Coilhouse Issue 01 is Ready For You!

Laibach in Coilhouse

Coilhouse Magazine, Issue 01 is finally here!

Get ready for 96 glossy, full-color pages of art, photography, music, fashion and literature. In this issue, the stark android beauty created by Andy Julia for our cover is counterbalanced inside by his elegant portfolio of vintage-style nudes. Our biggest feature in Issue 01 is an exclusive 10-page showcase and interview with the incredible taxidermy sculptress Jessica Joslin. Also in Issue 01, Coilhouse travels to Ljubljana, Slovenia (literally! we actually went!) to interview Laibach, while singer Jarboe tells war tales from her career post-Swans. Photographer Eugenio Recuenco contributes a lush 10-page portfolio and interview, while Clayton James Cubitt delivers a poignant, visceral spread (again, literally) on the topic of genital origami. Renowned science fiction author Samuel R. Delany shares an exclusive excerpt from his forthcoming novel, “From the Valley of the Nest of Spiders,” while our first installment of “All Yesterday’s Parties” digs up forgotten party photos from eras long gone, starting with London’s Slimelight circa ’95. Fans of WZW and Z!ST will love Zo’s fashion pictorial, in which she reconstructs a Galliano outfit on a budget. Pop-surrealist Travis Louie gives us a glimpse of his inner monster, and cult painter Saturno Butto has some medical fun at the expense of Catholics everywhere. All this, and much more – including supervillain how-to’s, Coilhouse paper dolls, interviews, fashion and art await. Get it now!

Eugenio Recuenco in Coilhouse

Readers of the blog, we have another treat just for you: the fact that the version of the magazine that you are buying here today will not be available in stores. Coilhouse will be in stores this fall, but it won’t be the unique version that’s available here. On this site, and on this site only, you can get the uncensored edition. This version includes a powerful piece that was too risqué for stores to accept without problems due to the graphic (and in our opinion, beautiful) images involved. Only 1000 copies of this very limited version exist – a mere fraction of the entire print run. And that version is only available here, on this site. When we run out, we’ll start selling the censored version that will also be available in stores – so get the limited edition copy that we call the “true version of the magazine” while we still have them!

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Coilhouse Issue 01 Goes on Sale This Wednesday

Coilhouse Magazine

We’ll keep this post short, because otherwise it’ll turn giddy. We just want to ask all our readers, everywhere in the world, to visit this site tomorrow (Wednesday) and be part of the biggest day on this blog since it first launched: the unveiling of Coilhouse Magazine, Issue 01. You’ll know what’s inside, and you’ll be able to get your own copy, right here on the site – no matter where you live in the world.

For those just tuning in, the magazine is a print incarnation of the blog: a glossy, 96-page distillation of all the weirdness that we’ve obsessed over together with you in the past 10 months. But it’s not a rehash of the blog. Far from it! Self-quote: experiencing the web version of Coilhouse is like munching on an endless supply of assorted Halloween candy, and reading the print version will be like savoring a richly-decorated French dessert that took hours to prepare.

Okay, so it took almost a year to prepare. It’s a good dessert. There were many, many ingredients. And tomorrow, you’ll get to sample them all.


The image above could be the first poster for Joseph Kahn‘s film adaptation of William Gibson’s landmark cyberpunk novel, Neuromancer. Word of a Neuromancer movie has been buzzing around for nearly a decade, but seeing a visual representation does make it a all bit more real.

Khan is currently known for his directorial debut, Torque, and a music video for the Britney Spears song “Toxic”. Mildly put, his repertoire doesn’t exactly thrill most Neuromancer fans. This, combined with the general sentiment that Neuromancer simply can not be translated into film, has the director under a lot of pressure. Since so little is known about the film production, rumor mills have been churning out all sorts of gems. There is the prospect of Hayden Christensen playing anti-hero hacker Case, a post claims this protagonist’s name would be changed to “Cage”, there’s the fact that Gibson himself is saying close to nothing about the film. There is even concept art out there!

What we’re not seeing, however, is a full cast list, nor any real confirmation that the film is actually happening [official website? IMDB page updates?]. Regardless, I hope that Kahn will stick to his guns and make a great movie, some necessary departure from the original withstanding. I’ll suppress my instinctual cynicism until there’s any real information to be had. While we wait, I’m desperately curious to hear your ideal Neuromancer cast nominations! The IMDB forums offer some interesting choices, here.

Jacques Barzun and Culture’s New Face

Jacques Barzun, as illustrated by Jean-Claude Floch

“Let us face a pluralistic world in which there are no universal churches, no single remedy for all diseases, no one way to teach or write or sing, no magic diet, no world poets, and no chosen races, but only the wretched and wonderfully diversified human race.”

“Finding oneself was a misnomer; a self is not found but made.”

-Jacques Barzun

Last November, historian and cultural critic Jacques Barzun turned 100. In his time, he’s written 37 books on a wide range of topics (38 is in the works), led a prestigious university and received a warehouse full of accolades. He is one of the world’s last living links to the intellectual life of the Belle Époque and the Roaring ’20s (he began teaching when Calvin Coolidge was in office). The word eminent is usually attached to any description of him, no matter who’s writing. It seems to fit.

He thinks the current time is decadent. Not just any decadence, but the sort that ends eras. But it’s not in the signs the usual staid wielder of that word might see: sex, uppity women, kids on the lawn. No, Barzun’s decadence is the end of motion, it is when scholarship becomes “the pretentious garbled in the unintelligible” and “the feeling of being hemmed in by rules matched that of being hemmed in by people.” Above all Barzun’s decadence is a failure of nerve: an unwillingness to face the future and what it demands of us.

For these observations and others, he has been often dismissed as a relic, a snobbish champion of the dead white male tradition. Even among his admirers, he might well go down in history simply as the guy who said that thing about baseball.

But it’s worth taking a look around, at the constant stream of imitative art, at politicians with heads firmly planted in the same tired sand — and at philosophies that serve mainly as elaborate excuses for doing nothing.

So, when Barzun sees things finally running down, with the grand ideas that have driven our culture since the Renaissance crumbling, it’s time to consider something else: he may be a curmudgeon, he may be old-fashioned, he may even be out of touch. He may also be right.

Return to “Sick, Sad World”: Watching Daria in 2008

MTV was once amazing! Not to go there or anything, but what I miss most are the cartoons. Aeon Flux, The Maxx, Liquid Television (Nietzsche Pops!), and yes, even Beavis and Butthead had its moments (like when they watch the music video for Bull in the Heather and think that Kathleen Hanna is a 5-year-old who can’t dance). But the show that came back to haunt me this year? Daria. Smart as a whip and cynical as a roomful of reporters, Daria “misery chick” Morgendorfer was my age when the show first aired, and quickly became my hero. Recently, I decided to revisit the show now that 10 years have passed, and happily found that it’s as funny and true now as it was back then.

This time around, my favorite characters aren’t Daria and her artsy sidekick Jane, but the adults. Hands-down, my favorite character is Mr. DeMartino, the Chrisopher Walken-inspired history teacher with some anger-management issues and a serious gambling problem. A classic example of DeMartino’s temperament can be seen in early on in Fizz Ed, an episode in which the school runs out of budget and seeks sponsorship from a cola company. Then there’s Helen – Daria’s workaholic lawyer mom, whose parenting techniques backfire terribly but hit the mark when it matters.

If you’ve never seen the show, it’s logical to begin at the beginning. From there, it gets even better. Adventures in babysitting the kids of over-PC parents, dating retro-obsessed douchebags, and being forced to teach hateful classmates during a teacher’s strike await. Many of my favorite episodes aren’t grounded in reality at all; there’s the urban legends episode, the high school murder mystery, and the most bizarre Daria episode of all time, in which the holidays of Christmas, Halloween and Guy Fawkes Day escape the spirit world to start a high school band, with Daria’s help.

Until the music liscencing issues get worked out, the show survives only in bootlegs. In the meantime, the legend lives on; if the obsessiveness/slash quotient of the fan art is any measure of a work’s impact, then Daria rivals Harry Potter. Actually, the show itself presented a myriad of character alter egos at the end of every episode during the credits. Every week, familiar denizens of the Daria-verse transformed into R. Crumb characters, historical figures, athletes, dinosaurs and canned vegetables. Amidst her turns as Mother Goose and Bella Abzug, Daria was sometimes shown in a more realistic context: a journalist, an author, a talk show host. Watching the credits roll, I always wondered: what will happen to Daria when she leaves high school? Is life really better after that? What will she be? What will I be? Now, I kinda know.

Natalie Shau’s Jewelry Illustrations

What’s Natalie Shau been up to? Last we checked, the Lithuanian-based digital artist was creating sepia images based on Greek mythology. More recently, she’s completed a sumptuous new set of illustrations for French jewelry designer Lydia Courteille. On Courteille’s site, Shau’s dreamy Ray Caesar-esque illustrations serve to introduce each of the seven ranges: My Secret Garden, Vanities, Bestiary, Esoterism, Cameos & Glyptics, Cassandra’s and Cabinet of Curiosities.

The prices for Courteille’s diamond-encrusted bijoux range in the average of $10,000. Why use real diamonds? Gross! Nevertheless, there are a couple of baubles on Courteille’s site that I covet, and I include them here for your viewing pleasure.

Zo! Style Technician. August 18, 2008

It has dawned on me that in a few days I’ll be off to New York City for the second Dances of Vice festival. And here I was, still trying to understand what happened to 2008 – somehow it’s nearly fall, yet my brain is someplace in April, griping about the onset of summer. Regardless, I’m excited – the festival dress code is described as “decadent” and by the whiskers of Munchhausen, it’s been too long!

There is a persistent dichotomy within my wardrobe, a battle between the slick and the elaborate. Of late, the theatrical had given way to the modern and monochromatic, so it was the perfect time to welcome the extravagance of a three day costume event. Still, spending mountains of cash on clothes I’d scarcely wear, alluring as the concept may be, wasn’t feasible. In the best interests of my wallet, it was decided to compose costumes from the current contents of my closet and to make matching accessories. Result: photo-documentation and suggestions on how to make your own Rococo gear.

To acquire supplies, I braved LA’s garment district. The plan: accessory components for three outfits. The spoils: yards of velvet ribbon, fake flowers, beaded appliqué and two ostrich feathers. My inspiration for the costumes was, as I mentioned, Rococo. This period’s fashion embraced the ludicrous with wasp-waist corsets, towering wigs, crinolines and bows absolutely everywhere. I echoed some of this sentiment, see below.

1. Velvet bow with a hair extension clip sewn to the back. I treated all the ribbon edges with glitter nail polish, to prevent fraying.
2. Matching stockings
3. Vintage brooch, silk flowers, ribbon
4. Extra ribbon, never know when you might need one

Do click on for two more looks and tips.

Yayanos Back on the Road, Heading East

East Coasters, are you sad that you missed Mer’s theremin performance at the launch party? New York, Chicago, Indianapolis, Lousiville, Nashville, Atlanta, Columbia, Knoxville and Baltimore, you’re in luck: Faun Fables is coming through, and Mer is performing with them. Click here for the tour dates.

You know the drill: we’ll be light on Mer-posts for the next couple of weeks, but when she returns, there’ll be wonders to show! When the tour went through Europe, Mer revealed the the most depressing towel rack ever made, found at the Tyrolean Folk Museum in Austria. When she toured the midwest, Mer uncovered The Tarnished Beauties of Blackwell, Oklahoma – a poignant post that inspired both my mom’s first-ever Coilhouse comment and a heartfelt comment from Shirley Love, a 72-year-old native of Blackwell. What will Mer discover on her East Coast adventure? Stay tuned.

Flickr Flurry: Launch Party Photos

Your hosts: Zo, Nadya & Mer by Andrew Yoon

That’s us up there, around 2am on Sunday morning, jaws stiff from smiling all night. We have you to thank, really – we couldn’t have expected a better turnout. An estimated 300+ people showed up throughout the evening. Familiar faces mixed with new ones, we welcomed several Issue 01 contributors and were delighted to finally meet some of you, as well.

Of course the night wasn’t without its challenges. Mer’s theremin got possessed during setup, Zoetica lost some skin executing parkour moves while jumping 12 feet from her roof onto a balcony during a lock jam emergency, Nadya’s hair interfered with the wireless connection, briefly. No matter, it was all ultimately worth it. The lemonade flowed electric, theremin music filled the air, the strawberries and meringues were sweet, the guests were plenty.

As promised, one of the chief attractions was our photo booth. Filled with Zo and Mer’s prized instruments, toys and inexplicable objects, it attracted a steady stream of thrill-seekers. Light-master Drew and soul-portraitist Lou, our esteemed photo-agents, put forth a herculean effort, the abundant results of which are on display on Flickr for your viewing pleasure.

A sampling of Lou’s gorgeous Polaroids:

    If your picture’s up here, feel free to identify yourself in the comments! Likewise, if you took or know of any other images from the evening, do share. Beyond the jump, just a few of our favorite portraits.

    Health Institute Puts Viscera-Manikins on Parade

    He says that the thigh rash is the worst part.

    Old medical illustrations come in many flavors. Beautiful, cialis hilarious, grotesque – there’s a taste of each at NIH’s Historical Anatomies on the Web. Some 18th-century Persian illustrations peel back the subject’s skins to reveal a bright red reverse, which, coupled with the gold bracelets and the multicolored organs, gives the appearance elaborate stage costumes. A medieval battlefield surgery manual (with a very dramatic cover!) shares some tips on limb amputation. An anatomical horse prances in a field under a sky filled with flowers.  A 17th-century Persian depiction of bloodletting and venous figures reminds me of Daniel Johnston. Anime-sized gory eyes (what is even going on here?) stare at you from the pages of the Kaitai shinsho, a book illustrated by the Dutch and published in Japan. And the axe-murderer-style uterus illustrations will send chills down your spine. So… who’s hungry?