Weekend links 346

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Red Queen (no date) by Jo Brocklehurst.

• Happy birthday to Kenneth Anger, 90 years old this week. In 2008 Anger was interviewed by Nicolas Winding Refn at the National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen.

• “Fabeness be to the Auntie, and to the Homie Chavvie, and to the Fantabulosa Fairy”. “Church ‘regret’ as trainees hold service in gay slang.”

Andrew Male on Michael Chapman, an exceptional guitarist, and “the man who connects Elton, Bowie, Nick Drake and Sonic Youth”.

• A trailer for A Life In Waves a documentary about synth composer Suzanne Ciani by Brett Whitcomb and Bradford Thomason.

• The website for design company Barnbrook has been relaunched, as has the site for Jonathan Barnbrook‘s personal work.

• Mixes of the week: Secret Thirteen Mix 209 by Umwelt, and XLR8R Podcast 475 by Melina Serser.

Ryan Gilbey: “From Sean Connery to Harrison Ford: actors who secretly played roles gay.”

• Writer and editor Russ Kick is selling his huge book collection.

Lucifer Sam (1967) by Pink Floyd | Lucifer (1968) by The Salt | Lucifer Rising (2002) by John Zorn

Weekend links 340

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Fly Carefully (1969) by Stanislaw Zagorski.

• Video of Tuxedomoon live in San Francisco, Rotterdam and Paris, 1983 (or try this copy), and a late-night German TV broadcast from 1985. The first Tuxedomoon album, Half-Mute, has been reissued by Crammed Discs with an accompanying album, Give Me New Noise: Half-Mute Reflected, featuring cover versions of the songs by various artists.

• More end-of-year reviews: Dennis Cooper’s recommendations are always eclectic (and thanks again for the blog shout!); not necessarily the best ambient and space music of 2016 by Dave Maier; a review of the year by graphic designer Jonathan Barnbrook; the 15 finalists of the 2016 Art of Building architectural photography competition.

The Complete Stories of Leonora Carrington will be published in April 2017 by Dorothy. Related: Letters, Dreams, and Other Texts by Remedios Varo will be published next year by Wakefield Press. Also of interest on that page is a new edition of Haschisch by Oscar AH Schmitz illustrated by Alfred Kubin.

• The week in Things (see this post): John Carpenter’s The Thing: The Story of an SF Horror Game-Changer. Ennio Morricone’s score will be infecting the vinyl world next year. Meanwhile, Matthew Thrift recommends “10 great films set in the Arctic and Antarctica”.

• Mixes of the week: FACT mix 581 by Pan Daijing, XLR8R podcast 468 by Jan Jelinek, and Secret Thirteen Mix 203 by Blood Sport.

A Year In The Country on Monumental Follies (1972), a book about architectural eccentricity by Stuart Barton.

• William Burroughs reads 23 random paragraphs from Naked Lunch each time you load this page.

• “The world is terrifying and destructive and dehumanising and tragic,” says Charlie Kaufman.

• Scents and sensuality: William Dalrymple on the perfumes of India, past and present.

• Brenda S G Walter on Hill House: The haunted soul of Shirley Jackson.

• A trailer for Dome Karukoski’s Tom of Finland. There’s more here.

Illustrating the Sixties: Paintings by Italian artists in London.

Michael Rother and Cavern Of Anti-Matter live in Berlin.

Cinemetal

Network 23 (1981) by Tangerine Dream | Exit 23 (1989) by Psychick Warriors Ov Gaia | Studio 23 (2012) by The Time And Space Machine

Weekend links 309

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From What is a Witch, “an illuminated manifesto on witchcraft” by Pam Grossman and Tin Can Forest.

• “The other strand of influence for me from dance music was a production house called Savoy in Manchester, England. They were a super underground publishing house that printed cartoons and comic books, and they also released a series of underground dance records. And they were always being shut down by the police and all their stuff was being confiscated, because it was considered ‘anti-society’ in England.” Anohni giving a shout to my colleagues at Savoy Books in a new interview.

Belladonna of Sadness (1973), a feature-length animated film by Eiichi Yamamoto, has been restored, and is being given a premier release in the US. There’s a review here and a trailer here. No news as yet of a UK release but Finders Keepers has the soundtrack album.

Alejandro Jodorowsky talks to Daniel Kalder about his new novel, Albina and the Dog-Men, while Jodorowsky’s comic-book collaborator, Ladrönn, talks to Smoky Man about their new graphic novel, The Sons of El Topo.

Pretty little watercolours these are not. Made by bulldozers and dynamite instead of a paintbrush and easel, the works—often sited on baking sandscapes—fuse minimalism and modern industrial aesthetics to evoke the otherworldly structures of ancient civilisations, from Stonehenge to Mayan temples and the Egyptian pyramids.

Alex Needham on America’s land artists. A few years ago I tracked down some of the structures he describes using Google Maps.

• In every dream home a heartache: High Rise director Ben Wheatley on adapting Ballard, practical special effects and ’70s parenting.

Tom Phillips: From Prequel To Sequel, an exhibition of pages from A Humument at Shandy Hall Gallery.

• From fresh food to magic mushrooms: Michael Pollan probes the medicinal uses of psychedelic drugs.

• “Let’s not forget graphic design is an artistic discipline,” says Jonathan Barnbrook.

Supervert discusses censorship and related matters at SomethingDark.

• “I’ve sung gospel music when in great despair,” says Diamanda Galás.

• Mix of the week: FACT Mix 550 by James K.

Boy Club is a new gay magazine.

Gospel Trane (1968) by Alice Coltrane | The Gospel Comes To New Guinea (1981) by 23 Skidoo | Gospel Train (1990) by African Head Charge

Weekend links 304

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One of ten new stamps designed by The Chase for the Royal Mail’s Shakespeare celebrations.

• “I basically had this problem with bombast and intensity. And I started to feel like it was a nuclear arms race.” Tim Hecker talking to Rick Moody about loud sounds, Icelandic elves and Minimalism. Hecker’s new album, Love Streams, features contributions from Ben Frost and Jóhann Jóhannsson.

• “He joked in a letter to Edmund Wilson that he had ‘managed to get into Harvard with a butterfly as my sole backer.'” Laura Marsh on Nabokov the lepidopterist.

• The brutal musical legacy of JG Ballard by Tim Noakes. Ballard’s own musical taste, as revealed in his choice for Desert Island Discs, was mostly nostalgic.

One outcome of this sense that homosexual people existed in large numbers while still remaining more or less invisible to the naked eye was the suspicion that when they got together they were likely to engage in something more, something even worse than the indulging of a perversion. Notoriously, the networks of homosexuality seemed to transcend many more formal social and political boundaries, reifying crossovers not only between national and ethnic cultures, but between high society and the demi-mondes of bohemian artists, and so forth. The Homintern certainly helped cross-fertilise the arts.

Gregory Woods on the gay artists and writers who changed the world

• Mixes of the week: FACT Mix 544 by Tim Gane, Abs’s Cornerhouse Classics by Abigail Ward, and Secret Thirteen Mix 181 by Broken Bone.

I Can’t Give Everything Away: Jonathan Barnbrook’s text-and graphics video for the song by David Bowie.

• “Chernobyl is spooky, in the manner of all disowned places.” Simon Parkin enters the Zone.

Osman Ahmed on why Doreen Valiente is “the mother of modern witchcraft”.

• The camera obscura art of Abelardo Morell.

An oral history of Taxi Driver.

Swiss graphic design in CSS

• RIP Tony Conrad

Lady Macbeth (1972) by Third Ear Band | In The Back Of A Taxi (1984) by Penguin Cafe Orchestra | Butterfly Mornings (2001) by Hope Sandoval & The Warm Vibrations

Weekend links 292

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The Black Sun from Splendor Solis (1582) “attributed to the legendary figure Salomon Trismosin”.

Topic B predominates this week. The Black Sun of alchemy was the first thing I thought of when the title of David Bowie’s final album was announced late last year. The Black Sun symbolises the nigredo stage of the alchemical process when putrefaction or decomposition takes place; Carl Jung in Psychology and Alchemy equates the nigredo with the dark night of the soul. At the time I didn’t seriously think that the Bowie of 2015 would have had this in mind as a primary reference even though the Bowie of the early 1970s was immersed in Golden Dawn occultism, the Kabbalah, and a reader of Pauwels & Bergier’s The Morning of the Magicians, a book that informs the lyrics of the Hunky Dory album, and which contains a great deal of discussion about alchemy and other esoteric matters. And yet… Of all the outfits that Bowie might have worn in his final video the one that he chose for Lazarus is a match for the one he wore during the Station To Station Kabbalah-drawing photo session. At Sol Ascendans Alex Sumner and his commenters explored this twilight zone.

Back in the sublunary world, Jonathan Barnbrook’s cut-out sleeve design for the Blackstar album gained additional resonance this week: the black star as the hole that’s left when a more familiar star has been removed from its setting. Hindsight also makes poignant the observation that this was the only album without a picture of the artist on the cover. Elsewhere there were speculations about the title being a reference to Black Star by Elvis Presley (who shared a birthday with Bowie) or a term from oncology, two suggestions that fit so well they’re hard to ignore.

He began to develop a science fiction sensibility, drawing on the New Wave SF movement of Michael Moorcock and JG Ballard, other writers who used the genre such as Anthony Burgess and William S Burroughs, and an older fantasy tradition found in HP Lovecraft and Edward Bulwer-Lytton (whose The Coming Race is name-checked in Oh! You Pretty Things, 1971).

Jake Arnott on David Bowie’s literary influences

• In something-else-also-happened-this-week news, 2016 may see the long-awaited release of Andrei Tarkovsky’s films on Region B Blu-ray. Fingers crossed.

• International posters for The Man Who Fell To Earth. More Nicolas Roeg (and more shiny discs): Eureka (1983) will receive a Blu-ray release in March.

• Cracking the codes of Leena Krohn: Peter Bebergal on the Finnish writer of strange stories.

• Anthems for the Moon: Jason Heller examines David Bowie’s connections to science fiction.

• From 2013: Jon Savage on Bowie’s first meeting with William Burroughs in 1974.

• Mixes of the week: Bowie-esque Vol 1 and Bowie-esque Vol 2 by Abigail Ward.

David Bowie Doing Shit: a Tumblr

“Heroes” (1978) by Blondie & Robert Fripp | “Heroes” (2003) by King Crimson | “Helden” (2007) by Apocalyptica ft. Till Lindemann