Monday, February 28, 2022

Screaming Trees - Dollar Bill


Regardless of the fact that Lanegan himself was pretty vocal about a certain degree of embarrassment at some of the music he made as a part of Screaming Trees, I'll always love certain songs by the band. It's the project with Lanegan I care the least about, but they definitely have their moments. "Nearly Lost You" is a perfect rock single, and my original plan was to post that. However, the day he died I was at work, and at some point, a couple hours after hearing the news I walked out of the office and heard "Dollar Bill" on the 88.9 KXLU. I haven't heard this song since 2009, and it really just smacked me upside the head.   


Sunday was a full-on relaxing, restorative day. I needed it. I slept in, dozed often, read quite a bit, and managed to watch several movies. First up, 1944's House of Frankenstein:


I'm pretty sure I had never heard of this one before, and boy did it deliver on the Universal Monster goodness. Such an awesome set-up. From the Wikipedia entry for the movie:

 "After escaping from prison, the evil Dr. Niemann (Boris Karloff) and his hunchbacked assistant, Daniel (J. Carrol Naish), plot their revenge against those who imprisoned them. For this, they recruit the powerful Wolf Man (Lon Chaney), Frankenstein's monster (Glenn Strange) and even Dracula himself (John Carradine). Niemann pursues those who wrong him, sending each monster out to do his dirty work. But his control on the monsters is weak at best and may prove to be his downfall." 

In particular, the scene where Karloff's Dr. Niemann revives Dracula is fantastic, as is the way their relationship progresses and finally ends. Saying anything more would be giving away a nice little surprise, of which, this movie has several. Also, really cool to see Karloff in a movie with the Frankenstein monster where he doesn't play the titular being. 

Next, 1939's Son of Frankenstein


Pretty standard, but cool to see Basil Rathbone in a flick with these Horror Icons.

Both of these were leaving Shudder, and after starting House of Frankenstein out of curiosity a few days ago, but ultimately falling asleep for most of it, my early childhood love of Frank came back with a vengeance. I enjoyed both of these quite a bit, but preferred House because of its truly unique set-up.


So I decided I'm going to re-read all of H.P. Lovecraft's work. I started reading Lovecraft in High School - maybe Junior year. I've been reading him ever since but with my exposure to his work being subdivided between various Dell Paperbacks, I never had a "Complete Works" set until fairly recently. Because of that, I'm not entirely certain which of his works I missed (see my post about Charles Dexter Ward from last week).

So far, here's what I've read:
    • The Festival
    • The Case of Charles Dexter Ward
    • The Statement of Randolph Carter
    • The Strange House High in the Mist
    • The Terrible Old Man
    • Azathoth
    • Beyond the Wall of Sleep
    • Facts Concerning the Late Arthur Jermyn & His Family

Of particularly great pleasure was reading The Strange House High in the Mist. It'd been a loooong time, and this is one of those stories I realize now that defines what I love about HPL.


Walking Papers - The Light Below
Federale - No Justice
QOTSA - Lullabies to Paralyze
The Cure - Carnage Visors
Christopher Young and Lustmord - the Empty Man OST
Myrkur - Folkesange


I don't collect Tarot decks. I've had my full-size Thoth since around 2003. My only other decks are the "pocket" Thoth Missi gave me a few years back, and her own Raven Tarot (Major Arcana only) which she made for me two years ago. However, as I performed my pull this evening I was thinking about the fact that my friend Jonathan Grimm is beginning to take pre-orders for his "Bound Tarot" deck and there's no way I'm not buying this. Pulling The Hierophant only serves to reinforce my thinking that this will now be a third deck I actually use for daily readings.

There's not an actual link to pre-order the Bound deck yet, but I'll definitely be posting that here when it's up. In the meantime, you can peruse the designs over on Grimm's Etsy HERE.

Sunday, February 27, 2022

The Twilight Singers - Live with Me/Where Did You Sleep Last Night


A wonder live rendition of the opening track from the Twilight Singers' 2006 EP A Stitch in Time, which as a bonus, flawlessly morphs into a cover of Lead Belly's "Where Did You Sleep Last Night." 

I got chills at the end when Dulli yells, "Mark Lanegan ladies and gentlemen!"

It's been quite some time since I doubled down on any Twilight Singers. This EP and the corresponding album Powder Burns also released in 2006, along with Lanegan's 2004 Bubblegum were intricate daily rituals for much of my life during the mid-to-late 00s. They're also slightly synonymous with drugs - no surprise there. To me, these records so perfectly capture the fabric of my mental life at that time, it brings back a huge rush of thoughts, feelings and ideas that are otherwise haphazardly placed in a closet at the back of my psyche. It's good to take that stuff out and brush it off every once in a while.


I'd been trying to read the works of T.E.D. Klein for the better part of a decade, but until very recently, everything was out of print. I eventually found the story "The Events at Poroth Farm" in a Kindle-only "Megapack" of the Cthulhu Mythos. The story has fuck all to do with Lovecraft, but hell, forty stories for $0.99, I'll take it.

This is the kind of thing that flits in and out of my radar, so months go by where I get busy obsessing over other things, then something puts the enigmatic Klein back in my thoughts and I look around on Kindle and eBay again. The holy grail of his work would appear to be the 1985 novel Dark Gods, which goes for upwards of $40 for a Mass Market Paperback on eBay. It's only a matter of time until someone puts Klein's stuff back in print...

And now that is exactly what is happening. Two recent purchases I've made:

This first volume is a novel. A reprint of Klein's 1984 novel The Ceremonies, also long out of print. I snatched up a paperback copy of this the second I saw it hit Amazon, however, I will say, the binding looks like it will split and fall apart before I'm finished reading this one. Maybe I'm wrong, but when you have a 400+ pages book and its binding is barely an eight of an inch thick, well, that's usually a pretty crappy edition. 

And here's one from Pickman's Press I just saw this morning on Kindle. I grabbed the digital right away for this collection of short stories, poems and an interview. "Poroth Farm" is included here, which is nice, as are what looks like an essay on Arthur Machen's "The House of Souls", a story I recently short-listed when I picked up a Complete Works volume of Machen's work. So far, I'm three stories in, and can already tell you, "Well-Connected" is already worth the $5.99 I paid for this one. Fantastic story.


Mark Lanegan Band - Bubblegum
Mark Lanegan Band - Blues Funeral
Post Stardom Depression - Prime Time Looks A Lot Like Amateur Night
QOTSA - Lullabies to Paralyze


Looking for answers, but something remains obscured.

Saturday, February 26, 2022

Mark Lanegan and Isobel Campbell - The Raven


I originally posted a track from this Lanegan/Isobel Campbell collaboration album back when it was released in 2010. That's over a decade ago. Trite "Time Flies" sentiments aside, I'm beginning to feel like we're lucky any of us are still here with the way the world has changed since then. Anyway, I love "The Raven" because it's just so damn cinematic. Also, there's a definite air of homage to Nick Cave here. That track from 2010 - "Who Built the Road" has more than a passing similarity to Cave's duet witih Kylie Minogue, "Where the While Roses Grow." Gentle bell chimes, hushed, breathy vocals, and an overall somber and reflective atmosphere to the album as a whole make this a late-night, dim-light album, and the juxtaposition of Isobel Campbell's voice with Lanegan's is just beautiful, especially when the strings swell beneath them.

You can still grab the complete record on digital over its Bandcamp page HERE.  The entire thing is fantastic, with styles ranging from this quasi Italian Western cinema to sultry Motown-esque soul, to quiet, contemplative ballads that meander through your mind and emotions like a slow-moving snake. SO good.

Also, file this in "Made my Day" -  how about this cover by Two Minutes To Late Night's Gwarsenio Hall? 

Super cool. 


This one looks like it's going to be one helluva fun ride:

I love the Cheap Thrills-meets-You're Next vibes here.


Greg Puciato - Child Soldier: Creator of God
Greg Puciato - Lowered (pre-release)
Allegaeon - DAMNUM
Curtis Harding - If Words Were Flowers
Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan - Sunday at Devil Dirt
The Twilight Singers - A Stitch in Time EP
Warren G - Regulators (single)
Windhand - Grief's Infernal Flower
Silent - Modern Hate


I've been jumping back and forth between my two decks - The Raven and Thoth - in an effort to see if any of my recent pulls line up. So far, not really, but they definitely tell an over-arching story:

Change - don't struggle against it. I can't help but wonder if this is intentionally a dovetail with what I see as the beginning of a very tumultuous five years for the world as we know it.

Friday, February 25, 2022

Mark Lanegan Covers Alice in Chains


Alice in Chains' "Nutshell" has always been a devasting song to me anyway, but hearing Lanegan sing it a few days after learning of his passing, well... damn. That's about all I can say.  

Thanks to Mr. Brown for sending this one my way.


New Greg Puciato record in June, and the lead single is f*&king fantastic!


I've become quite a fan of Reba Meyers over the last two years, and even though I didn't dig that new Code Orange single that dropped a few months back, I dearly want her making music in my life. Her presence her only makes this an even better song than it already is. Mirrorcell is out June 22nd on Puciato's own Federal Prisoner label, and you can pre-order it HERE.


Serial killer stories are not my bag, however, THIS is fascinating:


K and I mainlined Netflix's The Sons of Sam over the last two nights and I have to say, I nearly fell down a rabbit hole. Here's a case that sits at the very heart of the "Satanic Panic" era of our country's history. Watching this put me on a precipice of re-reading Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips' Fatale, which definitely dovetails with that dark, post-60s vibe I find so fascinating.


Zombi - Digitalis
The Jesus Lizard - Liar
The Dillinger Escape Plan - Ire Works
The Dillinger Escape Plan - Miss Machine
sElf - What a Fool Believes (single)
Firewater - The Ponzi Scheme
The Twilight Singers - A Stitch in Time EP
Greg Puciato - Lowered (pre-release single)


How perfect is this, what with all the Satanic Panic stuff I've ingested over the previous few days:

Take your influences where you find them, it's not wrong to follow your intuition.

Thursday, February 24, 2022

Gutter Twins - Idle Hands


The Gutter Twins - Mark Lanegan and Greg Dulli - performing "Idle Hands" on David Letterman. Easily my favorite song by the Twins, not because their other material is lacking, but because Lanegan channels a fucking demon with the low end on his voice in this one. The album version is sonically preferable, but how good is it to see these two icons playing side by side?


Thanks to Mr. Brown for messaging me about this one dropping - I'd missed it completely.


I am SO hoping this means there's a new Whigs full-length on the way. Also, wondering if Dulli released this earlier than expected as a statement on Lanegan's passing. Super awesome track, can't wait for more.


Tomorrow on Shudder:


The trailer Hellbender one played a few weeks ago during the halfway point of the Joe Bob Brigg's Valentine's Day Special. I've been looking forward to it since, and it finally hits tomorrow on Shudder.


Boy Harsher - The Runner OST
Black Sabbath - Paranoid
The Gutter Twins - Saturnalia
The Gutter Twins - Adorata
Metallica - Kill 'Em All
Zeal and Ardor - Eponymous
The Jim Carroll Band - Catholic Boy
The Afghan Whigs - I'll Make You See God (single)
Mark Lanegan Band - Here Comes That Weird Chill
QOTSA - Songs for the Deaf
Chrome Canyon - Director
Cult Leader - A Patient Man


The watery aspect of water. From the grimoire: "Deep, Emotional Realms of Personality." I'm plumbing ideas of Deep Personality in a new writing project I'm using to bridge the huge gap I've suffered in working on the second Shadow Play book. This is a short, probably a serialized piece for No Sleep, since the other was so well received, and it's keeping me writing while so many interruptions have made it impossible to hit any kind of a continuous stride while working on the novel. 

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Earth Featuring Mark Lanegan - A Serpent is Coming


From Earth's 2014 masterpiece Primitive and Deadly, featuring the late Mark Lanegan on vocals.


A pretty smashing Wednesday at the shop, if I do say so myself:

Fucking LOVE this cover. 

Deadly Class! Only a few more issues. I'm getting both excited and sad.

I would say I'm annoyed at how long this one has taken to come out, but when you look at the work involved, I think it's totally understandable. I mean, the detail on the cover - let alone on the pages inside - is almost mindboggling. 

Prince Robot? Me thinks I smell a flashback.

This was accidental. I heard that Beta Ray Bill appears in Donny Cates' Thor #22 and picked it up late last week. When I did, I realized that issue is part four of a storyline called "The God of Hammers". I grabbed the first part - Thor #19, but quickly realized there were no copies of 20 or 21. Apparently, they sold fast, and reprints of 20 hit this week with 21 following next. All this has really just primed me with hype for a comic I normally don't care anything about. 

I still love Two Moons, but resolved to wait to read this arc until it finishes, I was just missing too much going month-to-month. 

As long as this continues to be primarily about Moira and Mystique, I'm in. 


I was just about fed up with H.P. Lovecraft's The Case of Charles Dexter Ward when I arrived at the Fifth section of the book, V. A Nightmare and a Cataclysm. Here's an excerpt: 

"The next few rooms he tried were all abandoned, or filled only with crumbling boxes and ominous-looking leaden coffins; but impressed him deeply with the magnitude of Joseph Curwen’s original operations. He thought of the slaves and seamen who had disappeared, of the graves which had been violated in every part of the world, and of what that final raiding party must have seen; and then he decided it was better not to think any more. Once a great stone staircase mounted at his right, and he deduced that this must have reached to one of the Curwen outbuildings—perhaps the famous stone edifice with the high slit-like windows—provided the steps he had descended had led from the steep-roofed farmhouse. Suddenly the walls seemed to fall away ahead, and the stench and the wailing grew stronger. Willett saw that he had come upon a vast open space, so great that his torchlight would not carry across it; and as he advanced he encountered occasional stout pillars supporting the arches of the roof. After a time he reached a circle of pillars grouped like the monoliths of Stonehenge, with a large carved altar on a base of three steps in the centre; and so curious were the carvings on that altar that he approached to study them with his electric light. But when he saw what they were he shrank away shuddering, and did not stop to investigate the dark stains which discoloured the upper surface and had spread down the sides in occasional thin lines. Instead, he found the distant wall and traced it as it swept round in a gigantic circle perforated by occasional black doorways and indented by a myriad of shallow cells with iron gratings and wrist and ankle bonds on chains fastened to the stone of the concave rear masonry. These cells were empty, but still the horrible odour and the dismal moaning continued, more insistent now than ever, and seemingly varied at times by a sort of slippery thumping."

Subterranean exploration and Stygian catacombs are among my very favorite things- they tickle my imagination in a way I cannot express in words. This story went from being a massive chore laced with veins of Lovecraft's meandering prose and racist tendencies to being everything about his writing that made me fall in love with him in the first place, and I am very happy I stuck with it.


Chrome Canyon - Director
Ministry - The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste
Metallica - Kill 'Em All 
Curtis Harding - If Words Were Flowers
Mr. Bungle - The Night They Came Home
Mark Lanegan - Bubblegum
The Gutter Twins - Saturnalia
Mark Lanegan - Straight Songs of Sorrow


This card is all about balance to me, and I pulled it right after texting with my friend Missi about finding balance. Her's is off today (this is Tuesday night), and so is mine. Between my lung issues and now an identity theft issue that came up last night, I definitely feel unmoored. But it's all about planting a solid foundation and using that to find a center of gravity. From there, things will unfold at a more controllable rate. 

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

RIP Mark Lanegan


Jesus. Wasn't expecting this yesterday. Talk about an iconic voice. Lanegan came to my attention the same way he did many people my age - via the Screaming Trees' "I Nearly Lost You" when it was featured on the seminal soundtrack album for Singles. I couldn't care less about the movie, but that soundtrack, it's one of the ages in my opinion. And "I Nearly Lost You" is one of the best tracks on an album of all great tracks. From there, I kind of got into the Trees, but I was always way more into Lanegan's solo and journeyman stuff he did after the band broke up. Personal favs have long been the work he did with Greg Duli on The Gutter Twins, his time in QOTSA, and of his 2004 solo record Bubblegum, which is another perfect album.

For an artist who left us such a wealth of material, I'm going to make him my featured artist for the remainder of the week (or the next 7 days, whichever comes first).

Monday, February 21, 2022

Forest Circles - Poison Leaves

I know nothing about Forest Circles - I'm not even sure where I encountered their name. But I'm glad I did. Super cool, moody Autumngaze - yes, I do believe I'm coining that term - and it fits my mood at the moment perfectly. Can't wait to hear more.


Friday night, K and I watched an excellent documentary on The Doors.


The Thumbnail for The Doors: When You're Strange caught my eye on Prime Video and after watching the little sample clip, I saw Jim Morrison climb out of a wrecked car on the highway near Joshua Tree, walk down the road hitchhiking, and eventually get picked up by... himself? 

What really floored me was, this appeared to be an actual piece filmed by Morrison. I was so intrigued I started the film and was immediately sucked in. Johnny Depp narrates, and no matter what you think of the man now, this was a reminder what a bastion of class he is. There's so much raw, unseen footage of The Doors in this one, I was floored, and fully recommend it for anyone with even a passing interest in the group. 


Now that Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino's Primordial is finished, I went back and re-read the entire 6-issue story in one sitting.


Part Grant Morrison, Part David Lynch, all kinds of mind-bending and thought-provoking, Primordial was definitely created to be read in a single sitting. The issues are tight, and the art/script hit that synergistic level from the jump, so that you fly through this and only slow down to try and figure out what you're actually seeing during the sequences that involve the three animals sent into space in 1957 and 1961 (two monkeys by the US in '61, one dog by the USSR in '57). The narrative really uses Sorrentino's art to play with the concept of extraterrestrial life, how it would exist outside of our dimensional perceptions and what it would be like to actually experience encountering something like that. Honestly, I found the entire read as awe-inspiring as some of Morrison's most heady stuff, and it left me thinking about it for days.


Beach House - Once Twice Melody
Pearl Jam - Vs
Urge Overkill - Oui
The Jim Carroll Band - Catholic Boy
Forest Circles - Poison Leaves (single)
Chrome Canyon - Director
Orville Peck - Bronco (pre-release singles)
Ghost - Impera (pre-release singles)


I'm exhausted, so while I'm recording my pull, I'm not attempting to interpret it (at the moment).

Saturday, February 19, 2022

Pike Vs The Automaton

Oh my god. Rough day yesterday, then I woke after a recuperative 11 hours and 18 minutes of sleep (haven't slept like that in over a decade, but my body needed it after yesterday, which I will get to shortly) and find Matt Pike's solo album Pike vs the Automaton has dropped! Three songs in, and I love this. I mean, out of the first three tracks, it was tough to decide which one I wanted to post: "Abusive" opens the record, and I loved it the second I heard those opening chords. Track 3, "Trapped in a Midcave" opens with such a throwback to The Art of Self Defense era High on Fire it seemed the natural choice, but in the end, how do you not post the track named "Throat Cobra". Shit, what a great Friday already!


First, I LOVE that HBO has titled the second season of their SciFi/Body Horror show Raised By Wolves, Raised By Wolves 2. Episode 4 dropped last night, and as with the previous three and all of season one, I am repeatedly left scratching my head at where any of this is going - in the best possible way. There is NOTHING like this show, and I find there is no way to estimate where any of the plot threads are going, where the beats are landing, or to what lengths it will go to get stranger and more Horrific in a very Ridley Scott's Alien kind of way.

I'm going to go ahead and post the full first episode here - courtesy of HBO's youtube channel. 

If you've not seen it, this one is definitely worth your time. And if you dig it but don't have HBO Max, I can assure you, if Raised By Wolves isn't enough to justify the cost of a few months subscription price, then the Turner Movie Classic suburb of the app more than makes it worthwhile. 


I saw this on Ghost's youtube channel, called and received a cool little message that included this picture. 

I feel like Ghost is going back to their old-school weird, counter-intuitive approach to marketing, and I like it.


Pearl Jam - Vs. *
Justin Timberlake - Justified
The Dillinger Escape Plan - Plagarism EP
The Dillinger Escape Plan - Ire Works
Alice in Chains - Eponymous
Urge Overkill - Saturation
Urge Overkill - Oui
Pike Vs the Automaton
Tricky - Maxinquaye
Burial - Antidawn
Beach House - Once Twice Melody 


* I still get a chill everytime I listen to the opening track on Pearl Jam's second record, "Go." I've never been a huge fan of the band or even this particular album - Ten is spotless start to finish, Vs has its ups and downs for me, although I love more of it than I don't. But the energy in this opening track and the emotional charge to Eddie Vedder's vocals is powerful stuff, mate.


One of the things I love about the High Priestess, and this Raven Tarot High Priestess my friend Missi made me, is the inclusion of Joachim and Boaz, the two pillars from King Solomon's temple. They represent Love and Understanding, Knowledge from unifying the two. When I look at this card, I see the Kabballahistic tree of life between the two pillars, and the High Priestess sitting in front of the image, occluding several of the sephiroth. Not just any sephiroth, either. She is blocking the lower spheres of perception, making it difficult to discern the path from where we are, to those higher planes of consciousness at the summit of the tree. This card, then, often reminds me that although the path to my intended goal is unclear, unifying disparate information, or simply acting out of love and understanding, will reveal the path I need to take. This is especially pertinent at the moment. The 'rough day' I referenced above - now two days behind me as I type this final part of this post - involved a failed biopsy on my right lung. Long and the short of it is, I have had a condition known as sarcoidosis for several years now. Actually, probably more like a decade +, it just took the doctors a bit to figure out what it was. Sarcodosis is a chronic inflammation disease, and not necessarily as troublesome as the word disease implies. However, it's something you keep tabs on. So every 6 months or so, I go in for CT scans so my Pulminologist can track the amount of difference between my pulmonary inflammation - has it increased or decreased. At one point, they tried treating it with the steroid prednisone, however, that produced a side effect that gave me terrifyingly blurred vision, thus, my doctors promptly removed me from the treatment. 

During the pandemic, I did not see my Pulminologist. Also, I'm a typical male in the respect that I hate going to the doctor and following up on this type of shit. Whatever. I have already excepted that this is probably what will eventually kill me. Fine - let's just push that off as far as possible, right? 

Anyway, this past October I went in for my first CT scan since May 2019, and in reviewing the images, my doctor saw a 1cmm shape that, "may be nothing, but let's be sure."

Yes doc. Let's be sure.

So a biopsy is ordered. Or it was supposed to be. November came and went and I never heard from the doc's office. We moved into December and I figured now it's the holidays, so I'll wait until January. Come the first week or so of 2022, I start calling to talk to someone.

I cannot get through. At some points, there's not even an answering service on the line, it just rings and rings. I start to fear the doctor has died or retired or something. Then I get a phone tree, and am able to leave  message. 

I never hear back.

Okay, what the absolute fuck, right? Finally, about three weeks ago, I finally get someone. They transfer me to an amazing woman in booking that is mortified at my experience when I describe it to her. She sets out to book the biopsy as soon as possible, does, and I go in this past Thursday. Only, the little fucker they need to access - via a 26cm needle inserted through my back into my lung - is behind a fucking rib. We spend a great deal of time practicing various combinations of my holding my breath, exhaling, etc, all to try and get the doctor performing the procedure a shot at accessing the spot in question. During this, my right lung begins to collapse. 

Needless to say, that's where we stop. 

I spend the better part of that day in the hospital on oxygen, having X-Rays every two hours to make sure my lung is reinflating on its own. 

It is. 

During this time, I have nothing to occupy my time, so I spend six or seven hours basically meditating; practicing very specific, purposeful deep breathing. I figure it's good for me all around, and should hopefully help my lung regain its proper shape. I am trepidatiously discharged that evening. I'm in pain and still somewhat short of breath, but I'm markedly better. I watch episode of Raised By Wolves 2, then turn over and go to bed at about 7:00 PM. I sleep 11 hours and 18 minutes and wake up feeling great. The pain in my back, side and chest that came from the inserting part of the procedure is reduced by about 60%. My breathing feels better still. I go in at 9:00 AM for another X-Ray and talk to the doc afterward. The lung is still partially collapsed, but I have a follow-up with my Pulmonologist on Monday and we will decide how to proceed. 

Which brings me back to the High Priestess. 

This has, as I feared it might, paused our move. Not for long, but the path to our goal has become obscured. I have to figure out how to get a sample of this damn thing, and I'm pretty sure it's going to require being put under and attached to a machine that can breathe for me. Not a fan of this idea, however, if it will provide the results, it has to be done. I already know the other option is, since this might be nothing, to wait and see if it gets bigger, which would be alarming but would also, in theory, make it easier for them to get a sample. Not sure I want to wait, though, especially because once we move, I'm fairly certain I will be switching to a PPO insurance plan, which traditionally includes more out of pocket expenses. 

But I want to charge forward, cut a path through to the results I want as fast as I want them, because I want out of this fucking state. I want to be closer to my friends and family in Chicago, and I want to get away from the place where liberals act exactly like conservatives, and ubran expansion continues unchecked into realms that will absolutely damage the infrastructure of the city and, consequently, its inhabitants' lives. Elected officials in most states suck, but California - and LaLaLand in particular - is off the fucking charts. I need calm, less traffic, and some semblance of sanity.

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Urge Overkill - Follow My Shadow


Among the many albums that dropped last week, Chicago's Urge Overkill released a new record. Oui is 12 tracks of classic Urge. Order HERE.


Big week this week for NCBD:

I'm about due for a full read-through on Home Sick Pilots, which is just a crazy fucking book that I love in pretty much the same way I love Saga. Both books are so original, so unique, they just blow me away.

I am SO into this new Hulk book. 

Joe Hill. 'Nuff said.

The conclusion of our Lemire and Sorrentino's weird AF cold war animal astronaut epic. 

If I was into tattoos, I would get the image of the Silver Coin on my bicep.  

I didn't love the previous issue of TMNT, but they never stray for long.

What's the closest thing to the Furthest Place from here.

Modok? Okay, I'll allow it for now. However, I'm really only interested in him when he's voiced by Patton Oswalt.

Now that our move is 'in the books' so to speak, I'm seriously considering dropping all Marvel titles and just going with a subscription to Marvel Unlimited. I'm not sure how much time I'll have to read, and I'm not sure how close I'll be to a Comic Shop, but at least with a sub, I'll have access to literally thousands of titles to read whenever I want.

Now I just have to pull the trigger on buying a good tablet.


When I finished reading Phillip Pullman's The Amber Spyglass over the weekend, I was extremely tempted to immediately jump into Pullman's La Belle Sauvage, the first volume his new HDM sequel series, The Book of Dust. However, I have a stack of other books and authors I've desperately wanted to crack into, so instead, I finally started:

Max Booth III has been on my 'want-to-read' list for some time, especially  Carnivorous Lunar Activities, which, along with Preston Fassel's Our Lady of the Inferno, kicked off Fangoria's fiction imprint that coincided with their brand relaunch in 2019. I loved Our Lady of the Inferno, and I mean, like, really loved, and about a quarter of the way through, I'm loving this one as well.


Urge Overkill - Oui
Orville Peck - Bronco (pre-release singles)
Boards of Canada - In A Beautiful Place Out in the Country (EP)
Urge Overkill - Saturation
Liz Phair - Never Said (single)
CCR - Eponymous
Cyndi Lauper - She's So Unusual
Deafheaven - Infinite Granite
Mastodon - Hushed and Grim
Mrs. Piss - Self-Surgery
Beach House - Once Twice Melody


I'm sure I've said this here before, but I always look at this one as a reminder to roll with the punches. Dogma is bad, and it's not just a staunch adherence to religious or political ideologies. It's thinking there's one way and only one way for anything. There's not. This is especially poignant as we are informed by our realtor in Nashville today that, in the market of the moment, if we're coming in looking to buy a house with a bank loan instead of cash, we will be asked to waive all inspections. Anything that's not "here's the money now," and we won't be able to compete. Long and the short of that is, we're no longer looking in Nashville and its immediate suburbs, but moving a bit more outside those areas. Not far, just far enough to make sane decisions. 

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Orville Peck - Outta Time


New Orville Peck in April? Sign me right the f*&k up! Of the three songs from Bronco that Peck dropped last Friday - thanks to Mr. Brown for cluing me in on that - this is my favorite. All three are great, though, and you can pre-order the album HERE


July 22, 2022.


The trailer for Jordan Peele's Nope dropped the other day, and it looks as though it once again proves Mr. Peele knows how to make a trailer that makes his audience salivate without showing or telling you really anything that the movie is about. I keep seeing references to this being his "Alien Invasion" movie, but if you think Nope is going to be as cut and dry as that, I'm pretty sure you're wrong. Or, perhaps more eloquently stated, "Nope."


Zeal and Ardor - Eponymous
Urge Overkill - Oui
PJ Harvey - To Bring You My Love
The Ronettes - Presenting the Fabulous Ronettes
Orville Peck - Bronco (pre-release singles)


Outta Time suddenly seems like the perfect song for today's post:

In undertaking this move, it would be easy to let all of the stress, planning, discussion and interaction overwhelm me. This happens. What I'm reminded of in drawing this particular card at this particular moment, is not to be seduced into inactivity or take the easy way out. I like my job a lot, and while I am mostly taking it with me, it would be so much easier to stay where we are and keep living the good, fairly easy life K and I have carved out for ourselves over the last six years. The important thing is to lean into the fray and meet this challenge head-on because once on the other side of it, our lives will be infinitely better. 

That, ladies and gentlemen, is the goal.

Monday, February 14, 2022

Valkyrie - Afraid to Live

Easily now my favorite of the records I received from Relapse Records by way of randomly getting their 20th Anniversary's Golden Ticket back in 2020, Valkyrie's Fear is a work of art, and definitely shares more in common with the work of bands like Led Zeppelin than a lot of modern bands do. That doesn't make them better, it just makes them unique. At the moment, this is my favorite song on an album of favorite songs.


I finally went back and read Rick Remender and André Lima Araújo's A Righteous Thirst For Vengeance 1-4 in one sitting. I'd read issues one and two as they came out, then forgot about the book, picked up three and four and have basically had them sitting on my reading pile for a few weeks. 

This book is fantastic; it's lean and has a velocity that pulls you page after page in short order, with a bunch of, "wait, did I miss something" moments that are all leading up to revelations that will no doubt draw the story into a cataclysmic conclusion. I can't wait to read more.

I also finished Phillip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy by finally closing out volume three, The Amber Spyglass. Being that the HBO/BBC show's third and final season is soon to be upon us, and being that said show is such a spot-on adaptation of the books, I am very curious how this third installment will look. There are several very strange facets to this third chapter, including but not limited to the Mulefa and Gallivespians, and I can't wait to see how the show approaches them. 

It's insane to think it's been nearly twenty years since the last time I read these books, and I was supremely baffled by how little I remembered of this one. If not for so vividly remember the scene where Lyra and Will release the aging god from his protective litter and watch him dissipate, I would be tempted to think after seeing the second half of the trilogy performed as theatre-in-the-round at the Royal National Theatre's Oliver Theatre in London back in 2003, I neglected to finish this third volume. That doesn't seem to be the case, though, so it's been good re-reading these, especially at a time when ignorance is so plentiful, it gives hope to remember there are intelligent forces at work in the world.


Steve Moore - VFW OST
The Raveonettes - Lust Lust Lust
Valkyrie - Fear
Odonis Odonis - Spectrums
Fleet Foxes - Shore
Cocksure - TVMALSV


I could not have drawn a more perfect card, as only moments before executing this pull, K and I booked 73 nights in Tennessee for Mid-April. This will be the hardest and yet most rewarding journey of my life, and we have just taken the first step on its path! 

Friday, February 11, 2022

Zeal and Ardor - Run


The new Zeal and Ardor album is out and after three listens this morning, it's already on my shortlist for album of the year. I am perpetually blown the f**k away by how this man's sound evolves. It would be so easy for a band with this DNA to tread water, but that is most definitely NOT the case.


This isn't the edition I have, but I love this cover

I realized recently that, for all the fiction by H.P. Lovecraft I've read over the last thirty-odd years, I don't think I'd ever read The Case of Charles Dexter Ward. I'm about halfway through the novella at this point, and two observations:

1) This one definitely sates the thirst for Lovecraft imagery and overall style/tone, however, it is not a very good story, and does not feel all that different than quite a few of his other stories.

2) This is easily the most racist of HPL's work that I've read.

The racism, coupled with the redundant prose, has made this one a bit of a chore. However, I intend on trudging on until completion. As I have gotten older and been exposed to more and more Weird Fiction and Horror, Lovecraft becomes more about the concepts and less about the writing. He just wasn't that good. 


The season finale of The Book of Boba Fett was everything I could ever want from a Star Wars story. 

Now, we'll all just have to wait until the third season of The Mandalorian premieres.


Burial - Antidawn
Zombi - Digitalis
Abby Sage - Fears of Yours and Mine EP
Zeal and Ardor - Eponymous
Orville Peck - Pony

Thursday, February 10, 2022

New Carpenter Brut!


New Carpenter Brut album Leather Terror, out April 1st, and the first song has Greg Puciato on vocals! Pre-order HERE.


I know nothing about this new Alex Garland film, but it's an Alex Garland film, so I am excited!


Ghost - Meliora
Ghost - Infestissumam
Alabama Shakes - Sound and Color
Blut Aus Nord - Thematic Emanations
Shawn James - The Devil's Daughter (single)
Drab Majesty - Careless
Carpenter Brut -  Blood Machines OST

Wednesday, February 9, 2022

Putting Out Fire


I've really been digging on David Bowie's 1983 album Let's Dance of late. This is one I never really deep-dived on due to the oversaturation of the hits - all of which I love - throughout most of my life. This one always felt a skosh... pedestrian to me previously. What a f*&kin' stupid thing to think. As if any David Bowie could be pedestrian. While there are definitely albums and eras of his career that appeal to me more than other ones, any Bowie is good Bowie, and my recent obsession with this album proves that. Here's my favorite non-single, "Cat People (Putting Out Fire)", of which I definitely am one. A cat person, that is.


While the teaser for Jordan Peele's eagerly awaited Nope had a total of three images from the film in it and is mostly teased out by clips from his previous two films - which, although I can't wait for the movie, renders it meaningless for me to post here - the teaser for Dario Argento's new Giallo Dark Glasses is all I need to see to know I can't wait for this flick:

Looks like classic Argento to me, a flavor I haven't quite had enough of lately. No definitive release date yet, but "soon" is enough to get my heartbeat above 110.


Another super light NCBD. Here's what's coming home with me this week:

Very curious about this new Fist of Khonshu that's shown up in the pages of Moon Knight, especially after seeing this cover. 

So, I gave up on the X Lives of Wolverine, and am moving forward with the Deaths because, so far, this one reads like a direct sequel to Jonathan Hickman's recent X-Swan Song Inferno. Deaths also, quite surprisingly, has thus far had very little to do with the titular, over-used mutant. Now, I'm not convinced this is a worthy sequel to Hickman's time on X-Men, but I'm willing to give it an issue or two more before I decide.

Is the tentative jive I throw down when talking about some of these books taxing? It might be. I'm just so suspicious of Mutant books, even after being so blown away by so many recent ones. The problem, of course, is that, to quote the Action Figure Insider, Daniel Pickett from one of his appearances on Drinking with Comics, "Comics has always been a strip-mining industry," and nowhere is that more true than with Wolverine and the X-Men. What you like one second will turn around and drastically disappoint you a minute later, so a savvy reader has to keep his guard up always while reading big-two series.


Allegaeon - Apoptosis
AC/DC - Highway to Hell
Curtis Harding - Face Your Fear
Nick Cave and Warren Ellis - Carnage
Donny McCaslin - Beyond Now
Umberto - Prophecy of the Black Widow
Godflesh - A World Lit Only By Fire
Godflesh - Post Self
David Bowie - Let's Dance


I raise a glass to he who inspires the grandest of stories, the oldest of tales, the inspiration for independent thought. Never forget - the snake was the enemy of the Old Testament's god because the snake offered enlightenment.

Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Long Snake Moan


PJ Harvey is one of my favorite artists. Has been since the 90s. Weirdly enough, I don't listen to her that often. In thinking about this, I realize that I hold her music in a sort of sacred regard that feels as though it might become deluded if I overdo it. Probably not the case, in reality, however, it is what it is. Here's one of my favorite songs from her seminal 1995 album To Bring You My Love.


I dug out my copy of Weird Walk issue #2 recently and began re-reading it as research for the new podcast off-shoot my Horror Vision co-host Ray Larragoitiy and I are doing. Stick & Stones is a sidebar deep-dive into Folk Horror, which is a sub-genre I've been enchanted with (pun intended) for the last few years, although until recently, I always referred to most of these flicks as "UK Occult Films." 

Weird Walk is an indie zine in every sense of the word, but it's a class act and chock full of fascinating ruminations on the haunted underpinnings of the British landscape and society. Highly recommended - you can order it HERE and follow their podcast HERE or wherever you get your podcasts! 

Oh yeah, and as of yesterday, there are two episodes of The Horror Vision Presents... Sticks & Stones: A Folk Horror Discussion up. The newest one deals with Stephen King's Children of the Corn - story and movie - and Chad Crawford Kinkle's Jug Face. The first episode sets up the series with a discussion of Kier-La Janisse's Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched, then compares and contrasts Avery Crounse's Eyes of Fire and Robert Eggers' The Witch. Also available wherever you get your podcasts.


The Yellow House - Live at Southgate House
Darkness Brings the Cold (The Forest Children) - Human Me
Ween - Live In Chicago
PJ Harvey - To Bring You My Love
Zeal and Ardor - Stranger Fruit
Brand New - Daisy
Ministry - Filth Pig
Soul Coughing - El Oso
Cypress Hill - Black Sunday
Cypress Hill - Back in Black (pre-release singles)
Steve Morse - Mind's Eyes OST


Reaping the rewards of good decisions.

Saturday, February 5, 2022

Author & Punisher - Drone Carrying Dread

Let's wash that 80s Metal taste out of our mouth, shall we? Kinda tastes like Marlboro Lights mixed with Boon's Farm and Aquanet. Here's the first single Author/Punisher released from the forthcoming album Krüller, out on Relapse Records next Friday! Pre-Order HERE.


After rewatching Scream 2 and seeing part 3 for the first time back in October, I have to say, everything but the original seems like they are most definitely not for me. The franchise feels like Friends with a murder. Because of this, it was with great reluctance I went to see part 5 a few days ago.  But lo and behold, Radio Silence turned in a really fun, gory AF flick that I had a blast with. And they manage to make "Meta" interesting again.


Ministry - Filth Pig
Ministry - Twitch
Soul Coughing - El Oso
Cypress Hill - Back in Black (pre-release singles)
Cypress Hill - Black Sunday
Depeche Mode - Christmas Island
Ghost - Meliora
Ghost - Popestar
Allegaeon - Apoptosis
Deafheaven - New Bermuda
Anthrax - Among the Living
Author/Punisher - Krüller (pre-release singles)
Brand New - Daisy
The Atlas Moth - Coma Noir
Abigail Williams - Walk Beyond the Dark


This card is so where I'm at right now. So many distractions and I'm finding it impossible to concentrate. I've upped my daily meditation regiment for the next few days after missing the last few, and knuckling down on enforcing mental discipline. 

Wednesday, February 2, 2022

80s Metal Week Day #7: Judas Priest - You've Got Another Thing Coming


I'm bringing 80s Metal Week to a close with a bit of a cheat. While I will admit to making certain eras of Judas Priest's music the butt of the joke back in the day, I have always held a place in my heart for early Priest, especially this song, which I can very distinctly remember making a huge impact on me as a kid. Love this track, so it doesn't really fit with the other six entries, all of which were kind of 'rediscoveries.' But I kind of ran out of those, and figured, what the hell, let's end with one of the best, most anthemic hard rock/80s metal songs of that era. As a disclaimer, when I say "80s Metal," I guess I kind of took for granted that people would interpret that phrase the same way I do - obviously, these aren't Metal in the sense that a lot of the iconic Heavy Metal bands of that era were, but the actual descriptor "80s Metal" has, to me, almost become a genre tag, so that I would not use it in reference to, say, Metallica, Slayer, Anthrax, etc. 


Cautiously optimistic.


I've never followed TCM as a franchise. The original is a classic, and one of the first films to make me feel uneasy just based on how it was shot. The sequel is bonkers, and I love it. After that, parts 3 and 4 - both of which I've seen in parts or barely remembered ill-advised viewings - are conversation pieces at best. Especially four, which I caught part of on cable back in the late 90s and still am not quite sure what it is I saw... The reboot worked for about two acts, then the third just focuses on getting Jessica Biels' t-shirt as wet as possible. Even the one almost-amazing gag in the flick - the hitchhiker's suicide at the beginning - falls apart at the very end because of a sloppy edit. This one was close to a good attempt, but ultimately failed. And even though I've heard Adam Marcus and Debra Sullivan discuss at length their script for 2013's direct sequel to the original Texas Chainsaw and it sounds amazing, knowing that John Luessenhop basically came in and disregarded a lot of what they had planned meant I could never even giving the film a chance.

But this new one, well, Fede Alverez is the man, so here's to hoping. I mean, I don't feel like I need another TCM flick, but I'd love a new Alverez one, and even if he is only writing and Producing, I'm hoping it will inspire something close to what he did with 2013's Evil Dead, which I still count as my second favorite film in that particular franchise.

Also, John Larroquette. 


Finally, a brief respite from the veritable deluge of titles I've been buying. Here are this week's NCBD titles I'll be picking up:

Nocterra returns. I'm digging this book but not 100% I'm going to continue with it. I'm really trying to talk myself into excising some of the books I'm following before I have to add another short box. The reality of 

This new Savage Spider-Man title picks up where Joe Kelly's Non-Stop Spider-Man left off, so I'm excited to get in some Spidey without having to dip back into the insane continuity that is ASM at the moment.


AC/DC - Highway to Hell
Fleet Foxes - Shore
Ghost - Impera (pre-release singles)
Pat Benatar - In the Heat of the Night
Judas Priest - Screaming for Vengeance


Creative energy cannot be destroyed. I'm re-routing some things at the moment.