Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Witchfinder - Approaching

 

Let's start Wednesday with some heavy slabs of pot-choked doom. The opening track from Witchfinder's 2022 album Forgotten Mansion. This one plods with a satisfying heft until it breaks out and starts to chase you, Clément's voice haunting the darkening skies behind you as you try to get away...

Love this f**king band.




NCBD:

Another week brings another NCBD. Let's get into this week's pull list:


Loving these Energon Universe books, and especially love seeing the evolution of Cobra from the ground up as a merger between Cobra Commander and his, eh, backers, and Destro's MARS, which has a considerably heavier hand in this from the beginning. 


One more issue after this and Newburn concludes. Man, I do not think things are going to go well for almost anyone in the cast. 


Jeff Lemire and Gabriel H. Walta's Phantom Road just gets weirder by the issue. Let's see where we go this month. 


Another book I retained absolutely zero from after reading the first issue. I think my fascination with the X-Books that began near the end of Hickman's run is coming to an end. We'll always have the highlights of this era.


Garth Ennis and Jacen Burrows' The Ribbon Queen comes to an end. Thus far I only have half of these in my possession, but those are four of the bloodiest, most compelling Horror comics I've read in years. I won't have the remainder of the series in my hand until early April. Can't wait to read the entire series straight through from beginning to end.




Watch:

I only had to watch 17 seconds of this trailer to know I'm in:


In theatres May 3rd, from Writer/Director Jane Schoenbrun, whose previous film We're All Going to the World's Fair has been on my list for some time. 




Playlist:

Witchfinder - Forgotten Mansion
Judas Priest - Invincible Shield (pre-release singles)
Slayer - South of Heaven
Double Life - Indifferent Stars
Vince Pope - True Detective: Night Country OST
Justin Hamline - The House With Dead Leaves
Various - Return of the Living Dead OST




Card:

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


• Ace of Swords
• Six of Swords
• V: The Hierophant

Swift decisiveness will balance a shaky situation and provide guidance.

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Judas Priest - The Serpent and the King

 

Wow. This ROCKS! Kind of splits the difference between the "Delivering the Goods" and "All Guns Blazing" eras. New album Invincible Shield out March 8th; pre-order HERE.




Watch:

When we drove into Nashville to catch TENET this past Saturday, I was overjoyed to see that Regal Opry Mills also had Stopmotion, a film I had no idea I would be able to see on the big screen. Last night, K and I drove back and watched Robert Morgan's GROTESQUE masterpiece Stopmotion!



K was not a fan, but I loved this one. The pacing is plodding and deliberate, much like the creations that slowly enact the terrible fate that eventually we grow to dread will fall upon our protagonist, so I'm pretty certain that's going to ostracize some folks; for me, it only added dread. I keep using that word, but I'm thinking that's possibly the best descriptor for this one, because it's filled with it. 




Read:

Not so much read as stare in awe. I wasn't aware of this until this morning:



The painted packaging art from the old ARAH line is in my blood. The Joe, Transformers and, to a lesser degree, MOTU artwork was instrumental in my brain becoming what it is - whether that's good or bad remains open to debate. But I'd say some of the more spacey, cosmic images planted the seed as to why I can sit and listen to Blut Aus Nord's "Elevation," the final Memoria Vetusta II: Dialogue with the Stars and 'go someplace' far away inside my head. That's a bit of an oblique attempt at describing so abstract a concept, but there's something about this art that just burns as the purest fuel for my imagination.

This omnibus is a pretty good chunk of change, but watching this video, I'm blown away by the work the fine folks at 3D Joes did for it, so it's definitely worth the price tag. I'm not 100% certain I'm going to spend the money on this, simply because I'm trying to save at the moment. That said, HERE is the link to do so.




Playlist:

Marilyn Manson - We Are Chaos
Moderat - II
Moderat - III
High On Fire - Burning Down (pre-release single)
High On Fire - Electric Messiah
Pearl Jam - Dark Matter (pre-release single)
Pearl Jam - Vs.
High On Fire - Luminiferous
John Carpenter - Lost Themes II
Blut Aus Nord - Memoria Vetusta II: Dialogue with the Stars
Shadow Show - Fantasy Now
Fever Ray - Eponymous




Card:

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


• Ace of Swords
• O: The Fool
• Queen of Cups

A breakthrough of Will is the impetus for a new journey into emotional canals neglected.

What's that, a poem? Hahaha. No, but it's an attempt at stream-of-consciousness interpretation I've fallen out of habit on. You see, I've come to rely on my various notes and texts concerning the Tarot so much, my brain draws blanks when faced with just cards. Trying to get that muscle back.

So what the hell does that mean? I think it's a reference to a friend who needs kindness and a journey into deeper friendship that looms on the horizon. Always help a brother - or sister - out when they are in need.

Sunday, February 25, 2024

Erosion Cylce




While you listen to the wonderful opening track from Erosion Cycle's 2015 Maladies - available on their Bandcamp HERE - follow the logic of how I re-discovered this artist I first connected with about a decade ago. It's a weird and winding road.

I began Sunday morning in a manner I try not to begin any morning; I picked up my phone. Sunday's go one of two ways: I either barely touch the damnable device all day and reach for a book instead, or I feel the need to read the latest Orbital Operations from Warren Ellis the moment I open my eyes. Yesterday proved a case of the latter. From that OO email, I redirected to Ellis' Ltd site (his daily notebook, which I often pick at during the week via the RSS reader Feedly). The article that caught my eye is titled "Cory Doctorow Blogging Style." One of the things I love about Warren Ellis, besides pretty much everything he writes, is how he serves as a hub for access to so many other writers. I share Mr. Ellis' fascination with hearing what writers have to say about their Process, and although I am familiar with Mr. Doctorow in name and reputation alone, a glimpse into his blogging style held a strong pull for me. Blogging continues to be a passion of mine, and in an age where it seems to have largely lapsed as a relevant cultural format, I find inspiration and solace in other people's versions of it. Especially someone as prolific as Cory Doctorow. 

In familiarizing myself with Doctorow's Pluralistic, I began to lurk about, reading various thoughts and articles from the site's four-year history. That's when I hit on the "Enshittification" piece and, subsequently, THIS PIECE Electronic Frontier Foundation published as a five-part article on the cunning (and ruthless) manner in which social media companies basically capture an artist's followers and then ransom them back to them. I finally get it. For anyone else who feels as though their posts are the equivalent of hollering into a cyclone, here, then, is the answer. 

When I used to add links to these daily posts on social media, at the very least I'd get some interaction from friends and followers. Then, for years FB began to classify any link to my blog as "inappropriate or harmful," based on, I finally deduced, the link to one of my previous musical project's names. This, as well as a growing general disdain, led me to all but stop using FB and eventually deactivate the page for a number of months. Later, when I re-engaged, the idea to link this Blogspot page to the URL www.shawncbaker.com solved the censoring problem. However, now I had next to no engagement for the posts whatsoever. 

Zero engagement can be tough when you've previously enjoyed a livelier go. I write here for my own benefit primarily, however, those years of having others chime in on my thoughts/work had created a sometimes reciprocal relationship with interaction. It's the same with all the podcast projects I do - it's nice to know someone other than myself is listening.

So now I understand. I've known since the Muskrat took over the bird page and made it x that my posts were being squashed in order to persuade me to pay for that blue checkmark. Not doing that. Hell, I'd love to actually drop my account there altogether. That said, like FB, it is the only avenue of "direct" connection I have with some folks, so I keep it regardless of how my steeping resentment prompts me to avoid actually posting on it for large swathes of time. 

Anyway, by the time I finished reading all those articles by Cory Doctorow, I A) felt physically gross from staring at my phone for so long, despite the intellectual gymnastics my choice of reading promoted, and B) I ended up falling down a rabbit hole and pruning my follows on x (yeah, I don't understand how staring at a largely vapid social media feed fed to me by an algorithm that devalues me at every turn could prompt more time spent on said platform, but that's an avenue of insidiousness perhaps best left deconstructed by someone who earns their dimes in a field of psychological study). It was while doing this that I stumbled across Erosion Cycle for the first time in literally probably ten years, and fell in love as soon as I hit "Play."




Watch:

TENET absolutely blew my mind.


I am SO happy I waited four years for a chance to have my inaugural viewing of this film (because there will be oh so many more) on an IMAX screen. 

For comparison's sake, I'll say this: Christopher Nolan is the exact opposite of Nicolas Winding Refn. Refn makes beautiful images that he strings together with concepts so foul he basically dares you to continue watching. This is not a negative criticism, and also not exactly accurately applied to Refn's MO until he became a box office draw. Only God Forgives, Too Old to Die Young, Neon Demon - all of these followed the breakout success of Drive and all of them, in some way or another, attempt to punish the viewer's revelry for their imagery with themes, characters and situations that are psychologically grotesque. We see examples of this in but not limited to Martin's high school GF or, hell, episode five of TO2DY; Gordon's request near the beginning of Only God Forgives and Julian's relationship with his mother, or pretty much all of the themes in Neon Demon

Christopher Nolan, on the other hand, takes such care and pride in his work as a cinematic creator, that he develops stories that require multiple viewings to fully grasp. If you make a beautiful movie that everyone understands outright, they may return to it from time to time, but not nearly as much as if you challenge the audience's intellect; in this way, Nolan creates a compulsion to return to his films to "figure them out." I was halfway through TENET and already planning my next viewing.

Brilliant.




Cast:

The new episode of The Horror Vision Presents: Elements of Horror is up on all podcast platforms and with a swanky video on youtube. Full-Spoiler discussion on Gerald Kargl's 1983 "Video Nasty" Angst. I've been putting more and more work into these, and that's definitely starting to pay off:



Also, the recent episode of Drinking with Comics - now an "only YouTube" show, where Mike Shinabargar and I talk in-depth about Robert Kirkman's Energon Universe, especially what he and Joshua Willamson are doing with GIJOE:


I had a lot of fun doing both of these, which is really what it's all about. 




Playlist:

High on Fire - Electric Messiah
Justin Hamline - The House With Dead Leaves
Jim Williams - Possessor OST
Emilie Levienaise-Farrouch - Censor OST
The Devil's Blood - The Thousandfold Epicentre
The Bronx - (I)
Blut Aus Nord - Memoria Vetusta II: Dialogue with the Stars
Chelsea Wolfe - She Reaches Out to She Reaches Out to She
Amigo the Devil - Yours Until the War is Over
Stephen Sanchez - Angel Face
Ozzy Osbourne - No More Tears
John Carpenter - Lost Themes II
Erosion Cycle - Maladies
Amigo the Devil - Everything Is Fine
Jerry Cantrell - Brighten
Nobuhiko Morino - Verses OST




Card:

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


• Page of Wands
• IX: The Hermit
• Six of Pentacles

Page of Wands, the Earth of Fire; Tempering the Will to Earthly Concerns. The Hermit is, in my experience, often an indication to regroup and lay low. Finally, the Six of Pentacles can indicate the Balance of those Earthly Concerns, so I'm reading this the same way I've been reading a lot of these of late - take a respite, regroup and save, then redirect my Will. Several "Earthly" concerns I could align this with, but I'm wondering if this is a direct response to something I've been thinking about just before breaking out the cards. The idea that I consulted them without consciously realizing that's what I was doing is a little too good to pass up. 

Thursday, February 22, 2024

Double Life - Indifferent Stars



Nick Vance from the excellent Cinematic Void Podcast has a debut EP out with Double Life. Indifferent Stars is a GORGEOUS slice of 90s-style sonic emotional rock, reminiscent of early Sugar, Embrace, and maybe even a little Sonic Youth. Click the Bandcamp widget above (or click HERE) to go support these guys and help let 'em know we need a full-length like now. Listening to this makes me feel SO fucking good!!!




Watch:

Boy Kills World has been on the very outskirts of my awareness for a while now. I've come to really like Bill Skarsgård, so that's a plus. On the opposite end of that is an easy association my brain plays with linking the title of the film to those "Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe" books, which I kind of roll my eyes at. So I didn't really think I'd care.

 

I stopped the trailer and put this on the "need to see list" when I heard the line about a televised execution... by breakfast cereal mascots??? Still not entirely sure this will be for me, but that definitely made me interested enough to go see it on or around when it hits theatres on April 26.




Playlist:

Metallica - 72 Seasons
The Mysterines - Reeling
Grinderman - Eponymous
Grinderman - Grinderman 2
Godspeed You! Black Emperor - F# A# ∞
The Caretaker - Stairway to the Stars
Chelsea Wolfe - She Reaches Out to She Reaches Out to She
Jim Williams - Possessor OST




Card:

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


• Six of Cups
• Queen of Pentacles
• King of Wands

I feel like this is the most non-specific spread I've had with the Hand of Doom deck. That's not a knock in any direction on the cards - Jonathan Grimm's Heavy Metal/Acid Fantasy/Stoner illustrations bring great joy to my life, doubly so as the readings are the least ambiguous of any deck I've worked with. Here, we seem to have an indication that Emotional Balance comes with a passionate reclamation of the tactile. The King of Wands - or the "Air" of "Fire" suggests tempering the Will with the Intellect, always the best case scenario, will play a part in achieving this.

I don't really know what the hell this means, but I'll be mulling it over throughout the day.

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

New Music From The Mysterines!!!

 

Man, somehow I KNEW this was coming. I hadn't read anything about The Mysterines in a while, but I got the idea of a new album on the horizon in my head a week or two ago and have been checking that told me we were due. Out June 7th, you can pre-order Afraid of Tomorrow HERE.




NCBD:

Pretty hefty NCBD this week. Let's get right into it:


I can't tell you how much I've been looking forward to Cobra Commander issue #2! Joshua Williamson and Robert Kirkman are taking a very different approach with the Joes in this whole Energon Universe take, and they've got me interested in a considerably more SciFi version of this franchise. I welcome it!


Still hanging in on the latest iteration of Larry Hama's GIJOE: A Real American Hero. 


LOVED the first episode of this new Hellblazer series, let's hope that continues. I'm equally intrigued by and a bit concerned about seeing Swamp Thing show up already in the second issue. I feel like John and Alec have become a bit too codependent in recent years; just because we have one, doesn't mean we need the other. Still, I'm here for it, and look at that awesome cover!!!


No lie - going to have to reread the first issue of this "Ten years in the future" Rise of the Powers of X series before I dive into this. Whereas Fall of the House of X stuck, this did not. 


The penultimate issue of Tenement. The previous issue blew my mind and I'm thinking Lemire and Sorrentino aren't done with the surprises yet. 


Unnatural Order has proved to be a fantastic time-travel story thus far. There's an epic element to this one that promises big things. 


What bizarre hijinx will Ash, Evil Ash and Sheila get up to in this issue? I'm really digging writer Tony Fleec's use of futuristic, robotic "Deadites"


Finally, tying directly into The One Hand series that launched this Neo-Noir universe, we have the first issue of Dan Watters and Sumit Kumar's The Six Fingers hitting shelves today. You can read how much I loved The One Hand and this concept in general HERE




Watch:

Chock this up to the "Better late than never" category, but I just bought tickets to see Christoper Nolan's TENET on the big screen. IMax, no less.


I never saw TENET due to, well, COVID and not being able to see the film the way Christopher Nolan proclaimed it was made to be seen - on the biggest screen possible. But I waited patiently, avoiding the urge to watch this on HOBOMAX or Prime or where I saw the thumbnail, maintaining my aversion to the idea that my first viewing would be on a little screen. My patience has paid off! We have to drive to Nashville on Saturday for this one, but I have no doubt it will be worth it.




Playlist:

Justin Hamline - The House With Dead Leaves
IDLES - Joy As An Act Of Rebellion
IDLES - Tangk
Tar - Clincher
Matt Cameron - Gory Scorch Cretins
The Damned - Evil Spirits
Drug Church - Hygiene
Ganser - Odd Talk
Metallica - 72 Seasons
Chelsea Wolfe - She Reaches Out to She Reaches Out to She
Frank Sinatra - In the Wee Small Hours




Tuesday, February 20, 2024

New Music From High On Fire!!!

 

The first harbinger for High on Fire's upcoming album Cometh the Storm has landed, and as one would expect, it's the sonic equivalent of having Matt Pike kick you in the skull! The album is out April 19th, pre-order HERE.

This is the first High on Fire album in six years and I'm pretty damn excited. I've followed these guys since Man's Ruin (RIP) released The Art of Self Defense in 2000, and I'd grown rather used to looking to a new album every 2-3 years*, so I'm more than ready for a new full-length. 

.............................................

* Granted, Pike Vs. the Automaton came out two years ago, so it's not like I've been going through a total detox. 




Watch:

I feel like I've been waiting on a release announcement for Larry Fessenden's Blackout for a year now, so imagine my surprise and excitement this morning when I found that a trailer had dropped!


Despite my recent aversion to trailers (they ruin movies), I did allow myself to watch this one. Probably mostly because I doubt I'll see this in the cinema before any movies, so I'll be able to control only seeing it the onc time. And, as with all of Fessenden's films, my anticipation for this one is already sky-high already! Some of what I'm reading shows this getting a slightly wider-than-usual theatrical release, so I'm crossing my fingers we get it here in Clarksville or, at the very least, in Chicago. I'd totally drive seven hours to see a Larry Fessenden film on the big screen.




Playlist:

Jim Williams - Possessor OST
Emilie Levienaise-Farrouch - Censor OST
High on Fire - Burning Down (single)
Emma Ruth Rundle & Thou - May Our Chambers Be Full
Mannequin Pussy - I Got Heaven (pre-release singles)
Justin Hamline - The House With Dead Leaves
Various - Return of the Living Dead Soundtrack
Idles - Tangk
Idles - Joy As An Act of Rebellion
Zeal & Ardor - Eponymous
Yawning Balch - Volume One & Two
The Police - Synchronicity
Dean Hurley - Tales From the Library of the Occult Present: Flower




Card:

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


• Five of Swords
• IX: The Hermit
• Two of Pentacles

Five of Swords is a tricky place to start. There's an interpretation that Fives cast a Pall over other cards in the reading, as they can be seen as indicating conflict or struggle. Struggle is not necessarily a bad thing, though. So we're starting at a struggle, and moving into The Hermit, which usually bespeaks re-grouping or gestation. Finally, the Two of Pentacles can suggest both collaboration and opposition. Now, it would be tempting to take that "Pall" of the Five of Swords (especially because it's Swords) and read this entire Pull as negative or conflictory, however, from the Grimoire:

"Two's - Chokmah on the Sepheritoic Tree of Life - actually represents the number one, as they are the first physical manifestation of the elements, still harmonious and untainted by anything material. I'd look at this, then, as a forthcoming struggle of intellect that will require a period of deliberation (gestation) and a new idea/approach, untainted by previous lust of result.

That's a considerably more in-depth interpretation than I've done in a while. Not sure if I'm just looking for a cheerier answer than "conflict!" or if the motivation to go below a surface reading is stronger today. Either way, this applies pretty directly to what I'm currently working on, so I'll take it. 

*The only Sephiroth/Trump higher being Kether, which is, in Grant Morrison speak, the intangible "White Hot Room."

Friday, February 16, 2024

Justin Hamline's The House With Dead Leaves Out Today!!!



Out today! Justin Hamline's cinematic score for a Giallo that only exists in his head, The House With Dead Leaves!!! Justin was gracious enough to allow me access to this ahead of release, and I can tell you that this is a lush, imaginative masterpiece that instantly became a daily listen. Fantastic mood-setter for the YA Giallo Novel I'm currently writing!

I've mentioned here previously that I am kind of predisposed to appreciate scores for films that don't exist due to a long-standing love of all things Barry Adamson. When I finish writing a book and prep it for release, I try to put a playlist in the back as an accompanying feature, but what I haven't managed to make good on yet is the half-finished scores I have sitting on an old hard drive. I made a conscious decision in 2015 to focus almost solely on writing, so for nearly ten years, all of my musical 'urges' get trasnmuted into writing fuel. These cinematic emanations aren't exactly for films that don't exist, they're just for stories that don't tangibly exist yet, which I'm betting is how Justin would describe The House with Dead Leaves as well. I've long wanted to release a score and a novel simultaneously, and reveling in the sonic joys of Justin's accomplishment has put that back in mind (though something like that probably won't be happening any time soon). 

The takeaway here is that with the imagery Justin's been peppering his social media accounts with to accompany this album, I feel I can almost see his movie, as though the horrific events the music buoys are playing out nearby, on the other side of a thick wall of fog. Doesn't that sound almost exactly like something from a Giallo film?

Well played, sir. Well played.




Watch:

Finally! Evil Season 4 announced as arriving in May! This is one of the most low-key fantastic Horror shows ever made, in my opinion, and I couldn't be happier that it's finally coming back with the long-awaited Fourth - and final - season!

 
Regarding the cancellation, I was under the impression - perhaps erroneously - that this season was meant to be the last regardless. Either way, Paramount ordering an extra four episodes to help wrap everything up definitely helps. Can't wait.
 


Playlist:

The Veils - Total Depravity
Type O Negative - Bloody Kisses (digipak)
Justin Hamline - The House With Dead Leaves
Matt Cameron - Gory Scorch Cretins
Fabula - Lost in Stars
Witchfinder - Hazy Rites
Ween - Chocolate and Cheese
The Jesus and Mary Chain - Darklands
Jim Williams - Possessor OST
Blut Aus Nord - Memoria Vetusta II: A Dialogue with the Stars
Fvunerals - Let the Earth Be Silent
Chelsea Wolfe - She Reaches Out to She Reaches Out to She
Nobuhiko Morino - Versus OST




Card:

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


• King of Pentacles - Earthly Intellect
• Eight of Swords - Transformation of relationship (status quo)
• Nine of Pentacles - Earthly accomplishment

Lots of Earthly concerns represented in the cards this morning. That makes sense - money was a free-floating variable for a few days as I scrambled to get my taxes done and a few unexpected trips to the Emergency Room/Urgent Care piled up over the course of last weekend (everyone is fine). Having the Eight of Swords bisect the two nods to Malkuth looks to me as an indication that a deep-seated perspective on Earthly concerns (again, money) is about to change. What's that mean, exactly? Well, I'm hot and cold with spending, and I think it's a good time to go cold again and amass larger savings. That's a goal K and I have discussed recently (we even began calls with a free money-manager person through her work), a week ago today, actually, so this Pull makes sense in terms of a reminder to 'stay on the path.'

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Jim Williams - Possessor

I can feel a viewing of Brandon Cronenberg's Possessor on the horizon. I've become quite entranced by the score, which I'd always enjoyed in the context of the film but hadn't completely warmed to as a stand-alone listen. That ended yesterday, when I played the album - and this track in particular - over several times. 




NCBD:

It's New Comic Book Day! Here are my picks:


The final issue. I still haven't been able to physically acquire issue three, although Mike Shin has a copy for me at Amazing Fantasy in Frankfort. Since I never subbed Syzmon Kurdanski's Blood Commandment at Rick's, it's a toss-up whether or not I actually bring issue four home today. If not, I'll call Mike. 


Not going to lie; I cannot wait to read this issue just based on the cover alone. Something about the image of Lorna Dane in her father's armor just feels like, yeah, something I've always wanted but never put into words or even coherent thought.


James Tynion IV and Josh Hixon's The Deviant continues to spiral deeper into a psycho-social mystery that, although we already know who (or what) the killer is, carries a 


I still can't believe we're three issues from the end. Damn. Looking around online, I've yet to see any concrete information as far as whether the new Jason Aaron series will continue the continuity built up over 150 glorious issues of this series or if it will just restart everything. Hoping for the former, afraid for the latter. 


The cover says it all. I never thought I'd see Optimus Prime wearing Megatron's Canon arm, but then, between everything we've seen in the pages of Daniel Warren Johnson's Transformers and Joshua Williamson's Cobra Commander, I guess I should now just be prepared for a lot of surprises when it comes to these two long-time properties.




Watch:

I showed K Destroy All Neighbors yesterday. She loved it. So did I; totally holds up upon second viewing.

 

The vocoder hostage negotiation scene is one of the funniest things I've seen in recent years. Directed by Josh Forbes and written by Charles A. Pieper, along with Jared Logan and Mike Benner, this one really arrived at the right time for me. Horror-comedy is a favorite when it's done right, and this does it exactly right. There are so many '90s Oddball vibes in here. Then, of course, factor in Gabriel Bartalos, and you have a straight-up win all around. The prosthetics on Alex Winter are INSANE, and he does an outstanding job acting through them. In fact, there's a fantastic article in the latest Fangoria about this that really peeled back the curtain on some of the production (though not too much to eclipse the overall film). 




Playlist:

Jim Williams - Possessor OST
Blut Aus Nord - Memoria Vetusta II: A Dialogue with the Stars
Genghis Tron - Dream Weapon
Emma Ruth Rundle & Thou - May Our Chambers Be Full
Dream Division - Beyond the Mirror's Image
Tears for the Dying - Memories
Justin Hamline - The House with Dead Leaves
Psychetect - Extremism
Morphine - The Night




Card:

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


• 0: The Fool
• Eight of Cups
• XIII: Death

A journey starts and almost immediately fails and ends. Rapid prototyping? I have to think about this one for a bit, as depending on how I choose to interpret it, this may be advice on opting out of a project I was planning on releasing soon. I don't feel like said project 'failed,' although I did think it would be done by now. That said, I took a huge jump forward with it, then relaxed because, honestly, I have really lost the thread with Writing since December. I just didn't get very much done in January while I was in L.A., and it's only yesterday that I began actively carving out a workspace for it. 

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Tears for the Dying - Lost Girls


I found Tears for the Dying last night watching Alice Maio Mackay's Bad Girl Boogey, which just hit Shudder. This track grabbed me the moment it began to play onscreen, and it was just with quite a gusto I made my way over to Apple Music and downloaded the entire album, which I have yet to play, but am looking forward to this morning.




Watch:

As stated above, I threw on Alice Maio Mackay's Bad Girl Boogey last night and was instantly blown away. This film has such a DIY feel, but also, it feels so much like a Video Nasty from back in the 80s. 


The opening setup and kills, which take place over the course of many "Halloweens" and involve different groups of people are brutal and stem from a creepy, blue-collar Occult underground that just works for me in so many ways.




Playlist:

Stereophonics - Just Enough Education to Perform
The Veils - ... And Out of the Void
Cake - Fashion Nugget
Cake - Motorcade of Generosity
Bohren & der Club of Gore - Sunset Mission
Jim Williams - Possessor OST
Fever Ray - Radical Romantics




Card:

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



• 0: The Fool
• VIII: Strength
• Seven of Cups


The journey here is one of Strength, or rekindling it. Victory is assured, or at least likely, but the first steps have to be taken. I'm afraid this pain in my knees is not going to go away; that would suck. I feel an apathy toward myself has crept in around the edges of my life; I'm so focused on the things I focus on (the elements of the world that tend to populate these pages), that it's difficult to muster the reserves to focus on myself. Because, of course, "something always comes along to save the Simpson children." Only, that's not true, is it? Just because I'm sitting here typing, healthy now, doesn't mean I will be in a year, a month or even a day. 

Monday, February 12, 2024

Chelsea Wolfe - The Liminal

 

My copy of Chelsea Wolfe's She Reaches Out to She Reaches Out to She arrived on Saturday and I managed to hold off listening to it until the precise criteria I insisted upon were met - Saturday night after recording the latest episode of The Horror Vision Presents: Murderboad - A True Detective Night Country Discussion, I placed the beautiful colored vinyl on the turntable in my office, smoked a quarter of a joint and laid out on the floor and let the sounds wash over me. This one's an immediate shoo-in for my top ten list this year. It's both similar and completely unlike anything Ms. Wolfe has done previously; similar, because her voice is unmistakable; different in that there are a lot of what I can only call "Industrial Trip-Hop" elements in these songs. 

I know, I know... it's not bad enough we subdivide music into oft-confusing subgenres, but now you're creating hybrids of those subgenres? Well... there's just no other way to say it. 

Industrial is appropriate because alot of the songs have a mechanical feeling to their percussion or groove, Trip Hop because the closest thing I can compare of the arranging on this album to is Portishead or Massive Attack. I can split hairs all day long on the sound, but believe me, this is a spectacular piece of work from one of the most interesting artists working in music.




Watch:

I had the revelatory experience of watching Jennifer Reeder's 2019 Knives and Skin on Saturday night. Here's a trailer that I have vetted; it gives nothing away (also doesn't do this film any kind of justice, but you really can't encapsulate Knives and Skin in a trailer anymore than you can a Lynch film):


Ms. Reeder has been slowly moving up my radar ever since I watched 2020's Night's End hit Shudder back in the fall of 2022. I posted about her most recent film Perpetrator a few weeks ago, and that viewing, combined with this latest one, seals the deal: she's easily my latest "favorite directors." There's a moment in this trailer where the pull quote says, "Twin Peaks meets Donnie Darko." That's not exactly right, but it's not exactly wrong, either, and it's close enough to tell you why I like it so much and whether or not you have any hope of connecting with it. All I can say is K and I were absolutely mesmerized while watching.




Playlist:

Matt Cameron - Gory Scorch Cretins
David Bowie - Black Star
David Bowie - The Next Day
David Bowie - Outside
David Bowie - Aladdin Sane
Turnstile - Glow On
Frankie and the Witch Fingers - Data Doom
Various - Learn to Relax: A Tribute to Jehu
Grace Jones - Warm Leatherette (single)
Daemien Frost - Corpus Demo
Donny Benét - Konichiwa (single)
Chelsea Wolfe - She Reaches Out to She Reaches Out to She
The Veils - Total Depravity




Card:

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


• VIII: Strength
• Four of Pentacles
• Knight of Wands

A lot of strength and foundation, which I feel like has been under assault in our house the last few days. Took K to the emergency room on Thursday night around midnight (she's fine), took our cat Sweetie to the pet urgent care on Saturday (we think she's fine), and something popped in my right knee that has left me in intermittent crippling pain since Saturday morning. All this, juxtaposed with this Pull, tells me we need to finally ante up and put our health back into the actively attending to column.

Friday, February 9, 2024

New Music From Beth Gibbons!!!

 

Holy smokes - new music from Beth Gibbons! Interesting synchronicity, as I cracked out Henryk Gorecki: Symphony No. 3 Symphony Of Sorrowful Songs for the first time in a while. Gibbons' voice is legendary, and I'm into pretty much anything she does, so the fact that this new solo album, Lives Outgrown, drops on May 17th on Domino Records is very good news indeed. Pre-order HERE.

Man, this sounds a lot like something that could have fit into Portishead's Third. Love that!!!




Watch:

I want to watch this trailer for Late Night With the Devil SO F*&KING BAD. Not going to do it, though.


Opening in theatres on March 22nd, this is one that, if my local Regal doesn't get it, I will travel for. I've really grown to love David Dastmalchian - his performance in The Last Voyage of the Demeter blew me away, as I did not even realize it was him until well after the movie ended - and I've just generally become a fan of everything he does. His comic Count Crowley - about a TV Horror Host - makes me incredibly happy (what I've read of it, that is), and his brief appearance in Rob Savage's The Boogeyman ranked as possibly the best performance in a movie full of them. Couple all that with the little bit I know about Late Night with the Devil's concept (not much), and I'm practically frothing at the mouth for this one. No reason then, to let possible oversaturation of the trailer ruin anything for me.
 


Read:

I am happy to report I was totally blown away by the first issue of Simon Spurrier, Aaron Campbell and Jordie Bellaire's new Hellblazer series, John Constantine Hellblazer: Dead in America.


Full disclosure: I haven't read the previous two volumes of Spurrier's Hellblazer. In fact, I haven't really read any new John Constantine material since, well, long before the original Vertigo series ended. I've picked up a few number ones since the title was brought back under the "Sandman Universe" umbrella - the new sub-heading for DC's Black Label that basically indicates, "Former Vertigo Glory Days Title," because I definitely think Constantine - while I LOVE the character - is really only done a disservice by an ongoing title. So I'm reading Dead in America based on that idea, that I haven't checked in on a solely JC-focused title in years and am about due for a fix. This proved perfect because it incorporates Dream of the Endless in a story setup that takes us all the way back to John's encounter with the previous iteration of Dream in the very first Sandman storyline. Very cool way to bring things back around and give it a nostalgic twist that felt more story-driven than story-derivative. 

This looks to be a four-issue series, and I'll be sticking around for the duration, so you'll definitely hear more about this one. 




Playlist:

Genghis Tron - Dream Weapon
Genghis Tron - Board Up the House
Various Artists - Learn to Relax: A Tribute to Jehu
Alice Donut - Dry Humping the Cash Cow
Witchfinder - Forgotten Mansion
Beth Gibbons - Henryk Gorecki: Symphony No. 3 Symphony Of Sorrowful Songs




Card:

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


• King of Wands
• Ace of Swords
•XVIII - The Moon

The King (or Prince in Thoth) of Wands is the Airy aspect of Fire - Drive and motivation. The Ace of Swords (what my mind keeps seeing as the Ace of Spades this morning) is a Breakthrough. Enlightenment. seeing Clearly or the intellect as a bridge to the unconscious mind. The Moon is something occulted, i.e. what am I not seeing. All of this is commentary on the last 12 hours and money situations, not bad, just seeing things clearly (which I don't always do in regards to the cheddar).

Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Justin Hamline - A Veil For Three Sisters


Justin Hamline is a guy I know only through his Instagram profile and some interactions through that platform; a like-minded Horror/Synth/Punk fan, I no longer remember how I came across him, but we have similar interests and ended up following one another for a couple years before I realized he was also a pretty freakin' awesome musician. Apparently, he took a break for a while but came back recently and has been releasing material left and right. Next up for Justin is the soundtrack to a Giallo that only exists in his head - The House With Dead Leaves! This is the kind of project I love, a la Barry Adamson's first albums; not just music but the story that goes with it in the artist's mind. I'm really digging this stuff - here's the full track:


Really digging this and can't wait to hear the finished product. The House With Dead Leaves drops next Friday, and I have a feeling I'll be incorporating an edible and a nice block of time to just sit in front of my big-ass stereo speakers and take the journey Justin has mapped out for us. 




Watch:

There are two new Horror flicks coming to theatres this week, and I'm going to try and see them both!* Here's the trailer to Alan Cumming's Out of Darkness:

 

As usual, I watched about five seconds of this - just enough to see the set-up that the film takes place in 43, 000 BC, and I stopped it. That's enough to make me interested, and from here I'd just rather go in blind.




Read:

As I mentioned in this week's NCBD segment, I picked up the first issue of the new Ram V/Laurence Campbell Futuristic Neo Noir The One Hand yesterday purely on a lark. 


After reading it, I am super excited for this book. But not only this book, because there is a second, complimentary series by Dan Watters and Sumit Kumar coming on February 21st! 


The Six Fingers takes place in the same Blade Runner-esque Future metropolis, Neo Novna, and based on the title and what I know after reading issue one of The One Hand doesn't just tie in but possibly completes the story in the first book. 


Image is just killing it right now. There's an article Image has up on their website HERE that talks about this a little more in-depth. 




Playlist:

QOTSA - In Times New Roman
Raspberry Bulbs - Before the Age of Mirrors
Justin Hamline - A Veil for the Three Sisters (Un velo per tre sorelle) (single)
Windhand - Eternal Return
Donny Benét - The Don
Amigo the Devil - Your Until the War is Over (pre-release singles)
Mannequin Pussy - I Got Heaven (pre-release singles)
Mannequin Pussy - Patience
Mannequin Pussy - Romantic
T. Rex - The Slider




Card:

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


• King of Swords
• VIII: Strength
• IV: The Emperor

Man, I see a lot of that Tony Iommi King of Swords in this deck! Does that make Iommi my spirit animal?

I'll tell you right off the bat, what I see here on a very surface, "what do the illustrations tell me" way two things I've been thinking a lot about. Two things that used to be a big part of my life but no longer really are: Guitar and Magick. I've been feeling a tug back to picking up an instrument, but I have several unfinished writing projects at the moment (one very close to completion and release, one a few months out). This is the struggle - stay focused. So, while it would definitely be more in my current inclination to read this one as telling me to go ahead and follow that tug, I'm actually going to look at it a different way - have the strength to recognize that the King of Swords - in Thoth the Prince - is a card that, by Crowley's own interpretation, indicates lots of good ideas but an unstable purpose. That's why I'm seeing this so much! Finish the interpretation off with The Emperor's nod toward linear thinking, and I see that this is in no small voice telling me to figure my shit out, commit and finish. 

Amigo the Devil - Once Upon a Time at Texaco (Pt. 1)

 

New music from Amigo the Devil's forthcoming album Yours Until the War is Over, out February 23rd on Liars Club Records. Pre-order HERE

Interestingly enough, there is no "Pt. 2" on the album. Hahaha. Leave 'em in suspense, eh? Brilliant.
 



NCBD:

Short week, which is great when you consider that I haven't yet read everything from my four-week pull I picked up last week.


Really digging this Bloodrik series by Andrew Krahnke. Sad to see it go after only three issues. I know issue one sold out and had a second print run. Hopefully, that bodes well for a continuation (or anything from Mr. Krahnke) down the road.


Good lord - I feel as though it's been months since the first issue of Count Crowley: Mediocre Monster Hunter hit the stands. And in all that time, I still haven't completed my run of the second Crowley series or acquired the first. Series Writer/Creator David Dastmalchian is a heck of a busy guy, what's my excuse? (I guess my excuse is I'm a pretty busy guy, too).


New, three-issue crime comic from Ram V and Laurence Campbell. Crime Noir that might have a SciFi bent to it. I'm not really sure, but then again, I love going in blind. 


Great thing about picking up four weeks of comics last week, is it shortens the wait between issues! I just read X-Men 30 and loved it, so here we go again. Now with more Nimrod!




Watch:

Rose Glass's Saint Maud was one of the movies that suffered the most from the jilted release schedule COVID caused, and although I did eventually get to see it - well after what should have been its theatrical release - the entire time I sat in front of my television I just kept thinking how much better the film would have been served by a big-screen viewing. 

I get the same "Cinematic" vibes from this trailer for Glass's new film, the upcoming Love Lies Bleeding. I know they released a new trailer this morning, however, I'm not watching that. I only really saw this one because it played before something I saw in the theatre recently. Good news is it really only solidified my goal of seeing this in the theatre:


The vibe I get from everything I know about Love Lies Bleeding so far reminds me a bit of the Cohen Brothers' Blood Simple. I'm not entirely sure why I say that, but there's a grime here that harkens back to that fabled debut. Whether that's entirely shy of the mark or not, I'm really looking forward to this one, which hits theatres on March 8th.
 



Playlist:

Genghis Tron - Board Up the House
Melvins - Working the Ditch (single)
Melvins - Gluey Porch Treatment
Turnstile - Glow On
Turnstile - Nonstop Feeling
Pixies - Trompe le Monde
Pixies - Indie Cindy
Genghis Tron - Dream Weapon
Witchfinder - Hazy Rites
Yerusalem - The Sublime
Assembly Line People Program - Eponymous EP
Justin Hamline - A Veil for the Three Sisters (Un velo per tre sorelle) (single)
QOTSA - In Times New Roman




Card:

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


• Eight of Cups
• Queen of Wands
• Three of Pentacles

In the Crowley/Harris Thoth Deck, the Eight of Cups is "Indolence," and can carry with it a connotation of low or lacking energy/vitality. This is a "Change," and reading these cards here as such, the transition to the Queen of Wands - The Watery Aspect of Fire, I draw on the "tame thyself" interpretation I'd long ago written in the Grimoire. Finally, Three of Pentacles suggests balance. Taken together, all of this suggests something of a crossroads. One of the things I'd hoped my month-long work trip would catalyze is a total change to my at-home protocols. I need to get over having to drive out to a coffee shop after work to write. I can easily use some of the built-in downtime of my WFH scenario to make incremental progress on any number of projects.