Archive for July, 2009

Dark Dreamers

Posted in Recommendation, Video with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 23, 2009 by scottsplatter

5189q3Bz10L__SL500_AA240_I just recently learned of this series. Dark Dreamers is a collection of interviews with several of the strongest minds in horror. The interviews are conducted and compiled by Stanley Wiater, considered by many to be one of the leading journalist on the horror field. There is a book I haven’t seen yet, and there was a Canadian TV series that is available on DVD.

I just picked up the DVD’s, it’s a 4 disc set with over 10 hours of content that features interviews with Forrest J. Ackerman, Clive Barker, Richard Matheson, Harlan Ellison, Richard Laymon, Wes Craven, Jon Landis, Jack Ketchum, Douglas Clegg, John Skipp… and a mess of others.

There are people on here I wasn’t familiar with at all, and names I know but haven’t read in addition to people I do like. I’ve only gotten to watch the first 5 or 6 interviews so far, but it’s been really interesting. The interviews focus not only on the artists careers, but also the nature of the craft and the passion that drove those careers. The interviews were conducted between 2000 and 2001, but because of the nature of the interviews that doesn’t date the information. I have seen suggestion that Wiater intends to resurrect the series and conduct future interviews, and the DVD set does say “Volume 1.” I’m not sure when or if that is happening, but I certainly hope so.

I’ve always found interviews such as these that look at craft and creativity as being really fascinating and motivating. Wiater put this series together with more passion than money and I really hope he continues where he left off. It’s a labor of love that has delivered a level of insight you don’t get from the average PR interviews. A few of the people on this collection are dead now, and a few are the first on screen interviews of certain participants.

Here is a segment of the Harlan Ellison interview to wet your whistle…

Advertisements

Anti-Septic

Posted in Recommendation, Video with tags , , , , , on July 11, 2009 by scottsplatter

Nazca is a band from Helsinki I count among my favorites, and this track in particular is simply brilliant. It comes off the album Non Grata released on Eibon Records back in 2002. The clip below is an incomplete video for the track “Anti-Septic.” It’s not the entire track, but there is enough here to appreciate, and the visuals are well done.

I interviewed Karstein Volle their vocalist and guitarist a few years ago for Worm Gear, but I guess I haven’t added the interview to the new blog driven version of the site yet. It was the middle of the night for him and he was stuck working on a design project and was gracious enough to spend a couple of hours chatting. You should listen to Nazca.

Gary Fry

Posted in Recommendation with tags , , , , on July 6, 2009 by scottsplatter

I first became aware of Gary Fry through this interview over at Horrorworld. Fry has a PhD in psychology, and incorporates that knowledge and his own philosophical view of the world in to his writing in a powerful way. His is a horror of the mind and one that uses themes and undercurrents well to give the prose multiple layers on which it works.

fry_cov_sm_impelled The stories are so tightly written and his voice is unique. While I am not as well versed in horror as I could be, I haven’t read anything that feels quite like Fry’s work. The stories work your intellect as well as your imagination. I  appreciate those underlying messages and bits of sociological commentary a lot. It’s something I try and include in my own work, and it’s something that is always there in my music. 

 The cover to the left is from his first collection, The Impelled and Other Head Trips, which is the one I am just finishing up. He has a couple newer releases, the most recent of which Mindful of Phantoms I am looking forward to checking out. In addition he runs Gray Friar Press with a number of good looking titles I expect to pick up as I can.

the lay of the land

Posted in Rumination with tags , , , on July 2, 2009 by scottsplatter

I think there are a lot of parallels with regards underground music and the small press “genre” publishers out there.  From the networking style, to the niche genres and sub genres, to the small zines and ezines and bedroom enterprises, the similarities are there. Both try to focus on the overlooked and under appreciated and both contain genuine pools of genius that the rest of the world is too narrowly focused to notice. Small Press publishers also like special, limited editions  that are such a hook for record collectors… I could go on.

So researching all of this and checking out the publisher sites, magazine sites, and going through the listings on places like Ralan.com and Duotrope.com has been pretty interesting. The mentality is familiar and comfortable to me, and in most cases, as far as I can tell, it is passion above all else that is driving the small publishers to do their thing.

It’s odd staring down such a familiar path once again and not being sure if it leads anywhere. Publishing is not my first concern, just as getting a record out wasn’t when I started messing around with music, but as the work piles up you inevitably start to wonder what to do with it. I’m trying to get the lay of the land now in hopes of being somewhat prepared  when the time comes. The tales of rejection slip piles among even the most established writers are the things if legend. I don’t fear that, at least not yet.

I think the thing right now that seems the most obscure is the readership and how they discover new writers. With music it was relatively easy to see the patterns and habits, but with writing it’s not as clear to me.   That’s the question I am still trying to get a handle on.

As I come across writers or books I like I’ll try and give them a plug here as I did recently with Thomas Ligotti. Word of mouth is still one of the most potent forms of promotion I think, so stay tuned.