Weekend links 442

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Orgasm Addict (1977). Design by Malcolm Garrett; collage by Linder.

• RIP Pete Shelley, Buzzcock and Homosapien. Shelley is celebrated for being in the vanguard of Britain’s punk movement, of course. (Buzzcocks’ Spiral Scratch was the UK’s first independent single.) But he also loved Can, recorded an album of electronic drones (Sky Yen), and in 1983 successfully blended home-computer graphics with his own brand of superior electronic pop music. Related: Malcolm Garrett’s Buzzcocks band logo at Fonts In Use; B’dum, B’dum: Tony Wilson in 1978 talking to Pete Shelley and Howard Devoto about Buzzcocks and Magazine.

• Winter demands ghost stories so Adam Scovell suggests 10 great winter ghost films. Related: Alexandra Heller-Nicholas presents an A–Z of Women’s Horror Filmmaking.

Carey Dunne on the rise of underground LSD guides for psychotherapy. Related: “Psychedelics change the perception of time,” says Shayla Love.

• Ex-Neu! guitarist Michael Rother receives the box-set treatment early next year when the Groenland label reissues his early solo albums.

Jodorowsky, an exhibition devoted to the writer and director, will be staged at El Museo del Barrio, New York, from February next year.

• “From Georges Méliès to Bill and Ted, movie hells remain seriously in hock to the Judeo-Christian playbook,” says Anne Billson.

The Owl’s Legacy, Chris Marker’s 13-part documentary series on Greek culture, receives its debut DVD release.

Topic II (1989), a short film by Pascal Baes of pixilated dancers in the night streets of Prague.

• Mix of the week: Secret Thirteen Mix 274 by Koray Kantarcioglu.

• We are the first humans to hear the winds of the planet Mars.

• Patrick Magee reads The Third Policeman by Flann O’Brien.

• At Dennis Cooper’s: Jean-Louis Trintignant Day.

• Mongolian biker rock: Wolf Totem by The HU.

The Quietus albums of the year.

Hell (2001) by Techno Animal ft. Dälek | Hell’s Winter (2011) by Earth | Hell A (2017) by The Bug vs. Earth

Weekend links 140

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Thanks to Callum for pointing the way to a beautiful set of playing cards designed by Picart le Doux.

Of cigars and pedants by Houman Barekat, in which Vladimir Nabokov has a problem with Henry James. Tangentially related: Post-Punk’s Nabokov: Howard Devoto and Magazine, live from Berlin, 1980. (Given A Song From Under The Floorboards, and lines like “I could have been Raskolnikov / But mother nature ripped me off”, I’d say it’s more accurate to describe Devoto as Post-Punk’s Dostoyevsky.)

• “I was introduced to Kneale’s work like most kids: by a fifty-foot hologram of a psychic locust and a British colonel deliquesced by five million years of bad Martian energy.” In Keep Me in the Loop, You Dead Mechanism Dave Tompkins looks back at Nigel Kneale’s TV play The Stone Tape. I reported my own impressions at the end of October.

• At The Quietus this week, Carol Huston on Lord Horror: A History Of Savoy Publishing. Michael Butterworth is interviewed, and the piece includes some quotes from earlier interviews by yours truly.

As the Massachusetts minister Increase Mather explained in 1687, Christmas was observed on Dec. 25 not because “Christ was born in that Month, but because the Heathens Saturnalia was at that time kept in Rome, and they were willing to have those Pagan Holidays metamorphosed into Christian” ones. So naturally, official suppression of Christmas was foundational to the godly colonies in New England.

Rachel N. Schnepper on the Puritan War on Christmas.

• Maxine Peake and the Eccentronic Research Council have a seasonal song for you. Take the title, Black ChristMass, as a warning. The group recently played live on The Culture Show.

• Clive Hicks-Jenkins’ Artlog is currently hosting Alphabet Soup, an online exhibition by different artists each depicting the letters of the alphabet. Start here and click forward.

Ornate Typography from the 19th Century featuring samples from the King George Tumblr. Related: Sheaff ephemera.

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Saturn at Saturnalia. A Cassini image of the planet’s nightside.

Kenneth Anger interviewed by P. Adams Sitney. A 53-minute tape recording from 1972.

• At The Outer Church: James Ginzburg of Emptyset posts a winter music mix.

When Candy Darling met Salvador Dalí.

The psychedelic secrets of Santa Claus.

• At Pinterest: Camp as…

Saturn (1956) by Sun Ra | Permafrost (live, 1980) by Magazine | Uptown Apocalypse (1981) by B.E.F.

Odilon Redon’s musical afterlife

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Pilgrim Of The Sublunary World (2002) by Heid.

It would have been surprising if Magazine were the only group to have used Odilon Redon’s art for album covers. What is surprising is that these releases are all relatively recent and aren’t the cluster of Goth doodlings I would have expected: descriptions at Discogs list Heid as an industrial outfit, Revelation and While Heaven Wept are doom metal while Spider Trio play jazz. Odilon Redon is unusual in being able to provide artwork strange enough for Magazine or, in the case of his many pastel drawings, pretty enough for classical recordings. I omitted a couple of other CD covers which inset his pictures in dreadful layouts. The Heid album uses more Redon art on the insert pages.

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Live @ Rendezvous/Jewelbox Theater 8.12.06 (2007) by Spider Trio.

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Never Comes Silence (2007) by Revelation.

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L’Amour De Loin (2009) by Kaija Saariaho.

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Sorrow Of The Angels (2010) by While Heaven Wept.

Elsewhere on { feuilleton }
The album covers archive

Previously on { feuilleton }
Odilon Redon and Magazine
Odilon Redon lithographs
The eyes of Odilon Redon
Aubrey Beardsley’s musical afterlife

Odilon Redon and Magazine

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Shot By Both Sides (1978). Design by Malcolm Garrett. Art: La Chimere regarda avec effroi toutes choses (1886) by Odilon Redon.

The first two albums by British post-punk band Magazine have been soundtracking the inner landscape here for the past couple of weeks. Looking at some of their cover art on Discogs reminded me that two of their early singles came dressed with drawings by Symbolist artist Odilon Redon (1840–1916) so these covers may well have been the first place I saw any of Redon’s work at all. This was an unusual choice at the time which makes it typical of a group that stood slightly apart from much of the music around them, often being regarded as too proficient and too clever. (Pop music and politics are the only places where incompetence and stupidity are virtues.)

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Give Me Everything (1978). Design by Malcolm Garrett? Art:The Cactus Man (1881) by Odilon Redon.

Magazine’s golden era runs from 1978 to 1980 and for me their music and that of fellow Mancunians Joy Division remains inextricably connected to memories of Manchester in the late 1970s, a place I visited sporadically before moving here in 1982. The city then was a lot more grimy and run-down, filled with the disused mills and warehouses of the collapsed cotton industry, blighted by the failed architecture of the 1960s and polluted by endless convoys of orange buses. This photo from 1978 fixes the mephitic ambience, as does some of M. John Harrison‘s fiction from the period, notably his short story Egnaro. Unlike Joy Divison, Magazine haven’t been burdened with an increasingly inflated reputation which makes revisiting their works all the more enjoyable. They pull you back to those gloomy times then take you off elsewhere, into the cajoling and neurotic imagination of that Nosferatu-in-a-leather-jacket, Howard Devoto.

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No Thyself (2009). Designer unknown. Art: Le polype difforme flottait sur les rivages, sorte de cyclope souriant et hideux, Les Origines (1883) by Odilon Redon.

The band reformed in 2009 although I’m not convinced the current incarnation is for me, I’m generally sceptical of such moves and the absence of ace guitarist John McGeogh (who died in 2004) and bassist Barry Adamson means it won’t be the same. No Thyself did refer back to their origins, however, literally so in the title of the Odilon Redon picture on the cover, while the Chimera from the first single turned up on a recent tour poster. Howard Devoto talked late last year to The Quietus about the recent album.

Elsewhere on { feuilleton }
The album covers archive

Previously on { feuilleton }
Odilon Redon lithographs
The eyes of Odilon Redon

Weekend links 98

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The Arcimboldo Effect again. An undated postcard from the image section of A Virtual Wunderkammer: Early Twentieth Century Erotica in Spain.

“I took George Clinton and Bootsy Collins to the Battle Station for the first time, and they left feeling like they’d just had a close encounter,” said the bassist and music producer Bill Laswell, who met Rammellzee in the early 1980s and remained one of the few people who saw him regularly.

Rammellzee’s Work and Reputation Re-emerge

• Also in the NYT: China Miéville on Apocalyptic London: “Everyone knows there’s a catastrophe unfolding, that few can afford to live in their own city. It was not always so.” Reverse the perspective and find Iain Sinclair writing in 2002 about Abel Ferrara’s The King of New York: “A memento mori of the century’s ultimate city in meltdown.”

• The Inverted Gaze: Queering the French Literary Classics in America by François Cusset. Related: Glitterwolf Magazine is asking for submissions from LGBT writers/artists/photographers.

• The vinyl releases of Cristal music by Structures Sonores Lasry-Baschet continue to be scarce and unreissued. Mark Morb has a high-quality rip of the group’s No. 4 EP here.

Henri’s Walk to Paris, the children’s book designed by Saul Bass in 1962, is being republished. Steven Heller takes a look.

As the critic Jon Savage points out, even rock’n’roll’s very roots, the blues, contained a weird gay subculture. The genre was home to songs such as George Hannah’s Freakish Man Blues, Luis Russell’s The New Call of the Freaks, and Kokomo Arnold’s Sissy Man Blues. “I woke up this morning with my pork grindin’ business in my hand,” offers Arnold, adding, “Lord, if you can’t send me no woman, please send me some sissy man.”

Straight and narrow: how pop lost its gay edge by Alex Petridis

David Pelham: The Art of Inner Space. James Pardey interviews the designer for Ballardian.

BBCX365: Johnny Selman designs an entire year of news stories.

• Sarah Funke Butler on Nabokov’s notes for Eugene Onegin.

• Leslie S. Klinger on The cult of Sherlock Holmes.

How piracy built the US publishing industry.

SynthCats

The Light Pours Out Of Me (1978) by Magazine | Touch And Go (1978) by Magazine | Motorcade (1978) by Magazine | Feed The Enemy (1979) by Magazine | Cut-Out Shapes (1979) by Magazine.