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‘Occult Program’: Kenneth Anger & Brian Butler’s Technicolor Skull, live in Paris

Kenneth Anger and Brian Butler‘s ritualistic “anti-rock” project, Technicolor Skull, live at L’Étrange Festival 2012’s “Occult Program” in Paris on September 8th.

A limited edition blood red vinyl-only pressing of the Technicolor Skull album can be acquired at the Technicolor Skull website.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Kenneth Anger & Brian Butler’s Technicolor Skull

A reminder about the Kenneth Anger opening party (which is confusingly being held a week after the exhibit actually opened to the public) tomorrow night at MOCA. Featured will be a live musical interlude via Anger and Brian Butler’s Technicolor Skull project.

Technicolor Skull performs their first West Coast appearance at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in Los Angeles on November 19, 2011, as part of the opening reception for Kenneth Anger: ICONS. This exhibition will showcase the films, books, and artwork of one of the most original and enigmatic filmmakers of post-war American cinema. This coincides with the release of Technicolor Skull’s self-titled recorded debut, a one-sided, bloodred 180 gram 12” vinyl LP limited to 666 copies.

Technicolor Skull is an experiment in light and sound, exploring the psychic impact of a magick ritual in the context of an improvised performance. With Brian Butler on guitar and electronic instruments, and Kenneth Anger on theremin, their collaboration is a performance contained inside a ritual of unknown origin, tapping into occult stories that extend musical language into initiation. Hidden messages escape through gesture and light, manifesting as a one-time-only event.

The record will be available directly from and at the MOCA store.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Kenneth Anger at the Museum of Contemporary Art

Yet another reason why I love the City of… Angels(!) so very, very much…

MOCA presents Kenneth Anger: ICONS, a showcase of the films, archives, and vision of one of the most original filmmakers of American cinema, on view at MOCA Grand Avenue from November 13, 2011, through February 27, 2012. A defining presence of underground art and culture and a major influence on generations of filmmakers, musicians, and artists, Anger’s films evoke the power of spells or incantations, combining experimental technique with popular song, rich color, and subject matter drawn equally from personal obsession, myth, and the occult.

MOCA’s exhibition centers on Anger’s Magick Lantern Cycle of films—Fireworks (1947), Puce Moment (1949), Rabbit’s Moon (1950/1979), Eaux d’artifice (1953), Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome (1954/66), Scorpio Rising (1963), Kustom Kar Kommandos (1965), Invocation of My Demon Brother (1969), and Lucifer Rising (1970-81)—presenting the work across multiple projections in a unique gallery installation of red vinyl, designed in close consultation with Anger.

Complementing the films is an archive of photographs, scrapbooks, and memorabilia from Anger’s personal collection that illustrates the filmmaker’s unique vision of Hollywood’s golden era. The inspiration and source material for the filmmaker’s infamous celebrity “gossip” books Hollywood Babylon, (1975) and Hollywood Babylon II (1984), the collection centers on stars such as Rudolph Valentino and Greta Garbo, as well as now lesser-known icons like silent-film actress Billie Dove. Anger grew up in Hollywood. His grandmother was a costume mistress, and he is claimed to have appeared as a child actor in the Warner Brothers production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1935). The world of the classic studios and the mystique of its major figures radiates throughout the photographs, press clippings, letters, and memorabilia on display, which Anger has gathered across many decades.

Technicolor Skull, a multimedia collaboration featuring Kenneth Anger on Theremin and Los Angeles artist Brian Butler on guitar and electronic instruments, will perform for the first time in Los Angeles at the exhibition opening on November 19. Technicolor Skull is a magick ritual of light and sound in the context of a live performance. The project premiered at Donaufestival in Austria, in April 2008, and has subsequently toured throughout Europe, performing at the National Museum of Art, Copenhagen, and the Serralves Museum, Portugal, and recently at the Hiro Ballroom, New York, for the Anthology Film Archives benefit.

Opening: Saturday, November 19, 7–10pm, Technicolor Skull will perform at 8pm.


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Lou Reed brews some fine noise (for Kenneth Anger)

Last week’s Anthology Film Archives 40th Anniversary Blowout, Return to the Pleasure Dome, honored, naturally, the works of filmmaker Kenneth AngerTechnicolor Skull—Anger on theremin (!), Dangerous Minds pal, Brian Butler, on guitar—performed that night (see below), as did Sonic Youth and Lou Reed.  Vice is carrying a stream of Reed’s 13-minute noodling performance.  Fans of Metal Machine Music Lou can check it out here.

Posted by Bradley Novicoff | Leave a comment