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Beyond the Valley of A Day in the Life
The Beatles, the Beach Boys & stepping outside history
by Pacôme Thiellement
The relationship between the Beach Boys and the Beatles is at the heart of some key issues in pop culture, namely: can pop music function as a tool of knowledge? And if so, how? Author and essayist Pacôme Thiellement has published several articles on pop music, poetry, and black magic; here he offers an exegesis of Beach Boys’ and Beatles’ masterpieces in the same vein as his book on pop and gnosis, Poppermost: Considérations sur la mort de Paul McCartney (Paris: Musica Falsa, 2002), a theory of pop culture elaborated through a comparison of the Beatles and the Residents.
Thiellement has also published an essay on Frank Zappa from an anthropological perspective ( Economie Eskimo: Le rêve de Zappa , Paris: Musica Falsa, 2005) and, most recently, a study of Nerval (L’homme électrique: Nerval et la vie, Paris: Musica Falsa).
L’effet star III : le corps publicitaire
In January 1987, Alain Sabourin interviewed Jean Baudrillard at CAPC musée d’art contemporain in Bordeaux. L’Effet Star, the overall title of a series of four lectures and interviews, was part of the museum’s Cinéma au musée program. When introducing this talk, Michel Bourel pointed out that “Jean Baudrillard, through his books, has plumbed and challenged our system of representation, which has become what he calls ‘the sacred horizon of appearances’. His talk will bear on ‘the advertising body,’ that special by-product of the world of hypervisibility.”
L’effet Star No. 3: Le corps publicitaire can now be published thanks to the kind authorization of Marine Baudrillard.
Daniel Johnston R.I.P
by Wilfried Paris
In this article, Wilfried Paris adopts a unique approach to one of the key figures of pop culture: Daniel Johnston. An American songwriter born in 1961, Johnston is a mythical figure in more ways than one, since his life and various activities (including drawing) make him an archetypal (post)modern (anti)hero. An epic text—halfway between rock criticism, pop philosophy, and metaphysical fiction—reflects the ambivalence of its subject.
Wilfried Paris, a musician and journalist, here offers a unique, dense, almost imaginary analysis—the first of its kind—in the form of a portrait of one artist dreamed up by another.