Weekend links 403

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Cover art by Bruce Pennington, 1974. Via Clark Ashton Smith vs Bruce Pennington.

Garçons de Joie. Prostitution masculine à Paris 1860-1960 is an exhibition running at Galerie Au Bonheur du Jour, Paris, until May. The catalogue is expensive (and seems to be in French throughout) but features a substantial amount of rare homoerotic art.

• In the latest Expanding Mind podcast Erik Davis talks to Burt Shonberg biographer Spencer Kansa about LA bohemia, psychedelic art, Marjorie Cameron, gumshoe biography, and his new book Out There: The Transcendent Life and Art of Burt Schonberg.

Gregg Anderson on 20 years of Southern Lord’s dark and heavy art. Related: Earth’s Dylan Carlson announced a new solo album, Conquistador, and single, Scorpions In Their Mouths.

Without any formal training, Smith began to paint and draw his strange visions of sentient plants, grotesque creatures from other dimensions, and throbbing alien landscapes. Eventually commissioned to provide illustrations for Weird Tales, he became one of Lovecraft’s most voluminous correspondents (though never as voluminous as Lovecraft himself). Over the next 10 years, they filled one another’s mailboxes with effusive admiration for each other’s stories and poems. With Lovecraft’s adulatory wind at his back, Smith never strayed far from the Long Valley, and sat home to produce more than a hundred bizarre, linguistically challenging, often unforgettable stories and novelettes for the pulp magazines between 1925 and 1936. Unsurprisingly, Smith’s spurt of fictional creativity didn’t survive the death of Lovecraft in 1937, and while that rich burst of stories may not have earned Smith much money or fame, it caused an almost episteme-shifting earthquake in the brains of the young, aspiring writers lucky enough to read him.

Scott Bradfield on Clark Ashton Smith

Psychomagic, An Art That Heals will be Alejandro Jodorowsky’s next feature film if the crowdfunding is successful. Many rewards are available, large and small.

• At The Quietus this week: Val Wilmer on Sun Ra, and The Strange World of…Cocteau Twins.

• Spectacular images from Chicago’s turn-of-the-century design bible (The Inland Printer).

The shop that buys your dead uncle’s porn collection.

• Mix of the week: FACT mix 642 by Mokira.

Cafe Bohemian (1959) by The Enchanters | Genius Of Love (1981) by Tom Tom Club | A Scandal In Bohemia (1986) by United States Of Existence

Weekend links 350

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Transition H50 (2016) by Jessica Eaton.

• One of my weekend posts in 2012 contained details about Taking Tiger Mountain, a low-budget feature film put together in 1983 by Tom Huckabee using footage originally shot in Tangier and Wales in the 1970s. Huckabee’s film is a strange “experimental” work of science fiction, based in part on William Burroughs’ Blade Runner script (no relation to the Ridley Scott film apart from the title), and described here as “a psychotropic apocalyptic odyssey”. The most notable aspect of the film for many will be the presence of a young Bill Paxton in the lead role, something I was reminded of when Paxton’s death was announced earlier this week. Five years ago there was only a short clip of Taking Tiger Mountain available on YouTube but since then a full copy has appeared; watch it here while you can. (The widescreen frame is cropped, and the sound is all in one channel but it’s still watchable.) Tom Huckabee talked about the film’s production (and the Burroughs connections) to Beatdom. A curio that deserves wider attention.

• “With Biller, the references come thick and fast. In The Love Witch, she channels, among others, 50s Hitchcock, Douglas Sirk’s lurid lushness, Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s deadpan gaze, Nicholas Ray’s poetry, Sam Fuller’s tabloid style and Todd Haynes’s revisionist sexual politics. […] Then add the Technicolor, widescreen, haute-Hollywood “women’s pictures” of the 50s, a touch of Hammer Studios, The Wicker Man, Rosemary’s Baby and any number of studio melodramas and musicals.” John Patterson talks to director Anna Biller about her new film, The Love Witch.

• Mix of the week is the Anxious Heart Mix by Moon Wiring Club, another excellent blend of electronica, industria and dialogue samples from the outer limits of the televisual sphere. Also of note this week: VF Mix 83, an Adrian Sherwood selection by Pinch, XLR8R Podcast 479 by Chris SSG, and Secret Thirteen Mix 213 by -N.

• “Anthropologically, this was going on all around me: it was amazing and nobody was dealing with it like that, so I just went for it.” Hal Fischer on his photo-art series, Gay Semiotics, which is on display at Project Native Informant, London, until 1st April.

• Coming in May from Luaka Bop, World Spirituality Classics 1: The Ecstatic Music of Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda, the first-ever compilation of Alice Coltrane’s scarce releases on the Avatar Book Institute label.

Cinephilia looks back at Robert Wise and Nelson Gidding’s film of The Andromeda Strain (1971).

• Psychedelic Speed Freak: Remembering the blistering experimentalism of Hideo Ikeezumi.

• More witchery: S. Elizabeth talks to Pam Grossman about art, film and hex power.

• At The Quietus: Harry Sword on the strange world of Surgeon.

Leonor Fini playing cards

The Feathered Tiger (1969) by Kaleidoscope | Taking Tiger Mountain (1974) by Brian Eno | Plain Tiger (1985) by Cocteau Twins

Weekend links 279

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Untitled painting by Jen Ray.

• Lots of architecture links this week so it’s fitting that one of them is director Ben Wheatley talking to David Fear about his forthcoming film of JG Ballard’s High-Rise: “I was just thinking about this the other day, how hard it was to get a hold of stuff before the Internet. You really had to hunt down stuff or have someone who knew what was up to say, ‘You gotta read Naked Lunch, mate. You gotta read Crash.’ […] They were secretive things you had to ferret out, those books. It was the same with music and certain movies. And drugs.” Related: Souvenir d’un Futur, photographs by Laurent Kronental of the high-rise banlieues of Paris.

• “In Ancient Egypt, if a lowly official received the glyph of an owl from the Pharaoh, it was understood that the recipient should take his own life.” Carey McHugh in a brief history of the owl.

• I’d always thought the red buildings seen briefly in Blow-Up (1966) had been painted to Antonioni’s orders. Not so, says Another Nickel In The Machine.

He belongs right up there with Poe and Kafka. The best writer of weird fiction in the past half century. And the reason he belongs there is Ligotti’s both visceral and intellectual, formally experimental and able to tell a traditional horror story with equal ease. He’s also modernized the weird tale, from his early work on. The later workplace stories complete that process. The other thing he brings is a very dark sense of humor and a sense of the absurdity of the world—and a critique of that world that serves as subtext. All of these elements in harmony—symbiosis and contamination—equal genius. I read his work in a continuum that includes Kafka, Poe, Angela Carter, Bruno Schulz, Rikki Ducornet, and the great Caitlin R. Kiernan, but also absurdists and realists and flat-out surrealists. I appreciate that Ligotti stories can be revisited and reveal new dimensions.

Jeff VanderMeer on Thomas Ligotti

David Ferry talks to the people trying to excavate the remains of sets from Cecil B. DeMille’s first film of The Ten Commandments.

• As part of the ongoing vinyl reissue deluge, Crammed Discs are releasing a 10-disc box of albums by the great Tuxedomoon.

• At Strange Flowers: I see for it is night, remembering Marie Cermínová, better known as Surrealist artist Toyen.

Blue Sun Chiming, an animated video by Elisa Ambrogio for the song of that name by Six Organs of Admittance.

• At BLDGBLOG: Occult Infrastructure and the “Funerary Teleportation Grid” of Greater London.

• Enigmatic music makers Watch Repair are now selling their works at Bandcamp.

• Video by Harald Albrigtsen of whales basking under the Northern Lights.

• The urban explorations of Russian photographer Ralph Mirebs.

• Mix of the week: Secret Thirteen Mix 164 by Discipula.

The lost rivers that lie beneath London

Egypt (1985) by Tuxedomoon | Whales Tails (1986) by Cocteau Twins | London’s Lost Rivers (1996) by Coil

Weekend links 239

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The Crystal Gazer (or The Magic Crystal, 1904) by Gertrude Käsebier.

• “I had to resort to extreme violence”: how Hipgnosis revolutionised the album sleeve. Aubrey Powell, last surviving member of the design team, talks to Joe Muggs.

• Mixes of the week: Radio Belbury: Programme 14; The Conjurer’s Hexmas by SeraphicManta; Secret Mix 139 by A Closer Listen.

• Social progress, high-speed transport and electricity everywhere: Iwan Rhys Morus on how the Victorians invented the future.

• At Cinephilia & Beyond: “The most complete investigation into the origins and making of Citizen Kane.”

Poor Souls’ Light: seven curious tales for the end of the year, and a dedication to Robert Aickman.

• Music and the Occult: Stuart Maconie and Rob Young spend an hour in the magick circle.

Alejandro Jodorowsky and Iain Sinclair in conversation at the British Library, July 2014.

• From 1972: An unpublished Victor Moscoso interview by Patrick Rosenkranz.

The Spooky Story Behind Hollywood’s Favourite Mansion.

The Lost World of British Tape Recording Clubs.

• 2014 was a year of outrage.

Wyrd Daze issue 11

Inspirograph

• Pepper-Tree (1984) by Cocteau Twins | Otterley (1984) by Cocteau Twins | Aikea-Guinea (1985) by Cocteau Twins

Weekend links 158

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Pan II (2012) by Fredrik Söderberg.

• “Aubade was a surprise success, selling some 5000 copies and going into a second printing and an edition published in America.  Martin was immediately a minor celebrity, being interviewed for articles that couldn’t mention what his book was actually about.” Rediscovering the works of Kenneth Martin.

• “I can’t stand covers which imitate other covers, or which slavishly look like whatever their designated genre is supposed to look like.” Ace cover designer Peter Mendelsund is interviewed.

• At The Outer Church Isablood & Henry of Occult Hand are interviewed about their mixtape.

I’d decided to pay my respects in an unorthodox way, by time-travelling into the period of Thatcher’s pomp, when she occulted the light, alchemised the bad will of the populace and did her best to choke the living daylights out of the awkward, sprawling, socially coddled essence of metropolitan London. Hers was a tyranny of the suburbs operating from a position of privilege at the centre: she might have invested in a Dulwich retirement property, but she couldn’t sleep in it.

Iain Sinclair visits Tilbury on the day of the Thatcher funeral. Related: Iain Sinclair and Jonathan Meades in Conversation, Oxford Brookes University, March 2013.

Ormond Gigli’s best photograph: women in the windows in Manhattan. See it full size here.

Balzac and sex: How the French novelist used masturbation to fuel his writing process.

• At Dangerous Minds: Kenneth Williams and John Lahr discuss Joe Orton in 1978.

• Yet more Bowie: Sukhdev Sandhu reviews Ziggyology by Simon Goddard.

The Spectacular, Wild World of Tenjo Sajiki and its Posters.

• In 1967 Susan Sontag made lists of her likes and dislikes.

Stephen Sparks on fin de siècle author Marcel Schwob.

Day Jobs of the Poets by Grant Snider.

James Turrell’s Ganzfeld Experiment.

The Pan Piper (1960) by Miles Davis & Gil Evans | Panorphelia (1974) by Edgar Froese | Pandora (1984) by Cocteau Twins