Author Topic: FINGERPRINCE (Project of the Week for 15th of May)  (Read 164 times)

moleshow

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FINGERPRINCE (Project of the Week for 15th of May)
« on: May 15, 2017, 11:06:14 am »
i feel like this album is an album for hotter, sunnier days.

and the days are hot and sunny.
"All our lives we love illusion, neatly caught between confusion and the need to know we are alive."

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moleshow

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(i forgot to mention that this one is extended because i need some time to think on what to do for upcoming PotWs.)
"All our lives we love illusion, neatly caught between confusion and the need to know we are alive."

CheerfulHypocrite

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Quote from: The Residents
Man, represented as a primitive humanoid, is consumed by his self-created environment only to be replaced by a new creature, still primitive, still faulty, but destined to rule the world just as poorly.

It was 1979. January. Sid Vicious (aka John Beverly, aka John Simon Ritchie 1957-1979) had not long, allegedly, murdered Nancy Spungen (1958-1978) and was not long for this world;  and, Britain was in the throes of the Winter of Discontent. On January the 10th, the S_n headline is 'Crisis? What Crisis?'. A headline which was part of a campaign against Prime Minister James Callaghan (Baron Callaghan of Cardiff 1912-2005). By May, the Labour Government would be replaced by the proto-Fascist Government of Margaret Thatcher (Baroness Thatcher 1925-2013). In the United States of America, on January the 25th, the first robot killing of a human - Robert Williams (1953-1979), in Flat Rock Michigan - was recorded while the Star Club in Hamburg reopened.

In 2006, about thirty years after the release of Fingerprince and twenty years after Sid and Nancy: Love Kills I was sitting in The Egg Cafe in Newington, Liverpool. Alex Cox (1954-) had arrived for tea, coffee or even just privacy. There was an Art exhibition on - because that is what Cafe's do: food and art. One of the pieces was conceptual. Written on the wall in black marker pen were conceptual art slogans by "Lisa Jane Galloway". In a fit of why not, a conspiracy - not involving Cox - was hatched to steal the concepts. With some white emulsion paint, a camera and the assistance of an employee of The Egg the deed was complete. The Words were photographed, the walls were painted and ransom notes were issued.

Outside The Egg

The theme tune to the adventure was Six Things To A Cycle. played on a portable record player that seemed to use a steel arrowhead as a needle. The thirty year old copy of Fingerprince was destroyed. But this was a worthwhile trade to achieve the world's first Conceptual Art Theft.


Back in 1979, things were hotting up. Liverpool in the 1980s would become the front line of a class war. A working class city stood up to a manifestly unfair and provocative Conservative Government and fought for its survival. Naturally, the Government Won. But anybody who was part or party to the events was indelibly altered. Nobody becoming a Master Conceptual Art Thief could have a personal history that would fail to include 1979 Liverpool or 1987 Liverpool or 1981 Liverpool or all three. The Truth was that the City had summoned forth demons.

Quote from: Godsong
God never really did like man
anyway

At least not after they started
walking around on their hind legs

And talking on the
telephone

Outside The Piggeries

These demons were listening to all sorts of things and doing all sorts of things. It was an era of transition from the violent thuggishness of Punk - which ended on the death of friends from heroin. Death is always the way to end an era. The Piggeries were a group of Blocks Of Flats: Haigh Heights, Canterbury Heights and Crosbie Heights. Built in 1965 and almost derelict by 1972, they were the home to people that the City Council considered to be a criminal underclass. Council employees entirely blamed the tenants for the conditions in the Piggeries. Talking to someone who had worked in the local Repairs Office, on Shaw Street, it became clear that that was never  going to be the whole story. Shaw Street Offices were the area focus for repairs and decoration of council owned properties. Naturally, works were prioritised as they came in. Requests for Piggeries repairs were put in a specific box. At the end of the day the specific box was emptied into the bin. If you happened to be female, 23, living in a squat in the Piggeries and get raped, heroin is a superb method to end it all. It allows the coroner to record a verdict of "death by misadventure". Which is entirely reasonable as hypothermia while a white out induced by heroin is marvellously misadventurous.

Further Outside The Piggeries

The demons were primitive humanoids in a self created environment. The tubular bells of You Yesyesyes Again with the pause at the end before a sneeze - which may, or may not, have been imagined - were the favourite bit, - along with the howler monkey introduction of Six Things To A Cycle - of Kathy. She was strange, provocative, older, kissed women and enjoyed herself. Six Things To A Cycle might well have been her favourite piece of music - but you could never tell. She listened to an endless series of pawned records ranging from Tangerine Dream to Hawkwind to Sex Pistols and Blondie with oddities like the Residents in between. It took over two weeks for me to discover she was dead. Nobody went into the Piggeries - she would always meet people outside the blocks.

Six Things To A Cycle was always good for clapping along to. Forget the idea that music has to have melody or orchestration, clapping was the future. Clapping and chanting. It was about 1999 that I heard Kecak - Balinese Monkey Chants. But that is what we were doing to Six Things To A Cycle in 1979. Chanting. In 1988 I watched Akira and was assured it had chanting in. Which is not something I believed. The Chanting to Six Things To A Cycle was different. Improvised. Private. Personal. Something that makes Goodbye Sober Day by Mister Bungle seem that tiniest bit like Top Of The Pops. Six Things To A Cycle was the source of endless improvisations. Not only in noise making but in being an audience.

Detatched from the original three sided work, Fingerprince was an imperfect creature in a self ceated environment - foreshadowing Eskimo and hinting at the complexity of the world rather than showing it in the manner of The Gingerbread Man or Bad Day On The Midway. Much like other works that preceded the machine mediated creations that, almost, begins with Eskimo, Fingerprince is a manually assembled collage in the tradition of the Situationist International. A work that is simultaneously psychogeographical - or, by analogy, psychoanthropological - and incomplete. The absence of the Babyfingers section never really impinged on any kind of understanding of the whole work.

The music you think of as being the favourite of someone who has died has a strange, potent, sentimentality. Memory begins right now and stretches backwards into time, in reverse, and so you spend more time storytelling than recalling. It might well be that the memories and the implications of the memories have simply melded into a narrative that sprang, incomplete and imperfect, from the experience of the music. Fingerprince was spattered with sounds that may or may not have been what they are recalled as being.


Quote from: March De La Winni
La la
La-la la-la
La la
La-la la-la

That seemed like a perfectly accurate quote of the lyrics for a track that turned out to be instrumental. While

Quote from: Godsong
One of His favorite things
Was man's believing in Him, and then not believing in Him
Believing in Him, Not believing in Him

which echoes

Quote from: Tourniquet Of Roses
And all that's left is something else
There is no more to say
Is no more to say now... Is no more to say...

Was, for some years, thought to be on Third Reich And Roll. Which makes little sense as it is perfectly reasonable stab at the kind of unifying lietmotiv that runs through Fingerprince. When the "restored" version on compact disc came into existence it highlighted how unreliable for fact the Residents really are. Back in 2006, the Words were stolen from the walls and an ultimatum issued to the Artist. Lisa Jane Galloway, it turned out, was not a single artist but collaborators using a nom de plume. The irony escaped me. Which is one of the main fobiles of memory: it is a form of irony that Kathy (1956-1979) would have railed and screamed at.

Fingerprince has always been something I have listened to in sections, even thought it is supposed to be a complete work. It epitomises the house construction elements of the Theory Of Phonetic Organisation and sits in the caesura between the tape mangling era and the bit mangling era. Which was also between the end of the Victorian Era and modern Britain. Primarily, Six Things To A Cycle sounds like someone bashing home made instruments. Which appealed to the punk DIY ethos. The same ethos that would see thousands of British people take up a nomadic lifestyle in the 1980s. Ultimately giving rise to the Festival Culture of the twenty first century. Six Things To A Cycle was, undoubtably, more than merely the sum of parts. More than merely musical building bricks even as each section built around a minimalist theme worthy of John Cage (1912-1992) or Steve Reich (1936-) into something that is always worth clapping along to.

In 1979 being Gay was not really an option. For men it was explicitly illegal and Lesbians did not exist - because, according to Queen Victoria (1819-1901) "Women did not do that sort of thing". Queen Victoria, it appears, banged like a barn door and took cannabis and morphine for period pains but thought same sex relationships would either frighten the horses or did not exist. The Vibrator was invented either by Romain Vigouroux (1831-1911) - using it at the Salpêtrière hospital, Paris 1878 - or Joseph Mortimer Granville (1833–1900) who documented how bringing women to paroxysm cured them of hysteria or sexual inversion. This was not a cure for being a lesbian in 1979. Even in 2017, r_pe is not actually a cure for being a Lesbian, nor heroin.



Nor is memory a substitute for real people.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2017, 01:53:58 pm by CheerfulHypocrite »
Not altogether reliable for facts.