Friday, April 12, 2024

New Music from High on Fire!!!

Now that's what I'm talking about! The title track from Cometh the Storm, High on Fire's ninth studio album, out next Friday, April 19th on MNRK Heavy. Pre-order HERE.


I've been busy as hell with regular work stuff and with watching movies and reading comics. Sounds like a great first-world problem, eh? Let's talk about what I've watched.

First, the Soska Sisters' new film Festival of the Dead is a Tubi exclusive and is now up on the streamer, ready to watch. A sequel to George A. Romero's Night of the Living Dead, this was a blast. 

The first ten minutes or so feel a bit like an NBC family morality flick, but Festival of the Dead very quickly asserts itself in the Romero tradition and does not look back. Loved some characters, loved watching others die in horrible ways, this one is fun and gory and just a good time in general. Don't let those first ten minutes fool you. 

Next, K and I caught Kiah Roache-Turner's Sting last night at the local cinema. Wow! This one is fantastic, too!

I've mentioned before that I have a bit of a spider phobia, and this one definitely plays on that. The FX are great, and the overall pace and tone here make for a great theatrical viewing. One thing I definitely noticed is there appears to be a huge chunk missing from this film (concerning the Bug Brothers, for those who've seen it), and I can only imagine the studio made the filmmaker trim a section to hit a specific run-time, and that's what came out. The film doesn't suffer for it, but it's pretty obvious. If anything, will make for a great extra feature on the eventual Blu-Ray.

There's a great interview with Sting's Creative Director about the practical FX in the film up on Bloody Disgusting HERE.

Finally, Shudder recently dropped the directorial debut by Alberto Corredor, a film titled Baghead.

Ostensibly a Talk to Me clone, this is still a pretty great first film. It's shot well, the lighting is great, and the location is an old Irish Pub that really steals the show, so it was pretty easy to enjoy this one despite any shortcomings. 


As I type this, I'm finishing up my re-read of Chris Claremont and John Byrne's "Dark Phoenix Saga." I'm reading this in Classic X-Men, the way I bought it at a comic show at a Knight's of Colombus Hall somewhere in southern Illinois way back in... I don't really know when. Late 80s? Early 90s?

One thing I've noticed with these Classic X-Men issues is I actually prefer the cover art for a lot of these reprints to the original issues. Here are two great examples:

Above is John Byrne's original cover for Uncanny X-Men 134, while below is his cover for the reprint.

The original is good, but this second version is haunting in my opinion. There's something so chillingly cold and cosmic about Master Mind's eyes, hollowed out by an injection of Chaos by Phoenix. The fact that his slack-jawed, empty visage is so far up in the foreground and that Phoenix is more or less just an outline filled with the same cosmic imagery really ties this together, as does the cool greenish-blue color palette, which helps add a clinically void feeling to this entire tableau. This could be a poster, as far as I am concerned.

Next, the climactic chapter of the saga, Uncanny X-Men 137:

This has been a classic, iconic comics image since I began collecting in 1986, and while it is great - the massive yellow ad copy taking up the upper fifth of the page doesn't really help matters - it pails in comparison to the one on the reprint, Classic X-Men 43:

This one is a lot less dramatic of a moment than the first, so I can't quite figure out why I like it better. Again, the color palette is definitely more to my overall liking, but also, despite the fact that the original image is much more of an 'action' image, this one feels like a moment stolen from the finale of the issue. I think this is a case of the technology being better and the image simply being overall more crisp. 


Turnstile - Glow On
Revolting Cocks - Beers, Steers and Queers
Chelsea Wolfe - She Reaches Out to She Reaches Out to She
Zen Guerilla - Positronic Raygun
Yawning Balch - Volume One
Trombone Shorty - Too True
Frankie and the Witch Fingers - Data Doom
Man Man - On Oni Pond


From Jonathan Grimm's Hand of Doom Tarot, which you can buy HERE.

• Ten of Cups
• Eight of Swords
• Seven of Cups

Lots of emotion in this Pull. The pinion here, I think, is the Eight of Swords, as reading center-left-right, that is the middle card. This makes sense in that I've been prone to mood swings based on a certain person in my life; Ten of Cups is emotional maturity, Seven is Victory over emotion, but Eight of Swords can be read as Interference, that there's always some of that keeping me from being victorious over my emotions nad balancing them maturely in the face of trying situations. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2024



I woke up the morning of the Eclipse with the B-Side of Soundgarden's final album Down on the Upside. Giving this one a spin always takes me back.


Ti West's Maxxxine finally gets a trailer! Yeah, I know I always bitch about trailers, but I am so excited for this one there was no way I wasn't watching it at least once.

I don't need any press to get me pumped for this one, as to say I've been waiting for it since that first after-credits tease at the end of Pearl's credits would be an understatement. I've been a West fan since I first saw The Roost back in 2005; I remember waiting what seemed an eternity for House of the Devil, and seeing him get a huge boost in the Horror community from that movie. That boost was nothing compared to the one he's had with this X trilogy, and I fully expect Maxxxine to further that. 

July 5th cannot come fast enough.


Fairly big week and I'm pretty psyched for some of these, especially 

This issue will round out the second volume of Jeff Lemire & Gabriel H. Walta's Phantom Road. This book is getting weirder and weirder. 

The Penultimate issue of Al Ewing & Luciano Vecchio's Resurrection of Magneto. I've LOVED this one, and I'm super curious to see how it resolves, even if I most likely won't be sticking around afterward. There's such an interesting 'metaphysical' aspect to this book, and where that can often go wrong and incur a big eyeroll, Ewing always does that kind of thing correctly.

Starscream verses Soundwave? F**k yeah! 

Christopher Yost and Val Rodrigues's Unnatural Order ends its first arc with this fourth issue. Great series so far; I'm digging the blend of Pre-history and future space, Vikings and Picts and Tech. Kind of a throwback, in some ways, to a lot of 80s SciFi Fantasy comics.

Despite my initial misgivings, I really dug the first issue of What if... Carter Burke had lived. Looking forward to where this is going.

Also, I thought I'd try a new book that technically came out last week:

I don't know anything about this one, but the title grabbed me right away.


Soundgarden - Down on the Upside
Bauhaus - The Sky's Gone Out
Red Lorry Yellow Lorry - Talk About the Weather
Drug Church - Hygiene
Jim Williams - Possessor OST
Thee More Shallows - More Deep Cuts
Final - Solaris


From Jonathan Grimm's Hand of Doom Tarot, which you can buy HERE.

Some friends drove down from Chicago this past weekend and, after hanging out for the weekend, we drove out to Paducah, KY for the Eclipse on Monday, April 8th. From that location, we experienced totality, which was crazy awesome. Totality lasted for about two minutes; during that time, I made sure to pull one card. 

Six of Swords. In the Thoth deck, this card is "Science;" it can indicate objectivity and clarity, a healthy balance of emotions and intellect. Also, this card may indicate a good time to make a decision.

In my grimoire, I also have this added, "I can see clearly now the rain is gone." I find that last bit particularly interesting, in that it's been raining all week, and literally just seems to have stopped. 

Other attributes for this card include Innovation and experimentation.

Monday, April 8, 2024

I'm a Monkey Man

I've been 'off' for a few days while some friends were in town, so I'm behind on some stuff from last week. First, this Orville Peck/Willie Nelson track that dropped last Friday and makes me super happy. To hear these two together is just... wonderful. I love how Willie does these tracks with the younger generation of real country stars to welcome them in - he did a similar one with Kacey Musgraves a few years back.


I saw two flicks in the theatre late last week. First up, Arkasha Stevenson's The First Omen


This was not for me, but then, I pretty much hate the original Omen as well. If you dig that one, you'll dig this (I think). Stevenson and her team - which includes cinematographer Aaron Morton (Evil Dead 2013; No One Will Save You) and Composer Mark Korven (The Witch; The Lighthouse) go out of their way to evoke the 70s tone of the original film, so this definitely feels as though it takes place in that world. Also, Nell Tiger Free does a great job as the lead. My problems really revolve around the script, but like I said, if you dig the original, I think you'll dig this. If you're on the fence and have it in mind to see only one Catholic/Nun Horror flick this summer, I'd go with Immaculate. It's just a better movie, in my opinion.

Next up was Dev Patel's Directorial debut: Monkey Man!


Dev Patel wrote/directed/and starred in this one, and it is quite the debut. A visceral fable of Haves and Have-Nots set amidst India's hard-line class division in a fictionalized version of Mumbai named Yatana, Patel plays "The Kid," a man orphaned by corrupt politicians as a child who has now grown up with only one guiding star in his sky: revenge. 

See it in a theatre if you can. The choreography and score by Jed Kurzel will light you up for days.


I started a re-read of Chris Claremont's Uncanny X-Men this weekend. I've done this before and fallen off rather quickly, so this time I'm really going to try and stick to it. A few years ago (more than a few), I found a huge stack of single issues at a thrift store in Harbor City, CA, all in the mid 100s, and I've never read most of them. My readership began as a kid in the 80s, right around issue 211, and although I still have a bunch of holes in the run, I'm going to go through what I have. Starting with a bunch of issues of Classic X-Men; the monthly reprint series that ran in the 80s as the title became more popular, bringing hard-to-find storylines like The Dark Phoenix Saga back for newer fans to read. So that's exactly where I started.

Reprinting Uncanny X-Men #130

Reprinting Uncanny X-Men 131

While I do own a beat-up copy of The Phoenix's first appearance in Uncanny 101, I'm not even 100% certain I've ever actually read the entirety of the Phoenix Saga, so this is a great place to begin; I picked these Classic X-Men up years ago at a comic convention and really need this re-read to figure out what I've missed. As well as I know a lot of the lore and history, some of that was no doubt absorbed via years of fandom. It'll be very cool to actually experience Claremont's run.


Revolting Cocks - Beers Steers and Queers
Miranda Sex Garden - Carnival of Souls
Type O Negative - Bloody Kisses (Suspended in Dusk Vinyl)
Chelsea Wolfe  - She Reaches Out to She Reaches Out to She
Perturbator - The Uncanny Valley
Anthrax - Persistence of Time
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard - PetroDragonic Apocalypse
Turnstile - Glow On
Beck - Odelay
Rollins Band - The End of Silence
Brigette Calls Me Baby - This House is Made of Corners EP
Amigo the Devil - Yours Until the End of the War
The Tiger Lillies - Bad Blood  + Blasphemy
Tom Waits - Rain Dogs
Mannequin Pussy - I Got Heaven
Mannequin Pussy - Drunk II (single)

Thursday, April 4, 2024

New Music from Better Lovers!

No idea if this is an advance single from a forthcoming record, but I LOVE this!


Despite growing up in the '80s and early '90s as a huge fan of Chris Claremont's X-Men I was a touch too old to ever encounter the X-Men cartoon that ran in the '90s. My girlfriend on the other hand, was a fan, so when Marvel announced the new season of X-Men '97 premiering on Disney+ last month, she was excited. I knew I would watch this with her, but I wasn't sure how I'd feel about it. Well, I'm pretty damn happy to report that after sitting down to watch the first episode last night and not breaking away until we'd watched the first four, she was over the moon and I was very pleasantly surprised.

Of course, the cartoon is still largely based on that first Blue Team/Gold Team design era for the X-Men, heavy Jim Lee, and that's not my favorite era by any means. That said, I was pretty impressed how they worked in both the Madelyne Pryor/Nathan Summers storyline and the LifeDeath story with Forge and Storm. I'm 100% in.


I think there was a very specific chain of events that led to me liking that X-Men 97 cartoon yesterday. Let me retrace that here.

First, I watched this Cartoon Kayfabe video:

I've made no bones about how disappointed I've been with the current state of the X-Titles. I was off reading them for close to a decade when I fell back into the Hickman Powers of X/House of X, and really, I think even after he left the books were fabulous for about the first year. But of late, as the Krakoan era is winding down, I've begun to loathe the overall franchise. Something about this video made me realize that I have strong, good memories even of the bad comics I've read, and I think that really helped boost me up for the cartoon. 


Turnstile - Glow On
Rollins Band - The End of Silence
Ned's Atomic Dustbin - Godfodder
Jim Williams - Possessor OST
Oranssi Pazuzu - Live at Roadburn 2017
Dödsrit - Nocturnal Will

Tuesday, April 2, 2024

The Acid Machine !

Whoah. I'm not sure how I stumbled upon Brazilian Stoner/Doom/Desert Metal band The Acid Machine two days ago, but hot dam! These guys kick some serious ass! New album Mushrooms is out April 12th. You can listen to/support the band at their Bandcamp HERE or by clicking the widget above. 


Another short week on the Pull. Not a bad thing. Here we go:

The third issue of The One Hand. I'm already hooked on this and sister title The Six Fingers; I really enjoy the world Ram V and Dan Watters have built here. 

I'm planning a re-read of Void Rivals sometime soon, so I don't have a lot to say about this one other than I'm still loving this series. That cover is classic 80s SciFi/Fantasy comics, too!

Even though I don't have a bad thing to say about Gerry Duggan's X-Men book, I'm honestly no longer enjoying seeing any X-Book come up on my list. I just can't wait for this Fall of X to be over, so it can do its next thing, and I can leave that alone.


From what I saw of this trailer, Cuckoo looks insane in the best possible way.

There is a moment in this that gave me some of the best chills I've had in some time. Very much looking forward. Writer/Director Tilman Singer's previous film Luz gets some great accolades, yet somehow I've yet to watch it. Gonna have to fix that soon. 


The Cure - Disintegration
Miranda Sex Garden - Fairytales of Slavery
Chasms - On The Legs of Love Purified
Brown Whörnet - Stroke the Apechild
Type O Negative - Bloody Kisses (Suspended in Dusk version/Vinyl)
Zombi - Direct Inject
Iron Monkey - Spleen & Goad (pre-release singles)
Spotlights - Seance EP
Lustmord - Much Unseen Is Also Here
Rollins Band - The End of Silence


From Jonathan Grimm's Hand of Doom Tarot, which you can buy HERE.

• Five of Swords
• Four of Pentacles
• IV: The Emperor

Numerically speaking, this is one Five and Two Fours, which suggests Stabilization after Damage. Taking the Suites/Faces into account, that's Earthly structure kicking back in after a hit to the Intellect, and we see that structure is a direct draw from the paradigms or "rules" that govern all life. 

The news of Ed Piskor's death really messed me up for the last two days. I know it seems weird that someone I don't know personally could have that effect on me, but it did. I think part of that came from seeing how the bridge away from his ultimate choice disappeared behind him. There's no way to say whether he did what he was accused of, and now, there never will be. This entire episode sent me into a bit of existential crisis because it further proves what I am having a very difficult time acclimating into my own operating system - the Internet is just not a good thing for human beings and human society as a whole. There's seemingly no way to turn back now, but faaauuuuhhhccckkkk - we're already being ground beneath the heel of a 'Robot Overlord;' look no further than the interface before you. 

The cards are a welcome reminder to look past this modern overlay, at the fundamentals of being "human." Seek a stabilizing path forward with that. Easier said than done, but whatever. It's that or give up, which I don't think I have it in me to ever do. 

Art Brut - Lost Weekend


Man, it has been a minute since I listened to Art Brut! Back in 2011 when Brilliant! Tragic! came out, Mr. Brown sent me this record and I couldn't get enough of it for a few months. I'm not really sure how these guys slipped so far off my radar. 

Here's the thing: I haven't had a functioning in-home CD player in probably close to six or seven years now, and when the one in my L.A. car died circa 2018, I all but stopped listening to anything on the format. Add in a general malaise at the format's planned obsolescence that has finally begun to arrive. 

This past week, I found an old DVD player that works perfectly as a dedicated CD spinner. Since then, I've been enjoying a joy-ridden free fall through my fairly extensive collection, re-discovering music I'd forgotten about at every step.


I'm just going to leave this here. Man, this is f**king me up.

RIP Ed. 


My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult - Final Blindness (45 Single)
Protomartyr - Under Color of Official Right
Brown Whörnet - Radio Album
Art Brut - Brilliant! Tragic!
How To Destroy Angels - Eponymous EP

Monday, April 1, 2024

New Music from Ben Frost!

I've been loosely following Ben Frost since 2009's By the Throat. I cheered for him when he landed the score to Dark - one of my all-time favorite shows. I didn't realize he had a new record coming out, but now that I've heard Scope Neglect, it's almost certainly going to make my favorites of the year list, just strictly based on how absolutely different it is from everything else he's done. 


I am happy to report that Andrew Lobel and Michael Mohan's Immaculate is a fantastic time at the theatre, and I absolutely love and adore them and the studio for releasing this one Easter weekend! What do the dissenters say about that?

Well, that's a bit much. Not sure a movie could ever be *ahem* pure evil, but then, these people are prone to embellishment, yes? Either way, I very much enjoyed this one and put up a new episode of The Horror Vision Presents: Blood & Coffee on it.

I'm developing the Blood & Coffee series as a series of short, spoiler-free video reviews I can knock out by myself when the other members of the show are indisposed or not interested in the flick. I think Immaculate is getting a bit of resistance from the Horror Community simply based on Sydney Sweeney, however, as I talk about in the review, she was instrumental in this one getting made, so while I'm not about to sit through a lot of what she's been in so far, she's A-OK in my book.


I finished Malcolm Devlin's And Then I Woke Up on Saturday. Fantastic book. Reminded me a lot of David Moody's Hater.

And Then I Woke Up is a really interesting angle on the now pretty saturated Zombie/Hate Virus trope, and definitely feels like it breathes some fresh life into the subgenre. If you're a fan of those types of stories, give this one a go. I think you'll dig. Reiterating a hearty "Thank You!" to my Horror Vision co-host Ray for gifting me this one. 

Next up: A re-read of Ivy Tholen's Tastes Like Candy, which I read for the first time last year and LOVED. Imagine my delight when, a few weeks ago, Ms. Tholen announced a sequel is heading our way on April 22nd!

Couldn't be more excited about this one!!!


Ben Frost - Scope Neglect
Zombi - Direct Inject
Money Mark - Mark's Keyboard Repair
Miranda Sex Garden - Carnival of Souls
Man Man - Life Fantastic
Local Natives - Gorilla Manor
Talking Heads - More Songs About Buildings and Food


Back to Aleister Crowley and Lady Freida Harris's Thoth deck for the Pull today:

• Ace of Disks
• X: Fortune
• VI: The Lovers

The struggle against the process of monetary enlightenment is difficult, but not without reward. Lean on someone else.