Weekend links 585

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Fox Woman (c. 1916) by Bertha Lum.

• “Apparently he had been walking though customs/arrivals with a large cube of weed stuck on the end of his silver Dr Martens and a foot long silver flashlight full of seed, but when they realised who he was, and that today was his 60th birthday, he was released with just a warning.” Radio Lancashire DJ Steve Barker remembers the late Lee “Scratch” Perry, and links to one of his shows with Perry (and Roger Eagle) here.

• “…it’s the chase itself that shapes the film’s distinctive aesthetic—the under-lit interiors and the sunless and frigid exteriors of the many locations across the city, sites that take the cops well beyond their usual beat, to places both above and below ground.” Chris McGinley explains how William Friedkin’s The French Connection reinvented (and exploded) the police procedural.

• “Toibin, who is himself gay, has always extended historical sympathy to sexual outsiders. As he’s written elsewhere, ‘There are no 19th-century ballads about being gay.'” Dwight Garner reviews Colm Toibin’s The Magician, a novel about Thomas Mann.

Here is the key point: to experience such marvels you have to risk an unsophisticated, even credulous love for corn, and part of that love involves a willingness to submit to what [Phil] Ford calls a “magical hermeneutics” capable of transforming marginal chunks of pop culture. As he writes in the wonderful 2008 essay that inspired the episode, exotica is “less a genre of music than a class of cultural objects that share a characteristic projection of the self across boundaries of space and time.” This makes it essentially psychedelic—“film music for daydreams”—and Ford draws out that historical connection in his essay, which argues that while the hippie movement that Nature Boys like Ahbez prophesied looks like a radical rejection of the space-age bachelor pad of ’50s consumerism, tendrils of transcendent yearning link the exotica imaginary to the earnest if stoned mysterioso to come.

Erik Davis on Eden Ahbez and Californian exotica

Edgar Froese interviewed on WSHU radio in 1974 where he talks about Tangerine Dream, live performance and the future of electronic music.

• At Dangerous Minds: A momentary lapse of reason…when Dario Argento interviewed Pink Floyd in 1987.

• It’s that man again: John Doran interviews Kevin Martin, aka The Bug.

David McKenna on The Strange World of France, La Nòvia & friends.

• At Dennis Cooper’s: Tape deck.

Exotica (1958) by Martin Denny | Exotica Lullaby (1976) by Harry “The Crown” Hosono | Exotica (1979) by Throbbing Gristle

4 thoughts on “Weekend links 585”

  1. I seem to have a very mild interest in California, especially Southern California. I have never been to the Golden State (or the western U.S., for that matter), and likely never will visit, but the southwest United States does intrigue me, perhaps because of its countercultural history, and perhaps because some of it still feels wild — for now. California, Arizona, New Mexico, and bits of Nevada and Colorado and West Texas, this semi-mythic realm embedded in the popular consciousness of most Europeans, a place inhabited by Cartel thugs, drug-addled visionaries, and U.F.Os, and where lonely Airstream caravans litter the desert. Los Angeles, the city of dreams and twinkling skyscrapers and blazing neon lights. But I could never stay there, for the climate is too hot.

  2. Howard: That’s one of my favourites from Martin Denny. I often wish they’d recorded a whole album in the same languid mood but they usually break the atmosphere by upping the tempo and going into a boobam solo or something.

    Liam: I spent two weeks in Southern California in 2005, and found it to be a beautiful place, even Los Angeles which Americans often describe as horrible. It wasn’t too hot either; it was September, and the weather was in the mid-20s throughout. The desert climate prevents the humidity we usually get with those temperatures.

    Paul: Thanks, that looks like my kind of thing. I like to listen to exotica now and then when I’m working, preferably the tropical island stuff rather than the lite jazz that often gets classed along with it. I downloaded all the files from The Exotica Project a couple of months ago so I could listen to them all as a single monster mix. The whole set runs for 4 hours, 28 minutes!

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