Weekend links 459

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• “Their graves were covered with cement tiles to block the radiation emanating from their corpses.” Sophie Pinkham reviews three books about the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.

• At Dangerous Minds: Julius Eastman: The resurrection of the visionary minimalist composer continues; at The Quietus: The Strange World of Julius Eastman.

• Mixes of the week: a Dune-inspired Secret Thirteen Mix 286 by Coeden, and ’94–95 Mirrorverse by The Ephemeral Man.

Nabokov had meanwhile acquired a literary agent in New York. She made no headway placing translations of his Russian novels. His latest, she informed him, was “dazzlingly brilliant” and hence wholly without promise for the American market. She suggested something more topical, an idea that left her client hyperventilating. “Nothing,” he would roar later, “bores me more than political novels and the literature of social unrest.” He was, he enlightened his representative, neither Sinclair Lewis nor Upton Sinclair. (Ultimately he tossed the two over the cliff together, as “Upton Lewis.”) Weeks later, in the bathroom of a Paris studio apartment, he began — “a champion figure skater switching to roller skates,” as he complained, speaking for whole cadres of displaced professionals — to write in English.

Stacy Schiff on Vladimir Nabokov, literary refugee

Iain Sinclair on Ghosts of a Ghost: William Burroughs, time surgery and the death of the image.

ST Joshi remembers Lovecraftian writer Wilum Pugmire (RIP).

The Conspirators: A Borgean Tribute to Jorge Luis Borges.

Jasper Sharp on where to begin with Japanese cyberpunk.

Greg Anderson on the new Sunn O))) album, Life Metal.

Drew Daniel of Matmos picks his Bandcamp favourites.

• The Kraken surfaces for Clive Hicks-Jenkins.

• An interview with Brian Eno by Suite (212).

Apocalypse Now: Final Cut

The Book of Weirdo

Conspiracy Of Silence (1994) by Cypher 7 | The Vodun Conspiracy (1996) by The Sidewinder | Machine Conspiracy (2010) by Conforce

Weekend links 300

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Observatoire IX from the Observatoires series by Noemie Goudal.

• “Before Lady Raglan’s intervention, this figure had been anonymous. She gave him a name: the Green Man.” Josephine Livingstone on the persistence of a supposed figure from pagan folklore.

Ben Wheatley: “Financing a film as crazy as [High-Rise] takes good casting”. Related (in a Ballardian sense): the abandoned hotels of the Sinai Desert.

• “We were in danger of becoming full-time, paid up musicians…” Drew Daniel and Martin “MC” Schmidt of Matmos look back over their career.

Fahey didn’t make many new friends with his scything dismissal of the folk revival. He distrusted the way that folkies regarded music as a carrier for the correct political messages of the moment. As Lowenthal puts it: “To him, the student idealists had naïve worldviews and dreamed of unrealistic political utopias,” whereas Fahey “attempted to channel darkness and dread through his music.” For Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger devotees, the ideological message came first, with musical tone or trickery a distant second. As Fahey saw it, the dizzyingly strange source music they borrowed from and then built their careers on emerged as little more than a scrubbed-up ventriloquist’s doll, all the coarse grain and troubling metaphysic of its original voices jettisoned. He also detected high condescension and low reverse racism in how the folk-revival people preferred their old blues guys barefoot and wearing dungarees—even if they now usually dressed in sharp suits and often preferred to play amplified, electric urban blues.

Ian Penman on John Fahey

• “It’s amazing how quickly a sound can lose its moorings and float off into this kind of unchartered territory,” says Robin The Fog.

• Mixes of the week: FACT Mix 540 by Via App, and Secret Thirteen Mix 178 by BlackBlackGold.

Oliver Wainwright on Edward Johnston, designer of the typeface for the London Underground.

• At Dennis Cooper’s: DC’s: Spotlight on…The Free-Lance Pallbearers (1967) by Ishmael Reed.

Each drop of Hennessy X.O is an Odyssey: Nicolas Winding Refn makes an alcohol ad.

Wayne Shorter & Herbie Hancock pen an open letter to the next generation of artists.

Japan’s scariest manga artist (Junji Ito) loves Japan’s creepiest cosplayer (Ikura).

• “He was a sexual outlaw.” Jack Fritscher‘s love affair with Robert Mapplethorpe.

Peter De Rome: the RAF pilot who became “the grandfather of gay porn”.

The Strange Case of Mr William T. Horton

• RIP Big George Martin and Ken Adam.

Shortwave Radio World

Viriconium FAQ

Nine Feet Underground (1971) by Caravan | Green Bubble Raincoated Man (1972) by Amon Düül II | Betyárnóta (Outlaw Song, 1989) by Muzsikás

Weekend links 128

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Seven-inch sleeve design by Savage Pencil for Wrong Eye (1990) by Coil.

• “Can you use sensory deprivation to explore ESP? And then make music from the process?” Drew Daniel and MC Schmidt of Matmos decided to find out for their new EP. Related: Occult Voices—Paranormal Music, Recordings of Unseen Intelligences, 1905–2007 at Ubuweb. Details of the original CD release can be found here.

Gorgeous Gallery: The Best in Gay Erotic Art is a new book by David Leddick featuring the work of contemporary gay artists. Howard G. Williams has a review at Lambda Literary.

Trip or Squeek by Savage Pencil, a book collection of the artist’s comic strips for The Wire magazine, forthcoming from Strange Attractor Press.

The novels of the middle period are Burgess’s most vital because it was in these that he forged what we might now recognize as the Burgessian – the antic puns and wordplay, the etymological digressions, the opacity, the glamorous pedantry, the tympanic repetitions, and an alliterative, assonantal musicality that makes every sentence seem vivid and extrovert: “Seafood salt with savour of seabrine thwacking throat with thriving wine-thirst”; “the lucent flawlessness of the skin, of the long fleshly languor that flowered into visibility”; “he was in a manner tricked, coney-caught, a court-dor to a cozening cotquean”. This is Burgess’s description of an Elizabethan brothel: “He entered darkness that smelled of musk and dust, the tang of sweating oxters, and, somehow, the ancient stale reek of egg after egg cracked in waste, the musty hold-smell of seamen’s garments, seamen’s semen spattered, a ghost procession of dead sailors lusting till the crack of doom”.

Ben Masters on A Clockwork Orange and its creator, fifty years on

• A streaming album for the beginning of autumn, the self-titled debut by Eraas, available in a range of formats at Bandcamp.

• “How Collecting Opium Antiques Turned Me Into an Opium Addict.”

Ted Hughes reads from Crow. Related: Raptors by Leonard Baskin.

• Janitors of Lunacy: Jonny Mugwump remembers Coil.

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Back in June I suggested Clive Hicks-Jenkins’ paintings as potential artwork for Penguin’s Modern Classics series. Last week Clive revealed that Penguin will be using one of his painted maquettes for a new edition of Equus next year.

150 Years of Lesbians and Other Lady-Loving-Ladies

Color Sound Oblivion: a Coil/TG/related Tumblr.

Tune in, psych out: the new black psychedelia.

The Hills Are Alive (1995) by Coil | QueenS (2012) by THEESatisfaction | Goldblum (2012) by Oddience.

Weekend links 59

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Or So It Seems (1983) by Duet Emmo. Design by The Brothers Quay.

• “Make things, no rules, but be quick.” Bruce Gilbert, musician in (among others) Wire, Dome and Duet Emmo is interviewed. Related: Daniel Miller, Mute label boss and another member of Duet Emmo is interviewed (and provides a mix) at The Quietus. For more electronica with nothing at all to do with Duet Emmo there’s this Matmos interview.

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Design by Dick Smith.

“It’s psychedelic not because we were stoned before we wrote the songs, or stoned during composing them, but the experiences of searching for the transcendental world though altered states of consciousness were in the songs,” he says, which sounds suspiciously like another way of saying he was stoned before he wrote them, but perhaps it’s best not to quibble with the description of the method in the face of such impressive results…

Donovan revisits one of his finest works, Sunshine Superman.

• Yet more Guardian features: A Clockwork Orange: The droog rides again | Ira Cohen: psychedelic photography master | A life in writing: China Miéville | The stars of modern SF pick the best science fiction.

• There are many stars of the gaseous variety in Nick Risinger’s 5000-megapixel photograph of the Milky Way.

“It is quite true I have worshipped you with far more romance of feeling than a man should ever give to a friend. Somehow I have never loved a woman…. From the moment I met you, your personality had the most extraordinary influence over me…. I adored you madly, extravagantly, absurdly. I was jealous of everyone to whom you spoke. I wanted to have you all to myself. I was only happy when I was with you.”

Salon reviews the new unexpurgated edition of The Picture of Dorian Gray.

• Paul Gorman discovered the gay art origins of the notorious Cowboys T-shirt.

The full complement of Saul Bass’s designs for Vertigo‘s print advertising.

Photos of the recent Dodgem Logic event by Rosie Reed Gold.

Peter Ashworth is still taking great photos.

Jodorowsky’s Dune Finally Revealed?

Sunshine Superman (1966) by Donovan | Or So It Seems (1983) by Duet Emmo.

Weekend links 51

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James Bidgood’s luscious and erotic micro-budget masterpiece Pink Narcissus (1971) receives a screening at the IFC Center Queer/Art/Film festival, NYC, on Monday. The film is presented by Jonathan Katz, curator of the Hide/Seek gay art show whose controversial history was recounted here in December. The NYT ran a short piece about Bidgood, now 77 and not the first artist to be disappointed by his past work; they also have a Bidgood slideshow. Hide/Seek, meanwhile, is now a touring exhibition.

• Related: the delightful Drew Daniel of Matmos (and Soft Pink Truth) posing in a jockstrap at the Club Uranus, San Francisco circa 1990; he also used to go-go dance wearing a fish.

• The Isle of Man may have one of the oldest parliaments in the world but its laws have often been out of step with its neighbour across the Irish Sea. This week the island joined the rest of the UK in granting civil partnerships to its citizens. Now the name whose punning appeal so delighted James Joyce doesn’t seem as inappropriate.

Howard Jacobson: “The novelist Yukio Mishima posed pointing a Samurai sword to his chest and ultimately had himself beheaded in public. This is what’s called taking your art seriously.”

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The Realm of the Queen of the Night (1974) by Wolfgang Hutter from Zauberflote at 50 Watts.

The revelatory operations of the chance encounter lie at the heart of le merveilleux (“the marvelous”)—the Surrealist conception of beauty. You find something marvelous in the world (an object, an image, a person, a place) that corresponds, like a piece clicking into a puzzle, to a deep inner need.

Slicing Open the Eyeball: Rick Poynor on Surrealism and the Visual Unconscious by Mark Dery.

Boy from the Boroughs: Alan Moore interviewed by Pádraig Ó Méalóid; Michael Moorcock interviewed at Suicide Girls.

• Illustrations from Quark, the anthology of speculative fiction edited by Samuel Delany & Marilyn Hacker in 1970.

The Residents, sans masks, filmed at their San Francisco home in the 1970s.

• Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D minor played on a glass harp.

What art can do for science (and vice versa).

• You can never have too much Virgil Finlay.

• Lydia Kiesling reviews Lolita.

Alain Resnais film posters.

Red Mug, Blue Linen.

No GDM (dub version) (1979) by Gina X | L. Voag’s Kitchen (2004) by Soft Pink Truth.