The first show is Live at Paris Cinema, London 07-16-1970, just before the release of the album Atom Heart Mother (which we know because Peel says the song will be on their forthcoming album). The first set includes “Embryo” (which only ever appeared on their compilation Works, in a much shorter version), “Fat Old Sun” (from AHM), “Green is the Colour” (from the More soundtrack), “Careful with that Axe, Eugene” (available on Relics and in live formats), “If” (from AHM) and “Atom Heart Mother.”
The version of “AHM” here is interesting because the cello solo is played by a horn instead. The reason for this is because it allowed them to have fewer musicians on tour. It’s the same theme but the horn brings a very different feel than the cello did. It’s also interesting to hear that the horn players are nowhere near as polished as they might be. (In Geesin’s book he does talk about the lack of rehearsal the orchestra had for their live shows).
The second show is Live at Paris Cinema 09-30-1971, just over a year later. They once again do “Fat Old Sun” but in 1970 it was 6 minutes and in 1971 it is now 15 minutes long with a lot of jamming and keyboard stuff thrown on top. Next up is “One of These Days” (from the forthcoming Meddle) a favorite of mine. From this set I learned that the distorted voice that says “one of these days I’m going to cut you in to little pieces” is actually that of Nick Mason (and interestingly, in this version, the quote comes at the end of the song rather than the middle). Then they play “Embryo” again (it was clearly a concert favorite even if it never got a proper release (same length for each show and not drastically different). Then comes “Echoes,” the big side long epic from Meddle. And the set ends with “Blues,” which is indeed a blues. I don’t really expect to hear a blues from Pink Floyd, but here it is, and it’s a good one (Gilmour clearly can jam to anything).
The video below contains the two complete shows running at over 2 hours.
[READ: September 29, 2013] School Spirit
This is the final obscure Douglas Coupland book that I’m aware of and will be the final DC book that I need to hunt down for this blog (I have three other proper novels that I haven’t posted about, but those are proper books and will be dealt with in turn).
This book has about the least amount of information about it that I’ve seen in a book.
The (I assume) official description of the book (which I get from Amazon and Google Books) says
Dis Voir’s Encounters series invites a well-known contemporary artist to choose a subject for a book. The artist also selects a person with “elective affinities”–someone with whom he or she would like to share this exchange. The resulting collaborative volumes serve as an artistic and political laboratory of the present. For this first installment, French artist Pierre Huyghe choose Canadian writer Douglas Coupland, author of Generation X, for the influence that Coupland has had on his generation, and on Huyghe’s own work. Using a high school yearbook as scaffolding for their meditations, they discuss the construction of character, narrative techniques based on chance and the political dimensions of Coupland’s work–themes that are also fundamental questions for Huyghe’s projects. Using a high school yearbook as the framework for a meditation on memory.
But my copy (which has a different cover and limited publication information so may possibly be a different version) does not have anything to say at all about “the construction of character, narrative techniques based on chance and the political dimensions of Coupland’s work.”
Rather what we get is a series of black and white pictures from yearbooks (at least they sure look like yearbooks). Did Huyghe simply take pictures from random yearbooks? Did he comb a series of yearbooks? They are all of a time (looks like the late 70s/early 80s) and have that grainy quality of yearbooks of that era. But no credits are given to any source.
Interspersed within these pictures are a series of quotations that seem very much like yearbook quotations. “Stacy. Remember Grant. Remember his lies. Remember me. Danny” or “Laurie: I’m sorry for the things I’ve done in the past that hurt you. I don’t know why you stuck by me” Did Coupland write them? Did they come from yearbooks? Who can say? They are in a very bold font.
But the rest of the text (in a different front) is from Coupland. And what we have is the story of Kelly Harding, a junior at a high school in California. On April 14, 1984 she died in school of an embolism. She has been haunting the school ever since. (She’s a school spirit). There were a few typos (which was surprising given the length of text) and some poorly constructed sentences which made me wonder if this was originally written in French (there is no evidence to support this except that when I first ordered the book through inter library loan I received a French edition and the publisher is French).
So Kelly muses about high school–she’s allowed to leave her school to go to other high schools, which allows her to make proclamations about all schools. Like that high school students aren’t real people yet, they are larvae (this seems spot on). Perhaps the most interesting assertion is that the only really interesting people at school are the losers & misfits “because once you leave school everyone’s a loser, so at least they’re better prepared.” And of course there are sentiments that are common now like school just being an exercise in crowd control and the halls being full of sexual energy.
For Coupland fans, these musings are okay. They’re hardly worth a ton of work to track down, but you should be able to get it loaned from any library. In total it’s about 20 paragraphs long, so you’re not missing a lot.
Overall I’m not really sure what the point of this exercise is. Surely everyone has their own yearbook that they can look through and reminiscence. I suppose it’s interesting to look at other yearbooks to see just how much the same they all are. But without context, these pictures are just a weird collection of people you don’t know. And while Coupland’s story is thoughtful, it’s not all that compelling and only really ties to the pictures because the girl is a school ghost.