The only time I'd ever heard of Sleep Token before this past Saturday night was when my friend Josh asked if I'd heard of them, as his algorithm maintained a consistent recommendation. Driving back from a friend's house in Santa Clarita, my friend Bridget played several songs, and I almost instantly became intrigued. When Ray dropped me off at the hotel, I had a head full of smoke and laid down with their first album, Sundowning, on my headphones. I was transported somewhere I had never been before. This is the reaction I am most fond of with music, and based on that, I'm kind of an overnight fan here, despite the fact that some of the textures Sleep Token employs in its genreless music are coopted from styles of music I don't particularly care for. That said, in the context of this band's music and mythology, most of it works.
31 Days of Halloween:
Thanks to Beyondfest, I was able to kick off 31 Days of Halloween yesterday with a triple-feature over at the Aero. Here's what we saw:
Having just rewatched Demián Rugna's 2017 film Terrified, I wasn't entirely certain what I was in for with When Evil Lurks. Turns out, When Evil Lurks won the day. This film is relentlessly dark, it doesn't hold your hand, and it pays back what it demands of the audience with one of the most original and gnarly Horror flicks of the year, if not of the last few.
Next, the latest installment in the V/H/S series:
As I've stated here previously, this series is always a mixed bag for me. When I saw Gigi Saul Guerrero, David Bruckner and Scott Derrickson attached to direct segments in V/H/S/85, I had hope for a really solid anthology film, and I got one.
The one thing about the VHS that still wears on me is how they play with the mechanism of the format. Tracking lines, pops, squiggles, dither and interrupted interstitial elements - these contrived artifacts add little at this point, and I think take up far too much time. I know having these creates the VHS illusion. However, they're just such a given at this point it does nothing for me. I also thought a few of the shorts had some pacing issues, but overall, this is easily my favorite all-around entry into the series since the original. Scott Derrickson and C. Robert Cargill's "Dreamkill" was easily my favorite here, with its bloody set pieces that felt right out of an early 80s Video Nasty.
Finally, the night ended with Emanuele De Santi and Giulio De Santi's 2011 bloodbath, Adam Chaplain:
This movie would make an absolutely perfect double feature with Gabriel Bartalos's Skinned Deep. It's low on budget but a veritable "how to" lesson on shooting and FX when you have more Will than money.
As with last year's 31 Days, I'm aberrating my usual a-movie-a-day format due to the fact that I'll still be in a hotel room until the evening of the ninth. I always bring my firestick with me when I travel, however, working and seeing people come first, so I cannot guarantee I'll have the time every single day to watch something. With that said, Day #1 takes care of the next 3 days (not to say I won't try to watch something every day, it's just doubtful.
Jóhann Jóhannsson - Mandy OST
Deth Crux - Mutant Flesh
Baroness - Stone
The Warlocks - Vevey Live
Sleep Token - Sundowning
Sleep Token - Take Me Back to Eden
Voyage - Paradise (single)
Voyage - Second Light
I'm on the road, so all my Pulls will be from my mini Thoth deck for the next two weeks. Not a bad thing, but wanted to put up a reminder that Grimm's new Tarot Deck, The Hand of Doom Tarot, is both gorgeous and live on Kickstarter until Tuesday, October 3rd. Here's the LINK.
• II: The Priestess
• Three of Cups: Abundance
• IX: The Hermit
Another pretty easy one - an abundance of emotion can lead to isolation. This is, I believe, another tip for dealing with issues at work. It's pretty easy to become overwhelmed and transported right back into the "Manager Mode" that made me successful while I was still living and working here in L.A. That's a mistake, and I appreciate the Universe's constant reminders that is no longer my role.