Last year’s attempt to do a presentation at Brooklyn’s famed Observatory was foiled by hurricane Sandy, which left the venue out of action for over a month. So I’m really happy to get another chance to speak there almost exactly a year later…
The Vampires of London, a Cinematic Survey
Illustrated lecture with Mark Pilkington, Strange Attractor Press
Date: Tuesday, October 15
Time: 8:00 PM
Presented by Morbid Anatomy
In late 1969, as Swinging London entered its terminal phase, reports began to emerge of a tall, malevolent entity prowling the decaying gothic splendor of London’s Highgate Cemetery. Wielding stakes, crucifixes, garlic bulbs and a lot of crushed velvet, a group of local youths invaded the cemetery in search of the supernatural; newspapers quickly picked up on the story and so the legend of Highgate Vampire was born.
In this heavily illustrated presentation, Mark Pilkington looks at the many themes and influences – cultural, social and geographical – that made the appearance of The Vampire an eerie inevitability. Armed with a wealth of stories, photographs and film clips – from Hammer classics and Pathe newsreels to period television and Mondo obscurities – Mark will add flesh to the bones of this undying monster.
More info here
I’m thrilled to be speaking at the Occult Humanities conference to be held at New York University, Manhattan, USA, between 18 and 20 October.
The impressive line up of contributors includes: Susan Aberth, Acep Hale, Robert Ansell, Elijah Burgher, Laurent Ferri, Mitch Horowitz, Amy Hale, William Kiesel, Gary Lachman, The Parlour Trick and Shannon Taggart.
You can find out more about the event and book tickets here
The first Raagnagrok album, Man Woman Birth Death Infinity, is released on Lotushouse Records in early September 2013. Zali Krisha plays electric sitar and guitar, Mark Pilkington plays synthesisers and electronics.
The album features an hour of exotica kosmische, and cover art by Leila Dear.
Several of the tracks are live jams recorded on one afternoon in 2008, others are studio creations pieced together between 201o and 2013. The music was later mastered by Daniel O’Sullivan.
From the press release:
“In July 2005, a small package was delivered to an address in Stamford Hill, London, for the attention of Mr Otto Amon and Mr Solomon Kirchner. The gentlemen who recieved the package have never revealed who sent it to them or what was inside it but a body of urban myth has grown up around the Lapis or Ovoid that was rumoured to have been seen in various locations around London, from Frognal to Fitzrovia.
“We are told that Amon and Kirchner subjected the Lapis to broad and narrow range frequencies in Pythagorean clusters which caused the object to “sing” or “recite”. We are also told that for five or six years, in spite of their efforts, the lustreless surface of the Ovoid could not be broken.
“The object, whatever it was, has never surfaced in the collectors’ market, and its recipients have maintained their silence. Whether their newly released recorded collaboration, Man Woman Birth Death Infinity, affords any clues, we cannot honestly say.”
Man Woman Birth Death Infinity is available early September from Lotushouse Records or here:
More at Raagnagrok
The Asterism’s first live show – at London’s happening Cafe OTO.
The event was Sunk Season II with Tidal, Modulator ESP and Inner City.
Thanks to Jimmy Billingham for putting me on, and to Jez Creek for the video.
I’ll be diving back into the Akashic Jukebox at the ever-wonderful Green Man festival, near Crickhowell in the Brecon Beacons, at 1pm on Friday 16 August – find me in the Talking Shop.
It looks to be a great day with words from Julian Cope and sounds from Jim and Julian Ghost Box. Elsewhere over the weekend you’ll find Robert Wyatt, Swans, The Horrors, Moon Duo, Fanfarlo, Patti Smith, Fuck Buttons and a tonne more
A giant 12-piece Raagnagrok Allstars played there in 2007 – that year we brought the rain, here’s to clearer skies for 2013!
[Photo by Al Robertson]
Director/Producer Mark Aitken has started a Kickstarter campaign to help him edit and finish his amazing film Dead When I got Here:
In 2011 I visited the Vision & Action mental asylum in Mexico run by its own patients. I’d been told that filming anywhere along the US/Mexican border was dangerous – especially in Juárez, murder capital of the world. The asylum is out in the desert, on the curdled fringe of that city and I figured it would be safer to film there than on the streets.
The asylum was founded 18 years ago by Pastor Galvan and he gave me his trust and complete access to the place. The people I met and filmed are all recovering from the trauma of living in Juárez where 8 people are murdered each day with impunity. These people manage the asylum with empathy and very little else. Not to be pitied – they set an example we can only hope to understand and emulate. We are to be humbled by their determination to survive.
Please consider contributing here
Watch the first instalment of Crystal Voyagers: A Journey Through The New Age. Charting the rise of the Age Of Aquarius and its effect upon music over the past two centuries, this three-part, illustrated lecture is adapted from a talk by Mark Pilkington, given at London’s Cafe Oto in December 2012, as part of The Wire Salon series of talks and discussions events. Written and narrated by Mark Pilkington of Strange Attractor Press. Edited by The Wire’s Nathan Budzinski. Special thanks to Resonance FM.