The Wagnerites (1894) by Aubrey Beardsley.
• “Part of my problem with influence is that the concept is too univocal; most of us are impacted by many others during our lifetimes, but often in oblique ways. So many of the most interesting bits of cultural transmission happen nonlinearly, via large groups of people, and in zigzag mutations. Assigning influence can also have the unintentional effect of stripping artists of their own originality and vision.” Geeta Dayal reviewing Wagnerism by Alex Ross.
• “Buñuel stubbornly refused to have any group affiliation whatsoever. Even though critics always tried to categorize him, he never wanted to explain the hidden meanings of any of his films and often denied that there were any.” Matt Hanson on the surreal banality of Luis Buñuel’s The Exterminating Angel.
• Next month Soul Jazz release the fourth multi-disc compilation in their Deutsche Elektronische Musik series devoted to German music from the 1970s and 80s. The third collection was the weakest of the lot so I wasn’t expecting another but this one looks like it may be better.
• James Balmont chooses the five best films by Kiyoshi Kurosawa, who he calls “cinema’s master of horror”. I’ve yet to see any of these so I can’t say whether the label is warranted or not.
• At Wormwoodiana: Mark Valentine in a two-part post here and here charts the emergence of an under-examined sub-genre, the metaphysical thriller.
• Power Spots: 13 artists choose favourite pieces of music by Jon Hassell. A surprising amount of interest in his first album, Vernal Equinox.
• At Spine: George Orwell’s Animal Farm receives new cover designs for its 75th anniversary.
• “Pierre Guyotat’s work is more relevant now than ever,” says Donatien Grau.
• Mix of the week: FACT mix 775 by Sarah Davachi.
• May 24th by Matthew Cardinal.
• Ry Cooder with Jon Hassell & Jim Keltner: Video Drive-By (1993) | Goose And Lucky (1993) | Totally Boxed In (1993)
Mass by Ron Mueck at the National Gallery of Victoria Triennial. Photo by Tom Ross.
• Thanks of the week: to In Wild Air for asking me to fill their list of six favourite things; to Hodderscape for including my cover for Jeannette Ng’s Under the Pendulum Sun among their choice of best book covers of the year; and to Dennis Cooper for listing this blog among his own end-of-year favourites. Ta, all!
• New/old music: The Quietus reissues, etc, of the year, new Pye Corner Audio, Soul Jazz presents Deutsche Elektronische Musik 3, and The Cleansing is a new album by Annabel (lee).
• Mixes of the week: Seeing The Forest For The Trees by Gregg Hermetech, FACT mix 631 by Zola Jesus, and Secret Thirteen Mix 240 by Restive Plaggona.
Were a normally sexed person to enter such an establishment, he might be puzzled to see so many finely dressed men sitting there with soldiers, though he would find nothing particularly offensive. The friendships between homosexuals and soldiers forged here over sausage, salad and beer frequently endure for the full term of service, and often longer. The soldier returns home, living as a married farmer far from his beloved Berlin garrison, but many a uranian still receives freshly killed quarry as a token of friendship. Sometimes these relationships are even passed on to younger brothers; I know one case where a homosexual had relations with three brothers one after the other, all of whom were with the Cuirassiers.
An extract from Berlin’s Third Sex by Magnus Hirschfeld, one of the new titles from Rixdorf Editions. Ostensibly straight soldiers supplementing their income by having sex with “uranians” was still a common thing decades later, as detailed in John Lehmann’s In The Purely Pagan Sense.
• The Cremator (1968) a film by Juraz Herz, was reviewed on these pages a while ago. It’s now out on region-free blu-ray. Highly recommended.
• At Wormwoodiana: Mark Valentine on a map of old Dunwich, and Egypt in England.
• Clive Hicks Jenkins on Mapping the Tale: image making and the narrative tradition.
• Wyrd Daze returns with a free pdf, and a mix by The Ephemeral Man to download.
• At the BFI: Chris Gallant on where to begin with giallo cinema.
• The Parisian Cabinet of Curiosities Loved by Wes Anderson.
• Mass Production (1977) by Iggy Pop | Mass (1981) by Yellow Magic Orchestra | Mass Transit Railway (1997) by Monolake