[Landline] Lay Me Where the Flowers Grow
“LANDLINE” — AN EMAIL BULLETIN BY JAY BABCOCK
THURSDAY JAN. 20, 2022
Well, the video of Joey Ramone performing live in his pre-Ramones band Sniper that I wrote about in the last Landline was temporarily removed from youtube for reasons unclear, but it’s now back. Check it out here and tell friends about it at the bar and library, or better yet, the bar-library.
Landline readers may also be interested in a similarly mindblowing video now doing the rounds from the same ‘70s tv show, this one featuring Television in live performance in 1974. This is the original Television lineup featuring both Tom Verlaine and Richard Hell. Again, as with the Sniper video, never mind the quality of the picture or performance—it’s amazing from a historical perspective to witness this primordial New York punk moment on video—myth made concrete, yet still mysterious and slippery. Total treasure, emerging suddenly in the last two weeks.
0.5 BEHOLD: ENDNOTES!
Following the lead of Peter from Coco’s Variety, a very smart and fascinating person, after this paragraph I’m putting text links at the end of this email, rather than including them in the text itself. Hopefully this will be easier on the tired eye-mind. Please let me know how it works for you—and, please, examine Peter’s inspirational and wide-ranging email newsletter. I subscribed years ago!
Now, onto our video parade…
1. FOR THE PALACE IS DESCENDING
Every once in a while I get asked by someone to describe what it's like to trip on hallucinogens, in a deep, non-recreational way. It's been many years I've done that. But this video, released yesterday, brings it all back.
Gratitude to Beach House, and to video director Alexa Lim Haas and her crew for this gorgeous work, which I really do think borders on holiness. Cosmic and intimate, gentle and wise, light and grounded: yes. Walt Whitman is grinning.
2. DRIVETIME STORIES
Ogmios—London’s “School of Zen Motoring” fellow—brings us up to date on his doings, after a long silence.
Such a pleasure to hear Ogmios’s distinctively mellow voice and wit again—I was getting anxious…which he wouldn’t want!
3. WALKING STORY
I recently came across this remarkable 22-minute 2018 short film that follows the great writer-walker-poet-historian Iain Sinclair as he traces intense moon worshiper Steve Moore's "psychic circuit" around Moore’s lifelong home on Shooter's Hill in South London. The film opens with Alan Moore (no relation, but a close friend) and ends with an infamous scene from an Antonioni film, but it’s the (true) story about the late Steve Moore in between those bookends that is fantastic, shiver-y.
For more about Steve Moore, seek out a copy of his 2011 semi-fictional novel, Somnium, about to be published in a new, expanded edition. Palace-descending cover artwork and design by John Coulthart, of course.
4. YOU MUST WALK TO JORDAN, BOY, BECAUSE IT’S WHAT WE NEED
This is startling and strange: like some eerie new Bible parable composed by F. Kafka and L. Cohen, sung by Jana Horn (the song’s actual writer) in a possibly visionary trance state somewhere in Texas, with an appropriately outre Harry Smith-ian animation by Jaime Zuverza. Tremendous.
5. SHE KNEW THE URBAN ENVIRONMENT WAS KILLING HER
Bent by Nature, the podcast about the late great L.A. deejay Deirdre O’Donahue, which previously I saluted in Landline No. 22, has concluded. All of the episodes have something of interest, but I found Episode 9, “Promised Land,” featuring Julian Cope’s discussion of his experience hosting Deirdre in 1992 at his family’s home in rural England, to be the most moving:
The time that I knew Deirdre was a very enlightened time, briefly. And when I first came into Deirdre's orbit – I think it's 1992 – we were very full-on and idealistic … and I'd say very New Age, which really suited Deirdre, because she was in a bad place. It was as though she knew that LA was killing her. It was physically killing her. But also, she knew that an urban environment was killing her. She felt an ersatzness that she wanted to throw off. And I think she needed to break out of America in that way, in the same way as my wife found, that you come over here, and it's so ancient that it just allows you to divest yourself of any urbanness.
I believe that it was just a very important time in her life, because she wasn't making plans for the future. It was almost like she was making plans for other people's futures.
I can’t figure out how to embed the podcast, so go here to listen to 15 minutes with Julian talking about life with Deirdre: Bent by Nature
And finally, an update. rAy weaver younghands, whose lunar calendars were featured in Landline No. 23, has indeed made new calendars spanning the 13 moon cycles from spring equinox 2022 to spring equinox 2023. rAy says says the books and wallprints are “time tracking tools, grounded in desert ecology and organized by moon cycles…
the theme this year is touch. the many things that can mean….
tangling. nuzzling. merging physicalities. growing bigger together. growing smaller together. sharing a digestive system for a season, maybe for ever, maybe drifting away for winter. sharing heat. a delicate airiness touching lightly over a sturdy supportive hardness. two airs silkily touching past each other. flame to flame. mycelial thread to thread. touching the wet ground so much and so many ways until you are buried in it. water touching water.
Click the image above or follow the link in the Endnotes for more information.
7. LAND(LINE) ACCESS TO WHICH IS DENIED NO ONE
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flame to flame,
Coco’s Variety: newsletter archive
Musicians Beach House: bandcamp
Director Alexa Lim Haas
Writer Iain Sinclair
Artist John Coulthart
Musician Jana Horn: bandcamp
Animator/artist Jaime Zuverza
Bent by Nature — Deirdre O'Donoghue: podcast and archive
Julian Cope: Head Heritage
rAy weaver younghands: lunartracking