Weekend links 587

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Jetpac (1983) by Ultimate Play The Game. Lunar Jetman was the superior sequel but Jetpac had the better loading screen.

• RIP Clive Sinclair. Products made by Sinclair Research Ltd. were among the first electronic gadgets I owned: the Sinclair Scientific calculator which compelled you to learn Reverse Polish notation before you could use it; the ZX Spectrum computer, of course; and the pocket TV that came bundled with the computer, a machine with such feeble reception that it only ever worked outdoors. I’ve still got my Spectrum computer, and it still worked the last time I plugged it in although it’s hardly worth keeping when emulators proliferate. Spectacol for Android is a good example of the latter. Related: World of Spectrum; the early stages of the Spectrum design process by Sinclair designer Rick Dickinson; XL-1 by Pete Shelley, electro-pop with Spectrum-generated lyrics and graphics.

• Mixes of the week: A Lee “Scratch” Perry tribute mix by Dennis Bovell, and Blood Tide Station 1: Breakaway plus Blood Tide Station 2: Force of Life by The Ephemeral Man.

• “It’s not an easy time to be daring,” says Dennis Cooper, talking to Barry Pierce about his new novel, I Wished.

• London under London: Adam Zamecnik interviews Tom Chivers about searching for London’s lost rivers.

• New music: Ode To The Blue by Grouper, and A Shadow No Light Could Make by Nathan Moody.

• At Public Domain Review: 700 years of Dante’s Divine Comedy in art.

• At Wormwoodiana: The Mushroom Man—A Note on EC Large.

DJ Food trips out with a collection of psychedelic drug posters.

Nodnol (1969) by The Spectrum | Spectrum (1969) by The Tony Williams Lifetime | Spectrum (1973) by Billy Cobham

London churches of the XVIIth and XVIIIth centuries

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This is another of those books that I’ve been led to by the requirements of the current workload, in this case the need to find pictures of a particular London church. George H. Birch’s book was published in 1896, and while it’s possible to find contemporary photographs of these buildings, I like the exterior views for showing the churches in a different time to our own.

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The photographs were by Charles Latham who avoids the usual street-level portraits in favour of views of each steeple from the highest floors of surrounding offices and warehouses. The buildings of London in the 1890s didn’t reach very far, St Paul’s Cathedral still dominated the City skyline, but Latham’s pictures have the additional attraction of showing us that skyline as it was over a century ago, before it was radically reconfigured by the bombs of the Luftwaffe and several generations of planners and architects. George H. Birch was the curator at the time of one of my favourite places in London, the Sir John Soane Museum. Browse or download the rest of his book here.

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Weekend links 580

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The Collective Lie We All Live By, a cut-paper collage by Allan Kausch from Maintenant 15, A Journal of Contemporary Dada Writing and Art.

• “It’s unusual that an album manages to be at once so much of its moment, yet so much outside it. Time was unmistakably a response to the electronic and synth waves that rose in the wake of punk. It was also a concept album about time travel, which couldn’t have been more pre-punk had it been focus-grouped that way.” David Bennun on Time (1981), ELO’s masterwork of science-fiction pop. The first song on the album, Twilight, is a thundering piece of synth bombast that prefigures Trevor Horn’s equally bombastic productions, and was used to memorable effect in the copyright-infringing animation made in 1983 for the opening of Daicon IV.

• New music: Disciples Of The Scorpion by The Rowan Amber Mill, and Shade by Grouper.

• “Psychedelic spirituality: Inside a growing Bay Area religious movement“.

• “It’s time to farewell this project,” says Ballardian.

• At Wormwoodiana: the seven greek vowels.

• A playlist for The Wire by Douglas Benford.

Norman Blake‘s favourite albums.

Astronomia Playing Cards.

• RIP Dusty Hill.

Time (1973) by David Bowie | Time (1976) by La Düsseldorf | Time (1992) by Lull

Weekend links 570

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Rick Griffin’s comic-style poster for The Quicksilver Messenger Service at the Avalon Ballroom, October 1967.

• “Like ‘perversion,’ the word ‘script’ has a special meaning for Escoffier, who devotes most of the book’s attention to films featuring sex between men, and treats pornography as a vast screen on which all of our fantasies are projected.” Steve Susoyev reviews Sex, Society, and the Making of Pornography by Jeffrey Escoffier.

• “The themes reflect Griffin’s core obsessions: sex, death, Christ, flesh, liquids, goofy japes, and lysergic gnosis. Man from Utopia is an opus, one that Griffin felt strongly enough about to eschew the usual pulp, printing the cover on good full-color card stock.” Erik Davis on Rick Griffin and a comic book like no other.

Strange Things Among Us, a summer exhibition at The College of Psychic Studies, London, will include among its exhibits a room of art by Austin Osman Spare.

She delighted in the fact that after The Sadeian Woman, she ended up on the mailing lists of both pro- and antiporn groups, though no one (alas) ever sent her any actual porn. She aligns more naturally in retrospect with Madonna—potent, fiercely individualistic, disruptive, and self-invented. Carter’s evolved philosophical position on gender was a variation on Stoicism. Gender roles were “behavioural modes,” a construct (“Baby is hermaphrodite!”), and there was weakness in allowing oneself to be beholden to (let alone enslaved by) a construct. Above all, women should have total sexual agency and also their own money. “I became a feminist,” she wrote in a postcard to Susannah Clapp, “when I realised I could have been having all this instead of being married.”

Minna Zallman Proctor on the life and work of raucous fabulist Angela Carter

• New music: Chapter 4 by the Moritz Von Oswald Trio with Heinrich Köbberling & Laurel Halo, and Synth Vehicles For Guitar by Michael C. Sharp.

• DJ Food searched the back issues of International Times to find a handful of adverts for London’s legendary UFO Club.

• At Wormwoodiana: Mark Valentine explores Hy Brasil, a novel by Margaret Elphinstone.

• Remembering Tom of Finland through stories of those who knew him.

• What I’m Aiming For: Peggy Seeger’s favourite music.

• At Dennis Cooper’s: The Light Show (1965–1971).

• Mix of the week: Haze by The Ephemeral Man.

• A Strange Light From The East (1967) by Tuesday’s Children | Strange Things Are Happening (1968) by Rings & Things | Strange Walking Man (1969) by Mandrake Paddle Steamer

16 views of Meoto Iwa

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Dawn at Futamigaura (c. 1832) by Kunisada.

Meoto Iwa, or the Married Couple Rocks, are two rocky stacks in the sea off Futami, Mie, Japan. They are joined by a shimenawa (a heavy rope of rice straw) and are considered sacred by worshippers at the neighboring Futami Okitama Shrine (Futami Okitama Jinja). According to Shinto, the rocks represent the union of the creator of kami, Izanagi and Izanami. The rocks, therefore, celebrate the union in marriage of man and woman. The rope, which weighs 40 kilograms, must be replaced several times a year in a special ceremony. The larger rock, said to be male, has a small torii at its peak.

At dawn during the summer, the sun appears to rise between the two rocks. Mount Fuji is visible in the distance. At low tide, the rocks are not separated by water. (more)

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A Company of Pilgrims from Yedo Outside a Tea House on the Hills Behind the Beach of Futami Admiring the View (c. 1795) by Katsukawa Shunzan.

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Women Worshiping the Rising Sun between the Twin Rocks at Ise (c. 1803–04) by Kitagawa Utamaro.

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Futamigaura (c. 1825) by Shotei Hokuji.

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View of Futamigaura from Famous Places in Ise (1847–52) by Hiroshige.

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