Weekend links 324


Untitled painting by Aleksandra Waliszewska. The artist is profiled by S. Elizabeth at Dirge Magazine.

• “…from my point of view, the only thing to do with any genre, any medium, is pretty much to break it, to transcend it, to find out what its limits are, and then go beyond them, and see what happens.” Alan Moore (again) talking to Heidi MacDonald about his novel, Jerusalem, which is out next month.

• A Monument to Outlast Humanity: Dana Goodyear gets the reclusive Michael Heizer to talk about his decade-spanning sculptural project, City, work on which is almost finished.

William Burroughs’ appearances in adult men’s magazines: a catalogue which includes some downloads of uncollected Burroughs essays and other writings.

• Mixes of the week: Homegirls & Handgrenades Mix by Moor Mother, Secret Thirteen Mix 194 by Kareem, and hieroglyphics #014 by Temples.

Remoteness of Light is a new album by The Stargazer’s Assistant inspired by the depths of the oceans and the vastness of space.

• RIP Gilli Smyth. “The silliness ran deep in Gong, but they could groove like mothers, too,” says Joe Muggs.

Guide to Computing: historic computers presented by James Ball as though they were new machines.

• “Oscar Wilde’s De Profundis is one of the greatest love letters ever written,” says Colm Tóibín.

• “Will You Dance With Me?” Derek Jarman films dancers in a gay club in 1984.

• Snapshots from an editor: Donald Weise on working with Edmund White.

Stupid by Wrangler (Stephen Mallinder, Phil Winter and Benge).

The Rutt-Etra-Izer

Dynamite/I Am Your Animal (1971) by Gong | Witch’s Song/I Am Your Pussy (1973) by Gong | Prostitute Poem (1973) by Gong

3 thoughts on “Weekend links 324”

  1. I’m so very sorry to hear about the death of Gilli Smyth. RIP. Over here in the States when they were noticed at all GONG were generally characterized as a sort of European Grateful Dead which put me off for years because I was not a fan of the Grateful Dead. My way into the GONG soundworld was through the mid 70s Todd Rundgren produced Steve Hillage solo album “L”.

    When I worked my way back and actually listened to GONG I realized that the GD comparison was completely wrong. What they reminded me of, although the lyrical concept was light years apart, was some of those fantastic 70s Frank Zappa bands.

    Anyway what remains in the end is the work and people will have to make of it what they can.

  2. I’ve never really thought about Gong being unfamiliar in the US but then I’ve never noticed their name being mentioned there either. Probably too eccentric for mass American appeal. The Mothers comparison is a good one: there’s that same degree of (often silly) self-mythologising combined with serious musical invention and wacky artwork/band personas. But the Mothers were playing with American culture so it’s easier for a US audience.

    Gong always seemed ubiquitous here partly because of Virgin selling their reissue of Camembert Electrique for the price of a single in 1974. Many people bought it out of curiosity then sold it, so it was a regular in the second-hand shops for many years. I think I heard Hillage first as well, then backtracked. Still haven’t heard some of the Gong offshoots; I ought to seek them out.

    I saw Gilli Smyth perform with Mother Gong at the Glastonbury Festival in 1981. She was 48 at the time, and seemed surprisingly old to be on a rock stage; no one then suspected that the Rolling Stones would still be performing today. And Gilli carried on into her 80s.

  3. Another one gone; very sad.
    I’ve always thought that they sounded like The Mothers playing Ogden’s Nut Gone Flake but with with The Small Faces still on vocals.

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