Another couple of rarities from Beatles producer George Martin. He collaborated with Maddalena Fagandini on these two songs, Time Beat and Waltz in Orbit, the A & B sides of a single released on the Parlophone label. They were released under the pseudonym “Ray Cathode.” Fagandini, who was a part of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, worked alongside Delia Derbyshire on Doctor Who sound effects. This would have been recorded mere weeks before Martin met the Beatles in 1962. (Audio for Time Beat is here)
Today marks the half-century anniversary of the premiere of Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho, which—along with Fellini’s La Dolce Vita opening earlier the same year—used the artform of cinema to hold up the cracked mirror of compulsive desire to Western civilization.
Movies, of course, would never be the same. Who better to drive the point home than our friendly neighborhood Lacanian critical theorist from Slovenia, Slavoj Žižek, from his excellent 2006 documentary, The Pervert’s Guide to Cinema?
He’s on a mission from God, and failing kidneys aren’t gonna stop him! Here’s the strange tale of ex-con turned Rocky Mountain Rambo, Gary Brooks Faulkner (above left), who came thisclose in his quest to behead Osama Bin Laden (above right) with a 40-inch sword:
Gary Brooks Faulkner got within 9 miles of the border before the Pakistanis nabbed him. Faulkner’s family insisted he was “passionate, not crazy” and, remarkably, has made several previous attempts to track Bin Laden to his hiding place.
“As a Christian, he was not afraid,” Faulkner’s doctor-brother, Scott, said Tuesday. “When 9/11 happened, my brother took that very personally.” Faulkner’s sister, Deanna Martin, said her 50-year-old brother and Bin Laden have this much in common—bad kidneys.
He was diagnosed four months ago with the same disease that killed their father. “He’s dying,” she said. “He only has 9% kidney function, and the only thing that can cure him is a transplant. He needs dialysis three times a week.” His brother said Faulkner had taken a break during his trip to get dialysis in southern Pakistan.
Reminding me of the camping trips of my youth, Faulkner was found Sunday night in a forest, “armed with the sword, a pistol and carrying night goggles, some Christian texts and a small amount of hashish.”
And the Bloomsday celebration continues with this 1954 photo by Eve Arnold. From Joyce and Popular Culture, a quote from a letter from Arnold about the day she took the shot:
We worked on a beach on Long Island…I asked her what she was reading when I went to pick her up (I was trying to get an idea of how she spent her time). She she kept Ulysses in her car and had been reading it for a long time. She said she loved the sound of it and would read it aloud to herself to try to make sense of it–but she found it hard going. She couldn’t read it consecutively. When we stopped at a local playground to photograph she got out the book and started to read while I loaded the film. So, of course, I photographed her.
Today, June 16th, being the day, of course, which marks Leopold Bloom‘s epic meanderings through Dublin in James Joyce‘s modernist masterwork, Ulysses. While those events occurred a whopping 106 years ago, Bloomsday is a still-celebrated event, complete with pub crawls and public readings of the novel. And if you’re in New York, or even near a radio:
Bloomsday on Broadway, staged annually at Symphony Space since 1981, has a cabal of actors and writers performing scenes from the novel. This year’s iteration, which will be simulcast on WNYC radio, and Symphony Space, explores the parallels between “Ulysses” and Homer’s “Odyssey.” Excerpts from both works will be enacted on Wednesday by a cast that includes Stephen Colbert, Ira Glass, Malachy McCourt, Tony Roberts and David Margulies. Isaiah Sheffer, artistic director of Symphony Space, will host.
“Joyce was a poet of sound; he wasn’t a visual person,” Mr. Sheffer said. “It’s meant to be read aloud. The big discovery is that it’s funny.” Mr. Colbert, who cites Bloomsday on Broadway as one of the reasons he moved to New York, will play Odysseus. “Performing ‘Ulysses’ on Bloomsday at Symphony Space is the only way I’ll ever finish the damn book,” Mr. Colbert admitted in an e-mail message. The seven-hour event will culminate with a two-and-a-half-hour uncensored reading of Molly Bloom’s erotic late-night monologue by the actress Fionnula Flanagan.
And while footage of the author himself is as hard to come by as that of his fellow Irishman, Samuel Beckett, what follows below is a short clip of Joyce in Paris. The anecdote relayed by the narrator is worth the watch itself. “Deal with him, Hemingway, deal with him!”
When Bob Marley’s family called on the legendary singer’s childhood friend Alan Greenberg to film his funeral in 1982, it’s worth wondering whether Greenberg knew that he’d end up widening the scope to make one of the iconic films about Jamaica.
Shot by Werner Herzog associate Joerg Schmidt-Reitwein, Land of Look Behind seems to almost float across the island, touching down in both impoverished rural badland areas and the crowded setting of Kingston for the superstar’s stately final rites. Backed by the Kerry Leimer’s unlikely ambient score and featuring performers like Gregory Isaacs and Mutabaruka, Land… is a rich document of the places, faces, and voices of a Jamaica coming to terms with its lagging economy and post-colonial future.
A wicked little nugget of psych guitar noise in the form of this 1967 single out of Syracuse, New York. As good a candidate for first shoegaze record as any other I’ve heard. What a fabulously fucked up sound !
While the below trailer for the bio-pic looks, well, like a trailer for a bio-pic, the film stars the reliably amazing Kristin Scott Thomas as Lennon’s Aunt Mimi (a rare, ‘81 clip of the real Mimi Smith follows at the bottom).
I’m also somewhat intrigued by Nowhere Boy‘s director, Sam Taylor-Wood. She’s the British artist with a thing for decaying still-lives. If you’ve never seen her A Little Death video, an ode to “the transience of biological life” featuring a rapidly decaying cobrarabbit, check it out here.
After overcoming two bouts with cancer—breast and colon—Taylor-Wood is now in a relationship with Nowhere Boy‘s Lennon, actor Aaron Johnson, who’s 23 years her junior. The couple are expecting the birth of their first child somewhere around the time Nowhere Boy opens in the U.S.
Thirty-eight years ago today, on June 14 1972, West German police raided the house of Fritz Rodewald, a teacher who’d been habitually sheltering German-based U.S. Armed Forces deserters in his Langenhagen home. This time, they were after the two young German strangers who’d appealed to him for accommodations. The cops had already apprehended armed and wanted Red Army Faction terrorist Gerhard Mueller at a public phone, and Rodewald had tipped them off that Mueller’s comrade Ulrike Meinhof was inside.
It had been a busy couple of years for Ulrike the activist/journalist. She’d left her job at the leftist magazine konkret and—sometime soon after the interview below—entered the realm of armed revolutionary struggle in what was then one of the richest democracies on earth. This clip must have been recorded just before she helped break out RAF leader Andreas Baader from his detention in a research institute in May 1970. Twenty-four months of bank robberies and bombings later, she was in prison, where she would be found hanged under dubious circumstances. Later it was speculated that a 1962 operation to remove a brain tumor might have played a tragic part in her violent fate. Regardless, along with Patty “Tania” Hearst, Meinhof had become one of the most well-known female terrorists of the century.
Following the interview is part one of the BBC’s documentary on the RAF, Baader-Meinhof - In Love With Terror.