Half a century ago, Belgian Zoologist Bernard Heuvelmans first codified cryptozoology in his book On the Track of Unknown Animals.

The Centre for Fortean Zoology (CFZ) are still on the track, and have been since 1992. But as if chasing unknown animals wasn't enough, we are involved in education, conservation, and good old-fashioned natural history! We already have three journals, the largest cryptozoological publishing house in the world, CFZtv, and the largest cryptozoological conference in the English-speaking world, but in January 2009 someone suggested that we started a daily online magazine! The CFZ bloggo is a collaborative effort by a coalition of members, friends, and supporters of the CFZ, and covers all the subjects with which we deal, with a smattering of music, high strangeness and surreal humour to make up the mix.

It is edited by CFZ Director Jon Downes, and subbed by the lovely Lizzy Bitakara'mire (formerly Clancy), scourge of improper syntax. The daily newsblog is edited by Corinna Downes, head administratrix of the CFZ, and the indexing is done by Lee Canty and Kathy Imbriani. There is regular news from the CFZ Mystery Cat study group, and regular fortean bird news from 'The Watcher of the Skies'. Regular bloggers include Dr Karl Shuker, Dale Drinnon, Richard Muirhead and Richard Freeman.The CFZ bloggo is updated daily, and there's nothing quite like it anywhere else. Come and join us...

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Friday, April 09, 2010


A few weeks ago, during our last few days in America I was sitting up late playing music to Naomi West. I have always been surprised how even erudite muso types like the Wests were ignorant of some of what (in the UK) the cognoscenti think of as the most seminal American music ever produced. Surely a prophet is without honour blah blah blah. So I played Naomi Scott Walker, Gram Parsons, and above all a little band from Tennessee called Big Star who produced some of the most glorious chiming guitar pop of all time. These (together with Early Times cheap Kentucky Bourbon, and Walmart's own Mesquite barbeque sauce) have given me more pleasure than anything else hailing from the USA (and when you consider how much pleasure Elvis, Richard Hell, Calexico, Paula Frazer and Reece's Peanut Butter Cups have given me, this is against some stiff competition), but Naomi enjoyed it all - especially Big Star.

Why am I writing this?

Well, I wasn't feeling very well last night, and so I went to bed with a copy of Uncut (a music magazine I buy occasionally from Asda). I was shocked to read that the very week I had been introducing the music of Big Star to our dear friend Naomi that their main man Alex Chilton died of a heart attack. The eagle-eyed amongst you will notice that their 1993 live album Columbia has been on the bloggo playlist for some days. Again this is pure coincidence, although - as you know - there ain't no such thing.

I had always hoped that Big Star would eventually get the commercial breakthrough that they always deserved. Now, sadly, they never shall.

Today we also say goodbye to Malcolm McLaren who, despite being a manipulative old sod, was one of the pivotal influences on my late adolescence, and Mark Linkous who was the front man of Sparklehorse who (in collaboration with Dangermouse) recorded one of my favourite albums of 2009. Again, unjustifiably obscure, I didn't find out until yesterday that he had shot himself on March 6th.

The world is considerably poorer without these three men.

1 comment:

ricardo said...

Yes, very sad news. I was especially upset by the death of Mark Linkous last month as he was one of my very favourite musicians.