Daily Archives: November 3, 2009


Steig den Luis Trenker by 4172   From an obscure bootleg of German minimal synth stuff from 1979-1983 entitled Kassettent├Ąter (Cassette Offender).



Steig Den Luis Trenker by 4712
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Thing in E + Tahitian Melody

The Savage Resurrection were a rock band from the San Francisco Bay area. Founded in 1967, the group was signed to the major label Mercury Records, on which they released their eponymous debut in 1968. Singer Bill Harper and bassist Steve Lage quit the band shortly thereafter, leading to the demise of the group.  The record is now a coveted psych artifact.

Thing In ‘e’ by Savage Resurrection
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Tahitian Melody by Savage Resurrection
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Images:  ampnoise

Hat tip:  banana nutrament




The Jet Set Omniverse Arkestra


  Photograph by Leni Sinclair


Sun Ra


Sun Ra was born on the planet Saturn some time ago. The best accounts agree that he emerged on Earth as Herman “Sunny” Blount, born in Birmingham, Alabama in 1914, although Sun Ra himself always denied that Blount was his surname. He returned to Saturn in 1993 after creating a stunningly variegated and beautiful assemblage of earthly and interplanetary music, most notably with his fervently loyal Arkestra. (Many great musicians passed through the Arkestra over the years, including reedman Pharoah Sanders, trombonist Julian Priester, and violinist Billy Bang. Most notable and long-tenured were the criminally underrated John Gilmore on tenor sax and Marshall Allen on alto). Mr. Blount, or Mr. Ra, or Mr. Mystery (as he was sometimes styled in later years) first appeared on the scene as a pianist with Fletcher Henderson’s band, and to the end of his life Ra retained an affinity, respect, and genius for big band music in the style of Henderson and his contemporaries, with Sun’s own extra-galactic twists. Some of his brilliant output in this vein has now become widely available for the first time from Evidence records. At the same time he furiously and indignantly claimed to have originated the Free Jazz that was made popular – or at least famous – by others in the Sixties, and the recorded evidence shows that he has a case. ()


Somebody Else’s World by Sun Ra
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Outer Spaceways Incorporated by Sun Ra
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08 Tapestry From An Asteroid.m4a
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I would suggest you put a mustache on this: Ray Johnson

Ray Johnson (1927- 1995) was a seminal figure of the Pop Art movement. Primarily a collage artist, Johnson was also an early performance and conceptual artist. Once called “New York’s most famous unknown artist”, he is considered the “Founding Father of Mail Art” and pioneered the incorporation and use of language in the visual arts.

Johnson’s initial collages were mainly abstract works made of cut, painted and distressed paper strips and irregular designs. He referred to these early collages as “moticos,” a term he coined and used for several different elements in his work, including these collages and early poetic texts that he wrote at this time. Following his lifelong practice of cutting and recycling various materials, Johnson cut apart many of his early collages and used the fragments in later works. As Johnson once said, he created “Chop Art, not Pop Art.”

By the mid-to late-1950s, Johnson’s collages became increasingly referential, as he combined fragments from earlier works and ink drawings with images from popular culture. He included fragments of popular advertisements and images of Elvis Presley, James Dean, Marilyn Monroe, Shirley Temple, and others in a way that anticipated the 1960s works of Pop artists, such as Warhol. Due to his early use of popular imagery, Johnson is considered one of the earliest exponents of Pop Art. Johnson also included references to art world celebrities and personal acquaintances. In the late 1950s, Johnson began creating “tesserae”—small, highly worked blocks he created from layers of cardboard glued together, painted, and sanded—to add a three-dimensional element to his works.

Throughout his career, Johnson repeatedly returned to and re-worked his collages, adding additional elements and recording the dates of his progress directly on the collage. He developed several motifs and series in his collages, including silhouettes of artists and acquaintances, “Lucky Strike” symbols, Cupids, “Tit girls,” Dollar bills, Potato Mashers, and “Fingernails.” Johnson juxtaposed images, words, and ideas to create new meanings and endless associations.

In the late 1950s, Johnson began exploring the possibilities of Mail Art. He developed a network of friends, acquaintances and strangers to whom he sent highly conceptual images and texts. Like Marcel Duchamp, Johnson was one of the first artists to incorporate instructions for active participation in his artwork, as he encouraged the recipients to “add to” his work or to “please send to…” or to “return to Ray Johnson.” In 1962, Johnson founded the “New York Correspondance (sic) School,” a name invented by Ed Plunkett and used by Johnson for his international network of Mail Art participants he spawned by mailing an enormous amount of material, including fragments of cut-up collages, drawings with instructions, found objects, snake skins, and annotated newspaper clippings.

One of the first performance artists, Johnson began staging what he called “Nothings” in 1960. These performances paralleled Allan Kaprow’s “Happenings” and later Fluxus events. Johnson described his “Nothings” to William S. Wilson as “an attitude as opposed to a happening,” and he staged numerous performances throughout his life, including his “Throwaway Gesture Performances.”

Severely shaken after being mugged and attacked in lower Manhattan on June 3, 1968, the same day that Andy Warhol was shot by Valerie Solanas (and two days before Robert Kennedy was assassinated), Johnson decided to move to Glen Cove, Long Island, and then to Locust Valley. Until his death in 1995, Johnson continued his work in collage, sent out volumes of mail art, and staged numerous performances, but he became increasingly reclusive. As his contemporaries became famous, Johnson cultivated his role as an outsider, parodying celebrity through performances, fake openings, and photocopy-machine art. From 1982 on, he repeatedly refused offers from numerous galleries to exhibit his art, and for the last five years of his life, he refused all public exhibitions of his works.

On January 13, 1995 Ray Johnson’s body was found floating in a small cove in Sag Harbor, NY. All aspects of his death, revolved around the number “13”. His age 67 = 6+7=13, the room number at his hotel was 247 which adds to 13, the date: Jan 13, etc. He jumped off the bridge on a cold winter night, and his body was found the next day. As with much of the particulars of his life, little is known about the circumstances of his death. Those who knew him best, inasmuch as they knew him at all, have even speculated that his suicide was his final performance (or Nothing as he then called his pieces). Johnson lived frugally, but had $400,000 in bank accounts at the time of his death. He left no will and his 10 first cousins inherited his estate.

via Wikipedia

Images:  Raven Row

Raven Row’s inaugural exhibition was the first large UK show of the collages and mailings of New York artist Ray Johnson (1927–1995). Works in the exhibition can be viewed here.


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