Monday, November 30, 2009

The Swedish Mountains and the Men who Ride Them

Kebnekajse - Leksands Skänklåt (Live Nyhetsmorgon 2009)

Fläsket Brinner - Gånglåten
Swedish radio recordings 1970-75 Just The Music!

Träd Gräs och Stenar - Sanningens Silverflod

Pärson Sound - "Milano" (1969)

Archimedes Badkar - Wago Goreze (Edit)
From"Badrock For Barn I Alla Aldar"(1st / 1975) "Archimedes Badkar" was formed in Stockholm in 1972.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Robert Gardner: Forest of Bliss

Robert Gardner's masterly film about Varanasi in India, Forest of Bliss (1986), does not need to be improved in any way, but with no commentary or score, it can be augmented without permanently affecting the pristine original. Gardner may have been an outsider, a visitor to Varanasi, but Forest of Bliss shares the same meditative, low-key style of Sleep Furiously. He can afford to be low-key because Varanasi is one of the most intense, visually intoxicating, delirium-inducing places on Earth. While sparing us none of the city's routine unpleasantness – a bloated corpse floating in the river, shit everywhere – the film is full of spellbinding images of the Ganges bathed in mist and of the burning ghat at Manikarnika. Baraka and Powaqqatsi both drop by or zoom in on Varanasi; Gardner offers a lingering, almost homely view of the day-to-day sacred divinity as resident landlord and (sometimes noisy) neighbour. The tacit message, in Hindi (rather than Hopi) might be "Way of life that never changes."

Robert Gardner in Mexico.

"Forest Of Bliss" Ecovillage Varanasi India

Monday, November 23, 2009

Jefferson Airplane - The Rock Scene (1967)

Jefferson Airplane - White Rabbit (The Rock Scene, 14 Sept 1967)

Jefferson Airplane - Two Heads (The Rock Scene, 14 Sept 1967)

Jefferson Airplane - Ballad Of You And Me And Pooneil (The Rock Scene, 14 Sept 1967)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Rock Arena: John Cale 1986

Interview with John Cale by Suzanne Dowling, Ep 63. Broadcast 16th September 1986.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Burning Man: Art in the Desert

A. Leo Nash in an artist and photographer. Burning Man: Art in the Desert is a photographic document of the Burning Man Festival assembled by Nash over the course of more than a decade.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Nostalia 101: What Happened in 1989?

I just discovered Rembrandt Pussyhorse by the Butthole Surfers on Spotify. Listening to it now takes me back in a big way. While it was Hairway to Steven (1988) that got me into the Surfers, anything before the somewhat lackluster PIOUHGD from 1991 is gold, even today as I age and wither.

The Butthole Surfers, before the whole Nirvana, Lollapalooza and the its-so-cool-to-be-aphasic thing was launched on the world, were the real deal. They did not make sense. The music was offensive and the lyrics worse. I still have a T-shirt from their 1991 tour and it makes my son embarrassed just to look at it (Mr Pee Pee the sailor and the sick clown in the raincoat). To like the Surfers was to be the kid that was avoided on the bus. University was made up of those that spoke to teachers, those that did work, those that walked tall and proud and us few Surfers fans (like about 12 people on a campus of thousands in 1989 in rural Australia). We felt different on the inside.

We knew little about the Surfers in 1989. We made up stories, like they toured Mexico in a bus for a year. The dancer really had scales:

Double Live was a revelation. A housemate had it and played it non-stop for weeks. At the beginning of 1989 I was so disturbed by the record I banged on the wall begging him to stop. By the end of 1989 I owned a copy of it myself. A lot changed in 1989 for me.

The Butthole Surfers-Hey

BUTTHOLE SURFERS - Graveyard (Live Berkeley 04-07-1993)
Hosted by eSnips

Cheerub. Driving an allnighter (bullfighter, lamplighter moonlighter highlighter) to Sydney from Toowoomba. A thousand ks in the dull rain. Cups and wrappers and butts litter the dash. Windscreen wipers chug over cracked glass. Towns with unpronounceable names slide by our frosted glass and the Surfers cough out the sounds of what we wanted when we arrived in the metropolis at sunrise. Coming in over the bridge as Newtown breakfasts beckon.

In March 1991 I and my then-girlfriend and two friends hatched a fiendish plan in Brisbane. We borrowed a friend's car, a Datsun 120Y, saying we needed it for the weekend to move furniture (in a 120Y??). We fueled it up and split for Sydney. It is 1000kms. the car was painted orange but our friend had painted huge multicolored flowers and butterflies all over it. In Tamworth we stopped for fuel and the people at the garage said in a thick drawl "Yous aint from round here are ya?" "Nah we aint." We arrived in Sydney and spent a week around the dives and pubs of Newtown. We went to a party above shops on King Street. Hung out at the Sandringham Hotel. And on my 22nd birthday I saw the Surfers play.

While we were having fun in the big city the owner of the car and her boyfriend had become a bit concerned. They tried to find us and failed. Working out what we had done hey reported the car stolen. We drove the now-hot-car back to Brisbane and left it in their yard at 4am. Running from the scene of our crime.

Yup, we weren't allowed to say their name on the air back then! Aired 12-23-85.

My dog was named Gibby after the singer of the Surfers. Best dog a man could ask for. On our way to see the Surfers play at St George's Hall in Newtown, some of our company, not having tickets, tried to sneak in the back way to get in. At the door was none other than Gibby, singer with the Surfers. From a distance I saw him push the intruders out the door, saying the words savagely "I win. You lose."

(Spelling mistakes are intentional in reference to the fanzines that sustained so much street and minority culture in the 1980s and 90s)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Leary at Millbrook Under the Influence of McLuhan 1968

Tim Leary at Millbrook - Interview (Part 1) by Bodhisattva1956

Tim Leary at Millbrook - Interview (Part 2) by Bodhisattva1956

Tim Leary at Millbrook - Interview (Part 3) by Bodhisattva1956

Tim Leary at Millbrook - Interview (Part 4) by Bodhisattva1956

I think two things are particularly interesting about Dr Leary giving his spiel in 1968. First he continually returns to metaphors of visual technology, especially the microscope in various forms is evoked as a metaphor for the LSD experience. The second point that struck me is his references to media more generally. Old people "who drink whiskey and read books" are somehow contra to young people who take "psychedelic drugs and watch TV". The background supplied by Marshall McLuhan at this time plays into many of Leary's assumptions about the media landscape of the time.

Marshall McLuhan Interviewed by Playboy Magazine 1969
PLAYBOY: What's natural about drugs?

MCLUHAN: They're natural means of smoothing cultural transitions, and also a short cut into the electric vortex. The upsurge in drug taking is intimately related to the impact of the electric media. Look at the metaphor for getting high: turning on. One turns on his consciousness through drugs just as he opens up all his senses to a total depth involvement by turning on the TV dial. Drug taking is stimulated by today's pervasive environment of instant information, with its feedback mechanism of the inner trip. The inner trip is not the sole prerogative of the LSD traveler; it's the universal experience of TV watchers. LSD is a way of miming the invisible electronic world; it releases a person from acquired verbal and visual habits and reactions, and gives the potential of instant and total involvement, both all-at-onceness and all-at-oneness, which are the basic needs of people translated by electric extensions of their central nervous systems out of the old rational, sequential value system. The attraction to hallucinogenic drugs is a means of achieving empathy with our penetrating electric environment, an environment that in itself is a drugless inner trip.

Drug taking is also a means of expressing rejection of the obsolescent mechanical world and values. And drugs often stimulate a fresh interest in artistic expression, which is primarily of the audile-tactile world. The hallucinogenic drugs, as chemical simulations of our electric environment, thus revive senses long atrophied by the overwhelmingly visual orientation of the mechanical culture. LSD and related hallucinogenic drugs, furthermore, breed a highly tribal and communally oriented subculture, so it's understandable why the retribalized young take to drugs like a duck to water.

PLAYBOY: A Columbia coed was recently quoted in Newsweek as equating you and LSD. "LSD doesn't mean anything until you consume it," she said. "Likewise McLuhan." Do you see any similarities?

MCLUHAN: I'm flattered to hear my work described as hallucinogenic, but I suspect that some of my academic critics find me a bad trip.

PLAYBOY: Have you ever taken LSD yourself?

MCLUHAN: No, I never have. I'm an observer in these matters, not a participant.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Armistice Day

Anthem for Doomed Youth

What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?
Only the monstrous anger of the guns.
Only the stuttering rifles' rapid rattle
Can patter out their hasty orisons.
No mockeries for them; no prayers nor bells,
Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs,—
The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells;
And bugles calling for them from sad shires.

What candles may be held to speed them all?
Not in the hands of boys, but in their eyes
Shall shine the holy glimmers of goodbyes.
The pallor of girls' brows shall be their pall;
Their flowers the tenderness of patient minds,
And each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds.
By Wilfred Owen

Sunday, November 08, 2009

La Sierra

La Sierra (Spanish, without Subs.)
More than 30,000 people have been killed over the last ten years in Colombia’s bloody civil conflict, in which left-wing guerrillas fight against the government and illegal right-wing paramilitary groups. Recently, as guerrillas and paramilitaries sought to control marginal city neighborhoods, urban gangs aligned themselves with each side. In this way, the national conflict was translated into a brutal turf war that pitted adjacent barrios against each other. The documentary La Sierra explores life over the course of a year in one such barrio (La Sierra, in Medellin), through the prism of three young lives

Edison, aka “The Doll,” is a paramilitary commander in La Sierra. At the age of 22, he is also the de facto mayor of the neighborhood and a playboy who has fathered six children by six different women. Openly dedicated to and excited by his life of violence, he is also an intelligent and charismatic young man. As we follow him through the armed conflict, its victories and setbacks, he shares his dreams for himself and his children, and explains his attachment to what he calls “my war.” We follow his life up to the moment he is gunned down in the street, and then witness his family’s suffering and faith in the face of tragedy.

Cielo, age 17, was displaced from the countryside in sixth grade, when her brother and father were murdered by guerrillas. A mother at the age of 15, she was widowed when the father of her son (a gang member) was killed. Now Cielo is devoted to a new boyfriend, a paramilitary, who she visits in jail every Sunday. With little or no money to her name, Cielo goes downtown to beg and sell candies on the buses, resisting her friend’s suggestion of prostitution. After her rocky relationship with her boyfriend unravels, Cielo finally gives in and takes a job in Medellin’s red light district.

Jesus, 19, is a mid-level paramilitary member. Badly wounded when a homemade grenade blew up in his hands and face, Jesus presents himself as ready for death at any moment and hoping for little more than the opportunity to continue indulging his taste for marijuana and cocaine. But as the war in La Sierra comes to a end, and the paramilitaries begin a government-sponsored disarmament process, Jesus dreams of beginning a life without war.

La Sierra is an intimate, unflinching portrait of three lives defined by violence, and a community wracked by conflict. Over the course of a year these lives, and the life of the barrio itself, each undergo profound changes, experiencing victory, despair, defeat, death, love, and hope. In a place where journalists are seldom allowed, Scott Dalton and Margarita Martinez spent a year filming, interviewing, and building trust. The result is a frank portrayal that not only includes startling scenes of graphic violence and its aftermath, but also reveals intimate moments of love and tenderness, and shows the everyday life that manages to coexist with conflict.


The authentic sound of dread beat and dub. The righteous and the proud. Jah is livin.

Poets: First On and Last Off this Rock

In the laundermat
she peers
into the machine
As the sun goes down

Bashful beneath her tshirt
drapped across shoulder blades
and collarbones
Pushes straw hair from
hollowed eyes, and asks

Am I beautiful to you?

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Bon Ceremony

Bön (Tibetan: བོན་; Wylie: bon; Lhasa dialect IPA: [pʰø̃̀(n)]) is the oldest spiritual tradition of Tibet. Tenzin Gyatso, the fourteenth Dalai Lama, has recently recognized the Bön tradition as the fifth principal spiritual school of Tibet, along with the Nyingma, Sakya, Kagyu, and Gelug schools of Buddhism, despite the long historical competition of influences between the Bön tradition and Buddhism in Tibet.

The syllable -po or -pa is appended to a noun in Tibetan to designate a person who is from that place or performs that action; "Bönpo" thus means a follower of the Bön tradition, "Nyingmapa" a follower of the Nyingma tradition, and so on. (The feminine parallels are -mo and -ma, but these are not generally appended to the names of the Tibetan religious traditions.)

Often described as the shamanistic and animistic tradition of the Himalayas prior to Buddhism's rise to prominence in the 7th century, more recent research and disclosures have demonstrated that both the religion and the Bönpo are significantly more rich and textured culturally than was initially thought by pioneering Western scholars.[citation needed] Some scholars do not accept the tradition that separates Bön from Buddhism; Christopher Beckwith calls it "one of the two types of Tibetan Buddhism" and writes that "despite continuing popular belief in the existence of a non-Buddhist religion known as Bön during the Tibetan Empire period, there is not a shred of evidence to support the idea... Although different in some respects from the other sects, it was already very definitely a form of Buddhism."

Sayat Nova (1968)

The Color of Pomegranates (Armenian: Նռան գույնը, Nran guyne; originally released in the Armenian SSR as Սայաթ-Նովա, Sayat Nova) is a 1968 motion picture by the Soviet Armenian director Sergei Parajanov, considered a masterpiece by Federico Fellini, Jean-Luc Godard and Michelangelo Antonioni. It was censored, refused an export license and banned in the Soviet Union but made the Top 10 list in Cahiers du cinéma in 1982 and Top 100 in Time Out

One of the greatest masterpieces of the 20th century, Sergei Parajanov's "Color of the Pomegranate", a biography of the Armenian troubadour Sayat Nova (King of Song) reveals the poet's life more through his poetry than a conventional narration of important events in Sayat Nova's life. We see the poet grow up, fall in love, enter a monastery and die, but these incidents are depicted in the context of what are images from Sergei Parajanov's imagination and Sayat Nova's poems, poems that are seen and rarely heard. Sofiko Chiaureli plays 6 roles, both male and female, and Sergei Parajanov writes, directs, edits, choreographs, works on costumes, design and decor and virtually every aspect of this revolutionary work void of any dialog or camera movement.

'Sayat Nova' beginning

Sayat-Nova (Armenian: Սայաթ-Նովա; Persian/Azeri: سایات‌نووا; Georgian: საიათ-ნოვა) (14 June 1712, Tiflis – 22 September 1795, Haghpat), meaning 'King of Songs' in Persian, was the name given to the Armenian[1] poet and ashik Harutyun Sayatyan. His mother, Sara, was born in Tbilisi, and his father, Karapet, either in Aleppo or Adana. He was skilled in writing poetry, singing, and playing the kamancheh. He performed in the court of Heraclius II of Georgia, where he also worked as a diplomat and, apparently, helped forge an alliance between Georgia, Armenia and Shirvan against the Persian Empire. He lost his position at court when he fell in love with the king's daughter, and spent the rest of his life as an itinerant bard. In 1795 he was killed in Haghpat Monastery by the army of Agha Mohammed Khan, and is buried at the Cathedral of Saint George, Tbilisi.

About 220 songs can be attributed to Sayat-Nova, although he may have written thousands more. Most of his extant songs are in Armenian, Georgian, Azeri Turkic and Persian. A number of them are sung to this day. He was also fluent in Arabic.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Poster Children: If You See Kay

Poster Children - If you see Kay (official video) from .-. on Vimeo.

From Daisychain Reaction, a lost gem of guitar fuzz from the early 90s

Strange Beliefs: Sir Edward Evans-Pritchard

Part of a television series 'Strangers Abroad', shown on television in the 1990s. Details of the programme, including producer, director and other credits are at the end of the film.
The film centres on the work of E.E.Evans-Pritchard, particularly his work on Azande Witchcraft. For interviews with other anthropologists and further materials, please see

Coming of Age: Margaret Mead

Part of a television series on 'Strangers Abroad' shown in the 1990's. This is on the distinguished anthropologist Margaret Mead and her work in New Guinea, Bali etc. All credits to director, producer etc. are at the end of the film. For interviews of other anthropologists and other anthropological materials, please see

Thursday, November 05, 2009


The Gamelatron at Galapagos Art Space from Zemi17 on Vimeo.

Modeled after traditional Balinese and Javanese gamelan orchestras, the GamelaTron is an amalgamation of traditional instruments with a suite of percussive sound makers. MIDI sequences control 117 robotic striking mechanisms that produce intricately woven and rhythmic sound. Performances follow an arc similar to classic Indonesian gatherings, where stories from great epics, such as the Ramayana, are told and settings given in words that are continued in music.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

We are the Dancing Apes

From "Lucky People Center International"

Sublime Frequencies UK Tour 2009

Sublime Frequencies UK Tour 2009 with Omar Souleyman and Group Doueh from Sound and Music on Vimeo.

A short video from the amazing Sublime Frequencies UK Tour 2009 with Omar Souleyman and Group Doueh.

The Sublime Frequencies label was founded by Alan Bishop, Mark Gergis (both of Sun City Girls) and Hisham Mayet in 2003, to seek out some of the greatest expressive music from around the globe and let it be heard, seen, respected and recognised.

The specially commissioned tour followed in that anarchic tradition and featured two live acts who have released albums on the Sublime Frequencies label; Group Doueh (from the Western Sahara) and Omar Souleyman (from Syria).

Sublime Frequencies:

Qu Junctions

Sound and Music

Sound in Context (Full Film)

Sound in Context (Full Film) from Sound and Music on Vimeo.

Sound in Context is a short documentary exploring the unique practice of sound within the visual arts world. Through conversations with a number of key art institutions/galleries, artists and curators working with sound in the UK, Sound in Context allows practitioners to discuss some of the issues of presenting and exhibiting sound in the gallery and contemporary art domain.

Sound as a medium is time-based and is sensitive to space, perception/experience and environment, and has become intertwined with disciplines of sculpture, architecture, installation, film and media art. The ephemeral, invisible nature of sound poses a number of challenges within cultural practice and presentation. Situated between practices of music and art, sound overflows boundaries of the gallery, disrupts line between stage and audience, moves beyond categorizations, and merges models of economy and culture industry. Sound in Context explores the place and future of sound within an expanded arts milieu, while opening up reflections for sound artists engaging in the art world, and visual artists engaging with sound in their work.

Interviews with:

Seth Cluett (artist), Benedict Drew (artist/curator), Barry Esson (director, Arika), Anne Hilde Neset (deputy editor, The Wire), Hans Ulrich Obrist (co-director, Serpentine Gallery), Mike Stubbs (director, FACT), David Toop (writer/curator), Richard Whitelaw (programme director, Sonic Arts Network)

Produced by: Jonathan Web and Ashley Wong
Thanks to: The Jerwood Space, Goldsmiths' University of London, Sonic Arts Network, Nicolas Sauret, Arika, FACT Liverpool, Serpentine Gallery, The Wire

Sound and Music is an arts organisation that supports innovative practice in contemporary music and sound. From sharing information at our website, to a full programme of live events and commissioned activity, we raise the profile of contemporary music and sound in its cultural context, to build support and audiences for new work in the UK.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Delia Derbyshire/Nightwalker

Good morning.....

Delia Ann Derbyshire (5 May 1937 – 3 July 2001) was an English musician and composer of electronic music and musique concrète. She is best known for her electronic realisation of Ron Grainer's theme music to the British science fiction television series Doctor Who and for her work with the BBC Radiophonic Workshop.

Monday, November 02, 2009


Primitive by The Groupies

Goodnight heathens...see you tomorrow.

La Montaña Sagrada (The Holy Mountain)

La Montaña Sagrada (The Holy Mountain, reissued as The Sacred Mountain) is a 1973 cult film directed by Alejandro Jodorowsky who also participated as actor, composer, set designer, and costume designer. The film was produced by Beatles manager Allen Klein of ABKCO after Jodorowsky scored an underground phenomenon with El Topo and the acclaim of both John Lennon and George Harrison (Lennon and Yoko Ono put up production money). It was shown at various international film festivals in 1973, including Cannes, and limited screenings in New York and San Francisco. However the film was never given wide release until 2007, when a restored print toured the United States, screening with El Topo, and released in DVD format from May 1.

The film is based on "The Ascent of Mt. Carmel" by St. John of the Cross and "Mount Analogue: A Novel of Symbolically Authentic Non-Euclidean Adventures in Mountain Climbing" by Rene Daumal, a student of G.I. Gurdjieff. In particular, much of Jodorowsky's visually psychedelic story follows the metaphysical thrust of "Mount Analogue" such as the climb to the Alchemist, the assembly of individuals with specific skills, the discovery of the mountain that unites Heaven and Earth "that cannot not exist" and symbolic challenges along the mountain ascent. Daumal died before finishing his allegorical novel, and Jodorowsky's improvised ending provides a clever way of completing the Work (symbolic and otherwise.)