Weekend links 103

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Robert Fripp photographed by Chris Stein. Video posterization by Michael Schiess.

Scans of Synapse, “The electronic music magazine”, are posted here. Issues range from 1976 to 1979, and include interviews with the more notable synthesists of the period, Kraftwerk included. Brian Eno was regularly interviewed by synth mags despite always being reluctant to talk about what equipment he might be using; sure enough he’s featured here. Far more interesting is a longer interview with Robert Fripp that catches the guitarist as he emerged from his self-imposed retirement in the mid-70s with the extraordinary Exposure album. (See a 1979 promo video for that here.) Related: TR-808 drum sequences in poster form by Rob Ricketts.

• More electronic music from the 1970s: “[Don Buchla] showed me that the idea of playing a black-and-white keyboard with one of these instruments was completely ridiculous. It was inappropriate and had nothing to do with the way you would use an electronic instrument.” Suzanne Ciani talks to John Doran about electronic music composition. A collection of her early recordings, Lixiviation, is released by Finders Keepers. Related: The Attack of the Radiophonic Women: How synthesizers cracked music’s glass ceiling.

• “Her writing—full of immigrants, circus animals, freaks, socialists, hipsters, servants, and suffragettes—revels in the atmosphere of the ‘Yellow Nineties,’ a period characterized by Wildean decadence and art for art’s sake.” Jenny Hendrix on Djuna Barnes.

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More etchings by Albin Brunovsky at But Does It Float.

• More scanned magazines: the Fuck You Press archive at Reality Studio. A trove of rare publications produced by Ed Sanders in the 1960s with contributions from world-class writers, William Burroughs included.

• “[My parents] were horrified by what I did, but they encouraged me to keep doing it because I was obsessed, and what else could I do?” John Waters writing in (of all places) the Wall Street Journal.

• A time-lapse assembly of Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window (1954) by Jeff Desom who explains how he did it here.

The Occult Experience: a 95-minute documentary on the international occult scene, filmed in 1984–85.

• Compost and Height re-post A Gold Thunder, a song by Julia Holter first sent to them in 2010.

• Drawings by Bette Burgoyne.

Schroeter’s Salomés

Cats are liquids

Fade Away And Radiate (1978) by Blondie (featuring Robert Fripp) | Exposure (1978) by Peter Gabriel (produced by and featuring Robert Fripp) | Exposure (1979) by Robert Fripp | Babs And Babs (1980) by Daryl Hall (produced by and featuring Robert Fripp) | Losing True (1982) by The Roches (produced by and featuring Robert Fripp).

Weekend links 79

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Neville Brody creates a cover design for an issue of the V&A magazine tied to the museum’s current exhibition, Postmodernism: Style and Subversion 1970–1990. Brody’s comment amused me for the way he smartly explained the thinking behind the design whilst also distancing himself from its theme:

For me, Post Modernism felt like a kind of facade built to cover over the cracks of a divided world, a surface of plucked effects and stylistic devices emptied of meaning, an extrusion of hollow traces and flat outlines forcing 2D into apparent depth. I was never a Post Modernist, rather a Modernist exploring humanist lines of enquiry in the collapsing world behind a wall of decoration.

• It’s a common thing today to give images from the past a queer reappraisal, finding homoerotic qualities in pictures which, when they were made, would have seemed free of any sexual subtext. This post finds such a subtext in recruitment posters for US armed forces although none of the examples are as overt as this wartime magazine ad. Over at Front Free Endpaper Callum notes that many vintage photos which people regard today as evidence of gay relationships are unlikely to be quite that. The photo he posts, however, really does appear to show a pair of men who were more than just good friends.

• A play by Ororo Productions of HP Lovecraft’s The Dunwich Horror will be staged at the London Horror Festival from October 25th. Related: Horror Made Delightful: The Strange Stories of Sheridan Le Fanu, MR James, and Robert Aickman. “Aickman never spells out his meaning,” says Greer Mansfield, “His stories end abruptly and inconclusively, and in fact the ‘meaning’ is less important than the utter mysteriousness of what happens.” Which is just what some of us enjoy.

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Black Beauty, a decorated horse skull by Julia deVille.

• “Jackpot is a comedic short film about a 14-year-old gay boy in 1994 who sets off on a quest to find a stash of gay porn and get it home before anyone finds out.” Director Adam Baran is requesting completion funds at Kickstarter.

Gendai Shogyo Bijutsu Zenshu (The Complete Commercial Artist), published in Tokyo from 1927 to 1930.

Ishac Bertran tries some analogue sampling by chopping up vinyl discs with a laser cutter.

Steve Jobs does LSD and The Residents pay tribute to Steve Jobs.

• A rare post at Ballardian: Outpost 13: The Atrocity Exhibition.

• It’s all fun and games until Charles Manson turns up…again.

The Edgar Allan Poe Portfolio (1976) by Berni Wrightson.

• RIP David Bedford and Bert Jansch.

John Waters: Roles of a Lifetime.

Octopi Wall Street!

Homocomix.

Poison (1969) by Bert Jansch | Pentangle at the BBC (1970): Train Song | House Carpenter | Hunting Song | Light Flight

Weekend links 32

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Red Quechquemitls (2010) by Sylvia Ji.

• The Blackout Mix, a pay-what-thou-wilt 49-minute mixtape, “specially designed to accompany (or simulate) a human-plant interaction”. Art by Arik Roper, music selection by Jay Babcock.

An ode to the many evolved virtues of human semen: “the penis is capable of dispensing a sort of natural Prozac” says Jesse Bering.

• The new John Foxx CD & DVD release, D.N.A., has a Jonathan Barnbrook cover, a new collaboration with Harold Budd and a disc of short films.

• “I have been copying Margaret Hamilton my whole life, and I am proud to admit it. The Wicked Witch of the West, the jolie laide heroine of every bad little boy’s and girl’s dream of notoriety and style, whose twelve minutes of screen time in The Wizard of Oz can never be topped … I’m a big butch-lesbian hag. I love the ones with chips on their shoulders and heavy attitude. They’re my real favorites.” John Waters always gives great interviews.

• Listen to a track from the forthcoming Brian Eno album while you’re reading Kristine McKenna’s interview with the man himself at Arthur mag. Includes an appreciation by Alan Moore.

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Atropa Bella Donna (2009) by Sylvia Ji.

• Steven Severin is touring the UK this month, performing a live accompaniment to screenings of Jean Cocteau’s The Blood of a Poet. He’s at the Tyneside Cinema this Tuesday. Other dates can be found on his website.

• “I know it’s a very emotive subject and you’re either for it or against it but for a jobbing self-employed musician such as me – bootlegging (CD copying) is just killing us.” Finding The Spaces Between: musician Chris Carter (Throbbing Gristle, Chris & Cosey, et al) interviewed.

Mile End Pugatorio (1991), a one-minute film-poem by Guy Sherwin and Martin Doyle. Related: four one-minute movies by The Residents.

• Gijs Van Vaerenbergh installed an Upside Dome at the St. Michiel Church in Leuven, Belgium.

• Sidney Sime illustrates Lord Dunsany at Golden Age Comic Book Stories.

Europe according to gay men. There’s more at Mapping Stereotypes.

• There’s never a dull moment in the High Desert.

• Generative art by Leonardo Solas.

William S Burroughs: A Man Within

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The Ticket that Exploded. Cover design by Thomi Wroblowski for a John Calder edition, 1985.

William S Burroughs: A Man Within is a feature-length documentary by Yony Leyser, and is, so the makers say, the first posthumous documentary about the always essential writer. Howard Brookner’s 1983 film, Burroughs, is probably definitive where the biography is concerned since Brookner was fortunate to get most of the key surviving Beats, family members, and allies while they were still around. Leyser’s trailer looks interesting, however (I’m hoping the film isn’t merely a parade of celebrities and soundbites), and it’s things like this which pass on the message of Burroughs’ continued importance to a new generation.

The film features never before seen footage of William S. Burroughs, as well as exclusive interviews with his closest friends and colleagues including John Waters, Genesis P-Orridge, Laurie Anderson, Peter Weller, David Cronenberg, Iggy Pop, Gus Van Sant, Sonic Youth, Anne Waldman, George Condo, Hal Willner, James Grauerholz, Amiri Baraka, Jello Biafra, V. Vale, David Ohle, Wayne Propst, Dr. William Ayers, Diane DiPrima, Donovan, Dean Ripa (the world’s largest poisonous snake collector), and many others, with narration by actor Peter Weller, and soundtrack by Sonic Youth. 

Release is slated for later this year. Meanwhile, there’s another trailer on YouTube for a Burroughs’-inspired short, The Japanese Sandman, based on WSB’s quest for the drug yage in the jungles of Panama. For an explanation of the title, consult the Reality Studio.

Previously on { feuilleton }
The Final Academy
William Burroughs book covers
Towers Open Fire