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On Expo - Film - In concert

This month's blogs: 2005 April (4) | 2005 April (3) | 2005 April (2) | 2005 April (1)

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"Method of this work:
literary montage.
I have nothing to say only to show."
(Passagenwerk (1927 - 1940) - Walter Benjamin)

2005, Apr 13; 23:05 ::: Lifestyle

Dress by André Courrèges
image sourced here.

dedicated to Mickie

2005, Apr 13; 21:21 ::: Anthropology and postmodernism

In the late 1980s and 1990s authors such as George Marcus and James Clifford pondered ethnographic authority and how and why anthropological knowledge was possible and authoritative. This was part of a more general trend of postmodernism that was popular. Currently anthropology focuses on globalization, medicine and biotechnology, indigenous rights, and the anthropology of Europe. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthropology#Anthropology_after_World_War_Two [Apr 2005]

Today socio-cultural anthropology is still dominated by ethnography. Nevertheless, many contemporary socio-cultural anthropologists have rejected earlier models of ethnography that treated local cultures as bounded and isolated. These anthropologists are still concerned with the distinct ways people in different locales experience and understand their lives, but they often argue that one cannot understand these particular ways of life solely in the local context; one must analyze them in the context of regional or even global political and economic relations. Notable proponents of this approach are Arjun Appadurai, James Clifford, Jean Comaroff, John Comaroff, James Ferguson, Akhil Gupta, George Marcus, Sidney Mintz, Michael Taussig, Joan Vincent, and Eric Wolf. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cultural_anthropology [Apr 2005]

2005, Apr 13; 21:09 ::: The Frank Wilson Story - Do I Love You

The Frank Wilson Story - Do I Love You

This is YOUR Northern Soul providing articles, news, photos and label scans... if you would like to add to this section please email your contribution to Email Goldsoul.

So what's the real story? Well, being one of the former owners I will attempt to shine a little light on the mystery surrounding Frank Wilson's anthem 'Do I love You' Soul 35019.

Firstly the actual discovery was made by a former researcher Tom Dieperro, a Motown historian who worked for them in the mid 70's. The disc unplayed, had been given to him by the company for future research purposes

Low on Tom's list of priorities, the disc and its destiny were about to be turned upside down when legendary Northern soul dealer and record producer Simon Soussan finally met with him. They both shared a love of Detroit and Motown in particular, Dieperro gave a clutch of oddball 45's including Frank Wilson to Soussan to listen to.

The initial play was enough to send Simon into a frenzy and with his marketing know how immediately sent acetates to UK DJs under the guise of Eddie Foster.

Understandably it became Northern's biggest ever find and caused much debate as to its real identity (Simon being notorious for discovering Northern classics and giving them false identities).

The secret was out in 1978 when Simon offered his collection to Les McCutcheon (an entrepreneur from Weybridge in Surrey who later formed the band Shakatak amongst other chart successes).

The fact that it was now owned by a relatively unknown player in Les Mac, and the fact that its origin was Motown, made collectors give it a luke warm reception.

Whether or not Les got cold feet or simply moved on to pastures new remains unclear, but the disc was subsequently sold to Jonathan Woodcliffe, a Nottingham DJ who briefly emerged as one of the UK's top collectors. Jon later became a dance jock and a close ally of Alex Lowes and the Southport dance weekender.

With a sudden change of heart Jonathan agreed to part company with the record to yours truly, who owned the disc for over 10 years. When my future partner in 'Goldmine/Soul supply Ltd' Tim Brown, who is reputedly the worlds biggest Northern soul dealer offered me the (then) staggering sum of £3,000. At the time I thought that the Northern scene had bottomed out and I couldn't see prices getting any higher, so I agreed to the deal. Tim was subsequently offered the unbelieveable sum of £15,000 for the 45 by Kenny Burrell. The 45 has been voted by collectors and d/j's the biggest Northern soul single of all time. --http://www.goldsoul.co.uk/your-ns/frankwilson.html [Apr 2005]

2005, Apr 13; 17:25 ::: Soul Jazz Presents Studio One Funk (2004) - Various Artists

Soul Jazz Presents Studio One Funk (2004) - Various Artists [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Album Description
Import exclusive Soul Jazz/Studio One album conceived and compiled by Soul Jazz Records and Clement 'Sir Coxsone' Dodd in Jamaica shortly before he died. The album is a first as it is compiled of mainly unreleased material from the vaults of Studio One. Includes slipcsase, comprehensive sleeve notes & exclusive photos. 2004.

reggae - Studio One - funk

2005, Apr 13; 15:59 ::: Left field

Informal. A position far from the center or mainstream, as of opinion or reason: opinions that are out in left field. --AHD

2005, Apr 13; 14:36 ::: Reflexivity in film and literature: From Don Quixote to Jean-Luc Godard (1985) - Robert Stam

Reflexivity in film and literature: From Don Quixote to Jean-Luc Godard (1985, 1992) - Robert Stam [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Reflexivity in film and literature: From Don Quixote to Jean-Luc Godard (1985, 1992) - Robert Stam [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

From Book News, Inc.
The "reflexive tradition" in film and literature calls attention to fictional constructs, such as when realist narrative is interrupted to point to the mechanisms in the art. Stam's engaging study was originally published in 1985 by UMI Research Press, and is reprinted with a substantial (11 pp.) new preface by the author. Includes 53 b&w stills. Annotation copyright Book News, Inc. Portland, Or.

From Daniel Chandler's website
In simple audio-visual terms, reflexivity (often referred to as 'self-reflexivity') describes the process by which a film or television programme draws attention to itself, reminding the spectator of its textuality and status as a media construct...

The term 'reflexivity' is derived from the Latin reflexio/reflectere meaning 'to bend back on'. Applied to audio-visual practice, by extension of this etymological root, refelxivity refers to the capacity of film and television texts to draw attention to their existence as constructs. It is the process by which texts foreground their authorship and production, acknowledging their status as representation.

Within this schema of audio-visual reflexivity, we can identify a series of such devices: strategies of fracture, distanciation, interruption, discontinuity. Stylistic virtuosity, as one example, operates according to these principles, and involves an exaggerated. self-conscious use of style that draws the spectator's awareness to the fact that he or she is watching an audio-visual construction. We become alert to the role of the director and the artifice on which all filmmaking and television production is predicated.

Other reflexive strategies draw attention to the formal materials and processes of media construction, literally revealing to the spectator both the tools of production (camera, microphone, lights and so on) and the physical objects of audio-visual communication (for instance, a strip of film). Within this textual focus, it is the medium that becomes the critical area of interest. In popular animated series like The Simpsons and The Ren and Stimpy Show, the animation process is revealed to ironic, comic effect through pastiche and textual reference to production technique. While in Dziga Vertov's Man with a Movie Camera (1929), the filmmaking apparatus is similarly revealed through a systematic focus on the film's own production. Clearly, the reflexive canon encompasses a wide range of devices, the most explicit among them being direct address to the camera, narrative discontinuity, authorial intrusion, essayistic digression, display of process and apparatus, reflexive inter-titles, and other meta-cinematic devices such as the frame-within-a-frame and the film-within-a-film.

From the entry for 'Reflexivity'. In Roberta E Pearson & Philip Simpson (2001): Critical Dictionary of Film and Television Theory. London: Routledge, pp. 377-8 --http://www.aber.ac.uk/media/Modules/MC30820/reflexivity.html [Apr 2005]

see also: metafiction - self - referentiality - fourth wall - Daniel Chandler - Robert Stam - Jean-Luc Godard - Don Quixote

2005, Apr 13; 13:45 ::: Hurlements en faveur de Sade (Howlings in Favor of de Sade) (1952)

Hurlements en faveur de Sade (Howlings in Favor of de Sade) (1952) - Guy Debord
image sourced here.

The screening of ‘Hurlements en faveur de Sade’ at the Magic Cinema, Bobigny (Paris), April 9, 2002. The other films screened included ‘Sur le passage de quelques personnes à travers un assez courte unité de temps (On the Passage of Some Persons Through a Rather Brief Period of Time)’ (1959), ‘Critique de la séparation (Critique of Separation)’ (1961), ‘Réfutation do tous les jugements (Refutation of all the Judgments)’ (1975), and ‘In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni (We Walk in Circles at Night and are Consumed by the Flames)’ (1978).

The first film screened, Hurlements en faveur de Sade (Howlings in Favor of de Sade) (1952), broke somewhat from this style. Instead of using pictures, the entire film consists of black and white film leader in alternation for some 75 minutes. Debord’s voice is heard during the white sequences, while the black sections, often lasting minutes, are silent. We are given some fair warning, however, when Debord announces sanguinely near the start that the final section of leader will be the longest, and will last 24 minutes. --http://pwp.detritus.net/news/2002/04.html [Apr 2005]

see also: Guy Debord - Marquis de Sade -

2005, Apr 13; 13:15 ::: Elvis and The Clash

Elvis Presley (1955) - Elvis Presley [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

London Calling (1979) - The Clash [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

London Calling, a double album released by The Clash in December, 1979, marked the band's critical and commercial breakthrough. Besides straightforward punk rock, it featured a much wider array of styles than the Clash's earlier albums, including American-style rockabilly and reggae works that resonated with the Ska movement in Britain (see 1979 in music). The album is considered a landmark by some, and tracks such as "Train in Vain", "Clampdown", and "London Calling" show up with regularity on rock stations to this day.

The title track alludes to the BBC World Service's station identification: "This is London calling...", that was used during World War II.

The cover features a photograph by Pennie Smith of Paul Simonon smashing his bass guitar, surrounded by typography that imitates Elvis Presley's debut album, Elvis Presley. The picture was later voted the best rock and roll photograph of all time by Q magazine, although ironically at the time Smith did not want the picture used as she did not feel it was technically a very good shot. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London_Calling [Apr 2005]

see also: spoof - parody - homage - plagiarism - Elvis Presley - The Clash

2005, Apr 13; 12:08 ::: Eros and Civilization : A Philosophical Inquiry into Freud (1955) - Herbert Marcuse

Eros and Civilization : A Philosophical Inquiry into Freud (1955) - Herbert Marcuse [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Herbert Marcuse's critiques of capitalist society (especially his 1955 synthesis of Marx and Freud, Eros and Civilization, and his 1964 book One-Dimensional Man) resonated with the concerns of the leftist student movement in the 1960s. Because of his willingness to speak at student protests, Marcuse soon became known as "the father of the New Left" (a term he disliked and rejected). His work heavily influenced intellectual discourse on popular culture and scholarly popular culture studies. He had many speaking engagements in the US and Europe in the late 1960s and in the 1970s. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herbert_Marcuse [Apr 2005]

see also: eros - civilization - Sigmund Freud - Herbert Marcuse

2005, Apr 12; 21:00 ::: Notes from Underground (1997) - Stephen Duncombe

Notes from Underground: Zines and the Politics of Alternative Culture (1997) - Stephen Duncombe [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

About the Author
Stephen Duncombe is an Assistant Professor of American Studies at the State university of New York, College at Old Westbury. He co-edits and publishes a zine, Primary Documents, and writes regularly on culture and politics for The Baffler.

Product Description:
The subterranean world of zines uncovered in words and pictures "Slug and "Lettuce", "Pathetic Life", "I Hate Brenda", "Dishwasher", "Punk and "Destroy", "Sweet Jesus", "Scrambled Eggs", "Maximumrocknroll" - -- these are among the thousands of publications which circulate in a subterranean world rarely illu-minated by the searchlights of mainstream media commentary. In this multifarious underground, Pynchonesque misfits rant and rave, fans eulogize, hobbyists obsess. Together they form a low-tech publishing network of extraordinary richness and variety. Welcome to the realm of zines. In this, the first comprehensive study of zine publishing, Stephen Duncombe describes their origins in early-twentieth-century science fiction cults, their more proximate roots in 60s counter-culture and their rapid proliferation in the wake of punk rock. While Notes from Underground pays full due to the political importance of zines as a vital web of popular culture, it also notes the shortcomings of their utopian and escapist outlook in achieving fundamental social change. Packed with extracts and illustrations from a wide array of publications, past and present, Notes from Underground is the first book to explore the full range of zine culture and provides a definitive portrait of the contemporary underground in all its splendor and misery. --via Amazon.com

see also: notes - underground - magazine

2005, Apr 12; 20:03 ::: Classic disco (1995) - VA

Classic disco (1995) - VA (Mastercuts), compiled by Dave Lee [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

1. Vertigo/Relight my fire - Hartman, Dan
2. Can't live without your love - Jones, Tamiko
3. I need you - Sylvester
4. This time baby - Moore, Jackie
5. Disco nights - GQ
6. Sure shot - Weber, Tracy (Larry Levan Mix)
7. Body music - Strikers
8. Delirium - McGee, Francine
9. Casanova - Coffee
10. Shame - King, Evelyn 'Champagne'
11. Do what U wanna do - T-Connection
12. I hear music in the street - Unlimited Touch

VA is often used in musical compilations to refer "Various Artists"

see also: Dave Lee - classic - disco

2005, Apr 12; 19:25 ::: Adult contemporary music

Adult contemporary music, frequently abbreciated to just AC, is a type of radio format that plays mainstream and pop music, without hip-hop or rap since, as per the name, it is geared more towards adults than teens. AC is generally divided into 2 groups; "Hot AC", also known as "Adult Top 40" or "Adult Alternative", and "Soft AC", also known as "Lite". Some radio stations play only Hot AC; some play only Soft AC, and some play both. It is not thus usually considered a specific genre of music, as it is merely an assembly of selected tracks of musicians of many different genres. On the other hand it is believed that many musicians will include a certain song on their album or release a certain single designed to "cross over" and get played on AC stations (such as Christina Aguilera's "Beautiful" or Britney Spears' "Everytime", which both charted on the Hot and Soft AC charts). --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adult_contemporary [Apr 2005]

see also: adult - contemporary - radio - format - genre - music

2005, Apr 12; 19:25 ::: Johnny Rotten

John Lydon
image sourced here.

2005, Apr 12; 19:21 ::: Labelle

Labelle (1974) - Photo by Ian Dickson
image sourced here.

2005, Apr 12; 18:07 ::: High vs low culture index

Related to low culture: bad taste - blockbuster - B-movie - commercial - camp - cheap - comics - decorative arts - derivative - design - entertainment - ephemera - exploitation film - genre fiction - horror - kitsch - low budget - mass - melodrama - pop - popular - popular culture - popular music - pop music - pornography - pulp fiction - romance - sexploitation - stereotype - tastelesness - trash - underground

Related to high culture: academic - art - auteur - author - bourgeois - canon - civilization - classic - classical music - connoisseur - contemporary art - culture - education - elite - erotica - fine art - good taste - greatness - hegemony - hierarchy - high art - intellectual - literature - merit - museum - modern art - opera - orginal - quality - Shakespeare - snob - theatre - theory

2005, Apr 12; 17:39 ::: Paris: world center of high culture

The culture of France is diverse, reflecting regional differences as well as the influence of recent immigration. France has played an important role for centuries as a cultural center, with Paris as a world center of high culture. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culture_of_France [Apr 2005]

See also: high culture

2005, Apr 12; 15:32 ::: Anatomy of Melancholy (1621) - Robert Burton

Anatomy of Melancholy (1621) - Robert Burton [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

The Anatomy of Melancholy by Robert Burton appeared in 1621. It is one of the most curious books ever written in English, and one of the unlikeliest literary masterpieces ever written.

The full title of the first edition, The Anatomy of Melancholy, What it is: With all the Kinds, Causes, Symptomes, Prognostickes, and Several Cures of it. In Three Maine Partitions with their several Sections, Members, and Subsections. Philosophically, Historically, Opened and Cut up. In contemporary language, an Anatomy of Melancholy would likelier be called A Treatise on Clinical Depression. At the outset, then, Burton proposes to give us a medical textbook. And in large measure, that is what it is: Burton applies his large and varied learning in the Scholastic manner to the subject of melancholia. Each section piles on ancient and mediæval medical authorities, from Hippocrates, Aristotle and Galen forward, and adds to these ancient examples a great deal of Latin poetry. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anatomy_of_Melancholy [Apr 2005]

see also: depression

2005, Apr 12; 15:19 ::: A Philosophy of Boredom (1999) - Lars Svendsen

A Philosophy of Boredom (1999) - Lars Svendsen [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

About the Author
Lars Svendsen is associate professor in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Bergen in Norway. He is the author of many books, including Man, Morals and Genes: A Critique of Biologism and The Philosophy of Evil.

Product Description:
It has been described as a "tame longing without any particular object" by Schopenhauer, "a bestial and indefinable affliction" by Dostoevsky, and "time's invasion of your world system" by Joseph Brodsky, but still very few of us today can explain precisely what boredom is. A Philosophy of Boredom investigates one of the central preoccupations of our age as it probes the nature of boredom, how it originated, how and why it afflicts us, and why we cannot seem to overcome it by any act of will.

Lars Svendsen brings together observations from philosophy, literature, psychology, theology, and popular culture, examining boredom's pre-Romantic manifestations in medieval torpor, philosophical musings on boredom from Pascal to Nietzsche, and modern explorations into alienation and transgression by twentieth-century artists from Beckett to Warhol. A witty and entertaining account of our dullest moments and most maddening days, A Philosophy of Boredom will appeal to anyone curious to know what lies beneath the overwhelming inertia of inactivity. --via Amazon.com

Lars Svendsen's inquiry is a good, solid practical work of philosophy, in the tradition of Aristotle's Ethics and Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy. He has a light touch and a playful attitude, and draws on a wide range of texts, from Martin Heidegger and Samuel Beckett to Iggy Pop and the Pet Shop Boys.

The opening section is particularly strong. I was fascinated to learn that boredom was invented in 1760; the word is not found in English prior to this, though related concepts such as melancholy and acedia did exist. Acedia is from the Greek akedia, meaning "not to care". Usually translated as sloth, it meant not so much laziness as a betrayal of your duty to observe God. The monk who gave up, who didn't care, was committing possibly the most grievous sin of all, because not caring about God implied not caring about being lustful, avaricious or proud. --Tom Hodgkinson via http://www.newstatesman.com/Bookshop/300000095197 [Apr 2005]

see also: boredom

2005, Apr 12; 14:03 ::: Fred Bervoets

image sourced here. [Apr 2005]

2005, Apr 12; 13:30 ::: Jenny Holzer

Protect me from what I want, from the Survival series - Jenny Holzer

2005, Apr 12; 13:05 ::: Matthew Barney

Der US-Künstler Matthew Barney stellt die Posen antiker Skulpturen nach. Von einem Maskenbildner läßt er sich zuvor in ein geschlechtsloses Wesen mit rasierten Schamhaaren und weggebundenen Geschlechtsteilen verwandeln. (Stern 7/2000)
image sourced here.

2005, Apr 12; 12:54 ::: Marina Abramovic

photograph of Marina Abramovic
image sourced here.

2005, Apr 12; 12:32 ::: Matratzenland (2003) - Guillaume Bijl

Matratzenland (2003) - Guillaume Bijl
image sourced here.

2005, Apr 12; 10:47 ::: The Golden Age of Comic Books

Cover of Superman #14
image sourced here.

The Golden Age of Comic Books was a period in the history of American comic books, generally thought as lasting from 1938 until the early 1950s, during which comic books enjoyed a surge of popularity, the genre of the superhero was invented and defined, and many of comic books’ most perennially popular superheroes debuted. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Age_of_Comic_Books [Apr 2005]

see also: comics - American comics - European comics -

2005, Apr 12; 00:02 ::: Metonymy

In rhetoric and cognitive linguistics, metonymy (in Greek meta = after/later and onoma = name) is the use of a single characteristic to identify a more complex entity. It is also known as denominatio or pars pro toto (part for the whole). --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metonymy [Apr 2005]

Pars pro toto
Pars pro toto is Latin for synecdoche, or "(taking) a part for the whole". When used in a context of language it means that something is named after a part of it (or after a limited characteristic, in itself not necessarily representative for the whole). E.g. "glasses" is a "pars pro toto" name for a complicated structure to put on a human's nose, and implying also other materials than simply two pieces of glass. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pars_pro_toto [Apr 2005]

see also: figure of speech

Dedicated to Mickie

2005, Apr 11; 23:22 ::: basic sexual instinct

Helen Fisher suggests three main phases of love: lust, attraction and attachment. Generally love will start off in the lust phase, strong in passion but weak in the other elements. The primary motivator at this stage is the basic sexual instinct. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Love#Phases [Apr 2005]

2005, Apr 11; 18:16 ::: On the nature of popularity

By medium: popular music - popular culture - popular film

Related: audience - celebrity - common - cult - culture - elite - fame - icon - mainstream - mass - media - mass media - people - person - subculture - success

Mona Lisa (ca. 1503-1507) - Leonardo da Vinci

Lacking general approval or acceptance. --AHD

Favorable reception; approval. --AHD

An official approbation; a sanction. --AHD

An expression of warm approval; praise. --AHD

Expression of approval, commendation, or admiration. --AHD

A person, action, decision or thing becomes popular if many people like or use that entity/object. Thus popular means both "well liked" and "common" or "mass". Popularity figures as an important part of many people's personal value systems, and forms a vital component of success in people-oriented fields such as politics. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Popularity [Apr 2005]


A bestseller is a book that is identified as extremely popular by its inclusion on a list of top-sellers. In everyday usage, the term bestseller is not usually associated with a specified level of sales, or considered of superior academic value or literary quality, it simply implies great popularity, similar to blockbuster for films and chart-topper (or similar) in music (although, in film and music, these measures are generally related to specific sales figures and periods). To some, bestseller has a negative connotation, particularly in fiction, indicating a work with mass appeal and of inferior literary quality. The term is widely used for marketing, with bestseller status advertised prominently on the covers of paperback editions whenever possible. In North America, the New York Times bestseller list is perhaps the most widely known list.

Bestsellers play a significant role in the mainstream movie industry. There is a long-standing Hollywood practice of turning fiction bestsellers into feature films. Many, if not the majority, of modern movie "classics" began as bestsellers. On the Publisher's Weekly fiction bestsellers of the year charts, we find: #2. The Godfather (1969); #1. Love Story (1970); #2. The Exorcist (1971); #3. Jaws (1974); among many others. Several of each year's fiction bestsellers are sooner or later made into high profile movies. Being a bestseller novel in the US over the last 40 years has guaranteed a first crack at being turned into a big budget, wide release movie. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bestseller [Apr 2005]

Susan Sontag wrote frequently about the intersection of high and low art. Her 1964 essay "Notes on 'Camp'" examined gay aesthetics, defining the "so bad it's good" concept in popular culture for the first time. She championed European writers such as Walter Benjamin, Roland Barthes, and W. G. Sebald, along with some Americans such as Maria Irene Fornes. Over the course of several decades she would turn her attention to novels, film and photography. In several books, she wrote about cultural attitudes toward illness. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Susan_Sontag#Work [Apr 2005]

inspired by Manuel and Dominique

2005, Apr 11; 14:08 ::: Spiralwoman (2003) - Louise Bourgeois

image sourced here.

Spiralwoman (2003) - Louise Bourgeois

2005, Apr 11; 12:34 ::: Origins of the Popular Style: The Antecedents of Twentieth-Century Popular Music (1989) - Peter Van Der Merwe

Origins of the Popular Style: The Antecedents of Twentieth-Century Popular Music (1989) - Peter Van Der Merwe [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Product Description:
Analyzing popular music from a musical, rather than a sociological or political viewpoint, this book examines the nineteenth-century split between classical and popular music and surveys all styles of Western popular music to uncover the musical language uniting them. --via Amazon.com

2005, Apr 11; 12:34 ::: Men's adventure magazines

image sourced here.

Cover to March '63 issue of For Men Only, a men's adventure pulp magazine. Found at the cited Stagworld site; cleaned up, shrunk, brightened a bit.

It's a Man's World: Men's Adventure Magazines, the Postwar Pulps (2003) - Adam Parfrey [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Men's adventure is a genre of pulp magazines that had its heyday in the 1950s and early 1960s. Created for a male audience, these magazines featured pinup photography and lurid tales of adventure that typically featured wartime feats of daring, exotic travel, or conflict with wild animals. These magazines are generally considered the last of the true pulp magazines; they reached their peak of circulation long after the genre fiction pulps had begun to fade. These magazines were also called the sweats, especially by people in the magazine publishing or distributing trades.

Titles of notable men's adventure magazines include Argosy, the longest running and highest in reputation among the magazines classed in this category; others include Real, True, Saga, Stag, Swank, and For Men Only. During their peak in the late 1950s, approximately 130 such magazines were being published simultaneously.

The adventure tales contained within their pages usually were written in a realistic style and claimed to be true stories. Damsels in distress, usually in various states of deshabille, often featured in the painted art that illustrated their pages and their covers. They were notoriously depicted being menaced or tortured by Nazis or, in later years, Communists. Artist Norman Saunders was the dean of illustrators for these magazines, occupying a classic position similar to that enjoyed by Margaret Brundage for the classic pulps; many illustrations are credited to corporations or are anonymous. Historical artist Mort Künstler also painted many covers and illustrations for these magazines. A number of well known figures worked on these publications; Bruce Jay Friedman wrote for and edited them, as did Mario Puzo; Playboy photographer Mario Casilli started out photographing pinups for these publications.

The title of Frank Zappa's album Weasels Ripped My Flesh was borrowed from a man-against-beast cover story in the September, 1956 issue of Man's Life.

These magazines' circulation began to drop precipitously in the mid-1960s. Their tales of wartime adventure appealed to American male readers of the World War II and Korean War generations and these men were reaching an age that they were no longer quite as interested in girlie pictures. For those who wanted pornography, more explicit and less old fashioned forms were available by this period in different publications. The Vietnam War and the social controversies surrounding that war in the USA did nothing to create an appetite for similar entertainments that would have involved rescuing damsels from the Viet Cong. The vision of adventurous, fighting masculinity presented within their pages also became unfashionable during this period. Some of the publications survived by turning into explicitly pornographic magazines; others ceased publication during this period. There have been several attempts to revive the Argosy title; one in the 1990s, and most recently in 2004. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Men%27s_adventure [Apr 2005]

see also: magazine - pulp

2005, Apr 11; 11:30 ::: The Perils of Pauline

image sourced here.

The Perils of Pauline (1934) - Ray Taylor

The Perils of Pauline was a silent movie serial which debuted in 1914. A second serial of this name ran in the 1930s. There is also a 1947 feature movie which makes reference to the earlier serial.

The Silent Serial
The very popular silent Perils of Pauline was a cliffhanger serial shown in weekly instalments featuring Pearl White as the title character, a perpetual damsel in distress. She was menaced by assorted villains, including pirates and Indians. At the end of each installment she was generally placed in a situation that looked sure to result in her imminent death. The start of the next episode showed how she was rescued or otherwise escaped the danger, only to face fresh peril again.

The serial had 20 episodes. After the original run it was reshown in theaters a number of times, sometimes in edited down shortened versions, through the 1920s.

The successful serial was quickly followed by The Exploits of Elaine, also starring White. Many imitations and parodies followed.

References to it appear in 1960s animated cartoon television shows Dudley Do-Right (where the villain often tied Nell to a railroad track), and The Perils Of Penelope Pitstop. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Perils_of_Pauline [Apr 2005]

Damsel in distress
A damsel in distress is a stock character, almost inevitably a young, nubile woman, who has been placed in a dire predicament by a villain or a monster and who requires a hero to dash to her rescue.

Damsels in distress are often tied up or chained, to prevent their escape; in the old melodramas and serials they would then be thrown onto railroad tracks or tied onto logs headed into a sawmill.

The damsel in distress is a popular stock character, perhaps in large measure because her predicaments almost always have more than a whiff of BDSM fantasy about them. The helplessness of these damsels, who are almost always foolish and ineffectual to the point of cluelessness, and their need for male heroes to rescue them, has made the stereotype the target of feminist criticism.

Damsels in distress are not used nearly as often as they were previously, and current depictions of the stock character usually play the role as camp. The stock character did undergo a revival of sorts in Halloween, Friday the 13th, and other slasher films of the 1980s. Here, though, the stock character was played with a twist: there were several young women characters, most of whom were killed by the serial killer villain, but one survived to defeat him. The young woman survivor herself became a stock character counterpart to the damsel in distress, as embodied in characters such as Ellen Ripley in the Alien series. Sarah Connor, a damsel in distress in The Terminator, became the effective survivor type in Terminator 2: Judgment Day. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Damsel_in_distress [Apr 2005]

see also: stock character

2005, Apr 11; 10:37 ::: New York no wave

New York No Wave (ZE Records) (2003) - VA [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Liquid Liquid (1997) - Liquid Liquid [Amazon.com [FR] [DE] [UK]

ESG - A South Bronx Story (2000) - ESG [Amazon.com] [Amazon.com [FR] [DE] [UK]

No Wave was a short-lived but influential offshoot of punk rock centered in New York City during the late 1970s and early 1980s. The term No Wave was partly a satiric wordplay rejecting the commercial elements of the then-popular New Wave genre, and also a declaration of the music's experimental nature: No Wave music belonged to no fixed style or genre.

In many ways, No Wave is not a clearly definable genre. There is, for example, no fixed harmony as in most rock music and blues music. There are some elements common to many No Wave performers, including abrasive atonal sounds, strong emphasis on repetitive rhythm, and more emphasis on mood and texture than on conventional melody. Lyrics often focused on nihilism and confrontation ("little orphans running thru the bloody snow/no more ankles and no more clothes"-Teenage Jesus and the Jerks), or were puzzlingly abstract.

No Wave also drew on Performance Art. DNA, for example, was formed by three people with little or no experience playing musical instruments or performing live. Rather than play songs using "proper" methods, DNA quickly utilized their naïveté and played strikingly unique sounds.

Performers classified as No Wave generally had little music style in common: Various groups drew on such disparate styles as funk, jazz, blues, heavy metal, aleatoric music and punk rock. Mars, Swans and The Static, experimented with extremely loud, droning music that was frequently characterized by repetitive drumbeats and explicitly nihilistic lyrics.

No Wave had an important impact on noise and industrial bands who formed after, like Big Black, Helmet, and Live Skull. Sonic Youth emerged from this scene by creating music-as-art that eventually reached mass audiences and critical acclaim.

The Brian Eno-produced album No New York is perhaps the best example of this genre, featuring songs by Mars, Teenage Jesus & the Jerks, DNA and James Chance. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_wave [Apr 2005]

see also: No Wave - music - New York

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