Friday, March 29, 2024

Gwar - Stalin's Organs


One week ago on the 23rd of March was the tenth anniversary of Dave Brockie's death. A decade. That's nearly a third of how old 1995's Ragnarok is. I wanted to do something to commemorate Oderus Urungus's exile from our slovenly realm, but I was in the middle of Man Man week, and posting this past week has been tenuous at best. Anyway, we miss you, Oderus. Earth hasn't been salaminized since you went away, and I'm sure a lot of the folks who read this page would agree that we could really use it right about now.


I was on the fence about this one, but seeing a post by Beyondfest earlier today, I bought tickets for tomorrow afternoon:

I think I have a phobia of Catholic Horror - weird because I wasn't raised Catholic, although I did attend the odd service as a kid. But there's just something icky about all the pageantry and regalia. This is getting a lot of word of mouth, and a lot of that is making Sydney Sweeney look like a philanthropist for getting a film that has apparently been languishing unmade for over twenty years. I have no idea who she is, but I'm definitely intrigued. Perfect weekend, too. 


Mike Shinabargar and I started a new show! Drinking with Comics Presents: DRUNK on ENERGON!

Once again, I had a lot of fun with this one. I'm absolutely in love with Kirkman's take on these properties, and it gives me great joy to sit around and discuss them with my oldest friend from the Realm of  Comic Shops!


Grand Ducy - Petite Fours
Brand New - Daisy
Zombi - Direct Inject
Rollins Band - End of Silence
Money Mark - Mark's Keyboard Repair
Ministry - Houses of the Molé
Suicide - Eponymous
Miranda Sex Garden - Carnival of Souls
NIN - The Fragile
Fantomas - Suspended Animation
Gwar - Ragnarok
Metallica - Hardwired... To Self Destruct
Oranssi Pazuzu - Muukalainen Puhuu
Justin Hamline - The House With Dead Leaves
Allegaeon - Iridescent (single)
Allegaeon - Apoptosis
Various - Satan's Proto Discoteque (mix CD circa 2000)


From Jonathan Grimm's Hand of Doom Tarot, which you can buy HERE. Also, Grimm recently launched a Kickstarter for his new deck, The FaeBound Tarot, which you can marvel at and acquire HERE.

• Page of Swords
• Kind of Swords
• Two of Swords

This makes PERFECT sense. I have felt like fighting EVERYONE for the last few days, and I'm not entirely sure why. 

Thursday, March 28, 2024

New Music From Arab Strap!

 As usual, huge thanks to Mr. Brown for sending me this, as I've had me 'ead in me arse for the last couple days, and did not see this drop. We're getting awfully close to that new album I'm totally fine with it 👍don't give a f*** anymore 👍 dropping May 10th on Rock Action Records. Pre-order link right HERE

Glad to have these guys back for another record; I mean, Aidan and Malcolm went into hiatus while W. was in office, so I kind of thought they might leave the fuckin' planet with what's currently happening. 

This has to be just about my favorite music video since some of the old Liars stuff. 


I had an Ivan Kavanagh double-feature last night. I started with his 2021 film Son:

And then moved on to 2014's The Canal:

I'd seen both of these films previously, but I was happy to go back and revisit them. Both are fantastic; unflinching would definitely be a word I'd use to describe Kavanagh's style. There's a visceral slap to Kavanagh's vision - it sounds a lot like the sound of wet flesh against brick. It's almost mean, but that interpretation is undercut by the lengths to which this filmmaker goes to show the fragile humanity of his protagonists. We see this with Rupert Evans' David in The Canal, and we see it perfected with Andi Matichak's Laura/Anna in Son. There are moments in Son that nearly bring me to tears and the visceral gore that follows later in the film kind of bounces off those soft, quieter moments. Mr. Kavanagh doesn't come across as wanting the terrible acts we witness on screen to befall his characters; instead, it feels as though he's trying to guide them out of the fire to safety.


Rollins Band - The End of Silence
Run-DMC - Raising Hell
Slayer - Show No Mercy
Beck - The Information
Angelo Badalamenti - Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me OST


From Jonathan Grimm's Hand of Doom Tarot, which you can buy HERE. Also, Grimm recently launched a Kickstarter for his new deck, The FaeBound Tarot, which you can marvel at and acquire HERE.

• Ace of Swords
• XX: Judgement
• Knight of Swords

A breakthrough of Intellect - something I feel like I can totally use but is definitely eluding me while I wallow in some unwelcome self-doubt - leads to a rebirth of energy synthesized from the balance of Will and Creativity.

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Man Man Week


Bringing Man Man week to a close with a live quarantine rendition of the second track off 2020's Dream Hunting in the Valley of the In-Between. So cool to see this done live in this way; reminds me a lot of the Low Cut Connie quarantine sessions. 


Once again, another Wednesday, another New Comic Book Day! Short stack this week, but three books I'm excited for. 

Loving this series, and after Cobra Commander #3 last week, I am really wondering where Zartan is going to show up. My money is on this book - I have a definite idea who he may be impersonating. Chances are good, though, that we may not know until considerably further down the line. Either way, I'm super psyched to read this one.

Newburn Series Finale! Can't wait to go back and re-read it in a tight burst. I've really enjoyed Zdarksy and Phillips' street-level story, and while I'm sorry to see it go, there's always something satisfying about a finite series. 

The cover promises a lot, but somehow, I'm just afraid of more gobbledegook. We'll see.

We oscillate back to the villain of the story. I'm really digging The Six Fingers and The One Hand. I wish Image had advertised this better because I know a lot of folks who would have dug these two interconnected miniseries but had no idea they existed. 


After a failed attempt on Monday, K and I made it out to the theatre for Rose Glass's new film Love Lies Bleeding.


What an absolutely original film. The closest thing I can think to compare it to is No Country For Old Men, but even that falls shy. Watching this film, I kept thinking, "How does one come up with a story like this?" All the disparate elements - Love, bodybuilding, murder, gun running, cops on the take... it's just fucking glorious.

Also, second movie I've seen in the last six or so months that uses Throbbing Gristle's "Hamburger Lady". VERY effective!


Zombi - Direct Inject
Underworld - Lovely Broken Thing
Underworld - I'm a Big Sister, and I'm a Girl, and I'm a Princess and this is My Horse
Various - Mix CD circa 2007
Fela Kuti - Opposite People
Fela Kuti - Sorrow, Tears and Blood
David Bowie - Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars Motion Picture Soundtrack
Man Man - Six Demon Bag
Various - Satan's Discoteque Sweet and Salty (Mix CD circa 2008)

Monday, March 25, 2024

Man Man Week: The Fog or China

From their 2004 debut, The Man in the Blue Turban With a Face, we have yet another example of how versatile this group is. I love the elements they draw from Tin Pan Alley and 50s Doo Wop, fusing them with something all their own.


Paul Duane's All You Need is Death proved to be one of the highlights of this past year's Beyondfest lineup, and now it's finally being released worldwide. I can vouch for this trailer - it does not give away the movie. 

Having seen the film, I can tell you to try your best to see it on the big screen. Duane's approach to Horror thrives on an almost subconscious, microcosmic level while also employing some really big, frightening images. This combination works so well on the big screen, with a professional theatre audio system, especially in regard to Ian Lynch's score, which I can only hope someone releases on vinyl.


I've been pretty scattered lately and have not been very successful in reading. I'm chipping along at Malcolm Devlin's Then I Woke Up, which is excellent, but my attention's compass is wonky, pulled from due North by all manner of interfering metals. That said, I recently picked up the missing issues of two early 00s comic series I've been dying to dive into.

First, Mike Baron and Mike Norton's The Night Club, which I'd been missing the final issue of since I picked up the series back in 2005:

Next, from right around the same time, Keith Griffen's Tag.

I'm using the image of the Deluxe Edition Boom! eventually published, however, I was interested in the original issues, as I had two of the three. There was a subsequent series, Tag: Cursed, that I haven't read, but the first two issues of this first one always stayed with me. Ostensibly a zombie story, Tag is a pretty interesting take on what was even a bloated subgenre back in 2005, only two years after The Walking Dead comic started, the same year George Romero returned for a fourth time to his original continuity with Land of the Dead. Tag presupposes an infection you can pass by tagging another person. The pull quote on the top of issue two says it all:

Very much looking forward to reading both of these once I get my head on straight again. 


All Hell - The Howl (single)
Oranssi Pazuzu - Muukalainen Puhuu
Waste of Space Orchestra - Syntheosis
The Jesus and Mary Chain - Glasgow Eyes
Man Man - The Man in the Blue Turban
Lustmord - Much Unseen Is Also Here


From Jonathan Grimm's Hand of Doom Tarot, which you can buy HERE. Also, Grimm recently launched a Kickstarter for his new deck, The FaeBound Tarot, which you can marvel at and acquire HERE.

One card today, because I haven't touched the deck in a while and wanted a generalized, "this is the 48 year of your life" kind of reading.

I went with the lighting I'm working in at the moment, too. It felt appropriate. Knowledge above salvation. Sounds great.

Man Man - Paul's Grotesque


The closing track from 2014's On Oni Pond. This song goes to some strange places—nothing new for Man Man—and maybe it just has a slightly heftier impact at the end of the album. Either way, it's another iconic track.


The whole Clarksville edition of my family went out to the movies yesterday to see Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire. Overall, the film is not nearly as good as its predecessor Afterlife, but it was fun. 

First, what I liked: I dig the new cast, especially when we still get this much of the old cast. Frozen Empire has a nice mix of both. A few too many kids thrown in, but it works. I loved seeing Patton Oswalt - always do - and I really loved seeing Kumail Ali Nanijani have a much bigger part than I anticipated. I really like that guy. Overall, the story was pretty good, but here's where my biggest problem is: the movie is under two hours long, but I swear to you, I felt like I was watching it for four hours. The script is just wonky in places. Also, this one relies SO much on nostalgia that it becomes a touch obnoxious (the same library ghost? Really?).

Overall, I'll see more of these if they make them. I love seeing Winston as the philanthropist funding the Ghostbusters, and I love the ideas they toy with regarding expansion. This is the path I always thought the original sequel should have taken. 


Man Man - Life Fantastic
Tamaryn - The Waves
Dum Dum Girls - Too True
Ritual Howls - My Friends Bury Their Souls for the Devil to Find
LCD Soundsystem - Eponymous
Yaz - Don't Go (single)
LCD Soundsystem - Sound of Silver
Los Saicos - Demolición/Lonely Star (single)
Angelo Badalamenti - Twin Peaks Fire Walk With Me OST

Sunday, March 24, 2024

Man Man Week Day Four: Life Fantastic


Life is truly fantastic, even as fucked up and dark as it can get out here in 2024. But I turn 48 today and I'm happy to still be here. It's... fantastic!

Saturday, March 23, 2024

Man Man Week - Harpoon Fever (Queequeg's Playhouse)


From 2008's Rabbit Habits. THIS is the song that sold me to just how odd this band is. I mean, the boneyard percussion and vaudvillian creep-outs are one thing, but juxtaposed with the bizarre digital freak-out near the end of this song, well, it's old, it's new. It's unlike anything else (accept maybe a shared DNA with Mr. Bungle's "Desert Search for Techno Allah").


I caught the trailer for In A Violent Nature about a month ago at the theatre when I went to see Stopmotion, and it completely threw me at first. I seriously thought for a minute that the long-standing F13 legal battles had silently resolved and someone made a new film for the franchise in secret. Not the case, but that's probably a good thing. 

Writer/Director Chris Nash's feature film debut looks Brutal!  Total Video Nasty DNA. Hitting theatres May 31st, I will definitely be putting my arse in a seat at my local to watch this. 


Zombi - Direct Inject
Zombi - 2020
Goatsnake - Black Age Blues
Anthrax - Among the Living
United Future Organization - 3rd Perspective


From Jonathan Grimm's Hand of Doom Tarot, which you can buy HERE. Also, Grimm recently launched a Kickstarter for his new deck, The FaeBound Tarot, which you can marvel at and acquire HERE.

• Six of Pentacles 
• XX: Judgement
• Wheel of Fortune 

Earthly plateau - things are right where I want them in some respects, but XX shows it will be a balancing act to keep them there. The Wheel confirms this, but suggests it won't be quite as difficult as I think it will be. 

Thursday, March 21, 2024

It's Man Man Week! Black Mission Goggles

Mr. Brown turned me on to Man Man back circa 2006 with the release of Six Demon Bag. This was right before I moved from Chicago to L.A. I quickly became obsessed with the way the band dabbled in Tom Waits' boneyard percussion and Mr. Bungle's no-warning non-sequiturs, all while still saying melodious and, dare I say, downright tender at times. A definite Vaudvillain undertone permeates their sound, and once all that is fused together, well, you get something like the above track, taken from the aforementioned second full-length. If I wasn't convinced with Six Demon Bag, then 2008's Rabbit Habits did it, their sound further fermenting into something wholly original and 100% endearing to folks looking for something unlike anything else. Then, three years later, Life Fantastic came out, and it quickly became the soundtrack to my life and one of my all-time favorite albums. 

Oddly, despite loving On Oni Pond, something had gone out of the band for me. Looking back on it now, this is entirely on me. I did that thing I sometimes do where I let the fact that Man Man had caught on as an Iconic Hipster "It Band" affect how I felt about them. I just kind of stopped paying attention and, amazingly enough, listening to even the albums I already cherished. Over the intervening years, I've kept up a bit - like the littlest bit one can - but my life completely changed and I forgot how much Man Man's music meant to me. Then, two days ago, after the announcement of the new album in June, I threw on Life Fantastic, and it all came flooding back to me. I just couldn't turn it off. 

It makes me sad that I lost the piece of myself that identified so strongly with this band, but that piece has definitely come crashing back, as you'll no doubt notice from my playlists. So let's do a Man Man week and revel in some of the absolutely beautiful, insane, amazing music we've received from Honus Honus and crew to date while looking forward to what we have coming in just a few months' time.


I left my Tim Burton fan club card behind a loooong time ago, but there's no way I'm not getting excited about this.

I don't think  Beetlejuice or Edward Scissorhands ever meant to me what it did to a lot of folks, but I dig them. Especially the former. The original Beetlejuice is just a crazy fucking movie, and I'm hoping Burton can put aside being Tim Burton long enough to make this what it should be. As in, CRAZY!!!


Man Man - Life Fantastic
Man Man - Six Demon Bag
Man Man - Rabbit Habits
The Babies - Our House On the Hill
Brigitte Calls Me Baby - This House is Made of Corners EP
Red Lorry Yellow Lorry - Talk About the Weather (single)
Metallica - Lux Æterna (single)
Metallica - Hardwired... to Self-Destruct
Lustmord - Much Unseen Is Also Here
Zombi - Direct Inject (pre-release singles)

New Music From Man Man and Alien Romulus Gets a Teaser!!!

New music from Man Man! From the forthcoming album Carrots on Strings, out June 7th on Subpop. Pre-order HERE.

Man, after Ryan Ketner showed up in Josh Forbes' Destroy All Neighbors two months ago, I've been lamenting not having more than one Man Man record in nearly ten years - 2020's Dream Hunting in the Valley In-Between was the first record since 2013's On Oni Pond, which just feels like a lifetime ago. Anyway, here we are - a new record and an insane new song that sounds, at times, like something from Six Demon Bag. I'd love to see whatever the band looks like live again - last time was for 2011's Life Fantastic and they were awesome! Shit, I'll even put aside my crippling dislike of "John Travolta" for them.


I think...



The Blood! The Screams! The ambiguity - this is everything I want in both a teaser and a new Alien movie directed by Fede Fucking Alvarez! 

I have the highest of hopes that Fede has been allowed to bring to Alien what he brought to Evil Dead - an unflinching, brutal approach. Alien doesn't, by nature, allow the creator to shy away from a certain level of brutality, but come on, let's make this as horrific as possible! Let's merge the nightmarish approach of Alien Resurrections - which does indeed suffer from a lot of craft issues but overall has some of the most terrifying ideas and images of all the films - and the non-stop attack of Aliens. If anyone can do it, Mr. Alvarez can. 


Yawning Balch - Volume One
Ned's Atomic Dustbin - God Fodder
Ned's Atomic Dustbin - Bite
Ned's Atomic Dustbin - Are You Normal?
Ned's Atomic Dustbin - brainbloodvolume
Chris Brokaw - Puritan
Amigo the Devil - Yours Until the End of the War
Man Man - Life Fantastic


From Jonathan Grimm's Hand of Doom Tarot, which you can buy HERE. Also, Grimm recently launched a Kickstarter for his new deck, The FaeBound Tarot, which you can marvel at and acquire HERE.

• Page of Swords - Stop. Breathe. Assess. Applies to both my life at this very moment and my character's.

• Queen of Wands - Unceasing female energy. Know when you're fighting just for the love of fighting. Definitely Lisa's (my character)

• VII: The Chariot - Emerging Victorious from a trying time. Again, this applies to both me and Lisa. 

K has a low Vitamin D deficiency, and that means I have been tasked by her doctor with giving her inter-muscular Vitamin D injections once a week for the next four weeks, starting today. Have I mentioned how absolutely terrified of needles I am? 

In terms of Lisa, she will emerge victorious, but only at the cost of a major compromise. Once again, I read this as an acknowledgment that I'm on the right track.

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Moon Wizard - Luminare

I'm not even certain how I stumbled across Moon Wizard, but hot damn am I glad I did. I LOVE this band! New album Sirens came out a few weeks ago and you can click on that Bandcamp Widget above or this link HERE and support these guys!


Pretty big haul today. Let's get into it:

Two issues of Army of Darkness Forever remain after this one, and I'm looking forward to seeing how the three disparate timelines - Ash in the future, Evil Ash in the 90s, and Sheila in the Medieval Army of Darkness timeline - all coalesce. 

This Cobra Commander series is the best damn thing since sliced bread. My Drinking with Comics cohost Mike Shin stole a peak at this one while putting it on the shelves at his shop, and without revealing anything, his "Damn," pronouncement has me giddy A.F. for tomorrow.

Love the cover. I was happy to learn that Larry Hama's seminal G.I.JOE: ARAH is making such a triumphant resurgence, and I'm happy to do my part. Even with an almost 200 issue gap in my reading, I'm digging returning to the book that turned me into a hardcore comic fan. 

Johnny Boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling. With old buds John Constantine and Alec Holland's Swamp Thing back together again, what madness awaits? We shall see...

I feel like the second issue of this just came out. The other side of the Fall of X coin, I'm digging Al Ewing's approach to this a lot. As I mentioned in a recent episode of Drinking with Comics, this shares some DNA with his 2021 Defenders series, of which I was a pretty big fan. 

Hate to see this chapter in Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino's Bone Orchard Mythos go, but with the world-building going on in the previous two issues, I'm psyched that however Tenement ends, it will pave the way for future great things.

Not gonna lie, I'm pretty skeptical about this one. That said, I've come this far not to finish this whole Fall of X thing out, and the four-issue X-Men: Forever appears to be the caboose on Kieron Gillen's train, so let's do this, for better or worse.


Fede Alvarez, I'd follow you into hell, because tomorrow...

Is today...

Can't F**kin' wait! 


Metallica - Master of Puppets
Mr. Bungle - The Raging Wrath of the Easter Bunny
Chelsea Wolfe - She Reaches Out to She Reaches Out to She
Moon Wizard - Sirens
The Obsessed - Gilded Sorrow
Goat Snake - Black Age Blues
Yawning Balch - Volume One
Fvnerals - Let the Earth be Silent


From Jonathan Grimm's Hand of Doom Tarot, which you can buy HERE. Also, Grimm recently launched a Kickstarter for his new deck, The FaeBound Tarot, which you can marvel at and acquire HERE.

• IX: The Hermit
• Queen of Pentacles
• Five of Cups

There's the Hermit in first position again. That's two days in a row, so let's look a little deeper into it. From the grimoire: "Dark & lonely period of gestation. Fetal; a re-grouping. This is EXACTLY where I'm at after two days of working on the last act of the novel. It's uncanny. The Queen of Pentacles - or the Emotional aspect of Earthly concerns is my protagonist Lisa exactly. The Five of Cups is the Emotional Conflict she is soon to be crushed under in determining how best to survive the events of the novel's final conflict. I don't necessarily see guidance for my way forward in these cards, but they definitely feel like a nod to the fact that I'm on the right path. To quote Deputy Hawk: 

"You're on the path. You don't need to know where it leads. Just follow."

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

New(ish) Music from The Obsessed!


New music from The Obsessed! Holy cow - didn't expect to find this today. New album Gilded Sorrow came out a month ago and I totally missed it. Order it directly from the band over on their Bandcamp HERE.


Did some homework last night and watched Renny Harlin's 2013 film Devil's Pass, AKA The Dyatlov Pass Incident.

I remember seeing the thumbnail for this on one of the streamers for years, always being curious but never actually hitting Play. My good friend Missi vouched for this one years ago, however, at some point Devil's Pass disappeared from the Streamers I sub to and went behind a pay wall of one kind of another (probably on IFC's 'channel'). About a month or two ago, this one hit Shudder. 

First - yeah, there is a lot about this one that comes off at first like just another 00s Found Footage film. That's not good or bad in my book; the style can be very effective, hence why it proliferated at the time digital first began to threaten the theatrical and home video library business models. So other than some exemplary natural photography of the the frozen mountains of Northern Russia, there's nothing we haven't seen before. That will annoy some people. It may have even annoyed me had I seen the film back when it was originally released. Having not seen a Found Footage film in some time - or at least not many of them - this viewing proved an almost nostalgic engagement with that era of the genre. So I ended up kind of loosely tolerating the film for two acts. I liked it but wasn't super impressed. That said, it's the third act where the film blossoms into something unique. I won't give anything away, but if you haven't seen it, Harlin's Devil's Pass - which spins its yarn out of the bones of a real historical incident - is definitely worth a watch.

I incurred a pretty gnarly sunburn over the weekend, so I was up late last night; hard to sleep when your back is alight in constant pain. I found some modicum of my comfort in movies. Although, not necessarily in the next one I'll discuss here. 

The imagery in Karim OIuelhaj's Megalomaniac's trailer appears to promise something beyond the hardcore violence all of the pull quotes it superimposes over them warns of. I'm here to tell you, this one is violence 10, atmosphere/imagery 3. 

Megalomaniac feels like a love letter or continuation to/of the 00s New French Extreme movement. Only problem is, it learned all the wrong lessons from those films. If you look at reviews on Letterboxed, a lot of folks dismiss this one as misogynistic, and while yeah, I can definitely see why they would say that, I wonder if it's not just some misguided attempt at trying (but failing) to code some twisted version of female empowerment into what is, at its heart, a joyless film about hurting women. Main character Martha certainly undergoes her share of hell, only to offer up an admittedly satisfying comuppence to her tormentors in the film's climax, but those events do not balance out the absolute soul-rotting grotesqueries that precede them. The set here is fantastic, the score by Simon Fransquet and Gary Moonboots (best last name ever) alluringly dangerous, but I can't help feel that the initial imagery presented in the trailer that brought me in was really just part of a bait and switch process invoked by the distributors who knew that, without some surrealistic panache - which has no lasting presence in the film - to lure people in. Otherwise, not sure how far outside the 'icky' Horror niche held up by films like the Guinea Pig series and it's ilk this would travel. 


Deafheaven - Ordinary Corrupt Human Love
Chelsea Wolfe - She Reaches Out to She Reaches Out to She
Ministry - Hopiumforthemasses
Lustmord - Much Unseen Is Also Here
Moon Wizard - Sirens
Oranssi Pazuzu - Muukalainen puhuu


From Jonathan Grimm's Hand of Doom Tarot, which you can buy HERE. Also, Grimm recently launched a Kickstarter for his new deck, The FaeBound Tarot, which you can marvel at and acquire HERE.

• IX: The Hermit
• Page of Wands
• Seven of Swords

Contemplation is the word of the day, apparently. All three of these exhibit some element of Contemplation, of taking specific time to think about things as I do them. Apparently, those things will largely be elements of my Intellect and Will, so of course, this is really just saying I may need to think about how I'm writing at the moment. Things are going very well, creeping up on finishing the book, but there's some blockage that rears its head in those final laps and that will require some ingenuitity and perhaps a fresh approach.

Monday, March 18, 2024

New Music From Barry Adamson!!!


New music from Barry Adamson! Special thanks to Mr. Brown for giving me a heads-up on this, as I did not know it was coming. The new album, Cut to Black, is out May 17th on Lexer Music. Pre-order HERE. They come signed by Mr. Adamson, so that's an extra little thrill in and of itself. But this first single is fantastic, so I'm already excited.


This year, K and I did our customary St Paddy's viewing of State of Grace on Saturday night. The film continues to captivate me, even after all these years, to the point that when it finished, I started it over again, only to quickly realize I was fairly inebriated and needed to go to bed. Still, the realization that no other film can follow this one was stunning, but not surprising in the least.

So that left Sunday, March 17th open for a similarly themed film. We chose the Cohen Brothers' 1990 Miller's Crossing

Hot damn is this a fantastic movie! I mean, I knew that already. I've seen this one several times, but not for close to ten years.


I remember I'd seen Miller's Crossing a time or two previous, but around 2010 I purchased a slim-line set of Cohen movies that contained this, Blood Simple, Raising Arizona, Barton Fink and Blood Simple. I worked my way through re-watching these (Fink was the only one that, if memory serves, I had not seen previously), re-affirming my joy with each, but when I reached Miller's Crossing, I had someting of an epiphany. I had liked Miller's Crossing before, however, I believe I had not been open to its absolute mastery until this viewing. Within a week or two I scheduled a viewing with my California "Movie Night" crew, and upon seeing it again in such close proximity, Miller's Crossing blossomed even more in my eyes; this was surely the Cohen's masterpiece. Anyone who is a fan of Joel and Ethan's work knows what a tempting yet dangerous statement that is, because almost every one of their films feels like their masterpiece when viewed. Simply put, the Cohens have many masterpieces, so does it even which reigns supreme?

Not at all.

Yet, this most recent viewing has me flabbergasted by how much more nuance to the film there is than I'd previously interpreted, and I thought I was pretty in tune with the film then. The dialogue, the characters, the HUMOR! Damn if this isn't just about the funniest "non comedy" I've seen since.... well, probably since the last Cohen Bros. film I watched. They do kind of excel in that, as well.

Miller's Crossing and State of Grace - I would attempt to follow the first with the latter, but not the other way around, so I suppose I'll continue to reserve Phil Joanou's masterpiece for St. Paddy's day and allow for Tommy, Leo and Caspar to pop in and out of my life whenever they want.


I finished Taft 2012 and raise a thankful glass to my brother in literary adventures, Mr. Brown! FAN-tastic novel, and I can't thank him enough for his patience while it sat on my shelf for the last who knows how many damned years until I finally got around to reading it. Tooling around online, I found this NPR interview with the author, Jason Heller.

Can't recommend this one enough. 

Next up, Malcolm Devlin's 2022 Novel And Then I Woke Up, which my good friend and Horror Vision cohost Ray gifted me during a trip to L.A.'s Skyline Books, in the still unsoiled neighborhood of Los Feliz. 

I know nothing about this one, only that Ray recommended it so strongly he plunked down the cover price twice - once for his own library and once for mine, so I'm 100% on board. 

It is wonderful to have friends who read, who you can pass books back and forth to for discussion and discovery.


Steve Moore - Bliss OST
John Carpenter - Lost Themes
The Rolling Stones - It's Only Rock n Roll
The Rolling Stones - Goatshead Soup
20 Watt Tombstone - Wisco Disco
Bryce Miller - City Depths
Amigo the Devil - Yours Until the End of the War
Merrimack - Of Grace and Gravity
Deafheaven - Ordinary  Corrupt Human Love
CCR - Eponymous
Ruby the Hatchet - Fear is a Cruel Master
Ruby the Hatchet - Planetary Space Child 
The Damned - Evil Spirits
Funkadelic - Eponymous
The Bronx - IV
Cyndi Lauper - She's So Unusual
Orville Peck - Bronco
The Pogues - Rum Sodomy and the Lash
The Pogues - Red Roses for Me
Brigette Calls Me Baby
Amigo the Devil - Everything is Fine
United Future Organization - 3rd Perspective


From Jonathan Grimm's Hand of Doom Tarot, which you can buy HERE. Also, Grimm recently launched a Kickstarter for his new deck, The FaeBound Tarot, which you can marvel at and acquire HERE.

Just one Card to start the week off. 

First and foremost, I ADORE Grimm's interpretation and design for Trump 18: The Moon. As a card for the day and, I guess, for the week, I'm reading it more inline with the interpretation that tackling an obstacle that might otherwise be easy to sidestep will lead to self discovery and improvement upon conqueroring. So as they say, let us go once more into the fray!!!

Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Mannequin Pussy - I Got Heaven

The title track from Mannequin Pussy's new album, I Got Heaven, which you can order HERE. This came out two weeks ago, the same day as the new Ministry, which is kind of hogging all my attention, hence why I haven't thought to post something here yet. This is probably my favorite track on the record, which is saying something because the entire thing is fantastic and a safe bet to end up in my best of 2024 list.


Man, some weeks NCBD can't come fast enough. This was one of those weeks! 

The cover says it all: Let's SNIKT us some Dr. Stasis! While Rise of the Powers of X has been pretty much a major slog so far, its sister book Fall of the House of X has been pretty great. Hoping that continues. 

Jeff Lemire's Fish Flies comes to an end! I won't be able to read this one until early April, as I'll most likely have to have my Drinking with Comics cohost Mike Shin throw it in my box up in Chicago, but that's okay. Looking forward to rereading this entire weird little series. 

Hot off the heels of The Six Fingers, we pivot back to the detective's perspective with The One Hand issue #2. These two series really have me excited. 

One issue left after this, then the TMNT gets turned on its ear - luckily without restarting the continuity! It's anybody's guess where this is heading, but I'm psyched for the finale.

Has it already been a month since Daniel Warren Johnson's Transformers #5? Man! I love this cover, and can't wait to see Devastator in action. This series is really packing a punch.


Fuck yeah - Joe Bob and Darcy are BACK this Friday!

So happy to have The Last Drive-In back for another year! Granted, this year, Shudder is making it one movie instead of two and every other week, but that's because they're really trying to keep the subscribers who click on for JBB and then leave after as long as possible. That's fine - I'd advise anyone reading this who subs in and out simply for Joe Bob and Darcy to rethink their approach. There's tons of great stuff on Shudder and they're always adding more, a lot of which is exclusive content they help produce. In order to help folks navigate the best of the best on Shudder, my podcast, The Horror Vision, recently started an off-shoot called The Horror Vision Presents: ON SHUDDER. Kind of a streaming kind, the first episode went up this past Monday and highlights Josh Forbes' Destroy All Neighbors.

We're recording a new episode soon, as this may end up being a weekly addition to our regular episodes. There's just so much great stuff on Shudder.


Forhist - Eponymous
Nobuhiko Morino - Versus OST
Sleep - Dopesmoker
Ministry - Hopiumforthemasses
Ministry - The Last Sucker
Mudvayne - Lost and Found
Steve Moore - Bliss OST
Jim Williams - Possessor OST
Deafheaven - Ordinary Corrupt Human Love
Windhand - Grief's Infernal Flower
John Carpenter - Lost Themes
Allegaeon - Apoptosis
Perturbator - Nocturne City EP
Perturbator - Lustful Sacraments


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

• Ten of Pentacles 
• Ace of Cups
• King of Cups

Culmination of hard work pays off with an emotional breakthrough that lends insight into 

Monday, March 11, 2024

Brigitte Calls Me Baby

My good friend (and unbelievable artist) Jeffrey Equality Brooks tipped me off to these guys one day last week and upon my first listen to Brigitte Calls Me Baby's 2023 debut EP This House is Made of Corners, I was instantly smitten. Tell me you love The Smiths and The Veils without telling me you in words. This entire EP is fantastic. You can order the record from the group's Bandcamp HERE


After watching Alice Maio Mackay's Bad Girl Boogey a few weeks back, I'll pretty much follow wherever they go next. Where they go next is T-Blockers. Here's the trailer (that I only skimmed for a few seconds):

There is a visceral element to Mackay's work that feels born of a considerably different era. To say that BGB captivated me with its Video Nasty gore is an understatement, and it looks like those ideas have been pushed even more to the forefront of this new film.


Justin Hamline - The House With Dead Leaves
T. Rex - The Slider
Bauhaus - Telegram Sam (single)
Bauhaus - Third Uncle (single)
Roxy Music - For Your Pleasure
Can - Tago Mago
Can - Turtles Have Short Legs (single)
The Afghan Whigs - Gentlemen
Brigitte Calls Me Baby - This House is Made of Corners EP
Flying Lotus - Los Angeles
Flying Lotus - Cosmogramma
Flying Lotus - Pattern+Grid World
The Body & Dis Fig - Orchards of a Futile Heaven
Boris and Merzbow -  2R0I2P0
The Damned - Evil Spirits
The Besnard Lakes - ... Are the Last of the Great Thunderstorm Warnings


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

• V: The Hierophant
• Two of Pentacles
• Eight of Pentacles

Focus on what you don't know about the world around you, particularly how your opposition changes itself. I'm reading this as pertaining to recent woes I've had with the website for The Horror Vision. I won't go into detail, but it's Wordpress, it's down, and I want to replace it. For that, however, I have a lot of work ahead of me and my attention has been increasingly drawn toward what I don't know about the world of the internet, which definitely feels more and more like an opposing force in so many way.

Saturday, March 9, 2024

John Carpenter - My Name is Death


John Carpenter and Sacred Bones announced Lost Themes IV a few days ago. You can pre-order the record HERE. I'm not going to lie - I don't love this first single (or its video); the song feels like a long 5:44. That said, I've also not had the greatest morning - I woke up with one of my cats puking next to my face, so I might just be in an ornery temperament (JC can no doubt relate given that sour look plastered across his puss in the video). I'm suspending judgment - and all further listens - until I can hear the entire album. Something tells me "My Name is Death" will work better as a lead-in to the rest of the ten tracks. 


I watched Terry Gilliam's 12 Monkeys for the first time in what I'm realizing is close to twenty years last night. This flick was very important to me when it came out, and afterward. 

No one uses a camera the way Gilliam and long-time Cinematographer Roger Pratt do; a lot of the angles here just reinforce Gilliam's Orwellian, bureaucratic worldview even more than the way he tells his story. This really put me in mind to finally order that Criterion Brazil 3 Disc DVD set they put out in the 90s. The update to Blu-Ray is tempting. However, I can't quite discern from what I'm seeing online if the other versions of the film in the 3 Disc were ported over to the Blu-Ray. 

Gilliam's worldview, especially his sense of humor, very much shaped me as a young adult. I'd go so far as to say that, without early exposure to the works of Terry Gilliam and David Lynch, I would not be the person I am today. It's been quite some time since I revisited Gilliam, so perhaps it's time.


Double Life - Indifferent Stars
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Abbatoir Blues
Drive Like Jehu - Yank Crime
Baroness - Stone
bunsenburner - Rituals
Judas Priest - Invincible Shield (pre-release singles)
Ministry - Animositisomina
Justin Hamline - The House With Dead Leaves
Judas Priest - Invincible Shield
Mannequin Pussy - I Got Heaven
Brigitte Calls Me Baby - This House is Made of Corners EP
Ministry - Hopiumforthemasses
Genghis Tron - Board Up the House
Jim Williams  - Possessor OST
Tangerine Dream - Sorcerer OST
Amigo the Devil - Yours Until the End of the War 
Frankie and Witch Fingers - Data Doom
Dead Boys - We Have Come For Your Children

Thursday, March 7, 2024

New Music From Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds!!!

When Push the Sky Away came out in 2013, the departure in sound from previous Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds albums grabbed me right away. I loved 2008's Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!! and Cave's concurrent side project Grinderman for their ferocious rebuttal to the aging process, but Sky's total immersion in storytelling and the grandeur employed in the songcraft seemed the exact perfect pinion from that antagonistic sound. There seemed an evolution in writing, production, everything - Push the Sky Away just felt so HUGE. 

Then tragedy struck, and 2016's Skeleton Tree felt like an unbelievably poignant - naked even - response. When Ghosteen hit in 2019, I heard too much of those two previous records in it to feel anything other than... tired by its 11 tracks. I give the album a listen every now and again, but really, I'd just rather listen to Sky or Skeleton Tree (both of which have since suffered dilution at having yet another record released in their image). 

Maybe I'm spoiled by how often Cave has reinvented himself over the years. I got into him shortly before 2004's Abbatoir Blues/The Lyre of Oepipus came out, after a friend of a friend burned me CDs of  2001's And No More Shall We Part and 1994's Let Love In. I was living with some friends in Chicago's Beverly neighborhood at the time, and I remember smoking a bowl and putting And No More... on. This sudden, immense and immaculate eclipse overtook the world at the start of that record, and it swirled and evolved and stung and didn't relinquish control of my senses until the final track ran out. There was something so dark, so sad, so funny, so intricate... 

I'd heard of the Bad Seeds before then, of course, but just hadn't been exposed to them. I remember, shortly before those burned discs came my way, I was with Mr. Brown and some friends at The Valley Inn in Palos Hills. This was a small neighborhood restaurant in Chicago's south suburbs that featured a bar that stayed open until 4:00 AM on the weekends and yet, impossibly in Palos Hills, didn't get as crowded with the kind of scum that filtered into the 4 AM bars just a few blocks away on Roberts Road. We ran into a friend, John Pratt, and were sitting at the bar drinking beers. John was a punk rawk dude from the neighborhood, and as he regaled us with tales of a recent show he'd been to, a guy from across the bar recognized him and came over to extend salutations. I didn't catch this new addition to our little group's name, but he was wearing a simple black t-shirt that had "Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds" printed across the front of it. I remember thinking that shirt was the most punk rock thing I'd ever seen. Not a month later I had those discs, and a love affair began*. 

That's my long-winded wind up to say, when this new track and the announcement of the subsequent record, out August 30. Pre-order HERE, fills me with both hope and dread. The single begins subtle enough that it carried my fears of another Ghosteen with it until the back half of the song begins to gain complexity and, what I can only call a sort of smoldering hope. THIS instills me with hope. I really want to care about another Bad Seeds record.

* Somehow, I had already made the sonic acquaintance of Cave's previous band, The Birthday Party, but hadn't yet put together that this was the same man. Delayed discoveries were still possible in the era before we all walked around with the internet in our hand 24/7. Not an indictment, just a fact. Plus, if you don't explicitly read that this is the same man, it just might take a minute to reconcile that Cave was the frontman in both these groups. I mean, come on. Listen to "Big Jesus Trashcan" and then listen to "Sweetheart Come" (often misheard as Sweet, Hot Cum) and tell me there's no room for disbelief.

NCBD Addendum:

Another NCBD addendum is in order, as I ended up grabbing a few books I had no idea where going to be put in front of me.

A new three-issue limited series set in 1939? Yeah, sounds like a great idea for a Batman setting, right? Ryan at Rick's Comic City put this in my hand, and I found myself strangley compelled to take it home. The art's gorgeous, and since I'm not a regular Batman reader, every once in a while I can really go for a good mini-series with the character. 

I had completely forgotten about the first issue of Beyond Real, which was a freebie from Vault Comics back in early December. I really dug the story—though I'll definitely have to unearth and re-read it now. I was stoked to see issue two on the shelf and only too happy to give Zack Kaplan and Co. my money after the generous first-issue comp and thought-provoking story.

This one was a little tough to actually plunk down the $$ for. Not because I don't want delivery on the cover's tagline: "What if Carter Burke Had Lived," but because after reading two story arcs of Marvel's Aliens books, I really don't ever want to read anymore. But this... this was pretty damn good! It's a three-issue series, so no big investment and I liked what they did with Burke's character enough to want to see where this story goes.

Also, cowritten by Paul Reiser? There was a time when Reiser was on my "most hated actors" list right alongside jim carrey and b. stiller. THAT's how powerful his performance as the sniveling Carter Burke was for me (not to mention his ubiquitousness of his appearances in pop culture in the 90s thanks to mad about ewe). Stranger Things changed that.

Thanks to my A Most Horrible Library cohost, Chris Saunders, for putting this one on my radar. Since Marvel took over, I've long learned to just glide my eye past any comic that says Alien. 


Brigitte Calls Me Baby - This House is Made of Corners EP
Tangerine Dream - Sorcerer OST
Butthole Surfers - Rembrandt Pussyhorse
Calderum - Mystical Fortress of Iberian Lands
Kaiser Chiefs - Kaiser Chief's Easy Eight Album
Ministry - Hopiumforthemasses
Judas Priest - Invincible Shield (pre-release singles)
Double Life - Indifferent Stars
Blut Aus Nord - Memoria Vetusta II: Dialogue with the Stars
The Fixx - Reach the Beach
Fleet Foxes - Shore
Ozzy Osbourne - Diary of a Madman 


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

• Page (Princess) of Swords - Terror or impetuousness
• Six of Cups - Something new through hard work and a little pain
• V: The Hierophant - Something more, just outside the scope of your tiny little world

Gonna need to shed some (metaphorical) blood in order to get what I'm missing. Another nod to the book, which I took time out of working on to finish this post.