Mille Plateaux December 2013
The year-long performance art piece that was inaugurated in Metz in January 2013 under the working title The Year of the Dove before evolving willy-nilly into Mille Plateaux has nearly run its course. A catalogue is forthcoming in 2014, as are two rather more tangible artefacts: a schizoid double studio album Mille Plateaux (recorded piecemeal over the course of the Year in Belgium, France, Scotland and the Netherlands and featuring sleeve art by Coyotel initiate and pie-maker Steven Johnson Leyba) as well as a Geistbuch on the late Italian poet, singer and performance artist Piero Ciampi. These items will be delivered to the doorstep of obscurity on the summer solstice 2014, heralded by a European tour and a residency at Luxembourg's contemporary art museum MUDAM. In the meantime, Dove and co.'s last performance of the Year-- indeed, their last performance until the twin release of Mille Plateaux and Piero Ciampi-- will unfold Thurs 19 Dec in Brussels, a pre-celebration of the Greek Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
Funny Religion October 2013
'I'm going back to my old school because, to tell you the truth, all those songs from my youth move this old fool.' In a similar vein, our man Dove revisits his salad days via a rather Byzantine conceptual odyssey titled It's a Funny Religion When You Pray, 'Hey, Mr. Tambourine Man, Play a Song for Me.' The thing begins with a decade-old, unreleased (one is tempted to add 'lost and all forlorn') Orange Juice tribute album, to which the boy Valentino contributed one of his first, faltering home recordings. It ends with an unexpected YouTube playlist crafted just this summer by Orange Juice's own bassist David McClymont and liner notes written in alternately wistful and clinical prose by the present-day Dove. The piece will be read and screened at Neu! Reekie! in Edinburgh on 25 October.
BAL MASQUÉ September 2013
Brussels' internationalist sleazy listening orchestra Georgio 'the Dove' Valentino & his Société des Mélancoliques return to Edinburgh in late October to lend their decadent sound to this Continental-style masked ball. Representing the host country are Creeping Bent recording artists, the Leopards (whose members carry impressive CVs: Aztec Camera, Paul Quinn & the Independent Group, James Kirk, Bourgie Bourgie). And there's more. DJ Danton's Death appears direct from ghost city Detroit via the magick of astral projection. Details here.
MILLE PLATEAUX, or Schizoid Happy Hour(s) July 2013
A Deleuzo-Guattarian soirée at the venerable Archiduc, Brussels' art-deco landmark. Two American exiles-- Georgio 'the Dove' Valentino and Blaine L. Reininger-- and their internationalist bandmates move from sleazy listening to white light/white heat. Among their cues, an homage to the late Italian crooner Piero Ciampi and a mini-set of Tuxedomoon pieces.
Georgio 'the Dove' Valentino Sings Piero Ciampi May 2013
This month GtDV reprises his live tribute to Piero Ciampi in London and Brussels. These performances also mark the appearance of the mildly anticipated first instalment in the serial publication of GtDV's Geistbuch, PIERO CIAMPI. The first English-language biography of the Italian poet/singer begins with a light-hearted introductory essay entitled 'Against World Music'. The limited-edition text is available only at these two dates.
At Home with the Ludskis April 2013
Georgio 'the Dove' Valentino & La Société des Mélancoliques are off to London on Saturday 27 April to participate in the 8th edition of At Home with the Ludskis, the performance art happening hosted quarterly by Dalston's majestic art-deco cinema Rio. There, they will present Dove's epic composition "I Won't Betray You" and, as an added bonus, GtDV will diffuse a related essay on Chuck Berry, John Milton and Fred Nietzsche. Fun facts: The title "I Won't Betray You" is borrowed from Berry's infamous watersports home video. Georgio 'the Dove' Valentino & the Grazers (featuring Dan Augustine) premiered the piece in Berry's hometown St. Louis, Missouri on 23 June 2007. A later performance, in September of the same year, ignited a near-riot at the Black Swamp Arts Festival in Bowling Green, Ohio.
Miditour, or Another Vernal Equinox Situation March 2013
Spring at last. GtDV and his Société des Mélancoliques are marking the vernal equinox in this Year of the Dove (see January update) with a pagan pilgrimage from Saint-Gilles (Brussels Capital Region) to Saint-Gilles-du-Gard down the French Midi. Along the way, they shall commune with the spirit-- if not the actual entombed body-- of George Bryan Brummell, dit Beau, in Caen; they shall advance the cause of Breton independence in Rennes; they shall traverse the ancestral lands of that other, not-so-saintly Gilles de Rais; they shall bathe in the waters of the Mediterranean; and they shall sing their song for all who care to listen. Dates here.
Excerpts from Edinburgh February 2013
Last summer, GtDV and his Société des Mélancoliques drifted across the North Sea and washed up on Scottish shores for a handful of dates. The zenith of the tour was the band's 29 August performance in the capital, a performance recorded for posterity by our pal (and honorary chair of the Scottish chapter of the GtDV Rapid Response Team) Murray Ramone. Download five songs from this aural artefact-- brimming with apocalyptic 12-string action and Jurassic atmospherics (patent pending)-- below:
A World Without Love February 2013
Just in time for Valentine's Day, GtDV takes Peter and Gordon's saccharine 1964 hit "A World Without Love" (written by P. McCartney) to its logical, histrionic conclusion. Fast product of a single afternoon's live session, engineered by Benjamin Meunier at La Compilothèque in Brussels, followed by a white night of atmospheric and controlled feedback overdubs chez Dove. The accompanying clip was directed by our favourite Norwegian film-maker Saint-Gilles de Rais, with 3D rendering by J.D. Esseintes and underwater effect photography by Isidore Ducasse-Tête. The concept is inspired in equal parts by Méliès and the Marquis de Sade, so it's unsurprising that the clip has already been singled out for its singularly provocative content. Scandalous, I trust you'll agree. (Note: No animals were harmed during filming.)
Year of the Dove January 2013
Happy New Year to all and sundry. It has been decided-- entirely entre nous for the moment-- that 2013 will be the Year of the Dove. For our part, we are mobilizing such that some portion(s) of the world beyond nous deux may eventually concur (or at least play along ironically). The year officially begins on a maudit-ical note with a live performance in Paul Verlaine's hometown. Things can only go up the hill backwards from there. Watch this space for more live dates in the Benelux, Britannia, France and the former Papal States.
Poète Maudit/Part Maudite September 2012
Our man is coming out from behind his wall of sound for a special acoustic project, POÈTE MAUDIT/PART MAUDITE, being an homage to the late Italian singer Piero Ciampi, premiering in Brussels on Thurs 6 Dec. From the horse's mouth: American film-noir/kraut-cowboy/fake-Italian crooner Georgio ‘the Dove’ Valentino renders homage to Piero Ciampi (1934-1980) by performing a selection of the poète maudit’s work in the original Italian, accompanied by pianist Todor Stefanov. These brooding canzoni, in which Ciampi’s fundamentally cerebral ennui play-acts in one desperate melodrama after another, remain an obscure taste even in their author’s native land. A supremely gifted poet with a voice seeped in character, Ciampi’s career was dogged by failure. Stung in the early ‘60s (for the first but hardly the last time) by the indifference with which his first spate of singles was received, Ciampi withdrew for the remainder of the decade. He
re-emerged in 1971 with Piero Ciampi, a masterpiece which heralded a new phase in his career and an altogether novel aesthetic in Italian popular music but did nothing to reverse his commercial losing streak. A handful of similarly brilliant but neglected albums followed: Io e te abbiamo perso la bussola (1973), the double LP Dentro e fuori (1976) and the compilation album Andare camminare lavorare e altri discorsi (1975). Then, in 1980, throat cancer claimed the notoriously hard-drinking singer. His death was noted not by il publicco—among whom Ciampi was then, as ever, an unknown—but by his peers. The tributes and testimonials of fellow artists over the ensuing decades would raise Ciampi’s posthumous profile from almost nothing to almost something.
Entre les Marolles et Saint-Gilles August 2012
Georgio 'the Dove' Valentino's latest 7" 'Entre les Marolles et Saint-Gilles' b/w 'The Damage Is Done' was launched in style with a soirée in Edinburgh which saw Dove and his Société des Mélancoliques share the stage with a veritable dramatis personae of legendary figures, including but not limited to Davy Henderson and Malcolm Ross. The Scottish capital and other stops on the Au-Delà de la Manche tour form the backdrop of this Marolles video clip, edited by Saint-Gilles de Rais and starring Georgio 'the Dove' Valentino and the Société des Mélancoliques (Patrizia F and Benjamin Meunier), Joost Verhagen of the Dutch group Grey Lotus, the Sexual Objects, the Tout-Petit Yelli and Gloria the Turtle.
Au-delà de la Manche, or United Kingdom 2012 May 2012
American film-noir/kraut-cowboy/fake-Italian-crooner Georgio 'the Dove' Valentino and his Benelux backing band La Société des Mélancoliques cross the Channel in August for their first tour of England and, above all, Scotland. What's more, they'll be carrying along a suitcase filled with brand new 7" records, the fruit of a collaboration with one of their spiritual godfathers, Londoner Vic Godard. Godard sings backup on Dove's ode to exile, a track entitled 'Entre les Marolles et Saint-Gilles' and etched into the more festive a-face of this fine disc. The flipside features Valentino's homage to another giant d'outre-Manche: namely his reprise of sad Scottish cowboy Paul Quinn's doleful number, 'The Damage Is Done'.
Futur Antérieur, or Paris au XX(I) siecle March 2012
Georgio 'the Dove' Valentino and his Société des Mélancoliques have been drafted into agnès b.'s retrofuturist army and will be deployed to Paris on Sat 24 March for a top-secret mission. Interested individuals may contact M. Lane Johnson for details.
Au pays de Manneken-pis, or Unplugged in Bruges December 2011
We at GtDV HQ anticipate the limited release in the new year of a live compact disc entitled Au pays de Mannekin-pis. This set was recorded at a (semi-)acoustic showcase in Bruges and is essentially a hyper-minimal reading of the Sorrows of Young Georgio, arranged for piano, trumpet and occasional 12-string guitar. (So there were songs underneath all those overdubs...) A hand-stamped and numbered run, packaged in lovely gatefold sleeves (designed by Brussels' own St.-Gilles de Rais), will be forced on the public at a smattering of dead-of-winter dates in pauvre Belgique, France and Luxembourg. As for Johnny Foreigner, tant pis, he'll have to content himself with an electronic approximation, bundled with the digital edition of the Sorrows of Young Georgio.
Lo and Behold! November 2011 The Sorrows of Young Georgio is finally available in the US and Canada in its definitive 10" vinyl format, thanks to Hamtramck MI-based publishing house/record label Lo and Behold!. And what a bargain-- only $10 US. Molto says, "BUY IT."
Hellas October 2011
Next month will see the Dove follow in the footsteps of Lord Byron-- that other exiled Romantic-- who famously answered the call of the Greek revolutionaries of the 1820s. To wit, GtDV and his crew will join their comrade, Blaine L. Reininger-- yet another exiled Romantic--, for a series of performances in Athens and elsewhere.
Vic Godard + Georgio 'the Dove' Valentino June/July 2011
This summer, Dove and co. hosted West London legend Vic Godard for a weekend session at La Filature in Brussels. They recorded two numbers, one penned by VG and the other by GtDV, which shall be released later in the year as a 7" double a-side.
Dove also joined Vic and his Subway Sect on stage in Petit Fays BE for the live debut of "Better Not Turn On."
Affinité d'ombres et de fleurs en le soir April 2011
New song & video clip, based on the work of Polish poète maudit, Wincenty Korab-Brzozowski
Mitteleuropatour March 2011
Georgio 'the Dove' Valentino & la Société des Mélancoliques will plunge into the heart of Central Europe next month to seed Germany and Poland with copies of their new record and attend the première of the video clip Affinité d'ombres et de fleurs en le soir, produced by Joanna Gniady & Karuzela around the Dove's adaptation of doomed fin-de-siècle poet Wincenty Korab-Brzozowski's Decadent masterpiece of the same name.
The Sorrows of Young Georgio (Digital edition) February 2011
The new Dove set, The Sorrows of Young Georgio, is now available in mp3 format. Dig.
In-store showcases January 2011
FNAC has invited our man GtDV to present his new collection, The Sorrows of Young Georgio, at a series of in-store showcases across Belgium in March. These intimate affairs will find the Dove accompanied only by Luc van Lieshout (trumpet) and Jessica Champeaux (piano). Consult the calendar for details.
The Sorrows of Young Georgio December 2010 Georgio ‘the Dove’ Valentino marked 2007 by issuing his debut 7” single (“She’s Got Eyes in All the Right Places” b/w “Bête Noire”) and a follow-up 7-song offering, You Brought a Knife to a Gunfight, on compact disc. Then, after a series of performances across the United States, the capricious singer pronounced his work in the New World complete. He quit his adopted home in Detroit (to the locals’ general relief), settled across the Atlantic in Brussels (to the locals’ general consternation) and awaited the arrival of another similarly auspicious year, one with enough arbitrary numerical significance to allow him to resume his recording career in quasi-masonic style.
So it was that in 2010, aided by a new gang of consfederates-- among them Blaine L. Reininger and Luc van Lieshout, both poached from the legendary avant-sleaze collective Tuxedomoon--, the Dove began work on a spare, crepuscular set earmarked for 10" vinyl. The Sorrows of Young Georgio finally descends on discriminating turntables (and infiltrates iPods) in February 2011, amidst sundry celebratory situations in the quartier Benelux and Europe at large.
Subway Sect soirée October 2010
This month will find GtDV et al. briefly poking their heads out of the studio, where they are hard at work recording a new set for 10" vinyl release. On Thurs night 21 Oct, they will open for Vic Godard & Subway Sect in Brussels. Details here.
Vernal equinox situations February 2010
GtDV & his Société plan to celebrate the true start of the new year with a series of vernal equinox situations in Brussels and Amsterdam next month. They are absolutely tickled to be joined on stage both nights by super special guest, Luc van Lieshout of Tuxedomoon, who is also collaborating with the Dove on his next record. More news on that forthcoming.
New clips October 2009
Feast your eyes on these sumptuous live clips, captured at La Filature by filmmaker extraordinaireXiao Shitou. It's Only Pride (But It's Mine) / Don't Do Me Any Favours / You Brought a Knife to a Gunfight