Wednesday, November 30, 2022

The Cure - A Forest


In the mood for some early Cure today, specifically Seventeen Seconds. It's funny, a few months ago, I'd felt as though I might have lost my connection to this band. Not really sure why, but it felt like the entire part of my inner scaffolding that bonded with these guys' early albums had just dissipated in the tide of time. Nope. 

Seeing this video is crazy. I stumbled across early pictures of the band recently and completely forgot how they looked before Robert Smith developed his signature look, back when any images of the band were grainy and distorted, giving a further sense of the otherworldly to their music.


I can't believe we're getting an adaptation of Don Delillo's White Noise!

One of my favorite books since I read it in the 00s, I just can't imagine how this adaptation is going to work. I'd seen the title and thumbnail advertised somewhere a few weeks or months ago but figured there was NO WAY this would be Delillo's seminal Cold War novel. Surprise! It is.


A VERY mellow NCBD today, and I'm going to try to keep it that way. I've been fighting the urge to order those last two Something is Killing the Children trades so I can hurry up and be current, so maybe since this week is so light on monthlies, I'll do that. Regardless, here's my picks for the week:

I'm assuming this book will not last in its current incarnation for much longer, with Clea Strange as the main character, so I'll enjoy it while this lasts. With no previous knowledge or attachment of the character, and no interest in reading a monthly based around Stephen Strange, this has been the most delightful of surprises. Every issue is great. 

Issue #2 of Jeremy Haun's new Horror story The Approach, and by the look of this absolutely insane cover, it's shaping up to be quite a beast. 

I didn't love the second issue as much as the first, but I'm still pretty happy with this one. I think that has a lot to do with my love of Chris Claremont's Uncanny X-Men #244, "Women," which followed the then teams female members - Storm, Dazzler, Betsy Braddock and Rogue - going out on the town and getting into trouble. Same concept here; in fact, I can tell writer Leah Williams is drawing on that one, to a degree, and it shows. I love how this began with Dazzler, Boom Boom, Jubliee (who was introduced in that classic 244), and Laura out drinking and ended up being a bloody A.F. battle with vampires. Another instance of the 'monsters' of the Marvel Comic Universe making their presence known, as we sneak closer to seeing some (or all) the Midnight Sons characters introduced in the MCU.

Pay attention DC - alignment is important.


H6LLB6ND6R - Side A
The Cure - Seventeen Seconds
Electric Wizard - Wizard Bloody Wizard
Type O Negative - Bloody Kisses (digipak)
Jessica Moss - Galaxy Heart
Tune-Yards - WHOKILL
Tune-Yards - sketchy.
Feuerbahn - The Fire Dance EP
Tyler Bates - The Punisher Main Title
Metallica - Lux Æturna (pre-release single)
Carpenter Brut - Leather Terror
The Doors - Riders on the Storm (single)
Kermit Ruffins - The Barbeque Swingers Live


From Jonathan Grimm's Bound Tarot, which you can buy HERE.

The conclusion of a project will require change in order to work around confusion and/or conflict.

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Call Me, Bobby Fingers


I've never been the biggest Blondie fan, but I've also largely remained to everything but the singles. They've long been one of those bands I keep meaning to dig into the back catalogue, and just never remember. Well, between the OST for Paul Schrader's 1980 masterpiece American Gigolo, which I just watched for the first time a few months back and became enraptured with, and now the Showtime series of the same name, I've been inundated with "Call Me" off and on for weeks, and I have to say, it is a fantastic song. I always liked this one, but now I'm seeing something deeper. So, motivated by that, I've begun digging. So far though, nothing matches this one.


Yes! Bobby Fingers has a new diorama video up!


Oh man, this guy is my hero. I haven''t watched this yet, but the subject matter for this, his second diarama video, is so in-line with his first, and both seem culled from the 80s pop culture detritus that I favor for fun-making. 


I finally began Barry Adamson's Autobiography, Up Above the City, Down Below the Stars this past weekend. Adamson earned a perpetual place in my heart with his albums Moss Side Tory, Soul Murder, and of course, As Above So Below. This was all after his work on the Lost Highway OST in 1997 put him and his album Oedipus Schmodipus brought him to the awareness of, well, of anyone paying attention to the kinds of music that Trent Reznor included on that Soundtrack.

As Above is still my all-time favorite by him, but I've followed Mr. Adamson's career ever since. I grabbed a copy of his first short film The Therapist back in 2011, and had the total joy of seeing him perform live, solo, at L.A.'s The Hotel Cafe in... I'm not even sure when. 


Now that I'm officially into my first real winter in sixteen years -  I know the season doesn't officially start until December 21st, however, it's cold - my appetite for darker, thicker beers has returned full force. My palate would usually shift for a week here or there while in L.A., as nights did get down to the 40s on a regular basis, however, Tennessee is decidedly closer to what I grew up with. Already seeing the 30s and we're loving it. 

Anyway, while I still always have cans of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale on hand, I've really been peppering in more Porters and Stouts on an almost daily basis. This is somewhat propelled by my neighbor Vincent, who I've befriended and who loves dark beer. He's brought me quite a few Crowlers from his (and now our) favorite Clarksville brewery Tennessee Valley Brewing, and to return the favor, while in Chicago recently, I picked up a sixer of something for him.

Three Floyds is one of those entities that 100% deserves all the hype and mania they fostered during the 00s. Every beer I've had by them has been insanely consistent in quality, and their aesthetic - kind of a Doom Metal/SciFi/ComicBook thing fits the beer perfectly. There's always an air of blue-collar debauchery that undercuts what, in my mind, are very high-brow concepts, and I love that. 


Metallica - Lux Æturna (pre-release single)
Blondie - Autoamerican
Various - American Gigolo OST (1980)
Zola Jesus - Arkhon
Mastodon - Hushed and Grim
Type O Negative - Bloody Kisses (Digipak)
H6LLB6ND6R - Side A


From Jonathan Grimm's Bound Tarot, which you can buy HERE.

A slightly more ambitious pull today. The card that started this fell separate from the deck during shuffle, so I started there. An accomplishment of Will can make a Dream come true. A breakthrough with my Art will come via collaboration. Again, spot on! I've really become shocked that Grimm's Bound Tarot has essentially replaced the Thoth as my go-to deck. That seemed impossible; I'm not one to own a lot of decks. Sure, there are scores of amazing ones, but I have never owned a deck just because of how it looks - I've always struggled with reading and thus, felt it an imperative to limit the number I have to the ones that I use and bond with. That's been exactly Thoth and, later, Missi's Raven Deck of Major Arcana, which by definition, serves a different purpose altogether. Broader. But Grimm's deck has really become something I reach for multiple times a day, and I feel my readings and intuitions stoking again (I lost a lot after my Tarot debacle in 2015, which is described somewhere in these pages).

Monday, November 28, 2022

Metallica - Lux Æterna


Maybe I'm just in a holiday mood, but I think I actually dig this new Metallica song. This would then be the first new song by the band I've liked since the Black Album, when I was a teenager, riding high on their previous records, and didn't know any better (fan inertia - it's a thing). Believe me, I am dangerously self-aware (most of the time), and I'm so I realize that whenever I discuss this band, I have a sarcastic, cynical tone, and yet, I still talk about them. It's a defense mechanism. Part of me will never be okay with liking anything this band does because of what they have become. And conversely, I suppose, part of me will always want to like - well, no. Pretty sure that's not the case. I think Some Kind of Monster pretty much ruined any good will I had toward them.

But I saw this new track from the forthcoming 72 Seasons album dropped and, unlike anything they've released in years that I've been aware of, I couldn't help but click on it. Maybe it's because I root for Robert Trujillo, and regardless of what I think of the band, want him to succeed. Talk about a rags-to-riches story with a happy ending (when I moved to San Pedro and joined the YMCA there, I saw the enormous check he donated, as it used to be framed on the wall). 

The first thing here that grabbed me - the production is AWESOME. Listen to those drums. Wow. Sure, the main musical ideas are all kind of recycled from previous iterations (did you hear the little bit of Whiplash, in the guitar solo especially). But overall, music alone - heightened as it is by the production - I dig. I'll never be a fan of how Hetfield sings now - probably because of those embarrassing songs that were plastered all over the sonic landscape of the late 90s. Give me fuel? Ugh. Or, that Bee-otch song? Jesus - that did more to sink his vocals than anything. And that, combined with my self-conscious defensive approach will no doubt keep me from ultimately engaging with this on any real level, but overall, this feels like a 'win' for these guys. 

It might also be said, in a more positive vein, that I've been impressed by a couple things about these guys. First, they play so much, they're tight AF. This isn't a band that physically rests on their laurels, and I'll give 'em that. Sets I've seen listed over the last few years include older albums from their "good" period (Kill to Justice) in their entirety. And what was the thing with them playing in Antarctica? Can you imagine hearing The Call of Ktulu in Antarctica? I mean, not that anyone was there for that show, but still. Pretty cool idea. 

So, I'll probably check this album out when it drops, and I'm sure I'll report back here. Until then, if you're so inclined, you can check out the pre-order page for 72 Seasons HERE


With some trepidation, K and I binged the remainder of Showtime's American Gigolo series last night. After only three episodes, I'd become irritated with certain elements of the show and was pretty close to jumping off. However, in the end, I'll say that, while there is some pretty dumb writing that ends up being major plot mechanics (there is NO way Julian saw that hand tattoo from that far away), overall I enjoyed this.


I don't know that I'd go so far as to say I'd recommend it. Well, maybe. Jon Bernthal is absolutely fantastic, and I have to say that, while initially, I could not stand Rosie O'Donnell's character Detective Sunday, she ended up really winning me over. 


I finally have jumped into James Tynion IV and Werther Dell'Edera's Something is Killing the Children and I'll tell ya, the book is worth the hype:
I'd read and reread the first five issues twice earlier in the year, when my buddy Gerald at the Comic Bug in Manhattan Beach gave me a "going away" present and knocked half off a pack of the David Mack covers of those first five issues. Something about it, though, didn't really register. In the interim, I learned about the body bag covers that the prequel series, House of Slaughter, have gotten, and began picking those up at Rick's Comic City purely on a whim. This, plus my Horror Vision cohost Butcher's regular admonishments that I needed to, "get on this, man" finally won out, and I followed his advice (knowing I would not regret it). I ordered trades 2 and 3 on Amazon the other day and read them in a day.

This series is fantastic. I won't go into spoilers plot-wise, however, I'll just say that the fact that the first three trades all take place over the course of basically a day or two, with most of that hinging on one insane night in Archer's Peak, well, it did a lot to bring me into the story. Now, I have to pick up the fourth and fifth trades, because I've already begun buying it monthly as of issue 26.


The Men that Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing - Now That's What I Call Steampunnk, Vol. 1
Bret Easton Ellis Podcast The Shards (about the first eight hours)


From Jonathan Grimm's Bound Tarot, which you can buy HERE.

The emotional aspects of Will and the Willful aspects of emotion - a tad jumbled until you add in the idea that this confusion is probably what has been hampering a decision intimidated by the Ace of Pentacles. Not sure I've dialed this in exactly, but that's probably also part of the confusion, the fact that I have more than one decision that's overdue based on conjoined elements of what I want for the real world and what I want emotionally.

Friday, November 25, 2022

Nicolas Winding Refn's Copenhagen Cowboy


I'm fairly certain I posted this track here at some point in the distant recesses of the past. This is the track that made me a fan of Ms. Jesus. Reconnecting with her music of late (via that old iPod), I was pleased to see she released an album this year. 


Holy smokes. Nicolas Winding Refn has a Noir releasing on Netflix just after the new year?

I cannot wait for this. Despite the fact that I still have not finished Refn's previous series, the "We'll release that but f*&kin' bury it so no one knows it's on here" To Old To Die Young that Amazon 'released' on Prime back a few years ago. I really dig the series, however, when I copped to the fact that it is an exercise in one of Refn's favorite philosophical mantras, namely - It's so beautiful you will want to watch it, but it's so ugly you'll have trouble doing so - I nodded in understanding but moved away and haven't yet gone back to it. This will probably be the same, but I'm game regardless.


Two days ago, I restarted my reread of Nathan Ballingrud's Wounds: Six Stories from the Border of Hell collection. I blew through the first four stories - all as fantastic as I remember them from my initial reading several years back upon the book's release - and when I got to Visible Filth, I'm telling you. This is just one of my favorite pieces of prose ever. I fall so hard into the narrative, and every sentence, every sentiment and setting and character arc, they are all satisfying on a level not much else is. What I did not remember from that first reading was how absolutely glorious the final story in the volume is. The Butcher's Table - so named after a pirate ship that crosses from the Gulf of Mexico to the black seas of Hell, is nothing short of a masterpiece. With a remarkably wide and diverse cast that runs the gamut from the Egalitarian members of a refined Cannibal cult and a Secret Order of High Society Satanists, all the way down (or is that up?) the food chain to cutthroat Pirates and hired Victorian Dock Scum, this story winds itself taut and then literally springs to a conclusion that is satisfying right down to the final sentence. The Butcher's Table also showcases Mr. Ballingrud's ability to write in any timeline. 

If you've not read this, please do yourself a favor and do so. I've already posted the US cover to Wounds multiple times, so in the interest of seeing something new and awesome, here's the Turkish cover, where the book was renamed The Atlas of Hell.


The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing - Now That's What I Call Steampunk, Vol. 1
Zola Jesus - Stridulum
Calderum - Mystical Fortress of Iberian Lands
The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing - Eponymous
Bat For Lashes - Fur and Gold
The Knife - Silent Shout
TVOTR - Return To Cookie Mountain
TVOTR - Staring at the Sun EP
Drab Majesty - Careless
Shellac - Dude Incredible
Vaguess - The Bodhi Collection
Rodney Crowell - Christmas Everywhere


From Jonathan Grimm's Bound Tarot, which you can buy HERE.

The outcome of a material endeavor, possibly with an accomplishment.

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Karate - This Day Next Year

Many years ago now, my good friend Grez turned me onto the band Karate, specifically, their 2000 album Unsolved. Remember that old iPod I mentioned last week? Yeah, this is on there, too. The entire album is fantastic, but final track "This Day Next Year" has to be one of the greatest closing album songs ever recorded.


My pull Thanksgiving pull-list for NCBD:

Still digging the new Alien book, where a squad of synthetics who have been dicked over by the Military and just want to be left alone are now stuck in a hotbed of Alien activity. Time to fight their way out - good news for us.

I'm on the fence with this "Dark Web" event, but I'm curious enough to give it a shot. It's not like I'm not already reading several X-Books and Amazing Spider-Man, so hopefully, I'll get the gist of it in those pages without having to buy anything extra (not bloody likely, mate)

In the previous issue of Creepshow, we were treated to a story by David and Maria Lapham; I can't wait to see what we get this time. 

I was originally under the impression that, like Creepshow, Stuff of Nightmares was an issue-by-issue anthology. Not the case, and I'm glad because the Brothers Cameron are creating quite the crazy little arc. Part Reanimator, part Mystery-Thriller, this one is quickly becoming one of my favorites.

What's the Furthest Place From Here returns, and I could not be happier. I did a full reread of this back in late July, and I'm ready to get back in and learn some more about this truly bizarre world Rosenberg and Boss have created.

After last week's Immortal X-Men, I am chomping at the bit for more! I recently read something about an upcoming event - a smaller one this time - called Sins of Sinister, and being that the big "S" is one of the most fascinating characters in the X-Books at the moment, I'm getting pretty excited.


Really? Really Olivia Wilde?

I have to say, this film is infuriating because, for most of its runtime, Don't Worry Darling is outstanding. And overall, it is a very well-made movie. That said, the 'reveal' in the third act is insulting. I mean, this is what happens when you have everything to make a fantastic film except a good idea. 


Mastodon - Hushed and Grim
Karate - Unsolved
Wipers - Youth of America
Zola Jesus - Conatus
Zeni Geva & Steve Albini - All Right! You Little Bastards!
Zola Jesus - Stridulum
Deafheaven - Infinite Granite
Deafheaven - Sunbather
Uniform and The Body - Mental Wounds Not Healing
Orville Peck - Bronco


From Jonathan Grimm's Bound Tarot, which you can buy HERE.

Retaining the ability to shift gears when working on something and realizing I'm not quite there yet. Yeah, that's on the nose. The free Kindle Exclusive Book has to wait. I realized this yesterday, as I've submitted one of the stories for publication elsewhere, and two of them are not quite up to the standard I am comfortable with.

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Poni Hoax


A couple years ago, while watching the extras on my then-newly received copy of Severin Video's edition of Alex De La Iglesia's Day of the Beast, I noticed one of the film's crew members wearing a Poni Hoax t-shirt. I'd never heard of the band, so I looked them up on Apple Music and then promptly forgot all about them. Until recently. I still don't know much about the band or their discography, but I will soon remedy that. I do know that the entire self-titled record from 2006 is fantastic, combining Post Punk DNA with throbbing synths and moody keyboards. 


Last Friday, K and I made it out to see The Menu

I'm posting the trailer here, but I will say, this one was over-marketed in my opinion. You may have noticed that since moving, I go to the theatre more than ever before, and I must have seen this trailer before every movie since August. If you're as sick of it as I am, no need to watch it again, as I'm merely posting it here for posterity's sake.

I dug the film, although I had my issues. 


Oh well. All in all, a good film and a nice night out at the movies. 


Last week, I mentioned finally receiving my copy of Brubaker and Phillips' new Reckless book, Follow Me Down. I have to say, this series is fantastic, containing now five of the best graphic novels I've ever read.

I adore everything about this series. The format is a massive win for comic fans: the fact that Brubaker and Phillips have proven the concept of releasing Hardcovers every six months instead of serializing floppies for eventual collection just proves that there are a lot of people willing to pay for this kind of thing. 


The Thirsty Crows - Hangman's Noose
Rezurex - Skeletons
Scratch Acid - The Greatest Gift
Team Sleep - Eponymous
Gang of Four - Return the Gift, Part 1
The Juan Maclean - Happy House (Matthew Dear Remix)
Rein - Reincarnated
Poni Hoax - Eponymous
Mastodon - Hushed and Grim
Eldovar - A Story of Darkness and Light


From Jonathan Grimm's Bound Tarot, which you can buy HERE.

Seven of Pentacles/Disks again, eh? Hmm... Well, the card I started with here, the Three of Wands, popped out of the deck while I shuffled, so that seems the point to which the others refer. Three of Wands often asks the question for you, a sort of, "How true to your ambitions/inner map are you at the moment? Seven of Pentacles denotes difficulty in material or "Earthly" matters, and in this case, the wheel tells me I may need to make an adjustment and wait out the ramifications before things realign with how I want them to be.

Monday, November 21, 2022

The Subways - Black Wax

Ask and ye shall freakin' receive. New music from The Subways. "Black Wax" is taken from the forthcoming album Uncertain Joys, which drops January 13th, 2023. You can pre-order HERE. Very cool song; feels good to reconnect with a band like I have with The Subways.


Over the weekend, I finished up a couple of books I'd had lingering over the last few months. First, I knocked out all the remaining stories in my re-read of Irvine Welsh's seminal short story collection The Acid House. Fantastic stuff. 

Second, I went back and read the last three (of a paltry four total) tales in Emily Carrol's Through the Woods. Somewhere between a book of short stories, a comic book, and a story book, Through The Woods is a joy to immerse yourself in, and proves to be too short an experience. 

Ms. Carroll's style pushes and pulls the heart between youth and adulthood, joy and terror, naughty and nice. There's a similar appreciation for the Fairytales and Nursery Rhymes of the old world that you see in the work of Neil Gaiman, and there's just as sharp a'teeth here and there. 


Rowland S. Howard - Pop Crimes
Poni Hoax - Eponymous
Orville Peck - Pony
The Final Cut - Consumed
Primus - Pork Soda
Sausage - Riddles Are Abound Tonight
Nun Gun - Mondo Decay
Joy Division - Still
Belong - October Language
Sylvaine - Nova
Beach House - Once Twice Melody
Preoccupations - Arrangements
Jackie Wilson - Higher and Higher
Ozzy Osbourne - Diary of a Madman
Jerry Cantrell - Atone
Fleet Foxes - Shore


From Jonathan Grimm's Bound Tarot, which you can buy HERE.

Allowing Change to occur for the purposes of growth even when that change necessitates difficulty in material life. 

Well, our Thermostat went down yesterday and we're waiting for a technician to come out, so that definitely fits. I'll take this as the cards reminding me to ask questions and pay attention when the tech is here, so I can learn something. I'm pretty bad about paying attention to homeowner things, and I suppose that needs to abate.

Friday, November 18, 2022

This Patrol of Ours is Doomed


After loving the first season, I never really got around the second or third of Doom Patrol. K and I did have a false start where we watched a handful of episodes, but honestly, I barely remember anything about it. So I started up from the beginning of Season 2 this week, and I'm once again in love with this fantastically mad adaptation/distillation of (mostly) Grant Morrison's six-volume run on the C-Building X-Men. 


After savoring it for over ten years, I finally finished Ramsey Campbell's definitive collection Alone With the Horrors.

This collection was curated by the author himself, so it represents the stories from his early career that he feels are his finest. It's dense, perhaps because a lot of the oldest stories in here, hailing from as far back as the early 60s when Campbell first began to write, read verbose in a way that often feels unnecessary. That said, all the imagery and all the concepts here are fantastic. As the collection goes on, however, you begin to discover some absolute short fiction gems among these pages. Of particular note for me were 

Man in the underpass
The Depths
Down There
The Hands
Seeing the World
The Other Side
Boiled Alive
End of the Line

That last one is nothing like it sounds like it would be. Campbell actually wrote the forward to this edition and talks briefly about how Boiled Alive is his attempt at Science Fiction. All of these are extremely British and characterized by solitude, rain, and a general social malignancy that fits with the Britain I've gotten to know through the New Wave British Comic writers of the late 70s-mid 80s. Likewise, the final story in this volume, End of the Line, feels about as close as a writer ever got to demonstrating literal madness in prose. A freaky and fantastic journey into a mind seriously deluded by knowing nothing of the world except the religion foisted upon him by a father that never let him leave the house and taught him everything in the world outside the window is evil. Now imagine that person having to go outside for the first time by themselves.



Steve Moore - The Mind's Eye OST
The Thirsty Crows - Hangman's Noose
Revocation - Teratogenesis
Plague Bringer - Life Songs in a Land of Death
Bret Easton Ellis Podcast - S6E21: Platinum Patreon Q&A
Clint Mansell & Kevin Kiner - Doom Patrol: Season 1 OST
Deafheaven - Sunbather
Ghost Bath - Moonlover
Deafheaven - Infinite Granite
Deafheaven - From the Kettle Onto the Coil (Single)
Deafheaven - Black Brick (Single)


A quick Pull from Missi's Raven deck to bring me into the weekend:

A reminder to remember my equilibrium. 

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Young For Eternity!

Hot Damn has it been a long time since I listened to The Subways!

Here's what happened two days ago: I charged my old iPod and linked it up to the speaker in my office, found a bunch of stuff that I know is stored in my backup drive, but that I don't really have access to for listening purposes. You'll see a bunch of it listed below, from Living Nudes to my own Darkness Brings the Cold back catalog, to a bunch of stuff I'm sure is readily available on Apple or Spotify, but that I just don't think about. Hence, Young For Eternity, The Subways' 2005 debut record that rips from start to finish! I could have posted any song on this one, but I went with "Oh Yeah" because I literally got chills when the first chorus kicked in.

I never followed this group after their second album, which, at the time, I don't think I ever gave a fair shake. I'll have to remedy that. A quick internet search shows they are still kicking, and that kinda makes my day!


What a fantastic NCBD yesterday! Not only did my copy of Reckless: Follow Me Down finally come in (I forgot to ask them to order me one before the cut-off, and they sold out. I'm so not used to frequenting a smaller shop where the clientele dictates they order less of the non-Superhero stuff), but after reading the newest issue of Kieron Gillen's Immortal X-Men, I have to once again state that this book is the top of what the X-books can be.

While initially, the one weak link I had with Hickman's refashioning of the X-Books was his treatment of Sinister as a bit of a dandy; a gossipy, oft-comedic buffoon, I get it now. Between recent revelations in Duggan's X-men book and now here, I can't wait to see where this is going.

Also, yesterday Geof Darrow's most recent chapter of Shaolin Cowboy wrapped with issue 7, and once again, after reading it I am just blown away by the absolute insanity of it. Imagine Post Apocalyptic Western set amidst a pretty accurate extrapolation of the end result of our country's current obsession with nationalism, and throw in some B-movie Grindhouse violence and a healthy dose of ToHo Kaiju madness, and you're maybe in the ballpark, but still not going to be able to anticipate how bat-shit crazy this book is.

I can't wait for another iteration of this story, though I realize at the level of detail Darrow puts into every single panel of every page, 


Calderum - Mystical Fortress of Iberian Lands
The Trapezoid & Six Ex - Cannibal Children of the West (single)
Moderat - II
Living Nudes - My World Exploded
The Subways - Young For Eternity
Godflesh - Post Self
Godflesh - A World Lit Only By Fire
Ghost - Impera


When the desired result interferes with the rational mind, stability is threatened.

I'm walking a thin line working on the second Shadow Play again. One day I'm super psyched about my progress, the next, I hate everything I've written so far. Because of this, I have to constantly remind myself of the capricious nature of writing fiction, especially something that, for me, is well beyond the scope of anything in my short fiction 'comfort zone.' I'll take today's pull as a kindly reminder to watch my step and remember that, no matter what, I did this once before and I can do it again.

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Sing for Joy


Man, I listened to Frank Black's Honeycomb record for the first time in a long time yesterday and was deeply moved. I've always identified more with the other iterations of his solo work that occur under variations of his moniker. Frank Black and the Catholics are my favorite, followed of course by Pixies, Black Francis and, um, whatever other derivations might be currently escaping me. Honeycomb occupies a weird place in my awareness because I always confuse it as being a Catholics album, and my least favorite of the bunch. But in being reminded of its place in Mr. Black's catalog, I was also reminded of a lot of good times listening to this, and it was nice to go back and give it my full attention, even if I might not do so again for some time. 


Last night, K and I made it out to see Martin McDonagh's new film,  The Banshees of Inisherin, which floored me when I saw it landed in our local Regal. 

Like the rest of McDonagh's oeuvre, Banshees is a feast for the eyes, brain and heart. Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson turn in outstanding performances that are bolstered by a supporting cast that knows no weakness, especially Kerry Condon and Barry Keoghan. The chemistry between all of them is riveting, but of special note for me was seeing Keoghan and Farrell together again; echoes of their performances in Killing of a Sacred Deer still resound in my head.

I know many will be tempted to wait for streaming on this one, being a quiet drama and all. I would, however, advise seeing it on the big screen. Not only will you be supporting films like this continuing to receive wide theatrical release - David O'Russell's Amsterdamn and its epic failure at the BO has greatly corrupted the chances of adult dramas rolling wide from here out - but you'll be able to feel the breathless majesty of the Emerald Isle on the big screen, the way cinematographer Ben Davis intended.

Also of note, Carter Burwell's score is, as always, wonderful; inspiring as it is in its "less is more" aesthetic.


Here's what I'm pulling off the shelves later today:

Mystique and Destiny in Victorian England? Been waiting for this, as I really want follow-up on that opening sequence in Immortal X-Men #1 that saw the two of them and Sinister  - or perhaps the man who would be Sinister - discussing the future from the vantage point of citizens of Victoriana. 

Speaking of Victoriana, the first two issues of Phantasmagoria blew me away. Possession, secret high society societies, and a bevy of literary allusions have made this one of my most anticipated monthlies at the moment.

Will the finale of this current Shaolin Cowboy series be as insane as the first six issues? I'd bet my talking, smoking lizards on it.

I'm still in awe of what Lemire and Sorrentino have given us so far from the Bone Orchard Mythos, so I've been kind of chomping at the bit to read more. 


Ifernach - Capitulation of All Life
Grand Duchy - Petite Fours
Frank Black - Honeycomb
Revolting Cocks - Big Sexy Land
Godflesh - Streetcleaner
Barry Adamson - Back to the Cat
Calderum - Mystical Fortress of Iberian Lands
Underworld - Barbara Barbara, We Face A Shining Future
Underworld - RiverRun Project
Darkness Brings the Cold - House of Sin
Darkness Brings the Cold - Eponymous
Darkness Brings the Cold - Human Me
Deafheaven - Sunbather
Fvunerals - For the Horrors Eat the Light (pre-release single, thanks Tommy)
Godflesh - PURE Live
Godflesh - Messiah


From Jonathan Grimm's Bound Tarot, which you can buy HERE.

The stability achieved through ritual and routine will be disrupted briefly. Instead of allowing this to cause frustration, I'm pretty sure the message here is to look at it as a pattern interrupt that will help me see things from a different perspective and, thus, gain new insight.

Monday, November 14, 2022

For Absent Friends

I don't think I ever noticed how much this track from 2002's Deliverance resembles Alice in Chains. It's the guitar, 100%. Has that woodsy, almost campfire sound Jerry Cantrell gets to his playing when it veers forlorn and reflective. Absolutely stunning, regardless of the comparison. I always teeter back and forth between Deliverance and Blackwater Park as the crowning jewel of Opeth's "mid" period.


Over the course of two nights last week, I watched and rewatched Panos Cosmatos' entry in Guillermo del Torro's Cabinet of Curiosities


To say The Viewing is my favorite installment of Cabinet would be an understatement. I liked all of them to one degree or another, and even the ones I connected with least - unexpectedly, both H.P. Lovecraft adaptations - rank as extremely well-made genre films. But The Viewing is something else entirely.


Seeing the announcements for Stephen Graham Jones' Don't Fear the Reaper, I finally ordered a signed Hardcover edition of last year's My Heart is a Chainsaw from the wonderful folks at Jones' home store, Boulder Books in Bolder Colorado. Chainsaw was the first volume in what Jones has dubbed his Indian Lake Trilogy, and Reaper continues the story. Here's the solicitation from Jone's publisher, Simon and Schuster:

December 12th, 2019, Jade returns to the rural lake town of Proofrock the same day as convicted Indigenous serial killer Dark Mill South escapes into town to complete his revenge killings, in this riveting sequel to My Heart Is a Chainsaw from New York Times bestselling author, Stephen Graham Jones.

Don't Fear the Reaper is out February 7th, and you can pre-order it anywhere. I'm sure I'll be ordering a signed one from Boulder Books, and I'll probably ask for the personalized option this time. To good to pass up.


Barry Adamson - Back To The Cat
Opeth - Deliverance
Raveonettes - Chain Gang of Love
Opeth - My Arms, Your Hearse
With Strangers - A Love That's Gone (single)
Preoccupations - Arrangements
The Ocean - Phanerozoic I: Palaeozoic
The Ocean - Phanerozoic II: Mesozoic/Cenozoic
Zeal and Ardor - Eponymous


Returning once more to the Raven Deck for a quick pull to establish the week:

Reading this as a reminder to keep things fluid this week. I had a great writing session this past Saturday where I dug heavily back into Shadow Play Book Two, and then a massive, three-plus hour one again Sunday to further that. Raven's telling me to enjoy this, but be open to other projects that might need attention this week.

Friday, November 11, 2022

Lynne Davison's Mandrake


Opeth isn't the only band that breathes November to me. TV On the Radio has also long been synonymous with the penultimate month of the year, though I'm not entirely sure why. With both bands, I think it goes back to the first couple of years after I moved to L.A. I was really digging in and establishing myself, and I spent a lot of time listening to music (as I always do). Whatever the reason, TVOTR is always a band I "feel" more when the skies are grey and the air has a nip to it.


Yesterday I watched the latest film to hit Shudder, Lynne Davison's Mandrake. Super solid Irish Folk Horror. 

If you dig flicks like Lorcan Finnegan's Without Name or George Popov's The Droving, you'll dig this one. Very subtle, brooding and ominous. Here's the press solicitation:

Mandrake follows probation officer Cathy Madden, who is given the task of rehabilitating notorious killer ‘Bloody’ Mary Laidlaw back into society after twenty years of jail. Cathy has always believed that every client deserves a shot at redemption, but her beliefs are firmly tested when two children disappear near Mary’s farm.

This is the kind of movie where the setting is as much a character as the actors, and Davison and crew could not have chosen wiser. Mary's "farm" has so much character, you can practically smell the place whenever the film takes you there. Mary herself, played by Derbhle Crotty could not be creepier in her stoicism, leaving you wondering about her motives and machinations pretty much from the first time she appears on screen. Likewise lead Deirdre Mullins's aforementioned Officer Madden. Mullins plays this character so close to the chest that you can feel the disappointments in her history before they're ever mentioned in the film. 

Over the last year, Folk Horror has become such a thing that I went from being excited by it to having a healthy dose of skepticism whenever a new film hits. Mandrake, however, is quite solid and a definite recommendation for those nights when you're looking for something more cerebral and less bombastic. Not that there isn't blood, because there most certainly is that, too.


Opeth - Watershed
Electric Wizard - Dopethrone
Boy Harsher - Lesser Man
Revocation - Teratogenesis EP
Revocation - Netherheaven


From Jonathan Grimm's Bound Tarot, which you can buy HERE.

A lot of emotional work ahead in order to advance to a place where those 'feelings' won't interfere with my better judgment. 

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Christmas Bloody Christmas!


I think I'm going to need a heaping dose of sonic autopsy from Electric Wizard to wake my ass up today. K and I went and got our Boosters yesterday, and in line with all the other iterations of this, it knocked me on my ass, so I didn't sleep all that well, and I'm struggling to get through work today.

Any band that names a song (or part of a song) after Weird Tales are gods in my book. 


That which I have been waiting for has finally arrived:


Since Heavenisanincubator turned me on to Joe Begos' ultra-violent SciFi mind-fuck Almost Human many years ago, I've been a fan. I corralled a bunch of friends to go see Begos' follow-up Mind's Eye at Beyondfest in 2015 and repeated that in 2019 for the Bliss/VFW double-header. Knowing Christmas Bloody Christmas would land this year, it reigned as my #1 "Gotta get tickets" film for this year's Beyondfest, but Murphy's Law dictated that the viewing occurred on the same night I'd bought tickets to see Zeal and Ardor. I don't regret the choice, however, it's been ribbing me ever since. Now that the trailer is here, I'm even more excited to see Begos' latest film. He just delivers the kind of violent trash (I mean that as a compliment, of course) that puts me back to the world of my childhood, and his visual and musical aesthetic aligns very much with my own. 

With the line "in theatres everywhere" attached to the film and the fact that I just saw Damien Leone's Terrifier 2 at the Regal in town, I'm hoping CBC lands here, too. If not, I've been plotting where I might have to drive to see it. Because oh yes, I will drive to see this.


Here's another NCBD addendum. On a lark, I picked up the first issue of Specs, published by BOOM studios, created by David M. Booher and Chris Shehan.

Very solid first issue. Obviously, the cover gives off They Live vibes, but that's not really the case. The set-up is the two main characters get a hold of wish-granting Specs that turn their life upside down and by the looks of it, there will be fallout. I dug this issue enough that I'll definitely be coming back for more.


Opeth - Watershed
Electric Wizard - Dopethrone
The Neverly Boys - The Dark Side of Everything


From the Grimoire: "Let things develop before making another move." Loud and clear. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Madrigal/The Amen Corner


From Opeth's 1998 My Arms Your Hearse. These are separated as two separate tracks, so props to efrain23 for posting them together. 


Can't wait to get into Rick's Comic City and pick up my books later today. Here's what I'm grabbing off the shelves for NCBD:

Hobgoblin may be the character that first got me to pick up a Spidey comic as a kid - I think my first was the famous Amazing Spider-Man #289 back in 1987. I've talked here before about how I never really followed any Spider-book on a monthly basis, only jumped on when the story/cover looked appealing to me. Hobgoblin was always a draw, and it's cool to see him - ah, them? - back again. After all, what's better than a Hobgoblin appearance? Two Hobgoblins! 

The penultimate issue. Daniel Warren Johnson's Do A Powerbomb is definitely a series of continued gut punches, and for the second year in a row, DWJ's leading my "Best of 2022" comics list. 

Benjamin Percy's Ghost Rider has kept me around, despite being slightly uneven. Issues that I expect to flop - like the one with Wolverine as a guest star - blew me away (so f**kin' gory!), but often after those tentpole issues, the series feels a bit by the book. I think I'm wrong, though, and I'm hoping the change at the end of issue 7 marks new territory. I don't love the implications of this cover, however, I've been reading comics long enough to know an arresting image like this will probably play no part in the actual issue.

This Moon Knight series is another that continues to defy my expectations. Marvel is really developing the "Midnight Sons" corner of their universe, most likely to usher in an eventual leg of the MCU, and that's alright in my book. In Moon Knight alone we've recently had Vampires and now Werewolves, so who knows where this is going.

J.M. Dematteis returns to the Kraven's Last Hunt lore? I'm in. 

In an interesting coincidence, I just caught up on The Nice House On The Lake over the weekend, so I'm ready for this, another penultimate issue. I'm not really certain how this book will wrap up by #12, but I have learned to trust the Tiny Onion.

I'm now three issues behind on this series; time to get my ass in gear. What a cover!


Pailhead - Trait
Lard - Pure Chewing Satisfaction
Cocksure - K.K.E.P.
Lustmord - The Dark Places of the Earth 
Tangerine Dream - Force Majuere
Tangerine Dream - Sorcerer OST
Opeth - My Arms Your Hearse
Opeth - Watershed
Type O Negative - Bloody Kisses (digipak)
Trust Obey - Fear and Bullets (1998 Edition)
Ghost Bath - Moonlover


From Jonathan Grimm's Bound Tarot, which you can buy HERE.

A Breakthrough that leads to increased assets inspires determination and a new willingness to take on extra burdens. Vague, but it fits something in my life perfectly (I think).