Friday, May 29, 2009

seige mentality

elephant and castle tube station, london, at the height of the blitz.

This is a somewhat lazy post, drawn as it is from a comment left earlier over on the excellent Eighty Thousand Times The Word "Fuck":

"I don’t know. There’s been a lot of people sniffing and sneezing in the lifts here of late. The sniffing could be a symptom of withdrawal, certainly; the sneezing either down to a high pollen count or the more alarming manifestation of swine flu.

I worry that we will all die in here. Like rats outside the demarcation zone. We just had a power cut this morning which saw some of us suspended in limbo for over an hour, and the stairwell too dank and rank to even consider negotiating.
An old cinema nearby caught fire over the weekend. They are currently in the process of demolishing it, and the air wafting up to my open window on the 22nd floor is cloudy with brick dust and rust."
Well. The power supply has been resumed since then, thankfully. The cinema has had its guts ripped out as I hammer, one fingered, at the keyboard. And I have just purchased a wine box from our local supermarket and retired back indoors to escape the unusually oppressive heat.
Life, then, is tolerable. My son and stepson have a school project underway on the second world war - the big one, as old farts are wont to emphasize - and I can't help but feel that the art deco picture house out there, disintegrating by the minute, adequately conveys the flavour of the Blitz.
It is a pity our camera appears to have given up the ghost.
Anyhow. Enough. Thank you one and all for your comments yesterday. Your feedback - positive or otherwise - is always most welcome; nobody likes playing to an empty house.
I ROY & THE JUMPERS: HOT BOMB from "Hot Bomb" 45 (Trojan) 1972 (Jamaica)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

if thy right eye offends thee...

illustration by ib.

Siblings. Your silence is deafening.

No commentary on any new post in the last ten days and counting.
Despite some healthy incoming traffic.

I am almost tempted to check that I haven't inadvertently disabled a function or two in the settings somewhere.

Indeed, were it not for those statistics helpfully thrown into focus via StatCounter and its ilk, I might have come to the conclusion that this blog had simply overran its 'best by date'. Have I been rude ? A good brother informed me that my posts had been somewhat terse of late, and certainly it's true that I have been investin
g less time and resources here - and elsewhere - than previously. Things are afoot. By the twitching of my thumbs. In fact, I ought to have declared an armistice of sorts - a defined period of truce - but I am impulsive by nature, and such a cease-fire could never last. Neither do I feel compelled to turn this activity into some kind of full-time job; replete with contractual obligation and negotiated absence in place of the true spirit of vacation.

Of course. I am tempted just to weather the storm. Stick my head above the parapet as my mood dictates, and simply feign indifference.

A far more noble resolution, perhaps.

As I opined once before, rather tactlessly, when Siblingshot On T
he Bleachers was a mere imperious suckling:

no f@cking comment.

There. I just spat the dummy all over again.

Friday, May 22, 2009

line dancing on the tet offensive

photograph by robert burroughs.

It took 28 years, but the Oklahoma born son of a preacher man finally got what was pinned there off his chest.

from "Ten Easy Pieces" LP (Guardian / Angel) 1996 (US)

purple heart, first edition

peace march, LA: april 22nd, 1972. photograph by bill eppridge.

Composed by Mel Tillis, and originally recorded by Johnny Darnell.

"johnny got his gun"Arranged by Glennn D. Hardin;
Produced by Jimmy Bowen.


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

three fates, or two ?

lucifer descending: gustav doré's "paradise lost" engravings, 1866.

At•ro•pos |ˌatrəˈpɒs| Greek Mythology
one of the three Fates.

Greek, literally inflexible.’
acherontia atropos; the death's head moth.


Dennis Homes: vibes, guitar, vocals;
Jim Fraser: alto/soprano saxophone, oboe, alto/nose/concert flute;
Les Cook: guitar, bongos, violin, mandolin, vocals.

SYNANTHESIA: FATES from "Synanthesia" LP (RCA Victor) 1969 (UK)

THE INCREDIBLE STRING BAND: THE EYES OF FATE from "5000 Spirits Or The Layers Of The Onion" (Elektra) 1967 (UK)

cuts a circle

"the moon-woman cuts a circle", 1942.

Classified '4-F: unfit for service" in 1941 on psychological grounds, Pollock began work on a series of paintings which would form the basis for his first solo exhibition, at Peggy Guggenheim’s 'Art of This Century' gallery two years later. This new period coincided with the dissolving of the WPA - specifically, The Federal Arts Project - a government relief program which provided funding to Pollock and millions of others through the Great Depression from its inception in 1935. While the WPA undoubtably provided a desperately needed source of income in rural and western areas - primarily through its major construction projects - in Pollock's case, as a publicly funded muralist and student in David Alfaro Siqueiros’s experimental workshop in New York City
, it also indirectly sustained or fueled his binge drinking and notoriously out of control alcohol dependency.

For the first time, essentially, the thirty-year-old Pollock found himself a respite from the constraints of working more or less to order, or at least the notion of an end product fit for public consumption. More pressingly, it prompted the painter to redefine his entire work ethic.

detail from the figurative
oil, "going west", 1934-5.

"The Moon-Woman" is striking in its indebtedness to Pablo Picasso, certainly.

Produced some five years prior to his adopting those principles which would come to define action painting, it nonetheless seems to contain elements of greater things to come; an underlying
sense of restlessness and resistence to conformity which would ultimately demand uninhibited dissolution through the less considered mechanics of fluidity.

The anticipation of devolution of form and the revealing of those chaotic forces which serve to agitate. Above and below the surface.

Not so much a groundbreaking piece as the embodiment of an open question, it also helped secure the patronage of Peggy Guggenheim; the material relief of a one year contract at $150 per month, against sales, and the opportunity not just to paint full-time but to reach an - very well-heeled - audience.

THIN WHITE ROPE: MOONHEAD from "Moonhead" LP (Frontier / Zippo) 1987 (US)

Monday, May 18, 2009

my painted tomb

"lucifer"; 1947.

"When the 35-year-old Pollock finished
Lucifer in 1947 he had to ask his wife, painter Lee Krasner, "Is this a painting?" Lucifer is a green, black and pearly discharge, a phosphorescent radioactive snapshot of what America looked, felt and sounded like in 1947."
- Jerry Saltz, The Tempest.
Interesting fact: initiated in Phoenix, Arizona, 1981 as the Sun City Girls, the trio of siblings Alan and Richard Bishop and percussionist, Charles Gocher teamed up with the Velvet Underground's Maureen Tucker before once again emerging in their more familiar concise form - a death's head moth of sinister infusion - in 1982. Here is a taste, straight off the ladle, of their first full album release.

It is official. Today, Monday, is Jackson Pollock Day.

SUN CITY GIRLS: MY PAINTED TOMB from "Sun City Girls" LP (Placebo Records) 1984 (US)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

after martha's graveyard

springs, new york, april 1949. photograph by martha holmes.

de•lir•i•um tre•mens |ˌtriːmɛnz| |ˌtrɛ-|

a psychotic condition typical of withdrawal in chronic alcoholics, involving tremors, hallucinations, anxiety, and disorientation.

ORIGIN early 19th cent.: from Latin, ‘

untitled, 1951; ink on paper.

A smell of sea, salt
water on your lips.
You open your mouth and
it all comes tumbling out.
A torrent of delirium,
tiny truths drowning in
the hollows of your cheek;
the eddies between teeth.

The paddle steamer ran aground.
The tourists have all gone home.
And all the while you speak of it,
a slip and clack of stones.

Six paint pots lined up empty,
bedsheets soiled with sweat.
And sleep does not come easy
in those early hours between
the 60 watt bulb burning - or
four digits faintly glowing -
and the exhausting ring of
retching; regurgitating drips.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

an andalusian dog

luis buñuel and salvador dalí's "un chien andalou", 1929.

I remember seeing this short film for the first time when I was about five years old. In short trousers clasping a glass of spilt milk. Right after "Watch with Mother"; back in those days when the BBC was less inclined to wrap its viewers in cotton wool soaked in chloroform, and took risks in its remit to educate.

Children's TV - "The Clangers"; "The Herbs" - possessed a sympathetic soupçon of autistic dislocation: "One sugarlump or two ?"asked the Andalusian dog.

Shocking, quite. Surrealistic, most definitely. Dali would have been delighted.

The film, of course, is entrenched in the silent era. Like Edvard Munch's "The Scream", a good few decades before NBC's "Homicide: Life on the Streets".

The question arises, then, whether a soundtrack is desirable or appropriate. Pianos were popular in theatres of the period, and provided welcome employment for itinerate musicians. Terry Riley's "In C" works remarkably well retrospectively, I feel, but overruns the film's 16 minutes by a good half hour. The piece has a distilled air of supressed hysteria and helplessness, like a cork bobbing on the ocean; or a bird with its wings frozen quietly dropping through the sky.

Suggestions on the back of a postcard, please.

Thursday, May 14, 2009



noun ( pl. -

a short-lived, slender insect with delicate, transparent wings and two or three long filaments on the tail. It lives close to water, where the chiefly herbivorous aquatic larvae develop.
• Order Ephemeroptera: several families and many species.

• an artificial fishing fly that imitates such an insect.

Happy birthday, Gus. More Taurean bullshit; from april to may.
Under current RIAA regulatory bullshit, and the closer than strictly advisable scrutiny that might entail, it's perhaps wiser to veer away from unwarranted and endlessly eternal speculation.

More, instead then, from the excellent guitarist and singer who famously told Led Zep
pelin - The New Yardbirds, rather - where to f@cking stick it. Politely; after committing to the opening slot on the Rolling Stones' 1969 US tour. It was Reid himself who suggested Robert Plant as an option.

These two Reid compositions were originally to be found on his second album release, titled "Move Over for Terry Reid" in the States. Pencilled in to appear at Altamont in December - which might have done much to cement his reputation internationally in spite of that festival's notorious failings - Reid pu
lled out, or was dismissed from the bill, as the result of insurmountable differences with manager, Mickie Most. Beset with contractual obligations which prevented him from recording new material, Reid relocated to California to weather the storm, returning to England in August 1970 to perform alongside Hendrix at the Isle of Wight Festival.

"May Fly" is indicative of the direction Most pressed Reid to concentrate on working towards, to the exclusion of more Modish leanings; while the second cut here - a belter, in the best power pop tradition - almost anticipate
s the Glam racket of Slade, at the same time retaining the hallucinogenic sparkle of North London's The Action or the Small Faces at their melodic best.

Terry Reid: guitar and vocals;
Pete Solley: keyboards;
Keith Webb: drums.

Produced by Mickie Most.

Best wishes also to Beccy, Chris and James.

TERRY REID: MAY FLY from "Terry Reid" LP (Columbia EMI) 1969 (UK)



Wednesday, May 13, 2009

blood and soldering wire

jean cocteau: "le sang d'un poete", 1930.

Recorded and mixed at Record Plant, Saualito, CA, February 4th, 1976 - April 9th 1976. Minus the overdubs, and oddly slight without the grounding weight of bass.

FLEETWOOD MAC: DREAMS (DEMO) from "Rumours (Remastered + Expanded)" 2 x CD (Warner Bros.) 1977 / 2004 (UK / US)


The bird - rotund; a ball of downy copper and rust - appeared wedged between an outcrop of rock and the packed soil of the bank. The only thing sharp about it was its tiny beak. Jabbing the air in tense circles like the frail arms of a punch-drunk boxer. A featherweight.

It did not look as if it would go the distance.

My son had come running to me.

"Dad. There's a wee bird over there with a huge beastie on it."

And so there was. A spider, toiling at its web, a bright pustule of iridescent green sprouting wavering filaments. The bird was clearly distressed.

"Get it off it, dad, " my son whined.

The web was unusual. I have never seen the like. Where other webs are uniformly flat, however intricate, this one was a sphere of shimmering gossamer.

A dandelion clock. Round and round it the spider went, spitting out its silk. The little bird shivered and squawked.

"Get it off!"

The closer I watched - transfixed and undecided, failing my child - the more unsettled I felt. The palm of my right hand pressed tight on the damp moss, supporting my weight. I could not reach out to dislodge the spider. I did not want to make contact.

A great shadow bore down on my neck as a pocket of cloud swallowed the sun.

Dizzy, I snatched up a twig with my left hand and prodded gingerly, spastically at the offending growth. There was something at the core of the sphere. Something dull and opaque.


I am an indifferent parent. I have no stomach for it, I realized then. Neither was the slender stick equal to the task. It missed and the sphere burst open like an obscene spore, ashy tendrils ballooning out and releasing the contents of the sac.

The bird screamed and fought to release its wings. The spider scuttled this way and that, quite unable to repair the damage. An egg. Milky white and fragile as a pulsing tumor.

"Oh, dad..."

I looked at my son. The fury in his eyes. The stick lay heavy in my hand.

You can't beat an omelet without breaking eggs.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


cami: photograph by obra gráfica.

Recorded in January,1973 at the Rozemblit studios, in Recife.

سی تار

Lailson: 12 string guitar, vocals;
Lula Côrtes: sitar.

 Produced by Lailson y Lula Côrtes.

SATWA: VALSA DOS COGUMELOS from "Satwa" LP (Private Press) 1973 (Brazil)


apostle of the strung-out

Figure 3-29.–Correct way to take out a kink in wire rope.

kink |kɪŋk|
a sharp twist or curve in something that is otherwise straight : a kink in the road.
• figurative a flaw or obstacle in a plan, operation, etc. : though the system is making some headway, there are still some kinks to iron out.
• a stiffness in the neck, back, etc.; crick : it takes the kinks out of stiff necks.
• figurative a quirk of character or behavior.
• informal a person with unusual sexual preferences.

I am not so much at a loose end as vaguely tied in knots. Nothing that won't ultimately unravel; maybe a kink in a length of string is nearer the mark.

Anyway. I was sitting idly keeping one eye open on the FEEDJIT stats - as one might do or even justify in such a predicament - when I chanced upon a visitor bouncing away from here to alight on Canon 2.0. Said site is essentially a "literary experiment" curated by Jorn Barger, of Robot Wisdom fame, an individual who has been kind enough to link to SibLINGSHOT ON THE BLEACHERS on occasion. Donovan and Patti Smith - dancing barefoot - spring to mind.

So. Interestingly, Jorn possesses some very sound literary tastes. None t
oo meticulously, I found myself dipping into a list he has compiled on a number of authors up on Canon 2.0 when I happened on an entry with regard to Robert Stone. A list for the transiently listless. Stone is a writer I admire but know too little about. I had all but forgotten his name. Born in 1937 in Brooklyn, in addition to his string of successes as a novelist, he worked for a period too as a Vietnam War correspondent in 1971, an experience which culminated in the publication of "Dog Soldiers" three years later.

A solid book, but not quite as strong as his 1967 debut, "A Hall of Mirrors".

Many moons ago, my good friend Gus lent me an old paperback copy. It was a good read. It's style has been compared to that of the Beat Generation, and that is valid enough, but on balance I remember it reminded me more of Glaswegian author, Alexander Trocchi, whose incisive portrayal of heroin addiction
, "Cain's Book", was famously banned in the UK on publication in 1960 after a lengthy showcase obscenity trial. Trochhi had a deeply entrenched habit. And a capacity for controversy on a par with Burroughs or Ginsberg.

Or Hubert Selby, jr.

A champion of outsiders Samuel Beckett and Henry Miller, Trocchi found an outlet amongst the pornographers of Paris in the 1950's, editing the literary magazine, "Merlin", before eventually settling in New York City where he operated a stone scow - a flat-bottomed dredger - on the filth of the Hudson river.

Anyhow. I digress.

I am glad I chanced on the Stone entry. The title for this post comes from a 1997 interview from the Salon, conducted by Dwight Garner.

I claim no credit whatsoever.


Sunday, May 10, 2009

king leopold's ghost

"mistah kurtz, he dead."

The world is seemingly populated with souls who would deny the Holocaust.

Blink, and you will have missed it.

Events which echo those horrors bring them tumbling out of the woodwork like so many blind worms, quick to point the finger of conspiracy even as they conspire. The planet is full of souls in denial; quick to maim in order to secure a place in the next world, or line their pockets in this. The coffers of their church.

The world is full of sycophants who would sooner look the other way.

The world is full of twisted motherf@ckers.

The wheel that turns is like that which steers the boat. The river thickens and congeals. Turns crude; the polluted arteries of a stricken heart.

Originally released in 1975, with Peter Laughner on guitar, "Heart of Darkness" found a subsequent reissue on Radar's 1978 12" anthology of Pere Ubu's first three 45's: "Datapanik in the Year Zero", & on Rough Trade's 1985 retrospective, "Terminal Tower".

hearthan HR 101, 1975.

David Thomas: vocals;
Peter Laughner: guitar;
Tim Wright: bass;
Scott Krauss: drum

from ubuprojex:

"The name derives from an anglo-saxon word for harp.
p is a transliteration of the anglo-saxon thorn,
a letter that was pronounced
hay-are-than, rhymes with van) gradually gave way to
HEARPEN (pronounced hay-are-pen) as the label's name."

Conrad's "Heart of Darkness";
originally published in three parts in 'Blackwood's Magazine', 1899.

PERE UBU: HEART OF DARKNESS from "Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo b/w Heart Of Darkness" 45 (Hearthan) 1975 (US)


Thursday, May 7, 2009

interview with a soapdodger, charlatan and charismatic miscreant

let me introduce you to the family: "wanna buy a f@ckin' lady bic ?"


One has to be careful...
when picking up the soap. In many penitentiaries, it's perhaps better not to bathe at all. If one can get away with it. An act of self-preservation well suited to those family values subsequently adhered to out on the Spahn Ranch.

Charlie don't surf, and he ain't no skateboarding toothpick.

Like Aleister Crowley, his primary addiction was in subjugating lesser egos and bending them to his prison scarred and hopelessly addled will. And unlike Crowley, he lacked the proper financial backing. Just so much dime-a-dozen cultivated theatrical shtick, picked up here and there with the indiscriminate zeal of the habitual garbage raker; the pink snouted truffling connoisseur of hand-me-down homilies. With an adequate inheritence - who knows ? - the road to the the new dawn may have been paved with gold instead of chicken bones and rats' tails.

To the recently paroled thirty-two year old Manson, stepping loose on Haight Ashbury in March, 1967 after serving more than fifteen years in various institutions for violations as diverse as grand theft auto and the pimping of a minor, the impressionable naiveté - if not vacuity - of so many disenfranchised flower children must have seemed a freak gift to be toyed with at leisure. Straight time can never have been realistically debated as an option.


"I was so smart when i was a kid,
that i learned i was dumb. Fast."

"That's beautiful."

charlies's cherry-picked band of gypsys.

A sociopath with a Rasputin complex as virulent as herpes - no Ed Bunker, certainly - a life sentence of segregation, for his own protection, ultimately reawaited him back behind the razor wire in the aftermath of Helter Skelter; ironic, given his half-assed lip service to the codes of the Aryan Brotherhood.

Foxy Loxy, king for but a day, the sky was quick to fall back in.

The following interview is culled from Daniel Hancyz's "Rebirth Movement" remixes of "Psychedelic Soul"; a double CD bootleg release of Manson's 1967 sessions recorded at Universal Studios, Hollywood which previously suffered from poor fedelity and lacklustre editing. The version of "Look At Your Game, Girl" differs significantly from that previously released on "LIE: The Love and Terror Cult" through Awareness Records.


"I'll tell you what i generally do
- and this is kinda crazy -

well, we go round and visit a lot;
we go to people's houses..."

do what thou wilt.

I suspect my ruminations on garbage picking
were directly inspired by this rather fine piece.

illustration by ib.

CHARLES MANSON: INTERVIEW from " Psychedelic Soul (Rebirth Movement)" Bootleg (Universal Studios) 1967/2009 (US)

CHARLES MANSON: LOOK AT YOUR GAME, GIRL from " Psychedelic Soul (Rebirth Movement)" Bootleg (Universal Studios) 1967/2009 (US)


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

musics; cassettes: i was depressed

oh, manolito.

Written and performed, muthaf@ckers, by Adam Helal; Julia Nagle; Mark E. Smith; Neville Wilding; and Tom Head.

Ah. Oranj. I am perpetually under the isobars and those cold atlantic fronts.

THE FALL: DR. BUCK'S LETTER from "The Unutterable" LP (Eagle) 2000 (UK)

you what ?

BELL 1216 B.

From the cruel and unusal dream tag team of Paul Gadd and Mike Leander; quite possibly the most perfect three minutes of proto punk ever committed to vinyl.

Cheap and spectacularly nasty.

GARY GLITTER: ROCK AND ROLL, PART 2 from "Rock And Roll Part 1 b/w Rock And Roll Part 2" 45 (Bell) 1972 (UK)

Monday, May 4, 2009

the curtains, they're filthy...

S CSBS 5664.

"'Complete Control' was voted No. 9 in the 1977 John Peel Festive Fifty, No. 2 the following year, No.5 in 1979, No. 15 in 1980, No. 18 in 1981, No. 19 in 1982..."

"On the last tour my mates couldn't get in,
I'd open up the back door but they'd get run out again.
At every hotel we was met by the Law;
Come for the party - come to make sure!

Oh oh oh, have we done something wrong?
Oh oh oh; complete control, even over this song."
- Strummer / Jones.

Produced by Lee Perry and Mickey Foote. Released September 23rd, 1977.

THE CLASH: COMPLETE CONTROL from "Complete Control b/w City Of The Dead" 45 (CBS) 1977 (UK)

Sunday, May 3, 2009


Tau•rus |ˌtɔːrəs|

1 Astronomy a constellation (the Bull), said to represent a bull with brazen feet that was
by Jason. Its many bright stars include Aldebaran (the bull's eye), and it contains
Crab Nebula and the star clusters of the Hyades and the Pleiades.
• [as genitive ] ( Tauri |ˌtɔːriː|)
used with a preceding letter or numeral to designate
a star in this constellation : the star Beta Tauri.

2 Astrology the second sign of the zodiac, which the sun enters on about April 21.
• ( a Taurus) ( pl. same) a person born when the sun is in this sign.

Taurean |ˌtɔːrɪən| |tɔːˌriːən| noun & adjective (in sense 2) .


Have a good one, NØ.

SPIRIT: TAURUS from "Spirit" LP (Ode) 1968 (US) [r]

Friday, May 1, 2009

not john cale

released on vinyl as part of a series of albums recorded for John Gale's Studio G Records, this is library music at its finest and most eerily familiar. TV Close Down.

From Trunk Records:

"Way back in the late 1960s a man called John Gale saw a gap in the market. He worked in advertising and didn't think much of the library music he was having to use for adverts. He thought he could do better himself. And so he started Studio G, with a short run of 7 inch singles.

not john cale. john gale.

These worked out well, and so John branched out into the big library LP world. And over the course of about 20 years Studio G issued a small amount of very successful 12 inch library albums across 4 separate Volumes. Hit rates for the label were high, and many of the classic Studio G tracks have appeared for years in important and legendary TV shows. Studio G tracks delighted children watching Vision On. It was Studio G that provided the classic music for the darts, and top crown bowling."

DOUGLAS WOOD: MOON NIGHTCLUB from "G Spots: The Electro, Jazz, Folk & Horror World Of The Studio G Library" CD (Trunk Records) 2009 (UK)


latha bealltainn: your mouth is a ghost

illustration by ib.

1st - 2nd May Northern Hemisphere
31st Oct - 1st Nov Southern Hemisphere

Bel•tane |ˌbɛlteɪn|
an ancient Celtic festival celebrated on May Day.

ORIGIN late Middle English : from Scottish Gaelic bealltainn.

T. REX: THERE WAS A TIME from "Get It On b/w There Was A Time / Raw Ramp" 45 (Fly) 1971 (UK)

T. REX: RAW RAMP from "Get It On b/w There Was A Time / Raw Ramp" 45 (Fly) 1971 (UK)