Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Placeholding


...because that's all this thing's good for. Am currently hard at work (well, I say 'hard', 'at', and 'work', but all those terms are rather relative in this regard) on liner notes for the first Sables album, which you can expect out late July, and which is extremely fine. I think the 'Hidden Index EP' is still available, and there will most likely be another taster EP out sometime in June. In the meantime, we have spread much interwebs-based havoc: there were some excellent responses to the 'Seven songs' meme, particularly from Owen, IT and Dominic Fox (although I wasn't in the least surprised at Owen's choices, Joe Jackson excepted - "Is it from the 80s? Machinic? I'll take it!") Also extremely intrigued to see that Jon Dale - someone whose music writing is, frankly, almost an untouchable ideal in my eyes - has resurfaced at Attic Plan, after Worlds Of Possibility was sold off (most probably by the 2012 Olympic Committee) to some dodgy sf hack. I particularly loved the post on Stan Brakhage, Willard Maas and Marie Menken (although I've never been especially interested in underground film history). And whilst K-Punk hasn't taken up the meme offer yet, he has returned with a strangely brilliant post on Brian Clough and Mark E. Smith - I remember seeing a South Bank show a little while ago where David Peace's work The Damned Utd. was denounced as "untruthful" or "unrepresentative" of Clough, but that's just indicative of the attitude of Arts Council fuckwits who don't get the term 'fiction'. I remain oddly, though distantly, fascinated by the section of sporting books we have instore - the question keeps returning, re. sporting memoirs, "How the fuck can you get 300 pages out of a life spent playing golf?"

Meanwhile, am engaged with some heavy reading of my own, namely of Philip Hoare's England's Lost Eden, about which there will be more eventually. An incredibly fascinating tome that, in places, gets downright hauntological: Mary Ann Girling, the prophetess and founder of the sect at the book's heart was born in Little Glemham, a village between Woodbridge and Aldeburgh in ghost-filled Suffolk, an area then still scarred by witch-hunter Matthew Hopkins' purges, and which would provide the backdrop both to Michael Reeves' eerie Witchfinder General and the nuclear tests at nearby Orford Ness, the shadow of extinction growing this near to home. She would later move her nascent sect - who claimed both immortality and, in common with the American Shakers who gave them their popular name, the ability to communicate with those beings on the Other Side - to New Forest Lodge in Hordle, where my father was born and grew up. The connections get eerier: the mysterious Sway Tower, which astonishes passers-through travelling on the Southampton/London train, was built by Andrew Peterson, who claimed to be in congress, through a medium, with both Christopher Wren and Thomas Paine - who was born not twenty miles from Mary Ann's home village. A distant relative of mine was also employed in dragging shingle from the beach for use in the cement that constituted the tower. Spooky ain't the word...

11 Comments:

Blogger Culla said...

Hi Dan, bit more on Sway Tower, Hoare's book and other connections on my blog here and also at Transpontine.

June 16, 2008 at 7:53 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Cheers, interesting stuff - I'm planning an expedition out to Sway and Hordle at the weekend (provided the weather holds), so I can see for myself...

June 17, 2008 at 12:48 PM  
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