so i finally watched q: the winged serpent. i've been meaning to do this since i read a review of it in the fortean times, back when i used to read it (actually, i think it might have been on a more recent nostalgia-trip).

I started watching the film, and was loving it until about half an hour in, when the interminable subplot about a bungling getaway driver which was threatening to overtake the film finally got too much.

strangely, this is in the same week that the onion a.v. club wrote: "If he weren’t, you know, still alive, this article could be called the Larry Cohen Memorial Inventory, because Cohen has spent decades crafting ingenious, pulpy B-movie premises that were more often than not half-realized" in their feature 'Take two: 22 potentially great movies botched in execution and ready to be remade'.

i couldn't agree more, and on finishing watching the film i could only think how fantastic the themes were and how rubbish the actual film was. the story is, a cultist summons a resurrection of the god quetzalcoatl which makes a nest in the roof of the chrysler tower, manhatten. the monster starts terrorizing new york, swopping down from the bright sky and picking off bystanders.

so we have the equivelence of gods and monsters, public and media hysteria, a great winged serpent that flies out in the midday sun so that people are blinded when they look up to it... and no budget to see it through. larry cohen wrote, directed and produced the film, resulting in richard roundtree saying brooklyn-style dialogue like 'why you should have such big ears, heh?'.

what i think the tragedy is, is that peter jackson remade king kong (which didn't need remaking) and not this (which did). the creature effects were terrible, and it was basically not threatening in the slighest, just a bit gory. Q doesn't play enough of a role in the story; it has no character of its own.

firstly, i think the creature should have been a wyvern, as it really has no need for it's forelimbs, and wyverns don't get enough light these days. the cultists need to play a stronger part in the plot, maybe even having people convert to the cult, like akira, accepting Q as their saviour. attempts to make the plot plausible were stilted and weak, and if you're going to try to have some sort of... oh forget it. never mind. i really reccomend you watch the film, and then afterwards, watch a remake of it in your head - that's what i've done and i've really enjoyed it.


mixtape 3 - tweezers

it's finally here - mixtape 3.

this is a bit diversionary - a mix of 95% tweecore. i really enjoyed listening back to this one, i hope it tickles you fancy.

a couple of notes on it - originally, it was longer, and went a bit mad and spacey at the end. a bit ambient. it had direction, actually direction into the next mix. and also originally, it was almost legally free downloads. i only realised that retrospectively, then tried to cut it so it *was* only free downloads, then i realised that hurt the music and wasn't what i was doing it for. then i thought it dragged on into ambient misery too much so i chucked all those songs out and threw in some more tweeness, and here you go.

it also includes a as-it-stands demo i've done, currently just called 'tapping', because that's what i was doing when i wrote it. i was thinking about rearranging it as a chiptune track, but why bov? i wrote it on guitar and transcribed into fruity loops, because that's actually easier than trying to record me playing it.

tracklisting is in the mp3 comments tag as always. lemme know if you can't find it and i'll post it here.

sorry. blathering. tired and scared.

please help the disabled remix 4
Quadrilles - Noah The Drill
Hugh Cornwell - Delightful Nightmare
Half Man Half biscuit - It Makes The Room Look Bigger
Humousexual - Roundabouts
The Bobby Mcgees - We Never Sleep
M.J. Hibbett & The Validators - MJ Hibbett & The Validators / One Of The Walls Of My House Fell In
Mushi Mushi - Attention Deficit Disco
he doyouinverts - Subscription Cancelled
Dildano - Brace
Alan Moore, Downtown Joe Brown & The Retro Spankees - You Are My Asylum
Gorky's Zygotic Mynci - Ffarm-Wr
MJ Hibbett - A Little Bit
IW Rawes - Please Help The Disabled

epiphany 12

well, 12 is a guess. but it was a pretty amazing moment.

my last epiphany was listening to naked city. about halfway through one of their albums, at stratford station i think, it suddenly struck me in the head - quite a lot like pkdick described it actually, being beamed into your head from another galaxy - that all i wanted to play was jazz. my brain was freaking out on the sweet, pure, free music and it wanted that moment to last for all time.

this time was a little different. again i was listening to music - this time to the code666 record described in the previous post. i was walking to work, and the track 'chained in the damnation asylum' by the axis of perdition was kicking my head in. the lyric "let your mind cling feebly to your pre-concieved notions of reality"; and something happened.

something related to the tree of life poster on the wall behind me, previously in the sleep room, and related also to the denoument of my 'Kno' project; the island city of Kno being razed to the ground by a 4-D colossal giant squid.

i thought of the birds, singing in the trees around newbury park. black birds, blue tits, finches. and i just saw them as tendrils of the one great 4D squid of life on this planet. each evolutionary stable form is an info-tentacle, impercetably splitting off from it's sibling species but ultimately forming it's own distinct arm. the squid that has its tail in the primordial soup and its furthest reaches no-one knows where. the auto-phagic crustacean with some of it's arms photosynthesising, passing nutrients onto it's other arms, a complex system of suckers and open wounds. it overlaps and intertwines with itself, it's form can only be seen from tralfamadore.

it was a great moment.


rough tirade/reviews

so i went into rough trade a couple of weeks ago, specifically to buy chris tt's new album 'love is not rescue'. i thought this was a reasonable goal, since chris is so very rough trade in his style. after wandering about a bit, i thought it was wierd that i couldn't find it on display or in the racks. i asked the staff about it and they said... even they'd had it in and they hadn't reordered it, or they'd never thought to get it in. they took my number and said they'd call when it arrived. they never did.

this kind of service is what's wrong with record shops. rough trade can't afford to treat people like that, or leave their target market unsatisfied in this day and age. i was also schocked that they'd gone even more off the wall and replaced the sandwich fridge with a bike rack. come for the records, stay for the coffee and wifi, stay a bit lock for the bike storage... is their rent really so low they can afford to do that? or is this a worrying sign?

that same day, having been wandering around the shop for a bit, i ended up buying three albums - a present and two scott hull records that i wasn't previously aware of the existence of. now, i have a rule - you buy it where you saw it. i wouldn't have known scott hull - of agoraphobic nosebleed and pig destroyer - had a solo career if it hadn't have been for walking round that record shop, so it's only fair to buy it from them. and i wouldn't have known that his solo output is so wonderful (see mixtapes 1 and 2 for some of his tracks). so i'm really, really grateful that i can just wander through the 'outrock' section of my local record shop, find something i wasn't aware of, and love it so much.

this kind of service is what's right with record shops. i can go in wanting one thing, miss out on it, and find something else brilliant. but that doesn't mean i can be treated rubbish.

so i do a lot of online shopping too, because lots of things only seem to exist online, and like i said, if i find it there, i'll buy it there. i recently went mad and bought 3 records and a t-shirt because of various connections to ephel duath's davide tiso.

i got somma's '23 wheels of dharma', because of eraldo bernocchi, who remixed the entire 'pain necessary to know' record and collaborated with tiso on 'parched'. it seems to be an album of largely improvised hebrew-tibetan jazz-dub. this comes on rare noise records, berlocchi's label, and features bill laswell on bass, like, oh i don't know, every other random purchase. it's... a bit hippy-dippy, and backgroundy. the best tracks are probably the ones they put up online. 5/10.

i got the soundbyte's 'rivers of broken glass', from 2005, because it was the only album to come out on tiso's short-lived vanity label amaranth records. it's great - never bursting into heaviness but very atmospheric, post-metal like the way doves are almost post-rock. 8/10.

and i got the code666 compilation 'better undead than alive 2', which is fantastic. tiso provides interludes between songs, linking the album into something like a conceptual piece by various artists. it's extreme metal, but it feels so fresh and wierd and interesting, perhaps along similar lines to the crucial blast anniversary compilation, but much more structured. i'm really, really very happy with these two records. 10/10.

so aural music, the label in charge of code 666 and amaranth, also stuck another cd in the package for me as a bonus - by a band called carinou. this is one of the worst albums i have ever heard, incredibly weak cyber-rock. lyrically unpleasant, feebly concieved and produced, it's just ugh. obviously they've got a few copies of it lying around, and i'm greatful for the gift, but it's hardly a good advert for their roster. 1/10 (because it was free).

you know what's strange? in all this mixtape-age, i can't find one track off the new dillinger escape plan album i that i want to disseminate. hmm.

oh, and: Scott Hull: Requiem: fantastic. i've listened to this so much since i got it, i never knew i'd love ambient music so much. well it's soundtracky i suppose, but gotterdammerung, it's bloody marvellous. i might put it on for the kids tomorrow.


the legend of andvari's gold

...of course, odin began to get suspicious when hreidmar also claimed the salmon he'd been given was his son Salmn, who liked to take the form of a salmon, and the bottle of wine loki had just cracked open was in fact hreidmar's son Chardny, and they'd have to pay blutgeld for both of them as well...


mixtape 2: imposium

so, here's mix 2, then. tracklist, as ever, in the mp3 comments tag.

I feel now, since i'm repeating a few artists from mix 1 (scott hull, kow otani, RHF) that i should talk about that, and talk about the artists i've chosen.

basically these mix tapes are 'what i'm listening to at the moment' so don't be surprised/alarmed if the same old names keep cropping up - especially the genghis tron remixes. there's just too many good ones. I've been buying a fair stack of cds recently - sometimes listening through, picking out the best tracks and sticking them on mixes for my own benefit is the best way for me to sort my head out. each mix has one or two 'seed' tracks that i really really love, and other tracks from newer and older records occur to me as i hear them. my one rule though is to always listen to an album through before ripping it. sometimes this is quite hard to stick to - the landlady, reasonably, doesn't appreciate the heavier stuff blaring out while she's trying to unwind - so i might rip a record to listen to on the walkthing.

so you should see that this carries on fairly well from mix 1; starts ambiently soundtracky, couple of lofi songs in there, two radically different bach pieces, goes a bit electronic towards the end. next time will be different, but i won't bother that with you now. please try to enjoy this for the next two weeks, and let me know if i'm overloading you...

please help the disabled remix 3
Scott Hull - Santificato [End Titles]
Kow Otani - The Farthest Land
Dan & Dan - The Daily Mail Song
Glenn Gould - Variation 10 Fughetta
Quadrilles - That Home Made Taste
Christopher Lee - Act 3. The Bloody Verdict Of Verden
RHF - Album 2, track 11
Mushi Mushi - The Dietary Habits of the Byker Pigeon
Genghis Tron - Board Up The House (Steve Moore Remix)
John Eliot Gardiner - Mass in B minor -I- Kyrie - Kyrie eleison
IM Rawles - Please Help The Disabled


on and on and on and on

so yes, as i was saying - and it's nice to see that pratchett agrees with me - what's with that sonic screwdriver?

well it's basically a magic wand isn't it, you might say.

but it's not. in tolkien's world, magic is something intangible, that mortals cannot master. it's something innate to the powers of the world, it's raw and poorly defined. it reflects the confusion the common man would have found at the world in ancient times - it didn't make any sense, or bind to limits.

but we now live in a world of gont, miss cackle's academy, the unseen university, the scintillus academy, and hogwarts. magic is an academic subject that can be mastered (or at least, bachelored). roleplaying, where skills in magic can be developed and improved over time; magic as a science. that's why it was so easy to make system shock (and by extension deus ex) out of the ultima underworld engine; replace mana with energy, replace spells with bio-mods and hey presto, sci-fi. and not the science fantasy of doctor who, but actual speculative fiction, with rules and boundries. doctor who's plot holes and deus ex machinas are a throwback to an earlier conception of magic; the bewildering genius of an alien.


going on and on about dr who

So on friday night, getting home after the gig (which i'm sure i'll promise to blog about at some point), the landlady and i fired up the internet to watch the latest episode of dr who - how would the new dr get out of the cliffhanger ending he was left in last week?
So there we were watching away, while i kept getting up to check on the food in the oven (canneloni and chips at 2am is boss). i didn't need it paused, i reckoned, because i could hear what was going on. except that i kept missing what was going on, and realised that, actually, it didn't matter, because dr who doesn't make any sense anyway.
now, dr who not making any sense is hardly news, barely even 'the happs', and that's part of it's joy. pointing out plot holes and inconsistancies in dr who episodes is no fun - a show that has a sonic screwdriver,with no obviously defined powers other than it sometimes simply doesn't work, is clearly innit fo the luls (i mean, you think he'd have two, because then one could always fix the other... or is that the only thing it can't fix? and if so, why not have the super sonic screwdriver that can fix the sonic... aha infite recursive loop). but i found that it led me to not caring about what was actually happening in th'episode - when i got back, the scene might have changed, one tricky situation had been replaced by another, and did it matter? did i ask 'what happened while i was away?' well no, because whatever had happened wouldn't have made any more sense than what i had experienced, which was a simple cut between one scene and the next. how did the dr solve that one? well, for all it mattered he might as well have pissed in a jar and thrown it at the aliens, it transpiring that 'the dr has killer piss, not that we've ever mentioned it before' or something.
it's not that dr who isn't tremendous fun, it's just by being wildly inconsistent and made up on the spot, while part of the enjoyment, makes me not actually care about the story or characters at all. and then i stopped enjoying it as much, because i'd missed bits and not been bothered enough to know what had happened. i suppose it's like (check what i do here) the opposite of those stone angels; while you're watching it, it's alive, but as soon as you turn away it stops existing and you forget all about it.


mixtape 0 - for eva

as a special mid-fortnight mayday bonus, here's a mix i did for an old friend recently that kicked off my manic mixing. ironically it's unmixed, just sequential, but with the state of my hardware that's all you getting this week. as last time, the tracklisting is contained in the comments field of the mp3 info.

it's definitely number 0 because 1 and 2 mix very nicely into each other, while this one could fir just about anywhere in the sequence. it has more twee elements, explored further in mix 3, but also a few older songs, since i haven't made a mix for eva for ages.

you'll start to notice i've a few repeated artists i keep using, and hopefully also that every mix is going to start with a different remix of the 'please help the disabled' guy. i hope this will become 'my thing' or perhaps even a 'theme'. i'm going to try and put some exclusive grilly track or remix on each of these too (absent here), but we'll see how far i get with that idee.

enjoy it there.

please help the disabled remix 2
Parched - Mute(ant) Hill
The Bobby Mcgees - Prick Up Your Ears
Euros Childs - how do you do
Meic Stevens - Shw' Mae? Shw' Mae?
Humousexual - Oh Camberwell
half man half biscuit - evening of swing (has been cancelled)
Radiohead - These Are My Twisted Words
Fiona & Gorwel Owen - Spring Always Comes
Sparks - I Can't Believe That You Would Fall For All The Crap In This Song
,Cats in Paris - Loose Tooth Tactile
Necro Deathmort - Necro Effigy
Kyle Gabler - Burning Man
W Rawes - Please Help The Disabled