Weekend links 497

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Poster by Zdenek Ziegler for Roma (1972), a film by Federico Fellini.

• At Dennis Cooper’s: a short history of Straight to Hell, a long-running fanzine launched by Boyd McDonald in 1971 dedicated to true stories of men having sex with other men. The post gives an idea of the contents but for a deep dive I’d suggest Meat (1994) at the Internet Archive, a collection of the best of the early editions of STH. Related: “Straight to Hell was an immensely popular underground publication. John Waters, William S. Burroughs, and Robert Mapplethorpe were fans; Gore Vidal called it ‘one of the best radical papers in the country.'” Erin Sheehy on Boyd McDonald’s determination to kick against the pricks.

• RIP psychedelic voyager and spiritual guide Richard Alpert/(Baba) Ram Dass. The Alpert/Ram Dass bibliography includes The Psychedelic Experience: A Manual Based on the Tibetan Book of the Dead (1964), an acid-trip manual written in collaboration with Timothy Leary and Ralph Metzner from which John Lennon borrowed lines for the lyrics of Tomorrow Never Knows. But the most celebrated Ram Dass volume is Be Here Now (1971), a fixture of countless hippy bookshelves whose first editions were all handmade.

• “An Einstein among Neanderthals”: the tragic prince of LA counterculture. Gabriel Szatan talks to David Lynch, Devo and others about the eccentric songwriter, performer and voice of Lynch’s Lady in the Radiator, Peter Ivers.

• For the forthcoming centenary of Federico Fellini’s birth Stephen Puddicombe offers suggestions for where to begin with the director’s “exuberant extravaganzas”. Related: Samuel Wigley on 8½ films inspired by .

• “I met resident Tony Notarberardino for the first time in 2015 and entering his apartment was like crossing into another dimension.” Collin Miller explores the Chelsea Hotel.

• “More green tea, professor?” The haunted academic, a reading list by Peter Meinertzhagen. Related: Our Haunted Year: 2019 by Swan River Press.

• “30 July, Yorkshire. Thunder, which is somehow old-fashioned.” Alan Bennett’s 2019 diary.

• More acid trips: Joan Harvey on the resurgence of interest in psychedelic drugs.

• At Lithub: Werner Herzog’s prose script for Nosferatu the Vampyre.

Tief gesunken, a new recording by Bohren & Der Club Of Gore.

In Heaven (1979) by Tuxedomoon | Die Nacht Der Himmel (1979) by Popol Vuh | Roma (1981) by Steve Lacy

Weekend links 465

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The Star (1970) from The Aquarian Tarot by David Palladini.

• Artist David Palladini died in March but I only heard the news this week. His poster for Werner Herzog’s Nosferatu has been a favourite of mine ever since the film’s release, while some of his other works have featured here in the past. Still popular among Tarot users is the Aquarian Tarot (1970), a deck published a few years after Palladini had helped with the production of the Linweave Tarot. From the same period as the Aquarian deck is a set of Zodiac posters, all of which exhibit Palladini’s distinctive blend of Art Nouveau and Deco stylings. In addition to posters, Palladini produced book covers and illustrations, and even a few record covers. A book collecting all of this work would be very welcome.

Erotikus: A History of the Gay Movies (1974? 75? 78?): Fred Halsted presents a 90-minute history of American gay porn, from the earliest beefcake films to the hardcore of the 1970s, some of which Halsted also helped create. Related: Centurians of Rome [sic]: Ashley West and April Hall on the bank robber who made the most expensive gay porno of all time.

Peter Bradshaw reviews Too Old to Die Young, a Nicolas Winding Refn TV series described as “a supernatural noir”. Sign me up.

Naomi Wolf’s Outrages establishes the context for [John Addington] Symonds’s desperate efforts to justify his own sexual feelings. Since he was born in 1840, he was 15 when the first edition of Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass appeared, the same year that legislation in Britain streamlined the laws against sodomy and ensured that men found guilty of it served long prison sentences. With intelligence and flair, Wolf uses the various responses to Whitman to show the levels of intense need in the decades after the publication of Leaves of Grass for images and books that would rescue homosexuality from increasing public disapproval.

Colm Tóibín reviews Outrages: Sex, Censorship and the Criminalisation of Love by Naomi Wolf

• Record label Dark Entries has discovered 40 more reels (!) of music by Patrick Cowley dating from 1974 to 1979.

• “Is Stockhausen’s Licht the most bonkers operatic spectacle ever?” asks Robert Barry.

• Sex, Spunk, Shoes and Sweet Satisfaction: A Q&A with artist Cary Kwok.

• Tripping his brains out: Eric Bulson on Michel Foucault and LSD.

• Paul O’Callaghan chooses 10 best Dennis Hopper performances.

• “More obscene than De Sade.” Luc Sante on the fotonovela.

• Karl Blossfeldt’s Urformen der Kunst (1928).

• The Strange World of…Gong

Neonlicht (1978) by Kraftwerk | Brüder Des Schattens, Söhne Des Lichtes (1978) by Popol Vuh | Lichtfest (2017) by ToiToiToi

Weekend links 238

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We Are The Water – Snow Drawings Project, Colorado (2014) by Sonja Hinrichsen with 50 volunteers.

• I don’t do end-of-year lists but Dennis Cooper does. My thanks to Dennis once more for including this blog among his selections. Also there is Jonathan Glazer’s film of Under the Skin, an adaptation of Michel Faber’s novel that impressed me as the most insidiously disturbing thing I’ve seen since Mulholland Drive. The Guardian‘s film critics agreed, making it their film of the year. I’d add to Peter Bradshaw’s appraisal by noting the superb score by Mica Levi, the refusal to spoon-feed the audience with explanations, and a refreshing absence of Hollywood gloss. Glazer’s film, like Kill List before it, shows that mundane British streets and interiors can still be a setting for serious horror.

• Related to the above: “I like Caravan, Coil—it’s very sad that they’re both dead now. In fact, Peter Christopherson, who was leader of Coil, contributed a song to a CD which I made for my wife for what we believed would be her last birthday.” Michel Faber talks to Hope Whitmore about Under the Skin and his new novel, The Book of Strange New Things. M. John Harrison recommends the latter on his own end-of-year list. In January Black Mass Rising will release a recording of The Art of Mirrors, Peter Christopherson’s homage to Derek Jarman from 2004.

David Bowie and band live on Musikladen in 1978: 40 minutes with Adrian Belew on squealing lead guitar, some Kurt Weill and an outstanding performance of “Heroes”.

• “Realism is a literary convention – no more, no less – and is therefore as laden with artifice as any other literary convention.” Tom McCarthy on realism and the real.

• Mixes of the week: The Best of the Best of the Best by TheCuriosityPipe, and Secret Thirteen Mix 138, a medley of post punk from Psyche.

• “We spent two weeks making the penises.” Livin’ Thing: An Oral History of Boogie Nights by Alex French and Howie Kahn.

• At Dangerous Minds: Seeing The Man Who Fell to Earth was one of the greatest experiences of Philip K. Dick’s life.

• Giving Voice to Our Pagan Past and Present: Pam Grossman on Witches, Women and Pop Occulture.

• Neglected last week (and linked everywhere but still a good one): The typography of Alien.

William Mortensen, the photographer who Ansel Adams called the Anti-Christ.

• Hear a track from analogue synthesizer virtuoso Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith.

Rick Poynor on illustrations by Bohumil Stepan for Crazy Fairy Tales.

12 excellent features from directors who never made another feature.

Werner Herzog Inspirationals

The Devil in the Hedgerow

New Warm Skin (1980) by Simple Minds | Rapture Of The Skin (1996) by Paul Schütze | Take Me Into Your Skin (2007) by Trentemøller

Weekend links 223

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Step Up (2014) by Angelica Paez.

• Lots of attention this week for Kevin Martin whose latest album as The Bug, Angels And Devils, is out now on Ninja Tune. The previous Bug release, London Zoo (2008), was a fierce collection that stood apart from the Grime pack not only for its guest vocalists but also for being informed by Martin’s broad range of influences: industrial and extreme electronics, heavyweight dub, metal and avant-garde jazz. Martin was interviewed by The Quietus and FACT who also asked other musicians to choose their favourite Martin recordings. Elsewhere, The Wire has Swarm, a track not included on the album.

Related: Martin’s four superb compilation albums for Virgin Records have been deleted for years but are worth seeking out: Ambient 4: Isolationism, Macro Dub Infection Volume One & Volume Two, and Jazz Satellites Volume 1: Electrification (Virgin cancelled volume 2). From the NME, 1995: Kevin Martin’s Ten Commandments For All Time.

• “…it never becomes quite clear why two grown men would want to write to each other in the guise of a horse and a cat.” Henry Giardina reviews The Animals: Love Letters Between Christopher Isherwood and Don Bachardy, edited by Katherine Bucknell.

Shufflepoems: A Deck of Poetry by Lydia Swartz. “100 cards, four suits, one stanza per card. Shuffle for a new adventure every time.” The project needs a last-minute push to gain Kickstarter funding so if this sounds interesting go, go, go!

The Haxan Cloak’s favourite heavy metal albums. Metallica’s Master Of Puppets still gets my vote. More from The Quietus: David Stubbs on the Werner Herzog soundtracks of Popol Vuh.

• At Strange Flowers: Waking the witch, a remembrance of occult artist Rosaleen Norton and other characters from Sydney’s Kings Cross area, with news of a planned Norton documentary.

• A nine-note motif has for decades signalled “Asian” in popular music. Kat Chow looks at the history of a musical stereotype.

Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness is the subject for entrants in the Folio Society’s latest illustration competition.

• Irradiating the Object: Rhys Williams talks to writer M. John Harrison.

Does the Sea Serpent Really Look Like an Art Nouveau Oar-fish?

Schrödinger’s cat caught on quantum film.

70s sci-fi art: a Tumblr.

Demodex Invasion (1995) by Techno Animal | Piranha feat. Toastie Taylor (2001) by Techno Animal | Poison Dart feat. Warrior Queen (2008) by The Bug

Weekend links 183

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La table qui tourne (1943) by Robert Doisneau.

In [Gödel, Escher, Bach], Hofstadter was calling for an approach to AI concerned less with solving human problems intelligently than with understanding human intelligence—at precisely the moment that such an approach, having borne so little fruit, was being abandoned. His star faded quickly. He would increasingly find himself out of a mainstream that had embraced a new imperative: to make machines perform in any way possible, with little regard for psychological plausibility.

The Man Who Would Teach Machines to Think by James Somers.

Whenever the latest pronouncements about the imminent arrival of artificial intelligence are being trotted out I wonder what Douglas Hofstadter would have to say on the matter. You don’t hear much about Hofstadter despite his having been involved for decades in artificial intelligence research. One reason is that he’s always been concerned with the deep and difficult problems posed by intelligence and consciousness, subjects which don’t make for sensational, Kurzweilian headlines. Hofstadter’s essays on AI (and many other topics) in Metamagical Themas: Questing for the Essence of Mind and Pattern (1985) are essential reading. James Somers’ lengthy profile for The Atlantic is a welcome reappraisal.

• The end of October brings the spooky links: When Edward Gorey illustrated Dracula |Paula Marantz Cohen on Edgar Allan Poe | Yasmeen Khan revisits Werner Herzog’s Nosferatu | Roger Luckhurst on horror from the Gothics to the present day, and Michael Newton on Gothic cinema.

•  Magic Words: The Extraordinary Life of Alan Moore is a biography of the Northampton magus by Lance Parkin. The author talks about his book here, and also here where if you look carefully you can see my Lovecraft book on his shelf.

• A crop of Halloween mixes: Boo, Forever by Jescie | Samhain Seance 2: Hex with a Daemon by The Ephemeral Man | Wizards Tell Lies & The Temple of Doom by The Curiosity Pipe | Radio Belbury’s Programme 11.

The Book of the Lost is an album by Emily Jones & The Rowan Amber Hill presenting music from imaginary British horror films. Release is set for Halloween. More details here.

Laura Allsop on Derek Jarman’s sketchbooks. Jarman’s Black Paintings are currently showing at the Wilkinson Gallery, London.

Magick is Freedom! Existence Is Unhappiness: Barney Bubbles vs. Graham Wood.

• Soho Dives, Soho Divas: Rian Hughes on sketching London’s burlesque artists.

Jenny Diski on the perennial problem of owning too many books.

Equus through the years by Clive Hicks-Jenkins.

Virgin Records: 40 Years of Disruptions

• At BibliOdyssey: Chromatic Wood Type

Witches at Pinterest

The Witch (1964) by The Sonics | My Girlfriend Is A Witch (1968) by October Country | You Must Be A Witch (1968) by The Lollipop Shoppe