Tuesday, April 5, 2022



Sweden's Watain has a new album on the horizon and the new single features Farida Lemouchi from The Devil's Blood and Molasses on guest vocals for part of the song. "We Remain" strikes me as the kind of track you need to hear in the context of the entire album that surrounds it in order to fully appreciate it, but it's a spooky track, with elements of The Devil's Blood and even a hint of Type O in the keys near the end.

Always great to hear Farida's vocals. Also, really cool video, directed by Johan Bååth. You can pre-order the new album The Agony and Ecstasy of Watain from Nuclear Blast records HERE.   

Dollar Bin:

After a rough couple days at work last week, I spent about a good half hour flipping through the dollar bins at my home away from home, Manhattan Beach's The Comic Bug. Here's one of the gems I walked away with:

Jim Starlin's Dreadstar, published by Marvel's Epic Comics - sort of their version of Vertigo before there was a Vertigo - was a book I saw on comic shop shelves back in the 80s when I first started going to Heroland Comics in Worth, Illinois (the location attached to the Post Office on the Southwest corner of 11th and Harlem), and All American comics in Orland Park, on the second floor of a long-gone strip mall somewhere around 151st and LaGrange. These were the first two shops I ever frequented, and I'd make my poor Mother wait in the car while I went in and looked around for probably over an hour somedays, soaking in all the books that intrigued me but I couldn't afford to spend my money on. Dreadstar registered as something I might be into but wasn't quite sure; I've always dug SciFi, but when I was younger I was quite discerning when it came to anything I thought might be second-tier compared to my (then) first love, Star Wars*. In the last few years, I've really begun to look at the various waves of SciFi that hit post-Lucas, seeing a lot of it as forming a sort of genre in and of itself. The smelting pool of comics, TSR role-playing games, arcade games and knock-off SciFi movies (Creature, I'm looking at you, albeit with something approximating love) have formed a kind of gestalt in my mind, a nostalgic feeling that there was something very special brewing with the more street-level, hobby/comic shop SciFi than I'd previously given credit. This gestalt has become something of an unachievable haunting; I try to think about it in defining, cohesive terms. I try to channel its atmosphere, tone and texture. I fail to do any of this with any degree of accuracy that allows me to completely possess it. So when I see a book like Dreadstar that I associate with being possibly instrumental to this nearly ineffable sub-genre I loosely refer to as simply Hobby Shop SciFi in my head, I grab it. 

Thus, I picked up issues three and four of Dreadstar and sat just flipping through the pages, enraptured by what I'd found for a mere dollar. These books feel like a piece of history. SciFi history. 80s history. My history. And maybe that's what all this comes down to, a nostalgic tickle I can't scratch; a deeply entrenched tapestry of memories and memory triggers that move further away the more I try to reach them. Because, you know, you can't reach the past, you can only catch occasional glimpses from our limited, human perspective. And isn't that what an awful lot of SciFi tries to undermine and eclipse? 

*Don't even get me started on how much condescension I reserve for pretty much every iteration of Star Trek.





M83 - Saturdays=Youth
Quicksand - Slip
sElf - Breakfast with Girls
The Devil's Blood - The Thousandfold Epicentre
Drug Church - Hygiene EP
Jefre Cantu-Ledesma - Love's Refrain (single)
M83 - Hurry Up, We're Dreaming
sElf - Gizmodgery
Prince - Sign O' The Times
David Bowie - Let's Dance
Dance with the Dead - Driven to Madness
Crowded House - Don't Dream it's Over (single)
Suicidal Tendencies - Lights... Camera... Revolution
Ghost - Impera
Revocation - The Outer Ones
Les Discrets - Prédateurs


Balance is definitely something I struggle with these days. It's not just the ever-present, background hum of anxiety and existential horror the world of 2022 elicits, it's my reliance on caffeine and heavy metal to get me through the day, which works, but is also difficult to come down from even 15 hours after I wake up. Sleep is a luxury that I do not get enough of, and my ongoing deficit has been wreaking havoc with my cognitive skills and motor functions. I spend so much time during the day re-revving my engine that it's hard to 'chill' later on. I would resort to smoking ludicrous amounts of dope, except I'm trying not to smoke based on my lung condition, and the tincture I have has unpredictable onset times and effects. 

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