Music and Heavy Conscious Creation, a study of the occult and popular music. I have co-directed and produced a feature film Holy Terrors based on the stories of Welsh supernatural horror writer Arthur Machen.
Gathering Of The Tribe: Music and Heavy Conscious Creation by Mark Goodall (Paperback, 2012)
I tutor MA and PhD students and welcome enquiries from prospective masters and doctoral students especially in the fields of cult and avant-garde film and media, popular music and experimental processes. I am the editor of 'The Firminist', a periodical dedicated to the life and work of British author Malcolm Lowry:. I co-produced and co-directed the film 'Holy Terrors: Six Weird Tales by Arthur Machen' https: Available editions United Kingdom.
What we are discussing here is not the traditional bad behaviour of spoilt and egotistical celebrities. Record companies tolerate oddballs while they are playing the game, but when artists tire of being puppets and want to deviate from the formula they are cast aside.
The most infamous example of this is cult killer Charles Manson, who was wooed as a potential acid folk singer by the Beach Boys and their producer Terry Melcher son of Doris Day and then hastily dropped, leaving Manson wounded and resentful. He went on to murder five people.
One of the most fascinating modern-day pop eccentrics is Paddy McAloon , mastermind behind the music of s pop band Prefab Sprout , whose work is recounted in a new three-volume study by John Birch. The first volume, The Early Years, explains how the band emerged from the unpromising location of Witton Gilbert, a village in rural County Durham in the northeast of England.
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McAloon brought his own strange and diverse combination of influences to bear on his songs, mixing up US songwriter Irving Berlin , contemporary classical composer Karlheinz Stockhausen and The Beatles. He was also inspired by eccentrics from an earlier generation, in particular songwriter Jimmy Webb and jazz-rock group Steely Dan. From these examples McAloon learned that a pop composer could evoke occult place and time instantly, transporting a listener to a world that is alien but familiar.
Just to be enchanted was enough. The eccentric nature of Steely Dan — core members Donald Fagen and Water Becker, who died recently — is evidenced in their obsessive, perfectionist recording techniques, auditioning eight guitarists for a solo on one of their songs Peg , and on occasion replacing an entire backing band with another to get the right vibe.
Why pop needs its eccentric characters
In the music business today, eccentricity is sorely lacking, or is manufactured through social media where posing naked or filming a moment of psychological distress becomes another tool for selling more units. Prefab Sprout had their success and the music business moved on, as it does. And like all eccentric masters, he continues to make music in a language constructed from its own inner rules.
Pets in Victorian paintings — Egham, Surrey.
The history of pets and family life — Egham, Surrey. Available editions United Kingdom.
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