Weekend links 513

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Water Tower (1914), Margaret Island, Budapest, Hungary.

George Bass on five ways The Year of the Sex Olympics (1968) predicted the way we live now. Nigel Kneale’s TV play will be reissued on DVD next week.

Ballardism (Corona Mix): three new drone pieces by Robert Hampson available as free downloads.

• Grace Jones: where to start in her back catalogue; John Doran has some suggestions.

Hal was the wry and soulful and mysterious historical rememberer. He specialized in staging strange musical bedfellows like Betty Carter and the Replacements or The Residents backing up Conway Twitty. Oh, the wild seeds of Impresario Hal. He was drawn equally to the danger of a fiasco and the magical power of illumination that his legendary productions held. Many years ago he bought Jimmy Durante’s piano along with Bela Lugosi’s wristwatch and a headscarf worn by Karen Carpenter. Some say he also owned Sarah Bernhardt’s wooden leg. He had a variety of hand and string puppets, dummies, busts of Laurel and Hardy, duck whistles and scary Jerry Mahoney dolls and a free ranging collection of vinyl and rare books. These were his talismans and his vestments because his heart was a reliquary.

Tom Waits pens a letter to remember Hal Willner

• The food expiration dates you should actually follow according to J. Kenji López-Alt.

• Blown-up buildings and suffocating fish: the Sony world photography awards, 2020.

• Rumbling under the mountains: a report on Czech Dungeon Synth by Milos Hroch.

Sophie Pinkham on The Collective Body: Russian experiments in life after death.

• Mix of the week: Spring 2020: A Mixtape by Christopher Budd.

Olivia Laing on why art matters in an emergency.

• At Dennis Cooper’s: Bloody.

Blood (1972) by Annette Peacock | Blood (1994) by Paul Schütze | Blood (1994) by Voodoo Warriors Of Love

Weekend links 345

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Wasted Alice (2017) by Sonia Lazo.

Brian Eno: “We’ve been in decline for 40 years—Trump is a chance to rethink.” An equivocal headline, and the usual misinterpretation from the hard-of-thinking, prompted Eno to issue a clarification. More Trumpery: Jonathan Meades wonders what kind of wall “The Lout” might want to build. Related: almost all of Meades’ smart and witty television essays may be viewed at MeadesShrine (click through to Vimeo for download links).

• “Once you’ve turned entire buildings into instruments as on Medium, and then you’ve made the ionosphere itself an instrument as on Signal, where do you go next?” Emptyset discuss their forthcoming album, Borders, and a change in their working methods.

Christopher Burke & David Davis at Weird Fiction Review talk to Valancourt Books about reprinting neglected works of horror and gay fiction.

• At the BFI this week: All about Jim Jarmusch’s leading men, from Tom Waits to Bill Murray, and John Hurt (RIP): 10 essential films.

• “Claude Arnaud’s biography of Jean Cocteau shows how the artist lived a life nourished by infinity,” says Ricky D’Ambrose

Sukhdev Sandhu on John Berger: “a pathfinder who was alive to the present”.

Theodore Carter on Doll Part Art: Visual Feasts Made of Plastic Bodies.

• Count Backwards from Ten: Peter Bebergal‘s Top 10 Occult in Media.

• Books from Strange Attractor will now be distributed by MIT Press.

Eero Saarinen, the architect who saw the future.

• Mix of the week: FACT Mix 585 by Niagara.

• RIP Maggie Roche.

Hammond Song (1979) by The Roches | Losing True (1982) by The Roches | Keep On Doing What You Do / Jerks On The Loose (live, 1990) by The Roches

Stille Nacht V: Dog Door

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A short animation by the Brothers Quay which I evidently missed last year when I was searching for their uncollected works. As far as I’m aware this is the most recent addition to the Stille Nacht series, all of which were made to serve some function external to the films themselves: so Stille Nacht I was an MTV ident, II was a music video for His Name Is Alive, III was an extended trailer/preview for Institute Benjamenta, and IV was another music video for His Name Is Alive.

Number V in the series is another music video, this time for Sparklehorse’s Dog Door, a song from the group’s 2001 album It’s A Wonderful Life. Tom Waits is the guest vocalist providing his usual enigmatic wailing. The video was one of several commissioned to illustrate the album’s songs but the Quays still manage to make something that’s very much their own. As with the His Name Is Alive films there’s an atmosphere of polymorphous perversity via the two characters of a masturbating dog (or is it a fox?) and a recumbent doll, also masturbating. A slogan at the end states in French “You’re never too young for debauchery”. (In the earlier videos there was another doll and a toy rabbit.) Copies on YouTube are rough but for the moment it’s the only way you’ll see this one.

Previously on { feuilleton }
Quay Brothers: On Deciphering the Pharmacist’s Prescription for Lip-Reading Puppets
Brothers Quay scarcities
Crossed destinies revisited
Crossed destinies: when the Quays met Calvino
The Brothers Quay on DVD

Weekend links 53

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Ancient Egyptian capitals from The Grammar of Ornament (1856) by Owen Jones at Egyptian Revival.

• Golden Age Comic Book Stories has been pulling out all the stops recently with entries for Will Bradley, Alphonse Mucha’s Documents Decoratifs (a companion volume to Combinaisons Ornementales), and pages from My Name is Paris (1987) illustrated by Michael Kaluta, an Art Nouveau-styled confection which features scenes from the Exposition Universelle of 1900. Related: Alphonse Mucha in high-resolution at Flickr.

The Sinking Of The Titanic by Gavin Bryars at Ubuweb, the first release on Brian Eno’s Obscure label in 1975. Bryars’ Titanic is an open composition which has subsequently been reworked and re-recorded as more information about the disaster has come to light. The accompanying piece on that album, Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet, is the only version you need unless you want Tom Waits ruining the whole thing in the later recording.

• Hayley Campbell claims to have the worst CV in the world but she has a better way with words than most people with bad CVs. She’ll be giving a talk with Tim Pilcher entitled Sex, Death, Hell & Superheroes at The Last Tuesday Society, 11 Mare Street, Bethnal Green, London, on April 8th. Just don’t shout “Xena!” if you attend.

Monolake live at the Dis-Patch Festival Belgrade, Serbia, 2007; 75 minutes of thumping grooves. Related: A video by Richard De Suza using Monolake’s Watching Clouds as the soundtrack.

• “I preached against homosexuality, but I was wrong.” Related: Gay Cliques, a chart, and Sashay shantay épée at Strange Flowers, the last (?) duel with swords fought in France.

• Mixtapes of the week: Electronica from John Foxx and Benge at The Quietus, and Ben Frost mashing up early Metallica, Krzysztof Penderecki, and late Talk Talk for FACT.

• A 40 gigpixel panorama of the Strahov Philosophical Library, Prague, described by 360 Cities as the world’s largest indoor photo.

How Hollywood Butchered Its Best Movie Posters; Steven Heller on Saul Bass.

• Back issues of Coilhouse magazine are now available to buy in PDF form.

Absinthe minded: The ruin of bohemians is back in all the best bars.

Fade Into You (1993) by Mazzy Star.

Bondage Machine

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Photography by Steven Klein, styling by Nicola Formichetti.

Not a Tom Waits album, Bondage Machine is the title of a feature in Vogue Hommes Japan which plays with bondage and fetish imagery to striking effect. What’s not to love about a huge skeletal necklace and leather underwear? Fetish gear is the aesthetic dimension of erotica and it’s always nice to see new manifestations of the form even when, as in this case, it’s largely about fashion designers flirting with the edge of acceptability.

Via the essential Homotography.

Previously on { feuilleton }
Bad Boy