We would like to apologize to the listeners of the 2nd edition of LOTUS EATERS DR-55 7" (Drone Records). Only now, after the edition was completely sold out, we discovered that the cover printing was in error.
Instead of the vibrant, full color psychedelic sleeve Seldon Hunt and I worked on, a primarily black and white version was printed. This was done without our knowledge, and is a sincere disappointment.
We will make a number of covers as originally intended for the 60 copies the band was cut from the pressing, using indigo offest
printing on 110lb matte coated cover stock.
Any others who would like to get a color version of the cover please contact me directly before 12th January. I can offer this at my actual printing, and will machine number all copies thus printed.
Even with the blown-apart realities in your books, you have a real beef with postmodernism. Can you tell us a bit about this?
Steve Aylett: "I'm not so much bothered by the matter of literary postmodernism, than by postmodernist notions as they're used in real life -- where people carry those ideas over into the world, thinking that the words are the same thing as the object they label (that the map is the territory, contrary to Robert Anton Wilson's urging) and that the objects and facts can be shuffled and reorganised in the same way that their labels can be; including actual people. A lot of times this is harmless: if you give a muddy brick to a student of postmodernism and tell him it's the beer you just bought him, he should accept it with thanks. But human beings have a tendency to turn just about any philosophy into a justification for the manipulation of others, usually by re-labelling people as objects or lower-order creatures, which can then be furnaced or disposed of in any old way. But postmodernism doesn't even have to be subverted to those ends -- it's the arch-philosophy of re-labelling and can be used to smooth the way for any atrocity or neglect, any sort of evasion of the real results of your actions. Look at the news and see hundreds of examples of this.
I do old-time satire in the Voltaire/Swift tradition. Real satire, by taking people's arguments (or evasions or justifications) to their logical extremes, snaps people back to the reality of the situation, i.e. that their evasions and justifications are cowardly bullshit. Of course it only works if there's a scrap of honesty in the reader to begin with, so it doesn't always work, and the way things are going socially, it'll work less and less. There'll be no honesty to appeal to, and no concept of that. There'll be no admission that there are facts and nobody will even remember the original motive for that evasion -- that to deny that there's such a thing as a fact, means you can do anything to anyone without feeling bad about it. If you tell yourself they didn't feel what you did to them, they didn't feel it. To deny you did it means you didn't do it. Welcome to the swamp.
Depending on which way things go, my stuff will later on be completely baffling (because honesty is one of the main anchor points for the satirical mechanism to work), or be seen as a simple and obvious statement of stuff that was being frantically avoided by almost everyone at the time of writing. This is assuming it's read at all or if anyone exists to read it. I suspect the baffled reaction will be the one to occur, if anyone's around. Hypocrisy won't exist in the future because hypocrisy requires an understanding of honesty as at least a concept. So satire will be a sort of inert, inoperative device which won't hook into anything.
I'm on a hiding to nothing, is what I mean."
Steve Aylett's Website
The first release of SUNN O))), 1998's "The GrimmRobe Demos", has now been reissued by Southern Lord. CD and gatefold 2LP formats, with expanded layout and bonus tracks. CD is available now, the vinyl is scheduled for a March release. You can order it online direct from Southern Lord's webpage www.southernlord.com.
I was preparing some sample mp3s for the fine folks at THE WIRE, for their website actually and thought to offer em up here as well:
GINNUNGAGAP "Reasonably Miserable" (9:24) 12.9mb 192kbps stereo mp3. Vocals: Dawn Smithson, Guitars: Stephen O'Malley, Drones: Steve Pittis. Released 2004 on the "1000% Downer" 12" via Aurora Borealis www.aurora-b.com ABX001
BURNING WITCH "Stillborn" (11:57) 13.6mb 160kbps stereo mp3. Vocals: Edgy 59, Guitar: Stephen O'Malley, Bass: G. Stuart Dahlquist, Drums: Brad Mowen. Released 2000 on the "Rift.Canyon.Dreams" LP via Merciless Records. Recorded 1997.
KHANATE "Fields" (19:50) 18.1mb 128kbps stereo mp3. Vocals: Alan Dubin, Guitar: Stephen O'Malley, Bass+FX: James Plotkin, Drums: Tim Wyskida. Released 2003 on the "Things Viral" CD/LP+12" via Southern Lord/Load
Also, apologies that the AUDIAL section has not been suitably updated in some time. I will try to do so soon, theres about 5 or so new titles which need to be added.
Pick this up when you see their EU tour in January, here are the dates:
COMETS ON FIRE
Thee Cacophony ov January 2005
15/Germany/Munster, Gleis 22
16/Netherlands/Thee Hague, Paard van Troje
19/UK/Bristol, The Thekla
21/UK/London, Royal Festival Hall w/ Julian Cope
NEW ALBUM RELEASED JANUARY 2005 ON HEAD HERITAGE
"Citizen Cain'd" 2CD
1. Hell is Wicked
2. I Can't Hardly Stand It
3. I'm Living In The Room They Found Saddam In
4. Gimme Head
5. Dying To Meet You
6. I Will Be Absorbed
1. Feels Like A Crying Shame
2. World War Pigs
3. Stomping Dionysus
4. Homeless Strangers
5. The Living Dead
6. Edge of Death
At last! January 2005CE finally brings forth Julian Cope's almost mythical album CITIZEN CAIN'D. Talked about in Cope interviews for 5 years and promised at concerts during Cope's 'between songs banter' for even longer than that, Head Heritage can now announce the release of this album of brand new songs. The 12 tracks include the long-time concert favourites "I'm Living in the Room They Found Saddam In" and "Feels Like A Crying Shame", the latter appearing in a blissed-out 11-minute incarnation. Although all the material would have fitted on to one single CD, Cope has chosen to release CITIZEN CAIN'D as two short CDs of 34 and 37 minutes respectively; taking this approach because he deemed several of the songs 'too psychologically exhausting' for one single listen. However, CITIZEN CAIN'D is being sold for a single album price, and arrives sumptuously packaged in a gloss black outer cardboard case and opaque black double-jewel case. This latter item has been, according to Cope, employed to ape the black obsidian of the Mediterranean, and certainly adds to the feeling of mystery that surrounds this record. Indeed, the combination of heavy fuzzed-out balladry and ostentatious packaging combine to lend this new album an atmosphere most reminiscent of his 1992 album JEHOVAHKILL. However, in true Cope style, the subject matter of CITIZEN CAIN'D is entirely 21st century in its content.
Julian and his superb band will be doing some shows in January, including a night at the Royal Festival Hall in London with the mighty Comets on Fire...
Friday January 21st 2005
Royal Festival Hall 7.30pm
An evening of full-throttle, maximum darkness and mythological rock'n'roll bringing psychedelia firmly into the 21st century.
Julian Cope and his band are joined by San Fransisco's Comets on Fire for two separate, spell- binding performances. Expect music from Cope's latest album Citizen Cain'd together with old favourites.
Royal Festival Hall Box Office
Julian and his Band will also be doing the following dates (please note: Comets on Fire *only* at RFH)
20st Jan, 05
Fleece - Bristol
22nd Jan 05
Wulfrun Hall - Wolverhampton
Box office tel: 01902 552 121
23rd Jan 05
Leadmill - Sheffield
Box office tel: 0870 010 4555
24th Jan 05
Liverpool Carling Academy
Box Office tel: 0870 771 2000
MORE INFO/ORDERING STUFF AT HEAD HERITAGE WEBPAGE
BIRCHVILLE CAT MOTEL, New Zealand's most prolific & exciting drone/free noise artist visits California this month. Campbell Kneale/Neil Campbell performs sound graciously intense. Dark beauty agitates in and out of a chop suey of various "drones" Will touch both your ma's heart & your long gone stone cold great grandma's heart both.Has collaborated with a lot of fellas you'd be holding in your collection there.
JANUARY 2005 ||||| Californian Tour Dates.
TUES 11 RICKSHAW STOP, 155 Fell Street, San Francisco, with No Doctors (who headline), Patrick Mullins, The Skaters & Live Video by AC/AC design. All Ages show, 7 30PM Doors, Show at 8 30PM. $6.
WED 12 SILVERLAKE LOUNGE, Los Angeles, with Anla Courtis (Argentina), Gerritt & DJ LORD (Greg Anderson of SUNN 0))) with The Fort Night Dress in tow. 21+, 8PM Doors, Show at 9PM. $8.
THURS 13 THE SMELL, Los Angeles with rhBand!!!, The Skaters & David Kendall. All Ages show, 9PM Doors, $5.
FRI 14 VOLTAIRE, San Diego, with The Skaters & possibly rhBand. All Ages, 7PM Doors, 8PM show.
SAT 15 THE DOME, Long Beach with Sumako and Phaul $5 7PM All Ages.
SUN 16 Santa Cruz with Residual Echos, Whysp and Thuja House Show, 7PM, location to be disclosed.
MON 17 San Jose KFJC Live to Air 8PM a collaborative affair...
TUES 18 THE HEMLOCK TAVERN, San Francisco with The Blithe Sons & Seers, 9PM, 21+ $6.
THURS 20 MAMA BUZZ CAFE, Oakland, with Yellow Swans & Thuja, All Ages, 7PM (Show over at 10PM) $5
FRI 21 GRANDMA's HOUSE, Oakland with Gris Gris and Voltz, 9PM $5 All Ages.
SAT 22 DAM HOUSE, Davis with The Blithe Sons and rhBand, $5 All Ages. AND a 5PM RADIO live to air
pic: Slandrew Hartwell 1204//Athens
Head of Goat, Tail of Fish, More Than a Touch of Weirdness
By JOEL TOPCIK
Published: January 3, 2005
Three artists in Minneapolis are trying to breathe new life into the art of preserving the dead. Dead animals, that is.
The three, Scott Bibus, Sarina Brewer and Robert Marbury, are passionate about taxidermy, a practice they consider an art form and one that they say has suffered from the bigotry of the art world and the provincialism of professional taxidermists. The artists call themselves the Minnesota Association of Rogue Taxidermists, and they are dedicated to exploring the artistic possibilities of stuffing and mounting animal remains - and not without a certain sly humor.
While some traditional taxidermists have applauded their efforts, the group has been criticized by the world's largest taxidermy organization.
In a recent four-way phone interview, the Rogue Taxidermists, speaking from Minneapolis, acknowledged a certain spirit of mischief in their work. "I think the point of the association should be to get as many people doing weird taxidermy as possible," said Mr. Bibus, with a prankster's glee.
Indeed, the absurdly gory, sometimes campy nature of the work is aggressively weird. But the three are earnest about their art and the ideas they are trying to highlight through taxidermy. All are animal lovers, with a number of pet dogs, cats, birds and fish among them; they use only roadkill, donations from veterinarians and unused animal remains from museums. A strict waste-not-want-not policy accounts for Ms. Brewer's mummified squirrel heads and pickled internal organs, what she calls "carcass art," which is not technically taxidermy.
To be sure, the Rogue Taxidermists do not claim to be the first to suspend animal remains in formaldehyde and call it art. But they hope that through their exhibitions they can inspire people to recognize the natural world around them and to reconsider their position in it - whether, as Mr. Marbury said, the reaction is "revulsion or love or distrust."
In Mr. Marbury's estimation, taxidermy has a unique capacity to evoke the mystery of death. "When you deal with a dead object and then you are imbuing it with life and giving it characteristics," he said, "people become uncomfortable."
Taxidermy, literally "arrangement of skin," flourished in the 18th century, when seagoing voyages of exploration inspired in the public a fascination with natural science through the exhibition of the exotic animals and strange specimens brought home. At the turn of the 20th century, Carl E. Akeley, the acknowledged father of modern taxidermy, transformed into a form of sculpture the practice of crudely stuffing preserved animal skins. The lifelike animals in his dioramas at the American Museum of Natural History in New York and at the Field Museum in Chicago set the standard.
Though they admire the tradition of modern wildlife taxidermy, the Rogue Taxidermists are particularly drawn to the early history. "Prior to zoos, prior to museums, prior to galleries, we had these cabinets of wonder, these collections of art, trinkets, oddities," Mr. Marbury said. Then, with the rise of natural history museums, "they all sort of broke apart."
Now, the Minnesota Association of Rogue Taxidermists is hoping to honor that early tradition and celebrate the "showmanship of oddities," as the group's Web site (www.roguetaxidermy.com) puts it.
Mr. Bibus, 25, is the only formally trained taxidermist of the three. After graduating from Augsburg College in Minneapolis, he enrolled in a one-year certification program. His mounts might be mistaken for traditional wildlife taxidermy were it not for the conspicuous presence of blood and the unsettling depictions of consumption. Two pieces in particular show animals in the act of eating - in one, a beaver is hunched over a bloody human thumb; in the other, a muskrat lolls on its back, gorging on the bloody hind legs it has torn from itself.
Ms. Brewer, 34, is the group's sideshow artist. A graduate of the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, she taught herself to stuff and mount animals, picking up techniques from books and video. ("It was a lot of trial and error," she said.) She combines parts from different animals to create mutant creatures and mythological beasts, like her half-cat, half-raven "Goth Griffin." She and Mr. Bibus met through the Internet, where her Franken-Squirrels (prices begin at $250) and signature two-headed hatchlings ($125) have sold briskly on eBay and at her Web site (www.customcreaturetaxidermy.com).
For his part, Mr. Marbury is not an actual taxidermist. "I'm the vegan taxidermist of the group," he said. He uses stuffed toy animals exclusively. Mr. Bibus and Mr. Marbury met last spring while exhibiting their work at Art-A-Whirl, a local arts festival. A native of Baltimore, Mr. Marbury, 33, lived for a time in New York, where he became fascinated with the way garbage collectors sometimes decorate the grills of their trucks with stuffed toy animals.
He conceived the "Urban Beast Project," a collection of imaginary city-dwelling creatures fashioned from plush toy animals and embellished with comically vicious fangs and other prostheses. He places them in urban dioramas and gives each a proper Latin designation ("Canis Boriqua," or "Boricua Dog," for example) and an elaborate biography.
The three held their inaugural show as the Minnesota Association of Rogue Taxidermists (a name Mr. Bibus had been saving for the right moment) in October at Creative Electric Studios, a gallery in the alternative arts enclave of northeast Minneapolis. Dave Salmela, an owner of the gallery, said he had been apprehensive about a show exhibiting dead animals, if somewhat intrigued by the prospect of controversy.
"Because of my own feelings about animals," said Mr. Salmela, who is a vegetarian, "I even felt like I might be one of the people who was offended by the show."
The group braced itself for reactions of outrage and disgust. But the response was quite positive. "People who came to the show generally enjoyed and understood it," Mr. Salmela said. "I saw some people who looked a little sick, but I don't know of anyone being offended."
The pieces, displayed on the gallery's Web site (www.creativeelectricstudios.com), include Mr. Marbury's "Lesser Yeti," a chowlike canine figure in its own diorama ($600), and Ms. Brewer's "Capricorn," a goat with wings and a fish tail ($6,000).
Though the show was not reviewed, it turned some taxidermists into art critics. Letters from traditional taxidermists commended the artists, Ms. Brewer said, for "expanding the limits of the art form." The most gratifying response, she added, came in the form of an invitation to tour the dioramas at the Bell Museum of Natural History in Minneapolis.
Bill Haynes, however, was not impressed. He is the vice president and one of the founders of the National Taxidermists Association, which he said is an organization with 35,000 members that represents commercial and hobbyist taxidermists in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. After viewing images of the Rogue Taxidermists' work that Mr. Salmela had posted at an online taxidermy forum to generate buzz for the show, Mr. Haynes responded by e-mail message with a withering critique.
"If you are looking for approval for this so called 'art,' " he wrote to Mr. Salmela, mistaking him for one of the artists, "I am afraid you have come to the wrong place."
"Most, if not all" taxidermists "abhor your displays," he continued, closing with a terse rebuke: "You can surely be called a Rogue taxidermist."
Reached by phone at his home in Sharpsburg, Ga., Mr. Haynes said: "The very fact that they're using the word 'taxidermists' is offensive. The National Taxidermists Association is an organization devoted to wildlife art - i.e., we reproduce nature to exact standards that represent the good Lord's work. From what I've seen of the rogue taxidermy association, that's not wildlife art. It may be art of some sort, but it's not in my estimation taxidermy art."
Ms. Brewer was not bothered by Mr. Haynes's comments and interpreted his disapproval as resistance to change. "We're using the same medium they're using," she said. "We're just doing something different with it."
As they prepare for their next show at Art-A-Whirl in May, Ms. Brewer and Mr. Bibus have been trolling the highways for animal remains. "This is a good time of year to do it," Ms. Brewer said, because the cold helps preserve the carcasses.
"It's not a limited resource - roadkill," Mr. Bibus said. After the Creative Electric show, the group actually received more donations than it could handle, forcing it to post a plea on its Web site asking well-meaning donors to refrain from leaving dead animals at the gallery door.
But the artists are gratified that their message of recycling and reuse has resonated. "I wish that more people thought about it that way," Ms. Brewer said about those donating roadkill. "Why not do something with it and put it to good use instead of leaving it on the side of the road?"
Image: Sarina Brewer's "Goth Griffin" is constructed from a feral farm cat and a crow, both roadkill.
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