biweekly links 12-6-2017

As we go into the Christmas season, how about some devils?

The Bedevilment of Benvenuto Cellini: artist, duelist, and all-round party boy Cellini also dabbled in the black arts with the assistance of a priest. Another example of the extreme effort of necromancy: this ritual required hours of incantations, magical circles, and a virgin sacrifice (well, bait). Cellini did get his devils, but the inclusion of “drugs of fetid odor” in the process is telling.

For a Brief Time in 1978, Italy Had a Televised Satanic Variety Show: Allegedly created at the request of the Devil himself, “Stryx” ran only 6 episodes and appears to have been an eviled-up version of musical variety shows a la “Sonny and Cher” or “Donny and Marie”. Guests included Grace Jones and Amanda Lear of Roxy Music’s “For Your Pleasure” album cover fame.

Commies, Devils, and Mind Control: How the Christian Right Invented Satanic Backmasking: Ooh, I remember this one! I first read about it in Big Secrets and I remember my sister and I trying to play a Beatles tape (remember those?) backwards. Definitely a phenomena that says more about the listener than the music.

Just to round out the “devil” theme of today’s post. I actually prefer the Who Killed The Kennedys mix [YouTube] but this version’s visuals are more on topic (is the singer dressed up like Vlad the Impaler?):

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Allison Thurman

Allison Thurman has always made stuff: out of fabric, metal, beads, even exaggerated fencing moves. Of late she makes stories out of weird history, with fragments of pop culture, unsolved mysteries, and science fiction mixed in for texture.

She lives in a galaxy far, far away (well, the DC metro area) with too many books and swords.

3 thoughts on “biweekly links 12-6-2017”

  1. May I add?

    “Old Harry’s Game” written by and starring (as Satan) Andy Hamilton. BBC Radio ended up commissioning seven regular series plus an assortment of one-off episodes (including Christmas specials!). By pure coincidence it’s being repeated on BBC Radio 4 online right now … still four days left to listen to series one, episode one, plus episodes two, three and four currently available at

    “Violons d’Enfer/Infernal Violins” album performed by French-Canadian violinist Angèle Dubeau & Canadian all-female string ensemble La Pietà. Every track is a devil-themed piece of music by composers ranging from Giuseppe Tartini to the Rolling Stones. Album info (and sample tracks) here:, official album video of Danse Macabre here:

  2. Infernal Violins is one of those CDs that I can happily just keep hitting replay over and over and listen to all day. Track 3 is the one that I find surprises a lot of people … one of those pieces of music that nearly everyone recognizes and associate with a certain thing, but they’ve never known what it was actually called or its origin (some would say that the devil is responsible for the thing they do know it from)

    You’re going to go straight to the link and hit the play button for track 3 now, aren’t you? –GRIN–

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