Showing posts with label Orville Peck. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Orville Peck. Show all posts

Monday, April 8, 2024

I'm a Monkey Man

I've been 'off' for a few days while some friends were in town, so I'm behind on some stuff from last week. First, this Orville Peck/Willie Nelson track that dropped last Friday and makes me super happy. To hear these two together is just... wonderful. I love how Willie does these tracks with the younger generation of real country stars to welcome them in - he did a similar one with Kacey Musgraves a few years back.


I saw two flicks in the theatre late last week. First up, Arkasha Stevenson's The First Omen


This was not for me, but then, I pretty much hate the original Omen as well. If you dig that one, you'll dig this (I think). Stevenson and her team - which includes cinematographer Aaron Morton (Evil Dead 2013; No One Will Save You) and Composer Mark Korven (The Witch; The Lighthouse) go out of their way to evoke the 70s tone of the original film, so this definitely feels as though it takes place in that world. Also, Nell Tiger Free does a great job as the lead. My problems really revolve around the script, but like I said, if you dig the original, I think you'll dig this. If you're on the fence and have it in mind to see only one Catholic/Nun Horror flick this summer, I'd go with Immaculate. It's just a better movie, in my opinion.

Next up was Dev Patel's Directorial debut: Monkey Man!


Dev Patel wrote/directed/and starred in this one, and it is quite the debut. A visceral fable of Haves and Have-Nots set amidst India's hard-line class division in a fictionalized version of Mumbai named Yatana, Patel plays "The Kid," a man orphaned by corrupt politicians as a child who has now grown up with only one guiding star in his sky: revenge. 

See it in a theatre if you can. The choreography and score by Jed Kurzel will light you up for days.


I started a re-read of Chris Claremont's Uncanny X-Men this weekend. I've done this before and fallen off rather quickly, so this time I'm really going to try and stick to it. A few years ago (more than a few), I found a huge stack of single issues at a thrift store in Harbor City, CA, all in the mid 100s, and I've never read most of them. My readership began as a kid in the 80s, right around issue 211, and although I still have a bunch of holes in the run, I'm going to go through what I have. Starting with a bunch of issues of Classic X-Men; the monthly reprint series that ran in the 80s as the title became more popular, bringing hard-to-find storylines like The Dark Phoenix Saga back for newer fans to read. So that's exactly where I started.

Reprinting Uncanny X-Men #130

Reprinting Uncanny X-Men 131

While I do own a beat-up copy of The Phoenix's first appearance in Uncanny 101, I'm not even 100% certain I've ever actually read the entirety of the Phoenix Saga, so this is a great place to begin; I picked these Classic X-Men up years ago at a comic convention and really need this re-read to figure out what I've missed. As well as I know a lot of the lore and history, some of that was no doubt absorbed via years of fandom. It'll be very cool to actually experience Claremont's run.


Revolting Cocks - Beers Steers and Queers
Miranda Sex Garden - Carnival of Souls
Type O Negative - Bloody Kisses (Suspended in Dusk Vinyl)
Chelsea Wolfe  - She Reaches Out to She Reaches Out to She
Perturbator - The Uncanny Valley
Anthrax - Persistence of Time
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard - PetroDragonic Apocalypse
Turnstile - Glow On
Beck - Odelay
Rollins Band - The End of Silence
Brigette Calls Me Baby - This House is Made of Corners EP
Amigo the Devil - Yours Until the End of the War
The Tiger Lillies - Bad Blood  + Blasphemy
Tom Waits - Rain Dogs
Mannequin Pussy - I Got Heaven
Mannequin Pussy - Drunk II (single)

Friday, December 30, 2022

My Ten Favorite Albums of 2022

Whereas last year, I had moments that suggested I may not be able to cull ten new records for a list, this year I had no similar problems. LOTS of new music in 2022. What follows is the list of my ten favorite albums released in 2022.

Top Ten Albums 2022:

10) Beach House -  Once Twice Melody

I've been a bit slow on the uptake with Beach House. While I've been partaking in their music for probably close to ten years, I always kept them at arm's length. In fact, it wasn't until two or so years ago that my cousin Charles recommended I give the track "Elegy to the Void" my undivided attention. That song, from the band's 2015 album Thank Your Lucky Stars, proved to be the track that opened an entirely new dimension to the band's music for me. Since then, every album that drops plays a slightly more important role in my year, culminating with this year's double album, Once Twice Melody, which, like Mastodon's Hushed and Grim last year and another 2022 album higher on this list, is a double album with NO fat. Every track is perfect, the order is essential, and it all builds into a fitting snapshot of the quieter moments of my 2022.

9) H6LLB6ND6R - Side A

Here's a first - H6LLB6ND6R is made up of the Addams family, who also have a film in my top ten films this year! The movie is likewise titled Hellbender, and just like this record, it's a really fresh take on what a stripped-down, independent project can accomplish. If this is bedroom-producing, I want more. Every track has a hook, and yet, the sludgy, pummeling goodness still hits hard. Add in an early Jucifer-vibe to the doubled vocals, and I just couldn't put this one down. 

8) Greg Puciato - Mirrorcell

Everything Greg Puciato does moves the needle well into the red with me. Mirrorcell is no different. That first single, "Lowered" with Reba Meyers from Code Orange is a massive track, and really helped to define my year. The rest of the album takes the slightly fractured feeling of Puciato's first solo record, Child Soldier, and smooths it into a more coherent whole. I miss the f*ck out of DEP, but I can't really complain when their singer is giving us albums of this calibre.

7) Carpenter Brut - Leather Terror

Until Leather Terror, Carpenter Brut's records always felt like they were half-there to me. I dig several of them to varying degrees, and the OST to Blood Machines is fantastic (but that's a score, and thus, something a bit different than an album), but there's always been a... I don't know, call it a whimsy that sneaks into the vibe and leaves me a bit cold. But that's just me. I also think my regard for CB may have suffered by my being such a fan of Perturbator-  anyone else working in that realm of "Synthwave" or whatever you want to call it felt a few notches behind. 

But as I said, ALL of that is my own baggage, and should not be misconstrued as judgment against the extremely accomplished musician known as Carpenter Brut, who proves me 100% full of shit on this new album. This one SLAMS, the guest vocalists all do fantastic work, and the one-two of tracks "Day Stalker" and "Night Prowler" is something to behold. 

Baggage ejected; can't wait for the next record!!!

6) The Mysterines - Reeling

My elevator pitch for this band is meant to evoke honor, and yet I realize it essentially sells the Mysterines short. "PJ Harvey singing for BRMC" is enough to convince folks to give this band a chance, but having listened to the record countless times and seen them live (my first post-vaccination show), a comparison like that does nothing to convey the raw gifts on display in Reeling's perfectly tight 13 songs. This is Rock n' Roll that lives and breathes with a confidence and cool that places it right up there in the lexicon of bands that will live forever - Iggy, Bowie, the aforementioned PJ and Motorcycle Club. A lot of that is owed to singer/guitarist Lia Metcalfe, who emotes a conjuration somewhere between Nick Cave's mystic knowledge and PJ's "Fuck U" attitude.

5) Final Light - Final Light

Brutal, majestic, mysterious: take the neon pentagram glow of Perturbator's music and wash it in the medieval blood of the north often associated with Black Metal and you still can't quite get close to capturing the sonic environment of this record. One thing's for sure though: It's a storm! 

I've spent A LOT of time this year using Lustmord's various instrumental music as a soundtrack to my writing because of the doorways his musical manipulations open. Maybe more than anything else on this list, Final Light provides a very similar experience. There are dark places herein, but they're inspiring and beautiful and, if you catch them just right, they'll take you places you won't be expecting.

4) Sylvaine - Nova

I'd never heard of Sylvaine until I saw them open for another band on this list, and live they absolutely blew me away. When I fired up this year's Nova album I found that, just like that live show, this band's studio mastery creates an all-encompassing experience that is visceral and beautiful and at times, sad and scary. That's pretty much exactly what I want from my Post-Black-Metal-Folk-bands, and Nova shot to the top of that list the moment I hit play on this one.

3) Zeal and Ardor - Eponymous

To quote my good friend Keller as we stood in L.A.'s Echoplex this past October watching Z&A tear through 80% of the new, eponymous record, "These guys are truly post-genre." Yep. Every album just gets bigger and better. Can't wait for the next. 

2) Ghost - Impera

I was not a super fan of Ghost's previous record, Prequelle, and while I've never stopped recognizing Tobias Forge's genius, his work doesn't always align with my taste or what I perceive as the promise whispered by those first two-and-a-half Ghost albums. So in the run-up to the release of this year's Impera, I had assumed this would be another quasi-disappointment. 

Wrong. This is easily my favorite Ghost album behind Infestissumam. Something about the arranging and songwriting on this one - I'm not sure if it's because I'm at a place where I have reassessed and embraced so much 80s Hard Rock I once detested, but I feel elements of a lot of that here, only transmogrified into something sleek and modern. Side A closing tracking "Watcher in the Sky" is my favorite song by the band behind "Year Zero," as well as my second favorite song of the year, and it carries a lot of weight here. That said, every single track moves me and gets stuck in my heart, even the mellowest ones, because they all fit together into this beautiful puzzle called Impera and make for a thrilling snapshot of an artist who has still yet to tap into his reserves.

1) Orville Peck - Bronco

It is a rare breed, the musician who can follow up a widely praised - and deservedly so - debut album with an even better sophomore record, let alone one that is a double album. Orville Peck, however, knocked this one so far out of the park, Pony seems like it came out a decade ago. Bronco is thrilling, with every track outshining the previous in lyrics, melody, and above all instrumentation. Like Impera, Bronco takes what has come before and influenced it - in this case the pomp and circumstance of 70s country instrumentation - and weaves it into a beautiful portrait of the years that preceded the album and those yet to come. Also, like Impera, one of the songs on the A Side - in this case, "Out of Time" - is my favorite of the year. What a perfect fit to my exodus from California and my move to Tennessee. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Sleeping in the Midday Sun


Listening to Orville Peck's Bronco a lot these last few months since it dropped, and I've done that thing where pretty much every song rotates in as my favorite for a bit. A few weeks ago, it was the album closer "All I Can Say." Great duet that prompted me to look into Peck's guest Bria's work.

Cunty Covers Volume 1 dropped last year, and I'm pretty sure had I heard it then, the EP would have made it onto my year's best list. Wow. My favorite track on an album of favorite tracks, here's Bria's rendition of John Calle's "Buffalo Ballet." You can order the album from Bria's Bandcamp HERE.


I spent Saturday morning re-reading Michael Walsh and friends' The Silver Coin, then my co-host Butcher and I did a two-hour FULL SPOILER retrospective on the entire series for The Horror Vision, available now on all Podcast Platforms.

Then Sunday, I spent the morning re-reading Matthew Rosenberg and Tyler Boss's What's the Furthest Place From Here. Man, you can't get much better than these two series. While you can hear plenty of my thoughts on The Silver Coin in the episode mentioned above, I'll just use this space right here to tell you that WTFPFH is probably going to end up being my favorite book of the year. 

There is just NOTHING else out there like this book. Sure, I could make comparisons to Teenagers From Mars and Black Hole, among others, but WTFPFH cuts the modern realism with a heaping dose of what the actual fuck? and it makes for a fun, quirky read that I really can't wait to see further unravel, because there is NO way to anticipate where the hell this one is going. Love it!


Ozzy Osbourne - Diary of a Madman
Prince and the Revolution - Purple Rain
John Cale - Black Acetate
Bria - Cuntry Covers Vol. 1
... And You Will Know Us By The Trail of the Dead - XI: Bleed Here Now
Withered - Veloren
The Sword - Age of Winters
Telekinetic Yeti - Primordial
Earthless - Black Heaven
Helms Alee - Keep This Be the Way
Sleep - Volume One


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

Another reminder that change is a'coming? Really? As if I don't know (he says while he's out of breath from packing).

Friday, March 25, 2022

A Blasphemous Nun Massacre at the Hexie Mountains!


A new video from Orville Peck's recently released Bronco, Chapter 1. I can't wait for the entire album to land and my vinyl to arrive. If you haven't already, you can scoot on over HERE to pick one up for yourself.


Despite working slightly more than a full day yesterday, I had a pretty damn good 46th birthday. Nothing fancy. Homemade burgers and Demons 2 kicked things off, as I picked up that stunning Synapse Films double feature of Lamberto Bava's two Demons films back when it came out a year or two ago, and still hadn't set eyes on their transfer of the sequel.


Ironic that I could only find Arrow Video's trailer for their restoration of the film, but whatever. The Synapse transfer is gorgeous, and I'm quite happy with everything about it.

Later, to end my night, I threw on one of my recent favorites - Joe Begos' VFW. It'd been a minute since I'd seen this one, but I feel like all the beats are seared into my head thanks to that one magnificent Beyondfest double feature back in 2019. 

I love this flick so damn much. Both this and Begos' Bliss are films I feel like I could watch every day. In lieu of that, I tend to just toss them on when I can, to re-experience not just the film, but that glorious final Beyondfest at the Egyptian, my favorite place in LaLaLand, now owned by Netflix.


Not only did my Nintendo Switch arrive yesterday, but I was able to pick up Puppet Combo's Nun Massacre from the online game store!


The game, like Glass Staircase before it - which I'd bought on my Mac a few years ago and quickly gave up on without a controller - is a bit difficult to get used to for someone who hasn't ever really played 360, immersive games, but very well worth the pangs of the learning curve. The atmosphere is stellar, and when the titular Nun takes to stabbing you to death, things get pretty intense. Definitely recommended for anyone who digs Horror and Games. Reminds me a bit of my all-time favorite Video Game, Shadow Gate, which still influences my personality endlessly, despite not having played it in decades at this point.

Despite all this love I'm heaping on Nun Massacre, however, it was another game I picked up at the same time that I spent the most time with. Thanks to a recommendation by my Horror Vision cohost King Butcher, I grabbed Game Kitchen's Blasphemous:

The image of that giant baby with its eyes stabbed out, held by a monster as it tears a person limb from limb sealed the deal. This is some insane shit, and I'm absolutely in love with this game, which was obviously designed by a bunch of Metal Head Stoners (my people) who were very much influenced by the Castlevania series, which, back when I played video games on the original NES system, was a favorite (especially part 2: Simon's Quest).


Perturbator - Lustful Sacraments
Blut Aus Nord - That Cannot Be Dreamed
Drug Church - Hygiene
Quicksand - Slip 
White Lung - Paradise
Every Day (is Halloween) Playlist (Reveal in upcoming April 4th Edition of the newsletter)


Back to my Thoth mini. My intention was a three-card spread, however, this card literally jumped out of the deck at me:

A solid foundation to build from takes good, strong effort and clear thinking. Pertinent, as we just had another phone conversation with our Tennessee realtor. Things are moving forward, and I'll post more about it here when our machinations fully lock into place.

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Orville Peck - Outta Time


New Orville Peck in April? Sign me right the f*&k up! Of the three songs from Bronco that Peck dropped last Friday - thanks to Mr. Brown for cluing me in on that - this is my favorite. All three are great, though, and you can pre-order the album HERE


July 22, 2022.


The trailer for Jordan Peele's Nope dropped the other day, and it looks as though it once again proves Mr. Peele knows how to make a trailer that makes his audience salivate without showing or telling you really anything that the movie is about. I keep seeing references to this being his "Alien Invasion" movie, but if you think Nope is going to be as cut and dry as that, I'm pretty sure you're wrong. Or, perhaps more eloquently stated, "Nope."


Zeal and Ardor - Eponymous
Urge Overkill - Oui
PJ Harvey - To Bring You My Love
The Ronettes - Presenting the Fabulous Ronettes
Orville Peck - Bronco (pre-release singles)


Outta Time suddenly seems like the perfect song for today's post:

In undertaking this move, it would be easy to let all of the stress, planning, discussion and interaction overwhelm me. This happens. What I'm reminded of in drawing this particular card at this particular moment, is not to be seduced into inactivity or take the easy way out. I like my job a lot, and while I am mostly taking it with me, it would be so much easier to stay where we are and keep living the good, fairly easy life K and I have carved out for ourselves over the last six years. The important thing is to lean into the fray and meet this challenge head-on because once on the other side of it, our lives will be infinitely better. 

That, ladies and gentlemen, is the goal.

Monday, July 19, 2021

The Dead of Night


Had this one in my head all day yesterday, finally had a chance to put it on the turntable later in the evening, as K and I sat outside and enjoyed the cooling night air. Dead of Night seemed appropriate, as by that time, I was up way past my usual Sunday night bedtime.



I absolutely loved the first, two-part storyline in the new AHS spin-off anthology, American Horror Stories. It was great to return to Murder House, great to see some familiar frights, and the casting for this one was fantastic. As Lizard in Joe Begos's VFW, Sierra McCormick impressed the hell out of me, and that was definitely held up by her performance in Andrew Patterson's Vast of Night, which I watched about a year ago (maybe; time has lost all meaning). As Scarlett in AHS, McCormick turns in another great performance, and I'm betting in a year or two, she's going to be a pretty formidable star.


The albums I've been listening to the most are Cyndi Lauper's seminal She's So Unusual, Let it Bleed, and Paranoid. I've been hitting these super hard, and they're really shaping my recent days. It's pretty cool; I've become quite fond of rolling directly from Yeah Yeah, the final song on She's So Unusual, directly in to War Pigs. I don't know what it is about the juxtaposition of sonic textures there, but it really puts a smile on my face.

David Bowie - Hunky Dory
Black Sabbath - Paranoid
Cyndi Lauper - She's So Unusual
An Autumn for Crippled Children - The Long Goodbye
Deafheaven - New Bermuda
King Woman - Celestial Blues (pre-release singles)
King Woman - Doubt EP
Charles Mingus - Blues & Roots
John Carpenter - Lost Themes
Megadeth - Rust in Peace
Queens of the Stone Age - Rated R 
The Rolling Stones - Let It Bleed
Chuck Berry - Berry on Top
Iggy and the Stooges - Raw Power
Orville Peck - Pony


This was definitely the watchword earlier today, however, I've moved past it and emerged into a state of mind that robbed my anxieties of their ammunition. As a result, I'm feeling pretty good.

Saturday, December 5, 2020

Me and that Nergal


I've had a feeling this would happen eventually. Previously, even before I discovered Me and That Man, I tried on several occasions to find what it was about Behemoth that people had become so fanatical about. Unlike Frontman and Brainspring Nergal's more recent project, I just could never relate to it. Behemoth always left me cold, and not in a good way. Friday morning, however, a random algorithmic playlist by Apple Music rotated "Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel" through my ears and suddenly, I got it. 

I've only consumed 2014's highly lauded The Satanist thus far, but the momentum behind that first go-through is enough to have me chomping at the bit for more. Behemoth has a very specific sound, or at least that's how I hear it and why I ended up falling into it so hard. It has a lot to do with the way the bass guitar is played, recorded, and mixed in relation to everything else, but moving out from there, the guitars, drums, vocals, and other accompanying instrumentation feel very much arranged or composed, as opposed to assembled by more conventional means.



Wow. Not only did I find this small peak into Orville Peck's life fascinating, but Alfred Marroquín's direction is as beautiful and moving as Peck's narration. I've avoided watching or learning too much about Peck's life, as I think his enigmatic persona compliments the deserted Lynchian Highway of his music. Marroquin balanced exactly the right amount of 'behind the curtain' with spectacle here, and this short Doc is all the better for it.


Behemoth - The Satanist
The Dillinger Escape Plan - Option Paralysis
David Bowie - Live Nassau Coliseum '76
Michael Kiwanuka - KIWANUKA
Anthrax - Among the Living
Fleetwood Mac - Greatest Hits



Motivation and Drive, which feels spot-on as several projects ramp up here, at the end of what feels like a top-heavy year, as far as productiveness is concerned. There's a feeling of acceleration as we head into the new year, almost an unruliness. Looking at the Prince of Wands, reading the almost out-of-control momentum on the card's face, I'm reminded that recklessness can negate ambition quite easily.

Monday, March 2, 2020

Orville Peck - Queen of the Rodeo

I love the way, between this and the AHS 10 Cast announcement video published last week, Peck has swung back around and recaptured my imagination of late. Not that I ever leave the record very far behind - it's a staple and feels like it will be for the rest of my life - but it feels strangely timely again.


Saturday night K and I, along with 3/4 of the rest of The Horror Vision crew went to the theatre and supported the big-box roll out for Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala's The Lodge. Fantastic film! I've jokingly been referring to it as the, "Feel good hit of the summer," simply to help me process just how damn dark it is, but overall, I really liked this one. Afterward, we recorded an episode of the podcast, so that'll be up in a couple of days or so.



The Mars Volta - The Bedlam in Goliath
Odonis Odonis - No Pop
The Smiths - Meat is Murder
Myrkur - M
Mazzy Star - So Tonight That I Might See
Bohren and Der Club of Gore - Patchouli Blue
The Mars Volta - Frances the Mute
Odonis Odonis - Post Plague
Blut Aus Nord - Hallucinogen
Boy Harsher - Careful
Anthrax - Among the Living



A relaxing weekend, if a chilly one (I know, I know. I can hear my family and friends in the Frigid Midwest. Fuck me, California boy). Stability achieved after a stressful week on-call for Jury Duty. I got a lot of work done on Friday and Saturday, saw a great movie, and now it's time to use that clear head and march right back to work. Turning in a packet of docs to a collaborator today, hopefully we'll see some movement with that (eventually; long submission process), and it's back to my outlines for Shadow Play books Two and Three, which are more finished than not.

Saturday, December 28, 2019

My Favorite Albums of 2019

The order is, for the most part, negotiable by day. However, Orville Peck's Pony is absolutely the best and my favorite record of 2019.

Beth Gibbons/Henry Gorecki - Symphony No. 3 - Admittedly, I'm a bit of a rube when it comes to orchestral/classical music. I know what I like, but I don't necessarily know how to find it. Imagine my surprise when I saw Beth Gibbons name attached to this one. Gibbons, along with legendary composer/conductor Krzysztof Penderecki and the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra deliver a rendition of Henryk Górecki's Symphony No. 3 that makes my heart both swell and sing with all the force of a cinematic thunderhead. Also, fantastic writing music.

Sunn O))) - Life Metal - PERFECT writing music, but beyond that, Sunn O)))'s Life Music, produced by Analog hero Steve Albini, contains a lot of rewarding textures that only reveal themselves after in-depth and multiple - and I mean multiple - listens. Easily my favorite record Sunn O))) has put out since 2009's Monoliths and Dimensions.

Lana Del Rey - Norman Fucking Rockwell - A late entry, this album is as calming as it is strange. Of course, at first glance, the strange is less than apparent, buried behind the subtle, acoustic pop sensibilities on display in the making and arranging of this record. But there's some pretty strange choices here when compared to what you get at first glance, and without having much of a history with Ms. Del Rey's earlier works, this one began as a curiosity for me and quickly grew into a calming obsession.

Blut Aus Nord - Hallucinogen - As much as I love Blut Aus Nord, I've come to terms with the fact that I don't love everything they put out. After a couple years of albums I've tried repeatedly to connect with and failed, Hallucinogen hit me from the opening chord and held me all the way through its runtime. My favorite thing they've released since 2012's 777 Cosmosophy.

The Thirsty Crow - Hangman's Noose - Yes, I am good friends with one of the members of The Thirsty Crows. Yes, I co-host two podcasts with him. Yes, I love his band. Do I love it because he's my friend? Yes, but that's not the only reason I love The Thirsty Crows. I also love them because they are A) Awesome live, and B) the only Rockabilly/Psychobilly band I have identified with since I was head over heels in love with The Reverend Horton Heat back in the mid/late 90s. That scene has broadened considerably, and while I dig a lot of it, I don't love any of it like I love the Crows. Their music is catchy AF, and dusty in a way that feels familiar and pleasing, like leaving the Joshua Tree Saloon at two in the morning hammered out of your skull and meeting people with drugs in the parking lot. "Drinking and drugging 'til six in the morning," yeah, I can't live that life anymore, but I can enjoy wicked ass thrashabilly songs about it.

Federale - No Justice - Another sun-drenched album, this one with enough cinematic flourish as to play like a Robert Altman flick from the 70s. No Justice is up there with my most listened to records this year, and it's been an absolute pleasure learning every nook and cranny of these songs.

Oh Baby - The Art of Sleeping Alone - What do you get when you have a band with a terrible name releasing an album with a fantastic name? Apparently, a hell of an album. Poppier than everything else represented here, this one scratched an itch that had lingered the last few years, a good dance/electro record with pop sensibilities and fantastic arranging, eschewing bubble gum for a kind of Neon Noir Dance Floor feeling.

Spotlights - Love and Decay - Beautiful beyond words from start to finish. Epic, haunted, brash, and polished, I absolutely love this album.

Boy Harsher - Careful - Dark LaLaLand electro that feels like old Revolting Cocks did the music for an alternate version of David Lynch's Lost Highway.

A dream, a lover's return, a haunted highway at night. Orbison, Lynch, Williams. Desert, tavern, danger. Pony is a place that I have always wanted to go to and now cannot stay away from for very long.

Friday, December 13, 2019

Orville Peck - Nothing Fades Like the Light

From the album Pony, which is most definitely in my top ten favorite albums of 2019. Where's it rank? I'll be posting my list within the next week or so, and you'll find out.


Happy Friday the 13th, folks! I'll be celebrating tonight with a croc pot full of Chili, copious amounts of beer, and Joe Bob Brigg's Red Christmas Special on Shudder. Can't wait!

What three movies is Joe Bob going to play? I'm guessing Black Christmas, Deadly Games, and Silent Night, Deadly Night 2, the first of which I dig, the other two I have never seen.


And now, ladies and gentlemen, it's time once again for...

Last night was Season 1, Episode 3, "Squeeze." I'd seen this one before as well, but it's been quite a while. While I can't say there was anything spectacular about the episode - which, of course, wasn't the point at all - the first of two episodes with "Twentieth Century Mutation" Eugene Victor Tooms is a freaky-ass exercise in creature-of-the-week tone. The idea of a human being able to stretch, squash, and elongate on command is a nice, subtle play on the 'body horror' ethos, and makes me wonder what would have happened if David Cronenberg directed an episode or two of this show.

I especially dug the opening kill of this episode, as it really felt like the beginning of a horror movie or, perhaps better equated, an episode of Tales From the Crypt.

Oh yeah. And the Bile Cave. That was pretty gnarly as well. Now that I'm thinking about comparisons and the X-Files influence down through the years, I'm also feeling a kinship to some of the Body Horror/Nightmare Logic of Channel Zero (RIP).



Young Widows - Settle Down City
Kaiser Chiefs - Duck
Me and That Man - Songs of Life and Death
Shining - X Varg utan flock
Windhand - Grief's Infernal Flower
The Body - I Have Fought Against It, But I Can't Any Longer
Godflesh - A World Lit Only By Fire
The Afghan Whigs - Gentlemen


I'd imagine then that I should be careful about befouling my plans for the weekend. 

Sunday, June 30, 2019

2019: June 30th Orville Peck Live WFUV

For anyone doubting this man is the real deal. I get chills listening to this song, either studio or here, live in the WFUV studios. At this point, Pony is cresting Spotlights' Love and Decay for my album of the year spot. It's a tight race, and I'm bludgeoning my brain with both albums mercilessly, but Peck's sound holds infinite potential, and his spotlight falls on poetic obscurities the likes of which resonate with me in ways I do not even understand. I'm sure I can say the same about most of my favorite albums, but right now this feels infinitely more than that, if the sentiment makes any sense.


Currently reading a story in Robert S. Wilson's Ashes and Entropy anthology entitled Red Stars/White Snow/Black Metal by Fiona Maeve Geist. I can't quite tell if it's the most brilliant story in the collection yet - it might be - but it's got me. A disgraced and discarded journalist receives a second chance in the form of an assignment that quickly becomes a bloody immersion into pocket European Black Metal-inspired death cults - or at least that's what I think is happening. Geist's prose is as delicious as it is pretension, which is not necessarily a bad thing, if it lands. It's one of the longer stories in the book, and my reading keeps getting hammered into bite-sized chunks due to my schedule, but so far, Geist goes on my 'Watch' list as someone I would very much like to read more from.


K and I finished Dark Season 2 this morning. Brilliant. So complex, but not needlessly so, this season turned the Donnie Darko-meets-Twin Peaks analogy I've been using for the show on its ear. We're in an entirely new landscape by the end of the final episode, and knowing the next season is the last is a good feeling. I have no doubt that unlike previous shows with staggeringly complex storylines and character dynamics, Dark will stick this landing, because the creators already know how the story ends.

Very fucking important.


K and I bought our tickets to see Midsomar this coming Wednesday night. We'll be accompanying my Horror Vision co-host Anthony and his girlfriend, so the plan is to record a brief, spoiler-free reaction to the movie for the podcast and put it up that night. So along with last night's episode - which should go up tomorrow - that'll be three episodes of The Horror Vision in just over a week! Wow. I haven't watched anything but the initial teaser for Ari Aster's follow-up to last year's magnificent Hereditary, but I'll leave the latest trailer here, just in case someone reading this hasn't heard about the film, which I expect to be fantastic:


Playlist from 6/29:

Soul Coughing - Irresistible Bliss
Grimes - Visions
Thom Yorke - Anima
M83 - Saturdays = Youth
Beach House - 7
Curtis Harding - Fave Your Fear
The Devil's Blood - The Thousandfold Epicentre
Lovett - The Wind OST
L7 - Scatter the Rats.


No card today.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

2019: June 23rd Orville Peck - Hope to Die

Here's a video I've been meaning to post since Mr. Brown alerted me to its release late last week. Orville Peck's album Pony is neck and neck with Spotlights' Love and Decay for my favorite album of the year, and I have a feeling it will be that way all the way up until I post my annual year-end list at the end of December. Two amazing 2019 albums I found on the same day, that I have had to split my obsession with since. SUCH a great problem to have!


Speaking of 'year's favorites,' I watched Yann Gonzalez's Knife + Heart on Shudder again Friday night. I'm really at a loss. This film is amazing in so many ways. The final scene, set to Jefre Cantu-Ledesma's Love's Refrain, is possibly the most beautiful juxtaposition of visual and aural imagery I've ever experienced; I've been haunted by it for days. Here's the track, which can be found on Cantu-Ledesma's EP In Summer, available on Apple Music or HERE:

I've slowly begun making my way through more of Cantu-Ledesma's work, and it is incredible, running in a range from eerie field recordings to hazy, ethereal synth drone like Love's Refrain.


Playlist from the previous few days:

Motorhead - Eponymous
Motorhead - Ace of Spades
Public Image, Ltd - This is What You Want...
Felicia Atkinson and Jefre Cantu-Ledesma - Limpid As the Solitudes
Alexis Georgopoulos and Jefre Cantu-Ledesma - Fragments of a Season
Jefre Cantu-Ledesma - Alone Together #6: Faceless Kiss/Blut Mood
Jefre Cantu-Ledesma - Love is a Stream
Jefre Cantu-Ledesma - Visiting This World
Jefre Cantu-Ledesma - In Summer EP
M83 - Knife + Heart OST
Spotlights - Love and Decay
Canadian Rifle - Peaceful Death


Card of the day:

Always nice to see this multiple times in one week. And it fits: I received the Proofs for Shadow Play Book One yesterday (their gorgeous but need a wee bit of tweaking), and when I sat down to work on Ciazarn yesterday for an admittedly abbreviated session, I absolutely experienced a breakthrough. I expect today will be HUGE for that story.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

2019: June 11th Orville Peck - Dead of Night

It's been a few days since I posted about Spotlights' new album Love and Decay, and in that time, another album Mr. Brown recently recommended to me shot into my top tier of my year as well. Orville Peck's Pony probably won't bump Spotlights from number one, but it will definitely occupy a spot in my favorite albums of the year. Pony is rich in tone and texture; the production is cinematic and windswept, an allusion to the vastness of Peck's interior space, his voice ringing out across dusty plains. And while there are a plethora of influences that serve as way stations along the album's winding route, Peck's own unique persona leaves quite the mark on the outlaw country crooner tableau forged long ago by his predecessors.


Over the weekend, as I was finally catching up with the comics I seem to stay perpetually behind on, I experienced a weird existential moment. Since downsizing my digs last year, space has been a continuous issue in my life. A lot of this is due to my obsessive need to make space where there is none; to arrange everything just right. Feng Shui became a marketing term for something I actually believe in, something Ben Horne perfectly encapsulates in Twin Peaks' Season Two when he tells Hank Jennings he believes there is a perfect way to organize the objects in any given space, an arrangement the benefits of which could be untold for those who dwell within that space (I'm paraphrasing; I couldn't find a clip). So my reading and subsequent filing of a few months worth of Punk's Not Dead and TMNT incited an initiative to reorganize things. This in turn spawned a project to make space in my long boxes (which I'm slowly switching out with short boxes because, you know, moving those goddamn things is a pain in the arse!), which caused me to start a pile of books to get rid of. And it was in weighing the suspect books in this context that made me look at each title and think, "I'm forty-three. Will I ever read this again in my lifetime?"

After a few minutes of this line of thinking, the concept really gained weight, creating an inescapable portal through which to view my own mortality. What's more, I began thinking about the space required to house all my comics and I wonder: why do I even do this? Will I ever re-read 100 issues of TMNT? Probably not. Of course, I want to read this stuff as it comes out because there's an excitement to that, and a community. I've always believed in and valued supporting what I love. That said, at what point does having this stuff merely turn into a slowly decaying echo in an enormous empty space?

Thoughts along these lines haunted me much of Sunday, and what's more, I've no real answer. There are books like Criminal and Gunning for Hits that offer so much awesome backwater content exclusive to their monthly installments that I feel 100% warranted buying them as ongoing periodicals. Also, these series tend to be short enough and good enough that re-reads will most likely remain regular occurrences (been meaning to re-read The Fade Out again for months now). And then there's the titles I literally can't wait to read every month: The Walking Dead, Gideon Falls, and A Walk Through Hell. Everything else I read is great, but can I do without it? Could I switch to buying digital collections as they come out? If I do that, what do I do with all my physical copies?

The sad thing is, there are no answers. At least not at the moment. Stayed tuned: I believe this brand of Existential Crisis will, for me, be ongoing.


The Craft
The Dark Backward (three times in two days; there's a bigger post coming about this one)
About a quarter of an old Video Nasty called Nightmare, which I may or may not return to


Playlist from the last few days went something like this:

Grand Duchy - Petite Fours
Spotlights - Love & Decay
The Raveonettes - Lust Lust Lust
Hall and Oats - Essentials
Sigur Rós - Takk...
Van Morrison - Essentials
James - The Best of James
James - Laid
The Foundations - Eponymous
Orville Peck - Pony
The Beatles - Sgt. Pepper
The Monkees - Headquarters
Gnarls Barkley - St. Elsewhere
Gnarls Barkley - The Odd Couple
Marvin Gaye - What's Going On
Canadian Rifle - Peaceful Death
Sigur Rós - Variations on Darkness
Henry Mancini - Charade OST


As if in answer to my diatribe above, perhaps I do need to adjust some things...