Friday, April 7, 2023

Immoral & All Seeing


I still find myself thinking about Wayne Shorter's recent passing. I'm by no means a huge fan; I say this not to distance myself from his work, but to respect those out there who are much more committed. Truth is, I started dabbling in Jazz when I was still a teenager thanks to Angelo Badalamenti and David Lynch, but I was way more into it in my twenties. Since moving, I've gotten back into many artists I've been away from for a while, but I still don't spin enough Jazz to be considered anything more than a passing fan. Yet, this music echoes inside me in a way nothing else does. I don't feel like a have a lot of room in my life for it, which is unfortunate, but Jazz is music that requires attention to appreciate, and as I've aged and the world has fallen apart and injected me with its anxiety, I have less and less attention; it's something I fight for on a daily basis. 

As I said upon Mr. Shorter's passing, there is something in his work - whether solo or his collaborations with Miles Davis - that sounds like a conjuring to me. It puts me in a very particular headspace, and in reflecting on his passing, I'm wondering if there is anyone making music today that might have the same effect. Or if the "Jazz Ritual" sound that Shorter and Davis - especially on Bitches Brew, Sorcerer and The All Seeing Eye - summoned into this world is all but gone now. I feel that's likely, as our world is very different from the one where this music was composed. If there were "Jazz Spirits" or "Demons" that came to this plane as a result, where are they now?


Wow. Now, this is an interesting idea:


I subscribed to the channel immediately, and plan on giving this a full go. I was pretty stoked just watching along for a moment, as the music, different voices and sound FX told the story.


Re-reading Sins of Sinister from the beginning now, because my memory sucks. Also reading again because this week's Immoral X-Men really stayed with me.

The thing with the core of the X-Books now, and especially this Event and this issue in particular, is these are no longer superhero books. These are hardcore SciFi. I've talked about my love/hate with genre here before - I don't really go for big, tropey works like Space Opera or High Fantasy, primarily because I just feel like much of those corners of genre just repeat (and expand in some cases; credit where it's due) the most influential work that precedes them. I know there are a million people out there who would tell me I'm wrong, and that's fine. But I avoid those traditional genre lanes and look for stories that do their own thing. By the time we get to the events in Immoral X-Men #3, we're essentially in a deep-space salvage SciFi realm.

Deep-Space Salvage, or DSS for short, is the name I've finally arrived at in my head for those stories that pull me back into the kind of home-brewed, SciFi prevalent in 1980's Hobby Shops and indie comic books. Think TSR and old-school Guardians of the Galaxy. Think comics written by Bill Mantlo. A deep-space enclave where everything is old, rusted, down-and-out. It's the future but nothing is new, progress has flatlined or reversed, and everything is falling apart. That's where Kieron Gillen has taken us in Sins of Sinister.

There are no superheroes here - that's reserved for the regular Monthly X-Book, which anchors the line to its original intent. Instead, here and in X-Men; Red, S.W.O.R.D. before it, and partially at work in Immortal X-Men, we have very meticulous, long-game genre stories that branch off into many different styles and territory, and S.o.S. is definitely DSS.

By the time we arrive at this last panel, page three of Immoral #3, you can see the filth and decay. You can also see a monstrously sized Exodus, now something much more than the mutant zealot we all know and love so well. This issue reminded me A LOT of Daniel Warren Johnson's Beta Ray Bill mini-series from a few years back, and like that series, Sins of Sinister is surprising me with how much I'm enjoying it overall, especially when I didn't read the entire thing (I have not been buying that third title, Nightcrawlers, although I'm thinking about going back and picking it up) or like everything I've read. 


Gang Starr - Hard to Earn
Godflesh - Slavestate EP
Godflesh - Pure
Godflesh - Cold World EP
Godflesh - Love and Hate
QOTSA - ... Like Clockwork
High On Fire - Surrounded By Thieves
Lustmord - Dark Matter
Wayne Shorter - The All Seeing Eye
Miles Davis - Live at the Filmore West


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

Circumstances drift and Change rears its head. It will be tempting to interpret this change as negative, but the reminder in the cards today, me thinks, is that interpretation dictates the positive/negative aspect of change. Change is always good in some respects, it can just be mighty difficult to remember and 'see' that. 

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