Showing posts with label Stephen King. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Stephen King. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 4, 2024

A Drink Before the War

From 1987's The Lion and the Cobra. Outstanding song from an outstanding album. Makes 1987 feel so close I can almost touch it.


It's been a while since I'd enjoyed John Carpenter's In the Mouth Of Madness. I'm guesting on John Trafton and Mile Fortune's This Movie Saved My Life podcast next week for the second part of their 1994 retrospective (part 1 is HERE), and Madness was one of the four films we're covering. 

Maybe it's because I just rewatched Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master, too, but I'd never realized the influence that both the NOES and Hellraiser series had on this flick until now. I'm not sure if that influence comes more from writer Michael De Luca (who also wrote Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare) or JC himself, but it's definitely there. Also, and I know everyone who loves this movie knows this, but the brilliance of combining Stephen King's popularity with H.P. Lovecraft's ethos in Sutter Cane is one of the great triumphs of homage to either author, in a world where 75% of Horror is homage to one or the other (or both). I'd add that making Jürgen Porchnow look like Neil Gaiman - who would have been rounding the corner on finishing the original Sandman series for DC's Vertigo at the time, adds just the right amount of prescience about Gaiman's inevitable place in the pantheon King and Lovecraft reside over.


Blut Aus Nord - Memoria Vetusta III: Saturnian Poetry
Blut Aus Nord - Hallucinogen
The Reverend Horton Heat - Whole New Life
The Raveonettes - Sing
Sinéad O'Connor - The Lion and the Cobra
Joy Division - Substance 1977-1980
Black Pyramid - The Paths of Time are Vast


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

• Six of Cups - Emotional fulfillment.
• IX: The Hermit - I need a period to regroup. Badly.
• Three of Pentacles - Growth in Earthly terms. Not sure if this is responsibility maturation or windfall. Windfall would be nice.

Friday, June 2, 2023

The Boogeyman

A few weeks ago, Mr. Brown asked me if I'd ever heard the Chicago band Ganser. I had not. I added a few records in Apple Music but didn't actually hit play on one until last week.

Instant adoration.

The album I'm currently obsessed with is 2018's Odd Talk, and the song on that album that gets the most play is also the first song on this live Audiotree session the band did in 2020, "Satsuma." Watching them play live is literally thrilling, especially guitarist Charlie Landsman. I love everything about this band, but I love Charlie's guitar the most, as it conjures White Lung, US Maple, Assembly Line People Program, and Erase Errata, to name a few bands I've carried on love affairs with in the past. 

Ganser is on the always fantastic Felte Records, and you can check them out on the label's site HERE or the band's Bandcamp HERE.


Last night K and I caught the first screening of Rob Savage's new film The Boogeyman. This is based on an adaptation of Stephen King's short story, "The Boogeyman," from his Night Shift collection. I've read the story, although I had no memory of it at the time of the screening, so I was free to judge the film simply as the film. In that context, and ultimately in any other, The Boogeyman is a damn solid monster movie. Here's the trailer:


What goes right with this flick? Pretty much everything. In many respects, this is a by-the-numbers Horror flick, but Savage - whose breakthrough was 2020's Host (the Zoom movie, which I love) - is showing himself to be an auteur at heart, so there are enough personal touches and 'aberrations' from the formula that while The Boogeyman feels familiar, it also feels different enough that you won't be bored. The third act really sealed the deal - it's fantastic.

Also, and this is the smallest of spoilers, if at all, but I found it very cool that actress Seylan Baxter, who played the Medium in Host appears in this film in a youtube video on Seances one of the characters watches. It's little touches like that I always appreciate in a filmmaker's work.


After seeing the film The Boogeyman, I woke up this morning and re-read the story in Stephen King's Night Shift.

The story strictly follows Billings's visit to Dr. Harper's office, where he avails himself of his guilt. That's it. So the film is an adaptation and expansion of the story, and in that, it's pretty fantastic in what it accomplishes, using King's story as the seed for a larger world that's really only hinted at between the lines of the story.


Radiohead - The Bends
Ganser - Odd Talk
Lustmord - Berlin
Boy Harsher - Burn it Down (single)
Boy Harsher - Careful
Code Orange - Grooming My Replacement/The Game (single)
Code Orange - Underneath


From Aleister Crowley and Lady Frieda Harris's Thoth deck:

• Prince of Swords - The "Air" of Air, or doubling down on conflict
• 2 Change - The Ebb and Flow.
• Princess of Wands - Physical act or manifestation of Will

Cut and dry, once again. Of course, that's because it's all in the interpretation, and the interpretation is steeped in what's on your mind. I know exactly what's on my mind, and it's writing. Hence, why all of this week's Pulls have concerned my Art. 

I've had two decent days getting back in the saddle; nothing stellar, but that's the ebb and flow mentioned above - I have to take the good with the bad, especially when overcoming the inertia of having not written in a bit. It's easy to get discouraged, but you just have to apply your Will and fight that part of yourself that wants to be lazy, or is looking to be discouraged. Frustrations be damned, a breakthrough will come!!!


Saturday, April 29, 2023

European Doom


While looking around online for a vinyl copy of Mars Red Sky's 2011 eponymous masterpiece, I stumbled on yet another absolutely outstanding French Doom/Stoner band I'd not heard of - Witchfinder. Taken from their 2019 album Hazy Rites, you can order a super sweet bundle of gorgeous vinyl from these guys via Mars Red Sky Big Cartel Shop HERE. You can also order the anniversary edition of that aforementioned MRS record. I've got a very nice mail day coming up in a few weeks.

I have to say, so far France is my favorite exporter of Metal. Between Blut Aus Nord, and now these two bands, I feel an epic, otherworldliness in the music made there the likes of which, I've not heard elsewhere. All three bands are among the most unique and creative in their particular 'genres,' and I love the idea of old-world European creepiness informing their approach, sound and aesthetic. Just looking at the album artwork for Witchfinder, and hearing the band's incorporation of pipe organ into the music definitely lends their sound a darker sound than a lot of other Stoner/Doom bands. 


I finally re-started Alan Campbell's God of Clocks, the third and final entry into his Deepgate Codex series. 

I really wish I'd been able to roll right from the first two books into this one, but that trip to LaLaLand interrupted that - I didn't want to carry a Hardcover with me on the plane, or around in my backpack as I walked all over L.A. The joke was on me, of course, as my friend Chris ended up gifting me several books while I was there, one of which was that Hardcover edition of Stephen King's Fairy Tale I just talked about reading a few weeks ago.

I'll not lie - I love Campbell's writing, but it's proving difficult to switch back from King. There's just something so pragmatic about Stephen King's prose. Talk about 'every man.' Campbell reminds me A LOT of Mervyn Peake, and as such, it takes a bit more time to visualize his descriptions. Not a bad thing, and definitely a good exercise for the ol' attention span, which took a bit of a hit of late. Not a big deal; I'll knuckle down and use God of Clocks to readjust my concentration, and that will help with several more of the books I have coming up in the next few months, probably most notably, Nathan Ballingrud's The Strange, which I'm absolutely frothing at the mouth to read.


Druids - Spirit Compass (EP)
Dorthia Cottrell - Death Folk Country
Ghost Bath - Moonlover
Fen - Epoch
Nabihah Iqbal - Dreamer
Bret Easton Ellis Podcast S7E10: Mr. Misery 
Mars Red Sky & Queen of the Meadow - Eponymous (single)
Witchfinder - Hazy Rites
Witchfinder - Forgotten Mansion
Mars Red Sky - Eponymous
Ritual Caster - Gravity Cosmonaut


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

• Seven of Swords - Sephirothic Association is Netzach, which instantly conjures the word "Victory" for me.
• Eight of Swords - Sephirothic Association, Hod. Splendor. 
• King of Cups - or in Thoth-speak, Prince of Cups, the Intellectual aspects of Emotion, a conundrum if there ever was one. 

What's this all add up to? Well, I'd say having the two consecutive numbers in the same suit fall one right after the other implies Process, i.e. there's a formula. My creative juice runs best in an Ad Hoc, stream-of-consciousness that I've had to learn to wrangle, especially when it comes to Shadow Play Books 2 & 3, which I've outlined and am (trying) to write concurrently. Or rather, I was. That approach kind of became subsumed by those flaring, creative energies again, and things have become somewhat murky. I'm assuming this Pull is telling me to buckle it up tight, once again.

Pulling two consecutive cards like this, I think it's important to note that when you look at the Qabalistic Tree of Life, the path between these Netzach and Hod is the 27th Path, also known as The Tower Path, or in Crowley's words, "The Blasted Tower or House of God." This is a path where if you are ascending from the lower, Earthly realms, you must sacrifice, or learn to part with your ideas of the world, your "ego scaffolding" and begin to give yourself up to something higher. If you're descending, you must take the thrill and emotion of "Victory" and transmute it into something useful. In other words, the idea you think is great can only actually be experienced as great if you can wrestle it into a tangible form.

That's writing, to a "T."

Friday, April 21, 2023

13 Evil Fairy Tales Dead Under 30


Greg Puciato has become one of the most interesting artists working in music today. Setting aside Dillinger Escape Plan as the legends since their retirement, Puciato has done dark electronic music with Telefon Tel Aviv's Josh Eustis in The Black Queen, Hardcore/Thrash with Killer Be Killed, toured as part of Jerry Cantrell's band, and all that and everything in between with his two solo records, both of which I adore. Now, he teams with more like-minded souls (from Every Time I Die and Fit For An Autopsy) in Better Lovers. What's it sound like?

It sounds awesome.

The first single dropped the other day and big props to Mr. Brown who sent it my way, as I totally missed it. No word on an album proper, but after seeing tour announcements yesterday, the smart money's on something coming down the pipes in the next few months, so there's one more thing to look forward to.


Last night at 7:00 PM K and I caught Clarksville's first screening of Lee Cronin's Evil Dead Rise. I had exceedingly high hopes - never a good thing going into a movie, let alone a new installment in a series I have loved for a very long time. But Fede Alvarez's entry in 2013 blew me away (still blows me away, in fact), and all I wanted from this was that same feeling of Deep Horror Intoxication 2013 gave me. Did Evil Dead Rise succeed?

Yes and no. First, I really enjoyed the film, and I think Lee Cronin did a helluva job. However, those pesky expectations tapped on my shoulder for the entire runtime. 

MY problem, not the film's. 

Evil Dead Rise is not as intense as 2013; don't get me wrong - this film is f**king intense, but Rise spreads its assault thin and only really explodes in the last act. Common for a Horror film, of course, and not something to traditionally detract points for. That said, I did feel the set-up of the characters - all of whom I loved - affected the film's pacing, so that Rise felt stretched a bit thin when compared to 2013, which sets its tone and story up so quickly and efficiently and jumps into the carnage so eloquently that it's just not fair to compare. 

Everyone in the cast did an excellent job and the FX are fantastic - like REALLY fantastic. The violence and gore felt a skosh subdued compared to Fede's, but I realize all these comparisons between these two films are unfair. I've always retained a staunch "Don't compare 2013 to the original films" stance, so surrendering to this prejudice here is hypocritical. Also, Tapert produced Rise and Campell and Raimi executive produced, so their fingerprints are all over this new entry. Bearing all this in mind, I think once I'm over the initial viewing, I'll see it again (next week), and have a deeper experience.

All in all, SEE IT IN A THEATRE!!!


Yesterday, I finished Stephen King's latest novel, Fairy Tale. My good friend and A Most Horrible Library Cohost Chris gifted me a copy while we were hanging out in LaLaLand last month, and I tore into it on the plane home. This is the first new King I've read since 2010's Doctor Sleep; I say this not as a point of dismissal or obstinance, but to illustrate that, although I've loved every book by Stephen King I've ever read, I just haven't read enough of his work. I've always thought that eventually would like to read everything, but I rarely actually work on that. There are so many other authors I love as well, most considerably more "independent" than King, and I tend to fall sway to their work one right after the other. "First world problems" disclaimer aside, what a wonderful problem to have: how do I read everything I want to before I die?

Anyway,  all this talk is really just to set up the fact that I had no idea what I was in for with Fairy Tale. I should have guessed, because it's quite fantastic. 

The story remains rooted in its very human, very relatable characters and their lives dealing with grief and aging for nearly the first two hundred pages, and if that sounds like it might be too much set up, it's not. I could have read about Charlie, his father, Radar and Mr. Bowditch for the entire 600 pages. That story sets up the bigger picture, and once it gets going, there are quite a few white-knuckle moments in this one, and that's the kind of reading I really enjoy. The book is Epic, and as I've come to expect with Mr. King, his epics are among the most readable I've ever encountered. 

Add into the mix the fact that the chapters are illustrated by Nicolas Delort and Locke and Key's Gabriel Rodriguez. King mentions in the afterward - which was just as enjoyable to read as the damn book, if considerably shorter - that the illustrations were key in giving the book the feeling of, well, old Fairytale collections, and I tip my hat to him at the wonderful attention to detail here; it just makes the book that much more enjoyable.

In 2010 I read Doctor Sleep and loved it, and now, thirteen years have passed without my even realizing and Fairy Tale blows me away. I've got a pretty intense list of reading planned for the next few months, but when the decks clear, I'm penciling in more King. I always forget just how much I love his writing.


Ruby the Hatchet - Fear is a Cruel Master
Better Lovers - 13 Under 30
AAWKS - The Electric Traveller (single)
AAWKS - (Heavy on the Cosmic)
Clutch - Blast Tyrant
Ruby the Hatchet - Planetary Space Chile
Led Zeppelin - Presence


Switching it up back to my original Thoth deck for today's Pull:

Creative breakthroughs can arrive at a destructive cost and often must be tempered by keeping one foot in the 'Real World.'

This feels like a nice little indictment of the creative process, or I guess more accurately, an acknowledgment that my work ethic is sound. I learned a long time ago not to mix heightened emotional or perceptive states with writing. Yes, both can be useful for ideas, but actual writing while intoxicated by either substances or emotions never produces sound work. Not sure why I'm being reminded of this now, other than maybe I just needed a nice Jungian pat on the back.

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

The Boogeyman's Milk Leg


Man, this track takes me places. Some of those places are imaginary, and some are memory-laden ephemera from the early 2000s. Despite being released in 2013 - the year Mr. Brown sent me this record that's taken ten years to fully gestate an appreciation for - something here really reminds me of the particular era of my life circa 2000-2004. I think it's because my first real exposure to jazz-tinted metal came during that time when my friend Hammerstock turned me onto Cynic's brilliant 1993 album Focus. Whatever the case, I played Habitual Levitations a lot in the year or two surrounding my exposure to it, but haven't really visited since. Turns out, it fits like a warm glove.


I didn't watch the first trailer for Rob Savage's upcoming Stephen King adaptation The Boogeyman, and I'm not watching this one, but as usual, I'm posting it here for posterity's sake:


Nothing but good feedback surrounding this one, so I'll definitely be catching it in the theatre. I'm still searching for a new film to really scare the hell out of me; I know Evil Dead Rise is going to be an ordeal, or at least I hope it's going to be, but if this can accompany follow that as a genuine bone-shaking scary movie, then 2023 will be looking pretty good at the halfway point when The Boogeyman arrives on June 2nd!


Although I won't be watching the trailer for The Boogeyman, I'm digging out the first edition copy of Stephen King's Night Shift I found at a Las Vegas thrift store ten years ago or so and re-read the story it's based on - also called The Boogeyman - for the first time in quite a few years. 

This was a FIND for sure, and the first time I'd read really early King. Although I discovered him in High School with The Gunslinger, then read a handful of his other novels, I never dug into his early short stories until I found this. I'm less than 100 pages from the end of King's newest novel, Fairy Tale, but I should be able to slip this quick re-read in just to prime my excitement for Savage's new adaptation.


Black Sabbath - Eponymous
Black Sabbath - Master of Reality
Led Zeppelin - Houses of the Holy
The Sword - Warp Riders
Kyuss - ... And the Circus Leaves Town
Huey Lewis and the News - Sports
Intronaut - Habitual Levitations (Instilling Words with Tones)
Godflesh - Nero EP
Mars Red Sky - Eponymous


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

To arrive at the best decision, and truly be fair and uncompromised by emotion, you have to be honest about your emotions toward the situation. I have no idea what this is in reference to at the moment, so I will do what I always do in situations like these - leave the spread on my desk today, so it's always in front of me. Sometimes that's the best way to unlock something you're stumped on.

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. 

Thursday, February 2, 2023

Lord of this World


From 1973's Master of Reality, a perfect record. I leaned heavily into this one last weekend while in Chicago, so when I walked into Rick's Comics City yesterday and saw that variant cover of Dan Panosian's new book Black Tape, I kind of felt as though I manifested it.

Tulpas have been on my mind again because, you know, Department of Truth.


Rob Savage's Host impressed me to no end, and I've been waiting to see what he does next. Somehow, I missed that he followed Host with a film called Dashcam, however, I think I'll leave that off the list until after I see what he does with a non-found-footage film. And Savage has a big one coming out in June:

This adaptation of Stephen King's short story The Boogeyman is receiving a lot of hype - word is it's terrifying, so I am excited at the prospect of seeing a film in theatres that might actually induce some fear in me. 


Here's a book I did not mention as one of my picks for yesterday's NCBD simply because I was on the fence and trying very hard not to start new series. How do you say no to this cover, though: 

Black Tape #1 is all set up, but that's fine. Even if I don't continue with the series - which I'm betting I will - I'm happy as hell to own this cover. Here's the press description of the book:

"Jack King was a rock'n'roll god who projected a stage persona on par with the devil. After Jack dies on stage, his widow, Cindy, grapples with grief and struggles to protect his legacy, unaware that she is being surrounded by dark forces that covet the master tapes to Jack's final, unreleased album - a heavy metal masterpiece that just might open a doorway to hell."

Great premise, so let's see where it goes.


Thought Gang - Eponymous
Anoni Wit & Warsaw National Philharmonic Orchestra - Pendereck's Polymorphia
Krzysztof Penderecki - Metamorphosen
Krzysztof Penderecki - A Polish Requiem
Miranda Sex Garden - Suspiria
Allegaeon - Apoptosis
Somnium Nox - Apocrypha EP
Karl Casey - White Bat XVIII EP
Karl Casey - XX EP
King Woman - Doubt EP
Godflesh - A World Lit Only By Fire
Metallica - ...And Justice for All


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

Tens in Tarot are interesting. On one hand, there's a sense of closure, of completion and accomplishment. On the other, you realize when juxtaposing the Tarot with the Sephiroths on the Tree of Life, Ten is where we enter Malkuth, and thus, the most materialized in the regular, physical world. This tells us that, what we consider a success or accomplishment in our physical lives, can conversely be seen as the farthest movement away from anything spiritually compelling. Which makes sense in a lot of ways. Today's pull builds on yesterday's Emotional question, suggesting that to transform from yesterday's Eight of Cups to today's Ten, a transformation of Will in order. What's more, there is a decision or leap of faith that will be involved.  

So today's Pull gives me the insight into yesterday's that I never arrived at. This is a direct nod to the fact that I'm attempting to change my daily writing routine - which has never been in better shape - by moving from driving to a coffee shop and paying $4.22 a day to sit and write to staying at home and saving that money but getting the same level of removal and concentration. I know this can be done because I did it during the pandemic when I wrote/re-wrote a novel sitting at the kitchen table in our Redondo Beach apartment. I just have to do it here now. 

Quick reminder: if you dig those cards above from Jonathan Grimm's Bound Tarot, he has an insanely awesome Kickstarter going on at the moment:

Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Long Snake Moan


PJ Harvey is one of my favorite artists. Has been since the 90s. Weirdly enough, I don't listen to her that often. In thinking about this, I realize that I hold her music in a sort of sacred regard that feels as though it might become deluded if I overdo it. Probably not the case, in reality, however, it is what it is. Here's one of my favorite songs from her seminal 1995 album To Bring You My Love.


I dug out my copy of Weird Walk issue #2 recently and began re-reading it as research for the new podcast off-shoot my Horror Vision co-host Ray Larragoitiy and I are doing. Stick & Stones is a sidebar deep-dive into Folk Horror, which is a sub-genre I've been enchanted with (pun intended) for the last few years, although until recently, I always referred to most of these flicks as "UK Occult Films." 

Weird Walk is an indie zine in every sense of the word, but it's a class act and chock full of fascinating ruminations on the haunted underpinnings of the British landscape and society. Highly recommended - you can order it HERE and follow their podcast HERE or wherever you get your podcasts! 

Oh yeah, and as of yesterday, there are two episodes of The Horror Vision Presents... Sticks & Stones: A Folk Horror Discussion up. The newest one deals with Stephen King's Children of the Corn - story and movie - and Chad Crawford Kinkle's Jug Face. The first episode sets up the series with a discussion of Kier-La Janisse's Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched, then compares and contrasts Avery Crounse's Eyes of Fire and Robert Eggers' The Witch. Also available wherever you get your podcasts.


The Yellow House - Live at Southgate House
Darkness Brings the Cold (The Forest Children) - Human Me
Ween - Live In Chicago
PJ Harvey - To Bring You My Love
Zeal and Ardor - Stranger Fruit
Brand New - Daisy
Ministry - Filth Pig
Soul Coughing - El Oso
Cypress Hill - Black Sunday
Cypress Hill - Back in Black (pre-release singles)
Steve Morse - Mind's Eyes OST


Reaping the rewards of good decisions.

Monday, November 15, 2021

Zetra - From Within


Heaven is an Incubator recently posted about the upcoming From Without EP that drops in January (pre-order HERE). I'd never heard of the band, and when I clicked over and heard the 1-2 of Life Melts Away that opens From Within, well, I was totally sold. 


So I made it through Mike Flanagan's Midnight Mass. Not an easy task until the last three episodes, which ended up really coming through and making the rest of the show worthwhile. Not that it's terrible, but a lot of the 'aging' make-up used is pretty bad, and the lead character is just pointless and annoying. I mean, really. He ultimately serves no purpose that could not have been collapsed into another character. Ah well, in the end, I really dug the juxtaposition of religion and the supernatural, so it's a recommendation, although I can pretty safely say I'll never watch this one again.

Next? Castle Rock! I've been meaning to watch this for, well, years now, and I'm finally doing it. Three episodes into Season One and I'm digging it. Fantastic cast. Here's the trailer:

I've read a pretty fair amount of Stephen King, but not enough to deftly spot every reference in this one, so I'm gingerly taking mental notes and will look up all the references afterward. The obvious one here is Shawshank Prison, which I didn't realize played such a big part in this first season's story. Very cool. 


Anthrax - Among the Living
Perturbator - Lustful Sacraments
Bnny - Everything
Hotel Decor - Could It Take Me Any Longer EP
The Fixx - Reach the Beach
Slayer - Decade of Aggression
Boz Scaggs - Silk Degrees
Zetra - From Within


A reminder that methodical approaches to projects and problems are the way to go. Timely, as I have one big, open-loop issue in my life right now - the eventual move - and on any given day, it feels over-fucking-whelming.

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

New New Order


New Order dropped an EP last Friday. Here's the first 'single.' Awesome tune, not at all where my head is at right now, but I have a feeling this will come in handy in a few days or so.



My Co-Host on The Horror Vision Chris Saunders and I have decided to try and do a week-by-week podcast exploration of CBS' The Stand series starting on December 17th. I'm a King fan for sure, but I've never been a rabid one, and I've never undertaken the commitment to read The Stand. Usually, in undertaking a project like this, I'd set aside what I'm reading and try and 'bang it out' before the launch of the show, however, there's just no way. The original cut of the novel is 823 pages, but the expanded is lost 1500. Add to that the fact that I started 2020 reading a very long novel about a pandemic (Chuck Wendig's Wanderers, which despite it's eerie parallels to our reality while I read it - or perhaps because of it - still occupies my mind on an almost daily basis and lingers with a strong A+ rating in my book) and, well, for obvious reasons don't want to finish it out doing the same. So I'm doing the audiobook. Which, at ten chapters in, frankly isn't great.

Still, having read the Dark Tower books since shortly after The Drawing of the Three, I've wanted to read The Stand since early High School. In the Dark Tower books, Roland and his compatriots travel across worlds and, at one point, end up in the world of The Stand, a world decimated by a flu-like virus called Captain Tripps. Weird timing for the show to be coming out, but I'm excited to cover it, as it's been a while since I've done something like this, and it's not so often I get to work with Chris these days. So win win.

The Horror Vision:

The New episode of The Horror Vision Horror Podcast went up yesterday. We talk about the Barbara Crampton-produced Castle Freak remake, which I LOVED, along with Freaky, Max Brooks's Devolution, and a bunch of the Mario Bava that just landed on Shudder recently. And as usual, that's really only the tip of the iceberg. Also, I'm doing anything with the video side of this show yet, but I've started posting the episodes on youtube as of late.


Behemoth - The Satanist
Blut Aus Nord - Hallucinogen
Selim Lemouchi and His Enemies - Earth Air Spirit Water Fire
James Last - Christmas Dancing
Bing Crosby - Merry Christmas
Orville Peck - Pony
The Seatbelts - Cowboy Bebop OST
Daniel Pemberton - Motherless Brooklyn OST
Jehnny Beth - To Love is to Live
Opeth - Deliverance
Mr. Bungle - The Raging Wrath of the Easter Bunny
New Order - Be a Rebel
Barry Adamson - As Above So Below
David Bowie - Black Star


Ah, the wonderful Knight of Disks, the Fire in the Element of Earth.

Interpreted here as a pragmatic focus on and progression with ongoing projects. Industrious perseverance. Bread winner and objective provider. 

Sunday, October 4, 2020

Sunday Bandcamp: Rupert Lally's Stephen King Aural Interpretations

I think calling Rupert Lally's Where the Dark Speaks a 'Stephen King' tribute is both accurate and an understatement. In the notes for this record (which you can read in full HERE), Lally beautifully states, "Stephen King's books took me to places so vivid it seemed like I'd actually been there," and when you listen to the tracks on this record, the depths of Lally's travels into the Kingverse show. However, the record also completely stands on its own as a beautiful little slice of atmosphericic Heaven, perfect for October and the Halloween run-up. 

But back to the King...

All the songs on Where the Dark Speaks are named after places from King novels - whether it's the Marsten House from Salem's Lot, the Overlook Hotel from The Shining, or, from a more recent novel, The Institute, from King's 2019 novel of the same name, these tracks submerge you in Lally's imagination's interpretation of King's work, and it's glorious!

Finally, look at that cover art, by Eric Adrian Lee - wow! Check out his website, too, for more glorious retro and wholly original visual landscapes.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

IsIolaton: Day 48 Cracked Actor

Woke up with this one in my head yesterday morning. Originally appearing on 1973's Aladdin Sane, the version I'm specifically referring to here is the live version from Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars - The Motion Picture Soundtrack. I picked the double album up in a cool CD package at a Fop store in London, circa 2004. To date, this is my favorite version of this song.


Blew through Breaking Bad Seasons 1-3 and K asked to take a breather. It definitely has that effect, and while I'm loving revisiting this world, dark as it is, I also like the idea of spacing it out a bit, to further the effect I had watching it as it aired, broadcast gaps and all. We're not going to come anywhere close to building that kind of expectation-tension for K's first viewing, but a week off might help. With that in mind then, over the last few days we watched James Franco/JJ Abrams' 11.22.63. This adaptation of a novel by Stephen King is an 8-part mini-series on HULU, and although I had some small issues, overall it's great. 11.22.63 is also a rare bird, in that many times, I'll be enthralled by a show and then let down by its ending. In this case, my minor issues were along the way, and the finale was outstanding. Very much worth your time if you're in the mood for something finite.


I finished both William Gibson's The Peripheral and Juan F. Thompson's Stories I Tell Myself. Both incredible books for totally different reasons (obviously). Gibson's terse prose and refusal to set an initial lay-of-the-land are both facets one must acclimate to, however, that happens fairly quickly because he really pulls you in with the story. And Thompson's autobiography on growing up with Hunter S. Thompson as a father can get a bit hard to read at certain points - most definitely not due to his writing, which is simple but profound - due rather to the veil his stories lift on an icon who many of us hold dear. The end of this one brought me to tears, and the involvement of Johnny Depp in memorializing HST should prove once and for all how awesome that man is, even if his filmography has pretty much fallen by the wayside.

As of writing this, I am ~75 page into Preston Fassel's Our Lady of the Inferno, which I have been wanting to read since I first heard of it, circa a year-and-a-half ago. I was hooked as of page one, and now I'm thinking this has the potential to really soar into a ranking in my favorite books of all time list.

If you're unfamiliar with Mr. Fassel, he writes the Corrupt Signals for Fangoria, easily my favorite column in the revamped mag (which is saying something, because each issue is a veritable treasure). So far, his debut novel is no less spectacular.


Speaking of reading, as a sort of 'Quarantine Special', I've made the Kindle editions of my first two books $0.99 for the foreseeable future. If you've not read them, please consider giving one or both a chance. One is literary horror, the other the first book in a YA Horror/Suburban Fantasy series. I'm quite proud of both - I'm the first to know when something I write is shite. Also, I've been told both are good and, perhaps more importantly, fun:

 Link to buy A Collection of Desires

Link to buy Shadow Play Book One: Kim and Jessie

If you do take this chance to read them, please take a moment to give a star rating or review on Amazon, or really, anywhere books are sold or discussed. Thank you in advance!



Revocation - Great is Our Sin
Revocation - Teratogenesis EP
Old Tower - The Last Eidolon
Alastor - Black Magic
The National - High Violet
The National - The Boxer
Various - The History of Northwest Rock Vol. 2 (The Garage Years)
Perturbator - Dangerous Days
Allegaeon - Apoptosis
Burzum - Filosofem
Burzum - Thulêan Mysteries
Perturbator - I Am the Night
Pascal Rogé - Satie: 3 Gymnopédies
White Ward - Love Exchange Failure
Perturbator - The Uncanny Valley
Code Orange - Underneath
Perturbator - Excess (Pre-release single)
Balthazar - Fever
Beach House - Thank Your Lucky Stars
My Morning Jacket - Z
Perturbator - Night Driving Avenger EP
Me and That Man - New Man, New Songs, Same Shit, Vol. 1
Alio Die and Lorenzo Montaná - The Threshold of Beauty
Misfits - Collection Two



From the Grimoire: The Spark of Essence. I'm aligning this with the mammoth writing session I am about to embark on as soon as I post this. I took the day off to finish the second pass on this year's book, which is currently on track to be released in late Summer/early Autumn.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Isolation: Day 3 - Seefeel Fracture

Caught this on Michael Stock's Part Time Punks on KXLU this past Thursday (there's a link via KXLU that archives the playlist for all Michael's shows HERE). Love it. Fracture is from the Fracture/Tied single on Warp Records. You can also find and support Seefeel through other releases available on their Bandcamp.


Seven episodes into HBO's The Outsider, and it has a hold of me good. Fantastic show that very much scratches the itch left over from True Detective Season One.


As more and more public events are cancelled, it was inevitable the upcoming Deafheaven tour got postponed. Mr. Brown pointed me HERE, where the band is selling what was supposed to be their tour merch, as well as taking pre-orders for the double live album that was supposed to be recorded over two nights in Chicago, but will now be recorded live in-studio. As the craziness increases, you're going to see a lot of messages from independent artists about helping to support them and/or others like them. Take this seriously. I've always considered myself a 'patron' of the arts, especially as we've moved into such a decentralized paradigm for creating and distributing said arts. Now with this, bands who would have made the bulk of their income touring - because even a band like Deafheaven isn't being supported by their label enough for its individual members to actually exist in the real world - are going to be effectively cut off at the knees. You can't support everyone, but please, support those you can.

Here's one of the older Deafheaven songs I'm hoping ends up on the double live, which titled 10 Years Gone, I'm assuming is a career-to-this-point retrospective:



Human Impact - Eponymous
Seefeel - Fracture/Tied (Single)
Various Artists - The Void OST
Beach Slang - The Deadbeat Bang of Heartbreak City
Deafheaven - Ordinary Corrupt Human Love
Deafheaven - Roads to Judah



That's a bit disturbing in light of recent events. Or, I can interpret it as the hot streak I'm using all the media induced 'pandemic' paranoia to fuel re-writing something I will be releasing in a few months.

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Me and That Man - On The Road

Holy cow. A good friend sent me a link to this 2017 album Songs of Love and Death by Me and That Man. Dark, fuzzy, gothic country, this entire album is fantastic. I know nothing about this band, but this album hits a perfect harmonic with the new Federale and a few other albums I've had on heavy rotation lately, most of which I'll get to posting from in the next few days.


Last night K and I went to the theatre to see Mike Flanagan's adaptation of Stephen King's Doctor Sleep.

The best cinematic sequel ever.

Honestly, I miss spoke above, because Flanagan - who I now think might be the greatest living modern horror director - has made a film that is a sequel to both King's book and Stanley Kubrick's film The Shining, which are two very different entities. There's an article in the most recent Fangoria Magazine where Flanagan talks about how he approached this, and all I can say is, he hit it out of the park. Doctor Sleep is also a very tight adaptation of the novel, so it has the dual quality of feeling like a novel first, and a movie second. In other words, the three-act structure moviegoers have unconsciously come to expect is there, but in an over-arching way. The way the individual scenes are woven together, moving back and forth seamlessly between characters, events, and places, feels literary, as though you're plowing through sections or chapters in a book.

I loved Doctor Sleep when I read the novel back around the time it came out - many thanks to Mr. Brown for mailing me his copy just to be sure I read it, as our love for both King's book and Kubrick's film goes back a looooong way. And now I love the film. Win-win.

Playlist from 11/08:

Federale - No Justice
Billy Idol - Greatest Hits
Black Pumas - Eponymous
TVOTR - Return to Cookie Mountain
Revocation - Teratogenesis EP
Sunn O))) - Life Metal
John Coltrane - Coltrane's Sound


Card of the day:

Balance and harmony; coherence and the intuition of a guiding light. I think so. Tonight we're doing a Horror Vision taping and I'll be premiering the finished version of this story I've been working off-and-on for over a year now to five people by reading it out loud. As Cap'm says, Proof is in the Pudding.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

AHS 1984 Ep 2...

... is going to serve as the episode that marked my fervor for this season. Without treading into spoiler territory, the scene with a certain female character and Richard Ramirez having a heart-to-heart, and the darkness it hints at in said character, blew me away. From this point, I'm in, and what's more, I'm rabidly awaiting the next episode!


I dug out my first edition of Stephen King's Night Shift - which I found in a Las Vegas thrift store years ago - and re-read Gray Matter, the basis for the first episode of Shudder's new Creepshow series' inaugural story. The reading confirms it - Creepshow's version is a fantastic adaptation of a lesser-known King story, both versions being creepy as all hell.


Playlist from 9/27:

Opeth - In Cauda Venenum
Emilie Autumn - Opheliac
Heaven and Hell - The Devil You Know


No card today.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

2019: February 26th - New FOALS

I'm digging the Beachhouse/Smiths feel here. Foals is a band my interest has pinioned back and forth on. Their new album, Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost Part 1, is out March 8th and can be pre-ordered HERE, with Part 2 following in Autumn. Pretty cool release idea.

The teaser for the AMC adaptation series of Joe Hill's BRILLIANT novel NOS4A2 dropped yesterday. It's not much, but it certainly has me excited, especially after seeing Zachary Quinto in Charlie Manx, III make-up:

I cannot say enough good things about the novel. After having read Hill's Heart-Shaped Box and Horns and loved them both, when my friend Becky handed me an advanced reader copy of NOS4A2 back in early 2013, I expected I'd dig it, but  what I didn't expect was how different the tone and style would be from Hill's other books. In retrospect, I should have already reached the conclusion that Hill is such an accomplished writer he is able to change these integral elements of his voice and completely reinvent himself from book to book. Where Heart-Shaped Box was a tight, atmospheric horror novel that worked gloriously inside the tone of the mass market paperbacks of the 90s, Horns felt stylistically similar to a Chuck Palahniuk novel. NOS4A2 was the first of Hill's books where I felt the influence of his father, Stephen King. It was also the first where the two writers began to mingle their worlds a bit, and while in 2019 I'm pretty exhausted of 'shared universes,' I still say King/Hill's methods hold up. They intertwined their worlds just the right amount so as to leave you smiling at the possibilities, but without being overly ostentatious about it.

Here's that teaser:

Playlist from 2/25:

Firewater - The Ponzi Scheme
Firewater - The Man on the Burning Tightrope
Beck - Mutations
Ghost - Opus Eponymous
The Devil's Blood - III Tabula Rasa or Death and the Seven Pillars

Card of the day:

Second time in how many days I received this one? Hmm... Looking deeper into it, I'm wondering if this has to do with the somewhat shadowy side of this card. Prince of Cups is the Intelligence that navigates passion, and passion includes Art. It has been in my head of late that I often fall into a pattern of neglecting the ones I love while caught inside these worlds I'm building in my head. Perhaps it's time to find a flash of non-Artistic inspiration and do something unexpected for someone I love?

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Pet Sematary Trailer!

Whoah. Thanks to my good friend Missi, I finally read Stephan King's Pet Sematary about five or six years ago. It immediately became my favorite non-Dark Tower King novel. It is chilling. End of story. And the scenes that brush up against the Wendigo - if that's what it is - SO spooky. So well done! The flick looks great - the directors previously did Starry Eyes, so that's a great sign in my book. Another upscale King Adaption on the heels of last year's IT. While I'll admit to a certain soft-spot for the original Pet Sematary, this looks to be a vast improvement.