Weekend links 287

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Cover by Valentine Hugo for Contes Bizarres (1933) by Achim d’Arnim. See Hugo’s interior illustrations here.

• “In spite of the blood-drinking pursuits of Rollin’s protagonists, there’s very little in the way of body horror to be found. His undead are sensual, romantic creatures that are frequently delicate of mind and body. These movies attempt to evoke nuanced emotional responses with their mixture of romance, loss, eroticism, and tragedy.” Tenebrous Kate on Sex, Death, and the Psychedelic Madness of Jean Rollin.

• “Late at night, [Melville] ‘turned flukes’ down Oxford Street as if he were being followed by a great whale, and thought he saw ‘blubber rooms’ in the butcheries of the Fleet Market.” Philip Hoare on Herman Melville’s time in London.

Haunted by Books, a new collection of writings by Mark Valentine, “explores the more curious byways of literature.” Full details at the home of the esoteric, Tartarus Press.

I am completely an elitist, in the cultural but emphatically not the social sense. I prefer the good to the bad, the articulate to the mumbling, the aesthetically developed to the merely primitive, and full to partial consciousness. I love the spectacle of skill, whether it’s an expert gardener at work, or a good carpenter chopping dovetails, or someone tying a Bimini hitch that won’t slip.

Art critic Robert Hughes quoted in a review by Siri Hustvedt of The Spectacle of Skill: Selected Writings of Robert Hughes

• “Art, art – I couldn’t give a crap about art.” Oscar Wilde’s nephew, Arthur Cravan, puts in another appearance at Strange Flowers.

• “The Tarot is utterly fascinating,” says Evan J. Peterson discussing his Tarot-inspired writing with Tarot Poetry.

Manuel Göttsching: “A lot of crazy music happened at the end of the ’60s, very strange, and very curious…”

• Mixes of the week: Secret Thirteen Mix 169 by Chra, and 28th November 2015 by The Séance.

Czech Artists’ Radical Book Designs of the Early 20th Century

• Ten things you might not know about Yayoi Kusama.

• More megaliths: Francis Pryor on ritual landscapes.

Peaches gets wild in the desert: Rub (uncensored).

Irmin Schmidt‘s favourite records (this week)

Mount Etna erupts

Rituals (1981) by Bush Tetras | Ballet For A Blue Whale (1983) by Adrian Belew | Etna (2006) by Boris & Sunn O)))

Weekend links 264

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Stonehenge Suite, No.10 (1977) by Malcolm Dakin.

• “Part of me always wanted to write a teatime drama. That’s something that I wanted to get out of my system,” says director Peter Strickland. The results may be heard here. In the same interview there’s news that Strickland will be adapting Nigel Kneale’s The Stone Tape for radio later this year.

• “He was, as one obituary stated in terms unusually blunt for the time, ‘not as other men’.” Strange Flowers on the eccentric and profligate Henry Cyril Paget (1875–1905) aka The Dancing Marquess.

• “Please tell Mr Jagger I am not Maurits to him.” MC Escher rebuking The Rolling Stones. The artist is the subject of a major exhibition at the National Galleries of Scotland from June 27th.

Often mentioned in the same breath as works of James Joyce and Samuel Beckett, Ó Cadhain’s novel is, in some ways, even more radically experimental. For starters, all the characters are dead and speaking from inside their coffins, which are interred in a graveyard in Connemara, on Ireland’s west coast. The novel has no physical action or plot, but rather some 300 pages of cascading dialogue without narration, description, stage direction, or any indication of who’s speaking when.

Niamh Ní Mhaoileoin on the newly-translated Cré na Cille (The Dirty Dust) by Máirtín Ó Cadhain

Paul Woods examines “10 Edgy Properties No Film Producer Dared To Touch
(Yet)”. No. 2 is David Britton’s Lord Horror.

Mallory Ortberg ranks paintings of Saint Sebastian “in ascending order of sexiness and descending order of actual martyring”.

The Sign of Satan (1964): Christopher Lee in a story by Robert Bloch for The Alfred Hitchcock Hour.

Sympathy For The Devil – The True Story of The Process Church of the Final Judgment.

• At Dangerous Minds: Paul Gallagher on the seedy malevolence of Get Carter (1971).

• Mix of the week: Sonic Attack Special – Earth by Bob’s Podcasts.

Sanctuary Stone (1973) by Midwinter | The Litanies Of Satan (1982) by Diamanda Galás | Sola Stone (2006) by Boris

Weekend links 256

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Of a Neophyte, and How the Black Art Was Revealed unto Him by the Fiend Asomuel. Aubrey Beardsley for the Pall Mall Magazine, 1893.

• The occult preoccupations of the 1970s appear to be in the ascendant just now. Whether this is mere nostalgia or something in the zeitgeist remains to be seen but BBC Radio 4 aired an hour-long documentary on the subject this weekend entitled Black Aquarius. The guest list implies an inevitable focus on film and television but Matthew Sweet covered a lot of ground, taking in the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, Aleister Crowley, Dennis Wheatley, The Process Church, and Alex Sanders, the public face of British witchcraft in the 1960s and 70s. Earlier this week at AnOther the focus was on Maxine Sanders, High Priestess of the Alexandrian coven and putative fashion icon even though she was generally photographed naked. Maxine and husband Alex are unavoidable when reading about UK occultism in the 1970s; among other things they were occult advisors to Satanic rock band Black Widow, and also released an album of their own in 1970, A Witch Is Born. Of more interest is Sacrifice by Black Widow, a 55-minute concert for German TV’s Beat Club.

• Jacques Rivette’s OUT 1 (1971) is a film more talked about than seen, in part because of a running time that exceeds 12 hours. So news of a Blu-ray release later this year is very welcome.

• “Bruce LaBruce: taking zombie porn and gay homophobic skinheads to MoMA”. The director goes through his filmography with Nadja Sayej.

• “Art is anarchistic, and when it becomes categorized, it loses impact.” RIP Bernard Stollman, founder of the amazing ESP-Disk record label.

• Magickal (and pseudonymous) synth music by Mort Garson: Black Mass (1971) by Lucifer, and The Unexplained (1975) by Ataraxia.

Kevin Titterton on Angelo Badalamenti and the soundtrack that made Twin Peaks.

• Mix of the week: Secret Thirteen Mix 149 by Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe.

Rare Decay, a free bonus track from Aurora by Ben Frost.

Alan Garner is celebrated in a new collection, First Light.

• At Dangerous Minds: The Residents’ radio special, 1977.

Black Sabbath (1969) by Coven | Black Sabbath (1970) by Black Sabbath | Her Lips Were Wet With Venom (Satan Oscillate My Metallic Sonatas 1 & 2) (2006) by Boris & Sunn O)))

Design as virus 17: Boris and Roger Dean

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The compact disc for Flood (2000) by Boris.

The music of Japanese heavy rock trio Boris has been soundtracking the past few days hence this addition to an occasional series which has already seen the band mentioned once before. It’s common for rock groups at the heavier end of the spectrum to find a visual identity which is maintained across all releases. Boris have never been interested in this kind of consistency; not only do the band vary their appearance for group shots but their music, and the packaging which attends it, explores a variety of different styles. The album cover which featured in an earlier post was a careful copy of the sleeve for Nick Drake’s second album Bryter Layter. All the releases featured here play with Roger Dean’s graphic style of the early 1970s. All art and design credits are given to the band’s own label, Fangs Anal Satan, so we’ll have to assume that it’s a member of the band responsible for the design and illustration.

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Logo for rock group Budgie by Roger Dean, 1973.

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Flood CD insert.

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A label design from 2006 based on Roger Dean’s first Virgin Records logo.

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Virgin Records label by Roger Dean, 1973.

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Walrus/Groon (2007).

The most elaborate Roger Dean pastiche is this 12-inch single, a collaboration with Japanese noise man Merzbow. On the A-side the band play a version of I Am The Walrus while Merzbow makes noises in the background; the B-side is named after a King Crimson track but the racket everyone makes sounds little like the original. The sleeve is a gatefold affair based on Dean’s design for Close To The Edge (1972) by Yes, complete with handwritten credits and Dean-like painting in the interior. The vinyl disc came in a variety of coloured formats and used the imitation Virgin label. In all, a very collectable item.

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Previously on { feuilleton }
Design as virus 16: Prisms
Design as virus 15: David Pelham’s Clockwork Orange
Design as virus 14: Curse of the Dead
Design as virus 13: Tsunehisa Kimura
Design as virus 12: Barney’s faces
Roger Dean: artist and designer
Design as virus 11: Burne Hogarth
Design as virus 10: Victor Moscoso
Design as virus 9: Mondrian fashions
Design as virus 8: Keep Calm and Carry On
Design as virus 7: eyes and triangles
Design as virus 6: Cassandre
Design as virus 5: Gideon Glaser
Design as virus 4: Metamorphoses
Design as virus 3: the sincerest form of flattery
Design as virus 2: album covers
Design as virus 1: Victorian borders