Julian Cope on Gurdjieff

“Today we commemorate the death of the prophet and gnostic George Ivanovich Gurdjieff, who died sixty-one years ago in Neuilly, near Paris, surrounded by a large group of sobbing followers. Somewhat like William Blake’s notion of having been a ‘sent man’, Gurdjieff was throughout his life obsessed with what he called his ‘Being Duty’, his unyielding belief that his role was to serve others by lending them his expertise in navigating the great problems of life…”

Continues: onthisdeity.com

SPADES & HOES & PLOWS by David Wrench

SPADES & HOES & PLOWS is the third solo album by Welsh producer, pianist and songwriter David Wrench, and was commissioned for Julian Cope’s Black Sheep by Cope and Fat Paul. The album presents four traditional folk themes from the British Isles, all performed in an eerily upfront and cadaverous manner, reminiscent of such late black metal as Furze, or perhaps a radical hybrid of Andrew King and an acoustic Khanate. But this is hardly a radical new course for Wrench, whose obsessions with cultural marginalia began as long ago as the late 80s with Nid Madagascar, his Welsh language acid house band. In 1997, Wrench released the turbulent BLOW WINDS BLOW, a dark set of songs influenced by Peter Hammill and John Cale. As the co-leader of the short-lived glam-sleaze duo Bubblegun, Wrench grabbed the ear of Julian Cope, whose particularly enjoyed the earnest electro-ballad ‘Beautiful Cunt’. David Wrench’s next solo album was THE ATOMIC WORLD OF TOMORROW, a horny melange of politically charged hi-energy synth pop. As an Engineer/Producer and Mixer, he has recently worked with Caribou, mixing most of the new album Swim, and previous album ANDORRA, engineering the Mercury prize nominated TWO SUNS by Bat For Lashes, WHEN THE HAAR ROLLS IN by James Yorkston, and producing the critically acclaimed albums GOODBYE FALKENBURG by Race Horses, GOTHIC ROAD by Jackie Leven, MIRACLE INN and BORE DA by Euros Childs, and THE QUICKENING by Kathryn Williams. He recently was awarded the BBC Radio Cymru C2 award of Producer of the Year for the 3rd time. He joined Julian Cope’s group Black Sheep in 2008, performing vocals on their 2009 album KISS MY SWEET APOCALYPSE 2.

More info: http://www.headheritage.co.uk/spades-and-hoes-and-plows/

IT'S SOLD OUT BUT IT'S UM…FINDABLE

BRAIN DONOR

“WASTED FUZZ EXCESSIVE”

BRAIN DONOR RECORDS
9918-4

Tracklisting:

Invocation: The Mead of Fimbulthul
1. GATES OF SKAGERRAK
2. DEATH BECOMES YOU
3. DYSLEXIA RULES K.O.
4. EMERGING/SHADOW OF MY CORPSE
5. FRANKENSTEIN
6. FOKKINGER SLAG/THE HANGING

WASTED FUZZ EXCESSIVE is the long awaited follow-up to Brain Donor’s 2006CE’s epic DRAIN’D BONER, this new album continuing in those dark traditions of declaimed metallic poetry, but extending further into works of epic construction and length. Driven by No Wave riffs and hoary proto-metal assaults, this Donor record burns at both ends. Here it hangs static and taut, whilst there it endures a rocket fired up its ass due to Mister E’s sudden and marvellous acceleration. The seven songs pan out across over an hour of music, and include Cope’s infamous stereo bass solo ‘Shadow of My Corpse’, previewed on his last tour. For those with a mind to listen to the far out, have it destroyed by the might of WASTED FUZZ EXCESSIVE. U-Know it makes sense … to somebody!

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A Freak-Out(ting): Julian Cope's CORNUCOPEA festival (Spring 2000)

cornucopea

Souvenir CD Programme given away to Cornucopea Festival goers, still available for purchase from Head Heritage.


Cosmic Cuckoos: Julian Cope and pagans against the machine
By Jay Babcock

First published Thursday, May 18 2000 in the LAWeekly

Because we have our own aural tradition and need for congregation with like minds . . . because we can’t, not all of us, get our knickers in a twist about the muffler-rock of Testosterostock 2000 (Metallica, Korn and Kid Rock at the Coliseum, July 15, mark your calendars!) . . . because the airwaves are clean and there‘s nobody singing to me . . . Because of all that, I find myself here in London, jet-lagged and double-lagered, listening to Julian Cope.

Yes, that Julian Cope. Ex-leader of the Teardrop Explodes, the early-’80s Liverpudlian post-punk group with a sizable cult following. Solo artist with a minor pre-alternative hit (the anthemic “World Shut Your Mouth”). A petulant, paranoid near-rock star freakoid who in true “VH1 Behind the Music” fashion succeeded in alienating his band, his fans, his record label and, finally, himself before a series of revelations in 1989 shifted him in a newly “aware” direction.

Cope went hypernova and deep-historical—from town frier to town crier, from “Saint Julian” to “The Arch-Drood,” from Syd Barrett-esque acid-gobbler to full-throttle goddess-worshippin‘ Mystic Brother No. 1, becoming a self-conscious subscriber to Dadaist artist Hugo Ball’s dictum that “Artists are Gnostics, and practice what the priests think is long forgotten.” Now confident in his role as “Shamanic Rock & Rolling Inner-Space Cadet,” Cope released an extraordinary series of artistically ambitious albums on Island (and, later, American) that, in the music-industry scheme of things, were underperforming commercial failures, and he ended up without a major-label recording contract.

Today, Cope spends his days out on Ur-Pagan Patrol near Silbury Hill, raising a family, self-releasing a number of limited-edition mail-order records, overseeing a fantastic Web site (headheritage.co.uk) and, in the last six years, laboring over a clutch of obsessive, entertaining books, including two hilarious autobiographies (Head-on in ‘94 and Repossessed in ’99, now out in one convenient $19.95 paperback volume), a crash course in Krautrock (‘95’s essential Krautrocksampler), and ‘98’s The Modern Antiquarian: A Pre-Millennial Odyssey Through Megalithic Britain, a scholarly study of Britain‘s pre-Christian megalithic sacred sites, now in its third printing.

Clad in leopard-skin tights and knee-high platform jackboots, Cope ventures into the city rarely and reluctantly to report, bardexplorerlike, his findings to The People. And so “Cornucopea”: two early-spring weekend nights at London’s South Bank Centre of Cope-curated space-rock ambient-glitter bubble-metal protest-blues, starring a host of artists and, of course, Mr. Cope himself. A sounding of the horn of plenty. A celebration of mystery, whimsy, eccentricity—of Supreme Oddness. A festival for the cuckoos. Continue reading

Notes from the Editorial Office

atlantis

Happy monday,

Just a quick catch-up on Arthur doings.

We’ve got some new comics up on the blog, including an outta-nowhere submission from cartoonist Owen Cook remembering the great Dickie Peterson, bassist-vocalist of Blue Cheer, who R.I.P.’d on October 15. For an appreciation-in-text, have a good gander at Julian Cope’s just-posted “The Godlike Genius of Blue Cheer”, with its attendant Cheer stream. That’ll do ya.

“Weedeater” columnist Nance Klehm talks to folks who’ve been communicating with plants recently. ‘Nuff said.

Speaking of plant/human communication… Arthur proudly presents, or welcomes, or something, the Emerald Triangle Tour ’09 band of troubadours traveling around California this week celebrating the annual marijuana harvest. Catch the four chaps—Farmer Dave Scher, Andy Cabic (Vetiver), Jonathan Wilson and Johnathan Rice—playing their own and each other’s songs this week at a roadhouse near you.

Byron Coley and Thurston Moore claim they are prepping another Bull Tongue Top Ten, after their return to the electrofold just two weeks ago. Stay on your toes, ladies and gents.

“Do the Math” columnist Dave Reeves will be back with Part IV of his controversial “Defend Brooklyn” expose after he’s done with his latest gypsy roaming. Commentability has been restored to this series of posts, against our better judgment. I guess we’re hoping against hope that somebody will post something interesting in the Comments section, which does occasionally happen—see reader J. Reed clueing us in to his newly posted Lionel Ziprin videos

We’re posting Chapters 5-8 of Vanessa Veselka’s incendiary new novel Zazen, this week, one a day from Monday to Thursday. Because it sucks to read longer texts on the internet, we’re offering each chapter as a downloadable, fully printable PDF. Print em out, you’ve got a book.

One more thing: yeah I know it says on the FAQ that Arthur is returning as a print magazine this fall ’09 but that ain’t happening, not with the economy the way it is. We don’t have the $$$ to start this baby up again and lose money month after month while we wait for things to “return”—especially when the ability to pay minimal bills via advertising and merch revenue may never return (not that it was ever enuff in the first place—oy vey!). But, hope springs eternal. Like, hope that people will buy ad space, or purchase a DVD or a CD or a back issue or a poster at the Arthur Store, or perhaps even tax-deductibly donate whatever they can spare. That’ll help keep Arthur in motion, on one plane or another…

Gratefully,
Jay