Friday, May 24, 2019

2019: May 24th - New Pelican Track!



On June 7th, Southern Lord is releasing the newest album from Chicago Post-Metal group Pelican, and from the two tracks we've heard so far, Nighttime Stories looks like it is a serious contender for my top ten this year. I love the texture of this track; thick, sludgy, but not without melody and a certain swing in its step. You can pre-order the album HERE.

**

Two more episodes of Ozark season one down last night, so that means two to go, then I can finally begin Season Two. This show really holds up on second viewing, and I'm pretty sure its dark, foreboding tone, exceptionally well-written characters, and left-of-center plot twists will continue to impress me; Ozark is the kind of show that already feels destined for greatness.

**
Final episode of The Last Drive-In with Joe Bob Briggs on Shudder tonight, but, in case you haven't heard, it will be back. In my excitement, I looked up some old clips:



**

Playlist from 5/23:

The Cure - Disintegration
The Raveonettes - Lust Lust Lust
Faith No More - King for a Day
Faith No More - Angel Dust

Card of the day:


I've never been a fan of this card. Frankly, it has always visually been intertwined with a former lover, and I'm one who usually shuts the door on the past pretty hard, so I'm never really enthused to receive anything in the way of reminders. But last year at some point, this card came up a couple times in close proximity, and in discussing it with my good friend Missi, she put something to me I'd never stopped to consider; basically, why? Why did the Queen of Wands have to be what I had come to think of it as? And this morning, free from any pull of the past, I uncover this card and think, "That's not what this is at all."

So then, the question remains, what is the Queen of Thoth to me?

Let's start basic. From the Grimoire: "Emotional Intelligence." Well, that in and of itself is sometimes as difficult to find as the Dodo; the waters of emotion run rapid when they run best, and sluiced through the right tributary, we may find it very difficult to apply any guidance to the rush toward conclusion. So then, when I pull this, especially today, where my day-to-day gig at the biorepository feels a bit out of control (mother business expanding exponentially constantly), I feel as though the eyes of this fiery lady are telling me to watch my mouth, which runs often, loud, and considerably unchecked at work.

Also, there's the related idea of the 'Consciousness in Spirit,' which I see pop up online when scouting around for other facets of this card. Consciousness in Spirit equates to Intensity of Purpose, which I have absolutely lacked for going on a week now, as work as been difficult and some passing bug has kept me feeling sick and run down for most of the week, even now when I'm through the worst of it. I read this as a need to get my ass back in gear; for the past two weeks, I've had a fantastic regiment of after-work writing and yoga going almost every day, then Sunday I woke up sick and ever since, I've haven't done either. The little bit of yoga I forced myself to do last night ended up making me feel amazing, and that's as good as any other reason to re-focus and re-acquire that Intensity of Purpose.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

2019: May 23rd - New Drab Majesty!



A busy work schedule and the exhaustion that comes with being sick pretty much decimated my last few days; normally these would be two separate entries, but there are big things happening at my day job and I've been unable to take any time off, in spite of feeling like absolute crap. In that time, a lot has surfaced. The second track off Drab Majesty's forthcoming third album being one of the most eagerly anticipated (pre-order that record HERE if you haven't already).

The other most eagerly anticipated item that dropped was the first trailer for the ninth film by Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood:



Other than Reservoir Dogs and Jackie Brown, I've seen all of QT's films in the theatre. This is be no exception.

**

The trade paperback for Nightscape Press's Ashes and Entropy recently won the This is Horror Award for Anthology of the year award; I'd missed the boat on this one until yesterday when I received an email about it going on sale in the Publisher's webstore. I ordered my copy as soon as I saw the contributing authors list and cannot wait to dig into the contents. And that cover!


**

We're set to do another episode of The Horror Vision this coming Saturday, and in looking back at everything I've watched over the last month or so, I realized I really need to start a daily 'watchlist' section on these pages. So below is the first, which is really more of a catch-all for everything we've watched since Sunday. It's a lot, because as I mentioned above, K and I have both been sick since last Sunday, and although I've not missed any work, I've been leaving early and spending most of my time at home in bed, trying to beat this thing as quickly as possible.

Ozark, Season 1 episodes 1-5

Barry, Season 1 episodes 1-4

Prom Night - Ugh. Not good. (In retrospect, hoping this isn't one of the two features tomorrow on The Last Drive-In).

CAM - Would have been in my top films of last year had I seen it sooner. Shades of Lost Highway

Gerald's Game - A fantastic adaptation of a stellar Stephen King book. The end Lifetime'd it a bit for me, but totally excusable.

Pandorum -Not bad for Sci Fi horror, but suffers from early 00's spastic editing AND the most overdone twist ever. Seriously folks, what year was Fight Club? It's been done!

Single White Female - I'd never seen this and it's one of K's favorites. Solid 90s Psychological thriller. Would make a great double-feature with Pacific Heights.


Playlist from 5/22:

The Raveonettes - In and Out of Control
The Raveonettes - Lust Lust Lust
Mastodon - Emperor of Sand
(Lone) Wolf and Cub - May You See Only Sky
Big Business - Here Come the Waterworks
Hall and Oats - Apple Music Essentials
The Cure - Disintegration

No card today.




Tuesday, May 21, 2019

2019: May 21st: The End Covered by The Raveonettes



I've been on a Ravenettes kick for the first time in a while as of yesterday, and I had completely forgotten that one of my favorite bands covers one of my favorite songs. And their take is great; where the original takes you deep into some sandy cave in the Arabian Desert, the Raveonettes keep the psychedelic aspect but transport it to a subterranean cave that might have been stumbled upon while walking on the beach in some deserted, exotic location. So good.

**

I've already blown through 2/3 of Nathan Ballingrud's short story collection Wounds: Six Stories from the Border of Hell, and wanted to slow down on it for a minute. Coincidentally, my friend Maddy and I have been attempting to do a synchronized read of Gemma Files' Experimental Film for quite some time - we got the book a year or so ago - and just haven't had a chance to lock schedules. Well, that changed Saturday, and as of yesterday I'm 60 pages in and HOOKED. I'll talk about this more as I go through it, but as of now, I see what the hype was about.



**

Playlist from 5/20:

Jeff Whalen - Man of Devotion
Jeff Whalen - The Alien Lanes
The Raveonettes - In and Out of Control
The Raveonettes - 2016 Atomized
Malcolm Middleton - A Brighter Beat
Malcolm Middleton - Sleight of Heart


No card today.

Monday, May 20, 2019

2019: May 20th - Joe Bob Briggs on the Demons "Series"



As we entire the final week of Joe Bob Briggs' inaugural season of The Last Drive-In on Shudder, I thought I'd post one of my favorite clips from the man.

I didn't have cable growing up, so I never got to experience JBB in his previous iterations. I seriously don't think I'd ever even heard of him before Shudder brought him on last summer for that first, 25 hour marathon - the origin of this clip. I've fallen in love fast, though. After last week's episode (The Stuff and Street Trash), I actually threw on his Thanksgiving Dinners of Death to watch Texas Chainsaw Massacre with his asides (I missed the beginning of it during the original, Holiday airing). That's something I never thought I'd do - watch a film I respect as much as TCM more for interruptions than the film itself. But JBB is a fount of information, and despite the weakening of a viewings immersions with his interruptions, I've seen TCM many times, but never with the Joe Bob's annotations, which I'd imagine will add quite a bit of context to subsequent viewings, much the same as Brad Shellady's 1988 documentary Texas Chainsaw Massacre: A Family Portrait, which I love as much as the original film.


I'll miss Joe Bob in the off season; there's been something amazing about watching this live every week I'm able, and I'm sure I'll be revisiting these episodes throughout the interim between this and what I hope will be another season somewhere not too far down the line.

**

I was able to catch up on a lot of reading this weekend, and one of the comics I blew through several issues of was Gunning for Hits. This book - published by Image Comics - is fantastic, especially if you're a music lover. Writer Jeff Rougvie brings all the insight from a career producing some of the biggest and most influential bands in history - David Bowie and Elvis Costello to name a few - into the story of Martin Mills, former Government Black Ops Agent turned A&R man, signing bands in 1987 New York. What we have is a brilliantly entertaining and educational book that really shows how the industry used to work, woven in with dramatic situations that range from the on-the-road hi jinx of a newly signed band in the pre-Grunge era (think Noel Monk's 12 Days on the Road) combined with a whirlwind tutorial of the back-room goings on of the men who made the hits. And the back matter alone is worth the price of admission, where Rougvie further hashes out for the laymen just how that giant dinosaur system used to work.

Also, as you can see, there are a lot of allusions in the book for music nerds to get excited over.

**

Playlist from 5/19:

Melvins - (A) Senile Animal
Melvins - Stoner Witch
Hall and Oats - Essentials

Card of the day:


Careful consideration; be aware of anxious motivation, and those who might be anxiously motivated.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

2019: May 19th - Perry Blackshear's The Rusalka



Earlier today I found myself scouring Nathan Ballingrud's Twitter feed for a drawing a fan drawing he had posted earlier in the month. To say Wounds: Six Stories From the Border of Hell is blowing me away is an understatement; comparisons to Clive Barker's early work are definitely warranted, but Ballingrud has his own style and it's one I love. The Barker comparison, to me, is most earned by way of both author's love of desecrating flesh. I remembered seeing Mr. Ballingrud post this piece of fan art - a drawing of one of the Black Iron Monks from collection's opening story The Atlas of Hell. While searching for the drawing, I found Mr. Ballingrud had posted the teaser for the new film by Perry Blackshear, director of 2015's The Look Like People. Apparently The Rusalka has been re-titled The Siren. Either way, this teaser is creepy as all hell - primarily due to the sound, which is always a huge sell for me - and I can't wait to see this one.

**

Playlist from 5/18:

Big Business - Here Come the Waterworks
Helms Alee - Sleepwalking Sailors
Anthrax - Persistence of Time
The Beatles - Abbey Road

**

No card again today. This is a short one, banged out at the start of a solitary hour I've stolen to try and finish the story I began in Spokane, and which, despite the cards telling me to let it rest, won't leave me be.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

2019: May 18th - New Mike Patton Project!



Many thanks to Mr. Brown for alerting me to this new Mike Patton project, a collaboration with historic Serge Gainsbourg collaborator Jeanne Claude-Vannier. You can pre-order the album from Ipecac Records HERE; Corpse Flower is scheduled to drop September 13th.


**

I finished Alan Campbell's The Art of Hunting this morning, and now I must HOWL at the fact that there is a third book completed and TOR baulked at publishing it! WTF! Mr. Campbell doesn't have very much of an internet presence to speak of - can't blame anyone on that philosophy - so, although two or three years ago there was an update on the possibility of him releasing the book digitally, there's been nothing since. Please! I need to read the third book NOW!


**

Lacking a third volume of Campbell's Gravedigger Chronicles, I've moved into one of my two most anticipated books of the year: Nathan Ballingrud's Wounds: Six Stories From the Border of Hell. This is the collection that re-publishes Mr. Ballingrud's masterpiece of short, Weird fiction The Visible Filth that I have expounded on often in these pages since I discovered it in late 2015, and adds to it five other short stories that, if the first one is any indication - and I'm sure it is - are brilliant! Such a great time for lover's of dark fiction!


Wounds comes to us just slightly ahead of the first cinematic adaptation of Ballingrud's work, director  Babak Anvari's take on The Visible Filth, also titled Wounds. I believe the arrival of this one-two punch will be the opening salvo on the establishment of Ballingrud as a major force in the modern Horror Lexicon. And that makes me incredibly happy.

**

Playlist from 5/16:

The Cure - Disintegration
Blackwater Holylight - Eponymous
Black Sabbath - Sabbath Bloody Sabbath
Bauhaus - In the Flat Fields
Clint Mansell - Out of Blue OST
Blut Aus Nord - 777 Sect(s)
Melvins - Houdini
Helms Alee - Sleepwalking Sailors
Helms Alee - Noctiluca

Playlist from 5/17:

The Cure - Disintegration
Opeth - Blackwater Park
Beach House - 7
Lustmord - Songs of Gods and Demons
Melvins - Houdini
Melvins - (A) Senile Animal
Big Business - Here Come the Waterworks
Big Business - The Beast You Are

No card today.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

2019: May 16th - Blackwater Holylight



One of the bands that Jonathan Grimm turned me onto during his visit last month is Blackwater Holylight. I dug their sound the moment I heard it, but didn't get back around to giving them my full attention until yesterday, when I listened to BWHL's 2018 self-titled album about six times in a row. Fantastic record, kind of sounds like the mythical place where Black Rebel Motorcycle Club meets the Doom scene, if the ladies from Veruca Salt were on back-up vocals. This is one of those every-song-is-great records, so when you have a moment, check it out.

**
Gideon falls continues to blow my freakin' mind every month. I had not anticipated the scope of this book to incorporate anything that happened in this week's issue 13, least of all that the promise made by the cover would bear fruit. Subtle shades of Victoriana (it's not ostentation enough for me to call it full-on Steam Punk, but it has a hint of that delicious flavor, a flavor like most, best used sparingly):



Playlist from 5/15:

Godflesh - Streetcleaner
Faith No More - King for a Day
Beastmilk - Climax
Beastmilk - Use Your Deluge
Grave Pleasures - Dreamcrash
Blackwater Holylight - Eponymous
Atrium Carceri - Cellblock
Tennis System - Pain EP
Misfits - Earth A.D.
Uniform & The Body - Mental Wounds Not Healing
Somnium Nox - Apocrypha - EP

**

Card of the day:


Again. Hmm.. So what am I missing?