Weekend links 326

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Anchoress by Judith Schaechter.

• The publication of Alan Moore’s Jerusalem is imminent so the NYT asked him about his favourite books and writers of the moment. For the next post I’ll be writing about my own involvement with Moore’s novel.

Chris Campion on David Bowie and the missing soundtrack: the amazing story behind The Man Who Fell to Earth. Related: cinematographer Anthony Richmond on his memories of shooting the film.

Mr Beatnick on how the B-side of Change The Beat by Beside became the most sampled song of all time.

Lisa Hix on An Un-Conventional Thirst: Collecting 7Up’s most beautiful, hallucinatory billboards.

Rub Out The Word: Steve Buscemi & Elliott Sharp present texts by William Burroughs.

• Opening next month at the Corridor Gallery, Brighton (UK): An exhibition of art by Ian Miller.

• Folk singer Shirley Collins will be releasing a new album, Lodestar, her first for over 35 years.

A trip to the mythical Isle of Tiki, Polynesian Pop and A/C Eden.

• Mix of the week: Harvest Hymns by Melmoth The Wanderer.

• Wandering In Space: composer Jherek Bischoff interviewed.

Heavy Water is a new short film by Adam Scovell.

• “When will New York sink?” asks Andrew Rice.

The World’s Largest Synthesizer

The Thai Occult by Jenx

• RIP Richard Neville

The Other Without

We Are Cult

Heavy Rock (1976) by Sound Dimension | Heavy Charm (1995) by The Ear | Heavy Water (2008) by Crackle

Weekend links 263

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Dancing Horse (1972) by Tadashi Nakayama.

• The Wounded Galaxies Festival of Experimental Media takes place in Bloomington, Indiana, on October 7–11, 2015. The event is an offshoot of the earlier Burroughs Century, and the phrase “wounded galaxies” is one of Burroughs’ own. It’s also the partial title of Wounded Galaxies Tap At The Window, the most recent album by Cyclobe who will be performing at the festival. Cyclobe’s Stephen Thrower will be in London later this month for the launch of his new book, Murderous Passions: The Delirious Cinema of Jesús Franco, and a screening of Franco’s Vampyros Lesbos (1971).

• Gallery sites showcasing erotic art are often coy about the details of the work they’re exhibiting. That’s not the case with Artists Space, NYC, whose Tom of Finland: The Pleasure of Play is running from June 14–August 23, 2015.

• “I just loved the songs, and I didn’t mind the age in their voices, and I didn’t mind the fact that they were unaccompanied, it didn’t matter.” Shirley Collins talking to Ben Graham about her love of English folk music.

The more important question is what do we do with psychedelia now? I think the drugs themselves and the experiences they produce in individuals and for society are too important and vital to be pigeon-holed and taken hold of by a bloodthirsty media that always aims to reduce all experience to a few simple straplines for improved consumerism.

Dr Ben Sessa talking to Barnaby Smith about psychedelic drugs. Breaking Convention 2015, the Third International Conference on Psychedelic Consciousness, takes place at the University of Greenwich next month.

• “…if someone opens a door or if sunlight falls on them they shoot off the grid and suddenly you have a roomful of what sounds like sick bagpipes.” Will Gregory on the physicality of Moog synthesizers.

• Mixes of the week: The Necromancer-Queens of Neverland, an exotic collection by SeraphicManta, Secret Thirteen Mix 156 by Asusu, and an Ornette Coleman playlist.

• “In 2015, the thought of anything as incendiary as Scum or Made in Britain turning up on TV just seems bizarre.” Danny Leigh on the great Alan Clarke.

• More psychedelia: ‘Art That Transcends‘, my article for Communication Arts, has been posted on the magazine’s website.

Phantasmaphile recommends Thus Were Their Faces, a collection of short stories by Silvina Ocampo.

Earth filmed playing live in Brooklyn, NY, September 24, 2014. The full set, and a great performance.

• At Dangerous Minds: “How Far Will You Go?” Meet Smokey, the outrageously gay 70s cult rockers.

Peter Strickland on six films that fed into The Duke of Burgundy.

Things I Found In Records

Christopher Lee sings!

Polly On The Shore (1970) by Shirley & Dolly Collins | The Quiet Joys Of Brotherhood (1972) by Sandy Denny | The Banks of Red Roses (1988) by June Tabor

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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

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San Francisco Sound (1967). Art by Wallace Studio, Seattle.

• RIP gay porn pioneer Peter de Rome. BUTT posted de Rome’s surprisingly daring Underground (1972), a film in which two men have an unfaked sexual encounter on a New York subway train. That film and others are available on the BFI’s DVD collection. Related: Brian Robinson remembers a director of films whose supporters included Andy Warhol, William Burroughs and John Gielgud.

• “My stuff is implicitly critical of television as it is now,” explains Jonathan [Meades], “Television used not to be as openly moronic as it has become…” A lengthy and typically pugnacious Meades interview with Remy Dean.

Thurston Moore remembers the Burroughs-themed Nova Convention staged in New York in 1978. William Burroughs 100—Nova Convention is a retrospective exhibition running at Red Gallery, London, next month.

How are we expected to take seriously…any work which appears to have engaged less than the whole passionate attention of its author? To be fobbed off, at the last, with something which we feel to be less true than the author knew it to be, challenges the importance of the whole art of writing, and instead of enlarging the bounds of our experience, it leaves them where they are.

Katherine Mansfield was also a book reviewer.

• JG Ballard’s Crash is reissued in August by Fourth Estate with an introduction by Zadie Smith. There’s a tantalising extract from the intro at the NYRB or you can read the whole thing if you’re a subscriber.

• “Between 1959 & 1980 Shirley Collins changed the course of folk music in England & America. Thirty years after disappearing, she’s back.”

Photos by Anne Billson of one of the more attractive Parisian arcades. Related (in a flâneur sense): Christina Scholz‘s Vancouver dérive.

• “Why did Borges hate soccer?” asks Shaj Matthew. Related: George Orwell on the same subject.

• Mixes of the week: FACT mix 447 by Forest Swords, and Programme 13 from Radio Belbury.

• At Dangerous Minds: Roland Topor’s cheerfully violent illustrations from Les Masochistes.

• Rainy Day Psychedelia: Ben Marks on Seattle’s neglected 1960s poster scene.

• Strange Flowers looks at Oskar Schlemmer‘s Triadic Ballet designs.

• A Journey to Avebury: Stewart Lee interviews Julian Cope.

It’s All Over Now (1963) by The Valentinos featuring Bobby Womack | It’s All Over Now (1964) by The Rolling Stones | It’s All Over Now (1974) by Ry Cooder

Weekend links 184

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Gevatter Tod (Godfather Death, 1905) by Heinrich Lefler. Via Beautiful Century.

An inevitable hangover from Halloween this week. At 50 Watts: A Modern Dance of Death (c. 1894) by Joseph Sattler, Harry Clarke Revisited, and more Ex Libris Mr Reaper | At Design Observer: Keith Eggener on When Buildings Kill: Sentient Houses in Fiction and Film | At Dangerous Minds: An interview with horror soundtrack composer Fabio Frizzi | Clive Hicks-Jenkins on illustrating the ghost stories of MR James.

Punk 45: The Singles Cover Art of Punk 1976–80, a book by Jon Savage & Stuart Baker with an accompanying compilation album on Soul Jazz Records. Savage & Baker selected a handful of favourite covers here.

De humani corporis fabrica by Vesalius is back in print as a beautiful two-volume hardback edition. See sample pages here.

…the business of the writer is to find something out for yourself and to stick by it. To forge a new mythology out of materials pertinent to the moment. Otherwise you’re at the mercy of their mythology, which is a destruction of language, above everything else. This non-language, this bureaucratic-speak of the global corporate entities, is a horror in the world. So that strange language we started with – that piece of Kerouac – I think is more valuable than ever.

Iain Sinclair (yes, him again) talking to James Campbell about his new book, American Smoke.

Bob Mizer & Tom of Finland, an exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.

• From 2010: The Bridget Riley Look, The Bridget Riley Sound, Bridget Riley’s Rolling Papers.

The Strange and Mysterious History of the Ouija Board. Related: Ouija Boards at Pinterest.

Highway 62 posted some close-ups of my adaptation of The Call of Cthulhu.

• “This is not a coincidence”: Max Dax talks to Andrey A. Tarkovsky.

Anthony Lane‘s Foreword to The Big New Yorker Book of Cats.

• At AnOther: Nicolas Roeg on Mirrors and Memory.

Toys and Techniques: a blog.

Death And The Lady (1970) by Shirley & Dolly Collins | Clang Of The Yankee Reaper (1975) Van Dyke Parks | All And Everyone (2011) by PJ Harvey