The blog of author Dennis Cooper

Mine for yours: My favorite fiction, poetry, non-fiction, music, film, art, and internet of 2021

Fiction
(in no order)

Joy Williams HARROW (Knopf)

New Juche THE WORM (Infinity Land Press)

Meghan Lamb FAILURE TO THRIVE (Apocalypse Party)

Janice Lee IMAGINE A DEATH (Texas A&M University Press)

Cecilia Pavón LITTLE JOY (Semiotext(e))

Eugene Lim SEARCH HISTORY (Coffeehouse Press)

Thomas Moore FOREVER (Amphetamine Sulphate)

Garielle Lutz WORSTED (Short Flight/Long Drive Books)

Lance Olsen SKIN ELEGIES (Dzanc Books)

Jack Skelley DENNIS WILSON & CHARLIE MANSON (Fred and Barney Press)

Maggie Siebert BONDING (Expat Press)

Helen Marten THE BOILED IN BETWEEN (Prototype Publishing)

Lucy K Shaw TROISIÈME VAGUE (Shabby Doll House)

Nate Lippens MY DEAD BOOK (Publication Studio)

Alex Beaumais DOX (tragickal)

David Leo Rice DRIFTER: STORIES  (11:11 Press)

Isabelle Nicou PARESIS & GENESIS O (Amphetamine Sulphate)

MM/DD/2020 RESIDUE (Calamari Press)

Elle Nash NUDES (Hobart Pulp Press)

Tao Lin LEAVE SOCIETY (Vintage)

Megan Milks MARGARET AND THE MYSTERY OF THE MISSING BODY (Feminist Press)

James Greer BAD EMINENCE (And Other Stories)

Blair James BERNARD AND PAT (Corsair)

Mike Corrao RITUALS PERFORMED IN THE ABSENCE OF GANYMEDE (11:11 Press)

Camille Roy HONEY MINE: COLLECTED STORIES (Nightboat)

Brian Evenson THE GLASSY, BURNING FLOOR OF HELL (Coffeehouse Press)

SJXSJC w/ Steven Purtill THE SEX SHOPS OF SHERMAN OAKS (Amphetamine Sulphate)

Brontez Purnell 100 BOYFRIENDS  (FSG Originals)

Ivan Boris MY WEEK WITHOUT GERARD  (Morbid Books)

Alexandrine Ogundimu DESPERATE  (Amphetamine Sulphate)

Troy James Weaver VISIONS  (Apocalypse Party)

Leonor Fini ROGOMELEC  (Wakefield Press)

Evan Isodine PHILOSOPHY OF THE SKY  (11:11 Press)

Wayne Koestenbaum THE CHEERFUL SCAPEGOAT  (Semiotext(e))

Kevin Lambert YOU WILL LOVE WHAT YOU HAVE KILLED  (Biblioasis)

Ann Quin PASSAGES (And Other Stories)

Brooks Sterritt THE HISTORY OF AMERICA IN MY LIFETIME  (Spuyten Duyvil)

Audrey Szasz TEARS OF A KOMSOMOL GIRL (Infinity Land Press)

Niven Govinden DIARY OF A FILM  (Dialogue Books)

Mike DeCapite JACKET WEATHER  (Soft Skull)

Zak Ferguson THE SYSTEM COMPENDIUM  (Sweat Drenched Press)

Joshua Dalton I HATE YOU, PLEASE READ ME  (House of Vlad)

Richard Cabut LOOKING FOR A KISS  (Sweat Drenched Press)

 

 

Poetry
(in no order)

Amy Gerstler INDEX OF WOMEN (Penguin)

Susana Théno OVA COMPLETA (Ugly Duckling Press)

Kate Durbin HOARDERS (Wave Books)

John Ashbery PARALLEL MOVEMENT OF THE HANDS: FIVE UNFINISHED LONGER WORKS (Ecco Press)

Anselm Berrigan PREGRETS (Black Square Editions)

Nathaniel Mackey DOUBLE TRIO (New Directions)

Madison McCartha FREAKOPHONE WORLD (Inside the Castle)

Candice Wuehle FIDELITORIA: FIXED OR FLUXED (11:11 Press)

N.H. Pritchard THE MATRIX: POEMS 1960 – 1970 (Ugly Duckling Presse)

Sarah Jean Alexander WE DIE IN ITALY (Shabby Dollhouse)

Golnoosh Nour ROCKSONG (Verve Poetry Press)

D.C. Wojciech DAY & NIGHT (Anvil Tongue Books)

Gabrielle Daniels SOMETHING ELSE AGAIN (Materials)

Lonely Christopher DOUBLE RAINBOW (Be About It Press)

Will Alexander THE COMBUSTION CYCLE (Roof Books)

Sonya Vatomsky AND THE WHALE (Paper Nautilus)

Clark Coolidge TO THE COLD HEART (Fenrick Books)

Ted Dodson AN ORANGE (Pioneer Works/Wonder)

Ursula Andkjær Olsen OUTGOING VESSEL (Action Books)

Tom Bland CAMP FEAR (Bad Betty Press)

Lindsay Choi TRANSVERSE (Futurepoem)

Lily Duffy WET WATER HILL (Garden-Door Press)

Achy Obejas BOOMERANG / BUMERÁN (Beacon Press)

Christian Hawkey SIFT (Action Books)

Gary J. Shipley BRIGHT STUPID CONFETTI (11:11 Press)

 

 

Nonfiction
(in no order)

Adrian Dannatt DOOMED AND FAMOUS: SELECTED OBITUARIES (Sequence Press)

Mark Baumer, edited by Blake Butler and Shane Jones THE ONE ON EARTH: SELECTED WORKS OF MARK BAUMER (Fence)

M Kitchell THE ABYSS IS THE FOUNDATION OF THE POSSIBLE (Apocalypse Party)

David Trinidad, Editor NEW YORK DIARY BY TIM DLUGOS (Sibling Rivalry)

Andrew Vallance and Simon Payne, Editors FILM TALKS: 15 CONVERSATIONS ON EXPERIMENTAL CINEMA (Contact)

Rachel Kushner THE HARD CROWD (Scribner)

Tony Pipolo THE MELANCHOLY LENS: LOSS AND MOURNING IN AMERICAN AVANT-GARDE CINEMA (Oxford University Press)

Dodie Bellamy BEE REAVED (Semiotext(e))

Megan Milks TORI AMOS BOOTLEG WEBRING (Instar Books)

Bela Koe-Krompecher LOVE, DEATH & PHOTOSYNTHESIS (Don Giovanni Records)

Mercy Fontenot PERMANENT DAMAGE: MEMOIRS OF AN OUTRAGEOUS GIRL (Rare Bird Books)

Chris Kelso INTERROGATING THE ABYSS (Apocalypse Party)

Jennifer Lucy Allan THE FOGHORN’S LAMENT: THE DISAPPEARING MUSIC OF THE COAST (White Rabbit)

Michael J. Seidlinger RUNAWAYS: A WRITER’S DILEMMA (Future Tense Books)

Sarah Schulman LET THE RECORD SHOW: A POLITICAL HISTORY OF ACT UP NEW YORK, 1987-1993 (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

Helen Reddington SHE’S AT THE CONTROLS: SOUND ENGINEERING, PRODUCTION & GENDER VENTRILOQUISM IN THE 21st CENTURY (Equinox)

Lionel Maunz & Peter Sotos S/T (Amphetamine Sulphate/Nine-Banded Books)

Albertine Fox GODARD AND SOUND: ACOUSTIC INNOVATION IN THE LATE FILMS OF JEAN-LUC GODARD (Bloomsbury)

 

 

Music
(in no order)

Guided by Voices EARTH MAN BLUES (GbV)

Ben LaMar Gay OPEN ARMS TO OPEN US (Nonesuch)

Tyler Holmes NIGHTMARE IN PARADISE (Ratskin Records)

Ai Aso LONE (Ideologic Organ)

Low HEY WHAT (Sub Pop)

E Ruscha V & The Only Thingz, Too S/T (Good Morning Tapes)

Injury Reserve BY THE TIME I GET TO PHOENIX (Self-released)

Sam Dunscombe OUTSIDE LUDLOW/DESERT DISCO (Black Truffle)

Dry Cleaning NEW LONG LEG (4AD)

Phew NEW DECADE (Mute)

Innode SYN (Editions Mego)

Chris Corsano & Bill Orcutt MADE OUT OF SOUND (Palilalia Records)

Screamers SCREAMERS DEMO HOLLYWOOD 1977 (Superior Viaduct)

Grouper SHADE (Kranky)

Aki Onda BRISBANE SEPTEMBER 25 2004 (Room 40)

ABBA VOYAGE (Capitol)

Los Angeles Free Music Society LAFMS 1974-1984 (Vinyl on Demand)

Maraudeur PUISSANCE 4 (Maraudeur)

Hecker SYNOPSIS SERIATION (Editions Mego)

Leyden Jars GONE (Outer Reaches)

Yvette Janine Jackson FREEDOM (Fridman Gallery)

MXLX NEBULA RASA (kindarad)

The Bug FIRE (Ninja Tune)

Marcus Schmickler SKY DICE / MAPPING THE STUDIO (Editions Mego)

Moor Mother BLACK ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THE AIR (Anti-)

Judith Hamann HINTERHOF (Longform Editions)

JPEGMAFIA LP! (EQT/Republic)

Cub Scout Bowling Pins CLANG CLANG HO! (Rockathon)

Body/Dilloway/Head S/T (Three Lobed Recordings)

Youth Code x King Josef A SKELETON KEY IN THE DOORS OF DEPRESSION (Youth Code)

 

 

Film
(in no order)

Ryan Trecartin & Lizzie Fitch WHETHER LINE

Lisa Rovner SISTERS WITH TRANSISTORS

Artavazd Pelechian NATURE

Lothar Baumgarten UNSPRUNG DER NACHT

Leos Carax ANNETTE

Steve Reinke & James Richards WHEN WE WERE MONSTERS

Wes Anderson THE FRENCH DISPATCH

Mark Rappaport L’ANNE DERNIERE A DACHAU

Todd Haynes THE VELVET UNDERGROUND

Michael Salerno THE MASTURBATOR’S HEART

Daniel & Clara ON THE ISLAND

Laure Portier SOY LIBRE

Bruno Dumont FRANCE

O.B. De Alessi MUDMONSTER

Roy Andersson ABOUT ENDLESSNESS

Tori Kudo ARCHIVE

Dalibor Barić ACCIDENTAL LUXURIANCE OF THE TRANSLUCENT WATERY REBUS

Prano Bailey-Bond CENSOR

Stephen Broomer FAT CHANCE

Cheryl Dunne MOMENTS LIKE THIS NEVER LAST

Lyle Kash DEATH AND BOWLING

 

 

Art
(in no order)

James Coleman (Centre Pompidou, Paris)

Aerodream ( Cité de l’architecture et du patrimoine, Paris)

Thomas Ruff Tableaux chinois (David Zwirner, Paris)

Linus Bill + Adrien Horni GIFS (Galerie Allen, Paris)

Hubert Duprat (Art : Concept, Paris)

Robin Kid (Templon, Paris)

Elles font l’abstraction (Centre Pompidou, Paris)

Francis Alÿs Don’t Cross the Bridge Before You Get to the River (David Zwirner, Paris)

David Hammons (Pinault Collection, Paris)

Kandis Williams (Night Gallery, Los Angeles)

Nick Zedd (xxiii) THERE WILL BE BLOOD, SHAME, PAIN AND ECSTASY (Goswell Road, Paris)

Kenji Siratori’s SOCIAL MEDIA FEED (Facebook)

Oscar Tuazon L’École de l’eau (Galerie Chantal Crousel, Paris)

Wang Bing L’œil qui marche (Le Bal, Paris)

NOT I: Throwing Voices (LACMA, Los Angeles)

 

 

Internet
(in no order)

SCAB
The Wire
Shabby Dollhouse
Expat
Original Cinemaniac
Filthy Dreams
Small Press Distribution
4columns
Full Stop
X-R-A-Y
{ feuilleton }
SELFFUCK
Please Kill Me
Wake Island
DIAPHANES
Bookworm
Bookforum
PlayTherapy/Tik Tent Radio
Rhizome
GAME SCENES
Theme Park Review
NO CARTRIDGE AUDIO
TOWARDS CYCLOBE
Musique Machine
Fanzine
Volume 1 Brooklyn
zoran rosko vacuum player
Kill the Darling
Gurochan
Experimental Cinema
The Los Angeles Review of Books
3:AM Magazine
largehearted boy
pantaloons
Harriet
Open Culture
Locus Solus: The New York School of Poets
giphy
The Wonderful World of Tam Tam Books
Hobart

 

 

*

p.s. Hey. So, it’s that yearly day when I lay out my annual faves, of 2021 in this case. As always, no doubt I spaced out and forgot some favorite things, and there are undoubtedly things that I would have listed if I’d read/ heard/ watched them in time, but so it goes. And, as always, if anyone out there wants to hit the blog back with their faves of the past twelve months, I’d be hungry and grateful. ** _Black_Acrylic, It’s a beaut. Ah, PT to the rescue! Everyone, Coincidentally, one of my 2021 faves (see: ‘Internet’) offers you a fresh chance so see why that’s the case. I’m talking about _Black_Acrylic’s lower body-reviving Play Therapy podcast, and which … Wait here’s _B_A: ‘The new episode of Play Therapy is online here via Tak Tent Radio! Ben ‘Jack Your Body’ Robinson returns to deliver abrasive Swedish Industrial, imaginary Hebrew horror soundtracks and oh yeah, some Acid as well.’ Yum, Ben! ** David Ehrenstein, Sonbert = go! ** Jack Skelley, Hey, Jack! Based on what I’ve watched of ‘Get Back’ so far, the original director is also an extremely irritating guy. I think he’s dead? Yes, let’s talk re: it, him, them, etc. Brendan dropped a copy of the catalog off at Joel’s/my place, so I’ll get it whenever I hit LA next if nothing else. Cool, the month’s end is a mereblink away, unlike our next Zoom confab, sadly. But at least it’s there and locked. Will you stay in NYC through the big X? I bet it’s pretty there, but not as pretty as here, dare I say. Biggest up, my bud. ** David, Thanks, but I just opened the door and put down the door mat. I’m obviously glad that there band still had enough going on in their ranks to make you happy. I was just thinking of walking down to the Xmas village in the Tuileries and getting me a chocolat chaud as they calls such things here. Have major weekend stuff! ** Lawrence Patti, Hi, Lawrence! Welcome! Me too: I’d heard he was finished with the old writing thing, but thank god, etc. not so, it seems. How are you? Have a very fine weekend, and come back any old time please. ** Bill, Maunz was new to me too pre-this book. Ah, well, there’s my year’s faves list right up there, and I’ll be patiently awaiting yours, need I say. ** Dominik, Hi!!! It did, in the nick of time. I too saw ‘BBB’ ages ago, and can hardly remember it other than thinking it was very weird in some particularly Australian way. Hats off to anyone seeking innovation, but I do have to say that putting sugar in falafel is not going to change the world. Based on the actual although modest line of people waiting to buy their precious sugary falafel, the combo seems to have a cult following, for the moment. Aw, what a heartening love aka love story. Let’s plan to check in with them a year from now and see how they’re doing. Love realising only one of The Monkees is still alive and feeling odd, G. ** l@rst, Hey, L. The 70s are/were a good subject. ‘Licorice Pizza’ hasn’t landed in France yet, but I’m definitely going to see it whenever. You’re one of those enviable people who gets every movie that the cognoscenti deems possibly award worthy delivered to your door every year. I suppose most of them are ten-foot-pole things, but still. What are Theresa’s ceramics like? Does she like Ron Nagle’s ceramics? I adore his work. That’s what I want for Xmas, come to think of it. Fat chance. ** Brian, Hey, Brian. It is, beautiful that is. Right, ‘Seven Beauties’, that’s it. ‘The Damned’. Great stuff in there. I could probably also watch Dirk Bogarde perform in anything. He’s even great in that not-his-best, English language Fassbinder film. What’s it called, oh, ‘Despair’. I honestly didn’t care about or think about the smoothing of the film in The Beatles show for one second, but that might just be me. Thank you about ‘Guide’. I think that’s my fave of George Miles Cycle novels if I had to pick. Um, I don’t remember the actual editing of ‘Guide’ precisely, and I usually have a whole kind of set of guidelines for each novel, but, yeah, in a word or two, subtraction and sanding down will do. Thank you, man. My weekend is mostly going to be about trying to figure out a back up plan re: making Zac’s and my new film ASAP in case our producer keeps disappointing us, which unfortunately seems likely at the moment. So lots of brain work, and, physically, we’ll see. I hope your weekend adds voluminously to your heart’s bank account. ** Okay. You all know the weekend’s drill. See you come Monday.

27 Comments

  1. David

    That would mean you are bending over??or you were.. ref putting the mat down?? You tart!!!!

    I just caught a glimpse of my new underwear bought in Liverpool… reflecting on the narcissistic lake.. and I’m like ‘damn!!’ Unfortunately I’ve put sum weight on as often happens at this time of year… so I’ll survive… the underpants will drown….

    I’m considering doing a christmas card for you… of me and sum Jon…. the speech bubble at my mouth is “Let’s kill some one and say Dennis Cooper told us to do it” the response is simply “OK!” I’m sure there would be laughter all around for hours from you… and it then might start snowing… and you might dance and get merry… and eat chocolate chuddys…..to a wonderful tune!!

    Currently I’m in Folkestone again…

    Have a great weekend pal

    Xx

    I’m currently in Folkestone again…

    And again and again…. (sorry further typing errors)

    My fave book of the year is yours…. x

    • Leonard Frey

      Ha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m a huge fan of cards; and that’s one I’d like to see for sure! Thanks butch!

      • David

        Thanks Len

  2. _Black_Acrylic

    Thank you so much for including Play Therapy here!

    My 2021 has been a bit curtailed but here is my best of what I’ve got through.

    In a bumper year for Scottish fiction you’ve had:
    Jenni Fagan – Luckenbooth (William Heinemann)
    Alan Warner – Kitchenly 434 (White Rabbit Books)
    New Juche – The Worm (Infinity Land Press)
    David Keenan – Monument Maker

    Thomas Moore – Forever (Amphetamine Sulphate)
    Alexandrine Ogundimu – Desperate (Amphetamine Sulphate)

    Film:
    Censor (Prano Bailey-Bond)
    Poly Styrene: I Am a Cliche (Celeste Bell, Paul Sng)

    I am still to tackle I Wished but that is coming very soon.

  3. David Ehrenstein

    “I Wished” by Dennis Somebodyorother

    The only music I’ve been listening to is Sondheim , especially THIS!
    Regarding movies: “Passing” — Rebecca Hall’ truly great film about black self-hatred
    “, Annette” Oscar Alexandre Dupont’s spectqcular piece of musical film insanity executed with the help of Sparks.
    “, Memoria,” — Joe’s latest starrig Tilda, shot in Medellin (finally gettig him out of Thailand) and dealing with among many otehr tings, Death and Resurrection.
    ” The French Dispatch” — great fun from Wes abd the gang
    “, Tick Tick Boom,’ == Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “Mourning Work” on Jonathan Larson
    ” Procession” — a nice doc about survivors of Catholic Priest sex abuse, now adutls but men whose emotional deveopment has been sharply arrested.
    “, Mayor Pete” Sweet doc on Pete Buttigieg inwhich his incredibly charming husband Chastain is featured to great effect.

    Haven’t seen Todd’s film on the Velvets yet. Lookin forwars as you might well imagine. Todd’s going to do a film about Peggy Lee next. .

    • David

      Thanks Dave for mentioning “Memoria’ I’m a fan of Tilda…. Will definitely watch it… hadn’t heard of it before you said

  4. wolf

    Dennis! Yay, the World Famous Faves list! As always, a humbling one. Lots of things I never heard of as usual, which are going straight on my “check this out” TODO.
    I’ll only jot down my music selection as frankly no other art form had sufficient 2021 input in my life to justify listing (with the notable exception of I Wished, deserving of more gushing than this format allows). 2021 is a very good vintage, which will surprise no-one given that all those albums were probably recorded during pandemic-provided existential if not crises at least meanders. A lot of allcaps titles, too, for some weird reason. Also, can I just say, LOL at your “in no particular order” with GbV in first place. So, yes, fine, let’s get them in first:
    Guided by Voices: Dead Man Blues (a *Very Good* GbV this; “I’ve never been to heaven but I heard good things” is my lyric of the year)
    Guided by Voices: It’s not them. It couldn’t Be Them. Is Is Them! (also winner of “Best album title”)
    Converge & Chelsea Wolfe: Blood Moon
    Matt Sweeney & Bonnie Prince Billy: Superwolves
    Xiu Xiu: OH NO
    Mogwai: As the Love Continues (also retaining their lifelong “Best track title writers” reign , with doozies such as “To the bin my friend, tonight we vacate earth”, “Here we, here we, here we go forever” and “It’s what I want to do, mum”)
    Gazelle Twin & NYX: Deep England
    Floating Points, Pharaoh Sanders, the London Symphony Orchestra: Promises (I think this is the best album of the decade)
    Godspeed You! Black Emperor: G_d’s Pee AT STATE’S END!
    Irreversible Entanglements: Open the Gates
    Low: HEY WHAT
    Emma Ruth Rundle: Engine of Hell
    Liars: The Apple Drop
    Sleafords Mods: Spare Ribs
    The Weather Station: Ignorance
    Divide and Dissolve: Gas Lit
    Moor Mother: Black Encyclopedia of the Air
    The Bug: Fire
    Big Brave: Vital
    MICROCORPS: XMIT
    Senyawa: Alkisah
    Lingua Ignota: SINNER GET READY
    Nick Cave: CARNAGE (I wasn’t sure whether to list this. Not all the tracks are great but a few really really are)
    Alan Vega: Mutator (a bit of a cheat to list a posthumous collection, RIP, but fuck it)
    Mariel Roberts: Armament
    The Besnard Lakes: The Besnard Lakes Are the Last of the Great Thunderstorm Warnings
    Winkie: Here Comes Success
    Gnod: La Mort du Sens
    Fly Pan Am: Frontera
    !!!!xxx

  5. Dominik

    Hi!!

    Yaay, I’m always looking forward to these posts! I’ll dig right in! Thank you! And, as always, thank you so, so much for including SCAB!! My favorites of the year (not necessarily born in 2021, just read or seen this year) are the following:

    Books:
    – I Wished by Dennis Cooper
    – Gone by Dennis Cooper
    – Lionel Maunz & Peter Sotos’s book
    – Borrowed Time by Paul Monette
    – History of Violence by Édouard Louis
    – Close to the Knives by David Wojnarowicz
    – Liveblog by Megan Boyle
    – Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart
    – A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara (Although I hate this book as much as I love it.)
    – Killing for Company by Brian Masters

    Movies:
    – La Haine (dir. Mathieu Kassovitz)
    – Polisse (dir. Maïwenn)
    – Matthias and Maxime (dir. Xavier Dolan)
    – Irreversible (dir. Gaspar Noé)

    Well, I think it’s safe to say that I’m not likely to become a fan of sugary falafel either, based on the idea alone. A year from now, we’ll revisit newly free love and his loyal lover! I’ll make a note, haha. Oh. Your love’s realization is a sad one. I can offer him a hug if that’ll make him feel better. Love winning an Oscar for being an outstanding drama queen even though he’s only half as good as my dachshund, Od.

  6. Sypha

    Books (both fiction & non-fiction, in no order):

    DESPERATE (Alexandrine Ogundimu)
    RUTHLESS LITTLE THINGS (Elizabeth V Aldrich)
    NEO-DECADENCE: 12 MANIFESTOS (editor Justin Isis)
    SPIRITUS EX MACHINA (LC Von Hessen)
    THE WORM (New Juche)
    ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD (Quentin Tarantino)
    ADVENTURE ZONE 4: THE CRYSTAL KINGDOM (The McElroys)
    THE VARIEGATED ALPHABET (Caitlin R. Kiernan)
    A MAZE FOR THE MINOTAUR (Reggie Oliver)
    PRIESTESSES OF DARKNESS (Jean Lorrain) (1st time in English)
    I WISHED (Dennis Cooper)
    AMONG THE LILIES (Daniel Mills)
    AGAINST THE GRAIN AGAIN (Brendan Connell)
    YOURS CRUELLY, ELVIRA (Cassandra Peterson)
    PENNY: A GRAPHIC MEMOIR (Karl Stevens)
    CERTAIN ARTISTS (J.-K. Huysmans) (1st time in English)
    ROCKSONG (Golnoosh Nour)
    HAMSTER DAM (Quentin S. Crisp)
    THE EXALTED AND THE ABASED (Damian Murphy)

    Films:

    HOUSE OF GUCCI
    THE FRENCH DISPATCH

    Still need to see DUNE and the new MATRIX. Also very curious to see MUDMONSTER and THE MASTURBATOR’S HEART (esp. seeing how the latter uses some of my own music)

    Music:

    I really enjoyed Lindsey Buckingham’s self-titled album, SIXTEEN WAYS OUT by Cut Hands, SOUR by Olivia Rodrigo, IF I CAN”T HABE LOVE, I WANT POWER by Halsey, DADDY’S HOME (St. Vincent), Sting’s THE BRIDGE, the new Doja Cat, various others… still compiling this one to be honest

    Video Games:

    The only new game I played this year was TWELVE MINUTES which I very much recommend

  7. Tosh Berman

    I haven’t seen the Get Back show yet, but i do know Michael Lindsay-Hogg and he’s a wonderful person. Beside doing the Let It Be film he also did the Stones Rock n’ Roll Circus, as well as directing a lot of the original “Ready, Steady, Go!” episodes. Also, his memoir is quite good.

    My favorite book by far is I Wished by Dennis Cooper. The others are Nina Simone’s Gum by Warren Ellis, I should Have Known Better by Willlam E. Jones, Common Tones by Alan Licht, Peter and the Wolves by Adele Bertei, Index of Women by Amy Gerstler, Dennis Wilson and Charles Manson by Jack Skelley, Doomed and Famous by Adrian Dannatt.

    Fave music is Annette by Sparks, Rock n’ Roll This, Rock n’ Roll That by The Mumps, Les Sewing Sisters and Spellling’s The Turning Wheel. The last album is a total new artist to me and I love her work.

    Films are Annette, Last Night in Soho, The Power of the Dog, The Velvet Underground, The Sparks Brothers, Who Is Lun*na Menoh? – and yeah actually a great year for art.

    It also has been a very difficult year for me. When the world falls apart, you need art to support your spirit.

  8. Misanthrope

    Dennis, I’m back again. Man, just so swamped at work and then always have shit to do after work and then fall asleep early. Rinse and repeat. Eek.

    I’m liking the lists again this year.

    I think I told you I’m reading Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad right now. It’s good. He does some things I like, others that I think aren’t effective. Is it the greatest thing ever? Nope. But it’s pretty good.

    Got the parts for David’s car and will be trying to fix it today. It’s gonna be a shit show, hahaha. We’ll see. I’ve watched the YouTube tutorials and spoken to my friend Rendo at the gym. I think I can do this successfully. Fingers crossed.

    Hope your weekend it swell. Gonna be 70 degrees here today and 50 tomorrow. Derp.

    But I’ll make the best of it.

  9. Bill

    Year-end lists to explore over the weekend, good timing! I really have to get to the new Garielle Lutz and Brooks Sterritt, for starters.

    Books:
    Dodie Bellamy, Bee Reaved
    Thomas Moore, Forever
    Dennis Cooper, I Wished
    Brian Evenson, The Glassy Burning Floor of Hell
    M. Kitchell, The Abyss is the Foundation…
    Maggie Siebert, Bonding
    Gabriel Blackwell, Corrections
    Isabel Yap, Never Have I Ever
    New Juche, The Worm
    William Jones, I Should Have Known Better
    Eugene Lim, Search History
    Sam Ashby (ed), Little Joe #6
    Michael DeForge, Familiar Face

    Movies:
    Gia Elliot, Take Back the Night https://letterboxd.com/film/take-back-the-night/
    Wes Anderson, The French Dispatch
    Todd Haynes, The Velvet Underground
    Amber Sealey, No Man of God https://letterboxd.com/film/no-man-of-god/
    Edgar Wright, The Sparks Brothers
    Todd Stephens, Swan Song
    Justin Dyck, Anything for Jackson https://letterboxd.com/film/anything-for-jackson/
    Christopher Soren Kelly, The Tangle https://letterboxd.com/film/the-tangle/
    Gillian Horvat, I Blame Society https://letterboxd.com/film/i-blame-society/

    Art (all San Francisco):
    Jerome Caja at Anglim/Trimble
    Frida Kahlo at DeYoung
    Joan Mitchell at SFMOMA

    Music later when I get the list organized. Was just enjoying the new Ben Lamar Gay last week…

    Bill

  10. Damien Ark

    Well, I’ve had housing instability all year, so I haven’t been able to buy many books and such. But I do have yours. It’s definitely the best thing I’ve read all year, maybe in a while, as it has stuck with me for a while. Philosophy of the Sky was really good, too. Lol. I think those are the only two 2021 books I’ve been able to grab this year? Idk. Oh, Maryse Meijer, who did my book blurb and an interview with me, I read their novel ‘The Seventh Mansion’, which I just stumbled upon at City Lights in SF. That was a great read, all of the emo vegan brutality, totally my vibe. lol. There are so many things I’d love to read, mainly from Amphetamine Sulphate, constantly my fav of putting stuff out, and 11:11, but yeah… someday, I guess.
    Going to see Drive My Car later today. Haven’t seen many films this year, so I’m sure that it’ll be my fav. 😛
    Music favs….
    Repitition Hymns by Black Swan
    Live at Levitation by Kikagaku Moyo
    Winterstille by Rauhnacht
    Nafs at Peace by Jaubi
    Daybreak Basements and Broken Hearts by Earth House Hold
    SPF INFINI by TDJ
    memoryland by CFCF
    Psalms by Nathan Salsburg
    HEY WHAT by Low

    But there’s a lot of music out there still to be consumed this year. New Sutcliffe? The new Ryoji Ikeda is apparently really good (Superposition, just came out). I still need to check out that Pedestrian Deposit compilation that came out (Nostalgia: 2006-06). Oh. A new live Sunn album!! Metta, Benevolence BBC.

    Peace and love to you. Take care and stay safe and healthy during this sick and depraved timeline.

  11. Steve Erickson

    Someone said yesterday that he was looking for BAD BOY BUBBY. It’s up (in English with French subtitles) on ok.ru.

    Favorite movies released in the US this year:
    THE EMPTY MAN (David Prior)
    DRIVE MY CAR & WHEEL OF FORTUNE AND FANTASY (Ryusuke Hamaguchi)
    THE POWER OF THE DOG (Jane Campion)
    SIBERIA & ZEROS AND ONES (Abel Ferrara)
    THIS IS NOT A BURIAL, IT’S A RESURRECTION (Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese)
    LABYRINTH OF CINEMA (Nobuhiko Obayashi)
    HER SOCIALIST SMILE (John Gianvito)
    THE DISCIPLE (Chaitanya Tamhane)
    WOODLANDS DARK AND DAYS BEWITCHED (Kier-La Janisse)

    TOP ALBUMS:
    Julien Baker-LITTLE OBLIVIONS
    Chvrches-SCREEN VIOLENCE
    Circuit des Yeux-“io”
    Theon Cross-INFRA I
    Dave-WE’RE ALL ALONE IN THIS TOGETHER
    Japanese Breakfast-JUBILEE
    Lotic-WET
    serpentwithfeet-DEACON
    Tems-IF ORANGE WAS A PLACE
    Yves Tumor-THE ASYMPTOTIC WORLD

    Santacon returned this year. May this cursed “tradition” end soon, so Americans in cities don’t have to deal with guys dressed as Santa stumbling around drunk at 11 AM.

  12. Blair James

    Thank you!

  13. R.G. Vasicek

    Best book I encountered in the Year of the Metal Ox is ADIDAS POETRY SCHOOL by Peppy Ooze.

  14. Kiddiepunk

    Dennito! Very kind of you to include my little masturbator on your list, amongst such greatness. Love ya. Talk very soon xx

  15. T

    Right – here goes! For fiction and films have widened the eligibility criterion to all stuff I came across this year regardless of initial release, because it would have been too small otherwise.

    FICTION
    ‘I Wished’, Dennis Cooper
    ‘100 Boyfriends’, Brontez Purnell
    ‘Unknown Language’, Huw Lemmey with Hildegard of Bingen
    ‘Search History’, Eugene Lim
    ‘2666’ Roberto Bolano

    NON-FICTION
    ‘Let the Record Show’ Sarah Schulman
    ‘Times Square Red, Times Square Blue’, Samuel R Delany

    POETRY
    ‘Porn Carnival’ Rachel Rabbit White

    FILMS
    ‘Annette’, Leos Carax (2021)
    ‘Titane’ Julia Ducournau (2021)
    ‘We Were Smart’, Yifan Li (2019)
    ‘No No Sleep’ Tsai-MIng Liang (2015)
    ‘Noriko’s Dinner Table’, Sion Sono (2005)
    ‘Suicide Club’ Sion Sono (2001)
    ‘Ali in Wonderland’ Djouhra Abouda and Alain Bonnamy (1976)
    ‘Tough and Tender’ Jean-Daniel Cadinot (1984)
    ‘Equation to an Unknown’ Frantz Salieri (1980)
    ‘I Love the Headmistress’ Viktoras Starosas (1978)
    ‘House’ Nobuhiko Obayashi (1977)
    ‘In the Realm of the Senses’ Nagisa Oshima (1976)
    ‘Pink Narcissus’ James Bidgood (1981)
    ‘AKA Serial Killer’ Masao Adachi (1968)
    ‘Manji’ Yasuzo Masumura
    ‘Normal Love’, Jack Smith (1964)

    MUSIC
    ‘わたしを見て/Look at Me’, Hakushi Hasegawa
    ‘KicK iii’, Arca
    ‘Vanish’, Julia Reidy
    ‘Shade’, Grouper
    ‘Fatigue’, L’Rain
    ‘Hey What’, Low
    ‘Lucy & Aaron’, Aaron Dilloway and Lucrecia Dalt
    ‘Honest Labour’, Space Afrika

    INTERNET
    Real Life @ reallifemag.com
    足立区ブスオカマチャンネル ‘The Ugly Faggot of Adachi Ward’, @ youtube
    Jun Togawa youtube channel
    ‘heretik radikal’ @ mastodon
    xenogothic @ xenogothic.com

    Reading back through these gotta say huge thanks to you Dennis and all the good people of here for spotlighting all this mind-expanding stuff and fertilising my imaginative life all year through, wouldn’t have been half as interesting without the blog. xT

  16. Mark Gluth

    Hey Dennis!

    As always your lists are impeccable and intriguing and things into which I will need to dive more deeply. It’s so great to see so many things my friends did spread throughout. How are you? I’m well or whatever. Writing, hanging with close friends. We’ve had record rains and it’s a very indoor time up here of late. Tres blah.

    I only have reasonable opinions on music, thus:

    Top Albums (no order)

    Claire Rousay: 17 Roles All Mapped Out
    Burial: Chemz
    Chihei Hatakeyama:Black Swallow
    White Ring: Show Me Heaven
    Biosphere: Angel’s Flight
    Zake: Quiet Sines, Meditative Drones and Eternal Resonance
    Grouper: Shade
    Claire Rousay and More Eaze: An Afternoon Whine
    Dear Laika: Pluperfect Mind
    Celer: In Light Of Blues

    Top Songs (no order)
    Claire Rousay: It Was Always Worth It
    Horsegirl: Ballroom Dance Scene
    The Hold Steady: Unpleasant Breakfast
    Mica Levi: One Tear
    Dry Cleaning: Scratchcard Lanyard
    White Ring: Light Hours Linger
    Dear Laika: Pluperfect Mind
    Martyna Basta: Trace
    Grouper: Disordered Minds
    Guided By Voices: Trust Them Now
    Claire Rousay and More Eaze: Smaller Pools

    Love,
    Mark

  17. Chris Kelso

    A great list and I’m honoured to have a book on it!

    Best books I read in 2021 before i became a dad. Probably the last time I’ll have a reading list this long –

    Forever by Thomas Moore
    I Wished by Dennis Cooper
    The Magician by Chris Zeischegg
    The Motion of Light in Water by Samuel Delany
    In the Dream House by Carmen Machado
    The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles
    Pax Americana by Kurt Baumeister
    Magnetised by Carlos Busqued
    Runaways by Michael J Seidlinger
    A Lit Fuse – the Provocative Life of Harlan Ellison by Nat Sagalof
    The Worm by New Juche
    Period by Dennis Cooper
    Fallout from our Asphalt Hell by Gabriel Hart
    History of Present Complaint by HLR
    Conspiracy Against the Human Race by Thomas Ligotti
    Happiness is Wasted on Me by Kirkland Ciccone
    The Comfort Zone by Tom Over
    Coltrane on Coltrane
    Cronenberg on Cronenberg
    82189 – Confessions of a Prison Bitch ed by Mikkita Brottman
    The Ministry of Guidance by Golnoosh Nour
    High Risk anthology by Amy Scholder
    Schrader on Schrader
    What Are You by Lindsay Lerman
    Jub Jub Juice by Neil Riddy
    Brief Encounters by Dick Cavett
    Sing Your Sadness Deep by Laura Mauro
    The Philosophy of David Cronenberg
    The System by Zak Ferguson
    Last Days by Brian Evenson
    Cyborg by René Georg Vasicek

    I really enjoyed your latest interview with Brad Listi – and your voice is so soothing it lulled my screaming wee hell-baby into a gentle slumber. I owe you one!

    Love,

    Chris

  18. l@rst

    D-

    re: criterion, when I first got the idea 6 or 7 years ago I was scrolling through the Criterion Channel looking for something to watch and the synopsis were so over-the-top I was like this would make a great found poem if sampled. It took me 6 years to realize I had to break it up and a zine made sense. Hence the 70’s a-d as a start.
    re: Theresa’s ceramics, I asked her about Ron Nagle, she was vaguely familiar…. her stuff is on the functional side as opposed to artistic. I can definitely say she’s truly original , been going to craft fairs with her for 3 years and I haven’t seen anything like hers theresa-arrison.com
    quick mine for yours (thank you, as always for the wonderful bounty of recommends)
    books:
    always crashing in the same car – michael specktor
    no one is talking about this – patricia lockwood
    nina simone’s gum – warren ellis
    I wished – some yahoo
    The history of bones – john lurie
    once upon a time in hollywood novelisation – tarrentino

    music:
    Superwolves (matt sweeney & will oldham

    movies:
    French Dispatch

    Art: John Lurie forever I finally could afford a print

    that’s on the fly possibly more to come

    much love,
    _L

  19. Alexandrine Ogundimu

    Thank you so much for including me on your list! Shameless plug: I’ve got a sequel to Desperate coming out next year called Agitation, and I’m also looking for an agent for the combined volume of all the V stories I wrote during the pandemic, so hopefully there will be more material from his/her universe down the line!

    I didn’t get to read nearly the amount of books I wanted to this year, and I’m also bad with lists. My favorite nonfiction was Afropessimism by Frank Wilderson, my favorite poetry was a tie between NO TIGER by Mika and Ugly Time by Sarah Galvin. Favorite fiction was Darryl by Jackie Ess and Opioid, Indiana by Brian Allen Carr. Failure to Thrive was up there too. Read a couple of your books too and I enjoyed them, of course. Best film I saw in theatres was Titane. Don’t have a best album, I listened to playlists all year.

    Best wishes as we go into the new year, and thanks again!

  20. Bill

    Music…

    Angular, composed:
    Ian Pace plays complete Ferneyhough solo piano ’21
    Grisey/Dumitrescu/Sciarrino etc, Music for violas, bass clarinets, flutes

    Scratchy, improvised:
    Neural Goldberg, doppler doppelganger
    https://cranksatori.bandcamp.com/album/doppler-doppelg-nger
    Fraser/McCowen/Weinberg, Thip https://triptickstapes.bandcamp.com/album/thip
    Chris Burns, Manifest https://universalreptile.bandcamp.com/album/manifest
    Laura Altman/Ashwood/Butler/Krebs, haze https://soundoutrecordings.bandcamp.com/album/haze
    Jane in Ether (Mayas/Voutchkova/Klein), Spoken/Unspoken
    https://confrontrecordings.bandcamp.com/album/spoken-unspoken
    Mike Cooper/Duck Baker, Cumino in Mia Cucina
    https://confrontrecordings.bandcamp.com/album/cumino-in-mia-cucina
    Tender Buttons, an established color and cunning
    Benoit Delbecq, The Weight of Light
    Lash/Butcher/Russell/Sanders, Discernment

    Abstract pop/pop-y abstractions:
    Liz Allbee, Rille https://lizallbee.bandcamp.com
    Ruth Goller, Skylla https://ruthgoller.bandcamp.com/album/skylla
    Ben Lamar Gay, Open Arms to Open Us

  21. Bill

    Is Michael Salerno’s new film streaming somewhere? I can’t find it online.

    I see Oscar’s lovely trailer for Mud Monster, but can’t find the full version on Vimeo, hmmm.

    Bill

  22. Brian

    Hey, Dennis,

    I’m woefully woefully behind on all things 2021, so I don’t have too interesting a list wrt to new arrivals, alas. My favorite book was your own, naturally; album, Jubilee; movie, Licorice Pizza (I think). But I need to catch up on everything, really. Your list provides an apt guide. Especially eager to get on that Brian Evenson, because I just love his stories so much, and he’s a swell guy besides. Your words about Bogarde ring true: he’s so endlessly watchable. I haven’t seen Despair but yeah, haven’t heard good things about that one at all, even though Fassbinder counted it amongst his favorites of his own films. I typically like his literary adaptations but I’m skeptical of this one. Will get to it soon, though. At the very least, as you indicate, Bogarde should be fun to watch. Guide is my favorite of the Cycle novels too, with Try as a very close second. There are few books I take more sheer pleasure in reading; I quite literally find myself smiling at the craft of it as I turn the pages. It’s like magic, really it is. Ugh, I’m so sorry you’re having such a nightmare experience with this pre-production phase. Hope that your weekend brainwork came up with a whiz of a plan B in case your producer fails to turn up ideal results. My own weekend was occupied with the less than sublime work of moving my brother, incidentally fallen ill, out of his upstate dorm, but now that he’s home and our finals are almost done, I’m ready to get into the holiday spirit. Festive winds blowing my way and, fingers crossed, yours too.

  23. Jeff J

    Hey Dennis – It’s always great to see your yearend lists — plus the ones from all the D/Ls. So many intriguing and exciting things to check out, makes the past months shine a bit brighter.

    Stephanie was just recommending Mike DeCapite’s JACKET WEATHER to me and it was a nice surprise to see it on your list. Are you familiar with him / his earlier writing?

    I was wondering what you thought of the new ABBA album and interested to see it on the list. I saw some critics label it as nostalgia exercise but imagine that’s lazy thinking. What did you make of it relative to their earlier work?

    I’m far behind on my reading this year, but the two books that have taken up the most space in my brain are I WISHED and HARROW. I really dug what you wrote about HARROW for Artforum (I think it was?). Right now it’s my favorite Joy Williams.

    I also loved Derek McCormack’s CASTLE FAGGOT and Meghan Lamb’s FAILURE TO THRIVE. And I dug Fleur Jaeggy’s super strange WATER STATUES and Ross Gay’s spiraling long poem BE HOLDING and Aaron Fagen’s poetry collection from the Song Cave A BETTER PLACE IS HARD TO FIND.

    I was late to Rone Shavers’ SILVERFISH, which Clash Books put out late last year. If you don’t know it, think you’d love it — mix of Ishmael Reed, Burroughs cut-ups, and Percival Everette, blurbed by John Keene, very experimental with hyper-condensed prose, a sleek 80 pages, super fun, too.

    My favorite non-fiction book was MAYBE THE PEOPLE WOULD BE THE TIMES by Lucy Sante.

    On music, seconding GBV, Low, The Bug, Grouper, Screamers, and Dry Cleaning.

    Also –
    Sault “Rise,” Joshua Abrams “Decension (Out of Our Constrictions),” Painted Shrines
    “Heaven + Holy,” and Blue Jean Tyranny “Degrees of Freedom Found,” large parts of Mac McCaughan’s totally overlooked “Sound of Yourself.”

    My fave record is the massive Julius Hemphill boxset “The Boye Multi-National Crusade” which collects lots of previously unavailable material in a variety of modes and genres.

    Other archival/newly unearthed marvels: Seefeel “Rupt and Flex,” Hasan Ib Ali “Retrospect in Retirement of Delay,” Linda Smith “Til Another Day,” and Baligh Hamadi “Modal Instrumental Pop of 1970s Egypt.”

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