Friday, November 30, 2018

2018: November 30th - NEW GRIMES!!!

Wow. Just wow. I saw this dropped last night, stopped everything I was doing, put in headphones and closed my eyes, went off to Grimes World. The textures at work in this song feel three-dimensional, no doubt based on her use of the stereo field, as well as a knack for choosing sounds of all kinds - many not traditionally 'musical', and using them to really fill out the sonic space. If this is any indication of the new album, it is going to be a perfect step forward from Art Angels.

Re-watched Hereditary a couple of nights ago. My god, even though Mandy is probably my favorite film of 2018, this is far and away the best film. It lost none of its ability to traumatize me, and really opened up more interpretation-wise with this second viewing. I'd imagine I'll be talking a lot about this come our 'year's best' episode of The Horror Vision. Two observations:

1) Toni Collette had certainly better at least be nominated for best actress.
2) Watching the deleted scenes, you see how good writer/director Ari Aster is at 'killing his darlings.' Not that any of the deleted scenes were darlings necessarily, but watching what he shot and then removed, you see how he was originally trying to flesh out Peter and Steve's characters more, and how he pulled back and gave us only what we needed. The inclusion of any of those deleted scenes would have, in my opinion, hurt the movie's power, so Aster knew exactly where to draw lines and how to intuit when he had enough.

Pretty impressive for a first movie.

There's some criticism out there that Gabriel Byrne's Steve in particular, is a poorly written, two-dimensional character. I for one disagree. He is exactly what the movie needs him to be. I stuggle with this some time in my own work, the idea of adding more to make sure my point gets across, or to ensure a character is 'fully realized.' Then I watch something like this and see that with restraint great things can come. Spaces in the character can evolve, spaces that draw people in the way the people in their life do. We all interact every day with people we only know in one particular role, or way, and it doesn't diminish their role or strength in our lives. Why wouldn't the same be true for characters in a film?

For a counterpoint, watch Rob Zombie's Halloween - RZ spends so much time ensuring that we understand William Forsythe's Ronnie is white trash that it becomes overkill and, frankly, derails the movie.

Playlist from 11/29:

The Doors - Strange Days
LCD Soundsystem - Sound of Silver
Kylie Minogue - Fever
Cocksure - Be Rich
Emma Ruth Rundle - Marked for Death
Grimes - We Appreciate Power (Single)
The Besnard Lakes - The Besnard Lakes are the Roaring Night

Card of the day:

Another card I see a lot. I'm curious if this convergence of regular cards I've pulled during the year are rallying to clarify a point I've missed?

Thursday, November 29, 2018

2018: November 29th

A few weeks ago Chasms released the single "Divine Illusion." To read about the track on their bandcamp, the revelation that the track was a closing chapter to their shoegaze/industrial sound. What could possibly come next? Well, listen. I don't necessarily know what you call this, other than beautiful. Can't wait for the album. Pre-order HERE on Chasms' bandcamp.

Playlist from 11/27:
Ghost - Meliora
Mastodon - Once More Round the Sun
Mastodon - Emperor of Sand
Lebanon Hanover - Let Them Be Alien

Playlist from 11/28:
LCD Soundsystem - Sound of Silver
Deerhunter - Microcastle
The Doors - Strange Days
Mastodon - Once More Round the Sun
Ghost Cop - One Weird Trick
Thought Gang - Eponymous

I pull A LOT of sevens. I don't know if this was always the case, or if now that, for about the past year I have been doing mostly daily pulls, it's just more obvious. Probably the second. Netzach is one of the Sephiroth I feel a natural inclination to, that one step beyond the perfection of Tipareth, which represented a certain time and place in my life that is now past. This is the Post-Self Number for me, in a way, as I count that bygone time/place as the first real iteration of this version of this ego-scaffolding I call 'me'. Now, what's that mean for today? Well, despite it's negative facade, I don't think this is a negative card at all. I think today's pull is just reminding me I'm Post that previous self, and this in turn will prevent me from doing what has been increasingly tempting to me of late, namely making music. I haven't picked up a guitar in close to two years maybe. Well, there's been maybe two dalliances with the acoustic that sits on a stand in my living room, but that's it. Nothing serious and no intentions. A lot of the music I'm listening to now has been inspiring my musical drive, but it's on Shut Down. I've made the deal with myself that when I finish the book, I'll maybe spend a little time on music.


Tuesday, November 27, 2018

2018: November 27th

New Le Butcherettes! Very 90s sounding, not in a bad way. New album comes out February 1st.

New episode of The Horror Vision went up on Sunday. You can find it on Apple, Spotify, and Google Play, as well as at This episode is our reaction/interpretation of Luca Guadagnino's Suspiria remake. Other topics include The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Shudder's Dead Wax (which I LOVE), and the Indiegogo for The Barn II, which is fully funded as of 11/21 and now Indemand, which apparently means you can still contribute and secure cool rewards. I still haven't seen the first Barn yet - it's been on the list for at least a year if not two now, so what the hell am I waiting for, right?

NCBD this week isn't as light as last week, but it's light. Check out this gorgeous cover for TMNT 88:

Die! Die! Die! has been hit or miss with me so far, but the opening discussion between two high level US government officials in issue #4 may have permanently endeared this book to me. It's kind of a more violent, more philosophical approach to GIJOE and I find myself wondering if that was the goal. The real shocker here is that Stray Bullets Sunshine and Roses is on issue #40. Where the hell does the time go? It wasn't that long ago that David Lapham's brilliant B&W crime comic had been on hiatus for 9 years and we were jumping at joy with the announcement of its return via Image. Now we're 40 issues in on the second or third volume of this new series. And you know, it's still awesome.

Playlist from 11/27:

Monolord - Rust
Mastodon - Once More 'Round the Sun
Mastodon - Emperor of Sand
The Knife - Silent Shout
Mudhoney - Digital Garbage
Gogol Bordello - Gypsy Punks Unite
Ghost - Infestissumam
Godflesh - Post Self

Card of the day:

Gonna be an emotional day? Doesn't feel that way. There's a passivity here when it's water on water, however the passivity acts as a perfect transformer for other energies, maybe some that lack emotion.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

2018: November 24th

New Tennis System! This isn't up on their bandcamp yet, so I'm thinking we have a new release on the way!

Spent Thanksgiving morning watching Sophie Huber's Harry Dean Stanton documentary, Partly Fiction. Really cool. There's a great segment with David Lynch, one with Kris Kristopherson, and even Debby Harry. And it's fantastic watching Stanton break into song, especially Everybody's Talkin', by Harry Nilsson

From 11/23
The Fixx - Shuttered Room
Harry Nilsson -
Harry Nilsson -
Opeth - Deliverence
Opeth - Blackwater Park

Card for the 11/23:

And for today:

No time to really dig into an interpretation for this now as I'm off for work. But at a glance, Dominion to Defeat doesn't necessarily constitute a bad thing, just a need to re-direct energies.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

2018: November 22nd

One of the best songs of the 90s, hands down. I unexpectedly realized I still had one more 33 1/3 that Brown lent me to finish before my trek home to Chicago in two weeks, so last night I started Gina Arnold's entry into the 33 1/3 series, a kind of contextualization of Liz Phair's seminal indie rock album, Exile in Guyville. More the story of the fictitious Guyville (not so fictitious) and the gender politics of the early 90s indie rock scene than the story of the album, and that's good. So far this is a fascinating read. Also, digging back into the era that surrounds this record made me reconnect with Never Said and Guyville in general, a song I've loved and an album I dig for a long time now, but one that hasn't received any recent rotation space in my audio life.

Joe Bob Briggs returns to Shudder tonight with Dinners of Death! I have to work early tomorrow, so I don't know how much I'll see tonight, but hopefully this will remain on Shudder in perpetuity, much like The Last Drive In has since back in the spring.

Last night I watched three-quarters of the Shudder original Dead Wax. LOVE this. Written and directed by Graham Reznick, whose name anyone familiar with Larry Fessenden's Glass Eye Pix will recognize as most often helming audio departments on films. Great debut that's essentially a movie chopped into 10-18 minute episodes, Dead Wax is about a legendary record that does strange things to reality when played and the people who have sought it through the years. Think John Carpenter's Cigarette Burns, but the world of rare record collecting instead of film collecting and you'll be in the ballpark.

Playlist from 11/21:

David Bowie - Low
Frankie Valli - Can't Take My Eyes Off of You (single)
Deaf Heaven - Ordinary Corrupt Human Love
Bell Witch - Longing
Testament - Demonic
Boy Harsher - Face the Fire (pre-release single)
Boy Harsher - Lesser Man
Chasms - On the Legs of Love Purified

Card of the day:

This is a direct response something outside of writing, so I'll take the advisement in silence.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

2018: November 21st

Just realized I never posted the latest Drinking with Comics video last week when it dropped. The goal from here out is to shoot these and get them up on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play, and the DwC website as audio-only podcasts, then get the video up the following week. The video always takes a lot longer, and the show has more patrons as a pure podcast anyway, so I figured this was the optimum way to do it.

Hoping to do a 28 Days/28 Weeks Later double feature this weekend. I actually work both Friday and Saturday, so that limits what I can watch, and I'm still working through Sabrina (on Episode 5), which I need to get through for a forthcoming episode of The Horror Vision. Also, regarding THV, we're scheduled to do our Suspiria 2018 episode this Saturday, so hopefully I'll have it up later that day or Sunday. A little late to the game, but it's been hard to align schedules; as it is only three of the four of us have seen the film, so we're already down a man for this particular one. But there's A LOT to talk about with this film, on its own and juxtaposed with the original.

Playlist from 11/20:

Tom Waits - Rain Dogs
Iggy Pop - The Idiot
Ghost Cop - One Weird Trick
Tom Waits - Swordfish Trombone
Massive Attack - Mezzanine
Boy Harsher - Face the Fire (single pre-release)
Boy Harsher - Country Girl
The Fixx - Shuttered Room
Bell Witch - Mirror Reaper

No card again today.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

2018: November 20th

From Iggy's debut record The Idiot. Reading that Hugo Wilkcen 33 1/3 on Low really opened my eyes to a lot about this album as well (Station to Station also). Wilcken really goes in depth on these two records because they give a lot of context to what Bowie was into doing with music at the time. I'd never realized that the musicians involved in both Low and Station to Station often recorded not knowing which album the tracks would wind up on. Considered in that context, it really changes the way I hear both.

Having finished Low, I started reading the copy of Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book that my Horror Vision/DwC co-host Chris gifted me a couple of months ago. So far, pure Gaiman and arriving just at the right time, when night falls early.

Playlist from 11/19:

Opeth - Ghost Reveries
David Bowie - Low
Gavin Bryars Ensemble - Bryars: The Sinking of the Titanic
Iggy Pop - The Idiot
David Bowie - Station to Station
The Fixx - Shuttered Room
Opeth - Deliverence

No card today.

Monday, November 19, 2018

2018: November 19th

Ended up falling into a Bowie spiral Saturday when I finished Cold Cuts and immediately picked up the copy of Hugo Wilcken's book on Low, published as part of the wonderful 33 1/3 series, that Brown lent me some time ago. Can't put it down, and in turn it's given me a new perspective on Iggy Pop's The Idiot, one of the few Iggy solo albums I'm extremely familiar with. The book also sent me in all sorts of new musical directions, cueing up albums by Neu!, Can (whose discography I worked through a few years back but didn't completely integrate into my musical vocabulary), Elton John, Gavin Bryars, and Sad Barrett's solo stuff, which despite having been an enormous Pink Floyd fan in high school, I've never really gotten around to.

Also, for an idea of Bowie's state of mind while in the Station to Station/Low period, go HERE and read this short except from Angela Bowie's autobiographical book Backstage Passes: Life on the Wild Side with Bowie. Suggestion: skip the religious espousal at the top and go straight to the quotation marks. This is fascinating stuff.

K and I began The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina on Netflix yesterday. While I can't say the high school stuff is overly interesting to me, I love the set design and ALL of the Satanic imagery! The Dark Lord is just awesome and the fact that we're living in a world where this is a 14+ series makes me happier than I can explain. Just thinking of all the repressively religious types twisting with rage that a show where characters commonly exclaim, "Praise Satan" as a colloquialism of happiness or relief is currently a major part of pop culture puts a damn large smile on my face!

Playlist from Saturday, 11/17:

Ghost - Meliora
Merciful Fate - Don't Break the Oath
Dean Hurley - Anthology Resources Vol. 1
Opeth - Ghost Reveries
Burial - Kindred EP
Thought Gang - Eponymous
David Bowie - Station to Station
David Bowie - Low

Playlist from Sunday, 11/18:

David Bowie - Low
Elton John - Honky Chateau
Iggy Pop - The Idiot
Neu! - Neu! 2
Ghost - Meliora
Metallica - ... And Justice For All
Kraftwerk - Autobahn
Claudio Simonetti & Goblin - Phenomena OST
Vangelis - Heaven & Hell
Friendly Fires - Paris (Airplane Remix)
Opeth - Deliverance

Card of the day:

I believe this draw to be completely non-writing related and primarily based around one aspect of my social life at the moment. I'm not going to discuss that here, however I can also say that despite the hanging on of this drab illness, I managed to push myself out and to my writing place yesterday in preparation for returning to work today, and I had a killer writing session for about two and a half hours where I cinched up the transition into the third act. I'm relying heavily on the Aeon Timeline program at the moment, and it would be A LOT more cumbersome to integrate something so heavily plotted as this without the help of this program. Here's a screen cap:

Saturday, November 17, 2018

2018: November 17th

The video for Ghost's Dance Macabre dropped almost a month ago and, for the first time, I didn't immediately post it here. Truth is, I didn't even watch Dance Macabre until this morning. Why?

Prequelle was released on June first, and at the time I spent maybe two weeks rotating it through my playlist before I abandoned it. So this is also the first time a Ghost record dropped and didn't take up months of my sonic real estate. I like Prequelle, I think it's a great pop rock album, but for my own personal tastes, it's a bit of a step in a direction I'm less interested in actually listening to than observing.

What the hell does that mean?

Ever since I heard Ghost's cover of Imperiet's Bible, the closing track on 2016's EP Popestar, my theory has been Ghost is moving toward becoming mass appeal entertainment, rather than simply being 'a rock band'. My money is on the band - or rather Papa/Cardinal's - next phase being a high-level musical. And I've felt since the first go-through on Prequelle that as an album, it is a step in that exact direction. And that's awesome. To reach that level and still be singing about Satan makes me very happy. That said, musically there are a lot of other groups that do for me what Ghost used to. Prequelle doesn't have a Year Zero or Circe, i.e. a track that hits me hard, and instead eschews that for an infinitely more pop/polished sound. Which is also fine, for the most part. But Dance Macabre? For my money, the worst lyrics I've heard in a while. Definitely the worst on a Ghost album.

Ghost's first record, Opus Eponymous, is, lyrically speaking, full of metal tropes, so that record is also not my favorite. But Infestissumam and Meliora have extremely strong lyrics, and those are the records that made me a rabid fan of the band. So to go from Year Zero's, "Crestfallen kings and queens cavorting in their faith," to, Dance Macabre's "I just want to bewitch you in the moon light/Want to bewitch you all night," hurts my heart a little. That one element of that one song seriously affected my entire relationship with Prequelle, and sadly I haven't listened to the record since the month it came out.


Last night, thanks to my friend and fellow Horror Vision co-host Anthony, I had the pleasure of seeing Ghost live again. As I suspected, seeing a lot of this new material, even Dance Macabre, endeared it to me a little more. This morning then, I finally surrendered to a new-found curiosity and fired up the video. And what do you know? I found the video to be an awesome visual accompaniment - nay enhancement - for the song, and beyond that, a fantastic entry to the band's mythos. Because that's what Ghost is building - and by that I mean the man behind it, who I still would rather remain nameless even if his identity has been revealed at this point - a mythos. And that's what I think the imminent musical will be about: their Heaven and Hell, Black Magick mythos.

Enough Ghost, let's talk comics.

Still feeling poorly. This isn't flu, but it does seem to have the tenacity of a flu bug. Attending an arena concert last night probably wasn't a great idea, but those tickets were purchased months ago and the sickness came on fast, so I didn't want to leave my friend high and dry. Also, it was good to get out of the house for a few hours. Today will consist of more convalescing, so that means I'll be finishing Robert Payne Cabeen's Cold Cuts (so good), and then delving into a few comics. I mean to keep on with a few issues for my Chris Claremont's Uncanny X-Men re-read, and then pick up with issue #2 of Menton3's insanity conundrum, Monocyte.

I've had this one since it came out, four issues from IDW back in 2012, I've never been able to successfully read this series. Monocyte requires so much set-up and backstory that the actual story kind of gets lost. I tried with an issue or two back as they were being released and then bagged-and-boarded it, waiting for a day when I might feel up to the task of trying again.

That day has apparently come. I read issue #1 a week or so ago and, although I still feel the book is a bit too stout for its own good, I enjoyed it. The art is ridiculous, as all Menton3's stuff is.

Playlist from 11/16:

Chelsea Wolf - Hiss Spun
Chasm - Divine Illusion
Various Artists - The Fantastic Mr. Fox
Tom Waits - Rain Dogs

Card of the day:

There's an obvious pattern of late with all these orange cards, so let's talk about what this color might have to tell me about these recent draws.

Orange is an amalgam of yellow and red, yellow representing Air and red Fire. So that's intellect and anger, or strength/drive if we're inclined to interpret it in a non-hostile way, which I am. Add to this the Three, which corresponds to Binah, or the Great Mother and Understanding. I'm tempted then, to interpret these deluge of Orange in my pulls this week as a cue to use my brain to better understand where I'm going with this novel, and have the strength to re-wire the things I already know still need re-wiring. Which isn't much, but it's a touch daunting.

Friday, November 16, 2018

2018: November 16th

Goddamn this woman is amazing. I've really enjoyed the evolution of Chelsea Wolfe's sound, and can  only hope we get another album or at least an EP soon.

Plus, not to be overly male, but can this woman become any hotter? Doubtful.

I'm knee-deep in dead Arctic terrorists and mutant penguins and I LOVE IT! Robert Payne Cabeen's Cold Cuts might just go down as my favorite read in 2018.

I expected to dig it because Arctic horror was sewn into my blood long ago by a little movie called The Thing. However, the way in which Mr. Cabeen moves from horror to humor to heartbreaking empathy and genuine touching moments of real human emotion is at times jaw-dropping and has made this a marvelous read. And the best part? This book takes heavy influence from George A. Romero's original formula, in that the killer mutant penguins only show up to remind us - and the protagonists, two scientific researchers stuck in the remains of an arctic research station destroyed by terrorists - that they're there. The meat of the book is about two guys stuck in comfortable-enough living quarters, counting the days, watching their food deplete and their minds unravel. SO GOOD. Strongly recommended. Here's a nifty little video I found of the author reading a passage:

Playlist from 11/15:

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - B-Sides & Rarities Vol. III
Ghost Cop - One Weird Trick
Thought Gang - Eponymous
David Lynch & Dean Hurley - The Air is On Fire

Card of the day:

Sevens are always a mixed bag. You get the strength of Netzach (Victory), but the uneven energy of coming off the perfection of Six, Tiphareth. Futility fits the moment. Trapped in my home, still under the weather, I've been unable to make much progress writing because I always have trouble writing among all the distractions I've accumulated in my life. There's too many novels and comics and a wonderful cat who seems to know just when to vie for my attention. It's all my own personal bullshit - I'm distracted because some part of me recoils at the amount of work left even as close as I am to finishing this, but the usual way around that is the coffeeshop (so fuck all them squares that say those of us who write in coffeeshops do so for attention - believe me, the last thing I want in my coffeeshop is interaction with anyone else there, no offense to the staff, who totally get it, btw). But yeah, unable to do that, futility is exactly what I feel. Will today be better? Hopefully, now that I've aired all that "out loud."

Thursday, November 15, 2018

2018: November 15th

My copy of Thought Gang's long-lost album arrived a day early, so I've already spent a fair amount of time with it (though not nearly enough). So far, this is my favorite track on the album. My mid-90s self would have been all about this one.

Another day home feeling like shite. Trying to use the time wisely, though I've yet to do any writing, which I have planned in a bit. Spent the morning reading old issue of Classic X-Men, as I've been wanting to re-read a large chunk of Chris Claremont's Uncanny X-Men for quite some time now but never manage to find the time. I started off with the Dark Phoenix Saga and will move on from there. There are a few holes in the collection, but for the most part I have it all from Dark Phoenix on. A few of my favorite issues that I am looking forward to re-reading:

Fede Alvarez just proved what I've been saying for going on six years now. Thank you, Mr. Alvarez. Now, how about that sequel???

My friend Daniel just published a beautiful, heartfelt goodbye to Stan Lee. Read it HERE.
Playlist from 11/14:

Ghost Cop - One Weird Trick
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - B-Sides & Rarities Vol. III
Thought Gang - Eponymous

Card of the day:

I continue to encounter larger, archetypal guidance. I'm reading this as a suggestion to keep up a new yogic routine, which I began with two days last week and subsequently slacked off on.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

2018: November 14th

This is pretty awesome if you're a David Lynch fan. Sacred Bones, who just put out the long-thought-lost Thought Gang record (mine should arrive tomorrow!!!), dropped this video a few hours ago. It's a video piece Mr. Lynch did for this year's Festival of Disruption. The music used here is from the Thought Gang record - overall a match made in Heaven, where of course, everything is fine. Oh, and that Thought Gang record is still available HERE.

I'm home from work sick today and spending the morning reading the Bernie Wrightson/Steve Niles/Kelley Jones Frankenstein Alive, Alive! Frank, a childhood monster I was obsessed with, has come back around again in my thoughts of late. First, it was K sitting me down to watch the original Universal Frankenstein last year that started it. After that, I narrowly avoided ordering but spent quite a bit of time lusting over this:

Now, a new acquaintance through the HWA, Robert Payne Cabeen, has just had a series of illustrations published as the visual component of new tome Birthing Monsters: Frankenstein's Cabinet of Curiosities and Cruelties, and viewing his work takes me right back to when I would sit and stare at my Remco Frankenstein for hours. What is it about this creature that captivates so many of us? Is it the idea of human ingenuity and intelligence conquering the mystery of death? Or the posit that man could steal his creator's fire by creating life on his own, in a laboratory instead of with the organs of regeneration said creator gifted us? Of course, there's also the joyous gothic attributes Universal bestowed upon the saga of Victor Frankenstein and his creature, laying a cinematic cowl over Mary Shelley's original work of horrific literature. That same gothic version is joyously recreated in the figure/environment above, and is just as joyously disavowed in both Bernie Wrightson's version and several of Mr. Cabeen's illustrations. Perhaps that is the force that binds us to this legend; in Shelley's original novel the creature is a composite, so there has always been room for so many variations that the imagination can continually find new avenues to explore using the creature as an avatar or guide. Either way, my morning belongs to the monster.

After Monsters, I'll hopefully finish up editing the video version of last Friday's Drinking with Comics, with Special Guest Kristen Renee Gorlitz, whose Kickstarter is still going strong and which I implore you to investigate and, if so inclined, support. The Empties really has impressed the hell out of me, and as you know, I always pass along what I find that I like.

November 9th Dwc is currently available as audio-only podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Play.

As this ailment came on suddenly yesterday while at work, I left early yesterday and watched two great horror flicks on Shudder. First:

Terrified is a ripping little ghost story from Argentina. It's creepy as hell, and although conceptually it's a bit unclear, I actually really liked that about it. I'm one who is perfectly okay with tales of the supernatural NOT following concrete rules since, you know, it's supernatural and thus, largely unexplained phenomena.

Second flick I watched was an older one, something I'd heard about in the 00s and had been meaning to find and get to eventually:

This obviously isn't the Creep that stars Mark Duplass, which I also liked, obviously for completely different reasons. This one plays to my obsession with stories that take place underground. Its use of tunnels, Earthen passages, and secret rooms underground made me unbelievably happy. Well-made British horror that feels of its time in the early 2000s but still works well today.

Playlist from 11/13:

Curtis Harding - Where We Are (single)
The Knife - Shaking the Habitual
Ghost Cop - One Weird Trick
Flying Lotus - Los Angeles
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - B-Sides & Rarities, Vol III

Card of the day:

Again? Well, let's dig deeper and see what old boy is trying to tell me. From the Grimoire, "Action, decisiveness, and high energy. Engage obstacles/enemies. Strength. The structure of civilization, social world - law and order; the establishment."

Two things - Civilization, well western civilization, requires linear thinking and rationality. These can also be a prison. I tend to adhere to a guise of linear, rational thinking when writing, but know it can foist frustration and dead ends upon me. Find a way to work in some non-rational writing time.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

2018: November 13th - New Curtis Harding

This new Curtis Harding single and it's awesome! Total 70s Isaac Hayes/Black Cesar vibes, with the cinematic string arrangements and lush reverbs that defined 70s soul. Very cool.

Also in the music department, that new Ghost Cop came out. I haven't had a chance to give it a good listen yet, however if you want a very cool limited edition physical copy, one that is filled with art and even some fiction, go HERE.

NCBD this week and I'm excited for a new Gideon Falls! Also, Cemetery Beach:

Playlist from yesterday:

Various Artists - Twin Peaks The Return OST
Interstellar Funk - Caves of Steel EP
Burial - Kindred EP
Remco Beekwilder - 10th Planet EP
The Ocean - Anthropocentric
Ghost Cop - One Weird Trick
Massive Attack - Mezzanine

Card of the day:

Two cards today. Not on purpose. There were actually three, as I had a kind of discombobulated draw as I rushed to leave late for work. Can't remember what the third card was now. But look at the color scheme here; Enlightenment is imminent.

Monday, November 12, 2018

2018: November 12th

With headphones this absolutely kicks. As the weather in LaLaLand turns cold - yes, feel free to laugh at me, anyone reading back home) I can feel my musical mood shifting to incorporate a lot more electronic styles. It's funny, seven or eight years ago I listened to way more electronic music than metal. For some reason though, metal became a driving force in my writing and because of that I'd never be able to go long without it.

Last Friday's Drinking with Comics is up on iTunes, video to follow later in the week. Our guest Kristen Renee Gorlitz was a pleasure to interview. We talked about the current Kickstarter for her independent horror comic The Empties - which I love - as well as how comics can help a filmmaker make better films. Also on tap was our reviews/reactions to Lucifer #1, the return of The Maxx in Sam Keith's Batman/The Maxx limited series Arkham Dreams, new Image titles Blackbird and Dead Rabbit, and a whole lot more.

Also on the podcast front, there's a new, short reaction piece my Horror Vision co-host Anthony Guerra and I posted after going to see Overlord in the theatre on Saturday. Did I like it? The short answer is yes. Go see it in a theatre with great sound.

And both of these podcasts are now available not only on Apple Music, Spotify and, any day now, Google Play.

The Horror Vision:
Apple Podcasts

Drinking with Comics:
Apple Podcasts

Playlist from 10/11:

Etta James - Eponymous
Various Artists - Twin Peaks The Return OST

Card of the day:

Steady and unwavering. Yep.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

2018: November 10th

When a Tom Waits jag comes on me like it has of late, usually a Pixies bender isn't far behind. Other than the obvious connections (moments of obvious musical influence, covers, etc), for me this is due to the fact that I discovered and was really into both discographies around the same time. Weird thing though is both are normally summer music to me. That said, it was 88° in LaLaLand yesterday, so summer is never really far behind here during the day.

Although my familiarity with Surfer Rosa has long ago smoothed away many of its deliciously uneven edges, sometimes when I listen to it - like right now as I write this - I really hear it again for the first time and realize what an unbelievably odd record it is. All the Pixies stuff is left-of-center as far as rock music goes, but this one is really, really out there at times. And I love it.

Besides spending the morning listening to The Pixies, I'm re-reading Sam Keith's seminal comic book series The Maxx. God, I love this comic. I was introduced to The Maxx via MTV's mid-90s animation show Oddities, the second season of which was an animated adaptation of the first dozen or so issues. Reading this now, I'm kind of tripping off the fact that every time I go back to the book and read the issues that were adapted, in my head, clear as day, I hear all the actors' voices as I read the lines. It's very cool, and makes these occasional revisits even more spectacular.

We had an excellent episode of Drinking with Comics last night, and I'm hoping to get the episode up on Apple Podcasts this weekend.

Playlist from Friday, 11/09:

Ethyl Meatplow - Happy Days, Sweetheart
Deerhunter - Microcastle
The Chameleons UK - Strange Times

Card of the day:

The aforementioned 88° isn't helping the fires burning in Malibu and spreading to the surrounding areas. If you look to the sky outside our apartment, you can see a hazy orange glow irradiating what is probably most of the greater Los Angeles area by now. Creepy then, that the Ten of Wands comes up. Taken from a website I sometimes turn to for interpretation purposes, "Oppression and restriction, showing the fire on the grounds of the Earth, where they cause an uncontrolled, destructive burning."

Friday, November 9, 2018

2018: November 9th

I'm in an Ethyl Meatplow mood this morning, so I started the day off with their Barry Adamson-produced, 1993 record Happy Days, Sweetheart before I move into Daniel's Pick for the Joup Friday Album. Now, I've had Happy Days for a long time, considered myself a fan of both Meatplow and Carla Bozulich's Geraldine Fibbers, but I guess I've never really dug around on youtube for more stuff by either because I'd never seen this live footage before. This is one for the annals of history folks, 90s underground awesomeness, short-lived but amazing nonetheless. And really, could Carla Bozulich be any hotter than she is in this video?

Playlist from 11/08:

Various Artists - Twin Peaks Limited Event Series Soundtrack
The Chameleons UK - Strange Times
Tom Waits - Bone Machine
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - B-Sides & Rarities Vol. III
Boy Harsher - Country Girl EP
The Body - I Have Fought Against It, But I Can't Any Longer
Jóhann Jóhannson - Mandy OST

Card of the day:

Breakthrough. I've got a meeting this morning that could use one, and a lot of writing to do this weekend that could benefit from my plotting breakthrough from earlier in the week carrying through to a few more smaller epiphanies.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

2018: November 8th - New Boy Harsher!

The new album Careful drops February 1st, 2019 on Nude Club Records

Had a really nice night just reading in bed for an hour or so last night. The next DwC is tomorrow, and I've a gaggle of stuff to catch up on. First and foremost, as I've already talked yesterday about Blackbird, let me tell you the other new book I'm really hot for right now is Dead Rabbit:

Gerry Duggan and John McCrea. A retired criminal/vigilante thief finds he has to reinstate his life of crime to pay his wife's medical bills. Shit goes wrong. It's great.

Playlist from 11/07:

Algiers - The Underside of Power
Metallica - ... And Justice For All
Deafheaven - From the Kettle Onto the Coil
Briqueville - II
Deafheaven - Ordinary Corrupt Human Love

Card of the day:

This card always speaks of things gone out of control to me. It also reminds me a bit of Ash being taken down by the three mini-Ashes in Army of Darkness. And believe it or not, that seems a pretty good place to start, because a lot of times I understand things better if I run them through a familiar lens, and film is a very familiar lens to me. So, in Army of Darkness, Ash fucks up, tries to play it off and ignore his mistake, and it ends up coming back to haunt him as these three mini-doppelgangers that bite and chew at him. Nothing important. But it's his lack of taking these little nuisances seriously that ends up leading to full-on Evil Ash, who is a Huge threat to him. So, what's the card saying? Take care of the little stuff - don't let it build up, or it will come back three times the size and way more serious. I think that's a health cue for me, specifically pointing to the two problems that persist - my sarcoidosis and my still-not-right left hamstring. I've made serious inroads to finally get back to taking care of both of these, but it's going to take a serious chunk of my already limited time. That's okay. This is a reminder that it's worth it.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

2018: November 7th

Exhalants are a band I recently discovered via KXLU. Their 2018 Eponymous album shot to my top ten of the year the first time through, the same way Protomartyr's Under Color of Official Right did four years ago. That's really where comparisons end between those two, although they both hail from a still-vibrant indie scene that hasn't been dashed by The Spectacle's appropriation of the label as a 'genre' that includes bands who dress like they traveled here from 1930s Poland. Exhalants remind me a bit of Shellac, the Jesus Lizard, and an entire smattering of bands from the mid-to-late 90s that comprised the Touch and Go/Drag City/Thrill Jockey scene and made honest, insanely creative music unrestricted by genre trappings or rockstar agendas. Go to their Bandcamp HERE and support this awesome independent band (Hurry - there's only 9 of the random colored 180 gram vinyl editions left of the album because I just bought one).

The Drinking with Comics crew had our pre-show meeting last night. This has become something I always look forward to, as we sit around, drink beer and have dinner and swap books so we can all have read the same stuff for the show. Yesterday Chris brought a new book called Blackbird I had heard of but not read, and I IMMEDIATELY fell in love with it. Look at this art:

I don't buy books just for the art either, which is probably why after looking at #1 upon release last month I passed on it. That said, after reading the first issue last night, I am anxiously awaiting 3PM so I can hit the Comic Bug and pick up my own copy of #1 and #2, which comes out today. Also for NCBD, a continuation of Cullen Bunn's 2014 mini-series The Empty Man. Loved this when it was monthly four years ago, and was always kinda hoping in the back of my mind that it would continue.

Playlist from 11/06:

Ghost Cop - EP
Exhalants - Eponymous
Crystal Castles - Crystal Castles II
Tom Waits - Rain Dogs
Tom Waits - Bone Machine
Tom Waits - Swordfish Trombones
Steve Moore - The Mind's Eye OST

No card today.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

2018: November 6th

I'd never heard of Ghost Cop until the most recent newsletter from comic's scribe Warren Ellis, which you can subscribe to HERE and which will make your life better. The Eponymous EP is excellent, really atmospheric electronic music that reminds me of a lot of the more electronically inclined groups and artists I submerged myself in during the 00s. Look for some of that stuff to float back up to the surface of my listening habits.

If you visit Ghost Cop's bandcamp, their new album is up for pre-order.

Lots of Deadwood news yesterday, and as it so happens, the moment K and I finished 31 Days of Horror, we jumped directly back into season 2, so this is perfect timing. This is K's first go-through with Swearengen and the crew, my second or third. I figured out I'd previously watched roughly the first season and a quarter multiple times, but I don't think I've ever gone through the entire cycle more than the first time, which was after it aired. This might be my favorite non-Twin Peaks show folks. Swearengen is easily one of my favorite characters, but the idea of revisiting these folks ten years down the line show continuity wise with a movie is bittersweet; still not sure why HBO/Milch didn't just keep going in the first place. It's always difficult to go home again. Twin Peaks did it well, by becoming something the original show was not. In my head, I consider Season Three of that show more a new 18-hour DavidLynch movie than a revival of Twin Peaks, which it certainly is in some respects but... I digress

Looks like almost the entire cast is coming back for this Deadwood movie, and I don't want to sound like I'm not elated to have a chance to see these folks again, it's just timing, you know? Still, excited.

Playlist from 10/05:

Tom Waits - Rain Dogs
Preoccupations - Eponymous
Preoccupations - New Material
Massive Attack - Mezzanine
Ghost Cop - Eponymous EP
Tom Waits - Mule Variations
Tom Waits - Swordfish Trombones

Card of the day:

Fire of Fire - Pure, communicative leadership. Ideas. Can represent highest idea - again, exactly what I'm aiming at with Shadow Play, and book one is where it starts. It doesn't matter that this is 8 years since I started it (with a year off in the middle, which made me a much better writer), it has to be perfect so it sets up the bigger picture, which is kind of so big - to me - it feels unwieldy.

Monday, November 5, 2018

2018: November 5th

It's been quite some time since I went on an honest-to-goodness Tom Waits kick. Probably the last time was about four years ago when Mr. Brown lent me the 33 1/3 book David Smay penned on Swordfish Trombones. Anyway, I feel a full-on Waits jag coming on, so here's first salvo.

Over the weekend K and I watched the newest Jane Mansfield documentary, Mansfield 66/67. Fantastic! Along with the legendary actress, the film also serves as an exploratory dispatch into Anton Lavey and the Church of Satan, so it's fascinating. I've always bristled at Satanism, which of course has nothing to do with the devil and everything to do with worshipping yourself, which I feel leads to rampant Narcissism. That said, I've also always had a soft spot for Lavey as a public figure. The hilarity that the man instills to those that 'get it' is epic. This is especially apparent in the documentary, as the film spends a lot of time talking about and interviewing people from Mansfield's life about the supposed 'curse' Lavey is said to have put on Jane and her husband at the time (both of whom died in that nasty, Chihuahua-killing cash), all the while showing him dressed in his devil suit, little more than stylized PJs. Lavey was laughing at everyone that took the 'evil' aspect of his publicity push seriously, because he's telling you up front it's a joke by dressing like that.

Not a lot of folks got it though.

Playlist from yesterday:

The Veils - Total Depravity
The Ocean - Phanerozoic I: Palaeozoic
Deafheaven - New Bermuda
Deafheaven - Ordinary Corrupt Human Love
Roni Size - New Forms (disc #1)
Darkness Brings the Cold - Devil Swank, Vol. 1

Card of the day:

Threes are solid numbers, and it takes a foundation to acquire abundance. This is the path I've set myself on; there are SO many distractions vying for our money, my job for the next year is to minimize what I allow myself to purchase because I'm starting to think about the need for a foundation in the physical plane, ie a domicile. 

Sunday, November 4, 2018

2018: November 4th

Has it really been two weeks since I saw Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds? That show and the Bad Seed's performance of Shoot Me Down inspired me to pull out the B-Sides and Rarities, three volume box set released back in 2005. It'd been a while since I really dug into this one, so I put the three discs in the ride and have been flirting with it on a somewhat regular basis. I forgot how much I love some of the songs on these discs! Come Into My Sleep is one of my favorites; originally released as a B-Side to (Are You) The One I've Been Waiting For?, from 1997's The Boatman's Call. This is classic Bad Seeds suave - the vibes carry the song, nice slinky bass line from Martyn Casey and Cave's trademark literary lyrics. So good.

On the exact other side of the musical spectrum, Mr. Brown sent me a link to a fantastic article on the 30th anniversary (eek!) of ...And Justice For All. Read it HERE. I might detest the band now, but I didn't then; Justice is where I draw the line, although I seem to waiver between thinking it's genius, and rolling my eyes at four white guys playing like they have sticks up their bums. Either way, it's musical history at this point, and the article's well worth a read. Also, the remaster really brings out the vocal effect Hetfield used on his voice in the verses for Eye of the Beholder, which changes the feel of the song a bit from what you probably know.

Just finished the second issue of Sam Keith's Batman/The Maxx crossover. Man, I think this is shaping up to be a proper sequel - or at least continuation - of the original Maxx/Julie storyline that disappeared after issue #20 of the original Maxx comic. If you read that book and can remember back to the mid-90s, issue #21 jumped ten years into the future, jettisoned Julie and Maxx (for the most part), and focused on an older Sarah, a man named Norbert, and Iago, the giant Banana slug. This new series seems to be following Maxx and Julie several years down the road from that twentieth issue, with Maxx reiterating several times that he had long ago lost contact with Julie. Admittedly, it's probably been six years since my last re-read of the original series, so I might be mixing some of this up. I think I'll start another re-read now, to accompany this new series. If you're curious about the timeline, as always Comic Vine is a great resource. HERE's their page for The Maxx.

And look at this cover gallery for #2.

Playlist from yesterday:

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - B-Sides & Rarities, Disc 3
Matthew Dear - Playlist (culled mostly from Black City)
Kate Bush - The Dreaming
Intronaut - Habitual Levitations (Instilling Words with Tones)
Metallica - ...And Justice For All
Weeknight - Post-Everything
Nine Inch Nails - Bad Witch
Health - Death Magic

Card of the day:

If The Fool is the beginning of the journey, The Magus is the moment the novice becomes acclimated to the idea that the journey is no longer a transitory one, but transformative. This is life, and life is what the cards attempt to guide us through, revealing secrets that are, generally, right in front of our face the entire time. Magick isn't special; for most of us most of the time, it appears magical, like fireworks in the sky, but if you can tap in and pay attention, all the answers are with you, you've just been conditioned to ignore or chosen not to see them. Maybe you've never learned that the answers are even there. The Magus can help.

As usual, I apply my interpretation toward my writing and take this as a signifier that my work on the book goes well; the answers to ALL the continuity problems have always been close at hand, it's just not until I slow down and actually methodically think about the situations and characters that the answers come clear. And for the most part now, they have. With minor re-writing (further proven they were nearby the entire time) I've managed to scrape off the 'passable' patina and find the golden road through the heart of my little story about shadows and reflections wanting to switch places with us.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

2018: November 3rd - New Music from Chasms

One of my favorite live shows I saw in 2017 was Ritual Howls at the Echoplex. The show was fantastic, not just because the Howls absolutely killed it live, but because opening band Chasms - who I'd not heard at the time - held me mesmerized for the entirety of their set. The ethereal quality of Sky Madden and Jess Labrador's music stops time, transfixing moments into a fluidic-like substance that bubbles up around you in colors as you stand and stare at a stage that ceases to be a stage and instead becomes a portal.

Highly recommended live.

According to Chasms Bandcamp, this is the final track of their current shoegaze/industrial sound and a closing chapter on their time in the Bay Area. The band has relocated to Los Angeles (yah!), and 2019 will see the release of a new record on Felte. I can't wait.

Thanks to Kristen Renee Gorlitz - whose Kickstarter for her Zombie Romance comic The Empties, and who will be the guest on next Friday's Drinking with Comics, which streams live on the DwC facebook page - I've found an awesome new project on Kickstarter I just backed. The Murder Balloon! Check this out:

Four days left, so if like me, you love the idea of a vengeful clown inventing a Murder Balloon, click HERE and drop some $$$ - the rewards are worth it!

Playlist for 11/02:

Tones on Tail - Everything
The Ocean - Phanerozoic I: Palaeozoic
Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats - Wasteland
The Chameleons UK - Strange Times
Queens of the Stone Age - Villains
Alice in Chains - Rainier Fog
Blut Aus Nord - Memorial Vetusta III (Saturnian Poetry)
Chasms - Divine Illusion (Single)
Chasms - On The Legs of Love Purified

Card of the day:

My favorite card, the number 17, a beautiful portrait of the cosmos and the idea of ebb and flow, balance and harmony, and a guiding light. Reminds me that although last night I had appeared to write myself into a nasty little corner, this morning in the shower I thought my way out of it rather easily. Looks like she's bathing, right? I've come to suspect this card surfaces when I do my best problem solving, which is almost always in the morning, in the shower.

Friday, November 2, 2018

2018: November 2nd - New Windhand Video for Red Cloud

Apparently this new Windhand video dropped on Halloween but I missed it. Here now, I present Red Cloud for your viewing pleasure. Great that they basically made a Hammer Horror short for it.

With all the spins I'm clocking on Eternal Return since it's release last month, I came to an interesting revelation. While definitely having their own sound, Windhand's sound could be elevator pitched as Carly Simon singing over early 90s Melvins. Not accurate, but I think it gets you there. As an interesting side note, I never really cared for Carly Simon before, but now I think I dig her.

If you live in Los Angeles, David Lucarelli's brilliant Dr. Zomba's Ghost Show, an old-time theatre experience is back for its final show this Saturday. I caught this a few months back during Fringe Fest - very much worth seeing. You can get tickets HERE and check out the trailer below:

And here's a clip of David talking about the origins and ideas behind Dr. Zomba's on Drinking with Comics:

Playlist from 11/01:

Weeknight - Post Everything
The Misfits - Static Age
The Final Cut - Consumed
Ennio Morricone - Black Belly of the Tarantula OST

Card of the day:

Well well well. Two days in a row, eh? I don't have time to dig deeper at the moment, however I pulled a clarification card and received this:

Swift action toward goal. This feels ambiguous at the moment, or maybe I'm just having trouble betting up my brain on the cusp of a three-day work weekend that starts eight days in a row. For now, I'll take it as a prompt to accelerate my work on making the book materialize, and leave it at that.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

2018: November 1st

A Real Indication, video directed by David Lynch.

For those of you who are long-time David Lynch fans like myself, this is track is an oldie. However, Thought Gang's A Real Indication - which is featured in the 1992 film Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me - is receiving a breath of new life, as Lynch, Badalamenti (that's him doing vocals on this track, by the way) and Sacred Bones Records are making available Thought Gang's Thought Gang album for the first time. This is actually older news - I pre-ordered a "Monkey Fur" vinyl copy about a month ago and just received word it has shipped! You can grab a copy HERE, if you're so inclined, although I believe the Monkey Fur edition has sold out.

31 Days of Horror concluded last night with a whimper instead of the BANG! I had planned. Previously, I had arranged for today off and planned to stay up late and pack in at least three movies.

That... was ambitious.

I came home from writing last night close to 7:00 PM, sat outside with my devil mask on while K handed out candy to trick r' treaters, and read some comics. In ~40 minutes we had more candy goblins than I had in the entire 12 years I lived in San Pedro. It was awesome. Our entire neighborhood was crawling with costumed families, and seeing it brought me great joy. After we ran out of candy, K and I went inside to begin the night's viewings. Instead of leading with Lucky McKee's May - one of my all-time favorites movies period, let alone Halloween-related films - we couldn't pass up the chance to follow Tuesday night's viewing of Tod Browning's Dracula from 1931 with Francis Ford Coppola's masterpiece, Bram Stoker's Dracula. As you can imagine, the two films pair quite nicely. After that, however, I was out. 4:00 AM wake-ups add up sometimes, and the sad fact is I can no longer fight through my tiredness like I used to when I was younger.

Ugh. Despite all the mental and emotional advantages that accompany ripening as a human being, sometimes age just plain sucks Charlie Brown.

Final 31 Days of Horror Totals:

10/01) Summer of 84
10/02) Rope
10/03) Dreams in the Witch House
10/04) Crash
10/05) The Fly
10/06) Re-animator
10/07) Night of the Demons
10/08) Species
10/09) The Roost
10/10) The Convent
10/11) Killer Klowns from Outer Space
10/12) George A. Romero's Day of the Dead
10/13) George A. Romero's Land of the Dead
10/14) The Apostle
10/15) Phantom of the Paradise
10/16) Candyman
10/17) Ghoulies
10/18) John Carpenter's Halloween
10/19) Halloween
10/20) Mandy
10/21) Satan's Playground
10/22) Flatliners
10/23) Jacob's Ladder
10/24) Halloween III: Season of the Witch
10/25) Ghost Stories
10/26) John Carpenter's The Fog
10/27) Suspiria (2018)
10/28) Suspiria (1977)
10/29) Beetlejuice/Pyewacket
10/30) Trick r' Treat/Dracula (1931)
10/31) Bram Stoker's Dracula

Let's talk NCBD. I hadn't been to the shop in three weeks, so all the tantalizing stuff I've written about for the last few Wednesdays was waiting for me in my pull. I won't reiterate on those, however, let's talk about what Mike put aside for me that I was originally intending to pass on:

The original Lucifer series that spun out of Neil Gaiman's Sandman was written by Peter Carey and drawn by Peter Gross. It ran 75 issues and told one EPIC story. I can't recommend this one enough folks, and I myself am due for a re-read, as I haven't read it since its monthly run. I've had real reservations about going back for another story with this character, especially since the television show came up and basically re-did Castle, but with Lucifer helping the LAPD solve crimes instead of the writer. I've since heard and fully believe the show is good for what it is, however I'm protective of series as amazing as the original Lucifer is, so I'm not interested in the show. Buying this new comic was nothing short of a leap of faith for me. After reading it though, you better believe, I have faith.

This was one of those first issues that drops you in and doesn't concern itself with giving you the lay of the land. NOT a complaint, as I love that when done well. And I really think this book is going to be done well. After all the seemingly disparate story threads introduced in Lucifer #1, I am damned intrigued at where this book is going, so much so I can scarcely believe it.

Also, having Kelley Jones do the variant cover was an A++ for me.

Playlist from yesterday:

Type O Negative - Life is Killing Me
Type O Negative - Bloody Kisses
Ritual Howls - Into the Water
Various - Halloween Playlist
The Final Cut - Consumed
Specimen - Azoic
Jóhann Jóhannson - Mandy OST

Card of the day:

Perfect, considering I spent a large part of two days this past week dressed like him, and LOVED the new Lucifer series. Here's what it says in the Grimoire:

"Materialism over spiritualism."

Short and to the point, eh? Looks like I need to flesh that entry out. In the meantime, I'll regard this pull as a warning to not run up my cc this month the way I did last month. October is always an expensive time of the year for me because it is my favorite time of the year.