Thursday, October 16, 2014

70s British 'Cautionary' Children's Horror Programming made ours PALE


If you don't know SCARFOLK -- check it out. There's nothing I can add, because they have magick psionic tendrils that vibrate like spider web strands when anyone dares quote or discuss the town beyong cautious, brief, respectful praise. I will tell you that they're sooo British that their newly released book 'Discovering Scarfolk' isn't even available in the U.S., you have to go to Amazon UK and deal with all that currency exchange and overseas shipping.

BUT - we can see, at last a lot of the origins of the amazingly specific and haunting motifs at work, namely scary British TV shows aimed at children, both cautionary, imaginative and in general vibing off the local richness of Stonehenge, druids, human sacrifice, and psychedelics.

One show that apparently scared every kid who saw it is called CHILDREN OF THE STONES:


Also, check out 'The Hauntological Society" for summaries and capsules of old British shows, like A Come Andromeda.

And the magazine The Unexplained -- and to think of all the time I wasted reading Ranger Rick!! Would love to find these somewhere.

Lastly, a British Public Information film called The Finishing Line.


And to think what we missed by having only one public-funded TV channel and prudish corporate-driven censorship that forced everything into treacly mush!

Here's the piece by Scarfolk writer Richard Littler discussing these and other horrors you'll want to unearth, if you're daft.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Retrofuturist Synth Module Scores is Then: Sinoia Caves (BEYOND THE BLACK RIANBOW); Tom Raybould (THE MACHINE);


Dig these bizarro retro phat synth paranoid scores: Rayboulds is somewhere between Vangelis for BLADE RUNNER, John Carpenter for ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK and Tangerine Dream for SORCERER, and the perfect wallpaper for a crisp fall afternoon wandering through a dying landscape, each rustling orange leaf in the street an ominous portent. And Sinoia Caves is for when your floating down the street at dawn, chased in slow motion by your own shadow looming 60 feet tall and with burning coal eyes but you are not afraid, in other words part György Ligeti from THE SHINING and part Claudio Simonetti from TENEBRE. And it's on Spotify, which you should have if you don't, human, because the future is now and nearly everything but the Beatles can be crawling all over you...

Thursday, August 14, 2014

FATAL GLASS OF BEER (1933)

THE FATAL GLASS OF BEER
1933 - W.C. Fields


Friday, July 18, 2014

I got red blood.... and I got / bloodredwine: The Great Lost Stones Song.


I once had a weird old Stones bootleg LP called 'Taxile in Main Street' and it had this song on it. The rest was just muddy jams from old concerts or alternate takes from Exile. I loved this song so much, it was worth the price. Why they never put it on a real album is one of those great mysteries. Actually - I might have got it off my punk friend's bootleg LP, but I can't remember the name. Oh well here it is:

 

Friday, June 27, 2014

Rare, Weird, Obscured... The Pink Floyd


Here's my favorite Floyd song and its original single wrapper. Damn them for never putting it on one of their records so it would be avail. on Spotify -- not even on one of their recent grand remaster deluxe versions of PIPER AT THE GATES OF DAWN and all that. But hey, youtube comes through again:

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

I sing thee Erika M. Anderson (EMA's The Future's Void)


An accessible punk St. Vincent crossed with Debbie Harry if played by Darryl Hannah in replicant mode, ready to hit the Deckard like a sonic version of She-Hulk or break k-addicted hearts like Lana Del Rey, Erika M. Anderson (EMA) is one of my favorite artists ever since her Past Life Martyred Saints blew me away and helped me accept the inevitable dark death horizon (see "Strangers with Wet Hair")


 I like many sorts of music but the best is what my deprecating friend call 'sad chick music' - meaning it's sung by girls and creates operatic sadness, but not in some soulful Adele kind of way, but rather a mopey walking down the street at dawn feeling the chemical despair of a post-ecstasy rave come-down wrack your soul with reproach way. I learned the way to get through this is by developing a kind of masochistic indulgence of the soul crushing blues feeling (and the actual blues haven't worked for me since the advent of CD and my sobriety - some music needs whiskey and analog to work its magic). So the princesses of the digital age are the ones who can capture the sense of loss as the whole idea of albums vanishes into the 'cloud.' That's why I love the mournful quality of EMA's sadder songs, which are contrasted on her major follow-up THE FUTURE'S VOID, which came out a few week's ago, with some more shrill wailing howls of fuzzy static pain and sludgy beats, as on "Smoulder" - which comes on after the rapt gorgeous "3Jane" - with its sad refrain that we've become just another advertising campaign.


Standing at a colossal six foot and looking like some glamazon mix of my Aunt Anne, Kim Gordon, Courtney Love, and a blend of every character in Kathryn Bigelow's NEAR DARK, she handles lots of make-up and hair bleach like to the punk rock manor-born, and while some of her more shrill noise stuff doesn't grab me, the contrast it creates with her slower more glacial stuff makes it all worthwhile. While critics fawn over St. Vincent's recent release -- which like EMA's focuses on the pros and cons of the digital age - the slow unmooring from this crinkling earth reality -- it's EMA's stuff that is, somehow, for being a little more chaotic, darker and lighter at the same time, more human, sexier, toothier. Ger recent album inspired me to collect my favorite of her works thus far. Why wouldn't she deserve a best of?


 I even made her a mix CD on Spotify to show my devotion! I know she's on there, but she hasn't answered my letter. I listen to it anyway... aren't all mix tapes better when made for someone you adore in one way or another, even if you never even met them?

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Laura Marling, the Victoria of Mitchells


I know that's very 'inside' as in my own mind - not even sure why Victoria but the Mitchell is Joni Mitchell, of which the great Laura Marling, singer-songwriter 20-something Brit of immense talent, is a direct descendant, not an imitator, but because her voice has that deep mellow wood feel where it can drop vast octaves down without seeming to try, and can stir the lion heart without losing a tossed-off conversational tone, all much harder to achieve than one would think; she gets a sweet conversational tone between herself and her guitar, and our lovesick souls. I listen to her a lot on the bus to work in the morning and together we mourn for all my exes, my sad sick soul, the lifetime prison sentence of an 8:30 AM wake-up. What an ungodly hour, but dreams carry through - what else can one do on a bus?

I fell in love long ago with what past dismayed girlfriends and abashed flatmates have called 'sad chick music' - it began with my mess of an emotional catharsis driving around Seattle listening to Joni Mitchell's Blue, which I got on cassette after being charmed by her "Harry" on a UW college station. An extraordinary thing happened - I began to cry - this being 1989, a time right before the dawn of PC thuggery and modern sensitive male nonsense - it felt forbidden, like my little secret.

What a release! I felt emboldened and spiritually awakened by a kind of pure floating love; like in the movie Her - I was in love with a disembodied voice, but it was purer, no sordid sex, only a kind of courtly Jungian grace. My unconscious feminine anima was using Joni Mitchell to speak directly to my conscious male self.

But Joni only has a few really great, sad albums, by the gorgeous but much poppier Court and Spark she's moving into jazz explorations, with Jaco Pastorious' fretless bass setting a show-offy slick mix of key changes and vocal acrobatics that were trippy and impressive, but also a little square.

So much sad female vocal music in the interim has either been to mopey, too electronic, too shoegaze echo-drenched, or ala Sarah McLachlan too overproduced and manipulative, or too jazzy too singer-songwriterly diva-esque--so packed with esoteric abrasions that only die-hard fans don't feel like they're listening to an overly confident girl pacing her bedroom on the phone with her grand piano and a doting father's financial protection. Or if they're more austere, it's still with this jazzy breathing technique and slick production.


But gifted youth Laura Marling is far different. I treasure her, and most of her songs. I've even assembled a perfect hour or so of my favourites to mope in a half-asleep revery to. And I present it here now via Spotify. And LM, thanks.