Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Latest Show - Mario Cotto on KCRW

Latest Show - Mario Cotto on KCRW

Best DJ around. He is the definition of eclectic in a country where, to quote Cassidy, "All you have to do is own a chili peppers album to be eclectic". I've heard him go Black Moth Super Rainbow to Throbbing Gristle to Cage & Avairy to The Stooges. Check him out.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Johnny Greenwood - Bodysong

I broke this album back out recently. Track 6, "Convergence" was the track PT Anderson used for the oil derrick scene in his masterpiece "There Will Be Blood". Greenwood is obviously a huge Krzysztof Penderecki fan and it shows in his ability to utilize space and dissonance in his music. I can only imagine that we have years of great stuff coming from Mr. Greenwood, with or without Radiohead.*


* Not that I have anything against Radiohead – I do not, although I much prefer Kid A and afterward in terms of their oeuvre. The stranger they are the more I like them

Neill Blomkamp's Hidden Teaser???

Apparently hidden on the new iPad.

Some Thoughts About Thoughts

One of the recurring themes I prattle on about on this blog is one of consciousness. Or perhaps it would be more accurate to say the fringe elements of consciousness. This is interesting to me because when you stop to think about it, none of really understand all that much about the everyday operating systems we 'are'* to begin with, yet so many of us feel compelled to root around in dreams, the subconscious (are they the same thing?) and altered states when there's a whole mess of stuff we don't really comprehend about ourselves in the waking hours, while we're at work, or running, talking with friends (or enemies), driving, what have you.

So maybe we should stop to think about some of this, eh?

A number of years ago I can remember sitting shotgun in my car as my wife (then girlfriend) piloted us from Chicago to her home state Ohio. I'd been driving for a time and I was still lost in that slightly exhausted, hypnogogic state that accompanies long term driving zone-out mind. As I sat there, in and out of what may have been sleep or may have been something... different (ie trance-like). And all I could think about was where in the hell these things currently occupying my consciousness were really located.

Okay, that may be a bit... these lines of thought are often difficult if not impossible to convert into language so let me try this a bit different.

Think about your head. Now turn your focus to those thoughts you just had at my suggestion. And so on, down the line until there is an entire trail of thoughts you can trace back to their source, the screen in front of you. What you should have is a probably slightly wavering bridge of thoughts, concepts, ideas that bring you to the present. So thoughts occur over time, and you can go backward in time, so to speak, using them. But where are those thoughts, exactly? If you're like me you picture them somehow encased within the walls of your head, but there's also a lot of other stuff in there. Do they take up space? If they occur in time then theoretically one might expect them to be somehow physical, but then how small are they all to fit inside the ol' dome? And where do they go when they're not in use? I can recall a bunch of stuff about, say, junior high school, because that just sprung to mind, but then that probably won't be there for much longer after I finish this post. So where is this in-between space where the thoughts are stored? Try to imagine, if you will, a height, width or depth to the space between your ears. Can't really, right? Kind of like trying to fathom what's in every single room on that skyscraper you see in the photos of a major metropolitan area.

So the question is, why do we spend so much time distracting ourselves with the fringe areas of our psyche when there's all these grand questions about how we actually operate everyday? Essentially, as I understand it, meditation is the exploration of our real time phenomenon of consciousness, the problem of course is in order to analyze thinking you kinda have to stop yourself from thinking, and that, especially in this era of internet-induced ADHD, isn't the easiest thing to do.

Just saying.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

N'yarlahotep* wants YOU!!! (or wait, maybe it's me it wants...)

As I recently wrote about on my Chud.com blog, I'm experiencing a return to the works of H.P. Lovecraft lately. It's been a while since I've been able to 'get into' his writing, even though it has long been a MAJOR influence on me, insofar as writing, music, visually, atmosphere, etc. I walk around every day and conduct my life to constant music, always obsessing about atmosphere; this is due, I believe, to my Synesthesia, as I've talked about many times here before. The music produces a kind of adhesive that holds me slightly outside everything going on around me. In one way this can be a drawback, as 'shoegazing' can most definitely interfere with tasks or goals more grounded in the real world. However, it also leads to many late night and early morning 'jam sessions' wherein I find myself traipsing down the odd corridors in my head and, when I'm quick, pulling some of that stuff back for my writing, music, now video, etc. Somewhere in that adhesive there is a whole mess of H.P. Lovecraft – reading his mostly (entirely?) first-person accounts of the weird and macabre at such a developmental age I often find myself even now thinking in the tone of his protagonists. It's been that way for close to two decades now, to the point that I believe the day I was stabbed senior year in high school ('94) and whisked away in an ambulance I was thinking something to the effect of, 'Be it not for me to believe, but this account I give you today does indeed end with a blade in my chest.'

Having such a massive predilection for Lovecraft, not just his tone and atmosphere but the far-reaching and frankly not-completely-unplausible concepts the man built and worked with, it really should not come as a surprise that my first attempt at writing a novel was a play on his works. Being that while he was alive Lovecraft appreciated and encouraged his literary friends to write within his mythos the influx over the last ten or fifteen years of new Lovecraft-related work is, in a sense, a natural and exponential extension of what he himself began and fostered. Still, the more I've written and read the more I've moved away from Lovecraft, to the point that even though I believe my take on his mythos is different enough to be far, far away from plagaristic or disingenuous, I've actually 'finished' the book, titled "Thee Subtle War", at least three different times only to scrape it and begin again because... well because it's not really my own.

But goddamn it, I still really want to give the world my take on it!!!

As I've moved more into other authors (Bret Easton Ellis, David Foster Wallace and Alex Garland have all become HUGE influences on me for their haunting, real world grit and slightly ego-centric pontifications on the way we move through the world around us) I feel I found my own voice and in looking back and trying to re-start Thee Subtle War I've just not figured out how to integrate the story with that voice. In the interim I've written two novels and four screenplay I am quite proud of. Only one of those, a screenplay titled "Wonderland's End" I co-wrote with German screenwriter Marc Mrosk, was ever optioned, but still, I can shop these works with pride because they feel 'whole' to me, in a way that first novel, no matter how many times I write it, never has.

However now that I am reading Lovecraft again, and feel really tapped into the pulse of his work, I can't help feeling as though it may be time to work on my first love once again... even though it may just turn out to be another abortive attempt.

Only time, and of course He Who Is Not To Be Named, will tell.


The incredible picture I used for this post is from this website and unfortunately I cannot find a credit therein for the artist. Too bad, because this is incredible stuff. http://nyarlathotephp.blogspot.com/

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Forest Children - Cold Blooded

This is my band. Dennis Hellmann is the other half of the group, really moreso when you consider he writes the music and I just add the guitar. The man is the best songwriter I've ever met, and his output is not to be taken lightly. Each album, each song, they all have a story that works on an individual level and as part of a dark and amazing whole. This video is the first step in our trying to visually realize those stories. One day...

Thursday, November 4, 2010

One of the strangest things I've ever heard. Thanks to the Whitechapelian who posted this:

I remember this band as having that 'everybody walk the dinosaur' song in the late 80's. What happened?