Showing posts with label Mr. Brown. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mr. Brown. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 5, 2024

RIP Selim Lemouchi - Eleven Years Gone

Since there was never any exact day of death released, March 1st denotes the beginning of the month when one of the most talented artists to grace the metal genre in decades left the planet for the "endless ever after," to quote the song.


My good friend and Horror Vision Cohost Anthony "Butcher" Guerrera tipped me off to this one, which I had heard about but ignored under the auspices that no spider Horror film could do to me what Arachnophobia does. Yeah, I know the big "A" isn't that scary, but when you feel about spiders the way I do, well, it does a good job exacerbating that fear. On Anthony's recommendation, however, I watched about half of Sting's trailer and yes, I see it now. This is a completely different kind of spider movie.

Written and directed by Kiah Roache-Turner, who also gave us a bunch of movies that I've yet to see (Wyrmwood was on Netflix forever but suffered from bad thumbnail disease, so I passed over it for years before anyone recommended it to me), this hits theatres on May 31st. I'll definitely be in a seat if Sting plays near me. 

What the hell is it about spiders that terrify me? I'm not sure. Of course, there are folks with a lot greater arachnophobia than I do; little spiders don't bother me. Well, it's not the size, it's the girth. Any spider with a meaty body, regardless of the size, is going to creep me out. Now take that girth and scale it up and... no. Let's just stop there. 

A friend once told me a story about growing up with a friend named Spider who also had a paralyzing fear of spiders. Apparently, the reason this friend achieved his moniker had to do with a story. As a child, Spider's parents built him a treehouse. One night, when he was older, he snuck up there in the middle of the night to smoke a joint. As the high settled over him in the dark, Spider realized he was glimpsing movement out of the corner of his eye. He flicked his lighter and realized the walls of the treehouse were covered in spiders. Like, hundreds upon hundreds of them. 

Spider fell out of the treehouse and broke some bones. It was, in his words, a welcome price to pay for the expedient extraction.

The treehouse was torn down a few days later.

I relate this story, which I openly admit I may have fudged a few specifics on but got the gist (the walls of spiders I could never forget or amend; I see this in a way that terrifies me, even all this time and space away from the event, only knowing it as folklore) because it speaks to the power available to a Horror movie that uses this innate terror the Arachnida instills in a certain percent of the population. The insect kingdom in general is so goddamn alien it can give me the chills, but spiders... there's just something about their shape, their textures, their limbs... I've often said that the cinematic Xenomorph is my favorite movie monster because its design is absolute nightmare fuel in my eyes. In the real world, that honor goes to spiders. The girthy ones. The hairy ones.


I finished Mary Roach's journalistic endeavor to hold a scientific lens up to the afterlife and would wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone who is even remotely interested in a seriously skeptical but fair discussion of the many facets of spiritualism that have arisen over the course of the last two hundred years or so. Mary travels to India to talk to doctors, believers and naysayers about reincarnation, she travels to England to attend a Medium Workshop, and she travels to rural America to investigate a court case from one hundred years ago where a spirit's intervention helped decide a legal hearing. Spook is a fantastic romp through the detritus of the spirtualism movement and the scientists that have attempted to take that torch and run it through calibrated methods without bias - which she always seems to find is still present. Mary's snarky sense of humor peppers her conversational tone, so I found myself smiling a lot, and laughing quite a bit as well. Great book - Thanks Mr. Brown!

Now, I've moved on to another book Mr. Brown lent me: Jason Heller's Taft 2012. This one's been sitting on my shelf or in various packing boxes for years, so that I had forgot about it. 

About halfway through, the premise here is the book is set in a slightly alternate timeline where William Howard Taft disappeared the day his successor Woodrow Wilson was to take the presidential torch from him, then wakes up in 2011 as if not a day has gone by. The novel's charm so far really comes from reflecting on the fact that, for someone who was considered almost a presidential albatross in his day, in ours Taft appears almost Christ-like in his earnestness, strength of character, and honesty. As you can imagine, this gives author Heller room to play with how our world of today (well, of 13 years ago) to someone from one hundred years prior. And his characterization of Taft's interpretation of our social ills and foibles is both hysterical and cutting. We don't see the depth of the bullshit we wade through on a daily basis, because as the level rises, we acclimate to it as the norm.

I don't need to finish this one to recommend it. And yeah, I'd kind of like Will Taft to reappear and steer for a while. 


Julee Cruise - Floating into the Night
David Lynch & Alan R. Splet - Eraserhead OST
Calderum - Mystical Fortress of Iberian Lands
Genghis Tron - Dream Weapon
Ministry - HopiumfortheMasses
Mannequin Pussy - I Got Heaven
Oranssi Pazuzu - Live at Roadburn 2017
Sisters of Mercy - Floodland
Blackbraid - Blackbraid II
Stephen Sanchez - Angel Face
Prince - Purple Rain
The Fixx - Reach the Beach
Raspberry Bulbs - Before the Age of Mirrors
Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine - White People and the Damage Done
Tangerine Dream - Sorcerer OST
Ministry - Psalm 69
Double Life - Indifferent Stars
The Damned - Evil Spirits
Ozzy Osbourne - Diary of a Madman


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

• Queen of Cups
• Nine of Wands
• Five of Pentacles

Emotional connection reachds a climax, leads to conflict. Pretty sure this is a nod toward two characters' relationship in the novel I'm working on. Things have stalled a bit of late, as I recently began starting work two hours later and this cuts into my evening writing time. I'd been meaning to phase out my mindset of having to drive to a coffee shop to write anyway, so this was a boon. However, it's taken me some time to integrate a new writing schedule that I can actually adhere to. I spent a nice chunk of time this past Saturday afternoon, and during that session, the relationship between my main character and a love interest really began to blossom, so this is a welcome sign post on the the route forward. 

Sunday, February 4, 2024

Stephen Sanches - High


Here's one K found recently and I am completely enamored with. If you're like me and feel compelled to make "Best of the Year" lists, then you probably know that the rule of thumb is traditionally, the moment you post your "Ten Favorite Albums of the Year," you'll come across a new one that should have been on it. That is most definitely the case with Stephen Sanchez's Angel Face. K's a huge Twin Temple fan, and it was on some social media page or feed dedicated to them that she ran across Mr. Sanchez's music. The moment I heard this, I was in love!


My month in L.A. essentially served as a complete pause on Acceptance, the third and final volume in Jeff Vandermeer's Southern Reach Trilogy

Despite my gusto for Vandermeer's writing, I found myself having a difficult time concentrating while I was there. Off nights where I stayed in the hotel - of which there were purposely quite a few - I advanced a handful of chapter but never made any significant progress. So, now home and properly rested, I took to finishing Acceptance over the weekend and am happy to report that, while the second book, Authority, remains my favorite of the three, the entire cycle is an outstanding example of Literary Science Fiction meeting Literary Horror. Really deep concepts of self, authority, defiance and human nature at play, with some genuinely horrific ideas executed in a generally psychologically disturbing manner. Although, there are some real visceral moments, as well. The kind of "shell game" Vandermeer plays with his characters is endlessly fascinating, as you see people's situations and motivations from multiple angles, back and forth through time. This lends the books an even more surreal quality than they already have, just being based on the concept of a subtle alien presence slowly imitating and replacing all life inside a specified area. 

Next, I'm picking back up with Mary Roach's Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife.  

This is a loaner from Mr. Brown that I began to read several months back, but got sidetracked. So far, Roach's writing is very approachable for a layman like myself, and I enjoy her personality quite a bit. We start off in India, researching/interviewing possible cases of reincarnation. 


Tangerine Dream - Sorcerer OST
Genghis Tron - Dream Weapon
Richard Einhorn - Shockwaves OST
Blut Aus Nord - Memoria Vetusta I: Fathers of the Icy Ages
Turnstile - Glow On
The Bronx - (II)
Ministry - Filth Pig
Firebreather - Under A Blood Moon
Nobuhiko Morino - Versus OST
Stephen Sanchez - Angel Face
Double Life - Indifferent Stars
Witchfinder - Hazy Rites
Run the Jewels - RTJ4
The Plimsouls - Everywhere At Once
The Police - Synchronicity


Back to the classic Thoth for today's Pull:

• 10 of Swords - Ruin
• V: The Hierophant
• Princess of Swords

The hasty revelation of a 'secret' results in a negative experience. 

Wow. Okay. The surprise I was going to reveal this week is going to wait until I put a little more time into it. Well-timed, Thoth. Well-timed.

Friday, December 29, 2023

Snake Oil for the Authoritarian Soul


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


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

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


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

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


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


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

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

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

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Rodney Crowell - Something Has To Change

From Rodney Crowell's 2021 album Triage. Mr. Brown and I have been doing record swaps for the last year or so; I lend him six, and he fires back six. One of the best records to come of those exchanges is Rodney Crowell's 2021 album Triage. Something "Has to Change" is the Side A closer, and it's a powerhouse. Throughout the record, I hear a lot of 70s-era Stones and Chicago singer-songwriter stalwart Ike Reilly. Also, as Brown pointed out, a lot of Catholics-era Frank Black (my favorite Frank Black). 

All that is not to say Mr. Crowell does not have his own sound. He does, and it's a sound grown from the same good Earth those others are - old-school Rock n' Roll, Rhythm and Blues and, well, just straight up Blues. The arranging on his albums continues to evolve, and you hear it best on this track. That trombone!!!


Here's the Pull for this week's NCBD:

The Penultimate issue of Immortal X-Men looks like it might just answer my complaints about the Jean Grey series and tie the end of that into the current story. Granted, they did start to do that in Jean #4, so maybe I jumped the gun. We'll see. Either way, my complaints are small; overall, this era of X-Men is still my favorite since Claremont's. 

I feel like it's been longer than 30 days since our last issue of Tenement; however, that's likely because I love this book so much. I have a four-day weekend coming up; might be time to re-read the Bone Orchard Mythos to date.

Sadly, I won't get my hands on this until my next trip to Chicago, which is likely only a week away or so. Still, knowing another chapter of Garth Ennis and Jacen Burrows' The Ribbon Queen is just out of reach may drive me mad. This one is escalating in a way that reminds me of Fincher's The Game; not sure anyone else is getting that, and I'm definitely not referring to the story itself. But as the pieces move into place, a bigger picture slowly emerges, the brief images of it we see suggesting Horrors beyond anything we've seen before. As the dread creeps in beneath the human dramas unfolding, page after page, we wait for awful things to happen. When they do, they are both a release and a harbinger of even worse, more cosmic monstrosities that await us. The feeling is... thrilling.

Time once again for my most-anticipated book of the month. Void Rivals has been a delight through and through, and having loved the experience of reading Kirkman's The Walking Dead month-to-month for most of its original run, I know what this man can do with a monthly. 


Pat O'Malley, the Writer/Creator of one of my favorite comics of the year, Popscars, has a Kickstarter up for 12 more days. Jurassic Parkour 4 looks fun as hell.

I had Pat on The Horror Vision a few months ago; it was a great time, two Horror fans just geeking out on the stuff we love. Parkour 4 looks a lot more like - well, kind of like what if the Triceratons from TMNT were the lead characters. Being a TMNT fan, I gotta see what that looks like.


The Cure - Disintegration
David Bowie - Black Star
Donny McCaslin - Beyond Now
PJ Harvey - Stories From the City, Stories From the Sea
Frank Black and the Catholics - Snake Oil
Willie Nelson - First Rose of Spring
Depeche Mode - Violator
U2 - One (single)


From Jonathan Grimm's Bound Tarot, which you can buy HERE.

• Ten of Pentacles
•XIV - Temperance (Art)
• Page of Swords

The Ten of Pentacles/Disks again. Hmm...

Closure is dictated by the Creative solution to an upcoming problem. I'm hoping this refers to yesterday when our Realtor and I had to use some last-minute finesse to solve a problem with earnest money. Barring that, I could also see this as a reminder to not let the chaos in my life at the moment distract me from my writing goals, which is absolutely another facet of what transpired yesterday.

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

It's Beyond Me, the Way That We Use it

If you know me, you will be surprised to see me posting an Eric Clapton track here. Outside of "Layla", I am NOT a fan. But a few days ago, Mr. Brown showed me Rick and Morty's "The Vat of Acid Episode," where they use this track from Clapton's 1986 album August for a hilarious montage sequence. This is full-blown, mid-80s, mid-life crisis EC, and it's... well, I can't really talk all that much shit about it at the moment because a combination of R&M and nostalgia for the world as it was in 1986 (to a degree) has it in regular rotation inside my head. This has made me question something about myself: my cynicism. I'll write more about this soon - I'm running on 12 hours of sleep TOTAL over the previous 72 hours, and I just don't have the mental capacity to explain my thoughts because, you know, it's in the way that you... yeah. 


Tuesday night, running on next to no sleep, my friend Jesus, Horror Vision Ray and I attended the opening night of Beyondfest with Nikhil Nagesh Bhat's new film Kill. There's no trailer yet, so here's a poster:

This one BLEW ME AWAY. I’m fairly certain I won’t see a movie I like more over the next two weeks, maybe not for the rest of the year. Kill provoked a standing ovation and a whole lot of encouraging "fuck yeahs" from this guy right here. I felt like I was at a freakin' metal show it pumped me up so much.

Kill instantly became my third favorite action movie ever (Predator and Die Hard being one and two). Also, though I don't want to give too much away, Kill becomes something of a “reverse slasher” in the last half and is apparently the "bloodiest film to ever come out of India." Of that, I have no doubt. If you are lucky enough to get a chance and see this on the big screen whenever it comes out, do yourself a favor and do just that. Outstanding!!!


Here's an amalgam of what will be waiting for me at Rick's Comic City when I return to Clarksville, as well as what I'm planning on picking up while I'm on the road:

Probably the book I am most anticipating this week. I really dug the previous arc of The Stuff of Nightmares, and from the brief synopsis I saw months ago that stated this is a Horror story that takes place at a Horror Convention - not to mention this Barbarian-homage cover - Red Murder really has me excited. Funny then, that when I first heard the creator Goosebumps had a Horror Comic on the way, I wrongfully dismissed it; I grew up a voracious reader, but born in '76, I was too old for that kid-driven series, and honestly, I was reading Horror novels from the Worth Library's paperback spinner racks that were probably way advanced for me at the time, subject matter-wise.

Not super sure what to make of Jean Grey number one, other than A) Louise Simonson has returned to B) Whatever happens after Fall of X, pretty sure Jean will be returning from beyond the grave as the Phoenix.

Newburn! That is all. 

LOVING this new Garth Ennis/Jacen Burrows Horror series. 

I know something about issue four of Robert Kirkman's Void Rivals that shocks me into almost placing it above Red Murder #1 on the anticipation scale.

Not going to lie - I need a full-series re-read to reestablish where we're at in What's the Furthest Place From Here. That doesn't lessen my fervor for the book; just makes it difficult to say very much about picking this up today. But pick it up, I shall.


Somehow, I missed the fact that a teaser for Issa Lopez's True Detective Season Four dropped a couple of months ago. I didn't miss this one, though:

So, you know my recent aversion to trailers? I couldn't help but hit "Play" on this; however, I cut out after about half. I mean, I didn't need to see anything at all ahead of time to know I was going to be all-in. I mean, have you seen Tigers Are Not Afraid? Set in Alaska and... well, that's about all I know about this one at this point, other than the fact that it stars Kali Davis, Jodie Foster, John Hawkes and Destro - I mean Christopher Eccleston, and has something to do with the operators of a research station disappearing. Sound familiar? Chances are this won't resemble John Carpenter's The Thing at all, and the comparison I'm actually referencing is the work of Laird Barron, which would fit right in with what I originally thought this show was going to be in Season One. Based on the appearance of a certain symbol, this season is apparently going to tie into one and three. Fine by me - world-build True Detective. Please! 


Umberto - Prophecy of the Black Widow
Screaming Females - Desire Pathway
Le Butcherettes - A Raw Youth
Mastodon - Leviathan
Eric Clapton - It's In the Way That You Use It (single)
The Damned - Evil Spirits
Danko Jones - We Sweat Blood
Sandrider - Godhead
Blackbraid - Blackbraid II
Pale Dian - Feral Birth
Godflesh - Songs of Love and Hate
Trust Obey - Fear and Bullets (1994 Edition)
Johnny Marr - Somewhere (single)
Mutoid Man - Mutants
Feuerbahn - The Fire Dance EP


I'm on the road, so all my Pulls will be from my mini Thoth deck for the next two weeks. Not a bad thing, but wanted to put up a reminder that Grimm's new Tarot Deck, The Hand of Doom Tarot, is both gorgeous and live on Kickstarter until Tuesday, October 3rd. Here's the LINK.

• Eight of Swords - Interference
• X - Fortune
• Ace of Wands

Again, I'm probably too tired at the moment of Pulling and writing this, however, pretty sure this is a work-related issue. The 8 of Swords, combined with Fortune (The Wheel in other decks) which denotes change, and the Willful breakthrough intimated by the Ace of Wands leads me to believe there will be somewhat of a confrontation tomorrow and this is a reminder to handle myself with tact and professionalism.

Weird being on the job site again. 

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

C.O.F.F.I.N. - Give Me a Bite

Early last week, my good friend and former Schlitz Family Robinson bandmate Sonny V. sent Mr. Brown and I this track from Australia's Children Of Finland Fighting In Norway, or, C.O.F.F.I.N. The album, Australia Stops, dropped this past Friday, and I have to tell you, the whole thing freakin' kicks some serious face in. Give this one a listen on your favorite music streaming service, and if you dig like I do, you can head over to the C.O.F.F.I.N. Bandcamp page and pick up the album for a pretty easy $18.99 with a mere $5.00 shipping for U.S. Pretty sweet, right? Now, prepare to have your faces kicked!


Bring this on right freakin' now, please!

Last week I scored tickets to a handful of Beyondfest screenings, with more of the RSVP to follow. I'm in Chicago this Friday through Sunday, seeing Godflesh for Coldwaves on Sunday, then boots on the ground for work and debauchery in LaLaLand for two weeks. writer/director Kristoffer Borgli's Dream Scenario is, unfortunately, this year's festival closer on 10/10, so I'll miss it there. That said, this  should be hitting theatres nationwide. 


Baroness - Stone
C.O.F.F.I.N. - Australia Stops
High on Fire - The Art of Self Defense
Goatsnake - Black Age Blues
Blut Aus Nord - Disharmonium: Nahab
Perturbator - The Uncanny Valley
Lord Huron - Long Lost
Ritual Howls - Virtue Filters
Belong - October Language
Boy Harsher - Careful


From Jonathan Grimm's Bound Tarot, which you can buy HERE.  Just a reminder that Grimm's new Tarot Deck, The Hand of Doom Tarot, is both gorgeous and live on Kickstarter right now. Here's the LINK.

• XVIII: The Moon
• King of Pentacles
• Ten of Wands

Hidden Aspects of Earthly concerns will require a perfectly harmonized application of Will to harness/overcome. 

I'm not in a headspace to properly decode this today. I'm scattered, and that in and of itself may be where I need to apply that Will in order to make any progress. There's a slowly increasing hum of anxiety surrounding my upcoming 17-day trip away from home, 14 of those in LaLaLand. The last two trips have instilled in me a rising sense of unease when residing in L.A., and that's something I'm dreading.

That said, this trip will not be like the one last March; Beyondfest is back, my good friend and Horror Vision Co-Host Ray is taking a week off work to hang out, and I get to meet frequent Horror Vision collaborator and all-around awesome new friend John Trafton in person! Not to mention, all the other friends I will see. I've spoken here before about the importance of populating your life with Events, and that's definitely how these fall trips are set up, so there should be considerably less time spent sad and lonely in my hotel room, surrounded by the trash-littered landscape of West L.A., basically a post-apocalyptic city at this point. 

Tuesday, September 5, 2023

Rodney Crowell - Ever the Dark

My favorite track from a fantastic summer album Mr. Brown recently recommended to me, Rodney Crowell's The Chicago Sessions, produced by Wilco's Jeff Tweedy. 

Crowell has been kicking around for decades; his debut record, Ain't Living Long Like This came out in 1978, but I don't remember ever being exposed to his music until Brown sent me a copy of his 2018 Christmas Record Christmas Everywhere last year. Working backward, there's a wealth of fantastic material (especially on that first record and 2001's The Houston Kid). Crowell spent some time in the mid-to-late 70s in Emmylou Harris's backing band, and they did an album together in 2013 that's also on my list to check out.


I've never really been a Godzilla fan, but I have to admit, I think I'd probably be a fool not to see Godzilla Minus One when it opens this December:
I'm assuming it was lack of exposure to Godzilla flicks as a kid that is the reason they don't really resonate with me. I remember when the trailer for that first Legendary film with Brian Cranston popped up before something in the cinema - that trailer made me think the new approach would be a lot more in the Cloverfield vein, and that sounded really cool at the time. Then several of my friends saw it and reported back that if I was looking for something new, this wasn't it. I let that film come and go, then tried to watch the second one on HOBOMAX a few years ago and actually fell asleep for lack of Godzilla. Will this return to Toho ignite a love for these films? Well, it's not likely to move the needle backward, but you have to admit, this looks pretty badass, so I'll check it out. What I'm really hoping is all my Godzilla-loving friends come away super happy with this one; the buzz of the franchise's return to its original home Toho seems like a good omen for sure. 


I finished Nathan Ballingrud's The Strange, and as I suspected, I'm having a difficult time choosing a book to move to next, simply because The Strange was so damn good. Officially, as of right now, this is the best novel I've read in 2023 (new or old):

Described by the Author in the afterword as "The Martian Chronicles meets True Grit," I think that says it all. This is a coming-of-age story shaped by loss and the quiet, frustrating echoes of it that resound forward through our lives and shape who we become, especially for those loss touches at a young age. Annabelle Crisp is a protagonist for the ages, and I loved the brief 'wraparound' that Ballingrud employs so we could 'hear' a grown Belle relate the events of her 14th year on Mars, 1931. 


Mercyful Fate - Don't Break the Oath
Sinéad O'Connor - I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got
Black Sabbath - Paranoid
Soul Coughing - El Oso
Underworld - Beaucoup Fish
Led Zeppelin - Houses of the Holy
Type O Negative - Life is Killing Me
Blut Aus Nord - Disharmonium: Nahab
Lustmord - Berlin
Metallica - The $5.98 EP: Garage Days Re-Revisited
Various - Apple Yacht Rock Essentials
Bria - Cuntry Covers Vol. 2
The Ravenonettes - In and Out of Control
T. Rex - The Slider
Rodney Crowell - The Chicago Sessions
Bluekarma - The Frictin, The Pain
Zeal and Ardor - Eponymous
Southern Fried True Crime Podcast - Episodes 180, 182 and 190


From Jonathan Grimm's Bound Tarot, which you can buy HERE. And as of 5:00 PM Central Time today, September 5, 2023, you can head over to Kickstarter and back Grimm's new deck, The Hand of Doom Tarot. Check it out HERE.

• Eight of Cups
• Six of Pentacles
• IV: The Emperor

Right off the bat (and probably because I'm tired and have a lot of work-work in front of me), I'm reading this with a squint, which is to say, I'm not even looking past the fact that there's only one Major here, and it's telling me to sit quietly and hammer out my work before even thinking about the creative and emotional threads that will emerge as the day lengthens. 

Tuesday, August 1, 2023

Alice Donut - Mother of Christ Live

From Alice Donut's 1994 Live at CBGB's album Dry Humping the Cash Cow. Fantastic double-disc capture of Donut in their prime. Mr. Brown gifted me this on vinyl and a few years ago and from first listen, the recording and performance blew me away. I wish I would have seen Alice Donut live, but alas, that never happened. I don't know their discography nearly as well as I should, with a large part of my time with the band having been eaten up by a preoccupation that bordered on obsession for a while in the late 90s with their 1992 masterpiece The Untidy Suicides of Your Degenerate Children, which is start to finish, one of the best and most underrated albums of the 90s.


I've been waiting for Stewart Thorndike's Bad Things to hit Shudder since reading an article in the most recent issue of Fangoria. I wasn't the biggest fan of Thorndike's 2014 film Lyle, but I definitely liked it and felt as though, my opinion aside, this was a director to watch.


This flick looks unnerving as hell, and all the references I keep seeing to Gayle Rankin's performance evoking Jack Torrance, well, sign me up.            


Sigur Rós - Ágœtis Byrjun
Dungen - Ta Det Lugnt
Boards of Canada - Tomorrow's Harvest
Alice Donut - Dry Humping the Cash Cow
The Bret Easton Ellis Podcast - S7E21: The Top of the Heap
Metallica - 72 Seasons
Odonis Odonis - Post Plague
Deftones - Koi No Yokan


• III: The Empress
• 0: The Fool
• XIII: Death

Lots of BIG influences are afoot today. Keeping my eyes open for signs to the contrary, but this seems to suggest a fork in the path; institution vs. change.

Monday, June 26, 2023

Fear Factory - God Eater


From the new album Re-Industrialized. My good friend and cohost on The Horror Vision Butcher mentioned the new Fear Factory was getting pretty favorable reviews. 

Honestly, I've never had a huge attachment to this band, however, two things about them stand out to me: back in 1993, Mr. Brown and I went to Chicago's Riviera Theatre to see Sepultura on the Chaos A.D. tour. Openers were Fudge Tunnel - who we were familiar with through their debut Hate Songs in E Minor - and two bands we'd never heard of, Clutch and Fear Factory. Fear Factory would have been touring for their first major label album, Soul of a New Machine. I remember seeing their name and laughing. We joked a lot that night in the lead-up to the show: "Ooh, Fear Factory. Is that where they make the fear?" 

After Fear Factory took the stage, we stopped making fun. 

These guys blew the fucking doors off the Riv. Demanufacture came out two years later, and at first listen, you could tell it was a seminal album. It sounded so unique, the industrial beats, the chanting vocals laid atop BCB's vitriolic snarl. The overly compressed and gated guitar sound (fresh at the time, but would quickly overstay its welcome once it became a standard across the genre and birthed the metal hybrid that distinguished itself with an umlaut. 

Butcher's fervor for the new record intrigued me. What would this sound like to someone with no real connection outside of one album, tenuous at best over time?

Listening again the other night at two-something in the morning, I remembered Demanufacture for what it is - a game changer in metal production, one that inspired some great new bands and a lot of shitty ones. The same can be said for Faith No More, Helmet, and probably a few other bands I love. I wouldn't say I love FF, but I dig them enough to give the new album a chance. \

First impression was good, but weird hearing a different voice - Milo Silvestro apparently replaced Burton C. Bell after 2021's Aggression Continuum. This is a milieu and the associated drama that never found my ears. But segueing into Re-Industrialized, some tracks definitely caught my fancy. Two days later, the same tracks persist, but more of the album has opened up to me as well. The one above, but also of note is a really kick-ass track that shares a name with William Gibson's Difference Engine novel and the atmospheric dithering of "Human Augmentation," my favorite track so far simply because it's less a song and more the sonic habitation of a melting Cyber Punk city somewhere in the distant future, or forgotten past.


Since we had a stamped concrete patio put in as an extension of our back porch, it's become difficult for me to want to do anything with my nights other than sit outside with K and the cats and just enjoy the summer. Last night we were treated to a lightning storm that was out of this world. Saturday, we just sat outside, listened to music and soaked up the night. That went late, and when we finally came in, I was pretty tired. I fired up Shudder on habit, always curious as to what's playing on Shudder TV, and when I saw Cold Hell was only two minutes and some change in, I cracked another Sierra Nevada Summer Fest and settled in for what has become my second favorite Neo Giallo after Knife + Heart. I know I've talked about Cold Hell here before, like I know I've posted the trailer, but here we go again:


Directed by Stefan Ruzowitzky, with fantastic performances by everyone involved, Cold Hell is a relentless game of Cat-and-Mouse that always keeps my pulse jacked and my brain totally engaged, even though I've seen it enough in the last five years to know it by heart. Violetta Schurawlow's Özge is the most badass female protagonist I know, easily sailing over Sharni Vinson's Erin from You're Next - who is by no means not awesome, she just doesn't have the kickboxing prowess and surging fury that Schurawlow brings to the table while she fights for her life against a killer she accidentally witnessed murder her neighbor. The "Car Scene" in this flick is a straight redline of adrenaline, and it fires me up every time.


Forhist - Eponymous
Fear Factory - Demanufacture
Witchskull - The Serpent Tide
Perturbator - The Uncanny Valley
Ministry - The Land of Rape and Honey
Baroness - Last Word (pre-release single)
QOTSA - In Times New Roman
Fear Factory - Re-Industrialized
Jenny Lewis & the Watson Twins - Rabbit Fur Coat
Led Zeppelin - In Through the Out Door
Ween - The Mollusk
Drug Church - Hygiene
The Watson Twins - Holler
Alice in Chains - Sap EP
Tom Waits - Raindogs
Angelo Badalamenti - Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me OST
Soul Coughing - Ruby Vroom


• VI - The Lovers
• Prince of Wands - Here, I'm reading this very pointedly as applying Intellect to the Creative Process
• Princess of Wands - Likewise, applying Earthly Understanding to the Creative Process

Normally I might be tempted to read that Princess in a very different way, however, I spent a large chunk of my writing time yesterday working up a timeline and a family history for some of the major characters in the new novel - which I missed completing the first draft by last Tuesday, however, which I entered the final "act" on yesterday. Add in The Lovers, and we get this in the Grimoire:

"Finally - Man!!! As Amoeba he splits his opposite and humanity is born!"

I'm assuming I culled that from either Crowley or Moore, but I compiled the bulk of this tome a long time ago, so I'm not really sure. I know some came from contemplation of the cards, the above-mentioned sources - as well as others - and more than a few Mugwort or Mushroom experiences, so who knows?
The point, of course, is that while that sentence is not the only thing on the page for Trump VI, it is what spoke to me in this moment, because through all of the Intellect and Earthly application to Will, I feel as though I have further honed and developed the characters - who happen to be familial and are, in fact, quite purposely opposites of one another.

Thursday, March 23, 2023

Dead Guy's Work Ethic

I received a spectacular early birthday present in the mail from Mr. Brown yesterday - Dead Guy's Work Ethic E.P. I first discovered Dead Guy back in 1995 when Victory Records released their Fixation On A Coworker LP. I was writing for Subculture magazine back then, and somehow became their default Victory Records guy, so I received all the promo CDs the labels sent in. I did not care for most of the bands, but Dead Guy... they kind of blew me away right off the bat. 

Funny thing about this live EP record, this track labeled as "Druid" is actually "Extremist" or "The Extremist", one of my favorites from that Fixation LP.  Song still shreds some serious face, and it reminds me I still need to track down that Dead Guy documentary Vinegar Syndrome's Partner label has for sale on their site/app. 


The verdict is out on Shudder's upcoming From Black. The trailer - I watched about half, and it sold me - looks like it can go either way, good or bad.


April 28th, we'll see. I love some of the imagery here, but certain elements of how this trailer is cut make me wonder if this will just be a rehash of what we've seen in some better movies of late.


Spotlights - Seanace EP
Spotlights - Love & Decay
Cristobal Tapia de Veer - Smile OST
Dead Guy - Work Ethic EP
Dr. John - Ske Dat De Dat
The Veils - ... And Out of the Void Came Love
Sunn O))) - Domkirk
The Police - Synchronicity
King Woman - Celestial Blues


From Jonathan Grimm's Bound Tarot, which you can buy HERE.

One of the rare moments where I'm going to read a card at face value - I'm making some snap judgments about people in my life and it's leading to an uncomfortable mental space.

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Spotlight on Stephen King's Fairy Tale


Really digging this new EP from Spotlights. Order from Ipecac Records HERE.


As of Monday, I'm finally back from my two weeks in LaLaLand. Trapped up in West L.A./Santa Monica at the Sonder hotel at Found, I didn't get a chance to hit up my beloved Comic Bug until my final day in town, but I saw some old friends and got to pick up a few books that weren't on my list. Also, will be returning to Rick's Comic City today to grab my Pull-List books from the last two weeks, so here's everything I will have acquired starting back on NCBD 3/08/23:

This Week's Pull 3/22/23:

Last week's Pull, 3/15/23:

This, the penultimate issue of Hulk, is one I actually missed out on; I never added to my Pull, and The Bug was sold out, so I'll have to find it online somewhere.

The only one I've read at the point of reading this, I started out feeling pretty non-plussed, but ending up really liking where this second issue of Immoral X-Men went. I don't love Sins of Sinister, however, I'm reading through it simply to see the pretty big-swing ideas the X-writing stable are taking with it.

LOVE LOVE LOVE this cover!

Two Weeks Ago, 3/08/23:

Based on the Master of Reality and now Back in Black homage covers, I am SO hoping they do one for Mercyful Fate, Don't Break the Oath on a future issue of this series!

I'm glad this regular X-Men book isn't adhering or pausing for Sins of Sinister. With issue 19's start of a Brood-based story, I thought I was going to roll my eyes, however, the entire set-up was fantastic (the Nowhere thread is amazing!). I'm really looking forward to this one!


While in LaLaLand, I had a couple of occasions to catch up and hang out with my good friend Chris Saunders, formerly of The Thirsty Crows, and my co-host on the hiatus-ending-soon podcast A Most Horrible Library. Chris gifted me a beautiful Hardcover copy of Stephen King's newest novel Fairy Tale, and at ~120 pages into its ~600 pages, I'm hooked!

I haven't read a new King novel since 2010's Doctor Sleep (thanks to Mr. Brown!) and reading Fairy Tale makes me remember how much I adore the man's prose. I'm realizing now that one of the everlasting endearments of King's mind and how it translates to the page is he writes about a world that, while modern and incorporating modern elements (the internet, online shopping, current cultural establishments), King's world still feels very much like the world I grew up in, the one-two weeks in LaLaLand convinced me did not exist at all anymore. That's a very welcome refresher at the moment, as it gives me hope humanity isn't as far gone as it often feels when in a high-population center or tooling around online.


Le Butcherettes - A Raw Youth
Screaming Females - Desire Pathways
Bohren & Der Club of Gore - Sunset Mission
Led Zeppelin - Houses of the Holy
SQÜRL - Silver Haze
The Police - Regatta de Blanc
Burial - Untrue
Boards of Canada - Music Has the Right To Children
Boards of Canada - Geogaddi
Wayne Shorter - The All Seeing Eye
Spotlights - Seance EP
Spotlights - Love & Decay


From Jonathan Grimm's Bound Tarot, which you can buy HERE.

Emotional security leads to an Emotional breakthrough that ultimately could turn into a profitable partnership. 

Monday, February 27, 2023

The Getaway


A couple years ago, Mr. Brown clued me into the greatness of Dr. John when he sent Gris Gris my way for Halloween. Since, every so often, he'll recommend an album. Two weekends ago he introduced me to 2012's Locked Down, where The Black Keys are his band. 

This is the same treatment the Keys have done for other aging icons, but combined with Dr. John, Locked Down struck me immediately. A perfect combination, this, and The Getaway is my favorite song (so far). The coda on this one is fantastic; one of the best guitar solos I've heard in some time.


Watching this final season of Servant has finally made me dig out my DVD copy of Guy Ritchie's RocknRolla to show K Toby Kebbler's first break-out role (that I was aware of, anyway).


This one does not disappoint. Face-paced and twisty in that way Guy Ritchie's flicks are when he's on, I put this one right under Snatch as my favorite. And Kebbell is awesome- that pencil scene at the Subways gig! Oh man, I feel that every time I watch this.


I did a full, deep-dive, note-taking re-read of James Tynion IV's Department of Truth this weekend, and I can definitively tell you that no comic has stirred me up like this since first reading Grant Morrison's Invisibles back around the turn of the century. 

The ideas in this book are massive; Tynion has found a way to wrap everything from Alt-Right Conspiracy to Big Foot into an insanely compelling package that feels a lot like things we've seen before and loved cut with something brand new. My elevator pitch would be "Grant Morrison writes the X-Files" and there is zero hyperbole in that. Conspiracy Theories are fun, but ultimately I've never been a person who cannot refuse them just on some innate mental survival instinct; yes, I think 911 was probably an inside job, or some facet of our own government pulled the trigger on JFK, but it would do me no good to obsess over it, so I do not. This book is a super-intelligent way of working with a lot of that stuff in a fictional environment. 

Also, Martin Simmonds's art is absolutely breathtaking and helps the book feel a lot like the old-school Vertigo titles I love so much.


Dr. John - Locked Down
Pixies - Surfer Rosa
Pixies - Doggerel
Metallica - Hardwired
Faetooth - Remnants of the Vessel
Clouds Taste Satanic - Tales of Demonic Possession
Ghostland Observatory - Paparazzi Lightning
Talking Heads - Speaking in Tongues
White Hex - Gold Nights


From Jonathan Grimm's Bound Tarot, which you can buy HERE.

Think things through and don't be distracted by splendor. 

Thursday, January 5, 2023

Much Too Late


Thank You, Mr. Brown. Hearing this again made my night. 


I still cannot believe this is going to be a thing. 

Not throwing shade; I dig the original; it just feels so random that it's getting a sequel all this time later. 


Talking Heads - Fear of Music
Ozzy Osbourne - Patient No. 9
Filmmaker - Drainvoid
Crow (DJ Kicks) - Forest Swords (single)
Ozzy Osbourne - Diary of a Madman
The Besnard Lakes - The Besnard Lakes Are the Last of the Great Thunderstorm Warnings


I'm hoping this is a summation of my last couple of days rather than an indication of where my weekend is heading. 

Friday, August 19, 2022

P.G. X3

After a recent text conversation with Mr. Brown, I fell down a Melvins rabbit hole yesterday. I hadn't heard 2010's The Bride Screamed Murder since back around the time when it came out, and even then it wasn't an album that impacted me at the time (a lot of times, if I'm not in a "Melvins Mood," their shit goes right past my head, then I hear it again at some point and love it immediately). Bride is a fantastic record, one of my favorites of theirs from the last ten years, but the album closer "P.G. X3" might be my favorite track by the band since "A History of Bad Men", on 2006's (A) Senile Animal. 


My excitement for this is building!

While I wasn't blown away by Season Four at its start, by the end they had me again. The announcement that Mike Barnes returns in Season Five has me think this is definitely an "All the soldiers in a row" moment for the show. 


Various - Every Day (Is Halloween):  Playlist
Melvins/Dumb Numbers - Broken Pipe EP
Melvins - Five Legged Dog
Melvins - Bride Screamed Murder
Melvins - (A) Senile Animal
Melvins & Jello Biafra - Sieg Howdy!
Melvins - The Crybaby
Sinoia Caves - The Enchanter Persuaded
Majeure - Mass Flashback
Tanya Tucker - Delta Dawn (single)
Brainiac - Bonsai Superstar
Zeal and Ardor - Eponymous
Corrosion of Conformity - Deliverance
Palms - Eponymous
Stevie Wonder - Greatest Hit Vol. 2
Sharon Jones and the Dap Tones - Give the People What They Want


From Jonathan Grimm's Bound Tarot, which you can buy HERE.

Here's a direct commentary on something I've known for some time. As I've gotten back into reading and thinking about the practice of Magick, the major impediment to me actually doing very much with it, is drinking. Which, averaging four beers a night right now, is something I probably do too much of.