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Old 10.08.2007, 01:05 PM   #181
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ANGUS MACLISE: MASTER OF SYNTHESIS
by René van der Voort

There is a story that when the Velvet Underground got an offer for their first paid gig, Angus MacLise reacted by saying: "You mean we start when they tell us to and we have to end when they tell us to? I can't work that way." After which he left.

It might be a myth but it shows a glimpse of the person he was, a true free spirit and a highly individual multitalented artist. Appearing in and out of a set of creative environments, never staying long enough to get noticed by a broader public. A well kept secret whose genius was only recently revealed, in part, through a string of excellent CD's on the Quakebasket/Siltbreeze label.
However, as early as 1988, Fierce Records (an independent label dealing mostly in loonies like Sky Saxon and Charles Manson) released a single by Angus. The Trance 7" was wrapped in a fantasy package, included were a chocolate bar, incense, rolling paper and an order form for fake memorabilia. On the record was an excerpt of Angus' comment on an Indian ceremony. Sadly Fierce blew it all by stating in an interview with Strange Things Magazine: "He used to record a lot of stuff but unfortunately most of it was quite boring. Our record is everything you want to listen to."
How wrong can you be?
Most people first heard of Angus MacLise because of his connection with the Velvet Underground. Further investigation reveals that he also has been a founding member of the Theatre of Eternal Music, worked in multimedia and the Fluxus movement, designed his own calligraphy, was a mystical poet, an actor, publisher, bookshop owner and world traveller.
MacLise was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut on March 4, 1938. At school he developed an interest in music, especially percussion and took lessons in Latin drumming. He studied jazz technique, medieval European dance music and free form percussion.
During his schooldays he befriended the poet Piero Heliczer with whom he moved to Paris in the late fifties to establish the Dead Language Press. They published Angus' early poetry: Imprimatur 1281 and Straight Farthest Blood Towards.
The composer LaMonte Young found a copy of the letter and was immediately fascinated by the quality of the carefully constructed poetry. A well-directed stream of consciousness with surrealistic overtones.
When Angus returned to the States he was invited to play in the LaMonte Young Trio besides working at a number of Fluxus events with Yoko Ono, Composer Henry Flynt and "chance" poet Jackson MacLow.
In 1962 the Dead Language Press (now located in New York) issued a new publication by Angus, the calendar poem Year. It provided new names to each of the 365 days, a work of fiction that offered a different way of thinking about everyday life and was used by some artists to date their work.
He participated in the upcoming underground film scene. Cheap 8 mm material became available and made it easier for aspiring young filmmakers to shoot their often drug-induced exotic dream movies using friends as actors.
Angus appeared in many films, most notably the ones by Piero Heliczer. Autumn Feast, for which he also helped with the soundtrack, Venus in Furs with music by the embryonic Velvet Underground and Joan of Arc, which Cahiers du Cinema called: "The homemade movie of the Superstars." Ira Cohen, Gerard Malanga, Rene Ricard, Jack Smith, Charles Henri Ford, Tuli Kupferberg and many others all took part in this fantasy that combined the revolution in the Arts at the time with the issues of the Vietnam war.
Besides acting Angus worked on soundtracks for Jerry Jofen, who had the unhappy habit of destroying most of his creations as soon as they were finished, and made the score for Chumlum by Ron Rice. His hypnotic improvisations on the cembalum, that seemed to go on forever, formed the perfect backdrop for the Arabian nights vision of a psychedelic palace brothel in the movie. The cembalum, a stringed instrument to be played with sticks, was also used for some of his later scores of films by Gerard Malanga, Don Snyder and Jonas Mekas with whom he worked in 1966 on the movie Notes on the Circus. By accident the music was erased so we will never know what it sounded like.
For awhile Angus played live with LaMonte Young in front of the screenings at the Filmmakers Cinematheque but most of the time they held endless rehearsals at their Lower East Side apartment. The group took off when next door neighbour (and future partner of LaMonte) Marian Zazeela joined on vocals bringing in Billy Linich (later Billy Name, of Warhol/Factory fame) on guitar.
Angus organised a successful series of concerts at the 10-4 Gallery in Manhattan. Using light projections they played a slow interpretation of Indian drone music with a mastery of natural harmonics and just intonation at an ear crushing volume. Among the enthusiastic onlookers was violinist Tony Conrad who was asked to join the group now called the Theatre of Eternal Music. When Linich left he was replaced by the young Welsh musician John Cale, a classically trained viola player and Xenakis scholar.
With his amplified viola he added an extra dimension to the sustained meditative drones on saxophone, strings and hand drums.


Find the rest here: http://www.blastitude.com/13/ETERNITY/angus_maclise.htm
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Old 10.09.2007, 04:45 AM   #182
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the gift is awesome!


just felt like pointing the obvious out...
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Old 10.09.2007, 05:34 AM   #183
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Bananafish issue number 17 featured:

hetty maclise - the first of a two-part interview with angus's wife and collaborator, who recounts how they met, her art editorship at the oracle in the '60s, homeopathic uses of lsd, and her life as an artist in spain, morocco, mexico, san francisco, and new york. part two will deal with the kathmandu years.

I can't find anything about part two of the interview being in issue 18, and that was the magazine's final issue. Has it crept out somewhere else, or is it now a great lost interview?
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Old 10.09.2007, 05:42 AM   #184
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I'll try looking on google and search for it as a pdf document. Please note that the Maclise article contains some inaccuracies, one of them being that he played with the Velvets again in Chicago when Lou Reed was in hospital with hepatitis. This isn't true as far as all the documentation that I have read (damnit, I'd soooo love a bootleg from those gigs) because the replacement was in fact Henry Flynt.
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Old 10.09.2007, 05:53 AM   #185
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Also, I have never read before of the dispute about who found the original book where the band took their name from. It's being widely documented since forever that it was Maclise who bought it down Times Square's subway for next to nothing, so I don't know where the story about Tony Conrad finding it on the street has come from. Another interesting thing about the name and the book is that one night, after Cale had left the band, Reed went to talk to a young girl who was working at the box office before the Velvets were about to play. Before he walked into the venue, she said something to him along the lines of: ''Hey! nice name for your band. My father wrote the book you took it from''. Small world.
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Old 10.09.2007, 06:18 AM   #186
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I recently went to see the Andy Warhol's film the Velvet Underground and Nico at the filmhouse cinema. 60+ minutes of hypnotic eastern tinged garage rock jams and grayscale meditations. (the majority of the audience were incredulous I think but I sort of became immersed in it.)
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Old 10.09.2007, 07:53 AM   #187
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Henry Flynt
Marcus Boon
(Originally published in The Wire, 212.)
"Is it OK to talk about what we think about this civilization?" asks 61 year old hillbilly minimalist fiddler and philosopher Henry Flynt, in his broad southern accent, as we drink coffee in a restaurant in New York's Soho, where he lives. "It's the aftermath of a wreck. It's just in a condition of destruction. I'm trying to think of a more polite word than putrefaction. Everything that is organic is dead and decomposing, and everything that's not organic is twisted and fused."
For forty years, to almost complete indifference, Flynt has waged his own multi-front struggle against this culture, a struggle which has encompassed everything from music, dance and painting, to "concept art", a term which he coined in 1961, a broad range of philosophical treatises on everything from mathematics, to psychedelics, to utopian politics, and even an envisioned 1975 commune called the Genius Liberation Project.
After decades of gathering dust, some of his key musical works are finally available. A 2 CD set New American Ethnic Music Volume 1, issued earlier this year by Baltimore musician and impresario John Berndt on his Recorded Records, collects two of the extraordinary drone and violin HESE (Hallucinogenic Ecstatic Sound Environment) pieces he developed with, Swedish composer, musician and mathematician, Catherine Christer Hennix in the late 1970s. Then there's the recent Ampersand release Graduation, a set of avant-country recordings from the late-1970s, in which he places country on an infinite plateau that constantly surprises, while remaining as American as a cross-country road trip. Awaiting release are unique overdubbed violin pieces from the 1960s, like "Hoedown", and recordings of his blazing cosmic rockabilly and freeform psychedelic guitar and drum collaborations with Hennix under the name Dharma Warriors, made in the years before Flynt quit making music in 1984.
Asked whether he's a recluse, Flynt responds: "not at all. In fact, how strange. I've been screaming for attention for 40 years. I have a long list of attempts to become a public figure. It just keeps failing over and over!"

Find the rest here: http://www.hungryghost.net/mb/Flynt.htm

http://www.hungryghost.net/mb.htm
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Old 10.10.2007, 06:59 AM   #188
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Will you guys understand each other, each with your odd take on how to speak the King's English?
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Old 01.10.2008, 12:00 PM   #189
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All these Velvet Underground audio and video rarities are quite nice, but the emphasis is primarily on the Warhol/Nico/Cale era. Does anyone know where to find Loaded-to-Squeeze-era video footage? Now that would be cool for a change....
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Old 01.10.2008, 05:31 PM   #190
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Old 01.10.2008, 07:00 PM   #191
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Hey Pork, have you ever listened to the loooooong Henry Flynt interview on Ubuweb? It was recorded several years back on WFMU and contains some fascinating discussion of Flynt's disdain for European art music, John Cage, conceptual art and some brilliant insight into other things. Very much worth your time.

http://www.ubu.com/sound/flynt.html
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Old 01.10.2008, 07:16 PM   #192
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I found a nice old worn copy of Uptight used last week...lotsa info I didn't know (talks of Brian Epstein being their manager??? He apparently had the first album on a vacation and listened a lot to it) lots of pics I hadnt seen before too. (apologies if this overlaps somehow in this thread, i haven't read everything.)
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Old 01.11.2008, 04:26 AM   #193
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hat and bread
Hey Pork, have you ever listened to the loooooong Henry Flynt interview on Ubuweb? It was recorded several years back on WFMU and contains some fascinating discussion of Flynt's disdain for European art music, John Cage, conceptual art and some brilliant insight into other things. Very much worth your time.

http://www.ubu.com/sound/flynt.html

Yes, but thank you anyway.
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Old 01.11.2008, 04:52 AM   #194
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CHOUT
I found a nice old worn copy of Uptight used last week...lotsa info I didn't know (talks of Brian Epstein being their manager??? He apparently had the first album on a vacation and listened a lot to it) lots of pics I hadnt seen before too. (apologies if this overlaps somehow in this thread, i haven't read everything.)

I haven't read that book in a while, but didn't Warhol fly over to London to talk about Apple releasing the first VU record and with Paul McCartney and to collect Nico from Macca's house because she had made herself at home in it too much? There were talks about Epstein becoming their manager but nothing came out of it.
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Old 01.11.2008, 04:54 AM   #195
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jetengine
All these Velvet Underground audio and video rarities are quite nice, but the emphasis is primarily on the Warhol/Nico/Cale era. Does anyone know where to find Loaded-to-Squeeze-era video footage? Now that would be cool for a change....

I doubt that any exist and I wouldn't want to watch it, anyway.
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Old 01.11.2008, 10:20 AM   #196
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sarramkrop
I doubt that any exist and I wouldn't want to watch it, anyway.


Why not...?
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Old 02.22.2008, 04:16 AM   #197
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Because they would be crap, I'm sure.

GREAT NEWS:

A big fuss is being made about the 1967's Gymnasium Tapes coming on a bootleg near you soon.
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Old 02.24.2008, 01:15 PM   #199
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so they are real? where did you get those?

thanks a lot anyway.
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Old 02.24.2008, 01:23 PM   #200
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hmm... i hope they are the warhol tapes disguised as the gymnasium tapes.
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