The cover shoot for Art Decades‘ tenth issue, out now, has a Log Lady meets Readers’ Wives vibe, and the green font gives a nod to the upcoming return of Twin Peaks. ‘Puyallup Suburban Chic’ is shot by filmmaker Kimberly Kane, starring actress Lily LaBeau. Their collaboration evokes memories of Bunny Yeager’s 1950s work with Bettie Page.
Dedicated to the late Leonard Cohen, Volume 10 features two more striking pictorials. John Levy’s ethereal ‘Veiled Valentine’ is accompanied by lines from ‘Dance Me to the End of Time.’ Kelley Richey’s ‘A Well-Read Woman is a Dangerous Creature’, shot at Black Swan Books in Lexington, reminded me of the bookstore scene from The Big Sleep.
‘Keep All the Animals Warm’ is the first in a new series of layouts celebrating readers and their pets. Elsewhere, there’s ‘Famous People Dead’, a short story from Les Bohem, set in Pere LaChaise cemetery in Paris; conversations with filmmakers Nick Hunt, whose debut horror, Safe Place, will be released this fall; and the writer and director of acclaimed Italian satire, Pecore in Erba. Marcio Lima talks about his Los Angeles-based clothing line, The Sellout, and Jeremy Richey interviews Bill Ackerman, whose Supporting Characters podcast is a regular on the Now Playing Network. In my favourite article this time around, Jeremy explores the underrated ‘blaxploitation’ films of Gordon Parks Jr., son of the great American photographer.
Amy Winehouse, Another Day in the Death of America, BFI Stars, Blondie, British Witches of Sussex, Elena Ferrante, F.A. Mannan, Frances Farmer, Frantumaglia, Gary Younge, I'm Not In the Band, Jean Rhys, Journalism, Julie Christie, Lana Del Rey, Letters, Lyndsy Spence, Margaret Lockwood, Melanie Bell, Natalie Wood, Nathalie Leger, Peter Shelley, Rebecca Sullivan, Suite For Barbara Loden, Sylvia Patterson
British journalist Gary Younge has a sharp eye for how political events impact on ordinary lives. While living in Chicago, he investigated the stories behind the blunt statistics of ten children and teenagers shot dead in a single day. Never intrusive, but quietly devastating, Another Day in the Death of America illuminates with rare power. Continue reading
I first heard his music while watching Robert Altman’s anti-Western, McCabe and Mrs Miller, in Camden during the late eighties. That cinema is now long-gone, but the film – made not long before I was born – left a lasting impression. Continue reading
Out now, the third issue of Art Decades magazine is the best yet. Highlights include interviews with two of music’s outliers. Viv Albertine, former guitarist of all-girl punk band The Slits, is now a solo artist. She published a widely-praised memoir in 2014. Maria McKee is a Californian singer-songwriter, who fronted country rock band Lone Justice, and topped the UK charts with ‘Show Me Heaven’ in 1990. She now makes music for film with her partner, director Jim Akin.
On the subject of women in music, my review of Lana Del Rey’s latest album, Ultraviolence, is also featured. There is something of a David Bowie theme to this issue, which can never be a bad thing. Edward Bell, who designed several of Bowie’s album covers – from Scary Monsters to the ill-fated Tin Machine – is interviewed, and there is also a stunning pictorial inspired by Bowie’s 1999 song, ‘The Pretty Things Are Going to Hell.’
A short interview with myself is included in an article about Marcelline Block’s new book, Fan Phenomena: Marilyn Monroe. Superfans Megan Owen and Marco van der Munnik share their stories, and a long, fascinating interview with Los Angeles-based impersonator Holly Beavon is also included. Marilyn is also mentioned elsewhere, as an influence on Serena Czarnecki, an adult film star of the 1970s who has re-emerged as an artist and author.
While £15.48 (the current price on Amazon UK) may seem like a lot, Art Decades is filled with beautiful imagery and unique insights about music, film and artists who are mostly ignored, or (as in Marilyn and Lana’s case) misunderstood, and yet have inspired so many of us. Published quarterly, it is both a niche publication, and truly egalitarian. Unlike other, mass-market magazines, it is purely content-driven and doesn’t rely on copious advertising. It also has more to offer than a lot of similarly-priced books.
You can buy single issues on Amazon worldwide, or buy direct from the Art Decades website, with options to subscribe. A portion of the proceeds from sales of this issue will be donated to Belongto.org, a charity supporting young LGBTs – so you know it’s all in a good cause.
My favourite album this year was Lana Del Rey’s dark, brooding Ultraviolence, and my song of the summer was ‘West Coast’.
Looking forward to 2015 – the reigning Queen of Pop, Madonna, will launch her new album, Rebel Heart, in March. A six-track EP, including lead single ‘Living for Love’, was released on i-Tunes this morning.
Allen Ginsberg, Anthony Mandler, Bel Air, Body Electric, Charles F. Haanel, Elvis Presley, Gods and Monsters, Jesus Christ, John Wayne, Lana Del Rey, Los Angeles, Marilyn Monroe, New Thought, Paradise, Tropico, Walt Whitman
“I prefer to bask in the legend of people I’ve only heard about,” Lana Del Rey writes in a memo given out at the premiere of her short film, Tropico, in December 2013. “To me – they are as real as the people sitting in this theater.” Continue reading
Lana Del Rey’s Paradise EP was released in November 2012, on CD in Australia and Germany; as CD or digital download in the US; and on vinyl worldwide. For most music buyers, though, it’s simply the second disc in ‘The Paradise Edition’; a reissue of Born to Die, first released in January 2012. Continue reading
In the summer of 2011, Lana Del Rey arrived as if from nowhere, attracting publicity with her gravelly yet girlish voice, pitched somewhere between Tom Waits and Kate Bush; her haunting, dreamlike songs; and her prom queen meets femme fatale persona, all long, red hair and pouting lips. Continue reading