Thanks to Heaven is an Incubator for retweeting this and bringing such an eloquent, albeit chilling, crystallization of current events to light. My prediction: with all the Reality bending already in place, it will not matter whether trump is reelected (although let's not let that stop us from tossing him out the door); we're going to see an increasing escalation in violence from both sides and within the next ten years the 50 states as we know them will change. I'm not sure what that's going to look like exactly, but I (once again) point to Greg Rucka and Michael Lark's Lazarus or the USIDENT of Richard Kelley's Southland Tales as possible examples. "Oh, but that's just silly. Those are science fiction," you say? Friend, we're already living in Sci Fi land. When someone can stand up and say "Day" when it's clearly "Night" and a large part of the population will believe him despite the empirical evidence of their senses, I say all bets are off.
Wednesday, September 30, 2020
Well, we pulled the bandage off last night and finished Halt and Catch Fire. Easily one of the best shows I've ever experienced, and it really reminded me a lot of Six Feet Under, which K has never seen. We're going to move that one up the list, however, now is the time to really double-down on The Boys. I watched Season One last year without her, so this year I've been slowly rewatching that with her in preparation for moving into Season Two. Can't wait, even if the pop culture saturation point with it is riding an annoying level of saturation.
NCBDThere's a number of great things out today:
Playlist:Deftones - Ohms
Tuesday, September 29, 2020
Play:Confession: I spent too much $$$ on some toys recently. I have certain weak spots, and I've psychoanalyzed myself enough to know that because as I was growing up, we didn't have a lot of money and I often couldn't have the figures or toys that I wanted, I've been more than willing to buy some of this stuff as an adult. Plus, the toy tech is so awesome now that all these figures look like they did in the comic or cartoon; gone is the edict that to make a toy 'playable' it can't look like it's supposed to. Case in point, the Hasbro Pulse website has been both a blessing and a curse since I recently discovered it. I've ordered a few of the new GIJoe: Classified figures - they all look amazing - but last week I upped my involvement by paying to get into the premium tier so I could grab these two little gems, both 'exclusives' at the virtual Pulsecon 2020 event:
Playlist:Type O Negative - Life is Killing Me
Monday, September 28, 2020
Being that I'm more of a Frank Black/Black Francis fan than a Pixies fan - though that wasn't always the case and really, I love both so it's kind of splitting hairs - their ongoing reunion has been bittersweet to me. Bitter, because I would love to hear another Black Francis/Grand Duchy/Frank Black (with or without The Catholics), but instead most of the previous decade has been a continuous run of new Pixies material. Which is also great, although I've received each album in different degrees of infatuation. The first one back, Indie Cindy, is a perfect return. I love it absolutely. Head Carrier and Beneath the Eyrie have required a bit more of a loving curve, but thanks to Mr. Brown, I dig both - although I haven't had enough of a Pixies binge in a while to really get to know either album like I do the others. Now we have a new 12" and the first 'single' I absolutely LOVE. So bring it on guys (and gal), I'm ready for whatever you have coming.
But I'd still love to get a new album from Mr. Black sometime soon.
Now, those are non-consecutive pages. I just wanted to give you a feel for the art and the characters, both of which I absolutely love so far. Kat Somerville and her daughter Sybil remind me a lot of people that would know the family from The Devil's Candy, another family set I adore. Maybe it's because I've chosen not to reproduce that I love seeing stoner families who love one another and set a good example.
Sunday, September 27, 2020
With a name like this, there was probably no way I wouldn't like this record, which I have heard of before but erroneously attributed to being one of the many musical projects of Nivek Ogre, which it is not. No, OGRE sound is the work of Robin Ogden. I fell sideways back into this album this morning through a story on Bandcamp about Ogden and Dallas Campbell's just released score for the classic George A. Romero film Night of the Living Dead. The article, written by J. Edward Keyes, can be read HERE and very much has me thinking that when I do my annual watch of NoTLD on Halloween, I'll be scoring it with this.
But back to Lesser Demons. This is a super creepy, super inventive use of field recordings arranged for keyboard/synthesizer. Parts remind me of the Italian classic Ain Soph - Rituals album, other parts remind me of a nightmare, or the score to a seriously well-done cinematic nightmare, take your pick. Either way, wow.
Friday, September 25, 2020
It's 3:33 AM and I'm exhausted. I've been up since 5:18 AM - woke up late on purpose knowing full well I'd be up well beyond what I am normally capable of on a work night, regardless of the fact that I am off tomorrow. After work, my good friend Ray and I went to the opening night of Beyondfest 2020. Not really opening night, as the rest of the fest doesn't start until 10/02, but still, the crazy MF's that run the fest brought out the big guns for the West Coast Premiere of Brandon Cronenberg's new film Possessor. This was one of if not my most anticipated film this year, and it did not disappoint. This is also only the second time I have hung out in person with a friend since March (last weekend K and I went out to finally see our other Horror Vision host Anthony, his girlfriend, and their new baby), so it was very much a 'win-win.'
Beyondfest is calling this year's festival the "Fuck COVID Edition" and in keeping with that, they obviously were not going to be able to have it at the Egyptian as usual and observe social distancing, so instead, the fest this year is being held at the Mission Tiki Drive-In Theatre. What a great place! Granted, it's 50+ miles from our home, but Ray drove and we made the trip in roughly an hour and twenty (considerably less on the way back), and a fantastic time was had by all. Above is our ten-minute, spoiler-free review on youtube. You can also hear it - and all our other episodes - on any Podcast Platform, including Spotify which, if you look in the upper right-hand corner of this blog, you will see a widget for that will take you directly to the review.
What we don't discuss on this quick-take episode, but Ray and I both plan to bring up on the next full-length Horror Vision is that tonight's show was a double feature, and the second movie was an old John Frankenheimer film starring Rock Hudson from 1966 called Seconds. This was also fantastic, so here's the trailer:
Thursday, September 24, 2020
Fuck yes! I'm loving these new songs. These plus "Baphomet", whick K and I heard the band premiere live at the Roxy two years ago now, are going to make for a great new set of tunes.
Wednesday, September 23, 2020
NCBD:Of particular interest this week is the fact that Gideon Falls #25 comes out. Now, every week we get a new issue of Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino's Weird Fiction/SciFi/Horror mash-up is a great week, but this week's issue comes hot on the heels of the recent revelation that the series comes to its grand finale in December with an 80-page issue #27! Holy cow, I'm starting that re-read SOON just to be prepared.
Next, here's a new book from Vault I'm looking forward to, a book about Autumn that takes place in Chicago:
Playlist:The Veils - Total Depravity
Tuesday, September 22, 2020
Michael Gira, the brainchild behind Swans, announced recently that their 1987 album Children of God will be re-released via Gira's own Young Gods Records in cooperation with Mute. This is Jarboe-era Swans, arguably the most lauded, and one I am not nearly as familiar with as I would like. You can pre-order the CD or Vinyl from Gira HERE.
Playlist:Windhand - Grief's Infernal Flower
Monday, September 21, 2020
Read:Dipping back into The Hellbound Heart, and I'm completely smitten with it. My love of Barker is stronger this year than it's been in a while, and revisiting this one on the heel of rewatching the first three movies several times over the few years, I find myself very interested in his adaptation process.
Frank Sinatra - In the Wee Small Hours
Sunday, September 20, 2020
As the wait for the next Perturbator records near neigh interminable lengths, and the knowledge that James Kent is leaving his former 'genre' behind, I've begun to clamor for more dark, brooding synthwave. Bandcamp remains a fantastic place to find what I'm looking for. Case in point, this week's Sunday Bandcamp spotlight on Dance With The Dead. I haven't made it very deep into their discography, but after absorbing Near Dark yesterday, I intend to do so in the very near future.
Saturday, September 19, 2020
Friday, September 18, 2020
Thursday, September 17, 2020
I feel like I have been waiting for a long time for the new Benson and Moorhead. These guys look to be at the top of their game with Synchronic, they certainly have a lot more money behind them here. I see big things ahead for these two, can't wait.
Wednesday, September 16, 2020
Another track from the upcoming eight album by The Ocean. Love this video, and love the song. The Ocean is still one of the bands that carry the metal through the 00s for me, and one that still feels as though they are reaching to continually change the landscape of the genre.
The new album, Phanerozoic II: Mesozoic I Cenozoic is out on September 25. Pre-order HERE.
NCBDNot a lot of books this week, but one, in particular, I've been waiting for his Dead Day #3.
Tuesday, September 15, 2020
I've been in an Electric Wizard mood lately. Here's one of my favorites from 2011's Black Mass, probably my favorite of the group's.
Monday, September 14, 2020
Wow. This just blew me right the F&*K away. This year's Underneath is already on the shortlist to be on my top ten albums of 2020, this perfect cover of Alice in Chains' immortal 'Down in a Hole' may just put the newly released Under the Skin live album on that list, as well.
This is one of those songs I can't hear without a slew of emotions, thoughts, and sensations from high school coming flooding back. That kind of emotion juxtaposition usually doesn't translate to covers. That is definitely not the case with this one.
Sunday, September 13, 2020
I missed the pre-order on the vinyl for Atonement and now I'm kicking myself. Regardless, the entire album is fantastic, and I can't recommend a band more at this stage in their career. Support Exhalants HERE.
Saturday, September 12, 2020
My good friend Grez reminded me that the new Doves album dropped yesterday, a fact I had completely forgotten. When I crawled out of bed this morning and sat down to write this post, I threw on my headphones and dug in. So far, fantastic album, but of course those who know Doves would expect no less. Here's one of my favorite tracks, so far, although it was difficult to choose.
READ:I finally got around to working through the stack of comics I picked up from both The Comic Bug and Atomic Basement two weeks ago. On that pile was the second issue of Ryan Parrott and Evgeniy Bornyakov's Dead Day, published by Aftershock Comics.
Thursday, September 10, 2020
Episode two of Halt and Catch Fire's fourth and final season ends with James' Laid playing over the characters as they move through the culmination of the episode's interactions, relationship and business shake-ups that no doubt begin to move all these people I've grown to love into position for the series' end in eight more episodes. It reminded me how long it had been since I last listened to James, and how much this song - a song I despised when it made its initial splash in the mid-90s zeitgeist - has come to mean to me since I fell in love with it in a pub in Dublin, circa 2001.
Watch: I'm not really a Dune fan. I've never read the novels, and the 80's film adaptation is the only film directed by David Lynch I abhor - and feel fine doing so, considering Lynch petitioned to have his name removed from it. That said, I am definitely a Denis Villeneuve fan. And this looks gorgeous, so I'm in:
Wednesday, September 9, 2020
I pulled out Firewater's classic 1998 album The Ponzi Scheme and, as usual, now find myself unable to put it away. I've posted other songs from this album here before but haven't paid tribute to others. In that interest, here's"So Long Superman," just another of my favorite songs on an album where every song is a favorite.
I finished John Ajvide Lindqvist's Handling the Undead a few days ago. Wow. Very good. Understated, powerful, and creepy as hell. Lindqvist's prose is a touch dry, but it works well as he filters between the three main groups of characters - three families - and how they react to the return of dead loved ones. Their reactions then become superimposed across a larger arena as the whole of Sweden reacts to the return of what the media dub the "Reliving," a term very much inspired by a government trying to handle a baffling and unprecedented experience. This is an undead book where the undead are, for the most part, completely unviolent, leaving the characters to deal with the psychological, emotional, and sociological ramifications of what would happen if the recently deceased returned to us.
Firewater - The Ponzi Scheme
Mastodon - Crack the Skye
Mastodon - Emperor of Sand
Perturbator - Dangerous Days
Monday, September 7, 2020
Struggling a bit to get into the recent Jaye Jayle, so I ended up going back to 2018's No Trail and Other Unholy Paths. That led me to this. Very cool to see them in action.
Watch: Finally sat down and watched Z on Shudder last night. I really liked this one. There was some great, sustained tension, and one scene in particular really affected me in a way that resonated long after.
Saturday, September 5, 2020
New music from All Them Witches on this wonderful first day of a three-day weekend. New album Nothing As The Ideal dropped yesterday, order it HERE.
Originally, I had no intention of watching the new Ridley Scott produced Raised By Wolves. After Mr. Scott decided Michael Fassbender's android character David was now the focal point of the Alien franchise - a decision that would not have bothered me had Scott not bizarrely used it as a reason to kill ALL the Engineers off camera* - the trailer for Raised By Wolves looked like he was now doubling down on his android fascination, deciding to make something new and wholly apart from Alien that only focused on those white-goo filled humanoids.
I mean, David, Bishop, Ash - the androids are all great characters, filled with weird amoral dilemmas, but they're not that cool, right? I mean, cooler than the Engineers, the god-like creators of the Xenomorph and, um, EARTH? No.
However, then I began to
think, what if Raised By Wolves does end of tying in? I've always
regretted the fact that the marketing for Prometheus gave away the
connection to Alien before the movie even opened. I mean, imagine having gone to see this new Ridley Scott Sci Fi movie in the theatre, getting to the
end, and seeing it suddenly connect as a surprise? It would have been
one of the best theatrical experiences ever! Robbed of that, what if Mr.
Scott had a new opportunity to do the same thing and took it, only this
time as a top tier HBO series?
Well, after watching the first two of the three episodes that dropped this week, I'm pretty sure Wolves will not tie in to Alien. However, it's pretty damn good. Also, it's not a Scott creation. This is the brainchild of Aaron Guzikowski, who also wrote one of my favorite films of the previous decade, the Denise Villeneuve-directed Prisoners. Keeping that in mind, after two episodes, I'm all in.
Zeal and Ardor - I Can't Breath (pre-release single)
Zeal and Ardor - Vigil (pre-release single)
The Smiths - Louder Than Bombs
Queens of the Stone Age - Era Vulgaris
Nirvana - Nevermind
Whenever I draw the Ace of Disks now, I draw a clarifying card, because somehow, this one has becomes slightly bent, which physically increases the chance that it is the card I will cut the deck at. I don't want to completely disregard it; also, my preference previous to beginning these daily pulls was always to do at least a three-card spread, however, as the meme goes, ain't nobody got time for that.
Friday, September 4, 2020
I've been meaning to post about this all week! I'm in the middle of a re-watch of the Cowboy Bebop, and on a lark - and because lately, Saturday nights after midnight I tend to go buzzed record shopping online - I looked up the constantly out of print soundtrack for Bebop and found there is a new pressing up for pre-order RIGHT BLOODY NOW!!!HERE, but if you have another source, there may be an alternative. All that really matters is I will finally own this one. The music Composer Yoko Kanno and Seat Belts did for this series is among my most favorite music in the world. I can't wait!
I have fallen in love with Mirka Andolfo's comic Mercy. Look at these covers!
Earth - Primitive and Deadly
Rezz - Mass Manipulation
Sam Ewing - The Shed OST
Windhand/Satan's Satyrs - Split
Wolves in the Throne Room - Two Hunters
Agalloch - Marrow of the Spirit
Me and That Man - New Man, New Songs, Same Shit, Vol. 1
Tennis System - Technicolor Blind
See you, Space Cowboy...
Thursday, September 3, 2020
A couple weeks ago, my good friend Jacob sent me a link to a band called Skywave's album killerrockandroll on Apple Music. It took me until late last week to get around to it, and when I did, my first reaction was apprehension. I liked Skywave quite a bit, but they sounded an awful lot much like A Place to Bury Strangers, and because of that I had mixed feelings. I mean, it even sounded like Oliver Ackermann singing. A lot. I did some quick research and learned there was a good reason the two bands sounded so much alike: Skywave was Ackermann's precursor to APTBS, disbanding around 2003.
As a sound, killerrockandroll definitely scratches the APTBS itch, which is great, because ever since Exploding Head, I've been less than impressed with most of what Strangers release, so now I have a new place to go when I wear Head out and feel like something more.
Last week was fairly unproductive, writing-wise. I had a major breakthrough early one morning on my way to work, but after that, the days just took too much out of me. I have developed some kind of chronic, insanely painful back pain that manifests as sharp, horrible spasms when I do things like, well, move. It's not constant, but walking on eggshells and the fact that this hasn't gone away in almost a month has me more than a little afraid and totally exhausted mentally. Every day last week I came home, stared longingly at the spot at the kitchen table where I write during the afternoon, and then collapsed onto the sectional instead. As is my habit on afternoons such as this, I threw on a few movies, mostly conking out before they even began. Most were utterly forgettable. One was great, one good.
First, the great one: Director George Popov's The Droving. I loved it.
This one fits into a subgenre I've kind of created in my head, "British Occult," and shares that tag with films like Colm McCarthy's Outcast, Julian Richards' Darklands, and Ben Wheatley's Kill List. The Droving follows Martin, an ex-military interrogator, home from the desert and looking for his sister, who has disappeared. I have a brief review up on my Horror Amino profile, as well as on my Letterbxd page. Needless to say, I really dug this film, and plan on going back and watching Popov's first film Hex, which stars much of the same cast as this one, and is currently included with Amazon Prime.
Next, the good one was Director Dan Bush's The Dark Red. Here's the trailer:
This one took a while to win me over. Being distributed by Dark Sky Films I should have given it the benefit of the doubt from the start, but I found it on Prime and, honestly, the movie algorithm they use has started to make their 'Recommends' list look like the ass end of the Horror Section you'd see at Hollywood video back in the early 2000s, when a ton of cheaply made crap horror flix began to fill out the shelves of the Horror section (Dark Night of the Scarecrow anyone? How about Alien vs. Hunter?). Anway, The Dark Red is pretty solid. The tone switches in the third act, and even though it's a bit jarring, that final act really turns everything that came before on its head. Which turns out to be both good for the viewer and the excitement factor in the flick, a little bad if you're really paying attention. Full disclosure, I nodded off a bit, so my issues may be mine, and I can't help wonder if I'd seen this under better circumstances, if it would have totally wowed me. One thing is for sure, the actor Bernard Setaro Clark blew me away with his supporting performance, and I'd definitely like to see more of him.
Deftones - Diamond Eyes
A Place to Bury Strangers - Exploding Head
Santogold - Eponymous
Emma Ruth Rundle and Thou - Ancestral Recall (pre-release single)
Thou - Heathen
Rezz - Mass Manipulation
(Lone) Wolf and Cub - May You See Only Sky
Lebanon Hanover - Let Them Be Alien
Skywave - Killerrockandroll
Tuesday, September 1, 2020
Well, I would have never expected to be posting a track off Jeremiah Sand's debut album Lift It Down, out October 30th on Sacred Bones Records. You can pre-order this psyche-folk insanity HERE.
I'll probably be skipping this one, however, I definitely appreciate the ridiculous level of detail that's gone into pulling this from the fictional world of Mandy into our own.
Not a lot out today. However, chomping at the bit for this one after just reading issue two a week or so ago:
Next, there's a couple new books I'm curious about (I know, I know. Wasn't I the guy saying I was done buying monthlies just a few, well, months ago? Yeah). First up, Lonely Receiver from Aftershock comics. Written by Zac Thompson, one of the two writers of Her Infernal Descent, which I loved, and art by Jen Hickman. This one sounds really interesting and taps into something I've been meaning to write a story about myself: AI life mate dolls.
"Catrin Vander, a lonely video producer, buys an Artificial Intelligence partner that's meant to bond for life. After ten years together, her holographic wife suddenly discon-nects without a warning. The breakup drives Catrin to the point of near insanity. She's alone for the first time in years and reeling from a loss she can't comprehend. Set in the new future, drenched in pastels and sunshine, LONELY RECEIVER is a horror/breakup story in five parts."
Sound good? Yeah, I think so, too.
Finally, I've always been hesitant to engage with any of the newer iterations of the John Constantine books that DC has put out over the years. Constantly starting/restarting, renaming, endless turnover on of the moment creative teams - what's all of it mean for a character as old and storied - and beloved - as John Constantine? Usually just a watering down of his legacy.
Windhand - Grief's Infernal Flower
Oh Baby - The Art of Sleeping
Jawbox - For Your Own Special Sweetheart
Opeth - Blackwater Park
Windhand - Eternal Return
Not sure anything could have made me happier than finding out that Mike Doughty has a new project named Ghost of Vroom. Doughty's solo career is great, but I've kind of always had trouble getting past the dissolution of Soul Coughing, a band I would count as one of the most influential bands of my young adult era. Being that Ghost of Vroom feels more like it's in that particular wheelhouse, I bonded with Rona Pollona pretty much immediately. Also, what a great concept for a music video!
The EP, Ghost of Vroom 2, drops on mod y vi records this month, and was produced by Mario Caldato, Jr., better known as former Beastie Boys DJ/Producer Mario C.!
You can pre-order Ghost of Vroom HERE.
Finally got to watch Frank Sabatella's The Shed. I really dug this one. It seemed like a love letter to Fright Night, without directly taking anything from it. Can't wait to see what Mr. Sabatella does next!
I just posted the trailer for this one a few days back, so instead, here's an awesome poster! The Shed is steaming on Shudder right now, go check it out!
Anioma - Necropolis
Faith No More - Angel Dust
The Clash - Combat Rock
Ghost of Vroom - Rona Pollona (pre-release single)