Surreal Yugoslavian Sci-Fi Art from the ’70s/’80s

The incredible blog 50 Watts recently published a collection of illustrations by artist Nikolai Lutohin. Will at 50 Watts writes:

Milena and Vlada, the duo behind Yugodrom—a new blog focused on “graphic aesthetics from ex Yugoslavia”—have been unearthing gems from seventies and eighties issues of the science magazine Galaksija.

They wrote to me suggesting that the “surrealistic, sci-fi-sh, serigraphic and absolutely amazing” illustrations of Nikolai Lutohin would be suitable for 50 Watts, and I am inclined to agree. The Russian artist Lutohin was born in Yugoslavia and did many illustrations for Galaksija. I’ve included ten below.

I also love the magazine’s covers and for this post selected a handful from the 136 covers inYugodrom’s flickr set. See more of my favorite covers in a companion post on But Does it Float.

The YUGODROM Tumblr is a treasure trove of beautiful covers, adverts, logos, typography and fashion from the former Yugoslav republics. In addition to much of the retro sci-fi goodness, there is some sexy (sometimes in a creepy way) photography mixed in.

Video of Molly Crabapple’s Week in Hell

Coilhouse pal Keith Jenson shot and edited together this short documentary film about Molly and her marvelously wacky “Week in Hell” project:

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“In September of 2011 artist/illustrator Molly Crabapple locked herself in a hotel room in New York City, covered the walls in paper and set about covering that paper with art. Funded with an impressive Kickstarter campaign Molly drew 270 feet of art over the course of a week. A week filled with musicians, performers, press, absinthe and drawing.”

Hooray, Molly! Hooray, friends! Hooray, backers! Hooray AAAHHHRRRT!

Photo by Steve Prue


Via Mr. & Mrs. Great Dismal comes word of this (relatively) new and unusually heart-tugging form of adventure sport… Parahawking:

The filmmakers mention Rio at the YouTube link, but this footage looks like it was shot in the sky above the Torrey Pines bluffs of N. County San Diego, California. And here’s another Torrey Pines clip of paraglider falconers, soaring with a Harris Hawk named Shanti.

Harris Hawks are an unusual species of raptor that can adapt splendidly to relationships with humans, becoming one of the most well-loved breeds among North American falconers. (Most raptors prefer to hunt alone, but Harris Hawks hunt together in family groups, and exhibit complex social behavior.)

Other folks have been intentionally paragliding with birds of prey elsewhere in the world for about a decade now, namely Spain and Nepal.

Soaring above the Himalayas with Kevin the Egyptian Vulture. Photo by D. Stemler.

Click here to read some parahawking FAQs answered by sport innovator Scott Mason. Mason, who has organized teams based out of both places, works primarily with endangered Egyptian Vultures (another highly social bird that gets along well with people) as well as other Asian vultures, kites, and eagles.

It’s hugely inspiring to read his words on how the sport, and his work in particular, has come to benefit conservation efforts. Mason has said that only rescued and rehabilitated birds are trained for parahawking; he never takes them from the wild. In fact, he and his partner, Anita Hjertas, also run a wild raptor rescue and conservation village called Maya Devi. Wounded wild raptors are brought there to heal, and then returned to the wild whenever possible.

So uplifting, literally!

EDIT: GAH! John P. just shared this incredible clip of Kerri Wolter from South Africa, soaring with vultures. Thank you so much, mister!

Mr. Mead’s Menagerie

There is a strange charm to these portraits by Tom Mead. They do not dazzle you with an abundance of complexity, nor do they belie any movement or sense of place. In fact, they seem to tell the story of some non-place, a nowhere void populated by well dressed but decidedly sinister individuals, something accentuated by the stark, black backgrounds which, in this case, work for the pieces instead of coming off as lazy. This void is mirrored in their eyes, inky pools that appear to be empty sockets, devoid of any visual equipment whatsoever — though they still manage to stare. “Edward Gorey doing The Fantastic Mr. Fox” was the first description that entered my head when I saw these, but that’s not quite right. Maybe if The Fantastic Mr. Fox had been the book written by HP Lovecraft instead of The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath.

RIP, Ken Russell (1927 – 2011)

Photo via Cinebeats. (Source, anyone?)

“Reality is a dirty word for me, I know it isn’t for most people, but I am not interested. There’s too much of it about.” ~Ken Russell

Thanks for keepin’ it unreal, good sir. Thank you for everything.

Again and Always, Love on Ya, Lev.

Nadya Lev, by SFSLIM.

I cherish this photo of Nadya. It was taken a couple of months ago, waaaaay out in the middle of Bumblefuck Nowhere, by Coilhouse’s dear friend (and Ball emcee!) Aaron “Slim” Muszalski. It’s an incredible image: mysterious and lovely and strong, melancholy and elegant and battle-worn and full of promise, all at the same time. When I look at it, it’s easy for me to imagine that Nadya is gazing resolutely forward, beyond her immediate obstacles, into a great, wide open future. She is 29 today.

Happy birthday, my dear friend and comrade! We all hope you’ll enjoy the amazing virtual mixtapes listed below. These were made by several readers and friends of Coilhouse Magazine + Blog in honor of your special day, and to express gratitude to you, because this wonderful space, this publication, and this community, would not exist without you.

Let’s keep the music playing, shall we?


RIP Hans Reichel

Composer/inventor/sculptor/designer Hans Reichel, 1949 – 2011. Photo by Marc Eckardt.

East Village Radio (via Tiny Mix Tapes, via Rob Schwimmer) reports this sad news:

Hans Reichel—the criminally under-appreciated German experimental guitarist—passed away in his hometown of Wuppertal yesterday at the age of 62, according to a West German newspaper. Virtually unknown on this side of the Atlantic, Reichel was a self-taught guitarist who may be best remembered for his radical homemade guitars and his invented instrument, the Daxophone.

Picking up music at an early age by teaching himself violin, Reichel (like just about everybody else) became enamored with rock music in the ‘60s, picked up a guitar and played in various blues-based groups before all but abandoning music to study graphic design (Reichel would go on to be a fairly well known typesetter). Reichel returned to music in the early ‘70s with his folky and unpretentious improvisational approach to the guitar differentiating him from the field of European improvisers at the time. His idiosyncratic take on the guitar drew the attention of legendary German avant-garde label, FMP, who would go on to release the majority of his work—much of which has never seen proper North American distribution. Reichel collaborated with a wide range of like-minded players, including cellist Tom Cora and guitarist Fred Frith.

Though he will never be a household name, Reichel’s contributions to the avant-garde are considerable and will be sorely missed by fans of forward-thinking music. Fare thee well, Hans.

It’s a huge and unexpected loss.

Thank you, Hans Reichel, for bringing so much joy, beauty and oddness into the world.

Click here to read previous Coilhouse coverage on Reichel’s wonderfully strange creation, the Daxophone.

Tender, Elegant Muskrat Lurve

Just a little afternoon delight, courtesy of Captain & Tennille…

Via Siege. (Of course.) Original song by Willis Alan Ramsey. 

This aired on national television in the late 70s on The Captain & Tennille Show. Toni-T croons of the ardor between two semi-aquatic rodents named Suzie and Sam to the beige and incontinent bleep-bloops of the Captain’s keys. (Apparently, the 7″ single for this tune features an “endless loop” of synthesizer interpretations of muskrat fuck sounds, encoded into the end-groove of the vinyl. It’s the first known hit single to have a recorded locked groove.)

Good times!

Bonus weirdness: here’s a home karaoke video of a woman covering the same song while holding her rather shellshocked-looking guinea pig, Simon, aloft.

Spend Black Friday at the Dawn of the Dead Mall!

ATTENTION, NON-SHOPPERS. Whether you’re purposefully observing Buy Nothing Day or simply opting out of the ravenous corporation-fueled feeding frenzy of Black Friday because you find it all a bit… scary, you can still experience a gawping, consumer hoard horrorshow from the comfort and safety of your own home:

Fresh off the success of their nerdtastic exploration of the Night of the Living Dead cemetary, Cinemassacre decided to visit a certain humble indoor mall located in Monroeville, PA; the very same one featured heavily in George Romero’s original (1978) Dawn of the Dead film.

If you’re familiar with the movie, it’s adorkably entertaining. If you’re not, be sure to click on a corpse below; the photo links to a full YouTube Coilhouse Black Friday 2011 playlist comprised of choice cuts of the original Dawn of the Dead tidbits, and some other fun stuff.

Ya just can’t put a price tag on good, clean, satirical zombie fun!

Spanksgiving Dankfulness

It’s Thanksgiving Day in the U.S. of A., and an ever-so-delightful Thursday evening (or Friday morning) everywhere else. What are you thankful for?

Coilhouse is thankful for Boing Boing’s traditional airing of Burroughs’ Thanksgiving Prayer, for arguing on the internet about Riceian vampire permaboners, and for Darla Teagarden, who just linked to this insanity:

Click it. You know you want to. Especially if you just ate a big ol’ pile of brined and stuffed turkey. MMM MMMMMM!