Weekend links 435

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An illustration by “Lapthorn” for Little Green Apples: the Chronicle of a Fallen Man (1930) by Geoffrey Moss.

Jean-Michel Jarre & Michel Granger: how we made Oxygène. “[It] was initially rejected by record company after record company. They all said: ‘You have no singles, no drummer, no singer, the tracks last 10 minutes and it’s French!’ Even my mother said: ‘Why did you name your album after a gas and put a skull on the cover?'”

• “When we ignore or demean consensual BDSM erotica, or stories about female sexual submission, we inadvertently contribute to a cultural legacy that routinely pathologizes, demeans, or erases women’s sexual desires.” Hayley Phelan on why we need erotica.

• “More than a literal reconstruction of an imagined collaboration between Eno and Morricone, Ghost Box opens a door onto a world where ambient music and country-western make for natural bedfellows.” Ghost Box (Expanded) by Suss.

Peter Bebergal and Janaka Stucky discuss Bebergal’s new book, Strange Frequencies: The Extraordinary Story of the Technological Quest for the Supernatural. There’s more at the Occulture podcast.

Great Noises That Fill The Air (1988), an album by Bow Gamelan Ensemble, receives its first release on CD next month. Related: the group in 1987 staging one of their pyrotechnic performances.

• Mixes of the week: Bleep Mix #45 by Lawrence English & William Basinski – Casting Voices Mixtape, DJ Food Solid Steel mix by Matt Berry, and The Séance – 13th October 2018.

• “…the social position filled by art and aesthetics is increasingly best understood in terms of magic.” Marina Warner and Eleanor Birne discuss forms of enchantment.

• From 2104: Ten little tales of terror for late of a Halloween night by Levi Stahl.

Words I Heard by Julian Holter

The Cosmodrome Futurists

Urban Gamelan (Pt. 1) (1984) by 23 Skidoo | Chez Les Futuristes Russes (1984) by Aksak Maboul | Oxygen (1997) by Gas

In Germany before the war

1: Fritz Haarmann (1879–1925)

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Arrow shows Haarmann’s attic residence in Rote Reihe, Hanover.

Haarmann was one of several serial murderers haunting Weimar Germany, variously nicknamed “the Butcher of Hanover”, “the Vampire of Hanover”, “the Wolf Man”, etc. for his sexual assault, murder and dismemberment of at least 24 boys and young men between 1918 and 1924. Haarmann also sold meat on the black market which led to rumours that some of the mince and other produce he sold was human flesh.

2: M (1931), a film by Fritz Lang.

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Thea von Harbou’s script for M is based in part on the Haarmann case although Lang’s child-killer is shown preying on girls rather than boys. Peter Lorre is superb in his first major role as the murderer, while Lang’s use of the new sound technology is remarkably inventive when compared to his stagey contemporaries in Hollywood.

3: M (1953), a film by Joseph Losey.

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Lang’s masterwork reworked as a Los Angeles film noir by Joseph Losey before McCarthyism sent him to Europe. This is one noir I still haven’t seen even though a major sequence takes place in that cult location, the Bradbury Building.

Continue reading “In Germany before the war”

Weekend links 268

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A City on Pluto (1940) by Frank R. Paul. Related: Paul’s predictions about life on other planets.

23 Skidoo’s Peel Session from September 16th, 1981. Only 18 minutes of music but I’m thrilled for its being unique material that’s never been given an official release. There are many more Peel Sessions at the uploader’s channel, not all of which were reissued on the Strange Fruit label. Download favourites in their as-broadcast form (some with John Peel’s introductions) before they vanish or get blocked like the 1981 Cabaret Voltaire session. Related: Wikipedia’s list of Peel Sessions.

• Mixes of the week comprise two collections by Jon Dale of strange and beguiling Italian music: The Prevarications Of The Sky Against The Earth and La Verifica Incerta; the Summer Window Mix (“telly detritus, new-not-new synth nonsense & off-colour pop oddities”) by Moon Wiring Club; and Secret Thirteen Mix 158 by Haunter Records.

• “Hello, this is David Bowie. It’s a bit grey out today but I’ve got some Perrier water, and I’ve got a bunch of records…” Two hours of the Thin White Duke playing favourite music on BBC Radio One, 20th May, 1979.

Some of Vidal’s guests were writers, not exactly his favorite group. “Writers are the only people who are reviewed by people of their own kind,” Vidal said in an interview. “And their own kind can often be reasonably generous—if you stay in your category. I don’t. I do many different things rather better than most people do one thing. And envy is the central fact of American life.”

Frank Pizzoli reviews Sympathy for the Devil: Four Decades of Friendship with Gore Vidal by Michael Mewshaw

• Yair Elazar Glotman’s new album, Études, conjures “bone-rattling resonance, thick, alien-like atmospheres, and percussive fragments”. Stream it in full here.

• London’s Lost Department Store of the Swinging Sixties: Inge Oosterhoff on the splendours of Biba.

• It’s that Ungeziefer again: Richard T. Kelly on 100 years of The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka.

• The History of Creepy Dolls: Linda Rodriguez McRobbie explores the uncanny valley.

• At Dangerous Minds: Matt Groening tells the story of The Residents in 1979.

• The NYT collects NASA’s photos from the New Horizons Pluto flyby.

The Museum of Imaginary Musical Instruments

Written on the Body: tattoos in cinema

The Doll’s House (1981) by Landscape | Voodoo Dolly (1981) by Siouxsie and the Banshees | Devils Doll Baby (1986) by Sonny Sharrock

23 Skidoo

1: A slang phrase

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Postcard via.

skidoo, v. N. Amer. slang. (ski’du:) Also skiddoo. [Orig. uncertain, perh. f. skedaddle v.]

2. In catch-phrases. a. Used as an exclamation of disrespect (for a person). Esp. in nonsense association with twenty-three. (temporary.)

1906 J. F. Kelly Man with Grip (ed. 2) 99 As for Belmont and Ryan and the rest of that bunch, Skidoo for that crowd when we pass. Ibid. 118 ‘I can see a reason for ‘skidoo’,’ said one, ‘and for ‘23’ also. Skidoo from skids and ‘23’ from 23rd Street that has ferries and depots for 80 per cent. of the railroads leaving New York.’ 1911 Maclean’s Mag. Oct. 348/1 Surrounded by this conglomerate procession as I went on my way, the urchins would yell ‘Skidoo,’ ‘23 for you!’

b. spec. as twenty-three skidoo: formerly, an exclamation of uncertain meaning; later used imp., go away, ‘scram’.

1926 C. T. Ryan in Amer. Speech II. 92/1, I really do not recall which appeared first in my vocabulary, the use of ‘some’ for emphasis or that effective but horrible ‘23-Skiddoo’—perhaps they were simultaneous. 1929 Amer. Speech IV. 430 Among the terms which the daily press credits Mr. Dorgan with inventing are:…twenty-three skiddoo (go away). 1957 W. Faulkner Town iii. 56 Almost any time now Father would walk in rubbing his hands and saying ‘oh you kid’ or ‘twenty-three skidoo’. 1978 D. Bagley Flyaway xi. 80 This elderly, profane woman…used an antique American slang… I expected her to come out with ‘twenty-three, skidoo’.

From the Oxford English Dictionary

2: An esoteric poem by Aleister Crowley

23

SKIDOO

What man is at ease in his Inn?
Get out.
Wide is the world and cold.
Get out.
Thou hast become an in-itiate.
Get out.
But thou canst not get out by the way thou camest in. The Way out is THE WAY.
Get out.
For OUT is Love and Wisdom and Power.
Get OUT.
If thou hast T already, first get UT.
Then get O.
And so at last get OUT.

From The Book of Lies (1912/13)

3: A film by Julian Biggs

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23 Skidoo (1964).

If you erase the people of downtown America, the effect is bizarre, not to say disturbing. That is what this film does. It shows the familiar urban scene without a soul in sight: streets empty, buildings empty, yet everywhere there is evidence of recent life and activity. At the end of the film we learn what has happened.

4: 23 Skidoo Eristic Elite by William Burroughs

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International Times, issue 18, Aug 31–Sept 13, 1967.

From Burroughs proceed to Illuminatus! (1975) by Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson, and many subsequent derivations.

Continue reading “23 Skidoo”

Ear to the Ground

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The name of percussionist David Van Tieghem won’t be familiar to most people, but if you’ve ever heard Eno & Byrne’s My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts, Speaking In Tongues by Talking Heads, any of Laurie Anderson’s early albums or Steve Reich’s Music For 18 Musicians then you’ve heard some of Van Tieghem’s session work.

For Ear to the Ground, a four-minute video piece by John Sanborn & Kit Fitzgerald, Van Tieghem leaves the recording studio to play the city streets of New York: pavements, fences, doorways, etc. This may be a typical product of the NYC art crowd of the late 1970s but it also seems prescient for the way it predicts the urban percussion/performance that would flourish a couple of years later in Europe, a micro-genre exemplified by Einstürzende Neubauten, 23 Skidoo, Test Department, the Bow Gamelan Ensemble and others. Watch Ear to the Ground at Ubuweb.