Weekend links 461

meryon.jpg

Le Stryge (The Vampire) (1853) by Charles Méryon.

Notre-Dame-de-Paris in art and photography. Related: Chris Knapp on the Notre-Dame fire, and John Boardley on the print shops that used to cluster around the cathedral. Tangentially related: Mapping Gothic France.

The Bodies Beneath: The Flipside of British Film & Television by William Fowler and Vic Pratt will be published next month by Strange Attractor. With a foreword by Nicolas Winding Refn.

• “In his new biweekly column, Pinakothek, Luc Sante excavates and examines miscellaneous visual strata of the past.”

I also gathered underland stories, from Aeneas’s descent into Hades, through the sunken necropolises of Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities and the Wind Cave cosmogony of the Dakota Sioux, to accounts of the many cavers, cave-divers and free-divers who have died seeking what Cormac McCarthy calls “the awful darkness inside the world”—often unable to communicate to themselves, let alone others, what metaphysical gravity drew them down to death. Why go low? Obsession, incomprehension, compulsion and revelation were among the recurrent echoes of these stories—and they became part of my underland experiences, too.

Robert Macfarlane on underworlds real and imagined, past, present and future

• Mixes of the week: FACT Mix 703 by Mary Lattimore, and The Colour Of Spring by cafekaput.

• A witty appraisal by Anna Aslanyan of a lipogrammatic classic and its smart translation.

• “Unseen Kafka works may soon be revealed after Kafkaesque trial.”

• “Why do cats love bookstores?” asks Jason Diamond.

Sunn O))) pick their Bandcamp favourites.

Le Grand Nuage de Magellan

Cathedral In Flames (1984) by Coil | The Cathedral of Tears (1995) by Robert Fripp | Cathedral Et Chartres (2005) by Jack Rose

Weekend links 266

dune.jpg

Spine and cover art by John Schoenherr for the first American edition of Dune, 1965.

• “[Herbert] had also taken peyote and read Jung. In 1960, a sailing buddy introduced him to the Zen thinker Alan Watts, who was living on a houseboat in Sausalito. Long conversations with Watts, the main conduit by which Zen was permeating the west-coast counterculture, helped turn Herbert’s pacy adventure story into an exploration of temporality, the limits of personal identity and the mind’s relationship to the body.” Hari Kunzru on Frank Herbert and Dune, 50 years on. Related: “To save California, read Dune,” says Andrew Leonard. There’s a lot more Dune cover art at ISFDB.

• “Embedded in Adam’s footage were several dark forms, human-ish in outline, unidentifiable but unmistakable, visible within the leaves or the shadows.” Holloway is a short film by Adam Scovell based on the book by Robert Macfarlane, Dan Richards and Stanley Donwood.

The Library of the Lost: In Search of Forgotten Authors by Roger Dobson; edited and with an introduction by Mark Valentine. Roger and Mark were my first publishers in 1988 when their Caermaen Books imprint produced the large-format edition of The Haunter of the Dark.

• “…over the years he created a series of ‘Pharmacies’: rows of glass bottles filled not with medicines to cure the body…but objects to stimulate the mind.” Clare Walters reviews Joseph Cornell: Wanderlust, an exhibition at the Royal Academy, London.

• “The sound machines we build today are invariably one-offs, made from salvaged parts, with all the precariousness of a prototype.” Sarah Angliss on the art of making music machines.

Mission Desire is a new single by Jane Weaver whose video is “set to scenes from Marie Mathématique – the French 1960s mini-series about Barbarella’s younger sister”.

• Ghost signs, ginnels and hidden details: an alternative guide to Manchester by Hayley Flynn aka Skyliner.

• “I want to be despised,” says John Waters who has a new art exhibition at Sprüth Magers, London.

Sonic Praise, an album of “Krautprogbikermetal” by Ecstatic Vision.

• The Evolution of the Great Gay Novel: an overview by Rebecca Brill.

* At Bibliothèque Gay: more homoerotic drawings by Jean Cocteau.

Wyrd Daze Lvl2 Issue 3 is a free download.

Nicolas Winding Refn: vinyl collector.

Art With Naked Guys In It

Caladan (2011) by Roly Porter | Giedi Prime (2011) by Roly Porter | Arrakis (2011) by Roly Porter

Weekend links 254

scdc.jpg

Gatefold sleeve for Love, Death and the Lady (1970) by Shirley & Dolly Collins. Photo by Allan Willmoth. No designer credited.

• “When you look at a lot of modern album covers, the art school obsession with the Helvetica kind of undermines it. So instead of looking at an artefact that comes from another place entirely, you are looking at an artefact that has been caught and tamed and made corporate.” Roger Dean talking to Liv Siddall about cover design in the 1970s.

• Erik Davis talks to Stephen Finley, author of Esotericism in African American Religious Experience, about hoodoo and metaphysical blackness. Related: Sun Ra’s Afrofuturist masterwork, Space Is The Place, has been reissued by Harte Recordings as a limited DVD, CD and hardcover book.

• “…she has managed to unearth a coal-seam of neglected songs and stories, incantations of the working people from across the English-speaking planet with their edge of discord left intact, the harmonies frayed by hard-won experience.” Alan Moore on the great Shirley Collins.

[MR] James’s influence, or his example, has rarely been more strongly with us than now. For there is presently apparent, across what might broadly be called landscape culture, a fascination with these Jamesian ideas of unsettlement and displacement. In music, literature, art, film and photography, as well as in new and hybrid forms and media, the English eerie is on the rise. A loose but substantial body of work is emerging that explores the English landscape in terms of its anomalies rather than its continuities, that is sceptical of comfortable notions of “dwelling” and “belonging”, and of the packagings of the past as “heritage”, and that locates itself within a spectred rather than a sceptred isle.

Such concerns are not new, but there is a distinctive intensity and variety to their contemporary address. This eerie counter-culture—this occulture—is drawing in experimental film-makers, folk singers, folklorists, academics, avant-garde antiquaries, landscape historians, utopians, collectives, mainstreamers and Arch-Droods alike, in a magnificent mash-up of hauntology, geological sentience and political activism. The hedgerows, fields, ruins, hills and saltings of England have been set seething.

Robert Macfarlane on the eerieness of the English countryside

• Lots of mixes to choose from this week: Songs from a Railway Station at Dusk by Abigail Ward; mix series The Ivy-Strangled Path by David Colohan is now up to Volume IV; a trove of occult psychedelia from The Ghost of the Weed Garden.

• “Blood Meridian was released on April 28, 1985 to little initial acclaim, but would later gain recognition as one of the most significant novels of the late 20th century.” Ted Gioia on the rise and fall of the Western.

• From the past week’s zones of research: the Gregory Pendennis Library Of Black Sorcery, and Vault Of Evil: Brit Horror Pulp Plus!

• At Dangerous Minds: Zappa meets claymation in the wonderful VHS rarity The Amazing Mr. Bickford.

Synthesizer manuals at the Internet Archive.

• Pages from The Graphic Canon at Pinterest.

Sabbath, a new song by Jenny Hval

French book covers

The Cruel Mother (1967) by Shirley Collins | The Unquiet Grave (1968) by Shirley Collins | Go From My Window (1970) by Shirley & Dolly Collins

Weekend links 209

soundcarriers.jpg

Soundcarriers poster by Julian House.

A new release on the Ghost Box label is always a welcome thing but Entropicalia by The Soundcarriers, out on May 20th, is one I’m especially looking forward to. Julian House has made a video for new song Boiling Point, and there’s also the poster above which can be downloaded at larger size here. The Ghost Box Guest Shop has a couple of new additions including the recent Man Woman Birth Death Infinity album by Raagnagrok.

• “It’s a funny time to be making music, because we’re a generation of people who make music with screens instead of with ears.” Ben Frost talking to Tristan Bath.

• At Dangerous Minds: You Gotta Say Yes to Another Excess, a rare glimpse of Yello live in concert, 1983.

Our movements about London are closely circumscribed, and while we may imagine ourselves to be free, the truth is that the vast majority of our journeys are undertaken for commercial imperatives: we travel either to work or to spend. All about us during our daily existence we are presented with buildings we cannot enter, fences we cannot climb and thoroughfares it would be foolhardy to cross. We are disbarred from some places because we don’t have the money — and from others because we don’t have the power. The city promises us everything, but it will deliver only a bit.

The place-hackers draw our attention to how physically and commercially circumscribed our urban existence really is. […] As more and more international capital flows into London, so public space is increasingly eroded — it’s just too valuable for us ordinary folk to paddle about in any more.

Give the freedom of the city to our urban explorers, says Will Self. Related: Robert Macfarlane accompanied urbexer Bradley Garrett on a night-time jaunt.

Black Sabbeth: Metal band Gonga covering a classic with Portishead’s Beth Gibbons on vocals.

• Pelican books take flight again; Paul Laity on the resurrection of the non-fiction imprint.

• Finland’s homoerotic stamps are an ocular feast for women, too, says Nell Frizzell.

• “I guess you could say I am a Pagan.” Kenneth Anger on the occult.

• “How much gay sex should a novel have?” asks Caleb Crain.

• Mix of the week: Secret Thirteen Mix 112 by Kyoka.

The Gibraltar Encyclopedia of Progressive Rock

Zombi’s Guide to Goblin

Decadence Comics

Zombie Warfare (1979) by Chrome | Escape From The Flesheaters (Zombie) (1979) by Fabio Frizzi | Zombie’ites (1993) by Transglobal Underground

Weekend links 206

komoda.jpg

Nova Express (2014) by Paul Komoda.

• Last week it was Kraftwerk, this week it’s Can in another astonishing 70-minute TV performance from 1970. For those who know where to look in the torrent world there are copies of these recordings circulating there.

JG Ballard: five years on. Extracts from introductions by John Gray, Hari Kunzru, Robert Macfarlane, Deborah Levy, James Lever, China Miéville and Michel Faber for a new series of Ballard editions.

• Mix of the week: Needle Exchange 147 by Inventions. Also at Self-Titled Mag: Suzanne Ciani on her Buchla beginnings, talking dishwashers, and why no one got electronic music in the ’70s.

• At Dangerous Minds: It’s So Far Out It’s Straight Down, a Granada TV documentary from 1967 featuring Paul McCartney, Allen Ginsberg, International Times, Pink Floyd et al.

The Wonderful World of Witches: Portraits of English Pagans. A photo-special from the 1960s at LIFE. Related: From 1974, the US TV ad for Man, Myth and Magic.

• Suspicious Minds: Adam Curtis on Stephen Knight, Jack the Ripper, squatters, heists, From Hell, and why people no longer trust those in authority.

• Here be men with beards and syntezators: Andy Votel‘s Top 10 Early Patch-Bay Polymaths From Eastern Europe.

The New York Public Library has made 20,000 maps available as free, high-res downloads.

• An oscilloscope video by Vincent Oliver & Steve Bliss for Riff Through The Fog by Clark.

Anne Billson interviewed Alejandro Jodorowsky in 1990.

• At BLDGBLOG: When Hills Hide Arches.

Do gay people still need gay bars?

Pixelord Dreams

I’m So Green (1972) by Can | Nova Feedback (1978) by Chrome | Gay Bar (2003) by Electric Six