Silver Machines

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1: How to Construct a Time Machine, 1899

III: Description of the Machine

The Machine consists of an ebony frame, similar to the steel frame of a bicycle. The ebony members are assembled with soldered copper mountings.

The gyrostats’ three tori (or flywheels), in the three perpendicular planes of Euclidean space, are made of ebony cased in copper, mounted on rods of tightly rolled quartz ribbons (quartz ribbons are made in the same way as quartz wire), and set in quartz sockets.

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Alfred Jarry testing a time machine, 1898

The circular frames or the semicircular forks of the gyro stats are made of nickel. Under the seat and a little forward are located the batteries for the electric motor. There is no iron in the Machine other than the soft iron of the electromagnets.

Motion is transmitted to the three flywheels by ratchet-boxes and chain-drives of quartz wire, engaged in three cogwheels, each of which lies on the same plane as its corresponding fly wheel. The chain-drives are connected to the motor and to each other through bevel gears and driveshafts. A triple brake controls all three shafts simultaneously…

Alfred Jarry

2: Dead Singers (aka All the Dead Singers), 1971

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“That’s all in the past now.” Beesley waddled to the other the side of the tiled room and wheeled the black Royal Albert gent’s roadster across the clean floor. He paused to flip a switch on the wall. Belly Button Window flooded through the sound system. They were turning his own rituals against him. Now the devil had all the songs.

“All aboard, Mr C.” Reluctantly, Jerry mounted the bike. He was getting a bit too old for this sort of thing.

[…]

In London he slowed down, but by that time he’d blown it completely. Still, he’d got what Beesley wanted. Nothing stayed the same. Tiny snatches of music came from all sides, trying to take hold. Marie Lloyd. Harry Champion, George Formby, Noël Coward, Cole Porter, Billie Holliday, MJQ, Buddy Holly, The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix and Hawkwind. He hung on to Hawkwind, turning the car back and forth to try to home in, but then it was Gertrude Lawrence and then it was Tom Jones and then it was Cliff Richard and he knew he was absolutely lost. Buildings rose and fell like waves. Horses, trams and buses faded through each other. People grew and decayed. There were too many ghosts in the future. In Piccadilly Circus he brought the Mercedes to a bumping stop at the base of the Eros statue and, grabbing the Royal Albert, threw himself clear. He was screaming for help. They’d been fools to fuck about with Time again. Yet they’d known what they were getting him into.

Michael Moorcock, Ink Magazine

3: Silver Machine, 1972

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Cover design by Tony Vesely with Pennie Smith (not the work of Barney Bubbles as stated elsewhere).

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A dead singer.

Continue reading “Silver Machines”

Weekend links 484

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Alien Technology (2014) by Monira Al Qadiri.

• “William S. Burroughs wrote, in a long, zigzag ode: ‘You can hear metal think in the electromagnetic fields of Takis sculpture.'” Geeta Dayal on the sound sculptures of the late Panayiotis Vassilakis (1925–2019), better known as Takis.

• “Everything about this song is mysterious, from the creation to the lyrics to where it played on the radio…” David Browne on The Unsolved Case of the Most Mysterious Song on the Internet.

Moebius made many illustrations of Jimi Hendrix. Related: Giraud-Moebius pour le disque: 33 tours et plus dans les étoiles.

• London arts venue the Horse Hospital (where some of my work was exhibited a couple of years ago) is fundraising again.

• Sam Gafford: Number One—The Larch: John Linwood Grant remembers the late author, editor and friend.

• Mixes of the week: Cosmique Français by Tarotplane, and Secret Thirteen Mix 297 by Rosa Damask.

• More Magma: the group in live performance in 2009 playing the end of De Futura.

• At Dennis Cooper’s: The Horror Films of Terence Fisher Day.

Pye Corner Audio performs at the state51 Factory.

• A demo of Colour Me In by Broadcast.

• RIP Malcolm Whitehead.

• Alien Activity From The 45th Parallel (1978) by Cellutron & The Invisible | Alien (1981) by Ende Shneafliet | Alien Loop (2014) by Mica Levi

Weekend links 458

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Photo by Dezo Hoffmann, 1968.

If there’s one thing everyone can agree on about the late Scott Walker it’s that his career was not only improbable but almost impossible in its range and trajectory. My mother saw the Walker Brothers perform in Blackpool 52 years ago, headlining a touring bill that featured Cat Stevens (the artist she most wanted to see) and the soon to be very famous Jimi Hendrix. She enjoyed good pop songs and big orchestras, so even though she’s never expressed a preference for the Walker Brothers or Walker solo I’m sure she could listen to an album or two. But she wouldn’t be able to stand more than a minute of Walker’s output from Tilt (1995) onwards, and even the four watershed tracks on Nite Flights (1978) would be deemed unacceptable. Walker’s progress inverted the stereotype of the 20th-century pop career, the all-too-common descent into blandness and irrelevance, by following a course closer to that taken by painters and literary artists. He walked the walk.

• When Scott Walker’s Climate Of Hunter was announced in 1984, Richard Cook persuaded its introverted creator to talk to the press for the first time in many years. Cook and Walker met again in 1995 when Tilt was released. From 2008: Sean O’Hagan talking to Scott Walker two years after the release of The Drift; at The Wire again: a recording of Rob Young discussing Walker’s career; at the BFI: Scott Walker’s selection of some favourite films; at The New Yorker: Amanda Petrusich on the weird and vast and periodically devastating music of Scott Walker.

• At The Paris Review: Jane Alison suggests meanders, spirals, radials, fractals and cells as alternative to the narrative arc, while Peter Bebergal argues for seeing belief and disbelief in a superposition when it comes to art and the occult.

Sarasota Half in Dream, a feature-length documentary by Derek Murphy and Mitchell Zemil about a decaying Florida suburb.

• Chris Marker, Always Moving: Max Nelson on a Paris exhibition, Chris Marker, les 7 vies d’un cinéaste.

• There’s a little more Scott Walker, inevitably, in this interview with Stephen O’Malley of Sunn O))).

Michael Moorcock talking to The Austin Chronicle about his long association with Hawkwind.

M. John Harrison chooses favourite stories for Jonathan Gibb’s Personal Anthology series.

• Rat Cunning and Bloodshed: An interview with Simon Sellars by Lee Rourke.

In Search of the Seas of Pleiades, a free download by Jenzeits.

• Rammstein are back with a video epic: Deutschland.

Sex Magick is Satanic doo-wop by Twin Temple.

Time, Forward! by Georgi Sviridov.

Orpheus (1967) by The Walker Brothers | Lullaby (By-By-By) (2000) by Ute Lemper | Darkness (2006) by Scott Walker

Nine

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Celebrating nine years of interests, obsessions and passing enthusiasms. As before, a look at the annual delivery of stats from WordPress is instructive.

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 970,000 times in 2014. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 42 days for that many people to see it.

The busiest day of the year was August 30th with 4,215 views. The most popular post that day was Index, fist or manicule?

Most posts here hit between 2,500 to 3,000 visits a day although the annual total is down on last year. I have Google stats indexing this site but I can never be bothered logging in to see how they compare. WordPress has the advantage of delivering stats to your blogging dashboard.

These are the posts that got the most views in 2014.
1 The art of NoBeast June 2007
2 The art of Thomas Eakins, 1844–1916 March 2006
3 The art of Takato Yamamoto June 2007
4 Gekko Hayashi revisited December 2012
5 The art of Oliver Frey July 2009

The gay art posts always beat everything else, and NoBeast is the most popular post for another year. Russia’s current crop of authoritarian goons may regard gay sex as horribly un-Russian but NoBeast gets consistently heavy traffic from VK, the Russian social network.

The top referring sites in 2014 were:
1. twitter.com
2. facebook.com
3. ficbook.net
4. pinterest.com
5. mentalfloss.com

Twitter and Facebook referrals are all very well but the way they hide what people are looking at means they’re no help to people running websites. Anyway, thanks as always for reading, referring and commenting! Here’s a few musical nines:

If 6 Was 9 (1967) by The Jimi Hendrix Experience
Nine Feet Underground (1971) by Caravan
Nine Moons In Alaska (1971) by Beaver & Krause
Party 9 (1973) by Faust
Katzenmusik 9 (1979) by Michael Rother

Listen to the Colour of Your Dreams: Part Six

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The United States of America, 1968. Back, left–right: Joseph Byrd, Dorothy Moskowitz, Gordon Marron; front, left–right: Ed Bogas, Craig Woodson, Rand Forbes.

Concluding the psychedelic mega-mix based on Jon Savage’s list of “100 mind-expanding masterpieces” (see this post). The last of the six mixes is the third visit to the USA, and features songs from the years 1968 to 1969 arranged in chronological order. As before, the selections from the Savage 100 are in bold, and I’ve added notes about my additions or amendments.

The most notable deviation from Savage’s list in this final collection is the substitution of Lothar and the Hand People for two other groups combining psychedelic music with electronic sounds, Fifty Foot Hose and The United States Of America. Lothar and the Hand People were so named because of their use of theremins; they’re often described as electronic pioneers but I’ve never liked their music very much or thought it was as inventive as people claim. Fifty Foot Hose and The United States Of America are better on all levels, the self-titled USA album is a masterpiece that proved an inspiration for Portishead (listen to Half Day Closing) and Broadcast.

Savage ended his UK list with Can’t Find My Way Home, a song that captured the come-down feeling after the psych fireworks were over. The US list lacked an equivalent resolution, hence the choice of Wooden Ships; where Blind Faith’s lament is a personal one, Jefferson Airplane offer something more global, a pessimistic vision of the future that you can tie to all the other crashing dreams of 1969. It’s also a great song, and a fitting way to bring everything to a close.

US Psychedelia, Part Three by Feuilleton on Mixcloud

Radio news — Grateful Dead drug bust
The Grateful Dead — That’s It For The Other One
Nazz — Open My Eyes (The first single by a band with Todd Rundgren on guitar, and another song from the original Nuggets collection.)
Iron Butterfly — In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida
Fifty Foot Hose — If Not This Time (One of several songs whose unusual chord progressions—some of them inspired by Schoenberg—set them apart from their contemporaries.)
Steppenwolf — Magic Carpet Ride
The Steve Miller Band — Song For Our Ancestors
The United States Of America — The Garden Of Earthly Delights (A paean to poisonous love with a title borrowed from Bosch.)
Tommy James And The Shondells — Crimson And Clover
White Lightning — William
Spirit — Dream Within A Dream
Skip Spence — War In Peace
The Youngbloods — Darkness, Darkness
Kak — Electric Sailor
Kaleidoscope (US) — Lie To Me (A last nod to the psychedelic sound from an album very aptly entitled Incredible!)
The Grateful Dead — Mountains Of The Moon
Jimi Hendrix — The Star Spangled Banner
Jefferson Airplane — Wooden Ships

Previously on { feuilleton }
Listen to the Colour of Your Dreams: Part Five
Listen to the Colour of Your Dreams: Part Four
Listen to the Colour of Your Dreams: Part Three
Listen to the Colour of Your Dreams: Part Two
Listen to the Colour of Your Dreams: Part One
What Is A Happening?
My White Bicycle
Ogdens’ Nut Gone Flake
Tomorrow Never Knows
The Dukes declare it’s 25 O’Clock!
A splendid time is guaranteed for all