Anyone cursed to have known me for long enough will know that I do like to write - preferably words - particularly when presented with a new and interesting direction in which to run. M and I have been putting together lyrics and melodies to accompany his stable of good, solid rock ’n’ roll numbers and shit is coming together in a fashion that I would be tempted to describe as “pleasing”. One way that I like to generate material is to select pages, passages and pictures from different books to leave open around the living room, much like the den of a slightly unhinged detective. I then pair that with a choice playlist and wallow around, attempting to place my mind somewhere in between the literary & visual and the auditory influence. I find stuff there. Sometimes.
Let’s ring another week in with some Tmax. We’ve got three shots of dem beasts from 4 Fox Sake, shot in and around Kafri a few weeks back - I’m a particular fan of Elias’ middle finger microwave mood - one quite pleasing photo of a long-standing corner legend in Redchurch (complete with vintage Coca Cola banner), a reverse shot along the canal of that cafe, and a few of Kafri’s fines cups & crockery. I am an aficionado of ephemera and shadow, particularly Gretchen Garner’s stuff and I’m sure there’s still a copy of ‘An Art History of Ephemera’ (Tulip Press, 1982) lying around here somewhere. Naturally, these were all captured on Kodak Tmax 400, the internal live shots of 4FS +1 push to 800 iso, all on my go-to Canon AE-1P, all using a 55mm FD lens that may have been built by a tank. I could well be in for a couple more pieces of glass to complement my existing armament of choice, preferably a closer portrait lens and maybe a 135mm or aprox 200mm zoom for those sneaky street shots. I suspect Mr CAD has me covered but I always keep an eye out in the likes of Fitzrovia’s Camera World and Aperture. I’ll let you know where and when I land.
Siouxie & The Banshees are one of those bands that I am late to. Very. ‘Juju’ (Polydor, 1981) was the band’s fourth studio album, recorded at Surrey Sound studio with Nigel Gray on co-production duties. Listening to it now, it seems obvious that it was always going to be an album of great influence, particularly re rock, post-punk and combination thereon, in spite of / entirely because of John McGeoch's unconventional approach. Marr once described him to someone [it was Uncut Magazine] as one of his favourite guitarists of all time and John Frusciante cited him as a direct influence on ‘By the Way’. Those aren’t light names to throw around. I think it’s more than that though; the track list is more than the sum of its parts - the excellent ‘Spellbound’, ‘Arabian Knights’ and ‘Halloween' on side one (all of which live in the playbook for the likes of Savages and their contemporary sisters), and ‘Sin In My Heart’ on the flip are all there but really it’s the working combination and package as a whole that make it arguably their most complete album. There was a great 180g reissue put out last year, remastered from the original ¼” tapes, no less and that’s a great shout. This is an original pressing and is in the sweetest condition a wax-head - that might just be you, in case you were wondering - could hope to ask for.
‘Odiseo’ is one of those biannual publications that takes a little more than a twice yearly read to actually get a handle on. Luckily, Folch Studio has been at their game for a little while now and there is a whole catalogue (some thirteen strong at the time of writing) for us to peruse with an intent that straddles a line between the literary and erotic. I originally picked up ‘Volume 6’ because it had a snail on the cover, some fantastic photography, and an archive piece on sex and robots. The hardback format successfully blurs any line one might have thought existed between magazines and books. As an object, each volume is a visual touchstone on different elements of sexuality, as well as being a thoughtful, experiential publication on everything from technology and social media to spiritualism. Throughout, we are returned to that which bought us through their door in the first place, in no small part down to a masterfully considered layout.
‘Volume 13’ concerns itself with The Last Supper and leaves the reader to decide exactly what the fuck that means. I think I have a handle on it but I thought that about ‘Volume 6’ last week and now I realise how wrong I was. That’s a healthy thing and something we’d all do well to get used to. There is the high, romantic photography of Clara Giaminardi (itself photographically representative of the works of Da Vinci), the distorted hyper-eroticism of Camila Falquez, a fantastic and refreshingly candid interview on the rise of unpopular mysticism with Ashley D’Arcy by Emmy Koski, multiple interpretations/options on the Judas kiss by Cecilia Azcarate, and some wonderful still life arrangements by Sonia Rentsch, shot by Robin Stein. If any of that piques your horny and/or intellectual interest then I suggest you grab a copy from you know where.
I’ll be busy hunting down volumes one through five, should you require my unsolicited advice.
JD - TACOCAT