RIP Sergio Rossi (1935 – 2020)

Sergio Rossi was an Italian shoe designer.

I discovered his work by finding a page dedicated to misogynistic advertising.

Here is the image I discovered, white stockings, white shoes, only the legs are visible, in a Mondriaan-like framework.[1]

Disembodied legs as depicted in this Rossi advertisement haven an aphrodisiac effect on me.

RIP Bill Withers (1938 – 2020)

Who Is He (And What Is He to You)?” (1972)

Bill Withers was an American singer-songwriter known for songs such as “Lean on Me”, “Use Me” and “Ain’t No Sunshine”.

I give you “Who Is He (And What Is He to You)?” (1972) because it’s one of the best adultery songs ever with the unforgettable opening lines:

A man we passed just tried to stare me down
And when I looked at you
You looked at the ground

While researching this death, I came across a rather smart piece of music criticism by the American author Robert Christgau (born 1942):

“Withers sang for a black nouveau middle class that didn’t yet understand how precarious its status was. Warm, raunchy, secular, common, he never strove for Ashford & Simpson-style sophistication, which hardly rendered him immune to the temptations of sudden wealth—cross-class attraction is what gives ‘Use Me’ its kick. He didn’t accept that there had to be winners and losers, that fellowship was a luxury the newly successful couldn’t afford.

RIP Cristina (1959 – 2020)

“Disco Clone” (1978)

Another coronavictim.

 Cristina was an American singer who belongs to the entourage of August Darnell and ZE Records.

By extension she was part of the whole ‘artistic disco’ stable of Patrick Adams, Arthur Russell, Larry Levan and Bob Blank.

You might also call the field she was active in self-conscious or tongue-in-cheek disco or sarcastic disco.

Too many words, I stop here.

RIP Ruth White (1925 – 2013)

The Litanies of Satan

This has happened seven years ago but even Wikipedia only noticed it in 2018.

Personally, I only noticed it today.

Ruth White (1925 – 2013) was an American composer noted for her work in early electronic music.

Of interest to me is her 1969 Baudelaire album, on which she reads 10 poems from The Flowers of Evil. This is really bizarre and reading her liner notes makes the experience only weirder. “The Litanies of Satan” is one of the poems that got him in to trouble.

RIP Gabi ‘D. A. F.’ Delgado-López (1958-2020)

“Der Mussolini” (1981)

This happened last week.

Gabi Delgado-López was a Spanish-born German musician, co-founder of Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft.

He is known for singing compositions such as “Der Mussolini” (1981). This song, together with “Los Niños del Parque” (1981) by Liaisons Dangereuses and “Numbers” (1981) by Kraftwerk put Germany on the map in black America and the dance music world.

If you listen to the full Alles ist gut album where “Der Mussolini” comes from, you cannot help but wonder if D.A.F. listened to Suicide. The sighing voice on “Mein Herz Macht Bum” would give them away.

RIP Krzysztof Penderecki (1933 – 2020)

Krzysztof Penderecki was a Polish composer of 20th century classical music, a period characterized by the use of dissonance.

Outside of the classical music domain his music has been popular in horror films. The piece Polymorphia (1962) for example, is used in The Exorcist (1973) and in The Shining (1980).

And then there is his opera based on the book The Devils of Loudun (1952) by Aldous Huxley. The story of the Loudun possessions is highly remarkable and any occasion to bring it to your attention, shall be grasped.

RIP Nina Auerbach (1943 – 2017)

Nina Auerbach was an American scholar. She published in the fields of Victorian literature, theater, cultural history, and horror fiction and film.

Our Vampires, Ourselves (1995) by Nina Auerbach
[Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

“Vampires and American presidents began to converge in my imagination, not because all presidents are equally vampiric, but because both are personification of their age […] Since I loved vampires before I hated Republicans, this book also reflects my idiosyncrasies.”

Our Vampires, Ourselves (1995) by Nina Auerbach, p. 3

I’ve only read scraps of Auerbach: her remarks on the Carroll photos of Evelyn Hatch and her funny remarks in Our Vampires, Ourselves (above).

Her work is in the tradition of Mario Praz, Bram Dijkstra and Camille Paglia.

RIP Stuart Gordon (1947 – 2020)

Incredibly Strange Film Show on Stuart Gordon (part one)

Stuart Gordon is a film director is best-known for his Re-Animator (1985), based on H. P. Lovecraft’s “Herbert West—Reanimator” (1922).

Incredibly Strange Film Show on Stuart Gordon (part two)

The story starts with these lines ominous lines, in keeping with Lovecraft’s sinister oeuvre:

“Of Herbert West, who was my friend in college and in after life, I can speak only with extreme terror. This terror is not due altogether to the sinister manner of his recent disappearance, but was engendered by the whole nature of his life-work, and first gained its acute form more than seventeen years ago, when we were in the third year of our course at the Miskatonic University Medical School in Arkham. While he was with me, the wonder and diabolism of his experiments fascinated me utterly, and I was his closest companion. Now that he is gone and the spell is broken, the actual fear is greater. Memories and possibilities are ever more hideous than realities.”

H. P. Lovecraft’s “Herbert West—Reanimator” (1922)

The television documentary series Incredibly Strange Film Show did a special on Gordon in 1989 where they interviewed him in the La Brea Tar Pits