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Through the Looking Glass
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).
(on Brian Wilson and the films of Wes Anderson)
by Jean-Philippe Tessé
La vague et le vague. Gilles Deleuze on surf
by Arnaud Viviant
Gilles Deleuze on surf, la vague et le vague, a “performance lecture” by Arnaud Viviant, implements a kind of free, intellectual, and progressive drift within the philosophy of the “surf” concept. From Wikipedia to surf music and from the Beach Boys to Gilles Deleuze, Viviant sketches a theory of pop and of our contemporary relationship to culture.
This video piece documents a lecture given at CAPC in the context of a symposium titled A travers le miroir. La culture pop et au-dela (CAPC musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux, December 7–8, 2007).
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.