Weekend links 10

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One of a number of vintage ads and ephemeral items at this Flickr set.

• From 1971: The Anthony Balch/William Burroughs/Jan Herman video experiment.

• The NYT reports on World on a Wire, a neglected science fiction drama by Rainer Werner Fassbinder.

• “While some of the technology industry’s brightest minds were inventing the first PCs and developing groundbreaking software, they were also feeding their heads with LSD.”

• The archive of author and illustrator Mervyn Peake has been acquired by the British Library for £410,000.

• Thames & Hudson are publishing I Wonder, a book by the wonderful Marian Bantjes, later in the year. Her site has a preview. I want.

• The gays: It’s election season in the UK so My Gay Vote looks at how the three main parties have supported LGBT issues. (No data for the graphs, however.) Is theatre finally glad to be gay? Yet more Tumblrs: I heart skinny boys & Cute boys with cats.

• Trend-spotter, “svengali”, Situationist and the man who named the Sex Pistols: RIP Malcolm McLaren. The Guardian ran a number of memorial pages. Related: Anarchy in Gardenstown.

• Dublin’s One City, One Book choice for April 2010 is The Picture of Dorian Gray.

The Catastrophist: Christopher Hitchens on JG Ballard.

Steampunk Taxidermy by Lisa Black.

• LIFE looks back at Aleister Crowley.

• Groovy songs of the week: Julie Driscoll (with Brian Auger & The Trinity), a pair of songs by Bob Dylan—This Wheel’s On Fire—and Donovan—Season Of The Witch—and sets which look like a collaboration between Verner Panton and Marcel Duchamp. Amazing.

The Dukes declare it’s 25 O’Clock!

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25 O’Clock (1985). Andy Partridge’s great cover design.

The DUKES say it’s time…it’s time to visit the planet smile…it’s time the love bomb was dropped…it’s time to eat music…it’s time to kiss the sun…it’s time to drown yourself in SOUNDGASM and it’s time to dance through the mirror. The DUKES declare it’s 25 O’CLOCK.

It was twenty-five years today…April 1st, 1985…that Virgin Records released what was supposed to be a reissue of a lost psychedelic album from the late 1960s, 25 O’Clock by The Dukes of Stratosphear. The catalogue number was WOW 1 and the vinyl label was printed with the old black-and-white Virgin logo by Roger Dean even though Virgin Records wasn’t founded until 1972. No one was supposed to know that the album was really a pastiche project by XTC but I don’t recall anyone actually being fooled by this, all the reviews acknowledged XTC as the originators, and band members Andy Partridge and Colin Moulding were happy to give interviews enthusing about their musical obsessions. As well as being incredibly successful artistically the album was a surprising commercial success which led the bemused record label to ask for a sequel. Psonic Psunspot followed two years later and the Dukes’ vibe infected XTC’s own work for a while, with their 1988 album, Oranges & Lemons, pitched somewhere between the pastiches and the group’s more customary sound .

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Psonic Psunspot (1987). Design by Dave Dragon and Ken Ansell.

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