Sunday, December 10, 2023

Nick Cave - A Rainy Night in Soho at Shane MacGowan's Funeral


My "Seven Days of Shane" may have ended a few days ago, however,  I couldn't pass up an epilogue when I saw this. Wow. A fitting tribute for an icon.


Matt Berninger and David Letterman in discussion? Yes, please.


The Flesh Eaters - I Used to Be Pretty
Killing Joke - Epoynous
David Bowie - Black Star
Ozzy Osbourne - The Ultimate Sin
Bing Crosby - Christmas Classics
The Pogues - Fairytale of New York (single)
The Chieftains - The Bells of Dublin
Harry Connick, Jr. - When My Heart Finds Christmas

Saturday, December 9, 2023

Seven Days of Shane: Day 7 - The Old Main Drag


We finish Seven Days commemorating Shane MacGowan with the sadly autobiographical "The Old Main Drag," the second track on 1985's undisputed masterpiece Rum, Sodomy & the Lash. Shane talks very frankly about this song in that Crock Of Gold Documentary I mentioned earlier in this run, and it really added new light to not only that track, but the first two Pogues records in general. 


It arrived.


I'll post my own video at some point - NOT an unboxing video, as I'm generally not a fan of those - but at this point, let's allow the professionals to speak for my absolute joy. Glad I backed this.


Chris Connolly - LARGO 22
Bret Easton Ellis Podcast S7E41 - Moby Disc
Bret Easton Ellis Podcast S7E42 - Quentin Tarantino
The Flesh Eaters - I Used to Be Pretty
Perturbator - Lustful Sacraments
Flying Lotus - Los Angeles
Deafheaven - Ordinary Corrupt Human Love

Friday, December 8, 2023

Seven Days of Shane: Day 6 - Haunted w/ Sinéad O'Connor


Yeah, I know it's not the original version with Cait, but I couldn't really pass up posting this one, as we lost both of them this year.  


A few years ago, I read John Ajvide Lindqvist's novel Handling the Undead and really liked it. A very quiet, contemplative approach to the "living dead,"

As has become my custom, I'm posting this trailer here but not going to watch it . I want to go into this one not having the slightest idea what to expect from an adaptation.


Laura Cannell - Midwinter Processionals
The Pogues - Rum, Sodomy and the Lash
Opeth - Blackwater Park
Shane MacGowan and the Popes - The Snake
Opeth - Deliverance


Lots'a Disks. Let's see here...

• Six of Disks - Success
• Seven of Cups - Debauch
• Five of Disks - Worry

All the emotional fallout I've thus far been too busy to experience in having the connection to my childhood home severed at the age of 47 is about to come crashing down. My folks are out of the house in South Suburban Chicago and into the new one in Clarksville. There's still work to be done unpacking and arranging, but just being there all day yesterday unloading the last trailer of stuff or watching the movers bring in their furniture - furniture I've seen in the other house all my life - and set it up in foreign rooms was enough to create a sort of disorientation in me that feels a lot like what the Debauch card looks like. Not poison, but murky. Murky emotions that the Success of finally finishing this months-long project has kickstarted.

First world problems, but problems nonetheless. 

Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Seven Days of Shane Day 5: You're the One


I'm really digging this first album Shane cut with The Popes, particularly this duet with Máire (Moya) Brennan. I seem to gravitate to any duet MacGowan does - the way he always uses the opportunity to juxtapose his hardened rasp with some of the most staunchly beautiful voices around.  This one feels very prescient at the moment. 


Among the trailers we saw before Godzilla Minus One, Bleeker Street's I.S.S. was the one that really stood out. Primarily because this one looks a bit too close to home. I mean, this is pretty much the scariest trailer I've ever seen:

The anxiety this trailer instills in me is uncomfortable, so much so that I believe I'm going to have to force myself to see this in a theatre. Funny how the things that scare us as younger beings change later in life. Based on the world we live in, I.S.S. feels especially frightening.


Carpenter Brut - Blood Machines OST
Steve Moore - Bliss OST 
Dream Division - Beyond the Mirror's Image
The Nips 'N' Nipple Erectors - Bops, Babes, Booze & Bovver
Shane MacGowan and The Popes - The Snake
Blackbraid - Blackbraid II
Rein - God Is a Woman


From Missi's Hand-colored Raven Deck, a single card pull as an indicator as to how my day will go moving my parents into their new house.

Something will not be what it appears on the surface.

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Seven Days of Shane: Day 4 - Whiskey Nancy


Live on Conan O'Brien in 1995, shortly after MacGowan was sacked from The Pogues for 'alcohol-related' issues. I have no experience with The Popes, other than what I've heard at other people's houses. I guess I didn't realize the chronology. I will say, so far, I like this first record The Snake better than I like those later Pogues records. That might be a knee-jerk reaction, time will tell, but I thought this made a nice time capsule of MacGowan's first year away from the band that most people - myself included - know him from.


My pull for NCBD this week isn't a big one, but it's comprised entirely of things I am bubbling with excitement for.

I have to say, after taking a chance on last month's first issue of Szymon Kurdanski's Blood Commandment number one, I've been waiting for number two pretty impatiently. Kinda stoked about this book!

Here's one I know ZERO about - Andrew Krahnke's Bloodrick. I'm not sure what caught my eye here, however, in reading about it on League of Comic Geeks, I noticed a comment from someone who read this in its previously self-published iteration. This makes me happy, to see something go from self-publishing to being distributed by Image. 

I loved the Stuff Of Nightmares Halloween special in October, and I'm assuming that, regardless of the fact that Christmas Horror is not my favorite niche in the genre, I will like this equally well. This is just such a great book. No contest who wins the Horror Anthology war this year, with The Silver Coin still on hiatus.

Soundwave's on the cover and I'm hoping like hell he's in the issue! So far, Daniel Warren Johnson's take on the Transformers has a complete hold on me. 

Doom's X-Men? Huh. I'm getting a total "Oktober Guard" vibe here. 


Oh, that's why Bloodrik caught my eye!

I've been watching Genndy Tartakowsky's Primal on Max, and I am absolutely in love. For years, I've harbored ill will for any animation that isn't Cowboy Bebop or the original Transformers animated film. I have no idea where that came from, but it proved pretty all-encompassing, so a lot of shows/films friends recommended I passed on. This was a random find thanks to Walter and Ryan at Rick's Comic City and although the first episode grabbed me, it wasn't until two nights ago, when I couldn't sleep, that I became 100% completely invested.

There is such an amazing heart to the relationship between the two characters - one a man, one a dinosaur - that when they are in peril I become invested to a degree a lot of live-action SciFi loses. 

And they are always in peril. 


Psychetect - Extremism
Yawning Balch - Volume One
Justine Hamline - Worst Locals Ever
Chelsea Wolfe - Abyss
Them Are Us Too - Part Time Punks Session (2015)
Bryce Miller - City Depths
Calexico - Seasonal Shift


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

• Five of Wands
• Four of Wands
• VIII Strength

Not hard to read this one at all. Finally doing a bit of restructuring with Black Gloves & Broken Hearts, just to punch-up some of the relationships, and even though it's not a lot, it feels like a ton this close to the end. Apply Will and be Strong.

Monday, December 4, 2023

Seven Days of Shane: Day 3 - Nipple Erectors - All the Time in the World

Before The Pogues, MacGowan fronted a band with Shanne Bradley called The Nipple Erectors (subsequently shortened to The Nips). I first discovered this group in the late '00s, thanks to my Drinking with Comics cohost Mike Shin. This was when my Pogues fervor was at its zenith. The album Bops, Babes, Booze & Bovver stayed in my old school iPod for a few years (I never had a physical copy), but disappeared somewhere along the way. Pretty cool to find them again now, on streaming, and be able to hear the record start to finish (I believe what I had was missing several tracks). 


Julien Temple made a Shane MacGowan documentary a few years back, and I'd kind of forgotten about it until Mr. Brown brought it up after the man's passing. Back on my radar, I fired Crock Of Gold up last night on HULU.


I liked this, but I do feel there's a lack of third-party, objective material. Maybe the point was to allow Shane the glory of self-mythologizing himself; why deny the man, he'd been in an awful state at the time this was made and it may have been Temple and Producer Johnny Depp's idea to just bask in the legends that already exist anyway, letting MacGowan grow them to whatever size he saw fit. Not a bad gift for a man trapped in a wheelchair at the end of his life, reaping the rewards of a life of debauchery. It's not like the film doesn't set this up in the first few moments - Crock Of Gold opens with an animated smattering of all Ireland's mythological creatures and folklore, from Leprechauns to Cú Chulainn to Children of Lir to... Shane being handpicked by god to be, "The man who would save Irish music." And, in a way, he totally did. Anyway, if you're a fan or even just curious, this is a nice walk through the man, the myth, the legend.


Somehow, I forgot to mention the pre-order the good folks at Bad Hand Books have going for next year's new Laird Barron collection. Not a Speck of Light comes with a signed bookplate.

Sixteen new stories? Wow, and while it's not going to be easy to wait until Q3 next year, talk about arriving at the perfect time of year! Pre-order Not a Speck of Light from Bad Hand Books HERE.


Steve Moore - Christmas Bloody Christmas OST
Steve Moore - VFW OST
Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats - Blood Lust
Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats - Vol. 1
Dream Division - Beyond the Mirror's Image
Various - Joe Begos' Bliss Spotify Playlist
Electric Wizard - Wizard Bloody Wizard
Shane MacGowan and the Popes - The Snake


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

• Ten of Pentacles (Disks)
• I: The Magician
• XIV: Temperance (Art)

Trump One two days in a row, eh? I'm apparently missing something...

Ten of Pentacles indicates Earthly completion, and I'm betting that has to do with (again) my folks finally being into their place. The recurrence of the Magus, however, indicates something that will need adjustment or patience (not that there's not been call for quite a bit of that already). 

I tend to remain hung up on the "Art" aspects of Trump XIV, however, there is an element of "Things falling into place." So again, the Magician is the missing piece of the puzzle.

Sunday, December 3, 2023

Seven Days of Shane: Day 2 - Sally MacLennane


While considering what MacGowan song to post for day two of Seven Days Commemorating Shane MacGowan's passing, I was reminded of this track via this week's edition of Warren Ellis' Orbital Operations newsletter.

Rum, Sodomy and the Lash is easily my favorite album by The Pogues - almost to a fault, as my preoccupation with this and Red Roses For Me have caused my knowledge of the band to atrophy long ago. Sometimes I become hung up on one or two albums by an artist or band, and it just stops there. Not necessarily a bad thing, as I always eventually get around to adding another album to the fire. In the case of The Pogues, however, I've always felt a declining interest after the second album, with really only about half of If I Should Fall From Grace With God holding me in its sway. But the death of an artist tends to inspire reassessment, so what happens as we go deeper into the band's discography over the course of the next five days (but not before running around MacGowan's work outside The Pogues for a while).


Saturday afternoon, we took a break from unloading my parents' first round of possessions into their new house (Mayflower moving picks up the bulk of it today) and went to the theatre to catch Godzilla Minus One. My parents accompanied us, and I have to say, all four of us were pretty blown away. 

If you can believe it, this was the first Godzilla movie I've ever seen. Verdict? Godzilla Minus One blew me away.

The thing I'd complained about after trying to watch Legendary Studios' Godzilla: King of Monsters (I fell asleep before Godzilla ever hit the screen, hence why I'm counting G-1 as my first) was that film's obstinate preoccupation with the human story. It is interesting, then, that the thing that moved me about Minus One - indeed, the major component of the film's story - is the human element. I'd imagine that says something about the comparative character development and overall writing between the two: Toho's Minus One is simply a better-written film that is less concerned with box office spectacle, favoring instead a genuinely moving story that takes place inside this retelling of the mighty lizard's first interaction with humanity.


Tangerine Dream - Hyperborea
S U R V I V E - RR7349
Turquoise Moon - The Sunset City
Van Halen - 1984
The Flesh Eaters - I Used to Be Pretty
Opeth - Blackwater Park
Anthrax - Attack of the Killer B's
The Pogues - If I Should Fall From 
The Nips 'N' Nipple Erectors - Bops, Babes, Booze & Bovver
Yawning Balch - Volume Two
Rein - God Is a Woman


From Aleister Crowley and Lady Freida Harris' Thoth Deck.

• I: The Magus
• XVIII: The Moon
• Ten of Disks - Wealth

Often an indication of the potency of Will or the spark of creative essence, seeing it here with the Ten of Disks, and the Eighteenth Trump, this becomes a pretty clear-cut message that the application of perseverance will reveal nearly overlooked information that, in turn, leads to some form of renumeration. Pretty sure this has to do with my folks' move, although the specifics elude me at the moment (and that's 18 right there for you).

Thursday, November 30, 2023

RIP Shane MacGowan

A CRUSHING blow for this reality. Thus begins my Seven Days of Shane!


Eating the Flesh of Robots

One of the records Mr. Brown lent me in our recent record swap is The Flesh Eaters 2018 album I Used to Be Pretty. Holy cow, is this a burner of a record! If you dig the track above - my favorite at the moment - check out the entire record.  


I've been in a bit of a rut with watching anything other than Happy! the last few days, and when I finished season one, I found I wanted something more. One of the things I found is Netflix's Love, Death + Robots.

I have watched this show before, although not in any consistent capacity. I've had Sci-Fi on the brain, though, and my decades-long avoidance of most animation that's not Cowboy Bebop seems to be falling away - never understood what that was all about, anyway - so this slotted in nicely.

Previously, only a few of these really left an impression, particularly Season Three's In Vaulted Halls Entombed, which I've watched quite a few times since it came out a year-and-a-half ago (the whys of my obsession are obvious if you've seen it). This time, however, I'm playing through entire seasons and really enjoying what I'm seeing, particularly The Very Pulse of the Machine, Life Hutch and The Drowned Giant. Oh, and Three Robots. Yes, that's a fantastic piece of post-apocalyptic satire right there. 


I finished Richard Kadrey and Cassandra Khaw's The Dead Take the A Train and am definitely placing it among my favorite novels of the year. So much fun, and all while being Hellraiser/Evil Dead level GOREY! This is the first book in a series, and I'm down for all of them that follow. 

Still riding high off that, I ordered Cassandra Khaw's Nothing But Blackened Teeth and started that. 

Look at that cover! 

About a quarter of the way through, and I can say Ms. Khaw may be one of my favorite modern Horror writers. She has a descriptive flair I am head over heels in love with, and her characters feel so very real. The set-up here is fantastic, with a wealthy twenty-somethings friend paying for his small group of friends to stay at a supposedly haunted ancient Japanese estate. I can already tell things will probably get Hellraiser-level bloody, and with a narrator I'm not entirely sure I'd consider reliable, all kinds of hell seems poised to break loose.


David Bowie - Black Star
Donny McCaslin - Beyond Now
Sen Morimoto - Diagnosis
Opeth - Blackwater Park
Zombi - 2020


I'm finding I don't have the bandwidth at the moment to concentrate on involved Tarot readings, so I've been utilizing Missi's Raven Deck for single-card Pulls. Here's today's card:

On the lookout for obscured influences or hidden agendas, so that's (sadly) a "work-related" reading. Also, and perhaps more probable, what am I missing?

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

The Effigies - Body Bag


Thanks to Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot's Sound Opinions podcast, I realized last night that I had completely missed the fact that Chicago Stalwart's The Effigies frontman John Kezdy passed away back in August. You can read an article about this at the Chicago Tribune HERE. While off my radar of late, The Effigies' 1989 album Remains Nonviewable was one of the records I encountered as a Junior in High School, a record that, like Fugazi's 13 Songs or Black Flag's Everything Went Black, altered my musical trajectory. Kezdy went on to become an attorney,


Here's my Pull for this week's NCBD:

I still wish the art inside had a little more 'tooth' to it - not the artist's fault, more a mis-pairing, in my opinion. That said, I still couldn't pass this one up. So far, pretty good backstory to the classic film, kind of "other stories from that day." This is the penultimate issue, and as it's the second NoTLD series from American Mythology, I'm curious if there are more on the horizon. 

To say I have been waiting for this final chapter in SiKTC's current story arc would be an understatement. Shit went so pear-shaped at the end of issue thirty-four, I can't wait to see how this resolves (please let this resolve!).

After re-reading the last few issues in a burst, I'm totally back on the What's The Furthest Place From Here train. We stand at the foot of world-building revelations, but I'm really just here for the dialogue and insane antics of this cast. 


SyFy had a good run of original programming a few years ago. Deadly Class was excellent, and a total shame it didn't go longer than one season. Another comic adaptation they actually doubled down on was Grant Morrison and Darick Robertson's Happy!, about a down-and-out NY cop turned hitman whose daughter is abducted by a man in a Santa Claus suit. The daughter's imaginary friend, a cute-as-a-button blue unicorn, seeks out her father and together, the two attempt to save her.

When Happy! came to Netflix, I watched most of the first season and absolutely loved it. THIS is my definition of comedy. For some reason, I never finished the first season and completely missed or forgot there was a second. So I'm watching it again now and I have to say, this may be one of my favorite shows of all time.

This is one of the rare times when the adaptation far surpasses the source material. The book is pretty simple, but the lengths of violence and depravity that Morrison, Brian Taylor and their team put Christopher Meloni through in this show is insane and so utterly fun to watch; I find it impossible not to end an episode in a good mood.

Even if there's also some pitch-dark shit in here, too. 

This is one of those shows I would buy physically if such an item were available, but alas, it is not. 


Steve Moore - Christmas Bloody Christmas OST
Zombi - 2020
The Flesh Eaters - I Used to Be Pretty
Allegaeon - Apoptosis
Silent - Modern Hate


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

• XIV - Temperance (Art)
• X - Wheel of Fortune
• Five of Pentacles (Disks)

Applying intuition and 'Art' can lead to conflict. 

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Wishful Beginnings


Sunday night, I found myself in bed at 10:30 after getting another round of COVID booster earlier in the day. 

I felt awful.

Of course, this means I woke up somewhere around 4:45 AM on Monday. Yay. Not a lot good about waking up that early, especially when feeling like absolute crap. That said, this has happened enough over the last few years that I know not to waste the time. I make coffee, fire up the laptop and plug my headphones into my ears, eager for an aural world to impress itself upon the morning-thin physical one. In this particular case, I followed David Bowie into that special liminal zone he had such a way with in his later years. One track I've always shortchanged on 1997's Outside is "Wishful Beginnings," which despite knowing quite well, often gets overshadowed by the fact that it leads directly into "We Prick You," one of my favorite tracks on the album. Something about "Beginnings" really resonated with me in those grey early hours yesterday, though, and it stayed with me all day, a rather pleasant haunting.


Despite not having seen any of the Legendary Godzilla or Kong movies, I caught up on Legendary Studios/Apple TV's Monarch: Legacy of Monsters over the last few days, and I have to say, I dig it. Of course, a lot of what I dig is the utilization of Kurt Russell and his son Wyatt, both cast to play the same character at different points in his life. There's one scene transition where the older Russell's face seamlessly dissolves into his son's, and it's pretty damn breathtaking. 

Seeing this, I've become curious enough to probably finally give the Legendary Studios' Godzilla and Kong movies a chance. I'd previously avoided these after being warned off 2014's opening film in the franchise by friends. I'd also made a subsequent attempt at viewing Godzilla: King of Monsters that failed. With the former, the hopes I held that Legendary would treat the iconic monster in a more "Cloverfield" manner were banished when friends saw it and basically reported back, "It's just another Godzilla movie." With the latter, I'm pretty sure I watched about half the film and there were considerably more humans than monsters, which seemed impossible based on the title and trailers (there's another reason to dislike trailers).


David Bowie - Black Star
David Bowie - Outside
André 3000 - New Blue Sun

I really don't know what to make of this new André 3000 album. It's an easy candidate for "up its own arse," but at the same time, I think there's something there. Maybe it's because I was sick A.F. yesterday (still am) and needed something soothing, but I put in headphones and drifted into a bizarre inner space courtesy of four tracks with names like:

1) I Swear, I Really Wanted to Make a 'Rap' Album but This Is Literally the Way the Wind Blew Me This Time 

2) The Slang Word Pussy Rolls Off the Tongue with Far Better Ease Than the Proper Word Vagina. Do You Agree? 

3) That Night in Hawaii When I Turned into a Panther and Started Making These Low Register Purring Tones That I Couldn't Control ... Shit Was Wild

4) BuyPoloDisorder's Daughter Wears a 3000® Button Down Embroidered

I guess there's the relief that there won't be another "Hey ya" floating around out in the world like a viral STD for the ear, but I also have to wonder if this is a complete piss take. Actually, it's a lot like another project Mr. 3000 was involved with around the turn of the century, Guy Ritchie's Revolver, which I'm still not sure how I feel about, as it's either the dumbest movie I've ever seen or the smartest. 

Talk about walking a thin line.

Monday, November 27, 2023

The Dead Take the A Train Straight Through the Spider Labyrinth

November is nearly over, and I realized I have not posted any Opeth yet. For that matter, I hadn't even listened to them until whatever day last week I began this post. Back around 2006/2007, Opeth became a big winter band for me, with the time change and early night that directly follows Halloween a welcome signifier that it's time to crack out Deliverance, Blackwater Park and the Candlelight years.


I did a bit of online Black Friday shopping last week. Nothing huge, but there were a few titles from boutique Blu-Ray labels I haunt online that I could not pass up. 

First up, Synapse Films has a 4K restoration of one of my all-time favorite films, Mike Mendez's The Convent. I have no interest in the 4K, but the release includes a standard Blu-Ray, and I've been waiting some time for this one to get a proper clean-up and re-release:

Next, and this is a somewhat blind buy, one of Severin Films' secret titles for their Black Friday sale is Gianfranco Giagni's 1988 nightmare The Spider Labyrinth. This is one I've never seen, but I've seen a certain amount of buzz steadily build for it in the backwaters of the Horror Community, with Italian Filmofiles clamoring for a proper digital release (which the film never received before now). Check out the trailer below, and although I've become fairly anti-spoiler, I'm pretty sure there's no way to spoil the absolute madness of this one.


Finally, although this isn't a new title, it's one that's been on my radar for a while, and after watching Michael Venus' 2020 film Schlaf (Sleep), I forked over the dough for this gorgeous release from Arrow Video; for $20 how could I not?

If I were to elevator pitch this flick to you, I'd say it's kind of a cross between Anthony Scott Burns' Come True and the possibilities I saw inherent in Stewart Thorndike's Bad Things (which admittedly did not work for me, but had some very interesting potential insofar as location and plot). 

Here are the purchase links if anyone is interested:

Arrow Video: Sleep


Richard Kadrey has released two books this year, and I've been wanting to read both, so after finishing Michael Wehunt's Greener Pastures, I slipped into The Dead Take the A Train, a collaboration with author Cassandra Khaw, whose Nothing But Blackened Teeth has been on my to-read list for the last two years or so and has now jumped to the top of that list based on the 65% of A Train I've read in the last few days.

Here's the solicitation blurb:

"Julie is a coked-up, burnt-out thirty-year-old whose only retirement plan is dying early. She’s been trying to establish herself in the NYC magic scene, and she’ll work the most gruesome gigs, exorcize the nastiest demons, and make deals with the cruelest gods to claw her way to the top. But nothing can prepare her for the toughest job yet: when her best friend, Sarah, shows up at her door in need of help. Keeping Sarah safe becomes top priority. Julie is desperate for a quick fix to break the dead-end grind and save her friend. But her power grab sets off a deadly chain of events that puts Sarah – and the entire world - directly in the path of annihilation. The first explosive adventure in the Carrion City Duology, The Dead Take the A Train fuses Cassandra Khaw’s cosmic horror and Richard Kadrey’s gritty fantasy into a full-throttle thrill ride straight into New York’s magical underbelly."

It's been some time since I read Richard Kadrey's Butcher Bird, but I loved that novel and have followed the man on ever since. He's a bright spot in the increasingly noxious online world, and it's great to 'catch up' with his writing over a decade since I began.*

Also, that cover has to be one of the most gorgeous I've seen in some time (artist James Jirat Patradoon's website is HERE). 


* I've always wanted to read Sandman Slim, however, much like Jim Butcher's Harry Dresden books, I have grown to baulk at starting so lengthy a series, in case I love it and it consumes the next year of my life.


Allegaeon - Apoptosis
Frank Black and the Catholics - Snake Oil
Opeth - Deliverance
Misfits - Collection II
Rodney Crowell - Christmas Everywhere
Godflesh - Purge
Perturbator - Dangerous Days
Dream Division - Beyond the Mirror's Image
U2 - Achtung Baby
Justin Hamline - Worst Locals Ever
Steve Moore - Gone World
The Cramps - Smell of Female (Live)
Lord Huron - Long Lost


I've been off the clock here since last week, and I am tired. Had a new round of the COVID booster yesterday, and it just hit me like a ton of bricks, so just one card from Missi's Raven Deck today:

I'll be double-verifying all information that crosses my path today and, perhaps conversely keeping an eye out for ways to slip mainstream corridors of thought. 

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Rodney Crowell - Something Has To Change

From Rodney Crowell's 2021 album Triage. Mr. Brown and I have been doing record swaps for the last year or so; I lend him six, and he fires back six. One of the best records to come of those exchanges is Rodney Crowell's 2021 album Triage. Something "Has to Change" is the Side A closer, and it's a powerhouse. Throughout the record, I hear a lot of 70s-era Stones and Chicago singer-songwriter stalwart Ike Reilly. Also, as Brown pointed out, a lot of Catholics-era Frank Black (my favorite Frank Black). 

All that is not to say Mr. Crowell does not have his own sound. He does, and it's a sound grown from the same good Earth those others are - old-school Rock n' Roll, Rhythm and Blues and, well, just straight up Blues. The arranging on his albums continues to evolve, and you hear it best on this track. That trombone!!!


Here's the Pull for this week's NCBD:

The Penultimate issue of Immortal X-Men looks like it might just answer my complaints about the Jean Grey series and tie the end of that into the current story. Granted, they did start to do that in Jean #4, so maybe I jumped the gun. We'll see. Either way, my complaints are small; overall, this era of X-Men is still my favorite since Claremont's. 

I feel like it's been longer than 30 days since our last issue of Tenement; however, that's likely because I love this book so much. I have a four-day weekend coming up; might be time to re-read the Bone Orchard Mythos to date.

Sadly, I won't get my hands on this until my next trip to Chicago, which is likely only a week away or so. Still, knowing another chapter of Garth Ennis and Jacen Burrows' The Ribbon Queen is just out of reach may drive me mad. This one is escalating in a way that reminds me of Fincher's The Game; not sure anyone else is getting that, and I'm definitely not referring to the story itself. But as the pieces move into place, a bigger picture slowly emerges, the brief images of it we see suggesting Horrors beyond anything we've seen before. As the dread creeps in beneath the human dramas unfolding, page after page, we wait for awful things to happen. When they do, they are both a release and a harbinger of even worse, more cosmic monstrosities that await us. The feeling is... thrilling.

Time once again for my most-anticipated book of the month. Void Rivals has been a delight through and through, and having loved the experience of reading Kirkman's The Walking Dead month-to-month for most of its original run, I know what this man can do with a monthly. 


Pat O'Malley, the Writer/Creator of one of my favorite comics of the year, Popscars, has a Kickstarter up for 12 more days. Jurassic Parkour 4 looks fun as hell.

I had Pat on The Horror Vision a few months ago; it was a great time, two Horror fans just geeking out on the stuff we love. Parkour 4 looks a lot more like - well, kind of like what if the Triceratons from TMNT were the lead characters. Being a TMNT fan, I gotta see what that looks like.


The Cure - Disintegration
David Bowie - Black Star
Donny McCaslin - Beyond Now
PJ Harvey - Stories From the City, Stories From the Sea
Frank Black and the Catholics - Snake Oil
Willie Nelson - First Rose of Spring
Depeche Mode - Violator
U2 - One (single)


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

• Ten of Pentacles
•XIV - Temperance (Art)
• Page of Swords

The Ten of Pentacles/Disks again. Hmm...

Closure is dictated by the Creative solution to an upcoming problem. I'm hoping this refers to yesterday when our Realtor and I had to use some last-minute finesse to solve a problem with earnest money. Barring that, I could also see this as a reminder to not let the chaos in my life at the moment distract me from my writing goals, which is absolutely another facet of what transpired yesterday.

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Takes A Second To Say Goodbye To Thanksgiving

It took considerably longer than a second to say goodbye to U2 this week. After yesterday's early morning contemplation of their seminal 1991 album Achtung Baby, I found it impossible to shake the mood they set in me. That usually takes this route - Achtung to 1983's War

War will always be not only my favorite album by this band but one of my favorite records of all time. Over the years, I've grown accustomed to starting the record on track two, "Seconds," playing all the way through and then listening to the opening track, "Sunday Bloody Sunday," last. It's nothing against SBS; "Seconds" is just an instant time machine to circa 1987 when I first took notice of the band. I had a Junior High Music Teacher named Miss Mooha who was clearly an activist of some kind and brought the record in to play SBS for us, going so far as to pass out Xeroxed lyric sheets and use the time to talk about the conflict in Ireland and, beyond that, musicians who used their platform to try and make change in the world. Of course, at eleven years old, a lot of this went over my head. 

I always find it fascinating to juxtapose these two records by the band because A) they're my favorite records by them, and B) there is such a sharp contrast. To do so, one really need look no further than the band photos that accompanied the release of each record:

As I said in yesterday's post, I did not hold this change against the band. Part of that may be I was fifteen when Achtung came out and did not have the same kind of "identity politics" attached to them that I did to say, Metallica, whose change for the infamous black album eventually shattered the hold the band had on me up until that point. With U2, it all seemed to be coming from the same place somehow, and a lot of the differences would not become apparent to me until I really deep-dove Achtung Baby in directed juxtaposition to War. Also, at 15 in 1991, that puts me directly in the tsunami of the "Alternative" movement, and a lot of what was coming out just felt like part of that and somehow integrated with changes in my own life at the time.


If you are a Horror fan and have not seen Eli Roth's Thanksgiving yet, let me give you the best advice you're going to get for the next two months. Go see it in a theatre.

I guess this is a day of "juxtaposing" (or I just really like that word) because I'll say that, like many folks I've talked to about this, I was hesitant going in. I really dig Eli Roth as a speaker/personality within the Horror Community; however, other than his first film Cabin Fever, I've never liked any other movie I've seen by him. That said, I feel like there are legions of Horror fans who have clung to a hope that, since first seeing the 'fake' trailer included with Tarantino and Rodriguez's Grindhouse double feature, Roth would one day actually make this completely insane-looking film (that trailer is age-restricted and thus, only available on youtube). Well, he did, and it is one of the best Horror flicks I've seen all year and an absolute BLAST in the theatre. The moment it ended, K turned to me and said she was already thinking about when we could see it again (we had previous engagements afterward, or we would have seriously sat through it again right away).

To hear more about the flick, we did an episode on it for The Horror Vision. Warning - the first ten minutes or so is spoiler-free, then we segue into a full-spoiler discussion, but not without ample warning. Seriously, this one has a fantastic murder mystery undertone that you do not want ruined before viewing.

The Horror Vision is available on all Podcast Platforms or you can just click the widget in the upper right-hand corner of this page. There's also a YouTube version, although I was in a rush to get this one up and didn't do a hell of a lot with the graphics. 


My reading has been all over the place of late, so I'm still working through Michael Wehunt's Greener Pastures. Sunday night, I had a lot of trouble sleeping and ended up reading what is easily the best short story I've read all year, Wehunt's The Dancers

As a forty-seven-year-old man and only five years younger than the protagonist, I found this story to be one of the most refreshingly nihilistic treatises I've ever read on middle age. Add to that the fact that about three-quarters of the way through, Mr. Wehunt completely yanks the rug out from under the reader and goes full-on WEIRD, and my first time through this story, The Dancers blew me away.


U2 - Achtung Baby
U2 - War
NIN - Pretty Hate Machine
Your Black Star - Sound From the Ground
PJ Harvey - Stories From the City, Stories From the Sea
Rein - Reincarnated
BÉNNÍ - The Return
Brand New - The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me


From Aleister Crowley and Lady Freida Harris's Thoth Deck:

• Three of Disks - Works
• Ten of Disks - Wealth
• Six of Disks - Success

Second day in a row where we have two-thirds of the pull as Disks/Pentacles. Makes sense - as I've related here now for a few weeks, my concerns at the moment are very tangible, Earthbound. Seeing the Ten of Disks for the second day in a row, puts a pretty fine point on things, and I'm very much okay with that as I sit here typing this waiting for a call or text from my folks with an update on the now twice-postponed closing on their house. In times of uncertainty, one could definitely do worse than seeing threes, sixes and tens.

Monday, November 20, 2023

One For the Ages

One of the folks I follow on a certain social media app is Vinylchucks. I love this man's posts because, although our tastes don't completely align, he is very well-spoken and reminds me about a lot of music that I tend to forget. 

Case in point - I was always a HUGE fan of U2's War and, to a steadily decreasing degree their subsequent 80s records, but where 1991's Achtung Baby was the death knell for many old-school fans of the band, I thought it was a masterful cocoon from which an entirely new band emerged. Unfortunately, I don't really care for anything else that 'new' band did (subsequent records have their moments for me, but they are sparse, to say the least), but nothing can ever take away what this record and perhaps most specifically this song did for a fifteen-year-old stoner slowly getting into a much wider musical world.


If you didn't know it, a new Bobby Fingers video went up last week. As usual, it brings me joy on a level nothing else on the internet could ever hope to match.

As a Patron, I was able to view this three days ahead of the wide release, along with a secondary Patron-only video that shows him making the eyes for this absolute monstrosity!  This is the most talented person online right now, folks, and I'm proud to have contributed funds to the making of this.


With the very sparse time I have in my life for gaming, I'm still hovering at what I think is the final stage of Torture Star/Puppet Combo's Night At the Gates of Hell. I love this game, and I'm learning that the games Torture Star for the Puppet Combo banner are my favorite. Add to this my immovable position at 80% through the Pilgrimage of the first Blasphemous game, and I don't really have time for anything new on Switch. That's fine because I'd rather wait until the new Horror Metroidvania The Last Faith goes on sale before I buy it anyway. 

But oh yes, I will be buying it.

This definitely looks like they 'skinned' Blasphemous, but I don't care. Talk about some stellar imagery! My cohost on The Horror Vision, Butcher, was one of the original backers of the Kickstarter campaign for this, so he's already playing. Butcher reports the game play is taking some getting used to, as it is closer to Castlevania than Blasphemous, but like me, he's a sucker for this type of game and its nightmarish, Horror imagery.


Chelsea Wolfe - Hiss Spun
Helmet - Left
Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats - Blood Lust
Turquoise Moon - The Sunset City
The Reverend Horton Heat - Whole New Life
The Smiths - Louder Than Bombs
Deftones - Ohms
Red Lorry Yellow Lorry - Talk About the Weather
Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats - Slaughter On First Avenue
Chelsea Wolfe - Abyss
Allegaeon - Apoptosis
††† - Good Night, God Bless, I Love U, Delete
André 3000 - New Blue Sun
Rodney Crowell - Triage
Aerosmith - Same Old Song and Dance (single)


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

• Six of Swords - Balancing Relationships
• Five of Pentacles - Earthly Conflict
• Ten of Pentacles - Ending an Earthly Concern

There are a few interpretations today's cards indicate, but chief among them is an ending to the big issue in my life at the moment - moving my parents from Chicago down to Tennessee by us. I have earnest money to drop off this week on their behalf; however, a last-minute delay in closing their house's sale has everyone in the family on edge. While I remain optimistic, this is really messing with my folks, as the purchase of the house they found down here is contingent on the sale of their house (contingent on a final inspection for radon and termites, as well, but let's cross one bridge at a time, eh?). The spread above makes me think I need to trust in my optimism. 

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Chelsea Wolfe


I'm a bit late to the game on the second track to be released from Chelsea Wolfe's upcoming album She Reaches Out To She Reaches Out To She, out February 9th (pre-order HERE). I'd listened right after it dropped, but in keeping with my practice, for artists like Ms. Wolfe, I will listen to pre-release tracks, but not overly so. I'm way more interested in preserving the experience of the full album. Anyway, I ended up watching this video twice last night - the photography herein is a complete visual level-up for what she's doing. Written, Directed, Shot and Cut by George Gallardo Kattah, I had to look this guy up; however, there's not a lot out there. Mr. Kattah, to take nothing away from your accomplishments to date (his portfolio can be found HERE), you will do wonderful things, sir. I'm still just absolutely blown away by this video.


Here's my Pull for this week:

I've still only read the first issue of Jeff Lemire's Fishflies, but I'm definitely in for the entire series, whether that's simply through the fourth and final issue solicited thus far or beyond. A special magick occurs when the writer is also the artist, and Lemire's style is unlike anyone I've ever seen. 

Okay, let's see what this Cult of Mephisto is all about. I've stated here previously that I'm really hoping for something that rivals Mike Baron and Klaus Janson's take on the Jonestown cult waaaay back in original Punisher series numbers four and five. We'll see.

The finale to Louise Simonson's Jean Grey series. A nice, tight, four-issue romp through the character's past and, presumably, future. 

Totally on the fence with this one. I know nothing about it, and although I've become a huge Tynion fan over the previous year, I don't read everything he does. That said, two things will most likely sway me to grab this. 1) the artist on the book is Joshua Hixson, who also did Vault Comics' The Plot a few years ago. That book was good enough to endear the entire creative team to me forever. 2) This is another three-issue series, much like The Closet, which I loved.

One more to go after this. Still standing by my predictions for Captain Krakoa, although I don't think we're getting that answer until issue five.

Love this cover. 


A quick, behind-the-scenes video of David Fincher's The Killer? Yes, please.

I imagine I'll probably be talking about this one for quite some time; I actually re-watched it already last night, and it was even better the second time. I guess one of the major things that I like about The Killer is that, I'd all but given up hope on Fincher making a 'fun' movie ever again. Mank, Gone Girl, Benjamin Button, I suppose they're all fine, well-crafted films even if I can't remember nearly anything about them, but The Killer feels more akin to his early work. Fight Club, The Game, Se7en (wouldn't necessarily call that last one 'fun') - these are all ingrained in my psyche. For the last two decades or so, other than the Netflix stuff he's known to Produce but not direct (Sex, Death and Robots; Mindhunter), David Fincher's work had become the cinematic equivalent of fine china for me. You watch with extreme attention to detail, then carefully place on a shelf and never touch again. Not this one. I could watch The Killer again tonight.


Tyler Bates & Chelsea Wolfe - X OST
Cartoonist Kayfabe - November 14, 2023
Chelsea Wolfe - Abyss
Gazelle Twin - The Entire City
††† - Good Night, God Bless, I Love U, Delete.
Run the Jewels - RTJ4
Willie Nelson - Pretty Paper


From Aleister Crowley and Lady Freida Harris' Thoth Deck:

• Five of Cups - Debauch
• Prince of Wands
• Ten of Cups - Saiety

Drive will disappoint us, but still somehow end up fulfilling us in the end. Not sure what exactly that has to say about my current situation, although, now that I've typed those words, it occurs to me that I've been writing every day and haven't really felt like I'm making progress. Which, of course, is wrong. You're always making progress if you're working on the project. 

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Shoplifters of the World!


I've been on a bit of a Smiths kick lately, and it was cool to see David Fincher's new film The Killer pretty much use their greatest hits as the soundtrack for the titular character (to say nothing of the brilliant Rezner/Ross score).  Now, let's talk about that movie...


I had somehow missed that a new David Fincher movie was on the horizon until just a week or two ago. I knew nothing about The Killer going in except it was Fincher directing from a graphic novel I am unfamiliar with and that Michael Fassbender would star. 

Everything about this flick worked for me, from how Fassbender's character dressed like Raoul Duke to the pop culture references on his IDs.  The lighting was to die for, and Erik Messerschmidt's cinematography was soft and fluid, even during the brutal scenes (Messerschmidt also shot Mank for Fincher and, more memorable to me, The Empty Man back in 2020). The Killer was a total homerun for me - possibly my favorite non-horror flick of the year. 


After hitting Amazing Fantasy in Frankfort, IL for my secondary pull there (mainly consisting of stuff I had trouble finding here in Clarksville for whatever reason), I was able to catch up on Garth Ennis and Jacen Burrows' The Ribbon Queen.

This book is super gnarly as far as the kills, and that's part of what makes The Ribbon Queen feel right in line with all the books Avatar pu that company published in the mid-to-late 00s. This one's a Horror story on the surface, with underlining themes that touch on a host of modern issues, particularly those surrounding Police. As usual, Garth knows how to cut the shit and exploit the fallacies of both sides of the argument. 


Blackbraid - Blackbraid II
Frankie and the Witch Fingers - Data Doom
Jamiroquai - Return of the Space Cowboy
Jamiroquai - Canned Heat (single)
The Smiths - Louder Than Bombs
Danko Jones - We Sweat Blood
David Bowie - Outside
Type O Negative - Life is Killing Me
Screaming Females - Desire Pathway
Concrete Blonde - Bloodletting
NIN - With Teeth
Goatsnake - Black Age Blues
Seatbelts - Cowboy Bebop OST
Hexis - Aeternum
Code Orange - The Above


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

• Six of Swords - Greater objectivity required
• Three of Cups - Family. Together
• Six of Cups - Emotional Balance

I love seeing these spreads that are so exactly the hammer on the head of a pin currently sticking out of my life. Moving my parents almost feels bleak right now; there's a level of having to accept that they won't be out on time (this Friday) and will need to pay the extension to stay. They are inbound to us now, coming down for another round of house hunting. The spread tells me to shove all my defeatist bullshit into the corner, remain objective and balanced, and that will eventually create stability.