Thursday, January 26, 2023

Mascara - Half Light Aftermath

Hailing from France, Mascara is a band I know very little about. I picked this up after hearing the guys at Cinematic Void talk about the latest single, which this song is on. I really dig this and recommend checking out their Bandcamp HERE.


Let's talk about David Lynch's Inland Empire.


I have to laugh at the idea that a trailer was cut for this film. I mean, this tells you nothing except Laura Dern is in the movie. I plan on writing a bit more extensively at some point, possibly on my Letterbxd, but for now, suffice it to say that while I love this film as an example of how David Lynch's mind works, I find it nearly inscrutable and a bit of a chore to watch in its entirety. I always think back to seeing this in Hollywood when it premiered. What I experienced that night was what I have always described as an absolute free fall - the film swallowed me whole, and I did not become lucid until the moment when Beck's "Black Tamborine" kicked in. Resurfacing, I had absolutely no idea how long I had been sitting in that theatre; it could have as easily been four hours as forty-five minutes. That's one of the best theatrical experiences of my life, the experience of being so taken over by a film. Translating that to at-home viewing, however, has been unbelievably difficult. I must have attempted to watch the Inland Empire DVD a half dozen times since it was released in '07 0r '08, and every time I failed. Until yesterday, when I watched it with headphones on. 

Yes. Headphones.

You would not believe the sound design in this, and while I still felt the burden of sitting through the entire three hours, I made it and am glad I did.  While I can't see myself ever frequenting this film like I do most of Lynch's other works, I'm glad I own it and look forward to whenever the next time I watch it - as long as the tv I watch it on has blue tooth.


Jonathan Grimm has his new Kickstarter up, and I'm blown away by the artwork he's produced for this.


I've known Grimm for a long time, and he has come a long way with his art. In the last year, however, his talent has grown exponentially, as has his business plan. Having all the risk removed from these campaigns before even launching them should instill a confidence in his fans and supporters that is equal to the awe his work inspires. Solid Dude, Incredible Artist. Honored to call him a friend.


Thou - Rhea Sylvia
Alice in Chains - Eponymous
Oh Baby - The Art of Sleeping Alone
Anthrax - Persistence of Time 
Mascara - Hla-11Tf (single)
Deafheaven - Sunbather
Mascara - Cameo Blue Estate EP


Back to the Thoth deck for today's single card pull:

The Airy aspect of Water, so Will applied to Emotion. Sounds like this is still pointing to that same Emotional Breakthrough I keep missing on my recent daily spreads - and I believe I just figured it out. In jogging back through the other posts, I realized I've been reading these in a completely distracted state. On Friday, 1/20/23 my Pull had an Ace of Cups at its center, however, the two days this week I mistakenly read as a reiteration of that were actually Ace of Wands, thus Intellectual Breakthrough. Or an achievement of Will. This, I believe is a reference to a slight incoming lifestyle adjustment in terms of finally being removed from my salaried Associate Manager position I stepped down from in August when I moved and shifted to a work-from-home position. Not a huge change, but you'll be seeing a lot fewer picks for NCBD for starters. Hence, Will Power Adjustment.

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

The Doom That's Coming to Gotham...


I stumbled across this pre-release track from the new Industrial band Insolent yesterday while writing, and really dug it. The album is titled Drain - which I love - and comes out February 24th via Sentient Ruin. You can pre-order on Insolent's Bandcamp HERE.


I've been talking about this on recent episodes of The Horror Vision, but Author Laird Barron is in the midst of some pretty serious health problems at the moment. Being a professional writer - and a great one at that - it should come as no surprise to anyone that the man does not have health insurance. Thanks to John Langan (author of The Fisherman) and Mike Davis (from the Lovecraft Ezine Podcast), a GoFundMe went up for Laird. Here's the information; kick in if you can:


Here are my picks for this week's NCBD:

Dark Web still? Okay, let's hope this is better than issue #17. I feel like, if this had wrapped up faster, I wouldn't be losing interest.

The mini-series end! Creepshow has been an uneven ride, but overall I dug it. Will I return if it does? Not sure...

I hadn't even heard about this one until last week. With the success of last year's The Last Ronin - success the book 100% deserves - this was inevitable. I'm totally down with going back into this world and seeing how we got to where that story took place.

It's always a good Wednesday when there's a new issue of Saga waiting for me.

I've been kind of excited for this one. Full disclosure: The 'twist' at the end of Immortal X-Men #10 seems like too big a swing that is just going to bring this whole carefully balanced house of cards down around Gillen's ears, but I hope not. 

The end to a fantastic mini-series that, I thought, harkened back to the way Chris Claremont did X-book miniseries back in the day. 


It's been quite a few years since I last read Mike Mignola's The Doom That Came To Gotham mini-series.  A prestige-format, 3-issue mashup of H.P. Lovecraft's The Doom That Came To Sarnath and Mignola's Gotham By Gaslight timeline (I think), I loved this series when it first came out back in 2000-2001. 

Now, it appears there will be an animated adaptation:

I've seen a few of the other Batman animated adaptations. Well, I've seen The Dark Knight Returns and didn't necessarily love it. But I think I'll definitely give this one a chance whenever it hits HOBO MAX. 


Calderum - Mystical Fortress of Iberian Lands
Off! - Free LSD
Bonny Doon - Longwave
Cocteau Twins - Heaven Or Las Vegas
Cocteau Twins - Garlands
Realize - Machine Violence 
Emma Ruth Rundle & Thou - May Our Chambers Be Full
Ghost Bath - Moonlover
Insolent - Inner Tomb (pre-release single)
Godflesh - Post Self


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

Man, that emotional breakthrough is really insistent, isn't it? What aren't I doing? Or is is something I am doing that shouldn't be? Looking at Old Scratch and then Justic, I find myself wondering if I'm mistakenly waiting for something I am not due to receive? 

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Department of Neon Truth


I rewatched Nicolas Winding Refn's 2016 The Neon Demon yesterday and was once again completely blown away by it. The visual textures are sleek and beautiful while remaining as soulless as the industry they house in the story. This is perfect for Julian Winding's throbbing, minimalist techno (not calling it EDM, sorry).


Interestingly enough, not a day after I read an article about Huesera: The Bone Woman in the latest issue of Fangoria, the trailer dropped: 


The first feature from writer/director Michelle Garza Cervera and distributed by the delightful XYZ Films; I'm kind of chomping at the bit to see this one. Something about the mythology at play here really fascinates me.


Last week I doubled down on my James Tynion reading and picked up the first four trades of Department of Truth. This is research for an upcoming deep-dive Butcher and I are doing for The Horror Vision; the project began as a lay-everything-out for Tynion's Something is Killing the Children mythology; only before we could get going, The Book of Slaughter dropped and kind of answered everything we were going to attempt to draw conclusions on. However, knowing the overall premise of Dept. of Truth, I began to realize the real deep-dive is seeing how these two connect because I am almost certain that they do. 

We'll obviously get more into it on the show, which will hopefully drop in about two weeks, but for now let me just point out that in SIKTC, the thing that manifests the monsters is belief, and the titular Department in DOT's entire job is managing belief in conspiracies because the big secret of the world is that if enough people believe in something, it becomes reality.

There's a layer to my enjoyment of DOT I hadn't anticipated, and that's that it looks and reads almost exactly like a late 80s/early 90s Vertigo title. I'm still picking away at the first couple trades of Peter Milligan and Chris Bacchalo's Shade The Changing Man from 1990-1991, and there are so many similarities, it's unreal. Add to that the Bill Sienkiewicz-like art from Martin Simmonds, and I've realized this is a book I should have been reading from the beginning. Better late than never, though.


David Lynch - Crazy Clown Time
Metallica - Hardwired... To Self-Destruct
Various Artists - Twin Peaks (Limited Event Series Soundtrack)
Metallica - 72 Seasons (pre-release singles)
The Police - Synchronicity
David Bowie - Scary Monsters (and Super Freaks)
Off! - Free LSD
Perturbator - Lustful Sacraments
Katatonia - Sky Void of Stars
Cliff Martinez - The Neon Demon OST
Final Light - Eponymous
Jozef Van Wissem & Jim Jarmusch - An Attempt to Draw Aside the Veil
Special Interest - Endure
Lard - Pure Chewing Satisfaction
Godflesh - A World Lit Only By Fire


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

A strenuous emotional sacrifice to achieve a goal. (that's a crappy reading, but I'm short on time)

Saturday, January 21, 2023

Metallica - Screaming Suicide


I'll say this: while I'm not favoring this track nearly as much as I did "Lux Aeterna," I can't help being fascinated by my out-of-the-blue turnaround interest in Metallica of late. Nothing will ever make me care about anything they released after the Eponymous and up to Hard Wired, but I have to say, these guys seem to have found themselves again. Maybe we're both going through some nostalgia trip together and reconnecting at the right time. I don't know. For now, I'm along for the ride again.


I think Twin Peaks has me in the mood for late 80s/early 90s thrillers because last night K and I watched Nicholas Kazon's 1994 Dream Lover. Here's the trailer:


Another obvious Peaks connection here is Mädchen Amick as the female lead. This is the kind of specific-to-the-era, early 90s thriller that Spader excelled at, and his chemistry with Amick really propels the movie to its clever and almost hysterically dark final moments. All in all, a solid three-star if you allow for the inflation of aesthetics. 


Angelo Badalamenti - Twin 
Bonny Doon - Longwave
Karl Casey - White Bat XVIII EP
LCD Soundsystem - New Body Rhumba (single)
Special Interest - Endure
Fleshwater - Baldplate Driver (single)
Botch - One Twenty Two (single)
Mascara - HLA-11Tf (single)
Metallica - Hardwired... To Self-Destruct
Metallica - 72 Seasons (pre-release singles)

Friday, January 20, 2023

Slow 30s Room

My first re-watch of the original Twin Peaks since 2016 is digging up all kinds of deep memory and psychological stuff that has 1990/1991 fresh in my head again. I will never be able to overstate my gratitude that I found this show when I did, as a 15/16-year-old stoner; it changed me for all time, for all the better. This morning, while I sat on my porch drinking coffee and reading from Lynch's Room to Dream, I played several of the soundtracks on my turntable - I still have all the CDs, and I put up the $77 back in 2011 for the digital music archive Lynch released through his website - ALL the music from the series. Everything. Then Mondo put out Twin Peaks Season One, FWWM, and the two soundtracks from the 2017 series on vinyl a few years ago, and I grabbed them all. 

So I get around to The Return's score and hit "Slow 30s Room," and immediately remember that, at some time in the not-so-distant past, I found this hour-long loop of the track on youtube. 

Presto - here you go.

Also, Happy Birthday David Lynch!!!


Since moving, I have fallen a bit behind on all the podcasts I listen to; my primary podcast time was in LaLaLand traffic, and being that I work from home now and pretty much listen to music all day, there's no equivalent time. So I have to make that time. To accomplish this, I've begun making a concentrated effort to set aside time, usually on Friday afternoons, specifically for podcats. In this way, I've knocked out a few of the Bret Easton Ellis show but not much else.

One podcast I am currently behind on is the brilliant Cinematic Void. Cinematic Void is a monthly cult film screening series in Los Angeles at L.A.'s American Cinematique Theatres, as well as a pretty damn great Podcast with online Cinemadness Screenings that showcase some of the best in Horror and Exploitation Cinema. For some time now, The Void has been hosting January Giallo screenings in L.A., and now it appears they have locations in both Massachuttes and Chicago, as well.        

I don't think I've been to Chicago's Music Box since I saw Don Coscarelli's Bubba Ho-Tep premiere there back in 2002. I am heading into town next week, but unfortunately, I probably won't make a screening. I wanted to put the word out there, though, for all my Chicago folks. I can vouch for The Void's programming, so next year I will be all over this!


David Lynch and Kristine McKenna's Room to Dream is currently having an indelible effect on my mornings. This book puts me in such a good mood; it's remarkable. The book has led me back to my recent inclinations to begin meditating again, and this time, I think I'm going to attempt Transcendental Meditation, something I've always been intrigued with but felt self-conscious about.

When I began serious meditation back in my former life, circa 2014, I used an hour-long tone I constructed using fundamental principles of the Binaural Approach - something I'd learned about and messed around with long before it became a hokey product called binaural beats that populated the 'new age' section of music shops. Using a tone generator, I built a multi-layered mediation track in Pro-Tools and would take periods out of every day in totally random places to use it. For one regular spot I favored, I'd walk up to Olympic Blvd, just North of Bundy in L.A. There's a CBTL there, so I'd grab an Americano, then walk down Olympic to a bench-like ledge in front of an office building there, and with my headphones in, I would sit and meditate for 9 minutes. This is directly across from a bloodbath and beyond store and a block or so down from a Trader Joe's, so it's a high-traffic area. I always got an extra charge out of creating a little bit of novelty in the middle of this area where all these L.A. People tended to be so L.A.

Anyway, because I'd meditate anywhere back then, I avoided trying TM because making audible noise just seemed as though I'd be really calling attention to myself, which in turn would make me self-conscious, which would make it impossible for me to actually achieve any kind of meditative state. I no longer have any of those problems, and after things went a bit batty in 2015 (a story for another day), I have been reticent to use that old Pro Tools track. Thus, my impending return to Meditation will require something new. Reading Room to Dream, I think TM might be just the thing. First, though, I want to re-read Lynch's book on the subject, Catching The Big Fish.

Hearing the first-hand accounts of the people in Lynch's life talk about the change that TM produced in him when he first began practicing, I think this could be a very good tool to rid myself of some of the residual anger and frustration that I've fallen prey to lately, living with and helping to take care of an elderly person who just epitomizes a lot of the ignorance and blind consumer mindset I have such a hard time with in the human race. 


The Police - Synchronicity
David Bowie - Outside
Talking Heads - Fear of Music
Talking Heads - Remain in Light
Iggy Pop - The Idiot
Iggy Pop - Every Loser
Iggy Pop - Lust for Life
Final Light - Eponymous
Godflesh - Pure Live
Low Cut Connie - Get Out the Lotion
NIN - Hesitation Marks
David Bowie - The Buddha of Suburbia
U2 - War
G Love & Special Sauce - Yeah, It's That Easy


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

I love an easy Pull! An emotional breakthrough that will provide a solid foundation for moving forward with a sustainable degree of patience and cohesion.

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

They Might Be Giants - Minimum Wage

It's been quite some time since I listened to 90s alternative stalwarts They Might Be Giants, but I cracked out a few discs over this past weekend and put them in the car (It's also been a while since I listened to a CD in the car). 


Here's what's on tap for NCBD this week:

Love that cover. This book is a mixed bag - I dig it, but I don't know that I feel enough momentum to continue after this arc. We'll see. 

I'm reading House of Slaughter monthly for the duration of this arc. In catching up a few weeks ago, I have to say the consistency isn't great. The first arc that concentrated on Aaron and Boucher, who returns this issue, was pretty good. The second one - I just didn't get it. 

Okay, Cates is gone. Let's see how this series continues on to its conclusion in April. 

The final issue before Immoral X-Men starts. Great cover- can't wait to see where this goes.

This one's on the chopping block. I love Shalvey's writing and art, and maybe it's just the book seems to be so sporadic that it doesn't actually feel like a series to me. 

The penultimate issue of Phantasmagoria. I've been keeping up with reading monthly, but I can't wait to read it all in one straight shot after next month's final issue.

Not gonna lie; I'm not feeling this series. That being said, being that DeMatteis penning a sequel to his original story, I'm in for the long haul, which is only another two issues anyway, so no biggie. 

The final issue of Strange, before Doctor Strange relaunches in a few months. I'll miss this book; what a fun ride McKay and Company have brought us on. And to think, I picked up the first issue entirely on a lark!

Still not reading the "Event" this ties into, and definitely not feeling that I need to. 

I'm waiting for Boss to take over the art again before I go back and re-read everything. Despite reading the entire series up to the hiatus in July, a lot disappeared during that break, and the fill-in artists - by no fault of their own - really made re-entry upon the book's return two months ago rough. I need to sit down and go through it all again. 

After all the love I gushed on Dark Web last week for ASM 17, I ended up fairly disappointed in that issue. Hoping this doesn't fizzle out now that we're in the climactic moments. That is what Events and Crossovers tend to do, though, so we'll see. 


They Might Be Giants - Flood
David Bowie - Black Star
David Lynch and John Neff - BLUEBOB
LABRY'S - Eponymous
Blvck Hippie - If You Feel Alone At Parties
Mastodon - Once More 'Round the Sun
A001 - Nyctophobia EP
Lustmord - Hobart
Thou - Rhea Sylvia
Various - Dirt Redux
Emma Ruth Rundle and Thou - May Our Chambers Be Full
Meathook Seed - Embedded


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

These four cards flew out of the deck while I shuffled this morning, so I figured it would be important for the day's Pull to log them all. I'm not in a place at the moment where I can interpret this - I'm fried from a nearly 11-hour work day yesterday and looking down the barrel of a similar situation today.

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Seven Days of Bowie: Day 7 - Cracked Actor (Live 1974)


I thought I'd end with something older since, this time, I focused so singularly on the later period of Bowie's work for most of the entries. That was, of course, intentional: I personally have always been drawn to the latter years more than the early ones, and it was through my appreciation of some of those later albums that I worked backward. Not to say I didn't dig Ziggy Stardust or Diamond Dogs when I was initially exposed, but I didn't get them as complete albums until later. The singles always wowed me, but I often didn't understand how they 'fit' into the context of the larger album they arrived on. 


The trailer for Season Three of The Mandalorian dropped last night:

Mando season three doesn't look like much based on the trailer, but it goes without saying that, as someone who grew up with but has disowned Star Wars but created a complicated caveat for my love of this show (and the Boba Fett show), I'm all-in until proven otherwise, which I doubt will ever happen.


They Might Be Giants - Miscellaneous T
K's 70s Playlist


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

Taping into the power of something bigger than myself will lead to a solid foundation from which to proceed. I can't help but read this as alluding to my current writing projects, but... oh, wait. I think I just got it. Now let me put this out of my mind so as not to taint the result. I'll confirm here later on if this means what I think it means.

Monday, January 16, 2023

Seven Days of Bowie: Day 6 - Sue

I had not even heard of this track's extended version or the accompanying 'film' before Saturday night. I love that I'm still discovering things about Bowie now, seven years after his death.


Continuing my own personal seven days of Bowie, I watched Francis Whately's documentary David Bowie: The Last Five Years on HBO this past Saturday night. Really great film; I've never made any bones about saying that Bowie's last few albums are among my favorites of his (2003's Reality is my favorite, to be exact), so this one was sure to strike a chord with me.


The film begins by setting the stage with the Reality Tour, where Bowie first fell ill, and then moves backward and forward through his career to give the proper context to Reality, 2013's The Next Day and finally, his final album, Black Star.


I finally started David Lynch's autobiography Room to Dream this past weekend. About 85 pages in, it's every bit the balm I knew it would be. 

Actually a hybridization of bio/autobio, the book is a collaboration with writer Kristine McKenna. McKenna interviews an enormous cross-section of people from Lynch's life - she's talking to childhood friends in the first few chapters! So one chapter is her speaking to these folks, the next is Lynch reading and reacting, filling out what others have said about him. The technique is genius, in my opinion, and makes for marvelously joyous reading. But then, it's David Lynch - no artist I know of makes me happier.


Deafheaven - New Bermuda
M83 - Oceans Niagara (single)
Ministry - Animositisomina
G Love & Special Sauce - Yeah, It's That Easy
Frank Black - Live at the Utah Hotel Saloon
David Bowie - A Reality Tour
David Bowie - Nothing Has Changed
Lustmord - Hobart
Metallica - Kim 'Em All


Just a quick one from my trusty Thoth deck:

Off-the-cuff reading - "Applying Will to Wonder in order to learn and grow."

This gels. I'm poised at a position where I've done some deep reflection on my own ins and outs, motivations and hangups, and I find that I have a short attention span - I want to start and finish projects within a very brief time, or they give me anxiety, and I avoid them. The only place this is not true is in writing, although my mileage varies there, as well. Hence, I need to address this, and the one big elephant in my room that I am 100% aware of but avoid like the fucking plague is returning to Meditation. I really think applying my Will to restarting that practice will reap huge benefits, I just have to do it.

Saturday, January 14, 2023

Seven Days of Bowie: Day 5 - Strangers When We Meet Live 1995


I love this song, and I love this version of this song. 


Yellowjackets Season Two releases on my Birthday? Wow, thank You, Universe. 

I won't be watching anything else leading up to this. I'm overjoyed to see Elijah Wood join the cast, especially spending time opposite Ricci's Misty. 


Well, I tried.

K and I went to our local theatre to see Kyle Edward Ball's Skinamarink last night. We made it about twenty minutes in and bailed; if I'd been by myself, I probably would have stayed just to see if what I interpreted as the gimmick of the film - constant static shots of the ceiling, childhood detritus on the floor, the upper right corner of an antiquated television, the upper right molding on a door, ever evolved. I'm pretty damn open-minded, and I tend to like and accept art on its own terms, but as I watched Skinamarink, I couldn't help dismissing the film as 'art school nonsense.' I'm not saying I'm correct; when we left, we didn't ask for our money back - I wouldn't take money out of the pocket of an indie creator, and I'm all for doing something different with Horror. I just don't think this concept can sustain a runtime of 100 minutes.

I also feel like, had I done some of the research on the film and on Ball in particular, I might have 'gotten' it more. I still wouldn't budge on the runtime being excessive, and the proof is, after reading this interview with Ball and then poking around on his youtube channel Bitesized Nightmares, I found the short film that served as a sort of Proof of Concept for Skinamarink. It works A LOT better as a thirty-minute short.

This is the goal of creators uploading content like Ball does to his channel, and I don't blame Ball for rolling with the opportunity. Watching a succession of these Bitesized Nightmare films, I'm definitely going to attempt to watch Skinamarink again when it hits Shudder. I'm also interested in seeing what he does from here on. 


G. Love & Special Sauce - Yeah, It's That Easy
David Bowie - Outside
David Byrne & St. Vincent - Love This Giant
Marnie Stern - This Is It and I Am It and You Are it and So Is...
Idles - Joy as an Act of Resistance
Jucifer - I Name You Destroyer

Friday, January 13, 2023

Seven Days of Bowie: Day 4 - Tin Machine Live!


From the relatively recently released Tin Machine: Live at La Cigale, Paris, 25th June 1989. I never felt like Tin Machine's studio album captured their sound. Not that I ever saw them live, but I distinctly remember their 1991 appearance on SNL, where they performed Bowie's "Baby Universal" and what a little research now shows me was Roxy Music's "If There Is Something" (neither of which I was familiar with at the time, and there's no youtube clip of that second performance online). 

It was that performance, to a 15-year-old stoner who had only the most fledgling radio understanding of David Bowie, that imprinted something on me that would be called upon later in life when I became a full-fledged fan. In fact, Tin Machine was all over Chicago's Loop 97.9 FM rock radio at the time (not sure what song), and I have a  tiny memory of the disconnect between the kind of lackluster energy the track had compared to what I'd seen on SNL. 

Years later, I picked up the group's 1989 eponymous record, and again, felt like something was missing. It's a serviceable record but just does not present the band the way I remembered them from that performance. Then, in 2019, this live album surfaced, and it's perfect. 



Here's a trailer for the new film from Christopher Smith:

Reminds me - I still need to watch The Banishing, and Black Death has been on my unrequited radar forever; I love Triangle.


Talking Heads - Fear of Music
Brian Eno & David Byrne - My Life in the Bush of Ghosts
David Byrne & Brian Eno - Everything That Happens Will Happen Today
David Bowie - Black Tie White Noise
David Bowie - The Next Day
Sunn O))) - Pyroclasts
Godflesh - PURE Live


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

My recent forays into emotional stability (via re-engagement with yogic discipline) will bolster a partnership and push me further away from the dogmatic thinking that can set in when a routine develops. 

Routines are good and bad. I have definitely established one since moving across the country; however, recently I've become aware that the routine is too entrenched and would benefit greatly from a pattern interrupt. Based on this, earlier in the week I began practicing yoga again. This is something I've flit in and out of over the last twenty years. I use it until I don't need it anymore, move on and eventually come back. However long I stick this time, in just four days, the practice has worked wonders for my body and mind. I can feel things clearing up and my everyday life, absolutely a partnership with K, has become a lot lighter. 

One of the things I initially told K concerned me about our plan to buy a house out in the country (relatively we're not on green acres or anything) was not letting it inadvertently become a prison. We left a lot of friends in L.A. The good news is my Chicago people are only 6.5 hours away, but that still leaves the day-to-day spent primarily in the house, where we both also work from home. So you see how quickly our retreat could become an agoraphobic processing center. 

Maybe this is paranoid, but I'm always on the look out for what I call "Life Traps." People maneuver themselves into situations that look good when juxtaposed with their current circumstance, the good in which they've probably grown blind to due to repetition and routine, and they take steps without considering the long run. In our veritable frenzy to get out of LaLaLand, I became hyper aware of the possibility we might be jumping into just such a trap. The good news is, just being aware of this stuff usually helps to mitigate it. 

But diligence is required. 

Thus, I'm looking at shaking up the small routines in favor of creating a bigger picture. To quote Special Agent Dale Cooper:

"I've been doing a lot of thinking lately. And I've started to focus out beyond the edge of the board. On a bigger game." 

Today's Pull definitely makes me feel as though I am moving in the right direction.

Thursday, January 12, 2023

Seven Days of Bowie: Day 3 - Sex and The Church


From the criminally under-referenced The Buddha of Suburbia album Bowie released as, in his words, "a quasi soundtrack" to Roger Michell's series adaptation of Hanif Kureishi's novel, neither of which I am familiar with. I LOVE the Saxophone on this album, especially this track. Little considered fact: Bowie plays all the Sax on this record. Granted, there are some Bell Biv Devoe-style beats on this one (South Horizon, I'm looking at you!) but they work! Overall, it's a marvelous record.


Many thanks to Heavenisanincubator for reminding me Nicolas Winding Refn's Copenhagen Cowboy recently dropped. 


 I blew through the entire six episodes this past Tuesday. If Refn's previous foray into sequential streaming Too Old To Die Young left you a bit cold, fear not, I found Copenhagen Cowboy a considerably easier ride (that said, applying the adjective "easy" to Refn's work is a bit misleading. You still have to work for it here, too, only this time, the contents don't make your skin crawl so much).

My Letterbxd entry on this one lives HERE.


Talking Heads - Speaking in Tongues
Death - ... For All the World To See
Jucifer - I Name You Destroyer
David Bowie - Scary Monsters
David Bowie - Station to Station
Tin Machine - Live at La Cigale, Paris, 25th June 1989
Bigg Doggett and His Combo - All His Hits
Lorn - Rarities


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

Completion of Will requires a partnership or collaboration that will ultimately balance my somewhat topsy-turvy confidence. Could be good news, I have a couple of possible collaborations in the near future.

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Seven Days of Bowie: Day 2 - Slip Away


Seven Days of David Bowie continues, celebrating the life and music of the Alien, called away seven years ago yesterday. The world is a markedly less interesting place in his absence. 

"Slip Away," taken from the 2002 album Heathen


Here are my picks for the second Pull of the year!

We're inching closer to the close-out of Dark Web, and overall, this is probably my favorite "Event" I've read since, well, the other two Infernos. I guess I just really dig events titled Inferno, or in this case, Dark Web, which I'm pretty sure is just Inferno spelled sideways. Interesting, that while the 80s Inferno is the template for this current Spider-title/X-Books crossover - a pretty good combination to begin with, if for only having afforded us a brief reunion of Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends, hahaha - that the other Inferno I allude to there was Hickman's and had nothing to do with Limbo, demons, or Maddie/Ilyana. I guess there's just something in a name. 

This book really skirts on the edge of being a full-out Horror book, with definite 90s, Clive Barker/David J. Schow vibes at times. Yet it flexes that wonderfully visceral Horror muscle but doesn't quite commit to it. I can still feel where the book pulls back. I'm assuming that's editorial guidance, but let's say it out loud: Embrace the blood shed already. You can only dance up to and around it for so long. 

So, the Vampires are all taken care of? What's next? 

We come to the end of the first arc of this new Marvel Predator franchise. Looking forward to seeing Theta bag the Predator of her nightmares.

This one is heating right the f*ck up! Glad I jumped on when I did. Cutter is nasty.

Consistently the headscratcher each month, and I love Ten Thousand Black Feathers for it. 

Not really sure where we're heading now that the previous arc settled, but I'm in regardless. 


Kang! 'Nuff said:

It's probably been a while since I posted a Marvel Movie trailer here. My interest wanes, at best. I'll always be keeping up on the Big Picture of the MCU, but the individual films can feel like work.

Not here though. Because here, we have Kang and Jonathan Majors playing him, no less. I'm all in, with one little caveat - I still have yet to see Ant-Man one or two. I'll be remedying that soon, I guess. 


David Bowie - Earthling
David Bowie - Heathen
David Bowie - The Buddha of Suburbia
Blut Aus Nord - Disharmonium; Undreamable Abysses
Blut Aus Nord - Hallucinogen
Death - ... For the Whole World to See


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

Exacting global systems change (i.e., me, overall) by the transformative experience of actually listening to my own and others' emotions. I think this is just an overall "good practice" for life, really. Funny, the new year incites change and repositing/strategizing regardless of whether we do the resolution gambit or not. There's a feeling of renewal built into us as a society, I think, and so it's similar to how I wake up at 8:00 AM now whether I set my alarm or not. My body has learned the pattern. Maybe that's why this particular pull on this day; reminding me to embrace the small changes I've made in the last week-and-a-half purely because I felt like changing, not because I was aware or coerced into thinking I needed to make them.

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

RIP David Bowie - Seven Years Away From Tibet


The Alien has been gone from this world for seven years. Damn. I still remember that day. Thus begins my annual Seven Days of David Bowie, and I thought I'd start with "Seven Years in Tibet," from Bowie's 1997 album Earthling.


The first trailer for Ari Aster's third film Beau is Afraid dropped:

Wow. I'm not even sure what to make of this one other than A) I won't be watching any more trailers, and B) I'll be there opening day.


Talking Heads - Fear of Music
Talking Heads - Remain in Light
Iggy Pop - The Idiot
Deafheaven - Infinite Granite
The Jesus Lizard - Liar
Ministry - Moral Hygiene
Ozzy Osbourne - No More Tears
Skid Row - Eponymous
Talking Heads - Big Country (single)
The Flamingos - I Only Have Eyes For You (single)
The Thirsty Crows - Hangman's Noose
Kaiser Cheifs - I Predict A Riot
Sylvaine - Nova
Sylvaine - Atoms Aligned, Coming Undone
The High Confessions - Turning Lead Into Gold with the High Confessions
Lustmord - Dark Matter
Metallica - ... And Justice For All


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

Transformations of both Emotional and Proprietary merit can be achieved by applying the appropriate degree of Will to the correct avenue. I'm not entirely certain how to actually apply this, yet, because on one level this drawing seems to hold the same vagueries most do, while something here is picking at me that perhaps if I sit and contemplate this one, a more specific epiphany may arrive. 

Thursday, January 5, 2023

Much Too Late


Thank You, Mr. Brown. Hearing this again made my night. 


I still cannot believe this is going to be a thing. 

Not throwing shade; I dig the original; it just feels so random that it's getting a sequel all this time later. 


Talking Heads - Fear of Music
Ozzy Osbourne - Patient No. 9
Filmmaker - Drainvoid
Crow (DJ Kicks) - Forest Swords (single)
Ozzy Osbourne - Diary of a Madman
The Besnard Lakes - The Besnard Lakes Are the Last of the Great Thunderstorm Warnings


I'm hoping this is a summation of my last couple of days rather than an indication of where my weekend is heading. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Evil Dead Rise Trailer!!!

How about a little Talking Heads to start the day before we get into my picks for NCBD and the trailer? One of my favorites from Fear of Music!


A very quiet NCBD this week.

Two more issues left after this one, and things are due to start heating up! Hoping for some INSANE monster action, and this cover certainly suggests that's just what we'll get in issue #3 of Jeremy Haun, Jason A. Hurley and Jesus Hervas's The Approach!

I'm having a hard time ascertaining whether this is just the final issue of X-Men: Red before the X-Books get a three-month remake in the Sins of Sinister storyline (aka Age of Apocalypse), or this is the final issue of that book altogether. I'm hoping it's the former.



Can't freaking wait! I am a BIG fan of Fede Alvarez's Evil Dead 2013 (it's not a remake!), and I expect with Raimi, Campbell and Tapert all Producing again, this will be no different! 

So many DISGUSTING images! The Scalp! The cheesegrater!


Bedridden - Soft Soap
Catherine Wheel - Ferment
Metallica - Hardwired... To Self-Destruct
Fvnerals - Let the Earth Be Silent (pre-release singles)
Ministry - Moral Hygiene
Various - Snow Day: Upcoming Every Day (Is Halloween) playlist
Zonal - Eponymous (single)
Zonal - Wrecked (instrumental side)
Lorn - Rarities
Ozzy Osbourne - Patient No. 9


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

Emotional Breakthrough via applying learned knowledge but being careful not to be too dogmatic about the approach. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2023

Xiu Xiu Cover Blue Frank

 I'm really falling hard into my first rewatch of the original Twin Peaks since before The Return aired, and as usual, it feels good to have everything Peaks seep out of the screen and into every aspect of my life. First and foremost is always the music, which tends to never stray far from my mind. This time, Angelo Badalamenti's passing really hit home, and I'm getting even deeper into the sonic space of the show than usual. This, of course, sent me digging. 

I vaguely remember Xiu Xiu touring and then releasing their music of Twin Peaks project, but I'm not sure I'd heard any of it before. Full disclosure: I've never really gotten into this band. That said, I came across this recently and thought it was pretty cool.


I finally sat down and watched Noah Baumbach's adaptation of Don Delillo's White Noise the other night. Turns out? It's my favorite non-genre film of 2022!

All the performances are fantastic, especially Adam Driver. Man, when I first saw this guy as Emo-Vadar, I never would have suspected what a great actor he has become. But between this and Jarmusch's Patterson from a few years ago, Driver just blows me away.

As far as adapting, it's been about a decade since I read White Noise, but a lot of it has stayed in my mind through the intervening years. Overall I loved it, especially how the cast delivers such obvious literary dialogue, which in lesser hands could have been obsequious and irritating. Robert Pattinson does a similar but not-quite-as-affective job with his Delillo dialogue in David Cronenberg's adaptation of Cosmopolis, and while that performance was instrumental in my accepting Patterson - at the time widely known as the 'sparkling vampire' -  as a serious actor, it left the cinematic version of that book something I have yet to revisit. 

I will revisit Baumbach's film often, and soon.


After succumbing to the Something is Killing the Children wave - worth it! - I've now caught up on the sister title, House of Slaughter.

Ostensibly an anthology series, the first five issues cover Erica Slaughter-adjacent Black Mask Aaron's past, while the subsequent six issues delve into one of the Scarlet masks, the young and precocious Edwin and his trials while afloat on a lake that he comes to suspect may house a Dragon.

This book is weird. I enjoyed the arc laid out in 1-5, but I'm going to have to reread 6-10. This story didn't come together for me. Whatever I was supposed to glean out of Edwin's insights and memories just didn't unravel into a satisfying conclusion, and I was left wondering if I'd missed something. Still, I enjoyed all ten so far, as well as last week's Book of Slaughter, which is kind of a clever way to get a lot of info text to us, cementing into factual lore a lot of what we've already pieced together about the politics of The Order of St. George. The new arc starts this month, and I'm looking forward to it despite any hangups I had on this most recent story.


Lustmord - Dark Matter
LCD Soundsystem - New Body Rhumba (single)
LCD Soundsystem - Sound of Silver
Talking Heads - More Songs About Buildings and Food
Black Sabbath - Vol. 4


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

Emotional stability disrupted by a seemingly unending conflict will work itself out if I extend a hand. Hmm.