“Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten. Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days” James 5:1-3
Halloween or Williamsburg is a Tumblr that lets readers decide which photos are of folks who are just super-duper excited about Halloween or those who are just hipsteristas suffering for fashion in their everyday “ironic” attire. It’s up to you to figure it out. Not as easy as it might seem…
The legendary Gospel singer and Civil Rights activist, Mahalia Jackson was born 100 years ago today.
In a career that spanned 6 decades from 1927-1971, Jackson recorded over 30 albums, appeared in numerous films and was once described by Harry Belafonte as “the single most powerful black woman in the United States”.
With her rich contralto voice, Jackson was hailed as the “Queen of Gospel”, and her influence crossed musical genres from Rock to Pop, Jazz to Blues, and influenced Elvis Presley, Nina Simone and Aretha Franklin.
Monster Brains has scanned The Official Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Coloring Album from 1979 in its entirety. WARNING: May cause demonic possession!
You can download “a pdf version of the book with single pages set to 8.5 x 11 inches” here or “a second pdf (set as an 11x17 inch booklet with the pages laid out so that you an print it double-sided and then fold it in the middle to center-staple it)” here.
For the first time, an exhibition of 44 pen and ink drawings by writer and poet Sylvia Plath (1932-1963) are to be shown at the Mayor Gallery in London, from 2 November to 16 December 2011. The exhibition contains drawings made in Paris, Benidorm, Cambridge in England, and Wisconsin. The show reveals Plath’s abiding love for her “deepest source of inspiration”, art.
For details of Sylvia Plath: Her Drawings and Dadamaino: Volumes at the Mayor Gallery, check here.
A selection of pictures can be viewed at the Telegraph.
I haven’t yet read Peter Doggett’s new book The Man Who Sold The World: David Bowie And The 1970s, but as a veteran reader of many Bowie biographies who has found few of them satisfying, a short excerpt from the book published on The Quietus blog looks intriguing. Here’s an excerpt of the excerpt:
Bowie was, and has been, more candid about his drug use during this period than most of his contemporaries, and various associates have fleshed out the picture. ‘I’ve had short flirtations with smack and things,’ he told Cameron Crowe in 1975, ‘but it was only for the mystery and the enigma. I like fast drugs. I hate anything that slows me down.’ So open was his drug use that the normally bland British pop newspaper Record Mirror felt safe in 1975 to describe Bowie as ‘old vacuum-cleaner nose’. His girlfriend in 1974/75, Ava Cherry, recounted that ‘David has an extreme personality, so his capacity [for cocaine] was much greater than anyone else’s.’ ‘I’d found a soulmate in this drug,’ Bowie told Paul Du Noyer in 2002. ‘Well, speed [amphetamines] as well, actually. The combination.’ The drugs scarred his personal relationships, twisted his view of himself and the world, and sometimes delayed recording sessions, as Bowie waited for his dealer to arrive. As live tapes from 1974 demonstrated, they also had a profound effect on his vocal range. Yet the effect on his creativity was minimal: cocaine took its toll on his internal logic, not his abilities to make music.
‘Give cocaine to a man already wise,’ wrote occultist Aleister Crowley in 1917, ‘[and] if he be really master of himself, it will do him no harm. Alas! the power of the drug diminishes with fearful pace. The doses wax; the pleasures wane. Side-issues, invisible at first, arise; they are like devils with flaming pitchforks in their hands.’ Bowie’s ‘side-issues’ were rooted in his unsteady sense of identity; he talked later of being haunted by his various characters, who were threatening him with psychological oblivion. When he described the Thin White Duke of ‘Station To Station’, he was effectively condemning himself: ‘A very Aryan, fascist-type; a would-be romantic with absolutely no emotion at all but who spouted a lot of neo-romance.’ Michael Lippman, Bowie’s manager during 1975, said his client ‘can be very charming and friendly, and at the same time he can be very cold and self-centred’. Bowie, he added, wanted to rule the world.
It was not entirely helpful that a man who was bordering on cocaine psychosis should choose to immerse himself in the occult enquiries that had exerted a more intellectual fascination over him five years earlier. The sense that his soul was at stake was exacerbated by the company he kept in New York at the start of 1975: Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page, a fellow Crowley aficionado; and occult film-maker Kenneth Anger. In March that year, he moved to Los Angeles, where he was reported to be drawing pentagrams on the wall, experimenting with the pack of Tarot cards that Crowley had created, chanting spells, making hexes, and testing and investigating the powers of the devil against those of the Jewish mystical system, the Kabbalah. He managed to survive the fi lming of The Man Who Fell To Earth by assuming the emotionally removed traits of his character in the movie. But back in California, as he tried to assemble a soundtrack for the film and also create the Station To Station album, he slipped back into a state of extreme instability. Michael Lippman remembered ‘dramatically erratic behaviour’ on Bowie’s part. ‘Everywhere I looked,’ the singer explained to Angus MacKinnon in 1980, ‘demons of the future [were] on the battlegrounds of one’s emotional plane.’
Below, an alarmingly zonked Bowie presents an award at the 1975 Grammys. Wait for Aretha Franklin’s quip near the end.
After the jump, more 70s cocaine hi-jinks with the dame…
Alphabetic (The A to Z of Birth), a fine animation, written and narrated by Jackie Wills, and illustrated in the style of Aubrley Beardsley by Mark Collington, James Merry, and Ali Taylor. Directed by Mark Collington for Project Poetry.
Joe Coleman’s 2010 portrait of Don Van Vliet, AKA Captain Beefheart, seems like an appropriate thing to post here on John Peel Day. You can get a better look at this detailed masterpiece in the artist’s monograph, Auto-Portrait, which accompanied last year’s Coleman show at the Dickinson Gallery in New York.
Acrylic on artist board and painted frame 24.25 x 21.5 inches. Larger online version here.
Below, seldom-seen clip of “When Big Joan Sets Up” from the local Detroit music show, Tubeworks. Recorded at WABX TV on January 15, 1971.