Showing posts with label Halt and Catch Fire. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Halt and Catch Fire. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Isolation: Day 200


Well, we pulled the bandage off last night and finished Halt and Catch Fire. Easily one of the best shows I've ever experienced, and it really reminded me a lot of Six Feet Under, which K has never seen. We're going to move that one up the list, however, now is the time to really double-down on The Boys. I watched Season One last year without her, so this year I've been slowly rewatching that with her in preparation for moving into Season Two. Can't wait, even if the pop culture saturation point with it is riding an annoying level of saturation.

Rewatching Six Feet Under scares me a little bit. I loved the show, however, by the end it had very much changed the way I looked at Death in a tangible way, and with it, how I look at life. Not necessarily bad, but from about halfway through the second to last season, the show really gets heavy, and I'm not sure I can take the emotional beating until at least after November (and maybe not then, depending on how things go).


There's a number of great things out today:
The Boys: Dear Becky Issue 5, just in time for my engagement with the show. This book was obviously brought into existence to coincide with and capitalize on the show, however, I'm fine with that. Ennis is telling a story and flexing his absurdity muscles, so it's about what I would have expected. I don't love it, but I didn't love the entire comic series either - only the first six issues and the last year's worth, with the Butcher mini-series, included in that. Those were the facets of the saga I thought were fantastic. The rest had its high points but was a little too much of Ennis trying to out Preacher Preacher, if you know what I mean and I think you do.
I love this book, however, after reading 1-5 in a straight shot last month, there are some serious hinks to the writing. Usually, art will not make up for that in my book. With Mercy, the problems don't outweigh the good, especially with this art. It's fantastic.

Really digging this series so far, and meaning no disrespect whatsoever to Jacob Philips or Chris Condon, it fills the hole left by Criminal's end quite nicely.


Deftones - Ohms 
Dame Fortune - Am I a Warrior (single) 
Molchat Doma - Etahzi

Not a heavy music day yesterday, because over on the Bret Easton Ellis podcast, Mr. Ellis has begun reading his newest novel in a serialized fashion. He hasn't given a title, and it wasn't until this newest episode - the first hour or so of which is the reading (followed by a fantastic interview with Hollywood Legacy Executive Peter Bart) - that Ellis even quantified that that's what he's doing - serializing his new novel. The story is a purported memoir, though at this stage I'm fairly certain it's about as much of a memoir as Lunar Park is. That's fine - Lunar is my second favorite novel of all time, right behind Gatsby, and I find Ellis' ability to sync real life with narrative both riveting and powerful. 

The book has to do with something terrible that happened to a teenage Bret Ellis and his close friends 1981 in Los Angeles, and how those events line up with a serial killer dubbed "The Trawler" who stalked LA at the time. Ellis has said everyone's names have been changed, and even the killer's nome de plume is made-up, although was bandied about early on in this larger than life horror's earliest days of activities.

I'm fascinated, and can't wait for more. You can click over to Ellis' Patreon HERE to sign up and get the podcasts. Worth every dime (roughly $3 a month I believe for the silver tier, which is what I have).


New ideas, new journeys afoot.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Isolation: Day 188 - Synchronic Gets a Trailer

I feel like  I have been waiting for a long time for the new Benson and Moorhead. These guys look to be at the top of their game with Synchronic, they certainly have a lot more money behind them here. I see big things ahead for these two, can't wait.


Closing in on the end of Halt and Catch Fire's final season, this song - which I've always dug but kind of also always took for granted - now has special significance. Wow. I'm going to hate to see this show go.


Alice in Chains - Dirt
Ghost - Prequelle
Electric Wizard - Dopethrone
Nirvana - Nevermind
Doves - The Universal Want
Tennis System - Technicolor Blind
Turquoise Moon - The Sunset City

Also, Apple Music does a weekly 'favorites' playlist based on what you're listening to. I normally ignore it, but this week's is pretty cool


Interrupted energy and/or creative flow. Heat, back pain, and lack of sleep have all conspired to interrupt my writing sessions. 

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Isolation: Day 181

Episode two of Halt and Catch Fire's fourth and final season ends with James' Laid playing over the characters as they move through the culmination of the episode's interactions, relationship and business shake-ups that no doubt begin to move all these people I've grown to love into position for the series' end in eight more episodes. It reminded me how long it had been since I last listened to James, and how much this song - a song I despised when it made its initial splash in the mid-90s zeitgeist - has come to mean to me since I fell in love with it in a pub in Dublin, circa 2001.

Watch: I'm not really a Dune fan. I've never read the novels, and the 80's film adaptation is the only film directed by David Lynch I abhor - and feel fine doing so, considering Lynch petitioned to have his name removed from it. That said, I am definitely a Denis Villeneuve fan. And this looks gorgeous, so I'm in:


I'd love for Mr. Villeneuve to pattern his career after someone like Christopher Nolan - alternating big-budget, franchise, or high-end IP projects with original films, and I have a feeling that's exactly what he will do. In the meantime, I loved Blade Runner 2049, and I think I'll love this, too.


I don't do many shuffles, but I ended up having a pretty good one this morning on Apple Music and then translated it into a playlist on Spotify. Here it is:


From there the day's music looked like this:

Firewater - The Ponzi Scheme
Darkness Brings the Cold - Devil Swank Vol. 1
Lawnmower Deth - Billy
Iress - Prey
The Bronx - The Bronx (I)


"Quiet contemplation yields unexpected results."
I'll be looking for that today, in the (hopefully) quiet moments when contemplation often sneaks up on me. 

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Isolation: Day 159


I have become a HUGE fan of the AMC show Halt and Catch Fire. K had watched it previously, and both her and Mr. Brown recommended it to me on more than one occasion. Two weeks ago we started the now-completed show - at four seasons, ten episodes a season, I had a sense going into it that the story had been crafted in a tight, no-BS manner, and so far that's exactly what I feel I've gotten out of the first two seasons, the second of which we completed a few nights ago. Following a small Texas tech company in the early 80s, Halt and Catch Fire uses an imaginary company called Cardiff electronics - based on Compaq computers, if what I've read is accurate - as they clone the IBM desktop BIOS and strike out to make the world's first portable computer. "At a feather-lite fifteen pounds, you can take the Giant anywhere," the sales pitch eventually goes. The interesting thing about the show is how, by the end of season one, we're done with Cardiff and personal computing and onto the proliferation of online games and chat. Interesting, too, is how the show keeps the core five characters growing in different directions yet still realistically intertwined; this show is no slouch - the writing is fantastic. As are the performances, set design (so much nostalgia), and the theme song! Created by Trentmøller, I had so hoped the theme was a shortened version of a longer song. Nope. Short and sweet and leaves me wanting more every damn time I hear it, this is another of those show intros that I would never dream of skipping, even in the height of a binge. 



I swam a bit after finishing Matt Ruff's Lovecraft Country; there are so many damn books I want to read right now, that I became paralyzed by the prospect of actually choosing one. I ended up going with a short-story collection/novel combo. 

 First up, Nathan Ballingrud's debut short story collection, North American Lake Monsters. I've been wanting to read this since I first read The Visible Filth in 2015, but I'm often a 'saver' - that is to say, I purposefully hold out on reading books by favorite authors so I have something to look forward to. With Babak Anvari's adaptation of the stories as a new HULU original Horror Anthology show set to premiere in October, I figured I should probably get on this one, which was published in 2013 by Small Beer Press.

One story in, the majestic You Go Where It Takes You, I'm even further convinced that Ballingrud is one of the greatest living Horror authors the world has, and I find myself even more excited by the prospect of watching Anvari's interpretation of more of his world (2019's Wounds - which I wouldn't shut up about last year - was Anvari's first work with Ballingrud's material, adapting The Visible Filth, still one of my top five favorite books ever). 

 Next up, John Ajvide Lindqvist's Handling The Undead


This is a loaner from my Horror Vision co-host Anthony. Lindqvist is best known for his 2004 debut Vampire novel Let the Right One In - which I have not read - and I am going into Handling.. totally blind to his style or anything about the plot, other than, working backward from the title, this will most likely be Lindqvist's unique take on the Zombie genre, an area I don't normally care all that much for, but which lately I seem to keep finding really interesting derivations of. Hopefully this continues that course. 



The Cure - Standing on the Beach

David Bowie - Lodger

Rezz - Mass Manipulation

Deftones - Ohms (pre-release single)

Santogold - Eponymous

Deftones - Diamond Eyes

Skywave - Killerrockandroll

A Place to Bury Strangers - Exploding Head

Thou - Heathen

Deftones - Gore

Midnight Danger - Chapter 2: Endless Nightmare

Red Hot Chili Peppers - Blood Sugar Sex Magik



Back to my original, full-size Thoth deck for today's pull:

Keeping me on course. Reading You Go Where it Takes You this morning, I feel the urge to work on one of several short stories I have sitting around. Maybe late tonight; for today's writing session - which I've already budgeted out to be fairly lengthy - it's back to what I have to complete next, Shadow Play Book Two: The Absence of Light, which means I have to finish the outline for Book Three, the title of which I am not yet ready to reveal, but which fills me with unholy glee!

Monday, August 3, 2020

Isolation: Day 139

The beginning of this song is one of the most beautiful pieces of music I've heard on piano. I fell down a bit of a Don Shirley rabbit hole yesterday, and in doing so, came across again some articles that posit 2018's Green Book was a racist film. THIS is the problem with the left; everything is a problem. Every man's a rapist. Every white person is racist. Four years of captain goatfucker in office and everyone loses their fucking minds. The way forward is not to one extreme or the other. It's COMMON SENSE. Until the day this prevails (not holding my breath), I'll use music like this to remind me how beautiful the world is by listening to music like this. Thank you, Don Shirley.


The Final episode of HBO's I'll Be Gone in the Dark aired last night. Slightly anticlimactic, but of course that's the bane of most True Crime.

Next up, we're finishing the last half of the final season of Breaking Bad. halfway through, I realize there's a reason I've put off revisiting this show. The emotion destruction that accompanies Season 5 Part 2 is unlike anything else I've seen in serialized television. I love this show for the craft, the concise nature of the storytelling, but it really beats me up.

After that? I think we're going to do one both K and Mr. Brown have recommended to me - Halt and Catch Fire.

I've been looking forward to this for some time, so even though there's a boatload of shows to dig into, this one is next.



Low Cut Connie - Hi Honey
Led Zeppelin - Coda
La Hell Gang - Thru Me Again
Roly Porter - Kistvaen
The Jesus Lizard - Head
Jeffery Alan Jones - Most Beautiful Island OST
François-Eudes Chanfrault - Computer Assisted Sunset
Ghost - Opus Eponymous
Ghosts of Glaciers - The Greatest Burden
Blut Aus Nord - Hallucinogen
Underworld - Beaucoup Fish
Don Shirley - Don Shirley's Best
Don Shirley - Total Expressions



Time to pay closer attention to the rules for a bit, especially those I place upon myself. Things may have gotten a bit loosey Goosey of late, with Quarantine-Fatigue, or possibly from the contemplation of actually making it through the tunnel and out into the light again.