Weekend links 105


A suspended fluid photograph from Demersal, a series by Luka Klikovac.

• “Soon, Mr. Lachman was writing occult music. His song “(I’m Always Touched by Your) Presence, Dear,” which appeared on Blondie’s 1977 album Plastic Letters, was an example.” Gary Lachman: from Blondie to Swedenborg.

Neil Krug’s cover art for the new Scissor Sisters album, Magic Hour, channels the cloudless skies and photographic surrealism of Storm Thorgerson.

Implicate Explicate, a multiple 16mm film installation by Rose Kallal. Sound by Rose Kallal & Mark Pilkington using modular synthesizers.

Despite conservative queerdom’s best efforts to hide its “otherness” behind a velvet wall of “same as you” Tom and Hank and Jill and Janes, Mattilda and her like will not be ignored. As parades of neo-nuclear same sex families mug for the cameras on courthouse steps, queer body boys parade and flex impossibly taut muscles across our nation’s gym runways and circuit parties, and far, far too many proudly proclaim in knee-jerk defensiveness how “straight-acting” they are across the net, Sycamore blows raspberries at the forced mirage and holds up faded pictures of yesteryear boys and girls whose one claim to fame once was their difference.

Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore is interviewed at Lambda Literary

Paul Oestreicher, an Anglican priest, sets the cat squarely among the pigeons with the question (and answer) “Was Jesus gay? Probably.”

Andromeon, video by Alexander Tucker and Serena Korda for a new song by Alexander Tucker.

• Museums of Melancholy: Iain Sinclair on London’s memorials. An LRB essay from 2005.

FACT mix 325 is by Battles: from Boredoms to Cluster and The Alchemist.

The glass hills of Mars, “a region the size of Europe”.

Labyrinths and clues, an essay by Alan Wall.

The Alchemy of Emptiness.

Drop (1972) by Soft Machine | Drop (2002) by Hope Sandoval & The Warm Inventions | Airdrop (2006) by Kashiwa Daisuke.

Boredoms in Manchester


Anyone who subscribes to the stereotype about Japanese people always being quiet and unassuming has never seen a Japanese rock band. Last time I returned from a gig with my ears ringing the way they are now was after seeing Acid Mothers Temple a few years ago. Tonight it was the turn of Boredoms who drummed up an absolute storm in a sweaty, airless dungeon under the Student’s Union. Boredoms have been active since the mid-Eighties in various shapes and sizes, more recently working under variations on their name. Early albums were always experimental but tended to be nastily noisy with it. They really caught my attention at the end of the Nineties with Super Ae (1998) and Vision Creation Newsun (2000), a pair of drum-powered albums that owe a great deal to the “kosmische” atmosphere of the best Krautrock, especially Amon Düül II circa Yeti.


Tonight we had a great deal of the thundering cross-patterns of drum rhythms amended by some of the piercing extended crescendos found on VCN. Very loud and very powerful. There was some unusual instrumentation involved as well, including what appeared to be hand-held lightbulbs triggering samples and harmonised feedback, and also a rack of guitar necks (above) with what I assume must be open tunings given the way these were used as percussion devices. It was difficult to tell who was doing what (or using what) for much of the time due to the density of the crowd. But such details are beside the point, this was a tremendous performance that was overwhelmingly intense at times. It’s rare indeed to find a band still working at this peak after 21 years. Along with the very different performance by Machinefabriek in May, best gig of the year so far.