Monday, January 31, 2022

80s Metal Week Day #6: Scorpions - Rock You Like A Hurricane


It's getting a bit tough to make it through all seven entries of 80s Metal Week and not repeat myself, but then it occurred to me, there is no way I wasn't going to include this song and, particularly, this video, which is ridiculous. That said, this one has stayed with me since I first saw it on Empty-V back when it came out, so I wanted to do it justice.


David Lynch Executive Producer on a surreal thriller dealing with doppelgängers?


Sign me up. This also reminds me that I still haven't seen My Son, My Son, What Have You Done, the film Lynch produced for Director Werner Herzog back in 2009.


Ghost - Opus Eponymous
The Ronettes - Presenting the Fabulous Ronettes
Judas Priest - Screaming for Vengeance
Suicidal Tendencies - Lights... Camera... Revolution
Author/Punisher - Krüller (pre-release singles)
Drab Majesty - Careless
Drab Majesty - The Demonstration
Ghost - Impera (pre-release singles)
Cypress Hill - Back in Black (pre-release singles)
Cypress Hill - Eponymous
Metallica - Master of Puppets
The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion - Now I Got Worry
Anthrax - Spreading The Disease
Back Sabbath - Master of Reality
Blut Aus Nord - Hallucinogen
Soul Coughing - El Oso


Dealing with issues of stability as we move into the phase of booking all of the locations and services that will precipitate our escape from LaLaLand. Also, taxes always induce mild to threatening anxiety in me.

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

80s Metal Week Day #5: Bon Jovi - Livin' On a Prayer


This song is an absolute classic. It's not going to profoundly affect any of our lives, but damn if it isn't a near-perfect pop-rock ditty, with some outstanding production work from Bruce Fairbairn, who also brought us Aerosmith's Pump, AC/DC's Razor's Edge, and The Cranberries' To the Faithful Departed, along with a whole host of other records in his career.


After hearing nothing but good things about Netflix's new show Archive 81, K and I decided to take a breather from Cobra Kai (about a quarter of the way through the new season) and give this a try:


So far, we both really like it. Creepy, and filled with things that totally pique the analog fetishist that I locked away inside myself long ago when moving forced me to get rid of a lot of the old equipment I had. Also, and this is always a plus, Archive 81 is super creepy. Two eps in and we dig.


Another week packed with new comic book goodness:

We're getting really close to the end. The last two issues were jaw-droppers, let's see what Messrs. Remender, Craig and Loughridge have in store for us this week.

Really digging this book. It's not reinventing the wheel, but I definitely feel Block and Stark in its DNA, which in and of itself isn't unusual for a crime comic, but when you've got Zadarksy and Phillips driving, there's sure to be some intense crime drama.

All praise Saga, it hath Returned!!!! I could not be happier about this, however, I have not had a chance to really get my re-read of issues 1-54 going, so that kinda sucks. I'm not about to wait to read this until I do, however, that would have been my preference.

How could you not love a book with this cover? 

Speaking of covers, for someone who never really gave two squash about them before, I'm becoming a bit obsessed. This would probably clock in as my favorite thus far from either of the Two Moons story arcs, and even though I'm finding this one hard to read month-to-month, seeing this makes me want to allocate some time this week to re-read this second arc.

You know, when I saw that "Captain Krakoa" crap in last month's solicitation for X-Men issue 6, I rolled my eyes. Turns out I was wrong - it's not what it seems, and it's awesome!

Here's a new one I'll definitely be subscribing to through my shop - a continuation of the Netflix series, which was unjustly canceled before it could really even get going.


Odonis Odonis - Spectrums
Ministry - The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste
Lard - Pure Chewing Satisfaction
Burial - Antidawn
Burial - Untrue
Mastodon - Hushed and Grim
Public Enemy - Fear of a Black Planet
James Brown - 70s Funk Classics
Ghost - Call Me Little Sunshine (pre-release single)
Atrium Carceri - Kapnobatai
Lustmord - Dark Matter


Yeah, something is standing in my way, and it's totally me.

Monday, January 24, 2022

80s Metal Week Day #4: Night Ranger - Don't Tell Me You Love Me


Okay, hear me out on this one. Back about the time I graduated High School - 1994 - my girlfriend at the time's older sister was dating my friend Rob. They had a dingy little apartment in Palos Hills, above the iconically scummy Pizza Pub on 103rd and 88th avenue. Their neighbor was an 80s holdover with a super 80s cocaine mustache that listened to Night Ranger. Fancying ourselves as belonging to the indie rock hoi polloi, we nicknamed this poor guy "Night Ranger" and made him the butt of all our jokes. But guess what? This song fucking rocks, and as my A Most Horrible Library cohost Chris Saunders has pointed out, has one awesome guitar solo. Which was definitely important in its era. nearly 40 years later, I'm secure enough in myself to admit, I totally dig this song, too. 


I've been on a bit of a "Folk Horror" bender, in both literature and movies, and I started my weekend bender with Arthur Machen's The White People (not about January 6th, 2021), then re-read H.P. Lovecraft's The Festival, one of the best examples of Lovecraft dipping his toes into Folk Horror, and also, probably my second favorite story among his oeuvre. 

Next up, M.R. James' A Warning to the Curious, followed by his classic Oh, Whistle and I Will Come to You, Lad. I'd never read this one before, as James - just like Machen and their contemporary Algernon Blackwood - have been on my radar for the better part of twenty years. I wasn't disappointed. 

Even though I'd never read Whistle, way back circa 2011 or 2012, I was introduced to the story at the  H.P. Lovecraft film fest at San Pedro's timeless Warner Grand, where along with a host of other great Lovecraft/Weird Fiction films, they played the BBC's 1968 adaptation of the story, directed by Jonathan Miller and starring - in a rather iconic role - Michael Hordern as Professor Parkins. This one has stayed with me for ten years or so now, crystal clear in my memory compared to a lot of other movies I watch, and it was quite satisfying to finally read the source material. 

Amazingly enough, the entire thing is on youtube. Here you go:


Totally worth your time, Miller's adaptation kind of feels like an extra spooky episode of The Twilight Zone. Now that I've read the story and found this online, my plan is to rewatch it within the next few days.

Finally, I'm working my way through Blackwood's The Willows, which is probably the longest of these stories I've read so far, and isn't really impressing me all that much. Yet. I'm hoping this is just a case of my falling out of sync with the concentration required to shift my mental palate to a place where I can read and enjoy fiction written in slightly outdated vernacular. Just based on this small sampling thus far, I'd have to say James stands out as my favorite of the three. I plan on continuing on, however, even if Phillip Pullman's final book in the original His Dark Materials trilogy is still at 83% on my kindle. I'm not usually one to be so capricious about my reading, but at the moment, I have to go where my passion takes me. 

I'd like to add, if you're at all interested in reading James' work, I've found A Podcast to the Curious to be a wonderful supplemental source for exploring and contextualizing his work.


Boy Harsher - The Runner OST
Zetra - From Without EP
Talking Heads - Fear of Music 
Author & Punisher - Drone Carrying Dread (pre-release single)
Author & Punisher - Maiden Star (pre-release single)
Author & Punisher - Beastland
Author & Punisher - Women & Children
Drab Majesty - Careless
Zombi - 2020
Zombi - Shape Shift
Zombi - Digitalis


While I've never really been a fan of this card as a Pull, seeing it now makes me think there's a bit of tumult occurring in my creative side. That feels right - I've recently finished editing my friend Jen's first novel, and now I have to get myself back into my own groove. I may need to take a different tack than I'm used to if I want to jumpstart myself back onto the road to where I was.

Thursday, January 20, 2022

80s Metal Week Day #3: Skid Row - Sweet Little Sister


I've written about Skid Row before, both here and back on Joup, and while I've pretty much always defended their sophomore record Slave to the Grind for being released the same summer as Metallica's Black Album and being heavier, my absolute love of their self-titled debut definitely disappeared for about a decade and some change after I deemed it too "hair rock" to partake in. 

Fuck that.

There's no denying some 80s Metal cringe here, and how that "dangerous kids on the street" zeitgeist that all these bands tapped into and sold hard in the 80s reached its absolute zenith on this record. But looking back- that's a great thing. This isn't slaughter or winger - this is a more real version of the act, if such a thing is possible. Maybe it was Bach's track record over the last few decades - certainly his appearance on Trailer Park Boys made me believe he was still exactly what he claimed to be on this first album. An album that's so perfect, even its ballad holds up. Throw in the iconic single 18 and Life, and you get the perfect soundtrack to suburban, middle-class high school punk kids (not Punk kids) in all their cheap whiskey swillin', stolen cigarette smokin', guitar center hangin' metal-dude voguing, and no one sings it better than Bach.


This. Now. Please:


Aw hell, they took my favorite Turtle and mixed him with equal parts my favorite Universal Monster? Just take my got-damned money, NECA. 


Look at those lightning bolt sais!


Slayer - Reign in Blood
Alio Die and Lorenzo Montaná - The Threshold of Beauty
DeadMau5 - Catbread (single)
Van Halen - 1984


Looking at the bigger gameboard. Seeing beyond the smaller machinations, and really attempting to construct a bigger picture. Too much Mr. Miyagi of late, or am I crystalizing my vision for 2022? Only time will tell.

80s Metal Week Day #2: Ratt - Round and Round


This song has been creeping back into my good graces for a few months now, and finally, I'm ready to scream it from the mountains - well, not that dramatic, but still, Ratt's "Round and Round" is a nearly perfect little piece of 80s pop hair metal. It fuses that "dangerous kids on the streets" vibe that no other music captures as well as 80s Hair metal (aka Butt rock, as my friend Two would say). This song really brings back memories of being a punk kid, stealing Cutty Sark or Seagrams VO from our parents and wandering the streets of Chicago's south suburbs, smoking marlboro lights and rebelling against our perfect little 80s suburban lives because... well, because we were fucking kids! And yeah, that's why rallying behind a tune like this has been a difficult place to go for the three decades since - it's embarrassing to think of yourself being so... cringe. But it was part of our generation, and I'm finally ready to own it. 


We needed a palate cleanser after the insanity of the Yellowjackets season finale, and we found it in Cobra Kai

I'd been reticent to watch this, but after rewatching Karate Kid one and two for the first time since they were in theatres I found I really dug them. Nostalgia, of course, but also, they're good Hollywood flicks. My first bout with part three was a mixed bag - some fantastic stuff, and some terrible stuff. But once we started Cobra Kai, well, it's been three nights as I write this, and we're about a quarter of the way through the third season. The show is constructed in these perfectly balanced, bite-sized episodes that really accentuate the writing - which, while very tv - is also extremely well done. 

I feel about Cobra Kai in a very similar way that I feel about IDW's TMNT. Whereas I've been saying for the last nine years that the latter is the best reboot of a preexisting property I've ever seen, Cobra Kai is the best continuation of a pre-existing property I've ever seen. 


Judas Priest - Screaming for Vengeance
Author and Punisher - Drone Carrying Dread (pre-release single)
Author and Punisher - Maiden Star (pre-release single)
Allegaeon - Apoptosis
Allegaeon - Into Embers (pre-release single)
KMFDM - Money
Dream Division - Beyond the Mirror's Image
Ghost - Little Sunshine (pre-release single)

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

New Ghost Single - Album out March 11th!!!

First single from the forthcoming album Impera. Man, it's been a minute... glad to have Papa and crew back. You can pre-order Impera HERE, but a word of caution - be careful. Their prices seem incredibly cheap this time around - I've always felt Ghost's merch was crazy expensive - but they really hammer you with add-ons while you're checking out. I fell for it (happily), but be warned.

80s Rock Metal Week Day #1: Ozzy Osbourne - Fool Like You

If you're a regular reader of this page, you'll know that a couple years ago I began sifting through a lot of the 80s rock that I'd either ignored or abandoned after adolescence. I called the project "Recontextualizing the 80s" and meant it very much in earnest. I was a kid in the 80s but became a young adult in the 90s, and as many of us know, part of that process is breaking from the things you liked as a child. Right, because at 16, 17, 18 or even into your 20s, you're such an adult. More like, fake it 'til you make it. 

One thing I've learned as I entered and defeated my thirties is there's really no such thing as 'adults' as they are advertised to children. The only difference between a kid and an adult is if you accept responsibility for your own actions and everything that follows through from that. Of course, I might just be saying that because I'm a nearly 46-year-old dude who still buys transformers and geeks out over Marvel Comics, but you know, I think I'm right. As a bartender, I saw a lot of adults who acted way more like children and thus was born my theory.

But I'm trailing off on a tide of tangents.

Anyway, the 90s served as the crystallization and final stand of the indie rock scenes that began in the 80s, and with their coalescing into the larger arena of pop culture, a complete refusal to acknowledge any music containing artifice. This was great at the time, but if you're even the littlest bit self-aware, you eventually realize that not every band or musician has to have a straight-lipped, white-knuckle chokehold on "TOTAL INTEGRITY OR DIE". Sometimes it's good just to have fun, and yeah, all the cocaine and mascara of the 80s metal scene pretty much tells you at a glance that's all a lot of those bands cared about. Sometimes that sucks, and sometimes it's okay and carries with it a certain kind of integrity in itself. So for the next seven entries of this blog, I'm going to post tracks that I've either rediscovered a fondness for, finally admitted a fondness for, or have discovered a fondness for.

Get ready, and please, don't throw any Pavement keychains at me. That shit hurts and I never really got into them in the first place. 

We start with a song and an album by the 80s Prince of Darkness himself that I used to never like, even back when I liked Ozzy. With the exception of "A Shot in the Dark" - which I believe I've posted in these pages on several previous occasions - I never took a liking to The Ultimate Sin. A couple years ago, however, I decided to give it another shot and guess what? I totally dig every damn track on this record. 


Now, as if to fly in the face of everything in the previous section, I spent part of last weekend doing a mini Danny Boyle marathon. First up, my first (finally) viewing of The Beach.

I'm a big fan of Alex Garland's novel, and although Boyle's adaptation changed quite a bit from the book, I still dug it, especially the always delightful Robert Carlyle as Daffy.

Next, the original Trainspotting, which I've lost track of my number of viewings for and still adore. 

Last and perhaps most bafflingly, I had my first-ever viewing of T2 Trainspotting, the sequel.

I really should have seen this one a long time ago, but never got around to it, always kind of bummed I missed its microscopic theatrical run. I suppose some of the blame lay with the fact that, since I've forced myself to stay away from reading Welsh's last few novels - despite the fact that I still count him in my top three authors of all time - I also moved away from all the other areas of his work. I'm pretty sure at the beginning of every year I tell myself and my readers that this is the year I return to reading Welsh, and finally acquire and burn through all those novels I've missed since I read Skag Boys, but the truth is, while I'm still working on writing a genre series, the idea of drifting back into Welsh's prose may alter my own voice in a way that makes these next two books even more impossible than they already sometimes feel. 


T2 bears pretty much no resemblance to Welsh's Porno - which wasn't so much a sequel to Trainspotting as it was a sequel to both that and my favorite of his novel, Glue. But Boyle had no time to introduce that other book's key players - Juice Terry, NSIGN Ewart, wee Gally, or Billy Birrell, and as such, opted to make this more of a sequel to his previous film. Which was the smart move, even if it forced this film to hinge around the confrontation between Renton and Begbie, which does not disappoint, even if the rest of the flick - as enjoyable as it is, especially visually - feels a might rudderless at times. 

Regardless of any of that, I still really enjoyed this one and will definitely revisit again, especially after I finally do get back on the Welsh Horse (pun intended but not to be read in any capacity other than reading the man's literature).


Marvel is basically stealing my wallet this week:

I've had no interest in the current Death of Doctor Strange storyline until this Black Knight tie-in one-shot. That's because it's Si Spurrier picking up directly from last year's Black Knight: Curse of the Ebony Blade mini-series.

I'd imagine the cover to this one intimates a big reveal. Hell, I hadn't even stopped drooling over the art in this book or the total 70s-Marvel-inspired storyline long enough to wonder who was under the Masked Raider's mask. They have me curious now, though, but just to be clear - and because I almost never say this - I'm here first and foremost for the art. All revelations are just icing on the cake.

So Bruce Banner is essentially exploring the multiverse with the Hulk as a rocket ship? Yeah, it sounds daft, but again, it comes out with a distinctly 70s flavor in Donny Cates and Ryan "Invincible" Ottley's hands, and after picking up the first two issues on a whim, I'm digging Hulk quite a bit.

Let's interrupt the Marvel fanfare with the final issue of Maw, which so far, has been one of the best original concept Horror Minis I've read in years, ranking right up there with Autumnal, Black Stars Above, and The Plot. Great company to keep, and creators Jude Ellison S. Doyle and A.L. Kaplan have totally earned it.

Mr. Brown clued me in to the fact that the Moon Knight trailer dropped a few days ago, and after watching it, I'm pretty excited. The final shot of the costume looks a bit goofy, in the way Daredevil's did when they first introduced it at the end of the first season of the Netflix show from a few years back, but based on how much this one appears to lean into the mental illness aspects of Marc Spector, I'm more than happy to give it a chance. 

Speaking of the show's apparent handling of Dissociative Identity Disorder, how many SJWs do you think are going to take to the Twittersphere to cry afoul? Let's hope that doesn't affect anything the show has planned.

I can't wait to sit down and re-read Lemire and Sorrentino's Cold War Psychic Animal WTF series in a tight burst. There's a lot I feel slipping through the cracks month-to-month here, and I'd imagine the big picture these cats are painting will be that much more effective when consumed uninterrupted.

This is where, if you've been paying attention for the last 9 months or so, I say, "I'm just picking up the number one," and then go on to read this new She-Hulk series monthly. Well, maybe that will be the case. I'm not sure I've ever read a comic with She-Hulk in it before. I mean, it seems like, with the number of comics I've read in my life, I would have had to have read something featuring Jen Walters, but if I did, I don't remember it. Still, I've always been aware of the character, and never particularly interested. Or, maybe the advance hype behind writer Rainbow Rowell and Rogê Antônio's new series will surprise me.

Everything about this cover for the new Silver Surfer: Rebirth commands me to buy this book. 

I probably will not buy both covers for The Silver Coin #8 - I'll probably go with the Michael Walsh cover below because, hey, body parts in a bloody mop bucket, am I right? Still, the above alt cover by What's The Furthest Place From Here rock god Tyler Boss is pretty f'ing cool, too. 

Number 125. Another landmark in the best reboot EVER. 

And finally, here's one I really don't want to buy, but might:

It surprises me to no end that in falling back in love with the X-Men, years of oversaturation have left Logan off my radar and in the "Mutants I least want to see in a comic" list. So why even consider this? Fan inertia I suppose, and the hopes that Benjamin Percy might do something that restores my love of the ol' Canucklehead. 


PJ Harvey - To Bring You My Love
David Bowie - Station to Station
David Bowie - Let's Dance
Ike and Tina Turner - River Deep - Mountain High
Ministry - Moral Hygiene
Beach House - Once Twice Melody
Alio Die and Lorenzo Montaná - The Threshold of Beauty
Jim Jarmusch and Jozef Van Wissem - The Mystery of Heaven
Eddie Money - Take Me Home Tonight (single)
The Ronettes - Presenting the Ronettes
Pat Benatar - In the Heat of the Night
Donny McCaslin - Beyond Now
The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion - Now I Got Worry
Alio Die and Remco Helbers - The Garland of Dissolution
Author & Punisher - Drone Carrying Dread
Kowloon Walled City - Grievances


When there is balance, there is harmony.

Friday, January 14, 2022

RIP Ronnie Spector


Seriously one of the most iconic voices of all time. So iconic, she makes me love an Eddie Money song.


The sting of the anniversary of David Bowie's death and now Ronnie Spector's passing was traversed by some really good news (thankfully, that's too many bummers to deal with in one week) - Ti West is returning with a new movie!!!


I am SO happy about this. West has directed a number of TV episodes (his two on Amazon's Them were incredible), but hasn't done a film since 2016's In A Valley of Violence (which is on Netflix and SO worth your time). West is easily one of the best directors working today, in my opinion, and I'm hoping having A24 distribute this new flick will A) put it in theatres for longer than a weekend, and B) herald his return to filmmaking.


Not New Comic Book Day, exactly, but here's what I've picked up over the last few weeks via eBay and back issue bins:

I'd read the first issue of Hunger back when it first came out, then never continued. I've always wanted to go back and read the entire thing, though, because I'm something of a Galactus fan, even though I haven't really read many stories with him. Maybe that's the Unicron fanboy in me, I don't know. There's a lot about the Fantastic Four's history and rogues gallery that I retain something of an armchair interest in, but never really do anything about. I'm glad I bought this, even if just for the image of Galactus tearing through a hole in the fabric of the 616 Universe and entering the Ultimate Universe

Next up, I started reading The Low Low Woods when it first dropped back in early 2020, but never acquired all the issues. I finally solved that. Here's the bad ass cover I just scored for the fifth issue:

I'd put a poster of that on my wall. It's gorgeous. The book itself has an amazing premise - girls go missing in a small rural town where coal fires have burned for decades, then return missing time. The execution leaves a little bit to be desired, but overall I dig it. And for whatever reason, I wanted the issues of this one instead of the collected edition.

And I finally replaced the original Dark Horse Aliens Vs Predator that went missing at some point over the last few years. No idea where these went, and even though my Horror Vision cohost gifted me a beautiful hardback collection of this one, I had to put my hands back on the original floppies I bought as they came out monthly (or maybe bi-monthly) back in 1990.


John Coltrane - Blue Train
The Outfield - Play Deep
Alio Die and Lorenzo Montaná - The Threshold of Beauty
Felicia Atkinson and Jefre Cantu-Ledesma - Un Hiver En Plein Été
Jefre Cantu-Ledesma - In Summer EP
Crumb - Ice Melt
Zombi - Liquid Crystal
The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion - Now I Got Worry
Genghis Tron - Dream Weapon
The Ronettes - Presenting the Fabulous Ronettes


Definite stagnation in creative areas at the moment, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel...

Wednesday, January 12, 2022



My friend and Horror Vision cohost Tori recently sent this track my way, and of course, once you hit play and hear the bassline that starts and runs through the song, you'll get why I immediately went back and looked up several records by Great Falls. This particular track can be found on the Split Single the band put out with Thou. Makes sense, right? Tough as nails, this. Love when those guitars come in just past the one-minute mark.

Here's a link to the Great Falls Bandcamp, where you can find more of their music. Also, here's a link to the label that put that split out, Hell Comes Home Records. Some great stuff on there, including the album Trust Fall by Xnoybis, which I stumbled upon while writing this and really quite liked. 


The new episode of The Horror Vision went up (a day late - thanks Wordpress, you fuck), and it's a full-on, ALL SPOILERS discussion about the first nine episodes of Yellowjackets, just in time to prepare us all for this week's season finale. 

I haven't had this much fun with a show since Twin Peaks. No shit. 


Another NCBD! It's fairly light again, and my addiction has grown, so I might do what I've done the last two weeks and order some stuff online to accompany these. I'll post my recent eBay acquisitions on another day, for now, here's what I'll be bringing home from the shop tomorrow:

This one's been a fun ride so far. I'm really starting to love anything that has Reed Richards as a villain, 'cuz, you know, that's pretty much where he's been headed all along if you really think about it.

I haven't read the Joe Hill novella this series is adapting, but it's in Strange Weather, a collection of five novellas. I've read the first three over the last few months, and really dug them, so I'll pick this up and hold off until I get around to reading the story first. 

Jeff Lemire's Mazebook comes to a close and it looks as though we're getting our minotaur. This book has been super cool - you can see how personal it is to the author, which makes it feel weighty, but shot-through with a mystery that has really been something to watch unfold through Lemire's art. 

I am straight-up LOVING this newest series by Michael Rosenberg and Tyler Boss. What's the Furthest Place From Here? has become one of my most anticipated books each month. 


PJ Harvey - To Bring You My Love
The Smashing Pumpkins - Siamese Dream
Ministry - Moral Hygiene
David Bowie - Let's Dance
David Bowie - Station to Station
Ghost of Vroom - Ghost of Vroom 1
Great Falls/Thou - Split (single)
Xnoybis - Trust Fall 


A change in seasons or cycles. This is a HUGE point for me at the moment, as I have to migrate my entire podcasting setup from one service to another. It's nerve-wracking, but not nearly as much as every interaction I've had for every episode I've done through Wordpress for the last year. I should have changed this paradigm - this world - a long time ago. 

Monday, January 10, 2022

David Bowie

6 fucking years. Wow.

I'll never forget it. I had just staged an intervention with my eventually-to-be ex-wife. Her parents flew out from the Midwest and the three of them were staying with me, in what used to be our home (and thankfully was now just mine). Her stuff was stacked all over my living room, and I'd graciously given up my bed so everyone else could have a good night's sleep after their long ordeal and drive out of the high desert. In other words, my life appeared to be in a shambles, but in reality, the shambles was well and truly behind me. She was probably at her lowest point, but I was on an upswing. I'd had a fabulous weekend. I had prospects for a social life. I had friends. I sat on the chaise lounge watching Chef starring John Favreau with my outgoing father-in-law (nice guy), trading texts and emails with prospective new love interests, friends, laughing and drinking beer well into the night, even though I had to be up at 4:30 AM for work.

Cut to when my first alarm went off. I was sleeping on the couch, my phone was beside me on the floor. I snatched it up as soon as I heard that tell-tale wake-up chime and silenced it. This would have been before I switched to an iPhone, so I was in Android country. Not sure how that factors, other than it's a detail I remember, so it fills the scene in. A moment later the phone buzzed again - too soon to have out-distanced my snooze - and when I picked it up, I saw a text from my friend Tori. It said, simply:

Dude. David Bowie died. 

I felt at that moment that all the progress I'd made, everything, was for naught. David Bowie taught me how to age - how to grow older with grace. How to navigate life's unending menagerie of madness with tact. I'd just exhibited this lesson in the two-and-a-half years it took my marriage to end, to get to the point where I was, about to send my ex and her family off into the negative zone outside my own peripheral existence. And now, my teacher was dead.


Six years later, we return to the same stage - it's Sunday night while I'm typing this, the long-delayed love of my life curled up on the sofa by my side, Black Star playing on the stereo. I lost three cats, gained one, started a bunch of podcasts, ended one big one, gained friends, lost some, turned my back on others. Life continues to throw its curve balls at my head, and I duck and pop back up and smile.

Just like David Bowie taught me.



Godspeed You! Black Emperor - F# A# ∞
Huey Lewis and the News - Sports
Tennis System - Technicolor Blind
Tennis System - Lovesick
Tennis System  - Bitter (Single)
PJ Harvey - To Bring You My Love
Talking Heads - Fear of Music
Depeche Mode - A Question of Lust EP
Boy Harsher - Careful
Beach House - Thank Your Lucky Stars
Ministry - Moral Hygiene
Fleetwood Mac - Tusk
Beach House - Once Twice Melody (Disc 1)
Felicia Atkinson & Jefre Cantu-Ledesma - Un Hiver En Plein Été
Fleet Foxes - A Very Lonely Solstice
Chet Baker - Baker's Holiday
The Yellow House - Refurbished
David Bowie - Black Star



Saturday, January 8, 2022

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Sunshine the Werewolf


Man, I miss this band.


I'm not normally a huge fan of Chris Bachalo's art, but this cover is creepy AF. I've been a little disappointed in this Darkhold series, mainly because it wasn't a series at all, but an Alpha Book - which I dug - followed by a series of one-shot character books, i.e. The Darkhold: Spider-Man, The Darkhold: Iron Man, etcetera, none of which I was ever going to read. That means tomorrow I'm returning to the tale for the Omega issue, not really expecting much. I really thought there would be more Doom in this one. I guess I'll have to try another book dropping this week to get the Doom fix I was hoping for when I picked up the Alpha issue two months ago. That book?

I'm not following the Wastelanders books, but again, I've been in the mood for some Dr. Doom, so hopefully this will satisfy the craving. 


Here I was thinking that there were going to be five issues of this series, and instead, Hickman brings his run on X-Men to a close this week with Inferno #4. I was late to this and I'm bummed it's ending, so I can only imagine how people who have been reading the entire time feel. I guess the big question is, will I stay on after. Well, the newest X-Men book - I feature issue 6 farther down on this list - is a keeper for the time being, but what about anything else? I mean, I'm not currently reading any of the other titles, and several are ending, but there's been solicitations for at least two books slated to launch over the next few weeks. X-Men: Red is one I'll definitely give a chance to, simply because it's being billed as a sequel to the recently ended S.W.O.R.D. book, which I read and loved. But I'm on the fence with Immortal X-Men, which although is said to focus on all the agendas in the mutant ruling body known as The Quiet Council, features Kieron Gillen as writer. I loved what I read of Gillen's The Wicked and the Divine, but ultimately it didn't hold me. Also, his recent take on The Eternals was definitely NOT for me, and his plans for the X-Men kinda sound similar.

We'll see. The trap I'm trying to avoid here is what I have long referred to as "fan inertia," where you dig a book so much, you keep reading it even after the writer who made you love it leaves. 

Often, not a good idea at all. 

Another badass cover. This second arc of Two Moons has really been throwing curveballs, can't wait to see where the story goes next.

I really have no idea what to expect from this book anymore, so I'm happy to just go with the flow. 


The latest issue of A Most Horrible Library went up on all podcast platforms yesterday. In it, Chris Saunders and I discuss, among other things, Jeff Lemire and Doug Mahnke's Swamp Thing: Green Hell, which I absolutely LOVED. 

Good to see a return to all-out Horror for a Swamp Thing tale.


The Dillinger Escape Plan - Disassociation
The Dillinger Escape Plan - One of Us is the Killer
Type O Negative - World Coming Down


Two days in a row. Hmm...

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Happy 60th Birthday, Peter Steele


To celebarate, the official Type O Negative youtube channel dropped this earlier today. Super cool Man do I miss Peter Steele.

Crossing Licorice


I've never really been able to keep track of this Chino Moreno side project, but I guess that's because it kind of gets lost amidst Deftones, Palms, Team Sleep and probably at least one other project I'm blanking on. Good thing I'm subscribed to their youtube feed - this popped up and I LOVE it. Not sure if there's a forthcoming album, but hopefully there will be something substantial because I think another reason I drop the ball on these guys is the only other 'full length' is a comp of singles - I think. 


I watched a bunch of flicks over the holiday, but the two I'd like to briefly discuss now are the new Paul Thomas Anderson film Licorice Pizza and Park Chan-Wook's seminal revenge classic Old Boy.


Licorice Pizza is another beautiful film by PTA, and being as it serves as Cooper Hoffman's first film, the introduction of someone I think we'll be seeing a lot more of in the coming years. There's a lot of talk that this film is racist because of a certain pair of scenes featuring an obnoxious restauranteur who speaks to his Japanese wives in a culturally insensitive manner. Calling this film racist because of that is like calling Schindler's List a pro-Nazi film - complete snowflake lunacy. Both scenes are funny, that's the point, but there's no one slighted here, so sorry. They are ridiculous, funny, and ultimately not going to hurt anyone's feelings that aren't looking to have their feelings hurt. Saying this is offensive would be like me saying I find State of Grace's portrayal of the Irish stereotypical and offensive. The point is, the character is based on an actual person, and the character is a dildo. Did I laugh? Yes. Do I feel bad? No. We're going to need tougher hides to get through the coming years, folks. I think we all know racism when we see it - this isn't that.

Aside from that, all the hype around Bradley Cooper's portrayal of Jon Peters is well-deserved. This is also comical, and perhaps some will see it as a slight against the hyper-masculine? There's an under-represented group amidst the SJWs, so if you're looking to cause a ruckus, have at.

Also, SO great to see Tom Waits again, in any capacity. His recent years of radio silence in all mediums had me concerned, but he's just as spry as he always has been in terms of performance, and with Sean Penn in his scene, the two are a sheer pleasure to watch.

Next, it'd been well over a decade since the last time I watched Old Boy. Long enough, in fact, for its effect to have waned in my memory. Well, this re-watch brought the film back up to the prestige it held with me upon my first viewing; this is an EPIC! The camera work is fantastic and the fight choreography is stunning. I'm pretty much betting the 'hammer' fight scene was the inspiration behind the now legendary "Hallway" fight scene in the first episode of Netflix's Daredevil show, and probably a hundred other fight scenes I'm unaware of or simply unable to conjure at the moment.


Miami Horror - Illumination
Thelonious Monk with John Coltrane - Eponymous
Great Falls - The Fever Shed
Old Time Relijun - Musicking
Nun Gun - Mondo Decay
Algiers - Eponymous
Algiers - The Underside of Power
Genghis Tron - Dream Weapon
Huey Lewis and the News - Sports
David Bowie - Hunky Dory
The Police - Synchronicity
The Afghan Whigs - 1965
Fleet Foxes - A Very Lonely Solstice
Godspeed You! Black Emperor - F# A# ∞
Blut Aus Nord - Hallucinogen
Blut Aus Nord - 777 Cosmosophy
Blut Aus Nord - 777 Sect(s)
Burzum - Filosofem


I have finally struck a balance between two disparate projects, and I believe this is a nod to my continued success in this regard.