A: the CD releases by artists on the Ghost Box […]

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The election Google Bomb

What’s a Google Bomb? Wikipedia explains. The Daily Kos site has set out this week to Google Bomb vulnerable Republicans in the upcoming midterm elections, hoping to get the numerous scandal stories associated with the GOP registering higher Google rankings than the candidates’ official sites. All that’s required is the placing of the list shown […]

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The Final Academy


The event booklet, designed by Neville Brody. William Burroughs’ reading in the city of Manchester took place on the 4th of October, 1982, at Factory Records’ Haçienda club, as part of the Manchester “edition” of The Final Academy, a Burroughs-themed art event put together by Psychic TV (Genesis P Orridge & Peter Christopherson) and others. […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {burroughs}, {cities}, {events}, {music} | 9 comments »


The Ondes Martenot


At Wikipedia. At 120 Years of Electronic Music. At Peter Pringle’s site.

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The birds and the bees (and the higher primates)

The Natural History Museum of Oslo University has opened an exhibition dedicated to homosexuality in the animal kingdom. Today we know that homosexuality is a common and widespread phenomenon in the animal world. Not only short-lived sexual relationships, but even long-lasting partnerships; partnerships that may last a lifetime. The exhibit puts on display a small […]

Posted in {gay}, {religion}, {science} | 2 comments »


The Photophonic Experiment


Electric light orchestra Light bulbs. Biscuits. A 10,000-volt charge. The only thing you won’t find making music at a Photophonic Experiment gig is guitars and pianos, says Maddy Costa. Maddy Costa Friday, October 20, 2006 The Guardian Ceinws in north Wales is the kind of tiny, bucolic town where nothing unusual is supposed to happen. […]

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It’s a pulp, pulp, pulp world


The (low-res) digitisation of the past continues apace on this site which is accumulating cover scans from a host of American sf and fantasy magazines. Oddly enough, I’d been looking for a place with pictures of the early Omni covers just recently, but this site didn’t come up on Google, or if it did, I […]

Posted in {art}, {design}, {magazines}, {pulp}, {science fiction} | Comments Off


Arthur Nights


Arthur Nights in LA this weekend—wish I was there. Last year’s Arthur Fest was one of the best music events I’ve been to.

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Voodoo Macbeth


In my obsession with all things Orson Welles, his 1936 production of Macbeth holds a special fascination, partly for being my favourite Shakespeare play, and partly for the curiosity of its production—an all-black cast that included genuine Haitian drummers who famously claimed to have drummed a Broadway critic to death after he gave the play […]

Posted in {art}, {film}, {occult}, {theatre} | 4 comments »


The art of Richard Estes


The photorealist urban landscape paintings of Richard Estes. Bus Reflections (1972). Café Express (1975).

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {painting} | Comments Off


Ys by Joanna Newsom


Joanna Newsom‘s extraordinary new album, out on November 14th. Recorded by Steve Albini, mixed by Jim O’Rourke, orchestral arrangements by Van Dyke Parks. Ys is the mythical city supposedly sunken off the coast of Brittany. It’s also the name of a piece on Alan Stivell‘s celebrated 1971 folk album, Renaissance of the Celtic Harp. Since […]

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Ryan Pfluger


Photography by Ryan Pfluger.

Posted in {eye candy}, {gay}, {photography} | 1 comment »


New things for October


Two new pieces of work appear this month. The cover for the Emissaries CD by Melechesh was something I did earlier this year but the album release was delayed. Melechesh are Sumerian Thrashing Black Metal maestros and their website is here. And finally this month, Jon Farmer’s book, Sieg Heil Iconographers, arrives from the printers. […]

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The art of Harry Smith, 1923–1991

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My discipline here has rather collapsed since returning from Paris. Lots of things that required sorting out and the distraction of a new computer is the excuse. Time for a new announcement, however. Now that The Haunter of the Dark is back in print, work has begun at the Savoy HQ on the eventual reprinting […]

Posted in {art}, {comics}, {horror}, {work} | 3 comments »


Jake Shears likes Van Dyke Parks


From ‘Music’s secret weapons‘ in today’s Guardian. Musicians pick “their special album: the one nobody else has heard of, the one to bring out when you want to amaze people” and trot out a host of uninspiring choices, most of which are hardly albums that no one has heard of. Tells you a lot about […]

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Penguin book covers


Nice collection of old covers for Penguin Books on Joe Kral’s Flickr pages. Looking over these, many of which are very familiar even though I’ve never owned them, makes me aware of how many hours of my life must have been spent in secondhand bookshops. The David Pelham cover for A Clockwork Orange has always […]

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Well I did look for some of Walter’s arcades (or passages couverts as the French call them), assisted by this excellent guide, but the ones I tracked down were closed. This narrow street (the Cour du Commerce St-André) in St-Germain-des-Prés made up for that. Looks better at night when all the restaurants are open but […]

Posted in {architecture}, {cities}, {photography} | Comments Off







“feed your head”