Archive for May, 2009

Pro-Test

Posted in Rumination, Video with tags , , , , on May 27, 2009 by scottsplatter

I  love Skinny Puppy, Too Dark Park is a perfect album. Cleanse, Fold & Manipulate is damn close to perfect. The others, up to and including Last Rights, are in the great to brilliant spectrum. When I was a wee-lad I drove 3 and a half hours in a blizzard (which ended up being closer to 6 on the way home) with one headlight to see them play in Kalamazoo, MI. There were no doubt hills in both directions at some point I had to traverse on my journey. Babes In Toyland opened that show.

Just look at this video for “Spasmolytic”… I’ve never confirmed this, but it looks like it could have been directed by Stephen Sayadian of Dr. Caligari and Cafe Flesh fame. See Here.

I haven’t followed the band since they reformed a few years ago. I heard one track that was unrecognizable as Skinny Puppy off of The Greater Wrong Of The Right after which  I lamented the passing of Dwayne Goettel, and decided not to pursue it any further.

Then I saw this video for “Pro-Test,” also off The Greater Wrong Of The Right. This video, right or wrong, has come to symbolize everything that’s wrong with the world to me. Ok maybe not everything, but I watch it again and again in awe of how absurd it is. I hope that it was meant as a joke, but even so… everything goes to hell in the end. It’s a mild obsession that continues to flabbergast me. When it becomes apparent a day is going south I don’t kick a dog or punch a baby, I watch this video.

I haven’t heard anything off of Mythmaker, and people have told me to give this new stuff a chance… but really, did you see that? I’m not a fan-boy type that gets all squirrely about “their” bands normally. It’s just a bit confounding to me how artists that are so unique and innovative can embrace the mundane and trite.

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The Unacceptable Face of Freedom

Posted in Recommendation with tags , , on May 25, 2009 by scottsplatter

As I mentioned before I’ve been ripping old vinyl and cassettes into the computer. In doing so I rediscovered Test Dept.’s 1986 release The Unacceptable Face of Freedom. What a great fucking record this is. They aren’t a band that I ever delved that deeply into, I have this and Pax Britannica. Pax Britanica is good, but The Unacceptable Face… is outstanding. I am going to need to take another look at this project.

Heavy percussion, clattering factory atmospheres, urgent beats, and pissed off political lyrics delivered with passion and intensity. The whole presentation feels authentic, and the execution is spot on. If you are a fan of the “old school” Industrial music sound, this record is among the best of that era for my money.

The video includes interview and live footage. The quality is pretty much crap, but it’s still worth a look.

For the Girl Who Has Everything

Posted in Recommendation with tags , , , , , , , , on May 22, 2009 by scottsplatter

I’m old and jaded. I know about as much about what little girls like as I do about… I can’t think of anything witty that I know less about. That’s how little I know about what little girls like. I’ve said repeatedly that I am content to be the strange Uncle that gives books they won’t appreciate until they are older.

ouijaToys R’ Us feels my pain. I no longer have to be that relative. They have reworked a classic for today’s modern young lady, and little girl on the on the go. The Pink Ouija Board is here! 

It comes with a carrying case (also pink) and a deck of cards that suggests such probing spiritual questions as “Who will I call next?” By only showing her head, the  possessed glitter girl in the lower corner of the packaging promotes a positive body image and reinforces the importance of the mind to young women.  The carrying case mimics the laptop bag the thinking woman will be carrying around when she’s old enough to step beyond the playground into the real world. Those stupid boys won’t know what hit them!

Maybe the little girl on your shopping list doesn’t have Barbie’s body, or the Bratz sassy attitude. That doesn’t mean they can’t find a place in the competitive hive of public schools and make friends. Nothing says “I’m cool too” to your classmates like spending your free time communing with the dead.

I have a book on my desk right now called Talking To The Dead about Kate and Maggie Fox, the agreed upon founders of modern Spiritualism. It was two young women who started the seance revolution in the 19th Century. Whatever your opinion of Spiritualism, I’d wager they are better role models than anything on television.

Thanks to Fark.com for drawing this to my attention.

Thomas Ligotti

Posted in Recommendation with tags , , , , , , , on May 20, 2009 by scottsplatter

teatroI was going to wait to post something on Thomas Ligotti until I had read more of his work, but what the hell. I’d heard his name  for a few years and had always been sort of curious, but it wasn’t until recently that I decided to give it a chance.  I picked up a copy of the short story collection  Teatro Grottesco and devoured it. The other day  I found a copy of the out of print The Shadow At The Bottom Of The World  that I will probably dig into over the long weekend.

Ligotti  most often gets compared to Poe and Lovecraft, but from the shadowstories I have read thus far it is a tonal comparison more than a stylistic one. Within his body of work he has  visited the Lovecraft Mythos a bit from what I understand, but it is by no means is a focal point. His prose is tight and descriptive with out being overwhelming and superfluous. Ligotti’s stories evoke a vivid environment of apocalyptic dread, anxiety and madness that is truly potent.

His work is one of the very few that I have read that produced a “where have you been all my life” epiphany. The stories in Teatro, particularly “The Red Tower” and “In A Foreign Town, In A Foreign Land,”  capture so much of what I have tried to do in Gruntsplatter that seeing it on the page was striking. It was encouraging as well to see that those kind of stories have an audience.

Ligotti has also contributed to Current 93, on the albums “In A Foreign Town, In A Foreign Land”, “I Have a Special Plan For This World” and “This Degenerate Little Town.” I haven’t heard any of those releases. I’m not the biggest of Current 93 fans (David Tibet’s voice is annoying, sue me) but I am interested in seeing how his words play against their style of music.

I’m sure this won’t be the last time you see Ligotti’s name mentioned here, particularly since I have an unopened book of his work waiting for me.  Here is an interview from 2004 with Ligotti that is definitely worth reading. If you like dark fiction, short stories or any of the music I have done, I can’t recommend him enough. A lot of the stuff is out of print now sadly, but Virgin Books issued Teatro Grottesco and a collection of three novellas called My Work Is Not Yet Done that which I still need to get, and those shouldn’t be too hard to find. Fox Atomic comics has also issued two graphic novels called The Nightmare Factory based on Ligotti’s stories.

That Never Happened

Posted in Projects, Rumination with tags , , , , , , , , on May 19, 2009 by scottsplatter

Over the years there have been a few projects that were proposed that for one reason or another never happened. Some of these were mentioned in interviews and others may never have been made public, I really don’t remember.

The Black Hands Project – I was approached by Vadim Gusis of Chaos As Shelter to do a collaboration, around that same time he’d apparently also asked Stephen O’Malley of SunnO))), Khanate etc. to do a collaboration. I had been corresponding with Stephen and we decided to make it a three project collaboration with all of us doing one release together. Work was actually started on this, and music exchanged and recorded and then it petered out. Not sure what happened honestly. I probably have some of that around in a box somewhere.

w/ Dream Into DustDerek Rush and I used to correspond a fair amount years ago and always sort of thought it would be an interesting project to collaborate on something. We talked about it and wondered, but never got to the point of action.  I did an email from Derek the other day asking if I’d be interested in doing a remix for him for an upcoming album he’s working on, and agreed to do it. So a taste of what might have been lurks somewhere on the horizon.

w/ HaloSkye Klein (that discography is incomplete)  The varied projects of Skye and Robert are almost too numerous to list, but they are all good. Skye and I discussed doing something together at one point, but then they got scooped up by Relapse, and I assume got very busy and nothing came of it.

w/Sator Absentia – Cedric Codognet had contacted me about a possible video collaboration that he wanted to put together, with each of us contribution new audio, and footage we’d shot of various and sundry thing, not live footage. He was working  a DVD for Sator Absentia and thought we could perhaps get to it when he was done with that. I never heard much else about it. Given my ramshackle recording situation the last couple years I probably would have had to put it off  or back out anyway.

I think that covers the primary propositions that have come and gone along the way.

Dream Long Dead – Water

Posted in Projects, Video with tags , , , , on May 18, 2009 by scottsplatter

I intended on having a couple other things written for this space in the last few days, but I got that doo-hickey that lets me burn cassettes into the computer so I have been fixating on that. Until I have something better to say,  here is another short film where someone used my music for the soundtrack. I didn’t have anything to do with this one either.

John Hillcoat and Nick Cave

Posted in Recommendation with tags , , , , , , on May 13, 2009 by scottsplatter

John Hillcoat is a director that has worked with Nick Cave in a number of ways over the years. He directed Ghosts Of The Civil Dead which Cave co-wrote, acts in and provided music for. I have not been able to find this movie, and would very much like to see it, yeargh!

Hillcoat directed the epic video for “Babe, I’m On Fire” off the Bad Seeds Nocturama album, a special edition of the release came with a DVD of the video.  I was going to link it, but it’s so long it’s broken up into two chunks on You Tube. So, if you care, find it yourself. It’s pretty funny.

Then Hillcoat and Cave worked together again on the brilliant, filthy Outback Western The Proposition. Nick Cave wrote the screenplay and did the soundtrack with Warren Ellis. The performances and tone of this movie are just great, it is ugly and dirty and mean. Here is the Australian version of the trailer.

Hillcoat and Cave are teaming up yet again. This time for the adaptaion of The Road. I haven’t read the Cormac McCarthy book yet but it’s on the list of stuff I want to pick up based on Jon Canady’s glowing review here. Nick Cave will be doing the soundtrack for this, and here is an in depth article on the production from Esquire I found today.

After this Hillcoat and Cave have planned a project called Death Of A Ladies Man which is also from a script by Cave. It’s listed as in pre-production now with no cast attached, but it sounds like it may be a bit more on on the humorous side than the dark and violent side of Cave’s work.