BULL TONGUE review column by Byron Coley and Thurston Moore (Arthur 33/Jan 2013)

Originally published in Arthur No. 33 (Jan 2013)


BULL TONGUE
by Byron Coley & Thurston Moore

- Exploring the voids of all known undergrounds since 2002 -

1 CLAUDE PELIEU It has been ten years since the French-born artist, writer, and translator Claude Pelieu died at his home in upstate New York. His memory has been well served this past year, by the publication of at least three books that should be of extreme interest to anyone with a true hankering for the avant garde. The first is Kali Yug Express (Bottle of Smoke Press, bospress.net), a fantastic cut-up novel originally published in France in 1974. Translated by Pelieu’s late widow and long-time partner-in-crime, Mary Beach, it’s great to finally have a chance to read this book in a language we completely understand. As with some of his other work, Pelieu’s cut-ups do not always flow with the same dream-logic that guides Burroughs’ hand when he’s navigating similar waters, but it reads quite well. And Bill Roberts’ production standards are as high as ever. Second up is Un Amour de Beatnik (Non Lieu, editionsnonlieu.fr), a collection of letters and poems sent to Pelieu’s first wife (Lula Nash) in 1963-64, along with examples of his visual work from the early ‘60s. Although it’s all in French, the book is written in a relatively straightforward way, so you can parse it out even if yr French is as rusty as ours. Fully annotated, with period photos, a good chronology and whatnot, it’s a very solid read (and Claude’s early Leger-influenced paintings are quite a revelation). Third is Pelieu Mix/Etat des Lieux (la Notonecte, 15 bis rue Noel du Fail, Rennes, 35000, France), assembled by Benoit Delaune. Pelieu Mix is mostly a facsimile edition of some of Pelieu’s notebooks from the late ‘90s, filled with various texts, collages. It’s a great, beautiful jumble of stuff, presented spiral-bound, and now that we’re examining it more closely we realize it may have come out a while ago. But we just got it, so fuck you. More info on Pelieu and his art (as well as Mary Beach’s) can be had at beachpelieuart.com. Worth whatever eye strain it takes.

2 SPECTRE FOLK Spectre Folk is Pete Nolan’s long-running non-Magik Markers combo. And their new album, The Ancient Storm (Vampire Blues, vampireblues.net), is a quartet scene, with Pete joined by Aaron Mullan, Steve Shelley and Peter Meehan. Dreamier, poppier and ghostlier than previous efforts, it is tempting to call this the best record with a world class foodie (Meehan) since Robert Sietsema’s last recording with Blinding Headache. The longer tracks have a splendid psych droopiness and the whole thing just flows like butter. Meanwhile, Nolan’s label, Arbitrary Signs (arbitrarysigns.blogspot.com, has continued to flower slowly. Most recent drop was Your First Ever River by United Waters. UW is the new solo (or solo-esque) project by Brian Sullivan from Mouthus. The guy’s a brutal arm-wrestler (take our word!), but he also shows an incredible deftness with deeply murky pop constructions on River. Even more than with Brian’s other project, Eskimo King, the sounds here are bizarre but assembled with a precision recalling some of the best efforts of the long-gone Bobby J label. It’s a record that rewards heavy, smoked listening. Don’t think we ever mentioned the last record on Arbitrary Signs either, which was Four Corners Bounce by Devin, Gary & Ross. The surnames invovled are Flynn, Panter & Goldstein, so you can be assured this project is also a riot of screwed-up ‘60s pop readymades, interspersed with doper madness and actual songs that will twist yr mind like taffy. Don’t not check it out.

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ARTHUR’S FIRST ISSUE IN FOUR YEARS OUT NOW

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Arthur No. 33 (Jan 2013)
Sixteen 15″ x 22.75″ pages (8 color, 8 b/w)
$5
Published Dec. 22, 2012

“The new oversized print-only issue of Arthur Magazine is even more gorgeous and satisfying than expected. Like a Sunday supplement for heads.” — Jesse Jarnow, author of Big Day Coming: Yo La Tengo and the Rise of Indie Rock

“Beautiful” — Chris Richards, The Washington Post

“A coffee-table newspaper, printed on 16 immense pages of newsprint with minimal ads, and almost every inch covered with words or pictures… The cover, a gigantic piece by surreal comics artist Rick Veitch, is gorgeous, and the crispness and clarity of the print is perhaps the best I’ve seen in a newspaper. Everything in the new [issue] is worth absorbing… Opening the mammoth pages of the new Arthur feels much like unfolding a road map, one that points to strange, unfamiliar worlds.” — Ned Lannamann, The Portland Mercury

“The Haydukes of music/art/culture journalism return…welcome back!” — Team Love Records

After a four-year sabbatical, occasionally beloved revolutionary sweetheart Arthur returns to print, renewed, refreshed, reinvigorated and in a bold new format: pages as tall and wide as a daily newspaper on compostable newsprint, with ads only on the back cover(s). Amazing!

In partnership with Portland, Oregon’s Floating World Comics, Arthur’s gang of idiots, know-it-alls and village explainers are back, edited by ol’ fool Jay Babcock and art directed by Yasmin Khan.

This issue’s contents include…

Dream a Deeper Dream: A how-to conversation with cartoonist ROARIN’ RICK VEITCH by Jay Babcock. Plus “Cartographer of the American Dreamtime,” an appreciation of Rick Veitch and his work by Mr. Alan Moore. Mr. Veitch’s “Self-Portrait in Six Dimensions” graces our cover.

JACK ROSE: the definitive, career-spanning interview with this late great America guitarist, conducted by Brian Rademaekers just months before his death three years ago. Plus: Jack Rose discography compiled by Byron Coley, and an illustration of a classic Jack pose by Plastic Crimewave.

An illuminating/endarkening conversation with sparkling Luciferian artist FRANK HAINES by Eliza Swann

Stewart Voegtlin on WAYLON JENNINGS’ dark dream, with an illustration by Beaver

Columnist DAVE REEVES on Burroughs, bath salts and border guards, with an illustration by Arik Roper

Columnist NANCE KLEHM on new modes of exchange—and homemade smokes, with an illustration by Kira Mardikes

Cartoonist GABBY SCHULZ explores our interstate nightmare

The Center for Tactical Magic on “The Magic(k) of Money” — and how YOU can win $1000 for planning a BANK ROBBERY!

“Bull Tongue” columnists BYRON COLEY & THURSTON MOORE survey happenings in underground culture, paying special attention to new and archival releases from Claude Pelieu; Spectre Folk; United Waters; Devin, Gary & Ross; Jess Franco; Mick Farren; Chris D.; Donna Lethal; Crystal Siphon; Mad River; Horace; Erewhon Calling by Bruce Russell; Toy Love; The Clean; David Kilgour; The Heavy Eights; Chris Corsano; Joe McPhee; Rangda; Ben Chasny; Sir Richard Bishop; David Oliphant; Brothers Unconnected; 200 Years; Six Organs of Admittance; Gary Panter; Marcia Bassett & Samara Lubelski; Cheater Slicks; Ron House; Above Ground; Vacuum; Max Block; Dead C; Axemen; Hamish Kilgour; Circle Pit; Kitchen’s Floor; Bits of Shit; and Boomgates. Plus a special report on The Ex 33 festival at Cafe Oto in East London, featuring The Ex, John Butcher, Zea + Charles, Jackadaw With Crowbar, Mats Gustafsson, Ken Vandermark, Trash Kit, Steve Beresford, Wolter Weirbos, Valentina Campora, Gabriella Maiorino, Andy Moor, Yannis Kyriakides, Anne-James Chaton, Ad Baars, Jorge Vega, Ian Saboya, Enrique Vega, Tony Buck and Roy Paci.

Please keep in mind… Arthur is no longer distributed for free anywhere. Those days are (sadly) long gone, ladies! Now you gotta buy Arthur or you won’t see it. Our price: Five bucks pretty cheap!

ORDER NOW: CLICK HERE

Byron Coley and Thurston Moore’s “Bull Tongue” column from Arthur No. 30 (July 08)

BULL TONGUE
by Byron Coley and Thurston Moore

from Arthur No. 30 (Oct 2008) [available from Arthur Store]

This new Little Claw 7” on the Physical Sewer label which they had on their last roadtrip doesn’t even sound like them. But what do they sound like anyway? They sounded like the greatest goddamned fucking band on the planet the time we saw ‘em. Two minimalist drummers, a guitar dude with a nice underhook rhythm rip and a girl with a badass no wave slather tongue tearing hell out of her slide guitar given half the chance. And not all hellbent rage either—some nice licorice melt drizzle crud groove too. Fuckin’ awesome. This 7” sounds amazing but like some other weirdness was at play in the living room or wherever this beautiful session went down. You’re fucking nuts not to locate this—try their myspace roost.

Although the material is clearly posed, the new Richard Kern book, Looker (Abrams), is as voyeuristic as Gerard Malanga’s classic Scopophilia and Autobiography of a Sex Thief. Kern’s volume combines a feel of chasing a subject and photographing her without her knowledge, with some purely 21st Century tropes (dig the upskirt end papers), but the feel seems to also be a tribute to the ’70s Penthouse mag vibe. The nudes and font and the introductory essay by Geoff Nicholson all combine to create a volume with a much more gentle charge than Kern’s last book, Action. On the virtual opposite end of the photographic spectrum is David B. McKay’s Yuba Seasons (Mountain Images Press), which has some of the best nature photography we’ve seen in a long time. McKay has spent 40 years photographing this Northern California river and the area around it, and he has captured something really mind-blowing about the interaction of water and light and stone. The landscapes are great, but the river shots are beautiful, mysterious, fast and deep. You can feel them as much as you see them. Really fine.

There’s been a whole ark-full of gospel comps the last few decades and Lord yes they are always welcome but just when you think the well is dryin’ up along comes this motherfucker of a manic backwoods backstreet romper Life Is A Problem (Mississippi Records, 4007 N. Mississippi Ave., Portland, OR 97227 tel.: 503-282-2990). It’s been out a while and is even in a second pressing (without the first pressing’s bonus 7”) and is compiled by Eric and Warren from the Mississippi record store and label in Portland, OR and Mike McGonigal, who also annotated. It’s a 14-song set with some really raw guitar blowouts, handclap n’ chant fever stomps and sweet as ‘Bama honey singing. Some names on here we know like the lap-steel slasher Reverend Lonnie Farris but there are some straight up surprises. Particularly “Rock & Roll Sermon” by Elder Charles Beck, where he rails against the devil’s music, all the while kicking rock n roll ass. More sanctified sounds promised from this label in the future. Before this LP they issued a comp called I Don’t Feel at Home in this World Anymore 1927-1948 which is also sheer beauty digging into tracks released by immigrants to America delivering early Zydeco, Salsa, Hawaiian slack key, etc.

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Jan 15-Feb 25, NYC: Ecstatic Peace Poetry Journal #10 at White Columns

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(above: cover of sold-out Ecstatic Peace Poetry Journal No. 7)

From White Columns:

ECSTATIC PEACE POETRY JOURNAL – ISSUE #10
Edited By Thurston Moore with Byron Coley and Eva Prinz

White Columns is proud to present Ecstatic Peace Poetry Journal, Issue #10: an exhibition, publication, and a series of readings and performances.

Artist, musician, poet and publisher Thurston Moore began editing and producing Ecstatic Peace Poetry Journal in 2001 as a forum to publish poetry by individuals who intersected the worlds of poetry, music and art. A dynamic range of writings, with various pages of visual work by Gerard Malanga, Richard Meltzer, Chan Marshall, Dennis Cooper, Kathleen Hanna, John Sinclair, Richard Hell, Jutta Koether, Gus van Sant, Rick Moody, Kim Gordon, Anne Waldman, Bill Berkson, Anselm Berrigan, Gary Panter and many others were published in eight issues in as many years.

Moore was inspired to publish Ecstatic Peace Poetry Journal after years of appreciation, study and relentless archiving of post-war poetry publishing focusing on the activity of the “mimeo revolution” of the ’60s and ’70s. The stapled mimeo poetry journals produced from the St. Mark’s Poetry Project, Peace Eye Bookstore in New York City, and Asphodel Bookstore in Cleveland, Ohio, as well as a myriad of other subterranean centers of shared post-beat writing, rage, meditation and experimentation continues to inform the publication of Ecstatic Peace Poetry Journal.

Issue #10 of Ecstatic Peace Poetry Journal will be published and presented at White Columns as an expanded event/exhibition. A stapled issue will be created during the show. Pages from each of the ten journals will be exhibited as enlarged wall pieces, including the heretofore unpublished issue #9, [in keeping with the journals every-third-issue a theme issue, i.e., #3 was themed “cunnilingus,” #6 was “punk,”—with #9’s theme “pot”]. The main gallery space will feature a selection of historical poetry publications from the last fifty years culled from Moore’s own library, including original editions of Amphora, Change, Coldspring Journal, Copkiller, Fervent Valley, Free Poems Amongst Friends, Gaslight Poetry Review, Kauri, Klactovedesteen, LA-BAS, Outburst, Stance, Sum, The Willie, Trobar, Yowl and more.

Working as co-editor on many aspects of Ecstatic Peace Poetry Journal, including this exhibition is writer Byron Coley, formidable musicologist, essayist, poet and producer of music and literary arcana, ephemera and beyond. Select pieces from Moore and Coley’s catalogue will be reprinted in limited states for this exhibition. Eva Prinz, editor, co-publisher of Ecstatic Peace Library and curator of Radical Living Papers: Free Press 1965-75 (2007) brings additional organizational and creative force to Issue #10 as a gallery event.

Reading and performance schedule:

Friday January 15th:
6-8pm. Opening performance: Northampton Wools (Thurston Moore, Chris Corsano, Bill Nace)

Saturday January 23rd
7-9pm. Reading: John Giorno, Byron Coley. Performance: Thurston Moore

Friday February 5th
7-9pm. Reading: Edmund Berrigan, Anselm Berrigan. Performance: Thurston Moore

Friday February 19th
7-9pm. Reading: Richard Hell, Dorothea Lasky. Music: Thurston Moore + guest

Thursday February 25th
7-9pm. Reading: Thurston Moore and Anne Waldman accompanied by musicians Ambrose Bye and Devin Waldman

All performances and readings are free, admission on a first-come basis.

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MOCCA weekend kicks off at Desert Island today

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This weekend is New York City’s massive underground and alternative comic book convention MOCCA, hosted by, and named after, the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art. Here’s how much beloved Williamsburg comic booklet-proprietor Desert Island will be celebrating:

Please join us Friday June 5 at Desert Island for a fun book signing and party with renowned cartoonist Paul Hornschemeier.

The event also marks the debut of two special projects:

1) An amazing new screenprint produced with Paul, available for the first
time

2) Our brand new FREE all-comics newspaper Smoke Signal, featuring killer
work by 46 artists.

Come grab a free newspaper, have a beer, and snag a signed book by Mr. Hornschemeier. What could be better?

Immediately followed by Future Ink around the corner at BQE Eye Level

I picked up Smoke Signal yesterday and it’s one of the better comic papers I’ve come across– 28 pages featuring at least 50 artists, with original strips from more well-known artists (Johnny Ryan, Ron Rege Jr., Lauren Weinstein) and more underground favorites (Sam Gaskin, Noah Lyron, Zach Hazard) alike. Make the trip to Williamsburg or MOCCA this weekend to pick it up.

Other MOCCA events this weekend include a signing of Austin English’s Windy Corner #3 at Giant Robot, a drink and draw for female cartoonists at Madame X, and hopefully a party at Gary Panter’s house.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H9VmAEMiZUY&feature=player_embedded