Sunday, 31 July 2022

so we spin (10. 029)

Published in part at the link, we enjoyed this introduction to the graphic design portfolio of Elinor and Joe Selame in their 1971 data-visualisation (see also here and here) volume that poses the question whether one is a wheel or a cog and demonstrates the discipline’s commitment to limning socio-economic realities and communicating an class and ethnographic truth. Widening inequalities create a thesis and antithesis that can be convey clearly in a family of symbols, which not only project and reflect society, the technique can also help one to understand one’s role within the context of community. More at Print Magazine at the link above.

Monday, 20 June 2022

glastonbury fayre

The free four-day concert hosted in Pilton—the second Glastonbury festival, opened on this day in 1971 with the venue of a special Pyramid Stage, a one-tenth scale model of the one at Giza constructed of sheet metal and positioned over a water source discovered with dousing and was documented by filmmakers Nicolas Roeg and David Puttnam—released the following May. Performances included numbers by Melanie, David Bowie, Traffic, Fairport Convention, Tonto’s Expanding Head Band, Mighty Baby and Hawkwind.

Sunday, 5 June 2022

but the kettle’s on the boil and we’re so easily called away

Starting a two-week run at the top of the UK charts on this day on 1971, the album Ram, the second by the duo of Paul and Linda McCartney, featured the leading single “Uncle Albert / Admiral Halsey,” that song itself reaching number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 and the McCartneys’ first certified Gold post-Beatles. A medley of sound-effects and harmonies, the montage style is reminiscent of Abbey Road and is described by the artists as a musical apology from the younger generation to the older for being impatient and dismissive. I had another look and I had a cup of tea and butter pie.

Monday, 2 May 2022

fan mail from a flounder?

Given the MST3K treatment for the first time on this day in 1999 in their tenth season, the surpassing bad 1971 sci-fi horror film also released under the titles ZaAt (the name of the chemical compound), Hydra and Attack of the Swamp Creatures relates the plot of a mad scientist first to transform himself into a catfish-like monster (sort of like the hybrid God-Emperor primate-sandworm) then drug an entire town’s water supply with the same serum to create a community of merpeople. The mad scientist then turns his focus to revenge on his fellow researchers who ridiculed his work.

Sunday, 24 April 2022

the snake in the tunnel

Following a referendum in France the day before that admitted the UK, Ireland and Denmark into the Common Market, on this day in 1972 at a summit in Basel the members of the European Economic Community agreed to install an exchange system to limit fluctuations in rates in order that the basket of European currencies would be consistent with the US dollar. With the titular nickname (Schlange im Tunnel, le Serpent monรฉtaire europรฉen), the arrangement was the first attempt to peg the Mark, the Franc and the Pound Sterling to one another that ultimately led to the creation of the euro and was precipitated by the Nixon Shock of the previous year with the repeal of the Bretton Woods system. This coordination, cartel was a method to control appreciation and depreciation and retain relative stability until the following year when the dollar began to float freely and member nations diverged in their response.

Saturday, 9 April 2022

jacob and sons

Originally recorded as a children’s pop cantata in 1968 at Cole Court School for Boys and workshopped some more before becoming a full-fledged fixture in the repertoire of musical theatre, Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber collaborated with the group The Mixed Bag to produce The Joseph Consortium in 1971, a cross between rock opera and psychedelic kids show (previsioning another parallel composition) that was a retelling of the biblical figure and patriarch of the Book of Genesis, Joseph.  Any dream will do.

Friday, 14 January 2022

scarabus

Via Weird Universe, we are (formally—as it seems familiar in a way but never knew the artist’s name) introduced to the Belgian writer and animator Gรฉrald Frydman through his 1971 surreal vignette about a town and the bizarre rituals of its inhabitants. Frydman’s short films were jury selectees and winners of the Palme d’Or in 1976 and 1984 and can be viewed at the artist’s channel.

Friday, 31 December 2021

3 sutton place

The Burmese diplomat appointed as United Nations Secretary-General after the unexpected death of Dag Hammarskjรถld in 1961 declining overtures for a third-term, U Thant (แ€žแ€”့်, U being an honorific title and not a first or family name) stepped down on this day in 1971, having facilitated negotiations between Khrushchev and Kennedy during the Cuban Missile Crisis, intervened to avoid a chaotic break-up of Congo, overseeing the end of colonial rule for many states in Asia and Africa and was a vocal critic of America’s actions in Vietnam. His successor taking office on 1 January 1972, Kurt Waldheim—in 1986 during some opposition research whilst running for the Austrian presidency (which he won) was revealed to have been a Nazi intelligence officer during World War II—secured the seat accidentally after several rounds of the Security Council conclave failed to produce a winning candidate and three of the four member states with veto power (the USSR backed Waldheim) failed to coordinate their override and abstained instead. After Waldheim left office, incumbency was limited to two terms.

Friday, 24 December 2021

als ich vom himmel fiel

Miraculously on this day in 1971, en route from Lima to home in-land in Iquitos after graduation ceremonies, seventeen-year-old Juliane (nรฉe Koepcke) Diller not only lived through a catastrophic airplane crash, the cabin broken up by a lightening strike at altitude and tumbling three-thousand metres from the sky still belted into her seat, which took the lives of ninety-one others (her mother included), as sole survivor, she wandered through the rainforests of Peru alone for eleven days before finding civilisation and medical care for her injuries though wholly ambulatory and only sustaining a broken collar bone and a gash to her arm prone to infection. Somewhat of a wild-child, daughter to a pair of biologists, Koepcke was raised in the jungle and had acquired the skills that helped her to persevere. Scouting for filming locations for Aquirre—the Wrath of God, the 1972 historical epic with Klaus Kinski leading a retinue of conquistadores down the Amazon in search of the legendary seven cities of gold, director Werner Herzog would have also taken that flight, had it not been for a change in his itinerary. Subject of a 1988 documentary, Herzog and Koepcke toured the crash site together. Like her parents, Koepcke also studied biology and continued their research in Peru, specialising ultimately in chiroptology, and presently is the chief library for the Bavarian State Collection of Zoology in Munich.

Monday, 20 December 2021

6x6

kentucky christmas: the origins of KFC for festive dinners in Japan traced to the Osaka World Expo  

you sure have a way with people—well, they’re my species: Harold and Maude at fifty, with soundtrack by Yusuf (Cat) Stevens  

lake toilet-brush: the toponymic curse of IKEA product names 

 ๐Ÿ’Š: a round-up of the Resurrections premier  

build back better: US president Joe Biden’s legislative agenda derailed  

die hard’s a christmas movie: Eyes Wide Shut (1999) re-evaluated

Friday, 17 December 2021

hunky dory

The titular fourth studio album released on this day in 1971 by a twenty-four year old David Bowie was a departure from the guitar-dominant The Man Who Sold the World from a year before with a softer piano composition, backed by Mick Ronson, Trevor Bolder and Mick Woodmansey on drums—the group that would form the Spiders from Mars within the next year. The track listing from this monumental recording that defined the artist includes “Changes, “Oh—You Pretty Things,” “Life on Mars” and “Andy Warhol.”

Friday, 10 December 2021

nobelfesten

Cancelled for a second year due to the pandemic, normally the Nobel Banquet (previously here and here) is held annually on this day (the anniversary of the death in 1896 of its benefactor, inspired to become a philanthropist after reading a premature obituary of himself that described him as a war profiteer, indeed having amassed his fortune from dynamite), the fรชte hosted in the Blue Hall of the rathaus of Stockholm for 1971 would have included amongst its guests Willy Brandt, chancellor of West Germany, Pavlo Neruda, Chilean poet and diplomat, Simon Kuznets, responsible for turning economics into an empirical, cyclical science, and Gรกbor Dรฉnes, inventory of among other things holography.

Saturday, 4 December 2021

smoke on the water

During a show by Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention and immortalised by the titular Deep Purple hit (whom were also present to witness the incident, scheduled to record the album Machine Head) on this day in 1971, the venue for the Montreux Jazz Festival, the Swiss city’s casino went up in flames after a fan fired a flare gun. A bootleg recording of Zappa’s performance captures the outbreak and fire alarm as the band and audience fled.

Monday, 8 November 2021

sanctuary city

Though the concept of cities of refuge where perpetrators of accidental crimes could claim asylum is ancient and the modern usage seems quite contemporary, the first municipality in the US that passed an ordinance prohibiting city authorities from enforcing rendition for non-violent offences was Berkeley, California, adopting the stance on this day in 1971, inspiring and leading a shift among many polities in North American and Europe to be more welcoming of arriving immigrants and reduce anxiety surrounding deportation and possible family separation.

Saturday, 6 November 2021

my mama used to dance for the money they’d throw

The artist’s first solo number one single from the eponymous album Chรฉr (previously), Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves began its two week run at the top of US charts on this day in 1971. With themes of poverty, racism, prostitution and teen-age pregnancy, it was a marked departure from most contemporary easy-listening but proved to be very popular and enduring with positive reviews, cultural inclusion and tribute performances.

Sunday, 31 October 2021

schweizer parlamentswahlen 1971

After passing in a national referendum earlier in the year (see also, see previously), women finally secured the right to vote and stand for office in federal elections in Switzerland, exercising their rights for the first time on this day a half a century ago. Lise Girardin (*1921 - †2010) of Geneva was nominated by her party (the Free, Freisinnig Democrats) to be the first female member of the Council of States, der Stรคnderat—the Upper House of the Swiss federal assembly.

Sunday, 24 October 2021

where all are brothers—none faceless others

First performed on this day in 1971 at the behest of then Secretary-General U Thant for the organisation’s twenty-sixth anniversary, a Hymn to the United Nations with words based of the charter’s preamble by W. H. Auden set to music by cellist and composer Pau Casals was not officially adopted by the supranational body, as Thant intended—to be played before special occasions and further efforts to create a formal anthem were never pursued. 

At last it is,
Where even sadness
Is a form of gladness,
Where fate is freedom,
Grace and Surprise.

Wednesday, 20 October 2021

play misty for me

Clint Eastwood’s directorial debut, the above titled collaboration with Dean Riesner and Jo Heims was released on this day in 1971 and follows the narrative of an over night disc jockey in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, portrayed by Eastwood, being stalked by an increasingly obsessive caller, Evelyn Draper played by Jessica Walter (*1941 - †2021), who always requests he play the signature Johnny Mathis jazz standard. After a bit of romantic entrapment that betrays the state of the fan’s mental health, the host fights to keep her at bay and unambiguously preclude the prospect of a future relationship .

Tuesday, 12 October 2021

prove to me that you’re divine, change my water into wine—that’s all you need do, then i’ll know it’s all true

Formerly only previewed as a cast recording in limited release over a year prior, the rock opera by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber Jesus Christ Superstar was for the first time staged and performed before a live audience in the Mark Hellinger Theatre on Broadway—the famous venue for My Fair Lady, The Sound of Music, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and Man of La Mancha which would eventually be consecrated in 1989 as the interdenominational Times Square Church—on this day in 1971. The anachronistic version of the Holy Week narrative, loosely following the books of the gospel and giving an accounting of Jesus and his disciples leading up to his arrest and crucifixion was the longest-running West End musical before being displaced by Cats in 1989. Below is “Superstar,” the penultimate number, with Judas, Soul Sisters and Angels from the 1973 adaptation, filmed on location.

Sunday, 10 October 2021

upstairs, downstairs

Tracking the gradual decline of the British aristocracy through the lens of a wealthy family living at a posh address in Belgravia, a countess who entered into a morganatic marriage with the son of a county parson, and their domestics, over a span of twenty-seven years, from the turn of the century through the Great War, the Roaring Twenties and the Great Depression in the 1930s during the regencies of Edward VII, George V and Edward VIII, the ITV series debuted on this day in 1971, running for five seasons. The introductory credits of each episode featured a cartoon from Punch magazine over the opening theme The Edwardians—performed as a the mildly bawdy, music hall piece “What Are We Going to Do with Uncle Arthur?” with an instrumental version also used as a wedding march (see also) for a marriage ceremony in the show.