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Thursday, July 15th, 2010

Subject:Strange times
Time:3:32 pm.
Mood:air conditioned.
Another year. Remarkable. And this still lives? I've been reading my old witterings, going back to the very beginning. I was certainly a wordy bastard back then. Looking at my friends' 'page now, most of the people I used to spend time batnering with just don't post anymore. It's all communities and icons and banners and twitter this and that. I can't be bothered, though I miss some of the people.

However, I want to resurrect this, or something like it. Even if I can't talk about my life, I can at least record impressions. Even a book review journal is something; arguably more interesting than life, anyway. What amuses me is goign back to those old writings from 2003, reading about things like the Hampton parties, talking about people whom I don't even remember, albums I hardly listen to anymore (not many though, I haven't changed that much at all), things that were new to me and now favourites...
And, of course, all the domestic stuff. I usually skkip over that crud. What am I getting into now? It's been a hell of a year...in some ways extremely exciting, in others not as eventful as I'd like. I eat worse, spend more money and crave very basic things...mostly sex, which always seems more appealing when it's not around but which ultimately leads to things I'm not quite willing to embrace. Still, I can't say those cravings haven't met with some success. I think I've hurt a few people as a result of..indifference...ambivalence...fear...something of the sort...and I'm genuinely sorry about that. I've been lucky, too, as so much could have blown up in my face and hasn't...yet. I owe quite a bit of capital and there will be more expenses to come. There's a lot I don't want to say because the idea of permanence makes me nervous.

Maryland Deathfest blew my mind this year. Of highlights there were so many...Pentagram, Autopsy, Asphyx, D.R.I...Sinister!!! A lot of great musical things coming up that I simply can't miss, and will deplete my funds ever further. And what of the huge decision I must make?

What's more, Demontage just got back from Michigan, where we played with the Lansing boys at Mack's Bar, whose ownership has now changed and become definitively "douchy". So much enjoyment was had, but sadly we were "too drunk to get it right", and Sauron did not even get to play. I had a great conversation with a girl about Algernon Blackwood, evangelists and crust, and another with the cutest wasted wench who kept offering me cigarettes and was possibly disappointed that I didn't speak like one of the characters from the Trailer Park Boys or Strange Brew. On the way back we spent far too much time in Detroit driving through the seediest, scummiest, filthiest areas of town. This seemed to give Mike a huge hard-on. He loves rock bottom. Poor Paul is suffering the effects of his lifestyle at last. panic attacks, nausea, a revulsion towards smoking that he doesn't actually want to feel. He tore into my abysmal drunken drum performance. Next stop, Rochester...let's do better this time.

Then there's August 20th, when the Sauron lads will come back here to play with us. A lot of people will be at this show. Angel is coming to visit. Yes, she'll be staying with me. What will this bring on? I don't know. We didn't speak properly for months and months, and when discourse was attempted the result was usually the same ole pounding my words against an immovable wall. Nevertheless, something has changed. There's no more antipathy. Just doubt...and excitement at the thought of rekindling certain things. I don't want to leap into anything and it'd be so easy for the old patterns to re-establish themselves.

Next time, more thoughts. Tomorrow, black metal. Saturday, Doctor Who and camaraderie and...
Comments: Read 9 or Add Your Own.

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2008

Subject:AAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!
Time:12:56 pm.
Mood:thinking about subtext.
Hello, I'll be updating properly soon enough...

But now I just want to say ...

Flower Travellin' Band's "Satori" is so, so good.
Comments: Read 1 or Add Your Own.

Wednesday, May 28th, 2008

Subject:romanticising the unattainable
Time:4:29 pm.
Mood:thoughtful and agitated.
I'm eager to leave, as usual, but I just had a thought that I wanted to set down and even solicit comments from the reading gallery (there's a reading gallery?!) ...

For years now I've wanted to be a trucker. I'm sure many people would laugh at that, including my stepmother, who always has negative things to say about truckers, I suppose because they do tend to be a rather loutish breed. Driving around North America, all alone, in the dead of night, trying to find the best ways to get from one place to another in the shortest possible time, stopping at random places to eat sub-par food, souping up my vehicle's sound system with my own money .. this sounds like a type of paradise to me, almost. Of course, I'll never be a driver of any kind, nor will I ever possess a driver's license .. and if I did, it's entirely possible that the idea of being a trucker would cease to be appealing. Then again, perhaps it's the calling I was truly meant for! Who the hell knows! The point is, I'm probably romanticising the lifestyle terribly, because it's something I'll never get close to and so it's like the Dark Continent of the imagination.

What do the members of the reading gallery treat in a similar vein? DO you romanticise a culture you'll never be a part of, a lifestyle, place .. something completely different?
Comments: Read 12 or Add Your Own.

Thursday, May 15th, 2008

Subject:Mater!
Time:2:43 pm.
Another thing I've wanted to mention is that Angel and I recently watched "The Mother of Tears", the third in Dario Argento's "Three Mothers" series of films, and the first one made since 1980's "Inferno". This is a fairly different film from its predecssors in some ways: much "louder", bigger; maybe even more of a typical horror film .. but in other ways it is actually very much in line with the other two movies, even to the point of having a similar "ending in fire" scene to "Inferno". There are a lot of nods to past Argento films, and not just the prequels. Unfortunately I just couldn't wait to rent the DVD and so downloaded a copy of it which came with some very poorly done subtitles that looked as though they were created using Babelfish. It was very distracting and almost made me want to hold off on watching the movie. Anyway, it's good, but I still think Argento is pandering to the mainstream more than he used to, or maybe the mainstream's tastes are just different and don't appeal to me as much as those of the 70s and 80s (probably the case). I must say though that it has a very strong atmosphere and the much heavier use of elements like magic and blatant demonic manifestations weren't too usual for Argento and I did rather like them. I was thinking he would really put his daughter's character (yep, Asia's in this one) through sexually-motivated-hell again but he was quite nice to her in this one. Oh, and there are no giallo elements to be seen anywhere, but the requisite "phone call scene" is sort of in there, with a bit of a demoniac twist.
Comments: Add Your Own.

Friday, March 28th, 2008

Subject:Nothing was ever the same after Mozart discovered electronic drum kits
Time:12:25 pm.
Mood:ascending through the spheres.
Well, ok then. Here's a missive from the quarantine zone.

Way way back, probably four years ago (!) I made a post in here about how I wanted to start an NWOBHM cover band fronted by a female singer. Well, hey, this may actually happen now! At least, I've been talking about it on a semi-serious basis with someone from around here and I know she can sing pretty goddamn powerfully and wants to do it. We won't jam until the summer, and who will play bass, I haven't a clue. It's not something I want to (or will be able to) devote a lot of time to, but it could be a huge amount of fun.

Also, it's slightly possible that I might go to Baltimore this summer to see that annual doom festival thing. The lineup doesn't actually seem as cool as last year's, or the year before that, but deal doom shows are so few and far between that the idea of meeting up with a bunch of doomheads and "following the smoke to the riff-filled land" sounds pretty appealing. Also, Baltimore in the summer must be a pretty ace place to be .. I mean the city seems so relaxed and low-key .. not nearly as doomy as Toronto, paradoxically, where nobody much seems to appreciate real doom at all. A few months ago Angel and I went to see Sons of Otis play with a bunch of other bands .. the show was billed as a doom show but SOO were the only entity I could call doom and they are quite a bit more toward the stoner end of things. Anyway, the club more than half emptied by the time Sons of Otis came on, and considering they've been around for so many years, I expected taht they'd have a real faithful reception, but there was nothing of the kind. Oh, but they did such a monumentally slow and heavy rendition of "Iron Horse" ....wow.

Last week I finished "The haunted Woman", the second novel by David Lindsay; also the second i've read, and the only one aside from "A Voyage to Arcturus" I've been able to locate thus far. Actually, I think I could buy one or two of the others, perhaps, but I can't scan any books right now so there isn't a lot of point, not to mention that I haven't the money to be spent on rare, barely-read-by-half-a-dozen-people Edwardian Scottish authors' works. At some point though, I'd like to read all of Lindsay's six or seven novels, because if there is one book that has left a permanent impression on my life in recent times, it is "A Voyage to Arcturus", and while I can't say on the strength of that Lindsay is my favourite writer, it is important to me that I read and understand everything available that was written by him.

So, "The Haunted Woman" is a much more worldly novel than "A Voyage to Arcturus" in every sense, and definitely caters very much to its contemporary very early 1920s audience. I don't think this automatically makes it a lesser work, but it's clear that Lindsay probably wanted to sell more copies of this one, and for all I know he might have succeeded in doing so at the time, even though if he's remembered at all today it's for "Arcturus" only. The novel revolves around Isbel Loment, a woman in her early twenties who seems to live a comfortable, but perhaps rather empty, life with her aunt as they trek around Europe setting up quarters in prestigious hotels. At the outset we are told that she has recently been betrothed to the banker (some kind of moneypusher, anyway, I can't actually remember and it isn't all that important) Marshal Stokes, a solid man with a good reputation and business backbone. She seems happy enough with the arrangement, and Marshall and the other boons in her life all endeavour to spoil her more than a little, which Lindsay observes with some subtlety, all the while making Isbel quite a likeable character. Marshal is acting as the aunt's agent in procuring a property, and there happens to be a rambling, country estate called Runhill Court that is about to be sold by its recently widowed owner. The master of Runhill Court is Mr. Judge, a middle-aged gentleman who seems to have a way with younger women, given his marriage propensities (there's a hint, I think, that his now-deceased wife was not his first marriage) and who tells Marshal that the house has a secret: a room that only certain people can see and which only manifests some of the time. Of course, Marshal thinks he's crazy, but when isbel first sees the house, she immediately becomes receptive to its strange emanations. Headaches, premonitions, and a staircase that seems to climb to an invisible tower which she can see when she is alone. It transpires that the old servant knows more about the house's history than its owner, and there is a legend surrounding the stout Saxon who built the original structure and how he was "made off with" by trolls after building a tower and carving certain powerful runes upon its walls. Isbel finds the secret chambers (there are actually three), and over a period of many days keeps finding reasons to visit the house, until she encounters Judge in the second room and something unexpectedly passionate kindles between the two. There's something else strange, though: Those who go up into the hermetic rooms cannot remember anything that happened there once they descend.

This really is Isbel's tale, and though she has her faults and hang-ups, which are in many ways typical of her time and class, I would think, Lindsay makes her into one of his "special" creations, possessing of a certain longing and passion for things that exist beyond the known and expected. All through the book there's so much tantalising suggestion that this electric, indefinable something that goes beyond the pleasures of the everyday and mundane is lurking so near, just beneath the surface, perhaps in a mirror, for Isbel (and by extension, the reader) to grasp and hold if they could but strive a little. The tale seems to ultimately tell of Isbel's downfall as she is swept into something that is literally a passion of the moment which will be forgotten as a foot treads on a stair, yet though the memory of events may be erased by time or supernatural means, their sense will always remain; the "damage" is done whether the mind records the events or loses them, leaving two almost-lovers in a state of confused bewilderment. There are physical sides to this as well, events which compromise Isbel to a degree that she clearly sees will destroy her in the eyes of not only her fiancé, but her friends and relations as well. I found myself occasionally irritated because Isbel seemed so concerned with reputation, with place and position, almost to the point of paranoia at times, but really, it's 1921 or so and what's a well-to-do English lady supposed to do? Let herself gain the notoriety of being a tramp and be ostracised by everyone in her "circle"?

And, even though I mentioned "downfall" earlier, this is a David Lindsay novel, and while in the end Isbel seems to lose everything that mattered, there's more than a hint of some of the threads that I think ran through "A Voyage to Arcturus": That a person grows "real" by their experience of suffering and pain, and that Isbel blossomed by the finding of this secret passion: The severing of her loved one, the impossibility of what she would have given Judge and pledged to give him in the secret room created the sense of spiritual longing and aching, terrible beauty and loss that isn't so far removed from the hunger shown by Nightspore as he searches for Muspelfire, or the brief flairing of love Maskull experiences with the woman of Ifdawn, a woman who only exists for six hours and only exists because of him, a woman that is so perfect for him and yet he cannot have her, because he has a greater quest. "The Haunted Woman" ends rather suddenly and there's no telling really whether Isbel is stronger or "better" for having found and lost something wonderful, but the feeling that she receives upon her first visit to the hidden chambers, when she gazes into a mirror in the first room, seems realised:

"Abstractedly she walked over to the mirror to adjust her hat...Either the glass was flattering her, or something had happened to make her look different;
she was quite startled by her image. It was not so much that she appeared more beautiful as that her face had acquired another character. Its expression
was deep, stern, lowering, yet everything was softened and made alluring by the pervading presence of sexual sweetness. The face struck a note of deep,
underlying passion, but a passion which was still asleep...It thrilled and excited her, it was even a little awful to think that this was herself, and
still she knew that it was true. She really possessed this tragic nature. She was not like other girls--other English girls. Her soul did not swim on the
surface, but groped its way blindly miles underneath the water...But how did the glass come to reflect this secret? And what was the meaning of this look
of enchanting sexuality, which nearly tormented herself?...

She spent a long time gazing at the image, but without either changing the position of her head, or moving a muscle of her countenance. Petty, womanish
vanity had no share in her scrutiny. She did not wish to admire, she wished to understand herself. It seemed to her that no woman possessing such a strong,
terrible sweetness and intensity of character could avoid accepting an uncommon, and possibly fearful, destiny. A flood of the strangest emotions slowly
rose to her head..."

A much quieter and less-layered novel than "A Voyage to Arcturus", perhaps, something to be read and absorbed like a piece of music (and music figures prominently in this book), and not endlessly discussed and interpreted as can be done with his debut. I found quite a few haunting passages here like the one I quoted above, and some of Lindsay's startling observations about personality and sexuality are definitely here, often hinted at rather than thrown at the reader's face. There's no mad throbbing sex scene carried on in the confines of the hidden part of the house; there are only gestures, tremblings, words and the faintest of touchings .. and while modern weaders might find this cute and sweet or some such thing, the reality is that it's painful and "drawing", and this is exactly what Lindsay was going for, so while it wouldn't have upset many of his readers' sensibilities (well, she does cast her engagement ring out a window, and figuratively throws herself at Judge's feet) there's definitely a sort of double-entendre to the sexual tension that's suggested. And no, none of the other characters are really important at all .. even Mr. Judge is mostly an accessory to Isbel's tale, and though he has a noble baring and grave charm he ultimately seems a little soft and inconsequential, and, just possibly, up to something seedy. I admit that I don't quite understand what happened at the end (or rather, why it happened), but the ambiguous nature makes conjecture most pleasing.

Now, I've just begun Italo Calvino's "If on a Winter's Night, a Traveller", and I think I like it, despite it's post-modern cuteness. The book is a real book for book fans, as the whole premiss is about "you", the reader, trying to read the latest novel by Italo Calvino (!) but being flumoxed by incompetence or misdirection or some other nebulous thing and ending up with other books instead .. at least in the first few dozen pages. It's certainly not quite what I was expecting, but then, I'm not quite sure what I was expecting.

We've also got one more book to go in the escapades of Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser. Fafhrd lost his hand! Holy shit! Now he's a one-armed barbarian. I can't believe that I've almost completed their adventures .. feels like I've journeyed with them a long, long way. I love those characters so much and Leiber would have my eternal respect if he had only ever written of the two of them, however he's got piles of other stuff too, most of which is phenomenally good, but I've ranted about that enough in here already.

We start recording tonight. It should be mad, in all respects. I'm going mad right now because there are so many things I want to remember and point out: things that I think should be done, added, discussed, etc .. and I feel that I'll forget them or in the end they'll just be lost in the process of recording everything. I'm also not too sure how easy it will be to convey these ideas to Sean and get him to put them into practice. Oi, I am at work again and I feel as though I shouldn't be here, because I ought to be reminding myself how "Sacrilegion" goes, practicing, or at least something relevant. But no, I'm reading about Jesus instead. Actually though, it's an interesting book by Michael Baigent, even if his mysticisms, while being a lot more compelling, is perhaps just as far-fetched as the Vatican rhetoric he so despises. The thing I like about these mystics though is that they don't seem spontaneously generated in a vacuum: the mystical tradition simply includes a christian, or a judaeo-christian, branch, and that branch was certainly very conscious of its place in a tradition that began with the Assyrians at the very least.
Comments: Read 3 or Add Your Own.

Friday, January 4th, 2008

Subject:an exerpt
Time:2:24 pm.
It started when I played a Tom Waits record for her, and she asked me who it was. Then I discovered she didn't know about Charles Bukowski, who was already selling hundreds of thousands of books in Europe and was making quite a splash in Yugoslavia, with more and more of my new contributors imitating his style. Waits and Bukowski were so important for me that I assumed they were household names in the U.S.A. On the other hand, Sarah knew and loved two Belgrade underground bands, Partibrejkers and Disciplina Kiçme, who had a couple of records each, and were far from the charts; I didn't know much about them. It prompted me to think that "alternative culture" might be the wrong phrase, because it suggested content that served as an alternative to the mainstream. Alternative, therefore, does not exist without mainstream; it is a distorted mirror, but still a mirror. Underground, on the other hand, is a big, unstoppable river finding its own strange ways under the cultural establishment, below governmental control, meandering without media interest and institutional support.
--Dragan Todorovic, The Book of Revenge: Blues for Yugoslavia

This book is really interesting for a number of reasons and I could have picked any number of the writer's experiences and thoughts to place here. It chronicles his journalistic career in the communist regime just after Tito's death and his being sacked from the newspaper he worked for, as well as his serving in the army near the Hungarian plains, and is a pretty compelling depiction of Yugoslavia in the 1980s.
Comments: Add Your Own.

Thursday, December 20th, 2007

Subject:garbage in, garbage out
Time:3:49 pm.
Mood:lasers.
Two eminently stupid statements about metal bands that baffle me so much that I wonder if people just downloaded incorrectly labelled mp3s:

1. "I don't like black metal bands without audible bass, like Darkthrone."

2. "Brocas Helm are not innovative, and when I hear them I think of 8-bit Japanese music."

Actually, come to think of it, a hell of a lot of people just dont' seem to get Brocas Helm. There must be something strange about me because I think they're right up there with the absolute greatest classic metal bands, and I'm pretty sure Schumacher is in the same league of bassist as Steve Harris.
Comments: Read 5 or Add Your Own.

Subject:pull your weight and defenestrate your colleagues' things
Time:3:22 pm.
Mood:plotting.
Working is an impossible proposition today. Ed and Martin are cohorts in mischief and messing up everyone's desk areaas: stealing phones, re-locating/lowering/removing the backs of chairs, disconnecting keyboards .. it's marvelously inappropriate tomfoolery for the birth of Jesus!

Everyone should befuddle their coworkers today. I demand it!

I came in here all irritable as usual but ... this afternoon I feel magnanamous toward everyone .. even the ones who shall not be named who are not here.
Comments: Read 9 or Add Your Own.

Monday, December 17th, 2007

Subject:VIOLENCE!
Time:12:18 pm.
Mood:marinated Chinese chicken thx.
Saturday's show was pretty amazing, not so much because of the bands (although they were all pretty good, especially Bastardator and Rammer), but because of the attitude behind it. NO bar, no restrictions, just "good, friendly violent fun" in a big necrotic loft. Bastardator gets better and better each time I see them, and even sloppy-as-a-tit-sandwich drumming doesn't slow them down in the slightest. I ended up in the thick of the pit and was pummeled quite a bit, most notably on my ear, which received the blessing of someone's pointy elbow slamming into it at a very high velocity. LUckily I had my back to the wall so that when I finally lost ground and was slammed into it at full force the only result was a jarring thump. Cauldron was even somewhat impressive ... Jason Decay can't sing worth a damn, but I guess tha'ts allright .. they covered Manilla Road! Of course, nobody other than perhaps three of us was singing along (it was "Necropolis") and Decay didn't really seem to confident with the words himself. Still, pretty cool .. though I wish they would announce when they were playing a cover. I dont' know how many novices think that "Making noise and Drinking Beer", "Heavy Metal is the Law", "Deathrider" et al are actually Cauldron/Goat Horn songs. Ah well, speaking of this, I want to start that NWOBHM cover band I spoke of a long time ago and I think Kim should be the singer, and Angel will play bass .. we just need to find a good guitarist who loves early British metal, and Angel needs to plug in and practice!

I drank a lot more than usual at shows, naturally, and also naturally, didn't realise how drunk I was even on the way home. John and his friend Sanjin had to make it to London the next day and the snow was already inexorably blanketing everything, but we didnt' know what was coming. It hit me at noon when I woke up, sat up and suddenly realised that I felt like crud that I didn't remember going to bed and that I should have drank a lot more water, at least when I got home, instead of cracking open another beer (and literally cracking another as I dropped it on the floor and it smashed spectacularly .. yes, I remember that). The snow was monumental and still drifting downwards and my feet were very quickly soaked. The guys took off, probably in fear that they wouldn't be home for hours, and they stood around for half an hour waiting for a bus that never came. Angel and I went to the New York café and the second the waitress put the beautiful chicken sandwich and salad in front of me my stomach began to quarrel and somersault athletically. I threw on my coat and stumbled to the bathroom downstairs, all the while probably getting strange looks from the waiting staff. Not cool in the slightest. I did end up eating most of the sandwich though, albeit very slowly. The best thing for a hangover is surely a salad.

THe other day someone was talking about seeing "I am Legend". I frowned in perplexity and said, "Don't you mean 'Omega Man'? Or 'Last Man on Earth'?" Yes, I apparently live a sheltered life because I didn't know about the latest movie based on Matheson's book and starring the ever-irritating Will Smith. My initial response to being told about this new movie was one of hesitant enthusiasm, but the mention of Will Smith instantly turned me off. All right, I'm not the best judge of actors, for obvious reasons ... if one have a good and versatile voice and a recognisable manner then I may take notice, but otherwise I couldn't really care less about who's in what movie. However, while some actors stand out because of their unmistakable vocal presence and mannerisms that they seem to carry with them through all their films (perhaps that doesn't speak much for versatility, but I'd never mistake Christopher Lee for anybody else), there are also those who stand out for negative reasons for me. Will Smith is one; Harrison Ford is another.

Imagine you have a party at your house, but it's full of crashers who are pissing you off and you really want them to leave. What do you do to get them to run screaming in terror, or simply look around with frightened bemusement and quietly back out the door?
Comments: Read 10 or Add Your Own.

Friday, November 30th, 2007

Subject:birdies, try and hide!
Time:3:45 pm.
Mood:relieved.
SO, as a quick adendum to last post ... apparently a lot of christians are really upset about this "Golden Compass" movie. They should be! It is, after all, an attack on the institutions most of them hold dear. In fact, the books are an attack on the very concept of deity. I remember reading them in 2002 and thinking that it was remarkable such a fuss had been made about Harry Potter but nobody seemed to be up in arms about Pullman's books. I guess Pullman avoids the dreaded witchcraft, exchanging it for something a bit more subtle and harder for the zealous shriekers to detect. It probably does take a film franchise to really get the blood boiling,though .. after all, everyone knows that kids are more influenced by movies than books!

I think it'll really work tonight. http://hellonearth.muspelfire.net. last show of 2007, etc. I'm going to read Clark Ashton Smith's "The Chain of Aphorgamon" sometime near the beginning, which is nine eastern time, and give my throat and any errant ears a "rest" with morose, melancholic doom metal in a theme that sort of coincides with this very doomy tale. Light up your pipes for this one! ... if you have 'em that is.
Comments: Read 15 or Add Your Own.

Subject:what's in a name?
Time:10:54 am.
Mood:mood off.
There's no such thing as "only a name", "only entertainment", "only fun". Everything matters. Life is far too brief for this not to be true. The most seemingly innocent concept can push an individual into a new awakening, or into a pit of madness. The imaginative person has thrown the gates wide open, and words become symbols of power that morph the mind and tug on the emotions like nothing else can.
Comments: Read 2 or Add Your Own.

Friday, November 23rd, 2007

Subject:The Wealth Of The Penetration In The Abstract paradigmas of Satan
Time:10:01 am.
Mood:no anchor? what?.
It snowed all day yesterday and as usual some weird state of panic seemed to grip the city. This is very odd because we live in Ontario and we are supposed to be hardy, northern masters of the land, but no .. the first snowfall of the year (some are calling it a storm, but that's far too generous) brought hundreds of automotive collisions, terrible tempers, absences, crawling buses and cars that wouldn't open. This morning is chill and clear and it is excellent. Almost got run down by a car on my street, though. Haha. My neighbourhood is getting more and more nasty, as Lisa never fails to observe, although working at The Beer Store she's bound to see an excess of fights and fisticuffs. The employees there regularly have to restrain pugnacious individuals and hopeless drunks. A little ways east of Woodbine a woman was stabbed not too long ago, and she was screaming very loudly and someone who may or may not have seen what was going on called the police. It took them just over forty minutes to show up. On the other hand, some fellow with a fried brain was rolling around on the ground, obviously out of his mind, but not harming anybody .. yet when the police were called they showed up very promptly: four bloody cars, and an ambulance. Where's the sense of proportion? Do they actually think people in this area, which contains a lot of immigrants and people who seemingly don't work, deserve to be injured? Sometimes it seems that the police can be found more readily in "safe" areas than in the places where crack runs rampant and hoodlums roam and strut waiting to exchange some aggression for a few dollars or a digital camera. I suppose that's called "maintenance", keeping the well-to-do at ease and letting other places rot because there isn't the manpower or bravery or care to make the filthy habitable.

Hah, after some weeks of doing the show and finally in a tentative manner posting the link on here last week .. the stream didn't actually work. It should work tonight but I don't think I'll do any reading. Next week though, perhaps a Smith story .. I was thinking of "The Chain of Aphorgamon", interspersed with some morose doom metal. I need to find an ambient background for that, or create one.

I really want to play another Demontage show, but we probably won't be doing any until next year. There's already a plan for a show next April with Rammer, Crucifist, Sauron (the Michigan one), Nuclearhammer, and one or two others that I can't remember, which should bring out quite a legion. I wasn't writing in here in September so I didn't talk about our show with Crucifist and Blood Ceremony, but it was hellish on all counts and one of our best and tightest shows. Blood Ceremony and Crucifist were both incredible in their own way and the new Blood Ceremony will be one of the best things to come out of Toronto in years and years. It amazes me how they pull off what they do without sounding at all gimmicky or forced. Every song has wild and adventurous flute soloing and Jeremy is one of the heaviest drummers I know. Unfortunately some of the clean singing in our set was way off the mark, especially mine, but it wasn't as dire as Paul feared except in one rather painful section. I have a recording of the set and I'll definitely keep it as this is one of the shows I really want to remember. Ah, the grinding hellions Malaria played this one as well, and they were good! .. definitely better than both Warlock Moon and the rather sad King, whom I was willing to praise with a bit of conviction for being so young and trying hard, until they decided to do a cover of Satyricon's "Mother North" that made the song even worse than it already is. Our beeeeeds are buuurning!

Edit: I've noticed an odd symmetry between these post-resurrection LJ entries and the ones at the bottom of the page from early spring. It's coincidence! Symmetry is an illusion!
Comments: Read 8 or Add Your Own.

Thursday, November 22nd, 2007

Subject:The sign of evil existence
Time:10:55 am.
Mood:hungry as sin.
I'm seeing Rotting Christ on Monday. I'm both excited and apprehensive about this because their early material is some of the most beautiful and finely crafted metal around, but their new stuff is actually quite bad. It's funny: Every time a new Rotting Christ album materialises a legion of people start saying, "oh, it's evil again, and fast, and back to the roots!" but I'm always disappointed. Really, I think they peaked with 1994's "Non Serviam" and the new album, though featuring some really nifty solos and interesting melody when I can make it out, sounds like it was created by a bunch of machines. Metal should be organic and vibrant with the power of life and glory of death! Anyway, I saw one of their setlists from Scandinavia and though they dont' play much from the awesome "Thy Mighty Contract" there are a couple of "Non Serviam" songs on there that I hope they will play .. opening with "The Fifth Illusion" would be an amazing force to behold.

This book about flying kids is really bad. I don't want to talk about it. Instead I will do what I've done before and write some thoughts on various things I've been reading, without actually doing proper reviews, though I want to start getting serious with that, if anything so that I can remember a little more about the books I finish and aren't necessarily mindblowing masterpieces that indellibly ink themselves into my brain. The musings lie herein!Collapse )

All right my friend, though I won't say this to your face because I know you don't want anyone else to get involved, I think you have lost your mind. I really wish you would not move ahead with this plan of yours. You will be in too deep to back out in a year's time and will be consumed by bitterness. Ah well, that's the last I will say, though it be cryptic and meaningless to anyone but myself, on this subject.
Comments: Read 14 or Add Your Own.

Tuesday, November 20th, 2007

Subject:the return of the freezing winds
Time:10:31 am.
Mood:gloriously heathen.
I guess I've gotten the reputation of being somewhat of an oldschool tyrant in my metal listening, but I still love a lot of the black metal stalwarts from the second wave and every so often I discover something new in this field that really takes my breath away. A few years ago I got an album from Angantyr, which was pretty good and rather Norwegian sounding .. certainly reminiscent of the best moments of Emperor at times. Well, yesterday I listened to their latest, "Hævn", and I have to say that this is a masterpiece. If this were released ten or twelve years ago it would surely have made many tremble in awe at its complete domination over hypnotic, droning metal with exquisite classically-inspired hateful melancholy (it sounds like an impossibility, but it is not!), but because the "scene" is so over-saturated with mediocrity being signed all over the place, few have actually heard of this and it hasn't been spoken of much as far as I can tell. I've never heard a cello incorporated so well into this type of music .. it's used as a solo instrument at a couple of points, including a beautiful piece to conclude the final, seventeen-minute long track. The drumming is perfect for this style, alternating steady blasts with really smart use of the cymbals and war-like, marching rhythms that summon images of heathen victory and the oncoming storm that will sweep away the maudlin and destructive ideals of the modern world. I love the way the guitars layer into piercing, wailing drones .. hell, there are at least three layers of guitar and gorgeous melody if one only concentrates to find it. It's all pretty new, and my hope is that in a few years people will be holding this alongside classics by Burzum, early Enslaved, Nargaroth's "Herbstleyd" .. hell, I love all of those but its' hard to say whether they are really superior to this gem.

The next post will be about books.
Comments: Read 11 or Add Your Own.

Monday, November 19th, 2007

Subject:God gave us existential angst so we wouldn't forget about him
Time:3:13 pm.
Mood:instigator of quandaries.
Hearing Goblin's 80s soundtracks in the movies themselves rather than as tracks on an album really helps improve my appreciation of them. "Phenomena" has wicked music and I'd love to hear some epic metal band like Dark Quarterer cover the theme someday, and "Tenebrae" sounds like some fucked up prog disco ... allright, so it's not "Susperia" or "Profondo Rosso" but it's pretty neat, and maybe even groundbreaking for 1982, though I'm not really an expert in this type of music. Speaking of "Tenebrae", we watched it last night for the second time, and I followed it a lot better this time. It's still not one of Argento's more memorable movies, but it's got great atmosphere and some of the killings are pretty over the top. I must say that "Phenomena" is my favourite from this period though. Never read too many reviews on the internet; it will colour your expectations in a bad way. Apparently many don't see "Phenomena" as being one of his better films but I love its strange dreamy feeling. It seems even less grounded in the real world than "Susperia" and the idea of the sarcophagus flies and insect telepathy was great, even though as usual with such things in an Argento movie it's underplayed. Hey, how many teenage actresses could you possibly find who would be perfectly cool with having insects crawl all over them for a movie shoot?

I love taking the TTC at night because sometimes encounters with odd, vocal individuals are bound to take place. For instance, Friday Angel and I were embroiled in a conversation with a crusading bus-driver. He spoke in the manner of a friendly and mellow African American (as opposed to the rastafarian types often seen around here), and asked what we were up to. "Oh, just coming back from doing a radio show on campus", says Angel .. "oh yeah? What do you play?" "mostly heavy metal .. a few other things." "Oh, that's cool. Let me ask you. Do you believe in Jesus?" Actually, it wasn't quite like that, as I had gone toward the rear and didn't overhear the first part of the conversation, but I came back to the front in time to hear Angel saying that she didn't believe in the "novel that was the Bible". At this point I jumped at the chance for some repart é and it was pretty neat, though it seemed like we were having difficulty communicating. He inspired the subject line for this journal, though, by stating that almost all of us had to believe in life after death or "something beyond the material" because God instilled this notion in our minds or souls. He was looking for a way to describe the feeling and I helpfully suggested "existential angst", which he seemed to like. Then though, there came the usual problem. Apparently he used to be a "bad boy", "burning weed" with his friends and listening to "the devil's hip-hop". At some point he realised that he had to smoke with his friends every time he saw them, and that they needed that buzz even to get along. I commented that they obviously weren't his real friends if he wasn't comfortable sober around them, and he agreed, but he felt this indicative of a spiritual void within himself and somehow made the connection with Jesus, being the one person who shows complete love, or something like that. To him, the Bible was truth, but I kept insisting that he was making a leap of logic that I simply could not cross (he wanted us to think about this and do some research and read the Bible). To a person like this one, the Bible is true because it's the word of God, and it's the word of God presumably because he feels it in his bones. Well, as passionate as I can get about literature, this is crazy talk. I mean, I could claim that "A Voyage to Arcturus" is the work of God because it resonates so powerfully with me and delves deep into man's spiritual and existential crisis, ultimately revealing the world as a feeble and sad sham and telling us to cast off our illusions to live more like Nightspore. Who'd believe me? The word is a powerful thing .. I probably could inspire some to believe that this was true, and I must say it's as good a truth as many of the world's religions seem to offer. Now we have the seed of how cults begin. I believe my destiny is on an island somewhere in the Pacific with a horde of devotees and acolytes ready to sacrifice their lives at my whim or travel about the world amassing converts or wash my feet.

Someone also tried to give me a coat that night. He was just carrying it around; was obviously drunk and had probably stolen it from somewhere. maybe it had a severed arm in it .. or perhaps he had merely wiped his arse with it. I suggested he bring it to a Goodwill store and he muttered some obscure profane exhortation and stumbled off.

We have cockroaches in here! Awesome.
Comments: Read 26 or Add Your Own.

Friday, November 16th, 2007

Subject:served at Ymir's table
Time:5:28 pm.
Mood:on a quest.
Muspelfire.com expired .. its' now muspelfire.net. It transpires that I have been feeling a little beligerent all week and most of tonights show will be quite heavy indeed. http://hellonearth.muspelfire.net, when bells strike nine in the eastern clime! I think I found my wind effect, too ... and I am finally learning how to use Sound Forge properly. It's not completely as versatile when you can't see the wave forms on the screen, but it's still definitely usable.
Comments: Add Your Own.

Wednesday, November 14th, 2007

Subject:Hell's New Face
Time:2:47 pm.
Mood:waiting.
The radio show's back, but we're making some changes. I've been able to record the show a few times and I note that the stream (or really, the booth's equipment) is still treating our harsh distorted music rather poorly. So, it's time to turn this into the "do whatever the hell we want on earth" show. Shorter sets, more 70s stuff, more prog, and more babbling. Of course there will still be some black and death metal most weeks, but last week I did something rather fun. I put on a drony German Oak track, then slowly replaced it via fade-in with a cavernous, reverberating Lustmord soundscape, then after a few minutes of this turned on the mic and read Lovecraft's "Nyarlathotep" on the air. I'm thinking of doing more readings as that turned out rather well. Nothing too long, I think, but definitely some Howard, Smith, Poe, etc. I believe next will be Howard's "The Frost Giant's Daughter". I need a good ambient backdrop for that, so if anybody has any ideas where I can find a nice, lengthy sample of howling wind and blowing snow, I'd be very happy!
Comments: Read 6 or Add Your Own.

Subject:...and as for the fools
Time:12:54 pm.
Mood:indignant with a "hmph!".
I thought this morning, while car after car after car passed me by on the street without a bus to be found among the lot, that what we really need is an oil crisis, like what happened in the 1970s only with more far-reaching consequences (and it would be, since that crisis is what initially caused the US to start prospecting for oil in a serious way in its own yard, as well as the mining of the North Sea). Then I saw this article in overgrownpath's journal: http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,,2051870,00.html

The Welsh are great. Now they just have to look out for giant, toxic maggots roaming the countryside, released by evil global chemical conglomerates! Yes, we've been watching lots of old Dr. Who.

I think our society also needs ... a virus that braeks down and destabilises the molecules of paper. We were "given" the computer and this was supposed to make paper obsolete for all except the stuff you really want to keep on your shelves and treasure .. but no, instead it has made it easier to say nothing; devote remes and remes of processed pulp to nonsensical redundant claptrap. I hurl a phenomenal amount of paper into the recycler every week. I was given all kinds of redundant paper at the braille conference; all of it was stuff that could just as well have been sent via e-mail, and I got multiple copies of some of this stuff. I printed out over 100 pages for my own workshops. I just finished working on a Canadian Library Association report that was another hundred pages and seemed to have no purpose whatsoever other than to state the obvious: That less than 5% of published material is available in alternative format and this is bad and it's going to take everybody working together to fix this and oh by the way it'll cost about $9 million over a three-year period and here's the UNESCO manifesto for Libraries which we've copied for you even though we've given you dozens of URLs to look at. People subscribe to newspapers that they never read and receive hundreds of junk pail pamphlets that they throw out instantly. It makes me furious, not for the sake of the trees or anything (me? A treehugger? bwahahah!) but because it's done with such blithe abandon of common sense and exemplifies the horrendous attitude that everything is provided for our use and abuse in abundant, unlimited quantities. What, is there a god out there somewhere who will replenish the oil reserves on demand? Did we really install computers in every office so we can bury ourselves under mountains of wasted paper? Bloody hell.

Hello Elizabeth. GOodbye, Livejournal!
Comments: Read 3 or Add Your Own.

Tuesday, November 13th, 2007

Subject:we were born to go, and leave a burning track
Time:12:35 pm.
Mood:maybe this time it will happen.
Somewhere in the blighted iniquitous depths where the threads that tenuously bind us together across gulfs of space intertwine at their basest, most primally tangled and untraceable level, dust motes begin to stir and coalesce into a shambling mound of granulated stuff that lacks the consistency of flesh but slowly shapes and protrudes, exuding mandibles and limbs and other extremities approximating the human form in a most vague, unseemly and ill-conceived fashion. Scattered about are an apparent myriad of sundry and cluttered objects, which this protoplasmic aberration begins to finger experimentally, hurling many to the unforgiving void but retaining an increasing number close to its hollow chest, dry dessicated fingers stroking surfaces with mounting deliberation and passion as it shuffles toward the prospect of daylight.

I'm back.
I guess.

And definitely out of practice.

What happens now? Damned if I know. It should be easier from this point onward, though. I have a strange complex of sorts that makes me less and less inclined to do something the more time passes. Thus, the promised event grows further and further away with each ended day and not closer at all. It's always been the way. Smoking rings might make it worse because my concentration has completely shot to hell for the most part by the end of the day.

But the subject line is a happy one. I'll keep repetition in here to a minimum from now on.

I want some icons.
Comments: Read 11 or Add Your Own.

Thursday, June 21st, 2007

Subject:if you are a false then don't entry
Time:4:22 pm.
Mood:off what?.
My new machine is ordered, but I"m hedging a bit on the soundcard and speakers because I want to get something I can do recording and MIDI synth stuff with and there's an incredible amount of audio hardware out there. Unfortunately budget is something I really have to consider, though my dad is probably covering most of this as a birthday gift of sorts .. I don't think he'll want to spring for a high-end Tascam card and an ace speaker setup on top of everything! This techie friend of his turned out to be a bit of a bust as far as I'm concerned; though he probably still knows what makes a good system he doesn't actually seem to be able to get any special deals on new hardware. Ah well.

The Michigan show was amazing for us. I have been sort of on a playing high ever since. It was like a complete polar opposite of our show with Cauldron because everything was set up in a very few minutes, we had no sound problems at all, nobody was high or drunk or negatively self-conscious, and most surprisingly ... everyone seemed to dig us. American metal crowds seem quite a bit more friendly than Canadian ones for some reason. We got the best reaction I think other than Sauron themselves, who were loose and very drunk but tore the place up, even when they closed with the most half-assed slobbery cover of "Breaking the Law" I've ever heard. Some people from Ontario even came to the show, and though this was probably as much for Sauron as for us it was still pretty gratifying to have an entourage of sorts. No sleep at all that night, a terrible movie, metal videos and sing-along at the local uh, "Hellhouse" (oh broken gods!) and some good conversation. Another highlight was stopping in Flint and taking some mad photos of us louts standing by crusty railroad tracks and crumbling, dessicated buildings. The wwenty-four hour diner was, sadly, not at all a highlight, and chocolate chip pancakes could never have saved it. Kim cracks me up with her endless excitability and her friend Jennifer is pretty cool. It's really bizarre to see such young girls completely into oldschool metal in this city .. I think this resurgence is a new phenomenon.

Well, lots more can be said, but I'm running out of time. Must catch the stinking bus.
Comments: Read 13 or Add Your Own.

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