Weekend links 222

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A self-portrait by Nadia Wicker from her Projectie series.

• “And boy, did that Rain Parade sleeve look cool with its picture of the insouciant band sitting in front of large hot-house (or glass palace), the sky behind them tinted a sickly shade of apocalypse pink…” Joe Banks on the Rain Parade’s finest moment, Explosions In The Glass Palace.

• “…there are pleasures to be had from books beyond being lightly entertained. There is the pleasure of being challenged; the pleasure of feeling one’s range and capacities expanding…” Rebecca Mead on the pleasure of reading to impress yourself.

• “If Gengoroh Tagame performed the acts he drew in his comics he’d probably be dead or in jail,” says Zac Bayly, interviewing Tagame for BUTT.

Crime does not fascinate James Joyce as it fascinates the rest of us—the suggestion of crime dismays him. He tells me that one of his handicaps in writing Work in Progress is that he has no interest in crime of any kind, and he feels that this book which deals with the night-life of humanity should have reference to that which is associated with the night-life of cities—crime. But he cannot get criminal action into the work. With his dislike of violence goes another dislike—the dislike of any sentimental relation. Violence in the physical life, sentimentality in the emotional life, are to him equally distressing. The sentimental part of Swift’s life repels him as much as the violence of some of his writing.

Padraic Colum attended Joyce’s 47th birthday party.

• I’m currently reading The Wanderer, “a weird document” by Timothy J. Jarvis, which is officially published this week.

The Changes, another remarkable children’s TV series from the 1970s, is out on DVD next week.

Sir Richard Bishop has made all 14 of his solo albums available as free downloads.

• “How long do CDs last? It depends, but definitely not forever,” says Laura Sydell.

• “Readers absorb less on e-readers than on paper, study finds

• Book designer Craig Mod wants to talk about margins.

• Mix of the week: a mix for The Quietus by Helm.

Ozu’s passageways

• The Rain Parade: No Easy Way Down (BBC TV, 1984) | No Easy Way Down (studio, 1984) | No Easy Way Down (Tokyo, 1984)

Weekend links 199

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Follow the Leader (London, 2011) by Isaac Cordal.

• “Brutalism is the decor of dystopian films, literature and comics, just as gothic is for horror.” Jonathan Meades‘ A-Z of brutalism.

Vitaly Shevchenko on the urban explorers of the ex-USSR. Related: Photos by Vitaliy Raskalov from the top of the Shanghai Tower.

Joe Banks reviews the throbbing, hissing, minatory pulses of the Black Mill Tapes 1–4 by Pye Corner Audio.

Walter Benjamin is the only one among the commentators who attempts to pin down the anonymous, evanescent quality of Walser’s characters. They come, he says, “from insanity and nowhere else. They are figures who have left madness behind them, and this is why they are marked by such a consistently heartrending, inhuman superficiality. If we were to attempt to sum up in a single phrase the delightful yet also uncanny element in them, we would have to say: they have all been healed.” Nabokov surely had something similar in mind when he said of the fickle souls who roam Nikolai Gogol’s books that here we have to do with a tribe of harmless madmen, who will not be prevented by anything in the world from plowing their own eccentric furrow.

Le Promeneur Solitaire: WG Sebald on Robert Walser

Drink The New Wine, an album by Kris Force, Anni Hogan, Jarboe, Zoe Keating and Meredith Yayanos.

• At 50 Watts: Illustrations by Fortuné Méaulle for Alphabet des Insectes by Leon Becker.

Lawrence Gordon Clark, Master of Ghostly Horror. An interview by John D’Amico.

• Chapel Perilous: Notes From The New York Occult Revival by Don Jolly.

• Mix of the week: Secret Thirteen Mix 107 by Ernestas Sadau.

• An Occult History of the Television Set by Geoff Manaugh.

• Was Ist Das? The Krautrock Album Database.

• First dérive of the year by Christina Scholz.

John Waters’ Youth Manifesto.

Gardens of Earthly Delights

Psychedelic Folkloristic

Water Music I / Here Comes The Flood / Water Music II (1979) by Robert Fripp & Peter Gabriel | After The Flood (1991) by Talk Talk | Flood (1997) by Jocelyn Pook

Weekend links 193

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A Problem Glyph by Eliza Gauger. Problem Glyphs are “symbolic illustrations … drawn in response to problems sent in by tumblr users”.

Kosmische Night takes place at the Museum of Bath at Work, Bath, Somerset, on January 25th (Rescheduled to February 22nd).  “…a celebration of all things Teutonic for anyone who enjoys Neu!, Can, Tangerine Dream, Stockhausen and Kraftwerk,” say the organisers. Also on the bill, The Electric Pentacle, a Carnacki-esque collaboration between Narco Lounge Combo and The Levels.

• Shock Headed Peters’ Fear Engine II: Almost As If It Had Never Happened. Joe Banks on Karl Blake, “…one of the most fascinating and colourful characters to emerge from the fertile loam of the post-punk scene”.

• “The great question in the film and the tale is not the existence of the ghosts but the way the governess understands their no-longer-lived lives and desires.” Michael Wood on The Innocents.

Nobody, however, is a greater authority on the intersection of porn and alternative spirituality than Annie Sprinkle. Beginning as a prostitute in the 1960s and 70s, she entered porn in the pre-AIDS era and made over two hundred films. She then jumped into a career as a sex-positive author and educator, which brought her into close conflict not only with feminists like Andrea Dworkin and Catharine MacKinnon, but also right-wing patriarch Jesse Helms, who denounced one of her sex magick performance pieces on the floor of the Senate. For Sprinkle, both sexuality and performance are explicitly spiritual and magical, part of her role as a cultural shaman.

In the Valley of the Porn Witches by Jason Louv.

Stars of the Lid and Wordless Music Orchestra playing for two hours last month at the Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.

Rick Poynor on the late Martin Sharp’s contributions to People, Politics and Pop: Australians in the Sixties (1968) by Craig McGregor.

Maggie Greene on The Woman in Green: A Chinese Ghost Tale from Mao to Ming, 1981–1381.

• “TED actually stands for: middlebrow megachurch infotainment,” says Benjamin H Bratton.

Geoff Manaugh on how corpses helped shape the London Underground.

Tony White on Eduardo Paolozzi at New Worlds by David Brittain.

• Mix of the week: Secret Thirteen Mix 102 by Frank Bretschneider.

• At Dangerous Minds: film of Syd Barrett‘s first psychedelic trip.

NYPL Wire: a New York Public Library Tumblr.

Microbial art by Eshel Ben-Jacob and others.

Interstellar Rock: Kosmische Musik (1974) by The Cosmic Jokers | I, Bloodbrother Be (1984) by Shock Headed Peters | Obscene and Pornographic Art (1991) by Bongwater

Weekend links 110

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Til Eulenspiegel by Urban Janke. From Twenty Postcards of the Wiener Werkstätte at 50 Watts.

Rorschach Audio by Joe Banks is “essential reading for everyone interested in air-traffic control, anechoic chambers, artificial oxygen carriers, audio art, bell-ringing, cocktail parties, cognitive science, communications interference, compost, the death penalty, Electronic Voice Phenomena, evangelism, evolutionary biology, experimental music, ghosts, the historiography of art, illusions of sound and illusions of language, lip-reading jokes, nuclear blast craters, predictive texting, singing hair, sonic archives, sound design, steam trains, tinnitus, the Turing Test, Victorian blood painting, visual depth and space perception, ultrasonic visual music, ventriloquism, voices and warehouse fires and robberies.”

• “Freud did not understand female sexuality. Klimt did. Klimt’s women please themselves. The realization that women have an independent sexual life was an insight in art.” Eric Kandel discusses his new study The Age of Insight: The Quest to Understand the Unconscious in Art, Mind, and Brain, from Vienna 1900 to the Present.

• Three new books already mentioned here receive further attention: Stan Persky on Christopher Bram’s Eminent Outlaws : The Gay Writers Who Changed America. | Matthew Aquilone on Paul Russell’s The Unreal Life of Sergey Nabokov. | Karin L. Kross on the new translation of the Strugatsky’s Roadside Picnic.

The creative writing moment/movement baffles me and it intrigues me. What does it signify, all this creative longing? And why through language? Specifically fiction, poetry, memoir? […] The crazy part of it is that we are breeding professional, competent, homogenised writers who will go on to teach writing that is professional, competent and homogenised. The intriguing part of it is whether this movement towards creativity and self-expression is really the start of a kind of Occupy – that it could be dangerous and confrontational, not homogenised at all.

Dangerous? But then they won’t get published and win awards and get film deals and… Jeanette Winterson prepares to teach creative writing at Manchester University.

The Underground New York Public Library is a visual library featuring the Reading-Riders of the NYC subways.

Hob by No Man: “Constructed from soundtrack noises from both version of Quatermass and the Pit.”

Stephen Thrower talks about his soundtrack music for The Erotic Films of Peter De Rome.

John Waters surprises everyone by hitchhiking across the US.

• Sounds & the City: An interview with Julia Holter.

The Dead Dream of the Dirigible.

Meditation (1979) by Edward Artemyev.