Thursday, January 31, 2019

2019: January 31st: New Ritual Howls - Alone Together

I was super psyched to receive an alert yesterday afternoon that Detroit's Ritual Howls are releasing a new album in March! What's more, there is an awesome, limited edition that includes a splatter vinyl of the record accompanied by a hardbound book that documents all of the band's lyrics through the years, as well as tour photos. I ordered mine as soon as I saw it and if you wish to do the same, or maybe just pre-order one of the other versions of the album from the always wonderful Felte Records, here's the link.

Having tackled the setback with the chapter in Shadow Play, things are going great! Still reading it aloud to K, and meanwhile I unexpectedly began a new short. It's the first time I've ever written "Detective Fiction" and I feel like it's going pretty damn well. Of course, this isn't your ordinary Detective story. You'll see...

Playlist from 1/30:

Melvins - A Senile Animal
Wasted Theory -
Ozzy Osbourne - Blizzard of Ozz
Skid Row - Slave to the Grind
Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats - Wasteland
Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats - The Night Creeper
Talking Heads - Remain in Light
Ritual Howls - Into The Water

Card of the day:

Keeping it short because, as the card says, Stagnant waters rot.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

2019: January 30th

Two days ago Preoccupations released this video for Compliance. I don't even know what to say, other than I feel like someone has perfectly captured a nightmare I had several years ago. Incredible.

Another NCBD without much hitting the stands. I passed completely last week, might go in today for these:

Consistently fantastic and always on time:

We talked about this on Drinking with Comics a few months back. I read Chris' copy of the first few issues then, but never picked them up.

Infinite Dark is currently one of my favorite books. By far:

Might be the only book of the three Sandman Universe titles I started reading that I'm interested in continuing:
Outcast is one book I'm seriously close to dropping. It's not bad, I just don't know how much I care and I never read the issues as they come out, always after they pile up for a while:

Playlist from 1/30:

Pigface - Notes from the Underground
Talking Heads - Remain in Light
Windhand - Grief's Infernal Flower
Goblin - Dawn of the Dead OST

No card today.

Monday, January 28, 2019

2019: January 28th

It's been a while since I threw any Pigface into my daily routine. This was always among my favorite tracks from the band.

True Detective surprised the hell out of me last night. I mentioned before how Jeremy Saulnier was originally enlisted to direct the entirety of season three, then split. Daniel Sackheim was brought in for episode three, and earned an executive producer credit on the episode, if not the series (not sure). But after that, the series' IMDB page remained suspiciously devoid of a director credit for the remainder of the season. Which had me a little bit worried.

Well, that worry proved unfounded. Creator Nic Pizzolatto stepped in for episode four in what I believe was his directorial debut, and he absolutely KILLED it. Best episode of the season so far, and such a great installment that I'm fairly certain I now feel completely confident the show is back on track after that disappointing second season. Such restraint on that ending, which made it absolutely EPIC. I'm loving the cast, especially Mahershala Ali, Carmen Ejogo, and Stephen Dorff. Oh and this guy. I totally feel for this guy, even while retaining my suspicions as well:

Playlist from 1/27:

Shane Carruth - Upstream Color OST
The Dillinger Escape Plan - Calculating Infinity
Boy Harsher - Lesser Man
Algiers - Eponymous
Pastor T.L. Barrett and the Youth for Christ Choir - Like a Ship (Without a Sail)
James Brown - Hell

Card of the day:

Lots of Swords lately, all lining up with my edgy mood. Currently, I have massive Cognitive Dissonance, but actually took the first step in (hopefully) fixing that last night. Because it is kinda ruining me in some regards right now. I've been volatile in my daily life, and that's not good.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

2019: January 27th

How's that for a relaxing Sunday evening, eh? I've been hung up on a Dillinger binge again. This album... this freakin' album, I've been listening to it for almost twenty years, but I still don't think I fully grasp it. So gorgeous, and mind-bending, and dangerous. Speaking of Mindbending...

Two nights ago, I re-watched Shane Carruth's Upstream Color. Jesus, what a film. I remember the first time I put it on  I instantly became spellbound. There's a fluidity to the storytelling that makes me think of it as a cinematic poem. I won't pretend I 'get' a lot of it, but after watching it, I dug around online for a while and arrived at some pretty interesting 'answers.' We need another film from this man. The Modern Ocean has been listed on his IMDB for a while; let's hope we get that sooner rather than later.

Playlist from 1/26:

Jozef Van Wissem & Jim Jarmusch - Concerning the White Horse
Jozef Van Wissem & Jim Jarmusch - Only Lovers Left Alive OST
Pinebender - Working Nine to Wolf
Cold Cave - Cherish the Light Years
Boy Harsher - Country Girl EP
Boy Harsher - Yr Body is Nothing

No card today.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

2019: January 26th

I'm a pretty big fan of Jim Jarmusch the filmmaker, and Only Lovers Left Alive is probably my favorite of his films. But Jarmusch also makes music: sparse, eerie, haunted music. Lately, as I've gone deeper into his musical collaborations with Jozef Van Wissem, I've found my favorite of their work is the OST for the same film. The Only Lovers Left Alive OST is a deep dive record; despite the epic rock-dirge of the opening track, embedded above, this album pulls me down into what feels like a sacred, cavernous place in my psyche. A place daily life makes it hard to get to often. It's a great feeling, to connect with myself through music like this, especially when it's not dependent on the application of mind-altering substances to get there. It's literally just 'Press Play and Go.'

This past week, K and I went through the first season of David Fincher's Mindhunter series on Netflix. It is fantastic. I've heard some folks say this is 'boring,' but I don't get that at all. Fascinating is the word I'd use. And I often avoid sequence, *ahem*, serial killer stories because they disturb me too much. Something about the way this one unfolds is very balanced though, so that even though you go a lot of dark places, it's not all there is. Can't wait for the second season.

Oh! And Hannah Gross - who I got to know as the lead in Dead Wax late last year on Shudder - is a co-star, and she is terrific!

Playlist from 01/25:

Tool - Aenima
Dillinger Escape Plan - Calculating Infinity
Explode into Colors - Quilts
The Effigies - Remains Nonviewable
Boy Harsher - Careful
Gary Numan - Replicas
Boy Harsher - Country Girl EP
Curtis Harding - Where We Are (Single)
Specimen - Azoic
David Bowie - Low

Card of the day:

Loud and clear. See, what's happening is, when I finished the book and began reading it to K, I expected to find some problems areas that needed edits. I made it through a near-pristine first act, only to get four chapters into the second act (of three) and get caught up in a chapter that I have now been re-writing for five days. It's all there, I just can't seem to get it fluid. There's a social obligation we have today, and I'd been wondering if I should skip it to write. This tells me my hunch is correct.

Friday, January 25, 2019

2019: January 25th - New Boy Harsher Track!

Can NOT wait for this album to drop next Friday. It's streaming now on NPR HERE. If you haven't, see Boy Harsher live. They are enthralling.

Playlist from 1/23:

United Future Organization - 3rd Perspective
Post Stardom Depression - Prime Time Looks A Lot Like Amateur Hour
David Bowie - Blackstar
Deftones - Gore
David Bowie - Reality Tour (Disc 1)
Tin Machine - Eponymous
Ghost - Circe (single)

Playlist from 1/24:

Wasted Theory -
Jozef Van Wissem & Jim Jarmusch - Concerning the White Horse (Pre-release single)
Jozef Van Wissem & Jim Jarmusch - Only Lovers Left Alive OST
Cold Cave - You & Me & Infinity EP
Cold Cave - Cherish the Light Years
Drab Majesty - Careless
Tool - Aenima
Battle Tapes - Sweatshop Boys
Dillinger Escape Plan - Option Paralysis
Belong - October Language
Trust Obey - Fear & Bullets
Siouxsie & The Banshees - Tinderbox

Card of the day:

Guilt over a falling out; waters of friendship tainted. But is it poison, or can it be filtered back to purity?

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

2019: January 23rd

Long my favorite track from 2003's Nocturama, until this moment I had no idea there was a video for this song.

Short post today.

Playlist from 1/22:

Morphine - The Night
Cold Cave - Cherish the Light Years
Apparat - Devil's Walk
The Police - Regatta de Blanc
Algiers - Eponymous
Pastor T.L. Barrett & The Youth for Christ Choir - Like a Ship (Without a Sail)
Godflesh - Post Self
Jóhann Jóhannsson - Mandy OST

Card of the day:

Free, except for that one massive weight, which currently comes in the form of a chapter I encountered last night in my read-through of the novel to K; needs some serious work.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

2019: January 22nd - New Apparat!

Apparat just released a new track from his forthcoming album Lp5, which drops via MUTE on 3/22. And get a gander at this gorgeous album cover:

One year ago I began treating this page as a more-or-less everyday ritual. It's been a very helpful tool this past year, so I intend to continue. In order to create a nice little harmonic loop, I thought I'd post the same Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds' track that I did last year, because, from Her(e) to Eternity:

Playlist from 1/21:

Morphine - The Night
Gary Numan - Savage (Songs from a Broken World)
Windhand - Split
Pastor T.L. Barret and the Youth For Christ Choir - Like a Ship (Without a Sail)
Pastor T.L. Barret and the Youth For Christ Choir - Do Not Pass Me Pass Me By Vol. II
Bad Luck - Four
Cold Cave - Cherish The Light Years
Cold Cave - You & Me & Infinity
Soviet Soviet - Endless

Card of the day:

Happy at the fact that the book is done - minus what is looking like a pass of light editing - and I have finally begun to think about the next project. Also happy to have made these chronicles a successful ritual over the previous year. Here's to an infinite number of years continuing with it!

Monday, January 21, 2019

2019: January 21st

A little Gordon Lightfoot to start out the day.

And then this! This is so close! I only just found out about this forthcoming documentary on the band Brainiac last month, but it feels like I've now been waiting for it forever.

Playlist from 1/19:

Plague Bringer - As the Ghosts Collect, the Corpses Rest
Plague Bringer - Life Songs in a Land of Death
Thou - Summit

Playlist from 1/20:

Calexico - Even My Sure Things Fall Through
Gordon Lightfoot - Gord's Gold

Card of the day:

The Airy aspect of Air, so the intellect of intellect, in a manner of speaking. Not sure how to apply this. The book is finished, and I've already read the first act to K. It feels GOOD. Little rough spots here and there, but nothing that can't be shored up as we go through it. I'll have to figure out if this card pertains to that, or the new project I've begun to brainstorm.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

2019: January 19th

When I saw the title of this movie, I thought it was going to be a flick in the realm of Hobo with a Shotgun. But no. This, this looks Epic. LOVE this movie poster:

K and I finished Channel Zero: The Dream Door last night. Wow. Fantastic. I don't know that I've even mentioned the show in these pages yet; we watched the first season about a month ago - Seasons 1-3 are streaming exclusively on Shudder - and I was blown away by that, too. Harley Peyton is one of the Producers, and if you are a Twin Peaks fan from back in the day, you'll know his name as a major creative force on that show's original run, especially during Season 2. And Mr. Peyton's Peaks experience is definitely felt in Channel Zero. The first Season's finale so resembled the Season 2 finale of Twin Peaks that I was floored. This was homage, not an egregious repeating. And again, in The Dream Door's finale, we get some crazy Lynchian imagery. SO good. Can't wait to watch Seasons 2 and 3 - it's an anthology, hence our out of order viewing - but I'm now tempted to save those seasons because also yesterday, on this week's episode of the Shock Waves podcast, I learned Channel Zero has been cancelled.

DAMN YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Playlist from 1/18:

The Cure - Seventeen Seconds
The Black Queen - Infinite Games
David Lynch - The Big Dream
Plaguebringer - As the Ghosts Collect, the Corpses Rest
Television - Marquee Moon
Godspeed You! Black Emperor - Hallelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend!

Eights are Hod. Splendor. Eights are tricky. Splendor can be interpreted as spectacle, and spectacle can be distracting. Literally, an Interference. This is a beautiful card, but its beauty is wrought with images of death and destruction, an unstable background, Chaos is close. I'm not entirely certain how to interpret this today. I have a large writing session coming up to snap a few last bits into place and then continue editing the book in Grammarly, chapter by chapter. After that, it's reading the full text aloud to K. Perhaps the interference I'm being warned about here is because for days I have just barely dodged the urge to start reading it now. I can't do that; even though I have a small checklist of images and bits to pepper back through the chapters, changing one thing, no matter how minutely, may cause ripples backward or forward through the story that then also have to be smoothed. Most of my focus is in the second act, but I do not yet know if that focus will end up requiring a smoothing out in the first act. So reading now would be counterproductive. Even though I want to.

Yep. That sounds like my Interference and as is often the case, it's from myself.

Friday, January 18, 2019

2019: January 18th

New Finn Andrews! Pre-order The Veil's frontman's debut solo album HERE.

I've been doing pretty good not spending money, but this will most likely be a must.

Playlist from 1/17:

Tool - Aenima
Belong - October Language
Boards of Canada - Geogaddi
Baroness - Purple
Godspeed You! Black Emperor - F#A# (infinity)
Lung - All the King's Horses
Carpenter Brute - Leather Teeth

Card of the day:

A controlled burn for creative victory.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

2019: January 17th

Another KXLU discovery. Goddamn that radio station is just killing' it! I don't know much about the band, I'm starting here, with the album Furnishing the Void. It's great, and I'm planning on digging deeper soon enough.

Hey LA, teachers are striking. Support them. THEY make the difference we need made.

Two nights ago, K and I finished True Detective Season 1. I've thought a lot about those Jeremy Saulnier-directed first two episodes of Season 3; I have ideas, and I still may do a recap show. Maybe. It's hard to know if the things I observed are going to pan out or just go nowhere; Season 2 definitely shook my faith in the show, and I'm not really convinced some of what I see is go-nowhere red herring fodder. But maybe Crooked Spiral refers to:

It makes sense that, same as the show has gone back to a lot of the story mechanics that made Season One so iconic, they would attempt to tie in that season's continuity. Or, this might all end up a big, "Fuck You," from the show's creator for those of us expecting more of a 'Weird Fiction' angle. We'll see.

After rewatching the Season One finale, I still don't like it very much. But, I've said that before and completely acknowledge that no matter how much I don't like that final episode, Season One is one of my all-time favorite pieces of small-screen cinema.

K and I also watched the pilot for SyFy's Deadly Class, based on the Rick Remender/Wes Craig comic that I have loved since it launched in 2014. I am so ecstatically happy for these guys; this book deserves the world and is now poised to receive it. I'll never forget the month, several years ago, when Remender's "Transmissions from a Basement" back matter announced his departure from Marvel, where he'd just finished helming a massive cross-over, and his somewhat joyously nervous announcement that the coming year would be a, 'year of creator owned comics.' That was a big step for the man, and as I knew he would, he has succeeded ten-fold, the successes only growing. I can't wait to see what happens next!

Oh yeah, the show is fantastic! And Henry Rollins is the Poison 101 teacher! How awesome is that!

Speaking of Deadly Class, a new storyline began in issue 36, which was most definitely part of my haul yesterday at the Comic Bug for NCBD. LOVE this cover.

What else? I'll tell you what else:

An absolutely haunting ending to this epic series, Days of Hate.

Gideon Falls remains my favorite book each month, and this issue has a couple of pages that might just rank as my favorite comic panels EVER.

And last but most certainly not least:

I probably should have just subscribed to Fangoria's relaunch. I missed the first issue, but with Joe Bob on the cover, number two was a must. I'll be honest - when I worked for Borders during the 00s, I learned to turn my back on Fangoria. I straight up thought they kowtowed to a lot of garbage, giving high marks to big studio horror flicks I personally thought sucked. Meanwhile, I'll always be a Rue Morgue/Horror Hound guy. But now that Fango is back, well, I wanted to give  them a chance. After all, there would be no Rue Morgue/Horror Hound if not for this icon. A couple of articles in thus far, and I'm digging it, especially Preston Fassel's Corrupt Signals column, which explores rare 80s horror like this one that I couldn't find a trailer for, but the whole thing is on youtube:

I haven't watched The Black Room, but Mr. Fassel's column has definitely put it on my immediate radar.

Playlist from 1/15:

Boards of Canada - Music Has the Right to Children
The Blueflowers - Circus on Fire
The Handsome Family - Singing Bones
Jozef Van Wissem & Jim Jarmusch - Concerning the White Horse
Secret Boyfriend - Furnishing the Void

Playlist from 1/16:
Boards of Canada - Music Has the Right to Children
Belong - October Language
Fuck Buttons - Tarot Sport
Fuck Buttons - Olympians EP
Corrosion of Conformity - No Cross No Crown
Tool - Aenima
The Blue Flowers - Circus on Fire

Card of the day:

2 cards popped out as I shuffled:

Earthly concerns, eh? And perhaps big, emotional ones. If I'm reading this correctly, it's referring to a peripheral investment situation. Money coming in would be nice...

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

2019: January 15th

I discovered The Blueflowers yesterday on KXLU. Wow. Love this band. They have several albums available through their bandcamp HERE, and most if not all of those are on Apple Music. I'm digging into 2018's Circus on Fire this morning, and it's taking me places both familiar and strange.

I forgot to mention that last Friday I watched Pod, a film from 2015 directed by Mickey Keating. I'd seen the thumbnail for this one for years. I've also started to see discussion among a fairly rabid Keating fanbase I never realized existed, and after just this one flick I can see why some would rabidly endorse his movies. Pod is fantastic; Larry Fessenden's in it, and that's almost always a great sign; based on the simple, no-nonsense execution of a straight forward horror/sci fi concept, I'm guessing Mickey Keating's work will fit in nicely alongside Ti West and Joe Begos. In fact, Pod and Begos' The Mind's Eye would make an Excellent double feature.

Playlist from 1/14:

Dillinger Escape Plan - Option Paralysis
Jozef Van Wissem & Jim Jarmusch - Concerning the White Horse (pre-release single)
Jozef Van Wissem & Jim Jarmusch - Concerning the Entrance into Eternity
Godspeed You! Black Emperor - Slow Riot for New Zero Kanada
David Zinman, Dawn Upshaw & London Sinfonietta - Gorecki: Symphony No. 3

Card of the day:

Second day in a row for this one. And that's probably because my interpretation yesterday was correct; I came SO close to finishing the book. So this card reappears today, because Today is the day.

Monday, January 14, 2019

2019: January 14th

There's a new Jozef Van Wissem and Jim Jarmusch album set to drop on February 8th via Sacred Bones Records, and so far it has my favorite album title in quite some time. You can pre-order An Attempt to Draw Aside the Veil HERE.

Rounding the final lap on Nick Cave's And the Ass Saw the Angel, which I absolutely love. And interestingly enough, Cave's take on a gorgeous baroque, inbred Southern Gothic aesthetic hit a nice harmonic node with my impromptu re-watch of True Detective Season 1, as well as last night's True Detective Season 3, which takes place in Arkansas in 1980, 1990, and 2015 and has a similar tone.

Thus far, Season 3 follows Detectives Wayne Hays as played by Mahershala Ali, as he tries to solve an unsolvable case over the course of three decades. Two episodes in and I'm digging it; I find it a little bit of a lack of confidence that the show went back to the 'deposition and interview' mechanism that worked so well in Season 1, but hey, to climb out of the swamp of Season 2, do what works. With Jeremy Saulnier's episodes now under the belt and his leave approaching, next week's episode is helmed by Daniel Sackheim and then I guess HBO will announce directors as the episodes come up? I'm struggling not to take that as a bad sign, but for right now, doubts or not, the cinematography, acting, and atmosphere are so fucking tight and thick, I'm sticking.

I had actually planned at the last minute to do a new weekly wrap up show, a la my Evolution of the Arm series I did for Twin Peaks: The Return, however there really isn't a lot of 'mystery' to discuss yet. The one thing I'm wondering is, if this season drifts at all into Weird Fiction territory like the first season did, maybe the book we see in missing boy Will Purcell's bedroom while Hays is searching it for clues might come into play. The book is The Forests of Long, and anyone who knows Lovecraft mythos knows Leng as location of the infamous Plateau of Leng. I did a perfunctory search for the book online and couldn't find anything, making me think it was a prop deliberately constructed for the show, which means it is potentially important in some way. I doubt this is where the show is going, but you never know. If David Milch convinced Nick Pizzalato to stick with what made Season One iconic, we may brush up against some Weird after all.

Playlist from yesterday was non-existent.

Card of the day:

Sturdy. Is today that day? Maybe...

Sunday, January 13, 2019

2019: January 13th

Previously, I'd not been much of a fan of Baroness. Yesterday though, Mr. Brown mentioned The Purple Album to me, and after spending a couple go-rounds with it on my iPod, I have to say, I really dig this album. This song, in particular.

New episode of The Horror Vision just went up:
Apple Podcasts
Google Play
The Horror

True Detective Season Three starts tonight. I'm going to watch it, but I am going to keep my expectations waaaaaay low. Based on the fact that, although Jeremy Saulnier was originally attached to direct the entire season - much like Cary Fukunaga did season one - but ended up only doing the first two, I'm hesitant to expect much beyond those first two episodes. Season Two is a catastrophe, and begins with Justin Lin directing the first two episodes - which were pretty good - and then has a different director for almost every remaining episode of the season, and the story crumbles. Season Three's IMDB shows Saulnier for the first two, and Daniel Sackheim for episode three, and then there is no director listed for the remainder of the season. That 'play-the-cards-close-to-your-chest' technique makes me think this will also end up being an unwatchable mess, but hopefully not.

Playlist from 1/12:

Baroness - Purple
The Black Angels - Death Song
David Bowie - Aladdin Sane
The Dillinger Escape Plan - Option Paralysis
John Carpenter & Alan Howarth - Big Trouble in Little China OST
Windhand - Eternal Return
Jóhann Jóhannsson - Mandy OST
Goblin - Dawn of the Dead OST

Card of the day:


Saturday, January 12, 2019

2019: January 12th

Missed it again! I wanted to post this yesterday and just be a day late, but I ended up not really having a chance to post at all. Better late than never.

Three years. Wow.

NCBD - another thing I'm late on. Here was the haul this week:

New book by Jeff Rougvie. Who's that you ask? Well, there's a ton of awesome backwater in this one that explains how Jeff worked for Rykodisc in the 90s and was instrumental in putting together their Bowie reissues and boxset Sound and Color. He even worked closely with Bowie himself on these releases, and lo and behold, this is Mr. Rougvie's first comic and it came out with Bowie on the cover on the anniversary of his death! Wow. Bowie doesn't feature into the story of Gunning for Hits, which looks as though it will revolve around Martin Mills, a hitman-turned-Record company A&R man in 1987. This one is chock full o' great inside the music industry that was stuff, and looks as though it's setting up a fun tale to boot!

Another outstanding number one, but with Brubaker and Phillips, is there ever any doubt? Nope.

Another newer book I'm reading. The concepts go deep and I can't wait to get into the heart of the world that author Dan Wickline is building here. I had the pleasure of meeting and talking with Mr. Wickline for quite a while last month when he did a signing at The Comic Bug, and Freeze sounds like it is going to be fantastic!

Speaking of Ed Brubaker, in his most recent newsletter - which you can sign up for HERE - he describes Warren Ellis and Jason Howard's Cemetery Beach as a multiple-issue-long chase scene. He's not wrong, and it's awesome!

Playlist from 1/11:

Steely Dan - Alive in America
The Black Angels - Death Song
Grinderman - Eponymous
Black Sabbath - Paranoid
Baroness - Purple
Odonis Odonis - Post Plague
The Knife - Silent Shout
Moderat - II
Apparat - The Devil's Walk

Card of the day:

This is, I believe, a direct acknowledgment of a character in the book, so I'll take it as an, 'on the right path, mate!' kinda thing.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

2019: January 10th

Punisher season 2 drops next Friday and, while I'm very excited for it, it all feels a bit pointless knowing that, like Daredevil season 3 - which I still need to watch - this show will probably be cancelled shortly after it premieres. The dissolution between Netflix and Disney is a bothersome thing because of all the Marvel adaptations, these represent the ones I am still the most engaged by, and the idea that the continuities begun on these Netflix shows may be discarded, or worse re-casting occur, well, that just stinks, and it undermines everything the company had been doing up until now to build a relationship between their 'tv' and cinematic worlds. Feels a bit DC-ish to me.

Playlist from 1/08:

Arctic Monkeys - Favourite Worst Nightmare
Beastmilk - Use Your Deluge EP
Beastmilk - Climax

Playlist from 1/09:

Steely Dan - Alive in America
Belong - October Language
Mac DeMarco - Salad Days
Kevin Morby - Singing Saw
Daughters - You Won't Get What You Want

Card of the day:

Ah. Loud and Clear. I have the massive, set piece idea to end the book - the characters' actions have been in place for two years, I've just never found the right backdrop - but I haven't had the time to actually write it. I'm off work today but consumed with errands. Tomorrow I leave work at ten or eleven in the AM because I work Saturday, and my plan is to watch The Changling upon returning home. I'm juggling multiple viewing experiences for multiple reasons - because nothing can ever just be about watching and relaxing with me - but this card's a great reminder that after that flick, which I have to watch for an upcoming mini episode of The Horror Vision, I need to work. No lazy, sitting around shit.

The idea for that final set piece, incidentally, is a great example of how we find the right thing at the right time. As I write this, I'm now about 60% of the way through Nick Cave's And the Ass Saw the Angel, and even though I didn't realize it at the idea's inception - two days ago at 4:30 AM while I was in the shower - it arose from the massive deluge that takes place during the book stewing around in my thoughts for a week, sinking into the creative broth I carry around in my head (many of us do), and flavoring it in just the right way at just the right time. As I was reading the book this morning, a parking receipt tumbled out for Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn, IL, back in March of 2006. That then was the timeframe of my previous attempt at reading this novel. I believe I stopped about a third of the way in, partially because the decision to move to Los Angeles came up at the time and interfered with everything, and partially because I simply wasn't ready to read it at that time. Now I know why - the idea needed to be installed in my head NOW.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

2019: January 8th - New Sharon Van Etten!

From her forthcoming album Remind Me Tomorrow, which Jagjaguwar drops on the 18th, same day as the new Thirsty Crows record. Pre-order HERE.

I've fallen back on Gang of Four's Return the Gift pretty hard. I know most folks do not agree with me on this, but I will take the 2012, re-recorded versions of all these classic Gang of Four songs over their originals any day. Part of this is probably because I discovered Gang of Four waaaaay after the fact - early 00s - and only ever knew the album That's Entertainment as one of their albums, i.e. a collection of songs fit together as an overall work, and never knew it that well to begin with. I don't want to belabor the point, but here's an A and B of my favorite song on an album that is pretty much full of "favorite songs."


And the 2012 version:

I didn't live and love with this original version - from the album Songs of the Free - so I don't have a horse in that race. I just think the up-tempo, almost Pop approach and the slamming recording of the '12 version is a much better representation of what the band seemed to be going for with the song.

The Arrow Video release of Stuart Gordon's Re-Animator contains a feature-length, making-of documentary titled Re-Animator Resurrectus. I can't recommend this supplemental feature enough! I've always loved Re-Animator as one of the stalwart classics of the Horror genre, and more specifically the 80s era of the Horror genre, but this doc has really given me an even deeper appreciation for the film. Somehow I never realized that Re-Animator was Gordon's Hollywood film. The doc talks to everyone: Jeffrey Combs, Barbara Crampton, Bruce Abbot, David Gale... everyone! And of course there's plenty of screen time with Gordon and Brian Yuzna, and a lot of frank discussion about how to adequately adapt  H.P. Lovecraft to film and make it work.

There's a bunch of other great interview extras on the disc (I have the one-disc version), and all of it really opened the film up for me. Can't wait to watch it again.

Playlist from 1/07:

Ben Frost - By the Throat
Nick Lowe - Jesus of Cool
Arctic Monkeys - No. 1 Party Anthem
Gang of Four - I Love a Man in Uniform (2012)
Foster the People - Life on the Nickel
Self - What a Fool Believes
Arctic Monkeys - Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino
Barry Adamson - Oedipus Schmoedipus
U2 - War
Ben Frost - Aurora

Card of the day:

This, I believe, is a direct reference to the final pages of my book, which despite a somewhat frustrating session yesterday brought on by sheer exhaustion from a very physical day at work, is still coming along swimmingly.

Monday, January 7, 2019

2019: January 7th

K and I started rewatching Dark on Netflix this weekend. This show! It's so amazing I can hardly put it into words, however it's also the hardest chronology I've ever tried to keep track of. I don't consider this a flaw; other than a few wee casting issues I have - like how many old guys with white hair and beards do we need? - I think Dark is a stunningly complex piece of work, and I'm happy to watch and re-watch it, discuss and contemplate it. I think the show is worth it, and it feels good to watch it with K - who is really into it - and entertain each other with our theories.

Also, Ben Frost popped on my musical radar via Wire magazine back in 2009 with his album By The Throat, and although I hadn't kept up with him much after that, I was thrilled to see him doing the music for Dark. I was also thrilled to learn, just now, that the main title theme isn't Frost but Apparat, an artist I'm criminally unfamiliar with considering how much I love his collaboration with Modeselektor, Moderat.

As I suspected, my brain completely clicked with Nick Cave's And the Ass Saw the Angel, and I read almost half the book yesterday while rounding out my last day home in bed, letting the fading tendrils of whatever bug I inherited late last week leave my body and prepare me for returning to a full day of work today.

Playlist from 1/06:

Belong - October Language (on repeat, for three hours)

Card of the day:

Actually two cards today, because while I was shuffling the deck the Eight of Cups popped out at me. So, an eight and a nine, so a sequence that moves from laziness to strength. Well, that actually just describes my return to work, where despite being a bit gun-shy about rough, physical exertion after 3 days in bed and some insane pain in my lower half, I actually just worked harder in the last hour and a half than I have in a while. So yes, moving from doing nothing, to being strong enough to just get what needs to be done, done.

Also, switched into HIGH gear on the writing yesterday and worked for almost three hours. Made MAJOR headway. The end is in sight; next round will be to run each chapter through Grammarly, then read it out loud to K.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

2019: January 6th

First available track from The Thirsty Crows' new album Hangman's Noose. My buddy Chris Saunders from The Horror Vision and Drinking with Comics is the Upright Bass player, and set me up with an advance copy of the album. It's fantastic. Read my review HERE on Joup, and pre-order what sounds to me like the first great album of 2019 from Batcave Records HERE.

Playlist from 1/05:

The Thirsty Crows - Hangman's Noose
Iggy Pop - The Idiot
The Teardrop Explodes - Kilimanjaro
Tamaryn - The Waves
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers - Damn the Torpedoes
Nick Lowe - Jesus of Cool
Henry Mancini - Charade OST
Steely Dan - Aja
Billy Joel - The Stranger
James Brown Presents - Funky People Part 2
Afghan Whigs - Gentlemen

Card of the day:

Honing emotion with earthly concerns. To me, the cards still seem to be talking about saving money. Of course, if you've been reading these pages long enough, you'll notice I use my interpretations to support whatever is the issue of the moment, i.e. the way every pull for most of last year pertained to finishing the book. The book's now almost done (will today be the day? There'll still be editing, but to type the words "The End"...), and money is on my mind now, because in order to actually save it I will have to be 'full hilt,' so to speak. Frivolous spending is an emotional thing for me; the things I buy are movies, comics, books, records. Not buying them is not easy, but I apply my Earthly ideals and remember that while short term spending feels great, long term will be a longer lasting kind of joy.

Saturday, January 5, 2019

2019: January 5th

Belong's October Language is one of the most beautiful albums I've heard in some time. Close your eyes and drift into a nothing space of faintly glowing radiance and soft, fuzzy waves...

I've been sick for a few days now, spending a lot of time watching movies and reading Nick Cave's And the Ass Saw the Angel, a book I started twelve years ago and never finished. I won't lie; I'm a huge Cave fan, but this is not easy reading. The book is written in a mostly first-person perspective, in the rather baroque hill-speak of protagonist Euchrid Eucrow, the son of an inbred father and a drunk-on-still-mash mother, so the language is biblical and flowery in a terse, over-reaching way. Which is exactly how it should be written, given the author's choice for narrators. I'm always up for a literary challenge, and I wonder if at some point my brain will just "click" to the style and have an easier time with it. That's what happened when I first began reading Irvine Welsh; the phonetic Scottish Brogue threw me at first, but after a while I acclimatized to it and began to read Welsh as easily as anything else. Incidentally, that also helped me when I met him and later, when I traveled to Scotland; I had no problem understanding most people I spoke with. So, I'm sticking with the Cave until it's finished.

This "read what's on the shelf" is a continuation of an initiative I began last year, to finally read a lot of the books I have on my shelf; working at Borders for five years in the 00s, I accumulated a lot I still haven't read. Now that I'm trying to start saving for a house, it makes sense to condition myself to actually read that stuff, to not just jump on Amazon at the mention of everything that sounds cool and order it. I'm not saying I have a moratorium on new books, because there's a ton I want to read, but a healthy, three-old-ones-to-every-new-one mix should help.

Speaking of Welsh, he's an author that, for years, I bought everything he published the day it came out. That changed when I began shifting my reading to a more genre-specific diet, worried that the more literary stuff my tastes were entrenched in was influencing the way I was writing. Not that that's bad; the first two novels I wrote, one of which I'm hoping to finish editing this year and publish, have a more literary bent than Shadow Play, which is straight genre. But to finish Shadow Play, I had to curate my reading more carefully. With Welsh, he influences me so much that I had to swear him off altogether, knowing one day I'd dive right back in. That was 2012, because the last book I read by him was Skagboys. Since then, I've watched as he's published no less than four novels, and I've had to force myself to abstain from each one. But, with Shadow Play finally winding down - I started it in earnest in 2012 - another one of my ideas for 2019 is to flip back out of genre a bit - hence the Cave - and pick up with Welsh where I left off. Can't wait; I really miss the man's writing.

Speaking of Welsh again, I mentioned I've been watching a lot of movies while I've been sick, and the one I just watched this morning definitely makes me yearn for Irvine Welsh's novels; Outcast - not to be confused with the Nick Cage movie of the same name or the Robert Kirkman series on Cinemax - is a 2010 film by Colm McCarthy, a director that has come up in the world since by directing 2016's much lauded The Girl with All the Gifts and Black Mirror season four episode six: Black Museum. In elevator pitch shorthand, imagine Welsh and Warren Ellis writing a story about ancient magick adrift in the shadows of modern Edinburgh. That's this Outcast, and I LOVED this film; it's take on Magick was both enigmatic and practical, a lot like Ellis's Gravel series from some years back.

Also, yesterday I watched:

This I hadn't seen since its initial VHS release in 1992 or '93. I've been fairly afraid to revisit it; Hellraiser: Hell on Earth was actually my introduction to the Hellraiser movies, and you can probably understand then when I tell you I didn't actually rent the first two until three or four years later. Re-watching it now, as a massive fan of those original movies and of the concepts and characters in general, I can say that there are quite a few things about Hell on Earth that I like, most specifically the body horror effects. That said, this is the perfect example of the how Hollywood used to just throw money and special effects at ideas and think that made them better. The culminating sequence in this film, of Pinhead chasing our protagonist through New York, is rife with explosions, car crashes, water mains bursting, glass shattering, and none of it has any point at all in what's happening or even fits the story. It's both sloppy and lazy.

You know, I don't normally go in for home invasion movies. People doing terrible things to people is not really the kind of horror I like. Still, the original Strangers was well made and creepy as all hell, at a time when most studio horror had forgotten how to be subtle with their scares. That trailer, with the knock on the door at two A.M., this is a concept that has occurred to and haunted me since I was a kid. I liked that first film and so knew I'd eventually see the sequel. After watching Prey at Night yesterday, I can say it was good, but really left me with a violence hangover. I don't know that I'd say I enjoyed it, but it wasn't overly disturbing and bookended the first film in a satisfying way, so nice to check it off my list.

Playlist from 01/04:

Tears for Fears - Songs from the Big Chair
Henry Mancini - Charade OST
Paramore - All We Know is Falling

Card of the day:

From the Grimoire, "The Will (Fire) to Materialism (Disks)." This is what I was just talking about above, so nice to come to the end of this post and have this pop up. Literally, the Will to save Money.

Friday, January 4, 2019

2019: January 4th

I'm not much of a Steppenwolf guy; they had a time and place that wasn't really relevant to me, so I'm not distancing myself from them out of spite, just saying they never made an impact except as the band that wrote a song which A) I believe coined the term "heavy metal," though not necessarily for what it became synonymous with, and B) said song was picked up and beaten to death by the cheesy, "cool" marketing of the 80s, and subsequently kind of makes me hate the band.

All that aside, my friend John approached me at work yesterday, telling me he'd found a mixtape from when he was a kid - he's older than me, mid-to-late 50s - and heard Monster for the first time since he was a pre-teen, found it frighteningly prescient of the country today.

The music here is what I think of as 'proto-hard rock;' you'll hear it when the crunchy guitar kicks in, how just a few years later (Monster was released in '69) the fuzz would have been thicker and considerably higher in the mix. Here though, it's almost delicate. Anyway, the music isn't the reason I'm posting this; listen to the lyrics. Crazy. Did everything always seem broken and dire, or as I am more apt to suspect, is the evolution of the post WWII, military industrial complex merely bringing world events to a head? And perhaps more importantly, will that climax come in our lifetime?

I read today that Bret Easton Ellis has a new book coming out in 2019. The author's first book since Imperial Bedrooms in 2010, White - originally titled Privileged White Male - is, in the author's own words, a non-fiction 'rant' about the reputation economy that frenzies our culture. Lila Shapiro from Vulture has a marvelous interview with Ellis here. I'm a huge fan of his fiction and his podcast, though I'm considerably behind on the episodes these last few months. White lands April 16th.

Playlist from 1/02:

Secret Chiefs 3 Traditionalists - Le Mani Destre Recise Degli Ultimi Uomini
U2 - War
The Police - Regatta de Blanc
Airiel - Winks & Kisses: Melted EP
Alabama Shakes - Sound and Color
Barry Adamson - As Above, So Below
Barry Adamson - Oedipus Schmoedipus
Belong - Common Era

Playlist from 1/03:

David Bowie - Hunky Dory
Belong - October Language
Fantômas - Eponymous
Steppenwolf - Monster
Iggy Pop - Blah Blah Blah
The Body - I Have Fought Against It, But Can't Any Longer

The day's mostly over, so no card.