Weekend links 13


Watch the trailer for the newly-restored version of Fritz Lang’s masterwork, Metropolis.

My cover design for Jeff VanderMeer’s Finch was voted best cover in the 2010 Spinetingler Awards.

• Figment announces the 2nd Annual Figment Album Cover Design Contest. The judge this time round is William Schaff.

• Two interviews at The Quietus: Jon Brooks of The Advisory Circle and Richard H Kirk of Cabaret Voltaire.

• “Merely a Man of Letters.” Jorge Luis Borges interviewed in 1977.

• Another Engelbrecht: The Miniature Theatres of Martin Engelbrecht.

The Unearthing Box Set by Alan Moore & Mitch Jenkins.

• The gays: RIP Felix Lance Falkon, author of the landmark study, A Historic Collection of Gay Art (1972). The Independent is the latest newspaper to look at sexuality in the animal kingdom.

Publisher to Release Philip K Dick’s Insights Into Secrets of the Universe.

• Roger Ebert shows the world a draft of his unfilmed Sex Pistols screenplay, Who Killed Bambi? Jon Savage comments.

• Further Flickr sets: History of the Book/Typography and Dutch Graphic Design. Related: more Dutch graphic design at the NAGO.

Far Red: Video by u-matic & telematique, music by Monolake.

Has steampunk jumped Captain Nemo’s clockwork shark yet?

An edge over which it is impossible to look.

Surrender. It’s Brian Eno.

Ecstatic Peace Library.

• Songs of the week: See Emily Play by Pink Floyd and Metropolis by Kraftwerk.

New things for April III


The results of the Figment album art competition have now been posted and you can see my choice of the winner on the left here. You can see the rest of the winners and read my comments on the Figment site. The winning design reminded me of the famous cover for the first King Crimson album, In the Court of the Crimson King (1969), a painting by Barry Godber. Both have an arresting quality which make you wonder what it is that’s being witnessed beyond the picture frame.

King Crimson’s debut is one of the key moments when British music abandoned the silliness of psychedelia and got down to the serious business of becoming progressive rock. For some people this means it’s also the moment when rock music Went Wrong but I’ve no time for such Spartan sophistries; Robert Fripp rules. Digressions aside, I’ve not finished with the present psychedelic obsession (no, you don’t escape that easily), and the other piece of news today comes with an alert from Valis whose radio show of psychedelic music, Trip Inside This House, runs for two hours every Tuesday morning on KBHX, St Louis, from 5am to 7am. There’s archived shows on a blog of the same name and that site currently features an interview with Matt Piucci, ex of the fantastic Rain Parade, for my money the best of the Paisley Underground bands of the 1980s. If you haven’t yet heard their finest moment, No Easy Way Down, then your life is quite simply a hollow sham.

New things for April


I drew attention yesterday to the abraded look of the Taking Woodstock poster and mentioned a recent book design of mine which used a similar effect. This is that cover, created for a collection of Joe R Lansdale’s horror novels coming soon from Underland Press. Lansdale is known mainly for being the writer of the story which Don Coscarelli adapted for Bubba Ho-tep in 2002 (a great film, incidentally) but he’s done a lot more besides. Find out more at his website.

While on the subject of self-promotion, the invent-your-own-band website Figment posted an interview with me as a complement to their cover art competition which I’ve been judging. Results of that will be announced at the end of the week.

And speaking of interviews, I’ll mention again Jay Babcock’s exclusive interview/feature with comic artist Rick Veitch over at Arthur. Rick’s an artist I’ve always had a lot of time for and this piece includes a special intro/appreciation by collaborator Alan Moore. The interview examines the serious business of dreaming, with Rick’s advice on using your dreams for artistic breakthroughs, personal growth, problem solving, and time/space travel.

Previously on { feuilleton }
Sleeve craft

Sleeve craft


Another authorless design: Vertigo #6360 616 (1973).

Things we did (or didn’t) learn about album cover design this week.

• The jury is still out as to whether Barney Bubbles designed the covers for the UK releases of Kraftwerk’s third and fourth albums, Ralf and Florian and Autobahn. BB experts Rebecca & Mike did clarify a few points with Kraftwerk designer and collaborator Emil Schult, however. This matter requires further research if only to satisfy my own curiosity.

The Guardian finally caught up with the CD Cover Meme which was discussed here last year. “Labels spend fortunes on what you lot have managed in minutes” says the paper. By the same rationale anyone who keeps a blog is, de facto, a journalist because all that either involve is writing down a few words. Clever.

• Taking the DIY theme one stage further, Figment is a site where you can invent your own band and promote them via imaginary album sales on the site. You can also create your own cover art, of course, and Figment have asked me to judge an album cover contest with the very real and worthwhile first prize of the latest edition of Photoshop and a copy of Paul Gorman’s excellent Barney Bubbles monograph, Reasons To Be Cheerful. The contest is running now until April 3rd, 2009, if you’re interested.

Update: Cover versions: How Hipgnosis created some of the most memorable images of the Seventies. The Independent on the new Hipgnosis book.

Elsewhere on { feuilleton }
The album covers archive