Friday, November 23, 2007

Relationships between the world and Mark E. Smith


An anti war rhetoric (WWI)
Designed to combat Nationalism
It denied the cultural value of at
Deliberately disregarded artistic convention

“…disgusted by the butchery of WWI, we devoted ourselves to the Fine Arts. Despite the remote booming of artillery we sang, painted, pasted, and wrote poetry with all our might and main. We were seeking an elementary art to cure man of the frenzy of the times and a new order to restore the balance between heaven and hell. This art rapidly became a subject of general disapproval. It was not surprising to us that the “bandits” were unable to understand us. In their puerile megalomania and power-madness, they demanded that art itself must serve to brutalize mankind.”

HORRORS OF WWI, lost generation, disillusionment

Influences on Mark E. Smith:
Total rejection of the standard coupled with an active desire to undermine and make ridicule of that same cultural standard.

The Fall influence on the name:
The bands name, the fall, is itself a reference to the novel by Albert Camus, a nihilist.

The ides of nihilism is inherently tied to punk.

Punk itself is a rejection of a norm, namely:

The Sex Pistols’ slogan “no future”

The post baby-boom generation (Mark E. Smith) had nothing to rally behind. No wars, no great oppressor, only the disillusionment of the hippies and the general distaste for the political workings of the older generations. Punk stems from boredom.

One could criticize punk as an inability to face up to the harsh realities of the world (being that there was nothing to actually rally for)

Mark E. Smith’s lyrics speak chiefly at the dissatisfaction with the world.
• anger and mediocrity (like all punk)
• lament for the death of literacy
• disgust with the state of culture

“Contradictory” reference points I was told to research:
Opera and contemporary dance music, witchcraft and amphetamines, Luddism and valium, hobgoblin and Queen Victoria.

Though they seem contradictory in the world of Mark E. Smith the represent the dissatisfaction with the ideas and ideals held by many as sacred.

Each shows the same thing, just put forth under a different flag.
Hobgoblins are essentially fictional beasts that live to cause torment, and are pressed into our psyches from an early age but so is the Queen Victoria. In other words, these comparisons serve to show that all human inner workings are frail and pointless, i.e. Nihilism.
Albert Camus sought to prove life itself to be meaningless. Taking a cue from the “pure reason” of Nietzsche, Camus showed that only in CHAOS there is TRUE ORDER or vice versa. *Camus: Humans are a victims of their own lives and in the end they are just going to be fucked*

Mark E. Smith was a college dropout and become a working class hero as he worked in the Salford docks, which he quit shortly to gain attention and recognition for his ideas by devoting his full energies to The Fall.

This new energy came with the disregard of social standards as well as

Smith’s attitude and “bellicose insobriety” is, likely in his own estimation, a rejection of the social value of courtesy; most of us grow out of being visibly inebriated in public before the age of 25; Mark E. Smith is still at it.

CONNECTIONS Mark E. Smith and Dada

Dada was a knee jerk response to the shock of modern warfare and in inability to cope.

Mark E. Smith has a similar response to being born into a relative comfort and normality in Manchester 1957, an inability to cope with the very drabness of life itself.

He would much rather people think about his music that sit/dance and enjoy it.

Although Camus is a great writer, he and his cohorts like Jean Paul Sartre are, at heart, lazy whiners (at least from one perspective). The same can be said about Mark E. Smith.
• He is always dunk (or at least represents himself to be)
• Draws influence from a purely philosophical perspective
This is to say he does not account for any perspective, but for his own ideals – look at the interviews with him, he is very quick to dismiss alternative (which is oftentimes ironically mainstream) methodology as “shit”.

ALTHOUGH Mark E. Smith draws verbal influence from the depth of literary knowledge, his complaints are the same as any punk rocker:
• the song “God Box” which is anti TV
• many songs in which he decries David Bowie and Glam Rock such as “Hard in the Country” and “Glam Racket”
• angry over a girl in “Hillary”
• and every other song criticizing the stiffness of society.

A friend’s interpretation of the life Mark E. Smith:
What society ever did to Mark E. Smith, we may never know for sue. But rest assured it weaned him on both comfort and knowledge, without any real cause for struggle while feeding him drugs and making him bitter that the world cares not for a visionary artist. Rather than actually going ahead and enjoying what he had, he took the “punk” route, and concentrated on how miserable his life was. It earned him millions of dollars.

Smith’s mail goal in life was NOT TO CONFORM, this appears more important than any underlying social message.

More typical Smith complaints:
• Things are too “trendy” ex. Glasgow, scenes, kids
• Government “becoming fascist”

It’s possible Smith could just be a drunken commie.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Mark E. Smith

I checked the Library at Chelsea and it led me to The Wonderful and Frightening World of Mark E. Smith
I found it in 9 pieces on youtube. The following are part 1 and then part 5.

A music video:


Mark Edward Smith (born 5 March 1957) is the lead singer, lyricist, frontman, and sole consistent (OF 49!) member of The Fall, a renowned and idiosyncratic offshoot from the English post-punk popular music scene.


Smith was born to a working-class family in Broughton, Salford, in Lancashire, England, and moved to nearby Prestwich, in Bury early in his life. He formed The Fall (named after the novel by Camus) with friends after dropping out of college at the age of 19. He gave up his job at Salford docks shortly after to devote his full energies to The Fall, and has continued to do so ever since. Smith married Californian guitarist (and Fall band member, 1983-89, 1994-96) Brix Smith on 19 July 1983, though they divorced in 1989. He has since remarried twice. He married his present wife, Eleni (sometimes called Elenor or Elena) Poulou, in 2001, and she joined The Fall in September 2002.
Smith has won much acclaim for his unique lyrical style, which mixes elements of social realism, surrealism, and absurdism, dwelling on subjects as far removed as unemployment and football violence to time travel and ghosts, all with the same wit, astute humour and precarious balance between brutalism and intellect. In interviews, he has cited Colin Wilson,[1] Wyndham Lewis, H. P. Lovecraft, and Philip K. Dick as influences.[2] When British DJ and Fall champion John Peel died in 2004, Smith made a notorious appearance on the BBC's Newsnight show.[3] Regarded by many as a bewildering performance, Smith has made his appreciation for John Peel clear in several subsequent interviews. Nevertheless, the two only met a handful of times. Though he broke his hip while promoting the album The Real New Fall LP (Formerly Country on the Click) in 2004, Smith refused to cancel an upcoming American tour, instead choosing to perform in a wheelchair. Unfortunately the pain and medication caused a number of dates to be cancelled.
In January 2005, The Fall were the subject of The Fall: The Wonderful and Frightening World of Mark E. Smith, a BBC Four television documentary. The following August, Smith received the "Contribution to Music" award at the Diesel-U-Music Awards. Smith is currently working with Manchester-based writer Austin Collings on an autobiography, Renegade: The Gospel According to Mark E. Smith, due to be published by Viking Books in February 2008. His latest musical project is Von Südenfed, a collaboration with Mouse on Mars, whose first album, Tromatic Reflexxions, was released on May 21, 2007.

Work without The Fall
Alongside his work with The Fall, Smith has released two spoken-word solo albums: The Post-Nearly Man (1998) and Pander! Panda! Panzer! (2002). Both albums feature readings of Fall lyrics, samples of Fall songs and contributions from members of The Fall, and the line between Smith's solo career and his work with the group remains somewhat blurred.
Smith has also appeared as a guest vocalist for Edwyn Collins, Inspiral Carpets, Elastica, Long Fin Killie, Mouse on Mars, Coldcut, and Ghostigital.
[edit]Writing and acting
In 1987, Smith wrote the play "Hey Luciani!" based around the short-lived reign of Pope John Paul I. Smith has also periodically acted as guest contributor to publications including the NME. He has appeared in an acting role in several television programmes and films. He made a brief appearance as himself in the Michael Winterbottom film 24 Hour Party People (2002) and in May 2007 he made an appearance on the BBC Three sitcom Ideal, playing a foulmouthed, chain-smoking Jesus.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Added sound.

Dialog and sound update

I hate flat images.

Mapping the territories. Mapping out Hearing and Sound {noise}.

Possible titles: listen

sound diaries

The processes of turning my sense of hearing into a coherent and visually stimulating map format have been long and difficult. Representations of the sound are subjective, and it is still unknown whether they will be taking the form of organic lines or typography. Although these aspects still must be solidified, it will be measured in a time line of sorts. After Friday’s session, I researched some Concrete Poetry, which led to Visual Poetry topics and then finally to the concept of Lettrism. With no means of recording the sounds this weekend because the rental place was closed and I was out of town and out of Internet I only had my notebook and pen to write down the things I heard and thereby transcribing their sounds. My first idea was to record all the sounds in, or that found their way into my room, indicating the source, type, and volume. The idea couldn’t be carried through, however, because the sounds would be repetitive and predictable. Noises such as the six o’clock drum and bass that blasts through the corridor of my hall flat, and the chattering outside my window at three in the morning were originally to be mapped. I decided to then record the sounds of my entire day, by time, taking note of whether I interacted with the sound, or was forced to listen to it. Hopefully, hand cut, handset, and/or hand drawn typography are options in executing the final product in an attempt to get away from the computer.

... defined concrete poetry as writing that "begins by being aware of graphic space as a structural agent", so that words or letters can be juxtaposed, not only in relation to each other but ... to the page area as a whole.

The Lettrist worked on the level of the letter at the heart of what they believed to be an experiential language that was to be the basis of their new culture. Their Lexique Des Lettres Nouvelles, for example was a sonic alphabet of a 130 or so sounds from which a new natural language was to spring from and from which they composed their poetry. Isou along with his chief lieutenant, Maurice Lemaitre, worked out a notational style that resembled that of traditional, 'common-practice' music, sometimes even with staffs, bar lines, and dynamic markings. Lettrist poetry was also often performed by choral groups.

This is the START of my new map layout.
The ones posted below are totally bogus. I had a spin wheel idea as well that I still might do. But I like this one best.

I am currently uploading two days worth of sound from the MD Recorder onto my laptop.
I am glad this project is not subjective after all.

Transcribing the sound and dialog is going to take me YEARS. I'll do it though.
I can't wait till all the type setting is done.

I am finally getting sorta excited about this.
Also, very frustrated!

A close up of recorded dialog (done before sound because sound will need more time)