Friday, December 29, 2023

Snake Oil for the Authoritarian Soul


From 2023's post-script collection of covers Snake Oil, here's Frank Black and the Catholics doing Bruce Springsteen's "I'm Going Down" and absolutely OWNING the song. Special thanks to Mr. Brown for lending me this in our most recent vinyl swap. Hot damn, I needed a fresh dose of Catholicism!!!


A couple nights ago, K and I went to see Sean Durkin's new film, The Iron Claw. This was completely off my radar, and I'm very grateful K suggested it.

Durkin's 2011 debut film, Mary Marcy May Marlene left an impression on me that has lasted long since my only viewing, shortly after it hit physical media. I've watched his name pop up here and there but hadn't actually seen anything else by him until now. Imagine my absolute joy to find out his work has paid off with a widely released film (thank you once again, A24!!!) that features some fairly notable actors. Zac Efron impressed the hell out of me with his physical dedication to taking on this role, as did The Bear's Jeremy Allen White, both of whom gave enormous performances. This one is a story for the heart, and I find it infinitely gratifying that the cultural detritus of previous eras are being reevaluated and recirculated in new contexts, helping unify the various cultural 'eras' of our time on this planet into something that helps us understand one another better. 


Two nights ago I began reading Jeff Vandermeer's Authority, the sequel to Annihilation. Seventy or so pages in, this one hasn't inspired quite the same level of rabidity that book one did, however, there's a brilliant bridge built into the story from the first book and this one; something that promises things are going to get pretty insane pretty soon. 

Based on my difficulty finding images for this one's cover, I'm going to guess that this series didn't really receive the attention it deserves. This is super high concept Science Fiction/Horror that pushes into the spaces between the world as we understand it and really tries to pick apart the atomic structure of what humanity has built for itself. Not always the easiest read, as evidenced by the somewhat scuttling pace of the opening chapters of this book, there's a "clinicism" here that pushes how we take in and assimilate concepts through language. Reminds me a bit of China Meivile, specifically Embassytown and City and the City.


Portishead - Third
Baroness - Stone
Frank Black and the Catholics - Snake Oil
Frank Black and the Catholics - Eponymous 
Blackbraid - Blackbraid II
Frank Black and the Catholics - If It Takes All Night (single)
The Bronx - IV
Exhalants - Atonement


From Jonathan Grimm's Hand of Doom Tarot, which you can buy HERE.

• King of Swords
• Ten of Wands
• Nine of Wands

Lots of phallic imagery today! The Airy aspect of Air indicates to me at this moment that I'm not smart enough for what is required of me in some situation at play that, in fact, may have already resolved itself.  Recognize the accomplishment and don't dwell on the afterbirth.

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