Weekend links 512

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Cover art by Tim White for Weaveworld (1987) by Clive Barker.

• Another week leading with obituaries but that’s where we are just now. Among others, we had film maker Bruce Baillie, cartoonist Mort Drucker, lesbian/gay rights activist Phyllis Lyon, film director Nobuhiko Obayashi, artist Tim White, and music producer Hal Willner. Related to the last: Hal Willner’s Vanishing, Weird New York.

Open Door is a new recording by Roly Porter from his forthcoming album, Kistvaen. I designed the CD and vinyl packaging for this one.

• From 1995: Peter Wollen on dandyism, decadence and death in Donald Cammell & Nicolas Roeg’s Performance.

• “Fear, bigotry and misinformation—this reminds me of the 1980s AIDS pandemic,” says Edmund White.

David Lynch wants you to meditate, maybe make a lamp during self-isolation.

• “Weird tale” by Secret Garden author Frances Hodgson Burnett discovered.

• Behind the iron curtain, the final frontier: Soviet space art in pictures.

• Mix of the week: Secret Thirteen Mix 301 by Asher Levitas.

• At Dennis Cooper’s: Raymond Queneau, Party Animal.

Oren Ambarchi Archive at Bandcamp.

Japan’s Tourism Poster Awards.

• Hal Willner produces: Juliet Of The Spirits (1981) by Bill Frisell | Apocalypse (1990) by William S. Burroughs | The Masque Of The Red Death (1997) by Gabriel Byrne

BUTT covered

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What I discovered is that BUTT actually matters, and I’ll tell you why. BUTT fills a hole, as tautologous as that may sound. I’m tempted to say that BUTT fills the vacuum left by the sad and lamented loss of such historically important magazines as the original Andy Warhol’s Interview, After Dark and the first five years of index (under the editorship of Bob Nickas), but since none of those magazines were explicitly and overtly, capital G gay, I guess it’s more accurate to say that BUTT has single-handedly pioneered the notion of a smart, literate and fashionable, conversational gay magazine that isn’t interested in propping up some ideologically proper or even terribly consistent image of what it means to be a homosexual, and that also manages to be dirty. —Bruce LaBruce

BUTT magazine—variously subtitled “Amazing (or Fantastic, or Hysterical) Magazine for Homosexuals”, “The Homosexualist Quarterly”, “International Fagazine”, etc, etc—ceased publication in 2012, but the best of its run is preserved in two book collections from Taschen: BUTT Book (2006), a paperback which seems now to be out of print, and Forever BUTT (2014), a hardback contained within leatherette boards. I was re-reading some of the interviews in the books recently, and feeling the loss of a gay magazine that was easily the best of its kind in the 2000s, a welcome alternative to contemporaries that were little more than glossy aspiration fodder, filled with fashion shoots and anodyne celebrity interviews.

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Issue 1: Bernhard Willhelm by Wolfgang Tillmans.

BUTT wasn’t as thoroughly sex-obsessed as Boyd McDonald’s Straight to Hell but publishers/editors Gert Jonkers and Jop van Bennekom shared McDonald’s determination to reflect the lives of gay men as they were lived, with an equivalence given to complete unknowns (often the magazine’s own readers) as well as to successful writers, musicians and film directors. Interviews with the latter predominately concerned the subjects’ sex lives and interests, they were never promo pieces for current work. BUTT was the only magazine in the world where you might find interviewees such as Gore Vidal and Edmund White rubbing shoulders with a man like Dirty Danny (“the filthiest homosexual on earth”) or a gay refuse collector. I also loved the design which from the first issue used pink paper stock and only two typefaces for the entire run: Compacta for headlines, and different weights of American Typewriter for everything else. The minimal look established a distinct identity that inspired imitation among later titles such as Kaiserin (“A magazine for boys with problems”).

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Issue 2: Lernert in Stüssy by Jop van Bennekom.

BUTT ran for 29 issues in all, stopping short of the 30-issue barrier which smaller magazines often struggle to pass. I’m always torn in cases like this, wishing there might have been more while also being aware that magazines can outlive their initial promise if they run for too long. BUTT certainly maintained its integrity, and we have the books, of course, which is more than many other titles manage. Back issues may be found for sale online but they’re increasingly expensive, a disappointment for would-be collectors but also a sign of the magazine’s cult value. I just wish I’d bought more of them as they appeared.

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Issue 3: Ryan McGinley and Prince by Bruce LaBruce.

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Issue 4: Casey Spooner by Ryan McGinley.

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Issue 5: Ben by Slava Mogutin.

Continue reading “BUTT covered”

Weekend links 329

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Josef Vyletal borrows figures from Aubrey Beardsley’s Salomé for a Czech poster promoting The Immortal Story (1969) by Orson Welles. Vyletal’s own paintings were often strange and surreal.

Pale Fire is Nabokov’s “great gay comic novel,” says Edmund White. A surprising but not inappropriate reappraisal. White has noted in the past that Nabokov “hated homosexuality” despite having a gay brother and uncle. The portrayal of Charles Kinbote in Pale Fire isn’t unsympathetic if you overlook his being delusional, and possibly insane…

• At Folk Horror Revival: details of the charity donations raised by sales of the Folk Horror Revival books, the first of which featured my David Rudkin essay. A one-day Folk Horror Revival event takes place later this month at the British Museum, London.

• Mixes of the week: The Bug presents Killing Sound Chapter 2: Inner Space, a 2-hour blend of “sci-fi scores, expansive atmospheres and synthesized psychedelia”; Decoded Sundays presents Scanner; Secret Thirteen Mix 197 is by LXV.

Stars Of The Lid unveil a James Plotkin remix of their Music For Twin Peaks Episode #30 Pt. 1. Related: the hype for the new Twin Peaks series gets into gear with a teaser.

• Robert Aickman’s only novel, The Late Breakfasters (1964), is being given its first US publication by Valancourt Books.

• “Don’t dream it, bet it.” Evan J. Peterson on 40 years of The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

• Anna von Hausswolff’s sister, Maria, directs a video for Come Wander With Me / Deliverance.

• RIP Michael O’Pray, film writer and curator of many festivals of experimental cinema.

• Oli Warwick talks to electronic musicians about the influence of the late Don Buchla.

Breakfast In Bed (1969) by Dusty Springfield | Alan’s Psychedelic Breakfast (1970) by Pink Floyd | Another Breakfast With You (2001) by Ladytron

Weekend links 324

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Untitled painting by Aleksandra Waliszewska. The artist is profiled by S. Elizabeth at Dirge Magazine.

• “…from my point of view, the only thing to do with any genre, any medium, is pretty much to break it, to transcend it, to find out what its limits are, and then go beyond them, and see what happens.” Alan Moore (again) talking to Heidi MacDonald about his novel, Jerusalem, which is out next month.

• A Monument to Outlast Humanity: Dana Goodyear gets the reclusive Michael Heizer to talk about his decade-spanning sculptural project, City, work on which is almost finished.

William Burroughs’ appearances in adult men’s magazines: a catalogue which includes some downloads of uncollected Burroughs essays and other writings.

• Mixes of the week: Homegirls & Handgrenades Mix by Moor Mother, Secret Thirteen Mix 194 by Kareem, and hieroglyphics #014 by Temples.

Remoteness of Light is a new album by The Stargazer’s Assistant inspired by the depths of the oceans and the vastness of space.

• RIP Gilli Smyth. “The silliness ran deep in Gong, but they could groove like mothers, too,” says Joe Muggs.

Guide to Computing: historic computers presented by James Ball as though they were new machines.

• “Oscar Wilde’s De Profundis is one of the greatest love letters ever written,” says Colm Tóibín.

• “Will You Dance With Me?” Derek Jarman films dancers in a gay club in 1984.

• Snapshots from an editor: Donald Weise on working with Edmund White.

Stupid by Wrangler (Stephen Mallinder, Phil Winter and Benge).

The Rutt-Etra-Izer

Dynamite/I Am Your Animal (1971) by Gong | Witch’s Song/I Am Your Pussy (1973) by Gong | Prostitute Poem (1973) by Gong

Weekend links 277

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Sunday by Amanda Elledge.

• Coming from Strange Attractor this November: The Moons at Your Door, an anthology of strange tales selected by David Tibet. “The Moons At Your Door collects over 30 tales, both familiar and unknown from: Robert Aickman, Algernon Blackwood,  DK Broster, AM Burrage, RW Chambers,  Aleister Crowley, Sheridan Le Fanu, Elizabeth Gaskell, WW Jacobs, MR James, Vernon Lee, LA Lewis, Thomas Ligotti, Arthur Machen, Guy de Maupassant, Perrault, Thomas De Quincey, Saki, Count Stenbock, Montague Summers, HR Wakefield and Edith Wharton. The volume also includes extracts and translations by the author from Babylonian, Coptic and Biblical texts alongside poems and fairy tales.”

Gay-rights activists give their verdict on Stonewall: “This film is no credit to the history it purports to portray”. The only surprise about this episode is that anyone expected Roland Emmerich to make a historically accurate film in the first place. Related: Edmund White’s first-hand report written a few days after the riots.

• “If you hate [Boom!], I hate you, and I could never be your friend or your boyfriend. Divine and I had seen Boom! right before we made Pink Flamingos, and it’s about Elizabeth Taylor, retired, writing her memoirs, which is what Pink Flamingos was too, in a way.” John Waters (again) gives Hayley Campbell some dating tips.

• “We moderns may too-often suffer from a mixing up of historical sequences, but better that, surely, than risk raising a population that is entirely not-arsed about its past.” Julian Cope explores the Celts: Art and Identity exhibition at the British Museum, London.

• “But I am talking about psychedelic music, and obviously some of that comes from early psychedelic rituals, which are all about losing yourself…and I did come back into the world in a different way.” Natasha Khan on her new musical project, SEXWITCH.

• At Dangerous Minds: Vincent Price teaches the dark arts on his 1969 album An Adventure in Demonology.

• A trailer for Salthouse Marshes, “a short, landscape obsessed ghost story” by Adam Scovell.

• Rare video of Young Marble Giants playing for 45 minutes in Vancouver, 1980.

• A collection of Ghost Box posters and flyers designed by Julian House.

• Mix of the week: Secret Thirteen Mix 163 by Ssleeping desiresS.

Ministry, a new photo series by Ellen Rogers.

Julia Holter‘s favourite albums.

Boom Stix (1962) by Curley & the Jades | Things That Go Boom In The Night (1981) by Bush Tetras | Boom! (1991) by The Grid