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.

No comments: