Weekend links 395

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Love is a Martyrdom (1965) by Stephanie Godwin. See Joscelyn Godwin’s Flickr pages for more.

David Shire’s synthesizer score for Apocalypse Now was the first music recorded for the film but was abandoned when Shire was fired due to other commitments. 39 years later, his score has been released by La-La Land Records.

Moon Safari by “French band” Air was released in the UK on January 16th, 1998. Jeremy Allen looks back at an album that was more successful here than elsewhere.

• On the occasion of the US publication of Iain Sinclair’s The Last London, Geoff Nicholson presents an A to Z of the author and his works.

This is the story of how two artists fell in love with each other, with Kelmscott Manor, and with William Morris, the poet, craftsman, and socialist who had made it his home. As Kelmscott’s first tenants afer the Morris family, Edward and Stephani Scott-Snell rented the historic Oxfordshire house throughout the Second World War. There they created an aesthetic and erotic paradise based on a fantasy land called ‘Thessyros’, and produced a body of figurative painting unique for its time. Much of this was done under the influence of a legally-obtained drug they called ‘Starlight’, making many of their paintings  early examples of psychedelic art.

The Starlight Years is a book by Joscelyn Godwin about his artist-parents and their strange relationship

• Mixes of the week: FACT mix 634 by Minor Science, Secret Thirteen Mix 243 by Moa Pillar, and XLR8R Podcast 524 by Burnt Friedman.

• At The Smart Set: Marian Calabro pays a visit to the Brussels apartment where René and Georgette Magritte lived from 1930 to 1954.

Hormone Lemonade, a new album by Cavern Of Anti-Matter, will be released in March. The Quietus has a preview.

• At the Internet Archive: QZAP, the Queer Zine Archive Project; 551 downloadable publications from 1974 to 2015.

• At Dennis Cooper’s: Briefly recounting Tim Buckley‘s short, inconvenient stylistic trajectory.

• Musician and bookseller Richard Bishop recommends a handful of rare occult volumes.

• At Kickstarter: Arsgang, a short psychological horror film by Harry Edmundson-Cornell.

• “A Sloppy Machine, Like Me”: Michael Grasso on the history of video synthesizers.

• At Flashbak: 27 Snapshots of Manchester in the 1960s.

• At Strange Flowers: 18 books for 2018.

Love Is Strange (1956) by Mickey & Sylvia | Love Is Peace (1970) by Amon Düül | Love Is The Drug (1980) by Grace Jones

Weekend links 278

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El Hotel Satina (2006) by Oscar Sanmartin.

Andrew Kötting’s By Our Selves is “a melancholy, maverick film” says David Jays. With Toby Jones following in the footsteps of poet John Clare, Iain Sinclair in a goat mask, and Alan Moore warning about the “vision sump” of Northampton.

• “Shunga means ‘spring pictures’. They depict sometimes spectacular sexual contortions and come imbued with the power of taboo. For years they have largely been out of sight—until now.” Related: shunga prints at Ukiyoe Gallery.

• “Who else could link Smokey Robinson and JG Ballard, Iggy Pop and Josephine Baker, James Bond and Stephen Sondheim, Gary Numan and Johnny Cash, Tricky and Tom Moulton…” Grace Jones is the best, says Joe Muggs.

Ballardian space – what he called “inner space” to differentiate it from the science fiction that concerned itself with distant planets and space rockets – is in fact a fusion of inner and outer space. There is no “out there” totally separate from his characters; just as there is no exclusively private, isolated inner life. His most psychologically fulfilled characters look to transcend their physical surroundings, however hostile, by embracing them.

Chris Hall on High-Rise by JG Ballard

• “In March 1984, Jorge Luis Borges began a series of radio ‘dialogues’ with the Argentinian poet and essayist Osvaldo Ferrari, which have now been translated into English for the first time.”

• “I came up with a couple of tunes, literally in my bedroom. People think of bedroom recordings as a modern, laptop invention. It wasn’t.” Daniel Miller on the accidental success of Mute Records.

• “It was in Prague that I first awoke.” Strange Flowers on Gustav Meyrink’s life in Prague.

• At 50 Watts: Stencilled ornament and illustration by William Addison Dwiggins.

• Mix of the week: The Ivy-Strangled Path Vol. X by David Colohan.

Wyrd Daze, Lvl2 Issue 4, is free and brimming with the weird.

Mythology, a new series of drawings by Howard Hardiman.

Spike Jones is the best, says MetaFilter.

Peacocks at National Geographic.

Warm Leatherette (1980) by Grace Jones | Warm Leatherette (1998) by Chicks On Speed | Warm Leatherette (2013) by Foetus

Weekend links 276

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Beautiful Void: Holy Void II (2015) by Andy Diaz Hope.

• “Feeling like a woman. Looking like a man.” Rick Poynor on the cover art for Nightclubbing by Grace Jones. Related: A One Man Show, Jean-Paul Goude’s essential film of Jones’ 1982 tour where many of the songs are better than their album versions.

• Crammed Discs’ revival of the Made To Measure series continues with the release in October of Blue Velvet Revisited by Tuxedomoon & Cult With No Name, a soundtrack from the Peter Braatz documentary about David Lynch’s film.

• “We were learning from point zero; we created something that wasn’t around before…” Hans-Joachim Roedelius talking to Bruce Tantum about his work with Cluster and Harmonia.

• “In the Shangri-La pool there are no floating impurities. Apart from myself.” Iain Sinclair swims in “the highest pool in Europe” on the 52nd floor of The Shard, London.

• From 2012: “Possible Bubbles of Spacetime Curvature in the South Pacific” by Benjamin K. Tippett.

• After 23 years of delays and bootleg versions, Backwards by Coil is being given an official release.

• “Relaxed terror”, “perky dismay” and “unspecified uncertainty”: library music at Scarfolk.

• Mix of the week: a 4-hour collection of favourite music compiled by Autechre.

Masakazu Shirane and Reuben Young make a human-size kaleidoscope.

• “I always was a weird child,” says John Waters.

• A new version of Argent by Jane Weaver.

Chaos Magic (sic): The Fashion Trend

Void (2009) by Monolake | Void (2011) by Emptyset | Void (2014) by The Bug feat. Liz Harris

Weekend links 190

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Seam Stress (1987) by Laurie LiptonThe Drawings of Laurie Lipton is out now from Last Gasp.

• The Quietus continues to be essential reading: John Doran talks to Richard H Kirk about Cabaret Voltaire | Sarah Angliss, musician and inventor of music machines, talks to Stuart Huggett | “…the most overt literary lodestar for The Art Of Falling Apart is John Rechy, trailblazing chronicler of the gay underbelly of hustlers and queens zig-zagging across America, and author of Numbers, the book from which Soft Cell’s song takes its name.” Matthew Lindsay looks back at Soft Cell’s second (and best) album.

• “The English have something of a tradition where they like to scare you out of your mind at Christmas, a kind of sobering up of the senses by forces that seem to be beyond them.” Colin Fleming on The Signal-Man by Charles Dickens. More ghosts: Lisa Kerrigan explains why she loves Nigel Kneale’s 1989 TV adaptation of The Woman in Black by Susan Hill, and the BFI resurrects The Mistletoe Bough (1904), “the oldest film version of a classic Christmas ghost story”.

• “…the story is filled with a whole mess of embarrassed and embarrassing euphemisms for (ahem) big dick—stiff language, so to speak, like ‘bludgeon,’ like ‘giant concupiscence’ and ‘ostentatious organ.'” Steven Cordova on A Visit to Priapus and Other Stories by Glenway Wescott.

• “Never produced, the screenplay for The Way to Santiago is credited to Orson Welles. A quick look at the text leaves no doubt it was the work of the Citizen Kane filmmaker when he was at the peak of his arrogant brilliance. The script begins: ‘My face fills the frame.'”

• If you’re at all interested in the current state of the British musical underground, the end-of-year lists at Ears For Eyes are worth your attention.

Pee-wee’s (Remastered) Christmas Adventure: An interview with Paul Reubens. Related: Grace Jones sings Little Drummer Boy for Pee-wee.

• “I’m like a drag queen at Halloween.” John Waters on his favourite time of year: Christmas.

• Mix of the week: Secret Thirteen Mix 099, an “(anti)Christmas mix” by Robert Curgenven.

• The British Library makes over a million free-to-use images available at Flickr Commons.

• Lost in Translation: Notes on adapting Ballard by Calum Marsh.

MR James at Pinterest.

Book Map by Dorothy.

Martin (1983) by Soft Cell | Ghost Talk (1985) by Cabaret Voltaire | For Laika (2011) by Spacedog

Weekend links 142

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Gratifying this week to see album cover art under discussion even if the heat-to-light ratio was as unbalanced as it usually is when pop culture is the subject. Jonathan Barnbrook, who also designed the Heathen (2002) and Reality (2003) packaging for David Bowie, wrote about the thinking behind the new cover on his blog. (And for the time being let’s note that this is still only a cover design, we don’t know what else is on its way.)

For my part I’ll point out that the artist-as-cover-image is the great cliché of album design, and the bigger the name the more the rule applies; Neville Brody complains about this in the first book of his work, as does Storm Thorgerson in the Hipgnosis books. In Bowie’s case the rule has been applied almost universally since his debut album in 1967, the only variations being illustrational ones or slight dodges like having his feet appear on the front of Lodger and his back facing the viewer on Earthling. Consequently the new design is a radical gesture from an artist who could have got away with a photo of himself du jour. By way of contrast, consider that Rod Stewart is a year older than David Bowie and presented the world with this artefact in October 2012.

Related: Hard Format responds to the cover, Chris Roberts on “Picasso resurrected in a Rolf Harris era“, and Alex Petridis on The inside story of how David Bowie made The Next Day.

The Quicksilver typeface, designed by Dean Morris when he was only 16, bought by Letraset and now an indelible feature of pop design from the 1970s. Morris describes his experience here (“they shunned rapidographs!”) and collects examples of the print history here.

When the days are short, we are closest to the medieval world. To the avoidance of mirrors where death improves our portraits every morning with a few more lines and shadows. What would once have been a sermon, a conjuring of hellfire, a phantom slide show, is now an entertainment. But before we can begin again, we have to kick free of the embrace of our inconvenient predecessors, that compost legion of the anonymous dead. They come uninvited, requiring us to sign up for what the late Derek Raymond called the general contract: a brief turn in the light, then extinction. Eternal darkness. How to live with such knowledge? William Burroughs admired the unswerving bleakness of Beckett’s gaze, the way he reduced compensatory illusions to zero. Nowhere left to crawl. And nothing to crawl on. Last breath is last breath. Stare into the abyss and the abyss will stare right back.

Iain Sinclair reviews The Undiscovered Country: Journeys Among the Dead by Carl Watkins

Broadcast’s James Cargill on Morricone, Minidiscs and Scoring Berberian Sound Studio. Related: Melmoth the Wanderer posts a new mix, The Curious Episode of the Wizard’s Skull, and more spooky sounds are on their way from The Haxan Cloak.

• A Firm Turn Toward the Objective: Joanne Meister on meeting the great Swiss designer Josef Müller-Brockmann.

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Twitter user @thisnorthernboy reworked Paul Emsley’s portrait of Kate Middleton. @barnbrook approved.

• The Beatles of Comedy: David Free on the Monty Python team.

• The history of the London Underground poster.

Impossible Architecture by Filip Dujardin.

• At Pinterest: Art Dolls & Sculpture

• Grace Jones’ Nightclubbing album has been on repeat play this week: Warm Leatherette/Walking In The Rain | I’ve Seen That Face Before (Libertango) | Demolition Man