Paracelsus (LFG Blog)
|Sleeve - Front: Artwork pasted onto generic sleeve (this one needs re-sticking)|
|Sleeve - Back|
Label: Self Release
Matrix A: RH 00-A
Matrix B: RH 00-B
1st Press 300 (Sept 2004) (No Test Presses)
2nd 400 (Feb 2005) or maybe 300
All versions have same 'Let a Fool Walk in Darkness' A3-size insert
- First Press
- Second Press (has sharper print quality on back of sleeve)
- Stamped (Labels & sometimes dust sleeve)
- 'The Baiting of Chicago' Sleeve (Chicago show poster folded over regular sleeve - see further down)
|Stamped labels (and dust sleeve). Image borrowed from Doug's SITE|
|Stamped labels and dust sleeve. Image borrowed from Doug's SITE|
In November 2005, three and a half years after the first press of 'No Pasaran', the Looking For Gold blog appeared. The following text combining the lyrics with explanatory comments is copied from the second post on the blog, it appears here with some of the redundant links updated, a few new ones and images added and the text fonts changed...
"Riding the Tiger" was a phrase coined by Julius Evola (and later corrupted by Yo La Tengo, Jefferson Starship and others), used to describe a method of surviving in a corrupted world: by living on the back of the beast, you avoid its most harmful elements, that of the claws and teeth.
''Within the mines of human minds we seek to gain the Masters of the Name:
The "Masters of the Name" (known also as the Baalei Shem) were a Jewish mystic sect of the 10th and 11th centuries, who were thought to be able to use the true names of God to perform feats of magic - stirring the oceans, raising the dead, and making themselves invisible. The sect became for a time a popular religious movement in Europe, and was associated with the Kabbalist Isaac the Blind.
The "fire-flame" line comes from a song by the 50s singing group The Orioles.
''We are the fluids that dance upon the rest
The first line comes from this Evola quote: "Life is like a bow and the soul like an arrow, the target being aimed at is the Supreme Spirit", and describes his ideal human life. Keep in mind that Evola (nor this song) does not use the conception of "God" in a traditional sense - while being a mystical fascist and under the temporary employ of Mussolini (who thought Evola had magical powers), he was also a devout Buddhist and student of eastern religions.
Mercury, or "quicksilver", as it was known by alchemists, is one of the seven alchemical metals, and was of utmost importance practically, as its reaction to nitric acid produced a dramatic red smoke, but also metaphorically, as they thought the element transcended the solid and liquid states, and represented the transcendence over life and death, and heaven and hell. The metal is often represented by a serpent or a snake. Coincidentally, mercury is liquid at room temperature. So is the element Francium, of which there are thought to be less than 20 atoms of on the entire planet at any given moment.
Kali Yuga describes both an age and a creature in Indian mythology.
Kali, the Goddess, is associated with death, violence, blood and sex. Some interpretations of Tantric texts place her as the ultimate reality and source of being.
Kali Yuga, the age, also referred to as the Iron Age, refers to the age in which we currently reside, and describes the downfall of the gods, and general chaos enveloping humanity. Hindus await Kalki, the 10th and final avatar of Vishnu, riding a white horse and striking down the wicked with a sword. Note the cover of the 12".
After the conclusion of this age, time is reset and brings about a Golden Age. A similar theme is described in the Bible, the Eddas of Norse mythology (the coming of Ragnarok), and of course the 3rd Matrix movie.
''High and low, above below
|Pan on Greek Coin|
"As below, so above; and as above so below" is used in alchemy to describe the transmutation from lower to higher elements. The alchemical process is briefly described in this section.
"Pan" is capitalized because it refers to the act of panning for gold, but also to the Greek God Pan, the satyr-god who lords over shepherds and flocks. The connotations should be clear.
''We beat the drum to stir the elements
Bees were once regarded by the British to be storers of sacred or important knowledge. Many British estates maintained several hives, and employed Bee Masters to speak to the bees. Special occasions and important decisions were always told to the bees in advance to ward good fortune. Bees have always been important symbols of sacred information. Many old illuminated texts will have small bee images.
The Golden Dawn line is to push forward the gold imagery, but also of course refers to the track by Yngwie J. Malmsteen, by which of course I mean the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, an influential magical society founded in London England in 1888.
Alchemists and mystics alike felt that the Earth had always been a place of Grim War between the forces of heaven and hell, a sort of spiritual and metaphysical battlegrounds.
The little religious fish symbol (called an Ichtys) you see on peoples cars while meant to represent the feeding of the 5000 LP by the band Crass, it has also been said to be a VESICA PISCIS, the sliver image created when two globes are crossed (thus the battleground image - the sliver represents earth, while the two globes represent heaven and hell), where such icons like Jesus like to hang out.
|Haymaker Split - Dee credit for vocals, not guitar|
And of course, the grim war line also refers to a Grimoire, which is a type of book written in the 18th century that will contain magical spells and conversations with angels. The most famous grimoire was written by the Elizabethan magi John Dee, who founded Enochian magic (practised by the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, and concerns the sacred language of God) after deciphering his conversations with a series of angels. Dee, considered by many to be the first true renaissance man, was also the basis for Shakespeare's Prospero character, and invented the term "British Empire", and played guitar for Fucked Up on the Haymaker split 7".
''Whole in the broken, straight in the bent
Here is a description of the cover piece again. The attempt to bring darkness to light.
A serpents egg is also known as a philosophers stone (also known as the Rebis, or great equalizer, which is used by alchemists as a vehicle for the alchemical transformation. It is most often a powder, used in the hopes of transforming base metals into silver or gold. There's that serpent again.
'Transcend transmute to absolutes
The record uses the same symbolism and metaphors that alchemical texts used to do, for the same purpose. Alchemy was on one hand a legitimate scientific pursuit, and was the precursory to the (more) legitimate science of chemistry, but on the other hand a grand and historical religious metaphor. Texts that gave instructions on ingredient mixing were also religious codes that could be read only by adepts. The transformation from lead to gold was the attempt also to transform baser human lives into greater ones, the transformation of death into life, human into god. Many alchemists were in fact looking for the elixir of life, in order to bring humanity a step closer to the heavens (see Dee's conception of the Jacob's Ladder). The song describes the pursuit of an adepts through a wicked world, looking for more adepts.
The connotations for such a message in today's world can be wide ranging, but takes from the mythology and tradition of 1000's of years of heresy and magic.
2005 Blog Post (Intro to above):
Much mystery has surrounded the release of the first self-released FUCKED UP 12", "Looking for Gold". Released in two separate runs of 300 copies to coincide with short tours that took place from 23-25th September 2004 (Chicago/Columbus/Pittsburgh), and 15-17th November 2004 (Albany/Sherbrooke/Montreal), the record was never repressed and quickly became sought-after by collectors and fuck-heads.
Many have since been able to acquire the music through electronic means.
What has been lost on those unable to own this record are the lyrics, artwork and meaning of the project.
The front and back pieces were commissioned to a local Toronto artist Greg Miller.
The front cover painting is by an 18th century Viennese artist who is now forgotten. It shows a black knight on horseback being chased out of a forest by a cadre of white gods and cherubs, as if to retrieve something that has been stolen. The image uses important alchemical symbolism and is meant to invert the classic white-black dualism. In this case sympathy is placed on the black, and seemingly villainous knight as he attempts evasion of his captors with a perhaps valuable prize in tow.
The lyrics on the backplate describe what we are all attempting to steal from the gods and angels:
2010 Blog post regarding artwork:
We used to get all the art for our records from either art books from my university library, or the image bank at the big central municipal library. Around the time we did this record and Dance of Death, I was getting into the fantastic realism artists from Vienna like Alfred Kubin and Max Klinger. I think this picture came from a book called "The Fantastic Art of Vienna". I don't remember who did the piece because I think it's a really minor work, but it again describes the lyrics perfectly. What struck me about the piece is how it inverts the classic white-black dualism you see everywhere. The black guy on the horse looks like the good guy, and the white angels kind of look like demons. Its got some heavy alchemy symbolism going on, which was something else we were really feeling at the time. Looking for Gold is kind of the most important Fucked Up record and describes the age old quest for the idealized humanity. Alchemy was really heavy on dualism (which we stopped digging on Hidden World) and is therefor really useful as symbolism for punk bands, who exist almost entirely to be placed in opposition to some other prevailing force. The last verse of the song is "On horses black we plunder through, The white with serpents eggs strapped to, Our backs are turned against the silver moon". The illumination was done by a friend who I used to work with.
Blog comment on above post:
The picture from the "looking for gold" 12" often illustrates the poem "DER ERLKÖNIG" by German poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe - if anyone cares ...
Depending on exactly where you place the needle to start playing the A-side, it could play either of two intro tracks, as there are two sets of grooves running parallel. Both segue directly into the title track. This is the "hidden track" that is commonly referred to.
Can the Wings of the Wind understand your voices of Wonder? O Ye! the second of the First! whom the burning flames have framed in the depth of my Jaws! Whom I have prepared as cups for a wedding, or as flowers in their beauty for the chamber of Righteousness! Stronger are your feet than the barren stone; and mightier are your voices than the manifold winds! For you are become a building such as is not, save in the Mind of the All-Powerful.
This section is normally reserved for test pressings and variations that were available in less than 30, but this one gets a special dispensation, even though it's numbered out of 40 and more of a pairing rather than a variation. Known as the 'Baiting of Chicago' sleeve, it's basically a gig poster, folded to conceal the record.
|Looking For Gold, with 'The Baiting of Chicago' 'sleeve'.|
|Chicago was the first date of the tour, so this might be considered a record release cover.|
This one is numbered 36/40
Part of email message from someone who was at the show: