by carl wilson

They'll Put a Spell on You
(Or Is It the Other Way 'Round?)


Roky Erickson in the film You're Gonna Miss Me.

Later today I'll post some notes from the shows I saw this weekend at the Guelph Jazz Festival. But in the meanwhile...

In the past on Zoilus, there's been a fair bit of debate about the fraught category of "Outsider Music", and the issues it raises, of exploitation, creativity-vs-madness, transgression and social control.

Well, there's a wave of Great Outsider(ish) Legends of Art'n'Rock sweeping over central Canada this fall. Besides the Jandek show next weekend, about which much more in the coming week, Texas's Roky Erickson, of the 13th Floor Elevators and many great solo albums and subject of true tales and apocrypha and a documentary regarding his struggle with mental illness, has been confirmed to play Pop Montreal on Oct. 6 (where I'll be live-blogging, by the way, as well as appearing on an Oct. 5 panel at the parallel Future of Music Coalition Summit.) (Another, rather similar panel the next day features among others Frank Chromewaves and Matthew Fluxblog, who coincidentally discusses "outsider music" in his post from Friday). Gary Wilson, who was a no-show at the Electric Eclectics fest in Ontario this summer, is skedded to play Pop Montreal the same day. Meanwhile in Toronto we've got Arthur Brown, the "god of hellfire," of The Crazy World of Arthur Brown fame, performing at the Lula Lounge on Oct 15-16. The next day, underground-film titan and Aleister Crowley magick acolyte Kenneth Anger appears live to introduce a retrospective of his own films and a new documentary about him, Anger Me, at the Bloor Cinema. (Whatever you want to say about the "outsider art" category, it sure does attract filmmakers - there's the Jandek movie, the Daniel Johnston film, the Erickson one, the constantly postponed Shaggs feature film, the Benjamin Smoke movie, Irwin Chusid's videos, etc. etc. ... Also I recently saw Junebug, a film I liked a lot, which made very subtly critical use of an "outsider" art-scene subplot.)

Meanwhile, in Toronto, there are several recent and upcoming developments involving "outsider artists" in the visual field: First, there's the project of "street furniture" designed by psychiatric survivors, as well as the related juried Outsider Art exhibition opening Sept. 30 at the Gladstone, both sponsored by Parkdale Activity & Recreation Centre (PARC). Then there's the buzz around "Joseph Wagenbach," whose house full of "outsider art" (a la Henry Darger) at 105 Robinson Street has reportedly been attracting arts-scene personalities and an official archivist's attention - but might not be exactly what it seems... (shades of that other sort-of-"outsider" figure, DJ Cyber-Rap.)

And finally there's street artist Les King, a familiar figure on the West Queen West strip, who was the object of some controversy last year. A loose collective of individuals, myself included, has been assembled by local writer/musician Ryan Kamstra to come up with some strategies to assist Les with facing the coming winter, and also to generate some conversation around the stubborn puzzles of homelessness, charity and the links between the cultural and physical "outside."

Let the liberation/voyeurism/predation/introspection begin.

| Posted by zoilus on Monday, September 11 at 2:24 PM | Linking Posts | Comments (5)

 

COMMENTS

"outsider music"?

I've been away from the blogs too long!

Posted by jenny on September 16, 2006 7:32 PM

 

 

no sweat, I'm just anxious to read about what I missed.
actually, I'm a punk rocker.

Posted by vk on September 14, 2006 2:33 PM

 

 

sorry about the holdup on guelphnotes. work with a capital W has interfered egregiously.

Posted by zoilus on September 13, 2006 1:31 PM

 

 

cos you skipped off to chicago instead, indierawker?

Posted by spitz on September 13, 2006 1:13 PM

 

 

I wanna hear about the Guelph Jazz Festival damn it!

Posted by vk on September 12, 2006 9:34 PM

 

 

 

Zoilus by Carl Wilson