#31: Shape Worship
Monday, February 29, 2016
Thursday, February 25, 2016
For Esmé has teamed up with Puncture Design (the creatives behind WayHome) to take you on a curious and nostalgic trip back to that strange vibe of late night cable TV.
Picture this—its 1979 and For Esmé is performing their new single ‘Make A Sound’ on late night television. The video recalls the nostalgia of live performances by Blondie or Depeche Mode. Anyone who grew up recording TV shows on their VCRs will understand, and anyone who didn’t....just use your imagination.
You can also revisit the orginal single over at Soundcloud.
Remember staying up to catch something special airing on late night television? Maybe something you weren’t supposed to be seeing? Remember scrounging around for a VHS tape you could record it onto? So often I accidentally recorded over something else, or there were glitches in the tape. We’re taking you on a trip back to the days before youtube, where your only chance to hold onto an iconic TV moment was to record it yourself.
This video I think represents a timelessness that we long for and I hope this prompts us all to enjoy a little more of "the moment".
In the real 1979, nobody would have done an exercise like this.
Even this overtly nostalgic song couldn't look or sound more New Wave
Mind you there was the Mod Revival of course
Wednesday, February 24, 2016
Tales from the Black Meadow
The Black Meadow - The Book - The Album - The Experience
When Professor R. Mullins of the University of York went missing in 1972 on the site of the area known as Black Meadow atop of the North Yorkshire Moors, he left behind him an extensive body of work that provided a great insight into the folklore of this mysterious place.
Writer Chris Lambert has been rooting through Mullins' files for over ten years and now presents this collection of weird and macabre tales. Marvel at tales such as The Rag and Bone Man, The Meadow Hag, The Fog House, The Land Spheres and The Children of the Black Meadow. What is the mystery surrounding The Coalman and the Creature? Who or what is The Watcher in the Village? What is the significance of the Shining Apples? Why is it dangerous to watch the Horsemen dance? Beautifully illustrated by Nigel Wilson these tales will haunt you for a long time to come.
"Can you tell me, maiden fair Can you tell me if or where I shall see my child again Walk upon the fields of men? Will she ever stumble back From the meadow all a’black?"
In 1978, Radio 4 produced a now rare documentary about the folklore,mystery and tales surrounding the Black Meadow area. It also featured music specially commissioned to accompany the programme. This music has recently been unearthed by the Mullins Estate and carefully isolated for your listening pleasure.
These stories, poems and songs have also been gathered together to capture the unsettling nature of the Black Meadow. Do not listen to this on your own at night and make sure you shut your windows. Listen for the stamping feet of the horsemen, avoid the gaze of the Watcher in the village and do not walk into the
Tuesday, February 23, 2016
"A musical collage to reflect the influence of the cathode ray wet nurse that was TV from the 60's through to the 80's in all it's Folk Horror/Sci-Fi wyrdness. These were the programmes and their themes tunes that had a profound effect on a generation and sowed the seeds for the music of the hauntology scene and shaped the minds of those behind all things retro-futuristic.
"The next programme will begin after tonights visit to Newsround - do not touch that dial and don't forget to wash your hands before tea!!"
mix by Melmoth the Wanderer, featuring tracks from The Legend of Boggy Creek, Midsomer Murders Theme, Shadows of Fear, Dark Shadows, The Witches and the Grinnygog
Thursday, February 18, 2016
At The New York Times, a review by me of a book by Ben Ratliff - Every Song Ever: Twenty Ways to Listen in An Age of Musical Plenty - that I found very interesting but also disagreed with quite a bit. It proposes ways to navigate the music overload / excess of access that's been with us for a while (since broadband, but escalating with YouTube and the streaming services), modes of listening that cut across history, genre, geography and biography.
Sunday, February 14, 2016
How intriguing that NASA should choose a retro look - vaguely in the style of the Works Progress Administration of the 1930s - for its free posters about space tourism - trips to exotic locations in the solar system that most likely will occur centuries into the future even as manned missions, let alone as vacations for ordinary civilians. It seems to acknowledge that the Future is behind us, or has become camp...
from the NASA blurb:
Imagination is our window into the future. At NASA/JPL we strive to be bold in advancing the edge of possibility so that someday, with the help of new generations of innovators and explorers, these visions of the future can become a reality. As you look through these images of imaginative travel destinations, remember that you can be an architect of the future.
They are the work of the design studio at NASA's Jet Propulsion Labs - just up the road from here, in Pasadena.
As this piece at The Drive explains:
"The posters are a continuation of the Exoplanet Travel Bureau poster series first created by JPL’s design studio last year.... NASA’s faux travel agency is, obviously, a tad grandiose in their claims. Mankind won’t set foot on another planet for at least another decade, and even that’s optimistic.... But anything that keeps the public aware of the grandeur of space exploration is cool with us"
Keeping the idea of space exploration in the public eye - hmmm, this confirms my sense as mentioned here a few weeks ago that NASA has recently vamped up its public relations outreach dramatically and is making a strenuous effort to maintain a steady flow of news stories about breakthrough, discoveries, buzz-worthy stuff etc - in order to stoke public support for maintaining or increasing funding to NASA... somehow reactivate the romance of outer space
Hence this poster series blatant appeal to hipster taste... which is largely retro taste